25 July, 2017

Sampur Incident & Tensions In Devolution

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

There are several issues related to the devolution of power to the provinces lurking behind the Sampur event where the Chief Minister (CM) of the Eastern Province (EP), Nazeer Ahamed, abused and insulted a senior naval officer, Captain I. R. Premaratne, at a school event where small children were present in addition to the US Ambassador. The behaviour typical of many politicians in recent past or even today should be condemned without hesitation.

The CM has apparently regretted his behaviour according to the SLMC leader, Rauff Hakeem (The Island, 26 May 2016), but in any decent democracy this is a matter that any responsible politician or political officeholder should have resigned on. Unfortunately we don’t have that responsible tradition in Sri Lanka. In addition to any ‘disciplinary’ inquiry conducted on the matter by the President or the government, the aggrieved naval officer has every right to claim damages from Nazeer Ahamed, and he may be liable not as the CM but in his personal capacity. Otherwise, the tax payers’ money would be wasted.

Bigger Issues

Having said that, there are two other issues more profound in my opinion than what appears to be the case. First is about the way the CM has apparently been treated at the said event without being invited to the stage by the compere. It is said that it was the Governor who gestured him to come on board and when he was approaching the stage he was stopped by the naval officer probably to give way for the small children. Could it be a mistake or misunderstanding? I really doubt. As The Island editorial (26 May 2016) rightly said, while condemning the behaviour of the CM, “The CM should be treated with due respect and if any official has been remiss in his duties action is called for against him.CM Nazeer at the event in March (blue tie)

Photo – CM Nazeer at the event in March (blue tie)

It is said that the event was organized by the Navy to declare open a computer unit and a science lab at the Sampur Mahavidyalayam to the benefit of the students. This is commendable. On the Navy initiative, they were the donations of the David Pieris Group and the incident has happened when some school bags were being distributed to the students on the stage. As the organizers of the event, it may be the prerogative of the Navy to choose the chief guest for the event although they could have invited both the Governor and the CM as chief guests or one as the guest of honour.

Sampur Mahavidyalayam to the best of my knowledge is a provincial school and not a national one, and the CM of the province and his administration have every right to participate and look into the matters of that school or any school under their purview. At least the CM should have been treated at the event with respect. If the present CM is an assertive one unlike the past CMs, it is not a negative attribute per se but rather a positive one except that the assertiveness should have been exercised with sophistication which is a rare commodity among many politicians.

It is not long time ago (only in March) that the Navy handed over 177 acres of land in the area to the original owners, on which the Sampur Mahavidyalayam was also situated, under President Sirisena’s directives. For that ceremony, the present CM also has participated. Therefore, the CM cannot be an unknown person to the Navy or the Captain. Even last year, 60 acres were released to the original owners on the initiative of the President.

Key Questions

Second issue is the following. According to the Navy News (website), the Sri Lanka Tamil Teachers’ Union has also praised the handing over of the ‘Maha Vidyalaya,’ the building renovated and furniture repaired, to the school management. This is again commendable.

However, who is in charge of the school management now? The provincial council, the central government or still the Navy?

These seem to be the crust of the problem where the CM and the Provincial Council were side-lined or neglected by the Navy or the Governor.

It is understandable in a way that the Navy or any section of the armed forces would prefer the Central Government to the Provincial Council/s or a Governor to a CM. There is no doubt that when the Governor is there, he should get priority. But this does not mean that the CM should be side-lined.

In addition, the Navy or the Army should come to terms with the devolved government structures in the provinces particularly in the North and the East where a heavy presence of them is required for security reasons. The relations should be most amicable on both sides. If these matters are not clear to the Navy or the Army, there should be some efforts to make them clear or clearer.

Some Experiences

I happened to visit the Eastern Provincial Council and Trincomalee in connection with an evaluation project of the Finance Commission and the World Bank in December 2010. That time the CM was Sivanesathurai Santhirakanthan. In addition to what we were investigating, it was my observation that the PC was under resourced particularly in terms of competent officers, knowhow and equipment/facilities except for buildings. Meagre capital and project funding was another issue. The tasks of resurrecting education and schools were enormous. I understand that for 2016, there is an increased capital fund allocation but this is still 1/4 of the recurrent expenditure. The recurrent expenditure mainly means for salaries and day to day expenses.

Displacement, poverty and housing were major problems affecting the people in the province. It is true that the contribution of the province to the national GDP still lingers around 7 percent as a consequence of the destructive separatist war. But the Eastern Province is traditionally called the country’s ‘Rice Bowl.’ There are many other areas through which the province could contribute to the national economy. But the most important pre-condition before all these is people’s confidence in the administration where their elected representatives are respected and their concerns are taken into proper consideration. This is the value of devolution and provincial councils closer to the people whatever the intermittent weaknesses.

Most important factor in this province is the ethnically mixed character of the population with almost an equal balance between the three major communities of the Tamils, the Muslims and the Sinhalese. In that sense, this province could be a laboratory of ethnic reconciliation if handled properly and with understanding. Otherwise it would be a future hell. This is where the Governor has a major neutral and empathetic role to play in addressing and appeasing various concerns and communities.

To make the long story short, during our visit to Trincomalee, there was a dinner invitation to us from a key naval officer who was a post-graduate student of one of my colleagues. On our way to the cantonment and his official mess that evening, almost near the premises, we were astonished by a small ‘shantytown’ with make shift structures and lingering human souls even at that hour. We stopped and watched. There were similar backyard areas even in the Trincomalee town which disturbed me most but this was different in scale and atmosphere.

In contrast, our friend’s official mess or the surroundings were like going from hell to heaven! We were facing the ocean, the sea breeze stimulating our cheeks and earlobes while we were sipping beer. It was a picturesque atmosphere minutely maintained by the navy soldiers. When we went near the beach, there was an illuminated ship and a building on to the further north. When we inquired, they were part of a navy-run tourist resort.

I did inquire about the ‘shanty town’ from our friend. He frankly admitted that those were the displaced people, mostly fisher folk, because of the land taken for security purposes. He himself was troubled as he himself admitted originating from a ‘poor family’ in the south. Those people were barred from fishing at least in that area. ‘We all are in a vicious cycle’ as he said.

Governor and the CM

There are obvious tensions behind the event between the Governor and the CM, if not at a personal level, in an institutional context. This is the biggest issue. However, what the CM has expressed so far relates to the person in the Governor, not so much of the institution. He has told the Daily Mirror (25 May 2016) that “I know the navy officers are innocent. It was the governor who was at fault.” What he has said about the ‘helicopter ride’ however is almost trivial although it was not at all tactful or diplomatic on the part of the Governor. There are delicate matters to be handled in the relationship between a Governor and a CM, on both sides, in particularly in the East or the North.

But subsequently the CM has expressed broader grievances saying ‘the Governor had shown a lack of respect for him, frequently undermining his authority in the province and interfering in his work.’ This is where some (controversial) constitutional arrangements between the Governor and the CM seem to be at play. This is what I call the ‘tensions in devolution.’ This is particularly true as the devolution of power is instituted in Sri Lanka under a presidential system unlike in India.

Even in India, according David Butler, “Conflicts between State Governors … (who are appointed by the central government) and Chief Ministers are endemic.” This he says in a study on “Surrogate for the Sovereign: Constitutional Heads of State in the Commonwealth” (p. 314). There is a more substantial study by Madhusoodanan Nair titled “Governors and Chief Ministers in Indian States: Conflicts and Relations.

There may be a different angle to the current conflict, what P. K. Balachandran has highlighted as ‘Muslims Politics’ (“Indian Express,” 27 May 2016). As he says, right or wrong, ‘the Muslims in Lanka have traditionally striven to make use of state power for the benefit of their community and this has led to confrontations with the powers-that-be.’ He also states that the ‘Eastern Tamils charge that Muslim-led administrations have not been giving them their due, and praise the Governor Fernando for standing up for them.’

All may be misunderstandings, miscommunications or misconceptions (hopefully). However, if there is any perception or doubt to that effect, then that needs to be addressed in a more amicable manner. Cooperative devolution, in its broadest sense of the term, might be the solution. This means not only the Governors and the CMs cooperating, but also the centre and the provinces as well as all political parties representing the people in the provinces cooperating. A committee system of government like introduced under the Donoughmore constitution (1931) or what is largely practiced in Switzerland might be the best.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    3

    As per recent Modis statement States get 65% finance and centre spend only 35%. In srilanka provinces get around 6% sometime back.i don’t know how much now. Still must be much less. Hope people are honest in promoting political and economical power devolution to the provinces and to the people. It is time to create provincial political parties to concentrate on the interest of its people and represent them by having genuine devolved powers. Then people may be able to see how Tamils have been shouldering the pain of promoting participating democracy all along for the benifit of the country.

    • 10
      4

      This is a very sane and rational presentation by the author touching all aspects that confront the mechanics of interaction between the centre and the NE provinces.
      In this regard the relevance of the contents of the penultimate para of this article is of particular significance because
      in the rest of the country’s provinces there is no such problem because of the predominance of the majority community.
      It may be that that one of reasons for the CM making a fool of himself in public could be the irritation at the back of his mind that the Governor was not giving him free reign to do as he wished and whenit was indicated by the Governor there is no room for the CM in the helicopter that straw broke the camel’s back.

    • 18
      12

      The armed forces leading, managing and meddling in the schools of the north and East must stop:

      This is their way of dinning in the majoritarian/Sinhalese hegemony of the over the Tamils and Tamil speaking Muslims.

      This is surely a recent phenomenon of Ethno-military fascism over the minorities.

      • 7
        18

        You want us to leave in the hands of unreformed LTTE operatives Thiru?

        How about going to Tamil Nadu across the straits and try to do that hey?

        Wash your mouth and go and have a our Sri Lanka again.

        Don’t like? Tough luck!

        • 6
          4

          you lot still don’t seems to get into your racist/thick skulls that till you come down from the high horse of racism there will be no genuin minority sri lankan in our country.and what it is in you lot that refuses to recognise you fellow countrymen as equals

          • 6
            0

            “”what it is in you lot that refuses to recognise you fellow countrymen as equals “”
            ethnic strife to take the run closer to home…

            jealousy and sorrow are one and the same.
            they adore the one you lure with the language – muslim
            Machilipatnam is a city in Krishna Dt.port city.

        • 3
          4

          hela viru ,wonder who is the true unreformed are

      • 10
        5

        UN level investigation is still going on and SL Gov was accused with words like “Genocide”.. . Until proper reconciliation process starts in NE, Military must NOT engage with any civilian matters.. Any form of meddling (even with good faith) with children in NE by military must be condemned and stopped.

      • 6
        3

        “The Tri-Forces have decided not to attend any functions attended by the Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed”

        Very Good!

        At least the Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed succeeded in keeping the armed forces at bay from civilian functions.

      • 4
        2

        A school function is a 100% civilian function. Why was a Naval Officer present there?

        Sengodan. M

        • 2
          4

          Because it is our country Thalaivar!

          • 4
            0

            If the Sri Lankan Muslims are considered as outsiders then everyone else in Sri Lanka other than the Veddas are also outsiders. The Muslims in Sri Lanka also have the same rights as the Sinhalese and the Tamils.

            The Sinhalese should not forget that their forefather Vijaya and the 700 criminals were deported from India and made to drift in the Bay of Bengal and by chance landed in the island Sri Lanka which belonged to the Veddas.

            • 2
              0

              Anver M

              “If the Sri Lankan Muslims are considered as outsiders then everyone else in Sri Lanka other than the Veddas are also outsiders.”

              Isn’t it a good reason to send the descendants of Kallathonies back to whence their ancestors came?

              • 0
                0

                Oh No, please we dont need these idiots to spoil our little peace prevalent here

      • 2
        1

        The Armed Forces should keep out of School activities.The armed forces chief should aplogise to the Chief Minister.

  • 7
    4

    Prof.Laksiri,

    In recent visits to Batticaloa, I noticed that exclusively Tamil and Muslim towns/ villages though adjacent to each other, have become exclusive enclaves . Major highways pass through them and the Tamils and Muslims shop in each other’s towns. However, there are deep suspicions regarding each other.

    The Middle Eastern funds that flow into the Muslim enclaves also contribute to a visible difference and resentment in the adjacent Tamil enclaves.

    A Chief Minister, whether he be a Tamil, Muslim or Sinhalese, has to win the confidence of all the people in equal measure. It will be extremely difficult to find a Chief Minister with attributes to transcend ethnic bias in such a polarized situation. Tamils will rarely vote for a Muslim and Muslims will rarely vote for a Tamil. In districts where there are all three ethnic groups, the situation will be more complicated.

    It is a very unhealthy and complicated situation. In these circumstances, the Governor has to play a neutral and objective role. He becomes a referee of sortsand ensure that every citizen is treated alike regardless of the ethnic identity of the Chief Minister. He has to inevitably overule the CM. Since no man can please everyone, there are bound to be problems and room for the blame game. It will be difficult to find a person of Govenor Austin Fernando’s caliber and quality in the future. This does not bode well for the east.

    The Eastern Province is going to be a major problem in effectively devolving power, if ever it comes to pass.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 1
      0

      Dear Dr. Narendran,
      At least now you have realised what is happening. It is the Successive Sinhala governments which are responsible for the plight of Tamils in eastern province. First they settled large amount of Sinhalese to alter the demographic pattern. No action was taken to stop murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils by the Sinhalese. During the war with LTTE, they even allowed Muslims to commit attrocities on Tamils by killing and appropriating their properties. Now the government is turning a blind eye to the involvement of Muslim countries in giving money to Muslims to economically suppress Tamils by forcibly buying their properties and businesses. At the last provincial council elections, though TNA scored the highest number of seats, they were not allowed to form the government despite fair minded Sinhalese and Muslims were willing to support them. It is the Sinhalese who have placed Tamils into this pathetic position and therefore if they are fair minded it is their duty to correct the injustices done and protect them from machinations of Muslim extremists supported by Muslim countries.

  • 7
    0

    Genuine devolved powers is the crux of the matter.”Having the cake and eating it solely is not Devolution” A committee system of government is a good starting point at least at this eleventh hour.This will benefit the Country and Peace will prevail.

  • 7
    4

    The author, as usual, writes with honesty with the intension that his country of origin attain the group of civilised nations. But the familial rulers have been more interested in serving themselves more than the country and the last one groomed robbers to swindle each and every governmental constituent and secure large amount of wealth for future generations of his accomplices and the family. To that end he allowed the military control the NE provinces and use his military victory over armed rebellion silence his constituency. The military encouraged robbery, drugs and liquor shops divert the youths of NE into music and cricket away from studies. The police just ignored or sought share from the proceed of robberies and thefts and got interested in demanding bribes from motor cyclists, car drivers and agricultural vehicles.

    What the author suggests as the appropriate system of devolution is the Federal system of Switzerland where many linguistic communities live in harmony was also suggested by a rare sincere Tamil leader by the name of S J V Chelvanayagam.

  • 3
    2

    In srilankan context existence of governors are impediment for power devolution. They were created in previous centuries. In 21st century it is a burden as we have better technologies to communicate to ensure provincial cooperation to build a nation in globalisation era. Governors if necessary can be outsourced to the centre! Their existence in the periphery unless it’s symbolic gesture as central represention is a not a prerequisite for effective devolved government. Courageous Innovative ideas can ensure evolution of humanity in our island. Do we have courage? People have been forced to trust the leaders. Leaders don’t have the courage to trust the people. If we are honest it is possible.

  • 5
    0

    Dr.R.N.

    Your line…..
    ….The Eastern Province is going to be a major problem in effectively devolving Power,if ever it comes to pass….
    In fact this going to be the ACHILLES heel.
    Tamils in the Eastern Province are not happy with the Muslim-led Administration.
    Thankfully,Governor Austin Fernando check-mates the brazen and Bull-in-a Chinashop attitude of this CM.

    The political game of the Muslims is to join forces with any Govt:of the day [Vaasi Pathata hoiya].Hakeem was Minister with MaRa and now he is Mnister with MS-RW. Being on the ruling side they have a propensity to ride roughshod over the Tamils.This is particularly so in the south-East region of the Eastern Province.I have several politically conscious Tamils in the region who have told me this.
    Why not the Tamils in the Eastern Province join forces with the Sinhalese in the Region?

    Perhaps,as Dr.Laksiri has suggested in this fine essay,a committee system of Govt:like introduced under the Donoughmore Constitution[1931] might be the best for the East.

    Whatever,it may be,Governor Austin Fernando is the best choice for the East and should continue to guide the Destiny of the East,even though the CM IS A PAIN IN THE NECK!

  • 5
    0

    well said Dr Fernando,it is high time that people like your self,take leadership and educate the uncivilised/uneducated brethren to the fact that without giving respect and equal rights you can never get the alienated minority to truly feel SRILANKAN

  • 7
    4

    The reality is that Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim division is real. Tamils will vote only for Tamils; Sinhalese only vote for Sinhalese and Muslims vote for only Muslims. The problems between Sinhalese and Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims, Muslims and Tamils are always there since the nation was brought under Sinhalese rule in the name of democracy.

    • 0
      0

      That is why I always say there is NO solution to the ethnic problem.

      Soma

      • 2
        0

        somaasss

        “That is why I always say there is NO solution to the ethnic problem.”

        That is why I have always suspected that you are working on a hidden agenda.

  • 8
    0

    Dr Laksiri Fernando,

    We do not want the 13A diluted and hence this response.

    On the contrary, we expect 13A+ after the shortcomings in 13A rectified.

    Dr laksiri refers to holding of a disciplinary inquiry against the Chief Minister by the President or by the Government.

    Neither is possible under 13 A

    The president or the government could not hold any inquiry, disciplinary inquiry or otherwise, because the 13A or the Provincial Council Act No 42 or any subsequent amendments does not have any provision to hold disciplinary inquiry or to remove the Chief Minister by the president under any circumstances, unless the Chief Minister had advocated secession or done something towards separation.- Provincial Council (Amendment )Act No 27 of 1990.

    However,Disciplinary inquiry could be held against the naval officer if he had contravened any rules of regulations of the state or the Navy.

    Chief Minister (CM) of the Eastern Province (EP), Nazeer Ahamed, had abused and insulted a senior naval officer., The behavior of the Chief Minister should be condemned, censured and he must be called to resign and if possible a no confidence motion should be brought against him.

    Only the members of the EPC could do anything in this regard.

    This is a political issue and therefore it should be dealt politically.

    There are no roles for the President or the government to do.

    The 13A should under no circumstances be diluted on any ground.

    Having said this, no one should think that I am condoning the Chief Minister but I am only defending the devolution.

    The 13A limits the powers of the President as well the Governor even in dissolving a Provincial Council.

    The Governor has the power to dissolve the provincial Council, but could do so only with the advice of the Chief Minister as long as the Board of Ministers commands, in the opinion of the Governor, has the support of the majority of the provincial Council.-154(B),Para (b)and (c) of 13A.

    Neither the President or the governor has the power to dissolve the Provincial Council.

    The Eastern Governor Mr Austin Fernando, being a former Secretary to the State Ministry of Provincial Councils and later as a respected Resource Person of the institute of Constitutional Studies of Dr Jayampathy Wicramaratnae,may not be unaware of the provisions of the 13 A.

    • 1
      0

      Dear Sri-Krish,
      We are wasting our time here trying to get justice. Read the report submitted by the people consultation committee to draft a new constitution headed by Mr. Lal Wijenayake :

      1. No change to unitary constitution.
      2. No North-east merger. Not only that they have recommended to do away with section that allows for the merger.They have clearly stated that the concept of nine separate provinces must continue.
      3. Powers granted to provincial council can be withdrawn by government without the consent of the provincial council. This will allow any future government to remove powers agreed upon now.
      4. Police will be under government. Police personnel in a province will have to work with Chief minister and members in maintaining law and order. But in interrogating and filing cases police will be independant of provincial council. It is not clear whether any order given by provincial council regarding law and order can be over ruled by the government. Also it is not clear whether police are independent of the government in interrogating and filing cases.
      4. No direct land powers to the provincial council. There will be a land commission composed of members appointed by government which will decide on allocation of lands to provincial council.
      5. Nothing is said about fiscal powers and the provincial council will have to depend on whatever the government is willing to give.

      Problem is that, at least 90% of sinhalese do not want to share power and territory with Tamils. It is clear that the new constitution is going to take away whatever meaningful provisions about devolution of power entrenched in the constitution, in other words 13 minus.

      They are talking of a second chaber with a higher number of minorities to counteract the power of the Sinhala majority parliament. This will be of no use to Tamils as history shows that Muslims have always supported all anti-Tamil legislations by past Srilanka governments.

      They are talking of a minority member being elected by parliament as the vice-President. It is not always Tamil and can be Muslim or even Sinhala christian. Only a Tamil who is a Sinhala lackey, and does not have the courage to challenge Sinhala chauvinists will get the post.

      I have always been telling that no Sinhala government will on their own grant any legitimate rights to Tamils, and that only by foreign intervention the Tamil demand for justice can be achieved as what has happened in other countries which had suppressed their minorities.

  • 7
    5

    First of all the naval officer has no damn right to carry out civil duties and that too without the approval of the Chief minister and the council. The language used by the Chief Minister is the only language the naval officer could understand. Therefore the Chief Minister was right in reprimanding the naval officer. The governors of North and East engage in some work in the provinces without the knowledge of the Chief Minister of the Council. Is it right?
    It is the government’s duty to ensure that the trio security personnel are not engaged in civic duties either in the North or East. It is the underhand work of the government to allow the military to intervene in civil matters particularly in the North and East.
    I blame the Tamil leaders for supporting the government by which the International community is again supportive of the Sri Lankan Government because there is no protest against the government and the International community do not understand what is happening in Sri lanka.
    When the war ended and when the government declared victory over the LTTE, the army and navy should have vacated all private lands that were taken over by the military by force. Releasing lands little by little to the owners shows how the ordinary people are treated by the government. The people are treated as dirt. After five years, either Sirisena or Ranil will come to North and East canvassing for votes. The people of the North and East should be firm in their stance and not vote for any of them even the TNA candidates. The government has failed and the TNA has failed by the people of the North and East.

  • 3
    2

    “…………………..particularly in the North and East where a heavy presence of them is required for security reasons”.

    What are these “security reasons”?

    Laksiri Fernando is singing the same song of the military, to justify their unwelcome presence, which is resented by almost all citizens.

    Why?

    • 3
      1

      Do some of you think, what took place was a cock fight? It appears so.

      Dr.RN

  • 5
    1

    Dr. Laksiri Fernando,
    “”There may be a different angle to the current conflict, what P. K. Balachandran has highlighted as ‘Muslims Politics’ (“Indian Express,” 27 May 2016). As he says, right or wrong, ‘the Muslims in Lanka have traditionally striven to make use of state power for the benefit of their community and this has led to confrontations with the powers-that-be.’ He also states that the ‘Eastern Tamils charge that Muslim-led administrations have not been giving them their due, and praise the Governor Fernando for standing up for them.’””

    Where on earth did the `mosque congregating muslims vote` `outside` the mosque request?? The Buddhist(lankave only) copy the muslim vote pattern so there is no civil freedom as in the USA.
    What the crusades of both the roman emperor vs ottomans, inclusive of USA and all others have failed, now what makes you propose western democracy outside of syaria law?

    The best bet for a boogieman nation is to lease it for 99 years and forget the stolen jobs, foreign post and foreign stay at diplomatic cost, VVIP passports, stolen scholarships- all for a few buggers shouting racist slogans to keep the boogieman alive.

    Isn’t your je ne sais quoi factor is showing
    (that which cannot be described effectively- like chip on shoulder)
    from last comment to this article?

    At best we can have is the powers attributed to
    `Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Northern Ireland`, for Northern Province Governor not the books or articles adopted by others to suit their attitudes.-

    Both need to get along,as in the north at present, proposals can only be their proposals not described as demands by the unfamiliar stomachs.

    The largesse political science can only kindle the same old wine and take the island below the Peaking wall of dead socialism;))))

    Bunch of Palm trees

  • 1
    6

    Yahapalana Professor has finally come up with something real and relevant to the great majority of our inhabitant population who are the rural poor.

    The Senior Navy Officer who took the Professor for a free feed in the Mess at the Tax payers expense.has “originated from the poor rural stock in the South”.

    First , this origination wouldn’t have been possible without our kids being able to learning in their Mother Tongue.

    Secondly,if this Yahapalanaya didn’t destroy the 1000 Maha Vidyalayams the non Yahapalana Govt had organized, there would have been tens of thousands more originating from the same stock.not only from the South but also the North , the East and the West.

    That is all history now.

    Thanks to Batatalanda Ranil and Bodhi Sira’s Yahapalanaya.

    But the Yahapalanaya has given us halfwits, who even physically attack Armed Forces Officers in public,and call fellow MPS , “Ammmata digital”… .

    And the Yahapalana PM demands the Armed Forces Chiefs to tell him why their Officer got attacked by a Wahabi nitwit?.

    • 6
      0

      KASmaalam KA Sumanasekera

      “First , this origination wouldn’t have been possible without our kids being able to learning in their Mother Tongue.”

      Learning in mother tongue is a good idea.

      It has produced invert looking, pathetic, horrible, crooks, limited in their world view and ability to communicate in other languages, resistance learn and change, a stagnant people who cannot see beyond their nose, …. however they enjoy everything foreign, malt, gas-guzzlers, western medicines, imported technology, …. wasting precious foreign exchange earned by the rural poor women in medieval middle east countries.

      The learning only in mother tongue hasn’t produce any world class thinkers nor it has produced and great scientific minds.

      Only in the past this country was able produce more than it share of enough internationally recognized world class scholars who were versed at least in two or more languages.

      Look at the world class scholars we have so far produced including Wimal, Mervyn Silva PhD, Duminda, …. yourself, balah, …. MR, GR, ….

      This shows how your Sinhala only education has benefited the people, it has produced stupid who voted for free imported rice from moon.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Native,

        Please don’t put me in the same class as Dr Mervyn, He is your property, now.

        Your mate Bodhis Sira ( or is it your new Hero Batanda ) wants to make him the Organizer for Beliatta to grab Hambantota.

        May be your mate Keselwatta kid whom I am told has a world class brain obtained from Oxford, now needs Viagra in the form of Dr Mervyn to keep the irate inhabitants at bay.

        • 3
          0

          KASmalam KA Sumanasekera

          “Please don’t put me in the same class as Dr Mervyn, He is your property, now.”

          If you don’t want me to put you in the same class then of you must seriously consider re-branding yourself, maybe with help from a spin doctor.

          Why are you distancing yourself from Wimal, Mervyn, ….. others? Prove to us you are not one of them, and show us why you are of different class from the other lot whom you were very much in love with.

  • 5
    1

    Dr Laksiri Fernando,

    The Governors and the Chief Ministers in the Northern and Eastern provinces could not work amicably and you call it as ‘tensions in devolution.’ and you blame it on the “ devolution of power” as constituted in Sri Lanka under a Presidential System unlike in India.

    Yes! 13 A is a carbon copy of the Indian constitution in respect of devolution of power. It is also true that in India , devolution of power is under a quasi federal constitution and under a parliamentary System whereas in Sri Lanka the devolution is under a unitary Constitution and under a presidential system.

    But this understanding does not explain why there should be tension between the Governors and the Chief Ministers only in the Northern and Eastern provinces whereas in all other seven provinces, the relationship is excellent and there is no such tension.

    Why this dichotomy?

    The reason is because in all seven provinces the Governors work within the letter and spirit of the constitutional provisions (13A) whereas in the Northern and Eastern Provinces whether military Governors or not almost all of them virtually behave like Viceroys of colonial India.

    The Governors should leave whether development or ethnic harmony to the elected representatives of the Provincial Council and be no more than a watchdog that barks, not bite!

    • 0
      4

      Sri-Krish,

      Some of your points are well taken. However, don’t be too deterministic or dogmatic even on devolution. What should prevail, in addition to devolution, is constitutionalism, rule of law and democracy (decency added). Neither the elected representatives nor the governors are sacrosanct.

      When public services are devolved, like education or health for example, there is also a danger of them becoming over-politicized under the provincial councils perhaps more than under the central government. Sampur incident is only one example. This is true not only for the North and the East but for all provinces. This has happened and happening in the South.

      Tks

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        “”Some of your points are well taken. However, don’t be too deterministic or dogmatic even on devolution. What should prevail, in addition to devolution, is constitutionalism, rule of law and democracy (decency added). Neither the elected representatives nor the governors are sacrosanct. 2″”

        The more one writes the more stupidity one exposes and above all the secrets of who is friend and foe.

        The island of the monkey who got a hand grenade after he was cared for by the English speaking European world.

        Neither is democracy, socialism or combination good for the bath guli people.
        They can only be governed with a knuckle duster to fend for themselves or perish. All this having a say brings misery to the majority and idolizes the sociopaths from university to the streets.

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        Dear Prof. Laksiri,
        I agree with you neither elected representatives or governors are sacrosanct. But in the case of this conflict, it is the governors who are at fault, interfering and sabotaging the devolution process at the instigation of the government. So why put all of them in one pot. Similarly members of parliament and President are also not sacrosanct. Do you then advocate that the Political system in Srilanka is at fault and hand over the country back to British rule. Do not find fault with devolution, when in actual fact the culprits are the Sinhala racists.

        You say that if education or health is devolved to provincial council, there is a danger of them being over politiciised. At present the education system controlled by the government is practicing racial discrimination against Tamils, and is this not over politicization. You are trying to distort Sampur incident to debase devolution, as it is very clear it was a result of navy interfering with the function of the provincial council. The basic problem is the unitary constitution.

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    The writer has conveniently overlooked the fatwa issued by the tri-forces to the Chief Ministet stating that he will not be allowed to visit any of the camps maintained by the armed forces. Civilian authority over the armed forces is a non/ negotiable condition of a democracy. Armed forces cannot make unilateral decision to punish the Chief Ministet who is an elected representative of the people. Only thing they can do is to report to the appropriate civilian authority to inquire and take a decision. This could be a very dangerous precedent. In fact it is not the CM who should resigned, but the Secretary of the Defence who allowed the armed forces to issue a fatwa in the absence of the commander in chief, President Sirisena.

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    Prof Laksiri is a columnist who enjoys his writing.[Edited out]

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    The author has conveniently omitted mentioning the fatwa issued by the tri-forces preventing the CM to visit the army camps in the province. Military should be subjected to civilian authority and hence the tri-forces cannot make a unilateral decision to punish the CM. All they can do is to report the incident to the civilian authorities who should hold a inquiry by calling explanations from all relevant persons. In fact the Secratary of Defence should tender his resignation for allowing the tri- forces to issue a fatwa against the CM who is an elected representative of the people. Stern actions should be taken to prevent forces taking unilateral decision without a direction from the civilian authority, in this case the President Sirisena who is also the commander in chief.

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    Sri lanaka not ready for partition on Ethnic and Religion basis.

    The Federal solution is nothing else by divide line of narrow politics of British Empire set plan back by Tamil diaspora.

    And Christen of NGO’s of political motivated and religious groups oriented that like Catholicise of Vatican’s agenda.

    Muslims been press by certain anti-Buddhist outfits.

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    Dr Laksiri fernando,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I am not being deterministic or dogmatic.

    What i want is good governance and devolution to satisfy the people at the periphery.

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