16 June, 2024

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We Are A Republic, We Are Not A Monarchy

By M.A. Sumanthiran

M.A. Sumanthiran PC MP

Thank you Honourable presiding member, His Excellency the President made a statement of government policy yesterday at the opening of new session of Parliament. He has made this practice in his short tenure as President, he’s done this many times. One wondered each time when he prorogued Parliament why he was doing so, now it seems fairly clear to us that he loves to give a throne speech and as often as he can, he mounts that chair and says to the house and to the nation all the things that he had wanted to say for several decades now. So while he enjoys himself doing that the citizens of the country are at utter peril, due to the economic situation. Of course the president waxes eloquent about how much he has turned the economy around. All of us know that those are hollow words; it is true that there is a semblance of normality that has been restored. With his long experience one must concede that he has steadied the ship somewhat, and we wish to congratulate him on that part. When you have a moratorium on debt repayment, that’s a looming disaster, it gives you immediate relief only to have darker clouds surround the country a little later.

Similarly the IMF relief enables us to borrow more now. Well we need to borrow, no one disputes that, but that can only take that into further debt. So it seems on the outwards the things are rosy, but in fact they are not. A long term look will tell us, that that is not true. And the country must realise this. The country must also realise that the president has declared this year an election year, as though it is entirely at his disposal to decide on election date. We are a Republic, we are not a Monarchy.

Our constitution stipulates, the laws stipulate, when periodic elections must be held. When local council elections were declared to be held early last year, by a sleight of hand, by not by not signing the warrant to release money, the minister of finance the President himself thwarted the citizens of this country exercising their franchise. That’s a violation, that’s a violation against democracy, that’s a violation against constitution. For a long period now the provincial councils’ elections have not been held. I have repeatedly reminded the prime minister, that following on his own committee’s recommendations i have introduced a private member’s bill, which if it is passed, provincial council elections can immediately be held. But they are holding that back. And now he has decided that the presidential elections must be held. And so the treasury has been advised to release the funds for elections.

Presidential election and a general election this year. Now we all know that when the president signals right, he often turns left. So we are not quite sure what this signalling really is. Nevertheless you cannot build the economy of the country by the way you supress people exercising their franchise. People expressing their dissent, and by oppressive methods. And that is what we see. You can see all you want as a statement of government policy. And one thing I want to highlight here is as he took office, he came to this house and he said first shall we resolve the ethnic conflict? He asked everyone in this house, everyone put their hands up. Everyone said, yes, we will do it. And he assured us that that’ll be done before the 75th Independence Day celebrations that happened last year. Now we have gone passed the 76th Independence Day as well, and not a hum, not a word from the president on that issue.

*Edited version of the speech made in Parliament on 08th February 2024 by M.A. Sumanthiran

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Latest comments

  • 16
    1

    No parliamentarian is so critical and honest like MS, in exposing pseudos like Ranil, Rajapaksas and Pissu Sira. By the way, happy birthday Mr. MS.

  • 4
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    1
    I used to have a lot of respect for you, but today it’s a bit blurry for some reasons. It started with those ITAK election results. Although silence is golden, we gradually see how our thoughts bring us to the next. As you know, the politics of North and South are unique in Sri Lanka compared to most other provinces. People have been communal and nationalistic throughout the ages. Sinhala radicals will do anything if injected with any blatant lie (Dr. Safi as an obstetrician was alleged to have been created, , by squeezing the fallopian tubes of patients leading to infertility. Fairy tale): To our surprise, this was spearheaded by a man crowned as a Professor with the direct involvement of Mahendara Rajapakshe, his name was Channa Jayasumana.
    :
    . As a senior lawyer commuting between Jaffna and Colombo, you must be aware of the unique context the country finds itself in after a group kicked out MEDAMULANISM (more or less similar to MUGABEISM in Zimbabwe). And miraculously a man with one seat in Parliament took it upon himself to continue the relay race. Things were darker than expected for him as he had to work with the devils who marginalized his UNP party in the previous elections .

    tbc

  • 4
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    2

    The Rajapaksas’ return to power was only associated with the “acquittal/removal” of all criminal court cases against the Rajapaksas and their cronies.
    Mlechcha Rajapakshes did not care about the grievances of UVA and North/East people. Post war period and how they misused their power, state funds and greedy tactics for their family is now all clear. However, the vulnerable majority of Sinhalese acted like wild youths, not brainless and short-sighted.

    Supporters (so called buddhists) of Sinhala parties will do the same in the upcoming elections as our people are still unaware of the dangerous political chaos in Sri Lanka. As a rape victim repeats more mistakes in their fate, they always get emotional and fall for the next trick.

    Look at how the Maldives is doing today, making new enemies rather than the other way around. They are closed to Chineseization and are chasing Indian relations. As in Sri Lanka, political instability is the result. Therefore investors are not even looking at Sri Lanka for their future investments.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STLxGFJq2DY

    Our colonists knew the true psyche of our people and how they destroyed them better than they handled them right. Even 76 years ago they were really stupid people for some reason. –
    -:>3

  • 8
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    Thank you Mr Sumanthiran. When are we going to resolve our differences within the Tamil community?

    “.. it is clear from the tendencies of the GTF that its efforts were not properly planned. To think that attempts at a solution can be made possible without any basis is not only a reflection of weakness but also a service to the enemy. The strength of the Tamil Diaspora in the politics of Eelam Tamils has reached the point where it is disappearing. This seems to be an opportunity for southern Sri Lankan politics.” – online translation https://ktganeshalingam.com/global-tamil-forum-movement-and-eelam-tamils-politics/

    -Prof. K. T. Ganeshalingam

  • 3
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    3
    By November 2019, with the return of the non-partisan Gotabhaya and the Rajapakse brothers, the entire world pointed arrows at Sri Lanka.

    Looking back today, anyone in their right mind would say it was a planned disaster. A man with no profile enough to run a local council has been inflated to become a Diyasena prince (curse to silly in Sri Lanka’s mainstream media).
    All this was based on the direct support of Sinhalese sections who constantly support racism, Sinhala Buddhism, Sinhala glorification, Sinhala supremacy and many others. . International experts and their prediction became true and facts by July 2022. Sri Lankans today are the most vulnerable people in South Asia.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDjfBz5Trds
    Many respected Rev. Malcolm Ranajith and his cronies blindly supported the promotion of self-aggrandizing, extreme Sri Lankan nationalism as they had done before. If Reverend Ranjith had the brain, Rajapaksa would not have been promoted again. But he did it. In retrospect, he should have been complicit in those crimes.

    4>

    • 4
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      4.
      Although my thoughts and minds are mixed with honourable MP Sumanthiran today, I respect him more as an emerging Tamil leader.
      But with his defeat in ITAK election, I wonder about him. I think many others will too. I request him not to fall to the level of Mahinda Rajapaksa or any brutal politician and their rascal nature. That way, he cannot achieve anything he has earned so far and become popular. He can achieve that only by getting to know the true grievances of the people, more intimately and raising their issues. Any leader should be pragmatic to get more allocation for local development for his community. It should also be valid for all other provinces.
      :
      It should not necessarilly be a monarchy, but every leader in the Commonwealth world adhere to follow some tradition. As described by Field Marshal MP Sarath Fonseka, we must respect traditions. That is probably why the President let the parliamentary tradition go. Unlike Mahinda Rajapkashe, he hast not wasted a lot of people’s money by going on excursions for his own . As we does not even stands for national dress, mustache, baby licking, floor kissing or any gestures misleading the nation.
      :This is how indians did that.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2MVqmDJRDg

  • 2
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    Dear Mr. Sumanthiran, I was one person who deeply prayed that you would be given the homour of leading the TNA away from the obscurantism and communalism of the past, and shape it into a national party bereft of its utter provincialism and parochialism. Unfortunately, the recent vote showed that those who elect the leaders of the TNA have little to do with the grass-roots. They are the same land-owing upper class, upper caste individuals who have governed the Tamils since the days of the british raj. They even governed the Sinhalese in the early part of the 20th century. But the entry of GGPonnambalam who shought to displace the Arunachalam clan opened up rascist poltics, as well documented by Dr. Jane Russell in “Communal Politics Under the Donoughmore Constitution”. So, since the first Sinhala-Tamil riot of 1939 and the 50-50 demands that were not met, nor mitigated by other ways, the two communities have lost trust of each other, terrorised each other and fought wars.

    • 3
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      Just a gripe from your pen. It can pass. GG was rude at that meeting and he was attacked. That’s not exactly a riot. It was Thanthi Chelva who was the guiding lights since independace.

      Grassroots desired one among them should be the lead. Nothing wrong with that. Since the birth of militancy within Tamils for freedom, a freedom that was conveyed at independence but was scuttled by the majoritarian ethno-specific community, intellectual rigour is an anathema to the grassroots, that is, sadly, so prevalent with diaspora as well by the news items.

      It is good for Mr. Sumanthiran, still a young man, to have the leeway for legal work for the citizens as whole and to sharpen his skills for the Party, and I certain that the new leader will rely on Sumanthiran a lot, and quite correctly.

      On the whole, it is less prudent to harp on the good and bad of the history except for its guidance not to repeat it. What are fundamentals of a harmonious society and here we are now and let’s find out how to proceed from here by rectifying the misdeeds.

  • 2
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    But now, after a thirty-year war and 13 years of rule by Rajapaksas, Wikremasinghes etc, you write of Ranil and say ” he took office, he came to this house and he said first shall we resolve the ethnic conflict? He asked everyone in this house, everyone put their hands up. Everyone said, yes, we will do it“. But we know this is bull shit. The ethnic conflict cannt be resolved UNLESS TAMILS AND SINHALESE work hard to build Bridges between the two communities – that takes a generation. The new leadership of the TNA, pays pooja at the Maaveer memorial and indicate that they are inspired by the “sacrifce of “Maaveers”. This cannot be the basis of trust building. We have to reject violence, reject adulation of assasinations, and explictly denounce the killings of Amithalinga, Canagaratnam, Duraiappa, Thiranagama Thiruchelvam, Kadirgarma, Premadasa etct etc as well Rajeev Gandhi and many lesser known people who were denounced as “Thurogi” and eliminated. Individualism is the basis of inovation and progress. Smothering everything saying “we must speak with one voice and the way is shown by the Maaveer who sacrificed their lives” will never lead to ending the conflict. Your recent political setback implies that the TNA is not ready for an enlightend leader like you. Wish you all the best.

    • 4
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      FP being a member of the TULF, and having produced Vaddukkodai Resolution in 1976, it imperative for a FP leader to its obeisance to those who comprehended that literally and gave their lives.

      Just because the newly elected present pays respect to the Mahanayaka, doesn’t mean he is not the president of all the citizens and not just that religious clan, though rather sadly that has been the unintended norm.

      • 1
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        The Vaddukkodai resolution far exceeded federalism, and Senator Thiruchelvam very clearly stated it right away. The architects of the Vaddukkodai resolution were assasinated and the LTTE ursurped power by sheer violence. So, the legitimacy of the LTTE cannot be linked to the 1977 election succes of the TULF. The LTTE gained legitimacy because of state terror, esp. under JRJ and then the IKPF. There was an excellent anlysis of this by Father Balasuriya in Logos at the time, and unfortunately those documents are not available on the internet. The whole traditon of sacrificial suicide when enemey or dissidants labeled as “thurogi” (துரோகி) are assasinated must be explcitly denounced by rejecting the “Maaveer” cult who represent, to those Tamil who value human values and free speech, the most degrading aspect of the LTTE program. The TNA leaders must have the courage to come clean and denounce it. Instead, some Diaspora members (esp. in Canada) are busy re-writing the history of the Eelam wars and presenting the Maaveer as role models for young people. Mark my words, young people raised on such models will perpetuate the terror on our own aging leaders in time to come.

  • 3
    3

    “We are a Republic, we are not a Monarchy.”
    Dear Sumanthiran,
    This is applicable to you as well. You are not only person who knew all about legal matters of Sri Lanka or only person who can lead the Federal party. Respect the views of the people you represent.

  • 1
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    ”he assured us that that’ll be done before the 75th Independence Day celebrations that happened last year. Now we have gone passed the 76th Independence Day as well, and not a hum, not a word from the president”…..Well that sums up the Works of Ranil. He was elected to parliment continously since 1977s until he got booted in the last election. He has been in the PM ship for 5 times. He never did anything then and he never will do it now. God Save Srilanka

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