25 October, 2020

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TPC Proposal: A Re-Radicalization Scheme?

By S. I. Keethaponcalan

S. I. Keethaponcalan

S. I. Keethaponcalan

As proposed, the ruling party has taken steps to reform the constitution. The government presented a proposal in Parliament to transform the national legislature into a constitutional assembly. In addition, the government has appointed a group called the Public Representation Committee, which is going around the country collecting proposals and ideas. These steps, despite the problems the government might encounter in garnering a two-thirds majority necessary for meaningful reform, have imparted the impression that reform is feasible. Consequently, some individuals and groups have formulated and presented their ideas for constitutional reform.

Wigneswaran’s Proposals?

The Tamil People’s Council (TPC) headed by Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran appointed an Expert Committee to prepare a draft proposal, which was handed over to Wigneswaran in February. Reports indicate that the draft has been translated into Tamil and being circulated. It is not clear if Wigneswaran would accept the proposal and present it to the government or would introduce his own changes. However, one cannot assume that the Exerts Committee operated independently without input from Wigneswaran and his allies. Given the recent ideological evolution of the Chief Minister and the company he keeps, one should not be surprised, if Wigneswaran is indeed the real architect of the proposals. The draft is problematic for several reasons.

Wigneswaran and SampanthanBefore turning to these issues, it would be useful to understand what the Committee has proposed to their leader. A quick look indicated that the Committee is proposing a federal state in Sri Lanka. Under system of governance (p.4), the Committee suggests that “Sri Lanka shall be a Federal Republic.” A second chamber (Senate) has also been suggested. So, it is federalism that the Committee is talking about. The question however is, if it is federalism that the TPC is proposing, why should it prepare a proposal in the first place, because the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has already adopted federalism as its political slogan. Therefore, there should be something else. This is where a closer look was needed.

Confederal State?

A careful reading revealed that the TPC’s Expert Committee has in fact, been proposing a loose confederal system. First, the proposal repeatedly insists that the Tamil people’s “right to self-determination” should be recognized. For example, it states “…this would mean recognizing the Tamil People’s uniqueness and their right to self-determination (p.1)… Tamils constitute a distinct people with the inalienable right to self-determination. The Tamil People pledge their commitment to a united and undivided Sri Lanka which respects and affirms the right to self-determination of the Tamils (p.4).

Second, it demands an extreme form of devolution. For example, in page 6, it says that the Tamil people should have “maximum self-government.” Interestingly, the Committee claims that they “recognize that unlike the North-East no other part of the country makes claims to maximum self-government (emphasis mine).” Another example for the demand for extreme devolution could be found in relation to foreign policy. Clause 12.1 states that “Foreign policy shall be a subject on the Federal List. However, when a matter on the State List is the subject of a foreign policy decision the States shall participate in the preparation of decisions of foreign policy which concern their powers or their essential interests. The Federation shall inform the States in time and fully, and consult them. The position of the States shall have particular weight when their powers are concerned. In these cases, the States shall participate in international negotiations as appropriate.” The Committee also wants a separate unit with the embassies of Sri Lanka to “promote its economic, education and cultural interest (p. 11).” In essence, many provisions of the report, for example, land and police power, education, and public service, seem to propose what could be called one state-two administrations; one for the North-East and other for the rest of the country.

These proposals, in my view, represent four major problems: (1) they are mostly rejected ideas, (2) they have the capacity to undermine possible rapprochement among ethnic communities, (3) they may damage security of the people in the North, and (4) they are unrealistic.

Rejected Ideas

The end of the war and the manner in which the war was ended proved that the Tamils can never have a separate state in Sri Lanka. This realization, forced the TNA, the main Tamil party to officially drop the demand for a separate state in its 2010 election manifesto. In addition, the TNA also denounced violence. The party declared that it will settle for a federal state. The Tamil people overwhelmingly voted for the TNA in 2010. In 2015, while the TNA reiterated its commitment to a federal solution, Wigneswaran supported parties that espoused self-determination. The Tamil people completely rejected the call Wigneswaran made and the parties ran on the platform of self-determination could not win a single seat. Therefore, Vigneswaran and the TPC have no authority to present the Experts Committee report as Tamil people’s proposals. One has to wait to see what Vigneswaran will do with these proposals.

Undermine Rapprochement

Second, one of the preconditions for ethnic rapprochement in Sri Lanka is that the communities should be able to live in a united country. The perception that the Tamils are still operating on the ideals of a separate state would prevent the Sinhala community from approving any form of devolution of power and taking steps to promote ethnic reconciliation. Without a reasonable project for devolution of power, the Tamil people will not be able to reconcile their differences with the Sinhala people. The perceived or real demand for a separate state will only help to perpetuate the conflict. Also, radical nationalist Sinhala groups will certainly use the TPC proposals to justify discrimination and actual or political assaults on the Tamil community. The point is the TPC proposal has the potential to delay or hamper ethnic conciliation.

Tamil Security

Three, even after the end of the war and decimation of the LTTE, the previous government retained tight military control over the people in the Northern Province. It is the new government that decided to relax some of the restrictions and allowed greater normalization, which was one of the major demands of the Tamil people until recently. Evidence to suggest that Tamils still are espousing separation would justify re-imposition of some of the restrictions including strict security measures by this government or a future one. This would only help undermine the freedom and security of the people, especially the Tamils in the Northern Province. A government might even delay such measures as releasing land acquired to create high security zones during the war.

Pre- May 2009 World

Finally, the report and the proposed measures demonstrate lack of understanding of the prevailing politico-military realities within the country. Sri Lankan government is currently under no pressure to devolve powers to the Northern Province. It is doubtful whether a reasonable scheme of devolution could be introduced in the new constitution given the resistance which would stem from the joint opposition and other Sinhala nationalist groups that are a part of the government. Therefore, the extreme devolution proposed by the TPC has no chance of being implemented. The question then is what the group proposes to do if the government says no? Would it undertake a campaign to apply pressure on the government? Or would it stir the pot and move on? As far as this author knows, Vigneswaran has no history of protesting.

An extremely interesting component of the report says that the government needs to sign what it calls “a pre-constitutional agreement,” like the Dayton Agreement and/or the Good Friday Agreement, with the Tamil leadership, probably Wigneswaran. Both of these agreements were signed to end violence, while major belligerents still had the capacity to use military power.

In Sri Lanka, the LTTE is gone and the Tamils have no military capacity. So, the government does not have the need to sign agreements with Tamil groups and I don’t think it will. Therefore, Dayton and Good Friday agreements are wrong examples to use in the present context. One may argue that Sri Lankan governments have signed agreements (Banda-Chelva and Dudley-Chelva agreements) with Tamil leadership when they did not have military power. However, Chelvanayakam was leading a non-violent protest campaign, which disrupted governance in the North-East. These governments were under pressure to come to an agreement with Chelvanayakam.

Therefore, the TPC demand for a pre-constitutional agreement is unrealistic and it demonstrates lack of understanding of the international and domestic realities. The group perhaps is living in a pre-May 2009 reality.

Re-radicalizing?

This also raises the question whether these proposals are prepared to win political powers or formulated only for the consumption of the Tamil people and to win their sympathy and electoral support. If this is the case, then the report has been prepared with the next election in mind. Nevertheless, Wigneswaran, wittingly or unwittingly is giving leadership to a project that would potentially re-radicalize the Tamil community. The demand for a separate state and the radical or violent tendencies within the Tamil community, as proved in the last 30 years, would only bring destruction to the Tamil community. People who did not personally experience the war may not understand the horror.

*Dr. S. I. Keethaponcalan is Chair of the Conflict Resolution Department, Salisbury University, Maryland.

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  • 6
    6

    Given the option I would rather raise my hand for a separate state than a federal unit for a combined North and East. For, a Ealam is only two months away from a federal unit. Why bother? Else a massive further strengthening of the state military capacity will be required to perpetually maintain it ‘federal’.

    The greatest lesson the Sinhalese should remember is even the RW-VP pact did not satisfy the Tamil political class. Assuming it was the most opportune moment and supremely comfident of their terror machine they decided to go for the final goal irrespective of the cost in blood. What guarantee we will not withess a repeat performance once established as a fereral unit? In the words of the author “Wigneswaran, wittingly or unwittingly is giving leadership to a project that would potentially re-radicalize the Tamil community.

    “Tamils constitute a distinct people with the inalienable right to self-determination.” Again the category ‘Tamils’ is not clearly defined. Is it only Hindu and Christian Tamils or all Tamil speaking people irrespective of their religion or date of arrival? Already a subcategory of Tamils are asking for a separate political unit based on their religion!

    Further the subject of physical relocation of Tamils scattered across the island into North and East is not being addressed in the report. Surely being exceeding 50% of the total Tamil population their inalienable rights cannot be ignored. The behavior of the federal unit will most certainly have an adverse impact on this segment of population if left among the genocidal Sinhala Buddhists.

    Ealam war V will make Ealam war IV look child’s play.

    Subject of a new Constitution should be postponed until war crimes investigations are concluded, criminals duly punished, jutice for the Tamil side is delivered and consequential reconciliation is established.

    Soma

    • 1
      2

      While I agree with some of the issues you brought up, this little statement:

      “Already a subcategory of Tamils are asking for a separate political unit based on their religion!”

      is a lie. I’m going to assume you mean the Muslims, here. Basheer Segu Dawood does not represent all Muslims, and neither is he any senior member in the Muslim political hierarchy despite his famous name. The other Muslim parties were quick to dismiss his claims, so let’s not create arguments out of thin air.

    • 0
      2

      Please note: Muslims are not a sub-category of Tamils.
      They have made it clear from the time of Sir P Ramanathan’s condescending attitude towards them.

      The FP tried to integrate them using the concept of “Tamil Speaking People”. But the ‘Big Brother’ attitude of Tamil nationalism made it necessary for Muslims to assert that they are a distinct nationality.
      The call for a separate Muslim District or Unit was there at least as early as the days of ceasefire (2002-2006) if not earlier. (It was hinted at as early as 1956 by MS Kariappar, MP Kalmunai, when he was still in the Federal Party.)

      That call is fair, independently of the intentions or integrity of the politician articulating it.
      What Muslims need is a leadership with a little more far sight and can address issues concerning them on an all-island basis.

      • 2
        0

        They are ethnic immigrant Indian Tamils who converted to Islam, a little bit of Arab amongst some of them does not make them Arab or Moorish. If they do not want to identify with the Christian and Hindu Tamils, that is their wish but should still be correctly classified as Tamil Muslims and not Sri Lankan Moors as there is noting Moorish or Arab about them. Their parent population in Tamil Nadu calls them selves Tamils, so you are a Tamil Muslim when you are in India and when you cross the sea you are no more a Tamil but have become a Moor. How stupid is this. Your close relatives remaining in Tamil Nadu are Tamils but you are a Moor. The Muslims of Bosnia correctly classify themselves as Slavic Muslims of Bosnia in order to separate themselves from their fellow Slavs the Catholic Croats and the Eastern Orthodox Serbs despite all of them speaking variations of the Serbo/Croat language and having the same southern Slavic origin. They do not call themselves Moors Arabs or Turks. Followers of Islam are called Muslims and they can belong to any race ethnicity it is a religious identity and not an ethnic identity. Only in Sri Lanka due to dirty politics of divide and rule, a religious identity has been made into an ethnic identity. Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan was correct. The Muslims in Sri Lanka are not Moors but Tamil by ethnicity and Muslims by religion. Their selfish power hungry Colombo based elite were incorrect. They only did this for their own selfish aims. When challenged to provide proof of Arab origin for the Sri Lankan Muslims the Sri Lankan Moors council failed miserably and was only able to prove that a few hundred families out of a population of around 2 million had some sort of Arab blood. Mainly a distant male ancestor and all the rest Tamil. They were reluctantly forced to admit that most of the so called Sri Lankan Moors are in fact Tamils from other religions who converted to Islam. Then they changed their story by making some stupid claim that their Arab heritage is through their religion and that also because it was the Arabs who originally introduced Islam to South India. What sort of stupid claim is this no other non Arab Muslims anywhere else in the world has made this silly claim that just because they are Muslims their heritage is Arab. The Turks the Iranians the Indians Malays Africans Europeans. This means the Sinhalese and Tamil Christians then should claim a European or Jewish heritage.

        • 1
          0

          Paul,

          I agree with you here. Tamils must sort out their religious, caste, and date of arrival issues among themselves and come forward as a common front to discuss the problems encountered by them.
          “IN VIEW OF THE PRESENT DEMOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION PATTERN OF TAMIL SPEAKING PEOPLE (IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR RELIGION OR THE DATE OF ARRIVAL) IN THE ISLAND THERE IS NO CONCEIVABLE DEVOLUTION MODEL TO SATISFY POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS OF AT LEAST 90% OF THEM.”

  • 5
    6

    DR Keetha says the LTTE is gone.

    Not really ,

    It is true Mr Pirahaparan and some of his commanders and foot soldiers are gone,

    But there are 12500 battled hardened and trained ones around alive and well.,

    Then there are soon to be released 245 hierarchy who are leadership material.

    The USD Billion rolling finance facility is still intact, although Mr Surendran has diverted some to help out with narrowing the Yahapalana Budget deficit.

    And prop up the currency as the Yahapalana Treasurer said yesterday predicting the near term value of the YLKR against the Greenback..

    CM Wiggy’ demands makes interesting reading.

    Imagine our Consulates with a separate Thamil Federal Desk.to negotiate International deals..

    But you can’t just give one desk to Tamil Federals only when SLMC dudes already have expressed their desire to have exactly whatever Wiggys party gets.

    Now my problem is are we going to have only one desk for us?

    Does that mean there is only one Federal state for Sinhala Buddhists and Anglicans and the Elite to share…

    I don’t think it is fair.

    • 3
      6

      It is true that LTTE will never go from this soil. The reason is because Buddhist Fundamentalism and its brutality cannot go from this soil. It is a dominant in the genes of Sinhalese politics. LTTE only came in the middle of Budhist Sinhala Fundamentalism. Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism is a thirst of blood of human beings irrespective of whether it is innocent Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims Muslims.

      • 4
        2

        African Americans were treated badly than Tamils, but they didn’t join with foreigners to take up arms against the White Americans. They educated the White Americans about the adverse affects to the country by discrimination. African Americans are smarter than Tamils. Few facts about them.
        They were brought as slaves to the US in 1526
        Educated the majority and abolished slave trade in 1863
        Continue to educate the majority and got equal rights in 1963
        Finally got voting rights in 1965. Today they gave an African American President.
        Sri Lanka never had Tamil Prime Minister or President. Don’t blame Sinhalese people, but blame yourselves. Tamils won’t move forward because they hate their own smart people, but adore foreigners.

      • 3
        1

        The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. Martin Luther King, Jr.

        Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend. Martin Luther King, Jr.

        We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      • 1
        0

        Ajith

        What baffles me is the desire of majority of Tamils to live among the barborous, genocidal Sinhala Buddhists when there is lenty of space in the North and East.

        Soma

        • 1
          1

          Stop lying and twisting the facts as you often do. The vast majority of the Tamils living in the Sinhalese areas are not the indigenous Eelam Tamils ( other than in Colombo) but Indian origin estate Tamils who were forcibly brought in to the island and settled by the British colonials 150 to 200 years ago and now have no other option but to live there. Even the few who tried to flee to the Tamil north and east were forcibly repatriated back to the hill country by the Sri Lankan armed forces.
          Funny Indian origin Tamil citizens of the country cannot move on their own free will or settle in the Tamil north or east of the country but of area Sinhalese and Muslims are brought in their hundreds of thousands and allowed to settle. Shows the racist genocidal policies of all Sinhalese government including this one and the real reason for the Sinhalese armed forces stationed in the Tamil north and east.
          The majority of the indigenous Eelam Tamils don’t live amongst the Sinhalese but in the north and east. 70% live in the North and East and more than 90% of the remaining 30% in and around Colombo.
          Colombo is the capital and was not part of the Sinhalese area. It only became part of the Sinhalese area after European colonisation, when many coastal Tamil communities living along the western and southern littorals were forcibly Sinhalised. The forcible Sinhalisation of the coastal Tamils living along the Negombo Chilaw, Puttlam coast by the Bandaranaike government is within the living memory of many people.
          Even the word Colombo as well as the names of many Colombo suburbs are of Tamil origin like many place names along the western and southern littorals. Many ancient/medieval Tamil communities like the Colombo Chetties prove the ancient presence of Tamils in the area.
          If the European Colonial powers never arrived, all these ancient coastal Tamil communities along the western and southern littorals would not have become Sinhalese and the Tamil homeland would have also stretched along the western and southern littorals 0f the island( especially the North western coast from Puttalam to North of Colombo ) as well as the north and east. All these so called Sinhalese now baying for Tamil blood along the western and southern littorals would have remained Tamil. The European colonial history in the island was very beneficial for the Sinhalese but not for the Tamils. Especially the British. Even these Tamils living in Colombo are only living there out of necessity and not because they love the Sinhalese. All Sri Lankan governments since independence have deliberately ignored the economy and development of historical Tamil areas, unless they want to settle Sinhalese in these areas. This was a deliberate ploy to keep the Tamils permanently dependent on Colombo and the Sinhalese areas for their livelihood and never become self sufficient to gain any form of independence for themselves. This together the deliberate policy of emptying the Tamils from their historic areas by harassment bombing killing of Tamils in the north and east, so that they will flee for safety to the south and again become reliant on the Sinhalese south for their living. This also works well for the Sinhalese, as these ethnically cleansed Tamil lands are now occupied by the Sinhalese and Muslims, thereby making the Tamils are marginalised minority not only in the rest of the island but also in their own lands. You can now see that in the east. The Tamils there reduced to a 40% minority in their own land and now cries for pure Islamic homelands and Sinhalese traditional areas in the east that were never there at all 5o years ago.
          The North and East of the island is the historic and ancient Tamil lands and this was recognised even by the racist pro Sinahlaese Mahavamsa myth. The Portuguese the Dutch the British even by all Sinhalese governments until the genocidal war criminal Rajapakse regime arrived. The Bandaranaike Chelvanayagam pact the Dudley Senanayake/Chelvanayagam pact recognises this. Also the international 1987 Indo/Sri Lankan pact signed by J T Jayewardene and Rajiv Gandhi recognises this fact by killing raping and ethnically cleansing hundreds of thousands of Tamils in the last 50 years and then illegally settling hundreds of thousands of out area Sinhalese and in some cases Muslims in these ethnically cleansed Tamil lands does not change this fact. Even if 5% of the Tamils lived in this area this has to be protected for the Tamils as it is their land, However 5% do not live but 70% of the still live there. This is the land of the Eelam Tamils and not the land of the Indian origin or the fake Arab immigrant low caste Indian Tamil Muslims. These are immigrant communities and most of them never lived in the north and east of the island at all, so they do not come into the equation of the ancient Eelam Tamil lands that only belong to them and is closely associated with our history and culture not theirs, so trying to add them all of them up and then state most Tamils live outside does not work or wash. Most of the Irish Scots and Welsh live outside Ireland Scotland or Wales so does this mean there is no Ireland Scotland or Wales for the Irish Scottish or Welsh still living in their lands? What a foolish argument to deny the Tamils their rights. Do not develop their areas, kill and chase them out so that they flee to the Sinhalese south or overseas , then settle Sinhalese/Musims in these lands, also count millions of Indian origin Tamils who had always lived in the Central parts of the island and had nothing to with the Eelam Tamils and then say Oh! most of the Tamils live in the Sinhalese south as they all love our genocidal racist ways(sic) so Tamils should not have federalism and their lands safeguarded from further Sinhalese racism and encroachin, as this is what we want to do and destroy them

          • 0
            0

            Paul

            In your previous March 6, 2016 at 5:38 comment you are beautifully arguing for my contention that Muslims are a sub category of Tamils differing in religion.

            I don’t know what to make your above comment. Both comments seem contradictory to one another.

            The whole Tamil ethnic question in Sri Lanka is a question of languuage. There are Tamil language speakers(Tamils) and Sinhala language speakers(Sinhalese) As the Tsmils are scattered all over no practcal devolution model can be found to satify political ambitions of at least 90% of them. However their democratic rights as equal citizens in all respects must be sfaguaded wherever they live, whatever is their religion or date of arrival.

            Soma

    • 1
      0

      KAS,

      “But there are 12500 battled hardened and trained ones around alive and well.”

      True but you would be surprised by how well many of them have been integrated in the society. The rest should be provided opportunities ASAP. If they are not given things to do they might become a problem again. Keep them busy.

      “Then there are soon to be released 245 hierarchy who are leadership material.”
      If the ones accused or sentenced of bombings etc are released the government will loose a lot of voters in the South.

      “CM Wiggy’ demands makes interesting reading.”

      I confess that I have not bothered to read them. In my opinion the CM and his gang do not represent the majority of Tamils but I might be wrong. We need elections to see how much real support the TPC has.

    • 2
      0

      The LTTE is gone for all intents and purposes. Only the tail is yet being twitched by some with interest in reviving it!

      Dr.RN

  • 7
    4

    I have completed six months living in Jaffna. Based on my findings still Indians and the Westerners are thinking for Tamils. It has been very disappointing reality to me. Tamils can have more freedom when they start to think for themselves. If we give them more than what they deserve, it will be used against innocent people. We can’t afford to let it happen again, especially after three decades of brutal civil war.

    I feel sorry for those young prisoners. Because nobody is there to guide them. Therefore, releasing those young prisoners may backfire on the government. The Tamil leaders must be blamed for their suffering, not the government or the defense forces. Not only the Sri Lankan government, but the entire Asia must watch the Tamil leaders very carefully.

    • 3
      2

      Your Sinhalese Buddhist racism is oozing out of all your comments. Stop blaming everyone else, especially the Tamil for the racist attitude and behaviour of the Sinhalese from the word go. You can only educate a person who are willing to be educated and reform from their racist ways. Like the Germans the Australians, White Americans. unfortunately the Sinhalese aren’t most of them are racist to the cores and steepen in the Mahvamsa myth that is dinned into them by from a small age. They will never reform. You can take a horse to the water but cannot force it to drink. This is the case with the Sinhalese. The Tamils tried the Indians tried the international community tries and now the UN. What more do you want?
      The only way to safeguard the indigenous Eelam Tamils is federalism for the Tamil North and East. Their ancient historical lands. These are Tamil lands not Sinhalese or Muslim lands. Using government force to kill rape murder and ethnically cleanse hundreds of thousands of Tamils and then settling Sinhalese illegally in these lands in the past 50 years does not change this, nor the fact that a few centuries ago, your low caste converted Dravidian Tamil Muslim ancestors from India, fleeing persecution and then seeking asylum from their fellow Hindu Tamils in parts of the east make this your land. Ecpecially after you joined with the Sinhalese racists to kill murder rape ethnically cleanse Tamils and take over their lands in the east in order to establish Salafist Islamic homelands purely based on religion, that will be future terrorist headaaches

      • 1
        0

        I am a Tamil, and giving you the best advice ‘stop fooling yourselves.’ You won’t go anywhere by going behind Indians and the West. You are better off working with the majority. It is a shame that you haven’t learned anything from the brutal civil war.

  • 7
    6

    Dr.Keethaponcalan,

    I agree with your analysis that exposes the irrelevance and meaninglessness of TPC report. It has nothing to do with the needs of the Tamils and their expectations. It does not also represent the vision of persons attuned to ground realities. It is the agenda of a few being presented in the name of the Tamils. It is prepared by a group led by men who have failed to do what they can with what they have. They want more to also do nothing but to prolong or re-invigorate the agony of the now recovering Tamils for three more decades.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 6
    7

    I completely reject your half baked analysis. There is nothing wrong in TPC proposals. Self determination is not the invention of Wigneswaran and Tamils have the right to self determination. There are valid reasons for the self determination.The facts are important. Self determination of Tamils was brought by Federal Party, TULF,and TNA after failing to reach political solutions based on decentralisation, federalism, 13th amendment etc.

    TNA joined hands with Ranil, Chandrika and Mithiri to get rid of Mahinda. We all think that there is a secret agreement within this group to find a political solution. However, Mithiri and Ranil have confirmed to the Sinhalese that there will be no change in the unitary system and Buddhism will remain as the religion of the Nation. We all come to know after few years what was the secret agreement and whether Ranil and Mithiri will honour their words. You all believe that Federal solution will be reached and Sinhalese will endorse it. It should come before the next election. If that happens as TNA wishes Tamils including Wigneswaran will endorse it. IF not??

    • 1
      0

      Ajith
      What secret agreement? The open agreement is to safeguard iterests of the majority and retain the unitary structure. Interms of numbers the which agreement got more votes in the election? Remember TNA polled even less than JVP.

      Soma

  • 4
    0

    On paper,TNA is demanding a Federal state and MS/RW have stated, on
    the contrary, in the news papers, that the govt. will opt for a
    unitary state with devolution of power to the regions but there is certainly a solid agreement reached between TNA & the current Govt.,
    after the last general election ,on a form of devolution,which both parties do not want to divulge the proposal they have in mind at this stage. The international community like India, USA & Europe & UN are the witnesses to it, who too are very keen on an early settlement of
    this lingering problem before the next four years so that SL can move forward, as a whole.

    Can the author of this article, who is a constitutional expert, enlighten the Tamil people, who are dumbfounded as to what form of devolution they could expect, in his next release of an article
    on the Tamil issue as TNA had been asked to maintain silence by the
    IC & the Govt. and even loud spoken CM.NPC, Mr.C.V. Vigneswaran is
    very rightly kept out of the inner circle of TNA and not aware of
    the deal.

    Been a supreme court judge,and much was expected of him but he has strange ways of handling important matters pertaining to Tamil problem.
    He has foolishly objected, totally against building a regional airport at Palaly, Jaffna. He later twisted the story and argued that people should be a settled in Palaly area first and then build the airport. This is like putting the cart before the horse.He little realised that this airport could generate traffic to South India at lower airfares & freight charges,(almost half of current prices),employment opportu-
    nities for the youth of the area will be made available and it will become a hive of economic activities where small businesses could boom.
    He may mean that building a runway and a passenger terminal would suffice.It needs more space for taxiways and thresholds and positioning
    of navigational equipment for instrument flying ,room for extensions of runway and terminal in the event, more destinations are planned, like whole of India, Middle East and far East as there is bound to be enough traffic, even from North Central province, avoiding the long trek to Colombo airport.
    To achieve this, the govt. may have to move people, even those, who are already living around the airport area, like what happened, when expansions took place at Ratmalana, Katunayake and Heathrow airports (5intnl.apts)in London and in many other countries too. CM,NPC should spell out his ideas whether he is for development of N/E or not. Next
    requirement is a sea port at KKS and is he against this as well.?

    Nowhere in the world people protested and succeeded in stopping airport
    extensions. Some people may have to be accommodated in other parts of the province,and CM should be prepared for it,if the airport and sea port become a reality.

  • 2
    0

    I have a different take on this.

    You say: “if it is federalism that the TPC is proposing, why should it prepare a proposal in the first place, because the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has already adopted federalism as its political slogan.”

    The simple answer is that some of the people behind the TPC could be concerned that Sampanthan and the TNA, while articulating federalism, will be forced to accept something that falls far short of federalism, since any parliamentary process is highly unlikely to result in federalism. So, the TPC is acting as a pressure group.

    There is nothing I have seen in it to suggest they are asking for a confederal model.The are simply fond of the word “self-determination,” or “internal” self-determination, and keep repeating it, but it just means federalism. But such a view–that the TPC was asking for confederation– has been propagated by people like the Indian journalist P.K. Balachandran, whose reporting has been highly suspect; for instance, he had to retract his loud claim that the former attorney general Siva Pasupathy was going to support Wigneswaran.

    As someone teaching political science, you should be more careful in your claims.

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