Beyond-Federal 13 Plus Will Be Passed After Terrorizing People with Unpassable New Constitution
Posted on October 31st, 2017

 Dilrook Kannangara

While the entire nation is distracted by the unpassable yet horrifying new constitution, the real intention of the government and the Opposition (they are one and the same) is to pass 13 Plus without that name as a compromise”. This is far more dangerous as there are no safeguards against it. There are plenty of safeguards against the new constitution including two thirds of parliament, referendum and inconsistency with existing constitution limits. People must keep a watchful eye for this gimmick. It will be difficult, as all parties have distracted people.

13 Plus is Tamil Eelam Minus One Percent

13 Plus was floated by the past regime in 2010 but swiftly retracted after widespread disapproval. However, the concept never died. All UPFA leaders agreed to it in May 2013 in Wijerama concurrent to Singapore Principles. 13 Plus is 13A plus some Concurrent List powers going to provinces. In fact, 13 Plus without that name is the twin of the Singapore Principles. Though Wijerama Principles are less evil in the short term, they are as dangerous in the long term.

In summary, both major parties and all three presidents since 1994 agree with 13 Plus. It will be very easy to pass and it can be done secretly.

Even under tremendous military and invasion pressure from India and the LTTE, JR Jayawardhane resisted devolving Concurrent List powers to provinces. LTTE rejected 13A because it lacked the powers it sought. JR risked war over it because it was worth it. Leaders since 2013 have succumbed to the old LTTE demand of negotiating the Concurrent List even without the LTTE! Was the LTTE really defeated in war or was it only the LTTE cadres that was defeated by the military in 2009? Surely, the LTTE ideology is live and winning.

Separatists Will Even Take Credit for the Compromise!

After fooling the people and passing 13 Plus, separatists will even take credit for averting a great danger” and saving the nation! There never was a danger people could not overcome. The new constitution cannot be passed no matter how dangerous it is. This is a constitutional fact. Even the government knows it very well. There is no need for a compromise to save the nation from the proposed new constitution as there are enough safeguards to block it.

It is unthinkably terrifying if the sky is falling down and there is no hiding place. But running into the fox’s den fearing it is even more dangerous and foolish.

The same architect behind the UNHRC disaster of 2009 who tied the nation into full implementation of 13A is behind the push for 13 Plus since 2013. He is a midwife of the original 13A as well. He can be found every time a national disintegration scheme is passed just like the water-crane bird which flies over a house before a funeral according to folklore. Notably he was absent when no such separatist action actually took place though attempted in 1995, 1998 and 2000! Chandrika and GL Peiris tried to pass their new constitution (package”) in these years but nothing happened. They didn’t leave any permanent constitutional damage.

Post-January 2015 Trojan Horses

Pre-January 2015 Trojan horses as well known. However, there are post-2015 Trojan horses. Though they hold identical political views as Sirisena on the ethnic problem”, they opted to remain with Mahinda despite the defeat. They planned this. They lambasted Ranil, Chandrika and Modi just to win the confidence of the Mahinda camp until Ranil, Chandrika and Modi summoned their services. They continue to blast the new constitution knowing very well it cannot be passed. Their conduct is not genuine but to use the fear of the new constitution to push 13 Plus. They are after 13 Plus (Tamil Eelam minus).

If post-January-2015 Trojan horses are lucky and the Joint Opposition is completely naïve, they will continue to be the strategists of the Joint Opposition targeting the 2019 presidential election too! They plotted the end of the Rajapaksa clan in 2015 while pretending to be its strongest advocates. They can rewrite the Ummaggha Jataka”.

Make no mistake – the proposed new constitution and 13 Plus are both dangerous, beyond federal and steps towards Tamil Eelam. Don’t let one pass through while people are distracted by the other.

 

7 Responses to “Beyond-Federal 13 Plus Will Be Passed After Terrorizing People with Unpassable New Constitution”

  1. Senerath Says:

    Who is the God who created 13 plus ? Hang him at Galle Face ! If we all are “Sri Lankans , why some of them want a 13 plus ?

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity given to me to say a few words in this historic occasion. I say “historic” because this is indeed the first time that a party representing the Tamil people of this country is agreeing with some proposals, although incomplete and still only at the stage of proposals. Yet, even with that it is agreeing with those-

    ගරු ඩුලිප් විජේසේකර මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு துலிப் விஜேசேகர)
    (The Hon. Duleep Wijesekera )

    Sir, I rise to a point of Order.

    ගරු සභාපතිතුමා
    (மாண்புமிகு தவிசாளர் அவர்கள்)
    (The Hon. Chairman)

    What is your point of Order?

    ගරු ඩුලිප් විජේසේකර මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு துலிப் விஜேசேகர)
    (The Hon. Duleep Wijesekera )
    ගරු සභාපතිතුමනි, අද මේ මොහොත වන විට ත්රෛoනිකායික මහා සංඝරත්නය -මහානායක හාමුදුරුවරු-, පූජකතුමන්ලා ඇතුළු සියලුම දෙනා විරුද්ධ වෙලා තිබෙන, සම්මත කිරීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වන නව ආණ්ඩුක්රකම ව්යසවස්ථාවට මගේ විරෝධතාවත් පළ කරමින් මම ආණ්ඩු පක්ෂයෙන් ඉවත් වී විපක්ෂයේ අසුන් ගන්නවා.

    ගරු මන්ත්රීපවරු
    (மாண்புமிகு உறுப்பினர்கள்)
    (Hon. Members)
    ජයවේවා! ජයවේවා!

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)

    That is not a point of Order, Sir. I must continue. The Hon. Deputy Minister can speak later. [Interruption.]

    ගරු සභාපතිතුමා
    (மாண்புமிகு தவிசாளர் அவர்கள்)
    (The Hon. Chairman)
    ගරු අගමැතිතුමා. – [බාධා කිරීම්]
    ගරු රනිල් වික්රளමසිංහ මහතා (අග්රාමාත්යතුමා සහ ජාතික ප්රතිපත්ති හා ආර්ථික කටයුතු අමාත්යතුමා)

    (மாண்புமிகு ரணில் விக்கிரமசிங்க – பிரதம அமைச்சரும் தேசிய கொள்கைகள் மற்றும் பொருளாதார அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சரும்)

    (The Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe – Prime Minister, Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs)

    ගරු සභාපතිතුමනි, අද දින මේ සභාව පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ පවත්වනු ලබන කාරක සභාවක්. සාමාන්යgයෙන් එක් පක්ෂයකින් තවත් පක්ෂයකට මාරු වෙනවා නම්, සෙංකෝලය තිබෙන අවස්ථාවක තමයි අදාළ ප්රයකාශය කරන්න ඕනෑ. ඒක දන්නේ නැත්නම් වෙන දෙයක් කරලා වැඩක් නැහැ නේ. සෙංකෝලය නැති තැන ප්ර කාශයක් කළාම, එහි තිබෙන වටිනාකම මොකක්ද? ප්ර තිපත්ති ප්රරකාශයක් ඉදිරිපත් කරලා මේ පැත්තේ ඉඳලා එහා පැත්තට යනවා නම්, ඒ වාගේම එහා පැත්තේ ඉඳලා මේ පැත්තට එනවා නම් සෙංකෝලය සභාව තුළ තැන්පත් කර කථානායකතුමා මූලාසනයේ ඉන්න ඕනෑ. ඒක දන්නේ නැත්නම් තව මොනවා කරන්නද? [බාධා කිරීම්]

    ගරු සභාපතිතුමා
    (மாண்புமிகு தவிசாளர் அவர்கள்)
    (The Hon. Chairman)

    Hon. Sumanthiran, you may continue with your speech.

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)

    Thank you, Sir. Prior to that brief interruption, I was saying that this is the first time, even though it is only at a proposal stage, a party that is largely representative of the Tamil people of this country is agreeing with. I am saying because in the position paper that we have given, which is part of the Interim Report that has been placed before this Assembly for Debate for these three days, marked 1C, we have stated our positions very clearly and I want to elaborate on some of those now. But I want to draw the attention of the Assembly to the last point that we have made, point number 9. We say, I quote:

    “In the interest of reaching an acceptable consensus, the TNA will be willing to consider agreement with the main principles articulated in the interim report if the same are acceptable to the two main parties.”

    We have said “two main parties” for the reason that as the Hon. Leader of the House correctly pointed out that any resolution to the national question so far was not possible because one or the other main party opposed it.

    Today, we have a historic opportunity. Not only are we saying that in the interest of reaching a consensus, we will be willing to consider the main points in the main report, but the two main parties are also together having formed a National Government primarily for the purpose of giving to this country a new Constitution.

    Sir, on this question of a new Constitution, there are many views that are being expressed in the country. At the Presidential Election that was conducted in 2015 January, the common opposition candidate made his position very clear that he will abolish the Executive Presidency. That was the first promise that he gave this country on the day that he announced himself as the common opposition candidate. He gave three promises. This was the first one. He also said that the electoral system will undergo a radical change. Now if these are to take place, those must have the approval of the people at a referendum and some of those changes were sought to be brought in through the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution and the Supreme Court in its determination ruled that certain proposed amendments needed the approval of the people at a referendum.

    On the day the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in this House with only one Member voting against it, it was repeatedly assured by the then Minister of Justice who led the discussion during the Committee Stage and the Hon. Prime Minister that the Nineteenth Amendment was only a stopgap, it was only an interim arrangement and a new Constitution would be made when the new Parliament is constituted. This appears in the Hansard of that day several times in the speeches made by Hon. (Dr.) Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, the then Minister of Justice and the Hon. Prime Minister. This was a promise given by His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena and the UNP at the election.

    But it is not only that, on the 08th of January, 2015, the UPFA candidate, Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa, also said that he would enact a new Constitution for the country. His election manifesto states this and I quote from his election manifesto. It states, I quote:

    “A Wide Political Reform – A New Political Culture

    We have been battered for 36 years by the 1978 Constitution which was thrust upon our people and country, without an appropriate debate or discussion. We must also collectively acknowledge that our Constitution is now further distorted due to the various amendments over the years, some of which are not consistent with others. Therefore, instead of amending the Constitution further with piece-meal changes, I will take action to formulate a new Constitution that reflects the peoples’ ideas, aspirations and wishes, within a period of one year.”

    Then there are some bullet points where he says what he would do. I quote:

    “• The entire Parliament will be formed as a Constitutional Council consisting of peoples’ representatives belonging to all political parties, which will identify the peoples’ expectations and aspirations in order to formulate a new Constitution.”

    That is exactly what you have done, Sir. The entire Parliament has been converted into a Constitutional Assembly. I quote further:

    “• I will appoint a Citizens’ Advisory Council consisting of representatives of political parties who are not members of the Parliament, representatives of the youth parliament, Constitutional experts, intellectuals and professionals, in order to seek citizens’ views and recommendations for the new Constitution.”

    Thirdly it states, I quote:

    “• I will first submit the Draft Constitution which will consist of the proposals of these groups, for the Parliament’s approval in accordance with the Constitution. Thereafter, I will present the Draft Constitution to a referendum seeking the approval of the people.”

    I want to table*, in the House, that page of the Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election manifesto in January, 2015.

    Therefore, the mandate of the people of this country is overwhelming. Ninety seven per cent of those who voted on the 15th of January, 2015 have voted for a new Constitution to be formulated by converting this House into a Constitutional Assembly and enact a new Constitution for this country. He said, “සභාව,” it states, “Council” in the English translation of his manifesto, which is the same thing. Never before has there been such a massive mandate. Now a few individuals who stand on the streets are trying to deny the 97 per cent of the people of this country their right to enact a new Constitution. Where in the world you have a mandate of 97 per cent of their people telling their representatives to enact a new Constitution for the country?

    That is a mandate upon which a new Resolution to form a Constitutional Assembly was placed in this Parliament on the 09th of January, 2016. That was debated. That was debated on four separate occasions: on the 09th of January, 2016, two dates in February and finally on the 09th of March, 2016. On the 09th of March, 2016 that Resolution was adopted in this House unanimously – without a vote. Until then, there was a good professor of law, who has now become a president of a new political party, who was holding press conferences saying, “If you start a process to draft a new Constitution, that would be illegal.” But, after the 09th of March, 2016, he has not said a word about that, because persons who are aligned with his new political party are also Members of this House who did not murmur, did not raise one voice and did not ask for a Division when that Resolution was adopted. That Resolution was adopted in terms of Articles 74 and 75 of the current Constitution and that was what Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Presidential candidate also said; in line with the present Constitution, that he would draft a new Constitution Bill and present it to this House.

    The Resolution that we adopted unanimously lays down the procedure very clearly as to what will happen. It talks about a Steering Committee consisting of 21 Members; it talks about a Committee of Experts; it talks about six Subcommittees; it talks about an Interim Report that we presented to this Assembly and then, it talks about a Final Report together with a Draft Constitution Bill. A Draft Constitution Bill has a particular meaning in our Constitution. A Draft Constitution Bill is one that seeks to repeal the current Constitution and replace it with that Draft Bill. That is what it means.

    Article 74 (1) of the Constitution states, I quote:
    “ …. Parliament may by resolution …. provide for –
    (ii) ……… matter for which provision is required or authorized to be so made by the Constitution.”
    Then, Article 75 (b) states, I quote:

    “repealing the Constitution as a whole unless such law also enacts a new Constitution to replace it.”

    That is, Parliament shall not make any law repealing the Constitution as a whole, such law also enacts a new Constitution.

    So, the procedure to adopt a new Constitution, repeal the current Constitution and replace it with the new Constitution, is provided for in Article 75 and Article 74 (1) (ii) that authorizes Parliament by Resolution to adopt the procedure for it. And, that is a procedure that is laid down in the Resolution that formed this Constitutional Assembly on the 9th of March which was adopted unanimously. So, all of these public utterances saying that there is no mandate of the people to draft a new Constitution, that this Constitutional Assembly is illegal, none of which stands the test of what has been written and what has been resolved by this House and therefore –

    ගරු මහින්ද යාපා අබේවර්ධන මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு மஹிந்த யாப்பா அபேவர்தன)
    (The Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena)
    Sir, I rise to a point of Order.

    ගරු සභාපතිතුමා
    (மாண்புமிகு தவிசாளர் அவர்கள்)
    (The Hon. Chairman)
    Let the Hon. Sumanthiran continue. You can raise it in your speech. Anyway, what is your point of Order?

    ගරු මහින්ද යාපා අබේවර්ධන මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு மஹிந்த யாப்பா அபேவர்தன)
    (The Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena)
    My Friend, Hon. Sumanthiran is misrepresenting the facts.

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)
    Sir, that is not a point of Order.

    ගරු සභාපතිතුමා
    (மாண்புமிகு தவிசாளர் அவர்கள்)
    (The Hon. Chairman)
    Let the Hon. Sumanthiran speak. Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, you can raise it in your speech. Hon. Sumanthiran, please continue with your speech. – [Interruption.]

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)

    That is not a point of Order. That is what I say. If the Hon. Member wants to say otherwise, he can say that. I have tabled that document in the House.

    So, all the Hon. Members of this House had the opportunity to call for a Division to object to that Resolution but none of them did so. All the steps in that Resolution were being followed to the letter. The Steering Committee was appointed unanimously by the Constitutional Assembly. Every expert was named was approved unanimously by this Assembly.

    The Members and Chairmen of every Subcommittee were approved unanimously by this Assembly. No one dissented; not a single Member dissented. And all different political parties have been accommodated in the Steering Committee. That, and the level of participation are borne out by the Steering Committee Minutes. Since I am a Member of the Steering Committee, I have the Minutes here with me. If we take the level of participation, the Hon. Leader of the House was pleased to thank a certain Member in the Opposition ranks and these Minutes will show how much he and the other Member from his side have been involved in the deliberations of the Steering Committee. Almost, I would say, 20 per cent or more of the entire contents of the Minutes are about their participation.

    Once, there was a complaint made that some Members’ views had not been accepted by a certain Subcommittee. A letter was sent to the Steering Committee. So, on the 26th of October, those two Members, who were Members of the Subcommittee on Law and Order, were invited by the Steering Committee. The Minutes of that meeting state that they said the Chairman of the Subcommittee was very fair, but they had certain views, that they could not agree with some of the views in the Report of that Subcommittee. And the decision was, I quote from the Minutes of the 33rd Steering Committee Meeting, “Hon. Prime Minister requested the Hon. Namal Rajapaksa and the Hon. Shehan Semasinghe to submit their views in writing to the Steering Committee within a week as the Subcommittees are now defunct.” So, they were given yet another opportunity saying, “All right, if you do have other views, submit those in writing.” They agreed, but nothing came to the Steering Committee from those two Members. These are the Minutes. They were present before the Steering Committee, but they did not send in their views. -[Interruption.]

    ගරු කෙහෙළිය රඹුක්වැල්ල මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு கெஹெலிய ரம்புக்வெல்ல)
    (The Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella)
    Hon. Chairman, I just want to make a correction.

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)
    Correct it when you speak. There was a proposal –

    ගරු කෙහෙළිය රඹුක්වැල්ල මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு கெஹெலிய ரம்புக்வெல்ல)
    (The Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella)
    You all suggested that footnotes be put in. Those were not considered. -[Interruption.]

    ගරු සභාපතිතුමා
    (மாண்புமிகு தவிசாளர் அவர்கள்)
    (The Hon. Chairman)
    Hon. Member, correct it in your speech. Hon.Sumanthiran, you may continue.

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)

    So, they were given an opportunity to submit their views in writing within one week. They had not done it. The Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella, who disturbs me now, signed and gave his own proposal to the Steering Committee, which, after some time, another Member of the Steering Committee, the Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, said he was withdrawing. It has all been minuted.

    ගරු කෙහෙළිය රඹුක්වැල්ල මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு கெஹெலிய ரம்புக்வெல்ல)
    (The Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella)
    On behalf of me, he withdrew that.

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)
    I know.

    ගරු කෙහෙළිය රඹුක්වැල්ල මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு கெஹெலிய ரம்புக்வெல்ல)
    (The Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella)
    So, what is wrong with it?

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)
    So, you gave your proposal. I am talking about the –

    ගරු කෙහෙළිය රඹුක්වැල්ල මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு கெஹெலிய ரம்புக்வெல்ல)
    (The Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella)
    There is nothing wrong with it.

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)
    No, that is all right. I am only talking about the involvement or the level of participation of Members in this whole procedure. So, I am saying it now in the public because giving a different view to the public that some people have nothing to do with this is false and all of this has been considered.

    Now, Sir, coming to the position that our party has taken, I want to say a few words before I conclude.

    We have very clearly stated that Sri Lanka shall be a secular State and I say this with responsibility: any Constitution that seeks to treat all of its citizens as its equals must be a secular Constitution. I am not a Buddhist and I cannot be told that I am second class in this country. A Constitution that gives a particular religion the foremost place cannot be a Constitution that treats all of its citizens as equals. Now, it is up to this House to decide whether you want a Constitution that does not treat all of its citizens equally. Even having said that that should be the ideal, we have gone on to say, but, if the Buddhist people wish that a certain status be given to Buddhism, we will not stand in the way.

    But, it is an indefensible position for the Buddhists to take. We, who are non-Buddhists, are saying, we do not mind it being given a foremost place. But, how will a Buddhist say, our religion must have the foremost place; others can have other places? How can any Buddhist who defend equality ever stand up and say that? But yet, if you want it, we have said, we are willing to grant it.

    We have very clearly said that Sri Lanka must be a federation – a Federal State. I want to say a few things about this idea of a Federal State. There is a wrong conception or a wrong view that has been spread in this country that the call for federalism comes from the Tamil people because they want to separate from this country. Nothing can be furthest from the truth. The federal idea was introduced to this country by the founder of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in 1926. There were six letters that he wrote to “The Ceylon Morning Leader” on federalism.

    ගරු දිනේෂ් ගුණවර්ධන මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு தினேஷ் குணவர்தன)
    (The Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena)
    There was no SLFP at that time.

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)

    No, not at that time. But, it was S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike who formed the SLFP in the 1950s who wrote five letters in 1926 to “The Ceylon Morning Leader” saying, a federal –

    ගරු කෙහෙළිය රඹුක්වැල්ල මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு கெஹெலிய ரம்புக்வெல்ல)
    (The Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella)
    That was as an individual.

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)
    I know. All right, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, as an individual, in his senses wrote this proposal of a federal Government for Ceylon in six letters. – [Interruption.]

    ගරු සභාපතිතුමා
    (மாண்புமிகு தவிசாளர் அவர்கள்)
    (The Hon. Chairman)
    All Members will get an opportunity to express their opinion. So, please let the Hon. Member express his views.

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)
    In that, he categorically states that Ceylon must be a Federal State. I am tabling* all of those six letters that S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike wrote to the newspaper in 1926.

    ගරු කෙහෙළිය රඹුක්වැල්ල මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு கெஹெலிய ரம்புக்வெல்ல)
    (The Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella)
    “Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike”.

    ගරු එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා
    (மாண்புமிகு எம்.ஏ. சுமந்திரன்)
    (The Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran)

    Yes, Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike.

    Not only that, the Left of this country in 1944 held the same view. Even before that, the Communist Party made a resolution that the country must be federal. The Pieter Keuneman – A. Vaidialingam Report of the Communist Party of 1944 very clearly articulates that Ceylon must be a federal country. Sir, I am tabling* the Pieter Keuneman – A. Vaidialingam Report of the Communist Party also.

    I am saying all of this to show that the call for federalism came from Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, Mr. Pieter Keuneman, Mr. A. Vaidialingam and more importantly, from the Kandyan Chiefs in the 1930s before the Donoughmore Commission and later in the 1940s, before the Soulbury Commission. They articulated three units with the North and East as one unit.

    So, those who oppose federalism and those who oppose the North and East Province as one unit must remember that that proposal came from the Kandyans first, not once, but twice before two imperial commissions. So, you all must disabuse your minds of the view that this is somehow a Tamil project, a first step to separation. No, Sir, we have very clearly stated that the country must remain one. We have said that very clearly. We are participating in this process in the most responsible way possible and we ourselves have said that the country must remain one. Our view is that if the country is to remain one, different peoples in this country must have a share of the governance of this country. It cannot be a system of government in which simple majoritarian rule prevails.

    This country consists of different peoples and it is in order to remain as one that we are seeking maximum possible devolution of power; maximum possible power sharing arrangement so that all the peoples in this country have a share in that. Otherwise, sovereignty, which is said to rest in the people, will become meaningless; sovereignty will be exercised only by one majority, one people of this country, if it is a simple majoritarian rule.

    So, one must understand, the country must understand, the reason why we are asking for sharing of power. The reason why we are asking for sharing of power is so that we can be proud of this one country of which we are citizens. We do not want to be second-class citizens. Nobody in the world wants to be second-class citizens in any part of the world. If we are to be proud of this country, we must have equal stake in this country. We must be able to say we are proud to be Sri Lankans. I must be able to say I have equal access to government power and I am treated as an equal in this country. Until we are treated as equals, not by mere words, but actual access to government power being given to our people, we will never be in a position to say we are proud of this country; we will never be in a position to say we are Sri Lankans.

    Many in our community have left this country today and they are not proud to call themselves “Sri Lankans”. They call themselves “Canadian-Tamils”, they call themselves “Australian-Tamils”, because they have been driven out by violence from this country. They have been denied the due share that they must have in the government of this country. That must change. The reason why the Tamil National Alliance participates to this level in this Constitution-making process is to change that, to erase that bitter past so that we can, together with you, say our language is equal – that was corrected in 1987 but must be implemented in full – our religions are equal, no foremost place to anybody, everybody is foremost in this country; we must be able to say we have due share in the governance structures of this country.

    Now, these are proposals, none of these proposals that are being placed here have gone beyond anything that the seven Chief Ministers and their Opposition Leaders other than the North East Provincial Council made before the Steering Committee. All of the Chief Ministers in the seven other provinces, other than the North East, want sharing of power. They came before the Steering Committee. All of those are matters of record. They want law and order, they want land powers, they want the powers of the Governor reduced. I am saying this because one must remember that in 1987 when the Thirteenth Amendment was being passed, several Opposition MPs, then the SLFP, gathered at Pettah, outside the bus stand and performed a hartal. They said the country is going to be divided by this Thirteenth Amendment. Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa was there personally leading the protest saying if this Amendment is passed, the country will be divided. He is the one, as the Leader of the House stated, who repeatedly said when he came into power, “I will implement the Thirteenth Amendment in full and go beyond it and make power sharing meaningful.”

    Today when the provincial council elections are postponed, it is he and Members associated with him who are protesting and saying, “Do not postpone the provincial council elections.” The man who said, “Country will divide if you create provincial councils”, is screaming his head off today saying, “Do not postpone provincial council elections. That is the violation of our sovereignty”. Professor GL Peiris’ petition to the Supreme Court on which the Determination on the Twentieth Amendment was made, was made on the basis that a postponement of the provincial council election affects the sovereignty of the people and they do not want it postponed. So, the creation of provincial councils has not resulted in the country being divided. The country has not been divided.

    I also have with me the 2000 August Draft Constitution Bill that was brought to this House by the People’s Alliance Government of that day of which the Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa was a Cabinet Minister; a Bill which was certified by the Cabinet of Ministers as a Bill that is intended to be passed by this Parliament by a two-thirds majority and approved by the people at a referendum. He was a Cabinet Minister who approved of this Bill and what does that Bill say? These proposals before us today says, we are one country.

    Therefore, we can call ourselves, “ඒකීය රජය”, meaning of which will say, “ஒரு நாடு” or “ஒருமித்த நாடு” – “one country.” This does not even say that. This says, “Sri Lanka is a Union of Regions”. All the Cabinet Ministers at that time supported this, in this House. The UNP supported that principle. The UNP burned a copy of this Bill in this House because there was a transitional provision with regard to the Executive Presidency, not because of power sharing, not because of change of status of the country.

    There was a wide consensus not only in August, 2000. Thereafter, when the Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa became the President of this country, he formed the APRC. He told the APRC that there must be maximum possible devolution in his speech when he addressed the inaugural session of the APRC. Where is the APRC Report? The APRC Report says, “Do not have a Concurrent List.” It says not to have a Concurrent List and that powers must be clearly divided. That is the Report that came out of a process that the Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa as President instituted. But what do our proposals say? We say, we have no objection to a short Concurrent List. Now, why do you say that the country is going to be divided by this?

    When you were in power you approved of a Draft Bill that went far beyond, far beyond what is contemplated by this Interim Report. Is it not to mislead the people of this country, and stall, and prevent a final resolution to the national question that has plagued this country ever since Independence? Do we not want a reasonable resolution of this? If you ask the question what is the biggest problem this country has faced, obviously it is the national question. This country has not faced a war for three decades on account of anything else, not on account of any other issue, it is only in regard to these issues that actually parts of the country were ruled by others also for parts of time. So, we are now in a process.

    As responsible representatives of our people, we are Tamil Members of Parliament from the North and East – except two, all others belong to the Tamil National Alliance – we have an overwhelming mandate from our people to resolve this question within a united, undivided country and we have gone one step further and said, indivisible country even in the future. So, when we are participating like that, our people have misgivings of this Interim Report. Our people are saying, “We told you it must be a Federal State”. Our people are saying, “There must be one unit of devolution”. Our people are saying, “It must be a Secular State, is it not a reasonable thing? You are compromising beyond the mandate that we have given you”. They are right. We do not want to compromise beyond the mandate given to us, but we want to see that through negotiation a reasonable position is reached. Even at this point in time, it looks as so. From our people’s point of view it looks as so we are going beyond the mandate given to us. We are striving hard to achieve a consensus which we will put before our people, which, if we are satisfied, is a reasonable solution that addresses all the basic aspirations of our people. Then, we will go before our people; we will commend it to our people to accept it and our people will accept it if it addresses those issues.

    We had two full-day meetings yesterday. Our representatives had lots of misgivings about various matters in this Report. We will address them as we go along. But, our primary objective would be to come to a consensus in this country, so that there will be a Constitution of this country which all the people of this country accept as their own. Is that too much to ask? Can anything be said to be too heavy a burden to carry if we are to achieve that? All of us must put our shoulder to the wheel if we can achieve that objective. I am not saying that it is an easy objective to achieve, but we have come half way. We have come to a point where there is an Interim Report on which – although we disagree on lots of matters – we have clearly come out and said, if the main points are agreed to by the two main parties, we will consider agreement with that for the sake of consensus and for the future generations of our country.

    I invite all the Hon. Members of this Assembly – I am not saying this patronizingly, I am pleading with every Member of this Assembly to please, view this matter in that way. Do not put the lives of future generations of this country at peril. Think of what this country will be if we can achieve this. Of course, it must be achieved in a way that recognizes the dignity, equality of all the peoples of this country. Otherwise we will not agree. But, there is an opportunity to come to an agreement such as that and this Assembly’s deliberations today, tomorrow and the day after must be for that constructive purpose to go into the contents, place different propositions, listen to every shade of view and then, tell the Steering Committee, that you have heard all of this. Bring all this to fruition so that this country can march forward as one entity in which various, different people who speak a different language, who profess a different religion, who live in different parts of this country can all say, “We are Sri Lankans.” because our rights, our dignity, our equality have been assured in this document and this is our document.

  2. Charles Says:

    Anura Kumara calls it Dawn of Socialism, Wijitha Herath calls its peoples fundamental and social rights, Akila Kariyawasam calls it removing Island Mentality, Mangala calls it the last bus to a Lasting Solution.

    But as Gota says/ all those who want a new Constitution on lines suggested in the Interim Report are those who were agains the meilitary operations to eliminate terrorism.

  3. Charles Says:

    Senerath, for the TNA this is the first step to Tamil Eelam. The Tamil politicians do not want to reconcie with the Sinhala. They do not want it. But these Yahapalanaya fools and the West do not understand. They will not be satisfied with the Constitution they will want more. They are born to be separatists.

  4. Senerath Says:

    Charles,
    Anura Kumara avoided the question why they don’t fight against 13 A when they launched terror against it in 1987. Although diplomatically terrible we all liked if Rajiv got hammered by the only hero that day.

    Media man did not pursue him, I wish I could have been there. He said they faught 13 A because it was introduced by force, but obviously now their grass roots are the dreaded Palaath Sabha. It is the same with other parties. All are ‘Ambalayos’ looking for sugar. Huge Thanha for money and living in comfort than safegarding the country.

    But the truth is if a dictator comes in the future he can easily remove the safegards in current 13 A which is very vulnerable, depending on Sarawanandan’s past decision. Speratists also can manipulate Chief justice too. This si not sustainable. A country cannot depend on individuals to preseve its soverignity. That is why any person, if he is a patriot will remove 13 A.

    According to Anura Kumara JVP want to remove all racists provisions in the constitution and dare not touch Buddhism ( which is of no use if wrong people win elections anyway). So far it is only JVP saying that ‘racists’ provisions should be removed , it means , ‘home land for Tamils’ will have to be defused. They are also fully against combining tow provinces. Those are good ideas.

  5. Senerath Says:

    @Charles
    For the TNA, this is ‘another huge step’ towards Elaam, not the ‘first step’.
    Actualy, 1987 Indian rape of Sri Lanka was not he first step to Elam but actual ELaam. They even joined the two provinces. Subsequently, it was the loop holes in that Elaam Amendment , IPKF vs LTTE war and JVP terrorism amendment that made us going as one country .
    However, almost all the fuel that kept Elaam going was destroyed in 2009. India dared not touch us by then. Then came unncessary ‘reconsilly’ , ‘devolution’ and 13 plus concept. By 2015 many many steps have already been taken, a huge one was the creation of Vigansehwaran’s North parliament.

  6. Senerath Says:

    Sorry- Highlighted sentence is wrong. It should be ‘

    Actualy, 1987 Indian rape of Sri Lanka was not the first step to Elam but actual ELaam. They even joined the two provinces. Subsequently, it was the loop holes in that Elaam Amendment , IPKF vs LTTE war and JVP terrorism that made us going as one country .

    We must remove Elaam Amendment. Ranil+My3, JVP, SLPP, JHU, PHU, UNP will not do it.

  7. Dilrook Says:

    @Senerath

    Thank you for sharing the information.

    This is crucial because people don’t pay much attention to what matters – what takes place in parliament. What politicians say and do outside parliament does not (emphasised) matter. What happens in parliament become law and affect everyone and the nation.

    This is particularly true about Mahinda. He joined Buddhist monks protesting P-TOMS in 2005 but presented the P-TOMS thing in parliament himself! Had the JHU not got it declared illegal, what ultimately matters is the bill and the act of parliament. The fact that Mahinda showed support to those who protested against it does not matter at all.

    13A is more dangerous than the new constitution because 13A has already made itself into the safety of the Constitution. It is a platform to build Tamil Eelam and as you say entire Eelam.

    Another case in point is Ranil saving the country against Chandrika, Mahinda, Rathnasiri, etc. in August 2000. All of them supported the “package”. Had Ranil supported it, Chandrika’s package would have become the constitution! First, he delayed the parliamentary election by wasting time discussing it with Chinadrika after she won the 1999 presidential election. Had he not done so, PA would have gone for an early election and won 125+ seats and used that power to buy 25 UNP and JVP MPs and pass the “package”. The delay eroded the heat of Chandrika’s 1999 win and she couldn’t get even 113 seats in 2000.

    Patriots must only trust themselves and the nation; certainly not politicians.

    Credit for winning the war must go to the military at least 90%. Only 10% should go to politicians. A man who saves a woman from death cannot keep on saying he saved her and rob, etc. her. She would have been better off dying than being saved by him!

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