U.S. to persuade ‘Sinhala Hardliner’ Ranawaka for federalism in Sri Lanka
Posted on December 20th, 2015

By Daya Gamage – Asian Tribune Political Note from U.S. Washington, D.C. 19 December (Asiantribune.com):

A hard-line advocate for the retention of the unitary system in Sri Lanka whose advocacy resonates well with the majority Sinhalese sentiments and a strong advocate for a federal system for Sri Lanka in the U.S. Department of State met December 18 at a time the Sirisena-Wickremasinghe administration announced the formation of a constitutional assembly to discuss a new constitution for Sri Lanka.U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap meets Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka.

Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, the leader of the nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya and a leading minister who could influence the Sinhalese opinion in favor of the current administration on the issue of federalism met with Atul Keshap, the U.S. ambassador in Colombo, who has gone on record tilting in favor of the Tamil political agitation for a federal structure for the north-east region of Sri Lanka.

The U.S. Embassy Web Portal carried this very interesting caption announcing the dialogue between the two: U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap met today with Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka. During the meeting, Ambassador Keshap and Minister Ranawaka discussed future infrastructure projects essential to Sri Lanka’s prosperity, energy production and environmental protection, and progress on the development of a new constitution. Ambassador Keshap stressed the United States supports the Sri Lankan voters’ vision of a unified, peaceful, prosperous, and reconciled Sri Lanka with equal opportunity and human rights for all, regardless of ethnicity or religion.”

The last time the American embassy officials discussed infrastructure projects with high officials in the Government of Sri Lanka was way back in 1988 when the then Housing and Construction Minister (prime minister) R. Premadasa was planning his Marine Drive that would have cost a portion of the sea-front land in which the American Embassy was located – at that time in Galle Face. The protest made the abandonment of the idea for Mr. Premadasa to start the Marine Drive from the Kollupitiya Junction close to the sea.

Anyone who monitors Sri Lanka affairs are knowledgeable that the least the American government is interested in are infrastructure, energy production and environmental protection.

U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap meets Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka.This obviously cannot be a serious exchange of views about infrastructure, energy production (Sri Lanka buys its requirements from the Middle East) or environmental protection. The dialogue starts there (anyone who has been in serious diplomacy work knows) when the serious talks are directed to what the American government is mostly interested in: Constitution making.

The U.S. Embassy Web Portal caption has given less prominence to the “progress on the development of a new constitution”.

The significance of Ambassador Keshap having ‘an audience’ with Minister Ranawaka, who has nothing to do with constitution-making, is his strong pro-Sinhala voice within the current administration that can de-rail what the U.S. Department of State envisages: a constitution with federal features.

Not so long ago Patali Champika Ranawaka had gone on record expressing his opposition to a federal structure.
Quoting from a Sri Lankan newspaper – 4 August 2015 – “The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) says it will not allow the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to have its way and implement a Federal system in Sri Lanka. The TNA has been calling for a Federal solution since 1949. It is just one of their dreams”.

The newspaper further said “last week Mr Ranawaka vowed that “federalism will never be given to the North” and stated we will never support a federal solution”.

Having a US-friendly administration, American foreign service officers assigned to Colombo are aware that they could persuade leading personalities to produce a constitution with federal features but could have a serious setback if strong pro-sinhala personalities such as Minister Ranawaka who resonates with the sentiments of majority Sinhalese could derail the Washington strategy.

A savvy diplomat, Ambassador Atul Keshap knew who and what the obstacles were and what strategy needed to be adopted to fulfill the objective of Washington. Hence the dialogue with the Jathika Hela Urumaya leader Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka.

It is interesting to ascertain the recent track record of the United States regarding the establishment of a federal structure for Sri Lanka.

The U.S. despite its condemnation and rejection of terror tactics by the Tamil Tigers which led to the outfit being declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under U.S. Federal laws was conscious that Tamil grievances were the underlying causes led to the birth of the LTTE; that those causes needed to be recognized by the Sri Lankan authorities to build a secular society awarding the ethnic Tamil minority a greater participation in the affairs of the nation.

Assistant Secretary for South Asia Richard Boucher in one of his official visits to Sri Lanka at a press conference in Colombo on June 1, 2006 expressed the United States policy in this manner:

I think we all understand that the Tamil community in Sri Lanka has certain rights and certain needs and certain grievances that need to be addressed. I met this morning with a number of representatives of the Tamil community and just talked to them about how things are here and what they felt and what they faced. Although we reject the methods that the Tamil Tigers have used, there are legitimate issues that are raised by the Tamil community and they have a very legitimate desire, as anybody would, to be able to control their own lives, to rule their own destinies and govern themselves in their homeland; in the areas they’ve traditionally inhabited. So I don’t want to confuse the issue of talking to Tamils and understanding legitimate grievances and legitimate aspirations of the Tamil community with not talking to the LTTE. Whether to talk to the Tigers or not is based upon their behavior and if they continue terrorism we won’t. If they abandon terrorism and one’s able to say they are no longer a terrorist organization, then we would find opportunities to consider dealing with them.”

When Richard Boucher recognized the ‘homeland concept’ and ‘traditionally inhabited’ areas, the right to ‘govern themselves in their homeland’, and inalienable right to ‘control their own lives’, he was giving legitimacy to the claims of an organization designated by his own administration as a ‘Foreign Terrorist Organization’.

With the annihilation of that secessionist movement, the ‘Voice of the Tamils’ was taken over by the professional elements of the Tamil Diaspora with whom the State Department continues its dialogue to date.

Ambassador Atul Keshap, has gone on record that the United States supports a federal structure as a catalyst for national reconciliation among the Sinhalese majority and Tamil minority.

Mr. Keshap made the authoritative declaration that Sri Lanka needs a federal structure to redress minority Tamil grievances when he was Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s South Asian Bureau. Previously, he was working very closely on Sri Lankan issues with Robert Blake when the latter was the assistant secretary of the South Asian Bureau.

Atul Keshap, before he was posted to Colombo as ambassador, has been to Sri Lanka on two occasions, one in June 2014 and the other in February 2015.

Ignoring the Sinhalese sentiments that establishing a federal structure in the Island is a stepping stone for separatism, Atul Keshap made the pronouncement when he accompanied assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal on an official tour in June 2014 at a media interview in Colombo.

Officials in the United States Department do not make policy statements to the effect what other nations should undertake unless they are recognized as policy planks at some high level of the American government.

When Mr. Atul Keshap, not once but several occasions in the same interview with a Sri Lankan newspaper – Daily Mirror – about the vitality of establishing a federal structure in Sri Lanka, he was obviously pronouncing a policy plank of the United States Government already consolidated at some high level.

At this June 20, 2014 interview Mr. Keshap told what the United States believed in saying: The U.S. believes in a very bright future for this country and it believes that Sri Lanka has the potential in terms of human capital, in terms of resources, in terms of geographic location, in terms of having secured peace after a very brutal civil war – a country connected to the entire world. A country that is not the subject of UN Human Rights Council Resolutions because it has perfected its democracy and perfected its respect for human rights. A country that has created a meaningful formula for devolution of power and federalism, to ensure coherence among the various regions. A country that is reconciled, peaceful, and prosperous”.

Lamenting about the long delay in bringing changes Mr. Keshap said: It’s been five years since the war ended and I haven’t seen any meaningful discussion or movement along the lines of a meaningful negotiation of the very tricky political issues related to federalism.

He reiterated in another place in this interview: “We care about meaningful devolution of powers to ensure that a true federal compact can be forged to really cement the peace and put the country on a good track”.

ThisDaily Mirror interview was carried in full in the American Embassy web site giving tacit approval to every sentiment Mr. Keshap expressed including the importance of a federal structure for Sri Lanka.

The U.S. Permanent Representative for the United Nations Samantha Power, Obama administration’s top foreign policy advocate visited Sri Lanka November 21-23. This was her second visit, the previous one being June 2010 during the Rajapaksa administration.

The visit was significant as she, since 2012, have been direct participant of UN-Department of Political Affairs- initiated ‘promotion of federalism’ in Third World nations on ethnic lines.

Samantha Power’s visit was even further interesting when Colombo has an American diplomatic envoy – Atul Keshap – who is a strong believer in a federal structure in Sri Lanka.

And more interesting because the Sirisena-Wickremasinghe administration on 17 November 2015 made an official announcement – with cabinet approval – that the Executive Presidential system will end with Sirisena’s completion of his term and that in 2016 the Sri Lanka legislature will be transformed into a ‘Constitutional Assembly’ to draft a new constitution for the country.

The professional operatives of the Tamil Diaspora in their dialogues with the officials of the state department and Obama White House have been advocating that the best solution to redress Tamil grievances was a constitutional arrangement devolving administrative and development powers to the ‘Tamil Homeland’.

Dr. Power, since 2012, was instrumental in getting the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) to come out with a plan to re-structure several developing Third World nations’ constitutional arrangements to impose federalism as an answer to ethnic minority grievances. The U.S. and UN started it in Nepal as a test case.

The DPA for decades has been under the effective control of the State Department. The Under- Secretary-General (Political), the second most senior office holder next to the Secretary-General, has always been a former state department official. Currently, it is headed by Jeffrey Feltman, the former assistant secretary who had served the state department for more than two decades. Mr. Feltman too visited Sri Lanka since the advent of the Sirisena administration.

It is in this context that the visit of Power in late November 2015 to Sri Lanka was so crucial to the existence of Sri Lanka as a united nation. Ambassador Keshap’s dialogue with Minister Ranawaka on 18 December was a follow-up sequence.

The UN, since 2012, has been holding a number of closed-door meetings and seminars at which the partition of UN member states has been discussed. Most of the meetings have been held under the direction of the UN Inter-agency Framework for Coordination on Preventive Action (the Framework Team or FT). The FT is directly under the control of Under- Secretary-General (Political Affairs). retary-General (Political) B. Lynn Pascoe, another retiree from the U.S. State Department. The holder of this position as the head of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) advises the UN Secretary-General on peace and security issues globally, while overseeing “good offices” initiatives and field-based political missions carrying out peacekeeping, preventive diplomacy and peace-building activities. The incumbent also oversees the UN electoral assistance provided to dozens of its member states each year.

The dialogue between Ranawaka and Keshap is the continuation of these developments, most importantly Keshap having ‘an audience’ with a nationally-known Sinhalese nationalist is undoubtedly aimed at neutralizing him to pave the way for a conducive atmosphere at the forthcoming Constitutional Assembly to start a discourse on bringing in federal features to a new Sri Lanka constitution. Starting a discourse on bringing federal features is a diplomatic breakthrough for the U.S. State Department. If that happens, the classified diplomatic cable to Washington will note Ambassador Atul Keshap’s ‘Evidence of Effectiveness’.

– Asian Tribune –

– U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap meets Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka.

 

20 Responses to “U.S. to persuade ‘Sinhala Hardliner’ Ranawaka for federalism in Sri Lanka”

  1. helaya Says:

    Minister Ranawaka, Do not betray the country. Do not listen this Indian bastard. If they implement federal system we must chase away all the Tamils to North. Future of Sri Lanka under this administration going to dogs.

  2. Nanda Says:

    Problem is the FEAR FACTOR.

    Is there ONE CABINET MINISTER in the current government who will declare,

    “DO NOT TALK ABOUT FEDERALISM. It is not an option. What we in Sri Lanka can do is nothing more than giving equal rights to all citizens of the country. Period”

    Was there ONE CABINET MINISTER in the previous government who declared that. Now in the opposition they can talk, talk and talk.

    Minister Ranawaka was in previous government as well as the new one. Why can’t he declare this now ?

    GREED GREED GREED personal GREED

    I don’t remember ANY PRESIDENT declared this. Probably JR did. Please let me know if any other reader or commentator knows of ANY of our presidents said something close to this.

    WE NEVER HAD A FEARLESS LEADR”. Unconditionally fearless. Don’t give excuses.

  3. Asanga Says:

    ‘nationally known Sinhala nationalist’?? He’s more like a nationally known ‘Patali-ist’; the US embrassordor has chosen well, the right kind of person with the amount of greed and ambition needed to become the next puppet in line.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    Singhala hardliner?

    What nonsense! I being a Tamil Anglican is a bigger Singhala hardliner than this joker.

    Anandasakkili is another TOP FEDERALIST. In the absence of LTTE these are the enemies of SL.

  5. NAK Says:

    This punk was a ‘pretender’ to be a Sinhala hardliner.He fooled us for little while but got greedy and impatient.
    There is nothing to be persuaded about him he is already in the bag! with nowhere else to go.
    I am waiting for the the day he stabs ‘boru sira’in the back.

  6. Kumari Says:

    What bxxxxy Sinhala hardliner is this man? He used his Sinhalese birth to capitalise on his personal, political career. He used Ven. Gangodawila Soma thera, then JHU, then Mahinda. Look at his track record, he betrayed everybody. He is a user and a shame to the Sinhalese nation.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    The idea is to “Divide & Rule” Lanka ! Ex-colonists are waiting for just that.

    Tamil Leaders and some Sinhala Leaders have fallen for the trap.

    Economic & Social progress can be achieved for all without division of Lanka.

    To this end :

    * Remove the Tamil Language as a National & Official language of Lanka. Better still, remove the 13-A. This will sort out most of the problems re Tamil leaders Separatism/Terrorism and release funds toward real Development for all in Lanka. Acknowledge in Pariiament the Tamil Nadu Caste problems for over 15 Million Tamil Dalits foisted on Lanka.
    * Activate the 6-A.
    * Teach PATRIOTISM to all Lanka kids at an early age.
    * Stop leasing of parcels of 5,000 acres land for 99 yrs leases to foreigners. These are political land mines planted deliberately for bargaining at the political arena ! This is similar to what is done in some western countries where at X’mas time, shop ‘bargains’ are given by some stores at 50% off after increasing the price of the goods by 50% !
    * Teach Sc&Tech, Computers & English language in rural schools.
    * The maxim ‘give unto Caesar what is due to Caesar’ should be practised too – Lanka ports are premium to certain powerful countries.

    etc.

    When we think of the numbers of people who have died to keep Sri Lanka intact, it is imperative that final measures be taken to stop total annihilation and division of the country.

    All the infighting within Lanka, all the insults that are hurled daily at each other, are pointless and only serves those who ‘Divide & Rule’. For a lasting peace, we have to address Root Causes and address those.

  8. SA Kumar Says:

    For a lasting peace, we have to address Root Causes and address those.- Agreed what is the root cause is faith ? or language ? or some thing else ?

    We both community know root cause & We both know solution since Elara (Eela Rajah) time to today .

  9. Nanda Says:

    Root cause is not religion, faith , race or cast.
    GREED.
    GREED of Tamils and Sinhala kings.

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    Kumar,

    Root Causes and other Causes :

    *. Language (Tamil) is one Root Cause. The Tamil Language was put in place first only as a National Language, but India
    Imposed the 13-A making Tamil an Official language. Cheap labor from TN for tea plantations are attracted to Lanka which is a ready set place due to other reasons : Free education & health care, no caste on birth certificates etc.
    *. The other Root Cause is the Tamil Caste Structure. You may call it Hindu religion based Caste Structure too. Many Thousands of Tamils run away from TN due to this reason. Lanka is the target that suffers.
    *. Being in the proximity of Tamil Nadu spells grave danger for Lanka. No proper steps have been taken to address that.
    *. Being a neighbor of India spells danger for Lanka due to Cold War politics and Tamil Nadu Dalits, plus break away TN aspirations.

    All these items are Root Causes that leads to Separatism & Terrorism in Lanka, led by Tamil leaders and some from TN as well.

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    It would be remiss of me if I did not add another important nearly 500 yr old Cause which is Colonisation of Lanka, and resulting actions of Churches and foreign countries, plus more recently in the 1970 & 80s the JVP Communism which threat no longer exists.

  12. Nanda Says:

    Fran,
    JVP “communism” still exist and the threat still exist. This is evident from almost every student protest, wearing black head bands, black shirts even black Amuday. They are well organised underground. Now they operate is a differnt way but any time can switch to violence.
    They have also done a great service by revealing various illegat acts of every governement.
    We should consider all these without getting ATTACHED to PERSONS.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Nanda,

    I do not think wearing black shows ‘Communism’. In fact, black is worn by followers of some religions. The black head bands : Karate Kid imitation or to show the lead persons in the group ?

    We have not forgotten how the Patriotic JVP blocked the infamous LTTE rule for 10 yrs of the N&E (CBK/RW rule – see, it’s the same duo !).

    Only a few Persons have shown real ability to get things done – no attachments, just need. Simple.

  14. Nanda Says:

    Fran,
    Please read my comment elsewhere ( The internal clashes in Maithri-Ranil Yahapalana Government Ravi’s fate hangs in the balance ). You should also watch that interview carefully.

    I did not say “wearing black ” is showing communism. But it shows it is mainly JVP organising power is behind all these protests. Anura accepted it.
    Yes, I agree. It is only JVP did that when all others were scared of India.

  15. Fran Diaz Says:

    Nanda,

    RE your comment “. …. Any time switch to violence”.

    Violence will not be tolerated by Ranil & Co. It seems to me that he has put his trustworthies in place already to deal with such protests …..

    Personally I am against rioting too. We all saw what the 1983 Riots did to to Lanka – the downfall of the Nation began with 1983 trumped up Riots. Rathupaswela water protest rioting started but was fortunately abated in time before it spread all over.

    It was revealed in one of the video talks of present times that Anura Kumara Dissanayake (JVP new wing) was given a gift of a car by Mr Sampanthan (TNA). Why did Mr S do such a thing …. ? What ‘favors’ are expected here ? Do the members of the public know these facts ? I cannot answer for the JVP new wing – whether they have some values the old JVP had.

    Besides all that, why has Yahap released so many LTTE hard core prisoners already, as far as I know, without due release permits from the Psychiatrists in charge ? The several gruesome murders (one of the little girl, Sayya, raped and murdered) that took place were after these releases during the UN Sessions, were they not ?

    Yahap stinks !

  16. Christie Says:

    Hi, Indian vermin from US is using US to impose Indian agenda in the Indian Colony of Ceylon. By the way Champaka is an Indian sucker like Banda who make their political gains by selling the Sinhalese to Indians.
    My fellow Sinhalese please look at the whole island The North is not the problem, go for a visit in the Malay Nadu, the upcountry and you will see what the Federation involves. By the way there is an Indian Consul in Kandy.

  17. Nanda Says:

    Fran ,
    Let us see which party opposes the MP’s huge pay hike for attending parliament to utter filth against each other ( Rs 20,000 each day). For us patriots , I don’t know who agrees, unless MAD.
    Those filthy rich “GREAT PATRIOTS” will welcome this, I am sure.

    But I tell you, last time when they introduced pensions, there was only ONE man against various rules.
    Finally he asked for an amendment not giving pensions MP’s who are convicted of wrong doings. Even that motion was defeated. Poor PRINS GUNASEKARA ( as I remember).

    PRINS TURNS 90

    By Sugath Senevirathna

    Mr Prins Gunasekara reaches his 90th Birthday on 12th July 2014.Prins Gunasekara was an intellectual, distinctive journalist an expert in law and author of many books. He is a barrister by profession and was outstanding figure at a certain stage in SriLankan history. He was a prominent advocate appearing in courts of appeals and Supreme Court of Srilanka. His subjects areas were mainly fundamental human rights, habeas corpse applications and Buddhist temple properties. He was known as journalist as well. As a charismatic lawyer he has made profound impact in the field of SriLankan politics and in society.

    Although the significant works done by Prins Gunasekara is fading away from the minds of our people as with time. But, the impact created due to his courageous acts still remains unchanged in our society.He fought tirelessly against brutal UNP regime that came into power in 1977 under which clergies, journalists, politicians and intellectuals were abducted and disappeared merely because, they against government’s extra judiciary killings. he awakened the consciousness of his contemporary friends and his students who apprenticed under him as lawyers. Prins Gunasekara helped to make the government’s murderous acts known to the whole civilised world. prins was in the vanguard of bringing international attention to the arbitrary killing of people by UNP regime.

    This learned man spends his time at his home in East London on medical advice, in spite of the fact that he is in the evening of his life, he is still in good spirit and has never given up his habit of reading and writing. Prins cherished the idealism of socialist and free society in which all citizens live together with harmony and equal opportunities.With this in mind, he entered into politics through Sama samaja party, one of the biggest leftist movement at that time in SriLanka. Prins rubbed shoulders with N.M perera and Phillip Gunawardena who were gigantic figures in the leftist movement at that time in SriLanka. But, later he lost his faith in Lanka Sama Samaja party due to its reformism, opportunism and alliance with capitalist governments.however, he was interested in Marx-Lenin’s revolutionary dynamic theory enthused by Rohana Wijeweera who paved the way to establish a genuine leftist movement in Srilanka which was known as Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna(JVP).

    Mr Rohana Wijeweera was one of the candidates of ill-famed presidential election in 1983 and challenged the legality of the election on the basis of irregularities and massive corruptions. Prins was the legal advisor of comrade Rohana Wijeweera in the election petition. This election petition was believed to be a crucial juncture. it was the opinion of intellectuals and General Public that if petition was upheld in courts, holding of a fresh presidential election would have been inevitable.According to political analysis of the day, the government was in the weak position to win the election position. Prins pioneered to save the lives of innocent youths who had been stuck in the guillotine of UNP 88-89 terror reign. during this terror reign, some of the prominent lawyers such as Wijedasa Liyanarachchi,Charitha Lankapura, Kanchana Abepala and Sarath Rathnayake who active in the field of Human Rights were abducted and brutally murdered by government’s sponsored death squads known as “Green Tigers” and “praa”.

    Prins Gunasekara was in the forefront in establishing People’s United Front(Mahajana Eksath Peramuna) in 1956 under the leadership of Mr Bandaranayake and Phillip Gunawardena and at the same time, Prins was elected as the co-secretary to the party and secretary to Philip. Phillip requested Prins to contest for Horana seat in 1956, but he refused the it due to work commitment.However he secured an easy victory which was held March 1960 from Habaraduwa seat and became a member of parliament. The king’s speech was defeated in Parliament in 1960 and consequently, UNP government had to call for another election in July 1960. Mahajana Eksath Peramuna suffered a major setback in July 1960 as a result of an unwise decision made by Phillip Gunawardena during the voting for king’s speech. Mahajana Eksath Peramuna refrained from voting for king’s speech due to Phillip’s grudge against Mr Bandaranayake. This move appeared to be an indirect support for UNP. Therefore Prins experienced heavy defeat in the General election which was held in July 1960.Prins contested 1060 July election as an independent candidate from Habaraduwa seat and he was able to achieve a recorded victory. He campaigned for justice,equality and Human Right within the parliament until 1977.

    Prins Gunawardena was born in Habaraduwa at Kathaluwa, a remote village in southern Srilanka. He is an old boy of Ananda college in Colombo.He obtained a degree from London University as an external student and later entered the Law college in SriLanka and was sworn in as a lawyer in 1955, meanwhile Prins worked for Lanka Deepa news paper as a journalist and he was fortunate to rub shoulders with erudite journalists like D.B Dhanapala and Julias Lanarol who have contributed immensely for the development of SriLankan journalism. He later became chief sub editor for Lanka Deepa news paper.

    Prins does not bother to waste time to talk about old left in SriLanka,he never praised JVP but, instead he criticised the principles of JVP. He speaks with broken heart about the defeats the youths have experienced in their journey towards socialism.

    ” The old left leaders said one thing and did something else, I know it very well,But Wijeweera practised what he preached, he preached what practised, sometimes, he acted unwisely, that is why I am so angry. I loved him irrespective of his shortcomings, they have courage and determination to build up the country”. These were the words Prins uttered about JVP when we met him last time.

    In Conclusion, we salute him for his bravery and wish this great gentleman healthy and long life.

  18. Fran Diaz Says:

    Nanda,

    Thank you for your responses. I have yet to read what you recommended – I have been very busy.

    I too am shocked at the bribes offered for MPs to sit in Parliament. Such payments to lawmakers go on in powerful countries too. Perhaps our folk have copied them. Honor and decency that the other man must live too seems to have disappeared today, and it is pocket stuffing fast that counts. I do not know who or what will change such attitudes in present times ….

    I wish people knew the difference between Socialism & Communism. Socialism is what is going on in Europe today after two World Wars to get to that spot. (I am referring to the write up on Mr Prins G.).

    I am not familiar with the work of Mr Prins G. His name is quite familiar. May there be more people like him. We wish him a long and happy life. Thank you for this write up, Nanda.

    It is interesting to read on the web the making of the JVP. What a great deal of idealism went with Dr S.A. Wickremasinghe’s thinking. He was the man responsible for helping Rohana W’s father and later Rohana himself in political ideology. Dr S.A. Wicks was a highly respected man from the South who “lived what he preached”. Even the wealthy and affluent folk of the South respected and liked him. Rohana went astray somewhere along the line after his father died early, and advocated youth violence which led to his demise. Violence is easy and will always be condemned by society later. To fight for social justice using good hard common sense, education and ethics is marvelous and will bear lasting results !! That is what Mr Prins G did.

  19. Nanda Says:

    Fran,
    I remember very well around 1988-1989 time that incident when Prins was the sole opponent. Others like RW, Vasudeva and few others may have been in the parliament that time.

    I am not against increasing salaries of politicians, if they can produce what they are paid for. At the moment this move should be defeated. Later , one day in the future, when there are no Pallatha Sabha nonsence, law and order well established, MPs perform duties contributing to economy, yes it is a good move to prevent bribes and to attract educated to politics.

    This is a good opportunity for us to judge who love the country, who are not selfish. There is enough money for these corks at the moment. Number of ministers per citizen is probably more than doctors ( speculating only)- no need for ANY increase.

  20. Fran Diaz Says:

    Nanda,

    I agree that salaries ought to be in proportion to work done/achievements, whatever the profession.

    However, the MPs must get a living wage with some perks. But, the number of MPs in Lanka are way too high. The numbers must be cut down drastically. At present, the MP post is purchase of loyalty & power to various political parties !

    ———–

    We suggest that instead of the Presidency & the PMs post, that Lanka has a Governing Council of 5-8 able, savvy, educated people with PROVEN LOYAL TO A UNITARY LANKA, and also have a far smaller Cabinet of able people.

    The New Constitution can be the refurbished existing Constitution without the 13-A which is an illegal piece imposed under Duress by India. It can also add on the Gov. Council part whilst removing the Presidency & PMs post.

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