India’s continued insisting on 13th Amendment
Posted on June 15th, 2010

S. Akurugoda

According to the Joint Declaration issued following the State visit of President Mahind Rajapaksa to India, Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has emphasized that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would create the necessary conditions for a lasting political settlement. In addition to the various agreements said to have been reached, mainly granting of loans (to payback with interest and within a specified period by the people of Sri Lanka) for the welfare of the people in the North, East and the Upcountry, two leaders have agreed to establish Consulates General of India in Jaffna and in Hambantota.

 The reality of the Rajiv-JR Agreement and the resulted 13th Amendment to the Constitution would have known better by Rajiv Gandhi, the Indian PM, than anyone else since it was the Indian civil servants who were instrumental when drafting the Agreement.

The implementation of 13th Amendment is the beginning of implementation of the Thimpu demands (distinct nationality, traditional homelands, self-determination) as claimed in the following statement of Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi to the Indian Parliament on July 31, 1987.

” The Agreement meets the basic aspirations which have animated the Tamils’ struggle, namely, the desire to be recognised as a distinct ethnic entity; political autonomy for managing their political future; and appropriate devolution of governmental power to meet this objective, the recognition of the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka as areas of historical habitation of the Tamils and the acknowledgment and designation of Tamil as an official language of Sri Lanka.

The Agreement constitutes the Eastern and Northern Provinces of Sri Lanka into one administrative unit with an elected Provincial Council; and a Chief Minister. Powers would be devolved… to ensure a full measure of autonomy to the Provinces in Sri Lanka.”

On August 2, 1987, Rajiv Gandhi told a public meeting in Madras that “The Agreement secures everything that the Sri Lankan Tamils had demanded, short of breaking Sri Lanka’s unity. In fact, it goes well beyond the initial demands of the Sri Lankan Tamils. Under the Agreement, approximately one-third of Sri Lankan territory will be made into a single province where the Tamils will have a clear majority. They will have regional autonomy comparable to State governments in India … ”

India became the first country, since independence, to interfere with the internal affairs of Sri Lanka, in mid 1980s. India provided training to separatists to fight against the Sri Lankan security forces. India made Sri Lankan government somewhat obligatory to “ƒ”¹…”invite’ Rajiv Gandhi to sign an Accord in 1987 by invading the Sri Lankan air space for the first time and forcing the government to stop operations against the very same terrorists whom they trained.

Although the Indian government undertook to disarm the terrorists group in return of implementing the constitutional amendment imposed on the Sri Lanka government, India has failed miserably to fulfill its obligation as per the agreement. On the other hand, Sri Lankan people had to bear the huge cost of war against terror and the cost of implementing the constitution amendment, thus imposed under the failed agreement, in addition to the loss of lives since 1987.

Since it is the Sri Lankan Security forces who ultimately disarm the terrorists, the moral rights of the Indian government to ask the government of Sri Lanka to implement 13th amendment is highly questionable.

Ironically, thousands of innocent civilians who got injured and surviving relatives of further thousands of those who died as a result of the terrorism abetted by India, we Sri Lankan deserve an apology (at least) from the perpetrators for the losses incurred to us due to terrorism. Instead, it is likely that India will continue to interfere with the internal affairs of Sri Lanka due to the internal politics of Tamil Nadu.

India’s  said plans  to set up a Consul-General’s office in Jaffna to “fully restore connectivity to south India” appears to be another ploy set in this direction. Consul-Generals are normally appointed to various State Governments of Federal form of Governments. Setting up of such offices within the territory of a tiny country like ours will, no doubt, benefit India’s ulterior motives (whatever it could be) and not the people of Sri Lanka.  India, after forcing us a certain form of a Federal structure via 13th Amendment to the Constitution, is now working hard to ensure its implementation by other means as well.

Full implementation of the 13th or any other Amendments or the complete overhaul of the entire Constitution of Sri Lanka is a matter for the Citizens of Sri Lanka. Continuous insisting of how we should solve our problem is simply a gross violation of our rights as a sovereign country and a clear example of how the powerful states are bulling the weak and small states.

Segregating people according to communal lines in Sri Lanka, in order to please the demands of hardcore racist elements in Tamil Nadu, under the pretext of reconciliation could only strengthen the hands of separatist movements still alive, both within and outside Sri Lanka, although the military wing of the LTTE is no more.

Persistent effort of the Indian authorities to push Sri Lanka towards Indian solutions based on Thimpu demands of the separatists groups, whom they fed and trained to destabilized the our country, need careful attention of the Sri Lankan Government and its people. 

7 Responses to “India’s continued insisting on 13th Amendment”

  1. Nanda Says:

    very true yet diplomatic writing.
    India is a big bully.
    I remember very well Rajiv laughed and siad ” We don’t have terrorist training capms. We have refugee camps”. Lying is in India’s cluture. Starting from top to bottom.
    It is time now SL demand an apology for killing so many SriLankans in cold blood rther than letting them open consulutes everywhere.
    They ruined our values, our culture , our people.
    Demand an open international apology.

  2. M.S.MUdali Says:

    What kind of CULTURE ruined by India? Our culture was ruined by Catholic Church and not by India!

    Nanda is talking on behalf of LTTE! Tiny Sri Lanka tried to bully India with the help of the WEST and LTTE. So, Sri lankans must try to live in peace with India. No global power will help Sri Lanka openly against the wishes of India.

    POPE, a proven NAZI, refused to apologize to Buddhists/Hindus for the crimes his church committed during the rule of Portugeuse. But Sri Lankans still bend to a NAZI in Vatican! For what?

  3. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    Rather than give loans to develop North and East only, which India is eyeing for future control, should India pay compensation for training tamil terrorists to kill & maim Sri Lankans and also cause severe damage to SriLanka’s economy? The following extract from a recent news item states that Lybia has agreed to pay similar compensation just for supplying arms to IRA, whereas India not only supplied arms but also trained them and provided refuge.

    “Libya has agreed to pay almost £2 billion (NZ$4.2bn) in compensation to the victims of Irish terrorism who were killed or maimed by weapons and explosives shipped to the IRA.
    Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has agreed to the payments and £800 million (NZ$1.6bn) will be paid first to the 147 families of men and women caught in the horrific blasts created by the plastic explosive supplied by Libya, Semtex. “

  4. Leelawardena Says:

    I agree with Mudali when he said; it is not India but the Catholic Church that ruined our culture. with the blessings of the Pope of Vatican, the holy sea, a Franciscan missionary washed up to Sinhale in 1505 A.D with a Portuguese click of pirates. The Web site ‘www.sspxasia.com’ confirms this fact. They say a Franciscan priest on board celebrated the first Holy Mass in Sri Lanka. These ‘Franciscans’ are the priestly lot that were put in charge of killings called the inquisitions in 1237 by the Council of Lérida.

    The God’s emissary that came ashore to Sinhale soil had a Bible in one hand, a sword in the other and an out size cross hanging round his neck. From that day onwards, for almost two centuries, Catholic Padres assisted the murderous Portuguese to raid and rob the wealth our nation. Not that only, these padres destroyed the very culture that firmly endured over two-millennium in this land.

    In the midst of such horrific plunder, Portuguese stole the ivory crown of our king. They, knocked down the beautiful ‘Kelaniya Temple’ that stood for more than millennia. In the name of the God, Catholic missionaries have encouraged all such gruesome acts. They watched gleefully the torture, the killing and maiming of those that refused to forsake Buddhism. Missionaries expected those that killed to plead the God at least at their last minute. Their pursuit was to save souls of everyone. Just like their brethren, who administered killings named heresy; these Franciscans missionary maniacs also believed that those who die as Catholics would go to heaven and all others to eternal hell. To them, even killings are acceptable so long as souls can be sent to be with the God. Perhaps I must mention here that it is the postulation against this belief that Vatican excommunicated Father Tissa Balasuriya at one time.

    Sir James Emerson Tennent had written aptly about Portuguese sojourn. In short what he says is; “there is no page in the story of European colonization more gloomy and repulsive than that which recounts the proceedings of the Portuguese in Ceylon.” Thus, do you need more depiction to realize acts of Catholic Church’s ancestors? To say the least, suffix to say, the Bible and the sword was the guardian for the then Catholic missionary.

    Having said India should take a cue from our President and treat us as its little sister. All this time, India acted as no sibling, but a bully. India had proved it beyond doubt. It is India that grew LTTE to be a monster from a tiny wasp. When Piripaharan was about to be caught by our army, India air dropped lentils and compelled boneless JRJ to march them back to the barracks. Then, as a prelude to keep us under their thumb forever, India assumed the task of catch a thief for us.

    If India is smart, it should never forget the lessons it learned from its misadventures in Sri Lanka. Already, Tamils hate India. So, India should not try to force its will on Sri Lanka and become unpopular among the Sinhalese as well.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    We should go strictly by Democratic norms and present the 13th Amendment to the People of Lanka and ask for a vote –
    do we implement it or not, and put the matter to rest in a Democratic way, forever. No one can fault that !
    Lanka is paying dearly for Tamil Nadu’s problems with its Tamil Dalit population of over 5 Million. It is not the rest of India, but Tamil Nadu problems that impinge itself on Lanka.
    Interested others (for power, money & slave labor), just make use of this problem to elbow into Lanka.

  6. M.S.MUdali Says:

    Refuge to Tamil militants and Tamils was given by India. Militants got arms from India too. But in the case of training Israel trained LTTE and the cost of the training was paid by J.R. Jeyawardena government. PLOT was trained by PLO.

    If people talk about compensation, first they must sue UNP, Ranil Wickramasinghe and the Catholic Church which now owns billions of money looted by LTTE!

  7. Kit Athul Says:

    Mr. Akarugoda, I hope you will get a chance to read my comments. Before one analyses the 13th and 17th amendments to the Sri Lanka constitution; for that matter, whole of the constitution, one must go back in time and find out what conditions that existed during that time when Sri Lanka was formulated and put together.
    First and foremost understanding one should have; is to realize the following: Northern and Eastern Provinces were captured by Dutch, then the British. After the so called independence in 1948 Tamil Nadu Tamils occupied these two provinces. Following is the proof which no Sinhala bothered to discuss in the parliament or outside, by private citizens down the street. The occupier, Tamil Nadu Tamils created the following:
    1. No Sinhala will there
    2. There was a constitution written by Norwegians, reviewed and approved by Prabharakeran long before Norwegian led cease fire.
    3. They had a legal system, Police and fully funded and functioning Military.
    Before Rajiv was assassinated, this Army headed by Prabharakran was the India’s Territorial Army.
    Now it must be clear to any one, why the 13th and 17th amendments were written. It was to legalize this occupation by Tamil Nadu Tamils and at a later date, to annex these Provinces to create GREATER TAMIL NADU.

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