DECAN CHRONICLE WARNS INDIA NOT TO TRUST PRABHAKARAN WITH BLOODY HANDS WHO BREAKS AGREEMENTS AT HIS CONVENIENCE
By Walter Jayawardhana
Reminding that the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has blood on his hand the influential South Indian newspaper Decan Chronicle in an editorial said India will be extremely shortsighted once again if it committed the mistake of dealing with Prabhakaran who would enter into agreements and breach them at his convenience.
The editorial by Nitish Sengupta categorically said,Whatever be the pressure that Tamil politicians are facing, no trust should be placed on Prabhakaran or the LTTE, one of the most notorious killing squads in the world which has no scruples about entering into an agreement and then repudiating it at their convenience. No negotiations should be started with the LTTE unless they replace Prabhakaran with a moderate leader.
The editorial reminded New Delhi the present situation had a parallel with the conditions of 1987 when India intervened under the pressure of karunanidhi and even at that time the Sri Lankan security forces were close to overrunning Jaffna peninsula, like the LTTE is on the verge of defeat at Kilinochchi.
Though the agreement between President Junius Jayewardene and Rajiv Gandhi gave many achievements to the minority like Tamil a status of parity with the Sinhala language in the country Prabhakaran breached the agreement , to which he had agreed earlier , refused to surrender arms under it, and attacked the Indian Peace Keeping Forces , in a brazenly ungrateful manner, the editorial charged.
The following is the full text of the editorial:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs decision to send external affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Sri Lanka to press for a ceasefire between forces and the LTTE has an unmistakable parallel with the situation that prevailed in 1987.
At that time too the Sri Lankan Army was close to overrunning the Jaffna peninsula, which forced the LTTE to approach M. Karunanidhi and the DMK to request the Government of India to intervene. This resulted in actual intervention by India , leading to the Thimpu Accord and the Jayawardhane-Rajiv Gandhi Agreement, endorsed by LTTE supremo Prabhakaran.
As a result of the accord, Tamil was given the same status as the Sinhala language, discrimination against Tamils in job opportunities was withdrawn, and the need for a provincial government headed by a Tamilian for the Tamil homeland in the Northeast of Sri Lanka was also accepted. Thus, addressing many grievances of the Sri Lankan Tamils.
As part of the accord, the LTTE agreed to surrender arms. And to supervise this, an Indian Peace-Keeping Force went to Sri Lanka . Unfortunately, Prabhakaran violated the agreement and avoided surrendering arms. And when he realised that India would not, under any circumstances, be instrumental in ensuring recognition of an independent Tamil Elam in Sri Lanka, he started doing everything to make it difficult for the IPKF to operate, thereby repaying his debt to India in a brazenly ungrateful manner.
It was unfortunate that the IPKF got involved, against its wishes, in armed clashes with the LTTE. Although many Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka supported the agreement and were willing to give the Sri Lanka government time to implement provisions of the agreement, the LTTE repudiated it in a clear breach of faith. Not only did they not hesitate to eliminate Tamil leaders of Sri Lanka , but eventually committed the most reprehensible act the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, directly under Prabhakarans order. This was, indeed, the height of Prabhakarans misdeeds.
Thereafter, he openly allied with Sri Lanka Prime Minister Premdasa in demanding the withdrawal of the IPKF and, after withdrawal of the IPKF, had Premdasa assassinated.
This part of history needs to be retold as once again Prabhakaran is seeking withdrawal of the ban on the LTTE in India . Sri Lanka s Army has once again shown remarkable success in its operation against the LTTE. It has captured nearly all the approaches to the Jaffna peninsula and is close to the doors of Prabhakarans den. And India is facing general elections soon. It is in this situation that Prabhakaran has started his old game of putting pressure on DMK in Tamil Nadu, to help persuade the Sri Lankan Army to call off their offensive and to ease the pressure on Jaffna .
India will be extremely short-sighted once again if it commits the mistake of dealing with Prabhakaran. We must not forget how Prabhakaran eliminated all his rival Tamil politicians in Sri Lanka . Whatever be the pressure that Tamil politicians are facing, no trust should be placed on Prabhakaran or the LTTE, one of the most notorious killing squads in the world which has no scruples about entering into an agreement and then repudiating it at their convenience. No negotiations should be started with the LTTE unless they replace Prabhakaran with a moderate leader.
We should also remember that all Tamilians in Sri Lanka are not followers of the LTTE. Many of them want to live happily with their Sinhala friends. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka has an element of jingoism which rises to the surface whenever they are near success. A typical case in point was the unfortunate statement recently made by the Army chief that Sri Lanka means a Sinhala nation, ignoring that the Tamils have been living in Sri Lanka for several generations and that when westerners came to Sri Lanka they took over from the islands Tamilian king.
Thus both, the Sinhalese and the Tamilians, need to show that
they are willing and ready to live and let live. Discrimination against
Tamil population should stop and the Tamil-dominated Northeast should
be given complete provincial autonomy. In return, Tamil leaders should
express their faith in one indivisible Sri Lanka . India can be the
biggest guarantee of such a unified, multi-racial Sri Lanka .
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