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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2012 18:24 
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If SL survives the next 2 years intact it will escape. Strongly suspect next attempt will come towards end of mms regime. This is the window that the euro alliance will seek to exploit with great vigor. Rajapakse and his Sinhala ilk believe in giving no quarter to the tamils come what may, as is said 'Lord hardens the hearts of whom he wants destroy' ..


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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2012 18:58 
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SL has a bright future, it just needs to implement the LLRC and integrate the tamil poplation. Tourism will boom, GoI will increase connectivity between the north and Southern Tip and overall connectivity in key areas as it is doing already with rail infra etc. I am pretty sure Sethu canal will be brought back and that whole region can benefit from trade.India is already the biggest trading partner. Right now many in TN - holiday in Thailand, SE Asia due to good connectivity - lower costs, I think with the right marketing etc SL can become a big holiday destination for lower and middle class South India - perhaps the Spain for the UK?

India is SL's biggest trade partner and the largest investor in Sri Lanka. Every fifth tourist in Sri Lanka arrives from India.


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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2012 20:13 
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Agree with India voting for the resolution. SL needs to understand that the war is over and the LTTE is defeated. It needs to move ahead with rebuilding the Tamil areas and reconciliation which it hasn't done; instead of being in a permanent sulk. India is no longer the India of the 80s or 90s. So we should stop this permanent fear of others interfering within our borders.


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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2012 20:59 
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http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/17610-karunanidhi-politically-bankrupt-karuna.html

Quote:
Government Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias “Karuna Amman” stated that Karunanidhi is using the Tamil People to stay afloat politically. “Karunanidhi and many of the Tamil Nadu politicians are today politically bankrupt.

Earlier Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi speaking to Indian media said that the establishing of the Tamil Eelam is his only “unrealized dream”.

Muralitharan also stated that the government and his Ministry have taken constructive measures towards national integration. “The people in the Wanni for the first time in 30 years have electricity, the roads are being developed and there is massive investment on infrastructure. Livelihood development has been one of the key areas we are working on and these thing will all help build lasting peace and ethnic harmony among all communities living in the country” he said.

The former Eastern Commander of the LTTE who led the breakaway faction which ultimately resulted in the military weakening of the LTTE commended the TNA on its approach. “The TNA by not going to Geneva have done the right thing. They have a lot of responsibility though because they have to understand that if they encourage intervention it is the Tamil people who will suffer first” he said.


I am posting different views so we get a better picture.The reality is complex.


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2012 00:51 
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Would the vote have been the same if DMK had not put up a show, or if Congress had 300 MPs of its own? It has come to such a pass that MMS has to vote against SL to rap it on the fingers while also working hard to dilute the resolution so that nothing really 'intrusive' is allowed. I cannot tell if it is a great balancing act or if it is just another spin.


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2012 08:52 
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That the DMK and AIADMK are using the Lankan issue as a football is totally apparent.There is no love for the Lankan Tamils barring deeprooted die-hard LTTE supporters like Vaiko.Each Dravidian party is using the issue to score brownie points,in the process complicating the life of "the straw that bends in the breeze",the dear mendicant of snake oil,Dr.Singh. This time,to paraphrase a famous saying about the media in the days of the Emergency,at Uncle Sam's behest,when asked to merely "bend,he chose to crawl"!

Here's a sober view of events from Colombo by Dayan Jayatillake, the son of famous Lankan journo ,the late Mervyn de Silva (Lanka Guardian),whose earlier writings and warnings went unheeded by the regime.

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat ... itle=48141

Quote:
Geneva outcome 2012
March 23, 2012, 8:21 pm

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Let’s learn the right lessons from the Geneva outcome, not the wrong ones. It is not the case that a small country such as Sri Lanka cannot fight a diplomatic battle with the mighty USA and win. Minutes after the Sri Lanka vote at the HRC this time, the Cubans moved a resolution on the composition of the staff of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the opacity (code-named independence) of which the West regards as a holy of holies. The USA opposed the resolution. The Cuban resolution won with a massive 33 votes.

Last year the USA invested far more effort and political capital at a far higher political level than in the case of the Sri Lanka resolution in Geneva, to prevent Palestine from being granted full membership of the UNESCO in Paris. The US lost that battle, and besieged Palestine, an embryonic or proto-state (unlike Sri Lanka) won a two thirds majority. The battle was fought by a core quartet comprising two Palestinian diplomats —the impressive Left Bank intellectual Ambassador Elias Sanbar, his deputy Munir —and the Permanent Delegates of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. (The Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki addressed the Council after the victory to thank the member states). I was privileged to be a participant in that historic struggle.

Even in the case of the Special Session on Sri Lanka in the UNHRC in Geneva in May 2009, we have confirmation from Wikileaks that the USA ‘led from behind’, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton instructing the US Mission thus: "...the USG [US Govt] supports a special session on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and related aspects of the humanitarian situation. Mission is further requested to provide assistance, as needed...in obtaining others signatures to support holding this session...Mission is also instructed to engage with HRC members to negotiate a resolution as an outcome of this special session, if held. Department believes a special session that does not result in a resolution would be hailed as a victory by the Government of Sri Lanka..."[Cable dated 4th May 2009 from Secretary of State (United States)] Sri Lanka won that battle, of course, with more votes than the sole superpower, the US, managed to secure this time.

The classic example of how to beat the US in a diplomatic battle is Cuba, which moves a resolution against the blockade every year at the UN General Assembly in New York and secures a mammoth victory of 190 votes in favour and 3 against.

The examples of Palestine (2011), Cuba and Sri Lanka (2009) have one thing in common: you can resist the West successfully only if you have built a sufficiently broad cross-regional coalition, a global united front. Such a counter-hegemonic bloc is predicated upon support in one’s own region, from among one’s own neighbours. India’s decision to support the US resolution came as a shock. Yet, it shouldn’t have. There can always be ‘black swan events’ but those are pretty much unpredictable. Other events can be anticipated if preceded by accurate analysis. The Indian turnaround was not only predictable; it was predicted and therefore preventable, and yet it wasn’t. I wrote the following, six months ago, ringing the alarm bell regarding the UN Human Rights Council when there was time enough to do something:

"If one has to identify a single critical or crucial variable for Sri Lanka, it is India, but our strategy cannot be reduced to Indian support...A few weeks after we fought and won our battle in Geneva in May 2009, Myanmar lost in the same forum though it had the votes of India, Russia and China. So the secret of our victory in 2009 was not simply and solely India...We will find it almost impossible to win without India’s support, and we cannot win if India ever turns against us, but we cannot win only with India’s support. We must always remember that many Asian, Middle Eastern, African and Latin American states will take their cue from India. India has a wide presence and is widely respected among Sri Lanka’s friends. We must rally our neighbourhood in our support. We must have the solid support of our continent, Asia. We must balance the South against hostile sections of the North, and the East against hostile sections of the West. India is pivotal in all these defensive moves and it is difficult to implement any of them if India is against or conspicuously on the sidelines. If, as some critical commentaries assert, India’s position has changed, or is changing, or might possibly change, from that of our May 2009 UN HRC victory, we must seek out the reasons and rectify them jointly.

We must certainly strive to countervail the mounting anti-Lankan opinion in Indian civil society and the media, militant opinion in Tamil Nadu and the lobbying of certain Western elements. We must secure Delhi’s support and swing Indian public and political opinion firmly over to Sri Lanka’s side. This cannot be done by purely verbal means but by policy reforms. As a UN based top official of Sri Lanka’s firmest, most powerful international friend told me once, ‘short of capitulating on or compromising its vital security interests, Sri Lanka must do what it takes to help its friends to help it’." (‘Defending and Protecting Sri Lanka’, Daily Mirror, September 29th, 2011, my emphasis, DJ)

My warning six months back was no one-off flash of foresight. The danger of an Indian shift and what should be done to forestall it was set out in cold print by me as long as three years ago. In an article that appeared exactly three months BEFORE the death of Prabhakaran, entitled ‘The Indian Reality in Sri Lanka’s Existence’ I wrote:

"...India cannot afford recrudescent Tamil Nadu separatism which thrives on the charge that New Delhi is insensitive to Tamil Nadu’s feelings for their ethnic kin in Northern Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu... is an important and influential component of the Indian Union, and when push comes to shove, carries far more weight than Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese, in New Delhi, Washington, Moscow and Beijing. If faced with a serious strategic choice, Delhi will choose Chennai over Colombo. It is up to Sri Lanka to prevent matters coming to that...

Sri Lanka needs to countervail and neutralize the anti-Sinhala extremists in Tamil Nadu and the Diaspora...The balanced solution of fullest autonomy within a unitary framework may be opposed by smaller extremist forces among the Sinhala majority. The grim reality though, is that even at their most disruptive and violent, these forces can do much less harm to the Sri Lankan state than a decision by India, under mounting Tamil Nadu pressure, to tilt against Sri Lanka, and a corresponding decision by India’s partner the USA to mount economic pressure on Sri Lanka through multilateral institutions and agencies. Under the unlamented Bush administration there was daylight between the positions of the US and the EU. Under the new and universally welcomed Obama administration there may be no daylight between the positions of the US, EU and India." (‘The Indian Reality in Sri Lanka’s Existence’, The Island Feb 16, 2009)

I had quickly returned to the theme in the next month, again before the war was won, in a piece significantly entitled ‘Winning Locally, Winning Globally’:

"The Sinhalese and Tamils are in a Mexican standoff. Locally, the Sri Lankan armed forces have surrounded the Tigers...Meanwhile, globally, from the US Senate to the UN Security Council, from Ottawa to London, from Brussels to Pretoria, from Delhi to Dili, Sri Lanka is under pressure and scrutiny as never before. Are we being encircled globally just as we have encircled the Tigers locally...The Tigers have no exit from military defeat, but do the State and society have an exit from the crisis?" (‘Winning Locally, Winning Globally’, The Island Midweek, March 11, 2009)

In June–July 2009, in the immediate aftermath of the military victory and, more topically today, our diplomatic success in Geneva at the UN HRC, I repeatedly stressed the point in what turned out to be a polemical exchange.

"...As the paradigmatic victory in Geneva showed, we can win against the Tiger Diaspora and the Western European bloc influenced by it, when we are supported by our neighbours, our continent and our natural constituency the developing world plus Russia. In this strategy the support of India is critical. Without India’s support, the rest will distance itself from us, leaving us wide open to Western pressure and coercion. China alone cannot carry the weight..." (‘13th Amendment: Why non-implementation is a non-option’, The Island, 13th June, 2009)

"..Sovereignty not only has to be asserted, it has to be defended and defensible. Sri Lanka cannot defend its sovereignty against all comers from all points of the compass, North and South, West and East. It can defend its sovereignty only by power balancing in a multi-polar world..." (‘The 13th Amendment, Indo-Lanka, Sovereignty’ The Island, June 27, 2009)

Sadly, this reality manifested itself in Geneva, on March 21st 2012.


PS:Controversial Public Relations (of all things!) minister Mervyn Silva,whose fisticuff ability is legendary in the island,rants and rails at the critics of the GOSL at geneva,threatening them physical damage in the future.It is the actions and words of such members of the govt. that allow the mud of HR crimes to stick like Fevicol to the reputation of the Rajapakse regime.

Quote:


Mervyn threatens to break limbs of journos
Friday, 23 March 2012

Minister of Public Relations Mervyn Silva warned that he will break the limbs of some journalists, who have gone abroad and made various statements against the country, if they dare to set foot in the country.

“I’m the one who chased one of those journalists ‘PoddalaJayantha’ out of this country. I will break the limbs of all these journalists, in public if they dare to set foot in the country” the Minster warned.

Speaking at a demonstration against the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC held in Kiribathgoda today Silva also said it is the only the President who can remove him from office.

He also said “Even if a Tsunami flow from Sigiriya I’m sure that no Tsunami will flow against me from President Mahinda Rajapaksa” . “Only Mahinda Rajapakshe can sack me, no other big shot can lay their hands on me until that happened I won’t leave Kelaniya. I know the sons of D.A. Rajapaksa from the time they were kids. The King of this country loves me, the King of this country trusts me” he said.

The Minister informed the public present at the meeting that his son, from this day, would be in the hands of the public. “I’m not afraid to die; two drug dealers from Colombo want to chase me away. But I’m not frightened to die, if something happens to my life, my wife and two children will still be there. From this day onwards my son will be in your hands” he said. (Lal. S. Kumara)



PPS:A point about booming tourism in the island.On my last visit,I saw a new coastal ferry in the harbour,which takes tourists onto trips to Galle etc.All island cruises are in the offering in the future and once the car ferries start regular operations from India,the surge in Indian tourism will be evident.Imagine the holiday option of driving in the comfort of your own car or SUV from South India in the island,enjoying the excellent roads network,which allows you to spend as much time in any locale of your fancy.Not to mention the amount of shopping that you can take back with you in your vehicle,as excess air baggage rates these days being charged by the airlines is a downright scandal.


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2012 09:07 
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Even in the worst days of the Tamil separatist insurgency, India and Sri Lanka had very good economic and political relations. It's not likely to be significantly affected by India's recent vote. There is a vocal tribe of virulent anti-India Sinhalese netters( who even weigh in on India's space programme and anti-piracy activity), but they had virtually no effect on policy. The relationship is far different than with TSP or China.

The image of Buddhism was somewhat besmirched by the behaviour of elements of the Sinhalese monk community, though.


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2012 18:46 
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Fair enough
'India wants Lankan issue resolved'
Quote:
Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 23, 2012
Email to Author

When India voted against Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council, it took a calculated risk aimed at prodding the country towards moving faster on resolving Tamil issues, an official said.

It also worked hard to ensure that the issue of the country's “sovereignty” remained intact, going
by a stipulation of the resolution that any move would be made in “consultation or concurrence of the government of Sri Lanka”, he added.

The Sri Lankan issue has a huge bearing on India's domestic politics, especially in matters pertaining to Tamil Nadu and the Congress-led UPA government. Many in the country also think that Sri Lanka hasn’t done enough to address the Tamil ethnic issue, despite assurances made at various forums.

With 24 votes for, 15 against, and eight abstentions, the 47-member UN Human Rights Council adopted the resolution on promoting “reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka”.

The resolution also expresses concern that an internal inquiry report in Sri Lanka does not adequately address "serious allegations" of international law violations. Neighbouring states such as China, Bangladesh and Maldives, besides Russia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, were among the countries that voted against the resolution.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said India's vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHCR was in line with its stand on the issue, and it only wanted to ensure that minority Tamils in the country received justice.

Stating that India does not intend to “infringe” on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, Singh said, “One has to weigh the pros and cons. We do not want to infringe on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, but concerns should be expressed so Tamil people can get justice and lead a life of dignity.”


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2012 21:11 
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Manmohan Singh to Sri Lanka: India introduced a balanced resolution at UN
NEW DELHI: Seeking to mollify Sri Lanka after the vote against it in UNHCR, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today wrote to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, telling him that India made all efforts and succeeded in introducing an "element of balance" in the US-sponsored resolution.

At the same time, Singh underlined the need for achieving a lasting political settlement that will address the grievances of minority Tamils.

"I had instructed our delegation to remain in close contact with its Sri Lanka counterparts in an attempt to find a positive way forward. Your Excellency would be aware that we spared no effort and were successful in introducing an element of balance in the language of the resolution," Singh said.

He was referring to India voting against Sri Lanka at the UNHCR in Geneva when it supported the resolution against alleged human rights violations during the civil war. Though India voted in favour of the resolution, it worked behind the scenes to tweak the document to make it "non-intrusive".

Singh's letter comes against the backdrop of Sri Lanka's displeasure over India voting against it at the UN and crticisim from various sections that "domestic compulsions" in had forced the country to vote against it.

In the letter, which suggests that Rajapaksa had written to him three days before the vote, Singh noted that both countries had discussed the way ahead to a political solution that will address all outstanding issues, in particular the grievances of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation.

"It is our conviction that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would lead towards a lasting political settlement on many of these issues and create conditions in which all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, can find justice, dignity, equality and self-respect," Singh said.

Singh told Rajapaksa that he was happy to learn about his intention to continue the process of implementing the recommendations of the LLRC.

He said the two governments have, over the last three years, engaged intensively in the immediate tasks of relief and rehabilitation for those displaced by the conflict, as well as the more long-term effort of reconstruction of national infrastructure.

"Much important progress has been registered on this front and I wish to record my appreciation of the assistance your government has provided to various Indian agencies implementing projects of national significance on the ground in Sri Lanka," he said.

The Prime Minister also assured Rajapaksa that India will continue its engagement with the shared objective of building a stable, secure and prosperous environment in Sri Lanka in which all communities can flourish and in which India-Sri Lanka relations can continue to grow from strength to strength.


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2012 21:11 
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Manmohan Singh to Sri Lanka: India introduced a balanced resolution at UN
NEW DELHI: Seeking to mollify Sri Lanka after the vote against it in UNHCR, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today wrote to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, telling him that India made all efforts and succeeded in introducing an "element of balance" in the US-sponsored resolution.

At the same time, Singh underlined the need for achieving a lasting political settlement that will address the grievances of minority Tamils.

"I had instructed our delegation to remain in close contact with its Sri Lanka counterparts in an attempt to find a positive way forward. Your Excellency would be aware that we spared no effort and were successful in introducing an element of balance in the language of the resolution," Singh said.

He was referring to India voting against Sri Lanka at the UNHCR in Geneva when it supported the resolution against alleged human rights violations during the civil war. Though India voted in favour of the resolution, it worked behind the scenes to tweak the document to make it "non-intrusive".

Singh's letter comes against the backdrop of Sri Lanka's displeasure over India voting against it at the UN and crticisim from various sections that "domestic compulsions" in had forced the country to vote against it.

In the letter, which suggests that Rajapaksa had written to him three days before the vote, Singh noted that both countries had discussed the way ahead to a political solution that will address all outstanding issues, in particular the grievances of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation.

"It is our conviction that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would lead towards a lasting political settlement on many of these issues and create conditions in which all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, can find justice, dignity, equality and self-respect," Singh said.

Singh told Rajapaksa that he was happy to learn about his intention to continue the process of implementing the recommendations of the LLRC.

He said the two governments have, over the last three years, engaged intensively in the immediate tasks of relief and rehabilitation for those displaced by the conflict, as well as the more long-term effort of reconstruction of national infrastructure.

"Much important progress has been registered on this front and I wish to record my appreciation of the assistance your government has provided to various Indian agencies implementing projects of national significance on the ground in Sri Lanka," he said.

The Prime Minister also assured Rajapaksa that India will continue its engagement with the shared objective of building a stable, secure and prosperous environment in Sri Lanka in which all communities can flourish and in which India-Sri Lanka relations can continue to grow from strength to strength.
http://m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articl ... 394288.cms


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2012 21:12 
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I'm really appalled that a lot of people here have no faith in our bean counters. GoI will not do an about turn and lose all the goodwill it generated all these years before and after the war in 2009, it is simply not in our nature ;)

There is a rumor going around in TN that JJ asked a favor to appease the locals for which she will in-turn open the gates of KKNP. So, believe what you may, SL would've been brought in confidence and like the news reports say, the power (s) that rule SL very well knows that. So no sweat.


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2012 10:30 
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It really sounds like spin the more I think about it. India can make independent statements rather than working to dilute a UN statement and then voting for it.
See above view from dailypioneer, and here is another on ToI:

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/right-and-wrong/entry/a-friendly-neighbour-s-betrayal

Quote:
Lalith Athulathmudali, one of the most erudite and clever politicians i have encountered; Ranjan Wijeratne, the fiercely outspoken ex-planter; the soft-spoken Tamil constitutional lawyer Neelam Tiruchelvam; and the genial TULF leader A Amirthalingam whose blood-splattered residence i visited just an hour after he was gunned down. Although Lalith’s murder remains an enduring mystery, the others were all killed by the most vicious terrorist organisation ever created: the LTTE.

Life in South Asia is said to be cheap. The LTTE made it worthless in Sri Lanka. By the middle of the civil war, brutalisation had become the norm in the island that once symbolised serendipity. Tamils killed Tamils, Sinhalas killed Sinhalas, and they both killed each other with a staggering degree of recklessness. When the civil war erupted, the Sri Lankan army was essentially a ceremonial force. By the time it dispensed with Prabhakaran’s Tigers in 2009, it had become a redoubtable fighting force.

.......
This is not to justify the trigger-happiness of the Sri Lankans in the last days of the civil war when a reported 40,000 civilians were killed. It is merely to indicate that there was a context to the viciousness of the war—as vicious as the last months of the war against Germany during World War II. The human rights lobby that secured the condemnation of Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Commission debate last Thursday cited civilised niceties and international law to pour scorn on a small country. They didn’t take into account that what happened in the summer of 2009 wasn’t military action against unarmed civilian demonstrators—as happened during the initial stages of the Syrian uprising—but an ugly war.

What is particularly galling is India’s effrontery in voting against Sri Lanka. If any country was secretly delighted and relieved that Colombo had finally put an end to the LTTE menace, it was India. India, after all, had nurtured the LTTE—one of Indira Gandhi’s most short-sighted and cynical moves—before realising that it had created a monster that was potentially capable of infecting Tamil Nadu with its poison. Yet, for the sake of his government’s survival, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meekly acquiesced in the condemnation of a country that had preserved itself against overwhelming odds.



[quote]


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2012 19:05 
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Another hawkish view from the Island,

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat ... itle=48260
Quote:
SL rejects claim of Indian ‘helping hand’ in Geneva
March 24, 2012, 7:15 pm
By Shamindra Ferdinando

Sri Lanka yesterday strongly dismissed claims that India had intervened on behalf of the government to thwart UN intervention by amending the US-sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution captioned ‘promoting reconciliation and accountability is Sri Lanka’, though it voted with the US-Norway grouping.

The resolution received the backing of 24 countries, while 15 opposed. Eight abstained, including Malaysia.

Authoritative officials told The Sunday Island that in line with the rules and procedures of the UNHRC, technical assistance was based on the principal that it could be given only with the consent of the recipient. They insisted that principle was part and parcel of the rules of procedure of the rights council and it would grossly inaccurate to say that India introduced changes to save Sri Lanka.

"We don’t deny that India revised the draft at the eleventh hour. What they introduced was what is contained in the rules of procedures of the HRC," an official.

The draft of the resolution was amended to replace phrase, ‘and the Government of Sri Lanka to accept’ with ‘in consultations with and with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka’’. The revised section reads:

"3. Encourages the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special procedures mandate holders to provide, in consultation with and with the concurrence of, the government of Sri Lanka, advice and technical assistance on implementing the above-mentioned steps and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to present a report on the provision of such assistance to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-second session."

Sources emphasized that Sri Lanka had nothing to do with the Indian amendment. "It took us by surprise. If it was on our interest, they could have discussed it with us. Instead the amendment involved the US, which moved the resolution and India. In fact many countries, including those supporting the resolution didn’t know about the US-Indian move until the evening of March 21."

Bottom line was that the US didn’t go to such an extent to thwart a resolution prompting ‘right of the Palestinian people to self-determination’ also at the just concluded 19th sessions of the UNHRC. Of the 47-members, 46, including India voted for the resolution, leaving the US isolated.

Officials stressed that Sri Lanka could have definitely secured more than 15 votes if Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh didn’t throw his weight behind Western powers on March 19, four days ahead of the vote. They alleged the Indian statement made in Lok Sabha, the lower House of the Indian Parliament, was calculated to undermine Sri Lanka.

Had India simply pressed the green button at the UN rights parley in Geneva, we wouldn’t have minded. Although the GoSL could comprehend that domestic political compulsion made it very difficult for India to go against the US resolution, it shouldn’t have thrown a lifeline to the LTTE rump. But unfortunately, India caused an irreparable loss to GoSL’s campaign by making a pro-resolution public statement, which prompted many other countries to re-think their stand, they said. The majority of those who had abstained could have sided with GoSL if India didn’t provide what an experienced official called tacit support to Western powers.

Geneva-based sources described the oral amendment to the draft resolution done on March 21 a cosmetic change and stating the obvious. In fact the recommendation to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to present a report on the provision of assistance to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-second session (in March 2013) was in the original draft.

They emphasized that if not for China, which acted swiftly and decisively in the wake of Indian move, Sri Lanka would have experienced an unprecedented debacle.

Responding to a query, sources said that the LTTE rump and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had conveniently forgotten the allegations they made against the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) during the Oct 1987-March 1990 period. Sources said that former Indian High Commission in Colombo J. N. Dixit in his memoirs called India’s role in arming Sri Lankan Tamil terrorists as one of the two major foreign policy blunders made by the then Premier Indira Gandhi.

India’s decision to throw its might behind the latest conspiracy in Geneva could be an equally costly blunder on the part of India, sources said. India never investigated atrocities committed by the IPKF, which former LTTE field commander turned ruling party politician, Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan, claimed prompted the LTTE to assassinate one-time Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Karuna is on record as having said that the suicide bomber had been raped by the IPKF.

Sources alleged that in spite of providing a range of assistance to those war-affected in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, India had failed Sri Lanka in Geneva. Interestingly, India had turned a blind eye to heavy criticism of its own human rights record by the UNHRC following its latest study, sources said.

The UN went to the extent of demanding India did away with key security laws, which the Indians say were imperative for their national security purposes.

Sources speculated that India could be closely working with the US on the issue due Sri Lanka’s close relationship with China, which the UPFA believed a traditional and unconditional friend.

India wanted to appease the US and the LTTE, while making the GoSL believe that the resolution could have been worse if not for their intervention despite backing the Western move, sources said.


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2012 05:42 
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This vote at Geneva has brought about a dramatic change in India's foreign policy decision making.earlier,since Independence in fact,the states acquiesced to the Centre in the main when it came to national interests.There was a general consensus on many ticklish issues,even on the Israeli-Palestinian Q.

I said not too long ago to watch out for the fruit of Hillary's last visit to Tamilnadu and Madras,where she paid a "social call" to the TN supremo JJ. It was as I then said not a social call at all,but to get the TN CM on her (US) side on the Lankan issue and a deal was apparently struck on the same.Flogging the Lankan horse comes easy to the Dravidian parties ,like Cato fulminating against Carthage. As one wit has put it,we are now in a new era of the "municipalisation" of our foreign policy,where Mamta in Bengal sulks and pouts and derails a most important Indo-Bangladesh water agreement,and the Dravidians in the south harm our natural interests by forcing the GOI to crawl like a lackey behind the US in Geneva,in even more disgraceful fashion by announcing our decision before the vote! AS the GOSL said,this would've influenced many nations to follow India's example,which indicated India's desire to punish Lanka.Given the fascinating non-capability of our current FM, "every court must have its clown",truly the "mofussilisation" of our foreign policy has arrived and the consequences will be exceptionally damaging to the national interest.


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2012 07:20 
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Do not know about Hillary and other pulls, but the 'rap on fingers' seems total spin. At best this tail wagging the dog (foreign policy) necessitated the 'dilution of the resolution'.


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2012 17:20 
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ranjbe wrote:
I think that the vote would have been the same if a NDA Govt. would have been in power. When the two parties which have ruled Tamil Nadu alternately for 25 years both strongly support the resolution, India has no option but to support the resolution. The bottom line is that the interests of 60 million Indian citizens are first, foremost and paramount over the interest of 20 million Sinhalese, who are foreigners, good friends though they may be.


+1

Eventhough i understand the motion was a western sponsored ploy and impinge onh the sovereignty of our neighbors, India should take a stand that is in line with the aspirations of its citizens.


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2012 21:33 
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Regional views vary across India. Gujratis, Rajasthanis or Kashmiris or Punjabis may have families or kin ship across the border. So do Biharis or UP to Nepal. So do some Bengalis or Assamese or Tripuris to Bangladesh. Would you be equally sanguine if some group there considers their regional well being in contradiction to national well-being? Certainly regional desires have to be considered by the center but the regional parties must weigh their real requirements against emotional kinship driving India's foreign policy. The LTTE generated lots of support and they thought nothing of killing Tamils in Sri Lanka and India. The government has multiple ways to let their concerns be known to SL rather than cast a vote under pressure from a regional partner looking for some brownie points.


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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2012 17:36 
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alexis wrote:
ranjbe wrote:
I think that the vote would have been the same if a NDA Govt. would have been in power. When the two parties which have ruled Tamil Nadu alternately for 25 years both strongly support the resolution, India has no option but to support the resolution. The bottom line is that the interests of 60 million Indian citizens are first, foremost and paramount over the interest of 20 million Sinhalese, who are foreigners, good friends though they may be.


+1

Eventhough i understand the motion was a western sponsored ploy and impinge onh the sovereignty of our neighbors, India should take a stand that is in line with the aspirations of its citizens.



This is coming back to bite us very soon.

The chinese and the pakis will maneuver to bring a similar resolution on cashmere.

We should simply have minded our very own business and abstained at best or simply voted with the other asians.

There has to be a limit to licking american backsides.

The regional "partner" is hell bent on India burning bridges with srilanka and toeing the hidden line followed by the frocked europeans and the frocked americans. Its the east timor situation in the making all over again.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 19:54 
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One of the saner reports out of SL,
http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat ... itle=48444

I don't agree about the secessionist problems in TN- I still dont understand why people go on this tangent, none of the major parties in TN are looking to secede and there is no popular movement or support for the fringe parties, but that OT.

Quote:
Along with that, what also needs to be appreciated is the fact that India is not only capable of making life ‘difficult’ for the Sri Lankan Government, but also, making it ‘comfortable’; as it did in numerous ways during the last stages of the war, and especially diplomatically, especially in Geneva, 2009. That relationship which was strengthened during the last stages of the war, well harnessed and further developed in Geneva-2009 (we remember the support of the Indian Representative in Geneva even after the Special Session concluded) should not have been undermined.

And this latter kind of external relationship can only be maintained if internal policies within Sri Lanka are geared towards addressing the questions of power-sharing and the protection of the rights of Tamil people, especially in the North and the East, in a more sincere and serious manner. Sri Lanka either has to ensure that the political promises made to India are kept [especially regarding the implementation of the 13th Amendment – see, for instance, the ANI report, ‘India feels Lanka has done very little on devolution of power’, 24 March, 2012], or that it is able to move forward peacefully, with sincerity and determination, especially with the Tamil political parties and the TNA, in terms of devising a mechanism of power-sharing which is autochthonous. There are decisions here which Sri Lanka is unwilling to make.

India, then, is neither our best friend nor our worst enemy. Thinking of India in such extreme ways obfuscates the complexities surrounding inter-State relationships, and unnecessarily simplifies the challenge of foreign policy making too. Today, ‘nonalignment’ does not mean that India will always be with Sri Lanka (and against the West) on every conceivable diplomatic and political problem Sri Lanka confronts. That was the old way of thinking. Even the very term ‘nonalignment’, as the former Indian diplomat and politician Mani Shankar Aiyar (MSA) has stated, "was appropriate to a world characterized chiefly by the wooing of the rival superpowers to align with one or the other of their blocs" (MSA, A Time of Transition, p. 257). But after the Cold-War, relationships became much more fluid, much more complex; with such changes, ‘nonalignment’ ceases to become a simple question of voting for or against a State.


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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2012 07:06 
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Location: since 1947 India has reached mars via mangalyaan,pakistan still trying to reach India via terrorists
sonia told PM to vote against SL
Quote:
According to sources in the Congress party, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Sonia seemed considerably disturbed by the gory photos of Tamil civilians, including LTTE leader Prabhakaran's 12-year-old son, shown on Channel 4, a few days before the Sri Lanka vote. The photos were splashed all over the Tamil media and created quite a storm. Clearly, the two main Tamil parties, the AIADMK and the DMK, were forced to take notice of the people's anger -- and once that happened, the Congress party couldn't have been left far behind.


Quote:
What is interesting here is that only a few days before the vote in Geneva, on March 22, none other than Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and National Security Adviser Shiv Shanker Menon had been telling Congress party members that India had never voted on a "country-specific" resolution -- in this case, against Sri Lanka. Meaning, it would be nigh impossible for India to change its position this time as well.


perils of power without accountability.

Read also this in J&K thread-- viewtopic.php?p=1262803#p1262803


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PostPosted: 04 Apr 2012 22:06 
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LLRC on LTTE shields

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Large parts of the 400-page report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission deals with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – its cold-blooded strategies from the time it was asked to come to the negotiating table, the problems with the ceasefire agreement, and its actions during the final stages of the war. The LLRC relied on the depositions before it to arrive at most of the conclusions.

One detailed representation of the LTTE strategy (of using civilians as human shields during the end stages of the war) went like this: “A civilian who had been displaced with his family since August 2006 stated that the LTTE always mingled with the people even in the NFZs [no-fire zones]. Civilians therefore had tried to escape and move out of the NFZs into safe areas during the night. He further explained that when this happened, the LTTE fired and then the Army returned fire to the place where the LTTE firing came from. On being further questioned on this aspect he stated that when civilians tried to move into government-held areas from the first NFZ, the LTTE prevented them from doing so, and forced them to move to the next NFZ, with the view of using them as a human shield.”

The United States-sponsored resolution makes no reference to the LTTE, which, according to the Sri Lankan side, was a major flaw. The pro-LTTE diaspora took this as an endorsement of the LTTE's activities. The Sri Lankan government was particularly annoyed over this fact.

They feel that the Sri Lankan government was singled
out even though the war was forced on it by the LTTE.





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PostPosted: 09 Apr 2012 21:26 
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Talk about pakiness being creeping in.
Lanka Having problem with India's Kudankulam nuclear plant. they are taking this to IAEA
I could have understood that they are worried about safety but they are raising it now? what were they doing when we started the constructions years ago.


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PostPosted: 09 Apr 2012 21:54 
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viv wrote:
Regional views vary across India. Gujratis, Rajasthanis or Kashmiris or Punjabis may have families or kin ship across the border. So do Biharis or UP to Nepal. So do some Bengalis or Assamese or Tripuris to Bangladesh. Would you be equally sanguine if some group there considers their regional well being in contradiction to national well-being? Certainly regional desires have to be considered by the center but the regional parties must weigh their real requirements against emotional kinship driving India's foreign policy. The LTTE generated lots of support and they thought nothing of killing Tamils in Sri Lanka and India. The government has multiple ways to let their concerns be known to SL rather than cast a vote under pressure from a regional partner looking for some brownie points.

India has been partitioned in more than on border. This has been done more than 100 years ago.
THis is a fact and Indians need to recognise it. That is why powers such as US and PRC are able to play against India by working with the smaller nations around India. This needs to be understood very clearly.

These group there considers their regional well being in based on the games being played by the major powers around India. This deadly game has been going on even during the British times and Indians better understand this.


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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2012 21:45 
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chiragAS wrote:
Talk about pakiness being creeping in.
Lanka Having problem with India's Kudankulam nuclear plant. they are taking this to IAEA
I could have understood that they are worried about safety but they are raising it now? what were they doing when we started the constructions years ago.


Let them raise it.

Its just like pissing against the wind.

It will just blow back against them.

If the GOI also turns hostile or even indifferent they have no defence against the TN political parties. Even medical treatment for lankans will become difficult.


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2012 23:49 
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Discussions on nuclear safety issues soon: Sri Lankan envoy
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R. K. Radhakrishnan
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India and Sri Lanka were engaged bilaterally in nuclear technology-related issues High Commissioners of both countries stationed in New Delhi and Colombo have confirmed. There was no move to take nuclear safety of any other issue to any international forum, they added.

“Discussion on the technical level issues will commence soon,” Prasad Kariyawasam, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, told The Hindu over phone from New Delhi, when asked about Sri Lanka’s stand on the issue. The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, based in Colombo, Ashok K.Kantha, told The Hindu that a bilateral process was already on, and all the issues, including that of nuclear safety, was being discussed. Appropriate steps will be taken, within the framework of the guidelines provided, he added.

Mr.Kariyawasam said that because of the protests in Kudankulam people in Sri Lanka too had become aware of the issue. These concerns were aired in the bilateral forum, he added. Nuclear safety will be one of the issues discussed in the forum, he added.

Minister takes up issue

The issue came to the fore after the Indian media picked up a comment made by a Sri Lankan Minister over the Indian nuclear power plant at Kudankulam. Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said that his government will raise the issue at the IAEA meet in September, the Sri Lankan media reported on Sunday.

Mr. Ranawaka, looking for relevance in Sri Lanka’s polity has raised the issue which was initially raised by some of Sri Lanka’s academics a few years ago. Extreme anti-India voices in the ruling UPFA, including Wimal Weerawansa, another India-baiting Minister, have refrained from raising the issue.

Mr.Ranawaka, who is part of the UPFA alliance, and belongs to the Jathika Hela Urumaya party led by Buddhist monks, has been trying to occupy the far-right space in Sri Lankan polity. The party, formed in 2004, is Sinhala nationalist, and has been looking to expand its support base. Sri Lanka has more than 90 Ministers in the rank of Cabinet Ministers, Senior Ministers and Deputy Ministers. For all practical purposes, all major decisions rest with the executive presidency.


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2012 03:49 
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In a cross post from ShyamD in the Iran thread,according to a NYT report,NATO forces are worried about attacking Syria as they did in Libya because of shortcomings in that campaign.Here is a beauty.So much for the west's principled stand on human rights in Sri Lanka!
Pres.Rajapakse,min.Champika Ranawakka,pl. take note!

Quote:
The report was silent on the controversies that have followed the campaign. These included questions surrounding at least scores of civilian deaths caused by NATO action, which have been documented by independent researchers and the United Nations alike, and accusations by survivors and human rights organizations that alliance naval vessels did not assist boats in distress carrying migrants who later perished at sea.

Fred Abrahams, a special adviser for Human Rights Watch, said the report was consistent with the alliance’s refusal to acknowledge clear mistakes, and revealed a “willful decision not to look at civilian casualties.”


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2012 16:37 
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Here somebody is fuming

Clowns Who Had Forgotten Their History

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012 ... r-history/


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2012 16:48 
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chiragAS wrote:
Talk about pakiness being creeping in.
Lanka Having problem with India's Kudankulam nuclear plant. they are taking this to IAEA
I could have understood that they are worried about safety but they are raising it now? what were they doing when we started the constructions years ago.


I think it would be great idea with Udaykumar, Seeman, Vaiko and few others who campaigned against Kudakundalam pose next to Rajapakse on holding a rally on this issue. :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

That would be one helll of a photo.


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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2012 20:40 
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Quote:
They claim that the Bhagavad Gita, Tamil classics and even Sanskrit originated after Christ and under the influence of Christianity. A 2005 conference in New York had the theme, “International Conference on the History of Early Christianity in India.” Senator Hillary Clinton greeted it with the message:

“I am confident that the breadth of resources presented during the conference will shed light on the impact of Christianity on medieval and classical India and its effects on the cultural and political climate of India….”
:shock: :eek:
… For instance, Marvin Olasky, an advisor to President George W. Bush, declared; He goes on to explain to his American readers how Christianity brought many key notions into Hinduism.



From murugan saars link.This nut guy Olaski claims that worship of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva was influenced by 'Saint' Thomas.This crook was adviser to Bush.

I unearthed an incredible report which I am posting in the off-topic thread.


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2012 00:08 
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Sushma is heading the Indian MP's team to the island to examine the R&R activities that have been started and their progress.It is heartening to note the BJP's positive response and unfortunate to note that the two Dravidian TN parties are shying away from going to Lanka,why? Perhaps that the true situ on the ground will contradict their accusations against the GOSL? They are just bothered about their own petty war and care a fig about Tamils in Lanka.Now that the MP's delegation will see for their own eyes the actual situation,interact with local Tamils,plus their elected representatives,its report to Parliament will be keenly waited for.The MP's visit will also earn a lot of goodwill from the Lankans as it will be seen as a positive step and not an intrusive visit as those from western nations.


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PostPosted: 19 Apr 2012 07:35 
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The DMK/ADMK are moderate parties.But there is a significant tamizh nationalist element in letters,media,film industry in TN.

Also the sinhalese and tamizh people have different perceptions of history.It is impossible to say who is right or wrong.Both have legitimate claims.India interefered in lanka because of three reasons.1)Indian plantation labour in lanka 2)Anti-tamizh riots/pogrom 3)Fear that tamizh natinalism will be used by western powers to create trouble in TN.

Otherwise,Sinhala-tamizh relations are impossible to resolve within the framework of Indian nationalism.We have no dog in it as both these groups are inherently pro-India and ultimately originate from India.The only possible framework to 'resolve' the issue would be the formation of Pax-Indica wherein both sinhala and tamizh people are warmly ensconced in Mother Indias embrace.But that Pax Indica is still a 'vision' even for people in the Indian mainland.(given caste politics,linguistic water sharing disputes etc)

Let us not forget that in this round of battle,tamils have come out bruised and humiliated in North and Sinhala colonisation is proceeding unabated in East.Its a diferent story that tamils in East were treated as canon fodder by eezham tamils and hence karuna defected.


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PostPosted: 22 Apr 2012 02:54 
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Good News and glad some frank dialogue took place

Sushma Swaraj hands over railway line to Sri Lanka
R.K. Radhakrishnan
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When a railway project built with Indian assistance was handed over to Sri Lanka at a railway station here on Thursday, it marked a departure from tradition: it was not an Indian Minister who did the honour but the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, who is leading an Indian parliamentary delegation.

The upgraded coastal railway line, costing $167.4 million, was completed ahead of schedule by an Indian public sector company, IRCON. “I am honoured to be here today to hand over the completed section of the railway track between Galle and Kauthara…Today's ceremony marks the completion of work on the Galle to Kaluthara line in a timely and smooth manner by IRCON International,” said Ms. Swaraj at the ceremony.

Work on phase-1 of the project, from Galle to Matara (42 km), commenced in September 2009 and the upgraded track was opened to traffic on February 16, 2011. The phase-2 work (Kauthara to Galle, 71 km) began in November 2010. The section will be open to traffic from April 19. The upgraded track will have a speed potential of 100 kmph.

Ms. Swaraj emphasised that India was committed to working with the government of Sri Lanka toward the consolidation of peace, prosperity and development. “We will continue to remain closely engaged with government of Sri Lanka to advance the process of rehabilitation, reconstruction and national development. We are also committed to enabling a genuine political settlement,” she said.

Ms. Swaraj earlier visited the Kankasanthurai harbour, where India has completed a $22-million wreck removal project. As many as 10 shipwrecks were removed from the harbour.

It will be fit for operations once dredging operations and construction of a breakwater are completed.



Sushma asserts India is for united Sri Lanka
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R.K. Radhakrishnan
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Rajapaksa wanted to discuss issues raised in an informal atmosphere

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa welcomes Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj at his official residence in Colombo on Friday.— PHOTO: AFP

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an unscheduled breakfast meeting on Friday.

This comes soon after the one-on-one meeting she had with the Sri Lankan Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickramasinghe. Ms. Swaraj has had meetings with all Sri Lankan Tamil leaders, and has informally met many Ministers and politicians in the past four days.

The invitation was extended to Ms. Swaraj, as Mr. Rajapaksa, who has been closely following the tour of the Indian joint parliamentary delegation, wanted to discuss the issues raised, in an informal atmosphere. Ms Swaraj has been clear that the delegation, being representatives of Parliament, stood for a united Sri Lanka.

At a meeting in Jaffna on April 18, after one member went off on a tangent on the Tamil question, Ms. Swaraj said the Indian Parliament was against terrorism, and for a united Sri Lanka. Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan had repeatedly stated that he wanted a solution within the framework of a united Sri Lanka, she pointed out. The next day, handing over a railway project at Aluthgama, she said a genuine political solution was necessary. She also reiterated India's commitment to remain closely engaged with the Sri Lankan government to advance the process of rehabilitation, reconstruction and national development.

‘India unanimous'

She said both the ruling party and the Opposition in India were on the same side on the issue of political settlement for the Tamils of the Northern Province.

The Indian side has said Ms. Swaraj will share her impressions of the visit on Saturday before leaving for New Delhi.

Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris and President's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga were present at the meeting.

A meeting with the whole delegation, slated for later in the evening, was called owing to bad weather. The helicopters ferrying them had to land at Kurunagala, just over 90 km away. This meeting has been rescheduled for Saturday morning.

On Friday, Ms. Swaraj visited Hatton to meet Tamils of Indian origin and to Batticaloa to meet Tamils in the eastern region. In Batticaloa, she inaugurated a vocational training school, and visited SWEA, an NGO that works with young widows.

There are 45,000 widows in the Eastern Province in the districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara. About 13,000 are under the age of 23.


Colombo must persuade TNA to join talks: Sushma
R. K. Radhakrishnan

Quote:
Leader of Opposition in the Loksabha Sushma Swaraj, who is leading a 12-member multi-party delegation to Sri Lanka, at SEWA in the Batticaloa, on Friday. Photo : R.K.Radhakrishnan
THE HINDU Leader of Opposition in the Loksabha Sushma Swaraj, who is leading a 12-member multi-party delegation to Sri Lanka, at SEWA in the Batticaloa, on Friday. Photo : R.K.Radhakrishnan

Noting that talks to find a negotiated political solution to the Tamil ethnic question are deadlocked, the Indian parliamentary delegation, which wound up its six-day tour of Sri Lanka, has emphasised to the government that the stalemate has to be ended.

“We told [Sri Lankan] President Mahinda Rajapaksa that this stalemate has to be broken,” said the leader of the delegation, Sushma Swaraj.

“He [Mr. Rajapaksa] said we can't bring them [the Tamil National Alliance, the credible representative of the Tamils living in the Northern Province] by force. I said yes, you can't bring them by force, but you can bring them by persuasion,” she added.

This was the theme running through the visit, she explained. “Persuade the TNA, persuade the UNP [United National Party, the main Opposition party], to join the talks. And unless and until the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) works, the deadlock will remain. So in every meeting, we have emphasised on this point,” she added.

In a joint statement, the delegation hoped that the government would “seize this window of opportunity and follow an enlightened approach to reach a genuine political reconciliation, based on a meaningful devolution of powers, which takes into account the legitimate needs of the Tamil people for equality, dignity, justice and self-respect. We have been assured in the past that this will be done within the framework of “Thirteenth Amendment – Plus.”

Asked if she or the delegation brought up with the President the fact that he had made promises of devolution and a political solution in May 2009 (to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon), in July 2010 (to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh), in January 2012 (to External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna), she said: “We emphasised this point in every meeting. Even today with Mahinda Rajapaksaji and, as you rightly said, we also reminded them that you have given assurance to the Prime Minister of India, the Hon. External Affairs Minister of India and even to me, as the Leader of Opposition [in the Lok Sabha] when I called on him,” she said.

“But they say that Parliamentary Select Committee will discuss this and they said that we are very, very serious. We said that you are not only talking about 13th Amendment but also 13th Amendment plus. That means something more than the devolution of power,” she added.

The delegation also pressed the TNA to rejoin the talks. It appealed to all parties to join the process in the PSC. “He [TNA leader R. Sampanthan] reiterated thrice that he wants a negotiated settlement and that too within the parameters of an undivided and united Sri Lanka. And he said that he is a proud Sri Lankan. We told the government side that if these are the parameters, then there should not be any problem. There is every scope of moving forward,” she said.

Army interference

One of the many points the delegation raised in the meeting with the President related to the Army's increasingly embedded role in society in the Northern Province. “We told them [the government] that Army is interfering in their [Tamils'] personal life, in their civil life. And the President was very candid. He said he would see to it that the Army would not interfere in their civil life,” Ms. Swaraj said.

On the resettlement programme, she noted that the pace of development “is good,” but “a lot remains to be done.” “There is the question of some missing persons also,” she added. On the question of refugees in India returning, she said that if the conditions in Sri Lanka were conducive, then the refugees would have returned. “It is for the Sri Lankan government to create the conditions that they return to their own homeland,” she said.

Asked to comment on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's comments, dismissing the delegation, she said that she would speak to the Chief Minister. “I will specially speak to madam Jayalalithaa that this visit is not a picnic trip; it is not a junket,” she said.


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PostPosted: 22 Apr 2012 16:47 
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Tamils of Eelam need non-partisan political solution: D.Raja

Quote:
the CPI leader said that there was no space for independent inquiry by the delegation led by the leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj.

The scope of the visit was regimented by Sri Lankan authorities, and displaced Tamils in refugee camps were tutored not to utter uncomfortable truths, the CPI leader alleged, speaking on the sidelines of a party event here.



Quote:
Ever since the delegation's visit was announced, there was much scepticism about its usefulness, as a similar tour by a group of UPA MPs from Tamil Nadu in the immediate aftermath of the end of the war in 2009 drew only derision from sympathisers of the Tamil cause. Moreover, critics are saying the omission of CPI's D. Raja and Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan, who have been consistently raising their voice in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils both in Parliament and other public platforms, is glaring.

T.K. Rangarajan (CPI-M), a member of the delegation, felt that it could have been useful, had Mr. Raja and Mr. Thirumavalavan been included in the team. Former VCK MLA Ravikumar and Tamils Protection Movement coordinator P. Nedumaran also stress this point.

However, Congress MP E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, who is part of the present delegation, contended that the visit would provide an opportunity to instil confidence in the Sri Lankan Tamils and send a message that India would always stand by them in times of crisis.

Rejecting criticism that the delegation would not be allowed to have a free interaction with the local Tamil population, Mr Natchiappan said: “We will also look into the law-and-order situation, besides the process of demilitarisation in Tamil areas.”

“We are visiting areas where India-sponsored projects are processing. We will meet Tamil leaders and are likely to have a discussion on the 13th amendment and the devolution process. We will have a thorough idea of the situation on the ground before meeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa,” he said.



Col.Hariharans take on Indian Parliamentary delegation to Colombo


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PostPosted: 22 Apr 2012 16:56 
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Indian MPs delegation presses forward on Tamil question

Quote:
The Indian joint parliamentary delegation spent Tuesday listening to arguments from people on both sides of the Tamil question and exploring the way forward to achieving the legitimate aspirations of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.


While an overseas visit by an Indian Parliamentary delegation normally involves a few courtesy calls, attempts at bonhomie, and a little bit of studying the country, this particular delegation has come to represent India. Two Ministers, the Leader of the Sri Lankan Parliament, 39 MPs, representatives of the main Tamil parties — all had meetings with the delegation, and had extensive discussions on the present situation in Sri Lanka.


Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris explained to the delegation that more than 50 per cent of the Tamils lived outside the Northern Province. He also told them that the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and hence, Sri Lanka was serious about implementing the recommendations of the Commission.


Tough questions


The Indian delegation, headed by Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, asked some very tough questions of both sides. “It is very clear that she [Sushma Swaraj] knows every aspect of the issue from the questions she posed,” said Suresh Premachandran, of the Tamil National Alliance. Congress MP Sudarsana Nachiappan, who has been in touch with the Tamil politicians here, and the government, and Communist Party of India (Marxist)'s T.K. Rangarajan, constantly explored the possibility of recommencing the talks between the TNA and the Sri Lankan government, in their meetings.


“We are for re-commencing the talks,” explained TNA leader R. Sampanthan, after a meeting with the delegation here. “The issue is that both sides should have faith in the talks. The government should come forward,” he said. In a presentation at Parliament, Mr. Sampanthan explained how the Sri Lankan government had broken promise after promise.


Foreign involvement


Insisting that a solution to the Tamil question will only be possible with foreign involvement, Mr. Sampanthan said over a year of talks had not yielded anything on the ground. Asked what he expected the delegation to do — especially since it was not a fact-finding mission or an empowered committee — the TNA leader said he expected the delegation to “present some kind of a report to the government, to their own parties,” and generally make India aware of the events in Sri Lanka since the conclusion of the war.


Mr. Premachandran said the TNA had also brought to the Indian MPs' attention the fact that the high-security zones in the Northern Province still remain occupied by the Amy, that over 800 persons are in government custody without charges, and many thousands are missing.


The delegation also met representatives of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and Ceylon Workers Congress. The TULF handed over a memorandum which made it clear that a “meaningful devolution which can meet the aspirations of the Tamil people, based on the Indian model only can bring permanent peace and reconciliation among the various communities.”



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PostPosted: 22 Apr 2012 17:03 
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Congress MPs see improvement in condition of Sri Lankan Tamils
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The four Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu, who were part of a Parliamentary delegation which concluded its five-day visit to Sri Lanka on Saturday, said here on Saturday that they could see some improvement in the life of Tamils there, but there was also lingering fear among them.

E.M. Sudharsana Natchiappan, M. Krishnassamy, N.S.V. Chitthan and Manicka Tagore were speaking to reporters immediately after their return from the island nation.

It was not a guided tour, as alleged by some parties, the MPs stressed at the press conference held at Sathyamurthi Bhavan, the Congress headquarters here.

“We were able to visit all the places we wanted to and interact with the Tamils in their own places without any army/ police escort,” Mr. Krishnassamy said. However, in some areas, the army could be seen questioning civilians about their movement, even if they visited a temple.

Only 6,000 people were now staying at the Manik Farm, a rehabilitation camp that once housed three lakh persons displaced by war. “These people said they wanted to go back to their native villages as they are languishing there for three years. However, Sri Lankan officials said their return was not possible until the United Nations could certify that the areas had been totally demined.”

The MPs said that they had an opportunity to study the ground situation in various areas where there was a substantial Tamil population.

They were definitely in need of infrastructure, including roads, irrigation facilities. School buildings had been demolished in certain areas.

The Indian government, apart from constructing 50,000 houses, had also helped to form women self-help groups.

“We wanted to tell our brethren there that the Indian government is very much with them. At the same time, our major focus was to impress upon Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa that implementation of the 13 Amendment, ensuring devolution of political powers and making Tamils equal citizens alone could bring about lasting peace. Besides, we wanted him to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC),” Mr. Natchiappan said.

According to the MPs, Mr. Rajapaksa responded that the issue of devolution would be considered by a Select Committee of Parliament.

He also wanted the representatives of the Tamil National Alliance to take part in the process.








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PostPosted: 22 Apr 2012 18:58 
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shyamd wrote:
Good News and glad some frank dialogue took place

Sushma Swaraj hands over railway line to Sri Lanka
R.K. Radhakrishnan
Quote:
When a railway project built with Indian assistance was handed over to Sri Lanka at a railway station here on Thursday, it marked a departure from tradition: it was not an Indian Minister who did the honour but the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, who is leading an Indian parliamentary delegation.

The upgraded coastal railway line, costing $167.4 million, was completed ahead of schedule by an Indian public sector company, IRCON. “I am honoured to be here today to hand over the completed section of the railway track between Galle and Kauthara…Today's ceremony marks the completion of work on the Galle to Kaluthara line in a timely and smooth manner by IRCON International,” said Ms. Swaraj at the ceremony.

It seems INC does not wish to appear to be doing something for the Sri Lankans lest it raises the ire of Tamil Nadu Tamils.


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PostPosted: 23 Apr 2012 04:31 
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Amazing how the most vociferous Indian MPs who parrot an anti-Lankan agenda run shy of ever visiting that country to find out for themselves the truth on the ground!

I don't think that the Cong. was afeared of Sushma inaugurating the rail link,after all,she was the head of the delegation and the honour should've fallen to her by convention.

The "13th amendment" will never ever be implemented,believe you me.It has an unlucky number firstly,and the entire 85% of Lankans other than those residing in the Jaffna Peninsula might opt for it.Even they might noe be against it as earlier,the demand for joining the north and eastern provinces was when the LTTE and its fuhrer ruled the roost over all Tamil speaking indiviiduals in the two provinces.After the defection of the eastern Tamils and Col.Karuna joining the govt.,there is no way that the eastern Tamils will dilute their locla political hegemony to their northern cousins,neither will their northern cousins want their own hegeomony of the peninsula,where they have special land rights,diluted or subject to rule by the eastern Tamils who might cobble an electoral majority along with the Muslims,who were massacred by the LTTE! It is immensely irritating when Indian politicos parrot the "13th amendment" as if it is a "divine incantation" that will bring peace to the island!

The ground realities have changed over the last 25 years,the LTTE have been exterminated and there is no way that the GOSL will allow them back,or their impossible demands back,which will negate the military and political victory obtained at immense cost in human lives and money over a quarter of a century in the island's history.This will also prepare the ground for ushering in a separate state through the back door.What the Tamils of the north wanted during Chelvanayakam's time,"district autonomy",the famous "B-C (Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam) pact",sabotaged by JR Jayawardene decades ago and long before he became pres.,came back to haunt him and the island in more virulent form.District autonomy is eminently possible as a first step and once implemented in full,seen to succeed without fear of separatism,further autonomy can be ushered in the fullness of time.The sooner all Lankans and well-wishers abroad accept this reality,the better the island will be for it.

The GOSL must also be seen to make moves in this direction for both empowering the local Tamils in running the show in their boroughs,as well as showing the international community that they are sincere in the implementation of LLRC findings.Clear cases of human rights/war crimes abuses must be prosecuted and a special judicial team to undertake the same under the control of the Lankan SC would be the best method forward.
Sri Lanka is the world's only example of terrorism defeated to the last man,due in major part to the fact that it is an island nation,something that even the world's most powerful western powers cannot achieve with all their economic and military might in Iraq and Af-Pak!


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2012 23:55 
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Was 13th Amendment not discussed with Indian MPs?
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The events seem to be a replay. It was External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna then. It is India’s Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj’s turn now. A leading newspaper in Sri Lanka has claimed that no discussion was held regarding the devolution of powers to States when the Indian MPs delegation met President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Soon after Mr. Krishna met the President in January 2012, the Indian side released to the press a statement, which said that the President had agreed to the implementation of the 13th Amendment (which grants some powers to the provinces) as a means to cater to the hopes and aspirations of Tamils in the Northern Province. Then too, there was no briefing from the government side. A day later, the government’s preferred newspaper, The Island, quoting the President, said that he did not discuss 13-plus with Mr. Krishna.

Now, it is Ms. Swaraj’s turn. She met the President for an unscheduled breakfast meeting on April 20, and then again, with the MPs delegation on April 21. The delegation was here to study the ground situation, and was the outcome of a heated debate during the last winter session, on the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Again, it is The Island that reported that the issue of implementing the 13-plus was not even raised at the meeting between Ms. Swaraj and Mahinda Rajapaksa. “The Sri Lankan Government yesterday strongly denied a statement attributed to Indian Opposition Leader, Sushma Swaraj that her delegation had received an assurance from President Mahinda Rajapaksa of his commitment to the 13th Amendment and his readiness to go even beyond it,” the newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“GoSL sources said that President Rajapaksa had met the Indian Opposition Leader twice on Friday and Saturday, but such an assurance was never given or asked for.

“During Saturday’s breakfast meeting at Temple Trees, President Rajapaksa recalled how India had forced the 13th Amendment on the then Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayewardene. Saturday’s meeting was attended by the entire Indian delegation, along with Indian High Commissioner, Ashok K. Kantha, now engaged in a stepped-up campaign for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, sources said.


“Responding to a query by The Island, sources alleged that an attempt was being made to pressure the government over the devolution process, in the wake of India voting for a resolution moved by the U.S. targeting Sri Lanka at the last sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. In the run-up to the Geneva vote on March 22, India sought an assurance from the GoSL regarding the 13th Amendment, sources said.

“In fact, President Rajapaksa, during Saturday’s meet, had declared that even CWC leader Minister Arumugam Thondaman, who represents the hill country, wouldn’t be comfortable with land and police powers being in the hands of a Chief Minister in line with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

“Sources emphasized that the GoSL’s commitment was for a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), which the President believed could propose a settlement which all parties will agree with,” the newspaper’s page-1 story said.


At a press conference at the end of the visit of the MPs delegation to Sri Lanka, Ms. Swaraj was asked: “You said that the President gave you assurances on a political solution. Even the last time – when Mr. Krishna was here – the Indian side said that the President had agreed to implement the 13th Amendment. But this was denied by the President later…”

This was her reply: “President himself spoke about 13th Amendment plus. So it’s not a question of a Minister saying or denying or confirming. The President himself said 13th Amendment plus.”

This reporter pointed out to her the following: “Sri Lanka has promised devolution of powers to meet the aspirations of Tamils in May 2009 to Ban Ki-moon; in June 2010 to Manmohan Singh; in January 2012 to S.M. Krishna. In your discussions with the Sri Lankan President did you feel that they were serious about devolution?

Ms. Swaraj’s reply: “We emphasised this point in every meeting. Even today with Mahinda Rajapaksa ji and as you rightly said, we also reminded them that you have given assurance to the Prime Minister of India, the Hon. External Affairs Minister of India and even to me, as Leader of Opposition when I called on him. But they say that Parliamentary Select Committee will discuss this and they said that we are very, vey serious. We said that you are not only talking about 13th Amendment but also 13th Amendment plus. That means something more than the devolution of power. And we have emphasised upon them that a stalemate has come. There is a deadlock in talks. We also appealed in that all party meeting that this stalemate has to be broken and we have to move forward. And today also we told the President Mahinda Rajapaksa that this stalemate has to be broken. He said we can’t bring them by force. I said ‘yes, you can’t bring them by force, but you can bring them by persuasion’. Persuade TNA, persuade UNP, to join the talks. And unless and until the Parliament Select Committee works, the deadlock will remain. So in every meeting, we have emphasised on this point.”

Mr. Rajapaksa is in South Korea on a four-day State visit.


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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2012 06:19 
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Quote:
chiragAS wrote:
Talk about pakiness being creeping in.
Lanka Having problem with India's Kudankulam nuclear plant. they are taking this to IAEA
I could have understood that they are worried about safety but they are raising it now? what were they doing when we started the constructions years ago.


Let them raise it.

Its just like pissing against the wind.

It will just blow back against them.

If the GOI also turns hostile or even indifferent they have no defence against the TN political parties. Even medical treatment for lankans will become difficult.


The most likely reason for raising this now is due to what happened in Japan after the Tsunami. I think it is good for every one that people raise their concerns about projects like this. At least this way there would be good disaster recovery plans in place.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2012 08:00 
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Tamil Eelam must, but through peaceful means: Karunanidhi

Quote:
Reiterating that a Tamil Eelam alone will offer a permanent solution for the Sri Lankan Tamils, who have been subjected to the “biggest ethnic cleansing of the century,” DMK leader and Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) president M. Karunanidhi on Monday said that the goal should be achieved only through non-violent methods.

Talking to reporters after the first meeting of the revived TESO, an organisation he founded in 1985, Mr. Karunanidhi said that even if the LTTE resurfaced to resume its struggle, the TESO would urge it to follow the path of non-violence. Asked if he had no faith in the armed struggle of the LTTE, Mr. Karunanidhi said, “Anyone committed to a cause and pursuing it with a pure heart and uncompromising fighting spirit will get our respect.”

Asked if LTTE leader Prabhakaran was still alive, the DMK leader said, “There is no death for warriors.”


en his attention was drawn to the claim by CPI (M) leader T.K. Rangarajan, who was part of the Parliamentary team that recently toured Sri Lanka, that none of the Tamil leaders was interested in a separate Eelam, Mr. Karunanidhi said it was possible that the delegation would have met only people with such a viewpoint. “But there are a lot of them who have suffered and there is a need to get their opinion too.”

Asked if the DMK would leave the Congress-led UPA if the Centre refused to support the TESO's demand, Mr. Karunanidhi said he was optimistic that the effort would succeed. “When many countries decided to support the resolution against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), India took a belated decision. You should not forget the fact that the DMK's efforts led to India supporting the resolution." Earlier, a resolution adopted at the meeting demanded the United Nations intervene and hold a referendum among Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Tamil diaspora for the formation of a separate Eelam.

“The United Nations will soon take a stand and leave it to the Tamils to decide the question of referendum. Already, a referendum is being conducted among the diaspora. This will create the conditions for recognition of the basic concept of Tamil Eelam adopted at the Vaddukottai conference in 1977.”




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