21 September, 2020

Blog

Resolve Amicably The Dispute Between The Chief Minister And The Governor

By R.M.B Senanayake – 

R.M.B. Senanayake

R.M.B. Senanayake

The current state of disagreement or dispute between the Governor and the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council seems to throw open the whole issue of devolution under the 13th Amendment as a solution to the ethnic problem. The resolution of the ethnic problem will receive a serious setback if the dispute is not resolved amicably. It would lead to the unraveling of the 13th Amendment as a solution to the ethnic problem and open the whole issue once again and this time we may well see the intervention of the International Community through the UN. Statistically it has been found that a civil conflict between two communities that ended would erupt again in a few years.  All reasonable men would not want a resumption of conflict although extremists and nationalists may welcome it as a way of enforcing supremacy over the north since the Army is still in control there. A country cannot be held together by force but only with the consent of the people. But little do they know that the only way to keep a nation together is not to force it to be together. It is the Freedom and Respect that breeds the feeling of community and a sense of belonging.

As Parents, we keep our families together by encouraging discussion and dialogue and discouraging dispute and disdain. So are communities and so are nations. It is the freedom and the responsibility that are the essence and the essentials of any communion.

Let us not forget how the LTTE began its struggle. Small isolated strikes at the Army patrols began by the youth which escalated as time went on. It is also difficult to expect the International Community to remain silent when it is already probing allegations of war crimes and genocide. The doctrine of responsibility to act has been invoked in Kosovo and in Iraq with the establishment of Kurdistan. Haven’t we lost a large number of Sinhalese troops in the war?

But it must be said that the Chief Minister although he has been a judge has no experience in administration. His strong point is that he is not a politician. But he needs to know how district administration works.  Why in the world does anyone suppose that people who specialize in and excel at winning political elections are also uniquely skilled to excel at running other people’s lives? As for the Governor he is undoubtedly a strong administrator given his Army background. All this time he would have acted as the unchallenged head of the Province. But he needs to change. I remember after 1956 several Government Agents found it intolerable to see local MPs interfering in the district administration. Several of the old school of District administrators as Government Agents were transferred and replaced with younger members of the Civil Service who were more amenable to working with local politicians. In this case too the situation is the same although the overtones of ethnicity may color or discolor the issue. It is difficult for an administrator used to exercise power to change his ways of working and listen to the politicians although they are the representatives of the people. It is a question of accommodating to the peoples will and not necessarily a matter of inter-ethnic relations. So the prudent thing is for the Government to allow for changes in the holders of the posts of Governor and use the administrative capacity of the Governor in the South and send a more pliable officer to the North as Governor.

As for the Chief Minister he too will have to learn to keep to policy making and allow the permanent administrative officials in the provincial administration to interact with their counterparts in the central government administration in the district.

The problems have arisen because of a faulty re-assignment of administrative agencies carried out by President Premadasa in order to implement the 13th Amendment. He should have made the Government Agent the District Secretary of the Provincial Council and the Kachcheri should have been under the Provincial Council. The district departments of Education and Health which are also functions of the Central Government should confine their activities to the national schools and national hospitals. The rest should be part of the Provincial Council administrative set up preferably under the kachcheri which will be the District Secretariat of the Provincial Council. Had this been done the costs of the devolution would not be so heavy and people would not call the Provincial Councils a white elephant.

Meanwhile a hard look has to be taken at the provisions of the law in the 13th Amendment. Does it allow sufficient power to the Chief Minister and the Provincial Council to manage its affairs?

The 13th Amendment provides overriding legal powers to the central government vis-à-vis the provincial councils, not only in the Northern Provincial Council but in the other eight provincial councils also.  The Governor of each province is vested with superior legal powers by the constitution, even though he or she is an appointed official, and not elected as the provincial council members are. Democracy means the Administration must listen to the people and the representatives of the people. But the manner in which the representatives exercise their voice is through the normal administrative bureaucracy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 6
    3

    R.M.B Senanayake,

    I know that you are a well intentioned man and respect many of your views. However, I have questions for you.

    The governor of NPC behaves like a governor in a colonial era, like what Britain used to do in their colonies.

    In the nine provinces , why is that none of the governors is a Tamil or a Muslim? Why can’t a Tamil or a Muslim be appointed governors in the North and East? After all Tamil speaking governors will be more suited to govern Tamil speaking people. Is it because Tamils or Muslims cannot be trusted by the Sinhalese to implement the Sinhala hegemony?

    Why is that when Tamils want autonomy not only their region, but Sinhala regions are also given same, which has no teeth? Why do Tamils have to be governed by the larger Sinhalese neighbor? Is it democracy for a large neighbor to suppress a smaller one?

    Does Tamil speaking region have to be governed by Sinhalese governors?

    13th amendment is a useless leftover form IPKF times.

    What Tamils want is freedom to run their affairs in a united states of Sri Lanka, if only the Sinhalese are willing: If not what is the democratic alternative for Tamils; let the international community decide as impartial arbitrators!

    • 4
      1

      Vibhushana,

      You are not speaking the truth, but some shit.

      • 2
        1

        In the nine provinces , why is that none of the governors is a Tamil or a Muslim?

        Talking of not speaking the truth but shit:

        Suppiah Sharvananda
        Deva Swaminathan
        K. Vignarajah
        Pathmanathan Ramanathan
        Alavi Moulana

        Care to guess the common thread linking everyone in that list :D

        • 0
          0

          When did these people have the jobs do they have them now. I Know D.M Swaminathan does not have that he is in Parliament as an MP appointed by UNP

          • 0
            1

            Which job are you referring to Sena, can you please let our resident shit speaker Thiru know :D And a better question to ask may be when has one of those people not held that particular job ;)

    • 0
      1

      Thiru:

      You Tamils need every thing by default while you people are playing the Tribalism card.

      What is the democracy there ?

  • 3
    7

    Why is this such a grinding experience? This palawa will never work for one good reason. Engaging all stakeholders is vital for any project to work. If this is the case elsewhere, why is it not in SL?

    The decision to legalise 13th amenendment left out an important stakeholder. This is the Sri Lankan collective. The 13th amendment was planned between Rajiv, Velupillai P and Amithalingam. Sri Lankan govt was forced to sign. As they say one can take a horse to water but forcing it to drink is an entirely different matter.

    Mahinda Rajapaske is following the correct approach. If TNA wishes for any changes to the prevailing situation it will need to be a Sri Lankan consensus driven one.

    • 2
      1

      Vibushana
      13A was planned by JRJeyawardane and Rajiv Gandhi.
      Tamil politicians didn’t have any input there.

      When there are govt servants who think that LLRC was formed by LTTE, what can we say?

      • 0
        1

        Hello

        13A was planned by JRJeyawardane and Rajiv Gandhi.

        No it wasn’t. Prabarakan endorsed it. JRJ did not.

        • 1
          0

          Vibushana:

          Isn’t the 13A part of the statute?

      • 0
        0

        Davidson,
        THe LTTERs KP, Karuna, Pilayan etc is with government. LTTE is part of the UPFA government. SO it is correct for government servents to think LLRC was formed by LTTE. -:)

  • 6
    2

    This is the best opportunity for the Tamils to show the world that the 13th amendment is not a good solution. The occupied Sinhala racist genocidal army should be removed from the North and the military governor should be removed from the NPC. This is the best time for the TNA to act. If the occupied army and the military governor are not removed and if the 13th amendment is not fully implemented by the end of February 2014, TNA should get ready for a non-violent mass agitation in the North and it should be done just before the Geneva March 2014 and the Indian election. All what Mr. Vigneswaran has to do is to invoke the ‘Land’ & ‘Police’ Powers as given in the 13th amendment of the constitution which is not yet repealed, only to be ‘Confronted’ by the Military Governor, which will prepare the grounds of him of not honoring the constitution which then will be the basis of the ‘Impeachment’ of him with support of more than 2/3rd of Majority in Northern province Council. This in turn will make the President of Sri Lanka to declare the NPC as null and void paving the way for the Tamils of Northern province, Tamil Nadu and the Tamil Diaspora to agitate pressurizing India, UN and the International community to take action. The final outcome should be a Kosovo, South Sudan, East Timor and Montenegro type solution. The TNA should take advantage of every opportunity that comes in their favour and take the case to Geneva in March 2014. TNA should get ready for a non-violent campaign involving large masses of Tamil people. It will definitely influence Tamil Nadu and the Tamil Diaspora to follow suit. It will enable the Tamils and the Tamil parties to appeal with confidence to the conscience of the international community. It will realistically facilitate an UN-sponsored armistice and UN-supervised referendum that will hand back the traditional Tamil lands to the Tamil people. It is for the Tamil people in the North and East to decide how they wish to settle the Tamil question, let the Tamil people have their say. It is time that Tamil people everywhere, whether in the Tamil speaking areas, or in the rest of the country, or abroad, demand their right to an open forum in which to have their say. It is TNA’s duty to create the conditions for the Tamil people to exercise their right to enter the debate and negotiate the final answer to the Tamil question that concerns them most?

    • 1
      0

      Ravi:

      Yes, I agree with that. The time has come for CW and his council to pass a resolution on these lines. His hands may be tied by the ruling regime in New Delhi, but nevertheless should go ahead with it and expose to the world the SL regime’s bluff unless, of course, he is playing gallery to the Rajapaksas because of his relationship with Vasudeva Nanayakara.

  • 6
    0

    In order for the dispute to be resolved, there needs to be clear understanding of what that dispute is. What are the differences between the political positions of both sides and their plans for the future of the NE? We only know the Tamil side, because it was clearly articulated in the TNA election manifesto. Everyone knows what it is. There is no obfuscation on the part of the Tamil people. Their position is as follows :
    1) The Tamil people on the island are a Nation, The NE is their historical homeland, and they have the right to self determination in their homeland. 2) There needs to be a credible, independent investigation into all allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity that occurred during the war.
    This is the same consistent position articulated by all the Tamil players: Justice Wigneswaran, the TNA, and the Tamil Diaspora. But what is the position of the GOSL regarding the NE? Do they consider the NE the historical homeland of the Tamil people or not? If not, why is it that not a single Ambassador of Sri Lanka (past or present), not a single President (past or present), not a single cabinet minister (past or present) can pronounce the names of any of the villages in the NE, without causing derisive laughter from the people who actually live there? Vellamulivaikal and Puthukudiyruppu just do not roll off the tongue as easily as Kurundugahahatekma. How do they explain this? Do they consider this natural and fair, and to be celebrated, or something that’s unfair that needs to changed. If it’s the latter, how will they change it, how long will it take, and who is going to pay for that project? The GOSL cannot reveal their actual intentions, so instead they have to conspire behind the scenes in the dark alleys of Colombo.
    In the meantime, given the absence of any credible alternative for governing the NE, and the desire to move away from the current military dominance of the NE, the world is slowly but surely embracing the position of the Tamil people. There is today very little daylight between the position of the US, UK the UN and that of the Tamil people described above.

    • 5
      0

      Patriot

      “What are the differences between the political positions of both sides and their plans for the future of the NE?”

      It is the will of the people as opposed to “will not” of the state, its rulers, its bureaucracy, its armed forces, its Sangha, and the undemocratic majoritarian mindset.

      • 0
        1

        WILL OF THE PEOPLE ?

        Tamils never had will of the people.

        they were always subjugated by their leader, Sankili, Pabakaran or by their caste.

        • 1
          0

          JimSofty

          “they were always subjugated by their leader, Sankili, Pabakaran or by their caste.”

          Your Mahavamsa Karma does not allow you to grasp what “will of the people” means generally and to the people of this island particularly.

          Even in your next birth you still will remain a stupid, ignorant, bigoted, …………. If you have a choice please make your next life in Bihar or Tamilnadu.

        • 1
          0

          JimSofty

          “they were always subjugated by their leader, Sankili, Pabakaran or by their caste.”

          As an ardent Aryan Sinhala/Buddhist you ought to be eternally grateful to VP and Sankili.

          VP ethnically cleansed Muslims which brought you immense happiness.

          Sankili killed 300 odd Christians, which you may consider insufficient.

          What are you complaining about

    • 4
      0

      The problem is, first and foremost, the ego of the MR and his chauvinistic elements. The second is; giving into the Tamil demands; this is taboo to any Sinhala polity as it is perceived being inimical to their electoral prospects. Thirdly, basically, there is no appetite for bilateral reconciliation process; victor must dictate; this is the doctrine that is being followed with overwhelming enthusiasm!

      By the way Patriot; this is the first post I have read of yours that is very forward thinking!

  • 8
    0

    The whole purpose of NPC election was to cheat International Community by Mahinda. He showed the world he is a democratic and he implemented 13th amendment. According to 13th amendment overall powers lie with him(President) and his appointee (former Military) Governor. Now CM has no powers to do anything but he has to take responsibility for all the ills of the province. The next step will be legal action bringing charges against CM. The court appointed by him, the chief justice (Mohan Peries) will give a verdict to dissolve NPC and administered by Governor. So, he is democratic, he is legal and that’s it.
    This is his plan. He thinks all Sinhala’s are modayas and back him and make his son as next President.

  • 1
    4

    Sack the chief minister and [Edited out]

    • 0
      0

      And appoint fathima as the chief minister so he/she/it can keep licking gota’s arse clean

    • 0
      0

      Very good idea the election was itself a government farce

  • 2
    0

    Mr. R.B.C Senanayake starts off well. He means well, but you can sense that he could not get rid of his communal feeling completely. Have the other provinces which are run by the Sinhalese prospered? Are there justice and fair play in the other provinces? They are all run by the Mahinda catchers and riddled with crimes, bribery and corruption!! Have the Military governor or the President looked into the complaints of the people!! Why are the people not allowed to vent their feelings? Why are they not allowed to protest non-violently? Can’t you see the difference between the civilian administration and the MILITARY ADMINISTRATION? If you look back at the events which happened from the 1950s, if the government had listened to the Tamil grievances then, all these death and destruction could have been avoided.

    Those days, you hardly hear of murder, robbery etc. in Jaffna. Children excelled in education, worked hard and they were model citizens until Discrimination of the Tamils were LEGALIZED!!

    Jaffna people have the capacity to govern themselves, if the catchers are removed from administration including the TAMIL CATCHERS who are planted by the Government to destroy the youths by supplying drugs!! The Govt. is robbing all the natural resources from this area eg. sand, line stone etc. They are treating Jaffna even worse than the way the Portugese treated when they over ran Jaffna. Destroying temples, churches, robbing the temples of valuables, planting Budha statues in every street corner. Budha would have preferred the money spent on these Tamashas to be given to the destitute people!!!

    Above all, is there law and order in the country with the largest number of ministers? Because they are the people who are robbing the country. Remember the biggest Heroin smuggling? When you read the news, you find most murders, robbery, drug trafficking, are carried out by members of the security forces!!!

  • 2
    0

    National Symposium on Devolution(11-12 February 2011) based on the publication, in December 2010 of Twenty two years of devolution: an evaluation of the working of provincial councils, produced by the Institute of Constitutional Studies:

    ‘’The main topic that figured at the discussions was the powers of the Governor of a Provincial Council. Most Governors in carrying out their duties fall in line with the views of the Board of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister But Education Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council complained that their Governor(a retired military official) has become a stumbling block to the smooth functioning of the Provincial Ministries including his. … Many participants said that most PC members look on their position as a stepping stone to enter Parliament and once they realise their aim, they conveniently forget the imperatives for making PCs a success. The PCs have fallen into the sorry state it is in today due to this attitude ….‘’ – Are Provincial Councils a White Elephant?, 20 February 2011, http://www.nation.lk/2011/02/20/newsfe5.htm

    • 1
      0

      http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=36908

      Colombo seeks genocidal subordination through military indoctrination of students
      [TamilNet, Saturday, 21 December 2013, 12:21 GMT]
      A Tamil student from Aaraip-pattai (Aaraiyampathi) in Ma’nmunaip-pattu division of Batticaloa district was rushed to the hospital in serious condition on Saturday, when he attempted to commit suicide by self-poisoning just a few hours before he was supposed to travel to the notorious Minneriya camp of the occupying SL military to attend an enforced indoctrination programme for all new students in order to become eligible for university entrance. The SL military is conducting a genocidal subordination in addition to the psychological pressure. There are students who lost their hard earned university admission as they were not able to secure the money needed to spend on meeting the demands of the military indoctrination programme, under the so-called ‘leadership’ indoctrination, the students from East say.

  • 2
    0

    “……………………………………….although the overtones of ethnicity may color or discolour the issue”.
    Correct.
    The governor,a proxy of the president who heads a government and runs an undeclared dictatership enforced by the army which “won” the war,and the head of which remains as governor,denies democratic governance by the elected provincial council.
    He carries out what the president desires – keep the citizens under subjugation and oppression.
    Democratic protests are met with brute force.
    This is true not only in the north,but also in the south.

  • 1
    0

    Mr Senanayake,

    The conflict is engineered by the Rajapaksa regime through its point man the Governor of the Northern Province. The regime’s intention is not to give any powers to the TNA controlled council and that’s what the conflict is about. The Rajapaksa regime is going against the will of the people who overwhelmingly elected the TNA to govern them. The blame is entirely on the government and I apportion no blame to Mr Wigneswaran in the way he conducted himself in this undemocratic act O&G the dictatorial Rajapaksa regime.

  • 0
    1

    Hope this will NOT end peacefully and leads to war.

    One side is a military general so the outcome is OBVIOUS!!

  • 1
    0

    How can 13A work when there is no will to devolve power. It is like building a road and then having a road block. The motives and intentions of the rulers are quite clear.

  • 1
    0

    There is nothing to settle amicably between chief minister and governer. MaRa elected the ex-terrorist Douglas as governer to sabotage PC and derail any work to be done by Chief minster.

    This is how MaRa takes his revenge for loosing the NPC election.

  • 0
    2

    Since the great LTTE Terrorist attacks of a three decade ago,there have been attempts to luanch debates or forums for dialogue or the alliance of Sri lanka Buddhist civilizations.In light of real events in the Sri lanka and world these efforts now stand revealed either as purealy theoretical excercise or stratagems desinged to attetion away from REAL sovergenity of political issues of our land.
    CM of North and Dispora of Tamils have to understand that world is changing.
    As people of Sri lanka quaking.CM of north and TNA as well as Tamils Diaspora of West can go repeting to the point of satiation that opposition forces in the country and world are dangerous;because LTTE -terrorist out-fit are exculsively extremist Tamil terrosrist and that implicitly,it would justified to limits or controal Tamils and notrh people to access to democracy.
    In fact TNA and CM of north and Western world can stand shoulder to shoulder the People of SL, march towards Democracy and Indepandence and sovergenity of our nation.
    The issue is one of Human vaules and democratic political Ethics.
    As for the defence of so-called Tamil issue by CM of North that often causes us to Forget our nation Principle of Sovergnity and democracy,we would rembember that long-term the respect of People of Sl and their dignity is only way ensure the security of Democraty.

    • 1
      0

      N. Wimaladasa:

      Lest you forget, the Tamils and the TNA stood with the opposition parties of the south in in quest but the southern sinhala majority scuttled that by again voting for MR. That is a good reason to part ways, that there can never be a sinhala majority that can appeal to reason and good sense.

  • 1
    0

    During negotiations for independence for Ceylon from Britain, several Tamil leaders wanted autonomy for North-Eastern Tamils, but the Sinhala leaders craftily told the Tamil leaders; after all we are brothers we can sort out matters after gaining independence from Britain.

    Tamil leaders like fools were deceived by the foxy Sinhala leaders, and the following generations of Tamils are suffering for it, and the rest is history we know now.

    This time also when Britain is leading the campaign to right the injustice done to Tamils for annexing the then Tamil state in the North-East to form Ceylon.

    This time Tamil leaders must not make the same mistake.

  • 1
    0

    Correction:

    This time also when Britain is leading the campaign to right the injustice done to Tamils for annexing the then Tamil state in the North-East to form Ceylon, Sinhala leaders are acting in a similar way to fool Tamils.

    But it is the last chance for Tamils to extricate themselves from the Sinhala yoke: They must not succumb to the Sinhala foxes.

  • 0
    0

    I understand the points made by RMPS but my point is that the Government should listen to CM of NPC under the present context.Chandrasiri was appointed to carry out the decisions of MARA as in the case of other provinces. See the situation in Trinco. People even scared to see even the face of the Governor, In Galle MARA’s very close relative Kumari was appointed. She is highly corrupted but people scared to raise these questions out of fear.So no point of talking about the independent administration of the these Governors.When MARA wanted Governors to work under his political agenda why not for CMs.

  • 1
    0

    Here is something to support you in your longstanding efforts:

    ”……. I wanted to be sure to ask, to try to figure out what the UN is actually learning from its systemic failure in Sri Lanka. I have heard Ivan Simonovic say that the UN stayed silent in order to keep access in the country, but in fact in late 2008 the UN left Kilinochchi and other parts of the north, essentially having no presence there. So, I am wondering: why, if you can say more, why did the UN stay silent, and even today, I mean this month, there was a protest in Trincomalee, there was a crackdown by the Government – and I am wondering was it raised with Gotabaya Rajapaksa when you met with him? What is the ongoing role of the UN in Sri Lanka? …….”
    Deputy Secretary-General’s press conference on Rights up Front Action Plan, New York, 19 December 2013,
    http://www.un.org/sg/dsg/dsgoffthecuff.asp?nid=270

  • 1
    1

    If Wigneswaran can not work with the ex-military governor, that is simply in-subordination.

    The best solution is FIRE Wigneswaran. HE should not be there.

    • 1
      0

      JimSoftly:

      I earnestly wish your wish would come true. After all you guys tried all sorts of tricks, water-down the 13A and even abolish the 13A by no less GR. Are you still awake that the regime had to make an embarrassed U-turn. I will pray for your wishes to come true and support you in your endeavours to get the Rajapaksas hanged.

    • 1
      0

      JimSofty

      “The best solution is FIRE Wigneswaran. HE should not be there”

      It is Democracy Sri Lankan style. Replace him with Mervyn or Weearawansa, great candidates for Northern Provincial Council. You can appoint yourself as the colonial military governor.

      “If Wigneswaran can not work with the ex-military governor, that is simply in-subordination.”

      Could you sight chapter and verse of the law which governs provincial council disciplinary procedures. Is Chandrasisri the head of military junta in the North? If it is the case why did MR went ahead with the elections?

      Dim Jim please find out and let me know.

      Dim Jim

  • 0
    1

    Cunning foxes are out again to cheat Tamils, where was this Archbishop when thousands of innocent Tamil civilians were murdered?

  • 1
    0

    Its democracy – The people have spoken – They don’t want the guys who built in the roads etc because they killed their loved ones. One should realize that . Its about time the President realized that and made the necessary changes regarding his representative there. Democracy needs to be respected that means accepting the other view point as well . If there is no other job for the Governor at present let him enjoy his pension until a suitable job is available.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.