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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2394

Indians rescued Prabhakaran when he was cornered by the Sri Lankan forces in the 80s.

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

Tucked away in one line in The Hindu today (August 06, 2007) is one of the untold secrets of Indian intervention in Sri Lankan affairs: Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Tamil Tiger terrorists, was helicoptered out of Sri Lanka by the Indians when he was cornered by the Sri Lankan Army at Vadamarachchi in the 80s.

The Indian helicopters took off from the Hindon military base in Delhi and flew via Thanjavur to rescue Prabhakaran.

The Vadamarachci operation was closing in on Prabhakaran when the arrogant Indians launched the rescue operation. This is a gross violation not only of Sri Lankan sovereignty but also a deliberate attempt to rescue the terrorists, who were destabilizing Sri Lanka.

The Indian were to pay heavily for this rescue operation. Prabhakaran ordered the assassination of the very man who rescued him: the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The Indian RAW – the equivalent of CIA – was running clandestine operations training, providing, arms, financing and applying diplomatic pressure hoping that they could use Prabhakaran to destabilize Sri Lanka and manipulate Sri Lankan leaders to serve Indian foreign policy objectives. During this time India was in the Soviet Russian camp. Sri Lanka, under J. R. Jayewardene, was moving toward the American camp. India used the Tamil dissidents to manipulate both the Tamils and the Sri Lankan government.

In the end Prabhakaran paid back by assassinating the son of Indira Gandhi who took under the protective wing and mothered them. Ironically, the bullet she aimed at Sri Lanka ricocheted and killed her and her son.

Ranjith Soysa, spokesperson for the Melbourne-based Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights, (SPUR) told the Asian Tribune that “India had to pay heavily for her stupidity.” He added: “This shows that India cannot be trusted as a reliable friend, partner or neighbour. Our politicians like Ranil Wickremesinghe who run to India asking for help should open their eyes and realize at least now that Indians will always be unreliable cut-throats. India has not yet learned from history. India is still playing the double game.”

The Hindu report also states that the India sent Indra-II radars on the eve of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse’s first visit in 2005. Political commentators said that India blocked Sri Lanka from buying superior quality radars from China and sent Indra-II which, according to Sri Lankan sources failed to detect the low-flying light aircraft of the Tigers which dropped gravity bombs. Indian machinations in supplying sub-standard radars caught Indian investors off guard. One of the places hit by the bombs were an Indian oil installation.

India now claims that it has sent better quality radars which can detect low-flying aircraft. Political observer note that India has sent this new radars not because it loves Sri Lanka but because China and Pakistan were prepared to supply the more sophisticated radars which India feared would a be a threat to her security.

Here is the full report from The Hindu:

India supplies more radars to Sri Lanka

To help ward off airborne LTTE attacks

New Delhi: After a gap of a year, India has sent more radars to Sri Lanka to help it ward off the threat of airborne attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Defence Ministry sources said.

India had resumed non-lethal military aid to Sri Lanka with the supply of two indigenous radars in 2005. This year in January it sent another military radar to Sri Lanka which was followed by the despatch of a similar radar in June. The radars were sent on behalf of the Indian Air Force, the sources said.

Ironically, both radars were sent from the Hindon military base on the outskirts of Delhi. This was the place from where helicopters were despatched via Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu to rescue the LTTE leader V. Prabakaran at Vadamarachchi on the northern tip of Jaffna after the Sri Lankan Army had cornered him in the late 80s.

India first broke off its self-imposed embargo of nearly five years when it sent two Indra-II radars on the eve of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse’s first visit in 2005. The radars, developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), can detect low-flying fighter aircraft. They were produced by the public sector Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

Sri Lanka operates naval fast attack craft supplied earlier by India but sources in the Indian Navy could not confirm whether boats, configured to chase and hunt down small ships generally operated by the LTTE Naval Tiger wing, had also been sent. They felt such a deal was unlikely because India itself was facing a shortage of these vessels.

Diplomatic sources here said India’s supply of radars, said to be in the non-lethal category, in no way compromised its desire for a political solution to the Tamil issue.

India claims it was forced to supply the radars to prevent Pakistan and China from fulfilling Sri Lanka’s need. New Delhi was uncomfortable with the idea of Islamabad or Beijing-built surveillance equipment being installed close to its shore.

The first lot of radars were sent after Sri Lanka told the then External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh about its requirement and the willingness of other countries to supply them.
In March this year, LTTE aircraft had targeted a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) base near Colombo leading to speculation that the radars supplied by India were defective. However, Sri Lanka later said the reports were wrong.

- Asian Tribune -

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