23 October, 2017

Power Sharing In Sri Lanka

By Rajitha Senaratne

Rajith Senaratne

When we were political cubs, we knew of Chelvanayakam as one who was the “father” figure of Tamil Nationalism. He was one Tamil political leader who was affectionately called “Thanthai” – meaning ‘Father’ – Chelva. Samuel James Velupillai Chelvanayakam dominated Tamil politics in the first 03 decades in post independent Ceylon.

I would say that Chelvanayakam was fortunate. He did not live to see the agony of the Tamil people and of Sri Lanka that got dragged into a long brutal war. He was fortunate that he was not there to shoulder the heavy responsibility that his most favoured political recruit, R. Sampanthan, is burdened with now as leader of TNA.

Chelvanayakam was a man of principles. He never compromised on his convictions and principles. He differed with leaders like G.G. Ponnambalama Snr. in the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) and C. Suntharalingam on the issue of disfranchising the Indian origin Tamil labour. He stood by their rights consistently, as Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole had recently confirmed.

Like both Mr. Sampanthan and Mr. Sumanthiran today, Chelvanayakam’s conviction that Tamil people need to be treated as equals in the island of Ceylon made him give up a very lucrative legal profession. This was a political position he was determined to work towards. He became a full time politician on his convictions.

It was the issue of the rights of Plantation Tamils that led to his departure from ACTC in 1950 to form the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK). ITAK is popularly known as the “Federal Party” in English. A “federal State” was the fundamental Tamil political demand that Chelvanayakam stood for. How Chelvanayakam defined federalism was written in the resolution adopted at the first national convention of ITAK in 1951 in Trincomalee.

“The I.T.A.K recommends to the Tamil-speaking people the feasibility and desirability of establishing the autonomous Tamil linguistic state within the framework of a Federal Union of Ceylon, as the rational and natural culmination of centuries of close association between these two nations it is their common motherland and with a view to promoting and maintaining national goodwill and close co-operation with the Sinhalese people.”

There’s nothing about a “separate State”. Nothing about an “Eelam”. It is about living together in a single country; a “federal Union of Ceylon”.

What is “federalism“? Federalism is the most democratic form of power sharing within a single united country. It allows people in different regions to take care of their day to day responsibilities including their cultural life, while acting together as a single Nation State.

Chelvanayakam was a man born for peace. He was ever ready to sit and talk through issues, and to negotiate.

He proved his willingness to be flexible, as long as it did not hurt the dignity of the Tamil people, when he signed the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact in 1957. It was far less than federalism. It was for Regional Councils. Chelvanayakam dropped his idea of a merged North-East federal government for Tamil people in accepting Regional Councils.

Regional Councils were clusters of 22 administrative districts then in Ceylon. All local government body members within a region were to elect Regional Councillors.

Certainly, Chelvanayakam went a long way to settle the issue with dignity. Having very badly being let down in 1957, he was once again willing to engage with Dudley Senanayake in 1965 to sign the Dudley-Chelvanayakam Pact.

Instead of Regional Councils, the compromise in 1965 was to “establish District Councils in Ceylon vested with powers over subjects to be mutually agreed upon between the two leaders”. The two main “Left” political parties, Samasamaja and Communist parties also played a racist role in 1968 to undermine the D-C Pact.

The First Republican Constitution in 1972 was also a bad let down for the Tamil people. This compelled Chelvanayakam to consider the option of a Separate State.

After 30 years in active Tamil politics from 1944, after he resigned his KKS parliamentary seat in 1972 as a protest against the ’72 Constitution, the Coalition government postponed the due by-election for 02 years and finally held it in 1975 February. Chelvanayakam polled over 72% at this by election. This was the highest ever percentage a candidate polled. He declared to the Tamil people, that this was a mandate for a “separate Tamil Eelam”:

“I wish to announce to my people and to the country that I consider the verdict at this election as a mandate that the Tamil Eelam nation should exercise the sovereignty already vested in the Tamil people and become free.” 

So, to cut short a long history of promises, negotiations, agreements, abrogation of pacts and a brutal war, we still remain without a decent, workable, power sharing system to allow peaceful and productive living in this country.

Who is to be blamed? Both major political parties and the two traditional “Left” parties have to be held responsible for this catastrophe. That does not leave me out. I am also part of mainstream politics in the South.

In the 80’s, we were in a different political formation and we sacrificed many lives in Kurunegala, Moneragala, Anuradhapura, Badulla, Kalutara, Galle, Hambantota and Matara – all Sinhala local leaders who stood for power sharing within Provincial Councils. Vijaya Kumaratunga was the popular political leader to have lost his life over Provincial Councils. Thanks to the JVP, I still carry shrapnel in my nape as proof of our commitment to have provincial councils established. I suffered this not because I raised my voice on behalf of my own community, but for the rights of the Tamil people. I consider this an honour.

I have always stood for the rights of the Tamil people. And the more I stood for this, the more my vote bank in the South increased. That is because we have stayed consistent in our position, and the people trust us because of this.

We have failed despite all those sacrifices to convince the Sinhala South to agree to power sharing. My question is, “where did we go wrong”? I firmly believe, we in the South have approached the issue of “Federalism” in a very wrong way. We were only supporting “federalism” as a demand by Tamil people. Therefore the Sinhala South was made to understand that “federalism” is a path to a “separate” State. We have to talk of “federalism” as a democratic model for national development.

We should have asked, “Why only for Tamils? We in the South also need federalism”. We need “federalism” because centralised power from the Parliament of 1947 to that of 2017 – for 70 years – have failed to develop the rural Sinhala society. Every Constitution – the Soulbury, the First and the Second Republican Constitutions – have centralised power in Colombo. The poor rural South has been left out. Even my district Kalutara, though within Western Province, is lagging behind the Colombo and Gampaha districts. We have not been telling the South they are poor because political power is centralised in Colombo.

According to the Central Bank, in 2012/2013 the per capita income in the Western Province was Rs.16,124. But in the South it was Rs.10,973, in the North Central province it was Rs.9,877 and in Uva it was Rs.9,382. The per capita GDP in the Western Province in 2015 was Rs.771,117 when it was Rs.453,714 in the South, Rs.446,138 in Uva and Rs.392,913 in Sabaragamuwa. This disparity can be seen in all Sinhala rural areas. For 70 years with a centralised power structure, rural society both in Sinhala and Tamil areas have not gained any economic benefit and social development.

It is therefore time, I believe, that we change our approach in politics to achieve national development within a stable and a peaceful Nation State. It is time for the South to go with Chelvanayakam’s formula – to have provinces “within the framework of a Federal Union” of Sri Lanka. That, I think, is how we in the South can respect and honour this great democratic, Tamil leader – S.J.V. Chelvanayakam – in post independent Sri Lanka.

Thank you.      

*S.J.V. Chelvanayakam Memorial lecture – delivered by Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine on 26th April 2017

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Latest comments

  • 12
    5

    Excellent!
    Good to see a Singhalese gentleman delivering the SJV memorial lecture. This is the future for Sri Lanka.

    • 14
      3

      Please do not jump into conclusions so quickly…
      Because these are GEMBAS ( Frogs / Toads ) shout for mating…
      This Gemba has been in Parliament for about 20 years…
      and had done nothing except being a follower of
      the late Vijaya Kumarathunge in 1987…
      Since then he has been jumping from one side to the other…
      in 2009 he was with MR when LTTE was annihilated …
      Never spoke to him about self autonomy to Tamils ……
      He speaks of Late Mr.SJV as if he knew everything about him ..his policies..
      If this guy is 67 years now…he would have been about 7 years
      when Chelva – Banda pact was to be signed…
      what politics for him….he talk shop
      These are nothing but political jokers…. You watch at the change of a Govt..next
      This guy will jump onto the winning side….That is how they survive …
      People voted him in 2015 due to lack of a proper alternative..

      • 2
        1

        With respect to your thought, but some valid points in his message or not ?
        Yes, those toads have been in the parliament for the decades. And previoulsy even UNPrs were against federalism or any thing similar to that. At the time, CBK brought the kind of proposals, they interpreted it as PARTITIONING the country and torn off the sheet of information distributed inthe parliament remember ?
        Politicians become moderate time to time. As is the case with students that stood so stubborn against pvt medical colleges 3 decades ago, have come to sense today, not being able to stand against them. Just they took 30 long years to realize the need that over 80% percent of eligible students that could study medicine as a degree woudl have been sidelined, just because not having placements for them or at least few of them in the state medical faculties.
        I have the feeling, stupid masses that always stand on the way, in the country, stand on the way, whatever good moves are being introduced to the progress of island nation.
        God bless Srilanka.

        • 2
          1

          you say this fellow has realized only after 30 years that there is injustice done to students eligible to study medicine…..now during that 30 years those how many would have lost their dreams…?

          We do not want ministers to run important ministries to realize things while they are shitting in the toilet….because these jokers are paid by us…it is our tax money that they survive on….he received LKR 10mn or 100mn from the president fund for treatment in Singapore hospital….now that is not presidents private money….it is public funds collected from NLB for payment of hospital bills for public on emergency treatment…it is limited to max LKR 300,000….but alas! Here have a health minister who has obtain money from that fund …

          He must have had a brain transplant…

    • 0
      0

      Do
      Do
      Do ………

    • 1
      0

      He should say this in Sinhala addressing the Sinhalese

  • 10
    2

    If smaller countries such as Switzerland with not more than 8 millions and countries such as Germany with 83 millions, could do it better with federalism, why not srilanka with 22 millions of populace. At the beginning we must not allow smaller bezirks (electorates) function by their own, but why not devolve the power into regions… to provinces… as is the case in Germany. But keeping some areas under the central govt.. why cant we the srilankens, after 30 long years of war by which we the folks were taken to backward than forward, rethink, let alone today for the future generations. That is my dream to see it occuring in my life time me as an early quintegenarian.
    If people would be trained to respect laws and guidelines properly, they will have to behave well. Law should be above everything but equally to all regardless of power, status or anything else.

    • 5
      2

      Sinchoappu

      “If smaller countries such as Switzerland with not more than 8 millions and countries such as Germany with 83 millions, could do it better with federalism, why not srilanka with 22 millions of populace.”

      It is what you call:

      Progress through technology

      or

      Advancement through technology

      Or

      To leap ahead through technology.

      Beg your pardon, I was carried away by enthusiasm for technology.

      It should be

      Progress through democracy

      or

      Advancement through democracy

      Or

      Democracy makes you leap ahead.

      • 1
        1

        “Beg your pardon, I was carried away by enthusiasm for technology. It should be Progress through democracy or Advancement through democracy Or Democracy makes you leap ahead.”

        India got independence in 1947. In 1949 Chairman Mao Zedong declared creation of the People’s Republic of China. In 2017, India boast about being the largest democracy in the world with millions of Indians rotting in abject poverty without basic human needs. China can boast about ‘No Democracy’ with almost all the people enjoying basic human needs. Someone (I cannot remember the name) mentioned that India cannot tackle poverty because of democracy. Which is better? Democracy with a large number of people living in absolute poverty or ‘No Democracy’ with a large number of people enjoying basic human needs.

        • 1
          0

          Eagle Eye/SL Citizen/Dr Clean/……..

          Let us stick to South Asia:

          Could you give us some comparative development indexes for the following countries for the last 70 years:

          Pakistan mostly dictatorship

          Bangladesh intermittently democratic

          Myanmar dictatorship (1962 – 2011)

          Nepal kingdom

          Butan Kingdom

          Maldives elected dictatorship I suppose

          Sri Lanka elected kleptocratic dynasties.

          Please tell us which country is doing relatively well?

          By the way in terms of production Bollywood leads all other cinema industry in the world. Go check China’s rank.

          Are you planning to relocate you and your family to China? Wait until Port City is complete.

      • 0
        0

        No, they have shit loads of money and their politicians are sent home when they fool around! and most of them do work.

        May be you have advanced pockets to pay these dumb arses!
        So why do not you take all of them to Switzerland and Germany to enjoy you Federalism!

        • 1
          1

          srinathan gunaratnam

          “So why do not you take all of them to Switzerland and Germany to enjoy you Federalism!”

          A very good idea.

          Could you buy 20,888,327 permanent residence visa for either Switzerland or Germany. Your problem will be sorted out in no time.

          Thanks you

          So you live abroad and wand to control people back home.

  • 1
    0

    Thank you for the timely uttrances. It may help people to understand 21st
    Democrtic norms and the hope the Citizens are yearning.

  • 1
    0

    Good presentation of the sequence of events on thetheir ethnic issue and further, by a Sinhalese politician from the South. All these August well to make peace and understand between different communities.

  • 0
    0

    Isn’t it that someone (a speech writer) writes a speech for a special occasion and the delivery of it is made by a prominent (not meaning a genuine) person in Government? Does that mean or show the well meaning intentions of the speech maker? I doubt it very much. In tracing the political life of this “Speaker”, it is not that difficult to judge his hypocritical type of behaviour in the political field. Why go far? Look at the way he presents himself to the public in TV debates and discussions and also as a “Cabinet Spokesman” at media briefings. No doubt, large majority of people in Sri Lanka are the types of “Thamilan”. In another reference to the opening sentence of this “Speech”: “When we were political cubs…” Hello, Mr Minister Rajitha: You have a very unruly and an immature “Political Cub” at home. Why don’t you take control of him and TAME him. Sooner the better. The best service you can do for the country is to completely remove him from politics. It is of much service to the country and the people than this “parroting” of a written speech. Of course, this comment does not in anyway discredit or undervalue the thoughts of the Speech Writer. I salute him or her for the thoughts well written.

  • 3
    2

    This is all very nice and good, but what about the removal of the Military Regime in the North and East, releasing all lands and homes taker over by the armed forces, restore the citizens’ way of life and livelihoods & businesses and allowing them to live without covert surveillance by army intelligence, and allowing the original citizens to live in peace and harmony which will bring peace and contentment – the essential precursor of full democracy?
    How about restoring lands and homes of IDPs still living in refugee camps, eight years after the war ended?
    How about ceasing the erection of Buddha Statues & Buddhist Temples in areas devoid of Buddhists and allowing Hindus to attend their places of worship without hindrance, appointing trained persons to teach primary classes instead of untrained females selected by the army?
    How about vacating lands farmed by army with captive Tamil Labour and allowing original owners to cultivate and resume animal husbandry of pasture lands which they had done for generations?
    How about allowing fishermen back to their original dwellings close to seashores, and sending back those brought from down south?
    How about appointing public servants from among unemployed graduates in the north and east instead of persons from down south?

    How about prosecuting the five policemen who shot dead the two undergraduates without any reason?

    Else, these “crocodile tears” will be a complete hypocrisy.

  • 4
    2

    Excellent Analysis. We need more ‘Rajithas’ amongst us to solve this ‘national problem’!
    L I Wijesuriya

  • 4
    1

    Rajitha Senaratne is a rare Sinhala politician who speaks the truth that unless the ethnic problem is solved there will be no peace in the country. Having an army of “heroes” in the North in stolen land is not going to solve the problem It will increase resentment. Another generation of Tamil youth now fortified with the money of the Tamil diaspora will reflect this resentment through force. There will be eternal rounds of bloodshed to nobody’s welfare.

    The money that is wasted on the army must be spent of campaigning for federalism as a just solution to the problem. Nothing was solved by guns in human history. Good thinking men must come together, give up narrow nationalism and act to the good of the country. Devolution has been the solution for other areas with such problems=Scotland, Quebec, etc. It is best that this is done quickly.

  • 3
    5

    We cannot compare ours with other countries with a Federal system. We had a 30 year war to save it from separatists with lot of sacrifices and our development was retarded immensely due to that situation. What do we have with present “Balaya Bedeema” with Provincial councils. Its the politicians’ gain not ours. We are still a one-country because Dudley-Chalva or Bandaranaike-Chelva agreement did not get materialized

    • 2
      1

      B Perera,

      “We are still a one-country because Dudley-Chalva or Bandaranaike-Chelva agreement did not get materialized”

      Wow, what an imbecile; if either of those pacts had been implemented, the country would have achieved a lot; it would be unrecognisable by now!

      • 1
        5

        Yes, it would have been unrecognizable from Tamilnadu.

        Soma

        • 1
          0

          soma,

          Yet again you have shown your small mentality. You need to grow out of this soon for your own sake.

  • 3
    9

    Sri lanaka has been survival over 2600 years of an Independent nation from India by base on Sinhalese-Buddhist civilization.
    That is a national identity of Majority people of Sinhalese— Sri Lankan.
    Needless to say Sinhalese who wage long struggle & fought for the Freedom and Independent from time to time against all foreign interventions, by that South Indian Tamils ,many European of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial rule of our land 150 years.

    The wage for the Long armed struggle for Freedom and Independent of nation sovereignty the by sacrifice life of many majority are Sinhalese-Buddhist nation.
    We never occupied other land of an invaded other countries by the way, we were all ways fought self-defense of to be protected independent of Buddhist-Sinhalese civilization of our nation.

    They were no any single race of Tamils or Muslim who fought for the liberation of land Sri Lanka. There was ever-never by exist in the Federalist or regional state in our soil rule by Tamils.

    The” Eealm” is political myth of political current leaders of Tamils by so-called “Eealm Federalist regime” north or east part is not possible an Island?

    It was not divided since then, by “Tamil separated state” is political fabricate story by ‘modern Tamil politician’ who are having Tamil -Nadu political relationships .

    By and large there is not possibility of by mishaps of historical error of 2600 years to grant “Tamil-Federalist’…regime in Sri Lankan.
    That is a historical truth distort by modern political Tamil parties since 1948.

    We are the majority in count of 2600 years of civilization , what ever the reason cannot allowed to be “Tamil Eealm-federalism” not possible Sri lanakn soil.

    So there is no any type of solution for Tamil issues now and future only by accepts solution is unitary character Sri Lankan state.

    • 2
      0

      Civilization? What civilisation? the piffle in the Mahavamsa?

  • 3
    1

    Dr.Rajitha Senevaratne

    Glad to hear your voice supporting the policies of S.J.V. but could your voice be turned into action by your leaders and the people of the South. As a last resort S.J.V left the fate of the Tamils in the hands of the God. But God too did not help the Tamils but watched thousands of innocent Tamils perish. It is a pity that you compare S.J.V. to that of Sambanthan and Sumanthiran. They have joined the government with an understanding that the government will provide something in the new constitution towards the Tamil people with power sharing. They are without backbone. however after 70 years in waiting, after several agreements and after a brutal war with thousands of deaths, the Tamils have to wait many more years to achieve their demands.

  • 3
    1

    Lots of sense for deep thought, though the writer is not worth one cent.

  • 2
    0

    Where is Soma? This speech will send shock waves to him/her!

    • 0
      0

      B.I.

      It would have if it was from anyone other than this shameless gemba. What you don’t realise is getting people of this calibre on board you accumulate negative points for your cause. Do you really think, knowing the record of this man there is a single Sinhlese who has changed his/her mind after listening to his speech?

      There are many Sinhala friends of mine who honestly believe that Federalism is a good idea to come out this quagmire. As for me it is as clear as daylight that a federal Sri Lanka will need huge military resources to keep it federal and it is the beginning of the real bloodshed.

      Since when Sambandan gave up his Vadukkodai commitment?

      Give up this attempt to fool the Sinhalese. Fight for what you all have at the back of your mind. Soma is even step ahead of Rajitha. I support a referendum among all Tamil speaking people in the island of a separate Tamil Homeland for all Tamils (Tamil speaking people)

      Soma

    • 0
      0

      B.I.

      I referenced Wikipedia and immediately came across the following:

      “Chelvanayakam was part of the delegation, led by Ponnambalam, to the Soulbury Commission which argued unsuccessfully for balanced representation (50% of seats in Parliament for the Sinhalese, 50% for all other ethnic groups).[29]”

      He is the father jointly with Ponnambalam of the ethnic conflict which began with 50-50 as many analysts believe.

      He was fortunate in that he did not live to face a direct bullet from LTTE whom his favorite desciple Sampandan called ‘sole representative of Tamils.’

      Soma

      • 0
        0

        soma,

        What Chelva or Ponnampalam did is irrelevant; what mattered is what the successive Sri Lankan governments did eschewing Sri Lankaness while promoting Sinhala Buddhist exclusive identity. They did this eruditely with educational materials to constitutional changes to the infamous language policy!

        You need to open your eyes; at the first ever general election, in the northern district, only 3 MPs elected on the ticket of Tamil Congress and many on independent ticket and one on UNP ticket. Was there appetite for separation then? If indeed, the Sinhalese had played their cards right, the separatism would not have been born! If anything the entire nation would be fluent in Sinhala.

        Much water has flown under the bridge since then, yet, the ethnic polarisation that you Sinhala successfully instilled in the peoples still remain with all the trimmings! You cannot go back to the point where all started; there must be a way forward with a suitable political arrangement. You need to come to terms with this reality!

      • 1
        0

        Soma

        Now the Sinhalese are beginning to publicly accept the truth
        GGP’s 50/50 formulae was 50% of seats in Parliament to Sinhala Buddhists and the balance to Tamils, Muslims, Malays Burghers – including Sinhala Christians. Up to now the false propaganda by Sinhala extreme was crafty Tamils had the temerity to demand 50% of the seats to themselves. This mischief resulted in the death of thousands of innocent Tamil civilian lives over the years in different parts of the country. By this method, Sinhala Buddhists would have always been the majority – and rulers. It was the political mood and a biased media at that time that killed a formulae by which the country could have remained united and prosperous.

        R. Varathan

        • 0
          0

          Mr Varathan

          Proposing to divide the country on the basis of religion shows his primitive mentality. The only acceptable criterion for division is language. As far as I am concerned there are Sinhala language speaking people and Tamil language speaking people in this country. How can a legal system identify a man by religion is beyond me. (I have a Tamil friend who tells me that at the marriage his father was Christian and mother Hindu but towards the end of their lives father became Hindu and mother turned Christian!) But when I go to the Police to lodge a complain I am forced to record that I am not Buddhist. (My sister says I am not Buddhist) If I say I am a Christian can the courts say no no you are a Buddhist? Language is the medium of communication and everyone has to acknowledge and be considerate for the other person’s difficulties in communication. Although Tamil language has been recognized in the Constitution in practise it is not. Onus is on the Sinhala side to rectify this anomaly and relieve our Tamil speaking community. Government must allocate necessary funds and all other resources to facilitate Tamil language speakers in their interactions with the state machinery. For other practical purposes it is up to the individual to learn the other language.

          Christian and Hindu Tamils do suffer due to lack of proficiency in the Sinhala language. They obstinately refuse to learn the language of 75% of the population. Tamil speaking practioners of Islam have realized the practical side of living in this island have taught themselves the language of the majority. I ask Christian and Hindu Tamil language speakers what is the purpose of this self imposed suffering? Small minded people like Chelvanayagam are the cause I dare say.

          I emphatically repeat that Chelvanayagam is a primitive not worthy of a 21st century citizen to talk about religion as a criterion for official division. Many believe that this 50/50 demand is beginning of ethnic division. He is a Catholic or an Anglican? A further sub division he would have demanded if he had his way.

          Soma

          • 0
            0

            Soma,

            Readig your comments, I am mostly with you. It was not GGP who brought in Buddhism to the equation. It was the Sinhala Nationalists – lead by the Buddhist priests. 50% seats for all Sinhalese, I believe, would have been acceptable by GGP and those of his thinking. But now much water has flowed down the bridge. We are now toying with the Federal solution. Even the Tamil political leadership has abandoned the Separate State demand and are now ready to work on the basis of internal rule within an undivided country. But Sinhala Nationlists are against that too. So, who is holding the country going forward?

            As for me I am agreeable to a division on the basis of language – that you speak of. But we now have over a million Muslims against that.

            As to your comments Tamils refuse to learn Sinhalese, please recall prior to the 1950s they were voluntarily learning the language. Sinhala Only politicised the issue and they refused, quite rightly, Sinhala being forced down Tamil throats.

            At the end of the day, I still think there is space to manouevre for both communities to regain our earlier ethnic unity and tranquility.

            R. Varathan

  • 1
    0

    Recently there is lot of competition between Mangala and Rajitha for the title of “Who is the Greatest Liar”. He is hard to be challenged. Recently he purposely made a speech in Parliament in English. He took basically same material to UNHRC. Mangala takes open field. Take back many shot like the one from a LTTE minister. But for that is his certificate was issued by New King at Palali Rapist Army camp. There he just declared in Sinhala to the soldiers not to take care of Mangala’s speech, as they would already know him as a bloody, shameless liar. He promised until his soul is in his body he will save the rapist army.

    To reach that kind of certification, Rajitha faces many obstacles. The plus point is, Rajitha left the Old King the day before the Aappa was served to New King, so Rajitha did not eat Aappa. The technical difficulties in certification is, Ranil, within his heavy foreign schedules, doesn’t have any time to go to any Sinhala Celebrations and certify that Rajitha. New King is unlikely to go anywhere and say that it was not the government’s position, but only Rajitha’s opinion, because of his current problems of getting to May Day the SLFP’s, hungry 8th grade kids in the parliament and give them their food, Biryani and the Drink. They both will be contended this a speech was made in English in unknown place.

    But I have a call to Thero de Silva. As he has been on the preparation and sifting through slogans to the May Day at Gall Face, if he has read this, please let us have your opinion at the May, referring you read Rajitha in CT. That will stop Rajitha talking one in English and another in Sinhala.

  • 1
    0

    Rajitha : “…….. He (SJV) did not live to see the agony of the Tamil people and of Sri Lanka that got dragged into a long brutal war. ………..”

    Is Rajitha enlightened enough now to realise that it was the inaction of successive GoSL which caused the war?

    Rajitha was lucky to have seen the agony of Tamil people from a box seat munching chips with MR.

    Rajitha works on the premise that the memory of people is short.

  • 0
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  • 1
    0

    Rajith Senaratne “
    I would say that Chelvanayakam was fortunate. He did not live to see the agony of the Tamil people and of Sri Lanka that got dragged into a long brutal war. He was fortunate that he was not there to shoulder the heavy responsibility that his most favoured political recruit, R. Sampanthan, is burdened with now as leader of TNA.”

    Does successive Sinhala politicians (from both UNP, SLFP) anti Tamil policies dragged this country in to brutal war shoulder any responsibilities or are they exempt?

  • 2
    1

    Mr.Srisena Yatawara said “They were no any single race of Tamils or Muslim who fought for the liberation of land Sri Lanka”.

    What an ignorant Sinhala modaya is he. Does he know that among the Freedon fighters who were imprisoned by the British there were several Tamils.

    Has he heard of the leftist union leaders Kandasamy who took the Brirtish bullet in the chest. Did he ever read about leaders like Aseervatham who escaped the British jail along with Sinhala leaders like Phillip Gunawardane and D.S Senanayake. How about Sir P.Ramanathan and Saravanamuttu who represented our nation in the quest of freedom.

  • 0
    0

    The minister says
    “So, to cut short a long history of promises, negotiations, agreements, abrogation of pacts and a brutal war, we still remain without a decent, workable, power sharing system to allow peaceful and productive living in this country.”

    Better late than never. The other multi-religious , multi-linguistic or multi-cultural countries have shown the civilised way of co-existence to peace and prosperity. Still a sizeable population and its leaders hell bent on more of the same, killing and destruction.

    It’s left to the peace loving people of Sri lanka either to progress or perish. It’s a good sign more and more experienced leaders from the south and north see the reality and want to build up the nation for the benefit of everyone within a united country.

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    “When we were political cubs…”

    So you must have been about six years old at the time, judging by your encouragement of the son to become political cub at four years!

    You liar.

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    Bravo Minister Senaratne!As long as people like you and a few others are there,the greater will be the chance of achieving a progressive plural and united Sri Lanka

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    This is Sri lankan politics. No any patriotism. It is just political survival and self promotion.

    Otherwise, SJVC is not Tamil He is Samuel James, A british descendant born in singapore, former Malaysia.

    Tamils are crying here, because they can not go to Tamilnadu, too much Tribalism there.

    • 1
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      You are crying here because your homeland, Bangaladesh, is predominantly Muslims and they hate gays. And you can’t return to your homeland. How sad. :(

  • 0
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    Minister Senaratne,

    Others have brought up ongoing issues that need to be addressed even while you try to negotiate a political solution. So I won’t reiterate such issues.

    But my memory is that you were part of the Mahinda Rajapaksa cabinet ( Minister of Health?) during the war when tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the Vanni.

    That makes some of your claims less convincing despite the fact that Vijaya and his political grouping did have a good heart for addressing Tamil grievances. Can you tell us why you didn’t take enough steps to save the lives of the people, including child soldiers who, as the MR regime itself repeatedly said, were conscripted by the LTTE?

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    According to a today’s CT article, Minister RS is the “loquacious logician of the ‘Yahapalana’ government …”; unfortunately, there is no logic in much of what he has been saying as the government spokesman. However, he is good at giving eulogies it seems!

  • 0
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    This guy and his son are public jokers and crooks – As a dentist if he can accumulate so much wealth we all Sri Lankan should not have a single tooth in our mouth – provided he had earn his lot by practicing his profession –

  • 1
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    It was Through Chelva the armed uprising of the Tamils was delayed until the SL armed forces exponentially multiplied from under 5000 personnel to 1.5 million. The betrayal of Chelva has not been realised.

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    “We have not been telling the South they are poor because political power is centralised in Colombo.”

    i thought we have been poor because successive governments including the present one have not governed the country properly.present examples of things in the economy dragging us down and making us uncompetitive against the rest of the world are in order of priority

    1.redundancy costs
    2.female participation in the labour force
    3.high amount of taxes on businesses
    4.poor mobile telephone usage
    5.high deficits in the government budget
    6.poor exports
    7.high government debt
    8.difficulty of firing employees
    9.poor quality of internet
    10.poor usage of internet
    11.poor facilitation of lending due to inadequate collateral and bankruptcy laws
    to protect the rights of borrowers and lenders.
    12.very poor tertiary education enrollment rate.

    fix these up and kickstart the economy.

    devolving power to the periphery is something that should be explained to the people as facilitating unity in the country without which we could end up like syria, with major powers to satisfy their strategic geopolitical ambitions use the divided population for their own self interests.Unity is strength they say.

    • 0
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      Add
      how difficult it is to set up limited company!
      get things done from government office!
      To submit company accounts
      Pay tax.
      Register a domain name,

      Truely a miracle in the world

      One should look at Estonia, How they have developed their E infrastructure since 1997.

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    We should have asked, “Why only for Tamils? We in the South also need federalism”. We need “federalism” because centralized power from the Parliament of 1947 to that of 2017 – for 70 years – have failed to develop the rural Sinhala society.

    This is because people have elected selfish, crafty imbeciles like you to the parliament, Opportunistic, Bone sucking, characterless vermin!

    If there is a problem in the current system fix it,
    What makes you think you bringing another system will fix the stupidity of the Sri Lankans?

    The country has enough money earned by tax paying suckers to pay these donkeys?
    car permits,
    free houses,
    free secretaries,
    free liquor permits,
    free security,
    free telephone,
    free food

    starting from,
    Diyawanna oya to
    Federal councils to
    Provincial councils to
    municipal councils to
    town councils to
    village councils and
    not to miss the other imbecile’s grama rajja bull shit.

    Go read how Brits ran our country with a simple devolution and better management/administration until 1948.

    Wake up people More you elect in these dumb arses, more we lose. Sinhalese Tamils or Muslim they do it in your back!

    We need to hand over this country to a small efficient management team.

    Multinational companies operate across countries lobbying foreign political systems, raising capitol. Most of them have a turn over bigger than Sri Lanka. This is the best solution. Chase these snake oil sales men home! If you want a better country.

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      srinath gunaratne

      Do you get the point of reappointing Ponni or not?

      If you don’t,
      The current EP came to power saying in South that he was targeted by LTTE Tamils 7 times, but not Old King. That means “I have more reasons to revenge and crush Tamils than Old King”. The southern people voted for him have a right to expect from him to deliver that promise. He further said, “read my lips No leaders No commander or No Soldier will be investigated”. This told the West who toiled to bring this Yahapalanaya to power that they cannot work with West, whether it is on human rights or on market economy. Rajitha too was part in this political campaign. He never said “No No Tamils will be provided justice”. He was fooling West and Sinhalese during the election time. Now he is cheating the Tamils this talk of Federal Government.

      When Yahapalanaya came to power it was slowed down by the UNHRC and others who are asking why the investigation is not going forward. That is making the Joint Comedy club to say “This Yahapalanaya is colluding with foreign powers to stage us on UN Electric Chair”. So UNP is not able to work with West on economic development. It cannot find a way to settle the Chinese loans without West supporting the economic development. So UNP went and joined China. That is where everything went wrong. “Anna Nadai Nadakkappoi Kaham than nadaiyum kedduthaam”. (The crow attempted to walk like swan is not being able to walk even like a crow.) The new Chinese Communist faced Ranil is now ready to sell even the Sri Kotta to China but still not being able to solve the economic problems. Never a PM surrender a country like Ranil to China.

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        Did we investigate any single one for the 60,000 thousand youth who died in JVP and prosecuted? That is my answer to you.
        You and me as long as stuck in this stupid issue, these guys, including Sampanthan anna do it in our back side.

        Problem is haves and have nots!
        The day justice happens to people like you and me in SL is Never!

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      If UNP had been ready to listen West on UNHRC, it might have been able to sell Sri Lankan Air Lines to $1.5 Billion to some Western country and have settled Hangbangtota debt. Ranil and New King have pledge any crime investigation in Lankawe is on their dead corpse only. So they are caving more into China and selling Hangbangtota and Maduru Oya to China In addition to whatever Old Royals sold to them. Joint Comedies, who are seeing still their security is not confirmed, catching on these to bring the government to stand still. I see their justification on this action. So nothing have happened other than the loan interest on White elephant projects are adding up. Economic growth has fallen down to 4%.

      This is not what West expected from Lankawe when they were supporting Old Royal in the war or when they toppled the Old Royals and brought the New Royals to power. Yahapalanaya is playing though this hardship their game. They are not guaranteed in the power forever. They have to make their hay while their sun is in the sky. They have to have cleaned the left over in the treasury. They looted the central bank. You have all that in your list
      The country has enough money earned by tax paying suckers to pay these donkeys?
      car permits,
      free houses,
      free secretaries,
      free liquor permits,
      free security,
      free telephone,
      free food

    • 0
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      You have seen the reality of the Sinhala Opposition (the joint comedy club) that is picking on UNHRC investigation is much stronger than the Official opposition that is TNA+JVP, which has pledged to support the government on its economy endeavors. It is criticized TNA is a very strange party voting to government budgets without questioning. There is nothing beyond that left with to Tamils to cooperate with a Sinhala government.

      Sinhalese must realize the truth to bring peace & proper in their life than repeatedly vote blindly and then lament after every election. That is :As long as the last Tamil alive in the soil of Lankawe, the Sinhala opposition will be stronger than the Sinhala ruling government and Sinhalese will not be able to have government to attend to economy and social beings of education, health…… . You saw failure in merging UNP-SLFP, which did not work in any direction; not even in reconciliation; not even a hair width. You show the rebirth of Tamil-Sinhala antagonism as Yahapalanaya and Joint Comedy club. Your puny brain has not capacity to invent a medicine for this serious, ever growing cancerous tumor. Sinhala Tamil hate is now at peak unlike ever before. If a referendum goes out to public to change constitution, Hell will be sowed, hell will germinate, and hell will flourish on the streets of Lankawe with the rotting human flesh and blood of Tamils. For his short term benefits Rajitha would not mind about talking Federalism in a closed door with couple of retired Tamils. This tells even the last Tamil left within the Sinhala territory will have the power to decide of Sinhalese’s “Perish or peace”. Tamils must go out of this land either by those chemical and cluster bombs or by a separate state.

      Your Pick!

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        Mallaiyuran

        “Tamils must go out of this land either by Tamils must go out of this land either by those chemical and cluster bombs or by a separate state chemical and cluster bombs or by a separate state.”

        I raise both hands for a separate state for Tamils(Tamil speaking people). The problem is Tamils are NOT prepared to move into a separate state. I bet my last rupee that once the Tamil Homeland is established not a SINGLE Tamil who are presently living in areas outside will move into that hellhole.

        If the Tamil leadership demonstrate a real commitment to relocate all Tamils (Tamil speaking people) your ambition could be easily realized.

        Soma

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    Honourable Sinhala political leaders in the country is an extinct breed right now. Ranil W may be an exception of sorts – but he is not lily white either. Best of the worst might be a more extreme comment.

    It was a good idea to call a senior Sinhala Minister for an SJVC Memorial talk. This practise must be continued to narrow the difference between the two major communities. The worm is turning for sometime now. The late Ven. Sobita Thero is a leading figure from the Sinhala extreme to advise the Sinhala Nation it is time to review “our relationship with our Tamils” if the country is to realise real peace and reconciliation so necessary for economic development. The JVP types are also falling in line.

    Minister Senaratne should sell the idea to his Sinhala colleagues and the Sinhala Nation. Federalism is not Separation. Whether you like it or not, India will not allow Separation. A discussion must begin in the Sinhala South along what Minister Senaratne preached. The Sinhala media must offer publicity and active support to the idea. The Mahanayakas also should fall in line. Ethnic prejudice must give way to National Reconciliation. Economic gains for all is the natural corollary.

    R. Varathan

    • 0
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      Mr Varathan

      “Federalism is not Separation.”

      Can you guys get the powerful diaspora to convey this message to the Sinhalese.

      “Whether you like it or not, India will not allow Separation.”

      Depends who is on top. Have you forgotten that India funded, trained and armed LTTE. We have not.

      “Federalism is not Separation.”

      Sinhalese should not be fooled. We should never forget that even after the RW-VP pact which handed over the entire North and East to the Tamils they decided go for the final Vadukkodai objective regardless of the cost in blood.

      Soma

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        Stupid somaaaassssssssssssssssssssssssss

        “Can you guys get the powerful diaspora to convey this message to the Sinhalese.”

        What diaspora are you talking about?

        When were they powerful?

        Had the diaspora been powerful and wise they could have not only saved the people from Gota’s butchers but their Thalaivaru as well actually from Hindian wrath.

        The Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto builders used to blame Rama, Cholas, Pandyas, Colonial powers, Ponna, Chelva, Vattukottai 1976, Amir, …. Tamil militants, MGR, Rajiv, LTTE, VP, UK, UN, USA, NGO, Jayalalitha, … .. now their new enemies seem to be Sambandan, Wigneshwaran, …. and Diaspora.

        I am sure the Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto builders will find more enemies in the future perhaps the 10th generation Diaspora otherwise their purpose in life will be lost. Mahawamsa needs more stories.

        Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto builders need new stories and enemies to create their own cowards into heroes.

        Before you type here in this forum have you checked with Hindians whether they have granted permission for a Tamil Ghetto in this island? Find out and let us know.

      • 0
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        Dear Soma

        The well-informed Native Veddah has answered much of what I wanted
        to say. Clearly, you are confused about the National Question.

        The Rajapakses have much influence with the “powerful diaspora” (your words) It is said they have heavily invested with them notably in the UK/Canada, where the Diaspora Tamils control some
        successful business ventures. The Sinhalese should be speaking to them.

        Some sections of Indian intelligence trained Tamil militants in the mid-1980s because Mrs.B’s Govt and those from then on virtually ignored the Tamil issue – that was becoming a headache to India. Successive SL Govts ignored India’s hints. Did you read what Rajitha Senaratne said in the recent SJVC Memorial lecture?

        “Sinhalese should not be fooled” you boast vainly. Throughout it has been a case of the Sinhalese being fooled – by themselves, by others and now by the Chinese. And now the once-relatively well-to-do country is near bankruptcy. Very soon we will have to plead with India and China to save us from self-destruction. Take my word, the Mahanayakas-the army themselves will volunteer Federalism for the Tamils. That’s where the real political power is – now.

        R. Varathan

      • 0
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        Soma

        You state “even after the RW-VP pact which handed over the entire North and East to the Tamils” There was no such thing. You are misleading the readers and yourself with this misunderstanding.

        Backlash

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