23 September, 2020

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Sirisena Can Take The Cue From Obama

By C P Thiagarajah

Dr. C P Thiagarajah

Dr. C P Thiagarajah

Sirisena can Take the cue from Obama to build Two Nations in Sri Lanka

Mr Barak Obama is an epitome of modern democracy. In would have been a sheer impossibility for a person of a mixed race from African American to become the president of USA about a decade ago. But he did it in 20 January 2009. He won a second time on 20 January 2013 also showing that Americans really are a true democratic nation above race religion and all petty classification and groupings that appear in tick boxes in a census survey form.

Obama in his sixth address, on the State of the Union on January 20th 2015 emphasised that a state should work for the liberty and economic freedom of its citizens. He was eloquent when he said “a better politics unites us”.

The gist of his ‘better politics’ relevant to Sri Lankans at the moment when a nepotistic dictatorial regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR), had been voted out by the entire Sri-Lankan citizens, are the following.

Obama’s oratory was at best when he said “As Americans, we cherish our civil liberties, and we need to uphold that commitment if we want maximum cooperation from other countries.

That’s a better politics. That’s how we start rebuilding trust. That’s how we move this country forward. That’s what the American people want. And that’s what they deserve”.

He went on “We need to do more than just do no harm. Tonight, together, let’s do more to restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every American”.

“A better politics is one where we appeal to each other’s basic decency instead of our basest fears. A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other; where we talk issues and values, and principles and facts, rather than “gotcha” moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives”. There was great applause from the dignified audience.

He continued “politics – a better politics is one where we spend less time drowning in dark money for ads that pull us into the gutter, and spend more time lifting young people up with a sense of purpose and possibility, asking them to join in the great mission of building America.

If we’re going to have arguments, let’s have arguments, but let’s make them debates worthy of this body and worthy of this country.

I was really moved when Obama touched on the future wealth of the country the children of the future.

“I want our actions to tell every child, in every neighbourhood: your life matters, and we are as committed to improving your life chances as we are for our own kids”.

Picture of Children Victims of War- Picture courtesy Amantha Perera IPS

Picture of Children Victims of War- Picture courtesy Amantha Perera IPS

Amantha Perera in IPS of 21 Jan 2015 gave a good picture and account of the Vanni Tamil children who are victims of the 2009 war.

Amantha adds “A quarter of a million people who were displaced during the last phase of the war, along with tens of thousands of others who fled at other stages of the conflict, have moved back to the Vanni. Many families with small children continue to live in slum-like conditions, as a funding shortfall has left many without proper houses”.

The previous regime of MR had done nothing to alleviate the hardship of those who were rendered homeless in the rounding up and indiscriminate bombing during the war. It had been reported that the war spawned 90000 widows who are still languishing in makeshift temporary huts. It is height of irony and cheek that MR provided air condition rooms for his pet dogs and forgot this Eelam kids and widows. Where has Lord Buddha’s teaching of compassion gone?

Obama speaking on the importance of education of the youth added

“By the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education – two in three. And yet, we still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need. It’s not fair to them, and it’s sure not smart for our future”. 

Can the child photographed above enter the steps of a university at least to have a look what it looks like? No one is bothered except Amantha Perera.

Unless the concept of ‘two nations’ are accepted equal opportunities for the Tamils will be bleak. Past history from the days of the state council up to now highlight this anomaly. If not some sort of autonomy to the Traditional Homeland of the Tamils of North and East (TH) are finalised the sore of the wounded Tamils will fester further. This is not a pessimistic prediction or doom mongering but the reality. The proposed Amendment 13 is old wine in new bottle. Even to implement this the Sirisena government is appointing a committee to examine the issue. It may be construed as delaying tactics. Procrastination is the thief of time and it is also a sign of hesitation and reluctance to enforce it. MR undertook to implement Amendment 13+ to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, but he completely backtracked it till he lost the elections. I wonder if Sirisena is considering doling out only Amendment 13-.

Amendment 13 will be detrimental to Tamils and will pave way to the annihilation of the Traditional Homelands of the Tamils of North and East of Lanka that existed for over 2000 years. The 13th Amendment refuses to recognize the existence of the Tamil people as a people with a homeland.

The 13th Amendment will do nothing to share executive power with the Tamil people because such power will continue to be vested in the President and in his servants. It will do nothing to secure an equitable allocation of financial resources to Tamil areas because such allocation will continue to be determined at the discretion of a Sinhala dominated Central Government.

The basic provisions of the 13th Amendment is the creation of a Provincial Council without control of the power of planning, without control of the provincial budget, without control of police and public order within the province, without control of disposition of state land within the province, without control of higher education and whose remaining meagre legislative powers are subject to the overriding will of the Central Parliament. Finally, the provisions of the Provincial Councils Act itself may be amended from time to time by a simple majority of members present and voting in Parliament.

The Tamil National Alliance like the Brahmin in Pancha Tantra storey who was tricked and killed by an old and infirm tiger, fell for the rebottled 13th Amendment. The Tamils rejected it when Rajiv introduced it because it did not give any modicum of control that will give relief to many discriminatory practices adopted by past rulers, DS, SWRD, JR, Srima Bandaranaike, Chandrika Bandaranaike, R Premadasa and MR. These Sinhala supremacist imposed on the Tamils what they wanted according to their whims and fancies. No legal challenges deterred them because they had all political power with them. JR once told a reporter that he has all powers except the power to make woman a man and vice versa.

Under Amendment 13 state aided Sinhala colonisation of the Northern and Eastern Provinces will continue because the power of distributing state land will be in the hands of a Sinhala dominated Central Government. Most colonisation in the past in Eastern province was in the fertile land that belonged to the TH eg Gal oya (Paddipallai Aru in Tamil),Inginiyagala and Padiruppu.

The 13th Amendment will do nothing to prevent standardisation of admission to Universities, because higher education is a subject excluded from the Provincial List.

The 13th Amendment will do nothing to control the abuse of police powers because the subject of ‘Police and Public Order’ in the Provinces will continue to be effectively vested in a Sinhala dominated Central Government.

The 13th Amendment will do nothing to prevent the operation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act whose provisions were described by the International Commission of Jurists as a ‘blot on the statute book of any civilised country’ because this too will be within the competence of a Sinhala dominated Central Government. It can introduce it regionally even to crush the minorities in the event of an unjust Sinhala president so decides.

The 13th Amendment will do nothing to prevent the operation of emergency regulations which enable Tamils to be killed and disposed of without a post mortem inquiry and which regulations have been condemned by Amnesty International as an encouragement to indulge in extra judicial killings.(Amnesty International Report, 1984)

The 13th Amendment will do nothing to prevent the operation of the 6th Amendment to the Constitution which according to the International Commission of Jurists, violated the right to freedom of expression.

On the contrary, the 13th Amendment will require members of the Provincial Council to take their oaths under the 6th Amendment and acquiesce in and sanction such violation.

The 13th Amendment, however, seeks to create a Constitutional frame within which the Sinhala people may rule the Tamils of Eelam more effectively by creating and nurturing a class of Tamils dependent on the patronage of a Sinhala dominated Central Government for their political and perhaps, even their physical, survival. There is no rhyme or reason for introducing Amendment 13 at this point in time after all life sacrifices extracted from the Tamils by war criminals. A new proposal based on true democracy, should be offered by Mr Sirisena on the principles enunciated above by Mr Barak Obama so that freedom signified by the statue of Liberty can be imprinted in the history of this island. Historical and recent history of economic competition and confrontations suggest that a concept of two nation and one country is a robust proposal for the present political problem.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    2

    Your article is very good and informative, may I ask does any Sri Lankan politician follow good principles of other international leaders or politicians, answer is NO. They have no capacity to comprehend the task ahead of them, they will utter popular public slogans in their campaign to seek votes, once they are in power, they become megalomaniacs, so far the current presidents actions are no different, either by his own lack of intelligence or being influenced by his goons. Kindly look at his executive appointments, there is no indication that proper procedures are followed, they political appointees, displaying political nepotism.

  • 4
    1

    Srisena’s background of being in the middle of chauvinistic Sinhalese leaders all these years, along with the other chauvinistic leaders in his company, such Chandrika Kumarthunga, RanilWickramasinghe, Fonseka etc. its highly unlikely this leadership will deliver anything meaningful to the Tamils, however, they may succeed convincing the world to get away from the UN Investigation and may succeed convincing some within TNA for 13Amendment and solution within the unitary system.

  • 8
    6

    Amendment 13 will be detrimental to Tamils and will pave way to the annihilation of the Traditional Homelands of the Tamils of North and East of Lanka that existed for over 2000 years.

    Looks like this guy missed the memo! Here it is again.

    http://jaffnahistory.com/Northern_Province/Sinhala_Villages_of_Jaffna_1695.html
    http://jaffnahistory.com/Eastern_Province/Sinhala_Villages_of_Eastern_Lanka_1695.html

    The entire north east of Ceylon was Sinhala before the British colonised the island.

    You are the butler the British brought with them. You are the slave trained to serve the British. Unfortunately they left you behind when they left.

    13th amendment cannot “annihilate” something that never existed. So get real please.

    • 4
      2

      Vibushana,

      Your family came as Cinnamon Peelers.

    • 0
      1

      The Dutch were in Cahoots with the Sinhaloids to sinhalamorphocide the ancient We Thamizh homelands. Which totally, 100% existed. Like Mordor :D :D

  • 7
    4

    This Dr CPT refers to Obama and Modi as Mr. but he does not have decency to call President of Sri Lanka as Mr in 13 references to his name. Diashora are living in west and dictating terms on Sri Lanka. Our country is a so small compared to size of India and UAE. Dr. CPT is referring to “Tamils of Elam” these Tamil diashora are still living in a imaginary dream world.

    They tried their level best to get Northern/East Tamils to boycott the the vote, now writing crap about I Quote “Unless the concept of ‘two nations’ are accepted equal opportunities for the Tamils will be bleak”

    In the end Tamils have shown they have come of age and don;t require tamil diashora to dictate term to them.

  • 1
    3

    I mean to say India and USA.

  • 7
    5

    “Mr Barak Obama is an epitome of modern democracy” – thats when I stopped reading your article.
    I don’t think you have any idea what democracy means.
    Barack Obama is a black man installed to white wash a lie.
    if u don’t understand that, you should not be writing articles on colombotelegraph.

  • 10
    5

    A stupid article by a LTTE vampire.

    OBama is the symbol of democracy.

    Ask Libyans, Syrians and now Ukranians.

    Stupidity of the author is boundless.

  • 5
    1

    OOYI Theiyagjah;

    “Sirisena can Take the cue from Obama to build Two Nations in Sri Lanka”.

    Adei, WHAT Bloody Two Nations????,

    Oneku Thmilanta KUDICHCHEY RITHTHEM KAANAADA, ADAyei?????.

    WHAT \Nonsenses, Are You crazy ?????????
    We do not have Two nations Here In Sri Lanka,
    No Indians, No Paakis, No Bengalis with Us.

    We are Only an ONE NATION , SRI LANKANS ONLY.
    YOU RACISTS, Do not Try To divide Sri Lankans.

    If Any Body Does Not Like That, They Can Go Any Where They Like.
    There were Few US passport Holder, Some of them Ran away With looted money but without telling or taking their Sleeping mats.

    “Unless the concept of ‘two nations’ are accepted equal opportunities for the Tamils will be bleak. Past history from the days of the state council up to now highlight this anomaly. If not some sort of autonomy to the Traditional Homeland of the Tamils of North and East”.

    Do not Bring You HUMBUG EXTRISTS IDEAS, STORIES TO SRI LANKA.
    We know What your Thalaiwar gave to Innocent Tamils????.
    And That Killer Did not Spared His Own Son Bala, that 2 year old Poor Kid who knows Nothing of your racialists ideas or Your extremisms.

    Keep Them, your racialists ideas or Your extremisms With Your PEELAMISTs Like Rudrakumar, Naduwanan.
    Do not EXPECT ANY PEELAAM IN SRI LANKA YOU LEACHES.
    Die WITH THEM, With out Giving racialist POISON to other people.

    This Person, who is Having a doctorate May be with a foreign citizenry, Calling Sri lanka’s new president Just “Sirisena” as he doesn’t have any etiquette.
    It doesn’t matter, As Mr Sirisena is Humble Gentle man,

    But ” Why Mr Sirisena wants to get any Cue from Mr Obama”,

    Mr Obama,He is not a Superman, And Sri lanka’s President Do not want a Doctorate to Solve Sri lankas Problems Of the DREAM PEELAAM.

    And These Peelamists are living Luxuries lives in the western countries and asking poor Sri Lankan Tamils to Go to Gallows on Behalf of Them, The PEELAMISTS.

    Pirapharan, His PEELAMISTS, and His goons Led Tamizar to down fall, Recruited Kids to Killing machine, and kill other races kids, smashing on Trees and Now crying Crocodile Tears for Innocent Kids future.
    Your God Kaaliamman will never Forgive Nediyawanan, Norway Jeya chandran and USA Sridharan .

    I got information How TELO Charly Anthonydas Who collected vast some of money and His LTTE goons, Cut the tongue of Trinco Nason, and other kids and killed them in Vauniya jungle,

    You All are No different from Boriya The Gohothambaya and goons.

    NOW YOU HYENAS COME AND ASKING FOR PEELAM????/.
    Remember Again,
    People living in North and East do not wantany Tamizar Eazham, but some help to build their lives back.

    We Buddhist Sinhalese Expect From New President, Mr Sirisena will Do that with his Maithree Heart,What he can to help Out Tmizar Bretheran to getup again PEACFULY with Respect,

  • 5
    0

    “Obama in his sixth address, on the State of the Union on January 20th 2015 emphasised that a state should work for the liberty and economic freedom of its citizens. He was eloquent when he said “a better politics unites us”.”

    Yeah right. State should also work towards destroying others freedoms liberties and economies as well.
    Better politics? Not necessarily so of Yahapalanaya politcs.

    When Sri Lanka posess nuke capabilities Mr.Prez could follow Obama. Untill then people who brough him to power can make the the Prez run round in circles not knowing whats happening around him.
    That is what is happening now.

    Mr.Sirisena’s victory hijacked.
    I am afraid with all these corruption / Coup complaints at the end of the day,whether Mr.Prez would end up behind bars and Mongols in the Presidential Chair.

    I worrry for the wellbing of this President elect as he is surrounded by a couple of hungry wolfs & vultures.

  • 3
    0

    “Two Nations” in any form would be disastrous to a little nation like Sri Lanka. Our leaders have lived with a culture of believing all Tamils supported LTTE and wanted a spearation that it must be difficult to consider not discriminating against them instead. I remember in 1975 there were only two Tamil students, sponsored by a local european entrepreneur, boarded in St. Thomas Gurutelawa and the then warden, the late Mr. Patrick Gunewardene mercilessly hounded by almost everyone, including some of his colleagues to expel these students. To his credit he stood firm and the entire school rewarded handsomely over the years by the entrepreneur. What we should be aiming for is the elimination of all forms of petty discrimination. Where are the Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays and Chinese in our Army, Navy, Air Force or Police. We need affirmative actions to recruit these people and the question of race should not be in the application forms. Who knows, we might reach the stage like the American boy who asked his mother if he could bring his friend from school for tea. His mother asked him if he was black and he says “I don’t know, I haven’t looked”.

  • 1
    1

    The minorities, especially tamils, mainly voted for a change of governance.
    President Sirisena can & should enable all that happens in the mode of decision making, allocation of resources and implementation, in all other seven provincial councils, to happen in the northern and eastern provinces too.
    He should now instruct the new governors, to allow this to happen.
    He has also appointed a new secretary to the NPC.
    Then he can wait to see how things develop.

  • 1
    1

    Mr T: Keep dreaming…. If you want eelam, go build it in Tamil Nadu, the home to a gazillion tamils. Never in Sri Lanka…

  • 1
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    To what school did Vibhushana, the name of a Tamil traitor, go to get educated? When Portuguese landed in Ceylon in 1505 there were 3 Kingdoms 2 Sinhalese and one Tamil Kingdom. The Tamil Kingdom existed from 1212 AD to 1619 AD when the last king of Jaffna was defeated by the Portuguese. The place names are in Hela language which is the language spoken by the Nagas and Yakkas the original inhabitants of the Island. Sinhalese language was formed later after the 8th century. The earliest inscriptions in Sinhala are only of the 8th A.D.Just for the illucidation of the likes of Vibhushana the Kandyan Sinhalese in 1945 asked the Soulbury Commission to create 3 federal states one for the Kandyans, two for the low country Sinhalese (the Kandyan Sinhalese never consider the low country Sinhalese as Sinhalese) and one for the Tamils of North and East. When Ponnambalam Aruchanalam was denied nomination to contest Colombo, the excuse given by the leaders of Ceylon National Congress was that he should contest from North/East provinces dominated by the Tamils. Many who call themselves Sinhalese were one time Thamils like the Salagama (Tamils brought from Tamil Nadu to peel cinnamon). Professor K.M. de Silva in his History Of Sri Lanka, refers to the migration of the Karawe (Tamil Karaiyar), Salagama and Durawe castes from southern India to Sri Lanka between the 14th and 17th centuries AD. Traditional Karawe surnames in the Sinhala language originated from Tamil. Patabendige (Pattankaddi) means the local headman. Hewage translates as soldier. Hennedige means militiaman. Tantrige translates as the strategy expert. Vidanage means civil administrator.
    In fact, a significant proportion of the inhabitants of the southwestern coastal area are descendents of Tamil Hindus who arrived in the island during the Dutch era. Within a generation they became Sinhala Buddhists, and as new settlers in an alien territory commonly do, they have become the the most virulent bearers of Sinhala Buddhist extremism.
    Dr. S. Paranavithana confirms that Ruhuna was the homeland of the Tamils in the pre-Christian era. The Murukan kovil at Kathirkamam and Vishnu kovil at Devinuwara confirm that fact.After vanquishing King Elara, Gemunu had to fight thirty-two minor Tamil kings (Kshatriyas) in Ruhunu before ruling as a single sovereign over Lanka (101- 77 B.C.).So genuine was Gemunu’s admiration of King Elara’s valour and bravery that he erected a monument in the latter’s honour at the very spot he fell. King Gemunu decreed that the tomb shall be always honoured, i.e. all persons passing by the tomb are to silence their music, get down from their vehicles/horses and walk in silence until they pass the tomb.
    Ratnapura, the Gem city: gem in Sinhala is menik in Tamil it is ratna. The fact that the city is called Ratnapura and not Menik pura is evidence that the inhabitants of Sabaragamuwa in the ancient days were Tamils.
    Nuwar Eliya: Nuwara is the corrupted form of the Tamil world Nagara. Eliya is the corrupted form of the Tamil word ‘veliye’ (outside) i.e. outside the city.
    Nallathanni in Tamil is, ‘good (fresh) water.’ A village on the road to Adam’s Peak is called ‘Nalla thanni.’ This is evidence that the earliest pilgrims to Adam’s Peak were Tamil-speaking Hindus. Dr. R. L. Brohier in ‘Discovering Ceylon,’ says, “a tank in Hambantota now called Magama wewa, was in ancient days known as “Pandikulam”
    Tamil inscriptions of the 2nd century B.C at Thalangoda Vihara, Matale will testify to the fact that Tamil-speaking Buddhist monks lived in caves in the neighbourhood of the vihara. Buddhists, who lived in the neighbourhood of the Diga Vapi vihara, built by King Saddha Tissa in the 2nd century B.C and Buddhists who lived in the neighbourhood of the Naga Vihara at Naga Deepa (Jaffna) were Tamils.According to Hugh Neville the oli of the Southern Province seen in the villages of Bope, Tiranagama, Madawatte and Bandattara are descendants of the Tamils of south India. They function as astrologers and ritual priests, conducting exorcism – tovil, bali and gara yakka (Matara suniam).
    It may be of interest and value to note that all kings from Muthu Siva (307-247 B.C.) right down to the beginning of the Christian era (a period of 300 years), were Tamils and barring King Muthu Siva, others were Buddhist by faith. The much adored and admired King Duttu Gemunu was a Tamil/Naga, both from his father’s side Kavan Tissa, and his mother’s side Vihara Devi, daughter of the Naga King of Kelaniya and a direct descendent of King Uttiya. They were of course, Buddhist by faith.
    The Hindu element is patent in the lifestyle of every Sinhala-Buddhist. The 14th day in the month of April is Hindu New Year for both Thamils and Sinhalese. Why because Sinhalese Buddhists were one time Hindus. Buddhists get their heads anointed, tie the ‘pirith noola,’ indulge in ‘ganu-denu,’ perform rituals, recite prayers, light incense to the Gods every morning before commencing business for the day, lay foundations at auspicious times etc. etc. It may therefore not be incorrect to assume that Sri Lankan Buddhists, who profess to follow Theravada Buddhism, are descendants of the Tamils (Hindus). No king of Lanka during its 2000 years history claimed that he was from an Aryan dynasty.
    There are no walawuas and pattus in north India. The walawuas and pattus of south India became the walauwas and pattus of Lanka. There are no Nayakes in north India. Senanayake, Bandaranaike, Alahakone, Kulathunge, Wickrema, Anuradha, Gunasinghe, Gunaratna etc are obviously Tamil names. Caste divisions are identical with those of the Tamils. North Indians do not worship Lord Mauruka but the Sinhalese worship Lord Muruka with great piety. Kataragama and Vishnu temple in Devinuwera shows that there were Tamil Hindus in these places.

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