23 October, 2017

TNA Demand For Federalism Is Reasonable

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

The demand for federalism coming from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is reasonable. The question is how best to accommodate it within the existing realities. In my view, it could best be accommodated within the rubric of devolution.

It is not only from the Tamil community that the demand has come from. The first to demand federalism was the Kandyan Association in 1927. The founder of the SLFP, SWRD Bandaranaike was a firm advocate of federalism in the 1930s. There were more specific reasons for the founder of the Federal Party (FP), SJV Chelvanayakam, to demand federalism in 1949.

Some Reasons

With the deprivation of citizenship and franchise of the plantation Tamil community in 1949, a threat was perceived to the Tamil community in general. That was the genesis of the federal demand today, and the perception was not incorrect judging by the experiences of the 1950s and thereafter.

The demand for a separate state is a different one although the ‘federalists’ capitulated to that extremist demand under the heat of the events or circumstances. Otherwise, the demand for federalism cannot be considered an extremist demand. As separatism is now defeated, it is reasonable to consider the demand for federalism in an amicable manner.

Can there be risks? There can be risks but those can be minimized or shielded. This is where compromises are necessary.

There are ‘thousands’ of reasons why separation should be avoided in Sri Lanka. It is purely unnecessary. It will be a disaster for all communities. As human beings, the Sinhalese, the Tamils and the Muslims should be able to live amicably. But it should not be under the rule or hegemony of the majority Sinhalese. The fact that the Sinhalese are the majority in the country is a reality. That should not be misused. With that majority status, the Sinhalese have more responsibilities. The rights of the minorities should be safeguarded.

The Sinhalese should not have a ‘minority fear’ just because there are more Tamils in South India or elsewhere. Terrorism undoubtedly was a threat. This is something that the Tamils also should understand. If not for terrorism, reconciliation could have been easier.

Human rights awareness in the country appears to be quite low. That is one reason for the hostile and antagonistic situation. Human rights awareness allows people to shed their narrow tribal or ethnic feelings. Awareness of human rights motivates people to respect others equally without discrimination or distinction.

Federalism is not a monster or a ‘Gona Billa.’ It is basically a constitutional system. There is no single form of federalism. There are many forms. It is not about the name, it is about the structure and the system of governance. It is akin to our ancient system of ‘Manda-la,’ – within an overall system with a centre (‘Manda’), the existence of different units (‘La’).

Overseas Experiences

Apart from Sri Lanka, I have lived in three main countries; two years in Canada (1974-1976), seven years in Switzerland (1984-1991), and now twelve years altogether in Australia (1991-1997 and 2011-2016). All happened to be well-designed federal systems. Even for one year in Japan (2005-2006), I was living in the Kyoto Prefecture. It was a decentralized/devolved unit.

When I was in Canada, I recollect not only the debates about Quebec separatism but also the incidents of terrorism. But all died down. There were fears that if more powers were given to Quebec, they would separate. But when a referendum was held, separatism was defeated. One key measure for reconciliation was effective bilingualism and adopting what they called ‘cooperate federalism.’

The place where I lived (and studied) was completely bilingual of English and French. After that period, Canada also went for multiculturalism and recognized the rights and status of the indigenous ‘first nation.’

Switzerland was more beautiful as a federal system. We were living in ‘Quartier du Charmilles’ in Geneva. Urban Cantons were divided into Quarters, like Communes in village Cantons. All basic amenities were available within that area – the school, the police station, the council office etc. It was devolution within devolution. When you travel from one Canton to another, you see a difference even in an aesthetic sense. Local arts, crafts and traditions were cultivated not in a competitive manner, but a harmonious way. It might be the same today.

There were many democratic practices along with the federal system in Switzerland. I have seen a commune meeting, in an open area, all citizens participating. They were not fighting! Almost every last Saturday of the month, there was a referendum or two in our area, seeking people’s opinion on important matters.

There was a difference between a ‘federal’ and a ‘unitary’ country in Europe. When you go to France, everything is concentrated in Paris. But it was not the case in, for example, Switzerland or Germany. In Germany, there were many cities equally or more developed like the capital, Bonn, or now Berlin.

Federalism in Australia may be a different story. Given the vastness of the country it is an unavoidable necessity. However, the Commonwealth and the States function harmoniously within their given spheres. If not for federalism, development or public administration could have been a nightmare.

Current Devolution

Of course Sri Lanka is a small country, of the size of Tasmania in Australia. However, the population is nearly the same. Do we need a structure to cater to the land or the people? People should take priority. In this sense, the attempt to do everything from Colombo or one centre is insane.

Of course in the constitution, we do have devolution after the 13th Amendment. However in practice, devolution does not work as it ought to be. There are various reasons for this situation. As we all know, the Northern or the Eastern provincial councils did not or could not operate during the war. The LTTE was opposed to devolution. Even thereafter, until the end of 2012, the Northern Provincial Council was not constituted. The latter was a clear example for the reluctance of the central authorities to devolve power, particularly under the past regime.

It may be true that in other provinces, the provincial powers were abused than used. This should be changed. Those who held power in those provinces were very clearly worked along with the central authorities. This also should change. The development activities were neglected while the privileges and the perks were used. A parasitic layer of provincial political leaders emerged. The end result was the stagnation of development in many provinces, compared to the Western or certain areas of the Southern province. The vast disparities of per capita income between the Western (almost double) and other provinces are one indicator.

Fundamental Flaws

There are fundamental flaws within the present devolution arrangements. It is not merely a question of some devolved powers being taken back, or not given, by the central government. It is about the centralized and ‘rigid unitary’ political ideology ingrained in the constitution and prevailing in the political culture. This is what can be termed as parochial unitary thinking.

If the southern areas do not want devolution, then at least the Northern and the Eastern provinces should be given proper devolution. Otherwise, it is not reasonable. This is why the TNA demand for federalism is reasonable.

Of course all the provinces could and should benefit from devolution. With devolution of power, there are opportunities. These opportunities are also responsibilities. At present, the Ninth Schedule lists the devolved powers to the provincial councils. However, there are considerable ambiguities. The ambiguities in the provisions and the Articles in the Chapter on devolution (Chapter XVIIA) have allowed the central government to take back some of the powers and control others.

Under a federal principle or arrangement, this cannot happen. There should be clearly defined powers to the provinces. This is another reason why the TNA demand for federalism is reasonable.

Conclusion

Does this mean that Sri Lanka should go for a federal constitution? No, not necessarily.

These federal principles could be accommodated within the rubric of devolution of power. Also the federal demand should not be put forward within an ideological framework i.e. ‘the right to self-determination’ or ‘homeland’ concept. It should be a pragmatic and a practical demand.

The devolution of power or federalism has merits for particularly two main objectives. One is the resolution of the ethnic conflict. The other is the economic and social development of the outer provinces. Both objectives are interconnected. However, this does not mean that merely by devolution of power or having a New Constitution either of these problems could be resolved instantaneously.

In resolving the ethnic conflict, while the recognition of ethnic identities is of paramount importance, all attempts also should be made to transcend them at least gradually by all parties and all communities. Humanity is more important than ethnic identity. While power sharing is important, there should be unity for justice going beyond power sharing. Power, should not be our ultimate criteria.

There should be political commitment on the part of the leaders to take Sri Lanka in a new non-antagonistic direction. People have suffered enough. There should be measures and efforts for public awareness and education, both in the South and in the North on these and related matters. After all, the demand for federalism on the part of the TNA or any other is not a monster or ‘Gona Billa.’

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Latest comments

  • 18
    0

    Dr Laksiri Fernando espouses the cause well.

    Decent men and women of this land could well craft a perfectly workable system but there is a stumbling block.

    The Maha Sangha who dictates to the President and our politicians, and the rabid core of the Bauddha-Sinhala electorate.

    Can we, will we, take the opportunity to cut loose the Sangha from our politics? Or are we doomed to carry the monkey on our back for sometime longer?

    • 14
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      Spring Koha,”The Maha Sangha who dictates to the President and our politicians, and the rabid core of the Bauddha-Sinhala electorate”Let alone waiting to be dictated , the President is already on record saying he would govern the country according to the guidance provided by our Sangha.

      Now is this not down right stupid to say the least? As Prof. HL Seneviratne stated in a recent essay on CT, to provide “guidance” one must have sufficient experience. What such experience or knowledge does the Sangha have to provide directions as to how the country needs to be run? The last such occasion when the “advice ” of the Sangha was harkened to, a Prime Minister of this country was shot dead by a Buddhist monk.

      The Sangha should be placed where they rightly belong: within the confines of the temple and no where else. Mixing the Sangha with our politicians would be a deadly cocktail. Politicians are already an uneducated lot( a great many of them have barely made it to the GCE Ordinary Level). Imagine such a group of uneducated people taking advice from an equally uneducated Sangha( a great number of whom have gone only just past a school) in running the country !!

      Oh Mother Lanka where are you heading for nearly 68 years after Independence?

    • 5
      1

      Spring Koha

      “Can we, will we, take the opportunity to cut loose the Sangha from our politics? Or are we doomed to carry the monkey on our back for sometime longer? “

      May be, but need a lot of work. Expose, Expose and expose. Let the people know that the so-called Maha “Sangha” is screwing the people every day.

      They are the Mara Followers in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho. Mara and his cronies, as represented by the Maha “Sangha”, who have been creating havoc in the Land ever since the Para-Belief was introduced and the “Sangha” took power by controlling the rulers.

      Are they following the Teaching of the Enlightened Buddha? No
      [Edited out]

  • 7
    0

    Dr. Laksiri Fernando

    RE: TNA Demand For Federalism Is Reasonable

    “The demand for federalism coming from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is reasonable. The question is how best to accommodate it within the existing realities. In my view, it could best be accommodated within the rubric of devolution.”

    Thanks for the write-up.

    Oh, Oh, could have done it in 1956, and avoided all this agony, courtesy of Para-Sinhala “Buddhists” and Para-Tamils.

    Oh, Oh, the Para-English have done it in 1948, and avoided all this agony, courtesy of Para-Sinhala “Buddhists” and Para Tamils.

    This is the time to write the Common sense Pamphlet.

    The Para Sinhala and Para-Tamils in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

    Common Sense (pamphlet)

    [Edited out]

  • 11
    0

    First of all this article must be translated in Sinhalese language and circulated to the people in the south so that the fear of separation can be removed. It’s the fear and not facts of federalism that the ethnic majority or appropriately its extremist leaders frighten the ordinary masses of leading to separation. The fact is that Federalism will prevent separation as happened in many countries of multi-ethnicity or multiculturalism.

    As the author rightly points out it is the Federal System that helped the Quebec people vote for unity in two separate occasions. The system there is designed to keep the ethnic minority in Quebec well treated and it is used as a check or carrot to keep them united with English speaking mainland.

    The author, Dr Laksiri Fernando, writes

    Switzerland was more beautiful as a federal system. We were living in ‘Quartier du Charmilles’ in Geneva. Urban Cantons were divided into Quarters, like Communes in village Cantons. All basic amenities were available within that area – the school, the police station, the council office etc. It was devolution within devolution. When you travel from one Canton to another, you see a difference even in an aesthetic sense. Local arts, crafts and traditions were cultivated not in a competitive manner, but a harmonious way. It might be the same today.”

    No wonder SJV Chelvanayagam always suggested the Swiss model as the ideal system for Sri Lanka.

    This will also enable Muslims to develop their culture and religion within Cantons with Federal units – provinces.

  • 10
    1

    Prof.Laksiri,

    Since the preliminary steps to constitution making is stalled in parliament, we have to hold our guns. Can a parliament that cannot agree on the preamble be expected to discuss Federalism in a realistic manner? I have read reports the President is against formulating a new constitution and prefers amending the present constitution on some subjects like reducing the powers of the executive presidency and the electoral system. Being aware of what happened to the 19th amendment I am wary. Hope the remanding of Gnanasara and Roshitha and his cohorts and the follow-up process will provide more traction to the government. Unless the phenomenon associated with MR is brought under control or defeated, our hopes for an enlightened constitution seems doomed. Sirisena appears to be too small for the boots he is wearing and this seems to be also a major handicap. His statement on seeking advice from the Mahasangha on matters of State, however tactical, is not aligned with the vision for the new constitution.

    The TNA is studying the Scotland model of devolution within the UK. I think it is a time wasting exercise. The concept is far ahead of us. We are not yet a politically civilized people. With a President who is in love with the feudal model of governance, can we expect anything better? What may be good for Polonnaruwa, will not be good for Sri Lanka!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Let us wait and see how matters shape-up in the next month.

    Dr,Rajasingham Narendran

  • 3
    4

    Sirisena is in Puss in Boots.
    Constitution already hijacked even before the pages got turned.

    Was not federalism rejected by the LTTE and their mouth piece in Parliament the TNA when it was offered.

    What can the Scotland model offer ? Sam & Sum having a good jaunt.
    it appears only the diaspora is not at peace now.
    Did anyone or who objected when our children & youth were abducted to fight a senseless war?
    No one and Not even the catholic Church or Rome.
    Opportunists keep off from the North population.

  • 4
    2

    Terrorism is a word created by America after the twin towers disaster. The LTTE in Sri lanka too categorised as Terrorists. The Tamils for long begged for a devolution of power from the Sinhalese of no avail. The Tamil leaders held satyagraha in front of the parliament which was thwarted by the Sinhala thugs, beating them up. When everything failed, the Tamil leaders had no alternative but to demand Separation at the Vaddukoddai resolution but they never promoted violence. The Tamil youths who were affected by the draconian rules in Education and jobs, sought violence to get separation, at the end it was a disaster for everybody and the country. The Sinhala leaders and the hardliners have to take responsibility for this disaster. Let them not make the same mistake again. The Tamil people are asking for power sharing in the form of federalism, like the Indian model under a united Sri lanka and not a unitary form. Many of the Sinhala leaders wants power in the centre. I am not certain why Sambanthan and his poodle have gone to Scotland to study their system of government when it is not a federal state except that people of Scotland wants separation. Sambanthan is “a little bit like the boy in Oliver! going up and saying “Please Sir, can we have some more concessions”. It is very pathetic.

    • 0
      3

      “Terrorism is a word created by America after the twin towers disaster”

      LOL. Cool story, bro :D One of the coolest yet :D

  • 3
    2

    Since independence, the nagging problems were between the two major races – the Sinhalese and Tamils. It is only in SL one gets confused on the difference between race and religion. The Tamils and Sinhalese basically are divided along racial lines. However, the Muslims, and majority of them are Tamils, would want a divide based on religion. Such an idiosyncratic divide then pits Muslims against Buddhists and Hindus. You see what a mess SL is?

    The purpose of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord (SLA) was to reach an amiable settlement between the Sinhalese and Tamils. So, why on earth the provincial system was introduced under the 13A which apparently did not or could not resolve the outstanding issues between them? The provincial system was a non-starter. It was intended to resolve the grouses of the Tamils and one wonders what sinister logic was there to introduce the provincial system and its relevance to the other provinces.

    The debate and animosity that has ripped the country apart should not be allowed to continue. It brings neither comfort nor sanity to any community. As a minimalist policy to prevent this nagging problem protracting for another century, a Federal structure should be considered. Be it the Indian, Scottish or the Swiss model, a decision should be made to move on.

    It is heartbreaking when PM Ranil stated recently that apart from the 292 detainees, the others are nowhere and he believes that those not in the list may have died, or most probably murdered. I salute the PM. It may be very painful but he had to be honest and had to tell what has to be told or else the ground that he stands on will become tainted. If the official army had detained anyone and could not account for them, invariably that may mean murder. If the leadership holding them at that time cannot assure their safety and cannot account for them, putting the regime in the dock alone would not be enough. It becomes worse when there is a pattern of such murders involving a particular race/community.

    It will be foolish for the Sinhalese to believe they can still bargain at their whims and fancies. If they are smart, then the wise choice and step will be to consider a federal structure that may avert future foreign interference in this matter. Things as they are do not look that cosy. Look at the Rajapakses and learn. Despite their grand standing on the backdrop of winning the war, today it is a bleak story for them. Yes, this problem between the Tamils and Sinhalese can make or break anyone.

    • 3
      6

      Jansee,

      “It is only in SL one gets confused on the difference between race and religion. The Tamils and Sinhalese basically are divided along racial lines. However, the Muslims, and majority of them are Tamils, would want a divide based on religion. Such an idiosyncratic divide then pits Muslims against Buddhists and Hindus. You see what a mess SL is? “

      Like all other Tamils you too are upset that the Muslims do not want to fall in to Tamil Category isn’t it? Fact is the muslims in Sri lanka are a different entity with different political leadership. It is the Muslim factor that keeps them together. Without the Muslims you can’t control East.

      You also say that the Sinhalese and the Tamils are two major races in the country. There is only one major race in the country, that is Sinhalese who make up about 75%, and three minority races, Tanils 10%,Muslims 9% and Indian Tamils 6%.

      “It will be foolish for the Sinhalese to believe they can still bargain at their whims and fancies.”

      It is equally foolish for you tammas to belive you can bargain such a large part of sri lanka, wether federal or separate.

      Typical selfish Tamil man, aren’t you

      • 3
        0

        ““It will be foolish for the Sinhalese to believe they can still bargain at their whims and fancies.” It is equally foolish for you tammas to belive you can bargain such a large part of sri lanka, wether federal or separate.”

        ‘whether federal or separate”.

        Some cannot get out of their locked iron cage, for Federalism is entirely and completely different from separation. I should guess ‘ravi per era’ is educated to the extent of reading and writing but cannot think. Do not be stereo type of separating Tamils into two races for they are the same. Once Sinhalese were separated and governed as Upcountry and Low country. The division in Sri Lanka is due to the languages and therefore only TWO races. The Sinhala Only Act caused all the problems starting with a riot by hooligans and thereafter recurring riots were organised by cabinet ministers of successive governments. We cannot go on because the people affected are very poor lot under the poverty line.

      • 4
        1

        ravi:

        What was I saying and what are you saying? Sometimes, it is so difficult to teach donkeys. I merely stated the difference between race and religion.The Muslims often claim themselves as a different race, when it is more of a religious difference. Merely stating the facts. Get your grip on the difference between race and religion as I do not wish to educate you on that, too.

        There are a number of races living in SL. The two major races that are at loggerheads are the Sinhalese and Tamils. How can or will I dispute the obvious – that the sinhalese are the majority race in the island?Have you got your bottom burnt or what?

        It is the sinhalese regime that is in the dock, not the Tamils unless, of course, you have in your power to resurrect Prabhakaran and his gang to put them in the dock. All the ultimatums are directed at the sinhala regime and it promised to adhere to the implementation of the last UNHRC resolution and now Sirisena seems to be dancing with the devil. When you promise one thing and dance to a different tune, that is whimsical.

        The Tamils were only interested in their part of the land and they took up arms to protect their property and persons. The sinhalese wanted the whole island. The sinhalese greed has one mantra – grab. If not for the greed of the sinhalese, the Tamils need not have to take up arms at all. And this donkey is calling the Tamils selfish. Funny isn’t it. By the way, I come from a mixed parentage and does my name really sound like a man? I am not inclined to give you free education all the time. Cheers.

        • 3
          5

          jansee kolluwo,

          “Sometimes, it is so difficult to teach donkeys.”
          Thanks for letting me know that I am a donkey. Didn’t know this.
          Are you also a refugee in Toronto living on tax payers money.

          “I merely stated the difference between race and religion.The Muslims often claim themselves as a different race, when it is more of a religious difference”

          Why did you mention this. You know why. I also know it.

          “The two major races that are at loggerheads are the Sinhalese and Tamils”
          Two races at logger head are Sinhalese and Tamils.
          You buggers often say that the Sinhalese and tamils are the two major races in the island. I have commented on this earlier. You think you have come up with an intelligent answer. Pakaya.

          “It is the sinhalese regime that is in the dock, not the Tamils “

          Inspite of overwhelming evidence that War crimes have happened, you demalas will fuck up this too.

          “The Tamils were only interested in their part of the land and they took up arms to protect their property and persons. The sinhalese wanted the whole island.”

          You were not only asking for what you ruled when the protugees came, you are asking for East where you never owned. It is this typical Tamil greed that has brought all the suffering to you thalayas.

          “And this donkey is calling the Tamils selfish. “

          Not only selfish, you buggers are ugly and stingy as well.

          Mixed parentage.. Must be Tamil Nadu and Jaffna mix. You must be a selfish bugger of the highest order.

          • 2
            2

            ravi:

            “Are you also a refugee in Toronto living on tax payers money”

            At least we know you cannot answer on issues, just like most sinhalaese who touch their noses in a roundabout way and claim as theirs in typical goonda style.

            I perfectly understand your frustration. The sinhalese are trying every trick to fool the Tamils and the world. Mahinda mama tried his luck with umpteen commissions but no one has bought that. If you still believe that by closing your eyes the whole world has disappeared, only a kick on your backside will make you realise that the easiest you can fool is yourself. Kick up a fuss because that is all you guys are left with but your balls will continue to be squeezed. As it is, the turmoil that is going on will scalp a few heads.

            “You were not only asking for what you ruled when the protugees came, you are asking for East where you never owned. It is this typical Tamil greed that has brought all the suffering to you thalayas.”

            You should be cross with SWRD for signng the agreement acknowledging the Tamils’ areas. JJ passed the 13A acknowledging this too and agreed even to conduct a referendum but backed out. Being cheats, what can you expect?

            • 0
              1

              [Edited out]

            • 0
              2

              jansee [Edited out],

              “we know you cannot answer on issues, just like most sinhalaese who touch their noses in a roundabout way and claim as theirs in typical goonda style”

              Is it us Sinhalese or you tams. You talk rubbish about a mythical homeland in sri lanka when your homeland is well and truly Tamil Nadu.

              Is it me or you who is frustrated. You know it.Lost all with the defeat in 2009, about a million tamils gone out, hopefully many more will follow.

              “If you still believe that by closing your eyes the whole world has disappeared, only a kick on your backside will make you realise that the easiest you can fool is yourself. “

              It is not us it is you bugers who need a kick up the back and chased away. You only have what else. You thought you could defeat us militarily. Finally your sun god surrendered like a nivataya. Talking about others balls.

              “You should be cross with SWRD for signng the agreement acknowledging the Tamils’ areas. JJ passed the 13A acknowledging this too and agreed even to conduct a referendum but backed out. Being cheats, what can you expect? “

              SWRD is not held in the same esteem as D S Senanayake or Mrs B. He would do anything to come to power. Well though he signed the accord he did not implement. Why? Sinhala people opposed and are still opposing.
              About JR, well he signed the accord at Indias insistence. If India had not saved you buggers things would have been all over in 1987. JR was a kattaya, he turned it back on India. You Sun god made a good investment for which you thalayas are still paying.

              • 0
                0

                ravi:

                “Is it us Sinhalese or you tams. You talk rubbish about a mythical homeland in sri lanka when your homeland is well and truly Tamil Nadu. Is it me or you who is frustrated. You know it.Lost all with the defeat in 2009, about a million tamils gone out, hopefully many more will follow.”

                It is this “rubbish” behaviour that got your Mahinda mama dumped, believed to be orchestrated by India. You see, India and the world may not agree to the division of SL into separate states but they all agree that the North and East are the traditional homeland of the Tamils. Well look at this, when CM CVW and NPC passed a resolution condemning the “genocide” committed on the Tamils by the Sinhala regime, and that too your Mahinda mama and Gotabaya were still in power, surely you were not busy playing catching with monkeys. When Premier Cameroon went to the North and lambasted your Sinhala regime, were you still wagging your tail. Coming to Premier Modi, did you listen to his speech in the NPC? The Tamils lost a great deal but and I suppose you sinhalese are a very happy lot, now that every country is poking its nose into SL. The curse that has befallen the regime will continue. You are going to need a very very big basket to pick up the “rubbish”.

                Sure, you jokers have no balls. If you had, you should have stood man to man without all those countries. It is your dearest mama Mahinda who openly admitted that he could not have won the war without India. You should then ask your bosom mama to clarify.

                Your tales may find traction with donkeys but isn’t it true that SWRD was voted in by the sinhalese despite the fact both the Tamils and Sinhalese were aware of the agreement reached between SWRD and Chelva. It was your heritage guys, the monks, who incidentally thought SWRD may not come to power but when the Sinhalese voted him in, a section of the clergy started running wild and sadly murdered SWRD. That he did not implement clearly shows he was a cheat and a liar, and that has been the same story with all sinhala leaders. It is not just SWRD who promised and broke the promise, it is a disease that had been found in ALL sinhala leaders. There is no credibility and shamelessly you are proud to be cheats and liars. Sometimes there is no point to expect from and teach good character and habit to donkeys.

                “About JR, well he signed the accord at Indias insistence.”

                You mean he strong arm tactics of India? And what do you think is happening now?

      • 7
        2

        ravi Perera

        Before the Tamil speaking North and the Sinhala speaking South were united into one unitary state by the British in 1833 for their convenience in administration, both major races Sinhalese and the Tamils were majorities in the South and North respectively.

        The ground reality as everybody had seen and still seeing is that the Sri Lankan Tamils had and still have a clearly defined (Tamil speaking) territory, the Tamil speaking homeland (North & East of Sri Lanka) where they lived and still living as a separate majority with a separate culture.

        The Tamils cannot continue within a unitary state anymore. We need to get back to our original federal state as it was before the British united it.

        • 1
          4

          Suresh,

          “Before the Tamil speaking North and the Sinhala speaking South were united into one unitary state by the British in 1833 for their convenience in administration, both major races Sinhalese and the Tamils were majorities in the South and North respectively”

          You were a majority in an area smaller than present day Northern province. That too only for 300 yrs of the 2500 yr history.

          “The ground reality as everybody had seen and still seeing is that the Sri Lankan Tamils had and still have a clearly defined (Tamil speaking) territory, the Tamil speaking homeland (North & East of Sri Lanka) where they lived and still living as a separate majority with a separate culture. “

          Tamil speaking and Tamil are two different things. How much ever you may try the Muslims will not throw in their lot with you tamils.
          Tamil homeland is in Tamil Nadu not in Sri Lanka. You have never ruled east and will never rule east. In the East Tamil presence is within about10 miles from the coast and that too is not contiguous with Muslim villages in between. THIS IS THE REALITY

          If You want a federal or a separate state call for a global debate on your e

          • 4
            0

            ravi Perera

            “You were a majority in an area smaller than present day Northern province. That too only for 300 yrs of the 2500 yr history.”

            The Jaffna kingdom was formed in the 13th century and it lasted till the Portuguese took over. It covered the whole of North & East. Before the 13th Century the Tamils occupied the Northern kingdom of Anuradapura and the Eastern kingdom of Polonnurawa. The kingdom of Polonnurawa was created by the Tamil king Rajendra Chola.
            If you need further evidence to prove the above I can give you.

            “You have never ruled east and will never rule east.”

            East was 90% Tamil before 1948. You better check the censes.

            “Tamil homeland is in Tamil Nadu not in Sri Lanka”

            Tamil homeland in Tamil Nadu is for Tamils of India and Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka is for the Tamils of Sri Lanka.

            “If You want a federal or a separate state call for a global debate”

            We will call for a global referendum, it will not be long.

            • 0
              0

              Suresh Thanbi,

              “The Jaffna kingdom was formed in the 13th century and it lasted till the Portuguese took over. It covered the whole of North & East.”

              It covered the whole of North and East…ha ha ha.

              When there are Tamil bugers who belive King Dutugemunu was a Tamil, The wealth of the tamil diaspora is greater than the GDP of Sri Lanka, you have the technical know how and the wealth to create a nuclear bomb, what garbage can you not belive.

              “Before the 13th Century the Tamils occupied the Northern kingdom of Anuradapura and the Eastern kingdom of Polonnurawa. The kingdom of Polonnurawa was created by the Tamil king Rajendra Chola. “

              Tamils in present day Tamil Nadu invaded an rued these kingdoms just like the Britih did. But every time you buggers were driven away.

              “East was 90% Tamil before 1948. You better check the censes. “

              There was no East province before the British came . They created these provinces. East was created by taking all the Tamil speaking areas along the coast of east with the sparsely but more wider Sinhala areas to created the illusionary Tamil speaking (Not Tamil) provice. You never owned East or will never own East.

              “We will call for a global referendum, it will not be long”

              You can call for a global referendum in Jaffna Peninsula not East or Vanni. Also get ready to leave Colombo, if you are living among the Sinhala people now

              • 0
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                ravi Perera

                “When there are Tamil bugers who belive King Dutugemunu was a Tamil”

                There is NO evidence what so ever to prove that King Dutugemunu was a Sinhala. If you can prove it please do so. During his period even Tamils (not all) practised Buddhism. Besides, before going to the war, he went to Katharagama and worshipped the Tamil God. Still we are not sure if he was a Tamil but we know for sure he was NOT a Sinhalese.

                “Tamils in present day Tamil Nadu invaded an rued these kingdoms just like the Britih did.”

                Correction, Chola and Pandya Royal Dynasties came from time to time and replaced the Sri Lankan King, the Mahavamsa calls it invasion but they considered Lanka as a part of Tamil country, a Chola/Pandya province.

                “But every time you buggers were driven away.”

                Kingdom was replaced by a local king after a battle.

              • 0
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                ravi Perera

                Regarding the East

                The arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century and the fall of Jaffna Kingdom led to turbulence in the Northern and Eastern districts of Ceylon. The Tamil Hindus of North and East came under severe atrocities, they were attacking the Hindu temples and forcefully converting to catholism. The only kingdom left (existed) in Sri Lanka (both Kotte and Jaffna kingdoms fell into the hands of the Portuguese) was the Kandyan kingdom and therefore many of the old Tamil Hindu principalities of North and East sought protection from the Kandyan king. (The Kandyan king being a south Indian by origin, the Tamil Hindus had no problems being under the (Buddhist) Kandyan king rather than the Christian Portuguese).

                During the 17th century, the king of Kandy invited the Dutch to fight the Portuguese and take over the areas they have captured. The Dutch re-captured some parts of the Eastern and Northern Province (including Trincomalee and Batticaloa) from the Portuguese and handed it over to the king of Kandy. (That was the period when Robert Knox landed in Trincomalee and was taken as a prisoner to Kandy because Jaffna kingdom was no more).

                However, the Kandyan rule of East does not deny the Tamil presence in those areas. Some parts of the Eastern and Northern Province coming under the Kandyan Kingdom made no difference to the Tamil position in regard to the inhabitancy. The Tamils would have had and yet have no objection what so ever to the benevolent and accommodating rule of the kandyan kings whether they were from the Kalinga or Nayakkar dynasty (both South Indian), and see no inconsistency in the Tamil claim to those areas even under the Kandyan rule.

                The Tamils were a clear cut majority in that region until post-independent governments colonized Sinhalese in the region. Even though most of the Eastern Province came under the umbrella of the Kandyan Kingdom, the census of Ceylon conducted in 1881 indicates that the two Tamil provinces (North & East) were inhabited almost exclusively by Tamils in the late nineteenth century (Census of Ceylon, 1881). The Sinhalese population constituted only 1.8% of the total population of the two Tamil provinces in 1881; Sinhalese accounted for only 0.51% of the total population of the Northern Province, and 4.2% of the Eastern Province. Even in the census of 1920 only 4 percent of the population of the Eastern Province was Sinhalese. It is only in the past fifty years that there has been a substantial influx of Sinhalese settlements through state intervention.

                Nobody has ever come across a Sinhala person or family that claimed a Northern or Eastern Province habitatncy or origin. If you speak to the Sinhalese living in those areas today, each one of them will say that their father, grandfather or great grandfather is from the South (settled in North & East by the government after independence) where as there are any number of Tamils who hail from North and East and proudly proclaim their habitancy. Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism endeavours to suppress the historical evidence, but facts are stubborn. The Tamil Hindu historical claims to the East will not be forfeited regardless of the attempts by the Sinhala governments to transform the ethnic character of that land.

      • 1
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        Muslims in Sri Lanka ( other than the Malays and the Borah who make up less than 1%of the island’s Muslim population) are not a different ethnic group. They are not Moors( their ancestors never originated from Morocco) or Arabs(hardly from the Arabian Gulf, as falsely claimed but cannot be proved when challenged). They are Tamil by ethnicity, a little bit of Arab amongst some of them does not make them different or justify them claiming a different ethnicity, as we all have a little bit something in us. They can be classified as different religious community but definitely not a different ethnic group. The followers of Islam are called Muslims and this religion unlike Judaism or Sikhism that is largely confined to a certain ethnic group, is a major world religion and its followers like the followers of Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism cuts across various linguistic racial and ethnic divide.
        There is no such thing called a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or Hindu race or ethnicity. Only in Sri Lanka has Muslim become an ethnicity. This was and is still deliberately done to divide the island’s Tamils and make them weak and fight amongst themselves in the basis of religion, regions and caste. first by the British, who loved to divide and rule and later after independence, by all the ruling Sinhalese led Sri Lankan governments, at the request of the selfish power hungry southern Muslim elite, who were justifying this by falsely claiming an Arab origin for the island’s Muslim population, when in reality it was only just a few hundred families that had a very distant Arab ancestor with the rest of the ancestry being Tamil.
        At the time of independence the gap between the island’s Tamil Muslims and the rest of the Tamils was negligible, compared to the gap between the Kandyan and low country Sinhalese. Now due to the dirty politics of every Sinhalese led Sri Lankan government, aided and abetted by the island’s Muslim elite, the Tamil Muslim and other Tamil gap/rift has deliberately been widened and the island’s Muslim masses have been brainwashed to hate and deny their actual Hindu Dravidian Tamil origin and heritage and worship anything Arab. This it self is a form of genocide, by denying and not allowing a population to acknowledge their real origins and heritage but to blindly make the worship some other people’s heritage and origin. On the contrary the huge gap and difference between the Low country Kandyan Sinhalese has been reduced by these same Sinhalese governments. Now this divide and ruling the Tamils is being taken to a further level by the J R Jayawardene government who started to recognise various Tamil castes like the Chetties ( Colombo Chetties) and Paravan( Bharathas) as not Tamil but people belonging to a different ethnic group. You can see the low levels that the all Sinhalese governments have resorted to divide and weaken the island’s Tamils. On one hand they are uniting all the Sinhalese as one people irrespective of caste region or religion but on the other side they are doing their best and dividing the Tamils, on the least amount of encouragement by certain vested selfish interests, on the basis of region caste and religion, so that they will be very weak and can be easily destroyed. Simple philosophy a pile of stick cannot be easily broken or destroyed, however divide it and then the individual sticks can be easily broken and destroyed. The divided the Tamils first destroyed the Indian origin estate Tamil. Then the indigenous Tamils now the Muslim Tamil. The Tamil Colombo Chetty and Bharatha has already surrendered and are now on the verge of being assimilated into the Sinhalese identity. Very soon these recently Sinhalised Colombo Chetty( most probably will be called a Hetti) and the Bharatha or Parthavan will also be claiming a pure Aryan North Indian Lion heritage and like all other recently Sinhalised Sinhalese Karawa Salagama Durawa Hunu Berewa, Hali and the Kandyan Radala will be beating and dancing to the anti Tamil drum.
        Now for the east. The east is ancient and historical Tamil land. Not Sinhalese or Muslim. This land has been continuously occupied by the Eelam Tamil population from prehistoric times. Rule by Tamil kings and chiefs and not by anyone else. All the ancient ruins places names and anything relating to the east from ancient times until independence is all Tamil Hindu or Buddhist. Nothing Sinhalese or Muslims. Even the few times when parts of the east came under the Kandyan king. Then the so called King of Kandy was a Tamil Naicker from Madurai. To the people of these parts of the east he was a Hindu Tamil king.
        The East was even recognised as Tamil land by the racist Mahavamsa part fairy tale part fact epic. The Portuguese the Dutch and even the British recognised the North and the East as the land of the Eelam Tamils. The Portuguese and the Dutch in fact ruled the North East and parts of the North West coast as a separate colony from the rest of the island. The British heeding to Sinhalese demands in fact took out any part that even had a remote claim of Sinhalese ownership from the east in the 19Th century and the large chunk of land that was left over and defined, as the eastern province until 1947, was pure Tamil land, where that the Sinhalese had no claim to whatsoever. The British then declared this as the Tamil east. Even after independence until the rule of the war criminal Rajapakse regime. The east was considered Tamil land. The Banadarnaicke/Chelvanayagam pact in 1958,the Dudley Senanayake/Chelvanayagam pact in 1965 and even the international Indo/Sri Lankan pact in 1987 signed by J R Jayawardene and Rajiv Gandhi recognises the east as the land of the Eelam Tamils. By deliberately settling hundreds of thousands of Illegal Sinhalese settlers in the east after independence by using the might of the Sri Lankan government machinery the Sinhalese armed forces and police on ethnically cleansed Tamil lands. Then changing the names of various eastern towns and villages from Tamil to Sinhalese EG Pattipallai Aru to Galoya. Kantalai to Kantale. Amparai to Digamadulla or Amapara recently Manal Aru to Weli Oya does not alter this ancient and historical claim of the Tamils.
        All these done within the last 50 years to deliberately make the Tamils of the east a minority in their own lands, Eg adding neighbouring Sinhalese majority districts to the east around Amparai and Trincomallee and taking of historical and traditional border Tamil villages out of Batticaloa and adding then to the Sinhalese Polonarruwa district, using the might of the Sri Lankan government machinery will not work. There are old maps of the east and historical records of the east. The Sinhalese were only around 4% of the east’s population at the time of independence now around 28% and increasing due to these dirty tricks.
        The Tamil Muslims only came here were settled as refugees a few centuries ago and the Sinhalese only came here and were settled here illegally in their hundreds of thousands, only after independence by all Sinhalese governments, including the present one that is only just mouthing about reconciliation but doing the opposite on the ground. Still chasing Tamils from their lands in the north and east and settling Sinhalese or in some cases Muslims in these ethnically cleansed Tamil lands. One day India and the west who now supporting this government will regret these moves, as the Sinhalese and the Muslims have never and will never be their friends. Once the Tamils are marginalised in their own lands, they will show their true colours to them.
        The indigenous Eelam Tamils and not the immigrant Tamil Muslims refugee/asylum seekers originally from India are the largest community in the east. This is despite all the large scale colonisation of Sinhalese, the killing and ethnic cleansing of Tamils in the east. They are 40% and if you add the thousands of internally displaced Tamil refuges from the east and in India it will be more. Prior to independence the Tamils were a majority in all the districts in the east. Even in the 1970s Trincomallee district use to elect two Tamil MPS and one Muslim. Now the srory is very different. The Muslims are only using the current situation to their advantage. They will have no power without the support of these illegal Sinhalese settler in the east. People who were forcibly and illegally settled using the power of the state on ethnically cleansed Tamil lands to deliberately change the demography of the ancient Tamil east in the last 50 years, should not be given any say in deciding the fate of the east. The Tamil Muslims should be allowed, as they are fellow Tamils and have been for some time but not these recently settled Sinhalese settlers. Who are they to decide? Someone comes and steals part of your home using state power and then decides on the fate of your home and who inherits this. The Sinhalese will never allow the Indian origin Tamils who have been living in the Central parts of the island for centuries and earning the most of the island’s foreign exchange to decide on what happens to the Kandyan Sinhalese areas. In fact they deliberately de franchised and deported most of them to India. Nor will the allow the Colombo/Chilaw/Negombo/Puttlam Tamils/Muslims to decide on the fate of the western province. They will state no this is our land. These people can live here but it is historically ours. However they have a different story in the Tamil areas. Deliberately using state power settle hundreds of thousands of Sinhalese in Tamil areas within the last 50years and make the Tamils are minority in many of their areas, also join hands and connive with the Muslim population in these areas on how best to oppress and deny anything to the Tamils in these areas.( Funny how they treat the Muslims in Sinhalese areas, do the opposite). Then jump up and down using the state power to state that these Sinhalese illegally planted in the Tamil areas by the Sri Lankan state within the last 50 years now should decide the fate of the Tamils in their own land. This like someone stating that now Muslim and other asylum seekers should now decide on fate of Europe within a few years. This will not work. Only the Tamils the Tamil Muslims who at least have lived in the east for a few centuries,as well the indigenous Eelam Tamils of the east now living in internally displaced refugee camps in the east in India and the Eelam Tamil diaporra who were also forcibly displaced from their land should decide on the fate of the north and east. No one else. Definitely not these Sinhalese settlers who deliberately planted here by the state in the last 50 years.

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      Jancee – You missed a point here. 13A , after the agreement reached
      between Mr. Rajiv Ghandi(India) and JRJ (Sri Lanka) to be implemented in full and the points agreed upon were a merger of two provinces
      (N/E) on linguistic basis so that the administration becomes easier and cut costs and a referendum to be held in the North and the East to find whether they will accept the merger and secondly lands and police powers to come under the provinces with IGP as the head of the Police force and many other concessions included in the 13th amendment, which is a vast subject, but nothing happened, except the country was divided into nine administrative provinces and functioning like municipalities run by Governors and CMs.

      What the Tamils wanted was whatever devolution was given, it should be
      made into laws in the statute books which cannot be changed at the whims and fancies of the southern politicians. I am sure you will remember that the merged N/E was demerged because the former President did not like the face of the CM . Police recorded statements in a language not known to the accused thus ending up in jails for no fault
      of his and the army confiscated lands from the rightful owners w/o prior authority from NPC. I am sure you will agree that if above laws were made permanent,in writing, which were to be accommodated in 13A, these things would not have happened and Tamils would have accepted
      13A as a starter towards full settlement.

      • 3
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        Lanka Watch:

        Yes, I see your point, which I admit I missed. Of course, that is now history. To change the eastern demographics, the sinhalese embarked on a forced resettlement of the Sinhalese and today it is a distorted land.

        Notwithstanding, if the 13A had been implemented as agreed upon, then it may have been a useful beginning to reconciliated. Your point noted. Thanks.

        • 1
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          Jansee – You said it right. Nothing works in this country unless
          it is in writing and made into law in the statute books.

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    Federalism is the best option to find a political solution to our 65 years of problem. Even before the invasion of foreign invaders in our land Federalism was practiced with the smooth relationship between Tamil Kings of North and Sinhalese Kings of South. Even these federal units had their own military. All Tamil political leadership including LTTE were prepared to accept a proper devolved federal unit of North East without a military. Tamils never wanted to control the Sinhalese or occupy Sinhalese lands.Tamils are not greedy about power or wealth.
    These facts are well known to Sinhalese political leadership but British rulers gave them the taste of power and money. They started to play the game and used Tamils as a football in their game.In their game, not only they damaged the ball but also the ground. Like the current status of game, the image of the land was destroyed with the bribe and corruption. Unless this game tactics change and measures taken to purify the game with honest will and commitment, there is no future for this land.

  • 4
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    Too Late Too Late …but impossible dream as long as Buddhist Ayatullahs who are living in stone age control politics…

    Should Sinhalese have accepted Federal States solution during 50 s to day this country would have been like Switzerland ..where they have 4 official languages…and harmony …

    But pity Sinhalese like to divide this country …sooner or later this will happen no power on this earth can’t stop this …even if Buddha come alive…

    This will be a cursed Island as long as it continue a single unite ….

    Cheers

  • 3
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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando,

    Thanks for the well defined article on federalism, though you are not going to be popular with the communal forces. This has come out from a well educated journalist of the majority community and there should
    be more Fernandos of his calibre to explain to the masses that
    federalism is basically a constitutional system and not a “monster or
    Gona billa” as he puts it.Intellectuals like SWRD and SJV, Chelva were not fools to have thought in the 50s that federalism is well suited for Sri Lanka, after learning the success story of many countries who
    adopted federalism but SWRD did not have the back borne to put it to practice and given into dictates of the Maha Sangha and paid a price with his life, unfortunately.

    There had been many Gnanasara Theroes since independence who spoilt the good name of Buddhism from time to time and President himself
    made an astonishing statement, couple of days back that he will govern the country according to dictates of Maha Sangha,insulting the other religions and communities. Unable to fathom this man as he suddenly comes out with some hard hitting statements that could hurt another nation or people. He believes in feudal system of governance and does not fit into the calibre of modern Presidents, who keep religion far apart from politics but it is fair to state that PM Ranil fits in. The communal forces in the country are more powerful and power hungry
    and they play the cards well to keep the masses brainwashed that federalism is indeed a monster and other sources of information are blocked to them.
    Take India as an example as when they adopted unitary state of governance since Independence,Tamil Nadu under Mr.C.N. Annadurai DMK leader wanted separation but when federalism was established initially with 16 states, and found working well in Federal India, the demand for separation died a natural death. Today, Tamil Nadu man will kill you if you talk of separation of Tamil Nadu from India and this is
    because Federalism practiced there keeps them happy and they need not go out of TN for anything other than sight seeing, pilgrimages and business ventures and they governs themselves, unlike SL, where the majority rules the minorities.
    The prosperity of the nation depends on the majority community and
    the southern political, educational and spiritual leaders should induce people to accept federalism and live with the minorities in
    peace and harmony. One may argue why the Tamils cannot accept unitary
    state and live in harmony with the majority. There is a reason for it,
    as over the past sixty years, since Independence, the Tamils were cheated by successive Govts. on their rights and privileges with an attempt to treat them as second class citizens in their own mother land.

  • 4
    7

    But N&E already have devolution- they always had devolution. Tamil language, medium of instruction, road signs, song and dance, exclusive universities, singing the National Anthem in Tamil, and even the ability to interact with the fellow brethren in Tamil Nadu – all good things.

    This is want the Northerners Really want:

    1. They want their own military.

    2. They want their own police force.

    3. They want their own Federal tax system,

    without National tax.

    4. They want all property exclusivity.

    5. They want direct Tamil Nadu investment

    (all profits belonging to N&E).

    6. They want a security checkpoint the 1/3rd line.

    7. They want to become One with Tamil Nadu.

    Even ½ of each of the mentioned points will not do (Rajapaksa already implemented the ½ of 1,2 and 3).

    And our UNP government is going to honor the North’s aspirations. At the expense of the 90% Southern masses, they will work it out that 10% Sinhala capitalistic elite will get the best of vastly diminished Sinhala section. That’s all.

    What the National government can do is

    1)give back the land to more Tamils

    2) allow the Tamil Nadu IT companies to operate in N&E with National taxes payable as with all other provinces.

    (the flag can be worked on)

    • 4
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      ramona therese Fernando

      Did you forget to take your medicine?

    • 3
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      ramona therese fernando’s proposals for the Tamil speaking homeland (North & East) seems to be very much better than even what V. Prabakaran demanded. Thanks ramona for giving us all these ideas/proposals. I think we should reconsider our demands and amend/enhance it by taking some points from ramona’s comment.

      The ground reality as everybody had seen and still seeing is that the Sri Lankan Tamils had and still have a clearly defined (Tamil speaking) territory, the Tamil speaking homeland (North & East of Sri Lanka) where they lived and still living as a separate majority with a separate culture.

      It is for the Tamil people of the Tamil speaking homeland (North & East) to decide how they wish to settle the Tamil question. The Sinhalese have no rights what so ever to decide the fate of the North and East Tamil people. Just because the British made a blunder in uniting the Tamil North to the Sinhala South (only in 1833 for their convenience in administration) and then they left the whole country at independence in the hands of the Sinhalese without even asking the Tamil people’s consent. The Tamils cannot continue within a unitary state anymore. We need to get back to our original federal state as it was before the British united it.

      BTW ramona, you know very well how the Sinhalese became a majority.
      Let me quote another line from Professor of Anthropology Gananath Obeyesekere’s book “Buddhism, Ethnicity, and Identity”. It states that “viewed in long term historical perspective Sinhalas have been for the most part South Indian migrants who have been sasanized,” that is, either having been converted to Buddhism or having come under the umbrella of the Buddhist “church” (śāsana).

      Obeyesekere further describes (in his book) a ritual that allows the “naturalization” of Tamils into the Sinhalese community.

      Please check from your relatives when they underwent this ritual to get converted?

      • 2
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        Suresh,

        Of course, of course….. And now it’s time that N&E Tamils also assimilate and become Sinhalese. When all the Tamils assimilate with Sinhalese, Sinhalese blood will bean extra 12% Tamil, from the 1% they already have when about 20 thousand came down to add to the Karava and Kandyan castes.

        • 3
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          ramona therese fernando

          Only the South Indian Dalits who came for menial work converted to Sinhala-Buddhists making the Sinhala population to increase from 25% to 75%.

          N&E Tamils will NEVER assimilate and become Sinhalese.

          • 0
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            Oh….I thought the N&E were 99% Dalit cleaning after the 1% high-castes….actually it was the N&E Tamils that increased exponentially within the past centuries with the South Indian Dalits. Elementary actually, because Jaffna is just next to Tamil Nadu.

            Tamils that came to the South were of trade skills. Sinhalese currently constitute 1% of that modern Tamil gene. They won’t mind a 12% more., and Sinhalese, being Buddhist, are not picky on caste.

            • 0
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              ramona therese Fernando

              I can list out a number of Sinhala historians and their publications where they say about South Indians settling in the South of Sri Lanka and converting to Buddhism and Sinhalese. Could you please tell us who are the historians (not mathematicians or chemists or physicists) who have said those South Indian Dalits were settled in Jaffna? Please cite some source.

              Modern Sinhalese constitute 70% of Tamil gene.

              • 0
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                That’s because, Suresh, it was a customary and common-place occurrence for Dalits to enter Jaffna from Tamil Nadu (being a stone’s throw away). When traders came in from South India further south to the Sinhala areas, it was an uncommon thing worthy of mention.

                • 0
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                  This you may have seen in your dream but if it had really happened some historian would have written about it.

                  Anyways, your dream is quite entertaining, LOL!

                • 0
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                  ramona:

                  In this time and age, duds like you can still talk about dalits, especially in SL. All you have to do to prove that you are not dalit yourself is to take a sharp knife and create a small cut in your anywhere and if the blood that flows from the cut is red, then you are a dalit. Is that simple enough a language?

                  SL is grappling with so many issues that is ripping it apart and you want to recreate a Nero. You don’t have to be religious but at least you can be a human, or are you?

                  • 0
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                    jansee,

                    I don’t have a false sense of propriety as not to tackle jibes from an individual such as Suresh whose whole arguments are based on racial taunts. Your attempt at deliberate bifurcation to put me on that side doesn’t hold – typical of the Lankan who too dense and cowardly to tackle the issue.

    • 2
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      @ ramona therese fernando

      Do you know under federal system Johore state in Malaysia has got its own Military ???

      Do you know in Johore state birth certificate there is no race but it say the baby is a Johorian?

      Do you know state of Johore has got its own flag and own airport ?

      Even Malaysian PM need the permission of Johore Sultan to land his plane.

      Do you know this great Sultan of Johore participate in Hindu and Buddhist functions and warned if he come across any Malay racists he will slap him personally

      Do you know the name of the wife of the Johore Sultan is Pavaneswari ( Puvaneswari) a pure Hindu name and their ex-son s name is Laksmana another Hindu name …this is because before 1500 all Malaysian Sultans were Hindus

      Do you know all Swiss Cantons (Provinces) official documents say Republic ..eg: Republic of Geneva etc etc-.

      Don’t live in stone age like your Asgiriya or Malwatte Ayatullahs. this is 21st century..

      Nandikadal is the end of Murderpakse Family ….but beginning of Tamil liberation..

      Do you know to day Tamils problem is at the hand of Western governments ?

      Cheers

      • 2
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        cholan,

        The Johor military force is a ceremonial force relating to the Malaysia’s historical roots, much like the Swiss guards in the Vatican City. The true military in Johor that follows modern warfare is a National one.

        Johorian is the original name for the Malaysian Malays…..it’s like Sinhalese sayings they are Hela- their cultural protocol is different from ours, but they are all yet united under the Malay-Muslim banner.

        Johore’s flag is like the Kandyan or Karava flag. M’sian PM needing permission to land in Johore is only true for dignitaries. This is protocol pertaining to the 16 representatives of their states (including Sultans), that unite them into one Nation. All are Malay and Muslims.

        If there are differences in religious ideologies between them, it is within the Islamic faith , like between the Shiites and Sunnis.

        Before 1500’s they might have been Hindus. But they are now Malay Muslims. Previous to being Hindus, they were Buddhists. (Buddhists tend to morph into Hindus, if not vigilant). The Hindu sounding names they have are generic names that covered the whole region. After becoming Muslims, Malaysian culture became Islamic, but their royalty like to keep the ancient names.

        Swiss Cantons are united under National Taxation and National Military.

    • 0
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      ramona therese Fernando

      The problem in Sri Lanka is that, right from independence, the Sinhalese and Tamils were at each other’s necks with superiority complex. Instead of learning to appreciate each other’s rich language and culture they were only laughing and ridiculing each other’s language and culture.

      The Sinhalese politicians like SWRD Bandaranayake and the Sinhala Maha Sabha were Anti-Tamil racists. They propagated the Mahavamsa mindset among the Sinhalese that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country and the Tamils are invaders from South India who do not belong to Sri Lanka. By giving foremost place to Buddhism and making ‘Sinhala Only’ as official language, he made the Tamils to protest in anger with racial slurs which finally turned into an anti-Tamil riot in 1958.

      On the other hand the Tamil Politicians like GG Ponnambalam were not second to the racist Sinhalese politicians. They scoffed at the Mahavamsa saying that the Tamils are PROUD DRAVIDIANS who always ruled the Sinhalese. The Anti-Sinhala movement of G. G. Ponnambalam also propagated the idea among the Sri Lankan Tamils that the Sinhalese are nothing but low caste Tamils who mixed with North Indian invaders. In their address on political platforms, they said, the Sinhalese are exiled criminals of India who came and landed in our Lanka (they believed that the island was a part of the ancient Tamil country) and mixed with the low caste Tamils tribes. In his 1939 Nawalapitiya address, GG Ponnambalam said that ‘the Sinhalese are a hybrid mongrel race split from the aboriginal Tamils and mixed with Aryan invaders’. This was the spark that ignited the first Sinhala-Tamil riot in Sri Lanka in 1939 but the British were quick enough to put it down.

      Due to this kind of conditioning/brainwashing among both communities (Tamils & Sinhalese) that started in early 20th century and still continuing, the poor country is cursed and is paying heavily (destruction of men and material) for the last several decades.

      • 0
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        Nothing that I haven’t commented on before on CT, The Messenger. Hey, but thanks for putting into perspective again.

        • 0
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          Actually Tamils came from Mohendo-Daro and Harrapa in Pakistan. Sinhalese on the other hand, evolved from the direct soil of Sri Lanka.

          • 2
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            ramona grandmother therese fernando

            “Actually Tamils came from Mohendo-Daro and Harrapa in Pakistan. Sinhalese on the other hand, evolved from the direct soil of Sri Lanka.”

            Actually you need to read what Ranil said:

            Sri Lanka archaeologists should dig into pre-history; solve South Asia puzzles: PM
            Jul 09, 2015

            ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s archaeologists should explore deeper into Sri Lanka’s pre-history and there were great puzzles of South Asia also to be solved, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
            Most the current knowledge about ancient Sri Lanka went back only to the Anuradhapura period, but the history beyond that was largely unknown.

            Pre-History

            “Now we have to look beyond,” Wickremesinghe said at ceremony marking the 125th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s archaeology office.
            “Thanks to the Department of Archaeology we have a good knowledge of history. While we continue work on this area we must do more research into our pre-history.”

            “We have found some evidence of pre-history. But many people do not know of our pre-history.”

            He said Siran Deraniyagala, a retired archaeological chief, has been appointed a consultant of the archaeological office as part of the efforts to delve into pre-history.

            Already digs have revealed some evidence about hunter-gatherer societies.

            Sri Lanka’s Department of Archaeology was set up by British rulers.

            Wickremesinghe said though today there was great knowledge of ancient cities like Dambadeniya or Yapahuwa in the first part of the 19th century there was no such knowledge, but only some folklore.

            “Only among some of our priests who read the ola leaf books there was some knowledge,” Wickremesinghe explained.

            Historical Chronicle

            He said the Venerable Chief Priest of Pelmadulla had told the Government Agent of Sabaragamuwa George Turner that there was the Mahavamsa (a historical chronicle written by Buddhist priests) could be found in Mulkirigala, which was then translated to English.

            “Then people like Willehm Geiger also translated. At the time there was debate whether the chronicle were just stories. Then corroborative evidence was found.

            “The Britishers who explored the jungles of Rajarata found the evidence. They reported that there were ruins like big hills.”
            Students of history say the findings of British historians and others were later used by nationalists to create dissention and hate among people in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.

            Meanwhile Wickremesinghe said during this time the Archaological Survey of India was also started.

            “One of the reasons was the Mahavamsa of Sri Lanka,” he said.

            Beloved of the Gods

            Wickremesinghe said (James) Princep, a contemporary of Turner, had done work on India’s ancient languages.

            “They found a pillar (edicts of Ashoka) with inscriptions which mentioned a king called ‘beloved of the gods’. Who was this?
            The connection was made when George Turner made a presentation at the Royal Asiatic Society in Calcutta and Princep was able to progress with his work, Wickremesinghe said.

            The Archaeological Survey of India was headed by Alexander Cunningham who is held in great esteem by the people of that country as the ‘father of Indian archaeology’.

            Wickremesinghe said in Sri Lanka Governor Hercule Robinson (1st Barron of Rosmead) had ordered that a research be done on ruins found in Sri Lanka.

            Rosmead Place in Colombo is named after him.
            “Later Governor (William) Gregory gave the responsibility of starting the Archaeology Department to Mr S M Burrows,” Wickremesinghe said.

            Then H C P Bell, a civil servant, was appointed as the first commissioner.

            Students of history say Gregory’s Road in Colombo was named after the Governor who started the Department of Archaeology. During the last regime, his name was removed from the road.
            Meanwhile Wickremesinghe said Bell did a great service to the country.

            “We know lot about our early period because of him,” he said. “After that there were several commissioners. Some were British, some were Sri Lankans. Special mention must be made of Senarath Paranavithana.”

            Wickremesinghe said during his school days Senarath Paranavithana and Charles Godakumbura came to give lectures at his school.
            Paul Pieris Deraniyagala had then done a lot of research into pre-history.

            “I remember going to these lectures with my mother,” Wickremesinghe said. “We must remember with gratitude the contribution made by many of these persons. Some of them got sick in the jungles, some died. But by 1930 to 35 we knew what our history was.”

            He many governments backed the Archaeological Department. In 1978, President J R Jayewardene, who had a great interest in history started the ‘Cultural Triangle’ project and expanded the work of the department. Faculties of Archaeology were started in several universities.

            Regional Mystery

            Even in India the well-known history was limited to about the Maurya Empire (300 BC – around Sri Lanka’s Anuradhapura period), Wickremesinghe said.

            “So we have to pay special attention to pre-history. Who were the original people’s of Sri Lanka?” Wickremesinghe questioned.
            “Many archaeological mysteries of South Asia has not been solved,” Wickremesinghe said. “One the main puzzles in the Mohenjo-Daro civilization (Indus Valley civilization in present-day Sind, Pakistan).

            Mohenjo-Daro civilization dates back up to 2,500 BC compared and belongs to the so-called Bronze Age, compared to the later Iron Age which dates from around 1,000 BC or younger.
            These people belonged Indo-Aryan language group.
            In Sri Lanka there is folklore about older peoples including Kuveni and also Ravana.

            Students of history say after the Maurya Empire and later, Gutpa, Sena and Pala Empires leapt out of the subcontinent and fanned out of much of South East Asia setting up Hindu-Bhuddist civilizations displacing the original inhabitants mostly Austronesians.
            The Bhuddist and Hindu monuments stand side-by-side in countries ranging up to Vietnam and Indonesia showing the spread of the Hindu-Bhuddist cultures across the Asian continent.
            Students of history say in Europe much had been discovered about Bronze age cultures such as Mycenaean Greece (1300BC) and other cultures going beyond 2000BC.

            These include the Minoan civilization of Crete and also ancient Britain from around 2,500 BC (Wessex culture and related discoveries) which were contemporaries of Mohenja-Daro and Harappa cities.

            British and European archaeologists have made discoveries going as far back as 2,900 and beyond about the so-called ‘Beaker Culture’ of Europe.

            economynext.com.

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              Native Vedda,

              Now that was interesting. It will be quite impossible to prove anything though, as it is too far in pre-history. But they can always look at Balangoda Man. Tamils cannot claim Mohendaro and Harrapa, and then try to scooch into Sri Lanka as well.

              I wouldn’t trust Ranil and those British one jot – they’d skew the findings to make things go with the global equation that sustains them.

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                ramona grandma therese fernando

                Some months ago you foolishly linked Sinhalese ancestry to Himalaya.
                You tend to change your findings as you go along without any substance or evidence.

                I wonder how you managed to pass your fifth standard.

                Here is something that you are not aware of and definitely will not understand:

                Dravidian Proof of the Indus Script
                via the Rig Veda: A Case Study

                By Iravatham Mahadevan

                Bulletin of the Indus Research Centre
                No. 4, November 2014

                Indus Research Centre
                Roja Muthiah Research Library
                Chennai, India

                You can access this publication on internet.

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                  Native Vedda,

                  Good Lord, when did I foolishly link Sinhalese ancestry to Himalaya? Some of Sinhala ancestry is from Bengal, we know. But most of it is from Sri Lankan soil.

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                    ramona grandma therese fernando

                    “Good Lord, when did I foolishly link Sinhalese ancestry to Himalaya?”

                    You did.

                    Check your comments some 12 months ago.

                    It is not surprising that you make foolish comments all the time.

                    Please stop denying.

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                      So put in the link to prove it! Nowadays, in the age of the internet, there are links you can click and paste. I checked my comments, there is nothing of the sort that I said. If I said it, it is in context of “some” of Sinhalese ancestry comes from North India – and you’d probably find the same of Tamils too, as Bengalis and Gugaratis were all over the place. Come, on, find the link! And no bluffing this time, Native Vedda!

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    “TNA Demand For Federalism Is Reasonable”

    Then they won’t get it.Sinhalese don’t like reasonable demands.

    If you ask for the indian model they will say india is too big.If you ask for the swiss model they will say switzerland is too small.If you ask for the scottish model they will say scotland is too medium size.If you find a country that is exactly 65000 sq.km,give or take 10% which has a federal system then they will say ok.Only ireland is such size,but has no federal system.It has no snakes too so has developed quite well,unlike SLanka full of snakes.

  • 1
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    ‘Do we need a structure to cater to the land or the people? People should take priority. In this sense, the attempt to do everything from Colombo or one centre is insane.’

    Learned Prof,
    I have never read/heard of a sensible question and answer as above from any others before. I am aware how the structures for the functioning of even Village Councils or Municipalities worked for a decade or so after independence, even when those bodies were controlled by persons opposed to the liking of the Minister of Local Govt. at the center. How shamefully these structures were meddled with or changed time to time not for the betterment of the people involved but for mere political benefit of the Minister at the center is our history. If sensible ideas you propagate get into the constitution making, it would be a real revolution. Thank you.

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    The Fernando living four countries that including Canada ,Swiss, Australia and Japan are developed capitalist countries that belongs G7 and G20 nations.

    You cannot justified Federalism by your own living as second class citizens by that nations are base on White dominations racism, by several years by British Colonial Imperialism.

    1 Australia is original citizens are Aborigines have no equal rights by their birth of Federalism, that does is not working in reality-Democracy.

    2 Canadian original citizen had been uproot by British and French colonialism. Currently white racism working very well-the so-called Federalism in favor of White Man -Democracy.

    3 Swiss is combination of French ,Germany and Italian ,they are forced to be Federalism to run their system of Financial Market.
    The billions of secrete funds belongs to all rich magnets in the Globe secretly are depositions in that Federalist State.

    Their(Swiss) federalism is different from Tamil Terrorist rough State-Federalism.

    4 Japan is not Federal state,in terms of politics it is Unitary nature state.
    Is better you read Constitution of Japan proposed by USA in 1951.
    That war renounce constitution by see the Article 9 of Japan constitution.

    Fernando…Your Pundit of political teaches by attempted misled world public by your misreading federalism and misdated of teaching carries .

    You have lost credentials of fact seek truth of Federalism.

  • 4
    1

    Prof. Laksiri,

    The TMP ( Tamil Makkal Peravai) led by C.V.Wigneswaran has presented its report demanding the right of self determination for the Tamils and the likes of a ‘ Pre-nuptial agreement’ co-signed by a third party, before deliberations on the new constitution.

    http://www.tamilguardian.com/files/File/TPC/Highlevelframework.pdf

    I think the move is absolutely stupid. Your opinion, please.

    Dr.RN

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    IF there is a TAMIL HOMELAND in the North and Eastern Province AND if it is merged to be called say NORTHEASTERN REGION say, then there has to be a SINHALA HOMELAND called the SOUTHWESTERN REGION in Sri Lanka.

    This is the ONLY solution.

    What the Tamils want is to KEEP the North and Eastern province at about 85-90% pure TAMIL. BUT even if ALL the Tamils in Sri Lanka were to live in NORTH+Eastern Provinces (including the so called Tamils of Indian origin)is still about 23% of the total population of Sri Lanka.

    So 77% of the population lives in let say the SouthWestern Region
    (SL -NE region) = SW region.

    See now there is big population difference, NE region will have to enact LAWS restricting movement of people from SW region to NE region.

    Otherwise , how could the NE region be Tamil and Democratic because and influx of people or gradual migration of people from SW region that are NON-TAMIL can make the NE region a NON Tamil region….

    The Tamils are NOT going to let this happen SINCE there are real hard heads that are committed to their CAUSE.

    What is the CAUSE ? = TAMIL EELAM. = Part of Sri Lanka under FULL and ABSOLUTE CONTROL OF TAMILS AND TAMILS ONLY.

    What is the meaning of this ?

    Legislature = Tamil
    Executive = Tamil
    Judicary = Tamil
    Public Service Tamil

    Good Luck Sri Lanka , Sinhala-Buddhist….1815….2015…..2215 (Sinhala studied as a lost language)

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      @ Sinhala Voice

      Exactly this curse country is going to be divided….by one of the super power….

      No worries you can live in your fake ..comic Mahavamsa world

      Asgiriya and Malwatte Ayatullahs can continue live in stone age…

      Your great grand father..grand father..father and you all must take responsibility for the division of this cursed land

      If Buddha visit this country today he will commit suicide …after hearing what happened to Tamisl from 1956 to 2009 May

      Cheers

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    if only Tamils have a separate country in India…what a load of bull crap..10% population talking this shit , what if Hispanic asked for separate country in USA or Tamils ask for separate country in Singapore these people have no brains,,

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    can some one well-versed in constitutional law and the experience of federalism in poor asian multi-ethnic countries, explain to me the difference between separatism, federalism, unitary state? Not the theoretical explanantions, but ground realities?

    How does SIngapore stay a nation-state despite separatist and racist elements in that society? How has Indonesia faired in being one country? WHat about the Phillipines? THese would be better comparisons to Sri Lanka than Switzerland or the UK.

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    Laksiri in this well reasoned, nevertheless courageous paper, has been very cautious in his choice words.The only way to avoid a separation and the inevitable division of the country is to have a federal system of government. This in no way is a division of the country.Bensen

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    Dr.Laksiri Fernando has boldly stated the Truth about the suitability of a federal system for the island.
    Sharmini Serasinge had boldly stated the Truth about a Sinhala version of politicised Buddhism that is currently
    on the rampage in the island.
    Now at this stage of the formulation of a new constitution for the country, it is for the people in the country decide which road they would prefer to take in the interest of their children and grandchildren and generations to survive in a tumultuous world of the future.

  • 0
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    That is it…

    Vellala Wiggy has made up his mind..It is Federal ..

    It is no Canton. It is full on Kerala with even more powers.

    And he wants both North & the East.

    This Yahapalana Professor has advocated that anyway..

    He says North and the East must be Federal States And he goes further and says he couldn’t care less what the rest is.

    That is fair enough I guess ,he is not their anyway.

    Are Federal States ( or are they Provinces, it really doesn’t matter ) ) in the East, North and the West ( Megapolis ) enough to accommodate all these Yahapalana suckers and their leaders?.

    Because our Federal State of Sinhala Buddhists do not want any hassles going forward.

    All we want is lift the living standards of the Dalits , give their children and grand children a fair go in Education , Health , Nutrition and hope they also can some day go abroad and live like these Yahapalana professors .

    I mentioned the word hassles specifically because I want to be politically correct.

    Because we only can give Dalits a fair go with Chinese help.

    Therefore we don’t want these Yahapalana suckers to tell us where to borrow, who to bend over to and collect commissions organizing loans for us above the market rates.

    And we don not want Englesi Asses to entertain us until we can fork out 10 or 15 G to watch him.

    Last but not least we want to leave room for the Dalits to worship Buddha, the way their ancestors did.

    Not the Anglican way with the input from Btalanda Ranil.And now even Mangalan.

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    Although I agree with the general thrust of this article that the demand for a Federal state is reasonable and the fear of terrorism amongst Sinhalese has to be taken into account, this author fails to mention the anti-Tamil state terror that existed prior to the LTTE coming into existence. It is this one-sided violence through the 50s, 60s and 70s that lead to the Tamil demand for a separate state and the rise of the LTTE. That is as much part of the Tamil psyche as LTTE terror is to the Sinhalese.

    The solution to the ethnic conflict is a Federal state is an obvious one. People want to separate only if they believe they are better off on their own than being part of something bigger. At the same time, people need to feel they are part of that something bigger, that they have some say in their everyday life. That is what Federalism will deliver for the Tamils whilst not threatening the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

    The problem now as it has been since Independence is that the Sinhala elite, the Sinhala ruling class whether it is the Rajapksa regime or the current government do not want to let go of the Sinhala hegemony over the whole island. As a result the Tamil struggle for equality will continue, equality status remaining unfulfilled.

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    We were as Sri lankn absolutely right in rejecting all Federal compromised that over national issue of undermined, Nation Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity proposed by TNA and UNP back by Laksiri Fernando of Trotskyist of Christian bone ideology of politics.

    If we had any concession to TNA and JVP is bourgeoisie illusion to illusion about Federalism and “constituent Assembly” we would have ruined the whole cause of Sri Lankan democratic revolution.

    We would have sacrificed to narrow Federalism against national interest the interest of TNA Tamil nation rough state. Which turned out to be proceeding along undermined national course ,because it was purely US and Indian instead of national. The result of UNP current governance of these conditions is that UNP and Pro-UNP-SLFP outfit of coward bourgeoisie people recoiled from masses of Majority.

    The UNP current leadership including MS and CBK undermined sovereignty, well they crossed over to the big power barricades and landed in camp of our enemies TNA and JVP. When 2015 January 9th, MS CBK and UNP-Ranil broke out ,we saw clearly enough that the anti-democratic forces that had been fighting against people ,were in the camp of US and Indian.

    But majority democracies and democratic progressive forces stood on side of sovereignty not for Federalism. We as progressive forces and democratic we gauged the situation rightly. The events of Federalism borne out of Tamil Terrorism of LTTE and TNA separatism of their correct political tactics ,so well must realize that this is a serious matter ,one affecting the most deep-seated of nation unitary character of Sovereignty -Sri lanka.

    Look at the past 68 years overall history of under-develop bourgeoisie revolution and Parliamentary development in Sri lanka under the UNP regime and you will find that similar pattern among old UNP leadership with many number of years. An important factor is that our national democratic revolution has to fight against Federalism and Separatism led by TNA and LTTE to be partition of Island of Sri lanka.

    At the time of 1987 Indo-Sri lanka- Accord by UNP-JRJ regime and its junta, we had seen they go against National Sovereignty for type of power devolution of Federalism. UNP said at that time it we are for the by supporting patriotism ,we must support so-called Accord.

    How could that the UNP bourgeoisie of comprador have been expected to accept accord on our national point of view? It look us several years to live through petty bourgeoisie of Trotskyist illusions of power devolutions and Federalism?

    If we examined history of TNA ,TULF and FP ,you will find they did not get over Federalism illusion by Trotskyism politics of Fernando belongs too. In fact Federalism in not historical necessity bourgeoisie revolution -Sri lanka ,in case of Federalism granted by UNP, TNA and JVP regime back by CBK & MS, there is possibility of bourgeoisie revolution may be collapse and Sri lankn state will be disintegrated and partition of Island several pieces turn into anarchist land in Indian Ocean.

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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando,

    There are already 64 responses to your article
    you wrote in the esteem journal CT to test the pulse of the people as to whether they prefer federalism to unitary rule and only a very few
    favoured federalism and many did not understand the concept, as the solution for the Tamil problem and the rest wanted ‘ruler and ruled’ pattern of governance.

    TNA is wasting their time to study various type of federalism practiced
    around the world and it is the Govt. who should be looking at different
    models if they are interested in devolution of power to the regions. The President believes in feudal system of rule i.e. a govt. ruled by the majority (King)and the minorities are just mere subjects and federalism as a form of rule may be foreign to him. What TNA should do is get the immediate problems faced by the Tamils solved and make them
    into laws and accept 13A as a starter and put aside the demand for federalism for a latter period until such time the Tamils have a firm hold on their lands, religion and culture.

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