Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s withdrawal of support to the UPA government is no doubt an act of arm-twisting and politics of opportunism (“From defensive to offensive,” March 20). Passing a resolution in Parliament against another nation is a sure way of inviting similar retribution, in a much greater degree. China may pass a resolution claiming Arunachal Pradesh, and Pakistan, claiming J&K. National interest needs to be viewed in the long-term interests of larger India, not short-term gains of a particular party or with a view to staying in power.
Col R.D. Singh (retd.),
The DMK’s move could have been appreciated had it pulled out of the UPA government on an issue concerning Tamils of our country. What is the point in destabilising the Centre on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue? Is the pullout a ploy to extract more from a government that is drifting like a rudderless ship with only regional parties like the SP and the BSP to help it stay afloat?
The DMK action is nothing but opportunism. If the Centre agrees to the party’s demand to include the word ‘genocide’ in the resolution against Sri Lanka, it will be nothing short of interference in the affairs of another country.
It is all very well to say the UPA government should be firm. But with so much political compulsion and growing regional political aspirations, it is difficult not to give in to some pressure unless we are ready for elections every two months. People should ask themselves whether they want to let regional compulsions affect our foreign policy. Things will not change until we consider ourselves citizens of one nation. If we want a better future and a powerful nation, we should give a decisive mandate to national parties.
Atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan army against Tamils were well known four years ago. Why was the DMK, which was in power in Tamil Nadu, silent then? Students of Tamil Nadu colleges should stop taking part in protests against the Sri Lankan government. It is unfortunate that political parties become responsible and constructive only when they are in power. In the opposition, they are irresponsible and not constructive.
The DMK has taken a step that will prove an advantage to it in the next general election. At the same time, it is not ready for elections immediately, which is why it does not want to sink the UPA ship. It wants to cash in on people’s disenchantment with Chief Minster Jayalalithaa which will take some more time to surface.
S. Sai Sharath,
It is the DMK, rather than the UPA, which should ask itself: “what next?” Lest we forget, LTTE chief V. Prabakaran ruthlessly pursued the idea that he alone should be the leader of Tamils. He ordered the elimination of other Tamil leaders. The LTTE routinely abducted children to be drafted as trainees, and maimed and killed people on mere suspicion.
The most horrific brutality was its use of helpless Tamils, who jumped out of the frying pan into the fire, as human shields, especially in the final days of the Sri Lanka-LTTE war. It is unfortunate that Balachandran, an innocent victim of cruel circumstances, fell to Sri Lankan bullets but the truth is that for every Balachandran who died, thousands of Tamils fell to the bullets of their pseudo-saviour.
Article 41 of the Vienna Convention states that diplomats have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of the receiving state and that all persons enjoying privileges and immunities should respect the laws and regulations of the state (“Diplomatic immunity in peril,” March 20). Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini presented an affidavit in person to the Supreme Court of India. His affidavit stands breached. The problem the Chief Justice of India is faced with is: how to deal with the unprecedented contempt of court and interference by a foreign diplomat with immunity?
I appreciate the rational clarification by Anup Surendranath and Shreya Rastogi of the legal position on diplomatic immunity. Even during World War II, diplomatic immunity was not flouted by the warring parties.
Col. Deepak Das (retd.),
On Ethiopian land
The recent Indian-Ethiopian civil society seminar in New Delhi was not to scare off investors as argued by Metasibia Tadesse in the article “How Ethiopians benefit from Indian (and other) land investors” (Feb. 27). It was intended to assess the impact of commercial agri-investment on small-scale farmers in east Africa and the role of Indian investors. Both government and investor companies were invited but they chose not to come.
The usual denial of displacement of affected communities and widespread human rights abuses against them contradicts ample evidence from rights organisations, NGOs, research institutes, activists and the media. Ethiopia faces recurrent famine, drought, and threat of starvation by millions, and a large population depends on subsistence farming. A policy that deprives and displaces small-scale farmers to earn foreign currency is unethical and unwise.
The claims of necessary safeguards being in place in reaching land deals between the authorities and commercial investors, locals as well as regional administrations, lack evidence. Such lies made Ethiopian activists join their fellow counterparts in India (who are also struggling against massive land grab) to work in the interest of genuine and transparent development of their citizens. Portraying the seminar’s intention otherwise destroys genuine development aspirations of both countries.
Founder and Director,
Anywaa Survival Organisation