DMK WITHDREW FROM THE UPA FOR ITS EXPEDIENCY AND NOT THAT THE WORST HAS BEFALLEN THE TAMILS
Posted on April 8th, 2013

by Walter Jayawardhana

 The lead op-ed piece published by the Hindu in its latest edition said the resignation of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam from the United Progressive Alliance government is more likely that the party has used the Sri Lankan crisis to push for a separation from the UPA, because it is politically expedient for it to do so. After all, what is happening in 2013 “”‚ or even what happened in 2012 “”‚ is not the worst that has befallen the Tamils of Sri Lanka

 Manoj  Joshi writing the editorial said , ” The DMK wanted the UPA government to pilot a resolution in the United Nations demanding an international probe into alleged war crimes tantamount to “genocide” in Sri Lanka. Then with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa joining the fray, the demands escalated “”‚ a boycott of the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit to be held later this year in Colombo, a ban on Sri Lankan players in the Indian Premier League matches in Tamil Nadu and an Assembly resolution asking the Union government to get the U.N. to create a separate Eelam in Sri Lanka”.

The following are some other excerpts of the op ed piece: “The DMK and the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam are only a more extreme manifestation of a trend we have been witnessing recently in India where coalition constituents and States are bringing foreign and security issues to the bargaining table.

The competitive populism in Tamil Nadu over the situation of Tamils in Sri Lanka has generated a great deal of alarm in New Delhi over the manner in which political issues relating to a State have begun impinging on India’s foreign and security policies. Though somewhat over the top, the Dravidian parties have a point, but a general one rather than the specific case they are advocating.

The general point is that in any country, the people have a right to advocate and push for a particular foreign and security policy. Given our linguistic, ethnic, religious and ideological divisions, these views often come across as those belonging to this or that section. That, too, is legitimate. But at the end of the day, this diverse country must have a single policy and its execution must be the responsibility of its federal government.

Sectional interests

The government structure as such does not cater to these sectional interests; in other words, there are no constitutional or institutional mechanisms to relay those interests. So, with Union governments taking the form of coalitions, they have become vulnerable to party or sectional pressure which often takes the form of pure blackmail.

The withdrawal of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam from the United Progressive Alliance government could be seen as being part of the rough and tumble of coalition politics. Actually, it is more likely that the party has used the Sri Lankan crisis to push for a separation from the UPA, because it is politically expedient for it to do so. After all, what is happening in 2013 “”‚ or even what happened in 2012 “”‚ is not the worst that has befallen the Tamils of Sri Lanka.

But with general elections looming, competitive populism seems to be ruling the roost. The DMK wanted the UPA government to pilot a resolution in the United Nations demanding an international probe into alleged war crimes tantamount to “genocide” in Sri Lanka. Then with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa joining the fray, the demands escalated “”‚ a boycott of the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit to be held later this year in Colombo, a ban on Sri Lankan players in the Indian Premier League matches in Tamil Nadu and an Assembly resolution asking the Union government to get the U.N. to create a separate Eelam in Sri Lanka.

The DMK and the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam are only a more extreme manifestation of a trend we have been witnessing recently in India where coalition constituents and States are bringing foreign and security issues to the bargaining table. Actually, the leader of this pack has been the Indian Left for which the United States is a permanent anathema. This is what led to the crisis in UPA-I in 2008 when the Left pulled out of the coalition because it opposed the India-U.S. civil nuclear deal. This move of the Left was also pitched as much on its belief that nothing good could come out of an agreement with “imperialist” America, as its attempt to cloak the decision in the garb of attacking America for its anti-Muslim policies.

The next instance of this “State-first” approach occurred when West Bengal Chief Minister and then UPA coalition partner, Mamata Banerjee, opposed the river waters agreement with Bangladesh. In September 2011, on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dhaka, the Union government was forced to call off the signing of a pact that would have ratified a formula for sharing the waters of the Teesta with Bangladesh.

The surprise entrant into this club was Narendra Modi who suddenly jumped into the Sir Creek issue on the eve of the Gujarat elections. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Modi said that not only should India not hand over the Creek to Pakistan, it should stop any dialogue with Islamabad on the issue. Any concession by New Delhi would affect Gujarat negatively.

In all four instances, it is possible to argue for a “Union of India” stand rather than that of the State or party in question. In Sri Lanka, the Government of India has had to balance its policies to ensure that Colombo does not drift towards Beijing and Islamabad. There also is the question of pushing resolutions on the territorial issues of other countries, having burnt our hands on the Kashmir issue once. Equally, resolutions on human rights in international bodies are a double-edged sword, especially given our own shoddy record in dealing with internal insurgency.

As for the Teesta issue, there were expectations that in exchange for the river waters treaty, Bangladesh would sign an agreement giving India transit rights to its land-locked north-east. Clearly, while West Bengal may have notionally given up something, there was the advantage of the greater good that would accrue, not only for the north-eastern states but West Bengal as well, through the increased commerce that would have resulted from a transit agreement.

In the case of the nuclear deal, too, the net gainer was India. It was the U.S. which had to abandon its sanctions regime against us and agree to allow civil nuclear commerce to resume with India. Given the balance of power in the international system, it was a deal only the U.S. could pilot “”‚ not France, China or Russia “”‚ though all of them had to finally put their stamp on it through the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

In Gujarat, the boundary between India and Pakistan on Sir Creek remains disputed and, as a result, the maritime boundary between the two countries has yet to be finalised. In this sense, India and Pakistan are both losers, not only because no one will invest in exploiting the natural resources from a disputed area, but also because they will lose out on the extended exclusive economic zone they can get under the U.N. convention on the laws of the seas.”

2 Responses to “DMK WITHDREW FROM THE UPA FOR ITS EXPEDIENCY AND NOT THAT THE WORST HAS BEFALLEN THE TAMILS”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Sri Lanka is used by Tamil Nadu largely as a distraction from their local problems of Caste/poverty. Also to unload Tamil people of low caste/Dalit origin into Sri Lanka whenever possible, illegally or legally. These people are ‘caste bound mindset’ Tamil folk coming from the 3,000 yrs old Caste/poverty bound travails of Tamil Nadu. They are used by the Tamil Diaspora, TN leaders and interested others for Human Rights complaints against Sri Lanka at the UN and IC. They are also used by TN leaders and others to ‘wag’ Sri Lanka for a separate state, Eelam.

    Sri Lanka must stop depending on Tamil Labor, especially for the plantations sector. Modernise & Mechnaise the Labor sector to enable others to work too.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    India has NEVER ACTED RESPONSIBLY with regard to Sri Lanka.

    First, it implanted terrorism, training, delivering, funding and supporting them.

    Second, India violated Sri Lanka’s sovereignty dropping food and supplies to the Tamil terrorists on the verge of defeat.

    Third, India military invaded Sri Lanka under the guise of “Peacekeeping” to protect its separatist clients, partition Sri Lanka and carve out an independent state for them.

    Fourth, India threatened Sri Lanka with permanent occupation and forced the 13th Amendment to the Constitution on Sri Lanka,

    Fifth, when India realized the Pan-Tamil agenda threatened its own integrity, it turned on its surrogates, and backed out of Sri Lanka when it could not cope with the Tamil rebels it had heavily armed, leaving Sri Lanka to cope with a much bigger terrorist problem.

    Sixth, when Sri Lanka was struggling against the well armed LTTE, it refused the Government of Sri Lanka arms to defend itself, and even prevented Sri Lanka from acquiring Chinese 3D radar systems to protect its air space.

    Seventh, after Sri Lanka Defence Forces finally eradicated the LTTE in May 2009, India re-launched its efforts to create a captive Tamil constituency in Sri Lanka, collaborating with Western Powers, and Tamils in India, Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora to DEMONIZE & LABEL Sri Lanka as guilty of war crimes.

    All of this is designed to REIPOSE Indian CONTROL over Sri Lanka, and forestall its RAPID POST-WAR DEVELOPMENT.

    INDIA is NO FRIEND of Sri Lanka …. during the last 30 years, and NOW!

    Sri Lanka should SCRAP the 13th Amendment, limit Indian involvement in Sri Lanka’s economy, trade, politics, and defense.

    GOSL: Get Sri Lanka out of India’s DEADLY EMBRACE NOW ….before it is TOO LATE!

    ………………….
    Gotabhaya reminds former Indian UN rep of his role in Colombo during 80s

    By Shamindra Ferdinando
    April 10, 2013, 9:16 am

    Had the then Indian government acted with responsibility, Sri Lanka wouldn’t have experienced a 30-year war, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday.

    People of all communities would have been still suffering horrors of war, if not for the eradication of terrorism in May 2009, following a three-year combined security forces campaign, the Defence Secretary said, noting that India could never absolve itself of the responsibility for creating terrorism here, though some of those directly involved in subverting Sri Lanka were blaming the Rajapaksa administration for the plight of Tamil speaking people here.

    He was responding to former Indian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Hardeep Singh Puri.

    Puri had been directly involved in the Indian operation against the then JRJ government in the run-up to the July 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord, Rajapaksa said, alleging that he was one of those aware of the Indian operations here.

    The Defence Secretary said that both Hardeep S. Puri and his wife, Lakshmi had been attached to India’s mission in Colombo during the tenure of J. N. Dixit as India’s High Commissioner here.

    Puri had now called for an investigation into what he called specific allegations of war crimes during the last 100 days of military operations. Those demanding accountability on Sri Lanka’s part for alleged atrocities committed during the last 100 days of the conflict were silent on the origin of terrorism here, the Defence Secretary said.

    Rajapaksa said that Puri should realize that the Indian intervention here had caused a major regional crisis, when Indian trained Sri Lankan terrorists raided the Maldives in early November 1988. The international community should consider a comprehensive investigation into the issue beginning with the Indian intervention, he added. India’s former Permanent Representative could help the investigation by revealing what was going on at that time.

    The defence Secretary pointed out that Dixit, in his memoirs published during his tenure as the Foreign Secretary, had acknowledged that arming Sri Lankan Tamil youth was one of the two major policy blunders of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

    Commenting on Puri’s allegation that he (Rajapaksa) wanted to do away with the provincial council system and criticism on recent attacks on Muslims in Colombo, the Defence Secretary said that the Indian official couldn’t be unaware of what the Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik had said before he slaughtered 70 men, women and children. Breivik declared that he wanted the drive out Muslims out of Europe the way northern Sri Lanka was cleansed of Muslims during 1990. The Norwegian was referring to massacres carried out by the LTTE during President Premadasa’s administration.

    The Defence Secretary said that those critical of the Sri Lankan government should peruse former Indian Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal’s recent piece to India Today.

    The LTTE had used children as cannon fodder and Prabhakaran had forced the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to recognize the LTTE as the sole representative of Tamil speaking people. The TNA couldn’t even finalize its candidates’ list for parliamentary polls without Prabhakaran’s approval, the Defence Secretary said, alleging some interested parties were reluctant to acknowledge the fact that Sri Lanka was a much better place today without the LTTE.

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