26 October, 2020

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The North: To Poll Or Not To Poll?

By Dharisha Bastians –

Dharisha Bastians

Calls by a section of the Tamil National Alliance for the setting up of an interim administration run by New Delhi or Washington in the North, may further cloud the prospect of northern provincial polls before the September 2013 deadline

The prospect of elections for the Northern Provincial Council by September 2013, now a Sri Lankan Government promise cemented in a UN Human Rights Council Resolution on the country became just a little more remote last week after members of the main Tamil party and civil society activists in the North called for the setting up of an interim administration in the province overseen by India or the US until the Government comes up with a permanent political solution to address Tamil concerns.

The appeal made to a visiting Indian Parliamentary delegation in Jaffna, comes in the wake of calls for the abolishment of the 13th Amendment, that devolves some power from the central Government to provincial authorities, from the ruling regime’s top officials no less.

Quasi-federal in nature, the 13th Amendment to the constitution designed by New Delhi in 1987 in an attempt to resolve the separatist conflict in the island, devolved some powers to councils manned by provincial representatives, including education, health, housing and rural development. In the post-war reconciliation discourse and as per promises made to the international community including India by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the provincial council system set up by the 13th Amendment was to be the basis of a permanent power-sharing arrangement with the Tamil community. The provincial system set up by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution has been implemented in every province today, with the exception of the North.

Premachandran and the delegation

The Indian Parliamentary delegation visiting Sri Lanka met with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at his Ministry on 11 April and went on to inspect Indian funded housing and other projects in the North during their visit. The Parliamentary delegation, comprising Saugata Roy, Prakash Javedkar, Anurug Thakur, Sandeep Dixshit, Dhanajay Singh and Madhu Goud Yaskhi representing the Bharathiya Janatha Party, Indian People’s Congress, Bahujana Samaj Party and Indian National Congress reportedly expressed its satisfaction with Sri Lanka’s post-war economic progress so far.

During their visit to the North, the six member Indian parliamentary delegation which concluded its visit to the island last Friday (12), was informed by TNA President Suresh Premachandran that there was “ongoing genocide” of Tamils in Sri Lanka, according to a report in The Hindu newspaper.  Premachandran told the multi-party delegation from India that the Tamils needed an “interim administration, overseen by India or the United Nations, until there is a final political settlement for the Tamils.” The sentiments were echoed by Tamil civil society activists, who said that a transitional administration model, for which there is no constitutional provision at the moment, would provide Tamil representatives actual power in areas such as education, health and livelihood issues. The civil society members proposed that the central Government should also have a role in this system. The activists were responding to questions from the visiting Indian parliamentarians as to whether the Northern Provincial Council elections scheduled for September 2013, would provide a window of opportunity for Tamil political aspirations to be met.

For nearly a decade, the words ‘interim administration’ have earned a dubious reputation in Sri Lanka.

The phrase evokes memories of the breakdown in the Balasingham-Peiris peace talks in 2003, after the LTTE demanded the setting up of an “Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA)” for the north and east. Talks between the LTTE and the Ranil Wickremesinghe Government were suspended in April 2003 over disagreement over the ISGA and never really took off again, despite two more rounds being held in Geneva under the Rajapaksa Government in 2006.

Transitional Government

The LTTE’s ISGA proposals were aimed at setting up a transitional Government in the North and East, until a final negotiated settlement was reached. The Tigers’ proposals gave the interim administration authority over the rule of law, rehabilitation, development, revenue and expenditure, internal and external borrowing and taxation. They called for the removal of the armed forces from all land occupied in the north and east and demanded jurisdiction over all administrative structures and personnel stationed in the North and East. The LTTE would appoint the Government to begin with, the tabled proposals said, and within five years, if no final settlement was reached and implemented between the Government and the LTTE, democratic elections would be held to formalise the separate administration. The move was seen as a thinly veiled attempt to formally legitimize the LTTE’s de facto administration in territories controlled by them in the North and East. The proposals would in fact, widen the Tigers’ reach, since the proposed transitional government would encompass both provinces in entirely, including the areas then still under Government control. Although welcomed by some sections of the international donor community, including the US and EU, the proposals as they stood were a non-starter locally. Political parties, including the ruling United National Front Government saw the ISGA as a threat to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, with the Tigers controlling two large provinces in the island, which would effectively give the central Government in Colombo very little say over affairs in the regions. With the regions still under the jackboot still armed LTTE leadership, the ISGA proposals raised the very real spectre of a Unilateral Declaration of Independence in the North and East if the mechanism was ever implemented.

End of cohabitation

The ISGA provided the fodder President Chandrika Kumaratunga needed to wrest control of the Government controlled by her political opponent. Ably assisted by the JVP, Kumaratunga finally ended a shaky cohabitation with Wickremesinghe, the first the country had ever seen since the establishment of the executive presidential system in 1978, with the Presidency and Parliament being controlled by separate political parties. According to UNP insiders, Wickremesinghe later declined to provide an assurance to the LTTE ahead of the presidential poll in 2005 that he would implement the ISGA under his administration. The move likely cost him the presidency after the Tigers enforced a boycott of vote in the north and east, providing his opponent Mahinda Rajapaksa with a  thin majority that seated him in executive office instead. Interim administration proposals have ripple effects in the country’s south, where it translates almost directly as ‘separate state’ and prompts hardline nationalist politicians – many of whom are constituents in the ruling administration – baying for blood.

Ten years after the ISGA first made an appearance, the TNA President’s recent call for an interim administration will similarly galvanise sections of the south that are already raging against the full implementation of the 13th Amendment, beginning with the holding of the Northern Provincial Council poll by September this year.

Gota leads the charge

Leading the charge for the abolition of the 13th is Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, easily the regime’s most powerful official.

Meeting with the Indian delegation on Thursday (11), the Defence Secretary rubbished Premachandran’s assertions and insisted that there would “never be a separate system of governance for the Northern and Eastern provinces.” He pooh-poohed TNA claims that new army garrisons were being created in the two provinces and claimed the Tamil Party had done nothing for the Tamil people since the end of the war. Rajapaksa claimed minorities would be uncomfortable in any country and that it was not a phenomenon unique to Sri Lanka. He provided assurances to the delegation that the Government would not discriminate against any ethnic group in the country.

The reaction was predictable. But the TNA position further reinforces the Defence Secretary’s stand on the 13th Amendment. Since late last year, as calls for a northern election intensified both in New Delhi and other crucial world capitals, the regime commenced a wholly contradictory campaign aimed at abolishing the provincial council system altogether.  The Secretary of Defence has repeatedly referred to the system as a national security threat and an alternative way for the LTTE rump to achieve its goal of a separate state.

Another warning

Last month, even as New Delhi burned over Sri Lanka’s case at the UNHRC in Geneva and Tamil Nadu politicians held the Indian central government to ransom over the plight of the Tamils in the island, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa sounded another warning about the dangers hidden in the 13th Amendment.

“The ongoing crisis in the Southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu, over accountability issues here, should discourage those pushing for devolution of power under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. A hostile Provincial Council Administration in the Northern or the Eastern province in Sri Lanka could be inimical to the post war national reconciliation process”, he told a local daily newspaper in late March.

The threat of repeal

So serious are the abolishment threats emanating from the highest echelons of the regime that Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa filed a motion in the Supreme Court late last year, petitioning for the 13th amendment’s repeal. Because it was filed amidst the impeachment imbroglio that saw Sri Lanka’s 43rd Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake sacked from office, the case was withdrawn with promises that it would be refiled at a later date. It is inconceivable that Weerawansa filed the case without the blessings of the regime’s high command. In fact, soon after the impeachment, speculation was rife about the introduction of the 19th and 20th amendments to the constitution, the former to shorten the term of office of the Chief Justice in violation of all norms pertaining to the guarantee of tenure to upper court judges; and the latter to repeal the 13th Amendment and replace it with a Jana Sabha system that devolves far less power from the centre to the periphery. Some Government insiders claimed the regime was mulling holding a referendum to ask the voters whether the provincial council system should stay or go. Calls for the 13th Amendment’s repeal coincided with assurances by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who repeated publicly in an interview with an Indian newspaper most recently that a northern provincial election would be conducted before the end of September this year. Accustomed though the citizenry and the world community is getting to hear the Rajapaksa administration speak in many tongues, a decision was reached in Geneva this year that the presidential assurances, made repeatedly to both the Indian and US Governments throughout 2012 by a multitude of regime officials including the President himself, must be set in stone. So it was that the final draft of the US led resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC included a line welcoming the announcement of an election in the north by September 2013.

Doubts about the poll

But long before the line was inked into the UNHRC resolution, doubts had emerged about whether the ruling regime would be willing to conduct the northern provincial poll.  For a Government that effectively controls every other provincial and local administration in the country, the loss of control, no matter how minimal – and that too, to a political party that it continues to view as a former LTTE proxy, as evident by statements made by the Defence Secretary and others since the end of the war – is conceivably difficult. Through the Divi Neguma legislation and other budgetary constraints, the Government has already significantly usurped and eroded the powers of the provincial authorities and restored them to the centre. Yet a resounding electoral defeat in the island’s north where the Rajapaksa administration claims it conducted a humanitarian operation to liberate the oppressed Tamil masses, is an ignominy not easily borne by the incumbent regime. It is still smarting from local government electoral defeat in 2011 to the TNA in the north and east, despite using all the resources at its disposal.

Under the circumstances, to repeal the 13th and do away with the provincial government system altogether would be the most convenient option from the perspective of the ruling administration. But some sections of the Government at least realize that this move, while expedient from a domestic perspective, will not be without its share of equally dire consequences.

The repeal of the 13th Amendment would have been unthinkable some years ago, purely from the perspective of the Indian reaction to such a move. President Rajapaksa and his Government have repeatedly assured New Delhi that a power sharing deal with the Tamil parties would be founded on the basis of the 13th Amendment, but going beyond its devolution provisions.

Truly international concern

But where once the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was considered primarily India’s concern, it has since become the fundamental basis upon which the international community is calling for power sharing with the minority Tamil community. This development was largely attributed to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report, which called for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment as a means of achieving a political settlement with the Tamils of the North and East. With two UNHRC resolutions now calling for the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations, the holding of a provincial council election in the north – the only place in the country in which the provisions of the 13th Amendment are not being implemented even in part – has become a key focal point internationally. Furthermore, it is reliably learnt that the Japanese Government, which has continued to support Sri Lanka internationally and economically in its post-war phase, even abstaining at this year’s UNHRC vote following an official visit by President Rajapaksa to Tokyo in mid-March, has expressed its keenness to see provincial elections held in the north by the Government’s self-imposed September deadline. Any delay or apparent attempt to redraw these election plans will likely push Japan over to the side of the Western lobby that is now pushing for sterner action on Colombo with regard to post-war reconciliation, devolution and accountability issues.

It is the quintessential catch-22 as far as the ruling regime is concerned. Any further attempt on the part of the Government to delay or scuttle the northern poll, will legitimize claims that the Sri Lankan Government continues to deny the Tamil community its right to political autonomy. On the other hand, Tamil parties are not helping their cause, by parroting the demands of a defeated separatist movement that found no favour with politicians in the south the last time they were mooted. If anything, such calls will exacerbate the problems of the Northern people who are now at risk of losing their right to elect provincial representatives. If the ruling administration believes a provincial council will lead to the eventual establishment of an interim administration, it will undoubtedly hold off on conducting the poll.

Different directions

Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, the administration is likely to keep pulling in different directions for some time. Statements of the kind expressed in Jaffna by Premachandran and other sections of Tamil civil society further polarizes hardline factions within the incumbent regime.  Premachandran’s appeal to the Indian delegation reinforces the position of these factions that believe the TNA continues to espouse the cause of separatism on a democratic platform. So far, the TNA leadership has not distanced itself from Premachandran’s assertions.

Therefore, the powerful Defence Secretary whose primary concern remains national security, will continue to block any moves to hold the provincial poll in the north, even if Mahinda Rajapaksa, being the seasoned politician in the grouping, might comprehend what could be a truly devastating fallout. The jury is out on whether the decision on the northern poll will ultimately be a political or military one. Unfortunately, if the recent past is any indication, the odds are the latter calculation will prevail.

A final decision on the September poll in the former battle zone could months away. When it does come, it will be a crucial litmus test for the regime and a significant perspective on its post-war political settlement plans.

Meanwhile, time is running out. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has already claimed that for a Northern provincial poll to be held, the Council must be gazetted by the end of April, to enable the Elections Secretariat to put the machinery in motion. That deadline is just days away.

Courtesy Daily FT

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    This language does not belong to GR. It belongs to DJ.

    “The ongoing crisis in the Southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu, over accountability issues here, should discourage those pushing for devolution of power under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. A hostile Provincial Council Administration in the Northern or the Eastern province in Sri Lanka could be inimical to the post war national reconciliation process”

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    I can’t understand Premechandran saying that there is ongoing genocide of the tamils people.Does he know what genocide means.

    The international legal definition of the crime of genocide is found in Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.

    Article II describes two elements of the crime of genocide:

    1) the mental element, meaning the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such”, and

    2) the physical element which includes five acts described in sections a, b, c, d and e. A crime must include both elements to be called “genocide.”

    “Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

    (a) Killing members of the group;

    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

    (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

    (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    Punishable Acts The following are genocidal acts when committed as part of a policy to destroy a group’s existence:

    Killing members of the group includes direct killing and actions causing death.

    Causing serious bodily or mental harm includes inflicting trauma on members of the group through widespread torture, rape, sexual violence, forced or coerced use of drugs, and mutilation.

    Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to destroy a group includes the deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group’s physical survival, such as clean water, food, clothing, shelter or medical services. Deprivation of the means to sustain life can be imposed through confiscation of harvests, blockade of foodstuffs, detention in camps, forcible relocation or expulsion into deserts.

    Prevention of births includes involuntary sterilization, forced abortion, prohibition of marriage, and long-term separation of men and women intended to prevent procreation.

    Forcible transfer of children may be imposed by direct force or by fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological oppression or other methods of coercion. The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines children as persons under the age of 18 years.

    Genocidal acts need not kill or cause the death of members of a group. Causing serious bodily or mental harm, prevention of births and transfer of children are acts of genocide when committed as part of a policy to destroy a group’s existence.

    So from these definitions we can see that genocide is when the acts are committed as a part of a policy to destroy a groups existence.In this case even if there are killings or rape those are not done with the intention to destroy tamils and they are not widespread enough to warrant calling it genocide.In fact the same thing is happenning to the sinhalese in this lawless country,so can we say that the government is trying to destroy the sinhalese too?

    So this all brawn no brain Premechandran who seems to look like and also think that other 5th grade dropout prabha,should not make an ass of himself to visiting parliamentarians from India,who are educated enough to know what is genocide.Someone must have told him to talk about it to justify the ISGA asked for by Prabha.If prabha could not get the ISGA is Premechandran going to get it?The whole purpose of bringing out the ISGA(Interim Self Governing Authority)again is to sabotage the Indo lanka accord,which Prabha sucessfully did and died with nothing to show for the tamils instead.Now Suresh Premechandran,the look alike and think a like of prabha is continuing his policies and one day when he too dies,there will be nothing to show for the tamils instead of the ISGA.Can’t a intelligent race like the tamils get some wise leaders.We have always got landed with overeducated ones or undereducated ones and never the wise ones.

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      It is great that you beautifully put what genocide means. However I am a bit shocked that you seemed to be in a denial that genocide is happening in Tamils traditional homeland.
      Is it difficult to find out how many Buddhas appearing overnight in Tamil area? No point in counting how many temples and churches are destroyed and being destroyed?
      If some body find difficult to see the mental suffering in people in North and east, their IQ level is questionable. There are sinhalese criminal with gun for every 3 tamils in North and east? is that what happening to Sinhalese?

      How many High security zone in North and east to systematically colonise the criminals in North and east while the tamil were made to displace and live behind barbed wire? is That what happening to Sinhalese?

      All the sinhalese talk about is LTTE, Prapa and VIP?

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        My dear sinhala friend,if you read the definition of genocide i have given,you will notice that it is mentioned that there should be a mental element which is an intention to destroy an ethnic group in addition to the physical elements of violence etc.Now can you tell me what gives you that idea that the government wants to destroy the tamils in their traditional lands?

        As for the physical acts itself we have to see whether they are taking place on a wider proportion than among sinhalese,to know whether tamils as a specific group are being targeted,or is it a malady of lawlessness of the country as a whole.I keep reading of shocking things happening among sinhalese too,for example the kahawatta murders,the british tourist being killed and his girlfriend gang raped,the number of child molestations etc.

        These are governance issues,not genocide issues and sooner the tamils have their own representatives governing their areas the better for them,and leaders like Premachandran are not helping by sabotaging the Indo Lanka accord which could be a good starting point on the path to devolution of powers to the tamils representatives in provincial governments.If they start to govern better than their sinhala counterparts then the pressure will be on the sinhala representatives from their constituents to get their act together.Healthy competition is always good.

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        and dear sinhala friend,the examples you have given here do not fall under the category of genocide which is a very serious charge.Bhuddha statues in the north is not going to dstroy the tamils.In fact me being a hindu,I read and try to follow what the Bhudddha said,and do you know that at one time the tamils also whould have been bhuddhist until hinduism would have been spread by the cholas.Hindu temples are slap bang in the midst of sinhalese,then why should bhuddhist statues not be among tamils.

        You say a lot of hindu temples have been destroyed by the government.Can you list them out to us?

        As for the mental suffering of the people of the north and east that you mention,it was already there when the war was raging for nearly 3 decades and many would have become mentally ill including under that LTTE tyrants rule of 2 decades. I agree with you that the government should have taken steps to ameliorate the situation by treating the tamils kindly after all what they have been through,but lack of sensitivity in this government is felt by the sinhalese too.

        You mention that for every 3 tamils there are 3 sinhalese criminals with guns,how did you come to that figure?If you are meaning the armed forces then give us exactly the number and compare with the tamil population at the last census.Also are you considering all the members of the armed forces as criminals?Are you a sinhalese ora tamil,because it is puzzling for me that a sinhalese can consider all the members of their armed forces as criminals.There will be always some bad eggs but there again it is a governance issue and if dicipline has slipped since Fonseka left,then they better find someone like him to bring back the discipline in the armed forces.

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          Shankar, You are right that there is no genocide in the truly accepted sense of the word. Many writers, particularly those of the Tamil diaspora and some western journalists use the word to swing opinion in their favour. However it is also true that the Tamils of the North have a genuine grouse when their freedoms are curtailed, when their lands are expropriated, when they are intimidated and abused by the armed services and other government para militaries. These do not occur in the South, if they did the people would have rebelled like those in the North. We all expect the Tamil people to stop complaining. They can do that and be patient for the moment if they can trust Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government to give them the freedoms and the rights enshrined in the constitution and those international covenants we are signatories of. But is there any sign that he is worthy of that trust? So what can we do to change the situation when all advice and criticism fall on deaf ears? This is why the Tamils are now looking forward to an externally induced solution. This is also why you and I cannot appease them.

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            Wickramasiri,I agree with you that a lot of unfair things that you mentioned are being done to the tamils which is puzzling me because on the one side there is mahinda pumping money into the place to develop the amenities to gt their votes and on the flip side of the coin we have Gota going at it like a sledge hammer as if the war is still going on and whatever votes got through development dissipated as a result as Dr Hooles article proves when in two years(2009-2011) everything that douglas won went up in a puff of smoke with the TNA winning handsomely.It is heading now for a loss to the TNA at the northern provincial council elections.Mahinda,thanks to the war mode Gota missed a golden opportunity to send them into retiremnt with their tail between their legs due to thir unabashed support of LTTE dictatorship which turned the people against them.Now again people are turning back to them when they realise that this is a hardline sinhala chauvinist government that has no intention to give them their political rights as a distinct ethnic community that have been living in distinct traditional lands for centuries.

            However I only wanted to point out that the claims genocide is grossly exaggerated and does not fit the bill as to what genocide really means.It should not be bandied about in casual terms without tamils not knowing what it really means because just like the boy who cried woof wolf for fun, tamils will not be taken seriously when the real wolf appears at the door.

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          Dear Shankar

          I thought this forum was doing some good by opening up the free speech and would be balanced. But what I could see is there are very well planned propaganda going on. Any way this is my view. Therefore you just ignore it . However I would like to put some counter argument for some of your comments.

          Paragraph 1) mental element? it is very subjective. You can not prove objectively. But just google the population of Tamils and their percentage in Tamils area, comparing with Sinhalese would give you the answer.Simple maths

          Paragraph 2) IT is absolutely nauseating and sickening when you compare the Kakawata murders and raping the british tourist to the crime committed to Tamils in their homeland, it would be pointless to discuss your statement. You better start ABC on this matter

          you mentioned that Tamils would have their own representative to govern their area????. Have you been to Tamils area to see what is going on here? Are you dreaming? I mentioned there are one criminal with gun to every Tamils living in North and East. This is just you need to exclude the Sinhalese who have been colonised to change the demography in Tamils area. You might call them as Srilankan army, Sinhalese or what ever, but for Tamils they are criminals. The Tamils just feel they are living behind barbed wire with criminals with guns guarding them. Just very simple. Even the university students would not be able express their view. The former army commanders are ruling them . Do you find it difficult to understand. I do not know where you live. The people who live outside to Tamil area see the place as paradise ( on top of the mass grave- genocide)

          Disciplined slipped since Sarath Fonseka left- This is a bloody joke. This is the man who said Tamils have to learn how to live as second class people in their their homeland. Do you expect him he would have led the criminals in the right path? Use your common sense.

          Temples and Churches- It is again no point to give you the mere number. If you can visit where the Navali church massacre, it would give you the answer.

          We can keep on like this.
          but the fact is that Tamils future in their homeland is very questionable. That will be proved in the very near future. Then you will understand What has happened so far. Genocide or what?
          It is a pity that you still compare that what is happening to Tamils for bloody fable.

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            Dear sinhala friend

            I agree that mental element can be subjective,but from actions done so far i cannot discern the government wanting to destroy the tamils.When hitler started to pack off the jews to concentration camps then it was easy to know his mental makeup and that he wanted to destroy the jews.

            You say it is nauseating to compare the kahawatte murders to the killings in the north.Why, did those poor women suffer less?

            I did not say that tamils have their own representatives to govern their areas.I said they should have and then these governance not genocide as you mention might start to reduce.

            How do you know that for tamils every sinhalese in the north and east is a criminal?That is why i asked you whether you are a sinhalese or a tamil,and no answer for that from you?have you lived in the north and east yourself?You are saying those who do not live there don’t know what is happening.Doesn’t that apply to you too if you don’t live there?

            You say Fonseka is a racist,so the army would be the same as it is now without him.We are not experts at predicting the future,I only mentioned that at that time under him the army was disciplined with more than 5000 court martials and the joke in army circles was if you go forward you face Jhonny(the jhonny mines)and if you go backward you have to face fonny(Fonseka).

            In your earlier comments you had mentioned that many temples and churches are being destroyed and that constitutes genocide.I asked you to list them for me and you come out with one church that was destroyed in 1995 by airforce bombing when intense fighting was taking place in the area.It is a bit rich that you complain that that this forum is being used by some for propaganda purposes,and now you seem to be one of those too due to your exaggerations and trying to create the wrong image of what is really happenning out there.

            I agree with you that tamils future in their homeland is questionable,but where I disagree is that currently there is genocide as you claim.In the future who knows?Hitler also started on the jews by first stoning their business establishments.That was not genocide at that time because nobody knew his mental makeup was to destroy the jews.Subsequent actions of his was plain to see what his objectives were.We have still not reached that point here.We will wait and see before passsing judgement in order to be fair to the other party.

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    The statement attributed to Premachandran is puzzling to say the least. Has any other TNA source confirmed a similar position? The TNA is assured of victory in the NP-PC elections, so why would it want to scuttle them? I will put a question mark against this article for the time being.

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      It is not Premachandran’s statement. It was the statement of Kajan Ponnambalam and Fr. Rayappu Joseph. According to Tamil Newspappers, Premachandran keep silent when this issue was discussed. Even Tamil websites critisised Premachandran not supporting Kajan. P’s argument for interim admin. It is sinhala media’s and politician’s tactics of quating TNA for their benefit.

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    Sri Lanka is back to square one on the ethnic conflict – due to the greed for power of the Rajapassa family which fears that the Tamils will be the only ones who can challenge them and liberate Lanka from the Rajapassa military dictatorship as the Sinhalaya modaya has been PASSIFIED by the Balu Sena and State Terrorism, land grabbing etc.
    In the context, India and the US should stop playing cat and mouse games with Lanka and just get together, do the dirty deed, and to TAKE OUT Gotabaya Rajapassa the white van goon who shoots from the hip – and spare us all his murderous peace!
    Then, they should divide Lanka up like Cyprus – Northeast to India – South to China.
    Sri Lanka has been divided and ruled before by European powers because of its own internal schisms and conflicts – the same is happening today!
    Northeast Sri Lanka will be absorbed into India, Hambantota which is an environmental disaster zone and model of Chinese style “development” can go to China, and Kandy and the western Province with Colombo can declare independence and become allied with the US!
    Voila, the new geopolitics of the Indian ocean!

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      Good idea Bond!
      Rajapassa’s DIVIDE and RULE policies of setting Sinhalaya modayas against Muslims and Tamil will result in a De facto three way division of Lanka – northeast to India for sure, China gets Rajapass’ Hambantota and the US has the last laugh.
      IN any case sovereignty and territorial integrity and all that crap is so old fashioned in this era of globalization and if we have to join a large State I’d throw in my hat with US since it is the most liberal and open and soon to be a BROWN people country!

      Personally, I d like Lanka to be the 51st State of the USA – then Lankas would be able to travel freely to US without having to queue for visas!

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    TNA’s ISGA presented to the Indian Parliament delegation by its President Mr Premachandran asks Delhi or Washinton to establsh it.

    The intended Boss of this TNA’s SGA is a militant who once headed a Terrorist outfit which was with the Indians when they invaded Srilanka.

    Therefore there is some chemistry between them.

    Prema however is a persona non grata in the leading countries in the West, according to some posters here.

    Would Washington, which is reeling from the recent devastating Terrorist attacks in Boston.want Mr Premachandran running his SGA in the former LTTE stronghold on it’s behalf?.

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      If Washington knew what it wants Afghanistan, Iraq and the Mid East wont be in the mess that they find themselves. The TNA which seems equally confused has got into bed with them ….

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      If Washington knew what it wants Afghanistan, Iraq and the Mid East wont be in the mess that they find themselves. The TNA which seems equally confused has got into bed with the USA ….

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    The TNA should get its act together. Various viewpoints emerge which tend to confuse and cloud the issues. Basically ISGA is not acceptable to 95% of the population of this country. Neither is it acceptable to India or the West. It means nothing to the Tamil people in the North as it will create a conflict which will further undermine their living conditions.

    So I wonder what the reason is to bring up ISGA. Maybe it is trying to ride on the high state of emotions in TN. But that is not the view of all the Indian people and is mainly due to the upcoming elections and after that it is likely to subside. So talking about ISGA is simply nonsense and reveals the shallow thinking of some politicians. It is treason against the state and against the interests of the tamils as well.

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      The TNA does seem to be very confused. The TNA MP Sumanthiran has reportedly said that the recent ‘ISGA’ proposal was conjured up by the civil society. How is it that it was stated by the TNA president?

      The situation is becoming like the LTTE claiming that it was the civil society that closed the Mavil Aru sluice gates.

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        No one is confused, except few colombo tamils who fear that they may loose their livelihood. Mostly, only one agenda, “separate eelam” period. everyone is waiting for one such opportunity to express, which will come at some point of time.

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    Dharisha,

    This is a well timed balanced article. If the Government wishes to abolish the 13th Amendment, which is certainly a threat to National Security, they must adapt the democratic process of a referendum.

    They cannot avoid heavy repercussions from external forces, if they keep skeletons in the cupboard such as the abolition of the 17th amendment, which has made a mockery of law and order, as well as our democratic constitutional framework. If not, the dream of becoming the wonder of Asia will become a bad dream of following the path of Egypt.

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    Expecting the northern provincial council’s election wold be like someone ‘waiting for godot ‘ !

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    If the NPC election is in doubt when will the general election be?

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    In my humble opinion the action of the government to have or not to have the PC elections in the North is an issue of GUTS. Does the present regime have the guts to hold the election and contest. If the election is not held or if the election is held under violent conditions it would clearly show the world that this regime does not have the guts. At that point of time there is no point in this government telling the whole world that they have won the war, because they would have significantly lost democracy.

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    Sinhala chauvinists are waiting to buckle the upcoming elections in the NP. If not ISGA, they would have invented even a Kosga. The trouble is the mendacious Rajapakses are caught badly as the Americans have included in their UNHRC Statement the Rajapakses commitment for the NP Elections in September. There is no getting away from that. Let us now see what this new political philosophy of Gothabayasm is going to do.

    Like we have 2 CJs, do we have 2 different Governments too?

    Senguttuvan

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