India was never a true friend of Sri Lanka
Posted on March 25th, 2012

Asada M Erpini

The Indian Prime Minister is reported have said, “”¦ the people of India have stood firmly by Sri Lanka in its struggle against terrorism” in a letter he has addressed to the President of Sri Lanka. In the address to the Lok Sabha before the unholy Geneva resolution passed at the UNHCR a few days back, the Indian PM went on to highlight the need for “a future for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that is marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-respect’ . Never a day seems to pass without a high official of the Indian Foreign Minister talking of the long standing good relations and cultural ties between Sri Lanka and India that extend for thousands of years.

 The Indian PM again has said that Sri Lanka should address the grievances of the ethnic Tamils, adding that “a modicum of normalcy is beginning to return to the Tamil areas in Sri Lanka”.

 Are all these utterances not mere platitudes to hide the crimes that India has committed against a powerless neighbour or repetitions of the demands and aspirations of the LTTE and its TNA progeny?

 The terrorism that India claims to have helped in defeating was a product of a gang nurtured, trained and armed by India. Rather than standing firmly by Sri Lanka in the latter’s struggle against terrorism, India was instrumental in prolonging the mayhem and destruction in Sri Lanka by nearly three decades: if India did not intervene when Pirabaharan was cornered in the Vadamarachchi Operation of the armed forces of the Sri Lanka, many thousands of Sri Lankan lives, both among the armed forces as well as in the civilian communities, would have been saved and a modicum of rebuilding could have started many years ago.

 What most Sri Lankans would remember from their school days is that India never was a friend of its small neighbour. During the times of the Cholas and Pandyas, hordes of invaders landed in Sri Lanka destroying the culture and places of worship. It was these invasions that led to the capital of the Sinhalese kingdoms moving from Anuradhapura to cities such as Polonnaruwa and Yapahuwa and then to locations further South. The present day Kerala supplied many hired mercenaries who wreaked havoc in Sri Lanka lured by monetary considerations.

 Many Buddhists in rural Sri Lanka hold “Dambadiva” in veneration and great respect, and tend to equate it with India. Many of the places associated with Prince Siddhartha and Lord Buddha, such as Lumbini, are not in India but in the present day Nepal. Places such as Taxila, hailed as a seat of learning in the early period of Buddhist civilization, too, are in Pakistan. 

 It is strange that India wants to talk of equality, dignity, justice and self-respect for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. If there is any deprivation that a law-abiding Tamil faces in Sri Lanka today, it would not be any different from that experienced by a Sinhalese, a Moor, a Malay or a Burgher of comparable educational and social standing. On the other hand, the Indian PM need not cross the Palk Straits to hunt for inequalities and injustices faced by communities: India has millions spread through the length and breadth of the vast nation, the Dalits being a classic example of humans who have been denied self-respect.

 The grievances of the Tamils of Sri Lanka is the mantra that is being repeated ad nauseum by the separatists and their supporters in Sri Lanka as well as the ones domiciled abroad. Those who demand solutions for the grievances of the Tamils are yet to spell out in concrete terms what these grievances “”…” that are specific to the Tamils – are?

 Sri Lanka cannot have Tamil areas, just as the country does not have, nor does it condone, establishing or propagating geographical enclaves based on ethnicity or any such divisive criteria for the Tamils, the Sinhalese, the Moors or any other group. Any Sri Lankan citizen has the right and the freedom to live in any part of the country as long as he or she abides by the laws of the country and acquires residential property through legally accepted means.

 It is time that Sri Lanka recognised who its true friends are. The voting pattern at the UNHCR Resolution indicated which countries, led by China, Russia and Pakistan, are ready to take a stand that is not detrimental to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is essential that Sri Lanka increases its military and economic links with these countries without delay.  Additionally, one obvious reason for India voting against Sri Lanka at the UNHCR sessions is the noisy outbursts by many among the 65 million Tamil Nadu Tamils in support of Sri Lanka’s Tamils. Promoting relationships with Bangladesh may open the door to over a billion Bangladeshis some of whom may support Sri Lanka vociferously if the untapped historical links between the two countries are properly exploited.


2 Responses to “India was never a true friend of Sri Lanka”

  1. AnuD Says:

    It says “thaman hisata thama athamaya”. that is for individual humans.

    How can we expect the same things from countries. In this political chess game, the objective is to stay in the game as long as possible. So, they do that.

    It is we who need to learn what we want and how we do that.

  2. Christie Says:

    There was no India before the British made it.

    India (Baratha) is an enemy of all its neighbors.

    We have to get rid of the so called national dress the vettis and sarees. Do not eat parippu inistead start eating meat as we have done for thousands of years.

    Boycott Indian colonial parasites’ businesses.

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