Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar's role in IPKF War Crimes..!

-Unpacking India's Role in Sri Lanka: Allegations of Arming Paramilitary Groups, Sexual Violence against Sri Lankan Tamil Women

(Lanka-e-News -13.March.2024, 10.30 PM) Recent allegations against India of arming Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka have reignited a longstanding debate about India's involvement in the conflict and its broader geo-political ambitions in the region. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India's Foreign Secretary, denies accusations of India being a bully towards Sri Lanka, but his past involvement with the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) and controversial ties have cast doubts on these claims.

Political advisor to the IPKF

Jaishankar, a Tamil Hindu from the Brahmin caste, served as a political advisor to the IPKF in Sri Lanka from 1988 to 1990. During this time, the IPKF's actions have been criticized for alleged war crimes, including massacres, rapes, and other human rights violations. Reports suggest that Jaishankar may have been complicit in covering up these atrocities, raising questions about his credibility and India's role in the conflict.

Furthermore, Jaishankar's alleged connections to Russian crude oil trading and his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin have fueled accusations that India is indirectly funding Putin's war efforts. These allegations add another layer of complexity to the discussion, highlighting potential economic and political motivations behind India's actions in the region.

India's role in the Sri Lankan conflict is also intertwined with its geo-political interests and strategic alliances. Some argue that India's support for Tamil rebels was driven by its desire to counterbalance Sri Lanka's close ties with China and other regional powers. Others suggest that India's involvement in the conflict was motivated by its own economic interests, particularly in the oil sector.

"State-sponsored Well Oil Mechanism"

The "State-sponsored Well Oil Mechanism" referenced in the allegations points to a larger narrative of resource exploitation and geo-political maneuvering in the region. Despite providing financial assistance to Sri Lanka, India's alleged role in creating and perpetuating the conflict has led to thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars in property damage.  The Indian Peace Keeping Force's (IPKF) involvement in the Sri Lankan conflict has left a dark stain on the history of both nations. Accusations of war crimes and human rights violations have been levied against the IPKF, leading to widespread condemnation and public outcry.

During its time in Sri Lanka, the IPKF was accused of perpetrating numerous atrocities, including massacres, rapes, and involuntary disappearances. These actions not only resulted in the loss of innocent lives but also caused extensive damage to property and infrastructure in the affected areas.

One of the most infamous incidents

One of the most infamous incidents attributed to the IPKF is the Valvettithurai massacre, which took place on August 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, 1989. Over 50 Tamil civilians were reportedly massacred by the IPKF in Valvettithurai, Jaffna. Additionally, more than 100 homes, shops, and other properties were destroyed during the massacre, leaving behind a trail of devastation and despair.

Another egregious incident

Another egregious incident occurred at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital on October 22nd, 1987. Following a confrontation with Tamil militants near the hospital, IPKF forces entered the premises and massacred over 70 civilians, including patients, doctors, nurses, and a pediatric consultant. This brazen act of violence not only resulted in loss of life but also severely disrupted the functioning of the hospital, depriving the local community of vital medical services.

Furthermore, the IPKF was accused of complicity in the murder of Sinhalese civilians, further exacerbating tensions between different ethnic groups in Sri Lanka. Despite denials from Indian officials, the accusations raised by the Sri Lankan government underscore the deep mistrust and animosity that existed between the two nations during that turbulent period.

The wounds inflicted

The atrocities committed by the IPKF have left a lasting impact on the collective memory of the Sri Lankan people, contributing to feelings of resentment and distrust towards India. The wounds inflicted by these actions continue to haunt both nations, underscoring the need for accountability and justice for the victims and their families. The allegations of sexual violence perpetrated by the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) during the Sri Lankan conflict paint a grim picture of the horrors endured by Tamil women in the midst of war. These accusations underscore the need for accountability and justice for the victims and highlight the devastating impact of armed conflict on civilian populations.

In October 1987, the IPKF initiated a campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with the aim of disarming them. However, reports indicate that during this conflict, thousands of Tamil women fell victim to sexual violence at the hands of IPKF soldiers. The gravity of these crimes is further compounded by the callous justification offered by an IPKF official, who sought to downplay the severity of rape by attributing it to "psychological reasons" such as battle fatigue.

"psychological reasons"

The excusal of such heinous acts only serves to perpetuate a culture of impunity and further victimize the survivors of sexual violence. It is essential to recognize that rape is not an inevitable consequence of war but a grave violation of human rights that demands accountability and redress.  In the aftermath of the Sri Lankan Civil War, questions have resurfaced regarding India's role in safeguarding the rights and welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils during the conflict. Despite historical ties and cultural affinities between the Tamil populations of India and Sri Lanka, the failure of India to prevent the Sri Lankan Army's victory over Tamil rebel groups has raised concerns and stirred debate.

The conflict, which lasted nearly three decades, saw the Sri Lankan government battling against various Tamil insurgent groups, primarily the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in pursuit of a separate Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The LTTE, led by Velupillai Prabhakaran, was known for its ruthless tactics and had gained significant control over parts of the country.

During the final stages of the conflict in 2009, as the Sri Lankan Army launched a massive offensive against the LTTE-held territories, concerns were raised about the safety and well-being of Tamil civilians trapped in the crossfire. Reports of indiscriminate shelling, civilian casualties, and alleged war crimes perpetrated by both sides prompted calls for international intervention to protect civilians and bring an end to the bloodshed.

Despite mounting pressure from Tamil Nadu politicians, civil society groups, and the global community, India refrained from directly intervening in the conflict to protect the Tamil population. This decision has been met with criticism and accusations of abandonment, particularly from those who expected India to use its influence to safeguard the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils.

Several factors may have influenced India's stance during the conflict. India's geopolitical interests, including its desire to maintain friendly relations with the Sri Lankan government and its concerns about the implications of a separate Tamil state on its own internal security, likely played a significant role in shaping its approach.

Ended in a controversial

Additionally, India's previous military intervention in Sri Lanka during the 1980s, which ended in a controversial and costly operation, may have made Indian policymakers wary of engaging militarily in the conflict once again. The memory of the Indian Peacekeeping Force's involvement and subsequent withdrawal from Sri Lanka continues to influence India's approach to the island nation's internal affairs.

Furthermore, the complexities of domestic politics, particularly in Tamil Nadu, where sentiments in support of Sri Lankan Tamils run high, may have constrained India's ability to take decisive action. Balancing competing interests and managing domestic sensitivities posed significant challenges for Indian policymakers, leading to a cautious and restrained approach.

As the dust settled and the Sri Lankan Army emerged victorious, questions lingered about India's role and responsibility in the conflict. While India provided humanitarian aid and assistance to the displaced Tamil civilians in the aftermath of the war, criticisms persisted regarding its failure to prevent the loss of Tamil lives and the erosion of Tamil rights during the conflict.

Looking ahead, it is imperative for India to reflect on its actions during the Sri Lankan Civil War and learn from the past to inform its future engagements in the region. As a regional power and advocate for democracy and human rights, India has a moral obligation to uphold the principles of justice, equality, and dignity for all communities, including Sri Lankan Tamils. Only by addressing the grievances of the past and working towards a sustainable and inclusive peace in Sri Lanka can India fulfill its role as a responsible and respected actor on the world stage.

-By A Special Correspondent

by     (2024-03-13 17:22:55)

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