Gota advocates ‘strength in unity’
Posted on August 21st, 2019

By Canishka Witharana Attorney-at-Law Courtesy Ceylon Today

Tamil politicians are on an onslaught against Gotabaya Rajapaksa. By doing so, they are only misleading the Tamil people. TELO MP Govindan Karunakaram alleges Gotabaya Rajapaksa is responsible for the deaths of 150,000 Tamils in Mullaivaikkal. Not a single UNHRC report has made such an allegation. Clearly, these allegations are only political and part of a smear campaign without any substance or evidence. Such false allegations are only misleading and fooling the Tamil populace. 

Recently, TNA leader R. Sampanthan declared, in Parliament, that Tamils are second class citizens and the solution is to devolve powers and seek self-determination. It is the Tamil leadership who has brought Tamils to the level of second class citizens. Sampanthan and TNA in their election manifestos accepted LTTE as the sole representative of the Tamils although the LTTE was banned internationally as a terrorist organisation. It was the combined efforts of President Rajapaksa, the Armed Forces and the then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa that saved non-LTTE Tamils from LTTE prosecution and persecution. 

For over three decades, it was the Tamil people who suffered the most in the Northern Province and the Eastern Province. Many had lost their homes. Those that could escape went to Colombo or overseas. Tamil women and children were kidnapped and given terrorist training while the children of Tamil politicians and LTTE leaders were sent overseas for studies. Tamil people in the North and East lived in fear and without freedoms while Tamil politicians were happily living in Colombo among the Sinhalese who they claim were discriminating them. 

Return of democracy and security

Immediately after eliminating the LTTE militarily – democracy and security was returned to the North and the East and an extensive programme to develop the North and the East commenced under the Rajapaksa Government. People of the area were absorbed into programmes outlined to develop road, rail and infrastructure. Universities and schools recommenced. 

The Courts and law and order returned to normalcy. Economic development was given priority. For the first time, in decades, elections were held for the Northern and the Eastern Provincial Councils. 

Unspent Budgetary allocation

All this was given not by Tamil politicians demanding for devolution, self-rule and self-determination, but by the Rajapaksa Government. Having taken over the Northern Provincial Council, what have these Tamil politicians done except making demands in front of cameras? Even the budget allocation demanded by them has been returned to the Treasury unspent, on any development. It is clear that Tamil politicians are not in the least interested in developing the North or the East or raising the living conditions of Tamils but to be agents of international conspirators trying to destabilise and divide Sri Lanka. By their actions, the Tamil politicians have made lives of the Tamils insecure once again. 

In short, the enemy of the Tamils is none other than their Tamil political leaders. They have not even done what they had the power to do from the powers given by the Provincial Council Act. Instead, they are simply asking for self-determination. If they cannot look into the affairs of the Tamil people from the powers devolved how could, they run a province on their own is questionable. 

Their devolution proposal has been presented by Siddarthan. It is not clear what is hoped for objective to be achieved by having another devolved entity. It is only providing political benefits to politicians but not to the Tamil people. Such devolution contradicts and conflicts with the unitary status of Sri Lanka. 

International community

However, it is a demand the international community promotes as it is advantageous to them. The eventual result would be a corrupt council with resources being stolen and manipulated by foreign powers and even enable a foreign military presence in Sri Lanka. We must seriously ask ourselves what would be the future of the Tamil people in such an eventuality. 

 The constitutional proposals presented thus far have nothing about devolving powers to the people. The present Constitution guarantees that sovereignty is inalienable and is with the people. More than the politicians, it is the people who need to have more power and it should be for the people to be a part of administrative development at district and town/village levels. 

The Divineguma Act of the previous government was created to establish this objective at provincial level (through community, based organisations) whilst protecting the unitary State of Sri Lanka. 

The reason why Gotabaya Rajapaksa is being targeted is because of his capability to develop and bring democracy which the Tamil political leadership had failed to provide. He has already expressed intentions to introduce “people, centric economic principles” paving way to living with “dignity”. 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential Candidate acceptance speech at the SLPP Convention highlighted thus,  

“People of many ethnicities and religions have lived freely and practiced their faith freely throughout the history of our country. We are a nation that has lived together in friendship with respect for each other’s religious beliefs and cultural identities. This unity has to be our strength.

I pledge to create a safe and a secure environment in which all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their faith or religion, will be able to live in peace. I will never allow extremist terrorism in this country. The People in North have aspirations which we understand well. And our government will strive towards solving these issues.”  

Tamils fooled by Tamil politicians 

In short, the people can rest assured that they are to be recipients of development and peace and have all their freedoms guaranteed. This is not the time to remove the unitary status of Sri Lanka and make Sri Lanka unstable by devolving powers to (Tamil) politicians who have shown they are incapable of looking after the Tamil people. Tamil politicians should not be allowed to fool the Tamil people any longer. Tamils must live together with Sinhalese and Muslims in harmony and not live in separation or segregation. 

One Response to “Gota advocates ‘strength in unity’”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    How will it change under President Chamal or President Karu?

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