Delhi’s Indo-Sri Lankan policies in a disastrous log jam of its own creation.
The Sinhalese as ‘fantastic practitioners of diplomacy..have(ing) an edge over (India)’ ( Bhadrakumar ‘Blood in our hands’ Rediiff.com 19 May) created a disastrous log jam for Delhi’s thanks to the connivance of the South Block mandarins in the Delhi bureaucracy. They manipulated their political masters towards policies reflecting their private anti-Tamil prejudices yet causing irreparable damage to India’s strategic interests. This in essence sumarises Delhi’s policies to end the Tamil resistance and the disastrous log jam for Delhi
Bhadrakumar mournfully attributes Delhi’s log jam to Delhi’s loss of political leverage over Colombo..in the post-LTTE era (‘Sri Lanka: Rajapakse’s Final Resolution..’ Mainstreamweekly.net). The over appeasing Delhi mandarins freed Colombo of the LTTE factor to embolden SL into dangerously gamble using the China factor as leverage to counter Indian regional ambitions. Delhi is earnest on working with the international (US) community to compensate for the loss of the LTTE leverage. Though the Tamil issue is inconsequential in post-LTTE era, ‘(India) will continue to make noises about ..a political solution to the Tamil problem’ (as)..our leaders..suggest(ing) publicly’ the provisions in the 1987 Indo-SL Accord. SL that enjoyed the benefits of India partnering it to free SL of the LTTE compulsions sees no further gains from the India’s Accord formula. Instead according to Bhadrakumar the solution Rajapakse envisages a ‘systemic colonization by the Sinhalese of the Tamil homelands north of the Elephant Pass’…’ to cause an exodus of Tamils to India as a matter of state policy’. What a grateful SL payback; its export of the Tamil problem to TN/India clearly signals that India’s Accord inputs for the Tamil problem are no longer relevant. Delhi that repeatedly assured TN that the 1987 Accord provisions will be delivered in full (and SL agreeing then) and TN reciprocating to ensure UPA’s return to power is politically embarrassed SL rebuffing Delhi’s pleas. Thus Delhi earns a reputation for repeatedly betraying TN. The conniving South Block mandarins silently rejoice over SL tiring out Delhi by dragging out on the Accord delivery to mischievously further estranges Delhi-Chennai relations.
The silence of the Delhi South Block mandarins when thousands of Tamils (civilians) in the India blessed ‘no fire zones’ were massacred and others taken prisoners of war for interning in humiliating Nazi style concentration camps dangerously damages Delhi’s moral standing encouraging SL to administer further massive snubs to Delhi. SL ignored Delhi’s pleas to allow the Vanangaman relief supplies to reach the desperate camp victims and not rot in the Colombo harbor. The South block mandarins turning a blind eye on similar developments presented Delhi as a fait accompli China gaining a strategic foothold/base in SL to counter India’s regional ambitions. SL allowing China a militarily significant foothold (Hambantota) in India’s soft under belly is ominous enough for India now to seek after international (US) support to counter the China factor. Hence a growing perception that the over bending pacification/support of the Delhi mandarins emboldened SL to embark on provoking a big power play at the expense of Delhi regionally. SL had in the past used this style of diplomacy and extracted far reaching benefits beginning with India taking back nearly a million up country Tamils under the1964 and 1975 agreements. SL frantic military buildup in the entire North coastline facing the Tamil Nadu under the guise of preventing a resurgent (a non-existent) LTTE type threat makes a mockery of the diplomacy of the Delhi mandarins. SL’s haste in setting up observation posts to militarise Katchativu that is closest to TN is cause for real concern. Delhi hereafter has another border to closely watch China’s intentions. Thanks to the blundering inadequacies of the Delhi mandarins’ diplomacy China has moved closest so far to the door step of the relatively safe Indian underbelly. The Sinhalese and China achieved these strategically significant and ominous goals behind the backs of the Delhi South Block mandarins who still flaunt the bona fides of working closely with their friendly Colombo counterparts.
The author’s praise of the Sinhalese as ‘highly sophisticated practitioners of diplomacy’ also confirms the blunderings of the dated South Block diplomats who bartered away the leverage they had (the LTTE) at great costs to buy more pain. Now an assertive and aggressive SL focused on promoting an exodus of Tamils to India as a matter of state policy to de-stabilize TN/India is positively an unfriendly act against India. Will SL stop at this or piggy-back on China to become a major player like Israel in the Middle East?