24 May, 2019

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Unite To Build A New Future For Our Country

By R. Sampanthan – 

Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan

Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan

This country has had three Constitutions thus far. The first has been the Soulbury Constitution enacted by our colonial rulers. We had the first Republican Constitution in 1972, which brought about several radical changes to the Soulbury Constitution. I will not go into the details of those changes. It would be sufficient for me to state that the main flaw in the 1972 Constitution was that it removed the safeguards provided to minority peoples in the Soulbury Constitution and entrenched majoritarianism.

It was enacted without the consent of the minority people. My Leader, the late Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayakam – the acknowledged leader of the Tamil people – did not accept the 1972 Constitution. He resigned his Seat in Parliament and wanted a verdict pronounced by the Tamil people on whether the 1972 Constitution was acceptable to them or not. The verdict of the people was overwhelmingly clear. They rejected the 1972 Constitution. I might say that it was the enactment of the 1972 Constitution that paved the way for the demand for a separate State. It was not long before the 1972 Constitution was replaced by the second Republican Constitution of 1978. This too was enacted without the consensus of the Tamil people. The 1978 Constitution too entrenched majoritarianism.

The main objectives of the 1978 Constitution were the installation of the Executive Presidency and the introduction of a new electoral system – the Proportional Representation System. Both in 1972 and 1978 the Governments of the day were able to muster a two-thirds majority on their own and were able to enact the Constitutions, as desired exclusively by them without the need to look for a national consensus. Effective democracy and the making of a Constitution in keeping with the consensus of the whole nation were subverted by majoritarianism. The views of the distinct peoples who constituted the nation were regarded as irrelevant. This is precisely why that even almost seven decades after Independence, we have failed to evolve into a single Sri Lankan nation. This country has had the unfortunate experience of being ruled under Constitutions which did not have the consensus or the consent of all its people. If all the peoples in this country are to evolve into a single nation, the Sri Lankan nation, this grave error needs to be corrected.

Over the past several decades, we have experienced several dire consequences of this failure to evolve a Constitution based on consensus. There has even been a demand for a separate State. We have had a war that has raged for over two-and-a-half decades. The war went through various phases.

I do not think there is a need to state too much about the war, Sir, except to state that this vicious war pushed the country backwards at least a further 50 years and caused immense suffering to all its people, particularly the Tamil people. The war has come to an end and more importantly, there is no longer a demand for a separate State. The demand for a separate State was given up even before the war came to an end. The Tamil people have at successive elections – Parliamentary, provincial and local authority elections – after 1987 clearly confirmed and democratically endorsed that definite policy. And it is in this background that there is no longer a demand for a separate State and it is also in this background that we are seeking to resolve the national issue within the framework of a united, undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka. It is within this framework that we are looking at a new Constitution that will also resolve the national question.

I might read the relevant paragraphs of this Resolution, Sir, which state, I quote:

“AND WHEREAS the People have at the Presidential Election held on 08th January, 2015 given a clear mandate for establishing a political culture that respects the rule of law and strengthens democracy;

AND WHEREAS His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has clearly expressed his desire to give effect to the will of the People expressed at the aforesaid Presidential Election by enacting a new Constitution that, inter alia, abolishing the Executive Presidency;

AND WHEREAS it has become necessary to enact a new Constitution that, inter alia, abolishes the Executive Presidency, ensures a fair and representative Electoral System which eliminates preferential voting, strengthens the democratic rights of all citizens, provides a Constitutional Resolution of the national issue, promotes national reconciliation, establishes a political culture that respects the rule of law, guarantees to the People’s fundamental rights and freedom that assure human dignity and promotes responsible and accountable government.”

There can be, surely, no dispute, Sir, of the urgent necessity to fulfil these needs and there can also be no question that the people of this country have given to President Maithripala Sirisena and to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe a mandate to fulfil these urgent needs. That position, Sir, is abundantly clear.

All the Members of this House are going to come together, discuss every issue and devise a new Constitution that will achieve the total or maximum consensus in this House, which, after Cabinet approval, will have to be approved by Parliament by a two-thirds majority – which is achievable only by cutting across party divisions – and which must also be approved by the people at a Referendum cutting across ethnic, linguistic or any other divisions. Then, this country will, for the first time, have a Constitution based upon not merely consensus within this House, but also consensus amongst the people in this country based upon the sovereignty vested in the people. That, Sir, would be the greatest day in this country’s history, the day on which all the people in this country would have come together to form the Sri Lankan nation – where and in which country every citizen has a sense of belonging to Sri Lanka and a sense that Sri Lanka belongs to him or her together with his or her fellow citizens. I would very earnestly urge all Hon. Members of this House to wholeheartedly participate and support this initiative across party or other divisions in keeping with universal values and constitutional arrangements that prevail in several countries the world over in circumstances and conditions similar to what prevails in Sri Lanka, so that this country can march towards genuine reconciliation, peace and prosperity with a better and brighter future for all our people.

I want to make a special appeal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa – unfortunately he is not here now. He has the stature of a national leader and his support in this national endeavour is important. The country, all its people and the nation need his support. It would be my submission, Sir, that he needs to place the interests and the well-being of the country before anything else and positively contribute to this initiative. He himself has taken steps towards remaking the Constitution so as to address the national question. There have also been instances when he did the right thing. He would pave for himself a new future if he now did the right thing by being positive in the making of a new, just and equitable Constitution that also resolves the national issue and serves the country.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena have referred to many matters, many missed opportunities in the course of their speeches. President Maithripala Sirisena referred to the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact, the Dudley Senanayake – Chelvanayakam Pact and the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord. The said three documents contained vitally important commitments made by national leaders of the greatest stature.

Leaders such as the much-respected Hon. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the much-respected Hon. Dudley Senanayake and the much-respected President J. R. Jayewardene made very positive contributions through their commitments in those three documents to the resolution of the national question.

As pointed out by President Maithripala Sirisena, many things have happened since the enactment of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Much work has been done towards framing a new Constitution under different Governments, under different leaders, starting with President Ranasinghe Premadasa, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Much work has been done. Let us come together, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to give our country a new future. Let us all rise to the stature required of us at this crucial moment in this country’s history.

I thank you, Sir.

*The speech made by R. Sampanthan -Leader of the Opposition – in parliament on the 12th of January 2016

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Latest comments

  • 5
    1

    Very good speech, but I can’t understand a thing.

    • 11
      0

      This is what happened in the past. Will history repeat?

      The 1972 Republican Constitution that Paved the Way for the 30 Year War in Sri Lanka

      The 1972 republican constitution of Sri Lanka, which for the first time constitutionalized a unitary Sinhala-Buddhist state, was enacted without the participation or mandate of Sri Lankan Tamils. Sri Lankan Tamils were not a party and never accepted the one-sided constitution Sri Lanka enacted in 1972. Not only their political opposition was brushed aside but even the judiciary also played a game against legal challenges. When C. Suntharalingam waged legal battles in the island against the 1972 constitution, the courts played a game by first telling that they could not take up the case until the constitution is declared and thereafter telling that they could not act as they were bound by the constitution.

      The 1972 Constitution abolished the Soulbury safeguards for minorities, entrenched Sinhala as the sole official language, conferred pre-eminence on Buddhism (as DS Senanayake had declined to), and made explicit the unitary character of the state (which the Soulbury Constitution remained silent on). The Constitution making process of ’72 ignored the moderate (non-federal) six point platform presented in Mr. Chelvanayagam’s letter to the PM, which was not even accorded the courtesy of a reply.

      There was yet another side of the legal battles in which the Privy Council that had some responsibility and Britain that was the root cause for the evil of the unitary state in the island, also have failed the Sri Lankan Tamils. Before the enactment of the 1972 Constitution, Sri Lanka abolished appeals to the “Privy Council”. The judges were required to take an oath of allegiance to the new constitution, and appeals to the Privy Council had been abolished. It was a perfect recipe for the dispossessed Tamil nation to resort to extra-constitutional actions.

      The Amirthalingam Trial-at-Bar involving the 1972 constitution in which 64 lawyers argued for Mr. A. Amirthalingam who was tried under Emergency Regulations by the Sri Lankan state, it was none other than Murugesu Thiruchelvam (Dr. Neelan Thiruchelvam’s father), who actually took up the argument that the 1972 constitution was invalid or could not be applied to Tamils.

      The Sinhalese leaders who called themselves moderate also changed their color. One such example is Dr. Colvin R. De Silva (a declared Marxist and a leader of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party) who once professed the famous dictum “one language two nations, two languages one nation” made the Tamil people second class citizens through the 1972 constitution of which he was the architect.

      This is what Dr. Colvin R. De Silva said in 1956,
      “if you mistreat them (Tamils), if you ill treat them…. if you oppress and harass them, in the process you may cause to emerge in Ceylon, from that particular racial stock with its own language and tradition, a new nationality to which we will have to concede more claims than it puts forward now… If we come to the stage where instead of parity, we through needless insularity, get into the position of suppressing the Tamil … federal demand… there may emerge separatism.” (Dr Colvin R. De Silva, Opposition Member of Parliament, Hansard, June 1956).

      The same Dr. Colvin R. De Silva after 15 years, accepted appointment as Minister of Constitutional Affairs in Mrs. Srimavo Bandaranaike’s government in 1970. Rejecting the proposal for a federal constitution, he urged the Sri Lanka Constituent Assembly on 15 March 1971:
      “Mr. Chairman, there is a Unitary Constitution in Sri Lanka. This has been there for a very long time… If we were to divide the country and unite once again we will face many problems as evidenced by our history.. .. I submit this proposal for a Unitary Constitution for approval by all sections of this Assembly”.

      The republican constitution enacted in 1972 was claimed as ‘autochthonous’ (meaning reversion to indigenous or native state). This claim is legally and factually false as there was no such ‘native state of Sri Lanka’ before the colonials arrived. There were in fact three states (Kingdoms) on the island – Kotte, Jaffna and Kandy, which were conquered by European invaders in the years 1505, 1621 and 1815, respectively. In fact, throughout the entire known history, this pear shaped island had never been a unitary state. It was always a Northern kingdom (Anuradapura) and a Southern kingdom (Rohana), or Kotte/Jaffna/Kandy (Ruhunu/ Pihiti/Maya) or the federal Provinces under the colonials. Even after the European colonialists (Portuguese, Dutch and British) arrived, until the British united the Tamil speaking North to the Sinhala speaking South in 1833 for their convenience in administration, the Tamil speaking areas remained a federal region.

      The Unitary State was actually the creation of the British only in 1833. The Colebrooke commissioners presented the recommendations in 1832, suggesting the creation of one government with one centralized, unitary form of administration under a governor in Colombo. The British did this without the consent of the people, and in doing so ended the hopes for a North & East Tamil (from the Jaffna kingdom) or an Upcountry Sinhalese (from the Kandyan kingdom) as a distinct political entity, something that no conqueror had managed to do throughout the history of the island.

      Therefore the 1972 constitution’s claim as ‘autochthonous’ is false, it was clearly not based on indigenous or native state.

      Reacting to the 1972 Constitution, S.J.V. Chelvanayakam said,
      “The Constitution has given everything to the Sinhalese and has given nothing to the Tamils.”

      A couple of days before its proclamation in Colombo, the draft of the 1972 Constitution was burnt by the Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) leader SJV Chelvanayakam and others, including Mr. Amirthalingam, at the Arumuga Navalar Ashramam Hall at Neeraaviyadi in Jaffna in May 1972.

      To prove Tamil opinion rejecting the 1972 constitution, SJV Chelvanayakam resigned his parliamentary seat and won a by-election. The Tamil United Front (TUF) was also formed in May 1972. This became the TULF in May 1976. After leading the most favored Tamil political party and struggling for federal solution for more than 25 years that found no success with Sinhala leadership, SJV Chelvanayakam ultimately presided over the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution that called for Tamil independence (separate state) in 1976.

      The 1972 constitution made even the moderate Tamil political leaders to abandon the demand for federalism and to go for a separate state solution.
      By introducing the 1972 Republican Constitution, it was the Sinhalese leadership, and no one else, who are to blame for inspiring the Tamil regional majority to officially demand a separate Tamil state (Tamil Eelam) in 1977. This was further influenced by their denial of equal rights (it robbed the minorities of even the scanty safeguards against discrimination) under the law to the minorities, evidenced by their deliberate exclusion of the provisions of Section 29 of the Soulbury Constitution (introduced at independence in 1948).

      On the other hand, in 1972, dozens of Tamil youth were arrested and incarcerated for putting up black flags. Those arrests in 1972 did not help stabilize the situation but it created the Tamil militancy. It should be noted that in the same year 1972, the Tamil New Tigers (TNT) was formed by Prabhakaran. The 1972 constitution was the progenitor for the rise of all shades of armed Tamil militancy and the 30 year war.

      Will the Sri Lankan leaders take the above as a lesson and avoid such blunders or will history repeat?

      • 7
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        Our Inability to Learn from History has been the BIGGEST drawback.

        As mentioned above, throughout the entire known history this pear shaped island had Never been a unitary state. It was always a Northern kingdom (Anuradapura) and a Southern kingdom (Rohana), or Kotte/Jaffna/Kandy kingdoms (Ruhunu/ Pihiti/Maya) or the federal Provinces under the colonials. Even after the European colonialists (Portuguese, Dutch and British) arrived, until the British united the Tamil speaking North to the Sinhala speaking South in 1833 for their convenience in administration, the Tamil speaking areas remained a federal region.

        Those who are talking about a unitary state should ask themselves what the country gained by introducing them in the constitution. It only created a war that destroyed the country and its people for 30 long years. It is not the matter of winning the war, what created the war and how much destruction it caused, how much it cost in terms of lives is what we should ask.

        Is the present Government and the opposition committed in solving the ethnic issue and are the Sinhalese and Tamil people ready for it? Will the extremist Sinhalese and Tamil politicians create a similar situation again is a big question. Unlike in the past, now we have an additional factor, the Tamil Diaspora and the West to interfere and therefore it is not a domestic issue anymore. Sri Lanka’s main opposition leader and TNA leader R. Sampanthan insists that there is no more a demand for a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka. Maithree-Ranil and Sambandan-Sumandiran seems to be very moderate and accommodating but what about others. Will Mahinda Rajapakshe and C. V. Vigneswaran back the new Constitution-making process or will they derail the process?

        Will there be a solution to the burning national question or will the Sri Lankan Tamils lose their patience again and call for separation? This time, the Tamil leaders may not hesitate to gather the people together and with the support of progressive forces within Sri Lanka, and the international community, even engage in a non-violent struggle and the country ending up like ‘Kosovo’, ‘South Sudan’, ‘East Timor’ and ‘Montenegro’, the nations that have come into being in recent years following the United Nations` intervention and referendums.

        • 6
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          It is for the Tamil people in the North and East who should decide how they wish to settle the Tamil question, let the Tamil people have their say. It is time that Tamil people everywhere, whether in the Tamil speaking areas, or in the rest of the country, or abroad, demand their right to an open forum in which to have their say. Create the conditions for the Tamil people to exercise their right to enter the debate and negotiate the final answer to the Tamil question that concerns them most before formulating a constitution to solve the Tamil issue.

        • 4
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          It is more than 5 years since the war ended but the Sri Lankan government has failed to solve the Tamil problem to achieve peace.

          After winning the war against LTTE and after winning the presidential election and the general election with a two third majority, Mahinda Rajapakshe had enough opportunity to solve the National problem and become a true Statesman but unfortunately he (along with his brother Gotabaya Rajapakshe) selected the option of following the path of a few Sinhala-Buddhist Ultra-Nationalist Racists and Pseudo-Patriots, thinking that by whipping up Ultra-Nationalism and Sinhala Patriotism among the majority Sinhala-Buddhists, and by threatening and further suppressing the Minorities (Tamils and Muslims) he can rule the country for ever as the hero of the Majority (Sinhala-Buddhists).

          A few uneducated/uncivilized Sinhala racists may think that Mahinda Rajapakshe is a hero (a village chandiya) whose thuggery kept everybody away but the entire world knows that Mahinda Rajapakshe was leading Sri Lanka to a pariah state to be isolated soon from the civilized nations.

          The speech of TNA leader Sampanthan shows that the Sri Lankan Tamils are ready to give up the call for separation. He is also asking the former president Mahinda Rajapakshe to support the new constitution. Sampanthan is exhibiting maximum patience that no other Tamil leader will dare to even consider.

          Further delay by the government in coming up with a Political Devolution may have adverse consequences. Unlike the armed struggle (militancy-cum-terrorism) the repetition of non-violent campaigns with Direct Action will have full International support and sometimes direct interference.

          The only way to keep the foreign countries (International community) and the Tamil Diaspora away and to shut the mouths of the Tamil Nadu politicians is to bring Sampanthan and the TNA to the table and show the world that the Government is genuinely committed in solving the ethnic issue even if it faces opposition from the racist forces.

          • 4
            0

            The Messenger

            “Sri Lankan government has failed to solve the Tamil problem to achieve peace.”

            Is it Tamil problem?

            Is it Sinhala/Buddhist problem imposed on rest of the people (Tamils, Hindus, Muslims, Sinhalese, Buddhists, Christians, …. )?

  • 2
    8

    Give the devil his due – if there was one thing the British excelled at it was their administrative systems. That was possibly why they were able to control 2/3 of the planet at one stage.

    So the British designs a system, the Soulbury Constitution for Ceylon before departure. However, Chelvanayakam comes along and proclaims …

    the Soulbury-Senanayake constitution primarily, and those where manouvered (sic) to foist that constitution on this country, and now those politicians, who help to maintain this unjust system of Government to our detriment, all these we look upon as our enemies.

    http://dh-web.org/hrsits/SJV1949.html

    Chelvanayakam seems to refer to those responsible for Soulbury as “enemies”.

    After Soulbury constitution, Chelvanayakam spoils, interferes and protests in pretty much all the policies afterwards.

    So pretty much all constitutions were rejected by his party. The following sentence therefore is misleading.

    Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayakam – the acknowledged leader of the Tamil people – did not accept the 1972 Constitution. He resigned his Seat in Parliament and wanted a verdict pronounced by the Tamil people on whether the 1972 Constitution was acceptable to them or not. The verdict of the people was overwhelmingly clear. They rejected the 1972 Constitution.

  • 7
    0

    Last opportunity for Sampanthan and his party…

    Cheers

  • 5
    11

    Hon. Sambanthan if you are the great statesman you are trying to project in your speech, first you will join the wider united opposition rather than being part of Ranil and Maithri’s freak show opposition. The reason is people can see your opportunistic use of the office to further your simplistic causes rather than represent the entirety of the nation. What is in essence happening is people are angry at the manipulation of their franchise by UNP suck ups like you and Muslim Congress. This anger is swelling day by day. If you want to get the nation to get behind you and support you should gracefully step down as opposition leader and handover the opposition leader to someone who is truly in the opposition and along with them fight for what you want the whole nation will support you.

    • 8
      2

      This Patriot has parrot brain, what a stupid advice he is giving.

  • 4
    0

    Fourth time lucky?

    Maybe now the message will sink in and a constitution will emerge that will draw on and protect the strengths of all the people, and recognise the dignity of all our communities and their rights. The cornerstone should be that diversity enriches and unity strengthens.

    May God be with, and guide, those who will draw up a constitution that is inclusive and enduring.

  • 1
    1

    After the 2015 January 9th all counter-revolutionaries elements including gang up with UNP, few section of SLFP( CBK MS and other humbugs) TNA, Muslim Congress, JVP and other hostile forces against Peace was shamefully betray the cause of National Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity, Independent and Democracy which won after 2009 May defeated of LTTE Tamil separatism by national democratic forces led by MR and alliance.

    In fact 2015 January these forces undermined peace and development initiated by MR democratic-progressive forces has been launch coup d’état by Foreign supports of US, UK and Indian-RAW. The US and Indian daring to carry out behind coup d’état 2015 January 9th by straightway by their local main support of Tamil bourgeoisie ,the political party of TNA in center.

    Indeed TNA allied with UNP and other foreign elements were replaced MR ruling alliance at that time by ‘legal’ form of so-called concord “good governance and rule of law”.

    TNA and UNP has been exploited this decline situation by coming forward as the champion of Republic Constitution since then.
    It want to upheld faith of “power devolution” to be misled among people with all might and preached the need to introduce Federal Regime in center of State by strictly to Parliamentary struggle for “Unknown democracy”.

    TNA is/was NOT national political party, it is roots of blood goes to Tamil-communal basis and chauvinist political ideology for Tamil separatism; who had been opposed existence of unitary character of state of an island since FP TULF came into being 1948!
    TNA completely rejected secular democracy in ever corner of politics democracy in Sri lanka.

    How can such party leader of TNA suddenly become secular politics of democracy and an apple to general majority public for harmony among all nationalities by overnight?

    TNA has long way to go being a national political party, that is why Tamil bourgeoisie want that US and Indian power maneuvering to grant and achieve their target of So-called Eealm of separatism for Tamil rough land in Sri lanka by bail out form new rescued package proposed by UNP -Ranil change of Constitution.

    TNA seek some sort of constitution changes of their bankruptcy tactics and Tamil/TNA hegemony in emancipatory struggle.

    TNA is Tamil selfish chauvinist character of all talk of ‘liberal of universal values’ about constitution illusions. The errors of the democracy becomes patently obvious when compare past 67 years our democratic revolution betray by Tamil political class play almost counter-revolutionary role that against majority Democracy.

    It is TNA increasing higher aim before stimulated Tamil independent regime in North by participation in political life, and the Tamil /TNA taught them how to fight.

    The hegemony of Tamil state by liberals of democracy during “constitutional changes” they lowered by TNA that Eealm demand and political consciousness of majority masses ,while misdirected and demoralized sovereignty of democratic independent and their democratic revolutionary task dulled their (majority) comprehension of sovereignty aim by TNA current leadership!

    TNA’s is Tamil bourgeoisie movement produced nothing but surrender ours sovereignty have not gain single to show through the
    Sri Lankan democratic reforms since 1948; not a single step to success our sovereignty ,not a single attempt at all democratic to organize protected nation Independent of majority people in the struggle freedom against USA, UK and Indian hegemony.

    Well, in 67 years the history of TNA, TULF, FP and their axis forces of LTTE by product of set of policies has been step by step encourage counter-revolution passed to offensive the majority mass struggle has been weakened.
    The most paramount issue is an analysis of Sri Lankan political economical and social realities deduced the leading role of masses by national issues by betraying TNA action of our democratic revolution.

    Needless to say TNA among other comprador bourgeoisies that classes meaningless reiteration of a constitutional devolution of power memorized formula about supporting US and Indian back hegemonies democracy becomes counter-revolutionary sniveling.

    UNP and TNA allied so-called US and Indian democracy in Sri Lankan gained by loss of worthless leaders and weak-kneed allies.
    The UNP proposed New ‘constitution Assembly’ people to see it the valuable political lessons of coming democratic revolution and
    counter-revolution appears since 2015 January 9th elements led by MS UNP-Ranil.W… and CBK should be more deeply pondered over and more firmly grasped by national democratic forces.

  • 5
    0

    Let have it this way.

    You Tamils get Northern+Eastern Province (North-East region)

    Sinhala-Buddhists get South-Western region.

    So you live in your patch we live in our patch …Problem solved……

    Is this enough for Tamis..Leave SL lone

    • 4
      0

      Well said. This is what needed. One Nation for Sinhalese. One Nation for Tamils. Two Nations one State.

    • 4
      0

      @ Sinhala_voice

      Exactly this is what Tamils are asking…

      Never ever Tamils will live like slaves under Sinhala adminstration

      If this happen Sinhalese will get lots of job opportunities …like Malaysians travel to Singapore on daily basis

      Else US or China will divide this country…no worries

      Cheers

  • 2
    1

    Mr. sampanthan, are we not 30 years little too late for all this rhetorics of yours?
    What is your agenda behind this statement?

    We are lost somewhere between you & Wineshwaran.

  • 0
    0

    For those in the Sinhala South, who continue to harp all Lankan Tamils harbour visions of a Separate State the Hon. Sampanthan, not for the first time, confirms in the floor of Parliament, again, Tamils are ready to live, with the Sinhalese and others, like they did for centuries, in a united Sri Lanka. For God’s sake, please understand mainstream Tamilnadu has absolutely no desire to covet the North-East, or any other part of the Island. They have enough headaches on their own.

    It is time for the real source of political power in the country – the hierarchy of the Buddhist clergy, the political active Buddhist priests, the Sinhala extreme and the politicised sections of the Army – to accept this reality and readily come forward to grant the Tamil-speaking people their undeniable right to take care of their internal matters all by themselves. This will then, surely, be the first step towards real peace, reconciliation and ultimate national unity.

    Backlash

  • 5
    1

    Mr Sampanthan is a mad hatter. He is talking about unitary state of SriLanka and still does not want majoritarian rule. He fails to see the logic that under the present definition of democracy in Sri-Lanka the majority race will occupy the president or prime minister’s chair. This will be so as the Sinhalese will not allow a Tamil to be in that seat fearing that the Tamils will take over the island etc. See what is happening now the governors of North and East are manned by Sinhalese.

    If he goes through the Hansard he will see that not a Single Sinhalese will give even an important ministerial post in the cabinet to the Tamils. Mahinda Rajapakse was an exception. He gave important ministries to Muslims because he wanted to keep them in the cabinet to sustain his crumbling government. So Sampanthan is a fool to expect any wonders from the Sinhala heart. He will be the last person in a long que of the cheated Tamils who trusted the Sinhalese generosity in politics.

    Sampanthan cannot claim all Tamils are for a unitary state. Unless a referendum is conducted among the Tamils, which the Sinhalese will not agree,Sampanthan cannot vouch for certain that all Tamils are for a unitary state of Sri-Lanka. Hey that is democracy.

  • 5
    2

    A litany of missed opportunities to reorganize the political structure of the Ceylonese/Sri Lankan State have been listed by Sambanthan and many commentators, D,B,S, Jeyaraj,in an article recently published,has also listed the occasions when the Tamil political leadership refused to accept the federal structure proposed by Singala leaders,. The reason was that they feared the Tamils will be isolated from the national mainstream (http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/44650).

    Further, if G.G.Ponnambalam had demanded equal rights and opportunities for all citizens, instead of the 50: 50 formula, all communities collectively would have had their due share of the national pie collectively, provided the Soulbury Commission had included strong provisions to give effect to this in the constitution they proposed.

    I hope and pray sensibility, wisdom and profound vision will ultimately prevail in the making of the new constitution. President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremasinghe and Opposition leader. Sambanthan have set the ball rolling in the right direction. I hope it continues to roll forwards with the same idealism, overcoming the obstacles that are beginning to materialize, as in many previous occasions. I also hope the so- called Kuveni curse does not once again blight us!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 0
    0

    Sangilian, Kailai Vannian and Vikrama Rajasinhan fought with foreigners to protect their people, the land and the sovereignty of the country and lost their life, family and their properties. Puvanekapaku, Wimaladharmasuriya, Ehelepola, Philimathalava all become foreigners’ agents and enjoyed their life by selling the country’s freedom. Sir. Pon Ramanathan went to England during the WWI to obtain justice and bring peace in the land. Ranil went to New York on government money to suppress UNHRC investigation and deny justice to Tamils. Ramanathan had released Don Stephen. He disenfranchised the Tamils. The Wildlife Sanctuary SinhaLE Lankawe’s history is full of these unfaithful acts. Tamil will not benefit anything talking these. We have seen all the arrangements have been made to extent the real investigation until Sec. Kerry and the democratic party of US government leave the office. Sampanthar need to realize that whatever the route he can take to negotiates is only to defer the problem until the end of his life time.

    Freud did a lot of reach on the human mind’s Psychology. Psychology has now gone many thousand miles from wherever he left. If a person is sick medicine has been developed to cure tat. If a man has fallen ill even Ebola, AIDS, Cancer etc. all will be soon curable. But, even after those developments in human psychology, if a man has a sick mind, is there a compound the dispenser can mix to make that ill-mind think gracefully? There is nothing. It is not expected anything soon to be available to cure Hitler, Old King, Jenkiskhan like births. It is not explained why some strange people find pleasure in mass scale torture, rape and murders like they did in the Wildlife Sanctuary Lankawe. It is even stranger why a group of people are willing to associate their name into that after such horrendous crimes are committed. Ranil, Chandrika all claimed that the war victory was their action. International community has accepted the victory is only due to the genocide crime. After seeing that in UNHRC with their real eye and after doing everything to water out the resolution so their name in International arena would not fly in the wind, is there a common sense to claim fully or even part of those barbaric actions as their good deed.

    It did not end there. Now the New King and New Royal Prime Minister are advocating that if the Banda-Chelva fact had been implemented the wat would not have been there. Will they ready to openly denounce that if the Tamils votes were not disenfranchised or Sinhala Only not implemented there would not have been a need to Band – Chelva pact? These crooks, when they see the water is coming more and more close to the nose, subletting the crimes they committed in their tenure to the ones who opposed the implementation of those old pacts. Will these guys accept, if they go back and correct the resolution words of “foreign and Commonwealth” to UNHRC and IC” and have that fully implemented, then there is no need to lament about those who disturbed the Banda – Chelva pact? Sincerity and honesty is the scariest thing in the Sinhala Intellectual politics. “The Statesmanship” is a word never exited the Sinhala language.

    I ask a question; will one of the Sinhala Intellectual politicians come forward to fix the Sinhala Intellectuals’ politics even at the cost of their life. They are comparing themselves to SWRD and in turn comparing SWRD to Lincoln and Gandhi. Is this all really necessary if, instead of saying “not one single leader, not one commander not even a private soldier” would be prosecuted, had they had told during the election campaign that they were not aware if anybody had done a genocide crime, but if there was a crime had been committed, in their Yahapalanaya Government it will be punished? After created challenge against the Tamils and IC on their ability to investigate even a private soldier, during the election campaign, now they are declaring they are the SWRDs? If So, where did they get the guts to say that those who wanted to win the election sabotaged the Banda-Chelva pact? What a shameless politics these men are doing when 47 of them are in the list of OILS war crime list, they are comparing them with Lincoln and Gandhi.

    Sampanthar is delivering oratorical, masterpiece speeches for what? Out of the FP, TC, TULP & TNA parties, SJV was the only one gives out 5 minutes or 10 minutes speeches. Tell me a name out of GG, Navaratnam, Vanniyasingam, Rajavarodayam, Amirthalingam, Sivasithamparam, Alalasundaram, Rajathurai, Mangayarkarasi….. who lacked much behind Sampanthar on delivering speeches? Did any one of them penetrated the Sinhala Intellectuals’ Iron Dorm and achieved anything for Tamils? Now they are claiming Sampanthar hope is well placed, unlike the previous ill put faiths on Sinhala governments, because now there is IC also in the loop. What happened to India’s involvement? Didn’t they fool Rajiv with 13A? Didn’t they beat him with intention to murder when he came to sign the accord? Did not they ask help from Thatcher and Reagan to remove Indian army? Did they give money and arms to LTTE to fight and send out them back to India? So now what is the difference between the current negotiations and the Past negotiation with India and USA. Ambassador Blake has already declared that Sri Lanka cheated him. This is what the Norwegian envoy, Solheim feels. We all know the Constitution amendment is only to cover up the UNHRC resolution. Where is Sampanthar’s new hope is founded? Will somebody explain to me what is the new thing is present here to talk about a new hope?

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    A majoritarian constitution will be enacted by the Sirisena/RW government. That is as certain as the sun rising tomorrow.

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    Rajapaksa would pave for himself a new future in jail for he never did the right thing. He is incapable of contributing towards the making of a just and equitable Constitution that also resolves the national issue and serves the country.Bensen

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    Mr.Sampanthan should know very well his words in the parliament are being taken as the opinion of the Tamils in this country by foreign states and officials…

    How many Tamils in this country are accepting his comments and opinions ???

    Tamils in this country were cheated by all Sinhala politicians over 60 years…….even a Tamil child know this

    By changing the constitution or some sweet promises you can’t solve this issue ….

    Tamils are not prepared t live as slaves under Sinhala administration and security forces…

    Tamils have shed lots of blood since 1948…and not prepared to fool themselves anymore..

    Cheers

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    Mr. Sambanthan, I shall comment only comment on the three statements below:
    1. “…provides a Constitutional Resolution of the national issue,…”

    The first statement is the problem. Approximately 2/3 rd of the members of the majority community of various party colours are those that deprived the Tamils of their rights at least since 1947 and finally broke the Covenent (Section 29) under which the two communities accepted the Soulbury constitution. Total majority democracy does not work when two Nations that the British brought together and tried to keep it together. Now you want to use the same majority and majoritarian democracy to solve the problem between the Sinhala and Tamil Peoples. Time and again it has proved unworkable and Tamils fought a war on it. Just because they lost the war does not mean that the problem is solved by using the same majority democracy of a single community and a few Tamils.

    2. ” … must also be approved by the people at a Referendum cutting across ethnic, linguistic or any other divisions.”

    Based on the past and allowing for “lessons Learned” from the past, the outcome is predictable. If the 2/3rd in parliament is weighted towards a political solution that leads to the Sinhala-Buddhist control of the State, the referendum will pass. If there is any provision,even if the 2/3rd Parliament consented, that the Tamils will have autonomy in their traditional areas of habitation, the referendum will not get the simple majority it needs. You are hoping for a Miracle and that is playing a game of chance with the life of the Tamil people. That lead us into a 30-year war.

    3. “…the day on which all the people in this country would have come together to form the Sri Lankan nation –”

    You refer to the Sri Lanka State as a Sri Lankan Nation. If this is an error it is excusable coming from an Octogenerian. We are prone to such errors. But if it is intended, you are telling the people in Sri Lanka and the world that you no longer can feel the pulse of the Tamil people,but can only feel that of the Sinhala Nation of people who thinks Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Nation with the Buddhist philosophy as its foremost “religion”, in my view, you have abandoned the rights of the fundamental right of the Tamil people that we are a Nation.

    In my view,for a new constitution to be valid, Sinhala Peoples, Tamil Peoples and the majority of Tamil Muslims voting in and out of Parliament should be based on the consensus of the majority of each of the three Communities.

    Let us not blindly follow the simplistic majority democratic system that evolved from the Greeks, (for Greeks only and not for others who lived in Greece who were considered foreign, slaves or women.) dictate the form of democracy that would work in Sri lanka that has its unique characteristics of peoples who lived here since ancient times.

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    CORRECTION

    The penultimate paragraph is not clearly expressed.
    It should read,
    “In my view,for a new constitution to be valid, a majority of MPs voting for from each of the Sinhala, Tamil and Tamil Muslims is required. In addition, a majority of each of the three Communities voting at a referendum should be required.”

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