Observations on FM Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s comments on ‘separation’ and ‘federation’ in Sri Lanka
Posted on October 11th, 2016
Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . Canada
11 October 2016
Hon. Mangala Samarawera, MP
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Government of Sri Lanka
Dear Minister Mangala Samaraweera:
I was absolutely excited when I came across the report by Hassina Leelarathna,in Lankaweb, reproduced from Sri Lanka Express under the title “FM Managala Samaraweera in L.A. says no separation but leaves door open to federalism.” And I was hoping that this report would be the one that I was searching for to retool my faith in the Yahapalanaya Government when I lost it for many reasons within the first 50-days of you all being elected. That was a crying shame.
- So the Yahapalanayoes, promoted yourselves as the white knights of Sri Lanka’s ‘Good Governance’ painting a grim picture of the former regime as a bunch of good-for-nothing-pariahs as frauds and crooks plundering public funds, and that nepotism was one of their pillars of government and their weakness was to appoint their relations and cronies to high-paying jobs at home and abroad to line their pockets with their ill-found dough. “We are lily-white, we are clean as a sarong washed with an extra dose of love Comfort washing powder, hanging between two bamboo stakes to dry under a hot sun”, you all insinuated. Ha! What lies!!
- My trust and faith in you all came crashing down like a ton of Kelaniya-kilned bricks when the President showed his middle finger at the voters and then placing his thumb of his right palm on his nose and then wiggled the other four fingers telling the voters, “Na-nana-naa-na; Na-nana-naa-na, I fooled you didn’t I, but this is what my “Good Governance” is all about. I not only gave a place in my government to those you had rejected by your democratic vote, but also gave some of them Cabinet posts.”
Wow! Minister, that set the tone of what to expect from the Yahapalanayoes, and so far my Crystal Ball readings about you all have not betrayed me. Phew! I could croak!!
‘Nepotism’ by the Rajapaksa regime was the bug-bear that made you all crank up Sri Lanka’s cultural vindictive, witch-hunting politics, and thumped and bludgeoned the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at every public event. You, yourself have been pretty good at that too, Mr. Minister. But then, you did not go after your leader, President Maithripala Sirisena when he appointed his younger brother, as the Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom. I couldn’t care whether Kumarasinghe Sirisena was the most brilliant candidate to head that institution, but according to my lexicon, it is “Nepotism’ underlined in red. And that too happened within the 100 day programme. So show me the difference between the Rajapaksa’s and the Yahapalanayoes. Nothing much, isn’t it?
Well…well…well….Minister, President Maithripala Sirisena arrived at the winners circle of the political arena after winning the elections with a roll-call of magul-bera, promising to end family rule and eradicate nepotism, and 12 months later what do we have? Yahapalanayoes husbands and wives in top government posts, like holding positions as Secretaries of Ministries under President Sirisena’s government, not just one or two but a gaggle of them. And State media appointments and as diplomats, as well. You know what Minister Samaraweera, if it were a competition between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the present President Mathiripala Sirisena as to – ‘Anything you could do I could do better’, in appointing relatives and cronies to high positions in their Governments, tally the numbers and you will find that President Sirisena would have won hands down. And there you are and I will bet my last dollar on it. You will find this remarkable achievement by the Yahapalanayoe’s ‘Good Governance,’ amazing yet disingenuous stuff, I say. Don’t you?
Coming back to the report by Hassina Leelarathna, you had said “Unitary constitution” and “Federalism” are just terms being thrown around. “Don’t go by what’s on social media”.
But here is the problem that I have with those words. I don’t think that the Yahapalanayoes understand and realize that both those words are active words and culminates with a desired ending. ‘Unitary Constitution’ marks unity or uniformity, and the word “Federalism” means a polity in which several states form a Unity but remains independent. So lets be serious Minister. Let’s not fool around with these words unless you express a specific desired meaning without Mangaling and confusing the minds of the ordinary people.
But, then, the headline of the report says “FM Mangala Samaraweera in L.A. says no separation but leaves door open to federalism.”
And then the Sri Lanka Express quoted you as saying “A federal state is not a separate state. I assure you Sri Lanka will remain a united, undivided country.
”If this is indeed the case, why on earth are you giving hope to the Federalists when the President and Prime Minister says quite emphatically repeating like a mantra that there will be no ‘federalism’ and no ‘separation’. On October 7, as reported in Business Standard, said “Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe today dismissed as irrelevant a call by the chief minster, of the Tamil-majority northern province for a federal solution.”
If you, as Foreign Minister of the country go on preaching to the ordinary masses that a ‘federal state;’ is not a ‘separate state’, you are being simplistic and not telling the absolute truth. What is indeed your problem not to tell the masses, “Yes, although a federal state is not a separate state, it indeed is the stepping stone to becoming a ‘Separate State. And I am being somewhat cautious with the northern Tamils as they live by the tenet ‘little now, more later.”
Minister, it is time that you study the classic example of the French federal Province of Quebec in Canada. It will tell you how wrong you are and will make you aware of the possibilities of a metamorphosis in ‘federalism’.
The official campaign for separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada, since its founding federation in 1867, started on October 2, 1995. The Referendum was launched solely by the Provincial Parti Quebecois government of Jacques Parizeau. And by the time the campaign approached October 30th, the day of the Referendum, all of Canada of 32 million peoples was on pins. And on the day of the Referendum vote, all members of Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s Liberal Government were peeing in their pants. It was touch and go. The official results for the ‘Yes” vote was 49.4% and the “No” vote not to separate from Canada was 50.58%. It was the largest voters turn out in the history of Quebec (93.52%).
Do you know what, Minister? That Referendum did not close the chapter and gates of the separatist French Quebecois, they are still clamouring to separate, as our Northern Tamil community does, wanting to have their own, mono-ethnic, racist, Tamil state Eelam since the 1930s.
I well appreciate your position now that you have cornered yourself on behalf of the Yahapalanaya Government and decided to co-sponsor the 2015 Resolution of the UNHRC, thus accommodating the wishes of the main sponsors. You are now skating on thin ice and I do not see any wiggle room for you to get onto thicker ice to skate comfortably for a sustained survival as a winner in a bullying geo-political arena. And you have placed the noose around Sri Lanka’s neck, and she is not comfortable as she feels it tightening on her slowly every time you open your mouth at an international palaver.
But here is an interesting ‘Geo-political’ incident that happened in October 1995, about Quebec’s Referendum to separate from Canada. French President Jacques Chirac, while answering a call from a viewer in Montreal on CNN’s Larry King Live, declared that, if the “Yes” side were successful, the fact that the referendum had succeeded would be recognized by France.
Minister Samaraweera, I am sure you are cognizant that the Tamil people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces who are clamouring for their mono-ethnic, racist Tamil separate state, Eelam, have 77 million of their uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and other relatives living just 18 salt water-miles way from our northern shore.
These were the Indira Gandhi’s Indians who took thousands of our barefooted Tamil ‘separatist’ youth to train them at 32 military camps at Chakrata, North of Dehra dun for commando and army combat, and instructing them how to make bombs, jungle warfare, weapons training at military camps in Kumbakonam, Meenambakkam, Parangamali, Sengalpattu, etc. and sent them back after graduating as terrorists in army fatigues, jackboots, cradling Kalashnikovs like babies in their arms and with festoons of live bullets around their necks to destabilize Sri Lanka.
These are the same Indians who mounted on the evening of 4 June 1987, Operation Poomalai, involving five An-32s of the Paratroop Training School in Agra, escorted by five Mirage 2000s of the No.7 Squadron flying screaming violating Sri Lanka’s sovereign airspace to drop 25 tons of ‘parippu’ relief for 800,000 Tamils in the Jaffna peninsula A token but effective bullying to scare the hell out of President J.R.Jayewardena who was shaking like an autumn leaf in the wind under his pants. The end result was the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord and their Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi boasting in Madras “I got more than what was expected from Sri Lanka for the Tamils.”
And it was the same Indians who voted for the Resolution at the UNHCR to tighten the noose around Sri Lanka’s neck.
Do I trust these Indians, Minister? Na!, not even if they come to me in a Halloween Costume as a Greek in a colourful Foustanella with a tray of gold with gifts of Indian sweets- Agra petha, Gulab Jaman, Imarti, Besan laddu, Gajar ka halwa, honey Murukku and a cup of good Darjeeling tea. But I would hesitate to open the small gold threaded trinket box in case it has a gold plated live bullet that may go off later.
And this is why you Yahapalanayoes surprise me, by stripping the army and their camps in the north making Sri Lanka’s north vulnerable making its sovereign real estate insecure to let our enemies in sheep’s skin clothing enter as they have no need to play the game of “knock…know..who is there..”.. Our enemy can walk in with claymore-bombs, guns and bullets as the Northern door to Sri Lanka is wide open as the Security Guard has been dismissed by the foolish ‘Good Governance’ Yahapalanayoes.
All this is because you, Yahapalanayoes bowed down to western countries pressure at the UNHRC, which they had absolutely no business calling Sri Lanka, a sovereign state, which had only recently emerged after a 30 year-haemorrhaging Tamil Tiger terrorist war, challenging its territorial integrity and to proceed in reducing the numbers of our security forces from the North of the island and return the land acquired for security reasons. It is a pity that Sri Lanka’s second name was not Israel or India, as the UNHRC wouldn’t have dared try those shenanigans as it would have been snubbed big time.
And as a final comment let me impress upon you that ‘ethno-federalism’ or ‘linguistic-federalism’ has no place in Sri Lanka. There has to be an understanding of a critical analysis, and a rational understanding of the local specific issues facing the island, including the understanding of the future implications because of the size of the island which is under the shadow of our neighbouring giant that house 77 million Tamils, the kith and kin and brethren of our Northern Tamils, the geo-political implications and the national security due to the island’s position in the Indian Ocean along the silk route.
You Yahapalanayoes should not create a situation that would break up the country apart and not having a clue of what it was going to do and look like after the bifurcation. That would be a disaster and a good reason for our next generation and the next to say POX to all you Yahapalanayoes of the Sirisena-Wickremasinghe government.