Repeal 13A Fully: District Unit of Devolution More Dangerous Than Province
Posted on October 11th, 2012

Dilrook Kannangara

There is absolutely no national demand for devolution. LLRC Report with less than 200 submissions has no authority to bypass 14 million voters and make decisions of national importance. Only India and others who voted against Sri Lanka at the 2012 April UNHRC conference want devolution. Marrying LLRC into 13A is even more despicable as it justifies habitual bypassing of people’s verdict. LLRC should not be effective in rehabilitation, redress and investigation issues. It should not result in governance changes.

Short-sightedness of devolution and the 13A is now visible to all. It has set the four main governing bodies of the country on a collision course against each other. The judiciary and the legislature are at loggerheads over the Divineguma Bill. Provinces are under pressure from the government to either support it or face dire consequences. Further disputes remain over the Northern Provincial Council. Coupling of the over-governance disaster and the devolution disaster has created a lethal concoction endangering the nation the size of Tasmania. It costs over $1.3 billion in recurrent expenses to run the nine (9) provincial councils; money that could uplift the living conditions of all if not for the provincial councils.

Devolution is best achieved by decentralizing administrative power to the lower political unit “”…” Pradeshiya Sabhas, Urban Councils Municipal Councils. Any other form of devolution or decentralisation fails as they are distant from the people than the above mentioned entities. Sri Lanka had a very successful village-based governance structure before the arrival of European invaders. Words like Gamani, Gamini, Gamarala, Gammuladeni, Gammaduwa and Gamdanawwa clearly indicate a people-centred and village based governance structure. It is this structure that needs to be resurrected. Infrastructure is already there in the form of established and democratically elected “”…” Pradeshiya Sabhas, Urban Councils Municipal Councils. No other devolution or decentralised units are needed.

Dangers of the Province as a Devolution Unit

Large extent of landmass, coastline, waterways and infrastructure in a province may be used contrary to national interests. Vardaraja Perumal’s misadventure in 1990 is a very good example. Once established, the Northern Provincial Council will provide better examples. Provinces are endowed with many powers that were vested in the parliament before 1988. The parliament takes into account national interests and is not confined to provincial interests alone.

Provincial administration leads to undesirable connections a province may have with external parties. Although external relations are not a right or a power of the Province, there is nothing to prevent a personal level allegiance of powerful provincial councillors. With TNA venerating Tamil Nadu politicians who are eternally inimical to Sri Lanka, the Northern Provincial Council will pose a national security threat par with the LTTE threat.

Northern Province is almost entirely Tamil-only as evicted Sinhalese and Muslims are not settled despite the war ending in 2009. This has created resembling conditions in the Northern Province as in South India. Devolution only empowers this already existing mono-ethnic enclave.

Tamil caste problems are at the heart of the so called ethnic problem. It must be noted that internal Tamil caste riots o 1843 and 1871 in the north preceded riots between ethnic groups. 

http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2011/10/tamil-caste-discrimination.html

Tamil leaders vehemently protested against the Prevention of Social Disabilities Act of 1957 that illegalised caste discrimination. The devolution demand arose from the inability to discriminate persons based on caste. The first attempt at devolution was the illegal B-C Pact of 1958 the Prime Minister signed secretly without parliamentary sanction with his school time friend SJV Chelvanayagam “”…” a Malaysian born immigrant. If the Northern Provincial Council comes into operation, scheduled caste persons face grave risk of losing fundamental rights in education, land ownership, ability to enter religious places and a host more.

District Level Devolution More Dangerous Than the Province

District emerged as the devolution/decentralisation unit in 1980 due to pressure from TULF “”…” the forerunner to TNA and LTTE. Devolving power to the district is even more dangerous than the Province. The current Provincial Structure has nine (9) units and costs $1.3 billion a year to run. Each PC has a minister for key operations like transport, welfare, etc. Each PC has its fleet of vehicles, equipment, buildings to house the Council and support services.

If district becomes the devolution unit, there will be 22 of them! Each will have a chief and ministries of transport, etc. And each will have their governance infrastructure and support staff. The cost will at the very least double to $2.6 billion a year. There will be three times more border disputes over roads, maintenance, transport, waterways and everything over which the district council has authority. The district and the Pradeshiya Sabhas, Urban Councils and Municipal Councils will be at loggerheads. These disputes will be severe as some units would be under different political parties.

At present parliamentarians are elected on a district basis. It is absurd to hold another election or devolve/decentralise power based on the very same district. People have made their district level selections already at the general election! Thereafter at General Elections national parties will have to go through TNA, SLMC, CWC, etc. proxies in districts.

All ills of the province will be inherent in the district including the threat of discrimination of minority groups within the district based on ethnicity and caste. But the district goes much further in undesirables.

If the Eastern Provincial Council becomes three District Councils, undesirable racist elements will control most of them. Batticaloa District Council will be governed by TNA with an absolute majority while the Trincomalee District Council will be governed by SLMC. Similar problems will occur in the Nuwara Eliya District Council. At the moment CWC and UPF need the backing of national parties to hold on to power at both provincial and national levels. That has forced it to align with national parties. But if it can control its own District Council, the Tamil tragedy of Jaffna will be replicated in the Nuwara Eliya District as well.

Both Jaffna and Vanni District Councils will be governed by TNA with an absolute majority. Pro-LTTE Ganeshan’s party along with SLMC will become kingmakers in Colombo and Putlam District Councils. In short, worse ethnic segregation than under the province.

With the Provincial unit only the Northern Province causes a headache. But if district becomes the devolution unit, the Northern Province, Central Province, Western Province, North Western Province and the Eastern Province will all become headaches.

Devolution units of each party is analysed below under the PC (provincial Council) and DC (District Council) systems.

 

PC

DC

Units

%

Units

%

Multi-ethnic parties

8

89%

16

73%

Tamil Alliance

1

11%

3

14%

Muslim Congress

0

0%

2

9%

CWC 
(formerly Ceylon Indian Tamil Congress)

0

0%

1

5%

Total

9

 

22

 

 

As can be seen, clout of multiethnic parties drastically reduces. Tamil National Alliance increases its clout from 11% under PCs to 14% under DCs. Muslim Congress and Indian Tamil Congress also increase their clout.

Interestingly, percentage of units ruled by each main political group under a District Council system resemble national ethnic percentages of 73% (Sinhalese), 14% (Tamils), 9% (Muslims) and 5% (Indian Tamils)! A perfect copy of the Indian model for disaster. But make no mistake, Tamil, Muslim and Indian Tamil parties are mono-ethnic whereas national parties are multiethnic with their own minority representatives. In other words, TNA will end up the sole representative of Tamils; SLMC sole representative of Muslims and CWC sole representative of Indian Tamils dividing the nation along ethnic lines.

National unity suffers irreversibly while Indianisation continues.

Soviet-Indian-Yugoslav Model is Bound to Fail

 Ethnicity based power sharing is not a practice in the modern world. Nations that share power with ethnic groups are only exceptions and almost extinct. Soviet Union and Yugoslavia were classic cases of ethnicity based power sharing. Not only they ended up in disaster and disintegration, but also created never-ending conflicts. India is the only country that still remains despite its ethnicity based power sharing model.

13A made Tamil an official language in order to make provincial devolution effective. Even in India Tamil is not an official language and there is no need for it to be so in Sri Lanka. Repealing 13A will correct this grave injustice. A single official language has the power to unify a nation. The communist saying of “ƒ”¹…”one official language, two nations; two official languages, one nation’ by the former Communist Party leader Colvin R De Silva does not apply to democratic nations as can be seen from the case of Czechoslovakia. It remained one nation under communist rule with two official languages but collapsed into two nations when democracy was introduced. On the other hand Indonesia unified over 500 islands into one nation thanks to its single official language – Bahasa Indonesia. United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia and Malaysia are other examples of a single official language unifying multiethnic societies.

The national call is not for devolution but to dismantle all devolution units and to revoke 13A without any leftovers.

A home-grown solution can emerge only after such a total repeal. Home-grown solutions follow what worked in this nation for millennia “”…” village councils. Pradeshiya Sabhas, Urban Councils Municipal Councils come closest to the home-grown solution and they are already in existence. Empower them for national upliftment. LLRC should not be allowed to become a tool of interference of outsiders and trespass into the territory of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC).

19 Responses to “Repeal 13A Fully: District Unit of Devolution More Dangerous Than Province”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    THUN RATA system is the right thing to do.

    It is TRIED AND TESTED.

    Other BS won’t work.

  2. mjaya Says:

    We should get rid of this 13A as soon as possible.

    We should formulate a mechanism to do so. Lets take this as an opportunity to brainstorm possible courses of action to take to get rid of this once and for all.

    My suggestion:
    CHALLENGE IT IN COURT like the N-E de-merger it was forced upon us by India (without any consultation with the people).

  3. mjaya Says:

    Lets strive for

    1. A 13A Free Sri Lanka
    2. An useless Provincial Council Free Sri Lanka
    3. A non segregated Sri Lanka
    4. A Sri Lanka with ONE NATIONAL LANGUAGE.
    5. A traitor free Sri Lanka!!!
    6. A Thesawalamai and Sharia free Sri Lanka
    7. Settling landless Sinhalese families in the NE

    Also be sure to
    1. Boycott Indian garbage products
    2. Do our best to evict Indian garbage from Sri Lanka
    3. Say no to Indian Illegal Immi…sorry Tourism

  4. nandimitra Says:

    Almost 25 years ago India imposed the 13th amendment on us and got the traitor JRJ to pass this amendment. Every president since then have not done anything to repeal this amendment that was imposed against the will of the people. This amendment must be put to a referendum. The fact that none of them has the courage to do so only shows their servility to foreign forces and makes them no different than the traitor JRJ.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Absolutely mjaya.

    Can our politicians do it?

    “5. A traitor free Sri Lanka!!!
    6. A Vesawalamai and Sharia free Sri Lanka”

    Come to think of it, there is a lot of IMPORTED garbage in SL. Export them back to where they came from or COMPOST them. I prefer option #2 – compost them.

    (BTW not ALL imports are bad. Lorenzo is also an imported name. Good and bad people had it. Good things also came from abroad. e.g. The good names of Mahinda, Olcott, Asoka, etc.)

  6. aloy Says:

    This brings us to another issue. 2012 census indicates that total tamil population in SL is about 10% of the whole country’s(including the illegals who may have got passports by bribing officials which was ramphant in 50s and 60s).More than 50% of this live in the south peacefully. But both India and UK make a din out of this tiny population. Yesterday there was a BBC report ( their news is always about tamils as if nobody else live in this land) by Frances Harrison that 100,000 people died at the final assault and today there is a report about TNA’s visit saying that India is always with tamils. It appears they are getting ready for the next UNHCR meeting.
    They must be told in no uncertain terms that no other country tolerate this sort of nonesence. Three Universities exclusively for tamils in NE for about 1.5million people( to be taught by Indian lecturers) in additon to the national quota?. They still go and cry descrimination in world forums.

  7. Kit Athul Says:

    Lorenzo, I thank you for seeing the right path, the Thun Rata Karmaya. Why is MR hesitating? fear for Hilary and Susan Rice? Also don’t forget Hanuman Singh, MR is afraid of him too.

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    NOBODY is begging the TNA Traitors to join the PSC: it is their choice that they had better exercise SOON before that option is taken off the table, because that WINDOW will not be open INDEFINITELY; the Govt may TERMINATE the PSC process ALTOGETHER, after a reasonable time.

    The TNA should not expect the PSC to grant them an EELAM, or to DEVOLVE POWER, especially POLICE & LAND POWERS, on a racist ethnic basis to Tamils only in the Northern Province. That will not happen, because that is CONTRARY to the will of the VAST MAJORITY of Sri Lankan citizens. No Government of Sri Lanka can do such a thing and expect to survive.

    More generally, the PSC should recommend ABROGATION of the 13th Amendment to the constitution, ILLEGALLY imposed by India on Sri Lanka, as a part of DISSOLVING ALL Provincial Governments altogether.

    The great majority of Sri Lankans are suffering under MULTIPLE tax-supported Government Bureaucracies. Provincial Local Governments ADD NO VALUE to governance, at a time when the whole world is racing towards streamlining their systems of governance to REDUCE COST and INCREASE EFFICIENCY to become more competitive in the global marketplace. ONE Central Government with police and land powers, and district, city and town councils without police and land powers, are ENOUGH government for tiny Sri Lanka.

    More importantly, Provincial Governments, have the potential to become power centers for separatist movements enabling them to challenge and undermine the authority of the central government. There is no shortage of demagogues, Tamils, Moslems and Sinhalese, willing to do so to propel themselves into power as satraps running their personal fiefdoms.

    If the TNA is allowed to dominate a Tamils-only Northern Province, the Muslims, demanding parity, will want to carve out a Muslims-only Eastern Province. Each of these provinces will then strike independent deals with foreign states, such as Tamil Nadu/India and Wahhabi Moslem states, while the central Government of Sri Lanka watches helplessly from the sidelines, with its hands bound by its own decisions. This plays into the hands of Sri Lanka’s foreign enemies giving them READY-MADE client states within Sri Lanka, enabling them to DIVIDE and RULE … all over again.

    This is what happened in the past in Sri Lanka’s long history of incursions by foreign powers … let us learn from our own history, and not repeat those mistakes.

    STUPIDITY, they say, is doing SAME thing and expecting a DIFFERENT result. Let us LEARN from our own past.

    ………………………
    Sri Lanka Tamil party may join PSC if government assures not to ‘cheat again’

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Oct 11, New Delhi: Sri Lanka’s major Tamil political party Tamil National Alliance has said that they will consider joining the parliamentary select committee (PSC) proposed by the government to solve the ethnic issue if the government assures them that they will not be cheated again.

    During his hour-long meeting with the External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna in New Delhi, the visiting Leader of the TNA Parliamentary delegation, R. Sampanthan has discussed the party’s stance on the Sri Lankan government’s proposals for power devolution to the minority Tamils.

    The TNA leader has told the Indian Minister that if the Sri Lankan government can remove the ‘negativity’ and assure that the Tamil people would not be cheated again the party might condider joining the proposed PSC to achieve a solution.

    “If we get assurances that we will not be cheated again and that our people will not be deceived once again, we are ready to walk towards the path of finding a (political) solution. The negativity has to be removed,” Sampanthan has been quoted in the media as saying.

    “If the PSC has the intention of thrashing out a solution and has an agenda for (arriving at a political solution), we are ready to consider it. But, we are not ready to get cheated again,” he has added.

    A seven-member delegation of the TNA, led by Sampanthan, is visiting India from 10-13 October 2012 at the invitation of the Indian External Affairs Minister.

    The delegation is will also meet the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and exchange views with the National Security Adviser and the Foreign Secretary.

    India’s invitation to the TNA followed the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi last month during which the President discussed the ethnic issue with the India Prime Minister in an effort to persuade the TNA to join the parliamentary select committee process.

    During the meeting with Indian Premier, Sri Lankan President has insisted on TNA participating in the parliamentary select committee to formulate a national solution since all parties should be involved to discuss critical issues that require changes in the constitution.

    The TNA delegation has pointed out to the Indian minister that Tamils in Sri Lanka should be given an opportunity to lead a dignified life and there should be no effort to “cheat them again”.

    The Tamil party has earlier said that it will participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee proposed by the government to resolve the ethnic issue if the Indian Centre government can provide an agenda for talks.

    The Indian government has offered help to create a platform to restart stalled talks between the two parties and it is expected that the Indian government will persuade the TNA to participate in the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee to bring up a permanent solution to the power devolution.

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dilrook,

    Our thanks for a fine analysis.

    We heartily agree that it is the 13-A that must be removed, totally.

    ———————————-

    As for the unit of Devolution, it must be so that there is no room for breakaway states. Therefore, the smallest unit is best, i.e. village councils, etc. This is for the Security of Sri Lanka, to ensure the territorial integrity of the Nation.

    Isn’t it possible to have the District as the Unit of Devolution and have Govt. Agents (SLAS qualified) in charge of the Districts, instead of the whole Prov. Council mini-parliament system ? I recall the times the GAs were in charge, and peace reigned in the Districts.

    We do not think that division of Lanka into Ruhunu, Maya & Pihiti for Administrative purposes is a good idea in these times. Look at how the division happens : Ruhuna (Southern part of the island), Maya (western part), and Pihiti (rest of the island). The division will result in a large Pihiti area, will it not ? and this may suit separatist aspirations.

    India is placating Tamil Nadu leaders and TNA leaders, but not the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. Both present Tamil Nadu & TNA leaders are of the Vellala caste. It is a caste based call, all the way, as far as Tamil leaders are concerned. Tamil Nadu has about 10-15 Million Tamils of low caste/Dalit origin base people, the rest being of other castes. In Sri Lanka it is a small number of Vellala leaders with a large number considered of lower caste (by Tamils). GoSLs now and in the future will have to look to the greater welfare of the larger number of Tamils, as should the rest of us.

    Also, if India is to send lecturers from India (which means lecturers from Tamil Nadu, India), to Northern Universities, and Sri Lanka pays the salaries of these lecturers from tax payer money, then the tax payers ought to have a say in this matter. All Sri Lankan Unis ought to be taught by Sri Lankan lecturers, certainly NOT by Tamil Nadu (so called Indian) lecturers. Short sighted action by GoSL will only bring in long range problems for future generations to handle.
    If Sri Lanka’s Northern Unis are to be for Tamil students only, taught by Tamil teachers from Tamil Nadu, then we are using Sri Lanka tax payer money to educate Tamils students only there, and Tamil Nadu teachers to educate Tamil students who may/will go abroad rather than serve Sri Lanka. This is an unfair and sneaky move, just like the Tamil Nadu fishermen pirating tons of fish off Sri Lanka sea waters. If Sri Lanka is not paid for the services rendered, then Sri Lankan resources are being used/leached away by Tamil Nadu in an unfair and sneaky manner.

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    mjaya,

    The best idea is from you : CHALLENGE THE 13-A IN COURT.
    Thank you.

  11. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lorenzo,

    You said “THUN RATA system is the right thing to do.”

    Not really, my friend; EKA RATA is the BEST!

    ONE Unitary Nation of ONE Unified People, sharing ONE National Destiny.

    Nothing else will do!

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    Ananda-USA,

    Sure.

    One UNITARY nation is the IDEAL solution.

    But there is this devolution BS that is forced on SL. Govt has to do something about it. Otherwise there is international pressure. They might IMPOSE some dirt like 13 amendment.

    BEFORE that we should give a devolution that is NOT harmful. That is where I’m coming from.

  13. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Yes, devolution BS being Orchestrated abroad is a PROBLEM that must be CONFRONTED HEAD-ON.

    Devolution of Power on Communal bases to ANY GROUP must be resisted and avoided AT ALL COSTS.

    The GOSL has to convey to ALL Foreigners and Eelamists that this is IMPOSSIBLE because:

    1. The DEMOCRATIC form of Government we have in Sri Lanka will not PERMIT such devolution to separate communities, against the wishes of the VAST MAJORITY of Sri Lankan citizens.

    2. Sri Lanka’s committment to both EQUAL RIGHTS for citizens, and EQUAL RESPONSIBILITIES due from citizens to the nation as a whole, is ABSOLUTE, and have ENSURED both RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES, irrespective of community, in the past, and will continue to do so in the FUTURE.

    Let those who demand DEVOLUTION provide a list of rights and responsibilities that Tamils, for example, don’t have, in fact and in law, that other ccommunities of Sri Lanka enjoy. The REALITY is that there are no such RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILTIES. Special rights for Tamils only CANNOT BE ACCOMMODATED in our democracy.

    3. That the 30-year long separatist war we have just concluded, liberating and delivering to ALL people of Sri Lanka an equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, REQUIRES that Sri Lanka avoid all forms of devolution that could revive the defeated separatism. Sri Lanka dare not again sacrifice the security of ALL of its citizens, by devolving power to the defeated separatists on the very racist basis they sought to separate.

    The GOSL should ask why it is so difficult for the Foreign Powers pressuring Sri Lanka to understand these realities, given that when their interests and security was at stake they did not devolve power willy-nilly to defeated enemies. Surely, what is good for the goose should be good for the gander as well?

    The GOSL, should point out, for example, that after thye US Civil war, the victorious Union Government militarily occupied the Confederate South for nearly a century, to ensure that the Confederacy did not raise its ugly head again.

    The Victorious Allies militarily occupied the Axis Nations defeated in WW-II for nearly 4 decades, declaring ILLEGAL all political parties that led the Axis powers and permanently ostracizing them. Even today, Allied Armies are present in the former Axis nations under the guise of the NATO. To this day, former Nazi party members are denied immigration to the United States, and Nazi leaders are pursued across the globe from pillar to post, as they should be, for their war crimes.

    When Iraq was occupied by the US Army, the Iraqi Baath Party was banned, the Iraqi Armed Forces were disbanded and they were prohibited from induction into the new Iraqi Army. Even today, Iraqi Baath Party members are banned from holding political office. If the Iraqi Baath Party can be banned in this way, why is it not possible for the GOSL to ban the LTTE proxies of the TNA, instead of allowing them to creep back into power in the guise of “democrats” representing the very same people who they enslaved and tormented hand-in-glove with the LTTE? What kind of a hypocritical double standard is this?

    The GOSL can use all of these arguments to PUSH BACK against the Foreign Tormentors of Sri Lanka, who are advancing their global agendas and dousing local political fires at Sri Lanka’s expense.

    We need much more money to be spent by the GOSL for a GLOBAL MEDIA OFFENSIVE to lay these INCONVENIENT TRUTHS in front of the peoples of the world, in defense of the security of the generations of Sri Lankan citizens in the future. This program should be funded as a matter of high national security.

    We need peace and security in Sri Lanka; our thousands of honored dead, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, have earned us that day in the sun for the Motherland.

    The GOSL must fight against ALL FORMS OF POWER DEVOLUTION on Communal Bases, without throwing all of the sacrifices of our honored dead to the winds. THERE IS NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE.

  14. Ananda-USA Says:

    The TNA wants an EELAM for Tamils-only, irrespective of what the majority of Sri Lankans want.

    That was what the LTTE wanted; NOTHING has changed. Is that surprising, given that the TNA was the Political Arm of the LTTE?

    Tamils have a “Tamils-only” country in Tamil-Nadu, India. Any Tamils who want to live in magnificient isolation in a Tamil Valhalla fighting caste wars for eternity, are welcome to depart for Tamil Nadu … with our heartfelt blessings.

    In Sri Lanka, they CANNOT HAVE a Tamils-only country, with or without Indian help, simply because MOST PEOPLE OF Sri Lanka ARE NOT TAMIL.

    It is HIGH-TIME they came to terms with that, and decided to stay or depart.

    In short, DISCE’ AUT DISCEDE’!

    On the other hand, Tamil people now have, and will have in the future as well, ALL THE RIGHTS every other Sri Lankan enjoys; NOT ONE IOTA less, NOT ONE IOTA MORE.

    No one can call that UNFAIR, UNJUST, DISCRIMINATION against Tamils, or any other community of Sri Lanka.

    Sri Lanka CANNOT ACCOMMODATE Tamil Dignity if that is based on SPECIAL RIGHTS for Tamils, that are UNAVAILABLE to other Sri Lankan Citizens.

    Bottomline: Sri Lanka CANNOT, and indeed WILL NOT, ACCOMMODATE Racist Apartheid Tamil Eelamist Demands.

    NO ONE, India INCLUDED, CAN FORCE Sri Lanka to do that.

    NEVER!

    ……………
    TNA tells Delhi ‘No PSC’

    By The Nation
    October 14, 2012

    India assures a secure future for Tamils

    The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday claimed it had informed New Delhi that it would not participate at the Parliamentary Select Committee proposed by the Colombo Government, P. Ariyanenthiran, TNA Batticaloa District Parliamentarian told The Nation.Ariyanenthiran said he was informed of that decision by the TNA delegation now in India to hold meetings with Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna and later with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. ‘Our delegation had explained to New Delhi that the PSC was not a proper platform as the majority of the composition were government supporters’, he added.TNA was summoned to New Delhi after talks India held with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on September 20.

    The seven-party delegation headed by R. Sampanthan cited earlier retractions by Colombo, especially the abrupt end in December last year to the series of confidence building discussions between the government and the Tamil party to find a solution. The Tamil party delegation also met with Indian Defense Advisor Shivshankar Menon and raised the issue of Tamil refugees settled down in Tamil Nadu and poaching by Tamil Nadu fishermen and the constant rift with Lankan Navy personnel. The former had assured the TNA he would raise the issue with the Tamil Nadu government.

    The delegation cancelled its earlier scheduled meet with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalitha Jeyaram and slated to fly to Colombo today from New Delhi.
    Meanwhile, a statement issued by the TNA said, “The TNA however intimated its grave concerns over the lack of progress by the Sri Lankan Government in the effective implementation of the constructive recommendations of the LLRC and the lack of a genuine commitment on the part of the Government of Sri Lanka to the evolution of an acceptable political solution. The TNA also observed that without meaningful action with regard to the above issues, the Tamil People in Sri Lanka cannot secure a future marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-respect. The TNA urged the need for urgent action to redress this situation. The discussions were free and frank, and the Prime Minister and the others reassured the TNA delegation that India was firmly committed to and would contribute its best efforts to ensure that the Tamil People in Sri Lanka secured a future marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-respect.”

  15. Ananda-USA Says:

    Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa joins Sri Lanka’s Hatarawaran Deviyo in his ENDURING DEVOTION to the survival of Sri Lanka as an UNDIVIDED Sovereign Nation.

    This is NOT THE FIRST TIME he has put his country before his self! Nor will it be the last time!

    May the Noble Triple Gem: the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha bless and protect him always!

    …………………………
    Repeal 13A without delay says Gotabhaya

    “Separatist sentiment still strong’’

    By Shamindra Ferdinando
    October 13, 2012

    Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday called for the abolition of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution without further delay.

    The ongoing efforts by a political grouping led by one-time LTTE mouthpiece, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to hinder the passage of the Divineguma Bill in parliament meant that in spite of Sri Lanka’s battlefield victory over terrorism separatist sentiments were strong, Rajapaksa told The Sunday Island yesterday.

    Responding to a query, the outspoken official said that the SLFP-led UPFA should either do away with the 13th Amendment or amend it taking into considering ground realities.

    The Gajaba Regiment veteran said that the 13th Amendment was nothing but an impediment to the post-war development process. The TNA and its supporters couldn’t be allowed to interfere with what the Defence Secretary called pro-people projects beneficial to all.

    The 13th Amendment came into operation in line with the Indo-Lanka Agreement in July 1987.

    The Defence Secretary’s statement comes in the wake of the TNA having high level talks in New Delhi to push for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment.

    Asked whether he was speaking for the government, the Defence Secretary said that he recently had an opportunity to express his opinion to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and many cabinet ministers. It was important to examine internal and external threats posed on the Sri Lanka State and take tangible action to neutralize the threat, he said.”I’m not talking about President Rajapaksa’s government or the UPFA. I’m not talking politics. People should realize the external interference will not be beneficial. Whatever the party in power, it must have the freedom to take decisions for the benefit of the majority of Sri Lankans,” the Defence Secretary said.

    He said that it was a joke that the TNA, which declared the LTTE as the sole representative of the Tamil speaking people in the run-up to Dec 2001 parliamentary polls, now tried to achieve what the LTTE failed with its conventional military power.

    The TNA would never have received an opportunity to represent Tamil speaking people unless the Sri Lankan military eradicated the LTTE on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon in May three years ago. Had the military failed, the TNA wouldn’t have been in the limelight today.

    The UPFA political leadership and Opposition political parties should realize the TNA represented the LTTE’s interests and that interests of the ordinary Tamil people were very much different from those propagated by the group. He urged political parties to see how the TNA behaved at the height of the war.

    “I challenge anyone one to produce a single stament issued by the TNA urging the LTTE not to use children as cannon fodder. Did TNA oppose when the LTTE imposed restrictions on all political parties throughout its reign of terror?”

    Rajapaksa likened the 13th Amendment to the Norway arranged Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) finalized in Feb 2002. “The 13th Amendment and the CFA didn’t serve the people of Sri Lanka. Instead, they facilitated interests of various other parties, including the LTTE. Interestingly both supported the separatist cause,” he said.

    Rajapaksa said that that unless the government acted swiftly and decisively the ongoing crisis could have an impact on national security as well. He pointed out that already the TNA and some of its overseas supporters had been pushing for SLA pullout from the Northern region. It would be a mistake on our part to view protests against Divineguma Bill in isolation, he said.

  16. Fran Diaz Says:

    Well said, Ananda USA !
    Also, Devolution of power on any one exclusive group basis only, whether Communal, religious, etc. must be avoided on a permanent basis.

  17. Voice123 Says:

    The western and Indian based INGO, UN, political, western voting public, “human rights”, church activists, refugee activists and media phalanx etc against Sri Lanka must be confronted and defeated once and for all.

  18. Lorenzo Says:

    Ananda-USA,

    As you are aware from the 3 posts you posted, SL CANNOT get away from devolution BS.

    India is putting enormous pressure on us.

    We can trump it by doing some solution that gives TNA NO POWER at all. The only way is Thun Rata system. TNA, SLMC will not have ANY power.

  19. Fran Diaz Says:

    I think it is not so much “Devolution” that India is referring to, but ownership of a home and a job creation with a fair system of education for Tamils of N&E. Does GoSL need TNA to get that done ? Or does India want it to appear as though TNA gets things done to make it look good on the Caste issues front. You know, Vellalas ‘looking after’ the rest of the Tamils, and that Vellalas get things done.

    And of course, as far as GoSL is concerned, it cannot be for Tamils only, but also for all the others of the N&E. The rest of the country cannot be ignored either.

    What I am wondering is : just how many illegal migrants from Tamil Nadu are going to benefit from whatever goodies are given.

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