National Interest: Conscience and cowardice

For all those who urge him to boycott CHOGM, PM has an effective reply: his oath of office.

Before the prime minister decides if there is still room for a decision whether he should go to Colombo for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) or not, he needs to remember the weeks leading up to the election five years ago in the summer of 2009.

Sri Lankan army's total offensive against the LTTE, initiated in January that year, was peaking in April-May. Think about some crucial dates. May 13 was the polling day in Tamil Nadu. May 16 was the day all election results were announced. On exactly the same date, May 16, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced at the G-11 meeting in Jordan that the LTTE had been defeated and he would be returning to his country as "leader of a nation that has crushed terrorism".

Exactly two days later, on May 18, the Sri Lankan army announced the killing of Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Now nobody is so naive as to believe in serial coincidences. And surely none of those who know better. These include the prime minister, all his key aides then and now, and M. Karunanidhi and J. Jayalalithaa. And if any of the Tamil members of the Union cabinet, including the prime minister's latest pen-friends, say they had no idea what was going on, they are either delusional or hypocrites or liars. Or all of these.

Everybody in Tamil politics now spitting such fire, demanding that India should say that Sri Lanka is not even a civilised state, knows the truth of the summer of 2009, when the atrocities we are now complaining about took place. Many of them were more than willing participants and complicit either in deed or in conscious denial. All Tamil parties made token noises. The DMK threatened to break away from the UPA routinely, but did not. Karunanidhi sat on a fast "unto death" demanding a ceasefire, but declared victory six and a half hours later, effectively in time for his next meal, as P. Chidambaram stated that the Sri Lankans would not use any heavy weapons. Jayalalithaa, who had in the past repeatedly called the LTTE a terrorist organisation and had demanded that it be crushed, now belatedly supported the idea of Eelam in one odd speech, asked for Indian military intervention, but stopped there. She did not even miss one meal to at least get even with Karunanidhi. And what about the Tamil voter? The most pro-Eelam Indian leader who went to the polls with Sri Lankan Tamils as his solitary issue, Vaiko in Virudhunagar, was thrashed by a still green-behind-the-ears Congressman, Manicka Tagore, by 15,764 votes.

... contd.

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