Real war, phoney war and voter psyche
Posted on October 6th, 2013

Susantha Goonatilake- Courtesy The Daily News

Jaffna University

Copy of Cdn-2013-tag-Point-of-View_11.jpgIt was not the much touted diaspora, but local Northern Tamils that voted massively for the TNA. The parallel was not to machinations of a diaspora but more to the beginning of a possible -Phoney War-. The -Phoney War- was the early period in World War II when both sides had prepared for war but was not actually fighting. It seems that the overwhelming PC win of the TNA which was not hiding much of its LTTE stripes could be the precursor to a future actual war. It could be like Germans after losing World War 1 under an emperor was about to wage World War II under an elected Hitler. May be this is what the Indian Express Tribune headline meant after the PC elections with its: -The war in Sri Lanka is not over-. But comparisons are sometimes misleading -” in our case, how true, how misleading?

I had pointed out for nearly 15 years the obvious parallels between Prabhakaran and Hitler. There was the sole -leader- (Fƒ¼hrer) demanding unquestioning obedience, the Hitler salute of outraised arm, the extensive brainwashing of the total population and an invented traditional homeland parallel to the Lebensraum of the Nazis. But it was not the LTTE that was contesting the PC elections but the TNA who had for years declared the LTTE was the sole representative of the Tamils. Now that the LTTE leadership was no more, what was the TNA leadership now saying? But first: reading the election results.

In areas not brainwashed by the LTTE, the Provincial Councils saw national parties fighting it out. In the North-Western Province and Central Province, the UPFA won handsomely with hardly any significant change in its popularity. As for the UNP, its percentage dropped in the NWP from nearly 29 per cent in 2009 to 24 per cent now, its number of seats dropping from 14 to 12 in the same period.

In the Central Province, the story repeated with the UNP tally of 22 in 2009 now becoming just 16. The JVP which only around 10 years ago was a kingmaker and could even have been kings was now down to one seat in the NWP and no seats in the CP. Fonseka-â„¢s party which was earlier sponsored by the JVP fared somewhat better getting five seats in the two PCs. As for the National Freedom Front (NFF) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), they were virtually lost politically not getting a single seat.

C. V. Wigneswaran

TNA manifesto

In the NP, national parties confronting the remnants of Nazi/Prabahakaran ideology fared badly. The UNP which had handed over the Province to the LTTE under the LTTE-engineered Ceasefire Agreement did not even get a single seat. The UPFA fared somewhat better getting somewhat over 18 per cent of the vote.

The victory of the once LTTE proxy TNA was thus done through Tamil attitudes themselves. But what of the much publicized diaspora? The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) interpreted the TNA-â„¢s overwhelming victory as Tamils wanting -political freedom- and -self-government-.

Former LTTE arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan, -ËœKP-â„¢, spoke of the TNA manifesto going beyond the Vaddukoddai resolution of 1976. The LTTE mouth piece TamilNet had been critical of Wigneswaran implying that he was a pawn of the US and India. However, TamilNet reported TNA-â„¢s Sampanthan and Sumanthiran also saying that the TNA victory superseded the Vaddukkoaddai resolution that originally called for separation. The signs were not good.

Clearly, the government development policies which gave the Northern Province the highest growth rate in the country reaching nearly 26 per cent of nominal GDP had not reached the people-â„¢s minds. An obvious parallel would be the -German miracle- which recovered economically after World War II partly due to Marshall Aid from the Western Allies that defeated them. In our case, it was the government that defeated the LTTE that had pumped huge resources into the Northern Province.

To see what -went wrong- for non-racist national parties, we must recall.

The TNA leader Wigneswaran in an interview with an Indian newspaper had compared Prabhakaran as equivalent to the national hero Keppetipola Disawe. To Wigneswaran, -Prabhakaran was a freedom fighter-.

The TNA tiger stripes were clearly showing. But his racist and separatist views had been pointed out by another prominent lawyer S. L. Gunasekara when Wigneswaran had articulated racist views as a judge of our Supreme Court as far back as 2001 at a sitting of that court. Gunasekara writing more recently has labeled Wigneswaran as an -out and out racist-. Wigneswaran had also declared that Chelvanayagam was his other hero (presumably before Prabahakaran). And Wigneswaran-â„¢s TNA manifesto spoke of the -the right to self-determination- which was the LTTE code for separatism.

This expression itself has been defined internationally as only freedom from Western imperialism. And in 2000, the UN Millennium Declaration reaffirmed this correct meaning by emphasizing that the right to self-determination was only for -peoples which remain under (Western) colonial domination and foreign occupation.-

Why, in spite of massive development efforts did separatist sentiments get voted in? To answer this we have to go to the aftermath of World War II and what the West did to remove the Nazi mental set with which racist ideology the Nazis had brainwashed the entire German population, like how Prabhakaran did.

Nazi philosophy

The winning Allies imposed a period of denazification before sponsoring development (a similar process also occurred in Japan). A report at the time said that only an -inflexible long-term- program would lead to removing the vestiges of Nazi philosophy.

This denazification covered the whole gamut of German society which had been tainted by the Nazi virus. Its aim was to remove any Nazi elements and ideology from society, press, economy, judiciary, culture and politics. Those who opposed the Nazis were brought in to identify those elements that collaborated with the Nazis. All those who had positions of influence in spreading Nazi propaganda were removed.

There was a special -Law for Liberation from National Socialism and Militarism- enacted for the purpose. As a result nearly 30,000 books were banned for carrying Nazi propaganda and were confiscated and destroyed. Possession of these books was considered a punishable crime. All symbols of the Nazis were banned. Former active Nazis were forbidden from participating in public life and were sacked. Even now, over a half century later, those who supported the Nazis find difficulty in getting certain jobs.

After World War II therefore, there was unanimous recognition that a military defeat alone would not be sufficient to get rid of the falsehoods and racist ideology which fed the Nazis. But in Sri Lanka, none of that has happened. Tamil separatism depends on the exclusive homelands idea drilled into them for over 40 years.

The only document that the Tamil separatists produce supporting the traditional homelands idea is literally two sentences by a British visitor Cleghorn who was in Sri Lanka for a few months. Cleghorn had stated in 1879 that two nations, Tamil and Sinhala had lived in Sri Lanka in the present boundaries from ancient times. His third sentence after these two stated that the Sinhalese arrived in the country from Siam indicating his level of knowledge. This virus of a separate Homeland has not been challenged within the minds of Tamils.

Traditional homelands

Thus, the Jaffna University has a huge sign board in its premises with words to the effect that those who enter it must subscribe to the traditional homelands concept. And to brainwash believers in this Goebbels-like fiction, Jaffna academics had been going to great lengths as any one monitoring the LTTE voice TamilNet can easily see. For example, they invented a fictitious -Tamil Buddhist- label to explain Buddhist artefacts found in Jaffna which were identical to those found elsewhere in Sri Lanka. During the LTTE period, they had also surreptitiously changed the labels of the Jaffna Museum. And after peace emerged, they vehemently opposed any objective archaeology as that would remove the bedrock of separatist claims that there were traditional Tamil homelands separate from the rest of the country. In the forefront of these objections to real archaeology that would blow up the traditional homelands concept were Jaffna academics.

Dr. S.K. Sitrampalam, once a member of the UGC, and now, the retired Senior Professor of Archaeology of the University of Jaffna led the charge. In statement after statement especially in the TamilNet Jaffna academics objected to real archaeology-not only by the Sri Lanka Archaeology Department but also by Western institutions. They feared this would reveal that the history of much of Jaffna province history was no different from that of the rest of the country -” exploding exclusive homelands myths.

A few months ago, Pushparatnam, another of these pro-LTTE ideology infused Jaffna academics declared publicly that a recent dig around Vavuvniya had revealed remains of -Tamil Buddhism-. As all archaeology in the country is done under the aegis of the Archaeology Department (actually under Dr Nimal Perera), I telephoned the latter and asked if this was true. Dr Nimal had been there at this excavation and Pushparatnam was there with Archaeology Department permission and Dr Nimal replied implying that the whole report of Pushparatnam-â„¢s -Tamil Buddhism- was fiction.

It is on such flimsy falsehood coming from the highest academic levels that the separatist fiction is maintained. Elsewhere in the world academics are expected to speak the truth and deliberate falsification is enough ground for dismissal.

And in the case of Jaffna University, these writers of fiction are funded solely by the Sri Lanka government, the very state for whose dissolution they are propagandizing. And when after decades of LTTE threats, the archaeology findings of the Northern Province were eventually produced, it was plain to see that as far as the archaeological evidence went, there had been no separate exclusive Tamil homelands.

As the TamilNet wrote this Dr. S.K. Sitrampalam is -the Vice President of Ilankai Thamizh Arasuk Katchi (ITAK), the main constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)-. And this Sitrampalam bears his Tiger claw when in a further TamilNet outburst he complains that: -What was refused to Prabahakaran cannot be given to others is the position of Mahinda Rajapaksa.- Sitrampalam pronounces that the -the Mullivaaykkaal (LTTE) war was like Kurukshetra (the war of the Mahabharata epic) and Tamils should never forget it-. Ideologically, the TNA is still Prabahakaran.

But current genetic research reveals the folly of racist attitudes in our island in the midst of global traffic.

Thus the six year study of Dr Ruwan Ileperuma shows that those who describe themselves as -Sinhalese- are the most genetically diverse indicating that this cultural category is the result of intermixing from many strands across the world. And -Tamils- have far less genetic diversity, indicating that they had arrived for the most part only in recent centuries and so were not subject to mixing with the populations from across the world. This was natural, as the bulk of upcountry Tamils were brought by the British in the 19th century to man the tea plantations. And the bulk of Jaffna Tamils were brought by the Dutch in the previous century to man tobacco plantations in the Jaffna Peninsula. Holding on to false racist exclusiveness does not stand up to 21st century science.

Clearly the TNA election results indicate that the LTTE ideology still persists. No wonder The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) declared that -President Rajapaksa and his government-¦ must at least now understand that mere infrastructure development and reconstruction is not what our people want-. Wigneswaran echoed this by declaring that -Roads and other infrastructure projects are just showpieces.- Wigneswaran who lives in the multi ethnic Western province and reportedly has two Sinhalese daughters-in-law is against having the same multi-ethnicity for the Northern Province.

False propaganda

The highest growth rate in Sri Lanka of nearly 30 per cent was thus not sufficient to win the minds of the brainwashed. We have militarily disarmed the North but not flushed away the false propaganda. We must always remember the Western Allies-â„¢ realization after World War II that -only an inflexible long-term program would lead to removing the vestiges of Nazi philosophy-.

Rapid development must not stop, but equally other strong measures are required to remove -the vestiges of Prabahakaran/Nazi philosophy-. This should mean among others taking strong disciplinary action against those spreading separatist falsehood. This should include universities and other organs supported by the government.

The government ban on the LTTE says that its regulations -shall also apply to every other organization and to everybody or group of persons engaged in activities substantially similar to those carried on by the (LTTE)-. The gazette notification of the ban gives these offences as -making, printing, distribution or publication of any writing- on behalf of the LTTE implying its ideology. Under the regulations the government is authorized to look into any person or organization and if it is fronting for the LTTE, to forfeit its property. And the responsible minister-â„¢s -actions shall be final.-

The core LTTE ideology is still alive waiting for reviving separatism unless speedy action is taken. The virus that kept our society mired in poverty still exists. What could be done?

University academics

First, would be to get Jaffna archaelogists on pain of not getting excavation rights to announce/discuss findings only in a proper national academic milieu. Following Western post-World War II practice, we must remove from government-paid positions all those who propagated racist Tamil fiction. It would include those who supported or justified separatism. It would include all those foreign funded NGOs who had supported directly or indirectly LTTE propaganda. These NGOs should be denied their foreign funds and closed down after due publicity. Those media personnel and University academics that had been funded by anti-national NGOs to take positions against our sovereignty should also be sanctioned. They should simply, as in Germany, be denied their livelihoods in government and positions of influence in society through their use of foreign money. As in post-War France a few well publicized, symbolic cases should suffice. The country should not pay for its own dissolution.

These are necessary surgical operations that will prevent future deaths. While we remove the influence of proven ideologues against both truth and sovereignty, other legitimate democratic criticism of the government should of course be maintained and strengthened. (And definitely, no physical threats or thugs should be used). We still have lessons to learn from the West especially from World War 11.


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14 Responses to “Real war, phoney war and voter psyche”

  1. SA Kumar Says:

    Susantha Goonatilaket
    Tamil living in TN (less than 21 miles away – in right weather one can walk from Thalai mannar to TN) Only came to Srilanka during in Dutch /English period do not make logic !!!
    FYI, Sri Lanka Tamils DNA is match with Sinhalese than TN Tamils !!!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    “And in the case of Jaffna University, these writers of fiction are funded solely by the Sri Lanka government, the very state for whose dissolution they are propagandizing.”


    This is what is happening.

    A national suicide.

    It was very FOOLISH of Sirima to open a university for Tamils.
    It was very FOOLISH of CBK to open a university for Muslims.

    They don’t deserve it.

  3. Jayantha Says:

    A serious analysis based on facts. Thank you Susantha.

    JP – USA

  4. SA Kumar Says:

    also Elara ruled his kingtom at Polanaruya before Juses (2,013 years ) time according to our Mahavamsam !!!
    live & let live !
    unity in diversity , no short cut !!!

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Jaffna university is a hotbed of Tamil racism.
    South Eastern university of a hotbed of Islamic Jihad racism.


    I agree thuggery should not be used but violence must be part of the solution package. Otherwise it CANNOT be done. King Dutugemunui used it, 15 other kings used it, all governments from 1983 to 2009 used it. Even Endia used it!! Even the Allies used it against Nazis and the Japs!!!

    Ruling out violence as part of the solution package means we are not getting anywhere. By violence I don’t mean mindless violence which is a BIG NO. What I mean is SURGICAL REMOVAL of KEY Tamil racists. That can save millions of minds from infection.

    e.g. During the war, someone killed Parayajasingham, Raviraj, Maheswaran, Srinivasan, etc. ALL MPs. That did a lot of good for the country. Had they not died, we are now facing a DOUBLE STRENGTH TNA and a worse UNP!

    Tamils’ problem is Tamil racism, Sinhalese problem is ruling out violence TOTALLY to resolve it (among other means).

    Why can’t BOTH learn from history?

  6. thurai Says:

    more than 90% of Tamil who live in Northern part of Sri Lanka and Diaspora are Brainwashed.
    TNA is unable to call a single family from south of Sri Lanka to resettle in the north or stop a single person
    who go to the west for better life. Tamils enjoy better life in all part of Sri Lanka and in Western countries
    without any assitance from a single Tamil Politician.

    Are they (TNA)prpared to show the way to the Tamils to live only in Northern Part of Sri Lanka?
    TNA members want majority and power in the North. Not to serve to the Tamils.
    They allow Tamils go anywhere and settle for their life.

    They have fear of their monoply in the North by settling other communities in the North.

    DO anyone of the TNA member consider the Problems of a man from the north is same as in the south?

    They don´t care of Tamils , Muslims or Sinhalese in the South.


    TNA from Sri Lanka not any seperated Land. TNA has responsibility for all Tamils who live all over Sri Lanka.

    If they don´t consider about Tamils who live in the south, It is better to Remove the (Tamil) from their political Partynames.

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    India, which INITIATED and FOSTERED Tamil Eelamist terrorism in Sri Lanka, then INVADED and FORCED the 13th Amendment down UNWILLING Sri Lanka’s throat, NOW PUSHES to Complete the JOB of DISINTEGRATING Sri Lanka into a patchwork Communal Fiefdoms, even as India itself unravels piece by piece!

    If President Mahinda Rajapaksa thought the PC Elections was going to REDUCE the PRESSURE …. he will be severely disappointed.

    The PC Elections has only ENCOURAGED Sri Lanka’s Tormentors into thinking that Sri Lanka is NOW SUSCEPTIBLE to MORE BLACKMAIL … and the PRESSURE will GROW into a veritable STORM!

    The GOSL has forgotten the ancient DICTUM that WEAKNESS BEGETS AGGRESSION!

    AT LEAST NOW, Dear Mr. President …. REVOKE the 13th Amendment & DISMANTLE the Provincial Councils! Summon the Courage to Stand Fast on your native wit, or our Motherland will eventually belong to foreigners!

    India calls for a political solution in Sri Lanka based on full implementation of 13th Amendment

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Oct 07, Colombo: India today said that it looks forward to an early resumption of the dialogue process to reach a political settlement in Sri Lanka based on the full implementation of 13th Amendment to the Constitution in a timely manner.

    Issuing a media statement following a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart Prof. G.L. Peiris, the visiting External Affairs Minister of India, Salman Khurshid said India is committed to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and ready to offer its assistance to take the process forward.

    “It is our hope that the vision and leadership that resulted in an end to armed conflict and holding of elections to the Northern Province, will now be employed to work for genuine reconciliation,” Khurshid said.

    “We will continue to work with the Government of Sri Lanka, and help in whatever way we can, to take this process forward, in a spirit of partnership and cooperation.”

    The Indian Minister, who arrived in Colombo this morning on a two-day official visit, held discussions with Minister Peiris this afternoon on all issues of bilateral, regional and international concern and reviewed the progress in various areas, including trade, investment, development cooperation, culture and education.

    The two ministers have reviewed the progress made in implementation of the Indian assisted projects for IDPs, particularly the Housing Project, as well as projects relating to the development of railway infrastructure in the North and the South.

    They also have discussed the fishermen’s issue and agreed on the need to deal with it in a humane manner without resorting to violence under any circumstances.

    The two ministers have agreed to encourage fishermen’s associations on both sides, which had met in the past and reached some understandings, to meet again to work on resolving the issue.

    Minister Khurshid said the India-funded development cooperation projects, including the housing and railway projects are progressing well and are expected to be completed on schedule.

    The two sides are to ink 8 agreements related to the Sampur Thermal Power Project and a MoU for Technical Assistance in support of the 10-year National Plan for a Trilingual Sri Lanka later today at the Presidential Secretariat.

    With the signing of the agreements, the work on the power plant will commence promptly and will be sped up to complete the project by 2016, Khurshid said.

    The visiting Minister said he is hopeful that, through the MoU for implementation of the Trilingual Plan, India will be able to contribute to this important initiative to aid national reconciliation and promote harmony among the various linguistic communities in Sri Lanka.

    Khurshid said he was pleased with the significant expansion of bilateral trade in goods which is aimed at reaching US$ 5 billion mark.

    Noting India’s significant contribution in the area of investments and tourist arrivals, Minister Khurshid pointed out the need to finalize a more comprehensive framework of economic cooperation to sustain the positive momentum in the bilateral trade and economic relations.

    The visiting Minister is scheduled to meet the President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow. He will also visit Jaffna to review India-funded development assistance projects and will meet the Governor and the Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council.

    He expressed hope that “successful culmination of elections to the Northern Province will usher a new beginning towards a better future for the people in the North.”

    “India has been consistent in calling for an early political settlement and national reconciliation through meaningful devolution of powers, so to ensure that all citizens of Sri Lanka, including the Sri Lankan Tamil community, would lead a life marked by equality, justice, dignity and self-respect,” Khurshid said.

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    WEAKNESS BEGETS AGGRESSION …. Onwards to Secession for “Self Determination” for less than 10% of Sri Lanka’s people!

    I say AGAIN: WEAKNESS BEGETS AGGRESSION: May I have a wee bit more …. as OLiver Twist said …. AGAIN & AGAIN until there not ONE country but many countries in minute Sri Lanka!

    Tamil Voters Demand Real Change, But Can TNA Deliver?

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Oct 07 (Diplomat) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which won a handsome majority at Sri Lanka�s Northern Provincial Council elections on September 21, says it will use its mandate to demand greater self-governance.

    But with the Sri Lanka government resisting self-governance by simplistically labeling it as secession, it is important to know what exactly the TNA is going to do to deliver on its promises to the Tamil people.

    The election to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) is its first, although legislation for the establishment of provincial councils was introduced in 1988 following a treaty between India and Sri Lanka, the Indo-Lanka Accord. The councils became law through the 13th Amendment to the constitution, designed to devolve power to the provinces for sharing political power.

    With the rebel LTTE’s military defeat in May 2009, but hardly any letup in human rights violations or discrimination against the Tamils, Sri Lankans and the international community upped their call for the Sinhala ruling class to share power with the Tamils through the provincial councils.

    But the TNA, and the Tamils that support it, have been unequivocal that devolution to provincial councils is grossly inadequate for real power sharing. They say the root of the problem lies in Sri Lanka’s unitary constitution. Unitary constitutional structures ensure that central governments enjoy tight control on the extent of power devolved to units such as the councils.

    This view was confirmed when the Sinhala-dominated Colombo government began tightening control over devolution before the election. For one, the government moved to block the use of land and police powers already devolved to the councils. Second, it manipulated legislation so that it did not require the consent of all provincial councils for Colombo to introduce legislation that affected the councils.

    It was in this contentious atmosphere that C. V. Wigneswaran, TNA’s chief minister candidate for the election, came out with a curious statement. In an interview on July 17 with Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror he was asked with the government trying to curtail police and land powers, how the TNA was planning to respond. Wigneswaran, while admitting to shortcomings in devolution under the 13th Amendment said, “My point is, there has been no democratic institution for the Northern Province so far, so let us at least establish it under the [13th Amendment]. Thereafter, like Oliver Twist we could ask for a little more.”

    But the question is: what Northern Province Tamils in particular, and other Tamils in general, expect from the TNA and whether “asking for a little more,” hat in hand, is going to yield results.

    If anything, government-Tamil relations between Wigneswaran’s statement on July 17 and today have become more polarized. For instance, the Supreme Court ruling on September 27 said control over land is vested in the central government and not in the provincial councils. This means the government’s reckless land-grabbing in the North, which could have been restricted to a point if the NPC had power over land distribution, will go on unchecked.

    But more important, the TNA’s election manifesto was an open acknowledgement that power sharing with Colombo under a unitary constitution is inadequate. It lays down categorically that the resolution of the Tamil question has to be based on shared sovereignty and federal structures, which recognize the Tamils’ right to self determination.

    Third, the Tamils are fed up with the political oppression in the North, spearheaded by the military terrorizing the population despite the end of armed combat. The restiveness of the Tamils has reached a point of desperation. A recent example of public outrage was in August when families of disappeared persons were prevented from meeting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillai. YouTubevideos show the public challenging the police, unafraid of imminent physical danger because their need to be heard was greater.

    Therefore, it is a sullen, restive Tamil public with which NPC councilors have to deal. On the one hand, the public will demand from their elected representatives answers about the repression by military and government officials. The TNA has to provide substantive, credible answers that might allay public outrage.

    At the same time, if the TNA is serious about self determination and shared sovereignty as the basis of a political settlement, the obduracy of the government and the Sinhala ruling class will have to be overcome to achieve it. That will require the TNA to mobilize the public through protests, strikes and civil disobedience. It also needs the support of the international community and coordination with political forces in India’s Tamil Nadu and the Tamil diaspora.

    All in all, voters in the Northern Province have declared that the time for substantive change has arrived by electing the TNA. The question is whether the TNA can provide the leadership to channel these energies to productive ends. It appears to require more than playing Oliver Twist.

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    What Boloney … India is NO FRIEND of Sri Lanka!

    Don’t give the Sampur Power Plant Project to India … HALT it NOW & find alternative FUNDING!

    REDUCE, not INCREASE, India’s FOOTPRINT in Sri Lanka …. this is a DEADLY, SUFFOCATING, Embrace!

    Strategic ties vs domestic pressure: Khurshid’s tricky Mission Lanka

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Oct 07 (FP) When Salman Khurshid undertakes his first official visit to Sri Lanka (7-8 October) since becoming External Affairs Minister, he will be doing a tightrope walk in balancing India’s domestic political compulsions with strategic and foreign policy imperatives.

    This will be a challenging diplomatic assignment for Khurshid as well as for the Congress-led UPA coalition at a time when the general elections are drawing nigh and the UPA government would not like to do anything that alienates or infuriates the Tamil parties. After all, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry send 40 MPs to the 543-member Lok Sabha.

    On top of Khurshid’s agenda for his Mission Lanka must be the Thirteenth Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution aimed at devolution of power equitably at the provincial level in Sri Lanka. India has been pressing Colombo to implement, and even improve, the amendment as soon as possible but the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa has been dragging its feet. The Thirteenth Amendment is important for India as it flows from the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987.

    This is what Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur had to say in parliament on 14 August 2013 about the Thirteenth Amendment:

    “There have been recent reports of plans by the Government of Sri Lanka to amend certain provisions of the Sri Lankan Constitution relating to the functioning of Provincial Councils. India has long advocated the creation of an environment in Sri Lanka in which all communities, particularly the Sri Lankan Tamils, are masters of their own destiny within the framework of a united Sri Lanka. Our objective continues to remain the achievement of a future for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that is marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-respect. In this context, India has been engaged with the Government of Sri Lanka at the highest levels on its stated commitment to implement the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution and to go beyond, so as to achieve meaningful devolution of powers.”

    Sri Lanka’s Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which recently registered a landslide win in the Northern Provincial elections, has also been demanding further improvement in the Thirteenth Amendment and a re-merger of Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern provinces which were de-merged seven years ago following a Supreme Court order. For their part, Indian Tamil parties have been vying with one another in their efforts to exert pressure on the UPA government to nudge the Rajapakse government into giving the Sri Lankan Tamils their due as soon as possible.

    It was because of such immense domestic pressure that the UPA government voted against Sri Lanka and supported a United States-sponsored resolution on human rights violations in the island nation before the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva in March this year.

    The Indian move proved to be neither politically correct nor diplomatically wise as neither of the two sides India was trying to play a balancing act with Indian Tamil parties and the Sri Lanka government was happy with the Indian decision.

    The DMK promptly announced it would pull out from the UPA government for doing a grave injustice to the Tamils by watering down the resolution and helping the Sri Lankan government by pushing new elements in the resolution.

    The Sri Lankan government, which indeed was helped by India at the UNHRC, did not take India’s covert help in the spirit India had hoped. Instead, Colombo squirmed and fumed at New Delhi.

    To make matters worse for India from a larger strategic point of view, Pakistan voted in support of Sri Lanka and against the US-sponsored India-supported resolution. Though the resolution was eventually carried with 25 countries in the 47-nation UNHRC, Pakistan managed to walk away with crucial brownie points.

    It is against this backdrop that Khurshid would be in Colombo on Monday for talks with his counterpart GL Peiris on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

    Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs, said issues relating to fishermen would likely be a major focus of discussions as the number of Indian fishermen arrested so far in 2013 exceeds the total number of fishermen arrested the whole of last year. India has been attaching high priority to the welfare, safety and security of fishermen and has been emphasizing on the need to address the issue in a humanitarian manner.

    The discussions between the two ministers are also likely to encompass trade, investment and development cooperation. They will also address issues relating to the Sampur Thermal Power Project and aspects of Indian technical assistance to Sri Lanka.

    Khurshid will also meet President Rajapaksa as well as leaders from across the spectrum of the Sri Lankan polity. He will visit Jaffna and review the ongoing development projects being undertaken there with Indian assistance, including a flagship project to provide 50,000 housing units to people displaced in the war. The housing project is being undertaken with full grant assistance of the Indian government with a total outlay of Rs 1372 crore (about $ 225 million at current exchange rates).

    Khurshid’s visit also comes close on the heels of the successful culmination of elections to the Northern Provincial Council last month. India has noted the positive statements made by the TNA and the Sri Lankan government and expressed satisfaction that they had expressed willingness to work with each other for the progress of the people of the Northern Province.

    During his visit to the Northern Province, Khurshid wil meet with the Governor and the Chief Minister. He will stress on meaningful political reconciliation with all the political stakeholders he will be interacting with.

    India has much at stake, diplomatically and strategically, in its bilateral relations with Sri Lanka. Close ties between the countries go back to 2500 years.

    In the recent past, India has deepened its strategic engagement with the island nation. India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon was in Colombo in July this year to attend the second NSA-level Meeting on Trilateral Cooperation on Maritime Security between India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    In effect, these Tamil Lawyers are disputing the UNITARY status of Sri Lanka and the authority of the Central Government over the Provinces.

    That is, they are advocating SECESSION.

    Bloody TRAITORS …. PROSECUTE them & FLING them into Prison to contemplate their follies and their navels!

    Tamil lawyers condemn Wigneswaran’s decision

    By Dinasena Rathugamage
    October 6, 2013, 9:44 pm

    The TNA’s Norther Province Chief Minister elect, C.V. Wigneswaran, opting to be sworn in before President Mahinda Rajapaksa was an unjust decision, Tamil lawyers said yesterday.

    Secretary to the Sri Lanka Tamil Lawyers’ Association R. Ratnavel said the Wigneswaran’s decision to take oath before President Rajapaksa would be detrimental to the cause of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The association issued a statement on Saturday (05) taking exception to the former Supreme Court Justice cum TNA chief minister elect, Wigneswaran’s swearing in scheduled for today (07).

    When contacted for comment, Ratnavel said that Tamils had complained to the UN Human Rights Council against President Rajapaksa over atrocities against civilians during the war.

    Ratnavel said the TNA had no moral right to take oaths before the President. The Tamils of the country had given a mandate to the TNA and the TNA should not go behind the government, he stressed.

    The TNA, on the one hand, demanded for a federal solution and, on the other, struck deals with the President, Ratnavel said.

  11. Ananda-USA Says:

    Don’t give NORWAY any ACCESS to INTERFERE in Sri Lanka again!

    Have we already forgotten their support for the creation of an Eelam in Sri Lanka?

    These are the vipers helping to orchestrate the UN assault on Sri Lanka. Don’t bless them with official sanction to revive their Eelamist activities in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province.

    Kick them OUT, and keep them OUT! … PERMANENTLY!

    Norway to continue assistance for Northern development

    By Nadira Gunatilleke
    October 7, 2013

    Norwegian Ambassador Grete Lochen and Second Secretary Marte Torskenaes met Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva recently.

    Norwegian government is happy about the peace achieved by Sri Lanka and it will continue to assist the development process taking place in the North, Norwegian Ambassador Grete Lochen said.

    She expressed these views when she met Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva recently.

    She inquired about the continuation of development process in the Northern Province after TNA’s PC election victory.

    Minister de Silva explained her that the government considers Northern PC as a part of the unitary state, Sri Lanka and continue to carry out all development work as usual without any difference. Same treatment will be given to both the South and the North.

    It is the responsibility of the TNA to work with the government.

    Minister de Silva pointed out that the International community has already accepted that the Northern PC election was a free and fair one.

    He requested the support of the Norwegian government to carry out development work in the North.

  12. Ananda-USA Says:

    Sri Lanka to show evidence to Indian Minister on extensive poaching by Indian fishermen

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Oct 07, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government says that it would show evidence of extensive poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters to visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

    External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama said that the Indian Minister would be shown evidence of the extensive poaching by thousands of Indian boats in Sri Lankan waters.

    He noted that the issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters is nothing new, but it remains a matter to be discussed again.

    Amunugama has explained that Sri Lanka would look at getting a reduction in the number of boats poaching in Sri Lankan waters.

    Sri Lankan naval officials annually arrest hundreds of Indian fishermen who poach in Sri Lankan waters.

    Sri Lanka recently changed its policy on the Indian fishermen invading country’s waters. Instead of the earlier method of ‘catch and release’ now the poaching fishermen will be detained and produced in court. The fishermen will be released after they plead guilty and their boats will be confiscated.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Some points to note :

    * After WW II, Germany has a Constitution written by US President Harry Truman and his team. Nazi thinking and governance has been wiped out with this Constitution. Sri Lanka has an enforced (by India) 13-A added to its Constitution. The 13-A encourages Separatism and therefore has to be removed with an island wide Referendum.

    * Buddhism has not been popular among the Tamil people of Lanka or Tamil Nadu. Never was and unlikely to be so in the future. Tamils of Lanka belong in Tamil Nadu, re both religion & culture. They remain in Lanka because there is no recognition of the Caste Structure by any GoSL (unlike in Tamil Nadu with 11 Million Tamil people classified under Scheduled Castes and some 95,000 ‘nigh soil carriers’ employed according to caste by the sub-state govt. of TN), free education & health care, plus official use of the Tamil language. The folks who used the Tamils of Lanka as Indentured Labor do not offer such facilities in their respective countries, i.e. Britain & the Netherlands. No wonder Lanka has a Separatist problem.

    * The main uniting factor for Caste bound and separated Tamil people is Tamil Eelam. Therefore, it is unlikely that Tamil leaders (almost all Vellala higher caste), will let that uniting bait drop out. If Tamil Eelam ever happens, the Caste Structure will be enforced in full force and the North will be an appendage of Tamil Nadu. As most of the Tamil voting people are considered lower in the caste scale, will they ever want that ? So, it suits the Tamil voters not to have Tamil Eelam. They too would silently welcome the removal of the 13-A. Thurai, who writes into the Lankaweb columns, says that most Tamils agree that Caste will be re-imposed via North government if Eelam happens. Therefore, it suits the majority of Northern Tamils and the rest of Lanka population that the 13-A is removed. Whom are we trying to please here by keeping the 13-A on ?

    * The question of Tamil illegal migrants : All illegal migrants must be deported. Or else, this practice will continue to the detriment of the whole Nation. They have already been allowed to vote after a temporary ID card cover. The TNA has broken the law on many counts in the Northern election – are these elections valid ?

  14. Lorenzo Says:

    This Endian fishermen thing has to be dropped now.

    ONLY Tamils benefit from the northern fish. No use protecting it.

    Get Vigneswaran to protect it. Then we can create friction between Tamil Nadu and SL Tamils. This is the way to do things.

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