Reply to C. Wijeyawickrema’s “Attempts to exhume the provincial council cadaver: a reply to Mr. Austin Fernando”
Posted on January 2nd, 2021

Austin Fernando

 I refer to the article written by Mr. C Wijeyawickrema (CW) in Lankaweb, in response to my article that appeared in the Island newspaper on the last Xmas Day.

CW says that he had two purposes in responding; one, to reply to the contents of my article; and second, to give an alternative proposal for consideration of the Romesh de Silva Committee. The second objective is personal to the writer and the Committee and I have no comments on it.

 Since I have had no deals with Chandrika- GL- Neelan and Jayampathy Combo (though I knew them and know the living three closely), I need not comment on the paragraph titled ‘Austin and Orumittanadu.’ The only point is I gathered information on 1997 from the Constitution Reforms published by the Chandrika Government, and a Draft Bill submitted to the Parliament in 2000. Both were not titled Orumittanadu draft constitution” as CW identifies. I accept official tags and not gossip tags! The difference in reference prevents me from responding content-wise. But I reiterate that vistas of devolution have been expanded by these proposed reforms.

However, I presume that the incumbent PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and several incumbent senior Ministers like GL Pieris, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Chamal Rajapaksa, Susil Prem Jayanth were approving these Reforms then. Therefore, by his writing, CW makes them sinners of the so-called Orumittanadu draft Constitution.” I disagree because they love Sri Lanka as much as I do. 

The section titled ‘Secret map of the Package Deal’ is a critique of Chandrika Kumaratunga regime and not me, and hence I need not respond. In the quoted article what I tried was to remind some developments on devolution that must be reviewed, if revising. I have read these two documents and do not find any changes to create a ‘Malayanadu’ or buried ‘P-Tom’ or ‘ISGA.’  Hence, I observe an unexplainable compounded confusion in CW. CW forgets that P-Tom and ISGA were later proposals (2003) and should not be mixed with 1997/ 2000 proposed Reforms, to which I refer.

Earlier I have published another article (https://island.lk/crisscrossing-13a-abolition/) where I have mentioned commitments made by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ministers GL Pieris, Basil Rajapaksa, PM Manmohan Singh, PM Modi, Minister SM Krishna, and pointed out the issues endorsed by such commitments. It was to show the complexity of the issue in question. I reiterate I have no interest in PCs or their elections.

The section ‘You cannot legislate against geography’ has no relevance to my article and I refrain from commenting. I have only to say that digesting what CW has presented is certainly swimming against the current, fearing drowning. The only commonality we can quote is that both of us have our roots in Panadura! As he has said In Buddhism, no two persons are the same” and it is no wonder our thinking befits his philosophical judgment, irrespective of roots.

The section ‘Non-majoritarian devolution trap’ does not point out any reference to me and hence I ignore commenting. Even his reference to my respected teacher Prof Gerald Pieris’s article relating to federalism does not make any similarity to my thinking, as I have not proposed federalism. Since he has mentioned Prof Pieris, I may mention that he has informed me he disagreed with my thinking, and I informed him that it was great to agree to disagree. I mention this to motivate CW to become great by emulating Prof. Pieris.

 The section Meaningful devolution-empowerment of people” has no relevance to my article contents and hence is ignored. The section Decentralization or empowerment of people” also has no relevance to the contents of my article.

There were several options tried like Gam Sabhawas, Town Councils, Urban Councils, District Development Councils, and Provincial Councils. All these have their good and bad, and ugly too, which I know by being involved in the administration of all these and seen how Panchayats function too. Maybe, CW has the same experience. No constitutional change since inception to 2020’s 20th Amendment, excepting 17th and 19th had the empowerment of people as the objective. Others have empowered politicians of all hues. Many predict that this will be the result of the current exercise too.

The only worthy information shared by CW is regarding the potential threat to security where he says, if Muslim corona body-burning issue becomes another July 1983, American warships are ready to land marines”. Now I understand why he has copied his article to Secretary Defence. This is a matter worthy of being discussed at the National Security Council to which CW should be invited to prove his case since it jeopardizes national security- i.e., the threat of the US invading Sri Lanka! Over to you respected Secretary Defence.

In a lighter vein, I have a quip with regards to CW’s gold mine gifted by Rajiv Gandhi”. Some Jaffna’s sophisticated think that PCs are the elusive golden deer that tricked Rama in the Ramayana!” Let CW learn from Ramayana and even to agree to disagree!

The section titled Montesquieu standing on his head” and Part B of his article does not deal with my article and as I understand contains his propositions. Anyway, I have the right to agree or disagree but he has the right to present, though the learned writer probably presumes that we should not even present some argument, against his whim and fancy.

He is saying that his article is in reply to mine, but one is at a loss to find such replying! I have seen a Sinhala article that had been purportedly written by CW quoting some events regarding me while giving his interpretation, without having knowledge, understanding, and capacity to digest the background under which we had to respond as public officers. Sugar-coated little knowledge is poison to wisdom!

I do not wish to waste my time responding to him any further. Best wishes to CW for the New Year 2021 whose ‘talent’ may be harnessed by the Romesh de Silva Committee, if worthy.

One Response to “Reply to C. Wijeyawickrema’s “Attempts to exhume the provincial council cadaver: a reply to Mr. Austin Fernando””

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    350-long island needs provincial councils, parliament etc. etc. Too many deshapaluwas and who is going to pay
    for these free loaders? We don’t have a tax system like in the developed countries and what these deshapaluwas
    do is plunder and plunder whatever little the country earns. Traitor jr nana put this straight jacket to please
    india, tamils and muslims. Sinhalese are the ones who suffered from these provincial white elephants. Before this
    menace was implemented, district system worked well and there was no need for this another layer of
    corrupt deshapaluwas. One thieves den in Kotte doing enough damage to the Sinhalese, Sri Lanka and Buddhism.

    All the problems world facing today are due to population explosion and religion of conveniences which do not
    regard sins as sins. World population is bursting at the seams and Mother earth is struggling to face the demands
    this burgeoning two legged creatures putting on her. The most dangerous creature on the planet on a self
    destruction path and religions and this population explosion are responsible for all the ills the societies facing
    today the world over. That is why people want separate countries, special treatments etc.etc. because they feel
    they can improve the quality of life immensely, they can have the whole cake.

    People used to worship rivers, mountains, gods in the olden days in the absence of science. Today, religions have
    to pass the science test to be accepted as true. Science and Buddhism can explain everything under the sun
    while other have no clue. Why people look different from country to country, race to race, (Darwin’s Theory of
    Evolution), why there are millions of species which the two legged creature have no use (Darwin’s book, The
    Tree of Life explains that), what is gravity, why the planets are round in shape, why they orbit, why the earth’s
    size is a grain of sand in the vast vast universe, what is a light year, why the earth is built (if it was created) with built-in volcanoes, earth quakes, deserts, sunamis etc. etc. Science and Buddhism explains all these.Yet people don’t want to know because they aren’t convenient truths.

    Today, most dangerous creature running scared of an invisible killer. Why? Because Covid19 is the curse of the
    animals who give their lives by billions on daily basis to fill the stomachs of the most dangerous creature on the
    planet. Our distant relative chimp is not a meat eater (Theory of Evolution). If we care to check our teeth and then
    a cat’s, tiger’s (in a picture of course), cow’s and it tells what sort of diet we should be having. And two legged’s
    guts are also different from cat’s, dog’s, etc. suitable for a fibrous diet. Two leggeds ready to admit? No chance
    in hell because they are inconvenient truths. So the animals taking revenge finally and the two legged are running scared.

    That’s not all, eating meat gives them all sort of cancers etc. etc. Why? Because they are alien food to the two
    leggeds. There is more. Jungles are being cleared at an alarming rate to feed these livestock and Mother Earth
    is struggling to breathe. At the same time these billions of livestock generate so much polluted air and make
    things even worse for the most dangerous creature on the planet. Their revenge! If we don’t mend our ways
    Covid19 won’t be the last one to destroy the all too powerful two leggeds.

    All the crimes (sins) any two legged creature can do under the sun:
    1 Killing (animals included? Only in Buddhism of course. They too have a right to life? Yes/no)
    2 Stealing
    3 Sexual misconduct
    4 Lying
    5 Alcohol/drug abuse

    Refraining from the above five is Buddhism’s Five Precepts and all the countries under the sun use them as the basis for their penal codes. The world needs Buddhism more than ever to discipline the most dangerous creature
    on the planet to control the out of control humans. Who will admit we should mend our ways and be considerate, unselfish, kind and care for the planet and each other? My guess is only a very very few.

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