17 April, 2024

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Politics Is The Art Of The Possible: On Our Meeting With The President

By C.V. Wigneswaran

Justice C.V. Wigneswaran MP

The Governor invited me to have a chat with His Excellency. I agreed and met both of them in the company of my Private Secretary, Mr. Rajadurai on February 11th afternoon at Jetwing Hotel, Jaffna. The President said he was working on the matters that I had requested and a little time was necessary. I believe he meant the release of Political Prisoners, requests of families of the Disappeared, release of lands by the Military etc. He was very much interested in getting the help of the Tamils to work with him. He had said so even when he first came into Parliament as the sole representative of the UNP year before last.

Other matters which I asked him to consider were:

1. Guaranteeing investments by the diaspora. He said there are existing Investment protection agreements with certain Countries like the UK and they could get the benefits under those Agreements which guarantee security of Investments if they apply from those countries.

2. Commencing the Flight to Singapore and Malaysia. He said he was working on it.

3. Commencing the flight to Colombo from Palali. He said he wanted the flight to go via Hingurukgoda. I pointed out that hitherto the flight went through China Bay. Said he would look into it.

4. Changing the Chief Secretary and PD, Health bringing in Seniors from within the Province in their place. Again, he agreed to look into it.

5. Lands taken over by Departments to be released.I pointed out that as per International Law priority regarding lands given under Colonisation schemes or taken by State and returned must be given to the people of the area. He agreed and said the Constitution says so.He would definitely change the Law to stop persons from outside the Districts being brought in.

6. With regard to the “Mahinda Palace” at KKS I pointed out that in the presence of Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran and Self, the former President Maithripala Sirisena agreed to give the Property to the NPC. He said the lands around the building belonging to private parties would be returned to them and the Building itself would have to be used for something useful naming it after Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan. I suggested Medical Tourism. He did not commit himself about giving to the NPC.

7. KKS-Kaaraikal and Talaimannar Boat Service was discussed. He said he would consider giving to the private sector if anyone comes in to run the Services.

8. Palali – Singapore Flight was discussed. He was all for it. Will take steps.

9. I suggested the creation of Provincial Development Bonds where the People could purchase them and give impetus to the Development of the Province. He wanted us to take this up with Secretary Samaratunga.

He mentioned other matters, draft laws of which were being prepared, which would stop the Central government from interfering with the work of the Provinces. His idea seems to be not to give a federal constitution but to give effective power-sharing under the existing Constitution. Legislation for effective devolution was in the making, he said. He was contemplating taking out the Mahaweli Laws.

He was determined to bring Laws to control the drug menace effectively.

He was going to call upon the Private Sector to invest with regard to the opening of the Salterns, Paranthan Chemicals and Tile factory in Oddusuddan.

He was unaware that a Sinhalese heads the Palmyra Development Board. Tikkam Factory would be made to function. He said Various Laws were being prepared and they would be discussed with the Tamil representatives before being submitted in Parliament.

He said there was a document prepared by the seven Chief Ministers of Provincial Councils outside the North and East in 2017 and that I should go through it. Sumanthiran has a copy, he said. I could get it from him. I told him Sumanthiran sometimes conveniently forgets to share! But I would ask him.

Both the Governor and HE were wanting to help the Tamils but not on our terms as I saw it.

I thought engaging was necessary in order to progress. Our people must get investments and progress economically while keeping our political struggle real and vibrant. Creating barriers disallow effective engaging.

Maybe other Tamil politicians have said similar things and done the same thing, but failed. I feel there is no need to feel pessimistic about these matters. Politics is the art of the possible. It means pragmatism instead of idealism. Politics as I see it is a matter of creating achievable goals and implementing them in the real world at ground level.

Bismarck said that “politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best.” The term suggests intelligence, common sense and an ability to work within the “art of the possible”. I do not see Federalism or Confederalism being achieved during my stay in this World. Our Youth will look after that. Let me work towards ameliorating the existing negative conditions of our people while doing every thing possible to achieve a Confederal Constitution.

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Latest comments

  • 7
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    The Tamils should seek relentlessly for the political problems facing the Tamil community a peaceful solution to the vexed questions facing the country since independence.

    Think broadly and innovatively ,make it a national question and not a communal issue.
    To a true seeker, the continuous failures should not dampen their enthusiasm. The failures open vista of opportunities.

    The most disappointing thing about the behavior of the majority community is not the reaction of Sinhala Buddhist hardliners, but the silence of well-meaning moderates among the majority community – the Aragalaya youth who fought for systemic changes.

    Do they not realize, a different approach to ethnic question with the system of governance taking a central stage along with electoral reforms will make a positive contribution for all our ills facing the country with democracy becomes more relevant!.

    Let the good people wake up and capture the opportunity.

    Let us not continue to miss all opportunities and live on perpetual pessimism and blame game on missed opportunities and blame the extremists for the continuous misfortunes facing the country.

    Wigneswaran opens a window of opportunities’? Why not build on it?

    • 5
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      Now Tamils need not worry about any problems. Wigneswaran has met Ranil and explained in details about problems faced by Tamils and Ranil has agreed to do it. All Tamil political prisoners will be released, All lands of Tamils occupied will be released, all Tamil missing persons will be traced and compensated and Tamil demand for autonomy based on Federalism will be implemented. Not only that Tamil disapora will descend in thousands and invest, Tamils can fly to Singapore and London from Palaly and Tamils can go on cruise from Kankesanthurai. Wigneswaran stop hoodwinking the Tamil people with your rosy stories. Other than a few of Sinhalese, the rest are not in favour of granting justice to Tamils, and I can assure you that Ranil is not one of those few. Now you have also descended to low level of Suanthiran and Gajendrakumar of tireless self promotion and crookedness. When you did not build a single house while you were chief minister for five years, this is all idle boast.

      • 8
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        Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,
        I break my word to leave you alone in the interest of sanity.
        Justice Wigneswaran has plainly stated what were raised with Ranil. You ought to say what you would have done differently.
        Admittedly, Justice Wigneswaran has done nothing great. Nobody, including you and me, could have.
        Hon. Sumanthiran is doing his best. Justice Wignewaran is doing his best. You are undoing what they are are doing.

        • 2
          3

          To say that Sumanthiran, Wigneswartan and even Gajendrakumar are doing the best shows your naivety. They are all self servers, just trying to hoodwink the Tamils, to get re-elected. Only India can do something to help Tamils to get some sort of Justice. If you are prepared to get fooled by them, then do not expect others to be ready to take the same course. Honest Tamil fighting for justice to fellow Tamils will either be in prison or under six feet. These are all big bluffers. Velan Swamy was arrested once and questioned the second time. MP Gajendran and lawyer Sukas were arrested for demonstrating against Ranil. When his party men were on the street, why Gajendrakumar did not join in the protest ? Obviously he feared arrest and dodged. Sumanthiran never joins any protests at the beginning. He waits to see what happens. If it turns favourable, he will visit the scene and take pictures for propaganda purpose, but if it becomes problematic, he will never sight the place. If you do not have the ability to detect crooks, do not think that others are of your calibre,

          • 4
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            Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,
            Don’t prove that staying away from your vendettas was right.
            You have avoided responding to my query: ‘what you would have done differently’.
            Once you respond, the whole world will know who is naive and who is not.

            • 2
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              BTW,
              If you interpret, Justice Wigneswaran has done nothing great,
              as doing the best, you have a comprehension problem.

              • 0
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                Nathan,
                Why don’t you reveal what justice W has done for the people instead? We see that there are many more poor people in Northern, UVA and few other provinces, however, even the money allocated was not fully utilized by W et al. ? Politicians must have talent to serve the nation if they want to be elected and represent. If they can’t work, why on earth do they become politicians?
                Your response will surely clear the doubts of Dr. G and others. In fact, I also think that Wiggy has done little for his own community during his tenure. Among the handful of politicians in the North who can do something, none in recent times immediately springs to mind. I respect MP Sumanthiran. And Shan, who speaks childish stories in a loud voice as if he is no better than a political teenager.

            • 2
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              My approach is entirely different which I cannot disclose, and by chance if I am successful, my name will be written in gold. What Prabaharan could not achieve for 30 years with guns shedding blood and causing destruction and disgrace, this method is bound to succeed. Tamils were helpless from the time of independence. Late SJV was right to say that Tamils have to be saved by God. To be fair by him he tried honestly signing pacts with Sinhala heads of state, performing Satyagrahas getting assaulted and put on hose arrest. Has any of these fellows done anything like that. If any Tamil says that by talking to Sinhalese, he can get justice is a blatant liar. It has to be a struggle, if not violent, by peaceful means, and none of these fellows are prepared for that. Making speeches in parliament, giving press releases and meeting foreign dignitaries is not going to Take Tamils anywhere.

              • 2
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                Get the basics right. No ethnic group got justice from oppressors without the support of at least one powerful country. Vietnam would never have defeated USA without support of China and Russia, Bangladesh would never have defeated Pakistan without support from India and Bosnia would never have defeated Yugoslavia without support of NATO. This is the same with East Timor and South Sudan who received UN backing for their bid for independence. Unfortunately there is no country which is willing to back Tamils either Independence or large scale autonomy. Prabaharan told lies to Tamils that he could achieve Ealam all alone antagonising the world, and see how he has taken Tamils to this pathetic state. Only India is showing some concerns for the Tamil to get some justice. Whether it is genuine or not, we do not know. So Best policy is to pit India against Srilanka and get the benefit. However India is only willing to give 13th amendment. Jaishankar told these Tamil politicians, when Srilanka is not willing to implement 13th amendment how do you expect them to give federalism. After having heard that for Wigneswaran to tell Tamils that Ranil has agreed to consider his plea of federalism is nothing but tom foolery.

                • 2
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                  My method is to circumvent Srilanka and go above them. Whatever government comes to power, they are not going to give anything to Tamils either politically or economically. It is evident that Tamils cannot get anything politically and therefore we have to try economic strategy to defeat Srilanka. India wants to control real estate and is keen to develop north and east. Read my article on development of northern province giving comprehensive detail of what to do, which was published two years ago and appeared in Colombo Telegraph few months ago. This has been submitted to Indian government who are keen on it. I have also come out with Jaffna Metro, a plan to build light railway system for Jaffna peninsula, which is far superior to that proposed for Colombo in terms of conveyance and convenience. So do not underrate my capabilities.

              • 0
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                Now you’re are talking

          • 5
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            GS, “Honest Tamil fighting for justice to fellow Tamils will either be in prison or under six feet”. Where are you now ??? Did you borrow this punch line from a Tamil movie. Sumanthiran joins the protest when it turns favorable, whereas you want youth to fight for the few $ you write / donate. You can only play with the cards you’re dealt. Given the history of cunning SB politicians it’s remarkable Tamils were able to fight this long. By the way Muslims who had everything in favor, are in a worse situation today , than Tamils. You please continue to live in the year you were born, but not try provoking the naive to fight your war. By the way what IF VP is really living some where ???

            • 3
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              I left Srilanka in 1990 at the age of 44, because I knew that Prabaharan is going to ruin the Tamils. Had Prabaharan accepted Indo-Lanka accord and not fight IPKF, as told by Tamil civil society, I would have not left and remained to serve Tamils. During IPKF stay, I was residing in my mother’s house in Colombo, and at that time, Sinhalese were scared to do any harm to Tamils, as IPKF will come down south. Prabaharan ruined this state of affairs purely for his selfish motive. Even if Prabaharan is alive, he will not be allowed to operate on his own, but under the control of RAW. This canard is being spread by RAW to frighten Srilanka and make them to comply. Muslims are in his situation due to their own folly of supporting Sinhalese against Tamils. Muslims promoted Sinhala Tamil conflict and benefited, and now when Sinhalese turn against them, they are in trouble. In fact Sinhalese hate Musims more than Tamils.

        • 1
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          N
          “Hon. Sumanthiran is doing his best. Justice Wignewaran is doing his best.”
          They have always done their best to look after themselves.
          But how has any part of the best of either helped the Tamil people?

      • 7
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        Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam

        Alright, did Wigneshwaran promise to make contact with Tiruvengadam Velupillai Prabaharan and invite him to fill the vacuum in leadership among Tamils?

        • 3
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          This coming of Prabaharan is a canard spread by RAW. Now some frauds are saying that Prabaharan’s daughter is in Europe and is going to resurrect LTTE, expecting people to donate money. History is repeating itself. 50 years ago Sinhala racism was at its peak and Tamil politicians who were helpless were hoodwinking the electorate. This is happening now and very soon Tamil youths take to arms. Then all these crooked self serving Tamil politicians will have to hide. India does not trust Srilanka and RAW is laying the foundation for another uprising. This time the outfit will be under firm control of RAW and most of the fighters are going to come from India.

          • 5
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            ” Helpless were hoodwinking” ???? isn’t it a oxymoron. Not just the politicians but the whole Tamil community was feeling helpless, hopeless and worthless. Those politicians were fighting with their hands tied and not hoodwink. People like Pararajasingam, did not sacrifice their life for nothing. “This is happening now and very soon Tamil Youths take to arms, then all these crooked self serving Tamil politicians will have to hide”. As I said do not try provoke the naive to fight your war. Hope the current generation is smarter to ignore your advise.

            • 2
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              “” Helpless were hoodwinking” ???? isn’t it a oxymoron.”
              Not necessarily. It is not even a paradox.
              Helplessness is a situation, hoodwinking is an act.
              *
              “Those politicians were fighting with their hands tied and not hoodwink.”
              That is an commendable effort to hoodwink!

              • 3
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                How a hopeless case like you will know helplessness?? Readers here are free to imagine what would have been Tamil’s situation now ‘, if you or GS were in charge ??

                • 3
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                  At least GS may have some thing to offer, whereas you ???

            • 2
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              Read my comment properly. People like Pararajasingham and Raviraj paid the supreme sacrifice in fighting for the Tamil cause. I salute all Tamil who had laid their lives in the pursuit to bring justice to Tamils and not these crooks who are hiding and attacking. Take it from me another war is coming. Tamil youths in Srilanka are not prepared to die for the sake of autonomy or implementation of 13th amendment. So with few Tamil lackeys in Srilanka, most of the fighters are going to come from India, with the outfit fully under control of RAW. In addition to that Aragalaya will intensify and there will be anarchy in the country, an ideal situation for Indian military intervention. Tamil politicians going for talks, will only help government to make propaganda around the world that they are having discussions to settle Tamil demands.

            • 2
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              There are rumours that MaRa has informed the need of premiership again. Bala peretgaya ( power greedy man) would never be able to shed the last breath without power.
              .
              🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

              • 0
                3

                Readers All,
                .
                Here beginneth another rumour !

                • 0
                  0

                  Thanks, CT, for allowing that in!
                  .
                  Readers other than “leelagemalli” will not know how true this is.
                  .
                  But even LM will not know, until he sees this a few hours later (when comments get updated next) how brilliant my timing was this observation.)
                  .
                  It won approval and appeared among “Latest Comments” – you know the blue strip to the right of the computer screen (if it’s of the wide display sort – in other displays it’s somewhat different, isn’t it?) within two minutes (no exaggeration) of my submitting it.
                  .
                  I’m convinced that the event that just took place was purely the working of chance. So, I’m not necessarily adducing this as “Divine Intervention” to alert that special breed of persons whom we might categorise as “CT Readers” that this happening was not decided upon by God o teach you an extra special lesson, but was merely an example of this:
                  .
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem
                  .
                  Those who actually believe what LM so often reports without the slightest effort being made to provide evidence ought to study the Continuation of this Comment.
                  .
                  Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

          • 3
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            Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam

            “This is happening now and very soon Tamil youths take to arms. “

            Come on, the Tamil youth along with Sinhala people irrespective of their age or gender queuing up to obtain passport. Already 2000 doctors have left the country. As a doctor you may have to come back to Sri Lanka at least to serve your people.

            Even recently Northern children are attending English medium schools and sit for Cambridge board examinations with the intention of studying at Cambridge Medical school. I am told just the fees alone is £65,000 per year.

            They are leaving or aspiring to live abroad. Why not as you are living abroad and having a fantastic life, they too want to have the same level of opportunity, status, comfort, …. and leisure?

  • 4
    1

    Politics Is The Art Of The Possible: On Our Meeting With The President.

    Art of politics is All are possible before election and one part of the art he will ask for little time.
    Little time in any one mind is how many years. How come he escaped from bond scam and Easter attack what all pohotuwa was against is a art of politics. During the little time most of us will not live then art of country charges. History attitude of politics is well known,The future starts today, not tomorrow

  • 8
    3

    CVW, RW is more cunning in that he decided to show his Ace Card “13 A” ( to create anti Tamil rhetoric , divert, deflect, if possible postpone election ). Probably he had this in mind, the day he promised to solve racial conflicts before INdependence day. He well knew, if not, others ( SLPP, SJB, JVP, SLFP, there is no more UNP , so doesn’t matter) will exploit the “race card” one way or another. Now the rest are left with VP is alive bluff, to counter Ranil. The yellow robe protest was a flop. If economy suffers from opposition protest, the public will punish them. RW knows 13 A will not succeed, so he is safe.

    • 2
      0

      You cannot do Tamil nationalistic politics while residing comfortably in India. So this trio of Sumanthiran, Wigneswaran and Gajendrakumar are shadow boxing. Speaking in parliament, giving press releases or meeting dignitaries are not going to get justice to Tamil people. If you do not like violent methods, do it peacefully, Of course none of these big talkers are willing to get attacked, arrested, jailed or killed. So the best is to hoodwink Tamils by telling yarns. Ranil brought in 13A for two things. First is to hoodwink India that he is attending to their request and secondly to drive a wedge among those in secular Aragalaya and break their resistance. He has put up Buddhist monks and next he will put up Muslims. Nothing will happen. Possibility is another anti-Tamil riots and Indian intervention.

      • 2
        0

        When you can do politics from where ever you are, why can’t anyone do from nearby. The alleged trio is back at home and it’s you who is doing a whole lot of shadow boxing. If they don’t talk in Parliament , what are they supposed to do ?? The rest are talking too in parliament and are they getting anything done ?? If you think, getting attacked, arrested, jailed or killed will do, many had done it in the past. I agree with your observation on Ranil and his devious intentions. But that is what he is up to, “all his life”. Please do not take out your frustration on people who are just trying their best. (of course in their own way). In my opinion 13 A will never be implemented. It’s more than 35 years old, and for it to somehow happen in SB Lanka is nothing but fantasy. “SB prefers starving to sharing power”.

      • 2
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        Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam

        “You cannot do Tamil nationalistic politics while residing comfortably in India. “

        What about you?

  • 4
    1

    So President Ranil.Wickremasinghe is either working on it or looking into it or will take steps on all those issues that were raised by Justice Wigneswaran. With these conditions the latter has been released on Bail more or less………..

    Politics is the Art of the Possible-the Attainable————
    By the time His Excellency delivers on these promises he will be ready to take off on that long journey in Sansara………….

  • 3
    1

    Politics is the art of cheating truthfully. As Winston Churchill said, to be a successful politician you have to promise the sun and the moon and the earth (or something similar) and convince the voters. After being elected you must be able to equally convince the voters, why you can’t deliver them.
    CV is trying to do exactly that. One thing he has failed to mention is that when politicians are neighbors, neighborliness counts more than your policy. That is ‘Justice’.
    ..

  • 5
    2

    “The Governor invited me to have a chat with His Excellency. I agreed and met both of them in the company of my Private Secretary, Mr. Rajadurai on February 11th afternoon at Jetwing Hotel, Jaffna.”

    True Believers! ………. Ranil among the true believers.

  • 5
    1

    Mr. Wigneswaran, it is a great art. You have now 13th amendment in full.

  • 0
    9

    ” He (RW) was very much interested in getting the help of the Tamils to work with him.”
    We have at least one who is!
    *
    Now I wonder who is being taken for a ride by whom.
    CVW by RW, or the Tamils of Jaffna by CVW…OR…the Tamils of Jaffna by RW though CVW

    • 1
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      Do the seven sore thumbs really believe that nobody is trying to take them for a ride?
      Ignorance is bliss they say.

  • 5
    0

    China’s Aging Man in Sri Lanka

    “Now I wonder who is being taken for a ride by whom.”

    Initially it was Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala, then of course Banda , the Siri Mao, …..
    Mao …. until his death.
    Still there are a few Mao’s aging b***s carriers, ….

    • 2
      3

      Good morning.
      A restless night after the story of the resurrection your secret darling?
      Keep off gossip, and excessive drinking.
      Remember, I care for your health.

      • 0
        3

        … resurrection of your secret darling.

  • 6
    0

    The matters raised by C.V. Wigneswaran are nothing new. More than anyone else
    Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister during the Yahapalanaya dispensation knew the
    problems faced by the Tamils. Nothing that CV told RW is new. To RW’s credit, he along with the maverick President Maithripla Sirisena did release about 47,600 acres of land out of 73,594 occupied by the armed forces.
    In 2014, a total of 818 acres belonging to 367 displaced families of land at Sampur given on a 99 years
    lease to Gateway Industries Ltd, a crony company of Mahinda Rajapaksa, was released to the owners on March 25th 2016 after a court battle.

    237 acres (617 families) of land occupied by the Navy was also handed over on the same day.
    The then Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s first-ever budget addressed key issues of post-war ethnic reconciliation by allocating approximately US$ 63 million for a variety of socially relevant projects in the war-torn Northern Province. Rs.3,000 million rupees allocated to construct 50, 000 houses for the war-affected people in the North and East.

    In Valigamam North following a military offensive launched by the army in June 1990 over 28,000 households were displaced. Out of a total of 6381.5 acres of land occupied by the army, 3451.5 acres were released during the Yahapalanaya government. The balance of 2,930 acres of land is still under occupation by the army.

  • 5
    1

    //So this trio of Sumanthiran, Wigneswaran and Gajendrakumar are shadow boxing. Speaking in parliament, giving press releases or meeting dignitaries are not going to get justice to Tamil people.//

    So what else the trio should do to get justice to Tamil people? You are pontifying from your home in London.

    • 2
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      T
      Please tell us what they can do usefully?
      Stop giving false hopes?

  • 4
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    Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam

    “This is happening now and very soon Tamil youths take to arms. “

    Come on, the Tamil youth along with Sinhala people irrespective of their age or gender queuing up to obtain passport. Already 2000 doctors have left the country. As a doctor you may have to come back to Sri Lanka at least to serve your people.

    Even recently Northern children are attending English medium schools and sit for Cambridge board examinations with the intention of studying at Cambridge Medical school. I am told just the fees alone is £65,000 per year.

    They are leaving or aspiring to live abroad. Why not as you are living abroad and having a fantastic life, they too want to have the same level of opportunity, status, comfort, …. and leisure?

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