( November 15, 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) When Manmohan Singh was made Prime Minister of India in 2004, he was the reluctant Prime Minister, but had to accept office in preference to Sonia Gandhi on the express advice of President Ahmed Kalam one of the greatest intellectuals popularly known as the missile man of India. To his credit, Manmohan Singh, however, as an economist of great distinction has taken India to great heights in that field in also building an unenviable economic rapport and entente with China having had numerous meetings with her neutralizing China's economic hegemony over the Indian Ocean region.
Singh by nature, can give the impression that he is a great prevaricator as if also lacking in a strong backbone. Thanks to the Sonia Gandhi faction, he has not been able to stem the corruption and the political indiscipline. The so called "Cambridge educated" Sonia Gandhi is focused on promoting her equally corrupt and indisciplined children to take over the future destinies of India and has been grooming Manmohan Singh towards this end. It is not understood as to how Manmohan Singh with such intellectual accomplishments could succumb to this.
We are led to believe that Singh has been over indulgent with his colleagues within the government letting them to become overwhelmingly and unprecedentedly corrupt while he too has been dragged into the quagmire of corruption. Perhaps, he is being used as a stop gap biding for time until Sonia Gandhi's children are ready, able and "accepted" to take over the leadership. It is tragic that the Indian leaderships have been over the years, preying on the ignorance and the poverty of the people.
One notable DMK representative in the Indian central government, namely Balu the minister in charge of telecommunications of sorts, epitomizes such unconscionable corruption having enriched himself to such unbelievable and unrealistic heights. Then there is the Finance Minister Chidambaram of the Congress party who has been advocating the idea of Singh not attending CHOGM. He and his wife are said to have been involved in some contracts with the Rajapaksas in the provision of electricity located in a region in the east of Sri Lanka with the resident people therein, having been dislocated, which later went awry. These are just few instances.
What is more, India has been hypocritical in the manner it acted during the Sri Lankan war against the Tamil militants leading to such wanton deaths and destruction merely in an effort to do better than China in helping Sri Lanka ignoring that China had always been considered a traditional ally of Sri Lanka in preference to India. China besides its economic and geopolitical interests has no moral obligation towards the Tamil people. In fact China has been rewarded in many ways one being the affording of a site for a harbour in Hambantota in the deep south of Sri Lanka being a pearl in the Chinese string. India wanted to demonstrate that she could do more but has eventually been taken for a sucker. Using this, the Secretary for Defence has been in recent times in public forums blackmailing India indicated that the war was also won because of the contribution of the Indian central government and of Karunanidhi of Tamil Nadu. India is as guilty as the UN leadership which was indifferent to the massacres and abuses on noncombatant civilians. In a manner of speaking it could even be said that Ban ki Moon along with his Indian advisors like Vijay Nambiar were privy to the war crimes committed by the Rajapaksas.
The 13th Amendment now distorted beyond recognition, agreed to in 1987 in the settlement between a politically inexperienced Rajiv Gandhi who was looking for a stop gap measure to end the conflict and the wily President JR Jayewardene who wanted to resume an unfettered period of government under his leadership and enjoy power. In fact Jayewardene had clandestinely supplied the LTTE with arms to fight the Indian infantry of the so called Indian Peace Keeping forces in the north.
The 13th amendment originally intended to devolve powers to the Tamils in the North and the East has subsequently been confined only to the north consequent to a Supreme Court decision passed down by a corrupt chief Justice. A chief justice with integrity is a rare commodity in Sri Lanka. In its current form, the provisions of the 13th.Amendment lack police powers and those of the dispensation of land. In backing the 13th amendment in the current from, India is merely flogging a dead horse on the pretext of supporting the Tamil people just to placate the people of Tamil Nadu.
Although India undertook to provide measures to rebuild the lives of the displaced Tamil peoples in the north in 2009, their contribution has been sporadic and negligible aimed only at catching the attention of the international media whose influence in the north is negligible.
In the matter of attending the CHOGM, Dr. Singh unfortunately had left things to slide to the extent that if he had attended it, he could have precipitated a constitutional crisis within India. Singh must carry his decision to its logical conclusion in working towards bringing about an international inquiry into the crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka not only within the last thirty years but over the last sixty years.
Time will not heal. Manmohan Singh has to act resolutely in the interests of humanity.
( There writer is the editor of the Eelam Nation, an online journal)