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India’s Influence

| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

( August 24, 2014, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) This morning I received news from the UK highlighting the meeting between TNA and the Indian External Affairs Minister Ms Sushma Swaraj in Delhi. The purpose of the meeting is reported as follows:

“India’s involvement in the resolution of the Sri Lankan Tamil issue is vital,” TNA leader R Sampanthan said after meeting Ms. Swaraj here.

“They (people who live in Sri Lanka) have their roots in India. Their culture is Indian and everything is Indian. So, I think India is one country that can play a major role,” he said.

To me, the statement ‘Their culture is Indian and everything is Indian’ applies more to Hill Country Tamils than to other groups of Tamils in Sri Lanka. In his Sri Lanka Guardian article ‘Organization is the Weapon of the Oppressed’, author Ajamu Nangwaya highlights the difference between Mobilization and Organization. Usually, those driven by majority power use mobilization. LTTE had this power largely due to Batticaloa Tamils. During my work in Batticaloa – I found that the leaders there were able to quickly mobilize power. The organizational part of the LTTE came from North. But given that it was not deep rooted due to LTTE killing Tamil leaders – it was not enough to sustain them once Karuna’s mobilization power was taken back.

India’s power to influence Sri Lanka needs to be exercised through common governments – such as the UN. Direct influence is more social and would help mobilize. It would not last towards an workable environment. India’s direct involvement on bilateral basis with TNA would be disastrous if TNA is expecting Eelam to happen through reverse discrimination – i.e. majority power by Indians.

Tamils who are strongly committed to merit basis that would develop our organizational strengths (as is happening in our areas of influence) would feel cheated it India’s majority power were used directly as happened in the case of IPKF (Indian Peace-Keeping Force).

Sri Lankan Tamil culture, while its origins were in India – is no longer Indian. We are unique and sovereign. We needed Sinhalese as our opposition to confirm this. We need to do more work of global standards using the UN rather than individual countries – however culturally close they may seem to us. Social mobilization would continue to happen – especially through Hill Country Tamils who feel the natural connections with India more than any other part of the Sri Lankan community. Giving recognition to that in our organizational structure is likely to lead to racism and in this instance reverse discrimination by Tamils against other races in Sri Lanka. That has been the case with the West v the Muslims. We do not want that in Sri Lanka. Majority race in Australia have their cultural origin in England. That does not give the Majority race to invite the British Government to organize our political structure.

Here is an excerpt from my writings in this regard:

[In Sri Lanka, there are demands by Tamils for political power to be devolved to local levels. This would effectively be race based separation. The question that needs to be asked by the Tamil Community is whether such separation would be better or worse for the Tamils. Likewise Sinhalese as a community. Surface readers within Tamil Community would quickly state that it would be better. But if that were the case – those in majority Tamil areas would have remained separated because it is better for them. That which is better is known through relativity. The one we relate to is a relative and is not an outsider. Tamils of Sri Lanka relate to other races to know better or worse. Otherwise the fight would not have been against the Sri Lankan Government. It would have been merely against the elected Tamil leaders.

Devolution which has the effect of separating on race basis – would work against a community that has gone global already. To those of majority race in Sri Lanka, who read on the surface – fear of Indian invasion is a reality. Majority power within Sri Lankan borders could easily be replaced by majority power on regional basis. It is about the information carried by the brain and its strength of force on the individual and cultural group that determines their quality of life. Living through majority power does not develop reliable higher order in our brain. Hence if we relied on India’s majority power – we would effectively be going back to India – losing the higher organizational power we developed in that particular land area shedding lives towards this. If we did that would be like jumping from frying pain into the fire or in the alternative another Rajiv Gandhi tragedy.]