India & the
Struggle for Tamil Eelam
India-Sri Lanka Joint Press Release
& Karunanidhi Shows his
26th October 2008
So whats new? We said
it two days ago in our
comment on Pranab Mukherjee's statement of 23 October 2008.
And we repeat it here:
will see the current posturing (and ultimatums) by Jayalalitha and
Karunanidhi in Tamil Nadu as no more than a drama on a platform
provided by New Delhi so that New Delhi may coerce President Rajapakse (and his JVP
allies) to move away from the China-Iran-Pakistan axis...If
President Rajapakse does play ball and distances himself from
China/Pakistan/Iran to the extent that New Delhi desires, then
something like the
1988 comic opera Provincial Councils Act
(and that too, with a divided North and Eastern Province)
sweetened with 'humanitarian aid' for the suffering Eelam Tamils will be
presented by New Delhi to the Tamil people, including the people of Tamil
Nadu, and marketed as a great boon - and will be dutifully welcomed by the
likes of Karunanithi and Jayalalitha as a victory for the 'tough stand' that
they had taken to 'persuade' New Delhi...
The posturing by Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi (whatever may be their
motives) is, in the final analysis, an appeal to an underlying Tamil
national consciousness, and therefore
their actions will help to nurture
togetherness - and
for that reason will be welcomed by many Tamils and
used by them to further strengthen
that Tamil togetherness. Tamils committed to
freedom. may strike together with those who do not have the same commitment,
but they will continue to organise separately so that they may preserve the
integrity of their own purpose. Lenin's old advice: 'Strike together but
march separately' still holds good...
Time does not stand still. 2008 is not 1984. And the togetherness of the
Tamil people living
in many lands
has grown from year to year and that particular river is not about to
flow backwards. It is a growing togetherness reflected in the widespread
support that the ordinary people of Tamil Nadu have extended to the Tamil
Eelam struggle for freedom from alien Sinhala rule - a wide spread
support across caste and religion and
given eloquent expression by persons such Bharathiraja, Director Seeman,
Director Cheran, Vaiko, Nedumaran,
Suba Veerapandiyan, Pulamaipithan, Ramadoss,
Thol. Thirumavalavan, Arivumathi and many others
Some of them have paid the price of being arrested and
incarcerated for giving expression to their feelings - arrested and
incarcerated by the police of a Tamil Nadu government headed by Chief
Joint Press Release, 26 October 2008
Keeping in mind the close bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka,
President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa sent as his Special Envoy Honourable
Basil Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament and Senior Advisor to the President of Sri
Lanka to visit New Delhi, on 26th October 2008. During his visit, the Sri Lankan
Special Envoy held discussions with External Affairs Minister, National Security
Advisor and Foreign Secretary.
The Indian side appreciated deeply the initiative of President Mahinda Rajapaksa
to send his Special Envoy. The discussions were positive and constructive and
centered around a range of issues.
India conveyed its concern at the humanitarian situation in the northern part of
Sri Lanka, especially of the civilians and internally displaced persons caught
in the hostilities and emphasised the need for unhindered essential relief
supplies. Mr. Rajapaksa briefed the Indian authorities of the efforts by the Sri
Lanka Government to afford relief and ensure the welfare of the civilian
population in the North. He assured that the safety and wellbeing of the Tamil
community in Sri Lanka is being taken care of.
As a gesture of goodwill, India has decided to send around 800 tonnes of relief
material to Sri Lanka for the affected civilians in the North. The Government of
Sri Lanka will facilitate the delivery. Both sides agreed to consult and
cooperate with each other in addressing these humanitarian issues.
Both sides discussed the need to move towards a peacefully negotiated political
settlement in the island including in the North. Both sides agreed that
terrorism should be countered with resolve. The Indian side called for
implementation of the 13th Amendment and greater devolution of powers to the
provinces. Mr. Basil Rajapaksa emphasized that the President of Sri Lanka and
his Government were firmly committed to a political process that would lead to a
Both sides agreed to further nurture the democratic process in the Eastern
Province. Mr. Rajapaksa briefed the Indian side of the large development effort
underway in the Eastern Province.
With regard to issues relating to fishermen, in view of the humanitarian and
livelihood dimensions involved, both sides agreed to put in place practical
arrangements to deal with bona fide Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen crossing the
International Maritime Boundary Line and to continue discussions on the proposed
MOU on development and cooperation in the field of fisheries.
Discussions in New Delhi during Mr. Rajapaksa's visit were characterized by a
spirit of constructive engagement on both sides. Both Governments will remain in
Karunanidhi Shows his Hand - நகைச்சுவை நாடகம்?
Expressbuzz, 27 October 2008
If anything Mr.Karunanidhi has been consistent.
Mr.Karunanithi declared frankly "New Delhi's Policy on Sri Lanka will be
Tamil Nadu's Policy." Despite appearances to the contrary, Chief
Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi's policies in relation to the struggle for
Tamil Eelam have always been within the frame work of New Delhi's policies -
and therefore Mr.Karunanidhi has not said or done anything new.
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has managed to dismount the tiger.
He now need not forward the resignations of DMK MPs to the presiding officers of
the two Houses of Parliament. He also need not worry about allies turning
truant, particularly the Congress. It does not matter that the Sri Lankan army
is continuing its onslaught against the LTTE with the Tamil civilians caught in
On Sunday, he had a long chat with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukerjee, in
the process delaying the inauguration of the grade seperator at Kathipara
Mukerjee's assurances gave him an exit route and he grabbed it with both hands.
So, the plight of the Eelam Tamil goes back to the backburner, at least for now.
The Indian government claims to have played its part (in ensuring peace in the
island nation?) and now it is for the Sri Lankan government to decide on the
The State Government did its bit by organising a human chain, which led to chaos
on the city's roads for over six hours on Friday. The Sri Lankan Tamils should
only be happy that so much has happened this side of the Palk Straits for
alleviating their sufferings. What more can one expect from the 'only leader of
the Tamil race' - well, for the uninitiated, that is the way Karunanidhi is
addressed by his followers these days, suggesting that there is no one else
should dare to dream of usurping the leadership job. Has not the leader of the
Tamils taken the LTTE wind out of the MDMK's sail by arresting Vaiko and
Kannappan? Has he not put the upstarts in the Tamil film industry, seemingly
trying to usurp the role of champions of the world Tamils, in their place? Well,
it does take a seasoned politician to script such a drama that can push the
audience to the edge of their seats on moment and then let them all heave a sigh
of relief: No more mass resignation of the MPs, so no threat to the Central
government and no early elections.
He has proved wrong all those sceptics, who thought that he had mounted a tiger
inadvertently by passing the resolution at the all-party meeting on all MPs from
Tamil Nadu vacating their seats if the Indian government failed to force the Sri
Lankan government to announce a ceasefire within two weeks.
Two days before the ceasefire deadline - proclaimed to the world through his
daughter, Kanimozhi, who submitted her resignation affixing the date October 29
- Karunanidhi resolved the matter.
Reuters Report, 27 October
CHENNAI (Reuters) - The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a key government ally,
has withdrawn a threat to stop supporting the coalition over the escalating
conflict in Sri Lanka, Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee said on
Mukherjee was given reassurances by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi
whose ruling party had threatened to pull out in protest against the Sri Lankan
government's intensifying offensive against the LTTE.
"The Chief Minister assured me that he will not precipitate any crisis in the
UPA government," Mukherjee said.
Withdrawal of support could have forced a vote of confidence in Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh's government, ahead of elections due in 2009.
Mukherjee flew to Chennai from New Delhi to brief Chief Minister about his
earlier discussions with Sri Lankan special envoy Basil Rajapaksa.
Karunanidhi's DMK has demanded a ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government
forces and the LTTE, a militant group that has been fighting for a separate
Tamil homeland since 1983.
Mukherjee called for patience, and ruled out any Indian involvement in solving
the conflict, which the government says must be solved through dialogue. "The
problems, which are continuing for more than several decades, are not expected
to be solved within a few weeks," he said. In talks with the Sri Lankan envoy,
Mukherjee stressed the need for an immediate "real devolution of power" for
Tamils in areas cleared of the LTTE as a confidence-building measure.
Mukherjee said the Sri Lankan government had promised to give aid relief to an
estimated 200,000 displaced Tamils, and said the Indian federal government would
provide 800 tonnes of relief materials as well.
The escalating war in Sri Lanka has roiled Indian politics and prompted heated
diplomatic exchanges between the neighbouring states.
Hundreds of Tamils marched in the streets of Chennai on Friday in a protest
organised by the DMK, while two Tamil politicians were arrested on Thursday by
the Indian police for speaking publicly in support of the LTTE rebels.
Experts had described the threats to resign as political posturing.