22 September, 2019

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President Rajapaksa Has No People’s Mandate Or Moral Right To Contest Again

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

When President Mahinda Rajapaksa contested for the Presidency in January 2010 for the second time, overwhelming assumption of the people who voted or campaign for him was that it was his last term. That was the constitutional position as well as the tradition of this country, like in many other democratic countries, since 1978 when the presidential system was inaugurated. The two term limitation was ingrained in the Constitution.

Since 1994, the people in Sri Lanka have voted overwhelmingly to presidential candidates, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005, and political parties or coalitions that won majorities in parliamentary elections in 1994, 2000 and 2004, to abolish the presidential system.

Implicit Promise

It is true that Mahinda Chinthana Manifesto 2010 did not promise to abolish the presidential system. It was a volte-face from the previous policies. Instead it sought a mandate to use it as a ‘trusteeship’ to be accountable to Parliament and accountable to the Judiciary. But that is for six years.

If you carefully go through the document, it repeatedly talks about ‘over the next six years’ or ‘during the next six years.’ It never sought a mandate to abolish the ‘two term limit’ of the Presidency. All indications given were that the President would gracefully retire into history, personal or at best honorable public life. It was the implicit promise. No one discounted that he could even have a political life, if he wishes to, but not as the President any longer. This principle also applies to ex-presidents.

The full section on “Presidency as a Trusteeship” in the 2010 Manifesto on page 38 was as follows.

I was particularly careful when exercising the powers of the Executive Presidency. In the past, the Executive Presidency was used to postpone elections, to topple elected governments, to disrupt the judiciary, to ban political parties, to suppress demonstrations and lead the country towards a violent culture, to sell state institutions at under-valued price, to defend criminals and to grant concessions to unscrupulous businessmen. Agreements that betrayed the country were entered into using the powers of the Executive Presidency.

I used such powers to unite the country. An open discussion on the Executive Presidency will be converted into a Trusteeship which honours the mandate given to Parliament by being accountable to parliament, establishes equality before the law, is accountable to the judiciary and enacts laws that are accountable to the judiciary, and is not in conflict with the judiciary.”  

His assessment of the past was correct although his claim of ‘careful exercise of power’ during his first term was an exaggeration. Things are yet to be unraveled. He was particularly correct when saying “the Executive Presidency was used to postpone [parliamentary] elections.” That was between 1982 and 1989. But he has done much worse by ‘abolishing the two term limit,’ which is considered the most important deterrent against a presidential system turning into a dictatorship or an ‘elected monarchy’ in any country.

International Tradition

Referring to the matter in terms of the first presidential system in the world, an expert on American constitutionalism, Peter Schultz, said the following in his “Governing America” (1997).

But the most important step Washington took was his decision to limit himself to two terms in office. Under the constitution as ratified, there was no limit on the number of terms that a president could serve. …Nonetheless, the implications of his decision were significant for the presidency and how it came to understood…And by establishing a limited tenure for that office, Washington helped to establish the idea that the president’s power and authority, although great, is limited.”

Of course there were some American presidents after Washington who attempted to serve more than two terms but without success. Most attempts were thwarted by the respective party’s nominations process. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only president who was elected consecutively for more than two terms under the war conditions (1940-45), but after the war the two term limitation was imposed on the constitution in 1947.

When Roosevelt was contesting for the fourth time in 1944, Thomas Dewey said “Four terms, or sixteen years, is the most dangerous threat to our freedom ever proposed.” In America, a term of the President is just four years. In the case of Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa will already be completing 12 years by 2017. If he contests for a third term, what is proposed, to paraphrase Dewey, is “eighteen years, the most dangerous threat to any one’s freedom.”

There is of course a counter or anti- democratic tradition, particularly in Africa, where the presidential systems were fashioned even without term limits from the outset. Beginning with Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana) in 1964, following through Hastings Banda (Malawi), Bokassa (Central African Republic), Idi Amin (Uganda) and now Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), this tradition is akin to elected monarchy or perpetual autocratic rule. In 2008, Mugabe who had been President for 33 years refused to concede defeat. He got the Election Commission to recount and got elected again.

Perhaps Mahinda Rajapaksa and others want to follow this tradition, because it is from the South, non-Western countries and so-called anti-imperialist milieu! However it should be challenged morally, politically and even legally. The removal of the ‘term limit’ should not be taken as fait accompli. It is a breach of social contract and democratic tradition.

Back to Mandate

The postponement of parliamentary elections in 1982 under JRJ at least was done through a referendum, although manipulated. But for the ‘abolition of the two term limit,’ through the 18th Amendment, there was no referendum held. This time it was the Supreme Court which was manipulated. It was a major mistake by Dr. Shirani Bandaranayke, as the Chief Justice, to allow the bill to have passage only through 2/3 majority without a referendum and without having a full discussion in the country. She had to pay a price for that mistake. What was demanded from her by the executive thereafter was total submission.

If the people had been consistent in their antipathy against the presidential system since 1994, they could have defeated the ‘abolition of the two term limit’ in a genuine referendum, although consistency is not always the case in people’s voting behavior. However, on the part of the President or the UPFA, there was no people’s mandate whatsoever to ‘abolish the two term limit.’ In addition, it was utterly immoral on the basis of what they have been promising, uttering or apparently standing for since 1994.

The 18th Amendment or the ‘abolition of the two term limit’ also was mixed up with the ‘abolition of the independent commissions.’ For practical reasons, some must have thought the 17th Amendment should be revised. That must be one reason why even the seasoned parliamentarians became confused.

Since the promulgation of the 18th Amendment, three constituent partners of the UPFA, the Communist Party (CP), the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) have expressed their reservations or opposition. The Amendment was proposed as an urgent bill in Parliament and rushed through a two thirds majority. As a result, the members of parliament or the public in general had extremely little time to discuss the full implications of the Amendment. Within the UPFA circles it was kept a secret until the eleventh hour.  The SLMC General Secretary and Member of Parliament, M.T. Hasen Ali, last year said (Ceylon Today, 27 August 2013) “In fact, I can openly say, I did not support it. I was forced to support it.” This is a terrible indictment of the way politics is conducted within the UPFA.

Inherent Dangers

In parliamentary democracies, with the Prime Minister as the chief executive, there are instances where the same person continuing for more than two terms. There is no prohibition or term limits for PMs. There is no major danger either except under exceptional circumstances. In a parliamentary democracy, the PM is the chief or the head among the others with similar executive powers. If there is a tendency for concentration of power that has definitely to be checked. It is however an increasing tradition even in parliamentary systems for a PM not to stand for more than two terms.

A presidential system is entirely different. There are major dangers if the same person continues. Yoweri Museveni in his “What is Africa’s Problem?” (2000) said “no African head of state should in power for more than 10 years.” He explained that “longer a president is in office, the harder it is to remove him democratically.” Ironically, Museveni was President in Uganda for 27 years after Idi Amin and Milton Obote! Those are the ironies of claims and politics.

In the case of Sri Lanka it is more dangerous. It is the only country which calls the system an Executive Presidential system, emphasizing the executive or the ‘power’ aspects of the system. The President is almost above the law with immunity who cannot be brought before the courts. An impeachment is almost impossible as Dr. N. M. Perera explained in his Critical Analysis of the New Constitution.

There is no clear separation or even necessary distance between Parliament and the President. By having a ‘Jumbo Cabinet’ of 67 and altogether 105 Ministers in Parliament, the President has a close grip on the ‘majority of the majority’ in Parliament. This is an extremely abusive system when the task of a parliament is considered ‘policy making and legislation.’ The 18th Amendment also allows the President to participate or more correctly intervene in parliamentary affairs. This is not even necessary as his task of ‘coercion’ is given to some unruly elements in the middle bench. His brother is the Speaker.

A Possible Way Out

Sri Lanka still is not a hopeless case, hopefully. Sri Lanka cannot be like Zimbabwe or Uganda. There are strong democratic traditions behind it which became largely distorted during and as a result of the ‘thirty year’s war’ and the presidential system. One is out but the other is still in. It was after a ‘thirty year’s war’ in Europe (1618-1648) that the state system became reformed and stabilized. That kind of a change and reform of a modern nature suitable for the 21st century is not impossible in Sri Lanka if there is political will on the part of the responsible political parties and the people, irrespective of ethnic or religious disagreements or divisions.

There are inbuilt dangers too. There is a possibility of resurrecting a war again to perpetuate the obnoxious presidential system for self or family interests. That may be an extreme scenario. Before such an eventuality, it is necessary to seize upon the possible opportunities and try our best to promote a feasible solution to the otherwise rapidly deteriorating situation.

It was rumored or argued during the passage of the 18th Amendment that the proposal to allow the President to contest again was made to avert a succession struggle within the SLFP or the UPFA. It was also added that it was necessary to stabilize the system aftermath of the war. If that was the case, then that danger or the problem is no longer there.

The 18th Amendment does not make imperative for the incumbent President to contest again. He was elected in 2010 by the people on the premise that it is going to be his last term. I repeat, there is no people’s mandate for him to contest again. It is immoral on his part and breach of the social contract. If he has been only a trustee, not the owner, then he can simply handover the trusteeship to another person through the democratic process.

There are two main stages to this democratic procedure. First is the process of respective political parties i.e. the SLFP, UNP, JVP, TNA and DP etc. separately or jointly selecting or electing their presidential candidates. Second is the ensuring and conducting a free and fair presidential election on a level playing field. As far as I am aware, the SLFP has not so far selected its candidate for the next presidential elections. The seniors in the SLFP should have much say in this selection process along with party organizers. If they don’t act now they will be doomed. When it comes to the nominations for parliamentary elections or the preferential voting thereafter, they will be swept away by the Rajapaksa loyalists.

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party formed initially by such leaders as SWRD Bandaranaike and DA Rajapaksa has fairly a long democratic tradition whatever the intermittent aberrations or deviations. The time has come to resurrect that tradition and further strengthen it. There had been sudden eventualities in the past when the party found it difficult to find the successor for example when Bandaranaike was assassinated in 1959. However, that is not the case today or any longer.

Having been in power for a long period and having a host of second level leaders managing various ministries, the SLFP and/or the UPFA should know who would be suitable in terms of party’s policies, traditions, and most importantly, democratic interests of the country. It would be a damn dishonor for President Rajapaksa if he is not ready to handover the baton.

If anyone ask me who would be the best possible common candidate from the opposition, I would say, without wasting my words, Karu Jayasuriya, the least controversial; ideally flanked by ‘two informal vice-presidential candidates,’ a (preferably hill country) Tamil from the TNA and a Muslim from the JVP, DP or the SLMC, as agreed.

The purpose of this article however is to argue the point as it has done that President Rajapaksa doesn’t have a people’s mandate or a moral right to contest again and his candidacy, potential or otherwise, should be challenged morally, politically and even legally in the courts of law.

Mahinda Chinthana 2010 started with the assertion “doing what I say, and saying what I set to do.” There was no ‘say’ for a third term. It also asserted “a ruler is only a temporary trustee and not an owner of your children’s heritage.” If that is the case, the ‘temporary trustee’ must go.

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Latest comments

  • 21
    1

    Wonderful rebuttal of Dayan who wants the unlimited presidential limits kept even if the 18th amendment is annulled.
    Of course that is probably in the hopes that he might be able to convince MR to thrown him a (diplomatic) crumb…something which he won’t be able to active if someone else comes to power
    (He knows Sajith won’t win, despite his many pronouncements to the contrary in the media !!!!)

    • 14
      0

      Dr Fernando@,
      thanks for the great article.
      We the right thinking ones would always support you.

      • 11
        0

        Gap between DJ^s and yours are clearly widening. This message will wake up the nation, I hope.
        People will realize soon, what more harm could make by megalomaniac and his boorish nature. We never thought that the post war srilanken would be driven to this abysmal levels- actually, in today^s context, any genuine leader could have turned a nation to a fairly prosperous one.

        • 11
          0

          As got to see on TV screens clearly these days, If MPs who have a wide range of powers and privileges are treated like common criminals and are chased out while they were on a fact-finding mission, what then is the plight of ordinary people.

          If they are attacked or some injustice is done to them, there is little purpose in going to a Police station as the Police Department has been politicised after the abolition of the 17th Amendment and the Independent police Commission.

          With serious damage being caused to another bastion of democracy—the independent judiciary– most people see little purpose in going to courts.

          • 5
            2

            Laksiri, Sri Lanka is NOT a democratic country, it is a quasi-military dictatorship / Banana Republic.
            SInhala Modayas vote for dictators sorry to say. Political culture and politicians the supposed law makers are the biggest law breakers – particularly in the UNP and SLFP which are both headed by DICTATORS.

            The Sinhala and Muslim voters are a stupid bunch who have been kept UNEDUCATED by their leaders.

            Let us hope that the JVP, DPF and TNA will be able to educate the SINHALAYA MODAYAS on what democracy really means…

            • 2
              0

              Dear Prof. Laksiri ,

              Thanks for your timely intervention ,as you are aware , most of our truly educated intellectuals had opted to stay mum and pretended nothing is happening , doing nothing is a crime and it indirectly strengthening & giving a moral support for the current dictatorship !

              however i respectfully disagree with your chosen/preferred opposition candidate of Mr karu Jayasooriya , no doubt Mr KJ is a true gentleman and a honest politician , but he is no match for the current megalomaniac , selecting the right opposition candidate is arduous task and careful considerations must be given and there can’t be any margin of errors on it , in order to short list the best possible candidate among the worst , here is a quick selection criteria , the potential candidate must posses all the following skills/capabilities

              1) must have excellent oratory skills.
              2) must be able to lie from dawn to dusk and should not have any sense of shame at all.
              3) must be a Sinhalese Buddhist.
              4) must be able to beat his/her own chest swearing to protect the country/race/religion
              5) must make endless array of promises .

              Does Mr KJ have all of the above qualities , definitely not ! then who has it ? yes that famous bandit queen , CBK , she fits in perfectly well for that mould , not only she fulfills the above criteria but only capable of splitting the SLFB vote base in to half , assuming UNP hierarchical blessings forthcoming , most of the UNP supporters would support her , knowing that is the only way to get rid of dictatorship.TNA would support any one who comes forward to defeat MR and Muslims also know very well what have they got in store under MR rule in the future , hence majority of the minorities support is inevitable for CBK . Gen SF would definitely support CBK leaving JVP a big question mark ?

              to off set CBK past misdeeds/corruptions/bad image ven Sobitha’s name must be combined as the opposition candidate.

              • 1
                0

                Dear Srilal,
                I agree with you here, but I would not put her under the naming ” Bandit Queen”. I dont think that CBK bought herself palaces in the UK as MR regime and his journos spread it in the early phases of MR administration. But I would not not disagree her admin failed in her second term. No doubt, she would accept her failures in the past, unlike the bugger in the power would ever do so, but as you suggested, Rev.Sobitha Thero´s involvement is seen obligatory here, so that the gurantee of abolishing EP will be reality; within the first half of the adminsitration. I heard Lal Kantha saying that JVP would help common candidate to defeat MR, but there they would not want to stage together.

                Main headache is to remove MR – that can then give us a breath.

                Last night having listened to “Wadapitiya on DeranaTV”
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5R8e_gp354
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP-wyUCEifg

                it seem that the election will be in December 2014. Please watch the videos.

                • 1
                  0

                  Dear Sirimal,

                  i call CBK as “Bandit queen ” , Ranil W as the “opposition affairs cabinet minister of MR ” and the current regime as a “Junta” , sorry Sirimal , i didn’t mean to hurt you or any one for that matter , i personally feel those names are very appropriate for each person/instance , however pl forgive me if i have hurt your feeling by name calling on CBK.

                  thanks for the video links , i tried my level best to watch all these endless mumbo jumbos , but i couldn’t , these sooth Sayers are singing hosannas to the king and trying to compete each other to get the King’s attention , Sirimal believe me i can tell more accurate political predictions than these sooth sayers , do we need astrology to tell when is the next presidential election ? of course every body knows that MR said to be completing his 3rd year and beginning the 4th year on Nov 19 2014 , according to the constitution he can call the PE any time after Nov 19 and MR knows that the Geneva clock has already started ticking and the impending tsunami is inevitable on him,hence most probable time would be between jan 2015 to March 2015 , do we need Astrologers to say these things ?

                  PS: new kid on the block , this Sujith Yogi character looks very fishy , here is a link where you can get more info on him.

                  http://www.sujithnishantha.com/index.php/en/contact

                  one of my colleagues tried to meet him , guess what this yogi said , he wanted him to pay Rs 7500 for the appointment !!!!

                  • 1
                    0

                    Srilal@,
                    Thanks.
                    you are dead right. Agree, your prediction also in terms of UNHRC outcome was the best. I am not sort of going after soothsayers, but it is the culture of avarage lankens. And the man in yellow costumes had reiterated to have made all predictions right sofar. Unfortunately, these guys on the video sound very obsequious to the very manner as Jackson Anthony ONCE held a public speech of very very flattered and cajole kind, few years ago, all about the dawn of Mahinda Rajapakshe. Very same guys with same in built mind sets not to react adequately, even if the society is reached to all appalling levels – is for very incomprehensible.

        • 6
          0

          I listend to what people´s real war hero -SarathF has to say in terms of the attacked exercised on the UNP MPs few days ago.

          http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/46098-geneva-resolution-justified-by-htota-attack-sf.html

          • 5
            0

            Good one! Thanks Prof!
            Please translate and publish in SINHALA Language newspapers since the Sinhalaya Modayas need voter education to elect proper EDUCATED and HONEST LEADERS.

            Today Sinhalaya Modayas only elect corrupt criminals who are racist and attack the minorities – DIVIDE, DISTRACT and RULE has been the motto of both the UNP and SLFP.

            These two parties and their leaders are responsible for the stupidity of the Sinhala Buddhist voter – after 60 year of democracy..

          • 0
            0

            http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/172-opinion/46134-pistol-wielding-drama-in-hambantota.html

            Please pass this info further to your colleague, friends and everyone.

    • 7
      0

      Dr. Laksiri Fernando,

      THANK YOU.

      Yes, he has no peoples mandate to contest again.

      He bribed the Shills.

      That is NOT a mandate.

    • 8
      0

      Dr. Laksiri Fernando,

      Thanks a lot for your excellent contributions to the debate in our tested country.

      But, what makes you think the ruling clan with their “street fighter” mentality is bothered by “mandates or moral rights”?

      Cheers!

    • 7
      0

      This is what the govt turn it to their stories today

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iDDUgpWK-g

    • 4
      1

      “President Rajapaksa doesn’t have a people’s mandate or a moral right to contest again and his candidacy, potential or otherwise, should be challenged morally, politically and even legally in the courts of law.”

      Every right thinking one of the nation will unequivocally agree with the clear analysis made by Prof. Laksiri Fernando above.

      At the time he contested as presidential candidate, people focused only that a president of the island has two terms to serve at maximum. But to have got that 18 Amd by abusing the right of 2/3 mandate in parliament, through former CJ Dr. SB was the greatest breach that this man has made to the nation. CJ´s great mistake was punished her being faced all the torments in the unconsitutional impeachment process made against her.

      Katussas like DJ and the like fraction would interpret this in favour of Murdersous Rajapakshe, as has been sofar.

    • 1
      0

      As it was the fate for MPs lately visited Hambantota – the state is making effort to keep the general public away from facts and figures of the ground realities – be it with so called developments projects, LLRC implemenatations, or any other issues of grave concerned.. are the same

      So anyone with sanity would sense – is the gravity of INJUSTICE being applied by CURRENT Regime.

      Simply – there is no more justice under this regime

      Singer NM´s song (link is added)- came to my mind as passing the comment.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fe4V1qbZkw

  • 10
    4

    Most all Sinhalese leaders have in some way or other subverted the constitution or law of Ceylon/Sri Lanka:

    D S Senanayake disenfranchised the estate Tamils.

    SWRD undermined the status of Tamil language from its national status it enjoyed several millenniums and discriminated against Tamils.

    Poor Dahanayake like a good teacher didn’t try dirty tricks, he came and went.

    Mrs Banda got drafted a new constitution removing clause 29 that
    provided protection to minorities of the Ceylon constitution without minorities’ consent. She also changed the name without Tamils’ or Muslims’ consent.

    JR Jeyawardena extended his term via an illegal referendum.

    Premadasa was the mass killer of 80,000 Sinhala youth with people like Gotapaiya’s help.

    Chandrika stated the so called war for peace and started making people disappear.

    Mahinda of course is the big Satan himself, and he is is giving the whole works! He made the law such that he can do anything he wants.

  • 4
    20

    Has Lucksiri gone Troppo ?..

    Or has he finally come to terms with e reality?..

    There is no way for the current Opposition to topple this Govt, which ,for the first time in its 60 year non British rule has given the inhabitants a better than even money chance, to catch up with the SE Asian countries in jobs, infrastructure, and economic development.

    And it was a bloody difficult assignment too,considering the fact that the same British Govts sponsored , financed and gave VVIP treatment to Terrorists who destroyed the country and killed over 200.000 thousand inhabitants over thirty years.

    Not stopping at that , the same British Govts are now collaborating with their fellow Westerners together with the extra powerful UN HR commissioner to f…k up the country again.

    And it is for two reasons and two reasons only,

    Which are to win the Diaspora vote in marginals , and put the UNP Christian Faction lead by Ranil in to power in order for him to give. the Vellala TNA its own Police and Land rights for the ex LTTE territory in the NE of Srilanka.

    Nearly 75 % of the Inhabitants in return have realized this evil Western Agenda well , and given the Mid Finger salute yet again to Cameron, Harper US , alliance and the UN HR Commissioner . at the most recent elections.

    Although this ex Professore who retired to greener pastures always want our inhabitants to practice his new found so called best practice of Western Politics,surely can’t be that darf not to realize that the great majority of the inhabitants will never vote for a Opposition which wants a Govt thrown out because, it defeated Terrorists and Developed the country to unbelievable level in just over 5 years.

    • 9
      1

      Hay Sumane,

      Yes this is the first time in Sri Lanka’s 60 year History that we saw a Army General who won the war was Jailed for 2 1/2 years for no apparent reason.

      Yes this is the first time in 60 year history that there is no Independent Police commission, no ind. Judiciary, election or Bribery commission. Also no Ind. media, and Journalism.

      Yes, this is the first time in 60 years we see container loads of Ethenol, Drugs and Cocain coming into the country openly through political Drug cartel Mafia operation.

      Yes with 18th amendment Alibabas are making mega commissions with Fake projects while Casinos are introduced.

      Poor and middle class people suffer most while Black money Mafias live in luxury driving Lamborghinis.

      Please go and preach your fake Bana to Monkeys.

    • 1
      0

      Sumane, take your prescribed medications before you fall flat!

  • 1
    0

    Look who the hell has such a peoples mandate or Moral Right to contest? What are the mechanisms we have in place to ascertain that aspiring candidates not only to the presidency but of all organizations have these? We do not have such mechanisms in place. I would like to see an organization that has any such mechanisms in place and in working order. WE DO NOT HAVE THEM BECAUSE WE DO NOT WANT THEM. WE ALL LOVE DICTATORS! Just look back a bit at JRJ, PREMADASA the most popular ones and before them the MAVO and then the CHANDIKA!

    Have you looked at the structure of the UNP? Anything democratic about that? Have you seen how the UNP and SLFP have conducted themselves in the past? Has anything changed?

  • 2
    5

    Dr. Laksiri Fernando:

    Since when does one need a peoples’ mandate to *contest* an election?

    • 1
      0

      Navin,

      Contesting an election is government by certain rules within constitutionalism and also moral codes. If you argue that an ‘election’ itself would resolve that problem, most probably a manipulated election in this case, you subscribe to what Hitler advocated: ‘if I am elected, I have the mandate.’ You may ask what these moral codes are and who determine them. Think hard and determine yourself.

      • 0
        0

        Superb hit to Navin

      • 0
        0

        Dr. Laksiri Fernando:

        There is no need to be short. This attitude will not earn you any respect.

        We may not always agree with peoples’ choice but we should be able to respect their decision. To argue against validity of peoples’ choice or the right of candidates to seek a mandate is rather poor. It only shows our arrogance.

        • 0
          0

          Dear Navin,

          There is no issue here of agreeing or disagreeing or respecting or disrespecting with a ‘people’s choice’ in the case of President’s third term candidacy beyond the second. It has not yet arisen. I am nevertheless raising particularly the morality of a third term. If you try to imply that he has a people’s mandate to contest again breaching the tradition and then prevailing constitution it is not correct. The people’s choice at the last election in selecting him as the President we all must respect while preserving the right to criticize. As you (may) know I was one who campaigned for him at that election. There was no right for a President to seek a mandate for a third term at that time. That was created by the 18th Amendment without a people’s mandate. That is what I was pointing out among other things. Let me ask you a question: Do you support the 18th Amendment or not?

          If I had appeared ‘short’ or arrogant in my previous reply, that was not at all the intention. I have no reason to be arrogant.

          • 0
            0

            Dr. Laksiri Fernando/
            Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,

            Thank you for your responses.

            18th amendment is many things. With the exception of term limits, I do not support it. As for term limits, I consider it a nice to have but not a requirement.

            Let us face it. The reason TNA, its supporters and pro-devolutionists hate MR is because he is this ugly monstrosity that is standing in their way. So they come up with all these other skeletons in MR’s cupboard to justify his removal. This is wrong. I’m not ready to jump in on this band wagon.

            For me what is more important is the compromise that is going to be agreed upon between Tamil and Sinhala political establishment on the ethnic issue. It has to be a fair deal for everyone and a one that is workable too.

            There has to be give and take not just more provinces, more MPs, more vice presidents of different religious/ethnic affiliations. Having 9 provinces is not the solution because we do not want to be seen to be devolving powers to north/east only. Are the people in other areas asking for devolution? I think it is madness to even suggest that we should have two or more vice presidents from different ethnic groups. What is the constitutional stricture that ensures, power devolved cannot be used for separation? What is the assurance that safeguards included to this end are actually effective?

            This is why I keep appealing to you to come up with a robust constitutional framework that could resolve this problem instead of focusing your energies on numerous skeletons here and there.

            I do not agree that MR is an impediment to resolving the ethnic issue because I have not seen any acceptable solution yet. MR is no more an impediment than TNA. Yes, MR is a barrier for those who want to impose unfavorable deals on majority community. I have no problem with MR blocking such unscrupulous efforts.

            • 0
              0

              Navin,

              From your present posting, it appears to me that you are not against a reasonable solution to the ethnic/minority or the Tamil question. Perhaps you are worried about a solution going to the other extreme. If that is the case your concern is valid and even I can share that. However, devolution would not pose such a threat. My reasoning first is philosophical or psychological. If someone has a grievance or aspiration and wants to break from you, the best solution is to meet that grievance or aspiration half way through. Why half way through, because all grievances and aspirations are usually exaggerated. If you do it genuinely, the urge to break from you would vanish or diminish. This is not only a theory but there are examples in practice. Tamil Nadu is one example. Quebec is another example. Of course, there is the counter argument that more people get more people want. But I don’t subscribe to that theory or understanding. Even if there is some truth in it, that can be countered through good will and education and shared responsibilities.

              You have also asked what is the best constitutional guarantee to prevent separation. I don’t think unitary state is the or a guarantee. Too much rigidity can be a cause for a constitutional break. Prevention of separation is political and not constitutional. Of course I don’t have an objection for a indissoluble union or republic. After crushing the LTTE and given the present situation, I don’t think another movement for separation is possible in the foreseeable future. A solution is necessary to prevent the recurrence. It might be possible through external intervention (also unlikely) but based on valid grievances or circumstances. Separation would be a disaster for all communities. Therefore a solution is a must. I always believed that the LTTE could be defeated and expressed the same very clearly. But I also believed that it would happen at a high cost. I thought that there would be a natural disadvantage to the Tamil community. It was unfortunate but unavoidable I thought. But I never thought that the UPFA would neglect and postpone basic steps to reassure the Tamil community. The UPFA has also changed a lot. But until the 18th Amendment, I didn’t realize that the cost also would be at the expense of democracy. That was my break point. You seem to prefer the 17th Amendment and the independent commissions. But at the same time support the removal of the term limit. It is simply unfortunate. I could have understood if it was the other way around.

              You have a general objection for devolution when you ask: are the people in other areas asking for devolution? I am of the opposite view. People don’t always ask the right thing. But they accept and admire. Even they didn’t ask universal franchise in 1931. Devolution is a system that many Asian countries had in the past. That is the case even in Sri Lanka. I also value horizontal democracy. Somewhere in 1995 when I was in the country I said “devolution is necessary also for balanced development” at a seminar. It became the headline of the evening Times. I am saying this to show that I have always of that opinion. When we go to France, we see everything concentrated in Paris. But it is not the case in Switzerland or Germany. Things are by and large evenly distributed.

              I do criticize MR. But it’s not merely a personal criticism. There is a major failure after the winning of the war against terrorism. What a good opportunity that we are missing or have missed. One example is the support of Dr. Narendran. A reversal is not now possible through the present regime. But the transition should be peaceful and democratic. Otherwise the change also will be a disaster. You have also criticized or objected to some of my other propositions like two vice presidents. You may have some valid arguments. But those are not the core points that I have raised.

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                Dr. Laksiri,

                I agree with everything you say in para 1 except the last sentence. “Even if there is some truth in that, it can be countered through good will and education and shared responsibilities.”

                Even if they do not separate they can easily monopolize resources in the N/E. I do not see how this is prevented by current proposals.

                It is my view that we are gambling too much in that last sentence. I think this is not necessary. It is quite reasonable to ask Tamil side to give up something in return which would make separation unworthy but does not impact on their political/economic rights. If they are unwilling then that is proof that we are making a mistake in appealing to their good will.

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                  Dear Navin,

                  You have hit the nail on the head. The Monopoly of Resources using the British Administrative boundaries is at the core of the problem.

                  Kind Regards,
                  OTC

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                Dr. Laksiri,

                “Of course I don’t have an objection for an indissoluble union or republic.”

                I don’t believe that having a line in the constitution that says Sri Lanka is an indissoluble union provides any protection.

                “After crushing the LTTE and given the present situation, I don’t think another movement for separation is possible in the foreseeable future.”

                I agree with you that reconstituting/organizing the army LTTE had back in 2009 is a near impossible task. However, those who want to create havoc do not need that kind of an army. All they need to do is smuggle a few claymore mines into the country and detonate them every so often in crowded buses and trains. Now that’s not very difficult, isn’t it? When we say we are devolving police powers, we need to work out how we are going to handle this kind of warfare with a TNA managed police force in the N/E.

                Thank you for your responses.

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                Dr. Laksiri Fernando:

                “You have also asked what is the best constitutional guarantee to prevent separation. I don’t think unitary state is the or a guarantee. Too much rigidity can be a cause for a constitutional break. Prevention of separation is political and not constitutional.”

                I agree. We need to grant N/E a degree of freedom to their satisfaction or otherwise this country will break up irrespective of whatever we decide to call it in the constitution or how many military personal we station in the N/E. That would be a disaster not for the Tamils but for the Sinhalese. Trick is not to over do it and shoot ourselves in the foot.

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                  Navin,

                  “We need to grant N/E a degree of freedom “

                  How much?

                  “The LTTE did not come into being or grow into a world-class terror outfit in a vacuum. Without the Sinhala Only, the Tiger may have remained unborn. Without the Black July, the Tiger may not have grown exponentially. If the B-C Pact and the D-C Pact did not miscarry (thanks to the midwifery of Sinhala extremism), the LTTE, even if it was born, would have remained a fringe group.” http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2011/11/oppressed-north-lawless-south.html

                  A bit of history

                  Independence from Colonial rule

                  Britain granted independence to Ceylon in 1948 and implemented a unitary
                  Constitution with a second chamber (the Senate), Section 29 which gave a modicum of protection to minorities, and appeals to the Privy Council of Britain against decisions of the Supreme Court of Ceylon. The Westminster type of first past-the-post voting system gave the Sinhalese, with 74% of the population of the island, an in-built majority in Parliament.

                  One of the first initiatives of the independent government was the Citizenship Act, under which almost a million Indian-origin Tamils* lost their citizenship, resulting in the reduction of Tamil representation in Parliament by about 40%.

                  * The Tamil community is made up of Tamils who have lived in the North East for thousands of years and Tamils brought in the 1800s by the British to work on the tea & rubber plantations of the central highlands.

                  Sinhala hegemony

                  Directly after independence the Sinhalese started exercising their control in every sphere of activity. Discrimination in employment, education, development, and state-assisted colonization of the Tamil homelands by Sinhalese became state policy. Discrimination and efforts to change the demography of the Tamil areas continue to this day. The Sinhalese population in the Eastern Province, an important part of the Tamil homeland, a little over 4 % in 1924, is currently estimated to be over 30% and growing due to the latest manoeuvres. Tamils make up 12% of the island’s population, but hold only 5% of government jobs.

                  Tamils tried to get redress after independence by democratic and parliamentary methods, as well as by Gandhian satyagraha [non-violent protest].

                  Over the years Tamils have regularly been the victims of pogroms by Sinhalese hoodlums either aided by, or watched in silence by the armed forces, who are 99% Sinhalese and the police who are 95% Sinhalese.

                  Tamils first tried to live together in a unitary form of government with the Sinhalese community. When the Federal Party stood for elections in 1952, Tamils overwhelmingly voted for the Tamil Congress which supported a unitary state.

                  After much discrimination and oppression, Tamils voted overwhelmingly for the Federal Party in 1956. Two parliamentarians who stood for separation in that election were soundly beaten. At that time, therefore, Tamils preferred a Federal form of government to separation.

                  In 1956 a bill to make Sinhalese the only official language of the country was passed in parliament over Tamil protests. This was followed by island wide pogroms against Tamils in 1956 and 1958. The Prime Minister described the permanent posting of the armed forces in the North East after 1960 as an ‘army of occupation.’ The national flag was chosen with a prominent Sinhala lion and the national anthem is in Sinhalese.

                  Two pacts to provide autonomy to the Tamil areas, signed between the Tamil
                  Federal Party and the Sinhala party in power at that time were abrogated unilaterally by the respective governments following protests by the Sinhala party in opposition in 1957 and 1965.

                  In 1972 a new constitution was enacted without Tamil participation. The new constitution made the country a Republic, made Buddhism the foremost religion and eliminated the Senate, appeals to the Privy Council, and Section 29 which had given some protection to minorities.

                  Due to their inability to obtain any redress, and continued discrimination and numerous anti-Tamil pogroms, in 1976 all Tamil parties joined together and passed a resolution asking their Parliamentarians to seek the formation of a separate Tamil state in the Homelands of the earlier Tamil Kingdoms. This was the Tamil people’s mandate to their representatives.

                  At the next elections in 1977, and ever since then, this mandate has not been changed.

                  The Government enacted a new Constitution in 1978 creating an all-powerful executive president. Again the Tamil representatives did not participate in the constitution’s drafting. President Jayawardena said that under this constitution he had the power to do anything except change a man into a woman. The UK’s
                  Daily Telegraph quoted Pres. Jayawardene as having said “I do not care what the Tamils think, but my Sinhalese people will be happy.” He also introduced the Prevention of Terrorism Act, described by International Jurist Paul Seigart as the worst act of its kind in the world, including apartheid South Africa.

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                    Dear Anpu,

                    This is from a speech by Sir Ponnambalam Arunachelem, delivered at the 2nd General Meeting of the Ceylon Tamil League in 1922. Twenty six years before independence!

                    “…namely to keep alive and propagate these precious ideals throughout Ceylon, Southern India and the Tamil Colonies, to promote the union and solidarity of Tamilakam, the Tamil Land. We should keep alive and propagate these ideals throughout Ceylon and promote the union and solidarity of what we have been proud to call Tamil Eelam. We desire to preserve our individuality as a people, make ourselves worthy of our inheritance… We are not enamoured of that Cosmopolitanism which would make of as neither fish, fowl, nor red herring”

                    The Vision was of a great Tamil Kingdom that included Tamil India, Tamil Colonies and Sri Lanka. He wanted an overwhelmingly Tamil, Tamil Kingdom with the others as minorities within. He did not want a Sri Lanka where the Tamils would be a minority, though it was physical fact.

                    What does that signify?

                    Their are three kinds of Tamils in Lanka from way back before Independence.

                    1. The Ruling Class of Tamils.
                    2. The Servile Class of Tamils
                    3. The Indian Origin Tamils.

                    The Indian Origin Tamils were right at the bottom of that pyramid.

                    Sir Ponnambalam Arunachelem represented the Ruling Elite and canvassed the British to recognise that elitism and perpetuate it. He wanted the main tool that the Ruling Elitists used, in subjugating the rest of the Tamils (who by the way formed the overwhelming Majority of Tamil polity) written into the Ceylon Constitution.

                    Hence when you are talking of Tamils you are talking of the Ruling class of Tamils who are but a SMALL minority group of the larger Tamil Polity. Please don’t pretend that you cared for the third group of Tamils at the bottom of the Tamil pyramid when you did not care a tuppence for the middle group!

                    You said “Section 29 which gave a modicum of protection to minorities, and appeals to the Privy Council of Britain against decisions of the Supreme Court of Ceylon”

                    You have been bringing the Citizenship Act into question ad infinitum.

                    You must be hoping that repeating a Lie, an infinite times, will turn it to a Truth. Was that not tested at the Privy Council?
                    Did not the Lanka Tamils vote for the Citizenship Act? They did.
                    Selective memory loss perhaps?

                    The Citizenship Act was UPHELD by the Privy Council at a time when the Soulbury Constitution was the Supreme Law of Ceylon and Section 29 was active. Surely you are not insinuating that the Privy Council, the Highest Court of the British Empire, Colluded with the Ceylon Govt, to Prostitute the Soulbury Constitution, enacted by the Brits themselves, to DISENFRANCHISE the Indian Origin Tamils?

                    If that’s what they did then the British Judiciary was either stupid or corrupt. Were they?

                    This is not the time for Eelamist Propaganda Anpu, sanity must prevail if reconciliation is the objective.

                    You say “The Tamil community is made up of Tamils who have lived in the North East for thousands of years and Tamils brought in the 1800s by the British to work on the tea & rubber plantations of the central highlands”

                    You are writing about two groups of Tamils
                    1. The indigenous Lanka Tamils
                    2. The Alien Indian Origin Tamils

                    Regarding the second group, you admit they were brought here by the British in the 19 th century. The Indian Origin Tamils are living in the Central Highlands even today. How can you claim they are living in the East as you imply? Isn’t that a Lie?

                    The East, up to Elephant Pass in the North (not the British admin boundaries) was part of the Sinhala Kandyan Kingdom. I don’t deny the possibility of Tamils inhabiting the Sinhala Kingdom just as there are Tamils inhabiting the South today (more than half the total Tamil population lives in the South). What evidence do you have to EXCLUDE the Sinhalese from a Sinhala Kingdom?

                    Are you saying that the Sinhala Kingdom was devoid of Sinhalese because there were Tamils living in it?

                    You say “Directly after independence the Sinhalese started exercising their control in every sphere of activity

                    Discrimination in employment, education, development, and state-assisted colonization of the Tamil homelands by Sinhalese became state policy. Discrimination and efforts to change the demography of the Tamil areas continue to this day. The Sinhalese population in the Eastern Province, an important part of the Tamil homeland, a little over 4 % in 1924, is currently estimated to be over 30% and growing due to the latest manoeuvres”

                    The Sinhalese and Tamils existed long before the Brits arrived.
                    What you call the Eastern Province and the Northern Province did not exist then. Those are British Constructs to allow them to administer and collect revenue.
                    It has no relevance to Habitation!

                    Using the colonial constructs to lay a claim on the Land is thievery and a Land Grab. Please be honest rather than singing the same propaganda song. Haven’t that caused enough grief?

                    You claim nearly 40% of Lanka as a Tamil Area.
                    There are 11.21% Lanka Tamils and 4.16% Indian origin Tamils
                    More than half the Lanka Tamils and almost the entirety of Indian origin Tamils live in the multicultural South.

                    Yet you lay an exclusive claim to 40% of Lanka’s Land for 5.6% of her population.

                    Please Justify.

                    The Lanka Tamil population in 1911 was 528,000 (the first time they were enumerated separately). The Sinhala population in that year was 2,715,500 or 5.8 times the Lanka Tamil population. This ratio has consistently been greater than 5 for the 70 years between 1911 and 1981.

                    The Lanka Tamil population has increased by 1,358,000 in 70 years or 257%

                    The Sinhalese population increase over the same period is 8,263,900 or 404%

                    The above provides an approx picture of Lanka’s indigenous Sinhala and Tamil populations.

                    If the Sinhala population in 1701 was a 100,000 the Tamil population would be 20,000 approx.

                    How much of Land can the Tamils of that vintage inhabit?
                    Seriously, can it be 40% of Lanka?

                    When the Brits arrived, 85% of Lanka was Forest. While a percentage of that would have been used for slash and burn agriculture, only the jungle people such as Veddha and wild animals could claim to inhabit that.

                    Why did you take 1924 as a base year?
                    The East was a part of the Sinhala Kingdom of Kandy even when the Dutch arrived in the 1600s!

                    When you say “Tamils make up 12% of the island’s population, but hold only 5% of government jobs”

                    Lanka Tamils make 11.21% and Indian Tamils 4.16%

                    I note that you have excluded the I/origin Tamils.

                    Getting back to your question of govt jobs how many of that 11.21% have an education?

                    Education was allowed for only a small % of the ruling class of Tamils. I don’t think you need me to give you examples of that.

                    According to a Lady Tamil journalist now living and writing from UK, that percentage was 25% of Lanka Tamils. Meaning that Less than 3% of Lanka Tamils had the education to do a govt job (other than scavenging/menial jobs). The rest were deprived of an education by the Tamils themselves.

                    According to a Sinhalese Government Agent who worked in the North, it is 40%. Meaning less than 5% of the Lanka Tamils had the education to hold a Govt job. Again the balance 60% were deprived of an education by the Tamils themselves.

                    Even if we take the more favourable estimate of the Sinhala GA, the capable Tamils had a 100% govt employment!

                    You asked at the beginning about the degree of freedom the N and E should have.

                    Why don’t you place your proposal on the table?
                    It is your call isn’t it?

                    I will deal with the rest of your post in a subsequent comment as it is already too long.

                    Kind Regards,
                    OTC

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                      Dear CT Readers and Anpu,

                      Correction

                      In my post time stamped April 28, 2014 at 3:35 am addressed to Anpu above, the 3% and 5% in the statements reproduced below refer to the number of educated Tamils as a percentage of the Lankan population and not as a percentage of the Lanka Tamil population.

                      “Meaning that Less than 3% of Lanka Tamils had the education to do a govt job (other than scavenging/menial jobs)”

                      “Meaning less than 5% of the Lanka Tamils had the education to hold a Govt job”

                      The error is regretted.

                      Kind Regards,
                      OTC

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            Dear Dr Laksiri Fernando,

            You said “There was no right for a President to seek a mandate for a third term at that time. That was created by the 18th Amendment without a people’s mandate”

            Which amendment to the Constitution had a people’s mandate?
            13A didn’t have but we have the Provincial Councils and a proliferation of ministers and councilors and Governors.

            I agree that the rule of law has degraded.
            I agree that the impeachment of CH SB was perverted.

            But your argument about a moral right to contest is a fallacy.

            The Constitution at Independence did not limit the number of terms of the PM.

            Does the UK and India have such limits?

            Kind Regards,
            OTC

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              Dear Off the Cuff,

              I did quote Mahinnda Chinthana (2010) and showed that there was no mandate sought from the people to remove the term limit. That means there was no mandate. Therefore, the 18th Amendment was unethical. Even thereafter, it didn’t seek a fresh mandate through a referendum. It was not done. You have specifically asked me “Which amendment to the Constitution had a people’s mandate?” The answer is 4th Amendment. There was a referendum. My effort is not to give you blunt answers. We need to take all factors (constitutional, political and moral) into consideration and make our own judgments. In my view, we are at the brink of a major danger to democracy. I hope I am wrong.

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                Dear Dr Laksiri Fernando, Navin and Dr Rajasingham Narendran,

                I have always supported devolution but I agree with what Navin says “For me what is more important is the compromise that is going to be agreed upon between Tamil and Sinhala political establishment on the ethnic issue. It has to be a fair deal for everyone and a one that is workable too.

                How do you ensure a fair deal by perpetuating British Administrative boundaries that has no relevance to the population living within those boundaries?

                About 80% of Land in Lanka is Public Land and about half of that is situated in sparsely populated administrative boundaries. Shouldn’t we redraw the boundaries to reflect the population living within them? This is a Key issue with Lankan polity that has not been considered.

                Hence Navin’s observation “Yes, MR is a barrier for those who want to impose unfavorable deals on majority community” is valid.

                I agree with Dr Laksiri’s observation “Separation would be a disaster for all communities. Therefore a solution is a must. ……… But I never thought that the UPFA would neglect and postpone basic steps to reassure the Tamil community“

                Dr Laksiri,
                You say “I did quote Mahinnda Chinthana (2010) and showed that there was no mandate sought from the people to remove the term limit. That means there was no mandate. Therefore, the 18th Amendment was unethical”

                I agree with you that part of 18A is unethical except for the Term limit part. It only allows him to contest. If he get’s elected he will have the mandate if not he wont be in power.

                You say “You have specifically asked me “Which amendment to the Constitution had a people’s mandate?” The answer is 4th Amendment. There was a referendum”

                That is the answer to my question.
                Out of 18 amendments only one had a mandate (though it was a farce to maintain the 4/5ths seats in Parliament). The 12th did not see the light of day. That means 16 of them didn’t have a peoples mandate including one of the most important, the 13th, which gave birth to the Provincial Councils and made Tamil an Official Language and English a link Language. Compared to ALL these, the “Term Limit” is insignificant as that does not automatically allow the incumbent President a third or fourth term, he or she has to get the peoples mandate to get elected.

                The Constitution of Lanka mandates that the clauses on language, religion and Unitary State require both a two-thirds majority and approval at a nation-wide referendum.

                The 13A has contravened the Constitutional requirement and is hence unconstitutional.

                Do we throw the 13A out, along with the PCs and the Official Status of Tamil and the link language status of English because it does not have a Peoples Mandate at a Referendum? I think that is counter productive and a Retrograde step.

                Why the selective application of ethics?

                You say “My effort is not to give you blunt answers“

                I won’t take offense even if you do so. You are welcome to be blunt if the need arises.

                Dr RN,
                You said “Yes, what you say was true of the parliamentary democracy and a constitution that yet had checks and balances against misuse of power. Under the 1978 constitution the executive presidency has such umbridled power that the time limit was imperative”

                JR designed the 1978 Constitution expecting the UNP to be in perpetual power as even when it lost an election it had a majority of votes. RW was a prime mover of that Constitution. The UNP created a monster and the monster has grown with its tentacles reaching far afield.

                Let’s examine what a term limit does.
                It automatically puts an end to the incumbent at the end of a second term. Did that have the peoples mandate? No.
                Then why ask for a peoples mandate to remove it?
                If the people find the incumbent not suited to go beyond the second term THEY will remove him.

                (Did the UNP have a mandate to enact a new Constitution? Yes)

                Lee Kuan Yew was prime minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. A period of 31 years. Relating this to Sri Lanka it is equivalent to 5 + consecutive terms in office. During that period Singapore became an Economic power house but it was a Police State where dissension and Proselytisation was not allowed.

                The danger in the 18A is not the “Term Limit” but the power over appointments to high public office. This happened because we did not have CJ’s with the integrity and backbone of CJ Neville Samarakoon who faced impeachment by an UNP govt. The Judiciary led by subsequent CJ’s slowly allowed the erosion of the Judicial power of the people which they wielded through the Judiciary. If such erosion did not take place and the Judiciary acted with independence when those attempts were made, we would have had the Fundamental Rights of the Constitution upheld without fear or favour by a Supreme Court.

                You say “but more so from the dastardly manner in which the 2/3rd majority was constructed”

                I agree but what is the solution when it is done within the Constitution?

                I believe that the Constitution must make it mandatory for every party and every independent who contests a parliamentary or Presidential election to provide a Manifesto that is considered a contract between such candidate or party and the people. Such contract should be Justiciable in the Supreme Court and any contravention be sufficient to unseat him/her after election. In order to allow a conscience vote the MP should lose his/her seat after casting the vote and face reelection at a by election in his/her electorate and not be replaceable by his party unilaterally.

                Kind Regards,
                OTC

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              OTC,

              Yes, what you say was true of the parliamentary democracy and a constitution that yet had checks and balances against misuse of power. Under the 1978 constitution the executive presidency has such umbridled power that the time limit was imperative. The 18th amendment has removed even this constraint. The present President has now the power to change the sex of men and women or bury them six feet deep, without questions being asked. The system has been rendered impotent by this President. This one aspect of the immorality.

              The immorality or lack of morality arises not so much from the many aspects of the 18th amendment, but more so from the dastardly manner in which the 2/3rd majority was constructed. A man who obtained votes on the basis that he will abbolish the executive presidency, through various under world manipulations, has constructed a 2/3rd majority to consolidate the executive presidency further and entrench himself and those whom he wants to succeed him in power almost perpetually. He did this in his own personal interest and not in the interest of this country. If the present persanlity cultism goes on, Sri Lanka would end up being named ‘Mihin Lanka’!This would be the end result of the immorality being entrenched in our system.

              If he had obtained the peoples mandate to do what he has done, it could be argued that he had he mandate to do so, although it was wrong. The many other things he has done using the powers he has usurped by loosening further all constitutional and moral restrints is unpardonable. His is an immoral presidency and he and his government have to be dethroned.

              He may be the proverbial ‘Naked Emperor, but we, the people cannot any longer pretend that he is not naked. We will be rendered not fools, but lunatics, if we do so.

              Dr.RN

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                Dear Dr RN,

                My reply is here April 25, 2014 at 11:02 pm

                Kind Regards,
                OTC

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                  Dear OTC,

                  Thanks.

                  Solutions to the contentious land issue cannot come before meaningful reconciliation and assuring the political , social and security status of the Tamils within Sri Lanka. Absolute equality between the Tamils and Sinhalese as citizens and communities should be the prerequisite. Until the Tamils feel threatened within Sri Lanka and you will agree that they have very valid reasons to feel so, the Tamils will not relent on the land issue. This is strong gut feeling across width and length of the Tamil community, which took several years for me to understand. Land is the only legitimacy they have been permitted within Sri Lanka, though this too has been under siege for a long time.

                  When everyone is treated as equal Sri Lankans, then the ‘ Sanctuary’ mindset will dissipate among the Tamils. Like the Yala, Wilpattu and many other sanctuaries permitted for the wildlife in Sri Lanka, the Tamils too have been forced to struggle to preserve sanctuaries for themselves and generations that succeed them. To put it bluntly the Sri Lankan state has treated the Tamils worse than its wild life! This is not rhetoric. A once proud citizens of Sri Lanka have been brutalised and marginalised to an extent, they would not have imagined at independence.

                  This is unfortunate and should not have been so,. I am not a bigot or a chauvinist, but I empathise with Tamil fears. These fears are rational when viewed against their bitter experiences. These fears have to be assuaged and allayed before modern and not tribal solutions are found to the ‘ Land Problem’ . The cart cannot be placed in front of the horse, if it is to move.

                  Dr.RN

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                    Dear Dr Rajasingham Narendran,

                    You stated “I am not a bigot or a chauvinist, but I empathise with Tamil fears. These fears are rational when viewed against their bitter experiences.”

                    I am aware of what you went through during the politically instigated rioting in 1983. With all humility I admit I can never really feel what you felt then, though some of us shared that fear of impending death and brutality at the hands of goons when we gave refuge to Tamil families within our own homes.

                    We risked our own lives, the lives of our women and children and the safety of our properties to provide safe refuge for weeks to our Tamil neighbours, colleagues and friends when even buying unusual quantities of bread to feed them was a serious risk. We bought bread from different bakeries and buying from outside town to hide the fact that we had guests inside the house. It was the Burghers and the Sinhalese who did so as the Muslims could not do so. You are one of the minute few who acknowledge the selfless help given in your hour of need.

                    No I don’t think you are a bigot or a chauvinist and am extremely sorry if I had failed to make that clear in my writings.

                    Re “Solutions to the contentious land issue cannot come before meaningful reconciliation and assuring the political , social and security status of the Tamils within Sri Lanka.”

                    That the Tamils feel safe amongst the Sinhalese is underlined by the fact that the Tamils voluntarily chose to live amongst the Sinhalese even after the 1983 pogrom. Jaffna was second only to Colombo in the past. There is no exodus to the North though it had seen unprecedented post war infrastructure development (at anytime in the History of Lanka).

                    The Tamils buy immovable property in the South, a clear indication of the absence of security fears. Hence any sanctuary arguments does not hold any water. However, if a sanctuary is still needed, I can’t see why a Just claim to land cannot be made by delimiting the Provincial boundaries to make such a claim equitable and hence acceptable to the rest of the inhabitants of Lanka. The redrawn boundaries can be made use of to create another Province or Centrally administered territories as in India and the USA.

                    Please see my post addressed to Anpu at this link (https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/president-rajapaksa-has-no-peoples-mandate-or-moral-right-to-contest-again/comment-page-1/#comment-1017903)

                    Tamil politics even pre independence was aimed at a Tamil Akam (Kingdom) that had a Tamil majority within. The Tamil Akam spanned International borders in order to achieve an overwhelming Tamil country and was not limited to Lanka. The Lanka Tamil leadership was not happy to live in a country with a non Tamil majority. Though a minority, they had a majority mindset incompatible with the physical characteristics of the Lanka they lived in.

                    The exclusive claim to a Tamil homeland in the East is a disguised attempt at controlling the major part of Rare Resources of Lanka. It cannot be supported by any historicity or habitation. This is seen by the Lankan Polity at grass roots as thievery. Hence the horse is the Land issue and the cart is reconciliation.

                    Gal Oya the first govt funded, power and irrigation scheme.

                    The reservoir, the Senanayaka Samudra, is in the Uva Province and not in the Eastern Province. It is in the predominantly Sinhala, Monaragala District. The source of power generation and irrigation is not in the Eastern Province.

                    Water flows naturally from high ground to low ground. This physical characteristic determines the land that can be irrigated economically.

                    The Low ground in the East was mostly uninhabited jungle. It is this ground that was developed. The Land settlement scheme had 3 systems viz Left Bank, Right Bank and River division.

                    The number of persons in the Gal Oya scheme in 1981 was 316,692.
                    Of that number Non Sinhalese accounted for 74.8% and Sinhalese 25.2%.

                    The Sinhalese were settled in Wewagam Pattu, which is 99% Sinhalese. The data source is Prof. G.H. Peries. January 1991 ICES Report.

                    When it comes to financing the development however, the Sinhalese are called upon to pay a huge part of that cost. These costs are paid mostly via indirect taxes. Hence it is the Sinhala masses who mostly pay for the development by way of a Higher Cost of Living. The question then arises as to why they should suffer and subsidize development in areas where they have no return on their investment.

                    Today almost 75% of the debt burden of development is paid by the Sinhalese. That is a fact that has to be accounted for in order to reach an Equitable and Just solution to this vexed problem.

                    Kind Regards,
                    OTC

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                      Dear OTC,

                      Thanks for your comment.

                      To reply briefly,

                      1. It is only the Tamils who have been isolated from the Sinhalese for 30+ years or have been the direct victimes of the various riots and police-armed force-paramilitary brutality/ overhandedness who equate all the Sinhalese with what has befallen them. They are the majority.

                      The Tamils who have interacted closely with the Sinhalese and experienced their overwhelming decency do not do so. Their voice is seldom heard.

                      However, every Tamil to almost the last person would blame the Sri Lankan governments that they equate with the Sinhalese, for the fate that has befallen them.

                      This is the ground reality and can be changed only by a sea change in how the government is approaching the problem.

                      After the war, I was keen on moving our residence in Colombo.5 to Nawala or Battaramulla. However, the developments since around 2012, have forced me to abandon the idea. The BBS-Sinhala Ravaya phenomenon, how the government responded to it and the increasing likelihood that the ‘Tamil Problem’ will not be resolved as it should be by this government, underscore this caution. This ‘fear’ has raised its head among many Tamils, once again. The spark of hope that was kindled in Tamils like me soon after the war that this government will act sensibly and wisely, has been smothered by its actions.

                      2. My stand on the land issue stands, with the proviso that the voluntary movement of Sinhalese amd Muslims, is their right and should be accepted by the Tamils. Covert and overt state-sponsorship of any kind is not acceptable as things stand.

                      3. You have pointed out that the state and hence the majority, who are the Sinhalese pay for the river diversion and related land development expenses. It need not continue to be so. If there is proper devolution and centre-periphery agreements on the allocation of waters to the north from the rivers that flow across various provincial boundaries, an empowered NPC would be able mobilise funds to pay for whatever needs to be done in the northern province.

                      Further, the Tamils too pay the same indirect taxes as the others and hence their share of taxes also have gone into projects in the other provinces over the decades,while it was not possible to spend anything on northern development (with the exception of the war).

                      Until there is a truly national mindset in governance, the land issues in the north and the east cannot be resolved in a desirable manner. This ‘Desirable manner’ should come into play in the life of ALL citizens in Sri Lanka, before the land issue can be addressed in a dispassionately, as is required.

                      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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                      Dr. RN says:

                      My stand on the land issue stands, with the proviso that the voluntary movement of Sinhalese and Muslims, is their right and should be accepted by the Tamils. Covert and overt state-sponsorship of any kind is not acceptable as things stand.

                      If this problem is to be resolved, everyone will have to give and take.

                      It is in the interests of those who actually live in the country to have this issue resolved irrespective of what those who live outside the country believe. People should understand the “opportunity cost” of this problem dragging on.

                      If some stakeholders try to have the cake and eat it at the same time, a compromise is not possible.

                      People can believe whatever they want about what is historically and rightfully theirs to have. These beliefs cannot be reconciled. However, if they can understand the opportunity cost and are willing to bring something attractive to the others to the table, an arrangement that is mutually acceptable and beneficial is certainly possible.

                      I can understand why you hold on to land so strongly. Rest assured the other side will also fight for it with equal ferocity forever it takes for it is also equal to them as much for the same reasons.

                      Trying to ouster MR and install someone more “amenable” to devolution is like MR trying to bump off TNA and install EPDP in the N/E. Both are equally futile/disastrous efforts.

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                      Dear Dr Rajasingham Narendran,

                      “It is only the Tamils who have been isolated from the Sinhalese for 30+ years”

                      More than half the Tamils live in the South amongst the Sinhalese, so how can they be isolated? The poorer Northern Tamils were compelled to stay in the North for centuries and the only contact they had with the Sinhalese were with those who were living in the North. That ended when the North was ethnically cleansed by the LTTE.

                      “… or have been the direct victimes of the various riots”

                      There were no riots before 1939 between Tamils and Sinhalese but there were 4 riots (1871, 1923, 1929 and 1931) amongst the Tamils.

                      “…and police-armed force-paramilitary brutality/ overhandedness”

                      The paramilitaries were a creation of the Tamils themselves. Their brutality was initially directed at the Sinhalese (did the Tamils object then?). Later, due to LTTE brutality directed at them they had no other alternative to preserve themselves than seeking help from the armed forces. For the armed forces this was an opportunity to weaken the LTTE, which was taken. The beginning of the downfall of the LTTE were these groups that are termed the paramilitaries.

                      Today though the LTTE as a force is absent those who helped the LTTE directly or indirectly are still present.

                      Even a cursory look at the two JVP insurrections will make it clear that the brutality and over handedness of the Police and armed forces is not specific to the Tamils. The Sinhalese were at the receiving end in equal measure and perhaps more so. You did not see the Police equivalence of the LTTE’s Lamp post killings in the North but we saw a largely magnified form of it in the South during the JVP insurrection. Hence though it is reprehensible and abominable, giving it a racial twist is unjustified and without foundation.

                      Even recent civil protests in the South ended up with protestors being killed and brutalized.

                      “…. who equate all the Sinhalese with what has befallen them. They are the majority”

                      That is a conditioned response nurtured by the Tamil Politicians for a very long time (nearly a century). What follows is a brief Chronology of how that was achieved.

                      Dr Jane Russell states in “Communal politics under the Donoughmore Constitution, 1931-1947” (Tissara publishers)

                      “The learned legislator (Ramanathan) led two delegations during the late 1920s demanding the Colonial Office in London that Caste be encoded into the legislative enactments of Ceylon”

                      This would have enslaved 81.5% of Lanka’s Tamil population in perpetuity by 18.5% of the Tamils, a small minority of Tamils that Mr. Ramanathan represented (1921 census).

                      In 1929 the govt issued an ‘equal seating directive’ that was applicable to ALL grant-aided schools throughout Lanka. This meant that every student in govt aided private schools had to be seated at similar desks and chairs/benches.

                      This caused Rioting but ONLY in the Tamil North. Why?
                      The rioters (who were Tamil) burnt a large number of houses mainly of low caste Tamils. Their children en mass were stopped from attending schools. Repeated petitions were made to the government by ‘high caste’ Vellalars begging to cancel the directive!

                      The “Hindu Organ” was a Tamil/Anglo fortnightly Newspaper which was founded in September 1889 by the Siva Paripalana Sabai (they own it even today). Mr. T. Chellappa-pillai, who was the retired Chief Justice of Travancore and also a renowned mathematician, an eminent English, Sanskrit and Tamil Scholar Edited the English pages while Mr T Kailasapillai the Nephew of Srila Sri Arumuga Navalar (the famous Tamil Nationalist) was the Manager and the editor of the Tamil pages. Both editors worked for free.

                      in 1939 the paper chronicled (p. 4 — June 22, 1939),
                      “Mr. Ponnambalam’s N’pitiya speech” and beneath it the strap line: “Mr. Bandaranaike’s challenge.”

                      The editorial (ibid) under the title “THE WRITING ON THE WALL”, said “….. A verbal bombshell dropped unwittingly by a Tamil politician at Nawalapitiya appears to have set the South on fire……. A slander against a community by an individual, though unintended, is inexcusable …… Communal differences, though there existed hardly any during the time of the last generation of leaders, have now been multiplied and intensified, thanks to the hot-heads and irresponsible talkers in the country who care more for the plaudits of the mob than for the welfare of the people. Ceylon today is seething with petty problems which have been created by thoughtless gas-bags, and which threaten to poison the peaceful conditions in the country….. Let us hope that wise statesmanship will prevail among leaders who should realize the imperative need for the welding of the communities into a Ceylonese Community for the political and economic salvation of the country. The writing on the wall is too clear to be ignored.”

                      (http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/06/09/part-iii-continuing-the-series-on-tamil-politics-and-culture-ponnambalam-rips-apart-centuries-of-communal-harmony/)

                      The accuracy of that editorial prediction underscores the turning point in Tamil politics from Cast to Race and pin points the time to the year 1939 and the instigator to Mr. Ganapathipillai Gangaser Ponnambalam, QC. The founder of the political party, “All Ceylon Tamil Congress”.

                      The racist politics let loose on Lanka by Mr G.G.P at Nawalapitiya, who 4 years earlier, declared that he was a PROUD DRAVIDIAN (Hansard, 1935, column 3045) managed to precipitate the FIRST ethnic riots of the 20th Century.

                      A Tamil Public Servant Mr V. Kandasamy was shot and killed by police on June 5, 1947 during a General Strike protest march.

                      The Governor was Henry Moore.
                      The Police were under Admiral, Sir Geoffrey Layton, Com in Chief.
                      The body was sent to the next of kin by the night mail train to Jaffna. GGP was at the Jaffna station blaming “the Sinhala government”.

                      During WW2 the Cooperatives were introduced by the British.
                      GGP claimed before the Soulbury Commission that the “Sinhala government” was plotting to undercut the Tamil traders.

                      Since 1935 blaming the Sinhalese was the name of the game in Tamil politics.

                      The Prevention of Social Disabilities (Amendment) Act No. 18 of 1971 was introduced by a Sinhala majority Govt. It benefited the Tamils at the grass roots level immensely by liberating them from an iron grip that was suffocating them for centuries.

                      But 14 years before that, The Prevention of Social Disabilities Act of 1957 became law. It did not have the teeth the 1971 amendment brought into force which allowed the Police to initiate action instead of the victim who was generally poor and destitute.

                      The 14 year delay in complying with the spirit of the PSDA underlines again who the Tamil Politicians represented, the Tamil Polity in general or the clan they belonged to.

                      When racism is aroused everything else is forgotten. Can the Tamils blame the Sinhalese for the riots of 1871, 1923, 1929 and 1931 where there was no Sinhalese involvement and even the first race riot of 1939?

                      The inability to look inwards and the propensity to find scapegoats has been going on for a very long time. Dr Russel observes in page 240, “the more and more rapacious demands of the Tamils”

                      De-programming the Tamil polity who has been brain washed by a near Century of Racist Tamil Politics can be done only by the Tamil Intelligentsia and the Tamil Politicians.

                      The current Tamil leadership is still following in the foot steps of GGP. The perpetuation of that perception is to their political advantage. Hence it is high time that the Tamil intelligentsia step in, to wean the Tamil Polity of racism.

                      I will be dealing with the Land issue in my next post

                      Kind Regards,
                      OTC

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                      Dear Navin,

                      Thanks for your comment.

                      Considering the history of the Parliamentary Select Committees (PSCs) on the ‘ National Question’ in the past and how these Committees on other subjects have functioned in more recent times, we can expect only more of the same time buying exercises or greater dastardliness in the future. We do not have the needed quality in our parliament at present, to provide a forum to discuss, debate and propose visionary solutions to the problems we are confronted with. The parliament, in the manner it has been constituted and the manner in which it functions, in addition to nature of our ‘Executive Presidency’ , are the root cause of the fundamental problems we face. We, as a people, have foolishly colluded in ‘Lumpenising’ all aspects of the state in this country. Unless we wake up to this truth, there will be no solutions in sight,

                      In these circumstances, the only alternative is to appoint a National Commission of eminent persons in the country to study the issues and propose solutions. They can be mandated to study the previous PSC reports, including the Tissa Vitharana APRC report, call for public oral and written presentations, study how similar issues in other countries have been dealt and propose solutions. There are such eminent persons yet in this country, though we may have an acute short supply soon.

                      The government however has to publicly pledge that it would take these recommendations seriously, make the sincere effort to give them effect through due process. This should not be a made into a time buying exercise, once again,

                      I have very little faith in this government’s intention to seek such solutions, given how they have sought to govern this country in the post-war circumstances. It is not only the approach of this government to the a’tamil Question’ that has utterly disappointed me, but how it has set out to govern this country. What we have is not a government that governs, but an entity that has become a huge construction company that will do anything and everything, however low, to get its way, however wrong.

                      A change of government is imperative in the long term interest of this country. An alternate government, if not the best we can get and of course need, will be at least better than the one we have. If it proves otherwise, it is our karma!

                      Dr.RN

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                      Dear OTC,

                      Thanks ,

                      The South was largely abandoned by the Tamils after the 1983 riots, They returned to the South, only after life in the north and east became intolerable. It was a choice between being alive and surviving amidst discomfort and acute danger. It was a choice between a greater danger and a lesser danger, Tamils have continued to live in the a South now, because they have set roots there and have got used to the facilities Colombo especially offers, It would require only a minor anti-Tamil riot in Colombo, to make them run back to the north and east in their thousands, seeking sanctuaries. Further, there is very little interaction between Sinhalese and Tamils in the social sphere now. the a Tamils are living in cultural ghettos in the a South., including Colombo. These realities should be understood and accepted.

                      As to GGP and Sir.P. Ramanathan, they were politicians and demagoguery is their hallmark. I admired GGP for his eloquence and court room skills and not for his politics. What did he do for the Tamils that has lasted? Ramanathan was an intellectual and politician. He has left a lasting legacy in many mundane ways- schools, temple etc,. Anagarika Dharmapala once refered to him as the only leader who could save the Sinhalese from British predation. Sinhala leaders carried him on a palanquin from the Colombo harbour to his residence in Colpity, in appreciation of his efforts on behalf of the Sinhalese after the 1915 Sinhala-Muslim riots,

                      Ramanathan had his failures as a Tamil politician and can be considered the forerunner in the path Tamil politics took in response to the twists , turns, deviousness and opportunism in Sinhala politics. I had commented earlier that he was no Mahatma Gandhi. He was however leaps and bounds ahead of GGP.

                      Finally, the only lasting legacy of the LTTE is the near death blow it dealt to casteism in Jaffna. the phenomenon is not dead yet, but is in its death throes. The Tamils do not vocalise caste labels now and in the public sphere it is subtle and almost non-existent. Many of the so-called lower castes are economically and socially ascendant. This has made sections become Vellalahs by identity now!

                      The issues you raise are of marginal significance now, If the Tamils are living in larger numbers in the South, it is good sign. Make them feel equal, secure and welcome. Develop the north and increase the demand for a skilled work force and entrepreneurship there. More Sinhalese will have the incentive to move voluntarily to Jaffna and they will be welcome. The increased interactions and the resulting appreciation of each other, will lay the foundations for a strong future in unity.

                      Make the necessary changes to the system of governance, devolve power and share power. This will harbinger the changes in attitudes that are overdue from all sides.

                      Dr.RN

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                      Dear Dr Rajasingham Narendran,

                      If we wait for a regime change to bring about reconciliation we would be waiting in vain.

                      We should instead try to build up understanding between the various groups that constitutes the SL Polity, independent of the regime. That’s why I oppose the rhetoric an baseless claims that only serves to disseminate dissension.

                      There is no evidence that “The South was largely abandoned by the Tamils after the 1983 riots, They returned to the South, only after life in the north and east became intolerable. “ because they had no place to go other than overseas or to the clutches of Prabahkaran. The North and East was under the LTTE for a long time after 1981. No sane Tamil family would have moved within reach of LTTE given the policies of 1 person from each family for the war and Child abductions. The Tamils remained in the South and bought immovable property which they would have not done if the were insecure..

                      The Sinhalese are blamed for anything and everything.
                      Like GG Ponnambalam, bashing the Mahavamsa is a past time of many.
                      Both objectives are achieved by bashing the Sinhalese Buddhists.

                      A misguided Lady (who is shy to defend what she writes), in a recent article on CT about what she termed “Mahavamsa Buddhism” claimed that the Buddha walked out of his mother’s womb. The separatists and Proselytisation zealots etc were cheering her on!

                      What I want to point out is that all this is fruitless.
                      It will not bring us any closer to reconciliation.

                      My post to you of May 2, 2014 at 3:06 am attempted to dispel some of the false claims.

                      The Sinhalese are blamed for ethnic disharmony but the ethnic harmony that existed for centuries was torn asunder by a Tamil Politician who adopted Racism to climb the political ladder of Northern Politics. The Tamil run, Tamil owned and Tamil edited Anglo/Tamil newspaper “The Hindu Organ” published in Jaffna attests to that. This was in 1935, long before independence when there was no Language Act, no standardization of University entrance exam, no citizenship act etc to hang the “persecution coat” on.

                      The paradigm shift of Tamil politics from Caste/class to Racism occurred in the 1930s. The Father of Racial politics was Mr G.G. Ponnambalam the founder of the Tamil political party, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress.

                      That is an incontrovertible fact.

                      The Sinhalese are blamed for oppressing the Tamils but the truth is that it was the Tamils themselves who oppressed them and that oppression went on unabated despite Laws enacted by govt, until Prabahkaran became a force in the l990s. But today the very same oppressor is hiding behind the word “Tamil” and naming the Sinhalese as the oppressor!

                      Here is a quote from a former Govt Agent, Jaffna, Mr Nevile Jayaweera, who was handpicked by the PM (Mrs B) to implement the Language Act in the peninsular. He was also the General Manager of the Gal Oya Development Board.

                      “The vacuum created by the eviction of the Vellalas from the dominant role in Tamil politics has been filled by the non-Vellalas, who are now the major driving force of Tamil politics, whether in Sri Lanka or abroad. After unnumbered centuries the no-Vellalas have been unbound.

                      Several characteristics differentiate the non-Vellalas from the Vellalas as a political force. Whereas the Vellalas enjoyed a heritage of stability and power, the non-Vellalas inherit a legacy of instability and oppression. Whereas the Vellalas have been sophisticated and bourgeois the non-Vellalas are simplistic and crude. Whereas the Vellalas have been adept at dialogue and negotiation, the non-Vellalas are bereft of negotiating skills, which has been evidenced abundantly in recent years. Whereas the Vellala consciousness emanates a quiet confidence and a sense of dignity, the non-Vellalas are driven by paranoia and are highly volatile and prone to violence.

                      To understand the non-Vellalas as a potential political power house, we must grasp how their psyche has been shaped in the crucible of oppression, humiliation and suffering, for untold hundreds, or even thousands of years. Throughout their long sojourn in the wilderness, in India, and for the past 1000 years in Sri Lanka, they have known only authoritarian rule and oppression, and have never experienced democracy. If I am asked to identify one quality that characterises their collective consciousness, more than any other, I would unhesitatingly say that it is paranoia, that is, the disposition not to trust anyone but to see enemies and conspiracies lurking everywhere. Without any malicious intention I would say that their world-view is that of troglodytes i.e. creatures who live in underground caves”

                      http://nevillejayaweera.blogspot.com/search/label/Autobiographical%20Writings

                      The information contained in the above blog is invaluable in understanding the confrontational attitude of both the govt and the Tamil politicians of the day and the change that can be brought about by a non confrontational and wise administration to that confrontational politics. It also provides an unbiased look at the subjugation practiced by a minority of Elite Tamils on the Tamil Polity at large and how that became the crucible of the armed conflict. Compare it to the JVP insurrections. The pressure cooker of suppression, whatever the source, will burst at the seems eventually.

                      Continued confrontation and blaming the Sinhalese and the Buddhists unjustly will not bring about reconciliation.

                      When I point out the abominable Tamil Elite practices of persecution of their own people, it is as a defense against the unjust targeting of the Sinhalese and the Buddhists, the misrepresentation and prostitution of Truth. I don’t condemn a Tamil person just because he is a member of the Tamil Elite. I have amongst my friends such people, here and overseas, who are fine human beings.

                      BTW 1915 was not a Sinhala Muslim Riot. It was a Religious Riot

                      The Esala Perahera (the pageant of the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy) dates back to the 3rd century BC and is celebrated over 15 days. The day perahera on the 15th day ends with the water cutting ceremony at Porutota on the Mahaveli Ganga. The route from the Devale (Hindu Temple) to Porutota takes the Ambagamuwa Road and it had been so for millenniums.

                      In 1912 the Coastal Muslim threatened to riot if the perahara came within 100 yards of their Mosque (built in 1890s).

                      The Government Agent informed the Basnayake Nilame of the Devale that a license for the perahera was subject to complying with the Coastal Muslim demand. This was promptly rejected by Devale authorities and the 1912 Perahara was canceled and instituted action against the Attorney General on 30th September 1913.

                      Quote
                      “The trial of the case came before the District Court of Kandy on 20th March 1914 before Dr (later Sir) Paul E. Pieris, Acting District Judge of Kandy. The learned judge delivered his judgement on 4th June 1914, declaring the plaintiff ‘entitled to the privilege set out in the second paragraph of his complaint’ (viz. “the right and privilege of marching and to and from and through all the streets of the town of Gampola including that portion of Ambagamuwa street……. With elephants to the accompaniment of tom-tom drums and other musical instruments”). http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=7150

                      The British govt appealed to the Supreme Court, which duly dismissed the plaintiff’s action. Basnayake Nilame appealed to the Privy Council and Sir John Simon was retained to argue the appeal. The appeal was going in favour of the Basnayake Nilame.

                      28 May 1915 was Vesak day, which is celebrated island wide by the Buddhists of Lanka. The Devale authorities decided to hold the Pageant that had remained canceled since 1912.

                      quote ibid “the traditional Esala Perahera of the Walahagoda temple was held. The perahera followed its usual route along the Ambagamuwa road. But the Police prevented the procession from passing the disputed place. The Moors, encouraged by what they assumed to be support of the Police for their cause started jeering at the Buddhists marching in the procession and threw stones at them from the steps of the mosque. Retaliation was swift and inevitable.”

                      The pressure cooker that created the above was
                      quote (ibid) The Paddy Tax, the Waste Lands Ordinance, and the legislation to permit the opening of liquor shops across the island – all measures designed to increase the revenue of a rapacious imperial government – added fuel to an already burning political agitation in the country around the beginning of the last century. The first two were particularly oppressive to the rural paddy cultivators and small landowners. The Government used the Waste Lands Ordinance to sell what it considered crown lands to capitalists for development. This caused problems for large numbers of rural villagers who had traditionally owned and cultivated lands for which they did not possess any legal titles; they were just dispossessed of those lands. The liquor taverns legislation naturally caused much opprobrium among the predominantly Buddhist native population. Such arbitrary pieces of legislation and other similar acts of omission and commission were inflicted on the local people by a colonial government in which their participation was negligible“

                      It burst at the seems in 1915.

                      The current perception that 1915 was a Race Riot underlines the success of the propagandists in burying the Truth.

                      Kind Regards,
                      OTC

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          “There is no need to be short. This attitude will not earn you any respect. “

          earning respect from whom ? for your information , Prof Laksiri has earned enough respect from all walks of lives , be it from SL or overseas !!!! by the way isn’t it bit hilarious to remind prof Laksiri how to gain respect from a person who has no respect for the fellow human beings !

          “We may not always agree with peoples’ choice but we should be able to respect their decision. To argue against validity of peoples’ choice or the right of candidates to seek a mandate is rather poor. It only shows our arrogance.”

          having uttered all this , would you now respect Tamil people’s decision on N & E issue ?

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      Navin,

      The essay by Pearl S. Buck on leadership, reproduced by me in the following link explains the type of ledaership we need at this point in history. Mahatma Gandhi was never elected and he gave exemplary leadership of a quality that is the gold standard not only in India, but the world over. Adolf Hitler was elected with overwhelming majorities in elections, but drageed Germany into the most disgraceful phae of its history and almost total destruction. Hitler is one of the most reviled leaders in the world. Pearl Buck provides an excellant contrast between Gandhi and Hitler. I expect a response from you.
      https://www.google.lk/search?q=leaders+by+rajasingham+narendran+in+transcurrents&oq=leaders+by+&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j69i59j0l4.10534j0j8&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=9

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        Dr. RN,

        Thanks for the link. The world has changed since Ghandi s’ times. I don’t believe going in search of Ghandhis to solve today’s problems. We have to make do with the leaders that we have. Furthermore I don’t believe Ghandhi’s methods will work in the world today.

        MR is no Ghandhi. Nor is he a Hilter. Same for TNA. MR and TNA represent the will of their respective electorates. That must be recognized and accepted. It shows what needs to be accomplished as far as reconciliation is concerned. To say otherwise or label one electorate racists will not do any good.

        Making KJ, CBK or SF president will not solve our problems. Nor will making some monk from nowhere president for six months to abolish executive presidency. Abuse of law and order did not start with MR and will not end with MR. Therefore, what we need is not yet another candidate but a solution – that is workable and will address concerns of different people. MR is irrelevant.

        Yes, there have been reports, but my impression is that the reason that they didn’t make it out of respective committees that proposed them was for one they were not workable and two there was no discussion or persistent campaigning to have them accepted in wider society.

        Today we have pro- and anti-government media. This bias has diminished their standing in the society. When the opposition criticizes the government it should be without malice and with reason. When their moral standing is lost, there won’t be wide condemnation when government goons chase them later. More importantly, when opposition and media are in this sorry state, we cannot expect them to carry enough weight in the society to hold the government to task.

        Thus we go in search of candidates who can dwarf MR’s “Sinhalese Buddhists” credentials even if they happen to be monks, military generals, well known failed equally corrupt leaders of recent past or men of no accomplishment. We try to make coalitions out of parties so diverse thinking they will collaborate in governance when there is no evidence in the past political landscape of success. In fact all evidence indicates that such coalitions have failed.

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          The world may have changed but our values have not. If the world has changed for the better, then we can be happy, but if it has got worse, we cannot look the other way and expect the status quo to continue. In the case of Mahinda Rajapaksa, his lack of respect for good values, human rights, equality, justice, and the rule of law makes him eminently unsuitable for a third term.

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            Navin,

            I agree with Wickremasiri. Although, it is very difficult in life to have the ideal, we have to aspire towards it. We should not compromise with evil. Good begets good and evil begets evil. The latter has been the general trend in Sri Lanka. The people are confused now as to what is right and wong. Not onlt is the wrong proliferating,but also those pertpetuating and peddling the wrong, are prospering! In Jaffna, after the long Tiger interlude, there are yet many who say that they would teach someone a lesson if the Tigers were yet around! It is a mindset that will take a long time to shed.

            What has happened in Sri Lanka under the present government is that evil has been institutionalised and enthroned. the worst is religion is being made a societal evil.. JR did the same with many societalnorms and the UNP paid a price, from which it has not yet recovered. MR has gone several steps further than JR.

            When Pearl Buck refers to Gandhi and Hitler, the intent was to highlight the difference between two extremes. She also highlights the weakness of the electorate in a democracy. The people have to be led up the right path. Becuse they elect someone or a group does not mean they have chosen the wrong path, but that they have been misled.

            India slipped after Gandhi and precipitously so after Nehru. However, the people have started demanding high quality leadership and the Indian Supreme Court is a formidable barrier to misgovernance. Whereas our Supreme Court has been transformed into a Supine Court, by the present government.

            We have to have a change in government to establish the fact that governments can be changed by the people, when they want to. The people should not be taken for granted. The people are sovereign. This has to be proven now, if we are not to decline further into the abyss.

            Dr.RN

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          Navin,

          Thanks for your comment. I agree with Wickremasiri’s response. Unless we as a people demand impeccable standards from our politicians they will become worse by the day. They have hit rock bottom already and are convinced the people are imbeciles .

          Our vote is our weapon to assert our sovereignty and demonstrate to these politicians that we are their bosses. Power corrupts and absolute , unchallenged and prolonged power absolutely corrupts . We , as a people, should make a change happen. It will be the shock therapy required by those who have become mad with unchallenged power. The whole political structure needs a major shakeup, with our vote, before a bloody revolt becomes an unavoidable response.

          Dr. RN

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    Laksiri,

    You have carefully avoided, when speaking of a common candidate, to say whether you mean someone to govern for another term (presumably, or possibly) under the Executive Presidential system OR whether you are proposing a transitional president who will manage the abolition of the Executive Presidency.

    If the former your hopes of getting the TNA, UNP, JVP, SLMC, and possibly sections of the SLFP together, to govern for say 6 years as a coalition, is illusory; they have different ideologies and programmes.

    If the latter, it is very unwise to root, so strongly, for a particular candidate (Karu or anyone else). The CONCEPT of commonality for this unique short-term purpose has FIRST to be canvassed and won among all potential participants. Personalities can be discussed later. Rooting strongly for a particular individual now, for this (SI) option, will not be constructive.

    I have no issue with the rest of your article.

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      Kumar,

      I have not wilfully avoided the issue of permanent or transition. I admit it is not clear or stated. The abolition of the presidential system is of paramount importance. Mine is a suggestion of KJ since names are already in circulation. I don’t know the person at all, I mean personally. A least controversial person is the best. I am not a player in the game and therefore my perhaps premature suggestion should not prevent or influence any negotiations. We should be able to discuss matters openly and compromise. What is wrong in suggesting a name if that has come to my mind? That is how I operate, also considering the pertinence of course. If a person is agreed upon it might be good for that person to resign from his or her party.

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        Dear Laksiri,

        “We should be able to discuss matters openly and compromise. What is wrong in suggesting a name if that has come to my mind? That is how I operate, also considering the pertinence of course.”

        I also think that we should have the right to discuss everything openly. There is no wrong you naming you thought is the most appropriate for UNP. But studying the curse – ground realities prevailing in the country, as the opposition MPs were met with during their first ever visit made to the newly built airport, and in the aftermath of the incident, the state media (ITN) to spread it painting a totally blatant lies irrespective of the harm made to them, I feelnot much is informed to the general public, and that is the reason why they behaved so stupidly voting the criminals again and again.

        Thanks god, we could watch them on various of pvt media – we are still not helpless, but if teh criminal state mechanisms keep on burying the truth – what is point of having few PVT media to make people aware ?

        Jarapakshe should be a very rare kind of high criminal – to have been able to act totally unique sofar while being with people and deliver the totally different thing, as always have been sofar; even touching and licking the heads of the babies to show his made hearted feeling.

        People in general are busy with their day today survivals dueto much higher cost of living, so having no time to engage themeselves with the least info in terms of the fact and figures of the ground realities – they are then caught by any kind of breachers:

      • 0
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        OK Laksiri; point taken.

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    Dear Dr. Laksiri Fernando, Did I hear from you that the assumption of the people who voted for MR was that it was his last term.

    I wouldn’t worry. If that assumption is correct, the same majority will NOT vote for MR again.

    Now that you have reminded them of how they should not allow MR to subvert their assumption, we should be doubly sure that MR would be gone, come next election.

    But again, it was, as you state, only an assumption. Assumptions are not guarantees. The President and the Members of Parliament have not gone against the Constitution. There was nothing in the Constitution to say that the Term Limit should not be amended. They were happy to amend it. It was Democracy at its splendour!

    That reminds me of something, perhaps, only Tamils may be interested in.

    Tamils believed, immediately prior to gaining Independence from the British, that it was safe to put their faith in Democracy, – a much coveted form of governance. Tamils assumed that it was safe to trust the Sinhalese ‘exponents’ of Democracy.

    Alas, Tamils were left to learn that there is no better country than SL to illustrate/illuminate the pitfalls of Democracy!

    We live and learn.

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    The President and this government, or is it more a gang, must go. The sooner the better. The only mission MR was born for, was to get rid of the LTTE in his first term. The good he and his government have done otherwise, are being increasingly dwarfed by the collective damage they have done to the foundations of this country. The longer they stay, more would be the damage and that too in geometrical proportions. They are not the single bull, but multiple rampaging bulls in the china shop. If they stay much longer, we will not have even pieces to pick. I think we have had enough of the lying, propaganda, crudeness, deviousness, sanctimoniousness, immorality, corruption, nepotism, thuggery and self aggrandisement. We have had enough of these to last several generations. It is indeed nauseating. We are being made into a ‘ boru show’ country. There is plenty of glitter on the surface, but there is only pig iron, not gold, below.

    We have reached a stage of desperation where any alternative may prove better,

    Thanks Prof. Laksiri for making the clarion call.

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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      Dr RN,

      Do you think massacre of thousands of innocent Tamils by MR is a good thing?

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        Ajit,

        I was referring to the LTTE and not civilian casualties. I will await the UNHRC inquiry report on the culpability of the GOSL and the LTTE and the degree, before making my judgement on civilian deaths. My concerns have been always centred on the post-war performance of this government, in terms of the war-affected and this country.

        As much as I wanted the LTTE to disappear at one time, I want this government to be dethroned now.

        Dr.RN

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          Dr.RN,

          Thank you for your response. I respect your right of expressing your opinion. However, In my opinion, you appear to be biased regarding your judgement between LTTE and Sinhala government/military. You made a judgement about LTTE without UNHRC inquiry but not about the Government. I see there is no difference between LTTE and Sinhala military in terms of terror and violence. Whether it is LTTE or Sinhala Military both should face the same judgement and those who were responsible (political thugs) for creating the environment should be perished.

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      Who do you want to govern us inhabitants?.

      Is it the serial loser who now only has the Christian Faction under him?.

      Is it the ex General who thinks of our inhabitants as infantry under him?.

      Is it the Monk Sobitha whom even the Sinhala Budhdist haters now cuddle up to ?.

      Is it new Leader of the Red Shirts?.

      Or is it the ex President who f…..d us up big time?.

      Which one of these do you think your Vella TNA mates are happy to shack up with to get their mini Eelaam?

      Shouldn’t you be thankful that you can now live in your birth place without getting hassled by the LTTE or the IPKF?.

      Or have you also joined the LTTE proxy TNA to deliver the Eelaam to the Diaspora…

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        Sumane,

        Have you received a free Samasung Galaxy S5 as well? From Temple Trees?

        Cheers!

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        Any Banda, Appuhamy, Menika, Somawathy, Kandaiah, Saraswathy, Farook , Fathima Ummah, from our villages with a strong sense of what is morally right and wrong would do at this stage. We need a moral person at the helm and educated, experienced, wise and honest persons in a very small cabinet. We need a parliament that represents what is right in this country and not what is wrong, ugly and absolutely nauseating.

        Dr.RN

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          DrRN;

          If you listen to the following video/audio of SF, you would pose the question how above mentioned strong villagers would be aware of the ground reality – what father and the son (Murderous Rajapakshe and his offspring -Namal Rajapakshe work behind the curtains)

          http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/46098-geneva-resolution-justified-by-htota-attack-sf.html

          SF is the only leading personality even today, fearlessly express the truth of ground reality of the country.

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            Seelawathi Jayasinghe,

            Sarath Fonseka was a good military leader. He is forthright and outspoken like most good military men. The past few years out of the military may have also exposed him to the realities of civilian life. However, his advice to the Tamils to go back to India if they have grievances in Sri Lanka and attempts to expand the army soon after the war, make me a bit wary. If he was a person with a Gen. Eisenhover personality, I would have welcomed his candidature. Eisenhover had the personality and healing touch to be the US a President after having commanded the allied forces in Europe during a Second a World War. Sarath Fonseka appears to lack these much wanted characteristics. I wonder whether he will have the inclination to get a good team to support him.

            Dr.RN

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              You sound like you have no idea why Gotha selected Fonseka. You have no idea why India worked to defeat him on the last election. You have know idea why America was able to agree him stand against the King(constant threat with war crime) and end up in prison. You have no idea of his dealing with Tamils. He has not denied his role in Lasantha’s murder. He gave up Fredrika janze and she has to run out the country. You think if one is against LTTE, he is a good candidate. But unfortunately, neither Tamils nor Sinhalese think in that way. He has no chance of coming up. He knows that. He voluntarily giving it out to another common candidate.

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          RN,

          Kandhaia surely can’t be Vellala …Can he ?..

          Isn’t all this insults , denigrations, out right slander against the current regime is due to one and only one reason, which is the fact that the Vellalas can’t have what the non Vellala Prabkaran wanted?.

          Did you have non Kandaias ,and Sumanawathies with high moral values as the ruler and the educated as the helpers?.

          Are there any evidence to prove such ruling in the last 60 years?.

          Do you think your beloved LTTE proxy TNA and the Cameron , Harper , Pillai alliance with US lady Ambassodor in Colombo can pull these high moral and well educated rulers out of a hat if the current President is pushed out?.

          You guys have forgotten that the root cause of all these so called lack of values are the result of you and your own community politikkas actions who are nothing but leeches who want to suck the blood of the majority. to full fill their selfish Eelaam dream .

          What on earth the Diaspora got to do with the inhabitants?.

          They have renounced their SL nationality and become Westerners . That is it. they are no more important to the inhabitants or the country, although their Western buddies think we owe it yo them.

          Our inhabitants in turn ask , what for?.

          For wrecking the country for 30 years by sending arms and money to kill the inhabitants?.

          Get your mates to learn to live peaccefully, with the rest ,

          No homelands and no special privileges for Vellalas can be achieved by a popular vote, unless the UN hold a referendum in the Diaspora.

          And it is reality.

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            You ask, ‘Kandhaia surely can’t be Vellala; Can he ?.

            Sir Kanthiah Vaithianathan KBE CCS (1896-1965) was a Sri Lankan civil servant. He was later a Member of the Senate.

            Now, you tell me!

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            Nissanka Wijeratne said during the Premadasa presidency that Sri Lanka was being ruled by two low caste Ps, one Premadasa and the other Prabaharan! Can you name a Prime Minister or President of Sri Lanka, other than Premadasa, who was not a high caste Goviya ? Why your hangup on the Tamil Vellalahs , who are the counterparts of the sinhala Goviyas! At least the Tamil Vellalahs of old treated the other castes as ‘ Kudi Makkal’ ( people of the community) and gave them a role in their social life, despite many other abhorrent practices.

            If you live in Jaffna , you will realise that many of the so-called lower caste persons have attained Vellalah status now. The lower castes are now the majority and are ascendant. You are flogging a dying horse! I recently served a KFC chicken and poori dinner to the toddy tapper in Jaffna who helps in our garden and he sat with us at the same table. It was a joy to see him enjoy the KFC leg, which he was eating for the first time.
            I am also a so-called Vellalah ( farmer), who has not made farming my vocation. My father, grandfather and great grand fathers were not farmers either! We have no right to call ourselves Vellalahs any longer!

            Times are changing and fast too!

            Dr.RN

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      Gangster realities of the president are being revealed to the nation with UNP MPs that made a facts finding trip to Hambantota lately.

      As SF clearly (I am not a party supporter of SF), call a spade a spade without any fears. He has always been like that. This kind of leader could bring the country back to lawful state nobody else.
      http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/46098-geneva-resolution-justified-by-htota-attack-sf.html

      Hope all others in and out of local politics would join by adding their genuine thoughts after studying the brutal acts exercised against UNP MPs latly in the premises of THE NEWLY BUILT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT-mattala Srilanka.
      Since the incident is tremoured the hopes of the nations, some europeans tourists are scared of travelling to the country this time.

      This meeharakas Rajapakshes have been ruining the nations as not even few countries on the rest of world would hold a good view about the nation.

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    Dr. Laksiri say……”If anyone ask me who would be the best possible common candidate from the opposition, I would say, without wasting my words, Karu Jayasuriya, the least controversial; ideally flanked by ‘two informal vice-presidential candidates,’ a (preferably hill country) Tamil from the TNA and a Muslim from the JVP, DP or the SLMC, as agreed”.

    But when you look at the following Photos you will note how old Karu Jayasooriya is.

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/top-story/46058-unp-mps-dismiss-claims-made-by-mr.html

    Please look at the 2nd and 3rd photos. He may be the least controversial but if he cannot walk two miles and cannot talk straight for one hour, I don’t think he is fit enough to be a President.Politics is a streneous game.Take example from Sanga/ Mahela and Pres.Obama.

    At the moment we lack disciplene in our country and should get rid of Thugs, crooks,thieves, murderers, drug dealers and Mega rich Mafiasos in our country.

    Therefore before we think of any development, first we should get rid of these marauders. Therefore it is only Gen.Sarath Fonseka and Madam.Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge who could clean ththese. Once they put the disciplene in place, they could always utilise all the best brains from all communities to develop our country.

    Lack of Disciplene and mega corruptions is today’s number one distroyer of our country.

    Therefore my choice is a combination of Madam Chandrika with Gen.Sarath Fonseka and a UNP/JVP/DP coalition Government who could disciplene and develop our country. (JVP is more flexible in their decision making in a Private/ Public partnership to develop our economy and towards communal harmony)

  • 1
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    Are you the people?

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      mechanic

      “Are you the people?”

      Yes of course we are the people.

      What did make you to doubt us, your stupidity?

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        Vedda, You’ve responded exactly the way I have expected. Stupids have to accept not the man they vote but we elect as the President.

    • 2
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      Of course we are the people off the cuff

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    Yes,
    as people´s war hero SF made it very clear. Hambantota is a place where only thugs roam while police doing nothing like that service.
    This is how the native place of the today´s incumbent acts.

    Having listened to today ´s news on ITN, I thought, they have manipulated the news to this day, claiming that MP Ajith Perera made wrong statements and that was the reason them to attack him.
    Latter is publicly supported by President. Can you my friends, rely on this kind of president anymore ? This man would not be able to destroy at 100 degrees of temperature. He is a thugs by all nature and now are trying to make every effort to turn ito the side of UNP sajith group.

  • 0
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    .
    Unfortunately Srilankans have only two choice: MaRa or GoRa.

    With all the smart people left the island and called diaspora(even GoRa was a diaspora), the people still in the island have no freedom to think smart.

    :-)

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      The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.”
      Samuel Butler

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    Rajapaksa will not go willingling. Even if Mahinda can not contest an election, it is a moot point as he will have his son Nimal run or one of his brothers.

    So in the end there will always be a Rajapaksa at the helm , unless the West takes a hardline against Rajapaksa familial rule. As it is the Rajapaksas control all avenues of power.

  • 3
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    Today at DM news media briefing Gen.SF openly says that he will reveal all the Ruling Family thugs and their banditry to OHCHR investigators when they come to Sri Lanka for war crime investigations.

    Here’s the video clip.

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/46098-geneva-resolution-justified-by-htota-attack-sf.html

    Also Gen.Fonseka challenges that it is Namal Rajapakse who is behind this thuggery.

    Now it is time for Pres.Rajapakse to refute Gen.SF’s claim.

    I see a rise in public outcry and open criticism against Pres.Rajapakse.

    It’s time for people to rally behind honest, brave and disciplined opposition party leaders and should strengthen their voices.

    We need honest leaders. Not just fake coward “chandiyas”….thugs.

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    If the constitution forbids a third consecutive term for the presidency, the President could yet follow Putin’s model. The moral argument is utter bunkum. The Peoples’ mandate can only be obtained at an election, and the result would depend on his electability as determined by the people. It will not be determined in an embassy as it was recently in Kiev.

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    Half of the nitwits making comments here do not vote! Half of the rest
    ( 25% to the mentally challenged) do not even have Sri Lankan passports. The rest (25%) are reading for amusement…

    • 0
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      “Half of the nitwits making comments here do not vote!”

      say the total number of nitwits are 100 , so 50 of them don’t vote , leaving out only 50,

      “Half of the rest ( 25% to the mentally challenged) do not even have Sri Lankan passports.”

      now among the 50 remaining nitwits , which means 25 don’t have passports !

      “The rest (25%) are reading for amusement…”

      so the last portion of the 25 nitwits read for fun and refrain from voting , according to your logic 100% of the CT readers are nitwits and time wasters , wonder which category you fall in to Upul ?

  • 0
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    Laksiri,

    You are such an optimist.

    Many commenters here have said the same thing. You think that the Rajapaksa Cabal will give a damn about ‘The Constitution’, ‘Implicit promises’, ‘Democracy’, etc. No they will not. They are sitting pretty with their ‘Thugocratic’ rule.

    Opposition!! What opposition? There is none worth talking about.

    Please stop wasting your words. In the first place it will not reach the intended clientele – the Mara Regime. Secondly if it somehow reaches them, they will only roll with laughter.

    • 0
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      “Please stop wasting your words. In the first place it will not reach the intended clientele – the Mara Regime. Secondly if it somehow reaches them, they will only roll with laughter. “

      So if not the writers like Prof. Fernando, who would make a big voice against these highly corrupted men in power ?

      Or only way out would be arab spring like protests … how would lead that in today´s context ?

      They attacked UNP MPs, but on state TV channels they painted a very nice picture putting the blame on the victimized group of visitors…
      Latter was almost like the incident Mervin ordered to tie that public servant to the tree post, but to avoid it -even publicly made the victimzed – to tell UNTRUTH… donkey, gaping nation heared… even danced again anda gain.. voting for them again.. or
      the other incident that Mervin´s son assualted the army official and in the end the victimised person was convicted to have gone wrong… This is the nature of highly abusive politics being carried out by this MAN- not second to prabakaran.

      SF expressed his views -about the man, now it is high time people to wake up and drive this Rajapakshe away from our sight forever – THEY ARE A CURSE:: SIMPLY a curse

  • 0
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    MaRa is a bloody monkey ,would contest not 3 but 100 time if he can, should get rid of at any cost.

  • 0
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    Who care mandate of the people. We are the rajahs. We,the company of MR,is the people,mandate and law and ever rulers of sri lanka and 6th Rajah of the rescued sri lanka from conquerors and we are the domineering of dominion. by berty.

  • 1
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    He will perform any sort of Jilmart to remain in power. As long as he wields this power and immunity he and his kith and kin can remain safe and go on patriotically plundering the much loved `MOYHER`ALAND`

  • 0
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    The majority of the people of Sri Lanka will decide when an election is held to elect a President or the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Anybody can say anything – that is part of democracy.

  • 0
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    Unfortunately, the freaks have inherited Sri Lanka with the people’s mandate thus trashing the moral rights to the bin. The wicket shall rule the meek.

    “An atheistic and materialistic democracy seems to me a very hell upon earth.” — Edmond de Pressensé (1824-1891) French preacher, writer and orator

  • 0
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    Dear Doctor!
    No sensible person would agree that Karu is the best presidential candidate.
    To challenge the incumbent president at the next presidential election successfully, the candidate has to be a well known, fearless,powerful and charismatic person with good oratory skills. And he or she has to be the common candidate of the almost all the political parties.And those qualities alone are not enough. He or she should inform the country that he/she will solve the urgent problems in the country within a limited period of time after becoming the President. Coming to the scene at the eleventh hour is the recipe for a downright defeat. In that respect Karu is a poor candidate.
    If the Opposition is serious in defeating present President at an election, probably next year, it must act now, not tomorrow

    • 0
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      So why not you guys add here the alternatives if KJ is not the most appropriate candidate ?

      Not many would vote for Sajith Premadasa if you and the ilk would ever feel that stammered Kantha requests his candidacy.
      What qualifications has Sajith at hand to become the leader of the nation ?

      Nithanwastu searchers for any price having returned from the UK. Has he at least a basic degree to tell the world that he is honestly an educated person ?

      Those who then attacked the country – at the time Mrs B was the head of state, as ” Kitchen wife ” etc, to be reversed, you guys want Sajitha to be the president of the country ?

      I have no doubt, the very same uneducated population would be caught by Sajiths ” dugee duppathkama thuran korana talks”: Is that not very similar ot the tactics of Murderous Rajapakshe today ?

      We need a leader who would have a the ability to get on with international communties. Right at the moment, only hand picked uneducated men and women have been appointed to represent the nation. We experienced the consequences … at the end of last month – UNHRC voting against the country .. not just few member states, but 23 were against our nation.
      That should be like polllen gahanawata wada deyak.
      What more need to be occured this man to be driven away ?

      His politics are not far from Zimbabwian Mugabe or not ?
      Thugs and relatives hav eben promoted for his political survival.

    • 1
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      Punchisingho ,

      Karu’s candidacy is an outright joke , remember how Paba the novice beat him at the last general election ? any one other than CBK is a cake walk for MR !

      • 1
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        Srilal and Dr.Laksiri Fernando.

        Srilal. You are 100% correct. I have been advocating Madam CBK as the best suitable opposition candidate for next Presidential election after doing intensive study and research for the last two years.

        Yes, there is no other candidate to match Madam CBK as a joint opposition candidate for next Presidential Elections. Also there’s a strong possibility that she herself is mentally and physically prepared to face Rajapakses who are her arch enemies.

        It is Rajapakses themselves who are most fearful of her candidacy.

        Watch the following Viedos.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ByE3W4NKMA
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vb0unIzzR4
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEfZEpcAczI

        Also there are ample videos of her in Youtube and her views on Rajapakses.

        I hope all the opposition parties have vision and will to Nominate and to protect Madam CBK for next Presidential elections.

        Pres.Rajapakse will use all the following tricks,tactics, thuggery, funds, bribery and power to win Next Presidential elections.

        All government and country’s Resources, manpower, funds etc,etc, all the loop holes and tricks available under 18th Amendment, from Voters to the voting center and to the final ballet coun down, all media,advertising, posters, cut outs etc,etc, giving bribes, gifts and promotions to lure votes, using all the Govt.parliament members, provincial counsil members, all Govt.corporations and department heads, all clergy, all school children,school teachers and other Government servents and will use all Rajapakse thugs to intimidate opposition voters, using all media TV, Radio and press, all Sri Lankan foreign Diplomats and Foreign ministry, all Judiciary, Police, Supreme court, election commission, all the funds available from National Budget, all youth movements such as Tharunayata Hetak,Divineguma receipients, Public and private banks, enterprises and donors etc,etc.and finally using over 450,000 Police and Armed forces to lure votes for Pres.Rajapakse.

        Madam CBK or any other Presidential candidate who plan to contest should be able to face all the above challenges to win next Presidential elections.

        Also Madam CBK should remember, during Last PC elections,just one Government UPFA Western Provincial candidate spent a whopping ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE MILLION RUPEES (1,125 Million rupees)during last PC election….. Just one Rajapakse Candidate.

        Just imagine how much President Rajapakse and his brothers and his Family Oligarch will spend for next Presidential elections is anybody’s guess…………. It’s Un-imaginable.

        Therefore If Madam Chandrika is hoping to contest for next Presidential elections, she has to be prepared to face all the above challenges.

        Also she has to find out why Pres.Rajapakse suddenly pardoned and released the ten Criminal thugs who attacked Chandra Leka and Rukantha. The ten who were Madam Chandrika’s PSDs during her reign, who were suddenly released from prison by Pres. Rajapakse two weeks ago. May be a conspiracy in waiting.

        Also Madam Chandrika should know what happened to Gen.Sarath Fonseka during the last Presidential ballet counting, where Gen.SF was kept under house arrest at Hotel Cinemon Lake side.
        Madam CBK should be prepared for any eventuality.

        Also Madam Chandrika should understand how Election commissioner was kept under house arrest dring the last Presidential election ballot counting, and the only time we herd about “Computer Jilmart).

        Madam Chandrika or who ever planning to challenge Pres. Rajapakse in next Pres. Election should find answers to above before deciding to contest next Presidential elections.

        Awaiting comments.
        .

        Yes, there is no other choice to match Madam CBK as joint opposition candidate for next Presidential Election. Also there’s a strong possibility that she herself is mentally and physically fit to face Rajapakses who are her arch enemies.

        It is Rajapakses themselves who are most fearful of her candidacy.

        Watch the following Viedos.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ByE3W4NKMA
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vb0unIzzR4
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEfZEpcAczI

        Also there are ample videos of her in Youtube about her views on Rajapakses.

        I hope all the opposition parties have vision to Nominate and protect Madam CBK for next Presidential election.

        Pres.Rajapakse will use all the following tricks, thuggery, funds, bribery and power to win Next Presidential election.

        All government and country’s Resources, manpower, funds etc,etc, all the loop holes and tricks available, from Voters to the voting center to the final ballet coun down, all media,advertising, posters, cut outs etc,etc, giving bribes, gifts and promotions to lure votes, using all the Govt.parliament members, provincial counsil members, all Govt.corporations and department heads, all clergy, all school children,school teachers and all Rajapakse thugs to intimidate opposition voters, using all media TV, Radio and press, all Sri Lankan foreign Diplomats and Foreign ministry, all Judiciary, Police and election commission, all the funds available etc,etc.

        Also Madam CBK should remember, during Last PC election,just one UPFA Western Province candidate spent ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE MILLION RUPEES (1,125 Million rupees)….Just one Rajapakse Candidate………..

        Just imagine how much President Rajapakse and his brothers and his Family Oligarch will spend for next Presidential election…..Unimaginable.

        Therefore If Madam Chandrika is hoping to contest for next Presidential elections, she has to be prepared to face all the above challenges.

        Also she has to find out why Pres.Rajapakse suddenly pardoned the ten Criminal thugs who attacked Chandra Leka and Rukantha,the ten who were Madam Chandrika’s PSDs during her reign, who were suddenly released from prison by Pres. Rajapakse two weeks ago.

        Also Madam Chandrika should know what happened to Gen.Sarath Fonseka during the last Presidential ballet counting, where Gen.SF was kept under house arrest at Hotel Cinemon Lake side.

        Also Madam Chandrika should understand how Election commissioner was kept under house arrest dring the last Presidential election ballot counting.Also it was the first time we herd about “Computer Jilmart”

        Therefore Madam Chandrika or who ever planning to challenge Pres. Rajapakse during next Pres. Elections should find answers to all the above before deciding to contest for next Presidential elections.

        Awaiting comments from CT readers.

  • 3
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    Dr Fernando:

    Without wishing to get involved in the main thrust of your argument which I feel we as Tamils have neither have the Legal or Moral Right to get involved as what we say will not amount to much. So it is no use pretending that our views will be taken into account by the majority.

    But I take issue with the following:

    *** Sri Lanka still is not a hopeless case, hopefully. Sri Lanka cannot be like Zimbabwe or Uganda. There are strong democratic traditions behind it which became largely distorted during and as a result of the ‘thirty year’s war’ and the presidential system.

    ***Democracy thrives on the people of a Country having a variety of issues which affects them from Economy to Security on which to vote at a General Election to bring about a change which not only serves as a Deterrent to prevent abuse of power but also as a weapon of choice.

    But let us face it in Sri Lanka sadly the only issue that can win or lose an election is the issue of Race.
    Please correct me if I am wrong when I say that no party can win an Election on a ticket of granting the Tamils their legitimate right which amounts to a one party rule which simply means a party that uses the Race Card. That is not a Democratic tradition and let us not fool ourselves.

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    [Edited out]
    We are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

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    Well Dr. Fernando.

    Certainly more than most of us you should know very well the meaning of the word “Democracy”. Even in a children’s dictionary it is explained like this:

    ” A democracy is a system where people are able to decide how their country or community should be run “

    So, exactly that is how President Rajapaksa has won all the elections again and again always securing 50% to 60% of peoples desire.

    Anyhow the desire of those who loose would be certainly different. What ever the arguments they bring-up they should respect the desire of the majority. That is Democracy.

    So your logic in saying that President Rajapaksa has no people’s mandate Or moral right to contest again is a squeak of sour grapes. Certainly that is not Democracy Dr. Fernando. But of course under the democracy you have the every right to say your opinion. Correct or Not.

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      The proponents who hold that majority is authority, disregard the spirit of Democracy. Whatever the circumstances the will of the majority should be respected, is a fallacious approach to Democracy.

      Abraham Lincoln, defined democracy as a government, “of the people, by the people, and for the people”.

      Simply being ‘of the people and by the people’ is not democracy if it is NOT ‘for the people’, also.

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      Nando,

      You explain democrazy as………. ” A democracy is a system where people are able to decide how their country or community should be run ”….

      You say……….”President Rajapaksa has won all the elections again and again always securing 50% to 60% of peoples desire.”

      Where do you see in Sri Lanka where people decide how the country is run.

      Today Sri lanka is run by ” over 70 paid and bought up Parliament members and by four Rajapakse Brothers”. Also by installing 90% uneducated, unfit and unqualified Rajapakse family members to all the top Government institutions.

      This is similar to Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Zwaziland, Somalia and North Korea which are all failed states.

      50 to 60% peple did not vote for Rajapakses. Infact the voters were bought, intimidated, harassed and votes were rigged by the ruling clan during presidential election. Read the following web.

      http://www.voanews.com/content/north-korean-leader-gets-100-percent-election-win/1867762.html

      Yes MR will get 100% in next presidential election by using all the illegal methods.

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    “Morality”,especially in politics is almost non-existant.
    Political survival transcends all other requirements for a nation’s welfare.
    For MR,it is urgently needed to prevent any legal probes into his doings,once he loses the protection of the obnoxious Executive Presidency.
    The electoral process & elections department have been modified to ensure his re-election.
    Recent assault by thugs on MPs is a ‘sign of the times’.

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    These articles are overstretching the democratic concepts. This ends up like peeling the onion. What the problem I see here is the academicians, are asking for regime change, without showing any interest in bringing a trouble free regime. Had you seen any of these academicians suggesting a primary, within the opposition (whether it is a common or UNP alone)?

    The biggest argument put here is that the King did not seek a mandate to amend the two times term limit that has been put there by the other nastier dictator JR (isn’t he the one set up this dictator type changes to the constitution?). In a western democracy it does make sense, I accept that. Let’s look at the practical side of it in Lanka. Is that Dr. Laksiri points it that if King had asked through a referendum, the hero Gemunu would not have received the permission to change two term provision? If CJ Shiranee had given a different verdict version, could she have survived on that position until Divineguma? Or is that King Gemunu should have asked for the referendum and should have got it too, but irrelevant of the outcome, because in Dr.Laksiri’s opinion the King is not a democratic president, so he still should go anyway? I am not clear of his opinion from this this well written (on the technical side) article.

    Will he put up a legal team, in case, if the King comes back to power, challenge that on Mohan Perris’ auditorium? Who has moral authority to become the next president? Chandrika? Ranil? Fonseka? Sajit? Karu? Aren’t this guy have done more crimes than the King did before he was elected as a president? How can we bring a moral question when we do not have candidate to launch a campaign? If CV comes as the president we don’t have to eliminate the EC even. Does the academician understand this situation and try to eliminate that first?

    Let’s look at the example, Doctor Laksiri took, the American constitution. Isn’t Lincoln is categorized by everybody as dictator and undemocratic? Isn’t he still rated as the No.1 president by American peoples even above Washington who won the war for them, but Lincoln fought against American on the side of the slaves? Why the world famous democratic country has that much attachment to a dictator who technically functioned against them? Do we know if he was not shot in the middle of his term what direction, if he would, have tilted? What went wrong when Franklin came more than two times? Why should not king comes one more time? What democratically difference one can show on this?

    In a democratic system ruling is not done by people. Only ruler selection is done by them. From the first prime minister, DS, it is 100% evident Lankans don’t know to find a democratic ruler, one problem. The elected leaders, if they happened to be dictators, are not ready to behave like Lincoln or Franklin, the second problem. They rather prefer to stay, Stalin, Hitler, Idi Amin…. so forth. The problem with the one coming to power is more acute than the people’s ability to select one. They are facing a short of options too.

    This problem has been very clearly exhibited during the colonial time. Majority of the majority race failed to rise up to the level of whites administrational principles to undertake senior jobs in their administration. This phenomenon, latter explained by opportunistic politicians, as white’s favoritism. But that is not true. When Ramanathan was elected by Sinhalese and Tamil, he respected the call for his duty equally towards Sinhalese too and went to England to save the Sinhalese leaders during the dangerous First World War time. But as soon as DS cheated Soulbury and gained the power, he sat down to manipulate the constitutions and revenged Tamils. The Sinhalese academicians should understand, the DS’s action which arose when he thought the upcountry Tamils are undesirable, will be repeated well always into the future by the leaders elected by them, when the leaders see the an element is undesirable in the part of Sinhalese population, they are minority by some aspects, too, like the Hikkaduwa, Weliweriya Churches’ incidents.

    Unless these academicians come forward and explain the Sinhalese mass that King has been accused by the International Community as had fought a war with War crimes and to remove that shame, the King has to be dethroned, the mass is going to believe that he is hero and the academician are just jealous of the king’s achievements. Unless the electric chairs campaign is neutralised by the academicians with of proper explanation of why the King deserve the electriC chair for the war crime he committed, the mass going to saving from the electric chair by voting for him. The needed is the courage to explain the Sinhalese mass of the Mullivaikkal genocide. Other than that they are not going to understand that if the constitution should have corrected with a referendum otherwise they should not elect a leader they like. They don’t care what the hell JR’s constitution is talking about. As far as they are concerned, they are no longer considering JR as a hero (He let Rajiv in so they had to fight with Rajiv to get out). They care less about JR’s manipulation in that constitution. They want their hero as the next president.

    Academician should not try to put forward what is good for them. The JR’s entire constitution is wrong. They should not try to hang on to any provision on that to decide the morality, the legitimacy……so on. They should educate the mass what has happened in the country. What has happened in the country is Tamils, the justice seeker, the peoples who sought a redress from Sirimavo’s constitution has been suppressed using more sinister, JR’s constitution, with additional war crime. If the Sinhalese academicians bring out this real truth, Sinhalese will elect a leader who will not punish other Sinhalese like Ajith Perera for haven gone to Hambantota.

    The Mahavamsa Modayas elected a leader to clear the North with war crime, and started to go there for tourism to celebrate the war victory, but to see the South is lost to a dangerous dictator. Now, they cannot go to South even. Sinhalese mass should be asked, “they won the North with war crime, but lost the south, are they considering this as a victory?” Then they will not vote for another DS, SWRD, Sirimavo, JR, Premadasa, King…… Before this king, when did the Sinhalese have a leader who respected the democratic principles, cared for them, nurtured them and pampered them to grow? Didn’t they start the freedom celebration with disenfranchising the Tamils votes to manipulate to consolidate the power within their hands? Had they accepted the 50:50 of G.G.’s proposal, Pirapaharan would not have come; the Tamils would have guided the country into proper direction rather than allowing the unscrupulous politicians to fool the Mahavamsa Modayas to constantly manipulation the constitution. The country would have become learned,prosperous and none of these problems might be here.

    My suggestion is what the Tamil and Sinhalese leaders said at Ramanathan (Donomore)period are correct. The Lanka mass is not up to the level to understand the Democracy and have it to govern them properly. I propose a two tier election system to maintain democracy in Sri Lanka. (We Tamils need not this in Tamil Eelam). On the first tier, at village levels one educated person should be selected in a General election, with only one time term limit. Only would get this 6 months of pay position that is until they select the MPs, within 6 months, on a second tier election. MPs can have unlimited terms. They are responsible to select a prime minister too. When educated people select the rulers on the second tier, the MPs will have the capacity and the capability to work and will work properly for the money they receive. No multiparty system will work in Sri Lanka. Opposition is waste with the Lankan attitude. 75 UNPers have crossed to the government because Ranil didn’t change the religion; in that case they don’t see lot of prospects for themselves in the opposition. The dirtiest case is the SLMC. On every election, it is standing as opposition, while staying in the government. During 2005 to 2010 time JVP supporting the government unconditionally. It realised what it has been doing is only after losing the 2010 election. So, what is point of selecting them as opposition? When educated peoples selecting the MPs, they know if they do not function properly, the new MP selectors on the next term will wipe them out. This is what happening in TN too; In TN, neither DMK or AIADMK do anything good; but when the power changes, the new comer just undo if by accident other party has done any good in their term.

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    It would be a damn dishonor for President Rajapaksa if he is not ready to handover the baton ? well, he has already dishonoured himself before & during his first term. People have not forgotten how the Medamulana thug came to power after that deal with the tigers. They have also not forgotten his behaviour during his first term.

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