By C. Wijeyawickrema –
“It is not clear whether the Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister Retired Supreme Court Justice C.V.Vigneswaran’s maiden speech on 25th October at the chamber of the Northern Provincial Council Assembly was an ultimatum or a challenge to the Central Government of Sri Lanka. – Editor, Asiantribune
“If the Tamils’ cry for separatism is given up, the two communities could solve their problems and continue to live in amity and dignity.” – M.C. Sansoni, CJ (Sessional Paper No.7 of 1980)
13-A is a vessel with holes
After reading the Asiantribune editor’s 27 October report on the NPC inaugural speech by Wigneswaran(W), what came to my mind was what the American playwright Arthur Miller once told about his [failed] marriage to the American sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. He said, married to Marilyn was like living next to a live electric wire. Miller by the way divorced his first wife of long years to get hooked up with Marilyn.
With his decision to hold NPC elections MahindaR is now politically married to W. MR expected a young partner, but now he must be feeling like he is married to an old witch holding on to a live electric pole. Could MR who handled several of his political adversaries in an admirable fashion (the list includes Mrs. Chandrika, AnuraB, Mangala S, Sarath Fonseka and tons of UNP MPs) “tame” this W, so that his Vessantara kind of genuine offer will not end up as a Siri Sangabo type self-sacrifice? We know what had happened in the past with the world’s largest giveaway (ref. Englishman Paul Harris), the CFA of 2002 or R Premadas flirting with Balasingham, Paskaralingam and a barber/massager called Babu. MR is in a worse situation because his Unitary thing is not what W is talking about. W is for United and W’s biggest backer on this is none other than the American ambassador Ms. Sisson who openly said after meeting W in Jaffna that she will help W to work within an United Sri Lanka. In the past it was an American ambassador who told Saddam Hussein that her country will not intervene if Saddam invades Kuwait. Saddam ate the dead-rope and paved the way for a spilt in the Arab world that US wanted to happen so that Arab soil was used to destroy Saddam and Iraq.
Fortunately, because of a hurry to either intimidate or humiliate MR using CHOGM forum, W rushed to let the cat out of the bag, ignoring the advice of soft power local agents such as Dayan Jayatilleka or Jehan Perera to slow down, the standard procedure that soft power users follow all over the world. W is not playing a double game to please the TNA separatist components. Actually, this TNA extremist agitation can be a strategy devised to fool MahindaR , that W is behaving this way because he has to respond to the internal pressure coming from the separatists in the NPC membership. Otherwise, how can a man, as Wimal Weerawansa said, who was born in Colombo, lived in Colombo, had two sons born in Colombo and got two Sinhala daughters-in-law from Colombo now act like a born again in Jaffna and say he wants Muslims to come back to Jaffna but not a word about the Sinhalese born in Jaffna? Does this mean his sons can never live in Jaffna with their wives? As pointed out below, based on W’s maiden speech, W is no Kadiragamar or Jeyaraj Fernandopullai.
It is said that a cancer (Tamil separatism) cannot be cured by feeding it. 13-A is itself a cancer for Sri Lanka, but W says 13-A is a vessel with hole and therefore useless for his NPC. GOSL must act using the Buddhist principle of the Middle Path and eradicate incentives separatists now have to thrive in their eternal game. One is the language. Sinhala and Tamil must be mandatory for all school children and in 10-15 years Sri Lanka will have no Tamil-Sinhala ethnic barrier other than those come illegally from Tamil Nadu. People who have an ability to speak at least broken Tamil and broken Sinhala could not be fooled by a few Tamil separatists.
Separatism is based on SJV Chelvayakam’s plan to use Eastern Province as part of a mythical Tamil homeland, and EP and all other provinces are artificial and arbitrary divisions created by the British for their colonial subjugation purposes. Therefore, this colonial provincial system coming from 1832 should be replaced by an ecology-based new province set up, if a province-level civil unit is needed. The seven river basin division is the only solution in this regard, because it an upward spatial unit that begins with GSN units based on ecology-hydrology. Now there are 14,008 GSN units, and by using hydrology-ecology criteria this number will come down to a number, not to 4,000 that was there because R Premadasa increased it to 14,000, but to a rational, natural number. If people want a district-level unit then all what is needed is to include sufficient number of natural GSN units that would fit within the size of a present day district. There are 25 civil admin districts and there will be 25 or so river basins units.
If the colonial nine-province demarcation is not removed, if one day a Kosovo plan is implemented with foreign help, what will happen in Sri Lanka by way of water wars can be understood from the maps below. For those who think a Kosovo plan is not possible all what they have to think is what will happen if a UNP government comes to power at a future date. All what is neede is to UNP to allow the merger of NP and EP and that is it. JRJ himself said in the parliament that Separatist threat extends to NCP and Uva P. In the CP already a Malayanadu talk is going on.
On the black and white maps the red line is the line Prabakaran used for his Eelam homeland.
As expected, he forcefully made the call to the Sri Lanka Government to withdraw the armed forces from the Northern soil.
He demanded the release forthwith of the all the private lands belonging to the civilians.
He told the Government to see the noninterference of the Army in the Provincial Government and in the civilian affairs.
The Chief Minister categorically said that the former army general who is at present the Governor of the Northern Province must go. He said that a civilian should be appointed as the Governor of the Northern Province.
He said that he will not underestimate the impartial support Tamils in Sri Lanka receives from the South Indian Tamils.
He told in no uncertain terms that Tamilakam and Northern Province have to work very cordially.
We have come here after triumphing in the election that was based on the 13th amendment. Anyhow the 13th amendment is something like a vessel with holes and appears useless. As my dearest people have accepted the election manifesto of the Tamil National Alliance during the election, it is becoming clear that the 13th amendment has full of lapses, and it has no ability to fulfill the aspirations of the people.
It is indeed regretful that the thirteenth amendment has not paved the way for the well-functioning of an independent Provincial Council. We expect the international countries, with the support of both parties, to offer job related advises, grant funds, and be supportive and I expect them to be the source of strength to us.
To Function according to the law of the land
Anyhow we have decided to function according to the law of the land. We are determined to go forward following the available mechanism and ways. (13-A has enough holes to create a Kosovo exit by law).
Quarter the Army in their Camps in the North
If it is to be action based on democratic principles, then they must include the following:
The Army has to be immediately confined and quartered in their camps As our people have overwhelming voted for us would clearly indicates that they agree with our policy of gradually sending the armed forces away from the Northern Province.
Even the Government is also telling about the gradual removal of the Army from the North. However so far we haven’t seen any move by the government on this regard, but this gives a degree of mental satisfaction.
After a due discussion, we the Northern Province Council, Government has to finalize a scheme for this. At that point of time, matters regarding security would be taken into consideration.
How those arrested internationally and those cadres who have surrendered themselves are subjected to surrendering of arms, relieving from the armed forces and involvement in social links, similarly, security reform aspects, reduction of armed forces, tends security institutions to function well. Regarding this aspects government can explore whether these cadres could be enlisted with the UN Peace keeping forces, also explore whether international assistance could be obtained to assist army men to leave for normal civil life.
I assure that our assistance and support will be rendered to the government in these spheres.
It is the duty of the Government to confirm the withdrawal of Army.
Tamils will not be involved in any acts threatening the national security
Similarly, even the armed cadres belonging to the other armed groups in North have to be removed of their weapons, and should be integrated within the society. Our people will not ever accept to have Army in the North in the name of security. Army as well the armed cadres may stage all types of dramas to have the army remain in the North. We cautioned that nobody should be duped by those dramas. We continuously emphasize as far the Tamil people are concerned that they will never get involved in any activities endangering the national security.
2. Emphasizing the land right of the people is the democratic way of life.
Therefore, by gradually withdrawing the Army would pave the way for democracy and good governance. Government must come forward to stop the acquisition of lands belonging to civilians. Not only that we urge that government has to set the time frame regarding the handing over the lands, but also Government must stop acquiring private lands for Army use. Not only that, I wish to emphasize that the Government should come up with a time frame to give back the private lands already acquired.
3. Preparing the right environment for security to the people is vital in a democratic system. Regarding this, it is important to establish the Rule of Law. To establish this in the North, the present police force which is unable to understand the language of the common people in the North, their customs, culture remains a problem. Therefore, recruit locally personnel for the Police Force and provide them adequate training. We intend to take complete and necessary measures regarding the Polices powers mentioned in the 13th amendment. I also wish to mention that the regional Police reforms attract our attention.
Demand for a Civilian Governor
5. A civilian administration is not possible when we have someone as Governor, who came from the military. The country was fully aware how the present Governor functioned partially during the North Provincial Council election days.
Role of the Tamil Diaspora
Furthermore, we have an important duty to explore the type of planned human, economic resources and development we should identify. We have confidence that Tamil diaspora would provide us human and financial resources. It was an open secret that how in the past our kith and kin were forced to leave the country to foreign climes.
We are happy to learn that several of them have established fame and popularity by their good works abroad. We urgently needs your cooperation and help. We have no slightest doubt that we need your help and cooperation to restore our lost fame and pride. We expect them to negotiate with the Government to come up with a practical mechanism to assist the people who were affected by the prolonged armed conflict.
What we asked for is help that could allow us to stand in our own feet. We are urging them to identify resources that might provide income generation. We request our own blood and flesh to be with us at least for some time and get involved in the development works and then go back. We appeal to provide technical and financial assistance.
South Indian Tamils and their role
I wish to categorically state that we are not underestimating the role played by South Indian Tamils. Their assistances are required and link with us and guide us. It should be indeed mentioned that the nonpolitical, emotional approach of the youths of both sex in South India has induced us with encouragement. In the future, I wish to mention here that the Thamilakam and the Northern Province has to cooperate in so many ways.
Tamils have not accepted separation
In the long term prospective, the primary concern is the political solution. The Sinhalese masses should understand that we have not accepted separation. The Government and the Sinhala people should understand that internal self-determination will lead the country to be united without division. While we accept the country’s sovereignty, we are of the view that matters like the national security, international relation have to be directed by the central government.
But we opposed the autocratic aspects that are vested in the Constitution. Our opposition is in line with the principle of democracy.
Opposes Colonization in the North East
We strongly oppose the colonization carried out with the help of the armed forces. In the guise of rehabilitation we condemned bringing people who have never lived in the North and settling them in the Northern Province.
We strongly oppose the planned actions taken to change the demography of the North and East.
we are proud as joint owners and not as leaseholders. Regarding this I wish to remind the conversation present President had on 23rd May 2009 with the Secretary General of the UN, where he said to solve the problems of the Tamils he has decided to go beyond the thirteenth amendment.
I must bring it to the notice another important matter also. We will take all practical measures to resettle all those Muslims who have been in 1990 forcefully evicted from the North.
Prabhakaran & Kepitipola Disawe
Everybody should understand how the one word which I mentioned about Prabhakaran during election days brought about enthusiasm in the midst of some and amongst other people it brought about anger.
Knowing this well only, I spoke also about Kepitipola Disawe at that time. It has dawned that at present to understand these things depend on each person’s perspectives.
Extending the Hand of Cooperation
As far as we are concerned, the foundation stones which we wish to lay are – justice, good governance, confidence, equality and freedom.
Our measures will be based as mentioned in our election manifesto on security, education and employment.
If W is not a ghost of SJVC or Prabakaran, and genuinely interested in the plight of Tamils who suffered since 1948 due to Christian Tamil separatist Colombo politician, and equally useless Colombo Sinhala political families, he can do the following as his top priorities by selecting from a list like below:
(1) implement the River for Jaffna Project
(2) stop digging limestone for the KKS cement factory from its backyard and instead import limestone or clinker from India
(3) discuss with India about the threat from the nuclear power plant only 25 miles from Mannar
(4) discuss with Tamil Nad about the fisherman poacher issue
(5) get Chandra Hassan to come back to Jaffna and do something about the war widow issue. Otherwise, he will get bog down with issues like statutes of Prabakaran, cemeteries for the dead Prabakarans and a situation that he cannot visit Colombo anymore.
If W’s throne speech is not a warning sign to MahindaR to re-think his strategy , then let god Vishnu help Sri Lanka.