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They’re no jokers but criminal confederates

"She needs to be lucky every time but we need to be lucky only once"

–– MDMK leader M. Vaiko at a rally on April 3, 2000 opposite the Palais des Nations in Geneva, referring to Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who had escaped an assassin's attack by the LTTE in December 1999.

Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka has stirred up a hornets' nest again. For him, making controversial statements seems have become a habit. He drew a great deal of flak––quite deservedly––a few weeks ago over some ill-conceived remarks, which Sri Lanka's ethnic minorities took exception to. This time around he has ruffled the feathers of India by describing some of its politicians supportive of the LTTE as ‘jokers’.

On this score, we cannot but subscribe to his view. Nay, we fault him for having been charitable and fought shy of calling a spade a spade in describing those terror backers. Why did the battle hardened soldier pull his punches?

The army commander is reported to have said, "If the Tamil Tigers are wiped out, those political jokers who sympathise with them will most probably lose their income from them." He should have used the words 'criminal confederates' instead of 'jokers' to describe the shameless LTTE supporters in Tamil Nadu. The Tigers are banned in India and responsible for many a heinous crime against humanity. Therefore, backing those criminals politically is as bad as aiding and abetting their actual crimes.

It is surprising why the Rajapaksa government chose to be so subservient as to appease India by removing the editor of The Sunday Observer promptly for printing the army commander's views at issue.

Perhaps, the government sacrificed a scribe of the kept press on the altar of Indo-Lanka relations, to prevent the army commander's statement being exploited by the Tamil Nadu politicians at the beck and call of the LTTE to pressure the Central Government to act against Sri Lanka. The army chief is lucky as he is a wartime commander. Else, he, too, would have lost his job so that India's indignation would be assuaged!

BBC quoted a spokesman for the Indian External Affairs Ministry as having told the media the other day that the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Alok Prasad had taken up the issue with the Sri Lankan authorities. India's right to react in a manner it deems fit cannot be questioned as no government likes its politicians to be called what they really are––buffoons!

Not a single country is free from bovine politicos and Sri Lanka has its fair share of them, mostly in the government ranks. Some of those clowns have proved to be deadly. So, the question is why India should make such a hue and cry about an alleged slur on its jokers.

India should have ignored Gen, Fonseka's alleged remark without causing it to receive global media attention. Now, a jibe which would otherwise have been confined to Sri Lanka has been beamed across the world.

Bizarrely, India, which has taken umbrage over that alleged affront, has turned a blind eye to the crimes it has been helping the LTTE commit against Sri Lanka. The Indian army says it is ready to attack Pakistan, as India believes Pakistan was behind the recent terror attacks on Mumbai, even though that charge has yet to be proved beyond doubt. Either the Indian leaders have drunk from Lethe or are blinded by hubris to India’s crimes. India was arrogant enough to descend to the level of training, funding and arming terrorists at the behest of Tamil Nadu politicians to fight Sri Lanka.

The terrorists so created have been massacring thousands of people in Sri Lanka. More than two decades before the Mumbai disaster, Sri Lanka's holy city of Anuradhapura had come under a terrorist attack, where about 200 Buddhist worshippers were mowed down near the Sri Maha Bodhi. The terrorists responsible for that dastardly crime had the full backing of RAW, which had trained and armed them.

The made-in-India terrorism has had a heavy toll on this country.

India finds it difficult to stomach a remark by the Sri Lankan army commander but it expects Sri Lanka to act with restraint in battling a bunch of terrorists who assassinated a Sri Lankan president, a Navy Chief and a large number of other military personnel, destroyed property worth billions of dollars and made an abortive attempt on the life an incumbent president besides committing over 200 massacres.

Had India promoted that kind of terrorism against a powerful country, say the US, New Delhi and Mumbai would have been reduced to ashes like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Luckily for India, Sri Lanka is unable to retaliate and, therefore, has to take everything lying down.

The smaller the victim, the bigger the bully!

While accusing Pakistan of sponsoring the terrorists responsible for the Mumbai attacks and threatening to go to war with that country, the Singh government has the chutzpah to receive the Tamil Nadu politicians espousing LTTE terrorism, discuss Sri Lanka's internal affairs with them and undertake to try to pressure Sri Lanka to opt for a ceasefire with the terrorists who are on their last legs.

Never mind Sri Lanka, which India seems to consider a punching bag. Doesn't India think it ought to avenge the assassination of one of its national leaders, Rajiv Gandhi, and the killing of nearly 1,400 Indian troops by the LTTE, before making an issue of a remark by Sri Lanka's army chief and taking up the cudgels for Tamil Nadu 'jokers', sorry, criminal confederates ?

We don't think any Indian High Commissioner has ever registered India's strong protest with a Sri Lankan government here against Sri Lanka's failure to capture and extradite Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman over the Rajiv assassination and killing so many Indian soldiers. Is India concerned only about ‘jokers’?

India seems to think that casting aspersions is a worse crime than committing assassinations.

Finally, what action did India take against Vaiko over his not-so-veiled threat to President Kumaratunga?

India should put its house in order first of all!

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