Apprehending that China may take an advantage of situation in its southern neighbourhood, the UPA government has sought a cautious approach to Tamil crises in Sri Lanka, even as it faced attacks both from the opposition and its allies in parliament on Thursday.
The evasive reply by the external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on the stand to be adopted on the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Commission, triggered angry walk outs by the ally DMK, joined by AIADMK, and the entire NDA.
Sources in the government here told DNA that Sri Lanka has so far has kept a fine balance between two major neighbours China and India despite temptations. Therefore, an all-out tirade against Colombo as demanded by the Tamil parties would be detrimental to India’s long term strategic interests, say the sources.
Khurshid in Lok Sabha also mentioned using head rather heart, while taking decisions, which may have a potential to be thrown back to India in future. “We don’t want to play role of a policeman interfering in internal affairs of a sovereign nation,” he said, but maintained that Indian diplomacy has succeeded to convince Colombo to conduct provincial assembly elections in Tamil dominated northern Sri Lanka in September.
Amidst demands that the country take a strong stand on the resolution in UNHRC, Geneva, against the human rights violations in the island, he said India wants an "independent and acceptable" inquiry into the issue, assuring that that sentiments and concerns expressed by them during a debate on plight of ethnic Tamils, would be factored in the government's stand at the UN.
Government sources here say, while President Mahinder Rajapakse banking on Sinhala chauvinistic political base may not be amenable to political devolution, but he is willing to improve physical condition of Tamils. “Our biggest concerns is Chinese inimical plans. President Rajapakse has respected red lines, valued India’s interests and so far there is no permanent Chinese presence in the island,” they say.
In Lok Sabah, earlier parties across party lines called for devolution of powers to Tamils. The BJP asked for withdrawal of army from northern province, implementation of recommendation of lessons learnt and reconciliation committee, implementation of 13th amendment plus and an independent, impartial enquiry consisting of people from outside to probe charges of genocide.