Thirteen minus not thirteen plus
Posted on January 18th, 2012

By Nalin de Silva Courtesy The Island 

The thirteenth amendment was forced on us by India following the infamous Indo Sri Lanka Accord, without considering the historical, cultural and geographical background and the Sinhala opinion. India for a long time had acted without listening to the Sinhala majority, without even taking into consideration the importance of Sri Lanka in respect of security of the subcontinent. Delhi listened only to Tamil Nadu, which had ulterior motives and hence to the Tamil Vellala leaders until non Vellala Prabhakaran appeared in the picture. As far as India was concerned there was repression of the Tamils by the Sinhala people but never wanted to find out the truth of the allegations made by the Vellala leaders. India should have at least learnt a lesson at the Thimpu talks that they cannot impose their views completely even on J R Jayewardene. The delegation sent to Thimpu by the government rejected the so-called Thimpu Proposals but India failed to realize that there was a Sinhala opinion against devolution of power to the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the country, based on historical cultural and geographical facts. India wanted the Sinhalas to recognize that those two provinces were the historical habitats of the Tamils; it turned a blind eye to the fact that the two provinces had been creations of the English (British Raj) and that final demarcation of the nine provinces was carried out only in 1889 three years after Ananda Vidyalaya was established. The term historical habitats which really meant Tamil homeland as far as the Vellalas and Prabhakaran were concerned, was never acceptable to the Sinhala people.

When the Sinhala people were not prepared to accept the proposals of India to solve the so called ethnic problem India applied force on J R Jayewardene government with what is known as Parippu or Dhal diplomacy. JRJ, who had been ready to support the Americans and the English even against India, would have been surprised to find that he did not receive any support from his allies in the west when India dropped parippu, threatening to attack Sri Lanka if the government did not obey India.

The English elevated the Vellalas to a hierarchical position in the absence of a Brahmin class in Sri Lanka probably with Shri Arumugam Navalar providing the necessary “theoretical” background later, and used the English speaking Vellalas as a force against the Sinhalas, especially the Sinhala Buddhists.

In 1987 India forced JRJ to sign the Indo Sri Lanka Accord. He may not have been the greatest patriot but he would not have signed the document if he was free to make a choice. The thirteenth amendment was not acceptable to the majority of the Sinhalas, except to the NGO and Marxist pundits of many varieties and a few others in the Christian Churches of various denominations (the Marxists most probably would not call them Sinhalas but working class intellectuals). However, India used its powers and the Bill was passed in the Parliament with the support of the predecessors of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The Opposition of the Sinhalas to the accord was manifested in the uprisings by them, which were made use of by the JVP that constituted mainly of Sinhala Buddhist youth in spite of their Marxist rhetoric. The JVP was crushed without India or the westerners having a moment to think of their human rights.

Although the thirteenth amendment is now law of the country, the majority of the Sinhala people never agreed with that, and even Chandrika Kumaratunga the pink socialist with her French connections could not implement it due to opposition of the Sinhalas. It is mainly the non implementation of the thirteenth amendment that prolonged the survival of the LTTE as in spite of their lip service to eradicate terrorism the west and India gave their tacit support to the LTTE in order to crush the Sinhala opinion. Had the Sri Lankan government implemented the thirteenth amendment which has been drafted thinking of Indian historical conditions with dynastic regimes throughout, and not of those of Sri Lanka where we had an Eksesath Rajya (a form of unitary state) from the time of King Pandukabhaya, it is very likely that Prabhakaran would have gone to Nandikadal much earlier, though Tamil racism would have survived with the support of the west. However, the Sinhalas were not prepared to devolve power in order to satisfy the Vellalas, the Indians and the west and finally it was left to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to defeat the LTTE though the west opposed it. The President, it appears had been able to convince the Indian leaders that he was determined to crush the LTTE whatever opposition he may have to face. The west that could not save Prabhakaran even at the last moment is opposed to the President and they are now looking for so-called evidence to punish both Messers Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gothabaya Rajapaksa for the crime of defeating terrorism in Sri Lanka.

If India or any other country thinks that the Sinhala people opposed to the thirteenth amendment would agree to a so called thirteen plus to satisfy the Vellala leadership of the TNA then it is only wishful thinking. The Sinhalas will never agree to devolving police powers and land distribution powers to the Provincial Councils and they would make the government to abolish the thirteenth amendment, if not for the problems that the government has to face. The Armed forces sacrificed their lives mainly against the thirteenth amendment and the question of going beyond that does not arise. The question of the thirteenth amendment was solved at “war” and militarily that legislation has been thrown into Nandikadal. What the government should have done immediately after the defeat of Prabahkaran was to bring in legislature to abolish the thirteenth amendment. It is nothing but hilarious in a way for people to talk of going beyond a legislature that has been defeated at “war”. After all “war” is nothing but politics and Cameron is now saying that there would not be any talks on Falklands. Would Churchill have agreed to discuss with Nazi supporters after the so called Second World War. Would Shri Nehru have agreed to talk on Goa after the war. Wars are not outside politics and what has been decided at war can be reversed through war. The west is trying to do that by encouraging and giving support to the LTTE supporters in the west and the TNA leaders and there are signs that the west wants another “war”, which would be a threat to India as well.

The Sinhala people realize the problems of the government and would not agitate for the abolition of the thirteenth amendment at present. However they will oppose devolution of police and land powers to the Provincial councils and definitely to a so called thirteen plus. What they could finally agree with is a thirteen minus and if the west or anybody else thinks that they could ignore the majority opinion then they have not learnt any lessons.

17 Responses to “Thirteen minus not thirteen plus”

  1. Marco Says:

    Why is MR prolonging the agony?
    13 plus,minus,divide or multiply: Amendment 13 plus is in the Constitution whether it was forced or not.
    After all he has a 2/3 majority and he got the 18th using that muscle.

    Has MR “got the balls” to renegade on a deal done with the Indians in 2009?

    In the meantime dogs bark and the caravan moves along…

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Nalin,

    On the positive side, the 13th amendment is partially implemented the way SL wants.

    For it to be implemented in the north as a solution, TNA (the largest party there) must agree. TNA Vallala racists will never agree. So it can be dragged for no fault of SL.

    When Crapna or Krishna was in the island, government delegation twice avoided meeting TNA!!

    If we can indefinitely delay 13 and only talk of it, that is the second best scenario. Best scenario is scrapping 13 altogether.

    Do you think India is REALLY interested in 13?

    When IPKF was in the country (1987-90) NE PC was established with Vardaraja WITHOUT police and land powers. Did India do anything to force us devolve police and land powers? No.

    Will India be happy for TNA to rule the NE province? No. That is a threat to India.

    India is the most cursed country in the world. But we must understand that India is doing the same thing USA tells it, as we do what India tells us.

    There is the possibility that this is a game to FOOL Tamil nationalists (they are fools anyway) and their western masters with talk, talk and more talk.

    We have to pass the March UNHRC crap. If we do, we are through. No need for any reconciliation or political solution thereafter. Until then lets fool them.

  3. dhane Says:

    Very simple follow the British keep talking for ever. This is what MR is doing. According to MR India is our relations [been the biggest historical enemy] China is friend who is always helpful. MR is following “Panchatantra” keep talking & talking about plus minus of 13 for ever.

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    KRISHNA BOWLED A GOOGLY, AND DOWN WENT THE 13th INTO SRI LANKAS THROAT. HOPE SRI LANKA WILL NOT GET ASPHYXIATED. LIKE CRAFTY JR, MR TOO HAS HIDDEN SURPRISES. SO, LET US NOT UNDER-ESTIMATE THE MOVE.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Dhane,

    You copied my comment! Credit to you for wrting it in 3 lines.

    What’s the hurry? No threat to peace, no LTTE. We have all the time in the world.

    Not like those days when Ponnabakaran told Ranil to sign the CFA on 22/02/2002 at 2:22 pm he had to do it. No rush now.

    We can wait till 22/2/2222. That is 210 years away.

    USA wants us to give LLRC recommended benefits to Tamils.
    India wants us to give 13+ to Tamils.
    India opening bloody hospitals for Tamils only. Banks, ports, airports, fucktories.

    Santa Clause for Tamils. Nothing for Sinhalese.

    With all these RACIST PRIVILEGES TO TAMILS ONLY Tamils will be like kings and we will be slaves. What f*king bulls*it!

    We need another country to tell SL to give this and that to Sinhalese.

    May be Sinhalese should organise into SINHALA CHINA FRONT and approach China to promise ANYTHING for China in the island to chase away Indian parasites.

  6. M.S.MUdali Says:

    All the people who supported British got benefits. Sinhala Karawas and Govigamas and others are few examples. UNP is the product of Colonial beneficiaries.

    Tamils are badly affected by this war and not Sinhalese. So, any one will help the affected ones. Even the SL government give priority in helping the Tamils.

    Barking at India is so funny. Sri Lankan refugees never run to China when Sinhala criminals attack Tamils. They always run to India. So, India has some concerns over the Sri lankan ethnic issue and not china.

    India always insist 13 or 13+. Mahinda, I hope soon come to a conclusion.

    The Author of this article has no idea who is a Vellala because no Vellala MPs in TNA now! But Sinhalese are still under the Govigamas.

  7. Ben_silva Says:

    Excellent article by Nalin. 13th A is a result of an illegal agreement forced on us by a foreign power, India and should be rejected. Tamils are all over Lanka and this is fair as they are Lankan citizens. What is not fair is to allow separate areas specially for Tamils, as it would legitimise ruthless, barbaric Invasions on the historic Sinhala home land of the Sinhalese. In fact the Sinhalse have lost a good chunk of their home land, a good part of the Capital, Hill country as well. The reasons need to be investigated and further decline should be halted. If devolution in any form is allowed this would lead to accelerated decline of the Sinhalese and eventually, the Sinhalese would lose the whole of Lanka.
    I have expressed my views as to how the Sinhalese lost their living space. In a nut shell, the reasons could be: Sinhalese are less competitive, more passive and more docile than Tamils. and others. Any species that is not fit enough to live in a given area will lose out. This is a law of nature.
    Concerned citizens need to organise mass protests against this dangerous idea (13th A), to save Lanka from racial wars and misery. Sinhalese also need to learn to compete to be as good as any one else in the world.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Mu-Dalit,

    Benefits should be given NOT to affected people but to those who SACRIFICED for war victory.

    Your wishes won’t come true. Stateless fool!

  9. lingamAndy Says:

    Lorenzo cool down …. take a big breath ….
    as I said We both communities live together & fight together last 2500 years ! so like you said no hurry for 13 or 13+ or 13-……… Now
    Now Time to Sinnathambi( war affected people) & Punchchupandda ( war sacrified people) to live togeter !
    ape lanka putha ne ( Nankal ilankai puthalvar thaa ne )

    M.S.MUdali
    Ref: The Author of this article has no idea who is a Vellala because no Vellala MPs in TNA now!
    Very good point !!! FYI my sinhala brothers & Sister this true ! VP killed all vellala leders (eg: Mr amirthaling m etc..) & rest of them left the coutry Now.

  10. mjaya Says:

    Well well Ben Silva looks like you have put on your “patriotic” mask again!

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    An alternative to talk the talk :
    The 13-A is Null & Void in any court of Law anywhere in the world as it was signed by JRJ under Duress. Get rid of it, once and for all. Petition the Speaker of the Parliament to get this done. Send in Millions of Petitions. GoSL will have to heed the Voice of the People.
    Besides, as a form of protest, Petitions are better than rabble rousing, violent prone, leading nowhere Parades. We, the People of Lanka, should use the Democratic System to do the Will of the People, and not get our adrenals burnt out every year fighting over the 13-A !
    Besides, now it is evident that the 13-A possibly leading to Separatism & Tamil Nationalism, were all invented to hide Tamil Caste Wars.

  12. mjaya Says:

    We can learn a lot from the protest by Wikipedia against SOPA and PIPA in the US.

    Wikipedia blacked out for 1 day in protest of SOPA and PIPA and after the protest many supporters of the two acts backed off. We should get rid of this curse once and for all.

  13. lingamAndy Says:

    Hon S M Krishna
    We dont want 13 Sir We want 3 meals only Now keep blance 10 for Karnada & TN people sir !!

  14. Ben_silva Says:

    Well said Fran Diaz. People need to participate and make their vice heard, by protesting against 13 A.

  15. Leela Says:

    Earlier Mr. Krishna said Sri Lankans should have a political arrangement where all communities feel comfortable but he now says, “The President assured me that he stands by his commitment to pursuing the 13th Amendment plus approach,”

    Nalin is right. If ever the President had said that, it must have been for a spur of the moment to convince Indians to support us to free the country from terrorists. I do not think for a moment that our President had ever meant it. Which politician anywhere hadn’t changed his word? After all, 13A or 13A plus is not in his policy document ‘Mahinda chintana’ or its ‘ediri dakma’. I say, we must rid of it at the earliest opportunity.

    Leave out all communities of Krishna’s earlier logic and let’s see whether an agreement is possible with t least all Tamils to start with. Representative politicians Devananda and his EPDP want 13A minus; Pillaiyan wants 13A in full force (with police and land powers); Sangaree and his TULF insists on Indian modal, TNA wants 13A plus plus …., Gajendra Kumar Ponnambalam and his ACTC wants self determination or con-federal. Mind you, all those demands are only to start with. All of them hide their true aim. Only TGTE of Tamil Diaspora and LTTE rumps come out with the true aim. In my opinion, all of them want Eelam in the end.

    Majority Sinhalese know that this is a never ending saga. In so far as I can see, there is only one solution. And that is the aged old proven solution of assimilation. Isn’t that what they have done and what is going on in Europe, North and South America and Australia etc. Leela

  16. lingamAndy Says:

    Leela
    All these Westerners ( Europe, North and South America and Australia etc) had faced same problm what We have now.
    13 amemdment ( India -Srilanka Accord) is right solution for our hundred(thousand) year old our ethenical problm.
    my opinion this never lead to seperation as India never want to divid our country also PSC will makesure before implemend this accord all paries aggred (signed) for given up separation!

  17. Lorenzo Says:

    Lingam Andy is a maniac.

    “lingamAndy Says:
    January 19th, 2012 at 8:06 am
    Hon S M Krishna
    We dont want 13 Sir We want 3 meals only Now keep blance 10 for Karnada & TN people sir !!”

    Then he says.

    “lingamAndy Says:
    January 20th, 2012 at 3:25 am
    Leela
    13 amemdment ( India -Srilanka Accord) is right solution for our hundred(thousand) year old our ethenical problm.”

    Typical!

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