The Thirteenth Amendment: What it hails for Sri Lanka.
Posted on July 18th, 2010

By Garvin Karunaratne, Ph.D. former SLAS(G.A. Matara)

Today, the Thirteenth Amendment is hailed as what could bring about communal harmony. The LTTE Diaspora as well as learned luminaries among the Sinhala community and the international community are full of praise urging Sri Lanka to implement the Thirteenth Amendment in full including devolving land and police powers to the Provinces.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Little do they know what will happen to Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The LTTE Dispora are actually trying to resurrect PrabakaranƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s goal of a separate state as a stepping stone to conquering Sri Lanka for the LTTE. The Sinhala community luminaries that support the Thirteenth Amendment are of two categories. One group comprise the University dons, the book worms whose knowledge of life and development is relegated to the realm of books and academic study. Other than lecturing and writing they have never achieved anything tangible. They are perhaps in the pay of the LTTE Diaspora to write in their favour and there are authorities that offer them support in the form of publication grants and trips abroad. This applies to the dons, the experts in history who are silent about the homeland theory. The homeland theory finds no support because of epigraphical evidence dating back to the days before Christ found all over Sri Lanka. The other category comprise the legal luminaries whose only experience lies in litigation and human rights. They care little for the country and have no knowledge of administration. They too are at times offered grants for work of all sorts, offered study tours etc. These lucrative offers keep them going. Many of them work in NGO that espouse the cause of separatism.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The International Community is otherwise. They want a divided Sri Lanka- a people divided so that they can rule the roost. Their aims have become very clear with their espousing the cause of the LTTE and the overtures they made to President Rajapaksa to stop wielding the last blow on the LTTE. They all wanted the LTTE and Prabhakaran saved somehow. Few know that the Japanese Akashi, who now wears a pro-development garb, once sent a group of their experts to dig and construct an under waterway canal and a dock some 300 feet long to enable Prabhakaran to escape. This was done under the guise of doing Tsunami work. Perhaps their plan was for Prabhakaran to escape in a submarine. Instead of hounding the Japanese to hand over the Tsunami workers who did this task, we are courting the Japanese in search of their dollars. The UNP followed the IMFƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Structural Adjustment Programme which made Sri Lanka a highly indebted country that has to follow the IMF!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Thirteenth Amendment was the brain child of no other than Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. It was not a piece of legislation that was thought out by any Sri Lankan and it was forced on a sovereign state by force of arms. Few know that Rajiv ordered his Air force to fly sorties over Colombo to make Jayawardena bow to submission. Rajiv Gandhi tried to get Prabhakaran to agree. Rajiv Gandhi imposed this Thirteenth Amendment by forcing President Jayawardena to accept it. Jayawardena crept obeisance at the feet of Rajiv Gandhi and agreed but Prabhakaran had other ideas. He not only rejected it but also murdered Rajiv Gandhi.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ To start with the Thirteenth Amendment though it was passed by the Parliament of Sri Lanka, has no legitimacy because it is a well known fact that President Jayawardena had obtained undated letters of resignation from all his members of parliament(except Ronnie de Mel) and had also incarcerated them in a Five Star Hotel in Colombo, held in custody and whenever he wanted a bill passed in Parliament he would go personally and escort the members of parliament under armed escort to the Houses of Parliament. Thus this fact itself is enough to discredit the validity of the Thirteenth Amendment. It has to be voted out sooner or later. This is the first task that would behove of the Present Government. We have to win our lost sovereignty back. We now have a hero in President Rajapaksa, one who would not stoop to clean the boots of the Indians. India will be respected as a sovereign country but they have to respect our right to handle our own affairs. There is a fundamental difference between Presidents Jayawardena and Rajapaksa. Jayawardena licked the boots of the IMF and India. Rajapaksa has stood firm when our sovereignty ever came into question. He comes from that stock- from the days of his great uncle D.M. He is not a new comer to politics. He has a sound background, which the country can depend on.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ What is really wrong with The Thirteenth Amendment is that it has foisted on a small country a devolved administrative system that is suited for a large country. Implement the Thirteenth Amendment in the USA and the States will fight to save their water. The Missisipi and Missouri is the longest river in the world and I saw for myself its waters through a ferry and through a number of bridges last week in the States of Louisiana and Missisipi. This River flows through a large number of States at least ten and all ten States will be fighting for its waters if the Thirteenth Amendment is adopted. This War really did happen in actual practice. The States of California and Arizona had a bitter battle to use the waters of the Colorado River, which was the border for the two States. In the words of Dan Walker, a former Governor of Illinois:

The Parker Dam Ignites the Arizona- California War
Trouble first began when Arizona ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”drew a line on the dirtƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ on its side of the Colorado River and said ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”no dam untilour water rights are resolved to ArizonaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s satisfaction in WashingtonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. That could mean years of delay. Arizona then seized on the fact that Parker Dam was being built by the Bureau of Reclamation without any specific Congressional authorization. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Parker dam is illegalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ cried ArizonaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s spokesman and Arizona vowed that it would stop the project. When the actual construction process neared Arizona on the other side of the Colorado River Governor Benjamin B. Moeur cabled a warning to his counterpart in California: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”This could mean warƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. When heavy cables to hold the river barges in place for riverbed drilling were anchored on the Arizona bank, Governor Moeur declared martial law and ordered militiamen to the site.
Governor Moeur solemnly declared that he was ordering into action whatever troops would be needed torepel the threatened invasion of the sovereignty and territory of the State of Arizona.
(From:Thirst for Independence: The San Diego Water Story, Sunbelt Publications, 2004)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The North of Mexico is a desert. It has no means of sustenance because the waters of the Colorado River that could have turned the Mexican desert to a land of bountiful prosperity is now totally used by the USA, which has built a number of dams tapping the water. While the entire prosperity of Southern California depends on the water from the Colorado River, the poverty and deprivation so characteristic of North Mexico below the USA border is also the result.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Take Bangladesh. The Farakka Dam built by India across the Ganges takes out water for the port of Calcutta and this has meant that there is less water in the Ganges River when it reaches Bangladesh. The result is that salinity has crept into the fertile lands at the mouth of the Ganges in Bangladesh. In my two yearsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ consultancy in Bangladesh I have personally come to know of this problem. Many are the discussions and meeting amongst India and Bangladesh held at high level, but this has proved to be a problem that could not be decided.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Let us see what will happen to Sri Lanka if water and land powers are allocated to the Provincial Councils. The Mahaweli River begins in the Nuwara Eliya District and by diverting its water to the North- to the Anuradhapura District the farmers who have enjoyed the Mahaweli Water in Teldeniya and Minipe have had to face a shortage of water. The Mahaweli water also is used in the Trincomalee District. There will be a total conflict between the Central, North Central and the Eastern Provincial Councils which cannot be resolved. Theoretically it can be decided but there will be eternal war.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sri Lanka is a small country and its population is centred around the Western and Central Provinces. There is a dearth of land in the Western, the Central and Southern Provinces while there is ample land in the North Central and Eastern Provinces. The people of the Provinces who do not have land to cultivate have to be found land in the areas where land is found. This will be a sore point between the Provincial Councils.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It is also important to note that so far the Provincial Councils have not acquitted themselves creditably and have been at times acting in a very irresponsible manner. Very recently the councilors of the Western Province found money to go on a tour of foreign countries when the funds should have been used for the development of their areas.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ If the Thirteenth Amendment provisions are implemented in the USA there will be eternal problems and the enlightened and educated Secretary of State and the Administration of the New US Government should realize what they are doing to a sovereign country when the advise that the Thirteenth Amendment should be implemented in full.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It is time that the Thirteenth Amendment is taken off the sight of Sri Lanka.

Garvin Karunaratne
14 th July, 2010, at Louisiana, USA

3 Responses to “The Thirteenth Amendment: What it hails for Sri Lanka.”

  1. Kamal Says:

    13th Amendment is a poison chalice, forced on to us by India with the willing JRJ, to satisfy the insatiable Tamils in the inseparable India.
    British divided India and created their INDO -PAK quagmire. This was a people lived together for centuries even though they had differences.
    Now British and the rest want to dos the same to Sri Lanka and India loves it, perhaps they envy us. They created the LTTE. They also don’t realise that destabilised Sri Lanka will destabilise them as well. I suppose them hoping to walk in and occupy.
    When it comes to Europe they want to get the states together and to build a union for stability and end wars. For the other countries divide is the rule and create instability to keep them poor.
    We should not accept this situation or accept and demise.

  2. Kit Athul Says:

    13th amdment cannot be implemented. ref: 13th amendent “The Road to EELAM both here and in India” Lanlaweb June 28th 2010. “The Myth about the 17th Amendment” by Douglas Premaratne. So does Sinhala know that they defeated INDIA’S territorial Army on may 19th 2009? I do not think so. I will give an example: Chidambaram publicly told “Prabhakaran was not our (INDIA’S) enemy. Ref: (OUTLOOK INDIA.COM) Now why can’t some one in the government challenge this statement? Dr. Garvin’s article is excellent, but do you think you can have a logical reasoning with a Tamil, with out giving them Northern and Eastern Provinces?
    Kit Athul, Florida, USA

  3. Raj Says:

    Sri Lanka is a small country, about the size of Wales in the UK. The implementation of the 13th ammendment will only create another division. North and East must be run exactly the way the rest of the country is run. The government consists of people of all ethnic groups, and there is no need for division of powers to different areas of this small country. This certainly is making Prabhakaran’s dream come true.

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