21 June, 2021

Blog

President Rajapaksa And His 13A Dilemmas

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

It was said of Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike that “it was a grim irony that he should be called upon, at the moment of his greatest political triumph, to articulate the strong opposition of the Sinhalese to any attempt to establish a federal constitution.” Sixty-five years later, it could be said in reverse that it is a grimmer irony for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be put on the spot by his most ardent supporters and their insistent calls to abolish the Provincial Council system, in total disregard of the realities of political and geopolitical consequences of such abolishing, not to mention the extraordinary Covid-19 challenges that he has to deal with now. The irony is to be noted because Mr. Rajapaksa was among the first to raise the call for abolishing the PCs as far back as ten years ago, when even the mere thought of becoming Sri Lanka’s president may not have crossed his mind as an American citizen. 

The PCs are not the only dilemma that President Rajapaksa has to wrestle with. While almost all the others are connected to Covid-19, the dilemma over 13A and the Provincial Councils is antecedent to Covid-19, but is complicated by it like everything else in Sri Lanka. Hence the lingering question, why bother with a new constitution now? And especially for this President, whose credentials are totally those of a practical doer, and not at all of a constitutional visionary? The answer might be that it is the ‘constitutional cabal’ that is running the show, like every other cabal running every other government show.   

‘Sapatha’ and Overreach

The immediate cause for the abolishment calls is the apparent decision of the government,  announced by the Prime Minister, to go ahead with the long postponed (by the Wickremesinghe-TNA-JVP threesome) elections to the currently defunct Provincial Councils, which were established under the 13th Amendment. This is a classic case of multiple political tails trying to wag the proverbial dog, by influencing the country’s presidential executive and his brother prime minister. A government minister, indeed, the Minister for Public Security and the State Minister for Provincial Councils, has, in ancient Mahabharata “sapatha kara kiyanawa” style, made a solemn pledge to the members of the Civil Defence Force that he would put an end to the system of Provincial Councils. The Experts Committee tasked with preparing a draft for the new Rajapaksa constitution also reportedly expressed concern over holding PC elections before their draft is done and a new constitution is in place. 

It is not clear if there is unanimity in the committee over this concern, or if some committee members are speaking publicly for the whole committee. There was an earlier news report that the Experts Committee took an internal vote and decided by majority on a matter that is apparently fundamental to preparing the draft constitution. That an expert committee on the constitution would take an internal vote to decide on a fundamental question without referring it to its political masters in the government (with the parliament helplessly sidelined in the whole exercise) is an extraordinary overreach. If this is any indication, even the draft constitution that the committee would likely produce (presumably by a majority vote) may turnout to be extraordinary and tendentious. 

Did the matter that came up for committee vote have anything to do the 13th Amendment? We do not know. But we do know that the more powerful members of the committee are not amused by the government’s apparent decision to go ahead with PC elections. And that is some gall for a committee appointed by the country’s Head of State to publicly tell the government if or when it should conduct elections to any elected body. For now, there is more than Expert Committee amusement or gall that has been put on display. Real midweek fury against the Provincial Councils has been unleashed by Prof. GH Peiris, who is also a prominent member of the Experts Committee. 

Facts and Fabrications

Anyone looking to get refreshed on the materially relevant historical background to the constitutional voids that were unnecessarily created in 1972 and in 1978 – and their partial filling by the 13th Amendment (in 1987) and the Provincial Councils it created, could re-read Chapter 36 in KM de Silva’s (1981) “A History of Sri Lanka.” Even its first few pages will do. My opening quote on SWRD Bandaranaike in today’s article is from page 513 of de Silva’s book, in Chapter 36: “The Triumph of Linguistic Nationalism”. The quote might suggest that the historian was having his academic tongue in his political cheek, but it reads far superior to anything that a geographer seems  able to politically offer forty years later. And this is not because Sri Lanka has too much history and too little geography.  

Yet, no one can do worse than CA Chandraprema’s attempt to rewrite history, as he did in his hagiographic monograph, “Gota’s War.” We can anticipate versions of it to be undiplomatically broadcast from Geneva from March onward. The one thing about the history of Sri Lanka’s national question or conflict is that it is a well studied (even “over studied”, as AJ Wilson used to say) subject, and almost everyone who is of consequence either in Sri Lanka or abroad is well versed, knowing how to discern between facts and fabrications. More than historical writings, Sri Lanka’s stubborn facts always give the fabricator’s, if not the government’s, game away. Just as it is impossible to hide a whole pumpkin in a plate of rice. Peremptorily abolishing the Provincial Council system will be one more stubborn fact that will fetch no credit for Sri Lanka.      

Sri Lankans who have lived through and politically experienced the tumults and wars after 1977 need no lesson from old history, colonial, or pre-colonial. Some of us–Burghers, Muslims, Sinhalese, and Tamils – rising above our ethnic strictures, happened to be involved in efforts to respond to these events within the framework of the Movement for Inter-Racial Justice and Equality (MIRJE).1983 is now considered a watershed moment in Sri Lanka’s modern history, one that is totally negative and even disastrous, and quite different from 1956, which bore both positive and negative fruits. However, 1983 had its annual forerunners. Riots broke out in 1977, after a twenty-year hiatus and within months of the UNP’s bigger than landslide election victory. For the first time, plantation Tamils were targeted in communal rioting. In 1978, the UNP used its massive majority in parliament to elevate one of its MPs, Prime Minister Jayewardene, to become the country’s first executive president. 

1979 was the year of the Emergency in Jaffna, when President Jayewardene ordered Brigadier (Bull) Weeratunga (not  DIG/IGP Rudra Rajasingham) to “eliminate the menace of terrorism in all its forms from the island and more specially from the Jaffna District.” Two years later, in 1981, tea plantation districts were targeted again in the south, while off-duty policemen burnt down the Public Library in Jaffna. In 1982, President Jayewardene upended parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka through the chicanery of a referendum. One year later, what was catastrophic became calamitous, as the Palestinians are known to say. 

1983 implicated Sri Lanka not only geopolitically with India, but also internationally with practically every western country where Tamils leaving Sri Lanka found a foothold. The Sixth Amendment, passed during the dark and difficult days of August 1983, erased the elected TULF off the political map and handed over the keys to Tamil politics to armed militants. Sarath Silva said as much in his 2005 ruling as Chief Justice, in the course of denying President Kumaratunga’s plea to stay in office a year longer. 

India and Sri Lanka

The commonplace argument is that 13A and the Provincial Councils were foisted on Sri Lanka by India’s machinations, taking advantage of an old, weak, and beleaguered President Jayewardene. While this argument might be politically potent, it is bereft of any analytical insight or credibility, and it flies in the face of events and the alignments of political forces within Sri Lanka before and after 1983. The notion that India’s role in Sri Lanka was triggered by the fury of Indira Gandhi after she was apparently scorned by JR Jayewardene is cheap table talk and should not be a serious political consideration. And in 2020 it is utterly inappropriate to speak of any woman, let alone a woman political leader and Prime Minister, being scorned, leaving aside the not uncommon misattribution to Shakespeare – of the line (“Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned”), which in fact was satirically written by William Congreve (1670-1729) in his play, The Mourning Bride.   

I make no suggestion that India’s involvement, or interference, in Sri Lanka was entirely, or even primarily, motivated by neighbourly altruism. There were of course machinations, but they were mostly of the raw bureaucratic kind, thanks to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s wannabe CIA. And whether it was Indian involvement or interference, it did not arise out of nothing and would not have transpired the way it did and to the extent it did, without compelling circumstances in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan political circumstances after 1977, and more so after 1983, provided both the pretext and the context for India to get involved in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs. And no one, not even India, could have anticipated that things would get ugly and totally out of control as they did over several years. 

It is still the sorest point among many Sinhalese that India  imperiously prevented the Sri Lankan military onslaught on the LTTE in June 1987 with its controversial air drop of food supplies in Jaffna. The contention, that without India’s highhanded intervention the war would have been over in that year, is debatable because the LTTE was then primarily a guerilla organization and may have survived the onslaught to live and fight another day. It was only years later that the LTTE would build up its so called conventional fighting force and convert itself from being a fighting-fit guerilla force to a flabby national army, and getting drunk in the process with its own myth of invincibility. 

And in this saga of ironies, the same India that initially aided and armed Tamil militant groups on the beaches of Tamil Nadu would later preside over the disarming of every militant group bar the LTTE, engage its army in an unfinished and unsuccessful fight against the LTTE, and finally – 22 years after the infamous ‘parippu drop’ – end up aiding and assisting the government of Sri Lanka to vanquish the LTTE once and for all. It was not only the Central Government in Delhi that went through these about-turns, but also the state and government leaders in Tamil Nadu who were complicit at every step along the way. And there is no shortage of Sri Lankan Tamils who believe that the Tamils were shortchanged in the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord and the 13th Amendment, and especially by the provisions of the Provincial Councils Act that the two gave rise to. 

As for JR Jayewardene, although his detractors among the Sinhalese may never concede this, he must have felt entitled to a little last laugh in getting India to clean up the militant mess which in his mind was mostly of India’s making. To his justifiable credit, however, he acknowledged in the end that India was the only external agency, and not any western country or international agency, that would help him put his Sri Lankan house in order after national politics has unravelled beyond restoration by any domestic initiative alone. This very point was well articulated in a public statement, at the time of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, by more than a score of left and liberal Sinhalese intellectuals, activists, and academics. I do not have the statement at hand, but suffice it to say that the anti-13A lobby is not entitled to claim exclusive monopoly over Sinhalese political thinking, then or now. 

As well, the 13th Amendment is not the only controversial initiative, constitutionally or otherwise, that JR Jayewardene implemented and presided over aided by his tyrannical majority in parliament. His entire 1978 constitutional project has been controversial from the time of its inauguration. In fact, the 13th Amendment has had greater support among non-UNP Sinhalese than the 1978 Constitution ever did. Abolishing the executive presidency has been the winning battle cry in every election from 1994, until 2019. At none of these elections, including, I believe, the 2019 and 2020 elections, did any of the main contenders for power promised to abolish the Provincial Council system. 

On the contrary, Chandrika Kumaratunga and her People’s Alliance movement used Provincial Council elections to launch their campaign against and eventually oust the UNP from power after its seventeen-year rule. Mahinda Rajapaksa cleverly and consistently used PC elections to consolidate his electoral fiefdom. Again, as political indicators go, the 2014 PC election in Uva signalled the people’s regime fatigue after ten years of Rajapaksa rule and twenty years of SLFP-dominated governments. Lacking Chandrika Kumaratunga’s charisma and Mahinda Rajapaksa’s cleverness, the beleaguered yahapalanaya folks shuttered up the Provincial Councils and postponed their elections indefinitely. Their dillydallying has created the current dilemma for President Rajapaksa.    

There is no dispute that the implementation of the Provincial Councils system has not turned out to be an appealing success. But this is not due to any systemic or structural shortcomings, but entirely due to the failure of political leadership. The blame for the worst leadership failure should fall squarely on the shoulders of Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe in general, and particularly on the TNA and CV Wigneswaran for what they have done and what they failed to do with the Northern Provincial Council after its first and only election in 2013. 

There is no question either that the PC system needs changes and reforms, regardless of when the next elections are held. And unlike any other institution in Sri Lanka, the PC system has a handbook of reform recommendations in the comprehensive symposium complied, in 2010, by the late Ranjith Amarasinghe, Asoka Gunawardena, Jayampathy Wickramaratne, and AM Navaratna-Bandara. There have been plenty of other suggestions, most recently by Austin Fernando and Nirmala Chandrahasan. 

In his December 25 article in The Island, Mr. Fernando recounts that the current government includes many past champions of the PC system, including former Provincial Chief Ministers and Governors. Will they speak out now, or stay silent and let the abolishment clamour grow? 

The current voices of abolition have been around from the time the PCs were introduced in 1987-88. But for over thirty years they have not gotten anywhere close to influencing, or dictating to, the policy of any Sri Lankan government on the 13th Amendment and the Provincial Councils. Until now. And therein lies President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s main dilemma. The President has to choose between the experiential pragmatism of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the ideological intransigence of provincial abolitionists.   

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Latest comments

  • 3
    6

    History, usually, is an electrifying subject; It should arouse a sense of excitement and thrill. But, not ours. Ours is so boring that I dozed off reading this article!

    • 9
      2

      Gota came from a background, he cant have “finger fingerspitzengefühl aka “sure instinct” of srilanken politics. Similar to the nature of “Burampi -Trump”.
      This may be the reason srilanken people to have kept faith on Gota. Anyways, as of today, the faith is broken as a glas wall collapsed, with “THATTAMAMAs” being the leaders of the parade to loud at him ” sir failed”: To some others among the commoners, he is stupidier than “kali amma controlled, Pani maker-impersonated Dhanapala”.
      Can anyone today be happy about Gota’s politics ? No.

      In fact, those YALA laborers, protested being caught by COVID threat, while GOTA s relatives Udayanga Weerathunga, is the man to have gone on risk by letting Ukraine tourists coming in.
      As was the case with his brother, the very same bunch of criminals like Udayanga Weerathunga, Dilith Jayaweera (Derana TV owner) and wandibattayas with numerous crime records mislead the nation today, even if they behave like ” elephant is in the room ,nobody notices it”:

      If this country ever to see it right, criminal family should be taken away to the very same manner, Gadafi s ended by Karma leaving that people innerly in peace.

      • 2
        1

        Gadafi was a Muslim. Saddam was a Muslim. Osama was a Muslim.

        Rajapaksas are not.

      • 1
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        Re Gaddafi:
        LM, I fear that you will justify every criminal deed of the West in the name of democracy and human rights.
        Have you the foggiest idea of what life was like in Libya under Gaddafi and what it has become since his overthrow?
        You pick on every victim of imperialist subterfuge to cast the victim as the villain.

  • 6
    2

    A brilliant piece on the vexed question of the Provincial Councils.
    Vexed in the sense that this was seen rightly or wrongly as an Indian initiative,thrust down the throats of the Srilankan government of the day in 1987.
    The irony is that,eventually JR won the day when India intervened to finish the LTTE!

    The last line of this most thoughtful essay is the bottom line as well;
    ……………….The President has to choose between the experiental pragmatism of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and the ideological intrasigence of Provincial abolitionists…………….

    If I could put it this way…..
    The President has to choose between Mahinda Rajapakse with his half-a-century in Politics and a cantankerous Geographer Gerry Peiris.
    Nothing more nothing less.

    • 2
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      No. That decision must be made by the people. Put 13A to a referendum. End of story. If the final result is yes, keep them. If final decision is no, scrap them.

  • 14
    2

    There is a common assumption that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a strong leader. The whole point in having a strong leader is the expectation that he will do constructive things by making the right decisions, either by himself or in consultation with the right kind of experts. Having arrived at a decision he must convince his party men and supporters to accept the decision and if they are unwilling to do so at least instruct them to shut up and not oppose it publicly. He must also tell the party rabble-rousers firmly to desist from making unauthorized policy statements – how many voices does the Government have?

    The President rejected Japan’s offer for the Light Rail project and the US MCC offer of $450. Then he bulldozed the regressive 20th Amendment through parliament by bribing certain politicians. He appointed military task forces to supervise the civilian administrators. The forced cremation of the bodies of all Covid-19 victims was another decision. What is the point in having a ‘Strong Leader’ if these are the kinds of decision he is going to make? The whole purpose of having a strong leader is defeated if he keeps on making bad decisions.

    • 2
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      Gota can easily win the 2024 presidential election (and there 2025 parliamentary election too) if he keeps provincial councils for now and puts 13A to a referendum in early 2024 and removes 13A if a NO vote wins. Most Sri Lankans will vote NO for 13A which Gota will also support.

      That momentum will push him for victory at the presidential election.

      The losers camp (yes to 13A) will be seen as losers and will lose the next 2 elections too.

  • 6
    6

    Postpone, postpone, postpone.
    Don’t abolish for the present.
    Ask a man on the street whether he is aware that the provincial council he belongs to is not functioning and any difficulties he is experiencing as a result – I mean carry out a survey of issues arising out of prevailing non-functioning.
    Establish a Central government office at each District level to assist citizenry in any problems.
    Postpone until the Covid problem is COMPLETELY eradicated following mass vaccination.

    Soma

    • 3
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      Why to abolish it at all ?

      Abolishing PCs would speed up the plan set by Gota et al on a Zimbabwian style – Dictatorship.
      :
      Today, whatever Rajaakshes men do is not known to the nation. No transparency at all. They put off the wage-allowance promised to the plantation tamil srilankens.

      RTI and independent commissions brought much to the country, but GOATBAYA et al destroyed it within a year. Another 4 years to go, so what cant we expect ? Only those who talk to the gallery will grow rapidly. Most of them will be pro-Rajaakshe millitary men.

      COVID problem should be settled by MINISTRY of health as is the case with any other countries, by placing TRI FORCES to show the inabliity should be stopped.

      If

      • 2
        1

        LM,
        Why to abolish it at all ?
        —-
        Sri Lanka was suffering from a cancer called LTTE Tamil terrorism. Provincial Council was a medicine brought by our ‘Big Brother’ to cure that cancer but it did not work. So, Rajapakshes cut that cancer and threw it to Nandikadal lagoon. But there are dumbos who think that the cancer removed by Rajapakshes might emerge again and want to use this medicine (PCs). This medicine has caused serious side effects and therefore best thing is to throw away the medicine.

        Provinces were a creation of British for their requirements and perhaps with a hidden agenda. Sri Lanka does not need to keep Provinces introduced by British and therefore Provincial Boundaries should be erased from the map of Sri Lanka.

    • 1
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      soman

      “Postpone until the Covid problem is COMPLETELY eradicated following mass vaccination.”

      Who is going to administer the vaccine to the people, you mean the 25 single handed Generals who have already been distributed/placed across 25 districts, out of the 15,000?

      Basil and his brothers are planning to open 15,000 Q shops across the island in every Grama Niladhari Divisions . Out of which Mahinda has alredy opened one at State Commercial Corporation
      (https://www.dailynews.lk/2020/11/21/local/234084/pm-opens-first-%E2%80%98q-shop%E2%80%99) .
      Perhaps rest of the shops need at least 15,000 general managers to run 15,000 shops. Gota should appoint one single handed General per shop.

      By the way Shavendra and Kamal have been promoted to the rank of generals. Please tell me who has the authority to promote Lt General to General. Can Lt Generals promote themselves to the next rank?

  • 2
    1

    Ah. Good to know your are back. My political education was falling behind. Nothing serious I surmise. Just Xmas and New Year, perhaps.

  • 4
    9

    Well look, I am surprised you haven’t heard this yet. The North-East parts of the island is where Gothama Buddha lived all his life. The British change the location where Buddha lived to Nepal and settle Tamils here obscuring the history.
    So that explains the history of Tamils in Sri Lanka. You are not descendants of 13th CE Ayra-Charkravarthi or any such thing. Therefore everything never had a cause here in the island. You have been setup by the British. You should visit the site jambudipa [dot] quora [dot] com for more information.

    • 5
      1

      Jambu,
      .
      the kind of fairy tales would not help anyone. Why not you read the literiture. Cheap fabrications can only speed up the crime activities of the racists in this country. We fought enough – 30 long years is not just 30 days. Let alone today, we should be able to see it right. Dont give a chance to promote RACISM. We should be ashamed to have produced the leaders of Rajakashes nature. They areuncultured, rascals that arewould suck the last blood of the poor people.
      :
      Not long ago, that Udayanga WEERATHUNGA was under the search of INTERPOLE.

      But he became NIDHOSKOTA NIDAHAS/exonerated, immediately Rajakashes came to power. Today, Weerathunga is made the man to ruin the country by bringing cheap TOURISTS from Ukraine. How many Ukranians visited the country prior to COVID crisis ? Not even few thousands… but CURRENT stupid men to paint the picture so that TOURISTM COULD BE BOOMED in the island again ? These can be helpful to that KALI AMMA controlled DONKEY from Kegalle.

      • 2
        0

        The Mahavansa first 3 chapters read as follows.

        The dynasty that begins with “Maha Sammatha Manu” ends with King Suddodhana, father of Prince Sidatha (Prince Siddhartha to you). The British have removed these chapters that link all Buddhas with this island. That is why everyone thinks the Sinhala people starts from Vijaya.

        What you should also know is that guy from Kegalle who produced the indigenous medicine actually works.

        There are 2 types of medicine, the Ayurveda started by Brahmins and rishis. Then there is the Hela Vedakama. The one that cures Covid-19 is the latter.

        So it’s hardly a “fairy tale”.

  • 5
    1

    The Tamils have missed the opportunity to consolidate a federal system because they persisted in a seperatist , terrorist campaign to carve out a seperate state (Tamil Elam) for 30 long years.

    At this point in time it is best that the Sri Lankan Tamils work together with the Gotabhaya Rajapaksa government and contribute to the development of the country and win the confidance of the Sri Lankan electorate so that they could enjoy more autonomy in the future.

    Surely you cannot expect a comprehensive federal system after waging a bloody , terrorist campaign for 30 long years?

  • 2
    3

    Put the 13A to a referendum. End of story.

    Why fear?

    • 1
      2

      True. a referendum will establish with no room for any doubt whether provincial governments should live or die. but it should be held for each current provinces individually and let the provinces that vote to keep it keep having it and let the provinces that do not want it abandon it.

      • 2
        0

        A referendum is national. The decision applies to the whole 13A.

        Once it is gone, there will be no provincial councils.

      • 1
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        Agreed.

  • 4
    1

    I am not surprised to see Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam is opposing Provincial Council arrangement, which means he is opposing 13th Amendment. What he is doing what his father GG did, as I have written over the last two years he is a Rajapakse Golaya, he is doing the same thing his father did to vote with the then government to take away the right to apply for citizenship by the estate upcountry workers. Gajendrakumar is not only a traitor to the Tamil community he is a traitor to the entire Sri Lankan democracy loving people. He is a facilitator of demagoguery. How stupid should be the Northern province voters to vote for traitors like him.

    • 2
      0

      Buddhist1,
      If the tiny minority of Malabar Vellala Tamils think Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam who is opposing Provincial Council is a traitor that means a large majority of Tamils who are been oppressed by Malabar Vellala Tamils have rejected racist separatist Vellala elite politicians.

  • 0
    4

    Sri lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi racial, multi religious country.
    Then there are gender and caste differences.

    Let us celebrate diversity and have diverse laws
    .
    One viable alternative is to have asymmetric devolution.It could be a continuum.

    at one extreme may be the western provincial Council and at the other extreme are the Northern and Eastern provinces

    Among the Provincial Councils in the south, Uva and North central provinces may need more

    devolution while Northern and Eastern Provinces may have maximum devolution.

    • 2
      1

      Srikish
      The benefits of devolution to Nothern and Eastern Provinces will not be available to majority of Tamils as they live outside North East whose utmost fear is living in a Tamil only enclave. (Need proof? Try to convince them of discrimination, violence, looting, rape, murder, even genocide by the Sinhalese and persuade a SINGLE TAMIL FAMILY to relocate to Jaffna. That is a bet)
      Propose a solution which will benefit at least 90% of the Tamils.
      (Tamils:
      All Tamil speaking people scattered across the island irrespective of their religion, caste or the date of arrival)

      Soma

      • 1
        0

        soman

        You are not only kidding but also pushing the stupid Sinhala/Buddhists to grant independence to Tamil speaking people.
        As a mentally unwell/unstable man/woman you should not unilaterally make decisions for and on behalf of Gota supporting stupid racists.

        You stay at the hospital until you have recovered your senses.

        • 1
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          NV
          “You are not only kidding but also pushing the stupid Sinhala/Buddhists to grant independence to Tamil speaking people.”
          .
          Where will you take the independence and go?

          Soma

      • 0
        1

        Soma,

        Not only Tamils and Muslims in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, but also Tamils and Muslims in other provinces also will benefit.

        The Central Province usually had a Tamil Education Minister and in all other Provinces Tamils and Muslims were reasonably well looked after in the provincial Councils, may be for electoral advantages.

        The Sinhalese are also benefited throughout the country. There is also no need for Tamils or any other community to relocate.

        The Provincial Council system benefits all communities in Sri Lanka and further it facilitate balance regional economic development.

        If it has not already happened the prudent measure is to ensure it to happen rather than abolishing it.

        Let us make sensible decisions.

        • 0
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          sriksrish
          Make a list of ‘benefits’ of devolution and show us how Tamils living in the provinces outside North East are benefited.

          Soma

    • 2
      0

      USA has more diversity than SL but they do not have diverse laws.

    • 1
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      srikrish,
      Will maximum devolution help:
      • To eradicate caste based discrimination and oppression of low caste Tamils (Dalith) by Malabar Vellala Tamils?
      • To abolish ‘Only for Vellala’ schools?
      • To get rid of Malabar customary law called ‘Thesawalamei’ used by Malabar Vellala Tamils to discriminate against low caste Tamils?
      • To change the minds of Vellala Tamils to allow a low caste Tamil to drink water from one of their wells?
      • To allow low caste Tamils to enter any Kovil and sit with Vellala Tamils?

    • 0
      0

      srikrish,
      Malabar Vellala Tamils who determine the fate of low caste Tamils (Daliths) from womb to tomb want maximum devolution to maintain their superior status and oppress Dalits.
      Low caste Tamils in Yapanaya told the sub-committee on Power Sharing not to give Land and Police powers to NPC because they know the outcome.

      “while Northern and Eastern Provinces may have maximum devolution.”

      • 0
        0

        Eagle Eye,

        Devolution is not a panacea for all the ills.

        Will abolition of devolution solve caste issues?

        We may have to adopt some other methods to resolve any alleged caste issues whether in the North or the South.

        I personally welcome any measures by the government to bring in legislation to prevent any discriminatory practices in the name of caste.

        I am not aware of any only for vellala schools anywhere in Sri Lanka

        Thesavalamy deals with some other issues . do not blame Thesavalamy law for any caste oppression.

        “Change the mind” That is impossible. Can you change the mind of eagle eye?all temples allow irrespective of cast. This observation is irrelevant.

        None of these have anything to do with devolution?

  • 2
    1

    MR created hysterical theatrics during previous regime demanding PC elections , accusing RW of taking away people’s rights. Recently orange robed advisory / official constitutional council met GR to congratulate his performance giving A++++ report and warned him of not having PC elections st all. . The reason behind this is not to share those imaginary powers with minorities. Anyway to conduct our bankrupt govt needs 6 to 8 Billion .
    So they used current Covid situation to postpone election which may never happen. Rest is history.

  • 1
    2

    Continue with the Provincial Councils system in SL only if you can
    —Reduce the total number to 4
    —keep North and east as one Province
    —No Governor post for the PC
    —Land and police powers given to the PC
    —No criminals to contest in the elections
    —Educated uncorrupted citizens to contest elections

    • 2
      0

      So that means no provincial councils. Good!

      To keep or not decision is a national decision and all national decisions of SL are made by all Sri Lankans. Put the 13A to a referendum. Yes or No. If No 13A goes.

    • 2
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      Naman,
      Sinhale which is the country of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo will be governed by Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo. Descendants of Dravidians who came from Hindusthan and live in Sinhale because Sinhalayo gave them citizenship cannot dictate how this country should be governed.

      Can these dumbos who dictate how this country should be governed tell whether any Tamil or Muslim went in front of the firing squads of British for fighting against colonial rule?

  • 1
    0

    Jaffna public library was burnt down by on-duty ministers of UNP not by off-duty policemen. You are trying to hide a full size pumpkin into a cup of rice. Good attempt

  • 3
    1

    I would say, modify 13th to get better economical deal for outer regions using their lack of funding and resources that was hogged by Colombo mob. Since independence this is the main problem and remove dangerous land and police powers from the council but mandate by law to get these regions proper funding and resources based on land, population, schools etc using real statistics. Trinco and Jaffna, Mannar got great potential but since independence nothing happened and this may also indicate how bankrupt and corrupt pollies went to enriching themselves rather than doing the right thing by the people.
    Look at MR’s expensive dummy airport and cricket ground and resource mapping is the best way to avoid this kind of corruption and wastage. TNA confused the whole argument and ignore the well being of their people being a running dog of india.

    • 0
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      watcher,
      Funding is not really the problem. The problem is dumbos in PCs do not know how to use funds allocated to PCs for the benefit of people. Dumbos in NPC returned the funds allocated by the Government to Treasury without using those funds to solve the problems of people. After doing such stupid things, these dumbos blame the Government saying the Government is discriminating against Tamils.
      Sri Lanka had a system called ‘Decentralized Budget’ to allocate funds to electorates. With the change in election system and introduction of PCs such good things disappeared.
      I understand that about 80% of the funds allocated to PCs are used to maintain politicians and their family members who are appointed for various positions.
      The only thing that happened with PCs is it decentralized corruption.

  • 0
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    Eagle Eye,

    Where did you get the information?

    Northern Provincial Council has not sent a single cent to the Treasury.

    It is not the practice for the Provincial Councils to send back any unspent money back to the centre, But only government departments do so.

    Decentralized Budget still exits, not abolished at any time.

    80 % of Provincial funds are used to maintain Politicians and their families are incorrect.

    The correct position is that 80% of funds are spent on Salaries and other recurrent expenditure.
    This includes Salaries of Teachers, Doctors,Nurses, Agriculture officers,, Irrigation engineers among others.
    .
    Even if the Provincial Councils are abolished the salaries and other related expenses have to be met by the center,

    Of course it does not mean that Provincial Councils are Economically, Efficiently and Effectively delivering in Service Delivery.

    On the contrary much has to be done to revive and improve the entire Provincial Council set up and make them as viable entities,, but abolition is not an option.

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