American sponsored Resolutions against Sri Lanka

I never misused my position for any personal gains.  I am perhaps the only person who did not own any land either at Kilinochchi or anywhere else although my association with Kilinochchi lasts over half a century.

Following article based on an open letter by the writer to the President of Sri Lanka

by  V. Anadasangaree

With the date fast approaching for the American sponsored resolution to be taken up at the Human Rights Council in Geneva for discussion and voting, I hasten to write to you my suggestions to save the Country from facing any embarrassment and to prevent its name going down in the Country’s history as a condemned one.  i am neither a foreteller nor a soothsayer but one having the interest of the country and its people at heart.  I do not want to dig into the past and wound my heart more, but you are not unaware of the positive stand I took in the interest of my country and its people, on certain matters during the bitter past that cost me my seat in Parliament Twice and earned me the honorary title of "Traitor".  You are the only person, who being all power full can vouch for my integrity and dignity.  You can tell the world that I neither ever asked you for any favor nor you did anything to influence me.

I never misused my position for any personal gains.  I am perhaps the only person who did not own any land either at Kilinochchi or anywhere else although my association with Kilinochchi lasts over half a century.  The owner of the land where I lived for over 45years has sold it to me now at a very low price which I propose keeping as a monument in memory of Tamil Leaders, young and old who had visited this place.

Off and on I had been giving you advices, but I wonder whether you took any seriously.  Winning the War against the LTTE was a joint effort of many and not that of an individual or a group of people.  The contributions came in different forms from various sources.  The sacrifices were made by the forces, the conscripted youths, and the people of all ethnic and religious groups.  In short, the entire country and almost all countries contributed in deferent forms.  Almost all countries had the LTTE banned in their respective lands, including UK, USA, Canada, EU, Scandinavian Countries and many such others.  Above all, India our immediate neighbor whose Q branch of Tamil Nadu had proved that if not for their involvement the country would have been enslaved. 

Your Excellency the biggest mistake you made was, not to check those who were criticizing almost all countries that had pledged to support the American resolution, What do  we have in our country, for any country to have hidden motives of bringing our country under their control  ?  At least now, those who criticize the countries that have pledged to support or stand neutral mainly because the said resolutions are not anti-Buddhist will now change their minds and welcome their decision.  

The second mistake was your attempt to go round the world seeking support against the motion from various countries.  You can rest assured that even the friendly countries will either vote for the resolution or the most abstain from voting.  Almost all countries are sensitive to Human Rights Violations.  One reason may be that they are angry about what their forefathers did to the people during colonial days.  Reminding them of the past will prove counterproductive.  If anyone asks us as to what punishment was meted out to Elapole's Family, we have no answer.  

The fact remains that there were Human Rights Violations during the tail end of the war, for which all the soldiers cannot be held responsible.  To quote from the poem the Charge of the light brigade, “Someone had blundered: Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.  Cannons to the right of them, cannons to the left of them, cannons in front of them volleyed and thundered ". But they - the soldiers are not to question why but to do and die. This would have been the plight of the soldiers at the war front too. By punishing them don't violate the human rights of the soldiers. But you have a right and also a duty to identify the real culprits and while doing your duty to the people, whom you rule, give sufficient legal assistance to the soldiers also to escape from punishment, which duty you can't shirk as Minister of Defense. 

The third mistake which may be even more important than the other two is your reluctance or failure to implement the 13th Amendment which you had promised to the Indian Authorities to implement with a plus. This is the gravest mistake of all. As I see it, our country had failed to learn from the Indian Diplomacy and Honesty. I traced an article from my old files, dated 25th May 1995 with the Sinhala version published two days later in the daily Sinhala paper Dinamina.  That article suits well for the occasion.  While quoting some portions from it I annex both the English and Sinhala versions for your perusal and to note the contents.  

The said article was captioned “Indo - Sri Lanka relations in the present context". 

In that article I had given details of proximity of Sri Lanka to India, which is only about 20 miles and of compelling need for both countries to maintain good relationship, not merely as friendly neighbor but as one who will rise to the occasion and come rushing to our help. I have also said about India's readiness to share our burden with us. Starting from Nehru - Kotalawala Pact followed by Srimavo - Sasthiri Pact the Indian Government un - hesitantly agreed to take over a large number of Tamils of recent Indian origin. Although in practice our Party was opposed to these moves one should appreciate the readiness the Indian Leaders showed, in solving a problem that was not theirs. 

As regards the most controversial issue today the Kachchathevu, this is what I had said "It is against much protests and opposition that the late Shrimathi Indira Gandhi handed over the “Kachchathevu” Island to Sri Lanka telling the protesters that it is only a worthless rocky island, when in fact she very well knew that by doing so she was exposing her country to big security risk. This was indeed a gesture of goodwill on the part of the late Mrs. Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister of India at that time.  She knew that Sri Lanka will never betray her. I have referred to a number of matters in that article some of which are important and concern both countries. 

More than anything else, I want you to concentrate on the paragraph dealing with Kachchathevu. I rememberthe tremendous opposition some Indian States especially the Tamil Nadu had for handing over Kachchathevuto Sri Lanka, at the request of Hon. Madam Srimavo Bandaranayake who was Prime Minister of Sri Lanka at that time.  She was worried that Kachchathevu may be used by the LTTE as their base.  The protesters were silenced by Madam Indira Gandhi Prime Minister of India at that time saying that this is a worthless rocky island and not to raise serious objection for the handing over of the Island.  But at that time, she knew very well that one day it would become a big threat and security risk for India.  No one can find fault with anyone who thinks so, especially now when our relationship with China is very close and the relationship between India and China is strained.  This is where you should give serious thought to the Indo - Sri Lanka relationship. 

 It is from the Indian Diplomacy and Democracy that we Sri Lankans should learn a lot.  We should not forget that according to the original pact the Indian fisherman had many rights.  Yet it has now become Sri Lanka's exclusive possession.  Kachchathevu has now become a big issue.  Many Indian States, Tamil Nadu in particular are demanding that the Central Government must take the Island back.  The demand and pressure from all sides have now made things very uncomfortable for the Central Government.  The matter had gone to courts and without any noise the Central Government could have easily taken the island back.  Even the Sri Lankan Government could not have objected.  If the Indian Government wanted the High Court would have allowedit.  But the strangest thing happened when the High Court referred the matter to the Central Government, shockingly but very admirably the Government informed that the Island given will not be taken back.  The Government went a step further and said that the Indian fisherman can't do fishing there.  Please tell me what we would have done in a situation like this.  

Your Excellency if you analyze the decision of the Indian Government it will be clear that they didn't want to bring dishonor to a leader who rightly or wrongly had taken a decision that they can't bring dishonor to her although she died about 30 years back.  The most appreciable thing is that they knew very well that this is going to be the major issue at the elections.  The Congress Government probably feels as a great political leader once said, “Rather than winning by telling lies to the society that one sincerely loves, it is better to face defeat by telling the Truth ". This is the principle I too had been adopting since my entry in to politics 55 years back. 

It may not be out of place if I do mention here how the undertaking given by the Father of the Nation Rt. Hon. DS Senanayake to the Tamil Members of the outgoing State Council in 1947 was dishonored by the Indian Citizenship act. In addition to that the Banda Chelva Pact was torn by the late Hon. S W R D Bandaranaiyake himself due to pressure from the opposition. Then the Dudley - Chelva Pact never saw the light of the day although the late Mr. S J V Chelvanayakam and the Members of Parliament of the Federal Party gave full support to the Government of the late Hon. Dudley Senanayake. The report of the Experts Committee created by you died a natural death.

Now Your Excellency unlike in the past, realizing the seriousness of the present situation please take a bold step to implement the 13th Amendment brought out due to the efforts of the late Hon.  Rajiv Gandhi Prime Minister of India who sacrificed his life to bring Peace to our Country.  This is the biggest tribute that you can offer to a great son of a great country, India which had never betrayed our country and our people.  

By implementing the 13th Amendment most of the provisions in the American sponsored Resolution will be attended to and as the first step prevent the matter going up for International Inquiry.  In conclusion I strongly urge that your representatives at the Human Rights Council should request the members to vote for an amendment under which the rest of the matters like compensation for lives and property lost along with the war crimes can be taken up under a committee of the sponsor nations headed by an Indian Representative.  HI Saving the reputation of the country is now in your hands.  

I feel that I have done my duty as a dutiful citizen of Sri Lanka, without causing embracement or humiliation to any country and the people concerned.  

 V. Anadasangaree, Secretary General - TULF