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Sri Lanka should take UNHRC Resolution seriously and improve human rights record like Myanmar says Dayan Jayatilleka

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Sri Lanka could learn from Myanmar which has radically changed bringing democratic reforms in the country says Sri Lanka Ambassador to France, Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka.

Press conference with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi ~ Foreign Secretary of UK William Hague visited Burma in January 2012, where he met Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

He told Sandeshaya that in 2009, Myanmar came under vigorous international pressure over its human rights record and Myanmar was defeated in a vote brought in the UN Human Right Council

Changing Myanmar

“A few weeks after Sri Lanka won our battle in Geneva in May 2009, Myanmar lost in the same forum. It had the votes of India, Russia and China,” said Dr.Jayatilleka.

But, he said, today there is nothing levelled against that country because it is changing.

With defeat in UN Human Rights Council, Myanmar rallied round its neighbours particularly Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) and worked towards improving its human rights record.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon, Burma, on December 1, 2011-pic – US Dept. of State

Since then, he said, Myanmar has been achieving tremendous and incredible progress towards establishing democratic reforms.

“It became a more liberal country and even took steps to release the Burmese opposition politician and the leader of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suuki”, he said.

Dr.Jayatilleka said that it was how Myanmar had wisely got out of the trap of the powerful countries.

“Its success has even led Myanmar to become the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Countries ( ASEAN) next year”, he said.

Serious thoughts

Ambassador Jayatilleka said that Sri Lanka should take the resolution passed by UNHRC seriously because that would not be the end and those countries which brought it may push it through in the future.

He said it would have long term effects on Sri Lanka as those powerful countries and organisations will use it as a tool and act accordingly. courtesy: BBC Sinhala Service – Sandeshaya

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55 Comments

  1. Dayan,

    Unusual wisdom coming from you! Hope you did not write this while asleep! Disclaim the article before the rajathuma sees it as otherwise you will get a one way ticket back home.

  2. Dayan,

    I have to give you credit for this.

    You are now doing something that your title warrant.

    Good job.

  3. It will now be time for DJ to be “shaped” – the new mode – by the Regime, since
    DJ “support” for the Resolution was counter-productive!

    At every turn his standard is to compare it with “his” victory of May 2009.
    After all this being the 3rd Resolution pertaining to sri Lanka, his colleague
    Rajiva thinks that as 600 against Cuba were not acted up, this too will end up in the
    same fate?

  4. Myanmar is certainly on the move with all sort of leaders from the West and journalists going there every week if not month.

    Myanmar made the move because largely the govt and people themselves wanted to get away from the Chinese Dragon. What’s holding GoSL from taking similar moves???

    Latest comments from HRW indicate that Myanmar ethnic minorities still face horrendous abuses. And the reforms are minimal elsewhere as well. Some cosmetic dressing from GoSL may give way to ‘relief’ from a lot of pressure from the West for Sri Lanka, as Dayan J anticipates. Wild card is the somewhat but crucial impact – that the diaspora could play and slow such gains for GoSL.

    As long as nationalists in Sri Lanka keep blaming for all their problems are outside of Sri Lanka, ‘outsiders’ will likely want to have a say on the affairs of Sri Lanka….just like Pakistan tries to pin all their ills on USA.

  5. Wow! Has DJ hit his head on a door or window-sill recently?

    At this rate of change, pigs might actually begin to fly in front of our noses!!

    DJ has seen the light!! Do you hear, folks, he;s seen the light!!!

    How much more beneficial would it have all been, had Dayan Jayatilleke seen the light a long time ago and guided those in the saddle to finally avert our recent international humiliation?

    Anyway, welcome back to common sense Dayan, and may you be given the strength to carry forward your recently acquired good sense to yjr concrete blocks in Colombo and convince them, for the benefit of the country.

    In the meantime DJ, what have you to say about Ministers threatening to break limb and body of Human rights activists?? Part of the Dutu Gemunu tradition no doubt and all acceptable and pretty normal eh??

    And what are your thoughts on boycotting Coca Cola and G-Mail – again a Ministerial piece of wisdom???

    Finally, what are your thoughts on shepherding these fellows to the museum for public display in the humour section, now that some objects have been pilferred and there is ample room as a result?

  6. Dayan Jayatilleka should learn from the past and act now rather than beating around the bush. He has been though on international intervention but not on causes of intervention.

    He pretends as if managing international relation and massaging foreign policy would save Sri Lanka from the wrath of Titans. He is mistaken.

    He has not put forward coherent political ideas to salvage the island from its self inflicted pain and self destruction. If anything he played an active part in prolonging people’s suffering.

    Why?

    All because he thinks he alone could save Sri Lanka from colonialism by his tenacious grip on his own prolific writings.

    What more could we say about the person who refuses to look into and deal with the cuases of international intervention.

    Nothing really.

    I suppose the recent resolution at UNHCR has made him realise that the clan’s grip on Sri Lanka is numbered. He is begining to position himself for the next plum job under would be regime, S Fonseka or Ranil who.

    He enjoys his own writings.

  7. Dear Dayan:

    You have so courageously voiced the best advise that any learned individual (who has the best long-term interest of Sri Lanka and its people in mind) could (and should) give at this critical juncture of the country,in the present context of international political economy and diplomacy. Thank you for so bravely coming forward, and hope that the advise will be taken seriously.

    Wimal

  8. Our diplomats Dayan and Rajiva appear to turn a page and become non racial to do justice by Tamils which has been long overdue for sixty years. Will our President, his brothers and Sinhalese at large listen or will they call these diplomats traitors?

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Dayan and Rajiva are not racists.They never were and knowing both well I would say they never will be.Their views on the Tamil national question were never racist.They are very sympathetic to the Tamil plight and have been consistent advocates of devolution.

    So dont say they are becoming “Non-racial” now…….

  9. There is not much different between Burma and Sri Lanka. Both got independent on 1948 and both the countries were doing well at that time. Sri Lanka wanted Sinhala Buddhist domination. Burma wanted Burmin Buddhist domination. Burma has lot of natural gas but the people must use only firewood for cooking because the gas is only for export. Sri Lanka probably striking gas but Sri Lanka too may be exporting it for cash if the present situation continues.

  10. To be honest, this is something I felt that the wise chap Dayan would have thought inside but not let out of his mouth… somewhat remeniscent of his thoughts after he was recalled from Geneva just prior to going to Singapore which were a bit more forthright than what came just before you became ambassador of France.

    Let’s just hope you’re not labelled a traitor for saying this, and that Mervyn Silva doesnt tie you to a tree for not recommending an outright denouncement and to ignore the resolution!

    ATB

  11. Myanmar or Burma as it used to be known as is governed by military rule. Democratic and Human Rights Activists are held under house arrest infinitely.
    Wonder why Dayan who is closer to the Sri Lankan regime is urging Sri Lanka to learn from that and even comparing Sri Lanka to Myanmar. Dayan come clean.

  12. At last we’re beginning to see changes – hope this is your last about-turn.
    DJ, I believe you’re setting an example for the academics to speak up now.

  13. DJ,
    When did Srilanka become undemocratic, ??? March 23 2012.
    DJ’s rebirth is “canary in a coal mine” for Srilanka.

  14. Jolly good!

    So when can we see a similer ‘Sri Lankan’ thinking by Tamil personalities, who are confident of going to any village in the south and ask for votes, and win?

    Which Tamil leader has the vision and resources to that? Or are they still locked inside the Tamil homeland box?

  15. Israel pulled out completely from the UNHRC and determined to ask America to do the same. Then what is the worth of this UNHRC? Burma(Myanmar) and Sri Lanka has no parralals in any politics.

    Sri Lanka sufferes from “outsiders”. Tamils and UNP join hands to serve the same outsiders. LTTE’s EELAM was not for the interest of the Tamils but for the interest of the same “outsiders”.

    Further Americans who are the regular violators of Human Rights all over the world, brought this motion against Sri lanka. India proved itself as a backbone-less country. Sri Lanka showed its uniqueness in fighting. America and its allies, most of them are WHITES, want Sri Lanka to be a slave country of theirs.

    I always support DJ’s power devolution or provincial councils under a FEDERAL setup. But this motion at UNHRC is nothing but an intimidation. This kind of motions will distance the Sinhalese away from any kind of devolutions.

  16. Here Here Dayan.

    Btw, I agree with DBSJ Dayan isn’t a racist.

    He is fighting from within a bunch of racists and at times placate these fellows through his writings.

    Dayan. a product of St. Josephs College. Maradana.

    Cheers.

  17. Dr. DJ led and defeated the resolution in 2009 because war was ended in 2009 May. That time many countries were thought give Sri Lanka a breathing space. As Dr. DJ talked, resolution was not 100% defeated by intelligent diplomatic contact.

    In 2012, Sri Lanka was lost because many countries see after 3 years of war ended, there is no improvement in human rights and improvement in crimes against humanity. And of course, India’s card. Importantly, mega Sri Lankan delegations were behaved indecently in UNHCR. What Douglas Devanabda can do in UNHCR? He is also criticized in the LLRC report. If Sri Lanka does not act to implement the LLRC recommendation within given period, big trap is waiting for Rajapaksa Family Regime in next periodic review for Sri Lanka in Sept 2012.

  18. DBSJ RESPONDED:

    Dayan and Rajiva are not racists….

    I agree with you as far as DJ is concerned. But Rajiva?

    When the Tamil civilians were herded into camps in Vavuniya in May 2009, his highly disgusted, sarcastic comment about them to a foreign female journalist that made her speechless and later reported about it, is there in the public domain that speak of him.

  19. DBSJ RESPONDS:
    “Dayan and Rajiva are not racists.They never were and knowing both well……….”

    Dear DBSJ, may be Dayan & Rajiva are/were not racists, but they were in denial until now. As DIX stated “at last Dayan attained NIRBANA under the (tree) UNHRC resolution.”

    Also I urged Dayan to be cautious when he visit Sri Lanka next time, someone may try to break limb and body!!!!

    🙂

  20. Burma’s change came about because a faction of younger generals (not in their 70s or 80s) lobbied hard for the economy to be opened up. It was not due to pressure from the UNHCR. The ruling elite could not care less what the UNHCR was doing.

    These younger generals were more convinced that action required to be taken after the poor response of the govt due to cyclone Nargis. Many behind the scenes negotiations were held with these generals and other nations, including the US. In the period before the cyclone the US (and other countries) were quietly building relations with these generals once they made it known that they wanted reform in the government.

    Dr Jayatilleka and Prof Wijesingha are the faction or adviser faction within the government that is more open to reconciliation, they are in the group with is trying to get workable reform done. There are other factions which could not care less and other factions which oppose devolution completely.

  21. M.Sivananthan says

    “But this motion at UNHRC is nothing but an intimidation.”

    If so SL needs more of the same in large quantities on a regular basis.

    You say:

    “This kind of motions will distance the Sinhalese away from any kind of devolutions.”

    When were the stupid Sinhalese closer to the idea of devolution? From Premadasa and his party to Rohana Wijeweera including Weerawamsa and his lot. Please name one Sinhala person who is supporting devolution in Sri Lanka. If you believe Sinhalese have been and are for devolution why does it take too long to implement Provincial Council provisions in 7 Councils which have been in existence from 1988?

    You say:

    ” Israel pulled out completely from the UNHRC and determined to ask America to do the same. Then what is the worth of this UNHRC?”

    Israel is just one country. If Israel chose to leave perhaps it will free rest of the world from American shackles. Isn’t it what you want?

    You say:

    ” Sri Lanka sufferes from “outsiders”.

    Really?

    You say:

    “India proved itself as a backbone-less country.”

    Maybe India is a backbone-less country on its own right but not for opposing Sri Lanka at the UNHCR.

  22. 60 yrs is mistreatment, 30 yrs of war, thousands of death in last days of war, war crimes……………… Finally reaches UNHCR…….., open the eys of the world. DJ, why now?

  23. You seemed to be a good Ravana now
    No worries we will make sure You will not go to Hague unlike your master and his company

  24. If not for the caption, I would have thought the house here with ung San Suu Kyi ~ and Foreign Secretary of UK William Hague is somewhere in Sri lanka…Rosmead Place, CBO 7

    What a whole lot of similarities between the two countries!!

  25. DJ is in a precarious position now. He can see what is ahead of Sri Lanka and its current leaders if they continue to defy UNHRC resolution. Indirectly he disapproves the tactics of the current regime in dealing with International diplomacy.

    However, I see a contradiction in his approach. As an appointed diplomat he can not openly express his resentment directly or indirectly against his Government. It would be construed as a breach of his diplomatic duties.

    His views are given wide publicity in the Sri Lankan media and I will not be surprised if Sinhala nationalists who are partners in the Government would urge the President to reprimand him for expressing his ‘balanced’ views. (I have highlighted ‘balanced’ because it is the same word used in Manamohan Singh’s leter to the Sri Lankan president)

  26. I am still learning how to understand and trust the intellectuals from Southern Srilanka.I was shocked when I read DJ’s article above,expressing his “about turn ” on BBC website first. The reasons are still I have yet to understand the ones he wrote just before March 23rd and on March 24th also under what capacity he writes or whehter the views are his personal ones or that of the regime.

    When I read his “Avoiding the Trap ” on the site below, Dr. DJ reminded me of the Sun Wu Kong character in the famous TV serial “The Journey to the West “. Wu Kong can transform into many forms and always loyal to his master and the mission. The about turn may be to outsmart the The Southern Blog across the Palk Straits through collabaration than being human enlightenement.

    Wu Kong in the Journey to the West was a survivor too.

  27. I have always wondered why Dayan such an unimaginable intellect would not run for Sri Lankan Politics.

  28. Sorry DJ it appears that your days a numbered by the Regime. You do not
    have the guts to wriggle out “academically” anymore?

  29. Dagobert, Kalu Albert, Blacker, Leela, and others of similar ilk, where are you all??? Lost in Geneva???

  30. Mar 30, 2012:

    Suu Kyi Says Myanmar Elections Not Free And Fair, Continues Campaign

    As Anthony Kuhn told Morning Edition, Sunday’s vote will test whether Myanmar’s “nominally civilian government” will stand by the slow reforms they’ve begun implementing. Just seven percent of the country’s parliamentary seats are open for election, and even if the opposition sweeps all of them, Anthony reports Myanmar’s senior army commander declared the country’s military is here to stay in politics.

    Still, Suu Kyi said, “we are determined to go forward because we think this is what our people want.”

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/03/30/149691217/suu-kyi-says-myanmar-elections-not-free-and-fair-continues-campaign

  31. Is Mahinda a rasist? he too want to give Tamils 13+, 13- and more but nothing is happening still Tamil people living in fear. why? who is the real racist?

  32. Tamil paper Tigers live in the West want to share the power in Sri lanka with WHITES. Both parties are not living in Sri lanka. Jaffna Tamils asked EELAM but they ran away in big numbers without fighting. Now they bark against the SL without any sympathy towards the remaining Tamils of Sri lanka, from SAFETY and COMFOTABLE ZONES of the WEST.

    These foolish Tamils thought their 7% could overrun 70% Sinhalese. Now they are traitors and prepared to betray the country where they born and got free education. Tamils and some pro WEST Sinhalese are the proven self-made slaves of the WHITES now.

  33. Hats off DJ as you have said something very wise indeed!

    I look forward to Uncle Kalu Alberts views on this 😉

  34. The fact is, Dajan was unable to keep up pretences. He had to come out with the truth. As they say the Truth Will Out, someday.

    Besides he is his father’s son, and Mervyn’s work was respected.

    Dayan, you owe it to a lot of people to keep telling and standing up for the truth. You will then earn the respect you deserve.

    On the above attempt all I say is: Well done!

  35. Dayan is quite right in his conclusions. However, he has a tendency to run with the fox and hunt with the dogs. This has undermined his credibility despite his proven intellectual prowess. A man of his intellect has a right to change his mind, which is a worthy attribute in an intellectual, when it is based on truth/facts. However, he has to exhibit intellectual honesty at all times. Being an employee of the government and yet continue to be a political analyst, is a difficult act to execute. Today’s report by DBSJ, seems to confirm this. Dayan has paid a similar price before. He is yet a rebel at heart and obviously finds it very hard to supress this instinct, even when absolute subservience is demanded by those wielding power.

    I have always disagreed with Dayan’s stance on the EPDP & Douglas Devananda; his silence on the TMVP; his promotion of the skeletal 13th amendment as a solution to Tamil political aspirations; and his list of nominees for a possible Interim Council for the north. However, I also feel that it will be counterproductive for the government to take out a person of Dayan Jayatilleke’s calibre from the foreign service. His intellectual versatality, writing skills and verbal abilities are rarely seen combined in one person.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  36. John Wayne says:

    “Dagobert, Kalu Albert, Blacker, Leela, and others of similar ilk, where are you all??? Lost in Geneva???”

    Blacker is seen roaming in Colombo Telegraph recently with a sledge hammer but with somewhat mellowed rhetoric during Geneva resolution.

    He was seen challenging his like minded fellow contributors on a point of procedure.

    Kalu Albert has recently recovered from Geneva blow as he would like us to believe(in fact Geneva resolution was a pat on the back of Sinhala/Buddhist nationalism) .

    Man is back in business.

  37. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says

    I have always disagreed with Dayan’s stance on the EPDP & Douglas Devananda; his silence on the TMVP; his promotion of the skeletal 13th amendment as a solution to Tamil political aspirations; and his list of nominees for a possible Interim Council for the north.
    —————————————

    Come,come Dr.narendran,surely you don’t expect Dr.Dayan to be playing nursemaid to the rajapakshes.They are big boys after all and if they want to play with goons,that is their prerogative,not dayan’s business.

    He is there to provide advice as to the direction the country should go in,and he has given his ideas about how we should do a myanmar type course directional change gradually. When parliamentarians lack the intelligence to see beyond the short term,non parliamentarians have to step in with their advice.Then it is upto the parliamentarians to take the advice or not.Brain has to advice brawn,but if brawn does not take the advice,like VP did not take advice from intelligent tamil people,then there is nothing that can be done except let them end up in a train wreck.

    As for his advice to implement the 13th amendment,which you criticise as a skeletal structure to be thrown away,i’am also with him on this regard.A skeleton is necessary in order to put the flesh on it.The 13th amendment by itself is not enough,but provides the framework on which we can work on by making improvements after implementing it.

    As for the interim council,not only the north but the south as well, i would like to be governed without politicians,not for a short time but for ever.The europeans have learnt this the hard way and are now having technocrats to run the governments in greece and italy trying to clean up the mess the politicians have made.If srilanka was governed by a a council with 25 very educated members,say dayan,yourself,rajiva,GL pieris,saravanamuttu and another 20 eminently qualified people from all walks of life including business,without the 225 booruwas in the parliament,it will be a much better place to live in one day and costing much less in administration too.What we need is quality,not quantity.

  38. Shanker,

    Dayan having been a member of the EPRLF and the Varatharaja Perumal government, has been promoting Douglas and the EPDP. Friendship considerations seem to be influencing his thinking and flying in the face of Tamil opinion in the north. The 13th amendment, has unfortunately and deliberately been stripped of all its flesh. To hope that it will be refleshed, would be an exercise in fantacy. MR is pushing for a Senate and a devolution at a Panchayat level. He was inclined this way during the APRC days too and has suggested this to the TNA recently. Would it not be wise to go along with this thinking and get it designed- to the extent possible-to meet as many of our concerns as Tamils and Sri Lankan citizens? I think we have to charter a new course to advance. We are struck in a quagmire and need to climb out of it.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  39. Shanker,

    The inherent weakness in the PC system at this point in time, is clearly seen in the east- effete, vulnerable, corrupt, violent and led by men who are not fit to manage even a way side tea shop. The situation in the north could be worse for many reasons, because I do not see a ‘Quality’ cast to run the show. In the case of the north, grand standing, if the TNA is elected and more of what we have now, if the EPDP is elected, will be the only result. Devolution as a concept will once again appear the problem and not the solution.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  40. Dr.Narendran

    Douglas does not need anyone to promote him.He is thick skinned and promotes himself.He has said he has a burning desire to be the chief minister of the northern province.VP must have had a burning desire to be the first president of eelam.When people have burning desires it is best to let them burn it out and themselves too in the process.As the lord bhuddha said desires are the root cause of all our problems.If we can reduce that we reduce our problems too.By the time people realise this the hard way,they are in their dotage or dead,and it is too late.

    Coming to the 13th amendment and your proposal to substitute it with the senate and panchayat level devolution,haven’t you forgotten something.The 13th amendment is the product of the indo lanka accord.This is between two governments,just like the kachativu agreement and sirima -shastri and sirima -ghandhi pacts.Indo lanka accord has nothing to do with the tamils as they did not sign anything.JRJ and rajiv signed it on behalf of their countries.The government has a two third majority and can abolish the 13th amendment whenever it want’s to.No need to talk to the TNA,you or me for that matter.The person mahinda has to talk to about that is his bosom pal the turbo.So before he talks of senate and panchayat etc he better talk to turbo about abrogating the agreement.I would like to see turbo’s face when he does that,because this is the congress’s little baby for which the illustrious rajiv gave his life for.

    In a nutshell implement the 13th amendment in full as it is in the constitution.otherwise abolish it.You can’t have it both ways.As for your contention that it is of no value to the tamils,then why are the sinhalese not allowing it to be implemented.Obviuosly it must be having some value to the tamils.If you are giving a banana skin to the tamils,the sinhalese will not oppose,though the usual racists will shout automatically why give this skin.If you give a banana of course then the sinhalese will tell take the fruit out and give the skin.that is what has happenned now to the 13th amendment.We have to say we want the fruit,you can keep the skin if you want.

    If mahinda wants to have senate and panchayat in lieu of the 13th amendment,better he talk with india,not with us.We tamils had nothing to do with the indo lanka accord and are not a signatory to it.

    We can only tell him that we can only talk about these new things such as senate and panchayats after he implements the 13th,16th and 17th amendments in full,as we would like what is in our constitution to be implemented,before looking at fresh things to be put into it.however just like the 18th amendment to extend his term,which he put through in double quick time,he is welcome to on his own get on with the 19th and 20th amendments for the senate and panchayats respectively.There are a lot of his goons waiting to fill up those positions.

  41. Shanker,

    I accept the case you make from an academic stand point. However, the 13th amanedment is structurally flawed and is designed to become a banana skin. Even the predominently Sinhala provinces have been served the banans skin. It is not a question of the north, south, east or west and even Sinhalese or Tamils, but the unwillingness of the Sri Lankan state to devolve political power. We are yet a monarchy at heart. Despite the advent of the 13th amendment the Sri Lankan state has become more centralized administratively and politically. We will be like the proverbial ostrich if we bury our heads in sand and ignore this pervasive reality. Violent or peaceful opposition has only helped the state to become more centralized, undemocratic and authoritative. Those DBSJ described as ‘half-democrats’ become very handy for the Sri Lankan state in such circumstances.

    The 13th amendment was an outcome of the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement that was forced down the throat of the JRJ government, against much political and public opposition. JRs goverment pretended to swallow it, but in reality spat it out as soon as it was convenient. The LTTE opposition and the manner in which the Varatharajaperumal PC responded to pressure, made it all the more easier for the JR and Premadasa governments to make it a joke. There is also no support to improving it or refleshing it from the Sinhalese. If we are content, I am sure the GOSL will deliver the banana skin! It will never deliver the full banana, even if it is rotten at the core. The 13th amendment as it is in practice will of course be very convenient for the likes of the EPDP and TMVP. Even the TNA will probably love it with time, because of the vast vista for corruption it will open. The people of course will not see a difference, except unknowingly paying for an additional layer of political and bureucratic corrption. The Panchayat system being proposed by MR will at least expose the corrupt quicker.

    How will India enforce its brain child on Sri Lanka? Further, any arm twisting will not produce any better result than what happened to the 13th amendment soon after its advent. It will be once again the ‘Parangiya Kotte Giyay’ story. Further, what moral justification would India have, after undermining the near-independent status that was granted long years ago to Kashmir? There is no intervention in the affairs of states in India now, only because the central goverment has come to rely on coalitions and depend on regional party support. The day the congress or the BJP get a majority at the centre the states will go back to being toothless tigers.

    Although you are likely to disagree with me, we have to build a new edifice on better foundations, brick by brick. There should not be any coersion, threats, hidden agendas and third party involvement. We have to open a new chapter based on our past experiences and present condition. This will require much patience, political acumen and wisdom. Further, we have to carry the Sinhala masses with us. In short Tamil political parties cannot and should not play the role of an opposition. We have to definitely learn something from Saumiyamoorthy Thondaman and the Muslim leadership.

    We are unfortunately not in a position to dictate anything. To believe that external forces will provde the muscle will be erroneous. Karunathy’s assertion of his Eelam dream, Jayalaitha’s hysterics and involvement of obviously pro-LTTE Tamil elements in influencing pressure from the west, are proving counter productive. Our situation is already like that of the woman who abandoned her husband , because she had faith in the King (Arasanai nambi purushanai Kaivittaval maathiri).

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  42. Shankar,

    The following are the structural weaknesses in the Provincial Councils, in addition to the subjects in the concurrent list:

    1. The Governor: The only person who has direct executive power deriving from the constitution. He is appointed by the President and is his representative. All executive actions are taken in the name of the President. The Governor can exercise his powers directly OR through board of Ministers or through the officers subordinate to him.

    2.Board of Ministers: Aid and advice the Governor in the exercise of his functions.

    3. Concurrent list: When parliament desires to pass an Act on a subject in this list it can do so provided however that it would consult the Provincial Councils. Here again, it is not mandatory for Parliament to give effect to the opinions expressed by the Provincial Councils,

    4. Provincial Council list: The subjects are considered FULLY DEVOLVED to the Provincisl Councils, SUBJECT to the national policy on each subject. PCs can pass statutes on these subjects. However, if any provision is inconsistent with the provision of any Act of Parliament passed after the 13th amendment, it will be invalid.

    As per the 13th amendment the PCs are expected to dance with their hands and legs tied. They can only function at the grace and goodwill of the national government and the Governor. The effects of these provisions are clearly seen in practice. I am sure India was aware of these built in constraints, although the Indian Attorney General was not involved in drafting yje 13th amendment as agreed upon.

    Should the charade continue? I am sure the lawyers in the TNA understand how meaningless the 13th amendment is in terms of polical devolution. Why have they failed to educate the Tamils on this? If the LTTE had co-operated with Indian government from the very inception of the 13th amendment, changes could have been made. It is now too late. The Municipal Councils have more power than the PCs in Sri Lanka.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  43. Dr.narendran

    “It is not a question of the north, south, east or west and even Sinhalese or Tamils, but the unwillingness of the Sri Lankan state to devolve political power. We are yet a monarchy at heart. Despite the advent of the 13th amendment the Sri Lankan state has become more centralized administratively and politically.”

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU,BUT JUST BECAUSE THE SRILANKAN GOVERNMENT DOES NOT WANT TO DEVOLVE POWERS,ARE WE TO SAY OKAY,WE WILL GO ALONG WITH YOUR DIRECTION,THOUGH WE KNOW IT IS THE WRONG ONE FOR THE COUNTRY.THAT IS A DEFEATIST AND MORALLY BANKRUPT ATTITUDE.WE AS SRILANKANS MUST STICK TO PRINCIPLES THAT ARE THE BEST FOR THE COUNTRY,COME WHAT MAY.THE 13TH AMENDMENT,THOUGH FLAWED AS YOU SAY,MAKES THE GOVERNMENT CHANGE DIRECTION TOWARDS THE PATH OF DEVOLUTION.TO CLIMB A MOUNTAIN YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP.

    “The 13th amendment was an outcome of the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement that was forced down the throat of the JRJ government,”

    THERE WAS PARIPPU DROP BY RAJIV FOR A STARVING PEOPLE.IF YOU CONSIDER A SACK OF PARIPPU AS A FORCING DOWN THE THROAT,I WONDER WHAT YOU WILL CONSIDER THE MORE THAN 10000 SORTIES OF BOMBINGS THAT THAT THE TAMILS HAVE HAD TO FACE,WHICH SHOULD HAVE FORCED THEM TO ASSIMILATE AND BECOME SINHALESE BY NOW.JRJ,THE WILY FOX SIGNED THE ACCORD BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT PRABHA WILL OPPOSE IT AND THE INDIANS WILL DO HIS JOB AND WIPE THE LTTE OUT.OBVIOUSLY THE PEOPLE WHO OPPOSED DID NOT HAVE THIS MAN’S SHREWDNESS.

    THE FACT REMAINS HE SIGNED THE ACCORD.WHETHER PRESSURE WAS APPLIED IS IMMATERIAL.DO YOU THINK THE KACHATIVU AGREEMENT AND SIRIMA SHASTRI,AND SIRIMA GHANDHI PACTS WERE IN FAVOUR OF TAMILS AND COULD HAVE GONE AHEAD WITHOUT PRESSURE BEING APPLIED?NEGOTIATIONS ARE ALWAYS LIKE THAT,WITH PRESSURE BEING APPLIED BY ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER,BUT ONCE DOCUMENTS ARE SIGNED ANYONE WORTH THEIR SALT WILL KEEP TO THEIR WRITTEN WORD.THEY CANNOT WRIGGLE OUT TALKING OF PRESSURE ETC.ALL THE RESISTANCE SHOULD BE BEFORE SIGNING.

    “There is also no support to improving it or refleshing it from the Sinhalese. If we are content, I am sure the GOSL will deliver the banana skin! It will never deliver the full banana, even if it is rotten at the core.”

    WE ARE NOT ASKING FROM THE SINHALESE TO IMPROVE OR REFLESH THE 13TH AMENDMENT.WE ARE TELLING THEM,NOT ASKING THEM,TO JUST IMPLEMENT IT FULLY AS IT IS ALREADY IN THE CONSTITUTION.IT IS UPTO THE GOSL TO GIVE TO THE NORTHEAST THE 13TH AMENDMENT BANANA OR KEEP THE SKIN AND GIVE THE FRUIT(PROVINCES OTHER THAN NORTH AND EAST NOT IMPLEMENT IT). THE THIRD CHOICE FOR THEM IS TO TALK TO INDIA AND ABROGATE THE INDO LANKA ACCORD EITHER UNILATERALY OR BILATERALY.

    AS FOR YOUR CONTENTION THAT IT WILL NEVER DELIVER THE FULL BANANA,I PRESUME WHAT YOU MEAN IS THEY WILL NEVER IMPLEMENT THE 13TH AMENDMENT IN FULL.THAT IS OKAY BY US.THEY ARE WELCOME TO GO ON THE VP “MIGHTY OAK THAT NEVER BENDS TO THE WIND” PATH.WE WILL GO ON THE “WISPY WILLOW THAT IS FLEXIBLE” PATH.WE HAVE ALREADY WAITED FOR 65 YEARS FOR OUR RIGHTS.WHY CAN’T WE WAIT ANOTHER 65?SURELY SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN IN THE NEXT 65 YEARS AS LONG AS WE TREAD THE GHANDIAN NON VIOLENT PATH.THE BALL IS IN THE SINHALESE COURT.IT IS UPTO THEM TO CHANGE THEIR ATTITUDES AND RECONCILE WITH US OR CRACK LIKE THE MIGHTY OAK.

    “The Panchayat system being proposed by MR will at least expose the corrupt quicker.”

    OH YEAH.THE PROBLEM IN SRILANKA IS NOT THE EXPOSURE OF CORRUPTION,BUT THE BRINGING TO BOOK THE CULPRITS.EVERYONE KNOWS WHO IS CORRUPT,BUT NOTHING CAN BE DONE BECAUSE THE 17TH AMENDMENT FOR THE CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCILS HAS NOT BEEN IMPLEMENTED,BECAUSE THE UNP AS WELL AS THE SLFP KNOW IT WILL WORK AGAINST THEM AND EMPOWER THE PEOPLE.THE PANCHAYAT SYSTEM AND SENATE WILL JUST GET FILLED UP BY THE GOONS WHO HAVE STILL NOT GOT POWERFUL POSITIONS.TAKE THE EXAMPLE OF THE PRADESHAYA SABHA CHAIRMAN WHO RECENTLY KILLED A BRITISH TOURIST AND GANG RAPED AND NEARLY KILLED HIS RUSSIAN GIRLFRIEND.HE IS A 24 YEAR OLD THUG AND A GOOD FRIEND OF NAMAL.TAKE LOHAN RATWATTE WHO WAS RUNNING AROUND THE PARLIAMENT IN THE RECENT FRACAS WHERE EVEN ROSY SENANAYAKE’S SAREE WAS BEING PULLED,HE IS A THUG WHO HAS KILLED A PAPUA NEW GUINEA RUGBY PLAYER IN A CASINO,AND KILLED SO MANY OTHERS TOO.DO YOU WANT TO CREATE MORE VACANCIES FOR THESE TYPES WITH SENATES AND PANCHAYATS.FIRST PUT THE CORRECT FOUNDATION FOR THIS COUNTRY,BEFORE TALKING OF FURTHER AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION.LET US LOOK AT THE ONES THAT HAVE NOT BEEN IMPLEMENTED FIRST,BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONES THAT THE POLITICIANS ARE RESISTING BECAUSE IT EMPOWERS THE PEOPLE.

    “There is no intervention in the affairs of states in India now, only because the central goverment has come to rely on coalitions and depend on regional party support.”

    INDIA AS A COUNTRY HAS WITHSTOOD THE TEST OF TIME BECAUSE OF NEHRU’S WISDOM IN FORMULATING A DEVOLUTION PACKAGE TO THE STATES.I REMEMBER AS A TEENAGER A WESTERNER SAYING THAT INDIA WILL BREAK UP VERY SOON.HA!FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.TODAY 1200 MILLION INDIANS HAVE BECOME THE FOURTH LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD EU,US,CHINA AND INDIA.ONE DAY IT WILL BE CHINA,INDIA,EU AND US.

    Our situation is already like that of the woman who abandoned her husband , because she had faith in the King (Arasanai nambi purushanai Kaivittaval maathiri).

    WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY IS I PRESUME,THAT THE WOMAN IS THE TAMIL PEOPLE,THE HUSBAND IS THE SINHALESE AND THE TAMILS HAVE DITCHED THE SINHALESE AND HAVE FAITH IN THE WESTERN NATIONS INSTEAD.

    IF A HUSBAND BEATS HIS WIFE CONTINOUSLY,RAPES HER,THROWS HER CHILDREN INTO BOILING TAR BARRELLS,WANTS TO KEEP HER LIKE A SLAVE,LOOTS ALL HER THINGS AND PROPERTIES,DENIES HER ALL HER RIGHTS,ASKS HER TO GET HIS PERMISSION TO EVEN GO TO THE TOILET,TELLS HER TO SPEAK HIS LANGUAGE NOT HERS,DENIES HIGHER EDUCATION FOR HER CHILDREN SO THAT HE CAN GIVE HIGHER EDUCATION TO THE CHILDREN OF HIS OTHER WIVES,KILLS HER RELATIVES AND FRIENDS IN THEIR THOUSANDS WHEN SHE REBELS AGAINST HIS AUTHORITY,AND THEN SHE WANTS TO LEAVE HIM,BUT HE WON’T LET HER GO,ARE YOU SAYING SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE FAITH IN THE WESTERN NATIONS TO SAVE HER INSTEAD OF HIM?

  44. Dear Shankar,

    Thanks for defending your opinions. Will you continue to do so, after reading my last comment on the inherent weaknesses of the 13th amendment? It is a transparent kovanam/ amudey/ loin cloth full of big holes. It is a legal sleight of hand that appears to give, what it does not. What a deception!

    I also had placed much faith in the 13th amendment and the possible pluses, until I saw it in practice and read it in detail. It cannot be corrected and has to be replaced. With what is the question? I think it is wise to work and improve on what is willingly given, rather than force a solution/ remedy,that is not willingly given and hence will be dead in effect at birth. This is the lesson I learn from history and the armed insurrection. How long can international interest be sustained?

    Do you think the Indians were unaware of the sleight of hand? They went along with it, because they had Sri lanka by the throat at that time. This was their objective- to teach JR a lesson in geo-politics. The Tamils provided the opportunity. The Parrippu drop was the prelude to the throat grip.

    The wife – Tamils- may have been occasionally beaten in a drunken stupor and frequently subject to marital rape by the husdand- the GOSL. However the husband has provided for her. Jaffna was the envy of IPKF soldiers.

    I would not yet abandon the husband in favour of the Arasans-others. I have seen how the IPKF, the LTTE, other Tamil militant groups, the ‘Half democrat’ paramilitary groups and some regular Tamil politicians act and behave. They are a big red light to me.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  45. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:
    April 4, 2012 at 1:20 am
    Dear Shankar,

    Thanks for defending your opinions. Will you continue to do so, after reading my last comment on the inherent weaknesses of the 13th amendment? It is a transparent kovanam/ amudey/ loin cloth full of big holes. It is a legal sleight of hand that appears to give, what it does not. What a deception!

    I also had placed much faith in the 13th amendment and the possible pluses, until I saw it in practice and read it in detail.
    ——————————

    dear Dr.narendran

    You coudn’t have seen it in practice because it has hardly been implemented,other than the creation of the provincial councils itself,that too with a lot of reluctance and then the continous sabotage by the government to undermine it.Chief minister of the east would be more qualified to speak on it,because in sheer frustration he called it a car without the keys.Note he did not say the car was not good,he merely said keys are not given to drive it.

    You yourself have said that srilanka since independence has had a monarchy mentality with centralised control of everything.Srilankans have got used to a strongman or strongwoman looking into everything and making all the decisions by himself/herself.The members of parliament itself are just yes men/woman to the leader.Having their undated letters of resignations i believe is a worlds first.

    So you have to change the mentality and make them do a course direction first.That itself will be a big achievement.That is what india is trying to do here,make the people look into devolution through the 13th amendment.India does not expect it to be the start and end of everything,but expects us to start building on it.It has merely given us an idea to solve our constant bickering by setting us off in the right direction.It did not just land on us the federal system of india,switzerland or malaysia because it knows unlike indians who have seen only devolution since their birth,our people are not used to this concept of devolving powers and have to get educated on it in a practical way little by little.

    So my advice is to go ahead and implement the 13th amendment in full and get used to the concept of devolution,which is an alien concept like coming from mars to our people. After a couple of provincial council elections where the chief ministers are having the full powers of the 13th amendment,we can see the advantages and disadvantages first hand and build on the advantages further and reduce the disadvantages by some further modifications if necessary.

    Before driving the car don’t say that the car is not good.Also don’t get into the car with a preconceived notion that it won’t drive well.have an open mind and after driving it for some time get back to the indians and say to them these are the problems and then they can try to fix it.After all it is an indian manufactured car and the manufacturer has to take the responsibilty to see that the product is indeed satisfying the needs of the customer,but if the customer does not use it at all,but tells the manufacturer it is not good just from looking at it,then the indians are going to get irritated with us.Now they are irritated by both TNA and the government.I want them to get irritated by the government only.TNA is playing right into the hands of the government by rejecting the 13th amendment.

    Also note that the 13th amendment says to implement tamil as the official language with english as a link language.The 16th amendment says to also make it a language of administration.So with the implementation of the these two amendments the language problem will be solved for good for the tamils as well as the muslims.The language problem is a major irritant in the relationship of the two communities.I myself have received documents in sinhalese and have been very irritated.There should be a tamil translation and english translation too.After all are we all not srilankans.By giving these documents only in sinhalese the impression i get is i’am not considered a srilankan by the sinhalese until i learn their aryan language.

    So,Dr.narendran,this reconciliation is a step by step process,and cannot be achieved overnight,after messing it up for 60 years.In this decade we can only implement the 13th,16th and 17th amendments and also implement the LLRC recommendations,and also focus on the economy.Why the economy you might ask?It indirectly affects tamils because our fate is intrinsically woven into theirs as DBSJ once said of the sinhalese.If they are poor we cannot be rich.If we are poor they cannot be rich.I was happy to see a couple of articles on the economy on the DBSJ blog,and i hope as we continue this long journey upto 2020 there will be some more.

    So you should consider upto 2020 as a cooling off period where all these amendments and LLRC recommendations are implemented,trust built between the two communities,a srilankan identity forged,the economy developed evenly and not in a lopsided manner,and there is also the elephant in the room,which is the accountability issue which hopefully can be sorted out with truth and reconciliation commission like in south africa and most important of all the shattered and devastated lives of the people who have been directly affected by this 26 year old war brought to a level where they can move on with their lives.

    So there is plenty to do for srilankans upto 2020.In 2021 we will sit together and discuss what are the further objectives upto 2030,including where we two are going to personally end up,upstairs or downstairs.I don’t know whether you are a atheist,or what your beliefs are,but lately i have been pondering a lot about where to from here.My good friend in srilanka who is a sinhalese told me he does not care where the hell he is going,he wants to only enjoy life before he goes,typical sinhalese.

  46. Shanker,

    The 13th amendment was designed to become what it is in practice now with regard to the Provincial Councils. Its success is predicated on how men/women behave and not on clearly defined and arbitrable law. We can hope attitudes of people will change in the long haul. However it is unlikely as the amendment itself is designed to benefit from human weaknesses.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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