30 November, 2020

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NPC Resolution: Federalism, Confederation Or Separate State?

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

There is nothing wrong in proposing a viable federal system to Sri Lanka given the conflict context and its necessary resolution, in the short, the medium or the long term. In fact it is a must, unless it is stalled by adventurism. This means going beyond the existing devolution arrangements, already quasi-unitary in character. There can be other merits in expanding devolution towards federal or quasi-federal system, particularly taking the existing provinces as economic planning units, although Sri Lanka is a small country.

The size of the country also should be taken into account, although the population is nearly 21 million with three main ethnic or national communities in competition or conflict. The other diversities should be taken into account not necessarily through the state structures but state practices and policies such as human rights, equal opportunities and political culture. What most suitable might be ‘cooperate devolution’ with constitutional safeguards to ensure that the center does not take back or infringe the powers and functions of the provinces, while coming closer to federalism or quasi-federalism.

Nature of Proposals

It is unfortunate in this context what is proposed by the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). It is far far beyond the realistic conditions in the country and it cannot even be considered an ideal model. There is nothing particularly wrong in ideals, but they in that case should be impartial and open-minded. This quality is not there in the proposals. It is understandable that the proposals are from the Tamil side, or (major) part of the Tamil side. However, any reasonable proposal should be able to see the ‘other’ side, or the problems in a total Sri Lankan context.

One positive aspect of the proposals however is their clarity. Objectives are articulated clearly, and the proposed constitutional principles and structures are elaborated with details. Therefore it is necessary to assess them objectively without emotional outbursts. This is a responsibility on the part of all political parties and all concerned people. It is reported that a copy is now handed over to the Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya, who is also the Chair of the recently constituted Constituent Assembly of Parliament, by the NPC Chief Minister, C. V. Wigneswaran. This is now official.

What is not clear is the origin or the authorship of the proposals. Of course some of the ideas were there for a long time going beyond federalism, but I am here referring to the ‘political authority’ behind the proposals. Although the proposals are popularly named as TNA proposals, the text of the proposals are in the name of the Tamil People’s Council (TPC). The exact title of the document says “Tamil People’s Council: Final Proposals for Finding a Political Solution to the Tamil National Question.”

The document is not something formulated by the TNA, or even the NPC, although the NPC Chief Minister was apparently involved in the process and there had undoubtedly been many public consultations before its final formulation. What the NPC has done apparently is to pass the proposals through a resolution on 22 April 2016 with 28 members sitting and 10 absent.

According to the website of the TPC, a sub-committee was appointed to formulate the proposals on 2 January 2016 and an initial proposal was inaugurated on 31 January within a month for public consultations. We have to keep in mind that the founding of the TPC was only on 19 December 2015. According to the same website, there had been a five member external panel assisting the proposals, as it says, including “two foreign experts on constitution and three experts from Diaspora.” The names are not given.

None of the above should discount the seriousness of the proposals or their necessary critical evaluation in the process of finding a constitutional framework for a viable solution to the ethnic confrontations in the country. However it appears that the proposals are more political or ideological than constitutional as will be discussed below. This discussion is introductory more details may be followed up in the future.

Framework

The proposal constitute two clear parts (1) a very long Preamble expressing political or ideological objectives and (2) constitutional proposals which calls for a loose confederation with a weak ‘federal’ or ‘central’ government. In this 6,912 word document, 1,916 words are spent on the Preamble and the call for a ‘political agreement prior to a constitutional enactment.’ It is intriguing to contemplate why this size of a preamble was required if the purpose is for a ‘political agreement’ and a subsequent ‘constitutional enactment.’

The Preamble can be extremely controversial and might be counterproductive for any pragmatic solution/s that could be achieved based on some of the proposals in the section on the constitution. It begins by saying “throughout the centuries from the dawn of history, the Sinhalese and Tamil nations have divided between themselves the possession of Ceylon.

Even if we leave out the historical inaccuracy of the first part in respect of the origins of the ‘nations,’ it is questionable why the claims of the Sinhalese and the Tamils are considered as a matter of ‘dividing the possessions of the country, between the two groups.’ Are we talking about a conflict for ‘real-estate’ or material possessions? If that is the case, the ordinary people are not part of it, except they are mobilized on emotional grounds.

It may be correct to consider the Kings and their families divided the possessions of the country between themselves in old days (with some corollaries in recent times!), but not the people. Even that not necessarily on ethnic or nation lines but dynasties. The first three paragraphs delightfully talk about the ancient Kingdoms.

It may be the case that the drafters wanted to trace the history. But the way that has been done gives the impression that at least the first approach of the proposal is quite primordial. The primordial approach in nationalism is quite well known. As the “The Nationalism Project” rather critically says, “Nationalists argue that nations are timeless phenomena. When man climbed out of the primordial slime, he immediately set about creating nations.” This primordial approach is shared by both the Sinhalese and the Tamil extremists. At least they have one point in agreement!

Ideological Approach

The above does not mean that the whole historical narrative traced in the Preamble, particularly for the period after independence is completely incorrect. There is a general agreement among the moderate people about some of the points traced in the paragraph seven which begins by saying, “Acknowledging that successive Sinhalese governments since independence have always [sic] encouraged and fostered the aggressive nationalism of the Sinhalese people and have used their political power to the detriment of the Tamils,” irrespective of the explosive language used and exaggerations or distortions committed.

However, it is questionable whether this is the way to go about political negotiations for a constitutional settlement for the national question. It is strange again to note the reference to the ‘territories of the former Tamil Kingdom’ when it refers to ‘a system of planned state-organized Sinhalese colonization’ in point (b) in the same paragraph. Be as it may, more controversial might be the assertion of the Vaddukoddai resolution (1976) and the Thimpu principles (1985) as a Preamble to constitutional negotiations.

Nowhere in the proposal is it said that the TPC is not asking for a separate state. Instead, the catastrophic adventure of the LTTE is defended in the following terms.

“Bearing in mind that the Tamil armed struggle as a measure of self-defense and as a means for the realization of the Tamil rights to self-determination arose only after more than four decades of non-violent and peaceful constitutional struggle / attempts by the various Tamil political parties to win their rights, by co-operating with the successive governments in order to achieve the bare minimum of political rights proved to be futile and due to the absence of means to resolve the conflict peacefully,”

It is a subjective or unilateral assessment to say about the complete exhaustion of ‘more than four decades of non-violent and peaceful constitutional struggle/attempts’ – while there is some relative truth in it. What we have to understand is that the struggle for democracy is a long and an arduous struggle. (By the way I have not seen the concept of democracy or the word ‘democracy’ appearing in any significant manner in the whole document.) There are various forms of ‘non-violent and peaceful struggles.’ If there is no engagement or dialogue, then those might not reap results.

However, none of those would justify the so-called “Tamil armed struggle as a measure of self-defense” or “as a means for the realization of the Tamil rights for self-determination.” In my view, the statement is a clear justification of LTTE terrorism which is unfortunate and unacceptable.

Constitutional Structure?

It may be true that the proposal has not directly called for a ‘separation of the country.’ But it has called for a weak Federation and strong (provincial) States, North-East as a Tamil state. For example, the document proposes 55 powers for the States, but 37 powers for the Federation! The interpretation of these powers and the ‘mingle’ of the ‘federation and the states’ are as follows. Let me quote the full section to give a taste of it. This is titled “Powers of the Federation and the States” (Section 8).

8.1. Powers of Government shall be shared between the Federation (Centre) and the States.

8.2. The Federal List of the Constitution shall determine the powers to be exercised by the Federation.

8.3. The States shall exercise all powers not falling within the Federal List including those powers listed under the States List.

8.4. The Federation and the States shall be supreme in their respective spheres of competence.

The ‘fashionable’ proposition (yet erroneous or ambiguous from the beginning in my opinion) for ‘power-sharing’ seems to be the formula that was utilized for the ‘mingled arrangement.’ (My good friend Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne might be in a difficult position to sort this out.) Thus it proposes to share power ‘between the Federation (Centre) and the States’ particularly between the ‘Centre and the (Tamil) North-East State.’

There is an interesting ‘Note’ to the section that I have quoted above, which says “The States’ List has been prepared from the perspective of the powers that the North-East State Assembly would exercise.” This is in a way understandable, because it talks about ‘Tamil’ interests or aspirations. What the proposal has perceived is a multi-unit federation and question whether there is a need to have the same powers for the ‘other units’ saying, “We recognize that unlike the North-East no other part of the country makes claims to maximum self-government.

Most intriguing are the last two sub-sections (8.3 and 8.4) which says (1) ‘the States (read North-East) shall exercise all powers not falling within the Federal List’ and (2) ‘the Federation and the States (again read North-East) shall be supreme in their respective spheres.’ This is about a ‘separate state’ within a loose federation, with ‘supremacy for that state’ in its own sphere.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    14

    The Yahapalana professor obviously hasn’t seen the Vellala CM’s kick ass media briefing along side the Yahapalana Minister T Harrison, who predicts that the Yahapalana President Bodhi Sira will pick Basil Rajapaksa as the next PM.

    Coming from a loud mouthed UNP Senior, there must be some “fire”there somewhere in the Yahapalana coop.

    I reckon Vellala Wiggis got a good Model. He even told the journos to their face, that they are not smart enough to understand what his Model is..

    Perhaps this Professor also is in that category to write something like this.

    Vellala Wiggs was even kind enough to mention the Estate Tamils this time, which the TNA boss Sambandan has avoided like the Plague.

    Vellala Wiggs says his Model includes a separate State for the Estate Tamils too.

    Don’t know about the Yahapalana suckers, but I am all for it.as a campaigner for our Dalits’ rights.

    • 3
      3

      Dr. Laksiri Fernando

      RE: NPC Resolution: Federalism, Confederation Or Separate State?

      1. “This means going beyond the existing devolution arrangements, already quasi-unitary in character. There can be other merits in expanding devolution towards federal or quasi-federal system, particularly taking the existing provinces as economic planning units, although Sri Lanka is a small country.”

      It could be like USA/EU style, with regional state autonomy, with protection of minorities, with option for the center to move in under certain circumstances.

      2. “The size of the country also should be taken into account, although the population is nearly 21 million with three main ethnic or national communities in competition or conflict. The other diversities should be taken into account not necessarily through the state structures but state practices and policies such as human rights, equal opportunities and political culture.”

      This size should not be an issue. After all Germany and France cooperated, as each can server the other, after centuries of war. We had only one war so far.

      Big Question. How do you protect the “Low” Caste Non-Vellahala Tamils and other non-Tamils from discrimination and abuse?

      Remember, the Muslims and Sinhala were ethnically cleansed from the North.

      What are the checks and balances? Who will implement it in case of violation?

      • 2
        4

        “Big Question. How do you protect the “Low” Caste Non-Vellahala Tamils and other non-Tamils from discrimination and abuse?”

        In Canada -America the discriminations provisions are Federal Part. Fundamental Right violations, most of the times, are handled by Federal. Fedral has the dealing with the UN. These are mainly UN’s requirements and recommendation. Some of the countries had these even before UN. But for our purpose, Federal Government will reflect the UN as per the agreements it’s accepts or signs with it. In turn, it will consult with states of the matters to be agreed. For example, even after a satisfactory solution, North-East will ask the Federal government to sign the rome Treaty.

  • 9
    9

    Prof. Laksiri,

    The TPA proposals given the veneer of NPC approval, are deliberately designed to be non-starters in a political sense , but ignite controversy. It is a torpedo fired from the murky depths of the sea.You have labored to make some sense out of these proposals, but failed, as it has no redeeming features. It is an appeal directed at the Tamil gallery and the Sinhala rabble.

    The question is whether the TNA at the parliamentary level is backing it? The TNA is here nor there in its public pronouncements. The TNA is now playing a Dr.Jeckyl-Mr. Hyde schizophrenic roles. This is unfortunate and sad.

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

    • 3
      1

      Narendran
      Looks like you are going through a very bad period, looking for some means to become important. Having licked rajapaksas only a few years back trying for some position and failed, now you are looking at thr present government hoping to catch the eye of some one.You will never get more than what you have now. You are a vet why don’t you try to treat cats and dogs and horses may be, instead of harping on about Tamil politicians.
      Your brothers IH and mahindapala are doing that job well.

    • 1
      2

      “Tamil gallery”

      With robbed money and stolen theater, EPDP go for fist class. Annadurai turned around the Tamil nadu Politics with the Tamil Gallery.

      Sadly, the man has not written that can be interpreted as carrying a political message. Those who have no political sense can only spew venom like Udaya Gammanpila.

      The learned professor is playing a roll on TNA’s proposal, which the PhD, Udaya Gammanpila played on “Sampanthar Raided Army Camp” Drama. He shook the entire Sinhala Media to have a failed “Mayday” Rally. Same results with the Aluthgama riots and 2015 January EP election.

      After the biggest failure of staging his character in the Drama of “Sampanthar Raided Army Camp”, the Doctor Spin is now carrying pantham for others similar class theories.

  • 8
    2

    If victorious then revolutionary, if defeated then terrorist.
    The more successful states and tribes have wiped out populations
    Our own Vijaya was reputed for this
    So this is not the issue, but the agenda of Tamil separatism or self-determination, yet live & kicking.

    The options are we continue to maintain the statuesque and face the possibility of some troubles with the disgruntled minorities
    or
    We yield to all demands and have a two-state solution
    or
    Devolve power to all the provinces, thereby nullifying the Tamil-Sinhala issue
    or
    Easily maintain a unitary state with the empowerment at the community level such as in Scandinavia and have a minority chap as the president, whilst exercising our majority power through a powerful prime-minister.

    • 16
      6

      The Sri Lankan Tamils are inherently democratic and secular in nature; we can fit-in, in a united Sri Lanka while maintaining our dignity and fundamental rights.

      • 2
        1

        The Sri Lankan Tamils are inherently democratic and secular in nature/

        One of the most laughable comments I have ever seen

        • 2
          1

          sachooooooooooo the stupid II

          “One of the most laughable comments I have ever seen”

          By any chance, you are watching Wilson Gunaratne’s comedy piece.

          He is brilliant, isn’t he.

          Carry on with what you are doing.

  • 4
    5

    If the proposal is not materialised it will be a failure of Democracy and justice. There need a innovative political philosophy.

    • 3
      4

      pacs,
      You are right this will not materialize. With terrorists, terror supporters and separatist you can not practice democracy!
      Also, we need to know who the two foreign experts on constitution and three experts from Diaspora who was involved in drafting this. We need to investigate the background of these “experts and diaspora”. Did they have any connections to the terror group LTTE in any form. They have to release info about any kind of support (moral, financial, tactical, weaponry, lobbing etc. etc.) they gave for the terror group.

  • 15
    7

    Small or big !! Dr Laksri Fernando!! Don’t you there are more 112 countries smaller than our country !! It is the smaller mind of people !! Leaders !! The government of Srilanka !! That is the core of the current situation!! If the leaders of our country really want us to develop the country !! They have treat every citizen equal !! Or devolve the power !! Power to Tamils !!

  • 10
    5

    If the NPC is allowed to do like all other PCs without hindrance by the Governor, all land returned, all livelihoods allowed, all places of worship allowed to be as before, all businesses by the army given over to civilians as promised, any arrests done according to the law,
    state aided colonisation halted, there will be peace like it was before the war.
    Do we need a new constitution?

  • 9
    3

    CT is promoting castisim by allowing comments Like KAS’s.

  • 8
    3

    There is a news item in todays Adaderana that “A notice has been issued by the Supreme Court on four persons including Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran to appear before the Court on May 12, 13 and 17.”

    “The notice was issued following a petition which suggested that a proposal adopted by the Northern Province Council could give rise to a division of the country and a reemergence of terrorism.”

    Are the Supreme Court judges so brain dead as to be unable to understand there is nothing they can do about this? Dont these judges understand that it is up to the Parliament whether to approve or not to approve the new Constitution on any matter including even creating two states completely independent of each other out of Mother Lanka?

    What about deciding that other issue on an urgent basis whether appointment of MPs to the National List is a matter of public interest or not? What the hell is Sripavan doing? Do these mutts deserve to be paid a salary?

    http://www.adaderana.lk/news/35093/notice-issued-on-vigneswaran-over-npc-proposal#sthash.vLD4ncT4.dpuf

    • 8
      4

      The ‘Sinhala Only’ Act was unconstitutional; however, I am still very confused as to why this was not legally challenged, given the expertise that the Tamils possessed at that time.

      • 3
        3

        It was; Kodeeswaran Case. 6th Amendment has been declared by ICJ(International Commission of Jurist) as unconstitutional. Divineguma is declared as unconstitutional and the CJ was fired for her mistake. Even the Puppet Sri Pavan has not paid any attention to that. Baffoon De Silva said he purposefully excused the Old King from the swindling of Tsunami funds to have him promoted as president. Practically there is no Supreme Court Exist in Lankawe to direct the governments to correct the faulty acts it passes.

    • 5
      2

      “What the hell is Sripavan doing? Do these mutts deserve to be paid a salary? “

      Setting one demala against another demala is a national pastime and as if they aren’t constantly fighting among themselves.

  • 5
    2

    Killing , Jailing and rehabilitation is accomplished. Remaining is the political solution.

  • 10
    6

    I cannot say much about the merits of federalism, except that it is not intrinsically an obscenity, as many people seem to think. However, This country claims to be a democracy. Why then are these things impossible:
    1. A non-Sinhala Head of State
    2. A non-Sinhala Prime Minister
    3. A non-Buddhist Head of State
    4. A non-Buddhist Prime Minister

    Should not all communities have an equal opportunity to have these positions? If not, is it not true that all communities are NOT equal?
    Is Sri Lanka practising apartheid?

    • 4
      5

      “Why then these things are impossible.

      1. A non-Sinhala Head of State 2. A non-Sinhala Prime Minister

      3. A non-Buddhist Head of State 4. A non-Buddhist Prime Minister”

      To my knowledge there’s no legal barrier, law provides equal chance to anybody to rise to the top so they’re possible.

      Please let me ask 2 questions

      1. Had any of our past leaders made a request from people in his/her election campaigns to vote for him/her because he/she was Sinhala Buddhist?

      To the best of my knowledge the answer is NO.

      2. Had Tamil or Muslim politicians made that request in their election campaign to vote for him because he was to look into the matters of Tamils or Muslims.

      To the best of my knowledge the answer is YES.

      Who is racial here?

      I don’t argue that all the Sinhala Buddhists are perfect but in our country racism is promoted mainly by the minority.

      As far as they maintain that attitude, chances of making a Tamil or Muslim leader in Sri Lanka is slim.

      How many years it took for Americans to make a black leader?

      Even in a federal system you won’t make it.

      What is important is SRI LANKAN; not SINHALA, TAMIL or MUSLIM.

      • 9
        7

        sr

        “1. A non-Sinhala Head of State 2. A non-Sinhala Prime Minister 3. A non-Buddhist Head of State 4. A non-Buddhist Prime Minister” “

        Many do not oppose to

        Sinhala Head of State
        Sinhala Prime Minister
        Buddhist Head of State
        Buddhist Prime Ministe

        However the people were given no choice to elect

        Sinhala Head of State
        Sinhala Prime Minister
        Buddhist Head of State
        Buddhist Prime Ministe

        Instead the people have been asked to chose between a Sinhala/Buddhist racist and another Sinahala/Buddhist bigot.

        I am yet to see stupid voters of this country electing a

        Sinhala Head of State
        Sinhala Prime Minister
        Buddhist Head of State
        Buddhist Prime Minister

        “To my knowledge there’s no legal barrier,”

        You are right thanks.

        However we have other means, sniper with a high caliber rifle from roof top.

        “Who is racial here?”

        Gosh, its you stupid Sinhala/Buddhist bigot.

        What is important is SRI LANKAN; not SINHALA, TAMIL or MUSLIM.

        Poetic.

        Since you haven’t excluded Sinhala/Buddhists from your poem I take it that you meant Sinhala/Buddhists = SRI LANKAN.

        • 6
          6

          Sinhala Buddhists = 70% SRI LANKAN

          Soma

          • 7
            5

            soma

            “Sinhala Buddhists = 70% SRI LANKAN “

            Therefore you have 70% of the stupid people in this island, a great achievement for an island of 21 Millions.

            • 3
              1

              Big man NV,

              no one is stupid all the time.
              what makes you think you are right?

              Your Sponcers ask you to divide India or destabilise India like JR was asked to?

              Going through all your post – not for Sinhalese nor Tamils nor muslims There is no veddha community that I know of but only the ones at Andaman the Indian listening post. So why don’t you join your relatives there because its easy for a large patch there even at nicobar- provided you prove via DNA you are from that 35,000 year stock that Amerasiri the other troll is boasting.;)))

              • 3
                3

                Siva Sankaran Sarma

                “Big man NV,”

                Sorry to disappoint you, I am slim and fit.

                “what makes you think you are right?”

                Though I am bit thick, I have my wise Elders to help me learn.

                “Your Sponcers ask you to divide India or destabilise India like JR was asked to?”

                Hindians themselves are very good at doing exactly that. They did not need JR nor others.

                “Going through all your post – not for Sinhalese nor Tamils nor muslims There is no veddha community that I know of but only the ones at Andaman the Indian listening post. So why don’t you join your relatives there because its easy for a large patch there even at nicobar- provided you prove via DNA you are from that 35,000 year stock that Amerasiri the other troll is boasting.;)))”

                I see the symptoms. You must take lots of water, juice, eat greens, fruits if you are suffering from constipation.

                • 6
                  2

                  Mr Slim & Fit a Fit Native Vedda,

                  “Hindians themselves are very good at doing exactly that. “

                  this is your elders tune till all you folk end up in the pakkis petti?
                  I always thought you had better sense.
                  Perhaps its the money to keep on keeping on.

                  “I see the symptoms. You must take lots of water, juice, eat greens, fruits if you are suffering from constipation.”

                  Now you are a quakola doctor like white- you try some ambul taileya.

                  We are happy people and understand the movement of the bowels better than you do. I don’t eat chilli to get burnt bum or nut.

                  We have people in your bosses dream land and they are teaching the obese ones how to eat- they are qualified biochemical nutrition PhD- that is the latest and future.

                  i just wrote because I am curious as top what you plan to achieve using this booby newsroom. just because it happens to go to the library does not mean it is going to be read by anyone who could make the change.
                  Non of you have trump backup so you stumped. tamils are 90% lefty and that is a let down because us does not need it but tame russia. Lanka is in their court.

                  You repeating Hindian is like the stupid lankan tamils who never went to the north as students to enjoy their hospitality- not just the street but the highly educated devoid of politics.
                  You need them more than Nadu that does not mean you need forget Nadu- but don’t enter their(nadu/north) politics. you are capable of that so reserve some strength. `Lord Krishna` the venom extractor` is there not in the south.

                  • 4
                    0

                    Mr Slim & Fit a Fit Native Vedda,,

                    please remember this legacy it was much before KP shooting at pondy bazzar.

                    around 72 a JT had nomination to IIT Bombay and he had associated with Matunga politics then by 74 he called out a strike which was unheard of at campus so he was restricated. This event went viral through all IIT’s that tamils are bad bad. I heard this at Delhi and had to explain to other students that all are not from north and then my performance at campus pacified them.
                    so there are places still even at UP Bihar Haryana Delhi (Dr Swami ruined it) even Maharashtra not Bombay as Chennai politics Siva Sena. I
                    Remember it is the land of the Hindu like non other and no SC/ST can defeat you provided you are observant.- a couple of Hindi /Urdu and you are their Mehman to be treated like king because god sent you. Good luck in collecting honey bunny money.

      • 1
        3

        sr,
        “1. Had any of our past leaders made a request from people in his/her election campaigns to vote for him/her because he/she was Sinhala Buddhist? To the best of my knowledge the answer is NO.”
        It seems to me your knowledge is pretty limited. What was Mahinda Rajapaksa saying when he was “defending Buddhism”. Why was Ranil Wickremesinghe interviewed on TNL in 2005 by a group of Buddhist monks to prove his Buddhist credentials?

        “How many years it took for Americans to make a black leader? Even in a federal system you won’t make it”
        India has been Independent (and Federal) for the same period as we have. But many heads of state and government have been minority figures fr9m the word go:
        C.Rajagopalachari ( Tamil, 2nd President)
        Zakir Husain (Muslim, 3rd President)
        Fakhruddin A Ahmed (Muslim 4th President)
        Giani Zail Singh (Sikh, 7th
        A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (Muslim ,Tamil 11th)
        Nehru himself was from a minority community.
        How does our “democracy” compare with India?
        The problem is in the brainwashing given by the Buddhist clergy in their own interest. How can there be proper democracy in a country where even journalists dare not say that SWRD Bandaranaike was shot by a Buddhist monk? He is always a “man in robes”

        • 1
          1

          Old Codger,

          A politician may be given a task to answer questions by any interested party; it’s natural in any democratic country.

          We know that in Sri Lanka the majority are said to be Buddhists so representative of Buddhists may raise questions from anybody vying for leadership; whether he’s a Buddhist, Hindu, Islam or any other.

          Even a Hindu or a Muslim may interview a Sinhala Buddhist politician. I’m 100% sure he’ll promise to help Hindu and Islam as well.

          Unless they can’t stay in politics. This is common challenge for anybody, even for Hindu and Islam politicians, they have to make Buddhists happy because majority are said to be Buddhists.

          It’s a tact in politics; not something to be taken seriously.

          India: To my understanding the idea “an Indian” is stronger than a Tamil, a Muslim etc.etc in India.
          It’s a good sign and I admire it very much; actually that’s what we, the Sri Lankans want here.

          Make the idea “a Sri Lankan” is stronger than a sinhalese, a Tamil or a Muslim so we’ll be able to make a Tamil or a Muslim a leader in this country.

          • 2
            3

            SR,
            Never mind India, take Singapore, a younger nation than us.
            The Deputy PM and 3 other ministers are Tamils, though Tamils are only 7% of the population. This is called direct action, to give minorities govt power. This should be done here whether the Maha Sangha likes it or not.
            ” they have to make Buddhists happy because majority are said to be Buddhists. It’s a tact in politics; not something to be taken seriously.”
            It MUST be taken seriously, otherwise we have no real democracy, because some communities are disadvantaged.

            “Make the idea “a Sri Lankan” is stronger than a sinhalese, a Tamil or a Muslim so we’ll be able to make a Tamil or a Muslim a leader in this country”
            I agree, but this is not going to happen if the monks are allowed to go around talking of”rata jathiya” etc.

        • 2
          3

          Old Codger

          “But many heads of state and government have been minority figures fr9m the word go: C.Rajagopalachari ( Tamil, 2nd President)”

          A small correction if you don’t mind, C. Rajagopalachari was the first and last native governors-general of India. He was the head of state from 21 June 1948 to 26 January 1950.

        • 0
          1

          Old Coger,
          There is a small error regarding Indian heads of state.
          C. Rajagopalachari was the first Governor general. He was never a President as India was not a republic during his tenure.
          The first President of Republic of India was Rajendra Prasad.
          The second President was Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan a Tamil who was prior to his post as President was the first Vice-President.
          Nehru was a Hindi speaking Kashmiri Brahmin and therefore cannot be considered coming from a minority community.

          • 0
            1

            Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam ,

            The dynasty that fought all foreign invasions is the Marathas.
            Yes all so what were the settled Tamils doing??
            Thanjavur Maratha kingdom:
            The last maharaja of India: Thanjavur Marathas of the Bhonsle dynasty, were the rulers of Thanjavur principality of Tamil Nadu between the 17th to the 19th century C.E. Their native language was Marathi. Venkoji was the founder of the dynasty.(he was 1/2 hindu and 1/2 muslim)

            It is at this place that the LTTE has constructed a massive sculpture in memory of 2009. Its on CT.
            Now understand why the 1st British Mounted Police was at Madras Presidency and the first English language newspaper from Marathi to English.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanjavur_Maratha_kingdom

          • 0
            1

            Dr. GS,
            You are right about Rajagoplachari.
            But Nehru was a Kashmiri Pandit, of whom there were only about 200,000. Very much a minority.

    • 4
      7

      Why Tamilnadu always talk about Tamil and only the north Indian Tamils are heads of States.

      what about Dalit parties ?

      why they don’t become heads of state in Tamilnadu ?

      If 4.9% Tamils can select a Head of State, or a Non-sinhala Prime minister what is the democracy there ?

      • 9
        4

        jim softy Dimwit

        Madras Presidency Legislative Assembly

        P. S. Kumaraswamy Raja
        C. Rajagopalachari
        K. Kamaraj
        M. Bakthavatsalam
        C. N. Annadurai

        Tamil Nadu State

        C. N. Annadurai
        V.R. Nedunchezhiyan
        M. Karunanidhi (A close associate of Mahinda)
        M. G. Ramachandran
        V.R. Nedunchezhiyan
        Janaki Ramachandran
        J. Jayalalithaa
        O. Panneerselvam

        Could you pick the dalits, schedule caste, Brahmins, Kshatriya from the above list of Chief Ministers. Please name their castes as you seem to posses a deep knowledge of Tamil Nadu politics, people and their personal details.

    • 5
      3

      Bandaranayake overcame this by converting to Buddhism
      The other factor is a non rice-board
      JR’s ancestors converted and did the dirty work for clan G
      So it was no problem for him to promote a Washington as his successor
      But, how about a Paddington, cause one must at least occasionally have red rice
      Whilst rice is the staple, the curries have to be visible on top, cause it is uncouth to cover them and the treacle

      • 1
        1

        yea and once in a while thosai, biriyani and lumprice too

        • 4
          3

          Sirimevan

          “yea and once in a while thosai, biriyani and lumprice too”

          Please include Kottu Rottie, Vattilappam, Appa, Idli, Sambar, Vaddei, Isso Vaddei, Pittu, kool, …. in your gastronome menu.

    • 1
      1

      “However, This country claims to be a democracy. “

      That statement was always a fallacy to stretch the begging bowl forward to the cock sure American diplomacy.See how America still supports its created sharia law Pakistan against largest `democracy` secular India. Even the Saudis have F15’s not the F16’s unlike Pakistan. Presently America itself is illiberal democracy.
      Experienced Banda (rat-nutmeg) family CBK billata dende Vijaya to Lakshman Kadir- hypocrisy (of socialist/communist- like Stalin/Mao)- they study Political Science at Oxford and Sorbonne not for nothing.

      `Is Sri Lanka practising apartheid?`
      Your guess is as good as mine. The sic tamils- honest sergeant Kandaiha types should take part of the blame and the other part Vaddukoddai so in total- hydrocele.
      From 1948 there has always been a muslim component to the government (buddhism +Islam) so net result I_slam humanity and hold placards supporting terrorism.
      Where is the stockpile of energy from arabs (suez canal days to date at difficult times?? Still going to China.
      80% rural folk understand Badagini No?

      • 2
        2

        bandito

        “80% rural folk understand Badagini No? “

        According to MR’s spin doctors, 80% are middle-income earners. The rest are filthy rich.

        They may not understand badagini but they know something about Lamborghini.

        That is what the MR b***s carriers would like us to believe.

        • 2
          2

          Native Vedda,

          “More worryingly however is the fact that 90% of the poor live in rural areas, with over 80% of Sri Lanka’s population still living in rural areas.But in 2013 it has showed that the economy is growing more rapidly than any other Asian country”

          Every 5 years they get a bath parcel and adiyak then vote.
          The internet, tourism, game boy, sports tells them about Lamborghini too.
          How you going to bell the cat? the cats, dogs are made of stone and have no wool.

          Even in the UK 90% of land owned by 10% but there is something called reasonableness so there is care. People can only go broke homeless because they choose to. Anyway the Anglo Saxons are always for the underdog which other Europeans do not have to an equal extent- eg France its immigrants.
          Scandinavians had not associated with immigrants up until now so they have fear.

  • 2
    2

    Isn’t it a reasonable starting point to consider this as a positive step from Tamil hardliners with deceptive formation called TPC. what else you expect from Gajendren Ponnambalam associates. Even then if you leave first part as their way of expressing grievances which need reassurance by other means like transitional justice and reconciliation mechanisms second main part of constitutional proposal shows that they are willing for reasonable political power sharing arrangement. You should be aware these are put forward for negotiations. Could take this as their expectation. What is their BATNA. Are they aware of it. What compromise they are willing to make. May be It is a positive step they have included CV and Siddarthan in TPC. Only genuine commitment and honest negotiation with creative ideas can sail us through.do our leaders have the skills of negotiation.? Only trying to be Devils advocate.

  • 4
    3

    “Tamil People’s Council: Final Proposals for Finding a Political Solution to the Tamil National Question.”
    It looks like an ultimatum or threat!. I hope it is neither !
    Are the proposals put forward by the Northern Provincial Council and the proposals of the Tamil People’s Council are one and the same?.

    I doubt!

    whatever it may be, I went through the proposals in the name of the Tamil People’s Council and was not impressed with it mainly because, it has not taken into consideration the views and opinions of the majority of citizens of our country.

    it is another “wish list” or to blame others for the inevitable rejection!

    History will repeat!

    It was a biased document prepared by a section of Tamil nationalist circle without any understanding of ground realities.

    This document will create unnecessary contempt, distrust and hatred among the communities and could not be the basis even for an informed discussion.

    This proposal is counterproductive to the growing goodwill among the communities and should be rejected before the communal opportunistic elements among the majority try to exploit it for their selfish political agenda

    The proposals does not even reflect the aspirations of vast number of ordinary Tamils.

    It could not even be considered as a discussion paper.

    What I suggest is to have a discussion paper initially prepared by the steering committee of the present select committee of the entire parliament,thereafter inviting extensive all inclusive consultations leading to finalization of a consensus constitution.

    Then every citizen of our country shall claim “ownership”.

    It will no be a final solution, but rather commencement of a process.

  • 5
    4

    We should welcome the proposals put forward by NPC. Whether it is ideal or not we have a proposal. So far, two major political parties have not come out with any proposal to resolve this problem which lead to the suffering of the people of this state. The UNP, SLFP both came up with proposals in several occassions. Why can’t they put forward a proposal based on those proposals and start working on that proposals now? UNP & SLFP in Government. TNA is part of this coalition. What is the barrier? Is it NPC? or is it UNP & SLFP?

  • 3
    2

    Dr.Laksiri Fernando.

    What in your considered view is the solution to the countrys ethnic problem in drafting a new constitution with specific proposals taking into account the ground realities?

    • 3
      3

      Plato

      There is NO solution to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka.

      Soma

      • 3
        5

        Soma,
        You are wrong. There are THREE possible solutions to the ethnic problem in Srilanka.

        1. Kill and drive all Tamils out of Srilanka. Though this is the dream of Sinhala racists like you, it may not be possible in the present international context. Of course slowly implementing it over several years is a possibility. The recent attempt to say that LTTE is being resurrected for another war, by the fraudulent attempt of Suicide kit theory, and arresting of 37 rehabilitated past LTTE fighters, is sowing the seed for another bout of violence against Tamils forcing them out of the country.

        2. Divide Srilanka. The present government came to power with an assurance to the international community that they will promote peace and reconciliation by holding those who committed war crimes against Tamils accountable, and to implement a solution of sharing power and territory with Tamils. Both appear to be not coming through with the government telling the international community that if they move positively on these matters, they will be thrown out and Rajapakse will sieze power. In the absence of delivery of justice to Tamils, they may force the holding of a referendum for independance, as in East Timor or South Sudan. It is a foregone conclusion that this will end up in division.

        3. De-facto statehood. Probably India will undertake a Cyprus like invasion to secure foothold in Srilanka on the pretext of implementing peace. Now that present government has gone back on it’s word to India to get China out, and due to the port city development carried out by China, which allows China to have a perpetual lease of some territory and in that to build facility to spy and destabilise India, India has to intervene in some way to teach Srilanka a lesson. Initially it may be only confined to North and East, but if any attack is made on Indian Tamils as an act of revenge, I will not be surprised they may move militarily into Upcountry and Colombo as well.

        Let us wait and see which of these three happens.

        • 3
          3

          Dr G.S.

          Anyone going through your three scenarios will instantly realise that no further proof is necessary for my statement there is NO solution to the Tamil ethnic problem.

          However a future possibility exists if the +50% Tamils (Tamil speaking people ) presently living outside North and East can be encouraged to voluntorily move into North East. TNA must make a determined effort in this direction. Wingeswaran and Sumanthiran must set an exapmle.

          Soma

          • 1
            4

            Soma,
            There IS a 4th option that nobody wants to talk about. Why not simply apply to join India as a state?
            We will get:
            1 A more independent police force
            2 Ministers who sometimes resign when something goes wrong.
            3 A passport that has more respect even in Cambodia
            4 Cheap food
            5 Cars for 3 lakhs, buses for a little more
            6 For the womenfolk, Chennai sarees at your doorstep
            7 Good teachers and universities.
            8 Good and reasonably-priced doctors.

            What’s to grumble about? I know the patriots will be down on my head.

            • 2
              4

              Old Codger

              “There IS a 4th option that nobody wants to talk about. Why not simply apply to join India as a state?”

              You mean Stupid Tamils and Stupid Sinhalese will be allowed to live and prosper in their ancestral homelands in India.

              Brilliant idea.

              If that happens, most of the land is hopefully released to my people.

              However the Hindians believe this is a Sinhala State of Hindia.

            • 3
              3

              You are already experiencing back office work via India which may last for sometime as most of this work is being pulled back by the west.

              I’m cordial with both big neighbours of yours.
              You would be better off with the culture closest to yours.
              If you read LKY he says it all- about culture of Chinese and Indian.
              When you are with the begging bowl you cannot keep choosing forever.
              However if in truth from the heart the islanders can join hands then world is yours but this highly unlikely.
              Remember the Robots are taking over China.
              So its possible for India and Lanka to have the crumbs.
              You would also have industrial work- like Vietnam gets from China.
              If you endeavor then you could have agro/horticulture industry at its best.

              • 2
                2

                tim,
                When are the Indians going to stop defecating in rail tracks and other public places?

                • 0
                  2

                  Eusense,
                  No matter how many times you repeat that old chestnut about Indians defecating on rail tracks, it doesn’t change the fact that their rupee is worth double ours now, while 1 SLR was worth 2 INR in 1979.
                  Why do we have to run to the IMF or China with a begging bowl? We should learn to live within our means and stop bragging about our borrowed feathers.

                  • 1
                    2

                    Old Codger ,
                    Everyone wants American dream and that includes
                    N.V the old codger, nut’ob Eusense (he is already eating Kentucky at California) they both like to be like JR. They well understand that patriotism is gibberish its just the money that keeps them in the driving seat.

                    neither have the clout with The Trump- things are changing over there.

                    Lanka is not in anyones spin but USA diplomatic short circuit- remember Vickram Singh of State and Def was there (no one has held that dual ever)
                    He is not for India (like the cavity check guy) he was terror expert but his head went bonkers and he is with 2nd wf Smith.

                    So expect a subic bay Philippine nation- each man wants his piece of meat not just the Bandas.
                    India has defence tie with russia like iran has and it has never died because USA has a bone to pick with russia. Do you know that no one has sold subs or planes to Modi except France.
                    Eg I am european national so I will support europe only. thats how others of indian work.

                  • 2
                    2

                    oc
                    It is mind boggling why you want to live in Sri Lanka where India’s rupee is worth double ours, while 1 SLR was worth 2 INR in 1979 and also while we are running to the IMF or China with a begging bowl??
                    Under these circumstance won’t Tamil Nadu be the best for the Tamil Elam?

                    • 0
                      1

                      Eusense,
                      The reality is that we exist as an “independent” state at India’s pleasure, period. Please name ONE nation that will risk defending us if India decides to terminate us. China? Ha Ha.
                      We have our freedom ONLY because millions of Indians fought for it.
                      Instead of deluding ourselves about our superior(borrowed ) highways, toilets etc, we should integrate more with India.
                      We cannot even produce a decent tyre with our own rubber without the help of CEAT, or a glass bottle without Piramal Glass. We can’t even sell tea nowadays.Do you want to wait till the Indian rupee hits 10 SLR?
                      Fake patriotism is for the birds.

                    • 3
                      1

                      Old Codger

                      You are taking Nuisance the stupid I, Jimmy, sachoooooo the stupid II, Somasss, …………. bit more seriously than necessary.

                    • 0
                      0

                      Old Codger,

                      “Please name ONE nation that will risk defending us if India decides to terminate us. China? Ha Ha.”

                      you are wrong its the USA that will never allow China or India to dominate.
                      Why do you think Diego Garcia which is one of the most sophisticated nuclear bases has Filipino and Sinhala workers? They have 5 service marines stationed there with capacity fro 50k marines.

                      On the 8th day Freedom of Bangladesh and the Punjabi Indian Army refusal to leave Henry Kissinger threatened Indira and sent the 7 th fleet across. So she hurriedly withdrew.

                      Do not forget it was inexperienced Fred Truman who diviided it all at will – he scorned at all the cultures- I shall attach the words he used in his write up. Churchill too because he was a school drop out who never understood culture- just like Eusence hiding at California.

                      What is Colombo port development without the pendant Cochin?? the next subic bay So casinos, brothels etc to serve the marines from Diego Garcia.
                      Its what happens when the country fights internally.

                • 4
                  2

                  Nuisance the stupid I

                  “When are the Indians going to stop defecating in rail tracks and other public places?”

                  They may defecate in open spaces and think about sending missions to Moon, Mars and beyond while you do it in a closet, suffocate yourself and vomit here in this open forum.

                  Here is a list of Indians who might have used rail tracks to defecate:

                  Rabindranath Tagore
                  C. V. Raman
                  Amartya Sen
                  Kailash Satyarthi
                  Har Gobind Khorana
                  Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
                  V. S. Naipaul
                  Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
                  14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso)
                  Mother Teresa
                  Ronald Ross
                  Rudyard Kipling

                  Sundar Pichai
                  Indra Nooyi

                  Satyajit Ray
                  A.R.Rahman
                  Bhanu Athaiya
                  Resul Pookutty
                  Deep Thakkar
                  Cottalango Leon

                  Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis
                  ….
                  ….
                  ….

                  • 2
                    2

                    vedda,
                    Looks like India fits well for the separatist Tamils!

                    • 2
                      1

                      Nuisance the stupid I

                      Have you heard of these people before?

                  • 0
                    1

                    N.V,
                    There are things that they don’t know, obviously. So we have to tell them.
                    Being patient with people like Eusense , Soma, Sach, helps them think. It doesn’t work with Madam Ramona, though.

                • 3
                  3

                  Dear Eusence,
                  Sinhala people were caught urinating in public place in UK, and as a result we lost a scenic ground to stage a cricket festival.

                  • 2
                    3

                    Tamils have done the same on juke boxes at Swiss.
                    both use the world as their urinal- 90% rural.

                    • 0
                      1

                      This habit is not only confined to Sinhala and Tamils but also to Muslims who also have been caught urinating in public.

                  • 2
                    4

                    gs,
                    Hmmm, So, only the Sinhalese were caught urinating?
                    I think they have shamed the Tamils by doing so.
                    Why don’t the tamils leave SL if they hate everything about SL?

              • 3
                2

                timbuttu

                “Remember the Robots are taking over China.”

                True the Robots are quietly taking over Chinese Vihares, soon most monks would be unemployed.

                Here is the news:

                Robot monk to spread Buddhist wisdom to the digital generation

                At an ancient Chinese temple, Xian’er can chant mantras and answer questions about his faith via a touch-screen display

                In an unexpected synthesis of ancient and modern, a Buddhist temple on the edge of Beijing has developed a robot monk who can chant mantras and and explain basic tenets of faith.

                At 2ft high, Xian’er is encased in saffron-yellow robes and has a shaved head. Despite spending much of his time closeted in the spiritual calm of Longquan Temple, he wears an expression of permanent surprise.

                His purpose is to reach out to people who are more connected to their smartphones than their inner being. Xian’er can answer 20 simple questions, displayed on the touch-screen on his chest, about Buddhism and daily life at the 500-year-old temple.

                Master Xianfian, a (human) monk at Longquan and Xian’er’s creator, said artificial intelligence could be harnessed to spread Buddhist wisdom in China.

                “Science and Buddhism are not opposing nor contradicting, and can be combined and mutually compatible,” he told Reuters.

                Buddhism filled a gap in a fast-paced, hi-tech existence, he added. “Buddhism is something that attaches much importance to inner heart, and pays attention to the individual’s spiritual world … I think it can satisfy the needs of many people.”

                Xian’er was developed as a robot in a joint project between the temple, artificial intelligence experts at Chinese universities and a technology company.

                Since he was created, he has appeared at several robotic fairs across China, but spends most of his time in deep meditation on an office shelf in Longquan.

                He started his existence as a cartoon drawn by Xianfian when he joined the temple in 2011. Xianfian described Xian’er as “a reflection of innovative Buddhist spirit … [who] might help traditional Buddhism reach a wider public more easily.”

                Master Xuecheng, the head of Longquan and president of the Buddhist Association of China, is a digital communication enthusiast.

                “Buddhists should not only seek enlightenment through daily learning, meditation and cultivation to gain positive energy from Buddhist doctrine. They should also contribute more to society, by transforming their own gains, kindness, compassion and wisdom to others through the internet and new media,” he told CCTV.

                theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/26/

                The Buddha Sasana ministry should consider introducing robots in the vihares, robots may make good monks. The saffron clad thugs can go about doing the things they are good at.

            • 2
              4

              oc,
              It would be even better if the separatist Tamils move to Tamil Nadu. Then they can call it their own Tamil kingdom and who knows later They can ask and get their own separation from India! One piece of advice; never indulge in terrorism to win separation from India.

              • 2
                2

                Eusense

                The motherland of Tamils is Tamil Eelam and not Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu was created by the British in the 19th century whereas Tamil Eelam was created by Raja Raja Chola in the 10th century. If the World Tamils want a country, then the one and only place in the world to create a Tamil country is in Tamil Eelam and not Tamil Nadu.

        • 3
          5

          GS,
          None of the three you suggest will happen. Let us wait and see.
          Tamils and Sinhalese are all treated with the same law of the land. There should be no new laws to be passed favoring any specific ethnic group. Minorities need to integrate with the majority and work to enhance and progress Sri Lanka.
          Millions of people live as minorities in almost all countries in the world. They have learned to work cohesively with the majority groups. Tamils should follow the same.

          • 6
            5

            Nuisance the stupid I

            “Tamils and Sinhalese are all treated with the same law of the land.”

            Let check where the law of equality start and where it ends, the constitution states:

            CHAPTER II – BUDDHISM

            Buddhism.
            9. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).

            What is the difference between you and a knife?

            • 3
              6

              vedda,
              Does it discriminate others of Hindu, Christian and Muslims faiths from freely practicing their religion? There are many Christians and Islamist who do not care about this and ask for separation and federalism etc. unlike Tamils (among them though many are Christians). Is this the “problem” Tamils are agitating about??? and looking for federalism? separation? Give me a break moron!

              • 4
                2

                Eusense

                Bringing up Mr Briggs stationed at California.

                “Tamils and Sinhalese are all treated with the same law of the land.”

                We have seen this before in most countries.
                Where the unproductive senior would never let a brighter inventive junior succeed. it happens regularly at china. It happens within your own family- when you tell a good friend I don’t know my kids are studying it talk to them.
                Its when I sent the first e-mail and first paperless faxes to PhD’s.

          • 3
            3

            “Millions of people live as minorities in almost all countries in the world. They have learned to work cohesively with the majority groups. Tamils should follow the same.”

            Sri Lankan Tamils are not just a minority, a minority with a territory or a territorial majority (a minority with a separate territory in which they are a majority). They had a clearly defined (Tamil speaking) territory, their historic habitat (formally Jaffna kingdom) in the North & East of Sri Lanka as their traditional homeland where they lived for several centuries as a separate nation with their own language, religion and culture until the British united the Tamil speaking North to the Sinhala speaking South in 1833 for their convenience in administration thereby reducing the Tamils to a minority and then left in 1948 without reverting back to the old federal setup.

            The ground reality as everybody can see is that the Sri Lankan Tamils are still having a clearly defined (Tamil speaking) territory, the Tamil speaking homeland (North & East of Sri Lanka) where they are living as a separate majority with a separate culture.

            In almost all countries in the world, a minority with a separate territory is granted a federal state. Only in a federal state a minority but a territorial majority can work cohesively with others.

          • 2
            1

            Eusence,
            If you do not want any of these to happen, go ahead and implement a political solution according to international norms to share power and territory with Tamils.
            Recent newsflash says that groups of Sinhala Buddhist extremists who demonstrated outside the office of leader of the opposition in the parliament complex, have asked Mr. Sampanthan to explain to the Sinhala people about federalism. Is this not a good sign for a fair settlement.
            When these people are prepared to conside federalism, what is the position of outright racists like you. Please follow the example set by these people and hang your head in shame.

        • 1
          1

          Dear Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam

          It is interesting in this Age of Good Governance your three options are completely out of synch with the good governance.

          Option 1 is illegal and against our own constitution as well as international laws.

          The second and third options violate the UN Charter.

          As for anyone seizing power, this had to be done democratically, through elections, which are five years away.

          How about a peaceful option, if all parties are serious about a peaceful solution I beleive there are many options available.

          I think the majority of Sri Lankans want a continued peace, don’t you?

          • 3
            3

            Dear New Vanguard,
            You are saying 2nd and 3rd options violate UN charter.
            Re 2nd option – It is the UN which forced referranda in East Timor and South Sudan for independence and conducted it.
            Re 3rd option – Invasions of Cyprus by Turkey and invasion of Kosovo by NATO were done with UN helplessly watching it.
            Peaceful option is the best, but unfortunately it did not come about during six post war years of Rajapakse and is no where in sight during the last one year of MS/RW regime.
            Majority of Sinhalese want peace on their terms with little or no devolution of power, with continuing alteration of demographic pattern denying Tamils their traditional lands.
            Are you going to force this on Tamils under gun point.

          • 0
            1

            New Vanguard,

            “”How about a peaceful option, if all parties are serious about a peaceful solution I believe there are many options available.””

            Only servant class go to royal. It was taken over to tell the Brits we servants too can fly. Malaysian Tony – Baggage Boys can Fly Of course they did but what happened- It all went missing.

            coming to your option. Its always been cloak and dagger because you do not know `I` like any nomad to say I love you. the whole world is Lankan urinal- you have the audacity to call it good governance.
            The west is not foolish but you hide under the banner that English is not your native language or mother tongue. Shape shape Beg Beg Beg is the 68 year motto.
            Dalai Lama statement that Lanka is not a Buddhist nation still holds good. It’s that tip cut Barack `Hussain` played some of the obscene cards placing the war on terror office at Colombo American Foundation.

        • 1
          2

          Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,

          “Probably India will undertake a Cyprus like invasion to secure foothold in Srilanka on the pretext of implementing peace.”

          this unfortunately will not happen to the advantage of Tamils.

          China :
          “China, which allows China to have a perpetual lease of some territory and in that to build facility”- this has the backing of Barack `Hussian` why do you think Power was there? IMF is American and that is to say here’s the money.
          Andaman is listening post and Diego Garcia is more than that- Filipino and Sinhala staff work there. You see who is sitting on the head.
          BTW do you think ct is some sort of Timpu to solve problems? they are sour puss with no vocabulary.

  • 8
    7

    Federalism was an option in 2005 when the tigers were there to threaten
    But they colluded with Mahendra Rajapaksa and ousted Ranil Wickramasingha
    Failed to assassinate Sarath Fonseka and Gotabaya Rajapaksa
    And failed to stop the onslaught in the battlefield

  • 4
    3

    “It is far far beyond the realistic conditions in the country and it cannot even be considered an ideal model.”

    The NPC is a club, the pastime of whose members is passing resolutions, the less relevant and more unattainable the better. They have nothing better to do and they do not even try.

    If one has the slightest suspicion that the NPC is serious about its role, one would have expected a set of useful proposals to amend the constitution in ways that would strengthen Provincial Government as an executive arm of the Central Government and as a body addressing local needs.

    The NPC passes resolutions to send them to people furthest away from us both in mind and space.

    But the NPC, TPA and TNA have something in common with several other Tamil nationalist outfits: they are out to cheat the Tamils and please foreign masters.

  • 7
    6

    Arnold

    “Failed to assassinate Sarath Fonseka and Gotabaya Rajapaksa And failed to stop the onslaught in the battlefield”

    Do you now regret all those failures?

    • 9
      10

      How can I regret when I am a Sinhalaya and my cousin died fighting
      I had also obstructed sections of the diaspora, their publicity and fundraising projects
      At that time I had little sympathy for the Tamils mainly due to the lack of understanding and knowledge about them and their past in SL
      Mahinda Rajapakse may have regretted as in the outset he neither wanted or believed in a military victory
      When the tide was turning he rode the wave, not the Tsunami wave – Sarath Silva

      This particular resolution bought back the Tamil question to the forefront of politics as the recent politics in SL was concerned with other issues including Rajapakse’s come back strategies.

      • 7
        8

        Arnold

        Sorry I am being bit thick do not understand many things. What exactly is the “Tamil Question”?

        “How can I regret when I am a Sinhalaya and my cousin died fighting”

        My sympathies with his family. What is special being a Sinhalaya? Did you know there have been tens of thousands of Demela been killed since 1958?

        Did you also know there have been tens of thousands of people died in 1971 and between 1987 and 1991?

        Did those deaths bother you?

        “Mahinda Rajapakse may have regretted as in the outset he neither wanted or believed in a military victory”

        Of course until the Hindians twisted his hands.

        • 4
          4

          N.V.
          He is a clear demala this was his statement on :Moddely Tamby – The Father Of Vellahlas H. L. D. Mahindapala
          -Arnold
          April 23, 2016 at 2:22 am

          The NORDIC MODEL and the INDIAN PRESIDENTIAL system would be the solution.

    • 4
      2

      It is common belief that Ealam war IV was doomed because they assassinated Rajive Gandhi. No. “Because they failed to assassinate Sarath Fonseka and Gotabaya Rajapaksa”

      Soma

      • 3
        3

        Old Regime was chased home by America. When, on the morning of Jan,9th of 2015, the Old King was running out of Temple Tree House, abandoning the progressing coup , cried out “US troops Alila”. Whoever took the American help and won the war took the kick for the cheating too. Now America is saving them from UN Electric Chair by having removed their names from the OISL report submitted to UNHRC. The faithless talk is about to bring more troubles. The Mayday parade had 7,000 for JVP. All other communist parties with fake name of LEFT must have had 15,000. But that was total number showed up for Joint Criminal Opera gang. The Old King clown had nobody in the supporting him in the Mayday parade. The crowd this time not even moved by the sip of arrack and Biryani parcel. The Mayday Parade was a “may day” situation for the Old Royal clan. Wake up man; don’t keep singing to modaya crowd “Som Soma Soma”. That is a nanny’ job. Let them wake up too.

  • 6
    5

    Dr.Laksiri Fernando

    You, in principle, accept a solution for the ethnic problem which existed for nearly 70 years. Soft power and the hard power failed to achieve what the Tamil people wanted. Now you are picking holes in the proposals made by the TPC. You very well understand that it is a Tamil forum which had submitted its proposal to the speaker and the TNA. Why you pick holes is that you do not want, like other Sinhala politicians, share power with the Tamils. The Tamils were asking a federal form of government not only for North and East but other provinces as well under a united Sri Lanka similar to that of India. Other provinces do not demand a federal solution because they are Sinhalese. Provincial councils without any power is no solution to the ethnic problem. Is India divided, is Switzerland divided, is Canada divided.
    Jeremy Corbyn, the labour leader of Great Britain, recently said that Sri lanka is still at war with the Tamils and the war has not ended which the Tamil leaders are unable to understand.
    The Tamils now has to demand for a referendum to be held in the North and East to determine their fate.

  • 4
    4

    Had only the LTTE succeeded in assassinating Sarath Fonseka
    and Gotabaya Rajapaksa,
    (and Anuruddha Ratwatte some years before),
    had it only not destroyed itself
    (and many more Tamils) in the battlefield and
    had it only helped Ranil Wickremasinghe to be president—
    everything would have been hunky dory;
    and we may even have one tall concrete wall
    dividing Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka
    like the wall cutting across West Bank.

    Have we ever wondered
    what successful assassinations by the LTTE had achieved?
    Or what its great military successes had
    for the Tamils?

    The LTTE was not serious about federalism
    (perhaps Anton B was as Thamilini says) and
    the UNP was not either.
    Federalism was among ploys by both sides
    to buy time.
    But the writing on the wall was clear even earliet:
    India wants the LTTE dead;
    and by 2001
    America too.

    • 3
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      AJ/sekara

      “we may even have one tall concrete wall dividing Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka like the wall cutting across West Bank.”

      Or Great wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, … The Great Donald Duck wall of Mexico

    • 4
      4

      SJ/sekara

      “we may even have one tall concrete wall dividing Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka like the wall cutting across West Bank.”

      Or Great wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, … The Great Donald Duck wall of Mexico

      • 3
        2

        “The Great Donald Duck wall of Mexico “

        You may not have a veddha or tamil wall.

        But the wall Trump wall is for real. If China could have done it the Americans could bloody well do it and to be paid by Mexico.- full stop.

        You never seen rapid construction process.
        Americans love their personal auto so there is no bullet train.

        But the border security force of USA want the wall.

        your sex appeal Hillary Billary kotta udda.

  • 6
    6

    Here’s a bit of History of SL . There occurred a kind of Brain Drain soon after the turn of the century in the early1900s.

    More of Tamils than Sinhala Brain Drain then , as the British were recruiting Educated young men to work in the newly conquered countries such as , Singapore, Malaysia and other Asian countries to man the Government jobs in those countries. While the North prospered with this new wealth from abroad .
    Thousands of well Educated Tamils emigrated to these countries and held very respectable jobs in the those countries while the majority of the village Modayas in the South of Srilanka stayed put because they were unable to communicate in English but only the Gamaya Language.
    The North and East prospered with the new wealth from abroad sent by these Educated young men to their kiths and kins the Southerners were plotting how to kill off the prosperity of the Northerners.

    The eventual wars of 1, 2 , 3 ,and 4 was plotted by the Politicians and the village Modayas.
    There’s no way out for Srilankans with the cancerous mentality of destruction of the Minority their Religions and so on what future holds for Srilankan???

    Total Denial and self destruction and the destruction of SIlanka which used to be called Paradise.
    Now we have produced World class thieves , Murderers and drug kings. All bad Teachings??

    It can be changed by preaching tolerance and with GOOD GOVERNANCE.

  • 4
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    Any proposal for federalism to be considered legitimate and acceptable it should be a joint and collective document prepared in collaboration with all Provincial Councils of Sri Lanka.
    Anything other than that should not even be considered.

    • 4
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      The initiation here is for a solution to Tamils problem. Is there any new ideas there or we are restarting at Banda-Chela pact…… Is the answers going to be once more Ohhh ….you see…. the majority community is not ready to accept that, they wants you remain as slaves only… sorry, we can do nothing about it. Really Really soorryyyyyy!

      • 3
        4

        malla,
        Separatist and terrorist tamils keep talking about a “Tamil Problem”! What is this “Tamil problem”?? Explain in simple language so that the “stupid” Sinhalese can understand.
        Just because one racial group in the north keep saying they have a problem that does not mean the country has to listen to one PC. How about the poor Sinhalese in other PCs? Every PC has to have the same authority whether it is Federalism or anything else. So go talk to other PC and come up with a collective proposal. I don’t want any terror supporters, separatists and diaspora having anything to do with this. They opted violence before and will never be trusted.

        • 3
          2

          If you take the entire world, only Sri Lanka and South India had a separate Tamil kingdom and still have a separate Tamil speaking territory where the Tamils are the majority. South India has already established a Tamil speaking federal state known as Tamil Nadu for the Tamils of India. Sri Lanka has not yet established a Tamil speaking federal state for the Tamils of Sri Lanka to look after their own problems because the Sinhalese are unable to understand the meaning of federalism. The only solution to the SL Tamil problem is federalism.

          • 3
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            KWG
            First, there are no Tamil kingdoms anywhere in this world. Is there a law in India baring other Indian ethnic groups settling down in the so called “Tamil speaking territory” which you call a “fake Tamil kingdom” ??
            Good for Tamils in India if they have Tamil Nadu for them. That won’t happen in Sri Lanka for sure. Sri Lanka will never give a federal state with any governing and self ruling powers to Tamils, who fought a terror war against the gov. and the people of SL for 30 years to separate, divide and form a new country (elam). Unlike the Tamils in India, the SL Tamils by doing so lost the trust of the majority and the government. Until that trust is built up don’t expect federal gov. for Tamils in SL.

            • 3
              3

              Eusense

              From the day the Sri Lankan Tamils lost their rights to the Sinhalese (via British in 1948) they had been asking for a federal state (that existed until the British removed it in 1833) in a non-violent/peaceful manner for more than 30 years. The Sinhalese came up with several pacts and promises but finally gave nothing to the Tamils other than cheating them and unleashing violence on their non-violent/peaceful campaigns. This forced the Tamils to seek for separation to form a separate country for Tamils which ended up in a war 30 years war. See how much the country lost. At independence in 1948 Sri Lanka was the second best economy in Asia, today we are one of the worst. All because of the foolishness of the Sinhalese in not giving the Tamils their rights.

              The Tamils cannot continue within a unitary state anymore. They need to get back to their original federal state as it was before the British united it. The Tamils may have lost the war but they have not lost their rights to federalism or self-determination. Federalism is NOT separation and it is the rights of North & East Tamils who live as a majority in a separate Tamil speaking territory. The principle and fundamental right of self-determination is firmly established under international law and during the past several years, the Tamils’ right to self-determination has received recognition at sessions of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.

              Even after the war ended, the Sinhalese are not willing to give the Tamils their rights. The Sinhalese by doing so has totally lost the trust of the SL Tamils. The Tamils should NEVER negotiate for a federal style devolution with the Sinhalese anymore without involving a powerful country like US as the mediator.

              • 4
                2

                King Wala Gemba

                There had never been a federal state in this island. What the country had was several kingdoms. This island didn’t have a united/unified/unitary/centralised state structure until the Brits forcefully brought all parts of this island under their rule.

                Kings fought other kings for their own reasons and not for the people nor for democracy.

                Kingdoms are no means same as Federal states.

                Federalism can only thrive in a democracy.

                • 3
                  2

                  Native Vedda

                  “There had never been a federal state in this island. What the country had was several kingdoms.”

                  Several kingdoms existed before the colonial invasion. Right from after the fall of Jaffna Kingdom in 1624 to the Portuguese, and then to the Dutch, and the British, the Tamil speaking territory remained as a federal state up to 1833. After the fall of Kandy kingdom to the British, Only after 1833, the British integrated all the federal states and made them into one unitary state.

    • 5
      3

      Nuisance

      “Any proposal for federalism to be considered legitimate and acceptable it should be a joint and collective document prepared in collaboration with all Provincial Councils of Sri Lanka.”

      So you are in favour of Federalism in principle.

      Strange.

      • 3
        4

        Don’t you understand what I have written?

        • 3
          2

          Nuisance the stupid I

          “Don’t you understand what I have written?”

          Did you understand what you have typed?

          What is the difference between you and a knife?

        • 1
          3

          Eusense ,

          getting a paycheck or getting results?

    • 4
      2

      Why should the Tamils negotiate (or rather beg) the Sinhala leadership to get their due rights in the new constitution? From the day the Tamils lost their rights to the Sinhalese (via British in 1948) they had been negotiating with the Sinhalese (Peacefully and violently), but they were only hoodwinked with broken promises. The Tamils know very well (it is more than clear) that the Sinhalese will not give anything (devolution) but why should we continue to ask them?

      The citizens of a specific Tamil speaking traditional land area (a separate Tamil speaking territory once ruled by Tamil kings), the Tamil Nation of Sri Lanka have all the rights to decide what is good for them.

      If the Tamils are to negotiate for federal style devolution, they should involve a powerful country like US as the mediator (Let’s wait for Hilary Clinton to win the election).

      On the other hand, if they are opting for a self-rule (like Kosov, South Sudan, etc.), then they should be influencing/lobbying the International Community (US, EU, UN, India, etc.) to demand for a Referendum for self-rule.

      If the Tamils really mobilize themselves for a Non-Violent campaign with Direct Action involving all the Tamils in Sri Lanka and abroad, it is not difficult to achieve.

  • 2
    2

    “Nowhere in the proposal is it said that the TPC is not asking for a separate state”

    Good. Now does the good Dr Fernando accept that this is indeed a starting point and not an end point for negotiations? If self-determination for Tamils is too extreme for even consideration, what do those who oppose self-determination think of the current structure that has provided Sinhala hegemony over the country since Independence? why isn’t that extreme? Sinhala domination over every aspect of Tamil lives in the North-East is no less extreme than Tamil self-determination. If the starting point of the Sinhala polity is the current system, let the TPC/TNA proposals be a starting point too!

  • 3
    3

    Very poorly written article. Lacks scholarly colors in the contents. Not one single point picked up to discuss has been proved with a strong argument. Throughout the article the learned professor forcefully connecting unrelated matters and convulsed to prove this a call for separation. But he failed on that even for his judgement and that is many times he had indicated in many areas.

    An unwanted search has been done for the origination of the document with a hidden motive of to misinterpret or to paint dye for the sentences. That is he was intensively searching for “Foreign and commonwealth Judges and lawyers” phrases without any success. On that the failure is miserably mountain tall. There is no need every Member of NPC to write a sentence in that. Neither 1972 constitution nor 1978 constitution had been written by parliamentarians alone. TNA is passing NPC’s one as its one. It had the freedom to add or deduct. But it didn’t is not proving or not proving anything.

    ” This is about a ‘separate state’ within a loose federation, with ‘supremacy for that state’ in its own sphere.” Even if we cut out the ‘supremacy for that state’ without its context, what is wrong with it? How its creating a separate country which is the meaning of ‘separate state’ here? Is that because the learned professor declared so?

  • 4
    2

    My Dear Eusense,
    I have to conclude you have neither a knowledge of your Country’s situation nor any humanitarian knowledge. You are just a racist and nothing else.

    • 3
      4

      richard
      Explain. If can not, don’t make nonsensical posts.

      • 0
        2

        You are the Reason We Have Middle Fingers.

  • 3
    3

    Dr. Laksiri Fernando,
    Most of your articles posted brought out the realities in Sri Lanka situation without any partiality. I am seeing this article showing a side of your partiality. Are you saying Tamil armed struggle started as terrorism just like terror attacks in US soil in 9011. Have you no knowledge why Tamil sri Lankans took to arms and the context of armed struggle. Of course you can now say anything to the worst which is politically correct for Sri Lanka. But why are you distorting your conceptions now? in this article?

  • 1
    3

    Could the Professor comment on how a federal solution help the Tamils living outside the Tamil federal states.
    He has not considered the fact that the fear of the Sinhalese is that the Federal solution will be a first step for separation and joining Tamil Nadu for the “Greater Eelam”
    If Sri Lanka was at least 500 miles away from Tamil Nadu even a confederation would have been acceptable.

  • 0
    2

    Dr Laksiri Fernando,

    I kindly request you to look back to your own article in the “Colombo Telegraph” published around 13th January 2016 on “Some Initial Proposals for A New Constitution” and the interesting valuable comments including that of Dr Dayan Jayathilake.

    Why not prepare some “Final Proposals for a new Constitution” incorporating an improved version of your initial proposals in the light of vibrant comments and encompassing the missing links.

    In your final proposals do not fail to include human/fundamental rights and local governance and also 13A +

    If you could persuade like-minded intellectuals of your caliber like Dr Dayan Jayathilake(?) Rajiv Wijesinghe(?) and others presently in the Mahinda Camp to co-sponsor your proposals, It could then be an all-inclusive proposal that encompass all shades of opinion in Sri Lanka and merit translation in all three languages and public discussions across the length and breadth of the country.

    it is very important to listen to Mahinda loyalists and try to bring them into this circle.

    Then and only them we could have a focused discussion.

    It could be a fine gesture on your part!

    Will you?

  • 4
    2

    This is a pitifully weak piece written by one who purports to be a professor.

    It is fair criticism that the TNA does not understand what a preamble is. This was the problem with the ISGA and is a carry-over. The Tamil belief seems to be that the Preamble is to be used for rhetoric and throwing the blame to the other side. A preamble hardly appears in constitutions. It is used in treaties where the object of the treaty is stated in few lines. It is never a binding aspect of a treaty.

    By using the “preamble”, the TNA has obviously intended to provide a document on which negotiation is not possible. How could the Sinhalese ever accept a slanted history of the situation? This stupidity should have been avoided. One hopes it is not too late to excise the whole of the so called preamble. It is a purposeless statement which does not further the cause of the Tamils.

    The rest of the document calls for power sharing. I cannot see how the language can be interpreted as favoring separate states. That is stupidity on the part of the purported professor. Federal systems like Canada, Switzerland and India consists of states, power is divided and the systems function. The state remains a unitary state and is recognized as such in the international community. There is no reason why the TNA should not call for such a system.

    There is a proposal made. The duty is to make counter-proposals so that negotiated outcomes could be promoted instead of throwing cold-water. Do something more constructive.

  • 3
    1

    Logic simple

    You all talk about a problem in Sri Lanka. The problem involve Tamils and Sinhalese. It has to be solved. both parties to be satisfied. Is that possible? It is Presumed there is oppressed and oppressor. Dominant Nature of the Sinhalese and secondary nature of Tamils. Can the aspirations of the parties go amicable. Will one party compromise? Maintain dominance or accept subjugation. If the problem is not solved What will happen? Will the White van, killings , Rapes and murder prevail? Will it diffuse from one side to other? Will the Governments of the Globe recognize that nature. Will the civil world approve it? What power among those eyeing the geopoliticality of SL step in first with more force. Or will the science advance more destructively.

    • 3
      4

      The Tamils who fought a long war and lost are physically as well as phycogically exhausted – they need economic assistance. Tamil political class wouldn’t allow them to peacefully recover. They have defined what the Tamils need. Tamils are told they need accountability and ‘transitional’ (I have yet to look up the dictionary) justice, political solution, devolution, federalism etc.. Also the media is giving a totally disproportionate space to TNA and JVP in comparison to their vote base. The noise is so loud that we are deprived of a single good night’s sleep.

      Soma

      • 5
        3

        somaasss

        “The Tamils who fought a long war and lost are physically as well as phycogically exhausted”

        Tamils didn’t fight a long war far from it. They suffered under VP and Sinhala/Buddhists state for many years.

        “they need economic assistance.”

        Very kind of you. What is in it for you?

        “Tamil political class wouldn’t allow them to peacefully recover.”

        I hate to agree with you.

        However first you must find out from ruling crooks past and present whether they are ready to let all people live peacefully.

        ” Tamils are told they need accountability and ‘transitional’ (I have yet to look up the dictionary) justice, political solution, devolution, federalism etc..”

        Who did tell Tamils they need ………………..

        Whoever told Tamils what they told, also must tell rest of the people they too need accountability and ‘transitional’ justice, political solution, devolution, federalism etc…

        By the way don’t waste time here is an definition of Transnational Justice:

        Transitional justice refers to the set of judicial and non-judicial measures that have been implemented by different countries in order to redress the legacies of massive human rights abuses. These measures include criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations programs, and various kinds of institutional reforms.

        https://www.ictj.org/
        about/transitional-justice

        “Also the media is giving a totally disproportionate space to TNA and JVP in comparison to their vote base.”

        Is it always true?

        “The noise is so loud that we are deprived of a single good night’s sleep.”

        It is true, as a member of a noisy minority you should act to reduce or check Sinhala/Buddhist’s noise level.

    • 3
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      pacs
      I have asked this million times in this forum but never had an answer. Could you please explain in simple language what this “Tamil problem” is?

      • 4
        3

        Nuisance the stupid I

        “what this “Tamil problem” is?”

        You will be happy to know there is no such thing as a Tamil Problem.

        However there is a huge problem, that is the “Sinhala/Buddhist problem” imposed on rest of the people.

        In other words “you are the problem”.

      • 0
        6

        The problem is lack of self determination, the kind that Sri Lanka never had because of the “Tamil problem”.

        Ironic?

        Does that answer your question?

        • 3
          6

          NV
          Self determination for all minorities? Muslims, Burghers, Christians and who else? So, according to you every country with minorities should give self determination to every minority group??? Grow up my man!

          My question was why self determination should be given to Tamils? What specific problems do Tamils have? You Tamils can’t even understand a question. What self determination for this type of people!

          • 4
            1

            “”So, according to you every country with minorities should give self determination to every minority group??? Grow up my man!”

            Because you are afraid to go into the park and being shot like a deer because you are a wog in our colony is your problem.

            Other ethnics at Belgium and Swiss have it all.

            As I mentioned before you have no brain please tell me your exact location and Trump boys will do the bidding.

            Can you give me a mathematical formula for wisdom??

            What steps would you take if someone holds a bayonet at you in the park??

  • 2
    1

    Soma.

    Good Night!

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