Unwarranted Indian meddling in internal affairs of Sri Lanka is not something novel. Election manifestos of the Southernmost Indian State of Tamil Nadu never forget to include something about the sovereign state of Sri Lanka. Perhaps it is utter ignorance of reality, that Sri Lanka is a sovereign independent nation and not another State of India or perhaps it is sheer pluck that Tamil Nadu politicians think that they can alter Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. Whatever the case maybe, this meddlesome interventionist bullying by our big brother need to stop.
In December 1938, the Justice Party Convention passed a resolution stressing Tamil people’s right to a separate sovereign state which was termed Dravida Nadu. Originally, the demand of Dravida Nadu was limited to Tamil-speaking region, but later, it was expanded to include other Indian states such as Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka
During an interview with the BBC in 1985 then President of Sri Lanka JR Jayewardene said “I think we can deal with them (LTTE) but we need the sympathy of the world, we need the support of India because there are training camps in India, they (LTTE) are being trained in India and they are operating from India and they move about freely in India and I don’t think we should allow to do that; to use violence against a friendly state”.
Statements such as this conclusively prove beyond any fraction of a doubt the hand India had played in elevating a ragtag band of bandits into one of the most ruthless terrorist organizations in the world banned in 32 countries worldwide. There is a reason why Prabhakaran addressed Indira Gandhi as “Amma” (Mother).
Indian interventionism went beyond mere aiding and abetting a terrorist organization. In 1987 Sri Lankan military carried out a military offensive dubbed “Operation Liberation”. Vadamarachchi Operation as it was known by the military is by far the second most successful counter-terrorist operation in the annals of Sri Lankan history. While the so called liberators were on their last legs the foolhardy incautious Indian administration of Rajiv Gandhi decided to throw a lifeline to the terrorists. After having thwarted an attempt by the Indian Navy to enter Sri Lankan waters, then Indian Aircraft dropped Dhal to the Jaffna fort violating Sri Lankan Airspace. This was followed by the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord coupled with the arrival of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). Perhaps if Rajiv Gandhi opted not to play a part in the internal Sri Lankan affairs LTTE would have been done with by the end of 1989. And as fate would have it he would very well be alive and well today had it not been for his empty-headed interventionist policy regarding Sri Lanka.
India’s interventionist policy regarding Sri Lanka grew milder following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, however it continued to persist as the central government chose to entertain the fables of Tamil Nadu. During the final stage of the war against the terrorist in 2009 we had to give certain assurances to the government of India. Hilarity of these assumptions is the simple notion that government of India is more concerned about the wellbeing of Sri Lankan citizens than the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL). If the government of India had any regard about Sri Lankan civilians, they would have not effectively saved the Tiger Terrorists from certain extinction. Furthermore, if one is to believe those terrorist sympathizers who cry “Genocide”, then the question arises how did 300,000 Tamil civilians survive? If the Sri Lankan military actually targeted the Tamil civilian populace could such a large number of civilians actually survive?
In an interview with The Hindu, PMK leader Dr. Ramadoss has stated that Tamil Eelam is the solution. He further goes on to say that the UN should hold a referendum among the Sri Lankan Tamils across the world for the creation of a separate Tamil Eelam. So does this mean that the Sinhalese, Muslims and other communities have no say whatsoever regarding matters relating to their own country? In other words, Dr. Ramadoss has refused to acknowledge the existence of 84.73% of the Sri Lankan populous. It is befuddling to say the least that Ramadoss as an Indian who knows really well of the massacres that took place following the partition of India on both sides of the border calling for partition of another country. Recalling Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement that he would consult Buddhist monks before taking any decision, Dr. Ramadoss stated “His statement is clear proof to the fact that the administration in Sri Lanka is controlled by religious leaders”. This demonstrates utter and complete ignorance on the part of Dr.Ramadoss. As an Indian it has escaped his grasp that Buddhism was in fact gift from India, additionally the Buddhist monks mentioned in this statement are not the monks of BBS (Bodu Bala Sena) monks, but the Buddhist prelates who to this day hold a pragmatic view concerning all Sri Lankans.
In December 1938, the Justice Party Convention passed a resolution stressing Tamil people’s right to a separate sovereign state which was termed Dravida Nadu. Originally, the demand of Dravida Nadu was limited to Tamil-speaking region, but later, it was expanded to include other Indian states such as Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. Some of the more ambitious proponents also included parts of Sri Lanka, Orissa and Maharashtra. In 1963, on the recommendation of the Committee on National Integration and Regionalism of the National Integration Council, the Indian parliament unanimously passed the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which sought to “prevent the fissiparous, secessionist tendency in the country engendered by regional and linguistic loyalties and to preserve the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity” of India. This was primarily in response to separatist demand of Dravida Nadu. If a separatist state of Tamil Eelam is in fact established in a country which has 3 million Tamils, is there any guarantee that the 70 million Tamils residing in India (the actual Tamil Homeland) would not want to demand the same brand of independence? Can India be certain that it will not be further divided?