There is no such thing as a homeland!
Posted on July 3rd, 2009

Dr Victor Gunasekara

http://www.uq.net.au/slsoc/vicpic.htm  This is a comment on the posts given below by Wimal Ediriwira and Ravi Randeniya. They both deal, amongst other things, with the recognition of the NP and the EP as a traditional homeland of the Tamils. As we know Mahinda Rajapaksa is committed to implement the Indo-SL agreement of 1987 which led to 13A “in full” and even go beyond. Implementing 13A implies recognizing the NP and EP as the homeland of the Tamils which was part of the Indo-SL agreement.

Wimal, who has set himself as an authority on homelands, has posed some questions for the Forum to answer. But there is a simple answer to all these questions: There is no such thing as a homeland!

Can Wimal give any international or national law which defines a homeland and assigns various pieces of territory to various racial, religious or ethnic groups as their homeland? He says that France is the homeland of the French, Germany of the Germans, Italy of the Italians, etc. But the Constitutions of these countries do not make this claim. What right has Wimal to award these territories as the homelands of the people he has assigned them to? A country like Switzerland has French, German and Italians living in the country. Whose homeland is Switzerland? Do the Swiss French have a homeland of their own in addition to the territory of France which Wimal has awarded as the homeland of the French? Similarly for the Germans and Italians in Switzerland. This is the kind of quagmire which this notion of homeland leads to.

In Sri Lanka the Homeland theory has been espouced by two groups of people. One is those Helas who claim that the whole island is their exclusive homeland. The other are those Tamils, including the LTTE, who claim that the North and East are their “traditional homeland”, which is acknowledged by 13A. This is why we need to know what exactly a homeland is so has to settle this dispute. We have seen a war fought on this but the issue has not been resolved.
I would like to pose the following issues to Wimal in connection with his Homeland theory:

Can Wimal give a definition of a ‘Homeland’ and can he tell us where this notion is recognized in international law?

Wimal says that on a “legal basis” Tamils can have ONLY ONE Homeland. What law is he referring to? For that matter is there any law that states that the Tamils can have even ONE homeland?

How does he justify his claim that the Island of SL is the homeland of the Helas?

One of Wimal’s claims is that minorities living in someone else’s homeland have lesser rights than the “owners” of the land. But Mahinda Rajapaksa has recently declared that in SL there are no minorities! Does Wimal support this latest gem of Mahinda chintanaya, and if not why has he not taken issue with MR?

Suppose that a SL Hela migrates to the UK, there marries an Italian or French lady, and has children who by birth-right become British citizens. Can Wimal state what the homeland of the Hela who migrated, his wife and his children are?
Etc

If Wimal cannot answer these questions he has no right to pose those questions on Homelands that he has posed for this Forum to answer.

On Ravi’s post, where he reproduces clauses from the 13A law what he does not seem to understand is that this law completely negates the status of SL as a unitary state. Just as 17A was passed to please the Indians so the promise to implement it now is not because the people of the country want it but to keep MR’s promise to India, Japan, the US, etc. that he will solve the “ethnic problem” by implementing 13A. See my article Great Betrayal of Sri Lanka if Ravi is to understand the political underpinnings and constitutional consequences of 13A.

A short note from Chand Wije is also included in which he refers to his recent article on “Sinhala Bushism”. I have refuted this theory of Sinhela Bushism, just as I have refuted Wije’s earlier theories like the River Basin Devolution and the Karuna Paradigm. But I have not seen a reply from Wije on this.

VG
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From : Wimal Ediriwira
Date: Wed, Jul-1-2009 10:54 PM
Subject: RE: Implementing the 13th on fear of Indian invasion

1. On WHAT basis is such a “Tamil homeland” to be recognised in Sinhale’?

2. Every nation in the world has only ONE homeland. For example, The English have only England, the French France, the Germany etc. On what legal basis should Tamils only be able to have MORE THAN ONE Tamil homeland.

3. Will Tamils, then, also be entitled to have “Tamil homelands” in the US, UK, France, Germany etc

4. What about recognising similar Sinhela homelands for Sinhela minorities in ALL the Western countries?

5. Etc.

The problems about the Sinhelas is that we only think from the perspective of this Island. As a result, the minorities exploit this weakness to try to demand non-existent “rights” using this limited vision of the Sinhelas. If we compare with the situations in OTHER countries, we can get more rational veiwpoints.

Wimal Ediriwira
The Sinhela Centre
===============

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From: cwije7@
Subject: RE: Implementing the 13th on fear of Indian invasion
Date: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 10:55 PM

Ravi Randeniya,

What you do not understand is that the official recognition of a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka (13-A) is the germ to a separate state. The president cannot control outside powers like Tamil nad and world tiger Tamils.

For details read today’s Island Midweek Review on Bushims and 13-A.
http://www.island.lk/2009/07/01/midweek1.html

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Subject: RE: Implementing the 13th on fear of Indian invasion
From: “Ravi Randeniya”
Date: Tue, June 30, 2009 1:49 pm

This is what the fuss is all about. Here are the key elements of our constitution that will prevent cessation by Eelamists. However, my issue with PCs is that they are a drain on our economy.

Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution

http://www.priu.gov.lk/Cons/1978Constitution/Introduction.htm

Certified on: 14.11.1987

Objectives:

To make provisions for the establishment of a Provincial Council for each Province; for the establishment of a High Court for each Province; and to make Tamil an official language and English the link language.

 CHAPTER XIII – THE REFERENDUM

 Submission of Bills to People by Referendum.

 85. (1) The President shall submit to the People by Referendum every Bill or any provision in any Bill which the Cabinet of Ministers has certified as being intended to be submitted to the People by Referendum, or which the Supreme Court has determined as requiring the approval of the People at a Referendum if the number of votes cast in favour of such Bill amounts to not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present).
(2) The President may in his discretion submit to the People by Referendum any Bill (not being a Bill for the repeal or amendment of any provision of the Constitution, or for the addition of any provision to the Constitution, or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution, or which is inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution), which has been rejected by Parliament.
(3) Any Bill or any provision in any Bill submitted to the People by Referendum shall be deemed to be approved by the People if approved by an absolute majority of the valid votes cast at such Referendum:
Provided that when the total number of valid votes cast does not exceed two-thirds of the whole number of electors entered in the register of electors, such Bill shall be deemed to be approved only if approved by not less than one-third of the whole number of such electors.

Submission of matters of national importance to People by Referendum.

 86. The President may, subject to the provisions of Article 85, submit to the People by Referendum any matter which in the opinion of the President is of national importance.
46[CHAPTER XVIIA]

Establishment of Provincial Councils.

154A. (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, a Provincial Council shall be established for every Province specified in the Eighth Schedule with effect from such date or dates as the President may appoint by Order published in the Gazette. Different dates may be appointed in respect of different Provinces.

(2) Every Provincial Council established under paragraph (1) shall be constituted upon the election of the members of such Council in accordance with the law relating to Provincial Council elections.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in the preceding provisions of this Article, Parliament may by, or under, any law provide for two or three adjoining Provinces to form one administrative unit with one elected Provincial Council, one Governor, one Chief Minister and one Board of Ministers and for the manner of determining whether such Provinces should continue to be administered as one administrative unit or whether each such Province should constitute a separate administrative unit with its own Provincial Council, and a separate Governor, Chief Minister and Board of Ministers.
Public Security .

154J. (1) Upon the making of a Proclamation under the Public Security Ordinance or the law for the time being in force relating to public security, bringing the provisions of such Ordinance or law into operation on the ground that the maintenance of essential supplies and services is threatened or that the security of Sri Lanka is threatened by war or external aggression or armed rebellion, the President may give directions to any Governor as to the manner in which the executive power exercisable by the Governor is to be exercised. The direction so given shall be in relation to the grounds specified in such Proclamation for the making thereof.

Explanation: A Proclamation under the Public Security Ordinance declaring that the maintenance of essential supplies and services is threatened or that the security of Sri Lanka or any part of the territory thereof is threatened by war, or by external aggression, or by armed rebellion may be made before the actual breakdown of supplies and services, or the actual occurrence of war, or of any such aggression or rebellion, if the President is satisfied that there is imminent danger thereof:

Provided that where such Proclamation is in operation only in any part of Sri Lanka, the power of the President to give directions under this Article, shall also extend to any Province other than the Province in which the Proclamation is in operation if, and in so far as it is expedient so to do for ensuring the maintenance of essential supplies and services or the security of Sri Lanka.

(2) A Proclamation under the Public Security Ordinance or the law for the time being relating to public security, shall be conclusive for all purposes and shall not be questioned in any Court, and no Court or Tribunal shall inquire into, or pronounce on, or in any manner call in question, such Proclamation, the grounds for the making thereof, or the existence of those grounds or any direction given under this Article.

Failure to comply with directions .

154K. Where the Governor or any Provincial Council has failed to comply with, or give effect to, any directions given to such Governor or such Council under this Chapter of the Constitution, it shall be lawful for the President to hold that a situation has arisen in which the administration of the Province cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Have fun.

Ravi R.

One Response to “There is no such thing as a homeland!”

  1. Ariya Says:

    Homeland is a country, where all its citizens are loyal to it, whatever calamity come by.
    The Tamils, brainwashed or otherwise, who took arms against Sri Lanka must prove that they are loyal to Sri Lanka unconditionally! That goes to ALL Sri Lankans!

    All Sri Lankans must declare their loyalty to the motherland, and do that without anyone demanding that! Sri Lanka is the homeland of ALL loyal citizens of Sri Lanka, period!

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    You see, I was born in the dominion of the British ‘Empire’ called Ceylon. and I detested that feeling. Then we became a republic. Good! We were not under the British crown anymore! Then we became a ‘Democratic Socialist” Republic, and that was not good, for nothing socialist can be ever democratic.

    But, finally Sri Lanka became free with our men and women sacrificing their lives and limbs for this freedom, and that Pride should make us much more loyal to our motherland, even if we have dual citizenship in another country!

    I say ‘much more’, because this loyalty has many shades of grey…
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    For sometime, I was thinking on a certain matter; Sri Lanka stopped being Ceylon and the citizens had stopped being ‘subjects’ of the British Queen, and whenever a Sri Lankan becomes an Australian, a Canadian, an Irish, a New Zealand and a British citizen, he/she must acknowledge an Oath of Allegiance to the British Queen, and how he/she does that is with a clear conscience?!

    Is it worth to sell one’s soul for a citizenship of another country and be loyal to the British Queen?
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    I am a dual citizen, but I haven’t ever taken an oath, but its understood that I will be loyal to the people of both countries, and keep the dignity of the country.
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