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Could We Change The Modi Record Please?

| by Pearl Thevanayagam

(June 01, 2014, Bradford UK, Sri Lanka Guardian ) The Modi record is stuck in the groove and people are sick and tired of this Modi euphoria as though he is bringing down Manna (the Biblical heavenly food to feed the earthlings) from heaven by Parcel Force to Sri Lanka.

Barring Col. Hariharan and V.S. Venkataraman, the politicial and media pundits and bloggers would do well to desist from commenting on this new avatar PM Narendra Modi. The blighter is to lead an impoverished nation of 1.2billion people in the whole of Asia with its majority population in abject poverty, illiteracy, AIDS, prostitution, drought, hunger, corruption and embroiled in gross human rights violations such as religious intolerance, suppression of women’s rights and low castes over and above its stubborn adherence to Jai Hindu dogma. With such a massive burden on his shoulders Modi has little time to spare for its neighbour Sri Lanka.

Jayalalitha could cry buckets of tears for Sri Lankan Tamils but she is not giving an inch when it comes to Katchchathivu and the rights of Indian fishermen poaching in Lanka’s territorial waters. In this backdrop it would be naïve to think the TNA (Tamil National Alliance) can cry between her bosoms and expect her to urge Modi to persuade MR into implementing 13A in toto or above and address genuine Tamil grievances which have been left in cold storage for five long years to say the least.

India may be classified as the world’s largest democracy but it is also one of the poorest. Let us face it; India is not the Shining India of E.M. Forster. By comparison, Sri Lanka is rich in culture, natural resources plentiful rain, ground water and potable water, to a certain extent women have equal rights as men, free education even in universities and religious tolerance (except for some extremist Buddhist elements who have been intimidating Muslims in recent times and who cannot be taken seriously).

Mahinda’s anger and frustration towards Modi is justifiable but he needs to act on this adrenalin-high and look towards re-scrutinising his national politics and the mistakes he made so far in appointing family members into the cabinet instead of choosing capable brains with political acumen and wisdom. The m&ms have a lot on their plates but their agendas should not go beyond their own respective territories for the time being.

The President and his acolytes are facing extremely serious charges of war crimes this month and he is foot-dragging on implementing the recommendations made by the US led resolution before the UNHRC to justify the conduct of its security forces in the final offensive to wipe out the LTTE in 2008/2009. Sri Lanka is on continuous assessment and its progress in implementing LLRC (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission) proposals –however diluted they are - commenced in September 2010 is closely monitored by the UNHRC and so far it has frustrated the international community towards its laissez-faire attitude.

The guns in Mullivaikkal and 40,000 or more Tamil lives are permanently silent but the ghosts of the horrors inflicted on Tamils would soon come back to haunt him and by the time UNHRC hands over its verdict to Hague it would be too late for the government to re-track its conduct and atone. It’s now or never.

(The writer has been a journalist for 25 years and worked in national newspapers as sub-editor, news reporter and news editor. She was Colombo Correspondent for Times of India and has contributed to Wall Street Journal where she was on work experience from The Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, California. Currently residing in UK she is also co-founder of EJN (Exiled Journalists Network) UK in 2005 the membership of which is 200 from 40 countries. She can be reached at pearltheva@hotmail.com)

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