13th amendment is a threat to both Sri Lanka and India
Posted on June 12th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

On 29 July 2013 the 25th year of the signing of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord will be marked. What did it achieve and what it did not is as important as deciding where do we in Sri Lanka want to take the Accord and the 13th amendment both imported and forced upon Sri Lanka.  Moreover, the chief architect of the Accord was assassinated by the LTTE which his mother trained and equipped while his counterpart in Sri Lanka is also no more. With both dead, the others tagging on to the Accord have no real basis to be demanding its continuance because none of what was promised in the Accord ever happened. If the Indo-Lanka Accord, the letters exchanged between PM Rajiv and President Jayewardene as well as the 13th amendment were ALL DRAFTED by the South Block of the Indian External Affairs Ministry we need to very clearly tell India that we no longer wish to carry its burden any more. Moreover, to make Sri Lanka sign an Accord and change its Constitution drafted by India under duress is itself is a violation of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. 25 years on the issue is of security and both India and Sri Lanka must look at things from a security angle.

The number of pacts signed between politicians are many but how many of these have actually benefitted the masses is a question never answered. Without a doubt the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and the subsequent 13th amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution on 14 November 1987 and with it the Provincial Councils Act No 42 of 1987 to establish provincial councils will go down as one such unworkable agreement of little or no benefit to the masses. Ironically, India politically offered a Peace Accord and a new administrative system whilst training and arming and financially supporting the LTTE “”…” proof is found very clearly in the Jain Commission report and Indian Government went to great lengths to omit references to India training and arming LTTE in the Report.

The I3th amendment is only a POLITICAL TOY and nothing else. NE Province was merged in September 1988 and elections held in December 1988 and within 2 years the elected Chief Minister Varatharaja Perumal declared a unilateral declaration of independence forcing President Premadasa to dissolve the NE Province. Incidentally, Dayan J who was a Minister in Perumal’s NE provincial government is now paranoid that India would invade Sri Lanka and that the country should be cowards and implement the 13th amendment. This same officer secretly changed clauses to a State document presented in Geneva which shows his untrustworthiness to be entrusted with national affairs. The NE merger was declared illegal by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in 2006. The province was formally demerged into the Northern and Eastern provinces on 1 January 2007. It was the JVP that filed the case that led to the demerger and the nation is ever grateful for them just as the JVP now unites with nationalist forces to demand the repeal of the 13th amendment.  

Former IPKF Commander General A S Kalkat says “When we drafted the 13th Amendment, most of the Sri Lankan Tamil leaders “”…” TULF leaders as well as militant leaders “”…” wanted Jaffna to be the capital of North and East, but we insisted that Trincomalee should be the capital because of strategic importance of the sea port to India,”. This shows that the entire agreement was created for India and for India’s interest only. This is something the Tamil people needs to take into consideration. This also brings up the issue of how many Sri Lankan Tamils think India has a legitimate right to interfere in a sovereign nation. Much of the issues that have arisen, come from the fact that we are unable to clearly articulate to India that we are a sovereign nation and India has no right to be meddling in our internal affairs. Unless the Government directly takes this issue and addresses it we are likely to face many more situations where Tamil parties continuously run to Delhi to be instructed on what to demand from Sri Lanka’s cabinet. This is a very unwholesome situation for both countries for it gives rise to unnecessary tension and allows foreign players to enter and make matters worse for both nations. It is not just the TNA “”…” the UNP too cannot think for itself and has to always run to the West for instructions. In this manner can the people ever place trust in such political parties?

This is the exact scenario that is taking place and India’s nationalists would well do to read the likely repercussions of Hillary making a special visit to Tamil Nadu for talks with a State Chief Minister which is no different to the US Ambassador striking chords with the Muslims of Eastern Sri Lanka. The lies the US administration tells is revealed only too well for Americans now find that their Government preaching freedom to all and sundry has been snooping in on everything they do and say “”…” so much for freedom of expression!

None of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord/13a/PC supporters can forget that Sri Lanka had to sign the Pact under duress, with emergency declared, media forbidden and with Sri Lankan Ministers virtually bribed having to give undated resignation signatures on blank paper. The only man with guts amongst them was Gamini Jayasuriya who resigned and R Premadasa who boycotted the proceedings. Many of the clauses India promised to uphold never even took place one of which is clause 2.16 a) promising not to allow Indian territory to be used for activities prejudicial to the unity, integrity and security of Sri Lanka “”…” India cannot deny that Tamil Nadu was and continues to be a hub for anti-SL activities.

When India continues to use the slogan that its interest is primarily on the security threat to India, then the fact that India is under US surveillance would show that the hype of calling India a strategic partner is nothing but a sham and India would well do to fear being called a friend of the US rather than feel obliged about the honor.

If India wishes to trust in the TNA politicians who are chameleons and change with the weather, India is likely to fall into dire straits sooner than we thought. TNA have never represented the interests of the Tamil people “”…” they have only represented an elite lot of Jaffna Tamils who never had anything to fuss about given that the 30 year conflict never affected them. Did the TNA give even a packet of rice to any of the refugees or demand the LTTE not to kidnap Tamil children and turn them into child soldiers? Instead what did the TNA do “”…” they openly declared that the Tamil people were represented by the LTTE thus putting all Tamils into the same basket as the LTTE.

Apart from the fact that the Indo-Lanka Accord the 13th amendment and the PC system do not have the mandate of the people, the manner in which India ties the North East as “tamil speaking homeland” draws our attention to the dangers of “ethnic-based federalism” this has failed in all the countries the liberalists have experimented and there is no reason why we should accept it in Sri Lanka when over 2/3 Tamil population live outside of the North.

We do not expect the Tamil people to recall any of this or decide to punish the TNA by not voting for them because we know that the Tamil people will vote for the TNA. Nevertheless, we cannot allow the North to be bartered away by politicians who have been all the while attempting to divide the country and the fact that they take orders from foreign players does not rule out that India will not be victim for the anger that South India has against the North is nothing that needs to be continuously mentioned. In fact if at all, India should be concerned about placing its trust in the TNA given that it has held numerous meetings in the West with officials and it is everyone’s guess what is likely to have been exchanged between them that would place India in a compromising situation.

Therefore, if Sri Lanka’s nationalists have now emerged to emphatically declare to the Government of Sri Lanka that the curse of the 13th amendment should be repealed altogether, India should be wise to factor in some of the arguments that have been meticulously presented which are valid enough for India to realize that the 13th amendment is more of a risk to India too. Given the manner India’s current leadership bends all over to the onslaughts coming from Tamil Nadu simply because of the vote factor, the sovereignty of India should become all the more reason for India to agree to allow Sri Lanka to repeal the 13th amendment and not oppose it.

Many a time India has been warned by Sri Lanka that the West is out to balkanize India and Tamil Nadu is targeted to be made into a Christian satellite state combining Sri Lanka’s North. A good look at all the supporters and where their affinity lies would reveal in no uncertain terms the validity of this conclusion. Yet, if India were to rely on its Congress Chairperson to call the shots, India is doomed.

A careful study of the real entities that helped LTTE thrive and their links, the people using organizations that were funded to support separatism and promote devolution and federalism as a quick stop or interim arrangement will reveal the exact dangers in store for both India and Sri Lanka.

Presently other than the TNA the opposition to the repealing of the 13th amendment is coming from the Catholic bishops, the Communist Party, the Friday Forum, the NGO peaceniks and the Muslim Congress “”…” though taken together they represent a miniscule number their influence is generated by the financial and international backing they have to exert pressure on the Government. From the manner the supporters of 13th amendment articulate their argument to continue the 13th amendment we can safely say we know where they are heading.

Yet, in reality how many of these actually voted for President Rajapakse? It is therefore the voters wishes that President now needs to take into consideration for he is a politician and for politicians numbers matter more than anything. Additionally, there is the Jihad factor that even India needs to be alert to. We had Vaddukoddai being the basis for the armed struggle so we are not naƒÆ’†’¯ve to brush aside the Muslims Oluvil Declaration for autonomy. All these place the majority on alert mode and demands that politicians look at the need of the country before placing their personal needs first.

As for any other takers for 13th amendment it is a good time for us the voter to know from those we voted into parliament what their stand is on the 13th amendment “”…” a simple yes/no in favor or not would do without confusing matters like some ministers are talented at doing.

Therefore, the 13th amendment has served its time and needs to be laid to rest never to rise and India is well advised to get down from its obnoxious superior pedestal to see why India should not oppose the repealing of the 13th amendment. Dangers for Sri Lanka spells more dangers for India.

 

5 Responses to “13th amendment is a threat to both Sri Lanka and India”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    If the president is a real patriot he show throw the Indo Lanka peace nonsense out too.

    The minimum he can do is get rid of 13 amendment.

  2. Senevirath Says:

    ASGIRIYA MAHANAYAKE SAYS THAT HE IS GIONG TO FIGHT AGAINST CASINO. GOOD . BUT WHY CANT HE FIGHT TO SCRAP 13 A

    CABINET TAKING A DECISION ABOUT 13A ON THE 13TH.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Jayawewa! FINALLY … it is HERE as we had OFTEN DEMANDED …. CONTROL & OVERSIGHT of NGOs!

    Now, let us see whether the Law is ENFORCED!

    Laws UNFORCED are Laws NON-EXISTENT!

    …………………………
    Sri Lankan government clamps down on errant NGOs

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    June 13, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has taken a series of measures to clamp down on the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) engaged in activities that threaten the peace and security in the country.

    Accordingly, the government has appointed a special Board of intellectuals to probe charges and allegations being made against NGOs and their operations and has made it compulsory for all NGOs operating in the country to register themselves with the Office for the Registration of Non-Governmental Organizations.

    The Government Information Department said the measures were taken to “thwart certain NGOs from hatching conspiracies to effect regime change by engaging in politics in the guise of doing social work in the country.”

    The Director General of Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle told media that strict legal action will be taken against NGOs failing to comply with this registration rule and evict such NGOs.

    The Registration of NGOs has been brought under the purview of the Defence Ministry with effect from 2010. The registration process of NGOs is implemented under the supervision of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

    According to Hulugalle, there are nearly 100 NGOs operating in the country currently, and a large number of them have been identified to be surreptitiously engaging in activities inimical to the state by hatching various conspiracies through opposition politicians.

    Some of the NGOs found to have evaded the registration with the Defence Ministry and instead have registered as non-profit organizations at the Department for the Registrar of Companies, the spokesman said.

    Hulugalle said that legislation has been enacted making every NGO to comply with regulations and conditions stipulated in the amended gazette notification published in 2006 after registering it with the Office for the Registration of NGOs on February 26,1999.

    Accordingly, NGOs should submit a report to the government listing its role, staff and funding and donations received from abroad, their manner of expenditure and their proposals and plans, he said. Their assets should also be registered with the relevant unit of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    HERE is ANOTHER ADDLE-PATED FOOL OF A MINISTER in the GOSL Cabinet currying favor from Western Neocolonialists parroting their demands!

    He should RESIGN NOW without delay …. he does not belong in a PATRIOTIC Government committed to defending the Nation. Perhaps the Tiger Nominated Agents (TNA) can offer him a Portfolio in their Northern Provincial Council Eelam after the PC elections!

    Let us REMEMBER this man when the Eelamists take over the Northern PC and Unilaterally Proclaim a Separate State … calling for Foreign Intervention … and WAR begins ANEW in Sri Lanka!

    Begone FOOL!

    ……………………
    Sri Lanka Minister ready to resign to safeguard provincial councils

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    June 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Rajitha Senaratne said that he was ready to sacrifice his cabinet portfolio to stop further reducing the powers devolved to the provinces through the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

    Addressing a press briefing held in Colombo today, the Minister said that he would not change his position on the 13th Amendment.

    He further said that the government would be defeated before the international forces unless it fails to stop the moves to further curtail the powers of the provincial councils.

    The Minister also rejected the proposals for a referendum on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

    The Cabinet of ministers yesterday decided to ask the government to appoint a parliamentary select committee to study the issues regarding the amendment of the 13th Amendment since there was opposition from some cabinet ministers to diluting powers vested to PCs in the 13th Amendment.

    Constituent parties of the ruling alliance had expressed divergent views on the changes to the 13th Amendment but all were in agreement that the 13the Amendment which was formulated by India and trusted on Sri Lanka should be changed to fit to current situation after the end of the war.

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    Indeed, as Neville Laduahetty says, “Thus the interests of the People are at variance with the interests of the Councillors. ”

    But, we must ALSO ask “Which People”? ALL of the citizens of the whole of Sri Lanka, or ONLY the residents of ONE OR MORE Provinces?

    Therein lies the DANGER. If for example, “the People” of a particular Province, for whatever reason, want to secede from union with Sri Lanka, then will they have, or can they acquire, the Legal Power to do it using the powers devolved under the 13th Amendment? Even if there is no difference in opinion between “the People” of that province and “the Provincial Councillors” of that province, it could very well happen that the People of the Other Provinces, and/or their Provincial Councillors, may disagree with the steps contemplated by the Province in question.

    That is why Sri Lanka should NEVER RECOGNIZE of ANY SUB-NATIONAL GROUP of Sri Lankans, defined on ANY BASIS such as regional, ethnic, religious, or whatever, as having Sovereignty, or the Power to decide on whether to remain a part of Sri Lanka, or to act independently of the Sri Lankan Nation State.

    ONLY the ENTIRE PEOPLE of Sri Lanka, expressing their views through NATIONWIDE ELECTIONS and REFERENDA, should be recognized as being SOVEREIGN, and be RECOGNIZED as having the Legal Power to decide on such matters.

    That is why Land and Police Powers are so critica to maintaining the Sovereignty of ALL PEOPLE of Sri Lankal. Without Land Powers the Nation State has no control over its territory, and without Police Powers it will have no authority or the means to enforce the Land Powers, which more generally can be taken to include immigration/emigration as well.

    Recall that during the period from March 15, 1815 to February 4, 1948, MILLIONS of Indian laborers were imported into Sri Lanka by the British, ignoring the protests of the native people of Sri Lanka, PERMANENTLY AFFECTING their RIGHTS and DISPOSSESSING them. That is the PRICE Sri Lankans paid for having lost our Sovereignty and Control over our country for 150 years. We should LEARN well that LESSON of the CONSEQUENCES of losing Land and Police Powers to foreign powers or internal groups, who have agendas inimical to the continued existence and sovereignty of our nation.

    FORTUNATELY, there is an Internationally Recognized LEGAL PRINCIPLE and a CLEAR LEGAL PRECEDENT for a National Government to claim the Sovereignty of ALL PEOPLE of a country over ALL of its territory, and enforce its authority even over sub-groups of states and people residing in those territories: The United States of America in the US Civil War:

    The Southern (Confederate) States of the USA argued that since they had joined the American Union voluntarily, and since they had reserved States Rights to themselves under the US Constitution at that time, they had every right to SECEDE from the Union if they so decided, WITHOUT REGARD to wishes of THE PEOPLE OF THE NATION AS A WHOLE.

    Not so, argued President Abraham Lincoln and the Union (Federal) States. They maintained that ONLY the ALL of PEOPLE of the Nation were Sovereign, not the States, not the People of a SUB-GROUP of those States.

    The argument was that ALL OF THE PEOPLE of THE United States had ACQUIRED A RIGHT TO ENJOY THE BOUNTY of the ENTIRE TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES ACCUMULATED during the Previous 100 Years of Union as ONE NATION STATE. ALL of the People of the US had invested their efforts, their treasure, and their hopes in building that Union of States, argued the Unionists, and no SUB-GROUP of States had the right ANYMORE to DENY them those ACCUMULATED EARNED RIGHTS, which are now INALIENABLE.

    Well, Sri Lanka has certainly existed as a well-recognized Sovereign Nation-State for several thousand years, with brief interruptions due to invasions, and ALL OF ITS PEOPLE, from then until now, have invested their efforts, their treasure, and their hopes in an Undivided Sovereign Sri Lanka. That is a RIGHT EARNED and PASSED ONTO to subsequent generations of Sri Lankan Citizens over several millenia, which TRUMPS the RIGHT EARNED by ALL of the citizens of the United States, over a mere 100 years of existence as one nation from the American Revolution to the American Civil War, to CONTINUED EXISTENCE as a ONE undivided Nation.

    This EXAMPLE of ONLY ALL OFF THE PEOPLE of a Nation State being Sovereign, and that this Sovereignty is EARNED RIGHT BY ALL OF THE PEOPLE to ALL OF THE TERRITORY OF A NATION, is IMPORTANT to Sri Lanka for TWO reasons:

    1. It FORMS a BASIS for asserting that the WILL OF ALL CITIZENS OF Sri Lanka has PRIORITY/PRECEDENCE over the WILL OF ANY SEPARATIST SUB-GROUP of People in Sri Lanka. Therefore, any National Question, such as REPEALING the 13th Amendment and the DISSOLUTION of the Provincial Councils, must be decided in a NATIONWIDE REFERENDUM that queries the wishes of ALL PEOPLE of Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the WILL of ALL of Sri Lanka, thus expressed, is PARAMOUNT, and has precedence over the WILL of its Representatives elected to ANY and ALL branches (the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary) of Government.

    2. This Legal Principle is well established in the United States, forming as it did the very legal basis on which the Civil War against the Separatist Confederates, was fought and won, and the writ of the Union Government was consolidated over the ENTIRE United States, and subsequently extended to new territories that joined, or were annexed, into the United States. Yet, the United States is one of the foremost critics of Sri Lanka that demands Devolution of Power to ACTIVE separatists, who threaten its very existence as a Sovereign Nation, and refuse to abide by its unitary status. That is CLEARLY CONTRARY to the Principles the United States used in the past, and uses today, to assure its own existence as a United Sovereign Nation.

    Therefore, this Principle can be USED to FEND off ALL of the Foreign Critics of Sri Lanka who demand that autonomous power be devolved to former and continuing separatists by pointing out the HYPOCRISY, DOUBLE STANDARDS, ILLEGALITY under their own laws, of their positions on this issue. We can INVOKE the same principle they used to defend and protect thier own countries, to defend and protect Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty over ALL of its territory, and ALL of its people.

    What is GOOD for the American GOOSE, we must INSIST, is GOOD for the Sri Lankan GANDER as well!

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