Sachi Sri Kantha
That which may be described as the 'Indian Orientation' of the book
[see India &
the Struggle for Tamil Eelam] is reflected in the short sketch about
the author which appears at
Amazon.com: "M.R. Narayan Swamy has been a journalist for 25
years and currently works at the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS),
a New Delhi, India based wire service. He began his career in
1978 with the UNI, one of India's two mainline news agencies, and
later joined the AFP, the international French-English news agency where
he worked for 13 years..."
Accordingly, there may be a need for the reader to sift truths from
half truths and opinions passed off as facts - and perhaps have recourse
"Whatever may be said, whosoever may say it -
to determine the truth of it, is wisdom" -
Having said that, the book remains, sometimes unwittingly, a valuable
source of information about the activities of the Research Analysis Wing
(RAW) of India in relation to the Tamil struggle. This is more so
because the sources to whom the author has given thanks include the
Arul Pragasam (Arular), Shankar Rajee, D.Siddarthan,
A.Varadarajah Perumal, S.C.Chandrahasan,
L.Keetthishwaran, J.N.Dixit, A.S.Kalkat, K.Mohandas,
Sadanand Menon, V.Subramaniam and Nirupa Subramaniam.
Again, it may be that much of the activities of the Research
Analysis Wing that the book 'reveals' was
already in the public domain. Nonetheless,
many Tamils may find the following quote from pages 96 and 97
"...Most Tamil separatists from Sri Lanka had accepted the Indian
offer (to provide arms and training) at its face value, thinking that New Delhi was reaching out to
them out of genuine concern for their condition. However, an
extraordinary revelation began to unfold as the training started. Many
guerrillas realized that the training was just a subterfuge
larger strategic game that India was attempting to play, a game in
which the Tamil rebels may end up being just expendable pawns.
The militants were surprised because besides just training them, some
trainers asked leading questions that indicated India might one day do a
Bangladesh in Sri Lanka. Indian troops had intervened militarily in the
then eastern wing of Pakistan in 1971, leading to its secession from
Pakistan's western wing and emergence as an independent nation called
Bangladesh. The trainers wanted to know details about road bridges,
railway tracks, landing fields, the depth of the sea and the coastline.
Some Sri Lankans were asked to get photographs; when they refused, the
Indians became angry. Some Tamils complained that they were taught
conventional, and not guerrilla, warfare.
Shankar Rajee of the EROS was stunned when an Indian officer
announced that the Tamils would be just an auxiliary force for the
Indian army if and when the latter invaded Sri Lanka.
[note by tamilnation.org - Whether Shankar Rajee was
actually 'stunned' must remain a moot point. Shankar Rajee was a
participant at the
Thimpu Talks in July/August 1985 and his close connections with
RAW were well known]
As the months went by, the training became sloppy and indifferent.
Prabhakaran was quick on the uptake to see the warning signals...Once he
looked at some weapons supplied by the Indian government. He remarked
wryly to those standing around him: "See, they are giving us old stuff.
They think we are stupid"..