29 September, 2020

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Opposition To Devolution: The Three Real Reasons

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

The Sinhala hardliners within and outside the administration and state structure would have us believe that the Northern Provincial Council is a zero sum game; that a win for the TNA is a loss for the rest of us. There is certainly a risk– what with the moderate Mr Sumanthiran slipping ‘internal self determination’ into his recent article in The Hindu, as if the subcontinent doesn’t recognise the code word, however qualified. However, the game is multiple-sum. From the vital perspective of political pluralism, which is a low flickering flame in this country right now (and not entirely due to President Rajapaksa), a TNA run Provincial council, or a SLMC or UNP or JVP run council would be as healthy as the CBK-led Western PC was in 1994, and for the same reasons.

In fact the advantages for Sri Lanka’s national interest, of a TNA led Northern Provincial Council could outweigh the dangers and disadvantages.

The Israeli model of ‘creating facts on the ground’ and occupation by stealth mode which is envisaged by some hardliners for the North, runs contrary to the interests of North-South reconciliation, Sri Lanka’s relationship with its neighbour and with the world at large. As much by reflex as by design, that model is also sought to be replicated in part and by stages in the rest of the island. A TNA-run Northern Council would serve as a modest but useful counterbalance to this negative dynamic.

A TNA run Provincial Council will be good for democracy and therefore, for all the people of the island. Why so? A hazardous ideology is being tested out and preached to our armed forces in which ‘national security’ is said to be “the foundation of our freedom” (as the Secretary to the Minister of Defence, Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said in his keynote speech to the Kotelawela Defence University). National Security was regarded as the foundation by regimes ranging from Hitler to Pinochet. By contrast, the universally accepted and proven foundation of freedom is democracy and the recognition of the inalienable equal rights of all citizens. National security is not the ‘foundation’ but could be described as the ‘protective wall’ of freedom.

The Northern Provincial Council will be an Opposition led council and will provide a much needed counterweight in a situation in which the traditional checks and balances including the separation of powers are being eroded and fundamentally questioned.

The judiciary has been rendered less autonomous and more conformist by the impeachment motion and subsequent choices. A bill on media ethics has just ducked behind the curtain but lurks there. The 18th amendment, though not fatal to democracy as shrilly alleged, has sundered the social contract which (even in Russia) grants great power to the Executive in exchange for a term limit. The self-inflicted debility of the UNP, JVP and FSP has resulted in a crisis of leadership of the opposition, vitiating the competitiveness and damaging the balance in the political system, notwithstanding the existence of proportional representation.

This leaves the TNA. Despite the war and its aftermath, the TNA is in far better shape than the Southern Opposition, not least because it has a more able and respected leadership at the top. There just isn’t anyone like the Sampanthan-Sumanthiran duo in the politics of the Opposition in the Southern two thirds of the island.

Just as in late 1982, the only occasion on which the authoritarian Jayewardene juggernaut was stopped was by the voters of Jaffna, today, three decades later, it is only the voters of the North who have resisted the regime through the ballot box, and done so under conditions of fairly tight control.

Given that the balance in our polity has been almost lost, it will be healthy to have a Provincial Council run by an elected Opposition party. It will prise open much needed political space and present the regime with some element of democratic competition in that it will set an example of what is possible.

Apart from legitimate political, security and sovereignty concerns regarding the prospect of a TNA run administration—concerns which I share and was among the first to point out in my critique of Mr Sampanthan’s 2012 Convention speech in Batticaloa–there are three uglier, subterranean reasons one may guess at, for the reluctance to devolve.

One is the fear of the erosion of political monopoly; the allergy to actually share power in any authentic measure. This is the logic of authoritarianism.

The second is that devolution runs contrary to the Israeli model of settler-colonisation and close control that is the template so beloved of the security bureaucracy. That is the logic of Occupation as entertained by the ‘deep state’. In many countries the deep state uses civilian political and social movements as proxies and pressure groups to box in the elected civilian leadership.

The third is that the very idea of any Tamil or Muslim administered provincial council is to the Sinhala chauvinists, as sunlight is to a vampire. This is the logic of ethno-religious absolutism.  

If unable to prevent the holding of elections in September, it is almost certain that those who stand opposed to the concept of provincial level devolution will attempt to de-stabilise the Council, with a Gaza type state of siege, economic suffocation and a political putsch as the endgame.

This will help neither the Sinhalese nor the Tamils. For the Sinhalese, the pushback from India and the West together with the erosion of support within the Non-Aligned and the BRICS will prove difficult to withstand. The deep state which boxes in the elected civilian leadership will find that it has boxed itself in together with that leadership in a double envelopment by India and the US.

Already the spate of endorsements by Govt controlled Provincial Councils of the truncation of their powers, only draws attention to those areas of the country in which such endorsement is not forthcoming, namely the North and the East. Thus are the N-E merger and the Tamil Eelam map recreated, by courtesy of the Sri Lankan government!

Not that this will be a zero sum game with all benefit accruing automatically to the Tamils, because the endgame (especially in the Southern two thirds) may be neither simple nor swift.There is only one way for such an outcome to be deflected and that is for the TNA to learn from the Sinn Fein/IRA and reach out to all elements in the Southern political spectrum, engage in a sustained multi-track dialogue, persuading and being persuaded. The Sinn Fein not only arrived at a consensus with the Labour government, it succeeded in neutralising Ian Paisley’s Ulster Loyalists.

The TNA must do what it accuses the Government, not without reason, of having failed to do, namely negotiate seriously and arrive at a consensus. There can be no sustainable devolution without broad support from Southern democrats who are themselves patriots. In short, the TNA must convince at least the moderates among the nationalist Sinhalese. It must also convince the professional military. Nothing less than a pledge by the TNA not to unilaterally cross the  red-line of the existing 13th amendment can achieve such a consensus which could save both communities from entering a deadly minefield.

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    Point I would like for people to consider is this:

    If the provincial councils system introduced in 1987 is to give a political solution to the ethnic problem in a geographical , spatial sense , why not have just 2 units . I know people say then that the country will then be divided along ethnic lines. But the provincial council system is to address an ethnic problem. Therefore, whether we like it or not it must exist. So the solution then should be establishing either 2 or 3 provincial councils. Northern , Easter and a Sinhala majority unit amalgamating all other provinces. Then this might be a real solution to the ethnic problem.

    We have to acknowledge that there are Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka in significant numbers and their world view does not correlate with the Sinhala world view. Thus, the conflict.

    But as Sinhalese we have to manage this situation , because as Sinhalese we have no where else to go….may be ass refugees to live in countries as minority.

    We have to know that Tamils are different to us , Muslims are different to us. But we Sinhalese have to define a system that we can manage without ant organising these groups as well as keeping our world view and identity as Sinhalese and Sinhala Buddhists.

    It is a difficult task . But I believe we can do it , without resorting to violence at all.

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      None of these plans will be pragmatic. Now JHU has brought a bill everybody could support this bill.

      Separatist issue and demand for Tamil Elam comes up again and again as long as there are provincial councils, partial abolition and dilution creates more separatist issues when they start demanding more powers. Complete abolition of provincial councils would solve the ethnic problem once ad for all. Attempt to dilute will never be successful.

      No smaller party would support dilution, smaller parties would support complete removal of 13th amendment. Having diluted provincial councils is more dangerous for the national security. When there are no provincial councils there are no borders, then there is no map of Elam.

      No body is prepared to support dilution, it is an utter waste of time, where as complete ablation will be supported, and that will be approved by a referendum.

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        Agree .
        Remove the provincial councils altogether . No more 13th amendment. No provincial councils and no separate state.

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        Senaviratne,

        Throughout the history of this country it is racists like you from both races who messed up this ethnic issue. Provincial Council system was introduced not to separate this country but to prevent it from being separated. Had India really wanted to separate the country it would not have advised a Provincial Council system but directly would have invaded the country and do the splinter instead of air-dropping dhal. The uneducated gasgembas in this country do not understand the real geo-politics behind these happening. It is such typed monkeys who are trying to advocate international and national political policies and measures! No wonder Rajapakshas have become the “rulers” of the country truly reflecting the retarded brainpower of people like Seneviratne.

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          Well said.

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            manisekaran thangavelu

            Please see below Dr.Rajasingham Narendran – July 1, 2013
            7:29 am.

            Please respond to him.

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              Yes, seen it will respond privately.

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      Sinhala_voice

      “because as Sinhalese we have no where else to go….may be ass refugees to live in countries as minority.”

      Surely you can go back to your ancestral homeland India, Bihar or Tamilnadu.

      India would be much happier to accommodate its long lost tribes, the Sinhalese. India continues to receive its people from all over the world.

      There were precedence, for example Tamils from Sri Lanka and Burma were sent back from their respective countries in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

      If you have no place to go its your problem not ours.

      However India will receive you with open arms. Please don’t forget to take your Tamil brethren with you.

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      Dear Sinhala Voice,

      We Native Yakkas second our Native Veddahs request that the Illegal Sinhala go back to where they came from, Bihar, Kalinga-Orissa and Southerns India.

      Recent DNA Analysis supports that the Sinhala came from Southern Indian Gene Pool.

      So the Sinhala can go back to your roots.

      Leave Lanka for the Native Veddahs and Native Yakka, who were demonized by the Sinhala. Take your Sinhala Buddhism as well with you.

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        Native Yakka

        You too can join others, the great exodus without ethnic cleansing. Pleasenote Yaksa was an Indian invention.

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      Sinhala Voice,

      “Then this might be a real solution to the ethnic problem.”
      “We have to know that Tamils are different to us , Muslims are different to us…. and identity as Sinhalese and Sinhala Buddhists.”

      This is where the Core Problem lies, with the Sinhala Buddhists and the Brainwashing of the Myths by Monk Mahanama.

      Actually, it is Buddhism that is the Core problem in Lanka, not necessarily Sinhala. Why? Monk Hegemony. Lanka had a civilization before the introduction of Buddhism.

      So IF the Sinhala were all Christian or Catholic, they would have a different worldview, and would be more accommodating of the other peoples, and would not be mislead by the Monk Hegemony.

      Furthermore, Lanka was originally Veddah, Yakka, Naga and Rakshaya before the introduction of Sinhalese by the Kalingas, the “grandson” of the Lion, and the Myths of Monk Mahanama.

      Bali Island Indonesia is 94% Hindu and Peaceful.

      Lanka was Jain, Animist and Hindu before the introduction of Buddhism.

      King Ravana was Hindu,and civilized, if Ramayana was true.

      So, the historical data points out the core problem in Lanka as Buddhist Monks and Buddhism, to continue the Monk Hegemony. Did anybody gain Nirvanna, Nibbana, Rebirth, or Sansara in Lanka over the past 2,500 years? NO.

      BBS, Burma Monks and the Mahanayakas are the problem. They are like the Catholic Church Before Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation.

      So, what is needed is the Reformation of the Monk Hegemony.

      Is there a Buddhist Martin Luther? That is what is needed.

      Read;

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

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc6Ci_V23oE

      During the early 16th Century idealistic German monk Martin Luther, disgusted by the materialism in the church, begins the dialogue that will lead to the Protestant Reformation

      Martin Luther (German: [ˈmaɐ̯tiːn ˈlʊtɐ] ( listen); 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German monk, Catholic priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of a reform movement in 16th century Christianity, subsequently known as the Protestant Reformation.[1] He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God’s punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.

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      Sinhala_voice,

      There is some truth in what you say, specially when considering the appalling things PC politicians are doing and the virtual irrelevancy and inefficiency of the PC system as they now stand. May be 3 PCs are enough. This can really streamline the administration, save resources, time and money, reduce political-line-loss en route from Colombo to the periphery etc. I think this proposal should be considered seriously.

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    Excellent analysis. The Government, especially the ruling clan need not be worried that the TNA will try to divide the country after the victory of the Northern Provincial Council. Division of the country will not be supported by any other country. Even India will not support the division of the country. If required, Sri Lankan Government should be able to sign an agreement with the Indian Government to protect against the division of the country for the full implementation of the 13th amendment as it stands today. Further Sri Lankan Government has already signed an agreement with China in this regard. With the military power still resting with the central government a separation of the country can never occur without the help of USA or India. So the reason why the ruling clan does not like the 13th amendment is because they do not want a strong opposition. As long as LTTE was there (although all of us hated LTTE) they served a purpose, they checked the excesses of the ruling clan. Now that they are gone there is no one to police the ruling clan and the government and keep them checked. The opposition in the south has no relevance today as Ranil has become a weaker link and the rest of the opposition other than JVP have been bought over by the ruling clan.

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    it boils down to ‘hoping’ that the TNA will ‘not cross red line’. how dumb!

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      Malinda, when did you become a racialist? You lap dog of the clan

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      WOW…. this is great! We will keep all power, all wealth, and everything with the Family. There is a constitutional and all other kinds of control. If you do not trust, you ARE part of the dumb brigade. Good luck. Let’s not vote for anyone other than SLFP/UPFA. How can we trust that UNP would not go with USA…. and other bloody nonsense arguments like that!!

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      Malinda carries a chip on his shoulder after he received a “belly full” from Dayan last time when they were debating :) Dayan can talk loud because he defended the country fearlessly and with such a vigour. Not sure what Malinda did for our country during that time other than being a “brown nose” to MR.

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        Salvage work what else ? :( as it is becoming to clear to everyone today. Sky earth difference between DJ and MS. Not even right to compare. I simply dont like MS – behaving MOSTLY like a thug NOT similar to Rajapakshes in interviews. His LIFE motto is beating around the bush.

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      Fully agree with Malinda.

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        You should be former leela who is equally stinking as the rulers do.

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          I wish Lanken leader could be replaced by Lanken forces as seen it in the Egypt this evening. There is no other alternative to get rid of him. Perhaps this will also be the case in SL soon. :)

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    Dear Sinhala_voice – June

    Yours is the most equitable compromise and logical solution to the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka.

    Can you work towards getting the majority of Sri Lankans to accept your concept and implement it ?

    Best of luck.

    Thiru

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    Separatist issue and demand for Tamil Elam comes up again and again as long as there are provincial councils, partial abolition and dilution creates more separatist issues when they start demanding more powers. Complete abolition of provincial councils would solve the ethnic problem once ad for all. Attempt to dilute will never be successful.

    No smaller party would support dilution, smaller parties would support complete removal of 13th amendment. Having diluted provincial councils is more dangerous for the national security. When there are no provincial councils there are no borders, then there is no map of Elam.

    No body is prepared to support dilution, it is an utter waste of time, where as complete ablation will be supported, and that will be approved by a referendum.

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      Senaviratne

      “Separatist issue and demand for Tamil Elam comes up again and again as long as there are provincial councils, partial abolition and dilution creates more separatist issues”

      Why are you scared of devolution which empowers the ordinary people irrespective of their race, religion and region?

      Whats wrong with separatism?

      If you are so opposed to separatism why don’t you call for an Indian annexation of this island or by China?

      There is no need for Sri Lanka to remain a separate country if one go along with desires.

      I assume you support a Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto in Indian ocean but not a Tamil one.

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        Exactly, separatist demands bring violence and insurgencies to the entire nation, none of the other plans will be pragmatic. Now, JHU has brought a bill everybody could support this bill.

        Partial dilution will not be successful. That will never succeed. Presence of diluted provincial councils creates more separatist proems. Complete abolition would be successful.

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          Senaviratne

          Do you agree that you support a Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto in Indian ocean but not a Tamil one?

          Why are you scared of devolution which empowers the ordinary people irrespective of their race, religion and region?

          Whats wrong with separatism?

          If you are so opposed to separatism why don’t you call for an Indian annexation of this island or by China?

          There is no need for Sri Lanka to remain a separate country if one go along with your desires.

          You say:

          “Exactly, separatist demands bring violence and insurgencies to the entire nation”

          Violence is nothing new to this island. The 1971 JVP violence in this island is not about separatism. As Sinhala/Buddhist you have extraordinary imagination and capacity for violence.

          Your people thrive on violence (1915 to 2009).

          Go look for other stupid arguments to perpetuate majoritarian and authoritarian rule.

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      delusion does not work. JVP and many UMP members agree only to complete removal.

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    The suggestion is not as ‘dumb’ as it seems. There will be no crossing of ‘red lines’ while there is a majority in the south.And a credible opposition is certainly necessary for checks and balances.

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      A credible opposition is certainly desired for checks and balances. Separatists do not represent a credible opposition. They represent enemies of the country.

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        Hela

        “Separatists do not represent a credible opposition.”

        Why not?

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          Vedda,

          I have given the answer. They have to be treated as enemies. They are not an alternate political option. If it was an acceptable option, this country wouldn’t have faught a war for 30 years and sacrificed thousands of it’s youth to crush separatist forces.

          Separatism is a red line. Credible political options are those who shun separatism and mono ethnic exclusivism and those who are willing to be part of national fabric.

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            Hela

            “They have to be treated as enemies.”

            Why?

            I don’t treat you or your Tamil brethren as our enemies given that both of you have systematically been grabbing my ancestral land.

            “shun separatism and mono ethnic exclusivism”

            You must be joking.

            Look back your own history.

            Tell me if you remember the following:

            The Ceylon Citizenship Act No. 18 of 1948, 11% of the population became stateless over night. Mostly the hard working up country Tamils became stateless.

            The Official Language Act No. 33 of 1956) stripped the Tamils of all forms of entitlement to communicate in their own language.

            My people have not been explicitly recognised in your exclusively Sinhala/Buddhist constitution.

            Since the early 1960’s fewer candidates were recruited to the armed forces, it had become an exclusively Sinhala/Buddhist institutions.

            There are millions of other issues which have proved beyond any doubts that your nation building process has been geared towards founding an exclusive Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto in the Indian ocean.

            If you genuinely believe in non exclusivity you could do few thing to assure my people:

            Remove Vijaya myth from all school text books.

            Abolish all your citizenship and immigration acts, abolish all visa requirement to enter and live in this island.

            Abolish laws restricting foreigners to by land in this island.

            Invite those people who were deported under the previous citizen and their descendants to return to this island. Pay them compensation for the inhuman treatment.

            The Jaffna library was torched by the Sinhala/Buddhists. Non were charged nor found guilty.

            Hela you got a lot of changes to make before you can claim to be a secular non mono non racist decent people.

            Almost all riots perpetrated by Sinhala/Buddhists since 1915 were against the minorities. Non were charged nor punished.

            Please stop being a hypocrite.

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              Vedda,

              Can you point anywhere in my note that I have called Tamils enemies? Do not falsify my statements. We can identify the enemies clearly through any smoke screen including ones you may try to erect.

              You seem to be very selective in your memory than me.

              Please list all those who voted for Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948 in the legislature by their ethnicity and religion and do the same for those who voted against. then we may be in a better position to discuss the matter. This is important because you are targeting Sinhala Buddhists.

              Recognition of Sinhala as the Official Language in 1956 is a correct action that correctly recognised the country’s language demographics. I find only in Sri Lanka that some including minorities question such an act. I am a frequent traveller all over the world. Last week I was in Chennai. I meet many people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Yesterday i was talking to people from Europe, USA and Asia on the same telephone hookup. I have tested the opinions of many of them with regard to Sinhala being the Official Language of Sri Lanka given the context of the demographics. No one has disagreed with the logic. However I admit that the act missed due recognition to Tamil Language as a practicing language. Though it has been rectified subsequently. It was not enough for the separatists and the priviledged among Tamils and they never supported the implementation of the legal provisions enabling the use of Tamil Language in public life. You cannot blame Sinhala Buddhists for that.

              Constitution recognises one Sri Lankan identity as it should be.

              I ask you to point out if there is any area in this country that has been demarcated as exclusive Sinhala Buddhist homeland which prevent anyone else comming and settling down. If you cannot point out I ask you to withdraw your accusations. Sinhala Buddhist culture has become the dominant culture on the basis of demographic domination like such demographic situations in any other country. I have to say sorry if you don’t like it. I am not going to say what Vladimir Putin said or what Julia Gillard of Australia said to Muslims who may despise the value systems in Russia & Australia (though I am entitled to say it).

              You have no valid reasons to make accusations you did.

              There are many non Buddhists in the armed forces and many of them are my friends too. There was some impact from 1962 coup attempt. Why do you blame Sinhala Buddhists for that? Go and blame the coup plotters. LTTE strategy actively contributed to the reduction of Tamil representation which has been somewhat compensated by the Muslim representation in the armed forces. Those decorated Muslim members of the armed forces who made supreme sacrifice towards unity of the country are heroes of Sinhala Buddhists.

              I think it is you who has to correct the blurred & the coloured vision (or non vision).

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    Do that and this separatist issues arise is al BS arguments. Tamils are industrious people. North and East can be heavily industrialized and govt should maks that an economic opportunity. by that way, govt get taxes and separatist issue will go away. Why, people have no time to think about those except making money or struggling to make money.

    Otherwise, as an academic in political science, if Dayan Jayathilake says wit the power devolution not Tamils’ Tamil – politicians’ problems go away that will be BS.

    In order to satisfy Indian Central govt, we don’t need the 13th amendment. We don’t have to satisfy tribalist Tamilnadu at all.

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      JimSofty

      “In order to satisfy Indian Central govt, we don’t need the 13th amendment. We don’t have to satisfy tribalist Tamilnadu at all.”

      Oh Jimmy

      For you the whole question of democratisation of the state and empowerment of people revolve around the stupid Tamil people wherever they are.

      I am sure even my elders would find you very difficult to handle not because you raise difficult arguments but because you live in a cloud cuckoo land and suffer from bunker mentality.

      Please stay wherever you are.

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        Through out the Sinhala- Lanka history, Tamils from South India had invaded the sinhala-Desha and moved Sinhala kings to retreat to the South.

        You may use different terminology. Even at that time, for what ever reasons, some sinhala people should have helped tamil kings.

        Now, Tamils are doing the same. As we did it earlier, We should do it this time too.

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          Jimmy

          “Through out the Sinhala- Lanka history, Tamils from South India had invaded the sinhala-Desha and moved Sinhala kings to retreat to the South.”

          Sinhla – Lanka history was manufactured by perverted monk Mahanama. How does Vijaya myth fit into scheme of Sinhala/Buddhists Sinhala – Lanka history?

          Could you educate me in what you describe what you mean by sinhala-Desha, the origin, date of its origin, evidence. I am eager learn.

          “Tamils from South India had invaded the sinhala-Desha and moved Sinhala kings to retreat to the South.”

          So you are scared of Tamils from South India.

          Do you know that Tamilnadu is part of greater Bahratt? Tamilnadu is a state one among many hence it has to abide by Indian constitution. It cannot declare war on its own on another country.

          Your fear has nothing to do with reality but caused by your own unstable mindset a condition known as paranoia. Please do seek medical help.

          “Even at that time, for what ever reasons, some sinhala people should have helped tamil kings.”

          You are hopeless than what I first thought.

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    What is the red line?

    Is the red line an attempt to form a separate state or demanding greater and more meaningful devolution? If it is the first, I would agree that it is a red line. However, if the second to whatever degree it is, becomes the red line, especially with a 13th amendment castrated at birth and deformed in its infancy, we have something very serious to worry about. The northern PC will not be the ‘ Thalai artti bommmai’ ( head shaking doll) of the centre and should by all means exercise its rights within the law ( both in letter and spirit). It should concentrate on taking forward the development of the north – the land and its people- as an example to the rest of Sri Lanka and the other PC’s. This will be the opportunity to demonstrate that it is capable of poviding a progressive, visionary and honest leadership. It should govern in such manner that at the end of its first term, the north will not only be the crown jewel of Sri Lanka. It is already geographically the crown at the top of this isle!

    Sumanthiran is feeding the ghosts haunting the 13th amendment , with his choice of wrong words. A vote for the TNA at the northern PC election is not symbolic of the right to internal self determination, but an expression of the implicit right of any citizen to vote for an individual or party of his or her choice. Even Sumanthiran is now infected with the verbal diarrhoea virus that periodically afflicts the TNA!

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Have you had time to contact Manisekaran?

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        Native Veddah,

        Thanks for your interest and providing Manisekeran ‘s e-mail address. Incidentally, I read your post with the e-mail address only yesterday. However, he has to personally express an interest, before I respond to him directly.

        Dr. RN

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          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

          Hope Manisekaran Thangavelu responds to your comment.

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      Dear Dr Narendran, by red-line I mean — and wrote– a UNILATERAL move beyond 13A. If it is not unilateral, it is perfectly fine.

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        Dr.dayan,If sampanthan puts a foot beyond the red line,gota will cut it off.The experienced sampanthan knows this and will be very careful.He will not like to get the tag of the guy who sabotaged the 13th amendment.He would like to give that honour to mahinda.

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    End of the day red lines can be crossed with or without 13A. What needs to be built for the sake of sustainable peace is the trust between two communities. Present efforts to dilute and abolish 13A do not indicate any effort to bridge trust. It is an act of suspicion and intolerance.

    On the other hand devolution of power will carry the blesings of India and the International community who will be the guarantors that red lines are not crossed.

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      Another “dumb” argument.

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      Grey areas to be addressed properly by listening to all parties then there will be no room to cross the redline. However, hurrying to draw conclusions within a couple months is not thinkable.

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    I wonder what Dr. Dayan thinks of striping off 13A power for provinces to merge. While I believe TNA should be given space to contest and very likely win the Northern PC I don’t see how stripping off this particular provision in 13A impacts democratic rights of people of N & E.

    I’m sure the LTTE supporters here would argue that to have a referendum among just the people of N & E is their right, be that over the question of merger or total independence.

    However, even Indian constitution has checks against people of states deciding to secede. Hence I would argue while granting police and land powers as far as day to day business of people are concerned, a constitutional amendment that crosses out provisions in the 13A that could weaken the unity of this country would be a step in the right direction.

    This is important since we cannot trust TNA. I’m absolutely certain given what the TNA has been doing since 2009, once it gets political power it would use that power to accelerate its current agenda; which is the same as that of LTTE less the military element.

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      Navin

      “This is important since we cannot trust TNA.”

      You couldn’t trust any of the Tamil leadership beginning with

      Ponnambalam Ramanathan

      G G Ponnambalam

      S J V Chelvanayagam

      A Amirthalingam

      EPRLF, EROS, TELO, PLOTE, LTTE

      V Prabaharan

      Now Sampanthan and his TNA.

      Do the Sinhalese trust themselves for not carving out a separate state for themselves?

      Trusting the Tamils depends on the degree of paranoia that afflict the Sinhala/Buddhists.

      The urgent matter is completely different to your concerns or paranoia.

      How do you prevent Sri Lanka becoming a Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto in the Indian ocean?

      Please advise us.

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        Trust is not something I can give but something TNA has to earn.

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          Navin

          “Trust is not something I can give but something TNA has to earn”

          How?

          By becoming Sinhala/Buddhists and pledge loyalty to Sinhala/Buddhists and part of the Sinhala/Buddhist serfdom.

          How do you prevent Sri Lanka becoming a Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto in the Indian ocean?

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          Navin

          “Trust is not something I can give but something TNA has to earn”

          So Coolies have to earn it from their master.

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        By roasting the members of the BBS, Ravana Balakaya and Sihala ravaya

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          Carpathian Gemba

          “By roasting the members of the BBS, Ravana Balakaya and Sihala ravaya”

          They only make ripples.

          State controls these thugs when necessary for ad hoc purposes and unleashes them on a timely basis.

          The project Sinhala/Buddhisation has been in the making for the past 65 years. Construction work started long before independence was granted, still it is a work in progress, completion will take some time.

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      navin,i think the merger is a dead issue anyway.The indo lanka accord stated that there should be a referendum in the east to decide whether they want to merge with the north.The government should just go ahead with that referendum to show the world that the east does not want a merger.Then it becomes a dead issue.I don’t know why the government is not doing it because it is a favourable move for it.

      As for your contention that there should be an anti secession clause in the constitution,i think that is premature now.The TNA cannot do much harm with the 13th amendment with the governor having so much powers.You will find them whingeing a lot about the lack of powers for the next 3 years,that is all they can do.If a quasi federal system is brought in,definitely an anti secession clause should be also there to make separation illegal.If you bring it now then the TNA will not attend parliament and the separatists abroad will have a field time saying there is no political solution and the only solution is a separate country for the tamils.The UN should see that something is happening on the political front to stay their hand on east timor style referendum.If mighty indonesia with 250 million people could not avoid that can tiny srilanka.That is why it is important to see that the TNA does not boycott the political process.You can’t give them the stick without giving the carrot first,which is substantial devolution.

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    Whole wide world knows know that TNA is the LTTe-Proxy. So the 13th amendment and LTTE proxieis together will make way to another war.

    who is making way to that ?. Present Sri Lankan politicians.

    TNA is the LTTE – Proxies.

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      Jim Softy,

      Whose proxies are KP, Karuna, Pillaiyan, Daya Master etc, etc,—, now? They are opportunists who abandoned a losing cause -after decades of being an integral part of its dastardliness and some achievements- and turned coat to support the winning side(Vaasi pathata hooyah!).

      You have problems trusting the TNA which was forced to tow the LTTE line at gun point, but have no problems trusting men and probably now a woman, who were big wigs in the LTTE and have blood on their hands!

      Where is the logic in your arguments? Please come forward and categorically say that ‘hell come what may’, they will be no devolution of political power of any degree to the Tamil-speaking provinces.At the same time explain what your alternative is. I will then have reason to admire your courage of conviction.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        Jim softy is so blind. He has no alternatives either, but it is the majority view of the poor srilankens.They seem to not hearted views in finding final solutions towards peace.

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          I think there should definitely be better qualified ones among the tamil folks to give nominations for the PC election. Today- GOSL assumes that KP, Karuna, Pillaiyan, Daya Master etc, are the most appropriate representatives of the tamil community. This will be a blunder. Last elections held in other areas proved this.

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        Dr.narendran,but they have been rehabilitated,whereas the TNA has not gone into rehabilitation.If they go and meet gota and say that they want to go into rehabilitation for one year,then on the completion of it they will become completely trustworthy in the future.Coupled with leadership training that they will follow after that,who knows one day we might like barrack obama have the first tamil president from the TNA.

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          Shanker,

          You are right. Sambanthan and the rest in the TNA should have volunteered to undergo rehabilitation. Further, another criteria to be acceptable is not be charged in a court for offences relating to the insurgency. Since very few have been charged, including those who are on the Interpol wanted list, most LTTE leaders and cadres who have yet not been proven dead, are also acceptable to this government. Only the Tamil victims of the LTTE cannot be trusted! The Tamils are now expected to vote for their former tormentors and marauders, because they will be the candidates of the UPFA at the NPC elections! What a bloody joke! This government is seriously underestimating the intelligence and moral timbre of the Tamils.

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    If Sri Lankan President allows TNA and their lackies to govern North and East, war victory will not mean anything.

    Because, 13th amendment plus TNA aka LTTE-proxies will achieve what Pabakaran could not achieve.

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      So what the other alternatives? You idiot ? All these can be the consequece of the idiotic gene, but your nature I now believe. You just animate stupid folks by feeding them with unthinkable info. Devolution of the power = is not dividing the country. Our grand parents may argue to the manner you do, but today s generation should be able to see it beyond. So long idiots like you spread wrong views to the most gullible folks, we will remain with no solution achieved for the alarming problems of the minority folks.

      Devolution of power is a must – if SRILANKA should belong to the world community. If not, there will be no future, no quality of life, no chance for the dreams of the nation to become a prosperous nation in the region. Power should be devolved into regions as it is the case in India, Germany, Switzerland and many other countries, under a central govt.

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        all these cant be the consequences of the idiotic gene.. but etc..

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    Dayan says,

    “..The self-inflicted debility of the UNP, JVP and FSP has resulted in a crisis of leadership of the opposition, vitiating the competitiveness and damaging the balance in the political system, notwithstanding the existence of proportional representation..”

    WoW! What a revelation by an arch enemy of Ranil? Self-inflicted? Are you mad? Do you mean Ranil did all this to himself and UNP as pastime recreation? And on to the bargain JVP and FSP too have done the same to themselves! My God! Three political parties, Dayan says, have self-inflicted debilities! Are you sure your calculations are correct? Or are you a terrible peacock that opens up its terrible asshole when it opens up its feathers to mesmerize the peahen? Dayan, no one has self-inflicted anything. The fact is people like you have been propagating this myth on behalf of the regime, your paymasters. You operated your laundry for RP and then for MR. You mix truth with fallacy for your ulterior ends, whether it be on service for the current regime or on behalf of the traitors in the UNP. You were the mouthpiece of MR and now of UNP dissenters which are in fact creations of MR ably supported and colluded by you! This whole project has its roots in MR. He has a file, a video, a taped telephone conversation or some sort of a wrong doing information and evidence to prove it. Armed with it he has hijacked every opposition threat to him and his regime. He simply summons the prospective threat/pray to his office and puts the file on the table, reads out the offence and the legal consequences and demands to give up his allegiance to UNP and join the regime to “strengthen the hands of the president”! And when they switch sides there is a “political panacea clause” which they all must publicly utter: “Ranil is useless, he has no backbone, he is a dictator, a failure, he cannot keep his men and there is no future under him, he has been defeated so many times now ……”you know all the bla bla they say! This is just one of MR’s machinations of his power retaining project and he uses many other similar or more virulent and terrorist methods to achieve what he wants which are no secrets to many in the country though Dayan performs political sleep-walking pretending not to know them. So after this a very funny thing takes place which is all the rabble media gossip outlets in the country who have been infected and subjugated by Rajapakshas give a massive negative-publicity to Ranil over this illegal, calculated and corrupt Rajapaksha political machination. Therefore what Dayan in effect is doing here is further eroding and weakening the opposition and hence strengthening the despot! And Dayan has laid his eggs in another basket now, that of Karu, Sajith, Milinda, Shiral, Maithree Inc. hence this attack on Ranil! His mention on JVP and FSP is just incidental side-kicks!

    “..This leaves the TNA. Despite the war and its aftermath, the TNA is in far better shape than the Southern Opposition, not least because it has a more able and respected leadership at the top. There just isn’t anyone like the Sampanthan-Sumanthiran duo in the politics of the Opposition in the Southern two thirds of the island..”

    Can’t imagine the pathetic and sordid depths this man can descend to pursue his own political project by casting such fabricated mythologies! We do not at all discount the respectable qualities and talents Sampanthan-Sumanthiran duo have. But jettisoning, devaluating and deriding the whole South for his own private political project of promoting hate, disappointment and hopelessness against the country’s opposition is viewed as the work of a “national traitor”! Those who know about the wisdom, vision, integrity, eruditeness and multi-faceted knowledge of Ranil coupled with his gentlemanly temperament and experience cannot but feel that Dayan is a worm living in the ditch of someone who is paid to brainwash the gullible people.

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    I quote below an e-mail received from a friend of mine.

    “Putin’s Speech on Feb. 04, 2013

    This is one time our elected leaders should pay attention to the advice of Vladimir Putin…. how scary is that? On February 4th, 2013, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, addressed the Duma, (Russian Parliament), and gave a speech about the tensions with minorities in Russia:

    He said: “In Russia live Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia, should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws. If they prefer Sharia Law, then we advise them to go to those places where that’s the state law. Russia does not need minorities. Minorities need Russia, and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell ‘discrimination. We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of most minorities. When this honorable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the national interest first, observing that the minorities are not Russians”.

    The politicians in the Duma gave Putin a five minute standing ovation.”

    Prez MR, after swearing in as the Executive President of SL in November 2005, stated that there would be no minorities in SL after that day. If so all are Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka is a unitary state. And how Sri Lanka can function as a unitary state with Provincial Councils with powers devolved from the centre, needs to be examined. The only reason for opposition to 13A is that the possibility of Tamil speaking “Sri Lankans” declaring independence.

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      This is what I read today about the beleaguered President Mursi of Egypt:

      ” Mursi never understood the need to cultivate an Image of a president for all Egyptians. It was obvious for a while that an increasing number of Egpytians was turning against him because of his exclusive approach. The fact that he was elected made him believe that his legitimacy was untouchable”

      “The tragic flaw that has haunted President Mursi is that he understands democracy as nothing but elections. His deep faith that his election as a president was all he needed to put program’s of his Islamic party into action. While Mursi was elected fairly and freely, his victory should not be seen as a mandate for him to remodel Egyptian society along his Islamic vision that the majority of the society does not share.”

      This must sound familiar to many Sri Lankans witnessing President Rajapakse orchestrated ‘ Sinhala- Buddhist’ exclusive identify concept for this multilingual, multi-religious and multicultural island, where the external differences are not even skin deep, in a genetic sense.

      Further, when did Putin become the exponent of democracy and when has Russia ever demonstrated it capacity for a tolerant democratic way of life? Russification of all people and lands that came under its jack boot was the Russian norm. If the Russians had been our colonial rulers, we would be all speaking Russian and become Coptic Christians. It would have been bye bye to Sinhala, Tamil, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Before communism met its Waterloo, we would have been also atheist communists.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      The Professional,

      WOW! A parliamentary speech harangued by Hitler would have been more interesting and thought provoking! Gadhafi, Sadam Hussain and of course our own Prabakaran and the like too have delivered like-minded lectures! In a country whose ethnic composition comprises around 30% of minorities, such orphaned quotations could only come from born mutts comparable only to those of the ruling Madamulana idiots who do not possess any educational qualifications required to conduct and adorn such high offices in a country! Just because Putin bragged some racist verbiage the cardboard heroes here are getting pumped up with their sarongs up leaving the proverbial “goat’s nuts exposed and hanging and swinging in the public domain! In Colombo brothels the prostitutes from Russia whose President lectures about Russian customs and traditions are selling their patriotism on the beds!

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      The professional must be an “exterminator” looking for his next chance for genocide. No one else in the modern world would think what Putin says is right.

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    @Dayan J,

    Thanks for the good article.

    But it is bit difficult to understand the followings:

    1)”The TNA must do what it accuses the Government, not without reason, of having failed to do, namely negotiate seriously and arrive at a consensus” ?

    HOW OFTEN DO THE GOVT GO ON WITH SUCH DISCUSSION CURRENTLY ?

    2)”There can be no sustainable devolution without broad support from Southern democrats who are themselves patriots. In short, the TNA must convince at least the moderates among the nationalist Sinhalese”

    DONT YOU THINK THAT THE GOVT SHOULD ALSO CONVINCE SOURTHERNERS THAT WE DONT HAVE ANY OTHER CHOICE THAN COMING TO A COMMON DECISION BASED POWER DEVOLUTION? HAS THE GOVT BEEN HOLDING A SET OF DISCUSSIONS WITH THE REPRESENTATIVES OF SOURTHERNERS FOR THIS ISSUE ?

    3) ” TNA must also convince the professional military. Nothing less than a pledge by the TNA not to unilaterally cross the red-line of the existing 13th amendment can achieve such a consensus which could save both communities from entering a deadly minefield”.

    I BELIEVE NOT TNA BUT IT SHOULD BE THE ROLE OF THE GOVT THAT SHOULD CONVINCE THE MILLTARY. YES TNA SHOULD PLAY A SMALL ROLE THERE SINCE THE GOVT IS FAMILIAR WITH MILLITARY MINDSETS.

    YES REPEALING 13A CAN BRING US NO WHERE, IT IS JUST COMPLETE LOSS.

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    who needs the 13th? recently even a sinhalese MP has described PCs as guns without bullets(1). so why is dayan propping up this rotten fruit of india-lanka accord that neither the tamils nor sinhalese accept?

    as dayan says, the 13th amendment and the TNA run provincial council is in the best interests of Sri Lanka’s national interest (a Sinhala Buddhist unitary state that Dayan disguises under the rhetoric of devolution and the so called “political pluralism”). after all, there is nothing in the 13th amendment to be afraid of or to ‘dilute’ per say. even if TNA wins the northern provincial council, every important decision will be made through the military governor appointed by the sinhala government. the eastern province is a case in point. dayan knows this, the sinhalese know it, and the indians know it as well. so why then is all the fussing over the 13th amendment by the government as Dayan says? because the sinhalese see the 13th as an infringement of sri lanka’s soverignty. to sum it up, 13th is in the best interests of sinhala nationalists as they cant ignore india and as it is important to contain the “tamil problem” through delhi partnership and its proxy TNA. all this devolution and reconciliation rhetoric is there to distract the reader from the point .

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    Who created separatists? Who wanted Tamils to be used as toilet cleaners of Sinhalese? Who brought in Sinhala Only legislation? Who brought in standardization? Who burnt Jaffna library? Who severed our link to HM in the false racial pursuit of real freedom from British and thereby rendered us totally helpless and vulnerable to international influences and mediations especially from India? It is the Sinhalese racist stupids, primarily of the SLFP origin led by Banda.

    And it is UNP and most prominently by JR who took corrective measures to arrest this nasty trend. The 13th amendment, though -seemed to be forced-dumped on us by India, was in fact a shrewd and excellent solution to the ethnic problem here as well as to the international and Indian influence on us. The provincial councils or police and land powers cannot divide this country WHATSOEVER! The proof of the pudding is in its 25-year old implementation history-though partially and ineffectively however. NE OC was dissolved when Perumal tried to misappropriate and spoil the mechanism. In its 25-year long implementation history there is ample empirical evidence and experience to negate detrimental effects of the PC system vis a vis the unitary nature of the country. On the contrary, there is vast potential of this PC system to serve as a problem solver, appeaser, unifying force and counterbalancing and stabilizing factor and a harbinger of development and prosperity for the country which have not yet at all been touched upon or utilized due to the racist, compartmentalized, tribal and retarded way of thinking of a minority of the majority Sinhalese. To demonstrate the counterbalancing and democratizing force of PC system, the current fear psychosis over the PC system of the regime is a very good point in the perspective. Why is the regime so afraid of it? It is exactly because the regime loses its despotic grip of the entire country and its people if the PC survives as per the constitutional arrangements independently yet honouring the constitution of the country-the regime cannot poke in its familial fingers, violate law and order, interfere with the just and lawful operations of the police and other administrative operations if the PCs begin to operate in any LAWFUL manner honouring the rule of law in the country! This is what the regime fears because without corruption and malpractices the despotic regime cannot survive, but the PC can, justly, democratically and with the blessing of its people as well! And here in the South no one blesses the regime; rather they want to liquidate it as soon as possible because it has failed the whole country! And NE PCs can definitely provide the impetus for such liquidation!

    So JR, in response to India’s belittlement of the country, fashioned this double edged sword which can only function so long as it honoures the integrity of the country and also, may be unawares as a democratizing and stabilizing force of good governance of the country as a whole. The moment the central government deviates from the collective responsibility and oneness action PC can play a decisive role in the country’s democratic direction.

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