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M.R. Venkatesh

The writer is the Chief Political Coordinator at The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy.

venkatesh.mr@thehinducentre.com

Sri Lanka: Chidambaram’s Brave Bid to Clear Congress of anti-Tamil Image

M.R. Venkatesh
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P. Chidambaram at a conference on Indian government's stand on the issue of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Photo: PTI
P. Chidambaram at a conference on Indian government's stand on the issue of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Photo: PTI

Seeking to deconstruct a much-laboured criticism against the Congress in Tamil Nadu and at the national level for being 'anti-Tamil' in its approach to the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Union Finance Minister and Senior Congress leader, P. Chidambaram, at a recent meeting in Chennai, argues that the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, continues to offer the best possible solution to resolve the crisis and ensure a better deal for the island's Tamils. M.R. Venkatesh explores.

Rarely does one openly witness the dilemma of a government's defence of itself unfolding as a counter-perspective, as was seen over the recent historical narrative about the travails of the ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka and India's response to it.

When P. Chidambaram, Union Finance Minister and senior Congress leader from Tamil Nadu, sprung a surprise in Chennai on November 30 with a pro-active leap to pull his party out of the deep woods of ‘misperceptions’ over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, it was this predicament that came to the fore, even as its ringing political overtones were unmistakable. The event, where some other senior State Congress leaders were more conspicuous by their absence, even seemed to exceed Mr. Chidambaram's initially stated intent that it was a sober soul-searching forum.

A Conference got up at short notice on the theme, “Livelihood rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Indian Government’s stance” by Mr. Chidambaram’s supporters, may have partly helped the State Congress to retrieve itself from the negative categorisations that the national party has been long subjected to by the ideologues of the Dravidian movement for several years running. But more importantly, it seemed to open up an uncluttered channel for the first time in recent years to de-emotionalise the issue at the State level.

Barring the May 1991 elections in the immediate aftermath of India’s former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination on Tamil Nadu soil, Sri Lanka’s protracted ethnic crisis has hardly had any direct impact on electoral outcomes in Tamil Nadu in recent years for all the ‘umbilical cord’ metaphor passionately invoked by the pro-Tamil political parties and a fringe group of Tamil nationalists. Yet, Mr. Chidambaram's uphill task looked unenviable, seeking to make a larger political point in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls with a hope to free this discourse from the clutches of competitive politics, so paradigmatic of Tamil Nadu these days.

Despite several other critical issues affecting the electorate here — erratic power outages, see-sawing petrol and diesel prices hitting the poor more, growing middle class anger over governance issues and so on — any election bhaashan (speech) would be ritually incomplete sans the Sri Lankan Tamils. This structural strand has turned thorny for the Congress as two serious charges continue to be thrown at the grand old party: 1. The Congress has ‘betrayed’ the Tamils cause, and 2. The Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre has done nothing or very little for the rehabilitation of the internally displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka after its armed forces decimated the Tamil terror outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009.

Compelled to demolish these two myths that have given the Congress an ‘anti-Tamil’ image, the party’s senior leader set out on a Euclid-like exercise arguing cogently from a few incontestable premises. The result may or may not be a geometrical proof, but Chidambaram was certainly targeting to shrink the Tamil nationalists’ space for an eternal pro-Tamil Eelam (separate Tamil State) plank. When the Congress distanced itself from an initiative by pro-Tamil groups led by P. Nedumaran to erect the Mullivaikal Memorial near Thanjavur, dedicated to the Tamils “massacred by the Sri Lanka Army” in the final phase of the civil war in 2009, as it showcased an implied pro-Tamil Eelam agenda, egged on by the Tamil Diaspora.

While Mr. Chidambaram made no mention of this latest development, he made clear that any ‘emotive approach’ will neither help to heal the wounds of the Sri Lankan Tamils, nor help resolve their livelihood problems nor fulfil their long-standing political aspiration for equal rights and dignity on par with the majority Sinhalese. India has to doggedly pursue “a reasoned approach with diplomatic sagacity”, given that Sri Lanka was a sovereign state and also that “we too do not accept separate State demands in India, whether it be from Nagaland, Manipur or Kashmir”, he argued.

Stating that ensuring due rights to minority groups in any society required a lot more understanding and political wisdom, Mr. Chidambaram reiterated that the Rajiv Gandhi-J.R. Jayewardene Accord (of July 1987) between India and Sri Lanka was still the best deal the Tamils there could hope for within a democratic framework, ''something on which we all laid great store for ending the agony of the Tamils”. This was to be implemented through the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, though subsequent Governments there had reneged on it, the most glaring instance being the de-merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, he noted.

Coming down on the present Rajapaksha Government’s bid to “dilute” the 13th Amendment despite his “promise of 13th Amendment Plus”, the Congress leader swore by Rajiv Gandhi’s name to assert that India would unwaveringly continue its efforts to “see that the 13th Amendment is implemented in full”. Holding of elections to the Northern Province that ushered in Justice C. V. Vigneswaran as its elected Chief Minister was an important first step. But, “we must continue to engage with Sri Lanka, whether it was to get the 13th Amendment implemented, devolving powers to the Tamils, enabling their economic betterment or stopping the attacks on our Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy”, Mr. Chidambaram emphasised, adding, “any boycott of Sri Lanka” will be of no help to anyone.

In the same breath, Mr. Chidambaram was emphatic that India would continue to press for a “comprehensive and truthful investigation into the genocide and war crimes” against the hapless Tamils during the last stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka, a probe “which is also seen as credible by world powers” and will not rest until the guilty are brought to book. The Union Finance Minister also listed out in minute detail the various types of assistance the Indian Government had rendered for resettling and rehabilitating the internally displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka in the last four years, adding, “it will continue”.

It was in this backdrop that the central Government ‘rightly’ decided that Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, will not go to the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet (CHOGM) in Colombo while sending a delegation led by External Affairs minister Mr. Salman Kursheed, an approach, he explained, that balanced the concerns of the political parties in Tamil Nadu and the Assembly resolution over the ‘war crimes’ issue on the one hand, and the need to continue to positively engage with Sri Lanka on the other.

Mr. Chidambaram’s elaborate one-hour defence of the Indian Government’s approach to the Sri Lankan Tamils issue subtly rolled out multiple political objectives for the domestic setting as well. The ‘inclusiveness’ this approach entailed was something ‘only a Congress Government in Delhi could do’, as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the first to stoutly oppose any resolution in Parliament earlier this year that sought to strongly come down on the Rajapaksha regime for its tardy progress on reconciliation and rehabilitation issues concerning the Tamils.

If that was Chidambaram joining issue with the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Mr. Narendra Modi, on a different front, the Congress leader with a touch-and-go reference to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhaga (DMK) patriarch, M. Karunanidhi, was also keeping the poll alliance door open for the DMK. The latter had snapped its ties with the ruling United Progessive Alliance (UPA) in March 2013 over the same issue in the wake of a U.S. resolution then at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Interestingly, with the DMK’s general council to meet in Chennai on December 15 to discuss its strategies for the coming Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Chidambaram skirted other issues pilloried as contentious by the major Dravidian parties, including the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), which oppose any cooperation with Colombo like training Sri Lankan armed forces personnel at Indian defence establishments.

At the other end, by solidly debunking the anti-Tamils charge laid at the Congress’ doors by the Dravidian parties, Mr. Chidambaram also obliquely laid the pitch for a possible new Congress-led alliance, inclusive of the actor Vijayakant-led Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) in Tamil Nadu, in the run-up to the 2014 polls, hoping it could take away the sting from an emotively polarised discourse on the island-Tamils issue in Tamil Nadu.

(The writer is the Chief Political Coordinator at The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy.)

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"The recent exposure of genocide and war-crimes against hapless Tamils during the last phase of civil war in Sri Lanka" I reiterate, why are people so satisfied with the LTTE propaganda supported by western so called 'journalists' as the truth. None of these accusations stand up to international definitions of irrefutable evidence. You are seeing visuals and interpreting them as you are made to interpret, or as you find most convenient to believe in, yet you don't question the most fundamental of flaws. Seeing something happen on film (doctored and misrepresented) is not proof of WHO did WHAT, WHEN and WHERE. There has to be far more rigorous demonstration of these basic principles before the can even be used in a court of international law. The reaction you are seeing in the way of support from the UN or western governments is not a recognition of any facts or irrefutable evidence, it is being used to entice the Sri Lankan Government to conduct the needed investigations.

from:  MHA
Posted on: Dec 27, 2013 at 11:06 IST

India remains far too emotional over the Sri Lankan Tamil situation. They are to the point of fully brainwashing themselves along the latent LTTE remnant's scheming to direct public opinion for their agenda. What would you do in the face of irrefutable evidence that there was and is no genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. You have totally convinced yourselves of a fact void of verifiable facts. Like the LTTE, World Powers have agendas, that are not always congruent with fact or justice. I pray that when the time comes you will have the moral strength to see what is rigorously proven as the end of this dead-end debate.

from:  MHA
Posted on: Dec 27, 2013 at 10:57 IST

Mr. Chidambaram shedding crocodile tears. The Congress party will lose all the Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu because of their anti-Tamil policies.

from:  T.George
Posted on: Dec 27, 2013 at 07:40 IST

Even if it is late in the day, it is an important communication from our Finance Minister. The lack of consistency in our foreign policy and the lack of cohesive policy making involving Finance, External & Home affairs & Defence has created a big challenge for us. Media should highlight the risks of regional parties taking a stand that could harm national interests.

from:  Kannan
Posted on: Dec 14, 2013 at 10:01 IST

The idea of India helping Sri Lankan Army doesn't make sense. Why buy outdated technology from India? For example, Osama-Bin-laden got killed even when Al-Qaeda were active.

from:  Govind
Posted on: Dec 12, 2013 at 19:06 IST

Mr.Chidambaram still considers himself as an ordinary political worker for the Congress to whom he has been attached from the beginning. He has not bothered to develop himself like any statesmen like Rajai, Subramaniam, Santhanarm, Gopalaswamy Iyengar, and the like. Unless he transforms himself, he can make any impact in the Tamil society. As far his stand on Sri Lanka goes, the approach of the Centre headed by the Congress is penny wise pound foolish. Unless there is striking change in our external policy towards Sri Lanka, there is no prospect of either the DMK or the Congress to be strong again in Tamil Nadu. People strongly feel both should go, for the good of the Tamil Nadu, as they failed to keep in mind the long-term interests of the Tamils and Tamil Nadu. I wish that Chidambaram should not rest with being a mere Congress worker, he should come out bigger.

from:  B.Viswakarman
Posted on: Dec 12, 2013 at 09:01 IST

We do not understand the author's claim of brave bid. What is the genuine attempt the government made on the ethnic issues with the Sri Lankan government. The minimal expectations are fair administration in Tamil-dominated regions in Srilanka, proper coordination and regulation of fishing regions, etc. Ultimately, no actions in those fronts have been even initiated and Chidambaram has started making statements. Statements would not make facts. The world should look at the Sri Lankan issue in perspective and not be carried away by any kind of media bias.

from:  Vinoo
Posted on: Dec 12, 2013 at 08:24 IST

Mr Chidambaram can't fool people all the time. The past actions of the Congress are more than clear. The Government of Sri Lanka and time and again has made fools of the Indian political establishment. But still they do not see it. What an average citizen wants is fair treatment and equality. And that is what the Sri Lankan Tamils want, too, but the Sri Lankan government deny them this.

from:  Ivar
Posted on: Dec 12, 2013 at 07:36 IST

Instead of kneeling down to Rajapaksas what the government of India can play is the Kachitivu card to ensure the former keep the promises made to India and international community regarding implementation of 13A Plus. Hinting of taking back Katchitivu will make Rajapaksa realise they cannot continue to play China card to get away with everything in their way. The mono-ethnic military and mono-ethnic police cannot be tolerated as they enslave the local population since there has not been a single incident of violence due to LTTE in any part of the country. The violence, killings, abductions and torture including rape have been committed by paramilitaries and security forces amid heavy presence of the security forces all over Tamil speaking areas as recent incidents show.

from:  Saro
Posted on: Dec 12, 2013 at 05:10 IST

Chidambaram is opportunistic completely. He tries to cheat Tamil people to get some votes.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Dec 12, 2013 at 03:47 IST

It is very clear to the world that Sonia Gandhi and her party wanted to elimanate LTTE from the face of the earth. This was the party's agenda for a while and they were giving material support to Sri Lanka to achieve this. India gave intelligence on LTTE arms ships, gave radars to Sri Lanka. Hence Sri Lanka was able to bleed LTTE to death slowly. What was happening at the same time was that the Tamil resistance which Mrs Indira Gandhi helped to build was also being destroyed. This the Congress party ignored for the hate of LTTE and because of this Tamils were reduced to a weak and suppressed minority. Sri Lanka is now under the pretence of national security, and is continuing to have the high security zones despite no violence since the end of war in May 2009. The reason behind this is to create new Sinhala settlements and destroy Hindu temples for replacing with Buddist Viharas. This was what the new Chief Minister of Northen Province was complaining. India ignored ordinary Tamils after Rajiv.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Dec 11, 2013 at 14:25 IST

Rajapaksa, with help of India ensured the elimination of the LTTE. It does not mean that we are supporting him but what else could have been done to save Sri Lanka and other people who were killed by so called 'Tigers' during their powerful operations. What is the guarantee that they will not resort to violence again if the opportunity comes to kill their own citizen?

from:  Ammanur Madapusi Srinevasan
Posted on: Dec 11, 2013 at 07:37 IST

It is just an eyewash and a pre-poll tactic by congress to get the Tamil votes. It was very clear to the nation that they never showed any apathy to the suffering of Sri Lankan Tamils. Shedding crocodile tears now to get votes is just cheap political tactics by Congress.

from:  Ananth
Posted on: Dec 10, 2013 at 11:25 IST

Chidambaram cannot fool people any more. It was clearly Congress, under especially Sonia's personal agenda and followers like him and DMK president Karunanidhi, who helped back-stab Tamils and eliminate and genocide Tamils in Lanka.

from:  Honga Singh
Posted on: Dec 9, 2013 at 08:41 IST

Continuation from previous... Seeing this Mahinda Rajapaksa leaned towards China when LTTE cut off water supply to villagers in the east, leading them to starvation. India never envisaged and was cornered. LTTE was defeated without Indian support. This angered Tamil Nadu, and hence the current attempts of Chidambaram. Congress lost Sri Lanka as well as Tamil Nadu. Sri Lanka is heavily indebted to China financially but it ended a long running terrorist campaign. The 13th Amendment has to be repelled, abrogated for it was signed under duress. Economic independence is the strength. This will improve the situation of the Sri Lankan poor whether Tamil or Sinhalese or other.

from:  garawi
Posted on: Dec 9, 2013 at 08:39 IST

India has been clumsy in dealing with Sri Lanka since Indira Gandhi. The unilateral agreement signed in 1987 was very lopsided. That was hilarious but Jayawardene had no option but to sign it out of fear. As a result, Sri Lanka underwent a 30-year war with the LTTE, which was covertly supported by India, who also orchestrated an embargo of arms on Sri Lanka. It is therefore no surprise that a naval personal attacked Rajiv on his arrival in Sri Lanka. It created an hitherto non-existent animosity towards India among the Sinhalese which still exists. India's attempts of de-arming LTTE was a farce. It never did intended to do it.

from:  garawi
Posted on: Dec 9, 2013 at 08:29 IST

My generation of Tamil people would never forgive the betrayal by the UPA government of the year 2009 in Delhi of the Eezhamite Tamils in the 4th and last of Eezham wars, this time against the LTTE. The author has underscored that “ Stating that ensuring due rights to minority groups in any society required a lot more understanding and political wisdom, Mr. Chidambaram reiterated that the Rajiv Gandhi-J.R. Jayewardene Accord (of July 1987) between India and Sri Lanka was still the best deal the Tamils there could hope for within a democratic framework, (to continue)

from:  P.Padmnaabhan
Posted on: Dec 9, 2013 at 07:36 IST

As a distinct nationality of people they had voted bravely in 1977 Paliamentary elections, for the revival of their pre-colonial homeland of historic times and called it separate Thamizh Eezham. Why was that denied to them by the majority nationality of the Sinhalese of people who were able to inherit a modern polity of Ceylon after the end of colonial era? Sinhalese are after all descendants of immigrant ancestors and not the original inhabitants of the island. When two nationalities, different in all core aspects like language, religion, social traditions, etc., one with numerical majority, and the other with lesser strength could not co-exist in peace, amity and equality, it is morally at least wrong to deny them their separate and sovereign home land.

from:  P.Padmnaabhan
Posted on: Dec 9, 2013 at 07:35 IST

If India could find genocidal war waged against the the Bengali speaking Muslim natives of the then East Pakistan sufficient justification to intervene by armed forces and gain independence to the eastern wing of the then Pakisthan, in 1971 and gift them their free and sovereign Bangladesh, the Ezehamite Tamils deserved the same approach and policy application by India. Was there not some thing close to it, when the Government sponsored the Tamil militant groups to get trained, armed and funded by it, after the Sri Lankan government caused the loss of seats by the democratically elected members of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF)?

from:  P.Padmnaabhan
Posted on: Dec 9, 2013 at 07:33 IST

Excellent work. He tried to in vain to breathe life into a dead body. He can not guarantee a victory for himself. But, also his machinations, partiality and crooked thinking made Telugus, a solid vote bank for the Congress for the past five decades, anti-Congress for generations to come and they are going to bury the party for which a deep grave was kept ready.

from:  sreerama
Posted on: Dec 8, 2013 at 23:04 IST

The Congress is virtually dead in Tamil Nadu. No one can revive it as the Tamil Diaspora is actively exposing the madness of the UPA regime to the global leaders. David Cameron has seen firsthand the horrors of the state of the Eelam Tamils and no one can fool him and others now.

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Dec 8, 2013 at 17:59 IST

Huge amounts of aid is provided to Sri Lankan Army on the pretext of helping Tamils. Congress is always anti-Tamil. A lot more is still to be done in Sri Lanka because there are still 8 lakh Tamils living there.

from:  Rajan
Posted on: Dec 8, 2013 at 12:42 IST

Mr.Chidambaram's efforts is in the nature of damage-control exercise undertaken belatedly. One appreciates that Sri Lanka is a sovereign country but one is unable to understand the hostile attitude adopted on various issues, most specifically on the fishermen issue. The foreign policy relating to Sri Lanka is not dealt with in transparent manner and the recent unpublished visit of that country's Defense Secretary is a typical example. That country's track record in breaching promises made to India is well-known. Our Government has failed to exert necessary diplomatic pressure to devolve political powers on Tamils. Sri Lanka has taken steps to nullify the 13th amendment; there are strong allegations that the assistance extended by India for the welfare of Sri Lanka Tamils have been diverted or misused against the interests of Tamils. The Indian Government has not woken-up to the issue till now and that is the real cause of worry for the right thinking people of the State.

from:  Dhanasekaran T
Posted on: Dec 8, 2013 at 10:41 IST

Indians should not think that the Eelam Tamils are a bunch of fools and they can take them for a ride all the time. The democracy, freedom, human rights in the western world is far superior to India and thanks to high technology and the social media. The condemnation of the UPA regime for its collaboration to the genocide of the Eelam Tamils are on the news almost everyday. One may google and search and there are plenty of news and the Tamil Diaspora is very active and become increasingly anti-Indian and not anti-Dravidian. Eelam Tamils have made great success and history in building a successful Singapore and are now prospering well in many Western nations. Now the Tamils from Tamil Nadu are joining hands with the Eelam Tamils in many Western nations and call themselves Dravidian. Congress and the DMK will be dumped in Tamil Nadu for good!

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Dec 8, 2013 at 07:45 IST

No Tamil with common sense will support the Congress that collaborated with the Sri Lankan regime against the Tamils. Congress' regime is a total failure and does not deserve to be part of global organizations and forums for its incompetence, corruption, political interference and mockery. A new wave has started where the Tamil Nadu Tamils in North America are calling themselves as Dravidian and not as Indians as India betrayed the Eelam Tamils. Tamil Nadu Tamils will dump the DMK and the Congress for good at the next election.

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Dec 8, 2013 at 07:30 IST

Too late. In today's politics, everyone knows what happened five years back.

from:  Mahendran
Posted on: Dec 8, 2013 at 05:36 IST

Though the politicians spend most of their time talking about the Tamil Elam issue during elections, trying to get votes by making emotional appeals, it is no longer any vote catcher. It has lost all strength & nerve after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. In 2014, we may find that the DMK will not be getting any seats; if Congress fights the elections with Vijayakant-led DMDK, it should also take advantage of the rural bias of Thangkabalu.

from:  venkataramanan
Posted on: Dec 8, 2013 at 05:01 IST

The Centre and Chidambaram in particular have a firm anti-South stance, as evidenced by their capitulation to Telangana separatists and trying hard to hang on to their dynasty-dominated regime.

from:  Mukunda
Posted on: Dec 7, 2013 at 20:54 IST

A welcome move by Mr.Chidambaram known for his excellent skills in debate and expressing a viewpoint but a little late in the day. He should have done this at least two years back after the Assembly poll debacle as the Dravidian parties were throwing all sorts of allegations against the Congress including the allegation that Sonia Gandhi was directly responsible for Prabhakaran's death. The Central Government has taken a number of steps for resettlement of Sri Lankan Tamils but there was no senior Minister to explain. It was left to Mr. V Narayanaswamy to fend off the wild allegations from the pro-LTTE Tamil groups. The Congress finds itself isolated and hence this exercise in getting potential allies for the Lok Sabha elections. An alliance with the DMDK will at most fetch the deposit but the chances of victory are next to nil. Ms. Jayalalithaa has stolen a march over the DMK in the Sri Lankan issue and hence Mr. Karunanidhi is now going to extra mile to regain his pro-Tamil image.

from:  C Balachander
Posted on: Dec 7, 2013 at 15:23 IST

In records, this has been presented by the media, newspapers, that our finance minister would muddle his way to victory in parliament election; Tamil Nadu local parties will see this happen. Nobody knows why he wants to clear the air when almost all actions have been complete on this issue. Congress stand in this issue is seen from their actions. Now clearing air will further confuse people.

from:  Krishnakumar G
Posted on: Dec 7, 2013 at 11:25 IST

Dear Writer, Your views expose the efforts by P.Chidambaram to revive the almost "Dead Congress" in Tamil Nadu owing to its own recalcitrant attitude towards the state on whether it is the age-old Lankan Tamils, Power Crisis, Water Disputes or the latest voluntary offer to train Lankan Navy Personnel in India against the wishes of the Tamil Nadu people in general and Tamil Nadu Government in particular. The training of Lankan Navy Personnel followed immediately after P.Chidambaram's meet indicating that the Congress itself is in a state of chaos like throwing a red-carpet welcome to Lanka's Defense Secretary, who was seemingly on a highly secret visit on one side, but trying pacify Tamil Nadu people on the other side. Tamil Nadu Congress itself is powered by different factions headed by different leaders without followers. Shipping Minister G.K.Vasan has his own style of putting forward his anti-Lanka comments. Tamil Nadu Congress' unsung leader Gnanadesikan is left in the lurch to "What to say".Pondicherry Narayana Swamy is rhetoric but never matches his words.

from:  Singar
Posted on: Dec 7, 2013 at 07:34 IST

The stand taken by Chidambaram is a valid one. Unfairly, the Congress is portrayed as the anti-Tamil party in Delhi. The reality is that the Congress seeks to be fair in its treatment of the Sri Lankan Government and this is somehow shown as an anti-Tamil act. As an independent country, Sri Lanka is entitled to deal with separatists the same way as we do in India. The people of the northeast and Kashmir, too, consider Delhi to be against them. But, the Tamils in Sri Lanka have finally agreed to the new arrangement, and their elected leader agrees with Delhi and yet the Dravida parties call this betrayal. The Tamil Tigers made the situation unbearable for the Sri Lankans and also for India. Hence, dealing with this menace required Delhi to be supportive of Colombo. But, when it comes to rehabilitation, Delhi has done an excellent job, a fact seldom acknowledged in Chennai. It is time that the Tamils in India stop distorting facts for their own agenda and thus harm the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

from:  Sridhar
Posted on: Dec 7, 2013 at 05:35 IST

Good, now it has an anti-Telugu image

from:  guru nukala
Posted on: Dec 6, 2013 at 16:05 IST

An excellent effort by the author making a scholarly in-depth analysis of Tamils in Sri Lanka against the backdrop of the recent statement of Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram. As rightly pointed out, the Congress party in Tamil Nadu has been at the receiving end, as the detractors of the party could effectively disseminate that Congress betrayed the 'Tamil cause' in Sri Lanka and remained insensitive to the inhuman sufferings of the internally displaced ethnic people after the collapse of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The recent exposure of genocide and war-crimes against hapless Tamils during the last phase of civil war in Sri Lanka has developed as an 'emotive issue' intertwined with India's diplomatic and foreign policy relations towards Sri Lanka. The stand taken by Mr. Chidambaram could definitely mitigate misgivings of sections of Tamils towards the Congress on this issue. Kudos to the author for properly projecting this issue yet to be projected by media.

from:  K V Thomas
Posted on: Dec 4, 2013 at 23:20 IST
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