May 27 2009

India will pay a heavy price for abdicating a Sri Lanka policy

Published by at 2:04 pm under India,LTTE,Sri Lanka,Tamil Eelam,Telegraph India

It was then that Chidambaram, who was part of Rajiv’s inner circle, proceeded to transform his prime minister’s annoyance into action. To send Prabhakaran a message that he cannot get a free lunch from India, Chidambaram’s ministry directed the Tamil Nadu police to confiscate all the communication equipment at their bases in the state that the LTTE was using to contact its cadre in Sri Lanka. Prabhakaran proved to be more politically savvy than either Rajiv or Chidambaram. He went on a highly publicized fast in Chennai, which evoked much sympathy among Indian Tamils.

Caught unawares, Chidambaram then foolishly issued a statement that the seizure of the communication equipment by the Tamil Nadu police was done without consulting his ministry, which, in fact, had initiated the action, according to an account of the incident by J.N. Dixit, then India’s high commissioner in Colombo, in his book, Assignment Colombo.

In the coming years, India will have to pay a heavy price for having abdicated any semblance of a Sri Lanka policy. China, which helped fund and train the effort to defeat the LTTE more than anyone else, will soon get its proverbial pound of flesh when it completes the construction of a billion-dollar port in the Sri Lankan fishing spot of Hambantota which will be used to service and refuel Chinese naval operations in the Indian Ocean. Of more immediate concern for Narayanan’s successor, however, will be the task of dealing with Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who are certain to flock to India once Colombo begins colonizing former Tamil areas, now that the LTTE has been eliminated.


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