DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s anger at the Centre’s reluctance to declare the civilian deaths during the Sri Lankan war with the LTTE conflict as ‘genocide’ is understandable. Even after four years of the war, Colombo has made no meaningful effort to rehabilitate the Tamil minority.
It is unfortunate that the government headed by a party which once liberated the people of East Pakistan from the atrocities of the Pakistan military junta is refusing to see the reality in Sri Lanka.
Baikadi Suryanarayana Rao,
The thinking in the UPA government is reported to be that the DMK’s demand to include ‘genocide’ in the U.S.-sponsored resolution is an overstatement (March 18). The United Nations Expert Panel has reported that 40,000 civilians were intentionally targeted and killed in the last days of the war by the Sri Lankan armed forces. How many civilian deaths, according to the UPA government, constitute genocide?
The DMK’s threat to walk out of the UPA government if India does not bring the necessary amendments to the draft resolution on Sri Lanka in the U.N. Human Rights Council is a calculated move by the party to rehabilitate itself in the eyes of the Tamil Nadu electorate. With parliamentary elections round the corner, it is making a grandstanding of its commitment to the Tamils cause. The UPA should not buckle under the DMK’s pressure as the public support to the Eelam cause in Tamil Nadu is exaggerated, and foreign policy is not conducted on the basis of regional interests.
I am very concerned at the attack on Sri Lankan pilgrims, tourists and, more recently, a Buddhist monk by a few fringe elements in Tamil Nadu. The Sri Lankan issue was not about Tamils and Sinhalese (except in 1983). It was a political conflict fuelled by opportunism, and the Tamils were victims of crossfire. It is unfair and foul to attack an average Sri Lankan citizen. What good do the attackers seek to do for the Sri Lankan Tamils by indulging in such behaviour?
The political parties of the State are preparing the agenda for the next general elections. While surely India has a role to play in rebuilding the lives of Tamils in the neighbouring country, let not the policy and initiatives be moulded by politics based on narrow gains.
When we vehemently oppose attempts by Pakistan to interfere in our internal affairs, will it be fair on our part to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka? The ethnic problem is no less an internal matter for Sri Lanka than the Kashmir question for India.