20 October, 2020

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The Contradictions Of State Policy On The TNA

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

While it is desirable that a leader has an enlightened and transcendent vision for post-war nation-building, it is also understandable that a different kind of leader may engage in juggling and log-rolling at the same time. What is not helpful though is when there are conflicting signals, crossed wires and wild swerves on matters of the highest importance and sensitivity.

A contradiction embedded at the heart of the policy of the Sri Lankan state surfaced during the visit of India’s National Security Advisor Shiv Shanker Menon. The surfacing took place not due to diligent delving by the Indian official but was exhibited in the response of the Sri Lankan state.  That it has gone unremarked upon so far, says something about our political discourse.

What is that contradiction? On the one hand the Govt of Sri Lanka urges almost to the point of insistence that the Parliamentary Select Committee is the vehicle for deliberation on the future of the 13th amendment, and that therefore the Tamil National Alliance must participate in it. On the other hand it clearly indicates the intention to dilute the powers of the 13th amendment by modifying or removing the powers over the police and land which are currently vested in the 13th amendment.

Now the Government cannot have it both ways. If the Parliamentary Select Committee is meant to be a forum for comprehensive and inclusive deliberation on all aspects of a solution for the Tamil question, devolution and the 13th amendment, then the outcome cannot be prejudged  and  must remain open-ended. If on the other hand the Government’s declared policy objective is the removal of powers over police and land matters from the purview of the provincial councils, then there is no comprehensive deliberation that is forthcoming; given the parliamentary arithmetic and that of the PSC, the outcome is inevitable and predestined.

This contradiction is but the doorway that leads us to the larger one. Why should the TNA participate in a Parliamentary Select Committee in which the main component, the SLFP is committed to the truncation of the 13th amendment?

In short, the contradiction that is at the heart of the policy posture of the Sri Lankan state is that it is asking the TNA to participate in its declared objective of the dismemberment of the 13th amendment and is also asking India to persuade the TNA to do so.

How can we or anyone persuade the TNA leaders to do something that runs dramatically and fundamentally contrary to its interests, especially with its own radicals, the TPNF and the Diaspora are breathing down its neck?

Why should the Sri Lankan side seek to weaken the TNA by insisting on its participation in a PSC which is programmed to slice and dice the 13th amendment and dilute devolution rather than enhance it?

If the Sri Lankan side weakens the TNA leadership in a manner that benefits the Tamil radicals, it only undermines its own interests; weakens itself.

The blatant illogic of the policy of the Sri Lankan state can have one of three reasons or a combination of any of them.

Firstly, the absence of a strategic policy process which presupposes real debate over policy at the level of stakeholders within the state, and which would ensure strategic policy coherence.

Secondly, a multiplicity of agendas operating at different levels of the state and the assertion of a policy veto by this or that faction or personality.

Thirdly, oscillations akin to a volatile stock market in the absolute and relative strengths of the various factions within the power structure, and the resultant fluidity of the intra-state consensus.

In any rational reckoning, the adversary of the Sri Lankan state is the pro-secessionist Tamil Diaspora network, and the TNA is by contrast the entity that Colombo has to find a modus vivendi with, just as the elected government in Colombo is the power centre that the TNA has to find a modus vivendi with.

Of course this presupposes a rational reckoning which may not be a safe assumption. A possible answer to my question as to why the Sri Lankan side would wish to weaken its negotiating partner the TNA and strengthen the radicals outside (and within) its ranks, is that some elements within the power structure are pursing the Netanyahu strategy of weakening the moderates and thereby permitting the strengthening the radicals so as to claim that the state has no responsible peace partner.  If we pursue this option and make such a claim ourselves, will we have any takers from Tokyo through Delhi to Pretoria and Washington DC?

Is there a rational way out of the dead-end that the state is painting itself into needlessly? It should be a mandatory exercise in education that all decision makers in the Sri Lankan state watch and actually listen to the important, extensive video interview given by TNA leader R Sampanthan to the Daily Mirror. The TNA leader is hardly the enemy. His party isn’t either. While spotting the doosra where he calls for ‘a share of sovereignty’ (utterly unacceptable in a unitary state), the Sri Lankan leadership must realise that he is a real partner for a peaceful Sri Lanka in which the preponderance of the Sinhala Buddhists is an accepted fact, where power can be shared through devolution and all can live in dignity and without domination. This is the roadmap to a post-war order in which fairness and freedom prevail. Such an order will be self-insulated against international pressure and interference.

The two experienced political leaders who can carry the contending communities, Mahinda Rajapaksa and R Sampanthan, must talk to each other as Mandela and de Klerk did.

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Latest comments

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    I love how Dayan states:

    “The two experienced political leaders who can carry the contending communities, Mahinda Rajapaksa and R Sampanthan, must talk to each other as Mandela and de Klerk did.”

    Both Dayan and Rajiva appear to “criticize” the government but have a “good” word about MR, are they hoping to curry flaour with him?

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      “Both Dayan and Rajiva appear to “criticize” the government but have a “good” word about MR, are they hoping to curry flaour with him?”

      What flaour is that curry?

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    I think it is foolish for the Government to refer the issue to a Parliamentary Committee for it will re-open the whole issue of devolution of power by the 13th Amendment.The President did not accept the Committee report of Tissa Vitharne. He will only accept a report which fits in with his ideas which do not allow for any devolution of power. He probably thinks that he can use the Committee”s recommendations to renege on Devolution as per 13th Amendment.
    But what about his pledge to India to give 13 plus. If the TNA participates they will oppose and majority decision making does not justify where minority rights and grievances are concerned. These are not issues where an ethno-religious majority can discriminate against the minority’s right to safeguard its language, religion and culture -all of which were and are under threat in a majoritarian government. So these rights can be safeguarded only where some limited self government is allowed to the minority to safeguard these rights. The two language theory is not workable and has not been effective.It is neither practical nor economic.
    Some limited self government alone will ensure the language rights of the Tamil people resident in the North and East.Those Tamils who are outside will have to deal with the State in Sinhala. Since Buddhism is for all practical purposes the State religion the same reasoning applies to religion. Since there has been discrimination in the allocation of State resources the same reasoning applies for a Provincial Council and a Finance Commission to prevent discrimination. The same reasoning applies to the distribution of land to prevent discrimination.In a politically directed governance structure where the bureaucracy is politicized there is no way to prevent discrimination in a centralized state.
    The government must realize that there is no going back on the 13th Amendment when the Tamil leaders ask for 13 plus and the President has agreed to it with the Indian Government. If he honestly thinks that he has erred in agreeing to 13 plus he has only one course of action – namely to resign and hold a Presidential election and allow a free hand to his successor. He of course cannot contest because he made the commitment himself and one cannot go back on an agreement because one erred in agreeing to it in the first instance. If he thinks now that it must be referred to a referendum he should have not promised 13 plus without such qualification. Only a new President can have the freedom to refer the matters to the people a a Referendum.A Parliamentary Committee is neither here nor there when even the Opposition is boycotting it.

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    It is pure fantasy that the TNA can achieve a seperate state through 13A, which VP could not achieve in 30 yrs through terrorism. All Police and Landpowers are clearly in the hands of the President and Defence Secretary.

    All this posturing will clearly undermine the status of the Govt itself as a genuine proponent of peace and reconciliation. Govt is simply dancing to the tune of a few minority extremist, JHU, BBS, SR and RB. Sad state of affairs.

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    Mahinda Rajapakse is not de Klerk- the leader of the white minority in power, and Sambanthan is not Nelson Mandela- the leader of the black majority that was brutalised under apartheid. The equations are not the same. The generosity and lack of rancour Nelson Mandela manifested on winning the reins of governance on behalf of the blacks from the minority whites, is not in the character of Mahinda Rajapakse, who has without any doubt manifested his opportunistic Sinhala – Buddhist mindset over the past year and a half. Sambanthan too despite what he has said in his recent interview in the Daily Mirror, has had not had the vision to lead the Tamils in the post-war era, as de Klerk did while helping to bring to a closure the apartheid saga and lead the whites on a more accomodating stance.

    I do not find anything wrong with Sambanthan laying claim to a share of sovereignty. Every Sri Lankan citizen and community has a rightful share in it. If it is a doosra as Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka describes, I do not think it will get the wicket of MR and his stupid, chauvinistic and opportunistic stance. If the concept of sovereignty has been ever understood by this government or those that have preceded it, this nation will not be where it is now, even after a very costly and prolonged fratricidal war. MR and his kind believe that the sovereignty they claim to uphold is theirs and not of all the people’s of this country, including the Sinhalese. They abuse the Sinhalese and their vulnerabilities as badly as they have the minorities, but after arousing communal and other phobias, as political anaesthesia!

    However I find fault with Sambanthan’s attempt to down play the post- war infrastructural development ( restoration and enhancement) in the war ravaged north and east; and the attempt to deny that India flexed its formidable military muscle, prior to concluding the Indo- Sri Lanka accord. This show of force by India was necessary after the devastation of the 1983 riots and the games JR was up to. It was a God-send to the Tamils who were reeling under the double whammy of state and Tamil militant terror. Sambanthan should be generous in accepting what was right and what was the truth. The two instances in his DM interview I have mentioned here, have diminished an otherwise forward looking and much needed definition of the TNA stance, which reflects rather accurately the collecting feelings of the Tamils living in Sri Lanka.

    What we need is for both Mahinda Rajapakse and Sambanthan to become the composite of both de Clerk and Nelson Mandela at least to a limited extent and apply generous portions of the healing and soothing balm on this country. I doubt MR will join in this effort, even if Sambanthan crosses the rubicon . Men like Mandela and de Klerk are born and cannot be made.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      You talk of down play of ‘post-war infra-structure development’. I ask you as for whose benefit were they for and at whose request? And on what priority were these ‘developments’ taking place at the expense of far more basic needs of the affected people such as proper re-settlement in their traditional homes, housing, means of livelihood etc,etc.?

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      A correction:

      — past one and a half years.

      Dr.RN

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      Doctor:

      What kind of development are you talking about? The SL boasts of a 22% growth in the North, basically on infrastructure, and what I understand from reliable parties, which will eventually deprive the Tamils of their lands. Nothing this regime does can be viewed with sincerity and honesty.

      Today, the only trumpcard India has in SL is the Tamils problem. It will certainly be in India’s interest that the Tamils have their self-governance but within a united SL. Outside of SL, there would be no more hold on SL. The MR regime more or less knows this chess game but it tried to bite more than it can chew. In its desperation to win the war with the LTTE, it gave promises, particularly to India, which it thought would be conveniently forgotten over time. Unfortunately, it was not that smart to understand India’s smart moves to use the regime to finish off the LTTE and get in bed with the Tamils. SL can never ever dislodge India as long as the Tamils are the trumpcard. Why then it took India took four years to take note? Of course, no problem no interference.

      Actually, these Rajapakse brothers are fools. If they had moved fast to empower the TNA and the Tamils, there would be no space for India to poke its nose on the Tamils problem, and hence in SL. If MR had done that, he would have become a statesman and could have kept India at bay. They thought they can fool India.Dayan may not be as explicit but his insinuation of blockades, etc is not very far off the mark. The MR regime has better watch out. The regime has given reasons for India to poke its nose in SL affairs. What India is insisting now could have easily been done by the Rajapakses but greed, ignorance and ultimately stupidity of a continuing war mentality will put the brakes on their royal dynasty. The first guy who will flee from the country is Wimal Weerawansa.

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        Jansee,

        Aren’t the schools, hospitals., roads, bridges, restoration of electricity, railway lines and fisheries harbours, water supply schemes among many related aspects, that have been rebuilt or developed anew not vital for the restoration of the economic of the war affected Tamils? The war and the LTTE tactic of destroying infra- structure while in retreat had left the war zones a nightmare to behold. What is seen today in contrast is
        astounding and should be appreciated. The Tamils in the war zone do, despite the many problems they yet confront. Further, land has been allocated to the landless Tamils in the Vanni and funds are being provided for them to build their houses. I can personally attest to this as a young war-affected family from Mulankavil in Mullaitivu destruct, I have employed and sheltered for two years, are beneficiaries of this boon, as many others are.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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          Rajasingham,

          Are you even aware that all the road, hospital and other developments were with labour and management brought in from the south, denying opportunities for the North population. Do you sincerely believe that the development was targeted at the residents of the region or was it for the planned influx from the South, and the fact that the regions Tamils benefited was just incidental?

          You possibly heard of the recent fiasco that the now-ousted SEC Chairman Dr. Godahewa brought to light – do you still think the Indian Krrish Group development project was targeted at the development of the country?

          Do you think the tsunami fund hurriedly ported to the personal bank account in Hambantota was targeted at developing Hambantota? Are the recent mega projects (the white elephants that killed the black elephants!) in the South were earnestly in view of their development potential?

          You recently whined of your “gross disappointment” that the Diaspora failed to bankroll the regime in its efforts to their “intended development projects”. Now that you have finally, along with the last of the idiots to wake up (your words, not mine) woken up to the reality that MR cannot be trusted, do you still stand by your recommendation that Diaspora should have bestowed the regime as you had vehemently campaigned?

          Perhaps you should ask the other Doctor, Doctor Muthukrishna, the economist who used to blow trumpet as loud as you did, but seem to have woken up to reality now. I am assuming you too are a doctor of economics or perhaps Political or Social Science – I am raising that only because you think the title should carry some weight for the opinions you so liberally volunteer. In your defense of insisting of the title (strangly even when using just your initials), I will concede that your education level would have been difficult to self-diagnose from the wisdom of you statements.

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            Kumar R,

            The people are also not where they were at the end of the war. Their lives have improved much and they will not risk a regression. However, their lives could have been better, if more attention had been focused on human needs. Their children are now going to restored schools, but there is yet a shortage of teachers! It is such matters that need special attention.

            Dr.RN

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              Kumar R,

              How do you expect local Tamils to be available for such skilled jobs, when we cannot find people to do skilled or unskilled jobs in Jaffna well and responsibly. On the road building projects, labour from the east-Tamils, were deployed in large numbers. I also noticed that in Jaffna many fishermen ,stopped going out to sea and worked as manual labourers in the ‘MAGA’ (contractor) road building project, because they were better remunerated. The women folk from these families also worked in these projects.

              Further, what Dr.Sarvanandan is pointing out is that the GDP growth figures being bandied, only reflect the investment in infrastructure and not economic productivity in the north. This is true of the whole country at the present point in time. The privately financed house rebuilding activities have now peaked and hardware stores are reporting a drastic drop in sales.

              How could there have been a surge in economic productivity in the north when reliable power supplies were restored only in the early part of this year? The recent abominable hike in the cost of electricity, will retard economic development in real terms.

              Dr.RN

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              Rajasingham,

              Here is what Dr. Muttukrishna stated in his article titled “Too many jobless youth in former war zone”

              “Although official employment data for the region is unavailable, experts in the area estimate that up to 30 percent of the north’s population is unemployed, as opposed to a national rate of 4 percent. … There are some 280,000 youths in the former war zone, according to a 2012 government estimate.

              Most people who work in what is known as the Vanni – which includes the districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu plus parts of Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mannar – do so only sporadically, according to a March 2012 report released by the government, UN Children’s Fund and the World Food Programme.

              ‘Daily labour was the most common income generation activity [when the study was conducted], this being the main source of income among 37 percent of the population,’ it said.
              The main problem is a near non-existent private sector there, said Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, the principal researcher at Point Pedro Institute of Development, based in Jaffna District.
              ‘[The] bulk of the development activities are large-scale public investments in infrastructure… employing skilled and semi-skilled labour from the south, as well as under-employed Sri Lanka Army personnel.’

              Elsewhere, Dr. Muttukrishna also pointed out that there was intentional obstruction of Northern fishermen under various guises while promoting and facilitating the migration of Southern fisher folk to the North.

              Rajasingham, do you realize what an unflinching apologist you have turned into to be just so as to cover up your past, deluded “wisdom”?

              May I repeat one of the many questions I had in my previous response, none of which you were able to respond to with a straight-face — Are you a PhD Economist or Social Scientist? – I just want to make sure I give sufficient/appropriate weight to your views accordingly.

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              Kumar R,

              There is unemployment in the north. The reasons are mainly related to the lack of economic development, exaggerated expectation and unfitness to be employed. I have tried to lure many from the Vanni to work in Jaffna, but they refused because they did not want o forego their eligibility for free dry rations. The remittances into Jaffna from abroad and the life styles of those who are recipients, also is distorting the expectations of those who not have this boon. Jaffna has been always a largely remittance economy. It is more so today.

              Further, I am a ‘ Tamil Balu Dostara’ ( A Tamil Dog doctor) according to Donald the Duck Gnanakone, who also holds postgraduate degrees in the animal sciences. Does this disqualify me from observing things, interpreting them and expressing my opinions? I think that is the right and duty of every citizen. You may think of yourself as a very wise man, however, do not underestimate others. Further, we Veterinarians are trained to observe our patients closely, because they cannot talk. This is great skill and asset in life.

              Because you are committed to a cause, which I consider has abysmally failed the Tamils, do not try to weigh contrary opinion with your scale.

              Debate to learn or refute. Please do not misquote others, without being aware of the background details.

              Dr. Rajsingham Narendran.

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              Dear Rajasingham,

              1.Please tell me explicitly where I misquoted.

              2.“Veterinarians are trained to observe our patients closely, because they cannot talk. This is great skill and asset in life.” May I suggest that you should have used that skill-set to assess MR instead of listening to his talk before you started all the drumbeating in his support over the last 4-7 years. May be that was your mistake — having “listened” to him talk, contrary to your training. That possibly undermined the skills for which you were trained, and unfortunately that made you one of the last (along with the worst of idiots, as per own your words) to diagnose MR’s affliction correctly.

              3.The good Doctor trained in Development economics did not make any conclusion or even suggest indications that “unemployment in the north. The reasons are mainly related to the lack of economic development, exaggerated expectation and unfitness to be employed.”

              All construction and development work require a certain share of unskilled labour to complement the skilled and semi-skilled labour, particularly in economies such as ours that are not at the extreme end of mechanization. Further, all multi-year development plans include the provision to train unskilled labour to move to semi-skilled levels (the training often is no more that couple of weeks to 6-months, and mostly on the job) because one essential aspect of development project is its contribution to the local economy. With 30% youth unemployment locally, there is no reason to import labour from the South enjoying just 4% unemployment (as the trained Doctor indicated), unless the exclusion was intentional and discriminatory.

              So, your conclusion, unlike the Good Doctor’s one, is obviously an “untrained” conclusion – and truly smells of a servile-apology than a reasoned conclusion. Certainly you have the right to make your observations, but now I (and others) won’t be misled knowing you truly aren’t trained with the skill set necessary for your contention in this regard as we interpret your title more appropriately. Your conclusion is either “uninformed” or purposely biased. Or, perhaps both.

              4.I certainly agree that all balu, thimbatu & venivalgata or any other dostaras, and even govi rajas and ralahamees indeed have the right, if not an obligation, to make their observations and comments, especially when they feel strongly about it. My concern was this. Since you insist on wanting others to recognize you by the title (strangely even when you sign with just the initials), I guess it is reasonable to assume that you expect certain automatic association of credibility for your thoughts based on that title alone (if not, why would you insist on that?).

              So, now I (and others) know your specialty – and we certainly will respect the underlying educational aptitude and the skills you have learned, but will not mistake your wisdom as coming from someone trained expressly for assessing the economic and social issues discussed in your commentary. I am glad I asked – I and the readers are now alerted to consume your commentaries with a pinch, or perhaps a more generous portion, of salt!

              5.You are absolutely right – Diaspora remittances play a very large role in personal consumption expenditures in the North, a much, much larger share than even in the Southern and Eastern provinces where a large share of provincial income is from remittances of the maids in the Middle East and labourers in East Asia.

              I recall reading a very informal assessment that remittances from the Diaspora possibly accounts for nearly 50% of non-essential purchases in the North – that is huge, if that is correct. That proves two points. One is that Diaspora is truly caring of their brethren left behind and we Tamils are not only grateful but also proud on that account. Second, it also proves that the Diaspora is generous and is not purse-tightening as you had previously implied.

              Also, that they are very, very wise. Do you truly think that they should have instead listened to you and made all that contribution to the regime? Do you still hold to that contention, especially now that even you have learned not to trust MR?? What would have happened if the Diaspora had made their generous contributions to MR instead of direct remittances to their families in the past decade (as you give some thought to this, let me also re-remind you of the SEC scandal, Hambantota Rising funds, Indian donations and China loans I had previously mentioned).

              6.Further, don’t ignore the fact that the private remittances contribute, not merely to the well being of the recipient, but such consumption expenditures in aggregate plays a very substantial role in the local and overall economy. So, don’t underestimate either the Diaspora generosity or the economic impact arising from their wisely and aptly targeted generosity instead of dumping them as you had promoted that would have ended up supporting Royal joy-rides and Lamborghinis.

              7.Finally, you have no idea what cause I am committed to – I guess veterinary teachings provide only minimal training in Psychology, if at all, and so your misreading may not be your fault. If there is one cause I am committed to that will be to prevent “bogus” experts taking the uninitiated down a garden path – yes I am referring to your half-baked ideas on Diaspora and your apologies. I hope the arguments I have presented above evidences that commitment to my cause.

              If you can show any evidence of my having any other causes as you suggest (obviously in a desperate attempt merely to “throw mud” as the last resort) please let me know.

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              Rajasingham,

              One other thought.

              You state “I have tried to lure many from the Vanni to work in Jaffna, but they refused because they did not want to forego their eligibility for free dry rations.” I am not sure if the conclusion “they refused because they did not want to forego their eligibility for free dry rations” is as stated by them (those whom you tried to lure) or results from your specialized skilled conclusion from non-verbal diagnosis.

              In either case, is it possible that even if that was the reason they explicitly expressed, there may have been other reasons for their reluctance and they were just afraid to confess. For instance, is it possible that they feared working with Sinhala managers, supervisors and colleagues – fears based on any mix of possible harassments, embarrassments, likely suspicions, communication inadequacies, fear of leaving behind family physically unprotected or any such likely discomforts or even fear of wrongful arrests within the work environment monopolized by the Sinhala superiors? Would you discount these concerns?

              Given that likelihood, would it have been prudent to have the project’s immediate supervision and HR management responsibilities given to trained Tamils, available regionally or perhaps from Colombo or perhaps even invite from the Diaspora. Do you know if any effort was made to provide such fear-dampening work atmosphere to effectively engage the Tamil labour?

              Given such possible fears, I suggest that you diagnosis is indeed faulty, whether based on verbal (expressly stated) or non-verbal (your specialty) evidence – and amounts to no more than a face saving, if not favour-seeking apology.

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          Doctor:

          Of course, it is salutary and a welcome step towards the infrastructure development. But you miss the point. Such development should be in tandem with addressing the livelihood needs of the people and a roof over their heads. The point is, the soldiers who are camped in the north need such infrastructure but their livelihood is not dire like the people who had been ravaged by the war. Doesn’t this look like that such infrastructure development is, in actuality, done with and for an ulterior and cynical motive. Four years after the war, the Tamils are still grappling largely with livelihood issues.

          There shouldn’t be any denial that the LTTE did some damage during their retreat but that was nothing compared to the extensive damage caused by the incessant SL shelling, that included a number of hospitals. That could hardly be a humanitarian operation.

          The good Samaritan in you is appreciated. Though not in such visible form, many of us do extend our help in ways and means available to us. Notwithstanding, the way of inflicting physical and psychological wounds and then dumping them to fend for themselves have been viewed with much disdain. The regime had to close the camps to show the world the phony settlement. You know what, if the TNA wins the election and the 13A is implemented to the letter, it will take less than a year to get the Tamils “going” for a better life and education. You can take my word on that. The diaspora and the international community know where the funds will go if handed over to the SL regime. The President has no choice but to deal with Sampanthan and reach a consensus instead of making foolish moves and choice that had and will push him to a corner. Gotabaya may be his saviour during the war but it appears he will be his devil ultimately.

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            Jansee,

            Most have roof over their heads now. They also have hopes about their future. The smiles I see now are smiles of hope and not the despondent smiles (nothing more to lose smiles) I saw on the face of the IDPs when the arrived at the reception camp in Vavuniya.

            Dr.RN

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            Jansee@,

            why you think that the removal of those army camps for the moment are imperative ?
            Who would then guarantee the security of the people there if security forces are no longer there ? How can you know that former Ltters would not harm their own folks or rival party sympathisers ? There are reports that claim Ltters have killed enough of their civilians. So, how can you be sure of that they would not do the same today ? .. All these would need its time…. even if the observers want things to happen withn short periods of times. Livelyhood related issues would take long to resolve. Besides, I have seen any country after long held wars, these kind of camps are set for the people^s sake. After 2nd world war defeat, Germany was guarded by british, russians, french and americans. Until three years ago, british camps were located in Osternbrueck. Roles of these external forces in Germany were actually different. But a poor country like Slanka, govt forces should be there until the govt can guratee that civilian security are fully safeguarded.

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              Samson:

              “There are reports that claim Ltters have killed enough of their civilians”

              There are plenty and plenty of reports that the army murdered thousands of civilians.

              “Who would then guarantee the security of the people there if security forces are no longer there ?”

              You mean the sort of guarantee of a humanitarian operation that resulted in the genocide of civilians and indiscriminate shelling of hospitals. This regime ranks as one of the most dangerous places on earth for reporters and you are talking about such a regime protecting the Tamils. Are you still on planet earth?

              “Livelyhood related issues would take long to resolve”

              Then why carry out a phony humanitarian operation and now go begging to other countries for crumbs? This war was not conducted in the interest Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans. It was done to consolidate the power of the Rajapaksas , knowing the stupidity of the Sri Lankans. Do you still rememer what was MR’s first act after the war – pass the 18th Amendment in superspeed manner to remove the restriction of the 2-term presidency. If you want to remain as a fool that’s your problem but don’t expect us to toe the same line.

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      Sri Lanka Is Mahinda Rajapakse’s country.

      De Clerk lived in Mandela’s country.

      This is where Dr’s become stupid.

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    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran can never get over his LTTE phobia. Hence his absurd and ludicrous claim Thamils were reeling under “Tamil militant terror.” It is an undeniable fact that LTTE enjoyed mass support. It is mass support that distinguishes a freedom fighter and a terrorist. The LTTE would not have waged a war against a vicious enemy with vast resources for 30 years. In fact today the Thamils, including Sampanthan, are of the opinion the government dare not grab their lands, their dignity, their livelihood if the LTTE was still around. Only now Narendran confesses and castigates Rajapakse’s “stupid, chauvinistic and opportunistic stance. If the concept of sovereignty has been ever understood by this government or those that have preceded it, this nation will not be where it is now, even after a very costly and prolonged fratricidal war. MR and his kind believe that the sovereignty they claim to uphold is theirs and not of all the people’s of this country, including the Sinhalese.” Till lately, he was the cheer leader for the racist Sinhalese governments of all stripes. He is speaking about structural development, but pray for whom? It is for the military to move its forces faster from one point to another. This is the same government that had failed to build a single house for the IDPs. A single toilet for the IDPs. Worse it has not resettled 93,000 IDPs in their own homes. There are about 89,000 war widows who have been left to fend for themselves. The government has funds to build thousands of houses for war heroes, but not a single house for thousands of Thamils who lost their houses. I like him to spell out more precisely how

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      Thanga,

      Go back and read history and then retrace your steps read up on positive developments on the IDP fronts. Fantasising on the multiple group of so- called Tamil Freedom Fighters’ who were preying on the Tamils before the Undian intervention cannot be forgotten. I have personally experienced that phase of our history. They were terrorists in the making. Further, if you have the intellectual curiokosity, please read what I have written over the years about those governing Sri Lanka and who were trying to govern and remould the Tamils.

      Dr.RN

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        Dr RN,
        “positive developments on the IDP fronts” – how big is this development compared to land grab, sinhalisation, etc.

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          Anpu,

          The negatives do not negate the positives. We should advance our politics to a level where we deal with specific issues objectively, instead of becoming nabobs of negativity. Ours as a community is now on s path of pilgrim’s progress. There is definitively progress on many fronts, but we are wearing the sack cloth and ashes to get our political rights as citizens and a community. While the government has definitely done the best it could on the material front, it is making deliberate and cynical moves to subordinate our identity as a people and cultural entity. While bread is yet of utmost importance to the Tamils, four years after the war, their rights as individuals and a community have to become the concern of the government. Mahinda Rajapakse has back tracked on this issue and in fact is trying to roll even the very little that is in place.

          What is interesting is the increasingly Hinduiization of Sinhala- Buddhism in a symbolic sense. Adoption of Ravana as a symbol of the Sinhala antiquity, vegetarianism, anti- beef crusades, etc., are political trends that need to be watched carefully. The anti Muslim crusades being encouraged, no longer covertly, but quite blatantly by sections of this government point to an attempt to ‘ put the Muslims in place’ by the Sinhala political elite, after holding them as an example of a minority that has well integrated and thrives in the South, during the long years of war. The Muslims were used and are now being discarded. This is a lesson that the Tamils have to remember, in addition the the Eelam debacle, while defining their vision for their rightful place and role in this country.

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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            Thanks Dr RN.

            “Internal displacement in Sri Lanka did not end with the closure of Menik Farm.” …

            “More than 93,000 people are estimated to still be displaced as of late December 2012 (Government statistics as compiled by UNHCR, 31 December 2012; IDMC interview, January 2013): •More than 9,800 people displaced before April 2008 are living in camps in Vavuniya, Jaffna and Trincomalee districts.
            •More than 700 IDPs displaced after April 2008 are in transit situations in return areas, unable to go back to their places of origin.
            •More than 82,000 people displaced both before and after April 2008 are staying with host communities.”
            http://www.internal-displacement.org/idmc/website/countries.nsf/(httpEnvelopes)/D19BC2605A15FBF2C1257816004B8C9D?OpenDocument

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              Anpu,

              Likely accurate. However, this does not negate the enormity of what has been achieved.

              Dr.RN

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    President is blowing hot blowing cold at the same time and he is sucking and blowing too at the same time.

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      This is the reason why former judges in the firm opinion that the current leader has no wisdom at all as it is the case with him always, he would just look into the issue when its levels have reached – not easy to resolve.
      How can this particular PSC be representative for the parliament when TNA, Muslim Congress and opposition and any kind of independent members are not included. This is almost like the committee that the rulers quickly arranged in terms of the impeachment process against former CJ Dr. SB.
      They the current rulers may feel that everyone in the country are stupid and it is easy to make them fool repeatedly.

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    Has UNP Leader Ranil ever said in the open that he will give Sambandan his own Police and Titles to public Land?.

    The great majority of the Inhabitant population do not want Nine separate Police Forces to to keep an eye on them.

    The same majority do not want Nine different Political chiefs to hold the Titles to their public land.

    What is wrong with the SLFP articulating this?.

    Is SLFP the only party in the Govt?.

    Are these Nine going to deliver better living standards, better peace , better harmony at a better price than what the Tax Payers pay for now?.

    What are the measure that are going to be in place if the TNA Police in the North, SLMC Police in the East, Ranil Faction Police in the West , Sajith or Buddhist Faction in the South and the JVP Police close by, do not like the main Police or the SLFP Police?.

    What about the chances of having many instead of one Vaas?.

    Wouldn’t the PSC deliberations be the best avenue where the ordinary punters like us can get this information which is very vital to them?.

    Or we just go along because Dayan said so.

    Finally What has the Diaspora got to do with it?.

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      Sumanasekara:

      Who is talking about what the Sinhalese want or do not want? It is this majority mindset and treatment that the minorities are pinning for self-governance. This is exactly what the Tamils have been facing and that’s the very reason why the 13A was indeed passed. If the other provinces don’t want or need the police and land powers, so be it since you have a Sinhala president and the Buddhist monks to do things for you but the Tamils know what it means of a centralised police and land authority could mean. If you talk so much about police and law and order, why cases like Lasantha, Raviraj and other murders remain unresolved? After years of international pressure only now that the regime “decided” to charge the STF murderers with CHOGM looming largely on them. With so heavily biased against the Tamils, the SL police cannot be trusted act impartially.

      What nonsense are you talking about the PSC? On the one hand the regime is hell bent on reducing the powers of the PC and on the other it wants a PSC to discuss these issues. Whom are you trying to hoodwink? If you don’t even have half a brain to understand this treachery, then such hollowness should be attributed to the Rajapakses version of education you had.

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    PSC on the 13th Amendment will not take the country to any positive direction. MR and RS should talk to each other as Mandela and de Klerk did, as Dayan suggests, not exactly as two representing similar forces like in South Africa, but as two leaders to the present Sri Lankan equation. Shared sovereignty to the Tamil community or to any other community in my opinion is not the correct formulation. But devolution should be part of people’s sovereignty like fundamental rights and franchise. People’s sovereignty cannot and should not be partitioned on ethnic grounds as Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim.

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      Just because Writer`s point of view describes:

      MR cant be De Clerk ? MR is far from a leader who SHOULD have the vision to resolve the ethnic issue. All these are glass clear when anybody would closely check how the issue has been handled since the war is over – during the last 4 years what have they achieved ? anything similar to Germany^s after their war is no longer there ? IC is heavily criticising the way MR admin marches since the war is no longer there in the country. Rajiv W and DJ himself have many a times criticised that the LLRC implementations and the related due processes have been seen to be painfully SLOW.

      TNA leaders may have some qualities similar to NMandela, but not comparable to an unique leader like Mandela at all. However, discussions are only way out but this would need time (if the rulers are genuine, they could have made use the last 4 years for the discussions) – clearly not at all before the September 2013.

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      The powerful forces with vested interests were behind the talks between Mandela and Klerk. The outcome was the avoidance of a bloodbath and the continued exploitation of the Africans. The perpetrators of apartheid are still at sway.Problem is not solved…….no comparison is justified with the Sri Lankan equation. The fact of life is that Tamils as a minority cannot override the Sinhalese; their leaders should accept this and work within that limitation. The equality of citizens is guaranteed by the Constitution and the possible lapses in the sphere of administration can be and should be rectified for the benefit of all citizens.

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        Lanken people are highly emotional by nature. They do less but talk a lot. These core issues related tamil problem should be discussed in a peaceful manner but seriously and regularly. If the rulers had the precedence to do so since the war is over – already 4 years gone since then – one could come to a common stand. Just setting deadlines for elections, rushing to hold discussions as if the issue is born yesterday, cant bring us forward. That will be the result for sure. At this level of discussions, they the rulers could even allow western mediators not to interrupt the discussions with usual ends.

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          I MEANT mediators could facilitate the discussions at this crucial phase of the them.

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    “The two experienced political leaders who can carry the contending communities, Mahinda Rajapaksa and R Sampanthan, must talk to each other as Mandela and de Klerk did.”

    But no apartheid in SL?

    If Mahinda and Sampanthan joins they will CREATE apartheid.

    Put the thing to the people. Problem solved.

    People hold the sovereignty not politicians.

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      Muliyawaikkal

      “People hold the sovereignty not politicians”

      From where on earth did you get this stupid idea particularly in this day in age where globalisation looks like the sovereign power?

      You should make an effort to talk to my elders.

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    Rajapaksa’s sole game plan in the 13th amendment drama is the preservation of his support base in order to win the next election and stay in power. Like his predecessors he will continue to stir up anti minority sentiments and the baseless fear of division of the country for political reasons. The gullible Sinhala masses and the racist Sinhala fringe parties and the Buddhist monks will help Rajaksa in his endeavour to maintain his grip on power as long as he wants. It is very unlikely he will be fair and statesmanly in resolving the ethnic issue. There aren’t many with vision or common sense in Rajapaksa’s government to give him the correct advice.

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    “a share of sovereignty”

    My foot!

    Sovereignty rests with the people as per the constitution, not politicians.

    Ask the people.

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      Muliyawaikkal

      “Sovereignty rests with the people as per the constitution, not politicians. Ask the people.”

      Fathers of both racist constitutions never asked the people to give their consent or approve it when they gave birth to this piece of illegitimate child which you call constitution.

      My foot in your mouth.

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    Dayan,

    Well Stated.

    “The two experienced political leaders who can carry the contending communities, Mahinda Rajapaksa and R Sampanthan, must talk to each other as Mandela and de Klerk did.”

    Still the core problem is the Sinhala Buddhisms, concept that the Island Belongs to the Imported-Immigrant Buddhists, and not to others, and they need to have their hegemony in all areas.

    That is what MR Sinhala Buddhist Racists want.

    Sinhala Buddhist Egalitarian are fine with power sharing.

    Yes, listen to Mr. Sampanthans Daily Mirror Interview. Very revealing.

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    Dayan,

    You are saying that ‘share of sovereignty’ is utterly unacceptable in a ‘unitary state’. In the first instance,why remain wedded to a unitary state, as though it is something inviolably holy? Even otherwise, you would have noticed that Sampanthan had clearly stated that we need not unnecessarily confuse ourselves with terms such as unitary, federal, quasi-federal etc. It is purely a matter of power sharing. I would prefer to use the word power,if you are phobic to the use of the word ‘sovereignty’. If political power rests with the people in a democracy, surely it rests with ALL people irrespective of their ethnicity?

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    I am surprised that DJ still believes that MR still holds the power……not any more. GR has built his safety net all around and just waiting for a chance. MR knows that and just playing along.
    :-)

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    “The two experienced political leaders who can carry the contending communities, Mahinda Rajapaksa and R Sampanthan, must talk to each other as Mandela and de Klerk did.”

    MR Made clear there is no Rajapaksa Sampanthan pact. They don’t own Sri Lanka. The place Sampanthan shoud be is the PSC. The PSC should go on with or without the opposition. Saloon Doors are open for them. PSC should come up it’s recommendations ASAP and put it before Sri Lankan People for their verdict.
    That verdict should be respected. Separatism or anything that could lead to Separatism is non negotiable.

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    More Tamils live outside the North and East. what is the political solution for those tamils ?

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      More Muslims live in India than in Pakistan. So what? Still the Sinhalese continue insisting SL is a Sinhala Buddhist nation. The North have been the traditional home of the Tamils.

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      If we follow Jim Softy’s argument…. when more Tamils are living in Colombo should all Buddhist temples be moved away from Hindu Temples, the same way Mosques are removed from Buddhist Temples. Further should Tamils and Muslims in Colombo decide on what the Sinhalese should follow as Tamils and Muslims are majority?

      By the way Jim Softy, you are quite on Speakers comment on women!

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    The author’s flimsy split hair arguments add to confusion. Whatever stance the government holds about the 13th. isn’t it the procedure to invite those in the opposition to participate in the due process. Where is the contradiction?

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      They call it a democracy.

      HOW DO THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY CALL IT ?

      But where have the opposition representing members in the PSC ? Why is the opposition stay still CALM AND QUIET as this is a joke ?

      Why is the beloved muslim leader excluded from the PSC, who are going to represent the opinions of muslims there ?

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    The PSC was meant to pro-long the “National Issue” through ways that
    India will be drawn into it, thereby MR will BE THE SINHALA_BUDDHIST
    Leader Democratically Voted for ever – say next 20 yrs!

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    Somewhere else I read that justifce Wigneswaran cannot be TNA Chief Minister candidate because his children are married to Sinhalese!!!

    Dayan preaches us to go to bed with these guys.

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    TNA doesn’t want to participate at PSC is not because of the so called contradiction that Dayan describes here.

    The real reason is the contradictions that are within TNA. They cannot support 13A at the PSC when they have clearly articulated their opposition to 13A as a solution already to the rest of the world.

    They looking for excuses and people like Dayan provide political cover.

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    President Mahinda Rajapaksa Meets TNA Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan For Discussions on the Tamil National Question – http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/22689

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      Anpu,

      A silver lining in the gathering dark clouds or one more deceptive move? I know for sure MR has a soft corner and much respect for Sambanthan and Anandasangary. I hope Sambanthan can capitalise on these sentiments to pull a rabbit out of the hat.

      Dr. Rajasingham. Narendran

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        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        “I know for sure MR has a soft corner and much respect for Sambanthan and Anandasangary.”

        Is it because Indians playing hard ball with MR?

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          Native Veddah,

          Even before. But whether these will transcend his narrow mindedness , lack of vision and opportunism is a different question. What is right is never the best option in this country. Expediency is the national creed.

          Dr.RN

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