The failure of the government to provide meaningful devolution to the North and East of the country, had resulted in India’s government in waiting, Bharatha Janatha Party (BJP), threatening to carve out Eelam for Sri Lankan Tamils, the UNP said yesterday.
Senior Vice President of the UNP Lakshman Kiriella, MP, told a news conference in Colombo that the BJP leader Yaswant Singh had said, in New Delhi on Thursday, that if the Rajapaksa regime continued to play games with the rights and lives of Sri Lankan Tamils his party would step in to establish Eelam for which the LTTE had fought a near three-decade-old war.
The BJP, unlike the ruling Congress Party, was an extremist Hindu organisation. Its threats should not be taken lightly, the MP said, adding that this was the first time that any mainstream Indian political party, either in government or opposition, had publicly pledged to establish Eelam.
Kiriella recalled that when he recently told External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris, in parliament that the country was heading towards a situation similar to what was prevalent in Sudan and East Timor, the Minister had replied that India would never support the division of Sri Lanka. But, tthe BJP’s threat proved that the situation had changed, he added.
Nearly four years after the LTTE had been defeated Sri Lanka should have been galloping towards economic prosperity as one united country. But the step-motherly treatment meted out to Tamils and religious minorities had resulted in mistrust and a fear psychosis in the country, Kirielle noted, observing that an urgent reassessment of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy was required, if the Rajapaksa regime did not want further strictures passed by the UN on the country for its failure to protect human rights and the rule of law.