Posted on January 16th, 2010

Seema Sengupta.

This has reference to L. Jayasooriya’s post INDIA STARTED IT ALL dated January 15, 2010. While appreciating the sentiment contained therein, may I dispel this erroneous notion of the Indian government having exerted some influence on me to keep mum? You will appreciate that it is neither possible nor appropriate for a columnist to respond to every comment. However, I do take these remarks seriously as they play a vital role in enriching my learning process.

As a foreign national and an independent journalist I thought it prudent to keep myself out of the political discourse as far as possible. Being privy to certain facts, I’ve only penned my observation with the honest intention of initiating a sober debate that will ultimately benefit the reconciliation process. I do agree that New Delhi has been exerting pressure across the political spectrum in Sri Lanka for devolution of power in the troubled Northeast. But linking it to any territorial ambition would be a gross over-simplification of the entire issue.

It is not feasible for India to annex the northern territories and merge it with the province of Tamil Nadu. Yes, Dravidian politics has been a major motivating factor for India to poke her nose into Lankan affair. New Delhi is still wary (not overtly at least) of the anti-Hindi sentiment prevalent within the Dravidian-Tamil nationalist constituency. Though the mainstream Tamil political parties have more or less compromised their position vis-ƒÆ’†’ -vis the demand for exclusive Dravidian Tamil Land within the constitutional ambit, they are inclined to carry on nurturing this sentiment for the sake of electoral mileage.

The ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka and the demand for a separate Tamil Eelam were thus construed as an emotional vantage point. Apart from this internal equation, Moscow played a lead role in nudging India to initiate a destructive Cold War game. Moreover, it is nothing short of naivety to imagine that everything is hunky-dory on the ethnic front especially when guerilla movements world over survive on internal disenchantment. However, it is time for all of us to shed our respective egos and move ahead.

Sri Lanka can hardly afford to loose this opportunity for restoration of peace, stability and economic prosperity. I would once again like to impress upon the necessity of engagement to remove this trust deficit so that nobody can use the affable people of Sri Lanka (from whichever community) as tools of fratricide. Perhaps this election season is the perfect time for the Sri Lankan people from all strata to seek their share of happiness and prosperity from their political masters.


With warm regards,

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