19 February, 2020

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The Question Of Self-Determination & The Demand For A Federal Solution To The National Question

By Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe

Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe

Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe

It is worth commenting on this issue of self-determination and federalism. It has, once again, become a ‘hot’ issue. These are proscribed words that have been expunged from the common political vocabulary and discourse. Words that can immediately incite feelings of fear, terror, anger and suspicion, even among liberals and moderates. This is because, the concepts self-determination and federalism have come to be equated with ‘separatist terrorism’ and the LTTE, among the broad masses, professionals and intellectuals. Of course, they have become the opening volley of the neo-fascist chauvinist marauders and their ideologues. The issue of self-determination and federalism is most current, with the Chief Minister of the Northern Province- Hon. Vigneswaran – openly declaring his view in public. His view is that any political solution to the National Question must be sought within a federal framework, based on the recognition of the inalienable right of the Tamil people to nationhood and statehood – that is, the right of self-determination.

First of all, this is a principled stand that takes exceptional courage of conviction. For one thing, the war on the part of the Lankan State waged by the Rajapakse Regime was designed and executed as a ‘war of national liberation of the Sinhala-Buddhist nation against a ‘Tamil terrorist conspiracy with a separatist agenda, led and dominated by the LTTE’. This chauvinist-supremacist ideology, politics and its accompanying military doctrine had a definite objective. That was to decapitate the head – the top leadership and cadre- of the LTTE and quartering its political and organizational body apart, and by that action. to liquidate the dream and aspiration for self-determination –seed, root and branch. The war was aimed at the final and decisive violent liquidation of the fundamental democratic right of the Tamil people to exercise nationhood and statehood. The war was to liquidate the LTTE, and with it, vanquish any dream or aspiration for independence and freedom. The war was mobilized based on ‘patriotism’. All those who opposed or resisted were treated as traitors. The war was most explicitly intended to impose the political will of the Sinhala-Buddhist Nation over all of society, as one, undivided, united country, expressed in the form of the Unitary State, forever under the command of the ruling Rajapaksa dynasty. Forget about the fact that under this Regime, the “Motherland” was open to plunder by the most rapacious drug dealers, international racketeers, and financiers that formed a crony-mafia cabal that robbed the people, amassed fortunes and ran the economy and the country to the ground.

That was a military project and a political agenda that have had lasting and most dreadful consequences. Now, the principle of the unitary state has come to embody and concentrate that majestic and heroic political, ideological and military victory over the ‘alien Dravidian forces and foreign powers’ that had conspired to divide the country and destroy the besieged Sinhala-Buddhist nation and civilization’. The Unitary State has been sanctified with the blood of the Tamil people and stands as a symbol of undisputed Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy and hegemony over the whole of the island and its people. No one in his right mind would even think of challenging this established and entrenched ideological, political and military status quo, lest he be branded and hounded as a torchbearer for the LTTE, and an agent of its separatist –terrorist agenda. The very thought, let alone any discussion, agitation, activity and struggle, on the question of self-determination and separation has been proscribed by the 6th Amendment to the Constitution, and is punishable for up to 20 in years in jail, and confiscation of all property. This is how the political frame and environment, and the political game, has been effectively constructed, where the defense of the unitary state is drawn as a dividing line between patriots and traitors, to be targeted as enemies of the State.

Federalism is a means of giving expression to the right of national self-determination, which means the right to form one’s own state, as an independent and fully-fledged nation. It incorporates the democratic right of nationhood and statehood. But it is this very demand, this fundamental democratic right and aspiration that had been buried in rivers of blood through the war of military conquest and occupation – at great cost and sacrifice! How dare does one think of snatching this glorious victory by raising the voice of federalism. It certainly would take exceptional courage of conviction for Hon. Vigneswaran to dare to challenge this ‘historic verdict’ of the final and decisive liquidation of Tamil nationhood and statehood. With this position, Vigneswaran has opened a veritable tinder box, where all stripes of political snakes and vipers shall come out to hunt and prey. Vigneswaran is blamed and even accused by many for being selfish, irresponsible and senselessly radical. He is vilified by some for capitulating to narrow nationalism and tailing the LTTE. He is caricatured as one who has become divorced from the people and who lives in a subjective world of his imaginary dreams and illusions.

It can be said that there are three distinct ideological and political trends within the Tamil national movement, reflecting the various class forces at play. One extreme nationalist trend clearly and unequivocally calls for a separate, independent state of a Greater Tamil Eelam. These are the ambitions of the relatively marginalized big compradors, who see no stakes in the present game and dispensation. The other extreme is the one that places all hopes on the present Ranil-Sirisena Regime and the Lankan State to deliver some acceptable solution – acceptable to them so they may share some power, and also some share of the spoils of imperialist exploitation and plunder. These trends are represented by the dominant landlord/comprador classes, who wish to bargain with imperialism, the regional status quo and the Regime for some autonomous share of power – , in gleeful unity with the brotherhood of oppressors. These forces, generally, are referred to as the ‘moderates’. This is because they are so flexible and eager to compromise with the State and the prevailing ruling status quo, that they could be relied upon to totally capitulate and become part of enforcing the game of the oppressors. Then there is Hon Vigneswaran, heading the Tamil People’s Council and the Northern Provincial Council, who stands uncompromisingly for a political solution based on recognition of the right of national self-determination to be exercised within a united country and shared sovereignty, that is, within a federal framework. That is the essence of the proposal for a federal solution.

In my considered view, in relation to the prevailing spectrum and landscape of opportunist bourgeois politics of the Tamil nation, this stand represents the most advanced, principled and balanced viewpoint of the Tamil national liberation struggle. Unlike those capitulating comprador – landlord forces, who would grovel before, and get kicked around by the hegemonic, chauvinist, supremacist Sinhala-Buddhist State and its terminally corrupt and vicious ruling class, Vigneswaran has objectively stood for the dignity, equality, security, autonomy and democratic freedom of the Tamil nation. He has declared his stand for the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lanka and its people, based on a system of shared power- both at the center and the periphery. This is while reaching out to the oppressed Sinhala masses in powerful symbolic gestures and measures of solidarity. In these respects, Hon. Vigneswaran has demonstrated exceptional qualities of statesmanship – as an honest, committed, progressive bourgeois democratic force. The federal solution is offered as a negotiating platform, subject to discussion and mutual compromise from all sides. However, it is clear that any negotiated settlement must be based on respect for the right of national self-determination of the Tamil people.
Federalism is a constitutional principle and a form of State that can guarantee the broadest and fullest autonomy and democratic freedom for diverse nations to realize their national-democratic aspirations, based on relations of unity, solidarity and cooperation, for the common good. The struggle for the right of self-determination is a struggle for freedom and independence. It is a struggle to be liberated from national oppression and subjugation. It is a struggle aimed at the oppressor by the oppressed, to overthrow oppression – no matter who leads it. Therefore, any democratic political settlement must be based on recognizing the right of self-determination. Recognition of the democratic right of self-determination is not a call for separation. In proven fact and deed, federalism is the best solution to prevent separation, since it offers a way for all the diverse nationalities and communities to share their Land and their Future, together as a human community and as an inseparable, indivisible Nation, bound by relations of voluntary union, conscious choice and positive coexistence.

The principled stand taken by Wigneswaran and his call for a federal solution may not appear practical or pragmatic. He may be criticized, as he is, for going back to the pre-war era, for holding on to the legacy of the armed struggle and still grieving for the loss and sacrifice, and for raking up the ghost of the LTTE and so on. He is being lambasted for being provocative, extreme, radical and irresponsible; for providing the necessary ammunition to the chauvinist-fascist camp to derail the’ liberal-pluralist’ Ranil-Sirisena Reforms.

Well, the first thing to say is that no liberation struggle can ever win victory by playing up to the oppressor, playing his game, and waiting until freedom is delivered on a golden platter. If you really wish to struggle for liberation, to fight to win freedom, you cannot play by the rules of the game. This game has been set up to force and channel all opposition and resistance into a choice between various fractions of the very same ruling class. Then, you are forced to choose between this or that oppressor, to keep the system of oppression going. You cannot abide by the framework, the terms, conditions, even the vocabulary imposed and enforced by the oppressor. You must have faith in your own conviction and rely on your own strength, to generate the peak of conscious energy for standing for truth and principle, above all else. You must formulate your own objectives, define your principles and methods of struggle, and make up the framework in which you need to fight and win – on your terms. Well, if being pragmatic and reasonable means that you have to capitulate to the enemy and betray the people and the struggle for liberation, just to satisfy the status quo, then, by all means, you have to be most radical, provocative and challenging against the status–quo.

In my opinion, the prevailing Lankan State is a creation by colonial powers to keep us forever in (neo) colonial subjugation, which is managed and controlled by a class of Comprador-Bureaucratic Capitalists, tied to Imperialism. It has been designed and structured as a majoritarian, hegemonic, chauvinist class dictatorship, based on greasing, perpetuating and living off the system of imperialist exploitation, profit and plunder. ‘Divide and conquer’ is an integral part of division and suppression of the mass revolutionary class struggle against the system and the State. The ideology and politics of Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism, hegemony and supremacy is not an aberration, but an essential, integral , foundational element of the State. Mahinda, as much as Ranil or Sirisena, or any other, are but manifestations, agents and enforcers of this dysfunctional, defunct, decomposed, feudal-(neo) colonial state.

It would be a fatal illusion to place hopes that this State, drenched with the blood of the people, or any of its loyal enforcers or guardians, would ever have the need, nor the will and capacity to produce a democratic political settlement to the National Question, based on recognizing the right of self-determination. Just for the simple truth that it is this very State and ruling class that have reigned genocidal terror and destruction upon the Tamil nation, just to keep this Unitary State in tack and to keep them in power.

The alternative is for the advanced revolutionary forces to forge their principled unity to build a genuine, advanced, revolutionary party, movement and united front that can mobilize the oppressed masses and unify all national-democratic and revolutionary class struggles against the common target – imperialism and the feudal-colonial State. Then only that we can establish an independent, self-reliant, people’s democratic state to represent the principled revolutionary unity of the all the oppressed classes, nations and communities constituting the People of Lanka. Then shall we write our own history, rejoice in our diversity, and take a historic leap to the outer horizons of the 21st Century, to stand tall, independent and proud among the community of nations – equal to all and second to none!

It depends upon those who dare to cross the line, reach across the barricades, reach for the skies; crush the old frames and put on new lenses, to see beyond the horizon to gaze at the light of freedom; those advanced forces of history who have the will, conviction, consciousness and courage to build the organizational foundations of the people’s democratic revolution of Lanka. While respecting Hon. Vigneswaran for his principled and courageous stand, this is the message that we can truthfully give the people.

*The writer is Secretary; Ceylon Communist Party-Maoist.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    4

    At least a single Sinhalese prepared to understand and accept the validity of the call for internal rule for the Tamil Nation in the NEP, within an undivided country, is a victory for a society struggling for decades to find its equilibrium. Fortunately, for us, at the present point of time there are several thousands of this grouping. The rank is increasing albeit somewhat slowly.

    If the Southern Province, the Wayamba and others are allowed the right to rule themselves and develop their regions why, in God’s name, are the Tamils refused this – for so long. This delusional fear of Separation is kept on the boil to intimidate and scare the somewhat insufficiently informed Sinhalese masses. Majoritarian interests find the status quo to their advantage and so the politicised Buddhist clergy, sections of the army-Police and the Sinhala extreme – all harping on this imaginary fear. The sooner the Sinhala majority see the issue with the political maturity and clarity of men like Comrade Surendra Ajith Rupasinghe the better for unity and reconciliation. These men and women have analysed the complex issuein detail and have come to their conclusion.

    It was good to read recently a Nation-wide Survey conducted by CPA reveals most Sinhalese in the country today agree that adequate devolution may be a way forward to the country.

    Kettikaran

    • 5
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      Kettikaran

      Before you leave the CT home page scan down to see how many full fledged articles and comments you can find by Tamils justifying separation.

      THE greatest lesson in recent history this country should not forget is that even after RW-VP pact which gave near total self rule for North and East the Tamils, supremely confident of their military outfit, decided to go for the final goal irrespective of the cost in blood.

      Federalism will need huge military resouces to maintain it federal.

      Soma

      • 11
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        somaasss

        “THE greatest lesson in recent history this country should not forget is that even after RW-VP pact which gave near total self rule for North and East the Tamils,”

        The pact was the first step in the destruction of LTTE and the surrender of VP to the armed forces.

        It is too sophisticated a strategy for the likes of you (bounded only by emotion) to grasp.

        “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” – Sun Tzu ( 6th century BCE) and popularised by the godfather.

        • 3
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          NV

          What you mean to say is that Tamils swallowed the rope dŕopped by cunning Ranil W and went on fighting making way for Rajapaksha to come along , bribe the sole representative to manipulate the elections and destroy them? What an insult to the intelligence of Tamils.

          As I am not sofiscated enough to grasp this level strategy can you elaborate it a bit further?

          Soma

          • 7
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            somaass

            “What you mean to say is that Tamils swallowed the rope dŕopped by cunning Ranil W”

            Did Tamils have a choice when the stupid psychopath was terrorising the people? They were not part of VP’s “decision making process”. I am guessing VP also must have thought (like you) he could be cleverer than the rest of the world.

            Hindians sent in the Norwegians as US sent them to Palestine, you know what happened entered the Palestinian/Israeli equation.

            Ranil grabbed the opportunity and rest is history. In the mean time Hindians were preparing Chandrika for an all out war with LTTE.

            Have you ever asked yourself a question? Who did contribute the large amount of cash that was given to VP for his services to democracy?

            “What an insult to the intelligence of Tamils.”

            Whether they have any part in VP’s decision or not as far as I know Tamils are as stupid as their Sinhala brethren.

            “As I am not sofiscated enough to grasp this level strategy can you elaborate it a bit further?”

            You may not possess nuclear weapons at the same time you may not hesitate to use them.

            You should interview Chandrika, Sen then Hindian Viceroy to Colombo, Shiva Sankaran Menon, South Block, key members of RAW …… Gota, MR, Solheim, …………… if you want to find out the truth.

            • 3
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              vedda
              Great fiction!

              • 7
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                Nuisance the stupid I

                “Great fiction!”.

                Do you think its better than Mahawansa and Gota’s war?

          • 4
            8

            Soma,
            Excellent answer.
            Name calling and personal attacks (by Vedda) means less intellectual capacity. What I notice day in and day out is lack of substance!

            Keep up the good work!

          • 7
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            somaass

            Nuisance the stupid I says “Keep up the good work” ..

            What have you done to her?

  • 6
    9

    The writer has failed to clarify which segment or segments of people in Sri Lanka constitute “Tamil Nation” in respect of a “polical solution”?
    Obviously no meaningful discussion can proceed on the subject without clear identification of “Tamil Nation”.

    Does the “Tamil Nation ” in the context of a polical solution encompas all Tamil speaking people in the island irrespective of their religion or date of arrival OR it is confined to Hindu and Christian Tamils excluding those Tamils who practise Islam as their religion and those who work in the plantations?

    Armed with a clear, unambiguous definition we can now sit down to formulate a suitable devolution model which covers at least 90 % of them.

    Soma

    • 8
      3

      soma,

      If you did not comprehend the substance of the article, please re-read slowly digesting his rationale arguments. It will open your eyes. In order for you to do this, you will need be devoid of the unsubstantiated fear of India. If you read anything with this consumed fear, you will not objectively understand anything. Do not get yourself tangled up with semantics in terms of what is a Tamil nation!

      When the ltte was alive and kicking, many, many Sinhala who were coming forward declairing that we need to defeat the ltte terrorism with Tamil moderates and subsequently, we will all work together to resolve the Tamil question along the federal concept. To no one’s surprise, as soon as the ltte was defeated, those ostensible Sinhala were nowhere to be seen!

      soma, I am sure you are one of those Sinhala, who is working overtime to expunge the notion of self-determination along the federal concept. You promise that you will work and fight for the rights of the Tamils! You must think that we are fools or born yesterday!

      • 3
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        B.I.

        Read my comment again, read the irrevelant thing you have wrtten and go through the answer attempted by Paul below (which implies that it is Hindu and Christian Tamils in the North) to my question.

        Soma

      • 3
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        BI
        Are you asking Soma to be stupid like separatist Tamils? Why do you bring up India all the time? India is going to be your savior now? What happened to the US? The US apparently dropped the Fake “Tamil problem” issue once they realize the truth.
        So far no one has convinced anyone that Tamils need federalism in any form. They are a minority as in any country.

        • 6
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          Euse,

          This is your Sinhala chauvinistic view I cannot help on that! soma is fearful of India and you too are petrified of her but you do not want to admit it.

          The need for a federal solution for the Tamil question is well advanced and soon it will be a reality. It is better you get used to the idea.

          If I were you I would spend all my energy in transforming SL into a secular, diverse and multilingual country. May be such a situation will convince the Tamils to settle for something lesser than a full-blown federal solution. You need to stop denying the undeniable discrimination towards the Tamils and torn down your arrogence by understanding the aspirations of the Tamils. You cannot simply replace the colonial masters and become masters of the Tamils.

          • 3
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            BI,
            You have the freedom to think any way you want. I have or had no intention of becoming like colonial masters of Tamils. These are the fictional problems what Tamils like you are paranoid about.
            But Sri Lanka is one country where all citizens are living without any barriers or different laws. Only the terrorist, terror supporters and separatist think other wise. There are no differences for any one who works hard and try to better themselves. People who lack a drive to educate, work hard and better their lives only come up with all these fake discrimination, ethnic cleansing and genocide garbage. Even if they get their own country these delinquents will be a burden to their country. Any Tamil who works hard can make it in SL whether in the north or south. There are thousands of such successful Tamils in the south. Stop fooling yourself with this fake “Tamil problem” issue while other Tamils are progressing.

            • 5
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              Euse,

              You are trying to teach the old grandmother as to how to suck the eggs! The Tamils are the embodiment of hardworking! You need to be a Tamil to experience the real issues that they face. Your mere saying that everyone is equal will not cut it! You need to get real and accept that there are really problems along lines of ethnicity. You need to allow the Tamils to form a federal governance and advance the country democratically. At the same time promote trilingualism and integrated commerce in order to galvanise the peoples into forming Sri Lankan identity. This is the only way forward.

            • 2
              1

              Any Tamil who works hard can make it in SL whether in the north or south. There are thousands of such successful Tamils in the south.

              You appears to be keeping the count. Is that you reported to your commander Udaya Gammanpila that the time is ripe and he was struggling maximum using a story of”Sampanthar broke Army barriers and Raided the Camp, Raise up the Patriots, let’s capture the Traitor” to bring in a looting party like 1916,1958,1971,1977,1983,2005-2015…?

              But Sri Lanka is one country where all citizens are living without any barriers or different laws. So which country deport Tamils, Which country brought Sinhala Only? who implemented Standardization? what the Lankawe’s 150,000 doing within 500,000 northern Tamils? Do you mean these are happening in another Sinhala nation? So when you were from 1956, it is was the time of the your definition Terrorist? Tell me a name of looter ever prosecuted under Lanakwe’s law.

              People who lack a drive to educate, work hard and better their lives only come up with all these fake discrimination, ethnic cleansing and genocide garbage. Now I doubt if you are a person writing matters related to the Lankawe we are taking. Can you define as which is your Lankawe? UNP got more than 5.10 Million Votes, SLFP got 4.3 Million in 2015 August. They Both formed the New Royal Yahapalana Goverment. Yahapalanaya Goverment got about 89% of all the votes. They both agreed on the OISL report UNHRC released and accepted to investigate the war crime. Last September there was no FSP. They all, including the UPFA’s fringes, co-sponsored the resolution on this, in September 2015. Specially Mangala’s contribution on this relution is recognizable as he is still sailing on two boats one leg on each, the UNP & SLFP. So now of which country people you are talking about “People who lack a drive to educate, work hard and better” ? The Sinhala Buddhists of Lanakwe who accepted the fake discrimination at UNHRC?

              • 2
                1

                mallai
                Only terrorist and terror supporters interpret the way you do. Where do you live? Do you live in SL or a diaspora Tamil? Your list of calendar years and what happened in those years are to be blamed on Tamils too. Satyagraha, hartal, anti gov. protest and suicide bombings are the real reasons. I am tired of hearing this been repeated over and over again. If any one whether tamil or sinhalese is involved in any anti-gov. activity they should be stopped. In spite of all that Tamils are successful and thriving in the south. Visit Colombo, Kandy Galle or any other city and see how they are involved in professions, business and in government service. People like who are terror supporters are the ones who show negativity towards Tamils who are doing well.
                Who deported which Tamils? Sinhala only and standardization affected many Sinhalese too. Stop fake complaints. All gov. documents are available in Tamil too. Are you talking about 150k soldiers? They are there to thwart any terrorism. They will be out once the threat is gone.
                Your UNHRC scenerio is not valid. There were no human right violations at the end of the war. SL was fighting a terror war where the enemy can’t be identified from a civilian and the LTTE used civilians as human shields. Reconciliation with whom? The terrorists? Innocent Tamils had nothing to do with terrorism.

        • 6
          2

          Nuisance the stupid I

          “Are you asking Soma to be stupid like separatist Tamils?”

          Do you know who the resident stupids are?

          To begin with, you, sach, Dimwit Jimmy, somass, D Nimal, Lal loo, Sarojini, …..

    • 6
      3

      Tamil nation encompasses all people who want to be identified as Tamil irrespective of religion or caste so this includes the Tamil Muslims, however it is them who want to exclude themselves from the rest of the Tamil nation ,their real Tamil origin and heritage and want to identify themselves with some sort of extremist Salafist Islamic identity and the Arabs, despite the Arabs not considering them of Arab heritage and treat them like any other South Asian Muslim.
      The island has three Tamil communities the ancient indigenous Eelam Tamil nation that has an history in the island since at least 2nd century BCE. The Indian origin largely estate Tamils and the Tamil Muslims who prefer to call themselves as Sri Lankan Moors. The later two are largely of recent and fairly recent of Indian immigrant origin respectively.
      It is the ancient Eelam Tamil nation, that like the Scots and the Welsh in Britain that have lived and ruled in a well defined territory and land since ancient times and have a claim to these lands and self determination. Just like the Sinhalese down south. The other two Tamil groups are communities that deserve protection and equality like all other minorities but have no claim to any land. They live amongst the Eelam Tamil nation in the north and east and amongst the Sinhalese down south. Just like the West Indian and South Asian immigrants in Britain. As fellow Tamils they are welcome to live in our land.
      70% of the indigenous Eelam Tamils live in their own lands in the north east and the rest largely in Colombo . The vast majority of the Tamil speakers living amongst the Sinhalese are Indian origin or Muslim. Not the Eelam Tamils. You know this but are trying to twist this for your racist Sinhalese genocidal agenda.

      • 4
        6

        In my opinion, the prevailing Lankan State is a creation by colonial powers to keep us forever in (neo) colonial subjugation

        Lanka is a SLFP construct. Sinhale, Chinkalam is not not a colonial construct.

        The Tamils are slaves who do not want to go back to Tamil Nadu.

        http://jaffnahistory.com/Eastern_Province/Sinhala_Villages_of_Eastern_Lanka_1695.html
        http://jaffnahistory.com/Northern_Province/Sinhala_Villages_of_Jaffna_1695.html

        • 5
          2

          Vibhushana

          “Lanka is a SLFP construct. Sinhale, Chinkalam is not not a colonial construct.”

          Sinhala/Buddhism is the flip side of protestant Christianity, a colonial construct hugely supported by the racist Anagarika Dharmapala (a homeless one)

      • 4
        5

        Paul

        Thanks. So it is the Hindu and Christian Tamils in the North excluding Tamils of other religions and those arrived during the British?

        Is this the official position of TNA? Why do they use the words
        Tamils, Tamil Nation and Tamil Speaking People interchangeably? Why are they trying to bamboozle every one ? A numbers game?

        Now it boils down to this. If it is only Hindu and Christian Tamils in the North then it is less than 5% of the total population claiming 1/3 of territory which looks plain ridiculous in the face of international community and if it is all Tamil speaking people they are all over in the island in pockets and setting up federal units looks ridiculously impractical.

        Soma

        • 7
          3

          somaaass

          “Is this the official position of TNA? Why do they use the words Tamils, Tamil Nation and Tamil Speaking People interchangeably?”

          I am guessing, the reason being racists in the opposite camps ask the same old stupid question in many guises.

          If you really wanted to know the answer you could have found out many moons ago.

          • 3
            6

            Vedda,
            Stupid answer!

            • 2
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              Nuisance the stupid I

              “Stupid answer!”

              For a stupid.

        • 3
          2

          Somass the north and east have always been their land not Sinhalese nor Muslim. The Muslims in the east, only became powerful thanks to the illegal Sinhalese settlers, who are helping them to marginalise the eastern Tamils, the Sinhalese led Sri Lankan government and armed forces are encouraging this.
          Your arguments are stupid and racist. The North and East is Tamil land and you Sinhalese have never owned it all but are now trying to steal it thanks to the British.
          When the British arrived the Tamil lands were separately ruled and administered from the Sinhalese lands down south, it was they who united this and created a unitary state, for their own conveniences in 1833. They had no right to have done this and should have left is as they found or created a federal form of government, at least when they left in 1948. They never bothered and left a unitary state with the power only vested with the Sinhalese who only became a majority due to this unitary form of government and also thanks to the Portuguese and the Dutch colonials who imported a large amount of South Indian low castes to the south of the island, who within a few centuries changed their religion and language and called themselves Sinhalese, making up around 50% of the present day Sinhalese. If not for the white colonial rule the Sinhalese would have never been a majority or powerful but would have still remained subjected to various Tamil dynasties and aristocrats.
          It does not matter is only 5% of the island’s population lives in the North and a another 3% in the east. This has been their land not yours. Do not try to use the unitary state or the excuse that Sinhalese are the majority in this unitary state to deny the Tamils their land.
          No Hindi speaking person in India states Tamils Malayalees Telugus Bengali or Punjabi have no right to their lands as they only make up a small percentage of the Indian population individually and the Hindi speakers are the largest majority. No Englishman or woman states that the Scots and Welsh have no right to self rule or a federal form of government as Scotland has only 5% of Britain’s population and the population of Wales is only around 1%. Only Sinhalese racists like you try to bring all these flimsy excuses to deny the islands indigenous Eelam Tamils their just rights and self determination
          No one is asking for Tamil Buntustans in the Sinhalese south. Tamil speaking people may be all over the island but they are largely Indian origin and Muslims but are not the Indigenous Eelam Tamils and do not try to equate them with us.
          Further if the Sinhalese in the North and East,99% of whom were only settled illegally in the past 60-30 years and still being settled, using the racist Sinhalese government might on ethnically cleansed Tamil lands, are now claiming Sinhalese Bautustans in the north and east, the Indian origin Tamils and the Tamil Muslims have far more right to claim for Tamil Bantustans in the south, where they had lived for centuries and have not ethnically cleansed anyone.
          Sinhalese are welcome in the north and east, as long as they arrive legally and purchase lands legally from the Tamil owners, however illegal Sinhalese settlers deliberately settled using the Sinhalese government and Sinhalese armed forces might like what they are have done in Amparai Trincomallee and now are doing this in Mannar and Batticaloa, on ethnically cleansed Tamil lands in order to deliberately change the ethnic balance and the demography of the Tamil north and east are not welcome. These low lives have not Contributed to anything in this region other than strife to the Tamils

      • 4
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        prs
        You say; “As fellow Tamils they are welcome to live in our land.”

        Are the Sinhalese welcome to live in your land? YES or NO
        If NO why?

    • 4
      4

      Dear Soma

      I know you mean well – and like most liberal and accomodating Sinhalese fear Federalism, Devolution means immediate physical association with Tamilnadu. The fear of Tamilnadu is entrenched deeply in the Sinhala psyche – from the time of Dustagamini. Please take this out of your mind. Tamilnadu and India want this recurring headache out of their Agenda, asap. Even indigenous Tamils, despite deep mental scars and suffering feel more comfortable with the South than with anyone else. As they say so eloquently, let’s give peace a chance. In this context, I see you are part of this emerging change I referred when you note :-

      “Armed with a clear, unambiguous definition we can now sit down to formulate a suitable devolution model which covers at least 90 % of them….”

      It bodes well to our political landscape there is a change of mind and mood in the Sinhala extreme. Sinhala-Tamil unity will benefit both sides now and in the future as we can, once we settle our decades of differences, then move towards permanent
      peace, reconciliation and economic progress – taking other communities with us along in this welcome path. This, as many now see, is in sight.

      Kettikaran

      • 6
        4

        Kettikaran

        “I know you mean well”

        He means well whilst his intentions are suspect.

        Do his thoughts, words and actions means the same? I doubt it.

        “As they say so eloquently, let’s give peace a chance.”

        They also say have more sex for peace.

      • 4
        4

        ketti
        It is not fear of association with Tamil Nadu. It is simply,

        1. 12% of the population has no reason to have a nation/self determination/self rule/federalism/etc. etc. What is next? self rule for Buddhists? Christians? Muslims? Gays and Lesbians? Transsexuals? Where will this end??

        2. Yes I have the fear of terrorism raising its ugly head again!

        • 4
          2

          Nuisance the stupid I

          Nation defined

          A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory.

          ” What is next? self rule for Buddhists? Christians? Muslims? Gays and Lesbians? Transsexuals? Where will this end??”

          Because of your stupidity we may one day end up as having multiple nations.

          “Yes I have the fear of terrorism raising its ugly head again!”

          Leave the worrying to Hindians.

          Go to bed sleep well.

  • 4
    2

    A very well reasoned paper. Yes indeed, A federal system does not mean separation. It is in fact an alternative to separation. Merely because a terrorist organisation like the LTTE advocated internal self determination it does not mean it is a bad thing. In fact, in 2005, at the Geneva peace talks, when a federal solution was suggested, it was rejected by the LTTE leader. Bensen

  • 7
    3

    Thank you Mr. Rupesinge for your courageous appreciation of the Tamil demand for the reight of self-determination and federalism.

    The contextual realities of Sri Lankan government and ist peoples, the present Situation of the international community with ist Major powers, and above all the Situation victims of the war and those still struggling to survive further oppression every day cannot be overlooked.

    Let more Rupesinghes speak outand enlighten the misled masses to help find a reasonable way of peaceful coexistence.

    • 3
      5

      Rev. Father SJE,
      Don’t have much hope in this Comerade Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe, Secretart of the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist). Because his kind does not support freedom of religion too. I guess you are still a practicing Catholic who is not contemplating on becoming a communists.
      I have some questions for you;
      Why didn’t you take any steps to get help from the international community when the LTTE was suicide murdering innocent civilians (both Tamil and Sinhalese) for 30 years?
      Without doing anything why are you talking about victims of the war now? Are you talking about the Tamil victims only?
      Why don’t you talk about over 100,000 innocent civilians who were suicide murdered (mostly Sinhalese) by the LTTE before the end of the war?
      Are you a practicing Catholic or left the religion and priesthood?

      • 3
        3

        Eusense:

        “Why didn’t you take any steps to get help from the international community when the LTTE was suicide murdering innocent civilians (both Tamil and Sinhalese) for 30 years?”

        What kind of steps? Please amplify.
        What and which international community you are talking about.
        Where is the source of your information that it was mostly Sinhalese among the 100,000 civilians killed?
        When you claim mostly, what percentage approximately was that – 5% , 10%?
        Donkey, donkey, does it really matter what religion does someone belong to or is practising to talk about human rights – what a dump dud?

        Now my questions to you?

        What were you doing when the STF shot and killed the Trinco five in cold blood (probably paying more attention to your dick)?
        What were you doing when the ACF 17 were murdered in cold blood?
        What were you doing when the Jaffna Library was burnt down by Sinhalese hoodlums?

        • 3
          1

          jansee
          I did not know I was dealing with retards here!
          What kind of steps?? As a Tamil catholic priest he should have first talk to the #1 murderer Parayabakaran to stop this carnage of blasting innocent civilians for no fault of their’s. Second he should have appealed and got help from the Pope to let the world know of cold blooded suicide murdering that is going on in Sri Lanka.
          Are you a retard not even to have an idea what part this priest could have played? You don’t know what the international community is? Try to find out moron!
          Go back and find any report that is in the web after a Tamil suicide murder to see how many civilians deaths have occurred up to then in those reports. What a stupido are you? LTTE murderers blasted more civilians in the south than anywhere else. You are not worth even to give percentages of Sinhalese as you are a dud.
          Who cares what religion this guy is? As a priest he should talk about human rights of innocent civilians not cold blooded terrorists.
          Are you sweating for the Trinco terrorists? What did your Cold blooded murderer Parayabakaran think when he blasted innocent civilians and unsuspecting soldiers the consequences will be?
          Bring roses to terror suspects?
          The important thing is SL annihilated this cold blooded murderers to ashes. You can shed tears for them but SL will never allow any kind of terrorism to raise its head ever again.

          • 2
            3

            Nuisance

            ” Parayabakaran”

            Who is this chap? Is he your toyboy?

          • 0
            2

            Eusense:

            “LTTE murderers blasted more civilians in the south than anywhere else. You are not worth even to give percentages of Sinhalese as you are a dud.”

            Of course you can’t give proof or percentage of figures because you are a pathetic liar. You lie you way through and think you are that smart. To the contrary, you morons have earned a reputation as pathetic liars with nil credibility. How more stupid you can get in expecting us to believe your phony figures.

            Well, the sinhalese had their own lapdogs from their churches who should have the balls to appeal to the Pope. And may be you were a blind outcast but surely you are not suggesting that Pope should do the work of your dropping-garbs monks, who instead were doing street battles.

            Well, while Prabhakaran was blasting your angel master was parading with a human charter in one hand and the gun in the other. You phony donkeys, who are you trying to hoodwink. Prabhakaran is a hero who took the pants off many murderers, just that you were lucky enough to evade the radar. Anyway, your boast is hollow – you were not able to pin him alone. Go ask your master – he will tell you, as he did in public, that he could not have won the war without India’s help – short of saying you had to borrow others dicks to perform. Shame on you.

      • 2
        1

        “Why don’t you talk about over 100,000 innocent civilians who were suicide murdered (mostly Sinhalese) by the LTTE before the end of the war?”

        The problem is your Appe Andu governments. Who ever could have have killed them, it is he government has to bring them into record. Goverment has to acknowledge to families of their loved ones losses. They are not filing cases for even Lasantha murder, Thajudeen murder, then, when do you think they are going to come to you and get your list to file a case? Why don’t you go this June and give your list at UNHRC? Even you appears not ready to talk about 100,000 Sinhalese killed by LTTE, are. Then can you tell me about your programs.

        (If I am your boss sening here to write, I would not simply deny your pay, even would hand over you to the New King give some whipping with his stingray tail for your foolish talks)

        • 3
          1

          mallai
          Are you OK?
          It is a waste of time with you. Enjoy your life. Thank god you were not killed by a suicide murderer before Sri Lanka ended that brutal Tamil terror war.

  • 6
    3

    Soma.

    Whenever articles relating to Self-Determination,Federal Solution,National Question etc appear on these pages you react like the El-Nino- an abnormal warming of your surface!

    • 4
      6

      Yes, because I do not want to see another bloodshed in my lifetime.

      Soma

      • 8
        3

        somaass

        “Yes, because I do not want to see another bloodshed in my lifetime.”

        Since you are the cause of bloodshed, it is for you to amend your thoughts, words and actions.

        Earlier on several occasions you have threatened a few commentators with your majoritarian mindset.

        What are the bloodshed have you in your mind, just the 30 years of Tamil terrorism?

        In case you might have conveniently forgotten the other, I just want to jog your memory, 1915, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1971, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1987-1991, …….. not to mention the Welikada Massacre.

        • 4
          3

          vedda
          If there was blood shed any time anywhere in SL, it was due to either terror attacks or maintaining peace and order. Be it Tamil terrorism or Sinhalese terrorism it has to be stopped for the peaceful existence of the majority population who are not involved in such disruptions.

          • 4
            3

            Nuisance the stupid I

            When exactly did terrorism start in this island?

            If you can’t answer this simple question just forget it.

          • 9
            2

            Eusense,

            For starters, Tamil blood flowed in many parts of Colombo/WP, Gal Oya, Padaviya, Anuradhapura and other places in the South in 1958 when there was no talk of Separation, Federalism etc., Tarring a few Sinhala letters in cars cannot lead to such devilry of a people believed to come under the gentle influence of The Compassionate One. It was a case of Sinhala thugs lead by Sinhala politicians satisfying their diabolic nature by slaughtering unarmed Tamil women, children, the old and many men. It was a Sinhala journalist, Tarzie Vittachi, who had the strength to condemn this in his book “Emergency ’58” He was called anti-Sinhala, traitor and so forth. This brilliant man was eventually booted out of the country.

            Your argument does not stand neutral scrutiny.

            Kettikaran

  • 6
    3

    It is very nice to read these kind of article from the intellectuals like Mr.Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe etc.

    CT may compare the articles like this with those articles from #s like HLDM and IH.

    CT should encourage the articles from the intellectuals like Mr.Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe and more in CT.

    • 3
      6

      R.T.

      Mr Rupasinghe is pro Ealam. HLDN and IH are anti Ealam. Me too.

      Maoists are a rare species, almost extinct.

      Soma

      • 8
        3

        somaass

        “Mr Rupasinghe is pro Ealam. HLDN and IH are anti Ealam. Me too.”

        Me too anti Eelam (as a Separate state) however, I am opposed to racists like you, HLD M, IH, and ……….. many others.

      • 1
        0

        [Maoists are a rare species, almost extinct.]

        They are unadulterated and but not “hybridized”.

  • 4
    8

    The right of “self-determination” will not apply for Sri Lankan state. By and large Federal state also will cater for Tamil chauvinism and communal politics of Tamil petty bourgeoisies, who are having agenda for separatism by partition of People of Sri Lankan.

    TNA is for Federalism. LTTE was similar politics of rule by GUN politics on war footing ,TNA is/was not for national democratic revolution led by proletarian revolutionary class of Tamils ,
    Sinhalese and Muslims. TNA for USA and Indian proxies forces

    Old slogans of left-wing childishness and dogmatic Marxism has to give up the case of Sri Lankan politics of democratic and socialist revolution is concern.

  • 8
    3

    D.Nimal

    “The right of “self-determination” will not apply for Sri Lankan state.”

    Why not?

    “By and large Federal state also will cater for Tamil chauvinism and communal politics of Tamil petty bourgeoisies, who are having agenda for separatism by partition of People of Sri Lankan.”

    Can we have proof?

  • 3
    6

    Rupasinghe,
    Are you serious???
    You say ” For one thing, the war on the part of the Lankan State waged by the Rajapakse Regime was designed and executed as a ‘war of national liberation of the Sinhala-Buddhist nation against a ‘Tamil terrorist conspiracy with a separatist agenda, led and dominated by the LTTE’. This chauvinist-supremacist ideology, politics and its accompanying military doctrine had a definite objective. That was to decapitate the head – the top leadership and cadre- of the LTTE and quartering its political and organizational body apart, and by that action. to liquidate the dream and aspiration for self-determination –seed, root and branch. The war was aimed at the final and decisive violent liquidation of the fundamental democratic right of the Tamil people to exercise nationhood and statehood.”
    It is the most rediculous bunch of statements I have ever heard. I am ashamed even to call my self a Sinhalese when as a Sinhalese you make such nonsensical bunch of garbage. Let me explain why I say this with some questions for you.

    Did you want the brutal LTTE terror war, that already killed over 100,000 innocent Sinhalese and Tamil civilians by 2008, to continue?

    Why do you think the GOSL attempted so many times to negotiate with the LTTE with the help of Norway etc. while the LTTE was rebuilding their arms?

    Why did not the Tamil leaders get the help of foreign countries to negotiate something prior to resorting to terrorism and violence?

    Do you really know what these “Tamil issues” and “Tamil problems” that these separatist Tamils are talking about? (none of them is ready to explain what they are!!)

    As a Sinhalese have you ever discriminated against any Tamil?

    I need you to answer each of my questions if not you too are a fake accuser of discrimination, genocide and ethnic cleansing like the terrorist Tamils.
    I am all out for the GOSL to negotiate a settlement with Tamils if there are REAL and LEGITIMATE issues affecting the Tamils.

  • 4
    1

    In August 1998, the Canadian Supreme Court mentioned as follows:
    “A state whose government represents the whole of the people or peoples resident within its territory, on a basis of equality and without discrimination, and respects the principles of self-determination in its internal arrangements, is entitled to maintain its territorial integrity under international law and to have that territorial integrity recognized by other states.”
    The above decision is consistent with the UN Declaration on Friendly Relations 1970 adopted by the General assembly that upholds the right to self-determination. Para 7 of the Declaration states: –
    “Nothing in the foregoing paragraphs shall be construed as authorising or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign states conducting themselves in compliance with the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples as described above and thus possessed of a government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction as to race, creed or color.”

    Therefore, Sri Lanka has an obligation under international law to respect the principle of self-determination in its internal arrangements for the Tamils and also to have a representative government on the basis of equality and without discrimination.

  • 3
    1

    There is the saying: “When the sage points at the moon the fool looks at the finger.”
    When I look at the bulk of the comments I see ‘fools’ who do not even look at the finger of the ‘sage’ but at the fingers of other ‘fools’.

    Are we so incapable of serious critical comment?

  • 0
    0

    The majority people of all Sri lanakn know nothing about that UNP and LTTE start war, which that link between the comprador classes of UNP’s and government ,of the link between LTTE launch Tamil terrorism and War. Indeed UNP and LTTE war is a continuation of US and Indian proxy politics of bourgeoisie war nothing else. The ruling bourgeoisie of UNP and SLFP-CBK shapes the Sri Lankan’s policy in
    war-time as well.

    UNP and TNA are thereby creating ‘self-determination’ of proxy war and proposed by Federal constitution of power devolution a contradiction and precarious situation for Sri Lankan which is that masses misunderstand by end of war mission fairly accomplished MR and alliance .

    Any one who keeps on talking about self-determination, anti- democratic forces an inevitable unavoidable split of the Sri Lankan as an integral body partition island as something that can be integral of Tamil Eealm deceiving himself and others.

    The entire course of LTTE war against people of Sri lanakn the 30 years of it ,has been leading to this partition of island and people ever since 1977.
    Well US and Indian of hegemonies capitalist was at the root of Tamil LTTE war.

    The war was originated by UNP and LTTE politics by Neo-Liberal of coloinilaztion, of Sri-lanka that War was also type of politics from very beginning to end.
    The LTTE and TNA is joint hand, it was pursuit of the same old aims by Tamil political class and US & Indian using different method.

    Which is the practical way out of this proxy war by LTTE as we see it?
    We have to say the way out of self-determination and this LTTE war lies through by democratic revolution led by Marxist Party of Masses and democratic revolution.

    Yes we recognise self-determination of any group of people supressed by US and Indian hegemonies with masses but not Tamil bourgeoisies or petty bourgeoisies want to surrender sovereignty to rights of Tamils to US and Indian hegemonies. We have to learn lessons from that must break with US and Indian terms of so-called “self-determination” with them would mean coming to terms with ‘separatism’ Tamils chauvinism of imperialist hegemonies agenda.
    .

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