by Patalai Champika Ranawaka
I have no issues with the Indian media. However, I cannot say the same for its politicians, especially those from Tamil Nadu. All political parties in Tamil Nadu have once again started a poisonous campaign to split Sri Lanka. The Tamil National Allaince (TNA) is aiding this attempt from this country
While attending the Rio Summit on Sustainable Development with the President, we also attended the Indo-Lanka bilateral meeting held on the sideline of that summit. The first involved a face-to-face meeting between President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Singh. Ministers and officials were then called to another meeting to discuss issues which were raised at the first meeting. Opening the meeting, Prime Minister Singh presented the summary of what was discussed during the meeting between the two leaders.
The first three topics all related to me. These were the Sampur power plant, the impact of Indian nuclear power plants on Sri Lanka, and the statement made by Karunanidhi regarding me. Since last April, certain sections of the Indian media have taken some of my comments out of context and used them to politically attack me. Even “The Hindu”, a paper with a long and proud history now refers to me as “Anti-Indian”.
When an Indian journalist posed that question to me recently, I told him that I’m definitely not “Anti-Indian”. I explained to him that I was a life form first, a human being second, and a Sinhala Buddhist third. I explained to him that my beliefs in right and wrong are built according to Buddhist philosophy. I don’t know whether he published my comments.
However, when “Architect of a Modern State”, the autobiography of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who is one of India’s most prominent leaders, I saw that the Indian media had come in for some severe criticism. The book accuses the English language Indian media of trying to destroy anyone who rises above their station if they don’t conform to their social status. This is the situation of the man whom many in the country’s business community believe is best suited to become India’s next prime minister.
I have no issues with the Indian media. However, I cannot say the same for its politicians, especially those from Tamil Nadu. All political parties in Tamil Nadu have once again started a poisonous campaign to split Sri Lanka. The Tamil National Allaince (TNA) is aiding this attempt from this country.
The speech made by Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) Leader R. Sampanthan at their convention in Batticaloa is quite similar to the speeches made by Chelvanayakam in Trincomalee in 1951 and Amirthalingam of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) at Vaddukoddai in 1976. Sampanthan said something extremely important during his speech in Batticaloa. He stated that someday, he would stop the “patient” path towards attaining Tamil Eelam with help from foreign countries and resort to “direct action”. When a section of India split as Pakistan, its leader Ali Jinnah also proposed such “direct action”. This resulted in tens of thousands of lives being lost.
Sampanthan’s speech is not just a threat to our Constitution and his oath as a Parliamentarian, but also to the entire Sri Lankan society. He is trying to bring about the same sort of destruction that Amirthalingam brought about through his boasts in 1976. Vellupillai Prabhakaran was created due to the “direct action” Amirthalingam took to establish Tamil Eelam. The war cost the lives of 26,000 security forces personnel and 33,000 LTTE cadres. The Tigers murdered nearly 10,000 civilians from the Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim communities. When you take into account the 66,000 who perished during the intervention of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), the carnage brought on by the Eelam boasts of Amirthalingam and Sampanthan exceed over 150,000. Hundreds of thousands were displaced and forcibly evicted from their lands.
The shock brought on by attempts to destroy places such as the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and the Dalada Maligawa will last for centuries. Even the Western imperialists never laid a hand on these holy Buddhist places. It was the boasts made by people such as Amirthalingam and Sampanthan that so many world leaders and prominent politicians were killed in the recent past. Sampanthan only became ITAK leader as the LTTE had assassinated all other Tamil leaders. Are they now trying to create another bloodbath in the country? Even Pakistan and China, which went to war with India, could not touch the country’s famed Gandhi family. The India media seems to forget that it was Prabhakaran, who was trained by India itself who ultimately destroyed this sense of invincibility.
Tamil Nadu politics
Tamil Nadu politics is no better than this. When the Indian Congress was engaged in the independence struggle, Madras State provided little support. While Gandhi followers were rallying people with the cry of “Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan”, the rallying cry of “Tamil, Tamilian, and Dravidistan” originated from Madras. These were the same people who wanted the four southern states (Madras, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh) to become a separate ‘Dravidistan’ when India gained independence from the British. Karunanidhi and M.G.R were the two closest associates of Annadurai, who instigated all this. The Indian government was able to quash this militant direct action in 1960. The D.M.K. had to make do with forcing the Congress out of Madras and renaming it Tamil Nadu (Tamil Country).
From then on, they have been trying to create their dream state in Sri Lanka, which they saw as being weak. In the 1970s, Tamil Nadu was a haven for terrorists (even in recently, the Kerala government accused Tamil Nadu police of protecting LTTE cadres who had fled to India). In the 1980s, this went further where funds, political protection and even weapons training were provided.
By 1987, Tamil Nadu had trained 29,000 terrorists to confront some 15,000 Sri Lankan armed forces personnel. We managed to weather all this due to in the same way we managed to keep our heritage intact in the face of numerous invaders throughout history. We cannot let Sampanthan and Karunanidhi to destroy our hard won freedom.
Karunanidhi is taking measures to hold a convention of Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation in Tamil Nadu on August 5. This is not a political gimmick from a defeated politician. Then Jayalalithaa would step forward to do something even bigger. Their intention is to bring even the Indian Central Government into it.
What is happening now is the same scenario which occurred in the 1980s. At this moment, we must understand our past mistakes and move forward as a nation. We must not become a political football of either Tamil Nadu or any other country. COURTESY:THE NATION