29 October, 2021

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We Were Never Demanding Separation

By R. Sampanthan

R. Sampanthan

As a Sri Lankan, I have the right to ask everyone to be truthful to the country and to all our people. It would be a mistake to think that everyone can be deceived all the time. No one wants anything done behind the backs of the Sri Lankan people. Let us enact a constitution addressing the critical issues and seek the approval of the people at a Referendum. It is they who must make the final decision in the exercise of their sovereignty.

The transcript of the speech made by R. Sampanthan in Parliament yesterday on the interim report of the Steering Committee:

01.11.2017/10.36 – 11.36 /

ගරු රාජවරෝදියම් සම්පන්දන් මහතා (විරුද්ධ පාර්ශ්වයේ නායකතුමා)

(மாண்புமிகு ராஜவரோதயம் சம்பந்தன் – எதிர்க்கட்சி முதல்வர்)

(The Hon. Rajavarothiam Sampanthan – Leader of the Opposition)

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We are debating the Interim Report submitted to the Constitutional Assembly by the Steering Committee appointed by the Constitutional Assembly in regard to the framing of a new Constitution for our country. This is a very important debate, Sir, a historic debate.

Our first Constitution was the Soulbury Constitution enacted by the British under which we obtained independence. The second Constitution was the 1972 Constitution, the first republican Constitution. The third Constitution was the 1978 Constitution, the second republican Constitution. These latter two Constitutions were enacted by the party and the Government in power and not on the basis of a consensus. The current process is based on a Resolution of Parliament; Parliament has been converted into a Constitutional Assembly; there is a Committee of the whole Parliament; there is a Steering Committee comprising of Members of Parliament of  all political parties; there have been six multi-party subcommittees appointed which have submitted their reports; a team of experts have assisted the process. There have been public consultations and public representations have been received. All these have taken place. There is a marked difference between the procedures being adopted now and the procedures which prevailed when the 1972 and 1978 Constitutions were enacted. All this take place almost 40 years after the enactment of the second Republican Constitution. All these steps, I submit Sir, add to the credibility and the legitimacy of the process. After wide consultation and consensus, the Constitution will have to be enacted and adopted by two-thirds majority of Parliament and approved by the people at a Referendum. It will reflect the exercise of the sovereignty of the people, by the people to the fullest degree. The supreme law of the land would have been made by the people and would command the respect and recognition of all the people; its credibility and legitimacy shall be unassailable.

All others, whether it be the President, the Prime Minister, the Parliament, the Judiciary, the Provincial Councils and the Local Government institutions, are only organs of Government – custodians for the time being of the power of the people exercising power on behalf of the people, in terms of the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land enacted by the people.

Sovereignty of the people would have been exercised so comprehensively that no question can be asked pertaining to the impairment of the sovereignty of the people.

All the people would be involved. It is for the first time in the history of the country that such an exercise is being undertaken, the totality of the people being involved. The Constitution, the supreme law of the country, will be framed so as to ensure and guarantee an undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka, belonging to all the people of Sri Lanka. This Constitution is being made to ensure that the country remains undivided and indivisible for all time and that the country proceeds on a path of development and progress. The objective of the Constitution is to create a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka, so as to achieve its fullest potential for the benefit of all the people in the country.

The reasons for this occurrence are the lessons that we have learnt in the past 70 years. We have seen the devastation and destruction the country has gone through during the war that lasted 30 years. Government’s resources were extensively expended in fighting the war. The country was starved of resources for economic development. Consequently, the people were unable to be the beneficiaries of their true entitlements.

The country has realized that for it to survive and progress and maintain its status in the world, it needs to unite and come together on the basis of equality and justice. Anyone attempting to disturb the process would do great harm to the country. Such people would be acting not in the national interest, but to advance their own personal political future on sectarian and narrow grounds.

Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic and multilingual plural society. The proposals envisage that Democracy and the Franchise co-exist in harmony without distortion and that pluralism receives meaningful respect and recognition. Democracy and pluralism, Mr. Chairman, are inextricably interlinked and must be so structured as to strengthen each other so as to ensure justice and equality. This strengthens and consolidates an undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka. That is the foundation of the whole exercise.

This is a prerequisite to sustainable peace, development and progress. Under the scheme of power sharing, there will be power exercised at three levels:

(i) the National Level,

(ii) the Provincial Level and

(iii) the Local Level.

The subjects and functions assigned to the three levels would be unambiguously and clearly defined on a rational basis; legislative and executive power shall be exercised in their respective spheres of competence at the different levels.

This arrangement will prevail throughout the country. Constitutional provisions will ensure that the devolved power is not undermined or taken back.  If for any reason such a step becomes necessary, it can only be for very special reasons and in terms of specific constitutional provisions in that regard.  This will ensure that the sharing of power is durable and also genuine. Such arrangements will be applicable throughout the country.

This is to ensure, Sir, that governance is in keeping with the tenets of Democracy that there is recognition of diversity in unity, that there will be easy access to governance, that governance will be transparent, that there will be ready accountability in governance, that there will be greater people’s participation in governance, that governance is consequently more effective and expeditious and that governance is also consequently less corrupt. There would be contentment and satisfaction amongst all people in all areas. This would contribute to unity in diversity and national cohesion and integration. 

The Thirteenth Amendment, Sir, was the first step in power sharing through constitutional provision. The genesis of the Thirteenth Amendment were extensive discussions between the Government of Sri Lanka headed by President J.R. Jayewardene and the Tamil United Liberation Front led by Mr. A. Amirthalingam in July and August, 1986. Our Prime Minister was a member of the Government Delegation; it was my privilege to be a member of the Tamil Delegation. In fact, there are only two Members of Parliament who are alive from the Government side: Hon. Prime Minister and Mr. Ronnie De Mel and there are only two Members alive from the Tamil side:  Mr. V. Anandasangaree and myself. President J.R. Jayewardene tabled in Parliament the proposals of the Government based on those discussions in February, 1987.  There is a belief in this country that the Thirteenth Amendment was imposed on Sri Lanka after the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement was signed in  July, 1987. I want to specifically state that President Jayewardene tabled the proposals outlining the Thirteenth Amendment in Parliament in February, 1987 and those proposals were based on discussions that took place between the Government and the TULF in July and August, 1986.

The Thirteenth Amendment was a significant beginning but inadequate. This was recognized by all subsequent Governments and subsequent Presidents: President R. Premadasa who succeeded President J.R. Jayewardene, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga who assumed Office after President Premadasa and President Mahinda Rajapaksa who succeeded President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. 

During President Premadasa’s time, there was the Mangala Moonesinghe Select Committee Proposals, during President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s time, there was the 2000 August Constitutional Bill tabled in Parliament with Cabinet approval without any dissent whatever – which Cabinet also included former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and present President Maithripala Sirisena.

During President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s term, there was the remarkable and meaningful speech made by President Rajapaksa on 11th of July 2006 at the inaugural meeting of the APRC – All Party Representatives Committee – and the Multi-Ethnic Experts Committee appointed by him, the majority report of the said Multi Ethnic Experts Committee and the report of the APRC headed by Professor Tissa Vitarana; all of which under all three Presidents and Governments contained proposals for sharing power that went far beyond the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution and all of which were based on a substantial consensus between representatives of different political parties. They were all domestic and home-grown processes based upon a wealth of experience of local conditions. There were no slogans but there was substance. It would perhaps be pertinent to clarify what exactly the position of President Rajapaksa was during these periods.

I would like to quote, Sir, from the speech made by President Rajapaksa when he addressed the APRC and the Multi-Ethnic Experts Committee on the 11of July 2006. He addressed that Committee under three subparagraphs. The first was “Unity, Territorial Integrity and Sovereignty” and this is what President Rajapaksa said in the course of his address.

“The unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country must be preserved. This cannot be open to bargain. Our approach has been widely endorsed by the international community, notably India and the Co-chairs have clearly stated and have clearly ruled out any form of division of this country. Our objective must be to develop a just settlement within an undivided Sri Lanka.”

Those were the words of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President at that time. He further said, 

“Our objective must be to develop a just settlement within an undivided Sri Lanka. Each party represented here has its own solutions to the national question. We will discuss and synthesize these different approaches and develop our own Sri Lankan model. We must explore past attempts from the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact onwards. We must draw appropriate lessons from the experience of other countries.”   

Those were the words of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and that is precisely what we are trying to do now. He went on to say, I quote: 

“I will not impose a solution on the country. But, you will through your developments, through your deliberations provide a solution to the national question.”

His speech next dealt with the point relating to “Devolution for the People by the People” and this is what President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on that very important subject of “Devolution for the people by the People”.

He said, I quote:

“People in their own localities must take charge of their destiny and control their politico-economic environment. Central decision-making that allocates disproportionate resources has been an issue for a considerable time. In addition, it is axiomatic that devolution also needs to address issues relating to identity as well as security and socio-economic advancement without over-reliance on the Centre. In this regard, it is also important to address the question of regional minorities.” 

So, he wanted the issues of identity, security, socio-economic development to be addressed and for people to determine their destiny in the areas in which they lived so that people would be in control of their own affairs and this, Sir, is precisely what we are presently engaged in doing.

Then, finally, under the heading “Some Concluding Thoughts” this is what President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on that date. I quote:

“Any solution must be seen as one that stretches to the maximum possible devolution –

He wanted maximum possible devolution granted.

   -without sacrificing the sovereignty of the country”.

He further said, I quote:

“…given the background to the conflict, it therefore behoves on particularly the majority community to be proactive in striving for peace and there must be a demonstration of a well-stretched hand of accommodation.”

He wanted the majority community to be proactive in striving for peace and there must be a demonstration of a well-stretched hand of accommodation. Any solution must be seen as one that stretches to the maximum possible devolution. Those were President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s words. Are we doing anything different now? 

He further went on to say, I quote:

“Any solution must therefore address these expectations as well. The role of the All Party Representative Committee, as well as the Panel of Experts is to fashion creative options and satisfy the minimum expectations that I had enumerated earlier as well as provide a comprehensive approach to the resolution of the national question”.

So, Sir, it is unfortunate that President Rajapaksa and Members politically affiliated to him are today taking up a position which is diametrically opposite to what President Rajapaksa in his capacity as President told the APRC and the Experts Committee on 11th July, 2006, shortly after he assumed the Office of President.

While I am on the question of President Rajapaksa, it may also be relevant for me, at this stage, to quote what Professor G.L. Peiris in his capacity as the Foreign Minister of this country had to say in Oslo when he attended the Oslo Conference and to also refer to the Oslo Communique to which he was a party.

“Responding to a proposal by the leadership of the LTTE, the parties agreed to explore a solution founded on the principle of internal self-determination in areas of historical habitation of the Tamil-speaking people, based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka. The parties acknowledged that the solution had to be acceptable to all communities…. Guided by this objective, the parties agreed to initiate discussions on substantive political issues such as, but not limited to: Power-sharing between the centre and the region, as well as within the centre; Geographical region; Human Rights Protection; Political and administrative mechanisms; Public finance; Law and order.”

That was the Oslo Communique to which Professor G.L. Peiris in his capacity as the Foreign Minister was a party where he agreed to address a solution based upon the principle of internal self-determination under a federal arrangement within a united country acceptable to all the communities in the country.That is precisely what we are engaged in.

Prof. Peiris went on to address the press conference at the end of that Oslo Meeting. The Meeting was on the 02nd to 05th of December, 2002. This is what Prof. Peiris said. I quote:

“The LTTE is no longer insisting on a separate State but …. is looking at a different concept in earnest and that is internal self-determination.

And he went on to explain what he meant. This was power sharing, extensive power sharing within the framework of one country. No question of secession, no question of separation but power sharing within the framework of one country.”

These are the words of Prof. G. L. Peiris himself in his capacity as the Foreign Minister of this country. He stated that his Government was prepared to find a solution on this basis.  So, I am a little surprised, Sir, that these gentlemen are taking up different positions.  But, I state these facts, because I think it is necessary for the country to know what President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his spokesman, the Foreign Minister did while they were in power. The inability of leaders to stand by what they accept and keep their commitments after they cease to hold power has been a major setback in our country.

The present process in Constitution making under President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is in a true sense a continuation of the process commenced by President Premadasa continued during President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s term and also continued during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s term – for a period of more than 25 years – but not finally concluded in view of a lack of consensus between the two major political parties which unfortunately were unable to work together on a national issue and also on account of the fact that a very fierce war was in progress and was an impediment to resolution. These two impediments have now been overcome and we now face the issue in a very different and much more conducive environment. It is more than eight years since the war came to an end but the causes for the commencement of the war have not yet been addressed.

It would be a tragedy for the country if the conclusion of the war is not utilized to bring about genuine and permanent peace. All the above proposals during the tenure of the three Governments and the three Presidents that I have referred to, were put forward when the war was being fiercely fought. It would be a tragedy not to realize that the war commenced due to a non-resolution of the national question and that the national question yet remains unsolved.

This is an opportunity to frame a Constitution on the basis of a national consensus between the different political parties and also amongst all the people of the country irrespective of their ethnic or religious differences and it would be to the country’s extreme detriment if this opportunity was missed.

Having referred Sir, to the statements of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris to demonstrate how much their former statements while in office are fully supportive of the present Constitution making process and also demonstrate how diametrically different and contradictory their current statements are, I want to refer to the actions of three outstanding leaders who held the highest office in this country. The first was Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike; the second was Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake and the third was President J.R. Jayewardene. 

Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike signed a Pact with the Tamil leader, Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in 1957. 

This is what the Pact states.  I quote:

“ ‘(A) Regional areas to be defined in the Bill itself by embodying them in the Schedule thereto.

   ‘(B) That the Northern Province is to form one regional area whilst the Eastern Province is to be divided into one or more regional areas.

   ‘(C)  Provision is to be made in the Bill to enable two or more regions to amalgamate even beyond provincial limit; and for one region to divide itself subject to ratification by Parliament. Further provision is to be made in the Bill for two or more regions to collaborate for specific purposes of common interests.”

The next point in the Agreement Sir, was in regard to colonization. The pact states, I quote;

” ‘(F) It was agreed that in the matter of colonization schemes the powers of the Regional Councils shall include the power to select allottees to whom lands within their area of authority shall be alienated and also power to select personnel to be employed for work on such schemes.”

That was the Agreement between Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and the Tamil leader, Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayakam. 

Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake signed a Pact with the Tamil leader, Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in 1965 which largely dealt with the question of colonization – State lands.  This is what it said under that Agreement.  In the case of colonization, District Councils would see that landless people in the District get priority over others.  The second preference would be, Tamil-speaking people in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces, in regard to the land alienation in the North and the East.  Finally, even in considering deserving cases from outside of the North and the East, Tamils should get priority over others.  There were three demarcations of priority: the first being the  landless persons in the District,  the second being the Tamil-speaking people in the North and the East and the third being the Tamil people outside the North and the East. 

The third Agreement was, Sir, signed by the President J.R. Jayewardene with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1987.   By that time our issue had become internationalized as a result of  our not resolving it by ourselves. 

This is what that Agreement signed between President J.R. Jayewardene and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi states.  I quote:

“1.1 desiring to preserve the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka:

That was sacrosanct; that was the first point in the Agreement. 

1.2 acknowledging that Sri Lanka is a ‘multi-ethnic and a multilingual plural society’ consisting, inter alia, of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims (Moors) and Burghers;

1.3 recognizing that each ethnic group has a distinct cultural and linguistic identity which has to be carefully nurtured;

  1.4 also recognizing that the Northern and the Eastern Provinces have been areas of historical habitation of Sri Lankan Tamil-speaking peoples, who have at all times hitherto lived together in this territory with other ethnic groups;

1.5 conscious of the necessity of strengthening the forces contributing to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, and preserving its character as a multi-ethnic, multilingual and multi-religious plural society in which all citizens can live in equality, safety and harmony, and prosper and fulfil their aspirations; ”

Sir, it further went on to state, I quote:

“2.2 During the period, which shall be considered an interim period (i.e. from the date of the elections to the Provincial Council, as specified in para 2.8, to the date of the referendum as specified in  para 2.3), the Northern and Eastern Provinces as now constituted, will form one administrative unit, having one elected Provincial Council. Such a unit will have one Governor, one Chief Minister and one Board of Ministers.”

This amalgamation of the North and the East, Sir, lasted for 18 years. There was a budgetary provision made each year over a period of 18 years for a combined, united North-Eastern Provincial Council. Very unfortunately, there was the rather questionable Judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in 2006, which stated that there was a procedural flaw, not anything substantial, but a procedural flaw, in regard to the manner of the merger and the merger was done away with.

These three national leaders I have referred to, Sir – Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, Mr. Dudley Senanayake and Mr. J.R. Jayewardene – were men of great stature, political giants. They were prepared to deal with issues that needed to be dealt with. They had the knowledge and the capacity in the country’s interest to do what was required.

The contents of these Agreements need to be examined when we frame our Constitution because they deal with vital issues such as land, the relevance of a Tamil linguistic identity in the North-East and the need for reasonable arrangements relating to these issues without harm being inflicted on others within an undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka.

It is well known, Sir, that our national question has become internationalized because of the blunders we have committed and because we have not been able to amicably resolve it ourselves.  The country needs to know the extent to which this issue has been internationalized and the urgent need for it to be resolved. The process of making a new Constitution that we are currently engaged in provides the way to achieve that objective. I propose to refer to some of the concerns that have been expressed internationally. But, I will confine myself to a very restricted cross-section of these concerns because I do not have the time to refer to all the concerns expressed by all people. 

Our neighbouring country, India – our large neighbour can well be called our mother country, for all of us came from there – has been involved and concerned for a long period of time. This is what the former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh had to say in regard to our problem in Sri Lanka. Sir, I quote his statement:

“You have a situation in Sri Lanka. The decimation of the LTTE was something which is good. But the Tamil problem does not disappear, with the defeat of the LTTE. The Tamil population has legitimate grievances. They feel they are reduced to second-class citizens. And our emphasis has been to persuade the Sri Lankan Government that we must move towards a new system of institutional reforms, where the Tamil people will have a feeling that they are equal citizens of Sri Lanka, and they can lead a life of dignity and self-respect.”

So, that is what the former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had to say in regard to our situation in Sri Lanka.

I would also like to refer, Sir, to what the present Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said when he addressed this Parliament in March, 2015. He said that we all have to decide how our nation is going to be constituted and went on to say, I quote:

“When we accommodate the aspirations of all sections of our society, the nation gets the strength of every individual. And, when we empower states, districts and villages, we make our country stronger and stronger.”

“Today, my top priority is to make the States in India stronger. I am a firm believer in cooperative federalism. So, we are devolving more power and more resources to the States and we are making them formal partners in national decision-making processes.

Sri Lanka has lived through decades of tragic violence and conflict. You have successfully defeated terrorism and brought the conflict to an end. You now stand at a moment of historic opportunity to win the hearts and heal the wounds across all sections of society. Recent elections in Sri Lanka have reflected the collective voice of the nation: the hope for change, reconciliation and unity. The steps that you have taken in recent times are bold and admirable. They represent a new beginning.”

That is what the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi had to say.

Sir, I would also like to refer to what the Co-chairs of Sri Lanka comprising of the USA, the European Union, Norway and Japan had to say.  I quote:

“It (Sri Lanka) must show that it is ready to make the dramatic political changes to bring about a new system of governance which will enhance the rights of all Sri Lankans, including the Muslims. The international community will support such steps: failure to take such steps will diminish international support.”

They went on to say, I quote:

“The Tamil and Muslim peoples of Sri Lanka have justified and substantial grievances that have not yet been adequately addressed.” 

I would also like to refer, Sir, to what the US Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Richard A. Boucher had to say when he came to Sri Lanka some time ago in 2006. He said, I quote:

“We also think the Government should provide a positive vision to Tamils and Muslims of a future Sri Lanka where their legitimate grievances are addressed and their security assured. President Rajapaksa has spoken of “maximum devolution”. Previous negotiations have agreed on “internal self-determination” within a federal framework. However, the idea is expressed, it could offer hope to many in the North and the East that they will have control over their own lives and destinies within a single nation of Sri Lanka.”

He went on to say, I quote:

“Although we reject the methods that the Tamil Tigers have used, there are legitimate issues that are raised by the Tamil community and they have a very legitimate desire, as anybody would, to be able to control their own lives, to rule their own destinies and to govern themselves in their homeland, in the areas they’ve traditionally inhabited.”

So, the reason why I have quoted some of those important statements made by world leaders and very important countries is that we should realize that we are being watched by the whole world on account of certain things that are happening in this country.

My mind goes to South Africa at one point of time, Sir, and Myanmar  also a little later. The apartheid Government in South Africa and the military Government in Myanmar  thought that they could do what they liked and get away with it, and that they were not answerable to anyone. They soon realized that they were under such international pressure, particularly under such  international financial pressure that they had to cave in and they had to accept the supremacy of democracy.

What we ask is that democracy be regarded as supreme and that institutions be structured  in such a way that the democratic wishes of all the people in this country will prevail and will give them self-respect and dignity.  We are prepared to help you in that regard. We have been co-operating with the present Government in that regard because we want international pressure to come to an end, we want the problem to be resolved domestically. But, please remember that if you do not resolve the problem domestically, international pressure will only get worse and become more and more difficult in time to come.

These statements made by the different important international personalities at different times emphasize the imperative need for us to resolve our issue domestically. If we are able to enact a new Constitution that has a broad acceptable national consensus, we would bring this to an end.

Our endeavour, Sir, is to frame a new Constitution on the basis of the maximum possible consensus. The ascertainment of the public view through the Public Representations Committee, the public representations received otherwise, the functioning of the Steering Committee and the six Subcommittees on a multi-party basis and the assistance of the Experts have contributed to the emergence of a measure of consensus. A greater understanding and consensus is yet needed in respect of some other issues. This Debate in the Constitutional Assembly is meant to promote that. The views of different Members of the Steering Committee of different political parties have been set forth in the annexures to the main Report of the Steering Committee.

We, of the Tamil National Alliance, substantially represent the views of  one of the main parties to the  Conflict, the Tamil people of the North East who were the worst affected by the Conflict. The Tamil people of the North East have been absolutely  clear in regard to the manner and  mode of power sharing, particularly in the North East, during more than the past 60 years, quite definitely, since 1956. They have advocated a federal arrangement within a united undivided country in a united Tamil-speaking North Eastern Region, comprising of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, both of which are predominantly Tamil-speaking, and all districts therein, in both the North and the East, all of which are also predominantly Tamil-speaking. When a demand for separation was first raised, the Federal Party opposed it.

I want to refer to the Election Manifesto of the Federal Party in 1970, which very categorically stated the following on the question of separation. 

In our written Election Manifesto we stated this:

“The division of the country in any form would be beneficial neither to the country nor to the Tamil Speaking people. 

Hence we appeal to the Tamil speaking people, not to heed, not to lend their support to any political movement that advocates the bifurcation of the country.”

This is what the Federal Party said. “Separation is not good for the country, it is not good for the Tamil people and we want the Tamil people of this country to oppose any candidate who espouses separatism.”

Prof. Sundaralingam lost his deposit. Mr. Navaratnam also lost his deposit.

So, we were never demanding separation. When proceedings commenced after the General Elections in 1970 for the enactment of the 1972 Constitution,  the Federal Party participated in  the said proceedings and endeavoured to evolve an acceptable solution within a united undivided Sri Lanka. The failure to elicit a reasonable and balanced response from the Government was the cause for the situation getting worse.  All that happened after 1972 could have been averted if there was a reasonable and balanced  response in 1972  to the proposals of the Federal Party.  History has destined that the country and  all of us are in the same position, more than four and almost  five decades later, to  be quite exact 45 years later.  The Tamil National Alliance as a democratic party representing the Tamil people of the North East is committed to the democratic verdicts of the people delivered over the past sixty years. As a democratic party we are also committed to the evolution of substantial reasonable national consensus in regard to the evolution of a Constitution – the Supreme Law of the country. This, we think, is necessary in the national interest, and all  its people, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and all others.

In that spirit, Sir, we are willing to work towards a reasonable and acceptable consensus on all issues. We appeal to all irrespective of party or other affiliations to join in this national endeavour.

Before I conclude, Sir, I consider it necessary to refer to the spectre of violence, which regrettably has had an impact on political developments in the country after Independence. Violence was first unleashed against the Tamil people in 1956 and intermittently thereafter in 1958, 1961, 1977, 1983 and continuously since then. Violence was unleashed against the Tamil people whenever they made legitimate political demands. Violence was unleashed against the Tamil people long before the emergence of the LTTE. Over one million five hundred thousand – 1,500,000 – Tamils have fled this country and live in different parts of the world away form their own country with their families divided. This country has lost valuable talent in consequence.

Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the late Prime Minister, was compelled to tear up the Bandaranaike – Chelvanayakam Pact in 1957. He did so much against his will.  He was assassinated in 1959. A member of the clergy was convicted of that crime and yet another senior member of the clergy was convicted of conspiracy to commit that crime. Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was a visionary leader; the Bandaranaike – Chelvanayakam Pact was a genuine beginning by him to resolve the national question. He was not allowed to do so; he was not allowed to do what he wished. The country’s future would have been very different if he was able to implement what he wished.

I have the genuine fear, as indeed many others have, that if the national question is not amicably resolved early, there will be developments that will lead to further violence being unleashed against the Tamil people. More Tamil people would flee this country and the Tamil people’s political voice would be silenced. I want to pose the question to my Friends who oppose the new constitution-making process whether this is your agenda that you oppose a political solution only for this reason.

It cannot be disputed that the emergence of the LTTE was long after violence began to be unleashed against the Tamil people. Such violence and the failure of successive Governments to keep their commitments were the primary causes for the emergence of the LTTE.

You were able to win the support of all the important countries in the world to defeat the LTTE. You had India’s support, the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, the European Union and every country in the world supported you. The LTTE was banned in all those Countries. You made out to the world that the LTTE was an impediment to political resolution. You assured the world that there would be an acceptable resolution of the national question after the defeat of the LTTE. You have to ask yourselves whether you can abandon the said assurances and commitments that you made to the world. I can specifically refer to all those commitments, but I do not have the time, Sir. Sri Lanka knows very well that all the problems Sri Lanka has faced in the international arena, particularly since 2012, have been on account of your failure to meaningfully address the national question.

Things can only get worse; they cannot get any better if the same situation continues.

As a Sri Lankan, I have the right to ask everyone to be truthful to the country and to all our people. It would be a mistake to think that everyone can be deceived all the time. No one wants anything done behind the backs of the Sri Lankan people. Let us enact a constitution addressing the critical issues and seek the approval of the people at a Referendum. It is they who must make the final decision in the exercise of their sovereignty.

Thank you, Sir.

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  • 10
    4

    Excellent speech by a man who has seen it all. He has finally risen to the occasion as the intelligent, articulate Opposition Leader our country so badly needs. Rather than conceding that vital role to opportunistic, corrupt Rajapassa cronies. Who are desperate to grab back power, even by burning the nation, if they have to. Opposition leader has a critical task in countering false, racist propaganda by disgruntled members of the previous regime that is gaining momentum. Mr. Sambanthan must speak directly to reason and conscience of the Sinhalese Sri Lankans. Explain the truth and reassure them in words they understand. I believe, if fought together, this time we can win this battle. We can beat the narrow-minded and the power-hungry. We can re-gain our country for all our people.
    Cheers!

    • 1
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      Modaya Ben Hurling. Mr. Sambanthan Has mentioned Mahinda Rajapakse’s name severa Times, but the names of the horapalana team and the names of the bank robberm one who wanted to empty even the employee provident fund are mentioned only once. YOu are talkinga bout racism. What does your Tamil unversity students do in Yapanaya by beating sinhala students. How many sinhala universities did that. what does wigge has said in CT, just a few days ago. HE was taling about Sinhala people when even his two daughter in laws are sinhala. You say your co7ntry. If so, why don’t you ask the power devolution for the whole country, instead you ask only for the part that is dependant on artificial fertilizer and cow dung from the south. You say power hungry and narrow minded. How is running a castiest kingdom ina buddhist majority – country. YOu people are killing your. Remember Sambanthan was silent about two politicians sho supported that school girl killing. Remember the familuy committed suicide. YOu Tamils are silent. New york, a very rich province with a area of 25,000 sq.miles has a 19 million, one govt and two fedral politicians. North for 14 sq. KM, has 273000 population 38 provincial politicians and 14 in TNA. NEw york is self sufficient financially and they can buy Sri lanka. Sambanthan is asking money from the south which comes from the Sinhala women earning in the middle east. Sambanthan is also cheating to himself by not doing anything except writing crap articles all to become a statesman. what does he does as the official opposition. did he talk anything about the bank thieves most of whom are Tamils and non-buddhists.

    • 1
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      LOL stupid UNPer again. werent you living in Sri Lanka all these years. At least check tamilnet and see what this fellow was doing with LTTE

      • 2
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        Sach,
        What’s more important for you?
        1. Securing a peaceful & prosperous future for our country?
        2. Helping corrupt Mahinda Raja’s defeated band wagon?
        You are a little “traitor”, aren’t you?
        Cheers!

        • 0
          0

          1. The so called corrupt Mara did that once and the super idiot bank fraudester is reversing it

          2. Your UNP idiots had two years to prove any allegations, instead they showed they are bigger robbers

          And getting back to the comment, did you really think Sampandan never demanded separatism?

  • 6
    5

    ‘We Were Never Demanding Separation’
    Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group leader and Trincomalee MP, Mr.R.Sampanthan, said “The LTTE is participating in the peace talks with the government in Thailand as the sole representative of the Tamil people. LTTE has the strength and determination to work towards a just and durable solution to the Tamil national question.” Well that’s nice. Why should anyone believe otherwise?

    • 2
      1

      Paul

      Please note:

      “A Pakistani Naval ship is scheduled to arrive at Colombo port on a four-day visit from November 5 as a goodwill port call “

      “Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said today that Australia would gift three Stabicraft vessels to the Sri Lankan Coastguard.”

      “Indian naval ships Tir and Sujatha and the Indian Coast Guard ship Sarathi arrived at the Colombo port today on a goodwill and training visit.”

      “Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s hospital ship Peace Ark arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka on August 6 for a four-day technical stop. This is the first time that the Peace Ark has paid a visit to Sri Lanka. – 2017-08-07”

      “On 11 June, USS Lake Erie (CG-70) arrived in Colombo, where the ship was greeted by officials from the U.S. embassy. “

      “A Chinese naval fleet, left the Colombo Port for Pakistan on the morning of June 3, local time after a four-day friendly visit to Sri Lanka – 3 June 2017.”



      Paul
      It looks like awful lot of good from various navies.
      Do you know why?

      • 0
        2

        Why don’t you tell us, as you know it all.

  • 8
    2

    At this age, to marshal all the facts relating to the efforts made in the past to resolve this National Question, Hon.Sambandan has made a Statesmanlike presentation.
    One could see his style; Non Confrontational and appealing to the Good sense of those who matter for the resolution of the National Question!

    • 4
      4

      PLATO: Beggers and conmen are also very polite I suppose. what do you say ?

      • 1
        1

        Jimsofty the Dimwit

        “PLATO: Beggers and conmen are also very polite I suppose. what do you say ?”

        If so why aren’t you polite?

    • 3
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      Plato

      “Hon.Sambandan has made a Statesmanlike presentation.”

      Hang on, lets hear it from Dayan, HLD M, Malinda, Shenali Waduge, …………………… sach, Bloody Nuisance, Jimmy the dimwit, somass, Champa, Shenali, Srinathan.Gunaratnam, max the moron, ………………………………………………..

      • 2
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        Seriously NV, I am waiting for the speech of Hakim. I am still not sure which way their hat will tilt this time around. Any info?
        x
        By the way I am being vilified as a racist all the time by you for pleading with the Tamils ( Tamil speaking people ) to live in one country, equal in all respects with the right to live anywhere. Let us not create ethnic and religious hell holes. Federalism will only benefit the politicians. Tamils presently living within Sinhala majority will definitely face severe discrimination if land and police powers are granted to local politicos. Let Wingeshwaran move one pawn and see how it will be checkmated by other provinces while the Centre looking on as a powerless bystander.
        x
        Try to understand the predicament of the Sinhalese when not a single (YES, NOT A SINGLE) Tamil family is to move into the envisaged homeland. Such is the superiority of the Sinhala Buddhist society, quite contrary to your castigation them as fascists. Can you think of any other explanation?
        Soma

  • 6
    6

    Dear Propaganda Bile duct for LTTE: you never had the balls to say this when Prabakaran was your master and you were his fearful slave. If you told him to surrender none of the tamil innocents who were forcibly kept as human shields would have died. Yes you made some points. and that buffoon JRJ ruined it for democracy by kicking out the TULF from Parliament. But it was LTTE that murdered Amirthalingam. You are a minority in SL like how Chinese and Indians are a minority in Malaysia where they even have an official Religion: Islam. What are the laws that force you to the back of the bus like blacks were? You always had universal franchise. That is how it works no? There is no Black Eelam in USA although Negroes were treated far more harshly right?

    You cannot have the cake and eat it. When there are majorities there are minorities who still have to adjust. It is Eelam Tamil stubbornness not to integrate that is a problem. You refuse to accept Sinhalese in the North; while we accept you in the south. 1983 was a massacre carried out by UNP thugs and we will bear that curse forever. Vishwamithra should apologize for that on behalf of the UNP but he deflects and sidesteps. We are sorry but reality is Tamils refuse to accept Sinhalese to settle in the North while you feel you can go to Devundara to Hambantota. We will protect you and never allow another 1983. Reciprocate. If Eelam is to be given all tamils will have to emigrate out of Colombo.

  • 1
    3

    Allocation of money and other Central resources must be based on a formula based on population and NOT equal to all provinces. It must match the population fractions in each state.

    • 4
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      Athula the Hun


      ” It must match the population fractions in each state.”

      Well how about based on stupidity or criminality fraction as the norms since 1948?

      It would be too difficult for you to understand “need and development potential” basis. So forget it.

  • 0
    0

    Well said!

    One of the best speeches ever made in Parliament.

    We are proud to have leaders like Mr Sampanthan.

    I want everyone to study the speech word by word, fully and not in parts, assimilate and then internalize and then question if there is one and only then form your opinion!.

    This is only a humble request.

    Is it not possible for anyone even in the opposition to negotiate and arrive at a consensus.

    A great opportunity just round the corner!

    why not capture this opportunity?

    • 2
      0

      It is a great speech no doubt but will the Sinhala Modayass understand its meaning? It is like casting pearls before swine, these kavum gobbling Modayass will only trample it under their feet, and turn and tear it into pieces.

  • 1
    3

    The text of speech says that TNA leader by point of bargaining of power for Tamil homeland is that super sticks and vital & closed interest of their hegemonies. Our nation’s sovereignty not for sale ! We are longest democracy in Third world Nation.
    We committed democracy of political freedom that during Terrorism in South 1965 of JVP rise and Tamil Terrorism of LTTE in North. We were an unconditionally protected by representatives government of Democracy having common interest of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and other communities all over the Island.
    The our location of Sri lanka that vital sea-lane of Indian Ocean .By fighting all forms of terrorism and in creating strategically will give blanket stability to Indian Republic as well as to Sri lanka .
    And other World Nation trading safety is not only nation priority is the key to peace in Indian Ocean?

    TNA leader has to know that last 30 odd years LTTE terrorism after beginning the process of shedding the worst features of Terrorism legacy in South Asian and Indian Ocean has done irreparable damage to the whole Asian region.. The Indian Ocean by terrorism of Tamils has done that worst damages are NOT confined to Island, but it has extended other part of Globe that has not been an estimated by MP Sampatahn of TNA leader? .

    TNA has to play national politics role that instead of local politics of Tamil Homeland is not that duty and responsibility of leader of opposition.

  • 6
    4

    Athula,

    Wigneswaran became the NPC Chief Minister in 2013. Records show that the money allocated to NPC were not fully utilized and returned to Treasury. Of Rs 5,831 Million allocated by Government for North, the TNA Provincial Administration utilized only 25.17% up to Sep 30th 2014. This allocation of Rs.5,831 Million was the highest allocation of all the provinces in Sri Lanka. Yet TNA talks about not treating Tamils equally. Even if the Government gives money, Tamils do not know how to use that money. Yet, they are asking more power.

  • 4
    2

    One has to be honest.
    What was the Vaddukkoddai Resolution of 1976 about?
    It called for an independent state of Tamil Eelam.
    In the months preceding the adoption of the resolution the Revolutionary Communist Party led by Comrade Shan campaigned against the idea of a separate state. there were two famous public debates on the subject. The first between the MK Eelaventhan of the TULF and the SK Senthivel of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and the second between TULF MP V Tharmalingam and N Sanmugathasan of the Revolutionary Communist Party. There was no ambiguity on the part of the TULF. Fearing that such debates could undermine the Tamil Eelam resolution (especially after the exposure by the communists that the TULF had no plan at hand to achieve Tamil Eelam), Amithalingam proscribed participation of members of the TULF in such debates.
    *
    The TULF may not have been sincere about the Resolution.
    But the Tamil people took it seriously, especially the youth.
    Many Sinhalese took it seriously, and that added to prevailing anti-Tamil sentiments.
    If it was only a joke, it was an expensive joke and an apology was long overdue.
    If it was a mistake, it was an expensive mistake, and the TULF should have the honesty and courage to admit it, even decades too late.
    *
    What in fact did the TULF demand if it was not secession?
    Who is Mr Sampanthan trying to fool?

    • 2
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      SJ

      “Who is Mr Sampanthan trying to fool?”.

      You.
      The Vaddukoddai Resolution which was adopted on 14 May 1976 was dead on arrival in Pannakam.

      “If it was only a joke, it was an expensive joke and an apology was long overdue.”

      The Hindians had the last laugh.
      The weeping widow had nothing to do with the entire tragic comedy. You should have extracted a massive apology from her when she was alive.

    • 1
      0

      SJ,
      Many people have said that the Vaddukkodai declaration was more of a bargaining position, designed to placate the restless youth, not something that the TULF believed in its heart; this was evident when the TULF, having won the 1977 elections on the Vaddukkodai platform, was willing to start with the toothless District Development Councils, for which it faced flak from many youth leaders.

      I believe in recent years ITAK leaders have clarified that the Vaddukkodai resolution is no longer valid, despite the fact that they take flak from people like Gajen Ponnambalam on that.

      Nevertheless, if you are going to criticize Sampanthan on that point, then you should also talk about why he is calling some of the most depraved and racist leaders, on whose watch violent mobs were unleashed on innocent Tamils, as ‘outstanding’, ‘leaders of great stature’, ‘political giants’, etc.

      • 3
        1

        Dear Agnos
        The TNA did not give an impression of any kind of bargain when it made its call for secession.
        Comrade Shan challenged Tharmalingam in 1975: “Let us say that Tamil Eelam is the solution, what are your plans to achieve it?”. Tharmalinam responded with “That is our secret”. That decided who won the debate. But further public discussion was prohibited by Amirthalingam.
        *
        My complaint is that Sampanthan is telling a lie, a lie that cost many lives.
        Amirthalingam pushed hard for the Resolution and got SJVC to endorse it in public; and, after the Resolution, no democratic discussion was possible in the North on the subject.
        If the TNA did not mean secession, what was the purpose of the deception? Frankly, it was to get Tamil votes since all earlier claims had fallen flat after a series of disastrous political moves.
        *
        The DDCs were a bad face saving bargain by SJVC’s son-in-law and UNP loyalist AJ Wilson. He and Neelan Thiruchelvam sold it to the TNA, which knew that the DDCs had even less clout than an Urban Council.
        All of them pretended hard, but JRJ would not budge.
        The net outcome? The burning of the Jaffna Library!
        If Amirthalingam & Co could not realize that their game was over the day JRJ declared “If you want peace etc. etc.” they should not have been in politics.
        *
        On your other complaints I agree that he is not being honest. But none of them is a fraction as serious as the fundamental lie that I am complaining about, as it cost heavily to the Tamils and the whole country.

      • 2
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        Agnos

        Please just forget SJ for minute.

        Weeping widow and her merry men presided over a shrinking economy coupled with oil price hike, foreign exchange shortage, exchange control destroyed already established industries for lack of raw material and spare parts, tagflation, ….. increase in transport cost and food prices, …………………………. katta hakru, ………………… Weeping widow and her merry men wouldn’t give a damn about it. Unemployment, despair lead to youth revolt in the south as well as in the North.

        SJ is still in love with the weeping widow. As far as he is concerned Weeping Widow could do no wrong. As far as SJ is concerned TNA, TULF, UNP, FP, SJV Chelva, Amir, ……. Sam, ………………… caused for all the problem this country has been enduring in since 1948.

        They caused the tsunami, drought, Chernobyl disaster, flood, cyclone, ………………

        The weeping widow illegally extended the life of the parliament until 1977, almost by two years. SJ wouldn’t comment on her illegal activities.

    • 1
      0

      SJ,

      One more thing. By GDP, India today is roughly equal to or slightly behind UK, which is behind the US, China, Japan, Germany. By 2030, India is projected to leapfrog and have the third largest GDP. France, Italy and Russia are already behind.

      On a per-capita basis, China and India will continue to lag many Western countries. But India’s rise to be the world’s third ‘blackbox’ economy looks inevitable; if Sri Lankans don’t solve this ethnic problem on their own quickly enough, India will again intervene as a great economic power, something it wasn’t in 1987. Thoughtful people in SL should let go of their nationalistic bravado and look at the problem rationally.

      • 0
        1

        Dear Agnos
        I am not given to political forecasts.
        But I agree that we have to get our act together if we are to avoid the country becoming something like Shanghai in early 20th Century with several world powers possessing quarters.

    • 0
      0

      The TULFwas never serious about the Vaddukoddai Resolution. Mr. Amirthalingam was smarting from the resounding defeat in Vaddukoddai in the 1970 elections having lost to Mr. Thiagarajah..
      The standardisation policy which the Srimavo government had initiated coupled with the disgruntled break away body of Tamil Arasanga Eluthuvinigar Sangam from the GCSU was the support crutches that the TULF relied on to trigger an anti government tirade with boycotts and black flag demonstrations, shut downs and general dislocation of normalcy in the NE.
      The TULF always had a partiality for the UNP and had no sympathy for trade union solidarity.That is why it was not averse to weakening the GCSU. That process gradually gathered with school drop outs.
      Manavar Peravai was formed by certain progressive students but it was later hijacked by the TULF and school drop outs got inducted to indulge in acts of insubordination like defacing road sign posts and name boards that happened to have lettering in the official language. That process gradually escalated to causing sabotage and encouraging like wild cat strikes to burning passenger trains hartals shut downs and general dislocation all of which got excessive coverage in the venacular press and commercial radio. Whenever the culprits causing such wanton damage were caught and taken into custody they were virtually treated as heros and martyrs. That is how the seeds to sprout the LTTE and it’s other affiliates which were made to gather impetus aided by the insensitive thoughtless actions of those in government who held power like their successors now holding on the reins administrative power.
      The rest is history.

      • 0
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        Uthungan
        You are correct about the TULF not being serious about the Vaddukoddai Resolution. But it was a dangerous game that they were playing.
        There did not have the moral right to represent the Tamils in Parliament after abandoning the cause which was the basis of their election.
        They had opportunity to redeem themselves by distancing themselves from JRJ in 1980. But they were easily tempted by Wilson’s political brokering.
        The PA regime erred badly in several matters. On the national question, it failed to distinguish between the demands of the TULF (really FP) and the genuine grievances of the Tamil public. It never forgave the FP for bringing down the government in 1964 and joining the UNP-led ‘hath havula’ in 1965.

        • 0
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          Exactly. That is entirely correct.
          Let us put the April 1956 Sinhala Only Act aside for a moment.
          Every piece of progressive legislation by the government like the Paddy Lands Ceiling Act, the Act to set up the People’sBank and even the legislation to end the private monopoly of bus mudalalies to run the bus services and have the CTB manage the service was opposed by the FP voting with the UNP.
          Even the decision to nationalise the running of the Colombo Harbour and Trinco port was opposed similarly. That revealed it’s anti people bias.

  • 2
    4

    Excellent speech. unfortunately the oratory is wasted on the uneducated “representatives”of the majority community. Wonder if they understood a single word. perhaps they weer snoozing or playing with their mobile phone

    • 0
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      Neither the UNP, nor the SLFP, the two major political parties representing the Sinhalese, seem to have any capacity to ignore, resist or combat the politics of these small Sinhalese ultra-nationalist racist groups (including Buddhist monks). They are Scared of being branded as traitors to the majority Sinhalese-Buddhist nation? They are scared of losing the next election?
      http://sangam.org/sri-lankas-national-question-part-2/

  • 2
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    Mr. Sambanthan: Do you know wht Hogaana pokuna is ?. IF you know that we can agree to what you say.

    • 1
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      Jimsofty Dimwit

      “Do you know wht Hogaana pokuna is ?”

      Trinco Sam is fluent in Sinhala and Sinhalese have been voting this old codger for a long time.

      Have you seen හෝ ගානා පොකුණ, Singing Pond? If you haven’t would you kindly consider jumping into Kaludiya Pokuna (Dark Water Pond), perhaps the Nilavarai Bottomless Well?

  • 2
    3

    Mr. SAMBANTHAN: you yourself has proven that what you have written is not logical. Even english can not be yours. Some mistakes. Why you want to lie to the country for living ? All the sinhala politicians have proves that they are thieves bigger than those who did the great train robbery in Britain. They are just forcing to make them gentleman. They do not acknowledge they are white collar thieves. Why do you want to do the same thing ?

  • 3
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    Mr Sambanthan is the leader of the opposition, sitting on the opposite side of the government but gives all the support to the government. The real opposition is the Joint Opposition, the SLFP party being split into two.
    Mr.Sambanthan knows very well that in the interim report of steering committee for the New Constitution, which he was referring in his speech in parliament does not contain any of the demands put forward by the Tamil community or even the Manifesto of the TNA.
    Why does he go further and further to dupe the Tamil people in joining hands with the Sirisena regime? He knows very well this will be his last appearance and of the Trincomalee electorate in parliament He has to retire from politics. Therefore he has to curry favour with Sirsena and Ranil.
    Very lately President Sirisena has confirmed before the Prelate that the provincial councils would not be given the land and police powers. Mr.Sambanthan is aware of it.
    It is the foolery of the Tamil people and the divide among them, many politicians take mean advantage to better themselves in the name of the Tamil people.

  • 2
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    Is Dr Ranil Truthful…?……….

  • 2
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    Can anyone ask this single question?

    Does TNA today dump the Vadukkodai Resolution?

    • 1
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      sach the the stupid II

      “Does TNA today dump the Vadukkodai Resolution?”

      The Vattukottai Resolution was dead on arrival on 14 May 1976 in Pannakam .

    • 1
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      Never will. This is grand scale deception. They will stop this nonsense of ‘National question’ the day Sinhalese demand that ” If you want a separate homeland in the North East all Tamils (Tamil speaking people) in the rest of the island should move there. Choose between a homeland OR the right to live anywhere.
      Soma

      • 1
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        somass

        Is this the only grand scale deception since 1948?
        Come on.

  • 2
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    “Sinhalese Won’t Give Anything, We Must Try To Obtain Our Rights Under International Laws:” Wigneswaran

    Coming colours!

  • 2
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    Vellala Party Leader Sampathar is not moving to Killinochchi…… Right….
    .Of course Samapathar is not going to separate………But I am not sure about the Apprentice Abraham…..
    Colombo Port City is now owned by the Vellala Tamils and the Wahahis with the Anglicans and a few UNP pension brigade ….. Sorry the Gray Army………
    With Dr Ranil’s ETCA, Indians will replace even the few Sinhala Buddhists left….
    Once the Army is cleared from the North and the East, all that Land which Sampathar reckons is his, will be bought by Suren Surendran and his financiers with the USD 4 Billion which the FM Mr Mangala is bragging about………….
    Dr Ranil sold 35.000 Acres of our Hambanatota Land for USD 1.5 Billion..
    Just imagine how much Land Vellalas can buy out right freehold , with the ex LTTE Diaspora kitty with 4 Billion….
    And enough will be left to open SAITMs………..
    And no need to spend on Security Guards as everything will be cool , under the TNA Police which reports to Mr Wigneswaran…
    Then train Doctors , Engineers, and IT personnel and send them to Colombo Port City to work alongside Hindians………
    Our Sinhala Buddhists will be pushed into the Favelas gradually , even in the South ………….
    And create the same Social Land Scape which Soulsburies operated under,.. when they wrote the Mahavamsa Rule Book……..
    I don’t know about their Truthfulness, but Dr Ranil , Sambandan , Abraham and the rest of the Yahapalana Gang are not stupid………

    • 1
      1

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “With Dr Ranil’s ETCA, Indians will replace even the few Sinhala Buddhists left…”

      Good, let the lazy racists stay at home, which means less pollution in the work environment. Whatever increase in nation’s productivity by employing hard working skilled foreigners is more than sufficient to keep the lazy Sinhala/Buddhist fascists at home, by paying a “Guaranteed minimum income”.

    • 1
      1

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera
      _
      “Our Sinhala Buddhists will be pushed into the Favelas gradually , even in the South “

      Isn’t it what the Sinhala/Buddhist fascists wish for Sinhalese and Buddhists, a Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto?

    • 1
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      KAS,
      These b****** who promoted LTTE as the sole representatives of Tamils are now on a grand tour of deception. These crooks will stop this nonsense of ” National Question” only the day Sinhalese demand in one voice ” The moment you define the contours of a Tamil Homeland the rest of the island exclusively becomes Sinhala Homeland. Choose between a separate homeland OR the right to anywhere as equal citizens. If you choose a separate homeland all Tamils (Tamil speaking people, including those who practise Islam and those arrived during the British) presently living outside that homeland should move there. Those who refuse to move will be treated as second class citizens.”
      Soma

  • 1
    0

    Lack of opportunities, chronic under-development, ethnic gaps due to not understanding each other etc are recipes for disaster around the world. Not sure how it can be bridged. I thought funds were given under devolution to the Provinicial governments. Are there too many bureaucracies and redundant ministries at Provincial and National levels and is that why nothing gets done? Surely how many ministers does the Centre- or the Provinces need? Understandably with lack of education, and management experience and even corporate experience Sri Lanka keeps voting for “Apey ekkena” whether is Muslim, Tamil or Sinhalese and none of these people are competent to govern even their own kitchens leave alone a nation. Thus, it becomes important to have a strong civil-service no? I think intelligent people like CM Wigneswaran are valuable but what is the use of people who have not even passed their O Levels having control over millions of public funds? The Central Government of India has 27 Cabinet Ministers and 48 State Ministers including those who are straight independent and others working under the Cabinet Minister(population 1.32 billion). UK has a PM and 21 Ministers(population 65.6 million). US at Federal level approximately 15(Population 320 Million); US is different in the sense they are cabinet secretaries. States have very few Officials reporting directly to the Governors.

    So why this utter waste of money maintaining so many privileged people who get all sorts of perks?
    I do have a question to Hon Sambandan. Sir how on earth do you think you can be the Leader of the Opposition when you do not have even half the number of MPs that the MR group has? And if you are truly a Leader of the Opposition then you MUST represent everyone in the country; or otherwise quit and let the Speaker decide who has them moral authority to be the real Parliamentary Opposition even if we don’t like it or like them. Simple fact. I support local level budgets.

    • 1
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      Mano Ratwatte,

      You do not seem to understand a simple logic! The present government is a fusion of the two main parties. MR is still a member of the SLFP; technically, he is part of the government. Do you get it? Hence, the next largest party is TNA and Sam is the leader of that party!

      Sampanthan as the Opposition leader and as the leader of TNA is endeavouring to resolve the national question that will benefit the whole nation. What aspects of this endeavour you do not understand? Are you one of those Sinhalese who is secular and nice on the outside but harbours deep-rooted chauvinism in side? If you are, you are not doing very well masking it!

    • 0
      0

      I do have a question to Hon Sambandan. Sir how on earth do you think you can be the Leader of the Opposition when you do not have even half the number of MPs that the MR group has?”

      I do not know why you are asking that question from Sampanthar when it was decided by Sinhala Chauvinist national unity rulers of the Joint Comedians and Yahapalanaya have jointly decided. Practically and lawfully Joint Comedians are in Yahapalanaya, much more than, all these Justice Minister Deal was in it.
      This how the Sinhala Royalty play the game of pinching the child and rocking the cradle. Your intention of asking this question from TNA, probably
      is stemming from the interest of the Sinhala Royals of putting the finishing touch to the game they play.
      On the other hand if you really didn’t know the Answer: When Ex State Secretary John Kerry got involved, he was told the Lankawe problem is the political interest of the UNP-SLFP split, is preventing the Tamils to live peacefully. So he forcefully merged SLFP and UNP and prevented they taking opposing seats. This was unexpected to UNP, SLFP Duo because they have to allow something to Tamils as they are united. So SLFP-UNP appointed TNA as the opposition and they created a new identity Yahapalanaya – Joint Comedy ID to oppose anything the Tamils can get. But they all are well united or even in competition in selling the land to China, which of cause not Sampanthar’s interest to oppose.

      UPFA is is in Yahapalanaya Pact. Joint Comedians presidents Dinesh has only two elected seats under MEP. Are you a step brother of Wimal to ask JC chairman Dinesh to lead the opposition? GLP never wants to leads anything but to follow who threaten him. Whom do you want lead opposition. The one I think of to lead oppositions is Geetha, Even for that SC has put a road block. One bit two shy. The brothers out of the game. Like you, they won’t give up the US properties!

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    Mr. Sambanthan: You praise SWRD here. for me the reality is, in experienced SWRD, because he was power hungary he and he wanted to above DS, he promised fededral when the British gave Tamils nothing. No recogniztion what so ever. It is the dumb SWRD who screwed it up. He did not submit, as I know, but he talked about the Swabasha act. but, he did not do what he said. Because some how he wanted power. It is the same thing happening now. YOu got what the INdian govt gave even though 13th amendment a disaster to you Tamils. The way you tamils talk Tribalism, police and land pwoers are a bomb wating to explode. Anyway, Western agencies are giving grants to sri lanka to promote it. Even recently, millinium corporation (ICA = Church + George Zorros- he is food at financial ambushes to manipulate currency). so, they have plans for you Tamils. Probably who knows Tamil women get married to wahite folks. —- Other than that Provincial councils should not be higher than municipalities. Anyway, the 13th amendment workd for sinhala people. govt should abolish provincial councils in the south.

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    Beware! Tiger is coming in sheep’s cloth.

    Tiger might change the forest but not the stripes.

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    Lofty statements but not so lofty actions. If this man has any shame or credibility left he should not hold leader of the opposition post in parliament. He DOES NOT command the trust of the majority of the opposition. He should immediately resign even at this late stage and request speaker to appoint a MP who commands trust of the majority of opposition MPs. That is adherence to democracy, justice and fair play.

    Will not talk about his sordid role in promoting fascist, separatist, mono ethnic military agenda of LTTE and ethnic cleansing of the North.

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    Sambandan quotes MR thus;

    “The unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country must be preserved. This cannot be open to bargain.”

    No convincing argument is available to demonstrate how the “Singapore Principles” based new constitution could guarantee territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country. In fact it has been bargained away to please separatists who helped bringing the majarapalanaya junta to power. Current exercise is pure payback.

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    Sambandan further quotes MR, thus:

    “Our objective must be to develop a just settlement within an undivided Sri Lanka. Each party represented here has its own solutions to the national question. We will discuss and synthesize these different approaches and develop our own Sri Lankan model.”

    How can “Singapore Principles” designed by diaspora LTTE financiers together with South African arms dealers be classified as “our own Sri Lanka model” as Sambandan tries to desperately claim?

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    When Sambandan endorsed LTTE as the “sole representative of Tamils”, weren’t he endorsing separation? Is the old fellow suffering from dementia/amnesia?

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    Mr Sampanthan says “the Tamil community and they have a very legitimate desire, as anybody would, to be able to control their own lives, to rule their own destinies and to govern themselves in their homeland, in the areas they’ve traditionally inhabited” Is it only the North and the Northeast? what about Wellawatte? What about the Tamils living in the rest of the country as the majority of the Tamil community live out side North and Northeast? It would lead to Tamils migrating to the Northern areas and the other communities moving out of these areas.. This would lead to separatism.
    Should not the homeland be Sri Lanka rather than a province? The Sinhalese and the Muslims never refer to their province as homeland why? Governing themselves in a separate province based on ethnicity will also lead to separatism.
    The government should resolve the issues that the Tamils have and find a lasting solution for all communities without letting ethnic groups to govern their own province which will not be palatable to other ethnic groups living in their province..

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      Ruwan

      “Governing themselves in a separate province based on ethnicity will also lead to separatism.”

      Leave the worrying to the Hindians. Without their consent there won’t be a Separate state in this island. They stopped one in 2009 they will stop it again in the future if necessary.

      If for some stupid strategic reasons Hindia decide to calve out a separate country there is nothing could the little islander, including SJ do.

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    “1.3 recognizing that each ethnic group has a distinct cultural and linguistic identity which has to be carefully nurtured”

    This is where I fundamentally differ.
    My ambition is to see it replaced it with something to the effect:
    ” Derecognizing that each ethnic group has a distinct cultural and linguistic identity which has to be gradually phased out and recognizing that Culture, religion and ethnicity are a matter for the individual out side the purview of law.”
    How is our law going to recognize Wingeswaran’s grand children I wonder?
    Would Samapanthan say the same thing in regard to the caste differences in the Tamil society and prevailing discrimination:
    “recognizing that each caste has a distinct social identity which has to be carefully nurtured”
    Or would he put his mouth into my expression:
    “” Derecognizing that each caste has a distinct social identity which has to be gradually phased out and discrimination on this basis punishable by law”
    Now language is altogether a different issue. Sri Lankans can be divided into two groups – those who use Tamil as their main medium of communication and those who use Sinhala as their main medium of communication. it must be acknowledged that at present those who use Tamil are handicapped in interacting with Administrative and Law enforcement machinery. No expense should be spared in alleviating this serious difficulty. At the police station, court of law or an administrative unit one should not be asked about the ethnicity or religion of the individual (as is the case at present) but asked ” what is the language you are most comfortable with?” with the view of organizing translation arrangements if necessary.

    Soma

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    The former head of the political wing of the LTTE has delivered his usual agenda in a slightly different combination of words. He is demanding what was promised in exchange of Tamil votes in 2015 elections. Note how he is totally silent on the issue of Tamils(Tamil speaking people) living outside North and East – how are they going to be benefited by Federal division?
    Soma

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      somass

      Apart from your paranoia, is there any other valid rational material reason for your opposition to Federal state?

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    Nothing in what no less a person than Sampanthan has said is no further from the truth. It is an excellent record of facts to be preserved for posterity. Bensen

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    Itis Because of Stupid and power hungry Politicians such as SWRD Bandaranaike Tamils have federal system. A storong visionary politicians instead would have given equal status in sinhale and not anything which says that there are a separate group called Tamils. Even Mahinda Rajapakse was only thuggish and was heavily corupt and did not know what to do. Even now what he is doing and if he comes what he will be doing the samething. Setting up of his family dynasty which has proved they have amssed illgotten wealth. Most probably, they will over come it incessantly postponing the court case. that is sri lanka’s justice system.News says even Sajin Vass gunawardane won’t be prosecuted. IT looks the new justice minister has given the order to the deputy AG not to prosecute Sajin Vass. That is Sri lanka We know. It is uninhabitable for people who think.

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    Sampanthan eschewed ‘separation’. He has opponents among the Lankan minorities.
    The opposition to Sampanthan among the Lankan majority is substantial.
    One wonders as to who is really interested in separation. The BBS inspired ‘Buddhist-Sinhala Only Lanka’ is romantic but only while it lasts.

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