On National and International Situation

the US to access and use Afghan facilities and also grant the possibility of keeping US forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014. As an ally of the US, India has already been heavily involved in Afghanistan. The scaling down of western involvement in Afghanistan is likely to pave the way for a heightened India-Pakistan rivalry over Afghanistan. With India and Pakistan already locked in a permanent conflict situation over Kashmir, any intensification of rivalry on the Afghan front will further vitiate India-Pakistan relations and deepen American intervention and turn the entire region increasingly volatile. Complete withdrawal of US-NATO military involvement from Afghanistan and Pakistan and restoration of the full sovereignty and right of these two countries to determine their future is a fundamental prerequisite for enduring peace in the region. We consider peace and friendship between India and Pakistan of paramount importance and must remain ever vigilant against the constant anti-Pakistan campaign of jingoistic forces in India.

28. The Rajapakse government of Sri Lanka decimated the LTTE through an unmitigated genocidal war campaign. An internal inquiry report of the UN released in November 2012 estimates that the civilian casualties could go up to 70,000 while a World Bank population data finds a hundred thousand Tamils missing since the final war against LTTE rebels in 2009. The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution urging Sri Lanka to address the issue of war crimes but the ‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’ set up by the Sri Lankan government has given a clean chit to the Sri Lankan army saying it adopted a ‘zero civilian casualty’ policy and any loss of civilian lives should be treated as ‘collateral damage’. Recent photographic evidence gives the lie to this claim dramatically, indicating that the LTTE chief Prabhakaran’s minor son was shot dead by Sri Lankan Army in cold blood. Recently the UNHRC adopted another resolution that stopped short of suggesting an international probe in spite of the obvious bias and chauvinism in the functioning of the Sri Lankan Government’s Commission, but Sri Lanka has rejected even this diluted resolution. The Sri Lankan government’s concept of ‘reconciliation’ calls upon Sri Lankan Tamils to accept Sinhala supremacist domination even as Sri Lankan Tamils are still counting the dead. Reconciliation in Sri Lanka cannot proceed on the basis of subjugation of the Sri Lankan Tamil community, the international community must make sure that the ghastly war crimes against Sri Lankan Tamils are probed in full and exemplary punishment is awarded to the guilty.

29. Indian foreign policy vis-a-vis Sri Lanka has been utterly inconsistent. From promoting LTTE and other pro-Eelam groups at one stage India went to the other extreme of sending Indian forces to Sri Lanka in the name of peace-keeping. India also maintained an intriguing silence even as the Sri Lankan state waged war on the Tamil community to decimate the LTTE. And now on the issue of investigation of war-crimes, punishment for the guilty and justice for the war-ravaged Sri Lankan Tamils, India is doing nothing more than toeing the US line in the UN. While raising its voice forcefully in the international arena to rally the international community for justice for Sri Lankan Tamils, India must ensure that its initiatives in this regard do not lead to any hostile approach to the common people of Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, the competitive campaign between DMK and AIADMK to outsmart each other in posing as the champion of the Tamil cause has already begun to acquire an anti-Sinhala sectarian tone with a Buddhist monk being regrettably beaten up in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan players being debarred from playing in Tamil Nadu. We cannot overlook the fact that while trying to cash in on the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils in Sri Lanka, these parties and the governments at the centre and in Tamil Nadu are doing nothing to improve the pitiable conditions faced by Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu.

30. India’s relations with her eastern neighbours, Bangladesh and Myanmar, are also of crucial importance. The ‘Look East’ policy being pursued by the Indian Government over the last two decades has emerged as a key aspect of India’s foreign policy. While India uses this policy to reach out to the ASEAN countries, secure greater economic leverage and contain the insurgencies in the North-East by preventing the rebel groups from taking shelter in Bangladesh and Myanmar, there is also an unmistakable convergence with the US policy and its strategic goal of containment of China. India’s relations with her eastern neighbours must be independent of the US policy