25 June, 2019

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Gotabhaya’s Talk About Abolishing The 13th Amendment!

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr Laksiri Fernando

Anyone of course has a right to advocate ‘abolishing the 13th Amendment’ or anything else for that matter. Sri Lanka should be a free country for peaceful political expression. But what is worrying is the almost ‘fanatical’ advocacy of the ‘abolition of devolution’ with the 13th Amendment by the Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. What is apparent is his ‘anti-Tamil’ crusade.

Could there be a connection between his present anti-Tamil crusade and his ‘war crusade’ during the last stages of the war? This is not mere speculation, but something important to investigate and/or research in terms of accountability, rule of law, good governance and democracy.

Implications 

When one Googles Gotabhaya Rajapaksa what comes prominent, of course after his handsome images, are what he told the BBC recently about ‘North is not just for Tamils’ and the ‘TNA should be accountable for LTTE atrocities’ etc. and etc. This is irrespective of him being a public servant. The latter pronouncement was uttered just after the government released Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP), who in fact has an Interpol arrest warrant and well known for at least arm procurements for terror activities of the LTTE against the state and the people. If Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is a good defence professional, he should keep quiet on political matters focusing on his defence matters. Citizens have every right to protest against this blatant deviation.

When he says that the North is not just for Tamils, there is an element of truth in it. There are Muslims and also Sinhalese. But this should not preclude Tamil speaking people claiming the North as their ‘historical habitation’ or even ‘homeland.’ Moreover, the question is the way he says it and the context. He is undoubtedly emotional and frenzied and that is an indication of prejudice and perhaps something worse than that. ‘Google’ also says that he was the key person who didn’t want the national anthem to be sung in Tamil by the school children in the North!

The implication of the abolition of the 13th Amendment would be not only on devolution but also on the Tamil as an official language. Without the 13th Amendment, the Tamil will be relegated into a mere ‘national language’ or ‘language of administrative use’ in some provinces. Even this might be doubtful the way things are moving in this ‘miracle of Asia’ these days. This is exceedingly a controversial matter with far reaching implications on the rights of the minorities both Tamils and Muslims. With the abolition of the 13th Amendment, all what Vasudeva Nanayakkara has been doing or ‘pretend to be doing,’ as the Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, will go for mere sixes.

No one would doubt that the 13th Amendment is beset with some legal and practical infirmities. That is one reason why the Provincial Councils cannot properly utilise its great potential to develop the regions outside the Western province. This is common to many legal enactments including the Constitution itself, and particularly its various amendments. The 17th Amendment was another example. Although there is a government in place with more than a two third majority, of course with untenable alliances, there is no broader vision or democratic commitment, with people’s interests and future at heart. Or otherwise many of these defects could be or could have been rectified in the right direction.

What is happening instead is completely the opposite. The 18th Amendment is the best example. On the pretext of rectifying the weaknesses, the spirit of the 17th Amendment was completely annihilated by restricting the independence of the independent commissions and also taking the opportunity to do away with the limited terms for the Presidency. Now the independence is a question of asserting that right, like what the judiciary demonstrated in recent times. Without asserting independence, no commission or institution would be true to its purpose.

Indigenous Roots 

There are arguments against the 13th Amendment that it was an Indian imposition. Yes, devolution would not have come to Sri Lanka in practical manner if not for the Indian insistence through the Indo-Lanka Agreement. It is quite natural for a neighbouring country to flex its muscle, if the country concerned treats sections of its population badly who are kinsfolks of its or sections of its population. This is however no excuse for any country to support terrorism or separatism of another country.

There are however indigenous roots to the concept of devolution in Sri Lanka. Even in ancient times, the polity was a devolved structure in a ‘Mandala’ fashion (Manda=centre; la=provinces). We know about what were known as Ruhunu, Maya and Pihiti.

The founder of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, SWRD Bandaranaike, proposed even federalism in 1927. The Kandyan Association asked for the same before the Donoughmore Commission in 1928. Again in 1937, there was a Sessional Paper, after a careful study, proposing devolution, the province as the unit of devolution. Both the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact (1957) and the Senanayake-Chelvanayakam Pact (1965) envisaged devolution through regional (provincial) councils or district councils.

Therefore, when the provincial council system was introduced in 1987, it was in line with what had been discussed and agreed upon at different times in the country for a long period. A recent study by the Finance Commission states the following.

“Provincial Councils are a functional reality. People have become accustomed to the system. From an economic and developmental planning point of view, the Province might make more sense than the District. The District and the Division could be the implementation units of a provincial plan. The Province is a common unit in fast developing economies like China and Vietnam.”

The study also says, “There are more opportunities in having a realistic view of the system in order that the system is better utilized for (1) ethnic/social reconciliation, (2) economic and national development and (3) further strengthening the democratic structures in the country.”

The UPFA 2010 Manifesto, Mahinda Chinthana, also promised to continue with the Provincial Council system, if necessary with positive amendments, in the following words.

“After two decades, we now have experience regarding the Provincial Council system. Different opinions and views regarding the relevance or irrelevance and features of the system are discussed. There are those who are in favour of the system and those who are not. However, it is an intrinsic part of the constitution through the 13th amendment and is a functional system.”

It promised to improve on it but not to abolish it as some of the extremist parties of the UPFA, probably under the instigation of the Defence Secretary, now clamouring for. The Chinthana said, “I am in favour of an open discussion on the amendment to the Provincial Council system. This discourse will be the basis for the discussion that I intend to initiate with all political parties and organizations.”

Ambiguities

There is no question that the President’s policy on the matter has always been wishy-washy which is very clear from the last two sentences quoted above. Otherwise, by 2010 the government had the APRC Recommendations and two reports from the Experts Panel, for the government to take a clear decision and amend the provisions if necessary. There was no need to open again the ‘Pandora’s Box’ in the form of another Parliamentary Select Committee. Even without revising the system, the present devolution could have been implemented through compromises and mutual understanding.
The most unsatisfactory in the system is the meagre funds allocated for its functions. It is only in the range of 10 per cent of the total budget, which should at least be raised to 30 per cent in the immediate future. In fast developing countries like, India, China or Vietnam, the provincial budgets amount to much larger proportions.

The most important step after the defeat of the LTTE in 2009 would have been to hold the elections to the Northern Provincial Council. If that was done, even a Council favourable to the government could have been the result, if that is the criteria to judge whether there is a threat of separatism or not. This was basically prevented because of the Defence Secretary’s intransigence, military thinking and lack of even political common sense. He seems to be more influential than the President himself or the major party in the UPFA, the SLFP, on the subject of devolution and how to resolve or not to resolve the ethnic issue in the country.

It is also on record that the President talked about ‘13 Plus’ and even in January this year, when the External Affairs Minister of India, SM Krishna came to Colombo, it was reiterated. More importantly, there was a joint statement by India and Sri Lanka in May 2011 and the relevant section of the statement said, “A devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment (13A), would contribute towards creating the necessary conditions for such reconciliation.”

It is true that the LLRC Report does not make a clear recommendation on the issue of the 13th Amendment. For example, both groups of people who are for and against the 13th Amendment quote different sections from the report for their convenience. But when taken all these sections together, it is clear that the LLRC wanted to deepen devolution further and in that sense and in that sense alone that they suggest “devising an appropriate system of devolution that addresses the needs of the people.” But the abolition of the 13th Amendment is completely against the recommendations and spirit of the LLRC Report. If you ask the Commissioners, they would say so.

Devolution and the 13th Amendment are the ‘trophies’ that the government has been showing the international community and the UN as indications of Sri Lanka’s commitment to resolve the ethnic question in the country. Backtracking on them would undoubtedly spell disaster for the country in the international sphere. The full implementation of the 13th Amendment was there in the periodic report to the UNHRC. Facing the second review just started in Geneva on 22 October, and India being a key country in that process, the Defence Secretary’s arrogant utterances would fix Sri Lanka again into a tight corner.

Conclusion 

Sri Lanka’s predicament on the 13th Amendment is a difficult one. If there can be an objective and a dispassionate analysis on the matter that would call for at least some revisions or redesigning of the devolution scheme, yet based on the provinces. There can be pluses, there can be minuses. It is not a question of plus or minus. But given the way that the Rajapaksa regime is presently managing politics, it is extremely dangerous to allow any change to the present devolution under the 13th Amendment. What they would do is what they did to the 17th Amendment. It is unfortunate, but it is the reality.

On the one hand, the regime is intoxicated with power and extreme power to be more precise. On the other hand, it is extremely paranoid about separatism, genuinely or not, even after decisively defeating the LTTE. These are two lethal combinations. This does not mean that there are no risks of resurgence of separatism in the country. Those risks have to be confronted as they come or otherwise Sri Lanka could move again along a perpetual vicious cycle of ‘suppression-resistance’ and ‘further suppression and further resistance’ that would repeat the past history itself.

The breaking of this vicious cycle might not be an easy task. But it is possible by moderating positions. It is obvious that efforts should be made not only from the Sinhala side, but from the Tamil side as well. On the issue of the 13th Amendment, however, there cannot be any ambiguity; it should not be allowed to be abrogated. That is the present bottom line.

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Latest comments

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    Laksiri,

    Try to answer the 20 questions below, so that you can really replace Dayan Jayatileke as the 13-A father. I think DJ no longer talks of 13A Plus.

    Geneva Outcome 2012: questions to the step-father of 13A+ in Sri Lanka
    Posted on April 1st, 2012
    C. Wijeyawickrema

    Politicians, who did not know history or geography of Sri Lanka, did blunders in the past. For example, both SWRD and Dudley S signed agreements with Chelvanayagam who wanted a country in a Tamil homeland giving him land powers. Giving land powers in such context is like erecting ladders to jumping monkeys. These agreements were based on selfish politics and not based on what was reasonable and justifiable. Present day Marxist remnants proudly cite Colvin R. de. Silva’s 1950s formula, “one language two countries, two languages one country,” forgetting what Colvin said and did in the 1960s and 1970s. Colvin, JRJ, CBK, RPremadasa or RanilW or the LLRC did not understand that as long as there is a Tamil Nadu, there will be a separatist Tamil country movement and Sri Lanka must do everything domestically to erase language-based boundaries.

    It is in this context that I doubt Dr. Dayan Jayatileke’s (DJ) sincerity. Does he not understand history and geography of Sri Lanka or is he pretending? Why we cannot be reasonable to all ethnic groups including the majority Sinhala? If DJ read the book by DevanesanNesiah, “Discrimination with reason,” (1997), he would understand how reasonable discrimination has workedin India, USA and Malaysia. I do not think DJ is Harold Laski reborn in Sri Lanka as his uncle Carlo Fonseka once identified him, but DJ has some talents, just like RohanGunaratne who is an expert on terrorism operating from a university in Singapore. They both were in the “this war is not winnable” boat in the past. The “solutions” they suggest now make us think twice because of this past record, more so with DJ who once fled to India with VartharajaPerumal.

    As a person who wrote enough against the 13A death trap (just like JRJ’s death trap constitution of 1978 and subsequent electoral reforms), I think I am correct in labeling Dayan J as the step-father of the 13A Plus idea, copied later by the American embassy in Colombo, Indians in Delhi, TNA, Anandasangaree and some Sinhala politicians now holding ministerial jobs. In the past, when I sought clarification from DJ about his 13A+ plan he behaved in a funny way which made me suspicious of his sincerity. Does he genuinely believe in his own step son 13A+ as a solution to keep this island in one piece? Marxists ruined Sri Lanka and DJ as a Marxist theoretician of sort, has a heavy burden to justify his miracle solution 13A+ by educating others by answering our questions. After he was removed from his ambassador job last time, there was a lull in his carrying the 13A monkey on his back and he even talked about a Sinhala Buddhist heartland in the island (opposite of RosySenanayake’s idea of removing the Buddhist social base in the island). Therefore,I hope a reformed DJ would decide to educate others about his magic solution called the 13A Plus.

    Twenty questions

    1. Does he (DJ) not agree that 13A has no moral basis to be a law because it was forced by India on a frightened JRJ who forced MPs to vote for it by keeping them in a hotel-converted prison?

    2. Does DJ agree with the suggestion to submit 13A to a people’s referendum to confirm or reject it by the people of Sri Lanka?

    3. Does DJ accept the fact that 13A is an acceptance of the myth of traditional Tamil Homeland in Sri Lanka?

    4. Does DJ not accept that on the basis of 3 above Muslims also will have a “right” to ask for a homeland (Oluvil Declaration type) of their own?

    5. Does he not accept the fact that 13A was nothing but the introduction to Sri Lanka of the policy of communal representation implemented in India by the Government of India Act of 1935?

    6. Does he not agree that 13A has created hordes of corrupt new political families who want to use the PC set up to go to parliament?

    7. Does he not think that Sri Lanka is too small to have separate provincial governments?

    8. What is DJ’s definition of 13A+? Is it giving land powers or giving both land and police powers?

    9. Does DJ support the re-merging of Eastern and Northern Provinces?

    10. Does DJ know that Christian fanatic organizations mapped a “belt of Satan” in the world that should be saved?

    11. Can DJ explain how 13A+ will prevent Tamil Nadu and world Tamil forum’s aspiration to have a Tamil country?

    12. Does DJ accept that Tamils in Sri Lanka have more rights than Tamils in India?
    13. Can DJ list grievances unique to Tamils in Sri Lanka?

    14. Would DJ agree that in Sri Lanka the problem is “spatial inequality” not racial inequity?

    15. LLRC wanted to empower people at the lowest level. What mechanism DJ can suggest to implement this?

    16. R. Premadasa increased GSN units from 4,000 to 14,000 to give jobs to his UNP supporters. Does DI think we need that many gramasevaka units?

    17. New Zealand and USA are examples of countries using natural boundaries as administrative unit demarcations. Does DJ agree to demarcate GSN boundaries on natural/ecological basis?

    18. Units under 17 above will create seven large River basins in Sri Lanka. Does DJ think such seven river basins are better than the artificially carved nine provinces?

    19. Does DJ think western white imperial politicians want one Sri Lanka or two countries in the island?

    20. Would DJ read the book, Breaking India: Western interventions in Dravidian and Dalit faultlines?

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      Now that the Muslims have a Chief Minister in the eastern Province Gota the goon wants to abolish provincial councils to maintain Sinhala Buddist rule!
      Gota the white van goon is becoming a burden and an embarassment for the Rajapakse Dictatorship and the UPFA coalition.

      As for this stupid commentator: C. Wijeyawickrema This is ridiculous – have you got a crush on that prat DJ! Kindly keep your comments short or write an article yourself!

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        Gota, Gota … the goon …..
        This is how Island in SL reported about GOTA, THE GOON today ….
        “.. Gotabhaya wins Jumbos’ hearts  … Govt., UNP bury the hatchet in Colombo” …
        “… The UNP-run Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) on Thursday (25) moved an unprecedented resolution praising Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for throwing his weight behind the administration…. “

        Read this UNPREDENTED RESOLUTION PRAISING GOTA …, Senaka …
        Among the persons who delivered results time after time, Gota would definitely be on the top of the list … War against terrorism, urban development and welfare of Defence forces are among the few things he delivered excellent results …  Even die hard UNP’ers in Colombo Municipal Council are appreciating his work ….

        Gota has every right to critcise 13th because he and his men in Defence forces are the ones who has to put their lives on the line if terrorism lift it’s ugly head again … Many thinks that the 13th would energies the separatism movement ultimately leading to terrorism … If the person who has to put him and his men to put their life on the line can not speak about relevant issues, who can? 

        Laksiri Fernando,  who never had or would never be put his life on the line except to extract the benefit after  the fire extinguished by the  brave men and women, try to deny the voice of a person who would be the most effected by the relevant issue … What a b.s.?

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      This f… DJ is not relevant here at all.

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    An objective assessment of the subject by one clearly above the usual political and racial prejudices. Some features of the 13th A came in because the Sinhala South was imprisoned by its own bigotry in the matter of allowing Tamils – even the bare minimum devolution although much more is due. That is why India was chosen by JRJ to take the rap. At any rate, with majoritatianism now ruling even the Legislature Tamils cannot expect justice from a Parliament full of characters unfamiliar with the complexities of law and governance – barring few exceptions.

    It looks like the regime has got some tough responses from sources that matter since the empty vessels in the regime came out with their battle cry. The Big Boss now uses Rambukwella to unabashedly claim the Govt has nothing to do with the speculation to repeal the Act. Why then did GR, Weerawansa and Ranawake rattle sabres only a few days ago? Even the marines will not swallow the canard they were acting on their own. If we had the law in operation Govt servant GR would have been sacked and
    the other two braying ministers forced to offer public apologies to India. But then we are talking of decency and sensible governance – both of which died (or killed?) years ago here.

    As the Writer speculates, the PC for the NP is long overdue. If unity and justice to the Tamils are in the cards PC Elections can see the light of the day in 3 months. This new trap of the PSC is something the TNA will not fall into for reasons loudly, lucidly and clearly enumerated. Rational options for the Rajapakses are receding to the obvious as the region and the international community lose patience.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuvan the 13th Amendment was forced on late JR by the late Rajive showing India’s bully tactics. Name a nation in the world where the democratic legislature of the country is not majoritatianism? There is nothing to stop Sri lankan Tamils to take part in politics and become parliamentarians. When TNA politicians go about spouting their separatist slogans and getting advise from rabid Indian south Indian politicians, we Sri Lankans still allow them to do so without kicking them out of Sri lanka. This is freedom of speech and as such GR, Weerawansa and Ranawake have the freedom to give their own opinions. GoSl is there not to appease the international community but Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka. You can also speculate like you did during 26 years of LTTE terrorism but if Tamils want to live and work peacefully in Sri Lanka they have to be Sri lankans and integrate with the Sri lankan society.

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    Thank you Laksiri for enlightening the readership about the true nature of the concept of devolution and it’s legitimacy through out the long history of SL.Senguttuvan has added much to the debate despite the utterences of rabid Sinhala chauvinists.Rajapakses specially the secretary defence who knows next to nothing about history or governance are highly insecure creatures who see an enemy under every bush.This unfortunately for the Sri lankans is an incurable mental illness which needs psychiatric treatment.Selfrightousness,inferiority complex, arrogance ,violent behavior are the symptoms of this disease.Unfortunately people do not see through this state of affairs .

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      Sunila name the NGO you work for and the remuneration package for your dubious work.

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    Dr. Laksiri please make your writings available to the Sinhala and Tamil readers too

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    The Sinhala Buddhists claim Lanka as their homeland even through there are Vanniattoo, Muslims, Tamils, Burghers, Hindus and Christians living in the country, so why not the Tamils who are the majority in the north claim the north as their homeland?!
    The long and short answer to Gota’s (and his moronic cheerleaders Wimal Weerawansa and Pathala Champika etc al. of JHU), attack on the 13th Amendemnt is that Gota the murderer is scared of a war crimes trial and/or being locked up for paranoid dementia, and hence he is determined to attack Tamils who a most likely to have him tried while militaizing Lanka and destroying democracy in order to save his skin and the skin of his uneducated and greedy siblings..
    But the spiders are spinning cobwebs in his mind and the man is going mad… and the Rajapakse dictatorships days are numbered.. BLOWBACK IS INEVITABLE!

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    Prof Laksiri Fernando,

    This is a well written article. I want to add a few points.

    Apart from 13A, there is 16A which defines the Languages of Administration.

    This is one of the most progressive legislation as an amendment to the Constitution.

    This amendment stipulates that Sinhala and Tamil are the languages of administration in Sri Lanka -while Sinhala is the Language of Administration in the South , Tamil is the Language of Administration in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

    Further if in any divisional secretariat division a significant number of people belonging to the other community lives then that division will be declared as bilingual.

    Actually this amendment had finally solved the language problem constitutionally.

    But still implementation is the problem.

    Ampara and Trincomalle even though in the Eastern Province is administered in Sinhala as if they are not in the Eastern Province even though they are Tamil majority areas.

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    Is it all a charade for the benefit of the UNHRC to impress them on how concerned the Government is about Tamils and how determined they are to give them some form of devolution?; even against component parties in the ruling coalition

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    Gota needs psychiatric treatment. If he is not treated or removed from his present position,he will ruin this splendid isle and we will not be able to go back to the position the country was in before his arrival from the USA.It is in the best interest of this country that this bozo be removed and sent back to the US where he will be charged together with others for the massacre of the innocent Tamil civilians in the Vanni and elsewhere.

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    Good to have Mr. C. Wijeyawickrema back in the national discourse. He has much to offer although, we often differeed in our perceptions.

    JRJ keeping some of his MPs in hotels during the 1987 Indo-Lanka Agreement period was because the JVP was gunning anyone and everyone not agreeing with them. It may be recalled the JVP gunmen were behaving almost insanely during that time with little regard to life and the resources of the land.

    How valid is a national Referendum on the Tamil Homeland in these highly communally charged days when nearly 80% are Sinhalese contaminated with anti-Tamil poison of many decades? Such a Referendum is meaningless even in the NEP today where the Eastern Province is almost cleansed of its Tamil majority by engineered and State-aided colonisation that began in 1987. This gathered speed in the past few years. What more, it is only a matter of time before the Northern Province too suffers the same fate – thanks to the presence of the intimidating and unwelcome army. It may be relevant to mention here the TNA, acting for the Tamil people, has gone before the Supreme Court disputing the Sinhala unelected Governor and ex-army man giving his assent on behalf of the people of Jaffna on the disputed Divineguma Bill.

    As to the Muslim Provincial Council speculated by Mr W, the current high velocity feelings by the Sinhalese alone against the idea is adequate answer. The Tamil side is satisfied Ashroff and the Muslims were used during JRJs time – and more particularly Premadasa’s – to weaken the Tamil struggle for justice by bringing the Muslims as a 3rd force into the equation. It is to be noted until then Muslims articulated their needs through the Tamil parties.

    Mr W’s claim Tamils in Sri Lanka have more rights than Tamils in India is nothing but unsubstantiated mischief. Please do clarify where and how. Anyway, be assured Tamils in TN have been quite content with their position since the days of CN Annadurai – thanks to concerned and accommodative action by the Central Govt in Delhi.

    Senguttuvan

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      Sri lanka did not need Indian help to curtail the JVP dissidents. JVP acted like terrorists and the government of the day addressed the problem. JR kept MP’s and forced them to vote with pre-ordained letters of resignation.
      There is no Tamil Homeland in Sri Lanka this is something that is in the imagination of people like you. Over 50% of Tamils in Sri Lanka live and work in Colombo and the south among the other communities! If they can live in these areas what is there to stop other communities living and working in the North or East.
      Sri Lanka is a unitary nation and any national referendum must mean each and every Sri lankan. Tamils in Sri Lanka have more rights than Tamils in India and that is the truth. Only the very poor and destitute Tamils sought refuge in India and they still languish in camps far worse than the ‘Menike Farm’ waiting to relocate. All the well off and able bodied Tamil men, women and children sought their fortunes in western countries? Tamils in Tamil Nadu sing the praises of India otherwise they know they will end up inside jails.

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    C. J. Wijewickrema’s questions stem from his negative thinking of the matter. It is positive thinking that is wanted if the country has to set aside the unfortunate and tragic past and mover forward as a united and progressive nation. Besides, there seems to be a subtle agenda by the DS supported by Wimal and Champika to promote a Military led Buddhist Conspiracy for the establishment of the total Buddhist administration.

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    Gota and his brothers are playing with fire.

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    The Sinhalese and Tamils are not evolved enough to be humans, that is why they are fighting since the independence. Rajapaksa’s comments about Sri Lanka, such as wonder of Asia, knowledge hub of Asia all are merely to get votes. His comments are insulting the other Asian countries. Unless the Sri Lankan donkeys grow up and act like humans, nothing will make them as humans, even the 13th amendment.

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    not much to say if not for google, eh!
    Tamils already have a homeland in Tamil Nadu, Laksiri might as well plant his seeds over there. Thank you.
    Kind of got bored half way through the article
    yawn…yawn…yawn
    …ZZZ !

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    It is common knowledge that the 13th Amendment was foisted by India on JRJ at a time when he had twin problems – JVP and LTTE. Retaining or abolishing the 13th Amendment is a matter for the Government and not for India. If the majority of the Sri Lankans want to aboish this heinous amendment, it is not for India or any body else to oppose this. Mahinda Rajapaksa must accede to the majority wishes. India after training the Tamil Terrorists, should even now desist from interfering in Sri Lankan matters.

    Mr Gotbaya Rajapaksa must be commended in making this proposal to abolish the amendment.

    Dr Anura Weereratne
    Canberra

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      Dear Dr. Anura Weereratne,

      Your government did not do the right things, it is not doing the rights things, it will not do the rights things.

      Before you call the young Tamils as terrorist think about the things you have done to the Tamils in the past; such as 1983 ritos, burning the Jaffna library and making Sinhala language as an only official language. You have acted as a devil that is why the Tamils took the arms.

      Think about what have you done in the past, do not act like an angel.

      Antany Peter, New Zealand

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        Antany Peter, there are riots and disturbances in any country in the world due to racial, religious and other factors. History will tell you this.

        What is wrong in Sinhala being the official language of Sri lanka. The language spoken by the majority of a nation is the national language of that nation. This is the norm anywhere in the world. 78% of the country are Sinhala. The Tamils are a very small minority and just because Muslims (whose language should be Arabic) but learnt instead to speak Tamil instead of Sinhala (the majority language) is of no concern to Sinhalese. The Tamil emigrants to western countries very quickly learn the national languages of these nations without a second glance. Why oh why can’t they learn the language of the majority in Sri Lanka.

        However Sinhalese of Sri lanka are quite happy to accommodate compromise as shown through the years. But we will not bow down to Tamil terrorists or terrorism as shown to the terrorist vermin. We are Sri Lankans, a unitary sovereign nation and will always remain so.

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          First and foremost you did not provide your real name. If you are a decect human you would provide your name. You are a fool, you talk about 78% of the Sri Lankan population, but forgot about 82 million Tamils around the world, which is five times than your population. If you fool the Tamils the country will be devided. I am warning you “Do not underestimate the Tamils around the world.

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        Peter and Peiris I do read and write both your languages because I grew up initially in Colombo.
        If you ask a person to give up his mother tongue then you are asking him to give up his culture and in turn liberty.
        Look at Basque country (ETA land) or Barcelona. In the Basque country there is no unemployment issue because all industry works cooperative and they speak Euskara more than the national language. While France and spain are experiencing record high unemployment. Similarily, Belgium with a population of 3 million folk study Flemish, French, German English but the people in the french side with a high unemployment dont want to speak Flemish while the Flemish do- only when they need funds for survival they speak a few words.
        I think the right thing is make it compulsary to study 3 languages and the rest to individuals to look for as per their needs. India can never have a national language because Hindi is borrowed from Sanskrit and Urudu while Tamil is the only classical language written and spoken even today (even the saree comes from them when the west did not have clothes)
        Be understanding- anger breeds anger.

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        Dear Antany Peter, I agree that the Sri Lankans did terrible things in 1983 like the unpardonable act of burning the Jaffna library. But, terrorism started just before that. Sri Lanka has paid a terrible price for their heinous acts to our Tamil breathern.

        That of course, is not the reason for Prabrakan and his coherts to go on their terrorists acts from 1984 to 2009.

        Please be assured that the majority of the Sinhgalese wish to live in peace with the Tamil people. I support greater devolution to the people in the North. However,it is the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslims that should decide their destiny and not India.

        Regards Anura

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      Anura: Ever thought of throwing the tainted Mahawamsa that the Indians shipped off to Lanka at a time when Gautama’s word was waning? No nation exports its best product for fear or losing ground.
      Dr Ambedkar requested the untouchables to embrace Buddhism for fear of them becoming Muslims.

      Yellow robe terrorism is the cause of the problem.

      Anywhere in the world priests have never permitted Liberty so almost every tyrant hugged them closer to their bosom.

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    The DS wishes to promote his image as the modern Dutugemunu fighting against the invading forces. He is very much aligned with extreme racist forces like the JHU and NFF who lacking popular support, gladly receive him with open arms.
    On his part he also requires the support of such racist to buttress his dwindling hold on power and counteract the criticism from within and without the country. May also be thinking of the long term prospects of being charged before the ICJ.
    There is nothing wrong with 13A which has been implemented in many parts. Govt is intent on fiddling with the laws and constitution untli we achieve status of Banana Republic headed by Idi Mahin.

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    Mr. Laksiri cold ours honorable defence setererery “Servant”! He is our president brother not servant to anybody. You remember always that everytime.

    Also, people writing here, who they? all bad englih. Very foolish “Gode” peoples with no English bakground.

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      Hi Padikkama :)

      why not you try to learn good English before going to criticise those of others ?

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    Who is this Laksiri Fernando? Can u kindly tell us who u are and what authority u have at least to write a article about Sri Lanka . I am sure u are a man who reap the benefits of free education in Sri Lanka and at present runaway from our home land and trying to preach what we should do?

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      Man Suraj, we cannot help you. Dr. Laksiri is the one who proposed to give doctorates to Gota and MARA. What is your problem, just do some research and at least Google about him.

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        Yeah, Suraj behaves as if he has got LEARNT to read AND write today.
        Seems to have no idea searches on the web, if he really wanne to know who HE is.

        hathara hina mewa ahana dakina kota – :((

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