Open Letter to BJPs National President.
Journalist & Writer,
09 April 2001.
To: Hon. Mr. Jana Krishnamurthy, National President, Baratya Janata Party Central Office,
11 Ashokh Road, New Delhi 110 001, India.
Tel: + 92-11-3382234 35: Fax: + 92-11-3782163
I am writing this letter, in the wake of the political banditry of the Indian parliamentarians at the August assemblies of India - the Lokh Sabah (House of Representatives) and Rajya Sabah (Senate). The opposition parliamentarians held sway of the parliament, mainly by those belonging to the Congress party, preventing the Government of HE Atal Behari Vajpayee from carrying on the day to day parliamentary business, for nearly 10 days in a row. World witnessed the unruly scenes that were staged with aghast and disappointment, in the wake of the Tehelka.com revelations against the BJP led Government. It was indeed unfortunate, that the opposition parliamentarians of India behaved in such unruly manner, making the civilized world dumbfounded.
Earlier, a resolution adopted by the All India National Congress's, at its 81st Plenary Session, held at Bangalore, between 17- 18 March 2001. According to the resolution, the Congress would play "a pro-active role" in restoring a secular government and maintain unity and integrity of the nation and the party's readiness to enter into a coalition arrangement with secular parties as part of an electoral alliance in the light of the present political scenario at the center. With a resolution of this nature, it is indeed unbecoming of a political party with more than one hundred years of history, to have resolved to adopt undemocratic measures to over throw an elected government, indeed very unfortunate. Furthermore, it is very disheartening to learn that Congress party has called upon its cadres to organize black flag demonstration against HE Prime Minister of India.
Opposition parties in India staged unruly scenes inside and outside the parliament, it is alleged, was to topple BJP led government, after the exposure of the: "Tehelka dot com's" arms deal, with allegations of high level corruption prevalent in the midst of the leaders of the National Democratic Front. Fortunately or unfortunately, the exposure has brought in vulnerability to the government, also ended the tenure of Bangaru Laxmans Presidency of the Baratya Janata Party, and catapulted your good self to be the new acting President and subsequently confirmed as the National President of the party. You have taken the helm of the party at a time when the BJP and BJP led National Democratic Front Government faces unprecedented crisis. I have to doubts in my mind that with your charismatic personality and experience, you will help to steer the Party in particular and the Government in general, out of this political quagmire.
After the great Kamraj Nadar, who took the helm of All India National Congress, you are the second Tamilian from the South, to take over the Presidency of another ruling national party - Baratya Janata Party - seen either a sailing ship in the calm waters or a sinking one in the turbulent sea.
Whilst being proud of your achievement, I have my reservations too. My reservations are not based on the allegations about the so-called arms deal, which is entirely an internal matter, but it is on a different plane, that affects the Tamils of Sri Lanka.
Though I am a Hindu, I am a Sri Lankan and a Tamil, who is always proud to claim myself a Sri Lankan Tamil national. It is unfortunate, a leader of your caliber, a Tamil, has come to the forefront to lead the party, which is presently the ruling party of the country again is alleged where the venal and violence is the order of the day.
Furthermore, we the Tamils of Sri Lanka feel that your party is an anti-Tamil political party, which works against the interest of the Tamils of Sri Lanka. We the Tamils consider India as our, "Big Brother," unfortunately up to date, India have betrayed us to the Sri Lankan government for reasons not comprehensible to us. Unfortunately, the government led by HE Atal Behari Vajpayee continues to remains a silence spectator, whilst the Tamils are being massacred brutally. India's Foreign Minister, HE Jaswant Singh, who also presently doubles as the Defense Minister, it is alleged, plays a lead role in supporting and assisting the Sri Lanka's government to subdue the Tamils.
In April 2000, when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was seen routing the Sri Lankan army and was about to capture the Jaffna city, but suddenly, the BJP led government announced unilaterally that it had made necessary arrangements to withdraw the beleaguered 40,000 Sri Lankan armed forces to safety, a measure uncalled for by Sri Lanka. Subsequently, Indian Foreign Office played a lead role in arranging Sri Lanka to establish diplomatic relationship with Israel, by which Sri Lanka was able to purchase modern weapons, airplanes, arms and ammunition, also obtained training and experts services from Israel for the destruction of the Tamils.
Followed by all those behind the scene anti-Tamil maneuverings, in April 2000, HE Jaswant Singh made an official visit, air-dashing to Colombo, to alley the fears of the government led by HE Chandrika Kumaratunge, regarding the comment made by
HE Mutthuvelu Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the leader of the National Democratic Front in Tamil Nadu, about the "Czech model Government for Sri Lanka." In addition, HE Jaswant Singh donated US$ 100 million to enable the Sri Lankan government to purchase arms to incapacitate the Tamils.
Since of late, your HE Foreign Minister pressurized the British government to proscribe the LTTE - a Separatist outfit of Sri Lanka, under Terrorism Act 2000, in Britain. From the very day BJP government assumed the responsibility of ruling India, it aided and abetted actions to suppress the Tamils in Sri Lanka by providing cooperation by all possible ways, to Sri Lanka.
Earlier, Varatharaja Perumal, the former Chief Minister of North-Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka, was given political asylum and lived in Orissa, India. In the latter part of 1998, he was quietly dispatched to Colombo on the request HE President of Sri Lanka to help her in her presidential election campaign 1999, and shore up her popularity. Undoubtedly, this was done by the Indian government with the view to reinforce HE Chandrika Kumaratunge's stand against the Tamils.
The BJP led Government of India has displayed its disdain towards the Tamils of Sri Lanka, very openly, in number of occasions. Earlier, M.K. Eelaventhan, a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee lived in Chennai with his wife and children, since 1984. Suddenly, in December 2000, on the orders of the Foreign Ministry, he was deported to Colombo. There were no compelling reasons in the case of Eelavanthan, a refugee, who sought asylum in India, to be deported to Colombo. It is a gross inhuman act.
It is unfortunate that the Indian Government is making use of the one hundred and fifteen thousands and more Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in the South India, as bargaining chip to bolster its vested interest with Sri Lanka. They were denied of the opportunity to contact the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to establish their refugee status and to seek asylum through the UNHCR, to an asylum giving Third world country. This is indeed a very high handed act and the gross violation of human rights. No country in the world has denied access to UNHCR to refugees, except India since 1983, who have entered their country, to establish their status and be entitled for asylum in another country.
These refugees are not allowed to travel to any other country, other than to Colombo. Even in case these refugees managed to have proper travel documents, they are restricted from going to another country, except Colombo. Even their movements are watched, denied traveling rights to another district within the state and are susceptible to be fleeced by agencies that are supervising them. They are virtually kept as prisoners with daily interference of the police and officials and ending up in untold misery, harassment and persecution. This shows that India is not interested in the human sufferings of those innocent people, but they make use of these peoples' presence to advance the bargaining power with Sri Lanka.
When I contacted the international refugee organization, I was told that India has given strict instructions, from the days of Rajiv Gandhi that Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are the concern of the Indian government and the International Refugees Organization should not interfere on their behalf. Tamils are grateful to the Indian government for giving refuge, but it must be remembered that nobody has empowered India to trample their basic right to seek asylum in a Third country.
As you are a Tamil, I thought I should vent my feelings and bring this to your kind notice so that you might show some degree of concern in rectifying the genuine grievances of the Tamils. Now, I wish to clearly explain that, if you declare that your government is only working against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and not against the Tamils as a whole, then it would be considered a lame excuse, amounts to hoodwinking the international community.
The issues in Sri Lanka are interwoven with the fabric of the Tamil society in the country, where the issues of the Tamils are the issues of the LTTE and vice versa. LTTE leaders and members are not imported from any other country or they are not mercenaries, but they are all Tamils of Sri Lanka and sons of the soil. When the Sri Lankan government took up to, arms, at the initial stages, through state orchestrated racial disturbances and then through armed suppressions, it became necessary for the youths to take up arms. It was India, which trained these youths to fight the Sri Lankan armed forces. Though India after the demise of HE Rajiv Gandhi has dropped those youth in the cold, they continue with their fight to free the Tamils against the successive oppressive governments.
War in Sri Lanka is an armed conflict to restore the birthrights of the Tamils and an extension of a political process in a country, where the government only understands the language of war. In Sri Lanka, it is accepted that war as an organized, premeditated, socially approved, action to prepare for a durable peace in the future. "War for Peace" a slogan of the Peoples Alliance government led by the present HE President too confirms to the above definition regarding the war.
Freedom is liberation from oppression, suppression and persecution. To achieve this freedom, so far it has been the continuous loss of lives of thousand of Tamils, sickeningly on a regular basis, yet it remains an unfinished business, a war fought without witness. I am not prepared to vulgarize those young men and women, who martyred for a noble cause of freedom, though I hate violence and militancy. Armed conflict has accelerated to the point of no return and even any others or me have no alternate solution to offer to Mr. Velupillai Pirapaharan, the Tiger Supremo and his men whose actions, today politically or otherwise, determine the plight of Sri Lanka. Even the international community, up to date too, has failed to put forward an honorable and acceptable solution to the conflict, except name calling those fights the suppression for freedom as "Terrorists." Your Good self may be aware that, by calling some one as terrorists will not solve any issues. Therefore, international community and India should come forward to put together the hearts and minds to resolve and not to aid and abet.
Therefore, I appeal to you in your present capacity as the new Honorable National President of the BJP, to interfere and stop the anti-Tamil activities initiated adopted and stealthily operated by your government.
I trust that my request would be given heed and responded.
In conclusion, I wish to state that
Tomorrow we may fall and be no more, but long live our beloved Tamil.