Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
-
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > International Frame of  Struggle for Tamil Eelam  > India & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Rajiv Gandhi Assassination - the Verdict > Rajiv Gandhi - Arujan Sittampalam Meeting in March 1991 >Who really killed Rajiv Gandhi? - Norman Baker  1992 >  Rajiv Gandhi - the Secret Trial - Nadesan Satyendra, 1992 > Rajiv Gandhi's Assassination: Transnational Connections - Major General  Asfir Karim, 1993 > Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: Highlights of Complex Plot, India Today Report, 1996 > Jain Commission Report on Rajiv Gandhi Assassination 1997 > Prabhu Chawla on Jain Commission Report, 1997 > India's lack on grit on Tamil Tigers led to Rajiv assassination says Jyotindra Nath Dixit, 1997 > Who killed Olof Palme and Rajiv Gandhi?, 1997 > International appeals against verdict in Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Trial, 1998/99 > Accused in Rajiv case not given fair Trial - Law Committee, 1999  > India: The Prevention of Terrorism Bill. Past abuses revisited - Amnesty International > Triumph of Truth The Rajiv Gandhi Assassination The Investigation, by D.R.Kaarthikeyan and Radhavinod Raju - Book Review by Sachi Sri Kantha, 2004

India & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam

Rajiv Gandhi - Arujan Sittampalam Meeting in March 1991

Shrabani Basu in Sunday Weekly
7-13 July 1991


International Banker Arujna Sittampalam who met the late Indian Leader Rajiv Gandhi in Delhi in March this year (1991)was interviewed by Shrabani Basu in London for the Calcutta weekly - Sunday.

On the 14th floor of a bank in the heart of London's financial world sits top city financier Arjuna Sittampalam. The "investment guru", as he is called, is reputed to have a Midas touch and a hard nose for profit. But when not enclosed within corporate confines, Sittampalam is busy working on an issue that is closer to his heart than investment bonds. The Jaffna-born international banker is an extremely vocal campaigner for Sri Lankan Tamils.

A strong LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) sympathiser, Sittampalam was chosen by the Tigers to initiate a process of rapproachement with Rajiv Gandhi. On 15 March, he met the former Congress president at his residence at 10 Janpath. The meeting-arranged at very short notice-lasted 20 minutes. There was another person present, whose name Sittampalam will not disclose. According to Sittampalam, the talks were extremely confidential, very successful and started the healing process between the LTTE and Rajiv Gandhi.Rajiv was forthright and candid.

 After obtaining clearance from several quarters, Sittampalam has finally revealed the contents of the meeting exclusively to Sunday. He also calls on the Indian government to respect the wishes of Rajiv Gandhi, who was committed to finding a political solution for the Tamils in Sri Lanka."

Here are some parts of the Sunday interview :-

Q : So where does the LTTE stand after Rajiv?

A : The point is everyone thinks the LTTE had a motive for killing him. My feeling is that the LTTE does not kill out of revenge. The whole thing doesn't make sense. The very fact that he saw me at short notice is a strong indication of his positive attitude. Parliament had been dissolved two days earlier and he was going campaigning the next day. There was a long line of people waiting to see him outside his house. I have reason to believe that his positive attitude wasn't purely a personal one. His party as a whole was behind him.

Now everyone is saying that the LTTE has done the deed. I am not an LTTE member and I cannot guarantee that they didn't do it. But I think it would have been extremely crazy for them to have done it. I don't think they have a history of doing something crazy like that. They do things with a purpose. The LTTE still has a positive attitude towards India. I think the Indian side is showing some hesitation because of suspicion about the LTTE.

But they musn't forget that they are not just talking about the LTTE. The LTTE is just a tool. They are talking about the Tamils. I think if you cut the emotional side and the suspicions out, what Rajiv Gandhi said in March is still valid. He was very much in favour of a solution and if he came to power he would have done something about it. My hope is that the Indian government will follow that. It's a subject bigger than the LTTE.

Q : But with the arrests of LTTE members involved in the assassination case, there is likely to be a clampdown on the Tigers' activities in India.

A : I do not know the details about what is happening in Tamil Nadu. But people keep talking of the Tigers as terrorists. They are not terrorists, but guerrillas. And they were nurtured by Indira and Rajiv Gandhi and, in a sense, by India itself. Whatever the Tigers achieved is, in a sense, due to India. India can take pride in it. Okay, at one time the Tigers fought the Indian Army and, unfortunately, there were casualties on both sides. But I think if you put that episode away, there is no denying that Rajiv built them up.

So, in a sense, to put them down India is denying its own past. It will be something very wrong and shameful. It will undercut Rajiv's and Indira's memories.

The fact is that Sri Lanka is unconcerned about the Tamils. But the Tamils still regard India as Mother India. The Sri Lankan government had taken sides with China and Pakistan. It is not pro-India; in fact, it consorts with India's enemies. The Tamils are, on the other hand, uniformly pro-India. It is in India's interests not to abandon the Tamils. It's a moral case and a strategic one. I hope the Indian politicians move away from the emotionalism of the current situation and look at the motives the two Gandhis had. These motives are still valid.

If hypothetically, it is the LTTE that has done it, I think it will be the stupidest thing they have ever done. Tamils and India have a common interest. The overall issue shpuld be the future of the Tamils...

 

 

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