Saturday, March 24, 2012
India's UNHR Commission vote against Sri Lanka
The United Nations estimates that about 100,000 people died during the war between the government and the Tigers, including as many as 40,000 civilians during the final battles in May 2009. The UN did not remember that there were times when the LTTE was accused of using civil population as shields against assault from Sri Lankan forces, as Palestinians have routinely done all along. In their anxiety to score moral points over this tiny island nation which has suffered 30 long years of instability and violence, begun to enjoy in just three years stability and peace, they were asking it to account for the deaths of civilians who got caught in cross-firings or carpet bombing operations.
India was one of 24 nations which voted for the an American-backed resolution on Thursday (22/23-3-2-12)pressing the Sri Lankan government to investigate the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians in the final stages of the civil war with the Tamil Tigers. But we seem to have done this after ensuring critical amendments that forbade intrusion into Sri Lankan affairs by the UN or others. Willing to strike but afraid to hurt... the 15 countries which voted against "the anti-Lanka resolution", eight nations abstained from the vote in the 47-member UN Human Rights Council. We could have abstained not to ruffle feathers in the delicate diplomatic situation of our closest and strategically placed neighbour having China and Pakistan offering every possble help and assistance if we lose Sri Lanka’s goodwill.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has rightly warned that countries which voted for the resolution will have to worry about consequences of terrorism. We are already worrying like hell!
I remember a London Times article alleging that Indian Army was “on the rampage” in Kashmir, and the then Acting High Commissioner, K V Rajan writing a rejoinder disclosing that 400000 Kashmiris had to flee the Kashmir valley because of murders, kidnappings, rapes and ethnic cleansing and various intimidatory activities by Islamic terrorists. He pointed out that terrorism, religious fundamentalism, and disinformation campaign had forged an alliance to pose a challenge to India’s secular and democratic framework and institutional integrity. OIC meetings routinely pass resolutions ratifying the Pak-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir as the “struggle for legitimate self-determination by Muslims.
Once an Indian, Ravi Nair, who headed Delhi-based South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, was heard alleging before a Round Table Conference convened by the European Parliament at Brussels that Kashmir was a bleeding colony of India. He was not the first, not the last. There are International Church bodies who consider India as a country that is lacking in religious freedom!
And as regards the gullible bleeding hearts in the United States government, Including Bill Clinton when he was the President, had no difficulty in believing that ”Khalistan the Sikh homeland” was indeed an independent entity born on October 7, 1987 which the US President acknowledged in a reply to a Canadian Khalistani leader’s appeal for help against genocide!
Indian Foreign Policy, right from Nehru’s days was a policy based on an enormous quantity of left-wingery, a lot of disproportionate and arrogant moralising and poor diplomacy. Our Non Alignment as hilariously though truthfully put in the BBC serial ‘Yes Prime Minister’, just meant non-aligned to the United States. And it went a lot way to enthuse the American media and administration to hate us. They continue to hate us. Otherwise how could they have Pakistan as a front-line ally in their fight against terrorism when their Defence establishment emphatically confirms that the ISI is continuing to support the LeT? But thanks to the nuclear pact, we are now at their mercy in terms of our ambitious energy requirements. But it is not an attempt to curry favour with the Obama administration we supported the Human Rights resolution; it was the same story of coalition pressures the Prime Minister repeats whether it is the astounding corruption in 2G Spectrum sale involving a DMK minister in his cabinet or the Human Rights resolution against Sri Lanka. DMK wants India to vote against Sri Lanka, even if that brings the island nation under greater influence of China and Pakistan! Sri Lankan media and its President did not hint at it though Mahinda Rajapaksa reminded us of things closer back home. Right now we have “struggles for self-determination in several parts of the country, right down from Kahmir to the North East and Assom; we have a huge Maoist problem cutting a wide swath through the entire country involving some 250 districts or a third of the country. That is freedom struggle if you look at it from the Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International angle. They are asking our armed forces to look the other way when armed men and women equipped with Chinese assault rifles, rocket-launchers and land mines go about attacking police, administration, and even collecting taxes or looting banks. Our Human Rights concern can cut both ways, you see.
J.R.Jayewerdene, Sri Lnkan President during 1978-89 had rightly complained that the Tamil Elam was India’s export to the island nation. It was indeed, when the Tamilnadu politicians could not sustain the movement for Tamil home land they had begun, the idea was transported to the Tamils of Sri Lanka who had of course the problem of the majority Sinhalese growing hungrier for power. In the Rajiv Gandhi years Government of India did all the wrong things. It sent IAF planes to airdrop ‘humanitarian help’ to Tigers encircled by Sri Lankan armed forces. Our armed forces imparted training to the Tamil fighters in several parts of Tamilnadu. Young Sri Lankan Tamils with sophisticated weapons and communication facilities had become a law unto themselves even in Chennai and The then DGP of Tamilnadu, confiscated their weapons and communication equipments and exhibited them to the media much to the chagrin of the State and Central governments. This lost Mohandas his job. Later the Government of India sent Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka and our army men, operating with one hand tied behind them had suffered the largest casualty in any war.
It was the LTTE ('Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam') that had Rajiv Gandhi assassinated for the role of IPKF in “suppressing” Tamil Nationalist sentiments! The Congress Party, DMK, AIADMK, and the motley crowd of other political formations had all supported the Tamil Elam (home land) movement and particularly the ferocious LTTE led by Parbakaran (note the spelling – no India-connection!). Tigers had used women as suicide bombers. There are proven allegations against Tigers taking away young boys and girls for compulsory service in its armed forces. Most of these boys and girls were under-aged and it was a Human Rights Violation the civilised world learned to live with because LTTE had a wide network of Public relations offices in all parts of the world. They were getting free publicity from the Tamilnadu politicians, academics in Universities, and of course, socialites. It is believed that in 2000 the LTTE controlled 76% of the landmass in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. There were innumerable rounds of peace talks involving Scandinavian negotiators when the Tamil Tigers were ruling roost and invariably the talks broke down and the negotiators started feeling that LTTE talked of truce when they wanted time to regroup and start fresh round of attacks on the Sri Lankan forces. In 2006,sick and tired of the menace of LTTE and the cautioning by international observers, the Sri Lankan military launched a major offensive against the Tigers, eventually defeating the LTTE militarily. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse declared to the world victory over the LTTE on 16 May 2009. Immediately there were warnings to India that the Tamil Tigers who remain alive might end up on the Indian shores and receive all help from Tamil Politicians.
That is the possibility Rajapakse wanrned in his immediate reaction to the Indian vote in UNHR meet. There are plenty of anti-nationals receiving media glamour, political support, and propaganda help from the so-called Human Rights groups that have mushroomed all over the country with the help of similar International groups, Church groups, International Islamic outfits and plain NGOs. The Christian Church began actively supporting Erom Sharmila(|the Iron Lady of Manipur”) agitating against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act - AF(SP)A. The NCCI which represents Protestant and Orthodox Christians (30 million of the 1.3 billion Indians but also the hill tribals of Manipur Nagas and Kuki Chin Federation about 40% of the population of Manipur) came to her support. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Guwahati HG Thomas Menamparampil spoke out in defence of Sharmila though his flock are a small group but they have Sonia Gandhi ruling the country! Student Christians offer moral support and prayer in Schools, all against Indian occupation! Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya,, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland are all trouble-spots for India with tribal supported by Church groups, Pakistan, China, Nepali Maoists, Khalistanis all forming mutual help groups against the Sovereign State of India. If you visit the web sites of separatist Sikh groups or Islamic groups we will know the brotherhood operating against the Indian nationhood. There were serious observations made by Andhra Police officers of Naxalites and other Maoists receiving training and weapons from the LTTE when it was still strong in Sri Lanka. What India did was to betray our closest neighbour, a tiny nation trying to stand on its own. When I think of the future scenario, my head is spinning. What if another UNHR Commission resolution comes aiming at India for it’s innumerable alleged Human Rights violations in Kashmir, for example? I am sure the votes in favour of such a resolution will be more than 24.