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Tamilnation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution - Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Norwegian Peace Initiative > Interim Self Governing Authority & Aftermath > Aiding the Devil
Aiding the Devil
Saravanan Suresh Kumar, Bangalore
3 January 2004, Courtesy Sangam.Org
By providing military aid to Sri Lanka, India is weakening further the current troubled peace process. We still seem to have not realized that the Sri Lankan problem is not one that can be solved militarily.
We are creating new problems and not solving the existing one. The proposed hurriedly put together defense agreement stops short of getting the Indian army involved actively. Under this agreement the India would train the Sri Lankan army, provide air transport to the Sri Lankan army, help in strengthening their strategic airbase at Palay and provide for more help to their navy in their operations for security in the Indian ocean (supposedly to counter the LTTEís maritime activities). India seems to be now, once again, playing a military role in the conflict, despite burning its fingers in 1987.
Surely Indiaís policymakers are capable of more principled decisions.
It makes one wonder what the difference is between India and other developed western powers whom we accuse of bullying. The policymakers of the land of Mahatma Gandhi, Mahaveer Jain and Gautham Budda need to have more humanitarian concerns and make more longsighted decisions. When are nations going to realize that most of the problems in the current century have been created due to the feeling of superiority (military or numerical)? We can never try to suppress the will of a nation, whatever their size or physical strength (or the lack of it). Vietnam and Chechnya are standing testimonies of the determination and grit of people who have effectively opposed the most powerful armies in the world (the American and the Russian armies).
If India wants to check the US influence its neighborhood, then it should act in a more mature manner and not at the cost of the continued suffering of the hapless people of a nation. In the long run India should realize that only peace in its backyard will stabilize the region, making it safe from interfering nations with hidden motives. If India really wants peace in Sri Lanka, it should stop looking at anything and everything in Sri Lanka from a military perspective. After all, the Sri Lankans seems to have no qualms about accepting aid from any country. Any country should think twice before aiding a nation which, with a combined armed strength of over 150,000 highly armed soldiers, is still shamelessly begging aid from any country as it is unable to fight under 15,000 fighters. When we compare the mentality of a Tiger and a Lankan soldier, one just canít help noting the motivation of the Tamil fighters, and this makes us wonder what worthy cause has given them such determination. There is something to be learnt from their determination and discipline. After all, we need to face the hard truth that the LTTE is the only armed force that has never been accused of Rape.
Sri Lanka is just another Afghanistan in the waiting for India, if India doesnít behave like a responsible father instead of like a bullying brother. We are not just providing military aid; we are aiding the devil in an ordinary soldier that triggers him to commit human rights abuses and the bigger devil in the chauvinistic section of power-hungry, two-tongued politicians and religious zealots of Sri Lanka. Power indeed corrupts on all sides (Although there are a few noteworthy exceptions in the present context).
When so many people are languishing due to lack of proper food, basic civic amenities and health care in our country of India, it is really ironical that we should be providing millions of dollars in military aid to a nation whose people didnít have qualms about providing arms to the LTTE to fight the very army which they had invited. Whatever their justifications that an independent or quasi-independent Tamil Eelam is detrimental to Indiaís security, the whole strategy looks like short-sighted, wishful thinking. India is going to gain nothing from Sri Lanka in the long term, as Sri Lanka surely doesnít look like a nation of people who remember a favor.
For the majority of people struggling for two square meals a day, in the war-ravished north and south of Sri Lanka, a permanent shelter and a regular job is a distant reality. School children struggle against all odds to study in buildings that are skeletal remains from the war with lack or absence of electricity, proper nutrition and other basic facilities needed for a developing mind. Wouldnít it nice, if this current military aid was channeled instead to alleviate their sufferings that have been caused due to the war and the systematic discrimination of a particular race? Apparently Indiaís policymakers havenít seen the appalling conditions of people in the refugee camps of India and Sri Lanka. Itís ironical that a secular country like India has forgotten its old wounds, in coming forward to militarily aid a race of chauvinistic back-biters. After all, it has never been in our Indian culture either to invade a nation or to hinder the aspirations and rights of any race by aiding an invasion.