Giving Land and Police powers to the Provinces is dangerous – it should not happen
Posted on February 8th, 2012

Sri Lanka Support Group, Canberra

 News emanating fromSri Lankashows that there is the  tendency to give land and Police powers to the Provincial Governments including the Northern and Eastern provincial governments.  The Sri Lankan Government is under tremendous pressure both fromIndiaand some powerful western nations, it is quite probable that the ultimate political package can contain giving these powers to the Provinces.

 Note that the forthcoming CHOGM to be held inSri Lankain 2013 will give enemies ofSri Lankato put enormous pressure onSri Lankato give wider powers to Northern and Eastern provincial governments, including threats to boycott the summit.  For example, the Canadian Prime Minister has already stated he will not attend CHOGM inSri LankaunlessSri Lankagives more benefits to the minority Tamils. Such stance can be anticipated from the British, Australian,New Zealandand even  South African leaders.

 We note that most of the positive social cultural activities conducted by the Sri Lankan Army in theNorthern province, including running of cafes etc, are under threat to be stopped or have already been stopped. The Army does not  now hold most of the land in the Jaffna HSZ zone.  The Government is under enormous pressure to reduce the troop numbers in the north, if this is carried out, it will be a major threat to the country’s sovereignty.

 Why is giving Land and Police powers to the Provinces too dangerous?

 This means they will have the sole power to legislate in relation to land and Police. Then, basically the provincial governments can sell, transfer, lease, mortgage, donate, and acquire land anyway they like within the province. This is exactly what the LTTE fought for. Now the TNA has taken over the cause that the LTTE left (when the LTTE  was alive, they were their political proxy); they demand they will not talk to the Government unless land and Police powers are part of the political package. 

 Note Sri Lanka is very small and currently jam-packed with its ever-growing population. There is hardly any space left in the South for human expansion. The only areas available for future human habitation/expansion is in the Northern and Eastern provinces. Once the central government loses entire control of these areas, there is absolutely no way that people from other provinces can live in these areas. This  will be a grossly unfair situation for the rest of the people.

 Once they have land power, these provincial governments  can  effectively (legally) block the southerners from not only buying land but  also visiting those areas.

 Once these two powers are given, if the two provincial governments want (they will be hostile toSri Lankaanyway), they can give land to their counterparts inIndia, bypassing the central Government. It will be easy for such enemies ofSri Lankalike Vaiko, Nedumaran, and  Seeman et al to set up even para military style camps inSri Lankaon the invitation of the Chief Ministers of the two provinces.  Given the vesting of Police powers on the Northern and Eastern  provincial governments, boatloads of illegal immigrants can freely sail fromIndiatoSri Lanka. Some can come in the guise of fishermen. The illegal migration of Tamils intoSri Lankais not an old phenomenon, it has happened since time immemorial. This activity can flourish under the new powers given to the future Northern and Eastern provincial governments.

 The Police positions – IGP downwards in the provinces will be appointed by the Chief Ministers of the provincial governments. With time, these two Police forces will exclusively have Tamil speaking people only serving them, with a Tamil speaking Muslim component in the Eastern Police force (note the Muslims are also demanding the two powers, with the TNA).  The two Chief Ministers will have the power to disallow the Sinhalese from joining their Police forces. We see how Piliyan et al are even now trying to remove Sinhalese people who live in the marginal villages of the Eastern province. Once the full Police powers are given to him (it will be like his own para-military force), he can do what he now does illegally legally.

 Once these two powers are granted, it is possible for them to re-merge and then make a claim to secede fromSri Lanka. They may then have the key ingredients for claiming a separate nation of their own. The international law is so developed now, we live in an era where new nations are constantly created. Kosovo is a creation entirely by the international world “”…” it was created despite the severe opposition by its former “ƒ”¹…”owner’Serbia. They had the support ofRussiaandChina, but still failed. Other examples of the creation of new countries are “”…”South Sudan, East Timor, Eritrea, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Ingushetia, Then, all the new nations that emerged from the oldSoviet Union.

 Under enormous pressure fromIndia,  in 1987, JR Jayawardane, introduced the provisional government system inSri Lanka. This has caused untold problems inSri Lanka, and the problems continue.  The system has madeSri Lankapoorer. Previously the people had to put up with corruption by the centralised government only. After 1987, it spread  like a cancer to the provincial level. The country’s bureaucracy increased tremendously, it cannot sustain such an array of legislatures and bureaucrats, most of who are unsuitable for the jobs and cause so much problems to the country.

 Prior to 1978,Sri Lankawas served under the “ƒ”¹…”Saulbury Constitution’ which was slightly amended by the Sirima Bandaranaike Government in 1972. Under the old Constitution, Sri Lankahad a strong centralised government, which served the country remarkably well. Parliamentary democracy flourished where Independent MPs were elected to the parliament defeating candidates from the two dominant parties (this can never happen under the current electoral system).

 Sri Lankais simply too small and too poor to be governed by provincial governments (9) with a central government in the Centre, then an Executive President.

 We must not forget that the country’s armed forces made supreme sacrifices to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity. If land and Police powers are given  to the two provinces, the supreme sacrifices that they made may become in vain.

 We must understand there is no ethnic problem inSri Lanka. Only there was a terrorism problem which was resolved in 2009. Now the country’s two main communities are living in harmony like brothers. This should be encouraged. Land, Police powers, creating a Senate will not build the unity between the two peoples, but division. Like what they are doing now, the Government must try to uplift the standard of living of all the peoples including those in the Northern and Eastern provinces. But, the development must not happen at the expense of the environment and wildlife.

 True, the Government is under enormous pressure fromIndiaand some western states to create a federal system (giving these two powers will solidify the federal system), let us hope that the country’s leaders will have the courage not to succumb to this enormous pressure. All peoples of the country must support the Government in its endeavour to keep its unitary nature, including the opposition. Currently this is not happening. Even the JVP now seems to favour giving of  the land and Police powers. This is for their sheer political advantage. There is hardly any opposition in the country against the proposal of giving land and Police powers, albeit a handful of Government ministers, who may change their stand  in time to come. Once they too approve the proposal, it will be very difficult for the masses to oppose.

 Creating a Senate is not going to serve any purpose forSri Lanka. It will be another layer of government (Sri Lankais one of the most highly governed countries of the world). This will be an opportunity to create more and more politicians and bureaucrats, who will thrive on the limited resources available to the whole country, where large amount of the people still live in utmost poverty.

 The most important thing is to show to the entire world including Indiathat Sri Lankais looking after its Tamil minority well (which is a fact), Tamils are happy and they are economically progressing;  it is impractical to create such a  federal system in Sri Lankaas demanded by Indiaand some western nations. In relation to the 13th Amendment, it is functioning, the country has not dismantled the provisional government system, although it is an unworkable system for the country.  There is nothing in the 1987India “”…”Sri Lanka pact that states that land and Police powers must be given to the two provinces.  It is up to the Sri Lankan Government, in accordance with the Constitution, to determine what powers should be given to the two provinces, and what powers should be suppressed.  This is an internal issue forSri Lanka.  If the Government now states that the land powers were always given but were suppressed, there is no need to lift the supersession now.  In this Media Release we have shown the dangers of giving such powers to the two (2) Provincial Councils.

 WhatIndiais asking is thatSri Lankashould enforce the 13th amendment. The country has not dismantled the provisional government system, despite the fact that it is a costly, unworkable system for the country. IndiaandSri Lankaare two different countries. Federal system may work inIndia, which is huge and had been comprised of separate states in the past, whereasSri Lankahas always been one nation.

 The most important thing is forSri Lankato show the entire world, includingIndia, thatSri Lankais looking after its Tamil minority well (which is a fact), Tamils are happy and they are economically progressing;  it is impractical to create such a  federal system inSri Lankaas demanded byIndiaand some western nations. 

 In relation to the war crimes allegations made against Sri Lanka,  Sri Lankan now correctly states that it will investigate each and every credible allegation of war crimes as put to them and will prosecute those who have allegedly offended. It is up to the those who make the allegations to provide particulars of them. Sri Lanka cannot conduct an investigation based on a TV documentary, parts of which are fabricated anyway.

 Overall, Sri Lanka is an independent sovereign nation; other nations have no right to poke into her affairs, unless very serious human rights violations have taken place, when there have been none.  Again, the allegations waged by Channel 4 are fabrications. It is not to be forgotten that very serious human rights violations have taken place, and takes place in the so called do-gooder countries of  the west.  They do not want others poking their finger into their affairs, but continue to pick on small Sri Lanka. Such conduct amounts to bullying. There is an obligation on Sri Lankan Patriotic organisations operating in western countries to explain the western Governments  and agencies about the hidden agenda of the Tamil Diaspora organisations “”…” ie, to create a separate state, “ƒ”¹…”Tamil Ealam’  in Sri Lanka.

 Sri Lanka Support Group, Canberra

 [email protected]

 

 

 

5 Responses to “Giving Land and Police powers to the Provinces is dangerous – it should not happen”

  1. Ben_silva Says:

    Well said support group Canberra. Why is that Sinhalese do not have an effective network to express their voice. Grass root orgs need to get organise and network. Buddhists orgs and temples may be a starting point. However, Buddhist orgs need to get organised to survive in a war zone rather than to seek extinction. We really need to get organised and network to stop the decline.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Giving ANY power other than powers vested in Prathesiya Sabha, munucipal councils is dangerous and no need.

    Give nothing to racial groups, fullstop. If they are unhappy go back to where they came from.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    Good analysis by SL Support Group, Canberra. Thank you.
    The danger lies in the interpretation of the Law by the Supreme Court in any country. In the wrong hands at the wrong time, any ambiguity in the wording of any Law can lead to dire consequences inimical to the country. Therefore, better safe than sorry later, as far as Sri Lanka is concerned with the Law of the land – get rid of the 13-A. The 13-A was imposed on Lanka under Duress and is therefore Null & Void. To get rid of the separatist menace :

    * Use People Power through Petitions to Parliament via Speaker.
    * Deport all Illegal Migrants.
    * Have an Oath of Allegiance to Lanka.

  4. thurai Says:

    Western countries play with human lifes for oil monopoly in the world
    TNA play with Tamils life for Political monopoly among Tamils in Sri Lanka
    Noone will consider about suffering of poor people.

    TNA demand Land rights and Police power only to give trouble to SLG only.
    Any one of the TNA members have granted piece of land to their party or spend their own money to any Tamils
    who suffer?

  5. lingamAndy Says:

    Ref:Army does not now hold most of the land in the Jaffna HSZ zone.
    FYI, Jaffa GA Emalda Sukumar said today , Jaffana will be economicaly match with Colombo with in 5 years time !
    Thanks to Hon President mahinda & His govt !
    I am sure the President dream will be come to true soon in NP ( Veddiyin Sinnam Veththiyal Sinnam – Sign of victory will be leaves ) !

    This is my dream
    every Tamil in Sri lanka should speck & write sinhala ! & learn Bhuddisham !

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