Delhi should not brook TN's unruly crowds
Daily Mirror Editorial
Feb 1, 2011

Despite the tricky tales of wading the troubled waters by the fishermen of the two territories, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka had been connected from the time immemorial. It has been the holy land for many Sri Lankan Hindus who were in the habit of making frequent pilgrimages there. In spite of the occasional turmoil created by the groups of LTTE sympathizers in Tamil Nadu, the security of the ordinary pilgrims was never in question; they were never harassed for the socalled errors committed by the Lankan government.

Yet, these safety levels shifted when Thirukumar Nadesan, the husband of Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa and a relative of President Mahinda Rajapaksa by marriage, was attacked by an unruly crowd during his visit to Ramanathanswamy Temple in Rameswaram. It was later revealed that a group of activists of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) were behind the mayhem. The matter would have rested there had not Minister Arumugam Thondamanís nephew Uva Provincial Councillor Senthil Thondaman faced a similar fate in a visit to Thirunallar Temple in Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu. The press reported that there were people waving black flags and shouting slogans against the Sri Lankan Government and the President.

This however is not the ideal picture, a pilgrim who crosses the sea would like to witness at the holy land. It is worth questioning as to what preventive measures that have been taken by the TN law enforcement authorities in the aftermath of the two attacks, in order to curb the prevalence of such incidents. Despite Mr. Thondamanís and Mr. Nadesanís connections to the government and the President, at the end of the day, it was two pilgrims who were attacked by a group of natives at a religious place. If nothing concerns the authorities, this fact alone should be grave enough to take action as deemed fit.

Creating trouble may not be a work of the entire citizenry of the Tamil Nadu but that of a rebellious few who breed unrest and glory in it. Hence, it may not be fair to label the entire community for a fault of a few. The picture presented by a few of LTTE sympathizers waving black flags may not portray the sentiments of every Southern Indian. What they need to realize is that this farce needs to be fenced immediately; if their concerns are genuine, one may question on what basis they would attack a Sri Lankan Tamil to avenge the so-called killing of another.

However, Delhiís silence on the matter, for the reasons that are best known to the authorities, is quite disturbing. While there is a possibility of it being twisted and misinterpreted as the Ďstateís approval,í by the same crowds who created trouble, the question remains as to why the Indian Government is taking long to explain its stance.

At a time when the two countries are aiming at burying their minute rivalries, it is vital that the Indian Government exercises its authority to put an end to this disturbing trend. Lasting diplomatic relations are not easy to come by; only incidents of such nature put things in reverse gear.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka