TNA and the National Issue – Dump the 13th Amendment
Posted on June 7th, 2013

Asada M Erpini

A report in the local media on 06 June states that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Sri Lanka’s major Tamil party, opposes amending the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

First and foremost, the glaring error that gets repeated ad nauseum is that TNA is Sri Lanka’s major Tamil political party: it is preposterous for anyone to affix such a designation to a group that could claim to represent less than four percent of the population of Sri Lanka. The so-called Tamils of Indian Origin, the descendants of the South Indian labourers brought to then Ceylon by the colonial rulers, on the other hand, comprise a much higher percentage of Tamils in the country, yet the political party that represents them is rarely referred to as “major”.

TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran is reported to have said that the 13th Amendment was aimed at solving the national issue. Premacharndran has very conveniently ignored the fact that the 13th amendment was a measure that was imposed upon Sri Lanka by the Prime Minister of India in 1987. One of the key features of the Indo-Lanka Pact that Rajiv Gandhi forced JRJ to accept “”…” the fact that pacts get born though mutual agreement whereas this “ƒ”¹…”pact’ saw the light of the day while Indian warships were menacingly hovering close to the Colombo harbour and Indian war planes were violating the airspace of the sovereign State of Sri Lanka probably is irrelevant “”…” was that LTTE would be disarmed within 72 hours. It is not the Indian army that got rid of the terrorist gang and its arsenal but the valiant armed forces of Sri Lanka in 2009, after period of two decades of immense sacrifice made both by the men and women in uniform as well as the innocent civilians.

The professed aim of the 13th Amendment may have been “solving the national issue” “”…” whatever that may be – that the TNA and its MPs keep talking about endlessly. The important point that both India and TNA forgot is that solving any national issue (of Sri Lanka) is the prerogative of the duly elected government of Sri Lanka. India has no moral obligation or legal justification to get involved in or dictate to Sri Lanka, as the island nation is not a state among the union of states that comprise India. If India intervenes in matters of Sri Lanka, it proves that the Big Neighbour is glad to play Big Bully in South Asia.

Premachandran may hold the view that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution should not be amended. Many peace-loving and tax-paying Sri Lankans, on the other hand, would demand that the 13th Amendment “”…” lock, stock, and barrel “”…” be dumped, as it did not deliver any of the goods promised but only gave rise to a white elephant that drains the meagre coffers of the country.

 

11 Responses to “TNA and the National Issue – Dump the 13th Amendment”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Why do we have to entertain TNA clowns? Seriously?

    They are just TOO SMALL and INSIGNIFICANT. Why the whole country suffers due to just 3% of vote getters! This is NOT democracy. 97% should be able to FORCE their way on this 3%.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    The 13th AMENDMENT contains Many POISON PILLS that THREATEN the INTEGRITY of Sri Lanka and the SAFETY of its PEOPLE.

    Among them:

    1. Devolution of Land and Police Powers that will enable SEPARATIST Tamils to EXCLUDE other communities from the North and East, to BUILD UP their SEPARATIST forces ONCE AGAIN beyond the view and control of the National Government, and to import an unending STREAM OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS from Tamil Nadu.

    2. The de-facto VETO power of Provincial Councils over NATIONAL BILLS which requires UNANIMOUS CONSENT of ALL PCs for passage of National Bills. Under this law, the GOSL would be UNABLE to act against SEPARATIST Provincial Councils in any way.

    3. The Provision for the MERGER of the Northern and Eastern Provincial Councils, that would resurrect the long held dream of Eelamists to impose their majority in the Northern Province on the Eastern Province, and capture it as well. What the SunGod sought to Win by MURDEROUS WAR would be gifted to the TNA in ABJECT PEACE!

    It would be an ABSOLUTE FOLLY to hand over the North and East to UNREPENTANT SEPARATISTS ENABLING them to SECEDE and join Tamil Nadu!

    The LIVES of UNTOLD GENERATIONS OF Sri Lankan Citizens would be placed at RISK by opening this DOOR TO HELL!

    Ask Not For Whom the Bell Tolls; it Tolls for Thee!

    Rise Up! …. O Patriots of Mother Lanka …. REPEAL the 13th Amendment, DEMOLISH the Provincial Council System, and HALT the upcoming Provincial Council Elections, DEMAND a NATIONWIDE REFERENDUM to END the 13th Amendment!

  3. Nimal Fernando Says:

    As Lorenzo says: This is NOT democracy.

    Are the nation’s elected representatives short of hearing this passionate demand by 97% of the people?
    Hey, the last time I checked in Democraticland, such representatives introduce legislation; they also DUMP
    said legislation, with unerring aim in the nearest dustbin, when We The People demand it.
    So what’s all the fuss about?

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    WHY IS THE TNA TREATING THIS AS A NATIONAL ISSUE FOR A MERE 3% TAMIL POPULATION ?

    THE NATIONAL ISSUE IS THAT, THEF 13TH AMMENDMENT SHOULD BE SCRAPPED, ALONG WITH THE PROVINCIAL COUNCILS, WHICH HAVE BEEN THE BREEDING GROUNDS FOR ROWDY POLITICIANS AND THE UNDER-WORLD THUGS, TO SYSTEMATICALLY EAT INTO BILLIONS OF SRI LANKAN FINANCES AND OTHER RESOURCES, WHICH OTHERWISE COULD BE DIVERTED TO FAST TRACK ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY.

    IAM INCLINED TO THINK THAT THE T~~N~~A WILL BE SINGING THE SWAN SONG VERY SOON.

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    The TNA fondly ASSUMES that the GOSL has to hold the Provincial Council Elections because of the UPCOMING CHOGM and UN Human Rights Council meetings.

    Let the GOSL CONFOUND THE TNA by holding a NATIONWIDE REFERENDUM to REPEAL the 13th Amendment and DISSOLVE ALL Provincial Councils and them use that as the DEMOCRATICALLY EXPRESSED WILL of ALL PEOPLE of Sri Lanka to NOT Hold Provincial Council Elections at ALL.

    Let NO COMMUNITY have separate powers defined by Communal Attributes of Race, REligion, Language, Caste or Sex. To do so would be to pit these communities against each other FOREVER for SPECIAL RIGHTS as in India. India has been destroyed beyond repair by allowing Communal Special Rights sanctioned by law to reign; PLEASE DO NOT make the same mistake in Mother Lanka.

    Furthermore,

    NEVER devolve LAND and POLICE powers to UNREPENTANT SEPARATISTS.
    NEVER devolve VETO rights over National Legislation to UNREPENTANT SEPARATISTS.
    NEVER devolve TAXATION rights to UNREPENTANT RACISTS; Only the National Government should levy tax and then remit a portion to local governments …. as appropriate.

    EVERY DAY we see the TNA showing its TRUE SEPARATIST COLORS demanding powers that only SEPARATISTS would demand.

    Rise Up …. O Patriots of Mother Lanka …REPEAL the 13th Amendment and DISSOLVE the PROVINCIAL COUNCILS.

    Rise Up … O Patriots of Mother Lanka … DEMAND a NATIONWIDE REFERENDUM to REPEAL the 13th Amendment and DISSOLVE the Provincial Councils.

    Our Craven Politicians cower in fear of foreigners; You must take up this challenge to PROTECT & DEFEND Mother Lanka NOW!

    O Patriots of Mother Lanka … Ask Not For Whom the Bell Tolls for It Tolls for Thee!

    ……………………….
    Sri Lanka Tamil party sees no use of holding Northern PC poll after reducing powers to provinces

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    June 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it would be useless to hold elections to the Northern Provincial Council after amending the 13th Amendment and reducing powers vested with the provinces.

    TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran says the government however is compelled to hold the Northern Provincial Council elections.

    “The current President and the government are going against this (implementing the 13th Amendment and going beyond),” he said.

    “We want to go beyond the 13th Amendment. Provincial Councils need more powers on land, police and taxation. There are also issues in relation to the Governor. It is important to go beyond the current system. Only then can people in each province look after themselves. We are not satisfied with the current system and we must go beyond,” he added.

    According to Premachandran, he does not have faith in the government to hold the Northern Provincial Council election, but understands that the government is compelled to hold the election because of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and the resolution adopted at the UN Human Rights Council.

    “The government has to therefore show the world that it is democratic and holds elections. The government has to face accountability issues before the international community and there is a lot of pressure, so they would have to hold elections in the North. It is not that the government wants to hold elections, but it is compelled to do so,” he has said.

  6. Ananda-USA Says:

    On May 19th, 2009 the Patriotic Forces of Sri Lanka completed the FIRST STEP of regaining its Sovereign Crown.

    Let the SECOND STEP of that Heroic Struggle to Wrest our Crown Free of Foreign Domination be completed in 2013 by REPEALING the 13th Amendment and UPROOTING the Provincial Council System COMPLETELY from the Hallowed Soil of our Resplendent Motherland.

    In UNITY lies our strength; UNITED we can MOVE MOUNTAINS! Hold Fast …. and FORGE AHEAD with CONFIDENCE in the NOBILITY of OUR PURPOSE … to build a peaceful and secure future for ALL Sri Lankans, irrespective of community. To this end, REJECT the creation of a Patchwork Quilt of Racist Aparthied Bantustans in Sri Lanka under the 13th Amendment!

    Rise Up …. O Patriots of Mother Lanka … Rise Up as ONE PEOPLE, and Cry out in ONE VOICE that we WILL NOT TOLERATE ANYMORE the Foreign Chains that Yoke our Motherland to a Foreign Agenda designed to DIVIDE and WEAKEN our Motherland FOREVER!

    ………………….
    Sinhala Buddhist organizations rally to abolish the 13th Amendment to the Constitution

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    June 09, Colombo: A number of Sinhala Buddhist organizations in Sri Lanka have rallied to abolish the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

    Accordingly, a general assembly has been planned to be held in Colombo with the participation of a wide range of political movements.

    The rally will be held in Colombo Hyde Park on June 28.

    Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), National Buddhist Monks’ Federation, Sinhala Ravaya National Organization, Bodu Bala Sena, All Lanka Buddhist Federation, All Lanka Buddhist Women’s Federation, Dharmavijaya Foundation, Swarna Hansa Foundation, Sinhala Weera Vidahana, Chinthana Parshadaya and Jayagrahanaya are the movements that have joined to hold the rally.

    National Freedom Front led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa and other Sinhala nationalist parties that are with the government except the monk party JHU have not yet confirmed the participation in the rally.

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    It is VERY SAD, but the Catholic Bishops of Sri Lanka have joined the SEPARATISTS of the TNA, the would-be Future Separatists of the SLMC, the Communist Party (CP), the foreign-funded NGOs and other assorted Anti-National Elements to OPPOSE REPEAL of the 13th Amendment.

    So what is new? The THESE ARE THE VERY SAME PEOPLE who covertly and overtly supported the LTTE led by its SunGod, are now fighting the same battle on a different stage to DIVIDE and GIFT the LIMBS of Mother Sri Lanka to SEPARATISTS.

    The Nation is dividing into TWO CAMPS on this issue: TRAITORS and PATRIOTS. We must NEVER FORGET who the TRAITORS were!

    Rise Up …. O Patriots of Mother Lanka …. in your TENS of MILLIONS to SECURE PEACE & SECURITY for yourselves and UNTOLD FUTURE GENERATIONS by REPEAL the 13th Amendment and DEMOLISHING the Provincial Councils! DEMAND a NATIONWIDE REFERENDUM to REPEAL these FOREIGN SHACKLES that BIND and ENSLAVE Mother Lanka to Communal Discord! Your NOBLE PURPOSE is to DEMOLISH FOREVER all SPECIAL PRIVILEGES to Communal Groups …. assigned on the basis of Race, Religion, Language, Caste and Sex.

    Rise Up … O Patriots of Mother Lanka …. Your Country Needs you NOW!
    ……………………..
    Catholic bishops ask Sri Lankan government not to change 13th Amendment to Constitution

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    June 10, Colombo: The Catholic bishops of Sri Lanka have requested the government not to proceed with amending the 13th Amendment to the Constitution although the amendment may not be perfect.

    In a statement the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka today requested the government not to proceed with amending the 13th Amendment or totally repeal it but to discuss with all relevant parties on drawing up a totally new Constitution which is fair by all communities.

    “The 13thAmendment of the National Constitution is a system that by large allows the greater participation of the people in the matter of governance,” the statement signed by the Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith on behalf of the organization said.

    It said that although the 13th Amendment may not be perfect, pondering on this constitutional provision may lead to over centralization of authority and to international meddling in the internal affairs of this country at a time when Sri Lanka is striving to make permanent the hard won peace.

    Stating that the problem in the North is a national question, for which the solution is to be found by the local political leadership of both Sinhala and Tamil communities, the bishops advised the government not to proceed with the proposed revision to the 13th Amendment or to its total repeal.

    The bishops advised the government to discuss the 13th Amendment through a Parliamentary Select Committee and consider a totally new Constitution which would guarantee “justice, peace and prosperity for all citizens of the country regardless of their ethnic, religious or social differences.”

  8. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    No only should the 13th amendment be removed but a new amendment put in place that places the power in Colombo and lessens it in the provinces. An amendment that addresses the integrity and security of Sri Lanka as preeminent over any other regional issue.

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    Birds of a Feather …. Flock Together: TNA, SLMC, Communist Party (CP), and Catholic Bishops.

    Without a DOUBT, the UNP, under Ranil Wickremasinghe’s treacherous “Leadership” will join them too.

    But, not to worry: Despite these PARASITES, The VAST MAJORITY of the People of Sri Lanka are PATRIOTS!

    Rise Up …. O Patriots of Mother Lanka …. in your TENS of MILLIONS to SECURE PEACE & SECURITY for yourselves and UNTOLD FUTURE GENERATIONS!

    REPEAL the 13th Amendment and DEMOLISH the Provincial Councils! DEMAND a NATIONWIDE REFERENDUM to REPEAL these FOREIGN SHACKLES that will BIND and YOKE Mother Lanka to Communal Discord in Perpetuity!

    Your NOBLE PURPOSE is to DEMOLISH FOREVER all SPECIAL PRIVILEGES given to Communal Groups …. assigned on the basis of Race, Religion, Language, Caste and Sex.

    Rise Up … O Patriots of Mother Lanka …. Your Country Needs you NOW!

    ………………………
    Sri Lanka Muslim party decides to oppose any changes to 13th Amendment

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    June 11, Colombo: The Parliamentary Group of Sri Lanka’s major Muslim party, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) unanimously resolved yesterday to express opposition to any moves to make changes to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

    The SLMC parliamentary group met at the Colombo residence of party leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem on Monday June 10th 2013 and all eight MPs of the party came to the decision unanimously to oppose any moves that curtail the powers allocated to the Provincial councils.

    SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali said the party will officially write to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa informing the SLMC decision before the next cabinet meeting scheduled for Thursday June 13th.

    The decision will be conveyed to the Cabinet of Ministers by party leader Rauf Hakeem on that day.

    In addition to the SLMC leader Chairman of the party Minister of Productivity Promotion Basheer Segu Dawood, Trincomalee district MP M.S. Thowfeek, Ampara district MPs H.M.M. Harees and Faizal Cassim, Wanni district MP M.B. Farook and National list MPs M.T. Hasan Ali and Mohamed Aslam participated in the SLMC meeting.

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    Pusillanimous Politicians FIDDLE while SEPARATISTS and Anti_National Forces PREPARE to DIVIDE UP Sri Lanka!

    INDECISIVE, INEFFECTIVE, UNCARING, DISGUSTING!

    The VAST MAJORITY of the People of Sri Lanka ELECTED you and PLACED their lives in your hands … to ACT in the NATIONAL INTEREST! DO SO NOW!

    ………………………….
    13A: President tells EPDP, JHU to speak their minds

    by Shamindra Ferdinando
    Island.lk
    June 10, 2013

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday assured EPDP leader and Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Minister Douglas Devananda that the Government would not interfere in his ongoing protest campaigns against proposed changes to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

    President Rajapaksa told Minister Devananda that he could freely voice his position as regards the issue in Parliament.

    The EPDP and SLMC have strongly opposed far-reaching proposals to do away with the rights of two provinces or more to merge in accordance with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. And, the second contentious issue has been the government proposal to repeal the Constitutional requirement that the consent of all provincial councils was necessary for the enactment of legislation in parliament that infringe on their powers.

    Senior Government sources told The Island last night that President Rajapaksa had held a separate meeting with and JHU General Secretary and Technology, Research and Atomic Energy Minister Patali Chamipka Ranawaka to discuss the ongoing JHU campaign calling for the abolition of the 13th amendment.

    Sources said that President Rajapaksa also told the JHU delegation led by Minister Ranawaka that the party could continue with its campaign and the government would not interfere with it.

    The JHU was also told that it could freely voice its position in Parliament.

    Asked whether the President had called National Freedom Front leader Minister Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa for a meeting, the sources said that the NFF leader was not among those invited for talks at Temple Trees yesterday.

    Sources said that the President decided to meet the EPDP and JHU in the wake of a sharp division in the SLFP-led ruling coalition over the first Northern Provincial council election to be held under the current constitution.

    There could be further meetings among UPFA partners within the next few days to iron out differences, government sources added.

  11. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Today’s news in the Sri Lankan “Mirror” and “Ceylon today (6/13/13) is that the TNA has made a visit to New Delhi to bring in India to pressure Colombo to keep the 13th amendment. This is a time for Quid Pro Quo. If India demands this then Sri Lanka should get something for it such as more islands in the Mannar basin, the repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamils as Indian citizens, the repatriation of the Indian tea pickers who can be replaced by Chinese, Malay or Indonesian Tea pickers, the acceptance that the Singhala language is the language of the land and most importantly an agreement that India or any entity hired by India will no longer have any voice in Sri Lanka. If India refuses even one of these demands then all bets are off regarding India’s role in the 13th amendment.

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