How Modi should deal with Tamil Nadu tantrums
Posted on June 2nd, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

 When Narendra Modi set out to campaign and become the Prime Minister of India, he did not plan to win an election to be told how he should lead by one of India’s 31 Chief Ministers. Yet, the Tamil Nadu tantrum has become a curse to India’s Central Government and dented India’s bilateral relationships with fellow sovereign nations and in particular Sri Lanka. The situation with Tamil Nadu tantrums is such that warrants a clear policy decision by the Modi Government and for that matter even Sri Lanka. Relations between two nations cannot depend upon ONLY giving in to Tamils. The 2 main political parties in Tamil Nadu juggling power between each other in Tamil Nadu can contest to be sincere in what they pretend to stand for as historical evidence will tell. This leads to the next question whether they are working to an agenda in contravention of India’s Constitution by aligning with external parties to create tensions between two nations and thereafter enable foreign intervention. The possibilities should not escape Modi’s radar or even that of Sri Lanka.

 Jayalalitha present statements are clearly visible in her manifesto declaring she would work towards Eelam for Tamils in Sri Lanka. Of course, she cannot add India because she is aware of the consequences. Nevertheless, this same Jayalalith, declared in 2007, that Tamil Nadu arms supply strengthened the LTTE. This statement established how LTTE were receiving a free supply of arms and military materials and other logistics which included allowing injured LTTErs to seek medical attention.

 She went on to declare that,

 ” LTTE interfering in India’s internal affairs” &

” I am the only leader who opposes LTTE in State”.

 This was said on 22nd October 2008.

 Not stopping there she had condemned the pro-LTTE speeches made by film directors Seeman and Amir for supporting the outfit responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and went on to say that such was anti-national activity.

 Not stopping there she went on to declare that LTTE chief Prabakaran was a destructive force, that he would make use of the ceasefire to amass weapons and declared that it was Prabakaran who was responsible for the killing of Amirthalingam and Padmanabha. She alleged that support for LTTE prevailed in Tamil Nadu during tenure of DMK rule so much so that anti-national slogans like ‘creation of separate Tamil Nadu’ were made.

 Her October 2008 speech also included that had she been in power she would have arrested the pro-LTTE propagandists. These propagandists remain very much active even after she took control of Tamil Nadu.

 The greatest take from what Jayalalitha said in 2008 was that LTTE was interfering in India’s internal affairs ‘it encourages all anti-national forces. It killed Rajiv Gandhi on the soil of Tamil Nadu. It has links with PWG, ULFA, LeT and ISI that are out to disintegrate the country. If those who oppose the LTTE are termed betrayers of Tamils, those who support them are anti-nationals’ going on to declare that she needed NSG protection as “I am the only leader who opposes the LTTE in Tamil Nadu” – Golden words in deed. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/jayalalithaa-condemns-proltte-speeches/article1362293.ece

 Jayalalitha’s 2008 statement was followed by another in 2009 declaring that LTTE was “using Tamils as human shields”. The best of that speech was when she declared that ‘If they (LTTE) allow the Tamils to go to a safer place, then there will not be any civilian loss”. Makes perfect logic and questions why no one in the UN system or foreign governments thought with such logic. Jayalalitha also went on to say “the Indian Government is concerned, the LTTE is a banned organization”.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200901171758.htm

 Fast forward 5 years and in 2014 she includes in her party manifesto the pledge to create an Eelam for Tamils in Sri Lanka. Was this not what LTTE aspired to do and was the reason for their terror. How can a Chief Minister of an Indian State promise in her election manifesto to give Eelam in Sri Lanka for Tamils who are not citizens of India and questions how many actually read her manifesto and based on that gave their vote!

 Exactly what should Tamils whether in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu or any other parts of the world take from these chameleon-like statements issued by Tamil Nadu political parties? It is not just the Tamil Nadu politicians, even the political parties in Sri Lanka face the same two-tongued speeches. Should Tamils themselves not start wondering why foreign passport holding Tamils, should bellow from Canada, UK, European Nations for Eelam when they are unlikely to return to live in Sri Lanka? Is it not time for Tamils living in Sri Lanka to start waking up to ground realities.

 Should the Modi Government realistically be concerned about Tamils who are not Indian citizens? Moreover, have the Tamils in Tamil Nadu even thought of Tamils in Sri Lanka if so Vaiko would not lose elections repeatedly? If we take the votes of Vaiko the great friend of Prabakaran himself it should seal the answer. Tamil Nadu state with 53million voters gave only 145,551 votes for the MDMK and Vaiko which is hardly anything Vaiko can boast about while BJP secured 2.2million and 5.5% of the votes. Jayalalitha did bag 17million votes yet these votes had nothing to do with Eelam or Tamil issue in Sri Lanka.

 The Modi Government must realize that dealing bilaterally with Sri Lanka means that India is dealing with the sentiments of all its 20million people and not just the few lakhs of Tamils living in the North of Sri Lanka while the majority of Tamils are living amongst the Sinhalese. The Modi Government would be foolish to cripple relations with a country of 20million exerting undue pressure on a sovereign government without even knowing whether those lakhs living in the North actually want Eelam and wish to separate from Sri Lanka. What India needs to realize is that the Eelam has been a fanciful notion of a handful of Tamil elite high caste to continue tramping on the low castes and Modi’s own background suffices to understand the truth of this scenario. Knowing well how caste factor plays in India, Modi will know that there are many Indian Brahmins who whatever Modi’s leadership will refuse to accept him because of his caste. Therefore, let Modi not take the wrong side in the debate where low caste Tamils of the Wanni had been having a raw deal for decades and LTTE was no representative of the Tamils, neither for that matter is the TNA.

 Be that as it may what is important is that we realize that India has unnecessarily dampened relations probably as a result of bad advice and at the behest of intelligence advisors manipulated from external sources to take up issues that are totally irrelevant to India and in reality likely to pose more problems for India in the long term.

 Indians must realize that Sri Lanka does not require devolution. A map of India and Sri Lanka should suffice for India to realize why. India must also be aware that the Provincial Council system set up by the British was for its own benefit and nothing else. India also needs to know without chirping 13a, that a good part of items included in the Indian imposed 13a has already been implemented. India must understand that with the manner TNA, the LTTE linked political party behaves no sane Government would even consider giving police and land powers to that province.

 With Tamil Nadu’s separatist history would India ever consider allowing Tamil Nadu to deal directly with foreign governments even to accept financial aid and direct trade? Obviously not, so if what is good for the goose must be good for the gander.

 Someone in Modi’s Government without legacy of the past must brief Mr. Narendra Modi of these ground realities. Asking Sri Lanka to concur to give items that are likely to be a national security risk for both India and Sri Lanka in the long term is committing a blunder that Modi cannot afford to commit and does not need to commit. There are many other ways of building rapport between Sri Lanka without taking the road to tense relations for no reason by only concentrating on a small area that does not represent Tamils at all, for the majority of them are all living elsewhere and most of them living among Sinhalese which nullifies and makes a mockery of all allegations of discriminations especially when the present Chief Minister of the North had been living all his life in Colombo, schooling and working amongst Sinhalese and has been living in the North only for the past several years, that too after Prabakaran’s demise.

 Let’s put things in perspective. Modi’s mantra for development has no time to entertain theatrics of Tamil Nadu politicians refusing to be part of the investiture ceremony of the 15th Indian Prime Minister simply because she would have been pictured sitting way behind President Rajapakse. Politics in India has to take place without Sri Lanka and it is good for Modi himself to realize that Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and he should not repeat the same mistake of interfering in the internal affairs of foreign nations and thereafter complaining that the neighbors are against India.

 Tamil Nadu as a state needs to take care of the Indian citizens in Tamil Nadu. Of course, we have never objected to Sri Lankan Tamils forsaking their Sri Lankan citizenship and obtaining Indian citizenship if they are confident that India or Tamil Nadu can cater to Tamil aspirations or even grievances. Sri Lanka’s Constitution makes clear that all citizens have to be treated equally therefore India and any other external party must realize that they are morally wrong to seek privileges for only one ethnic group above all others completely ignoring the ground realities that it was the Sinhalese and Muslims who were victims for 3 decades while the world concentrates only on a few months of the last phase of the conflict. This is totally unjust and India must one of the first to address this wrong.

 Modi needs to mend fences not make fences but most of all Modi needs to realize that he has far more important things than falling prey to the theatrics of Tamil Nadu and it is no better a time than now to tell Tamil Nadu whose boss.

14 Responses to “How Modi should deal with Tamil Nadu tantrums”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    “It killed Rajiv Gandhi on the soil of Tamil Nadu” what she failed to state was that Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was not only killed on the soil of Tamil Nadu but was killed by Tamils both Sri Lankan and Indian. Since it is clear by the article the Tamil Nadu politicians openly supported Prabhakaran, gave him shelter and logistics it would not be too far fetched to reach to the conclusion they knew of the plans of Prabhakaran to kill Rajiv Gandhi. that alone is a crime for withholding information that would turn out to be fatal to an active Prime Minister.
    Then comes the issue of the abysmal security he received On Tamil Soil. Especially when a war was raging just a few miles south in Sri Lanka and the issue involved Sri Lankan Hindu Tamils who got support from those very politicians. I am not alluding to the fact that the Tamil Nadu politicians maybe complicit in the death of Rajiv Gandhi I am making an accusation that they are as guilty in his murder as those they allowed to kill him ON TAMIL NADU’S SOIL.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    USE the fishermen’s issue as a TOOL to disrupt TN interests.

    SL can NEGOTIATE with Endia. TN fishermen issue on one hand, devolution on the other.

    TN fishermen can fish in SL waters in the NORTH provided NO Endian interference in SL.
    TN fishermen will be arrested if Endian interference in SL.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Fortune Favors the Brave … Sri Lanka romps home with 6 wickets and 10 balls to spare, taking the ODI series against England 3-2! JAYAWEWA!

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Golden Words Shenali !

    “Asking Sri Lanka to concur to give items that are likely to be a national security risk for both India and Sri Lanka in the long term is committing a blunder that Modi cannot afford to commit and does not need to commit.”

  5. Nanda Says:

    Fortune Favors the Brave … Sri Lanka romps home with 6 wickets and 10 balls to spare, taking the ODI series against England 3-2! JAYAWEWA!

    Rajapakse should learn from Senannayake how to use marbles, if he has any.

  6. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    New Delhi’s bluff of using the Tamils in India or specifically in Tamil Nadu to justify her interference into Sri Lanka first by supporting the Tamil Tigers through her intelligence service RAW and then when India lost the proxy war she used the UN to attack Sri Lanka on a selective human rights issues now can be called.

    Even though the BJP marginalized the vested interests of Tamil Nadu and invited President Rajapakse to his inaugural, he did dredge up the issue of the devolution of police and land powers to the Northern and Eastern provinces. What is hypocritical of Modi’s action is that he simultaneously brought up article 370 regarding the semi autonomy of Kashmir guaranteed in that article. With one hand he wanted greater integrity with the Indian state of Kashmir and on the other hand he wanted or demanded from Colombo greater autonomy for the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka.

    the inconsistency of his first two actions as the Prime Minister of India must be noted. When it comes to Sri Lanka the BJP party is still dragging the policies of the Congress party, the policies of Tamil Nadu and the aspirations of the Tamil Diaspora. When it comes to India he wants to forge a new path of “Hindutva” against an established amendment that prohibits such actions. Instead of addressing the refugee status of Hindu Kashmiri people which was done illegally to evict them out of their homeland in Kashmir Narendra Modi goes for the jugular and attacks article 370 itself. That is gang land politics. It is not welcome for Srinagar and it should not be welcome in Colombo.

    Going back to New Delhi’s reason that since Sri Lankan Tamils have a genetic and cultural link to Tamil Nadu it gives India carte blanch to start a war, extend it for 30 years and once she lost that war to divide Sri Lanka she then used the UN as a hammer to badger Sri Lanka on her version of human rights violations.

    Using that logic since Sri Lanka has a sizable Muslim population then for the “interests” of the Kashmiri Muslims Sri Lanka along with Pakistan should aid and support any secessionist movements in Kashmir, well because both Sri Lanka, Pakistan and kashmir have Muslims and by that the responsibility to look out for their interests over and above the integrity of India.

  7. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Indian writers and commenters often refer to the role that RAW played in the war in Sri Lanka or to be specific the role RAW played in supporting the Tamil Tigers, leaving the reader to believe that RAW is some kind of non governmental organization. IT IS NOT. RAW cannot function without the explicit direction of New Delhi. It was not RAW that trained and supported the war, it was New Delhi who directed RAW do do it.

    India under this new administration needs to approach Sri Lanka with folded hands and an apology with reparations for her dastardly deed. India is the one who is guilty. India is the nation who singularly supported the terrorists against Sri Lanka and it was India that wanted the division of Sri Lanka. If there is any nation on earth who owes Sri Lanka an apology it is India. Now the BJP is making it sound like it is Sri Lanka that needs to tow the new Hindutva line or else.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    BW,

    “New Delhi’s bluff of using the Tamils in India or specifically in Tamil Nadu to justify her interference into Sri Lanka first by supporting the Tamil Tigers through her intelligence service RAW and then when India lost the proxy war she used the UN to attack Sri Lanka on a selective human rights issues now can be called.”

    INDEED!

    This is what some of us don’t get.

    Endia is not an INNOCENT thing manipulated by TN. Tail wagging the body? No.
    It is the body wagging the tail.

    Endia is USING TN racism (anti-SL by nature) and their worshippers (SL Tamils) to dictate terms to SL. Like a man using his rapid “pet” dog to bark at and threaten his neighbor. This is what Modi CANNOT change.

    First BJP regime didn’t interefere in SL much because it had BIGGER problems of its own like how to keep their coalition. Not the case now. A VERY BAD START by Modi in demanding 13 and devolution.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    Floods in SL killed over 20 people. Western province suffered most but spared Tamil areas. We should help the affected.

    Govt. is NOT helping them as much as they helped Vanni and Batticaloa flood victims and IDPs.

  10. Nanda Says:

    “Endia is not an INNOCENT thing manipulated by TN. Tail wagging the body? No.
    It is the body wagging the tail.”

    Yes, but it depends on the leaders too. With a good leader, India has to go against the Global manipulators, and that is why the leader’s life will be at risk.

    Gadafi was trying to do good for Africa ( no matter how bad his character is). He was eliminated. This is why Modi’s mentor too was eliminated.

  11. Ananda-USA Says:

    Nanda,

    Indeed, Suchitra Senanayake has BALLS: he gave as good as he got in the criticism of his bowling action by the English team, by running Buttler out, after WARNING him TWICE not to attempt to steal a head start at the bowlers crease.

    Amazingly, both the English team and the English Coach had the affrontery to complain about Buttler’s run out, after getting caught red-handed with their hands in the cookie jar, instead of gracefully accepting the run out and apologizing for their bad behavior.

    The English team and Coach, reminds me of the TNA leaders, who wail as VICTIMS charging discrimination and war crimes, after failing to win their Eelam through MURDEROUS TERRORISM! When AGGRESSION fails, pose as VICTIMS!

    Incidentally, I think the RULES should be REVISED, to eliminate the Captain of the fielding team being given the option to excuse the offending batsman, and being demonized if he upholds the rules. If the batsman is run out for sneaking a head start, the umpire should rule him out …. no questions asked!

    Lorenzo,

    I am very impressed by Angelo Mathew who invariably fights like a LION to help Sri Lanka win. He truly deserves the honor of being the Sri Lanka ODI team Captain.

    Here is a Tamil Sri Lankan cast in the same mold as Murali and Laksman Kadirgamar, to name two: a Patriotic Sri Lankan FIRST, and everything else second. There are many other law-abiding Tamil people like this; I happen to personally know quite a few!

    Incidentally, could Mathew and Kadiragamar being married to Sinhala spouses have anything to with it? I have always held that inter-community marriages are the best medicine for communal ills for LOVE seems to conquer ALL.

  12. Ananda-USA Says:

    New state of Telangana is born in southern India

    BBC.com
    June 2, 2014

    India’s southern state of Andhra Pradesh has formally split in two, with its northern area carved out to create a new state called Telangana.

    The move followed prolonged protests by residents of Telangana, who felt the region had long been neglected.

    Telangana, which officially came into existence at midnight local time, becomes the country’s 29th state.

    With a population of 35 million, it comprises 10 former districts of Andhra Pradesh and the city of Hyderabad.
    Map of India showing Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

    K Chandrasekhar Rao, of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi party (TRS), which for 14 years spearheaded the movement for separation and will form the new state’s first government, has been sworn in as the chief minister for Telangana.

    Hyderabad, which forms the joint capital of the two states for the next 10 years, was covered with pink balloons, banners and flags to mark Telangana’s statehood, says BBC Hindi’s Zubair Ahmed. Pink is the colour of the TRS.

    “The sacrifice of our people and the youth who led the movement has culminated in the formation of a new state. It is a historic day for us,” Krishank, a local student leader, said.

    He said providing jobs to thousands of young people should be a top priority of the new government.

    But there are also opponents of the division. One, A Ravi, said he was unhappy that his “beloved state had been torn apart”.

    “It’s a sad day because we speak the same language and have no distinct identity. Politicians played a dirty role in dividing the state into two,” Mr Ravi, an info-tech professional, told BBC Hindi.

    Andhra Pradesh and Telangana share the same language of Telugu.
    Indian Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party president K Chandrasekhar Rao (C) greets supporters in Hyderabad on 16 May 2014. K Chandrasekhar Rao of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which spearheaded the protest for a new state, becomes chief minister for Telangana

    Correspondents say the large state of Andhra Pradesh was deeply divided economically, with people in the less-developed Telangana region feeling largely neglected.

    India’s upper house approved a bill to carve out the new state in February, despite opposition from lawmakers in the Congress Party, which governed Andhra Pradesh.

    The then chief minister of Andhra Pradesh state, Kiran Kumar Reddy, resigned after parliament approved the bill.

    Opponents are unhappy that Hyderabad, which is home to many major information technology and pharmaceutical companies, would become a shared state capital.

    After 10 years, Andhra Pradesh is expected to develop a new capital.

    Telangana State: Synopsis

    Population at least 35 million
    Comprises 10 Northern districts of Andhra Pradesh, including city of Hyderabad
    Landlocked, predominantly agricultural area
    One of the most under-developed regions in India
    50-year campaign for separate status
    More than 400 people died in 1969 crackdown

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    This is what we should also do AT LEAST. Change PC boundaries.

    Trinco port area and Seruvila should be MERGED with Polonnaruwa district. Tamil and Muslim NPC and EPC LOSE strategic Trinco.

    Mulaitivu district to MERGE with Anuradhapura district.

    Mannar district to MERGE with Puttlam district.

    OR

    NPC + NWP + CP = NEW NORTH PROVINCE

    SOUTHERN PC + EP + UVA = NEW SOUTHERN PROVINCE

    WPC + CP + SABARAGAMUWA = NEW WESTERN & CENTRAL PROVINCE

  14. Ananda-USA Says:

    RELIGIOUS CLEANSING by LTTE revealed: Ancient Buddhist Temple in Kilinochchi was destroyed!

    ………………
    Archaeologists find Buddhist ruins in Sri Lanka’s former battlefield in North

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    June 05, Kilinochchi: Sri Lanka Army troops conducting routine operations have come across a site with scattered ruins of a Buddhist temple in the former LTTE stronghold of Kilinochchi, the Army said Wednesday.

    At the request of Commander of Security Forces Headquarters in Kilinochchi, Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, a team of archaeologists has arrived at the site and begun extensive investigations.

    According to the Army, the archaeologists have unearthed several Buddhist artefacts belong to the historic Polonnaruwa era including slates, ancient bricks and Sri Pada symbols in excavations carried out in Kilinochchi, Sivanagar and Uriththirapuram.

    They have succeeded in finding ruins, identical to a Pagoda of 60 ft in diameter and about 12 ft in height, stacks of ancient layers of bricks, slates with Sri Pada symbol, stone posts with prints of Sri Pada in the middle, etc, all the hallmarks that confirm the existence of a Buddhist temple in the Polonnaruwa period.

    The archaeologists have declared the site a sacred site, pending further excavations, extensive research and comprehensive evaluation, alerting the security forces as well as government authorities of the new discovery.

    According to the information Army obtained from the residents, a small Pulleyar Kovil had occupied the site from the 1940s and been replaced by the Shivam Kovil which was built in 1980s and is still standing.

    A Kurukkal (chief priest) in 1965 while clearing the jungles around a Kovil had found a Pagoda, some Buddha statues, stone carvings as well as a Bo tree in the premise but the LTTE who controlled the area for nearly 30 years have allegedly destroyed the Buddhist artifacts.

    It has been found that a 4 to 6 foot tall Samadhi Buddha statue and a statue of a lion plus a moonstone had existed at the site. The terrorists had however felled the Bo tree and replaced it with a Palmyrah tree later on before the place was called ‘Nagalingam’.

    Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Commander, SFHQ-KLN, Colonel N.P Akuranthilake, 662 Brigade Commander and several senior officers visited the location soon after its discovery by troops serving there.

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