26 June, 2019

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The Constitutional Process Gives Sri Lanka A Real Chance

By Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

The Constitutional Process Gives Sri Lanka a Real Chance to Move Forward or Get Stuck in the Troubled Past

The year 2017 is a make or break year for the National Unity government and the Tamil people. In the history of Sri Lanka, an attempt is made for the third time after independence to enact a new constitution to resolve three major protracted issues facing the country. They are (1) devolution of power, (2) electoral reform, and (3) restructuring the executive presidential system.

Undoubtedly, devolution of power is the critical and the fundamental element of the constitution making process.  It directly affects the future political and economic well being of not only the

Tamil people, but the entire people of Sri Lanka.   Power sharing has become a contentious issue right after independence and continues to pose a challenge to ethnic reconciliation.

The major difference between the 1972 and 1978 constitution is the participation of elected representatives of the Tamil people in the constitutional process. The previous constitutions completely ignored demands by the Tamil people for power sharing.  Maximum autonomy for the Tamil people in their traditional habitat to manage their own affairs under a federal structure.
Anton Balasingham proposed to G.L. Peiris the chief negotiator for government of Srilanka “To explore a possible solution based on internal self determination of Tamils on a federal basis to lands of historic habitation of Tamil speaking people”. An agreement was reached between the LTTE and the UNP-led United National Front (UNF) government in December, 2002 at the third round of talks at Oslo. It was popularly called the Oslo Declaration and the Minister of Constitutional Affairs Prof. Peiris hailed the agreement as a ‘paradigm shift’ on Sri Lanka’s vexed ethnic question.

The agreement stated “Responding to a proposal by the leadership of the LTTE, the parties have agreed to explore a political solution founded on the principle of internal self-determination in areas of historical habitation of the Tamil-speaking peoples, based on a FEDERAL structure within a united Sri Lanka. The parties acknowledged that the solution has to be acceptable to all communities.” Federalism became entrenched in the political discourse in Sri Lanka’s political circles when it was endorsed at the Tokyo donor conference in 2003. The Tokyo Declaration, signed by 70 state and multilateral donors, commended the LTTE and the Colombo government “for their commitment to a lasting and negotiated peace based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka.

However, G.L.  Peiris has since made a U turn distancing himself from   the terms of the Oslo Agreement, saying words like federalism and unitary were “meaningless.”  Likewise, the United National Party led by Ranil Wickremesinghe also ditched the federal constitutional model as a solution in 2007 due to repeated defeats at the polls. However, Ravi Karunanayake, UNP  MP   claimed “Our party stands for maximum devolution of power and when the Ceasefire Agreement was signed by the UNP government of 2001 we did not have a Federal solution in mind, but only a mode of maximum devolution of power to solve the problem.” The UNP came under mounting pressure from its rank and file to reclaim the Sinhala nationalist vote by swinging to the right.

The first attempt at decentralising powers within the framework of a unitary constitution was through 13A in 1987. Though inadequate, the provincial councils were considered as autonomous bodies and are not under any Ministry. It derives its authority and power from the Constitution and Acts of Parliament. Undertakes activities which had earlier been undertaken by the Central Government Ministries, Departments, Corporations and Statutory Authorities. But, provincial council’s powers were restricted or diluted because of (1) the inclusion of the concurrence list, and (2) the vesting of executive powers on the Governor and (3) failure on the part of the government to implement the appointment of Land and Police Commissions.  Though, ex president Mahinda Rajapaksa made a commitment to UN Secretary Ban-Ki-moon in May, 2009 that he will introduce amendment to the 13A + he never kept his word.

The administration of the provincial councils depends extensively on the goodwill of the central government.  Powers devolved under the 13th Amendment were insufficient as the central government maintains a strict control over important subjects of power sharing through the Concurrent List.

The current attempt at drawing a new constitution has been made possible because of the election of Maithripala Sirisena as president in January, 2015 and the change of regime in August of the same year.  It was exactly a year ago on January 20; a Resolution on the making of a Constitution was moved in Parliament by the Prime Minister in the parliament. The Resolution converted the parliament into a Constitutional Assembly (CA) comprising all the members of the parliament but sits as a separate body. It is tasked with enacting a new constitution.

Earlier, the parliament passed the 19th Amendment which reduced the executive powers of the president by creating various Commissions like the Public, Police and Judiciary commissions. This was considered a good omen for an overall constitutional change.

The CA is led by a Steering Committee (SC) chaired by the Prime Minister and includes all parliamentary party leaders and other MPs. The steering committee will be engaged in deliberating on core subject areas pertaining to the nature of the State, form and structure of Government, principles of devolution, religion, electoral reforms and land. Sub committees which were assigned to look into fundamental rights, the judiciary, public finance, and the public service, law and order, and centre-periphery relations. The areas of electoral reform, devolution and the central executive will be dealt with directly by the Steering Committee. The six committees have since submitted their reports to the SC.  On January 8, 2017 the SC will commence debate. It will then submit an Interim Report to the CA for debate. The Interim Report does not constitute finality.

The final draft of the constitution should be passed by the parliament with a two-third majority and thereafter approved by the people at a referendum.  The constitutional process poses many challenges to the law makers and there are many slips between the cup and the lip!

The constitution of a country is the bedrock on which the entire edifice of a government stands. The Constitution of the United States has endured for over two centuries and remains the object of reverence by all Americans and an object of admiration by peoples around the world. It is the first constitution based on principles of federalism. The emphasis is on “consent of the governed” in contrast to “the will of the majority,” a view more current in some democracies.

Any political powers not derived from the consent of the governed are, by the laws of nature, illegitimate and hence unjust. The 1972 and 1978 Sri Lanka’s constitutions were enacted without any regard to “consent of the governed.”

TNA which represents the Tamil people of the Northeast has demanded specific constitutional provisions that it considers paramount to the resolution of the national question. Powers of governance must be shared through a shared sovereignty amongst the Peoples who inhabit the island. The following principles must be recognized to achieve genuine reconciliation, lasting peace and economic development for all the Peoples of Sri Lanka in a united and undivided Sri Lanka:

  • The Tamils are a distinct People and from time immemorial have inhabited this island together with the Sinhalese People and others
  • The contiguous preponderantly Tamil Speaking Northern and Eastern provinces is the historical habitation of the Tamil Speaking Peoples
  • Power sharing arrangements must be established in a unit of a merged Northern and Eastern Provinces based on a Federal structure, in a manner also acceptable to the Tamil Speaking Muslim people.

President Maithripala Sirisena has repeatedly emphasised his commitment to resolve Sri Lanka’s Tamil question since 90% of them had voted for him. He has added “it is not only my responsibility, but also my obligation to solve their problems,” he told The Hindu in November, 2016.

However, there are growing concerns over opposition coming from a section of the Buddhist clergy and hardliner Sinhalese nationalists who are opposed to any form of devolution to the Tamil people under any circumstances. To them any form of devolution is a stepping stone to separatism.

The next three months is going to be crucial whether Sri Lanka will move forward or not. Whether the constitutional process will make or break Sir Lanka.  Whether there is political will and courage on the part of the government leaders will break with the past and usher in an era of peace and prosperity to the country.

The constitutional process gives Sri Lanka a real chance to move forward or get stuck in the troubled past.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    2

    Even though President Maithripala Sirisena has repeatedly emphasized his commitment (responsibility and obligation) to resolve the burning National problem that is haunting the country since independence, does he have the courage to do so in the midst of opposition coming from a section of the Buddhist clergy and hardline Sinhala Buddhist ultra-nationalists is questionable. If he has the courage to solve the burning national issue once and for all and put the country in the right peaceful path for the future generations, he may even become the world’s best president and win a noble prize for peace even though he will be branded as a traitor by the Sinhala Buddhist ultra-nationalist/racists.

    • 4
      9

      The Messenger

      There is NO conceivable solution to the Tamil ethnic problem so long as +50% Tamils(Tamil speaking people) live outside North and East.

      There is an inherent superiority in the Sinhala Buddhist society which makes them to live among the Sinhalese similar to the desire of worldwide Muslims to migrate to Christian West or other non Muslim countries (Given the option a Bangalaseshi would choose to migrate to India rather than Pakistan and Estate Tamils prefer to lead that lowly life among the Sinhalese rather than moving to their motherland (which is developing towards a world super power) where they can live with dignity within their own linguistic, cultural and religious environment). After the war I expected mass migration from Sinhala areas to North and East which did not happen. Not a SINGLE Tamil moved house to Jafna from Colombo.

      Any separate homeland for Tamils must necessarily entail the requirement that all Tamil(Tamil speaking people) be physically relocated that ‘homeland’.

      Soma

      • 7
        4

        soma,

        Go and fly a kite! You have been told umpteen times that there IS a conceivable solution to the Tamil question. This, the GOSL collectively and internationally accepted. The new Constitution is being fashioned to realise this.

        The Tamils are not asking Separation but autonomy within United Sri Lanka. You should not allow your inherent insecurity to scamper democratic progress. You should gracefully accept that it is a democratic necessity to devolve power and recognise the legitimate Tamil speaking areas.

        • 2
          11

          BI
          First there is no “Tamil question” as far as Sri Lankans are concerned. Tamils are a 10% minority of Sri lanka and that is how they will be living in SL. Not happy? Doors are open to leave. Soon Muslims will be the major minority of SL.
          What Tamils will get is nothing more, nothing less than the autonomy the southern region of SL have.
          You talk about insecurity; That is what 30 years of Tamil terrorism gave to the majority Sri lankans. That won’t be erased from the minds in the foreseeable future. So, autonomy will not be during your life span.

          • 3
            2

            Euse,

            Get real! Tamils question is real and will be resolved. It’s about time the likes of you get used to the idea!

            • 3
              2

              Bi
              Sure, I have got used to the idea. There is nothing called “Tamil question”. It is a mythical creation by separatist tamils

              • 3
                2

                Nuisance

                You are soaking in your own vomit, get sachooo to find your padikkama.

                • 2
                  2

                  Nuisance was not this biased prior to 8th Jan 2015. He even spoke high about his ALMA MATER-University of Pera in the high days of MR. I have the feeling something in his little brain should have drastically been changed ascending since MR defeat.

                  I really dont know what affects on the minds sets of these men ?

                  This man and that Maxi moron even if they are said to have learnt something but to behave no different to the illiterate.

                  • 2
                    3

                    Mr simon,
                    You can utter anything you want. But terrorism and separation/autonomy are off the table for Sri Lanka.
                    For your information, Pera alma matar or support for any political leaders such as MR/MS/RW has nothing do with what I say.

                    • 1
                      2

                      My previous comment was not based on the topic being addressed here. I just wanted to explain that we are not unknown your person. But yours has been bit changed than had been before. That is all what I added – greetings from freezing Berlin.

                    • 2
                      2

                      Besides, I dont waste my vauable time for commenting on anyone with your nature – just as a learnt step by now since we know who you guys are. We just want to warn others about you -no need wasting exchaging with you or the ilk. Extremists of your kind are the curse to this country now and for the future – a fact.

          • 4
            2

            soma

            I have an arithmetical problem to solve. Since you think you are the only whizz-kid in this forum I rely on you to help me calculate the % of the following fraction:

            3,108,770 X 100/20,359,439 = ????

            20,359,439 X 10% = ????

            If it is too much lets ask HLD M

            • 3
              4

              another stupid post!

              • 0
                2

                It is just you the like low lives cant get it. That is then being interpreted in favour of you.

          • 2
            2

            Nonsense,

            “First there is no “Tamil question””

            The question is if you have a brain or not.

            • 2
              4

              Anpu
              That is your response to my post???

              No wonder Tamils have problems!

              • 1
                2

                You Eusense and the like s nature is explained by the following:

                Through mind-conditioning, two people can see different images from the same picture. Stephen Covey, in his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” gives a very good example on how a conditioned mind affects how we perceive things.

            • 1
              2

              These men are blind. Even 10 year old sinhalese young children are well aware of the fact that we have a tamil problem in the country and that was the reason a brutal war fought by country.
              So these men, just these extremists make every efforts to just ignore it even today, 7 years after the brutal war is over. Shameless idiots.

            • 1
              2

              I understand, it is shame we still have masses in this country being ready to say, that there exists no TAMIL QUESTION. These homo sapiens should really be sick in their way. And becoming the threat to any kind of sustainable peace solution for all in this lost island.

      • 4
        3

        “”There is NO conceivable solution to the Tamil ethnic problem so long as +50% Tamils(Tamil speaking people) live outside North and East.””

        Former Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaiye to Mahinda Rajapakse did not think the same way as stupid Soma thinks because they are more knowledgeable than Soma and they were the leaders of the country. It is not secret that if there is no force you Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalists will not understand the truth about North East Tamil. When India told you did it without any blood. So, you need Force to realise the truth.

    • 1
      2

      I think finding solutions to the problem will take more time than ever expected. That is what I even heard from the point of views of the university dons that have been performing their parts getting invovled to the process by which they can reach all walks of people across the island. Latter is become even more clear when I read about the comments keep coming from
      the foolish and stupid idiots that represent those group in CT – see below:

      Nusense, Sach,Sumanasekara, JimBumsofty, DJ, Soma etc. These men are born ultra extremists or suffering from a gentic syndrome of rarity.
      They dont care about the future of this country. They dont have the feeling that we all srilankens are made out of flesh and bones.
      So long these men and their supporters are the majority, nothing will help achieving final peace for all of us the srilankens.
      I am a sinhalaya, but I call myself one another Srilanken while living in Europe.

      • 1
        0

        Desperate
        Did you also wanted, the 30 year terror war which killed over 100,000 innocent people killed, to continue?

        Do you want to give 40% of my country to 10% of the population who make fake complainants of racism and discrimination while they own most businesses and professional services in the south and have every right and freedom what Sinhalese have? This group also wants no Sinhalese to migrate to north but they should have the right to live in any part of SL.

        If you really live in Europe are you not aware of all the anti-SL actives Tamils are involved in there?? They even try to block EU trade deals with SL. Do you agree with them??
        My last question is are you really a Sinhalese or a Tamil operative?

  • 7
    4

    From the day the Tamils lost their rights to the Sinhalese at independence (via British in 1948) they had been negotiating with the Sri Lanka government/Sinhalese leaders (Peacefully) for nearly 30 years to solve the Tamil issue (country’s National problem). The Sinhalese leaders came up with several pacts and promises but finally broke their promises and gave nothing to the Tamils other than cheating them and unleashing violence on their non-violent/peaceful campaigns. When the government in power proposes a solution, either the opposition rejects it to gain cheap political advantage or some minor Nationalist/chauvinist party along with the Buddhist monks opposes it making the government in power to go back on its promises. This forced the Tamils to seek for separation to form a separate country for Tamils which ended up in a 30 years’ war.

    Unfortunately, the history keeps repeating, the Sinhalese have not learnt any lessons. Even after the war ended, the Sinhalese are not willing to give the Tamils their due rights. After the war ended, the Rajapakshe regime promised to implement LLRC, 13A+, human rights issues, etc. but did nothing other than becoming anti-minority and did everything possible to intimidate the Tamils and Muslims. The million dollar question is, with the above history, can we trust the present Maithree-Ranil government to solve the Tamil issue? Will the anti-minority Rajapakshes and their cohorts (joint opposition), the Sinhala Racists who pretend as Nationalist patriots allow this regime to solve the Tamil issue?

    If history repeats again, what other alternative action does the Tamil political leaders have?

    • 5
      6

      if this calamity befall on you after independence in 1948, why did your leaders start calling arms for an eelam in 1922? And several times again BEFORE 1948?

      • 3
        2

        sachoooooooooooooooooooooooooo the stupid II

        Where is Nuisance’s padikkama?

        Was it made in Katukurunda?

        Was it made in 1922?

      • 3
        2

        Sach,

        “If this calamity befall on you after independence in 1948, why did your leaders start calling arms for an eelam in 1922? And several times again BEFORE 1948?”

        What else did you see in your dreams? I mean things that happened before independence. This is what happens when you go to bed with a troubled mind.

        Before 1948 the Tamil political leaders did not ask even a federal state. When SWRD Bandaranayake proposed a federal system much before 1948 (for the upcountry people), it was the Tamil political leaders who opposed it. Eelam is the Tamil name for Sri Lanka.

    • 2
      6

      Suresh
      Looks like finally you opened your eyes and learnt what politics is!
      Fore sure History will repeat again. The best path is learn Sinhalese, migrate to the south if you have to, improve your lives, make money and take over Sri Lanka through an economic path. Stop wasting your life on these issues.

      • 3
        2

        Eusense

        “Suresh Looks like finally you opened your eyes and learnt what politics is!”

        You mean Sinhala-Buddhist politics. That is why we converted the domestic problem into an International issue and made the world countries to interfere into SL’s internal affairs. They started calling SL a pariah state, no escape, every year at the UN, the Yankees haunted the previous regime, and the present top guy says we are committed, our responsibility, and obligation, etc.etc.

        “The best path is learn Sinhalese, migrate to the south if you have to, improve your lives, make money and take over Sri Lanka through an economic path.”

        I wonder why the previous regime created a ministry to teach Tamil to the entire country, even the top guy learned Tamil and addressed the UN in Tamil. Even now there is a ministry to implement Tamil language to the whole country. To improve your lives you should learn Tamil because in the one and only one metropolitan city of SL, more Tamil is spoken than Sinhala and most of the business belongs to Tamils and Muslims.

        • 2
          0

          surash
          Separatist Tamils like you have been putting spells on SL and wishing the worst for the country. But, what has happened to SL so far? Nothing!

          I made a mistake thinking you have opened your eyes. Apparently not. Teaching Tamil to the entire country and the top guy addressing the UN in Tamil are nothing but all political ploys. You need to get real!

          You say “you should learn Tamil because in the one and only one metropolitan city of SL, more Tamil is spoken than Sinhala and most of the business belongs to Tamils and Muslims”
          You are right!
          That is why I say Tamils have equal opportunity to thrive in SL similar to the Sinhalese. You yourself confirmed that discrimination against Tamils is non existent and it is all fake propaganda that lazy, uneducated, separatist Tamils are involved in.

    • 0
      0

      Suresh,

      with all respect – knowing and respecting the problem tamils face even today – I think both sides should have failed to approach in the line of resolving the ethinic issue. Just pointing the finger only at Sinhalese govts will not do anything better. As I got to know each and every govt made their efforts more or less to find soltuions, however, not tamil politicians but some extremists always stood on the way. Today their power wihtin the country is not seen but internationalylly they are sitll active. However, growing the same kind of extremists is on a rise today, as we see it. Even on this forum if you read the thoughts of Eusense, Sumanasekara or th elike commentators, and together with those from the former president and his allies, you will see it very clearly. This has been the problem inthis country on and on, not just for finding solutions for the ethinic issues, but also anything benefiting all srilankens, seem not easy to get passed, so long those radical groups take ground in this society.
      I am very pessimitic, so long the kind of diverse kind of extremists would not learn to see it right, nothing will work in the line of reaching soltuions. However, I am optimistic, all these variend groups and the tendencies of their racial nature – will recover with the nation turning to enjoy good incomes. Then many in this country will have to agree to treat everyone equal. .. Long process, but it is not imposible.

  • 5
    7

    Right now the Sri lankan constitution says Sri lanka is a federal constitution. Once the contitution is rewritten it becomes a fragemented state in which amalgamated North and East become a Tamil Kingdom, Tamils get 2/3rds of the shore and maritime resources. 1/3rd of the country. All ETCA, GSP plus, UNHCR are trying to make Sri lanka a non-buddhist country where NGOS, and special interest groups run the country.

    We need to watch how Ranil Wickrmasinghe, Maitripala Sirisena finish their left over three years.

    Muslims know what is going on, that is why they are bullying buddhists because they also want their homeland in Mannar, East and in Aluthgama.

    Tamils and muslims want their homelands for they themselves and rest of the country democratic, multi cultural, multi religious, secular to play their games.

    Buddhists are being reverse discriminated.

    • 3
      2

      Prophet jim softy dimwit peace be upon you

      “Right now the Sri lankan constitution says Sri lanka is a federal constitution.”

      Is it jimmy?

      “Buddhists are being reverse discriminated.”

      Which mean favoured.

  • 2
    3

    Veluppillai Thangavelu

    Hope you are living abroad,we are on the 3rd year of the change for good,they had or promised 100 day program.

    We all so happy that most of them we face or to solve have included in that 100.still hunting and
    try to solve the vechicle,find one in Batti to start with.

    I haven’t read yours fully.soon you mentioned LTTE Anton Bala I stopped,we are not going anywhere.

    If you happen to Colombo you would feel how great our developments are highway to Mc KFC all these pizzas land drovers on the roads these chicks bras and pants colours gives impression we are upto them.

    Most of the people don’t have good drinking water to start with.list may go on,i stop here.

  • 6
    8

    There is a fundamental and serious problem here. Tamil political masters and anti Sinhala Buddhist forces are scheming for the Tamils to continue to live in areas outside North East while an enclave for Hindu and Christian Tamils in the North is carved out. Sinhalese must fight tooth and nail against this arrangement and demand that they all be physically relocated to North and East.

    Any proposal to identify a particular area exclusively for Tamils(Tamil speaking people) should necessarily entail the provision that rest of the island is exclusively for thw Sinhalese.

    Tamils are trying to establish Ealam and the right to live anywhere. Sinhalese must be beware of this devilish scheme and 2017 must be the year the for all those who believe that this country belongs to all with freedom to live anywhere and absolute equality in all respects to stand up in one voice.

    2017 will the year for Tamils(Tamil speaking people) to decide to live together with the Sinhalese or live separately in the North East.

    Soma

    • 7
      5

      somaaasss

      “There is a fundamental and serious problem here.”

      For once I agree with you.

      However the problem is you.

      You do not need to look elsewhere.

      Please just stand in front of a mirror, contemplate your image in the mirror, …..

      • 5
        6

        NV

        “However the problem is you”

        I know that I am a serious problem to those of you who are scheming to occupy the Sinhala areas while demanding a separate homeland for Hindu and Christian Tamils in the North.

        In the mirror I see a liberal man whose only ambition is to contribute towards one Sri Lanka where all inhabitants are equal in all respects with the right to live anywhere.

        Soma

        • 5
          3

          somaaaaaaaaassss

          “In the mirror I see a liberal man whose only ambition is to contribute towards one Sri Lanka where all inhabitants are equal in all respects with the right to live anywhere.”

          How and where did you get my photo?

          • 6
            3

            NV,

            A sharp repartee.

            Dr.RN

          • 2
            4

            NV

            Quite photogenic.

            Scribbled on the backside is the Vadukkodai resolution.

            Soma

            • 3
              2

              somaaaaaaaaas

              “Scribbled on the backside is the Vadukkodai resolution.”

              Probably I wiped my bump with backside of the piece of paper in an emergency situation which looks like Vadukkodai resolution to a troubled mind.

      • 4
        4

        stupid answer!

        • 3
          3

          Nuisance the stupid I

          “stupid answer!”

          Make sure you don’t step on your glasses.

  • 3
    4

    “Internal Self determination for Tamil speaking people in the North and the East with full ownership of Land and Police Powers”

    This seems the unanimous goal now among the late Balasingham lead LTTE, UNP Leader Batalanda Ranil, Vellala Party TNA and the Diaspora lead by Suren Surendran..

    And Mr Thangavelu reckons it is the only way the Sinhala Budddhists who are the great inhabitant majority can get Bread and Butter going forward.

    Great… What about Bacon?….

    And what about the Tamils who live outside the Federal Homeland?

    Do we have to share the Bacon with them?..

    • 4
      4

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “Do we have to share the Bacon with them?..”

      Forget sharing your bacon with them.

      Have you ever shared your bacon with poor rural Sinhalese?

      Start thinking about redistributing clan’s ill-gotten wealth among the poor. Each will get millions of bacon.

  • 5
    5

    What you say makes sense if and only if you acknowledge:

    • The Sinhalese are a distinct People and from time immemorial have inhabited this island together with others

    • The contiguous preponderantly Sinhala Speaking areas is the historical habitation of the Sinhala Speaking Peoples (Sinhale)

    • Power sharing arrangements must be established in a unit of a merged Sinhale ,in a manner also acceptable to the Tamil Speaking peoples.

    So there is only need of having 2 or 3 regional units. Northern , Eastern and South West Sinhale.

    We cannot have the situation where there is recognition of Tamil ONLY RIGHTS in Northern and Eastern provinces merged or otherwise. And NO MENTION of Sinhala people , the archaic form being Sinhala of Buddhist world view.

    This would be a grave miscarriage of justice. The rest of Sri Lanka can NOT be for Sri Lankans it MUST be acknowledged as the specific area for the Sinhala people called the SINHALE.

    It can be easily shown that Northern and Eastern Province MUST implement some form of control of entry of NON-TAMIL speakers and ethnic non- Tamils IF Northern and Eastern provinces are to remain democratic and Tamil majority regions. (Just look at the population distribution of Sri Lanka along ethnic and religious figures )

  • 4
    1

    I saw a newspaper report in which Sagala Rathnayake in the presence of Ranil wickramasinghe is preaching Police TOP Brass to devolve the police powers to provincial councils.

    What will Tamils ask next. their own army or decriminalize LTTE ?

    • 3
      2

      Prophet jim softy the dimwit peace be upon you

      “What will Tamils ask next. their own army or decriminalize LTTE ?”

      They should ask the police/military to have you arrested and put you in a boat and sent back to your homeland in Tamil Nadu.

  • 5
    4

    Mr Tangavelu

    “President Maithripala Sirisena has repeatedly emphasised his commitment to resolve Sri Lanka’s Tamil question since 90% of them had voted for him.’

    This is our country not his. You have to get it from Siriena (His brothers have a lot of land). WE did not vote for him. Your votes in exchange of our country has not worked so far since independence. Days are not very far away you guys begin bemoaning in unison that ‘Sirisena ALSO deceived us’.

    Pity Siresena.

    Soma

    • 4
      2

      somaaaaaaaaaaassss

      “This is our country not his.”

      Come again.

      • 2
        3

        Yours and mine, not Sirisena’s

        Soma

  • 5
    5

    Tamils are definitely not a distinct people in Sri Lanka, they are definitely district in TAMIL NADU.

    Not a square inch of Sinhale (Sri Lanka) is Tamil habitation, snap out of the mythical Tamil homeland. As a part of divide and rule strategy, it was British who fed Tamils with mythical homeland of their own.

    It was Sinhalese who gave these Malabaries the Tamil identity. Until recently, Tamils were identified as Dravidian or Malabari.

    Stupid Tamil homeland myth cost so many lives, wasted billions of dollars, dragged the county’s good name and reputation through the mud.

    Here’s an advice: SHUT UP, PUT UP, INTEGRATE, OR GET LOST!

    • 4
      5

      Johnny Boy

      “Here’s an advice: SHUT UP, PUT UP, INTEGRATE, OR GET LOST!”

      A good advice for the Sinhala/Buddhists.

      Population of South Asia 1,749 million
      Kerala 35 million
      TamilNadu 78 million
      West Bengal 90 million
      Bihar 99 million
      Bangladesh 157 million
      Pakistan 182 million
      Afghanistan 31 million

      Sinhala population 15 million

      It would be much easier for the squeaky minorities to integrate into South Asian population.

      India wouldn’t mind absorbing all its long lost children.

      Think about it.

      • 5
        5

        Vadda mullah,

        Tell us your definition of racism.

        Sinhalese don’t have to compromise anything, they are comfortable where they are, Sinhalese do have their Very own island nation, being an island nation is an advantage.

        In South Asia Sinhalese have the highest living standards, so why would they want to assimilate with lesser ones. So Vadda, stop your jealously and hate towards your host Sinhalese.

        • 2
          2

          John,

          “In South Asia Sinhalese have the highest living standards, so why would they want to assimilate with lesser ones.”

          In a haste to pathetically overstate your “highest living standards”, you forgot that you Sinhala have caused two bloody uprisings. The blood letting was unprecedented in the history of Sri Lanka. One more thing, you conveniently forgot that you routinely send your women to Middle East as slave labourers. Just think about it even India and Bangladesh do not send their women to serve the uncultured Arabs but you do! Is this what you term as South Asian highest living standards?

        • 1
          2

          John,

          “Sinhalese do have their Very own island nation”

          Where the hell is that? Is it the Southern part of Sri Lanka (minus the North and East)?
          No wonder they say Sinhalaya Modaya. Due to foolishness, the Sinhalese is the ONLY race in this entire world that believes that the majority race in a country is the sole owner of that country and all others (minorities) are aliens.

          “In South Asia Sinhalese have the highest living standards”

          My foot!
          What do you know about South Asia?
          In South Asia, Sinhalese send the highest number of women as slaves to the Arab countries to work as nannies, house maids and cleaners for a very low wage.

        • 2
          2

          John Boy

          “In South Asia Sinhalese have the highest living standards, so why would they want to assimilate with lesser ones.”

          In South Asia Sinhala/Buddhists have the lowest moral standards hence the need for the greater humanity to assimilate them and bury them in Bihar.

          Read the excerpt:

          Top Five Countries with Highest Rates of Child Prostitution
          By Ludovica Iaccino
          February 6, 2014

          Sri Lanka

          The number of crimes against children in Sri Lanka increased by 64% in 2012 , compared to the previous year, a Unicef report said.

          “According to Unicef and ILO [International Labour Organisation] there are 40,000 child prostitutes in Sri Lanka and 6.4% of the country’s child population gets pregnant,” said United National Party MP Rosy Senanayake.

          Although girls are sexually exploited both in the sex industry and by sex tourists, many NGOs believe that it is boys who face greater abuse by foreign sex offenders, NGO Ecpact (Ending Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking) said.

          In Sri Lanka, the plantation sector has been identified as a notorious area for trafficking of children into the worst forms of child labour, particularly child domestic work and commercial sexual exploitation, according to ILO.

          The National Child Protection Authority issued a warning in 2011 of an increase in child sexual exploitation, related to the rapid growth of tourism.

          http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/
          top-five-countries-highest-
          rates-child-prostitution-1435448

          Jonny Boy

          How long you’ve been a sex worker (beach boy)catering to foreigners or pimping child prostitutes?

  • 4
    3

    Tamils lost their rights the day Velu lost the senseless war by sacrificing many tamil youth and children who would have been professionals today with the free education that was on offer.

    • 5
      5

      thondamannay

      “Tamils lost their rights the day Velu lost the senseless war by sacrificing many tamil youth and children who would have been professionals today with the free education that was on offer.”

      Actually, minorities lost their rights along with their Sinhalese and Buddhists brethren when the public racist Anagarika Dharmapala (homeless one)was born on 17 September 1864.

  • 1
    4

    The Constitutional Process gives Srilanka a real chance…..

    Most probably the Srilankan Govt: will shoot itself in the foot,this time as well,as a knee jerk reaction!

  • 4
    3

    If this contitution goes through, it provides a country for those Tamils who are living abroad but Stateless. As they are Dalits, they can not think of rotting in Tamilnadu.

    On the other hand, Tamils who really need help are Harigens. they are neglected by tobacco farmer high caste malayalis.

    Sri lankan govt should promote those harigens into higher positions, should abolish the 13th amendment, neglect the obacco farmers. Because they have the cover in wellawaththa and thesavalamei.

  • 1
    1

    This is a crucial make-or -break situation in Sri Lanka. We need a constitution that gives back sovereignty to Parliament away from the Pres, that enables better quality and locally acceptable persons into politics, that encourages free enterprise, and that paves the way for ethnic equality and reconciliation. I agree with the writer in this regard

  • 3
    6

    What a whack job! the 2002 agreement was the price the state was willing to pay for peace and an end to the ongoing killing. Once again the Tigers didn’t seize the opportunity with both hands. As in 1987 when the Tigers went to war against the IPKF and the Accord, the Tamil people either supported the Tigers or failed to resist them when the war resumed due to Tiger maximalism. The war was fought to a conclusion and the Tigers lost. The 2002 deal has long been off the table. There’s no putting back the clock. As Rev Rathana’s dramatic move proves, even the Yahapalana govt will fissure if there’s any attempt to shift in the direction of federalism. The only solution is Anandasangaree’s suggestion: amendments, not a ne constitution; a new Bill of Rights a la South Arica.

    • 2
      3

      Just you – self proclaimed analyst join them shamelessly in cleaning their linen this way is beyond all bearing. Is that you think your respoonsiblity at this crtical juncture of lanken politics while all extremists make every efforts to take ground ?

      In fact, after the war is over Germany introduced a new consitution.
      So was the case with many other countries after chasing away their tyrrants like Rajaakshes, so why not we the island nation provide its people with a new consitution which bring all equal rights regardless of race, religion and other factors that long make unexpected problems in this country. We need real effective laws to be imposed through a newly passed constitution. Basta

      • 2
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        samuel
        Your first paragraph : garbage!

        New constitution just because Germany did???? Nice basis!

        What else??

    • 0
      3

      [Edited out]I now read yours, I really feel you re by far owning idiosyncratic thoughts, just because you are biased to some groups.
      There are plenty of provable publications on research papers focusing on the probable permament anomalies of child growth and the background. These are the reasons some personalities to stay the way you have been, even if any average would feel the other way around – going through their senses.

      • 2
        0

        simon,
        A lot of separatist Tamils call people with whom they don’t agree with as “bias”. Many call me “biased” “racist” etc. etc.
        Let me explain what I really stand for;
        I resent terrorism and violence whether it is from Tamils or Sinhalese. I do resent separation/autonomy of regions of SL to different groups. Specially when these groups are less than 10% of the population (come back when close to 50%; will allow separation). I resent fake accusations of racism, discrimination etc. etc.. If problems exist solve by negotiations not by being offensive or violance.

    • 1
      2

      What a joke from a racist Sinhala Fundamentalist?Yes LTTE did not accept the 1987 accord because they knew well Sinhala Fundamentalism is always wanted to create a one Nation, One Language (Sinhala) and One Religion (Buddhism) and one race (Sinhalese) only. Whenever there is some form of of Federalism comes into discusion, Sinhalese Fundamentalism come of with brutal violence against Tamils even the Indian model not work because Sinhalese brutality mindset is fixed which is that this land is only for them.
      Sinhalese should remember Srilanka was not under Sinhalese rule or Sinhalese only country ever and the country or most parts of this island was not ruled by them for the past six centuries. Even after half baked independence the country was never in peace for six decades. The war is not over because the Fixed brutal Sinhalese Fundamentalism remains in control of the Sinhalese people. Dr Dayan is now part and partial of a Sinhalese Fundamentalist group along with BBS in the process for another bloodbath in this land.

      • 2
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        ajit
        The problem with LTTE, you and other separatist and violent Tamils are, you live in a speculative world. This has caused innocent Tamils immense sufferings. Re-think your approach.

        Bringing up History is another form of wasted energy. Nobody can change history and nobody is stupid enough to redistribute anything based on history!

        You apparently warn SL of more war and violence in the future. Not a good idea. Security will be tightened. Tamils will have more hardships.
        What reconciliation are some Tamils talking about when you talk like this?

    • 3
      2

      Today the war monger types:

      “The only solution is Anandasangaree’s suggestion: amendments, not a ne constitution; a new Bill of Rights a la South Arica.”

      The same war monger published his typing in

      SOUTH ASIAN SOUNDINGS
      A Weblog of the Institute of South Asian Studies

      Posted on March 29, 2010

      Excerpt:

      There is however, an important caveat: if the governing coalition were able to secure a two-thirds majority not on its own volition or by means of defections, but solely by means of negotiation with the main Southern and North-Eastern Oppositions, namely the UNP and the TNA, it would not be a bad thing. It would compel the incumbent to revise the present equation, include the aspirations and ideas of the opposition , thereby balancing the influence of the small chauvinist parties in the government’s ranks and establishing something close to a broad national consensus which could be reflected in the architecture of a new basic law; a new Constitution for a post-war Sri Lanka. Such an equation could generate the synergies for the reforms needed to restore democracy to the full.

      http://blog.nus.edu.sg/
      southasiansoundings/
      category/author-
      dayan-jayatilleka/

      The war monger has been typing stories as he goes along.

    • 1
      3

      Hi Dr.Jayatilleka,

      It is good to know you are still around. There was a time you used to sing the Songs of Praise morning , afternoon and evening for the Hambanthotta THUG but the role has now been reversed and taken over by MS, MR and many others in power who are delivering it by deeds not words.
      Dont delude yourself there was no meaningfull offer in 2002 for the Tamils to take up and there is is nothing concrete in the New Constitution. MS & RW are fooling the World and in particular the UN. I recently read report that the Crook Thiru is behind the scenes to protect the other Crooks , what a load of rubbish. How can a Tamil Crrok connive with Sinhalese Crooks to protect MR. It is done by the elected Crooks MS & RW. Wherelse would you find Phoenix effect in politics other than in Sinhala Lanka.

  • 3
    3

    Sri Lanka do not need a new constitution – majority of Tamils will agree with me – a minor % of brain washed Tamil extremists and egoistic Tamil politicos who wants to dominates the rest of the Tamils have blown up the minor issues created by extremist in North and South , to gain political advantage. Tamils in north should follow matured people like Anandasangaree and Sinhalese should imprison idiots like BBSGanasara and start listening to mature Sinhalese politicians (a very rear breed these days)

    If Yahapalanaya thinks – Center weak Federalism is the exact medicine for all the ills – they should clearly understand that they are paving the way to hand over a part of our country to Tamilnadu – the current Tamil politicos who wants Federalism will also be thrown into the dustbin of history

  • 0
    1

    My comments are as follows:

    (1) Political will is assumed to be the will of the politician to achieve a certain goal. Their only goal is to survive and be re-elected. In the process make hay while the sun shines. In that context statements of politicians, whether pre-election or post-election have no bearing.

    (2) Purpose of devolution of power is to manage certain subjects within the devolved entity. In doing so it does not solve problems of ethnicity or the issue of self-esteem of an ethnic group unless a vast majority of that ethnic group lives in a given area where they can show-case the world that this piece of land is for them. But this contradicts with devolution of power in a united country. What happened to the then USSR, Yugoslavia? Now in pieces. While there is no threat of secession from United States of America by any of the states, the threat of secession by Quebec from Canada ever prevails. Why? The devolution associated with ethnicity despite a French-Canadian being Prime Minister.

    (3) All ethnicities and religions are distinct in the whole world. Any one of them are any superior or inferior to others for special consideration. When I was in France I requested rail ticket to Geneva the Paris ticket-counter personnel asked me in English “Why don’t you speak in my language?” to which I replied “You understand my request in whatever language I make please let me know the price so that I could buy it.”. Such is the ethnic divide of the whole world and does not foster the mutual help and understanding among humans.

    (4) The real challenge of the “Yahapalana” government is to foster ethno-religious amity and for Sri Lankans calling themselves as Sri Lankans and not individual social divides.

  • 2
    1

    I am more than amused Dayan Jayatilleka has become an admirer of Anandasangaree overnight. Anandasangaree has been demanding a constitution like in India where the states enjoy wide autonomy. He has never wavered on his demand for quasi-federalism like in India. 
    Article 1 of the constitution declares that India shall be a Union of States. Part XI of the Indian constitution defines the power distribution between the federal government (the Centre or Union) and the States in India. This part is divided between legislative, administrative and executive powers. The legislative section is divided into three lists: Union list, States list and Concurrent list. 
    State of Jammu and Kashmir has been accorded higher degree of federalism under Article 370 read with Appendix I. The Union Territories of Delhi and Pudduchery are accorded lesser degree of federalism under Article 239A and 239AA.  The other union territories are directly governed by the union government. 
    Union List consists of 100 items (previously 97 items) on which the parliament has exclusive power to legislate including: defence, armed forces, arms and ammunition, atomic energy, foreign affairs, war and peace, citizenship, extradition, railways, shipping and navigation, airways, posts and telegraphs, telephones, wireless and broadcasting, currency, foreign trade, inter-state trade and commerce, banking, insurance, control of industries, regulation and development of mines, mineral and oil resources, elections, audit of Government accounts, constitution and organisation of the Supreme Court, High Courts and union public service commission, income tax, custom duties and export duties, duties of excise, corporation tax, taxes on capital value of assets, estate duty, terminal taxes. 
    State List consists of 61 items (previously 66 items) including maintaining law and order, police forces, healthcare, transport, land policies, electricity in state, village administration, etc. The state legislature has exclusive power to make laws on these subjects. But in certain circumstances, the parliament can also make laws on subjects mentioned in the State list, then the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) has to pass a resolution with 2/3rd majority that it is expedient to legislate on this state list in the national interest. 
    Though states have exclusive powers to legislate with regards to items on the State list, articles 249, 250, 252, and 253 state situations in which the federal government can legislate on these items.  
    Concurrent List consists of 52 (earlier 47) items. Uniformity is desirable but not essential on items in this list: Marriage and divorce, transfer of property other than agricultural land, education, contracts, bankruptcy and insolvency, trustees and trusts, civil procedure, contempt of court, adulteration of foodstuffs, drugs and poisons, economic and social planning, trade unions, labour welfare, electricity, newspapers, books and printing press, stamp duties. 
    A State like Jammu and Kashmir has been accorded higher degree of federalism under Article 370 read with Appendix I {The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954} of the Indian constitution. 
    The down fall of Mahinda Rajapaksa was entirely due to the bad advice given by Dayan Jayatilleka.  Rajapaksa was made to believe that he can win the elections depending solely on the Sinhala – Buddhist votes. Rajapaksa did not take into account that if the contest is too close the votes of Tamils will decide the victor. That is why Rajapaksa continues to claim that he lost the elections because of Tamils vote bank that supported common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. 
    The APRC report and Mangala Moonesinghe proposals never came anywhere close to the Indian model. Only the Devolution Proposals by Chandrika Bandaranaike dated August 03, 1995 came almost close. Had the UNP not opposed the proposals tooth and nail the country would have avoided a deadly war that lasted till 2009.
    Government is by consent and protection of all the citizens of a country, not just by a tyrannical majority. That is the most fundamental concept of democracy that government exists to secure the rights of the people and must be based on the consent of the governed The US constitution considered an ideal form of government proclaims “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed . . .” Declaration of Independence, United States of America, 1776.

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