By N Sathiya Moorthy
It could not have been timed better or worse – as the perpetrators, or those really behind the perpetrators, had wanted. A day, or night, to be precise, after the three-day visit of India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM), Subramanyam Jaiishankar’s ‘successful’ Colombo visit, came the news of the overnight destruction of a Tamil war memorial on the Jaffna University campus in the North. Earlier episodes of the kind had stopped with desecration of a Tamil identity in the war-ravaged region, or the proclamation and promotion of the Sri Lankan State victory over LTTE terrorism – but flowing from a sense of Sinhala-Buddhist superciliousness, to anything and everything ‘minority’, as perceived only by them, and none else.
There is a problem of construct and deconstruct. Timing it to the Indian Minister’s visit may have been a thoughtless provocation viz, not only the norther neighbour but also the larger international community, friends and foes alike. They are all taking a closer look at the nation after the Rajapaksas returned to power in November 2019, and more so in the light of the upcoming UNHRC decision, where the votes of some of them count – and the influence of some others, like the US of A, may count even more. This is not to club India with the rest, but they will be keenly watching for elements that could make India uncomfortable in the company of Sri Lanka, at the UNHRC this March, and elsewhere too.