Tamil Issue

India has legitimate security interests in the region and legitimate concerns in the welfare of the Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka. But neither the interests nor the concerns have been served by the policies that India has followed, since 1983, to be precise. Critically comment. (200 Words)

India’s relations with Sri Lanka extend from economic, cultural to political aspects. The foremost among them would be the security of Indian interests in Indian ocean and welfare of the ethnic Tamils who hold a cultural nexus with Indian Tamils. India since 1983, pursued many activities to protect the legitimate interests and concerns but the success of them was marginal.
  1. When India made treaty with Sri Lanka in 1987 as Rajiv- Jayawardene pact, The LTTE were given no consideration which aggravated the situation causing immense damage to India and one of them being death of PM of India.
  2. India spent its energy, resources, time by sending Indian Peace keeping Forces which fought with LTTE, causing apprehensions in Tamils of both countries who has a soft corner for the terrorist organization.
  3. After LTTE was removed by Sri Lankan forces, India working to reconstruct the lives of Northern region of Jaffna, but the denying of land and police powers as promised earlier made Sri Lankan Tamils restricted and no freedom.
  4. From the beginning India was working for the betterment of relations with Sri Lanka as both hold cultural relations too, but Its tilt towards China has created security concerns in India. Recent docking a submarine in Sri Lankan port is a case for this.
  5. China’s String of Pearls and Maritime Silk Road projects have raised the question of hegemony in the Indian Ocean impacting the goodwill that India earned so far by coordinating in economic, environmental and cultural aspects in the region.
Despite the drawbacks of legitimate policies not serving full purpose, there are positives like consensus on fishing grounds and fishermen releases, improving ties with sports like Cricket, India’s work through SAARC, cooperation like recent Civil Nuclear pact, coordination in agriculture, education, new government first overseas visit to India recently. It is in the best interests of both countries to establish a peaceful cooperation that would enhance their ties along with growth.
What are the immediate and longer-term grievances of the Tamils of the north and east in Sri Lanka? How are these grievances met by the Sri Lankan governments? Critically examine. (200 Words)
Tamils in Sri Lanka are the largest minority community and thereby faced lot of discrimination , violence along with political apathy in a long term. Some of their grievances where government has taken steps include:-
  • Formation of government in Tamil province was fulfilled with TNA coming to power and taking political control over Jafana.
  • Replacement of the military governor by a civilian , the recent step by the new government is another formidable step.
However some issues that are still in the hanging include:-
  • Excessive military presence in north and east Sri Lanka creates a disturbed environment, however government is in no mood to reduce their presence.
  • Political empowerment , transferring of policing control and other subjects to the provincial government is a long drawn request. The 13th amendment that can make this happen is still a promise , no action yet taken on it. However the new government is optimistic on it.
  • The justice for human right violation and genocide is yet to happen. Old and the new regime both have superficially dealt with the issue , bringing no respite.
  • Political rights, social empowerment , economic opportunities and equal involvement, also control on ethnic violence are some immediate grievances of Tamilians.
The new government should take the baton in their hand and resolve these issues if they do not want another LTTE to be formed and take the country back to the days of civil crises. Timely resolution of these steps will only bring country back to normalcy.
Recent Developments:
  • New President Srisena is relatively more accommodative of the demands of Tamilians in North
  • “2015 Geneva Resolution” is the broad framework negotiated between different parties, which Sri Lankan government has to implement
  • Large land parcels in North are still acquired by armed forces, which are to be given back to Tamilians. Implementation of this clause is not upto the mark.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top