Racist Devolution (Not Ordinary Devolution) Proposed for Sri Lanka by New Constitution
Posted on October 24th, 2017

Dilrook Kannangara

There are two informal types of devolution in the world – devolution of power to the periphery without regard to ethnicity, and, racist devolution. In racist devolution, power is devolved to states/republics/units/regions based on race or ethnicity and decisions are taken by wholly or mostly mono-ethnic provincial Cabinets. There are not many living examples of racist devolution for obvious reasons! India is the only surviving nation with racist devolution. Successful power devolution (e.g. Australia, USA, Canada) devolve power to multi-ethnic governing Councils.

What is proposed for Sri Lanka is not the ordinary devolution as found in Australia, USA, etc. but racist devolution found in the relics of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and India.

Racist devolution is inherently divisive, unstable and tribal. It may work for a collection of a few existing nations to come together temporarily but doesn’t work for others. It is against reconciliation, co-existence and harmony. Even if one supports devolution, he/she must not support racist devolution as proposed for Sri Lanka.

NPC Has Always Veered into Ultra Tamil Racism

Northern Provincial Council and its key members have always veered into ultra Tamil racism. In 1988, India handpicked the members of the Northern and Eastern Provincial Council members from the north from the EPRLF. Eastern councillors were elected. However, within less than two years, the Council veered into ultra Tamil racism and ended when it had to be dissolved for declaring unilateral independence.

Recently elected NPC has already shown signs of Tamil ultra racism. Even TNA regulars find it disturbing! NPC Chief Minister demeans Sinhalese, insults Sinhala history and regularly makes statements that are not conducive to ethnic harmony. Sinhala villagers in Vavuniya have been totally neglected. Displaced Sinhalese from the north in 1977 and displaced Muslims from the north in 1990 are not allowed to be resettled.

NPC Cabinet is essentially Tamil-only and belongs to parties with Tamil” only slogans, members and names. A definite failure of reconciliation. If this mechanism continues, there will be conflict. This has happened because the Northern Provincial area is almost entirely Tamil-only and its politics has always been dominated by tribal politics. A province that has a mix of all ethnic groups will not end up like this. For instance, a state in a peaceful nation (USA, Canada or Australia) has a mix of many ethnic groups where politicians must rely on all to win. They cannot afford to be racist.

India Barely Survives as the Only Living Racist Devolution Example

After its close allies Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia demised along ethnic boundaries (and continue to disintegrate along ethnic lines in Ukraine, Georgia, Chechnya, Bosnia, Serbia, Armenia, etc.), India is the only surviving country with racist devolution. However, there are regular and persistent attacks and persecution of minorities in India. A former Chief Minister was complicit in large scale riots in a state, Muslims in Kashmir and most states are variously attacked and killed, churches are burnt almost every month and low-caste” people are denied fundamental rights. If Sri Lanka continues with 13A or worse, adopts the proposed new constitution, these things will happen in Sri Lanka as well. What happened to a train in Gujarat in 2001 will happen to Yal Devi, what happened in Ayodya will happen in Lanka, disputes over river water in South India will take place in the north and east and disputes of places of religious worship will worsen.

Is this what we want?

Even India Regrets Ethnicity Based Devolution Now!

India appointed the Sarkaria Commission in 1983 to look into centre-state relations. The following are excerpts from the Commission’s report.

If a particular community, religious or linguistic group claims one region of its country as its homeland, it generates antagonism of other communities or groups both within that region and elsewhere; for the very idea of ‘homeland within a country implies a pernicious discrimination between the so called original inhabitants, or ‘sons of the soil’ and so called ‘immigrants’ or ‘outsiders’ from other States. Practice and promotion of such unhealthy ideas eventually lead to the creation of two or more classes of citizens all over the country” (page 16, section 1.4.25).

Among the more pernicious of these motivations (for political power) can be recognized the role of vested interests in converting legitimate aspirations into strident discord and dissent by clever manipulation and encouragement of psychological alienation. The use of the sub-national plank for building of leadership which  commands attention at the national level is another strong motivation which is responsible for throwing up the most vociferous leaders. It is from these origins that the more extreme forms of dissent and revolt against the existing order emerge in the form of extremist and terrorist action” (page 16, section 1.4.27).

–          Sarkaria Commission Report


This is the dangerous fate that awaits Sri Lanka too. However, Sri Lanka doesn’t have the safeguards India has.

A Better Devolution Model (Australia, USA, Canada) If Devolution is Needed

If Sri Lanka’s power devolution units can be broadened to have a sufficient ethnic mix, then the harmonious and prosperous Australian, US or Canadian devolution model can be implemented. This is real devolution that unites people. There is no room for mono-ethnic enclaves and parties. People of different ethnic groups work together.

This is not what 13A created and not what is proposed in the new constitution.

Those who support devolution but oppose racism must demand a devolution model as in Australia, USA or Canada where there are no mono-ethnic enclaves. Otherwise, devolutionists in Sri Lanka are racists in disguise.

Say no to racist devolution proposed for Sri Lanka. All nations that followed it (except one,) can be found only in museums and history books following bloodbaths. Sri Lanka cannot afford to have another conflict. Devolution units must be defined to have a sufficient ethnic mix for them to be harmonious and peaceful.

10 Responses to “Racist Devolution (Not Ordinary Devolution) Proposed for Sri Lanka by New Constitution”

  1. Senerath Says:

    I say NO to ALL DEVOLUTIONS ! DEVOLUTION not applicable to Sri Lanka !

    Even is Australia, State Governements are a waste of time and money. Of course a continent like Australia it make sense to have some form of decentralized adminstration, however, election and a many parliaments are a waste. You will find various red tapes due to varying laws in States and Territories. 2nd Grade politicians in 2nd Grade parliaments have become jokers. Often there are conflicts in spending when money generated by one state is being used to subsidise another State.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    My thanks to Sugath Kulatunga for sharing the Sarkaria Commission findings. Sugath has written extensively on 13A comparing it against the Indian model. 13A lacks even the very basic safeguards in the Indian model.

    Everyone concerned about the type of devolution in India and Sri Lanka must read this report. Ethnicity demarcated devolution is an irreversible disaster.

    I’m sure India used 13A to destroy Sri Lanka at a time when these findings were coming out. The Commission was formed in 1983 headed by an Indian supreme court judge and the final report was officially released in 1988. However, before that, snippets of vital findings were released.

  3. SA Kumar Says:

    13A lacks even the very basic safeguards in the Indian model.- Sorry 13A have same (99%) as Indian model ONLY lacking in Mother lanka 6A not implement as 16A in Indian model.
    If We have implement 6A &13A together ( not one or none) Our 2500 years problem disapire over night .

    We need a Geat Sinhela Leader who can openly say He will implement 6A & 13A fully & a Great Thamil leader to say We will settle with 6A & 13A !!!!

    as a Tamil I can suggest Doucles Devanada (EPDP) for Tamil side , who could be Sinhela leader ? GR ( Both have blood in their hands)

  4. SA Kumar Says:

    13A lacks even the very basic safeguards in the Indian model.- Sorry 13A have same (99%) as Indian model ONLY lacking in Mother lanka 6A not implement as 16A in Indian model.
    If We have implement 6A &13A together ( not one or none) Our 2500 years problem disapire over night .

    We need a Geat Sinhela Leader who can openly say He will implement 6A & 13A fully & a Great Thamil leader to say We will settle with 6A & 13A !!!!

    as a Tamil I can suggest Doucles Devanada (EPDP) for Tamil side , who could be Sinhela leader ? GR ( Both have some thing common in their hands )

  5. Senerath Says:

    Unitary Constitution

    A unitary constitution is governed as a single unit. . The power of governance is not divided, instead totally lies in the hands of a central government. Various states have no rights to interfere in or oppose the decisions taken by the central government. The powers that the subdivided units exercise are decided or delegated by the central government. It may abrogate the actions taken by the devolved governments or curtail their powers. As an example, United Kingdom has a unitary constitution.

    Federal Constitution

    A federal constitution has features that are the exact opposite of those in the unitary form of constitution. Unlike Unitary constitution, federal constitution is a two-tier system of governance, where the governance is divided and sub-divided into states and provinces with constitution of their own, having independent powers of making decisions. The central government has its supremacy in some matters, where the state governments have supreme powers on their states in al other matters. The two types of governments work in tandem, co-ordinate and work towards making the country a better organized and governed space. It is an association of governments working for a higher, common goal. The key points of a federal constitution include the compulsion of a written document as the constitution, rigid procedure of amendment, distribution of powers between state and centre and supremacy of judiciary.

    India- A federal or a unitary constitution?

    The constitution of India has components of both federal and unitary constitution.

    The unitary nature of the Indian constitution can be stated through various facts. The state governments are ruled by the central government when it comes to the derivation of powers, The states do not have separate constitutions of their own. The regulations are the same for everyone in the country. The state governors are appointed by the President. The union law prevails in case of conflicts. There exists a single judiciary system in India. The greatest power lies with the Supreme Court.
    The Indian Constitution also has federal characteristics. The dual system of the government and the division of powers is a federal characteristic. Article 370 of the constitution (that provides a special status to Jammu & Kashmir) is an exception to the above point and is a federal characteristic. J&K has a separate constitution of its own.

    The Indian Constitution is an amalgamation of federal and unitary constitution, that makes it quasi-federal. It has been done for a common goal of creating a fair governance.

  6. aloy Says:

    After robbing the central bank they now want to rob the birthright of yet unborn children of the country. Is this what the ranawiruwos bargained fore when they gave their life and limbs to liberate the country?. I hope they will take appropriate action if the robbers proceed further. A Catolonia type disaster should be averted by not allowing the parliament to debate this this matter. If they do a computer jilmart or some other jugglery will be staged after bribing the whole lot. What they did with the empowerment of women’s bill is a case in point.

    As the venerable monks say there are more pressing issues to be solved.

  7. SA Kumar Says:

    United Kingdom has a unitary constitution- Sorry wrong Scotland have own parliament & own money & own scotish law
    All major ( England, Wales, Scotland & N ireland ) have almost every thing include finance except Defence .

    We need same as Indian Union state system nothing else thats what we have (13A & 6A) now just need to implement step by step. it may take 20 to 25 years , why hurry , We-Tamil not going any where last 2,500 years or more ….. actually We-Tamils are coming time to time ( EG :Estate Tamil) to keep our ratio 3 :1 to kick out any Indian(Northern) invaders (eg IPKF).

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Excellent discussion here. Thanks to all who have written in.


    Some points to note. Please permit me to digress iinto related areas too.

    1.Size of INDIA 1.3 MILLION Sq Miles.

    Size of Sri Lanka, 25,000 Sq Miles.

    So, INDIA is about 50 times larger than Lanka.

    Will the INDIAN model fit Lanka ? NO !
    In fact, the INDIAN model does not appear to fit INDIA well enough, right now.

    3. INDIA is divided via Languages with an overlay of the Hindi Language. It’s not working well enough to hold the country together, as already stated.
    The ILLEGAL INDIA imposed 13-A tries the same gimmick in Lanka, viz Division via Language/Ethnicity, tying up the Tamil community to Tamil Nadu, INDIA.
    Tamils must ask themselves : Who feeds, educates, and shelters them and give free Health Care ? Is it Sri Lanka or some other country ?
    If the Tamil folk want to leave Lanka for better pastures, they are quite free to do so. But as long as they are in Lanka, we request them to be PATRIOTS & NATIONALISTS.

    Lanka does not need to be divided via Languages.
    The Sinhala Language can be the Official Language, with English & Tamil as Link Languages.
    Public places can carry name boards in all three languages.

    4. There is ample freedom of worship in Lanka, so that issue can be set aside.
    We suggest that a moratarium on building of places of worship be done for a period of 30-50 yrs in order to stop new area claims.

    5. Various forms of dissent are being used by the Tamil Separatists and the ‘Divide & Rule’ folk, so that the Sinhala people react sharply, and a situation similar to 1983 trumped up Riots will happen so that Eelam is a ‘done deal’. Lesson Learnt is NEVER to riot in protest – allow only peaceful protest.

    6. Ordinary Tamil folk must realise that their CASTE/poverty problems of Tamil Nadu (over 15 Million Dalit Tamis), cannot be solved by acquiring Eelam. Any Eelam in Lanka will have Tamil Nadu culture with CASTE attached.

    7. Governance : Best thing to do is to have the District as the unit for the Centre to govern, with the SLAS in place as the linking factor. There can be various Grama Seva units within each District.

    8. Re the Economy : The Co-op system ought to be used widely as possible, as a safe, local way to create wealth, jobs, community based activities etc.
    Research published by teh Worldwatch Institute found htat in 2012, approximately One Billion people in 96 countries had become memers of at least one co-op. The turnover of the largest three hundred co-ops in the world reached $2.2 Trillion, which, if they were a country, would make them the seventh largest economic power in the world.
    Co-ops rarely go ‘belly up’ in the first 5 yrs of business.

    In Lanka, Co-ops would create safe jobs, unity of communities, etc., and far superior when compared with RW’s ‘Crash & Sell” plans plus the new and deadly Constitution.

    In Lanka, Small & Medium enterprises ought to be encouraged. Co-ops can even function under an umbrella Corporation.

    Please read ‘Co-operatives’ under Wikipedia on the net.

  9. Senerath Says:

    @SA Kumar,
    Scotland …etc. are still under UK constitution.

    OK. When you have your own Rupee and Parliament what are going to achieve more ?

    At the moment Tamil people in the North are paid everything from money taxed from Sinhala people. Income form the North is not sufficient to run your Tamil parliament. Kotia people form foreign countries visting North to make blue films by raping school girls and murdering. May be Vigneshwaran hope to make income from this type of industry.

    I guarantee it will be hell for Tamil people. You better let Basil win. He will do everything for Tamil people as he has done before and he mentioned what he was about to do but couldn’t do because you people voted for the ‘ man they thought more compassinate.

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    Under the Proposed NEW TRAITORS CONSTITUTION of Sri Lanka, the National Government of Sri Lanka would not have the power to DISMISS a MERGED Northern and Eastern Provincial Government from DECLARING INDEPENDENCE UNILATERALLY, as the Central Government of Spain INTENDS TO DO under Spain’s Constitution to stop Catalonia from EXERCISING the independence it DECLARED UNILATERALY …. today!

    Sri Lanka will not have the POWER to PROTECT ITSELF from DISINTEGRATION as Spain DOES under its Constitution! Are we PATRIOTS going to ALLOW the Yamapalanaya to ENACT this TREASON??

    Catalonia declares independence from Spain, direct Madrid rule looms

    By Sam Edwards and Angus MacSwan

    Reuters•October 27, 2017

    BARCELONA/MADRID (Reuters) – The Spanish government moved to impose direct rule over Catalonia on Friday, stripping the region of its autonomy less than an hour after its parliament declared independence in a stunning show of defiance to Madrid.
    Related Searches
    Catalunya SpainSpain Catalonia IndependenceSpain Catalonia ReferendumMap Of Spain CataloniaCatalan Spain

    Although the Catalan declaration appears to be a doomed gesture, both sides’ moves take Spain’s worst political crisis in four decades to a new and possibly dangerous level.

    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called for calm and said the rule of law would be restored in Catalonia, where secessionists have long cherished the dream of a separate nation.

    A crowd of more than 2,000 independence supporters gathered in the Ciutadella Park outside the regional parliament in Barcelona, shouting “Liberty” in Catalan and singing traditional songs as the independence vote went through.

    The motion passed in the parliament after a passionate debate from advocates and opponents of independence said Catalonia constituted an independent, sovereign and social democratic state.

    Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont left the chamber to shouts of “President!” and mayors who had come from outlying areas brandished their ceremonial batons and sang the Catalan anthem “Els Segadors” (The Reapers).

    “Catalonia is and will be a land of freedom. In times of difficulty and in times of celebration. Now more than ever”, Puigdemont said on Twitter.

    But immediately after news of the vote, which three opposition parties boycotted, Spanish shares and bonds were sold off, reflecting business concern over the turmoil in the wealthy region.

    Within an hour, the upper house of Spain’s parliament in Madrid authorized Rajoy’s government to rule Catalonia directly — an unprecedented move in Spain since the return of democracy in the late 1970s.

    In Brussels, the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said the independence vote changed nothing and the EU would only deal with the central government.

    The United States, Britain, France and Germany also swiftly dismissed the declaration and expressed support for Rajoy’s efforts to keep Spain united.


    Rajoy’s cabinet was meeting on Friday evening to adopt the first measures to govern Catalonia. This could include firing the Barcelona government and assuming direct supervision of Catalan police forces.

    “Exceptional measures should only be adopted when no other remedy is possible,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in an address to the Senate on Friday morning.

    “In my opinion there is no alternative. The only thing that can be done and should be done is to accept and comply with the law,” said Rajoy, who has staked out an uncompromising position.

    How direct rule would work on the ground – including the reaction of civil servants and the police – is uncertain. Some independence supporters have promised to mount a campaign of civil disobedience.

    The main secessionist group, the Catalan National Assembly, called on civil servants not to follow orders from the Spanish government and urged them to follow “peaceful resistance”.

    “Tensions are likely to rise significantly over the coming days,” Antonio Barroso of Teneo Intelligence said in a note.

    “Demonstrators might try to prevent the police from removing Catalan ministers from their offices if the central government decides to do so. This increases the risk of violent clashes with the police.”

    The crisis unfolded after Catalonia held an independence referendum on Oct. 1 which was declared illegal by Madrid. Although it endorsed independence, it drew only a 43 percent turnout as Catalans who oppose independence largely boycotted it.

    The crisis has split Catalonia and caused deep resentment around Spain. National flags now hang from many balconies in the capital in an expression of unity.

    Catalonia is one of Spain’s most prosperous regions and already has a high degree of autonomy. But it has a litany of historic grievances, exacerbated during the 1939-1975 Franco dictatorship, when its culture and politics were suppressed.

    The chaos has also prompted a flight of business from region and alarmed European leaders who fear the crisis could fan separatist sentiment around the continent.


    “It is not going to be easy, it is not going to be free, it is not going to change in a day. But there is no alternative to a process towards the Catalan Republic,” lawmaker Marta Rovira of the Junts pel Si pro-independence alliance said in a debate leading to the vote.

    After the debate, lawmakers from members of three main national parties — the People’s Party, the Socialists and Ciudadanos — walked out. Members of the pro-independence parties and the far-left Podemos then voted 70-10 in favor in a secret ballot aimed at hindering any attempt by Madrid to lay criminal charges on them.

    Spain’s constitutional court said it was reviewing the vote. The state prosecutor and other parties have three days to open a case.

    Montserrat Rectoret, a 61-year-old historian, was among the crowds in Barcelona.

    “I am emotional because Catalonia has struggled for 40 years to be independent and finally I can see it,” she said.

    (Additional reporting by Paul Day, Julien Toyer and Jesus Aguado, writing by Angus MacSwan, editing by John Stonestreet)

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