The Story of Rama
"Ravana had his desire for Sita for a long time. And in the rage
of the moment, decided upon a plan to abduct Sita.
With the help of his uncle Maricha, who was a magician he set
out. Maricha disguised himself as a beautiful deer and wandered
near the whereabouts of Rama and Sita and Laxman. On seeing the
beautiful deer, Sita was attracted to the deer and asked Rama to
go after it. Rama then left Laxman in guard of Sita, and then
went after Maricha in the form of the deer. After a while,
Laxman and Sita heard the cries of Rama for help. It was a ruse
by Maricha to distract Laxman and Sita. Sita was worried and
requested Laxman to go and see what the matter was. But at the
same time Laxman did not want to leave Sita alone. On much
insistence by Sita, he then made a line and asked her not to
cross the line, popularly called as "Laxman Rekha", in modern
days to represent limits of decent behavior and moral conduct.
He advised that she should not cross the Laxman Rekha or else
she could be in danger. Soon after he left, Ravana who was
waiting for this opportunity, came disguised as a beggar and
asked for a donation from Sita. Sita went inside to get some
grains to donate to the beggar. As she stepped outside she told
the beggar to come and get it as she could not cross the
Laxman Rekha. The beggar acted as if offended and Sita, thus
crossed the line to give him alms, and Ravana, against her
wishes dragged her into a chariot and took her to his home town
of Lanka against her wishes. "
India & the
Struggle for Tamil Eelam
& Need for Increased Alertness against LTTE
International Terrorism Monitor - Paper No.382
13 March 2008
B.Raman, Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet
Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director,
Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai.
Stop Indian military aid
to Sri Lanka: Tamil Nadu leaders, 13 March 2008]
Mr.Raman's call for 'increased alertness against the LTTE' and his
make for interesting reading.
LTTE statement on 10 March 2008
recent high profile welcome given by New Delhi to the Chief of the Sri
Lanka Army Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka.
The LTTE pointed out that "many European countries have
halted all assistance that could support the genocide of the Tamils" but
that the "Indian State is giving encouragement to the military approach of
the Sinhala State." The statement added: "LTTE wishes to point out to the
Indian State that by this historic blunder it will continue to subject Eelam
Tamils to misery and put them in the dangerous situation of having to face
genocide on a massive scale."
Mr.Raman sees the LTTE response of 10
March 2008 as 'an indicator of the desperation of
the LTTE and its bitterness against the Government of India'.
Given the support in arms and materials that the Indian
State gave the Tamil Eelam struggle for freedom in the 1980s and given
that in the end, it was Tamil lives that
were sacrificed in the
altar of the same Indian State's
geo political interests, Mr.Raman may well be right that the LTTE
response reflected a certain bitterness, not against India but the Indian
"..the Indian Army came here,
innocent Tamil civilians,
raped our women
plundered our valuables. The acronym IPKF will always stand for
Indian People Killing Force where we are concerned. We will one day
erect a memorial in the heart of Jaffna town, in the centre of Hospital
Road, in memory of all the innocent civilians � ranging in age from the
very old past 80 to young children massacred by the IPKF and to the
women who were raped."
Innocent People Killing Force, Dr. T. Somasekaram
"...as an Indian I feel ashamed that under the
Indo Sri Lanka
agreement, our forces are fighting with Tamils whom they went to
protect...I believe that the Indian Government had betrayed its own
culture and ethics...The guilt, therefore, rests entirely on those who
sent them to do this dastardly business of fighting in Sri Lanka against
our Tamil brothers and sisters..."
India's former Foreign Secretary, A.P.Venkateshwaran, speaking in
London in April 1988
As to whether Mr.Raman is right to declare that the
LTTE response of 10 March 2008
reflected not only bitterness but also 'desperation' only time will tell.
Here, it is encouraging that Mr.Raman has avoided making the
mistake that Rajiv Gandhi made when he declared at a public meeting in Tamil
Nadu on the 21st of December 1987:
"The LTTE represents no one but itself... it is a small
outfit of 1500 to 2000 persons" (Sri Lanka Sun - 22nd December 1987 -
quoted in The Indo Sri Lanka
Twenty one years later, Mr.Raman takes care to point out
"...The LTTE ... still has considerable biting capacity.
It still has a large supply of well-trained and well-motivated cadres.
In the Northern Province where the battle lines have shifted, it has
much greater local support than it had in the Eastern Province. Its
morale, capacity for innovation and determination to continue fighting
Without speculating further on the 'bitterness' and/or
'desperation' of the LTTE response to the
high profile visit by
Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka, we may usefully turn to that
which Mr.Raman says. After all, apart from any thing else, the fact that
Mr.Raman held office as Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of
India, New Delhi, and is presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies,
Chennai demands that his remarks receive something more than passing
Mr.Raman advises that New Delhi should take care not to
cross the 'Laxman Rekha'. In the Ramayana,
Rama leaving the beautiful Sita, with his brother Laxman, drew a
line on the ground and asked her not to cross the line - because if she did,
Sita would be in danger. This was the Laxman Rekha - the dividing line -
taken 'in modern days to represent limits of decent behavior and moral
conduct'. In the Ramayana, (Aryan) Sita succumbed to temptation,
crossed the line and the Dravidian Ravana took Sita to Lanka.
What then does Mr.Raman see as the 'Laxman Rekha' (the
dividing line representing limits of decent behavior and moral conduct) in
relation to the military support that the Indian state has extended and
continues to extend to Sinhala Sri Lanka?
Mr.Raman says with disarming frankness -
"India's policy till now has been one of covert
assistance to the Sri Lankan intelligence in improving its collection
and assessment capabilities, sharing of intelligence collected by the
much-better endowed Indian intelligence agencies, strengthening the
defence capabilities of Sri Lanka in the matter of anti-aircraft
equipment and facilitating the operations of the Sri Lankan Navy for
disrupting the overseas supply channels of the LTTE. Indian public
opinion, including public opinion in Tamil Nadu, could not have objected
to these measures for co-operation since they remained covert and
not brazenly overt and since there was a well-defined Laxman Rekha
(dividing line), which our Armed Forces and intelligence agencies were
told not to cross."
According to Mr.Raman, the Laxman Rekha (the dividing line)
which the Indian State should not cross is that military assistance to
Sinhala Sri Lanka should be 'covert'. What is a 'covert' operation? A
covert operation is one 'that is so planned and executed as to conceal
the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor.'
And why does Mr.Raman advise the Indian State not to cross
the line between covert operations and overt operations? He claims
disingenuously that Tamil Nadu public opinion 'could not' have objected to
'measures for co-operation' so long as they 'remained covert.' The
short point that Mr.Raman makes is that the people of Tamil Nadu 'could not'
object to something that was concealed from them. That is why the
Indian state must not cross the dividing line of covert operations if it is
to secure its own perceived geo political interests and prevent the
mobilisation of Dravidian Tamil Nadu in support of the
Tamil Eelam struggle for freedom. And Mr.Raman regards this
dividing line (between the covert and the overt) as the Laxman Rekha - a
dividing line representing 'decent behavior and moral conduct'! As it is
sometimes said in legal parlance, res ipsa loquitor - the thing speaks for
Mr.Raman is ofcourse right to be anxious that overt support
for the Sinhala Sri Lanka military will lead to the type of opposition
recently expressed in Chennai.
Whether Mr.Raman is right to take the view that the people
of Tamil Nadu will accept as 'plausible' the efforts made by the Indian
State to conceal its covert assistance to Sinhala Sri Lanka is something,
again, that time will tell. Mr.Raman may be wrong in belittling the
intelligence and understanding of the Dravidian Tamil.
Said that, many Tamils will question whether New Delhi was
unaware of the concerns that Mr.Raman has now raised, when New Delhi
extended its high profile welcome to Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka. We would
imagine that the Research Analysis Wing of India are also students of the
Ramayana and are not unaware of the Laxman Rekha that Mr.Raman writes about.
It appears that the Indian State engaged as it is, in
fishing in the troubled waters of the China-US conflict in the
Indian Ocean region
may have found that its own options were becoming increasingly limited. [see
Sri Lanka Army Commander Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka Speaks to Senior
US Military Officers & Meets Senior US State Officials, 6 November
uneasy balance of power (reflected in the geo
strategic triangle of US-India-China)
is the uncomfortable political reality of the Indian Ocean region.
Desperate situations often call for desperate measures and
this may explain the 'brazen' high profile welcome afforded to
Chief of the Sri Lanka Army
Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka - and to 'brazen out' the fall out
in Tamil Nadu. The words of a ditty in an old Hollywood film, Annie Get
Your Gun, come to mind - "Anything you (China/US) can do, I (India)
can do better!"
Be that as it all may, we do understand Mr.Raman's
call for increased alertness from the Indian state - alertness not so much
against the LTTE but against the growing togetherness of the
people of Tamil Nadu and the
Tamil Eelam. We do not wish to push Mr.Raman's metaphor too far, but the
question may arise in some Tamil (Dravidian) minds as to whether Mr.Raman
regards the people of Tamil Nadu as the present day (Dravidian) Ravana, if
the Indian State continues to cross the 'Laxman Rekha'.
ஈழம் மலரும் - அது காலத்தின் கட்டாயம்"
Need for Increased Alertness against LTTE
- B.Raman, 13 March 2008
An official statement issued by the headquarters of the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on March 10,2008 (text
annexed) on the high-profile visit of Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka, the chief of
the Sri Lankan army and the architect of the successful counter-terrorism
operations by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, to India in the first week of March,
2008, is an indicator of the desperation of the LTTE and its bitterness against
the Government of India.
2. Its desperation arises from its loss of control of the territory administered
by it in the Eastern Province during 2006 and 2007, its inability to counter
effectively the successful air strikes by the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF)
against positions held by it in the Northern Province and the steady diminution
in its operational capabilities due to the successful disruption of its
capability for the replenishment of its stocks of arms and ammunition and
explosives by the Sri Lankan Air Force and Navy, with the co-operation of the
international community, including India, in the form of timely supply of
3. The LTTE is not yet a failed or a failing non-State actor. It still has
considerable biting capacity. It still has a large supply of well-trained and
well-motivated cadres. In the Northern Province where the battle lines have
shifted, it has much greater local support than it had in the Eastern Province.
Its morale, capacity for innovation and determination to continue fighting are
intact. But in the absence of material replenishments, its capacity for
offensive operations has been eroded and it has been forced to fight a defensive
battle to save the territory still under its control. Till now, it has been
doing well despite the claims to the contrary by the Sri Lankan defence
4. India's policy till now has been one of covert assistance to the Sri Lankan
intelligence in improving its collection and assessment capabilities, sharing of
intelligence collected by the much-better endowed Indian intelligence agencies,
strengthening the defence capabilities of Sri Lanka in the matter of
anti-aircraft equipment and facilitating the operations of the Sri Lankan Navy
for disrupting the overseas supply channels of the LTTE.
5. Indian public opinion, including public opinion in Tamil Nadu, could not have
objected to these measures for co-operation since they remained covert and not
brazenly overt and since there was a well-defined Laxman Rekha (dividing line),
which our Armed Forces and intelligence agencies were told not to cross. That
Laxman Rekha related to co-operation between the two armies, which could have
facilitated the Sri Lankan Army's ground operations against the LTTE in the
6. Independent analysts and reliable sources are agreed that the Sri Lankan
Army's successes in the Eastern Province were achieved at a tremendous human
cost, with large-scale violation of the human rights of the civilian population.
Lt.Gen. Fonseka and Mr. Gothbaya Rajpaksa, the brother of President Mahinda
Rajapksa, who is the Defence Secretary, are not models of rectitude in matters
concerning respect for the human rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils. Sensing what
they see as a historic victory in their fight against the LTTE, these two have
been contemptuously dismissing all reports regarding the violation of the human
rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils. There are some indications of Western
re-thinking on their attitude to the Rajapaksa Government because of its brazen
dismissal of all concerns regarding the human rights situation in the Tamil
7. Senior officers of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces have been visiting India from
time to time for discussions on Indian assistance and military-military
relations. Even Gothbaya Rajapaksa has been visiting New Delhi periodically.
But these visits were low profile and the Government of India
took care not to create an impression of Indian lack of concern over the human
The high-profile visit of Fonseka and the kind of honours openly
accorded to him indicated that the Laxman Rekha, which has so far characterised
the co-operation between the armed forces of the two countries, is ceasing to
exist and that there is probably a greater readiness----even eagerness--- on the
part of the Indian Army to co-operate with the Sri Lankan Army in matters which
might facilitate its ground operations against the LTTE in the Northern
This perception of a disappearing Laxman Rekha is not confined
to the LTTE. It is palpable among large sections of the Tamil population in Sri
Lanka and in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora.
8. The desperation and the bitterness caused by this perception have triggered
off the official statement of the LTTE. In a language reminiscent of the
language which it was using withn regard to Indian policies before the shocking
assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in May,1991, it has characterised any possible
change in the Indian policy as amounting to a new historical blunder and
insinuated that the Government of India is putting itself in a position, which
could be viewed as complicity in what it sees as the Sri Lankan Government's
policy of genocide of the Tamils.
9. The LTTE, like other international terrorist organisations, follows a policy
of coming out with comments, not amounting to official statements, which are
disseminated by the media controlled by it and coming out with an official
statement only in exceptional circumstances. The fact that the LTTE has now come
out with an official statement on the co-operation between the two armies
indicates that it might be considering the options available to it to counter
10. It is important to re-examine and revamp our intelligence and operational
capabilities to neutralise any plan of the LTTE to mount another terrorist
strike in Indian territory or against Indian nationals or interests. It would be
unwise to dismiss its statement as a desperate outburst of no or only limited
11. In recent months, the Police in Tamil Nadu and Kerala have detected attempts
by the LTTE to procure supplies and possibly ships also from India through
locals. From the published reports, it would seem that many of the locals, who
had helped the LTTE, did so for money and not out of sympathy for its cause. But
the likely re-emergence of pockets of sympathy for the LTTE's cause is an
12. Both the Governments of India and Sri Lanka want to neutralise the LTTE for
different objectives. The Indian objective is to punish it for its assassination
of Rajiv Gandhi and to render it incapable of terrorism. The Sri Lankan
objective is to crush it as a terrorist organisation and re-impose the will and
interests of the Sinhalese majority over the Tamil minority. Despite all the
sweet talk from President Rajapaksa and his officers and advisers, their policy
towards the Tamils continues to be characterised by their desire for a dictated
peace and their modus operandi of divide and rule.
13. India should not give an impression that there is a convergence of
objectives between the two countries. The Laxman Rekha has served us well in the
past and should serve us well in future. (13-3-08)
Annexure: Text of LTTE's Statement of
10 March 2008
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
10 March 2008
Is the Indian State attempting yet another historic blunder?
The State welcome given by the Indian State to the Sri Lanka military chief Lt.
Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who is heading the Sri Lankan State�s war of ethnic
genocide against the Eelam Tamils, has deeply hurt them.
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) strongly condemns the Indian State
action of extending a State welcome to the military chief of the Sinhala State
which has unilaterally abrogated the ceasefire agreement and has launched
widespread military offensives in the Tamil homeland.
The Sri Lankan State is facing many warnings and condemnations for its attempt
to seek a military solution and for its enormous human rights violations.
Despite this, the Sinhala State ignores these warnings and condemnations and
continues with its abductions, killings, and arrests of Tamils.
The Sinhala State, keen to cover up this truth, is blaming the freedom movement
of the Tamils, the LTTE, for the continuation of the war and is seeking
assistance from the world for its war of ethnic genocide.
Many of the European countries, understanding this hidden motive of the Sinhala
State, have halted all assistance that could support the ethnic genocide of the
The Indian State also knows this truth. Yet, while pronouncing that a solution
to the Tamil problem must be found through peaceful means, it is giving
encouragement to the military approach of the Sinhala State. This can only lead
to the intensification of the genocide of the Tamils.
LTTE wishes to point out to the Indian State that by this historic blunder it
will continue to subject the Eelam Tamils to misery and put them in the
dangerous situation of having to face ethnic genocide on a massive scale. On
behalf of the Eelam Tamils, LTTE kindly requests the Tamils of Tamil Nadu to
understand this anti-Tamil move of the Indian State and express their
We did not leave the ceasefire agreement and we did not start the war. We are
only undertaking a defensive war against the war of ethnic genocide of the Sri
We still have not abandoned the Norway sponsored peace efforts and we are ready
to take part in such efforts.
In this context, the Indian State�s move of propping up the
politically-militarily-economically weakened SriLankan State has upset Eelam
The view expressed by the Indian military chiefs, "India
wants to ensure that the Sri Lankan Army maintains its upperhand over the LTTE",
just illustrates the efforts of the Indian State to prop up the Sinhala war
The Indian State must take the responsibility for the ethnic genocide of the
Tamils that will be carried out by the Sinhala military re-invigorated by such
moves of the Indian State.