4 December, 2020

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The New Government’s Real Agenda

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Who and what do we take more seriously? Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s promise made to the Sri Lankan parliament of ‘the implementation of the 13th amendment within the unitary state’, or that which his Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has disclosed in New Delhi, India, while “talking to a select group of journalists”? I’d go with the latter, not only because of the venue, but also because Mr. Samaraweera is known to be the bridge between Mr. Wickremesinghe and his influential political ally and partner, Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

The Foreign Minister has given us the first clear inkling of the real political agenda of the new Government: “Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera has outlined a series of steps President Maithripala Sirisena’s Government will undertake to achieve national reconciliation in the civil war-ravaged island-nation.” (‘Mangala Promises De-militarization of The North’, Domestic War Crimes Probe’, S. Venkat Narayan, the Island, Wednesday, January 21st 2015, page 1 lead story.)

The Foreign Minister is bullish and he is on the record. ‘”All these years we failed to achieve national reconciliation because there was no political will. Now there is a political will. We are optimistic about pulling it off this time,” the minister asserted.’ (Ibid)

What is the Foreign Minister upbeat about pulling off? ‘National reconciliation’ it would seem. Why has no one pulled it off as yet? Going by Minister Samaraweera’s version it was because “there was no political will”. I am deeply appreciative of this perspective because I had mistakenly thought for thirty years it was because of the war and the obduracy of the Tigers, and in the decades before and the half-decade after the war, it was the lack of broad bipartisan consensus. Now I know different. It was the lack, not of consensus or of a reliable peace partner, but precisely of political will. Well, you live and learn.

I also learned what Foreign Minister Samaraweera regards as the components and contents of “national reconciliation”; what the ingredients of “national reconciliation” are. Consensus at and within a roundtable process such as the Parliamentary Select Committee certainly isn’t one. “Who [would] go for a new Parliament Select Committee? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.” That’s what he said, according to S. Venkat Narayanan.

If broad consensus is not an indispensable ingredient of ‘national reconciliation’, what is Minister Samaraweera’s program? Going by ‘Mangala Chinthana’ it seems to be threefold:

  1. “De-militarization of the Northern province.”
  2. “A domestic probe with UN assistance into what actually happened in the war zone in the months before the LTTE was militarily defeated by the security forces in May 2009”.
  3. “The Thimpu Proposals, the Mangala Moonesinghe Proposals, the CBK (Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga) Proposals, to name but a few”. (Ibid.)

To recapitulate (a) de-militarization (b) a domestic probe with UN assistance and (c) political proposals ranging from the Thimpu principles to Chandrika’s political packages.

The problem is two-fold: not only is each and every one of these three points downright wrong and bad as policy, but the triangle they constitute is a recipe for catastrophe– a political and strategic Chernobyl.

De-militarization of the Northern Province: The North is a strategically ultrasensitive province because it is separated by only a narrow strip of water from Tamil Nadu which is much larger and several times more populous than Sri Lanka; which has been a source of repeated aggression against Sri Lanka over millennia; and in which there remains a large pool of hysterical pro-Tamil Eelam and anti-Sri Lankan sentiment. No country would de-militarize such a vulnerable border province from which separatist or irredentist pulls can originate. It would have been entirely different had Foreign Minister Samaraweera said “demilitarize Northern society”, which would have meant reducing the military footprint in the North to a point that it is not overtly and excessively intrusive and alienating. However, that is not what Minister Samaraweera said. He said “demilitarize the Northern Province”. It took the Union armies twelve years to “de-militarize” the defeated Confederate states of the South after the American Civil War, and that was despite the fact that the Southern states did not have a much larger and more populous neighboring state with a reservoir of secessionist sentiment.

A domestic inquiry with the assistance of UN agencies: The new Foreign Minister should have stuck strictly to a pledge of fully implementing the recommendations of the LLRC. No less and no more. The LLRC listed several incidents which it said required independent investigation. Differently put, the LLRC recommended an independent yet specific and limited, domestic inquiry. That is not what Minister Samaraweera proposes. No legitimate, sovereign state which has defeated a terrorist army, has subjected itself to any inquiry within five years. Many states have taken three to four decades, and with good reason. Some, such as democratic Spain, an EU and NATO member, has rendered illegal, any inquiry even into the numbers of dead in a civil war that ended 75 years ago! Cambodia did have a domestic inquiry assisted by UN agencies as Minister Samaraweera proposes, but that was precisely against the defeated, genocidal Khmer Rouge, not against the legitimate army of the state– and in any case, there was a three decade lag between the inquiry and the events it investigated.

From Thimpu to the Mangala Moonesinghe and CBK proposals: the Thimpu proposals of 1985 were presented by a united front of Tamil Eelam organizations including the Tamil Tigers represented by Anton Balasingham. The main planks were (i) the recognition of Tamil nationhood, (ii) the right of national self-determination and (iii) the Northern and Eastern provinces as the traditional homeland of the Tamil speaking people. They were rejected out of hand by the UNP government of the day. Mr. Samaraweera represents a UNP government—albeit one that was not unelected as such. Precisely which aspects of the Thimpu proposals does he think should be permitted on the table? The Mangala Moonesinghe proposals contained a straight swap which was perhaps acceptable in wartime: federalism for de-merger. Is Mr. Samaraweera proposing federalism instead of the unitary state with devolution? The Chandrika packages proposed the removal of the term unitary and the re-definition of Sri Lanka as a “union of regions”.

These proposals could not be implemented even while the Sri Lankan state was under the gun of the Tigers. By what logic does Mr. Samaraweera think that compromises which the majority found unacceptable even during the war are necessary or will be acceptable after we have won it?

Does Mr. Samaraweera think that any of it will get past the masses at a referendum or does his Government now possess “the political will” to push on without a referendum?

Is this triadic “national reconciliation’, consisting of the “demilitarization of the Northern Province”, a “domestic inquiry with the assistance of UN Agencies” into the last months of the war, and a political outcome which takes as building blocks the Thimpu proposals and Chandrika’s ‘packages’, what our soldiers fought and died for? Is this what the war was for? Is this to be the political edifice erected over the great victory of 2009?

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  • 2
    0

    The national sovereignty having modern crisis after the end of proxies war by LTTE ruthless which defeated by MR ruling alliances in 2009 May. Newly unelected of UNP of Mangala Samaraweera of UNP governances of Ranil.W… and CBK join hand that three proposal will lead to nation divided on Terrioritoy by that laid proposed foundation Tamil Eelam state.

    By Samaraweer’s proposal de-recognized Sri lanka sovereignty, that accepts the mythologies of effectively usurp the terrain of Tamil Eealm land in North and East part of an Island.

    While that renewing the powers of TERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY BY UNP of MANAGALA AND CBK and reshaping Eealm project of TNA THROUGH THAT NEW MOBILIZATION OF AN ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF TAMILS IN NORTH-EAST.

    This not that only Thimpu discussion by CBK package readdress by UNP Managala has background Tamil politics hidden agendas is; “BUILDING THE TAMIL Eelam State” by Kristian Stokke ideology behind by
    Dr Nagalingam Shanmugararatnam by their theses of Tamil state says 2005.
    “…Sri lanka’s 3rd Tamil Eealm War created a political-territorial division of the island with a resultant dual state structure in North-East. In the context of the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement and based on their institutional experiments, the LTTE is currently engaged in comprehensive process of state building within area they control.
    Within this emerging state apparatus there has been a strong focus on external and internal security issues…”

    This what exactly now that TNA engaged in North Provincial Council of CM and demand for 13 A police and land power by so-called governances of SELF- RULE by Tamils. This is what Managala Smaraweera agreed to TNA before and after elections 2015 January.His three proposals cover by ,that whole range of Tamil basic demands of Tamil state.
    That is blunt accept divided Sri lanka by MS, Ranil.W… and CBK holy alliances political norms of ruling parties.

    That is what now TNA engaging regain that terroitority in North and East to Established 13 A seek police and land powers North PC led by CM win over from UNP and CBK.

    UNP or CBK other their persons in politics are not aware of how sovereignty came into being in Western world.

    They are lack of educational knowledge of political democracy of Capitalism.

    Jean Bodin’s work lies at the head of road in European thoughts that leads to concept of National SOVEREIGNTY. By his master work’ Les six livres de la Republique which appear 1576.

    By adopting a realist standpoint of development of sovereignty in national terms
    “…. In really the origin of political power and the definition of sovereignty consist in the victory of ONE SIDE OVER THE OTHER,A VICOTRY THAT MAKES THE SOVEREIGNTY AND THE OTHERS SUBJECT. FORCES AND VIOLENCE CREATE THE SOVEREIGNTY.” That how LTTE run proxies’ war to be created Tamil nation sovereignty that was defeated by MR ruling alliances.

    Now that task has been undertaken and carry out by replacing LTTE by TNA which misleading majority Voters of Democracy people of
    Sri Lankan.

  • 12
    1

    Dayan you have taken many ” Vishwarubams” in the following order

    Tormentor – Pretendor – finally Lamentor.
    You are in the clutches of History Books.

    Thank god you are not advising the GOSL

    But let me tackle the following,

    Fallen King Mahinthas RISE and FALL was due to the Ethnic Srife femented by successive Sinhalese Governments.

    Prabaharan was a creation of you lot and MR was a creation of Prabaharans antiques.

    The destiny of Sri Lanka is no longer in your hands and it is being decided by outside powers and here is the Chronology.

    Soon after Elections were announced Gotha was summoned to Delhi followed by Ranil followed by Sambanthan and I am sure you know what was discussed.

    1)Who and what do we take more seriously? Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s promise made to the Sri Lankan parliament of ‘the implementation of the 13th amendment within the unitary state’, or that which his Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has disclosed in New Delhi, India, while “talking to a select group of journalists”? I’d go with the latter, not only because of the venue, but also because Mr. Samaraweera is known to be the bridge between Mr. Wickremesinghe and his influential political ally and partner, Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

    *** Both but in the reverse order.

    2)The Foreign Minister has given us the first clear inkling of the real political agenda of the new Government: “Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera has outlined a series of steps President Maithripala Sirisena’s Government will undertake to achieve national reconciliation in the civil war-ravaged island-nation.” (‘Mangala Promises De-militarization of The North’, Domestic War Crimes Probe’, S. Venkat Narayan, the Island, Wednesday, January 21st 2015, page 1 lead story.)

    *** It is a DO or DIE dilemma for new GOSL

    3) The Foreign Minister is bullish and he is on the record. ‘”All these years we failed to achieve national reconciliation because there was no political will. Now there is a political will. We are optimistic about pulling it off this time,” the minister asserted.’ (Ibid)

    *** Yes there is a new found reality and that is due to two things. The reality on the ground and external pressure applied from outside.

    4)What is the Foreign Minister upbeat about pulling off? ‘National reconciliation’ it would seem. Why has no one pulled it off as yet? Going by Minister Samaraweera’s version it was because “there was no political will”. I am deeply appreciative of this perspective because I had mistakenly thought for thirty years it was because of the war and the obduracy of the Tigers, and in the decades before and the half-decade after the war, it was the lack of broad bipartisan consensus. Now I know different. It was the lack, not of consensus or of a reliable peace partner, but precisely of political will. Well, you live and learn.

    *** What is the FM upbeat about. Let me tell you he is like a Drum ( Melam) and someone else is beating it ( Thadchenamoorthy) and that is music to our years.

    5) I also learned what Foreign Minister Samaraweera regards as the components and contents of “national reconciliation”; what the ingredients of “national reconciliation” are. Consensus at and within a roundtable process such as the Parliamentary Select Committee certainly isn’t one. “Who [would] go for a new Parliament Select Committee? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.” That’s what he said, according to S. Venkat Narayanan.

    If broad consensus is not an indispensable ingredient of ‘national reconciliation’, what is Minister Samaraweera’s program? Going by ‘Mangala Chinthana’ it seems to be threefold:

    “De-militarization of the Northern province.”
    “A domestic probe with UN assistance into what actually happened in the war zone in the months before the LTTE was militarily defeated by the security forces in May 2009”.
    “The Thimpu Proposals, the Mangala Moonesinghe Proposals, the CBK (Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga) Proposals, to name but a few”.

    *** If you need any clarification to the above ask RAW and MR.Modi and they will explain it to you.

    Tyranny both MRs and the Sinhalese have come to an END. May yours and MRs soul rest in peace.

  • 13
    1

    Dayan the loser

    You tormented us all these days. First at the UNHCR when we were down and out and then from inner circle and the role is now reversed. A few more shocks for you.

    Indias role in all that is happening in Sinhala Lanka is being felt like a tremor. I have always said Sri Lanka Sovereignty is limited to Indias Security and that has turned out to be spot on.

    In Land Law there is a provision that Squatters ( China) can acuire rights by ADVERSE POSESSION and that is what got India into action.
    MR in his moment of madness gave a Land Rights in the Colombo Port to Chinese and China is about to swing into action and Sri Lanka is going to be a battle Ground. The Tamil Nadu Army arrived sometime ago ( if you want the exact dates ask Native Vedda the Grand Dad).

    The Implementation of 13th Amendment , Merger of North & East ( The historic Tamil Kingdoms ) and demilitarisation is part of an action plan by India to reclaim Colombo Port. MR has got Sinhala Lankas Knickers in a twist.

  • 5
    5

    Sinhalaya Modaya Kawumkanna Weraya!
    Like in 1815, Sinhalese are now hoodwinked by USA SISON led Coup supported by pro western Mafia, TNA, Muslims, Catholics and some opportunistic SLFP politicos. Nothing new in UNP gang & not unexpected. Do not forget Sinhalese are famous to betray country for 8KGs of staple food, Rice from Moon and this time for Rs 10,000 pay hike and 10 item price reduction! Sinhalese doomed to go to disappear!!! Thank you Dayana , you have backbone to reveal Western led agenda.

    • 7
      4

      Dayan as usual is playing the Hindian card expecting a return by end of year.

      if the JT’s are smart enough he will play no card at New Delhi because he is considered schedule caste.

      The future of India are to be held by gold medalist not poof profesoras.

  • 1
    13

    President’s 100-day programme
    TNA ON FM’S WAVELENGTH – TNA MP
    Will provide boost for national reconciliation efforts
    CHAMIKARA WEERASINGHE

    Speaking on the Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) stance on President Maithripala Sirisena’s 100-day programme, TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said yesterday “the TNA will support the government and also extend its maximum cooperation to the government in finding a solution to the national problem.” He said; “We are pleased that Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera has outlined a series of steps that the President Maithripala Sirisena-led government will take to achieve national reconciliation, during his recent tour of India.”

    Samaraweera said there are lots of proposals to achieve national reconciliation, including the Thimpu proposals, the Mangala Moonesinghe proposals and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s (CBK) proposals among others. There is no need to reinvent the wheel via a proposed Parliamentary Select Committee process initiated by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he stated. “The TNA is in full agreement with Samaraweera in that there is no need to reinvent the wheel of the Select Committee process since these proposals have been there all throughout by the successive governments of Sri Lanka. “It has always been the stance of our party (TNA) that a solution can be reached through these proposals. I must add that the inaugural speech of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa can also be taken as a basis,” he explained. “We will bolster any effort by the government to achieve national reconciliation. There is no need indeed to reinvent the wheel to find solutions,” he said.

    – See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/tna-fms-wavelength-tna-mp#sthash.GhB6qQj9.dpuf

    • 4
      0

      Dayan@,

      how do you interpret this ?

  • 1
    13

    Saturday, January 24, 2015 (All day)
    Editorial
    THE WILL, AND THE WAY
    The Foreign Minister has said in India that there never existed the political will for reconciliation between communities, and in that context also added that there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

    He means that there are various blueprints on paper with regard to a resolution of the National Question. He has referred to the Thimphu formula and the various documents that came out on the issue of the North and East during the Chandrika Kumaratunga administration.

    The key to any type of fresh look at the issue of a political arrangement in the North and the East rests on the ability of the Tamil people’s representatives, and the Sinhalese leaders, to agree on a basis for further perusal of solutions.

    Anything that is on the table which both sides agree on would be a starting point for a serious sit-down and for mapping out a way forward.

    That’s the spirit by which the issue of the question of reconciliation between the Sinhala and Tamil Sri Lankans should be approached, and it is a happy augur that a possible political arrangement between all parties has been brought under the rubric of reconciliation in the first place.

    There are other distractions that those who want the process to breakdown would naturally point out to, and among those are the references to the Prime Minister’s speech in parliament.

    Mr. Wickremesinghe said that the full implementation of the 13th Amendment should be within the context of a unitary state.

    There is no contradiction between the positions of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister insofar as they are both speaking about a way forward that would be acceptable as a starting point for discussion between the Tamil and the Sinhalese leaderships.

    In this context, when M. A. Sumanthiran agrees with the position taken by the Foreign Minister, everybody should feel that there is less to cavil about and more to be optimistic on as there is an instant tallying of positions which was a luxury in the past.

    Though the cynical would always say that the devil is in the detail, it is also true that it is a genuine breakthrough that was missing so far, considering that the chasm between the Sinhala and the Tamil sides of the divide was abysmally wide.

    Nothing may be instantly acceptable to all sides but once there is basic agreement that this or that blueprint is a basis for a beginning, and there is an earnest desire for rapprochement, much can be achieved.

    History has enough precedent and Aceh in Indonesia is one example though there are multitudes, and all this should be seen in the context that there should not be too many fixed positions with regard to how a solution should be approached.

    There is no need to reinvent the wheel, and there is less of a need to keep the wheel inside a display cabinet for purposes of extolling its utility value.

    If Foreign Minister Samaraweera says the wheel shouldn’t be reinvented and if Mr. Sumanthiran of the TNA agrees, the wheel could be taken out for a run, and that is the spirit in which the new possibilities for change should be appraised, and approached.

    The country would be benefited by the good offices of India always and in this context the fact that Mr. Samaraweera made the statements about reconciliation on Indian soil should make for an underwriting of sorts for the seriousness of the intentions on the side of the Sri Lankan government.

    The dungeon is not dark as it seems, and that’s something that all Sri Lankans would have discovered with time. It’s also imperative we learnt never to describe the adversary, or even ourselves, as the devil under any circumstances. These new beginnings are suffused with the promise of too much possibility for such blithe cynicism.

    – See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=editorial1#sthash.heSCRXEo.dpuf

  • 11
    1

    Dayan:

    Reading your comments sounds like Dayan on Dayan and that frankly doesnt offer anything positive.
    It can only be interpreted as an attempt by you to Gate Crash but I dont think that will work this time. You were too close to MR and you have blood on your hand.

    But even though there is consensus that a solution has to be found to resolve the Ethnic problem we are poles apart which is reflected by the following.

    Tamil Aspiratiions – vs- Sinhalese Intransigence

    1) The Foreign Minister has said in India that there never existed the political will for reconciliation between communities, and in that context also added that there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

    *** By inference does it mean that we now have the situation which is condusive to resolve the issue once and for all.

    But far from it and I have read that GOSL intends to settle the issue under a Federal arrangement where all nine provinces will have equal powers. This is a non starter and an attempt to muddy the water.
    13th Amendment talks about North & East as a Seperate entity and by extension the recognition of the North South Divide ( Tamils & Sinhalese.
    So we are poles apart even before we have started.

    2) There are other distractions that those who want the process to breakdown would naturally point out to, and among those are the references to the Prime Minister’s speech in parliament.

    *** Yes you are right the distractors form the Majority amongst the Sinhalses and they are a formidable force to be reckoned with.

    3) Mr. Wickremesinghe said that the full implementation of the 13th Amendment should be within the context of a unitary state. There is no contradiction between the positions of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister insofar as they are both speaking about a way forward that would be acceptable as a starting point for discussion between the Tamil and the Sinhalese leaderships.

    ***But this has been clarified by the PM and that is at oddds with the 13th Amendment. According to PM there is not going to be a Federal Arrangement and that amounts to a change of position.

    I am not hopeful of an amicable solution from within and only the external pressure will keep the Flame of Freedom Justice and Equality under a Federal System burning.

  • 1
    17

    You say “The Implementation of 13th Amendment , Merger of North & East ( The historic Tamil Kingdoms )”

    The 13A mandates land allocation in State funded development according to the National Ethnic Ratio. Which is 75% to Sinhalese, 11% to Lanka Tamils, 9% to Moors , 4% to Indian origin Tamils and 1% to others. What do you think will happen to the lands irrigated by the diverted Mahaveli, Iranamadu and the River for Jaffna project(Arumugam plan)?

    The Jaffna Peninsular had a Tamil kingdom (was it for 4 centuries?) before the Portuguese subdued it. The East was a Sinhala Kingdom and never a Tamil one in the entire history of Lanka which extends to more than 2 millennia.

    Here is a Dutch govt record found in their National Archives that establishes the boundary between the Tamil Kingdom of the North and the Sinhala Kingdom in the South at Elephant Pass, the meeting point of Peninsular Jaffna with Mainland Lanka.

    Hence your spurious claim to the East is untenable and is false as the ENTIRE eastern seaboard up to Elephant Pass was part of the Sinhala Kingdom.

    http://www.atlasofmutualheritage.nl/en/location/?id=813

    Why don’t you discuss and justify why 40% of Lanka should be controlled by the 5% of Tamils (living within an area which is overwhelmingly uninhabited) when double that number lives outside it in the balance 60% and sharing it with non Tamils?

    Please explain why the 95% of the whole should give up their Birthright to pander to the nonsensical whims of a greedy lot?

    Kind Regards,
    OTC

    • 7
      4

      You never had a toilet so they threw you out of Canada the land of refugees.

      you have pigs licking your butt isn’t it pipsqueak para demala?

      Hooo Hoooo Hooo!

      • 4
        6

        Javi

        When people are having a serious conversation affecting the Nation you with your silly comments sound like a pig in the middle.

        • 5
          4

          Tam`ill from the village you sound like skunk in a spin dryer for 66 years when you talk of serious talk.

        • 1
          9

          Dear Sinhalese from South,

          those two word “sound like” is redundant!!!

          Kind Regards,
          OTC

          • 6
            4

            Colony Refugee casandra cassanava!

            Hooo Hooo Hooo call of the Owl that walks.

    • 2
      3

      The many thumbs down show that there are multitudes in Sri Lanka who are ever willing to betray the motherland, and sadly many of them are Sinhala.

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