UN is no Tamil’s string of pearls.
Let’s just be honest. The current UN resolution as it stands will not bring impactful change to the Eelam Tamils.
What it does though is to keep a door ajar. It is a sensible beachhead strategy. It is so because that is where the final act will play out. UN is where it should start so it there it can end.
ReSolution. No Solution
It becomes problematic when few tend to market the resolution as a solution. Not coincidentally, they happen to be the same voices that said the same thing about 13 amendment.
Tamils can’t afford to be distracted by the UN theatrics if Twittersphere is any indication. An impactful Tamil strategy must be at play in Tamilnadu. For the beachhead that is the UN, the reinforcement is to come from Tamilnadu.
If that does not materialize, the UN effort would, no doubt, go to waste.
UNHRC options will not bring about a structural change in Sri Lanka. But Tamil Nadu is capable of producing such change in Sri Lanka and through UN. As things stand now, a game changer move can only originate from Tamil Nadu.
As repeated often in this blog, the current socio-economic, and political changes that Tamil Nadu is undergoing are fundamental. Student protests are only a symptomatic expression of a systemic shift. These shifts are rare and long processes in that part of the world. When it does happen, you want to be there – being at the right place at the right time.
It is Eelam Tamils’ duty to ensure this change culminates in our favor to bring about meaningful and structural changes in the Island of Sri Lanka. And winds are blowing in our favor.
So how do you land in the UN and battle in Sri Lanka and get reinforcement from Tamilnadu?
It is expected that the next Indian federal government will have to have Tamil Nadu support to exist. Many are predicting BJP to have enough of a majority. But the likely scenario is BJP or a loose coalition of third parties will have to be at the mercy of the current Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha. And she has endorsed a strong position re Sri Lanka as a party election platform.
A series of recent articles in the US press have highlighted the importance of Tamil Nadu as well. [See (1) & (2) below].
Unlike the Congress’ toothless foreign policy, a BJP government will have a more forceful policy. With that pending change, US will not take unilateral initiatives in the region. Yet, it has shown it will take leadership in multilateral bodies cornering India into action.
My prediction is that should a BJP government come to power, they will choose Sri Lanka as the test case to prove their hegemonic policies in relation to other regional countries as well as to the foe, China and the “friend” US.
One should take serious note of Yaswant Sinha’s statement in Chennai two weeks ago.
There will be personality change in Modi-led govt: Yashwant Sinha.
“ “We need to just whisper in the ears of Rajapaksa that he needs to listen else face the consequences,” he said. He dismissed the view that China will occupy India’s strategic place in Sri Lanka if New Delhi took a strong stance against the island nation. “If America can have Monroe Doctrine in southern hemisphere, we can have one in South Asia,” he said, adding India cannot live in “perpetual fear” of China taking its place in Lanka. “Like (Lord) Hanuman, we must realise our strength and we can also cross over the Palk Strait not with guns but with roses,” he said.”
( Note: I hadn’t seen his comment re Palk Strait when I wrote about Tamils walking on water. But am amused by the Hanuman comment. Though I am not into any of the lord business, I am willing to tolerate it in this context )
This comes from a senior leader of the BJP party who has been both a finance minister and a foreign minister of India.
A sweeping win by AIDMK and BJP’s reliance on that party, and an OHCHR report next year could be the perfect storm for Eelam tamils to turn the corner.
It will be an amazing delivery of poetic justice should it come from two powerful Tamil women. One as a head of OHCHR and another as a head of Tamil Nadu. What a fantastic testimony would that be for the Vanni mindset and to Periyar.
So using the UN resolution only as a tactical step of a strategy, Tamils should continue to push to make the language stronger and not dismiss the resolution. Should a resolution pass with components of a OHCHR investigation intact, Tamils in their home turfs will hopefully work on other pieces.
- Eelam Tamils should continue to insist, as demonstrated in Geneva this time through Northern Provincial Council members Aananthi and Sivajilingam, that elected members act as representatives and not as lawyers nitpicking the merits of a case. Pseudo intellectualism at this juncture is missing the tree for the woods.
- The impressive articulation of TNPF leader Gajen Ponnambalam and civil society member Guruparan on the weaknesses of the resolution should reach the people so they are not fed false hope of delivery of justice. But I also hope both of them do more to frame the discussions as pro-strong resolution and don’t get trapped into an anti-resolution messaging.
- Tamils in Tamil Nadu should ensure that notoriously fickle TN politics does not go off the tracks post elections. Congress and DMK have paid dearly in Tamilnadu for their disastrous inaction in 2009. And Chief Minister Jeyalalitha is determined to extract more. All Congress leaders are running scared not wanting to run in the elections. Tamils should ensure CM Jeyalalitha keeps her election promises.
- Tamils everywhere should ensure the new government in Delhi thinks outside of the 13th Amendment and LLRC bullshit strewn all over. The ominous reference to the 13A in the UNHRC resolution draft and the TNA leaderships pussyfooting around it will not get us out of this mess. If Delhi is to whisper in Rajapakse’s ear as Sinha says, I would rather it be the dialog from the all-time classic movie pulp fiction.“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.”
That is a whisper that the Srilankan state needs to hear, but hear it loud and clear. And that is a lord business that I can get behind.
Here is the scene in Youtube, starting at 1 min.
(1) What Sri Lanka reveals about Indian democracy support
For those interested in learning more about UN’s role in deciding of people’s Self-determination, 2 recommended readings below:
Self Determination in the Post 9/11 Era by Elizabeth Chadwick
The responsibility of outside powers for acts of secessionist entities by Stefan Talmon