29 October, 2020

Blog

TNA Manifesto – For Power Sharing Or Separation?

By Austin Fernando

Austin Fernando

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has launched its Manifesto for the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Elections. I am reminded of a former Prime Minster commenting on election Manifestoes as publications facilitating electoral victory and nothing more! If the TNA was of the same frame of mind and mood, it must be happy with their document, because it addresses some vote catching rhetoric, although beyond the capacity of the NPC to deliver.

Throughout I have been a supporter of devolution. Nevertheless, I believe that some propositions in the Manifesto should be addressed as they provide ammunition to anti-devolutionists to conceptually criticize devolution. I am confident that they will make the TNA “separatists’ / “chauvinists”. What TNA earns is not my concern, but using this TNA Manifesto to criticize power sharing / devolution is not to my liking. Hence, this critique or I might say, concerns of some issues arising from this Manifesto.

The first segment of the Manifesto is dealing with the “Tamil struggle”. Many have interpreted history in similar tone. Also, many have countered them. They are the rhetoric segment. I do not think these are the more important sections in the Manifesto. So much so, in this Manifesto TNA has even erred on dates e.g. on Oslo Communiqué- i.e. December 5th 2002 advanced to February 2002. I am uncertain whether there was a political motive for such erring.

To me the importance is the aftermath of the Oslo Communiqué. It is history. If Deputy Minister Karuna Amman or Adela Balasingham is queried, and if they are honorable, would explain how Prabhakaran reacted to the Communiqué. Balasingham’s avoidance of Vanni after Oslo was considered the immediate and continued consequence! TNA Manifesto abruptly stops at the Oslo Communiqué quote which is difficult to understand. Is the TNA upholding the Oslo Communiqué or reverberating Prabhakaran of December 2002? I believe the quote is to later reiterate in the Manifesto the components of the ‘State’ Prabhakaran envisaged. It brings votes! So why not!

The section titled ‘OUR STAND ON A POLITICAL SOLUTION’ shows much similarity to the “LTTE aspirations for an Eelam.” Hence, even a devolutionist like me will think twice or more on TNA’s NPC intentions and of devolution.

As seen below, these intentions are the repeat of what existed for three decades.

It is unfortunate that the TNA Manifesto looks at ‘ethnic casteism’ by considering that “the Tamil People of Sri Lanka are a distinct People in terms of the interpretations maintained in relation to International Conventions and Covenants.” These interpretations may apply to the Sinhalese and others who can in the same breath argue about their “distinct People” status? In that event, what is the “our country” TNA speaks of, because the country belong to others too? This leaves space for these others to speculate of what the TNA’s “our country” is- Sri Lanka or any other?

One saving grace in the Manifesto is that TNA wishes to enjoy their rights under a United Sri Lanka, but the preface to this aspiration is also with concern about Tamil “historic habitats”, Tamil “Collective Rights that accrue to Tamils as a Nation” and the “right to exercise our option” to self-determine (external or internal unknown), best ensuring self government in the “Tamil Speaking North-East”. It is giving with one hand and taking away with the other! This calls for questioning the status of the non-Tamil speaking population – i.e. rightly or wrongly, the majority that in the present context determines the establishment of a government rule in Sri Lanka.

Since the conceptual propositions in the Manifesto will be rejected by the government, one may suspect that the TNA created this status to engage the internationals influences to get the government to kneel down.  Is it to make complaining representations to external forces based on the negative responses? Are the foci on international conventions and agreements for such purpose? I do not suspect that the legal luminaries in the TNA are unaware of the concerns mentioned in the paragraph above.

I agree the present constitutional arrangements have failed in finding accepted solutions to the national crisis and manipulations are ongoing. However, the current demand is to build bridges to close the vacuum in the political systems. It is true that equity, equality, peace and security have to emerge in a democratic country as envisaged in the TNA Manifesto. But, to consider that the “government in Colombo” does not hold the right to govern the Tamil People but the People themselves may fan chauvinism out of proportion to blow in to another long conflict, which will be a totally dismal and disastrous status. Again giving with one hand and withdrawing with the other! TNA should also note that unfortunately such fanning is already observable in the south.   

The TNA seems to believe an authorized control of the North and East PCs through this Manifesto, which says “To achieve the above and self-reliance it is imperative that we need self-government. We have set out a two stage constitutional process to secure this. Whilst we do our utmost to play a positive role in promoting self-government for the Tamil Speaking Peoples in the North-East, we will carry on with our political negotiations for meaningful sharing of powers of governance. We cannot emphasize more the immediate necessity for a democratically elected body with legislative, executive and fiscal powers – to take over those functions of government rightly belonging to us.” While negotiations for meaningful sharing of powers of governance, over functions rightly belonging to NPC (under 13th Amendment) is appreciated, if it thinks that it could encroach to the constitutional rights of the State, it may bring devastating results, sadly inheriting only an undeliverable Manifesto.

Such encroachment may cause what TNA fears in the last paragraph of the Manifesto. It says “….. The human costs are not only the result of direct violence – casualties among combatants, undisciplined behavior of troops, deliberate targeting of civilians and the sowing of landmines – but also arise from hunger, forced migration and the collapse of public services due to the breaking down of the economic and administrative structure of the North-East.” Of course, in the past this was not only the curses of the successive governments that led the military, but equally or more due to LTTE’s (as accepted by the Manifesto which demands independent investigation of LTTE too) direct and indirect actions.

I wish that GOSL, especially the elements who have been fighting hard to erase the 13 Amendment will not take the cue to provoke government authorities to hit back on account of this Manifesto. Concurrently, even as an afterthought it is up to the TNA to consider that the Manifesto is only a means to come to power. TNA ought to think a bit far than those who challenge it in the Tamil political arena (like Gajan Ponnambalam) who do not believe in any southern governmental blessing for sharing power.

If not, if the TNA means to deal business in this manner it calls for trouble at a time, as Dayan Jayatileka has pronounced, when it needs “to carry a sizeable segment of Southern opinion with it at all times or at least neutralize Southern opposition to the Council..” TNA may win the NPC election, but it should not face the situation predicted by Dayan, re: “It is about to happen again and this time the collision is more certain and will perhaps prove more consequential. One miscalculation could lead to protracted deadlock and worse still, a strategic politico-military lockdown.”

Though I would not totally agree with S. Sivathasan’s proposal (in Colombo Telegraph) for a TNA Manifesto, I might hurriedly add that the TNA leadership and Chief Minister candidate both could learn a lot of lessons for a reconciliatory, practical and deliverable Manifesto, if Siva is emulated, rather than being too rhetoric and proposing a lot of undeliverable, unauthorized promises as seen in the table above, proving that the former Prime Minister quoted at the beginning right.

Still I have some relief, thinking that the former Supreme Court Judge and Chief Minister candidate Wigneswaran will balance the situation, as he has originally stated regarding operating with the GOSL.I wish that he would prove that the victory at the NPC election is not the final solution to the crisis.  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    The worst case scenario. The Tamils must keep the option open If the Sinhellists (BBS/JHU/SR) succeed in their endeavour to create disharmony, then The ultimate solution for Tamils is to get an independent North and East of Sri Lanka. This is what the government should try to avoid at all costs.

    • 0
      0

      Navin, you have posed a very pertinent question to Austin Fernando, whether he is an Inveterate ignoramus or a Diabolical liar? I believe he is both.

      Austin Fernando as Secretary defense then was involved in pursuing a Political Solution to this vexed Tamil Problem. Therefore unable to disassociate from his Devolutionary stand, he takes up cudgels with the TNA manifesto alleging that there is similarity with LTTE’s aspirations of an Eelam, hence it makes necessary even for him to think twice.

      Why we as a Nation have been unable to settle our problem is due not only to the Corrupt Politicians, but also due to this type of Dishonest, so called Intellectuals who twist and turn facts to gain prominence. What has been seen by the Staged War by the Americans and the Indians allowing MR to consolidate his position, the Powers have also been successful in dividing the Tamils for some of the Corrupt Tamils to go with the Rajapaksas, like KP, Karuna, Daya Master, Douglas Devanada et al for their personal glory and benefit. These Tamils therefore will not mind even if the 13t Amendment is dropped by MR as long as they secure Political Power in the North for them to enjoy life and care less about the rest of the Tamils. This is the naked Truth.

      On the other hand, the TNA with the infusion of eminent people as Vigneswaran are honest about the concerns of all the Tamils and will not sell the ‘Tamil Cause’ for a mess of pottage as some of the other Tamils have done. Mind you one has to understand the TNA is not dealing with the segment of the Sinhalese who are Honest, Educated and Decent in society but are the most Ruthless, Corrupt, Murderous, Deceitful and Vulgar. These qualities of the MR leadership has been shown in no small measure for the whole world to see. Then how can one blame the TNA for their genuine attempt to safeguard the RIGHTS of Tamils in this country?

      Austin Fernando your slip is showing although you try to display your Intellectual ability.

  • 0
    0

    “Anyone who equates the TNA’s 2013 Manifesto and the Tiger agenda is either an inveterate ignoramus or a diabolical liar.” says Tisaranee Gunasekara.

    Mr. Fernando, now you say: “The section titled ‘OUR STAND ON A POLITICAL SOLUTION’ shows much similarity to the “LTTE aspirations for an Eelam.” Hence, even a devolutionist like me will think twice or more on TNA’s NPC intentions and of devolution.”

    Are you a inveterate ignoramus or a diabolical liar?

    • 0
      0

      It is absolute stupidity to equate Sambandan or Vigneswaran to Prabakaran. Prabakaran was fighting (armed struggle) for separation. TNA manifesto does not talk about separation. TNA is neither engaged in an armed struggle nor engaged in a peaceful struggle to separate the country. They are only engaged in election propaganda and all those TNA members who are contesting the election have already taken an oath (6th amendment) to safe guard the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka (against separation).

      The Sri Lankan Tamils of NE (irrespective of TNA, LTTE, or any other party) know very well that the North and East of Sri Lanka is the homeland of the Tamil speaking people (their historic habitation). Whenever there was an anti-Tamil riot in the south, the Tamils are packed and sent to North & East (their homeland).

      The Sri Lankan Tamils of NE (irrespective of TNA, LTTE, or any other party) know very well that they are a distinct people in Sri Lanka. They are ethnically, culturally, linguistically, religiously, socially, historically, and geographically distinct from the Sinhalese.

      Obviously, a distinct people living in their homeland (Tamil speaking area) have all the rights for self determination within the united Sri Lanka. The right to self determination is NOT the right to separation.

      Tisaranee Gunasekara is absolutely right. The TNA is not equal to the LTTE.
      Prabakaran (LTTE) was talking about separation but Sambandan (TNA) is NOT talking about separation.

  • 0
    0

    As it is clear now, that TNA politics leads to more problems in Sri Lanka, particularly Sri Lankan sovereignty and security are affected why should not the govt call off the NPC elections ?

    • 0
      0

      Good idea………..start protest in Colombo…..you can call Wimal and Champika also to participate.

      • 0
        0

        Protest will not be in Colombo.

        TNA is choosing an antagonistic path believeing it’s international friends will intervene when the inevitable conflict starts due to TNA’s separatist agenda.

        It is a very high risk strategy and my hunch is Tamils will pay a huge price again without any gain.

    • 0
      0

      Jim you better read what is meant by Sovereignty before you talk about Sri Lankan sovereignty. What you are talking about Sinhalese hegemony!

  • 0
    0

    Stupid TNA representing the stupid Tamils should have asked the BBS, JVP, JHU, KAS, Vibushsna, Hela, Kautilya, Naysayers, Weerawansa, Sivananthan, Dayan, Douglas, ………………Gota, Carlos, Champika and the others who represent anti democratic forces and practices to Draft Their Manifesto.

    Hope next time around Austin Fernando would be happy to assist R Sampanthan in that process.

    Ranil watch out, be a man and demand MR writes UNP Manifesto for the next elections, if there is going to be one.

    I suggest the state establishes a separate department for Manifesto Drafting to facilitate each party with drafting their manifesto, and passes laws banning the right to publish party version of what they think their policy documents.

    I also recommend old hands such as Austin Fernando to head this unique department while Weerawansa to be the minister overseeing such an innovative form of Sri Lankan brand of democracy.

    Sorry I forgot Mohan.

    • 0
      0

      Man, you are injecting a sense of humor in these columns!

      • 0
        0

        Thiru

        “Man, you are injecting a sense of humor in these columns!”

        Am I?

        I am sorry about it, thought I was contributing something serious to the whole discussion.

  • 0
    0

    TNA is very civilized political party & proved again bring the Justice Vignaswaran to political steam. They also act in civilized manner. Not cheap politic like south political parties.Entire nation must happy of Mr. Vignaswaran appointment as CM candidate & its easy victory in fair game.South politicians now mixed in all aspect in politics & never come up to international stage.

  • 0
    0

    Ms T has finally shown her hand in her latest article.

    She wants Rajapkasa out.
    .
    This steadfast anti Rajapaksa gentleman finally has seen the Tiger behind Sambandan Wigneswaran facade, as same as Ms Kath Noble.

    Can Ms T enlist their support to roll Rajapksa by calling them inveterate, ignoramous, diabolical liars?.

    • 0
      0

      In a real election, Rajapakse clan will be sent home. But, sadly, there wouldn’t be one any time soon!!

      • 0
        0

        MR will win the next election even if it is a fair one. The TNA and their foolish manifesto have ensured that.

      • 0
        0

        Rohan

        “In a real election, Rajapakse clan will be sent home. But, sadly, there wouldn’t be one any time soon!!”

        If I were you I will not count on Sinhala/Buddhist stupidity.

    • 0
      0

      machan leela hows the house market these days men,im looking for an investment can you guide me?

  • 0
    0

    (First Column Last raw of the Table )Merging inferred under the Homeland Criterion –
    (Last Column Last raw of the Table)Is not there a requirement to recognize the acceptance of the Sinhalese – especially in the Eastern province?

    There were three kingdoms (including Tamil Kingdom) before the arrival of Europeans. Under British rule N&E was ruled as one unit and separate from the rest.

    After independence Sinhalese were colonised in the East. N&E were merged with the rest.

    Did any one ask the Tamils in the N & E for their acceptance before colonising East or merging N&E with the rest.

    Now we have to ask them for their acceptance?
    In few months time we have to ask the recently colonised Sinhalese in the North for their acceptance to do anything.

    Is not it a joke.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Austin Fernando,

    I have read many articles that you wrote on various forums; often balanced and conciliatory. This particular one that is in response to the TNA NPC manifesto, I accept on the basis that the Tamils are a defeated group of people and they have no options but be conciliatory and submissive. This is the position that the Tamils are in.

    However, four years on since the defeat of the LTTE and what aspects that you can point to, that the GOSL have made that are deemed conciliatory towards the minorities let alone the Tamils. What aspects that you can point to that would make the Tamils in the north have confidence in the Colombo rulers? In my view there is none. Under these conditions, the TNA prepare to contest the NPC elections. The Tamils have great apprehensions about their security and their ability to practice their language on the par with the Sinhala. This, the Sinhala do not want the Tamils to have; the Sinhala behave with hegemonic outlook; there is no legal or constitutional safeguards exist; the existing safeguards are inadequate and lacking support. The Tamil Homeland concept is still being used because, the Tamils have been marginalised and being made to feel as second class citizens. The present regime is not interested in reconciliation based on give-and-take. It is hell bent on subjugating the minorities and Tamil resilience is an impediment to such an attempt.

    This is the best chance for Sri Lanka to reconcile. The TNA, in particular have recognised that they are in a unique situation with international recognition; they have set their platform and the ball is now in the government’s court. MR can try his best to gerrymander but he will soon find himself snookered.

    • 0
      0

      Most Sinhalese writers think that the minority race/religious groups have to accept the Sinhala Buddhist diktat.

      That is why they removed the clause 29 protecting the minorities in the Ceylon constitution after independence.

      Even the most progressive Sinhalese writers conveniently ignore this fact: This removal of the minority protection shows the vile motive of the Sinhala ruling elites since independence. What is happening since then is engulfing of the hegemony of Sinhala Buddhist hegemony!

      The war and LTTE rule was an intermission.

      • 0
        0

        Thiru

        “Most Sinhalese writers think that the minority race/religious groups have to accept the Sinhala Buddhist diktat.”

        Unfortunately yes, this is known as Southern Consensus.

        Every time your people comply with their demand they stealthily move the goal posts.

        They are no different to your people.

  • 0
    0

    It’s the ‘international recognition’ that is worrying. International here consist of countries that tried to stop the destruction of the LTTE and therefore viewed with much suspicion by the Government. These ‘internationals’ also have a rather unsavoury reputation for making their protégés mere pawns in their own geopolitical adventures. What promises have been made to them in return for their ‘recognition?’

    • 0
      0

      Lynx, don’t forget it’s the internationals who made it possible for Sri Lanka to defeat the LTTE!

      • 0
        0

        Granted!

        However, it is also a sad fact of today’s world that such help is always given with strings attached and the strings have in many cases in the past proved to be detrimental to the beneficiary.

        There are many things Sri Lanka has to get right and a coherent foreign policy is just one of them

  • 0
    0

    Tamils are a separate race and people that occupied the North East part of the island for millennia is a hard fact and cannot be wished away. Neither can it be denied through armed force of a combined force of 400,000 as in the ground today. The regime would like an ostrich-stance to save its skin from a crazed mob of an army of politicised
    un-Buddhist priests in the country. It must be said the thinking sections within the regime and the Sinhala side accept the reality contained in the TNA Manifesto. While Sinhala extremists within the Govt and outside claim TNA are playing the Separatist game, some sections of the Tamil diaspora and Tamilnadu charge TNA and disappointed and charge they are working with the Govt to usher in a United Sri Lanka. Interested sources on both sides are trying to capitalise in the ambiguities present.

    Like in several instances in the recent past, there is every possibility of army-inspired serious nation-wide disturbances in the country after the TNA election results are announced. The continuation of the failed Rajapakse regime in the future depends more on confusion and disorder laying the blame of non-governance outside than to accept the confusion flowing from an utterly bankrupt economy now seen in the spiralling cost of daily essentials, public transport, failure of social services in education, health etc., In as much as the July 1983 pogrom was to prevent the collapse of JRJ’s Govt then fearing legal action filed by the JVP and others, the Rajapakses will seek bloody diversion to cover their nakedness post-Sept 21.

    It is unfortunate the few enlightened intellectual constructs from the Sinhala intelligentsia seeing matters in perspective are dismissed either as traitors or anti-natinalists.

    Varathan

  • 0
    0

    Defeats need not be permanent: Tamil race is resilient to spring back to life and prosper. Nations have disappeared and reappeared centuries later. Look at Israel, it reappeared after 2 millenniums! Poland disappeared from the map for more than 100 years! There are many and varied examples.

    So, Sinhala victors please be humble. You didn’t win on your own but with the propping up of the world powers. Unless you are just to other races/religions your fall is nor far off.

    Velupillai Pirapakaran, the LTTE leader said: I neither get disheartened by failure nor exuberant with success; this he said after he failed to take Elephant Pass the 1st time. But he went to work to make it a success the 2nd time. Tamils will follow his words of wisdom.

    In fact it is the recipe for success of world’s leading entrepreneurs and innovators: Thomas Edison is a striking example.

    After all Tamils have been existing in Tamil Nadu and Eelam (North-East of Sri Lanka) for 3 millenniums or more. More than 90 million Tamils worldwide want to see justice to Tamils in Sri Lanka.

    If you look around the world, Tamils are excelling in many fields. Only in Sri Lanka they are not allowed to flourish. What Tamils are asking for is to let them live in peace, look after their affairs themselves, prosper and excel.

    • 0
      0

      Well said, Thiru. That great call thamilan endru sollada; thalai nimurdhu nillada – lives and grows. It will never die. A people can be kept under the jackboot only for a short while. Russia and China are good examples. Whether the Tamils and Sinhalese live together in a future Sri Lanka is in the hands of the Sinhalese.

      Senguttuvan

      • 0
        0

        Sri Lanka is in the hands of the Sinhalese.

        Nope. One needs two hands to clap. Tamils and Sinhalese will not be able to live together if one party starts behaving as they please.

        • 0
          0

          Navin

          “One needs two hands to clap”

          If you have just one stick it is more than enough to beat them up and at the same time persuade them to cry louder, yet for the Sinhala/Buddhists their noise is not loud enough compare to clapping hands.

    • 0
      0

      Thiru

      “Velupillai Pirapakaran, the LTTE leader said: I neither get disheartened by failure nor exuberant with success;”

      VP blamed others for his own failures and appropriated glory to himself when what were seemed to be victories.

      When this plain truth was pointed out by one of his aide he was summarily sacked.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Native,

        You seem full on up to speed with Praba and his Phisosophy and his sruggle for Liberation.

        Now that the TNA has brought back Prabakaran and his thoughts to the main stream as the their Manifesto for the soon to be acquired NPC aka, mini Eelaam or Homeland,a book on Praba will be a sure fire best seller in the Diaspora.

        At USD 30 a copy which is lot lower than the going rate in the West for memoirs and autobiographies of less colorful and even lesser exciting leaders, just imagine how much you will rake in man?.

        With Sambnadan estimating the Diaspora population to be one million in the top four Nations in the World.it is a market that has been tailor made which even the top advertizers in the West will envy,

        And you will have it all to yourself.

        • 0
          0

          K.A Sumanasekera

          When did you become a business guru? I am surprised that you have business propositions.

          If I am that desperate I would work bit harder to collect more honey if you return our land that you and your ancestors grabbed from us.

          Or I would have found a suitable slot within MR clan-ial system.

          Since I am not that desperate I am not keen on your partnership. However I still desperately need the land. How soon can you leave? Please don’t forget to take your brethren Vella vegies with you.

          • 0
            0

            Native Vedda,

            Can’t you cast a spell on these guys who are in the business of land grabbing?

    • 0
      0

      Many tend to forget that the birth and evolution of Sinhala people was primarily based on accommodation.

      At the same time being a smaller nation, it was for them a continuous struggle for survival against aggression from 90 million plus you are talking about.

      While many such nations vanished from the earth, Sinhalese survived.

      The resilience of Sinhala people are second to none. In the most recent past, they successfully faced the existential threat that was posed by the exclusivist and racist Tamil terrorist outfit, LTTE.

      TNA is one party that provided the idealogical backbone to LTTE through Vaddukkodai resolution (they had a different name though same characters were there then) and later recognising the LTTE as the sole representative of Tamils. They seem to be determined to carry on withit.

      This scenario provides very little choices to sinhalese. Dutugemunu refused to sleep in a crouched stance just because there was an existential threat from the North and the other option was simply to jump onto the Southern sea.

      Present day Sinhalese may refuse it too.

      • 0
        0

        iam not a racist but you are spot on,

  • 0
    0

    I am reproducing the same comment from the same topic by another author. Now, my question to Austin Fernando:

    You say you are a supporter of devolution. Tell us what sort of structure of devolution you propose, what are the powers to be devolved, and what are the role of the central government?

    We have to look at the history and what our leaders offered including the current regime to resolve the national problem.
    Have a look at the following carefully:
    1957 Banda -Chelva Pact (1957)
    Key Statements:
    • the language of administration of the Northern and eastern Provinces be Tamil, and that any necessary provision be made for the non-Tamil speaking minorities in the Northern and eastern Provinces.
    • The Northern Province is to form a regional area whilst the Eastern Province is to be divided into two or more regional areas. Provision is to be made in the Bill to enable two or more regions to amalgamate even beyond provincial limit;
    • Provision is to be made for the direct election of regional councilors.
    • Parliament is to delegate powers and to specify them in the Act.
    • It was agreed that regional councils should have powers over specified subjects including agriculture, cooperatives, lands and land developments, colonization, education, health, industries, fisheries, housing, social services, electricity, water schemes and roads.
    • It was agreed that in the matter of colonization schemes the powers of the regional councils shall include the power to select allottees to whom land within their area of authority shall be alienated and also power to select personnel to be employed for work on such schemes.
    • The regional councils shall have powers of taxation and borrowing.
    Dudley- Chelva Pact (1965)
    • Action will be taken early under the Tamil Language Special Provisions Act to make provision of the Tamil Language of Administration and of Record in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
    • Action will be taken to establish District Councils in Ceylon vested with powers over subjects to be mutually agreed upon between two leaders. It was agreed, however, that the government should have power under the law to give directions to such councils under the national interest.
    • Mr. Senanayake further agreed that in the granting of land under colonization schemes the following priorities be observed in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

    (a) Land in the Northern and Eastern provinces should in the first instance be granted to landless persons in the district.
    (b) Secondly, to Tamil-speaking persons resident in the northern and eastern provinces.
    (c) Thirdly, to other citizens in Ceylon, preference being given to Tamil citizens in the rest of the island.

    Indo_Lanka accord (1987)
    • recognising that each ethnic group has a distinct cultural and linguistic identity, which has to be carefully nurtured,
    • Also recognising that the northern and the eastern provinces have been areas of historical habitation of Sri Lankan Tamil speaking peoples, who have at all times hitherto lived together in this territory with other ethnic groups.

    Proposal From the Peace support group (1995)
    • promoting a vision of the Union of Ceylon where all communities can live in safety and security and their human dignity is valued and equality of treatment is an accepted norm of public life;
    • The Union will have a confederal structure, consisting of two States, each being internally autonomous and committed to the furtherance and maintenance of the principles and values declared in the Preamble, including in particular the protection of the fundamental human rights declared in the Constitution and the maintenance of democratic principles.
    • This framework document provides the basis for a new constitution for the Union of Ceylon, which shall consist of two internally autonomous States — one for the primarily Tamil area and the other for the area which is mainly Sinhalese. This reflects the fact there have been identifiable homelands (historical and existing) on the island for the Tamils (in the North and East provinces) and the Sinhalese (in the rest of the provinces) for over two millennia. Relations between the States will be governed in accordance with generally applicable principles of international law and justice.
    • Subject to these principles, the internal autonomy of each State will extend to the adoption by each State of its own internal constitution (e.g. size and structure of the legislature, frequency of elections).
    Peace Talk Sri Lanka _LTTE (Oslo communique)
     “agree on exploring a solution on the principle of internal self determination in areas of historical habitation of the Tamil peoples based on a federal structure within a united Srilanka” (Oslo communique, Dec 2002)

    2009 President Rajapakse Proposal
     The President said the basis of his devolution plan would be the “13th amendment plus 1″ – meaning implementation of the existing constitutional provisions for provincial councils, but adding an upper house to Parliament, modeled on the U.S. Senate.”

  • 0
    0

    The singhala polity and the majority southerners will never understand the Tamils aspirations.
    They are hell bent on keeping the Tamils as seconed class citizens.
    Not a hum from MR.No reply to Sanbandan’s request to send the army to the barracks so that there will be free and fair elections.
    Gota must in his elements is trying to figure out a way to keep the army on the roads to intimade and thuggery.
    We can see many attrocious things happeneing before the elections.
    The fear overidies all sanity.
    What fear do they have ?

    Minus sanity – left with thuggery,murder and mayhem.We have seen this for so many years,perpetrated even on their southern MP’s,people and families.
    If the southerners cannot stop the vioelnce,drug trafficking,etc,etc,of MR and his henchmen running riot etc,they are weak and will have to live with this.

    The Tamils are serious about their aspirations.They want to be left alone in Peace to manage their own lives.
    Try it– the southerners will be amazed how the north will achieve the
    Vaddakin Vasantham.
    Perhaps it will be a lesson to the sourthern politicians how to run a government and keep the people happy.
    Should we try this module and why not?
    What is the fear the sourtherners envisage.?
    Fear is a defeatist attitude.

    • 0
      0

      hannah rajaratnam,
      You are correct.
      The government fears that a corruption-free NPC will achieve true & just governance, free citizens from army rule and improve the economy..
      Austin appears to have no objections to the NP Governor campaigning in the ellection.
      Will he approve this in the other two provincial elections?
      All have taken oaths under the Sixth Amendment – so,why the objections?

    • 0
      0

      That’s exactly what the Brotherhood fears most, a well run TNA administration, and so they will resort to all their tactics even after the elections to scuttle the working of the NPC, but this time it will only backfire and further exacerbate the situation as the world is now watching and the Govt will finally be forced to give up much more than was ever imagined in the 13th amendment!. So we can expect more drama in the future whilst the country situation deteriorates further.

  • 0
    0

    Most Tamils are down to earth and peace loving and if any group pushes them to a corner they will respond just as they did in the past. Hope the Lankan rulers have learnt a lesson.

    • 0
      0

      ah that explains chasing away in 90.

      • 0
        0

        Muslims are very resourceful and resilient to settle and start over. Remember we are a nation 1.9 billion and we can take our business elsewhere. Sri Lankan Muslims homeland is the world. We are confident our faith will help us through this short life.

        • 0
          0

          No, I asked you whetehr that was the reason you were chased away in 1990 :D read the comment again!

          • 0
            0

            Never chased away in from any country.

        • 0
          0

          Are u saying 1.9 (according to you)is a one nation? Then do you have citizenship in other muslim countries? Can you go and settle in any muslim countries? Can you go there without visa? Just asking :D

          • 0
            0

            Citizenship is an outdated concept. A person armed with knowledge, skills and experience is in demand in every where.

        • 0
          0

          Regular Muslim commentator Maghribhi says “Muslims are a nation of 1.9 billion” and adds further nonsense to his piece. Muslims are not a people. It is supposed to be a religion although those opposed to them say “Islam is a serious mental aberration”. If by his comment “we can take our business elsewhere” he means they are ready to leave Sri Lanka, very few will come out to stop them. One thing we must agree with him. Muslims, in many multi-religious countries, are trying to surreptitiously convert the societies in which they are given a home and the entire world into one religion – their religion. Therein lies the problems they face almost everywhere.

          Backlash

          • 0
            0

            Muslims will always have a special bond within themselves across borders (From North Africa to Australia). Sri Lankans should build bridges with the rest of the world rather than create more enemies.

            “When truth is hurtled against falsehood, falsehood perishes, for falsehood, by its nature bound to perish” (The Noble Quran 17:81)

  • 0
    0

    Manifestos including Mahinda Chinthana is only a frame work and the parties do not mean to implement everything that is in the manifesto. Good example Mahinda Chinthana. Further Federal State does not mean separate state. With regards to the distinct group, who says we do not have distinct groups? Look at our constitution, by placing Buddhism on the pedestal, Buddhist have been in effect made a distinct group. HOw can the author say that there are no distinct groups mentioned in the constitution. Its not the word “distinct” that is important, its the spirit of the text that is important.

    The issues I have with the TNA manifesto are 1)It has isolated Muslims, that is wrong. Muslims are followers of Islam and not a language based group. In that case the manifesto should have treated Muslims as Tamils and included a clause to say Hindus, Muslims and Christians in the manifesto suitably. 2) By isolating them as a regional party they have lost a great opportunity to be a National Party. Tamils today live all over Sri Lanka and they are majority in some major cities. Today Tamil leadership, especially under Thondaman has not done anything to the estate Tamil community. Under Justice Wigneswaran this would have been an excellent opportunity for TNA to become a National Party.

  • 0
    0

    Austin Fernando,
    Inclusion of one or two columns for Vaddukkodai resolution of 1975 and or TULF Manifesto of 1977 in your Table would have given the appropriate context for this discussion.

    Everything flowed from Vaddukkoddai resolution.

    The LTTE just followed TULF on every political issue, other than armed struggle.

    LTTE never had any unique position on any basic issue

    The southern opinion always try to dilute any Tamil demand

    We may assume that the TNA Manifesto is the maximum demand put forward by TNA for a any meaningful negotiation.

    If TNA is adopting a hard line why should it nominate a known moderate southern friendly justice Vigneswaran for the chief Ministerial candidature.

    Does it not given a better and honest intension of TNA ?

    Why not question UPFA to put forward their stand on the ethnic issue?

    Why you always want the Tamils to come up with the minimum before disclosing your hand and before any prospect of any negotiation?

    People like Dayan will try to find middle ground and say that the 13 A is the middle in an arbitrary continuumof his choice!

  • 0
    0

    Austin Fernando,
    Inclusion of one or two columns for Vaddukkodai resolution of 1975 and or TULF Manifesto of 1977 in your Table would have given the appropriate context for this discussion.

    Everything flowed from Vaddukkoddai resolution.the LTTE just followed TULF on every political issue, other than armed struggle.

    LTTE never had any unique position on any basic issue

    The southern opinion always tr to dilute any Tamil demand

    We may assume that the TNA Manifesto is the maximum demand put forward by TNA for a any meaningful negotiation.

    If TNA is adopting a hard line why should it nominate a known moderate southern friendly justice Vigneswaran for the chief Ministerial candidature.

    Does it not given a better and honest intension of TNA ?

    Why not question UPFA to put forward their stand on the ethnic issue?

    Why you always want to preempt and force the Tamils to come up with the minimum before disclosing your hand and before any prospect of any negotiation?.

    People like Dayan will try to find middle ground and say that the 13 A is the middle in an arbitrary continuumof his choice!

  • 0
    0

    This TNA “MANIFESTO” is nothing but a “YEOMAN” of the present Government.This will cultivate the popularity of the “Regime” and they will always be in power. You too has joined Ranil inspired UNP and doing the same assignment given by MR.

  • 0
    0

    Who ever What ever says about TNA Manifesto, in the long run, it works for Sri Lanka.

  • 0
    0

    TNA Manifesto – For Power Sharing Or Separation?

    This title satisfies only the EGO of the Writer.

    He should have Written “TNA MANIFESTO IS FOR WHOM – LTTE Financiers living in Canada or for Tamils Living In Sri Lanka ?

  • 0
    0

    “Tamils ARE a distinct people”. Aren’t they?. This is simply a statement of fact! Are the Tamils and others, for instance the Sinhalese the “same people” in every respect?, in language?, religion?, customs? Etc., etc?

    All the statements quoted from the manifesto are statement of facts and whether they are in accordance with the constitution or not is a different matter. Cannot somebody call for a revision of the constitution if necessary? Is that something illegal?

    At most some of these statements may be rhetoric,pure and simple. So what? After all it is a political manifesto and not a piece of legislation!

    Just see how the revolutionist Tissaranee has looked at it having scoffed at the comparison with LTTE demands. Why cannot Austin be a little more enlightened? Perhaps he needs a lesson or two from Tissaranee!

  • 0
    0

    To return to the topic, the TNA manifesto is neither for power sharing nor for separation, it is for winning the election. What they actually do afterwards is another matter. They are politcians for heaven’s sake!

  • 0
    0

    What if we don’t give any political solution?

    I won’t lose anything!

    I think we should serious think of stopping this political solutions and ethnic problem rubbish. I have no problem with Sinhalese, Muslims or Tamils.

    If anyone has a problem he or she should take medicine for it. Not others.

  • 0
    0

    TNA = Terrorist National Alliance
    TULF = Terrorist United Liberation Front
    LTTE = Liberation Tigers of Terrorist Elam
    ITAK = Illan-kai Terrorist Arrse Kadchi
    ACTC = All Ceylon Terrorist Congress

    • 0
      0

      Fathima Fukushima,

      Haven’t you taken today’s dose yet?

  • 0
    0

    IT is Sri Lankan Govt’s fault that for 65 years Tamils could not learn Sinhala and Assimilate into the Sinhala – buddhist Society.

    See how Tamils migrated, even after 1983, have assimilated into the majority culture in Other countries.

    NoRway Tamils are the best example. They talk Norwegian language and they engaged in the Fishing business that Norwegians abandoned because of new Oil money.

    All these power sharing is for Foreign forces and not for Tamils.

    • 0
      0

      Jim softy

      “IT is Sri Lankan Govt’s fault that for 65 years Tamils could not learn Sinhala and Assimilate into the Sinhala – buddhist Society.”

      I hate to partially agree with you.

      Please pack your bags and go back to your ancestral land which I believe is still in Tamilnadu, convert them into Sinhala/Buddhism.

      Let all your Tamilnadu Tamil brethren assimilate into your people. There want be any tangible difference between before and after assimilation.

      Taminadu will have increased its share of stupid people by the number of returning lost tribes.

    • 0
      0

      Dear Jim,

      I am told in the 1950s, and possibly before, many Tamils willingly learned Sinhala and some
      of them read, wrote and spoke all 3 languages very well. Even during
      later years there were many – including yours truly – who learned Sinhala. But that feeling Sinhala is imposed down the throat of the Tamils, fuelled by the divisive Sinhala Only Language Policy, put paid to all that and divided the country to tragic levels we saw during the past 30 odd years. But I note many steps to reverse the process. I
      hope these succeed as the years pass by. Language, as we all know, is a great uniting source as well in multi-lingual societies. It goes well beyond competency in the language. It creates strong social and cultural bonds. I will not be surprised if a Tamil NPC gradually encourages Tamil children to learn Sinhala. Now and then I am encouraged to read of efforts on both sides of the divide to narrow the difference by encouraging the language of the other. Tamils are far more pragmatic to be enslaved by pettiness and permanent prejudice.
      They know one more language in their armoury of learning is a plus point.

      Senguttuvan

      • 0
        0

        As usual Senguttuvan, you write calmly and you write sense.

      • 0
        0

        Senguttuvan,

        Most unfortunately Sinhalese racists led by Rajapakshas, BBS, Hluurumayo, Ravana nuts, Champikayas, Modowansas et al will un-learn everything of value and civilized and entrench and embrace deeper and deeper into nationalistic, racist, religious and extremist ideologies. Most of Sinhalese have very poor knowledge of their own language let alone English or Tamil. Their stupid minds are filled with MARA Chinthanaya, another word for hell-bound thinking and living. Sinhalese buffaloes are fed with all the poisonous foods, milk powers, grains and medicines. Every conceivable thing they consume contain poisons or are sub-standard or shop-soiled. Very recently a hotelier was caught for storing vegetables that had been meant for the consumption of Sinhalese eaters in a toilet! But alas! These Sinhalese won’t give a hoot about it! They are such a shit happy and shit eating nation! But the moment a minority man speaks of his rights they raise their sarongs exposing their barren peanuts and make a big commotion led by social racists, mongol monks and stupid politicians! Already they are dying by the thousands-kidney disease, arsenic in rice, Weliveriya type water poisoning, mal-nutrition, anemia, cancer and all the incurable diseases including the invited death corridor of AIDS through overwhelming importance on tourism, casinos and all that prostitution prone business. I think one day Tamils will have to carry on Sinhala nationhood too because the Rajapaksha-Sinhala-Buddhist embrace will ultimately lead to mutual and collective extinction of Sinhalese and after they are gone minorities will have to do the conservation and museum job!

  • 0
    0

    I can IMAGINE how STUPID CBK was to appoint this fellow to the MINISTRY SECRETARY FOR DEFENCE.

    This person would never have allowed a Military defeat of LTTE.

    • 0
      0

      Jim softy

      “This person would never have allowed a Military defeat of LTTE.”

      Was he on LTTE payroll?

  • 0
    0

    TNA manifesto may be a ‘vote catching rhetoric’ for Ranil, Austin and their type, but it certainly is much much more than that to us; we nationalists say it is a deliberate effort to brainwash Tamils to be Eelamists just like the Waddukkodai resolution dated 14th May 1976.

  • 0
    0

    A fair analysis. Nice to see an evolution in the mind of AF on the subject of devolution. TNA is looking for the illusive homeland. Everything else is secondary.

  • 0
    0

    “..Possible Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) responses..”!!!

    Hey, Osta, since when have you become the spokesperson of MARA?

  • 0
    0

    Today Austin Fernando who made great efforts to paint the TNA’s manifesto as no different from LTTE’s demands is the Governor of the Eastern province ‘ruled’ by the SLMC+TNA parties. The basic fault with ‘pro devolution” supporters is they are only a wee bit better than the likes of Champika Ranawake, Wimal Weerawansa, BBS Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero! The difference is in style not in substance. Today’s Sinhalese are descendents of Nagas, Yakshas and Thamils. Many of them carry Thamil names! Austin Fernando cites the constitution in support of the skewed logic. He forgets constitutions are man made and Sri Lanka has so far seen 3 constitutions. Probably a fourth is in the pipeline. As for distinct status of the Thamils as Nation, they do qualify for that recognition. In Canada there are 3 Nations. The French people of Quebec were recognized as a Nation just a few years ago in 2006. Finally let me remind Austin Fernando (Portuguese name) that democracy is rule by consent. This is not the case with Sri Lanka!

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.