Whatever our opinion on the 13 Amendment, let us place our confidence on the President to do what is best for Sri Lanka and its People.
Posted on July 4th, 2009

By Charles.S.Perera

No Constitution is sacrosanct and any clause that does not fit in the development process of the country could be amended either by a two third majority or a referendum. Therefore the 13 Amendment could be removed if the implementation of it could lead to political problems.

 There are those who see nothing objectionable in the implementation of the 13 Amendment and there are those who oppose it. In the context of the thirty years of suffering under a ruthless terrorism, it is time that all of us whether we are Sinhala, Tamil , Muslim or other, take a new look at what our future should be. In that perspective of change, it is normal for us to ask ourselves whether the implementation of the 13 Amendment would be an impediment for our progress as a Nation. Yes ! as a Nation , because it is in that light we should proceed to organise our future.

 Many writers had come out with very pertinent arguments in favour or against the implementation of the 13 Amendment. The question of the implementation of this now controversial Amendment, before being analysed from an intellectual point of view, should be looked at from the common man’s angle, with more common sense. An ordinary man may see the implementation of the 13 Amendment as a legal imposition of his separateness. A man belonging to an area and to an ethnic group. The 13 Amendment would not make him seem to belong to the entirety of the land which he calls his mother land.

 This despite the significant pronouncement the President Mahinda Rajapakse made in his important speech to the Parliament. He said that Sri Lanka has no more minorities. Those words said a lot, though the die hard Tamil separatists did not have the capacity make much of it. It means that the ethnic difference is over, and that if it would continue it would be in the minds of those who disdain unity. It also means that Sri Lanka would not speak in terms of the origin of its citizens but in terms of the individuals comprising the Nation of Sri Lankans.

 In such a situation the implementation of the 13 Amendment may seem as a means to continue the ethnic difference. And justify the fear instilled in the mind of an ordinary man of legalising his separateness.

 However, the President Mahainda Rajapakse has said, prompted by a statement made by the Minister Champika Ranawaka, that he should not be hindered to implement the 13 Amendment.

 Therefore, we have to respect the intention of the President, which is to implement the 13 Amendment even though our own personal views may be different. We have to respect the wish of the President because we now know from what we have seen, that the President Mahinda Rajapakse could be trusted to safeguard the interest of the country and its people.

 It was his determination, wisdom and foresight that made him prepare the ground before he took the terrorists by their “horns”. He subjugated and eliminated terrorism ,and he alone was responsible for that great achievement. It was he who selected the Army Commander Sarath Fonseka to launch the military operations, others to lead different security Forces, and appointed Gotabhaya Rajpakse as the Defence Secretary to coordinate the Armed Forces. Thereafter the President left the military operations against terrorism entirely in their hands without any interference. He was able to place his unshaken confidence in the people he selected to conduct the military operations to eliminate terrorism.

 Mahinda Rajapakse through out the military operations did not seek to antagonise any one. He either ignored impertinent and insolent statements of his opponents, or made his intentions clear at his meetings with the people.

 When his one time friend, and a Minister of his cabinet Mangala Smaraweera made wild accusations, of bribing the terrorists, and insulted him claiming that Mahinda Rajapakse had misappropriated tsunami funds by crediting them to his own bank account , the President did not make any statements. He did not directly or indirectly made reference to Mangala Samaraweera’s ill founded criticism.

 When Ranil Wickramasinghe accused the President for enriching the family, the President did not bother to reply him. Yet when ever he met Ranil Wickramasinghe he welcomed him as a friend.

 When Blakes, Chilcots and the rest of the representatives from the International Community kept on repeating that there is no military solution to the terrorist problem but a political solution, the President kept a “loud” silence. It was not his “business” any more, the military operations against the terrorists were the responsibility of the army.

 The President knew exactly what he was doing and how to reply to his interlocutors. Many were the delegations from the Indian Central government that came to discuss the military situation and request a respite in the military operations. All such delegations were well received by the President, and none of them showed signs of displeasure after meeting with him.

 He even received David Miliband and Bernard Kouchener, who thought they would “shake up” the Sinhala President and make him cede to their demands, but Mahinda Rajapakse proved that he had more diplomatic tactics in him than them with their “pseudo” International Standing.

 That is the calibre of the President fortune has given to Sri Lanka to lead the Nation in this most critical period of its history. His honesty and integrity is unquestionable. Therefore we know that his intentions are bona fides, he has nothing to gain and he is not self seeking. His devotion to his country and the people is greater, and he has put himself completely at the service of them.

 The President will do what is best for the Country and its people , and let us therefore leave the 13 Amendment in his hand .

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