Have Sri Lankans misunderstood India?
Posted on September 14th, 2010

By Bandu de SilvaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Courtesy The IslandƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  13-09-2010

The Indian journalist Sathiya Moorthy cannot be blamed for claiming that Sri Lankans have misunderstood India. As we Sri Lankans say, he is here to “cough for India.” The piece he wrote in the Daily Mirror of August 31 to coincide with IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Foreign Secretary, Nirupma RaoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s recent visit to Sri Lanka is such and needs some comment.

What Moorthy is concerned immediately seems to be that one is “bound to record some blame game and inevitable mudslinging at India ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦ and it is already happening, if one went by published media accounts [of LLRC proceedings]. Perhaps, he came to his conclusion, following the way Norway has come to be bashed over the CFA even by persons giving evidence who backed the CFA to the hilt then. Why should anyone imagine that India, too, will get a similar bashing? HasnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t the Indian journalist Narayan Swamy, who has written much on the LTTE in his third book, Tigers Vanquished (Sage, August 2010) shed light on IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s complicity in the CFA? Moorthy reviewed that book a few days ago. Why didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t he spot it out?

I think his present article had a wider objective. His objective was, perhaps, to provide background to Nirupama RaoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s visit as the much spoken of Special Envoy to Sri Lanka. He speak of [unwarranted] speculation that it might have been Home Minister P. Chidambaram but that it turned out to be Rao. As I wrote recently, the visit has been pegged at subaltern level for good reason. Foreign Minister Krishna is already scheduled to come in October. So to send another senior Minister like P. Chidambaram would have looked a little overdoing things unless India wanted to send a strong signal to President Rajapaksa that she meant business over the devolution issue. I wrote elsewhere that Minister Chidambaram told the Congress session at Virudhanagar on 17 July 2010 that Sri Lankan Tamils would have their own government in two years time. So, RaoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s visit, though at subaltern level, came with added power as Indian governmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Special EnvoyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

Foreign Secretary Rao was seen making much noise here a few months earlier when she came to deliver the official invitation to President Rajapaksa. She went on inviting all and sundry which virtually took away the sanctum attached to the invitation to the President. Was it because New Delhi wanted to maintain a balance to impress Tamil Nadu? Rajapaksa is not a very welcome person in some parts of India for what he has done to the LTTE.

India has much explaining to do for her role in Sri Lanka from the 1970s to the end of 1980s. She provided a haven for Tamil militants in addition to training in sophisticated warfare including demolition and sabotage and violating Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s air space. J. N. Dixit was trying to make out that the world had no objection! Moorthy is now defending those actions saying IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s concern was human. What if any of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s neighbours took such a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”humanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ interest in the bloodshed that is taking place in Kashmir?

Sathiya Moorthy defends the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”parippuƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ drop by Indian transport planes which were accompanied by missile carrying fighter planes with orders to shoot if there was the slightest ground or air resistance. These are too well documented by foreign journalists like Le MondeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s senior journalist in India, Patrice Claude and others. They have even recorded that the Indian government ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”liedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ when the world was told that the contents of the packages had been shown to foreign journalists.

The journalists were shown only sealed packages carrying the logo “Cawnpur Ordnance Factory” and as they who were in the transport planes watched some of the packages were dropped over LTTE controlled areas of Dharmmapuram before coming over Jaffna.

Was Moorty in another part of the world at that time?

Did he ever ask the question if RAW had a hand in exacerbating July 1983 situation? If Premier Indira Gandhi, who created RAW could get it to train the Sri Lankan Tamils in the use of sophisticated arms, demolition and sabotage and provide them with arms, funds and safe haven as early as mid 1970s, how could one overlook a RAW role in the July 1983 affair?

A case was being made to interfere in Sri Lanka. At the bottom of it was Indira GandhiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s fear (or was it the security establishmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s and RAWƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s plus South BlockƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s) that Sri Lankan government was “hobnobbing” with the USƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”different to todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s fear over Chinese getting a foothold in Sri Lanka and especially, at Hambantota, which has made India rush there to establish a Consulate. This is not mere wishful thinking but analysis by strategic researchers on both sides of the Palk Straits.

Moorthy calls this perception about India was ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”born out of ignoranceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. If that is so, Indian commentators who reported and documented Indian perception of the time like Narayan Swamy, Avatar Singh Bashin, former Ambassador and South BlockƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s record Keeper and a number of others must be wallowing in ignorance! So do former Sri Lankan security analysts like Shelton Kodikara. What is security analysis for?

What does Moorthy mean by saying that the “current accusations against Sri Lanka like Mullivaikai and the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”white flag incidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ are a product of a historic process in the20th century and not an isolated incident pertaining to a particular phase in an ongoing war that was concluding anyway? IsnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t he suggesting that the Sri Lankan government has been doing this all along from July ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢83? Such arguments could only fortify oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s belief that the Indian government has also set out on a pogrom against Muslims in Kashmir, Guzarat and elsewhere. HowƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s that?

I think what Moorthy has been doing is to boost up Nirupama RaoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s visit from a subaltern one to a high profile one. A little bit of whitewashing of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s past would have been helpful while the point is driven home that IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s interest is human. Like during her last visit and her utterances in India on the eve of PresidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s visit to New Delhi, RaoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s visit this time is far from a goodwill visit. Perhaps, it was never meant to be so. Rao, as she once claimed, is a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”protƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚©gƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚©ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of J .N .Dixit. One may not want to go as far as saying she is trying to follow in the footsteps of her ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Guru”. If one follows the Indian High Commission Press Release issued by Press Counsellor, Birendra Yadev on September 1, 2010, repeating RaoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s earlier invitation to Chandrakanthan, Chief Minister of Eastern Province et al the message should be clear. Besides, Rao has told Indian journalists in Colombo at the end of her recent visit that President Rajapaksa “… has constantly said that he focused on a [political solution] need. And that he plans to move on it. He has his sight set on that. And this point need to be more than just focused on the economic issues and the development issues and to look beyond. Everybody in the government got a sense of how we look at it. From that point of view I think they know how India is approaching or looking at this issue” she said.(The Hindu ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”Political solution Should be priority” ).

So, where does all this going to end up? Minister Chidambaram speaks of Sri Lankan Tamil governments in two provinces in two years. Foreign Secretary Rao says “everybody in the government got a sense [read ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”a messageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢] of how we [India] look at it ….and from that point of view they [GOSL] know how India is approaching or looking at the issue.” One has to wait and see what will happen after President is assured of office beyond a second term. One recalls what President J .R. Jayewardene (with 5/6 majority) did agree to the 13th Amendment and the merger of the North and the East; handing over of Trincomalee to India and inviting Indian troops. The political Editor of the French Newspaper, “Liberation” (pro-TELO at that time) after watching the TV in my office room in Paris of President Jayewardene signing the July ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢87 Agreement with Premier Rajiv Gandhi asked me if the two of them had taken Sri Lankans for a ride. That is how he read the looks on the faces of the two leaders after signing the Agreement. Should one need not be surprised if the country faces such a situation again once the President is assured of continuity. What all politicians are after is nothing but “POWER”.

10 Responses to “Have Sri Lankans misunderstood India?”

  1. Ramanie Says:

    As usual a very informed article from you Bandu de Silva! These habitual cough-ers for India and RAW like Sathiya Moorthy and Hariharan are in a way naive to think that others see them as legitimate “Sri Lanka analysts”! I see their drivel on Sri Lankan papers and think ‘what a waste of space’?! – Why are these one-eyed barrell pushers confusing themselves to be experts in Sri Lankan matters? India’s actions with regard to the LTTE issue has been indefensible in the past and the present. Now heavily Dravidianised top Indian political hierarchy is in no way concerned about ‘human’ issues- (if they were really concerned about human issues surely they will build some public toilets in India and build homes for their vast homeless population.) Sri Lanka will never forget what India has done to us and is still trying to do to us. We detest the ethno-Tamil political interfernces into Sri Lankan affairs. Contrary to what Sathya Moorthy says Sri Lanka now understands India very well- that is why we have no respect for them!

  2. Kit Athul Says:

    First, let me thank Bandu De Silva for publishing this article on the Lankaweb. Next as he states comments are needed to for Dum INDIANS to understand who SINHALA are; after May 19th 2009. Sathiya Moorthy’s title for the article it self clearly showes that an average Indian thinks that Sri Lanka is an Indian protectorate and what ever Indian thrash that they throw has to be consumed by the average Sinhala. I hope Sathiya Moorthy will get a chance to read the article and the comments from Sinhala. “Have Sri Lankans Misunderstood India?” What a joke is this? Since the time began INDIANS were enemies of Sinhala. Whom do you think KING DUTUGAMUNU go to war with? Answer: Dirty miserable land grabing INDIANS. I will ietmize to update the totally out of touch brain of Sathiya Moothy.
    1. Jawaharlal Neru came to then Ceylon in 1939 and wrote a constitution to create an autonomous Tamil state within Sri Lanka for Tamils only. This fictitious state he created had Upcountry, Low Country, Eastern Province and Northern province. (Have Sri Lankens Misunderstood India?”)

    2. Indira Gandhi: Bandu has addressed it very well.

    3. Rajiv Gandhi:? He wrote the 17th and 13th Amendments. What does 13th Amedment state? Answer: Prepare for annexation of Northern and Eastern Provinses, to create Greater Tamil Nadu. (“Have Sri Lankens Misunderstood India”?)

    4. Priyanka Rajiv’s daughter: Towards the last stages of war she tried to derail the military advance by contacting a suicide bomer Naline, who was in jail and requesting a suicide attack on Gotabaya or President Rajapakse. (“Have Sri Lankens Misunderstood India”?)

    Now to this COW RAO, Anura Bandaranayake was the only person who openly stated in the Parliamant that she is interferring with commercial deals in Sri Lanka. She was immediately removed. (Have Sri lankens misunderstood Indians”?)

    M.K. Narayanan (Alias Andera) told openly that Sri Lanka cannot buy military equipment from China and Pakistan. Sri Lanka must beg India to sell them, military equipment. (Have Sri Lankens Misunderstood Indians”?)

    CHIDAMBARAM Cheittiya, a mentally deranged punk, told a cheering crowed in Virudhunagar, on July 18th 2010, that Prabhakaran was India’s friend and not a enmy of INDIA. If he had escaped to INDIA, India would have made him “MUDISOODA MANNAN”. Translated to English, Uncrowned King of Northern and Eastern Provinces. (Have Sri Lankens Misunderstood India”?)He could have ruled the provinces for life and later passed on to his son.

  3. Janak Says:

    India may be wron on Sri Lanka.
    But the writer under the name Kit Atul is a rubbish writer who plagues the Daily News, The Nation and any other publication who accepts things because they are in English and are ‘free’.

    He is an apologiser for the Zionists and is on their pay roll.



  4. Lorenzo Says:

    What Kit Athul says has some merit. His statements should be taken individually for what they are. Don’t cloud your mind with personal attacks when you can’t face the statements.

    India has consistantly followed a pro-Tamil Nadu approach towards Sri Lanka. The few instances they didn’t were when Sri Lanka had the option of tapping into other powers in the region. India created the LTTE and used it to force the 13th amendment. The IPKF mostly pretended to fight the LTTE but never inflicted serious damage to it for fear of decimating it. LTTE gave India a very strong excuse to interfere. Then India created yet another Tamil terrorist group. Our troops killled them and handed their weapons to Tigers as a mark of protest.

    Rao has a track record of being anti-Sri Lankan. Gotabhaya’s high powered team visit to China recently immediately after Rao’s (and many others) visit is a slap on the face of this despicable woman.

  5. Kit Athul Says:

    Janak, thanks for your comments: I do not read the Daily News because I do not live in Sri Lanka. Next what is Zionist pay roll? How does it relate to what Bandu, Ramanie and I have written? Are you trying to deviate the discussion from focusing away from INDIA? If you are thinking about Israel, the the right person to write to is Mr. Gotabaya. He orderd three DOVERA attack boates from Israel last month. One got delivered last week. May be you should write to him and call him a Zionist!
    So, Mr. Janak, Janak, Payal Baji what India does not want is a challenge. Thanks Lorenzo, at least one person understand what I have written.

  6. Sri Rohana Says:

    Kit Athul what you are saying is true. Even your earlier comments you said to “boycott Indian goods” is the best what we can do at the moment. Indian expansion is almost everywhere and they interfere to each and every corner in Sri Lanka, unfortunately some can not understand it.
    You are correct Nehru who openly supported the tamil province in Sri Lanka. In 1930’s S. Thondaman’s CWC party inauguration he all the way came from India as a special invitee. CWC’s party flag and the Indian flag are same. Ever since Thondaman, SJV Chelvanayakam, V. Prabakaran, Sri Sabaratnam, K. Pathmanaba, Sampandan and almost all tamil leaders got advice either from RAW or Delhi or Chenai. India controls tamil leaders and India never allow us to unite as one nation. Our division is their control point.

    1987 Indian invasion and 1980 era tamil terrorists trained in India are well proved scenarios that India is an enemy state to Sri Lanka. Satya Moorthi cannot deny it.
    India is an enemy not only to Sri Lanka. Which neighboring country is friendly with India? Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar are not good with India. Even Noam Chomsky once said India the biggest problem for Asians.
    In internationally too Indians are very unpopular in Fiji, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Uganda, South Africa,Singapore, Thailand, Tanzania, Kenya, UK, Australia and all over the world. May be Indian arrogance or “they think they know everything” attitude or greediness or Indian expansion or all of this?

  7. Janak Says:

    Sri Lanka is blessed with a group of patriots very united by their ideas it slooks like.

    Lorenzo, Jay-Ran, Sri rohana, Ramanie, Kit Athul, Cassandra, Chintha, Sena, Ratnapala are just some of them. There are many others we know about, through smart software.

    What is intriguing is, how the writer makes a living, with all waking hours spent on thenet.

    Does someone oay this ‘freelance’ to monitor and influence Sri Lankan patriots’ websites like Lankaweb?
    Worth thinking about. Is this why the father ‘disowned’ him?

  8. Gangdhi Says:

    RAW may be a contraption of Indira. I am sure if I say “Third Eye” Moorthy knows who I mean.

    Third Eye is the Indian Intelligence Service, most rutheless and secretive intelligence service in the world.

    No other Intelligence service can claim to have killed two of its leaders.

    Third Eye was formed by Nehru, Karamchand and Bose. It was formed on the lines of GESTAPO. Bose had first hand experience with the Gestapo.

    India was made by the British. There was no India before that.

  9. Gangdhi Says:

    Indians outside India are mainly colonial parasites ( word i do not like to use but explains the fact). These Indians includin Tamils went to British dominions under the cover of the British guns.

    UN shouldn decolonise these Indian colonies.

  10. Gangdhi Says:

    Hi Kithul

    Reading your comments are engligtening.

    From what I have read and heard I think Priyanka was not trying to do anything against Sri Lanka. She was trying to accept the death of her farther.

    Her sorrow was a great help for the defeat of the Tamil terrorists who are the puppets of India. Sonya definitely wanted Parabakaran dead. It appears Priyanka wanted to know what Megara was doing. Megara is Nalini’s daughter. She was looked after by the Third Eye. She was studying in a leading school in UK. Ofcourse Third Eye conveniently lost track of her The “Third Eye” and the Indian armed forces could not interfere during the battle because of Sonya, Priyanka and Rahul.

    The question is who killed Rajiv, was it the Third Eye.

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