17 April, 2024

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Note On Devolution

Meeting of the NE Tamil MPs with the President on 15/05/2023 at 5 pm in the President’s Office: Note on Devolution to be read out by Justice C.V. Wigneswaran M.P.

Justice C.V. Wigneswaran MP

The Sri Lankan Tamils have spoken with the successive Sri Lankan Governments for over seventy years.  The   Government  should by now be aware of what the Tamils want. The North Eastern Tamil speaking people know that they, as a distinct Nation speaking the Tamil language continuously for over 3000 years in this Island, are entitled to the right of internal self- determination in terms of the provisions of International Covenants. All our registered Tamil National Parties including the maverick Tamil Congress, clamour for a Federal dispensation constitutionally. Such a Constitution if need be, should be preceded by a Referendum internationally conducted in the North and East. Conducting of a Referendum might bring out the actual feelings and thoughts of the Tamil Speaking people of the North and East dramatically which might be unpalatable to the majority community. The harassment, discrimination and heartaches the Government, its officials and the Military even now give our people, could boomerang on the State.

But meanwhile it is my view that the Provincial Council Elections must be conducted in the North and the East and the benefits available to the Tamils in terms of the existing Constitution must be made available to them. I refer to the Thirteenth Amendment.

The 13th Amendment to the existing Sri Lankan Constitution provides for the establishment of Provincial Councils. Article 154G (I) introduced by the Amendment vests legislative power in respect of the matters set out in List I of the Ninth Schedule (the Provincial Council List) in Provincial Councils. Article 154C vests the executive power within a Province extending to the matters in List I in the Governor to be exercised in terms of Article 154F (I) on the advice of the Board of Ministers. In terms of Article 154F(6) the Board of Ministers is collectively responsible and answerable to the Provincial Council.

The Thirteenth Amendment introduced a new concept of a Unitary – decentralised State based on a system of Provincial Government at a sub-national level. This description is of extreme importance since the Constitution specifically provides that the Republic of Sri Lanka is a Unitary State and the majority of the people attach much sentiment to the unitariness of Sri Lanka, though we stress the unitedness of Sri Lanka. The question whether the Thirteenth Amendment, in fact, devolves power would largely depend on the willingness and the capacity of both the National Government and the Provincial Councils to achieve national unity rather than destroy it.

The degree of autonomy enjoyed by the Provincial Councils in the exercise of their legislative power is not found in the area of the exercise of their executive power. The relevant provisions of the 13th Amendment and the Provincial Councils Act demonstrate that in the exercise of executive powers, the Provincial Councils are subject to the Centre and are not sovereign bodies. The provisions relating to the Governor and his powers show that the Governor is not a mere figurehead, but is an active participant in the activities of the Provincial Council. A  Statute of the Provincial Council requires the assent of the Governor who is the Chief Executive of the Province. It is to be noted that a Statute of the Provincial Council does not attain the constitutional status of law as the definition of law in Article 170 of the Constitution remains unamended.  Similarly, it does not enjoy constitutional immunity or protection that is accorded to an Act of Parliament. Therefore it is subject to  review by Court.

If the Provincial Councils system is to function smoothly and meaningfully during these economically stressed times, much needs to be done legislatively and administratively to fill the lacunae in the law to ensure that the transition from a centralized system of administration to a decentralized one facilitates the achieving of the main objective of the scheme  – a means of power sharing among the different ethnic-cultural groups providing a settlement of major grievances of the people. The present status of the Provincial Councils system with all its infirmities does not warrant such optimism.

The country is now in the midst of an economic crisis. The Tamil side consisting of Thirteen Registered Parties in the North and East with the exception of the Tamil Congress has come to realize the urgency for the Full Implementation of the already existing 13th Amendment for the moment though it shall not be a permanent solution to the problems of the Tamils. The Provincial Council elections have been put off for nearly 10 years. It should be held at least in the North and East without any delay.  Yet a few more months of delay in holding the elections will not matter very much because we are of the view that certain preliminaries must be attended to urgently prior to holding  the elections.

Over the years, many powers originally devolved to the Provinces had been intruded upon by a section of the bureaucracy in Colombo. All such issues have to be rectified. For nearly 35 years, the Northern and Eastern Provinces have been discouraged to enact Statutes. Their independent administration had been interfered with.  It will therefore be necessary to pass Provincial Statutes to rectify some of these matters. The 13th Amendment itself has provisions to enable the passage of Statutes even when an elected Provincial Council is non-functional. The Governor of a Province has to report to the President that a situation has arisen in which the administration of the Province cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution (Article 154L). Thereupon, the President by Proclamation assumes to himself all or any of the powers vested in, or exercisable by the Governor or any other body. He also declares that the powers of the Provincial Council shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament. The Parliament is empowered to confer on the President the power of that Provincial Council to make Statutes and to delegate the power so conferred to an authority specified by the President.(Article 154M). That authority could be a Board of Advisors appointed by the President for that Province. In our view, such a Board must comprise of one representative of each of the recognized political parties active in the Provinces, and which unequivocally have called for the Full Implementation of the 13th Amendment.

Representatives of recognized political parties nominated for the Board of Advisors shall not be Members of Parliament, Members of Provincial Councils or elected members of any local authority, or any serving officer of the Government or a Provincial Council or a local authority within the Province. The President shall delegate his powers of making Statutes to the Board of Advisors, and other functions that he may deem necessary. Such Board would make Statutes as and when required and submit same to the Governor for his assent. 

The Chief Secretary of the Province shall be the Secretary to the Board of Advisors. He shall be an officer who would be able to understand records in the language of records of the Province. Tamil is the language of records of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

The President shall also appoint an Advocate General to the Province, or in the alternative appoint a Legal Advisor to the Governor of the Province. The main functions of this officer will be to provide legal advice on the preparation of Statutes.

Let me give here-below in an annexure briefly referring to the restructurings that need to be undertaken before any election is contemplated for the Provincial Councils of the North and East. It is our assessment that such restructuring will take a period of around six months. We therefore urge that once the restructurings have been completed, the Elections Commission could call for nominations for the Provincial Councils elections and conduct the elections in accordance with the procedures laid down. 

I have already made available to His Excellency a letter signed by the Leaders of seven of the 13 registered Parties in the North and East asking for the full implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment for the moment. Of the six remaining, a Party in Government has supported our efforts but declined to sign on a protocol basis. The Tamil Congress feels two in the bush is better than one in hand. The other four registered Parties have refused to sign the document for reasons best known to them.

Let me end here and hand over to the President my speech today with the relevant Annexure. Thank you. 

Justice C.V. Wigneswaran M.P.

ANNEXURE

Preliminaries to be attended to Prior to holding of Elections to the Provincial Councils.

The Board of Advisors and the Governors shall ensure that the following  rectifications are attended to prior to the holding of any elections to the Northern or Eastern Provincial Councils: 

1. The District administration, inclusive of all Divisional Secretaries and Grama Niladharis need to be brought under the purview of the relevant Provincial Council. In this regard, if necessary, Act No.58 of 1992 need to be withdrawn. The President may by an Order published in the Gazette, take necessary action (Article 154T).

2. Over the years, the Central Ministry of Education has encroached upon the powers devolved to the Provinces and taken over a large number of provincial schools and declared them to be national schools. All such schools have to be returned immediately to the Provinces. Further, the Central Ministry of Education has to clearly spell out the definition of “national schools” in the country.

3. All public hospitals, rural hospitals, maternity homes, dispensaries, other than teaching hospitals and hospitals established for special purposes within the Provinces shall come under the purview of the respective Provincial Councils. The Central Ministry of Health has violated this provision of the Constitution. Hence all hospitals other than teaching hospitals and hospitals established for special purposes shall be immediately returned to the Provinces.

4. Rest houses which were under the purview of local authorities were taken over by the Centre by an amendment to the Urban Development Ordinance. This is an infringement of the powers of the Provinces. All such rest houses must be returned to the local authorities concerned.

5. Places of tourist interest which were under the purview of local authorities were taken over by the Centre. These places of interest must be returned to the Provincial administration concerned.

6. Agriculture and Agrarian Services are subjects devolved to the Provinces. It was so at the time of the elected North-East Provincial Council. After the dissolution of that Council, the subject was taken over by the Centre. The matter went before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that “Agrarian Services” was a subject devolved to the Provinces. Yet, the Centre continues to control that subject by changing the name of the relevant institutions to “Agrarian Development Department”. The Centre should hand over the subject to the Provinces. However, it may be necessary for the Provinces to make a Statute for the take-over.

7. At the time of enactment of the 13th Amendment, there was no definition for national highways. To begin with, A, B and AB Class roads were considered as national highways. However,  National Thoroughfares Act No. 40 of 2008, defines a national highway as: “the road or public road ( that ) crosses at least one provincial boundary and connects two or more provincial centres and is a principal thoroughfare for long distance movement of vehicular traffic.” 

As a consequence of this definition, all B and AB Class roads and several A Class roads, will come under the Provinces. A comprehensive Statute will have to be enacted by the Provinces.

8. The Provincial Police has not been established despite the lapse of 35 years. Constitutional Amendments 17, 18 and 19 have made inroads into the powers devolved to the Provinces under Law and Order. Despite these inroads, special recruitment of Tamil police officers to the North and East can  immediately be undertaken utilizing existing provisions of the Constitution. The new recruitments have to be at the Constable, Sub Inspector and Assistant Superintendents’ levels. 

9. It is sine qua non that the National Land Commission is established without delay. The nominee of a Province shall be selected by its Board of Advisors.

The Board of Advisors and the Governors shall ensure that Statutes have been enacted and the framework for the new institutions are in place prior to the holding of any elections to the Northern or Eastern Provincial Councils:

10. A Provincial Training College for Nurses has to be established by the enactment of a Statute. The subject comes under the Concurrent List. 

11. District Colleges for Technical and Vocational Training have to be established in  all Districts of the Province by the enactment of a Statute. This is a subject in the Concurrent List.

12. Fisheries other than fishing beyond territorial waters, is a Concurrent subject. The Provinces have to enact Statutes to exercise power. 

13. Provincial Housing and Construction is a devolved subject whereas, National Housing and Construction is a Concurrent subject. The two Provinces have already established Provincial  Housing Authorities. In addition, the Provinces have to establish an Urban Development Authority as well as a Provincial Engineering Construction Authority, in addition to a Provincial Engineering Consultancy Bureau. Statutes will be required for establishing the last three institutions.

14. Electricity, excluding the generation of hydro power, is a subject in both the Provincial and Concurrent Lists. A Statute will have to be enacted for this purpose.

15. Rural or Minor Industrial Development is a Provincial subject. Major industries are covered under item 21 in List I. Besides setting up a Provincial Industrial Development Board, Economic Zones will be needed to be established in a Province. All these require enactment of Statutes.

16. Protection of the Environment is a subject, both in the Provincial and Concurrent Lists. A Statute has to be enacted.

17. Statutes have to be enacted for Provincial Libraries and for Provincial Museums.

18. Archaeological Sites and Remains, other than those declared by Parliament to be of national importance is a subject in the Concurrent List. A Statute has to be enacted.

19. A Statue on Renaming of Towns and Villages, a subject in the Concurrent List, has to be enacted. This Statute will ensure that unauthorized persons do not rename Towns and Villages in a Province.

20. Acquisition and Requisitioning of Property is a subject in the Concurrent List. A Statute has to be enacted so as to empower the Provinces to control illegal occupation of property belonging to persons, religious places and institutions.

21. The subject of Mines and Minerals Development to the extent permitted by or under law made by Parliament is a subject devolved to the Province. A Provincial Bureau of Mines and Minerals Development has to be established by Statute.

22. Social Forestry is a subject in the Concurrent List. A Statute has to be enacted to exercise power.

23. The subject of Wild Life is in the Concurrent List. A Statute has to be enacted.

24. The Establishment of Pastures is a Concurrent subject. A Statute has to be enacted.

25. The subject of Charities and Charitable Institutions, Charitable and Religious Endowments and Religious Institutions, appears  in the Concurrent List. Two Statutes have to be enacted.

26. The subject of Food and Maintenance of Food Stocks is a subject in the Concurrent List. A Statute has to be enacted to exercise power.

27. Possession, Transport, Purchases and Sale of intoxicating liquors is a subject devolved to the Provinces. A Provincial Department for Liquor Licensing has to be established, by Statute.

28. The subject of Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction for the Northern and Eastern Province remains an incomplete issue. We advise that an Authority for this subject be established under the Office of the Prime Minister, and to function for a limited period of three years.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    I am in total agreement with what C.V.Wigneswaran has said. First the 13th Amendment should be implementated in its true perspective together with the amalgamation of North and Each Provinces immediately. This is essential for the unity of the entire Sri Lanka.

    • 2
      1

      There is a typographical error. ‘Each’ should be read as ‘East’.

      • 7
        4

        Dear Wigneswaran, you are going down the path of Sumanthiran and Gajendrakumar of tireless self promotion and hoodwinking the Tamils. Your rush to make this public is nothing but to steal a march over other Tamil politicians and not for anything else. You said three months ago that you met Ranil in Jaffna (on the sly arranged by NP governor) and explained to him problems faced by Tamils, which he understood and promised to take action. Nothing has happened regarding any of those . What makes you think that anything what you say will be taken seriously. Ranil is not in favour of sharing power or territory with Tamils in a fair and meaningful manner. He is under pressure from India and west to settle Tamil demands, and is on this exercise to please them, with sole purpose of marking time. So instead of being foolish asking him to implement 13th amendment, demand that Indian troops to be deployed in north and east in order to achieve it. Since this is part of Indo-Lanka accord, which Srilanka government has so far failed to honour, India has the right to step in.

        • 5
          4

          Wigneswaran, you are not placing the true picture about the meeting of Tamil MPs, and only concerned about yourself. There was a document presented by Ranil, said to be submitted by a group of Tamils on proposal about measures to take on devolution of power, which Tamil MPs rejected outright. Why are you silent on this. Tamils will like to know the names of the Tamils who submitted it and the contents of it. You remained silent when the talks were put off for June with no valid reason other than as delaying tactics.

          • 9
            1

            Talks has been put off because Ranil is unable to carry forward his agenda. Mark my words, Ranil is going to put up Muslims to scuttle it, and say that he is helpless. What happened in Trincomalee shows double game played by Ranil. On a complaint by Sambanthan, he ordered the police not to allow Thai Budhdhist priests to conduct any ceremony, but took no action when Sinhala racists disobeyed the order.

            • 10
              7

              Already these fake Arab South Indian origin immigrant Thamizh Muslims have been invited for talks, most probably to muddy the waters and scuttle the talks. Now these fake Arab Dravidian Tamil Muslims from South India will start demanding huge chunks of the ancient Thamizh east, where they arrived a few centuries ago, as refugees fleeing Portuguese and then Chingkalla persecution, claiming to be fellow ethnic Thamizh Muslims and were given refuge on that basis and also given land and Hindu Thamizh Mukkuva brides to start a family. Now will deny all this and will start claiming some sort of Islamic state homeland on the basis of Islam and their fake Arab origin, which they hardly have, especially in the East.

            • 3
              11

              Gnana,

              No Sinhala leader will or infact can agree to devolving powers to North & East.
              Not only the sinhalese even the muslims will oppose. Recently Sumathiran said no talks unless North East is merged. This is exactly what we want. The merger will be opposed not only by the sinhalese but by the muslims too. No country will ever force the government for a north east merger. As far as the Indo Lanka accord is concerned india did not or could not hold onto their end of the bargain. Gen Kalkat said in an interview that they all knew the Indo Lanka accord was not going to be implementable since the sinhala majority will not agree to it. That’s exactly what has happened.
              You could adopt a different strategy to win over Indians. Hindi is being taught in some schools in Jaffna. If you whole heatedly accept the beautiful Hindi language in Tamil areas you may have a hope. In a recent interview the Tamil Nadu Finance minister said the Tamils in India whish to exercise self determination and that they are opposed to Hindi in Tamil Nadu. So you will have to prove that you are different to Tamil Nadu tamils in attitude. Still it will be tough job to bury Rajives Ghost. By the way what is happening to War Crimes? You have failed there too.

              • 10
                1

                RAVI PERERA
                The Sinhala Speaking Demela,
                I missed you.

                “By the way what is happening to War Crimes? You have failed there too.”

                Even the war winning hero, war criminal, Sinhala/Buddhists was chased out of his residence, chased out of the country, chased out of his position, and nowhere to live. He had to beg his un-elected political opponent to provide him with life time protection.

                War winning president is all over the place.
                Poor chap, his baby Namal is talking through his …. whatever, and going mad.

                That sort of humiliation to the war crime chiefs was just enough to compensate whatever was missing in terms of justice.


                Is it Karma or is it Natural justice?

                Forget about North East, as far as Hindians are concerned Sri Lanka is is the Sinhala state of Hindia and North East forms part of South India.

                Please let the Hindians do the worrying about lanka while you go beg for food, medicine, gas, fuel, loans, …………………. grab land, steal from people and state, …..

                • 1
                  8

                  Hello Demala Vedda,

                  So are you saying you tamils have given up on war crimes because Gota has been chased by the sinhalese?

                  As far as Hindian are concerned Sri Lanka is a defactor Sinhala state of India including then East and part of North. Jaffna penisular is considered part of Hindian central Govt territory. This is why Hindi is taught in Schools in Jaffna. Indian high commissioner during a recent visity to jaffna requested the students to learn sinhala (just like non hindi speaking states learning Hindi). despite peninsular being part of Indian government.

                  Hindians feel obliged to help us because of the presence of Tamil Nadu hindians in the country. They feel guilty for sending the crap to mother Lanka

                  • 4
                    2

                    Ravi Perera, Sumanthiran has no political acumen. His statement will only help Sinhala racist propaganda that we are prepared to settle the problem, but Tamils are not. The correct position Tamil delegation has to take is to place the following:
                    1. If you cannot divide Srilanka, you cannot divide Tamil homeland. If you contest concept of united Tamil homeland, we will contest concept of single Srilanka.
                    2. Land belongs to first nation and not to refugees or recent settlers. Original people, Tamilized Veddhas and Tamils are the rightful owners of eastern province.
                    3. Remove Amparai electorate which is land of Sinhalized Veddhas, most of which was part of Uva and annexed to eastern province after independence.
                    These arguments are universally accepted and no Sinhlaese can object, unless running the risk of getting labelled racists. Prabaharan being intransigent, brought bad name to Tamils, and now after his death, Sinhalese who from the beginning were intransigent to a fair solution are being exposed. So this hoodwinking of international community is not going to last long.

                    • 4
                      1

                      Ravi Perera, as for the implementation of Indo-Lanka accord, I have been telling these Tamil politicians that except handful of Sinhalese, the rest are not in favour of sharing power and territory with Tamils. So any fair solution has to come from outside using force. This has been conveyed to Ranil and that is why he is trying to ward off it by his false moves of talks with Tamil MPs. India does not need the cooperation of Sinhalese and Muslims to take over north and east and declare the region as part of India, and conduct a referendum to justify it, the same what Russia has done in part of Ukraine. At present Indian policy is to subdue Srilanka economically, which has given some success as Srilanka has surrendered to the extent of tendering Indian Rupee legal. Next move will be to subjugate Srilanka politically. This will fulfill the prediction in the stone inscription in Trincomalee that the land will finally go to Vadugars (northerners).

                    • 1
                      7

                      1. We are not trying to divide the tamil homeland. Tamil homeland is Tamil Nadu. Every inch of sinhale is the homeland of the sinhale
                      2. East of Sri Lanka has always been sinhala and will always. Even in the short lived Jaffna kingdom East was not part of it. This is Universally accepted
                      3.We will not let any part of East to be annexed to North. You will be lucky in another 30 yrs Tamils remain a majority in Vanni.

                      We are not hoodwinking the international community. We have been telling that if North and East is merged it is not fair on sinalese and Muslims in the east and International community does accept this. Next time you are in SL just try to contact a few embassies and check

                    • 1
                      5

                      gana,

                      it will take india just a few minutes to bring the whole country under their control. India will not create another Tmail Nadu by linking north and east and giving it to demalas. If they decide to create a seperate state then they will ensure Hindi is taught in that area. If you agree to it then this is a possibility

                    • 1
                      0

                      Ravi Perera has said this somewhere below where I’m now typing:
                      .
                      “2. East of Sri Lanka has always been sinhala and will always. Even in the short lived Jaffna kingdom East was not part of it. This is Universally accepted.”
                      .
                      No, I don’t accept that. We have to be fair by the Tamils and Muslims.
                      .
                      When I was born the population of this island was only a manageable 7 million. Now it’s 22 million. Actually reducing population will create its own set of problems But the brakes must be applied to population growth.

                  • 1
                    0

                    Some efforts were made to teach the reading and writing of Tamil to Sinhalese children just before the holocaust. In my case I don’t know any Tamil, but I’ve been a teacher of English..
                    .
                    What I do know is that the children took to it enthusiastically. No inhibitions as in the case of English. But from above, there wasn’t the same enthusiasm as from the teacher, late Mr Gunasekera, and the children.
                    .
                    I remember a Staff Meeting in 1980, where there were queries about the programme being scrapped. I didn’t quite comprehend. Years later, the Principal (I won’t name him) said that it was he who scrapped it because he said that Tamils in Jaffna weren’t learning Sinhalese.
                    .
                    I’ll come back to what I told my ex-Principal then.
                    .
                    But before that, let me tell you that TODAY, around noon I had a 50-minute chat with the ex-P, carefully avoiding certain topics which would cause him to flare up. As a human being, he may be better than me, but like all of us humans, he has certain blind spots
                    .
                    Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of Bandarawela

                    • 1
                      0

                      2 of many
                      .
                      This ex-P is now 89, and suffered his first heart-attack about five months back. He’s now careful with his health, but his mind is still clear and he’s prepared to depart this life any time now.
                      .
                      I know how mixed up his thinking is in some respects, but he’s had a very successful life, and is even loved by some Tamils who have worked with him; but it may be that they don’t know all the details about some aspects of his life.
                      .
                      When he turned up as Principal of Bandarawela MMV, it was a great relief to us. He was so committed, honest, and outstanding in many respects. He taught A. Level Science (in the Sinhala Medium) on a regular time-table. I can’t remember which subject. He had done a General Degree in Colombo University: Maths, Physics and Chemistry. His performance at the University hadn’t been brilliant, but he understood clearly the fundamentals of all three subjects. At any given time in his career, he used to teach one of the three subjects at a time.

        • 0
          1

          The forced racial segregation of the island can only happen if forced from the outside or another breakdown is engineered from within by taking advantage of corrupt politicians. It would be interesting to find out how India would be willing to allow Sri Lanka to remove 13A in favor of something that (a) allays any Indian fears that Sri Lankans want a balkanized India (which I understand is something that Tamils would prefer so Tamilakam can be reestablished) (b) allays any Indian fears of Sri Lanka working with China to reduce Indian power (a broken India is VERY bad for Sri Lanka as it opens the island up to Chola-style invasions once more and like in history, the Sinhalese can only hold off so many invasions before not being able to replenish their populations for the next rounds of battle)

    • 1
      11

      Ayathurai,

      So you want 13th amendment and North east merger for unity of Sri Lanka. You seem to be so concerned about the unity of Sri Lanka. You are certain to get the north east merger. Sweet dreams

      • 7
        1

        RAVI PERERA,
        If the 13th Amendment is implemented fully together with the merger of North & East Provinces, the Tamils themselves will build and maintain a Vihara for the Buddhists provided costs of construction and for its maintenance are provided to them. No destruction will take place.

        • 1
          5

          Ayathuray,

          Will convey your message to Ampitiye Sumana. I am sure your wish will be granted,
          provided Muslims agree

          • 5
            0

            Sri Lanka Muslims are Tamil speaking people. Muslim is not a race. People embracing Islam in Pakistan are called Pakistanis. Likewise in Bangladesh they are called Bangladeshis.

            • 3
              1

              AYATHURAY RAJASINGAM

              Could you provide a definition or a short note for “Race”.

              • 4
                0

                Native Vedda,
                Thank you. It should have been mentioned as Nationality instead of Race.

            • 2
              7

              “Sri Lanka Muslims are Tamil speaking people. Muslim is not a race”

              It is a muslim factor that keep them together as a distinct group. It is your wishful thinking to group them into Tamil group to bolster your numbers. It has not and will not work. Try

              • 4
                5

                I totally agree with you, Ravi P.

                • 5
                  1

                  Manel Fonseka, in three studies undertaken by Sinhala Geneticists at different times, it was found that 70% of genetic pool of the so called Muslims in Srilanka is south Indian (Tamil and Malayalam) and none of the Muslims tested had more than 10% west Asian genetic material. Arabs landed in south-western coast and cohabited with Sinhala women. If you ask your Sinhala friends they will tell you who these women are. No woman of decent family will cohabit with sailors or merchants. If Muslims want to deny their ancestry, and wish to take up a separate identity, it is up to them. Worst racism in Srilanka is the claim of Muslims as owners of eastern province. How can those who went as refugees say that over the head of those who gave asylum to them. In contrast 70% of Muslims are living among Sinhalese and there is no claim of even an inch of land as theirs despite being there for 1000 years. Sinhalese are saying that Muslims are mortally scared of them and will not dare to make such demands.

                  • 1
                    8

                    Gnana,

                    Most of the Tamils in East are people who came during colonial periods and settled along the east coast. Worst racism is not by Muslims but by Tamils who are claiming part of sinhale as a Tamil homeland.

                    • 5
                      1

                      Talking about your own ancestors? Yes, we know that half the present-day so-called Chingkallams are descended from South Indian Thamizh indentured labour who were imported into the island by the Portuguese and Dutch colonials and settled along the western and southern coasts to do menial service work as well as to work as slave/indentured labour in the huge southern spice estates. Read the history and origin of the so-called Chingkalla Karawa, Salagama, Durawa as well as many other service castes. Kurpuchamy, Muttularupan, and Muniamma over the centuries converted to Buddhism or Catholicism and then took a Chingkalla identity, changing their original Thamizh names to Portuguese names like Perera, Ponseka, Fernando, Ferdinando, Silva, De Siva do I have to go on and now these Portuguese names are gradually being dropped to high caste sounding Chinkalla family names, again to mask their actual recent South Indian immigrant Thamizh origin. Sinhalese what is that? Another new Mahavamsa fiction? It is Chingkallam meaning in Thamizh the red or copper coloured land. Chingkallam has meaning in Thamizh ( Chem/Chepu +Alam= Chingkallam) however Sinhala is the Prakritized version of this ancient Thamizh word.

                    • 3
                      0

                      Ravi Perera, do not distort the truth. Three stone inscriptions in Tamil dating back to 2000 years have been found in Mahiladitivu and Kathiraveli in Batticaloa district and Weber stadium in Trincomalee. Not a Single inscription in Sinhala of such antiquity has been found in any part of eastern province. Fact that Veddhas worshiped Murugan the God of Tamils proves that they came under Tamil influence. Moreover in the recent finding of caves of Veddhas in Kumana and Maedagama near Bibile, where there were inscriptions in Brahmi and Tamil Brahmi seals this beyond doubt. North Indian racist propaganda that Brahmi writing started in the north and spread to the south, hes been rubbished by recent findings in Tamil Nadu where potsherds with Brahmi inscriptions were found which were carbon dated to be 700 years prior to the earliest Asokan stone edict.

                • 8
                  1

                  Yes, Sinhalese racists and extremists and those who want to divide and rule the Tamils on the basis of religion, caste, region and origins will agree and encourage this racist agenda. This is why the Sri Lankan state keeps on dividing the island’s Tamils. Muslims, North East Tamils , Indian origin Tamils, Colombo Chetties, Bharatha, Negombo /Chilaw .Puttalam Tamils( the ones who still maintain their original Tamil identity and have not switched on the Sinhalese identity like their kith and kin have done). They were even trying to further divide the native NETamils as Hindu and Christian Tamils and by caste and as northern and eastern Tamils but this failed As the native Tamils irrespective of caste religion and region showed a united front.

                  • 7
                    1

                    So do you also agree that the Sinhalese should also be divided and identified on the basis of religion caste and region? Of course not and will jump up and down against this decision but will happily agree when it comes to the Tamils, as you want to divide and rule them. In my opinion shows your true colours, agreeing with some out-and-out Sinhalese racist with a recent South Indian Tamil immigrant origin. At the time of independence, the difference between a Kandyan and low-country Sinhalese was far greater than the difference between the Muslim Tamils or Moors and other Tamils. It was the Kandyan Sinhalese and not the Tamils who first demanded a federal state for them.

                    • 6
                      1

                      All DNA studies on the Sri Lankan Muslims or Moors have proven that there is very little Arab/Western Asian, North Indian, Afghan or other DNA in them, if there is it is far below average and is also confined to a few hundred families, who have a very distant male Arab ( one or two ) ancestor. They are basically Dravidian Tamil Muslim converts from South India and genetically no different from the rest of the South Indian people including the South Indian Muslims and the Sinhalese and Tamils on the island. Even these slightly mixed families are of predominantly South Indian Tamil Dravidian origin. ( either from Modern Tamil Nadu and or from then Tamil Kerala) . Even this slightly Arab mixture hardly occurred on the island but in their original South Indian Tamil homeland. Arabs never came in their thousands to the shores of South India or to the then-Tamil coastal areas on the island. Just a few hundred over a span of centuries and only a few amongst them took local women as comfort women. Their original wives and families would have lived in the Gulf. These original Tamil/Arab half-castes would have been only a very small percentage of the original South Indian Muslims. The vast majority would have been local largely low caste and untouchable Dravidian Tamil converts to Islam and these few half-castes would have been swallowed in this huge sea of Dravidian Tamil Muslim converts to Islam in the Tamil Kerala and modern Tamil Nadu and from here slowly started to migrate to the island in Marrakalams to the then Tamil North Western coast.

                    • 6
                      1

                      The most amount of Arab ancestry is found amongst the Malayali Mappila Muslims from northern and north central Kerala( the word Mapila originates from the Tamil word Mappilai meaning bride groom). The Muslims from the south-central and southern parts of Kerala are largely ethnic Tamil Muslims, who were called Thullukans and most Sri Lankan Tamil Muslims descend from these ethnic Tamil Muslims and this is the reason the word Thullukan stuck to them. However, even these Mappila Muslims of Kerala also have only around 15% Arab/Westen Asian ancestry amongst them largely confined to a few castes amongst them, 85% of their ancestry is Indian.

                    • 2
                      4

                      As far as the divisions among sinhalese are concerned you Tamils have united us. You tamils act as our insurance. Thank you very much.
                      Try and divide the sinhalese. Good luck

                  • 2
                    5

                    There are no native Tamils in Sri Lanka. As much as sinhalese like to divide the Tamils , you yourselves did enough to drive the muslims away.
                    Anyway Sinhalese will continue to divide you fellows more and more. So without complaining try to counter it. Have you heard of the latest strategy. A chap by the name Arun Siddarthan is being promoted.

                  • 0
                    0

                    Siva my man! I regretted not being able to respond to your comments on Wiggie’s last article before the system closed the comments section.

                    As I mentioned earlier, the forced racial segregation of Lanka can only happen via foreign invasion or something engineered from within via corrupt politicians. Both methods have so far not yielded a reestablished Tamilakam though much like how Americans have to tolerate supporters of the Confederacy to this day, I believe Lankans will have to do the same in relation to separatists (oh well).

                    Raja raja chola did try to build a buffer between his Lankan and Pandyan rivals by shifting large numbers of pro-Chola Tamils from South India (similar to how I suppose Russians did into the Baltic states and the English did to Ireland) to Lanka’s coasts, but do you really think that Lankans can be forced to occupy just a particular corner of the island?

                • 6
                  1

                  Manel all DNA studies have revealed that there is very little Arab ancestry amongst the Sri Lankan Muslims, despite them trumpeting from the roof about their exclusive Arab ancestry, just like there is very little Aryan ancestry amongst the Sinhalese despite them doing the same. Both people are descended largely from Dravidian Tamils. If there are any Arab amongst the Sri Lankan Muslims it is confined to a few families largely from the South, where over 72% of them live and the ones living in the north, east and northwest Puttalam/Chilaw and Negombo coasts will more or less be 100% Tamil Dravidian. In the east where the Muslims arrived as refugees a few centuries ago, it was largely men who arrived and they were given refuge there as they were ethnic Tamils. It is a historical fact that these men were given local Tamil Hindu Mukkuva women to marry and start a family and they kept on marrying into these local eastern Tamil Mukkuvas for generations, even the little Arab that they had in them originally would have been further diluted to nothing.

                  • 5
                    1

                    This is the reason the eastern Tamil Muslims follow the Mukkuva Law and the Matriarchal system of the Eastern Mukkuva Tamils. The Sri Lankan Muslims or Moors as they love to call themselves, are basically Dravidian Tamils, even the southern ones, with only a dash of Arab or other ancestry found amongst a few hundred rich southern trading families. 95% of them will be pure Dravidian Tamils. The identity is a religious and not an ethnic identity, as ethnically they are Tamils, who have now decided for perceived political and economic advantages, and also due to fast spreading Islamic extremism and fanaticism, especially the Wahhabi variety from the Arabian Gulf to renounce or deny their actual Tamil ethnicity and in the name of Islam, Gulf Arabic culture that is fast adopting to claim an Arab origin and ethnicity, thinking this will bring them untold wealth and advantages. Dream on. The Arabs generally use these brainwashed South Asian Islamic extremists, as cannon fodder to do their dirty work. You just have to go to the Gulf to see how they treat them, including these fake Arab Sri Lankan Tamil wannabe Arab Muslims.

                • 4
                  2

                  Manel Aunty, yes if they wish to have a separate identity based on their religion fine but this identity should be based on history, truth and facts and not on myths lies and fiction. They should correctly identify themselves as Muslim Thamizh or Thamizh Muslims, as this is what they really are and their true identity. Not Arab, Moor, Camel, Siberian Husky or whatever takes their fancy or they think is advantageous to them. Muslim is a religious identity and not an ethnic or racial identity and Thamizh is their actual ethnicity so They are correct identity is Thamizh Muslim, not Arab Muslim Moor, or anything else. All DNA studies also confirm this. A little bit of Arab, Camel, Moor, Gazelle or Onyx DNA in a small minority of them, does not make them any of this, even the ones with that little bit. They are all still Thamizh, whether they like it or not.

                  • 4
                    1

                    What have they gained so far from the Chingkallams or Arabs or Moors by denying their actual Thamizh ethnicity and claiming a blanket Arab origin for all of them, that only a few of them partially have, even after partnering with the Chingkallams to commit war crimes, genocide and ethnic cleansing on the island’s Thamizh, especially in the east where they arrived as refugees, fleeing persecution, ironically claiming to be Thamizh. The answer is nothing and they should have learnt their lesson now instead of still trying to cause trouble and joining with the Chinkallams to muddy the waters to deny the Thamizh justice and their homeland. Arrive in the east as refugees and were given refuge as Thamizh and now in the name of their religion and an imagined Arab origin, repay the Thamizh with treachery.

                  • 3
                    0

                    PK
                    Is there any difference between SL Muslims defining themselves as Muslims — based on religion — & Jews, from all over the world (very few of whom, I imagine, are genetically linked to the small, religio-ethnic group that briefly inhabited, millennia who, that now-contested part of the world), defining themselves as Jews?

                    • 0
                      0

                      Well said, Manel.
                      .
                      There isn’t a sharper commenter than you on CT.

                      .
                      I respect your efforts here all the more because I know (not experientially, but with certainty) that life is difficult for you. And when you comment now, I know that you do so without having any personal stake in the issue.
                      .
                      We need many more like you, with courage, honesty, and absolute fidelity to the truth as you see it.
                      .
                      Of course you can’t sometimes see the predicament that I’m in. However, that is because we are all so taken with our own limitations of knowledge; never, in your case, because you deliberately distort, like some commenters whom we know.

                    • 1
                      0

                      I have spoken to several Muslims in different parts of Sri Lanka (except the North & East). They totally deny that they came from India. According to them, there are a certain group of Muslims/Moors who are known as Indian Muslims but all other Moors are decedents of Arab traders who got married to either Sinhala or Tamil women. When asked how they ended up speaking Tamil, they come up with many different reasons (eg. business/trade language was Tamil, their nannies/maids were Tamils, and so on…).
                      Contd…

                    • 1
                      0

                      Contd. from above…
                      For some reason, they like the Sinhalese more than the Tamils and regret that they spoke Tamil instead of Sinhala. Today, most of them educate their children in the Sinhala medium, some Muslim parents speak Sinhala with their children at home. Today, there are many Muslim/Moor children who cannot speak a word of Tamil. Sooner or later, their mother tongue will change to Sinhala. What is the point in arguing who they are and from where they came if they are not going to support the Tamils in solving their issues.

              • 4
                1

                RAVI PERERA,
                But in Pakistan the scenario is moving towards a CHANGE especially in the Pakistan controlled Kashmir where the Pakistanis are willing to live within the Union of India. They are not even bothered if India becomes BHARATHA VARSHA, i.e.AHANDA BHARATHAM. There the Muslim factor has failed. So is Afghanistan. Even the Sri Lanka Tamils and the Sinhalese will be benefited and live peacefully in AHANDA BHARATHAM than confronting untold hardships in the present regime.

                • 1
                  3

                  Ayathurai,

                  You can amuse yourself with these nonesense in your twilight years

                  • 1
                    0

                    RAVI PERERA
                    The Sinhala Speaking Demela

                    “You can amuse yourself with these nonesense in your twilight years”

                    Remember:
                    Sri Lanka says it is ‘bankrupt’ as financial crisis ravaging the country deepens
                    https://www.businessinsider.com/sri-lanka-says-bankrupt-financial-crisis-ravages-country-debts-default-2022-7?r=US&IR=T

                    Do you think it was LTTE which with its own politico/military strategy (whatever that is) forced Sri Lanka to declare bankrupt?

                    I think we should attribute this achievement to great proud Sinhala/Buddhists like you, Gota, Wimale, …… and 6.9 million.

                    Would you agree with me?

              • 1
                0

                RAVI PERERA,
                Remember the historic speech made by the first Education Minister of India, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, from the the ramparts of the Jama Masjid in 1947 is oft cited as the perfect example of a Muslim politician standing firm against the Partition of India. He urged the Muslims to stay in India and said “The minarets of Jama Masjid want to ask you a question. Where have you lost the glorious pages from your chronicles? Wasn’t it only yesterday that on the banks of the Jamuna, your caravans performed wazu? Today, you are afraid of living here. Remember, Delhi has been nurtured with your blood. Brothers, create a basic change in yourselves. Today, your fear is misplaced as your jubilation was yesterday.”. But Ali Jinnah was firm on separation. Today the Pakistan which was founded by Ali Jinnah is bleeding. The Pakistanis have already signalled India to be within the Union of India.

  • 1
    2

    “But meanwhile it is my view that the Provincial Council Elections must be conducted in the North and the East and the benefits available to the Tamils in terms of the existing Constitution must be made available to them. I refer to the Thirteenth Amendment.”

    did he not oppose the 13th amendment when he was the chief minister?

    • 4
      1

      As regards executive power exercisable by the Governor, Wigneswaran is right.

      The Governor Exercises executive power on the advice of the Chief Minister and the Board of Ministers as long as the Chief Minister and board of ministers have the confidence of the majority members in the Provincial Council.

      Even under the Soulbury constitution and under the first Republication constitution of 1972 the executive powers were exercised by the Governor General and the President respectively and as long as the Prime Ministers and the cabinet had the majority support in the legislature, the Governor General or the President did not have any discretion, but to exercise his executive power as per the advice of the Prime Minister or the cabinet.

      The Indian Constitution has also clear similar provisions where the executive powers is with the
      President and the Governors in the states, but in practice they have to exercise the Executive power on the advice of the prime Minister and the Chief Minister.

      The Governor is only a lame duck Governor.

      We need not fear the provision, but to negotiate to amend the 13A to make devolution more effective.

    • 6
      0

      “”Did he not oppose the 13th amendment when he was chief minister”. Are you not aware that politicians have no principles but only self interest, and Wigneswaran is not an exception. He was a miserable failure as chief minister, with no vision, knowledge or ability to run it.

    • 0
      0

      I have read neither the Article nor any of the comments, save one. Yours!
      The word ‘meanwhile’ has a very specific meaning in this context. Have you given thought to it.
      Fully implemented 13A is better than what haves right now, until … .

  • 13
    1

    The Sri Lankan Tamils have spoken with the successive Sri Lankan Governments for over seventy years and FAILED because the SL governments have no power over the Buddhist Monks, the politicians who play the communal card, the racist media and the Sinhala Buddhist majority with the Mahavamsa mindset. Without changing the mentality of the Sinhala Buddhist majority, the Tamils cannot expect anything from the government.
    The Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist Chronicle ‘Mahavamsa’ written in Pali that covered the period between 6th century BC and early 4th century AD, is not only believed to be the world’s first written historical document, but had much to say about the history of India where Buddhism originated. However, the Mahavamsa was written not as a history of the island but as a (Vamsa Katha) chronicle of the famous Theravada Buddhist Institution known as the ‘Mahavihara’ that believed in the purity and superiority of Theravada Buddhism.
    Contd’…

  • 12
    1

    Contd. From above…
    The description of the events in the Mahavamsa has a very strong Theravada Buddhist flavor and due to this bias, the history was modified to glorify those kings of the Anuradhapura kingdom who patronized this institution (Mahavihara) and followed/supported Theravada Buddhism and those who did not were portrayed as either ‘bad kings’, or ‘good kings but invaders/usurpers’. As evidence, at the end of every chapter, the Mahavamsa says it is written for the ‘serene joy and emotion of the pious’ (for the glorification of Theravada Buddhism). In doing so, the Theravada Buddhism of the Mahavihara established its supremacy in the island over all others (Saivism, Vaishnavism, Jainism, Mahayana Buddhism, etc.) and as a result the Mahavamsa ended up in reveling the presence/existence of Tamils and Tamil kings during the early historic period. It was the result of the quarrel between Mahavihara and others that portrayed the Saivite Tamil kings as ‘invaders’ and ‘usurpers of the throne’.
    Contd’…

  • 12
    1

    Contd. From above…
    However, during the 19th century, based on the uncritical acceptance of the local chronicles, the Mahavamsa’s contents which portrayed the Theravada Buddhist viewpoint against others was used by the European Orientalist scholars and the local historians to prop up the theory that Sri Lanka was, and is, a Theravada Buddhist country or rather a Sinhala Buddhist country and that the non-Theravada Buddhists or the Tamils were, and are, the ‘other’, an interloper and not indigene which undoubtedly has conditioned the minds of the Sinhala Buddhists over the years. This naturally irked the already politically marginalised Tamils who in turn accuse the Sinhala Buddhists of having a “domineering Mahavamsa Mindset”. The present-day Sinhala historians have changed the term ‘Tamil invaders’ into ‘Tamil merchants/traders’ who usurped the throne. Unless they change this Mahavamsa mindset, nothing is going to work.

  • 6
    1

    Sivalingam Aruran acquitted from case over Gotabaya assassination attempt.

    43-year-old Sivalingam Aruran is an Engineering Graduate from the Moratuwa University.

    These MF’s ruined a young man’s life. Who is going to compensate for the long 15 years lost and the torture he went through.

    I am also mad at the real culprit who attempted it. If he/she did a proper jb Sri Lanka wont be in this mess.

    • 4
      1

      “I am also mad at the real culprit who attempted it. If he/she did a proper jb Sri Lanka wont be in this mess.”

      Please read the Sinhala Speaking Demela Ravi Perera’s typing above and you will see why the country is in such a state of ruin. Such people are obsessed with what Demelas should not get hence they are stuck with the country that is under-developing, the functionaries don’t work, Justice department ….. Army Chief is worried about illegal immigrants arriving from Tamilnadu and building Vihares in areas where there are no practicing Buddhists, than protecting the island from crooks within, ….

      • 6
        1

        That Sinhala speaking demala is suffering from a major inferiority complex. Worried if Tamils get anything he will fall below what he is now. Internationally recognized but completely ignored beggar.

        Responding to idiots like that wastes your time.

        • 2
          8

          Thanks for letting me know I am an idiot. Something professors of three countries could not work out. By the way every Sinhalese feel superior to any tamil. There is stigma attached with the word tamil in the sinhala psyche. Bye refugee

          • 1
            0

            RAVI PERERA
            Sinhala Speaking Demela

            “There is stigma attached with the word tamil in the sinhala psyche”

            See where it has led you to, Bankruptcy according to the state.
            Make peace with your long lost cousin Stalin who fed you, sent rice, oil, medicine, .. etc when you desperately needed them.

            I understand he is willing to help you develop the country and help you to stand on your own legs, the only thing is you must tell your fellow Sinhala speaking Demelas (6.9 million ????) to work bit harder. You know there is no such thing as free lunch.

            Even your hard line Dinesh has already jumped ships,
            Good luck in all your new endeavorrs.
            I am sure nimal, Sinhala Man, old codger ….. will guide you.

  • 2
    4

    Dear Justice CVW,

    //Such a Constitution if need be, should be preceded by a Referendum internationally conducted in the North and East//

    I fully agree with you if people of both regions are agreeable for merger of two PCs, provided there should be two Referenda, one for North and one for East, asking same question; “whether” they like to be under one PC or two PCs. Because, as far as I’m concerned, it’s like a marriage and both parties should agree upon.

    • 1
      0

      Ahmad Nadvi, referendum in east should be held only after all displaced Tamils resettled in their original places. Sinhalese and Muslims cannot object to it. If this is done, Tamils will have the overall majority and the result will end in merger. Conducting referendum without this amounts to legalizing the murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils that had taken place over the years committed by Sinhalese and Muslims. This is why it was agreed in Indo-Lanka accord that referendum to be postponed indefinitely. Justice has to be granted to all, and not to Sinhalese and Muslims only. Best solution is to remove Amparai electorate and Lahugala AGA division from east and merge the rest with north, with Pondichery type of non contiguous sub autonomous unit for Muslim areas. This is fair to all. In exchange Puttalam electorate which was called Demala Hatpattu in the past and cradle of Dravidian civilization, which has Tamil and Muslim majority be linked to this merged region. Whether you like it or not, this is going to happen.

  • 6
    1

    All these talks with the Sinhala government are just a waste of time. The Sinhala Buddhist Majority including their Monks and the Politicians are not going to share anything with the Tamils. The Tamils talked for the past 70 odd years. GG Ponambalam’s 50:50 failed, Banda-Chelva Pact failed, and Dudley-Chelva Pact failed. The Sirimao Government abolished the Soulbury safeguards for minorities, made Sinhala as the sole official language, gave foremost place to Buddhism and made the country a unitary state. Thanks to Rajiv-JR Indo-Lanka pact, even though the North East Merger failed, at least 75% of the 13th amendment is implemented. Both Chandrika and Mahinda Rajapakshe’s 13++ failed. The present talks with Ranil are also bound to fail. Even if the Tamils talk for another 70 years, nothing is going to change. Whatever government comes to power, they are Scared of being branded as traitors to the majority Sinhala Buddhist and losing the next election. How are they going to counter the Anti-federal constitution propaganda by the ultra-nationalist racists and the Buddhist monks? It is unfortunate that, after sharing the country with the Sinhalese for the past thousands of years, the Tamil leaders are still unable to understand the Sinhala mindset.
    Contd…

  • 6
    1

    Contd. from above…
    The Tamil leaders should have demanded autonomy for the North and East or at least a Federal State from the British at independence, but unfortunately, the Tamil leaders foolishly trusted/believed the Sinhalese leaders just the way they believe them even today, thinking that they will get something from the Sinhala government. For the present-day Sinhalese, Federalism means Separation. The moment you say federal, they will reject outright. When it comes to the North-East merger, not only the Eastern province Muslims and Sinhalese but even the Eastern Tamils will oppose it. If at all, the full implementation of the 13th amendment is the only thing that the Tamils can expect from the government and even that is not easy unless there is international pressure (mainly Indian).

  • 0
    1

    my opinion on devolution is the tamil leaders should ask for a quasi federal state on the lines of indian state of tamilnadu for the territory based on the jaffna kingdom which would encompass the northern province and a small part of the eastern province and a small prt of puttalam where the pearl fishing took place.The leaders missed the bus at independence when they should have asked for that precolonialperiod territory when the portuguese colonised in 1520.The map is given below

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jaffna_Kingdom#/media/File:Sri_Lanka_geopolitics,_1520s.png

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