Govt. may lose referendum on new Constitution
Posted on October 6th, 2017

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Possibility of a drastically-altered final report

Strategists count ethno-religious factors in referendum-voting estimates

Overwhelming support of minorities might augment shortfall in Sinhala-Buddhist votes

Making political calculations on the basis of 2015 could prove dangerously-wrong in 2017 and years to follow

The coalition government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has – as one of its primary objectives – the political project of enacting and passing a new Constitution. This requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament and endorsement by the people in an islandwide referendum.

More importantly, the government has been trying to justify its move to introduce a new Constitution saying the envisaged Constitution would be sanctioned by the people. While the government appears to be optimistic about garnering the necessary parliamentary majority and obtaining the people’s approval at a referendum, current political trends as well as ground realities suggest holding a referendum in the current context may very well backfire on the government.

The Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe released its Interim Report on Proposals to be considered in the envisaged Constitution. The report was presented to the Parliament/Constitutional Assembly by the Premier on September 21. The parliamentary debate on the Interim Report will be held for three days on October 30, 31 and November 1 respectively. Thereafter, if everything goes according to schedule, the final report would be compiled and completed by year end and placed before the Parliament/Constitutional Assembly in January 2018. But then as observed by Robert Burns, in life, the best laid plans of men and mice often go awry.”

It is understood clearly that the Interim Report, though referred to as a consensual document, is not so in reality. The differing viewpoints expressed by the parties concerned in the annexures, euphemistically-described as observations and principles, make it crystal clear that there is a serious divide among the would-be Constitution-makers. Thus the ongoing Constitutional conversation could breakdown or suffer serious setbacks as discussions progress towards the final report. There is also the chance of a drastically-altered final report as a result of compromises and adjustments to bring about consensus.

Whatever may or may not be its transformed version, the Steering Committee’s final report of draft Constitutional Proposals is expected to be submitted for the consideration of the Constitutional Assembly early next year. If the proposals were accepted and approved by the Constitutional Assembly, it would be submitted to the Cabinet. The Cabinet will then approve it with or without changes and present the Constitutional provisions to Parliament as a Bill to get passed by a two-thirds majority. The Constitutional Assembly would stand dissolved. If passed by Parliament with a two-thirds majority, the approval and sanction of the people would be obtained by way of an islandwide referendum. Winning the referendum on the Constitution therefore is of crucial importance for this government legally, politically and above all, morally.

It is in this context that the question of the government winning the Constitutional referendum arises. Of course the draft Constitution or final report is not ready yet. The result of the referendum would very much depend upon the contents of or the substance of the envisaged Constitution. The fate of the referendum would also be determined by the relative strengths and merits of the respective for and against campaigns. The opposition to the new Constitution right now relies more on imagined or speculative complaints than on tangible evidence. It is only when the final version materialises that the opposition can train its guns more effectively on it. The final version would also facilitate the government campaign to market the new Constitution.

Buoyant optimism
Notwithstanding these realities, it is obvious that the dominant line of thought within the government and its allies at the present juncture is one of buoyant optimism that the referendum could and can be won. It is most unlikely that the government would have embarked upon the Constitution project and proceeded so far without some degree of confidence that the referendum battle can be fought and won. Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) leader and National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Minister Mano Ganesan summed up the government’s position aptly when he observed that winning the referendum would be difficult but it had to be won and so it would be.

It would be foolish on the part of the government and even the respective leaders of ethnic-oriented parties to take the minority voters for granted. The hiatus between pledge and performance by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe duo and the so-called ‘Good Governance’ government headed by them is so vast that there is a rising groundswell of resentment against the ruling regime

The government’s greatest source of confidence in winning a referendum would naturally be its reliance on the strength of numbers. Numerical strength in this instance would mean the number of votes. At the January 2015 Presidential election, Maithripala Sirisena secured 6,217,1625 votes and skunked Mahinda Rajapaksa who obtained 5,768,09047. In the parliamentary elections of August 2015, the United National Party (UNP) led United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) polled 5,098,916 votes. The opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) garnered 4,732,664. A significant number of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MPs elected on the UPFA ticket in 2015 crossed over and currently are part and parcel of the ruling regime. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Government is today called a UNP- SLFP coalition government.

Government strategists opine that the electoral results of 2015 would be repeated in a referendum too. Political support demonstrated by the UNP at the 2015 polls along with the fresh support brought in by the pro-Sirisena SLFP MPs is calculated to be greater than the prevailing strength of the pro-Rajapaksa joint opposition. It is surmised that the UNP-SLFP strength in Parliament would be reflected at the referendum. In addition, the government has the support of two key allies. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) polled 515,963 and 543,944 votes respectively at the 2015 hustings. Besides, parties like the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) are also expected to support the new Constitution. Sheer arithmetic therefore makes the government hopeful of winning the referendum.

Already, several Provincial Councillors in the East and North-Central provinces have deserted Maithripala and crossed over to Mahinda. President Sirisena may have given them posts and perks, but it is to the Mahinda Rajapaksa star to which they must hitch their political wagons to gain electoral victory

If politics could always be determined by arithmetic alone, the expectations of the government may succeed. But then politics is not a numbers game always. As Leon Trotsky observed, Politics is more like algebra than like elementary arithmetic, and still more like higher rather than elementary mathematics” (Oft quoted by Dayan Jayatilleka in his writings). In this instance too, an assumption that arithmetic or numbers based on the votes polled in 2015 alone would deliver the goods at the referendum could be proved wrong.

Greek Philosopher Heraclitus stated, No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” If I may adapt and adopt it to present circumstances, the electoral rivers of 2015 do not flow now in Sri  Lanka. Likewise, the political strengths of the different political parties in 2015 are not the same now. The electorate has changed. The electoral mood has changed. The perceptions and political views of the voting public have changed. The stock of political parties has risen in some cases and fallen in other. Making political calculations on the basis of 2015 could prove dangerously-wrong in 2017 and years to follow.
Voting  pattern
In the first place, people voted for political parties and individual candidates at elections. There were a number of issues, options and preferences involved. This is not so in a referendum which is conducted to determine a single idea or decide upon a single case.

In this instance, the referendum would be on whether to accept or reject the new Constitution. While a large number of voters may let party or personal loyalties influence their voting at the referendum, an equally-large number of voters could also treat the matter on its own merits and cast their vote for or against. If that happens, a large number of people would cut across traditional party lines and vote. This would render calculations based on the 2015 polls irrelevant in assessing the referendum voting pattern. The possibility of some government constituents like the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) going against the new Constitution cannot be ruled out.

Government political strategists also take ethno-religious factors into account in referendum-voting estimates.

It is widely-acknowledged that Mahinda Rajapaksa remains the single most popular mass figure among Sinhala Buddhist voters. Already, several Provincial Councillors in the East and North-Central provinces have deserted Maithripala and crossed over to Mahinda. President Sirisena may have given them posts and perks, but it is to the Mahinda Rajapaksa star to which they must hitch their political wagons to gain electoral victory.

In the current political environment, it is expected that Mahinda would spearhead the opposition campaign against the new Constitution at the referendum. In that situation, a larger percentage of Sinhala votes may be polled against the new Constitution. If that happens, the government could lose the referendum as the Sinhalese are the numerically-large ethnicity in the island.

Government strategists hope to counter that possibility by relying on the minority vote. It is expected that the Sri Lankan Tamils, Muslims, up-country Tamils of recent Indian origin and Sinhala Christians would vote in large numbers for the Constitution. The overwhelming support of the minorities is expected to augment the shortfall in Sinhala-Buddhist votes. This prognosis is on the basis that there would be a re-play of preponderant minority support shown in 2015 for Sirisena at the presidential poll and for the UNP at the parliamentary elections.

Once again, this assessment could be erroneous. It would be foolish on the part of the government and even the respective leaders of ethnic-oriented parties to take the minority voters for granted.
The hiatus between pledge and performance by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe duo and the so-called ‘Good Governance’ government headed by them is so vast that there is a rising groundswell of resentment against the ruling regime. This has rubbed off greatly on its constituents within the government and parties supporting it from outside.

Besides, the minorities are likely to be disappointed if the new Constitution does not accommodate all of their aspirations or redress their grievances; virtually impossible. Even those from the minority ethnicities could vote against the new Constitution or not vote at all.

The greater portion of minority community voters could vote in favour of the Constitution, but a significantly-large number of minority community voters may boycott polls openly or refrain from voting at the referendum. This would cause a deficit in the number of minority community
votes expected.

Sinhala Buddhist 
The minority ethnicity votes may influence the people’s verdict one way or another, yet the ultimate factor that would determine the result of a referendum of this nature would be the majority or the Sinhala-Buddhist vote. This is because a referendum on the Constitution is being depicted and portrayed as a ‘life or death’ situation concerning the future of the predominantly Buddhist Sinhala population. It is being propagated already that the new Constitution would pave the way for division of the country. It is also being said that some powerful Western nations, Non-governmental Organisations and Tiger-ish elements in the diaspora are conspiring to roll back the territorial re-unification achieved by the armed forces and establish Tamil Eelam. Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has formed the ‘Eliya’ (Light) movement with the single point agenda of opposing and/or preventing the new Constitution.

This columnist does not propose at this juncture to delve in detail into the merits and defects of the propaganda by the Sinhala ‘nationalist’ lobby that the new Constitution would result in separation and setting up of Tamil Eelam. What is noteworthy is the growing perception or suspicion among many members of the majority community that the new Constitution is indeed a conspiracy to divide the nation and establish Tamil Eelam. This perception, however wrong it may seem, is the prevailing reality.

Such a perception can only be challenged and changed by an effective counter-response. Such a response can only be mounted by Sinhala political leaders within the government. Sadly, such a powerful response has not surfaced so far. What we have seen are apologetic semantics by the President and evasive backtracking by the Prime Minister. In essence, the government is on the defensive with weak arguments in the aftermath of just an interim report. What is needed here is a powerful political offensive in support of the proposed new Constitution. I doubt very much whether any senior minister in this Cabinet other than Mangala Samaraweera or Rajitha Senaratne would and could lead a proactive campaign in support of the Constitution at the time of the referendum.

The tragedy of the Sinhalese and by extension Sri Lanka has been the deep seated insecurity and fears of the majority community. The Sinhala psyche has often been called a Majority with a minority complex.” It is only a strong, secure and confident numerical majority that will be more tolerant, accommodative and magnanimous towards numerically-smaller minorities. Sadly, the majority within the Sinhala majority continues to feel threatened and vulnerable even after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was militarily-defeated by the armed forces.

State of mind
I was speaking to a Sinhala, left-leaning academic, hailing from the Southern province, about the current situation. This long-standing friend of mine was one who supported Sirisena and even the UNP-led front in 2015. He belongs to a family that has abhorred the ‘green elephant’ for decades. Yet, he voted in 2015 for the elephant symbol in order to bring about change. Today he is disgusted at the turn of events. In a long, insightful conversation, a point he emphasised strongly was the confused, indecisive state of affairs under the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe dispensation. This has affected the people on the whole and was leading to a breakdown in society. He used the term ‘anomie’ popularised by sociologist Durkheim to describe the condition of the people. He also concurred with me about the beleaguered state of mind among many Sinhalese.

It is most unlikely that the government would have embarked upon the Constitution project and proceeded so far without some degree of confidence that the referendum battle can be fought and won

Again I do not wish to comment on the prevailing Sinhala state of mind and say whether it is right, wrong or in between. What is of importance here is to recognise the reality of its existence. In such a beleaguered, insecure state of mind, people believing themselves to be besieged and vulnerable can only be on the defensive and somewhat defiant. Against that backdrop, the referendum provides them an opportunity to articulate their suppressed feelings and strike a blow for themselves and against the perceived enemy. They will most likely vote against the proposed Constitution at the referendum.The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Government has aggravated the issue by its economic policies and bad governance. Agriculture, the backbone of the nation, is being neglected while grandiose schemes to turn Lanka into a tourist and shopping paradise are being mooted.

Cost of living keeps rising. It took about four to five years for the term ‘Dharmishta Aanduwa’ coined by J.R. Jayewardene to fall from grace and be mocked by the people. But in the case of ‘Yahapalana,’ the fall has been in less than two years. Furthermore, it is being ridiculed as ‘Yamapalana.’

In such a situation, disappointed and frustrated people will like to display their feelings democratically at some sort of poll. Here, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Government has erred badly by denying the voters of their franchise. The local authority polls have been postponed for long, followed by the denial of provincial council polls. The amendments to elections, both local authorities and provincial councils, were passed in Parliament through ‘unorthodox’ procedures during committee stages. Denying the people of the right to vote for long periods and then providing a chance to vote at a referendum can lead to a crushing defeat for the government.
‘Us and Them’
Finally, there is the emotive ‘us and them’ syndrome in politics. The proposed Constitution with some progressive provisions to help resolve the national question through maximum devolution will cause consternation (already begun) among those perceived as Sinhala ‘hawks.’ The anti-Constitution referendum campaign will definitely be conducted within the Sinhala community on ethnic lines with an emotional appeal in terms of race and religion.

This in turn would result in similar sentiments rising to the fore among the Tamil and Muslim communities. Ultimately, the appeal to voters would turn primordial and the referendum would become an ‘us versus them’ contest. In such a context, a closing of ranks among the Sinhala people will result in the government facing defeat.

For all these reasons and more, the government is very likely to lose the referendum on the Constitution, unless a political miracle occurs. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Government needs to proceed carefully before rushing into areas where even angels may fear to tread. Furthermore, the referendum – whatever the result – can fracture ethnic relations and further divide
the country.

The country needs to reconcile and the government and its allies feel the new Constitution could hasten the reconciliation process further. Winning the referendum on the Constitution is expected to boost reconciliation and ethnic harmony. It would be a cruel irony if the referendum backfires on the government and defeats the very purpose for which it was conducted.
D.B.S. Jeyaraj can be reached at dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com 

13 Responses to “Govt. may lose referendum on new Constitution”

  1. SA Kumar Says:

    Govt. may lose referendum on new Constitution
    D.B.S.- Good try still you Tamil believe Sinhalese are modayas even after May 2009 !!!
    You want Sinhalese to waiting until referendum date , do not they know you never ever will have referendum pass this Indian / USA made so call new referendum ???

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Despite the holier-than-thou lamentations of the author DBS Jeyaraj, there is NO NEED TO RECONCILE with former TERRORISTS and SEPARATISTS at the PRICE of DISINTEGRATION of our motherland and giving them in PEACE NOW what they failed to win by WAR THEN!

    BLOODY BUNKUM!

    This PARA-GATHI DESHADROHI Yamapalanaya and its PAL-HORU KALLIYA will be BOOTED OUT unceremoniously ….. SOON!

    SINHALAYENI …. UNITE to SAVE your Mptherland by RESTORING a DESHA-PREMI government to POWER!

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    Agree with Ananda that a UNITARY Sri Lanka is paramount.

    Lanka does not need a New Constitution. Just remove the ILLEGAL 13-A to unite the Country.

    Does the so called new Constitution ensure UNITARY status of the Country ? We doubt it.
    Juding by the way the RW led Yahap folk have conducted themselves since they came into power in 2015, they are only full of cheat & deceit, both with the existing Constitution and the Economy.

    In a nutshell, Yahap is on fast track mode to “Crash & Sell” Lanka.

    Re the Economy :
    Many FTZs as well as Co-ops at rural level using smaller plots (say, 30-50 acres) of govt land on very easy term leases for 30 yr period, to grow Organic Food, is needed.

    Say “NO” to neo-colonisation of Lanka via RW’s “Crash & Sell” program.

    PATRIOTIC ideas needed to enhance the UNITARY STATUS, SECURITY and ECONOMY.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    INDIA will surely approve of a UNITARY & PATRIOTIC Sri Lanka.

    INDIA crashed Lanka due to fears of neo-colonised Lanka next door, when the JRJ govt went ultra pro-west during the Cold War times in the 1980s. INDIA had to contend with breakaway Tamil Nadu sub-state too, now contained by the PM Nehru Anti-Secessionist Law of 1963.

    America, INDIA & Sri Lanka are all earlier colonised countries.

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    We DON’T NEED a NEW CONSTITUTION crafted by TRAITORS, SEPARATIST MINORITIES and Westerners plying their Global Geopolitics of Containing China!

    We NEED a PATRIOTIC GOVERNMENT that will REPEAL the 13th Amendment, DISSOLVE the unnecessarily ONEROUS REDUNDANT GOVERNMENTAL BAGGAGE of the Provincials Councils!

    The EXECUTIVE Presidential form of Government should be RETAINED, and the post of PRIME MINISTER should be ELIMINATED. This would ENSURE that Sri Lanka CONTINUES to have the MOST STABLE FORM of GOVERNMENT to DEFEND, PRESERVE and DEVELOP it.

    The 19th Amendment limiting the number of Presidential Terms should be REPEALED! Let the PEOPLE decide through Presidential Elections every 5 years, whether they want to keep their President or replace him with another candidate!

    There are SIMPLY TOO MANY DESHAPALUAS at National and Palath Sabha Levels on the Government DOLE harrassing and burdening the people!

    Therefore, ELIMINATE & REPLACE the Provincial Councils with DISTRICTS administered by DISTRICT GOVERNORS appointed by the National Government. The SMALLER DISTRICTS will pose LESS of a threat to the National Government than the current SEPARATISM-PRONE Provinces. DECLARE it ILLEGAL to set up ETHNIC COMMUNITIES that exclude and prevent the free settlement of people of ALL COMMUNITIES throut the country.

    We don’t need OTHER LAYERS of ELECTED GOVERNMENT in ADDITION to the National Parliament in our TINY Nation.

    RETAIN the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY, strengthened FURTHER!

    CREATE a second chamber of the Parliament called the SENATE, with ONE SENATOR ELECTED from EACH DISTRICT! This will give more representation to less populated Districts than MPs elected to the House of Commons allows.

    DECLARE Buddhism to be the National Religion, with freedom of worship guaranteed to all CITIZENS.

    DECLARE Sinhala to be the ONLY OFFICIAL & COMPULSORY LANGUAGE, with administrative use of Tamil throughout the country. DECLARE English to be a COMPULSORY INTERNATIONAL Link LANGUAGE!

    DEVELOP ONE LAW for marriage between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN. OUTLAW all other forms of marriage.

    DECLARE appealing to and collaborating with FOREIGN Nations and Organizations to interfere in the governance of the country and to invade and overturn its elected legitimate government to be TREASON Punishable COMPULSORILY by DEATH.

  6. Ananda-USA Says:

    After CRAFTING a Bill for a NEW FEDERAL Constitution, LEADER OF THE SEPARATISTS Sampanthan now wants to HAMMER IT HOME asking for MERGER of the Northern & Eastern Provinces as well!

    BLOODY Chutzpah ….ain’t it??

    “Majority Sinhala community need not to be afraid of the merger” he ASSURES us! The FINAL SOLUTION he proposes will no doubt be UNION with Tamil Nadu, so we can REST ASSURED that ALL will be WELL … NO DOUBT ABOUT IT …. he says CONFIDENT in the knowledge that ALL Sinhalayas are MODAYAS!

    He’s GOT BALLS … you have to ADMIT

    …………………………………………….
    Sri Lanka Opposition Leader highlights the need for merger of Northern and Eastern provinces
    Sat, Oct 7, 2017, 08:17 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Oct 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Opposition Leader and the leader of the main Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan has highlighted the need for the Northern and Eastern Provinces to merge to function as one province as a majority of Tamil speaking people live in the two provinces.

    During his meeting with visiting UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field on Wednesday at the British High Commissioner’s official residence, Westminster House in Colombo, the TNA leader stressed that that the majority Sinhala community need not to be afraid of the merger as there will be a constitutional protection preventing any move towards separation.

    The power-sharing arrangements will be worked out within a United, Undivided and Indivisible Sri Lanka Mr. Sampanthan pointed out to the Minister.

    Mr. Sampanthan explained the current political situation to the British Minister said the TNA genuinely participated in the processes of framing a new Constitution, a TNA statement said.

    Highlighting the Constitutional making process Mr. Sampanthan said from 1957 onwards there had been various attempts made to recognize the pluralism in this country, but unfortunately, none of those efforts came to be realized.

    “The need for a power sharing arrangement has been in discussion over 30 years since 1957. Only in 1987 with the involvement of Indian Government for the very first time a power sharing arrangement was recognized in the constitution of this country,” Mr. Sampanthan said.

    “From that time, onwards steps were taken by every successive Government to address the National question and evolve a final solution” he added.

    “We are seeking an arrangement that will enable people to exercise powers related to their Social, cultural, economic, and political matters based on the principle of sovereignty of the people as citizens of this country,” he said adding that “this power should not be taken back in anyway.”

    “Framing a new Constitution is an important task in finding a resolution to the national question. We can’t fail in it, if we fail there will be a recurrence of violence,” Mr. Sampanthan cautioned.

    Speaking of the consequences of the violence in the past Mr. Sampanthan said fifty percent of the Sri Lankan Tamils live outside the country and if a lasting solution not found more Tamil people will leave the country.

    Answering a question regarding the role of the diaspora members Mr. Sampanthan said that the Diaspora is adopting a pragmatic approach. “They too would like to see an acceptable resolution to this issue,” he said.

    Mr. Sampanthan highlighted the importance of the role of the International community at this very important juncture of this country and said “that the United Kingdom must take all efforts to support these processes to see a positive end” and also to ensure that the Government of Sri Lanka delivers on urgent matters like release of private lands, issue of Missing persons and Political Prisoners.

    The UK Minister assured the TNA Leader of the constructive engagement of the UK government and wished the TNA leader all success for all his efforts in framing a new Constitution.

    Along with Minister Mark Field, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris and other High Commission officials were present at the meeting.

    Majority Sinhala community need not to be afraid of the merger.

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    Oi, Mr. Sampanthan, UNITED ain’t UNITARY …. which is what we Sinhaala-Buddhists want!

    Also, NO MERGER of the Northern and Eastern Provinces!

    Furthermore, 13A will be REPEALED, PROVINCIAL COUNCILS will be DISSOLVED, and IN FACT, PROVINCES will not EXIST as administrative units!!

    THAT is what WE want!

    How do you like that? Neat, eh?

  8. Dilrook Says:

    That is correct, united is not unitary.

    Take a leaf from United Soviet Socialist Republics. The world most powerful nation ever. Even that couldn’t save its disintegration. It’s mechanics were very similar to Sri Lanka. Majority Russians had to put up with economic difficulties and minorities in other republics had to be appeased to keep the Union in one piece. Still the Baltic republics opted to leave. After them, it was Russia that left the Soviet Union!

    This is the danger Sri Lanka faces. Tamils always want to leave Sri Lanka. But as Tamil appeasement continues, soon Sinhalese will also want to leave the Sri Lankan state and form their own Sinhala nation. If this Tamil-Muslim appeasing madness does not stop soon, Sinhalese must declare their own Catalonia.

  9. Senerath Says:

    Except town ,village and natural boundaries, there should’t be ANY OTHER kind of boundaries. There shouldn’t be any governors, Cheap ministers.

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    Manekshaw, BOLD STEP you say? In ONE WORD, that is UN-ADULTERATED HORSE MANURE!

    ALL the “RECONCILIATION” and “EMPOWERMENT” of Tamils in the North and East has done to date is to EMBED & STRENGTHEN SEPARATISTS CLAMOURING for EVEN MORE POWER & EVENTUAL DISINTEGRATION of Sri Lanka!

    MAHINDA made the same MISTAKE when he PROMOTED the IDEA OF RECONCILIATION with UNREPENTANT TERRRORISTS and SEPARATISTS! He FREED them from the clutches of LTTE TERROR, but these INGRATES paid him back with UNREMITTING ENMITY, and even now are WORKING HARD to resurrect that SAME Tamil Tiger GULAG!

    IT IS TIME to STOP this RECONCILIATION CRAP NOW that has not WORKED to change the COMMUNAL RACIST MINDSET of Tamil people in the North and East.

    IT IS TIME to IGNORE their DEMANDS for DEVOLUTION OF POWER, and to just ACCORD them EQUAL RIGHTS and DEMAND EQUAL RESPONSIBILITY from them, just as we do from OTHER Sri Lankans.

    IT IS DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS to EMPOWER UNREPENTANT SEPARATISTS; they WILL NEVER CHANGE as long as Tamil Nadu & India EXISTS to help NURSE their SEPARATIST DREAMS!

    IT IS TIME for Sri Lanka to look to its DEFENSES and INSTALL a PATRIOTIC NO-NONSENSE Government that will IMPLEMENT & ENFORCE Laws that will PROTECT Sri Lanka as a UNITARY SINHALA-BUDDHIST Nation in PERPETUITY.

    EQUAL RIGHTS …. YES! SEPARATE RIGHTS …. NEVER!

    If BASIL is PANDERING to Tamil and other MINORITY COMMUNALISTS, he should be STOPPED in his TRACKS!

    Gothabhaya is RIGHT! Sri Lanka CANNOT BE PROTECTED and MAINTAINED as a SINGLE UNITARY Nation by PANDERING to OVERT & COVERT SEPARATIST AGENDAS!

    If you are a Sinhala-Buddhist Leader, DONT GO AROUND WORSHIPPING other religious DIETIES!

    HONOR & RESPECT other religious BELIEFS in a spirit of TOLERANCE, but DON’T go around participating in their RELIGIOUS RITUALS we ourselves DON’T BELIEVE, like an ACHCHARU Buddhist! Phew …. what a bunch of ADDLE-PATED GOOF-BALLS!

    DITCH RECONCILIATION and SECURE the Nation!
    ……………………………….
    Basil takes a bold step
    CeylonToday.lk

    By Manekshaw

    The famous slogan put forward by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his Presidential campaign trail in the North was “known devil is better than unknown angel”. However, the Northerners and the Easterners preferred the ‘unknown angel’ for the ‘known devil’ by helping to overthrow the Rajapaksa regime with their verdict ‘whatever devil is a devil’ at the Presidential poll in 2015.

    A few days after the landmark verdict given on school girl Vithya Sivaloganathan gruesome murder case with death sentences passed on seven of the accused, the former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa was in Jaffna to launch the political activities of his newly formed party Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna.

    Having been a prominent Minister and being a member of the Rajapaksa family, Basil’s visit to Jaffna last week was very significant in many ways as it was after the Presidential Poll defeat in 2015, Basil who was one of the main strategists of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Presidential election campaign visited Jaffna for the first time.

    After the discussions he had in Jaffna with his party men Basil met the prominent Hindu and Catholic religious dignitaries and spoke to them on the present situation in the North.

    Basil would have got the opportunity to read the pulse of the people in the North with the comment made by Rev. Gnanasampantha Paramachariyar, Chief Priest of the Nallur Gnanasampanthar Atheenam which is a foremost Hindu institution in Jaffna.

    More than a spiritual leader the Reverend Gnanasampantha Paramachariyar is a person who remained in Jaffna and witnessed the terrifying conditions in the Peninsula when the turbulent conditions engulfed the region.

    It is not only this Hindu dignitary even the Catholic Bishop of Jaffna is also an observer of the pre-and post war developments and their views as neutral persons were considered noteworthy by the local as well as the foreign dignitaries who pay courtesy calls on them.

    Basil Rajapaksa was briefed on the present mind frame of the people of Jaffna by Rev. Gnanasampantha Paramachariyar. The Hindu dignitary said: “First of all the Buddhist fanatics in the South should be enlightened on strengthening peace and reconciliation in the country. Extremism in politics or religion shouldn’t be allowed to derail the good efforts to strengthen the peace and reconciliation.”

    As Sri Lanka is blessed with all major religions in the world, except for Buddhist clergy there were hardly any clergymen of other religions who flexed their muscles in the politics of the country.

    So, the comment made by the Hindu dignitary from Jaffna to former Minister Basil Rajapaksa has clearly indicated that the efforts to strengthen peace and reconciliation should be carried out by getting rid of the involvement of Buddhist monks in politics.

    Constructive move

    Rev. Gnanasampantha Paramachariyar also mentioned categorically that the people in the North were not against any constructive move to bring about a political solution to the ethnic question.

    Later, addressing the press at the Jaffna Press Club, Basil Rajapaksa spoke positively on several issues on the peace building process in the North.

    Basil as Minister of Economic Development played a key role in rebuilding the post-war infrastructure facilities in the North and the East.

    So as a former Minister focused on the Economic Development Basil speaking to the press in Jaffna emphasized on the need of releasing the lands still in the possession of the Security Forces in the North.

    Basil though he didn’t meet the families of the involuntarily disappeared persons during his stay in Jaffna had pointed out the need of expediting the process to find a solution to the issue.

    In the meantime Cabinet Spokesman and Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne commenting on the visit of Basil Rajapaksa to Jaffna last week said that if former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had listened to Basil he wouldn’t have lost the Presidential Poll in 2015.

    Dr. Senaratne’s comment is interesting as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa depended heavily on his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa to bring an end to the separatist war militarily in the North.

    However, even after ending the separatist war the former President depended more on Gotabaya instead of focusing on the economic oriented humanitarian activities and dealing effectively on the political front to build up the credibility of the North and East people.

    So, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne being a member of the Rajapaksa government was absolutely correct that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa depending on Gotabaya even in the post-war period had led to the neglect of several humanitarian issues shattering the hopes of the people in the North and the East who expected that early solutions would be reached in releasing the LTTE suspects as well as in meting out justice for the alleged atrocities committed during the three decades of separatist war.

    Therefore, Basil Rajapaksa’s visit to Jaffna last week was an ‘eye opener’ for the previous regime to understand where they went wrong in getting the support of the Northerners and the Easterners as also a wakeup call to the present regime not to repeat the same errors his brother had committed in dealing with the North and the East.

  11. Wetta Says:

    DBSJ said “The tragedy of the Sinhalese and by extension Sri Lanka has been the deep seated insecurity and fears of the majority community. The Sinhala psyche has often been called a Majority with a minority complex.” It is only a strong, secure and confident numerical majority that will be more tolerant, accommodative and magnanimous towards numerically-smaller minorities. Sadly, the majority within the Sinhala majority continues to feel threatened and vulnerable even after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was militarily-defeated by the armed forces.”

    I think the above needs to be factually corrected as follows because it reflects the ground reality:

    “The tragedy of the Tamils and by extension Sri Lanka has been the deep seated insecurity and fears of the minority community. The Tamil psyche has often been called a Minority with a Majority complex.” It is only a strong, wiser and modern minority that will be more tolerant, accommodative and fair towards naturally majority community, like how Tamils behave in western countries. Sadly, the majority within the Tamil minority continues to feel threatened and vulnerable even after the majority Sinhalese have offered enormous financial and infrastructure assistance, and granted large administrative powers , protection from terrorists , prospects of massive financial gains and equal rights unthinkable by the Tamils in anywhere in the world including India.”

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    The tragedy of SL is the RAT and the HOG want to run the HOUSEHOLD after pushing the MAN IN THE HOUSE to the kennel. The RAT is supported by other RATS in Endia and the HOG is supported by other HOGS in ARABIA.

    Little that the PETS TURNED PESTS realize they have NO EXISTENCE in the place without the MAN IN THE HOUSE.

    The SECOND WORST BRITISH leftover in SL – DEMO-CRAZY – DIVIDES the householders allowing the pests to takeover.

    Only a MILITARY-SANGHA (excluding Asgiriya Sangha) takeover can save SL.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    ONLY workable method is to have every citizen be a PATRIOT/NATIONALIST.

    Imported Economics have ruined Lanka, making easy money, profit & riches the thing to chase after ?

    ALL the people, whichever community, want a sense of SECURITY, and Peace with some prosperity.

    We happened to watch a program on Uruguay, and in it they spoke of the importance a just society with good distribution of wealth. May work for Lanka too.

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