OF THIS SECTION
Tracking New Delhi's
Pursuit of its Strategic Interests...
1.Narayan Swamy in Hindustan Times -
diplomats must boycott LTTE, says Colombo, 27 August
The Spin and Swing of RAW Orchestra - Sachi Sri Kantha,
27 August 2005
3.P.K.Balachandran in Hindustan Times -
India & Sri Lanka Opposition agree on Peace Process , 25
" New Delhi is said to be unhappy with the
performance of the "co-chair" of the June 2003 Tokyo Aid
Lanka conference. The co-chair (US, EU, Japan and Norway)
have arrogated to themselves a role not assigned to them.
They style themselves as the "international community" and
strut about as the "co-chair of the Sri Lankan peace
|4. Sachi Sri Kantha -
Pigs are Flying in Batticaloa!, 28 July 2005
யாழ்ப்பாணத்தில் 'றோ'வின் கண்கள் - New Delhi's RAW in Jaffna,
1 April 2005
Tsunami & the "Killing" of Pirapaharan! - New Delhi's RAW &
7 January 2005
|7.Sachi Sri Kantha -
The RAW Factor in Col.Karuna's Revolt, 1 April 2004
Jyotindra Nath Dixit,
Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka 1985 /89, Foreign
Secretary in 1991/94 and National Security Adviser to the
Prime Minister of India 2004/05 - in 1998 Seminar in
Switzerland "...Tamil militancy received (India's) support
...as a response to (Sri Lanka's).. concrete and expanded
military and intelligence cooperation with the United
States, Israel and Pakistan. ...The assessment was that
these presences would pose a strategic threat to India and
they would encourage fissiparous movements in the southern
states of India. .. a process which could have found
encouragement from Pakistan and the US, given India's
experience regarding their policies in relation to Kashmir
and the Punjab.... Inter-state relations are not governed
by the logic of morality. They were and they remain an
Norwegian Peace Initiative
India & Sri Lanka Opposition agree on Peace Process
says P.K.Balachandran in Hindustan Times
25 August 2005
"According to sources, the Indian
leaders expressed concern about the "over
internationalisation" of the Sri Lankan peace process.
... New Delhi is said to be unhappy with the performance
of the "co-chair" of the June 2003 Tokyo Aid Lanka
conference. The co-chair (US, EU, Japan and Norway) have
arrogated to themselves a role not assigned to them.
They style themselves as the "international community"
and strut about as the "co-chair of the Sri Lankan peace
process". India feels that they have been pampering the
LTTE a bit too much and have been ineffective..."
Western diplomats must boycott LTTE, says Colombo -
Narayan Swamy in Hindustan Times, 27 August 2005]
India and the United National Party (UNP),
Sri Lanka's main opposition group, have a common perspective on the peace
process in the island as well as Sri Lanka-India relations.
The commonalities came out during the visit of the UNP
leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to New Delhi between August 16 and 18. He and his
advisors met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Natwar
Singh, National Security Advisor MK Narayanan and the Chairperson of the ruling
United Peoples' Alliance (UPA) Sonia Gandhi.
Both sides agreed that the peace process must be continued
and the ceasefire maintained. Both saw an urgent need to address the immediate
humanitarian and development needs of the war-ravaged North Eastern Province
(NEP), so as to pave the way for the resumption of peace talks suspended since
India, which has an abiding interest in the maintenance of
the unity, integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka, and which lends support to
democracy and pluralism, was happy to hear the UNP delegation saying that
friendship with India was the "cornerstone" of the party's foreign policy. India
also found the UNP's approach to its involvement in the peace process as being
reasonable and practical. As Wickremesinghe's confidante, Milinda Moragoda,
says: "India should do what it is comfortable with."
Wickremesinghe found in Dr Singh a kindred soul, as both
believe in the importance of broad-based economic development in countering
militancy and separatism. Both believe in creating a social, political and
economic environment in which militancy and separatism cannot thrive. It was
during Wickremesinghe's stewardship of the Sri Lankan government as Prime
Minister between December 2001 and April 2004, that for the first time in
decades, a serious attempt was made to develop the war-ravaged North East as a
foundation for lasting peace.
Under the peace process, Wickremesinghe had jointly
established with the LTTE, a sub-committee on the Immediate Humanitarian and
Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN) of the North East. This structure was to administer
as many as 672 grass roots level development projects worth about $75 million.
But unfortunately, the structure collapsed after a few months, when the LTTE
complained that it lacked teeth and adequate autonomy, and boycotted its
meetings, rendering it defunct. Wickremesinghe, however, was unfazed.
Interestingly, though its boycott led to the collapse of
SIHRN, the LTTE has consistently stressed the need to address the "urgent
humanitarian needs" and the "existential problems" of the Tamil people in the
North East, to use the phrases popularised by the outfit's chief negotiator,
The LTTE says that its proposal for an Interim Self
Governing Authority (ISGA) for the North Eastern Province, made in
October-November 2003, and its efforts to get the Post-Tsunami Organisational
Management Structure (P-TOMS) in 2005, rest on the desire to address the urgent
humanitarian needs of the long-suffering Tamil people.
According to sources, the Indian leaders expressed concern
about the "over internationalisation" of the Sri Lankan peace process. The
Indians (the present Congress-led Government as well as the previous Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP)-led Government) have been of the view that any solution to
the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict will have to be a "home grown" one, developed
through direct negotiations between the two parties, namely, the Sri Lankan
Government and the LTTE, and taking into account the basic tenets of democracy,
pluralism and human, fundamental and individual rights.
New Delhi is said to be unhappy with the performance of the
"co-chair" of the June 2003 Tokyo Aid Lanka conference. The co-chair (US, EU,
Japan and Norway) have arrogated to themselves a role not assigned to them. They
style themselves as the "international community" and strut about as the
"co-chair of the Sri Lankan peace process". India feels that they have been
pampering the LTTE a bit too much and have been ineffective.
But having brought the international community into the
peace process, the UNP is committed to its presence in the process. The
"co-chair" are its creation also. However, there is no doubt that the UNP will
want the co-chair to be firm with the LTTE in case it became intransigent and
crossed the limits. The UNP has now worked out a division of labour between
Norway, the official facilitator of the peace process, and the co-chair. It
wants Norway to be the "facilitator" and the co-chair to be a "pressure group".
It is learnt that the UNP wanted India to be part of this
"pressure group". If India could not be part of the co-chair, the co-chair might
device a system or mechanism to consult and co-opt India in its work, the UNP
suggested. New Delhi was apparently willing to examine this suggestion.
For its own reasons, the LTTE too is wary about the
international community. Earlier, it had sought the international community's
participation in the peace process and is even now using it to the hilt to
safeguard its interest vis-à-vis the Sri Lankan state. But there is an
underlying fear that the international community may turn out to be a millstone
around its neck, an instrument to force it to accept proposals antithetical to
its political interests and goals. This is why the LTTE boycotted the June 2003
Tokyo Aid Lanka conference, which laid down the basic parameters of the Sri
Lankan peace settlement.
When the Wickremesinghe Government put in place an
"International Safety Net", Anton Balasingham had said that the peace process
was "over internationalised" and that Wickremesinghe was using the
"International Safety Net" to subjugate the LTTE and make it accept unacceptable
India is very keen that there is a bi-partisan Sri Lankan
approach to the peace process. For long, there has been no consensus between
President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the UNP.
They let each other down at crucial moments and stymied attempts to resolve the
ethnic question. What the UNP did to the SLFP's constitutional proposals in
2000, the SLFP did to the peace process in 2002-2004.
The Indians urged Wickremesinghe to work with Kumaratunga as
she could play a key and useful role in the peace process. India is of the view
that Kumaratunga is genuinely interested in establishing peace, democracy and
ethnic equity in Sri Lanka and that her past actions testify to this.
UNP sources said that the party had proposals to co-opt
Kumaratunga and reward her for her cooperation. And cooperation is already
underway in some critical matters. The UNP extended to Kumaratunga full support
for her proposal to establish P-TOMS, a Joint Mechanism involving the government
and the LTTE to do post-tsunami reconstruction in the North East. More recently,
after the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, the UNP
extended support to Kumaratunga for her bid to continue with the peace process
and maintain the ceasefire.
Of course, Wickremesinghe and Kumaratunga are at loggerheads
over the date for the next Presidential election. The former wants it in
November 2005, while the latter wants it in November 2006. If elected President,
Wickremesinghe plans to dissolve Parliament, thereby removing the minority
SLFP-led government. But at the same time, the two have a vital common interest
in keeping the belligerently Sinhala nationalist and ultra leftist Janatha
Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) out of the corridors of power.
Kumaratunga had contacted Wickremesinghe and made proposals
for collaboration to keep the JVP at bay, but to no avail. And yet, hopes of
collaboration are alive. Political sources say that a challenge from a new
political quarter like the JVP and the Buddhist monks'party, Jathika Hela
Urumaya (JHU), may eventually force the two parties to collaborate.