Sri Lanka Must Hold a Referendum on ETCA, Proposed Bridge to South India, Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and 13A
Posted on June 26th, 2016

Dilrook Kannangara

Sri Lanka follows Britain in democracy, most laws, economic policy, governance and military tradition. Doing the right thing, Britain consulted its people whether to leave the EU or remain. Rulers didn’t force their own thinking down the throat of countrymen. In a decisive vote most voted to leave. Sri Lanka must take a leaf from British experience and hold a referendum on the proposed ETCA, bridge to India, Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and 13A.

‘Bloody Imposition’ of 13A and Indo-Lanka Peace Accord

In 1987, India imposed the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and 13A in a dirty and invasive intervention. Indian-created LTTE was fighting against the troops in the country’s north while Indian navy boats invaded the south. The army was held captive by LTTE terrorists with Indian weapons and the local navy was subjugated. The Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and the dreaded 13A were imposed under these conditions. People protested but instigated by a bullying India, they were shot and killed. A brave navy officer attacked the Indian Prime Minister (who was killed just 4 years later by Tamils in India) which was the sum of all anger harboured by Sri Lankans. Violence erupted throughout the country. Most Sri Lankans never supported them. Although Tamils initially supported the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and 13A, they soon fell out with them.

A referendum is needed to consult the people on the desirability of continuing with the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and 13A.

ETCA and the Monkey Bridge to a Referendum

ETCA and the proposed monkey bridge must also be put to a referendum to decide. Let the people decide. These are highly dangerous moves pushed by Indian hegemony and Sri Lankans are always suspicious of India. ETCA and the proposed bridge or tunnel would facilitate the movement of a large number of Indians flooding the island nation threatening it. It cannot be allowed.

If India is world’s largest democracy as it (falsely) claims, it must allow Sri Lanka to proceed with a referendum. No sane Sri Lankan wants to be part of an economic deal with India.

Sri Lankan government must uphold its democratic credentials and call for a single referendum to decide on all these.

13 Responses to “Sri Lanka Must Hold a Referendum on ETCA, Proposed Bridge to South India, Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and 13A”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Agree with what Dilrook says here. Thank you, Dilrook.

    Add to the list for a Referendum, the proposed 5,000 acre lots on 99 yr leases to foreigners.

    To raise foreign funds and also create jobs, GoSL should have many Free Trade Zones in Lanka. It is a treachery to lease off huge blocks of land on 99 yr leases when the entire island is only 25,000 sq miles.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    I have long advocated such a referendum on the 13A and the ETCA, and support Dilrook in adding the Indo-Sri Lanka Bridge to the referendum.

    Thank you Dilrook!

  3. Dilrook Says:

    Thanks for your comments Fran and Ananda.

    13A and other impositions must be put to a referendum. It is a no-brainer. Buying 60 MPs is very easy in Sri Lanka. And that is 2/3. That’s all you need. Luxury vehicles and a ministry can buy more than 60 if needed. However, voters cannot be bought that easily. Especially when they are taxed, left right and centre.

    I acknowledge Ananda as a long standing advocate of putting the 13A to a referendum.

    The only possible downside is the north and east might vote differently which will give away a wrong signal to the world. However, this happens in every election so it is nothing new. Tamils and Muslims have no special love for 13A anyway.

    In fact except for Tamils and other minority judges, only 2 supreme court judges said 13A was consistent with the constitution in 1987. That was an obviously biased decision. 4 judges opposed it and demanded a referendum. Ultimately 5-4 (backed heavily by minority judges) the supreme court gave the ridiculous verdict 13A was consistent with the constitution and demanded no referendum. As Nanda Malini and professor Sunil Ariyarathna correctly said “kumata erata adhikaranaya neethiya saha winisuran”!

    Unfortunately, the current composition of the supreme court is also worrying for the same reason.

  4. Ramanie Says:

    There should have been a proper referendum on the constitutional changes as well Dilrook. The monkey who loves the monkey bridge is pushing through major changes to the constitution via a hand picked “committee” and a 0% public opinions sought!

  5. stanley perera Says:

    We can stand on our heads and demand all abovementioned democratic process, it is not possible to enforce as bloody Indians with RAW are capable in bribing and bullying our 225 freeloaders. Hambantota, Colombo, Jaffna and hill country are run by India. So can there be a democracy in Sri Lanka?

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Questions to ask ourselves :

    Why is INDIA nervous about Sri Lanka ?

    Should Sri Lanka sign a MOU with INDIA & UN that Lanka will never do anything to threaten the sovereignty of INDIA ? That is, a MOU stating that Lanka will always consult INDIA first before any major step is taken with any foreign country re Security Issues &/or the Economy ?

    That may be better than a virtual take over by INDIA, isn’t it ?

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    I am stating that INDIA is nervous about Sri Lanka because INDIA imposed the 13-A (1987) by force on the JRJ govt which was inclined heavily toward the West during the Cold War times.

    INDIA also trained the LTTE in Tamil Nadu during the Cold War times (mid-1980s)

    Curious that INDIA continues to be nervous now, because the Cold War finished in 1991, and Russia is now a part of NATO.

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    Fran,

    SL should NOT enter into such an MOU ….. a non-agression pact shall we say …. with India, because that itself an form the basis, the rainson-de-etre, for Indian intervention in SL’s affairs.

    For example, imagine a situation in which no one but China gives SL aid to defend itself militarily, or diplomatically at the UN, or develop its infrastructure, to the extent that makes a significant difference. Also imagine that India has to placate an internal constituency (Tamil Nadu) critical to the survival of the ruling party in India. Then India would demand that the China be excluded for natonal security reasons, while not replacing the aid without strings we get from China for domestic political reasons, namely mollifying the Indian Tamils. If SL refuses, SL would be held to be violating the MOU.

    No, it is very dangerous to enter into these generalized agreements with a neighboring power that has demonstrated it’s Machiavellian character in the present and the recent past, but has the potential to do so in the future as well. SL needs China now to counter balance India NOW, and may need other powers like the USA, Russia, Japan and even Iran in the future as gobal political alliances change in direction and strength.

    While global alliances shift, wax and wane, one thing persist: India will remain a threat to the existence of SL as an independent nation, Tamil Nadu and Tamil people will ALWAYS have greater influence on India than Sri Lanka, and India will ALWAYS feel tbreathed by its neighbors on all sides. No among of supplication and professions of friendship by SL will alter these dynamics, and we have to fend for ouselves today just as our ancestors did over millenia establishing differfent alliances to defend ourselves.

  9. ranjit Says:

    It’s a fine idea and we all should supports it as patriots to Motherlanka. It’s a must as majority doesn’t agree on those in my country. Although we love and wish to have MR again as our country’s leader he should stand tall and bow to the people’s wish and take a strong lead to oppose those evil issues dangerous to our nation. We need to stand on our own feet without bending like Beckham. Our country is a great country and we have all the re saucers and human knowledge to take our country to new heights. I am dreaming for a new dawn under a new leader who supports the Sinhalese and work for the well being of the Sinhala nation with all races and religions united under one Srilankan flag and one law to all alike. Srilanka is for everyone who was born and bread here not for outsiders. No one can claim “this is my area or land and demand separate rule anywhere in the country. This is Sinhala land and it belongs to sinhala people and other minorities can live happlily and harmonuesly same like in the olden days. Think as a Srilankan not as a Sinhalese, Tamil or a Muslim and help to build our homeland.

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    Ananda,

    While I agree with you in what you say here, I am of the opinion that the alternative will be that Lanka will always be probably destabilised by INDIA, using Tamil leaders and Tamil people in Lanka, plus ‘bought & fear-ed’ Sinhala leaders who may even ‘sell’ the country to INDIA and others out of fear ?

    That is a horrendous alternative ! What other recourses do we have in Lanka to work toward a lasting Peace for both INDIA & Lanka ?

    We must never forget that the UNP leadership was decimated by the LTTE, which outfit was trained in INDIA. Can INDIA ever be Lanka’s true friend, with an independent Lanka, where Lanka is free to negotiate her Economic & Security
    issues ?
    If Lanka moves ONLY with INDIA’s perceived friends, then and then alone will peace be possible ?

    We also have to consider earlier break away Tamil Nadu (with their vast numbers of Tamil Dalits), aspirations which INDIA has to handle with care.

  11. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dear Fran,

    Throughout the world, the greatest enemies of nations are their largest neighbors. Those large neighboring countries al ways attempt to expand at the expense of the smaller neighbors.

    India wrt to Pakistan and Sri Lanka
    Germany and Russia wrt to Poland
    Russia wrt to Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia
    Iraq wrt to Kuwait and Iran (perceived to be weak)
    Austria wrt to Hungary and Romania
    China wrt to Vietnam, Tibet and Mongolia
    Israel wrt to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt
    ….the list goes on …

    The compulsion to expand is inexorable and is motivated by a variety of reasons including religioud, ethnic, egotistic and security reasons.
    Whatever the reason is, the fact is that this is a fact of life, it exists just as most people are killed by their spouses … their nearest of kin.

    So what should these countries do, in addition to strengthening their own national defences, to defend themselves?

    1. The victimized nation give in and sign an MOU promising eternal servitude, but this bilateral agreement does not have any protection against its violation. In effect, it is no defense at all. Let us call this option the APPEASEMENT option.

    2. The victimized nation can form counterbalancing alliances with the offending nations ALLIES as you suggest in your most recent comment, hoping that membership in this group will protect you. Hopefully, this agreement will require those allies to come to your aid if you are abused by the neighbor. Such an agreement has the advantage of being non-confrontational but is not very effective as a defence because those allies are unlikely to sacrifice their more important relationship with the bully to defend you. Therefore, this option is more like shaming an aggressor in front of his friends … and is a rather weak defense. Let us call this option the SHAMING option.

    3. The victimizef nation can form counterbalancing alliances with the ENEMIES of the neighborhood bully, with clauses that require them to come to your aid if the bully attacks you. This is usually the most effective form of defence, but it is confrontational and does not contribute to defusing the problem. Let us call this option the CONFRONTING option.

    CLEARLY, the Shsming option 1 is of no use whatever as a credible defense, and should be REJECTED.

    The CONFRONTING Option 3 is the most effective but is confrontational, while thr Shaming option 2 is unreliable but is non-confrontational.

    Therefore, I advocate PRIMARY reliance on the Congronying Option 3 for Sri Lanka and secondary reliance on the Shaming Option 2 to defuse any legitmate fears of the neighborhood bully.

    This in fact, was the approach used by the MR/UPFA GOSL.

    The defense policy of the Sirisena/UNP GOSL is reliance primarily on Appeasement Option 1 and secondarily on Shaming Option 2. This is, in my view, a very bad choice for our national defence that has no TEETH to display credible DETERRENCE to the big bully.

    The way to preserve our independence and sovereignty is to talk very softly while carrying a very big stick! There is no other effective way.

  12. Ananda-USA Says:

    I repeat,

    The way for Sri Lanka to preserve our independence and sovereignty is to talk very softly (Shaming Option 2) while carrying a very big stick (Confronting Option 3).

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Ananda,

    Thanks for your response and concerns. We do appreciate it.

    I cannot but feel that in that case, we have to go the way of Switzerland to safeguard the country.

    Best wishes,
    Fran

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