The Sunday Leader

A New Treaty With India An Imperative

By K Godage

A new treaty with our blood relative India is an imperative, let us clear the way for it. Modi becoming Prime Minister affords us a God given opportunity, let us not let it pass. It has been reported that India’s new Prime Minister  has raised the old issue of the 13th Amendment which they foisted on us and insisted that Land and Police powers not be taken away from the  Provincial Councils, when President Rajapaksa called on him after he was sworn in.

This is the old demand which they keep bringing up whenever our Presidents meet their Prime Ministers. To my mind it appears that our leaders have failed to make India understand why we cannot devolve land and Police powers to the Provincial Councils in this small country of ours which is smaller than almost all their states.
Their High Commission in Colombo should have advised Delhi that, considering the level of crime in this country, a uniform Police Service is an absolute imperative for the stability of this country. Even in Malaysia which comprises of far flung island States, the Police is administered from the Centre.

As regards land, we must avoid taking over private land other than for uncontested security reasons; there are some who say that the country belongs to us all and we must be free to settle in any part of the Country, even though it may be theoretically  correct we must remember that we are dealing with human beings, we should therefore be sensitive to the emotional aspect of this issue. We cannot also forget the fact, there was a Tamil kingdom in the North till the Portuguese put an end to it and also that the North (not the East) has been the traditional home of the Tamil people. Let us as a matter of policy state that no private land will be acquired unless it is for, as stated earlier, security reasons. Where land has already been acquired, if they cannot now be given back for whatever reason the owners should be handsomely compensated.

The other issue which has been brought up is ‘Accountability’, I believe the government is addressing the issue let us seek India’s support for the manner in which we are doing it.

The corrupt Jayalalithaa, who has prostituted herself to the Tamil Diaspora which supports her handsomely, will now seek to make things difficult for the Centre and India’s relations with us. It remains to be seen as to how Modi would relate to us in the future for Jayalalithaa would seek to undermine our security and perhaps even our territorial integrity. India would have to ensure that this does not happen.

Sincere friends in Delhi 

I, having served in Delhi at perhaps the worst of times in our relations  when     the IPKF  (which had lost over 1200  men fighting the LTTE) were ordered  to leave, in what the Indians considered an ungrateful and crude manner, could without fear of contradiction state that we (despite the attitude of certain agencies of government) nevertheless had good sincere friends in Delhi; it may surprise many to know that among those who helped us was Rajiv Gandhi who was out of office, with VP Singh becoming PM and also the then Minister of External Affairs IK Gujral (who later became Prime Minister). High Commissioner Stanley Kalpage (who was well liked by the establishment) and I met Rajiv Gandhi for ten times at his request.

We met him thrice when we encountered certain problems and he was most helpful, for instance when the LTTE killed 108 Muslims at prayer in the Kathankudi Mosque, certain parties in Delhi who were hostile to us spread the word that our Army had committed the horrendous crime; the Islamic newspapers mounted a huge attack on us and a huge demonstration was to take place outside our Mission. Security was strengthened and we were also warned not to travel alone, at which point High Commissioner Kalpage and I decided to see Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and seek his help.

When we met him he said “This is definitely the work of the LTTE why should your Army kill innocent Muslims”. When we told him of the planned demonstration he wanted us to see the Imam of the Barbri Masjid in Delhi (I am told that it is one of the biggest Mosques in the world) and that he would speak to him. Calling on the Imam was a very formal affair, we met him and when we told him of our problem, he said that  Rajiv had spoken to him and that there would be no demonstration!! We also told him that the Islamic press was attacking us, he promised to look into the matter and the  nasty editorials and articles attacking us stopped after a few days. We also had many other VIPs who helped us in many ways.

I could say that whatever may be the Parliamentary majority the political leaders would not decide policy by themselves, the Bureaucrats including the PM’s office, the National Security Advisor and the MEA (and the Think Tanks) make a major contribution to policy making, RAW (which is most important for our security) is also consulted; so we must ensure these important ‘Institutions’ of the Indian government are not hostile towards us.

Protect our relationship

I am aware that the BJP which was in government when we served in Delhi, valued the relationship with us, we for our part should treat the relationship as the cornerstone of our foreign policy and we must have a constructive approach, based on Trust. We must create a climate, where no Jayalalithaa can spoil our relationship with India. Our relations with India extends to over 2000 years, let us together with India protect it in our mutual interest. Let us request the Indian government to permit us to have consulates in all the states of South India for we have had relations with them from time immemorial.

Let us also conclude a new Treaty with India which incorporates their concerns re their security which is of great importance to them. As quid pro quo let us hope that they would get Jayalalithaa off our back.

Let us also have Treaties of Peace Friendship and Cooperation with China and Pakistan.

To conclude I am confident that a new chapter has opened in our relations with India, it appears to me the Modi government will adopt the Gujral Doctrine in relations with its neighbours and strengthen political and economic   relations with countries of the SAARC, this would undoubtedly be a blessing for us all.

13 Comments for “A New Treaty With India An Imperative”

  1. regal silva

    The writer must be mad. India is not our blood relative but our blood sucker.
    India will never modernize due to its strangle hold on pagan customs and treating a vast mass of people as untouchables – gang rapes are common on depressed class women. Millions go to the river ganges to wash away sins! Hundreds of millions live on poverty. India was never a united nation but an amalgam of diverse and contradictory princely states. Modi should be ever grateful to the British for creating a united India but will ultimately fall to pieces as before

    • anpu

      No more than their effort creating a modern Ceylon to the time of independence in 1948.

      You may not like your distant relative for certain reasons but at the time of crisis only they will help you like the way India helped SL in Geneva.

      Mr. Godage, as a true patriot, commented wisely.

      Nations, in the end, do not have permanent friends or permanent enemies; only (their) permanent interest.

      It is important for the nations to have and hold the best interest of all its sons and daughters without letting different subgroups define differently.

    • Almeida

      This fellow doesn’t know his blood group

    • Punchi

      The writer is not mad. He writes purposely in order to win accolades from the rulers.Any sensible person knows that India will not agree to a new treaty in place of 13 A. Though our foreign policy changes from government to government india’s foreign policy does not change. India remains a united country as it has devolved powers to periphery .We have not been able to unite our country because of Sinhala Buddhist extremism.While other countries move forward we are marching to a precipice.

    • To my understanding ,whats the writer said was correct.We need to be more careful when dealing with a country like INDIA.We should not make comments here and there for political gains,we have to have a proper system with our foreign policy and improve our relation ship in a better manner.We should not forget that India is the regional power.

  2. Mr Godage,

    Saying it louder and louder that this Country Is small and the crime rate is high and the police force should be from the state is making you and the government a laughing stock in foreign countries
    You and the extremis made the word federalism a four letter word if you think you can change the 13th amendment the least that you can accommodate the Tamil aspiration you must be day dreaming
    One thing has come out very clearly the international community ( Meaning the west ) have learnt a very good lesson that GOVERNMENT IN SRI LANKA would never implement any signed agreements regarding the Tamils you have done a very effective propaganda on behalf of the Tamils thank you very much
    The west also knows that aligning with the Pakistan/ China axis will not work any more. Wait and and see once the Americans leave Afghanistan the tremors of the Tsunami will be felt and it will felt in South Asia .

    PS just because there was no kingdom in the east doe not mean the census of the British is not available the East Sinhalese population was less than 3% yes the Sinhalese can settle on their own and they are welcome but not with government aid using the tax apyers money so that they can change the demography you people have violated international laws if you think you all can go scott-free you have another thing coming

    Nathen

  3. Tamil Indian

    Dear author
    Nice friendly article. Our new PM did the right thing by inviting Rajapakse.
    You are right, although negativity gets lot of publicity, there is tremendous goodwill for Sri Lanka amongst Indians.
    Ethnically after all the majority of Sinhalese are migrants from ancient India. Very touched by your opening statement.
    SL should grow into a top tourist destination and be a great partner of India in all other fields.

  4. Navam

    I do not know who this GODAGE is but his style of writing needs pruning.

  5. Vijay

    Lopsided argument
    Central police force is corrupt to core, not a fault of personnel in it but made so by masters
    Police are spectators when extremist attack minority groups

  6. Almeida

    At last now our fellows have realized the Blood Relationship.

  7. Tamilan

    HAHAHAHA

    It make me laugh, all these time the Sinhalese/ the Government/Part of tamils was singing its an intrenal probelm we can sort it out among ourselves. Now the tune changed to an agreement is imperative with India?
    Let me ask, if you give what is due to the Tamils/Muslims/Minority, then why have an agreemnt with anyone in the world?
    Minority is seeking justice in their own land thats all. nothing more nothing less.
    All want justice to all crimes comminted in the name of war
    Tamils want jutice for the genocide in 1956/58, 1977, 1983 and many other unlisted ones.
    All want justice and a state apology and compensation for all killed in the name of WAR and internal bombings, and for the people killed in JVP uprising.
    Tamils want an apology for the burning down of Jaffna libaray and admitting the state’s repsobilty
    Release of all political prisioners
    No one need an agreement, everyone wants justice and accountability. Regardless of the color or creed everyone needs to be treated equally. thats wat we lankans want.

  8. srilanka is very communal country,h nuam violation, freedom of speech, empolyment, police are most corrupted department, bribe from minority, and harrssing the people, 13th amendmnet can not remove from the constitution,what is in the constitution must fellw and practice, today buddist monks are main cause for country going back ward, srilanka facing international criminal inverstcation, the most discrase to srilanka. the politicians are the main cause, goverment, must change to democratic government, politician in hands of voters.recent indian election prove the democratic government, the same must come to srilanka future generation,

  9. soosai

    Excellent article by KG.

    But people of your conscience and caliber are a thing of past in sri lanka. When Rajiv cared for 300 muslims being killed by LTTE, it was and is appreciated. When 70000 eelam Tamils were murdered and 140000 unaccounted for, what do you think Rajiv would have done and for that matter what would you have done.

    Going by this article, i assume you keep a clean conscience and so you should do something for the genocide that happended when srilanka bombed civilians in a 2 day period killing 70000 innocent Tamils. If sinhalese leaders have common sense (not even conscience), they will come to sense with the gravity of the situtaion they are in. If they delay reasonable devolution, in my opinion, they are handing eelam on a platter.

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