7 July, 2022


The EP, 13A, PC And The Presidential Poll Campaign

By Chandre Dharmawardana – 

Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana

Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana

Although the executive powers of the President have become pivotal to the agenda of the “common candidate” of the opposition, the even more emotional question of the 13th amendment has been kept out of the limelight. While the incumbent can claim the status quo as his working model, the supporters of the “common candidate” do not seem to have any common ground to stand on.

In 1987 Rajive Gandhi was reeling from exposures in the Indian press regarding kick-backs from arms purchases. Twenty million from Sweden, fifteen million from a German subma

rine deal, and other allegations of high corruption were coming to light. Meanwhile, military operations in Sri Lanka against the LTTE, a group that the Indians had nurtured as their jagular -hold on Jayewardene, were going against the LTTE. Standing firm against Sri Lanka and tightening the jagular would turn the limelight away from Gandhi’s domestic scandals.

To make matters easy for Gandhi, the army and air-force operations, guided by American and Israeli advisers, followed the inhuman tactics perfected in the Gaza. Athulathmudali‘s “operation liberation” ignored the fate of the civilians in the North, already caught in the cross-fire among the rival  LTTE, PLOTE, EPRLF,  TELO and other groups.

When the Indians air-dropped “supplies” on 4th of June 1987, the Sri Lankan army offensive to capture Prabhakaran had to be called off. India  claimed that the SL government had carpet bombed Vadamarachchi, with over 2000 dead, repeating the gross claims of the LTTE to justify India’s intervention. Calling in foreign journalists to Vadamrachchi to discredit some of these claims did not help, as India was simply looking for an excuse. Meanwhile the LTTE offensive changed character to include the Black Tigers. The first suicide attack (by Miller) of the war came on July 5th, targeting the Nelliyadda camp, with the LTTE claiming to kill a 100 soldiers. This was followed by indiscriminate army reprisals killing innocent civilians. The Indo-Lanka accord was signed on the 5th of July. J. R. Jayewardene used the powers of his executive presidency and acceded to the Indian plan. He had no option to disagree. Today this would be called  creating a “Ukraine potentiality”  for Indian hegemony over a part of Sri Lanka.

mahinda Anuradhapura 12 12 2014 Pic credit Presdent's mediaIt led to the 13th amendment to the constitution, creating provincial councils with wide devolved powers, merging the North and the East into one province, as well as a right-to-protect (R2P) type intervention that allowed the Indian Peace Keeping force (IPKF).  Although Prabhakaran appeared to agree to it under duress, he took the first opportunity to reject it and fought the IPKF. He rejected the “Indian Model” and insisted on achieving Eelam at any human cost.

JRJ could sign the Indo-Lanka accord using the special powers vested in the executive presidency. Its legitimacy itself may be debated.  Its present-day effect is to create a triple force against the stability of Sri Lanka. (i) A Ukraine-potentiality inherent in the 13th amendment, (ii) A Northern Provincial administration where the leaders rush to India for consultation on almost every matter,  and  Although the TNA has stated  its support  for a “united” Sri Lanka, there is no trust between the leaders of the North and the South.  Some of Mr. Sampanthan’s saying have been interpreted by editorial writers of the Hindu, and the Sunday Times , as “secessionist”. (iii) A tense Tamil Nadu tantalized by the Tiger vision.

Not surprisingly, the TNA has demanded wide powers going beyond the 13A including the “right to self-determination”. The Southern nationalists have demanded the abrogation of the 13 athmendment. The TNA claims that the North and the East are exclusive Tamil homelands whose demographic character should not be modified by non-Tamil residents. The LTTE had in fact “ethnically cleansed” the North of its Muslims and Sinhalese.

After nearly three decades of ‘provincial councils’  in most parts of the country, we now have an extreme redundancy in government, with unclear jurisdictions and  superfluous expenditure in maintaining multiple tiers of politicians. The local, provincial and national level politicians depend on one another for favours, racketeering and electioneering. Thus today no major party in the South will agree to its dismantlement, while freely admitting that it is a cancer in the body politic.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, with his 2/3 majority cannot abolish the 13th as everyone would find reason to lobby against any such moves. However, the small political parties without local and provincial support, but strong in agitation and propaganda, as well as strident nationalist groups can demand the abolition of the 13th, correctly arguing that it is dangerous for national unity, that it totally corrupts the body politic, while tripling the expenditure of governing the country. But their voice has no weight.

Even more interestingly, legal experts have wondered if the abolition of the executive presidency will instantly create the anarchy of nine virtually independent provinces under a powerless parliament.

In our view, both candidates running for the presidency have to speak clearly on what their vision is. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sometimes spoken of a 13A plus, within a “home-grown” solution, clearly alluding to the unacceptability of the constitutional distortion imposed by Gandhi. However, he has not defined his position, while no MP wants to jeopardize his own provincial henchmen.

Given the triple threat implicit in the 13A, and its wasteful corrosive effects, the election is an opportunity  to define a fresh approach . The provincial councils should be transformed into  bodies where administrative power is devolved.   Constitutional power is retained at the center. There can be local police forces, and some local land powers etc.  Even in Canada or USA, where there are powerful provincial or State governments, the Royal Mounted Police or the FBI has over-arching powers that hold the provincial units subject to national laws. Many matters like environmental issues, public health and infectious diseases, crime, rivers and irrigation, transport, power distribution, forest reserves, federal land-holdings etc., need national scale controls.

The candidates must present  realistic plans for these issues, instead of presenting the public with unrealistic promises of abolishing the executive presidency as well  as corruption in a mere “hundred days”!

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  • 2

    Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana

    RE: The EP, 13A, PC And The Presidential Poll Campaign

    This Presiential Election is NOT about the Above.

    It is about

    1. Dictatorship

    2. Nepotism, bribery and corruption

    3. Law and order

    4. Good Governance

    5. Economy and economic mismanagement

    Would you like to throw paint balloons the Mara cutouts?

    • 1

      You forgot the most important :-
      Human Rights.

      • 2

        You are right for 30 years we the SL citizens had no human rights or freedom from getting blasted by suicide bombing murderers.

        • 3

          What BS are u talking man ?

          Yesterday we heard Minister of higher education of the MR adminsitration saying that former PRESIDENT of the country should be made naked and assulted her brutally for what she has proposed against the regime ?
          This is against a former PRESIDENT so what talks you will hear about the average people.
          The country under the monster MR has reached to the levels that nothing can help but only Rascals are allowed to what they think is right. If this kind of statement was made by an civilized state,the particular minister will have to be resigned (being on the west I am telling you).
          The man once upon a time spent in prison should have learnt it , we thought the rascal prseidnet and his wandibattayasa have empowered such idiots to react in this way.

          The nation is shocked hearing this kind of statements specially coming from an idiotic minister. The particular minister should be sacked and brought before the courts keeping him away from all of us at least he learns to respect own people. So poor students had to go so much of unrest due to the man s behavour under the current admin – is proved to this day by his most rude behaviour.

          • 5


            A friend of mine has sent me a copy of a letter written by Prof ANI Ekanayaka. I am assuming you are referring to the same incident referred in his letter.

            December 13, 2014

            Hon SB Dissanayake,
            Minister of Higher Education,
            No 18, Ward Place, Colombo 8

            Dear Mr Dissanayake,

            Crude and Obscene Language by a Minister of Higher Education

            Last night on Sirasa news I was outraged to observe your crude and obscene reference to dashing a female political opponent on the floor, stripping her and sending her naked. This may be the most recent example of disgusting public utterences by you as Minister Higher Education, which includes an occasion when you are reported to have made vulger references to the virginity of university girls.

            You may remember that in 2005 when you were in prison for contempt of court ( although I did not even know you personally at the time) it was I who played a leading role in drafting the bold press statement signed by 30 respected academic staff criticising the unfair judgment of the Chief Justice, which sent you to jail. Now observing your sordid public utterences as Minister of Higher Education, I feel that you are unworthy of that principled dispassionate intervention on your behalf by decent members of the academic community.

            How can a Higher Education Minister who makes such offensive public utterences presume to give leadership to the higher education sector ? Ironically in the same news bulletin your vulgar comments were only matched by those of the Minister of Education and his sick jokes about the the love calls of mating dogs ! One thing is clear. Education Ministers who make such crude and undignified public utterences can never command the respect of students. More likely they will deservedly evoke the ridicule and contempt of both students and teachers.

            Having served as a university teacher for 41 years I am saddened to see the esteemed higher education sector of this country being brought into disrepute by the way its Minister talks in public. Perhaps you are in the wrong Ministry.

            Yours sincerely

            Prof ANI Ekanayaka, Ph.D (Lond.), DDPH.RCS (Eng.), BDS
            Professor Emeritus (Faculty of Dental Science, University of Peradeniya)

    • 1

      Your list must be important to you. But there are others who may give importance to division of the country. If MS proclaims 13a will be fully enacted my vote won’t go for him, though what you list is very important to me.

  • 6

    Here’s what happens if either candidate talks about the 13A:
    – speaks about it positively: loses the Sinhala nationalist (so pretty much the whole Sinhala vote). The opponent will capitalize by bashing the 13A, and win the election, or
    – speaks about it negatively: loses the Tamil vote, and risks losing the election.
    This isn’t an academic discussion the like of which can be carried out in educated, mature democracies. This is a topic that will cause riots and street protests, us being a typical third-world democracy where emotion rules, not intelligence.

    “Even more interestingly, legal experts have wondered if the abolition of the executive presidency will instantly create the anarchy of nine virtually independent provinces under a powerless parliament”. Yes, I’m sure the people doing the constitutional amendments (should he win) in Maithripala’s proposed national government are ignorant of this fact, and are all five-year olds. What exactly is your alternative? Keep what is basically now a constitutional dynastic dictatorship in power forever just to stop secession?

    “The TNA claims that the North and the East are exclusive Tamil homelands whose demographic character should not be modified by non-Tamil residents” Nope. Never said that. Sorry. What the TNA has repeatedly said is that they oppose the government settling people from the South in the North and the East to simply alter demographics and avoid solving this ethnic question. They’ve never said jack about not wanting people of other races in said areas. If you’re going to lie, try and make them not athe palawena ones.

    Your trip down memory lane notwithstanding, you seem to have conveniently forgotten why this devolution thing never worked. This started as JR’s way of undermining Rajiv and retaining Colombo’s hold on things, 13A or no- the system has never been allowed to work. Every party in power appoints cutthroats, drug dealers and uneducated thugs into local governments, scum of that sort being easy to manipulate via greed, into doing Colombo’s will, and not being too clever and actually doing what they’re supposed to do. Want proof? Look at every local body held by opposition parties in the past- they actually send people genuinely interested in public service, and as hamstrung by the pitiful budgets opposition local councils get from the center, they try their best to deliver and thus get the party votes in future. Also, the list of devolved powers was completed- but no discussion on how these powers would be shared has ever been done- another tactic by whatever party is in power to claim innocence when Colombo steps into every aspect of the local governance: “so it’s not sorted out, no? So that’s why we’re doing this”- this isn’t the fault of the system, but of the idiots who’ve “implemented” it the way it is. The 13A, as pitifully and as shamefully as it has been “implemented” so far is indeed a waste in its current form. But saying it never worked after trying our best to make sabotage it is akin to a man pumping water into the petrol tank of a new car, then blaming the car for not working.

  • 3

    There is no Ukraine potentiality in the 13A. India under whatever government will never ever permit a separate Tamil Eelam
    The TNA leaders keep running to India because there is no political goodwill in the South to solve the national question.

    Devolution of power means a wider and greater democracy. If the government has the will it could make the PCs workable to the benefit of the whole country.

    Sengodan. M

    • 3

      Sengodan. M

      “India under whatever government will never ever permit a separate Tamil Eelam”

      Nor will Hindia permit an exclusive Sinahala/Buddhist Eelam ghetto either. As far as the Hindians are concerned Sri Lanka is a Sinhala state of Hindia.

      However the way things are Sri Lanka might turnout to be a Hindi state of Hindia of course in years to come.

      Could you advise your grandchildren to learn Hindi for them to have edge over others.

      Chandre Dharmawardana should keep a copy of the Constitution of India under his pillow and look up it whenever he has an insatiable urge to comment on 13A.

      • 2

        I agree with you N.V that if ever India is to take over, it will be the whole of Sri Lanka and never a part of it. If the Sinhalese and the Tamils are to resist it, they must remain united with mutual respect for each other community!
        If little Cuba could resist the giant US, why cannot little Sri Lanka it’s giant neighbour?

        Sengodan. M

        • 2


          “If the Sinhalese and the Tamils are to resist it, they must remain united with mutual respect for each other community!”

          Remember there is no VP’s podians (boys) to kick the invading foreigners back to whence they come.

          There is no VP’s fat bum for the “brave” Sinhala/Buddhists to hide.VP’s fat bum was the buffer between foreign army and the Sinhala/Buddhist women folks.

          In the absence of VP and his podians the “brave” Sinhala/Buddhist army may have to rely on their women folks. However members of Hindian armed forces’s willy work faster than their brain. Therefore Sinhala/Buddhist women folks need to stock sturdy chastity belts that money could buy.

          They too have to hide their valuables, jewelries,Laptops, cash, ….. TV, cameras, …. inside Ravana’s cave before the Hindians forces arrive here.

          “If little Cuba could resist the giant US, why cannot little Sri Lanka it’s giant neighbour?”

          Little Cuba had few friends and some of them had power and brain. However, Cuba with all its bravado could not retrieve Guantanamo bay from USA. Initial reason for granting lease to USA was for the protection of Cuba.

      • 1

        When the time comes, people will unite.

        Sengodan. M

    • 1

      What are these national problem/s of Tamils that you guys are talking about? I will be very much supportive to this devolution of power/self rule etc. etc. if I know what these real problem/s Tamils are facing on a daily basis. As far as the the constitution and the legal/education/health systems are concerned I see absolutely no discrimination or oppression of Tamils or any other minority. For some reason not a single Tamil in this forum is ready to spell out their problems. Could you do that for me?

      • 2

        One who sleeps can be awoken but one who pretends to sleep can never be awoken!

        Sengodan. M

        • 1

          You too avoid answering my question! Now, I am suspecting these so called “problems” are a farce!

  • 1

    Chandre Dharme
    You seem to be tongue in cheek supporting the incumbent, who had ALL the opportunity for nearly 10 years to do what needed to have been done for the good of the country and for all its people, but shamelessly didn’t. This doesn’t look like a good example of applying your training as a scientist of repute.

    Instead, he (the incumbent) has been gleefully at the helm in orchestrating campaigns of ethnic hatred and worse, dismantling all that we hold sacrosanct in governance and appointments to positions of influence in all spheres of government and the judiciary; totally screwed up external affairs by appointing stooges, thugs and criminals (including alleged war criminals) as ambassadors and created a system of family bandyism of epic, yeah, epic proportions that will be now extremely hard to dismantle.

    Why do I say ‘tongue in cheek’? Because while giving the impression that you are being fair to both incumbent and aspirant, you seem to be laying the burden of intent on this important (but for the moment secondary) national question on the aspirant, by saying “The candidates must present realistic plans for these issues, instead of presenting the public with unrealistic promises of abolishing the executive presidency as well as corruption in a mere “hundred days”.”

    As the aspirant has said, the intent is to get rid of the incumbent as a first step, then formulate a fast path to shake down the EP to something less powerful and above all ACCOUNTABLE; while concomitantly empowering a parliament comprised of multi-partite members who would be expected to vote with their conscience rather than through bribery or coercion ( a la resignation letters in someone’s pocket) on national and other matters of import that need to be quickly fixed after the decades of mishandling in the past.

    I believe the Tamil question is to be addressed under this latter category, rather than catalyse a political conflagration by opening up the floor to the dastardly incumbent regime to fully exploit, once again by playing cheap and narrow ethno-centric games with the more gullible amongst our populace.

    By the way, I like your reference to what happens in Canada – by this are your readers to assume that you favour a federal solution to the ethnic/tamil question? If so, bravo to you!

  • 4

    There is no doubt that the provincial councils have become the haven of corrupt politicians and thugs. How many PC politicians are indicted for rape, murder etc., leave aside financial rackets.

    However, provincial councils do provide some room for giving a legal face to the ethnic diversity of the county, and to the feeling of minorities that they need the capacity to look after their affairs.

    Finding a suitable constitutional structure has been the challenge since Soulbury, and it obviously cannot be done in 100 days. The so called golden brains (N. M. Perera, Colvin R de Silva) of the Left who were constitutional pundits failed lamentably. JR and his pundits simply constructed a constitution for the benefit of JR. The separatist solution doesn’t work in a global village.

  • 2

    Dharmawardena has failed to grasp the whole point of the Common Platform. It is to focus on abolishing the Executive Presidency and sidestep the entire Devolution/Tamil question. Why? A huge number of people can agree about the former but opinions are divided on the latter.

    Therefore Sirisena is quite right to focus only on what can be done and leave 13A/Devolution/Tamil question to a later day when circumstances for a consensus are more propitious.

    • 1

      You haven’t grasped the point Mr Golding … that Prof Chandre is a lickspittle of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

      The guy has no shame.

      Sri Lanka needs to construct a massive automated guillotine to eliminate the large number of Rajapaksa lickspittles after Maithri is sworn in as President.

  • 3

    Excellent article! After resettlment of the North and East (with families whose forefather’s lost thier lands due to development of tea and rubber estates), then greater devolution of police powers in the administration sector should contain a good balance of ethnicities for a less radical province.

    • 6

      There are no Tea or rubber estates in the North & East. These kallathoni Fernandos from thoothukuddy who settled in the South and got converted now talking as if they descend from Dutugemunu.

      • 4

        Yes, a lot of the Catholic converts, who are Fernandos, are pure Sinhalese and direct descendants of Dutugamenu. A number are pure Tamil, and a number are Burgher. Some are mixed, but for most part they remained within their race. It is the typical of some Tamils like you to be disturbed by these sorts of things.

        The pure Sinhalese were driven from their homes by the British for their tea and rubber plantations. Many were driven towards the coast. Many converted to Catholicism for survival and changed their surnames to Fernandos and even changed their caste status to the Suriya castes which were considered the upper castes of the coasts. Others remained in beggary. Their former lands were resettled by South Indian Tamils, of which many of the Jaffna Tamils are proud to lay roots to.

        Considering the South Indians who have overwhelmed our land, it is good and proper that Sinhalese people are resettled in any land available to them. Most have been also resettled in the South. That a few are resettled in the North is a good and democratic thing.

        Your jealousy of the Sinhalese race may try to divide and diminish the Sinhala numbers, but you only show the world the shameful bigotry of your community.

        • 3

          Check your DNA and you will be surprised to find the fact that it is pure South Indian.

          In 1995, a research project carried out by Dr. R. Jayasekara and his team from the Human Genetics unit, Faculty Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Department of Human Genetics, University of New Castle collected blood samples in Colombo and surrounding areas from 102 Sinhalese, 100 Tamils, 103 Burghers, 100 Muslims (Moors) and 103 Muslims (Malays) who were healthy, normal and unrelated individuals. Altogether 608 blood samples were collected and transported by air to the department of Human Genetics. University of New Castle. In the final analysis, the Sinhalese and the Tamil Population of Sri Lanka appear to be the descendants of a single genetic group that had occupied this country. The DNA of Tamil Nadu Tamils is matching the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims (Moors). There are no indications to believe that the Sinhalese are direct descendants of North Indians (Aryans) and Sri Lankan Muslims (Moors) are the direct descendants of Arabs.

          By the way, what makes you believe Dutugamenu was a Sinhalese or the Sinhalese are the direct descendants of Dutugamenu?

          Check this out,

          • 2

            I agree. That’s why it is ok for Sinhalese to settle in the North, and Tamils in the South, with Sinhalese being the main language. Tamil Nadu is different because the language is Tamil and the religion is Hindu. Irrespective of Dutugemunu’s Dna, he that spoke Sinhalese and was a Buddhist.

            • 2

              The Tamils of North & East have no problems what so ever in the Sinhalese settling in the N&E if they buy land/property legally by paying the due price.

              The State sponsored Sinhala colonization in Tamil speaking North & East that started right after the independence, and is still continuing is the first main cause for the Sinhala-Tamil conflict in Sri Lanka. The most foolish move by the late prime minister SWRD Bandaranayake in bringing ‘Sinhala Only’ in 1956 for the entire country is the second main cause for the 30 years long war and destruction that brought down Sri Lanka to a begging pariah state. Tens of thousands of Sinhala women (maid servants) have to slave in the Arab countries to maintain the war-torn Sri Lanka’s economy.

              You must be a damn fool to suggest Sinhala as the main language even in the Tamil speaking North & East. It is ironic that the Sinhalese haven’t learned anything from the 30 years of war, their triumphalism is coupled with anti-Tamil racism and jealousy making them make the same mistakes AGAIN.

              • 0

                There is no due price to pay for resettlement. That’s why it is called resettlement. It happened in the South too. These are governmental lands for people to be resettled on and developed from scratch. After a war there cannot be any exact price on the war areas till they are revaluated and redeveloped.

                Lots of Tamils came during colonization to e.g. Colombo. At that time there was no real value to those lands. Values were not set up like this modern time. People just migrated and set up all over the place where commerce and trade were being established. It is mostly after independence that land started having modern day values, titles and deeds. Some rich people had dated titled and deeds, but these belonged to people like the archaic royalty (and those with lands bestowed by the British). For the ordinary people, they just settled wherever land was free or not used in what was considered an industrious way.

                When SWRD made the Sinhala-only act it was mostly to get the majority some grounding on their own soil. The North already, and to an extent the East, had its own exclusive language and heritage. But it was not enough for them. They wanted the South to have it too- or at least have English so the 12% Tamils also could inhabit the South to be successful there too.

                Anyway, the point is that the North, and to an extent the East, always had Tamil language and heritage. So why force the South to also comply with Tamil demands? Sinhalese had the worse of it, with Sinhalese driven away from their traditional lands too, to become beggars. Then they were not allowed even to re-build up their people and heritage, but told by the Tamil, Burgher, and Muslim to learn English and follow minority heritage and rule.

                It is imperative that people in the N&E know Sinhalese. To a lesser degree should the Sinhalese know Tamil. However, with the demanding nature of the Tamil people, Sinhalese learning Tamil is a small price to pay for country peace. In fact it is a good thing for each community to know the other’s language, and establish the two language system all over the country.

                Tamil language and heritage is found predominantly in Tamil Nadu, with lots of other languages and heritages “pegged” to it, e.g. Malayalam. Sinhalese language and heritage is found only in Sri Lanka. And it is ancient one with equal pride and devotion. But most Sinhalese don’t mind the amalgamation of the languages and heritages. It’s already there, and would have been more so if not for the obstinacy of the Tamils.

  • 1

    .Chandre Dharmawardana –

    The EP, 13A, PC And The Presidential Poll Campaign

    Chimpanzees have no human rights, US court rules

    99% Common Genes is insufficient.

    In Sri Lanka with the Sinhala only act, Tamils have no rights.

    Only para-Sinhala from India are humans. Other Paras from India are not Humans?


    S: In the first case of its kind, a New York appeals court rejected on Thursday an animal rights advocate’s bid to extend “legal personhood” to chimpanzees, saying the primates are incapable of bearing the responsibilities that come with having legal rights.

    A five-judge panel of the Albany court said attorney Steven Wise had shown that Tommy, a 26-year-old chimp who lives alone in a shed in upstate New York, was an autonomous creature, but that it was not possible for him to understand the social contract that binds humans together.

    “Needless to say, unlike human beings, chimpanzees cannot bear any legal duties, submit to societal responsibilities or be held legally accountable for their actions,” Presiding Justice Karen Peters wrote.

    Mr Wise said that he would ask the Court of Appeals, New York state’s top court, to hear the case.

    “This is just the first appellate decision in a long-term strategic campaign” to win rights for chimps and other intelligent animals, he said.

    Mr Wise, representing The Nonhuman Rights Project, which he helped found in 2007, was seeking a ruling that Tommy had been unlawfully imprisoned by his owner, Patrick Lavery. Mr Wise argued that the chimp should be released to a sanctuary in Florida.

    According to Mr Wise and other experts, it is the first case anywhere in the world in which an appeals court has been asked to extend human rights to animals.

    Mr Lavery said that he agreed with the judges, adding that Tommy received state-of-the-art care and was on a waiting list to be taken in by a sanctuary.

    “It will be my decision where he goes and not someone else’s,” he said.

    Justice Peters wrote for the court that while chimps could not be granted legal rights, Mr Wise could lobby the state legislature to create new protections for chimps and other intelligent animals.

    The decision, which upheld a 2013 ruling by a state judge, came after Mr Wise on Tuesday urged a separate court in Rochester to order the release of a deaf chimp named Kiko from a cement cage at his owner’s home in Niagara Falls.

    Mr Wise has also filed a third case on behalf of two chimps that live at a state university on Long Island

    – See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=world/chimpanzees-have-no-human-rights-us-court-rules#sthash.nruw6tDd.dpuf

  • 8

    The ‘Constitutional distortions’ you refer to are not from the 13th amendment, but in the entire constitution and the 18th amendment. The 13th amendment was an effort to ameliorate the problems that arose from the subversion and elimination of provisions in the Soulbury constitution to safeguard the interests of the minorities.

    Please do not peddle nonsense in this age, day and times and set simmering fires alight.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 6

      Well said DR RN.

    • 2

      You say “The 13th amendment was an effort to ameliorate the problems that arose from the subversion and elimination of provisions in the Soulbury constitution to safeguard the interests of the minorities.”
      Why do you think JRJ and Gandhi decided to do this amelioration when the terrorist war was been called the “un-winnable war of Sri Lanka”? Why didn’t this happen anytime after 1948?
      As far as I am concerned this 13A is null and void immediately after Parayabakaran decided not to lay down arms. With that goes the provincial councils too. For an undivided Sri Lanka 13A needs to be abolished hence is an important aspect of the up coming election to all Sri Lankans.

      • 3


        Why did you ignore this “problems that arose from the subversion and elimination of provisions in the Soulbury constitution to safeguard the interests of the minorities”?

        • 1

          To ignore I need to know what these “problems” are? No Tamil is telling me what they are!!!
          Can you tell me what problems you have as a Tamil in a day to day basis living in Sri Lanka?

        • 4


          Ignore this stupid buffoon (an empty vessel) who is pretending as if he is an alien from outer space not knowing the reason for the sixty odd years of Sinhala-Tamil conflict in Sri Lanka. Do not respond to this kind of imbeciles.

    • 0

      The 13th amendment was an effort to ameliorate the problems that arose from the subversion and elimination of provisions in the Soulbury constitution to safeguard the interests of the minorities.

      RN’s Crap.

      It is the only way that India could control Sri Lanka.

      Who gets the most benefits from the 13th amendment. If Lay people get help, the creation of Tamilnadu would have helped Tamilnadu -Tamils too.

  • 7

    Dear Prof,

    “President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sometimes spoken of a 13A plus, within a “home-grown” solution”
    (1)13APlus has become 13A———-
    (2)”home-grown” is militarisation, Sinhalisation of N&E

    Were you sleeping?
    Have you found anything about Vattukottai?

    • 9


      This guy is just another big joker. You should revisit his previous article and read those comments about Vattukottai to have a good laugh at this guy. 13A is non-negotiable, even the JHU did not talk about it in their MOU. Some of these old professors have gone insane due to old age, they are simply blabbering.

  • 6

    What should be very clear is

    a) The man in power seeks a mandate to strenghten his pockets to the very same manner he has been doing since 2005

    b) While MS came forward to abolish EP and go home.

    So people of this country have to get it clearly – if only the man in power would be reomoved, the door to fight for human rights will also be open. Even if two consecutive UN resolutions were imposed by world bodies, nothing like progress in human rights are improved. They are intoxicated by holding power than thinking of price reduction atleast for daily essentials of the common man today.

    I believe, people MUST use their universal franchise against the most corrupted man who ruined the nation in the name of civil war victory – and has been looting the taxpayers funds telling palatable to teh vulnerable masses – then only we the various thinkers of the nation can build up a better governance – in the no war situaton today.
    Insisting about an international conspiracy as had been before any election – they the rulers make every efforts to fool the nation. Now the terror is handled within th ecountry any good leader elected by people of heterogeous thoughts can govern the nation if the adminstration are free from highly corrupted virulent politicians.

    Today the situaiton is like – the man who held to be the leader of nation is above all morals and ethical standards but his wording is totally different than his practices…. so people still get caught by his words – the name of war victory which is already five years ago.

  • 1

    I am not sure if Prof. Chandre D is a professor emeritus, or still an active, engaged professor. In either case, much has grown under his feet, beyond 13 A. It doesn’t take a professor any more to tell us whether 13 A is necessary, useful, or not. That is obvious. But, let professors tell us now what is the practical alternative to 13 A. How come the argument for (or promise of) 13 A Plus came, and whether or not this ‘Plus’ could be addressed in a new political discourse. Just talking about the origin and history of 13 A, caught in the time-warp of 1987, will only be good inputs for ‘tutorial’ for a first year political science undergraduate, if not an A/L student. Please come on, Dharme and anyone of your ilk, give us something that represents the best of your erudition. We are not writing for one party or the other, are we? I say this in good faith. Imad

  • 0

    Let me comment on three items

    Item (1): The 13A was crafted to give the minorities a handle in government, and so it is of importance and significance to the Tamils and Mulsims to have some such balance mechanism. It does not matter much to the Sinhalese who already have enough power in their hands, although such power can get moved into the hands of a small click ourtside their orbit.

    Majorities are usually insensitive to minority rights (as we see today in the USA even with a Black president; the Hispanics at 18% of the population have a few senators, but are in worse shape than the blacks, while the aboriginals, restricted to reserves, are nowhere).

    On the other hand, if Tamil Nadu politicians were to become powerful at the Indian center, then they can use the Northern provincial council for Ukraine-like intervention in Sri Lanka, as Rajeev Gandhi already did, even without the NPC.

    What is needed is goodwill with give and take;
    without that, no amount of constitutional tinkering will work. Or, the minorities need to become powerful in a different sphere other than politics (example: American Jews who remain behind the curtain without going for visible “Arasu”).

    Unfortunately, the Provincial councils became a haven for a new layer of patronage and political corruption, as well as an opening for local thugs to come to power. By 2005, after nearly two decades of PCs, the Provincial-Council system had become a powerful cancer of corruption and lawlessness.

    Even if Rajapaksa wanted to modify the 13A, even with 2/3 majority, he can not do it, and could not do it. He needed all the political patronage avenues available to manipulate his initial minority government into a position of power based on patronage; he even invented the over 100 patronage cabinet. Furthermore, Just like JRJ, Rajapaksa’s constitutional reforms are those directed to strengthening his position. A ruler fighting a war may have to do that. But, now, after 5 years from the end of the war, a different picture has to emerge.

    However, if ANY presidential candidate wishes to eliminate corruption, he HAS TO REMOVE the provincial governments and diminish the number of levels of government in order to reduce the number of levels of patronage, and also keep local political thugs getting legitimized by becoming provincial councilors

    Item (2): Someone asks if I am an Emeritus prof. I don’t teach political science. I research actively in areas related to quantum physics as well as some environmental problems, and teach a small post-graduate class (see my book published last year:”Physicist’s view of matter and mind”. But, irrespective of where we come from, we are all interested layman in political matters, while remembering that “political science” is not a science but mostly a body of opinions. This is why democracy gives one vote per person, since no one (including those who claim to be political scientists) really “knows” the answer. In fact, there is none except what emerges from consensus, or alas, military force.

    Item (3); Batakotte:
    Historical accuracy should not be forfeited for the sake of nationalistic claims.

    As for Vaddukkoddai வட்டுக்கோட்டை, look up the Dutch and Portuguese maps, and the written records of Sri Lanka as far back as possible. You will always find “Batekotte” Battecotte, Battoekotte Batecotte etc. exclusively. “Battikotte” Anglicization came in only with the US-mission seminary.
    I have found nothing, i.e., in Tamil records, or in records in any other language, giving the name as Vaddukkoddai or Vattukottai
    that takes precedence over the name Batakotte, either in chronological ancestry or in the frequency of usage.

    The name Batakotte makes sense, etymologically as well. On the other hand, the word “Vattu” in Tamil வத்து mostly means a spherical dice, jaggary balls, etc. or occurs as the end of a word. Other more philosophical meanings are derived from early Sanskrit and not from old Tamil (see also Tamil Etimology by Burrow and Emmeneau). So Vattu-kottai does not make sense for a place name, as far as I can see.
    Of course, I may be wrong and this is subject to further study.

    If it an old sanskrit name, e.g., vakra-kuta –> vakra-kotte (circular fort), it could make sense and a Tamilzed form Vattukoddai may emerge, though such an evolution does not seem to fit in easily with Tamil-word evolution.

    An easy to read Dutch map giving the name “Batakotte” is:
    1719 Dutch map showing “Battakoette” ( Kaart van de provincie Walligammo met indeling in kerkelijke gebieden)


    • 4

      Let me respond to his Item (3); Batakotte:

      Prof Chandre Dharmawardana (University of Montreal, Canada) who usually writes Sinhala chauvinist articles under the pseudo name Gam Vasiya is arguing based on the Portuguese/Dutch (mis-spelled maps) pronunciation for the word Vattu/vaddu as Batta/Battoe. According to him Batta/Battoe is the Sinhala word for troops/garrison and therefore Vaddukoddai/Vattukottai is a Sinhala place name known as garrison Fort (Batekotte) built by the Sinhala-Buddhists to protect the island from the invaders. Of course kottai/koddai/kotte (almost same pronunciation) is a common word for Fort in both Tamil and Sinhala.

      If one happens to go to the Kannyakumari beach in the southernmost tip of Tamil Nadu, you will find another Vattakottai, a circular fort standing surrounding the wide seaside. Looks like the Sinhala-Buddhists have built another Sinhala Battakotte in Tamil Nadu as well. LOL

      The meaning of Vatta/Vattu in Tamil/Dravidian etymology is round/circular/ring shape. The reason for the Tamil word Vattakottai for the Fort at Kannyakumari and the Tamil word Vattukottai for the Fort at Jaffna is because of its circular shape.

      Is there any other purpose of building a Fort other than for garrison (a fortified military post) where troops are stationed? Why should anyone call it a Garrison Fort or Batakotte (obviously a kotte is where Bata/troops is stationed) when it is obvious that a Fort is for garrison. Will anybody call Chandre Dharmawardana as Human Chandre Dharmawardana when it is obvious that Chandre Dharmawardana is a human?

      Vattukottai/Vaddukoddai is a circular (Vatta/vattu) masonry structure or Fort (Kottai) for defence. Calling by the Sinhala word Batakotte does not have any logical meaning because there is no Kotte without Bata whereas the Tamil word Vaddukoddai has a very clear and logical meaning.

      If you see the colonial (Portuguese) records, most of the local Tamil/Sinhala names/words are being mispronounced or rather the Tamil/Sinhala phoneme/pronunciation is often replaced with Portuguese phoneme/pronunciation. Calling Vattukottai as Battakotte is not a big error when compared to many others. Even the Tamil name of the king of Jaffna was very badly mispronounced. What the Dutch did was, they simply followed what the Portuguese did in misquoting/mis-spelling/mispronouncing. The Sinhala-Buddhists like Prof Chandre Dharmawardana are trying to take the maximum advantage from those mispronunciations/mis-spellings and coming up with illogical assumptions and definite conclusions.

      To understand why the Portuguese mispronounced/mis-spelled these names/words, one must analyse the 16th century Portuguese language before coming to such controversial assumptions and conclusions. One reason for this may be that the 16th century Portuguese language did not have the proper phonemes to denote the voiced grapheme of Tamil/Sinhala languages.

      One of the cunning strategies of Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinists such as Prof Chandre Dharmawardana and Prof Nalin Silva (both specialised in natural science/physics and not social science/history) is to take advantage of the colonial mispronunciations of our local place names and come out with alternative Sinhala forms for many Tamil place names in the North, so that they will be irrefutable evidence of the Sinhala-Buddhist heritage.

      Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana is a fraud who is trying to mislead the innocent Sinhalese to believe his concocted history. What he should understand is that he may be able to fool the Sinhalese but not the Tamils.

    • 2

      There are certain fallacies Prof. Dharme seems to peddling up. He explains the introduction of provincial councils as intended to provide minorties “a handle in government”. This is because he says “it does not matter much to the Sinhalese who already have enough power in their hands [(although such power can get moved into the hands of a small click ourtside their orbit) -kept in brackets]. Two points: a. Provincial Councils, as they are now, are no handle for minorities. In the absence of all devolved powers and support from the central givernment, they are in fact handle for the government; b. The assertion that the Sinhalese ….already have enough power is a flawed one. The ordinary Sinhalese do not seem to have/enjoy such power. The question therefore is how to empower the ordinary Sinhalese while also enabling minorities to benefit from power. In my view, this could be done in the hundred days programme that the opposition
      candidate has taken upon himself: abolish the executive presidency, and bring within the residual power that remains with the ‘reduced’ president, the tasks currently entrusted to governors of provinces. With that power in hand,
      he would have the responsibility to deal with the provincial councils from the perspective of “broader national interests” rather than taking a “narrower view and approach” as is currently the case. This would make the president a truly
      ‘national leader’, the sort of a father figure we want, while making the people at the periphery (and the provincial councils) feel and have power as already devolved. Other aspects of the devolution discourse can be kept away to be looked into, by a mechanism or process that would be envisaged after the hundred day programme, probably by a national government. In this way, 9 governors will be unemployed, thus saving money to the government and people.
      The second fallacy lies in Prof. Dharme’s following thesis :

    • 4

      chandre Dharmawardana

      “However, if ANY presidential candidate wishes to eliminate corruption, he HAS TO REMOVE the provincial governments and diminish the number of levels of government in order to reduce the number of levels of patronage, and also keep local political thugs getting legitimized by becoming provincial councilors”

      I would go along with your argument for argument sake.

      If corruption is the only problem then I suggest we expunge the state and constitution, its entire institutions, government, political arrangement, … and see if it works.

      As a champion of Sinhala/Buddhism you are parochially focused (which is regrettable though understandable) on one layer of the state instead of addressing the wider issues such as state structure, skewed nature of democracy, ………… myopia infected Sinhala/Buddhist leadership and Sangha, ……….. void of vision and ambition, refusal to learn from past, completely removed from present globalised world, …..

      • 0

        To Native Vedda

        Thanks for the comments, and also the previous comment about the Indian constitution.
        The Indian constitution includes strong powers given to the center to even dismiss state governments if needed. This does not exist with the 13A. If they are included, the 13A could be made to work without the fear of a Ukraine potentiality. Mr. Anandasangaree Sr. also likes the “Indian Model”.

        Native Vedda says “If corruption is the only problem …” etc. But it is NOT. But let us look at corruption specifically.

        What is the fundamental nature of corruption? Corruption is understood within the physical sciences and statistical thermodynamics as the generation of Entropy in a rapidly evolving complex system. (i) If the system is stagnant, there is no room for corruption (ii)if the system is not complex (simple as possible)- i.e., does not contain many agents, layers etc – then also there is less entropy and less corruption. In fact if there are n agents of government, or n ministers including provincial ministers etc, the entropy is proportional to nLog(n). Given that the provincial councils have become a power base to politicians, my suggestion is that PCs should go reducing nto n-9. But we cannot put n to zero as the Log zero is undefined. This math can be made more realistic but we leave it at that.

        Clearly, other things (e.g., giant cabinet) also should go. However, if you wish to have growth YOU WILL HAVE TO HAVE CORRUPTION as a basic consequence of the second law of thermodynamics.

        As to my being a champion of “Sinhala/Buddhism”, then K. Velu Pillai, i.e., the author of Yalpana Vaibhava Kaumudi, Kathigesu Indrapala, Paul E Pieris or Horsburg and C. S. Lewis are also champions of Sinhala Buddhism. However, irrespective of our likely differences in our cultural baggage, we can discuss these matters on the basis of commonly verifiable information. As for Buddhism, my views on supernatural phenomena and religion can be gleaned from my recent book about matter and mind.

        About Batakotte

        Kumar has argued that vattukotte comes from “circular fort”. I already alluded to it as Vakra-kooti in Sanskrit becoming Vakkotte in Sinhala or vattukottai in Tamil as a possibility. However, I reject this for clear reasons. When ever the Dutch found a place name or a proper name with a V they romanized it with a W. Thus we have Welligammo, or Warikkottur, etc., and proper names like Widyaratna rather than Vidyaratna which came during the British period.

        This is because the V in Dutch is an f sound. So, if the place name was Vakkotte, or Vattukkoddai, the Dutch maps should have been written as Waddukkotte and not with a B sound that even does not exist in Tamil. Names romanized during the English period did not have this V –> W transfer. Thus in Jaffna, Tamil proper names were translated mainly during the time of the American missionaries, and so we have “Visvanathan” rather than “Wiswanathan”. The older Colombo Tamils who romanized their names already during the Dutch period used the W rendering, as in Wigneswaran from Colombo.

        Then Mr. Kumar says that all Kottes are for “Bhata”, and hence there is no sense in calling it specifically a Bata kotte. This is clearly wrong as you have Anikotte, balakotte, Javankotte, DedduvaKotte, Aethkotte, etc., the last being for herding elephants.

        Thank you very much for this discussion.

        • 3

          Prof Chandre Dharmawardana

          The Dutch may have adopted these names from the Portuguese maps and records. The Portuguese may have mispronounced the V sound with a B. You should analyse how the Portuguese romanized the local names. Kumar is right in saying, when the Tamil word Vattukottai has a clear meaning in Tamil, one should not make such controversial assumptions and come to definite conclusions based on the mispronunciation of our local names by the foreigners. If you can come up with some 14th century Sinhala literary works or any inscription as evidence for the Sinhala name, then it will be a solid proof to come to conclusions.

          • 3

            Correction: “If you can come up with some 14th century (I meant before the colonials arrived) Sinhala literary works or any inscription”

            Knowing very well the colonial’s (beginning with the Portuguese in 1505 and later the Dutch and the British) inability to correctly sound a local (Sinhala/Tamil) name, it is incorrect to come to such conclusions.

            • 0

              Bhatakottuva, Balakottuva, Javankottuva, DedduvaKottuva, Aethkottuva, for troops, elephants, etc, etc then what about Pissankottuva for insane nuts like this Prof CD who is playing with words by twisting, turning and manipulating them? Such undesirable elements should never be trusted, very harmful to society.

        • 3

          Dear Prof,

          “Mr. Anandasangaree Sr. also likes the “Indian Model”.” – who is he? how many votes did he get? Did you forget to include KP, Karuna,……
          I get more votes in this CT forum.

        • 5

          chandre Dharmawardana

          “The Indian constitution includes strong powers given to the center to even dismiss state governments if needed. This does not exist with the 13A. If they are included, the 13A could be made to work without the fear of a Ukraine potentiality. Mr. Anandasangaree Sr. also likes the “Indian Model”. “

          Here is something that you chose not to read:


          46[CHAPTER XVIIA]

          Establishment of Provincial Councils.



          (8) (a) The Governor may, from time to time, summon the Provincial Council to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but two months shall not intervene between the last sitting in one session and the date appointed for the first sitting in the next session.

          (b) The Governor may, from time to time, prorogue the Provincial Council.

          (c) The Governor may dissolve the Provincial Council.

          (d) The Governor shall exercise his powers under this paragraph in accordance with the advice of the Chief Minister, so long as the Board of Ministers commands, in the opinion of the Governor, the support of the majority of the Provincial Council.

          chandre Dharmawardana

          Why are you not telling the truth?

          Why are you fabricating your own version of 13th Amendment?

          Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for your deliberate ommision of facts which you falsely believed would win your onesided parochially motivated argument?

          There are ways and means to deal with corruption without destroying the very idea of devolution.

          Have you seriously thought about it?

          Next time around you better factcheck before start typing.

          If your judgement is wrong people will forgive you however when your intentions are wrong even your own children will take a dim view of you.

          For their sake please stop lying.

          • 0

            I don’t see the problem. The question is, do these give the same powers to the center as in the Indian constitution? It seems that in your view the center has enough power? prorogue does not mean dismissal.

            • 6

              chandre Dharmawardana

              “prorogue does not mean dismissal.”

              prorogue meaning:

              discontinue a session of (a parliament or other legislative assembly) without dissolving it.

              Most students of politics know the meaning of prorogue. Just calm down.

              However what does

              “(c) The Governor may dissolve the Provincial Council.”

              mean to you?

              Please stop your devious and selective reading of the constitution.

            • 0

              Sorry my post couldn’t be completed as something happened and the screen vanished. I see part of my comment displayed. Here is the rest of my comment.

              ..does not mean dismiss, (continued)
              but the next line given by Native Vedda talks about dissolution. So what we want from the list of powers is the most powerful one. Under what conditions can the PC be dissolved?
              Irrespective of the conditions, let us say a conflict arises between the center and the PC. Then, as has happened in India, the center has “taken over” the running of the PC. But no foreign power interferes in it (not even in Kashmere, directly) when it usurps the power.

              This can also happen in SL. If this happens between the center and the Southern PC, the problem ends there. But if it happens with the NPC, there is a potentiality for Ukraine-like action if Tamil Nadu Extremists can exert enough power on the Indian center. That is, in effect, the Sri Lankan Center will find it very difficult to deal with the Ukraine-potentiality inherent in the power structure because we are like Finland near the Soviet Sate.

              My essay was more about corruption (an important plank of the opposition candidate), and that is what affects 8 PCs that have been running for decades. The NPC has been in place only for one year, and my discussion on corruption does not apply to it as strongly. However, the issue of Ukraine potentiality is very important to it.

              That is why, the NCP leaders have to look for developing trust and confidence with the center so that the Ukraine potentiality is removed. Mr. Thondaman Sr. did this successfully by NOT attacking SL when on Indian Soil or other soil outside SL. But the TNA leaders have a track record for the opposite behaviour.

              We need new leaders, if possible, in the future. The Tamil speaking people will always be suspicious with the Rajapaksas, while the Sinhalese speaking people will always be suspicious of the TNA leadership. With the next generation of leaders who do not have past baggage, even a 13A+ may be possible.

  • 0

    KP makes the comment
    <bWhat the TNA has repeatedly said is that they oppose the government settling people from the South in the North and the East to simply alter demographics and avoid solving this ethnic question.

    As a Tamil living in a Colombo suburb, I find that the INTER-ETHNIC, INTER-CULTURAL MODEL OF COLOMBO IS AN EXCELLENT MODEL FOR US. The Bampalapitiya and Wellawattai temples are flourishing, and Hindu culture, religion and the Tamil language are vibrant in Colombo. So I think we as Tamils should ENCOURAGE sinhalese people going and settling down in the North. This is to our advantage. If there is another ethnic riot, the sinhalese will then know that their own kith and kin live in the North and can be subject to retaliation.

    The Tamils have always come to the South as soon as they get prosperous enough to do so, and there are plenty of incentives, both governmental and non-governmental for doing it. Although Sebastian Rasalingam’s writings are not popular with many Tamils (especially the older generation) because of his anti-LTTE and non-jingoist nature, I think there is a lot of good sense in what he writes. He too has argued for such ethnic intermixing — in his case he is thinking that the caste hierarchy in Tamil-Jaffna society will get broken down by such intermixing. In my opinion, even more importantly, if such a policy of resettlement of Sinhalese be done under the sponsorship of the TNA, it would have a very good effect towards political reconciliation.

    Also, as D. B. S. Jeyaraj has explained many times in his columns, the Sri Lankan Tamils, roughly a mere 1/10 fraction of the majority, cannot try to create a separate destiny for them in an exclusive ethnic enclave given that much of the NCP wealth, electricity and resources come from the south; so we need to look for a destiny jointly with the Sinhalese, somewhat as G. G. Ponnambalam anticipated to do, during the days of D. S Senanayake and Dudley. But Ponna was declared a “traitor” by S. J, V. Chelva, and SWRD provided the inflammatory ammunition of Sinhala only a decade later, to boost SJV’s hand which could only go one way in the end, when battling a large majority using extra-parliamentary methods. The only path available to the Tamils is the moral high-ground.

    The Model for Sri Lanka is the vibrant multi-ethnic tapestry of Colombo. Let the NCP rulers like the Hon. Mr. Wigneswaran (who actually lives in Colombo) attempt to re-create a Colombo-like metropolis in the North by inviting and encouraging the Sinhalese to move North. Very few will actually accept that offer in practice for obvious reasons. But such a call will immediately ease a lot of ethnic tensions and suspicions against the TNA.

    But many people in the TNA may not have the capacity to break off from its old die-hard mindset which is still cast in the Prabhakaran era.

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