25 September, 2020

Goodbye To All That?

The hunt is on, officially. But the peace may show how badly New Delhi is out of touch with reality.

Goodbye To All That?
When Union home minister L.K. Advani told the Rajya Sabha, on November 30, 2000, that New Delhi had requested the Sri Lankan government to extradite LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran for facing trial in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, a few powerful men in Colombo had gone into a complete tizzy. The then Sri Lanka prime minister, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, reportedly exploded: "We will do no such dirty thing."

Three days later, the then Sri Lankan foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, summoned the Indian high commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopal Gandhi. Kadirgamar had just returned from London where he had read the 55 pages of the Rajya Sabha debate that his country’s high commission in Delhi had faxed to him. The same evening Gandhi sent a cable to the foreign secretary saying: "I summarise his (Kadirgamar’s) observation in more or less his words."

The cable quoted Kadirgamar at length: "Has a new proposal (for Prabhakaran’s extradition) been made? I know of the original request and of the ritual reminders. When I was told of this development, I wondered if...



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