Main Logo

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Indo Lanka Accord and the Provincial Councils – II

The Indo Lanka Accord that was signed in July 1987 is now defunct, and we would argue further that it was not valid even soon after the signing of the accord due to inconsistencies, inclusion of undefined terms. It is also an infringement of sovereignty of the people of the country and J R Jayawardhane could not betray the sovereignty even as the President of the country. The President only exercises the executive powers of the sovereignty of the people, which is inalienable.  Before we continue along those lines we have to concentrate on the need of another Indo Lanka Accord (rather Lanka India Accord) to protect Budusasuna (there is no translation in English) in India. It has to be noted that the need for a second Indo Lanka Agreement arises only if some of the premises on which the first Indo Lanka Agreement are valid.

There was no reason whatever for India to get involved in internal matters of Sri Lanka, and Rajiv Gandhi forced J R Jayawardhane to sign the first accord using terror tactics through “Parippu” Diplomacy. Dixith played the role of the Viceroy and almost all the Sinhala people were against it, and the act of the sailor at the parade, whether correct or not symbolized the sentiments of the Sinhala people. Even today, twenty six years after the event, the sailor is respected by the Sinhala people in general, except for the so called rational minded people among them. India intervened with the pretext of  safeguarding the rights of the Tamils in Sri Lanka who are mainly descendants of Tamils who were brought to Sri Lanka after 1750 first by the Dutch and then by the English. It was only a pretext and India used the sentiments of some Tamil Nadu politicians to interfere with the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. If the thirteenth amendment is implemented in full with the provincial councils enjoying all the provisions as laid down in the thirteenth amendment and the provincial councils act, not only that the country will be divided but the envisaged Eelam would become a satellite of India. With the present set of TNA leaders in power in an Eelam, all the decisions regarding Eelam would be taken in Delhi. Even today they run to Delhi at the drop of a hat, and it is clear that an Eelam with Prabhakaran would have resisted Delhi, not that the Sinhalas would in general would have welcomed it.

Indian strategy appears to be the establishment of an Eelam without Prabhakaran after the latter was successful in killing Rajiv Gandhi in Tamil Nadu. We do not believe that India is under pressure of Tamil Nadu to intervene in Sri Lanka on behalf of the descendants of Tamils brought from that part of India to Sri Lanka. If that is the case what is the reason for India to overlook the descendants of Tamils of more recent origin to the present central province of Sri Lanka. From the very beginning the Vellalas who were brought to Jaffna were interested in the welfare of those in the peninsula. They even neglected the people in the present Kilinochchi as Ananda Sangaree would testify. The Tamils living in that part of the Northern Province saw some kind of development only after Kilinochchi became a separate district.  The Vellala Tamil leaders in the Jaffna peninsula took an interest in the Tamils in the other parts of the country only after they realized with Chelvanayakam that the Tamils in the peninsula alone could not establish an Eelam even with the assistance of the west and India. Indian leaders have been interested in not only an Eelam subservient to them, but making whole of Sri Lanka another state of India. Sikkim the country of Berth of Ven. S. Mahinda Thero is now a state of India, with the latter influencing Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives. India saw to it that Pakistan was divided and wanted a Bangladesh that was ruled from Delhi. If possible India would rule not only all the countries in the SAARC region but Tibet as well.

India overlooked the Tamils of recent origin and while the Vellala leaders concentrated on the Northern and Eastern Provinces with the blessings of England to establish an Eelam in those two provinces stating that they are the “traditional habitats” of the Tamils. The Tamils in Sri Lanka are of more recent origin than the Muslims who were settled in the Eastern Province by the Sinhala kings. India is only using Tamil Nadu, and not the other way about, to establish an Eelam in the Northern and Eastern Provinces claiming that they have to look after the interests of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. However, this is a false claim as they only pay lip service to the Tamils of more recent origin.

We are interested in another Indo Lanka agreement or accord or whatever it is as it is becoming clear that India is increasingly failing to protect the Buddhists and Budusasuna in India. The Sri Lankan forces being the only armed forces to have eradicated terrorism in a country could help India to protect the places of Buddhist worship in Sri Lanka. It may be that Prince Siddhartha was born in Nepal or Kalinga (Orissa) and attained Buddhathava in Bodh Gaya in India. However it is Sri Lanka and the Sinhalas that have protected Budusasuna and if India can interfere with internal matters in Sri Lanka claiming that they are interested in the welfare of the Tamils, Sri Lanka should be able to get involved in at least protecting the places of Buddhist worship in the interest of Budusasuna. It is not my intention to complicate matters still further by claiming that Prince Siddhartha was born in Sri Lanka as some Sinhala Buddhists do, and all that I am interested is in the welfare of the Buddhists and the protection of Budusasuna in India.

The timing of the bomb blast in Bodh  Gaya is intriguing. We are in the midst of amending the thirteenth amendment and holding the first elections to the Northern Province provincial council. We welcome both these which are done very democratically (in the western style, of course), unlike the signing of the Indo Lanka Accord and passing of the thirteenth amendment and the provincial council bill. Who is interested in sabotaging both these? Who would like to create troubles in Sri Lanka at this juncture? Indian Brahmins, western intellectuals will come out with various stories or theories, but who would believe that the bombs were blasted by Muslim terrorists or Maoist terrorists or any other group?  There are problems between Muslims and Theravada Buddhists in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand and also in Bangladesh but it is very unlikely that a Muslim terrorist group is responsible for the bomb attack. It is a story created by the west and India to set up the Buddhists in those countries against the Muslims and at this juncture, Sri Lanka is the most vulnerable country.  

Fortunately the Buddhists in Sri Lanka kept their cool, and the attempt to create problems in this country has failed. The Indian high officials will continue to exert pressure on Sri Lanka, but the Sinhala people in general and also some others as well are now of the opinion that the thirteenth amendment has to be amended if not abolished. The elections to the Northern Province provincial council also would be held democratically and we should be able to defeat the strategies of the Kautilyas. The Kautilyas may take a few Muslims and/or Maoists into custody over the bomb blast in Bodh Gaya but we should expect more of these activities in the next few months and should take all measures not to be trapped by the provocateurs. Our prime motive is to amend the thirteenth amendment, if not abolish it, which in any event has been defeated politically. We should not give into any pressure from the west or India, and work for a referendum to obtain the opinion of the people whom the sovereignty is in. (To be continued)   

Nalin De Silva