For the education of yahapalana minister Navin Dissanayaka
Posted on August 15th, 2019

C. Wijeyawickrema

When the country is getting ready to get rid of the death-trap and the white elephant called the 13th Amendment, that Rajiv Gandhi forced JRJ to swallow, and the governors are running the show without PCs, Navin Dissanayaka (ND) must be crazy to talk about police and land powers to PCs. This is now a dead issue with the death of Sumanthiran-Jayampathi-Lal Wijenayaka bogus constitution.

It is a waste of time to talk about the 13-A dilemma, but if ND expects to be a politician with meaningful ideas, and perhaps a quick action plan to help his father-in-law’s presidential election bid, he should avoid talking about things he does not know well, because it will be political suicide. TNA, Sumanthiran and Wigneswaran will be happy with his support for police powers etc., but the Tamil voters are not in their bags anymore.

In this connection I found an essay I wrote about 10 years ago, copied below for ND’s education. I hope somebody in Sri Lanka forward this essay to ND via e-mail.

Empowerment with language-blind spatial units

C. Wijeyawickrema, LL.B., Ph.D.

Kumar David vs. Victor Ivan

What is the difference between Kumar David (KD) and Victor Ivan (VI)? KD, like so many other “Tamil moderates” with whom he signs petitions, Colombo-Marxists on the APRC, Mano Ganeshan, Anandasangaaree and the UTHR (J) group led by Ratnajeevan Hoole is still blinded by the old separatist paradigm jointly developed by GG Ponnambalam and SJV Chelvanayagam. For about 70 years this paradigm dominated Colombo politics. VI, on the other hand, shows signs of realizing that a new paradigm has arrived on the political scene (Sunday Island, 9/7/2008). This language-blind new paradigm has shattered the Marxist-propagated (Stalin and LSSP) theory of a “national question.” Sri Lanka did not have a national question; Sri Lanka had a headache of class rivalry between elitist Colombo-living, mostly Christian, Tamil and Sinhala politicians. This is why KD is more concerned about the loss of a comrade!

Col. Karuna paradigm

Former village terrorist Col. Karuna dismantled the separatist paradigm that ruined Sri Lanka by just five words-Give us what Colombo gets. Karuna escaped death in 2004 and in 2006 at a TV interview revealed a gospel of truth. He accepted the former Chief Justice M. C. Sansoni’s advise “if the Tamils’ cry for separatism is given up, the two communities could solve their problems and continue to live in amity and dignity” (Sessional Paper No. 7 of 1980). He also silenced the 13A Plus or Classics supporters (Ref. Island, 8/11/2008) by stating that he does not think police power is needed to help Tamil villagers in the Eastern Province. Unlike the two or three Colombo ministers Karuna knew that the failure of PCs in the south was not because that they did not have police powers.
Karuna is the first major Tamil politician to derail the homeland in the EP theory of SJVC. Lakshman Kadiragamar, Neelan Thiruchelvam and even Jeyaraj Fernando-Pulle supported an “F” solution because they could not come out of the traditional Tamil homeland trap. Neelan was not willing to accept the Pondicherry sub-model within the Indian “F” model because it would have created a moth-eaten like holes of Sinhala and Muslim enclaves in the N-E homeland. Tamil aspirations, whatever was meant by that phrase by the late Kumar Ponnambalam from his Colombo home, can be achieved under the Karuna paradigm of language-blind spatial units.

Colombo paradigm

The Karuna paradigm is also a rejection of the Colombo paradigm. Karuna paradigm (2006) is nothing but a Tamil version of what JVP was demanding in 1971 and in 1988-89. The Colombo establishment impliedly accepted it by citing the kolambata kiri apita kakiri epithet in their Youth Commission Report, (March, 1990, p. xvii). Mostly Christian ruling families operating from Colombo did not want to decentralize power or to engage in rural development or diversification of the economy, a classic case of mismanagement in a former colony. The gap between the rich and the poor widened and the separation between Colombo and the villages increased. Even the open economy-based infra-structure built by the colonial master collapsed one by one due to neglect and stupidity. When black cats with suicide bombs started to follow them up on Colombo roads in the 1990s, the Colombo ruling class suddenly thought of “devolution packages.” In July 1975 Prabakaran had his first killing, Alfred Duraiyappa, the SLFP Mayor of Jaffna, but the Colombo minister of local government did not think of devolution. The biggest problem local governments faced since 1948 was the minister arbitrarily interfering with their functioning.

Devolution versus empowerment

“Devolution” is thus an arrangement between politicians to divide the pie or create new mini-pies. The Indian experience of this arrangement has been (1) further demands for more regional units (initial 14 states are now grown to 28 and at least another 35 are in the pipe line) (Federal India: a design for change, Rasheeduddin Khan, 1992) and (2) the taking of Delhi politicians as hostages by regional politicians (the phenomenon of coalitional politics). Indian devolution did not help the average Indian. The Indian-imposed devolution in Sri Lanka, known also as the PC white elephant, is not empowerment of Tamil, Sinhala or Muslim villagers. This devolution will allow the continuation of Colombo paradigm along with the separatist design of Tamil politicians who wants to be new kings and rulers of Tamil people. It will allow some Tamil politicians to attack any development work as another example of “Sinhalization.” PCs gave Sri Lanka a new set of corrupt politicians.

Empowerment and the Panchayathi Raj Institutes

In the modern world democracy operates through people’s representatives. This system has become a way of muddling through political corruption. Gandhi wanted to avoid this by giving power to people via the Panchayaths (go back to direct democracy of the Greek city states). It was derailed by an argument that with severe caste divisions at the village level, higher castes will take control of the Panchayaths and would further aggravate the oppression of disadvantaged people. Despite ten five-year plans and protective discrimination and capacity endowment (to help backward castes and tribes) the Indian constitutional framework failed to deliver the trinity of equality-liberty-fraternity to Indian masses. Therefore, after giving it step-motherly treatment for 40 years, the Indian ruling elites took a decision to resurrect the old Panchayath system in 1993 as Panchayathi Raj Institutions (constitutional amendments 73 and 74). Under the Mahinda Chinthanaya approach, a home-grown constitution is to be developed after the war is over. The SLFP proposal to APRC in April 2007 to empower people (not province-level devolution of power to a new set of politicians) at the Grama Rajya-level is an example of this approach which is in agreement with the new paradigm of Col. Karuna, ecology and geography of Sri Lanka.

Federalism is Sri Lanka’s death-trap

Whether one likes it or not 13A is the gateway to Eelam via the “F” solution. 13A is constitution-based racism imposed by India following its own history of communalistic 1935 Government of India Act and the 1956 linguistic demarcation of state boundaries. Sri Lanka should soon find its own home-grown solutions as there will be no market for separatism in Sri Lanka when Tamils and Sinhalese become fluent in both Tamil and Sinhala within the next 10-15 years. Even as a temporary mechanism13A must be clarified to indicate that there are no ethnic homelands in Sri Lanka. The 13A road with a Tamil homeland myth is a deadly road.
At least four dangers are inherent and embedded in the 13A. 

(1) 13A was an Indian recognition of the SJVC-separatist paradigm that ruined Sri Lanka and poisoned Sri Lankan minds for 70 years.

(2) 13A recognized a traditional Tamil homeland despite historical, geographical and archeological evidence against it; SJVC paradigm with a Tamil traditional homeland faced problems from the findings in Prof. K Indrapala’s doctoral thesis and as reported by Professor Michael Roberts his thesis was stolen from the London University library. But after forty years of archaeological field work Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thero produced evidence contradictory to SJVC paradigm. The history of Sri Lanka and its North and East that he has painstakingly constructed (Our heritage of the North and East of Sri Lanka, 2003) is radically different from a Tamil rooted ethnic origin of its settlers. The scripts found on hundreds of rock caves that he was able to trace and record did not support a Tamil homeland theory. Some donors of these cave dwellings (to Buddhist priests) had Tamil names. If all donors at that time had a common Tamil origin, then all of them must have had Tamil names. These cave donations span from the 3rd century B.C to 5th century A.D. Under a Karuna paradigm there is no need to destroy these Buddhist archeological ruins (to remove evidence against a Tamil homeland) because they are not a threat to the empowerment of Tamil villagers.

(3) There is the world Tamil Federation eyeing for a quick Tamil country in Sri Lanka because it failed to get one in the Fiji Islands and knows that it is difficult to fight for a separate country in Tamil Nadu in the present political climate. 

(4) Separatism in Tamil Nadu is alive and thriving (a recent opinion poll showed 55% supporting Eelam in Sri Lanka (TamilNet, 8/2/2008). The demand to take back Kachchativu is a political sacred cow in this regard. Thus, if 13A is accepted as the path to ethnic nirvana in Sri Lanka, as agitated, there is no way to stop a NGO-INGO-IC-backed demand by a future Tamil politician on the necessity to create an ISGA or to take the final UDI path. 

Armed with police and land powers it is not difficult to start a protracted conflict with Colombo over any number of old issues or new issues. Any domestic rivalry between two Tamil political leaders in the Province can become an IC issue involving foreign agents with vested interests and hidden agenda taking sides. A river for Jaffna (Island, 8/31/2008) is a good example of the potential of shortage of Mahavali water becoming an issue that could be raised as an international-human rights dispute by a separatist-prone Tamil politician. Take the case of re-opening of the KKS cement factory. Cement dust falling on farmers’ vegetable plots was known for a long time in the past. But this will be considered a serious health hazard now in 2008. Quarrying limestone next to the factory doors which the cement chairman gave as a plus is actually a new hazard of seawater encroaching inland and polluting the groundwater table (TamilNet, 8/3/2008). Increasing links between Muslim radical groups in the EP and foreign Muslim groups or radical Tamil groups in the tea-growing area wanting to establish links with EP or NP are potential issues of conflict that Colombo politicians must not ignore.

Examples of federal dangers

Belgium, Scotland and South Ossetia/Abkhazia (Georgia) are three current examples that should open the eyes of Sri Lankan politicians on the need to promote and create language-blind village-level political units as vehicles for the empowerment of multi-ethnic communities. In Sri Lanka, over 50% of Tamils live in the South and there is the headache of Tamil Nadu Tamils supporting an Eelam in the island which they cannot get in South India. Scotland got what is comparable to 13A but the story is not over. It is perhaps only one election away from gaining independence as a separate country escaping from London’s control. The nationalist party which advocates separation is gaining rapidly at each election.

Belgium is a tiny federation to which NGOs organized several trips of Buddhist monks to see how “F” system works. Today it is the best example of how “F” has not worked even with a king. In 1830-31 it was created by the international powers as a political compromise in building one state out of two nationalities, Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia with Brussels as the capital. Now Flanders wants to separate from Wallonia because “every attempt to liberalize the Belgian economy and to reform the generous welfare system has been vetoed by the relatively poor Walloon socialists.” Flanders is no longer prepared to finance the ever increasing amount of Flemish subsidies which are flowing to Wallonia! If this happens then Wallonia will break into four or five smaller parts merging with other countries (i.e., France, Germany) or deciding to remain independent. Brussels itself will be a French-majority enclave linked with Wallonia by a land corridor. Such are the blessings of federating for 178 years!

Russian invasion of the Georgian held Russian-living region of South Ossetia (North Ossetia is already a Russian state) is an example of why India did not try to do a Bangladesh “solution” in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is an island. Georgia wanted to stop separatist work by minority Russians in SO. When it killed some Russians, Russia entered SO. India is in a dilemma with the Tamil homeland demand in Sri Lanka. If India accepts an Eelam then later Tamil Nadu itself will demand a separate country from India against “Hindia.” Other secessionist groups in India will also get a boost. What we see today is, present-day Indian politicians trying to deal with tomorrow and day after and not with what would happen in ten years. Sri Lanka cannot afford to follow this philosophy.

Trinity of gama – vawa – dagaba (village-tank-temple)

Instead of Indian or west-baked solutions APRC and people like Kumar David should look inward to Sri Lanka’s own history of language-blind ethnic harmony for a peace-filled future. Tamils have a homeland in Tamil Nad. Muslims have Mecca and a billion muslims. Christians have Pope. Sinhala people and Sinhala Buddhist have this tiny island, 15 million and the ocean. Tamils, Sinhala and Muslims can be empowered at the trinity level of kovil, temple and mosque -centered societal units. Aspirations can grow at the family and village levels. We should not promote aspirations with language-based spatial units. Instead create language-blind developmental units. If in a given village the majority happens to be Tamil let them work on their aspirations from house hold level upward to the Village Council level. Several VCs can go to District level. Imposing a Provincial level unit on them by a Colombo group is not suitable in Sri Lankan case as there is the fear and danger of separation. 
Because our trinity is tank-centered it fits very well with the modern concept of river basin-based administrative units. New Zealand, a tiny country like ours is using this concept. The geography professor C. M. Madduma Bandara has proposed Seven River Basin-based administrative region system for Sri Lanka that Kumar David and the APRC’s Colombo lawyers should study (Chapter 4 in Fifty years of Sri Lanka’s independence: a socio-economic review, edited by A.D.V. de S. Indraratna, 1998, p.83; Island, February 7, 2001). They are: 1. Yalpanam 2. Rajarata 3. Dambadeni 4. Mahaweli 5. Digavapi 6. Kelani and 7. Ruhunu. Sri Lanka has hundreds of smaller ecological regions. We must promote this geographic diversity accepting the truth that “one law for the lion and ox is oppression.”

Because, one cannot legislate against geography (Island, 2/22/2006), law in books cannot become law in action if APRC and its chairman act like a Colebrook in 2007 with the 9-province plan. Past attempts to develop Sri Lanka at village level failed because they were sabotaged by the Colombo class. F.R. Senanayake‘s efforts in this regard (mahajana sabhas) abruptly ended with his untimely death. In the 1940s Ven. Kalukondayave Pragnasekera Mahanayake Thero started a village development and crime eradication movement with Tamil and Muslim participation which was obstructed by the Colombo establishment. Hopefully, the Gama Naguma program under the Mahinda Chinthanaya will change Sri Lankan ethnic and economic landscape for good. The Local Government Reforms Commission (Sessional Paper No. 1 of 1999, the Abhayewardhana Report) recommended the resurrection of the local government system we had before 1978 but it was ignored until 2005. Kumar David needs to think of grass-roots politics rather than holding to the separatist tail of Tamil Nadu politics.

What is the solution?

Ideally speaking, as soon as Kilinochchi is liberated by the army the president needs to consider seriously the feasibility of moving the capital of Sri Lanka to the Raja Rata on a 15-20 year time frame rather than further aggravating the spatial problems found in the Colombo Region. Sri Lanka has the record of moving the capitol ten miles to a swamp creating flash flooding even in the Colombo Seven! Ministry by ministry, department by department, the government should relocate in the Raja Rata with a long-term plan. There is no better way to bring Sinhala and Tamil villagers together than the abandonment of the Colombo paradigm. No need to neglect essential developments in the Colombo harbor or Colombo roads or to doubt the geopolitical value of a new harbor in Hambantota and an alternative international airport near it. Sri Lanka should not forget the developing new frontier in the Raja Rata relative to South Indian developments but also the new needs of the Pacific century. Even in the U.S.A. its Pacific face is developing so rapidly compared to the 500 year-old Atlantic (European) face. Trincomalee is Sri Lanka’s jewel in the Pacific century. 
Sri Lanka requires two sets of actions: (1) a new constitution aimed at empowering people at the village-level, and (2) a civilian socio-economic development system aimed at eradicating corruption, poverty and social injustice. In this regard the President needs to consider taking the following actions:
Instruct the APRC and the Constitutional Affairs Ministry research staff to study the thousands of constitutional proposals they received by invitation and to publish a detailed analytical report. Why these proposals were totally ignored is problematic; 
Instruct APRC and its Chairman to study the Abhayawardena Local Government Report and use it as a basis for devolution of power to Village Councils;
Instruct the APRC and the Constitutional Affairs Ministry research staff to study the 99 point program of action proposed by the late Ven. K.P. in the 1940s;
Appoint a committee with a geographer as the leader to study how GSN (grama sevaka niladharee) boundaries could be modified to fit in with Village Council and ecological boundaries;
Instruct the Defence Secretary to study the feasibility of deploying the army personnel in civil defence and development work at the village-level; and
Make arrangements to formalize the services voluntarily offered by the Sri Lankans living abroad into a village-Expatriate services system. This is where Sri Lanka’s Seventh Great Force could become a valuable vehicle.

Sri Lanka’s Sixth great force is janitors and maids toiling in Arab countries. Its Seventh force consists mostly of those who went to universities in Sri Lanka in the swabasha medium and now living in western countries holding research, teaching and managerial positions. Most Tamils in this category are now forced to give money to Prabakaran’s killing machine and in future they would think of helping their villages in Jaffna or Vavuniya if an opportunity is given. 
The National Science Foundation was supposed to develop a project like this but time is ripe to create a separate governmental agency to coordinate this important concept. Those who are about to retire from their work are in a position to return and spend time in the villages providing help in different ways. Imagine the effect of a talent pool of 1000 expats working outside Colombo!

Buddhists and human rights

The Karuna paradigm is a Buddhist paradigm. Sri Lanka can have a language-blind empowerment system because Sinhala Buddhist majority in the island never discriminated against minorities. The reason for this was that unlike in God-based religions, in Buddhism life is cyclical and not linear. When life is considered linear there is no difference between a rice field and a cattle ranch. How to fatten the cattle to sell beef to get the maximum profit has no issues of morality behind it. There is no need to worry about the Eight Fold Path. Any sin can be erased by a week-end confession. All life including plants and trees are part of one interdependent system according to Buddhism. All life is also temporary. Impermanence is the common characteristic of all living phenomenon. Buddhism is also based on following the Middle Path. This is compromise or reasonableness in the democratic western world. Equality of all human beings was practiced in Buddhism in 5th Century B.C. by allowing women to become monks. Trees and rivers were protected in Buddhism just like the habits and customs in this regard that we find among the Native American Indians in America. 
In today’s world 99% of human rights agents are Christians because mass-scale human rights violations took place in the Christian Europe and Colonial empires. This is why R2P deals are suspected as a new face of global colonialism. In this regard the average Christian is as innocent as an average Buddhist. It was the privileged Christians living in Colombo who ruined Sri Lanka. The NGOs are dominated by these power-hungry, dollar-hunting Christian mudalalis. While in Jaffna Christian Prabakaran applied ethnic cleansing and destroyed Buddhist archeological sites after 1983, ethnic and religious minorities lived in harmony with Sinhala Buddhist in southern villages and towns for thousands of years. Kumar David is concerned with a loss of a comrade perhaps unaware of the universal brotherhood found in Buddhism. Unlike the historical religions based on faith, Buddhists never used swords to convert others. But what had happened to Buddhism in Tamil Nadu and in South Korea should not be allowed to happen in Sri Lanka.

Further readings available on the Internet on the Karuna paradigm:

“An alternative to the ‘Devolution’ dilemma: Move the capital to Rajarata.” (Island, April 21-24, 1998)
“Federalism and marriage” (Island, 12/12/2005, 1/11/2006)
“Racism paradigm versus the Colombo paradigm” (Island, 2/21/2006)
“You cannot legislate against geography” (Island, 2/22/2006)
“Federal Marriages and water wars” (Daily News, 9/13/2006;, 9/7/2006)
“Language-blind regional development units” (Island, 10/25/2006) 
“Anandasangaree and God Vishnu” (Island, 1/3/2007) 
“A letter to a Tamil friend after 40 years!” (Island, 1/25/2007)
“The end of separatist agenda in Sri Lanka” (, 3/7/2007)
“Mr. Anandasangaree’s latest plea: is it reasonable?” (Island, 9/24/2007)
“Professor Rajan Hoole’s human rights award” (Island, 10/16/2007)

2 Responses to “For the education of yahapalana minister Navin Dissanayaka”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    This fool doesn’t know North, South, East and West. So how can anyone expect him to talk sense.

    But he thinks that he is equal to his father.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:


    Please forgive this mutt who failed the GCE O/L, but thinks he is good enough to become President!

    No calculus, nor even compound interest and loan installment calculations, needed for this IGNORANT SON of a President!

    God help Sri Lanka with mutts like this running for the highest office in the land!

    I think Sajith and the Yamapalanaya has racked up an ENORMOUS DEBT with the recent gifts of HOUSES to bribe vast numbers of people, all in a LAST DITCH EFFORT to get votes on the eve of the elections!

    Sri Lankan citizens will pay through their noses for these PROFLIGATE EXPENDITURESafter the elections are over!

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