Is the TNA-India-Federalists planning to deliver ISGA through Sri Lanka’s new Constitution?
Posted on April 13th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

Sri Lanka already has a federal constitution following the 13th amendment. The provincial council system was introduced with arm-twisting by India. The TNA-controlled Northern Provincial Council already has 36 subjects devolved to it except land and police powers. So what is the TNA-India and federalists really demanding? Is the real plan to slyly insert elements of the ISGA (Interim Self Governing Authority) into Sri Lanka’s new constitution? The relevance of the ISGA comes in the commissioning of Shiva Pasupathy by TNA NPC Chief Minsiter Wignewaran to advise on constitutional reforms. Pasupathy (now 87years) was the former Attorney General of Sri Lanka who went on to become LTTE’s constitutional advisor. It was Pasupathy who heldp draft the ISGA proposals for the LTTE which envisaged a virtually independent ‘Tamil Eelam’. Coincidentally it was also Pasupathy who helped draft the 1978 Constitution as well.

It is imperative that we now bring to the open all the agreements, discussions and proposals of the past. These will provide clues to what the new proposals by those drafting the new constitution will aim to achieve.

Lets also not forget that the Ranil Wickremasinghe 2002 cease fire agreement allowed LTTE to control territory in the North & East that it controlled at the time of the agreement.

The GOSL was thrown a carrot of USD$4.5billion for its acceptance of the ISGA. It was however a loan package to be paid back with interest.

The ISGA was to comprise members of the LTTE (Tamil), members of the Muslim community in the N-E, members of the GOSL (Sinhalese representation left out). ISGA would have an Executive (virtual head of state),

What are the ISGA proposals by the LTTE on 31 Oct 2003 during the ceasefire.

Claiming to drop their demand for an independent Tamil Eelam they were demanding the same ‘eelam independence’ by another name! That the ISGA proposals specifically thanked Norwegian government which shows the role Norway played in helping draft the document. LTTE also mentions that it is mandated to make these proposals from the Vaddukoddai resolution.

http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/shrilanka/document/papers/LTTE_northeast.htm

  • To create 8 districts in the North & East provinces
  • LTTE would have absolute majority in the ISGA (replace LTTE with TNA)
  • ISGA will have powers that cover resettlement, rehabilitation, reconstruction, development, raising revenue, imposing taxes, levies, duties. TNA will cite example of Australia where federal state governments have powers to raise indirect taxes via stamp duty, levy, motor vehicle registrations and land taxes. The Neelan-Peiris proposals of 1995 also included provisions.
  • ISGA will control law & order (to have its own police force – LTTE did have its own police force, its own judiciary, its own law college and its own banking and currency & coins),  The TNA will quote from the Bougainville Peace Agreement signed between Papua New Guinea Government & Bougainville rebels that established a police force in the conflict region as an example. TNA will also cite the agreement between Palestinians and Israelis that allowed a local police force in the Palestinian area. The GL-Neelan proposals of 1995 also featured a separate police force. GLP may like to explain further now that he has turned coat.
  • ISGA will control land in north-east. Once again TNA will cite the Bougainville agreement and the Sudanese agreement and GLP will need to once again explain why he and Neelan included such provisions in their 1995 proposals.
  • ISGA will control all expenditure in the north-east
  • ISGA will have powers to borrow internally and externally, to provide guarantees and indemnities, receive aid directly, engage in or regulate internal and external trade
  • ISGA will direct and control all administrative structures and personnel in the north-east
  • ISAL will have power to alienate and determine use of land in north-east
  • GOSL must vacate all lands occupied by the armed forces and compensate
  • ISGA will resettle and rehabilitate displaced civilians and refugees
  • ISGA will control marine and offshore resources of adjacent seas and regulate access to it
  • ISGA will control natural resources in north-east. All monies due under existing agreements must be paid by the GOSL to ISGA.
  • ISGA will appoint independent election commission to conduct elections.
  • ISGA will provide people of north-east all rights under international human rights law.
  • ISGA will have an independent human rights commission and liaise with international human rights bodies
  • ISGA will not give any religion foremost place in north-east.
  • ISGA promises no discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, national or regional origin, age or gender in north-east.

Can anybody reading above say that these proposals have nothing to do with separating or obtaining independence for every line gives sole authority in a virtual separate state which is eelam without the name being used.

How the world reacted to LTTE’s proposals in 2003

  • “the first time I have seen such a comprehensive delineation of the aspirations of the LTTE…it is significant” (Richard Armitage – US Deputy Secretary of State) http://www.island.lk/2003/11/05/news03.htm Though America welcomed LTTE ISGA proposals Armitage however emphasized that it went beyond the Oslo & Tokyo Declarations.
  • “important step forward in the peace process” – EU Colombo Head of Mission
  • “The ISGA proposal..bears historical importance in the political history of Tamils in the island. The ISGA provides a base to find a permanent political solution to the Tamil national question”. TNA leader R Sampanthan & Opposition leader
  • “it will never be a party to robbing the people of Sri Lanka of their sovereignty” (Sri Lanka Freedom Party)
  • Proposals contain all powers required for a separate state in the island (JVP)
  • The Sihala Urumaya appealed to the UNF government to terminate the peace talks with the LTTE on the basis of the contents of the proposals which the party said would lead to the formation of a separate state.
  • Retired Col. Hariharan http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/paper1115 expressing India’s concerns over ISGA proposals would mean that LTTE/TNA would control Indian business deals (IOC in Trinco), LTTE/TNA would control territorial waters stretching almost 500 nautical miles, Indian Navy would have to deal with LTTE/TNA sea tigers rather than Sri Lanka Navy and Indian shipping/fishing would be subjected to sea tiger jurisdiction,
  • UNF would back the government fully if it began peace talks with the LTTE based on the ISGA proposals (UNF MP Dr. Rajitha Senaratne)
  • The ‘peace doves’ – Jehan Perera comments With its proposals for an Interim Self Governing Authority, the LTTE has given concrete form to its expectations in a manner that is essentially compatible with peaceful coexistence in a united Sri Lanka.” (2003)
  • TULF leader V. Anandasangaree has urged the LTTE to drop its ISGA demand as it wouldn’t be acceptable to most of the people including Tamils http://www.island.lk/2005/01/10/news9.html
  • Late Foreign Minister Kadiragamar during a speech at Brookings Institute Washington said the LTTE’s ISGA proposal would pave the way for a separate state. Chandrika removed him from peace talks with LTTE.

What is noteworthy is that the ISGA proposals were put forward on 31 October 2003 and on 4 November 2003 while PM Ranil W was out of the country, President Chandrika suspended Parliament and took control of the ministries of defense, interior and information and ordered troops to key installations. She declared a state of emergency on 5th November and on 7th February 2004 dissolved Parliament and called for elections which the SLFP-JVP alliance won.

What is also noteworthy is that the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) organized a seminar on 7 November 2003 on the ISGA and R Sampanthan spoke on behalf of the TNA. The same CPA is working overboard on the new constitution!

Same players that promoted separatism are now involved in the same game but under a different name and the fools who are napping without picking up the clues will get caught. Their napping however will cost an island nation their sovereignty and lead to immeasurable catastrophes for the people in the future!

What exactly is itching the TNA, Chief Minister Wigneswaran and the LTTE supporters as well as stake holders like India, the Church, Norway et al?

They want federalism – they already have it

They want devolution – they have that too. Except for land and police powers all 36 subjects under the 13th amendment have been devolved to the provincial councils.

They want to have federalism, devolution in a unite Sri Lanka – well they have that too.

Obviously they are not being honest and upfront about what their real plans are. The politicians are not being upfront either. They are not elected to Parliament to compete with each other on who is willing to give a bigger piece of Sri Lanka for separatists to cut and win some sort of Nobel prize for it. The people are beginning to realize that much of the woes suffered by the nation today has been directly due to the petty politics that politicians have played with no sense of nationalism or patriotism to their nation. We are an island nation. We are a small nation. We do not need separation of powers along the lines of nations that can’t rule them because they are too large. We are not a haven for new notions and political experiments simply to get a pat on the back for appeasement by forces dangling carrots because they have comprehended the psyche of our politicians. This shameful practice needs to stop and proper leadership needs to take place. Public officials, advisors and consultants also need to buckle up and function more than ‘yes’ men/women.

The country is now in a very pitiful state primarily because greed for power has overtaken one’s ability to think straight.

Shenali D Waduge

12 Responses to “Is the TNA-India-Federalists planning to deliver ISGA through Sri Lanka’s new Constitution?”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Sadly, federalism is here to stay for two unfortunate reasons. Firstly, Sri Lanka is already a de facto federal state. Secondly, no political party represented in parliament wants to turn Sri Lanka unitary again by removing 13A from the constitution. Instead of living in denial, idealists must come down to earth and accept the ground reality while not giving up on their noble fight against federalism. If they continue to deny this ground reality and refuse to fortify a second line of defence (Plan B), they are as dangerous as federalists. For this reason, top federalists can be seen with those who pretend to be nationalists and patriots.

    It is by no accident Dayan, GL Peiris and Vasudeva are with the JO.

    This is why a clear commitment must be taken from patriotic politicians, particularly of the JO, on 13A, federalism and unitary status. Depending on their response (lack of response is a negative response) people must make up their mind to discard them or keep them. Blindly following personalities is the main reason for politicians to take Sinhala voters for granted.

    The JO must be divided between those who uphold unitary status and want to abrogate 13A and those who cannot commit to them. This way people will clearly see who real patriots are and who the opportunists are. Shame on Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Dinesh Gunawardana to be on the same platform with avowed federalists and 13A supporters. Unless they form their own party, people will reject them too. What matters is saving the nation, forming a dedicated party for that and forging an election alliance for the purpose. Not to bring so and so or the other politician to power.

  2. Dham Says:

    On this new year I agree 1000 times with Dilrook.

    Vote for TNA if no other party, man or woman agree to remove 13A plus complete eradication of Federalism. PLEASE DO NOT WORSHIP OR PAY GRATITUDE TO ANY POLITIAN

  3. SA Kumar Says:

    On this new year ! Happy Sinhala & Thamil new year to all of My Mother Lankans !!!!

    Sri Lanka is already a de facto federal state !!!
    Let’s live happy in Our United Provincial Councils of Sinhela Lanka for ever !!!!

    Dilrook
    It is by no accident Dayan, GL Peiris and Vasudeva are with the JO.- like it all of them are pro 13A people.
    My opinion Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Dinesh Gunawardana are not Unitary but they are separaters.

  4. SA Kumar Says:

    Is the TNA-India-Federalists planning to deliver ISGA through Sri Lanka’s new Constitution? YES !!!

  5. plumblossom Says:

    Many Sri Lankans are gravely concerned about the TNA proposal to partition Sri Lanka into four pieces with a huge chunk (28% of the land area, 66% of the coastline and 66% of the ocean comprising the North East of Sri Lanka) going to the TNA racists and separatists as a merged North East federal state (but craftily disguised as ‘unitary’) with full powers.

    We are wondering why did over 43,000 both Sri Lankan Forces and civilians die at the hands of the LTTE and that megalomaniac Prabhakaran, if now, the TNA is being handed over and ‘Eelam’ so easily constitutionally?

    When looking at a GIS Map of Sri Lanka it is amply clear that most of the forested areas of Sri Lanka are situated in the NE. Do not these forests belong to all the citizens of Sri Lanka? Do not the same principle apply to the ocean too or even the whole island, that the oceans and the whole island belong to all the people of Sri Lanka? Mr. Vigneshwaran has ‘created’ a fake history (stating that Tamils lived in Sri Lanka for 2000 years). Yet, there are no ancient ruins in Jaffna, in the North nor any ancient Dravidian writing to prove these fake claims. History of the Tamils commence mainly with the Dutch and the British bringing in large numbers of people from Tamil Nadu to work in Tobacco plantations. There was the so called Jaffna Kingdom set up by an invader just prior to that but then Jaffna was only sparsely populated. Our question is, can people such as Mr. Vigneshwaran ‘create’ his own fake history like this? He is ignoring the many Buddhist ruins, Buddha statues, ancient Sinhala prakrit writing, the many ancient irrigation reservoirs built by Sinhala kings in the NE which proves an earlier indigenous Sinhala habitation in the North and all over the island. My plea to Mr. Vigneshwaran is to please be objective when it comes to history and archaeology and accept once and for all the fact that the Sinhala people lived all over the island for thousands of years and continue to do so. I would like Mr. Vigneshwaran to note that the provincial boundaries were drawn up by British colonialists for their administrative purposes with no input whatsoever from the Sinhala people and does not tally at all with the earlier history of the island which was unitary in nature.

    We are gravely concerned regarding the drawing up of a new constitution where due to the pressure of the TNA, the US, EU, UK, Canada, Norway, Sri Lanka is in grave danger of being divided up on ethnic lines into four, five or even six different pieces. Is this not crazy?

    The TNA proposals were drawn up by experts which the TNA hired from the UK, Canada, Belgium, Canada, US and the like? Is this not an interference in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs by foreign powers, even to the extent of trying to draw up Sri Lanka’s constitution?

    Can any organization in Sri Lanka go to the supreme court and stop, once and for all, the merger of the North and the East since it is critical to stop this once and for all? Can any organization in Sri Lanka also go to the supreme court and stop, once and for all the, dividing up of this small island on ethnic or any other lines?

    The only way to stop this madness is to go to the supreme court and get a verdict which would prohibit the merger of any provinces and to stop once and for all the dismemberment of this small island on ethnic or any other lines.

  6. mario_perera Says:

    A thought that strikes me is: what was the earthly purpose in waging the Ealam war with all the incalculable losses it entailed?

    As it was Prabha ruled the north and the east. He was the monarch of all he surveyed.

    The Monarch was leveled to the ground, but all he surveyed and ruled stood its ground. The war finally was to dethrone a gun-wielding usurper, but not to annex his realm.What MaRa did was in no way a Duttu-Gemunu stunt or a Sapumal Kumaraya stunt. they overthrew the usurper and annexed his territory.

    Ultimately what MaRa achieved was a SHAM victory, a victory ‘sans lendemain’, without a sequel. and at what what loss? Tens of thousands of the flower of our youth perished to provide him the satisfactions of a SHAM victory. It brought the economy to abysmal depths and pushed back the advance of a nation beyond every stretch of imagination.

    So the question arises, was the war with all its irremediable losses really necessary? Could it not be ascribed to the narrow mindedness and short shortsightedness of a deluded individual?

    Much criticism is leveled at Chandrika and at Book Cricketer Ranil for having made promises of territory to the Tamils. But has not the ‘PUHU’ war victory (victory?) of MaRa brought everything to the status quo? has it not added additional burdens on the country with all sorts of international obligations and threats hanging over it

    MaRa for all his big victory talk kept the reality of Federalism alive with his promises of 13A + the sun and the moon. Mnd you that was after winning the over over the blood of the Sinhala youth.

    What was the point of Eelam war if it only entails giving all that the Ealamists fought for? Indeed MaRa’s war victory was nothing but a ‘mirage’. Riding the crest of his empty victory he tried to consolidate his position as a ‘monarch by divine right’. Even in his time the mirage had vanished.

    Ultimately, with hindsight, the going to war was an absurd, senseless and destructive decision. The north and east of which Prabha was the de facto ruler was NEVER conquered and subjugated and annexed to the SriLanka body.

    What matters if not whether or not Sri Lanka won the war against separatism. It is whether the subject matter involved changed hands. The stark reality is that the ruthless gun-wielding Prabha has been replaced by the equally ruthless pro-Ealam
    Vigggie. the stark reality is the de facto realm, the subject of the contention never changed hands.

    If this reasoning is correct, the greatest destroyer of the Sinhala nation is MaRa.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  7. Dilrook Says:

    I disagree with Mario that the greatest destroyer of the Sinhala nation is MaRa. It is not true.

    The greatest destroyer of the Sinhala nation is 13A (the piece of law).

    However, everything else is correct. I had an exchange with Mario in 2008 over the war. I strongly supported the war while for specified reasons, Mario opposed it in its form. After 8 years I have to admit Mario was right and I’m wrong.

    Since 2013 Wigneswaran and TNA are ruling over a larger area than Parabhakaran ever did. They have much more power than LTTE ever had including selective funding of schools, hospitals, road construction, administration, irrigation management, etc. We all know how hard LTTE tried to grab these powers by force and failed. What’s even more interesting is TNA gets funds from the government to do these!

    May be the biggest victory TNA achieved but LTTE failed was to demilitarize the north and prevent the resettlement of displaced Sinhalese and Muslims in the north.

    Although the LTTE died, its victory – 13A (which was drafted by India while in bed with the LTTE) lives on. On our side, we have no such continuing legacy of war victory. Even the victor of the war promised full implementation of 13A along with the UN Chief just 4 days after the war was won.

    We won the war but lost our way. Tamils lost the war but never lost their way.

  8. plumblossom Says:

    many Sri Lankans are gravely concerned about the TNA proposal to partition Sri Lanka into four pieces with a huge chunk (28% of the land area, 66% of the coastline and 66% of the ocean comprising the North and the East of Sri Lanka) going to the TNA racists and separatists as a merged North East federal state (but craftily disguised as ‘unitary’) with full powers.

    We are wondering why did over 43,000 both Sri Lankan Forces and civilians die at the hands of the LTTE and that megalomaniac Prabhakaran, if now, the TNA is being handed over an ‘Eelam’ so easily constitutionally?

    When looking at a GIS Map of Sri Lanka, it is amply clear that most of the forested areas of Sri Lanka are situated in the North and the East. Do not these forests belong to all the citizens of Sri Lanka? Do not the same principle apply to the ocean too or even the whole island, that the oceans and the whole island belong to all the people of Sri Lanka? Mr. Vigneshwaran has ‘created’ a fake history (stating that Tamils lived in Sri Lanka for 2000 years). Yet, there are no ancient ruins in Jaffna, in the North nor any ancient Dravidian writing to prove these fake claims. History of the Tamils commence mainly with the Dutch and the British bringing in large numbers of people from Tamil Nadu to work in tobacco plantations commenced by the Dutch and the British. There was the so called Jaffna Kingdom set up by an invader just prior to that but then Jaffna was only very sparsely populated. Our question is, can people such as Mr. Vigneshwaran ‘create’ his own fake history like this? He is ignoring the many Buddhist ruins, the many ancient Buddha statues, ancient Sinhala prakrit writing, the many ancient irrigation reservoirs built by Sinhala kings in the North and the East which proves an earlier indigenous Sinhala habitation in the North and all over the island. We would like to tell Mr. Vigneshwaran to be objective when it comes to history and archaeology and accept once and for all the fact that the Sinhala people lived all over the island for thousands of years and continue to do so. I would like Mr. Vigneshwaran to note that the provincial boundaries were drawn up by British colonialists for their administrative purposes with no input whatsoever from the Sinhala people and does not tally at all with the earlier history of the island which was unitary in nature.

    The Kandyan Kingdom (1400AD-1815) comprised almost all of the island inclusive of the East and almost all of the North. The earlier Kingdom of Rajarata (600BC-1400 AD) comprised the North Central, North Western, Northern and Eastern Provinces or the dry zone of Sri Lanka.

    We are gravely concerned regarding the drawing up of a new constitution where due to the pressure of the TNA, the US, EU, UK, Canada, Norway, Sri Lanka is in grave danger of being divided up on ethnic lines into four, five or even six different pieces. Is this not crazy?

    The TNA proposals were drawn up by experts which the TNA hired from the UK, Canada, Belgium, Canada, US and the like. Is this not an interference in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs by foreign powers, even to the extent of trying to draw up Sri Lanka’s constitution?

    Can any organization in Sri Lanka go to the supreme court and stop, once and for all, the merger of the North and the East since it is critical to stop this once and for all? Can any organization in Sri Lanka also go to the supreme court and stop, once and for all the, dividing up of this small island on ethnic or any other lines?

    The only way to stop this madness is to go to the supreme court and get a verdict which would prohibit the merger of any provinces and to stop once and for all the dismemberment of this small island on ethnic or any other lines.

  9. mario_perera Says:

    However, everything else is correct. I had an exchange with Mario in 2008 over the war. I strongly supported the war while for specified reasons, Mario opposed it in its form. After 8 years I have to admit Mario was right and I’m wrong – Dilrook.

    HA HA… How sweet of you Dilrook.

    I am not averse to compliments, so thank you!

    However, some precision is necessary. That was a time when the whole world said with one voice: THE WAR IS NOT WINNABLE. That was a time when battle reverses were the order of the day. That was the time when suicide bombers blew themselves up like lighting crackers. That was a time when entering a full scale war appeared like a path of no return. We remember what Ranil said about the advance to Thoppigala and what Ravi Karu said about Alimankada and Pamankada. That was a time when just a handful dared to believe

    YET, that was also the time, like no other perhaps in our history, when the Sinhala nation reduced to tatters and repeatedly forced to swallow its pride, needed to feel like being a nation. That was a time when the ‘Sinhala’, like the Jews, lying under and trampled by Roman feet, were crying for a saviour. That was a time when the Sinhala psyche seemingly dead and buried yearned for its resurrection. AND RESURRECT IT DID.

    I do not know whether there was a prouder moment in our history than seeing MaRa return to the country, kneel and kiss the soil of Mother Earth. I (yes I who said the war was not winnable) remember writing to Lankaweb suggesting, in the throes of my emotions, that the Victory day be proclaimed our real Independence day. On that glorious day there would hardly have been one confessing that he ever thought the war was not winnable! that was a day when scenes of merry making engulfed the country like never ever. That was a day when the nation was ready to forcibly crown MaRa king of lanka, a heartfelt desire embodied in the song of the golden eyed damsel: ayubo wewa Maharajaneni.

    And now to think of the plunge the Sinhala nation has taken. It is unbelievable. It is heart rending.

    Mario Perera
    kadawata

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    What was the alternative to war with the LTTE ?
    Talks were useless, as proven. CBK/RW duo tried that for many years and failed. Norway as Peacekeeper produced mini-subs with Suicidal LTTE – to what purpose ?

    So the alternative to no war, was to allow the LTTE to go on killing Others in Lanka, forcing, spreading and growing their outfit, fund raising abroad and spreading lies, cheat and deceit against Lanka using the Tamil Diaspora (sprang from trumped up Riots of 1983), etc. etc.

    Today’s leadership in Lanka has to take the ‘bull by the horns’ and do the post war work of stopping Eelam formation. That was the general idea when Lankans let them cheat and win at elections, and bring in RW (not elected) as Exec PM & CBK as leader for Reconciliation. The most unpopular leaders are in power today just to get the job done, not for any other reasons.

    *Btw, who is encouraging this Eelam formation ?
    *Who is going to benefit from Eelam when India & Tamil Nadu imposes the Caste structure fully on any Eelam ? Lanka will never be allowed to ‘solve’ caste problems of Tamil Nadu Tamils. Neither can Lanka solve any Cold War problems.

    Does any Constitution really matter ?
    The 6-A in the present Constitution has never been acted on !!! If the 6-A was acted on, there would be no Tamil Separatism.

    We say to GoSL : Just get the job done of stopping Eelam formation.
    And don’t cheat on the People of Lanka with 5,000 acre lots leased out on 99 yr leases, plus a sea tunnel to Tamil Nadu.

  11. Dham Says:

    “who is encouraging this Eelam formation ?”

    Sinhalese politicians, one group openly, the other group secretly and cowardly hiding behind Hela Flag trying to create another situation where Sinhalese youth get killed again. The Beggar’s Wound was cured in 2009 but he cut his limb and sold to keep on begging.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    Cold War Plans going on even after the Cold War finished in 1991 !

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