What, Mister Modi, are the expectations of the people of Kashmir? What do they have to say about equality, justice, peace, respect, lollipops, candy canes and popcorn?
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is reported to have discussed a wide range of issues when he ‘met’ his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa in a virtual bilateral summit. That’s what neighbors do. That’s what neighboring countries do.
The discussion followed the usual diplospeak script — ‘new chapter in bilateral relations,’ ‘hopes and expectations of people in both countries,’ and of course some talk of Modi’s neighborhood-first policy, SAGAR (Security and Growth for ALL in the Region).
Good stuff. One hitch.
Modi offered a bit of punditry that’s absolutely disgusting given India’s history in relation to Sri Lanka. Took the gloss off. Makes us wonder if it’s SAGAR or SAGARFBI (Security and Growth for ALL in the Region Framed By India).
‘I am confident that the Government of Sri Lanka will realize the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace, and respect within a united Sri Lanka. For this, it will be necessary to carry forward the process of reconciliation with the implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka,’ he said.
First, the gumption! It’s none of his goddam business. Sri Lanka doesn’t talk about Kashmir (maybe Sri Lanka ought to?).
Next the sleight-of-hand slipping of the word ‘united.’ This is Eelam-speak. You just can’t say ‘unitary’ so you throw in something that SOUNDS LIKE unitary — united. Modi knows that unity is not something that can be scripted into a constitution. Unity or otherwise has nothing to do with the overall structure of a nation/ constitution.
Third, the 13th Amendment. What’s so great about it? We haven’t had provincial council elections in centuries (if feels) and no one is complaining! Anyway it was illegal and it was a prime example of India being the regional bully (the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi famously said ‘what we are seeing is the beginning of the Bhutanization of Sri Lanka!’. India armed, trained and funded terrorists. If Modi is ‘different’ he can’t return to the word and deed of that time, a time when India deliberately SUBVERTED Sri Lanka’s security and growth.
And India, as we’ve pointed out editorially, RENEGED on the 13th. It failed to disarm the terrorists. It was a case of creating a problem, messing it further, arriving as a problem-solver, leaving without solving the problem and returning thirty years later to say ‘you better go with what we suggested (or else)!’
Finally, ‘expectations.’ What, Mister Modi, are the expectations of the people of Kashmir? What do they have to say about equality, justice, peace, respect, lollipops, candy canes and popcorn?