India trying to undermine post-war reconciliation says senior official
Media blitz influenced by decision makersSeptember 29, 2012, 7:04 pm
By Shamindra Ferdinando
The Sri Lankan government yesterday alleged that an influential section of the Indian media at the behest of decision makers there was making an attempt to undermine post-war reconciliation process.
The GoSL asserted that the one-time LTTE mouthpiece, the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi a.k.a Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which in late 2001 declared the LTTE as the sole representative of the Tamil speaking people was spearheading the campaign here, whereas the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) pursued an international campaign.
A senior GoSL official was responding to The Hindu editorial of Sept. 28 titled ‘Plain speaking to Colombo’ and GTF appreciating India emphasizing the urgency to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in achieving lasting political solution to the Tamil National question.
The GTF issued the statement on Sept. 27 following its leader Rev Father S. J. Emmanuel making representations to South Africa and Switzerland as regards an international war crimes inquiry in Sri Lanka.
Having claimed a critical Indian diplomatic role in Sri Lanka’s defeat of the LTTE, the Indian media had asserted that New Delhi felt betrayed by President Rajapaksa’s failure to settle the Tamil National Question due to what it called Sinhala triumphalism.
The TNA decision to boycott the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), too, was blamed on Sri Lanka citing the stopping of work undertaken by previous committees.
The GoSL said that it was unreasonable to compare President Rajapaksa’s initiative with any of the previous attempts. In fact it was not only unjust but foolish as all previous Sri Lankan and Indian governments had been forced to deal with the LTTE except at the onset of the negotiating process in the early 80s, when the TULF and several other Indian trained Tamil terrorist groups were involved.
Commenting on The Hindu assertion that the ITAK was skeptical about the PSC process, the official said that Trincomalee District MP R. Sampanthan’s party was in the limelight today thanks to the Sri Lankan military.
Recalling how the UK, France and India had intervened to stop the military offensive on the Vanni east front in early 2009, the official said that if LTTE leadership comprised Prabhakaran, Pottu Amman (intelligence chief) and Soosai (Sea Tiger leader) had survived, the international community wouldn’t have bothered with the ITAK/TNA.
The LTTE would have remained the sole representative of the Tamil speaking people, the official said. The formation of the GTF and the return of ITAK/TNA to active politics wouldn’t have been a reality without eradication of the LTTE’s conventional military power, the official said.
He reminded that the LTTE didn’t at least allow other Tamil political parties and groups, including the ITAK to freely engage in political activity even after the signing of the CFA under Norwegian auspices.
"Today two of the main beneficiaries of the LTTE’s destruction are demanding an international war crimes inquiry. On one hand, the GTF came into being due to eradication of the LTTE in May 2009. And on the other hand, the ITAK is free to take decisions on behalf of their people today. We challenge the ITAK to reveal just one decision it took without consulting the LTTE."
"When the LTTE was running the show, the ITAK meekly accepted its orders. In the run-up to parliamentary polls in late 2001, MP Sampanthan called a media briefing in Colombo to declare the LTTE as the sole representative of Tamil speaking people. Then the ITAK had to allow the LTTE to decide on its nominees for the parliamentary polls.
``About a week ahead of the Nov 17, 2005 presidential poll, the ITAK called a media briefing in Kilinochchi on behalf of the LTTE to urge Tamil speaking people not to exercise their franchise.
``In May 2008, the ITAK didn’t contest the first Eastern Provincial Council election as it feared to earn the wrath of the LTTE. However, it contested the second election for the Eastern PC on Sept 8, 2012 due to absence of LTTE threat. Instead thanking the GoSL, the ITAK is today trying to play the LTTE role in a different way."
The GoSL insisted that it didn’t need the Indian media to advice as regards the first election for the Northern PC. President Rajapaksa has assured that Northern PC poll would be held in September next year, the GoSL said. As a public announcement, too, had been made, there was no need GoSL’s part to give additional assurance to those acting as if the LTTE never existed, the GoSL said.
Issuing a statement from London, the GTF emphasized that only an international, independent investigation could secure truth and accountability, as recommended by the UN Panel of Experts in their report, in order to lay the foundations for meaningful reconciliation between all communities in Sri Lanka. In this regard, GTF would continue to engage internationally until justice is served.
Reiterating its commitment for a negotiated political settlement for decades long Tamil national question through a process of dialogue and engagement, the GTF said: "In this respect we are encouraged that as reported in the media recently, the Indian Prime Minister has emphasized the urgency to President Rajapaksa in achieving lasting political solution to the Tamil national question."
Those who talk disparaging of Sri Lanka’s track record as regards the Tamil national question had conveniently forgotten how India created a monster in Sri Lanka in the 80s, the GoSL official said.
Responding to Tamil Nadu political parties’ position on the Tamil National issue and that of the center, the official said that India’s plight was obvious. Those leading protests against Sri Lanka had also interfered with the Indian judicial process as obviously revealed in the case of LTTE operatives found guilty for Rajiv Gandhi assassination not being executed.
Commenting on India throwing its weight behind the US-led resolution in Geneva at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Feb-March 2012, the official pointed out that the UN had made a spate of allegations targeting India over accountability issues. Interesting the position on India was made known soon after vote on Sri Lanka.
The UK based Channel 4 which produced two unsubstantiated documentaries, ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ and ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War crimes unpunished’ had telecast a similar documentary on human rights violations by the Indian government.
The Indian media and ITAK were playing politics with many issues, the official said. "A case in point is poaching in northern Sri Lankan waters on a massive scale by the Tamil Nadu fishing fleet. ITAK politicians, who criticize the GoSL for not doing enough for post-war economic revival of the economy in the northern and eastern regions, are silent on destructive bottom trawling operations by the Tamil Nadu fishing fleet. In spite of a large section of Tamil speaking people here depending on fishing, the ITAK is yet to take up this issue."
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