WHAT IS THIS NATIONAL PROBLEM? Identifying the misconceptions before drafting Sri Lanka’s New Constitution
Posted on April 7th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

There are 7 fundamental steps to decision making. Identifying the problem, gathering information to help make the right decision, analysing the information, developing options, evaluating alternatives, selecting a preferred alternative & acting on the decision. However, it is obvious that none of Sri Lanka’s policy makers are following these key fundamentals. In so doing, the country is likely to commit itself to irreversible and irreparable damage. The most important of the mistakes we are making is not to identify that the country suffered a terrorist problem, that the country’s military defeated terrorists not Tamils, that Sri Lanka’s conflict is not ethnic but an armed conflict and more importantly that we are already saddled with a federal constitution following the 13th amendment and the introduction of the provincial council system and that all powers have been devolved except land and police powers which rightly belong under the control of the Central Government.

Mistake 1: Sri Lanka’s conflict was not against Tamils but Terrorists. Sri Lanka’s conflict was not Ethnic but against Armed Non-State Actors.

This is so because

  • LTTE terrorists killed scores of Tamils. LTTE’s killing spree started in 1975 with the killing of a Tamil Mayor – Alfred Duraiappah, thereafter LTTE began killing Tamil policemen on duty, then Tamil politicians who did not tow LTTE line of thinking. It was only thereafter LTTE started attacking the Sri Lankan army and thereafter civilians.
  • If Sri Lanka’s Military fought against Tamils why has 32 nations proscribed LTTE as a terrorist organization and continues to keep the ban?
  • If Sri Lanka’s conflict is ethnic why has the Ban Ki Moon Panel of Experts categorized Sri Lanka’s conflict as a Non-International Armed conflict?
  • If so why are we foolishly confusing a NIAC with an ethnic element and using that to push for a new constitution granting only one ethnic group privileges ignoring equality of status to all other citizens?

Mistake 2: Not only Tamils suffered but all the communities in Sri Lanka even foreigners

  • Why is there only reference to the grievances of Tamils. What about the other communities who also suffered. Tamils only cannot be given special treatment especially in drafting a new constitution
  • Why has no one demanded investigation into the ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese & Muslims from the North who were forcibly evicted by the LTTE and Indian army?
  • Why is there no global efforts to help resettle these Sinhalese & Muslims into their original homes in the North. Some of these IDPs have sent submissions to the OISL UNHRC giving evidence that they had been living in the North well before 1948.
  • http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/02/08/prince-zeid-why-have-you-forgotten-the-sinhalese-muslim-victims-of-ltte-terror/

Therefore, news reports are wrong to claim Sri Lanka’s Parliament launched a process to draw up a new constitution aimed at preventing a return to ethnic war by granting minority Tamils greater autonomy”. (Financial Times). Similarly, Karu Jayasuriya is also wrong to say This is an historic occasion ….to implement the very radical political reforms needed”. It is also wrong for the Prime Minister to pledge to devolve more political powers to Tamils and reduce the military presence in the former war zone….two key demands of the ethnic minority”. Why should a country’s military be pruned at the behest of minority parties that have had direct links to LTTE? Where in the world have you heard of nations allowing minorities to dictate where the country’s military should be stationed and how many should be stationed?

Mistake 3: Not investigating parties linked to LTTE

  • LTTE ran its terror machine with assistance from global and local players. Unless these are investigated not only is the ideology still alive but separatist elements still prevail.
  • Crucial to this is investigating the origins of terror. India’s role in being a state sponsor of terror has to be investigated. It was in the 1970s that India took unemployed Tamil youth and clandestinely trained them in various districts of Tamil Nadu and even provided arms, ammunition, monthly payments and approved the use of Tamil Nadu for Tamil militants for their logistical requirements (medicine, medical care, fuel, food, training etc)
  • The foreign links to LTTE need also to be investigated
  • The LTTE diaspora has already been named by UNSC Resolution 1373 however countries have not shown genuineness to investigate these entities named and their individuals who hold foreign passports and are steering terror from abroad.
  • The Church, foreign government  funded NGOs (foreign and local employees) linked to LTTE have also not been investigated.
  • Foreign MPs and even locals also linked to LTTE have not been investigated either.
  • The role of the Church aligned to LTTE makes us now wonder whether constitutional reforms part of the agenda to Christianise Sri Lanka. http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2005/03/28/ltte-and-churches-protect-each-other

This is a major lapse particularly because some of these very entities and individuals are now playing a key role in drafting the constitution and have had funds disbursed to promote separatism under another name.

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/04/01/india-gave-birth-to-ltte-tamil-militancy-in-sri-lanka/

Mistake 4 : Identifying the lies from the truth

  • Efforts to save Prabakaran and LTTE from facing military defeat by the very sources linked to terror is a perfect example of the hypocrisy that prevails.
  • the regime of former president Mahinda Rajapakse faced repeated UN censure over his failure to investigate allegations that at least 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed by troops in 2009” is just another example of how media lies and distorts. the UN made no such allegation, the UNSG’s privately commissioned panel of experts said that ‘there may have been as many as 40,000 dead – which says nothing about 40,000 being killed, or that the army killed them. The onus is on those that make the allegations to prove with evidence. So far we are into the 7th year and no one has provide 40,000 names even the Presidential Commission on Missing has not received even half of this number for periods covering from 1983 to 2009.
  • The case filed against the UN & the legality of the Ban Ki Moon panel report being used as a basis for successive resolutions & investigations against Sri Lanka is another good example of the lies that prevail
  • The UN through the UNHRC has already conducted 2 investigations but seem to still be groping in the dark to prove 40,000 were killed. No names, no skeletons but plenty of fairy tales and witness accounts that will be shredded to bits in a court of law. Most of the stories are all third-party sourced and a case of ‘I heard from him’ ‘someone told me’ these accounts do not match against doctors, ICRC, UN country team, US satellite imagery, photos taken by team that accompanied Ban Ki Moon days after the war ended

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/03/24/un-before-asking-sri-lanka-to-investigate-does-oisl-have-substantial-evidence-for-a-case-against-sri-lanka/

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/03/13/sri-lanka-should-not-agree-to-any-type-of-tribunal-if-crimes-by-ltte-india-are-omitted-from-trial/

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/02/13/7-years-after-ltte-defeat-unhrcohchr-still-desperately-seeking-war-crimes-evidence-against-sri-lanka-or/

Mistake 5: What does Tamils not have that only Sinhalese have been given?

Mistake 6: No minority homelands in Sri Lanka existed

  • If Tamils that originated from Tamil Nadu can claim self-determination in Sri Lanka why are the Sinhalese not coming forward to claim their right to the entire island? Afterall the Sinhalese have a better legal case for self-determination. The Sinhalese language, the Sinhalese ethnic/race, the Sinhalese customs, traditions etc are all indigenous to Sri Lanka and found only in Sri Lanka. Tamils and Muslims cannot argue this because their roots are found elsewhere.

Mistake 7: Sri Lanka has a federal constitution already: Powers have been devolved

  • The NPC Chief Minister and the TNA have been sheepishly claiming to want a federal constitution when they are all well aware that Sri Lanka following the introduction of the 13th amendment and devolution to the provinces through the provincial council is virtually following a quasi-federal constitution.
  • If we already have a federal constitution why is ITAK & TNA and the Chief Minister Wigneswaran pushing for more federalism? Is it because they are trying to include land and police powers with powers to directly have international links and relations (similar to what the ISGA demands) in the new constitution?
  • Are our MPs in Parliament literate on these key clauses and demands and realize the impending dangers without simply nodding their heads approving to anything being tabled?
  • A case filed by a petitioner demands ITAK the main constituent party to disclose whether its aims and objectives are federal or confederal is a crucial case at this juncture.
  • The 13th amendment to the constitution followed the signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord in 1987. 36 subjects under List 1 (except land and police powers) have been devolved to the provinces. Police & land powers have not been devolved for national security reasons and given the TNA-LTTE links the government has every right to be cautious especially when the TNA continues the separatist ideology by actions and words. http://www.onlanka.com/news/sri-lanka-who-says-13th-amendment-is-not-implemented.html
  • The NPC CM Wigneswaran has shown that they are not concerned about looking after ‘their’ people. The 2013, 2014, 2015 budget allocations to the Northern Province have not been fully utilized. Without wasting time the Chief Minister should be utilizing the money his Council requested from the Centre for development. Instead he has all the time to write letters, travel overseas, complain to the UN, pass resolutions on genocide and colonization but not a single minute is spent to use his legal knowledge as a supreme court judge to respond to why his ‘people’s livelihoods is being stolen by Indian fishermen who are violating an international maritime border and stealing fish that belong to Sri Lanka’s waters while also destroying the marine bed. There is much that the NPC Chief Minister can do but is not doing but he has all the time to complain. This is what has not been internationally highlighted enough!

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/04/05/wigneswaran-puts-tiger-out-of-the-bag-warnings-for-the-constitutional-assembly/

 

http://www.onlanka.com/news/why-sri-lankas-government-should-not-give-land-and-police-powers-to-pcs.html

http://www.onlanka.com/news/tnas-genocide-claim-violates-section-120-of-penal-code-sri-lankans-are-hurt-by-attempts-to-create-ill-feeling-amongst-communities.html

http://www.eyesrilanka.com/2015/10/14/chief-ministershould-focus-on-managing-the-council-instead-of-causing-enmity-with-the-government-and-the-un/

Mistake 8: Reconciliation cannot be a bogey for separatism

  • The word reconciliation has become everyone’s battering ram. Just use the word and everyone is silenced into accepting any idiotic notion
  • Reconciliation cannot be used as a stepping stone to separatism.
  • Reconciliation cannot compromise the country’s national security or sovereignty.
  • Reconciliation cannot expect to release hardcore LTTE cadres or give them international status as POWs or combatants when they are a designated terrorist organization and have to face trial for their crimes.
  • Reconciliation cannot imprison military personnel on bogus charges without proof and well-funded media campaigns used as scare tactics against the government. Military personnel have military courts to take action against them.
  • http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/02/16/reconciliation-cannot-divide-or-break-up-sri-lanka/

Mistake 9: Minorities cannot become a political scapegoat for parties

  • It is obvious that over the years to obtain the minority vote political parties have stooped to a new low by claiming to deliver minority rights without weighing how genuine these grievances are. In so doing bogus grievances have been internationally relayed and a false picture of Sri Lanka has been projected. Politicians are solely to blame for this. They are also to blame for not correcting these errors diplomatically through their missions and through mission staff.

Mistake 10: A new constitution cannot be drafted without answering any of the above

  • No new constitution can be drafted without first identifying some key elements.
  • Some elements on the present constitution cannot be changed. That is the national identity of the country and the honor that must be given to the Buddhist identity of Sri Lanka that has been protected by Sri Lanka for over 2600 years. The place of the Sinhalese who ruled and built the civilization and history of the country cannot also be changed because of liberal multicultural or multireligious slogans advanced by people who have no roots anywhere. Histories of countries cannot be erased just to satisfy people who represent ideologies of other religions and nations that are out to expand their imperialism. Therefore Parliament has to have a no-negotiation list of items that cannot be changed at all.
  • There is nothing to deny that minorities have not been given equal rights. We are all treated equally before the law (except politicians of all ethnic and religions) There are enough of examples to showcase that minority religions have enough freedoms. Count the numbers of mushrooming churches, prayer centres, kovils, madrassas, mosques and how residences are being transferred into prayer centres and these examples amply nullify false propaganda. If equality is the name of the game the UN must first explain why only the Catholic faith has been given a state (Vatican) and why UN is run to Christian agenda? Multifaith is only a farce to neutralize Dharmic religions and subjugate them under the rule of Abrahamic expansionist agenda. We must not fall for these tricks.

Tragically the 21 steering Committee drafting the new constitution is made up of 5 eelamist/separatists while the others are described as federalists. We wonder how many of them realize that we already have a federal model and why none of them are bringing out this factor. What else are the eelamists actually after or should we now say what do the forces that steered the eelamists now want by peddling a new constitution to their advantage.

http://www.sinhalanet.net/13-federalists-and-5-eelamistsseparatists-selectedappointed-for-committee-to-draft-federal-constitution-to-sri-lanka

IT IS NOW TIME FOR EVERYONE TO WAKE UP. OPEN THEIR EYES TO REALIZE SOME HARD FACTS…WE FOUGHT TERRORISTS NOT TAMILS. WE DID NOT HAVE AN ETHNIC PROBLEM. WE ALREADY HAVE A FEDERAL CONSTITUTION WHERE ALL POWERS EXCEPT LAND AND POLICE POWERS HAVE BEEN DEVOLVED…WHAT IS THE TNA/ITAK AND OTHERS UPTO?

Shenali D Waduge

http://www.ft.lk/article/535264/Constitutional-Council-sits-in-Parliament

https://in.news.yahoo.com/sri-lanka-starts-moves-grant-113542264.html

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/03/27/demands-of-the-sinhala-buddhists-2/

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/02/15/did-tamil-language-have-official-status-under-british-rule/

2 Responses to “WHAT IS THIS NATIONAL PROBLEM? Identifying the misconceptions before drafting Sri Lanka’s New Constitution”

  1. Senevirath Says:

    මුලික වශයෙන් ජනවාර්ගික ගැටලුවක් නතය් කිවහැකිමුත් දැන් දැන් පෙනෙන හැටියට දෙමල හා මුස්ලි ජනවර්ගයන්ගෙන් 75% කම සිංහල ජාතියට විරුද්ධ බව පෙනීයය් .මිස්ලිම් දෙමළද ගහ ගනිය් ඒ දෙවර්ගයම සින්හලජාතියට ගහය් ඉතින් මෙය මොන ”’ගැටලුවක්ද ”” දැනුමැත්තෝ විමසත්වා

  2. Christie Says:

    We were a colony of the British-Indian Empire now the Indian Empire.

    Decisions for the subjects are made by the Empire.

    In our case the Indian Empire makes the decisions for the Sinhala Buddhists, Muslims and Christians.

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