24 November, 2020

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New Constitution & Resolving Ethnic Conflict

By M.K. Shivajilingam

M.K. Shivajilingam

M.K. Shivajilingam

The Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka have been struggling for their political rights for about 70 years without any solution to their grievances. More than two-hundred thousand people have been killed in the struggle. In order to achieve permanent peace in the island, it is essential that the Tamils’ grievances are addressed and resolved. A strong flawless unassailable political system of equal treatment, opportunity, and power to all its peoples, will ensure a permanent, sustainable, and peaceful solution to the long conflict in the country. To achieve this, a credible, trustworthy, and honorable process is an absolute necessity; hence, a process with the involvement, assistance, and assurance from India, USA, EU, and the UN is important and required.

The following items shall be considered towards achieving a durable resolution to the ethnic conflict:

1 Process and Modality for Political Solution

  • A negotiating process between the Sinhalese and Tamil leaders mediated by India, USA, EU along with the UN, must be initiated towards finding a political solution. The mediating parties can function as witnesses and guarantors to the implementation of the solution.
  • A new constitution that offers each region the utmost autonomy, shall be implemented that can ensure all its peoples equal-treatment, equal-opportunity, and equal-power without any preferential treatment to any specific people.
  • The Tamil people shall continue to have the right to self-determination. At the end of 5 years from the Agreement or at any time, the Tamil people shall be entitled to a UN monitored Referendum should the Govt. of Sri Lanka fail to implement the agreement, or the Tamil people consider it to be necessary to conduct the Referendum to determine their political future.

2 Framework for the Constitution of Union of Sri Lanka

The proposed system of government shall be sharing of power between the Central and the States, and called “Union of Sri Lanka”. The power shall be devolved to the greatest extent possible, and that unless and otherwise explicitly delegated, all powers shall rest with the States. The Union of Sri Lanka shall be a con-federal structure. The Union shall consist of autonomous sovereign States and a confederate unit (“Federal Unit”).

2.1 Structure of the Union of Sri Lanka

  • The Union shall consist of sovereign States: a) The State for the Tamils shall be the contiguous North-East region consisting of traditional Tamil areas. [NOTE: It will ensure equality among its citizens, and treat all its peoples including the Sinhalese equal without any discrimination. It will be a secular State.] b) The State(s) for the Sinhalese shall be in their traditional Sinhalese areas. c) The Muslim and the Hill-Country Tamil peoples shall have their States or Autonomous Regions or any other arrangements that can meet their aspirations.
  • Any State shall have the option to merge with any other State during the elected term.
  • Certain powers are delegated to the Federal Unit, and all other powers are retained by the State.
  • Each State shall have a State Parliament headed by Prime Minister.
  • The Federal Unit shall have a Federal Parliament headed by President.
  • The Federal Unit shall ensure and protect the sovereignty of each State.
  • The Federal Govt. shall be secular. It shall not give any preference to any single religion or language or people.
  • All States shall jointly decide on the Federal Territory for the Federal administrative structures.
  • All Federal employees including the Armed Forces shall be inducted via each State proportionate to its population.

2.2 The Federal Parliament of the Union

The Federal Parliament of the Union is the unifying body of all the States in the Union of Sri Lanka.

2.2.1 Composition of the Federal Parliament of the Union

  • The Federal Unit shall be governed by a Federal Constitution agreed by all the States.
  • Any amendments to the Federal Constitution must be approved and ratified by each State.
  • Each State shall have veto power on any issues that require voting. The veto can be challenged by the Federal Unit by conducting Referendum in that State on the issue concerned.
  • Federal Unit shall consist of an equal number of representatives from each State.
  • Each State shall determine the manner in which its representatives to the Federal Unit are selected.
  • The Federal Unit shall elect a President, Deputy President, and cabinet of Ministers from amongst its own members.
  • The Federal Unit shall have a new Federal flag (National Flag) that equally represents all its peoples.
  • The Federal Unit shall have a new Federal anthem (National Anthem) both in Sinhala and in Tamil languages.
  • Sinhala and Tamil shall be the official languages of the Federal Unit and English shall be the link language.
  • Communication between the Federal Unit and a State shall be in link language and in language preferred by the State.

2.2.2 Powers and Functions of the Federal Parliament of the Union

  • Federal defense
  • Currency, monitory policy and Central Bank
  • International and Inter-State air traffic control
  • Immigration, emigration, customs etc.
  • International treaties related to external defense, and UN affairs
  • Federal Courts, Federal law and order
  • Federal tax, Inter-State high-ways, Inter-State railways, telecommunication, postal etc.
  • Federal Projects that are ratified by all States
  • Promotion of common welfare, inner cohesion, and the cultural diversity

2.3 The States

The States are sovereign and fully autonomous having wide powers. Most of the powers are retained by the States. Each State is sovereign over its own affairs.

2.3.1 Composition of States

  • Each State shall be entitled to give itself its own name.
  • Each State shall have its own Constitution.
  • Each State shall have its own Parliament, Prime Minister, cabinet of Ministers, etc.
  • Each State shall have its own State flag, State anthem etc.
  • Each State can devolve powers to its regional bodies in any way it sees fit.

2.3.2 Powers Retained by States

All powers that are not explicitly and expressly delegated to the Federal Unit are retained by each State. Following lists some of the powers retained by States:

  • Law and order
  • State Tax
  • Land, education, economy, health, etc.
  • International treaties on all issues other than external defense
  • Foreign loan, trades and investments
  • Airports, harbors, Intra-State high-ways, Intra-State railways, etc.
  • Territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone as defined by the UN Convention shall be applicable to coastal States
  • State resources in land and in adjoining sea
  • Residency, voting rights, election etc.
  • Land/space allocation to the Federal agencies, Federal police, Federal Armed Forces, etc.

3 Guarantees and Referendum

  • The implementation and operation of the Agreement and the maintenance of peace in the island shall be assured and guaranteed by the UN and the countries involved in the mediation.
  • At the end of 5 years from the Agreement or at any time, the Tamil people shall be entitled to a UN monitored Referendum should the Govt. of Sri Lanka fail to implement the agreement, or the Tamil people consider it to be necessary to conduct the Referendum to determine their political future.
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Latest comments

  • 13
    9

    The maverick comedian of Tamil politics, jokes again! Although his words sound serious, please don’t take them seriously. Have a hearty laugh. We need that medicine on and off to unload the woes caused by our polticians.

    Dr,Rajasingham Narendran.

    • 4
      0

      M.K. Shivajilingam

      RE:New Constitution & Resolving Ethnic Conflict

      Yes. It is high time, the Paras, Para-Sinhala and para-Tamils, in the Land of native Veddah Aethho, have a New Constitution that respects the Rights of the Paras, and move on.

      Otherwise, they should get back to theit Homeland, India, Maha-Bharartaya,

    • 5
      3

      Dr Narendran,

      You can have a hearty laugh but you cannot take the right of freedom of expression of any individual. Once upon a time when you were behind Rajapakse, lot of people laughed at you and still laughing at you.

      • 4
        3

        I did not denigrate his right to write what he did, even if I doubt his capacity to write what he did. I of course questioned the unrealistic formulations in the proposals he has lent his name too. They are indeed laughable. I also am glad that some people laugh at me for what I say. That is their right.

        Dr.RN

  • 8
    7

    ha ha ha ha ha aha aaahhhh ha aha ha hik hik hik, ha ha aha aha ahaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    ha aha aha

    ha ha ha ha ha

  • 11
    8

    //The maverick comedian of Tamil politics, jokes again! Although his words sound serious, please don’t take them seriously. Have a hearty laugh. We need that medicine on and off to unload the woes caused by our polticians.//

    I wish to express my strong disapproval and disappointment to what DOCTOR Rajasingham Narendran said. Anyone can come up with good ideas, as long as the ideas are good, one has to take them. Even if they ‘sound’ poor, those comments should be given due consideration. Most of us know ’emperor has no clothes story’. Remember a small child made that observation.

    “His words sound serious, please don’t them seriously”? What nonsense is this? If you have anything to find fault in what he said, just point out. I do not have any regards for MKS as a politician or a leader of an armed group. But, I would give weight to every word he says, and judge his opinion/view, not himself. All because somebody is a Ph.D. or from a high caste, or from a foreign country, or rich, all his or her words should not be treated as sermon.

    I know a lot of medical doctors and Ph. D. holders who don’t use their titles outside their profession. It is all right of Narendran insists on using it. But, if he has any credibility, in my view, he would withdraw the statement above.

    No no, I am not holding my breath!

    • 7
      1

      “It is difficult to free the fools who revere their chains”. -Voltaire

      • 2
        1

        WOW!!! I wouldn’t call anyone a fool. But, I agree with Voltaire.

      • 9
        4

        Voltaire, unfortunately, did not meet the likes of Sri Lankan Tamils, who were forced to exchange their leash for heavy shackles!

        Dr.RN

  • 9
    7

    A lengthy, painstakenly constructed document that needs to be thrown in to the nearest waste paper basket/shredder. How could anyone with an ounze of intelligence invite US, UK, EU, UN to solve problems of any country? Aren’t their track records of failures in Palestine, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Sudan enough to disqualify them from taking part in any process concerning establishing peace, anywhere! Besides, Sri Lankan constitution as is enshrines equal rights to all citizens. Perhaps, there should be severe penalties for individuals/entities that discriminates on grounds of ethinicity, religion, gender, disability. The writer and others with similar ideas needs to understand the unitary character of the nation will not be compromised now or any future constitution and, police and land powers will stay with the unitary state.

    • 6
      3

      lal loo

      If you don’t treat your family well strangers are ready and willing to grope your women folks.

      • 6
        0

        NV,

        What when the groping is from persons within the family?

        Dr,RN

        • 6
          0

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

          “What when the groping is from persons within the family? “

          It’s a tricky question. Let me try to deal with it.

          Focussing on power balance between men and women could be a good starting point.

          If the father is up to something nasty, bring back the mother from Medieval Middle East Kingdoms.

          If the grand father, is the gropper send him to old people home, temple sathiram (an open refuge for old and the weak), or Buddhist monastery in the jungle.

          If the brother is trying to be funny, banish him to a far away place.

          In case, the uncle is the gropper let his wife know about it. She knows how best to deal with him.

          It is also a matter of how little men who don’t have self-esteem project their manliness onto the vulnerable.

          Drinking habits also play an important part hence we need to organise a temperance movement educate the drunk.

          • 8
            1

            Yes, we can do everything you suggest, when the gropers in a sexual sense are from within the family. We can also teach the youngsters to cut off the part that is being misused. However, what do we do with the political gropers within the community. They are also trying to exploit the vulnerable to satisfy their craving. They have done more damage to us as a people, than the sexual predators within and outside families.

            Dr.RN

            • 1
              0

              You are right NV and Dr RN,

              Groping should not be taken in a Literal Sense in this Context.

              We in Sri Lanka are one big Family, let us help MS and RW to keep it that way.

          • 0
            1

            Dear Native,

            I think it will be more complicated..You know what I mean..

            Surely you won’t be able to have that Tahmilian Law ( I forgot the name) right across the land, even if the UN gives your Vellala mates, a seamless North East..

            Don’t even think about it in the Eastern Parts.

            You should know the punishments they hand out ..

            I am glad your other mate Dr Raja has admitted that incest is not only in Sinha Le, as your Yahapalana Lot here always try to portray…

  • 11
    1

    The war produced maverick politicians all around Sri Lanka.

    Sivajilingam is one of the biggest failure that the war produced. Sooner he seeks political asylum is better for the Tamils.

    He is equivalent to the repugnant Mervyn Silva. Good and specializing in visiting cemeteries. But still to dig his own grave.

    Sometimes I feel Tamils are a cursed community. Sivajilingam likes are escalating our curse further.He is a good bastion for sick section of the Tamil Diaspora.

  • 3
    0

    //Sometimes I feel Tamils are a cursed community. Sivajilingam likes are escalating our curse further.He is a good bastion for sick section of the Tamil Diaspora.//

    I always think the Tamils are a cursed community! But, the people are very clear about Sivajilingam. He was ignored by people when he was in the Presidential election. He was thoroughly defeated in the parliamentary election. Locals know who he is. Yes, there is some supporters among the Diaspora. Because, they need someone in Sri Lanka (or Jaffna) who would take their commands without thinking.

    So, he is NOT taken seriously. I even think this write up was done by a Tamil Diaspora group. I am glad he is not a thinker, but just a conduit!

    • 3
      0

      Rohan

      Well said.

      Thank you.

  • 3
    1

    The author M K Shivajilingam must first become a serious politician for others to take him seriously. He was a member of TNA in 2010 but went ahead unilaterally to contest the presidential election without the consent of the party. Again in 2015 parliamentary election he contested against Mahinda Rajapakse thereby reduced the chance of defeating him by splitting the votes. He is incapable of understanding or empathising with any other political views other than his own.

    “A new constitution that offers each region the utmost autonomy, shall be implemented that can ensure all its peoples equal-treatment, equal-opportunity, and equal-power without any preferential treatment to any specific people.”.

    In a civilised country like Canada a system similar to the above exists but in Sri Lanka communities are polarised and look across with suspicion. On top of it all, Mahavamsa mindset gives the ethnic majority a right they created themselves to be the custodian of falsely bound Sinhala-Buddhism that has nothing to do with true Buddhism attributable to Lord Buddha and his teaching. Otherwise how on earth its monks demolish the businesses and worshipping places of other faiths and the then government elected by the so claimed followers encouraged the destruction.

    In 100 years time Sri Lankans may be ready to look at all citizens as sons and daughters of mother Lanka and then ‘ensure all its peoples equal-treatment, equal-opportunity, and equal-power without any preferential treatment to any specific people”.

  • 6
    2

    Dear Mr Shivajilingam,

    In this entire debate, there is something which people like me have failed to understand. Perhaps I may be too ignorant. But as a citizen what I would like to know is this.

    WHAT ARE THE GRIEVANCES OF THE TAMIL PEOPLE?

    I am sure there are many grievances and very serious ones too – for otherwise there would not have been a 30 year war. But these are not articulated in a clear and precise manner.

    What I have noticed in many of the arguments put forward in this debate are “solutions” to resolve the “grievances”, but no precise detail of these grievances are put forward. The first step in solving a problem is understanding the problem.

    Could you, therefore, please list them for our edification Mr Shivajilingam?

    • 3
      2

      “..otherwise there would not have been a 30 year war”. At least you are sensible with this statement.

      But please tell me where were you all these years?

      • 5
        1

        To Justwokenup:

        I was right here in Sri Lanka and escaped by a whisker at two bombings in Colombo, although I have a scar to remind me of one.

        What you have written is the typically evasive response some Tamils with Eelamist ambitions give.

        Truly, would someone care to list the “TAMIL GRIEVANCES”?

        There are many who do not know what they are, their extent and, whether if such “grievances” are rectified, go back to a unitary state and do away with this kind of primitive racial identities: Sinhala, Sinhala-Buddhist, Tamil, and so forth and just identify ourselves as Sri Lankans.

        We are all human beings who, but for an accident of birth, labelled as Sinhala or Tamil. Only rational identity, having born in the island, is that of being a Sri Lankan.

  • 2
    2

    For his credibility and political interests the least said the better. He has taken considerable trouble to put this together.Bensen

    • 2
      0

      Idiot Bensen Berner-
      Considerable trouble to put what together?

  • 3
    3

    He He He..

    you can cure the patient simply by changing the bed…..

    This new constitution is simply an eye wash to fool the world….

    Disease has spread all over the body of this cursed country only an operation can bring the change …

    Cheers

    • 0
      1

      Actually the Nandikadal operation excised much of the tumor :D

  • 9
    3

    We have to learn lessons from what is happening now with the Northern Provincial Council. Why did it take almost three years for the CM to prepare and submit comprehensive proposals to the government? Why did it delay spending the allocated money? Why have two governors been changed and the third is in office now? Why is there turmoil within the council?

    Do we have the right type of people to handle the power devolved even under the feeble 13th amendment? Are we capable of handling extensive devolution or even the powers in a federation that Shivajilingam has proposed( likely on behalf of his sponsors)? Does the TNA have the culture and capability to select and promote persons of talent and proven ability to deal with extensively devolved power? Will the TNA continue to give importance to electability over capability and drive?

    In farmers parlance do we have the capability and resources to milk a high producing cow, if given one?

    Dr.RN

  • 1
    1

    Always, the flesh of pound, Mr Shylock?
    How many poor Tamil kids are you planning to send to early graves? Haven’t you seen enough blood in our country?

    • 1
      0

      Srinath Gunaratne,

      How many Tamils kids you are prepared to kill?

      Your surname means that you are an epitome of good heartedness! I bet you did not know that! I am Tamil and how did I know that?

      • 0
        0

        I am telling you this with my good heartedness, Get rid of the racism and learn to think that Sri Lanka is a place where we everyone can live every where with equal human rights. It is too small to divide on ethnic lines!

        That is how we all (Sinhalese/Tamil) live in UK! No body is asking HarrowNadu here!

        The whole Tamil agenda is not human rights or equal opportunity. It is about creating their enclave and restricting Sinhalese coming to live there, They can not even see temple being built there where as there are thousands of Kovils which are even frequented by the Sinhalese in the south!

        The hatred and racism burns your soul and destroy your community. Human rights, Equal opportunity, Rule of law, This is the future! Not Federalism on etnicity!

  • 1
    3

    Prime Minister Ranil who is as cunning as a fox had (according to press reports) already told Sampanthan, Head of the Fools in the TNA, that no political solutions will be included in the proposed constitution and that after passing the newly drafted constitution with the help of the Tamil slaves MPs another bill can be added for the rights of the minorities etc How cunning is this modus operandi? All the Tamils have been fooled by the new regime under President Maitripala Sirisena. They are being taken for a ride in enthroning Sinhala as the dominant race in Sri-Lanka. Minorities be awake and agitate for including the minorities rights through a federal constitution in the new Constitution. This will be only feasible if Tamils get the help of EU and world Human Rights bodies after the Sri-Lanka government carries out the UNHRC proposed hybrid Investigation. Now the proposed hybrid panel has been melted down to an internal Panel. What a joke?
    Therefore Mr Sivajilingam’s big work will, I am afraid, go into the Sinhalese politician’s dust bin. Now the Sinhalese politicos treat Tamils as nonentities.
    Dr C P T

    • 3
      1

      Dr C P Thiagarajah

      ” Head of the Fools in the TNA, that no political solutions will be included in the proposed constitution and that after passing the newly drafted constitution with the help of the Tamil slaves MPs another bill can be added for the rights of the minorities etc How cunning is this modus operandi?”

      May I ask what sort of political assets and military might do the Tamil people possess at present which can be bartered for ascertaining more political or devolved power from the Sinhala/Buddhist state?

      What is the alternative strategy would you suggest to the TNA’s approach if you have any?

  • 1
    0

    Sounds good to me..

    North East Federal Eelaam is a forgone conclusion.

    US , Cameron,and the Bedouin Prince will ensure it.

    The issues which need addressing are the following.

    Where are the Wahabis going to be?.

    What about the Estate Tamils?.

    And last but not least, what about the great majority of the population who didn’t want to have anything to do with either the Yahapalana President or the Yahapalanan Prime Minister or the combination of both?.

    Watching Yahapalana news last night I felt sick..

    It started with the full coverage of Yahapalan President and the Madam disembarking from QATAR A 380 First Class and greeting our well off and well to do diasporians who had lined up to get Yahapalana greeting from the first couple.

    Fair enough.

    Then I see the Yahapalan Police belting the crap out of our Uni Graduates who are only asking for jobs.

    High Pressure Hoses directed up their asses and Tera Gas Cannisters thrown at their faces wasn’t a pretty sight to watch .

    Then comes the Gnnnissara Thero in the same Wagon which used to bring LTTE Tigers to court ,

    Gnannissara is still inside but the Tigers are now outside.

    To top it all, another half a dozen Bikku who showed compassion for the Thero were also arrested and remanded by the Homagama magistrate, along with anther half a dozen lay people.

    Then rolls the footage of big demolition of the Dalits’ huts in Colombo 14.

    Poor mums are dragged away from their shacks before the Yahapalana STF point the guns at them.

    Arent these the same people who looked after the ex UNP President , the father of current Yahapalana Minister from Keselwatta?..

    It made me wonder whether these are the same STF who took the fight up to the Tigers.

    Finally came the footage of the Balapitiya shooting.

    By then I have had enough of Yahapalanaya.

    I feel uncomfortable when I think of what it is going to be with the Yahapalana PM , the President and their Loyal Ministers making their own new one, if the above is a sample of their current one..

    • 3
      1

      KASmaalam K.A Sumanasekera

      “Watching Yahapalana news last night I felt sick.”

      Do you need a reason to be sick?

      • 0
        0

        Dear Native,

        I now feel sad watching what these sick B****** are doing to my 2500 year old motherland, where I even bought a Condominium to live among the Elite Vellalas and the Anglicans.

        My Elders tell me the new hip suburb Battaramulla has become a shit hole , because Muzza Malli’s golyas don’t collect the garbage.

        Road maintenance has come to a standstill as the Yahapalana RDA doesn’t have the dosh to buy the bitumen…

        Yahapalana Rajitha has told the Bribery Commissioner to get stuffed not once but 9 times when he was called to give a statement.

        I was only half correct in my prediction.

        Bodhi Sira has taken both baby Siras to Berlin..

        I am not sure about the Yahapalana suckers, but I am cool about it because I got it at least half right..

        • 0
          0

          Don’t worry, When they catch Mahinda’s 16 Billions, Lambos and horses, They will implement everything!

  • 0
    0

    The people who contribute to draft the constitution in SL, should be absolutely loving and truthful in expressing their views; rising above self, they must look with a deeper perspectivge.

    All the religions suggest love for all the people by choice and actions. A person does not become a Buddhist, Hindu, Christian or Muslim because the parents belonged to it, but he becomes one, only by practicing its spiritual principles.

    SL is a democracy. ALL are equal. No group of people is superior. Apartheid South Africa, used the terms “Blacks”and “Whites” in the constitution for more than 40 years. For the past 68 years, the terms “Minority” and “Majority” were used in the constitution of SL.

    It is absolutely wrong to constitutionally group people to get political, economic and religious dvantage over another people. This is constitutional discriminattion.

    Let us not fool ourselves and the world. Let us humbly accept in the consttution, our shortcomings, and our desire to overcome them.

  • 0
    0

    Hello Ayyah! MR.SIVAGILINGAM THE PLACE FOR YOUR PROPOSED DREAM ‘UNION STATE’IS IN TAMIL NADU,INDIA WHERE YOU HAVE YOUR CULTURE……BETTER GO AND TRY THERE….YOU CAN DO WHAT EVER YOU WANT….JUST LET US LIVE IN PEACE…FOR GODS’ SAKE.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

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