26 September, 2020

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Response To Austin Fernando’s Critique

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

By happy coincidence, my latest submission on devolution appears at the same time as Austin Fernando’s critique, and therefore answers the substantive points raised by him. I shall therefore limit myself to answering his direct references to me when and where I consider them misplaced.

 “It made me to believe that I had probably misunderstood him as an academic supportive of power sharing.”

DJ: Austin has not misunderstood me: I remain “an academic supportive of power sharing”. I have however, always been mindful of how much power is shared and who with. This is why I was a consistently sharp critic of the CFA of which Austin was a supporter and implementer with disastrous consequences to the armed forces and the country, as most recently confirmed by Shamindra Ferdinando’s series of revelations in the pages of The Island.

“…But he [Dayan] is not mystified when the incumbent government does not make participation of UNP and TNA happen by arriving at a consensus on the parameters of a political solution to the ethnic question.”

DJ: No, I am “not mystified that the incumbent government does not make the participation of UNP and TNA happen by arriving at a consensus on the parameters of a political solution to the ethnic question”. If a consensus is arrived at the parameters of a political solution to the ethnic question, then there is little need for the UNP to participate in the search for one. Secondly, such parameters must surely be arrived at primarily through a bi-partisan consensus; a consensus between the incumbent government and the only formation that can undo a settlement, namely the alternative government of the day, the main Opposition party. Thirdly, any tardiness or sabotage on the part of the government can be exposed precisely by the UNP and TNA participating in the PSC. Fourthly, I can hardly blame this government for not creating the conditions for the TNA and UNP to participate, when the TNA refused to support and the UNP actually set fire to the liberal, progressive draft Constitution of August 2000 presented in the parliament by a government quite other than, and years before, this current one—thus the UNP and TNA’s conduct on this question has been consistent. The leadership of both the UNP and TNA remain the same from August 2000 while the only leadership that has changed is that of the Government!  

“I doubted whether Dayan’s complaint of the UNP not playing the “bridging role” is substantiable, when MP MA Sumanathiran’s statements were heard, (made in the presence of MP Rajiva Wijesinha at the International Center for Ethnic Studies on 18th instant, which went unchallenged by Rajiva). According to MP Sumanthiran the Leader of the UNP had been shuttling between the government and TNA to create an amicable route for reconciling and failed due to government’s duplicity and double tongued approaches.”

DJ: I’m afraid Mr. Sumanthiran is hardly an unbiased authority on the subject. His own statements to the newspapers reiterating the specious doctrine of ‘internal self-determination’, threatening adherence to ‘external self determination’ if the former was not acceded to and going so far as to advocate a referendum among the Tamil people on whether or not they wish to remain part of a united Sri Lanka, were and are hardly conducive to confidence building and constructive negotiations.

“Dayan in his article has an invention to resolve the devolution crisis. He speaks of an interim administration…In the 13th Amendment I find two Articles where something that could be weakly interpreted as distantly related to ‘interim arrangement’. They are in Article 154L and 154T. But the former is applicable “when the administration of the Province cannot be carried out”. ..154T is applicable when the President gives directions “for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of the 13th Amendment”, and hence it too will not be a valid path, as it is to ‘castrate’ the implementation of the 13th Amendment.”

DJ: How, pray, can one be confident that ‘the administration of the province be carried out’, by a party that refuses to forswear secessionism, commit unconditionally and unambiguously to a solution within a united Sri Lanka, criticize Prabhakaran and the LTTE even for murdering that party’s own leaders, and claims that its goal is to convince the international community that a solution is NOT possible within a united Sri Lanka’? Surely such a party would be more tempted to prove its thesis that a solution –such as provincial devolution– within a united Sri Lanka will not work? Given such concerns, wouldn’t an interim council as envisaged in the articles mentioned by Austin, be a suitable measure?

“If he wishes to have a greater dialogue for power sharing through his proposition, I have grave doubts of success. We have experienced this sort of elongated dialogue at the APRC and some rightly or wrongly suspect that the Parliamentary Select Committee is another move in to a maze.”

DJ: The answer to that is not to evade the PSC but to insist on a time bound PSC exercise; one that is committed to conclude within a compressed time frame?

“Another query will be, if this is a fair mean why not apply the same yardstick to manage the other PCs too, because it will reduce the expenditures and the so-called much criticized mess in PC administration?”

DJ: The question is not whether the government rules the PC, but whether a party which is uncommitted to a united Sri Lanka runs it. If the government were to use the same argument against a UNP run PC, I would certainly not defend it. How would you know who the TNA candidate for Chief Minister will be? What is the guarantee that it will be Mr. Sampanthan? This is hardly an irrelevant consideration when one recalls that just a few weeks ago (in a report reproduced on dbsjeyaraj.com) a TNA MP stated that the goal remains Tamil Eelam. What if that MP or someone with his views is the TNA’s Chief Ministerial candidate?

“One may suspect that Dayan is promoting a proposition to probably establish a “provisional solution; a stop-gap measure” prior to erasing the 13th Amendment…”

DJ: I have reiterated in all my articles on the subject for over quarter century, the need for the retention of the 13th amendment and against its abolition or ‘erasure’ as you put it.

“Dayan is suspicious of a future PC administration “committed in going beyond the 13th Amendment” inviting foreign forces to rebel, probably to secede. The “13th Amendment plus” was allegedly created and offered by the incumbent government and also denied later by the government. Since the “plus” is not yet in the Constitution and unless it is incorporated in to the Constitution how can a future Council act as suspected by Dayan? I do not think that Dayan has any suspicion on the 13th Amendment to create this disaster, just based on the freak previous event. If such PC tried to act beyond the Constitution, there must be international restraints through existing institutional arrangements, especially in the UN, to respond to such to prevent rebellions. Both Dayan and I have not yet forgotten what Chief Minister Vardarajah Perumal did after the UDI! He still survives on Indian generosity. Why should such eccentricity and fake threat be supported by a balanced mind (I believe I am correct in thinking so) like that of Dayan?”

DJ: The Vardarajaperumal attempt at UDI took place within the 13th Amendment, not 13 Plus. Before Austin dismisses it as a freak incident, eccentricity and a fake threat he should ask Mr. Bradman Weerakoon just how deadly a crisis of brinkmanship it was for the Premadasa administration and just how seriously it was regarded and had to be grappled with by President Premadasa and Ranjan Wijeratne. I know, because I was on the Premadasa team at the time. 

“Additionally, then, why hold elections in the East when the threat of declaring independence with foreign troop support is also open to the Eastern PC Chief Minister Pillaiyan?”

DJ: That’s plain silly. Pillaiyan has never said anything remotely akin to the latently secessionist discourse of the TNA.

“Dayan has been concerned of the absence of an unofficial honest broker.”

DJ: Of the list Austin mentions, I have always considered Mr. Akashi to have been the closest to an honest broker. During the CFA years I had suggested John Hume as another. No country with a Tamil Diaspora or endogenous Tamil community large enough to have electoral leverage could, by definition, be neutral enough to function as an honest broker.

“Dayan tries to value pragmatic abstention in Geneva (March) as a practical means to send signals on the required stances of the honest broker. I as a Sri Lankan genuinely regret what happened in Geneva (March). But, why does one ignore pre-March 2012 which shows reasons for creating the “psyche” of the “neighboring honest broker”?  Incidentally, I believe I am correct in identifying India as the ‘neighboring honest broker’ in Dayan’s article!”

DJ: Even if one were to conceded all these points –and readers may recall that I had, even before May 2009 cautioned against certain phenomena and argued for certain others—the fundamental fact is that once a country takes a stand in relation to another, it affects public perceptions and the role that the said country can play in relation to certain sensitive issues.  Nothing is free of cost or consequence. This is why abstention in crucial votes is an intermediate step, a better signal and a safer bet all round.

“Immediately following the honest broker issue Dayan’s article speaks of “the cordial and positive dialogue between President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka and His Holiness Pope Benedict” as holding out some promise, “given that the Church is the only institution on the island that has a constituency which cuts across the ethno-regional fault lines”.  The constituency makeup submitted by Dayan is correct and alluring. When Dayan says this immediately after the President’s visit to Vatican, it enhances credibility and possibility. One may even suspect that he could be the “explorer” or “feeler investigator” of an already considered approach. Or, it may be that Dayan having picked a potential brokering organization at random tries to suggest that such organization could be an honest broker? Any other bets?”

DJ: If anyone in authority has considered this option, I am unaware of it. My pick was hardly “at random”, as Austin should see from my argument in favour –which he has himself quoted here!

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
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      Hey Dayan, please don’t insult academics by calling you self and “academic”! You are self-promoting and self-seeking spinner of the out-dated leftist post-colonial rhetoric. Lets talk internal colonialism TODAY for a change.
      Right now the fact is that DJ is now running scared that he will be booted out from your nice romantic diplomatic Ambassador job in Paris paid for by Lankan tax payers – just like Tamara Kunanayagam was booted out of Geneva and offered a punishment post.
      Dayan is now trying desperately to save his job and unprincipled face by towing the Sinhala nationalist line. BTW. Look who Rajapakse took to Rio – Pathala Champika of the JHU and that horrible racist ignoramus Wimal weerawansa on whom he depends to whip up the nationalist drum to stay in power as the regime crumbles from within and without!

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    I thank Dayan for the quick and decent responses. I shall try to respond to his comments one by one to clarify my stances and to pose or remind some unresolved issues.
    Below, Q will be for his quotes, C will be for my comments on Qs.

    Q1 Austin has not misunderstood me. I remain “an academic supportive of power sharing”. I have however, always been mindful of how much power is shared and who with. This is why I was a consistently sharp critic of the CFA of which Austin was a supporter and implementer with disastrous consequences to the armed forces and the country, as most recently confirmed by Shamindra Ferdinando’s series of revelations in the pages of The Island.
    C: I am happy that Dayan is for power sharing.
    Though not directly relevant to the subject in my article, since he has spoken of the CFA, I respond. Power sharing in the context of my article is not the same as in the CFA. The latter had many other concerns and the 13th Amendment focused on political and administrative issues. I might as well say that CFA had its good and bad, as I accepted while giving evidence at the LLRC. Even the LLRC Report contained some positive comments of the CFA. Cumulative judgments based on Dayan’s or / and Shamindra’s thinking and criticisms must be weighed by other independent experts, and not by them.

    I think what many have failed to understand is that the CFA, like many other projects are, political exercises under mandate received from the people at an election. They are “political tests” done, where some failed and some did not. It is easy for journalists, historians, politicians and chronologists to comment on the spot or years after, but the decision making and implementation of a ‘project’ in troubled times is extremely difficult. Ask Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, he will agree. It is the same after Eelam IV, as we observe now.

    Q2 No, I am “not mystified that the incumbent government does not make the participation of UNP and TNA happen by arriving at a consensus on the parameters of a political solution to the ethnic question”. If a consensus is arrived at the parameters of a political solution to the ethnic question, then there is little need for the UNP to participate in the search for one. Secondly, such parameters must surely be arrived at primarily through a bi-partisan consensus; a consensus between the incumbent government and the only formation that can undo a settlement, namely the alternative government of the day, the main Opposition party. Thirdly, any tardiness or sabotage on the part of the government can be exposed precisely by the UNP and TNA participating in the PSC. Fourthly, I can hardly blame this government for not creating the conditions for the TNA and UNP to participate, when the TNA refused to support and the UNP actually set fire to the liberal, progressive draft Constitution of August 2000 presented in the parliament by a government quite other than, and years before, this current one—thus the UNP and TNA’s conduct on this question has consistent. The leadership of both the UNP and TNA remain the same from August 2000 while the only leadership that has changed is that of the Government
    C: The mystification issue is subjective. I am mystified by the way how all political leaders- Government and Opposition- try now, how not to lead to consensual thinking. I disagree with Dayan that parameters must be arrived through a bi-partisan consensus between the incumbent government and the alternate government, i.e. UNP. His thinking erases the minority factor. Probably, after the war ended there are no minorities! The most affected ethnic groups are not really represented by the UNP or the SLFP now. Therefore, the dialogue should be triangular, at the least.
    The point made by Dayan on the CBK Draft Constitution and its progressive nature is acceptable to me.
    Dayan shows much faith on the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). How far can anyone be convinced that a ‘pro-government – 2/3 majority PSC’ could find independent inputs and resultant minority and war-affected friendly outputs for a solution?
    However, what I tried to say was that the political and security environments are different now and the approaches too should change. As Dayan has accepted that there is change in leadership only in the government, it too would be a plus point for change of attitudes and approaches by the newcomer.

    Q3 I’m afraid Mr. Sumanthiran is hardly an unbiased authority on the subject. His own statements to the newspapers reiterating the specious doctrine of ‘internal self-determination’, threatening adherence to ‘external self determination’ if the former was not acceded to and going so far as to advocate a referendum among the Tamil people on whether or not they wish to remain part of a united Sri Lanka, were and are hardly conducive to confidence building and constructive negotiations.
    C: I do not consider MP Sumnathiran as totally unbiased; or, totally biased. How can any politician be? However, Rajiva (also a politician) could have discussed the real status. His attitude was in a way an ‘endorsement’ of what MP Sumanthiran mentioned, at least for want of challenge. Any way if MP Sumanthiran is to be believed, irrespective of other utterances of his, it proves some hesitancy on the part of the government to reach consensus. As a passing remark I may say that there are many others in the Government, greater than an Opposition TNA MP, who utter words “hardly conducive to confidence building and constructive negotiations”. I think Dayan will agree with me.

    Q4 How, pray, can one be confident that ‘the administration of the province be carried out’, by a party that refuses to forswear secessionism, commit unconditionally and unambiguously to a solution within a united Sri Lanka, criticize Prabhakaran and the LTTE even for murdering that party’s own leaders, and claims that its goal is to convince the international community that a solution is NOT possible within a united Sri Lanka’? Surely such a party would be more tempted to prove its thesis that a solution –such as provincial devolution– within a united Sri Lanka will not work? Given such concerns, wouldn’t an interim council as envisaged in the articles mentioned by Austin, be a suitable measure?
    C I may start like Dayan. How, pray, can one be confident that ‘the administration of the province be carried out’ by appointees selected by political parties based on their strength in the Parliament, i.e. without any democratic mandate to be in an Interim Council? Is it a fair deal? Take Northern Province. The number of MPs from TNA is larger than all others. But the government power and authority will be controlled by the EPDP and other pro-government parties. Do not say that such discrimination will not happen, because we are aware how things happen with District Budget provisions, provincial funds, Samurdhi funds, rehabilitation resources etc. TNA may think why it should be subservient to a minority political power. How can Dayan justify such status? There is no Sinhalese MP in the whole of north. Will there be Sinhalese representation in the Interim Council? If yes, will not someone argue that Sinhalese have encroached in to the Tamil or Muslim slot or robbed of a nomination? Will it help reconciliation?

    I thought TNA Leader lately wished for a political structure in a united Sri Lanka to live with self respect and self sufficiency. I think all political parties should try to find via media to see self respect, self sufficiency, dignity, equality, rights etc are enjoyed by every citizen. TNA cannot expect self respect, dignity etc to be the monopoly of the Tamils or minorities or theirs for that matter.

    To counter secession the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution is available. Therefore, if the TNA does not act legally they could be taken to task. This is what happened also with Vartharajah Perumal, who ran away to India before anything could happen to him.

    My query from Dayan was what is the legal tool (Article or Section in the Constitution or any other law) to establish, manage, sustain the proposed interim council or arrangement? I was questioning so because the Articles 154L and 154T may not be valid to do so, as I have pointed out. He has not responded to this query. In fact I expected a long article on the establishment and operation of the Interim Council he proposes. Dayan should tell us what the legal provisions that would be used for the establishment of the Interim Council or arrangement he proposes; how at least the core principles of power sharing I mentioned are achieved in a respectful manner. It cannot fall from thin air.

    Q5 The answer to that is not to evade the PSC but to insist on a time bound PSC exercise; one that is committed to conclude within a compressed time frame?
    C Once again consensual approach is absent and that is why the major Opposition parties are not at the PSC. There is no trust between the Government and the Opposition parties. I agree it is not one hand clapping, but I think the initiation should be from the Government, and the Opposition should adjust. But, to expect the Opposition to dance to the tune of the government will not be the answer. By no means I say that the government should dance to the tune of the Opposition groups.
    What is the guarantee that a time lined solution will be evolved after PSC sittings? The APRC was an excellent example of how elongated discussion could end up with no final solution. Cannot the PSC’s term be increased as done for the LLRC or any other? We should not forget that the 2/3 majority is available to whatever required by the government. Cannot timely conclusion be ensured by making the APRC recommendations the basis for discussion at the PSC? Can any other compromises be found?

    Q6 The question is not whether the government rules the PC, but whether a party which is uncommitted to a united Sri Lanka runs it. If the government were to use the same argument against a UNP run PC, I would certainly not defend it. How would you know who the TNA candidate for Chief Minister will be? What is the guarantee that it will be Mr. Sampanthan? This is hardly an irrelevant consideration when one recalls that just a few weeks ago (in a report reproduced on dbsjeyaraj.com) a TNA MP stated that the goal remains Tamil Eelam. What if that MP or someone with his views is the TNA’s Chief Ministerial candidate?
    C Again I say that TNA Leader’s controversial speech was not supporting a unitary state , but was for a united state. Now responding to my query on implementing the interim arrangement in other provinces Dayan steps in to another controversial area which he knows of better. It is the asymmetrical devolutionary approach for the North, and probably the existing devolutionary or power sharing approach elsewhere, because the guys elsewhere are Saints. If it is to be, my query is where in law this has been provided for. First please make provision in the Constitution and come along.
    Regarding MP’s statements as quoted by Dayan- I pity the MP who spoke out of turn to DBS, as much as the Minister who projected “hundreds of Mullivaikkals” responding to the TNA Leader. Who knows some one akin to this Minister would not be the CM candidate for the NPC from the Government? Please do not go by individual statements, though individuals matter in politics. How many of the present ministers whose origins were in the UNP have been publicly revealing corruption by Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa, calling all sorts of names to him in 2005 elections and now bend backwards and curl around for other reasons? I do not think the President suspects them as much as Dayan suspects that odd TNA MP. I believe our assessments should be of higher grade and not only on such exclusions.

    Q7 I have reiterated in all my articles on the subject for over quarter century, the need for the retention of the 13th amendment and against its abolition or ‘erasure’ as you put it.
    C Yes, I knew that Dayan felt the need for the retention of the 13th amendment . It was the reason for me to quake after seeing his article.

    Q8 The Vardarajaperumal attempt at UDI took place within the 13th Amendment, not 13 Plus. Before Austin dismisses it as a freak incident, eccentricity and a fake threat he should ask Mr. Bradman Weerakoon just how deadly a crisis of brinkmanship it was for the Premadasa administration and just how seriously it was regarded and had to be grappled with by President Premadasa and Ranjan Wijeratne. I know, because I was on the Premadasa team at the time.
    C. Definitely UDI is a serious situation. It was in a different political and security scenario with a different set of terrorists and the IPKF around. To equate these with the current status should be done carefully, and not in generalized terms. The world has changed quite differently to respond to such situations within the last 20 years plus, and hence we should give credence to the President’s, Defense Secretary’s and international friends of Sri Lanka, and mostly the Tamil and Muslim people who are relied by state media as unequivocally standing behind the Government to react against separatist manipulations. I think state media must be speaking the truth when they speak of the Tamil appreciation of the government, though unfortunately when they are in a polling booth they go crazy and vote for the TNA!

    Q9: That’s plain silly. Pillaiyan has never said anything remotely akin to the latently secessionist discourse of the TNA.
    C. Alright, CM Pillaiyan may be a Saint who will not revolt for a UDI. How come if a minister of the caliber mentioned in 6 above becomes a CM in the East? How can we predict CM Pillaiyan’s successor one day would be another CM Pillaiyan, and not become a Varatharjah Perumal? I know Vartharajah Perumal and Dayan knew him more closely as colleagues in the first North East PC. One could not have predicted him to be a UDI initiator from his appearance. It applies to CM Pillaiyan or another! We must not go on projected individualistic predictions in such cases, and should take on the environment and emerging understandings. Is not it silly to tag innocence to politicians so lavishly?

    Q10 Of the list Austin mentions, I have always considered Mr. Akashi to have been the closest to an honest broker. During the CFA years I had suggested John Hume as another. No country with a Tamil Diaspora or endogenous Tamil community large enough to have electoral leverage could, by definition, be neutral enough to function as an honest broker.
    C. Having known Akashi San I must say that he was a total honest broker. But did our politicians, administrators, media always treat him alike in the light Dayan and I look at him. Was not he snobbed at least one instance where a helicopter to fly to Kilinochchi was denied by the Government to do his honest brokering, perhaps due to some suspicion somewhere. Was not he hammered and ridiculed by Sinhalese media? Did not our media try to make his large number of visits waste of time and energy? May be his timing was wrong for brokering, but such behavior goes as suspicion when things happen that way.

    Going by the qualifications of an honest broker stated by Dayan based on Tamil Diaspora or endogenous Tamil population, the best suitable honest broker may be from China or Russia or Iran or Pakistan. These countries could qualify hands down to be an honest broker based on the Tamil factor mentioned by Dayan! Any more contenders?

    Q11 Even if one were to conceded all these points –and readers may recall that I had, even before May 2009 cautioned against certain policy phenomena and argued for certain others—the fundamental fact is that once a country takes a stand in relation to another, it affects public perceptions and the role that the said country can play in relation to certain sensitive issues. Nothing is free of cost or consequence. This is why abstention in crucial votes is an intermediate step, a better signal and a safer bet all round.
    C I agree with Dayan when he says “…the fundamental fact is that once a country takes a stand in relation to another, it affects public perceptions and the role that the said country can play in relation to certain sensitive issues.” In that context it appears Dayan and I are on the same wave length on the background for non-abstention because it has negatively applied to India, as I have quoted, and Dayan too agrees, as appearing in his comments. The Chinese, Russians, Iranians and Pakistanis have been mentioned in the previous paragraph purely on positive relationship basis.

    I agree with him further that there are no free lunches!!!

    Q12 If anyone in authority has considered this option, I am unaware of it. My pick was hardly “at random”, as Austin should see from my argument in favor –which he has himself quoted here!
    C . Since Dayan has picked the Catholic Church at random, I must say I randomly agree with his selection, but I was trying to reminisce the immediate past which may be played around by groups that would not like to see reconciliation through a different religious source! Not only the Catholic Church, any one should be welcome, if the broker is honest. The problem will be to find that one honest broker or brokers!

    To end my comment I may mention a shloka I have learnt from a teacher who has passed away some year back. Governor WJM Lokubandara is one person who can share this with the President and explain the applicability of the shloka to alleviate the problems faced by the country.
    Amanthram aksharam nasthi = There isn’t a letter unusable for a ‘mantra’
    Nasthi moola manaushadham= There isn’t a root that cannot make medicines
    Ayogyo purisho nasthi = There are no inappropriate men
    Yojakakh tathra durlabhakh = Rare are persons to duly engage them.

    I believed in this shloka for the last 20 years or more. And will believe in it in the future. I believe that there are no inappropriate men. Very rare are persons to duly engage them. In the same spirit if we give an opportunity to the people to perform for their benefit they will. We should be bold to handover that responsibility to them, which is their constitutional right. It should not be placed in the hands of a few centralized power packs.

    Develop trust, which is inadequately available among the Government, Opposition, minorities, internationals, neighboring countries etc. Perhaps personalities like Dayan could be messengers of goodwill to enlighten appropriate persons, because some in authority come under the category of rare persons to duly engage the appropriate persons.

    Apologies for the long comment, partly due to quoting Dayan’s quotes for clarity.

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      Austin Fernando seems a person undoubtedly as one who has grasped the full gamut of the issue and speak very athoritatively and accomodatively unlike DJ, Rajeev Wijesinghe and crowd, the opportunists who try to appease powers for their survival. It is very clear as this subject of devolving power has been spoken of, for well over half a century and if a consensus has not been reached by now from the govt. side of MR, I doubt whether they ever will. MR’s fear is to bell the cat. On the other hand although CBK brought in the Norwegians to help arrive at a solution, the sagaciousness of Ranil Wickremasinghe was that he did not just discard the CFA because it was initiated by CBK, instead he went ahead and signed the CFA and earned the wrath of the foolish masses being labeled as a Traitor. But when questioned as to why, if the CFA was so benificial to the LTTE, VP did not elect RW as President,none of them have any explanation. RW signing the CFA was absolute Statemenship. On the contrary what has MR done? He is trying to play ball with the issue as he knows very well a solution acceptable to all has to be on the lines of what the CFA would have delivered. Hence he is trying to pass the blame and responsibility to a Parliament Sellect Committee, expecting to hide behind the hyna he is. Now is this not the great leader who has vanquished the LTTE? Surely then he must be bold enough to present a solution?

      Leave alone MR as a Statesman, he is a common thug and a murderer as evidenced from events that occured recently and the exposure, clinging on to power hoping against hope that something miraculous will save him. His exit one day will be worse than Gaddaffi’s.

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    As Asia, Europe, Latin America… are the old world, you two guys’ theory is good to create a WORLD WITH SHANTY – STATES and, in that, every tribe has their own state, the UN will be the world govt and a country like USA which assimilate every tribe into one nation under one flag will govern the whole world.

    Screwed up for ever.

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    The only disagreement with Jimsofty is that – the USA already governs the whole world, look how easily Obama caused nations (including the greate friend of Ahmanajahd (sp!), Mr. Rajapaksa) to fall in to line about sactions on Iranian oil. Sri Lankans of all hues – Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics, etc. etc., including these two egotists – are incable of comprehending that the only progressive solution to a plural society is a secula model like that of the US: all people as one people under one flag, and that is decidedly not a bogtted flag like the Sinha-lion flag. There are many Sinhalese jokers who think that they have a democratic-capitalist model when in fact what they have, as Jimsofty implies is a highly polarized state with deep brown-necks (like red-necks) on either side. Perhaps both sides will open their eyes when the US$ hits Rs. 500 – not far away!

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    It looks from Dayan’s counter arguments and Austin’s replies for same that Dayan is being cornered and his critique of Austin’s replies explodes in his own face for sheer lack of cogency and depth in the context.Dayan should explain the parameters of interim council that he suggests rather than just gloss over some popular catch phrase that is so typical of him.

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    Thank you Austin and Dayan for your reason and civility. I particularly liked the wisdom of Austin’s sloka. If we can rise above petty personal interests and prejudices in dealing with national questions, these can be solved to the benefit of all. Both CBK and Ranil have made mistakes, but they have also shown statesmanship, conspicuous by its absence in the present regime. The marvellous opportunity to bring about harmony, and to build a nation and an economy has been now squandered. We as a nation have successfully resisted the two sources of civilized life that was ours to embrace: (1) Buddhism and (2) the values of democracy and modernity that we inherited from our colonial masters.

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