India and the Issue of Independent Tamil Eelam Q & A

India and the issue of independent Tamil Eelam: Q & A Hariharan’s Intelligence blog By Col R Hariharan Text of an E-mail interview with Dr Parasaran Rangarajan, editor-in-chief of the International Law Journal of London, on November 16, 2014 is reproduced here. Q: It is well known that the official position of the government of India never advocated for the separation of Sri Lanka with Tamil Eelam but operations in the 80’s were conducted via the External Intelligence Agency of the Research & A
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  India and the issue of independent Tamil Eelam: Q & A  Hariharan’s Intelligence blog By Col  HariharanTe!t of an E mail inter#ie$ $ith %r arasaran angara'an( editor in chief of the International )a$ *ournal of )ondon( on +o#ember ,-( ./,0 is reproduced here1Q: It is $ell 2no$n that the official position of the go#ernment of India ne#er ad#ocated for the separation of 3ri )an2a $ith Tamil Eelam but operations in the 4/’s  $ere conducted #ia the E!ternal Intelligence Agency of the esearch & Analysis 5ing 6&A57 to arm the )iberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam 6)TTE7 $hose main goal $as to form a separate state1 Ho$ do you e!plain this in terms of contradiction of actions of the separate institutions of state8 A: I thin2 there is a lot of misinformation and confusion about India’s in#ol#ement  $ith Tamil militant groups $hich $ere operating in 3ri )an2a before the t$o countries signed the Indo 3ri )an2a Agreement 6I3)A7 in *uly ,941 The anti Tamil pogrom carried out for political ends in *uly ,94; triggered a massi#e e!odus of Tamils from Colombo mostly to Tamil +adu1This pogrom ga#e rele#ance to Tamil militancy because the Tamil <nited )iberation =ront 6T<)=7 formed by political parties to pursue the demand for an independent Tamil state peacefully in ,9> had failed to li#e up to the promise despite its thumping  #ictory in the ,9- elections1 ?f course( the go#ernment made it difficult for the T<)= to pro#ide a face sa#ing political solution short of independence1+e$ %elhi came under tremendous political pressure from Tamil +adu after the ,94; pogrom to inter#ene in 3ri )an2a to ensure e@uitable treatment of Tamil minority1 India $as also facing Cold 5ar compulsions after 3o#iet in#asion of Afghanistan1  rs1 Indira andhi used the support to militant groups as one of the pressure points on 3ri )an2a only after its efforts to bring a settlement failed either at the Thimpu or Bangalore meetings of Tamil and 3ri )an2a leaders1 In ,94/( rs1 Indira andhi or her successors ne#er supported the creation of an independent Eelam1 I @uote Ds simple but rele#ant e!planation in an inter#ie$ on ay .;( ./,, on $hy rs andhi supported Tamil militant groups: %uring that time it $as rs andhi’s idea that she may be able to escalate )TTE’s Fit should be Tamil militants not only )TTEG armed struggle to a certain le#el and use that as a negotiating le#erage to settle the Tamil issue1Indian intelligence agencies $ere only $or2ing as per the orders of Indian go#ernment so it is absolutely $rong to say they supported Tamil militant groups $iththe aim of creating Tamil Eelam1 The rise of the )TTE top $as dri#en by rabha2aran’sambition to be the sole arbiter of Tamil destiny and not because of Indian intelligence1Q: 3ri )an2a is a so#ereign nation and it $ould be in #iolation of the <1+1 Charter to intrude on its so#ereignty unless there is sanction by the 3ecurity Council or for the right to self defence1 %o you see any forces staging an inter#ention in 3ri )an2a for the Tamils in no$ or the future in response to the doctrine of remedial so#ereignty $hen gra#e $ar crimes are pro#en as +AT? did in Doso#o8 5ould India allo$ such an inter#ention by foreign forces or consider 'oining $ith these forces close to its soil as +AT? $ithdra$s from Afghanistan8 A: I am not a legal pundit but strategic analyst $ho dra$s his assessments on holistic reading of the situation1 These are not based on any confusing and often conflicting international la$ interpretations as International Court of *ustice had done its  Ad#isory ?pinion on .. *uly ./,/( on Doso#o’s adoption of the %eclaration of Independence of , =ebruary .//4 post facto the 5estern military inter#ention1 But I realie my beliefs may be based on old fashioned but simple notions of so#ereignty of nations and their united identity1 I do not subscribe to the notion that a military alliance li2e the +AT? can become arbiter of international 'ustice to pro#e gra#e $ar crimes 6as you say7 to 'ustify their o$n military inter#ention in any other <1+1 member nation1 It is for ICC or the <1+1 3ecurity Council and eneral Assembly to discuss the issue and ta2e legal or collecti#e action1 But on many occasions they fail to do this because nations do not cooperate in  $anting to achie#e their o$n ends1I do not go by Jimpressi#e’ .,st century coinages li2e remedial so#ereignty that 'ustify gross #iolation of <1+1 Charter by po$erful nations ganging up to carryout bombing on  hapless citiens of beleaguered nations li2e autocratic go#ernment of Ira@ or the elected go#ernment of 3erbia for committing human right e!cesses $hile fighting against secession of Doso#o1In any case remedial so#ereignty is not uni#ersally recognied and Doso#o’s <%I cannot be used as precedent for e!ternal military inter#ention1 E#en after supporting remedial so#ereignty in Doso#o( the <131 3tate %epartment issued a statement on =ebruary ,9( .//4 that any territorial conflict $as uni@ue and could not be resol#ed using the fact of unilateral declaration of autonomy by Doso#o1?f course this $as part of <131 gamesmanship because an internal conflict erupted in  Ab2haia in 3outh ?ssetia threatened to brea2 up eorgia and 5ashington $as  $orried about ussian inter#ention1 This e!ample sho$s the sub'ecti#e #alidity of remedial so#ereignty1 In layman’s terms it sho$s $hat is good for the <131 goose is not good for either the ussian gander1There is no 'ustification for e!ternal military inter#ention in 3ri )an2a at present1 E#enthe $ar crimes it is accused of are still $ithin the realm of <1+1 in#estigation1 India as an important and responsible regional po$er has no 'ustifiable reason to militarily inter#ene in 3ri )an2a $hich is not at $ar $ith India1 E#en in ,94 Indian troops $ere sent to 3ri )an2a at the re@uest of the 3ri )an2a resident to aid the implementation of a bilateral agreement to end the Tamil conflict( disarm Tamil militants and to ensure the democratic aspirations of Tamil minority are fulfilled $ithin a united 3ri )an2a1 ?f course( the moti#e for resident *aya$ardane as2ing for Indian troops is belie#ed to be to pre#ent any disgruntled 3ri )an2a army element trying to stage a coup and thro$ him out of office as there $as $idespread ob'ection $ithin political and military circles for buc2ling under Indian pressure1Q: ecently( the Tamil +ational Alliance 6T+A7 and 3ri )an2a uslim Congress 63)C7 of 3ri )an2a announced the possibility of an alliance1 In addition( the <1+1 Human ights Council and go#ernment of India ha#e been calling for a reduction in military in these pro#inces and the <1+1 Human ights Council has also called for abolishment of the ,4th Amendment of the Constitution of 3ri )an2a $hich is the position of the E!ecuti#e residency1 %o you thin2 that this combination can lead to a +orth East ro#ince as per the ,94 Indo )an2an Accord8  A: The ending of e!ecuti#e presidency is a perennial issue in 3ri )an2a politics1 It $as created by the <+ but the 3)= 6notably resident a'apa2sa7( has also e!perienced the heady pleasures of centraliing the po$ers in the hands of the resident1 3o thoughthe issue crops up before e#ery election( it #anishes from the list of political priorities1 I  do not e!pect the situation to change unless the resident suffers a rout in the election  $ith this as the core issue1 But it seems there is not e#en a remote possibility of it happening at present1 The coming together of T<)= and 3)C is yet another seasonal phenomenon appearing in the horion before 3)C finalises an alliance $ith either <+ or 3)= ledfront1 I doubt $hether it $ould seriously alter the fla$ed e@uation bet$een Tamils and uslims based on the historical baggage the t$o communities carry1It is for the 3ri )an2an people as primary sta2eholders to decide the future of ,4th  Amendment 6$hich is lin2ed to the e!istence of E!ecuti#e residency in the Constitution71 The *anuary ./,> elections pro#ide an opportunity for them to do so1  5e should not o#erestimate the #alue of either <1+1 Human ights Commission or India’s #ie$s on deciding its future1 In my assessment( the moment for India to pressurie 3ri )an2a to recreate of the +ortheast ro#ince as #isualied in the I3)A has passed1 India could ha#e demanded resident a'apa2sa to act immediately $hen 3ri )an2a 3upreme Court set aside the creation of a united +ortheastern ro#ince on the basis of procedural error1 But India did not1?f course( there $ere plenty of historical opportunities for K rabha2aran to see2 this out as part of peace bargain $ith 3ri )an2a1 But he $anted only independent Tamil Eelam and not peace at any other cost13tationing of 3ri )an2an military forces in +orthern ro#ince is a political issue that has to be sol#ed by 3ri )an2a go#ernment and the +orthern ro#incial Council go#ernment1 But it is essential for long term ethnic amity1 <nfortunately( the political process to achie#e it is stalled for #arious reasons1 India can only $or2 $ith all the sta2eholders to help the political process to start1 Q: If there is any group $ithin 3ri )an2a calling for a separate Tamil +ation( $ould thego#ernment of India support this through the appropriate channels as it did in the 4/’sduring the leadership of rime inister Indira andhi8 A: I thin2 I ha#e ans$ered this @uestion in a number of times earlier1 The $hole @uestion is speculati#e in any case you cannot recreate the ,94/ situation either in India or 3ri )an2a1 There is no group in 3ri )an2a( not e#en T+A( $hich calls for a separate Tamil +ation1 ight no$ it e!ists only at the notional le#el among sections of Tamil %iaspora and some fringe groups in Tamil +adu1 3o $hat is the point in speculating about India’s support to a non e!istent proposal8

04MOD 4.1 Handout

Jul 24, 2017
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