All attempts in Tamil Nadu to stop the war in Sri Lanka have failed so far. The latest - an indefinite fast by Thol.Thirumavalavan was stopped in 4 days. Now, there is a proposal of 10 days of bandh. This will be an ill-conceived move again.
Sadly, this is because the political parties are not united in their support for the cause and bicker amongst themselves. Smaller parties go on their own and stage violent agitations, making it difficult to get complete public sympathy for this cause.
Every time there is an all-party meeting on this topic, the key opposition parties AIADMK and MDMK stay away. Now, the communist parties have also moved to this camp.
PMK and VCK put tremendous pressure on DMK to act. However their public posturing makes it difficult for DMK to act. It is like asking a person, "Have you stopped beating your wife?" You cannot answer in the affirmative too.
Just to make the matters worse, VCK and other fringe groups make it a point to attack Rajiv Gandhi statues and on one occasion have ransacked the Congress party headquarters in Chennai.
It is imperative for the friends of the Sri Lankan Tamils to know that without the support of Congress party, they cannot stop the Sri Lankan army moving into the Tamil areas. The Indian general election is three months away and the chances are that Congress will still come back to power.
This is where Thirumavalavan goes wrong again and again. At least Ramadoss has understood this point and is asking for reconciliation with Congress.
It appears to me that, the person best suited to present Tamil Nadu's case to the centre on stopping the war in Sri Lanka is actually Ramadoss and not Karunanidhi. However, Ramadoss doesn't have the power and Karunanidhi is unwilling to make a move.
Time is running out for lakhs of people in Mullaitivu and surroundings, suffering heavy shelling by the Sri Lankan army. The humanitarian crisis is not known to the rest of the world because there is no coverage whatsoever.
The political roadmap for bringing peace to Sri Lanka would work as follows:
1. An attempt to stop attacking Congress party and Rajiv Gandhi. A complete reconciliation with Congress and full support of the party in stopping the war in Sri Lanka. Here the issue of the LTTE must be raised and kept for later discussions. Stopping the war and bringing the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE to the negotiating table is more of a priority.
2. Removal of policy making people in the external affairs ministry who have no understanding of the Sri Lankan issue, and replacement of the same with officers who are sensitive to the sufferings of people in the neighbouring country.
3. Immediate effecting of ceasefire. Unless the Indian Government leans on the Sri Lankan Government, this will not happen.
4. Once normalcy returns, then one can move to the next step of discussing various peace solutions. A solution may not be possible even in the next decade, but stopping the war and ensuring that it does not flare up again, will save several lives.