24 November, 2020

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The Unitary State, The 13th Amendment & Tamil Civil Society: Rejoinder To Guruparan

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

“Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?”

– Joni Mitchell, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ (1970)

Winston Churchill famously said that democracy is the worst system there is except for all the others. My position with regard to the 13th amendment and the Provincial Council system is roughly the same. My answer to all its critics is yes, true, but it may the worst there is– except for all the others which are less feasible and more politically problematic.

I contradicted Mr Guruparan’s criticism that the 13th amendment was drawn up in a hurry, pointing that it was the culmination of a protracted process of several years. Mr Guruparan’s counterargument isn’t really one because all it proves is that the Tamil political leadership found the draft insufficient and also felt that they had been left out of the loop at certain points. Neither of which prove his case that the 13th amendment was drafted in a hurry nor disproves mine that it was not. Perceived insufficiency and lack of participation are not evidence of ‘a hurry’.

Mr Guruparan then says that I have not responded to his detailed criticisms of the 13th amendment. This reminds me of the conversation reproduced by US Col Harry Summers in his book ‘On Strategy’. He says that at an intermission in the negotiations after the Vietnam war on POWs and MIAs, he challenged a North Vietnamese Communist military officer , saying that “you never defeated us in a set-piece battle”, to which the North Vietnamese replied, “that may be so but it is also irrelevant”. I haven’t bothered to respond to Mr Guruparan’s detailed criticisms of the 13th amendment because even if true, they are also irrelevant. One of the reasons is that this is the best deal feasible for the Tamil people of Sri Lanka, since it was the result of an overt role by the one of the continent’s most powerful states, and the one with the biggest concentration of Tamils in the world. It was also against the backdrop of a fierce armed struggle by the Sri Lankan Tamils and furthermore, took place when there was a strong pro-devolution Left in the Southern polity. It is because some of those conditions no longer obtain, that many Sinhalese want to abolish the 13th amendment and it is now hanging by a thread.

There may be better solutions in the abstract, but Mr Guruparan obviously hasn’t heard of the phrase that the best should not be the enemy of the good, nor of the simpler one that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Prof Lakshman Marasinghe has long since pointed out a pathway to improve on the 13th amendment without a referendum, while Asanga Welikala has presented a coherent argument and roadmap on the re-engineering of the concurrent list, both of which I commend to Mr Gurparan but neither of which I see the need to repeat in this rejoinder.

Mr Guruparan writes that “I do not know what Dr. Jayatilleka means when he says that I confuse the issue of seeking the democratic consent of the majority of one’s fellow citizens, with the question of the legitimacy of the state. Is Dr. Jayatilleka trying to suggest that the citizenry of the Sri Lankan state is devoid of ethnic affiliation? I also do not understand what point he seeks to make by resorting to hair splitting between ‘state apparatus’ and ‘state’. ”

OK Guru, let’s make it as simple as I can. Of course the citizenry is not devoid of ethnic affiliation, but what is your point? Are you saying that the ethnic diversity of Sri Lankan citizens means that there is no such legitimate category as the citizens of Sri Lanka—as stated in your passport– over and above their ethnic differences, and that the democratic consent of the Sri Lankan citizenry taken as a whole should not be ascertained by constitutionally prescribed means (which also happen to be the universally recognised means) of a referendum? Are you saying that only the consent of the Tamil citizens should be sought in the matter of a drastic restructuring of the Sri Lankan state which goes beyond both the 13th amendment and the unitary state form?

As for the difference between state ‘apparatus’ and state ‘formation’ –i.e. the state as a political unit or community– let’s see if I can explain it to you. When you want the army out, it is the state ‘apparatus’ that you want out. If you want to change the existing borders of Sri Lanka, that’s the state ‘formation’ you want out of. Everything you say about the Sinhala Buddhist character of the state may well be right, but those are not the issues on the table at this time, and no state actor in the world system has raised issues of such dimensions. There is no international political and diplomatic support for those issues to be raised. The acceptance of the 13th amendment in no way precludes placing those issues on the agenda, once trust has been built over a generation, a new social consciousness has evolved and new dynamics have been unleashed.

Mr Guruparan accepts that he is “arguing for a reform which goes beyond the unitary state framework itself”. He contests the analogy with Northern Ireland. Let’s concede that, except for the reminder that the Sinn Fein/IRA was not crushed to a pulp as the Tigers were– which kind of offsets the specific points about officially unitary UK not being quite unitary. What then of the Mindanao Accords and the unitary Philippine state, or Aceh and Indonesia?

More fundamentally, does Mr Guruparan think that the proposal to abandon the unitary framework of the Sri Lankan state has a chance in hell of obtaining the endorsement of a single political formation with a significant mass base in the South, and more basically, anything more than a few percentage points at a countrywide referendum? Does he think such a proposal can carry a democratic majority with it? And if he isn’t referring to a countrywide referendum but a Northern or Northern and Eastern one, is he not then talking about a decision which affects the entire state and citizenry for generations to come, being restricted to the consent of a minority of its citizenry? Does this sound like democracy, or even sanity?

Guruparan admits a comprehension problem when he says “I do not understand Dr. Jayatilleka’s questions about my articulation for a transitional administration”. OK, Guru, transitional means it is in transition from something to something else. You have already said your desired settlement is not only beyond the existing 13th amendment but also beyond the unitary state framework. So, what is the transitional administration in transition to? Where precisely does the transition stop? What is the final status settlement or the ceiling? Please don’t talk only in vague terms of justice, but continue to talk in terms of state form as you have so far, when you object to a unitary state. If you reject the unitary state, what state form beyond the unitary state will your proposed transitional administration take you, the Tamil people and all of us to, in terms of state structure and form?

In his quote-buttressed accusation that I have come round to support the 13th amendment in purely strategic/instrumentalist terms, Mr Guruparan obviously fails to recognise – and here too he shares much with the Sinhala hawks—that a solution which provides an irreducible yet moderate measure of autonomous self government to provincially based ethnic communities, is both intrinsically fair and desirable as well as strategically prudent. This is the school of thought known as Ethical Realism, which (as Kalana Senaratne’s review critically observes) is an important component of my outlook and perspective.

Mr Guruparan’s closing line is a ringing “If questioning the dominant view is considered to be ‘troubling’, the Tamil Civil Society and I will proudly plead guilty”. This further illustrates the problem of comprehension. When someone says ‘the trouble with’ something is such and such, it is combination of a criticism and a figure of speech, none of which means that he/she finds it troubling. It means that there is a problem with that argument, entity or phenomenon. For instance if a doctor were to say ‘the trouble with your lungs according to these tests results is’ or an academic were to remark ‘ the trouble with your tutorial is’, it doesn’t mean that he/she finds it troubling. Indeed he/she may not give a rat’s – or deceased ferociously carnivorous striped animal’s —rear end about it.

Related posts;

For Whom Is The ‘Tamil Civil Society View’ Causing Trouble? A Response To Dayan’s Rejoinder – By Kumaravadivel Guruparan

The Trouble With Mr Guruparan’s ‘Tamil Civil Society’ View – By Dayan Jayatilleka

Much Ado About Nothing – By Kumaravadivel Guruparan

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Latest comments

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    Dr. Jayathilaka,

    Politics is not set in concrete, Politics is the art of the possible and that possibility changes all the time as we saw it in the dynamic changes that has taken place in Sri Lanka over the years.

    The trouble with you is the fixation that you alone know it all and that you are an overarching authority in issues of politics. Do you realize that you were not even able to read the political abilities and the mobile strategic skill of his Excellency the President of Sri Lanka? This will be largely determined by the space given to him by other international players.

    The Strength or weakness of the Sri Lankan State is its geopolitical position and a great part determined of it is determined by external factors. These are not set in concrete. The Tamil polity is not immature as you think and may know you better.

    Dr. N. Satchi UK

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      Dr.Satchi,you quote”The Strength or weakness of the Sri Lankan State is its geopolitical position and a great part determined of it is determined by external factors”.

      Haven’t you been waiting for 30 years for the external factors to deliver Eelam for you and instead got a bucket of shit on the LTTE and untold misery for the tamil people while you the lucky one of the million of the tamil diaspora managed to use the ethnic issue to go to the west to earn money as that is your main objective in life”kaasu”,porul”,”veedu vaanga venum”,best of education for the children etc.Now that you have achieved your objectives in life,why don’t you leave the poor tamil people back home who could not make it to the west(though some are still trying though it is too late with their pants caught down with the war suddenly over and the west knows it and are turning them back) to make their own decisions for their future without interfering and trying to keep it going for another 30 years.

      Remember what Dr.Dayan said,a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush.

      As you have so much faith in your external elements,why don’t you tell them to quickly give Eelam or let the tamils accept the Indo lanka accord,as the tamils can’t wait another 30 years while they make up their minds.Just having a UN resolution year after year for the next 10 years won’t do because you can’t whitewash the same wall over and over again without arousing suspicions as how many rides you want the tamil people to go on.

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    Dr. Jayathilaka,

    Politics is not set in concrete, Politics is the art of the possible and that possibility changes all the time as we saw it in the dynamic changes that has taken place in Sri Lanka over the years.

    The trouble with you is the fixation that you alone know it all and that you are an overarching authority in issues of politics. Do you realize that you were not even able to read the political abilities and the mobile strategic skill of his Excellency the President of Sri Lanka? This will be largely determined by the space given to him by other international players.

    The Strength or weakness of the Sri Lankan State is its geopolitical position and a great part of it is determined by external factors. These are not set in concrete. The Tamil polity is not immature as you think and may know you better.

    Dr. N. Satchi UK

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    13A is the only devolution package available at the moment. APRC is still with MR. Others are pure conjecture, day dreams or back to square one. 95% of the country including tamils living in colombo and hill country will not support the concept of interim administration for the North. In the east 75% or more will oppose such an idea.

    Even in the North a significant number will not think it is a good idea. After all what are the specifics on offer? So better build on what is available and have peace with all ethnicities in a united Sri Lanka. The task is to build the peace not war. Govt needs to be sincere in its efforts to rehabilitate the tamil people and rebuild the North irrespective of party politics.

  • 0
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    Dear Safa,

    We need not have a fixation with the 13th amendment. Other constitutional mechanisms need to be explored. His Excellency has on several occasions declared that all citizens of Sri Lanka are equal whatever their ethnicity.

    What is important is a great deal work need to be done to build trust and conciliation between communities. If this is undertaken as a priority simple constitutional adjustments of equality of all of its citizens can overcome most of the roadblocks.

    The Tamil polity mostly ignores the Tamils living outside the north and east. The current spade of anti minority activity can only lead Sri Lanka into a greater abyss than it has come out of.

    Dr. N. Satchi

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      Dr.Satchi,you say other constitutional mechanisms other than the 13th amendment need to be explored.Don’t you realise that will be a time wasting exercise because the sinhalese are not interested in giving devolution to the tamils,especially now that the LTTE has been crushed.At one time when the LTTE was powerful they were grudgingly willing to give a good package but people like you would have sabotaged it because you are comfortably living in luxurious west and just want Eelam like a cup of tea for you,even if it means more and more misery for the tamils who unlike you could not make it to the western world.

      No point in all your doctorates etc if you people are not practical and can’t accept ground realities.The only reason why the sinhalese will be forced to implement the Indo lanka accord is because of India.When you sabotage that too,you are letting mahinda off the hook and a possible clash with india just like the clash Prabha had with rajiv which was the beginning of the end for him.When mahinda is trying to desperately wriggle out of the 13th amndent without clashing with India,hence with people like Dr rajasingham claiming it is rotten food for beggers etc and the biggest racist Wimal Weerawansa calling for its abolition,people like you are aiding and abetting them.Is that the way you play chess making a counter move that strenghens the other players one.I do the opposite.I ask why is he making that move and have a good look at the pieces all over again,because every fresh move is a change in the whole complexion of the game and you got to look at the whole board all over again.

      The best thing for the tamils to do in the current circumstances is to say that the Indo Lanka Accord(note I don’t mention the 13th amendment)is a good starting point for the tamils obtaining their political rights and as it is a government to government international signed agreement,the implementation does not require the permission of the tamils.It is entirely between the GOI and GOSL to go ahead or not.

      Then just sit on your rocking chair with your sooruttu and relax and watch the fun.

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      Dr. Satchi,

      The President no doubts talks about equality. However, has he defined what he means by it or set in motion constitutional changes, laws and systems to make this a reality? Has he provided equitable governance? He has definitely talked the talk, but not walked the walk! He has of course made sure that some are more equal than others! He has also extended the institutionalised inequality problem the Tamils faced , to the other communities, including the Sinhalese. Herein lies the rub!

      The recent incidents involving the BBS and the Muslims demonstrate how far this equality goes. Further, what is worrying is that even the Sinhalese who do not favour the present dispensation and disagree with it, are less equal than those who are in his bandwagon. Even a CJ was not accorded her rights as a citizen and was treated differently? Where is the equality in practice?

      Dr.RN

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    Dayan,
    The 13th amendment is like rotten food offered to a beggar, for the Tamils who have paid a heavy price for demanding their rights within Sri Lanka! Their cause may have been hijacked , bloodied and brutalised by their so- called liberators, but remains valid to this day. Their cause was primarily equality, in all its dimensions. Which when ignored metamorphosed into the demand for Eelam and everything nasty it has entailed. This does not however negate their cause.

    I personally would reject the Provincial Council system operative now as bad food that is bound to cause me acute gastro-intestinal problems leading to a bloody diarrhoea . Why should the Tamils accept a charade that was deliberately designed to hoodwink them, at this stage of of their history? Why do the Tamils need such a Provincial Council now? What difference would it make to their lives? Is it to make the lives of a few politicians interesting and lucrative? Let someone who understands why the Tamils need such a PC now, answer these questions.

    It would be more prudent for the TNA to work with the government to improve life in the north and east and towards an acceptable solution in the future, through the PSC the president is proposing. I have my doubts however, that this president will ever provide a meaningful solution, given his history.

    The Defence Secretary – Gotabhaya Rajapakse- is apparently leading the UPFA election campaign in the north, given his recent Varani meeting. It is going to be Eelam war-V by other means. Former LTTE operatives and Paramilitary cadres are going to be the new foot soldiers of the UPFA to win the war for votes. What a scenario? The government seems to be under the stupid impression that the Tamils in the north are in love with the LTTE yet and idiotic enough to vote for these so-called repentant or reformed tigers! In this scenario, if the TNA fields candidates with stature and no connections with the militancy, it will win outright. It need not even campaign! The question again is for what purpose?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Dr.Rajasingham,can you explain to us if it is rotten food,why is mahinda not implementing it in full and wanting its abolition and why is the biggest racist and mahinda’s mouthpiece wimal Weerawansa publicly denouncing it every day and wanting it abolished too?

      Maybe they are wanting to give freshly cooked buriyani instead for the tamils like what they gave in Nanthikadal.Its nice to know that they are so concerned about the tamils that they don’t want to give them rotten food.

      • 0
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        Shanker,

        They are threatening to abolish it only because the TNA is likely to make the PC a platform to demand more! The government understands very well how everything will thereafter snow ball. They are worried that this will upset their apple cart. This will -I am sure the TNA understands- also create problems for the Tamils- the first step in a new escalation of political turmoil. This is a sort of blackmail to keep the TNA in its assigned place and accept the status quo. The TNA, the Tamils and the government, in that order, will be damned if the TNA chooses to make the PC a platform to demand more. The TNA will be damned, if it chooses not to. What choices can the TNA make? I say the government will be the least damned because of internal political dynamics ( the TNA will be easily painted the trouble maker) and its attitude towards external opinions.

        They want the Tamils to eat the rotten food, bear the stomach ache , not complain and not seek remedies on the issue of the PC. It is rotten food or no food! They know how hungry the TNA is for the northern PC and are laying down their terms. They know the TNA will lose credibility once it is ensconced in the PC, because it will not be able to do anything it claims it can do. The present PC system will not permit it to do so. It can only be a vehicle for corruption and if the TNA falls into that trap, it will be once again damned in the eyes of the Tamils. The TNA will lose the most, in the scenario that is emerging.

        It is a game of brinkmanship and how it will play out is to be seen. This situation is an unnecessary complication in the recovery process of the Tamils, so soon after the last devastating war. I can only pray that I am am wrong!

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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          Dr.Rajasingham,you say”They are threatening to abolish it only because the TNA is likely to make the PC a platform to demand more!”.

          I don’t think that is a valid reason for Gota to be so adamant that the 13th amendment should be abolished.If the TNA demand more after it is implemented the government can just refuse to give more.Simple as that no.You say at the moment it is rotten food.I asked you then why are they refusing to give the rotten food for the tamils.Your answer is after eating the rotten food the TNA will ask for fresh food.My answer to that is the government can say rotten buggers like will get only rotten food.Come,come Dr.think hard and come up with some better one than that for us to digest yur rotten food reasons.

          I’am not a Mahinda mind reader,but my reason for him trying to abolish the 13th amendment is that he feels that it will put this country onto the path of decentralization,whereas he wants to go on the path of centralization.In otherwords a directional change that he and especially gota do not want.It is not the amount of powers etc which are anyway subject to negotiation that they are worried about as you claim,but the direction which is the opposite of what they want to take the country to.

          • 0
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            Shanker,

            You are arguing on the assumption that the 13th amendments will be implemented in full, as inserted in the constitution in 1987. Many crucial provisions have not been implemented and are unlikely to be . Many devolved powers have been centralised on the basis that they are in the national interest. The concurrent list is largely part of the centre’s powers. The Divineguma act has taken away many important powers of the PCs. I am calling the mutilated PC system rotten food!

            The PC system as designed originally was weak and a charade. it could have been made to work, if the governments had the right spirit. However, It has been now rendered rotten. The APRC report tried to correct the problems with the PCs and bring in power sharing at the centre as an adjunct. The president rejected this report. He will concede the PC system as operative now, under pressure and nothing more!

            What Mahinda Rajapakse is in fact pushing towards is a district based system of devolution, where the centre will hold all the cards, with some degree of power sharing at the centre through a Senate.

            Let us see how the game plays out.

            Dr.RN

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              Dr.rajasingham,you say that quote”Many crucial provisions have not been implemented and are unlikely to be . Many devolved powers have been centralised on the basis that they are in the national interest.”

              A you can see from your own statement,the food is not rotten,it is just that the Rajapakshes have deliberatly made it to rot.Instead of pointing the finger at them all this time,you are pointing the finger at the indians saying that they rushed a flawed document etc.You seem to hate the indians for some reason or other.

              If you won’t tell the Rajapakshe’s to implement the Indo lanka accord in full without just bits and pieces only,then let the Indians point it out to them and get that rectified.After all it is their baby,not the tamils task to do that.When the northern provincial council starts to function in September,this time for the first time without a Rajapakshe stooge at the helm,the chief minister can point to the indians that he is unable to carry out his duties to the people who elected him due to the fact that the 13th amendment is not being implemented as per the Indo lanka accord and can give a list of the things he wanted to do but cannot because the Rajapakshes are blocking it.A copy could be sent to the UN too as well as the US and EU . This is the practical way to do it than to just theoretically bash the 13th amendment without first trying it out.

          • 0
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            Shankar,

            MR is following in the footsteps of his predecessors and taking the process towards a long pre-determined conclusion. It was JR who set the ball rolling in this direction. Further, the Indians made this possible by accepting what I had on several occasions described as a charade and a political sleight of hand, to be put in place. Rajiv Gandhi, honoured JR by inviting him to be chief guest at the Indian Independence Day celebrations that followed the Indo- Sri Lanka agreement and adoption of the 13th amendment. India played a an intimidating role in ensuring the adoption of the 13th amendment, but turned a blind eye to the fact that JR had booby trapped it. What the Indians failed to do then, given the circumstances and the accompanying IPKF ‘ invasion’ cannot be done now. Even if they do, what would it cost the war-affected Tamils, in their present circumstances ?

            Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

          “They are threatening to abolish it only because the TNA is likely to make the PC a platform to demand more!”

          What’s wrong with demanding more?

          Didn’t the boy Oliver Twist say ‘Please, sir, I want some more.’

          Please read below as to what happened next:

          “The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupified astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.

          ‘What!’ said the master at length, in a faint voice.

          ‘Please, sir,’ replied Oliver, ‘I want some more.’

          The master aimed a blow at Oliver’s head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arm; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.”

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,

          just as the fat master you too are horrified at the slightest of any reasonable demand for restoration of democracy and devolution.

          I hope you will not take a swing at them with your ladle.

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            Native Veddah,

            There is no point in asking for more, because they- the powers that be- have decided a long time back that there will not be anything more, but less. This lessening process is yet unfolding.

            I am not the old Scrooge , but the GOSLs, including the present one. The LTTE and the TULF also stand indicted for taking the ladle from the Indians and giving it to JR! I am only worried about the blow on the head the Tamils are likely to receive with something probably bigger than the ladle, so soon after the kicks at their vitals!

            Further, I believe restoration of good governance is the answer to the problems of all Sri Lankans, including the Tamils. The struggle has to be that of all Sri Lankans.

            Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    I have to disagree with Dayan’s self-description of his political beliefs as being that of a “realist”. His obsession with the 13th amendment, Cuba and India reveals that his outlook is still guided by the cold war world in which he came of age.
    Wake up Dayan, this is 2013! The ocean in which our island resides is Indian only by name. Today, there is only one power in this ocean and it is the United States. Therefore, the final “solution” to the ethnic conflict on the island must necessarily be an American solution. A just peace on this island must necessarily be an American peace (i.e.Pax Americana).
    If you want to know what alternatives exist to the 13th amendment, you should ask the Americans, or wait patiently like the rest of us till 2014 and beyond. They will reveal their decision at the UNHRC or through “other avenues”. If you think deferring to US is unbecoming of a sovereign nation, remember, all nations are sovereign, but some are more sovereign than others!

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    Dear Mr. Shanker,

    I fully understand your position. Dr. Dayan Jayathilaka’s response is to a Tamil civil activist Mr. Guruparan from Sri Lanka. It is imperative it is the People living in Sri Lanka that need to determine their destiny. We have our Kith and Kin living in Sri Lanka and our natural affinity would be to help them.

    If the inhabitants of Sri Lanka accept the Indo-Lankan accord there need not be any arguments.

    Even long before thirty years the external forces were at work in Sri Lanka. I only mentioned it as a fact. I do not think both of us can wish away the geopolitical players. Even Dr. Jayathilaka will agree with me. Please read my response to Mr. Safa.

    Regards

    Dr.N. Satchi UK.

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    ““Don’t it always seem to go

    That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?””

    The good Dr. seems to talking from experience. Did not realize how good the govt. perks were until he lost at least some of it. Now he is trying the best to get it back.

    I have nothing against you enjoying your hard earned perks but don’t take others for donkeys.

    • 0
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      Very true!

      Dayan kept on blowing his own trumpet (I did this, I did that……) but he could not sustain his job. Now, he is trying a different strategy, a different approach to convince the Tamil people to accept the unacceptable. He may be under the impression that if this stunt works, he may be able to take another posh position in another western country or take a minister position like his good friend Rajiva.

    • 0
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      Dear Bert,
      If I were trying to get back Govt privileges, I would have repeatedly criticized the impeachment process, slammed the BBS and continued to support the 13th amendment (which gt me fired from Geneva in the first place), would I?

    • 0
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      Burt

      Dayan Jayathilake was a minister in the Indian installed EPRLF led Provincial Government in the conjoined North-East province (NE Provincial Council in 1988–89). Then he became a mercenary for MR doing his dirty work as Sri Lanka`s Ambassador & Permanent Representative in Geneva and Paris. He has learned the art of political manipulations very well. He has no credibility and his credentials have come to disrepute. Once someone loses their integrity, you should never trust a single word they say or write.

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    Dr Dayan,
    I endorse Mr Guruparan’s criticism that the 13th amendment was drawn up in a hurry.

    13A is actually a flawed legislation.

    I just bring to your attention to the Provincial Council List in the 13A of the constitution

    The Provincial Council List has 03 Appendixes
    Appendix I – Law and Order
    Appendix II[-Land and Land Settlement
    Appendix III-Education

    All three Appendixes were not clearly articulated.

    Anybody who reads through these appendixes will undoubtedly conclude that 13A is a hastily framed legislation.

    Further look what is at the end of the Appendix III-Education
    (The following is the sentence within brackets at the end of the narrative)

    ”Above is based on the recommendation of the Committee 1 of Political Parties Conference”

    Could any Constitution or an Act of Parliament will have any unnecessary or outside reference in the body of the Constitution or the Act?

    This is only one example. There are many more baffles!

    Could any constitution or just any Act could have such a vaguely worded sentence?.

    No doubt Mr Guruparan is right!

    Over to you Dr Dayan!

  • 0
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    Dr Dayan Jayathilake,

    The threat that 13th amendment will be abolished is Blackmail?

    Do you expect TNA or the Tamils to succumb to such black mail?

    Or you expect the TNA to come on bended knee pleading for 13A

    Don’t be ridiculous!

    If the Government want to abolish 13A no pleading will change the mindset of the blackmailers.

    I feel sorry for your promise at Geneva 2009 will be dishonored and you,you alone have face the consequences!

    Best of luck Dayan!

    • 0
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      No, I don’t. I half-expect the TNA to fall into the trap that is being set for it and to be provoked into boycotting the election. It used to be said about the Palestinians that they ‘never lose an opportunity to lose an opportunity’. That is still truer of the Tamil nationalists, since independence.

      • 0
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        Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

        “It used to be said about the Palestinians that they ‘never lose an opportunity to lose an opportunity’. That is still truer of the Tamil nationalists, since independence.”

        That was the reason you jumped ships from EPRLF and became great war monger on the side of Premadasa. Later changed from an UNP supporter SLFP supporter under MR.

        How long are planning to jump ships?

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        Dayan,

        The opportunity was lost forever in 1987. The TNA has to contest, win, tow the line and live with it. The northern PC will be the mirage, the TNA and many Tamils thirstily sought. They will be yet thirsty, but have to bear it. The TNA has caught itself in a trap, no doubt, but not of the kind you envisage.

        I once again reiterate, the north does not need a PC of the sort on offer. It can do without it and progress towards a day, when sensible and effective alternatives can be envisaged and designed, within the ambit of a new and enlightened new constitution.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

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    To Dr. N Satchi: Without beating about the bush, can you please tell what you (Tamil Diaspora) want. If the President is saying that “everyone in Sri Lanka are equal” i.e irrespective of ethnicity, what else do you want. All the people in Sri Lanka are subject to a common Justice System,Education, Health, Property Rights ect, and are free to buy property and live anywhere he/she elects to.

    So do you know who creates this problem? No body else other than the LTTE rump spread all over the world, most of whom elected to leave the country claiming to be “refugees” mostly on “bogus” claims and presently exploiting the social systems of those countries and enjoying a life of “plenty”. The other set of people are the so called “politicians” who were for more than thirty years under the “domain” and “back and call” of the LTTE now freed by the S/L Government.These two groups do not want any “reconciliation”, “peace” and a “homogeneous” society to be built. These “politicians” mostly the TNA also have developed great fears that they would be a “lost entity” and would be stripped off their “luxuriant Life” while being Parliamentarians in Colombo. That is the secret of their not electing to represent in any forum, such as a PSC to place their views and work out a programme to bring about lasting peace to the country. They now even reject the 13th Amendment and started a “new game” of asking for “interim administration” which was a “cockatrice” introduced by the UNP Government of Ranil Wickramasinghe.

    So Dr. Satchi and all of you “Professors” the world over have nothing else to do, other than to draw a “wedge” among various communities and live on the results of “muddied” water.

    WE KNOW YOU GUYS AND WHAT YOU ARE UPTO.

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      “everyone in Sri Lanka are equal” – what does it mean? Tamil should sing national anthem in sinhala – is it equal????

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      Douglas
      In an ocean big fish told the small fish don’t fight for shallow place for you this ocean is common for all, every one equal here, any one can eat any one, you know who will prevail.

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      WE KNOW YOU TOO.

      As far you are concerned, only Singhalese have grivience but Tamils are previlaged people in Sri Lanka.

      Because you had a problem with a Tamil women, you should not take this racist line.

      If you would have married to her, today what would have been her or your position?

      Please dont come out with your usual racist remarks.

      You are in UK long enough to rehabilate you.

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        Ponnuthurai

        “As far you are concerned, only Singhalese have grivience but Tamils are previlaged people in Sri Lanka.”

        Ponna

        Why don’t you send the Sinhalese back to their homeland Sinhapura, Bihar, Tamilnadu or any other part of India whence their ancestors came to my ancestral island.

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      Douglas

      we know well that President Rajapaksa hates you for your extreme racist views.

      Once again you are trying to hold his tail.

      Everyone knew that there was a time you were a spokesperson of the SL embassy in UK. Those days have gone.

      I dont think the SL Ambassador in UK will entertain you anymore.

      You were branded by your own people as Sinhala Buddhist chauvanist.

      Bodhu Bala Sena(BBS)may appoint you as their President for their international branch.

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      Douglas,

      Can you also explain to me what you mean by the term equality? What money can buy is not equality!

      Are the Tamils assured equal opportunities commiserate with the abilities even today? Is the Tamil language yet being treated in practice as an official language? Can a Tamil yet feel confident that there will not be a communal riot ever again? How much power can the minorities exercise over their community affairs? How much influence can the minorities exercise over national affairs as citizens? Have Tamil officers the same authority and respect that their Sinhala counterparts have in the public service? Is there any mechanism to prevent discriminatory legislation being introduced and implemented? Is there any mechanism to stop hate speech and punish the offenders? Further, when will he usher in the political climate where the Tamils and Muslims can trust him and his government to be fair and objective? When will he stop using plants to control the lives of the Tamils? Do we the Tamils and other minorities have to live at the benevolence and goodwill of the majority forever? Should we be permantely the creepers that are only permitted to crawl up the tree that is the majority? Why did he stop the national anthem being sung in Tamil? When will rule of law and order reign supreme to assure all citizens and principally the minorities, that they and their property are safe? He has back tracked on many things he promised. why?

      I ask these questions while also acknowledging that he has done much in the areas of rehabilitation and reconstruction in the post-war scenario. In fact the infra-structure projects have compensated for 60 + years of neglect and the accompanying war damage.

      President Rajapakse’ s sojourn on this earth as a human and as the president is limited. What he does to ensure that all citizens are equal in every way through constutional and institutional arrangements is the yardsticks by which his performance can be measured and he can be trusted. President Premadasa promised Ellaam in Exchange for Eelam. where is he and where is the Ellaam?

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Aioah Douglas

      This is a forum for interlectuals and academics.

      What the hell are you doing here.

      If there is a forum for Buddhist chuvanist, we will invite you.

      Until then have scotch and have a nap

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    13th amendment could be the starting point, we can’t afford to lose 13A because it is the only provision in the constitution talks about devolution of power to the peripheral unit I certainly agree on that with DR. DJ however it is on a rotten format as DR.RN says. Scrapping 13A is a political suicide, Tamils must not forget what ever our historical claims are, we live in Sinhala Buddhist country and this perception will never ever change they are an overwhelming majority, we should strive hard to develop 13A, democracy, better governance, rule of law, if we focus only on participating at power sharing at center, negotiating for ministerial portfolios, deputies, vice president, etc, knowing the history of Sri Lanka one day we will go the way the Tutsis went.

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      Jay,

      The 13th amendment was deliberately designed to become what it has. What is worse is that in the course of almost three decades it has been further gutted and quartered. The recent Dinineguma bill has taken away further authority from the PC system, with the consent of the operational PCs! PCs are not a tier of governance now, but branch offices of the coalition wielding power at the centre! If they refuse to function as branch offices, they will be totally marginalised.

      We Hindus believe that only what starts well will end well. This is why the blessings of Lord Ganesha are invoked at every beginning, including writing a letter. The 13th amendment did not begin well, in terms of intentions and process! Further, from a biological point of view, a new born with structural deformity will inevitably grow into a cripple! During pregnancies, defective embryos are eliminated and if developed more aborted. If the pregnancies advance further, the foetus is stillborn. Nature eliminates the unfit. This process eliminates the number of physically unfit amongst us. Why should society be any different?

      I also disagree with Dayan’s argument that the the TNA will fall into a well laid government trap by rejecting the PC system. On the contrary, I think the government is quite happy to keep the present PC system going. It suits its purposes . The TNA will however fall into a trap it has set for itself by accepting the PC system, for which it has campaigned long and hard. My worry is that it will walk the Tamils also into that self-made trap.

      Dr.RN

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      Jay,I totally agree with all of your comment.You are spot on when it comes to power sharing and what happened to the Tutsis.Tamils were given more than their share of powersharing after independence and what hapenned.Ultimately it ended with the July 83 riots.It is best we learn from that lesson and just concentrate on getting peripheral devolution as you say.that way the tamils can stay in their traditional lands and mind their own business and affairs,without coming and living in the south.Their talents can be better utilised in there own traditional lands because even if they work their arse off in the south it will not be appreciated and will only breed envy and jeolosy.I remember a story where a sihk came from Punjab and invested in tea estates in oorti in tamilnadu.He was doing better than the other fellows.The moment Indira was assasinated he was killed.

      Envy and jealosy is there everywhere.It is better to be in your own patch and do well in life than in someone else’s.

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        I should have said it started with the sinhala only and ended with the july 83 riots.

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          Shanker,
          Would the northern PC permit the Tamils to mind their business effectively and quietly in the ‘Traditional homeland’? What powers would permit it to do so? The provincial public service will be under the Governor. The finances will be under the Governor’s control. The largest chunk of the funds have to come from the central government. The land policies are not defined and clearly not the exclusive preserve of a PC. The central government can take over any land it wants. What will the Tamils do in the South, if at least a large proportion of them do not gravitate towards the south? How will they express their talent more than they do now, under an impotent PC?

          We can mind our business better in the north in our present circumstances, as a community, without a PC, if we know how to set about it, using our resources and those of the central government. This would be through not ideal, a thousand times better than through an impotent PC system. However, the intermediate power brokers in the present arrangement have to be weeded out as a pre-requisite. Bringing the north under direct central government rule in all sectors, would be the way to go in the medium term. The ball will be directly in the governments lap and the game will be visible for all to see. Would this not be an interesting strategy to try?

          According to Pillayan ( or was it Varadarajaperumal?) the CM does not have the power to move even his chair!

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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            DR.RN
            No,

            1.we all know the present PC system will not going to solve the tamils problem(Mainly Land, security, culture, education, economy,) under PC system governors are crowned as kings however very importantly we can’t loose a functioning peripheral unit which is having a demographic regional identity very much different from south certainly it will reflect Srilankan pluralistic identity.

            2.The root cause for tragedy the tamils are being left out and oppressed in this country stems from centre at a time when we were participants and some times policy makers because we can’t really do any thing rather than petty favourations. eg we couldn’t stop sinhala only act, 1972 constitution, sinhala only national anthem, land swap in vali north and unable to persuade the govt to implement an existing constitutional provision tamil as official language.

            3. We have to learn from the history and wishful thinking will bury us forever. What douglas achieved for tamils ? Why Rauf hakim lost his credibility among muslims.

            4. Military boots are being planted in each and every village of north and east, all executive powers remains at centre, militant Buddhoism on rise, democratic principles are being twisted and bend to serve the needs of masters, don’t you foresee what’s coming on to you

            5. To negotiate on 13th amendment we don’t have to have PC, its already an internationally endorsed provision what are we actually looking for through NPC and EPC (TNA holding larger chunk of the assembly)is legitimacy to our voice

            6. I personally of the view of TNA should accommodate some of the southern progressive left and right parties not to be too much greedy on electoral share.

            AS india says and America acquiesces build upon 13A and beyond along with good governance, rule of law I am sure in the long run will achieve an amphibian political model which suits for all.

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              Jay,

              You are realistic, except for the hopes you pin on the international community and India. Although I may be called names for suggesting this, it will be much more realistic and pragmatic for the TNA to contest the elections in partnership with the UPFA and on the basis of a MOU that is not a secret. The TNA will inevitably be the dominant partner. This will marginalise the likes of the EPDP and other power brokers. If the UNP and the left can be drawn in too, it will be better. However, it will be much more difficult to achieve. I am sure Sambanthan and Sumanthiran can negotiate a good MOU, that will give more leeway to the northern PC, within present realities. What we would then have is a sort of national government at the provincial level. The people will also be served better.

              Once a national PC operates for one term in the north, many of the myths, phobias and nightmares the Sinhala polity has about devolving power will dissipate, paving the way for a more enlightened approach to devolution. The TNA will also learn to play a different game not only in the provinces, but also at the centre, regardless of who or which party rules at the centre. The TNA will also redeem itself in the eyes of the Sunhalese in the process. This is being realistic, pragmatic and visionary, to me.

              Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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              Shanker,

              I see only three paths:

              1. A combination of devolution within a unitary state and effective power sharing at the centre on the contours of the APRC report. Although the president seems to have rejected this, the option should not be foreclosed. However, this option cannot be exercised before September’2013.

              or

              2. An ‘Out of the Box’ arrangement that involves the members of parliament from the provinces to be incorporated into an an arrangement to manage affairs in their provinces, from the centre.

              I had outlined such a scheme in an article published in transcurrents a few years back (http://www.transcurrents.com/tc/2010/11/post_591.html). I remember Dr.Dayan Jayatilleke had a positive comment on this alternative.

              This option too cannot be exercised before the September election date.

              or
              3. AS I have said in my reply to Jay above, the TNA should come to contest the present election on a common platform with the UPFA and possible the UNP and the left, on the basis of an MOU. The TNA should of course be the leading partner. It will be a sort of ‘ National Provincial Council’. This council should operate the system for one term as per the current realities.

              This would help make the best of what is available with the cooperation of the government and possibly other national parties, and allay misgivings in the Sinhala polity. The TNA would also be able to establish its credentials nationally during this interlude. The Tamils will certainly benefit from such an outcome.

              This interlude will set the stage for calm and sensible discussions on the issues of devolution and power sharing.

              Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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            Dr.Rajasingham,the Indo lanka accord is a good starting point for the tamils to gradually get their political rights in the future.

            You mention that the governor is all powerful in this setup.If that is so and he misuses that power and due to that the council cannot function effectively,then chief minister can point that out to India in the form of a letter with copies to the UN Secretary general and the US and EU parliament.If he does not misuse that power given to him then no need to make a fuss about it.It is a two way street where both parties have to work cooperatively and if one does not then let the world know about it,without bickering.

            The Indo lanka accord is an international agreement between the GOI and GOSL.The tamils have not been a party to the agreement and not signed anything.It has been done over their head by rajiv just as his mum ceded kachativu over the tamils in tamilndus head.As such the tamils need not show support or antagonism,but just maintain the stance that what has been signed between two governments should be implemented in full.

            As for pillayan not able to move his chair,he was a Rajapakshe stooge.Therefore he could not take them on by writing to India officially about what the tasks he wanted to do and in what manner he was blocked.That would have set him up on a collision course with his masters.The provincial councils were not designed for a master servant relationship,but for a cooperative arrangement between center and periphery.

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              And Dr.rajasingham,as for your contention that we should go on the centralization path,the Einstein’s definition of insanity is to do the same experiment over and over again and expect a different result.When we got independence the tamil leaders at that time thought just like you and trusted the sinhala leaders and went on the power sharing path and gradually lost the powers starting wth the sinhala only act and ending with the July 83 riots.Now i think the tamils are done with centralization and power sharing arrangements and will never trust the sinhala leaders again.

              Now it is time to try out different experiments.In fact we don’t need to do any experiments because nehru’s experiment with decentralization has worked for India and the results are plain to see with more than 25 ethnic and linguistic groups threaded together by the devolution thread.So just go on the path that India followed to become a quasi federal country and the Indo lanka Accord is a good starting point for that.

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              Shankar,

              The answer to your query has appeared above and refers to three possible options.

              Dr.RN

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              Dr.Rajasingham,with regard to the 3 options you have mentioned

              option1-option 1 is okay.At least we will be going on the correct path.As trust develops more devolution can be asked and got.However i prefer the tamils not asking for power sharing because it will be at the xpense of devolution.better to get the maximum devolution possible without the sinhalese reducing it and telling we will give power sharing instead.Most tamils after their experience after independence where all their powers were whittled away will not trust the sinhalese leaders in this regard.They know that today they can give and tommorow they will take it back.

              option 2-can’t see why they should manage the affairs of the provinces from the centre.They might as well go and manage it from the periphery itself.It is good to be close to the problems that affect the day to day lives of the people than to be far away.Out of sight,out of mind they say as what is happening now.

              option 3-we have always had a system where a party will govern if it has a majority and if it does not have it will form a coalition of like minded parties.birds of a feather flock together they say,and so if they are comfortable with each other and their policies they will form a coalition and govern.If they have radically different policies and they not birds of a feather then they will be uncomfortable with each other and a government like that might not last and be stable.So it is a evolving situation based on the votes recd.One day long into the future everyone may be surprised at a TNA,UPFA coalition government.It will all depnd whethr the UPFA can garner enough votes from the tamil people.Without sufficient votes no point in having a government with all parties just for the sake of unity.

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    First of all I wish to declare that I support 13 Amendment together with the Provincial Council Act No 42 of 1987- the twin legislations introduced in 1987 on the initiative of India.

    Leaving out the Provincial Council Act No 42 of 1987 in any discussion about 13 A is a dearth

    Actually it is the Provincial Council Act No 42 of 1987 that provided for the merger of the Northern and Eastern provinces and deals with Finance and Administration in the Provincial Councils extensively.

    Now since a peaceful environment prevails throughout the country, the country can start again afresh in the implementation of these existing legislations in letter and sprite as if nothing had happenedincluding merger,the legislations are already there and no two thirds or even simple majority is required for the existing legal framework.

    Since LTTE had been roundly defeated there is nothing for the Supreme Court to disallow the merger.

    However, I also agree with Dayan that we must be realist.

    Realism tells us that the country is still not ready for merger.

    Again being realists,let us look at aspects other than merger

    The burning and controversal issue in the 13 A is the Law and order and the provisions for lands in the Provincial Council List of the 13 A.

    As a consistant supporter of 13 A without beating about the bush and without any ambiguity could you enlighten us whether you are for or against the retention of the police and land powers and whether the newly elected Northern Provincial Council would be allowed to exercise these provisions in practice?

    Could you make a firm commitment on these critical issues?

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      Sri ,

      Look at the PCs as one issue within the 13th amendment. It is with the PCs that there is a problem and not with other aspects of the 13th amendment.

      Dr.RN

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    I agree Dayan that the Tamil Politicians ‘never lose an opportunity to lose an opportunity’ . But the kind of 13th amendment opportunity presented to your boss Varadaraja Perumal when you were in the Cabinet of the North East Provisional Council made him want to miss that great “opportunity”.

    At the same time. You did not miss the “opportunity” to Join Preme, Arm the LTTE and betray EPRLF – the folks who trusted you to be part of the North East Provisional Council.

    Its only opportunist that “Don’t not miss opportunity”. They will jump any ship and take any opportunity – like you do.

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      Kiri Yakka

      Please note I have copy right on selected phrases and words to bash Dayan. It seems you too have plagiarised from my earlier writings.

      Hereafter please acknowledged my work in your bibliography.

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    Dear Native Vedda.

    Very rarely are you off the mark, Forget the Tamils (you excluded the Sinhalese this time around) but one who makes the wrong choice repeatedly is none other than Dayan. It will profit the Tamils if they converse with Milenda Seniveratna.

    If you think about it, a two state solution or the thirteenth amendment is only going to lead to greater bitterness and disappointment in the long term.

    A solution can only be found if the communities trust each other. For that to prevail process of reconciliation and the introduction of the tri-lingual language education need to be fast-tracked. It is going to be a long haul, and unfortunately there is no foreseeable solution in my horizon.

    Patience and discipline is in short supply in Sri Lanka will be you reply and I have to reluctantly agree with you.

    Dr. N. Satchi UK

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    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Thanks for your response, but it is vaguely worded.

    13A exclusively deals with the Provincial Councils along with the ProvincialCouncils Act No 42 of 1987

    Dr Dayan Jayathilake seems to support full implementation of 13 A whereas some of the intelligentsia in the South has reservation about some of the provisions such as 154G, law and order and Land and Land settlement in addition to merger, but the merger of North and East is dealt only in the Provincial councils Act No 42 of 1987.

    During discussions on such an important issue the commentators should be precise and without ambiguity when they use a word or phrase. otherwise it will lead to ncinfusion.

    Many commentators use 13 A loosely leading to different interpretation.

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      The 13th amendment deals also with the status of Tamil as an official language and English as a link language. It also has an amendment relating to the court of first instance.

      Dr. R.N

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        Dr.Rajasingham,if I’am not mistaken the language provisions you mention are the 16th amendment,not the 13th.They are part of the Indo lanka accord.That too has not been implemented in full,the excuse given being that there are insufficient tamil speaking public servants to put it into practice.

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          Shanker,

          I give below a part of the 13th amendment to clarify your doubts:

          “Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution
          [Certified on 14th November, 1987]
          An Act to Amend the Constitution of The Democratic
          Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
          Be it enacted by the Parliament of the Democratic S
          ocialist Republic of Sri Lanka as
          follows:-
          Short title and date of operation
          1. This Act may be cited as the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution and shall come into operation on such date as the President may, appoint, by Order published in the
          Gazette.

          Amendment of Article 18 of the Constitution of the
          Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka 2, Article 18 of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka(hereinafter referred to as the “Constitution”) is hereby amended as follows:-

          (a) by the renumbering of that Article as paragraph(1) of that Article;
          (b) by the addition immediately after paragraph (1)
          of that Article of the following
          paragraphs:
          “(2) Tamil shall also be an official language.
          (3) English shall be the link language.
          (4) Parliament shall by law provide for the impleme
          ntation of the provisions of this
          Chapter.”

          Amendment of Article 138 of the Constitution
          3. Article 138 of the Constitution is hereby amended in paragraph (1) of that Article as follows:-

          (a) by the substitution, for the words “committed by any Court of First Instance”, of the words “committed by the High Court, in the exercise of its appellate or original jurisdiction or by any Court of First Instance”; and

          (b) by the substitution, for the words “of which such Court of First Instance”, of the words ” of which such High Court, Court of First Instance”.

          Insertion of Chapter XVIIA in the Constitution
          4, The following Chapter and Articles are hereby inserted immediately after Article 154,and shall have effect as Chapter XVIIA and Articles 154A to 154T, of the Constitution:-
          Chapter XVIIA

          Establishment of Provincial Councils 154A.

          (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution,a Provincial Council shall be established for every Province specified in the Eighth Schedule with effect from such date or dates as
          the President may appoint by Order published in the
          Gazette. different dates may be appointed in respect of different Provinces.

          (2) Every Provincial Council established under paragraph (1) shall be constituted upon the election of the members of such Council in accordance with the law relating to Provincial Council elections.

          (3) Notwithstanding anything in the preceding provisions of this Article, Parliament mayby, or under, any law provide for two or three adjoining Provinces to form one administrative unit with one elected Provincial Council, one Governor, one Chief Minister and one Board of Ministers and for the manner of determining whether such Provinces should continue to be administered as one
          administrative unit or whether each such Province should constitute a separate administrative unit with its own Provincial
          Council, and a separate Governor, Chief Minister an
          d Board of Ministers———————–“

          Dr.RN

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            Dr.Rajasingham,I got a bit confused with the 16th amendment that states “to make provisions for sinhala and tamil to be languages of administration and legislation”.

            I did not realise that the 13th amendment was having this clause for making tamil official language and English the link language.I thought it only made provision for the the provincial councils.

            I was under the impression that the sinhalese gave official status to tamil as a gesture of goodwill on their part.Now I can see that it was rammed down their throat by a parippu drop.

            Thanks for clarifying that.You are indeed a fountain of knowledge.I can still remember your words that education=knowledge+wisdom+culture.How true.I thought I was educated until you pointed that out.Quite a mountain to climb in the latter two.

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      Sri,

      Dayan should clarify whether he is supporting the original version of the 13th amendment relating to the PCs. I however feel that he is proposing that the the PC system as it is – with unimplemented, ignored and mutated provisions- be accepted, as the only realistic option.

      Dr.RN

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        No, I think last year or before that in Ground Views he has commented that he is for full implementation of 13A and few steps more but within the unitary system and he is not for beyond the line which falls outside unitary state because that will be shot down at a referendum.

        He was opposing federal state and made the point tamils demand for autonomy can be accommodated within unitary state?? few days back he has used the term in commentary section “Provincial Autonomy”

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          Is he for it now? If he is for full implementation of the PC system (although it was a well designed political sleight of hand) as originally formulated, the realism he advocates, would fly out of the window. It will be once again demanding something that could have been, but never was. Much water has flowed under the bridge and it is lunacy to hope that it flow back! This is unrealistic. The reality is the PC system as it is. Is this acceptable? Let us face facts as they are and not build our hopes unrealistically and cry foul thereafter.

          Dr.RN

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    I curious. Does anyone know if there are land deeds in Tamil in Jaffna or East coast.

    I live at times in Eluvamkulam on the Old Puttalam-Mannar road. Its a majority Tamil speaking Muslim community. There is almost no one who can read and Write in Sinhalese or English. All the Land deeds are either English or Sinhalese.

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      In Jaffna most of the land deeds are in Tamil and the terminology used is very interesting. Few deeds are in English but i have no idea of any deeds written on Sinhala.

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    It’s interesting that Dayan chooses Joni Mitchell’s “you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone”; the irony is that the Tamil community is trying to regain the paradise that was lost and instead they are being offered a parking lot!

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    The amendments that we need are not legislative. The Sinhalese and Tamils need to make “Mental Amendments ” – only that will work.

    The Sinhalese have to be told. You “Yakkooss……….” (The rest is best said in Sinhalese as the language is most suited for abuse) and to the Tamils ” You over educated Morons, supporters of racist bigots …… look at your selves in the mirror” and see if you are any different from those whom you despise.

    Then a mirror needs to be placed in from of all the lot, with Malinda ushering them one by one and a blood be drawn (voluntarily) for a nation wide genetic test, to see for traces of blood samples from lion, bihar, Portugal, Arabia and all states of India are present in amounts that are claimed.

    The report should be presented in the parliament preferably by Dayan, along with the report on global warming that will thankfully sink a good part of Sri Lanka.

    The parliament then should call an emergency session to declare the collective disbandment of all forms of identity – in view of global warming and in preparation of mass immigration. Dayan may negotiate with Cuba on our behalf.

    Only Dayan will be able to explain to comrades in Cuba of the disgraceful state of our folks, who have been unable to evolve – but are able to discuss constitutional issues.

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    While well-informed commentators with good intent, advisers, ex-advisers and the like grapple and speculate on many theories on the 13th in the Shakespearean mode “to be or not to be” Delhiwallahs seem to have made up their minds on discreet, soft diplomacy to drive home to the Rajapakse regime, they can no longer take the slight of those umpteenth promises – that are simply broken over and over again. The media and the public in India ask why is Sri Lanka allowed to treat India so shabbily. India’s fear, of course, is the threat of black-mail on the indigenous and Tamils of Indian origin in case the regime loses its cool. Withanage of the BBS let the cat out of the bag recently when he said there were moves to attack Tamils on a large-scale all over the country – when the Buddhist priests were humiliated in Tamilnadu.

    Analysts in India point out Delhi delays for months granting of Visa to the SL/DHC-nominee to Chennai. Prior to that was when no senior VIP visited MR when he visited Thiruppathi – not even from the AP Govt. It is said MR paid back by not meeting the recent delegation of MPs from the Indian Parliament. What the regime must take note of is good Indo-Lankan relations is not a Rajapakse family affair. It concerns the well-being of over 20 million Sri Lankans of today and tomorrow who have no problems with India or her people. Already it is said airlines are protesting to the Govt that the large arrivals of visitors from India has drastically dropped.

    Senguttuvan

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    DR. RN

    Although I understand the role of India and IC is limited and probably with vested interest (Geo politics), I have evidence to support what ever the little we achieved is through international pressure using leverages and diplomacy

    1. 13th Amendment
    2. Closure of internment camps
    3. Relaxation of emergency law
    4. LLRC a response to UN
    5. Northern Provincial council election

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      Jay,

      Some of these interventions were counter-productive. I have witnessed the plight of thousands of IDP’s who were prematurely sent out of the camps to live under trees and flimsy tents in conditions of torrential rains. LLRC recommendations are yet largely on paper. Whether, the Northern PC elections will bring any benefits to the people or more headaches, is also quite debatable. Of course, the position or relevance of the PC related aspects of the 13th amendment has to the point where Dayan is recommending it as the only thing available in concrete terms, implying that is not the best possible. Although the emergency laws have been relaxed the Prevention of Terrorism Act is yet active. Many things can be yet done under it!

      Dr.RN

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        Correction: —- amendment has come to the point where Dayan is recommending it as the only thing available in concrete terms, thus implying that it is not the best possible.

        Dr.RN

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    What reader Jay says is so very true and it will be no better in the future. As Neelan was to eloquently say “even the most innocuous concession allowed to Tamils in the normal course of events will be considered a sell-out of the interests of the Sinhala motherland”
    The comedy of all is it may, after all, be the US Govt who may save the
    Lankan poor from the crushing weight of the exorbitant electricity charges. But the US must be watchful because even the most innocent of intents can be twisted in our bizarre political landscape. One notes that pathetic pseudo-patriot Nalin de S attacking Ambassador Sisson for her gracious act in getting her staff – Sri Lankans included – in a symbolic cleaning up of the beach in the Galle Face Green area on Earth Day last week. The message was to clean the environment around all of us. What indeed is wrong with that??? That is the low level some of our academics – teachers and creators of various types of Chintanayas, to boot – have sunk.

    Senguttuvan

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    Ponnuthurai and Joseph: You have fired at a “wrong indentity” This is what happens when you try to pay off personal prejudices, instead of expressing your opinion and contribute to a healthy discussion.

    Mr. Silva: In addition to above comment applcable to you too, let me inform that I have been “awarded the freedom” to enjoy my local dirnk i.e the “PALMYRA TODDY”. Even then I do not drink that too. I will gladly offer it to you as a gesture of goodwill and friendship.

    To Dr. Rajasingham: So long as you are “plagued” with this mentallity of “majority” and “minority”, your questions will never be answered. You will continue to live with questions than answers. That is your fate fallen on you as a result of your own thinking and doings. So live with it.

    To all: Please note that I am no “Pandama” (Candle Holder) to Rajapakse. I always admire him for “annihilation” of that menace LTTE terror and through this site and others did not fear to confront him on all his wrong doings. As I said earlier too, I call a “spade a spade” and will not fear to say so even in the future, because I do not consider losses and gains.

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      Douglas,

      Have the majority- minority problems that have plagued Sri Lanka for decades diappeared just because MR declared that there are no minorities in this county anymore? Is it a magic wand that has done the trick? Tomorrow someone else will step into his shoes and say that the Tamils are Indians and hence have to return there, What is happening with regard to the Muslim minority now? Why is the BBS being tolerated? If you refuse to accept there is a plague, it is your problem and not mine. Further, if the President in his great wisdom, thinks that because the LTTE was defeated comprehensively ( I welcome it too ) , there are no minorities in this country,physically and in terms of the majority mindset, anymore, he has seek psychiatric help soon!

      You have not answered the principle question in my previous comment addressed to you. Please tell us what MR as president done in concrete and lasting terms to ensure equality to the minorities?

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Dear Sengutuvan,

    I have read your comments over a long period. I wish if you could refer me to site that reported Withanage threat. I wish we could meet up with Native Vedda.

    Any external players are going to muddle up the issue further. External mediators will have their geopolitical agenda and in the long run all Sri Lankans have to pay for it, as our experience had emphatically reveled.

    Compromise and concurrence is the only way forward to peace, amity and progress. I concede difficulties but it need to be surmounted. I like to see a Tamil Leader of that stature. We have had enough bloodshed and misery. Let us work towards that end

    Finding a solution within Sri Lanka is in my opinion the best way forward – however difficult that might be.

    As a first step I do think we should refrain the usage of Buddhist chauvinism. It is also wise not to insult but to respect the Mahasanga as majority of the Sinhalese hold them in veneration. The Buddhist canting begins with salutations to the Buddham, the Sangham and the Dammam in that order. In rural Sri Lankan villages the Lokku Hammuthuru is revered. The gateway to the Sinhala majority is through respecting the Sangham. Tamil polity has ignored this reality for a long time.

    I have no qualms about the TNA participating in the PSC. Without any vagaries the security concerns of the Tamil people and equality of all citizens under the constitution should be the bottom line.

    The special place for Buddhism in Sri Lanka needs to be upheld.

    Dr. N. Satchi UK

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      Dr. N. Satchi

      Thanks for inviting us for a meeting.

      “The special place for Buddhism in Sri Lanka needs to be upheld.”

      I beg to differ.

      Buddha’s teaching is for the people to learn and observe. I sincerely believe it is not the responsibility of the state to preserve and propagate any religion.

      In fact I really want to liberate Buddha’s teaching from Sinhala/Buddhists and their state. This is my priority.

      If one wants to destroy something indispensable such as Buddha’s teaching state patronage is the sure, easiest and best way to do it. I can guarantee that.

      “The gateway to the Sinhala majority is through respecting the Sangham.”

      The Sangha should earn respect not the other way round.

      In fact Sangha seems divided along either party line or based on caste hierarchy. If anything they should not poke their nose in mundane matters, rather they should deal with spiritual one.

      “As a first step I do think we should refrain the usage of Buddhist chauvinism”

      A combination of imaginary race and religion always makes a lethal cocktail of nasty nationalistic forces, which we have witnessed in this island as well as elsewhere. Sinhala/Buddhist is a nasty little identity for which many innocent people have lost their lives. Tamil/Saivaite is its counter part.

      My people will only tolerate the Tamil/Sinhala stupidity if there is a ray of hope or willingness to build a secular state. Otherwise both people may have to leave my ancestral land and go back to their respective motherland in India, where they can continue their culture of parochialism and unfinished wars.

      By the this is what Dayan wrote in 2002

      Excerpts: From Thailand to Thamileelam

      August 25, 2002

      If the Thai talks are not to be a transit lounge to Thamileelam, and its inevitable deadly blowback averted, five features have to be solidly built in:

      1) A declaration signed by Mr. Prabhakaran on behalf of the LTTE committing it to accepting the concept of a single united country, embracing the entire island. (This in no way implies acceptance of a particular state structure i. e. , the unitary form). If the UNF wants a signed guarantee from an elected President, they should surely seek one from a separatist terrorist who murdered several of their leaders!

      2) A time-table for internationally supervised elections. Learn from our sagacious British colonial rulers whose incremental granting of self-rule was linked to demonstrated maturity in democratic representative self-government.

      3) A time-table for de-commissioning and de-militarisation, perhaps of a limited and partial nature, under international supervision.

      4) The ratification of any agreement arrived at, by three internationally supervised referenda: North, East and island-wide.

      5) A no-first use of weapons agreement with a guarantor of sufficient strategic strength and political will to enforce compliance by coercive/military means if necessary. (This would mean an existing multilateral organisation of states, such as the Asian Security Conference, or a group of states).

      island.lk/2002/08/25/politi03.html

      A self confessed war monger cannot make peace.

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        Dear Native Vedda,

        Yes you would be always welcome, provided you get yourself some make up. Sorry I did not follow this up. An excellent view, I can’t agree more, but in my position, I am constrained in case I add more fuel to the fire.

        Regards

        Dr. N. Satchi UK

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          Dr. N. Satch

          “provided you get yourself some make up”

          In what sense?

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    Dr. Rajasingham: Now with your last comment, both of us are in agreement that MR has not done anything “concrete” to give effect to his own statement “there are only two groups in Sri Lanka – Those who love the country and those who are not. Those who love the country are the majority and those who do not are the minority”. This I too thought he would take immeadiate steps to give effect to his own vision, beginning with the Ministry of National Languages of bridging the gaps between the communities. Instead, he made a scramble by creating a mess with the education Ministries. In the economic front he is doing something but that too is in disarray due to mismanagement and “cancerous corruption”.

    Now I also agree with Dr. N.Satchi of UK that “…. equality of all citizens under the constitution should be the bottom line.” With this let me reiterate my position: I do not have majority and minority concepts segregated according to ethnicity.I believe in all “human beings” in equal terms irrespective of colour or creed.

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      Douglas,

      Thanks. I contest the President’s contention that there are only two groups, those who love Sri Lanka and those who don’t. Even the LTTE loved a part of Sri Lanka, although they preferred to call that part Eelam. We may contest and condemn many things about the LTTE, but cannot question their love for at least a part of this land, for which they gave their lives. Those who died would have given their lives for the whole land too, if they had not been pushed to feel that they were not the co-owners, but a minority to be tolerated and managed as the majority thought it. Every citizen and former citizen loves this country. How this love manifests may differ in political terms, but it cannot be doubted. The failure to understand this truth is what makes this government err in its post-war approach to minority issues.

      Dr.RN

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      douglas

      ” I do not have majority and minority concepts segregated according to ethnicity.I believe in all “human beings” in equal terms irrespective of colour or creed.”

      I agree with you completely.

      However, I would like to see my people as first among the equals, with their own space to hunt, gather, toil and to have their individualism respected, lively hood and land secured.

      I also want my people to be able to sing national anthem in our own Veddah language with slight modification, for example “Our land of joy and victory” should be changed to “Veddah’s land of joy”. The word victory should be deleted as this reminds us your victory over our people. In fact victory for the Kallathonies. It hurts me more than anything else.

      You say

      “I believe in all “human beings” in equal terms irrespective of colour or creed.”

      If that is true what did you do to stop slaughter of innocent people from 5th April 1971 to 2009?

      I take it that you began believing in all “human beings” in equal terms irrespective of colour or creed, only recently.

      No two people are equal and nor their needs and fears are identical.

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    Dear Dr. Satchi,

    Withanage’s comment was in an interview that was carried recently in DBSJ’s blog – quoting another Cbo source.

    The brief and catchy commentator Native Veddah is very much in Ole Blighty. He is not tainted with communalism or racial prejudice, as I gather.

    I agree with much of what you say. Unfortunately, it is the Rajapakses, via their delaying tactics, who have internationalised the issue and allowed others to come in. They do not mean ill but have absolutely little clue in good and responsible governance. As I see it, TNA is agreeable to join in the PSC but their request the Rajapakses, at least now, tell what is on offer is reasonable – judging by the established deception and perfidious past of the Rajapakses in the suspect devices of Committees under various names.

    Rgds/Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuvan

      “He is not tainted with communalism or racial prejudice, as I gather.”

      Actually I love to be a proud racist like others in this forum and elsewhere. Though I try very hard to mimic them in every aspect which I thought would enhance my reputation, I fail, and fail miserably.

      Please advise me on how best to taint oneself as a racist.

      Dr. N. Satchi UK would like to meet both of us.

      Its a good idea.

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    Adding to my response to Dr Satchi, allow me to say if we pretend to be a secular society – clearly copying India – then granting a special place to one religion, is contradictory. Naturally, in terms of allocation of resources the religion of the largest majority gets the largest share but this question of all are equal while one is more equal than the other in this regard sounds grotesque.

    Buddhist Chauvinism and Extremism is very much with us and encouraged by State actors to grow to alarming levels – since of late threatening other adherents. We simply cannot wish it away. Neither can we remain silent all the time. All of us should respect all religious hierarchies so long as they work towards peace and justice to all. However, I share the concern and comments of many the hierarchy of the Buddhist leadership in the country has done very little or nothing while the country is undergoing the most difficult period in the history of our country in recent times. These are not my personal views but that of leading Buddhists in the country – as we read from many sourceds. I agree we need more than an ostrich-like attitude from the leadership of the Venerable Sangha. The problem appears to be the Sangha that was in two Chapters in Kandy now counts to more than 5,
    That is a sure recipe for disunity and confusion – which is what we have now.

    Senguttuvan

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    Dear REaders,

    Please forgive me for the so many mistakes in my comment to Mr. Sengutuvan. The thrust of my thinking can nevertheless be discerned.

    Dr. N. Satchi UK.

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    Dr Dayan Jayathilake must clarify about his stand on 13A.whether he is for the full implementation of the 13 A.

    The governments from the time these Provincial councils were established in 1987 are reluctant to allow the Provincial Councils even in the south from enjoying certain existing provisions.

    13 A is part of the Constitution and the constitutions are supposed to be the supreme law of the land .Not even the President is above the constitution.

    What is Dr Dayan’s position in these matters?

    He must disclose his stand forthrightly.

    I agree that real ground situation does not favour entirely new initiative for a political solution to the ethnic issue.

    But the prerequisite for the election is the establishment of the independent commissions and law and order and good governance should prevail.

    What is Dr Dayan Jayathilake’s position?.

    The elections should be conducted legally and fairly.

    The establishment of an independence e commission will help in a long way.

    Tamils should participate in the elections in good faith and suitable candidates should enter the fray.

    The elected chief minister should have outstanding leadership qualities and try to build up consensus around his approaches.

    Confrontational politics will not help in this endeavor.

    Let us give a chance to 13A for success!

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    Dear Duglas,

    Let it be clear that I was an ardent supporter of the LTTE and its leadership. Near two thousand youths have been slaughtered by the elected leadership of the Sri Lankan state irrespective of the ethnicity. They were all trying to overthrow the elected leadership. There was something rotten in our elected representatives for this state of affairs to have materialized.

    We have fought and lost. Those of us who supported the LTTE are seriously interested in the well being of our people, and some of us will naturally reflect on the things we did wrong. I am going to write about these in some detail and I am duty bound to do so. It is my belief that we need to evolve a solution, relying on our Sinhalese brethren and ourselves without relying on any external agencies. This is a lesson that we have learnt at very high cost to us in particular and to the nation at large.

    Dr. N. Satchi UK.

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