20 October, 2017

Manifesto For The Northern Provincial Council

By S.Sivathasan –

S.Sivathasan

I would have wished to see a Manifesto along the following lines.

Preamble

The Northern Provincial Council will hold as sacred and inviolable, the rights and entitlements of all ethnicities in the Province. This enduring principle shall guide and direct the Council’s policies and approaches. The ideal, that the people of the Northern Province shall have no less freedom than the rest of the country, will be deemed the fount for national harmony. The Council shall strive to foster it.

Sovereignty lies with you the people and we seek your mandate for the governance we envisage in the Northern Province. We set out our proposals in the Manifesto, with total transparency and commit ourselves to realizing them with your endorsement and support.

The Call

You have made enormous sacrifices for freedom with a view to providing a good life for generations to come. They have sustained our spirit and strengthened the resolve to build on your collective contribution.

The Tamil leadership was unrelenting in its labors for an elected Provincial Council. It was reinforced by the resurgence of Tamil Nationalism in Tamil Nadu and the strong support of the Indian Government. The time has come for the Provincial Council to be elected by you in September.

With a decisive mandate from you the Tamil National Alliance will seize the opportunity to make the Provincial Council an effective instrument of devolution. We shall work towards welding the Tamil community here and abroad and make all efforts for substantial power and finances to be vested in it. The need for an impressive victory will be clear to you for realizing such a target.

Scope of the Provincial Council

“Legislation without Representation” aptly describes the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. “Taxation without Representation” was revolting to the American Colonies, more than two centuries ago. Lack of parliamentary representation for four years preceding the Amendment to confer devolution was equally revolting to all Tamils.

With the mandate we obtain from you, our principal task will be to widen the scope of devolution and to make the Provincial Council really powerful.

Commitments:

Our commitment is to restore:

  1. Civilian Authority in Governance
  2. Rule of Law
  3. Efficient Administration
  4. Probity in Financial Management

Civilian Authority in Governance

We hold it as self-evident that a people feel a sense of freedom only when they see civilian governance as the symbol of such freedom. To secure that sense, we pledge to assert your right to:

See the military presence in the Province drastically reduced, the remaining strength confined to barracks and policing to be done by a Provincial Police Force, which we see as our paramount duty to establish.

Have a Governor appointed, who is oriented to civilian culture of governance and administration. The Governor should be well versed in the nuances of the constitutional position of the office, enjoying your confidence and in whom the Chief Minister and the Provincial Council place implicit Trust.

Rule of law

  1. The laws enacted by the National legislature, seen as promoting law, order and good governance in the Northern Province, will be dutifully enforced.
  2. The enforcement machinery, strengthened with the authority of the Provincial Government shall curb in full the incursions of the para-militaries. It shall make a reality of the recommendations and reiterations of the LLRC and dismantle groups of ‘over mighty’ subjects.When the writ of the Provincial Government runs without interdiction, the Council shall have enabled peace and repose for the people.
  3. The Council will mobilise all its power to get the National legislature to repeal laws considered by the Provincial Council to be iniquitous on society and inimical to progress. They are:Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, Prevention of Terrorism Act. Perpetual invocation of Emergency Laws.
  4. In matters within the purview of the Provincial Council, appropriate Statutes will be enacted by the Council.

Efficient Administration

  1. To meet your aspirations, we pledge to tone up the administration whereby all paid officers serving the Council, will work for your betterment with an orientation to  service.
  2. Current staff inadequacy has been precisely assessed and for specifically identified shortages, Central Government funds will be sought for immediate recruitment.
  3. Meritocracy is considered the sheet anchor for delivering an efficient, streamlined administration. Recruitment and promotions will be on merit and merit only. The Council will be unyielding to external influences.

Probity in Financial Management

  1. What causes frustration among the people, draws antagonism towards governance and creates a situation of hopelessness is lack of honesty in financial dealings.
  2. When established, the Provincial Council will veer from this malaise and endeavor to banish corruption whatever time it takes.
  3. We realize that there is no instant remedy. But we will be always conscious of the sacrifices people have made and when they repose faith in us by giving their mandate, we shall live up to their trust. A culture of probity will be valued most by all instruments of the Council.

Other areas of concerted attention are:

Council as Guardian of Independence

  1. The Council will act as a shield to protect the instruments of the Council from any external intrusions to their authority or independence.
  2. Our policies and programmes will be set definitively to time lines and implementation will be against them.
  3. The vote you cast to secure our victory will be an overwhelming mandate to realize our ideals. We shall channel people’s power for: Activating democratic institutions which have gone into disuse, Exercising executive authority by people’s representatives at the local level.

Resettlement and Rehabilitation

We realize that in the whole Province, problems of resettlement of the displaced of all ethnicities demand our immediate attention.

In the name of justice to all, the displaced will be invited to return, with a pledge that the Council will endeavor to resolve their problems.

On proof of earlier residence as well as land ownership, Sinhalese and Muslims who migrated under duress, will have their claims attended to.

Those who migrated to South India too will have special attention on account of their three decade long stay there and their difficult economic circumstances.

Issues of land will be resolved individually in order to place the rightful owners in possession.

Restitution of property is essential to restore the pre-war scene. For this purpose, sources of funding will be prospected.

However protracted the process, the Council would commit itself to executing them.

The War Affected

Those affected by the war since 1983, are in several thousands and each one of them needs particular  and personal attention to be meaningfully rehabilitated.

The principal categories are: Orphans, War Widows and the Incapacitated. They need medical attention, counseling and financial support.

Programmes for the reablement of the above groups is a matter of deep concern to the Council.

It is the social and moral obligation of the Council to resuscitate them. They cannot be consigned merely to the care of voluntary organisations, whose capacity and resources are strained.

The Council will seek Government funding and also mobilise contributions from international donor agencies.

The above strategy has become the sole option, since the economy of the Northern Province stands destroyed together with a tax base to yield revenue for redevelopment. It must be understood that the magnitude of work to be undertaken is incredibly huge and so is the quantum of finances required.

Financial Foundation for the Province

The steel frame for the rebuilding of the Province is finances, with a good and steady flow. A one off Grant in 2013-2014 – will be negotiated with the Central Government for an immediate programme to be launched:

  1. For building up the administrative apparatus for the Provincial Government.
  2. Coterminously a Needs Assessment Study will be initiated with institutional funding to work out a comprehensive redevelopment programme.
  3. It will be a Ten Year Plan to be implemented in the period 2015 – 2025. It will be similar to Marshall Plan, which helped greatly in the reconstruction of Europe after the war.
  4. As important would be a programme of Reparations modeled on the payment for Jews by Germany.
  5. The strategy is to source funds from: Central Government, International Institutions such as Asian Development Bank, World Bank and JBIC, Bi lateral and Multi-lateral donors like China, India, Japan and Australia, Friendly countries of the West too will be approached for liberal funding.

Employment Avenues

Building a self-reliant society demands premium attention in the Council’s scheme of things. The Council will take serious note of periodic employment freeze, which has depleted staff strength in the Province and also adversely affected the avenues of the educated employable. Remedial measures will be taken.

The Council will seek government financial support for employment in the state sector by an immediate filling up of vacancies in the approved cadre. For deficiencies, additional cadre will be created.

To the extent Council’s finances permit, vacancies in the Council cadre will be filled in order to render the service you look forward to.

Imparting of skills in several fields is seen as a means of providing high end employment to trainable youth.

Training will also be directed towards Foreign Employment, to enable selection in the more remunerative technical grades.

Employment generation is recognized as the surest way of income creation and an effective and equitable means of sharing it.

Support of Expatriate Tamils

The expatriate Tamils have through their valiant efforts kept alive the struggle of the Tamils for their rights and liberty. They have very successfully brought the issues to the attention of the International Community. Their contribution before the World Forums, particularly at the UNHRC has been laudable.

The Northern Provincial Council, with a clear mandate from the people and with their hands strengthened by a constant feel of the pulse will interact with the expatriate Tamils proactively. To the Council and those leading it, the resident Tamils and the expatriate Tamils are one, no less than the North and the East. We shall move together and act in unison, in the best interests of all Tamils.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    A very good model – though in the present day context a proposed financial strategy would be expected. TNA over to you.

  • 1
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    A proposed financial strategy is mentioned in this module.How and from whom monies can be requested for the devolopment of its people in the North and East is mentioned.

    In the present context the problem will be regarding the monies expected to start flowing.

    The central government will expect full control of all funds.

    Which means what percentage will flow to the north and east.The development strategies failed due to funds not reaching or else a pittance reaching the North and East.

    Here lies the stumbling block.It has always been about money and the control of it.

    The president should give serious thought to this module and if he wants to see this change for the better during his time he has to implement this as early as possible.

    As a part of Sri Lanka,a developing and flourishing happy North and East will make Sri Lanka a great country.

  • 0
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    This would have been the ideal manifesto for TNA. The need of the hour is for making peace and developing the country and people, not to make demands.

  • 0
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    At a recent Presidential election a candidate put forward a manifesto promising to give a cow to each family if he won. Predictably no one voted for him. Pigs would fly really isn’t it if every family ended up with a cow?

    Its good TNA now has a manifesto. People can judge whether the pledges are in the realms of the achievable. The danger I suppose is this. TNA right this moment is in a frenzy whipping up nationalism whilst making these election promises.

    Inevitably the next generation Prabakaran wil be in this crowd. The next generation Prabakaran will kill everyone and take over if TNA fails to deliver. The first to will be our Vigni the TNA CM candidate for NP.

    • 0
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      Considering the utterances to the BBC made by the TNA candidate Sritharan during his recent interview, that the main reason why the TNA is taking part in the elections is to show the world at large that the Tamil people still support the party he is affiliated to.
      His sentiment clearly exposes the stranglehold that an influential section of the pro LTTE Tamil diaspora has on the TNA.
      The TNA is a creation of the demised LTTE.
      So it not surprising why the TNA lacks a meaningful policy manifesto on the lines of what Mr.Sivathasn has outlined.
      In that regard it would of interest to watch how Mr.C.V.W. the ex-supreme court judge will do as CM to deliver the goods to the people of the NP.

  • 0
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    Mr. Sivathasan,

    A commendable effort. The TNA manifesto should have been on these lines. I wish you had published this before the TNA blunder became a public document. The TNA would have at least had the opportunity to be sane.

    Your draft is more in line with what the Tamils in the north want and what Sri Lanka needs at this point in time.

    Common sense and a tangible vision for the future should have been the essence of the TNA manifesto, as your draft does.

    The TNA has missed an opportunity to climb out of the quagmire it is in, despite the wise decision to nominate Justice Wigneswaran for the position of CM. Some of the candidates in its slate had also caused me concern. I hope Justice Wigneswaran as CM will be less of a politician and more of a wise, judicious, practical and non-emotive person capable of grappling with the issues that you have highlighted.

    Best regards,

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 0
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      Dr,

      Election Manifesto’s in SL have become a mere election gimmick. obviously the 2 Chintanya’s are just for decoration. There is vast gap between the rhetoric and the true course of UPFA policy(if there is a policy).

      Don’t you think that the TNA’s manifesto is just that? An election Gimmick.

      At the end of the war the northern people were war weary and would have been all for a manifesto along the lines of Mr Sivathasan’s. Four plus years after, there seems to be a rising anger(perhaps because there has been no let up in the role of the military in civilian life)among the people. The TNA has perceived that such an anger now exists. So they release a manifesto that sort of reflects that anger. Yet once they are elected they will adopt a policy similar to Mr Sivathasan’s.

  • 0
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    This is more like it, but still there is one thought missing. I would have liked a paragraph on ‘Reconciliation’ with other communities. The TNA manifesto released earlier in the week is so disappointing that I wonder whether Wignesweran and Sampanthan are as visionless and lacking in heart as the Rajapaksas. I am frankly devastated because I see no future for this country. We are a country of terrible people, all the races infact.

  • 0
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    I too agree with Wickramasiri with regard to the proposed constitution of Mr. Sivathasan. The TNA manifesto has major issued that will have adverse impact on the Tamil people. TNA is not looking at reconciliation but more in line with confrontation. They have to realize that foreigners can’t solve our problem. The problem has to be solved by those who are living in this country. The TNA manifesto is only concerned about the “Tamil Speaking” people. What if the southern councils adopt a constitution that will only be interested in the “Sinhala Speaking” community? Be Sri Lankan and think Sri Lankan. That should be our motto!

  • 0
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    Mr sivathasan’s take is more palatable, because the prioroty in his agenda is obviously to uplift the Nortern inhabitants with respect to their jobs, education,healthcare and general wellbeing,

    He could have added aged care and the environment as well to make it complete..

    Vellala agenda of Sambandan in contrast is totally focussed on appeasement of the Diaspora and the implementation of all demands for separation dating back to the time of independence.

    The Vellala Manifesto is infact look like the LTTE agenda , dressed in TNA garb.

    • 0
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      K.A Sumanasekera and other Naysayers

      Could you draft an alternative TNA manifesto for the benefit of your equally stupid brethren.

      DJ (Disc Jokey)has plenty of time in his hand who might help you with finer points.

      • 0
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        no he has better things than drawings up manifestos neda Sumana machan?

        • 0
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          Peace Lover

          “no he has better things than drawings up manifestos neda Sumana machan?”

          Such as…..

  • 0
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    SS, a very idealistic document indeed. Well done.

    However, could you run your document through the TGTE and get their approval?

    The dilemma is that the confrontational TNA Manifesto has most probably been manufactured abroad and foisted upon the hapless SL Tamils. Rejecting reconciliation and pursuit of vengeance by the diaspora will not help the local Tamil cause.

    The SL Tamils are in need of solutions, not problems.

  • 0
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    Dear Sivathasan,

    I appreciate your constructive thoughts regards to your administrative principles. However, I assume it is not a criticism against TNA vision and mission. The opponents of TNA and power sharing can interpret differently to suit their agenda. You must make it clear what was your purpose of this article.
    TNA manifesto includes all the necessary fundamentals including the four commitments you listed in your thoughts under various topics. It talks about law and order, job creation, development with national and international support etc. It is true it is not specific how it is going to achieve these goals. On the other hand the uncertainties around NPC is much different to any other PCs and it is difficult to specific under such uncertain political environment.

    TNA as a political organization for Tamils have to give priority to the political aspiration of the people and issues related to resettlement of IDPs, war widows and land issues as well. You cannot make a manifesto to suit organizations/people like BBS, Gotapaya, Weerawanse and Champaka. There is no secret that a political solution based on Tamil homeland within a united Sri Lanka is the best way to resolve the problem that this land faces over decades. The goodwill have to come from the government.

    TNA is not against reconciliation. Reconciliation is not a single way process and it requires equality in its approach. It cannot be based on convincing the majority’s irrational behaviour.

  • 0
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    Sivathasan,

    Thanks for your very constructive proposals coming out of your years of experience in the administrative service. The need of the hour is good governance with whatever powers that are available – a provincial administration marked by integrity, is efficient, free of corruption and nepotism and will not repeat what we see in the rest of the country. In addition to the several areas you have mentioned I add Education. It has been acknowledged that education is the very ethos of northern society. This comes under PCs and if the NPC can make some progress in regaining the eminent position our schools occupied prior to the war, that alone will be an achievement that Southern Lanka and the world will take note of.

    One is frankly disappointed with the TNA manifesto. This is not a parliamentary election. The PCs are not meant to be mini-parliaments. We are in the midst of a process of political evolution in the pursuit of full democracy which at the present juncture includes decentralization. Worked successfully within the framework of a United Lanka (not to be confused with a Unitary Lanka) the space will open for further devolution. Unfortunately the TNA is repeating history like its predecessors the TULF, the Federal party and the Tamil Congress – high on rhetoric playing on the emotions of the people, populist and demagogic at its worst. This is parliamentarianism at its worst. One hopes that wisdom will prevail at least after the elections and those elected will get on with the job.

    Silan Kadirgamar

    • 0
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      Even at this stage the TNA has the potential to transform itself into a national political party without compromising its integrity to the Tamil people and their quest for equality and justice. It is unfortunate that the TNA has adopted a very arrogant approach and is not open to thinking outside its predecessors’ ‘box’.

      One other problem is that the TNA’s strategy is driven by legal arguments and technicalities and very weak in economic, financial and social elements.

    • 0
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      Dear Silan

      I wonder if you could help me with a translation of a Tamil article about Rizana Nafeek, the tragic young girl who was executed in Saudi Arabia for a death that she almost certainly did not cause.

      I have tried various people over the last6 or 7 months. Several have promised but then failed to deliver. If you say yes or can direct me to someone who would do it and not charge exorbitantly, it would be a great help. I followed the case from 2006 & tried to do what little I could to save her from that fate, including gettin g letters to the father of the dead baby. I want to complete a file I kept & decided what to do with it.

      If you say Yes I can send my email to you via CT (if they dont object). I am still somewhat stunned by the injustice and cruelty that this child suffered.

      • 0
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        P.S. to Silan

        The article is online. I hope you remember who I am, Silan – Manel Fonseka

  • 0
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    Mr Sivathasan

    Please get rid of your armchair!

    You are a top administer and a great thinker. The TNA desperately needs people like you.

    • 0
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      Mr.Sivathasan is better positioned outside the party to air independent opinions and suggestions. It is up to the TNA to take adopt them. Party affiliation will force him to compromise on his integrity.

  • 0
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    TNA and its manifesto has dragged (an unsuspecting?)Vigneshwaran well and truly head on in to the political Cess-Pit.
    A deceitful reference to the LTTE and a faux pass on Sovereignity, the TNA is dragging the Tamils back into the same quagmire…….
    Opportunity squandered due to hidden agenda.
    TRUST is THRASHED in vain by some unsrupulous politicians in an exercise of crashing bridges.

    With this manifesto, TNA will not be able to walk into Thondamanaru to canvass for votes………….

  • 0
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    Will the learned people on this thread give some insights/thouhts into the following-based on Mr Sivathasan’s excellent article.

    1.Police
    2.Funds

    Education,health,Agriculure,Women’s Issues, etc will find its due and important slots if this module is considered feasible and adopted.
    Lets be thoughtfull,not knitpicking.

    • 0
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      Exactly, no land power, no police power, what will the elected Province head do? All the above mentioned policies will be possibly achieved only when these powers are with elected representative of province. Also can learned Sivadasan sir highlight how the elected CM can achieve all his goals without police and land power?

      • 0
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        Now CVW tells he will remove the army from the North if he get elected. How is that?

        • 0
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          You Cross Breed Moron.
          The army will be ordered off the street just as your loony MR was ordered to hold the elections. Without oustside pressure he would have carried on his agenda of Colonisation but he has been stopped. I know you as Sinhalese with a Tamil Name never expected things to unfold like this. But you have to learn to live with power politics and MR was allowed to get away with Murder for too long because he manged to pay Vijay Namibiar ( who is in hiding), The Menons, The Krishans , Loony Swami who was recently in Town to collect his annual pay cheque. The list goes on. MR has wasted a lot of money and in the end forced to eat Humble pie.

  • 0
    0

    Will the learned people on this thread give some insights/thoughts into the following-based on Mr Sivathasan’s excellent article.

    1.Police
    2.Funds

    Education,health,Agriculure,Women’s Issues, etc will find its due and important slots if this module is considered feasible and adopted.
    Lets be thoughtfull,not knitpicking.

  • 0
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    This is begging for more Tamil war widows. Even devilution supporters like Dayan J is against this TNA racism.

    Unfortunately Tamils are again misled to die in hundreds of thousands.

    Elam War 5 should concentrate on Colombo and Jaffna instead of Vanni and Batticaloa.

    • 0
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      Fat “Mama ” Fuk U Shima you smelly Halal Eating Tart for your information there is not going to be any more Tamil Widows except Muslim widows who are being created in their thousands in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the list goes on. There might be a few more in Sinhala Lanka when BBS finally decide enough is enough.

      Concentrate on those widows and help them as we can now look after ourselves as Prophet Mohammed ( You might not know who that is and who can blame you)has answered our prayers.

  • 0
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    Another war around the corner!

    What will be the score?

    TNA should be given enough rope to hang itself.

    More and more Tamils will take the boat to Australia. Some will perish in the mid rough sea.

    Thanks to another war, by 2021 Muslims will be the largest ethnic minority. Arabic should replace Tamil Nadu language in SL. Inshallah!

    • 0
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      Fat ” Mama ” Fuk U Shima same as above.
      By 2021 people like Assad, Military Rulers of Egypt BBS would have killed enough of you lot to reduce the population to a few thousands.

      What a shocking prospect

  • 0
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    Was it pacifism or something in that nature that stopped you from making any reference to the re-merger – something that is now in the
    minds of any Tamil nationalist. It was the combination of Sinhala extremism and judicio-political activism at its highest levels that put paid to the formulae of two sovereign governments that addressed a difficult problem both in good faith and unison. That the formulae was carefully crafted having the interest of both sides and it stood for
    nearly 15 years too needs to be remembered.

    It is conceded you are addressing the issue of only one Province of the bifurcated earlier. We can appreciate you do not ask for too many sensitive things at the same time in these highly charged times. Yet ignoring the re-merger will be akin to, forgive me, like Hamlet sans the Prince of Denmark.

    Thamilthambi

  • 0
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    TNA manifesto demands inquiries on former LTTE men. Now TNA points the guns at the former LTTE men. Nice betrayal! Even Douglas Devananda did not demand the same!

  • 0
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    Sivathasan. North/east tamil people want you back.Please give up your armchair,. Please bring with you, some of your SJC friends. You are a experienced top administrator. TNA desperately needs your help
    You may be a candidate for the Governor’s post !!!!

  • 0
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    Fukushima-
    You comments are asking for trouble for the muslims.

    • 0
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      The Tart is not Muslim even the Racist BBS can identify her. If this one is really a man ( could be a Transvestite ) it is a Sinkalam.

  • 0
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    bganendra-I presue yu are SJC too.! I had no dea that Mr Sivathasan was – SJC.Great and well done.Indeed we need all the help we can at this crucial time.
    Thanks

  • 0
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    Mr.Sivathason,

    I am sure your advice is valuable. But the TNA Supremo is an Intellect and he knows what the Tamils want. We have started a process and our demand is Legitimate and we will get to the PROMISED Land and nothing in the World is going to stop us.
    So just realax and enjoy the rest of your life and as I have said many times before the Best is Yet to Come. I am planning a Pilgrimage to all the Temples in my Second Home and I might also visit the Mahbhodhi to say a big thank you Lord Buddha for answering our prayers.

    Just One Correction:

    “On proof of earlier residence as well as land ownership, Sinhalese and Muslims who migrated under duress, will have their claims attended to”.

    Yes: The Muslims who migrated have to be resettled but as far as I know there were no Sinhalse who who migrted. So the question of resetlling them does not arise and on the contrary those who have been colonised by the Army condfiscation Tamil Land have to be returned to wherever they came from. If they want to come and live with us they have to buy the Land just like the Tamils when they went to live in the South. I am sorry to sound harsh but that is the reality.

    • 0
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      kali

      “As far as I know there were no Sinhalese who migrated,”

      Sinhalese in Jaffna District in 1981 5,648 0.7%
      in 2007 067 0.0%

      Source – Dept of Census & Statistics.

      The Department accredited for census is my source.
      You are your own source.
      What you know is correct.
      What others know is wrong.

      • 0
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        Sivathason,

        I beg to disagree with you. The number you are talking about is miniscule and in any case they were there for a purpose and as soon as the trouble started they left on their own accord.
        For your information when the LTTE killed 13 soldiers in 1983 the army went to each and every Sinhalse Household and escorted them out of danger and that tells you that they were not settled in the North.

        Where as in the case of the Muslims it was a different story. They were there for centuries and it was regrettable that they were Chased out but it was their own making. They were posing a danger to LTTE by conniving with the Army and spying for them so it was a question you or me.

        I will give my whole hearted support for those displaced Muslims to be brought back and resttled and if need be given compensation. At least I am civilised enough to put my hand up and say sorry if we had done something wrong. But it was a freedom struggle and the fault for their misfortune lies with the Sinhala Rulers.

        So stop saying:
        What you know is correct
        What others know is wrong.

        Dont patronise me as I have a lot of respect for you.

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