Posted on September 29th, 2013


A determined naval rating butted Rajiv Gandhi with his rifle, before the Indian PM thumbed the Indo Sri Lanka Agreement amidst fanfare and gunshot. Some watching the incident on TV vouched J.R.Jayewardane (JR) was fleetingly amused before he did a rapid volte- face for diplomatic niceties -” naturally, after being coerced and compelled by the Indians more than cajoled and charmed. Smiled mystifyingly as Mona Lisa? Deservingly, JR can laugh last than smile awhile, after the Supreme Court delivered a historic judgment in the case of Superintendent, Stafford Estate vs. Rasu (SC Appeal 21/2013).

‚ They said Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement shifted Land from the Centre to the Periphery, duly legalized by the 13th Amendment. Silly stupid me -” prepared to take a whack in belonging to a disorientated school. Nationalists screamed it was a perfidious act. ‚ On the surface it appeared to be so:‚  UNP Government succumbed to the same delusion and did not demur. Their officialdom spoke affirmatively of such devolution: JR was rapped alone as the traitorous fall guy.

‚ Wavering Tamil political parties swept under the carpet by the LTTE, objected to it with a grimace and accepted it with a smile. TNA changed gear with the onset of peace to boot the accelerator to rev the thirteenth and make a stake for land.

‚ The faulty notion persisted due to our national failing of accepting any nonsense without an exhausting exhumation. Serves right for our stupidity -” for comprehensively misreading the 13th amendment on Land. None realized, JR on Land- had laid a dainty dish to set before the House. Supreme Court fluffed it -” pardon them, probably, counsel misled the -Ëœnot-so-learned-â„¢ among the wigged!

‚  Did the Old Fox out- fox the Indians with a sleight wrist in delivering a wily doosra? It stumped him too, not being able to read his own spin. Shock! Why did he not understand his mutinous act, as Land, was secured safely in the presidential paws? ‚ Did he not know of it-¦if so, did he do it unknowingly and unintentionally?‚  Belongs to a school that believes, JR did without knowing or intending: assented to it meekly. Blindly accepted what was asked of him. Bless him, it reads otherwise.

‚ Clever and crafty JR possessed no legal expertise to crack a Da Vinci Code. Or was there more to read in that bewildering bewitching smile of his? Ask me, Sri Lanka is a thrice-blessed sacred land overloaded with gods and a population that abides principally by their varied notions of spirited worship. Probably that benediction brought fortune to a hollowed nation. ‚ 

‚ In a hasty ill-judged ruling [John Keels case] Chief Justice Sarath Silva misconstrued the interpretation of the term Land in the 13th Amendment and led the Supreme Court to slot it incorrectly in the provincial list.

‚ Don-â„¢t forget the illustrious judgment of Sarath Silva [a keen legal mind] on de-merger, made under great pressure. As a counsel in that case the proper timing was of the essence. Not in this case, any time was teatime: Sri Lankans, as usual, has to be taken to the wall for a pasting to lay a flutter to become a winner.

‚ Shirani Bandaranaike CJ, made a determination in the Land Ownership Bill initiated by a few Provincial Chief Ministers of this government presented by some SLFP leaning lawyers enabled the Chief Ministers to take control of the lands in their provinces [President take note, they are all your lads!]. It was the Supreme Court that placed the country in a pickle on the issue of Land.

‚  A more enlightened Bench of Justices Mark Fernando, A.R.B. Amerasinghe‚  [two truly great legal brains] and S.W.B Wadugodapitiya in the Agrarian Services Bill came within sniffing distance of decoding the latent cryptography in the script of the 13th amendment, but instead skirted around and decided to save it for another day. That sunny day never came and the ignorant despondency persisted.

‚  The prevailing disorder is indefensible since the Constitution is crystal clear if properly analyzed: which was not. Instead a Great Land Robbery was enacted and providentially averted before hour zero. ‚ Still, there will be surface -riders with red and green eyes to forward their zany agendas over -Ëœthis Land [that] belongs to all of us to live in harmony-â„¢. The judgment makes Land inclusively for all the people of this country and not exclusively for the Province in the hold of nine Chief Ministers.

‚ Problems with the 13th amendment have not vanished. Just one dodgy doorway is closed. Merger went down under before but remains unlocked and retains an ugly complexion in black and white in the constitution. It needs a white wash.

‚ JR -wherever you are, in hell or heaven or in some intermediate zone, it matters less whether you did it un-knowingly or un-intentionally, but offer you a bountiful bouquet from an unrelenting critic for having scripted flawlessly in the constitution the appendix on Land read with the disconcerting Lists that makes, Land remain forever with the Center: as it always did and should.

‚ Irrespective of the generous compliments paid for a deserving service, shall not toll a bell more for man who denied a general election and extended his 5/6th majority with a faulty referendum for his comfort. Sure, it-â„¢s like sending a wreath and then offering a perfumed rose.

‚ Being at times crafty, wondered whether JR carried a secret he knew of, to his grave without revealing it – afraid he maybe called a cheat by the gory Indians-¦. doubt it, because he was a fox that lived in open air in search of glory.

‚  Who is the enigmatic scriptwriter? Leave it to the next generation -” bound to have many usurpers to surface fast to extract credit. Stake a wager, he lives superannuated or dead in the land of Rama. Bless him, India will care less, since it is a lawful pronouncement, otherwise they will have to wear/share the bunglers hat.

‚  On this judgment UNP can sit pretty and crow over but knowing there past performance on the field might again spill another dolly catch. Loitering around to pick any dropped ball will be Mahinda Rajapakse -” sure will know to slice the Indians by showing respect for a judicial prouncement. Say no more, Chief! ‚ 

‚ Let me take you into confidence. It was all there -” the bit and pieces of the jigsaw. A simple artisan was needed to pick piece by piece: lay out a design to unfold an unseen picture. The puzzle needed a few basics to set to perfection. The instructions on how-to-do-it were laid out concisely in a manual called the Constitution. The skills required were in the analysis and interpretation. That sure needed the right thinking and the proper presentation.

‚ Without H.L. de Silva there was no other to run over the cryptic picture as it began to unfold. ‚ He is no more and no other in the legal circles- comes into the frame- with a mind worth an asking and the required driving skills to take on a test run on the constitution.

‚ Would never have traversed space thought lost unless One Man inspired me to revisit the chapter on Land. To cut this story short, shall gratefully, unravel that deserving name on another day. Indeed on that persuasion to take a re-look at the 13th made a reluctant return that helped to unearth the covert icons within a scrambled constitutional maze- that amazed me!‚ 

‚ Compose the music and wave the baton – a conductor still needs a symphony to perform and audience to hear. Sri Lanka was indeed fortunate in having a skilled impartial bench of judges who rose to the occasion. Such are sparse.‚  ‚ 

15 Responses to “THE GREAT LAND ROBBERY”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “Sri Lanka was indeed fortunate in having a skilled impartial bench of judges who rose to the occasion. Such are sparse.”

    This is why I supported the sacking of SHITRANI.

    The end justifies the means.

    President appoints judges to supreme court. He must make WISE choices.

    However there is a LIMIT court cases can achieve to safeguard SL. Other means are also necessary.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    If SHITRANI remained the CJ this judgment would NEVER come.

  3. Christie Says:

    Problems of the island nation are the same in other Indian colonies like Fiji, Mauritius, Malaysia..etc.
    The only solution is to reinstate the UN decolonization programs and send Indians back to India who do not want to integrate.

  4. nilwala Says:

    JRJ is finally vindicated on this issue.
    JRJ has been quoted to say that he had found “a way to fix it”. But that statement of his somehow got buried in all the anger and criticism levelled against him.
    Gomin’s assertion that Mr. H.L. de Silva, P.C. was the source of that advice is very plausible, for he was a great patriot who stood steadfastly for Sri Lanka’s unitary status, and had fought in legal defense of it. And JR probably knew he was the one legal counsel he could rely on, just as Mrs. B had done.

    Sri Lanka paid the price for its national security weakness of the time. We lost our innocence. But we have also learnt through what had been wrought, and have revamped the strengths needed to survive as an undivided nation.
    Just as it had survived through the cycles of history.
    The fight may not still be over, and so the readiness must continue.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    The different branches of Governance ought to balance each other to bring Justice to the People & Country, in all things. The Judges, appointed by the President, must first be loyal to the country. If not, they ought to be thrown out.

    Cold War politics are outdated. The Jnt Opposition plays on that old fear, and together with various $$ establishments, tries for regime change, or appears to do so.

    A National Govt. is best.

  6. mario_perera Says:


    Do you not think that what we have at this moment IS a national government? It incorporates so many parties and so many trends, does it not? As for the question of a ‘Joint Opposition’ are not the foremost stalwarts of the present government from the opposition? And is this also not the weakness of the present government? That the lines between government and opposition are blurred, so blurred as to be non-existent?

    The present government structure has also brought to light the ‘duplicity’ that characterizes both government AND opposition. We have both a government an an opposition without identifiable visions…which literally means forked minds and its corollary forked tongues. The most loud mouthed voices of the opposition could swing over to the government and sing a contradictory tune from one moment to another as happens before our eyes.

    This sad situation also reflected in voting patterns. Just consider the case of Dayasiri. At the last elections he polled heavily for the UNP. He crossed over at an instants notice and polled heavily for the UPFA. Is there any logic in this? What does all this mean? Just that the word PARTY is purely nominal. Party platforms are just ‘ad hoc’ conditions, just for the moment and nothing more. Candidates know this, and so do the voters.

    Tragically this situation is also reflected in the President’s own political day this and another day something else, with actions that undermine words.

    This leaves the voter high and dry, not knowing where to turn and for what. So the best in this bad situation is to cling to personalities and not to policies, for the simple reason that there are no head light policies to go by. This probably is also the reason why the MR group continues to win elections. The voters have come to realize that changing the ruling party will not change anything. So keep the saddled riders on their saddles. Unseating them will not bring about anything new.

    What we need is NOT a national government consisting of parties pulling in different directions as now, but a government with a UNITARY and UNIFYING vision. Without such a government the vision of a UNITARY STATE is jeopardized. The clearest example was the attitude of powerful UPFA members as regards the 13A. Even now after the life saving Supreme Court decision Vasudeva loudly proclaims that the SC ruling can be overturned by legislation. He is not alone within Government ranks to think so. Shorty and sweetly, formerly the opposition was sitting opposite the government benches. Now the opposition is sitting on the government benches. This ludicrous situation has turned the parliamentary system into a mockery.

    Any national government will consist of die-hard members of other parties totally incapable of adapting to unitary and unifying policies of the government they represent in the best interest of the country. The need of the hour is not only an executive president who live up to his powers, but also a supporting party and cabinet with the same executive intent…in one mind and one heart with the President.

    Mario Perera

  7. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Even if this agreement is written in stone it is not binding. If anything Sri Lanka has learned a lot from her enemy the LITE. First lesson talks to not work, only brute force which clinched the victory. Secondly even defunct amendments are being used by the LITE supporting Tamils to force Colombo to keep it within the Constitution. Damn it if it failed to end the war as was the purpose. If so then using their own philosophy the 13th amendment can be removed using any pretext that supports its removal.

    The courts have already guaranteed that land powers remain in Colombo and by these free elections the Tamil National Alliance has started voicing what the LITE wanted. First it was “a certain level of autonomy”, now it is “the military presence is an impediment to progress”. Stale notions from a dead organization (The LITE). Considering the manifesto of the TNA I doubt if President Rajapakse would remove the military, in fact if any signs of rebellion were to surface I believe the military presence would only increase.

    When the US civil war ended (1861 to 1865) the victorious Union army stayed in the defeated Confederate states fore decades and established a permanent presence where most of the US army camps are now located in these very states. The great thing about a new day is that it gives the opportunity to undo what has been done the last day.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    What Mario says is true.

    What we have now is a national government.

    Look at it. You get SLFP, UNP, JVP, SLMC, TNA (1 MP), CWC, EPDP, etc., etc. in this government.

    But has it changed anything? No.

    Don’t be misled. A NATIONAL government is NOT necessarily a NATIONALIST government.

    With all these parties pulling in their own directions this government cannot do anything. Just status quo.

  9. Indrajith Says:

    Friends, look at it in a different view. When Dayan says only Tamils have intelligence and excellent English education and all nationalistic minded Sinhalese are half-baked or illiterate people see what Gomin has achieved! Although Gomin’s language in this article is a bit difficult for ordinary people to understand we can see from it that there’re also Sinhalese who can match or even go above those Tamils! I particularly like the notion “blessed thrice” which referrers to the arrival of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka three times, Nagadiepa, Kelaniya and Sri Padha. Mr. Gomin Dayasiri is no slouch when it comes to legal business. He has already helped Sri Lanka (with others) in landmark legal cases in de-merging North from East, Muttur Relief Workers (Action Against Hunger) case and in this latest historical case about land powers to provincial councils. Mr. Dayasri, you’re a real hero of our times!

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    The Joint Opposition of Sri Lanka is the ‘out of joint’ group. Even today, it carries the seeds of Separatism with ‘threatened
    terrorism/implied terrorism’ via the TNA. The TNA is the actor of the most dangerous part for Sri Lanka through Separatism & terrorism ‘if their demands are not met’.

    None from the TNA have joined the UPFA. So it is a very incomplete ‘National Govt.’ In fact, as matters stand, there is NO
    National govt. in existence now.

    The main Northern Tamil political party has not changed from the times of SVJ Chelvanayagam. Their demands are the same and it causes untold trouble for Sri Lanka.

    Einstein defined Lunacy in the following manner : “Keep doing the same thing and expect a different result”. This fits the TNA perfectly.

  11. Lorenzo Says:


    1 MP from TNA has joined govt. He is half Sinhalese from Ampara.

    IF TNA joins govt. the nationalist policies of the govt. will further ERODE to accomodate them.

    What SL needs is a NATIONALIST govt not a national govt.

    The problem is NOT with TNA but with Tamil people. IF TNA had not sold RACISM, Tamil people would NOT vote for them!! Then Ponnambalam’s TNPF would get all the votes.

    This is what happened to TULF (Anandasakkili), Ponnambalam in 1956.

    Tamils in BOTH SL and TN vote for the MOST racist party. TNA is only the tip of the iceberg.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:


    Since a NATIONALIST govt., as you suggest, is not a happening thing due to Tamil leaders Separatist goals, GoSL will have to BAN political parties such as the TNA. The People must DEMAND that such anti-National, Law breaking, political parties such as the TNA be BANNED. That seems to be the only solution for such problems.

    In any case, the real Tamil grouse is the so called “high caste” TNA has is how to get the “low caste” origin Tamils under control and keep the political power to themselves only while winning approval from Tamil Nadu leaders. This they have done so far by making the ‘low caste’ Tamils think/perceive that the rest of Sri Lanka, especially the government (whatever GoSL) & the Sinhale, are their enemy ! The old Colonial ‘divide & rule’ principle in application here. There are vested interests watching in the wings for pickings.

    That is the second part the Lunacy as defined by Einstein. The first part is Separatism via terrorism.

    BANNING such political parties as the TNA is one way to end the Lunacy.


    Development as envisaged by Pres MR is probably the answer to both Caste & Class problems. Money by itself will not bring the desired sense of achievement, self respect, and respect and admiration/acceptance from others. There has to be some education, morality and ethics, however prosaic this may sound. Otherwise, all gains are hollow.

    Buddhist Economics (Schumacher : “Small is Beautiful”) IS the answer to unbridled and unsuccessful economies. Also, Europe, after two World Wars, has learnt the hard way and works on the principle of “People first, profit next”. Europe governs herself through Laws that encourage healthy longterm growth in that direction. If Lankans are smart and wise, we can learn a lot from the Europeans.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:


    Re the question of Racism you raised, here are some answers.


    Question: “Why do people continue to be racist after so many articles, videos and talks about how racism is dumb?”
    – Will, age 15

    It’s a question that people ask all the time. If we’re all part of the human race, why are people racist? After all, there are no biological differences between people. No race is superior or inferior to another. We’re all the same.

    There are many reasons why people can have racist attitudes.


    A lot of our attitudes are shaped when we’re young. When our family members or friends express racist opinions, it’s common that we will take on those views ourselves. The problem is that, unless we do something about it, they can stay with us for a lifetime.


    It’s normal to want to spend time with people that have the same interests, background, culture and language. It creates a sense of belonging that is really important. The downside is that it can also set up differences between other groups and, over time, this might lead to us to thinking that our group is better than others.

    “Why is racism even a thing anymore? Haven’t we moved past that?”
    – Ruby, age 16


    We often put labels on people. He dresses like this so he must be into this music. She goes to that school so she must be rich. We can also stereotype people from different racial backgrounds as “lazy”, “brainy”, “aggro”… you get the idea. The way to beat the stereotypes? Don’t judge a whole group. Get to know people from different racial backgrounds and find out how much you have in common.


    When we feel angry or frustrated, we often look for someone else to blame for our problems. As a community, we can do the same thing. People who look or talk differently to us are an easy target. You can hear it happening today in comments like, “those people take our jobs” or “they get government handouts all the time”. Nearly all the time, these statements are wrong.

    There are no reasons or excuses for racism. It’s just wrong. And In many cases, racism is against the law. For more information, see the “What does the law say” factsheet.

    If racism happens to you, find out what you can do in the “What can you do?” factsheet.
    If you see racism happening at school, in public or online, stand up to it. There’s lots of safe ways that you can help. Find out more in the “What you can do?” factsheet.

  14. Lorenzo Says:


    Banning TNA is only PART of the solution. Then THPF will come instead. We have to ban that too. But still it is a good start.

    Tamil racism.

    The problem is Tamils are the biggest racists in the world. Why?

    Because racism BENEFITTED Tamils. Using racism they turned the entire north into a Tamil only area!! Tamils LOVE to live in Tamil only ghettos. Now they are building Tamil only ghettos in parts of Colombo, Kandy, Negombo too!!!

    Using racism they gain many benefits from foreign countries PARTICULARLY Endia.

    Using racism they got many economic benefits.

    e.g. The entire economy of the north is owned by Tamils!!!

    Because they get these benefits of racism they don’t want to give it up.

  15. Fran Diaz Says:


    I agree with you that whatever Separatist political party that comes up in Lanka, that must be banned.

    You know Tamil people better than I do. Yet I hope that one day soon they will stop being Racist and start to enjoy life. What a pity that they are caught in a Caste bind, not of their making, yet of their own making in the present day.

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