BJP must rein in Yashwant Sinha
by Sandhya Jain on 08 Apr 2013 7 Comments

Senior BJP leader and former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha has, for the second time in recent days, departed from the party line of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign nations and gone to the extent of supporting the vivisection of Sri Lanka and creation of a separate Tamil Eelam. Speaking at a meeting in Chennai on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, Sinha said the Indian Government should have demanded Sri Lanka’s suspension from the Commonwealth for alleged human rights violations and urged non participation in the next CHOGM at Colombo.


This is tantamount to a boycott of Sri Lanka, with consequences for the diplomatic ties between the two neighbours, and conforms to the stand taken by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, whose resolution in the Tamil Nadu Assembly was rebuffed by the Government of India.


It is pertinent that the BJP had opposed the UPA decision to vote against Colombo at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva on March 21, 2013. Washington had sponsored a resolution calling upon the Sri Lanka government to conduct an “independent and credible” investigation into the allegations of human rights violations; Pakistan voted against the ‘intrusive’ resolution, calling it unconstructive. India, however, for the second time under the UPA, departed from its traditional policy of abstaining from voting in country-specific resolutions.


Sinha, who may be aggrieved at not being appointed to any of the top decision making bodies in the recent reshuffle by party president Rajnath Singh, struck a sharp jingoistic note, stating that “India should have taken the initiative to bring to the notice of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group over the violation of human rights and sought the suspension of Sri Lanka”. Accusing the ruling coalition of “inept” handling of the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, he said that without the complicity of the Indian government there would have been no “genocide” of Tamils in the island nation.


Pointing out that there would be no CHOGM if India refused to go to Colombo, he urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to inform the Commonwealth Secretary General that India would not attend the meeting in Sri Lanka. It is pertinent that the Commonwealth Secretary General is an appointee of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and the possibility that Sinha may have been ‘nudged’ to take this line by someone in the Congress party cannot be ruled out. What is undeniable is that the current leadership of the Congress has reversed traditional Indian foreign policy very dramatically, with no commensurate gains for the nation.


Making a no-holds-barred attack on the island nation, Sinha went so far as to support a separate ‘Eelam’ (homeland) for Tamils in Sri Lanka, and taunted Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa that his government cannot suppress the demand with repression by the army. “The history of the world will show that repression has never worked. No people can be subdued with the strength of military, however mighty it be,” he asserted, citing the examples of East Timor, Sudan and Bangladesh.


The BJP leader seems oblivious of the fact that the original colonial agenda for Tamil Eelam includes the Indian State of Tamil Nadu, and that this agenda has been revived by the church in a very major way in recent times. SP Udayakumar, who is spearheading the movement against the Russian nuclear energy plant at Kudankulam in the State, admitted this in a speech at Kudankulam as recently as March 17, 2013. Calling upon students in all colleges in all cities to join his movement and make demands that “can be met by the government and then escalate our protests and demands,” Udayakumar exhorted them to “stop using the Sinhala name Sri Lanka. Henceforth let us say Ilankai or Eelam Island. The portion where Tamils live will henceforth be called Tamil Eelam. Henceforth the Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar will be collective called Tamil Sea”.


If there was any doubt that the demand to divide Sri Lanka goes hand-in-hand with a plan to vivisect India once again, he added, “Tamil Nadu and the North and East of Sri Lanka will henceforth be called Akhanda Tamil Nadu…” Udayakumar explained that “the Tamils are a distinct race and a distinct nation…”


He further insisted that President Mahinda Rajapakse, his brother and his entire family must never be allowed to set foot in Tamil Nadu and in any corner or part of India again.


It bears noting that as recently as September 2012, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh had invited the Sri Lanka President to visit the State and lay the foundation stone of a Buddhist and Hindu varsity at Sanchi. At that time, the MDMK chief Vaiko had organised protests against the visit, but the DMK and AIADMK had maintained silence. The RSS is closely associated with the creation of Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimage circuits in both countries, particularly the Ramayana sites in the island nation.


Now, with Yashwant Sinha threatening a sharp reversal of ties with Sri Lanka, both the BJP and the RSS leaders must urgently clarify their position regarding the civilisational ties between both nations and the issue of a Tamil Eelam that straddles both sides of the Palk Strait. Sinha should also be asked to explain what he means by citing the example of East Timor with so much appreciation, as if it is the legitimate prototype for the dismemberment of all third world nations targetted by the West.


As a former foreign minister, Sinha should know that East Timor was separated from Indonesia because that is where that country’s oil wells were located. The secession was instigated by the church which systematically converted the native population, changing the religious demography from 12.2 per cent Christians in 1900 to 91.4 per cent in 1990!


In 1996, the Nobel Peace Prize was conferred jointly upon Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo and Jose Ramos-Horta “for their work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor”. Violence began two years later, after a nudge from the US Conference of Catholics Bishops; thereafter the UN supervised the secession of East Timor.


Does Sinha propose such a fate for India and Sri Lanka? BJP president Rajnath Singh must take a call on this as soon as possible.


The author is Editor,

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