By R. Sampanthan –
Mr. Deputy Speaker, may I move the following Adjournment Motion as a matter of urgent public importance:
“Whereas the Constitution of a Country is the Supreme law of the Country.
And whereas in Democracies the world over, a country is governed on the basis of a Constitution framed on the maximum possible national consensus.
And whereas Sri Lanka which is a multiethnic, multilingual, multicultural Country with a diverse and pluralist society is not governed on the basis of a Constitution framed on the maximum possible national consensus.
And whereas Sri Lanka has thus far been governed on the basis of three (3) different Constitutions: –
(i)The 1947 Soulbury Constitution framed by the Colonial British Government without the consensus of people of Sri Lanka.
(ii)The 1972 1st Republican Constitution, framed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party – the Government in power – which was able to muster a 2/3rd majority in Parliament without arriving at any consensus with the main Opposition Party, the United National party or the party representing the Tamils of the North and East – the Federal Party.
(iii)The 1978 2nd Republican Constitution framed by the United National Party Government in power which was able to muster a 2/3rd majority in Parliament without arriving at any consensus with the main Opposition Party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party or the main Tamil Party representing the Tamils of the North and East, the Tamil United Liberation Front.
And whereas the Tamil people of the North and the East are a people with a heritage and civilization of their own and a distinct linguistic and cultural identity and have historically predominantly inhabited the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
And whereas Sri Lanka has thus been governed since Independence in 1947 under Constitutions which did not enjoy the maximum possible national consensus of the diverse and pluralist people of Sri Lanka.
And whereas the situation of conflict that has prevailed in Sri Lanka from Independence in 1947 including an armed conflict that lasted for 25-30 years is attributable to the absence of a Constitution based on such maximum possible national consensus to suit the needs of a diverse and pluralist society.
And whereas Sri Lanka with a diverse and pluralist society, in the past 70 years, has failed to evolve a Sri Lankan identity as a Sri Lankan nation within a untied and undivided Sri Lanka.
And whereas ever since the enactment of the 2nd Republican Constitution in 1978 and in force until the present time, there has been a strong and consistent demand for the repeal of the said 1978 2nd Republican Constitution and the enactment of a new Constitution.”
And whereas several commitments made to the people of the country at several elections by political parties and political leaders for the repeal of the Second Republican Constitution of 1978 and for the enactment of a new Constitution have not been honoured and thereby the mandates granted by the people at the said elections for the repeal of the Second Republican Constitution of 1978 and the enactment of a new Constitution have been disregarded and violated.
And whereas consequently the 1978 Second Republican Constitution rejected by the people through several democratic verdicts has been in operation as the Supreme Law of the country up to the present time in violation of the will and without the consent of the people.
And whereas at the election held in 2015, a mandate was sought and received by the wining candidate for the enactment of a new Constitution.
And whereas at the said elections in 2015, the main opposition candidate himself sought a mandate to frame a new Constitution.
And whereas more than 90 per cent of the electorate voted for the framing of a new Constitution.
And whereas on the basis of the said mandates received at the said elections in 2015, a Resolution was adopted in Parliament unanimously on 9th March, 2016 which inter alia stated as follows;
(a) Whereas there is broad agreement among the people of Sri Lanka that it is necessary to enact a new Constitution for Sri Lanka.
(b) And whereas the people have at the Presidential Election held on 08th January, 2015 given a clear mandate for establishing a political culture that respects the rule of law and strengthens democracy.
(c) And whereas His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has clearly expressed his desire to give effect to the will of the people expressed at the aforesaid Presidential Election by enacting a new Constitution inter alia, abolishing the Executive Presidency.
(d) And whereas it has become necessary to enact a new Constitution that inter alia abolishes the Executive Presidency, ensures a fair and representative electoral system which eliminates preferential voting, strengthens the democratic rights of all citizens, provides a Constitutional Resolution of the national issue, promotes national reconciliation, establishes a political culture that respects the rule of law, guarantees to the people’s fundamental rights and freedom that assure human dignity and promotes responsible and accountable government.
And whereas in terms of the said Resolution of 9th March, 2016, a Committee of the Whole Parliament constituted itself into a Constitutional Assembly, a Steering Committee and Subcommittees were appointed to partake in the framing of a new Constitution which committees after public consultation and deliberation have submitted Reports to the Constitutional Assembly which have been debated in the said Constitutional Assembly.
And whereas in the past several months, the Constitution-making process has for some unknown reason been at a standstill with no signs of any movement.
And whereas the continuance in force of the current Constitution enacted in 1978, and the failure to adopt a new Constitution is tantamount to an arbitrary rejection of the massive mandate granted by the people at the last democratic election in 2015 to frame a new Constitution and is also tantamount to nullifying a unanimous Resolution adopted by Parliament in 2016, to frame a new Constitution and is also tantamount to the continued unjust imposition of the Second Republican 1978 Constitution on the people of Sri Lanka without their will and consent.
And whereas such a course of events would be immensely harmful to the future interests of the whole country and all its people.
And whereas it has therefore become necessary to debate this issue in Parliament and ensure that appropriate decisions are made to take forward the constitutional-making process and thereby evolve a Constitution based on substantial national consensus.
If a new Constitution with a substantial measure of national consensus is not formulated and if consequently the country is compelled to be governed under a Constitution which has been rejected by the people and also unanimously by the present Parliament, Sri Lanka could before long qualify itself to be termed as a failed State and I submit it is the duty of this Parliament to take every step to avoid such a grave calamity.”
I would now like, Sir, to make a few submissions on the Motion which I have submitted and you will permit me to do that.
The Sri Lankan Constitution-making process, Sir, has been long. In 1957, the late Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike entered into a Pact with the Tamil Leader Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayakam. The main provisions of the Pact were in regard to the creation of regional councils and colonization. One regional council was to be created for the North; two or more regional councils for the East. The regional councils had the power to amalgamate beyond provincial boundaries and colonization was to be entrusted to the regional councils including the selection of allottees and the selection of persons working in land development schemes.
In 1965, Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake entered into a pact with Tamil Leader Mr. SJV Chelvanayakam, dealing substantially with State Land and the provisions are as follows:
Land under colonization schemes in the Northern and Eastern provinces to be dealt with on the basis of the following priority.
Firstly, to landless people in the District. Seondly, to landless Tamil-speaking persons resident in the Northern and Eastern Province. Thirdly, to other landless citizens in Ceylon, preference being given to Tamil citizens resident in the rest of the Island. Both Pacts, Sir, recognized the special concern of the Tamil people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
After 1983, there were negotiations with the good offices of India. There were several talks which culminated in the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement of 29th July, 1987 and the main provisions of the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement were that Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic and multilingual plural society consisting, inter alia, of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims (Moors) and Burghers; recognizing that each ethnic group has a distinct cultural and linguistic identity which has to be carefully nurtured, also recognizing that the Northern and the Eastern Provinces have been areas of historical habitation of the Sri Lankan Tamil-speaking peoples, who have at all times hitherto lived together in this territory with other ethnic groups.
So, Sir, the distinct identity of the different people who lived in this country was identified. There was an expression of a need to preserve and nurture that identity, and as far as the Northern and Eastern Provinces were concerned, it was accepted that there have been areas of historical habitation of the Tamil-speaking people and they were merged into a single unit of power-sharing subject to certain provisions pertaining to a referendum which was never intended to be held.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution followed in 1988. That was the first attempt at Constitutional power-sharing arrangements.
The Provincial Council Elections including in a merged North East were held in 1988. The main political party of the Tamil people, the Tamil United Liberation Front did not contest the Provincial Council Elections in 1988 for the reason that the devolution arrangements, the power-sharing arrangements under the Thirteenth Amendment were weak and inadequate and needed to be strengthened and enhanced.
After the enactment of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, three successive Presidents and Governments took steps to strengthen and enhance the Thirteenth Amendment.
During President Ranasinghe Premadasa’s term in office, in 1989, there were the Mangala Moonasinghe Select Committee Proposals which was a clear advance from the Thirteenth Amendment in power-sharing arrangements. During President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s term, there were new Constitutional Proposals tabled in Parliament in August, 2000 with Cabinet approval which was a major advance from the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
Both President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were in the Cabinet of Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga that granted approval for the Constitutional proposals that were tabled in Parliament.
During President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s term in office, he appointed an All Party Representative Committee and a Multi-Ethnic Experts Committee. The All Party Representative Committee called the APRC, was under the chairmanship of Prof. Tissa Vitharana. They have submitted thier proposals which are a clear advance on the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
It will be useful, Sir, at this stage to refer to the statements made by some leaders of the country in regard to the Constitution-making process. The first statement I would refer to, Sir, would be the statement made by (Prof.) G.L. Peiris, the then Minister of Constitutional Affairs, at a meeting held with the LTTE in Oslo between the 2nd and 5th of December, 2002 and this is what he said. I quote:
“Responding to a proposal by the leadership of the LTTE, the parties agreed to explore a solution founded on the principle of internal self-determination in areas of historical habitation of the Tamil-speaking people, based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka. The parties acknowledged that the solution had to be acceptable to all communities…”
And the parties agreed to, on that basis, discuss matters further.
Prof. G.L. Peiris, Sir, immediately after that agreement between the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka, at a press conference, in the course of which he said, I quote:
“The LTTE is no longer insisting on a separate State but …. is looking at a different concept in earnest and that is internal self-determination.”
And he went on to explain what that meant, “which was power sharing, extensive power sharing within the framework of one country, no question of secession, no question of separation, but power sharing within the framework of a country.”
This was what Prof. GL Peiris said at that press conference and I quote from a record of that press conference.
Then, Sir, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, now the Leader of the Opposition, convened a meeting of the All Party Representative Committee, the APRC and the Multi-Ethnic Experts Committee and he made a statement to them; a long statement on the 11th of July, 2006. I will read only the relevant parts. He said, I quote:
“The unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country must be preserved. This cannot be open to bargain. Our approach has been widely endorsed by the international community, notably India and the Co-chairs have clearly stated and have clearly ruled out any form of division of the country. Our objective must be to develop a just settlement within an undivided Sri Lanka.”
He went on to say further, Sir, in the course of his speech at that meeting with the APRC and the Multi-Ethnic Experts Committee, I quote:
“People in their own localities must take charge of their destiny and control their politico-economic environment. Central decision-making that allocates disproportionate resources has been an issue for a considerable time. In addition, it is axiomatic that devolution also needs to address issues relating to identity as well as security and socio-economic advancement without over-reliance on the Centre. In this regard, it is also important to address the question of regional minorities.”
Further on, in his statement he said, Sir, I quote:
“Any solution must be seen as one that stretches to the maximum possible devolution without sacrificing the sovereignty of the country. Given the background to the conflict, it therefore behoves on particularly the majority community to be proactive in striving for peace and there must be a demonstration of a well-stretched hand of accommodation.”
That is precisely what we want the Opposition Leader, Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa, to do now. As a leader of the majority community, we want him to be accommodative with a hand that is stretched out to bring about genuine reconciliation amongst the peoples of this country. He went on in the course of his statement to further say, I quote:
“Any solution must therefore address these expectations as well. The role of the All Party Representative Committee, as well as the Panel of Experts is to fashion creative systems of Government and satisfy the minimum expectations that I had enumerated earlier as well as provide a comprehensive approach to the resolution of the national question”.
He wanted the APRC and the Multi-Ethnic Experts Committee to address the issue on the basis of views expressed by him, which he said were “minimum expectations”. We even could go beyond that. He wanted a solution on that basis. That was, Sir, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, presently the Leader of the Opposition.
Then Sir, shortly after the war ended, the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr. Ban Ki-moon arrived in Sri Lanka and there was a meeting between him and President Mahinda Rajapaksa, after which there was a Joint Statement made by them. This is what is said in that Joint Statement made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 23rd May, 2009.
It states, I quote:
“President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Secretary General agreed that addressing the aspirations and grievances of all communities and working towards a lasting political solution was fundamental to ensuring long-term socio-economic development.”
Sir, again, I quote:
“President Rajapaksa expressed his firm resolve to proceed with the implementation of the 13th Amendment, as well as to begin a broader dialogue will all parties, including the Tamil parties in the new circumstances, to further enhance this process and to bring about lasting peace and development in Sri Lanka.”
This was the commitment made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Secretary-General of the UN. When the Secretary-General came to Sri Lanka just after the war came to a close, largely to address the question of accountability and to give his mind to what has happened during the final stages of the war.
Sir, President Rajapaksa in the course of the statement that he made to the APRC, referred to India, the Co-Chairs and the international community as being against division and as being for a solution within the framework of an undivided country. I wish to refer, Sir, to the quotations of some Indian Leaders – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi – including India’s Foreign Minister and the India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman. Of course, what Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the late Indian Prime Minister, contemplated is contained in the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement which I have already quoted. But, Sir, I am going to quote now what the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in November, 2008 said in regard to the Tamil question in Sri Lanka. He said:
“We are deeply concerned. I spoke to him -” meaning ‘Rajapaksa’, “- that we have legitimate concern about the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils. It has a bearing on Sri Lanka’s relations with India. Not merely whether they are concerned about the wellbeing of the Sri Lankan Tamils, it has a bearing on Sri Lanka’s relations with India.”
Sir, in June, 2001, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India made a statement with regard to Sri Lanka. It states, I quote:
“You have a situation in Sri Lanka. The decimation of the LTTE was something which is good. But the Tamil problem does not disappear, with the defeat of the LTTE. The Tamil population has legitimate grievances. They feel they are reduced to second-class citizens. And our emphasis has been to persuade the Sri Lankan government that we must move towards a new system of institutional reforms, that the Tamil people have a feeling that they are equal citizens of Sri Lanka, and they can lead a life of dignity and self-respect.”
So, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, was very clear in regard to the plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka and he was very clear in regard to what needed to be done. The Co-Chairs comprising of the European Union, Japan, USA and Norway, they expressed their views in regard to Sir Lanka. President Rajapaksa said that they were against separation, yes, they were against separation, but they also expressed their view in regard to what the solution should be.
The Co-Chairs have said on the 30th of May, 2006, I quote:
“It must show that it is ready to make a dramatic political change to bring about a new system of governance which will enhance the rights of all Sri Lankans, including the Muslims. The international community will support such steps; failure to take such steps will diminish international support.”
The Co-Chairs went on to say, Sir, in the course of the same Statement. I quote:
“The Tamil and Muslim peoples of Sri Lanka have justified and substantial grievances that have not yet been adequately addressed.”
They are very clear in regard to that matter.
Then, Sir, before I conclude I would like to refer to what one of the Co-Chairs, an imporatant Co-Chair, the USA, stated. The Assistant Secretary of State of the US for South and Central Asian Affairs, Mr. Richard A. Boucher, was in Sri Lanka on the 01st of June, 2006 and this is what he said, Sir, in the course of an important statement that he made. I quote:
“We also think the government should provide a positive vision to Tamils and Muslims of a future Sri Lanka where their legitimate grievances are addressed and their security assured. President Rajapaksa has spoken of ‘maximum devolution.’ Previous negotiations have agreed on ‘internal self-determination’ within a federal framework. However the idea is expressed, it could offer hope to many in the North and East that they will have control over their own lives and destinies within a single nation of Sri Lanka.”
He went on to further state, I quote:
“Although we reject the methods that the Tamil Tigers have used, there are legitimate issues that are raised by the Tamil community and they have a very legitimate desire, as anybody would, to be able to control their own lives, to rule their own destinies and to govern themselves in their homeland; in the areas they’ve traditionally inhabited….”
So, Sir, while the international community, while India and the Co-Chairs have all expressed views on separation, they have also very clearly stated the sort of political solution they have in mind. Before I conclude with the international community, Sir, I would also like to refer to some of the statements made by the Foreign Minister of India after interacting with the President, the Foreign Minister and the Government of Sri Lanka.
The spokesman of the Foreign Ministry of India, Sir, on 22nd December, 2011 made a Statement and I quote that Statement pertaining to Sri Lanka:
“In this context, we have been assured by the Government of Sri Lanka on several occasions in the past, of its commitment towards pursuit of a political process through a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil National Alliance-
I will repeat what I said, Sir:
“In this context, we have been assured by the Government of Sri Lanka on several occasions in the past, of its commitment towards pursuit of a political process through a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil National Alliance, leading to the full implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, and to go beyond, so as to achieve meaningful devolution of powers and genuine national reconciliation.”
That was the Statement made by the foreign spoksman on behalf of the Foreign Ministry of India.
I refer to another Statement made by the Foreign Minister of India, S.M. Krishna, on the 4th of August, 2011. He said, I quote:
“.. the External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka affirmed his Government’s commitment to ensuring expeditious and concrete progress in the ongoing dialogue between the Government of Sri Lanka and representatives of Tamil parties. A devolution package, building upon 13th Amendment, would contribute towards creating the necessary conditions for such reconciliation.”
That was the Statement made by the Foreign Minister of India.
Thereafter, once again, Sir, the Foreign Minister of India was in Sri Lanka between the 16th and 19th January, 2012, in the course of which he interacted with both the President and the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Prof. G.L. Peiris and made a Statement while he was in Sri Lanka. He made this Statement in the presence of Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka, Prof. G.L. Peiris.
“The Government of Sri Lanka has on many occasions conveyed to the Government, conveyed to us its commitment to move towards a political settlement based on the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, and building on it, so as to achieve meaningful devolution of powers…..”
TO: KU/12.30/The international community….
If you say that the international community, the Co-Chairs, India, are all opposed to division of the country, that is perfectly true. But at the same time, they are very clear in regard to what needs to happen. They are very clear in regard to the fact that the present position cannot continue.
Before I conclude on this matter, Sir, I might say this. Prof. G.L. Peiris, the then Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka, around this time also made a statement. He made this statement when he went to India in May, 2011. He was in India from 15th of May to 17th of May, 2011. In his statement, he said, I quote:
“In this context, the External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka affirmed his Government’s commitment to ensuring expeditious and concrete progress in the ongoing dialogue between the Government of Sri Lanka and representatives of Tamil parties.
A devolution package building upon the 13th Amendment would contribute towards creating the necessary conditions for such reconciliation.“
That was the statement he made. While interacting with India, he affirmed his Government’s commitment to fully implement the Thirteenth Amendment and the building on the Thirteenth Amendment so as to achieve meaningful devolution and that had been exactly the position of the Co-Chairs, the USA, India, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers and that was the position that they were all taking up.
I draw attention to these matters, Sir, for the reason that both former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prof. G.L. Peiris are playing an important role in the process relating to the formulation of a new Constitution and to make clear to all concerned, that the present efforts do not in any way exceed what they were prepared to agree to during their term in office when they made such statements. Earlier positions of political leaders need to be made public for the people to be made aware that their present position is different from their earlier position and that there is no merit in their current criticism.
Sir, the armed conflict in Sri Lanka prevailed for between 25 and 30 years, was a very severe conflict. I would like to briefly refer to the LTTE. I think, it is relevant, Sir. After Independence, the Tamils demanded equal rights regarding citizenship, language, land, economic development, education and employment.
They were subjected to violence. The law was not enforced. The Tamils did not retaliate. The Tamils began to leave the country. To date, around 50 per cent of the Tamils who lived in Sri Lanka have left the country and live abroad the world over. Agreements entered into with Tamil leaders were breached. The Tamils were defenceless. The LTTE manifested itself in the early 1980s, well-nigh 30 years after the country attained Independence and during which period, the Tamil issue had become a matter of serious concern.
If the Tamil issue had been resolved amicably with Tamil political leadership during the three decades after Independence, the LTTE would never have emerged.
The LTTE was militarily defeated in May 2009. The international community, India, the United States of America, the European Union, the United Kingdom and several other countries helped the Sri Lankan Government to defeat the LTTE. The LTTE was not merely banned in those countries as a terrorist organization, the international community crippled the activities of the LTTE. This was on the assurance of the Sri Lankan Government that the LTTE was an impediment to a negotiated settlement and that a reasonable solution would be arrived at once the LTTE was defeated with international help. The Sri Lankan Government has now reneged on the said commitment. Ten years have ended since the LTTE was militarily defeated. A reasonable political solution has not yet been arrived at. The Tamil people continue to live as second-class citizens.
I am happy my Friend, the Hon. Dullas Alahapperuma has come here. It is time for people like you – I know you are very progressive. You have got very forward views – to take an interest in this matter and resolve this matter, if you want to save Sri Lanka from calamity. Otherwise, Sri Lanka will be destroyed. But, I do not want to be a part of that.
It is respectfully submitted that the international community cannot be mere spectators to the Tamils being treated as second-class citizens. We respectfully submit that the international community, politically, diplomatically and economically must influence the Sri Lankan Government to come up with a reasonable political solution. If the international community does not do so, a grave injustice would be perpetrated on the Tamil people. It would appear that the international community helped the Sri Lankan Government to defeat the LTTE and then the Tamil people were betrayed.
Sir, I am happy, the Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva has walked in now. He knows the efforts we made to find a solution during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s term. He was the leader of that government team, I led the Tamil team and he knows how much we tried. So, do not blame us. If you do not do it, we will be compelled to take certain actions and if we do that, do not blame us.
Sir, before Independence, the Tamils did not ask for separation. The Tamils advocated “Poorna Suwaraj, full independence” for the whole country. After Independence, the Tamils only sought effective power-sharing arrangements. This was the consistent democratic verdict of the Tamil people at every election since 1956.
The following, Sir, is a quotation from the Election Manifesto of the Federal Party in 1970 in proof of this. I read this to show that we even put this into our Election Manifesto.
Our election manifesto said, Sir, I quote:
“It is our firm conviction that division of the country in any form would not be beneficial, either to the country, or to the Tamil-speaking people. Hence, we appeal to the Tamil-speaking people not to lend their support to any political movement that advocates bifurcation of the country.”
That was the position of the Federal Party and it was quite explicitly stated in its Election Manifesto in 1970.
It was only after the enactment of the 1st Republican Constitution that the Tamils for the first time in 1976 demanded the restoration of their sovereignty. This was done after they failed to achieve even minimum political goals. On the advice of India, this demand was given up in a short while. After the enactment of the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution, the political demand of the Tamil people has been an effective power-sharing arrangement within the frame work of a united, undivided Sri Lanka.
I repeat, Sir, the consistent political demand of the Tamil people has been an effective power-sharing arrangement within the framework of a united, undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka. You have denied that to us. That is why there is no peace in this country. That is why there is no development in this country. That is why there is no investment in this country. That is why nobody will turn and look at this country. We want this country to be a powerful country, a country that achieves progress and resolves the Tamil issue with Constitutional arrangements.
It will be useful in the context of this dispute being unresolved for several decades to refer to certain international instruments.
Firstly, I refer, Sir, to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Sir, Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states, I quote:
“All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
Tamil people are entitled to right of self-determination.
Secondly, Sir, I refer to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which states again, I quote:
“All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
Sir, self-determination is categorized as internal self-determination and external self-determination.
There was a famous case in Canada in the Canadian Supreme Court pertaining to the Province of Quebec. Quebec wanted to secede from Canada and sought to secede unilaterally from Canada. The Canadian Central Government and the other provinces opposed it. The matter was referred to the Supreme Court of Canada. I have got the judgment of the Court here with me. I will not read it. But, permit me to say what the judgment states. It states, “The Court having inquired into this matter stated that self-determination was either internal self-determination or external self-determination.”
People have the right to self-determination. But if the people have the right to internal self-determination within their own State, which means that they have access to governance, they are able to maintain their self-respect and dignity and fulfil their political, civil, cultural and economic aspirations, then they have self-determination. People who have internal self-determination are not entitled to external self-determination.
So in that context, the people of the State of Quebec have no unilateral right to secede because they had internal self-determination within their own State. If you deny the Tamil people the right to internal self-determination persistently and consistently, and if the Tamil people are treated as second-class citizens, we as a distinct people with a distinct cultural and linguistic identity, with a tradition and a civilization of our own, will be entitled to external self-determination on account of your default. So, please remember that. It will be a great error on your part not to remember that.
The third instrument that I want to refer to, Sir, is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which contains some very important matters.
This is what the Article 21 (3) of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights states, I quote:
“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”
The will of the people shall be the basis of governance; shall be the authority of governance. From 1956, the Tamil people in the North and the East have voted for a change in the system of governance. Tamil people have consistently said that they are not prepared to accept the present Constitution. But you have not granted us internal self-determination and we are continuing to demand that we are entitled to internal self-determination.
Sir, we are all aware that Sri Lanka committed itself to a political solution in the Resolution adopted at the UN Human Rights Council in October, 2015. The Resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council co-sponsored by Sri Lanka unanimously states as follows:
“Welcomes the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to a political settlement by taking the necessary constitutional measures, encourages the Government’s efforts to fulfil its commitments on the devolution of political authority, which is integral to reconciliation and the full enjoyment of human rights by all members of its population;..”
That was another commitment made by you to the international community.
Sir, the Motion I have moved also refers to Parliament of Sri Lanka being converted into a Constitutional Assembly and the reasons and objectives for that step. Much work has been done under the present Resolution moved in this Parliament by the Constitutional Assembly, the Steering Committee, the Subcommittees and the Experts’ Committee. This is comparable with the work done by President Ranasinghe Premadasa under the Mangala Moonesinghe Select Committee Proposals, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga under the August 2000 Proposals and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s own Proposals under the Prof. Tissa Vitharana’s APRC Report. There has been substantial consensus built around all these Proposals.
The current Process was proceeding well, but is now experiencing delay. The present process has three objectives: (1) Executive Presidency (2); Electoral Reforms / The Preferential Vote; (3) The National Question / Sharing Powers of Governance – Devolution. If there is delay in regard to one and two, then three, on which there is substantial consensus can be proceeded with and finalized.
There is a fear amongst the Tamil people that the aggressive implementation of a policy of advancing a Sinhala Buddhist environment and influence in the North-East is the cause for the delay in the process of devolving power being finalized. If that be so, it is a very shortsighted policy and must be abandoned. But we ourselves are beginning to fear that such a policy is being rather insidiously pursued.
I would like to remind the House, Sir, that this Adjournment Motion is not being brought in a spirit of confrontation. Since 1989 much work had been done, over a period of 30 years, to enhance and strengthen the Thirteenth Amendment around which efforts there has been much consensus and commonality that it could be unwise not to make use of all that material. The Mangala Moonesinghe Select Committee Proposals during President Premadasa’s term, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunga’s August 2000 Proposals and Prof. Tissa Vitharana’s APRC Report during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s term were valuable efforts, in all of which the SLFP was involved. These and the current Steering Committee, Subcommittees and the Experts’ Committee Reports around which there is sufficient consensus provide us with adequate material to build the necessary Constitutional structure on devolution / power sharing.
The alternative would be that we continue to be governed under the 1978 Constitution which has been rejected by the people and by this Parliament. This can only be harmful to the whole country and all its people. It is our respectful submission that in view of the consensus and commonality that exists on devolution/ power sharing, the same must be completed during the term of the present Parliament.
In view of all that has happened in the past 30 years, the institution of the State must not be seen to fail in this regard. Without Constitutional reforms on devolution/ power sharing, thereby the National Question being addressed Constitutionally, there can be no progress in any other sector, peace and permanent security will be elusive. Devolution of power to different levels would help to greatly minimize extravagance waste and corruption. The view also prevails in the country that concentration of power at the Centre is meant to facilitate corruption. Corruption on a wide scale is a charge that has been levelled against all governments whichever party was in power.
I am finishing, Sir. Before I conclude, I would refer to the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and the Statement issued by the Friday Forum, but I will not quote them in detail due to lack of time.
The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was appointed by you comprised very leading members of civil society. The Friday Forum comprised leading members of civil society. Both those institutions have urged you very strongly to come up with your Constitution, a new Constitution, to come up with devolution proposals to enable the National Question to be resolved. They are very, very respected, highly educated persons of the civil society. It will be a mistake on your part not to do that. Please, act in terms of the recommendation made by the LLRC – Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission – and the Friday Forum.
Sir, just give me two minutes to conclude. Very briefly, looking back at the whole issue, the process of Constitutional Reform has been on the anvil from 1957: in 1957, Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike; in 1965, Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake; in 1987, President JR Jayewardene; during 1988 – 1989, President R. Premadasa; during 1994 – 2000, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, during 2006 – 2014, President Mahinda Rajapaksa; during 2015 – 2019, President Maithripala Sirisena and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He was also Prime Minister in 2001 and 2002. Certain Constitutional reform movements took place during the term of every one of these leaders.
If you do not come up with the Constitution, if you do not keep your commitments to the international community, if you want this country to be ruled under the 1978 Constitution, we will be ruling the country under a Constitution which has been rejected from 1994 at five Parliamentary Elections, including the last elections held in 2015, both Presidential and Parliament. If you rule this country for such a long period under a Constitution rejected by the people without their will and consent, you will qualify to become a failed state. You will cease to be a legitimate state. You do not keep your commitments to the international community. We made several commitments to the international community which we have not kept. We will lose international legitimacy. You will become, even internationally, an illegitimate State.
The Tamils are a distinct people with a distinct linguistic and cultural identity. We have historically inhabited the North and the East. We cannot live as second class citizens. We must live with self-respect and dignity. Maximum possible power sharing must be effected, power must be devolved within a united, undivided, indivisible Sri Lanka. We must be able to determine our destiny. Our Leaders have said it. The Sinhalese Leaders in this country whom I have referred to very adequately today, they have said it. The international leaders have said it; the Prime Ministers of India too. I am not referring to Prime Minister Modi’s statement on account of the fact that he spoke in this Parliament. Sir, Prime Minister Modi has said that the only way to keep a country united is to ensure that all its citizens are able to live with self-respect and dignity; all its citizens are able to fulfill their aspirations. He also said, “I want to strengthen every village, I want to strengthen every state in my country because it is only when other tiers are strengthened in my country that our Centre becomes strong; the country becomes strong.”
So, please remember this and the earlier you do it, the better. If you do not do it and abstain from doing the right thing, I do not think the Tamil people will take it lying down for too long.
Thank you, Sir.
*Transcript of the speech made by R Sampanthan on the 25th of July in Sri Lankan Parliament
Thiru / July 30, 2019
There is no fool like an old fool, the saying goes. Sampanthan fits this quote or he is playing politics like Karunanithi to stay in leadership of Tamils in the North and East until his death.
Nothing will come out of big speeches, that no Sinhalese leader wants to hear.
Thappu / July 30, 2019
Thiru, You are insulting our Hon Sampanthan by comparing him to Karunanithi. Do you have to do that. We all know that Karunanithi had no Sri Lankan government(s) to face.
When Hon Sampanthan makes a speech in the House it is just not for the consumption of SL. It is for the entire world watching the politics of the Government of SL. What comes out of it is not determined by the Government of SL alone.
Anuradhapura Vansaya / July 31, 2019
Nothing will come out of big speeches, that no Sinhalese leader wants to hear.
…and rightly so!
N.Perera / August 3, 2019
Indian Proverb, “If you see TAMIL and COBRA kill TAMIL first”
Native Vedda / August 3, 2019
“Indian Proverb, “If you see TAMIL and COBRA kill TAMIL first”
Please provide me with reference.
Lanka / July 31, 2019
Sampanthan can waste time making speeches, occupying two free mansions, cars and perks, a complete waste of tax payers money. What did he during 20/30 years of LTTE (Tamil) terrorism? Did he make a speech for the consumption of the whole world about underage Tamil children abducted and forced into the battle front with cyanide necklace’s round their necks to commit suicide and kill people? A boot licker of murderer prabhakaran, it’s time for him to do penance before he joins his former master.
Native Vedda / August 3, 2019
What did you want Sambandan to do during the past 20 to 30 years?
” A boot licker of murderer prabhakaran, it’s time for him to do penance before he joins his former master.”
Are you planning to send him to meet Prabaharan?
Do you know where Prabaharan lives?
What if he refuses to join Prabaharan?
Kapila / July 30, 2019
Al this Constitution hog wash is a distraction to Divide and Distract Lankans from the fact that Sri Lanka is under a HUGE threat of being turned into a US military base and EU-NATO garbage dump with Fake Aid from the MCC — of course with help of US puppet Bondscam Ranil ,
Sampanthan still seems to be pandering to and performing the role of Cats Paw of Alina Teblitz. But the people have not forgotten the Easter Carnage and that the Special Operations Forces (SOF) staged the disaster to push SOFA through under the guise of fighting IS terror (which the US owns and operates), before Ranil is loses the next election.
US puppet Ranil should be impeached and Alina who has been weaponizing religion in Sri Lanka and visiting Buddhist monks to sell SOFA should be sent back to Washington for meddling in the Internal Affairs of Sri Lanka and not respecting the separation of Church and State which is in the US constitution. Sambanthan should go to a retirement home after backing Bond Ranil all these years.
Naative Vedda / July 31, 2019
“Nothing will come out of big speeches, that no Sinhalese leader wants to hear.”
Nothing did come out of VP’s short and long guns.
In fact the Tamils are worse off now than ever before.
What is the alternative?
Where is your learned Judge/Justice?
Thiru / July 31, 2019
Sri Lanka is a decadent “civilization”, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and all: They will fight among themselves until they become a backwater like the Aborigines of Australia while the world civilization moves on to greater heights.
So long as the country is directed by the ignorant bhikkus, where else can it go?
In the meantime Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim politicians line their pockets.
N.Perera / August 3, 2019
Never ever trust TAMILS. Indian Proverb “If you see COBRA and TAMIL, kill Tamil First” and Sri Lanka Proverb- never trust Tamil who died, Tamil who front of the mirror and Tamil who unborn”
PARAGON / July 30, 2019
NO POINT IN TALKING IN PARLIAMENT LIKE THIS. SELVANAYGAM,AMIRTHALINGAM,SIVASITHAMPARAM,ALL HAVE SPOKEN LIKE THIS IN THE PAST.BEST THING NOW IS TO VOTE AGAINST THIS RANIL GOVERNMENT SEND HIM HOME.IF THERE IS AN ANOTHER ELECTION NO PARTY FROM THE SOUTH WILL GET REQUIRED MAJORITY UNDER THE CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION. UNP,SLFP,OR SLPP WILL COME TO YOU AGAIN SEEKING YOUR SUPPORT.DO not support any party let them go for elections again and again then only the south will listen to you for some settlement.if you go to support RANIL like this before too long you will be blamed for distroying the federal party formed by late SELVANAYAGAM.your days are numbered in POLITICS AND LIFE DUE TO YOUR AGE.you are damaging your name by supporting RANIL FOR NOTHING TOO LONG.PLEASE GET UP FROM YOUR SLEEP TIME IS RUNNING OUT-LONG LIFE TO RANIL-JAYAWEWA
Estate Labourer / July 30, 2019
Let us draft an inclusive Constitution that will inspire patriotism among members of all communities residing in this country. If we have a Constitution that is heavily weighted in favour of Sinhala-Buddhists that will inspire patriotism only among members of that community. It would then be useless exhorting the minorities to be patriotic as patriotism is dependent on having a Constitution that treats all citizens equally.
And the most important thing of all is to get rid of the Executive Presidential system, which has an extremely corrupting influence on whoever ascends to that position.
K.Anaga / July 30, 2019
Another analysis of the Tamils and their problems have been well presented as in the past by various Tamil leaders. But where does it take you? Unfortunately Sampanthar seem to have revived himself from his ‘COMA’ just before the elections are due.. By quoting what was said by various” leaders,” both foreign an local, without any action to words achieving same serves no purpose. Today, Samsum together have brought the the Tamils to 00 and it will will be a Herculean task. for the new would be Tamil leaders to put things right . But how well we can trust them is a matter to be seen as most of the Tami leaders are selfish,self centered and self seeking. The Tamils seem to climb up 3 feet an come down 4 feet due to faulty leadership..
Plato. / July 30, 2019
The Swan Song of Hon: Rajavarothayam Sambanthan. He has mastered the art of presenting the historical events relating to the Tamil issue. He is actually addressing the Hansard!
The party that he leads will soon be History.
sellam / July 30, 2019
What happened to the portfolio you held as leader of the opposition and functioned as a supporter of the UNP government
You and the other two are a shame and disgrace to the Tamil community.
Eagle Eye / July 30, 2019
Demalu in Sri Lanka are a ‘LOST TRIBE’. They neither belong here (Sri Lanka) nor there (South India). A large majority of present Demala population are the descendants of slaves brought to this country illegally by Portuguese, Dutch and British who were occupying Sinhale illegally. They brought Demala people from various places in southern Hindusthan. The only common thing was they all spoke Dravidian languages. British called them ‘Malabars’ and Sinhalayo called them ‘Demalu’. During the British rule, a Demala guy named Ponnambalam Arunachalam involved in preparing the Census Report in 1911 changed the term ‘Malabars’ to ‘Ceylon Tamils’ to refer to Demalu who lived in the North and ‘Indian Tamils’ to Demalu who worked in tea plantations in Central part of the country. Ironically, Tamils in Tamil Nadu do not recognize ‘Tamils’ in Sri Lanka as real Tamils. Even Wellala Demalu who think they belong to high caste are not considered as high caste in Tamil Nadu.
Even if Tamil Nadu become a separate State which is very unlikely, ‘Tamils in Sri Lanka’ will not welcome there. Due to this reason, racist, fascist Demalu started clamoring for a separate State called Eelam in this tiny island so that they can have some sort of identity. Illegal immigrant racist bigot Chelvanayakam was the father of this movement. Demalu thought that they will be able to get what they want by killing Sinhalayo but they miserably failed. Now they are planning to get what they want using various other tactics. Native Sinhalayo should categorically tell Demalu ‘NO ELAM’, ‘NO FEDERAL SYSTEM’, ‘NO LAND AND POLICE POWERS TO PCs’.
Naative Vedda / July 31, 2019
Your long lost cousins are eagerly waiting for your return/arrival.
Douglas / July 30, 2019
Mr. Sampanthan: I did’t care to read your article. Very many reasons prompted me, among those (1) When you got a “Grand Opportunity” to show yourself as a “National Leader” while being the Leader of the Opposition you slipped it away purposely and the whole country knew that your did not care on “National Issues” but whole time bickering on “Tamil Issues”. You destroyed your “Identity” and you will never regain it. Whatever you “Utter” now and from here onwards, will be viewed very “Suspiciously” by and you will never be able to muster that “National Conscious” you are pleading for. Once a Leader’s “Credibility” is lost, it is lost for ever. That was what happened to all Political Leaders for the last few decades up to present day. Sooner you give up the BETTER for the whole country.
Thappu / July 31, 2019
Douglas , Hon Sampanthan was the Leader of the Opposition only in name. It was a ruse of the President to keep MR at bay. Only when Sirisena changed his strategy to get MR as Opposition Leader, Sampanthan got into his proper shoes. Don’t lose any sleep over his credibility.
Native Vedda / July 31, 2019
“When you got a “Grand Opportunity” to show yourself as a “National Leader” while being the Leader of the Opposition you slipped it away purposely and the whole country knew that your did not care on “National Issues” but whole time bickering on “Tamil Issues”.
You see, it was a Sinhala/Buddhist problem since the public racist Anagarika converted the Buddhists into Sinhala/Buddhism, now touted being Tamil Problem, Tamil issues.
You too have succumbed to the common Sri Lankan disease, short term memory lapses, mostly when they suits their convenient political positions.
Whether TNA being honest or dishonest took a firm position during Mahinda’s stupid coup even though his supporters were tempting TNA or its MPs with early X Mas goodies. Even Namal baby on the record told the media (aiming at TNA though seems gullible at times) ) that he would start work on releasing those detainees (some of them have been detained for more than 20 years without charges) and would visit them the next day on 29 October 2018. The Prince Namal started horse trading, promises of cash and ministries in return for supporting the clan in the parliament.
Nothing could entice the TNA and Namal Baby and his clan failed and failed miserably. JVP was vacillating between its principled position (?) and loyalty to its former ally Mahinda.
I am not sure why TNA did not support the October 28 coup, may be it has acquired some principled positions since the death of VP or feared the National Hangman’s return. We would not know.
Being the ineffective representative (being undermined by the centre) of a minority people, TNA and its leaders are “damned if they do and damned if they don’t”?
Hamlet / August 1, 2019
Who is ‘Naative Vedda’?
Native Vedda / July 31, 2019
Please educate us, is there a
Undemocratic State Structure,
Mechanism to get redress for large scale damages,
Legal System to sue those who are responsible for war crimes, robbery, …
By the way I am not a member of any party nor a fan of any of the leader.
JD / July 30, 2019
CHEAT the voter and live a flamboyant life. that is the vision of political families in Srilanka. The election part of the constitution needs rewriting. either Maithripala sirisena or Ranil did not do that.
Eagle Eye / July 30, 2019
I am wondering whether these Wellala Demala politicians who keep on demanding a new constitution as a solution to their ‘IMAGINARY’ ethnic problem do care at all for the miseries of Demala people who work in plantations and making a major contribution to the economy. Have these Wellala politicians opened their mouths to support the demand of Demala people who are toiling in plantations to increase their daily wage to Rs. 1000.00. No, because they are ‘Indian Tamils’.
Even the bloody crooks in Diyawannawa who use the foreign exchange earned by Demala people who are toiling in plantations to import duty free cars care at all for the plight of these people.
Government should say go to hell to demands of Wellala Demala politicians and focus their attention to uplift the living conditions of Demala people in plantations.
Naative Vedda / July 31, 2019
E blind E
Your long lost cousins are eagerly waiting for your return/arrival.
Good Sense / July 31, 2019
Aiyo! Sampanthan Aiya! Keep your dignity and fight for the rights of the people who you are supposed to represent. You want a constitution with a National Consensus. What right have you got to imply that the National Consensus means the agreement of politicians of all shades? Any simpleton would understand that National Consensus necessarily means the agreement of a good majority of the people manifested by the conduct of a referendum. But Aiya! Your legal eagle, Abraham Sumanthiran was a part of the informal group that drafted and crafted the 19th Amendment of the very same 1978 constitution which you choose to despise. In the same breath you choose to praise moves which are “better” than the 13th Amendment of the 1978 Constitution. Aiya! Don’t you think you are seriously self-eroding your credibility and reputation by blowing hot and blowing cold? Now the sovereignty conferred on the people in the 1972 constitution was highly ornamental and the absolute power was with the Prime Minister. In the 1978 constitution there was some recognition to the people’s rights in three instances. One such is the president referring a bill (not amending the constitution) to the people for enactment through a referendum where Parliament has rejected. NOW, the 19th amendment took away the third avenue, thus abridging the sovereignly authority of the people and Sumanthiran was a part of that “unlawful assembly”. So Aiya! How can you talk of a national consensus when you or your people were involved in abridging the sovereignly power of the people?
charles / July 31, 2019
Time is up for Presidential then general election. No time for new constitution. Talk about that after the elections.
K.A. Sumanasekera / July 31, 2019
The Final bit is the best ..” Thamil People will not take it lying down any longer..”
Coming on the heels of Muslim Demolition of our Sinhala Catholic Community, this is serious..
We all know know what the Thamil people did for 30 years unlike the Muslims did in one day..
Mr Sampthar I remember telling Prez Rajapaksa ” Leave the Muslims to me” after Pira left Nanthikadal..
Our Cardinal must be thinking ” Wish Rajapaksa should have done it”.
That is if Sampathar could have kept Ibrahims n and Zaharans and their supporters on a leash..
Muslims have been in control of 30 % of Dr Ranil’s UNP Cabinet,
By all accounts they have done well.
Now they seem to be doing even better after Easter, with some Muslim politikkas openly bragging that they are the King Makers at the next Elections.
Mr Sampathar and Abraham could have controlled at least 40% if Sampthar didn’t chose to Play Politics to help Dr Ranil to finish off Rajapaksas , instead of joining the Cabinet.
I don’t know where Mr Sampthar got that 90% approval from our inhabitants when 5.6 Million didn’t want Dr Ranil or his New Constitution.
What is the GDP per Capita of those FF dudes who helped write Dr Ranil’s New Constitution ?
Because 30 % of the Inhabitants are on Samurdi . according to Dr Ranil’s Own UNP Deputy Leader..
Apparently most of them are UNP supporters, because they can’t get on to the Samurdhi List unless a UNP Minister signs the Application.
Native Vedda / July 31, 2019
KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera
“Coming on the heels of Muslim Demolition of our Sinhala Catholic Community, this is serious..”
Did you confirm with your brother crossdresser whether the victims of Easter Sunday bomb blasts were/are from Sinhala Catholic Community?
The Sunday mass was conducted in Tamil for those who follow their faith in Tamil. The Batti victims were 100 Tamils.
The Negombo victims were either Tamils, Converted Tamils, or some in the process of converting to become Sinhalese.
As usual you are attempting very hard to portray that the Sinhalese are /have been the victims of all aggression and aggressors are/have been always foreigners or “OTHERS”.
New Mahawamsa written by a recently converted south Indian like you sounds almost same as the one written in 5th century by a South Indian Mahanama.
Stupid man, there were 38 foreigners among the dead – including British, Indian, Danish, Dutch, Swiss, Spanish, US, Australian and Turkish nationals.
Don’t you think at times you should keep your mouth shut or keep your fingers in your mouth for your own good?
Douglas / July 31, 2019
My comment continued…… (2) Do you realize how treacherous you were, when you voted against the “No Confidence Motion” brought against the Government in relation to that “April 21st Massacre” of 225 innocent people praying in churches and parting with meals in hotels. What did you do in that deciding moment in Parliament? You “Bargained” with the PM and obtained a “Written” promise to carve out a Local Authority in Katahnkudy for Tamil people in RETURN for your vote “AGAINST” the NCM. That is how you showed your “Last Respects” for the “DEAD” and the 500 hundreds who suffered injuries and also some who died of those injuries. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself, even at this ripe age, having acted in such a treacherous manner to ask for “National Consciousness”? Please note you will never be “Pardoned” for that “Crime” you committed. These are the two most reasons that prompted me not to read your article.
JD / July 31, 2019
TNA should not be forgiven. when they had the power, they were going behind the International community and their affiliates, behind LTTE Rump all over the western world and India and the Anti-Sri lankan congress party of India.
TNA or wigneswaran are not there to destroy the Tamil Tribalism and Casteism. Poor Tamils do not like it.
Besides, so-called Low caste Tamils do not like TNA or wigneswaran as both those groups are there to protect the Tamil tribal elite. those people say no to power for Tamil Tobacco farmers.
TNA knows they are entitled only to FOUR SEATS. but, they have 16 seats. So, TNA is fighting to hold on to those seats.
This article may be to negotiate with Maithripala and his party.
Mahajana / July 31, 2019
Democracy is founded to govern the country by representatives elected by the majority of citizens not races, tribes, separatists etc.
kali / July 31, 2019
I havent been following CT for a while so I dont know if you have already met with Mr.Modi. If this Article ( which I havent read in full) is a by product of your meeting with him it must be good news.
But there is a lot of Razmatazz surrounding Gothas Candidacy. I have just read and Gotha says he has the real certificate but he wont show it to any one other than the Mad Professor GL and may be also to Sarath De Alwis. You have access to Gotha and can you do a deal on my behalf. Here it is
” I will find a BEAUTIFUL LADY” ( you can call her Juicy Lucy ) and will get her( I mean her assets ) to show hers to Gotha and will Gotha show his to hers and it will be done behind closed doors with lights dimmed.. Look forward to hearing from you before I talk Juicy Lucy.
kali / July 31, 2019
By the way I should add that once Juicy has seen Gothas she will come back and report her findings to me with real nuts. Thanks
soma / July 31, 2019
How much control Modi has on SRI LANKAN Wahabis?
soma / July 31, 2019
If it is so exhausting to read the full length what a herculean task it must have been for old Sampanthan uncle to write it?
What a waste of energy which would have been better spent preparing a draft solution which encompasses at least 50% of Tamils (all Tamil speaking people irrespective of their religion caste or the date of arrival scattered across the island)
He still lives in pre 21/04 era.
Dynamics of the whole equation has changed since then. Sinhalese are back to survival mode.
He continues to use North AND East. Has he got the consensus of the Wahabis?
Where is he going to accommodate the Caliphate in? Inside or alongside?
(I am the only Sinhalese in this forum who supports a separate Homeland for all Tamil speaking people scattered across the island)
Doouglas / July 31, 2019
Native Vedda: “Please educate us”. The best suggestion I can make: Observe, See, Understand and Experience. You Educate yourself with all the freedom within you. If you don’t have that capacity, try to develop it and as time goes on, you will educate yourself. Most importantly, don’t be a slave to anyone. Be the “Master” of yourself. Cheers!
thamizh / July 31, 2019
It is time for Mr. Sampanthan ayya to gracefully retire, accepting the failure of his politics, or shall I say TULF/TNA/Tamil moderate politics. They justified the politics of compromise and appeasement citing the need to gain the trust of Sinhalese. At the end, they have neither – no political settlement nor the hearts and minds of Sinhala people.
What is this new constitution with national consensus? I wonder what will be in it for the Tamils. All along, the Sinhala leaders have been clear that the unitary character of the Sri Lanka state will be untouched. The new constitution along with reconciliation rhetoric merely served to bail out Sinhala state from any accountability process for Tamil genocide/war crimes. Yet, Tamil people are told to be patient and give consent to normalization of oppression through participation in such farce.
JD / August 1, 2019
Te New constitution is for Krru Jayasuriya group to which TNA is affiliated. TNA was working for the International community and is continuing. It is the chinkala army and Navy that do something worth while for Tamils.
Mano / August 1, 2019
Time to hear your farewell speech and not bla bla please.
sinhala_voice / August 2, 2019
What Mr. Sampanthan is quite true. Basically , Sri Lanka constitutions does not take into account the ETHNICITIES that overlap certain geographical areas.
If the Tamils want to govern themselves without being a problem to rest of the communities, if the Sinhalese would govern themselves without being a problem to others and same goes to Muslims then there would be NO problem.
I believe Muslims are a group off Tamils with Islam as there religion. So this should be dealt with Tamil issue together.
Sri Lanka needs to be re-MAPPED to 4 provinces.
1. A somewhat larger Northern Province including parts of Eastern Province.
2.Somewhat smaller Eastern Province.
3.A larger Western Province extending to Beruwala.
4. Rest is the Sinhale.
I think this is fair.
If the Tamils think they are a distinct identity with a special language and culture, Please think about the Sinhala people who exist only in Sri Lanka up to 1900s..later there are pocket in other countries as migrants from ONLY Sri Lanka source.
So, please advice what the Sinhala/SinhalaBuddhist should do in this instance…
Therefore, I would say my solution is the best by far.
Ranjith Gunawaradana / August 4, 2019
The political practices and act of TNA is predecessor of separatism of that TULF and FP has extremely dangerous. We have face that separatism time being which USA intervention by so-called agreement of SOFA ACST and MCC! @.
In fact after movement of Globally connected ISIS that 21/4 Muslim local terrorist attack by mass killed 500 citizens of local and foreign nations as well as 800 causalities of innocent prayers of Catholic Churches that certainly broken Unitary State of 2600 years of that our civilization; which have defend and protected by majority of People of Sri Lankan.
In my view there is no room for deliberation and consensus will not possible of New proposed Constitution by TNA !
Politically that TNA was and is proxies of that LTTE that GUN Point culture not an identical with the norms of democracy of Sri Lankan functions of right to vote has been exercise by since 1931. .
Yours that (TNA) credentials and confidence of democracy are far beyond that reached that ‘New ” Constitutional Reform jointly proposed by TNA & CBK of SLFP Tamil Federalists! While certain ex-LSSPs leaders are currently 19 Amended Constitution was total undermined that by UNP oriented 19th discarded that Unitary of State of Republic of Sri lanka. All in all Separatism of TNA is that conjunct of extremism of Tamil political Terrorism in our soil.
The so-called ‘new’ constitution is that alternative to TNA, which reckless path of country took was anathema to those who wanted to see jeopardized function of nation order of democracy by leader of Sampathan of TNA.
Nimal Tissa Wijethunga / August 4, 2019
Sambanthan can talk, deliver speeches or he can write, but nothing is going happen as 13 A will also scrapped very soon.
How can people who have come hear as slaves, kallathonies and muslims have come hear on spice trade claim more powers in this land?
Native Kala Veddah possibly have some hilarious comments.
Tamil from the north / August 9, 2019
@Nimal bugger, ok we came on a thoni, how did your peeps arrive in Sri Lanka? On a Boeing 747? Idiot your peeps were rowdies who were chased out of India by the rowdy leader’s dad. So go figure!!!