Sri Lanka Dependent on India

by Michael Patrick O'Leary

Sri Lanka dependent on India

Exclusive June 2010, by Padraig Colman

Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa visited New Delhi for four days last week for talks with Indian ministers. He returned home with seven bi-lateral agreements with India, and immediately met China’s deputy prime minister in Colombo.

Small nations are bound to have complex relationships with large powerful neighbours. Ireland, for instance, had an ambivalent association with Britain, and the imperial power continued to exert power long after Ireland became independent. Cyprus’s fate will always be intertwined with that of Turkey and Greece. Sri Lanka is a nation about the same size as Ireland with a population of 20 million. Yet just across the Palk Straits there are around 65-70 million Tamils, many of whom were sympathetic to the fight by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) for a separate Tamil state within the territory of Sri Lanka.

India’s support for Sri Lanka in recent years was a vital factor in the defeat of the LTTE in 2009. Radar equipment was supplied and the Indian secret service, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), discreetly provided intelligence and training for pilots. Indian naval support prevented the Tiger leaders from escaping by sea to fight again.

The Indian government is today providing aid for de-mining areas formerly controlled by the LTTE and rebuilding the railways in the north. Some Sri Lankans are ambivalent about India’s agenda in promoting reconciliation through devolution, under the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution. India’s help to the LTTE is seared into the national memory – the mines that India is now helping to remove were originally laid with Indian assistance.

Part of the game plan

Governments from the India state of Tamil Nadu had long provided a haven for Tamil separatist militants from Sri Lanka. The central government under Indira Gandhi connived in this, and tolerated the existence of bases and training camps in other parts of India. According to MR Narayan Swamy, the biographer of the LTTE leader Prabakharan, the RAW trained 1,200 Sri Lankan Tamils in the use of weapons and laying mines between 1983 and 1987. Arms deliveries to various groups began in 1984 and went on almost up to the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement in 1987 (1).

Douglas Devananda, once a separatist militant and now a government minister (he accompanied Rajapaksa on his recent trip to India and was threatened with arrest for murders carried out in Tamil Nadu in 1986), says: “We realised that they were only trying to use us in their game plan.” It was widely rumoured that Indira Gandhi intended to use Sri Lankan Tamil rebels as an advance force in a plan to emulate the Turkish action in North Cyprus in 1974 and actually take over part of Sri Lanka. A retired Sri Lankan intelligence officer writing anonymously in the Sunday Leader (2) claims the RAW was responsible for a bomb blast in Colombo’s Pettah market in 1987 and planned to blow up the city’s sewerage system if the Sri Lankan government did not comply with India’s wishes. That same year India, finding the LTTE intractable, sent in the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). The stated intention was to bring a swift end to the conflict by disarming the LTTE, but the Tigers were as ready to fight the Indians as the Sinhalese.

Sri Lankan Tamils were alienated when frustrated Indian soldiers, out of their depth, committed atrocities, such as a massacre of doctors, nurses and patients at a hospital in Jaffna on 21 October 1987. This followed intensive shelling of the city of Jaffna. According to Narayan Swamy: “The Indian army had been welcomed with garlands and prayers…For the mass of Jaffna people, the IPKF offensive was an unbelievable conflagration, a horror movie come true.” And the Sri Lankan government accused India of violating its sovereignty and international law by sending the Indian air force to drop food supplies on Jaffna.

Ranasinghe Premadasa, prime minister of Sri Lanka from 1978-88, had always been opposed to the accord with India. When he succeeded JR Jayawardene as president in December 1988, tensions between Sri Lanka and India increased. Premadasa saw the removal of the IPKF as essential to restore order to the south after the bloody JVP uprising because the Sinhalese nationalist JVP traded on bitter opposition to Indian interference. Premadasa was later assassinated by the LTTE, on May Day 1993.

Withdrawal was completed in March 1990. More than 1,000 Indian soldiers had been killed and over 2,000 wounded. The financial cost to India of its intervention in Sri Lanka was put at around $1.25bn. But the real cost was far higher. Rajiv Gandhi’s mother Indira was the architect of India’s interventionist policy: Rajiv oversaw its intensification and paid the ultimate price – assassination by the LTTE.

Poisoned chalice?

Before Rajapaksa’s visit to India there were street protests in Colombo by leftist elements and high profile lobbying by professional and business people against the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Part of the anxiety about this trade agreement, which has been growing for over two years, is that the government is withholding details, so people fear Sri Lanka could be dominated by cheaper and skilled Indian services at the expense of domestic industry. The fear is that this version of “free trade” with India will be analogous to the way the US uses Nafta to maintain hegemony over weaker trading partners. In The Island newspaper Douglas Jayasekera has related his experience of previous trade negotiations (3).

Deuteronomy tells us that gifts blind the eyes of the wise. Aid can be a poisoned chalice. Indian “aid” has come in the form of interest-bearing loans and development projects have provided few jobs for Sri Lankans. The big Chinese projects have used only Chinese labour. And the Chinese presence building a port at Hambantota has caused India anxiety and may be the reason for the proposed new Deputy High Commission in that city. Many Sri Lankans wonder at the real reason for an Indian diplomatic presence in Jaffna and Hambantota when there are few Indian nationals in either place. The suspicion is that the Jaffna office, which will undoubtedly have RAW personnel on its staff, is to develop closer relations between the Tamil community in Jaffna and Tamil Nadu.

Some Sri Lankans fear being colonised by India. The anonymous intelligence officer links this in with the promotion of the 13th amendment which India imposed on Sri Lanka as a means of devolving power to the north and east, the territory claimed by the LTTE as a Tamil homeland. He claims: “This is a first step towards setting up a client state in the north and east of our country which would ultimately vote to link itself with Tamil Nadu and India”. But Dayan Jayatilleka, Sri Lanka’s UN ambassador in Geneva during the closing stages of the war, sounds a warning note: “If India stops supporting us, not even the Non Aligned Movement will defend us fully, because they take their cue from respected Third World states such as India” (4).

11 comments on « Sri Lanka dependent on India »

  • # Christine :
    17 June 2010 @06h18
    Sri Lanka dependent on India
    India has a overblown population of poverty-stricken citizens And the coastal belt of Tamilnadu state tTrivandrum, Madurai, Chenai,has some filthy living conditions and awful cultural practices like childhood denial and the rest ( film Water, and world media reports)Indira Gandhi created a thirty year war for Srilankans. The horror tactics that killed many are now exposed by her own terror mongers.India have a taste of it now in their own cities as they bounce back on them.We rejoice today as we have freed our country of Indian supported Tamil Terrorism.And Indira Gandhi who is described by western World media as ’Mother of Destruction’ has paid the ultimate price with her own blood and that of her Son, reminding that “History repeats itself”.We appeal to our President to maintain a very cautious but cool relationship with India.India was creating blood shed in many states around them so there will be a day that india stand trial before ’GOD’ and their rivers will then flow with their own blood as we did with ours for the last thirty years. President’s Business relationship with india might damage the Srilankan work culture and ethics.Australian work places are already having trouble with cheap Indian employees who are trained to work as Robots where Creative thinking and decision making under the control of the worker is very poor next to nothing and they have poor and arrogant interpersonal skills.The smooth and gentle communication skills we have in Srilankans in our workplaces will be then diminished for ever.Again we might develop pronunciation problems as one person here said “Indians speak english like they eat MURRUKU” and so it sounds . It is seen that Indians are manipulative in eliminating others from jobs to have another Indian in the job because they come with long term plans of migration,and they can’t face competition in the work place due to inadequate training and social and language inadequacies. Also found that they produce high-school IT certificates as advanced work place IT qualifications to obtain Visas, When these Indian companies bring in cheap Robotic Indian labour, then we are fooled by denying jobs for our own highly qualified Srilankans whom we loose to other countries as brain drain.President please give a thought to our past as there is a Sinhala saying “Ginipelelen bataka miniha kalamadiria tath bayalu” We are an democratic once highly regarded independent nation The Tamil presence in our country has tarnished that image. So they have to face reality and fall in line now to make Srilanka a mother land for all ethnic groups to grow in it.Why this big fuss about only Tamil, and to have Indian dominance in Srilanka Why do they want to have a say in runing our country?.Are our leaders not capable enough to run the country?.
  • # MahamahaRaja :
    17 June 2010 @19h26
    Sri Lanka dependent on India

    India is in no position to dominate Sri Lanka. India is a poor country, with hungry and uneducated masses. Tamil Nadu is a case in point. Therefore there is no way India could support a client state in northern Sri Lanka. However, weak politicians, blinded by gifts (as the author notes) could easily allow this impossibility to become a reality.

    So far, Rajapaksa and the defence establishment have withstood foreign meddling and supported the forces of Good in this country (the military) resolutely and with courage. They are no doubt aware of the RAW meddling in Jaffna and Hambantota, and it is therefore up to them to come up with a calm counter-insurgency operation against these imperialist ambitions of a few jokers in India. I’m sure the Indian people would be horrified if they knew what their leaders were doing, playing Machiavellian games with tiny neighbours while their population lives in squalor, and it is up to decent local and foreign media to highlight these criminal machinations of narcisstic Indian politicians.

    If they really feel for Tamils and support Tamil self-rule, why don’t they allow independence for the real Tamil homeland, Tamil Nadu?

    If Rajapaksa does the foolish thing and go along with Indian gifts, the voters of this country will kick him, his son, and the rest of his family out of power. Sri Lankans do not tolerate double-dealing or betrayal of the sacrifice of the infantrymen, seamen, and airmen of this great nation.

  • #
    18 June 2010 @05h28
    Sri Lanka dependent on India
    I feel CEPA will have adverse affects on Indian economy as China may use Sri Lanka to flood their products to Indian Market.
  • # Richard Kaz :
    18 June 2010 @06h15
    Sri Lanka dependent on India

    The comments from anti-Tamil elements from Sri Lanka are predictable. Unafraid and unashamed to be racist.

    This article is an unbelievable one-sided one. Only pro-Rajapaksa Tamils like Devananda and MR Narayan Swami are quoted. Where is the true opinions of the Tamils in this article?

    Having said that, the Congress Party led government in Delhi was never genuinely interested in the welfare of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. It paid lip service to the issue to attempt to placate the Tamil Nadu people. But with the LTTE defeated and the Rajapaksa regime increasingly showing its true colours as a Sinhala supremacist one, the people of Tamil Nadu cannot be fooled anymore by Delhi’s acquiescence.

    The Sinhala supremacists often ran a false campaign that independence or even autonomy for Sri Lankan Tamils would result in similar demands in Tamil Nadu. But the Tamils knew the opposite was true. If the conflict in Sri Lanka was resolved to the satisfaction of both Tamils and Sinhalese, there will not be any discontent within Tamil Nadu. However with Delhi clearly siding with the Sinhala supremacists and providing protection to them in international forums, the discontent in Tamil Nadu is starting to show.

    What the people of Tamil Nadu and South India in general who genuinely support the welfare of the Tamils in Sri Lanka need to do is take political control of their respective states, ensuring the Congress Party and its allies have no hope of winning elections in the south. This is the only way to bring a government in power in Delhi that has the genuine interests of the Tamils of Sri Lanka at heart.

  • # Padraig Colman :
    18 June 2010 @09h26
    Sri Lanka dependent on India

    To Richard Kaz:
    You say: “This article is an unbelievable one-sided one. Only pro-Rajapaksa Tamils like Devananda and MR Narayan Swami are quoted. Where is the true opinions of the Tamils in this article?”

    I have said this many times but I suppose I will have to say it again to you. There really is no profit to me in being pro or anti Rajapaksa. I really am not interested in “taking sides”.

    Tell me about the ”true opinions of the Tamils”. I have been engaged in a debate elsewhere about Israel. Any gentile who criticises the Israeli government is branded as an anti-Semite. Israeli historians who dare to write about the ethnic cleansing and brutality involved in the foundation of the state of Israel are branded self-hating Jews.

    Similarly, Tamils who disagree with you to not qualify to be representative of the ”true opinions of the Tamils”. Who are the “Tamils”? The name does not describe a homogeneous entity. There are differences of origin, social class, caste, economic status, education – it seems to me to verge on racism to lump them all together and assume that they all have the same interests and opinions. Rather like saying all blacks are good dancers or all Irish are drunks.
    If you read with an unbiased eye what I actually wrote you will understand that I am not quoting Douglas Devananda on the current situation. I am quoting what he said a long time ago what he said about India training Tamil militant separatists in the mid 80s. He was not pro-Rajapaksa then because Rajapaksa was not significant.

    What are your grounds for accusing MR Narayan Swami of being pro-Rajapaksa? He is an Indian national, a respected investigative journalist who probably knows more about Prabakharan and the Tigers than anyone else. Again, when he wrote what I am quoting, Rajapaksa was not important. What are you talking?!

    All of the Tamil groups that formerly pursued an agenda of militant separatism have condemned the Transnational Government and said that the only realistic option for Tamils in Sri Lanka is to work constructively with the Rajapaksa government. That does not necessarily mean agreeing with everything. Even the TNA, the LTTE’s proxy in parliament, has agreed to work constructively with the government. The only Tamil groups who do not accept the current reality are certain elements of the Tamil diaspora.

    Where do you live Richard?

    I have lived for eight years in the poorest district of the poorest province of Sri Lanka. The nearest other white face is an hour and a half drive away. He is an Englishman aged 89 who has lived here since 1956 and was married to a Sinhalese. I am also married to a Sinhalese. We are surrounded by Tamils and Muslims. Our best friends are Tamils and I run my articles past them for comments. I also correspond with leading Sri Lankan journalists of varying shades of opinion. I read a vast number of Tamil blogs and websites. Most people think this has given me a balanced outlook although some have accused me of “regurgitating LTTE propaganda” when I discuss Tamil grievances.

    I hope you are not including me in your “racist” jibe! I am an Irish citizen and am well-versed in the history of imperialist oppression and racism. My experience of more recent Irish history convinces me of the toxic effects of nationalist myths. We see the effects of such myths in Sri Lanka today. Tamil grievances were not mythical but now is the time for reconciliation.

    I can agree with your contention: “Having said that, the Congress Party led government in Delhi was never genuinely interested in the welfare of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.” I think that most Tamils actually living in Sri Lanka want matters to be “resolved to the satisfaction of both Tamils and Sinhalese”. The diaspora should be working towards that rather than trying to refight the war which has been lost.

    Christine asks: “Why do they want to have a say in running our country? Are our leaders not capable enough to run the country?” Good question. Sri Lankans of all ethnic groups are cynical about their politicians.

    Thank you for your comment MahamaRaja. You don’t seem quite as angry with me as usual. Tell Richard how you think I am pro-LTTE. He thinks I am pro Rajapaksa and bigoted against Tamils! I should stress that I did not choose the title of this piece. My working title was: “Sri Lanka and India, Past, Present and Future”.

  • # Rajkumar :
    18 June 2010 @12h42
    Sri Lanka dependent on India
    I do not believe SriLankan Tamils have any grievance to resolve, except that some Tamils are not willing to lead the life of a minority community in SriLanka like so many minorities in so many other countries.
    India’s plan is quite clear but lets have faith in the current leadership not to fall into any Indian or western trap. Even if they do fall into the Indian trap, India will not benefit as SriLanka could end up as India’s Vietnam. SriLanka is strategically positioned in the Indian Ocean and there are other power players who would do anything to dislodge India if they are stupid enough to invade SriLanka. India probably is aware of this and that’s why they have not invaded the country as yet. In fact I understand Rajapakse had told India during the last stages of the war that India if they so wished could invade SriLanka but Rajapakse was not going to give in to their demand to halt the elimination of their creation, the LTTE.
  • # MahamahaRaja :
    18 June 2010 @15h44
    Sri Lanka dependent on India

    Padraig, the time for argument is over. Often, western journalists have no appreciation of the context of the terrorist war, and have quite plainly been taking the terrorist side on this issue, while condemning al-Qaeda, Hamas etc. on other issues. Worse than a lack of appreciation of the fact that the most recent war instigated by Tamil supremacists is simply the latest battle of a two thousand five hundred year war against the Sinhalese Buddhists, is that many journalists knowingly hide this history and context and instead start spouting “Tamil grievances” as the cause of the war.

    If it is the case that you are genuine in your concern for Sri Lanka, then let me try and put my case to you. You very well know the most recent history, of British favouritism of Tamils, the majority imported by the British to work on the plantations as the Sinhalese refused to bow down to the imperialists. This favouritism for Tamils against Sinhalese served two purposes: 1. to employ the standard divide and rule means of controlling illegally occupied foreign territory; 2. to serve as a battering ram against Buddhism, by importing a load of pliable people from South India who would be willing to trade their language and religion for some power over the Sinhalese. The same tactic was used by the British, using the very same Tamils of Tamil Nadu, in order to subdue the Malays of Malaysia and the Africans of Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and other countries.

    It resulted in blatant racism against Sinhalese in every facet of life, and worse it resulted in the superiority complex of many Tamils, something which will continue to be a stumbling block to ethnic harmony until they are re-educated that in a democracy, Tamils will not be able to be “more equal” than others.

    The removal of ill-gotten and undeserving privileges in no way constitutes a “grievance” or “discrimination.” Tamil politicians of yesteryear would occupy the best houses in Colombo 7, live lives of luxury and send their children abroad, while not lifting one finger to improve the lives of their constiuents in Wanni. And every election period, they would then go up there and demonise the Sinhalese, when it was the Tamils who had the control of the country (in the imperial period and beyond). Restoration of equality following the departure of the occupiers necessarily led to loss of Tamil power, but this is seen as in injustice by many Tamils. Ponnambalam, a leading Tamil politician at the time of Independence, decried how introducing universal suffrage and democracy to Sri Lanka would lead to “people being counted like cattle,” meaning that land-owners (land and wealth, were gifts for imperial servitude) would become equal to the common man, ie the Sinhalese Buddhists who would not trade their religion for an education.

    The 1983 riot is another example. Shortly before the massacre of 13 unarmed soldiers as they returned home on leave, the country was awash with western and Indian media people. How convenient then that they were all in place and deployed for the rioting that began a few days later. In addition, far more Tamils than were actually affected by the rioting left the island. The astonishing thing is that these people, who said their lives were in danger, rather than fleeing to their cultural and ethnic homeland, Tamil Nadu, just 20 miles across the Palk Strait, rather made a beeline 7000 miles away to Australia, Canada and Europe. The ones who carried out the rioting were not representative of the majority of the Sinhalese, but rather was an ethnic mix which included criminal Tamils and muslims who had a chance to loot. The “ethnic” tinge was added later, by the international media. The numbers of dead were greatly increased for sensationialism, and long forgotten were the massacres of Sinhalese villagers by roving Tamil terrorist butchers, who even extracted foetuses from Sinhalese mothers before killing both foetus and mother.

    This media corruption is attested to by the fact that a journalist recently wrote of how faked “exotic” tales of daring reporting in Soviet Afghanistan were written by many journalists reporting at the time, often writing heart-rending tales of Soviet massacres of Afghans which never even happened, all in order to shape public opinion and further their careers through “sob” stories.

    Who gained from 1983? The Tamils, who were able to exercise their dream of economic migration to the west through the emotional camouflage of “fleeing persecution”; the western meddlers who sought to use a destabilised Sri Lanka as a Kosovo style base against the USSR; the Christian missionaries who had a great opportunity at forced conversions in a destabilised nation; India which sought to further increase the size of its “Union,” with a chance to realize at last Nehru’s dream of “Ceylon within the Indian Union”; and the NGOs who would be able to engage in many depraved activities – yes we know about the deal the Norweigians made with Prabhakaran to have access to children in the terroristan regions.

    Who lost from 1983? The Sinhalese Buddhists.

    Several other questions remain. JR Jayawardena, the first executive president, leader at the time, was half Tamil, and was Christian (faux conversion allowed him to become president). Why did he order the bodies of the soldiers to be brought back to Colombo, knowing that tensions were high among the people, when the normal procedure was to take the bodies to their home villages? The heads of the military and police at the time were Tamils, so why didn’t they deploy the military to save their own Tamil brethren? They remained confined to barracks while the rioting continued.

    What are the “grievances” of the minorities? Nobody is able to name them. If by grievance, they mean that Tamils can no longer admit Tamils to medical school over better qualified Sinhalese, as was common during the colonial and even post-colonial period, then this is unacceptable. If by grievance they mean that 50% of parliamentary seats are not reserved solely for Tamils who make up just 11% of the total population of the country, as was demanded by Tamil politicians shortly before Independence, then this too is unacceptable. Many people have aspirations, and delusions of power and grandeur, but when unfair, racist or apartheid-creating demands are not met, these do not qualify as “grievances”.

    There has been no discrimination against minorities in Sri Lanka, systematic or otherwise, and if the LTTE fronts had any evidence of this they would have shown it. The majority of Colombo (the capital of Sri Lanka) are Tamils, and Tamils and Muslims dominate the business sector – if they were being persecuted, why would they remain? Wishful thinking does not stand up in a court of law, and even less in a court of morals or ethics. Therefore, no “South Africa” style reconciliation as has been advocated recently, is required. In fact, it is the Sinhalese majority who were oppressed by the Tamil minority during the British occupation, and just as in South Africa, it is that, REAL apartheid of the past which needs to be investigated.

    As I said before, India should not be permitted to interfere with Sri Lanka. Rajapakse stood up to the mighty western international opinion, it will be no trouble at all to stand up to India. A clear distinction must be made however between the Indian people as a whole, and the megalomaniac Indian government.

  • # MahamahaRaja :
    18 June 2010 @16h03
    Sri Lanka dependent on India

    Let me further add that as I said in my opening above, the time for argument is over. This means that it is time to move forward, with equality as a principle guiding factor for all future policies, and that includes allowing Sinhalese who were ethnically cleansed from the north to return to their ancestral homes. Also, there are plenty of peaceful Tamils, and my quarel is not with them but rather with Sri Lankan and diaspora Tamil supremacists.

    Also, it is rather interesting how you continue to call the LTTE “rebels”, even though all the western countries including Britain and Ireland have designated them as Terrorists. On the other hand, the Sunnis are “insurgents” – how can you be an insurgent in your own country? And al-Qaeda are terrorists, not rebels. And then you ask why Sri Lankans call you double-standard using hypocrites?

    All the western media does this, stubbornly referring to Tamil terrorists as “rebels” when their modus operandi is terrorism, their actions are terrorism, and their sole purpose was to strike terror into the hearts of the Sinhalese – which they did until May 18 2009. Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism.

  • # Padraig Colman :
    18 June 2010 @16h26
    Sri Lanka dependent on India

    I spoke to soon when I said you didn’t seem as angry with me as usual.

    “This means that it is time to move forward, with equality as a principle guiding factor for all future policies.” I totally agree with that. I believe also that it is fruitless and dangerous to keep banging on about what was supposed to have happened thousands of years ago.

    “Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism.” I totally agree with that. I have argued in many articles that those in the west who thought of the LTTE as “freedom fighters” were delusional or hypocritical or worse. Calling them “rebels” does not mean that they weren’t terrorists. They were rebelling against the recognised government. I think you are fighting with the wrong person here. You are imagining postions that I am not taking.

  • # Prashan :
    21 June 2010 @11h13
    Sri Lanka dependent on India

    Good one! India should not worry about Tamil Nadu pressure at all! Basically the fact is that Sri Lanka must be in good terms with India just like Mongolia having to be warm with China. If any small country is next to a giant, they must maintain good ties.

    I am critical of India insisting on implementing the 13th amendment! They must understand that federalism is not suitable to a tiny country like Sri Lanka

  • # Tipu Sultan :
    22 June 2010 @03h17
    Sri Lanka dependent on India
    An interesting article. I write this as a Tamil from Madras who has visited Sri Lanka many times and currently calls Chicago home. Beyond the anecdotal references to all things Indian and India (which are a tad disingenuous) from the other respected comments, may I make the following points.
    1) It is a fact that the Sinhalese are a generally tolerant laid back group who are quite fun loving.
    2) It is also a fact that there are a few xenophobic elements in Sinhalese politics which have enlarged difference’s between the two major ethnic groups over the last 45 years.
    3) Fact- the Indian Army and the RAW trained Tamil groups for a number of years. (primarily as a carrot and stick approach to bend Colombo to India’s long term ambitions in the area) (this was part of systemic plan to train opposing elements eg: Bhindranwale’s group in Punjab etc etc etc)
    4) Fact – The IPKF’s primary mission was to subdue all militant separatist groups in Sri Lanka. (as part of an ’agreement’ between the govt in New Delhi and Columbo) Their early exit was a consequence of losing 12,000 soldiers in combat and not 1000 as reported. (India’s ’Vietnam’ moment)
    5) Fact- India views Sri Lanka as the most important point in its Naval strategy for the Indian Ocean and consequently would prefer a ’friendly’ dictator in Columbo.
    6) Fact – Tamil ’independence’ would have been a stumbling block to these long term plans and consequently the LTTE was sacrificed militarily. It is germane to point out that the LTTE was running a de-facto government in the North for many years , their military defeat was mainly a result of extensive Indian and Israeli military involvement
    7) The Indian government has no interest in the outcome of the Tamil’s fate in Sri Lanka, consequently offering Rajapaksa any number of ’gifts’ behooves New Delhi.
    8)Fact: the Tamils in Tamilnadu do not have any natural ties to the Tamils in Sri Lanka, various governments in TamilNadu supported the LTTE merely out of monetary gain (were paid handsomely by the LTTE to drum up local ’support’)
    9) The future for Sri Lanka will include extensive ’ties’ to India, expect them to be announced soon.
    10) Displaced Tamils will be forgotten, expect them to slowly die away as a silent unequal ethnic group.
    11) For those of you who meet the displaced poor Tamils in Sri Lanka, pause a moment and realize that their fate was determined by the mandarins in New Delhi and not by their ethnic affiliations.
    12) And for those of you who meet the ’expatriate arrogant Tamil’ cut them some slack, they have no home to go back to and merely cover their insecurities with a veneer of arrogance.
    13) For travelers like me, I feel a immense sense of sadness on what has transpired over the last 28 years in Sr Lanka – almost 350,000 dead, a huge diaspora spread over the world and the futile remnants of anger in various online forums.
    14) My advice to the Sinhalese: view New Delhi with caution, their calling card is treachery and intrigue.