11 December, 2018

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Sampanthan As Opposition Leader Would Be The Last Nail In The Coffin

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

We have already had a bitter experience with Mr. Wigneswaran and we mustn’t repeat or compound it. Mr. Sampanthan is a cultured gentleman, a superb speaker and a fine parliamentarian in the old tradition. But he would be most unsuitable to be made Leader of the Opposition. It is neither because he is an ethnic Tamil nor because he is the leader of the TNA that Mr. Sampanthan must not be appointed the Leader of the Opposition of the Sri Lankan parliament. It is because of the political project he subscribes to and the political views he holds. Going by those declared views, he would, as Opposition Leader, not oppose only the policies and practices of the Government of Sri Lanka. Indeed he probably won’t oppose the present Government at all, since he helped bring it into office; his party colleague Mr. Sumanthiran is a co-drafter of the 19th amendment which castrates the executive Presidency, turning that office into a constitutional eunuch; and his party the TNA has gone on to defend the 19th amendment in the Supreme Court. Instead, Mr. Sampanthan as Opposition Leader would be opposed to the very political community, the very political unit, which he would be sworn to uphold and operate squarely within.

To put it differently, one cannot have as the Leader of the Opposition someone who is not loyal to the Sri Lankan State. One cannot have as Leader of the Opposition, someone who refuses to uphold the very character – unitary, not merely united—of the Sri Lankan state.

I refer not only to a decade ago, when Mr. Sampanthan and his party contested the election on a single point platform, namely that the separatist-terrorist LTTE was “the sole legitimate representative of the Tamil People”. I do not refer primarily to the fact that he has yet to express regret and apology for that stand.

I refer primarily to Mr. Sampathan’s stand on so solemn an occasion as his party’s 14th Annual Convention in 2012 a mere three years ago, well into the post-war period when his political conduct cannot be excused by the invocation of a likely LTTE threat to his life.

A mere three years ago, Mr. Sampanthan, the most prominent local leader of the Northern Tamil community, which exists a few miles away from the sub-regional landmass of Tamil Nadu with its aggressively hostile streak towards Sri Lanka, reiterated his party’s commitment to achieving with the support of the international community, the same ‘soaring aspirations’ that could not be achieved through the force of arms.

He asserted—some would say confirmed—that ‘the international community’, through its current stance, may open the space for the achievement of that goal: “…The current practices of the international community may give us an opportunity to achieve, without the loss of life, the soaring aspirations we were unable to achieve by armed force.” (R. Sampanthan, speech at ITAK 14th Annual Convention, Batticaloa, May 2012, Colombo Telegraph)

Plainly the “soaring aspiration” which was unsuccessfully sought to be achieved through “ armed force” is that of the separate state of Tamil Eelam, which axiomatically entails the dismemberment of Sri Lanka. This is the gentleman who some openly recommend for the post of the Leader of the Opposition!

In his keynote speech on this formal political occasion, Mr. Sampanthan called for the restoration of the degree of sovereignty that the Tamil people are said to have enjoyed over 500 years ago, prior to the advent of colonialism. This refers to a completely independent political existence. “…Up to 500 years ago, the Tamil people established their own governments, and governed themselves.  Our party symbolizes a time in history…during which our people had their own sovereign Tamil governments…Our fundamental objective is to regain our community’s Home, its historical habitat and its sovereignty. The symbol of the House symbolizes this unshakeable aim…” (Ibid)

The House Mr. Sampanthan is talking about is not the Parliament of Sri Lanka, where the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress ( SLMC) and certain ideologues of the LSSP such as Mr. Lal Wijenaike would like to see him as Leader of the Opposition! No, Mr. Sampanthan is clearly calling for a separate house as a home—not a roomier room in the existing house of the unitary Sri Lankan state.

If the world were to be re-ordered by restoring the pre-colonial status quo ante of no less than half a millennium; if every minority of roughly a million people or a fraction of a country’s citizenry, were to demand this right and seek its exercise, the world would be plunged into anarchy, chaos, bloodshed. This project cannot be entertained—and most certainly not on a relatively small island with no ‘defense in depth’; adjacent to a landmass which has been historically hostile.

Had Mr. Sampanthan’s transparent declaration of tactics at his party’s Annual Convention just three years back been authored by a Sinhalese, it would have been dubbed ‘racist stereotyping’. “…The softening of our stance concerning certain issues, and the compromise we show in other issues, are diplomatic strategies to ensure that we do not alienate the international community. They are not indications that we have abandoned our fundamental objectives…In other words – we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka… Although the issue at hand is the same, the prevailing conditions are different. The struggle is the same, but the approaches we employ are different. Our aim is the same, but our strategies are different. The players are the same, but the alliances are different. That is the nature of the Tamil people. Although we still have the same aim, the methods we use are now different…” (Ibid)

Simple logic tells us that if such a person who holds these views is appointed the Leader of the Opposition, he will use his office to further the aims he believes in and is committed to. Thus we shall have a Leader of the Opposition who has “not abandoned [their] fundamental objectives”; who believes that “the struggle is the same” and “the aim is the same” (as that of those who used “armed force”). Logic tells us that he will use “different strategies”, “approaches” and “alliances” in the service of the unchanged fundamental objective and aim. Most clearly of all, Mr. Sampanthan as Leader of the Opposition will continue to think and feel, and act on the thinking and feeling, that he and his party “must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka”. Thus Mr. Sampanthan is committed to proving to the world that Tamil rights can be realized not “within” but only outside a “united Sri Lanka”.

Note that Mr. Sampanthan used the term “united” and not “unitary’. If he does not believe that Tamil rights can be realized within a “united Sri Lanka”, is he not making the case for separation? Do we believe his Supreme Court affidavit or his address as leader, the annual convention of his party? In other words do we believe what he says in English in Colombo or what he says on a formal occasion, in Tamil, in the North and East? At the very least we have here a case of political schizophrenia. Do we wish to have a democratic separatist or at the very least, a political schizophrenic as the Leader of the Opposition of Sri Lanka? Those who advocate this are either utterly irresponsible or subscribe to a sinister separatist project. They are either fools or knaves.

Shrinkage of Sinhala Political Power

Already the combination of the 19th amendment which dismantles the strong Presidency would place national decision making in the hands of a Prime Minister who could be the willing or unwilling hostage of the TNA and a parliament and a Cabinet that could be bought up by Diaspora slush funds. Taken together with the drive to go beyond the 13th amendment and Mr. Sampanthan’s belief that Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga will settle the ethnic problem by the end of this year on the basis of her political ‘package’ of the mid-1990s, what the Ranil-Chandrika-TNA troika and their external patrons are embarking on is a road map to weaken the centralizing capacities of the Sri Lankan state and reduce the share of state power, political power, that the Sinhala community has and is rightfully entitled to be given (a) its overwhelming demographic preponderance, (b) antiquity (if the Northern Tamils had preceded the Sinhalese they would hardly have remained stuck in the least arable Northern cone of the island) and (c) the fact that it is the only community whose language, an ancient one, is spoken only on this island.

The suggestion to make Mr. Sampanthan the Leader of the Opposition is part of a macro-strategy to reduce the share of political power and size of the stake-holding within the Sri Lankan state that the Sinhala nation is naturally and organically entitled to. Ranil, Chandrika, the TNA, and those countries with significant concentrations of Tamil voters are moving to dismantle the safeguards for Sinhala political power in this island state. The strategic aim is the dilution and dissolution of Sinhala power, the power of the majority on the island—not least because the Sinhalese are seen as the sole obstacle to Western and neighboring hegemony and as allies of China on this strategically placed island on the Maritime Silk Route, while the Northeastern periphery is seen as a potential base by the external hegemons, who will therefore tilt towards maximizing the power of the North as a distinct, highly autonomous, indeed quasi-independent political unit a la Kurdistan. This is why Mahinda Rajapaksa was externally de-stabilized and ousted, and a puppet regime “democratically” installed. And that in turn is why the multitude wishes him to return, to steer the destiny of their country; a country that is now manipulated by external hegemons and their disgraceful local lackeys. The multitude knows in its bones, nay, in its collective soul that this island is the only country they have on this planet.

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Latest comments

  • 15
    3

    We had a “strong” president bought up by sweet and sour sauce who was so strong that he could not stand up to the BBS or control his own corrupt behavior.

  • 8
    3

    [Edited out] JAYANATITILAKA IS WRITTING ALL THESE FOR WHAT HE [Edited out].HE IS NOT SPEAKING BUT [Edited out]

  • 22
    6

    DJ speaks of a “Sinhala nation” and, “Sinhala political power”.
    Thus, he now openly admits that he is a Sinhala racist.

    He is prejudiced, discriminatory and antagonistic against Sambanthan,
    based on the belief that his own race is superior.

    Earlier, Amirthalingam was Leader of the Opposition in parliament.
    Such racist views were not held against him.

    “…………………………….and a Cabinet that could be bought up by Diaspora slush funds” !!
    This is a grave insult to the entire parliament.

  • 19
    5

    Dayan, as always in a haste to purport his NAZI(Sinhal Buddhist Hegemonic) views,makes contradicting statements and internally inconsistent arquements.

    Here are two excerpts about his assertions about Mr.Sampanthan.

    1)
    “Taken together with the drive to go beyond the 13th amendment and Mr. Sampanthan’s belief that Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga will settle the ethnic problem by the end of this year on the basis of her political ‘package’ of the mid-1990s, what the Ranil-Chandrika-TNA troika and their external patrons are embarking on is a road map to weaken the centralizing capacities of the Sri Lankan state and reduce the share of state power, political power, that the Sinhala community has and is rightfully entitled to be given (a) its overwhelming demographic preponderance, (b) antiquity (if the Northern Tamils had preceded the Sinhalese they would hardly have remained stuck in the least arable Northern cone of the island) and (c) the fact that it is the only community whose language, an ancient one, is spoken only on this island.

    2)
    “They are not indications that we have abandoned our fundamental objectives…In other words – we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka…”

    Inadvertently, Dayan has shown how the Tamil community in general and TNA in particular has a difficult task of trying every thing possible to avert a separate state and if all else fail the separate state is the only option.

    This is the dilemma facing Tamil minority in Srilanka since independence, due to Sinhala Buddhist Hegemonist lack of understanding and intolerance.Just like Dayan intolerance at the thought Mr.Sampathan being an opposition leader.

    Just like Cyril Mathew’s Intolerance of Mr.Amirthalingam being the opposition leader.

    The more Dayan writes more he proves, he is of the mold of SWRD/Cyril Mathew etc.(Sinhala Buddhist hegemonist who was brought up as a christian/catholic sinhalese)he has to prove he is most hegemonic than the rest.

  • 14
    5

    Dayan the doctor of philosophy seems to have short memories. He failed
    to realise that Mr. Amirthalingam, TULF leader became the leader of the
    opposition in 1977 under president JR’s rule,just after the Vadducoddai
    convention , where the Tamils came to a decision that separate state is
    the best solution for the Tamils and still Mr. Amir. did his job well as opposition leader and his position was never questioned, but today the situation has changed and Tamils opt for federalism within a unitary state. Mr. Sampanthan is an accepted leader by all the Tamils and has good relationship with most of the other parties and he has vast experience in politics,educated and a respected leader.His party, TNA holds the higher number of seats in the in the opposition and as per West Minister style of governing, the party who has the largest number of members of MPs in the party or in a coalition becomes the op.
    leader. We do not need to spoon feed the spineless doctor,on procedures
    as communalism is embedded in him and will not listen to reasoning. He should be happy in a way that TNA elected to be in the opposition instead of accepting portfolios in the govt. and what would be Dayan’s reaction if Mr. Sambanthan is made the minister for minority affairs. Countries progress in politics and other matters as years pass,learning
    from past mistakes but in Sri Lanka, everything reverses to the worst
    as time passes. The govt. should be complimented for bringing the rule
    to punish people like Dayan, brain washing the people to belief in
    communalism & racism.

  • 20
    6

    Dayan you should apologize for representing a country which committed war crimes, had white van, the list goes on.

  • 21
    6

    Hey Dayan, you are one racist the MR government used quit well. Give it up loser, it is about time. MR is going to jail and do you want to follow that low life? But then again, you are a racist vile pig too, so follow your master. Anything to do with the Tamils or their rights, you will lift your ugly face to say something.

  • 19
    6

    Why get excited about what a fool keeps writing? At least he keeps us entertained.

  • 10
    3

    DJ’s views on opposition leadership is clearly indicates his racist mindset. TNA moved towards to find solution under united SriLanka long time ago. They illustrated their wish through their actions and words. Why he so adamant to repeat old stories? This is needed to promote his ideology by repeating separatist agenda. TNA should use this opportunity to think differently. If opportunity given to lead opposition, TNA should given to JVP to give strong opposition nationwide. At the moment JVP is best suited to stop racism, Mahinda and other corrupt elements. TNA should act positively and it will give boost to its stature.

  • 11
    2

    Dayan had a father by the name of Mervyn De.Silva who was an editor of Newspapers,in the 80s.

    One fine day,J.R was rather annoyed with Mervyns style of writing and he was hauled up in Parliament and tried! The whole episode was rather disgraceful no doubt. The then Leader of the opposition Amirthalingam made a spirited criticism of the whole exercise.Perhaps,Dayan should read this.Sampanthan also was in Parliament at the time when Mervyn was defended by Amirthalingam!

  • 11
    3

    Very sad to read the contents of DJ’s article and his opposition to a non event of the possibility of a Tamil being appointed to the post of Leader of the opposition by virtue of the constitution. It is only the post of Leader of the opposition not the Head of State. In India at one time the post of President was held by a Muslim, the Prime Minister a member from the Seikh community and the Head of the ruling party a Roman Catholic all from a Hindu dominated majority country. No one protested.I could remember when Mr.Amirthalingam was the leader of opposition he played his national role very well. We should all think as Sri Lankans first and no one should be deprived of their rightful place just because he or she belonged to a particular country.

  • 12
    3

    Stinking Racialist.Where were you born, bred and educated.In what slme were you born, bred and in what toilet did you study.They should have said kaput to you on the day of Kobbekaduwa’s funeral and we would have been free of this menance.

  • 10
    2

    Its because of the so called educate peoples selfishness and racist thinking like Dayan that Sri Lanka became such a hell hole from 1956 to Jan 2015

    I suggest Dayan to take a few weeks off from politics [Edited out]he wont have much energy to drum communal hatred for a few days afterwards

    • 9
      2

      Peace Lover

      “Its because of the so called educate peoples selfishness and racist thinking like Dayan”

      Thinking and Dayan don’t mix. His fingers work faster than his brain. Come to think of it when did Dayan think?

  • 11
    2

    What do you mean we had a bitter experience .. you lunatic. According to you all positions should only be held by Sinhalese supremists. Did you get your doctorate from the University for Veddahs. You comment do not even make you fit to work as a peon for Wimal Weerawansa. We are living in a pluralistic society. If an American can be the Minister of Economy and another American Sec of Defense in this country, why can’t a Sri Lankan Tamil be the leader of the opposition. I know, for a mentally deformed racist like you its too much to even imagine. I wish I had the opportunity to nail your coffin, now that you are already suffering from dementia and would succumb to your terminal illness sooner.I wish you spare the readers from your racist taunts till then.

    • 4
      6

      Hassan Musaffer

      “Did you get your doctorate from the University for Veddahs.”

      Have you ever tried to get a Doctorate from University for Veddahs?

      You won’t last more than two hours at our university of life.

  • 6
    2

    The selection of the leader of the opposition cannot be such a complex process. It has to be the head of the largest single party in the opposition, whichever it is. If the mantle falls on Sampanthan’s head, so what? The TNA is not a group of people who have gate crashed into the parliament. They are representatives of the people who elected them. Does it matter as to what a prospective opposition leader said at some particular meeting held some years ago? Was he ever charged for any such statement? So, what nonsense is this racist Dayan writing?

    Sengodan. M

  • 11
    2

    How ironic that Malinda Seneviratne, who was at one time aligned with extreme Sinhalese nationalists such as the JHU and the likes of Nalin De Silva and Gunadasa Amarasekara, and later an ardent defender of Mahinda Rajapaksa, supports Sampanthan as opposition leader, while one-time pretender to the progressive mantle, Dayan Jayatilleka, has taken the Nazi avatar and comes up with racist arguments to oppose Sampanthan.

  • 1
    5

    Dear Dr. Dayan. Don’t worry the last time it turned out just fine:

    Appapillai Amirthalingam was a leading Sri Lankan Tamil politician, Member of Parliament and Leader of the Opposition. Amirthalingam was assassinated by the Tamil Tigers. Wikipedia

    You are so worried about Sri Lanka.

  • 1
    4

    All the tax payers money that we spent in making you a ‘Dr.’ Money well spent. God bless Sri lanka.

  • 3
    1

    May I ask a very genuine question from you. You are a veteran Politics. It is really true. I admire you in that aspect. I was a professional expelled from the professional society.Today no professional cares me.Please answer my genuine question as a kind gesture.Do you consider both Tamils and Sinhalese are human and have equal rights for their living or existance.I really consider so. Or do you think since they are a minority group they are some what inferior and are not entitled to acquire their basic rights and needs similar to Sinhalese.I am asking this since I perceived such meaning from your articles. Really I could not understand them 100%.I feel you would be humble to clarify this matter.Usuallly I am a person who speak openly. When we speak openly we could solve even serious problems.

    • 1
      2

      Sriyani, The first [people to inhabit this country were from South India because of the land bridge that existed.The next to come were the Vijaya’s crowd. Vijaya’s [Edited out] and Vijaya was a thug with a following. The king dared not fight him because of his strength – man power, he was offered the facility of being sent out.Unfortunately he landed in this country. The women who arrived here -the so called princes- were nothing but tarts. We are all descendants of tarts 1200 time removed. YOu I and Jayatilake.

  • 1
    1

    DJ should instead writing absurd articles should try his hands on DJing
    He may have better luck. His argument is so pathetic that even a village idiot could sense where he is coming from. To me he looks an out and out racist.
    Why can’t this so called theorist be pragmatic and do some work to bring the various communities together rather than writing leading to gutter politics. Man wake up “live and let live”. It is time this gentleman should retire from writing and do some penance for all his past

  • 2
    0

    In DJs CV in the net I found under “Political Experience: Founder member, Movement for Inter-racial Justice and Equality (MIRJE)”. I cant believe it what a psycopath this guy should be. see it yourself: http://www.maayajo.org/IMG/SIMC/CV_H.E.%20Dr.%20Dayan%20%20Jayatilleka.pdf

    wasnt he working as a minister in 1989 under a seperatist and ex-terrorist as his boss in N&E provicial council?
    and if he is worried that the 19th ammendment is not constitutional the right way is to go to SC to file a law suit against passing the new amendment and not mobilize the mob.
    Sri Lanka needs the anti-racism propaganda law very urgently.

  • 0
    0

    Dayan are you aware that your latest article on your choice of politicians (ending with “lets keep RW and CBK out of our hair”) elections etc cannot be found on the CT website anymore.

    Hope it is a mistake.

  • 0
    0

    Sriyani Mangalika – Dayan is suffering from dementia.. What are you trying to get out of him. Its likely he is being fed with barrels of ethanol which was freely flowing into the country under the previous regime.

    Many would notice that he talking and writing just the opposite what he was preaching at Geneva. After all his descendants are migrants from S. India and hence his antagonism towards Tamils. He is sure to kick the bucket soon.

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