Sri Lanka (SL) Rajapakse’s win is a ‘win for India’?”
Sadly the growing debate over ‘wins ‘and ‘gains’ is about sharing the spoils of a war deeply tainted by serious allegations of war crimes. The consequences of the Delhi mandarins’ approach to the Tamil issue earned from Bhadrakumar the ‘Blood in our hands’ (in Rediff.com 19 May 2009) taint. India in the final analysis is the loser.
The loss is attributable to the over jealous Delhi mandarins freeing Colombo of the LTTE leverage that emboldened SL into overplaying the China card to counter India’s regional ambitions. Though Delhi recently courted the US to counter the growing China threat Delhi’s historical suspicions about US influence in SL/region re-surfaces even recently in reaction to US plans to rescue the LTTE leadership from the narrow ‘no fire zone’ in May 2009. To sabotage those US plans Delhi pressured Colombo into ending the war sooner (May instead of August) to keep the US out of this war at all costs, China or no China. Ending the war sooner in military terms meant more intensified and concentrated attacks and heavy civilian casualties during the fatal two weeks in May to become war crimes. This Delhi pressure in effect turned out to be more lethal than all the weaponry Delhi blames China of supplying SL. Gothabhaya repeatedly alluded to the Delhi ‘trio’ being in the loop when these war crimes were committed. Here, a Rajapakse win is an important gain for India saving the Delhi trio from war crimes allegations.
The gain is for the main stakeholder; a strengthened and assertive Rajapakse regime that downgrades the Tamil issue and the highly touted 1987 Indo-SL Accord making Delhi’s role in SL redundant . By this stance SL exports back the Tamil issue to Delhi minus the Accord that it repeatedly promised to TN (with the Rajapakses implicitly agreeing previously). TN would view betrayed and alienated over Delhi’s inability to deliver on the Accord. SL in putting Delhi in such a discomfort zone is also extending support for China’s plans to balkanize India. These can never be gains for India.
Again using its style of diplomacy SL gained and India lost time and again; deporting back nearly a million up country Indian Tamils under the 1964 and 1975 agreements, handing over Katchchativu (now being militarized adjacent to a heavily militarized North SL) to harass TN fishermen and exercise de facto surveillance over the entire Palk Straits including the TN coastline where India’s militarily sensitive assets are. There is nothing to prevent an obdurate SL regime inviting China its closest friend to partner it in this surveillance of TN coast just a few kilometers away. Will there be any gains (except massive costs) in militarily securing its southern soft under belly against an emerging China military threat. Implicitly acceding to SL’s Hambantota deal Delhi is abdicating control over shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean. This is far more serious than abdicating TN fishermen to the mercies of the SL navy; is this a gain or a colossal loss for India?
Bhadrakumar’s admiration for the Sinhalese as a ‘highly sophisticate practitioners of diplomacy’ compared to the South Block mandarins in Delhi is thus well founded.
Tags: War Crimes , Soft Under Belly , Ltte Leverage , Delhi
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