30 October, 2020

Blog

The Choice Ahead

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

Yugoslavia was a sister country of Sri Lanka; a fellow founder of the Non Aligned Movement in that country’s capital Belgrade in 1961. Yugoslavia no longer exists. The breakup of that country resulted from a chain reaction that commenced with the dramatic change of the Yugoslav Constitution promulgated by the sagacious socialist Marshal Tito and the drastic reduction of the powers of the autonomous province of Kosovo followed by the dissolution of the Kosovo assembly in 1990. Sri Lanka must not proceed down the same path which leads over a precipice.

The country stands at a crossroads. A parliamentary victory for the JHU bill will complete the negative process which commenced with Sinhala Only in 1956 and the distortion in 1972 of the laudable shift to a Republic with mono-linguistic and mono-religious hegemony. If ’56 and ’72 were paving stones for the Tamil Eelam project, the passage of the JHU bill to abolish the 13th amendment will complete the process of the legitimisation of secessionism.

A victory for the JHU will also cast a pall over the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and guarantee Sri Lanka’s defeat at the UN Human Rights Council in March 2014. It will embarrass our allies Russia and China and drive South Africa and much of the Non-Aligned Movement away from us. It will irreversibly discredit and radically isolate the country and the Sinhalese, regionally and internationally. In short, in terms of Sri Lanka’s national interest, it will be the single most self-destructive act this parliament could perform.

Conversely, a defeat of the JHU bill will enable Sri Lanka to put the stigma of majoritarian extremism behind it. Such a victory will be the necessary complement of the military victory of May 18th 2009 and the diplomatic victory of May 27-28, 2009.  Having militarily defeated the secessionist minoritarian fascism of the LTTE, Sri Lanka has a chance to defeat majoritarian extremism of the JHU-NFF-BBS politically.

In the run-up to the parliamentary battle, is a dual debate in Sri Lankan politics. The Sinhala polity is divided between on the one hand, those who wish to abolish the 13th amendment or delete land and police powers from it and on the other, those who see fit to proceed, however reluctantly, with elections to the Northern Provincial Council without attempting any drastic truncation of the powers devolved upon it. The Tamil polity is divided between, on the one hand, those who are keen to contest the Northern PC election and regard the 13th amendment as worthy of defence, and on the other, those who regard the 13th amendment as hardly worth the paper it is written on.

What is missing in the picture is any drawing together and mutual reinforcement between the moderates or pragmatists on both sides of the ethnic divide who defend, however reluctantly, the provincial council and the prospect of elections to it in September.

What is also missing is the engagement of the intelligentsia, especially civil society intelligentsia, in either supporting the Sinhala moderates in this important battle or in building a bridge between the Sinhala and Tamil moderates in defence of the existing system of devolution of power to the provinces.

The lack of a structured dialogue between the Sinhala and Tamil parliamentary moderates across Government and Opposition lines, deprives each other of vital support and partnership.

That, taken together with the absence of engagement in the ongoing battle by the intelligentsia prevents the construction or reconstitution of a zone of moderate opinion in polity and society.

The battle over the 13th amendment provides an enormous opportunity in the battle of ideas, because the arguments adduced in favour of abolition or gutting are symptomatic of the most retrogressive notions within our society ranging from the conservative to the militarist, the neoconservative to the racist. Grappling with and combating these ideas provides a fine opportunity for asserting the values of reason, democracy and pluralism.

Why then isn’t the battle being joined? The answer is political and ideological sectarianism. There are important precedents. When SWRD Bandaranaike was striving to defend the pact with Chelvanayakam, the powerful, union-based left was absent from the fray. Had it thrown its weight behind SWRD, the history of this country may have been significantly different and better.

Contemporary sectarianism takes two forms. The first is that the 13th amendment doesn’t deserve defending because the Tamil people need and deserve something considerably beyond it. The second is that the hole is on Mahinda Rajapaksa’s side of the boat, or that he is patently insincere and merely playing ‘good cop’ to the far right’s ‘bad cop’.

The first argument is easily dispensed with. The TNA should contest the election even if the council is gutted of most of its powers, just as one should not abandon even the skeleton of a house that is one’s patrimony simply because someone has made off with its roof.

The second argument, even if true is irrelevant. The opportunity for a politico-ideological battle against neo-conservatism, racism and ethno-religious fascism is far too important to be contingent upon a reading of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s politics, let alone speculation about his psyche.

Resistance against the JHU’s counter-reform bill provides the only opportunity that has arisen in years, for the SLFP parliamentary group to defeat the parties of the extremist fringe which have ideologically dominated the UPFA administration and distorted its discourse.

If however, the bad guys win, the centre of gravity of Sri Lankan politics and society will shift still further to the right. It may even impact upon the choice of candidacy. If the neo-con project with its totalitarian notion of national security succeeds, the present dispensation will appear in a roseate afterglow as an era of tolerance and democracy.

The battle to defeat the JHU-NFF-BBS attack on provincial devolution is thus utterly decisive. Against such a backdrop, only an aficionado of black humour would appreciate as I do, an invitation I received in the mail for a conclave at which the best and the brightest of Sri Lanka’s cosmopolitan intelligentsia are scheduled to discuss and debate such exquisite irrelevancies as “The Past in the Future: the ethical future of the archive in the Dotcom age”, “Ethical Reconstruction: Primitive Accumulation in the Apparel Sector?”, “Philanthrocapitalism, Philanthronationalism: the ethics of corporate gifts in post-conflict Sri Lanka” and “On Heterophobic and Heterophilic Casteism and anti-Casteism”. Where the topic is relevant, such as “Diplomacy at the UN Human Rights Council”, the sole designated presenter is Yolanda Foster of Amnesty International (which exclusivity is no fault of either Ms Foster or AI).

No Gramscian ‘organic intellectual’ stuff or words for a Modern Prince, here. If these are the good guys and gals and this is their discourse, no wonder the bad guys are way ahead: they have the advantage of being organic and sounding ‘national popular’.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Thank you Dayan.

  • 0
    0

    Yugoslavia and SL were never sister counties!

    Yugoslavia like Soviet Union was a ethnic enclave collection not a country. SL never was that. So it is wrong comparison.

    In 2014 SL is anyway going to lose at UNHRC. It doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do that is certain. But it has no impact.

    TNA was dead against 13 amendment until now. Why this sudden love for it? What do the LTTE/TGTE say? We must consult them too! Otherwise they will once again do what they did in 1988.

    • 0
      0

      True, Yugoslavia was a dictatorship , so inevitable happened like in the case of Soviet Union ,but Sri Lanka has been a democracy, On the other hand 13A wasn’t brought democratically, it was imposed upon us by Rajive the donkey & India , remember that day in Colombo ,it was like a garrison city ,some one million people violently marching against JRJ govt., unprecedented in the history of this country, over 13A being brought in to parliament & UNP MP’s were housed in a Colombo Hotel & driven down to Diyawanna parliament in couple of buses,like remand prisoners & this is what this Dayan the joker is trying to defend, this manifests his head well. Is Dayan a democrat ?
      How come something forced down our constitution against the will of people be protected ? JRJ streets ahead of all those his contemporaries local & overseas (including leftist jokers like Dayan’s god fathers) did that as part of his many political games which ended up in Rajive himself blown up by terrorists he worked with, protected

      • 0
        0

        John,even if what you say is true about the people marching in the streets against the Indo Lanka accord,JRJ could easily have said to Rajiv that he is reluctant to sign this accord because of public opinion.If he had done that it would have been on public record that the accord may have been signed under duress.Not a word was uttered by JRJ and he went ahead and signed it quickly because he foresaw the possibility of LTTE rejecting it and heading on a collision course with India.IF LTTE had welcomed the Indo lanka accord JRJ would not have signed it and achieved what he wanted which was the guys who armed and trained the tamil militant groups now fighting with each other and killing each other.Once that happenned they became sworn enemies with each other and the only support the LTTE had was gone and stupid Prabha was left to fend for himself due to the wily old fox setting the two young modayas rajiv and prabha at each others throats.

        Well,JRJ achieved what he wanted.The fact that the Indo lanka accord will have to be fulfilled would have been taken into consideration by him,but when weighed up with the advantages it had of potential clash of the LTTE with India the disadvantages of the accord would have been minor indeed for him.

        Did you see whether people came out on to the streets protesting against the accord when the LTTE and IPKF were killing each other or when rajiv was killed?Everyone was praising JRJ.

        so now we can’t whine about the accord that had been signed by head of state just because someone has taken over from him.The accord has to be implemented just like the petroleum corporation had to pay the foreign banks for the hedging deal though they tried to wriggle out of it by saying that a modaya Asantha De Mel who the CJ described as less educated than his peon had signed it.It is upto countries or companies to have reliable people at the helm,what they sign after that is not the other party to the contracts problem,signature is a signature.

        JRJ was a devious character as shown by the act that he has been the only head of state with undated letters of resignations of his cabinet ministers.The Indo lanka accord suited his devious nature.IF he had shown he was reluctant to sign it and protested then courts could have inferred that he signed it under duress,but now they can’t and this is one of his legecies,but overall i don’t consider it a mistake of his because what he got was much more than what he had to give.He had a lot of brains and he would have weighed the two sides of the coin.The Indo lanka accord and the open economy were plus points of his legacy while the july 83 riots and the 82 referendum were minuses.

        • 0
          0

          “..we can’t whine about the accord that had been signed by head of state just because someone has taken over from him..”

          I think this is the only part you need a reply, yes Indian interests shown only in Economic part & Trincomalee oil tanks, I think they got it , for last 20 or more years, India had Lion’s share of bilateral trade with Lanka , thanks to Indo-Lanka FTA starting from days of President Premadasa & continuing, whereas Sri Lankan exporters rarely enjoyed so called FTA ( check with SL export chambers) when it came to exports to India , I think this was the “Bribery” paid to India to keep away from Sri Lankan political affairs & Trinco Oil Tanks facilities are enjoyed by India alone up until todate but India never shown any damn interest for any other political things in damn accord from 1987 todate & has been one of the best fiends of Lanka in politics & economic affairs & supported war against terror as well.
          So finally these jokers like Dayan (hurt since kicked out of Ambassador job) & like minded crap writers should not be taken seriously.

  • 0
    0

    “Conversely, a defeat of the JHU bill will enable Sri Lanka to put the stigma of majoritarian extremism behind it. Such a victory will be the necessary complement of the military victory of May 18th 2009 and the diplomatic victory of May 27-28, 2009. Having militarily defeated the secessionist minoritarian fascism of the LTTE, Sri Lanka has a chance to defeat majoritarian extremism of the JHU-NFF-BBS politically”

    THIS IS A TEST OF THE MAHANAMA MYTHS.

    This will also bring the Racists and Ration builders from the woodwork.

    Great Article, about the choices.

    To be, or not to be and move on to reconciliation or continue on further disaster.

    Remember, Lanka was

    Veddah, Yakka and Naga

    Animist, Jain and Hindu

    Everything else, Buddhism and Sinhala, Tamil were imported

    • 0
      0

      Amarasiri, Sometime you are very Balanced man though

    • 0
      0

      From where Sinhala imported

    • 0
      0

      Who told you that the Veddah were there?
      Mahanama says so in the Mahavamsa that you write off as a myth!!!!!!!!!!!
      A myth romanticized by Spittlle and Gananath Obesekera types.

      As for the Naga and Yakka, we have some additional records from India that these were North Indians who migrated south wards and assimilated with the southern (Dravida) people.

      In any case, who was there first, and who came here later, and who are imported is irrelevant. In the US there are some 20% Hispanics, with Southern California, Texas, New Mexico etc over-overwhelmingly Spanish. Yet, do we hear of this claim that we need to carve of the southern states to create a “spanish homeland”? Do they sing the star spangled banner in Spanish? Is Spanish an official language used in the congress?

      In France they have over 10% Arabic speakers. Have you heard the Marseillaise sung in Arabi. Dayan was in Paris, and he should know that many southern cities in France are full of Maghreb people, and yet, how are they treated, compared to the very visible position given to Tamil language and culture in Sri Lanka where there may be 10-12% Tamils?

      So what is this about `majority domination’ not being a problem in western democracies? Minorities have equal rights as in Sri Lanka, but they cannot attempt to set up parallel administrations.

      • 0
        0

        Kris and JP,

        1. By the way, do you know where man, you, came from? Adam and Eve?East Africa, 70,000 years ago?
        Here is way to test it and see from where you came from.

        https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

        Find the gene origins of the people.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genographic_Project

        The problem in Lanka, and the curse of Lanka, goes back to Monk Mahanam Myths, and its exploitation by the Monks, the politicians and the misdirected Sinhala racists.

        Is Buddhism a Myth? According to Mara, it is. He warned Buddha against it.

        See

        Why are the other Monks keeping Silent?

        True for Mahiyana. True for Theraveda as well?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj8ROh7dyHE

        Go back to the history of Lanka since independence, and connect the dots.

        Amarasiri

        • 0
          0

          Adam & Eve ? Not myth ? Have any scientific proof ?

      • 0
        0

        J-p,you say minorities cannot have parallel administrations.Read about the jaffna kingdom and find out for 400 years there was a parallel administration until colonialism made it one single administration.The minorities that you mentionin your commnet such as the spanish in the US did not have parallel administrations earlier so they cannot claim one now,but in the case of the tamils they certainly can make claims for parallel administration and if you refuse to grant it on the indian model what will happen is you will let the north of srilanka join kosovo,timor,south sudan,bosnia etc because the international community will look favourably on the tamils claims for a separate country based on historical evidence where they indeed have their own one once and now are asking to be given back their pre colonial status co.

        so the choice is yours devolution or separation.Don’t wait too long to give devolution because then it will be too late to roll back the separation band wagon.Don’t know even now while silly fools like you are resisting even little bit of devolution the international community has decided to give separation,but not made it official yet.They must be realising that it is not feasible to work out a political solution with the sinhalese because there are too many hardliners among them.

        one day if the north separates people like you will be to blame.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Dayan.

    Do not forget that Sri Lanka is a land of Majoritarian mould since the colonial powers created that situation….. whether it is latter day Sinhala majoritarianism or earlier Tamil majoritarianism.Look at Jaffna. What is there except Vellala castist majoritarianism even today. So it is not just a Sinhlese phenomena.It is ingrained in overall post-colonial Sri Lankan culture commencing with the time of the Dutch bringing the Velllalas. Just as Vellala Tamils starting with the much venerated Arumuga Navalar, preached that the Dalits are like the drum (parai)meant to be beaten” [physically], they do so. That was practised by no lesser men but Sri Lankan Tamil leaders and intellectuals like Ponnambalam Ramanathan, GG Ponnambalam and the much respected academician Prof.Sundaralingam and many others who led the movement against temple entry and use of wells. Saiva Siddhanta gone to Seed!They led the beating up of the non-Vellalas.Only the Jaffna Karayyars had the courage to stand up to the Vellalas because they were Christians and did not subscribe to Saiva Siddhanta of Navalar.Prabhakaran deserves to be remembered for that stand – he had a barber. Tamill Chelvam, as his political adviser -despite all heinous crimes he committed.
    Sri Lankan Tamils (read Vellalas) cannot protest over majoritarian rule. Look what is happening across Palk Straits also.Thy are inviting the majority Tamils of Tamil Nadu to put down Sinhalese. Isn’t it the majoritarian Tamil racism that J’Lalitha, K’Nidhi and others are trying to impose on Sri Lanka?
    You worked with them. Now do not pretend that you do not now it.Make your assessments more objective.

    • 0
      0

      What a lot of rubbish– though mixed with a few facts

  • 0
    0

    Well said Dayan, but are the idiots in power listening to you anymore?

  • 0
    0

    if All Sri Lankans like Dayan Jayatilake, then this is Sri Lanka the heaven… all the best Dayan

  • 0
    0

    Gota claims “Police and Land powers” in the hands of seperatists will be a big problem.

    What is the truth about this claim? Is it justfied?

    Is it just that Gota is whiniing, he would lose absolute power in that region of Sri Lanka?

  • 0
    0

    I reflected on the following assertion made by DJ:

    “The first argument is easily dispensed with. The TNA should contest the election even if the council is gutted of most of its powers, just as one should not abandon even the skeleton of a house that is one’s patrimony simply because someone has made off with its roof.”

    Democracy, by defintion, is participatory. But should one not know what to partcipate in, and what not (with apologies to Azad Sally!)? It is left to the Tamil people and the main Tamil alliance to decide if they should partcipate or should not ‘in-a-skeleton-of-the-house-situation’.

    Two questions nevertheless remain. Is such a skeletal house, as DJ’s contention goes, one of their ‘patrimony’- reason enough to be in? Secondly, how different, except for the size of the unit, will such a skeletal house (one ‘gutted of most of its powers’) be from the previous District Development Council, partcipation in which by TULF provided justification, in part, for the intensification of the armed conflict by militants?

    Conversely, another, yet important question is also relevant; Is it that partcipation in such a ‘skeletal house’ arrangement by Tamils would be taken to justify later that it really fits in with what has been proposed elsewhere as ‘devolution within the unitary state’- by then, a fait accompli by default?

    To me, absent a coherent rationale, this part of the narrative seems to be the weakest strand in the fabric of his otherwise cogent case.

  • 0
    0

    Muddling thoughts from the author of the article ! The B-C pact and D-C pact if unhindered would have further reinforced the terrain for the separate state. Besides, the transformation of LTTE from their initial antagonism towards Vellala hegemony to fascism and racism was the result of the unexpected Indian support. Any previous political reforms would not have deterred them at all.

  • 0
    0

    Ben Hurling,

    This is what Nadesan satyendra had to say about the Police and land powers granted to the provincial Councils:

    1. Police and public order

    “On the one hand the Provincial Council List includes the subject of ‘Police and Public Order’. On the other hand, it qualifies this subject by saying ‘public order and the exercise of police powers’ to the extent set out in the Appendix (13th Amendment 9th Schedule)

    And what does Appendix I enact? It enacts that the Inspector General Police shall be the head of the Sri Lanka Police Force which shall be divided into the National Division and a Provincial Division for each Province.

    The Provincial Division shall be headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police seconded from the National Service. And who will select and appoint the D.I.G.? The I.G.P. shall appoint a D.I.G. for each Province with the ‘concurrence of the Chief Minister of the Province’, but if there is no agreement, the President after due consultation with the Chief Minister, will make the appointment.

    The Chief Minister is granted the privilege of being consulted!

    Who will recruit to the Provincial Police Division? Recruitment shall be made by a Provincial Police Commission composed of three members viz the D.I.G., a person nominated by the Central Public Service Commission in consultation with the President and a ‘nominee of the Chief Minister’. And the Central Government will be responsible for the training of all recruits.

    Neither the Chief Minister nor for that matter the Governor shall be responsible for the preservation of public order within the Province. This will be the responsibility of the Provincial Police Division.

    But here too, the prevention, detection and investigation of any offence against any public officer and any offence prejudicial to National Security or the maintenance of Essential Services, shall be outside the competence of even the Provincial Police Division. (13th Amendment, Schedule to Appendix I )

    Such offences though committed within the Province, will fall within the jurisdiction of the National Police Division. And, in this way, the Prevention of Terrorism Act whose provisions have been condemned by the International Commission of Jurists as ‘a blot on the statute book’ of any civilised country, will continue to be enforced within the Province by the National Police Division under the direct control of the I.G.P.. But let us pass on and continue with our efforts to examine the 13th Amendment seriously.

    Police and public order in the Province effectively retained in the hands of the President

    The 13th Amendment provides that whilst the D.I.G. himself ‘shall be responsible to and under the control of the Chief Minister’, all Police Officers in the Province shall function under the direction and control of the D.I.G. of such Province

    The D.I.G. ‘shall be responsible to and under the control of the Chief Minister’ but the D.I.G. shall be seconded from the National Division and selected by the I.G.P., and if the Chief Minister disagrees with such selection, appointed by the President.

    The D.I.G. ‘shall be responsible to and under the control of the Chief Minister’ but the D.I.G. will be under the disciplinary control of the I.G.P. and will be employed on terms and conditions determined by the Central Government.

    The D.I.G. ‘shall be responsible to and under the control of the Chief Minister’ but the D.I.G. will be the faithful and loyal servant of the I.G.P. and the President of Sri Lanka.

    The D.I.G. ‘shall be responsible to and under the control of the Chief Minister’ but the 13th Amendment provides no means by which the Chief Minister may exercise any control in respect of the actions of the D.I.G. – except by appealing to the I.G.P. or the President for assistance.

    Executive power lies with the President and his servants – and to the extent that a Chief Minister is not a servant of the President, the Constitution does not and indeed, cannot, vest executive power in the Chief Minister.

    It is this Provincial Police Division recruited by a Commission which has a majority of members appointed by the Central Government and which functions under a D.I.G. who is under the disciplinary control of the I.G.P., who is answerable to the President, which is clothed with the responsibility of preserving public order in the Province and the 13th Amendment would have the Tamil people believe that the subject of ‘Police and Public Order’ is somehow ‘devolved’ on the Provinces.

    The subject of ‘Police and Public Order’ is not even within the competence of the Provincial Governor. It is a subject which is effectively retained in the hands of the President and the I.G.P. who may act either through the National Police Division or the Provincial Police division. And Dr. H.W. Jayawardene, appearing on behalf of his brother, President J.R. Jayawardene before the Constitutional Court in October 1987 declared openly: “All police officers will be appointed by the Inspector General of Police who is directly under the control of the President.” (Sri Lanka Sun: 30th October 1987)”

    2.Disposition of State land.

    “On the one hand, the subject of ‘Land and Land Settlement’ is matter in the Provincial Councils List. On the other hand this is qualified by the statement: ‘Land and Land Settlement’ to the extent set out in Appendix II. (13th Amendment 9th Schedule)

    And what does Appendix II enact? It enacts that ‘state land shall continue to vest in the Republic and may be disposed of in accordance with Article 33(d) and written law governing the matter’. What is Article 33(d) of the Constitution? This is the article which enacts that the ‘President shall have the power to execute such grants and dispositions of lands and immovable property vested in the Republic’!

    So despite ‘Land and Land Settlement’ being a matter in the Provincial List, disposition of state land remains a power vested in the President and the Central Government. Dr. H.W. Jayawardene, who appeared on behalf of the President Jayawardene before the Constitutional Court in Sri Lanka in October 1987 was as always, open and frank:

    “State land in the provinces will be vested in the President and will not be given over to the Provincial Councils. The principle of central rule will not be affected in the distribution of land. Under the Land policy as envisaged in the Amendment, no state land will be vested in a Provincial Council – in other words no giving away of state land to the provinces…” (Sri Lanka Sun: 30th October 1987)

    In matters connected with the disposition of state land, just as much as in matters connected with police and public order, it is the President who will rule.

    The third of the constitutional trinity of marvels – the Provincial Council

    But let us not loose patience. There is a saying in Tamil: Poruthar Poomi Alvar – those who are patient will rule the land. Let us continue with our efforts to examine seriously the provisions of the 13th Amendment which have been touted as a panacea for the Tamil people. Let us turn to the third of the constitutional Trinity of marvels – the Provincial Council.

    The 13th Amendment grandiloquently declares in Article 154G that every Provincial Council may make statutes applicable to the Province with respect to the matters set out in a list referred to as ‘the Provincial Council List’.

    In addition there is a Concurrent List which sets out matters in respect of which both Parliament and the Provincial Councils may legislate. Finally, a Reserved List sets out matters in respect of which only Parliament may legislate and in respect of which a Provincial Council shall have no power to make statutes. (13th Amendment 9th Schedule)

    At first sight, these provisions may give the impression that the 13th Amendment confers legislative power on the Provincial Councils in respect of certain specified matters, on Parliament in respect of certain other matters and concurrent on both the Provincial Council and Parliament on certain other matters and may even be regarded as ‘federal’ in nature. But Professor Claire Palley, puts the matter clearly:

    “If the powers of government are organised under a single central authority, while whatever powers by local units are held at the sufferance of the central government, which can exercise supreme legislative authority, the constitution is described as unitary. If the powers of government are distributed between central and local government and the central authority is limited by the powers secured to the territorial units, the state is federal. (Minority Rights Group Report on ‘Constitutional Law and Minorities’)”.

    The objections to Police and land powers being conceded to the PCs as laid down in the 13th amendment, is political drama which can be described as ‘Much Ado about Nothing!’.

    The demand for these powers for the northern PC by the TNA, is also political drama of the same type, despite the fact that the whole exercise is a political sleight of hand.

    I agree with Dayan’s arguments that are based on the premises that ‘Beggars cannot be choosers’, ‘Something is better than nothing’ and ‘We have to start the process somewhere’. I do not whether this approach is realism or fatalism.

    The immature approach to national issues, continues to be the bane of this country.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 0
      0

      If so, there is no need of 13 amendment anyway. Police and land issues can be enforced from the centre.

      On the other hand if a TNA controlled northern PC gets police powers, it makes sense for the central government to arm the EPDP against TNA. This is what happened in 1989. Premadasa’s army attacked TNA (Tamil National Army) and gave those weapons to LTTE.

      May be it is not a bad idea to restart some form of “LTTE” to force, etc. Tamil parties to “stick to Vadukodi Resolution” without compromise. Else…

    • 0
      0

      Thnx Dr.Narendran.

      • 0
        0

        There is a DiG for each district now. How will this play out in terms of the provincial DIGs envisaged under the 13th amendment?

        Dr.RN

  • 0
    0

    Buka Pandithayas unable to deliver being part of the failed system, are now offering alternates and trying to decide for the masses. When will they ever learn, that the masses can well do without their cockeyed advice? They are nothing but blood sucking parasites.

  • 0
    0

    Though I don’t agree with DJ in many aspects, it is good to see some positive thinking towards how to start the process of reconciliation and trust building between North East and the Rest of the island currently known as Sri Lanka. We had so many agreements and assurances throughout our history since independence but we never tried by heart any of them together. It is true 13th amendment is not a solution to the problem. You still have the military power. You still have the political power. You still have the support of your allies. But you don’t have the will power! You don’t trust your people!

    The armed conflict was going for nearly 30 years and you tried your best for many years unsuccessfully and it would have gone for ever if the International Community and India stood against to Sri Lanka in support of LTTE and there is no split within LTTE. It is not purely China’s cluster bombs or the bravery of the Sinhala soldiers alone brought victory. The war victory came at the expense of heavy price on both sides and it is not a true victory until all affected people feel free. You never know what will happen in the future. Today is not the same as yesterday or tomorrow.

    The people in the North East and the rest of country lost their independence fully or partly to foreign invaders for nearly 400-500 years. Sri Lanka as a whole gained the independence from British not because of our military strength or activities of the local politicians, it is the sacrifice of the people of India and the continued revolution lead by Gandhi in India. However, both Tamil and Sinhala leaders formed independence movements seeking the independence.

    No one realise the fact that the relationship (politically) between Tamils and Sinhalese did not go well throughout the period of independence. You can give thousands of excuses and explanations but the fact is that current system is not working. So, we have to look for alternatives to current system. We thought of various alternatives but never tried on an agreed system between both sides. What was the result of this?
    War – Destruction – War – Destruction …………..
    We never had a break in the cycle.
    The cycle continues and will continue …………..

    Don’t you think that people were happy and less destruction when there was no independence?

  • 0
    0

    After this incident SL will certainly lose the 2014 UNHRC resolution anyway.

    It doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do. It is a foregone conclusion now.

    13 amendment or no 13 amendment, this is the reality. SL has nothing to lose by scrapping 13 amendment.

    Looks like our leaders were bribed to the tune of $2.2 billion to agree to Chinese defence and naval defence demands (diplomatically called “cooperation”).

    India is certainly worried now more than ever. India may re-arm Tamils to fight against SL. Will that not be a good excuse for Colombo to do what they do best!

    “May 29 (Reuters) – China has offered Sri Lanka about $2.2 billion in loans for infrastructure projects and a free trade pact, the island nation said on Wednesday, moves that could stoke fresh unease in India about Beijing’s expanding influence in its neighbourhood.

    Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, however, said the agreements with China including a separate one to enhance defence ties, should not be a cause for concern.

    “But it’s not at the expense of any other country, there’s no danger to any other country,” Peiris said in answer to a question on fears in India about China’s deepening ties with Sri Lanka.

    Peiris was speaking to journalists during an official visit to China by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    Located just off India’s southern tip, the island of 21 million has become a visible front in the competition between the Asian giants, where mutual suspicion and commercial ambition have led to a race for construction projects.

    China and Sri Lanka agreed on $1.5 billion in private-sector investment in the northern express highway, which links Kandy in the central part of Sri Lanka, to Jaffna in the north, Peiris said.

    Officials from the two sides also agreed on the extension of a railway, the southern highway and the development of the port of Colombo, the country’s capital, Peiris said.

    Similar port developments from Myanmar to Pakistan have raised Indian fears about Chinese political and military influence, but Rajapaksa has rejected such concerns, saying China’s presence in Sri Lanka is strictly business-related.

    Sri Lanka’s location astride an ancient and lucrative trade route in the Indian Ocean makes it of strategic commercial and military interest to Washington, New Delhi and Beijing.

    That, some analysts theorize, makes it a prime part of China’s so-called “String of Pearls” strategy to surround India and project its presence by setting up coaling stations under commercial auspices at port after port in the Indian Ocean.

    So far, the weapons of influence have been financial: India and China have both funded huge chunks of Rajapaksa’s $6 billion post-war overhaul of roads, railways, ports and power plants.

    The loans offered by China to Sri Lanka, which were signed on Tuesday along with the other agreements, make up a “preferential bias” credit facility for infrastructure, Peiris said.

    China and Sri Lanka have also agreed on cooperation related to defence, “defence-related training, logistics and maritime security, and have agreed in principle to establish a free trade agreement, Peiris said.

    China has stood steadfast with Sri Lanka while it has faced international criticism including from Indian poliicians for alleged human rights violations in the final stages of the war with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May 2009.”

  • 0
    0

    End of the day all these things boils down to one fact. Has the President got the guts and political capital to provide equal rights to all citizens of Sri Lanka and bring back the rule of law.

  • 0
    0

    Dayan:

    Can you let us know about the details of the conference that you have been invited? and which you find so irrelevant? ie. the title?

  • 0
    0

    Intelligentsia of this land are silent because they are following the path of opportunism.

  • 0
    0

    please stop writing kehelmal nonsense. and put a photo of your backside , it cant be any worse than that face

    • 0
      0

      100% true!

      Colombo Telegraph may be the media outlet with most freedom of expression. We should salute them for that. All other websites only publish what is consistent with the owners’ mindset.

  • 0
    0

    I am not a Mahinda supporter to begin with.
    but as most of the commentors pointed out it was forced down on our throats by INDIA
    So we have a right to reject it in a different circumstance like now.
    Let the people of this country decide what is the best.
    I believe right now we have bigger problems, the case in point a District judge has been caught taking a bribe, this shows that the system has rotten to the core.
    Now we need a new political force and a leader to cleanse the System first and put law and order, independence of the Judiciary, getting rid of all the lackeys in Public service to make these instituitions are lean mean and does work.
    Introduce the merit based appointement, get rid of the corrupt customs officers who go home with a bag full of money every day and once in a while put up a BIG show hauling some counterfeit cigarettes to show how efficient they are while Gold bars and Narcotics galore into the country.
    PS mebers and politicitias of all hues run the drug mafia.
    While the Rajayaksha clan pawning the country to China EXCIM bank and running with the POT.!!!
    The 13A abolitioon is a diversion to get the public attention out of burning crisis like high living cost, electricity tariff hike etc etc.
    So folks!!, wake up see the Woods instead of trees, individually.
    The Tamils can wait for now as they have been got rid of the BIG monkey on their back.
    Now relax pick up peices and get going, we have bigger monkey than Prabhakaran to be ridden off as a Nation.
    let us do that.
    Then let us teach indian suckers that Sri Lanka is NOT a Vasal state of them or any other external power, not definetely of the Rajayaksha clan and the fellow suckers who suck up to them at all levels of the Society.
    here is some good reading for most of you to get better informed.!!
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-new-political-regime-post-2010-in-sri-lanka-a-hybrid-regime/

    aj

    • 0
      0

      Why don’t you write under your own name you [Edited out]?

  • 0
    0

    “What is also missing is the engagement of the intelligentsia “

    Very True.

    We only have shameless political opportunists – pretending to be intelligentsia, lacking both in morals and intelligence. What better example than Dayan Jayatilleke.

  • 0
    0

    Dayan Jayatilleke has quite rightly given his frank opinion, what his recommendations are, and why he thinks so. Whether we agree or not is ours to decide; in other words what he implies is that the destiny of our country is literally in our hands.

    President J.R.Jayawardene was coerced by India under threat to agree to 13A. There were several rounds of talks between emissaries of both governments before agreement was reached. There was no craftiness on the part of JR though that was merely a face saving story that was spread afterwards about putting one over India. There was no way JR could have refused India except at the cost of being invaded. The shame and disgrace of being bullied and our sovereignty trampled underfoot in the glare of international publicity is still difficult for Sri Lankans to forgive and it will take at least another generation before the people think kindly of India. Even if not forgotten, it may be time now to forgive India for it’s interference which cost this country greatly in lives while setting back economic development by decades. A question still remains. Can we trust India even now? I do not know.

    Devolution of power as envisaged in 13A is in my opinion not an issue. Dr.R.N.’s analysis is good enough. The question is, and has been, will the NPC use it’s control over the province to prepare for secession with covert assistance from India/Tamil Nadu and the Tamil diaspora? The first step, therefore, is to establish trust between the parties, including India. If that can be done the people will extend support.

    My personal opinion is that the whole parliamentary system is flawed and has ceased to represent the sovereignty of the people. Instead sovereignty has been usurped by the Executive and the Legislature and what we see instead is the exploitation of the people. A Provincial Council system merely copies and proliferates this hegemony of the elected over the electorate. An overhaul of the system of governance is the priority. However, given the imperatives faced by Sri Lanka, and considering that there are other PCs already in existence, North cannot be denied the same facility with the Police and Land powers in 13A. For the Sinhala people a time to trust; for the Tamil people a time to honour that trust.

  • 0
    0

    Security is not an issue due to the Military presence in the North and East. Police should return to their civilian role without carrying fire arms. STF can go to the military to handle any special operations.

    Normal land and environmental issues should be through the PC. Special infrastructural projects can be through the UDA as at present.

    13A is no problem except that the Regime and its Facist partners do not want to accept the minorities as partners in developing the nation.

    ‘This country will reach its intended destination if all citizens heed the advice given by the Maha Sangha. The Buddhist clergy have been a strength to the government and the armed forces at all times, especially during the 30 years of conflict in Sri Lanka, said Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.’

    ‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressed the fear that if the Tamil majority Northern Province went into the hands of the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) following the September 2013 elections to the Northern Provincial Council, that province would demand power over land and police and jeopardize national integrity and security.’

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.