Making a Constitution Violating sovereignty
Posted on March 16th, 2017
By Ananda Ariyarathne Courtesy Ceylon Today
“A sensible Constitution of a nation should be the reflection of its sovereignty. All the ‘Constitutions of the past’ did not destroy the sovereignty of Sri Lankan people, although there had been some weaknesses. Contrary to the argument that the Soulbury Constitution was a copy of the British system, it could be taken now as the most ideal when compared to the two main Constitutions introduced subsequently. At the time it was still being planned, there was no cause for alarm for a gap between the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils.
Even after six years from the Independence, according to the Census of 1953, Sinhalese made up 69.36 per cent while the Sri Lankan Tamils made up only 10.93 per cent compared to the Indian Tamils who were 12.03 per cent.
That was before a large number of Tamils of Indian origin went back to where they belonged. A significant aspect was that Tamil people did not feel insecure and that Constitution fitted very well. It was also a Constitution of foreign origins, but it never ate into the sovereignty of Sri Lankan people. It was a time the Sri Lankan Tamils did not wish to be identified together with the Indian Tamils.”
It was in the post independent era that the sentiments started changing. The power struggle between pro-Western and nationalistic factions sidelined the Sri Lankan Tamils, sowing the seeds of suspicion first among the Tamils and the rhetoric that followed created the first cracks with developments that separated Sinhalese and Tamils emotionally.
The original absence of a gap between the majority and main minority Tamils changed starting with small cracks which widened into gaps evolving to what we experience now. Those cultural aspirations got easily linked and identified as ‘political’ not because those had any political justifications, but due to the simple fact that they became the issues for the Tamil political parties for their political survival. Suspicions and the evasive interactions on the part of the politicians of both communities further distanced the political parties shifting them to a confrontational attitude towards each other.
Thereafter, the same values became strategies for bargaining with the main political parties of the majority Sinhalese, probably inspired by the Tamil sentiments that grew in India. As the objectives were not people oriented it became more or less like a basis for bargaining similar to what normally takes place between some trade union and the employer. Thereafter, it became a case of manipulations and seats of the minority Tamils became the stakes for bargaining. If we stop for a while and look into what happened at the last Presidential Election even it looks applicable. Evidently, it looks very obvious that the United National Party (UNP) had promised various gains for the Tamil politicians, in return for the support to be extended.
What‘s happening globally?
Consolidation and preservation of the power bases of the Western world kept on changing in an evolutionary process through a series of major historical developments passing through a Colonial era marked by two World Wars. Military domination gave way to a trading war centred on banking and capital. The colonies became dependent upon the financial aid which originated in the former masters’ countries and kept the so-called independent states/colonies through credit lines, material or financial aid.
Politically, it was always preferred to have all such former colonies engrossed in some form of conflicts draining their strengths.
More the divisions better it was. What was happening between the Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka was an ideally welcome trend to keep the wings of Sri Lanka clipped and making busy with internal problems for ever. It ended up creating an environment which became ideally justifiable for the involvement in internal affairs of such a State.
The strained relations with India ended up as an extension of internal developments of Sri Lanka and made the latter always under obligation through a series of camouflaged intimidation.The scenario could never have been better for the Tamil Diaspora which was bent on achieving a separate State for Tamils by hook or by crook, not out of any sympathy for Sri Lankan Tamils, but motivated by the most convenient possibility to achieve their objective.
Rise and fall of LTTE
The terrorism that started as a defiant protest by the LTTE indicating the frustration of Tamil youth which eroded the trust they had in their political leaders who had become ineffective in the eyes of many. The situation encouraged and provided havens in India for the frustrated Tamil youth from Jaffna. It ended up as the God sent answer to the Tamil Diaspora to achieve their dream of a separate State.
The propaganda campaigns covered all the possible and imaginable measures to paint Sri Lanka as a murderous country where innocent Tamils were subjected to continuous harassment, rape, murder and genocide while tarnishing the image of Sri Lanka as a rogue nation run by some maniacs.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) gained more and more power and started hitting targets at will, dragging the government almost to its knees through arm-twisting tactics through the Western countries where the Tamil Diaspora had got a firm foothold by then.That left no alternative for the government but to bring an end to the menace the LTTE had become. The last truce initiated during the short rule by the UNP failed due to the insatiable thirst for power and glory by the LTTE leader. He was encouraged by the Tamil Diaspora as the successful achievement of their goal was almost visible. Was there any genuine effort to assess how many Tamils were tortured, raped, maimed and killed by Prabhakaran and his ruthless terrorists?
Overenthusiastic Prabhakaran tried his hand in interfering with the infrastructure of the country and his bluff became the beginning of the end for him, his dream for Eelam and the dream of the Tamil Diaspora too. The government forces liberated Marvil Aru. The most feared jungle stronghold of Thoppigala fell, heralding the downfall of the LTTE in the Eastern Province.
Effects of LTTE‘s downfall
The efforts made by Western countries to stop the government failed and by May 2009, LTTE was cornered to a tiny stretch of land and the desperate calls from the Tigers for help could not result in anything positive. All the nations, except those which are still promoting a separate State for Tamils within Sri Lanka, congratulated Sri Lanka for getting rid of such a terrorist menace. It is now clear that LTTE was never anticipated to be destroyed in such a humiliating manner.
What we are going through now as intimidations are enough proof. Now they are bent on destroying the nation by making as many divisions possible.
The war ended with the humiliating defeat for the LTTE and Tamil Diaspora took some time to recover from the shock.
Understanding the futility of another war, they wanted to defeat the government through different moves.
The most sensitive became the allegations of war crimes. Harassing the government with economic sanctions through their friendly connections in the European Union, the Tamil Diaspora managed to deprive Sri Lanka of GSP. Apart from that, they resorted to using United Nations and its arms such as Geneva Convention to make life difficult for Sri Lanka.
Due to failed international relations, the government became helpless. The over-confidence of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa created more enemies within while the Mahinda haters were looking for an opportunity to bring down the government.
Successes of Tamil Diaspora
The way it was moving, the government of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had to be got rid of, now it is obvious that it was the Tamil Diaspora which was behind the movement to do it. The opportunity came with the former president calling for early elections. His over confidence and the trust he had in astrology opened the opportunity and the negative contribution by some people who were seen to be very close to him did the finishing touches in discrediting the president. Even a very serious and a dedicated administrator like Gotabaya Rajapaksa got a bad name in the process.
Apart from the Tamil Diaspora, the other factor was Chandrika Kumaratunga who was not evidently happy about President Rajapaksa in power. She saw the opportunity she would get in coming back to politics to pave the way for her son Vimukthi.
Disgracing the armed forces and to striving to cause severe punishments were on the agenda and it became amply clear by the arrogant statements made by the key persons of the Tamil Diaspora and the international advisors that it was a programmed action to bring the leaders who were instrumental in defeating the LTTE to an International Criminal Court of Justice. By such an action, making such leaders destroyed, the mad dream of a separate State would have become a possibility. But it was not what the majority of Tamil voters would have expected.
The large number of LTTE combatants who were actively involved have now re-entered society after rehabilitation. A considerable number of combatants who managed to be free and therefore never underwent rehabilitation are now having contacts established with the rehabilitated cadres. The organized manner, the small incidents occur can be to bring disgrace to the government. Tamil people who went through the nightmare with their saviours, the LTTE know very well how ruthless they had been. This is a very positive outcome for the Tamil Diaspora as it can reach the ordinary people through the rehabilitated LTTE cadres to manipulate the votes.
Now, everything is set for the Tamil Diaspora to keep on pressurising to have the new Constitution knowing well that it will be something similar to the outcome at the last Presidential Elections at a possible referendum.
The new Constitution which is loaded up with measures to convert Executive Presidency into almost a nonentity when the powers are vested with the Provincial Councils. Apart from those features in the new Constitution, the insistence from Geneva on having foreign Judges to try the officers and others responsible for the war efforts, abolition of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) are answers for all the demands the Tamil Diaspora insisted all the time. Disintegration becomes complete through the power sharing arrangements, will give the finishing touches.
The inclusion of aspects such as freedom for homosexuals tops everything else as it is a funny decoration for a mad Constitution like the one promoted to please the Tamil Diaspora.
All the mechanisms seem to be geared now to please the Tamil Diaspora and its Western sympathisers.
The prosecution of war criminals has become the most important issue now and when the Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera does not exhibit any sense of neutrality and when he does not defend the armed forces which went through such hardship and sacrificed their lives and limbs to make this a safer place for all to live peacefully, it leaves no option but to start wondering why does he behave in that manner. According to the extremist Fr. Emmanuel, an ‘avenging angel’ of the Tamil Diaspora, had mentioned about the Sri Lankan Minister is ample proof that there had been an undercurrent dominating everything.