Implementation of 13th Amendment; wise or otherwise?
Posted on June 11th, 2010

Mario Perera, Kadawata

The President’s visit to India had many positive consequences in spite of the protests in the South Indian States. The signing of so many bi-lateral agreements goes to show that the two countries need each other. India naturally does not want its links .with Sri Lanka to dwindle as a result of the China factor. Now right on the heels of the President’s visit to the big neighbour a high powered delegation has arrived from China. This illustrates the geopolitically drama being enacted centering on this Island.

 One disconcerting feature was what appears to be the expressed commitment of the President for the implementation of the 13th amendment. The troubling factor in this regard is the merger of the North and East as demanded by the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement. We are aware of the high handed Indian intervention by land, sea and air that resulted in this pact. It was in short imposed by the Indians. A further consequence following on the heels of this agreement was the unfortunate “ƒ”¹…”Peace Accord’ which institutionalized the North-East as being Tamil territory.

 The principal problem is that the North-East demarcation coincides with what the Tamil Leaders and population consider as being their “ƒ”¹…”traditional homeland’. The war, a thirty year war, was fought and won spurning and rejecting this concept. A historic judgment of the Supreme Court caused the de-merger of the two provinces. In order of priority, first came the concept of the “ƒ”¹…”traditional homeland’, and then the terrorist movement that finally evolved into full scale war against the Government of Sri Lanka to militarily impose this concept. The Indians, The Americans and the European Community all backed this idea although paying lip service against the war. One will recall that when bombs detonated by suicide bombers were blasting civilians and civilian and religious targets, the ‘International Community’ repeated their favourite jargon “ƒ”¹…”that this carnage only shows the necessity of a political solution’. The political solution they envisaged was the same as what the L.T.T.E and its political stooges here and in South India wanted, namely the carving out principally of the North and East as “ƒ”¹…”Traditional Tamil Homeland’. There was no talk at that time of crimes against humanity and investigation of human rights violations. Let us face the fact, the “ƒ”¹…”International Community’ was on all fours with the Tamil demands. What they envisaged as a “ƒ”¹…”political solution’ was the compliance of the National Government with those demands, especially the separation of the North and East from the rest of the country.

 Now the war has been won. The L.T.T.E was vanquished as a military power. Yet its support base has not been vanquished at all. South Indian politicians still vociferously insist on the demarcation of the North and East. So too the Tamil diapora. In other words the L.T.T.E has still its international political power base. With the diaspora indulging in every money racket to keep the dream of the separate state alive the financial base of the L.T.T.E is also very much alive and active.

 The war was won at the expense of such great human sacrifice to destroy this illegal dream. It was won on the basis of the two principles enunciated by the President in parliament soon after the military victory, that there are no more minorities in the Island, which literally means just and equal chances for all, and that Sri Lanka is the homeland of all. In the final analysis these two mottos are really one and the same. If minorities have the same rights as the majority, then the clamour for a separate homeland is futile and the country is the homeland of all.

 Now the specter of the North-East merger is raring its head like that of a serpent. It took forty years from Independence before this pretension of a separate homeland became a battle field contest. Should the Government act in disregard of its promises to the nation on this score and against the judgment of the Supreme, the next military conflict revolving around this issue will not take half as much as that time. The political and funding mechanisms are already there for the asking and the enemies of the Sri Lanka State are rearing to go, all they need is a renewed cause, that of the North and East being the “ƒ”¹…”traditional homeland’ of the Tamils. Demarcating the North and East and offering it to them on a platter would be their dream come true.

 The future of this country as a peaceful and stable nation hinges on this issue, of the de-merger of North and East prevailing in the face of South India and Indian demands, as well as those of the “ƒ”¹…”International Community’. This was why we won the war, so that Sri Lanka become the homeland of all, irrespective of race and creed. Adapting the words of General Moshe Dayan, uttered when entering Jerusalem after the six day war; the North-East was separated from the rest of the country. Now it is reunited with the rest. So it must remain.

7 Responses to “Implementation of 13th Amendment; wise or otherwise?”

  1. PRIYAN WIJEYERATNE Says:

    There must be no reason to create a separate land for Tamils and or Muslims or anyone other race. We all can share the island of Sri Lanka. If anyone wishes something carved out for their sole habitation then they can find the dream land elsewhere and not in Sri Lanka.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Agree with Mario.

    There is no need to racially demarcate land. India did it and we can see what is has done to Tamil Nadu. We certainly need no Tamil Nadu here.

  3. S de Silva Says:

    Well, if we are to give the North & East NOW to the Tamils, why the hell did we have to fight a war, losing >6000 from the armed forces, countless civilian lives, billions of SLRs and 30 years of economic stagnation – we could have handed everything to the LTTE just for the asking 30 years ago and suffered a lot less?!! – S de Silva – London

  4. Kit Athul Says:

    Mario, an excellent article, but you have to remind Indians that, the 13th and the 17th Amendments were written by Rajiv Gandhi, an Air Line Pilot. And that was the only education he had. Many attorneys have published articles stating that, both of these Amendments cannot be implemented with valid proof. One of the reference: “The Myth about the 17th Amendment.” by Douglas Premaratne P.C. http://www.island.lk/2010/02/03/featurs3.html, next is by Dr. Sudath Gunasekara, publish on Lanka web. One should do a search under the author’s name. Now, one might ask, “why are INDIANS still talking about these two amendments?” Very recent one been, this RAO Cow, who was a former Indian high commissioner. It is because, the victory, has not been registered on an avarage INDIAN’s head yet, and that Sinhala army defeated their TERRITORIAL ARMY. One might call it LTTE army, or Tamil Nadu army, but it is the INDIA’S territotrial army that Sinhala army defeated on that GREAT DAY May 19th 2009.

  5. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    Indian Government is not to be trusted as long as they have to please the Tamil Nadu politicians to remain in power. The existing SriLankan provinces are those demarcated by the British rulers for convenience of administration and are quite different to the Provinces SriLanka had prior to foreign invations. Therefore, it is fraudulent for any person or group to claim these as the borders of a homeland of a particular ethnic group. If SriLanka wishes to retain the British created Provinces then they should remain so without a meaningless merger of two provinces chosen by tamil racist elements to carve out a new state for 5% of the 15% Tamil population, with 10% living in other provinces of SL. Though India would not support an independent Tamil state, they would love to support a merged North East province which they could one day forcibly grab under some pretext and incorporate into the Indian Union. This is why India is focussed on only North and East development to have a strong foothold. Looking at the history of the Sinhala nation, I dont think India would achieve this dream without sacrificing peace in the region. Nor do I think the Rajapakse Govt is foolish enough to allow India to dictate terms and thereby reverse the hard earned victory. Though the issue is about Tamils they are SriLankan citizens and India and Tamil Nadu should not have any say about them just as much as they have no say with Tamil citizens of other nations.

  6. M.S.MUdali Says:

    13th Amendment is a civilised form of Federal structure which is a proven best solution for Ethnic problems. The Sinhalese are happy to carve out an area for LTTE by UNP but bark at India for 13th Amendment which is not allowing LTTE to rule!

    You guys better shout at UNP why UNP wanted a SAFE area for LTTE!

  7. Sri Rohana Says:

    MUDali there weren’t a traditional homeland for tamils in northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. This is an imagination homeland created by tamil racist expansionists. Their traditional homeland is tamil country (tamil nadu) in present India.

    Please read Professor J.Williamson article.
    WilliamsonJ wrote:Posted 2010/03/22
    at 2:24 PM ETGood afternoon to you all,

    I am a professor at UofM who specialize in South Asian Studies as well as current and past developments in Sri Lanka. First off all we have to separate fact from myth. There were no separate Kingdoms in Sri Lanka. Sinhala Kingdoms were sprung up in different regions but all were unified under the Kotte and Sithawaka Kingdoms prior to Portuguese colonization. Current rebellious Tamils were brought to Sri Lanka as tobacco plantation workers by the Dutch and the Portuguese. Original Tamil inhabitants of Sri Lanka were not Tamil at all they were from Pandyan Kingdom current Kerala State in India also known as Malayalam People. LTTE orchestrated many myths for their own propaganda with the hope of rewriting Sri Lanka’s respected ancient history. LTTE were able to destroy the bonds and relationships which coexisted with among Sinhala and Tamil ethnic groups do this factor. LTTE’s main target audience was the youth. It was through the very youth that LTTE were able to spread these historical lies of separate Kingdoms in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was always ruled by several Kingdoms but a Tamil Kingdom never existed. It was only during the Portuguese colonial era that Malayalam Tamils were able to have influential villages which were glorified as a Tamil Kingdom by LTTE. Several small Tamil villages were glorified to look like a Kingdom. The true history of Sri Lanka all ways laid in the hands of the Sinhala or Sinhalese people with much aspiration to the Buddhist culture. I ask the reader if a Tamil Kingdom show me proper recorded and physical evidence without the insertion of propaganda. From a historical analytical perspective none was there to begin with but good old folk rumors.

    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/03/19/f-sri-lanka-canada-tamil.html#socialcomments#ixzz0j5TlkJRg

    What is specialty of tamils to have a separate area in north and east? They can live any where in Sri Lanka. Best example is Colombo. Tamils are the second highest ethnic group in Colombo city where majority is Muslims and Sinhalese are third.

    In tamil population 70% live out side the north and east and live peacefully with others. Sri Lanka is a multicultural multi religious country where Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays, Keralites, Chetti (Chettinadu), Indonesians (Javanese), Chinese, Persians, Bhai, Gujarat’s and Boras live peacefully. They have right to believe Buddism, Hinduism, Sai, Muslim, Christianity, Bhai and any religion. Therefore why some politicians want a separate tamil state? If so what about a Sinhalese only provinces? After getting only tamil areas whether tamils ready to leave other areas specially from Colombo and western province, Central province, Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Southern province etc, If Sri Lanka has to divide on ethnic diversity then India has to divide to 100 more countries as they have 100 more ethnic group.

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