28 October, 2021

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Eelam, Cheelam & The Port City

By M.A. Sumanthiran

M.A. Sumanthiran PC

Thank you Honorable presiding member, for the opportunity to speak on this Bill.  But before I commence my comments on the Bill itself I must place on record our protest at having this debate at a time like this, when there is a third wave of Covid-19; when many experts have publicly declared that the alert level should be level – 4 and not level – 3. Prof. Malik Peiris and Prof. Kamini Mendis have jointly issued a statement to the public. The Government has failed to adhere to professional advice on this matter, all for the sake of hurriedly having this Bill enacted in Parliament today.

There is a lot of talk about why this still remains a part of the country. Government speakers have repeatedly asked the question as to why focus is being made on China, when anyone can come and invest in this artificially created land mass that is annexed to the city of Colombo. When I appeared in the determination before the Supreme court, I asked their Lordships the question as to why they were wasting their time trying to determine on a Bill that related to a place which is not part of Sri Lanka. And it is that intrigue with which I speak today as well as to why this house is deliberating on something that doesn’t relate to Sri Lanka. I will tell you the reason why I say that at the end of my speech.

Now with regard to, (“I will deal with the Supreme court determination on that Hon. Nanayakkara”) with regard to the Chinese issue, just two days ago, Hon. Shanakiyan Rasamanikkam tweeted, about a board that was placed in this place called Central Park, which had a name board in Sinhala…(Hon. Nanayakkara you were minister for National Languages in the previous dispensation…) in English and in Chinese. Sinhala, English and Chinese. And you dare ask the question why people are saying Chinese, Chinese…. And that is not all; when he raised that question no Sri Lankan authority gave a reply. There is a tweet by the Chinese embassy … there is a tweet in reply by the Chinese embassy saying “We noticed an interim sign in a JV building site, not abiding by tri lingual rules; request raised, we respect all three official languages and urge companies to follow”. They are saying we will rectify it. Not your Government. What has the Chinese embassy to do, with how name boards are to be put in this place? They have taken responsibility- they have taken over the Land- and you are engaging in an exercise trying to enact law for that area.

Now with regard to the Supreme Court determination: The Supreme Court engages in one exercise, to go clause by clause to see if it is inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution. Now you try to avoid that also happening and timed it in a way that there was only one day available for anyone to invoke the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Yet more than 20 petitions were filed. If they had not been able to do that you would have passed the Bill in the form in which it was Gazetted. For all that you say about the legislature and its power; “Supremacy of Parliament” you had given powers to make rules, even criminal Laws, to punish people to that commission. And the Supreme Court has ruled that out as requiring even a referendum, because it violates the Parliament’s legislative powers. Because of shortness of time I’ll give you just two examples as to why Supreme Court’s determination is not so relevant to us today. When we make laws we not only look at constitutionality, we also have to look at desirability and what is good for the country. Look at clause 40 (1)- there was lot of discussion here, about 30, 33, and 40. In 30 where you require a license to visit this place, “it is there” , any person wishing to visit this place requires a license. Supreme Court has said you can’t have that word “visit”, take it out. But you tried to have it. Now that is in addition, ‘an additional requirement this has to be read with clause 74 which gives this commission concurrent powers with several regulatory authorities. And one of those regulatory authorities is the Controller of Immigration and Emigration. What has this commission got to do with the controller of Immigration and Emigration? That is why what you tried to sneak in, was in fact a Visa requirement ‘additional license’ for anybody to visit.  Even now, if you are to reside in that place you have to get a separate license. Now if you look at clause 40 Hon. Nanayakkara, you will see boarder control. So much you say about federal structure. Where in the world in a federal arrangement do you have boarder control between federal states? You don’t have that. That is why we say this is not even federal, this goes far beyond that. Its boarder control.  Clause 40 says, any person, any Sri Lankan who enters that place. You can use Sri Lankan rupees ‘all that is said’, but when he’s leaving the place, clause 40 sub (2)’ when he’s leaving that place’ he has to pay a levy. Supreme Court has said No! change that! change those wordings: don’t say “leaving the place”, “taking the goods out”. That’s customs control! As if it makes any difference at all, leaving the place and taking the goods out. If you purchase any goods, the original draft said leaving the place you must pay a levy. Now the Supreme Court wants you to change it to “taking goods out”. It meant the same thing, no difference at all. Cosmetic changes. That is what the Supreme court has prescribed. But what is more important? There is still going to be boarder control, something that you don’t have. You have to subject your things, your baggage, to a customs check and you have to pay a levy. If you are buying something – you buy Pizzas and you take it out, you have to pay a levy. So this is only examples that I can refer to.

It is a private company; this is not a Government corporation. I heard Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris say that this is a government entity. No it is not! It has not been so made and the Supreme Court hasn’t declared it be one. Even members who are to be appointed to this commission, five or up to seven can be foreigners ‘that is what the Bill says’. And that is what Counsel for the Secretary to the President told the Supreme Court, “that even the Chief Justice can be appointed who is a foreigner’, and so what’s the big deal he said. And the Supreme Court has not dealt with that. The Supreme Court has thought it not fit to deal with that, because that has been our position right along ‘that there’s nothing unconstitutional about appointing any foreigner to even be a judge’. So that position has been retained in the determination of the Supreme Court. But nevertheless you are now bringing, – even though it is not prescribed by the Supreme court, you are bringing an amendment to say majority of them will be Sri Lankans. There is an argument that Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella just referred to, that Mr. Kanag – Isvaran advanced before the Supreme Court. It’s at page 14, that this does not form part of Sri Lanka’s territory in terms of International Law, or even Domestic Law. Supreme Court has dealt with that in page 19. It doesn’t merely dismiss it as you said. This is what it says: it says, that so far no court has ruled it to be so. So far no court has ruled it to be that it is outside Sri Lanka. And this is what they say; presumption of validity, referring to annexation of this as part of the district of Colombo, they say presumption of validity exists pending a final decision by a court and they say the Supreme Court exercising special jurisdiction for determination is not that court. So it still is open for anybody, particularly the Chinese authorities, to claim this to be not part of Sri Lanka. And this determination will assist them in that. And finally Hon. Presiding member, I said, you wouldn’t even consider a federal arrangement, ‘something that exist in almost 100 countries in the world’. But here you have given away part of Sri Lanka to be given to another Country. You say so much about Eelam; but this is “Cheelam”. This is Cheena, this is “Cheelam”, that you are enacting in your own laws, when you even don’t have jurisdictions over that territory, but declaring it and gifting it in your territorial waters, a land mass to China. And you will reap, the consequences of this. Hon. Ponnambalam was to refer to various factors about this region. I don’t want to repeat that. You will reap the consequences of this injudicious act of yours very soon. Thank you

*Speech made by M.A. Sumanthiran in Parliament today (20-05-2021) on the 2nd reading of Colombo Port City Economic Commission draft Bill.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    6

    Colombo Port waters is curdling!

    • 3
      0

      Nathan

      “Colombo Port waters is curdling!”

      You mean the water is becoming bad?
      I think you meant it is changing into yellow/beige colour lumpy stuff. Maybe you meant Chinese Salami Tactics.

      Please watch the clip below:
      es Prime Minister – Salami Tactics and Nuclear Deterrent
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o861Ka9TtT4

  • 4
    18

    Always voting for the losing side!

  • 22
    6

    Where are those pseudos who screamed and yelled, day and night about sovereignty, nationalism, one country one law, vistas of splendor, ??? Where are those monks, chapter Prelates, politician Ranjith, GMOA, trade unions, Wimal/Vasu/ Goman, – – – – ???? now you don’t even have authority to put a name board of your choice, let alone visa, passport, immigration, customs clearance to enter PC. Rajapaksas as usual have taken the 7 million for a ride. Which flag are you planning to raise inside PC monkey/rat/dog???. What will be the official language within PC ?? main land. Serves you right, you ordered those Chinese out of public transport and now they got you out of their private island. 99 or 999 years it will be owned by China. (ask HK, Taiwan and others)

  • 10
    4

    Thanks Sumanthiran,
    We have a clearer picture now, with your explanation and other submissions made to the Supreme court last week, Romesh de Silva, Kanag Eswaran et all.
    If I may ask (you have the right to refuse), what did you mean by, “You will reap the consequences of this injudicious act of yours very soon”.
    If I may hazard a guess, (should I?), what options are available on the table to ponder? Few suggestions:
    1. Translocate Free of Charge (FOC) the Norichcholai (Lakdhanavi Power Station – ‘LPP’) to Colombo Port City (CPC – Cheedam you say it should be called; Why not Kelam? – more apt and fitting name) by Chinese to power the new city to life
    2. Refund the payments made by SL in respect of that loan in Toto as they are very generous and caring friend of SL.
    I would not be surprised at all and that is good, if that happens.
    That area “Norichcholai” could well be in darkness. Also those guys have been complaining about pollution. They are fishing at Sea, night time, returning next day daylight time. Electricity is not necessary to light the homestead, in Norichcholai at all.
    The Chinese are very liberal minded people although governed according to CC Party code of conduct. Fantastic they really want to help SL and its citizens.

  • 3
    17

    Port City will help the Southern part of the country develop very quickly. That should be the focus of the government.

    • 8
      0

      Lester

      “Port City will help the Southern part of the country develop very quickly. “

      How,
      when,
      by whom,
      how soon,
      under whose control,
      who has the ultimate authority over sovereignty,
      who benefits from development,
      what will be the economy within this Separate state
      Who will laundering their money (you can consult Basil)

      ….

  • 3
    16

    Ni hao folks……..as a Sri Lankan, I am very happy to note that my country of birth is embracing the Chinese investments, culture and people.

    SL and China have been the greatest of friends for the past thousands and unlike the Kalinga and Maagha invasions from South India, the Chinese never tried to invade us at anytime despite it’s size.

    I would be very happy to see my grand kids learn Mandarin, Sinhalese and English and advance their nation side by side with the next super power and the richest country starting in the 2030s.

    Zaijian,
    Reggie

    • 2
      2

      ReginaldShamalPerera

      I am very happy to note that my country of birth is embracing the Chinese investments, culture and people.

      Pakistan has embrassed and passed 70 years and has sister ports and featured a stamp
      why are waiting till 2030 .

      • 2
        0

        RBH59

        “Pakistan has embrassed and passed 70 years and has sister ports and featured a stamp why are waiting till 2030 .”

        Did you mean Pakistan is a lovely country to visit, work and live?
        Then why aren’t Sri Lankan migrating to Pakistan, visit as tourists, work or live there despite of Pakistan having Buddhists and Hindu heritage?

        • 1
          2

          Native Vedda

          I am saying pakistan has good connection china. for 70 years why is srilanka waiting starting from 2030

          • 3
            0

            RBH59

            “I am saying pakistan has good connection china. for 70 years why is srilanka waiting starting from 2030”

            China being Pakistan’s all weather friend for over 72 years, now tell me how long it is going to catch up with Singapore, Japan, South Korea, ….. Germany, Europe, USA, Canada, ….. ?

            Please compare like with like.

    • 3
      0

      Reginald Shamless Pererass

      “I am very happy to note that my country of birth is embracing the Chinese investments, culture and people.”

      Good when are you migrating to Cheena -சீனா- China – චීනය-Cīnaya?
      Why do we need a separate flag?
      Why do we need separate national anthem?
      Why do we need separate parliament?
      Why do we Sinhala/Tamil/Muslim Cuisine?
      Why do we need separate Sinhala/Cinema?
      Why do we need Sinhala Theravada Buddhism instead we should give prominence places to Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese shamanism, Chinese Buddhism, Maoism, … in our constitution?
      ….

      Kick the descendants of Kallthonie Tamils from tea rubber estates and bring in Chinese woman to toil in thottam.

      Here is the Chinese National Anthem in English:
      Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves;
      With our very flesh and blood
      Let us build our new Great Wall!
      The peoples of China are in the most critical time,
      Everybody must roar their defiance.
      Arise! Arise! Arise!
      Millions of hearts with one mind,
      Brave the enemy’s gunfire,
      March on!
      Brave the enemy’s gunfire,
      March on!
      March on!
      March on, on!

      source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/

  • 2
    15

    And what a racist thing to say, “cheena” and “chee-lam” all derogatory terms to call the Chinese.

    What if I as a Sinhalese used the P.D word? All hell will break amongst the Tamils.

    • 2
      1

      RSP
      I too deplore racist terminology.
      But have you been much averse to it?

    • 6
      0

      Reginald Shameless Pererass

      “And what a racist thing to say, “cheena” and “chee-lam” all derogatory terms to call the Chinese.”

      Cheena -சீனா- China – චීනය-cīnaya
      Now tell us what seems to be your problem?

      Read the following:
      The English language keeps changing and new English words are added to the dictionary. There are lots of new English words you can learn to improve your understanding of English. Whether you are a native speaker or learning English as a second language, this list of 100 new English words and their meaning will help you expand your vocabulary.
      https://ielts.com.au/

      “What if I as a Sinhalese used the P.D word? All hell will break amongst the Tamils.”

      Do you know the exact meaning of P.D (Para Demela)?

  • 2
    16

    ‘Cheelam’ is million times better than ‘Indilam’.

    • 7
      0

      Eagle Blind Eye

      ‘Cheelam’ is million times better than ‘Indilam’.

      For those descendants of Kallathonie converts like you it is
      “the grass is always greener on the other side”.

      You were allowed to live in this island (thanks to my people ) live and let live.
      If Cheelam is better than what you have now, why don’t take another boat and go to China proper and live there happily everafter?

      When you go take SJ, Gota, Mahinda, Basil, ………….. their descendants, Wimal, Udhaya, Shenali, Weerasekera, Shavendra, Kamal(a) …………………………… Assgiria, Malawattu, …,.with you.

    • 2
      0

      Eagle dumbo, thanks for keeing it short.

  • 4
    2

    “Cheelam is a separate country, but not named as such in the law”. That is a point professing here our smart lawyer, Sumanthiran, PC. “Doing without naming (A Federals State)” is an invention made by our TNA chief Sampanthar Ayya and Sumanthiran PC, during Yahapalanaya time to keep North East Tamils cool, but not to achieve anything by their Secret Solution Negotiation with Ranil, The Dodge Master. But the Sinhala Buddhist 8th graders in the Parliament, who argued that the Federal System is only separation, but not by name, have stolen that idea and have created a new country, next to Galle Face Green. Three days ago, in CT many readers celebrated the victory at SC, which was achieved by Sumanthiran, Romesh de, Kanagees…. and other lawyers who filed 19 partitions against the bill. True, they all celebrated, but for none of them the matters clarified by Sumanthiran MP has clarified here is any new disappointment. They celebrated but they all did know all this is what it was. To create a new country as a challenge to Tamils Eelam dream, the Aanduwa selected May 19th as the date to place the legislation at Parliament.

  • 3
    4

    Interestingly, next May 19th (2022), the whole Island could be expected to celebrate the anniversary of birth of the new Nation “Cheelam ”, but CT and its readers would rather not.

    Sumanthiran, MP’s speech is for 8th graders, so it’s crystal clear for others. But still, we like to look at a point with common sense but staying away from legal sense. The section 40 is asking for a license to visit Cheelam or Pong Cing. The license issuing authority will be the Commission or it will be under its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court asked to remove the word “Visit” not the “License”. But Lankawe Aanduwa did not comply with that, it is because Aanduwa is not the silly chap, Ranjan Ramanayake, so it need not to. There is no peculiarity or legal complication in the Supreme Court asking to remove the word “Visit”, not the “License”, though it explicitly tells Lankaweyans not to go to Cheelam. For example, Mallaiyuran, an American citizen and a New York City Resident can visit Liberty Island without any special arrangement, though the Island is within the city limit, but not under city or state jurisdiction.

  • 3
    3

    So, when Mallaiyuran standing on the line to enter the Island, under the identification rules, will be obligated to possess an ID. He uses his drivers’ license. Remember it is not a license to enter the Island, but a license only to drive, strictly a car, around in NYS. The license’s certification that Mallaiyuran has somehow managed to pass the State’s Computer Test and the practical Road Test is irrelevant here.
    The French Tourist Luis standing in the same line behind Mallaiyuran is keeping his passport ready to show, where he has a visa to enter the USA and visit all attractions. His passport, as a document, is not a stronger document like Mallaiyuran’ s Driver’s ID. Passport only confirms that Luis is a French citizen, a friendly country of America. But Mallaiyuran’s license confirms his ability to do some regulated jobs and the level of his ability in doing it. A doctor must go through a 3-year internship after he/she passes the tests, to get a practicing license. A CPA must get two years of field experience after he passes his CPA test. We all know License is a much larger word compared with the Visa.

  • 2
    3

    Because we all do a job in the country we live in, and the Lankans have a lot of restrictions to visit other countries because they are from refugees producing land Lankawe, we feel getting a license is easier than getting a visitor visa. But the reality is the other way around, outside of Lankawe. It is extremely rare for an American to have a license to practice Law & Medicine or Law and Accounting, but quite common they all have visitor visas for 10-15 countries.
    It is not an accident the drafters requested Lankaweyans to have a license to go to Pong Cing or the Cheelam, instead of visa. Here where the supreme court and Aanduwa both stole Sumanthiran MP’s techniques of doing without naming. If the draft men’s name it as a visa needed to visit Pong Cing, it outrightly names the Pong Cing as a separate nation.

  • 2
    3

    But when they say that Lankaweyans need to have simply a license to go to Pong Cing, it does not wake anybody because they all have some kind of local licenses. While you do not need any qualification to visit another country, but to have a license to practice your trade in another country, you must satisfy their residency-citizenship conditions, in addition to your capacity in your trade. That is normally impossible. By asking for a license to visit Pong Cing, Lankawe’s nosy opposition can be easily kept out of Pong Cing, instead of imposing complicated visa requirements that would in the end affect Royal’s acolytes too. Pong Cing is not going to be managed as a separate country, but exclusively only for Lankan Royal Highnesses. SC is not asking to remove the word License but asking to remove the word visit. So, it means Lankaweyans can still go to Pong Cing, obtaining restricted licenses to do some trades, but the nosy visitors press opposition Trade union’s heads or tails… can be banned by the Commission anytime it wishes.

  • 7
    1

    The powers devolved to the Port City are far greater in scope than the powers that Mahinda Rajapaksa promised to devolve to the Northern and Eastern Provinces during the second term of his presidency. He assured various parties on more than one occasion to deliver 13A Plus, going beyond the terms of the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement of 1987 but went back on his word. The powers that he and the Sinhala nationalists did not want to give to the Tamils who have been living here for centuries, they are now willingly giving in much greater measure to the Chinese hegemonists who are pretending to be friends of this country!
    Whatever happened to their mantra “Unity, Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity?”

  • 3
    0

    Why wait 2030 , development is on it’s way, plenty parlours, spas, massage therapy centers, casinos are planned to be operated soon, outside of PC, so that children and grand children can learn mandarin and get employed.But to enter PC you need a passport, visa and immigration/customs clearance. Have you tried getting employed in China, if not how on earth are you going to find employment in PC. Try telling Mr.Ding Dong and Rajapaksas about racism.

  • 0
    0

    Indian came to sri lanka for expanding plantation sector Coffee Tea Rubber devoted to treasure and bring prospects this sector who have been living here for centuries, and increases there wages presently now on line giving in much greater measure to the Chinese in future

    • 0
      0

      Plantation industry is in frail. It is in negotiation for Chinese take over from Chitanta Government time. Unless those women start to speak Chinese, they all will be replaced. Speaking Chinese will temporarily extend their employment. Remember it was English only employers created their employments. Chinese speaking employers going to end their employments; that is not even Sinhala speaking employers.

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