LOOK IN THE MIRROR, Y.S:
Response to BJP Lok Sabha speech on Sri Lanka:
The speech by former Foreign Minister Yashwant Singh recently to the
members of the Lok Sabha was moving and drew attention to genocide of
Tamils by Sri Lanka with a seven point plan proposed by the BJP. The
validity of these accusations needs to be analyzed.
Let us take Yaswant Singh’s recommendations first.
1. Urge Sri Lanka to withdraw its army from the North – war ended
four years ago. Sri Lanka should already have had law and order. Let
them not run the north on a daily basis.
Sri Lanka’s response
a. Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation. India cannot ask Sri Lanka where
to remove or move its forces. We don’t urge India to withdraw its army
b. Sri Lanka would first urge India to remove all factors that
continue to carry the LTTE slogans locally, overseas and in India in
order to remove the “risk” factor that these elements will again start
fresh insurgencies. India may well recall how it transported school
dropouts including Prabhakaran and trained them in India. We can’t
afford a similar situation to be repeated.
2.“Let them sincerely implement the recommendations of the LLRC – Sri
Lanka government is not implementing those recommendations”
Sri Lanka’s response
a. LLRC is an internal set of recommendations which the government is
not duty bound to implement in toto just because a foreign nation
requests Sri Lanka to.
b. LLRC cannot be implemented simply because it is recommended if it
violates any clauses of the constitution of the country.
3. “Let Sri Lanka implement the provisions of the 13th a plus – Sri
Lanka government in its discussions has always promised”
Sri Lanka’s response
a. The 13th amendment to the Constitution along with the Provincial
Council system was forced upon Sri Lanka by India. It does not have the
consent of the people of Sri Lanka.
b. The President of the country who is himself elected by the people
of Sri Lanka is mandated to seek approval of the people of Sri Lanka.
The people’s will is what must prevail.
c. The Provincial Council system should be abolished completely given
that it provides no relief or services to the people of the provinces
and the large scale of crimes committed by provincial councilors serves
as proof. If foreign nations are concerned about the welfare of the
people of Sri Lanka they should exert pressures to abolish these
provincial councils to adapt to a more practical area of district level
governance where it is easier to devolve day-to-day administrative
4. “Impartial inquiry be held into charges of genocide of civilian
Tamils by Sri Lanka Forces during Eelam war – an inquiry with people
from outside Sri Lanka.”
Sri Lanka’s response
a. We agree with Yaswant Singh wholeheartedly on this suggestion. The
world certainly needs to know the “crimes” and the crimes cannot cover a
selected period only because a crime is a crime and the guilty must be
b. A Presidential Commission of Inquiry is thus recommended.
International inquiry members should comprise a representative from
China, Russia and Pakistan – nations that have openly shown solidarity
to Sri Lanka without succumbing to Western pressure. Nations that Sri
Lanka can rely on.
c. A Presidential COI should rightfully cover the entire conflict
from the very first crime committed as those victims cannot be over
looked which would be a violation of Sri Lanka’s constitution giving
“equality” before the law.
d. A Presidential COI cannot include India into the international
observer team for India is a key player in the conflict having trained
LTTE and other school dropouts and turned them into professional killers
and giving arms and financial support for the purpose of destabilizing
5. Clear commitment on the part of Sri Lanka government after inquiry
guilty shall be punished.
Sri Lanka’s response
a. The Sri Lankan people will accept an apology in the least by India
and acknowledgement of training the LTTE and helping them financially
and with weapons as well as other militant groups.
6. Let India not merely vote in UNHRC take a lead in drafting a
resolution in UNHRC - with the language of the resolution
Sri Lanka’s response
a. It is India’s prerogative whether it takes a leading role or plays
a role behind the scenes that India is normally used to doing. Being
stabbed in the back is nothing we are not surprised in view of India’s
past records. Therefore, it makes little relevance to us what language
used because the UN and the UNHRC is in the eyes of the people just a
puppet of the West.
7. Finally – let India convey in no uncertain terms to the other
nations in our neighbourhood and the world at large any undue inference
with Sri Lanka will not be tolerated.
Sri Lanka’s response
a. This looks more of a threat to other nations that are engaging Sri
Lanka. Not only should Sri Lanka engage with these nations but also
build greater ties with the States of India for the likelihood that
these states would end up “autonomous” is something that Sri Lanka
should keep in mind.
There are no permanent friends in politics – only permanent
interests. Therefore Sri Lanka’s new foreign policy strategy should be
to first realign with our natural historical allies and to next align
with the geopolitical realities.
The BJP Government ruled India from 1996 to 2004 taking over from the
Narasimha Rao Government that ruled India from 1991 to 1996. It was in
1991 that Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on Indian soil, in Tamil Nadu by
the very organization that his mother created to destabilize Sri Lanka –
exactly a decade after India trained the very group in India. The Jain
Commission found the LTTE guilty of Rajiv’s murder, Prabhakaran and
Pottu Amman was incriminated for the crime and the Commission also named
former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister as having links to the LTTE.
Where was Justice for Rajiv?
Justice for Rajiv Gandhi meant India did nothing against the LTTE,
nothing against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, nothing against Tamil
Nadu-LTTE ties and the greater damage was filing action in the Supreme
Court to demand the Jain Commission expunge the period 1981-1987 because
it revealed India’s role in training LTTE and many other Sri Lankan
militant groups in India by Indian army and Indian intelligence. The
Indian government also sought to remove reference to the LTTE for the
crime. These actions post-Rajiv death indicated Rajiv’s death was
insignificant for the greater Indian objective. We see that continue as
his widow bows down to every demand made by the very state that
assassinated Rajiv and has been planning to break away from India since
The BJP that ruled from 1996 to 2004 was also part of the 2002 Cease
Fire Agreement shadow-managed and supervised by Vajpayee’s Advisor
Brajesh Mishra. The Agreement all but ceded territory and power to the
LTTE and is regarded by Sri Lanka as one of the most treacherous
When Mr. Singh says “the tragedy of the Sri Lankan Tamils is one of
the greatest tragedies of our times” – we demand to know in what ways he
is qualified to claim so. Yes, the Sri Lankan Armed Forces have been in
the North for four years now. What is the genocide that has taken place?
How many Tamils have been shot dead since 2009 to the present? Mr. Singh
with an Indian soldier for every seven Kashmiri’s in Kashmir you cannot
afford to be speaking on the subject of militarization.
Indian language policies
The Sri Lankan Tamils in Sri Lanka have far more freedoms than the
Tamils do in India. With 72m Tamils, a state named after its ethnic race
why did India’s Tamils demand a separate state since early 1930s,
angered by the Indian language policies, Hindi domination and other
discriminations? Instead of alleging let us know by point form what
these discriminations are. Discriminations must be those in the present
context and those which Tamils exclusively suffer from that are denied
to them legally and constitutionally which the other ethnic groups
enjoys. We would very much like to see this list.
Possibly Mr. Singh has not seen LTTE crimes over 30 years. If Mr.
Singh has not seen pictures or videos of the LTTE crimes upon babies,
children, pregnant mothers, the old and scores of other civilians asleep
or in their homes someone from Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry must
immediately send a copy of the last 30 years of LTTE crimes because Mr.
Singh used his allocated time to speak of a “young child, eating a
biscuit and next found lying on the ground” to come to the conclusion
that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces murdered him when there was not a speck
of blood found on the body leave alone evidence that the Sri Lankan army
shot him. Mr. Singh this is what we call playing to the gallery and we
would have sent you tissues in advance.
The reference to the IPKF is certainly noteworthy given that for the
first time we are told that the Indian military casualties in the IPKF
operation was 2900 and not 1200. While, Mr. Singh laments in 2013 that
the IPKF soldiers has no memorial in India he may like to ask why BJP
did not put a memorial given that they ruled from 1996 to 2004 and IPKF
left Sri Lanka in March 1990. There was plenty of time for a memorial to
be put up for the IPKF.
We would like to know what “untold atrocities” were committed by the
Sri Lankan Armed Forces. Give instances, dates and names of victims. All
we are quoted are preposterous figures that get inflated whenever an
international event is being held. We want to know who their families
are, what their names are where they lived. Do not simply throw
allegations without proof. The Sri Lankan state has every right to feel
“triumphalism” – we suffered 30 years of terror for which India stands
also culpable in training the LTTE. India cannot clean its blood-soaked
hands from this fact – Lady Macbeth did a better job trying. Did the
Americans not celebrate when the US President announced that Osama bin
Laden was killed. Osama’s role in 9/11 has yet to be even proven. LTTE
crimes last 30 years and they have accepted their atrocities.
Mr. Singh also claims that the centre piece of India’s policy is “no
military solution to a conflict” – that may be India’s policy but India
cannot grudge Sri Lanka for adapting a Just War solution having
weathered countless ceasefires, peace negotiations and agreements all
nothing but failures giving no solution except to give VIP treatment to
terrorists and allow them to fly overseas and forge greater links and
The COI should reveal all these sins and the names of the people
associated with it. Even if they lead to the exposure of public
officials currently holding portfolios we would like to have their sins
revealed in public.
If the President of Sri Lanka organized a “troika” to keep India
informed of all that was happening upon Sri Lanka’s decision to apply
Just War theory the primary reason was that in 1987 when Prabhakaran was
cornered in Vadaramachchi and would have been caught India not only
intervened but threatened to invade Sri Lanka. This was India
threatening a sovereign nation to save a terrorist India had trained. So
what is India talking about and who is India trying to fool.
Mr. Singh himself says on behalf of the BJP “We are not in favour of
a separate nation created out of Sri Lanka”.
The Tamils need to realize that everyone is riding on the
“discrimination of Tamil” slogan to simply push their agendas and that
is why Mr. Singh himself “sheds tears on their plight”. Otherwise, they
should openly invite Tamils to live in India if they were unhappy in Sri
Now that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister is calling for Tamil Eelam – which
rightly has to be in Tamil Nadu the onus is on India to facilitate that
because obviously Tamils do not wish to live in a multi-cultural society
and are all the time claiming to want a separate state to solve their
problems on their own. India should give this in a state that already is
named Tamil State and Tamil is its official language and led by Tamils
too. It is already a State run by Tamils without autonomy.
A Presidential Commission of Inquiry with international presence of
China, Russia and Pakistan investigating into all of the crimes
committed since the inception of terror in Sri Lanka will enable real
reconciliation in Sri Lanka. India’s role in Sri Lanka’s conflict cannot
be suppressed or kept hidden. “Facts of history are facts of history”
and cannot be denied – we agree with these words of Jashwant Singh.