Love not thy neighbour but the Yankees
Daily Mirror Editorial
Mar 21, 2011

India, ending a nail biting silence that was found quite disturbing by the Sri Lankans, has finally pledged their allegiance to the US in the latter’s attempt to move a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. One must not forget this is the same India, that not so long ago, said it would not support any country specific resolution. An ordinary individual going back on his/her word could be pardonable. Yet, the magnitude of the impact of such action coming from a representative of a respected state is insufferable; specially at a time when India’s support was a crucial factor in Sri Lanka’s chances of surviving in Geneva.

When the countries such as Russia and China understand the boundaries of sovereignty and the vitality of not interfering with Sri Lanka’s internal matters, one wonders what exactly led India to stand on the other bank. Was it India’s never tiring urge to interfere with Sri Lanka’s home issues or the temptation to encourage those who were following its not-so-shining example? Either way, over-dependence on the nearest neighbour and the so-called big brother who was seemingly ‘compelled’ to let Sri Lanka down at a crucial moment such as this, goes to show that India never thought big about Sri Lanka in the same way Sri Lanka has been doing.

Initially, when the Sri Lankan delegation headed by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe met with the Indian officials, they were pledged the support at UNHRC along with the request that the fact be kept under cover. However, it was only after the public announcement by the Minister Samarasinghe that Jayalalithaa started pressuring New Delhi to bring Sri Lanka to the book by supporting the US resolution. Perhaps, Sri Lanka too has contributed to the misery by playing the blabbermouth when silence was required.

Yet, it does not render much sympathy towards a central government that does not have authority to explain and represent its stance without surrendering to the internal pressure by the likes of Jayalailithaa. In fact, a gigantic entity like India should be ashamed of the mistake that made Jayalalithaa’s voice the voice of India.

Nevertheless, one cannot help but wonder whether India can support the said resolution with a clear conscience when it is partly responsible for the agonies suffered by Sri Lanka both during and after war. It was not remote history, when Rajiv Gandhi was killed by an LTTE suicide cadre. The terrorism that devoured the peace of Sri Lanka also took the life of its former head of state. Besides that, India shaded the Tigers. It aided them, bred them and trained them. Hence, the ethicalities behind sending Sri Lanka alone to the noose are very much in question.

India can raise its hand at the time it believes is right. Sri Lanka can only say we respect the decision. By trying to please so many parties, India has become a kite flying in the mid wind. Whether it was Jeyalalithaa’s craving for power in the guise of love for the Northern Tamils or the nuclear power of USA that was talking through the mouth of Manmohan Singh, only time will tell.

The US sponsored resolution is the bear in the folk tale that indicates we have not been too wise in our selection of friends.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka