Kuldip Nayar, a former Indian High Commissioner to the UK and whose articles regularly appear in The Island newspaper has written his latest article on Sri Lanka. His subject of discussion is about Sri Lanka government's alleged lack of commitment to treat Tamils as 'equal citizens'. While going through the article one would immediately be struck with the idea that this writer too is afflicted with the same disease that his Western counterparts are afflicted with: totally ill informed distorted outbursts against Sri Lanka. As it is well known these rants are mostly based on the pieces of hatred against Sri Lanka spread by LTTE propagandists. Added to the woes is the fact that the article is mixed with what his fellow countrymen have been good at against Sri Lanka for many years: preaching of India's big brotherly attitude as pointed out in my last post.
He says that 'still 300,000 Tamils are languishing in camps or living in the open although the war ended more than a year ago'. Has he deliberately added one more zero to the figure that he quoted? Perhaps he might have taken the figure from an LTTE propaganda piece.
Had he made a little effort to follow things here in Sri Lanka not depending totally on LTTE's propaganda pieces he would have realized that no decision has yet been taken by the government to go ahead with the proposal made to the Cabinet to sing the national anthem in Sinhala. But he has come to in his own conclusions on this too saying : 'But he (the president) has discontinued the singing of National Anthem in Tamil'
He betrays in his article his country's big brotherly attitude but with some woefully wrong facts. He says that It is the Trincomalee harbor that is being built with the Chinese help. He has mixed it up with the Hambanthota harbor which India claims of being China's growing presence in Sri Lanka for which India has taken measures by setting up an Assistant High Commission in the area to spy on Chinese. But he seems to have been unaware of the fact that Sri Lanka first approached India to build the harbor. It was after India's refusal only Sri Lanka approached China.
He goes on to say that trainings given by Pakistan to Sri Lankan military personnel go against the India's interests. Another glaring example of our big brother's throwing her weight around in the region. Training Sri Lankan army officers by the Pakistan military is not a new phenomenon. It was started no sooner than Sri Lankan government decided in mid sixties to stop costly training stints for military officers in Sandhurst and other military collages in the UK. Sooner Sri Lankan officer corps started getting trainings both in Pakistan and Indian military collages which continues to happen to date. And it is the Special Operation Group (SOG) of Pakistan which was instrumental in training our commandoes at the initial stages. After all they were not trained to launch attacks against India as the writer seems attempting to say. They were trained to fight against the terrorism created by none other than India. Besides, what is wrong in getting military trainings from a country which helped us when it was needed the most while our big brother turned his back towards us when we were indeed in need during the war?
It is too exaggeration to say that Tamils in Sri Lanka totally rejected LTTE's head Prabakaran. If there were any belonging to such category they may have been tiny percentage among the vast majority.
It seems Kudlip Naiyar has woken up from a deep slumber. He has blissfully forgotten the atrocities committed by the LTTE during the last three decades against the civilians, the vast majority of them being the Sinhalese. He has also failed to acknowledge the atrocities carried out by the Indian army during its stay in Sri Lanka: if named a few of them one would not forget the glaring examples such as raping of Tamil women in large numbers, civilian massacres, lootings, driving away Sinhalese from their original villages with the collaboration of the 'Tamil National Army' etc.
He goes on to say 'A federal structure is what is needed in Sri Lanka' . This is clear sign of India's habit of Imposing things on Sri Lanka which goes on unabated. The so called 'solution' thrust down our throats by Rajeev Gandhi has done more harm to the country than it has benefited us even resulting in JVP armed insurgency.
Besides, most of what the writer says is what India thinks about Sri Lanka. It is merely an outburst of an Indian harboring usual big brotherly attitude towards Sri Lanka which set in motion most of the troubles faced by Sri Lankans during the last three decades including two out of three armed insurgencies that erupted after independence.
He has gone on in lengths to preach Sri Lankan president about treating citizens equally, about second class citizens, about discriminations etc, etc but blissfully turned a blind eye to the second class treatment meted out to the people in Jammu and Kashmir at his own home.
He concludes his articles in the following warning which is a clear cut sign of India's big brotherly treatment towards Sri Lanka. It speaks volumes what India is up to with regard to Sri Lanka'But if Colombo continues to encourage China and Pakistan, India would have to do something to safeguard its interests'