30 July, 2021

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Far-Out, Far-Right: Provincial Councils & State Minister Weerasekara 

By Dayan Jayatilleka 

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

A recent article by Rear Admiral (Retd.) Weerasekara on ‘Provincial Councils and Sovereignty’ (Daily FT) reveals the nature of the real contradictions and contending political ‘lines’ within the ruling bloc. It further reveals the mindset and ideology of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and those close to him. Finally, it provides an inkling of the disaster that awaits. 

I

The Minister of Public Security and State Minister for Provincial Councils asks “…Who are the internal and external forces demanding PC elections as soon as possible and why?” He goes on to say “…let the popularly elected Sri Lankan Government deliberate on the PC system and a new Constitution and not be forced into hasty PC Elections.” 

The public knows from uncontradicted coverage in the mass media, the answer to his question– as he does himself. “The internal force…demanding PC elections as soon as possible” is the most experienced politician in South Asia and one of the most experienced in Asia, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. As for “why?” well, that is a question that Minister Sarath Weerasekara should ask him, in Cabinet.  

While Minister Weerasekara forcefully opines “…let the popularly elected Sri Lankan Government deliberate on the PC system and a new Constitution and not be forced into hasty PC Elections”, the Prime Minister was widely reported to have asked the Elections Commission to ascertain the possibility of holding the elections speedily under the existing Constitutional framework and the old regulations so as to cut the Gordian Knot that the UNP-TNA-JVP had tied. Reports say that there are many in the Government including at the levels of the PCs, who support the PM’s view.

II

Minister Weerasekara’s diatribe also reveals the thinking and attitude of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. It is the President who appointed as the State Minister for Provincial Councils, someone like Weerasekara who holds a totally negative view of the PC system, signaled in this article as “Whenever I express myself against the Provincial Councils…”.  This is hardly likely to indicate the most constructive approach to the subject he has been handpicked to handle, despite the ethnic and external sensitivities. 

He also believes that “…13A…provided a political framework for Tamil separatism after the military defeat of the LTTE…The Indo-Lanka Accord was designed in secrecy and imposed without consultation of the Sri Lankan Parliament to create a Tamil homeland in the Northern and Eastern Provinces to appease Tamil separatism…” 

That sentiment does not explain why the LTTE separatists waged war against the 13th amendment and the Indian peacekeeping force. Nor does it explain why the non-separatist, federalist TNA in its earlier avatar of the TULF, has never accepted the 13th amendment as basis or framework, from the late 1980s to date.

It does however reveal the animus that the State Minister for Provincial Councils has towards even this modest degree of provincial semi-autonomy. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s intention in appointing Rear-Admiral Weerasekara in charge of the Provincial Councils becomes clearer by the utterance of his appointee. It is to uproot and exterminate the PC system and effect a rupture from the Indo-Lanka Accord. If this was not an objective the President shared, he would surely not have appointed Rear-Admiral Weerasekara.

III

Minister Weerasekara has his take on India’s perceptions and interests which tell us that he thinks that the government of Sri Lanka is in the clear because India knows what’s good for it, or would be in the clear if India did so, and if it didn’t, then it is India that will pay the price.

“…Jayatilleka forgets India’s own fears over secession from the Indian Union. A former British colony that experienced the devastating partition upon independence, India is highly sensitive to external interests who would like to see the country broken into pieces like Yugoslavia. The break-up of Sri Lanka would undoubtedly facilitate the creation of Greater Eelam and the balkanization of India. The massive threat posed by the Dravidasthan movement led to the adoption of the draconian anti-secession amendment to the Indian constitution in 1963. Since then, the interests of South Indian Tamil nationalism shifted to Sri Lanka.”

It has not occurred to Minister Weerasekara that it is precisely India’s settled conviction that the 13th amendment is an alternative to the alienation of Tamil Nadu and the possible creation of Greater Eelam, that makes India keep stressing the need for its implementation. 

The Minister finds comfort in a specious parallel with India’s recent policy on Kashmir.

“In August 2019, the Modi Government in India stripped the contentious state of Jammu and Kashmir of autonomy after seven decades depicting it as a ‘historical blunder’.” 

Weerasekara also displays a pathetic tendency to hector Delhi, accompanied by wagging finger: “Likewise, it would serve India and other external powers well to correct the historical blunder of intervention in Sri Lanka and allow Sri Lanka to determine her mode of internal governance.”

What Weerasekara fails to digest is that his perception of India’s best interests and the similarity between President Gotabaya’s policy on the Provincial Councils and Prime Minister Modi’s on Kashmir notwithstanding, the External Affairs Minister of India said what he did in Colombo, in the precincts of the Sri Lankan Ministry of External Affairs, about the 13th amendment, meaningful devolution and the commitments made by the Government of Sri Lanka. 

A far more intelligent, educated and sophisticated but no less nationalist Sri Lankan Minister of National Security, than Sarath Weerasekara, namely, the late Lalith Athulathmudali, miscalculated Indian responses to unilateral Sri Lankan action as regards the Tamil North. He ran the question through a computer in the USA which said that India would not intervene (The Hindu scooped the story jeeringly, at the time) whatever military action the Government took in the North. 

Rear Admiral Weerasekara was probably a young Navy officer when Minister Athulathmudali ordered the Sri Lankan Navy to turn back the Indian Red Cross boats bringing relief supplies to a beleaguered North. When the boats were turned back the minister was jubilant. He failed to realize that it was just a tripwire, or that there was Plan B which involved Mirage 2000s accompanying the airdrop, with a message conveyed to President Jayewardene that any hostile action would be responded to by the Mirages causing unacceptable levels of damage to Sri Lankan military assets.

Minister Weerasekara has not learned the lesson. Not even after the issue of the threatened abolition of the 13th amendment and the actual destruction of the monument on Jaffna campus caused, according to The Hindu (India), the Sunday Times (Colombo) and the Sunday Morning (Colombo), politically significant protests in Tamil Nadu, prompting Indian communication of concern through its diplomatic channels and the reversal of the decision of the authorities regarding the monument.  

Given that the Gotabaya regime that Minister Weerasekara is part of, cannot control Indian behavior, it would be prudent for him to ask himself whether Colombo should ignore what the Indian Foreign Minister said and go right ahead and behave on the assumption that the Tamil Question and the mode of governance as pertains to it are purely internal matters, and whether Sri Lanka can enforce or defend that position. If his deterrent is mandatory military training for those 18 and over, he should recall that former Yugoslavia had mandatory military service.   

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Latest comments

  • 15
    2

    Dayan,
    Mahinda Rajapakse lost his power not to UNP or the UNP SLFP group but to the hard core extremists including Gotabaya, Gammanwila, Weerawanse and Sarath Weerasekera and some Monks. He is now a dead politician under the house arrest of Gotabaya. If you look at Mahinda Rajapakse’s face you will see he is not normal. He is suffering from depression because of his brother and he must be feeling that he was betrayed by his brothers and his allies. Of course he should have done better after 2009 on the North East issue but his greediness made him to fall under the hands of extremists and fundamentalists. Today the country is suffering in the hands of Fundamentalists thuggerism and if it is not stopped, the country will never come back.

    • 6
      1

      Dayan,
      The time is not far for all these people to be chased out and sent back to their homes by the public. They had ruined the country to the maximum. It was like giving a garland to a set of monkeys.

    • 4
      1

      oi ajith, mahinda dead already…..its mummified ghost of mahindacriminal….

    • 2
      2

      Just put the 13A to a referendum. Yes or no.

      That’s the only democratic solution.

      Otherwise 13A is seen as an ugly imposition and every effort will be made to torpedo it.

      (LTTE never accepted 13A.)

      • 3
        2

        Not only LTTE but also none of the other Tamil political leadership accepted 13A as a solution to the problem. National referendum is also not a solution where 75% of the population are Sinhalese. 13A can only be an initial starting point to solve the problem. The main problem for Tamils is security and identity. The main constraint in the 13A is the powers to governor and incomplete devolution of power (land, finance and police). Sinhalese did not ask for devolution because they didn’t have security problem or identity problem. Provincial council system was forced on them without any need like Tamils.
        The success of 13A depends on the support of Central administration and its true willingness to find the solution.

        • 3
          2

          Ajith, Tamil civil society in Jaffna told LTTE to accept 13th amendment and work with India. They told LTTE that now you are carrying weapons illegally, but with this set up you will be carrying weapons legally. Prabaharan who was bought by CIA with a promise to support Eelam rejected the advice of Tamil members. The most important thing is the land and not the power. If you have control over the land, you can fight for power, but if you do not have the land all the power you have is useless. People like you are unable to grasp this fact. Tamils tried for 40 years to make Tamil as official language, which India delivered without an effort. Indo-Lanka accord is the only document in the world which states that north and east are lands of historic habitation of Tamils. India assured north east merger by postponing indefinitely a referendum. India said that devolution does not stop with 13th amendment but will be a continuous process. Land and police powers are there but was not implemented by all the governments. Finance powers could have been widened with support of India. With Indian troops physically present, no Sri Lanka government could have sabotaged devolution process.

          • 1
            5

            “Prabaharan who was bought by CIA with a promise to support Eelam”
            Any evidence?
            *
            “Tamils tried for 40 years to make Tamil as official language, which India delivered without an effort.”
            Are things any better for users of Tamil than under Sinhala Only?
            *
            I will not waste time on the blabber about India and 13A.
            Why was 13A not delivered upon for 33 long years?
            *
            I suppose that the generation that saw the IPKF in action in the N&E during the tail end of the 1980s is getting old so that fantasies can be propagated at will by confidence tricksters.

        • 1
          2

          Don’t look at the ethnicity of voters. It does not matter.

          If 75% of the voters don’t want 13A, why have the damn thing?

      • 2
        1

        13th Amendment is a bi-product of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord and this Peace Accord was signed by two heads of States, India & Sri Lanka. It is binding. If Sri Lanka takes action to nullify unilaterally, there will be serious consequences. Sarath Weerasekera is talking non-sense.

      • 0
        0

        Gatam

        Are you trying make the TNA unemployed? You have no idea what happens to people when they rock the rice ball of the useless thugs and render them unelected?? you need to revisit Jaffna 1970 onwards man.

        They in fact told the Tamils that they be getting the constitutional assembly to come up with the secret solution/have it passed in the parliament and then put it to the referendum and have this approved for their kingdom up North. That was after the political killing of the Hon MR then.

        The Tamils apparently believed them then and even now be it they lost some more seats….hence they created few more “Tamil” parties and keeping the rice ball going living in Colombo/Overseas a lifestyle none of us have.

        The current drama is all about Global Tamils vs SL Tamils vs whoever gets in the way fo this Mafia in SL…..UN future is riding on this lot currently for the 3rd world war preparations please understand.

        In other words the 3rd world war preparations started in 1970 onwards and this is how ugly it looks like for those who does not know what raping a Nation into submitting means…by the bullies.

        • 0
          0

          of us have.
          The current drama is all about Global Tamils vs SL Tamils vs whoever gets in the way fo this Mafia in SL…..UN future is riding on this lot currently for the 3rd world war preparations please understand.
          In other words the 3rd world war preparations started in 1970 onwards and this is how ugly it looks like for those who does not know what raping a Nation into submitting means…by the bullies.

          Tamils try to vote the FP out in 70’s see what happened to them..now the reality is upon the entire Nation period.

  • 5
    2

    Focusing only on the last line of this article, it would be a good idea if mandatory military training is given to all young men above 18 years of age. The Rear Admiral (Retd.) should make sure that all Tamil youth and Muslim youth are also given weapons training and bomb-making lessons.

  • 2
    6

    Dear Dayan

    I am a Tamil from Jaffna and what was that Tamil “question” again please?? who is the TNA again please?? (yet to be put through the UN investigations for their crimes in Jaffna since 1970-1977-1981). Please show some respect to people of Jaffna please.

    I totally agree with the question “why” and your answers are all about what India wanted to see in the North of Sri Lanka??

    So I say India also need to go through the rape of being divided/children killing each other/nation being decimated/people loosing their peace in the process that their children be armed and trained in Sri Lanka and send to India can you please check with 1.3 billion Indians their consent please?? Kindly let us know the response.

    The issue we have not taken this foreign sponsored crime to the UN and campaigned for the sanctions on India/sought compensation for the destruction is war we get in return??

    Specially you have not paid any iota of an attention to the elected in SriLanka the Minister sighted as a justification for not proceeding/wasting time with a not so futile discussion anymore?? as we have more important issues to focus in the Interest of our Nation of People please.

  • 1
    5

    Why what India does with Tamil Nadu/Kashmiri/Bangladesh/Pakistan/China our problem? when did we say all these are our issues??

    Say you were with these armed groups up North and even a minister in the North and East EPRLF statehoods in the PC’s then that got halted because you declared separate state then the GOSL had to dissolve/ban the PC’s then??

    When did you get the mandate/acceptance from us the people of the North(let alone the South) then for this absurd event please?? were you saying if we want we can take up Armes and start the killing fields too??..is that the deal for us then and now???

    Have you spoken to the Tamils in Colombo 6/Up country recently as to why they are not in Jaffna?? will help you make some interesting articles fact based/reality based is it not?.

    India for Indians, China for Chinese and Sri Lanka for Sri Lankans??? is not the basis anymore in your political analysis??

    • 3
      4

      Dear Dayan

      Please note I have no party politics..except what is right and wrong as a Solution for a sustainable future of our people BASED ON LESSONS LEARNED.

      • 1
        4

        Does anyone knows why the Unmakes up every time there is a MR/GR governments??

        Does anyone knows why TNA/JVP/UNP did not runaway with all the changes as they were running the show for themselves in the last parliment?? this would have all got done and dusted a long time ago having politically killed the MR regime earlier for the Constitutional assembly??

        So why not the Sri Lankan fools ask themselves some fundamental questions regards to life on earth for a change??

        • 1
          4

          correction “”why UN comes up with something every time Hon MR/GR in the government?””

          • 0
            0

            Vennu Kutti your Avatar should have Read Ramble all along and not Rumble 2021

            • 0
              0

              PK

              Noted with thanks. But I wanted to follow what Michael Moore Pot cast title…may be an American spelling with the same meaning not sure?

  • 3
    4

    ”Minister Weerasekara has not learned the lesson”
    ………………
    ………………
    Rear Admiral Weerasekara was probably a young Navy officer when Minister Athulathmudali ordered the Sri Lankan Navy to turn back the Indian Red Cross boats bringing relief supplies to a beleaguered North.”

    It is not Rear Admirable doesn’t learn his lesson, it is actually our Thero. Rear Admirable knows where does he place his tail, but Thero doesn’t. That is why everywhere he jumps in, his tail gets cut off to the rear. JVP, SLFP, LSSP, EPRLF, Joint Comedy Club, Cuban Communism, Putin Communism, China Communism, American Communism….. now UNP (SJB) – Like a Chariot rounding the village trough all communities’ neighborhood; Thero a real rolling stone, so has no moss. Do you know with whom (New Boss) Thero is now and advising to Rear Admirable of what a mighty India is? It is the son of the man, the Vaalaiththodam Sr, who challenged to get India out of Lankawe within 24 hours and did it for the Lankawe people to amaze. The boy was very small when Dad did it. If Thero doesn’t know the might of the India, he should ask his former boss, Varathar. Working for India not worth even for a house in Delhi! Dr. Jeysankar (the Pariah Demulu) came to get 13A implemented to Tamil, but only gave 500,000 vial of Vaccine to Pavitra and other Paani Salesmen. Another Katchativu…..

  • 5
    1

    Our PM Mahinda Rajapakse is either “Suffering” from the “Docile” of aging OR “Severe THUMPING down” by his own siblings, GR and Basil. Remember, when “COVID 19” invaded our country, Mahinda Rajapakse immediately convened a meeting of all the Party Representatives to discuss ways and means to face the situation. Next what happened was enough to judge what happened to him (as PM). The President took over immediately and appointed the “Task Force” making the Army Commander as its “Head”. After that Mahinda Rajapakse was made to feel a “Non-Entity” and is “Sidelined” in all most all activities of Governing affairs. We have seen in some instances, the “Secretary” to the President, Jayasundara sending “Directives” to the Finance Minister, Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse. This clearly shows how “TWO” camps have immerged, one headed by the President- the most “Powerful” with “20A” and the other “Weakling” of PM. No wonder those in President’s camp, such as this Minister Weerasekera playing all over the ground without knowing what he talks and does.

  • 9
    1

    More than Far Out – Far Right – Sarath Weerasekera is a “Fast Track Racist”. The statements he has made in the recent past make me wonder if he is a “sane person”. Why should the citizens tolerate such a Racist who thinks his world is inside a well. We do not live inside a well, we live in a Global Community.

    Its time President removes him immediately from the Cabinet and relieve him from his Ministries.

    • 0
      3

      Anyone not agreeing to TNA demand as and when requested is a racist/traitor/turn coat/rapists/child abusers/criminals…all that is bad in humanity please note.

      • 0
        3

        Once we deliver the kingdom to the TNA to practise their version of the democracy as above “Ratha Pottu Mafia FP/TULF/TN Killing Fields 1970-1977-1981” we can dissolve the UN as their functions/facilitation for the 3rd world war would have been completed.

        “Global Tamil crime” against “Jaffna Tamils” and the Toilet washers Inc of the Refugees created to date…crime against humanity/extermination of an exceptional people.

        It will be the UN responsibility to build walls/barbed wire fences along the divide and land mine the entire boarders and man the entire length. The UN can employ the Global Tamil Children and train them in Tamil Nadu killer training camps to supply the required man power for the entire length.

  • 4
    3

    Why fight over 13A? Just put the damn thing into a referendum. Let the people decide.

    Why fear the people? Ultimately people must live with 13A. If they are unwilling, they will not.

    LTTE never accepted 13A and all major Tamil parties rejected it until Tamil were defeated in 2009. TNA accepted 13A only in 2012. That is 3 years after the defeat of Tamils and the victory of Sinhalese.

    Besides 13A is a war-time solution which does not suit peace time.

    Put 13A to a referendum or scrap it!

    • 1
      0

      Chingkallams do not decide only the population in the NR decide and that to only Thamizh and Thullukan not Chingkallams who arrived illegally during the past 40 years and were settled there illegally by the Sri Lankan state. People who arrived illegally do not decide the fate of a people who had lived there for more than 3000 years ago or even a a few centuries

  • 2
    4

    Dhammapada says:

    “Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
    Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.”

    —-
    When two groups who came to their country faced a desperate situation Sinhala Buddhists acted with a pure mind and helped them by giving citizenship so that they can live in their country. But unfortunately that has not brought happiness that follow like the never-departing shadow.
    Instead of bringing happiness, the action taken by Sinhala Buddhists with a pure mind has brought suffering that follow after them like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.

    • 1
      1

      Eagle,
      You are trying prove that Dhammapada is written only by spoiled ones like you. But I see a truth in that if you are willing grasp it. If A=B, mathematics says then B=A. So the inverse of Dhammapada says Sinhala Buddhists are never plain heart, but poisonous liars. What a accurate prophesy! That is why I say that Dhammapada is written by some wise men, not any loony like you. You want happiness? Start to write some truth in CT and be honest in your talks.
      Cheers!

  • 1
    0

    I am now convinced that a “Ravana streak” runs in the decedents – Sinhalese rulers and Buddhist monks: Most of them have a tendency to take on India as Ravana did with drastic consequences.

    These fools don’t realize that size matters: Their hubris blinds them not to see reality clearly until it’s too late.

    Know thy neighbor especially a big one like India, China or Russia: Your survival may depend on your big immediate neighbor!

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