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By S. V. KIRUPAharan, France
'It's not a mistake to make a mistake, but it is a mistake to repeat the mistake.'
During the 39th session of the Human Rights Council - HRC, on 14 September 2018, I listened to the right to reply by UN member States. In the HRC, the right to reply means a verbal attack either on a State or an NGO.
On 14th September it was between India and Pakistan. During the decades of my participation in the UN Human Rights Forums, I have heard hundreds of 'wars of words' between states. But what I heard on 14th September 2018 is very damaging to India.
An Indian rep said the following: '…What is portrayed by Pakistan as self-determination is actually state-sponsored cross-border terrorism and the support actually means extending military, financial, logistical support to terrorism against India.' (Excerpt)
Immediately the Pakistani rep said: '……..India's first set of lies is about cross border terrorism. In South Asia, India has always used terrorism as a means to subvert its smaller neighbours. This has been chronicled in memoirs of its former officials and diplomats. India has the distinction of creating and nurturing the most lethal terrorist organization that went to acquire naval power. The violence perpetrated by this terrorist organization eventually led to tragic assassination of its former Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. This practice of harbouring terrorists against neighbours still continues.' (Excerpt)
It is obvious that the Pakistani rep was referring to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – LTTE and to Sri Lanka. This sort of accusation is going to be made against India, as long as the earth exists!
It's true that India is blamed for everything that is happening and has happened in Sri Lanka. In the late 80s or even before, India took a position on Sri Lanka based on truth and justice with neutrality.This was then seen by Sinhala Buddhists– S.B.as an approach that was too sympathetic towards the Tamils in the North and East. The Sinhalese believed that India was supporting the Tamil struggle for their right to self-determination. Unfortunately,after the tragic death of former Prime Minister – PM Indira Gandhi, Indian foreign policy made a 'U-turn' on Sri Lanka, under the Premiership of Rajiv Gandhi.
Due to certain weaknesses of then PM of India and other decision-makers, mainly Malayali (Kerala), the S.B. leaders began taking huge advantage of India. Even today, Sri Lankan rulers are making good use of others'weaknesses. As a result, India departed from its foreign policy based on truth and justice,with neutrality. This brought no advantage to the Tamils of the North and East nor India.
Assassination attempt on Rajiv Gandhi!
This led to India signing an accord with Sri Lanka known as the'Indo-Lanka accord' on 29th July 1987. The outcome of this accord was horrendous human rights violations and material damage to the people in the North and East.
First of all,this accord was totally against the aspirations of the Tamils. But the Tamils were threatened and forced to accept it by then PM of India with some promises which immediately evaporated. Secondly, when the accord was about to be signed in Colombo,this was a burning issue for the South including Colombo. People in the South were totally against it. Thirdly, when Rajiv Gandhi arrived in Colombo to sign the accord, the S.B. leaders belonging to all political parties in the South showed their anger towards it.
Fourthly, the most serious affair which took place on 30 July 1987 was the attempted assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, during the Guard of Honour at President's House in Colombo, Sri Lanka. For unknown reasons, this incident disappeared so quickly from the memories of the Gandhi family and the Indians.
During the Guard of Honour in Colombo, a Sri Lanka Navy sailor assaulted Rajiv Gandhi with his ceremonial Lee–Enfield rifle. This was an assassination attempt on Rajiv Gandhi. The sailor was sentenced to six years in prison.
Itis to be noted that the sailor who attempted to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi was praised as a 'hero' by many S.B. including then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka,Ranasinghe Premadasa. In 1989, when Premadasa became the President of Sri Lanka,he gave a presidential pardon to theNavy sailor after two and a half years of a six years prison term.Even today, the man who attempted to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi is praised as a hero in the South.
Fifthly, the war started between the Indian soldiers and LTTE in the North and East. The casualties were very high. Not only those involved directly in the war, but also civilians were badly affected – I was one of the thousands of victims. The IPKF – Indian Peace Keeping Force which came to Sri Lanka to implement the accord earned the name of'Innocent People Killing Force – IPKF'. All this is part of the history of the accord and the price paid by the people of the North and East.
With all these sacrifices, the fact that the Indo-Lanka accord has still not been implemented is a pathetic story. Every day, it loses some of its original contents.As usual S.B. leaders, continue to fool every Indian government in power. As long as the decision-makers remain with their same attitude on Sri Lanka, the costly Indo-Lanka accord will remain in the dust-bin of Sri Lankan rulers.
Then what is India's answer to the people of the North and East who paid a high price in the name of this accord? What happened to the promises that Rajiv Gandhi gave to the people in the North and East before he signed this accord?
It's no secret that India took revenge on the LTTE blaming it for Rajiv Gandhi's assassination. In 2008 and 2009, considered as the final phase of the war in Sri Lanka, the Gandhi family happily allowed Indian soldiers to fight the war along with Sri Lankan soldiers, against the LTTE.
It is worth noting that many accusations against certain individuals in India, supported by much evidence,have still not been investigated to establish the real culprit in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Why? Information regarding these accusations is available in the Indian Press.
I pose a question to the President of Sri Lanka and all S.B. politicians - when Indian soldiers were fighting the final war against the LTTE in 2008 and 2009, where did the 'Sovereignty and integrity' that you all speak of, go?I agree that S.B.politicians are cunning and smarter than Indians.
Who are the war heroes?
It is shameful that the former President, Army General and Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka made a bogus claim that they won the war against the LTTE! Innocent people in remote areas in the South may believe this, but not those who follow the situation and suffered in every incident in the theatre of the final war with LTTE. There is ample evidence to prove that it was Indian soldiers who fought the war against the LTTE. Now who are the war heroes? Is it Indians or….?
During the peak hours of the War in the Vanni, the Sri Lanka rulers told the international community including India that as soon as the LTTE was wiped out, the best political solutions would be given to the Tamils.
Now it is nine years since the end of the war - reconciliation or the political solution to the Tamils has not moved even an inch. On the contrary, Sri Lankan rulers are very busy settling Sinhalese and planting Buddha status in every nook and corner of the North and East. Once this is completed, the question will arise whether there is any need for a political solution to the Tamils because it will be said Tamils and Sinhalese are living in all parts of the island.Sri Lanka rulers and proxies are already telling the international community that 'there is no ethnic conflict' in Sri Lanka.
Is this what India expected when it signed the accord decades ago, in the name of a political solution to the Tamil question of the north and east?
Are these Indian leaders aware that they were accused of causing or indirectly supporting the genocide of the Tamil in the North and East?This factis gradually coming out from the horse's mouths (S.B. leaders) who were in power during the final phase of the war.
India which started with neutrality then became biased, causing or indirectly supporting the genocide of the Tamils will be in the dock one day. This will not be done by the Tamils. It will be done either by S.B. or by China or Pakistan.
As a pre-caution, India should not fail in its duty and obligation. The Indian decision-makers should look at everything in chronological order and be ashamed of what they have done and are doing to the Tamils who put their trust in India.
S.B. leaders or the politicians are never going to excuse India's, in their terms 'historical blunders'.In the past, I have written many articles concerning this subject.
S.B. will put India in the dock
The S.B.'s mind-setis that Buddha was born in India and Buddhism was started in India, but compared to other countries, Buddhism has no prominent status in India.Also,S.B. leaders or the politicians are concerned that it is India which started and supported the armed struggle of the Tamils. These thoughts or sentiments will not be erased from the minds ofS.B. Presently Sri Lanka is marking time until the Chinese and the Pakistani influences in the region have been properly built.
If we look at the recent security pact signed by Sri Lanka with Pakistan, Russia, Iran and China, it proves that the gateway to India will be via Sri Lanka.
During the war for the birth of Bangladesh - the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971, Sri Lanka courageously supported and allowed Pakistani war planes to re-fuel in Colombo. With all this, India still trusts that the S.B. leaders will be faithful and true to India.
I will give just one example to show how one day the S.B. will put India in the dock. During the 39th session of the HRC, VIPs like Yasmin Sooka and a few others had a meeting on Sri Lanka to highlight the evidences of torture and to release their report.
In this meeting, a Sri Lankan soldier who comes from Colombo to the HRC to justify the genocide carried out by them, asked Yasmin Sooka whether she has compiled a list of Tamil women who were raped and tortured by the IPKF.
This is a typical example of the S.B behaviour which one day will lead to putting India in the dock for what they did during the IPKF time as well as during the final stages of the war in 2008-2009.
Another story is about the demerger of the North and East. In July 2006, the people who filed the case to demerge the North and East - now say that it was India who motivated and encouraged them to do this, in case the LTTE declared Unilateral Declaration of Independence – UDI. They say the Indians told them that they merged the North and East using the Indo-Lanka accord, and now it was time to demerge - what hypocrisy!
India knows the present situation in the North and East of Sri Lanka. Since May 2009 every Sinhala Buddhist President, Prime Minister and Minister has been busy building-up Sinhala schools, settlements and Buddhist Temples in the North and East. Whereas many Saiva temples (Hindu), Tamils schools and residences which had existed for centuries from Kataragama to Kankesanthurai – KKS were subjected to destruction since 1948 and have gone without trace.
Have any of these been re-built or re-established by the S.B. rulers? Then, where is the multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-linguistic Sri Lanka that the rulers are boasting about to the international community?Ignorance of all these facts by the S.B.will certainly lead to history being repeated sooner or later.
Considering all the factsgivenabove, one can see that India may regret sooner or later.
Ps.Recently I watched a French movie, 'Dans la maison du Capitaine' (In the house of the Captain). I request everyone to watch this movie to know reality!