3 March, 2024


Challenges For Power Sharing For Reconciliation

By Austin Fernando 

Austin Fernando

Sometimes I have been mildly shaken by radical writing of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, but never quaked as I did having read -“After London.”  It made me to believe that I had probably misunderstood him as an academic supportive of power sharing. More dangerously, I wondered whether Sri Lanka instead of moving out of the maze would mess in it by agreeing with him.

At the outset, I deplore Diaspora behavior inLondonstanding on a Sri Lankan national flag. In Sinhala expression it was ‘spitting up to fall on the face!’  Dissent is fine; indecent dissent descends the quality of dissenters. If the dissenters were Sri Lankan citizens they have sinned unpardonably. If they are of Sri Lankan origins and hail the Union Jack now, they have shamed the British by their uncivilized and unbecoming actions.

Wrongs committed on devolution

Before commenting on Dayan’s presentation I must admit that there had been many doings on power sharing –good and bad- during the last twenty five years. Dayan has dealt in detail ‘sins’ committed by many parties. All of them should share the blame for resultant failures, and should not load them only on President Rajapaksa. But, others’ sins do not offer a license to the government to delay power sharing, because the incumbent government renewed the demand for power sharing as a political solution by the creation of the suitable political and security environment by wiping out the LTTE and promising devolution.

However, the latest speech by TNA Leader R. Sampanthan is interpreted by some as problematic for reconciliation. Probably due to this, Dayan would have found the behavior of UNP and TNA as mysterious. But he is not mystified when the incumbent government does not make participation of UNP and TNA happen by arriving at a consensus on the parameters of a political solution to the ethnic question. I must say that pinning the ‘sin tag’ only on the UNP and TNA is thus unreasonable, as much as on President Rajapaksa alone. The deadlock Dayan mentions is created by several inclusive of these three and others like the Tamil Diaspora, JHU, Minister Weerawansa’s NFP, some civil society leaders, some in the media and clergy etc.

I doubted whether Dayan’s complaint of the UNP not playing the “bridging role” is substantiable, when MP MA Sumanathran’s statements were heard, (made in the presence of MP Rajiva Wijesinha at the International Center for Ethnic Studies on 18th instant, which went unchallenged by Rajiva). According to MP Sumanthiran the Leader of the UNP had been shuttling between the government and TNA to create an amicable route for reconciling and failed due to government’s duplicity and double tongued approaches. Rajiva could have defended the government by shedding some light on the reality, if there was another truth, but it did not happen satisfactorily. I found that also Rajiva was in the dark on some important issues. He in fact casually disowned a Senior Advisor position to the President and admitted that he obtained some important information on certain issues from a lady journalist and not from the establishment!

Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections

It is true as Dayan has said that “influential foreign friends” urge the early holding of NPC elections, and some strident local voices call for the repeal of the 13th Amendment, instead of holding elections. If one touches his/ her conscience, frankly and truthfully he will swear that NPC elections are not held because it cannot be won by the government. And the probable winner (most likely led by the TNA) will demand land and police powers devolution, which is anathema to the government. These are the biggest road blocks for elections in the North.

I confirm that devolved land powers are already with the Provinces and government may temporarily hold on to Police Powers on technical grounds. But, who in the government is prepared to accept these?

Dilemma in implementing the 13th Amendment

Dilemma in implementing devolution is due to observed dissent in the political environment. I believe that we should not be guided by these dissenting voices, for a few main reasons.

One is that devolution is in the Constitution and the constitutional provisions should be honored. Otherwise, all authorities fail to be faithful, uphold and defend the Constitution in line with the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution.  It is a shame!

Secondly, even adamant and vociferous critics accept the need to implement the Constitution, e.g.  Attorney SL Gunasekara who has said (while opposing land and police power devolution) that “if these powers are in the Constitution it should be implemented irrespective of anyone’s opposition.”  (Irida Divaiana January 29th 2012)

Thirdly, we have other constitutional provisions against which ‘strident local voices’ call for repeal, but very piously and convincingly adhered to by the government, e.g. 18th Amendment. Therefore, strident local voices should not be the criteria for or not implementing the Constitution. Until repealed, 13th Amendment should also be implemented like the 18th Amendment, (the latter I personally deplore).

Fourthly, the government’s LLRC also recommended the devolution process inclusive of land power devolution. It should be honored.

The centrists like Dayan or centralists like Ministers Weerawansa and Ranawaka or separatists in the Diaspora or devolution worshippers in the TNA and the South Block inDelhishould not be the deciding factor on the need to implement the existing constitutional provisions.  The power lies in the Constitution itself.

Dayan’s proposed interim solution

 Dayan in his article has an invention to resolve the devolution crisis. He speaks of an interim administration. I argue that when there is a clear cut “legal and constitutional pathway” through the 13th Amendment, and when (subject to correction) interim arrangement provisions for implementation of the 13th Amendment in the existing background are not provided in the Constitution, why is this proposition?

In the 13th Amendment I find two Articles where something that could be weakly interpreted as distantly related to ‘interim arrangement’. They are in Article 154L and 154T.

But the former is applicable “when the administration of the Province cannot be carried out”. When there is no PC elected even once and had no opportunity to carry out the entitled functions, it cannot be applied to suit Dayan’s proposition for the NPC. Of course, if after being elected the PC fails, the President can make use of 154L (b). When the local people, northern political forces, civil society and the internationals demand democratic governance for the north, is this a solution emanating from democrats?

154T is applicable when the President gives directions “for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of the 13th Amendment”, and hence it too will not be a valid path, as it is to ‘castrate’ the implementation of the 13th Amendment.

If he wishes to have a greater dialogue for power sharing through his proposition, I have grave doubts of success. We have experienced this sort of elongated dialogue at the APRC and some rightly or wrongly suspect that the Parliamentary Select Committee is another move in to a maze. If Dayan gave the legal and constitutional pathway with references quoting Articles or Sections of law to prove that it is constitutionally possible and is a more effective quick medium route one could have at least considered it, but unfortunately he did not.

Another query will be, if this is a fair mean why not apply the same yardstick to mange the other PCs too, because it will reduce the expenditures and the so-called much criticized mess in PC administration? I take a safe bet; it will not be done, because the southern PCs are all managed by government supporters and hence the government will not try such pranks to lose grassroots political support in the south. In the north it is not a problem because anyway it is not the government supportive groups who will rule the NPC.

Additionally, bringing the devolution process in line with the parliamentary support is against the principles of devolution. The basics of devolution require the power and authority for provincial statute making, manpower management and financial / revenue control. How can these be legally achieved through appointees as suggested? If it is to be through the MPs it means running away from power sharing and reverting to central management and further this has to be done by erasing the PCs from the Constitution. If it is the need, this could be a way out.

What is the position of such appointees, if the Parliament elects a different proportion of MPs in a province after the initial appointment? Then another interim solution has to be found. I wish Dayan will explain how it works and the legal and constitutional references on which the interim arrangement is established, administered, sustained, the extent of applicability of power sharing through the interim administration proposed by him. It could be the topic for his next article, if he agrees, which I await anxiously.

One may suspect that Dayan is promoting a proposition to probably establish a “provisional solution; a stop-gap measure” prior to erasing the 13th Amendment or a means for the government to ‘con around’ on power sharing, as had been done for years by all successive governments since 1987. Future history will prove whether my contention of Dayan’s projections is true or not.

Threats of secession created by roguish PCs

Dayan is suspicious of a future PC administration “committed in going beyond the 13th Amendment” inviting foreign forces to rebel, probably to secede. The “13th Amendment plus” was allegedly created and offered by the incumbent government and also denied later by the government. Since the “plus” is not yet in the Constitution and unless it is incorporated in to the Constitution how can a future Council act as suspected by Dayan? I do not think that Dayan has any suspicion on the 13th Amendment to create this disaster, just based on the freak previous event. Why fear of a non-existent provision and devalue the existing constitutional provisions?

If such PC tried to act beyond the Constitution, there must be international restraints through existing institutional arrangements, especially in the UN, to respond to such to prevent rebellions. Both Dayan and I have not yet forgotten what Chief Minister Vardarajah Perumal did after the UDI! He still survives on Indian generosity. Why should such eccentricity and fake threat be supported by a balanced mind (I believe I am correct in thinking so.) like that of Dayan?

Additionally, then, why hold elections in the East when the threat of declaring independence with foreign troop support is also open to the Eastern PC Chief Minister Pillaiyan? Are we to believe CM Pillaiyan has no foreign power contacts at all or he would not like to be the Almighty in the East?  He could be having both these, like any other politician. By saying so Dayan indirectly forces us to believe that Tamils in the north are anti-state demons, while eastern Tamils and Muslims are great Saints. How true is this stance?  Still if there are worse suspicions the government can take up the issue with Security Advisor Menon form India at the end of the month, because Sri Lanka’s best friend against secession will be India!

Honest Broker

Dayan has been concerned of the absence of an unofficial honest broker. My understanding is that there had not been an honest broker throughout. Look at the past. Were the former LTTE supportive nine businessmen from the London Diaspora presented to highest political authorities here after war victory, (presumably introduced by Kumaran Pathmanthan, the LTTE arms procurement chief), Norwegians, Liam Fox, Kushner, Miliband and other ministers from the West, Yasushi Akashi from Japan, so many Indian Ministers, Advisors/ Foreign Secretaries, many of the Bob Blake types from the US, many UN Rapporteurs and even the Secretary General Ban-ki- Moon from the UN etc trying to be brokers- honest or dishonest?

But none of them was unanimously considered honest brokers by the local political, religious or media establishments. It appeared that some others were saviors ofSri Lankathan honest brokers.China,Russia,Irancould be quoted as examples. On the other hand, why should we have honest or dishonest international brokers when we want to have a “home grown solution” for the crisis, as repeatedly said by government spokespersons?  Are we to consider stances supportive of the government’s point view as the only honest brokering that could happen?

Dayan tries to value pragmatic abstention inGeneva(March) as a practical means to send signals on the required stances of the honest broker. I as a Sri Lankan genuinely regret what happened inGeneva(March). But, why does one ignore pre-March 2012 which shows reasons for creating the “psyche” of the “neighboring honest broker”?  Incidentally, I believe I am correct in identifyingIndiaas the ‘neighboring honest broker’ in Dayan’s article!

Did notSri Lankasend several negative signals to the neighboring honest broker (if she was) before March?  Good examples are negotiations and promises made to Minster Krishna or Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao or Adviser Menon on a political solution, resettlement, democratic actions like provincial elections andSri Lanka’s reported withdrawals from the alleged promises. Did these signals mix with thin air or carved new vistas for action by the honest broker?

Did nonstop US,Indiaand West bashing by ministers and spokespersons etc give friendly signals to make that pragmatic abstention possible? Is notSri Lankastill continuing, without lessons being learnt (e.g. Minister Champika Ranawaka’s latest statement that has been queried by former CM Karunanidhi)?  Are we ready to mend fences withIndiaat least now, which can be founded with Security Advisor Menon’s visit soon?

Immediately following the honest broker issue Dayan’s article speaks of “the cordial and positive dialogue between President Rajapaksa ofSri Lankaand His Holiness Pope Benedict” as holding out some promise, “given that the Church is the only institution on the island that has a constituency which cuts across the ethno-regional fault lines”.  The constituency makeup submitted by Dayan is correct and alluring. When Dayan says this immediately after the President’s visit toVatican, it enhances credibility and possibility. One may even suspect that he could be the “explorer” or “feeler investigator” of an already considered approach. Or, it may be that Dayan having picked a potential brokering organization at random tries to suggest that such organization could be an honest broker? Any other bets?

If so, will it hold as a correct interpretation and a possible acceptable suggestion? I have respect and maximized hope towards the capacity of the Catholic Church to be an honest broker. I have known several Catholic Bishops and even the incumbent Cardinal from the time of the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1995 and have great personal respect to them and know their capacities too. Simply stated, I am with the Good Samaritans in the Catholic Church, if they can resolve the crisis of power sharing.

But, I remember some groups being critical of the Catholic Church alleging very close links with LTTE before May 2009. This complaint has not ceased even in 2012 as proved by very recent verbal attacks on Bishop Rayappu Joseph- rightly or wrongly, made by Minister Rishard Bathuideen in the Parliament, which was considered by the Catholic Church as offensive and deserved to be mentioned toVatican.  The complaints may not be against the Church, and as per individual preferences and relationships, but individuals matter in politics.

Incidentally, whether done by the LTTE or any other group, the number of other religious dignitaries who disappeared, abducted or jailed by courts for purported  terrorist allegiances was negligible in comparison to the Catholic Church’s, which will certainly bear in brokering. In that background the Catholic Church may opt to be the honest broker, at least to erase the bad names coined by several spokespersons!


I agree with Dayan that each side may think that time is on its side and that the risk of delay is affordable, but they may both be wrong. A downslide to a dead-end would be distressing but it could get worse, fast, he said. With all due respect to my friend Dayan I must say if great academics like him also goes on the downside we will be at the dead-end much faster than he would have gauged when writing this article on June 10th 2012.

The week end media did not give much importance to devolution in connection with Advisor Menon’s visit toColombothis week. Nevertheless, I think it will be worthy for us to watch out to gauge what items are high in the Indian agenda. If devolution is to be discussed it will be interesting to watch where devolution should establish its grounds- i.e. on an interim arrangement as suggested by Dayan or on a much stronger and powerful upgraded pedestal.


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Latest comments

  • 0

    Hey agreed that the North East Provincial Council elections should be held BEFORE any other provincial council election since those people have been denied their own PC for too long – in fact they never had a PC and this is a denial of equal rights to Tamil and Muslim citizens in the north and the Muslim leadership should also demand this.
    But the fact is that Dayan is running scared that he will be booted out from his nice romantic diplomatic couch in Paris paid for by Lankan tax payers – just like Tamara Kunanayagam was booted out of Geneva and offered a punishment post. Dayan is now trying desperately to save his job and unprincipled face by towing the Sinhala nationalist line. BTW. Look who Rajapakse took to Rio – Pathala Champika of the JHU and that horrible racist ignoramus Wimal weerawansa on whom he depends to whip up the nationalist drum to stay in power as the regime crumbles from within and without!

  • 0

    Proposal for an interim administration is an insidious attempt to prevent an election for the NPC. The outcome of such an election is frightening to the govt. to which devolution is anathema.IA can be packed with loyalists and quislings. How can an IA with horrible sychophants be better than a body elected by intelligent and articulate people of the North.Which one of the two will be responsive to the needs of the people IA or NPC?

  • 0

    I thank Dayan for the quick and decent responses. I shall try to respond to his comments one by one to clarify my stances and to pose or remind some unresolved issues.
    Below, Q will be for his quotes, C will be for my comments on Qs.

    Q1 Austin has not misunderstood me. I remain “an academic supportive of power sharing”. I have however, always been mindful of how much power is shared and who with. This is why I was a consistently sharp critic of the CFA of which Austin was a supporter and implementer with disastrous consequences to the armed forces and the country, as most recently confirmed by Shamindra Ferdinando’s series of revelations in the pages of The Island.
    C: I am happy that Dayan is for power sharing.
    Though not directly relevant to the subject in my article, since he has spoken of the CFA, I respond. Power sharing in the context of my article is not the same as in the CFA. The latter had many other concerns and the 13th Amendment focused on political and administrative issues. I might as well say that CFA had its good and bad, as I accepted while giving evidence at the LLRC. Even the LLRC Report contained some positive comments of the CFA. Cumulative judgments based on Dayan’s or / and Shamindra’s thinking and criticisms must be weighed by other independent experts, and not by them.

    I think what many have failed to understand is that the CFA, like many other projects are, political exercises under mandate received from the people at an election. They are “political tests” done, where some failed and some did not. It is easy for journalists, historians, politicians and chronologists to comment on the spot or years after, but the decision making and implementation of a ‘project’ in troubled times is extremely difficult. Ask Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, he will agree. It is the same after Eelam IV, as we observe now.

    Q2 No, I am “not mystified that the incumbent government does not make the participation of UNP and TNA happen by arriving at a consensus on the parameters of a political solution to the ethnic question”. If a consensus is arrived at the parameters of a political solution to the ethnic question, then there is little need for the UNP to participate in the search for one. Secondly, such parameters must surely be arrived at primarily through a bi-partisan consensus; a consensus between the incumbent government and the only formation that can undo a settlement, namely the alternative government of the day, the main Opposition party. Thirdly, any tardiness or sabotage on the part of the government can be exposed precisely by the UNP and TNA participating in the PSC. Fourthly, I can hardly blame this government for not creating the conditions for the TNA and UNP to participate, when the TNA refused to support and the UNP actually set fire to the liberal, progressive draft Constitution of August 2000 presented in the parliament by a government quite other than, and years before, this current one—thus the UNP and TNA’s conduct on this question has consistent. The leadership of both the UNP and TNA remain the same from August 2000 while the only leadership that has changed is that of the Government
    C: The mystification issue is subjective. I am mystified by the way how all political leaders- Government and Opposition- try now, how not to lead to consensual thinking. I disagree with Dayan that parameters must be arrived through a bi-partisan consensus between the incumbent government and the alternate government, i.e. UNP. His thinking erases the minority factor. Probably, after the war ended there are no minorities! The most affected ethnic groups are not really represented by the UNP or the SLFP now. Therefore, the dialogue should be triangular, at the least.
    The point made by Dayan on the CBK Draft Constitution and its progressive nature is acceptable to me.
    Dayan shows much faith on the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). How far can anyone be convinced that a ‘pro-government – 2/3 majority PSC’ could find independent inputs and resultant minority and war-affected friendly outputs for a solution?
    However, what I tried to say was that the political and security environments are different now and the approaches too should change. As Dayan has accepted that there is change in leadership only in the government, it too would be a plus point for change of attitudes and approaches by the newcomer.

    Q3 I’m afraid Mr. Sumanthiran is hardly an unbiased authority on the subject. His own statements to the newspapers reiterating the specious doctrine of ‘internal self-determination’, threatening adherence to ‘external self determination’ if the former was not acceded to and going so far as to advocate a referendum among the Tamil people on whether or not they wish to remain part of a united Sri Lanka, were and are hardly conducive to confidence building and constructive negotiations.
    C: I do not consider MP Sumnathiran as totally unbiased; or, totally biased. How can any politician be? However, Rajiva (also a politician) could have discussed the real status. His attitude was in a way an ‘endorsement’ of what MP Sumanthiran mentioned, at least for want of challenge. Any way if MP Sumanthiran is to be believed, irrespective of other utterances of his, it proves some hesitancy on the part of the government to reach consensus. As a passing remark I may say that there are many others in the Government, greater than an Opposition TNA MP, who utter words “hardly conducive to confidence building and constructive negotiations”. I think Dayan will agree with me.

    Q4 How, pray, can one be confident that ‘the administration of the province be carried out’, by a party that refuses to forswear secessionism, commit unconditionally and unambiguously to a solution within a united Sri Lanka, criticize Prabhakaran and the LTTE even for murdering that party’s own leaders, and claims that its goal is to convince the international community that a solution is NOT possible within a united Sri Lanka’? Surely such a party would be more tempted to prove its thesis that a solution –such as provincial devolution– within a united Sri Lanka will not work? Given such concerns, wouldn’t an interim council as envisaged in the articles mentioned by Austin, be a suitable measure?
    C I may start like Dayan. How, pray, can one be confident that ‘the administration of the province be carried out’ by appointees selected by political parties based on their strength in the Parliament, i.e. without any democratic mandate to be in an Interim Council? Is it a fair deal? Take Northern Province. The number of MPs from TNA is larger than all others. But the government power and authority will be controlled by the EPDP and other pro-government parties. Do not say that such discrimination will not happen, because we are aware how things happen with District Budget provisions, provincial funds, Samurdhi funds, rehabilitation resources etc. TNA may think why it should be subservient to a minority political power. How can Dayan justify such status? There is no Sinhalese MP in the whole of north. Will there be Sinhalese representation in the Interim Council? If yes, will not someone argue that Sinhalese have encroached in to the Tamil or Muslim slot or robbed of a nomination? Will it help reconciliation?

    I thought TNA Leader lately wished for a political structure in a united Sri Lanka to live with self respect and self sufficiency. I think all political parties should try to find via media to see self respect, self sufficiency, dignity, equality, rights etc are enjoyed by every citizen. TNA cannot expect self respect, dignity etc to be the monopoly of the Tamils or minorities or theirs for that matter.

    To counter secession the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution is available. Therefore, if the TNA does not act legally they could be taken to task. This is what happened also with Vartharajah Perumal, who ran away to India before anything could happen to him.

    My query from Dayan was what is the legal tool (Article or Section in the Constitution or any other law) to establish, manage, sustain the proposed interim council or arrangement? I was questioning so because the Articles 154L and 154T may not be valid to do so, as I have pointed out. He has not responded to this query. In fact I expected a long article on the establishment and operation of the Interim Council he proposes. Dayan should tell us what the legal provisions that would be used for the establishment of the Interim Council or arrangement he proposes; how at least the core principles of power sharing I mentioned are achieved in a respectful manner. It cannot fall from thin air.

    Q5 The answer to that is not to evade the PSC but to insist on a time bound PSC exercise; one that is committed to conclude within a compressed time frame?
    C Once again consensual approach is absent and that is why the major Opposition parties are not at the PSC. There is no trust between the Government and the Opposition parties. I agree it is not one hand clapping, but I think the initiation should be from the Government, and the Opposition should adjust. But, to expect the Opposition to dance to the tune of the government will not be the answer. By no means I say that the government should dance to the tune of the Opposition groups.
    What is the guarantee that a time lined solution will be evolved after PSC sittings? The APRC was an excellent example of how elongated discussion could end up with no final solution. Cannot the PSC’s term be increased as done for the LLRC or any other? We should not forget that the 2/3 majority is available to whatever required by the government. Cannot timely conclusion be ensured by making the APRC recommendations the basis for discussion at the PSC? Can any other compromises be found?

    Q6 The question is not whether the government rules the PC, but whether a party which is uncommitted to a united Sri Lanka runs it. If the government were to use the same argument against a UNP run PC, I would certainly not defend it. How would you know who the TNA candidate for Chief Minister will be? What is the guarantee that it will be Mr. Sampanthan? This is hardly an irrelevant consideration when one recalls that just a few weeks ago (in a report reproduced on dbsjeyaraj.com) a TNA MP stated that the goal remains Tamil Eelam. What if that MP or someone with his views is the TNA’s Chief Ministerial candidate?
    C Again I say that TNA Leader’s controversial speech was not supporting a unitary state , but was for a united state. Now responding to my query on implementing the interim arrangement in other provinces Dayan steps in to another controversial area which he knows of better. It is the asymmetrical devolutionary approach for the North, and probably the existing devolutionary or power sharing approach elsewhere, because the guys elsewhere are Saints. If it is to be, my query is where in law this has been provided for. First please make provision in the Constitution and come along.
    Regarding MP’s statements as quoted by Dayan- I pity the MP who spoke out of turn to DBS, as much as the Minister who projected “hundreds of Mullivaikkals” responding to the TNA Leader. Who knows some one akin to this Minister would not be the CM candidate for the NPC from the Government? Please do not go by individual statements, though individuals matter in politics. How many of the present ministers whose origins were in the UNP have been publicly revealing corruption by Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa, calling all sorts of names to him in 2005 elections and now bend backwards and curl around for other reasons? I do not think the President suspects them as much as Dayan suspects that odd TNA MP. I believe our assessments should be of higher grade and not only on such exclusions.

    Q7 I have reiterated in all my articles on the subject for over quarter century, the need for the retention of the 13th amendment and against its abolition or ‘erasure’ as you put it.
    C Yes, I knew that Dayan felt the need for the retention of the 13th amendment . It was the reason for me to quake after seeing his article.

    Q8 The Vardarajaperumal attempt at UDI took place within the 13th Amendment, not 13 Plus. Before Austin dismisses it as a freak incident, eccentricity and a fake threat he should ask Mr. Bradman Weerakoon just how deadly a crisis of brinkmanship it was for the Premadasa administration and just how seriously it was regarded and had to be grappled with by President Premadasa and Ranjan Wijeratne. I know, because I was on the Premadasa team at the time.
    C. Definitely UDI is a serious situation. It was in a different political and security scenario with a different set of terrorists and the IPKF around. To equate these with the current status should be done carefully, and not in generalized terms. The world has changed quite differently to respond to such situations within the last 20 years plus, and hence we should give credence to the President’s, Defense Secretary’s and international friends of Sri Lanka, and mostly the Tamil and Muslim people who are relied by state media as unequivocally standing behind the Government to react against separatist manipulations. I think state media must be speaking the truth when they speak of the Tamil appreciation of the government, though unfortunately when they are in a polling booth they go crazy and vote for the TNA!

    Q9: That’s plain silly. Pillaiyan has never said anything remotely akin to the latently secessionist discourse of the TNA.
    C. Alright, CM Pillaiyan may be a Saint who will not revolt for a UDI. How come if a minister of the caliber mentioned in 6 above becomes a CM in the East? How can we predict CM Pillaiyan’s successor one day would be another CM Pillaiyan, and not become a Varatharjah Perumal? I know Vartharajah Perumal and Dayan knew him more closely as colleagues in the first North East PC. One could not have predicted him to be a UDI initiator from his appearance. It applies to CM Pillaiyan or another! We must not go on projected individualistic predictions in such cases, and should take on the environment and emerging understandings. Is not it silly to tag innocence to politicians so lavishly?

    Q10 Of the list Austin mentions, I have always considered Mr. Akashi to have been the closest to an honest broker. During the CFA years I had suggested John Hume as another. No country with a Tamil Diaspora or endogenous Tamil community large enough to have electoral leverage could, by definition, be neutral enough to function as an honest broker.
    C. Having known Akashi San I must say that he was a total honest broker. But did our politicians, administrators, media always treat him alike in the light Dayan and I look at him. Was not he snobbed at least one instance where a helicopter to fly to Kilinochchi was denied by the Government to do his honest brokering, perhaps due to some suspicion somewhere. Was not he hammered and ridiculed by Sinhalese media? Did not our media try to make his large number of visits waste of time and energy? May be his timing was wrong for brokering, but such behavior goes as suspicion when things happen that way.

    Going by the qualifications of an honest broker stated by Dayan based on Tamil Diaspora or endogenous Tamil population, the best suitable honest broker may be from China or Russia or Iran or Pakistan. These countries could qualify hands down to be an honest broker based on the Tamil factor mentioned by Dayan! Any more contenders?

    Q11 Even if one were to conceded all these points –and readers may recall that I had, even before May 2009 cautioned against certain policy phenomena and argued for certain others—the fundamental fact is that once a country takes a stand in relation to another, it affects public perceptions and the role that the said country can play in relation to certain sensitive issues. Nothing is free of cost or consequence. This is why abstention in crucial votes is an intermediate step, a better signal and a safer bet all round.
    C I agree with Dayan when he says “…the fundamental fact is that once a country takes a stand in relation to another, it affects public perceptions and the role that the said country can play in relation to certain sensitive issues.” In that context it appears Dayan and I are on the same wave length on the background for non-abstention because it has negatively applied to India, as I have quoted, and Dayan too agrees, as appearing in his comments. The Chinese, Russians, Iranians and Pakistanis have been mentioned in the previous paragraph purely on positive relationship basis.

    I agree with him further that there are no free lunches!!!

    Q12 If anyone in authority has considered this option, I am unaware of it. My pick was hardly “at random”, as Austin should see from my argument in favor –which he has himself quoted here!
    C . Since Dayan has picked the Catholic Church at random, I must say I randomly agree with his selection, but I was trying to reminisce the immediate past which may be played around by groups that would not like to see reconciliation through a different religious source! Not only the Catholic Church, any one should be welcome, if the broker is honest. The problem will be to find that one honest broker or brokers!

    To end my comment I may mention a shloka I have learnt from a teacher who has passed away some year back. Governor WJM Lokubandara is one person who can share this with the President and explain the applicability of the shloka to alleviate the problems faced by the country.
    Amanthram aksharam nasthi = There isn’t a letter unusable for a ‘mantra’
    Nasthi moola manaushadham= There isn’t a root that cannot make medicines
    Ayogyo purisho nasthi = There are no inappropriate men
    Yojakakh tathra durlabhakh = Rare are persons to duly engage them.

    I believed in this shloka for the last 20 years or more. And will believe in it in the future. I believe that there are no inappropriate men. Very rare are persons to duly engage them. In the same spirit if we give an opportunity to the people to perform for their benefit they will. We should be bold to handover that responsibility to them, which is their constitutional right. It should not be placed in the hands of a few centralized power packs.

    Develop trust, which is inadequately available among the Government, Opposition, minorities, internationals, neighboring countries etc. Perhaps personalities like Dayan could be messengers of goodwill to enlighten appropriate persons, because some in authority come under the category of rare persons to duly engage the appropriate persons.

    Apologies for the long comment, partly due to quoting Dayan’s quotes for clarity.

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    Mr Austain ,there is differant agend of differant forces ourside and inside country Sri Lankan, on our national soveriginity terrorial intergrity and independence of Sri Lankanis concern.
    We have always take into account, we were colonial rule since 1505.Almost 438 years.Sinhalaes Tamils Muslims and other rule under the master of powerful Imperial power.Our all communities were subjecte supressed and expolited by Imperialist masters.
    That is why again and again Sovereginity is important country like Sri Lankan dealing with young democartic system.
    It is diffcuilt to safeguard Independence of soverginity and Democary order at once;and dealing with ethnicit of problems , SEPARATISM SECESSIONSM AND ANARCHISM cum TERRORISM are complicated issuess.
    Sorry to say our vision of an issues are still not in natioanl political agaenda.TNA denied this crucial factor OR don’t understand important of this issue.
    1 Separstist and secessionism of policy of homeland of TNA,since SJV policy of evolautaion denied island terrorial intergrity.Internal politics are concern, TNA is still denied working on National politics frame work of young democratic of island.
    2 Tamil Diaspora and Tamil Nadu of World Tamil Congress,Globle Tamil Forum demand is completely want demaracrted of Island racial basis.
    3 Foreging Countries UK USA,INDIA and Aksahi other encourage Tamils Nationl agenda,pressure to 13th.This seems to be pave way for separatiem and secessionsm of internationl intervention.
    We are majority of Sri lankan seek soluation withing democratice frame of work united and diversity Island.Its accomodated secular,multi- natioanl,multi-realigon and democartic goverance foundation.Unlike other developing countries we are now in this path of democratic model.
    Sri lankan is not fedual state,we are in path of CAPITALIST DEVELOPEMENT.TNA or other foregin countries must first accpect Sri lankan system is capitalism and its ongoing PATH OF DEVELOEMENT.
    They should demand to TNA and pressed to join first our said framwork of capitalism.That we call capitalism.TNA denied democratice sysytm and path.
    They (TNA)some demand are similar to fedul charctears and medivial of early 16th century Europen countries.We cannot go back to fedualism.
    We need address Tamil autonomy, suited to Sri Lankan reality and present developement path of Capitalism and its democatic model.

  • 0

    Thank you Mr.Fernando for exposing these seemingly verbose and yet substantially hollow expositions of Mr.Jayatilleka where many others have not succeeded so well before.Your contribution looks neutral and well balanced.

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    To Mr. Mendis
    If Sri Lanka can find a solution within a democratic framework, exhibiting unity in diversity, accommodating secular, multi-ethnic, multi-religious values with good governance it will solve the crisis engulfing our country. There should be give and take, trust, mutual respect to each other, enhanced dignity etc which have been affected due to 30 year conflict. Let us pray that gods bless us to achieve them.

  • 0

    To Mr. Mahanama

    While thanking for complementing me I must mention that Dayan and I are good friends though we had different points of view on power sharing and practical aspects of it. I regret to disagree with you that his expositions were hollow. As you would see, even I agreed with him on certain issues after having had a dialogue. Further, the decent manner in which two of us continued our dialogue it self shows that it is possible to agree to disagree.

  • 0

    Mr Austin.. There is no way police and land power of authority for one race special power under capitalism central state of sovergrnity;that will lead towards for two nation theory and island divided into two. That is will undermine our soverginity and colleacative democracy of our land.
    The Indo-Sri lankan accord 1987 July by JRJ-UNP policy was surrender of country national soverginity without people mandate.We cannot accpect at all.In fact this accord was undermine democracy frame work of consent people and its foundation.
    Incuuding LTTE- Ranil aggrement was not legally invaild,and its undermine our entire voice of Rupblican Constsitunal power of people soverginity. As same as JRJ Indo-Sri lankan accord no PEOPLES MANDATE OR consent of people and elected President approval.This so-called Ranil version of totally against principle delibration with people.
    Sorry to say Mr Austian above mention your stament is not tally with so-called democratic frame work principle.You may have differant version of democracy,but in pratice there are aggred fundamtales of
    upheld nation indepandence and soverginity above all.

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