Feature Article

No foreign affairs without consulting states: India’s new foreign secretary

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 September 2011, 17:44 GMT]
“In our federal system, nothing is done and nothing will be done without the consultation of the State government,” India’s new Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai was cited saying on the issue of India and Bangladesh sharing the waters of Teesta River. No agreement on sharing the waters could be reached without West Bengal's consent, the Foreign Secretary told media in New Delhi on Monday. People of Tamil Nadu should take a special note of the consistent disparity in New Delhi’s treatment between the issues of Bengalis and Tamils. Demanded by West Bengal, India liberated Bangladesh, but acting completely opposite to the wishes of the people of Tamil Nadu, India contributed to genocide of Eezham Tamils. New Delhi has not acted on any of the resolutions of the State of Tamil Nadu, political circles in Tamil Nadu point out.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's eleventh-hour opposition to the Teesta River Water Sharing Treaty has stunned diplomats and experts on both sides of the border and threatens to unravel Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's first-ever visit to Bangladesh beginning Tuesday, The Hindu reported on Monday.

But on the very Tuesday, contrary to Tamil Nadu State Assembly’s resolution on economic sanctions against Sri Lanka, India signed a joint venture and ‘shareholder’ agreement with genocidal Colombo for a power station in Trincomalee in the country of Eezham Tamils.

“The Project is a landmark in bilateral economic cooperation between India and Sri Lanka,” said a press release of the High Commission of India in Colombo.

Colombo uses all economic and military assistances for Sinhala militarisation, colonisation, structural genocide of Eezham Tamils, and nullification of the territorial identity of the nation of Eezham Tamils in the island. Trincomalee is a specific target. For strategic reasons India in its foreign policy and in providing assistance connive with the genocidal agenda of Colombo, commented diaspora political activists.

In the double standard of consulting concerned States, the Indian foreign policy is like the stand of the CEO of the International Crisis Group (ICG), showing selective bias against the national question of Eezham Tamils compared to some other such situations in the world, the diaspora political activists further said.

In a recent interview to a Tamil Nadu Weekly, Kumudam, a Congress politician from Tamil Nadu, Dr. EM Natchiappan, defending his 'non-party' outlook in convening a meeting of Eezham Tamil parties in New Delhi last week asked that since Amma [Sonia Gandhi] is not in New Delhi, with whom else he could have consulted if there was a political agenda.

Does he mean that Sonia is solely responsible in the Congress for any foreign policy decision on Eezham Tamils and does he mean that Sonia was responsible for all foreign policy decisions on Eezham Tamils in the past, is a question raised in the diaspora political circles.

Meanwhile, commenting on the thinking of India’s new Foreign Secretary, activists of alternative politics in Tamil Nadu said that it is time for the people of Tamil Nadu to demand to know that to what extent India’s activities in the island of Sri Lanka took place and are taking place with the consultation of the State government. They cited Kachchatheevu in addition to the national question and genocide of Eezham Tamils.

If New Delhi has acted and is acting against the wishes of the Tamil Nadu State, what course of action the people of Tamil Nadu are going to take is a question of national importance, the activists in Tamil Nadu said.

According to them, the Tamil Nadu State should be more specific and unambiguous in reflecting and registering the wishes of the people of Tamil Nadu by spelling out the liberation and independence of Eezham Tamils. Otherwise, unscrupulous elements in Indian politics, projecting ‘rehabilitation and development’ are the current issues for the ‘remaining’ Tamils in the island, will hijack the fundamental cause to the benefit of genocidal Sri Lanka, against the righteous wishes of the people of Tamil Nadu, the activists said.

If the question comes from India’s central government, other peoples of India and the international community, whether the State of Tamil Nadu like West Bengal on Bangladesh in 1970, ever officially stood for the independence of Eezham Tamils, the TN state has no answer, the activists of alternative politics in Tamil Nadu pointed out.

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