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

Home Whats New Trans State Nation One World Unfolding Consciousness Comments Search
Home > Truth is a Pathless Land > Selected Writings by Nadesan Satyendra >

Selected Writings by Nadesan Satyendra
- நடேசன் சத்தியேந்திரா

Sathyam Commentary
16 January 2009
Indo-Lanka Relations Reaching Zenith
reports Sinhala Sri Lanka State Controlled Daily News

"The arabic word for Zenith is Zawâl, meaning "decline", that is, when the sun ceases to rise and starts to decline." Wikipedia

On 15 January Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon shamelessly declared in Colombo that relations with Sri Lanka have reached "an unprecedented level of depth and quality today". It was shameless because New Delhi armed and trained Tamil militants in the 1980s and used Eelam Tamils as expendable pawns in order that New Delhi may destablise Colombo and in that way secure the 'unprecedented depth and quality' of its current relations with Sinhala Sri Lanka.

"...Most Tamil separatists from Sri Lanka had accepted the Indian offer (to provide arms and training in the 1980s) at its face value, thinking that New Delhi was reaching out to them out of genuine concern for their condition. However, an extraordinary revelation began to unfold as the training started. Many guerrillas realized that the training was just a subterfuge for a larger strategic game that India was attempting to play, a game in which the Tamil rebels may end up being just expendable pawns." Inside an Elusive Mind - Prabhakaran, M.R.Narayan Swamy, 2003

The words of Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon's predecessor in office Mr.Jyotindra Dixit in 1998 remain etched in the memory of the Tamil people.

"...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 amoral phenomenon....." J.N. Dixit on India's Role in the Struggle for Tamil Eelam

Mr.Dixit was being economical with truth when he suggested that New Delhi's foreign policy in relation to the Tamil Eelam struggle was 'amoral'. New Delhi's foreign policy was not amoral. It was immoral.

An amoral person denies the existence of morality, whereas an immoral person believes in the existence of morality but chooses not to comply with it. The question is whether Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's India denies the existence of morality, and if not whether it was moral for New Delhi to knowingly sacrifice Tamil lives in the altar of New Delhi's perceived strategic interests in the Indian Ocean region. The question also is whether it was moral for the same New Delhi to thereafter arm and train President Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka armed forces so that New Delhi may embed its influence in the island of Sri Lanka in depth.

The truth is that the 'unprecedented level of the depth and quality' of New Delhi's current relationship with Sinhala Sri Lanka was purchased by New Delhi at the price of a no less unprecedented loss of Eelam Tamil lives and Tamil suffering.

On 14 October 2008, Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee speaking in the Indian Parliament was disarmingly frank -

"We have a very comprehensive relationship with Sri Lanka. In our anxiety to protect the (Tamil) civilians, we should not forget the strategic importance of this island to India's interests,... especially in view of attempts by countries like Pakistan and China to gain a strategic foothold in the island nation...Colombo had been told that India would "look after your security requirements, provided you do not look around."

The short point is that without 'making use' of the Tamil Eelam struggle for freedom, New Delhi would not have been able to advance its perceived strategic interests in the Indian Ocean region and prevent 'countries like Pakistan and China' gaining 'a strategic foothold in the island nation'.

In October 2008, amidst the posturing (and ultimatums) by Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi in Tamil Nadu we wrote :

"..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." We won't stop military cooperation with Lanka says Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, October 2008

And so today, after the occupation of Killincochi and other parts of the Tamil homeland by the Sinhala armed forces, and whilst the Sri Lanka armed forces continue their genocidal onslaught on the Tamil homeland, Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon visits Colombo and expresses his appreciation of the sentiments of Sri Lanka Minister Bogollagama that the Indo-Lanka Accord and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution are the answers to the conflict in the island. The Accord and the 13th Amendment have everything to do with ensuring New Delhi's strategic hold on Sri Lanka and has little to do with addressing the issues raised by the Tamil struggle for freedom from alien Sinhala rule - a struggle for freedom which commenced with Gandhian leader S.J.V.Chelvanayagam's historic statement in 1975 -

"Throughout the ages the Sinhalese and Tamils in the country lived as distinct sovereign people till they were brought under foreign domination. It should be remembered that the Tamils were in the vanguard of the struggle for independence in the full confidence that they also will regain their freedom. We have for the last 25 years made every effort to secure our political rights on the basis of equality with the Sinhalese in a united Ceylon."

"It is a regrettable fact that successive Sinhalese governments have used the power that flows from independence to deny us our fundamental rights and reduce us to the position of a subject people. These governments have been able to do so only by using against the Tamils the sovereignty common to the Sinhalese and the Tamils."

"I wish to announce to my people and to the country that I consider the verdict at this election as a mandate that the Tamil Eelam nation should exercise the sovereignty already vested in the Tamil people and become free."

On the 13th Amendment and the Sri Lanka Provincial Councils Act, we said it in 1988 and we say it again -

" The blunt reality is that those who proclaim that the 13th Amendment is intended to share power between the Tamil people and the Sinhala people, are, to use a colloquialism, 'trying to pull a fast one' on the Tamil people. Under the 13th Amendment power will continue to reside in a Sinhala dominated Central government, within the frame of an unitary constitution. The 13th Amendment seeks to create a Constitutional frame within which the Sinhala people may rule the Tamils of Eelam more effectively by creating and nurturing a class of Tamils dependent on the patronage of a Sinhala dominated Central Government for their political and perhaps, even their physical, survival.

It has created Provincial Ministers who will not exercise executive power but who will have executive power exercised 'through' them!. At the same time it has created a Provincial Governor appointed by the Sinhala President who will exercise executive power in respect of provincial matters - a Provincial Governor who is also the administrative head of the provincial public service and who has control of the Provincial Finance Fund. And the 13th Amendment has created a Provincial Council without control of planning, without control of the provincial budget, without control of police and public order within the province, without control of disposition of state land within the province, without control of higher education and whose remaining meagre legislative powers are subject to the over riding will of the Central Parliament. Finally, the provisions of the Provincial Councils Act itself may be amended from time to time by a simple majority of members present and voting in Parliament"

It is this 13th Amendment which Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon now welcomes as the solution to the conflict in the island. And it is this 13th Amendment and the Sri Lanka Provincial Councils Act which is being touted by New Delhi's agents in the capitals of the world as a panacea with veiled promises of safe passage for Velupillai Pirabakaran and Pottu Amman and covert suggestions that 'we can do business with B.Nadesan'.

"..New Delhi has no desire to lose its ability to play the 'Tamil card' to keep Sri Lanka in line in the years to come - even after the successful annihilation of Velupillai Pirabakaran and the weakening of the LTTE. And so New Delhi proclaims ad nauseam that they are concerned to secure the 'legitimate aspirations' of the Tamil people. Additionally it builds its own network amongst dissident Tamils in Sri Lanka, in Tamil Nadu and abroad to propagate its interests." Black Pebbles and White Pebbles, Nadesan Satyendra, 2006

New Delhi believes that with power it can surmount principle. Canute like it seeks to order the rising tide of Tamil nationalism to recede. New Delhi believes that it can 'pacify' Tamil nationalism by channelling it into a 'cultural no mans land'. Give 'culture' to those who ask for political equality and freedom. At the Bastille, it was Marie Antoinette who reportedly offered cake to the revolutionaries who struggled for freedom. Marie Antoinette was hopelessly wrong then. So also are the mandarins of New Delhi today.

It is no empty slogan devoid of content to say -

Each Tamil wherever he lives is a part of that Tamil nation and even if he should forget his national identity, the environment around him will conspire to remind him from time to time, of that which he may have forgotten.

The growing togetherness of more than 70 million people living in many lands and across distant seas, many thousands as refugees and asylum seekers is an enduring political reality. It is a togetherness rooted in an ancient heritage, a rich language and literature, and a vibrant culture. But it is a togetherness which is not simply a function of the past. It is a growing togetherness consolidated by struggle and suffering and, given purpose and direction by the aspirations of a people for the future - a future where they and their children and their children's children may live, not in luxury, but in equality and in freedom and with dignity. In Tamil we say thanmaanam.

"We are one people.. Distress binds us together, and, thus united, we suddenly discover our strength. Yes, we are strong enough to form a state and a model state. We possess all human and material resources for the purpose." - *Theodor Herzl : The Jewish State, 1882 quoted in Wittamayer Baron - Modern Nationalism and Religion, New York 1947

"உலகெங்கும் தமிழன் பரந்து வாழ்ந்தாலும்.. தமிழீழத்திலேதான் தனியரசு உருவாகும் வரலாற்றுப் புறநிலை தோன்றியுள்ளது..." Velupillai Pirabaharan

The rising tide of Tamil nationalism is reflected in the growing 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, 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 Minister Karunanithi. For New Delhi political reality is not reflected in that which Natteri Adigal said in Merinews on 9 October 2008 -

C.N.Annadurai Statue in Coimbatore"...if the fictitious concept of placing 'country's interests above human rights, ethnic pride and identity' continues to be promoted for long, it will be a matter of time for India too to meet the fate of USSR or Yugoslavia or now Sri Lanka... In 1965, when Tamil Nadu faced the possibility of military action from a powerful New Delhi, Annadurai opted to abandon his demand for full autonomy for states under a lose confederation with one currency but multiple ethnic, cultural and national identities.

Today, Tamil Nadu appears headed for revolutionary political changes in a culmination of a combination of events: For one, the two main Dravidian political outfits - Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), headed by three-time chief minister M Karunanidhi and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), headed by former two-term CM Jayalalitha - are both reeling under overwhelming outrage among the Tamil population...The ground reality in Tamil Nadu is that almost every Tamil - belonging to whatever religion or strata - has a primary affinity to other Tamil-speaking people of whatever domicile or religion..."

For New Delhi political reality is not reflected in the warnings such as those given by M.S.S.Pandian in the Times of India on 23 October 2008 -

"Tamil Nadu had a history of demanding secession from the Indian Union. Yet, over time, it has chosen to integrate itself fully with the national mainstream. If New Delhi does not change course in its Sri Lankan policy, it may plant the seeds towards a reversal of such history. That will be India's misfortune". Change Course in Sri Lanka or Face Misfortune - M.S.S.Pandian, 23 October 2008

It appears that for New Delhi, it is Sri Lankan Army Chief Sarath Fonseka's statement on 7 December 2008 that 'New Delhi won't listen to the political jokers in Tamil Nadu' that accords with the political reality.

We said many long years ago in 2001 -

"...the break up of India, if it comes will not come from the efforts of tamilnation.org. It will come despite our efforts."... Tamil Nation and the Unity of India, Nadesan Satyendra, February 2001

And the time has comes for us to say openly and clearly that Sonia Gandhi's Manmohan Singh administration has now planted the seeds for what may be the inevitable break up of India. True, today, there is an Indian state. But there is no Indian nation. A state is an institution. A nation is a community of people. There is, if anything, an Indian Empire - the remnants of the old British Indian Empire. For the British, India was itself an Empire unlike Australia, Canada, Ceylon which were states in the British Empire. That is why for instance Queen Victoria was Empress of India but Queen of Ceylon. And out of this Indian Empire bequeathed by the British, an 'Indian nation' cannot be built by denying the right to self determination of the peoples in the Indian region. Pramatha Chaudhuri said it all more than eighty years ago:

" As children, we read in the Hitopodesa that at night birds from all directions would gather on a shimul tree on the banks of the Godavari. Why? To cackle for a while and then go off to sleep. Cackle in this context means to discuss the politics of the birdworld. We, too, in this dark, night time of India's history go to the Congress meet to cackle for three or four days and then snore. We can cackle together because, thanks to the education conferred by the British, we all have the same dialect. I am not saying that this dialect is all that our lips utter or our minds. All I want to suggest is that behind the Congress patriotism, there is only one kind of mind and that mind is bred on English text books. We all have that kind of mind, but under it is the mind which is individual for all nations and different from nation to nation. And our civilisation will emerge from the depth of that mind...

...You have accused me of "Bengali patriotism". I feel bound to reply. If it is a crime for a Bengali to harbour and encourage Bengali patriotism in his mind, then I am guilty. But I ask you: what other patriotism do you expect from a Bengali writer? The fact that I do not write in English should indicate that non Bengali patriotism does not sway my mind. If I had to make patriotic speeches in a language of no part of India, then I would have to justify that patriotism by saying that it does not relate to any special part of India but that it means love for India as a whole. In a language learnt by rote you can only express ideas learnt by heart......It is not a bad thing to try and weld many into one but to jumble them all up is dangerous, because the only way we can do that is by force. If you say that this does not apply to India, the reply is that if self determination is not suited to us, then it is not suited at all to Europe. No people in Europe are as different, one from another, as our people. There is not that much difference between England and Holland as there is between Madras and Bengal. Even France and Germany are not that far apart. "

The unity of an India of more than a billion people, will not come by English speaking 'Indians' 'cackling' to each other in English. Yes, 'cackle in this context means to discuss the politics of the birdworld'. And, yes, 'in a language learnt by rote you can only express ideas learnt by heart'.

Neither will the unity of India come from a 'growing middle class, reared on a diet of radical consumerism and aggressive greed'. Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon will not take it amiss if we recommend to him as we did recommend to his Minister Pranab Mukherjee - please revisit the words of Arundhati Roy in 2007 in 'It's outright war and both sides are choosing their weapons'-

"You don't have to be a genius to read the signs. We have a growing middle class, reared on a diet of radical consumerism and aggressive greed. Unlike industrialising Western countries, which had colonies from which to plunder resources and generate slave labour to feed this process, we have to colonise ourselves, our own nether parts. We've begun to eat our own limbs. ..While our economists number-crunch and boast about the growth rate, a million people - human scavengers - earn their living carrying several kilos of other people's shit on their heads every day. And if they didn't carry shit on their heads they would starve to death. Some f***ing superpower this.... What we're witnessing is the most successful secessionist struggle ever waged in independent India - the secession of the middle and upper classes from the rest of the country. It's a vertical secession, not a lateral one. They're fighting for the right to merge with the world's elite somewhere up there in the stratosphere... There is a civil war in Chhattisgarh sponsored, created by the Chhattisgarh government, which is publicly pursuing the Bush doctrine: if you're not with us, you are with the terrorists. The lynchpin of this war, apart from the formal security forces, is the Salva Judum - a government-backed militia of ordinary people forced to become spos (special police officers). The Indian State has tried this in Kashmir, in Manipur, in Nagaland. Tens of thousands have been killed ..... thousands tortured, and thousands have disappeared. Any banana republic would be proud of this record... to equate a resistance movement fighting against enormous injustice with the government which enforces that injustice is absurd. The government has slammed the door in the face of every attempt at non-violent resistance. When people take to arms, there is going to be all kinds of violence - revolutionary, lumpen and outright criminal. The government is responsible for the monstrous situations it creates...does this mean that people whose dignity is being assaulted should give up the fight because they can't find saints to lead them into battle?. "

'You don't have to be a genius to read the signs'. The Indian Empire of more than a billion people faces a structural breakdown - both laterally and vertically.

"... the failure of successive Indian governments to openly recognise that India is a multi-national state, has served to weaken the Indian Union rather than strengthen it. The European Union (established albeit, after two World Wars), may serve as a pointer to that which may have to be achieved in the Indian region in the years to come... Nuclear capability will not guarantee unity. The nuclear bomb did not prevent the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the non-nuclear states of Latvia, Estonia and Georgia. Peoples speaking different languages, tracing their roots to different origins, and living in relatively well defined and separate geographical areas, do not easily 'melt'... A people's struggle for freedom is also a nuclear energy and the Fourth World is a part of today's enduring political reality. India may need to adopt a more 'principle centred' approach towards struggles for self determination in the Indian region. A myopic approach, apart from anything else, may well encourage the very outside 'pressures' which New Delhi seeks to exclude. " The Buddha Smiled, Nadesan Satyendra, 1998

And so today, Sinhala Sri Lanka's state controlled Daily News may conclude that Indo-Lanka relations are reaching zenith. It may be that both Colombo and New Delhi may want to bear in mind that the Arabic word for Zenith is Zawâl, meaning "decline", that is, when the sun ceases to rise and starts to decline. After all the sun did set on the British Empire. And it will set not on India but on the Indian Empire.

Sri Lanka's State Controlled Daily News on 16 January 2009 : Indo-Lanka relations reaching zenith.

"India's relations with Sri Lanka have reached "an unprecedented level of depth and quality today", said Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon at his meeting with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday, during his two-day visit to the island.

The Foreign Secretary observed that it is during difficult times that the true quality of a friendship becomes most evident, and that the Indo-Lanka relationship is one such friendship that has effectively withstood the test of time and adversity.

Minister Bogollagama welcomed Menon to Sri Lanka, and indicated that this visit is a reflection of India's steadfast friendship with Sri Lanka as well as the maturity of the Indo-Lanka relationship.

The Minister extended the appreciation of the Sri Lankan Government for the continued understanding of India on issues of mutual concern.

Reiterating that the Sri Lankan Government perceives the Indo-Lanka Accord as the key to seeking a political solution to the conflict, the Minister observed that the present juncture offers a window of opportunity to implement the Accord, given the decisive victories gained by the Government in combating LTTE terror on all fronts.

He observed that the government is in the process of exploring several avenues of implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

The Minister highlighted the Government's sincere commitment to evolving a broad-based and an inclusive peace process in order to achieve a durable peace, acceptable to all communities.

Foreign Secretary Menon expressed his appreciation of the sentiments expressed by Minister Bogollagama on the Indo-Lanka Accord and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Minister Bogollagama and Secretary Menon agreed that a moment of political opportunity has been made available to Sri Lanka today to bring about an inclusive peace process with credible political representation by the Tamil people within the country's democratic process.

Bogollagama thanked the Indian government for the humanitarian assistance extended during this period to further augment the steps being taken by the Sri Lankan Government to ensure the welfare of civilians in northern Sri Lanka. He welcomed continued humanitarian assistance by India to the affected people.

Secretary Menon extended his appreciation of the proactive role played by Sri Lanka both multilaterally and in the regional context in combating terrorism, and extended the unstinted support of the Indian government in this exercise.

Menon briefed Minister Bogollagama on the current status of the investigation on the Mumbai terror attacks and indicated that India would continue to work closely with Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.

He emphasised that concerted and collective international action is needed in combating the scourge of trans-national terror.

Minister Bogollagama, indicated that as a country that has itself been the victim of terror which had proliferated with international links and support, Sri Lanka is well placed to understand the gravity of the threat of trans-national terrorism.

He reiterated Sri Lanka's support in combating terror at every level to secure a sustainable peace within the region.

The Minister also reiterated Sri Lanka's interest in cooperating with India on maritime security in the Indian Ocean, both bilaterally and within the framework of regional groupings such as BIMSTEC.

Minister Bogollagama expressed the Sri Lankan Government's satisfaction at the increase in bilateral trade within the framework of the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement, and expressed the government's desire to work closely with India in upgrading the bilateral FTA to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in the foreseeable future. The discussions also referred to the need to address Sri Lanka's widening trade deficit with India in a meaningful manner.

The two sides discussed the Indo-Lanka Joint Commission which last met in 2005, and agreed to look at the possibility of convening the forthcoming session of the Joint Commission after May 2009. It was agreed to convene the sub-committees of the Joint Commission in the interim.

On the delimitation of the outer edge of the Indo-Lanka continental margin, the two sides agreed to further discuss attendant legal issues, and work closely in resolving outstanding issues, in a manner reflective of the close friendship existing between the two countries.

The two sides discussed the progress within SAARC, including issues concerning the Standing Committee and the Council of Ministers sessions due to take place in Colombo.

The Minister observed that he looks forward to a successful outcome at the SAARC Council of Ministers Meeting that would bring on board many issues that concern the region. Secretary Menon pledged the fullest support of the Indian government to SAARC and observed that it looked forward to playing a constructive role in the forthcoming Council of Ministers Meeting.

Minister Bogollagama expressed his appreciation of the role played by the Indian government in releasing Sri Lankan fishermen captured in the Indian waters, and for providing them with safe passage.

Mail Us Copyright 1998/2009 All Rights Reserved Home