24 May, 2019

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The Whole Country Must Know The Truth

By R. Sampanthan

R. Sampanthan

I would submit with respect that this is a Matter of urgent public importance, and that is the reason for raising this matter today in the House at Adjournment, to enable the whole country to be kept informed of the truth in regard to the processes and everything relating thereto.

Hon. Speaker

Parliament of Sri Lanka

Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte.

ADJOURNMENT MOTION

Question relating to matter of Public importance to be raised on 22nd February 2017 at the conclusion of questions by Mr. R Sampanthan, Member of Parliament, Leader of Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) and Leader of the Opposition

All people who lived in Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, or any other difference, whether Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher made their fullest contribution to the achievement of independence.

It is almost 70 years since Sri-Lanka attained Independence from Colonial Rule.

Ethnic strife had plagued the Country from shortly after it attained Independence.

Pacts entered into between Prime Ministers and the Tamil Political Leadership to help resolve such ethnic strife and enable all Citizens to live together in peace and amity, with equality and justice were not fulfilled by the ruling elite.

As a result of such Ethnic Strife and ethnic violence against the Tamil People in the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s and thereafter, up to 50% of the Sri Lankan Tamil population were compelled to leave their own Country largely on grounds of insecurity and take up residence in different countries the world over. Tens of thousands of Tamil families have consequently been divided. It is relevant to point out that ethnic violence was unleashed against the Tamil people when they made political demands that would enable them to live as equal citizens in the Country.

Recurrence of Violence would result in more Tamils fleeing the country.

Ethnic Violence against Tamils is an imminent danger until there is political resolution of the conflict.

An Armed Conflict emerged. Tamil Youth waged a War against the Sri Lankan State for more than twenty-five years. It is more than Seven years since the armed conflict came to an end. During this armed conflict much suffering was endured by all people in all parts of the Country. Such armed conflict by Tamil youth emerged only after several decades of ethnic violence against the Tamil people.

The Conflict was also internationalized, and the issue has been in the international domain. Several resolutions were adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council and the resolution adopted in October 2015 comes up for review in February /March 2017.

Our Neighbour and parent Country India offered its good offices to resolve the issue which Sri Lanka accepted in 1983. An Indo Sri Lanka agreement was signed on 29th July 1987 between Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India and President J R Jayewardene of Sri Lanka which laid down vital contours for a political resolution.

There were also several domestic efforts to finally resolve the conflict. These efforts were made after the enactment of the 13th amendment to the Constitution as the same was found to be inadequate and unworkable.

During President R Premadasa’s term the Managala Moonesinghe Select Committee proposals, during President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s term the proposals she made in 1995,1997 and the proposals tabled as a Bill in Parliament in August 2000, the Oslo Communique and the Tokyo Communiqué during Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe’s term as Prime Minister and the speech delivered by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the inaugural meeting of the All Parties Representative Committee (A P R C) and the Multi Ethnic Experts Committee (M E E C) appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa ,and the reports of the said A P R C and M E E C. All these processes took the proposals for sharing power much beyond the scope of the 13th amendment.

With the assumption of office of the new Government, Parliament has constituted itself as a Constitutional Assembly, a Steering Committee, comprising of representatives of all political parties in Parliament has been appointed, under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister, various Sub – Committees representing different political parties have been appointed, and work is in progress for the evolution of a Constitution to resolve the conflict within a united, undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka, with the maximum possible consensus.

The Resolution for the appointment of the Constitutional Assembly adopted by Parliament inter-alia states:-

“Whereas there is broad agreement among the people of Sri Lanka that it is necessary to enact a constitution for Sri Lanka” It further states

  1. This Parliament resolves that: There shall be a Committee which shall have the powers of the Committee of the whole Parliament consisting of Members of Parliament for the purpose of deliberating and seeking the advice and views of the people on a Constitution for Sri Lanka and
  2. Preparing a draft of a Constitutional Bill for the consideration of Parliament in the exercise of its powers under article 75 of the Constitution. It further states
  3. For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby further declared that a Constitution Bill shall only be enacted into Law if it is passed in Parliament by a special majority of two thirds of the whole number of the Members of Parliament including those not present and subsequently approved by the people at a Referendum as required by Article 83 of the Constitution.

The current 1978 Constitution did not have such consensus, nor did the 1972 first Republican Constitution, have such consensus. The failure to evolve a Constitution based on such consensus has been the reason for the failure of such Constitutions.

Issues relating to transitional justice in respect of which resolutions have been adopted at the Human Right Council also need to be addressed. These too are issues of urgent public importance in respect of which the Country needs to be kept informed. It is estimated that over one hundred and fifty thousand Tamils were killed as a result of the conflict and that recurrence of violence could result in more Tamil people being killed and more Tamil people fleeing the Country.

While we on our part will extend the maximum co-operation to the satisfactory conclusion of these processes and to the non – recurrence of violence, it is absolutely essential that these processes be taken forward in a genuine and purposeful manner, so as to ensure permanent peace with justice and equality to all citizens. It is fundamental that all extend their cooperation to enable the successful conclusion of these processes.

I would submit with respect that this is a Matter of urgent public importance, and that is the reason for raising this matter today in the House at Adjournment, to enable the whole country to be kept informed of the truth in regard to the processes and everything relating thereto.

R. Sampanthan
Member of Parliament –Trincomalee
Leader of the Opposition.

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Latest comments

  • 1
    2

    No resolution as long as continuous push for mono ethnic enclaves outside the control of the national legislature and the executive. As long as no repudiation of Vadukkodai and Thimpu agenda. As long as acting as a pawn of Indian imperialist design to annex SL to a Greater India. As long as continuous push to subjugate & deny national culture with the support of alien and vassal mindsets of homosexuals.

    • 3
      1

      Hela

      “No resolution as long as continuous push for mono ethnic enclaves outside the control of the national legislature and the executive.”

      Don’t worry, I want Sinhala/Buddhist noisy minority to have their ghetto in the deep south built within ten square mile area.

      ” As long as acting as a pawn of Indian imperialist design to annex SL to a Greater India.”

      Sorry, I am not aware of any cure for your paranoia.

      “As long as continuous push to subjugate & deny national culture with the support of alien and vassal mindsets of homosexuals.”

      Seriously what do you consider as your national culture? Is it to do with “Sunday Sil Monday Kill”? Or is it ” Kill the Veddah, Rob the Buddha, Blame the Suddha”?

      Why don’t you relocate to Hela province of Papua New Guinea?

      • 1
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        Ignorant veddek………..or a cunning veddek?

  • 1
    0

    It is time for us to move our comments elsewhere!

    Reason for comments “drying up” at the end of this article is that the full speech ny Sampanthan appears here:

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sampanthan-says-tamil-people-losing-patience-with-yahapalanaya/

    People are commenting there, but too few.

    There were some people complaining that the entirety of Mr Sampanthan’s speech is not to be found here. So all the proceedings are given there. The early sections of the speech are given here. The later sections deal mainly with the history of colonisation etc. I don’t think that the editing of what we are given here was done with malintent, but one gets curious to see the rest.

    Read there; be prepared for three times the length.

  • 6
    0

    As I have been emphasising in my writings this is the last chance for genuine reconciliation and ethnic peace in the island. Sampanthan is the only moderate leader and probably the last moderate leader the Sinhalese can deal with. The Sinhalese have a fear that sharing of powers will lead to separation. It need not be so. In fact the opposite is the truth. If Kandyan Sinhalese who speak the same language asked for federalism a century ago, the Tamils have more reason to ask for federalism now. The past 70 years have proved that a unitary constitution has failed to unify the people. On the contrary it has led to strive and communal disharmony. Federalism is the glue that holds people and the country together without break up. My only hope is sanity will prevail over insanity.

    • 0
      1

      Don’t zigzag Please. You attacked CV because he was the only one openly talking about it, No Sampanthar or Sumanthiran has openly said that they want Federal government.

      When I asked you, if you want to vary from NPC election manifesto, go there and stand for election against CV. Unlike CV, who is only bound by NPC election, Sampanthar is still bound by Vaddukoddai Convention, that is Tamil Eelam.

    • 4
      0

      Dear Thanga,

      Yes, we’ve got to seize this opportunity.

      Last chance? We always say that, but later other chances may appear. However, by then it is usually the case that we may have to pay a higher price, and lots of people have suffered owing to the delay.

      It is the happiness / the sufferings of individuals that matters, and in the case of our country putting an end to corruption. Of course, we are most adept at seizing some myth and then elevating that to the status of sacred – to me that is bunk.

      However, at the behest of a guy named “srinath.guneratne” (see above in these same responses), I downloaded the Present Constitution, and I think I agree that it is not the Constitution (some 163 pages, but taking up only 1.5 mb of disk space – the English version it is) that is a huge problem, but our not IMPLEMENTING its provisions.

      Federalism could merely proliferate bureaucracy. And I wouldn’t be happy breaking this “little” island into a number of ethnic enclaves. We have to affirm our qualities as fellow human beings, having two languages. Religions? Let those be strictly personal. They seem to do more harm than good! We’ll have to treat them with respect, of course – my flippant attitude won’t do!

      That said, however, I don’t think that I will object to a new “Federal Constitution”. We do need to press ahead for a solution – already 67 years too late!

  • 0
    0

    One main reason for killing Tamils was LTTE kept you all as a shield. I am really pathetic about a;ll the civilians bereaved. According to me responsibility lies with LTTE being a terrorist group they kept people for their protection. We had a humanitarian battle to save our country.

    In my view we all should get together and solve problems you are suffering now. Otherwise our country would go from bad to worse. All of us should have a compromise. Your people should come to normal life.The real challenges you are facing should be addressed having discussed with you and considering your wish.

    I feel that is the real need of the hour. Otherwise we all would never come out of this situation.

    • 1
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      Sriyani Mangalika

      “Otherwise our country would go from bad to worse.”

      The country is already in worse shape. Where could it go?

    • 0
      0

      You are halucinating. The TRUTH is the past governments were terrorists, causing systematic Tamil genocide. Even now you do not want to say “Sorry” to Tamils. You want to hide the TRUTH under the carpet.

      Immature Sinhalese like you should grow up to maturity to know the TRUTH and shun falsehood in thoughts.

    • 0
      0

      Sriyani,

      You are right. Things could get very much worse for us if we don’t solve this problem NOW.

      Other chances may come, after much more suffering. And why can’t we solve this problem right now? It’s because each of the politicians wants to emerge on top at the end of it. A few may be justifying that to themselves saying that they are probably the best of an imperfect lot. With others it’s pure selfishness.

      But, Sriyani Mangalika, I don’t agree with your first paragraph which heaps all the blame on the Tamil side. Yes, the LTTE used human shields. Don’t expect high standards from “terrorists” – and much of the time the Tigers were really nasty terrorists. But I’m sure that from a Tamil perspective they cannot be written off as only that. As for us – it may be that the war had to be fought – but please, much of the time it was genocidal in detail. You call it “humanitarian”, no Tamil is going to listen any more. And to save “our country”? It was theirs as well.

      I don’t really blame Sarwan for being as bitter as he sounds; but, please, Sarwan, there have been efforts by individual Sinhalese, and even by some politicians who had power (Comrade Bahu has never had that sort of power!) to take a few timorous steps forward. Even now, I’m sure there are. You must help them by saying something to qualify your outright condemnation.

      I’m an insignificant guy, but I do say sorry for all that you have suffered.

      The rest of what you say I agree with, and thanks for having the courage to say it. Even saying that much is resented by some. Even Native Vedda (who always takes a basically good line) says our country can’t get much worse. Oh, it could, and it possibly will.

      But more than all else, let us never say things to make impossible a solution which is slightly different from our pet envisagement. (Is there such a word?)

      None of us is perfect. Let us all start by being humble!

  • 0
    0

    The oft repeated charge that LTTE used the Tamil people as human shield is lot of hogwash. The fact of the matter is a majority of the people followed the LTTE voluntarily. This is because the alternative was worse. People ran to LTTE held areas when the dominant Sinhala army advanced. Can anyone explain why the Tamil people did not receive the army as their liberators? So please don’t repeat this lie that the LTTE used the Tamils as human shield. LTTE leader Prabhakaran still remains the most popular leader even after his death. He fought not for his own glory but for the people. People appreciate his sacrifice for the cause he believed in.

    • 0
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      Thanga

      “The oft repeated charge that LTTE used the Tamil people as human shield is lot of hogwash.”

      Well it is not hogwash for those victims. I was unfortunate to meet some of them after their release. Please it sounds like your claim is not only a hogwash but a blatant lie too. Please stop living in a parallel universe. The people were dragged all the way from Jaffna to Vanni at gun point.

      “The fact of the matter is a majority of the people followed the LTTE voluntarily.”

      Was it because the people felt Tamil Eelam was where Prabaharan was?

      (That is how people of Ayodhya felt when Rama started his exile according to Ramayana myth.)

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