Friday, June 24, 2011
By Hasaka Ratnamalala
Witnessing the destruction of mighty DMK which brought Jayalalitha Jayaram to the top seat in the state of Tamil Nadu, here I am sitting in the Chennai Airport passenger lounge waiting for the flight to take me to my final destination. During my travels in Sri Lanka and India I had the chance to put some attention on Sri Lankan media as well; according to Sri Lanka’s Sinhala media Jayalalitha’s victory was orchestrated by LTTE. Nonsense! As I pointed out in my previous articles on Tamil Nadu; almost all the political players have no concern on Tamils in Sri Lanka and they use Sri Lankan Tamils as Ginny pigs in their political campaigns and help the federal Indian government to tight its grip on Sri Lanka.
Also Jayalalitha`s victory was made possible not because of her popularity but just because of the massive corruption scandals carried out by DMK leader and his family of goons. Nothing else brought Jayalalitha in to the power. Therefore it is useless to talk about what Jayalalitha would do against Sri Lanka but it is important to open our eyes on what India’s central government would have in its basket for Sri Lanka. Concentrating only on Jayalalitha would blind fold us from the real issue.
It is true that India does not want a divided Sri Lanka and also true that it does not want a peaceful Sri Lanka either; as peace in the country will only help to loosen India’s grip and they are in a theary that a peaceful Sri Lanka would lead to a security threat to India. Therefore we have to anticipate more and more issues coming from Tamilnadu side; but we should without hesitation interpret them as they are coming from India itself.
According to my understanding except LTTE funded Viko and Seeman, there are no one to support LTTE in Tamil Nadu. They create the issues and Indian Central government is using them against Sri Lanka without giving credits to Viko or Seeman, using the principle that India is concern about Tamils; but in reality they are so frighten of Sri Lankan Tamils and also they are not properly treating Sri Lankan Tamils either. The refugee camps where Sri Lankan Tamils are living do not even have proper toilet facilities. It may be reasonable according to Tamil Nadu standards; as toilet facility is not an essential item and there is always a road side available for that purpose.
So many Sri Lankan Tamils I met in Tamil Nadu told me that they are mistreated in Tamil Nadu refugee camps and wanted to go back to Sri Lanka; but only they hear is misinformation coming from Viko gang about the situation in Sri Lanka. I don’t think Sri Lankan high commission in New Delhi or the Chennai Consul General`s office doing any good job on countering these misinformation. Even though Sri Lankan coast is only few miles away, misinformation campaign we see in Chennai is similar to what we experience in North America or Europe. Even though India is boasting about a much democratic media tradition, we don`t see any democracy especially in electronic media when publishing misinformation on Sri Lanka.
I think it is time for Sri Lankan government to start a straight conversation with India on what India’s real concerns are and should not let them hanging on to Tamil Nadu factor any further. Because Tamil Nadu is not a part of Sri Lanka and what ever happen in Tamil Nadu should be India’s issue not ours and wise versa.
As long as Sri Lanka allows India to entertain Tamil Nadu concerns over Sri Lanka; Tamil Nadu political heavies will make sure that Sri Lankan Tamils never integrate into mainstream as Sri Lankans. For that Sri Lanka should push India into the wall. For that we have pretty strong baits to hang onto.
1. India never wanted a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka.
2. India never wanted any Western super powers or China in Indian Ocean.
Similar situation unknowingly took place during the time of Ranil Wickramasinghe government when he was going to sign Seize Fire Agreement with LTTE; where India forced Sri Lanka to sign a security deal with them just to make sure whatever agreement Ranil signed with LTTE does not undermine India’s security. It is reasonable that we guarantee the security of our big brother neighbour; but it is very unreasonable that we are allowing India to put its finger in our domestic issues in order to entertain Tamil Nadu concerns.
As one of the leading players in Ranil’s cabinet at that time, Prof. G.L. Peris should know better and should have used his previous experience in his current role as the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka when negotiating with India. A proper defence agreement with India will guarantee our sovereignty rather than we continuing to entertain Tamil Nadu.