The Bogeyman’s 13 th Amendment has to be thrown out in the National Interest
Posted on June 12th, 2013

By Garvin karunaratne Former SLAS, Government Agent, Matara District

 I was spurred to write these words because of the comments by the Friday Forum- a group of professionals stating that “it is with deep concern that we view current attempts to dilute the already limited  provisions for devolution already embodied in the 13 th Amendment”. They even state that “effective devolution is essential for building trust and ethnic harmony securing future peace and good governance”(The Island:10/6/2013), and also because of statements made by India that dictates to us to keep the 13 th Amendment intact.  India’s Union Minister Narayanaswamy has said that “India wants  the Indo Lanka Accord signed between the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi  and President Jayawardena to be implemented.”  India has said that it will “push for the implementation of the 13 th Amendment in full.”(Colombo Gazette:10/6/2013)

 I have already submitted my ideas on the 13 th Amendment in the following articles:

It is high time to repeal the 13 th Amendment, (The Nation:4/11/2012)

The 13th Amendment: A Trojan Horse(The Nation: 7/4/2013)

The Writing is on the Wall,(The Nation:26/5/2013,

The Trojan Horses Theory of the Defence Secretary Mr Gotabhaya rajapaksa: How True  (The Lanka Web:11/4/2013)

The 13 th Amendment is inimical for our development and how it will create a separate State: (The Lanka Web:27/4/2013

India shoots across the bows: In Naval jargon we have to surrender(The Lanka Web 21/5/2013)

 In almost all my Papers I have dealt with first hand experience as an administrator in the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. It is important to note that not a single person has dared to criticize any of my arguments. 

 No less a person than Lalith Weeratunge the Secretary to the President has opined that the 13 th Amendment is an imposition by India. He has categorically stated that the 13 th Amendment provisions are inimical for national development.

 Administratively we are committing suicide if we continue with the 13 th Amendment. Recently  Agricultural Officer Cecil Dharmasena has come out with important observations on the agricultural administration . Ranjith Mulleriyawa, another  Agricultural Officer has also corroborated in his paper,”Truth is Stranger than Fiction:Messing Up Agriculture”(The Island 4/6/2013), This is only as far as agriculture is concerned and a personage like Dr C.S.Weeraratne has stated that the Provincial Council had neglected taking action on the kidney disease that takes toll of thousands of farmers in the North Central Province today. They have pointed out that the administration of agricultural extension has been totally destroyed because of the devolution under the 13 th Amendment.

 This was because agriculture is a devolved subject and as such has to be handled by the Provincial Council. Under the Provincial Minister and his Secretary.

 This is regarding agriculture but this is also true of every other department because the national wide implementation of every departmental policy is now devolved to a Provincial Minister and the implementation of policies depend on the whims and fancies and cooperation of that Minister. 

.There is nothing more to talk about administration. It is dead because of the 13 th Amendment.

 Come the North Provincial Council in its election in September the TNA has already declared what they will do.  Already the TNA has even stated that  China building  the highway to the North is not in the interests of India. It implies that already Sri Lanka is a colony of India!

 The Friday Forum led by former Diplomat  Jayantha Dhanapala  has protested against any change of the 13 th Amendment and the statement bears the signatures of many professors and outstanding persons. It is easily an attempt to influence the Members of Parliament who will vote on the future of the 13 th Amendment.

 It is important to point out that the leader, former diplomat  Jayantha Dhanapala stands totally discredited for the role he played in the PTOMS Agreement.  This PTOMS Agreement was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka(GOSL) and the LTTE in 2005 to plan and implement and coordinate post Tsunami development work. What is important is the fact that GOSL has been accorded an insignificant role in the administration. In the High Level Committee GOSL stands equal with the LTTE and the Muslim community with  one representative from each. However in the Regional Committee GOSL has been given a subservient place to the LTTE.  The Regional Committee comprises 2 representatives of the GOSL, of whom one is the deputy cxhairperson,  5 representatives from the LTTE of whom one is the chairperson and 3 representatives from the Muslim community.

 Jasyantha Dhanapala was Head of the Peace Secretariat and the fact that the Government of Sri Lanka was accorded a junior and a very insignificant place in the administration of PTOMS reflect his anti national and pro LTTE ideas. This also reflects on the signatories who are his followers.  Thus the views of the Friday Forum  are not valid and not in the interests of Sri Lanka as a sovereign country.

 Another important fact is that our President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told the Members of Parliament of his coalition parties to discuss and vote as they please. This stands in total contrast to President Jayawardena  who had obtained undated letters of resignation from Members of Parliament ( other than Ronnie de Mel) and threatened to dissolve parliament if they did not vote according to his dictates. Further it is a fact that President Jayawardena had incarcerated all the members of parliament in a five start hotel in Colombo, kept them under armed guard and he would personally go and take them to parliament to vote as he dictated. Thus the 13 th Amendment is a total imposition, firstly by India that threatened Sri lanka with armed intervention and secondly by President Jayawarden who dictated his members of parliament to vote.  The 13 th Amendment does not belong to the Sri Lankan constitution. It was an imposition and has to be treated as such.

 The right granted for the members of parliament today to discuss and vote as they wish reflects the high ideals of democracy which President Rajapaksa holds.

 It is hoped that the Members of Parliament will kindly consider these facts.

Garvin Karunaratne

Former SLAS, Government Agent, matara District

11/6/2013

18 Responses to “The Bogeyman’s 13 th Amendment has to be thrown out in the National Interest”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    People should decide at a referendum.

    Then it is clean, democratic, conclusive and clear.

  2. jayasiri Says:

    Hello Mr. Gavin Karunarathne!!……….I remember reading your omments, articles, concerning 13th amendment.

    It is now apparent that even Mr. Basil Rajapaksha, along with our defence secretary…….Gotabhaya Rajapaksha are of the view that 13th amenement should go. Even Dilrook has anaylsd how India manupilated JRJ at the hour of desperation to THREATEN a President of a Sovereign nation, back in 1987.

    Our so called leaders STILL run to India as they beleive that India has a magic solution to Sri Lankan problems. India will never allow Sri Lanka to rise above her in economic terms, literacy or leading a decent life. They want us to be beggars like them.

    After all India is a country where 57% of their population is living without toilets.

    It is time like minded Sri Lankans both in & outside lanka to get together to make sure that this divisive ammendment should be scrapped. If it HURTS India it is that much better. Our concern should NEVER be the concern about THE ONLY country in Asia who voted against Sri Lanka.

    India should be isolated & we must set an example to Indians who are nothing more, than a mouthpeice of Western interests.

    TIME is now, to get everybody organized so that ALL organizations who love Mother Lanka should act in UNISON so that our President will have NO ALTERNATIVE, but to abolish this unpopular measure.

    Thank you Sir, for your valuable insight & do continue to teach our people about evils of being a neighbour of India.
    .
    ……Another RETD expat from Canada.expressing his views!!…..~ May the Noble triple GEMS, Protect Sri Lanka~ J

  3. Senevirath Says:

    if mahinda realy cares for sinhala buddhists he will never allow his m.p s to vote as they please. he should have a policy He was elected to eradicate federalism . 13a was an imposition and should be treated as such

    IT IS UP TO U MAHINDA– BE A HERO OR A TRAITOR . NOW PEOPLE SAY THAT U KILLED PRABHAKARAN JUST TO SAVE YOUR LIFE AND NOT SAVE THE COUNTRY……….

    “””””sinha kesara galava hama gesimata kotinta ida denavaada?

  4. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    Friday forum is the colombon murderous English spleaking club fascinated by western ideology. if our leader takes them seriously, it will be his folly. we are highly emotional on the subject of 13a. however our leader has committed to such an extent, he is left with the only option of dilution. although we cry out loud ’13a must be repealed’ as a government it will be difficult to execute.
    it is not the government which can do this . the option is for a mass peoples movement to bring down the 13a and the gosl and all corrupt politicians, including the opposition. actually if we burn this constitution and administer the country on basic simple rules, things will not that be bad as now. this constitution feeds a corrupt judiciary in sri lanka as well as the executive and legislative. 13a must go. all corrupt politicians who have fooled the masses all these years must go. come September, the beginning of the end of this corrupt regime will materialize. bbs, jhu and other patriotic people must occupy the streets – get the help of armed forces – mahanayake has warned mahinda of his chintana of establishing casinos!! they too will join. people now must be thinking ‘hey our leader ranil will be in power! no way! he too should be banished from the country.

  5. Sirih Says:

    People like Jayantha Dhanapala lost the plot and living in no mans land… Being educated does not mean you give your birth rights to the foreign elements ..
    My late grandfather always warn us about people like that who has no national pride and also does not understand ancestors sacrifices that led to the proud sinhalese race with Buddhist ethics.
    His sycophancy has no bound and look what he did at Peace Secretariat, I was told by a authority that he is the one who authorised VSAT communication equipment to ltte and got me involved later jamming it and finding their communications.

    We do not need morons like that advising to the people.

  6. Sirih Says:

    Let me add to the above note… Army signal officer that was involved with ltte communications were approached by US embassy in Colombo and offered to defect to US with the family and scholarship to kids… He refused and told authority about the request..
    This proud man is a general now and doing great work for SL.. May god bless sons like these.

  7. callistus Says:

    To the army signal officer mentioned by Sirih, budusaranai, devi pihitai, god bless you.

  8. herman Says:

    Sirih,

    Do you know the name of the Sri Lankan army signal officer that was involved in the said episode, please? We need to have more role models like him in Sri Lanka, today.

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    Our thanks to Dr Karunaratne for his persistent efforts to bring Administrative justice to the people of Lanka.

    THE 13-A WHICH IS THE MAIN SOURCE OF PREVENTING SRI LANKA MOVING FORWARD IN THE PEACE PROCESS AS WELL AS THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS.

    More Re the Administrative aspects :

    (1) The NCP area needs proper water filtration methods on a large scale. We suspect that the NCP area is contaminated not only through over use of artificial fertilisers, weedicides & pesticides, but also through these same items used Upcountry in the Tea & Vegetable growing sectors as these waters percolates and sits in the paddy fields of the NCP adding to the load already there. What Lanka needs is NOT Casinos in the south, but proper water purification methods to get rid of heavy metals. The Reverse Osmosis method has to be used here as done in the west. This is a massive project and has to be done via the government.

    (2) Bring back a strong SLAS to properly administer the needs of rural areas. Various grass roots organisations working in tandem with the SLAS officers will work well for a small country like Lanka. The District can be the administrative unit.

    There are many more areas to address.

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    Read as ” …..THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS MUST BE REMOVED”. The 13-A is the main source through which India controls Sri Lanka. The need for India to control Sri Lanka has ceased to exist after the end of the Cold War (1946-1991).

  11. AnuD Says:

    What president doing is right. He should allow the minor parties to vote as they wish. If not, all others will blame him saying that he is a dictator.

    How ever, once they vote against, get them at the ballot box. Explain to the people how they became traitors to the country. Some ministers are, I suppose, National list MPs.

    Further, there should be safe guard in order to win the vote. If needed, get some MPs from UNP. Because, UNP has MPs who are willing to support the govt.

  12. 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.

  13. Ananda-USA Says:

    Let me put it BLUNTLY: Holding NPC elections and devolving power to the Provincial Councils will lead to an UPRISING AGAINST the Government and its TOPPLING in Sri Lanka by Patriotic Forces OPPOSED to Devolution of Power to UNREPENTANT SEPARATISTS.

    The current UPFA Government was returned to Power in the last General Elections in a LANDSLIDE VICTORY because it REUNIFIED Sri Lanka and SECURED the safety of its ALL of its citizens. The UPFA Government CONTINUES to enjoy that support even today based on that ACCOMPLISHMENT, and the VISION of transforming Sri Lanka into the New Wonder of Asia as ably articulated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    However, that LOYALTY is given to by PATRIOTS only to PATRIOTIC LEADERS who continue to Defend and Protect the Nation … not to those who fail to do so because they fear PERSONAL CONSEQUENCES and DODGE their DUTY to PROTECT.

    Ultimately, it is NOT THE SURVIVAL of the LEADERS that is at stake here; it is the SURVIVAL of the NATION and its PEOPLE.

    The GOSL should HEED THE WARNING in the Cries of the Patriots: that if it Devolves Power to SEPARATISTS, it will FALL from Power just as RAPIDLY as it ROSE to Power on the Adulation of the Vast Majority of citizens of Sri Lanka.

    There is NO ISSUE of GREATER IMPORTANCE to Sri Lanka’s SURVIVAL than REPEALING the 13th Amendment and DISSOLVING the Provincial Councils, PERMANENTLY RIDDING Sri Lanka of this FOREIGN IMPOSED BALL & CHAIN that threatens to sow Civil Discord and Communal Divisions in Perpetuity!

    Instead of DISINTEGRATING the Country into a Patchwork Quilt of Racist Apartheid Fiefdoms, INTEGRATE the country into ONE Indivisible Nation, of ONE Inseparable People, sharing ONE Indomitable Destiny, based on EQUAL RIGHTS for ALL of Sri Lanka’s people, under ONE system of National Laws, irrespective of Communal Considerations!

    Sow the Wind with any other seed, and we will Reap the Whirlwind!

  14. Ananda-USA Says:

    Jayawewa, Dehapremini!

    Ratna Deepa, Janma Bhumi,
    Lanka Deepa, Vijaya Bhumi,
    Mey Apey Udara Wu </b
    Mathru Bhumiyayi!
    Mathru Bhumiyayi!

    …………………….
    Another Sri Lankan organization campaigning to get provincial council system abolished

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    June 13, Colombo: An organization in Sri Lanka called the National Group plans to campaign for the abolition of the provincial council system established under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

    The organization has announced that it would campaign for the abolition of the provincial council system and has called on the government to remove police and land powers vested on the provinces by the 13th Amendment.

    The organization has released a petition that has been signed by at least 29 Buddhist monks and professionals.

    The petition states that police and land powers should be removed from the 13th Amendment before the Northern Provincial Council elections.

    Among the prominent monks who have called for the changes are Ven. Thrikunamale Ananda Thero, Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero, Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero, and Ven. Kirma Vimalajothi Thero.

  15. Lorenzo Says:

    AnuD,

    Welcome back.

    You should visit here more often.

    Communist party jokers are on their last legs. They voted AGAINST the impeachment too!!

    Vasu
    Bahu
    Rahu

    are national curses.

    Bahu – Vikramabahu
    Rahu – Rauf Hack-him

  16. Sirih Says:

    @herman, it is not appropriate to name the good general since he is still at active duty.
    His surname start with S.

  17. 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.

  18. 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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