7 December, 2021

Blog

Will President Rajapaksa Expand Horizons For The Tamil People?

By Neville Jayaweera

Neville Jayaweera

Expanding Horizons

Prime Minister S.W.R.D .Bandaranaike (SWRD) expanded the horizons of the Sinhala people in 1956 but simultaneously drew in the horizons of the Tamils and diminished them as a people.

For nearly 60 years thereafter, amidst bloodshed and tears, Sri Lanka has been trying to restore the balance but has not got it right yet.

Apart from the tentative attempts of SWRD (BC Pact of 1958) of Dudley Senanayake (DC Agreement of 1965) JR’s Accord with India (13th Amendment 1987) and CBK’s valiant efforts in 1995, 1997 and 2000, the first effective initiative at restoring the balance has been President Rajapaksa’s decision to call for elections under the 13th Amendment of 1987 and set up the Northern Provincial Council (NPC).

Almost 50 years ago to the day, when I was Government Agent of Jaffna (1963-1966) at a person to person interview I had with the Prime Minister Mrs Sirima Bandaranaike at Temple Trees (but attended by her formidable Perm. Sec. Mr. N.Q.Dias) I asked her, “Madame, don’t you think that we should start healing the wounds inflicted on the Tamil people”. I was meeting her to sort out one of many crises that kept confronting me from the time I took over as GA in August 1963. The ensuing discussion is fully reproduced in my memoirs, culled from the diaries I was maintaining throughout my tenure as GA of several districts, and it should appear in the book stores early next year.

Contrary to my expectations, Mrs Bandaranaike not only responded fully to my pleas for justice for the Tamil people, but after an hour long discussion, to Mr N.Q.Dias’s absolute dismay, agreed to my suspending the implementation of the Sinhala Only policy throughout the Jaffna district, provided I did not make a fanfare about it, and provided I did not ask for any confirmation in writing. (Mrs B of the 1960s was a very different lady from the Mrs B of the 1970s)

As requested by the PM, without making any public announcement, I simply let the Official Language Act lapse throughout the Jaffna district. In the event, not a single birth certificate, nor a death certificate, nor a marriage certificate, nor an invoice or receipt, nor any letter, was issued to anyone in the Jaffna district from any government office in the district, except in the language of the subject’s choice. Eventually, my unilateral initiative to launch a three-language policy for the administration of the Jaffna district was followed meticulously by all the GA’s who succeeded me until it passed into law for the whole country in 1987 through the 13th Amendment.

Now in my 84th year, I am asking President Mahinda Rajapaksa the same question that I put to Mrs Bandaranaike 50 years ago –

“Excellency! Don’t you think that you should finally heal the wounds inflicted on the Tamil people and effect a total reconciliation? Even seven years into your administration, your support amongst the Sinhala people seems intact and no other head of government is ever likely in the foreseeable future to have the same support among the Sinhala people as you still have. Why don’t you convert that support base into a springboard for putting through painful but long overdue measures and finally raise a new nation?

“Your decision to hold an election to the Northern Province is heroic and path-breaking, but you have yet far to go.

“Just as much as people are in awe of your military victory over separatism and of your many grandiose public works in concrete and asphalt, you must also be aware that there are many charges against your regime. Elevating corruption to the level of an industry, fostering the culture of impunity, the horrendous misuse of official facilities and privileges, human rights violations and the persecution of journalists are just a few of those charges. I am not in a position either to confirm or refute these charges, but I am as aware as you are, that they are being made widely, and increasingly loudly, both at home and abroad.

“All that that notwithstanding, if you will do whatever it takes, even invoking Article 86 of the Constitution, finally to heal the wounds inflicted on the Tamil people and integrate them fully into the nation, your place in history will have been secured”.

Now, let us see to what extent President Rajapaksa’s heroic initiative to set up the NPC has expanded horizons for the Tamil people and restored the balance, and what yet needs to be done.

Does the 13th Amendment expand horizons for the Tamil people?

To expand horizons for the Tamil people must mean, at the least, delegating to them through a constitutional device, power to order their own affairs, consistent with the ultimate sovereignty of the nation.

Clearly, the 13th Amendment does not do that, because that was not its purpose and it was not driven by an ideological commitment to sharing power. Rather, it was drafted primarily as a mechanism to keep the Tamils in line and to that end it reinforces control rather than share power.

The fragmenting of the subjects into three lists – the Provincial Council List (PCL), the Concurrent List (CL) and the Reserved List (RL) makes coherent policy making and cohesive administration a nightmare. In any conflict between the Centre and the PC concerning the scope of any subject within the three Lists, the centre will always have its way by simply going to Parliament and getting it to declare “National Policy” in respect of the subject in dispute. Therefore, under the clauses of the Amendment it will be possible for a strong central bureaucracy in Colombo continuously to frustrate a PC and reduce it to a zombie.

If the absurdity of this mechanism has not been shown up hitherto, it is only because over the past 25 years the other seven Provinces have been merely gravy trains, content to follow in the wake of the ruling government.

When one looks at the background to the 13th Amendment, the subterfuge is entirely understandable. The driving purpose was to persuade the Tamil militants to call off their armed rebellion rather than to provide space for sharing power.

It was natural therefore that for the past 26 years all Tamil groups have remained pessimistic about the adequacy of the Amendment and they have all been vociferous that the Amendment does not meet their aspirations. Therefore I think that there is an urgent need to rethink the scope of the Amendment.

However, as an interim measure the President can at least abolish the Concurrent List of the NPC and transfer all of the subjects in it to the Council. Such an initiative will give the NPC a greater sense of involvement in government and cause the current discontent to subside.

Does 13th Amendment provide an opportunity for development?

However, looking at the issue from another perspective, in truth, the 13th Amendment does ( repeat does ) provide considerable space for the NPC to bring a range of benefits to its people and the TNA should look on the currently elected Council, however restricted in power, as an important first step in an incremental process.

The TNA must be realistic. Emerging from a background of 30 years of attempted separatism, the Sinhala people are still deeply suspicious and are not likely to acquiesce in a full blown autonomy for the Tamil people even within a sovereign Sri Lanka. Therefore agitation will only further aggravate that suspicion. Rather, I think that the TNA should first get on with setting up a viable Provincial Council and showcase it as a model of efficiency and development for the whole of Sri Lanka, and I am sure the Chief Minister Wigneswaran can do that.

The NPC has two enormous resources. Firstly, its people! The Tamils of Sri Lanka can match any community anywhere in the world for intelligence, industry and resilience. (I speak with considerable hands-on experience across the world) Secondly, it has in the Tamil diaspora an untapped resource of enormous magnitude. The diaspora has not only vast reserves of disposable capital but also has highly trained technology skills among its members.

What Chief Minster Wigneswaran can do is to siphon this capital and skills into the Northern Province and within a decade or so the NPC tail will be wagging the SL body. It happened in Scotland after the Scots had been utterly vanquished by the English at Culloden in 1745. The Scots did not retreat into the hills and sulk but simply rolled up their sleeves and got down to work, and within 50 years had taken over the commanding heights of the British economy. The Tamils who share many traits with the Scots can do likewise in Sri Lanka!

Promises given by President Rajapaksa

When one looks at the promises President Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) has given to the Tamil people, to India, to the International Community (IC), again and again, that short of jeopardising the country’s sovereignty he will go all the way to devolve power, one feels optimistic that at last we may be on the threshold of expanding the horizons of the Tamil people. The fact that he has been the first among the Sri Lankan Heads of Government to call for elections to the NPC is itself reason to surmise that his commitment to devolution is sincere.

Having appointed two committees, the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) and an Experts Committee, specifically charged with submitting plans for solving the National Question, President Rajapaksa unfolded his vision to them in the following terms.

He assured them that he will explore all attempts to solve the National Question and said that rather than imposing a solution himself, would ask the two committees to come up with a solution.

He said that he was of the view that 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, he said.

In general terms, he emphasised as a matter of urgency the need to devolve power to the regions and to enable people to take charge of their own destiny. He said he was willing to stretch to the very limit any solution proposed by the two committees, without sacrificing the sovereignty of the country.

Brave and most heart warming words!

The horns of President Rajapaksa’s dilemma

Now however, Rajapaksa is caught on the horns of the same classic dilemma on which SWRD in 1958, Dudley in 1967, JR in 1987, and CBK in 2000, were impaled. Individually they were all liberal minded, forward looking leaders, and had they not been stymied by the Sinhala supremacist Southern consciousness would have solved the National Question with justice towards all.

Rajapaksa’s case is even more difficult. No other leader of Sri Lanka had his roots so deeply embedded in the heroic Ruhuna narrative as he, and it is therefore natural that he feels that he has to keep tryst with that tradition. On the other hand, he must also see that he is no longer a local chieftain but the leader of a nation comprised of different races, different religions and different cultures and his paramount responsibility must be towards the nation than to the local tradition.

How can Rajapaksa make the transition from being a great local chieftain to being a great national leader and statesman? Obviously the transition must first be made in his own consciousness before it can manifest through constitutional structures. I have never known President Rajapaksa personally, but over the years I have seen him trying to make that transition in consciousness, and one can say that seven years into his term as the President he may now be poised to be a statesman rather than continue as a petty local chieftain.

Can Rajapaksa transform the consciousness of his people?

One is tempted to say that either another Constituent Assembly or invoking Article 86 might be the way out of the impasse, but what guarantees will the Tamils have that another Constituent Assembly will not do to them exactly what Mrs. Bandaranaike’s Constituent Assembly did to them in 1972 or that a verdict under Article 86 will go in their favour? After all, every Constituent Assembly will have a Sinhala majority and will merely follow the contours of the Parliament. Likewise Article 86 can only reproduce the majoritarian consciousness. Therefore, what is needed is not more constitutional devices but a complete turnaround of the supremacist Sinhala consciousness which alas, short of the Second Coming, can never happen through the historical process.

However, a charismatic leader gifted with a higher vision can leap frog the consciousness of a whole nation more effectively than a long drawn historical process. Mahatma Gandhi did it in India, Martin Luther King in America and Mandela in South Africa.

Can Mahinda Rajapaksa step up to fill the role of catalyst and change agent in Sri Lanka? Rather than merely articulate the consciousness that gave rise to him, which any third rate politician can do, can President Rajapaksa rise above his conditioning and drawing from a higher set of values, transform the consciousness of his people?

Only President Rajapaksa himself personally can find a way out of this impasse, but he has to lay hold of that higher vision and under Article 86 lead a campaign for a radical change in the consciousness of his people.

Recent elections (2013) have shown that, even after being in power for over seven years, Rajapaksa can still command more than 58% support in the country, outside the NPC. In all my 84 years I have yet to see a political leader either in Sri Lanka or abroad who has mastered the skills of managing individuals as well as the political landscape, as brilliantly as Rajapaksa has. Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, he has drawn unto himself leading members from the Opposition, plus an assortment of intellectuals, academics, professionals, business magnates, journalists and even religious dignitaries and got them to jump through hoops at his behest. Should he ever be in risk of losing his 2/3rd majority in Parliament he can give portfolios to all the remaining MPs of his government and that will take care of that!

Given such extraordinary skills at political manipulation I feel that given the will and a higher vision, he can navigate his way to a solution to the National Question, using Article 86 as the vehicle.

The long term benefits of JRJ’s Mahaveli Diversion Project probably exceed those of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s roads and ports but not all of his predecessors’ achievements, and not even his own contributions towards infra structure growth, will match the benefits he can bestow on the country if he can finally solve the National Question. Only then will President Mahinda Rajapaksa win for himself the final accolade – a place in the Mahavamsa’s pantheon as “Mahinda Rajapaksa the Great”!!

I like to close this article by quoting from chapter nine of my own memoirs, written in 2008, six months before the collapse of the LTTE.

“More than the power it derives from an overwhelming superiority in numbers, what exalts any majority community, and endows it with a true greatness and moral authority, is its willingness to guarantee to all those other communities who lack the advantage of numbers, a status and dignity equal to its own, and never to let them feel marginalised or disadvantaged because they are fewer in number, or because they are different in race, colour or beliefs.

“Unless and until Sri Lanka can produce leaders who can realise that truth, and are strong enough to translate their understanding into policies, it will continue to be dismembered by conflict, long after the LTTE and Prabhakaran have passed into history”.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Is it only the people in the Over 80s Age group, who remember the time when Sri Lankans of all Ethnic Backgrounds lived amicably together? It is still possible given the Right Leadership!

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      Rationalist

      Wait until

      Dim Wit Jimmy, Hela, Navin, Ela Koall(?) Adhaya, Vibhusana, Dayan, Bandu, Irathina Valli, Nalin de Silva, Champika, BBS Rep, Ram, Chuti, Sarojini, Maveeran, Kali, Rama, Weerawansa, Ravi Perera, Mad Max, Banda BTF, GTF, LTTE rump, JVP, JHU, and others

      have their say on this article.

      Senguttuvan, Rev Devil, Gamini, Wickramasiri and other secularists with sanity intact, where are you people?

      Let us hear from you.

      • 1
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        Rajapakses are waiting to save their skins from the war crime allegations.

        Even with all the money they have amassed they have no place to go: They thought they nailed the tigers, now they find themselves nailed too.

        They are now riding a tiger from which they cannot dismount. They have to perpetuate their power till death: Hence all the anti-minority inciting though BBS and other cronies.

        I ask the wise old man Neville Jayaweera, do the Rajapakses have the intent or the luxury to think about the Tamils.

        Remember JR saying in 1983: This is not the time for us to thinks about Tamils or their opinions; Rajapakses are in a similar situation for an entirely different reason – for their own survival.

        Did they have to massacre the innocent Tamils in 2009? They should have been happy just defeating the Tigers. Why did they have to take revenge on innocent Tamils?

        It has become a noose around their necks, sooner they go to the Hague the better.

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          The defeated Tamil terrorists are so bankrupt that now they have turned to ole grandpa farts in the caliber of Neville,Brian S,Elmo to come up with too good to be fantasy yarns!

          • 1
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            Hi Animal Max,

            How are you doing in the Jungle

            Sinhabahu or (“Lion-arms”), was the son of a Vanga princess and a lion. He killed his father and became king of Vanga. His son Vijaya would emigrate to Lanka and become the progenitor of the Sinhala people.

    • 0
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      It is indeed !

  • 0
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    Reading Neville Jayaweera once again evincing such erudition after quite a while is indeed refreshing. His humour such as comparing Rajapaksa to the Pied piper of Hamelin,has not left him. I look forward to reading his memoirs to be released very soon. With best wishes to him.Bensen

  • 0
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    Mr. Jayaweera,

    Well said. You have laid out a challenge to President Rajapakse to do right by this country and all her peoples. Can he? Would he? Do the paths he has taken to circumvent constutional principles , give hope that he can re-engineer the 13th amendment or even the present mice eaten constitution? I hope he can yet. I had hoped that he would at one time- soon after May’2009.

    I like your words, ” Power to order their affairs”.much better that words like ‘ Internal self- determination’ . Justice Wigneswaran, Mr. Sumanthiran and Mr. Austin Fernando, please take note. The objective transcends the type of words we tend to use and are most times counterproductive.

    Further, I look forward to reading you diaries in book form. Your are part of our history that ibelongs to a generation that is about to recede from our horizon, as much as Mr. Austin Fernando is. Your insights on Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike and N,Q. Dias are revealing. She could have done what required and had the opportunity too, but did not. She made things worse!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      One episode of his memoirs on 1962 coup is already in circulation via e-mail. Thefew remaining Civil Servants of his era say that he has fabricated an interview with the late Sir John Kotelawala in London to hide the “direct christian involvement” in the coup.

    • 0
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      Gomin Dayasiri PC, is the son of N. Q. Dias.

      Dr.RN

  • 1
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    The President is ‘poised to be a statesman rather than a petty local chieftan’. Excellent piece. I hope the President reads this and makes the correct choices. There’s still time.

  • 1
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    I was a student in Jaffna (1963-1966) stayed very close to your Old Park Residence, opposite the Jaffna YMCA. I still vividly remember how the Jaffna people despise you, Srima, Basteds N Q Dias, Felix Dias. At last at 84 ” DAWN OF WISDOM”

    • 1
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      Dear Mr.jeyaweera

      I was a very young boy when I first heard your name as I then ( 1971)attended Jaffna St’John’s which was located very close to your previous residence in Jaffna. You were despised by the Jaffna people then but with hind sight it appears you have had an enlightenment at your old age. I still welcome your thought provoking writing on the subject.

      Your wisdom in coming out with this advice to Mahinda Rajapakse is “Better late than never”. God bless you.

  • 1
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    Tamil people are in Tamil Nadu.

    Rajafucksa has nothing to give to them. A few more dead bodies would be OK.

    • 0
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      chingalas are in shit lanka and the tamils live there want to wipe them out from the face of the earth.

    • 0
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      Hi Animal:

      Fat “Mama ” Fuk U Shima

      How are you doing in the Jungle

      Sinhabahu or (“Lion-arms”), was the son of a Vanga princess and a lion. He killed his father and became king of Vanga. His son Vijaya would emigrate to Lanka and become the progenitor of the Sinhala people.

  • 1
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    As long as the present cabal continues, making MR a STATESMAN is a far
    fetched idea. The mentality of his immediate supporters must be guaged,
    as MR is capablity is that of a fox, I am sorry to say. Four years
    period of a testing time is enough. The creation of NPC is not an
    action in good faith. He and the cabal have only one thing in mind – how to maintain the family dynasty by hook or rook & at any cost.

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    Yes Rajapakse will expand horizons.But threats and blackmail tactics will not workout.We all know how the defeated Tamil terrorists living abroad,corrupted Tamil Nadu politicians,$$merchants disguising as HR activists,INGOs,the likes of Milliband etc tried their best to save the mass murderer Prabakaran and his band of thugs in the guise of human rights.Rajapakse didn’t care a hoot about such threats.Things have not changed.Also pl note that it is not only a handful of Tamils from the north who are in the equation,but Tamils who are peacefully living in the rest of the island.No self determination crap.If it’s self determination,it’s got to be in Tamil Nadu.Rajapakse will never bow to threats and blackmail.He is prepared to talk with anyone with good intentions.But not the defeated Tamils living abroad,not the Tamil Nadu jokers,not foreigners.But only with the Tamils living in Srilanka.Once again repeat,no blackmail stuff.

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      Mad Max Silva

      “$$merchants disguising as HR activists”

      HR activist turned war criminal MR.

      Educate yourself with and update MR’s, HR activities:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlKn25ggk9Y

      Between 1987 and 1991 MR was a HR activist while his brother GR was digging earth to bury dead bodies in large numbers.

      I wonder which of the NGO’s bankrolled him to champion HR in those days.

      Was it Dayan’s NGO or Tamil Diaspora or both?

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        Stupid vedda,
        Your comments will be useful for kids fantasy stories.Well,the Tiger terror thugs got a full dose of our HR.If you need,you are more than welcome.Bugger off you fraudsters to Tamil Nadu.OOpps!then again you are mostly welcome to Nandikadal!Still fantasy dreaming,eh!Ealam,eh?Go in front of a mirror raise your stinking Vetti and face your backside to the mirror.There you will see Ealam in all it’s glory.

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          Max Silva

          I am not after your stupid Tamil/Sinhala Eelam. In fact my demand is very simple I want my ancestral island back. This island is rightfully ours. Your land is in North/South India.

          Please go back.

          You could have your Tamil/Sinhala war in your mother country India where you could continue your fighting peacefully.

    • 1
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      Max@,

      anyone who would closely study the recent incidents, MR would rather expand the horizon of his family circles. Not forgetting also those henchmen that would support Rajapskehs to abuse the power.

      • 0
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        So what?If you can’t take what we give you,bugger off to that stinking hell on earth,Tamil Nadu.

        • 0
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          With more than 2 lakh people killed in last 30 years by GOSL, Srilanka is worse than stinking hell on earth, may skull-lanka?

          • 0
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            Don’t forget the massive Indian support in those killings including the start they gave arms training and money.

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              NAK

              “Don’t forget the massive Indian support in those killings including the start they gave arms training and money.”

              Shouldn’t the Sri Lankan Sinhala/Buddhist state take the Hindians to ICC for arming and abetting terrorism in Sri Lanka between 1983 and 1987 and killing innocent Tamils by IPKF between 1987 and 1990?

              Don’t forget without India’s covert and overt support to Sri Lankan state MR would not have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity at such a scale, hence MR should now put the Hindians on the dock.

              What are you going to do about it?

              Take the Hindians to task.

              I will be right behind you.

              By the way Premadasa and his armed forces also armed and abetted terrorism by supporting LTTE. MR also paid cash in hand to VP for services rendered by him in subverting democratic elections.

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          Max Silva

          “If you can’t take what we give you,bugger off to that stinking hell on earth,Tamil Nadu.”

          Tamilnadu is your mother land too.

          When are you leaving?

    • 0
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      Hi Animal

      Max:

      Sinhabahu or (“Lion-arms”), was the son of a Vanga princess and a lion. He killed his father and became king of Vanga. His son Vijaya would emigrate to Lanka and become the progenitor of the Sinhala people.

  • 0
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    Nevil here is a former GA Jaffna. Looks like he had an evenful past. He may have inadvertanly opened the Jaffnaese caste Panadora’s box culminating in creating the LTTE.

    /*
    I would suggest that the storming of the Maviddapuram Temple in 1963 had consequences for the Tamil social structure, similar to the consequences that flowed from the storming of the Bastille in 1789 for the ancienne regime in France. It set in motion a social ground swell which, within two decades led to the emergence of the Non-Vellala underclass as a formidable political and military force which was to set the parameters for the politics of Sri Lanka for 4 whole decades to come.

    http://nevillejayaweera.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/into-cauldron-of-jaffna_4802.html
    */

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      Vibhushana

      Welcome back with your Vellala analysis.

      You know I was under the impression that the attempted coup of 1962 was a “Christian Coup” until I was guided to read Neville Jayaweera’s recollections of Sir John Kotelawala.

      It was indeed a Sinhala/Buddhist coup.

      Sinhala/Buddhism and democracy don’t mix.
      Tamil/Saivaism and democracy don’t mix.

      It is indeed a funny little world of the Kalathonies who were from North and South of India.

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        Sir John told a lot of tall tales and the tales he told Neville Jayaweera were some of the tallest. Unfortunately NJ has believed them all. If you really want to know about Religion and the 1963 coup you need not look further than ‘Coup Theories and Officers’ Motives – Donald Horowitz – Princeton University Press.

  • 0
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    The writer’s biased selection of word should not surprise anyone who has even an inkling about his mind set. He insinuates that SWRD Bandaranaike expanded the horizon of the Sinhala people at the expense of the Tamils. He seems to avoid the usual adjective, Bhuddhist for obvious personal reasons. Up until 1956 there was no horizon at all for the vast majority of the Sinhala Buddhist and Hindu Tamils. SWRD while striving to revive the lost heritage of the Sinhala people was also sensitive to the sentiments of the Tamil people and advocated the policy of reasonable use of the Tamil language . This man in his senility aught to be naïve attempting to influence the President claiming that he has convinced Mrs. Bandaranaike to suspend the implementation of the Language policy in the Northern District. This claim is highly deceptive because Mrs. Bandaranike would not have decided otherwise in keeping with the spirit of the principles of her late husband. In his attempt to fictionalize matters he writes that SWRD diminished the Tamils as people; the Language Bill was passed to replace English which was used by only around 6% of the people of the country. How then were the lot of Tamil people diminished? Besides, SWRD passed the Social Disabilities Act which enabled the discriminated segments of the Northern people the chance to dress and engage in their religious activities(hitherto denied to them by the Nothern oligarchy of the Vellalas). SWRD Bandaranaike’s reforms coincided also with the effects of free education and Swabasha policy of the state which rejuvenated the Tamils as a whole. How then can one say that SWRD ‘diminished the Tamils as a people’? This man aught to find better ways to please his God

  • 1
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    Mr.Neville Jayaweera

    I can Still remember the 5th April 1971 when you mustered the tiny Police Force that was available to quell the revolt in one day with minimum blood shed. You did bring the revolt under control.

    We need people of your calibre in the administrative Service. May a new generation be born with men of that Stature.

    The Saddest Moment in our Country’s recent History is to make Parliamentarian a salaried employee with pension rights. They have now learnt That the best Job in this Country is to be a Politician. As Justice (Retd) Vickneswaran recollected about a friends of his who got elected during his student days.

    Wish you many More years of Healthy Life and divine help to write Your Book. I look forward to it.

    Levi

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      Levi

      “You did bring the revolt under control.”

      At a cost of 18,000 innocent lives, this was only a conservative estimate.

      Indians were troops invited and entrusted with guarding key installation in and around Colombo. India also supplied 3 Russian made MIG 7s.

      These MIGs were used to bomb JVP’s Thora Bora caves in Ratnapura area.

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      Levi,

      Men of such stature are not born. They are nurtured and groomed. That process is dead in Sri Lanka. We make mice out of men and women from their formative years. We make criminals and rogues politicians and enthroned them at various levels as our card board Caessars.

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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        well said Dr. Narendran !

  • 0
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    Max, you have written a load of bull.

  • 1
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    An excellent article. We must remember HIs Excellency the President always returns a favour. The extremist sinhala Buddhists backed him from the start. They were the ones who spearheaded the recruitment of personnel and the boosting of morale. They organised seth pirith and bodhi pujas. They set up a network for intelligence gathering. They are responsible for the Peace we have now. We must remember that the JVP was eliminated by President Premadasa by setting up armed para military organisations. We are now supporting large scale buddhist infra structural development. A network of Missionary organisations are being swet up. The Buddha Sasana is being given the foremost place in Sri Lanka. Now is the time to separate the men from the boys. The president has an opportunity to become a world leader and bring fame and honour to Sri Lanka and Buddhism.The values of Buddhism and the example of the LOrd Buddha meditating between warring fractions to bring peace should be his strategy. Ethnic and Religious harmony should be restored. It is only then that the background for rapid development could be envisaged. The vast majority of Buddhist who back him want a stable and lasting peace in Sri Lanka.Education of the extremists on both sides is required. The sanctity of non violence should be observed. The first lady and the three sons who come from a multicultural background should be involved in the process. A team of faithful followers at the highest level should be set up. Let us show the world how buddhism brings lasting peace to the World. This would divert the vast resources of the MInistry of Defence to the rapid DEvelopment of our country.

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    Dear Neville Jeyaweera,

    I respect your words and understand your heart as a true statesman. However, I doubt that Mahinda Rajapakse has the qualities and characteristics to become a true statesman. He is more an actor rather than a true gentleman type politician. He is very selfish and opportunistic and always looking for short cuts and illegal methods to reach his objectives. His association and choices are with bad people (evils) and he uses violence as a method to keep his power. He doesn’t believe in moral values and true Buddhist teachings and you cannot trust a man like this caliber.

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    Time was when we had good governance; every man, woman and community lived under the protection of the law that enjoyed the confidence of the people; when there remained a welcome balance of educated and able Ministers who had the advise and assistance of forthright brilliant Civil Servants professionally trained in the art of fair governance – not the collusionist, bending mediocrities of today. Neville Jayaweera certainly was one of that splendid breed.

    “…. the subterfuge (13th Amendment) is entirely understandable. The driving purpose was to persuade the Tamil militants to call off their armed rebellion RATHER THAN to provide space for sharing power.

    It was natural therefore that for the past 26 years all Tamil groups have remained pessimistic about the adequacy of the Amendment and they have all been vociferous that the Amendment does not meet their aspirations. Therefore I think that there is an urgent need to rethink the scope of the Amendment…”

    Mr. Jayaweera makes bold to look at the issue that has divided for so long justly and fairly. It is the Southern political consciousness buoyed by visceral prejudice rather than wisdom and the right political judgement that are on the way. How much of fairness can one secure from violence-prone hordes like BBS and the various Ravayas that now claim they are the voice and consciousness of the Buddhist majority.

    Senguttuvan

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    Mr. Neville Jayaweera:

    Why did not you discuss this in relation to population statistics in different provinces of Sri Lanka ?

    You just state some gibberish in the past while omitting many important points that happened in the past.

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      Hi Animal.

      Jim Sooty

      Sinhabahu or (“Lion-arms”), was the son of a Vanga princess and a lion. He killed his father and became king of Vanga. His son Vijaya would emigrate to Lanka and become the progenitor of the Sinhala people.

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    Rajapaksa is so drunk with power and looted state wealth that he will not change his ways. He knows that his name is already in the history books for his achievement as the vanquisher of the LTTE (Tamils).

    He is not going to risk becoming a “statesman” by accommodating the tamils which will be seen and exploited by the Sinhala racists as treason. Rajapaksa will use his victory over the tamils as a trump card to win future elections and that’s what he cares about and not about wanting to become a statesman. Rajapaksa is a cunning Sinhala politician like all before him.

    Mr Jayaweera, the Sinhalese will always elect leaders who are opportunistic, corrupt, criminal and racist. Your letter is a well intentioned but vain attempt at talking sense into a totally senseless man.

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    why does this aryan look very black.

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    Appearing in the BBC on 13th August 2005, as the ‘former Mayor of Jaffna’ this bugger tried his very best to save LTTE. Putting on an artificial accent but looking more like an oily chettiar (a money-lending shark), bugger denied that the LTTE was behind the killing of Lakshman Kadirgamar. He added that it could be the work of rival Tamil rebels who were out to tarnish the name of the LTTE. All that that whitewashing was at a time when the international community was reacting sharply to LTTE’s heinous terrorist acts.

    For sometime before that this born-again Christian claimed that he had seen a vision like Constantine did and said like him that it made him convert to Christianity. New evangelist had been broadcasting this mystical vision and marketed himself as the new Christian guru of a Johannine cult. Neville Jayaweera must have told LTTE at the time ‘praise the Lord and kill the Sinhala Buddhists.’ He had no limit to his treachery to his country of birth.

    Now the traitor think he can become a double agent and get MR to do a hara-kiri. Traitor should know that Mahinda Rajapaksa need not follow his mystical vision and be a statesman to become Mahavamsa’s pantheon as “Mahinda Rajapaksa the Great.” Stupid should that MR is already a pantheon.

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      Rant of a demented Rajapaksa supporter. Mr Jayaweera is a highly respected former civil servant.

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        “Mr.Jayaweera is a highly respected former civil servant”
        Correction, was a highly respected former civil servant. Doesn’t seem to be the case any more. Any civil servant with the vast experience such as Mr.Jayaweera’s couldn’t be advocating what he is unless there is an ulterior motive. Banda above gives a clear motive and Chandra asks a very valid question in how can the Tamils be diminished by changing to Sinhala from English.

        Once again I ask,what about the Tamils living out side north?
        do they get their aspirations or grievances attended with what Mr.Jayaweera is suggesting.
        We see the Eelamists have jumped to praise the article, probably the future readership of the book by Mr.Jayaweera.

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          NAK,

          You are naked ( tired) man because you are talking rubbish.

          Tamils living out side north? do they get their aspirations or grievances attended with what Mr.Jayaweera is suggesting.

          Tamils living outside North have no aspirations as they are there to earn meagre living because you lot never developed the North. Now that we have a Northern Assembly and when enough power along the lines of Tamil Nadu has been devolved we will develop the North and all the Tamils in the South will return Home to Eelam.
          I know you are going to say that you will not allow the Tamils to develop the North and would want us to be your subjects. But we will get to the Promised Land mate Don’t you Worry.

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      Banda

      Very well said , thank you .We must always remain vigilant.

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    Banda

    Who was major of Jaffna?

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      Bunda is suffering from Alzheimer. Time to time, he changes his views.

      So, there is no point to add any inputs to his comments.

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    Mrs Selliah sells her stake i Lanka Tiles for LKR 576 Mil.

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    Why it is always the Sinhala Christians who are crying out loud for Tamils.

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      bec. they look @ the issue(s) RATIONALLY, Not, racially ! nuff, said

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    Very commendable article to read by intelligent people and not by the vilifying uneducated folks galore among CT commentators. Mr. Neville was a respectable civil servant of yesteryear. He has much to give the young people of SL who are not privi to the country ‘s political history in the 1930s , 1940s 1950 s and 1960s. We have to share the wisdom of such people without making a mockery of this article and many more articles appearing in the CT.

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      Is Sunila Mendia [Edited out]

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    There is much wisdom in what Neville Jayaweera has written. One can only hope that it seeps into the brains of the ruling brothers!

    Sengodan. M

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    I bet Jayaweera must be “healing the wounds inflicted on the Tamil people” with affiliates and the likes of Jaya, Karuna, Wyco, Nadmaran and co in an anti Sinhala- Buddhist evangelical seminary in Tamil Nadu these days.

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    Mr. Neville Jayaweera:
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, memories and suggestions.
    The obvious question that came to my mind is how this country has gone in the opposite direction while the country had intelligent and wise people like you serving the country. How? Perhaps, Even people in your caliber could not handle the rate of garbage accumulated from those days !!!!!
    Anyway, thanks again…
    Anura

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    http://transcurrents.com/tc/2009/01/why_sirimavo_refused_to_visit.html
    Why Sirimavo refused to visit Jaffna after 1964 cyclone By Neville Jayaweera, 18 January 2009:
    ”…. Building a consciousness of nationhood(or deseeya cintanaya) is not a responsibility that can be left to politicians and constitutional lawyers. It cannot be legislated, nor can it be secured through structural changes. Unlike a jathika cintanaya, whether Sinhala or Dhamila, which have roots reaching back over two thousand years, the seeds of a deseeya cintanaya have yet to be planted.
    It is pre-eminently an educational task, to be initiated at the level of our schools. ….”

    http://federalidea.com/fi/2008/06/the_13th_amendment_farce.html
    The 13th amendment ‘farce’ by Lal Wijenayake, 19 June 2008:
    ”The Sri Lankan state exists, if at all as a unit, due to the presence of the armed forces in the North & East of Sri Lanka. This is the reality that has to be accepted it we are to think of a viable political solution to the problem. Therefore, what is needed today is the restructuring of the Sri Lankan state incorporating the aspirations of the Tamil community. Nothing short of this can be a viable solution.

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    Such a serious issue as Jayaweera raises calls for all concerned to transcend individual interests and ego-entrenched debates. These will remain endlessly entangled until someone catches the higher vision that Jayaweera refers to and starts pulling upwards! This is exactly what Gandhi and Mandela did for their own nations and people. It calls for tremendous inner strength NOT to react to terrible acts, and to rise in consciousness to see the bigger picture and to pursue it. Jayaweera is urging President Rajapaksa to do exactly that.

    The President has the great advantage of a spiritual heritage that clearly shows that the only way to attain peace is to refrain from returning evil for evil, and to recognise the futility of interacting at the level of petty individual interests. The only solution is to rise above them.

    President Rajapaksa, please do not get caught up in the negative karma of the nation. You have a glorious and historic opportunity to lead your nation out of this impasse – to lay hold of that higher vision and, under Article 86, to lead a campaign for a radical change in the consciousness of your people.

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    Mr.Jeyaweera,

    Excellency! Don’t you think that you should finally heal the wounds inflicted on the Tamil people and effect a total reconciliation? Even seven years into your administration, your support amongst the Sinhala people seems intact and no other head of government is ever likely in the foreseeable future to have the same support among the Sinhala people as you still have. Why don’t you convert that support base into a springboard for putting through painful but long overdue measures and finally raise a new nation?

    “Your decision to hold an election to the Northern Province is heroic and path-breaking, but you have yet far to go.

    “Just as much as people are in awe of your military victory over separatism and of your many grandiose public works in concrete and asphalt, you must also be aware that there are many charges against your regime. Elevating corruption to the level of an industry, fostering the culture of impunity, the horrendous misuse of official facilities and privileges, human rights violations and the persecution of journalists are just a few of those charges. I am not in a position either to confirm or refute these charges, but I am as aware as you are, that they are being made widely, and increasingly loudly, both at home and abroad.

    “All that that notwithstanding, if you will do whatever it takes, even invoking Article 86 of the Constitution, finally to heal the wounds inflicted on the Tamil people and integrate them fully into the nation, your place in history will have been secured”.

    I take my hat off for your effort 50 years ago and let us be honest and admit it does not matter who is in power and they are neither able nor willing to deliver the Tamils Freedom Justice or Equality.
    It is 64 years since Independence and we are still arguing whether the Tamils need to have basic rights.

    1) Able– means they have to play the Race Card to win power because the Sinhalese Electorate is Racist.
    2) Willing– None of them and especially the Born Racist MR will ever willingly give the Tamils what we deserve.

    Sadly we have to get what we deserve through outside pressure and things are beginning to move.

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    Neville Jayaweera restores my hope in the Sinhala people

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