Sinhalaese must vote Labour
Posted on December 7th, 2019

Chanaka Bandarage

The British Conservative Party election manifesto in page 53 states:

We will continue to support international initiatives to achieve reconciliation, stability and justice across the world, and in current or former conflict zones such as Cyprus, Sri Lanka and the Middle East, where we maintain our support for a two-state solution”.

The text is very clear. It is in plain, easy to understand English.

That is, if the Conservative Party is elected to power at the 12 December 2019 general election, it will support a two state solution for Sri Lanka. This basically means the creation of the Tamil  Eelam in Sri Lanka. This was the demand of the megalomaniac Terrorist Leader Prabhakaran who was killed by the Sri Lankan armed forces on 19 May 2009.

According to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Conservative Party has made following clarifications since issuing the election manifesto:

…. the Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party Paul Scully issued the following clarification on the subject to the High Commissioner by his email communication of 27 November 2019:

‘The party’s position regarding Sri Lanka has not changed… To be absolutely clear, the two-state line in the section was intended to refer only to the Israel-Palestine situation in the Middle East (as is stated policy).  The commitments to Sri Lanka and Cyprus were simply about continuing existing efforts to support peace and reconciliation in divided societies.’

The above position has also been reiterated by Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the UK through her public post on social media (Facebook) of 30 November where she has further added the following:

‘The subsequent reference to a two-state solution refers to the Middle East, NOT to Cyprus or Sri Lanka.  I have been in contact with Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, and he has confirmed this. ‘

Conservative party Deputy Chair Paul Scully has in his twitter message of 3 December 2019 once again reiterated the above position of the Conservative party, stating the following:

‘There is no Conservative manifesto commitment relating to the makeup of governance of Sri Lanka. … two state relate only to Middle East.

The Ministry of Foreign Relations is of the view that the above would clarify the position of the Conservative party on the issue as well as action taken by the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the High Commission in London to correct the distortion.”

Re above last paragraph, the Ministry of Foreign Relations (or the Sri Lankan High Commission in London) are not qualified to state that the Conservative Party has clarified its position. The clarification must come from the ‘horse’s mouth’, formally.  The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Relations is not privy to the Conservative Party’s internal tactics and policies. The Email, Twitter and the Facebook messages by Paul Scully and Theresa Villiers may be authentic. But, they are not the Conservative Party.  The fact of the matter is that despite Sri Lanka’s vehement protest the Conservative Party has not amended its election manifesto.  The adverse policy in relation to Sri Lanka continues to stand, as first announced. The Conservative Party has not  even issued a formal/official response that what the Party has actually meant was that the two state policy only applies to the Middle East, and it believes in reconciliation to solve Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem.

Again, the language in the current Conservative Party election manifesto is crystal clear and unambiguous – they support a two state solution in Sri Lanka.

Since defeating the Tamil Tigers there has been much progress in regards to Sri Lanka’s ethnic relations.  Sinhalese and Tamils now live happily in Sri Lanka as a One Nation. Not even the ultra extremist Tamil groups in Sri Lanka are demanding a Tamil Eelam. In the recently concluded Presidential Election, Tamils, especially the Northern Tamils, voted for Sinhalese politicians, even disregarding a strong Tamil candidate. Everyone in Sri Lanka talks about such positive things as reconciliation etc today, not about creating two states.

Then, why does Mr Johnson led Conservative Party have intentions to work to divide Sri Lanka if it wins the forthcoming general election? Why did they change their policy on Sri Lanka suddenly? Anyone would agree that this has been done to please the large Sri Lankan Tamil voter base in the UK – instigating them to vote for the Conservative Party.  The Conservative Party must have thought that through such a promise, they could win the Sri Lankan Tamil vote.  It is a fact that the UK based Tamil groups are very active and fiercely lobby both the Conservative and Labour Parties (and also other parties) to take action to split Sri Lanka into two.

This is a very bad, unethical practice on the part of the Conservative Party.

Mr Johnson and the Conservative Party have failed to realise that though quiet, there is a very large Sinhalese population in the UK and their numbers far exceed that of the Sri Lankan Tamils. If the Conservative Party wants to play politics with the Sri Lankan vote of the UK, the Sinhalese voters should reciprocate in kind.  They should en-mass vote for the Labour Party. 

The Labour Party has not adopted such an adverse policy against Sri Lanka.

Traditionally many Sinhalese vote for the Conservative Party. But, on this occasion they should send a clear message to the Conservative Party – that they do not support its current position that Sri Lanka should be divided on ethnic lines and that a Tamil Eelam should be created in Sri Lanka. The Sinhalese would change their mind if prior to the election the Conservative Party amends  its election manifesto or issues a formal communique stating unequivocally that it does not believe in a two state system for Sri Lanka, and it only promotes reconciliation for Sri Lanka. Again, this must be done formally, by the Conservative Party Headquarters – the body that issued the election manifesto, not through Email/Twitter/Facebook messages by individual Conservative Party politicians.

4 Responses to “Sinhalaese must vote Labour”

  1. Cerberus Says:

    Mr. Bandarage, Conservatives back tracked on their earlier promise to give Tamils a two state solution. However the labor are equally bad since they are promising Tamils everything. Please see

  2. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    After looney left corbin said tamil drealam will be delivered on a plate in its manifesto, boris quickly inserted the
    same, adding more weight. Corbin has been a terrorist lover for decades. Vote for him? Of course, if you’re mad.

  3. Chanaka B Says:

    The main purpose of this article is to force the Conservative Party to amend the election manifesto before the election (on 12 December 2019), or to issue a formal communique. At the moment their policy for Sri Lanka is the two state solution. To my knowledge, the Labour Party has not categorically stated anything like that. I agree they are pro Tamil too. All know that the Conservative Party will win the election; then they are bound by the election manifesto. Unlike in Sri Lanka, they cannot renege on a promise made in an election manifesto. So, after 12 December 2019 Britain will start hounding us down vigorously (remember how David Cameron behaved when he was in Sri Lanka for CHOGAM).

    Your comment is much appreciated. Unfortunately, not helpful in this situation.

  4. Chanaka B Says:

    Cerberus, Thanks.

    I fully agree, the Labour are ‘equally bad’.

    But, this is the first time that a major British political party has stated that they want a two state solution. Labour has never stated that – so abruptly.

    Even in this interview he (Labour shadow minister) states “We believe there has to be a long term political solution”.

    Also, the Conservatives have put this in their election manifesto, which is very serious.

    It is obvious that the Conservatives are going to win. I read they are currently about 15% ahead of Labour (opinion polls). So, even if all the British Sinhalese vote Labour, the Conservatives would still win. So, my request that ‘Sinhalese must vote Labour’, though genuine, was more of academic (I am a no fan of Labour). We have to demonstrate our strong resentment to the Tories.

    What is important is try to get the manifesto amended prior to the election or a formal announcement made by the Tories. I wrote my article with that in mind.

    I have outlined in the article – what the two Tory MPs have stated has less value. The Conservative Party could later say those are their personal views, we stand-by what we have stated in our manifesto. Those who think that the Tory promise is only ‘offering the carrot to Tamils’, I do not agree. It is in their manifesto now, after the victory, they will have to deliver. The Tories will press that the forthcoming provincial council election be considered as a Referendum on the Tamils right to have their own state (after the war victory, we fought tooth and nail to have the entire provincial council system scrapped, but failed).

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