Wigneswaran Damanaya (taming the shrew!) – Part V Tamil separatism and the Karuna paradigm (“Give us what Colombo gets”)
Posted on February 20th, 2015
Next Parliamentary election: Are you for or against 13-A?
In this final segment of the Wigneswaran (Angulimala) Damanaya, a five-part series, we discuss how he could be tamed with the help of the Karuna paradigm. The responsibility in this regard lies with the Sinhala Buddhist leaders of Sri Lanka, those who consider 13-A as a death trap to the continuity of the island as one country. Thus, W Damanaya is actually a Damanaya of the Sinhala Buddhist politicians!
At the next parliamentary election, they will have to tame not only W and his TNA, but also the federal couple of Ranil and CBK as well as MahindaR, if he plans to become the next PM, because he had failed to implement the April 2007, SLFP policy of abolishing 13-A, not once, but twice. If the rally held at Nugegoda on the 18th is an indication, MR’s message, read by the father of 13-A plus, Dayan Jayatilleke, the so-called smart Sinhala patriot, was silent on the 13-A debacle.
Wimal Weerawansa, Dinesh Gunawardena, Udaya Gammanpila and Vasudeva, the four behind the Mahinda come back campaign must disclose if they are for or against 13-A, along with Nimal Siripala, Susil Premjayanth, and Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhita. JHU and JVP must also disclose their stand, anew, at the new election. Sinhala Buddhists in both UNP and SLFP need to be well informed about the 13-A death trap, because, the danger of possible a break-up of SLFP is very likely after the 18th meeting.
At the last presidential election, 13-A was a prohibited word. By working on 13-A as a priority after he formed the cabinet, Ranil with Mangala became dishonest Lichchavis. They had no mandate to think of implementing their old federal plans which people rejected at election after election. The common presidential candidate Maithripala S did not say anything about 13-A. The TNA and other Muslim parties came under his tent voluntarily with no secret or open offers from MS. Their votes for him has no connection with 13-A. Because, if Tamils thought about 13-A positively, they would have voted for MahindaR who was for 13-A since May 22, 2009. Tamil people are not worried about 13-A, it is the TNA and the Ranil-CBK-Managala trio who want do divide the country.
New task before BBS
With Dayan Jayatilleke, the new smart Sinhala patriot attacking BBS and JHU, and CBK assuring Muslims at Thiriyayi that she will put the Bodu BALU Sena in dog cages, it is time for BBS to inform the public about the danger of UNP, SLFP, JHU, JVP, Nalin Silva, Gunadasa Amarasekera trying to bypass the 13-A issue for personal political gain. Only BBS can expose these political rascals and force them to act in the interest of the country. Thus the Damanaya is actually, a Damanaya of practically all shades Sinhala Buddhist political leaders! The Karuna paradigm and the Jana Sabha concept are in agreement with the Buddhist concept of the Middle Path (reasonableness).
Karuna, the former terrorist, later an SLFP Vice President, understood the Tamil problem when he said in 2006, “Give us what Colombo gets.” Was this not what JVP said in 1971– “Milk to Colombo, fodder to villages?” G. L. Peiris quoted this in his Youth Commission Report prepared for R Premadasa in March 1990. Actually, Karuna and Arun Thambimuttu are different and more enlightened than Jeyaraj Fernandopullai or Lakshman Kadiragamar, (Tamil Obamas?) who were given Buddhist funeral rites! They were both Christians by birth. Karuna does not want 13-A, Karuna learns Sinhala, and Karuna does not believe in Tamil homelands. So is Arun. There was no Sinhala or Sinhala Buddhist politician in the parliament, but Karuna, to answer the “massacre” talk of Sampanthan. This was after the defeat of MR.
Did they become Sinhalayas or accepted reality and decided to live as proud Tamils? Was Karuna a Tamil traitor as marked by Mano Ganeshan living in Colombo? Karuna and Arun went beyond the advice given by a former C.J., M.C. Sansoni —if the Tamils’ cry for separatism is given up, the two communities could solve their problems and continue to live in amity and dignity (Sessional Paper No. 7 of 1980). It was in this kind of spirit that the JHU offered a parliamentary seat to Anandasanagaree in 2004, with no strings attached.
This was why Anandasangaree said, that JHU was not a racist party despite Dayan Jayatilleke, the new smart Sinhala patriot’s opinion, to the contrary. Anandasangaree is a poor Christian and Dayan is a black-white, establishment, Christian-born, Marxist. Samantha Power and the Pilipino-American, Michele Sison, do not like to hear Karuna-Arun kind of stories. After all, the R2P in the case of Sri Lanka is the world genocide game in another name to camouflage the American interests in the Indian Ocean. Two countries in Sri Lanka mean two American embassies, one near Trincomalee.
The solution is not just the removal of 13-A lock stock and barrel. 13-A has created a 5,000 strong political gold diggers’ crowd who will fight tooth and nail to retain the PC system which helped nobody, but the corrupt political kith and kin. Actually, the power behind keeping 13-A is not a Tamil or Muslim power, but the nobodies to somebodies power of Sinhala second class new-rich politicians based on local caste system. National leaders tried to use these local somebodies to tighten their hold from Colombo.
The solution, therefore is to replace 13-A with the Jana Sabha concept. This was proposed by the Tissa Vitharana’s APRC committee as well as by the LLRC. Basil Rajapaksa had a post of Director General of Jana Sabha created to implement it, but then suddenly stopped it and went to a mega Divi Naguma Program which was the anti-thesis of people-based, non-partisan Jana Sabha approach.
I think we can understand this solution by examining the essay below which I wrote sometime back as a reply to DBS Jeyaraj, a journalist living in Canada, which is self-explanatory. Only item one can newly add to it is the idea of moving the capital of Sri Lanka to Raja Rata, as a 20-year development plan, to be implemented incrementally. A location inside the triangle, Anuradhapura-Pollonnaruwa-Trincomalee, would be ideal.
DBS Jeyaraj’s third idea – a reply
Last year, Mr. DBS Jeyaraj, printed an essay on his own website under the title, “Sixty-six Years of Independent Sri Lanka and the Tamil State of Mind,” (6 February 2014), which he said was, “an updated version of the DBS Jeyaraj Column article that appeared in the Daily Mirror of February 2nd 2013. In it he appeals moderate Sinhala and Tamil people to find a third way to live amicably in the island of Sri Lanka.
DBSJ says there are three schools of thought clashing, hegemonism, secessionism and pluralism… the Sinhala hardliners want Sinhala-Buddhist domination. They see this country as theirs alone. Others are excluded or reduced to subservient status in this ‘Chinthana.’….
…the Tamil hardliners want a separate state for the north-east known as Tamil Eelam. Just as Sinhala hawks say Sri Lanka is for the Sinhalese, these Tamil hawks say Tamil Eelam is for the Tamils…”
“…..A state for the dominant ethnicity within, excludes by definition, other ethnicities living within these real or imaginary borders. Both these ideas have brought about disunity, violence and destruction. The nation bled profusely and the country diminished drastically.
The third idea is that of establishing an egalitarian and plural society where all children of this country can live together in amity and fraternity. It incorporates a vision where no one will claim superior rights on the basis of belonging to the majority race/religion or claim exclusive rights to their historic habitat…..Power will not be confined to Colombo but shared with the periphery. All people regardless of race, religion, caste or creed will have their say and a role to play…”
Lakshman Kadiragamar’s and Jeyaraj Fernando Pullai’s funerals showed that a Tamil Obama in Sri Lanka is not an impossible idea. Both of them were given Buddhist funeral rites by monks came from all over the island despite the fact both were Christians by birth. Take Arun Tambimuttu’s case. What Sinhala Buddhist voter will not vote for him as he is not telling anything different from what the Bodu Bala Sena has been telling for the past two years?
Except for a few adjustments needed, DBSJ is advocating a position that I have been writing for the past 15 years or so. Sri Lanka has a third way, if it can get rid of the two political establishments known as SLFP and UNP. These two parties destroyed Sri Lanka, so said the monks Ven. Walpola Rahula and Ven. Balangoda Anandamaitreeya. The third way is based on reasonableness which is also the Buddhist way. This must be the way that two Indian ex-presidents meant when they said that “solutions to world’s problems could be found from Buddhism.”
The Tamil state of mind that DBSJ presented was based on facts he considered true and relevant. There are other facts that one can list which would modify what DBSJ used to interpret his side of the story of Sinhala-Tamil drama. Suffice it to say that the black-white ruling class in Sri Lanka converted a Buddhist-Christian clash into a Sinhala-Tamil clash so that the black-whites could thrive while the country goes down.
Local black-whites are supported by global black-whites who use R2P, HR, pluralism and Interfaith as tools of exploitation. Living in peace with minority communities should not make a majority a minority, and if pluralism means that then pluralism will not work. As the army commander Sarath Fonseka once clarified, “Sri Lanka is the country of the Sinhala Buddhists. Minorities could live with equal rights and equal opportunities, but they cannot make unreasonable demands.” This is a good Buddhist approach.
For example, a pluralism pioneer France is however, not ready to deny that France is the country of the French, just like Norway is not ready to deny that Norway is the home land of the Norwegians. Pluralism should mean a majority allowing a minority to live with equal rights and equal opportunities like the majority and no discrimination based on religion or language. But this has to be governed by the doctrine of reasonableness.
A Muslim woman should not expect a right to cover her face with only two hole and walk in public street in a crime-filled, bomb-carrying country, because that is not reasonable. Same way a national anthem or a national flag is a symbol that cannot be dismembered with translations. The Indian national anthem cannot be sung in Tamil or Telegu. Then it is not a national anthem. The Indian national flag has a Buddhist symbol and not a cross or a crescent moon. Hindus, Muslims and Christians cannot modify it.
Sri Lanka’s two problems
Sri Lanka has two problems created by the black-white politicians of green, red and blue colors. One is mismanagement of economy, or their inability to change the colonial economic system. In 1948 there was a majority and a minority. That was Sinhala and Tamil-speaking majority and an English speaking minority. Then there was a rich Colombo crowd and the poor villagers. 1962 coup represented the minority. 1971 JVP insurrection represented the majority.
Rather than learning lessons from these the politicians who came to power tried to stay in power by dismembering constitutions at first, and changing constitutions, and changing parliamentary to executive presidency, thinking that they outsmarted the opponents. Today the country is in a big mess, because these changes gave rise to an evil triangle, the politician, officer and the NGO.
The other is the ethnic problem. There are two aspects to this. First is the fear of Sinhala people that Tamil Nad will grab Sri Lanka. Statement by SJV Chelvanayagam, GG Ponnambalam created this fear which during Dudley Senanayaka’s time came as the DMK threat of illegal immigration Indians into Tamil areas in upcountry (Kallathoni). 1976 Vaddukoddai resolution and the behavior of the leader of the opposition Amirthalingam added more fear and then came Prabhakaran. Today the fear is even worse with western white countries trying to break the country into two.
Next we have the second aspect, Tamil political leaders looking for recognition for them, and in that process creating a thing called; Tamils have aspirations. Tamil politicians living in Colombo talk about it. Whatever its origin, one has to accept that they need a reasonable geographical area for them to promote these aspirations. When Ven. Maduluwave Sobhitha asked Kumar Ponnambalam to name any item that the Sinhalese have but Tamils do not, he paused for a while and said, “Tamils have aspirations.” Tamils have a source region just 22 miles of shallow sea away. The only real estate for the 16 million Sinhala people in a 6 billion world is this tiny island.
The reasonable solution to this ethnic problem is to remove Sinhala fears and to give fairly reasonable geographical areas for the Tamils to engage in their aspirations. One immediate requirement is that Sinhala and Tamil should be taught to school children from grade three. If a solution to these two needs could also handle the first problem of mismanagement so much the better. If the solution also takes care of the ecological problems and global warming related environmental threats then it will be perfect. If it could be in agreement with Buddhist and Hindu principles people will be happy.
I presented such a solution for consideration by LLRC and when I read between the lines of LLRC report I see it written there. The problem was that Lalith Weeratunga who was asked to examine it did not see it in the LLRC report or in the documents forwarded to him by me directly and indirectly. Instead a Divi Neguma thing came, and Geneva March 2014 is a direct result of this unwise behavior of the top government officer. If Sri Lanka is to remain as one country, if Sri Lanka wants to come out of mismanagement and does not want to get labeled as a corrupt, crime-ridden land, I think it has to follow a solution like what I have suggested.
Here is the solution in brief:
1.Demarcate GSN units in Sri Lanka as lowest level ecological units.
RPremdasa had increased them from 4,000 to 14,000, god only knows why. But following the trinity of village-water tank-temple in ancient Sri Lanka, an ecology/hydrology-based GSN unit is a pragmatic gift rulers can grant to people. Engineer D.L.O Mendis recently documented that this kind of eco villages were part of both Jaffna and dry zone farming communities.
- Empower a ten-member committee elected on non-political party basis to run the basic daily affairs of the unit identified as a Jana Sabha (if one unit is too small due to geographical reasons then combine them as needed. This committee approach should not surprise anybody as under the Gami Diriya program this method of empowerment has been in practice, yes despite the anger and jealousy of local and national politicians.
3.Because Sri Lanka has 103 river basins, use these GSN units to create Seven River Basin Regions for Sri Lanka. See the map attached. This map has seven units so that Jaffna region gets one large basin area for them to feel that there is territory for Tamil aspirations to grow.
This division gives a sea face to each region, all of equal size and most importantly because it is language-blind, western white countries or Tamil Nad or Prabhakaran remnants in New York or London cannot talk of a homeland based on the eastern province. That takes away the fear of Sinhala people.
At GSN level there will be so many Tamil units, Muslim units and mixed units where people can talk of aspirations at that level too. The beauty is that no one unit can become a threat to another unit. They will learn to respect each other because, if one unit act selfishly then the other units will also act selfishly and all units will be in trouble.
- When one looks at problems of living people face today, they are not big complex problems. How to dispose garbage, how to control Dengue, water supply, water pollution, basic health and basic education, how to get a birth certificate, how to prevent GSN asking bribes or school principal asking sex bribe; these can be easily and effectively handled at local level. This way 70% of peoples’ basic issues can be transferred to local units, which is what people want, empowerment, not devolution of powers to provincial politicians.
- Because the basic unit is an ecological/hydrological unit they can be combined to represent an electorate or district-size units before becoming one of the Seven River Basins.Thus this horizontal division can go upward administratively with representatives sitting at a separate national body.
- What should be done at the national/central government level to allow minority participation, if more is needed than what is proposed by item 5, such as a new constitution for the country, they can be considered without disturbing the GSN (Jana Sabha) system, proposed.
I hope DBSJ print this essay on his website.
Seven River Basins
(Compare this map with the nine-province