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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2641

India Violates HRs of Tamils: from present to past

By: Rohan W. Edirisinghe
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“The king who is situated anywhere immediately on the circumference of the conqueror's territory is termed the enemy. The king who is likewise situated close to the enemy, but separated from the conqueror only by the enemy, is termed the friend (of the conqueror)”. Kautilya, Arthasastra

In much simpler terms, the Rajamandala Theory says “All your neighbours are enemies; enemy’s enemy is your friend”

CHOGM and India

I am not an expert in HR, but looking at the developments that have taken place during the last few days especially with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that was taking place in Colombo; I was wondering why our so called neighbor is frightened to attend the CHOGM.

The political outcry in Tamil Nadu has certainly made Indian Prime Minister to not only think twice but to think round the clock of the plus and minus of attending and not attending CHOGM. The Tamil Nadu political pressure has worked in favor of Jayalalitha and her clan, but many intellectuals have started questioning the repercussion of the decision on a very serious note, both on long and short term.

While my attempt here is not to measure or argue the impact of Indian PM not attending the CHOGM, we all know that Sri Lanka stood strong to many diplomatic pressure tactics during one of the most difficult times of the conflict. If Tamil Nadu thinks the CHOGM will be postponed or cancelled due to Indian PM’s absence, it will have the prize for the best joke in year 2013. Sri Lanka has stood strong in taking critical political decisions at crucial stages, disregarding motives of others. The decisions that have taken by the political leaders have stood in favor of the public. The dividends are yield by all Sri Lankans, not only by Sinhalese.

The issue raised by those growling over the Indian PM’s visit is based on the Sri Lankan HR record. Jayalalitha and the clan go onto the extent of labeling Sri Lanka as one of the most HR violated country in the world. Her concerns are over the rights of the Tamils living in this country and points finger at the military for gross HR violations of Tamils. Protesting the participation of the External Affairs Minister, the Tamil Nadu Assembly went on to say that the participation would amount to ‘accepting and endorsing inhumane acts and offences’ of the SL government (against the Tamils in Sri Lanka).

Gross HR Violations by the IPKF

Now this is really an interesting way to look at Sri Lankan HR violations (if there are any). While Jayalaitha continue to woof over SL HR record, I came across an interesting book written by M.R. Narayan Swamy, titled ‘Tigers of Lanka; from boys to guerrillas’ (9th edition 2008, ISBN 978-955-8095-14-0). For the benefit of those who have read this book and have forgotten what was inside, I will take few solid evidences to highlight some of the gross HR violations by the IPKF according to Narayan Swamy.

‘Unable to distinguish the guerrillas from ordinary civilians, the Indian Army began to inflict a punishment on Jaffna which the island had never experienced before’ (page 271).

‘We could not differentiate between the LTTE and civilians, ‘admitted Brigadier Manjit Singh. In the process, the IPKF began committing excesses which had earlier been the prerogative of the Sri Lankan forces’ (page 271).

‘Jaffnaites even now recall the October offensive with plain horror on their faces. The IPKF had clamped a crippling curfew which provided a virtual license to kill. Tamil sources assert that more than half the victims of the IPKF offensive were civilians, including women and children’ (page 274).

‘The LTTE firing had died down by then. But the Indian troops opened fire indiscriminately, mowing down at least 21 doctors and staff. Most of them were killed inside a room where they were covering or on a cemented path leading to the medical superintendent’s office. The wounded lay unattended until the next morning, bleeding and crying in pain’ (page 275).

‘The next morning, a senior consultant pediatrician arrived at the hospital in white robes accompanied by two uniformed nurses. When he saw an Indian soldier he said aloud in English: I am a doctor, I am a doctor, and started climbing the stairs. But the soldier calmly picked up a rifle and shot him dead’ (page 276).

‘Yes, the soldiers killed them, admitted Brigadier Ravi Inder Singh Kahlon. There was no way of knowing they were civilians. It was fog of war. Kahlon said the hospital massacare was due to the heat of the moment and the extreme provocation to the soldiers who had witnessed the death of scores of their colleagues. In Madras, an Indian government spokesman said civilian casualties in Jaffna were minimum’ (page 276).

I think the point that I am trying to make here is pretty much clear. Those who raise the fight against battling the false allegations at our troops need to take a closer look at what Indians did in our country during the IPKF period. With names of senior military officials involved and responsible in killing innocent Tamils in Jaffna,

Sri Lanka need to take these evidences into serious question and start raising concerns over the Indian government of their recorded and accepted gross HR violations by IPKF.

If the Indian PM or for that matter Jayalalitha is aware what their own Army have done to SL Tamils, I’m sure Dr. Singh will thank Jayalalitha for saving his neck by staging all possible political gimmicks to prevent PM attending CHOGM.

- Asian Tribune -

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