The Sunday Leader

Lanka Should Ignore Tamil Nadu Dr Subramanian Swamy

By Camelia Nathaniel

Dr. Subramanian Swamy, an Indian Academician, politician, activist, economist, and a great supporter of Sri Lanka, was in the country to attend the 3rd Defence seminar in Colombo. He was the President of the Janata Party.

His party was merged on August 11, 2013 with the BJP. Dr. Swamy has previously served as member of the Planning Commission of India and Cabinet Minister. He has written extensively on Indian foreign affairs, dealing largely with China, Pakistan and Israel. He is also a published author.

In an interview with The Sunday Leader he said Sri Lanka should not pay much attention to Tamil Nadu politicians, and Sri Lankans should learn to ignore them as the majority of people there do not share the same views.

Q. What should India’s policy be on Sri Lanka regarding human rights?
A. Firstly, whenever a war takes place and there is military conflict, there are collateral damages and innocent civilians die. In World War II the British bombed the city of Dresden in Germany and there was no military presence of the Nazi soldiers. Yet they bombed and flattened it, killing most of the civilian population as a result.

The same happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the US dropped the nuclear bomb. Therefore to hold Sri Lanka responsible for the civilian deaths and accuse them of human rights violations in a war is not fair.Secondly, the total casualty numbers given by credible sources and not the LTTE was some 7500, which included LTTE cadres killed, Sri Lankan military personnel and the civilian population.

Therefore in this kind of war this is a relatively small number. Sri Lanka has already appointed a committee to investigate the allegations and the LLRC recommendations were forwarded. So there cannot be an external investigation unless you have a definite and specific evidence of genocide, for which no one responsible has made a case. I don’t however go by all kinds of actors who have entered this field. The same kind of allegations made against Sri Lanka have also been made by the same agencies against India’s Kashmir and Manipur, and this is something very dangerous for India to get into just to keep their ally, the DMK, happy.

Q. You visited the United States to review the draft resolution and you objected to several of the allegations in that report. Could you explain what took place?
A. I had come to Sri Lanka on the February 28 this year to meet the President before going to the US. The head of operations of the United States Robert Blake had invited me to inspect the resolution, and so I went to inspect the draft of the resolution in the sense that I wanted to give him some ideas. I expressed my unhappiness at the draft at the time, and he told me that I was welcome to visit Washington at any time, so I went. There I said this resolution is sterile.

It cannot be enforced unless the United Nations Security Council backs the actions, and they cannot back it if any country applies a veto, and I was 100% certain that China and Russia were going to apply the veto. So what is the point of this resolution; all you are doing is driving Sri Lanka to seek the help of China and Russia, which is obviously against US interests. So I’ve always been of the opinion that this whole exercise is unnecessary and only has newspaper value. There is no way that they can force Sri Lanka to do or not to do anything and therefore the best thing to do is ignore it.

Q. There is a lot of pressure on the Indian government to boycott the Commonwealth summit. Will a boycott of the summit be acceptable?
A. I would not say a lot of pressure, but the pressure of one of the allies of the UPA government. I think it gets secret sympathy from Mrs. Sonia Gandhi who has always been sort of indulgent towards the LTTE. When the Supreme Court said the principle operators of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi should be hanged, she wrote a letter to the president that they should not be. She then made arrangements for the daughter of one of the accused, Nalini, to be educated in London, and now she lives in Australia. Then she also sent her brother to meet Nalini in jail, after which Nalini went to court saying she had been in jail far too long and should be allowed bail.

However it was my petition challenging that which prevented her leaving jail. But why Sonia Gandhi would do that is a big question which I hope to answer some day. The ones who are making a fuss are just a handful of cinema people who have benefitted by LTTE drug money and there is no other issue. However I don’t believe there is much support now. However the question of whether the Indian Prime Minister will attend the CHOGM in Colombo I can’t say as they are timid people.

Q. What can the Sri Lankan government do to make Tamil Nadu happy, and through that the Indian government?
A. In my opinion, the Sri Lankan government should invite the Indian businessman to invest in this country. They are dying to come here, so perhaps through the Indian Chamber of Commerce, or through some measure, Indian business houses could be allowed to invest in Sri Lanka. I myself have told this to your president.

Q. Some feel Sri Lanka is over dependent on India. Should Sri Lanka change its policy with India with the future in mind?
A. If they were over dependant on India then the Sri Lankans would not have destroyed the LTTE, so I think this is a myth. When Sri Lanka asked India to fund the Hambantota port, India rejected this due to objections from Karunanidhi. Thereafter Sri Lanka approached China and got it built. So I don’t think that your country is overly dependent on India, but one must admit the fact that we share the same DNA.

There are certain Sinhala names that originated from India. However I think there are certain natural tendencies due to the close proximity, and in fact I think we should be concerned about each other much more.

Q. What is your take on the concerns raised on the issues faced by the Tamils in Sri Lanka?
A. First of all, the Tamils that I have spoken to, and in reading some of the comments they had made to an Indian Magazine (Tughlaq Magazine), they are first of all very relieved that their children can go to school, and the women know that their husbands who go to work will return home in the evening.

That uncertainty of life has gone, so they are happy, and no Sri Lankan Tamil wants Eelam or any other form of war anymore. The only thing left is that there is some aspiration that they need to have a local provincial government, but these things have to be done gradually as you need to be sure that it will not be misused. For instance, the people in Batticaloa are not in favour of giving police powers. The only province that will benefit from police powers is Jaffna, but the Batticaloa Tamils have told me they don’t want it, and they have given me the reasons. Even in the Central province, although there are large numbers of Tamils, they too are not interested.

I think there issues that need to be sorted out and this electoral process should begin, and you must insist that the Tamil leadership talk to the Sinhala leadership, the state leadership. They should not go demanding and have India put pressure on Sri Lanka, which India will not do as they want good relations with Sri Lanka.

Q. What sort of approach should the Sri Lankan government take with the Tamil National Alliance?
A. There are people outside the TNA who have legacies such as Chandra Hassan, or Selvanayagam. The TNA is not the sole representative of the Tamils.

Q. You have singlehandedly done more for Sri Lanka than our whole foreign ministry put together, in relation to South India. So what advice would you give our foreign ministry in dealing with South India?
A. Well, just ignore Tamil Nadu; it’s only a matter of time. I go to Tamil Nadu and speak against the LTTE. Today I am in Sri Lanka, and it will be published in Tamil Nadu that I am with the Sri Lankan Army, but it is just a handful that are creating all this fuss. The vast majority of Tamils want good relations with Sri Lanka. It’s only the present government which relies on the clandestine support of the DMK and Sonia Gandhi. In May 2014 there will be a new government and when that happens everything will be fine.

Q. There is a lot of concern by many regarding the involvement of the Chinese in Sri Lanka. What is your view? Is China a cause for concern to India?
A. I think the Chinese are a very sensible people and when I was in government I had no problem in dealing with them. They are straightforward and mean what they say. You need to have good relations between India, Sri Lanka and China. We are all Buddhist, Hindu people and we all can live in harmony. So I don’t think that the involvement of China with Sri Lanka should have any impact on India.

Q. The TNA earlier raised concerns about the construction of the Northern expressway being handed to the Chinese, claiming that it was a threat to Indian security. What is your take on that?
A. No, not at all. Who are they to talk on behalf of India? Has India expressed such concerns? No, so who asked the TNA to talk on behalf of India? This is an internal decision of the Sri Lankan government. China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, which has commonality to this region, so there is no problem. The TNA is just using India as a cover. This is your sovereign power and it is your decision to hand over any project to any country you wish.

28 Comments for “Lanka Should Ignore Tamil Nadu Dr Subramanian Swamy”

  1. indian

    great interview … SS is briliant ….

  2. Dr.Subramanian Swamy is a person nobody in India wants to know. All he wants is status. Only Sri Lanka wants his support. He gets paid well enough by the Srilankan government to do a propaganda for Sri Lanka in the international arena. Otherwise this man is a dead pig. In Tamil Nadu he is treated like a servant without brain.

    • Robert

      My understanding is that he is not a Tamil. He is an anti- tamil indian who is still expressing his vengence and anger for Rajiv’s demise. H e is north indian.
      What sinhalese should know is , in Asia the politics can always change the way you would not think. Eg. Not long ago Singhalese were angry that India was arming LTTE. Short memories. Things can change in another 15 -25 years .

      • fawzan

        He is not expressing vengence againt killing of Rajiv. He is one of the suspect behind the kiling of Rajiv. He is conveniently passed the ball to LTTE and walk around as a happy man.

    • Nipun

      Really was he not the head of the opposition party in India ! hey man be democratic respect the opposition party.

    • Nipun

      Forget the simpletons they never once counter argued your statement in the inclusion of the security council to pass sanctions and that will give China the much loved opportunity to veto it !!! that will make any intrusive resolutions invalid and will be counterproductive to the interest of USA and INDIA !!! And BAM THAT THE WINNER ARUGMENT

  3. jamal

    You are an enemy of Tamils but a threat to Sovereignty of Sri Lanka . During your recent visit to read a paper, you had advocated con federal set up to Sri Lanka and ran to your country before being bullied by Sinhala extremists.

  4. marcus fernando

    he is mervin of srilanka for india

  5. I would say that India does have a problem if Sri Lanka gets too close to China. India is focused on maintaining regional security in the region. With the presence of the Chinese in the Indian Ocean, India does feel a bit uneasy. The fact that Sri Lanka is becoming close to being a Chinese base poses a regional security issue to India. I would say that Sri Lanka needs to further develop relations with India and other South Asian countries if maintaining regional security is on their interest list. This can be done by promoting investment opportunities for Indian businesses in Sri Lanka.

    • Pillai

      Most people forget the fact that India and Russia are chronic allies. Should India be worried about china. The answer is No.Blatantly yes. India’s relation with US is much close to be an ally.Should it be worries. It has much more things to worry about in the North western borders and eastern borders such as West Bengal.

  6. Kumar

    Dr Subramanian Swamy is a Great Leader of India and he alone solve the SRI LANKAN tamil issue with talks with the SL leadership, all the TN leaders are busy making money and exploiting the Tamil sentiments and have not really cared for thr Tamils of SL, we require more leaders like Dr Swamy

  7. Peace

    If TNA cannot talk on behalf of India, why the hell are you putting your nose into Tamil issues in Sri Lanka? Well paid to do propaganda. Ignore Tamil Nadu!!!!
    Tamil Nadu made India to vote against Sri Lanka on Last resolution In UN. I don’t think, anyone in Sri Lanka and India take serious on SS including present government. I believe you that Robert Blake had invited you to inspect the resolution. It is the joke of the day.

  8. A.Friend

    And you have all the right to talk on behalf of the Tamils.

  9. Mohan

    Dear Doctor, The need of the hour is peace with Tamil Nadu. Let the Leaders of the two regions be left to develop a relationship of faith and trust. Please don’t interfere.

  10. Rishabh singh

    Dr.Subramaniattualsellecn swamy is one of those intellectuals in this country who in true sense can be called intellectuals not like some psuedo secular marxist so called intellects who bark anti india comments and our media awards them with the title of “INTELLECTUAL” Dr. Swamy is a true nationalist and if he says anything should be listened carefully.

    • Rabok

      Indians should be proud to have a intellectuals like Dr Subramaniyam – he certainly is not sitting on his brain like most of the so called intellectuals — His views are not bias and clear and he has a sharp mind to see the reality and he speaks about the reality very clearly – if the leaders of both the countries learn to follow the thinking of Dr Subramaniyam we will develop better relations – God bless and protect you Dr.

  11. Lankan

    This Swamy now does not even lead a political party as his party has been amalgamated with BJP last month. Although the Sri Lankan government keeps him on the head and dance, he does not even have a sizable voter base in Tamil Nadu where the population is over 50 million. Swamy is a spent force in India, similarly Thirumavalavan who is kept on the head by the LTTE diaspora (at least Thirumavalavan has a better voter base than swamy) is in the same boat, both are spent forces. Swamy has been purchased by Rajapakse. He has no support or standing in Indian political scene, hence he enters Sri Lankan political scene. May be Rajapakse will appoint him as a Senior Supervising Minister for Foreign Affairs.

    • kennath

      you made me laugh dude! why would you want to show up as “Lankan” !? your comment shows that you are a hatred Tamil , just be a man with a back born before commenting.

  12. Lankan

    Swamy has not political party of his own now as his party was amalgamated into BJP last month. Further of 50 million people living in Tamil Nadu how many votes has he got. He is a spent force in the INdian politics and to get free press he is running promoting the Sri Lankan government. He is no one in India and only this type of politicians are supports of the SRi Lankan government.

  13. sellam

    Let Naarayana Swamy help Sri Lanka that is his wish but let him not speak about the Tamils in Sri Lanka . Who is he to speak about the Tamils in Sri Lanka. He is out of his mind as he doesn’t know what he is speaking.

  14. laksiri

    great man and always he depend the true and never bend like other political leaders to terrorists.

  15. kennath

    great! We appreciate your comments with a true Indian back born. He is a man who see the ground reality with a deeper future vision professionally.

  16. Amar Singh

    Very well said sir. Great politician in India. Highly respected person ont only in India but also in Sri Lanka and South East Asia.

  17. Raja

    Dr Subramanian Swami is a proud Indian who wouldn’t hesitate to call a spade a spade. It is amazing the insight he has on regional issues and how well informed he is. I never knew the unusual protection Sonia Gandhi is providing to the killers of her own husband, when even a murderer of a normal person would not get such protection under the Indian law. Dr Swami’s characterisation of South India’s leading trouble makers as a handful of Cinema people is so true.

  18. Nipun

    India push this too far and it will play in to Pakistani hands. All Paksitan has to do is bring up Kashmire in UNHCR and the all the muslim nations will vote against the country specific resolution and BOOM Pakistan gets Kashmire

  19. Nipun

    Forget the simpletons they never once counter argued your statement in the inclusion of the security council to pass sanctions and that will give China the much loved opportunity to veto it !!! that will make any intrusive resolutions invalid and will be counterproductive to the interest of USA and INDIA !!! And BAM THAT THE WINNER ARUGMENT

  20. common man

    mind blowing comments indeed!!!! A slap to the TERRORISTS !!!

  21. Sunda

    Even though this man is a so called Tamil but Tamils in Tamil Nadu dont even treat him as a person. He cant even walk on the street in Tamil Nadu on his own. he is a traitor for his own people in Tamil Nadu. So how can he talk about Tamils in Srilanka? He dont even respect journalists. He is living with Srilanka’s black money. Srilanka is his second home. He has no party and he was kicked out on every arena in India. Just living for his publicity in Srilankan Press. I entirely agreed with your previous persons comments “Dr.Subramanian Swamy is a person nobody in India wants to know”

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