Gota says further devolution won’t solve northerners’ problems
Posted on October 22nd, 2017

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said further devolution of power won’t solve the problems faced by the Tamil community.

Addressing a gathering organised by Viyathmaga (Gampaha organization) at Wet Water Resort on Ja-ela-Gampaha road, on Saturday, Rajapaksa said he wasn’t aware of any country where problems had been solved with the help of devolution of power.

Those who had faulted the previous Rajapaksa administration for not addressing post-war issues had conveniently forgotten how practical measures were taken to provide relief to the people.

The former Defence Secretary urged Viyathmaga activists to play an active role in the ongoing campaign to educate people on the growing threats to post-war Sri Lanka.

The war veteran said that those who were now campaigning for a new Constitution had earlier opposed a military solution. They always said that the war couldn’t be won under any circumstances, Rajapaksa said, adding that he, too, had received that advice when he became the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence in the late 2005.

Some countries, too, had also claimed that the LTTE couldn’t be defeated, Rajapaksa said. Referring to the tripartite Ceasefire Agreement among the governments of Sri Lanka, Norway and the LTTE signed in Feb 2002, Rajapaksa said such attempts were aimed at depriving Sri Lanka victory over terrorism. On the pretext of guise of promoting post-war reconciliation some element were all out to change the Constitution, he said.

Rajapaksa said the previous administration had scored a bigger victory when projects were undertaken to bring relief to the war weary population. Declaring that their resettlement and rehabilitation projects had been an unprecedented success, Rajapaksa claimed that the new administration couldn’t achieve even a fraction of what the previous government had done.

The government changed in January 2015

In spite of the Indo-Lanka Accord of July 1987, it hadn’t been able to set up the Northern Provincial Council until Sept. 2013, five years after the conclusion of the war, Rajapaksa said.

The former Defence Secretary also referred to the creation of India and Pakistan in 1947 and the subsequent war in 1971, which led to the creation of the new independent state of Bangladesh.

He said the Rajapaksa administration had sought to address problems faced by the people. Justifying their refusal to meet the aspirations of those who had been promoting separatist sentiments, Rajapaksa explained practical measures taken to help the northerners. Contrary to claims, the land held by the armed forces in the northern theater of operations as well as in other areas had been released during the previous administration, he said.

Rajapaksa repeatedly insisted that further devolution and constitutional reforms weren’t solutions to the problems faced by the people.

The former Defence Secretary said the rehabilitation of 12,000 LTTE cadres and an end to the forcible conscription of child soldiers had been significant achievements.

Former SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said the country was in deep crisis thanks to waste, corruption and irregularities in addition to absence of proper planning at any level.

Having referred to the 17-year-old UNP rule followed by nearly 20 year PA/UPFA administrations, Dr. Godahewa pointed out that in spite of giving resolute political leadership to eradicate terrorism and launching major development projects, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had failed to emerge victorious at the January 2015 presidential poll.

Those who had high expectations of the new administrations were disappointed and desperate today as they had realised the regime-change project had backfired, Godahewa said.

The entire country was in turmoil with protests in Colombo almost on a daily basis with the government depending on the police to contain growing unrest.

Declaring that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had spearheaded the project to defeat Rajapaksa, through Maithripala Sirisena, who contested the presidential polls, after having quit the SLFP, Dr. Godahewa explained how foreign powers, powerful Tamil Diaspora and the NGO and INGO community had fully backed the campaign.

The electorate, obviously lacked knowledge of the powers that manipulated the people who really believed the Rajapaksas were the bane of the country, the former SEC Chief said.

Dr. Godahewa explained the role played by the powerful Tamil Diaspora that had the capacity even to fund Hillary Clinton’s presidential election campaign.

Commenting on the India’s role, Dr. Godahewa said that the change of government in New Delhi resulted in hostility and certain measures that caused trouble for post-war Sri Lanka.

According to Dr. Godahewa, those who had been involved in the regime change operations had reached agreement on three issues namely taking all possible measures to thwart Mahinda Rajapaksa regaining power, discrediting armed forces and introducing a new Constitution/amendments to the existing Constitution.

The 19th Amendment was really meant to hurt the Rajapaksas, not only former President, but Gotabhaya and Basil Rajapaksa as well, Dr. Godahewa said, pointing out that it prohibited dual citizens from contesting presidential or parliamentary polls.

Dr. Godahewa flayed the government for not having a workable economic policy. In the run-up to January 2015 presidential polls and thereafter, the government had issued ten policy statements that dealt with economy though nothing was done so far to keep its promises.

Alleging that the government lacked strength or vision to develop the country, Dr. Godahewa explained the circumstances under which the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration had leased strategically located Hambantota port to China on a 99-year lease. Dr. Godahewa said the government could have settled the loan taken from China and Sri Lanka had 22 years to meet the requirement. Unfortunately, the government had no intention of developing the port and wanted to lease it, Dr. Godahewa said, emphasising that 99-year lease actually meant it would never be regained.

Dr. Godahewa said that the government was busy trying to fulfil promises made to its sponsors in a bid to retain support at the next national level election.

5 Responses to “Gota says further devolution won’t solve northerners’ problems”

  1. Senerath Says:

    “further devolution won’t solve northerners’ problems

    This is a very good point, thank you. No one is making this comment including your brothers. Actually problems Northerners have is common and even worse to poor Sinhala villagers. Shall we talk about those problems ? Giving power to more politicians will not solve it but will worsen it.
    A very good example is the Vidya case.
    Tamil Women will be raped by greedy heartless criminals and politicians.
    Tamil Wealth will be stolen by greedy heartless criminals and politicians.
    Tamil culture will be totally destroyed more powerful Tamil politicians, busnessmen and gangsters.

    We can let this happen in our Dharamdeveepa.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    Thank you very much Gotabaya for telling the hard truth.

    This is the reality no politician (no exceptions) wants to admit publicly. Glad we have at least one recognised public figure to say so.

    However, no special appeasements for Tamils in lieu of devolution either. Appeasements are worse than devolution.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    GR & NG have told it like it is – thank you so much !

    ———

    Add:
    The Tamil problem is their CASTE problem, even though in Sri Lanka CASTE is not mentioned in the birth certificates as done in Tamil Nadu, INDIA. Nor is the Census in Sri Lanka done on a CASTE base, as done in Tamil Nadu, and in INDIA.

    Rest of the Tamil problems are common to the Others in Sri Lanka.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Indeed, MORE DEVOLUTION of power to dedicated unrepentant deshadrohi SEPARATISTS won’t SOLVE ANY PROBLEM.

    ENOUGH DEVOLUTION ALREADY under the 13th Amendment, even without Land and Police powers!

    The PROPOSED DEVOLUTION far exceeds what FULL IMPLEMENTATION of 13A would do.

    It would DEVOLVE to separatists Law-making powers, EXECUTIVE powers, Land and Police powers, Foreign Agreement powers, REMOVE executive power from the Governor of the Province who reports to the National President and subject him to the Chief Minister of the Province …. and SO IT CONTINUES to create a sovereign sub-national state in ALL but NAME!

    What kind of a DESHADROHI GOVERNMENT, would PROPOSE to ENACT and INFLICT such a CALAMITY upon his Motherland.

    ONLY a DESHADROHI GOVERNMENT controlled by KALU-SUDDAS, GREEDY PUPPETS of FOREIGN Powers, and our own MINORITIES who never lifted a FINGER in the defence of our country, and those DEFEATED SEPARATISTS now posing as WAILING VICTIMS of PATRITIC FORCES of our Motherland would do it!

    CLEARLY, the YAMAPALANAYA MUST BE OUSTED …. the SOONER the BETTER … before they bring Sri Lanka to its KNEES!

    Instead, the 13th Amendment should be REPEALED and the Provincial Councils DISSOLVED, and GOVERNMENT POWER CENTRALIZED & CONCENTRATED EVEN MORE to CREATE a strong National Government capable of DEFEATING all FUTURE SEPARATISM and FOREIGN INCURSIONS!

    Let DISTRICTS under a District Governor APPOINTED BY and REPORTING TO the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT be the NEW System of Administration of Sri Lanka.

    NO sub-national ELECTED government bodies other than city, town and village councils SUBJECT to the authority of the National Government are necessary.

    Let the House of Commons of the Parliament with ELECTED MEMBERS remaain largely unchanged in its present form as the Legislative Branch of Government.

    Let the POST of Prime Minister be ELIMINATED completely. It is sufficient to have the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker to lead and moderate the conduct of business in Parliament. This will ELIMINATE the perennial TUG-O-WAR between the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT and AMBITIOUS REBELLIOUS Prime Ministers. Let the Committee system for creating and enacting legislation be strenthened with participation from the Govering and Opposing parties.

    Let a SENATE be created as the SECOND CHAMBER of Parliament, with ONE Senator ELECTED from each District. The Senate should have the power to approve or reject legislation passed by the House of Commons before it goes to the Executive President for his signature, which would be the last step in enacting a bill into LAW. Such a Senate would grant more power to each District than they would have through electing multiple Members to the House, enabling a measure of PARITY between Districts with small and large populations.

    Let SINHALA be adopted as the ONLY OFFICIAL COMPULSORYLANGUAGE in the country, with Tamil being declared a non-official community-specific language. Let ENGLISH be adopted as a COMPULSORY LINK LANGUAGE to enable Sri Lankans a strong WINDOW for communication with the rest of the world.

    Let Buddhism be DECLARED the STATE RELIGION with FREEDOM of Worship guaranteed to ALL religions.

    Let Marriage between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN be ENSHRINED as the ONLY LEGAL FORM of marriage in Sri Lanka and NO-FAULT marriage with the consent of both parties be adopted as law. ALL other forms of polygamist and same-sex marriages should DECLARED to be ILLEGAL, NULL and VOID!

    ALL Community specific laws, such as the Thesawalamai Law, that DISCRIMINATE against other communities in the ownership and inheritance of land and other proprty should be DECLARED as ILLEGAL, and the LAW should be STRICTLY ENFORCED wherever any Community practices DISCRIMINATION to exclude members of other communities. Specifically, Muslim communities who prevent the settlement of non-Muslims in majority-Muslim areas, and Tamils who hinder and prevent the settlement of non-Tamils in majority Tamil areas should be SEVERELY DEALT with. The Sri Lankan cake should be edible by all citizens irrespective of community.

    Let Laws against TREASON be FURTHER STRENGTHENED and STRICTLY ENFORCED to prevent the kind of TREASON being practiced by Tamil Politicians such as Chief-Minister Vigneswaran, Sampanthan, Sumanthiran, and Sivajilingam! The maximum penalty for TREASON should be DEATH!

    To DEFEND & PROTECT our Motherland in this way, we NEED STRONG ACTION by a PATRIOTIC Government. To enable that, the FIRST STEP should be to OUST this PARA-GATHI DESHADROHI Yamapalanaya led by a PAL-HORA KALLIYA of OUTRIGHT TRAITORS!

    UNTIL THEN, NEVER LET these ENEMIES of Sri Lanka MEDDLE with the EXISTING CONSTITUTION

  5. SA Kumar Says:

    Senerath

    Thank You pointing out our Tamil problems , any more also welcome …..

    ane ….

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