DELHI FUNDS SRI LANKA – AID OR RANSOM?
That Sri Lanka (SL) arm twists Delhi into keeping its funding tap open is ironic. SL is milking a Delhi entrapped into the Eelam conflict at the Indian tax payers’ expense. Delhi’s fear that SL may implicate the ‘Delhi trio’ in the massacre of the 20 000 civilians and white flag waving resistance leaders in May is phobic. This has snowballed to a level that Delhi even covertly offered to fund SL to offset should IMF refuse a $ 2.5 billion credit to SL. An SL Minister brought this into the public domain much to Delhi’s embarrassment. Why this predicament for Delhi?
It is the leaks by SL that uncover Delhi’s extensive covert support for SL. The leaks tactically timed ensured that the funding cuts of other nations disapproving SL’s human rights record is funded by Delhi. The latest Rp 500 crores tranche was timed to prevent the pre mature leaks of the massacres in ‘Narayanan’s no fire zone’ by the civilian interned eye witnesses. The sufferings of the IDPs behind barbed wire fenced Menik concentration camp was of no consequence. Delhi’s funding support of SL is now unstoppable. The latest Rp 500 crores is to release less than one quarter of the civilian IDPs. SL will ensure that Delhi pays up before its staged release of the rest of the IDPs.
Delhi covertly provided open lines of credit besides $ 200 million for SL to purchase weaponry especially lethal fire power that rained in the open trenches where over 20 000 civilians along with the white flag waving LTTE leadership were sheltering to cause the 15 -19 May massacres. Delhi funded RAW over flights pin pointed these massacre targets. Delhi insisted for long that its supplied SL only defensive weapons like radars but SL thankfully acknowledged receipt of lethal repainted naval gunships, helicopters gunships, Rajiv’s notorious Bofor guns and intelligence personnel on the ground in front line positions whose effective use exterminated the true protectors (LTTE) of the suffering Tamils. Will SL ever reciprocate for a Delhi that sold out its Chennai in favour of Colombo?
Delhi was a willing partner in SL’s genocide. SL used subterfuges to dupe EU into funding its civil war. SL initially used the tsunami tragedy to qualify for the EU’s GSP Plus; soon to divert it instead to fund the war that destroyed the Tamils and their resistance. During the nearly 30 years of resistance rule the Tamils were spared the brutal atrocities they experience now. SL duped EU and the West with incredible stories demonizing the Tamil resistance/LTTE as drug runners, people smugglers, extortionists and killers. The iconic SL story (of Bernard Goonetileke, SL ambassador to US) parleyed using the Washington Post radio of LTTE reaping hundreds of millions of US$ selling to Al Qaeda 130000 stolen Norwegian passports ( Jane factored this amount into their estimate of LTTE’s funding) is atypical of type of deception that SL resorts to.
For Delhi, SL uses a judicious mix of flattery and blackmail. This puzzles observers. SL apparently holds skeletons damaging to Delhi if brought out into the public domain. Delhi partnered the SL genocide including the recent massacres is public knowledge. SL adroitly exploits the north/south and sectarian divisive prejudices within the Delhi bureaucracy that Delhi gradually distanced itself from Chennai for TN’s sensitivities over the Tamil issue having no role. A DMK keen on surviving the rest of its term readily succumbed to Delhi’s (Pranab’s) pressures to tone down on the Tamil atrocities rhetoric. Delhi’s silence on the SL atrocities infected the TN political establishment; a remarkable feat for SL. Hence many view Chidambaram’s aid packages as ransom. Delhi’s plight extends beyond Bhadrakumar’s ‘Delhi trading away the LTTE leverage over SL cheaply’.
SL‘s demand that Delhi bank roll it will continue especially once EU withdraws the GSP plus benefits. Pitifully Delhi is sure to accede though it is fully aware that its funding will go towards SL’s ambitious militarization of the North (more military checkpoints dotting every few hundred meters) with improved land, air and naval bases in close proximity to TN that have serious security implications for TN and Tamilians. Delhi would have no qualms in abandoning them as it abandoned the TN fishermen to the mercies of the SL navy. Delhi’s indifference to TN’s future security leaves an embittered and betrayed Tamilians to wake up and re-examine fundamentals in its policy approaches to counter Delhi’s game plan. Is Delhi inducing the early birth of a balkanized India.
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