29 October, 2020

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Going Beyond The 13th A & Towards Cooperative Devolution

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Discussions have started on devolution and/or federalism in the context of constitutional reforms and the present is an attempt to clarify some of the important issues in the form of ‘questions and answers.’ The purpose is to deviate from abstract debates and bring concreate substance to the discussions as far as I can contribute.

Question: What do you mean by going beyond the 13th Amendment?

Answer: I basically mean four things. (1) Reducing the concurrent list (2) eliminating the ambiguities between the national list and the provincial list (3) reducing the powers of the Governor and (4) creating a framework for making sufficient fiscal and administrative resources available to the provinces.

Question: Why not completely replace devolution and go for federalism?

Answer: Devolution is part of federalism. There is no one form of federalism but different forms. As Shakespeare said, ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’ It is more appropriate to call the present or a future system devolution, given its history and the form. We are evolving from a unitary state towards a more federal structure. Our evolution is devolution.

Question: Why do you qualify devolution as cooperative devolution? What does it mean?

Answer: It is similar to cooperative federalism. When I was studying in Canada in the mid-1970s, the concept evolved there. There are many books written on the subject. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (not Justin) started to meet with the state Premiers to sort out matters. His particular interest was to appease the rebellious Quebec. It worked. Thereafter concrete mechanisms were devised for cooperation.

In 1990/91 when the Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke wanted to pursue a national economic reform agenda he started to meet with the state Premiers. It partially worked. This cooperation is a practice continued even today. It is called cooperative or collaborative federalism. There can be mechanisms for cooperation.

Question: But what is its relevance to Sri Lanka?

Answer: Take a recent most example. Due to the ongoing high heat in the North Central Province they have decided to close the schools at 12 noon. But the central government ministry continues to have the national schools open as usual. On this smallest thing they cannot cooperate. This has created confusion among the citizens.

Not only that. The central ministry seems to dictate terms to the provincial ministry with an expert report! I am not saying whose view is correct. But wish to emphasize that there should be cooperation. The central government should not interfere. Provinces should also cooperate.

Question: Your example can be just incidental?

Answer: No. There are so many examples. Take the controversy about building 65,000 houses in the north and the east for displaced people for resettlement. Some people say the scheme is too costly and steel houses are not suitable to the climate. I am not making a judgement on either. But what is apparent is that the central ministry has not consulted the provincial councils or the competent civil society organizations on the matter. The latter expressed concerns first, and then the provincial council jumped on the matter perhaps for political reasons.

This is what failed during the Rajapaksa regime. Northern provincial council elections were delayed. Through the Task Force, unilateral developments were undertaken perhaps some aspects not meeting the needs of the people. I am not discounting what was done. I think the Central Bank estimated that around US$ 3 billion was spent on resettlement, rehabilitation and development. That is great. But what is the point if the people are not satisfied. That is why cooperation is necessary for devolution and beyond.

We have to move from coercive or unilateral devolution to cooperative devolution.

Question: You mentioned that the concurrent list should be reduced. What do you mean and can you give an example?

Answer: For example, school education should completely be a devolved function in my opinion. All schools from pre-schools to GCE A/L should come under the provincial councils. It would be a relief for the central government and an empowerment for the provincial councils. At present ‘national schools’ are under the central government. Education also appears in the concurrent list as sections 3 and 4 apart from the provincial list. This is out of 36 items or sections. These two sections should be taken out. This is an example of reducing the concurrent list.

Why? The reason is that when a matter is in the concurrent list the central government can encroach easily. This is against the principle of autonomy. I am not talking about complete or absolute autonomy but relative or necessary autonomy.

The school education should be guided under national policies, bench marks and curricular. In formulating national policies on school education, there should be center-periphery cooperation. Both the GCE O/L and A/L can be conducted by an institution like the National Institute of Education (NIE). It is true that in a proper federal system even such examinations are conducted by the states. But here we are talking about ‘devolution and provinces’ and not proper ‘federalism or states.’ The size of the country, proximity between the center and periphery and the stage of economic and social development are also reasons to have uniform senior school examinations. Different examination systems would not be useful.

Question: Some people say that concurrent list should be completely eliminated? What do you say?

Answer: I don’t subscribe to that view. You cannot surgically separate government functions completely into central functions and provincial functions. It is artificial. It is also against the spirit of cooperative devolution.

However, one danger of a concurrent list is the tendency for a central government to take over the functions of that list. That should be prevented. That can be prevented in the constitution. Another preventive measure is the reduction of the concurrent list as I have suggested.

Another creative possibility is to have a ‘cooperative list’ instead or in addition to a concurrent list. To have in addition is a complicated matter because in a ‘citizen friendly’ constitution the matters should not be so complicated. Normally matters come under a concurrent list when they overlap. But to be more positive or proactive, those are also the areas that cooperation is most necessary. Therefore, naming concurrent matters under a cooperative list is more logical and positive.

Question: Some people also say the residual powers also should be with the provinces. What are the residual powers? And what do you say?

Answer: Residual power normally means what is not listed or unknown at the time of constitution making. It can also be a device to keep the listing to a minimum, declaring that the ‘residual power’ is with the center or the provinces.

Traditionally, if the residual power is with the states that is called a ‘full-federal’ system and if the residual power is with the center it is called a ‘semi-federal’ system. That is one reason why India is called semi-federal. However, this is not always the case. In Canada, residual powers go to the center but it is federal and not semi.

In a system of devolution, it is understood that ‘residual power’ is with the center, because the powers are devolved from the center. In our present constitution ‘all subjects and functions not specified in the provincial list or the concurrent list’ come under the reserved list for the center.

Question: Are you saying that full federalism is premature for Sri Lanka?

Answer: Yes, in a way yes. We have to build upon what we have now. It is also political realism consonant with normative principles on the matter. We have actually not properly implemented what we have. One reason was the continuation of the war until it ended in 2009 with much controversy. The other still remaining reason is the political controversies surrounding even on devolution. The latter is partly due to the ambiguities existing in the present constitution.

Although we call the change last year a ‘revolution’ it is not a revolution proper. It is so-called. We have to take an evolutionary path. That is the best, the safest and most practical. We should not fall back to an open conflict again.

We adopted the devolutionary model from India. It is akin to our ancient ‘Manda-la’ (center-periphery) system. Federalism, regional councils and then provincial councils were in our discussion agendas for a very long time. The Indian model is called semi or quasi-federal.

‘Federalism,’ ‘unitary-state’ or ‘devolution’ are all matters of degree. We should focus more on substance and purposes and not name boards. Let me quote Shakespeare again: ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    Dr Laksiri Fernando,

    A timely article and the matters in this article shall be subjected to intensive full discussions.

    Hence this response.

    For effective devolution,

    Clarity is required in respect of

     Functions- no ambiguity, clearly defined
     Finance- adequate, predictable and ,timely
     Functionaries- staff
     Freedom – degree of autonomy
    Ninth Schedule
    I very much like to clarify first about the Ninth Schedule as it appears in 13 A
    Three lists are in the Ninth Schedule. It is only a schedule

     List 1(Provincial Council List)
     List 11(Reserved List)
     List 111(Concurrent List)
    The meaning of this schedule becomes clear when we read this schedule in terms of 154 G,

    I am using 154G only in abridged form to keep this response short. Please read the 13A for full understanding

    Provincial Council List:-

    154G(1) The Provincial Council may make statues in terms of matters in the provincial Council List.
    This means that mere existence of a matter in the Provincial Council is insufficient. Unless the provincial Council passes statutes the provincial council cannot exercise an powers in respect of that matter. The matter remains with the centre until a statute is passed. Only after a statute is passed, the Provincial Council could exercise powers in respect to that matter in the Provincial Council List.

    In this connection it is necessary to read Provincial Council (Consequential Provision) Act No 12 of 1989 where some interim arrangements were made to bypass this difficulty.

    Parliament can pass a bill in respect of any matter in the Provincial Council List only in terms of 154(2), 154(3) and 154(4)

    Concurrent List
    154(5)
    (a) Parliament may make laws in respect of any matter in the Concurrent List after consultation with all provincial Councils as parliament may consider appropriate
    (b) Every provincial Council may make statutes in respect of any matter in the concurrent list after such consultation with Parliament as it may consider appropriate in the circustanceces of each case.
    Neither the Centre or th provincial Council could exercise any powers arbitrarily.

    Reserved List:-
    The provincial Council has no power to make statutes in respect of any matter in the Reserved list. The matters in the Reserved List are reserved to the centre, the parliament has exclusive power to make laws in respect of all matters in the Reserved List.

    The first Item in the Reserved List is “National Policy on all subjects and Functions”.

    This provision was misused by the governments to make laws in respect of subjects in the provincial Council list with a simple majority in spite of the safeguards introduced in 154G (2),(3)act(4) .

    The national Policy on any subject is clearly defined.

    The Parliament had taken over the Agrarian services from the Provincial List by using this National policy fraudulently.

    The national policy should be removed from the reserved list or clarly defined beforehand with all stakeholders concerned including provincial Councils.

    Provincial Administration and Finance:- The powers of the Provincial Councils are diluted by means of Provincial Council No 42 of 1987.

    Thereby the provincial Councils have no control over their human resources .

    This is hilarious.

    Provincial Council Act No 42 of 1987 should be withdrawn and the provincial administration and Fiscal devolution should be made more effective.

    Accordingly, The Divisional secretaries and Grama Niladaries shall be brought under the Provincial Councils so that the grass root administration is brought under the Provincial Councils.

    My responses are to make devolution more meaningful.

  • 2
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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando

    RE: Going Beyond The 13th A & Towards Cooperative Devolution

    “Discussions have started on devolution and/or federalism in the context of constitutional reforms and the present is an attempt to clarify some of the important issues in the form of ‘questions and answers.’ “

    “Question: What do you mean by going beyond the 13th Amendment and Towards Cooperative Devolution.”

    “Answer: I basically mean four things. (1) Reducing the concurrent list (2) eliminating the ambiguities between the national list and the provincial list (3) reducing the powers of the Governor and (4) creating a framework for making sufficient fiscal and administrative resources available to the provinces.”

    “Question: Why not completely replace devolution and go for federalism?”

    Dr. Laksiri Fernando. Good questions. Thanks.

    This will be the Ticket for Vellahala Hegemonism, the Vellahala “Trinity”. Are the people happy to let the upper caste subjugate the lower Caste Tamils for ever based on their Vehhalala “Trinity”?. It ir will be like throwing the non-Vellahalas to the Vellahala-Talibanismn, or Vellahala-Wahhabism.

    The Vellahala “Trinity” belief is based on

    1. Hinduism

    2. Castism

    3. Racism.

    “We adopted the devolutionary model from India. It is akin to our ancient ‘Manda-la’ (center-periphery) system. Federalism, regional councils and then provincial councils were in our discussion agendas for a very long time. The Indian model is called semi or quasi-federal.”

    Any devolution or Federalism should be based on a secular state and non-discrimination, an egalitarian society and each person performs at the level of their stupidity, common sense or intelligence.

    The Story Of Two Graphs drawn by A Tamil Man: By Mahesan Niranjan

    Onion Prices and Tamil IQ Distributions

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-story-of-two-graphs-drawn-by-a-tamil-man/onioniqdistributions/

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-story-of-two-graphs-drawn-by-a-tamil-man/

    • 4
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      Talk about a broken record. People have moved on to listen to other ‘music’.

      • 1
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        Richard Kaz

        “Talk about a broken record. People have moved on to listen to other ‘music’”

        Promoting and Preserving Vellahala “Trinitism”, is certainly a broken record.

        So, Vehhahala “Trinitism” = Hinduism + Castism +Racism.

        So how do you get to Egalitarianism from Vehhalala “Trinitism” to Egalitarianism?

        Therefore,

        Egalitarianism = Vellahala “Trinitism” – Hinduism -Castism -Racism
        = Egalitarianism.

        The Portuguese Failed, The Dutch Failed, The English Failed, Post-Independence the Sinhala Dominated State Failed, Even the non-Vellahala Mahaveeran Preiyavar Velupillai Prabakaran failed.

        The Big Question: Who will succeed?

    • 2
      1

      Amerasiri are you still saying Allah ke akabar. You haven’t adopted the best religion—–Budhism–yet. Why OH WHY ?? Are you waiting for permission from your benefactor—ISIS ???.

      • 1
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        PROUDMAN

        Question: What is the best Religion?

        Question: Why do you need a Religion?

        Make your selection out of the 4,000 odd religions. If they do not satisfy your needs, form your own religion. Please exclude Vellahala Trinitism, as it has wrecked havoc in the Jaffna Peninsula and in Sri Lanka.

        Which is the best religion to follow and why?

        https://www.quora.com/Which-is-the-best-religion-to-follow-and-why

        Religion is not a competition, so there is no such thing as the “best religion”; the purpose of religion is (but has not necessarily always been in practice, or been considered to be) to help guide people through difficult times in life, by providing answers to life’s more philosophical (and oftentimes, moral/ethical) questions.

        The problem with some religions, most notably Christianity and Islam, is that they were used for centuries to govern people and thus the “religious organization” itself started gaining power and control over people. This created a breed of people within those religions obsessed with that power and control over others, and it has skewed them—to varying degrees—further in the direction of making a religion absolute and decreeing. Ironically, such efforts are largely in direct conflict with what the original intent of the respective religion was.

        Top 10 Best Religions

        http://www.thetoptens.com/best-religions/

      • 1
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        PROUDMAN

        “You haven’t adopted the best religion—–Budhism–yet. Why OH WHY ?? “

        Interesting Question. People give different answers, but do not take up Vellahala Trinitism. It is bad for Tamils and Sri Lanka, as shown by History.

        The choice is yours.

        Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 1

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNOfTGSADdY

        Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 2

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clcs2PSze0I

        Given below is a Jewish Rabai, who says Islam, Interesting.

        Jewish Rabbi: Islam is religion of future

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9a6blduFb0

      • 1
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        PROUDMAN

        “You haven’t adopted the best religion—–Budhism–yet. Why OH WHY ?? “

        Listen to this guy, Greg. He says 10 FACTS About the 10 COMMANDMENTS | God’s Law, and tells people about Sins, and in order to get out of the Sin, you need Jesus.

        You figure the best religion, out of the 4,000 odd religions.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drsiTPdIxbQ

        In this video, Bible Flock Box Greg discuss 10 “facts” about the Ten Commandments, aka the “Law of God”. Some of these “facts” revolve around the giving of the tables of stone to Moses on top of Mt. Sinai to the nation of Israel, sin, salvation, the eternal nature of the Decalogue, and the mark of the beast. Watch this video!

        This is background to the Christian ‘Trinity”. What about the Vellahala “Trinity”, where only the non-Vellahalas have the Sins.

  • 7
    0

    Dr LF,

    Broadly I agree with the nation that a federal system needs to be evolved. Any solution endeavoured should be on balance accepted by the Sinhala mainstream. I think 13A plus is a good starting point. The power devolution must be contingent on a national secular constitution that is centred on equality. Any form of discrimination should be deemed criminal. A national highest court should be set up as the final check on justice.

  • 8
    0

    Dr.Laksiri Fernando,
    I think you are right that some sort Federalism is the only solution to the problem and better for the future for this island. I don’t think there will be any resistance from Majority of Tamils but my concern is that none of the Sinhalese leadership will come forward to take towards Sinhalese massess. As it is the President Mithiri and Prime Minister Ranil should come forward to take this forward. But both of them promised to Sinhalese that any solution should be within a unitary system. As usual the competition between two Sinhalese rivals (only in terms of power)is going to be the excuse. My fear is that there is going to be another cycle.

  • 11
    1

    Amarasiri is absurdly trying to discredit Tamils by citing “Vellala hegemony” and “Hindu” dominance. Why cannot he see the voting pattern in the Tamil areas where TNA and its Federalism are given overwhelming support. These votes are from all religions and castes and not from any one sector. He says about “Hinduism ,caste and racism”. How stupid is this statement. The first Tamil leaders to demand Federalism were from Christian religion. The father of Federal Party was Samuel James Cheva. Even today the leader of the Gobal Tamil Forum is Rev. Emanuel.
    The Sinhala -Buddhist are trying to keep the Tamils oppressed under their army rule and army occupation. Seven years after the war, there is still one army officer posted for every seven citizens in the North of SL. Even in Kashmir the ratio is 1 is to 20. Torture and extrajudicial killings by army still continues (See UN report). Is this the type of Unitary Government that you want the Tamils to accept?

  • 4
    2

    Prof. Laksiri,

    A big thank you.

    Dr.RN

  • 10
    7

    “Our evolution is devolution”

    Do you see evolution in Tamils who conducted the Asia’s longest brutal civil war? Do you see evolution in Tamils who assassinatend far more leaders and intellectuals than any other terrorist organization in the world?

    The answer is no, therefore forget about devolution of power. Don’t even think about federalism.

    Tamils are still under the firm grip of foreign powers which transformed young Tamils as ruthless terrorists in the world. Tamils are still faithful to foreign powers. Therefore, giving power to Tamils is giving power to foreign powers. If we give power to Tamils we have to be on our knees and do everything to please the foreign powers, surely we will lose our trump card as a country located in the strategic Indian Ocean.

    • 3
      4

      A smart Tamil has entered the forum! Then again is there anything smart about this individual?

      • 4
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        My message is clear, we won’t be fooled by foolish Tamils or by their Western Masters.

      • 3
        2

        I know about myself, I don’t need your help to find about myself. Go and find Tamil fools, they will follow you blindly and worship you.

        “In a few years more than half of the world’s middle class will be living in Asia,” Turnbull

        Many Asians are sacrificing their lives to make sure that Asia will be successful. I am pleased, I have done my part to expose the Western double standards, especially I alerted the Chinese when the West started the Arab Spring. Can you imagine the status of Asia, if China collapsed as Iraq or Libya?

        I have punished the West more than any other Asian. I am pleased, but the convict Aussies never thought I would go this far. The West could have ruled this world bit longer, if the British hanged the convicts in England, instead of sent to Australia. The convict Aussies gave me hard time, so I had enlightened the world, especially the Chinese. In other words the Five Eyes eat dirt by supporting the bunch of barbaric ruthless convicts. Keep supporting the ruthless convicts, I will continue to humiliate you.

        • 2
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          I am sorry that I provoked you; you are absolutely barking mad!

          • 2
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            Keep saying to yourselves that I am not smart, I haven’t punished you and you are not falling. By doing this you think that you are minimising the damage, but the truth is we all know that you are fooling yourselves.

        • 3
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          Antany Peter

          Are you alright???
          Did you forget your pills?

          • 2
            1

            Asians, including Sinhalese are getting smarter, but foolish Tamils think that worshipping the Western masters is the smartest think to do. Tamil fools won’t get anything, as they got nothing through the brutal civil war by listening to their Indian and the Western masters. Time is approaching fast, you need to have a sleeping phil every night to have a sleep :~)))))))

  • 3
    0

    Question : Can there somebody find a Aappa Diplomacy name for to dodge implementing the new proposed constitution?

    Answer : Sure, That is what called Cooperative Devolution. In that you can let the minorities have many things and when the time comes to have it implemented, you tell to the Pariah PEPPAE PEPPAE PEPPAE; go to hell! Then they will feel really happy. That is how now we have under 13A
    (1). the North-East merged,
    (2).Police Power shared,
    (3)Land Power shared…
    For almost 30 years we are having very good starting and starting and starting and Starting time on 13A. We can have this starting time on 13A even after China has released the Port City and Hambantota ending their 99 years lease (If there is anything true in that story Yahapalanaya Appe Andu is telling). If they don’t understand what is cooperative, you buy the Chemical bombs from India and just put 145,000 of them to sleep. You can cheat anybody if demands for inquiry of that many deaths.
    After all, why worry about names? Just do like this:-You can Tell IC that the minorities got Oranges, and give them only very sour limes;
    If some people say where is the Orange? -you tell them in Lankawe even the orange is green;

    If some people say why is it small – you tell them it is only we having a 30 years starting and the starting may go a little longer too;

    If some people say it is called lime, not orange – you tell them why worry about names? Don’t you remember Shakespeare said anything smelling is called a rose? So only the inside counts, Look carefully inside, the structure very similar, the tastes only counts; ( thank God this time the communist Stalin, Mao and Lenin escaped, but the Western Shakespeare has got caught – But I am not sure why a creative writers examples are appearing in this So called Serious Discussion)

    If some people say why is it sour? You tell them minorities are never satisfied. They are only looking for Separation; we can do nothing for that. That is how you have to shut up ones mouth. Don’t you remember how the “Foreign and Commonwealth Lawyers and Judges are defined in the Sinhala Language Dictionary as Lankawe’s Judges Lawyers?

    Questions : Some people say can’t the people stop inventing dubious methods for government to start rolling it’s dices.
    Answer: No; the nature of the Vijeya gangs is dying for name and at the end of all, whether good or bad, proudly claim they said it. That is how the incest and bestiality writings become the proud bible of the Sinhala Buddhist. Dutugamunu and Anagarika Dharmapala become heroes. Anyway, why worry about names? You can call the crooked Lankawe judges and lawyers as Foreign and Commonwealth Judges and Lawyers.
    Question : Some people say isn’t 13A is very good corporative model?
    Answer : Sir please, forget about fooling anymore. Very clearly defined, border lines of administrative authority clearly marked, never retractable constitution or Sampanthar has to resign for having supported the most dubious government in the world. No more clownish silly jokes in the name of serious discussion!

  • 3
    1

    Any form of devolution, Federal or otherwise should be cooperative is a valid one and only those who believe in authoritarianism will oppose it. There has been plenty of opportunities since the 1950s for devolution to evolve into something acceptable to all sides. Isn’t that what cooperative devolution is all about? The maximalist positions taken on one side by the LTTE (separate state) and on the side by the Sri Lankan state (unitary state based on Sinhala hegemony)have prevented this happening. The LTTE is gone, but is the Sri Lankan state ready to loosen the levers of power even just a little?

  • 3
    0

    Laksri Fernando,
    I’m happy to infer,
    You are a strong believer in ” no man is as island”, “live and let live & be dignified”, “don’t mix politics and religion” and ” don’t do on to others what you wouldn’t expect them to do to you”

    Even though Gomyn Dayasri is transforming for the better as evident from the recent media interview, still has the genetic disorder of “blame or bash FP and the minorities at large” for the existing political condition if SL ,failing to accept the political impotence of SL leaders since 1948.

    What SL needs is a womb cleaning by getting rid of malignant and non malignant political cysts and fair minded leaders from younger generation who has healthy sperm count so that the mother can give birth to a new Sri Lanka where no genetic supremacy based on race, language, or religion prevail.

    Then the new Sri Lanka will be able to grow into a healthy adult nation with longevity.

  • 4
    0

    Instead of reading the gibberish articles by [Edited out] like HLDM and IH, Intellectuals,statesmen should analyze and validate the above points for the best interest of the people.

    unbiased, bonafide articles should be encouraged.

  • 2
    1

    Dear Professor Laksiri,

    Thank you for your article:

    May I add:

    The debate of constitutitional reform with regard to devolution or federalism consists of a confused mess of nationalistic ideals, fears of separatism, ethnic self-glorification and contentious issues such as removing army camps and so on.

    There are two ingredients that our lacking as I see it: realism and patience. All parties need to be realstic about the fact that only modest goals can be expected to be achieved in the current political context.

    It is ironic that we talk about a 2500 year old history but want to radically change everything within 2.5 years. This can and should not happen. Realistically we should be looking at goals and opportunities and a roadmap that spans 50 to 100 years from now. Since we all expect Sri Lanka to be around for another 2,500 years.

    Let me suggest my own “Vanguard Principles”

    1. Any and all changes to the constitution should be discussed and agreed principly between those who have the most divergent views : the TNA and Joint Opposition as well as the JHU and allied parties. Gains may be modest but will be sure. Even extremists will agreed to some concessions, and these are an important first step. Economic development for example. Another one measures to prevent alleged abuses by armed forces – since these are about abuses that do not exist yet, no-one is going to be threatened by this program, as opposed to digging up past sins.

    2. Any changes to the constitution should be commonly understood by all parties to be a first step towards solving common problems, and not a final step. There should be an opportunity for goodwill to flourish rather than be mandated.

    3.All parties should agree and gaurentee to protect national security interests. Armed struggle is not an option and hiding information about threats to national security should be mandated as an offence.

    So to sum up:

    1. Extremists to agree first
    2. New constitution first step – stop gap measure
    3. Agreed to rule out armed violence

    • 3
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      New Vanguard,

      “It is ironic that we talk about a 2500 year old history but want to radically change everything within 2.5 years. This can and should not happen.”

      What was the situation when the Portuguese arrived in 1505? There were three kingdoms existed at that time; where was the 2500 year old history then?

      Subsequently, for four and half centuries all Sri Lankans were under the mercy of the colonial masters. Where was the 2500 year old history then?

      If The British had not amalgamated all states into one and formed Ceylon, what would have happened to the 2500 year old history?

      Dr LF stated in an earlier article, if the Europeans had not arrived, Sri Lanka would have naturally evolved into federated states anyway; what would happened to the 2500 year old history then?

      What was the situation prior the 2500 year old history?

      New Vanguard, you appear innocuous and use smooth language but in the midst, you exhibit sophisticated Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinism! You say “This can and should not happen”; it is because, the history does not permit it. In another words, Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhala Buddhists only! New Vanguard, you do not have the backbone to say what you really want to say! I rather prefer people like such, KSS, et al!

  • 0
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    Haven’t even got his full 13 A. but Vellala Wiggy is changing School Hours

    Just imagine what he will do when he goes full Federal.

    Our ex Professor is smart. He knows that Federal needs a Referendum

    And no way our Dalits will tick it off for Bodhi Sira and his SLFP Yahapalana Faction, most of whom aren’t even elected.

    Even UNP heartland where Batalanda Ranil shoe honed young Rajitha in to Parliament to represent the Colombo Elite, is up in arms against Yahapalanaya.

    Did you see the placard the other day calling our one and only Field Marshall” Mee Haraka”.

    I totally disagree , Mee hrakas help our Dalits more than these Yahapalana dudes, their FM in particular.

    Majority of Batalanada Ranil’s 225 CCs may approve a full on 13 A plus for the Vellalas, with the Santhosams which are being showered on them..

    But can they all be accommodated in the Megapolis after the next Elections.

    Because none of them will be welcome in the South, even if they give Bath Parcels, free grog and even LKR 5000 this time, unlike the one thou which they gave last time to bring Dalits from Pollonnaruwa to clap Batalanda Ranil and Bodhi Sira in Samanala grounds.

    I just finished Gooling the real estate in Tricomalee close to Gota’s Golf Course.

    I want to get in ASAP, as Vellala Sambnadan has already sent an SOS to Diaspora ,to bring the Dosh to the North East…

  • 2
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    New Vanguard,

    Thanks

    This is an opportune moment that should not be missed

    TNA should stretch the hands of friendship towards Joint Opposition and starts negotiation with them and arrive at a consensus solution.

    JO should be neutralized first.

    After all JO includes personalities like Prof G.L.Pieris, Prof Tissa Vitharane and Vasudeva Nanayakara.

    This attempts by TNA at least succeeds in calling their bluff.

    Let TNA adopts unique strategies in the face of repeated failures of the past.

    Let TNA be innovative.

    We too have to learn our lessons from history

    The results may be modest, but worth.

    Let this be a process!

    As SJV said, “A little now, more later”

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    Dr Laksiri:

    The incremental philosophy as a way to build confidence is laudatory. That the Tamils would have or should have considered such a path will depend on whether the trust deficit can be bridged.

    Tamils’ rights have rather been eroded since independence and expecting an opposite flow from the Sinhalese is at best an illusion. It has been an uphill battle for the Tamils to even reverse what they have lost since independence. Moreover, the Sinhalese regimes have proven over and over again to have almost nil credibility in keeping their promises. To expect the Tamils to accept and adopt from a marginal status as outlined by you invariably depends on the Sinhalese to keep their part of the bargain and no sensible Tamil will believe that the Sinhalese are now suddenly angels. What may look like a pessimistic condemnation is not simply mine – rather that is what the history has been – always.

    The little glimmer that evolved soon after the war vanished in thin air as fast as the hope arose. The 13A, then the 13A plus, then 13A minus and then no 13A at all shows the Sinhalese in a very bad light. They had the opportunity to start with the minimal or the marginal that you are talking about but instead the Tamils were denied even what was in the constitution. That phony talk of possible Eelam by the Sinhalese is but a lame excuse to continue to deny the Tamils their rights. There can be only one, and only one way the Sinhalese can be forced along the path of genuine devolution and reconciliation – by sheer foreign pressure as that is happening now. After all, you know that Mahinda was forced by such pressure even for the NPC election to happen. Even after that he had appointed a governor who but usurped all the executive powers of the NPC. And how on earth will the Tamils feel comfortable when Ranil and My3 talk about unitary constitution. Even if they are good people, they are not going to be there forever. Just take a look at what Sarath N Silva did when he was the CJ?

    Under normal circumstances, your suggestion may have been a good starting point but in SL nothing has ever been normal or can be expected to be one in the future. In moving up, there will be a lot of chaos and possibly even bloodshed. When even Ghandian style approach have been met with thuggery and to prevent the country from continuing to spin into a deep pit, get international adjudicators to FINALISE a deal such that neither parties will be able to visit it in the future. The majority of Tamils do not subscribe to Eelam and a federal structure similar to that in place in Canada should be envisioned. The incremental or the marginal concept will become a goldmine for politicians to wreak havoc and the same regressive politics will reign, and continue bleed Sri Lanka – possibly forever.

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    Dr.Laksiri.

    A very clear exposition.
    In retrospect,for more than half a century there have been discussions,Pacts and other forms of Political initiatives to engage Govt/Sinhala leaders to resolve this vexed problem.Arrogance,and Insincerity was the response.
    Eventually,the country had to face a full-blown war.

    Discussions have started again,true on Devolution and/or Federalism in the context of constitutional reforms.Academics like you and and Liberal minded Sinhala polity will be co-operative in this exercise.But the hard-liners,who will whip up the usual anti-Tamil cry would derail the Process.We need to be realistic of this considering past History!
    The LTTE too has contributed to the hardening of Sinhala opinion about the Tamils.If good sense prevails all round,the country could charter a different political trajectory.

    Plato,therefore, prefers to have his fingers crossed until the Baby is born!

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