Defence Seminar 2013: Secretary Defence, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s vision for Sri Lanka
Posted on September 8th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

Making the keynote address at the 3rd consecutive Sri Lanka Army organized “‘Defence Seminar-2013 on the theme “‘Post-Conflict Sri Lanka: Challenges and Regional Stability”‘, held from 3rd to 5th September at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo, Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivered a spectacular and visonary speech to the more than 300 participants including 66 foreign delegates from 29 countries.

The 1st Defence Seminar focused on Lessons Learnt by the Sri Lankan Defence establishment in defeating LTTE terrorism.

The 2nd Defence Seminar focused on Post-war efforts to create lasting peace and stability examining steps under 5 areas of Reconstruction, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Reconciliation.  

Secretary Defence on Sri Lanka”‘s immediate post-war challenge successes  

1.         Accommodating and ensuring the welfare of nearly 300,000 Internally Displaced Persons

2.         Demining and Reconstruction of Infrastructure/facilities “- nearly 5000sq.km of land demined. 

3.         Resettling the IDPs in their places of origin (All IDPs in welfare camps were resettled from October 2009 “- August 2012) inclusive of other displaced persons. This achievement took 3 years and 3 months after elimination of LTTE.

4.         Rehabilitating nearly 12,000 ex-LTTE cadres and

5.         Reintegrating them to society.

Independent Surveys 1:

UNHCR survey confirmed Sri Lanka”‘s resettlement success (Nov 2012-Mar 2013) assessing Sri Lanka against global standard of Inter Agency Standing Committee Framework for Durable Solutions for Internally Displaced Persons “- Sri Lanka is mentioned under”-

a) access to personal and other documentation without discrimination

b) family reunification

c) access to effective remedies and justice

d) safety and security

e) access to livelihoods

f) participation in public affairs

Note: Only 29% of respondents had negative views on military presence.

Independent Surveys 2:

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Field Mission survey (May-June 2013)

§  “‘remarkable improvement in infrastructure development in many sectors including transportation, communication, roads, railways and health facilities”‘

§  Survey observed that there was no visible presence of armed military personnel in uniforms that military support was primarily for “‘immediate and development needs of the population”‘ (building houses, shelter, water, sanitation, scholarships for schools and children, vocational training, organizing tours for people of North to visit other parts of Sri Lanka) “- efforts to help civilians return to normal life.

Independent Surveys 3: Foreign Researchers/Dr. Kruglanski & Dr. Gelfland of the University of Maryland

§  LTTE cadres showed reduction in support for violence after rehabilitation program

Other successfully completed post-war challenges:

§  Setting up Livelihood Assistance programs

§  Material Assistance programs “- donation of fishing gear, utilities for farming, provision of livestock and seeds for agriculture

Secretary Defence on shifting military from combat with terrorists to cooperation with civilians/society:

§  Gradual reduction of military camps/troops but military will remain for strategic security reasons.

§  Engineering battalions engaged in reconstruction and national development programs

§  Redrawing internal security policies and procedures and expanding intelligence units

§  Handing over to police the maintenance of law and order “- establishment of more police stations and recruitment of Tamil speaking police personnel

§  Helping restore civil administration mechanism

§  Disarming former armed groups

§  Civilian properties in the process of being handed over once legal proof of ownership is established.

§  Removing restrictions previously placed for security reasons (movement in high security zones, limitation to fishing, restrictions in trade of classified items) Palaly cantonment is open to all with free access to airport and Kankasanthurai harbour.

§  Releasing detainees for involvement in LTTE activities while a handful remains in detention for prosecution. Database of all detainees available with police. Lawyers, family, Human Rights Commission and ICRC given access to them

§  Repealing of Emergency Regulations in August 2011

Secretary Defence responds to allegations against Military : Number of Civilian Casualties

Number of civilian casualties (during final stage of war) ranged from 7000 to more than 40,000. The allegations were all guestimates without sources and ignored independent and credible sources (Dept of Census & Statistics/UNICEF/LLRC).

If LTTE had 30,000 approximate cadres at the start of the Humanitarian Operation and nearly 12,000 surrendered to the Armed Forces either the remaining had been killed, they are posing as civilians or have fled the country.

It must be also noted that Sri Lanka lost nearly 6000 of its personnel in combat while 20,000 or so were injured. Such a number of casualties in the army could not have happened if the enemy was not engaged in intense battle with the Sri Lankan military during the final stages of the war.

Department of Census and Statistics “‘Enumeration of Vital Events”‘ in Northern Province (June-Aug 2011) field data collected in July 2011 by 2500 Tamil and Muslim Government servants from North. Report revealed:

a.  7896 deaths due to unnatural causes (Jan-May 2009) included LTTE cadres killed in action,

b.  2635 persons reported as untraceable (parents/next of kin had not recovered their bodies or knew their whereabouts)

c.   Of 2360 cases investigations reveal that 1625 persons had been forcibly recruited by the LTTE.

d.  Only 26 instances of people reported by the next of kin who had surrendered to the Security Forces and subsequently disappeared.

Secretary Defence on reasons for civilian deaths/missing  

§  civilians killed by LTTE trying to escape to Govt controlled areas,

§  civilians detained and killed by LTTE for other reasons

§  civilian deaths from being forcefully used in combat by LTTE

§  civilians deaths from crossfire

§  civilians reported dead but likely to have escaped or illegally migrated overseas. An unknown number of persons have left Sri Lanka and are now living overseas. The countries hosting them have not revealed their details to the Government of Sri Lanka.

§  deaths not occurring during Humanitarian Operation but reported to claim compensation

§  false reporting

UNICEF with Probation and Child Care Commission of North and Government Agent of Vavuniya “- Family Reunification Project (confirms and corroborates with Sri Lanka”‘s findings)

§  2564 tracing applications received by July 2011

§  1888 applications related to missing adults

§  676 applications related to missing children

§  64% parents of missing children claimed LTTE had recruited their children.

Those making allegations against the Sri Lankan military may like to explain how any military should confront a non-state actor using asymmetric warfare strategies with no compunctions to safeguard civilian lives and oft times using civilians as human shields in order to attract external intervention and to once again gain themselves breathing space?

Those throwing stones at the Sri Lankan military may also like to explain why LTTE would deliberately and repeatedly launch artillery and mortar attacks at the military from No Fire Zones/ civilian installations like hospitals and churches which were created for the civilians and not for LTTE to place their weapons and ammunition or take refuge amongst the Tamil civilians?

Secretary Defence on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report  

§  LLRC concluded that there was No DELIBERATE targeting of civilians by Sri Lankan Military

§  LTTE responsible for violations of international humanitarian law

Secretary Defence on International Commentaries on Post-Conflict

§  Negative feedback on Reconciliation “- lacked holistic perspective did not consider ground realities as reconciliation is a process and takes time to accomplish and cannot give overnight results.

§  Negative feedback ignored type of rule under LTTE “- people of the North and parts of East had no democratic freedoms “- no room for dissent, no alternate views, everyone disagreeing with LTTE were silenced. People living amongst LTTE were taught to hate the Sinhalese and the State. Removing 30 years of indoctrination inspite of resettlement, reconstruction and even rehabilitation is not easy.

Secretary Defence on Democratic Process in Sri Lanka (contrary to the statement by Navi Pillai claiming Sri Lanka was heading towards an Authoritarian rule)

§  Provincial Council elections held in Eastern Province in 2008 before the Humanitarian Operation ended

§  Local Authority elections for Jaffna Municipal Council / Vavuniya Urban Council in August 2009

§  Presidential Election held in 2010

§  General Elections held in 2010

§  Local authority elections held island-wide in 2011

§  Provincial Council elections to be held in September 2013 “- the 1st after 1989 elections of merged North-East province through 13th amendment. North-East demerged in 2006.

Secretary Defence on LTTE-fronts continuing to pose threat to Sri Lanka

§  LTTE”‘s extensive international network remains intact and their propaganda needs to be effectively countered.

§  Extremist elements within Tamil expat community part of this network

§  Their intent is to divide Sri Lanka

§  Strategies used include winning international opinion for separatist cause, increasing international pressure on Sri Lanka, undermining Government efforts for reconciliation and economic development, attempting to resume conflict by reorganizing local militant activities

§  These LTTE-linked groups influence foreign NGOs, foreign parliamentarians and even fund local groups masquerading as democratic

§  The LTTE international network comprises

a.    Tamil Coordinating Committee based in Norway led by Nediyawan

b.    Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam in US led by Rudrakumaran

c.    LTTE headquarter group in France led by Vinayagam

d.    Global Tamil Forum led by Father Emmanuel who coordinates all above groups.

§  Foreign Service and Foreign Ministry despite lack of resources need to counter by communicating the true picture globally.

Secretary Defence on Threats from Extremist Groups (including those involved in previous insurgencies)

§  Groups attempting to mobilize people to take up extreme left wing causes

§  Groups radicalizing students / the public and encouraging them to take to the streets in protest

§  Increase in communalism amongst ethnic groups “- increased insularity of ethnic groups may lead to fragmentation of the Sri Lankan identity into ethno-religious lines

§  Some in the Tamil community who identify more with Tamil Nadu than with fellow Sri Lankans.

§  Some foreign groups encouraging Sri Lankan Muslims to identify themselves with global Muslim community distancing them from integrating with other communities

§  Muslim fundamentalism spreading all over the world and in Asia and concerns Sri Lanka”‘s Law Enforcement agencies and Security Forces.

§  Extremist groups have been in transit in Sri Lanka and may promote Muslim extremism in Sri Lanka

§  Consequence of increasing narrow-mindedness of minority ethnic groups is emergence of hardline groups within majority community which will lead to further tensions and a vicious cycle affecting overall unity.

Secretary Defence on Organized Crime

§  Rise of terrorism and insurrection required state to procure arms and ammunition some of which have fallen into criminal hands.

§  Rise of underworld engaged in organized crime “- drugs, armed robberies, kidnappings for ransom, financial frauds, seizing land illegally are a handful of activities that need to be tackled.

 

Secretary Defence on Media Freedom

§   Legitimate media channels, newspapers, websites freely operate in Sri Lanka

§   Some illegal sources also engage in false propaganda to damage the country”‘s image internationally.

§   Negative image campaigning will impact on tourism, foreign investment and even trade

§   Media organizations (every citizen and political group) must exercise their democratic freedoms with responsibility “- they should not engage in unlawful activity under the guise of exercising their freedoms.

Secretary Defence on India and Sri Lanka”‘s strategic geographical location in South Asia

§   Continued inter-linking domestic issues between Sri Lanka and India (India”‘s sensitivity to events in Sri Lanka due to influence of Tamil Nadu state on Tamil issues especially at times of elections)

§   Bilateral issues “- increasing incidents of illegal fishing by Tamil Nadu fishermen on Sri Lankan waters

§   India is the most important and powerful country in South Asia, but Sri Lanka is a completely independent sovereign nation which India is aware of

§   Critical that both India and Sri Lanka retain a meaningful and close relationship despite issues arising between them

Secretary Defence on Sri Lanka”‘s relationship with China

§  China”‘s involvement in Sri Lanka is purely diplomatic and economic

§  China has been one of Sri Lanka”‘s foremost development partners contributing richly to key economic development projects.

§  Sri Lanka”‘s relationship with China should not be regarded as a threat by any other nation.

Secretary Defence on Regional Issues Sri Lanka faces due to Sri Lanka”‘s geo-strategic position

§  Asian region becoming increasingly important in global affairs

§  India and China increasing economic and military development bring Asian region into global focus

§  Western Governments may attempt to influence Sri Lanka to align to their interests in the Asian region

§  Power politics between nations will affect Sri Lanka”‘s relations with these nations.

Secretary Defence on Maritime Security

§   Sri Lanka does not have land borders

§   Sri Lanka does need to protect its maritime security and prevent transnational crimes “- drugs, smuggling, arms smuggling and human trafficking, maritime assets within Exclusive Economic Zone, safeguarding Sea Lines of Communication against piracy.

Secretary Defence on National Economy

§   War suppressed economic potential and held back Sri Lanka”‘s growth

§   History reveals that majority of problems were fundamentally economic (insurrections of 1970s, 1980s even LTTE manipulated economic aspect along ethnic /racial lines)

§   Post-war needs to address unequal development / rural underdevelopment and uplift standard of living in rural areas to standards enjoyed in cities.

§   Establishing highways to connect distant cities “- reduce travel time.

§   Rural masses must not feel marginalized or feel economic compulsion to move to cities (education, healthcare, meaningful employment without leaving their places of origin)

§   Need to promote tourism, foreign direct investment, industrial development, value addition in agriculture, service economy

§   Retain talented young people and encourage them to remain in Sri Lanka.

§   Keeping with our traditional way of living develop our agriculture, animal husbandry and seek self-sufficiency.

§   Adapt 5-hub strategy to develop Sri Lanka as a Knowledge Hub, Commercial Hub, Naval and Maritime Hub, Aviation Hub and Energy Hub.

§   Hambantota Port and Mattala Airport is a long term plan to derive economic potential to maximize on volume of ships that pass through the sea lines making the Hambantota region as an industrial and transhipment cargo hub.

Secretary Defence on Sri Lanka”‘s Future

§  Being able to navigate present issues (national security, geo-politics etc) will determine Sri Lanka”‘s destiny.

§  Looking ahead positively and confidently without focusing on issues inherited from the past

§  People need to develop mentality beyond that of a developing nation shedding Third World Mentality.

§  All Sri Lankans must accept challenge and move forward together into a shared future as one Sri Lankan nation.

Secretary Defence on Safeguarding Democracy

§  Handling subversive elements from using modern communication technology (internet, global news media, mobile phones etc) to attempting to disseminate wrong information and arouse people negatively.

Secretary Defence on future challenges:

1.    Preventing the re-emergence of terrorism

2.    Establishing effective methods to project Sri Lanka to the international community

3.    Suppressing the emergence of other extremist groups

4.    Preventing further ethnic divisions and communal violence

5.    Challenges of maritime security and border control

6.    Curtailing the growth of organised crime, and

7.    New challenges in safeguarding a just and wholesome democracy.

Secretary Defence on way forward:

§  Secretary Defence on a Government obligations:

o   Ensure national reconciliation is achieved

o   Move Sri Lanka into the future together as one nation without fragmentation into groups based on ethnicity, religion, caste or place of origin.

o   Ensure all Sri Lankans have same opportunities and unobstructed access to state services

o   Ensure Sri Lanka is a peaceful, stable and rapidly development democracy.

o   Holding elections after restoring normalcy to North and East provinces

o   Issues delayed due to terrorism must be attended to

o   Economic issues as a result of global economic conditions need to be solved gradually instead of using them as political slogans.

 

§  Secretary Defence on People”‘s obligations:

o   People must move forward as a nation “- united by what we have in common.

o   People must not stay locked in a post-conflict mentality

o   People must remove from “‘Third-World Mentality”‘

o   People must understand freedoms guaranteed through democracy must be exercised with responsibility. Ex: right to public assembly “- freedom to demonstrate on issues that they feel are important does not give freedom to engage in violent protest, incite violence or act in other undemocratic ways. Then they would have exploited and abused their democratic freedoms. When this happens other people with vested interests use this to turn the situation to their advantage and project a negative image of the country internationally as well as amongst the locals themselves.

 

§  Secretary Defence  on Politicians/political Party”‘s obligations:

o  
Political parties must promote the interests of the nation without focusing on one group

o   Political parties must bring all ethnicities and cultures together into one Sri Lankan identity so that the nation can progress.

o   Main political parties must stop politicizing divisive issues for petty political gain

A fine picture of Sri Lanka”‘s future was articulated in the key note address by the Secretary Defence covering the immediate post-war challenges, the achievements of the armed forces in their new role of capacity building in cooperation with civilians and society. It has heralded a distinctly unique partnership one that combines the value-added logistical capabilities and discipline of the armed forces with the new challenges that face a Sri Lanka journeying towards a future without terrorism and ushering a new chapter in uniting nations of the Asian continent for regional stability, economic growth and overall a shared future.

 

 

 

14 Responses to “Defence Seminar 2013: Secretary Defence, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s vision for Sri Lanka”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    It is heartwarming to read the long list that a nation needs to do to pick up the pieces of her life after a 30 year long war started by the Tamil Tigers. But it is also a sobering reminder what the Tamil Tigers stole from Sri Lanka:
    -They stole 30 of the most productive years the world has ever seen. While the rest of the world was experiencing the wealth and a rapidly rising level of development for the developing nations, Sri Lanka was engaged in keeping her nation in one piece while the LITE forced that nation into a war than developing like the Asian Tigers.

    -The Tamil Tigers drove from Sri Lanka most of her best minds. From engineers, Doctors, Scientists, professors, technocrats and above all those who had the money and expertise to invest and propel Sri Lanka into the league of nations which Singapore or Hong Kong belong and only released her strangle hold when they were defeated in an age when the world is in an economic malaise.

    -The Tamil Tigers ripped apart the fabric of a nation and destroyed her civility, grace, and nobleness as the abnormal act of war became an everyday event. Some of the result of it is the loss of cultural centers like Colombo 7 , Piccadilly circle, the western way of life in Colombo and her tourist industry.

    -The Tamils stole entire generations of children’s hope and future as the economy was mainly geared to their selfish desires to divide a nation than resolve their problems.

    -The Tamil Tigers stole the treasury and dishonored the time tested honor of the nation of Sri Lanka which to this day stays tarnished by their kith and kin as the Tamil diaspora continues the “war” against Sri Lanka.

    These crimes cannot be forgiven and cannot be forgotten for they keep Sri Lanka from realizing her goal as most of her intelligentsia serve foreign governments and the wounds be they physical, structural or mental cannot be healed.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Minister Basil Rajapaksa said “people in the North have a choice whether they want the freedom, happiness and development with the self-rule of the province by their own representatives or they want to go back to a dark era under a party with the claim for self-rule but without any resources to improve their lives”

    BUT, what happens in the North is of FUNDAMENTAL CONCERN to ALL Sri Lankans … not just the current Tamil majority of the North.

    ALL Sri Lankans have a right to settle and live ANYWHERE in the country, including the North, and BOTH the development status of the North, and the freedom to settle there, are strong determinants of whether they will be able to do so.

    In addition, the TNA election manifesto called for not only “power devolution and a merged north and east” as Basil points out, but also EQUAL Sovereignty to Sri Lanka residing ONLY in the people of the North.

    Every Day, in Every Way, the TNA declares in a “Mein Kampf” of what it has in store for Sri Lanka, and the MUTTS Leading our country BELIEVE in them and kowtow down to the Indians and Western Neocolonialists.

    Who will pay the PRICE when the RACIST VISION DEFINED in this Election manifesto Mein Kampf of the Tiger Nominated Agents of the TNA comes to fruition? ALL People of Sri Lanka WILL … in Blood & Treasure …. ALL OVER AGAIN!

    Sri Lankan minister says Tamil Party trying to mislead people in the North

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Sept 08, Jaffna: Economic Development Minister of Sri Lanka Basil Rajapaksa says the major Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is trying to mislead the people in the Northern Province.

    Addressing a rally in Jaffna, Rajapaksa noted that the TNA election manifesto does not support any development in the North.

    Instead of focusing on improving the infrastructure such as schools, electricity, hospitals, roads, universities and other livelihood assistance to the people in the North, the party manifesto has called for power devolution and a merged north and east, the Minister pointed out.

    He said the TNA has prepared a manifesto to satisfy the expectations of the Diaspora to pave a path for another chaotic situation in the country.

    Speaking of military in the North, Minister Rajapaksa said that it is the President who holds the power to reduce the presence of security forces in the North. He observed that the Chief Minister of the Northern Province does not wield such an authority as the TNA has claimed.

    The Minister further said that he will step down from the Northern Spring development program once the administration of the Northern Provincial Council established after the election and hand over the program to the Council.

    He said the people in the North have a choice whether they want the freedom, happiness and development with the self-rule of the province by their own representatives or they want to go back to a dark era under a party with the claim for self-rule but without any resources to improve their lives.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Basil is so NAIVE.

    He has FAILED to understand Tamils.

    “He said the people in the North have a choice whether they want the freedom, happiness and development with the self-rule of the province by their own representatives or they want to go back to a dark era under a party with the claim for self-rule but without any resources to improve their lives.”

    Tamil people in the north (97%) have decided the LATTER!!

    They ALWAYS did. 1947, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1977, 1989, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2010.

    SL govt. FOOLS are going to learn the SAME BITTER LESSON again.

    IF you want GRATEFULNESS from the north, you should have settled Sinhala people in the north.

    Otherwise FORGET about gratefulness and LOGICAL thinking.

    UPFA’s winning trend will be REVERSED in the north election. HOPE the rest of the country will NOT follow.

  4. Senevirath Says:

    WHAT ? SELF RULE BY THEIR OWN REPS…?

    “””kelavila thiyey”””

    WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THEM LORENZO?

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Senevirath,

    Basil is a damn fool.

    He thinks GIVING INTO their RACIST demands will win him Tamil votes in addition to development, etc. He recognizes Tamils want self-rule (TAMIL ONLY RULE) and UPFA has become as racist as TNA but falls short of EXTREME racism of TNA.

    When one dog with rabies bite a healthy dog, the healthy dog also get rabies. This is what happens in the north. TNA rabies infected dog has bitten the UPFA healthy dog and now the UPFA dog is also suffering rabies. Then BOTH dogs go and bite the PIGS (SLMC) and they get rabies. Then all 3 dogs go and bite BBS and BBS will also get rabies.

    Basil’s speech in north should be broadcasted in north western province so that people will KNOW the games he play.

  6. Dilrook Says:

    Tamil voting pattern has a scientific explanation than a mere racial demarcation. It perfectly follows Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory. I have explained it in the following article in Lankaweb:

    Higher Quality of Life and Lower Unemployment of Tamils are the Root Causes of the ‘Ethnic Problem’
    Posted on May 31st, 2013

    Obviously the government has got the priorities wrong and try to apply the successful southern model in the north with disastrous consequences. It is equal to giving a rich school child and a poor school child free milk as the government did in the past. Poor children appreciated and consumed it while richer children (at a certain Colombo private school on record) played with it and wasted it. The case with the south and the north is mostly same. As my article has listed down PQLI (quality of life index) was the highest in Jaffna among all the districts in 1971 and 1981. By 1981 it reached that close to a lower end of a developed country. Unemployment was the lowest in the north and among Sri Lankan Tamils. Abundant and very cheap fish and vegetables in good supply coupled with lower unemployment and higher quality of life satisfied their physiological needs layer. When a certain need is satisfied, it is taken for granted. More of it does not motivate that person. Only a higher layer satisfies him.

    As per Maslow, once a layer is fulfilled, a person (in this case a community) moves up a notch to the next layer. It is about security – job security, financial security, higher education, land ownership, physical security. All these were perfectly met from 1948 to 1981. Despite being 13% of the population, Sri Lankan Tamils were over 35% in universities. The north had the lowest crime rate until Tamil groups started violence in late 1970s. But that too was not aimed at the general Tamil population by then.

    Having satisfied that need, a person (in this case a community) moves up to the next level – love and belongingness needs of the community. This was never an issue in the north as it was a close knit community following traditional Hindu caste system. Then they moved to the next layer – self actualisation.

    This is where the Jaffna Tamil populace was at by 1970s and are at now. Development only appeals to the physiological needs layer. It does not appeal to someone or a community in the (higher) self actualisation layer (Tamils in Jaffna).

    However, comparatively, the case of the south was and still is different. Despite Sinhalese being 75% of the population they were less than 55% in universities by 1970s. Even basic needs were not met in many districts. Most government jobs were grabbed by the Tamil minority. Landlessness was very high and so was unemployment. Under these conditions, Sinhalese were at the lower layer – physiological needs layer. For them development was very appealing.

    This is the result of uneven development (in the past and now when over 80% of development spend going to the north disregarding the south), excessive university opportunities (including Tamil exclusive universities), improved security situation, Tamil exclusivity in the north and extremely low unemployment that prevails today compared to other parts of the country.

    Development is not appealing to most Tamils in the north. Self actualisation as a community and Tamil self rule towards nationhood -self determination, Tamil sovereignty – are the things that motivate them. This is why the UPFA approach (catering to the lowest layer of development needs) is looked down upon by them and TNA manifesto (catering to the highest layer of self determination and Tamil nationhood) is highly appealing.

    As G Ponnambalam (assassinated in 2000) said in 1998, Tamils have graduated from grievances to aspirations. They indeed have but the ruling coalition’s promises are far out dated and in fact a disgrace to most Jaffna Tamils who are well to do. Only the small poor section in the north will have any usefulness of the UPFA approach.

    A similar thing happened in 1977 when the poorer, lower quality of life, lower employment, lower education ridden (comparatively) political south voted for bread, lentils and other staples, the north (comparatively better in all these indices) voted for Tamil nationhood (self actualisation). 1947 is another example.

    This problem doesn’t have an easy solution. Equity and individual equal rights, repealing of Thesawalamei law and land distribution in the north to Muslims and Sinhalese are some long term measures that will work. Above all, abrogating 13A is a must. However, none of this is likely.

  7. Dilrook Says:

    Secretary Defence has identified uneven development and unequal university opportunities as important root causes of threats to national security. However, he will not act on it. 13A prevents him from acting on his correct conviction.

    If the government fails to remove 13A, people will have to adjust to live with it.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    2 container loads of heroin from Pakistan arrested in Colombo. They were imported by Muslim businessmen.

    Now the govt. is under pressure from Hack-him, Bathurdeen and Muzammil to release the containers!!!

    BBS has threatened to reveal these drug dealers and 2 more (said to be Sinhala politicians).

    Gota has to do something about drug dealers NOW.

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    Shenali, our thanks to you for this comprehensive report on the Defense Seminar.

    Soem comments :

    Point #1: We agree with Dilrook’s analysis of the North. Tamil people, after their crushing Caste Structure experiences, want self respect and the much touted Self Determination. However, this will NEVER come through Eelam ! Eelam is the Higher Caste Tamil dream coming from Tamil Nadu Indian separatists, not the lower caste Sri Lanka Tamil dream.

    Any Eelam formed formed from Sri Lanka land will have the Caste system re-imposed on the Tamil there as it will certainly be an appendage/extension of Tamil Nadu. The Caste System is the ‘crowd control’ method of Tamil Nadu and has been in existence for over 3,000 yrs. A small island like Sri Lanka can never wipe out the Caste Structure of Tamil Nadu.

    Foolish Tamil people are stepping into traps again, dragging the rest of Lanka with them.

    Point #2 : Gota must also take into account the Missing Tamil People from the Tsunami of Dec 2004. We heard that even some ltte VIPs got carried off by the Tsunami.

    Point #3 : The Southern hurt people, i.e. the JVP and the Army deserters must be given special attention. Or else negative others will misuse them.

    It is certainly is Childhood’s End for the Sinhela/Buddhist people. Time for our rural folk to awaken to a new and better way of life through the Democratic norms. A modern education (Sc&Tech included on a much larger scale), formation of co-operatives at grass roots levels, guarding of water supplies, soil, food, air quality etc. must happen.

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    Point #4 : We understand that SAARC country citizens can enter Sri Lanka freely i.e. Visa on Arrival facility is afforded to them all. Yet, Sri Lankans cannot enter India with the same freedom and an Indian visa must be obtained prior to arrival there.
    This type of loose arrangement encourages ILLEGAL MIGRANTS INTO LANKA. Such Tamil migrants will vote for Separatist Tamil political parties such as the TNA and will always pad up their vote bank. Illegal migrants will never belong in Sri Lanka. If their children study in the Tamil language, these children too will continue to think of Tamil Nadu as their mother state.

    Not enough is said or done about deporting Illegal Migrants in Sri Lanka. It is part of the Defense mechanism of Lanka to deport all illegal migrants.

    There are many thousands of Tamil illegal migrants in Sri Lanka. Even though about a Million Tamil people migrated out of Lanka after the 1983 Riots, the Tamil numbers in Lanka remain the same. This cannot be due to natural increase and has to do with illegal migrants.

    Tamil illegal migrants possibly came in vast numbers during the time of ltte rule of the N&NE.

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    It may well continue as ‘Our Country, Their Land’ where we do all the spending on the Tamil community for FREE Education & Health Care, (tax payer money, almost all of it from the Sinhela community), yet these Tamil people owe their allegiance to Tamil Nadu.

    Is this fair by the ordinary folk of Lanka ? It is up to the Tamil Leaders to lead the Tamil people in the right direction for their own peace, prosperity & happiness, or alternately allow the Tamil voters to truly vote freely, choosing MPs from any community who will take care of their real day to day needs, and not vote for Tamil Separatists only.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    Ms Navi Pillai said to hold the TNA accountable for the crimes of the ltte. Will this happen in Sri Lanka ?

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    You don’t need complex analysis to understand Tamils. Just look at election results in 1947, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1975, 1970, 1977, 1989, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2010 and you will see it.

    Fran,

    Your caste analysis is WRONG for MOST of Jaffna and Vanni. Over 80% of Jaffna and Vanni people are Valla-alla-la caste (HIGH caste). They BENEFIT UNFAIRLY from Tamil caste ridden TNA rule.

    Only the 20% low caste Tamils and few non Tamils will lose out. They vote for UPFA and UriNePee. MAXIMISING their percentage is the way to win elections in future.

    After TNA assumes office, it will discriminate against Sinhalese, Muslims and low caste Tamilians. Govt. should FIND evidence of this, present to UNHRC and DISSOLVE the north PC.

  14. SA Kumar Says:

    Over 80% of Jaffna and Vanni people are Valla-alla-la caste (HIGH caste).

    Lorenzo, You are a one of the knowledgeable (Tamil) person ( not joking) even though you born 1983 ish in Jaffna ?(after I run away from mother lanka)!

    Please tell me is any solution for Tamil in Mother Lanka ( Please do not tell us to change our Tamil mendality that we never will do) ?

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