24 October, 2020

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Lanka Sama Samaja Party Left Tendency On LLRC

By Team Anik Pituwa –

The much-awaited LLRC report is finally out. Anik Pituwa would have welcomed a more forthright report with less “wahen oro” (indirect) language, especially about the last stages of the war and allegations of human rights. The report appears to be a compromise- between those who understand the international and internal ramifications of the issues involved and those who do not or do not want to. One observer stated: “The way out the Commission has chosen is a clever one; record and reproduce the evidence, say you don’t think the charges of human rights violations have been proved, and then leave it to the public and the international community to draw obvious inferences.”

It is in regard to a solution to the ethnic issue that the report comes out strongly. It has noted that a political solution is imperative to address the causes of the conflict. “Everybody speaks about it, though there is no agreement about the diagnosis and the prescription.”

The findings in respect of the last stages of the war and related human rights issues have been severely criticized as well as welcomed- depending on who the observer is. Even moderate Tamils have pointed out that while the report correctly places blame on the LTTE for its human rights violations, it has treated the Government and the armed forces with a velvet glove. Others have called it a white-washing exercise.

The Commission has, nevertheless, been “alarmed” by a large number of representations made alleging the violations of fundamental rights and freedoms of people affected by the conflict, accepted that “considerable civilian casualties had in fact occurred during the final phase of the conflict” and called upon the Government to investigate specific instances referred to in the report and any reported cases of deliberate attacks on civilians. If investigations disclose the commission of any offences, appropriate legal action should be taken to prosecute and punish the offenders. Regarding the famous Channel 4 video, the Commission recommends that the Government institute an independent investigation.

The Commission’s observations and recommendations regarding the ethnic conflict, rule of law and related issues have been welcomed by a broader cross-section of opinion, including moderate Tamils and the international community. Among them are:

– Political interference has resulted in an erosion of confidence in the criminal justice system. A Special Commissioner must be appointed to investigate alleged disappearances.

– Action should be taken to disarm and put an end to illegal activities of armed groups in the North and East.

– The land policy of the Governments should not be an instrument to effect unnatural changes in the demographic pattern of a given Province.

– It is important that the Northern Province reverts to civilian administration in matters relating to the day-to-day life of the people, and in particular with regard to matters pertaining to economic activities such as agriculture, fisheries land etc. The military presence must progressively recede to the background to enable the people to return to normal civilian life and enjoy the benefits of peace.

– Attacks on journalists and media institutions and killing of journalists have not been conclusively investigated and perpetrators brought to justice.

– There should be effective judicial review of legislation.

– An Independent Public Service Commission and Police Commission should be set up (Readers will note that the independence of these Commissions were done away with by the Eighteenth Amendment).

– Legislation should be enacted to ensure the right to information.

It is in regard to a solution to the ethnic issue that the report comes out strongly. It has noted that a political solution is imperative to address the causes of the conflict. “Everybody speaks about it, though there is no agreement about the diagnosis and the prescription.” It has recommended that lessons learnt from the shortcomings in the functioning of the Provincial Councils system be taken into account in devising an appropriate system of devolution and that Local Government institutions be strengthened to ensure greater peoples’ participation at the grass roots level.

The responsibility of arriving at a solution has been placed squarely on the Government. The Commission states that “to this end, the Government must take the initiative to have a serious and structured dialogue with all political parties, and those representing the minorities in particular, based on a proposal containing the Government’s own thinking on the form and content of the dialogue process envisaged.”

The question is whether the Government or rather the leadership of the SLFP has the political will to do what the Commission has recommended. There has been no progress at talks between the Government and the TNA. Government leaders openly say that land and Police powers (already given by the 13th Amendment but not implemented) cannot be devolved. A Minister was heard to say, falsely, that in India even the President needs the permission of a Chief Minister to visit a State as Police powers have been devolved! It is futile to expect the TNA to accept something less than the 13th Amendment.

The Government’s record of implementing previous recommendations is pretty bad. The President got the APRC to make an interim recommendation that the 13th Amendment be implemented but did nothing. On the contrary, many powers of Provincial Councils have been taken back. The final APRC recommendations were handed over to the President more than two years back but are not even talked about. Even the LLRC has reminded the Government that it has not implemented the recommendations of the Udalagama Commission report relating to further investigation and prosecution of offenders involved in the incidents of the death of 5 students in Trincomalee in January 2006 and 17 aid workers of the ACF in Mutur in August 2006.

Would the SLFP leadership move away from its seemingly-JHU conceptualization of the ethnic issue? The Government has all the recommendations it needs to solve the problem and in one go ensure a bright and prosperous future not only to the country and all of its citizens but also to end the international outcry, but continues to remain complacent. Is the LLRC report merely being showcased to get over the difficulties the Government is likely to face at the Human Rights Council in Geneva in March?

Team Anik Pituwa is a group of leftists including some leading members of the LSSP Left Tendency.

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Latest comments

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    Who are these people? are they in government?

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      As far as I know the group comprises people such as Lal Wijenayake, Dr Jayampathy Wickramarathna, Wimal Rodrigo, Prof Vijaya Kumar and Prof Kumar David.

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    why should they be from the LTTE or the BTF to be able to comment?

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    Report itself not enough, govt must take steps to change things.

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    People who wear tiger logos and declaring loyalty to foreign countries should be banned from sri lanka. Should take away their citizens rights as in a country they are supported by the tax payer.

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    Dress her in a bomb and ask her to kill Sonia Ghandi and Barak Obama LoL

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    Team Anik Pituwa, like the others, has conveniently ignored some of the important conclusions of the LLRC.

    The Para. 8.150 of the LLRC Report states:

    “The Commission takes the view that the root cause of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka lies in the failure of successive Governments to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil people. The country may not have been confronted with a violent separatist agenda, if the political consensus at the time of independence had been sustained and if policies had been implemented to build up and strengthen the confidence of the minorities around the system which had gained a reasonable measure of acceptance.”

    Thus the LLRC accepts that the violent separatist agenda was the outcome of the failure of the successive Governments of Sri Lanka to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil people!

    Further, under “The Different Phases in the Narrative of Tamil Grievances” it has mentioned in para.8.163 of the Report:

    “The decisive rift in the inter-ethnic relationship came first with the riots of 1958, then in1977, and culminating in what is known as ‘Black July’ of 1983, and the heinous failure of the then Government to provide adequate protection to Tamil citizens. The problems pertaining to the Tamil Community and their grievances cannot be fully addressed without a fuller understanding of this culture of violence that marred the relationship between the Sinhala and Tamil communities.”

    Thus, the LLRC indirectly accepts that the “culture of violence” was introduced in the country NOT BY THE TAMILS, but by the Sinhalese and it was indirectly catalyzed by the Governments of Sri Lanka!

    The Commission has failed to analyze scientifically the ROOT CAUSE of the problems of Sri Lanka. To come to a correct conclusion on this, the Commission should have analyzed and found the correct answer to two questions. They are:

    1. WHAT MADE THE GOVERNMENTS OF SRI LANKA TO CAUSE genuine grievances to the Tamils and WHAT CAUSED the successive Governments of Sri Lanka to fail in addressing the genuine grievances of the Tamil people.

    2.WHAT MADE THE GOVERNMENTS OF SRI LANKA TO CATALYZE THE ‘CULTURE OF VIOLENCE’ IN THE COUNTRY.

    The answers to these two questions would have enabled the Commission to make a correct conclusion on:

    1. Whether the formulation and implementation of the policies and actions by the successive government were intentional or not;
    2. Whether the killings of the Tamil civilians and surrendered LTTE cadres; mishandling of the civilians and the surrendered LTTE Cadres etc. during the latter stages of the war and after the war were intentional or not.
    In my personal presentation that I made to the LLRC under the heading “Lessons Learnt and What has to be done for Reconciliation’ on 12th November, 2010 ( Jaffna Secretariat sitting) I have stated:

    The Honourable Chairman and the Members of the Commission,

    My scientific study has made me to come to the conclusion that ‘the ROOT CAUSE’ of all the problems that we have been facing in our country is the imaginary and false doctrine of the Siňhala nation, the ‘ĀRYAN’ – SIŇHALA – SIŇHALESE – ‘THĒRAVĀDA’ BUDDHISM – LAŇKĀ Doctrine with one – to – one correspondence and the successive governments of Srī Laňkā dominated by the Siňhala Buddhists formulating their policies based on this imaginary and false doctrine and unilaterally implementing them. Thus, Sirs,

    1. as long as the Siňhala nation adheres to its imaginary and false doctrine, the country would belong only to the Siňhala ‘Thēravāda’ Buddhists, and Siňhala language and ‘‘Thēravāda’ Buddhism only could be given the foremost place in the country. Thus, citizens other than the Siňhala ‘Thēravāda’ Buddhist claiming right to the country or a particular region will not be acceptable;

    2. as long as the Siňhala nation adheres to its imaginary and false doctrine, the citizens other than the Siňhala ‘Thēravāda’ Buddhists will continue to remain as second class citizens and they have to be content with the rights and concessions given to them by the Siňhala Thēravāda Buddhists;

    3. as long as the Siňhala nation adheres to its imaginary and false doctrine, country could remain as a Unitary State only and genuine power sharing would not be possible. Thus, creation of Federal States neither be tolerated nor even be accepted;

    4. as long as the Siňhala nation adheres to its imaginary and false doctrine, the country could not be made a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural country;

    5. as long as the Siňhala nation adheres to its imaginary and false doctrine, Democratic rights would be entirely enjoyed by the Siňhala ‘Thēravāda’ Buddhists. But, in the long run, even the ordinary Siňhala people would lose their democratic rights.

    THESE WOULD ULTIMATELY CAUSE THE TOTAL DENIAL OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS, VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS, VIOLENCE, WAR, ‘TERRORISM,’ BRIBERY, CORRUPTION, MALPRACTICES, DETERIORATION OF ECONOMY, ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH AT THE HANDS OF SMALL GROUP OF POLITICALLY INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE, POVERTY, MALNUTRITION, SOCIAL PROBLEMS, SUICIDES AND ‘DUKKA’ IN A COUNTRY WHERE MULTI-ETHNIC, MULTI-LINGUAL, MULTI-RELIGIOUS, MULTI-CULTURAL SOCIETIES LIVE.

    SIRS, THIS IS WHAT OUR COUNTRY HAS BEEN FACING SINCE ITS INDEPENDENCE!

    The Siňhala nation adhering to its imaginary and false doctrine causes all these things to happen and these in turn open the doors for the global powers to exert pressure and manipulate successfully in internal matters to achieve their own goals.

    Some examples of internal manipulation by foreign powers are: Formation of the ‘national government’ in 1965, Anurādhapura massacre, massacre of the Muslims in the East, killing of V. Tharmaliňgam and Ālālasuņdaram MPs in the Jaffna peninsula, killing of over 450 surrendered policemen in the East while the surrendered policemen in the North were handed over to the ICRC etc.

    Thus, formulation and implementation of major policies, enactment of laws and all the direct and indirect ‘actions’ of the Governments before the war and during and after the war would have been actually based on the ‘ĀRYAN’ – SIŇHALA – SIŇHALESE – ‘THĒRAVĀDA’ BUDDHISM – LAŇKĀ Doctrine with one – to – one correspondence.

    By keeping low the knowledge and analyzing power of the majority of the people through the educational system and media manipulation, the governments could justify their policies and actions.”

    The Paragraph – 28 of the UN Panel Report confirms this. It states:

    “After independence, political elites tended to prioritize short-term political gains, appealing to communal and ethnic sentiments, over long-term policies, which could have built an inclusive state that adequately represented the multicultural nature of the citizenry. Because of these dynamics and divisions, the formation of a unifying national
    identity has been greatly hampered. Meanwhile, SINHALA-BUDDHIST NATIONALISM GAINED TRACTION, ASSERTING A PRIVILEGED PLACE FOR THE SINHALESE AS THE PROTECTORS OF SRI LANKA,AS THE SACRED HOME OF BUDDHISM. THESE FACTORS RESULTED IN DEVASTATING AND ENDURING CONSEQUENCES FOR THE NATURE OF THE STATE, GOVERNANCE AND INTER-ETHNIC RELATIONS IN SRI LANKA.”

    The UN Panel Report thus emphasizes that the ‘ROOT CAUSE’ of the problems of Lanka has been its SINHALA BUDDHIST NATIONALISM based on the SACRED DOCTRINE: SINHALA – SINHALESE _ BUDDHISM – LANKA doctrine withONE TO ONE CORRESPONDENCE.

    One could see that the recommendations made by the Commission under ‘Reconciliation’ have been to a great extent aimed at rejecting the Sinhala- Theravada Buddhist nationalism of the Sinhala nation and the political parties.

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