16 January, 2021

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Sri Lanka’s Two Faced & Fading Good Governance

By Thambu Kanagasabai

Thambu Kanagasabai

Thambu Kanagasabai

With the support of 6.2 million, the present Sri Lankan Government swept into power, winning both the presidential and general elections on the slogan of ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ – it was believed, to end, the ‘Bad Governance’ of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Mahinda Rajapaksa hugely energised by his victory over the LTTE in 2009 – embarked on a path of family dictatorial rule, self-glorification and abuse of power. Rajapaksa’s victory, albeit not won solely by his effort alone but one that was a combined and co-ordinated one, with military and logistical assistance coming from twenty two countries who were united in their quest to get rid of the LTTE and its leadership at any cost and price. Hailed as a hero and wallowing in his military success and in the popularity he enjoyed among the Sinhalese and the Buddhist clergy, Rajapaksa exploited the euphoria of victory to the maximum. Impeaching the Chief Justice and seizing control of the judiciary and all other independent commissions, he was able to consolidate power and as a consequence strengthen his presidency. While corruption became rampant, an atmosphere of fear and insecurity began enveloping the country where human rights activists, political opponents and journalists who exposed the truth faced possible death, the killings in all cases, carried out by agents of the state, after abductions in ‘White Vans’.maithripala-and-ranil-pic-via-maithripala-sirisenas-facebook

With democratic values in jeopardy, the literate and politically matured Sri Lankan voters waited for the elections to remove the increasingly unpopular Rajapaksa clan. Sensing island wide resentment and opposition to Rajapaksa’s rule, Maithripala Sirisena jumped from the Rajapaksa band wagon and joined hands with Ranil Wickremesingha to get rid of Rajapaksa and his all powerful, no questions asked family rule. ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ was the coined slogan of ‘Maithri’ and ‘Ranil’, a term that mesmerised and won over the public. The western powers also lent their backing to unseat Rajapaksa who was an irritant to them for leaning on and hobnobbing with China.

The ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ election manifesto of ‘Ranil’ and ‘Maithri’ who led this unique rainbow coalition contained many promises – those which the public trusted and voted for, key amongst them:

  1. Promotion of rule of law
  2. Ending the culture of impunity
  3. Eradication of bribery and corruption
  4. Punishing corrupt politicians and officials particularly those who 
held high offices and those who controlled the state machinery in the past
  5. Promoting accountability, justice and reconciliation and solving the
 ethnic problem.

The vast majority of Tamils in the North and Eastern provinces also voted for the newly formed Ranil/Maithri coalition reposing faith on the promises made – It could be said the coalition virtually won the elections on the back of the Tamil vote.

Tamils had high hopes on the coalition, delivering solutions to a community ravaged and traumatised by a genocidal war, that ended (according to UN estimates) in 70,000 civilians killed and about 65,000 missing – and amongst the living, many still not having recovered from their harrowing experience, widowed, orphaned, disabled and internally displaced.

Since winning, President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera have doled out various promises to the Tamil people that haven’t been honoured and the important and pressing ones amongst them are:

The demilitarization of the North, a promise made by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on January 20, 2015 at a press conference in Delhi; while a reduction in military presence was made by both the President and the Prime Minister on occasions. Contrary to such rhetoric, the military is in reality taking steps to strengthen and reinforce its position, confirming its permanent presence in, and occupation of the North & East.

The return of land seized by the military within six months, a promise made by the President, the time line of which ended in June 2016. Contrary to such a promise, the concern now is the seizure of more lands by the security forces.

The release of political prisoners: Both the President and the Prime Minister promised to release all political prisoners, first within one month, then within three months and later within six months all of which until now remain on paper, and there is still no sign or hope concerning their release, except for a few conditional releases.

Investigation into the missing: The promise to fully investigate what happened to the involuntarily disappeared, the missing or unaccounted for including investigations into the killings of Journalists hasn’t been fully realised. The ‘Office of Missing Persons’ not only didn’t come up to expectations, it is yet to function. It must be noted that the Prime Minister himself had pre-empted the Office’s findings by his confession that most of the disappeared are probably dead.

It is relevant to mention some of the acts of ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ along with various acts of the old ‘BAD GOVERNANCE’.

ACTS OF ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’:

Enacting the 19th Amendment to the constitution and the setting up of a
Constitutional Council as well as the setting up of various commissions including an ‘Independent Commission to investigate allegations of Bribery and Corruption’. Amendments were also enacted restricting the powers and duration of office by the President – permitting only two terms.
Passing of the Right to Information Act on July 01, 2016 and the establishment of the Office of Missing Persons on August 2016. This office is yet to function and the efficacy of this office and the lack there was detailed by the author in an earlier article on September 30, 2016. Atmosphere of fear and extra-judicial killings including political enemies and dissenters are now reduced appreciably including white van abductions.

Freedom of movement, expression and speech are not under any state
restrictions but surveillance is enforced through the security forces in the North and Eastern Provinces during protests, demonstrations, and meetings and in places where the public gather and meets like for example the market.

If one looks at the track record of the ‘GOVERNMENT OF GOOD GOVERNANCE’, some election promises have been partially activated with some aborted and some still-born. The question of their implementation – particularly promises given to Tamils remain unfulfilled.

The vital promise to haul up and indict all those involved in bribery, corruption and abuse of power and position, is already broken and indeed reversed by the President who has gone to the extent of criticising his own Minister and officials, for following normal procedure, condemning their actions to haul before the courts, top security personnel including former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The President’s open critical statements have now resulted in the ‘security personnel being released on bail’, almost guaranteeing their impunity. This unacceptable development is the foreboding for future non initiation or stalling of prosecutions. The President also directed his anger at the CID, FCID and Bribery and Corruption Commissions, casting aspersions on them, while undermining their independence as guaranteed in the 19th Amendment. It’s clear he has thus used his position to influence and interfere with their entrusted functions which is a mockery of the ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’, his own ideal, one which the president often boasted of.

The fall out of this interference has cast doubts on the other election promises of ending impunity, the eradication of bribery and corruption and punishing the corrupt – which can only be seen as heralding the end of ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’.

The prosecution and/or trials of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members are being allowed to drag on to reach a stage that would amount to, in all probability, absolving them of all culpability, but only to stymie the political rise and ambitions of Rajapaksa and his family members against whom numerous corruption and bribery allegations are floating with several millions of rupees involved in various shady deals and transactions during the last ten years. Any and all promises made towards accountability and justice are almost defunct with the President openly declaring his intention to protect all members of the security forces from any prosecution or culpability for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity amounting to what’s believed to be ‘mass atrocity’ crimes including genocide.

As an extension of this blanket impunity, the much talked of and boasted of ‘reconciliation’ has also suffered near demise, since no reconciliation will last or succeed until and unless accountability and justice is achieved. In addition, the President has conveniently omitted to initiate investigations into the killings of about 15 Tamil journalists killed since 1990 for reasons known to him. However, his initiation of investigations in to the killing of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga and the disappearance of cartoonist Eknaliyagoda, to mute the popular outcry for justice is also proceeding on a zigzag course, obviously to reach a dead end or cover up.

As stated earlier, the return of seized lands, the release of political prisoners, the reduction of a strong military presence in the Northern Province have remained on paper and certainly will remain so, due to lack of political will and courage to exercise ‘Executive Presidential Powers’ and discretion, particularly considering the state’s agenda of Buddhisisation and Sinhalisation that’s going on in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

With respect to the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act, even if it is repealed, it is learnt that the new ‘Counter Terrorism Act’ which is expected by the end of the year will come out more like a carbon copy of the existing PTA, only worse.

Besides, Sri Lanka’s ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ is on course to solidify Sri Lanka as a Buddhist country which is already declared and underwritten by the President in his statement at the United Nations at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly – 22. 09. 2016:

“Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, where Theravada Buddhism is practiced.”

It is to be noted that 28 Buddha statues have been erected along A-9 Highway since the war ended in May 2009. (More on the ongoing attempts to erect Buddha Statues can be found here. Thus a new phenomenon has emerged where Buddha statues are being erected along the A9 route that leads to Jaffna where hardly Buddhists reside. Very recent attempts to erect a Buddha statue in the hill top in Amparai District in Batticoloa where Muslims and Tamils live, is causing tension in these areas. The Chief Minister of Eastern Province, a Muslim, and Minister Rauf Hakeem along with other Muslim politicians from the district and in the province have condemned the installation of the statue.  This Buddhisisation simply and plainly breeds disharmony and not reconciliation.

The clause in the constitution specifying Buddhism as the foremost religion in Sri Lanka with the duty to foster and protect being mandated on the state is nothing short other than confirming the statutory duty of state to carry out Buddhisisation, leaving the other religions to fend for themselves. Even the common term ‘secular state’ is yet unable to find its place in the constitution.

This provision by implication allows Buddhist extremists and the state machinery to engage in further acts of suppression and discrimination against the minorities and their religions to advance the process of Buddhisiation. In short, Sri Lanka is now facing the twin evils of racism and religionism which are also fostered by the Buddhist clergy giving rise to mushrooming religious groups and extremists. The recent formation of a group called ‘Shiv Sena’ is one example among many others which are in the making.

Another episode that has thwarted ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ is the inordinate delay in prosecuting those involved in the Central Bank Security Bonds scam which was exposed by COPE, implicating former Governor of Central Bank Mr. Arjuna Mahendran, a close friend of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe – who is still pleading innocence. The matter is in the hands of Attorney-General and the prospect of any prosecution could take many years in all likelihood, orchestrating its natural death.

As for the Tamils, they have already lived under the ‘DHARMISTA’ slogan of the late President J.R. Jayewardene (architect of the existing Sri Lankan constitution consolidating all power under him and saying that except to change a man to a woman or change a woman to man, he has all the powers under his constitution) and the ‘TRIPLE GEM’ slogan of Chandrika Kumaratunaga, the  former President of Sri Lanka – who was responsible for the breakdown of the peace process undertaken by Norway, which have only compounded miseries for Tamils and worsened their lives in all spheres including language, religion, equal opportunities, human rights etc.

The present ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ slogan is just a continuation of the majority hegemonic rule that Tamils have been subject to and no different than Rajapaksa’s rule as far as the issues confronting the Tamils are concerned.

In the main, promises made by Sri Lankan Governments always vary and differ from each other, depending on the place, the occasion and people: The promise given to United Nations and world dignitaries would differ from promises given to Tamils in the North and East and vary quite drastically from those given to the Sinhalese in the South. Out of these, only promises to Sinhalese are intended for fulfilment, while others remain mere opportunistic statements, meant only for consumption for that moment.

Looking back at all the betrayals and the sufferings undergone by them, Tamils must, including their political leaders and parties, rise to the occasion to have their voices and grievances heard by the international community including the United Nations. Confining the concerns that Tamils have within Sri Lanka and heaping faith on promises by the President and/or Prime Minister will end up like the story of the parrot waiting in vain for the ripening fruit which when ripe bursts out and the cotton inside gets blown away by the wind.

Thus, for Tamils, it has been a waiting game ever since. The Tamil National Alliance Leader, Mr. R. Sampanthan keeps moving the timeline for a political solution – and according to his latest remarks, he has again categorically stated a solution will come by next ‘Deepavali’ in 2017, without disclosing any clues as to how it would occur and what it would be like. One lives in hope that there won’t be many more similar ‘Deepavalis’ before any still hitherto unknown and undisclosed, hopefully correct and just solution for the Tamils finally arrives, thanks to some progressive Sinhala leader.

It’s becoming more and more evident that Sri Lanka’s ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ project is two faced and fast fading into oblivion leaving the fate of the Tamil people up in the air. That’s why, now more than ever, much hope is being placed on the international community to protect the interests of Tamils.

Even on that front, Sri Lanka appears to be ahead. The dubious commitments of Sri Lanka to justice and accountability can be observed from the South’s reaction, especially the Sri Lankan government’s response to Donald Trump’s victory. The rush to send congratulatory messages is indicative of the hurry to seek the President-elect and through him America’s support for Sri Lanka’s continuing impunity.

Although President Trump sure has his hands full at home, it is nevertheless hoped both his Secretary of State and he would build their foreign policy on valuing, upholding, defending and promoting human rights and the rule of law, around the world and be vigilant against abuses and not be party to protecting alleged absconders and perpetrators of human rights abuses. With America elected to the UN Human Rights Council by the UN General Assembly, the expectation is that America would live up to its principles and commitments and Sri Lanka would be called to account and Tamils would get the political solution they’re are seeking and rightfully deserve – that of the right to self determination. The statement of Pearl –S Buck is worth quoting here: “WHEN GOOD PEOPLE IN ANY COUNTRY CEASE THEIR VIGILANCE AND STRUGGLE, THEN EVIL MEN PREVAIL”

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Latest comments

  • 5
    1

    Thambu Kanagasabai

    RE:Sri Lanka’s Two Faced & Fading Good Governance

    “With the support of 6.2 million, the present Sri Lankan Government swept into power, winning both the presidential and general elections on the slogan of ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ – it was believed, to end, the ‘Bad Governance’ of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.”

    “The ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ election manifesto of ‘Ranil’ and ‘Maithri’ who led this unique rainbow coalition contained many promises – those which the public trusted and voted for, key amongst them:….”

    In a nutshell, what we have is the deception of the 6.2 million who voted for Good Governance.

    The President Sirisena, turned out to be a Turncoat*, Traitor**, Gona*** Mala-Perathaya**** Sirisena, who deceived those voters ands sold himself to the Rajapaksa and his cronies.

    Turncoat*: a person who deserts one party or cause in order to join an opposing one.
    synonyms: traitor, renegade, defector, deserter, betrayer; Judas, Benedict Arnold; fifth columnist

    Traitor** a person who betrays a friend, country, principle, etc.
    “they see me as a traitor, a sellout to the enemy”

    synonyms: betrayer, backstabber, double-crosser, renegade, fifth columnist; turncoat, defector, deserter; collaborator, informer, mole, snitch, double agent; Judas, Benedict Arnold, quisling; informalsnake in the grass, two-timer, rat, scab, fink
    “convicted traitors will be executed”

    Gona*** Colloquial Sinhala, a Whore, to the Rajapaksa and his cronies, for the stolen billions.

    Mala-Perathaya**** Somebody who eats off the dead, like Sirisena accepting Santghosams, largesse, from the Rajapaksa killers, on the Mala-Peretha smile.

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Maithripala-photo-via-his-Media-Director-.jpg

  • 3
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    There is NO conceivable political solution to the Tamil ethnic problem so long as majority of them prefer to live in areas outside North and East. Those who are interested in a solution should initiate a movement to encourage Tamils (Tamil speaking people ) to relocate themselves into North/East.

    Soma

    • 6
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      Some,
      Who told you that Tamils living outside North East prefer to live outside North East? Those Tamils live outside North East will relocate to North East if the Military in the North East will relocate to outside North East. Tamils who lived in the North East for centuries did not relocate to outside North East until British merged the different kingdoms. The population statistics clearly shows that the Tamil Speaking population in the North East was almost 95%. They moved to outside the North East for:
      1.British made Colombo as Capital and they employed Tamils to public service.
      2. Sinhala Militarization of North East continuous bombings and killing of Tamils by Sinhala Forces and thugs.

    • 2
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      soma,

      Sure we will and at the same time the Sinhala who occupy within the N&E should do the same. We will organise India/Pakistan style partitioning! What do you say to that? The number of Tamils who live in the South amounts to minuscule in comparison to the Sinhala in the East!

      However, there IS a conceivable solution to empower the Tamils within a united SL. This is completely workable and will be within the confinement of the UN protocol.

      The real reason behind your objection is ultra-chauvinism! You think that 2,500 year Sinhala Buddhist history and no other ethnicity than the Sinhala Buddhist can have power; this is the real reason that drives you mad!

      • 3
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        Hi: Burning issue: If the Tamils lands colonized [by the UNP government] immediately after the independence [immediately the British left] in the North and East is returned to the Tamils it will be able to take in all the Tamils living outside N&E.
        In fact Anuradapura belongs to the Tamils – Tamil Kings ruled from there for several years and the Names of the irrigation Tanks are Tamil Names.
        over to you Mr.

        • 0
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          Sinhala Kings had ruled even parts of South India.

          does that means, Sinhala should invade Tamilnadu again and get rid of all the Tamils from Sinhale ?

      • 0
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        Burning Issue:

        We will organise India/Pakistan style partitioning! What do you say to that?

        Last time the one who did the same thing was flaoting in a muddy lagoon.

        Instead of getting killed, go back to Tamilnadu.

      • 0
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        B.I.

        “We will organise India/Pakistan style partitioning!”

        Many Indians have told me that India ( Gandhi/Neru) made a fundamental mistake in not insisting for all Muslims to be repatriated to Pakistan at the time of partitioning.

        I fear that a UNP government will make the same mistake in the eventuality you have mentioned with regard to Tamils (Tamil speaking people) living outside North/East and my main thrust is to educate the Sinhalese and prepare the Tamils (Tamil speaking people) on this possibility. As an example you are aware that Muslims always prefer to live among non Muslims – a Bangladeshi given the option would migrate to India in preference to Pakistan( or for that matter any Muslim to Christian West in preference to oil rich countries which are Islamic.) Similary Sinhala side will be stuck with the situation as India today for given the option Tamils would choose Sinhala south.

        People who asked the world to recognise LTTE as the sole representatives of Tamils are now talking about a ‘united’ Sri Lanka. I wouldn’t bet that Sinhalese will not be fooled.

        B.I. , can you tell us the approximate percentage of ‘Tamils’ (out of total population in Sri Lanka) a ‘political solution’ is sought for – a figure you will have to present to the ‘International community’

        Soma

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          soma,

          You have written utter fear-mongering rubbish as usual! You have been harping on and on about sending back the Tamils to North for a long while. Now, I have given your a real solution that is to mutually repatriate both the Tamils and Sinhala. You now sing a different tune! Make up your mind mister.

          I mentioned about India/Pakistan style partitioning to drive home a hart point in the hope to expose your inherent ultra chauvinism. It has worked treat!

          The LTTE was a militant organisation and became the sole representative of the Tamils by instilling fear. The Tamils did not chose the LTTE as their sole representatives. The LTTE violently assassinated the Tamil leaders and killed anyone, civilians and politicians alike, who go against them in order to occupy such a position. The TNA had to survive under such a condition maintain a form of political representation for the Tamils.

          I do not need to educate your on this; you very well know already as to what went on. Your racist and chauvinistic standpoint is camouflaged; it is more like a cat closes his eyes when drinking milk!

          Your pretence that you claim that you do not understand the power devolution and empowerment is ludicrous and pathetic. You go ahead and educate the poor Sinhala folks about your accolades in fear-mongoring. The Tamils will get their due rights and you will have to get over this somehow!

          • 0
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            B.I

            ” Now, I have given your a real solution that is to mutually repatriate both the Tamils and Sinhala.”

            Of course, neither party can have it both ways.
            in case the Eastern province is included in the solution Sinhalese will have to move out. All Tamils (Tamil speaking people ) will have to move in.

            But then what are the chances of the Eastern province being included? Are you confident that your Islamist brothers will swallow the rope being dropped by Sambandan these days. They too clever for that, bro.

            Soma

            • 1
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              soma,

              Ohh I see; you want to repatriate the Tamils from South to North. OK this is clear; then, what are you going to do with the Tamils in the East? Since you are not sure as to whether the East is part of the deal or not! Where do you stand on the Eastern Tamils?

    • 5
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      Soma
      For a political solution, your argument that those Tamil people in the capital Colombo living there from time immemorial must relocate does not hold water – this is a clever way of forcing and holding to ransom, those who are well established and owning property and businesses or are working in Colombo and the suburbs just like the Sinhalese. As I have always maintained no one is claiming those areas to be territorial units of the Tamil Nation, only the North and East alone, comprising 8 districts. Once a political solution is achieved there should be free movement of people- all ethnicities should be free to live anywhere. This would apply without a problem in a federal set up surely – even in the event of a separate state, it shouldn’t be a problem as long as the rights of all the people are safeguarded and incorporated in the separation agreement.

      • 0
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        Dear Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

        Thank you for the response which for once a respectable writer is attempting to discuss the matter objectively.

        I am not talking specifically about Tamils in Colombo. My problem is Tamil politicians use various permutations and combinations of ‘Tamils’, ‘Tamil speaking people’ ‘Tamil Nation’, ‘Ealam Tamils’, Eazam Tamils etc. leaving everyone confused as to whom a political solution is sought? I have been persistently asking the question “Is it only for Hindu and Christian Tamils in the North or is it for all Tamil speaking people scattered across the island including those who practise Islam and those arrived during the British?” No one comes out with a clear answer to this simple, unambigious question – I only receive name calling and personal vilifications. The reason is obvious. If it is only Hindu and Christian Tamils in the North the numbers are insignificant and if is the latter they are demographically distributed in such a pattern that no Einstein can design a practical political power devolution model.

        You may appreciate that we Sinhalese cannot be bothered about caste, religion, date of arrival differences among the Tamils(Tamil speaking people) and look for political solutions for each sub group. ‘Tamils’ for us are Tamil speaking people. Presently Sampandan has initiated some unity talks between those who practise Islam and other Tamils.

        When I say that in case a separate geographical area is identified for Tamils (Tamil speaking people ) all Tamil speaking people should move there all Tamil writers here protest in unison to bring the sky down and talk about their right to live anywhere. The very same writers , including you specially, are very vocal about the discriminatory behavior of the Sinhalese. You accuse us of even ‘genocide’. Isn’t this unadulterated hypocrisy? Why do you want to live among the Sinhalese if they are such discriminatory and genocidal? Shouldn’t your priority be the protection and well being of those who live among the Sinhalese?

        Dear madam, the day I observe any tendency among the Tamils(Tamil speaking people) to leave Sinhala areas and settle down in the North/East I will feel ashamed as a Sinhaese and and activly join you for a separate political unit for all Tamils ( Tamil speaking people) Would you be honest enough to admit that during the LTTE administration in Jafna the only ambition of a Tamil mother was to sell the jewelry to bribe LTTE and send the children to Colombo?

        Finally, a political solution is demanded for only for Hindu and Christian Tamils in the North or is it for all Tamil speaking people scattered across the island irrespective of their religion or the date of arriaval?

        Thanks

        Soma

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        Dear Madam

        For whatever reason, the talk of a “Tamil Nation” makes me feel, we are losing part of our nation once again.

        So when you speak of a nation within a nation, or a separate nation, you ruffle the feathers of the Sinhala lion, if I can use that metaphor. You need to speak of those things that are common – economic equality,
        equal development and opportunities for the North and East. Postpone your Tamil Nation until those things are done. If sufficient development occurs Jaffna will be like Colombo. Then there will be no basis for separation.

        It’s a win-win as I see it.

      • 0
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        Madam Usha

        “Once a political solution is achieved there should be free movement of people- all ethnicities should be free to live anywhere.”

        This is what we already have with “those who are well established and owning property and businesses or are working in Colombo and the suburbs just like the Sinhalese.” in your own words. This is what I wish and fighting for our country to retain. A ‘political solution’ will be the end of “FREE movement” but will trigger a wave of “FORCED movement”. We won’t forget how the Tamils chased away their own brothers and sisters practising a different religion under your own temporary administration.

        What you are presently advocating is what I call “holiday resort” model.

        Madam, you insist on Ealam AND the right to live anywhere

        What I insist is Ealam OR the right to live anywhere.

        Soma

        • 4
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          soma,

          “Madam, you insist on Ealam AND the right to live anywhere”

          Grow up soma for goodness sake!

        • 2
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          Soma the goma,
          “”Madam, you insist on Ealam AND the right to live anywhere
          What I insist is Ealam OR the right to live anywhere.””

          Are you dreaming of your stupid Toran and pansal dansal??
          Why do you wear a yellow cloth of the Hindu without head gear??
          Why do you keep your head between your legs??

          Does your father live in a stolen property or rented??

          you have no backbone but can fight villagers of north and east.

          republican hindu congress.

    • 7
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      Soma Tamil are not ethnics they belong to the island and are not outsiders and I have brought you to task on this issue but you still insist on calling the island’s indigenous Eelam Tamils as ethnics, when in reality it is the Sinhalese who are largely ethnics, as they are largely descended from South Indian immigrants. Around 50% of them descended from South Indian immigrants who were imported here as slave/indentured labour a few centuries ago by the Portuguese and Dutch colonials.
      The majority of the Tamils still live in the north and east as per government statistics. 52% (of the total Tamil population both indigenous and Indian) 70% of the indigenous Tamils live in the north and east and 90% of the rest in greater Colombo, as it is the capital and only employment prospects are only provided there and not in the north and east. Moreover Colombo and the western littoral was part of the Tamil homeland a few centuries ago and these Tamils have arrived here legally and unlike the illegal Sinhalese settlers in the north and east who live on stolen and ethnically cleansed Tamil lands, have purchased their lands legally and have been living here for a century or more.
      The 1 million Indian origin Tamils have always lived in the estate areas in the Sinhalese south and are not even allowed to move to the north and east even when they want to. Despite being citizens of the country. Strange Indian origin Tamil citizens of the country cannot move to the Tamil north and east but Sinhalese who have no connection to the north and east are settled in their hundreds of thousands on stolen Tamil land.
      There are far less Tamils( indigenous) living outside the north and east compared to the hundreds of thousands Sinhalese who had been illegally settled in the north and east of the island by all Sinhalese led Sri Lankan government since independence on stolen and ethnically cleansed Tamil lands to deliberately change the demography. This has now resulted in the once overwhelmingly Tamil majority east where they were the majority in all the provinces, has now only a 40% Tamil population, due to the hundreds of thousands of Sinhalese illegally settled here.
      Trincomallee discrict that had a 88% Tamil majority in the 1930s and 70% Tamil majority in the 1970s has now only 30% Tamils due to 1) large scale settlement of Sinhalese 2) Deliberate large scale ethnic cleansing and killing of Tamils in this strategic district. Many of the 100000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in India are from this region. Now Sinhalese extremists supported by powerful elements in the government and armed forces are targeting the Tamil majority Batticaloa district that is the heartland of the east. We saw the recent video of the nasty evil racist Buddhist priest threatening to kill Tamil government officials that was passively looked on by Sinhalese police.
      Tamils are not the problem the problem is Sinhalese racists like you, the vast majority of them descended from recently migrated immigrants from South India, who make up the vast majority of the Sinhalese. This is why they constantly elect Sinhalese racist parties and politicians.

      • 0
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        R.S.S.S

        Do the ‘indigenous’ Tamils include those who practise Islam and Christianity?

        Soma

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      More Tamils are living and progressing well in many nations from New Zealand to North America.

      Now Tamil Diaspora isolate Sinhalese, even good ones as they are sick of the Sri Lankan politics, racism and failure in good governance.

      Eelam is the only solution that will put an end to Sinhala Buddhist racism, barbarianism and oppression. Tamil leaders at the time of independence made a grave mistake and not demanded for Eelam like Jinna demanded separate Pakistan from British.

  • 9
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    Excellent analysis, Mr. Kanagasabi.
    But the do not look to the US under Trump for support for Minority Rights!

    Ranil-Sira jarapalanaya has magnified the corruption and criminality of the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa family and cronies regime.

    The culture of impunity and immunity for corrupt and criminal politicians has grown with Ranil’s bragging about Parliamentary privileges to loot the people of Sri Lanka.

    This is truly a Miracle of Modyas!

  • 4
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    With hardly any exception Sinhala politicians in Sri Lanka since independence are and have been corrupt and greedy. Look for their symbols in that picture.

  • 10
    0

    A very balanced and professional article, thank you. My only comment is that Sri Lankans should be thinking of a political solution for all, not for their own community. Talk and compromise. Patience.

  • 9
    2

    I will not pretend to have studied carefully what you have written Mr Thambu Kanagasabai, but I think we are right to be worried, after all the euphoria of the 8th Of Jan. 2015.

    As for the Donald Trump election, yes, many Sinhalese were foolishly happy that Hillary Clinton lost. If only Bernie Sanders had been allowed to run . . . .

    As for Trump: the guy won’t support either Sinhalese or Tamils! If he were more intellectual and informed, we would seem to him to be like the “Big-endians” and the “Little-endians” whom Gulliver met on his Lilliput Voyage. But he wouldn’t bother to read Swift.

    The guy probably has intelligence of a sort, but he is concerned only with himself. Dear Thambu Kanagasabai, let us read the writing on the wall, sink our supposed differences, and learn to live together. No doubt you will think, “this Sinhala_Man” fellow has good intentions but is short on any ideas on how to proceed. Quite right!

    Best wishes.

    • 2
      0

      “”As for the Donald Trump election, yes, many Sinhalese were foolishly happy that Hillary Clinton lost. If only Bernie Sanders had been allowed to run . . . .””

      When Berni the stupid clerk threw his weight in July 2015 the ones who backed him were the black minorities and illegals not even the liberals of `new republic`. He was planning to take the USA to Russia but Putin would not have any of it.

      Lankans are great story tellers(pache-bahu) but are unable to win even a Booker Prize.

  • 6
    1

    While associating with the sentiments of Vanguard and Sinhala man, I can only on fine day it occurs sincerely to every individual’s mind one that a change is indeed necessary, then they as a whole will decide on the best idea to proceed to bring an end to the prevailing situation.
    That is nature’s survival instinct and it will not fail.
    I see the contribution of Mr. Kangasabai as a step towards that end.

  • 7
    3

    The 6.2 million who voted MS in did so expecting a new order. Sadly, we have discovered that all we did was pour the same old wine into a new bottle. You do not get a new taste with that. The Sri Lankan political firmament is infested with a majority only interested in what they can get out of the country. Most are NOT there to serve the people. Incompetence is common (nearly 75% of our ministerial class are incompetent insofar as their ministry); they are there because they deliver votes to the leader.

    We need a new order. New leaders who will set new standards, and convince the people that they deserve better, AND deliver. We profess to have talent in this country but those with the capabilities cannot wait to get out, or keeping their heads down and serving commerce.

    It will be a long road to our Utopia.

    • 2
      0

      “” The Sri Lankan political firmament is infested with a majority only interested in what they can get out of the country.””
      WHAT HAPPENED IN THE USA AND UK IS GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD OF POLITICS.-EU GO AWAY AND COME BACK ANOTHER DAY( BECAUSE WE ALL LOVE THE EU BUT DO NOT LIKE THE UNELECTED THIEVES)Fascista Manuel Barroso wanted to be president for life till the dutch drove him out.

      The word is `Term Limits` helping to prevent corruption.There is always over 75% public support for Term Limits

      You are going to like this:With the election of Donald Trump as president on November 9, 2016, there is a source quoting one of Trump’s speeches in October 2016 in which he said that he plans to impose term limits on Congress within his first hundred days in office….more read
      http://www.npr.org/2016/11/09/501451368/here-is-what-donald-trump-wants-to-do-in-his-first-100-days

  • 1
    0

    I THINK WE SHOULD SEARCH FOR A NEW LEADER FROM THE MINORITY COMMUNITY EITHER A TAMIL OR MUSLIM. AND THAT WILL BE THE TURNING POINT IN SRILANKAN HISTORY.

  • 0
    0

    “The fall out of this interference has cast doubts on the other election promises of ending impunity, the eradication of bribery and corruption and punishing the corrupt – which can only be seen as heralding the end of ‘GOOD GOVERNANCEe.”[Edited out]

  • 3
    0

    It is sad that our political leaders since independence did not have a vision to develop our country. Sri Lanka was prospering in economy and in education above Singapore before independence. If we had good leader like Lee Kuwn of Singapore we will be in top in Asia.
    Most of the leaders are busy in making money for their children and grandchildren neglecting the country.
    The influence of the Buddhist clergy in politics also ruined the nation.
    These Buddhist leaders must visit the civilized democratic countries and study how rule of law and justice system is functioning in these countries and how the citizens of that country live in peace.
    Shouting inside the well like frog will not do any good.
    Only God can save Sri Lanka from these corrupt politicians.

  • 4
    3

    First thing the Yahapalana PM did after getting in to power is get his FM Mangala to sign the LGBT charter of Banki Moon.

    So Yahapalana PM Batalanda Ranil has sort of made the Uncle’s item in the impossible list, some what possible ,

    The writer can’t be serious if The Five Precepts which he has listed are the Foundation of this Yahapalanaya.

    Yhapalana Prez Bodhi Sira, Finance Minister Galleon Ravi, Minister for Ayrvedic Massage of Yahapalanaya Dr Rajittha, and the Tubby Minister of Yahapalana Port will attest to how they eliminated Nepotism.

    As far as Corruption is concerned, it will be darn difficult to repeat the Yahapalana Bond scam in sheer value.

    As for crime , the Underworld whom our Elite call Pathalaya and mainly located in Mattakkuliya and Bloemendhall are back in full force.

    The latest is the Pathalaya dudes now sleep in Tourist Hotels with the fir arms still in the Holster.

    Wella Sudda, who was exiled before Yahapalanayan came, now worship at Kataragaman , with high rollers like Yahapalana DIGs and BOC bosses.

    But even the SIs get gunned down doing even Yahapalana Traffic Duties..

    Anyway the main game of this Yahapalana is to give Sambandan his long awaited demand of Tamil Homeland but Nothing else.

    Yahapalana PM,s solemn duty is to fulfil that demand by hook or by crook.

    And it is in the agreement which he signed to become the Yahapalana PM and make Aiyo Sira the President.

    If Sambandan said that he will get it by Deewali 2017, there must be some thing there, which even the Sinhala Elite Buddhist Yahapalana suckers are not aware of.

    The last conversation , the Yahapalan PM had with the hired Prez is to that effect as I understand.

    That is the PM Batalanda Ranil wants to go for the Federal Referendum before the new year, no matter what.

    Even if it gets knocked back, Batalanada will be the winner..

    In fact it gives him the opportunity to form a full UNP Government.with the help of the Sinhala Elite who are Yahapalana suckers abandoning Bodi Sira .

  • 0
    2

    Ajit, Kumarathasan, Burning Issue and those who make separatist suggestions!
    Where are we going to send the upcountry Tamils who were brought into the island by the British? You can not send them back to Tamilnadu, India! They are our brothers and sisters now living among the Sinhalese and having marital, family, and business relationships with the Sinhalese like other Tamils and Muslims throughout the island. Any ‘brilliant’ suggestions from you three?

    • 2
      0

      All Tamils to move to North and East.

    • 0
      0

      Dear RR;

      When we get our Traditional & Historical homeland as existed before the Independence in 1948 we will have enough lands to settle these people and treat them like our brothers. The Up country leadership has failed to support the Tamils in the N & E. They did not do any good to their own people also. I worked in the Tea plantation in Nuwaraeliya district for a very long time. Do not worry

  • 3
    0

    The writer is an academic and his expertise in Sri Lankan legal system helped him in his analysis, providing facts on ground situation, state oppression, denial of rule of law and justice and continued failure in good governance. A well written article!

    This exposes that the International community continued to fail to enforce international law and put an end to state terrorism, war crimes and genocide. Due to double standard policies applied by many powerful nations on enforcing rule of law and international law, Russia has pulled out of ICC and it is a blow to human rights, humanity and mankind.

    Recent US election that elected Donald Trump, Brexit vote, potential EU break up exposes failure of leaders, ignoring core issues and voters took an extreme view on governance. Successive Sri Lankan regimes failed to apply R2P, Human rights, rule of law, justice equally to all citizens, failure to investigate war crimes and bring the perpetrators accountability and to deliver justice as the international community continued to fail to uphold international law.

  • 3
    0

    Both Srisena and Ranil are failed leaders. Both failed parties UNP and SLFP should be banned as they have been in power since independence and failed to provide good governance.

    Its time for Tamils to rally behind a powerful nation to win their rights as no Sinhala leader will deliver it.

  • 1
    0

    The whole concept of good governance was hijacked by political crooks of both parties. It appears that both leaders have to give up their promises as they were considering their political parties first and the last the country.

  • 1
    7

    You say:
    “It’s becoming more and more evident that Sri Lanka’s ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ project is two faced and fast fading into oblivion leaving the fate of the Tamil people up in the air. That’s why, now more than ever, much hope is being placed on the international community to protect the interests of Tamils”.
    Mr. Thambu! I have more questions than answers about the above para! (I would just elaborate two among many).
    1. Is ‘Good-G’ only for Tamils? What about the grievances of the other citizens including the Sinhalese, Veddas (Vannila-Aththo), Muslims, Burgers and Malays, Kaffirs, children, Youth, women (especially Muslim women), Tamil Harijans (Low-Caste Tamils who are practical slaves of the high Caste Tamils), upcountry Tamils rejected by Brahmin Tamils because they are equal to slaves or Harijans), etc etc? The list goes on and on …..
    2. What’s this ‘International community’ you are talking about? The United State under President Trump may tell you:
    ‘Hey man! Enough is enough! You guys played to the tune of Tiger terrorists and Secretary Clinton misguided by you had to go home empty handed because everything she believed and did backfired locally and internationally; example: she both loved and hated terrorists at the same time. Can you do that? Yes. Only a hypocrite can and not President Trump. Are you planning to do the same with him’? Forget it; he is not a politician and therefore he’s not a hypocrite. For Republicans, terrorists are terrorists and there are no good or bad terrorists in our vocabulary. And you guys also published advertisements, created and maintained Webs, Twitters, Skypes, Face books, openly called him names to ridicule his candidacy, drew caricatures, and now you want him to help you! Amigos! That won’t happen because it does not exist in his mandate! Hilary got UN organizations too to criticize him and a certain Prince of a certain UN commission called him a ‘dangerous’ man! We’ll take care of him too before he writes his next report about Sri Lanka.
    Mr. Thambu! If you meet President Trump his first question to you may be: “By the way what’s this coconut thrashing ritual in your freaking temples or churches called Kovils? Do you think that my head too is a coco nut to follow such primitive rituals? Man! This is serious! This is what I heard from my advisers who investigated your funny ritual and my advisers on this particular ‘coconut’event report:
    “Hmmmm….Very interesting…! It was announced that 1008 coconuts were broken by a Sri Lankan-Tamil (a powerful Tamil National Alliance member of the Northern Provincial Council) with his followers at the Nallur Kovil in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He sought the help of the Tamil-Hindu Pantheon to get Hillary Clinton elected as the next President of the US. And we know that bit of hocus-pocus did not happen and the only thing happened was even Secretary Clinton’s close friends could not console her on that election day-night! A secret media report indicates that she sobbed, wept, screamed and cried throughout the night and that’s why she refused to come to the podium to address her supporters. It seems that this coconut-breaking ritual may tend to back-fire too; it has some rub-the-Aladdin’s-lamp-magic for the Tamil Diaspora. This is a bit funny ritual to us Americans; it is true that they killed thousands of innocent Sinhalese babies, plucking them off their mothers’ breasts and thrashing their heads on rocks like breaking coconuts and watching the blood ooze like warm-ketchup for the want for their mono-ethnic, racist, separatist Tamil state, Eelam. I know that guy ex-President of Sri Lanka Mahinda finished off those freaks called Tigers and the American navy too supported him who really appreciated it. Therefore, that mythical Tamil Eelam they won’t get at all and Americans would and should never support it’.”

    • 0
      6

      This is a gem.

      Soma

    • 3
      0

      But Donald Trump loves the Hindus, he wants to give a special place for Hindus in the White House…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZYpK2bGMpY&app=desktop

      • 2
        0

        This ‘A democrat from USA’ sounds like a stupid moron.

        There was one group by the name “Tamils for Clinton” which was supporting Clinton while there was a separate group called ‘Hindus for Trump’ which was supporting Trump and most of them were Tamil Hindus. Nothing is going to change under Trump administration.

    • 3
      1

      “”1. Is ‘Good-G’ only for Tamils? What about the grievances of the other citizens including the Sinhalese, Veddas (Vannila-Aththo), Muslims, Burgers and Malays, Kaffirs, children, Youth, women (especially Muslim women), Tamil Harijans (Low-Caste Tamils who are practical slaves of the high Caste Tamils), upcountry Tamils rejected by Brahmin Tamils because they are equal to slaves or Harijans), etc etc? The list goes on and on …..
      2. What’s this ‘International community’ you are talking about? The United State under President Trump may tell you:””

      Neither you nor he would be heard.But you are a terrorist in our eyes like De Silva the navy corporal.
      Gautama is our creation you can only serve us. Dalai lama is an atheist while the majority of China are Deists.

      Republican Hindu Congress.

  • 0
    0

    A democrat from USA.

    Thambu Kanagasabai,is holding a brief for the Tamils under the Yahapalanaya[Good Governance].
    If he has left out others,it is for them to take up the cause; He has stated only his side of the issue.
    I admire him for that.

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