THE LETHAL RAJAPAKSES ‘IN THE LOOP’ SRI LANKA WAR CRIMES WEAPON FORCES DELHI INTO SHIV SHANKAR MENON’S MEEK APPEASEMENT OF SRI LANKA
The bumbling in Delhi that followed the news of Hilary Clinton’s visit to Chennai led Sundaram Aiyer to most aptly characterize the antics of the Keralite mafia Menon as conducting ‘The Anti Tamil Dialogue ..with Rajapakse’ in Truthdive July 1, 2011.
Aiyer’s insights shed interesting light on Shiv Shankar Menon who led a team to Colombo this time in the second week of June. He was the only remaining member of the original Gothabhaya ‘in the loop’ Delhi trio left to carry forward the ‘anti-Tamil dialogue with the Rajapakses’ now facing international isolation for genocide crimes on the Tamils. An alarmed Gothbhaya Rajapakse revealed the role of the ‘in the loop’ Delhi trio in the immediate aftermath of the news of the Mullivaykkal massacres leaking out. Gothabhaya’s hurried revelation was to apportion part of the blame for the massacres to the ‘in the loop’ Delhi trio for their unstinted involvement in the decisions to advance the final assault on the Tamils to mid-May 2009 though knowing full well that this would cause massive number of civilian casualties. The civilian casualties being Tamilians was not that material to the anti-Tamils; Rajapakse and Menon alike.
SL’s Gothabhaya had reasons for attempting to apportion guilt to Delhi; General Sarath Fonseka had revealed that the final assault was originally scheduled for August specifically to avoid heavy civilian casualties giving time for the unbearable living conditions (itself a crime) that SL enforced to force the concentration of civilians in the Narayanan’s ‘no fire zone’ to thin out. It was at the insistence of the ‘in the loop’ Delhi trio (Menon included) that the final assault was brought forward to May 2009 just to give Delhi’s Congress party an electoral advantage. To the mafia trio the measly trade off was 40 000+ civilian lives for the unrealized electoral gains of the Congress party; the numbers killed 40 000 for Menon fell within the acceptable pain category. RAW’s battle zone over flights confirmed to the Delhi trio the heavy civilian concentrations in the zone targeted for attack.
A question that troubled most analysts over the massacre was whether in fact the ‘in the loop’ trio acted on this without clearance from their political masters in Delhi. Media reports point to ‘a close group’ in Delhi that dealt directly with the SL war then comprising the Keralite trio, Sonia and Pranab Mukerjee, (Menon and Pranab were External Affairs clones). Pranab visited Colombo during the critical phase of the war to remote control the Delhi trio; also to Chennai to warn the DMK CM embroiled in the 2G scam to douse the TN Tamilian anger in preparation for the final assault, civilians or no civilians, or else!. There is also reference to one Luthra (the equivalent of a Radia of the 2G fame) whom Rajapakse cultivated according to a respectable SL media source for her influence over Pranab. Pranab was to serve in the ‘close group’ as ‘a key member on the Indian side keeping an eye on progress in SL and continues to do so to date.’ Also the renowned analyst Professor Bellamy’s reference to the role that Sonia’s ‘personal caprice’ played also has relevance. This ‘close group’ acting in concert had a major role on the timing of the final assault thus giving SL grounds to rightly expect Delhi to share part of the guilt in the massacre. Mahinda Rajapakse continuing this line goes further with his forthright statement that SL ‘fought India’s war’ and in the process committed the crimes that SL is accused of.
Thus on the question of accountability for the Mullivaykkal massacres SL is convinced that Delhi has a share in the guilt on the ground that the ‘in the loop’ trio was in fact active in bringing forward the critically fatal final assault with civilian concentrations in the war zone. Was the entire Delhi political establishment involved to that degree that the PM Manmohan Singh as the official head is accountable for the massacre crime? The answer is perhaps ‘no’; the ‘political structural compulsions’ in Delhi has parallel lines of command that encourage the Keralite mafia to take orders directly from the Congress party’s high command. PM Singh attributed his inability to act firmly on the largest 2G scam that caused massive losses to the state due to the ‘compulsions of coalition politics’. Sonia has a major say in the handling of ‘coalition politics’ The ‘compulsions’ line of defense is morally indefensible, especially if and when when the ICC gets involved.
Such diffused command structure in Delhi politics, nurtured unofficial ‘groups’ to by-pass official channels to undertake deeds bordering on criminality, making a mockery of accountability for crimes nationally and internationally. They are the equivalent of the SL paramilitaries who mostly commit the day to day genocide crimes in SL creating ambiguity to evade accountability.
During the June visit Menon officially committed to Rajapakse to overrule the TN CM’s call (and TN Assembly resolutions) for economic sanctions and support for war crimes action against the SL President. He further affirmed that India will ‘not compel SL to implement the 13th Amendment’. Jayalalitha’s call is in line with her promises to the electorate to halt the SL genocide from proceeding further and seeking redress for the hurt Eelam Tamils suffered. Effectively Menon’s commitments to Rajapakse override TN CM’s political commitments embarrassing her politically. An eminent Indian analyst ‘But in India the irresponsible south block regional mafia .. in control of the Srilankan policy…blabber(s) something in the press..have their propaganda media men on their side… (yet)..created an impression that India was working out a solution to the ethnic problem based on the 13th amendment’. The statements of the SL President contradicted the media reports of Menon’s discussions.
President Rajapakse most obligated to the ‘in the loop’ trio especially Menon for delivering a successful genocide thus far, specifically requested for a one-to-one meeting with Menon; this lasted 45 minutes. Readers will recall Rajiv’s one-to-one tete a tete with the then SL President Jayawardene alarmed him over a phoney separatist threat (this was replaced with the phoney geo-politics that is now peddled) to India from a Greater Tamil Nadu that included Tamil Eelam to totally reverse Indraji’s policies and the beginning of Indo-SL policy failures that turned disastrous for Delhi, Chennai, Colombo and the region. During this one-to-one meeting Menon kept the other two members of the delegation outside setting a sinister precedent and ‘breaking with protocol (to work on)… (a secret) intent’ details of which are yet to unravel. Readers are aware of how a similar veil of secrecy during the ‘in the loop’ trio proceedings in early 2009 produced the Mullivaykal massacres that only unraveled with the Gothabhaya Rajapakse’s ‘in the loop’ hint of a Delhi-Colombo collaboration in the massacre that surprised Tamilians and the wider Indian public.
Now to rid the rest of the Tamils in SL according to the SL media reports (not contradicted by Delhi) ‘Menon had guaranteed that India would stand by Sri Lanka and would do all possible to thwart any action by the UNHRC would take..(on SL’s genocide crimes)’. Note TN CM holds a contrary ‘Tamil cause’view; revealing a deep Chennai-Delhi divide with potential to alienate TN and Tamilians . Menon’s mischief is to create and nurture Tamilian/TN alienation from Delhi or, the Centre with anti-Tamil acts that are highly insensitive to the feelings of TN Tamilians, the TN CM and TN State Assembly. This is most unhealthy for the unity of India. Tamilians eagerly look forward for UNHRC action through the ICC to safeguard Tamil lives and their continued survival in SL; expecting ICC proceedings to act to deter SL’s genocide instinct from running amok again. Menon poured cold water on these Tamil expectations.
There are fears that Menon’s Colombo visit was primarily to reassure Delhi’s support for Rajapakse before undertaking the SL’s final phase of genocide on the Tamils while Jayalalitha is urging Delhi to stop SL genocide forthwith. The stranglehold of the Keralite mafia is such that that Delhi still refrains from even mentioning the word ‘genocide’ and SL’s ‘crimes aganst humanity’. This is alarming. The biggest impediment to Rajapakse’s genocide ambition was the threat of war crimes proceedings delaying the final phase of SL genocide/ethnic cleansing to eliminate the Tamils in SL. SL awaited Menon’s forthright support to stop the war crimes moves in the UNHRC to continue with the final phase of the SL genocide. The secrecy behind the Menon-Rajapakse one-to-one tete-a tete is about Delhi’s commiting to support Rajapakse in overcoming the war crimes obstacle; in the process dooming the future of Tamils for good. The world seethes in anger but Delhi’s indifference or support for more SL genocide is appalling. ‘If foreign policy is about anything, it should be about stopping this kind of inhumanity’ declares a reputed analyst. Readers may wonder what has happened to the humane legacy that Mahatma bequeathed to dharmic India.
Perhaps Rajapakse flaunts the much feared ‘in the loop’ weapon for Delhi to over look India’s dharmic constraints for supporting a genocide. Rajapakse’s ‘plants’ are in key places (Delhi, UN) to carry forward the anti-Tamil crusade to its logical conclusion, overcoming the international community’s war crimes initiatives. The’plants’ (especially Menon) delivered on the conditions (subjugation of the Tamils) for Rajapakse to plan for India’s role in the next phase of the genocide. Menon’s loyalty led Rajapakse to proudly boast ‘A day before TN CM Karunanithi went on a fast ..against the SL offensive . Menon..called me on my cell phone at 4.30 pm..within six hours …we could defuse the crisis in TN by issuing a statement (merely) announcing the end of combat operations and shelling inside the ‘No Fire Zone’ which led to the TN CM ending his fast’. The measures Rajapakse/Menon announced were not intended to take effect; they had one and only purpose to get TN CM Karunanithi to give up the fast for the genocide and massacres to proceed.
The Keralite mafia trio including Menon who hold important positions in Delhi are expected to have strong credentials as Indian patriots. Menon reportedly belittles fellow Indian (TN) leaders as ‘fools and clowns’ by gestures and to effectively hold out to Rajapakse that Delhi will pressure Jayalalitha to perform the meek Karunanithi act, namely cave in to Delhi’s line silently. This raises serious concerns about Menon’s version of patriotism, his objectivity to function fairly and without prejudice in the high policy making role in Delhi he is in. Tamilians TN and worldwide are convinced that Jayalalitha is not a Karunanithi with or without the 2G scam.
The conduct of Menon repeats one or more of a series of acts of the original ‘in the loop’ trio that entangled Delhi in an intractable foreign policy muddle India is in today. Though embarrassing to Delhi, Menon indirectly created policy confusion over Hilary Clinton’s visit to Chennai. Hilary is not a dogmatic Bushite; she does not use a blanket ‘terrorists’ label when referring to insurgencies fighting brutal human rights abusers and genocide regimes. According to another analyst of repute in ‘theweekender.com issue 28 July 2011 ‘The entire Western world, including the USA, is now convinced of the genuineness of the vanquished LTTE’s liberation struggle’. But the ‘close group’ in Delhi attempted desperately to ‘put a lock over the liberal mouth of Hilary Clinton’; in line with the calculated silence of the Indian Government over SL’s crimes ..(this becomes) a compulsory official instruction to shut down her heart from commenting on the genocide despite visiting close to the killing fields’. The upright Hilary however met up with Jayalalitha and discussed the plight of the Eelam Tamils despite Delhi and Menon.
Thus ‘the Indian diplomatic sources ..trying hard (to)..impose an (“strictly non-Governmental”) agenda on Hilary’s visit to Chennai failed shamelessly. It would have been a sad day for TN and the reputation of the TN CM had the Srilankan Tamil issue not figured in the discussions..of both the leaders’. The Delhi (Menon’s) trio’s ‘secret intent’ was to sabotage US initiatives to bring SL before the international courts for its genocide crimes and bringing long term redress for the Eelam Tamils’ sufferings. For a fuller discussion, please visit ‘Sri Lanka – alleged conflict of interest seriously compromise NSA Menon’s and UN Nambiar’s role? groundreport.com ’ 14th June 2011. The much hyped up June 2011 visit was not as Menon claimed to find a political solution to the Tamil problem. The hidden agenda for Delhi was to appease SL by hi-jacking the UN’s crimes against humanity initiatives to save those whom (Narayanan and Menon) Gothabhaya would implicate in the crimes. Menon was in the team with M’kal Narayanan that visited Colombo in early 2009 whose announced mission then was minimizing civilian casualties but the Narayanan/Menon’s foolish involvement in the loop went miserably wrong to cause the horrendous Mullivaykal massacres. Now a desperate Menon is stretching out Delhi’s hand to redeem the Rajapakses out of almost total isolation internationally.
World opinion against SL genocide has hardened that the prospect of SL’s crimes against humanity going away is remote, Delhi or no Delhi. Similarly the winds of change blowing across the world is being felt in India as well with opinion both media and at the political level is urging a major policy change in Indo-SL relations. TN CM Jeyalalitha, mainstream Tamilians are forthright in urging Delhi to support UN’s crimes against humanity initiatives; this is anathema to Menon. Delhi under Menon’s initiative is moving against this tide into the zone of international isolation that SL is in. Prof Surianarayanan in his recent piece ‘Sri Lanka- Myths and Realities’ in SAAG reinforces the voice of the Tamils who in TN delivered a massive defeat for the machinations of Menon /Congress ‘close group’s’ anti-Tamil policies, in effect it was a vote of no-confidence on Menon’s adversarial anti-Tamil SL mindset. That, makes him a misfit in his present role especially when he chooses to ignore the reality on the ground and has to be removed along with his SL appeasement policy that has lost relevance. The Keralite trio’s SL appeasement has failed; its continuance will show up as a grave mistake and harm further India’s interest.