15 December, 2017

Blog

On Collision Course With India?

By Izeth Hussain

 Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Our Government could be entering into a collision course with India over the ethnic problem. This is a possibility, indeed a probability, but not a certainty, which is why I have placed a question mark in the title of this article. Before dealing with that question I must make some clarifications arising out of my article “BJP and the SL Ethnic Problem“. In that article I argued that we must begin our relations with the BJP Government on the assumption that the fundamentals of Indian policy towards Sri Lanka remain unchanged: Sri Lanka by itself can pose no threat to India, but it could if it gangs up with certain powers against India, and except for that eventuality nothing precludes excellent Indo-Sri Lankan relations. By way of illustration I pointed to the fact that our relations with India were in general excellent except for a period when India believed that the 1977 Government was ganging up with the US against her.

Probably most Sri Lankans, including those equipped to make informed judgments on international relations, will not agree with my position. They will point out that India has had consistently bad relations with all its neighbours to the north, that in pursuit of total dominance in South Asia it broke up Pakistan, that its refusal to allow self-determination for Kashmir is indefensible, that it showed an expansionist drive by gobbling up Sikkim, that it has kept Bhutan in a satellite status, and that its exceptional relations with Sri Lanka are postulated on the latter being completely at the mercy of India. It is a powerful indictment. Instead of going into details I will point out certain factors that we must take into account if we are to formulate a fair-minded judgment on India’s foreign relations.

India has several neighbours. It is pertinent to recall Kautilya’s definition of enemies and friends. Who is your enemy? The country that is at your frontier. Who is your friend? The country that is at the frontier of the country that is at your frontier. That is not an invariant law, but it describes a disposition, a tendency to react in certain ways. Accordingly, we Sri Lankans tend to view India with suspicion, if not downright hostility, and we tend to regard with a kindly eye India’s northern neighbours, notably Pakistan and China. So if India has troubled relations with its neighbours, that is more or less in the natural order of things, and does not necessarily argue an innate aggressivity. If India has had on the whole better relations with Sri Lanka, perhaps part of the explanation is to be found in the Palk Straits. That narrow stretch of water serves the principle that Good fences make good neighbours. It is pertinent to recall that imperial powers usually sought to establish buffer zones, such as Afghanistan and Thailand, so as to avoid eyeball-to-eyeball confrontations with other imperial powers.

But far and away the most important factor that explains why India’s relations with Sri Lanka have on the whole been better than with its northern neigbours arises out of the unalterable facts of geography. India’s northern neighbours include China, an emerging super-power with whom Pakistan and the others can get together in a balancing game against India. That option is not open to Sri Lanka as it is a tiny island without any powerful immediate neighbour with whom it can get together to counter-balance India. It might therefore seem that Sri Lanka is peculiarly vulnerable and can bemoan its fate along the lines of former Mexican dictator Profirio Diaz: “Poor Mexico. So far from God and so close to the United States.” But our isolation can also be seen as conferring on us a very special advantage. I pointed out in my earlier article that Sri Lanka could have excellent relations with both India and China at the same time while Sino-Indian relations were very unsatisfactory, and that that was possible because our relations with China had no military dimension whatever. But Nepal did not have the latitude available to Sri Lanka in building up relations with China: the construction of a road in Nepal by the Chinese was seen by India as having a sinister strategic significance. On the other hand, the Chinese can construct any amount of roads in Sri Lanka without the Indians detecting in that any strategic significance. The difference is one of geography: because of the China factor India has a greater sense of insecurity about what goes on in the north than in the south.

This situation is now changing. Traditionally India had its center of gravity in the north, modern India in Delhi, and its security preoccupations concerned possible invasions from the north, not from the south. Consequent to the post-1956 removal of the British base in Trinco and the adoption by Sri Lanka of a bi-partisan Non-Aligned foreign policy, India had no cause at all to have security preoccupations about Sri Lanka. That situation changed after 1970 when the US established a base in Diego Garcia. It meant that for the first time in its history the India that had its centre of gravity in the north started having security preoccupations about the south. Sri Lanka mooted the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace, a project that if implemented would allow India a position of pre-eminence, indeed of dominance, in the Indian Ocean, and India secured for itself a predominant position in the Maldives. In recent times naval power has assumed much greater importance than it had in the decades following the Second World War, and the idea of the Chinese “string of pearls” means that India has to be preoccupied about Chinese power both in the north and in the south. Sri Lanka’s relations with India could therefore become much more complex than in the past. But I maintain that one fundamental will continue to hold fast: Sri Lanka can have very satisfactory relations with India provided that it does not get together with a foreign power in any way that could be detrimental to India’s legitimate interests.

I began my earlier article by asking what the BJP election tsunami portended for Sri Lanka. I could not deal with the developments that are directly relevant to SL’s ethnic problem. The BJP and its allies secured an absolute majority so that the new Government does not need the support of Jayalalithaa and the AIDMK. Vaiko lost his deposit suggesting that the Eelam problem did not have much sway with the Tamil Nadu voter. But Jayalalitha and her party won 37 out of the 39 Tamil Nadu seats. It appears that for those reasons alone the new Government will not be able to downplay the SL ethnic problem. In addition we must bear in mind some other enormously important facts. The BJP tsunami was mainly in the Hindi belt, not in Bengal and other parts of North India, and – most important of all – not in the Dravidian south. Furthermore, the BJP tsunami was in terms of seats, not in terms of votes, since it got only 31% of the votes. Another fact to be borne in mind is that Telengana has just won statehood after decades of struggle since the late ‘fifties, which is expected to spawn several more demands for statehood. In other words, what the Indians used to call “fissiparous tendencies” will be increasing, causing many headaches to the central Government. In this context, we have to expect the  new Government to re-forge and maintain India’s unity, which in practical terms means that it will be prepared to go some way towards appeasing Jayalalitha and Tamil Nadu. A reasonably high degree of priority will therefore be given to promoting a solution of the SL ethnic problem.

In my article of May 24 and the present one I have set out certain facts which it seems to me we have to bear in mind in trying to manage our relations with the BJP Government in a sensible manner: we have to begin by assuming that a mutual accommodation of legitimate interests should be possible, but we have to be wary because Modi could turn out to be a much tougher personage than Manmohan Singh. The beginning of our new relations has not been auspicious. The joint communiqué issued at the conclusion of President MR’s recent visit omitted any reference to the ethnic problem, which according to contemporary diplomatic practice signified serious disagreement. We now learn from Minister G.L. Peiris that the President had made it clear that there will be no devolution of police powers. Modi had wanted our Government to expeditiously implement 13A, and to go beyond it – the going beyond seems to be a new factor in the Indian position. After the President’s return the Government’s position was made clear through Minister Siripala de Silva: Sri Lanka will not accept interference in our internal affairs, and the solution of the ethnic problem will be worked out through the Parliamentary Select Committee.

I will not analyze the government’s position, but it seems clear to me – and it will be probably clear to most readers also – that we are about to enter into a collision course with India. The imperative need of the hour is to work out what strategy should be followed by the government. There are two factors that determine international relations – power and morality. The best illustration of moral power in international relations that I can think of is the Vietnam War. The US had the military power to blow the whole of Vietnam to smithereens, but the moral standards of the international community of the time would not allow that, and the Americans had no alternative to withdrawing – tail between legs. Sri Lanka has no military or economic power worth talking about, and the only way it can come through unscathed is by occupying the moral high ground, in dealing with India and the international community, and above all in dealing with the ethnic problem.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    6

    Dear Izeth Hussain,

    Good write up. Thank you. Asking relevant strategic Questions.

    Sri Lankas’s population is 20 million, less than 2% of India’s population, but is creating more trouble for India.

    If Modi has Guts, he will be firm and push for his solution down Sri Lankan throats, and the Para-Sinhala “Buddhists” will scream murder, and the World will support India. Tamil Nadu will support BJP for a long time. Jayalalitha will be a hero.

    Sri Lanka should ask India to take back all the Paras as proven by their South Indian and Naga DNA back to India from the Land of Native Veddah. Please include all the current Sri Lankan parliamentarians, as they all are Paras as per native Veddah Terminology.

    The Native Veddah should make this request to the Hon. Prime Minister Mr. Modi.

  • 6
    7

    Our inhabitants thought they are already on this collision.

    Eran Wicks from the Christian Faction says the UNP is against the referendum which Ms Pretty Jayalalitha wants to hold among the Srilankan Tamils and the ex Srilankan Tamils in the Diaspora to form the Eelaam.

    Wouldn’t it be a great idea?.

    I mean to settle the gripes of the LTTE proxies , supporters and even ex cadres who have now turned into the biggest HR organization in the West to back the TNA which claims to be the sole guardian , protector and the liberator of the inhabitants of Tamil origin i Srilanka.

    It will be a landslide in the Diaspora, But they can’t come or they wouldn’t come to live there.

    Will the Vellalas in Colombo say yes to relocate to the North?.

    Will the Batti Tamils do the same now that east is not and can’t be part of the Eelaam 13A, because of the Muslim majority.

    That leaves our Tamil brethren of Indian origin.

    Do they get to vote in this Jayalalitha’s Eelaam Referendum?.

    Or Ms Jayalitha has a plan to take them back to enhance her supporter base.

    BTW.

    Our Elders tell me that this Eran dude is not even in the Leadership Council.

    Wonder What they got say through their Leader Ranil and his coalition Partner the TNA leader Mr Sambandan?.

    “With Modi under the skirt” if we are to believe these anti Sinhala anti Buddhist anti Srilankan brigades what more collision is there?.

  • 3
    6

    If all Tamils in Colombo and WPC move back to the north, devolution is possible.

    NOT otherwise.

    Tamils have to compromise too.

    Otherwise NO solution.

    • 3
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      If all Tamils move back to North, it could also follow all Muslims to move towards the East. What would be the result? A clear recipe for a separate state Bangladesh style! Your suggestion, Fuku, is therefore dangerous and completely unacceptable.

      • 1
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        Anver

        They all should move move to South India and Nafaland.

        That is where they came from

        The DNA in them proves that.

        Please leave the Land of Native Veddah to your native Maha Bharat.

    • 0
      1

      “If all Tamils in Colombo and WPC move back to the north, devolution is possible.” That is called apartheid not devolution you racist moron! Also what do you think the Tamils will do once they are all driven back to the north and prevented from coming south.

  • 1
    1

    The writer has forgotten what Indra did to Sri Lanka. India Ghandi wrongly supported Eelam struggle and she initiated it : she trained LTTE. Without her support LTTE would not be there: so it is not policy of India to be always friendly with Lanka: but it is compelled to do so by. Geopolitics of Asian countries. Lanka has been milking this situation : one hand it take maximum benefit from china and yet’ users India as carry leave :India could not do anything about it: moreover. Caste system plays a role Indian politics : Brahmians of North and people of North India dominate politics and southbound people have little influences so Tamil Nadu could do very little to help Tamils In SL and all their factors help Indian do not away with all mistake of Lanka and wait and see Modi :’how he coped with it

    • 0
      0

      Actually what you said is not entirely correct we shouldn’t confuse brahmin and North Indians. Yes Brahmins dominate the North far more than the south. Thats largely due to the illiteracy and poverty in the north.

      But not every North Indian is a brahmin. Many times i have heard people ignorantly state North Indians are Brahmins. If you are talking about the UP, Bihar region this is not true only about 5% of this region are Brahmin. The majority of the population in these regions are largely lower castes.

      Second of all another misconception people make is that they assume that all north indians are aryans. This is simply not true. Again if we take the largest states in North India like Bihar and UP a large percentage of the population are ethnically dravidians or aryo- dravidians. Only in the very extreme parts of north india such as kashmir are a large percentage aryan.

      So yes the two main misconceptions are that all north indians are brahmins and that all north indians aryans. Both these misconceptions are wrong

  • 8
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    .
    When NP CM Wigneswaran rejected MaRa’s invitation, Modi got the message…….

    :-)

  • 11
    1

    “Sri Lanka has no military or economic power worth talking about, and the only way it can come through unscathed is by occupying the moral high ground, in dealing with India and the international community, and above all in dealing with the ethnic problem.”

    Alas, Sri Lanka does not have the moral high ground, nor any friends who will actually help us anymore. India, after demonstrating the vibrancy of its democratic process, clearly holds the moral high ground against a country where democracy is dying, if not dead already.

    Meanwhile, we have antagonised everyone – US, UK, EU etc- who could exert some pressure on India. If push comes to shove, even with a worst case scenario – a Crimea crime being perpetrated, – none of these western countries will help us anymore. They will sit back and say “ We told you to mend your ways, now see the consequences”. They are not going to impose targeted sanctions on Modi like they did on Putin.

    As for our ‘friends’ China and Pakistan, neither of them will go to war, with nuclear consequences, to protect Sri Lanka, which is more and more being viewed internationally as a family regime needing protection rather than a sovereign people needing protection. In fact, Geneva and the UNHRC is all about protecting sovereign people from dictatorial rulers, as Rajapaksa well knows, having himself gone to Geneva and appealed to the UNHRC to protect the Sri Lankan people from a previous, far less dictatorial, ruler.

    Bombast and rhetoric meant for the local market is not going to impress Modi. Playing the old game of promising for the day and not ever delivering is not going to work either. Issuing misleading press statements contradicting India’s press statements on common meetings will only prove to Modi that we cannot be trusted. Trying to frighten India with the China card is not going to impress Modi either.

    Without friends, without credibility, and without the moral high ground, there will be trouble with India in the weeks and months to come.

    After that will come Geneva in March 2015 and all the repercussions which will follow the UNHRC Report Card on Sri Lanka.

  • 4
    3

    The formation of Telengana as a separate state cannot be construed as a fissiparous tendency. On the other hand it reflects the right of a people to exercise self rule. Telengana and Seemandhra will be two separate states co -existing in harmony just like Tamilnadu and Pondichery.

    Sengodan. M

  • 7
    4

    A collision course with India, especially under Modi will be disastrous for Sri Lanka. It may end up with the 30th state of India being formed outside its present boundaries.

    Sengodan. M

    • 4
      0

      sengo,
      What collusion course are you talking about? Modi,the guy who didn’t take any action on Muslim slaughter is going to do what for a bunch of Tamils in Sri Lanka?
      India has enough problems with the states it already have. Millions are living in poverty, no healthcare or even a place to defecate. Modi will have to solve those problems before he try annex more!

      • 3
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        Suspense,

        With all the quoted problems intact, Indira Gandhi created Bangladesh! Modi is a much stronger person than Indira. So, it is better for all the Modayas to mindful of these facts.

        Sengodan. M

        • 2
          1

          sengo,
          Keep dreaming!

          • 2
            0

            Nuisance

            You have to dream before your dreams can come true.
            A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

            Great dreams of great dreamers are always transcended.
            A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

            Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.
            A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

  • 0
    2

    I notice that mahinda has said only police powers cannot be devolved.So i presume land powers he is willing to devolve.So this year if he this year devolves the land powers and appoints a governor and his secretary after talking to wiggie and seeing whether he has any valid objections to his selection,then modi will be mollified.After all he is also a politician and knows mahinda is going to have his hands full with the impending presidential and UVA province elections.

    Next year it is best that mahinda writes to modi a letter detailing his concerns about devolving police powers and the danger it constitutes to the sinhalese etc and modi’s solution to this.Abruptly just showing the door to modi the way mahinda did with manmohan and his external affairs minister SM.krishna will have disastrous consequences for srilanka.

    mahinda has to realise he can’t just wave off a international agreement that has been signed by a previous head of state of srilanka.So can india just wave off the pact signed by indira Ghandhi with sirima over the repatriation issue and kachativu just because now the BJP and not congress is in power now.Modi has to clean up the shit put by congress and mahinda has to clean up the shit put by JRJ.He has done a part of it by eliminating the LTTE that JRJ built up by becoming its chief recruiting agent and now he has to clean the rest of the shit he put by signing the indo lanka accord.He can only do that with the concurrence of india,not arrogantly just showing them the door.

    • 2
      2

      Shanker,

      The government is now ready to devolve traffic police powers! What a baboon circus! Very soon they will devolve all police powers, except the goon role they play on behalf of the political establishment.

      Dr.RN

      • 1
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        Dr.Narendran,that is because the traffic policemen are going to abducted,stripped naked and killed,and if they ever give a spot fine to douglas or his goons they will get a good beating.

      • 0
        0

        Actually they could HAVE started all these than only talking again and again. If other countries succeeded it why not our 22 mio population.

        In every country, they have started with some power devolution and later they got them succeded, I wonder why this buggers stay only slow discussions. If they are genuine on what they ve been talking, they should have started with devolution of power already since 2009.

      • 2
        0

        Although the Rajapakse regime does not admit it, they are reported to have already told the Indians they will yield on the Land issue. MR used Nimal Siripala to announce Pölice Powers are out. We have heard this before – from DMJ and Rambukwella. But, this too will have to be yielded sooner than later. Modi and
        Jayalalitha will not remain silent until the desperate Rajapakses
        are forced to enable the basic functioning of the NPC, initially.

        Rajapakse released the straying fishermen when he got the badly-needed invitation to attend Modi’s inauguration. A few days ago nearly a hundred of them are arrested, for the same alleged illegality, by the SL Navy – some assaulted. A section of the Indian media claim this is revenge by Rajapakse for the bad 1-to-1 he had with Modi. GK Vasan, Shipping Minister in Sonia’s Cabinet says “this is Rajapakses double face” The news of the arrest of the fishermen and JJ’s letter to Delhi “to handle Rajapakse tough” is big news and was part of the Doordarshan TV News. It is clear Rajapakse is rubbing Modi on the wrong side – as JR did Indira G. Today Rajapakse remains the most disliked
        leader in the region in Delhi, Tamilnadu and all of India.

        Rajapakse’s conundrum is his past during the Indo-Lanka Pact (1987) He joined the JVP, the extremist Buddhist priests and the Sinhala supremacists in setting the South on fire against the 13th Amendment. He is today forced to yield on this – albeit bits and pieces. He knows the activist Sinhala Buddhists, unthinking on the issue, are against any concessions to the Tamils. His very political career hangs on the balance. It is understood even a section of the more politicised army are becoming restless too.
        His over-reliance on the Chinese to protect him will eventually work against the interest of the country in the long run.

        R. Varathan

  • 9
    1

    Modi cannot be pushed or lied to. His first request or could say demand from the Sri Lankan President, that too on his inauguration day was to implement 13th amendment in full and to go beyond it as per the promise given by the President when Shushma Suwaraj met with Rajapakse.

    There is no way on this earth that Modi is going to back out. Rajapakse as usual could not hoodwink Modi. A few months ago Thrukumaran Nadesan went to India to meet with Modi as a messanger of Rajapakse and Nadesan could not even meet with any inner circle members of Modi and he came back empty handed. That alone should have given a warning to President Rajapakse. With all the pomp and pageantry Rajapakse ran to India thinking that Modi is going to be on his side. Sadly he recognized his mistake when he met Modi.

    Its not only the pressure of 13th amendment, Rajapakse has to be cautious dealing with Modi as India’s vote at UN and India’s support to Rajapakse who is the Chair of the Commonwealth is extremely important.

    The time has come for Rajapakse to deliver an acceptable solution to the minority issues, failure to deliver will be catastrophic not only to Rajapakse but to entire Sri Lankan population.

  • 4
    3

    The subject has been analysed well and presented logically in both historical and current contexts. Sri Lanka has to make a course correction, if it has the interests of the country as its primary goal. Unfortunately, the government’s interest lie elsewhere in terms of perpetuating the MR rule, dynastic rule that has been already initiated and ‘ Mihinizing’ the country. This would involve unconcienably using the siren of false nationalism and communalism, post-war triumphalism, the Tiger bogey, fear mongering about the impending division of the island, Indian high handedness , machinations of Western neo imperialism with the UNHCR as the front and sabre rattling jingoism, to garner votes, as tactics, come what may. The elections ahead would be the focus, rather than what is right, the well being of this country and her stature in the world scene. Narendra Modi will likely be provided the opportunity to prove his mettle as the Prime Minister of India in the world scene, given the new equation that is being falsely scripted by the government of Sri Lanka to portray Sri Lanka as the tiny David who is standing up to the threatening Goliaths of the world. Our innocent people will once again be deceived into endorsing a disaster that has them in a vicious grip. Such is our fate!

    Incidentally, the communique issued immediately after the Modi inauguration was a solely Sri Lankan one. The Indian communique subsequently by Sujatba Singh exposed the Sri Lankan duplicity.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 3
      1

      Narendran,

      Since your new buddies , the LTTE proxy TNA leader and his CM do not want to front up to a PSC and their ally the main Opposition party has taken the the same stand, shouldn’t the Srilanka President go for a referendum?.

      A whole generation of our inhabitants, born after 87 wouldn’t have a clue what this 13A is going to do to them and their future with respect to their right to live as equals , in any part of the island and share its scarce resources equally.

      Therefore shouldn’t they be asked the question

      Whether they want this 13 A with Police Powers given to to TNA and other not so cool CMS

      Or should be expunged from the constitution?.

      So simple isn’t it,?.

      Surely PM Modi can’t disagree, I mean to hold a referendum ..Can he?. .

      Neither the Westminster practitioners and the ex Gunslingers who have now become the custodians of Democracy in less developed nations.

      • 2
        0

        Dear Sumanasejera,

        The names you mention were not my enemies in the past nor are they my buddies now. They are politicians acceptable to me now because of the pragmatism and finesse they exhibit. They also stand for a united Sri Lanka, while demanding the full implementation of what is law in terms devolution. MR and his government will also be in my good books if they turn a new page and act in a manner that will result in a post-war Sri Lanka I had wished and hoped for.

        Further, a positive feature of the 13th amendment is that it gave the same package to the other provinces as it did to the north and east. Why should there be a referendum in this scenario? What the north gets through the full implementation of the 13th amendment, which has been part of our constitution for long, will be also what the other provinces get. If they choose other wise, it is their choice.

        Every province will yet be a part of the Sri Lankan State and there is no provision that forbids the free movement of persons from one province to another or living in a province of their choice. However, surreptitious State-sponsored colonising schemes would be a thing of the past. Colonisation schemes would be yet possible, but with the consent of the Provincial Council and in accordance with the guidelines of the national land commission.

        Even the Police powers will be exercised in all the provinces through a DIG from the national cadre appointed by the national government in consultations with the provincial Chief Minister.

        What is there to fear, except the loss of the power to use the police as the tool at the beck and call of the national government politicians. The transformation of policing as required by the 13th amendment would of course require that the police force be also reformed. Police training colleges would be yet under the national government. The provisions in the 13th amendment though inadequate in terms of devolution and open to sabotage by the national government, are yet quite strong to safeguard national security and prevent subversion of the national territorial integrity.

        Dr.RN

        • 0
          1

          Dear Narendran,

          You are blessed to have those pragmatic politicians with finesse in the TNA to rule the few hundred thousand of you guys in the North.

          What about the other eight Provinces?.

          Once the Police Powers and Land Banks are awarded, just imagine what a honey pot these provinces would be to attract real talent with enormous vigour.and enthusiasm.

          Mervyn and Duminda Sylvas, Ravi Karnanayaka, Mangala Samaraweera, Fonseka, Kiriella ,Gannissara, Jayaratna Jr ,and Gunaratna, are just a few names which propped up pretty quick..

          So we will have .JVP Police, BBS Police, Mervyn Sylva Police , Duminda Silva Police , UNP Police, SLFP Police and Fonseka Police policing us .

          I don’t want to mention our Muslim brethren , because I don’t know much about their politics.

          Now the big question is which Police should our inhabitants pay santhosams to when they check our vehicles although not that many of us have vehicles?.

          What about our ordinary punters who have to do business across these JVP, UNP , SLFP, Fonseka, Mervyn Silva borders?.

          I am assuming that these Sylvas won’t get a nomination in any decent party once their current memberships expire..

          Now you may tell us that everything should be hunky dory because your TNA in the North will be the shining example and set the bench mark.

          But will our humble leaders in the South take cue from those top shelf Vellala values and etiquette..

          Your Opposition’s main gripe and the biggest allegation is that Rajapaksa is the new Alibaba with his 40 thieves who run the joint.

          What have our inhabitants done to have another eight with their coterie of 40 each?.

          .

          • 1
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            and sumane,there is a another alternative if you don’t want to repatriate,you could send the DDT specialist gota into the south.

            I remember as a kid these fellows having over their shoulders that huge machine and spraying away the pests.Gota too since he is entering politics can like rambo kill all of them and strew them all over the streets for others to see the pest controller has come.

          • 2
            0

            Sumanasekera:

            Let me answwer your question.
            What about the other provinces?
            What about them they are Sinhalese provinces and there is a Tmil Sinhalese divide in Sri Lanka and the is the root cause of the problems. It is no point burying it under the sand.
            Have you had any riots in those provinces where Sinhlese killed Sinhalese where the Army looked on so dont pretend. I am sure you know why we are where we are.

            There is no going back and if Police Powers are not devolved and North & East United by MR BJP have promised to calve out Tamil Eelam and they are not bloughing.
            The experiment of living together has miserably failed and it is tome for DIVORCE.
            What surprises me is the number of Modi Bootlickers. My friend Blood is thicker than water. Modi and Jeyalalitha are blood brother and sister.

          • 1
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            Dear Sumanasekera,

            I an glad that you have correctly diagnosed the real problem in devolving police powers- the predominantly Sinhala provinces and the criminals, thugs and rowdies who dominate politics there. This is not reason enough to deny police powers to the north and the east. The other reason is that the government in power at the centre wants to continue misusing the police and fear the provincial councils will follow its bad example. I have heard this fear expressed by our a President several times.

            Rational and thus intelligent solutions can come in three forms:

            1. Better training and re-training of the police force.
            2. Rigid standards for joining the police forces.
            3. Better salaries for the policemen of the different ranks.
            4.An independent National Police Commission and independent Provincial Police Commissions to keep tight control on police recruitment and discipline.
            5. Having both a national police force and provincial police force functioning in parallel in the provinces with separate well defined functions and modalities for co-operation, like the RCMP and the Provincial police forces in Canada. In Canada, there are also city police and campus police forces.

            If there is a will, there is always a way.

            Dr.RN

            • 0
              1

              Dear Narendran .

              It is better salaries and better incomes for every one across the board which is the solution.

              Not Sambnadan ruling the North and even Hakeem running the East.

              That is why people in Canada, or Australia or England is doing better.

              Isn’t the TNA’s sole strategy is to keep the non Vellalas and their supporters out of the equation and perpetuate power among the Vellalas ?.

              And get the Diaspora to help establish Eelaam in the North?.

              Do we hear anything about Douglas Devananda ?

              Has he become a born again Sinhalese?..

              When Sambnadan gets his own Police to guard the Northern inhabitants , would the Tamil inhabitants in the South specially the Vellalas in Colombo be happy to take orders from a Sinhala Buddhist Police?.

              Would Prema still want to live in Colombo?.
              .
              Why don’t we have just two Provinces ? ..10 Million in each.

              Justifies even on Economies of scale

              North East South West or Vice Versa.

              Two Premiers fully autonomous with own Police Land Banks and the whole box and dice.

              At least it will cut down the number of “Robbers” from nine to two which is a start.

              And the . President.looking after the Defence, Fpriegn Affairs. Ports. Harbours and Religious Affairs etc..

              I am sure it will be winner specially among the post 87 generation.

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                Dear Sumanasekera,

                I invite you to visit Jaffna, as my guest to see the caste situation. You a beating an almost dead snake with an over-sized stick. Except when it comes to marriages, when the caste affiliations are known,the caste issue is dead as a dodo. The so-called low caste vote bank is also larger than the so-called high caste vote bank.

                As to salaries, teachers, nurses and policemen have to be as a priority paid very much better to attract the best individuals to their ranks. They are the vital elements in any civilized society.

                The Tamils in the South call cops on the beat ‘Sir’ quite happily. Whether this is feigned is a different story. They will continue to do so. Do not fear. I doubt whether many Tamils in the north will ‘Sir’ the cops in the north, if they are all Tamils- the Vellalah cops included!

                First implement the 13th amendment in full in the north and east and see the results. If it works successfully in these provinces, but is not successful in the other provinces, exclude the the South from the devolution exercise through constitutional amendments. After all the South never demanded devolution, but it was given to them on a platter. Whereas the Tamils in the north and east who demanded devolution, have been given it in bits and pieces, reluctantly.

                I will guarantee honest devolution of power as intended in the 13th amendment in the north and east will demonstrate to the rest of Sri Lanka the benefits of devolution, undermine separatist tendencies forever and win the loyalty of the Tamils to the Sri Lankan State. Further, it will mute the the international opinion that is about to erupt in terms of inquiries and punitive action. WOULD THIS NOT BE A WORTHWHILE EXPERIMENT?

                Dr.RN

                • 0
                  0

                  “WOULD THIS NOT BE A WORTHWHILE EXPERIMENT?”

                  Especially since centralisation experiment of srilankan leaders failed here while nehru’s decentralisation experiment succeeded.

                  Sumane likes to do the same experiment over and over expecting a different result which Einstein said was the definition of insanity.

                • 1
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                  Dr NV,

                  Please invite OTC also to join Sumanasekara.

                • 0
                  1

                  Dear Narendran

                  Good to hear that the Vellalas treat the dalits and the shudras well at least at Election times.

                  But it will be nice to see their daughters and sons getting proposals from Vellala Boys and Girls.

                  You seem to be a nice guy who thinks every thing will be hunky dory if our inhabitants give Vellalas the North.

                  Will it , after watching the Vellala heavy Prema in action?.

                  If the CM detaches himself totally from the TNA and the Diaspora and work with Doughie and the Governor to look after the inhabitants in the North well this term , may be a referendum to expunge the South from the 13 A is possible.

                  And I am sure you know why the TNA is not conducive for an autonomous North.

                  And to decide the fate of the East as it is no longer part of the Vella TNA territory.

                  • 1
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                    Dear Sumanasekera,

                    Vellalahs are also Sudras.

                    Further, why should Justice Wigneswaran work with Douglas Devananda, who stands accused of many alleged crimes in India and Sri Lanka. Don’t you see the wide gulf that divides the two? I am sure the CM can work with any governor who under instruction from his boss does not set up a parallel provincial administration.

                    Further, the East is yet predominantly Tamil-speaking (66%). Dividing the Tamils and Muslims through various political strategies will not work anymore in the face of the BBS phenomenon. The Muslims in the East are more Tamil in their language skills than the Tamils themselves.

                    Devolution is the only way to resolve the Sri Lankan crisis.

                    Remember what Dr. P.B. Jayasundara said about the parlous state of the Sri Lanka economy and the irresponsible profligacy of this government. He claims if not for him the whole structure will collapse. The current government is acting in an insane manner with regard to devolution, but also the economy.

                    Dr.RN

                    • 0
                      0

                      It is sanctimonious nonsense when one sees people like OTC, Such, and Sumani etc take pity on the lower caste people of the north! The only reason they do this because they cannot find other credible materials to belittle the Tamils. If one were to read Prof. Dysanaayake’s book entitled “Understanding the Sinhala”, one can see that he has dedicated one chapter to the Sinhala caste system!

                      My view is that, the caste system is the worst form of human denigration; it should be eschewed with and made unfashionable. Having said this, I believe that Jaffna has come a long way to remedy this situation, but sill a fair distance to go in eradicating this abominable scar. The Phenomena such as racism and chauvinism are equally abhorrent, and the paradox is that, Sinhala Buddhist racists such as Sumani, OTC, Such etc endeavour to denigrate the Jaffna caste system while comfortably, insidiously, ostensibly practicing racism towards the minorities!

          • 0
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            Sumane,

            Unlike the NPC, the other PC’s have much flexibility in influencing Police and Land matters in their Provinces. I believe
            in both the NPC is not opposed to some form of reasonable overseeing by the Centre.

            R. Varathan

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        dear sumane,don’t you think that JRJ should have had that referendum before he signed the indo lanka accord?A bit late to have a referendum now don’t you think?I wonder whether you have ever asked your friends for some money promising to pay back.After 10 years when they say that you have yet not paid them back,you will say don’t worry machan,i will get permission from my missus and children and pay you back provided they say yes.

        • 2
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          Dear Shanker,

          We are not on I owe you chits here.

          It is the X , Y and the following generations at stake here.

          And they have nothing to do with pre 87 .

          Is it fair to strangle and choke their freedom to live as free citizens without restrictions in this small patch of only 25 K Square miles which will have 50 Million souls in 2050.

          And they don’t have the luxury of moving to better pastures unlike the minorities in good or bad times.

          So isn’t it fair to ask them what they want?.

          • 1
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            dear sumane

            Why do you keep electing heads of state since 1956,who don’t care a tuppence for future generations,if you are so concerned about them?

            After all they were the people’s representatives wern’t they and therefore represent people like you’s qualities.So your concern for the future generation must be a sham,otherwise you would have cast your vote wisely and not for the chauvinistic types over the moderates.Your statement given below gives proof of this

            “Is it fair to strangle and choke their freedom to live as free citizens without restrictions in this small patch of only 25 K Square miles which will have 50 Million souls in 2050.”

            Pray,could you tell me how by giving a provincial council for the north and east,how the sinhalese future generations are going to be restricted in their freedom?You would prefer i suppose your future generations to lose their limbs and lives and their livelihoods with a stagnant economy,just like my generation went through due to the sirima/JRJ generations chauvinistic attitudes.

            Since my parents and your parents generations serious chauvinistic attitudinal problems resulted in their childrens suffering only,india is trying to bring in a model that helped them avoid all that in their own country and your problems spilling into their shores.You will have to agree that manmohan who was so passionate about the 13th amendment cannot be a enemy of the sinhalese and is the best friend that they could have had.Would he do anything to harm your future generations interest,the wise old man and old school gentleman that he was.Unfortunately he was giving advise to crude folks and southern jungle tarzans,while fortunately for the devolution prospects the northern jungle tarzan was eliminated by the southern one with manmohans help.Now his successor modi will have to help eliminate with the west the southern jungle tarzan who can bring suffering to future generations and even economic catastrophe to the present ones.

            • 0
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              Dear Shankar.

              Few educated, english speaking who consider themselves as elite in Colombo whom I have the privilege to be associated with, don’t bag the current rulers as much as some of my village nincumpoops do.

              So I can understand the people who have been away.

              The fast growing Private Sector in Colombo employs only Ehglish educated people from Colombo schools.And these companoies can’t get enough of them.

              They are paying salaries equivalent to USD 1000 plus car allowances.

              Village folks whom you call Tarzan’s monkeys pick up lesser jobs like road workers, cleaning staff,and other jobs.

              And they somehow mange to put food on the table after 30 years of misery.

              Tourism , which is a well sought after income stream even in countries like Australi, now flourishing to the extent that a descent room in Kandy fetches USD 250 plus a nite.

              And our Christian NOGs fork out USD 200 plus for a meal in hip Cafes after a hard days work.

              Not bad going for a palce run by Village Tarzans.

              Compare that with what your new mate , the city Jane and her educated cousin did for the inhabitants for 15 years from 1990 to 2005.

              What can I say?….

              Forget the Economic Development, The future generations will at least have the Waters Edge, Southern and Norther Freeways, new Harbour city , Mattala Airport, and Hambnatota Harbour , even if Modi makes North the Diaspora dream of Eelaam, a reality.

              Sorry, Northern freeway probably will be only up to Vavynia for the non Eelaam citizens if Prema gets a Ministry.

              • 0
                0

                “Village folks whom you call Tarzan’s monkeys pick up lesser jobs like road workers, cleaning staff,and other jobs.”

                dear sumane wherein have i mentioned that village folk are tarzan’s monkeys.Are you hallucinating as usual in vellala land with a bedi or soorutu and having a bottle of pol arrack with a little bit of ganja also thrown in to add flavour.The way you talk of progress i won’t be surprised if a bevy of topless village lasses are doing a belly dance in front of you with you lavishly tipping them with 2000 rupee notes for every wobble of the belly in front of your popping eyeballs.

                After all we must have 26 years of solid love to make up for war.

                I was saying quote “manmohan was giving advise to crude folks and southern jungle tarzans” unquote. It is not me that is naming anyone as jungle men,but the president of the country himself who proudly proclaimed to the world just after the war ended,that he was the jungle man from south who defeated the jungle man from the north.

          • 0
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            What about us guys born after 1948. Shouldn’t we have a referendum to decide whether we should go back to British rule. We were never asked whether we wanted independence. Isn’t it only fair to ask us ?

        • 1
          1

          shanker,
          JRJ signed the accord under the circumstances that prevailed at that time. Things have changed now. A sovereign country can change its direction which ever way it wants under the best circumstances that fits them. I want Sri Lanka to do what is best for her. What is India going to do if the SL gov. decide not to implement the accord? Go to war?

          • 1
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            Nonsense

            Circumstances don’t matter.A legal validity of a contract only matters.The contract does not mention anything about circumcision being needed if circumstances change.Old fool JRJ should have put in a clause like that.

            Will you give back kachativu if the circumstances have changed?

            As for your question what will india do if you don’t implement the 13th amendment,I don’t know really but there are so many things it could do.Why don’t you be patient and find out as the years pass.

            • 1
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              shankar

              “Will you give back kachativu if the circumstances have changed?”

              Will MR take back all those expatriated up country hard working people from Tamilnadu?

          • 1
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            Nuisance

            “What is India going to do if the SL gov. decide not to implement the accord? Go to war?”

            Try your luck.

            JR tried his luck the war went on for 25 years.

            VP tried his luck LTTE was obliterated by Hindians.

            Let MR try his luck and see what happens.

    • 0
      2

      Though not a fan of MR, the points specially the threat of division is real. I know many of you would say TNA is for a united country. But what they do and say doesnt suggest so.

      My point is for any power devolution to be successful TNA has to be removed.

      • 1
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        ” My point is for any power devolution to be successful TNA has to be removed.”

        How would you go about removing TNA? Perhaps by sending a series of white vans I suppose!

  • 4
    1

    Clearly, Modi is feared. Rapid changes are happening, and the government is headed towards the table serving humble pie.

    Today’s news: “The government said yesterday that it did not have an issue with implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution with the exception of police powers.”

    Ah well. Twists and turns to follow as the BBS, JHU, Modawansa, and other rabid sorts howl in protest.

    Watch the news for more theatrics and entertainment in the days ahead.

  • 3
    1

    There is another important factor that is missed by the author, India never expected any enemies from the south. It expected all the dangers to come from the north.So they moved some of their nuclear plants to the south to be away from danger. But now there is some doubt whether an enemy could approach from the south.To make matters worse a SriLankan muslim was arrested in India last month on suspicion of terrorism. Pakistan and China may be using SriLanka for spying on India. This adds a new dimension to the Indo-SriLankan relationship.

  • 4
    4

    Mr.Sumanasekara is trying hard to to slit the Tamils.He says Vellalas from Colombo won’t like to live in Jaffna.Where did he learn this. He says the left over LTTE carders have become HR organizations in west. How did he assume this. Does he think Western government leaders are fools? Does he know that it is the West which banned the LTTE before the SriLankans. There is a democratic movement by the Tamils who were chased out of SriLanka in 1958,1977 and 1983 by Sinhalese violence and riots. That is why the diaspora is strong and determined and supported by the West.
    Tamils cannot tolerate more Sinhala-Buddhist riots like how they massacred thousands of innocent civilians in the past.That is why they seek separation.

  • 4
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    Being within the province, expertise and the working experience of the subject,Izeth has presented an excellent presentation within scope of Sri Lanka’s brief experience of Modi’s relations with Sri Lanka. Though briefly, Modi would have by now learnt of the frivolous dishonesty of the Rajapaksa government upon which has hitherto been based their foreign policy.
    He aptly summarises: “Sri Lanka has no military or economic power worth talking about, and the only way it can come through unscathed is by occupying the moral high ground, in dealing with India and the international community, and above all in dealing with the ethnic problem”. The question is whether under the Rajapaksa regime, Sri Lanka could ever come through unscathed especially when President Rajapaksa thinks that he can continue to fool all the people all the time. Bensen

  • 6
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    It is probable that BJP and Modi have long before studied and formulated a foreign policy. It was not something that Modi enunciated after his victory within a couple of days. Hence what transpired at the MR / Modi meeting will have to be considered seriously by the Govt.

    It seems that 13A + was mentioned which signals the kick off for Foreign relations with Sri Lanka. Govt is already talking about 13A related issues through its various mouth pieces, Keheliya, Siripala, Army Spokesman etc. Significantly the JHU is relatively silent but Weerawanse has sounded a warning. GLP is silent.

    Modi is not a person to procrastrinate so we can expect a visit by India within a few months and some reminder of sorts. Unfortunately for MR it will come during the midst of election year and Modi too he will be facing the state elections in TN. Also the UNHRC probe will come into play towards the end of this year.

  • 2
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    Mr Hussain:

    Sri Lanka is certainly on a collision course with India and that is for one reason and one reason alone. That is the Etnic Question. MR up to now has been protected by the corrupt Indian Politicians who didnt care about the plight of the Tamils as they were busy filling their pocekets.
    That has all changed and Modi means business and that is why he invited him even at the expense of Alienating JEYALALITHA to read out the Charge sheet which took 20 minutes .
    He was up to his usual tricks and on his return tried to lie that nothing about the implementation of the 13th was discussed but Modi was quick to put MR in his place.
    MR now knows how strong Modi is and things are going to get a lot tougher if he doesnt listen. The choice is COMPLY OR DIE.

  • 0
    1

    Can any country force a government to implement a scheme if the people are against it. WE ALL KNOW HOW THE 13 AMENDMENT WAS FOISTED ON JRJ.
    The Government must conduct a referendum whether the people of Sri Lanka approve this amendment.
    The Government should act according the wishes of its people and not on the wishes of another country.

    Surely Modi will not use his army to foist a solution on a sovereign country just to please his Tamil friends that is against the wishes of the people of Sri Lanka.
    However, this said, Sri Lanka must do something and not put this issue off sine die.

    • 2
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      Dr.Weereratne

      “Can any country force a government to implement a scheme if the people are against it.’

      Dr,Weereratna,people are against it now because the LTTE has been defeated.What about when the accord was signed in 1987?Were the people against it then?If you say yes what is the proof that they were against it at that time?Did you have a referendum to prove that they were against it?If not why did JRJ not have a referendum?It is at the time of signing that you have to ask the people isn’t it.Not after and getting all the benefits of it.This a international accord signed by two governments,not kade mudalali stuff in hambantota or tangalle where you make and break contracts,get angry and pull out the knife and stab.

      So to see whether people were against it or not you have to go to the point of time when the contract was signed not now and you should have the a results of a referendum at that time, to prove your case.

      “WE ALL KNOW HOW THE 13 AMENDMENT WAS FOISTED ON JRJ”

      No we don’t.Why don’t you give us in point form the various acts that were committed by the indians to foist it on JRJ.

      The wily JR used that immature pilot rajiv to do his dirty work knowing very well that prabha was opposed to the accord and rajiv will wipe him out and do his dirty work for him.Unexpectedly it went the other way about with prabha wiping out rajiv and chasing the indians out.

      Life is full of surprises.

      However the main gain of the accord for the sinhalese was the clash between the LTTE and India that it provoked and the ultimate loss of the LTTE. Even to the last day of the war mahinda was promising 13th amendment,not only that but a plus too in order to have the support of india to finish the LTTe off.Who do you think gave all the information 8 ships that the LTTE was using as a floating warehouse from which smaller boats take the arms for the LTTE.SLN was able to destroy them from the information given by the indians.This is only a small part of the help the indians gave including keeping the west at bay till the war was over.Imagine their chagrin when they found that they have been played out and instead of 13+ they are getting a 13-.

      The 13th amendment has nothing to do with the tamils as they were not involved in its formulation in any way.Its something between the sinhalese and the indians. If you manage to get away with playing out the indians,the tamils won’t mind.If you do not succeed and indians punish you then the tamils will be cheering them on from the sidelines.

      Then look at the legal implications of the Indo Lanka accord.Can you sign it and then question its validity.On what basis?have a look at from a legal standpoint,not from all that jelly beans sentimental tosh you put out and come back to us with legal points,if you have any.

    • 0
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      Responding to Dr. Anura Weeraratne, allow me to say if it is a national referendum where the Sinhalese are over 75% on an issue where there is much anti-Tamil prejudice and ignorance, then it is meaningless. On the other hand, since it concerns the present and the future of the overwhelmingly Tamil people of the NEP then there is some validity there – although subsequent events in the 3 decades have brought in the Muslim factor against the Tamils.

      Kettikaran

  • 1
    0

    “Mervyn and Duminda Sylvas, Ravi Karnanayaka, Mangala Samaraweera, Fonseka, Kiriella ,Gannissara, Jayaratna Jr ,and Gunaratna, are just a few names which propped up pretty quick..”

    sumane,the problem is solved if you could put these guys and some more like the present regime stalwarts and UPFA provincial councilers etc to round it up to 700 and send them on a boat to bihar. Bihar is already full of crime and a little more will not make much of a difference,unlike south india whre there is no crime and also they are being recycled by their own genes that they palmed off on us poor dravidians in dravidian land long ago.Just like the jews being sent like locusts back to the land they inhabited 2000 years ago.

    I agree with you that a good clean up is necessary in the south,but don’t use that excuse to deny us in the north and east our due.go and see the peaceful dravidian land in south india and then live in the north india and compare the murder,rape,robbery etc.If the north is going to drag the south down one day maybe dravidadesam may be the answer and in srilanka too the sinhalese every time they see the tamils and muslims doing well and drag them down then divorce will be best.

    why don’t you do ethnic admixture with dravidians and become better people.Of course the downside will be darker colour,but have you heard of the term white devils,and that all that glitters is not gold.

  • 0
    0

    Aren’t the Sinhalaya Buddhist Voters ashamed that they have created a situation in the country, that not less than 30% of the citizenry will encourage, support and give every assistance to an invasion by a foreign country?

    • 0
      0

      No, so long as majority of that 30% desires to live among the Sinhalese.
      After the war I expected all the Tamils in Wellawatta and estates to move North. When that starts happening,if ever, I as a Sinhalese will feel ashamed.

      Incidentally, remember when Tamils kindly requested the Muslims to move out the Muslims obliged.

  • 1
    0

    I certainly fail to understand as to why you guys wanty to be at loggerhead with India? India and Sri Lanka have existed cordially for the last two thousand or more years. Neither during Mauryan rule, Harshvardhan’s Rule nor under Moghul rule the Indians ever tried to ocupy Sri. Lanka.Instead of concentrating on what is right and what is wrong Sri Lanka should grab the opportunity to capture a growing market of 1.2 billion people. Look at China, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Australia and many other countries -they are all engaged in capturing Indian market. By pushing into India through trade deals the economy of Sri Lanka will bloom.Once your economic problems are solved – there will be no tamils and there will be no Sinhalas – all be Sri. Lankans.

    • 0
      1

      JollyJoe,

      You got a point mate,

      Out of that 1.2 Billion 1.94 Billion have no issue with Srilanka.

      Even with the other 0.6 Billion, it is only the CM and her her new allies Vaiko , Seeman and Nedurawan who want to invade Srilanka.

      And the Diaspora and their new TNA mates think it will be possible if they can keep up the destabilization and create a pogrom.

      But it ain’t going to happen as long as the current Govt is in power.

      I am sure Modi is sharp enough to understand it.

      And he doesn’t need Ms J’s support for another 5 years,

      Have you ever heard this “Bring Indian Invasion” crowd talk about Economic matters and standard of living of Srilnkans?…

  • 2
    0

    it was an interesting writ up but with some factual errors.vaiko did not lose his deposit he came second pushing dmk candidate to third place though everyone expected him to win.but he lost because jayrlalithas tsunami felled everyone.secondly it is wrong to say that srianka did not go against indian interest during 1971 war pakistani planes were allowed to refuel in srilanka which was never forgiven by indian policy makers.another point to note is in tamilnadu everyone is anti srilanka because of rajapakshe governments apathy towards devolution of powers to northern eastern provinces.hence srilankans particularly sinhalese need not gloat over defeat of pro eelam politicians.eelam issue has evolved in such a way it is no longer a fringe issue rather it has become a mainstream issue.it has acquired such an importance that jayalalitha did not go to modi swearing in because rajapakshe was invited for it.another thing which i have noticed as rightly pointed out by shri narendran is devolution of power is seen as if sovereignity is being encroached upon.world is not it was twenty or thirty years leave out half a century back.world is moving towards a consensus one rather than concentrating all powers in an individual or a partys hand.unfortunately in srilanka any talk about devolution bring ethnic question into the discussion probably if the ethnic problem had not surfaced discussion regarding devolution,federal set up would have been much more costructive and less acrimonious.i hope that sinhalese realise that devolution of powers will help every srilankan irrespective of caste,creed,ethnicity.let better sense prevail.

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