2 March, 2024

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Two Challenges: Economic Recovery, Political Devolution – V

By Sachithanandam Sathananthan

Dr. Sachithanandam Sathananthan

The centralisation imperative

The Indian Dominion in 1947 consisted largely of the colonial provinces carved out by the British East India Company that covered about 60% of British possessions. Similarly, slightly less than half the area of West Pakistan consisted of Dominion Territory. Each of the more than 500 culturally-coherent historical nations – distinct from territorially-defined Westphalian States – in the pre-colonial South Asian Subcontinent possessed its own unique history, spoke one of several hundred languages and dialects, was ruled by a stable political authority and often had its own coinage. The Kingdoms, Sultanates and Khanates were of varying sizes and governed by Maharajas, Rajas, Khans, Nawabs and Chieftains and their geographical areas faded into one another at their margins. A few expanded into empires – Mauryan, Marathi and Chola to name a few – by subduing weaker nations, which elbowed their way out to re-establish independence as the empires declined in the fullness of time 

They were collectively parts of Bharat or Bharatham, the ancient cultural formation akin in some ways to Europe’s Christendom.

The Company’s mercenary forces imposed, step by violent step, control over several kingdoms in the South Asian Subcontinent, not over a non-existent political formation, “India”, that some historians who wrote history backwards have erroneously imagined to have existed in the 18th Century. The Company ruled over and arbitrarily divided, subdivided and in some instances amalgamated them, driven by administrative expedience and military exigencies, to form the three Presidencies of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras [1].

London terminated its suzerainty over the remaining historical nations, labelled “Princely States”, under the 1947 India Independence Act that laid the legal foundation for the Dominions of India and Pakistan. With effect from 15 August London abandoned its treaty obligations, established by the Company under Subsidiary Alliances that buttressed the Rulers’ thrones as well as turned them into vassals. 

The Law declared the historical nations are fully sovereign; Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel confirmed the same in January 1948: “As you are all aware, on the lapse of Paramountcy every Indian State became a separate independent entity”; nevertheless “Iron Man” Patel vehemently opposed their right to re-establish their status quo ante as sovereign pollical formations in accordance with international law, a right recognized also under Lord Louis Mountbatten’s June 3rd Plan. His Plan however explicitly denied the historical nations, conquered and corralled into the three Presidencies, the same inalienable right so as to stabilize the new Dominions. 

The State controlling elites in the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League had imbibed the Empire mindset while faithfully executing Indirect Rule on behalf of the colonialists. Their liberal-democracy rhetoric masked the authoritarian mentality, preserved by the colonial power’s “peaceful” regime change; Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s invitation to Lord Mountbatten to be the first Governor General of India further reinforced the mindset. The elites in both Dominions consolidated the new-found power on the colonialists’ authoritarian model, the only one they had experience of; their respective shares of the British Indian Army – renamed the Indian and Pakistan forces – too were steeped in the centralizing world view of colonial rule. 

The Indian Dominion’s State-controlling elite followed in the footsteps of the Company to aggressively expand by absorbing the rest of the Hindu-majority kingdoms that constituted about 40% of British possessions [2].

The Nizam of the Sultanate of Hyderabad, a large, wealthy historical nation, was an exception. He deployed a small army to stake his claim under the 1947 Act as an independent sovereign, undermined by the Company. India’s north-centric elite, led by Nehru and Patel, deplored the Nizam for launching a “dangerous” “secessionist venture”. Though it is unclear what, if any, he was seceding from, they imposed a crippling economic blockade, alleged a communist threat to the Indian Dominion and unleashed their share of the former British Indian Army. The armed forces invaded the Sultanate in the September 1948 Operation Polo, sanitized as a “police action”, deposed the Nizam and annexed his territory to the British-designed unitary State at an estimated cost of about 30,000 lives.

The new Dominion of Pakistan similarly expanded with equal force to absorb the eight Muslim-majority kingdoms [3] and more than doubled West Pakistan’s territory Britain had ruled from New Delhi. 

The largest, the Khanate of Kalat resisted; its ruler Mir Ahmad Yar Khan declared independence on 12 August 1947 in accordance with the June 3rd Plan and 1947 Act. While Governor-General Mohammad Ali Jinnah appeared ambivalent, the State-controlling elite led by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, also the Defence Minister, let loose their share of the British Indian Army in April 1948, violently overthrew the Khan and annexed his Khanate, now a part of Baluchistan province, to create a unitary State. 

Most Rulers of historical nations in both Dominions had Perhaps found their reliance on the colonial State under terms of Subsidiary Alliances convenient since that averted raising their own army due to either financial constraints or uncertain loyalty of their own subjects or both. However, they paid dearly. At the end of British rule, they lacked the military power to enforce the right to independent Statehood, by defending their borders, and could not fend off the centralizing military juggernauts of the two Dominions that steam rolled over their respective possessions. 

The vulnerable Rulers had little option but to cave in and sign the Instruments of Accession brusquely placed before them by Delhi or Karachi that legalized the forcible incorporation. 

The State controlling elites of the two Dominions of India and Pakistan, under different subterfuges, pounced like starving hyenas on the independent Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir. Karachi (the Punjabi elite shifted the capital to Islamabad in 1963) claimed it rightfully belongs within Pakistan on account of its Muslim-majority population; New Delhi asserted the ruling Hindu Maharajah Hari Singh, whose great grandfather had bought the territory from the Company in 1846 for Rupees 7.5 million [4], is free to “re-join” India. Both Karachi and New Delhi brushed aside the Maharajah’s right to retain his independence under the 1947 Act; the former sent in an alleged tribal occupation force while the latter exploited the threat from Karachi to arm twist him into signing the Instrument of Accession. Together they tore Jammu-Kashmir apart and each dragged away their respective share. 

The colonial regime centralised its rule under the 1833 Colebrooke-Cameron “Reforms” to create British Ceylon by integrating the three historical nations of Kotte, Kandy and Jaffna and the Vanni Chiefdom. 

Thus, the alleged antiquity of political India, Pakistan and Ceylon is more fluff than fact. Instead, antiquity applies logically to the historical nations of Marathi, Kannada, Sindhi, Tamil, Sinhala, and so on. 

Internal de-colonisation 

The smell of Self-Rule in the air drew the elites of historical nations to take the first steps for laying the groundwork for the future re-structuring of the colonial unitary State. They examined what the political status of their respective historical nation would be after external de-colonisation, that is, the departure of the colonial power.

South Asian scholar Prof. Mohammad Abdus Sattar Kheiri presciently grasped the complexities of making sense of, and imposing order upon, the disorganised patchwork of historical nations dumped within an ahistorical colonial border. He sensed the impending political crises as debates raged over the future of the British South Asian Empire and suggested, to Clement Richard Attlee, M.P., Lord Privy Seal, on 22 August 1941, an organic, voluntary evolution of political structures as a way out:

“The only solution for [British] India would be to let every unit, that is, every so-called Native State and every one of the present provinces of the British India exercise the right of SELF-DETERMINATION to choose the form of government under which they will live. These units may then join into federations of two, three or more units. These federations of several units, if they like, may form a still bigger federation…Some of the original units will be bigger in area and population than some of the biggest States in Europe. These autonomous units may form something like a Commonwealth of India with the right of cessation. There should be no compulsion of any kind. In this way, the Muslim units may form a federation of their own or if they find it in their interest, and if the Hindus can inspire them with confidence, they may join the bigger federation. But the Muslims will never yield to compulsion”[5].  

The State controlling Congress elite insisted that there cannot be another nation or nations within the supposed Indian nation. They urged the fledgling anti-colonial freedom movement must close ranks against British colonialism on the assurance that a territorial “linguistic reorganisation” to demarcate linguistic states – an euphemism for historical nations – based on the criterion of the language of their respective majority population could be taken up after independence. For good measure the Congress Party’s leadership crafted a strategically ambiguous Resolution accepting in principle “linguistic states” at its 1920 Nagpur Session. 

However, Nehru’s take on the matter revealed the true intentions of the Party. In the 1930s he dismissed the growing national movements of historical nations by asserting, “scratch…a separatist in language” and he would be exposed as a reactionary “communalist”. One may surmise that the palpable intention of the Resolution was to placate the historical nations’ elites and effectively inveigle them to temporarily play down their nationhood and re-present their demand for State power in the idiom of “linguistic states” as a shorthand that obscured the reality of their nationhood. 

However, the 1920 Resolution unintentionally sowed the seeds of political legitimacy for re-structuring the unitary State that were to unfold later in the 1950s.

The Metropolis-Satellite model [6] analysed the relations of dependence and exploitation between the colonisers (metropole) and the colonised (satellite), structured during the first stage of colonialism. The analysis also highlighted the coloniser’s construction of similar Centre-Periphery exploitative institutions and relations within each colony to centralise political control and accelerate the extraction and accumulation of wealth. It brought into sharp relief the indispensable need for internal de-colonisation, the dismantling of the coloniser’s extremely authoritarian domestic structures, if the former colony is to evolve into a democracy. 

In British India B.R. Ambedkar championed “linguistic states”, perhaps instinctively sensing that the national-democratic content of the movement of the historical nations’ elites has to be accommodated to promote economic integration and political unity within a free India.

On the other hand, the Congress Party elite’s enthusiasm for federating the Dominion along “linguistic lines” understandably flagged after the British Crown transferred power in August 1947. The earlier momentum carried through to the formation of the December 1948 JVP Committee, composed of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya to “examine the issue afresh”. With State power firmly in the hands of the north-centric Congress elite, the Committee’s April 1949 Report unsurprisingly dismissed the “linguistic reorganization” of the unitary State while stating the issue “may be re-examined in the light of public demand.” 

The southern elites probably subscribed to the aphorism, “tomorrows never come”. Revolutionary nationalist Amarajeevi Potti Sriramulu fasted for 56 days demanding State power for his Telugu-speaking historical nation. His death sparked widespread anger and public riots rippled across the south; within three days Nehru wisely conceded the Telugu-speaking Andhra state in 1953, carved out of the Tamil-dominated Madras Presidency.

The creation of Telugu-speaking Andhra was the first of many successful challenges to the violation of national linguistic rights by imposing the Hindi language.  

The supreme sacrifice by Sriramulu kicked off internal de-colonisation and firmly set India on the path democracy. Despite the emergence of Andhra Pradesh, or perhaps because of it, the majority of the Indian Dominion’s State-controlling elite redoubled their efforts. The anti-federalist opposition in India to the resurgence of historical nations assumed hysterical proportions, backing the push led by Nehru and Patel to expand and further consolidate the unitary State. They decried the challenge from historical nations by almost universally alleging the force for internal de-colonisation is a “fissiparous” tendency, “linguistic separatism” and “irredentism”. 

There cannot be two or more nations within the supposed Indian nation, said many; and that there is only one major “nation” while the other cultural groups are “minorities”. Of course, the historical nations were not amused by the north-centric elites’ new definition of them as “minorities” within the arbitrary border imposed at gunpoint by British colonialism.

Others painted doomsday scenarios of a swift and violent break up of India. Some alleged the nationalist non-State controlling elites are pliant tools in nefarious foreign hands to discredit the historical nations as anti-national forces.

However, the apparent damage limitation exercise of conceding Andhra Pradesh and strident anti-federalist campaigns to whip up a fear psychosis about the country’s imminent “disintegration” were of little avail. The dam had burst. Further demands for State power arose from historical nations in other parts of the country and the State controlling elite were compelled to concede power to 14 more states and 6 union territories under the 1956 States Reorganisation Act; the total now stands at 28 states and 8 union territories, and counting.

The three colonial Presidencies disappeared from the map, fracturing beyond repair both Mountbatten’s colonial “formula” for retaining the Presidencies and Patel’s dream of political colonial-style centralisation.  

East Pakistan’s Bengali and West Pakistan’s Balochi and Sindhi historical nations forcefully articulated the demand for internal de-colonisation and federalism. The State-controlling West Pakistani elite dismissed the movement as “divisive” “provincialism”, [7] the equivalent of Nehru’s “communalism”.

The Tamil elite led by SJV Chelvanayakam’s 1949 Ilankai Tamil Arasuk Kachchi (ITAK), popularly known as the Federal Party (FP), too envisioned democratising Ceylon’s unitary State in the idiom of two linguistic states – Sinhalese and Tamil – for the two historical nations. Well before him the Sinhalese member of the State Council SWRD Bandaranaike had proposed a three-unit federal system for what he perceived as the Ceylon Tamil, Up-Country Sinhalese and Low-Country Sinhalese historical nations. 

Ceylon’s State-controlling elite, led by DS Senanayake, echoed Nehru’s formulation at first by alleging “Tamil communalism”. But he appeared to accommodate the interests of Tamils and Muslims until he steered the 1947 Soulbury Constitution, with Article 29, though the State Council and established a secure grip on power. Thereafter the elite accelerated the further centralisation of power. 

Democratisation

It is customary to credit Nehru for democratising the colonial unitary State by converting India into a (quasi) federal system of government. Despite his earlier reluctance to federate India, his grasp of the political reality was likely encouraged by the recent memory of Pakistan’s independence; his lucidity was probably sharpened by the awareness that the demand for State power by historical nations, if politically denied or militarily suppressed, would result in many more historical nations carving out their own independent States. He perhaps came to appreciate the wisdom of giving gracefully that which should not be held by force.

Moreover, the Hindi-speaking population, though the largest, was and still is a minority of under 40 per cent; our academic colleagues in New Delhi rarely tired of taking pride that “India is a land of minorities”. The lack of the Hindi-speakers’ demographic heft forced the State controlling elite on the back foot and shifted the balance of political power in favour of the multiple non-State controlling elites of historical nations. These are some important  factors that, in our view, coerced the Congress leaders to reform India’s colonial unitary State.

India’s enviable profile as the world’s largest democracy and its economic de-centralisation were built largely by the unflagging drive of national movements mobilised by non-State controlling elites. The movements in Nagaland, Manipur, Kashmir and so on are continuing the democratising projects.

Anti-federalists who vociferously campaigned against the national movements are loathe to admit the movements’ historic role in democratising India’s unitary State. In fact, and going against the all too obvious evidence, the TDP, CPI(M), Samajwadi parties absurdly opposed the creation of the new state of Chhatisgarh carved out of Madhya Pradesh in July, 2000 [8].

The BJP’s “one nation, one law, one language” policy seeks to reverse the six-decade old restructuring of the State under the 1956 States Reorganisation Act. The Party is gambling on winning elections through the communalist mobilisation of Hindu voters; they lost the gamble in Karnataka state assembly elections last week. 

The trajectory of the struggle for internal de-colonisation took a different and bloody turn in (West) Pakistan and Ceylon/Sri Lanka. In both, a single nationality, Punjabi and Sinhalese, constitute the majority; their respective political classes, entrenched in their overwhelming power and control of the armed forces, repressed national movements to defend the near monopoly of power. 

The mainstream intelligentsia in both countries lack intellectuals of Ambedkar’s stature and integrity. Unsurprisingly they have been carried away by the anti-federalist jingoism and failed to course correct their political classes to compel them to reach a compromise with the non-State controlling elites of other nationalities by restructuring the unitary State. 

Ethnic Studies specialists, steeped in Anglo-US sociology, usefully examined group dynamics. However, they  largely failed to grasp the dimension of State power and mis-interpreted the power struggle over internal de-colonisation from a limited social-anthropological viewpoint as “ethnic conflicts” allegedly fuelled by ephemeral differences in “identities”. They muddied the waters by reducing battles over internal de-colonisation to little more than tribal antagonisms.

The dire consequences are confronting us today. Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka are sinking deeper into authoritarianism to repress the non-State controlling elites’ efforts to democratise the respective unitary State. Inevitably they are faced with economic stagnation, if not decline, and an increasingly militarised society.

[Concluded]

References

  1. Dalrymple, William, The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019)
  2. Menon, V.P., Integration of the Indian States. Hyderabad: Orient Longman Limited, 1956.
  3. Bangash, Yaqoob Khan. A Princely Affair: The Accession and Integration of the Princely States of Pakistan, 1947-1955. Oxford University Press, 2015,
  4. Constituent Assembly (Legislature) Debates, vol II, no. 16, 1950:582, 19/jan/50, PAK.
  5. Pirzada, Syed Sharifuddin, Evolution of Pakistan. Lahore: All Pakistan Legal Decisions, 1963. p. 87. Emphasis original.
  6. Frank, Andre Gunder: “The Development of Underdevelopment”. Monthly Review. Sept 1966.
  7. Constitutional Assembly Debates, Pakistan. vol. no.10, 1955, p.270.
  8. The Hindu, 10/aug/00, p.9.

The previous posts:

Part 1

Part II

Part III

Part IV

*Dr Sachithanandam Sathananthan is an independent researcher who read Political Economy for the Ph.D. degree at the University of Cambridge. He was Assistant Director, International Studies at the Marga Institute, Visiting Research Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s School of International Studies and has taught World History at Karachi University’s Institute of Business Administration. He is an award-winning filmmaker and may be reached at: commentaries.ss@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 10
    2

    Will President Ranil Wickremasinghe take the bull by the horns by addressing and solving the issues pertaining to devolution by himself, thereby proving himself a Statesman, or will he appoint another committee as per past practice to advise him on how to solve this vexing issue and thus demonstrate that he is just another politician? There can be no better test to measure the man!

    • 12
      4

      Ranil is a big bluffer with no organisational skill. He plays double game thinking others are fools. Without solving any problem, he will waste time giving excuses so that when he leaves office the problem will be worse than when he took over. Regarding economy, he has painted a picture that all is well, when in fact it is not so. IMF loan obtained, no queues for petrol or gas, no electricity cut are all short term gains due to circumstances. Foreign reserve position is not due to his effort, but of tourist arrivals and increased expatriate remittances. There is no substantial FDI, though government propaganda that Colombo port city has attracted a lot. Regarding devolution of power, he is against it and is only paying lip service to it not to antagonize India and west. He has postponed talks between him and Tamil MPs because he could not proceed with his agenda which was rejected. Now he will put up the Muslims and scuttle the talks. If this happens, Tamil MPs must call for Indian military intervention to the north and east to implement Indo-Lanka accord on devolution. With economic subjugation by India at present, there will be political surrender to India in the future..

      • 3
        25

        Gnana,

        “Tamil MPs must call for Indian military intervention to the north and east to implement Indo-Lanka accord on devolution. “

        They should also tell India that Hindi be taught in all Tamil areas, something your brethren in Tamil Nadu are not doing. If not India won’t help you

        • 2
          25

          “Tamil MPs must call for Indian military intervention to the north and east to implement Indo-Lanka accord on devolution. “
          .
          You want the rapist Indian military back? You want the world’s fourth largest army, that you ‘defeated’, to wreak revenge? Have you forgotten the Innocent People Killing Force?
          Sometimes people have the most idiotic ideas.

          • 25
            2

            You mean Lankan Heroes never raped , that too in some cases in front of family members ?? never urinated on dead bodies paraded in public, and some even tried having sex ?? Lankan Army not only molested and raped women in Lanka but in Haiti and other African countries, where they were posted. They raped, murdered, had sex with dead bodies and then burnt or cremated. They were known to wreak revenge on innocent people, especially after getting hit by LTTE they ran amok killing innocent civilians. Innocent People Killing Force ??? You mean Lankan army was carrying Mahavamsa chronicles in one hand and food / water in other ??? zero casualty ??? Gana’s comment may be irrational but that doesn’t make your rapist Lankan army, moral.

            • 4
              14

              ‘You mean Lankan Heroes never raped….’
              .
              Is that what I claimed?

            • 1
              21

              Chiv,

              Any soldier who was involved in having sex with ……… women should be given a medal. Hard to understand how such men can ….. with these ….. women

              • 15
                0

                RP
                This is sick.

              • 16
                2

                In that case, why don’t you try with your own family members so that we can decide who gets the medal??

                • 2
                  14

                  I am a good looking man. I can find plenty of good looking women hence no need to try family members

              • 11
                1

                RAVI PERERA
                Sinhala Speaking Demela

                “Any soldier who was involved in having sex with ……… women should be given a medal. “

                Have you checked Shavendra’s and other Ranavisruses’s front upper body in full ceremonial dress?
                Here is the evidene:
                https://www.army.lk/news/president-confers-sri-lanka%E2%80%99s-first-admiral-fleet-marshal-slaf-ranks-two-veterans

                “Hard to understand how such men can ….. with these ….. women”

                Please ask them, they will tell you that historically they come from a long line of men who pride themselves whose ancestors being born to lion king. For the descendants like the solders women …. of are god sent.

                What did you eat today?
                Did you have Stalin’s Katta Samba, Kamban Samba, ….or Thangam Samba out of more than 32 Samba varieties?

                As I told you before Stalin will look after you as you know he thinks he is historically responsible for genetically related kith and kin irrespective of their domicile.

                Be nice to him.

                • 0
                  10

                  Demalo Veddo,

                  “men who pride themselves whose ancestors being born to lion king. For the descendants like the solders women …. of are god sent.”

                  Definetly not

                  “As I told you before Stalin will look after you as you know he thinks he is historically responsible for genetically related kith and kin irrespective of their domicile.”

                  He better since there are about 3 million of his people here

                  • 8
                    0

                    RAVI PERERA
                    Sinhala Speaking Demela

                    “He better since there are about 3 million of his people here”

                    I am sorry, I wonder who your arithmetic teacher was, maybe Wimal Sangili Karuppans Weerawansa’s grandfather. There are about 22 Million of them living in this island unfortunately including ill-informed pathetic racists like you.

                    When are you going to stop living off the state supported by Hindians, …………? How long are you going to beg Bangladesh ( country’s birth was violently opposed by your all weather friend Pakistan and supported by US, aided and abetted by your stupid leader, SJ’s ex-crush) for loans?

                    You are protecting someone who escaped from the island looking for refuge and the saddest part is that no country was willing to have him even for a cup of tea. What greater leader Gota was.

                    All because …………………….

                    Be a man, or be a woman, or be a third gender, ….
                    Go find a job.

                    • 3
                      0

                      what an idiot this RAVI PERERA should be, who does not seem to know what he is talking about?
                      This is the primary problem of lanken society. Even after 13 years since the brutal civil war is over, yet to call fellow minorities as ” demalo” you guys should be really mentally sick..
                      Those among the politicians, that abused their mouth pieces like cesspits in public are now cornered, however, some remain yet today.

                      First the sinhalayas should themselves stand before a mirror and see before going to comment this way. Rehabilitation of these venomous mongers is the need of the hour actually.

                      Rajapakse dogs are blind and deaf were unable to see the priorities. if they were in Arabic world, nodoubt, they would have been stoned to death, going by people’s anger. Nobody, but Rajapakshes did more harm to this nation than Prabakaran’s rebells.
                      If I werre one to work for this nation, I would have put these men as in jails, would do anything and everything to rehab them.

        • 5
          0

          RAVI PERERA
          Sinhala Speaking Demela

          “They should also tell India that Hindi be taught in all Tamil areas, something your brethren in Tamil Nadu are not doing. “

          Please see below excerpts:

          PM Releases Tok Pisin Translation Of Book ‘Thirukkural’ In Papua New Guinea
          PM Modi arrived in Papua New Guinea on Sunday on his maiden visit to the country, becoming the first Indian prime minister to visit here.
          India NewsPress Trust of IndiaUpdated: May 22, 2023
          https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-modi-releases-tamil-classic-thirukkural-in-tok-pisin-language-of-papua-new-guinea-4054917

          Modi wants every Hindian citizen to learn Tamil.

          PM releases Gujarati translation of Thirukkural, on ‘ThiruvalluvarDay’
          https://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/pm-releases-gujarati-translation-of-thirukkural-on-thiruvalluvarday-115011601100_1.html

          PM Modi quotes from ‘Tirukkural’ again, now for soldiers in Ladakh
          Updated – July 03, 2020 at 10:47 PM. | Chennai, July 3
          Tirukkural is a revered classic work in Tamil, and the ancient treatise deals with several subjects
          https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/variety/pm-modi-quotes-from-tirukkural-again-now-for-soldiers-in-ladakh/article31983847.ece
          ….
          ….

          Even Chinese Admiral Zheng He’s Galle Trilingual Inscription contains message in Tamil as well.

          What does all this tell you?

          You better stop worrying about Tamil’s reluctance to learn Hindi and start learning Tamil as regional business language.

    • 4
      1

      “Will President Ranil Wickremasinghe take the bull by the horns by addressing and solving the issues pertaining to devolution by himself,”
      Not only Ranil Wickremasinghe but also any other leader or any other government will not solve any of the problems whether it is economic crisis or ethnic problems or regional and international intervention problems. Every one is playing their own tactics and own interests but not the interest of the country or interest of the people. RW is not a new politician or leader in power of this country. The country was ruled by many outsiders throughout the history and people are become slaves of rulers. Democracy is called people power but that is wrong, it is the power of few families and people are slaves of these families. They still pay millions of money to those who was made you bankgrupt.

  • 12
    0

    For any government in power in Sri Lanka to implement robust economic development and political devolution the Police and the Judiciary must act according to the laws of the land. There are adequate laws in SL for the Police to take action against those who act to disrupt peace and harmony in the country, let it be religious, racial, caste, regional, or any other. The best tool available to the Police to act against, let it be politicians, monks or religious leaders, or so-called “desha premies” is the Prevention of Terrorism Act. If the Police stop applying PTA rules illegally to take innocent under custody and apply PTA to take into custody those who are instigating communal disharmony, most of the troublemakers will be locked up. Courts should investigate properly before allowing the Police to lock up those who are taken into custody.

    • 3
      1

      Will political devolution lead to economic recovery or will it hinder economic recovery?

      Do political devolution as practiced in Sri Lanka like 13th Amendment in a country like Sri Lanka is a white element?

      On the other hand, Genuine Federalism , or power sharing or even substantial political devolution will lead to systemic change and also results in participatory democracy where power will not be concentrated on a single institution or individual as it happens in a unitary executive presidential system.

      Power sharing if properly carried out with other system changes like a package and with necessary checks and balances will definitely lead to a genuine Systemic Change and be instrumental for economic recovery and subsequent prosperity of the entire country.

  • 9
    0

    I just happened to read a news report that says the president has ordered the
    return of lands from the forest department , to the people of North and East .
    The lands that belonged to the people of North and East that were being held
    by the forest department and the archaeology . It looks a positive step towards
    building bridges among communities which is a must for getting out of
    current economic mess ! If something gets started in the right direction , we
    can truly appreciate it .

    • 9
      2

      Do not get carried away by Ranil’s pronouncement. They are just to please Tamils and not for concrete action. Nothing is going to happen. He will secretly tell Sinhala racists, I am agreeing to these for propaganda purposes for international consumption and you continue with your activities of grabbing land. Remember when Sampanthan complained about the meeting by Thai Buddhist priests in Trincomalee, he ordered that it should not go ahead, but never took action when Sinhala racists stormed the place with security forces looking on.

      • 2
        0

        Dr G Sankaralingam ,

        Part of an Aljazeera article on Sudan situation caught my attention.
        Recently , Sudanese Armed Forces and RSF Militia reached an
        agreement in Jeddah , brokered by the US and Saudi Arabia . The
        Jeddah Declaration of Commitment To Protect The Civilians of
        Sudan committed both parties to respect International
        Humanitarian Law and vacate residential areas . A sarcastic
        Sudanese commentator had remarked ” We thought the two
        belligerents would agree to leave Khartoum ; it turned out that they
        have agreed to let us leave . ” What is happening elsewhere ,
        thousands of miles away from us should be reminding us of
        something that is not right about the way the world is running !
        People are made to keep looking at how they get carried away
        by their leaders .

    • 9
      2

      This is just a trick as soon as the land is returned in one area or division, attempts are made immediately by the Forest, Archaeological, Mahaveli, land and the racist occupying Chingkalla armed forces, aided and abetted by racist Chingkalla police to confiscate lands in the same area or in another area closeby. Now the recent attempt is the Mahveli department that was thwarted to forcibly take over a large amount of Thamizh Lands outside Chingkalla settlement in Karaipatru area in the Mullaitheevu district has now created a new J zone in the Manthai area in the Mullaitheevi district again and to add insult to injury has sent an official letter in Chingkallam only, not in Thamizh ( note the Thamjzh takes precedence over Chingkallam in the north and east) demanding lands from 15 village divisions for Mahaveli development, basically illegally using their powers to confiscate hundreds of acres of private and public Thamizh land in these 15 village divisions in the name of Mahaveli development to settle outside Chingkallams.

      • 8
        2

        These racists aided and abetted powerful Chingkallam Buddhists and in some instances, Christian racists in and out of the government, will not give up and are still using all sorts of excuses and government departments and their powers illegally, as well as the racist occupying Chingkalla armed forces and police to steal thousands of acres of private Thamizh land and settle Chingkallams. Thamizh will only be safe in future only when they get full federal devolution with police and land powers, the occupying racist Chingkalla armed forces drastically reduced in their areas or kicked out and local police to reflect the local population. Failing that we need a separate state as most Chingkallams are racist to the core and are brainwashed with their Mahavamsa ideology that the island only belongs to them when it never had been and do not want to acknowledge their largely Thamizh Dravidian ancestry, which is recent with regards to 50% of them.

  • 8
    2

    I have neither the ability nor the wisdom of knowledge and facts to convey myself with the same degree of clarity as Dr. Sachithanandam Sathananthan, however, I second his thoughts on the rights of Tamils for self-determination.

    • 2
      1

      “his thoughts on the rights of Tamils for self-determination”
      Where has he spelled it out in this essay?

      • 1
        2

        SJ,
        He did, rather obliquely when he wrote: “the alleged antiquity of political India, Pakistan and Ceylon is more fluff than fact. Instead, antiquity applies logically to the historical nations of Marathi, Kannada, Sindhi, Tamil, Sinhala, and so on. “
        It’s interesting to speculate what the current situation would be if the British had restored the pre-colonial status quo in both “nations”.
        Would Udarata (supported by Madurai ) be fighting Sitawaka (supported by Cochin), while Jaffna intrigues with Ramnad?
        Perhaps forcing them all together was all to the good, though a little loosening, as the Indians found later, would work here too.

  • 20
    24

    Even as a young man the pansy quality shows !

    Arjun Aloysius is one of the top 10 defaulters of Peoples bank ( father in law governor of Central bank appointed by Ranil)

    Has anybody in CT read Ranil’s evidence in the Bond scam commission. Especially what he said about his friendship with Aloysius

    • 16
      12

      deepthi ^ silva

      “Has anybody in CT read Ranil’s evidence in the Bond scam commission. Especially what he said about his friendship with Aloysius”

      Did CT publish the document that you mentioned above?
      Does this document exist?

      Good that you have taken a keen interests in such matters rather than other people’s sexual orientation or gender.
      Were there any other large scale fraud that you are aware of and possess documents relating all those cases? Please let us have copies of those cases.
      Thanks.

      • 15
        17

        Any other frauds ! !

        We are all waiting for the bummers of Ranil to show what they have on others, Rajapaksa,Sirisena ,Chandrika ….

    • 14
      10

      D.S,
      “Even as a young man the pansy quality shows !”
      How come you can write that while we can’t write about your Titanic TTs, Humongous Hooters, and more?
      I assume you know about the knee protectors available for persons with HHs.

      • 10
        16

        Codger who is very old , you need help.

        I comment about Ranil, a fraudulent politician in a failed country, a long term leader of a totally failed political party.We all can see him and comment on him.

        But when you comment about my physical attributes you are commenting about a person you have never seen ! It only shows a sick mentality about women in general and a abusive attitude towards people who have different opinions to your faulty and pompous opinions.

        I comment on real people. You are commenting on imaginary people. This is like your opinions-all meaningless opinions about non-existent things !

        • 5
          3

          DS,
          “You are commenting on imaginary people.”
          Okay, so you don’t really exist? And your physical attributes don’t exist? What a let-down.

          • 6
            2

            DS ,
            “abusive attitude towards people who have different opinion”
            Wow, look who’s talking! Does different opinion include calling them pansies?
            Don’t throw stones from glass houses. Keep your hang-ups to yourself. In case of hang- downs, there is Amante…….

            • 4
              8

              Old man, I don’t understand your logic,

              When I said you have an abusive attitude with those who have a different opinion ( really , those who can see that all you have is a passable knowledge in English ,which you use abusively to pretend that you are ‘deep” ,to simpletons like leela and vedda !) your reply is that I called ranil a pansy and therefore I too have a abusive attitude towards those who challenge my opinions !

              I don’t remember Ranil ever challenging my opinions. I don’t think he even knows of my existence. He has no interest in the female species ! So you cannot say I abuse those who oppose me ! Please try to be logical.

              No

    • 2
      1

      Professor Deepti Silva,
      Your God has set a trap to isolate the UNPrs.
      The Rajapaksas will have to pay a heavy price for this action in the coming days. Aloysius and his company have been proven to have funded not only the United National Party but almost everyone else. That is the truth revealed by the commission appointed to investigate the allegations.
      Let me remind you that in November 2019 the faceless Gotha seized power abusing and misleading you the foolish men and women in order to cast doubt on the “so-called bond scam”. Once they became leaders, they did not speak a single word about the “bond scam”. why is that ? Crying babies or known as JVPrs took advantage of that opportunity and tried to take revenge on UNP who are their eternal enemies going by 89-92 riots. What happened was, they too were cornered in the parliament from 5 to 3?

      However, why didn’t the so-called father of the nation, APPACHCHI, who is said to be the heroes of this nation, was unable to attend that “War Heroes Day”?????????

      Have you heard what reminded by former army commander Sarath Fonseka on this very day ?
      All those who attacked RANIL then, behave like ” tamed dogs” before him today. No doubt, MAHINDA would be stoned to death, if he would move to the very same stupid folks today. Good riddance ! I dont wish any good to these criminals who ruined this nation.

  • 1
    6

    In other by far more important news

    “The three withdrawn charges related to allegations Gunathilaka had digitally penetrated the woman’s vagina and put his penis in her mouth.

    The remaining charge, according to the police statement of alleged facts, is that Gunathilaka engaged in “forceful” sexual intercourse, during which he allegedly “put one hand around her neck for 20 to 30 seconds and choked her”.”

    looks to me that they dont want the truth that happened to come out. the money trap didnt workout. and they want to get something for their client as nothing else sticks (to the tart) no pun intended.

    so is anyone ready to say they may have misjudged the situation ?

  • 0
    0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGT_bGdwhoM

    For education purpose only.

    • 1
      0

      What they say is true; I apologize on behalf of my people.
      .
      But now that you have escaped to another land, it may be best if you get on with your lives. “Nuremberg-style trials” were possible only because Hitler lost.
      .
      The racists among the Sinhalese won, so there’ll be no trials. The Sinhala people have now learnt their lesson, even if they will refuse to acknowledge it.
      .
      Moves are afoot to start another round of racial and religious violence. Let us look to the future. Let’s try to make the War that ended in 2009 become the last among our people.
      .
      However, I’m aware that minorities still suffer severe discrimination. Let’s concentrate out attention future. At least some of us are saying that what happened was horrible.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of Bandarawela,

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