FM Mangala Samaraweera in L.A. says no separation but leaves door open to federalism
Posted on October 5th, 2016

Report & photos by Hassina Leelarathna Courtesy Sri Lanka Express

About 200 expats present at dinner meeting with the visiting minister

A federal state is not a separate state.  I assure you Sri Lanka will remain a united, undivided country,” he said addressing a gathering of about 200 invitees at the upscale residence of Consul General Swarna Gunaratne.

The minister was responding to my question as to whether the government would continue to uphold a unitary constitution “and avoid a federal state.”

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera
“Unitary constitution” and “federalism” are just terms being thrown around.  “Don’t go by what’s on social media,” he said.
Minister Samaraweera was in Los Angeles after attending the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
About 200 residents from Southern California were present at the September 25 event which was the first featuring a visiting government dignitary organized by Mrs. Gunaratne who took office earlier this year.  Notably absent were Buddhist monks from the local Sri Lankan temples.
Minister Samaraweera, dressed in open shirt while the invitation called for formal attire, said he was surprised at the large turnout, quipping that as he walked in to the meeting he thought for a moment he was in Matara (his hometown).

Consul General Mrs. Swarna Gunaratne
 In contrast to other Sri Lankan leaders who from time to time have addressed the expatriate community here, Mr. Samaraweera, speaking for about 20 minutes, solely in English, did not have one good thing to say about Sri Lanka from independence to present.  None of the warm nostalgia for the homeland usually evoked by leaders from all sides of the political divide.
Quoting extensively from the late Lee Kuan Yew, founder and prime minister of Singapore,  he painted a grim picture of a country that couldn’t evolve,” a nation, contrary to the promise shown when it became independent, is still struggling to move forward.”
When Ceylon gained independence in 1948, it was the classic model of gradual evolution to independence. Alas it did not work out….  It is sad that the country whose ancient name Serendip has given the English language the word “serendipity” is now the epitome of conflict, pain, sorrow and hopelessness,” he quoted the late Singaporean leader as saying.
Now, after sliding for almost 70 years, Sri Lanka has finally caught a break according to the minister.  There’s hope in the horizon with a new vision for democratization and development” being pursued by his government which came to power in 2015. All the countries are coming forward to help us,” he declared. emphasizing that the island will be a strategic military hub in the Indian Ocean and a gateway to Asia.
Touching on Sri Lanka’s economic future, he said the government will take measures to make it easier for foreign investors to do business in the island as well as for foreign nationals to buy land.
In pursuit of promoting reconciliation, there was a new political trajectory” aimed at breaking down walls and building bridges” and putting away past baggage.”
Reconciliation was key to coming to terms with the tragedies of the past” which was why, he said, the government felt it important to show the world” its commitment by cosponsoring the Geneva Resolution (Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1).
Minister Samaraweera’s visit was billed as the curtain-raiser for the proposed 2018 “Year of the Overseas Sri Lankan” event, a year-long celebration to be held in Los Angeles and other cities to coincide with the nation’s 70th Independence Day.   He mentioned plans to hold festivals  highlighting Sri Lanka’s achievements and to promote the island as a wonderful destination” but only a smidgen of his speech touched on the 2018 celebration.
Regardless,  the minister was apparently expecting audience comments and questions to be apolitical.  “This is not the forum for politics,” he scolded after I had my brief say.  In addition to the references to a unitary constitution and federalism, I said the  Sri Lankan government’s talk about reconciliation was the sound of one hand clapping.”
The diaspora is not one entity geographically or ideologically,” I pointed out, adding   there’s the diaspora that carried out a campaign for separatism by funding a terrorist group and that according to State Department reports this fundraising is still going on.  Referring to the government’s efforts to reach out to diaspora groups like the Global Tamil Forum I asked if similar efforts had been made towards groups at the other end of the spectrum.”
Mr. Samaraweera did give a long response but the question went unanswered.
Despite the minister’s admonishment, Los Angeles resident Roma de Zoysa stood up to ask if after 30 years of war [with the LTTE] the new government was in the end going to give them what they have been asking.”  To which, Mr. Samaraweera answered there will be no separation.”
Mr. Faisal Buharie of the Sri Lanka Muslim Association brought up the question of the resettlement of Muslims evicted from their homes in 1990 by the LTTE.   The minister responded that there were 909 of them left and that they will be resettled shortly.
There were a few more questions, this time on topics such as education, the teaching of English, and if the government would bankroll the 2018 Independence Day celebrations in LA.  And then there was some unabashed praise for the visiting dignitary — good news” that might have helped to jolly things up towards the end, when the minister was ready to call it an evening, with the declaration that it was time for a drink.”

11 Responses to “FM Mangala Samaraweera in L.A. says no separation but leaves door open to federalism”

  1. Caesar Says:

    OK,
    Then Man Gala must get his mother fucked by Minorities prior to fedaralism!

  2. plumblossom Says:

    There is no Tamil Homeland! It is a completely bogus invention. The writer has got the history slightly wrong. Even the most recent Pandyan invasion just prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century by Aryachakravarthi only invaded the Jaffna peninsula only and the settlement of the Jaffna peninsula was very sparse. All earlier invasions by the Cholas etc. they invaded Anuradhapura and Pollonnaruwa and these was for short periods of time and there were no settlements whatsoever at all as a result. Most Tamils were brought over by the Portugese and the Dutch to work on Tobacco and Indigo plantations set up by the Portugese and the Dutch after the 16th century.

    There were from around 600BC over 43 attempted invasions of the island by the Chola, Kalinga, Pandya, Vijayanagar and other South and Indian Kingdoms etc. However only six succeeded. There was one invasion by a Malayan kingdom too. These were during Sinhala Kings Walagamba, Dhutugemunu, Dhathusena, Vijayabahu I, Parakramabahu II, Buvanekabahu V and Parakramabahu VI times. However invaders invaded Anuradhapura, Pollonnaruwa and stayed only for a short period of time and left the island once they were overwhelmed. There were no settlements due to these invasions except the very last invasion by Aryachakravarthi of the Jaffna Peninsula.

    When looking at Sri Lanka’s history, it is extremely obvious that from 600BC to around 1400AD there were three kingdoms, all Sinhala Buddhist, Ruhuna, Pihiti or Rajarata and Maya or Malayarata. Rajarata encompassed today’s North Central, North Western, Northern and even the Central Province. Ruhunu rata encompassed today’s Uva, Eastern and Southern Provinces. The Kandyan Kingdom from 1400AD encompassed most of the island inclusive of today’s Northern and the Eastern Provinces except for the Jaffna Peninsula. Even the Jaffna Peninsula was invaded and occupied by force by Aryachakravarthi (Pandyan) and actually did belong to Rajarata earlier and later the Kandyan Kingdom.

    Today’s provincial boundaries were drawn up by the British colonialists as per their divide and rule policy and the Sinhala people were not consulted when drawing up these provincial boundaries. In the meantime, most Sri Lankan Tamils of today were actually brought over during Dutch and British times to the Jaffna Peninsula and elsewhere to work on tobacco and indigo plantations which were planted extensively in all the colonies since they were much sought after and made a lot of money for the colonialists. Therefore they are recent arrivals and cannot claim homelands or separate states whatsoever.

    The usual practice when a colonial power hands over their former colonies is to hand it over to its original owners. Therefore the British colonialists should hand over the Kandyan Kingdom to the Kandyan Sinhalese from whom they took it by force. Since the Kandyan Kingdom encompassed the North and the East, these provinces too should be handed over to the Kandyan Sinhalese who are its rightful owners. Even the Jaffna Peninsula should be handed over to the Kandyan Sinhalese since it was part of Rajarata and was forcefully occupied by Aryachakravarthi (Pandyan).

    Since this has now been done already, the TNA, other separatists or the US, UK EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden and India cannot demand that present day Northern or even the Eastern provinces be provided any more powers or be made into federal states since this is totally going against the history and archaeology of the island and totally going against the rights of the Sinhala people who also have fundamental rights to claim the entire island inclusive of the North and the East as their homeland first and foremost.

    History which was dropped as a subject should be taught at school since Sri Lanka has a very long history and it is very beneficial for the next generation to learn the history and archaeology of the island based on actual archaeological findings, archaeological ruins, artefacts, stone inscriptions, ola leaf writings and so on. Otherwise people will believe any bogus history invented by interested parties to their benefit, not based on facts but invented for their own nefarious purposes. Today these settlers such as the Sri Lankan Tamils are inventing history for their own purposes without any archaeological evidence whatsoever to back up such bogus claims. Therefore it is imperative that history is taught as a subject in school as soon as possible.

  3. plumblossom Says:

    I would urge anyone and highly commend anyone who will take legal action against the treacherous CBK (Chaura Rejina) regarding the defamatory and utter lies she keeps repeating to defame her rivals, legal action should be taken against her for stating that she will definitely devolve more powers to provincial Councils within the new constitution. Does this evil woman CBK think she owns Sri Lanka and that she is the one who is going to draw up the new constitution of Sri Lanka (according to the wishes of the imperialistic US, UK, EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden, India, the racist TNA and the separatist terrorists)? The constitution of Sri Lanka should satisfy first and foremost the majority of people of this island i.e. the Sinhala people and the Sinhala people firstly do not want to draw up a new constitution nor do they want any more powers whatsoever be provided to the provincial councils especially land, police and fiscal or to illegally merge the North and the East.

    Someone has to go to the supreme court and take action against treacherous CBK for suggesting that she will definitely devolve more powers to provincial councils within the yet to be drawn up constitution since this means the treacherous Ranil, Sirisena, CBK and Mangala have already drawn up a constitution to satisfy the imperialistic US, UK, EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden, India, the racist TNA and the separatist terrorists which is illegal.

  4. plumblossom Says:

    The writer has asked for further historical facts and figures. Apart from many Buddhist ruins, the writer has missed a very important part of the Sinhala Buddhist civilization which is the extensive hydraulic system that still prevails in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. The Sinhala kings built over 15,000 large, medium and small scale irrigation reservoirs in Rajarata and Ruhuna encompassing today’s, North Central, North, Eastern, North Western provinces. For example Yodha Wewa Reservoir in today’s Mannar in the North was built by the Sinhala King Dhathusena or Mahasen. The Pavatkulam Reservoir in Vavuniya in the North was built by the Sinhala King Dhathusena or Mahasen. The Kanthale Reservoir in the East was built by Sinhala King Agbo II. All of the irrigation reservoirs present in the North Central, North, North Western and East were built by Sinhala Kings. In fact, to get the water to flow out of the reservoirs in a smooth manner, the Sinhala Engineers invented the biso kotuwa a type of water outlet out falling from the reservoir where water pressure can be managed so as not to damage the tank bund. Another invention of the Sinhala irrigation Engineer is the anicut where a river’s water was diverted using a dam type structure built across the river partially blocking the river flow and diverting the water into open channel canals.

    The amazing and extensive irrigation system in Sri Lanka’s dry zone encompassing today’s North Central, North, East and North Western Provinces encompassing over 15,000 large, medium and small scale reservoirs, open channel canals etc. was built by the Sinhala Kings. Therefore there is no doubt whatsoever that there was a Sinhala Buddhist civilization encompassing today’s North Central, North, East and North Western Provinces, even just by considering this extensive irrigation reservoir system. R.L. Brohier, H.C.P. Bell, D.LO. Mendis, many archaeologists, irrigation engineers, surveyors have written many books and research papers on this subject.

  5. plumblossom Says:

    As Sinhalese, we should always say that we want a unitary state, a centralised form of government, citizens rights or civic rights enhanced instead and that the state religion should be Theravadha Buddhism. I do not think apart from the TNA, the LTTE, other separatist terrorists and the imperialists i.e. the US,EU,UK, Canada, Norway, Sweden and India anyone in Sri Lanka will mind if the state religion is Theravadha Buddhism. Even the bishop is OK with it. So are all moderate Catholics, Islamic, Christians and even moderate Hindus are OK with is. I am sure all moderate Sri Lankans i.e. over 88% are also OK with a unitary state, a strong centralised form of government and enhanced civic rights only.

  6. plumblossom Says:

    Mangala is lying as usual. The LTTE terrorist group also ethnically cleansed the entire Sinhala and Muslim population of the Northern Province, of over 65,000 Sinhala people and over 75,000 Muslim people of the Northern Province in the 1980s and the 1990s. The LTTE also ethnically cleansed the entire Sinhala population of the Batticaloa District in the East of over 25,000 Sinhala people.

    Today, the Sinhala people and their descendants of over 135,000 are yet to be resettled in the North and in the Batticaloa District and Muslims of over 115,000 are yet to be resettled in the North. Uptil 2012, of the above number, around 32,000 Sinhala people and around 32,000 Muslims has been resettled in the North.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    Our thanks to Haseena Leelaratne for this article.

    ———

    The glum and unsure faces in the photos speaks volumes !

    A Fed State means a fast track to Eelam. The Eelam pictures of Lanka are emerging ones more.

    The Sea Tunnel to Tamil Nadu will bring in Tamil Dalits who have suffered for 3,000 yrs there under the Caste yoke.
    Sri Lanka is a ‘sitting duck’ for a INDIAN/Tamil Nadu take over !

    Add to all this the ETCA & the 5,000 acre lots on 99 yr leases to foreigners – and there will no more be any Sri Lanka !

    Also add the TPP and all is lost ! TPP rules will override local law.

    Local law is already in jeopardy with the ILLEGAL 13-A from INDIA still in place. It is the most divisive piece of legislation for Reconciliation.
    Also the 6-A has never been activated.

    Mangala and others of his ilk will most probably disappear abroad when the going gets too hot for them in Lanka … !

  8. S.Gonsal Says:

    “Now, after sliding for almost 70 years, Sri Lanka has finally caught a break according to the minister. There’s hope in the horizon with “a new vision for democratization and development” being pursued by his government which came to power in 2015. “All the countries are coming forward to help us,” he declared. “

    Absolute rubbish !
    People were given such hopes in 1956,1977 and 2009 all became hoaxes. There were good opportunities all 3 occasions and ALL lost. There is not even an opportunity now. Now it is similar to CFA time. Only a war will bring another opportunity. These Draculas are drinking Sinhala blood !

  9. SA Kumar Says:

    S.Gonsal
    People were given such hopes in 1956,1977 and 2009- agreed missed out 1983 machagn

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    Pres MS made some significant remarks recently.
    We question why he made the following statements.

    (a) During his recent visit to Jaffna, he said that Sri Lanka must keep to the 9 Provinces given by King George to administer Sri Lanka.
    What does this mean ?
    Is Sri Lanka still a Colony of Britain that Lanka is to keep to British administrative methods which are turning out to be detrimental to Sri Lanka’s Unitary status ?
    It was bad enough that the British brought over a million Tamil people of low caste from Tamil Nadu to Lanka to work in the Tea industry etc. These Tamil workers never went back to Tamil Nadu.

    (b) He also said that Sri Lankans must be tolerant toward REFUGEES coming to Sri Lanka.
    What does this mean ?
    Is Lanka to expect a large number of Refugees arriving in Sri Lanka ?
    If so, why should a small and now economically unbalanced country such as Lanka accept refugees from another
    country ?
    If he is referring to the Tamil Nadu camp people, these folks are in their own Land now, and INDIA should give them citizenship there, as requested by CM Jayalalitha.
    Note that INDIA abrogated the Sirima/Shasthri Pact of 1964 too.

    The Yahap govt does not appear at Heart to have the best interests of Lanka’s OWN citizens.
    They are simply following some foreign Grand Plan which appears to be selling off Lanka assets to foreigners and Yahap buddies on a long term basis through Fascism/pure Capitalism.
    No common sense balance here.

  11. Cerberus Says:

    Has Mangala finally flipped his lid or is he being strongly persuaded by the West to take a certain stance on the issue of war crimes?

    Whenever there is a picture of Mangala Samaraweera he looks as if he has been carousing the night before and has just got up. He seems to such as ungrateful man to speak of President Mahinda Rajapakse in such a manner. People must realize that in life everything changes very fast. Mangala is up there right now and he may also come down very fast tomorrow. That is politics all over the world. Someone like him who has no particular talent other than tailoring, if not for people like MR where would he be today?It is very sad when looks at the calibre of politicians today. The country appears to be governed by people without even a GCE ‘O’ level qualification. The President is only 8th standard educated. The educated people never get into politics. They sit and write nice articles to the newspapers.I think MR was an exception. The new proposed Constitution must have a clause to lay down minimum standards for people to contest elections like in Singapore.

    See this article about Mangala’s comments about Ranil: http://asiantribune.com/node/7457
    Newsfirst_Image of UNP and its leader damaged by Mangala Samaraweera – Harin Fernando
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuY-jWVQVFc

    There was so much cruelty that was done by LTTE to the Sinhalese who tried their best to accommodate them. I cannot understand why even President Mahinda Rajapakse delayed looking into these matters. He spent so much effort to try and make the Tamils happy in the North and East. I guess he thought he could get their vote and international approval. It just shows how out of touch our people are with Tamils.

    Right through the fighting in the North and East, there were observers from UNO and also the US and UK embassies had staff who were in constant communication with all the players. It is also true that USA helped Sri Lanka in identifying and destroying the 12 shiploads of LTTE arms. Yet at the same time they did not want the LTTE supremo to be eliminated !! I believe all these countries wanted the war to drag on so that they could keep selling arms to all the players ? I believe it is the same reason that both CBK and RW did not conclude the war expeditiously ? Or was it that the duplicate Prabhakaran would have been, perhaps, discovered ? It was on the internet that the SL Navy personnel observed that the real LTTE Chief was carried away in the Tsunami of Dec 2004 when he was in a church by the East Coast sea on Boxing Day ( the day after X’mas).

    When the SLFP came into power and CBK became President with Ranil W as Prime Minister, they bungled the entire military operations against the LTTE. She appointed her uncle Anuruddha Ratwatte as Secretary for Defence and her nephew Rohan Daluwatte as the Military commander. Rohan had no military experience and would run off to see Sai Baba in South India whenever there was trouble. She kept the war with LTTE dragging on and thousands of our Sinhala soldiers were brutally killed by LTTE. See article http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/04/08/how-chandrika-won-the-war-exposing-lies-part-1/

    CBK also had a preset idea that it was not possible to beat the LTTE along with Ranil W. There was a Commission appointed to look into bribery by her uncle Ratwatte. When they started hearings, he had a heart attack and died so the case was cancelled.

    Ranil W kept trying to hand over the North and East to appease Prabhakaran. He even stopped a crucial military operation in 2001 where the army knew the exact location of Prabhakaran and was ready to take him out. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZWO5fWDikQ

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