27 October, 2020

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Time To Press The Reset Button

By Dharisha Bastians

Dharisha Bastians

With the TNA flushed with victory in the North and the President’s popular support reinforced in the south after Saturday’s provincial elections, the time has never been more opportune for the country’s main Tamil party and its ruling coalition to attempt to repair relations and pursue reconciliation

The first postal vote results of the Northern Provincial Council election were just trickling in, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for New York, to address the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly. With the historic Northern poll just concluded and declared largely peaceful other than for sporadic incidents of violence, the President no doubt left native shores with mixed feelings.

On the one hand, he was going before the UN having finally delivered on a major promise to the international community, even if his Government did so through gritted teeth, and at New Delhi’s relentless prodding. But the results of Saturday’s polling had also ripped to shreds his Government’s consistent mantra that economic development was more important than political rights to the war-battered populations of former conflict zones. The ruling coalition had registered a spectacular defeat in the Northern Province, its development showpiece, to the Tamil National Alliance that secured an overwhelming mandate in the provincial election.

The ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had secured anticipated victories in the North Western and Central Provinces, typically decimating the opposition United National Party and completely knocking out the country’s third political force the JVP. Pleased as the ruling administration would be with its major victories, some discomfort is likely in the ranks over the surprise showing of its former Army Chief and current political rival, Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party, which managed a total of five seats in both provinces in play.

The main act

But in the election dramas that unfolded last Saturday, it was made clear early that the North-Western and Central Provinces were just sideshows to the main act. For one thing the two southern provinces had polls to elect provincial representatives many times before, and so with the exception of the hotly contested preferential races within the ruling party, there was little to anticipate. For another, the results of the two polls were a foregone conclusion and the only thing left to decide was how big the UNP’s margin of defeat would be in the latest round of polling.

But the Northern election had become a matter of global and regional relevance after sustained attempts by New Delhi and other sections of the international community to have the poll conducted since the war ended in May 2009. The provincial council system perceived in the rest of the island as a resource-sapping white elephant, came about in 1987 through New Delhi’s intervention as a means to provide a degree of political autonomy to the Tamil majority regions of the North and East. With the Government’s commitment to devolution and a political settlement to the country’s ethnic feud faltering four years after the defeat of the LTTE, the postponement of the Northern provincial election was increasingly seen as an attempt by Colombo to prevent Northern Tamils from enjoying the most basic autonomy over certain specified areas the rest of Sri Lanka’s provinces had been enjoying for the past quarter of a century.

Tying his hands

When President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an interview with The Hindu in July 2012 casually threw out September 2013 as a probable date for the Northern provincial polls, the international community latched on to his words. In March 2013, reportedly at New Delhi’s insistence, the second US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka further cemented the election date by welcoming the President’s announcement about the September 2013 Northern polls. The poll is seen as a much-delayed, much needed concession to the Tamil people of the North to whom the Government had promised political resolution when soliciting the support of the international community for its military push to defeat the LTTE until 2009.

As pressure mounted in the lead up to September, a desperate administration tried hard to dilute the powers of the provincial councils as set out by the 13th Amendment. The moves were strongly backed by the Defence Establishment and hardline Sinhala parties in the ruling coalition. None of these attempts withstood the colossal pressure that was brought to bear upon Colombo from New Delhi, which sent its National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon to Sri Lanka in July to read the Rajapaksa Administration the riot act. Furthermore the UPFA itself was sharply divided over the proposed dilution of 13A, with old left parties and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress vowing to deprive the Government of the two thirds majority it would need in Parliament to enact the constitutional changes. Late in the game about a week before the poll, five petitions were filed by Sinhala hardline organisations challenging the TNA manifesto as being secessionist in content and therefore a violation of the sixth amendment to the constitution. Taking the petitions up on 18 September, three days before the poll, the Supreme Court issued notice on the TNA to appear in court early next month, but stopped short of issuing an injunction against the 21 September election.

So it was against all odds the Northern election finally came about last Saturday, not without incident but peaceful overall. Credit for holding the election, regardless of the compulsions, goes to the Government.

Accustomed to having every major national decision made on military calculations in war time, the country’s massive defence establishment remains a force to reckon with as Sri Lanka grapples with meeting its post-war obligations to the Tamil people and the international community. The conduct of the Northern provincial election was in essence the triumph of the political factions within the regime that must now constantly battle the more militaristic, hardline elements in its ranks for supremacy on virtually every key national issue. It was this victory of the more moderate sections of the Rajapaksa administration that allowed the President to tell the world on Tuesday, as he addressed the UN General Assembly, that the Northern people had enjoyed the right to elect its provincial representatives after the lapse of 25 years, because of his Government’s efforts.

A victory for regime moderates

If there is a lesson for the Government from this election, apart from the defeat of its ‘development is reconciliation’ political philosophy, it is that victories for moderate elements in its ranks can always be translated into victories internationally.

President Rajapaksa’s speech to the UN came less than 24 hours before UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay was scheduled to issue a blazing report on the country’s human rights situation, three weeks after her fact finding mission to Sri Lanka. His ability to tout at least one major victory on the reconciliation issue at the UN in New York, ahead of Pillay’s report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, gives the Government an edge in its international dealings that propaganda and grandstanding simply does not.

In contrast, the fiasco surrounding the D.S. Senanayake statue at Independence Square was a spectacular example of what transpires when the more hawkish sections of the ruling administration win the day.

Statue fiasco

Attempts made by the Defence Secretary to claim that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had requested the President to remove a statue of Sri Lanka’s first prime minister from Independence Square blew up in extraordinary fashion when Pillay’s office issued a formal complaint to Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva demanding a retraction and clarification. When no retraction came – for obvious reasons – Pillay’s office hit back hard with a strongly worded denial accusing the most powerful sections of the ruling administration as being bare-faced liars.

The High Commissioner’s rebuttal received wide publicity worldwide, since the statement was released both in Geneva and New York, a sign that the campaign of vilification by the Government of Sri Lanka against a high ranking UN official was being taken very seriously even at UN Headquarters. Reports say UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was also scheduled to take the matter up with President Rajapaksa when the two met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly sessions on Tuesday, although the official communiqués from the meeting did not allude to that discussion.

Since Pillay’s harshly worded denial, the Government has maintained deafening silence, leaving it entirely up to its mission in Geneva and Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha to handle the damage control on the issue. The reasons that compelled a senior public official to make such an accusation against High Commissioner, when at least 10 other people sat in on her meeting with the President on 30 August are baffling. But it is clear that while it sweeps up the debris from the careless remark, days before the High Commissioner was due to issue an oral report on Sri Lanka, instructions have been issued to Pillay’s accusers in Colombo to maintain radio silence.

Militarisation

With international forces building against Sri Lanka as the regime continues to be intransigent on dealing with allegations of major violations during the last phase of the conflict and taking credible steps towards devolving power to the North and East, it is clear that foreign officials are now proving ready and willing to take the Rajapaksa Government on. India’s much respected former elections commissioner, N. Gopalswami who was leading the SAARC monitoring mission for the Northern elections in Sri Lanka did not mince his words after the polls, directly accusing the armed forces of involvement on the attack on the home of TNA candidate and imposing on the electoral process by distributing campaign propaganda and putting up election posters. Commonwealth Monitors, also in Colombo to monitor the election in the North have echoed the sentiments, going further to accuse the military of harassing and intimidating voters.

Against all these consistent independent reports, repeatedly blanket denials and lack of investigation from the military establishment is beginning to ring hollow. In an area that is heavily garrisoned even four years after the end of the war, it is becoming clear that decisions of the political administration notwithstanding the defence establishment has a mind of its own.

Turning to Basil

It is perhaps with this comprehension that the Government has chosen to turn to its most astute political strategist to deal with all matters pertaining to the aftermath of the Northern election. Economic Affairs Minister Basil Rajapaksa struck a conciliatory note in Colombo the day after the election, pledging the Government’s commitment to continue its development agenda in the north and work with the TNA led Provincial Council on addressing Tamil issues.  The sentiments had been echoed in Jaffna just hours previously.

Clad in the traditional vetti, TNA Leader R. Sampanthan and National List MP M.A. Sumanthiran were the first to walk into the auditorium of the Tilko Hotel in Jaffna on Sunday afternoon, to address a packed press briefing for a large contingent of local and foreign journalists who had descended on the Northern Province for the historic election. The party had just won 30 seats on the 38 seat Northern Provincial council and its Chief Ministerial candidate had garnered a massive number of preferential votes in the Jaffna District.

High spirits

All smiles and in high spirits about the TNA’s huge win, Sumanthiran quipped that his party leader had not watched election results that started coming in well past midnight, but had gone off to sleep in ‘supreme confidence.’ But the TNA had a few anxious hours on Saturday, when initial reports about voter turnout was bad as monitors reported that voters were being turned away from polling booths. At the Uthayan Rest House in Jaffna town on Saturday afternoon, Sampanthan tried to reassure the political fresher and TNA Chief Minister candidate Justice C.V. Wigneswaran who was fretting about voter turnout that it was too early to make any definitive calculations.

Sumanthiran and the TNA’s Jaffna District stalwarts Suresh Premachandran and Marvai Senathirajah had little time to fret, spending a lot of their time on election day on the roads backing the party’s candidates and supporters. While the Sampanthan-Sumanthiran-Wigneswaran triumvirate have been lauded for being the chief architects of the TNA’s landslide victory in the North, TNA General Secretary Senathirajah is also due a lion share of credit for the party’s success in the former conflict zone. Senathirajah staked a claim for the Chief Ministerial slot at the beginning of election season, but once the party’s decision was made, threw himself wholeheartedly into the campaign, despite his reservations about Wigneswaran’s credentials. Senathirajah’s support in Jaffna remains unparalleled and Wigneswaran owes a significant part of his massive victory in the district, to the man who contested him for the party’s nomination.

Learning from Marvai

There is a lesson in the TNA’s ability to pull together for the greater common good, for other opposition parties, and especially the UNP. The main opposition party is plagued by internal rifts because party members who challenge the leadership and fail to change the status quo, often resort to undermining or even sabotaging the party’s attempts at electoral success. Conversely, Senathirajah’s ability to put his party before personal ambition likely played a bigger role in his party’s success than the TNA leadership would like to admit.

At the press meeting on Sunday, the new Chief Minister elect and Sampanthan claimed they were ready to work with the Government on overlapping issues and urged the regime in Colombo to heed the democratic verdict in the north. It is early days yet, but the conciliatory tones in both Jaffna and Colombo are a hopeful sign. As it transforms itself from an opposition party to one in governance, the TNA will be called upon to show political maturity in order to push the Rajapaksa regime in Colombo to reciprocate. To do so, it will be firmly compelled to shed its election rhetoric, some of which bordered on the inflammatory and seemed unnecessarily adoring of the LTTE. Wigneswaran in particular, has found himself caught between a rock and a hard place as he tried to placate both the hardline Tamil Diaspora and the Sinhala south, oscillating between moderate and hardline speeches on the stump and in interviews.

“Mr. Wigneswaran was a moderate and remains a moderate,” Sampanthan says, the day before the election. “It was I who chose Mr. Wigneswaran and at the time, the primary criticism against him was that he was too much of a moderate,” he claims with a smile.

The resurrection of the Tamil political leadership to its pre-1977 moderate, intellectual beginnings is something the TNA is clearly working towards, although it is hitting snags along the way because of the diversity within the alliance. It is trying to choose educated Tamils drawn from war-torn districts of the North to take up provincial ministerial portfolios, something that will prove a key difference between the NPC and other councils if the efforts succeed. But in the end, the TNA’s reinvention process, undertaken after the defeat of the LTTE, will only come full circle when and if the party is able to transcend the compulsions of the Diaspora, its own hardline elements and push for negotiations with a Government they barely trust that does not trust them.

As for President Rajapaksa whose popular support was recently reinforced in the two southern provincial elections, if he manages to silence the hardliners in his camp long enough to pursue genuine discussion on the issues of devolution and Tamil political rights with the TNA, next year in New York, he really will have something to showcase.

Courtesy Daily FT

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Latest comments

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    “………………………………….pursue genuine discussion on the issue of devolution and Tamil political rights……………….”

    The government has to merely implement in toto,the provisions of the 13th amendment, to allow the Rule of Law and the Land Ownership Rights of the peoples of the nothern province.
    The people are NOT going to run away with the province,but will remain contented citizens within it.

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    Decades ago, if I am not mistaken, Mr Sampanthan was wooed into politics by TULF and now Mr Sampanthan himself has gone and handpicked Mr Wigneswaran to be the first Chief Minister of Northern Province. I am sure the word “hope” means very little for the bruised and battered Sri Lankan Tamils in the north but I completely agree with you that it’s time to press the reset button and hope for the best!

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    Dharisha Bastians,

    1.) You wrote: “With the historic Northern poll just concluded and declared largely peaceful other than for sporadic incidents of violence…”

    The Sinhala Budhist nation probably refers to you as a Sinhala moderate. You don’t mean anything to us Tamils. We would rather work with and negotiate with Sinhala Budhist hardliners – because they are honest about their feelings, whereas your kind are deceptive to the core. Because the Tamils are a nation, we don’t give a damn about your lie: largely peaceful!!! Since you are Sinhalese, you brush under the carpet, the Sinhala Budhist army’s violence, voter intimidation and electoral fraud.

    2.) Did you ever realize that your last name is not Buddhist? It is Europian! Seems to me that the Sinhala Buddhist mobs have not burnt enough of the churches you worship in. When your kind in SL realizes their folly, it will be too late! Like the muslims’ plight of today, your kind will have to face the Sinhala Buddhist terrorist army, thugs and bikkus on your own.

    3.) You are a spineless journalist to refer to Basil Rajapaksa as an “astute political strategist”. It will be too late when the average Sinhala Buddhist voter relises, that Basil, earned the name Mr. 10 %, for a very good reason. President Chandrika described this Rajapaksa family as crooks, thugs and village idiots. Among us Tamils, only a few despicable individuals such as DBS.Jeyaraj and Douglas Devananda will applaud your writings.

    4.) In the final part of your article, you wrote:

    “To do so, it will be firmly compelled to shed its election rhetoric, some of which bordered on the inflammatory and seemed unnecessarily adoring of the LTTE. Wigneswaran in particular, has found himself caught between a rock and a hard place as he tried to placate both the hardline Tamil Diaspora and the Sinhala south, oscillating between moderate and hardline speeches on the stump and in interviews.”

    I agree to a certain extent. But these campaign statements by the TNA are ***nothing*** compared to what your wretched Sri Lanka’s Sinhala Buddhist leaders have said on stage, and later, unlike the Tamil leaders, had the power to implement whatever they wanted in your wretched Sri Lanka and its parliament. BTW, I am not an LTTE supporter, so don’t waste any time by calling me one.

    Even before the Brits left in 1948, DS.Senanayake started colonizing Tamil areas. What did the bogus buddhist, SWRD do in 1956? Thanks to the 1956 Sinhala only act, your very mediocre English writings are among the best English language writings by Sri Lanka’s current journalists. The rest are swabasha (Sinhala language) educated idiots! They got what they asked for!

    The Tamils and Burgers who were chased out of your wretched Sri Lanka, have excelled in English, French, German etc. And excelled in the sciences, law business etc. Finally, they are respected as model citizens in the countries in which they built their lives from nothing.

    Whereas, the lazy Sinhala Buddhists in your wretched Sri Lanka, perfected the art of looting and stealing from Tamils, in 1956, 1958, 1977, 1983 and 2009, and all years in between 1956 and 2013. Now the lazy Sinhala Buddhists are looting and stealing from the coffers of their wretched state, Sri Lanka!

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      Vettivelu Yogeswaran – you must be an old frustrated retired nobody living in some far way place where the sun doesn’t shine much since your bitterness seems rather deep rooted. Chill man, for all the carp of the past there are still signs of hope and it is this hope that makes life worth living. So I suggest go outside, take a walk, breath some fresh air and try and get your messed up shit together.
      Cheers

    • 0
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      vettivelu,people like you are a CURSE to Tamils in SL
      im pretty sure you live in a cold country in west and take welfare benefits and also SL govt pension and take bull!

      Get lost man

    • 0
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      Vettivelu,
      I didnt realize that she is indirectly attacking .. mmmm good thinking. Its a another modarate crap

  • 0
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    THE PERCY JILMART PRAYER
    Our PresiDunce who art in Hotel de Temple Palace,
    Percy Jilmart be thy name,
    Thy KingDumb come, thy election will be won,
    And thy Royal Family of 300+ will be in 7th Heaven Give us this day a packet of biriyani rice, and a 500 rupee bribe
    And urge us to vote for you, as we voted for you in 2005 and 2010,
    And lead us not into inflation
    But deliver us from international conspiracies
    For thine is the army, navy, air force and police,
    And the judges and the jury
    And the power and the glory
    Forever and ever
    Amen and Jaya HOO! :-D

  • 0
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    Where is that button Dharisha?

    I agree. We must press it. Let me.

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    Vettivelu Yogeswaran,

    “Even before the Brits left in 1948, DS.Senanayake started colonizing Tamil areas. “

    As for the term “coloniation”, this is being wrongly applied in the case of Sri Lanka and the sinhala people. Colonisation is what happened in south Africa where the white minority took over the land of the blacks by force and made demographic changes. In Sri Lanka it is the sinhala people who got disadvantaged as a result of the colonial rule. Resettling sinhala people in the ancient villages is not colonisation my friend.

    Let us look at the figures from 1946 onwards, beacuse any increase UPTO 1946 IS natural migration. The so called colonisation happened after 1948.
    Most of the resettlement schems which you call colonisation happened in the present day Eastern Province which was part of the KNADYAN KINDOM MY friend.BRITISH created the current provincial borders They were not historical boundaries. Eastern province was created in such a manner that relatively thickly populated coastal areas which had tamil +muslim majority (about a stretch of 10 miles from the coast ) was annexed with large tracks of inland and sparsely populated sinhala, villages to create this ILLUSION.
    Now let us look at Ampara district though the Tamils and muslims were a majority in 1948, the sinhala people , thoiugh small in numbers were spread out in a large areas (In about 78% of present day Ampara). These areas are called Wev gampattu & Bintenna Pattu. These areas had 93% sinhala even in 1948. It is in these areas that more sinhalaese were settled under Gal oya. The Sri lankan governemnt along with the Sinhala community leaders have presented these facts to the internation community, that is why you guys have not been able to sell the homeland concept succesfully.

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      Rav Perera,
      DS colonised the lands opened up by the Gal Oya scheme of 1960 ENTIRELY by settlers from the south.
      Even a small percentage was not reserved for people of the eastern provice where the scheme was commenced.
      Ancient “kingdoms” were no more – even the “tamil” kingdom – at that time.

  • 0
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    Supreme Court has decided provincial councils have NO land powers! :)

    Yahoo! Fantastic!

    Now Tamils can get back to weeping and howling.

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    Hey Justice,

    “DS colonised the lands opened up by the Gal Oya scheme of 1960 ENTIRELY by settlers from the south.”

    Today 40$ of South Africa are occupied by Whites. If the blacks are resettled in this area, can it be considered colonisation.

    As far no land being reserved for people of the Eastern Province, why make the selection based on artificial boundaries drawn by the British,

    If the British had not created the Eastern province out of the Kandyan Kingdom, would you be talking of an Eastern Province.

    Also remember the areas that came un=der Gal oya scheme came/comes under Wevgam pattu/Bintenna Pattu

  • 0
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    Hey Justice,

    “DS colonised the lands opened up by the Gal Oya scheme of 1960 ENTIRELY by settlers from the south.”

    Today 40$ of South Africa are occupied by Whites. If the blacks are resettled in this area, can it be considered colonisation.

    As far no land being reserved for people of the Eastern Province, why make the selection based on artificial boundaries drawn by the British,

    If the British had not created the Eastern province out of the Kandyan Kingdom, would you be talking of an Eastern Province.

    Also remember the areas that came under Gal oya scheme came/comes under Wevgam pattu/Bintenna Pattu which had a sinhala population of 93% even in 1948.

  • 0
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    Dhaksa:

    Who really attacked the home of that Female Tamil TNA candidate ? IT is their caste problems ?

    Why TNA itself is laughing at her ?

    • 0
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      Everyone laughs at Tamil war widows.

      • 0
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        Fathima – aka Lorenzo
        Why would anyone laugh at war widows? whether Tamil, Sinhala or Muslim- You do have a rather sick mind which is exposed in your rants.

        BTW- why dont you contribute to the appeal by Charles at LW for a vehicle for JL? It’s rather ironic the appeal by JL goes to the diashoras when he can (if he claims to have local support)obtain a state of the art SUV from the likes of Dimo who provide courtesy vehicles to BBS.
        Good luck Lorenzo- Keep us entertained

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    Hey guys,
    This is a good article; yes we should press the reset button!!!Forget about Tamils, Sinhalese,Muslims, Burgers, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians etc and focus on the Sri Lankan identity. Any Sri Lankan irrespective of the race or religion should be able to live in any part of the country peacefully and with dignity.
    Get rid of all institutions or parties carrying racist names such as Sinhalese Sports club,Moors SC, Tamil National Alliance,Muslim Congress etc.
    Substitute these names with the “Sri Lankan” identity.We already have many cultural mosaics. It is time to melt these into one. All political parties should serve all Sri Lankans, not just one race. This is high time to reorient and refocus all racist institutions such as BBS. They should focus on helping the socially vulnerable people irrespective of the race. We have suffered enough. Let the Tamils and Muslims live in dignity in Sri Lanka. They should be proud to call Sri Lanka their “home”. Let Sinhalese, Tamil and English be the official languages of the country.Forget the past and focus on the future. United we win, divided we perish!!!
    ZennBanda

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      Yes, I agree with you that we must get rid of institutions, road names Etc with racist names, even if they say they are not racist. We need to first get the working relationship between TNA & the Government well established, before considering any action against racist party names.

      We must also have a multi-cultural committee to approve new names for roads everywhere in the island. Religious or racial street names should not be approved any longer. The short and popular Havelock Road was suddenly changed to Sri Sambuddhathva Jayanthi Mawatha. It is desirable to limit this name up to Thimbirigasyaya Road or to Dr Lester James Peiris Mawatha, taking in to consideration the racial & religious composition of the residents of Pamankade & Wellawatte area. The road names should be also short as possible.

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    Dharisha,

    This is a well timed article fostering North-South cooperation. Yes, the initial remarks by Wigneswaran, Sambanandan & Sumanthiran as well as the response by Basil Rajapaksa have set the stage for continued development of the Northern Province. If the Tamil Diaspora back the TNA led Northern Provincial Council without strings, this election can pave the way for accelerated development of Sri Lanka based on the trilingual policy.

    The international schools established throughout the island are helping to develop young people who grow up in multi-ethnic schools and interact without being separated on the basis of race or religion. Soon international schools will open in the Northern Province to cater to the demand for young people who are at home in a globalised environment, connected by the social media. Governments or racist Diaspora are unlikely to have much control over this shrinking of borders between nations or races. These are good trends that will accelerate growth in Sri Lanka.

    The Mayor of Colombo has shown that there is no difficulty in cooperating with the government and particularly Gotabhaya Rajapaksa led UDA, to develop the city of Colombo to be a city we can be proud of. I hope they will get the help of the governments of Japan and China in resolving the garbage disposal problem.

    Paskaralingam, who was the de-facto Prime Minister and perhaps the best public servant of recent times, showed that race is not a problem in Sri Lanka. Colombo Telegraph has shown that it is possible to foster internet based independent media capable of moving Sri Lanka out of the mud hole of ethnic politics and controlled media. Keep up writing on constructive topics! We need young writers without baggage to steer the country in the future.

  • 0
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    shift + del Tamil Elam is a better combination of buttons to press now.

  • 0
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    Fathima Fukushima and Jim Softly both are same Gaymens..

    Well, i tell you that MaRa is scared now, his time is ticking and he is playing a careful role here as he knows if anything goes wrong he will be Deleted by the ICC..

    I hope this mad Idiotic Shabab buggers will come to SL soon n teach lessons to Sinhala Budhist..

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    The wretched, and undemocratic, violent, repressive and utterly bogus republic of Sri Lanka, is one of the very few countries in the world, (like Iran, Libya, North Korea & Burma) where a second rate journalist like Dharisha Bastians, can win the 2007 award: Mervyn de Silva Journalist of the Year- Dharisha Bastians of the Nation.

    http://www.sundaytimes.lk/080727/Plus/sundaytimesplus_20.html

    I have tremendous respect for the many dozen, very decent and very good Sinhala journalists who have fled for their lives, from The wretched, and undemocratic, violent, repressive and utterly bogus republic of Sri Lanka.

    If Dharisha Bastians cannot write the truth because of fear for the pol pot Gota and his thousands of murderous Sinhala Buddhist armed thugs, she should flee Sri Lanka like the well over 100 decent Sinhala journalists who have done so. Else, if she wants to live in Shri Lanka, change her profession. Else, focus on writing about fashion shows, widespread rape against women and children, drug addiction, or even crickt, gardening and flower shows and other tamashas meant for the consumption of the very gullible Sinhala Buddhist masses.

    Dharisha Bastians is a disgrace to the the more than 100 decent Sinhala journalists who have fled Sri Lanka. And how many of her fellow Sinhala journalist were murdered by the armed Sinhala Buddhist thugs controlled by the pol pots, Gota or Sarath (Iberian named!!!) Fonseka?

    Any intelligent person, will very easily see through the second rate articles and trash she writes, when they read articles such as the following one in the Economist, a magazine which the wretched GOSL keeps banning, because it is terrified that a few of the stupid Sinhala Buddhist masses will realize and learn the truth.

    (Please note that I also ridicule and condemn the LTTE leaders for not allowing Tamil media to write the truth about the LTTE and its HR violations, fascism etc.)

    http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21586877-continuing-repression-tamils-and-their-defiance-suggest-reconciliation-far-harder-lines?fsrc=rss

    Sri Lanka’s Tamils

    Harder lines

    Continuing repression of Tamils, and their defiance, suggest reconciliation is far off

    Sep 28th 2013 | JAFFNA |From the print edition

    Thanks to the Sinhala Buddhist revolution of 1956, “Sinhala only in 24 hours”, the degenerate Sri Lankan Enlish creole speaking and writing Dharisha Bastians is considered one of least bad English writers in SL.

    It is mainly the children of corrupt politicians and business people, who can afford the terribly expensive and few, good quality so called international schools in Colombo.

    It is pathetic, that these so called international schools have to charge fees unafordable to the average SL person, in order to import a few caucasian teachers from the UK or Australia!

    Ceylon/SL in 1956 had many tens of thousands of English speaking professionals and teachers, who have nearly all fled SL or died of old age!

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    I just realized that like the Colombo Telegraph, the Economist too may be blocked by the pol pot Gota, so that people in SL cannot read it!

    http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21586877-continuing-repression-tamils-and-their-defiance-suggest-reconciliation-far-harder-lines?fsrc=rss

    Sri Lanka’s Tamils

    Harder lines

    Continuing repression of Tamils, and their defiance, suggest reconciliation is far off
    Sep 28th 2013 | JAFFNA |From the print edition

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Here are some items which Dharisha (Iberian/Portugese name!!!) Bastians conceals or distorts in her Sri Lankan English creole speech or writings:

    1) To dismay in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a relatively hardline group, romped to victory, taking 30 of 38 seats. That was despite the efforts of sullen men from military intelligence near polling stations telling voters to back Mr Rajapaksa’s ruling party. Intimidation was widespread but ineffective. Foreign observers praised voters who defied a “compromised electoral environment”.

    2) Still, celebrations were subdued: a few firecrackers and rueful smiles. Tamils know that their gain is largely symbolic, and they voted more in frustration than in hope. A first-time voter in Jaffna said it was not about development, but “having our own people rule”. Yet that prospect remains far off. Breaking earlier promises of devolution, Mr Rajapaksa’s central government will continue to run most affairs, notably public spending, the police and the distribution of land, much of which has gone to the army.

    3) The provincial council is weak. Real power lies in a shadow military administration, including an army commander who is now governor. It will carry on deciding day-to-day matters. Meanwhile, the army forbids crowds from gathering in the north. Its spies spread fear—a policeman on polling day admitted that even he was scared of them. Many Tamils say just talking to a foreigner provokes interrogation. Plain-clothes figures sporting military haircuts frequently skulked near this correspondent, interrupting meetings.

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    Here is the complete article from the Economist: $
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    Sri Lanka’s Tamils

    Harder lines

    Continuing repression of Tamils, and their defiance, suggest reconciliation is far off
    Sep 28th 2013 | JAFFNA |From the print edition

    ..

    Hoping this pinkie has started something

    “NOW win the peace”, is common advice to victors of a civil war. Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, ended a nearly three-decade long conflict in 2009, but his efforts to produce stability look badly skewed. He, along with Tamil leaders, are storing up troubles ahead.

    Tour the north, where secessionist Tamil Tiger rebels once ruled, and signs of material progress abound. Since the war’s end splendid roads have spread, along with a web of pylons bringing electricity. A rebuilt train line will reach the country’s northern tip at Jaffna next year. Tens of thousands of foreign-financed houses are going up. The residents of one, former hut-dwellers, show off their flat-screen television, concrete walls and leafy garden. Northern towns, once isolated, buzz with motorbikes and three-wheel taxis.

    Related topics
    Jaffna
    Velupillai Prabhakaran
    Sri Lanka
    Politics
    Government and politics

    Democracy had a fillip, too, of sorts, on September 21st, when the north held its first provincial elections. To dismay in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a relatively hardline group, romped to victory, taking 30 of 38 seats. That was despite the efforts of sullen men from military intelligence near polling stations telling voters to back Mr Rajapaksa’s ruling party. Intimidation was widespread but ineffective. Foreign observers praised voters who defied a “compromised electoral environment”.

    Still, celebrations were subdued: a few firecrackers and rueful smiles. Tamils know that their gain is largely symbolic, and they voted more in frustration than in hope. A first-time voter in Jaffna said it was not about development, but “having our own people rule”. Yet that prospect remains far off. Breaking earlier promises of devolution, Mr Rajapaksa’s central government will continue to run most affairs, notably public spending, the police and the distribution of land, much of which has gone to the army.

    The provincial council is weak. Real power lies in a shadow military administration, including an army commander who is now governor. It will carry on deciding day-to-day matters. Meanwhile, the army forbids crowds from gathering in the north. Its spies spread fear—a policeman on polling day admitted that even he was scared of them. Many Tamils say just talking to a foreigner provokes interrogation. Plain-clothes figures sporting military haircuts frequently skulked near this correspondent, interrupting meetings.

    None of this suggests that reconciliation between Tamils and the Sinhalese majority is going anywhere. A politician in Mullaitivu, a northern town, blames Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the defence secretary and the president’s brother, who oversaw the bloody end of the war. With his secret police, “he uses the military as a threatening programme, to create fear among people”, says the politician. He adds that military thugs often barge into his house. No wonder Navi Pillay, the United Nations human-rights commissioner, who toured Sri Lanka in August, warned of a drift towards authoritarianism.

    If so, that is true in the south, too. But northern Tamil resentment runs especially deep. In part it flows from the horrors in the final weeks of the war, when the army killed thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of trapped civilians being held as human shields by ruthless rebels. The army is also accused of killing surrendered fighters from the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE.

    Northern anger may have eased a bit. But post-war treatment of the defeated has been crass. Bulldozing graveyards of rebel soldiers and denying Tamils memorials to the dead while erecting Sinhalese ones: this looks likely to hold back reconciliation, not encourage it. Triumphalist war-tourism sites are just as bad. But it is the military spies who instil greatest mistrust. “People are getting more hardline. Surveillance is very high, which upsets people,” says a human-rights activist.

    It was discouraging, too, that the TNA election campaign suggested that Tamil attitudes are hardening in response. References to the LTTE’s late leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, drew cheers and support from voters. He was a psychopath, more responsible than any other for Tamil deaths. Yet even moderate politicians found it convenient to call him a hero. As for the least moderate, one newly elected councillor, the wife of a disappeared Tamil rebel, claimed that her victory showed that “the LTTE is still living in the hearts of the people.”

    Such talk is bound to provoke hardliners in Mr Rajapaksa’s government to seek more repression of the Tamils. It will also dismay foreigners who have understandable sympathy for the minority group. Already some Sinhalese commentators say the TNA electoral victory proves that Tamils should have been denied an election in the first place.

    A university lecturer in Jaffna concludes that his community is traumatised and lacks leaders. Tamils, he says, “are morally disorganised”. As if to prove his point, one of Prabhakaran’s closest aides, Kumaran Pathmanathan, from his garden in Kilinochchi, argues that Tamils “know only the hardline, never the middle line”. That is obnoxious coming from the LTTE’s main arms procurer, an apologist for Prabhakaran for 35 years. But since his release from jail last year he has become a stooge of the defence secretary. The task for Tamils is to prove his claim wrong.

    From the print edition: Asia

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    Dharisha Bastion:

    More than once, you people tried to reset the button.

    that will not happen.

    Just wait and see.

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