Buddhist medicine to sick Eelamists
Posted on January 17th, 2017
C. Wijeyawickrema, LL.B., Ph.D.
“If the Tamils’ cry for separatism is given up, the two communities could solve their problems and continue to live in amity and dignity.” – M.C. Sansoni, CJ—(Sessional Paper No. 7 of 1980)
“Sinhala people have no other land [place to go].” – Wigenswaran-CM, NP (Oct. 7, 2013)
(This essay, first printed in the Colombo Telegraph (Oct. 13, 2013), is slightly modified to help President Sirisena understand that Buddhist ideals of good governance (a new Sri Lankan political theory of dasaraja dharmism, not the jocular talk of Lichchavism by his PM) cannot work unless politicians are honest. Greed, hidden agenda and dishonesty have nearly destroyed representative democracy in the world over including UK and USA. In 1903, in his book detailing the misery of poor Irish people in East London, the people of the abyss, Jack London called it mismanagement, now in 2017 we have to call it corruption with no limits.)
Between getting branded as a Tamil traitor (even GG Ponnambalam was once called a Tamil traitor) or a Sinhala Vessantara/Siri Sangabo, Wigneswaran and MahindaR, respectively, could find the zone of agreement that Dayan Jayatillake is talking about, if both of them act honestly and reasonably. Beyond the picture-taking oath ceremony (as CM of NP), and the prohibited word “unitary” (Dayan talks of a united not unitary), there are serious but simple questions one could ask. When Wigneswaran (W) says that Sinhala people have no other land [except this island], then he accepts the history and geography of the country. But is this because the visiting Indian foreign minister told him to say so? If it was his own genuine realization, then is he ready to forget the Tamil homeland myth of SJV Chelvanayagm? Since nobody calls Tamils buying land in Colombo as Tamilisation would he stop using the word Sinhalisation when Colombo government does anything in NP or EP? Then only one can think of W or one his hybrid granddaughters one day becoming a Tamil Obama in Sri Lanka or at least a reincarnation of Lakshman Kadiragamar or even a Jeyaraj Fernandopullai. More Tamils live outside NP like a scrambled egg. Now in 2017 Dayan has achieved his samma ditti, along with the Thuppaiya website owner Michael Roberts from Australia, but W has gone the opposite direction of hating lonely Buddha statutes along the road because they remind him the Tamil genocide by the Sinhala government since 1948. He does not want coconut toddy to invade palmyra toddy (latest example of Sinhalisation). One of his ministers is awaiting Prabahakaran’s arrival, alive.
The day after the photo-taking if W says that it was because of India that he could become CM-NP what could one expect? Before the NP election he said Prabakaran was the greatest Tamil hero. He did not realize that by telling so to get Tamil votes the cheaper way he was slapping on the face of Sinhala Buddhists who had the Sri Maha Bodhi and the Dalada Maligawa attacked, and busloads of Buddhist monks massacred. Prabakaran cannot be a Tamil Kappettipola maha dissava, objectively speaking. One can understand W now has a difficult boat to row in balancing how to satisfy promoting the Prabakaran game versus how to promote a peace-loving Tamil culture without harming the Sinhala heritage. But, if his plan is to blackmail Mahinda Rajapakse (MR) using the Indian card or the Michele Sisson face, he will destroy his politics, larger Tamil dream of peace and the politics of MR. This is why all those former “this war was not winnable” agents are preaching to W to apply breaks and be diplomatic.
Where Tamils live (Source map: Tamilnation.org website 1/25/2010)
On the other side of the picture-taking opportunity, when MahindaR (MR) says he has Sinhala extremists and religious extremists in his government, which words must be honey in the ears of the TNA, Vasudeva, Dew, TissaV, Bahu, Rajitha and Mano Ganeshan, as well as the Indian RAW, can he elaborate what Sinhala extremists and what religious extremists he has (Yes, there were Sinhala extremists in the past (1957) by the names of KMP and Kusuma Rajaratne)? After his recent twin conversion to multiculturalism and the Interfaith Sect, both modern instruments of remote-controlled colonialism, embraced by the black-white crowds in the former colonies (but England and France now accept their multiculturalism experiment has now failed), it is possible that he could now see Sinhala extremists, but in the case of religion, a reasonable and impartial person could see only one religious extremist in his cabinet: Rauff Hakeem who fabricates stories that Buddhists are destroying mosques, his hurriedly erected make-shift tin sheds at Kuragala, Dambulla etc.
The Rajiv-JRJ 1987 agreement accepts a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka and 13-A added this to the JRJ bahubootha thing. As long as 13-A is there Sri Lanka cannot be a unitary state. Hence, either unitary must go or 13-A should go. This is not a matter that MR can try to escape from the loop by passing the buck to a parliament so well known as a shop full of crooks. JRJ kept them in a hotel and forced them to vote for 13-A. Now in 2017, MR has not changed a bit from his recent conversions. He is not ready to remove 13-A and he still says that the Bodu Bala Sena is a Norway coup. His disciple G.L. Peiris has a new party, but unless his party says that 13-A will be abolished, at any election meeting he will get massacred by his opponents reminding him that he was the original architect of what the Marxist Jayampathi Wickramaratne is now busily fine tuning in 2017, the 1995-2001union of regions package deals of Mrs. Chandrika’s, to give the package to Eelam (moderate Tamils?) faces, Sumanthiran and Sambandan, without saying so. GLP is also for the abolition of the concurrent list. A new national third force is in the making (not JVP) and he and MR cannot expect the Sinhala Buddhist votes they lost, until and unless they abandon the 13-A wagon.
The reasonable thing is to erase the bahubootha thing and develop a constitution by the people. This cannot be done in a hurry and there is no reason to be in a hurry. Such acts require selfless dedication to save one’s motherland. The reasonable thing is to accept that both UNP and SLFP Colombo politicians have failed to solve the Tamil issue with justifiable solutions. A real Buddhist leader can find these solutions within the Buddhist Jathaka stories and the Middle Path. Poor Christians and the Sinhala Buddhist villagers (not the Colombo black-white Sinhalese and the Christian establishment) would not object to doing justice to Tamils. The history has been that boru Vessantaras or Madri Devis messed up the issue because it was always their private benefit that was in their hidden agenda. For example, both RPremadas as well as Mrs. Chandrika thought NP as their private property and wanted to offer it secretly to Prabakaran on long-term lease! RanilW in 2002 offered NP and EP as well as the whole country (tiger cats were roaming all over the island, but army could not go to NP/EP) on a platter to Erick Solheim and Prabakaran.
Rajiv Gandhi did not want nine PCs in Sri Lanka. He only wanted one PC for N-E provinces. It was JRJ’s plan, thinking it will prevent the Rajiv plan. JR ruined everything and anything he touched. But surrendering to boy Rajiv was a wise thing he did. Otherwise Rajiv would have created a Tamil Eelam using the Indian army. JR had all his eggs in the Yankie basket. He bent like a tree that survives strong winds. It was the later fools who failed to understand his strategy. Now the biggest problem Sri Lanka has is not Tamils but the exploitation of the country by a horde of parasites known as PC members, their relatives and officers who thrive under the PC system. It has become a lucrative gold mine. Those who want 13-A are these Sinhala sharks. The perception is that MR also thrives under the 13-A system. This is very clear now from his PC member-collecting strategy to hit at Maithripala. MR was using the King Walagambahu method to use this PC system to keep the presidency maintained (isolate PCs and hold elections exerting full governmental force). So much so that Michele Sisson says elections does not [necessarily] mean democracy. She knows it is not true in USA, because every day there are elections in so many locations in USA.
Death of democracy
Since the 1960s one could see how democracy was dying in Sri Lanka. What are some indications? The (1) structural democracy was dying due to tampering with the rule of law, independence of the judiciary, impartial civil service etc. UNP and SLFP political black-whites did this by gradual politicization of everything they touched. The 1947 constitution became the scapegoat. Except for the removal of appeals to the Privy Council nothing was wrong with that system. Even the Clause 29 could have been handled if the concept of discrimination with reason was used (India, USA and Malaysia used it). For example, when GG Ponnambalam complained that allocating money for the preservation of the ancient city of Anuradhapura was discrimination, the Soulbury Commission flatly rejected such madness. The destruction of structural democracy was completed with the JRJ bahubootha thing in 1978.
Appointing active politicians (Jaya Pathirana) as SC judges began with Felix Dias. May Day rallies became so funny. In Colombo, blue and red rally participants throw stones at shops. In mid night when these people travel back to their remote villages green rally workers throw stones at their busses hiding behind rubber trees! The worst was in the 1970s when false answers were given for questions asked in the parliament. Seetha Molamure who lost Ratnapura by-election sat in the Senate before the man who won took oath in the House. These are just a few examples of how structural democracy began to fall sick.
The death of (2) territorial democracy was the next. Whatever one could salvage from the capitalist representative democracy that the American president George Bush was talking so highly about, who stole it from Al Gore in the first place, ended in Sri Lanka with JRJ-RPremadas election laws. Now MPs, PC members and Pradesheeyas are mostly thugs selected by party bosses in Colombo after an interview. The whole system is a disgrace to democracy, whatever is meant by the word democracy. The election boss cannot even implement the law on declaration of assets on the candidates or the ones got elected!
After 1978, During RPremadas time, another (3) attack on civil administration took place by increasing the number GSN units from 4,000 to 14,004. There was no rationale behind this decision except providing jobs to UNP catchers. Each GSN unit now has at least 3-5 full-time government officers. If local school teachers are added to this list 50-100 government servants per GSN unit. No country can develop if these people are allowed to idle because they have political party connections.
With the governance system in such a mess for the past 60 years or more, it was not possible to expect anything better on the socio-economic side other than patch work here and there. Structural changes to a colonial open economy, reducing the gap between the rich and the poor, taking development work away from Colombo, all operated under the Colombo paradigm, which JVP described as “milk to Colombo and fodder to villages.” Some work was done but it was always government officers running the show fooling the politician. DS Senanayaka’s dry Zone land development schemes gave lots of jobs to Tamil technical officers, but were run very inefficiently. Dudley Senanayaka, Mrs. B and RPremadas had at least one major project always directed from Colombo. Now Basil Rajapakse has begun several projects also run by officers. He decided not to copy the very successful Gami Diriya people-based project, and instead created a monster department to run his Divi Neguma plan. These can bring some results but unless people are deciding what they need to do, any officer-imposed plan cannot succeed. That is the history of such projects all over the world. The problem in Sri Lanka today is a problem of spatial inequality in not having equality of opportunity and equal access to opportunity. This is so all over the country worst affected being the border regions in the NP, NCP, EP and UP.
Degradation of morals (King Kosol’s Sixteen Dreams)
The open economy introduced by JRJ without reasonable restriction has destroyed the physical, human and moral resource base of the country. Big fish eating the small fish, greed to make money somehow, parents encouraging children to tell lies, tuition mafia, bribery, corruption, sex selling, one can write pages of such ill effects slowly destroying the society, especially the Sinhala Buddhist society. During the 30-year war people lived with the fear of death underneath their smile and two generations suffered from this mental condition, became so un- human like, suspicious of others, extremely selfish, willing to lie or steal. Unfortunately, only a visitor from abroad can see these traits and the whole country needs mental therapy of some sort. This can be identified as the Mervyn Silva syndrome, so openly abusive of all Buddhist norms of civility. Buddhist temples are failing in their traditional role as the whole country is in a rat race. This situation is not limited to Colombo areas alone. Yes, there is a section of the people who make money and rich but the masses are bankrupt, materially and morally. Importing luxury cars using the money sent by village women who work in Arab homes cleaning toilets, and the tourism madness have already done massive societal damage.
Zone of agreement
So Dayan Jayatilleke talks about the zone of agreement—the fine line dividing an Eelam versus united federal state! His zone does not include a unitary Sri Lanka. He and other federalists want Wigneswarn to be cautious, not to be a case of pudana kotama kaapi yakaa (the devil swallowed the offer before the offer was fully executed?) as if to give MR some time to digest the Eelam rope. Dayan is so sure about a Bangladesh/Kosovo type R2P solution if W be patient. Hasty acts will be a copy of what Prabakaran did, who refused all the good offers bestowed at his feet. This is all when MR is caught between the Canadian boycott of CHOGM and the British PM coming with “tough messages.” May be another lucky UNP MP can become a new minister just to implement CHOGM decisions.
The brief descriptions in paragraphs above show that Wigneswaran, TNA, Indian RAW and Michele Sisson are just small disappointments that MR has to worry about. Dayan’s zone is a mental zone limited to a merged N-E zone; MR’s zone on the other hand is the whole country replete with mismanagement by black-whites. Just forget about the university mess, tuition mess, hospital mess, transportation mess; even the Sugala Devi’s tomb is dynamited and the archaeology boss says he will have an inquiry! There is a Ph.D. minister Jagath B, whose only allocated function is to protect such historical sites! By 2017 the destruction of ancient Buddhist sites are being destroyed at an accelerated pace, and a solitary monk from the Mangalaramaya temple, Batticaloa, Ven. Ampitiye Sumanaratana, had to act as if he was a madman to get the attention of the Buddhism minister and the president. Now ethnic peace is symbolized by two policemen guarding each Buddhist temple and archeological site in EP and NP!
JRJ thought he was an Aristotle but ended like an Andare, the court jester. He preached for a system of government better than anywhere in the world, and with the help of A.J. Wilson erected a method which is now known as the bahubootha thing. With its other death trap, the new election method, this JRJ thing has become a curse for those who come to power under it. For example, we know from Mrs. B’s private secretary that she thought that “Chandrika [is] pissu kelinava.” We know from RPremadas’ press secretary that “RP was suffering from severe mental (psychiatric) disease.” Fortunately, MR is free from all such problems but the curse affected him in a different way. In order to overcome the most severe defect in the bahubootha thing, (parliament can deny money to run the Temple Tress) MR started using minister jobs as a bribe which is a politically wise thing to do. But in so doing he has violated a cardinal rule in management systems. It created a system of disintegration of government functions that led to a malfunctioning of the entire system of governance. The divisions were such that no one can be identified as the party responsible for bad things. For example the function of agriculture which should be under one minister is so divided that there is even a sugar minister. While this is happening on one end three or four ministers have all the key governmental functions taken out of other namesake ministries so that when things go wrong namesake ministers become the scapegoats. In a situation like this it is human nature to make hay when the sun is shining. The evil triangle (politician-officer-NGO) operating for several decades is now at its zenith under this bribing method along with the PC white elephant. There is no Middle Path but extremism.
River for Jaffna
Despite all these problems from A-Z, there is no alternative for the Sinhala Buddhists and the poor Christians in Sri Lanka other than MR. People have not forgotten what JRJ, RPremadas, RanilW, Ravi Karunanayaka and Mrs. Chandrika did to the country. The new movement Bodu Bala Sena is really the challenge that MR faces because it is exposing how Sinhala politicians have been playing a game of cheating Sinhala Buddhists for half a century. Therefore, if Wigneswaran and TNA becomes an albatross on MR’s neck, the country will again be in a total mess. War capital will be over. Golden brains (GLP, CBK-based federalist), copper brains (Sarath Amunugama, legalize kassippu) and sand brains (Vasu, two language national anthem) will be the first to jump ship when the right time comes.
Therefore, if TNA is not for an Eelam, if they want to follow the law, if they learned anything from the good advice given by CJ Sansoni in 1980, then the first task before them on behalf of Tamils in Jaffna is to ask Colombo’s help to implement the river for Jaffna project, first presented by K Balasingham, member of the State Council in the 1930s and refined by S Arumugam in the 1950s and keeping it alive to date by DLO. Mendis. Since, Colombo itself should have undertaken this plan as part of the Mahaveli Project, a request from TNA, will be an eye opening cry of TNA. It would be the most beneficial, most reasonable Colombo-Jaffna joint project with least cost. In fact, this was something Douglas Devananda should have discussed with Basil Rajapakse and Bathirudeen if he was a wise man. Now in 2017, Wigneswaran is claiming a stake at the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganaga water.
Colonial administrative divisions
Whether or not Wigneswaran is honest, MR has a duty to make sure that incentives promoting separatism are removed. One cannot depend on Supreme Court or goodwill of Ms. Sission. America is the only country in the world where one part of a target country is bombed while parcels of food and medicine air dropped in another part of the same target country! Not only friendships are temporary but friendships can be different depending on the location—Jaffna, Trinco or Hambantota. There are forces that W or MR cannot control. Tamils all over the world are dreaming for a Tamil state with a UN seat. USA is joining with 300-million Indian middle class to control China, and Trinco harbor is so valuable in this regard (it is already under Indian control as nothing could be done there without first obtaining Indian consent). Christianization of Asia is easier if the Sinhala Buddhist society is in chaos with interfaith junk and evangelical-Taliban intrusions. Steps taken to remove germs of separatism must be such that they could not be sabotaged using the R2P trick. This is why some actions suggested by Susantha Goonetilleke to introduce what Germany did to de-Nazify German minds after the end of Hitler cannot be implemented in the case of Prabakaranism in NP. Instead there are rational, reasonable, scientific Buddhist methods that can be justifiably applied in Sri Lanka. May be by accident president Sirisena has now discovered this method via the UNESCO Buddhist representative Ven. Thampalawela Dhammaratana when he met the monk in November 2015 in Paris. The plan is not only to use Buddhist way of governing in Sri Lanka, but spread it to the world by way of an international institute. The plan should include the following simple Buddhist Middle Path steps:
- Making sure that Tamil and Sinhala are taught to all school children in the island;
- Taking steps to demarcate GSN boundaries on the basis of natural-ecology (hydrology) and geography-based criteria to make them language-blind units;
Surface or underground water resource based GSN units will fit within the 103 river basins running radially from a central mountain mass, making it possible to agglomerate GSN units as electorates, districts and provinces as needed.
- If provinces are needed so that Tamil in the north wants a larger area, then all GSN units can be divided as seven river basins;
River basin approach is the scientific method used in a world of global warming, environmental degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, flooding, drought, landslides, waste management, and land and air pollution.
- Raja Rata
(Compare this map with the nine-province map which cuts all major rivers into artificial pieces).
With this simple change it will become obvious that the nine-province division of the island done by the British for colonial reasons has no reason to exist other than the inability of the Eurocentric black-white thinking of the UNP, Marxists and SLFP politicians. With the realization that NP is depending on the Mahaveli water and that there will not be an EP, the thinking that a Tamil country could be carved out of Sri Lanka instead of from India will face a natural death. With GSN units based on natural boundaries there will be hundreds of 100% Tamil, Muslim units but there basis is not language or ethnicity but hydrology-ecology. Divisions based on river basins will not be perceived as a Tamil separatist threat by the Sinhala villagers.
Tamil separatism is only a small problem compared to the wholesale destruction taking place in the island due partisan politics. An evil triangle (politician-officer-NGO) has enveloped the villages, towns, urban areas and the whole island making people’s lives so miserable which does not appear on surface but deep within. This why the administrative boundary modification proposed above becomes more relevant in salvaging the country from the present mess.
LLRC recommended devolution of power to the lowest possible unit of government as opposed to Tissa Vitharana’s APRC idea of having a Tamil police station in Sinhala villages. If Sri Lanka is to be protected from inevitable destruction it is necessary to create GSN-level people’s civic administrative units (Iana Sabha) where 10 members are selected on non-political party basis. This is how empowerment of people can take place. This is what India is trying to do under the Panchayathi Raj law. Our situation is not as complex as India’s. All local civil administrative functions need to be handed over to these committees. They will take decisions with the advice of officer experts and the implementation of these policy decisions to be handled by local officers responsible to the GSN committee. At present local knowledge is ignored or erased by some officer answerable to party politicians. Issues people face on a daily basis, drinking water, garbage disposal, elementary education, floods, landslides, religious harmony, agriculture, water and air pollution, basic health, NGO exploitation must be tackled by local people at local level. The Divi Neguma law needs modification and used as an instrument to create this kind of GSN level civil administrative units. It is true that politicians at all levels who created a mess in the first place will not willingly give up their power and perks. But this is a war for the politician MR, unlike the military war won by the soldiers GR and SF. Imagine a situation that the Bodu Bala Sena or a new third nationa force taking a booklet developed on the basis of this essay and distributing it to villagers!