Feature Article

India’s blunder on Eezham Tamils brings in domino effect in Indian Ocean

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 January 2013, 02:24 GMT]
The historic blunder committed by New Delhi in not boldly checking the genocidal State and regime in Colombo, and New Delhi’s continued complicity in the genocide of Eezham Tamils –all said to be due to a competition with China in wooing the criminal State– have seriously eroded all credibility of India in the neighbourhood, and one by one all the small Indian Ocean countries have started playing the game of Colombo, political analysts in Jaffna said, citing the recent developments in the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius. Indian analysts and sections of India’s so-called national media that see only the money of China playing the culprit, fail to see India’s loss of credibility being the fundamental reason. Only a bold Indian action on genocidal Sri Lanka could course-correct all the others in the region, the Jaffna analysts said.

Writing in The Daily Star of Bangladesh on Saturday, Indian origin analyst Harsh V. Pant, teaching at the Department of Defence Studies of the King’s College, London, said: “China's rising profile in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region isn't news. What's significant is the diminishing role of India and the rapidity with which New Delhi has ceded strategic space to Beijing in regions traditionally considered India's periphery.”

“This quiet assertion of China has allowed various smaller countries to play China off against India. Most states in the region now use the China card to balance against India's predominance,” the defence analyst said.

Touching on China expanding military and naval cooperation with Seychelles and the possibilities of Mauritius succumbing to the lure of Chinese money, Harsh Pant was particularly elaborating on Maldives cancelling the airport agreement with the Indian corporate GMR.

The writer also cited the visit of the Maldivian defence minister to China two days after the cancellation, New Delhi’s hints on external forces operating behind the cancellation and some local Maldivians reacting that the airport contract be rather given to friends in China.

What the writer didn’t say is the folly of New Delhi that encouraged the Maldives to couple itself with the Rajapaksa regime in the genocidal war and its aftermath, which is now boomeranging, the Jaffna analysts commented.

The Indian writer also doesn’t see that the GMR failure of India in the Maldives was largely due to encroachment into the interests of local businessmen, arrogant handling by Indian diplomats and lack of understanding in New Delhi about the closely-knit society of the island nation, where not necessarily a businessman but even an ordinary fisherman is closely related to the politically top-most in the country.

It was a rare event in the Maldives that nearly 6000 copies of a book written in Dhivehi language on the GMR issue was sold within the country of just 3,20,000 people. Those who view the issue from New Delhi and London should translate and read the booklet to understand the local sentiments, commented media sources in Malé.

Harsh Pant, a former JNU student, is completely unrealistic in implying that Tamil Nadu is the problem for India in competing with China and in reaching out Sri Lanka, commented a political analyst of the University of Jaffna.

“At a time when domestic political constraints have made it difficult for New Delhi to reach out to Colombo, Beijing has been quick to fill that vacuum,” wrote the Indian origin defence studies lecturer in London.

A similar psyop campaign, addressed to policy planners in India and targeting the people of Tamil Nadu, has recently come from two defence related US academics too – a Harvard researcher and a US Naval War College professor.

“Hence the domestic political complications imposed on New Delhi by the Tamil Nadu political faction is heightening the likelihood that Chinese warships will be visiting or based in southern Sri Lanka in the near future,” the US writers have said in a December article of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Sections of Indian intelligence bigwigs also hold the same view, The Hindu’s former editor N. Ram favours supporting the ‘strongest ever president’ of Sri Lanka and Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma is working behind the scene in handing over the Commonwealth portfolio of human rights and affairs of small nations into the hands of Sri Lanka, informed sources cite.

Harsh Pant quoted the new Indian External Affairs Minister, Salman Khurshid suggesting that India must accept “the new reality” of China's presence in areas it considers exclusive.

This is a seeming acknowledgement of Chinese presence rapidly shaping South Asia and Indian Ocean regions, Pant said.

Mr. Khurshid’s two predecessors have cut an extremely poor image in handling genocidal Sri Lanka– the core issue of India’s China concerns, which the Indians don’t want to admit.

One of Khurshid’s predecessors, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee made even indictable blunders in dealing with numbers at the time of the genocidal war. The presence of mind of the other predecessor Mr. S.M. Krishna to the portfolio he was handling got internationally exposed at the UN in February 2011, to the embarrassment of all Indians.

Not only peoples of India, but also peoples of entire South Asia and the region of Indian Ocean affected by India’s foreign policy blunders have a right to know who actually handles India’s foreign policy, political analysts in Jaffna said.

If citing China for the continued appeasement with genocidal Sri Lanka –the criminal paradigm setter in the region– and at the same time facilitating all avenues of entry for China into the region is going to continue with New Delhi’s policy makers, then it shouldn’t be a problem at all for them to compromise with seeing all Tamils following the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius, the Jaffna analysts further said.


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External Links:
The Daily Star: Island nations play China, India
FPRI: The ‘Tamil Nadu Factor in China’s Naval Basing Ambitions in Sri Lanka


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