24th September 2000
No. 8, Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo 2.
While the whole country is engrossed with a Parliamentary
election, we had confirmation from the well-known Kerala-based Indian magazine,
"The Week" that Tamilians from the South Indian State of Tamil
Nadu have been actively fighting our security forces alongside the cadres
of the LTTE.
In what is perhaps the first independent confirmation of this dangerous trend, the magazine has published an account of the notorious Tamil outlaw Veerappan - who shot to fame recently after the abduction of a popular Indian film star- and gives details of how Veerappan is on a journey from outlaw to liberation fighter. It tells how he has formed a self-styled Tamil Nadu liberation army and of his quest for sovereign statehood for Tamil Nadu. This quest for independence for Tamil Nadu from India originated in 1962 and had to be squashed by the Central Government of India at that time. The investigation by the magazine gives the world evidence of Veerappan's men fighting for and working with the LTTE.
The fact that these Tamilians have actually crossed the Palk Straits and engaged the Sri Lanka security forces in armed combat in Palaly, the Wanni and other areas is written about.
That they have acted as mercenaries or as committed revolutionaries fighting for a Pan - Tamil State a Vishala Tamil Nadu, that embraces the north and east of Sri Lanka and the Southern State of Tamil Nadu is also evident.
The nurturing of the Tamil separatist movement in Sri Lanka in its formative years by former Premier Indira Gandhi is now established history. The training of these separatists by India's intelligence agency RAW and its funding organised by the State government of Tamil Nadu and its then Chief Minister M. G. Ramachandran is an equally established fact.
In Sri Lanka, the number of LTTE cadres reportedly killed by the security forces over the past 15 years always raised the suspicion as to whether the LTTE was drawing from the massive reservoir of the 50 million people in Tamil Nadu.
The reputed Indian magazine gives us this evidence by showing that some of the men Veerappan wants released from jail in return for the kidnapped film star have had intimate contact with the LTTE including combat and battlefield action.
The Indian Government having burned its fingers in creating this Frankenstein monster in Sri Lanka by way of a Tamil separatist movement here, bringing untold suffering to the people of this country, is now adopting a veiled hands-off policy officially.
The Indian government despite its formal pronouncements against the LTTE is not doing enough. The Vajpayee government appears to be pussy-footing when it comes to dealing with the LTTE because it does not want to rub the Tamil Nadu electorate on the wrong side in what it fears would seem an anti-Tamil exercise.
But this new evidence should open the eyes of all those in the North Block and South Block of New Delhi to this nexus or axis between Tamil militants in Sri Lanka and Tamilian militants in Tamil Nadu.
Not surprisingly, Sri Lanka's Intelligence Bureau, despite operations extending to Chennai have produced a nil-report on this crucial issue all these years.
India's new High Commissioner in Colombo who has had administrative experience in Tamil Nadu in the recent past should be possessed of sufficient knowledge of the political and militant affinity between the two and therefore of the dangers to India's sovereignty.
We are not giving unsolicited advice to India on this occasion on how to look after itself. We are asking India to take this alarming evidence a little more seriously. Recently the Government of Bangladesh asked the Government of Sri Lanka for advisors from the Army Bomb Disposal Team when they suspected that LTTE technology was transferred to militants who exploded a bomb at a rally of Premier Begum Khalida-Zia recently. Deeds not words are required to eliminate the curse of terrorism that India implanted in this country and now appears to be spreading in the sub-continent.
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