DBSJeyaraj.com on Facebook

‘You do not want the TNA because you want to remove the roots of our right to equality, justice and dignity’

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Print this page

R. Sampanthan MP

by Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committees, we are discussing in the House today, an Adjournment Motion pertaining to the Resolution passed at the UN Human Rights Council at the 19th Session last month.

Before I commence my views in regard to what happened at Geneva , I think I need to outline briefly the history and the growth of the tragedy of the Tamil people in this country and the Tamil issue, to put things in proper perspective. The Sri Lankan State has been insensitive and callous in dealing with the issues pertaining to the Tamil people, particularly in the North and the East.

It was only the Tamil people who stood up politically against the Sri Lankan State, though it must be acknowledged that the Tamil-speaking Muslim people in the North and the East have also had similar issues and concerns. It is the Tamil people who have shown the resilience to stand up to the Sri Lankan State. More than six decades later, after the country attained Independence , we still show that resilience. That is because we are an ancient people with our own civilization and our distinct identity. We are prepared to be integrated into the Sri Lankan nation but we cannot be and will not be assimilated.

The Sri Lankan Government has been all-powerful: the Legislature, the Executive, the Judiciary were under its absolute control. The Tamil people had no effective presence or influence in any one of these institutions of governance. The Sri Lankan Government wielded an overweening influence in every sphere of governance. The Sri Lankan State developed a culture of all-pervasive impunity, vis-à-vis the Tamil people.

Anything, however unjust or unacceptable, could be done to the Tamil people and the Tamil people would have no recourse to effective justice. They were a minority people. The fact that they were not a minority people in at least some parts of the country did not matter. It was not relevant. Programmes would be vigorously implemented, have been implemented and are being implemented to make them a minority even in those parts.

The Tamil people were subjected to repeated anti-Tamil pogroms in 1956, 1958, 1961, 1977, 1981 and 1983 and this situation has continued continuously thereafter. Tens of thousands of Tamil people left the country. That number is now estimated to be in the region of one million. Tamils left the country because they were subjected to violence and not treated with justice and equality in this country. Peaceful non-violent resistance for over three decades was followed by armed resistance thereafter. Armed resistance as is not unusual had its grave distortions and came to be looked upon with disfavour by many countries the world over. Many countries, in numerous ways, effectively helped the Sri Lankan State. This armed group was banned in very many countries. Many individuals helping this armed group were prosecuted in those countries.

These countries helped the Sri Lankan Government to cripple that armed group. These countries were however aware that there was legitimacy in the Tamil struggle for dignity, equality, self-respect and justice. They were also aware that Tamil civilians in this country were being subjected to grave human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws. The Sri Lankan State had repeatedly assured these countries that once the armed conflict was ended there would be an honourable and equitable resolution to the Tamil issue which had lingered from the time the country attained independence and which had existed for more than six decades and which had inflicted much suffering and deprivation on particularly the Tamil people.

Other peoples too both the Sinhalese people and the Muslim people suffered much harm during this period of the armed conflict and I think one must acknowledge that. Most regrettably the Sri Lankan State seems to have irrationally decided that with the conclusion of the war the Tamil issue had also suffered a natural demise.

This was a serious misjudgement and a self-serving miscalculation by the Sri Lankan State because the peaceful, non-violent democratic struggle of the Tamil people for dignity, justice and equality had commenced at least three decades before the commencement of the armed struggle and had continued on its own as a peaceful, non-violent and democratic struggle even during the period of the armed conflict, despite several sacrifices made by moderate Tamil politicians and civilians. This struggle will continue as a peaceful, non-violent and democratic struggle even in the future until there is an honourable and equitable resolution to the Tamil question.

Sri Lanka has had ample time and space – in fact, several decades – to resolve this issue. It is almost three years since the war came to an end. Countries which helped Sri Lanka to successfully conclude the war have interacted very closely with Sri Lanka to achieve this objective even after the war came to an end. Sri Lanka has responded to such efforts with disdain and cavalier indifference. No tangible movement was made towards achieving this objective. This situation, Sir, could not continue. The continuance of this situation would have been harmful for everyone in this country. It would have been particularly harmful for the Tamil people. They have been and they would be the worst victims of violations, which would recur if this situation continued. It must be said, Sir, that this is a situation which Sri Lanka has brought upon itself.

Impunity, in whatever sphere, has to come an end; impunity must inevitably yield to accountability. Human society through institutions that have universal acceptance has devised mechanisms to deal with such continuous denials, exclusion and injustice.

You cannot avoid facing those institutions and mechanisms and being answerable to them. The only answer to this predicament, Sir, is for the Sri Lankan State to put its own house in order. It would be a grave mistake to think that the casuistry and chicanery you have persistently practised on the Tamil people in Sri Lanka for over six decades can continue to be practised indefinitely over world bodies. The trajectory of the future lies entirely in your hands. One can only pray that in the interest of the country at large, you will act with sobriety and wisdom.

It may be appropriate, Sir, for me at this stage to draw the attention of the House to an editorial that appeared in a much-reputed and respected newspaper, “The Hindu”, published in Chennai in Tamil Nadu, a newspaper with which all governments in this country, including our present President, have frequently interacted. The editorial that appeared on the 23rd of March, 2012, the day after the adoption of the Resolution at Geneva , titled “A wake up call for Colombo ” states, I quote:

“The passage of the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka is proof that the international community disapproves of the manner in which the Rajapaksa government is addressing the fallout of its Armageddon moment of mid-May 2009. The resolution, backed by India , asks Sri Lanka credibly to investigate allegations of rights violations in the course of its war against the LTTE. The wording of the resolution was tweaked by India to say the implementation assistance the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights will provide must be with Sri Lanka ‘s “concurrence”. Yet, Colombo must not misread this concession. Thursday’s resolution is the first real sign that the world will no more let itself be guided solely by Sri Lankan claims that it has the will to carry out its own probe. It also means that gentle prodding and quiet diplomacy will not be the main means the world will adopt towards the island nation. Few would dispute that Sri Lanka took too long to acknowledge the allegations of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances and delayed moves towards a political settlement indefinitely. Ultimately, its own ‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’ came out with some constructive recommendations, but these have not been followed up. President Rajapaksa may not like the Geneva resolution but he has brought it upon himself.

India ‘s vote has already aroused consternation in some sections in Colombo but it is crucial that its intentions not be misread. There is no change in the Indian defence of the unity and integrity of its southern neighbour, only a realisation that the tardy progress towards reconciliation could undermine the prospects for peace and stability there. For the first time in decades, New Delhi is in concord with popular sentiments in Tamil Nadu but it would be wrong to look at its Geneva vote as merely the product of domestic political pressure.

Over time, the false assurances on devolution and implementation of ‘the 13th amendment and beyond’ it received from Colombo have frustrated South Bloc and forced it to reconsider its diplomatic options. What is welcome in India ‘s latest stand is that it has outgrown its misplaced fear of the growing regional presence of China.

Having voted for the resolution, the onus is now on India to remain engaged with the Lankan authorities, as its interests lie in promoting reconciliation and supporting the quest of Tamil Sri Lankans for justice, equality and dignity. The solution has to be Lankan-led. Persistent emphasis on accountability from outside may jeopardise the larger goal of reconciliation by giving a fresh thrust to Sinhala nationalism. India needs to brace for extraordinary diplomatic challenges ahead.”

That editorial, Sir, written in “The Hindu”, the much respected newspaper, makes the position very clear.

Though I have heard and read several statements made by leading persons on behalf of the Government that various countries have been subjected to various forms of pressure and that India had succumbed to domestic pressure and political compulsions, the reality is that you were assisted by India to conclude the war – you cannot deny that India rendered to you the most valuable assistance to bring the war to an end successfully – you made several commitments to the Indian Government in regard to the resolution of this question and that you never kept any one of those commitments, whether it be in regard to a political solution, human rights, the ground situation, demilitarization, resettlement of people or returning lands of people to them to enable them to resettle. In regard to none of these matters have you kept your commitments. Therefore, as “The Hindu” clearly indicates, you have now come to a stage when the casuistry and chicanery you have practised indefinitely and persistently on the Tamil people for several decades can no longer be a continuing phenomenon, because now you have come under the view of the world community, the international community, who are watching you and to whom you will be answerable.

Yesterday, I was in this House listening to the Debate and to several Government spokesmen. They all talked about the LTTE, only a device to detract from the duty to face the issues that confront you. You talk of the LTTE rump frequently. You call the Tamil diaspora, numbering one million people who left this country under compulsion on account of the violence practised against them, who did not have justice in this country, who did not have equality in this country, who are now doing well abroad, “the rump of the LTTE.” They are not the rump of the LTTE. They are earnestly awaiting a peaceful, acceptable resolution of the Tamil question in Sri Lanka, if possible to even return to Sri Lanka to be able to invest here and help her progress, not merely the North and the East, but the whole of the country. But, because you cannot perform your duty, you cannot do what you are morally and ethically required to do, you brand others as the rump of the LTTE.

There may be some LTTEers. I am not saying there are not, but they certainly do not constitute the major component of Tamil society, whether it be in this country or elsewhere any longer. But, you want to maintain this LTTE talk in view of your incapacity, your inability, your lack of will, your lack of commitment to deliver on what you undertake to do. I think this must stop. This is most disgraceful. You should be ashamed of yourselves to continue to talk about the LTTE rather than delivering on your commitments and your obligations.

More time was spent yesterday by the Government Spokesmen talking about the LTTE than about the LLRC or Geneva. You cannot survive on such propaganda for long. The danger is that such propaganda is detrimental to genuine peace and reconciliation. Probably, you do not want genuine peace and reconciliation because you cannot come up with the remedies that are necessary to achieve genuine peace and reconciliation, and because you cannot come up with the required remedies to achieve genuine peace and reconciliation, your only escape route is the LTTE. Is that your position? It exposes your lack of serious commitment and raises grave misgivings about your will to replace the armed forces with effective civilian administration in the North and the East. It also poses a grave challenge to the democratic decisions of the Tamil people and governance in the North and the East in particular, in keeping with the democratic will of the Tamil people. You do not want this to come about.

Our assessment of the position is that you do not want governance to take place, particularly in the North and the East in keeping with the democratic will of the Tamil people and you think that the only way in which this can be frustrated is by talking about the LTTE and keeping alive the LTTE. You carried on the same propaganda in Geneva . You could not sell that propaganda. You know what happened.

Why should persons of the stature of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson and Jimmy Carter make statements against the Sri Lankan Government individually and on behalf of the organizations to which they belong? Do you not realize that there is something gravely wrong? Do you not realize that the conscience of these most-respected, upright civilian leaders has been aroused consequent to your misdeeds over a period of time? Is it likely that personalities of this stature could come up with a position against the Sri Lankan State and the Sri Lankan Government unless they were convinced that there is something radically wrong in this country?

Sir, having said that, let me turn my attention briefly to what happened in Geneva in May, 2009 when there was a Special Session that was intended to promote and protect human rights in Sri Lanka.

That Session was attended on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government by the then Minister of Human Rights and the Resolution that was moved in Geneva on that occasion was adopted in favour of Sri Lanka by 29 countries voting for the Resolution, 12 voting against and six abstaining. What did the Minister of Human Rights say in Geneva on that occasion on the 26th of May, 2009? I quote:

“The government has right throughout this difficult phase of liberating our people from terrorism never subscribed to the concept of a military solution as a final solution. We have always said that the only durable and lasting solution is a political process which addresses the socio, economic and political grievances and expectations of our citizens through a home grown process acceptable to all sections of our multicultural society. The efforts in this direction have already commenced.”

Three years have gone by. It has not come yet to an end. He went on to say, I further quote:

“What I would like to leave behind in this room is our commitment as a Government, as a nation to the fact that Sri Lanka is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. This is the great diversity and the strength of Sri Lanka . And we are committed and we believe in the fact that it is only through the protection and nurturing of this diversity that we can build the unity that we need to overcome the challenges that are before us in the national, reconstruction and development efforts that our country needs to put in place towards our goal of sustainable peace and development.”

That is what he said in Geneva on the 26th of May, 2009. I will comment on certain matters pertaining to this Resolution as I go along.

Sir, the next Session in Geneva, I want to refer to, was in September, 2011 when the Human Rights Council sat again and when there were certain moves for a Resolution to be moved against Sri Lanka, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe once again attended the Session as a Special Envoy on Human Rights of President Rajapaksa. In the course of that Session in Geneva , he made a statement. The main objective of the Government at those Sessions was to stave off any Resolution being passed in Geneva , primarily on the footing that the LLRC Report was being anticipated and that the LLRC Report was going to be a panacea for all ills and would set everything right in Sri Lanka . This is what Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said on behalf of the Government on that occasion. I quote:

“Currently, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) is inquiring into the conflict and its causes and is evolving recommendations to ensure that such a situation never arises again in Sri Lanka . It is critical to wait for that body to finish its deliberations and come up with its conclusions in due time. Rushing these processes unduly may comprise the effectiveness of the implementation of the eventual recommendations. The persons engaged in the Commission are highly regarded professionals. They should be given time and space to come up with their findings and recommendations.”

He went on to further say:

“I look forward to the LLRC coming forward with creative, forward thinking and workable recommendations that we can implement with a view to buttressing our common values and ideals and celebrating our rich socio-ethnic makeup. Building a Sri Lankan identity that is overarching and inclusive and which nurtures the rich diversity of our people, is at the centre of our all efforts. All this must be achieved within a paradigm of democratic governance which is the best guarantee of peace, prosperity and the security for all Sri Lankan people.”

This is what you tell the international community. “We are a very diverse society; we are a multi-racial society; we are a multi-ethnic society; we must be inclusive; we must come up with arrangements to accommodate all this.” Where is all this? Why is all this not happening? Do you think you can go on fooling the international community forever as you have done to the Tamil people for well over six decades? That is what happened in Geneva . You were able to stave off that Resolution. There was a proposal for a Resolution to be brought by Canada but that was not eventually brought on account of the serious efforts you made.

Then thereafter, Sir, there was the LLRC Report which came out. I will not read the Recommendations of the LLRC in regard to all matters but I would certainly refer to the LLRC Report in regard to some of the recommendations they made, particularly in regard to a political solution because they have very clearly stated what should happen politically to ensure that there is peace and reconciliation and stability and prosperity in this country.

In Paragraph 8.222 of their Recommendations they say, I quote:

“All parties should recognize that the real issue of sharing power and participating in Government is the empowerment of the people and making the political leaders accountable to the people. This applies to Sri Lanka as a whole and includes the needs of citizens of all communities, Sinhala, Tamil, Muslims and others. The effective functioning of the democratic system which fulfils these needs, together with a consensual framework of devolution will, by virtue of attributes and institutions intrinsic to it, also provide the answer to the grievances of minorities.”

I hear some of your Government spokesmen talking with either ignorance, or impudence or impertinence. They say that the Tamil people do not want power sharing and it is the TNA that wants power sharing. I do not want any power sharing from you. What power sharing can you give me? But my people want power sharing. My people want to feel as equal citizens in this country. My people feel, the Muslim people feel that they must have political power in the same way that the Sinhala people have political power which we do not have and the LLRC has said it very clearly that power sharing is meant for the people and not for political leaders. So please stop this crap of saying that the TNA wants power sharing and the Tamil people do not want power sharing.

In Paragraph 8.225 of their Recommendations they say, I quote:

“The Commission wishes to underline the critical importance of making visible progress on the devolution issue, in order to ensure the success of any process of lasting and sustainable reconciliation. The Commission therefore recommends that the present opportunity be utilized to launch a good faith effort to develop a consensus on devolution building on what exists – both, for maximum possible devolution to the periphery especially at the grassroots level, as well as power sharing at the centre.”

When we talk of maximum possible devolution to be granted, I must refer to the speech made by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the inaugural meeting of the APRC and the Committee of Experts on the 11th of July 2006.

This is what he said, I quote:

“In sum, any solution needs to as a matter of urgency to devolve power for people to take charge of their own destiny. This has been tried out successfully in many parts of the world. There are many examples from around the world that we may study as we evolve a truly Sri Lankan constitutional framework including our immediate neighbour, India … Any solution must be seen as one that stretches to the maximum possible devolution without sacrificing the sovereignty of the country given the background of the conflict.”

President Rajapaksa is in complete agreement with what has been recommended by the LLRC, “maximum possible devolution”. Why are you fighting shy? We are prepared to resolve this question on the basis of maximum possible devolution. Why are you fighting shy? Why are you speaking with two tongues?

The next Recommendation, Sir, made by the LLRC which I might place before the House is 8. 226.
It states I quote:

“To this end, the Government must take the initiative to have a serious and structured dialogue with all political parties, and those representing the minorities in particular, based on a proposal containing the Government’s own thinking on the form and content of the dialogue process envisaged. That dialogue must take place at a high political level and with adequate technical back-stopping.”

So, why are you fumbling? Why are you, Ministers of the Government, speaking in different voices? Why do you not speak with one voice? It was in this background, Sir, that the last Session of the UN Human Rights Council took place on the 27th of February, 2012 and once again the Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe went across to represent the Government as the special envoy of the President on human rights. He made certain statements which are significant. I wish to read them, briefly.

He states, I quote:

“In our view, the Report contains a detailed and perceptive analysis of past errors, including those that led to the failure of the peace process, and several recommendations for the future. The report is comprehensive and contains detailed annexes.”

He went on to say, I quote:

“The Commission has dealt with and made recommendations on a whole gamut of issues including aspects of accountability – something which several of our partners and interlocutors have failed to acknowledge; the resettlement of IDPs; the rehabilitation and re-integration of ex-combatants; the detention of suspects; bringing an end to the possession of unauthorized weapons; the deployment of security forces; land issues; issues with regard to restitution; implementation of the language policy; socio-economic and livelihood development; administrative issues; and on the need to arrive at a national consensus with regard to fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of all communities living in Sri Lanka.”

He further went on to say, I quote:

“I may also add that the government is firmly resolved to ensure that all those who have been dispossessed of their lands, are afforded the opportunity to return to the lands they once owned.”

Is it happening? In so many parts of the North, it has not happened. In Trincomalee, it has not happened.

He went on to say, I quote:

“With regard to the lands under the former High Security Zones of Palaly and Trincomalee-Sampur, the Commission has acknowledged that the area covered has significantly diminished in terms of both land area and restriction of movement. With regard to the re-demarcation and reduction of the former High Security Zones to aid resettlement, the process was initiated prior to the Commission’s Report, which therefore recognized that the area had diminished significantly. By the end of the conflict in 2009, the High Security Zones (HSZ) covered 4,098.36 Ha and, at present, has been reduced to 2,582.45. The government will closely monitor and expedite making lands, previously used for security purposes, for resettlement/return.”

In fact, when I raised this matter in Parliament in October, 2011, the Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, in regard to the position in Trincomalee gave me the assurance on the Floor of the House, that the persons who were displaced from Sampur, Muthur East – that entire area – apart from the land required for the Coal Power Plant, they could return to their lands and resettle. But nothing has been done. So far nothing has been done. And recently those people have even been deprived of their food – their rations – because they are not leaving the refugee camps in which they are. So, we need action in regard to all these matters.

Before I conclude, Sir – I might take two more minutes – I want to say only this. Recently I had a meeting with the BOI Chairman and who is also the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, in regard to the Sampur Coal Power Plant and the land from which people have been displaced, and he told me that there was a high-level meeting presided over by the Hon. Minister Basil Rajapaksa in his capacity as Minister for Economic Development and that there were some proposals in regard to the installation of a heavy industrial zone in that area. But, Mr. Basil Rajapaksa in the course of the meeting clearly announced that apart from the land required for the Coal Power Plant, all other land must be returned to the displaced people and that the displaced people should be resettled in those lands. I am thankful to him for having made that announcement even at that meeting and made the position clear.

But that is not good enough. My people want to go back. My people have lived there for generations and for centuries. There is an ancient historic temple in that area called “ Pathrakali Amman Temple ” that they worship. They want to go to that temple. They want to get back to their lands. Why are you delaying? Your Government Agent and your Governor in Trincomalee are not prepared to let them go back. They have got their own plans. Why can you not implement your decisions – decisions which you have made? Then we will not have to raise this matter in the House again. Let me hope that in regard to both Palaly – where I am told that they are putting up fences suddenly – and with regard to Sampur, our people can get back and resettle there before we have to raise this issue in Parliament once again.

Before I conclude Sir, I want to make just a final reference to some statements made by the Hon. DEW Gunasekara in his capacity as Acting Minister of External Affairs when he made a Statement in this House on the 23rd of March 2012. We do not buy the theory that the members of the Human Rights Council who voted in Geneva were subjected to any pressure or subjected to any domestic compulsions in making their decisions as to how they would vote. We, for our part, respect the decision made by every country. We respect the decisions made by even countries that voted against the Resolution – I mean with the Sri Lankan Government. Well, we think it is the sovereign right of those countries to make their decision and we have no right to question that decision.

Unfortunately the Government’s spokesmen have not conformed to – in my view a very healthy practice of – not condemning a decision made by a sovereign country. You talk about your sovereignty but you are not prepared to concede to other countries their right to their sovereignty.

In 2009, you carried the Resolution with: 29 for, 12 against and 6 abstained. This time, the Resolution was carried against you with only 14 voting for you – fifteen less than what you have got in 2009. What happened? How did you get 15 less? The Hon. DEW Gunasekara went on to say in the course of his statement that all in all, 23 members refused to say “Yes” to the Resolution. That is – 15 plus 8 – 23. But you forget that all in all, 32 members did not say “No” to the Resolution. You say, 23 members refused to say “Yes” to the Resolution. But you forget the fact that at the same time, all in all, 32 members refused to say “No” to the Resolution.

Why did you not have even a simple majority? You had only 15. As far as the other party was concerned, they had a two thirds majority. They had more than two thirds. Thirty two out of 45 is more than two thirds. So, I think you must stop quibbling with this type of thing and realize that this type of thing does not help.

Now, if you do not comply with the LLRC Report – but that is your business not mine; a matter in regard to which you can take your own decision – then they go to another Report before the UN Human Rights Council. That is the Report of the Experts’ Panel appointed by the Secretary-General of the UN. That Report was sent to the UN Human Rights Council when the sessions were on in September 2011, and the Secretary-General had good reason for sending that Report to the UN Human Rights Council. He knew that that was the place to which it had to be sent.

If you do not implement the LLRC recommendations and perform your duties as required in terms of the Resolution, you will have to seriously ask yourselves the question, as to whether any action may be pursued – I am not saying it must be pursued; that is a matter for the UN Human Rights Council, not for me to decide – as to whether any action could be pursued in terms of the Report of the Committee of Experts appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to advice him? These are the questions you face and you cannot, in my respectful submission, any longer take up the position that you can quibble; you can double speak; you can prevaricate; you can engage in casuistry and chicanery and get away with it; and not be answerable. I do not think, Sir, that is any longer an option available to the Sri Lankan Government.

You now have to deliver on a political solution. You have to deliver on the ground situation. There must be demilitarization. Our people must lead a life of self-respect and dignity. They cannot be second-class citizens in the areas in which they were born, in which they have lived for generations and which they belong to and own. There must be return of effective civilian administration. You must respect the democratic verdicts of our people. Monies are being allocated only to persons with the Government; only to the Government Local Authority Members. I read in the newspapers recently that the Hon. Hasen Ali, a Senior Member of Parliament belonging to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, his proposals have been rejected. Monies are not being allocated to our Members of Parliament, to our Local Authority Members in our areas. The Government has the audacity to say, “No money for the others, only for our Members.” Are you respecting democracy? Are you respecting the democratic verdicts of our people? Why do you have elections? You have elections at which our people vote and our people choose their representatives. You must give due respect to that verdict. If you do not respect that verdict, are you respecting our people?

If you do not respect our people what respect can we give you? These are questions to which we must find answers. We are prepared to work with you. We have to be extremely honest about this. We started talks with you. You know that we did our very best to take the talks forward. We made every positive contribution to take the talks forward. If the talks have today got into difficulty it is not on account of us, it is on account of you. You cannot deny it. I challenge anyone of you to stand up in this House and deny it. We have done our very best to take the talks forward. I have sought to reasonably compromise at every moment, at every turn despite being criticized sometimes by hard-liners within my own people. I have been willing to compromise to take this forward and find an honourable, equitable solution. My Colleagues are aware of that. You must take the full responsibility for the present situation.

The ground situation in the North and the East must change. Our people must get back to their lands, lands on which they lived. Our people must be able to cultivate their lands. Our people must have proper livelihood opportunities not something at your mercy, not something at your clemency. But, as a matter of right, that is your duty as a Government. You are not doing me any favour. You are the cause of that destruction, and we are entitled to return to a life of self-respect and dignity. Our people must be entitled to that.

You must dismantle your military cantonments in the North and the East, particularly in the North, in the Kilinochchi District which you are seeking to establish on a permanent basis. I have information that the soldiers who have been settling in these cantonments are today cultivating paddy lands under various minor tanks in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi. Tomorrow when they are demobilized they will be given the cantonments and they will be given that land. Tens of thousands of people from outside the North and the East will thereby be settled in the North, against the will of the people of the North. This type of thing must stop. Are you going to stop it? Are you prepared to tell this House that you will stop it? Are you prepared to tell this House in uncertain language clearly and explicitly that you will implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission which was your showpiece before the international community on the basis of which you staved off many disasters, because you have not even started implementing the interim recommendations of the LLRC made more than one year ago in September 2010.

The UNHRC was aware of that because even in the Report of the LLRC, they have referred to the fact that the Government has not implemented its interim recommendations though made more than one year ago.

නියෝජ්‍ය කාරක සභාපතිතුමා
(குழுக்களின் பிரதித் தவிசாளர் அவர்கள்)
(Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committees)
Order, please! Hon. Sampanthan, you have one more minute.

ගරු ආර්. සම්පන්දන් මහතා
(மாண்புமிகு ஆர். சம்பந்தன்)
(The Hon. R. Sampanthan)

Okay, Sir, I will not take more time than allotted to me.

So, we appeal to you. I want to assure you of our fullest cooperation. What is wrong with the TNA? Am I a criminal? What have I done? What is it that I have not done in the interest of peace and stability? You do not want the TNA because you want to remove the roots of our right to equality, justice and dignity.You want to be in power everywhere. Give equality to our people. Make our people feel equals. Give them political power in their hands and ask them to return you, on their behalf, to positions of authority.

So, kindly stop this most dishonourable conduct that you are presently engaged in and engage in something constructive, something positive, something honest and you can be assured of our fullest cooperation.

Thank you.

(The Hon. R. Sampanthan)

Full Text of speech made in Parliament on April 4th 2012 by Tamil National Alliance leader and Trincomalee district MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan during the debate on the UNHRC resolution in Geneva

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Print this page

153 Comments

  1. State Repression now turn to TNA ?

    “Give equality to our people. Make our people feel equals. Give them political power in their hands”

    Hon. R. Sampanthan, you don’t need to beg war criminals; we have full political rights same as Sinhalese to choose our own
    political future. There are many good Sinhalese and forward thinking political party’s support Tamils, TNA should work with them on common ground to resist this brutal regime.How Bandaranaike and Bikus brought dark era to the whole country same as now SLFP and JHU are the real traitors and racist of the country.

  2. Dear Mr.Sambanthan,

    A stirring speech indeed. The ” My people ” words were indeed touching to read and hence was more so to hear! Nothing less could have been expected from you.

    Yes, the LLRC recommendations should be a foundation for solutions to our problems in Sri Lanka. The government has to work to a road map and indicate its targets on a short, medium and long term basis. We can then debate the time table, while accepting the goals. I would indeed suggest the TNA submit realistic road map to parliament to start the ball rolling. This would demonstrate to all Sri Lankans and those in the larger world interested in our affairs, your intentions and grasp of local affairs.

    However, do you find the 13th amendment in relation the the Provincial Councils, a viable solution in terms of the devolution your party demands? I frame this question in the context of the following:

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

    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.

    I consider these features are a legal sleight of hand. The 13th amendment pretends to deliver something that it is designed not to.

    Please let the Tamils and others in Sri Lanka know what your position and that of the TNA is on these aspects of the 13th amendment?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  3. Fantastic! Thank you Mr. Jeyaraj for publishing this. What more can any Tamil say in this country to make the government or for that matter a Sinhalese to convince and explain our pathetic situation! In the long line of leaders like Sir Pon Ramanathan, G.G.Ponnambalam, C. Suntharalingam, Thanthai Chelva and A. Amirthalingam, Sampanthan Iya is another. We don’t know how many more speeches of this nature are needed to make these people understand our problems and to find a way for all SriLankans to live in peace and tranquility. Does this govt realise that all the tallents of our people are just wasted in this manner and instead, if put to develop the country it would be a paradise on earth.

  4. According to the Daily Mirror (5th April’2012), Lord Naseby currently visting Sri Lanka said the following:

    “TNA appreciative towards govt.’s efforts

    Lord Naseby (Michael Morris) – Founder of the Sri Lanka Friendship Group in the UK Parliament/ All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka – today said there was a visible change in the TNA which is more willing, open and appreciative towards government’s efforts for devolution.

    “I met the TNA leader and he recognized that some good work is being done in Jaffna. However they do want civil administration to return. He told me clearly that he was committed to the 13th Amendment,” he said.

    He also said that he saw no need for a Parliamentary Select Committee since all parties had openly agreed to the 13th Amendment. “In the UK, Parliamentary Select Committees are appointed to waste time, when tough decisions have to be made. However in Sri Lanka it is now time for action—decisions have to be made and the process needs to begin,” he said adding that he would make this observation to President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a meeting scheduled for last evening.

    After having visited the North he showed appreciation for the resettlement and de-mining process that was ongoing and expressed that the international community was unaware of the difficulties of this process. “I’m not sure if the international community understands the importance of the de-mining process or what a difficult process it is,” he said.

    He said during his meeting with the President he would address the issue of Muslim IDPs too. “They have been left out of the agreement between the UNHCR and the government and I will talk to the President about the possibility of amending this agreement,” he said.
    Lord Naseby was also of the view that the TNA was completely removed from any influence of the Global Tamil Forum or the British Tamil Forum.

    Commenting on the Channel 4 video he said it was not right for a public channel that was partially owned by the government to put out a documentary with such untruthful facts. He said he would also address the fact that Channel 4 had lobbied to the BBC to refrain from covering the Sri Lanka-England matches here.

    During his visit he met with Government Ministers G.L. Peiris, Rauff Hakeem, Rishard Bathiudeen, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Basil Rajapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Douglas Devananda and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. He also met the Jaffna Bishop, Northern Province Governor, Government Agent of Jaffna and Kilinochchi, Jaffna Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the British High Commissioner and made visits to Hambantota, Galle, Jaffna, Vavuniya and Kilinochchi. (Dianne Silva)”

    Mr.Sambanthan’s speech in parliament should be read in the context of Lord Naseby’s remarks, particularly with reference to his meetings with the TNA. Will the TNA deny the impression conveyed my Lord Naseby? If the TNA leader is appreciative of the governments efforts at devolution, I think things are moving in the right direction, despite his rhetoric in parliament. However, the position of the TNA and its leader on the Provincial Councils, a part of the 13th amendment to the constitution, needs explanations in terms of the questions I have raised previously.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  5. Mr. Sampanthan excellent speech….I have a great respect for your courage to move forward….it is very doubtful that the members of the House understood what you said or have the heart to do what desire because….they are just PUPPETS on chain……besides donkeys……it is unfortunate of a President of the same clan…..

  6. “You do not want the TNA because you want to remove the roots of our right to equality, justice and dignity” – This is untrue.

    MR does not want the TNA because it opposed him at the last election. Clearly he wants reconciliation on his basis, and if he could not get it his way, he could not care less. Which means in regards to devolution anything that would restrict his power is not something he will countenance. As such he is not a progressive thinking leader of the nation, but like many politicians is seeking to protect his interests. And there many leaders like him around the world that follow this reasoning, including Western democracies.

    With the system as it is, I am not sure that any President would emerge that pursue devolution which gives away some of their own power. It is within these restrictions that the negotiations continue with an inability to reach a consensus between the two parties.

  7. Mr.R.Sampanthan is very vocal and bolder,fighting for my poeple now with the knowledge and thinking that Hillary Clinton is behind him.I dread to imagine the day he looks back to find only his shadow and no Clinton. Important thing to remember here is regardless of wether it is India,UK or US behind you now,it is we who have to live together.
    He is bragging about “The Hindu” editorial who is desperatly trying to justfy a decision that exposed the vulnereablity of the GoI and that it went against the foreign policy of the country. The Hindu editor in a school headmaster tone is trying to admonish Sri Lanka but fails to explain why the resolution was watered down so much if the idea was to tweak Sri lanka in to action.
    Mr.Sambanthan scoffs at D.E.W for adding the 8 abstentions to the 15 voted for Sri lanka and mocks adding that 8 to 24 voted for the resolution while conveninently forgetting that all 8 expressed their views against the resolution,which clearly shows they were threatned and forced to abstain. Then he show his concern for the sovereignity of 23 voted for the resolution. Exactly, If the Americans cared about their sovereignity they should have been allowed to vote according to their conscious in a democratic manner instead of resorting to viley methods to force them in to submission.
    If As Mr.Sampanthan claims this is all about Equality, respect and dignity we could have achieved all than long ago without indulging in all this carnage.It has nothing to do with those as claimed,but has everything to do with the Dream Eealm. The Dream Eelam wrapped in equality,respect,human rights,self determination, Tamil aspirations etc.etc.is the only reason for this to keep on dragging without an end in sight.If one thinks that these people will settle for these wrappers one is mistaken,they won’t, for their livlihood and importance depends on it for one and their puppetiers will not let them the other. With this lot in charge Sri Lankan Tamils seems doomed for eternity.

  8. Excellent speech that cannot be bettered much.

    Thank you, Sir.

    Will my people understand this monumental speech ?

    Will this speech open their hearts and heads ??

  9. at the outset i would like to congratulate sampanthan iyya for his excellent speech.tamil national alliance has spoken and srilankan government has to make moves to restart the talks regarding 13th amendment which is the main demand of tamils of north east and other international observers.this does not mean that it is the panacea for all the problems faced by tamils in north and east rather it is the beginning which can result in tamils solving their own problems instead of looking forward to central government in colombo or its well wishers abroad.lot of discussions have taken place about the unitary state and federal set up.federal set up of government which involves more devolution of powers to provinces has got caught in the ethnic maelstorm rather than being viewed purely as a governance issue it is being viewed from a prism of ethnic divide.if north and east province is merged federal or central government will lose its influence it has been the main arguement of people who oppose the 13th amendment.unfortunately this is not the case.let us take the indian example which has a federal set up though state governments feel that they have not got the rightful share of taxes that are being levied on people.central government imposes direct and indirect taxes state governments or provincial governments do not have a say in the allocation of direct and indirect taxes.federal government through a regulatory set up allocates financial resources.unfortunately this scheme of things has not been even handed main grouse of the provincial governments is it is penalising progressive and successfull states and helping states which are not performing well ecoomically.despite these shortcomings system has worked well and little bit of tweaking is needed which can be taken care of.when it comes to federal set up a governor who is nominally head of the province is there who acts on the recommendation of the cabinet similar to how an indian president who is nominally head of state but has to act on the advice of the federal cabinet.in srilanka what we can have is similar system where north and east can be merged into a single province with a chief minister and similarly other provinces can also be strengthened with a chief minister and a governor who is nominally head of the province who acts on the advice of the cabinet which represents people wishes.it has to be kept in mind that sinhalese apprehension that north and east merger is precursor to breaking away of the province is misplaced and it has to be allayed also.we are in a world which has become much more globalised and technology is breaching lot of barriers.in future what i envision is srilanka becoming a base for manufacturing goods to india given the geographical proximity to vast indian market something similar to mexico acting as a base for american companies.hence i request sinhalese to relent from the rigid stand and accomodate tamils people’s aspiration which are just.

  10. Mr. Narendran:

    I wonder what you still have not learned after many years of being severely thrashed every time there is a riot? Do you feel the Dr. title might save you from it?
    I dont understand your holier than thou views and what corner of Nallur it might be emerging from?

  11. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    You were asking Sampanthan as to his views on 13 amendment and you were also pinpointing the structural weaknesses in that.

    Great.

    As an Indian I believe what is doing good to the 1234 million Indians will do the same to the 21 million Sri Lankans.

    Leave aside Sampanthan. What is your view about the political settlement.

    Please do not say that the immediate necessity of the people is the bread and butter. This political settlement could wait.

    The whole world wants some sort of political settlement. Your own President has said that he will give political settlement.

    Tell me your prescription for this.

  12. Message is very clear . Message for Nonviolent Resistance ! ” Give to my people : Dignity,equality and make our people feel equals”

  13. Excellent speech!

    In current parliament, he is the only Tamil leader who can articulate this kind of an effective speech. Lab dog ‘White van duggie’ can only bark for a few bones. Sampanthan should not worry about some distracter who would say anything to score some points, favor from Sinhala regime, but they are a tiny minority.

  14. At one point in his speech Mr. Sampanthan refers to the following:
    “I hear some of your Government spokesmen talking with either ignorance, or impudence or impertinence. They say that the Tamil people do not want power sharing and it is the TNA that wants power sharing.”
    Anyone who holds that position is either a moron or a liar or something worse.

  15. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Would you like to comment on the story below:

    ‘Singing national anthem in Tamil, a ridiculous idea’
    NEWS | APRIL 6, 2012 2:22

    (Srilankamirror) – Singing the national anthem in the Tamil language, which is a recommendations of the LLRC, is a ridiculous and unpractical idea, said defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
    He stressed that the political proposals contained in the commission report too, cannot be implemented.
    The implementation of the rest of the recommendations is underway, said the defence secretary.
    He went onto say that provincial councils cannot be given land and police powers as requested by certain politicians.
    The devolution of powers to the provinces is already taking place under the 13th amendment to the constitution, said Mr. Rajapaksa.
    Also, the disarming of the armed groups in the north and the east and the release of detainees are also two LLRC proposals which are being followed, he added.

    http://english.srilankamirror.com/2012/04/singing-national-anthem-in-tamil-a-ridiculous-idea/

    I hate to agree with him.

    Singing national anthem in Tamil and Sinhala is a ridiculous idea.

    How soon can we stop.

    Seriously instead of Tamil and Sinhala can we sing Sri Lankan national anthem in the following languages:

    Hindi, Chinese, Pali, Sanskrit, Arabic, Bengali, Spanish (Cuba), or in

    “Nkole, Tooro, Kiga,Nyoro, Runyakitara, Luganda, Soga, Nilotic, Karamojong, Bari, Teso, Acholi, Lango, Adhola, Kumam, Luo,Kalenjin, Pokot,Elgon, Kuliak, Ik, Soo, Lugbara, Aringa, Ma’di, Ndo” (Uganda)

    The national anthem should be sung in Vedda language and Vedda language only.

  16. It really depends on Colombo. TNA has its door open without any pressure from hardliners.

    After some time, no decision and no movement constitutes a decision and a move.

  17. Well said Mr.Sampanthan. This should reach Sinhala laymen. If there are any true SriLankans, please pass it to Sinhala brothers and sisters. Politicians and historians have injected venom into minds of their own people. We have to relieve them from distorted re-written facts.

  18. It was certainly a great speech. It would have been equally great, if not greater, had Mr. Sampanthan acknowledged some of the positive developments after the war – such as the defining efforts and the rehabilitation of child soldiers. This would have demonstrated the TNA is willing to give credit where it’s due and prevented critics from attacking the substantive issues raised in this speech by claiming that the TNA is only interested in criticising the government.

    Of course, like some of the speeches delivered by Mr. Sumanthiran, this speech harks back to a time when parliament was a place of principled debate and erudite argument. Given the calibre arguments that emanate from the government benches, Mr. Sampanthan’s speech is akin to casting pearls before swine.

  19. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Don’t waste your time. Life is short, do somthing good for the community.

  20. It was a very encouraging speech. I was pleasantly surprised to hear a lot more national oriented speech from the TNA with a lot less negative rhetoric. This is truly a welcome development and I’m glad because I have been one of those people who have requested the TNA ( in my past comments) to change their attitude with regards to our national issue and to approach it in a national context rather than a localised one. There is definitely an effort being made by the TNA to sound more conciliatory and to work with the govt in a spirit of compromise and consensus.I think the govt. should seriously engage with the TNA and hammer out a solution which includes ‘safeguards’ for sovereignty & unity. For the future well-being of all Sri Lankans, we all deserve another opportunity to mend our ways.

  21. Jazz

    Do you think Sampanthan speaks better than court clowns Mervyn and Weerawamsa?

    You say:

    “For the future well-being of all Sri Lankans, we all deserve another opportunity to mend our ways”.

    Therefore lets sing national anthem in Sinhala as ‘Singing national anthem in Tamil, a ridiculous idea’.

  22. Dear Dr Rajasingham,

    Please let the Tamils and others in Sri Lanka know what your position and that of the TNA is on these aspects of the 13th amendment?

    I think the answer to your question is fairly obvious. The TNA does not want to discuss the 13A because then it would be locked into a solution. If it turned out that Tamils’ lives are still miserable after implementation of 13A, then the TNA will not have a strong basis to advocate a different model.

    That is the primary flaw with devolution as a “political solution” to the “ethnic problem”: anyone can argue that a particular system of devolution is not working because “there is not enough of it.” The TNA is quite aware of this and thus is avoiding the 13A.

    As a result, any Sinhala with half a brain should not support 13A either; if it is not good enough for the Tamils, then why should it be good enough for the Sinhalese? If the major Tamil party is squeamish about 13A or with any specific demands involving devolution, then the Sinhalese cannot be blamed for not implementing 13A more or less any kind of devolution.

  23. As pointed out in the concluding speech of Hon. R. Sampanthan, the process of removing the roots of the numerically inferior community of their right to equality, justice and dignity is being accelerated even after the experience of three decades of civil war, including the presence of foreign army for about three years in the country proud of its sovereignty. This process is neither stopped nor at least minimized.

    So dear Sambathan Iyaa, keep on giving voice to the people you are representing with a pure heart.

  24. Mr. Sampanthan you area a legend. NO one can deny any thing you said in parliament.
    If anyone dispute this speech, they must be considered as heartless, brainless inhuman.
    Unfortunately, MR Company wants hold on to power to retain their immunity. They know their can cheat the people with ant Tamil slogans by ignoring the starvation faced by the people.
    I can assure you, that Tamils will never get freedom in this Island.

  25. Mr Sampanthan Sir you are a hero for all Thamilians in the world today whether they are from India or Malaysia or mauritius or Singapore
    brilliant speech sir

    I had the opportunity to hear speeches of Hon Amirthalimngam and sivaseethamparam in Cheenai 27 years ago
    You scored more points Thaliva than any one I so far heared
    I cried after reading your speech in this forum
    I am sure All Indian Leaders will read your speech Sir

  26. Aiya Sampanthan at this age working so hard to prepare this speech, really a great job. ” Our people must have proper livelihood opportunities not something on your mercy-You are the cause of the destruction.” Yes our people have to work on their own resources they belonged to and live in their own and build their houses in their own, but not in the mercy of the others.

  27. “This struggle will continue as a peaceful, non-violent and democratic struggle even in the future until there is an honourable and equitable resolution to the Tamil question.”

    Can somebody please tell me, what this “Tamil question” is?

  28. He should have talked like this even before 2009 but he never did. He is a shylock and always asks for pound of flesh when it comes negotiations.

  29. Sampanthan:
    Can you explain how you can get “EQUAL RIGHTS and other” if you join UNP? When ever you Tamil politicos join UNP in power, you and others forget TAMIL problems. How is that?

    Can you explain how UNP will solve the TAMIL problem? You never tell.

    Your party and UNP supported LTTE criminals. Can you explain it?

    TNA is not needed to the Tamils to help the Tamils. TNA is now under direct orders from Washington and Ranil. Tamils are simply used as the pawns in the American Domination game.

    You completely rejected the LLRC and propagated against it even after the report was released. Now you cry to implement it. So, you need American recomendations.

    TNA is a proven coolie party and nothing to do with the interest of the suffering Tamils. You expect ordinary Tamil people must be killed or suffer for the American interest.

    Did you ever tell the Tamils who voted you, about your support for UNP and America? You tried to grab land from Tamils in Trinco over a land dispute in Linga Nagar.

    If you want to lick the feet of UNP and Americans, better pack your bags and leave to USA.

  30. I am not surprised at the vehemence and venom in some of the replies to my comments. I expected them. What has the channel 4 video to do with Mr.Sambanthan’s speech? What has the national anthem being sung in Tamil got to with the subject being discussed- the 13th amendment and Provincial Councils?

    Anyway, on the subject of the national anthem, according to Reuters report in 2010,titled:

    Sri Lanka denies scrapping anthem’s Tamil version

    “We have decided to use the national anthem as it is now at the moment, and no decision was taken to scrap the Tamil version,” Public Administration & Home Affairs Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne told Reuters. Two other ministers confirmed that.

    At present, the Tamil version is sung in areas where Tamils, about 14 percent of Sri Lanka’s 21 million people, are predominant. Elsewhere the Sinhalese version is sung. Local media had said the decision to scrap the Tamil one was final.

    Seneviratne said cabinet “discussed the way people should behave when the national anthem is sung as there are problems,” but declined to elaborate. The cabinet has not issued the gazette notice required to make any such decision law.”

    This position has not been changed, challenged or tested anywhere yet. The TNA should test the veracity of the government stand by singing the national anthem in Tamil at its meetings. If invited, I will attend the first meeting where the national anthem is sung in Tamil. Would the TNA do this? Very unlikely, because it will be labelled ‘Traitor’ and its bluff probably exposed.

    Further,

    The powers conferred on the Provincial Councils in the 13th amendment are quite different from those conferred on the states in India. The Provincial Council cabinet is not confirred any statutory executive powers. It is only an advisory body, if the Governor wants it to be. There is no compulsion on the Governor to seek its advice. The Governor is the excutive authority and has the choice to ignore the provincial cabinet. The provincial public service also reports to the Governor. Whether, the Governor is a Sinhalese or Tamil will not matter. They are appointed by the President, whose executive authority is delegated to him/her. The Governor is the kingpin of the province. Further, as I have pointed out (and many know it), the subjects allocated to the Provincial Councils are a mirage.

    Is this the type of devolution we want? Prof. Tissa Vitharane APRC’s laudable recommendations are gathering dust somewhere in a corner, because he tried to remedy the deliberately installed structural flaws in the 13th amendment, which went against what the government wanted. The APRC was a charade that served a purpose until the LTTE was well and truly defeated. I am sure Mr.Sambanthan knows this very well. I pointed this out at the Diaspora Dialogue conference, attended by senior government politicians and officials held in Colombo in March’2009. I noticed many in the podium nodding their heads in agreement.

    Mr.Sambanthan and the TNA are pressing for the full implementation of the grievously flawed 13th amendment to fool the Tamil people, once again. They will claim that they have won the Tamils their rights, dignity and self respect, and canvass votes on this basis. In my opinon, which many will dispute, it is better not to be party now to a failed solution, only because it is there in our consitution as a charade. It is better to be honest and face realities at least now. Emotions, slogans, name calling and false assumptions have been the bane of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. It is also unfortunate that these slogans and false assumptions were pedalled by the best of Tamil legal luminaries. Sauvmiya Moorthy Thondaman and Devanayagam, backed out of the Vattukottai resolution, because they were wise and foresaw the consequences.

    My solution : Work with the government to evolve a mechanism to involve the minorities in governance at the centre. The Senate and the Panchayat system being touted by the government may be a point to begin the dialogue. I have my doubts about the Panchayat system, because it is not part of our tradition, as in India. However, I am sure it can be designed to suit our circumstances. In politics what is possible is always a solution and not what something could be. What could be may be the ultimate goal, but what is possible and useful is the first step.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  31. MY QUESTION IS IF TAMILS CAN LIVE IN THE SOUTH AND COLOMBO , WHY SINHALESE CAN NOT LIVE IN NORTH ( JAFFNA , OR TRINCO ) WHOM ARE YOU TRYING TO HOODLOOM , AS A POLITICIAN …I CAN SEE YOUR DEVIOUS INTENTIONS.,, AND MAHINDA OR GOTABAYA OR BASIL KNOWS YOUR INTENTIONS.( DEVIOUS GAMES ) IF YOU DO NOT LIKE SRI LANKA MOVE TO TAMIL NADU , WE DID NOT INVITE YOU TO COME TO SRI LANKA. GO BACK WHERE YOU BELONGS TO

  32. Citroen XM says:

    “Can somebody please tell me, what this “Tamil question” is?”

    Whether the first monkey was a Tamil or Sinhalese, which was popularly known as Tamil Question.

    The experts are still working on this all important research drawing ideas and evidence from other fields, such as Anthropology, Archaeology, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Archeo botany, Metal Archaeology, Marine Archeology, Potsherds, Neurology, Urology, Linguistics, History of Religion, Genetics, Sinhala and Tamil traditions, ….etc.

    Irrefutable evidence is found in Mahawamsa confirming the emergence of Sinhala monkey well before the homo sapiens. The Tamils are of the opinion the first monkey was a Tamil monkey siting Sangam literature.

    I am still awaiting for the expert panel report. Please don’t confuse with Darusman report and LLRC for Darusman report never existed and LLRC was never meant to find the truth.

    Keep in touch I Will keep you informed.

  33. I think Mr.Sampanthan has spoken brilliantly for his people.Our leaders only speak for themselves.

  34. Anonymous says:

    “IF YOU DO NOT LIKE SRI LANKA MOVE TO TAMIL NADU , WE DID NOT INVITE YOU TO COME TO SRI LANKA. GO BACK WHERE YOU BELONGS TO”

    My people never invited the Sinhala Criminal Kallathonies, Vijaya and his asylum seeking thugs to come to the island from Bengal. Your criminal ancestors who practiced incest, bestiality and paricide came anyway, and grabbed all my ancestral land.

    Could you show us evidence that your Sinhala people were invited by my ancestors?

    Your homeland is in Sinhapura, Lata land.

    I like my island therefore please go back to Sinhapura, when you go take your Tamil brethren with you.

  35. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    “My solution : Work with the government to evolve a mechanism to involve the minorities in governance at the centre”

    Until the government provokes another round of bloodshed.

    You haven’t commented on Gota’s ridiculous comment. Is it necessary for him to provoke peace loving people of the island? It takes two to tango and tango has its ground rules. Middle of the dance one participant should not be allowed to change the rules just because he/she has the muscle to enforce it. The whole exercise of negotiations boils down to who has the muscle power and the weaker party agreeing to preset Sinhala/Buddhist agenda.

    If you haven’t learned anything from the past I doubt you will ever.

    What is the intention of the Sinhala/Buddhist state?

    There is difference between judgement and intention.

  36. What ever TNA says is irrelevant as nobody accepts it as the ONLY representative of the tamils but the LTTE and the TGTE.
    There are many tamils living in SriLanka who do not want to be a party to TNA divisive politics. Yes, TNA should accept that other tamil pareties it prevented from canvassing at the election at the behest of the LTTE are true tamil sri lankan political arties who fought for long years the LTTE terror and never opted for separation.

  37. Thank you Mr. Sampanthan for taking-up the issue of problems faced by Muslims in the North and East and also the need for political rights for us as well. Even the Muslim politicians do not have the courage to highlights their community’s issues in straight-forward words as you did. An excellent speech demonstrating to the country that you are the most matured politician around with honest intentions for the welfare of the country which is the essence of a true patriot when others abuse this word.

  38. DBSJ had written in detail on the national anthem controversy.

    http://www.infolanka.asia/opinion/sri lanka-tamil-and-the-singing-of-the- national-anthem/all pages.

    A cabinet decision on not singing the anthem in Tamil yet stands indefinitely postponed. Whatever any one may opine or fear, the anthem can be sung in Tamil yet. The TNA used the Tamil version when swearing in its members electd to the Vavuniya Municipal Council. The TNA should do so regularly. It should also press the government to use both the Sinhala and Tamil versions at official functions in the north and east. Sinhala and Tamil are official languages of Sri lanka. Why should not the Tamil version be not used in the hill country and other areas where there is a strong Tamil presence,as well, at official functions?

    Further, the original Namo Namo Matha was composed for Ananda Samarkone by Rabindranath Tagore.

    Since I have responded to the comment on the national anthem, I am writing this note as well.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  39. M.Sivananthan says:

    “Can you explain how UNP will solve the TAMIL problem? You never tell.

    Your party and UNP supported LTTE criminals. Can you explain it?”

    Are you confirming Tamils and Sinhalese are stupid people, including yourself whoever you are?

    If so then I will agree with you.

  40. Native Vedda,

    Thank you for your responce, though my question about the “Tamil question” was not answered.

    Leaving it aside for a minute, aren’t we speaking out of context, when we speak about Singala monkeys and Tamil monkies and to whom the country belongs.

    If we go by that norm and back in time, the whole world belongs to some natives in Africa (Africa origin of man) close to Ethyopia and can claim the whole world for themselves. Why don’t we see the “Tamil question” more in a contemporary context looking back – say, after 1948?

  41. Dr.Narendran,
    Please read the news below. The Tamils have so many Narendrans and a very few Sampanthans, that is the curse.

    SINGING NATIONAL ANTHEM IN TAMIL, A RIDICULOUS IDEA.
    (Srilankamirror) – Singing the national anthem in the Tamil language, which is a recommendations of the LLRC, is a ridiculous and unpractical idea, said defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
    He stressed that the political proposals contained in the commission report too, cannot be implemented.
    The implementation of the rest of the recommendations is underway, said the defence secretary.
    He went onto say that provincial councils cannot be given land and police powers as requested by certain politicians.
    The devolution of powers to the provinces is already taking place under the 13th amendment to the constitution, said Mr. Rajapaksa.

    Also, the disarming of the armed groups in the north and the east and the release of detainees are also two LLRC proposals which are being followed, he added.

    http://english.srilankamirror.com/2012/04/singing-national-anthem-in-tamil-a-ridiculous-idea/

  42. ‘You do not want the TNA because you want to remove the roots of our right to equality, justice and dignity’

    I think “Politics” since 1950 July up to today.It is very,very interesting.Then I think I must become a Politician,but I thought before that I must write a “BooK” in 2009 and the name of the book is “CHANGES introduced to some of the religious systems and introducing UNIVERSAL religious system” (2009 December 22.12.2009 and it seems due to “Cold or Warm or due to “Politics” or what ever it is I am difficult to speak from 2009.12.28.Now I am OK but still I am not perfect due to write my next “Book”.)

    “Equality + Justice + Dignity” If I can use it like a “Ball”,then I think “Hon.Barak Obama,Hon.Mahinda Rajapakse should become Presidents and Hon.Erik Solheim also become as a 2nd President in 2012 December 31, so that I can write my next “BooK”.In my first Book,page 29 President 2 are OK,but if all they becomes in 2013,then I will be O.K. Also,whether good or bad please read this book before 21.12.2012,because some people might think Tusnami or any other problem.

    regi
    (Reginald Thiviamanoharan Nallathamby)

  43. Equality, Justice and dignity are the universal demands of all people in the world, including the Sinhalese, Muslims and other communities in Sri Lanka and not only the Tamils. Under the Colonial powers, which ended with British rule, the Tamils who were mostly south Indian imports, were the priviledged community at the expense of equality, justice and dignity of other communities. Since independence, when this wrong was corrected by the independent SriLankan Governments, the Tamils led by the Federal party opposed equality and to this day we are being harassed by the section of Tamils, who are now in the the TNA and other LTTE sponsored groups and NGOs. Yes, correct the wrongs by first giving equal land rights to all ethnic groups by removing the discriminatory thesavalam law enacted by the Colonial powers to reserve land for the Tamils brought from India to the Northern Province. Secondly, TNA and others must list out the so called rights they claim they do not have today, rather than drumming unsubstantiated rhetoric like wanting equality, justice and dignity etc, as if they do not already have all these.

  44. Citroen XM asks, Can somebody please tell me, what this “Tamil question” is?
    This reminds me of the chap who listened to a recital of the Ramayana through the night and next morning wanted to know how Rama was related to Sita!
    But then, what would you expect from something contructed of cast iron, aluminium, glass and rubber?

  45. Citroen XM says:

    “Why don’t we see the “Tamil question” more in a contemporary context looking back – say, after 1948?”

    It has been sixty four years since independence. If Sri Lankies haven’t understood the “Tamil Question” how long would you need to understand the question and then find answer to this racist and stupid question. Would you like another Vijaya to come from Sinhapura to educate/civilise you?

    There is no such thing as “Tamil Question”. It is a Sinhala/Buddhist/Aryan problem imposed on the ordinary people of the island. The people are burdened by myth new and old.

    Please tell us as to what this “Tamil Question is”.

    If you trace your ancestry back to Ethiopia please feel free to go back to Africa so that we will have one less “Tamil/Sinhalese problem”.

  46. I will not say much but put forward a well known sentence, with apologies to AFLAC Sri Lanka:
    ‘Its better to light a candle than curse the darkness’.
    And here is the version applicable today.
    ‘ Lets shout about the darkness , Lighting candles might expose the nakedness.’

  47. Anpu,

    I have not referred to Ch 4, in my direct comments on Mr.Sampanthan’s speech. I have only responded to your comment on it. I have not definitely commented on Ch4-ver , anywhere either. So do not try to bring in extraneous issues into my comments on the 13th amendment in relation to the PCs.

    Native Veddah,

    Did you notice the words ‘Whatever anyone may opine’ in my comment above? The anyone includes Mr.Gothabaya Rajapakse as well. He has a right to his opinion, but it does not change the situation as it is now. However, he should have explained why he thinks so. He may have and it was not reported. I disagree with his opinion, but will not ridicule it.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  48. Dr Narendran,

    In counties where there are more than one official language , is the national language being sung in many languages. In Singapore the national language is in Malay because it was part of Malaysia though Mandarin & Tamil are official languages there as well

  49. Thivya,

    “The Tamils have so many Narendrans and a very few Sampanthans, that is the curse.”

    Why a curse? It is a blessing that has continued for more than six decades. Based on the comments here and elsewhere,and your own perceptions, you should have rather said,’ We are lucky there are only a few idiotic Narendrans and many-please choose your adjective- Sambanthans’.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  50. A game-changing speech by the Mr. Sampanthan.

    I just hope that next time he would include me, a Sinhalese-Buddhist, and all other Sinhalese also as “my people”.

    The change in attitude and the flexibility displayed will be welcomed by all who are watching the events unfolding in the island with great interest and scrutiny. OK Sir Mr. President, the ball is now in your court ….

    I hope the government is smart enough to see the gathering clouds, the Geneva resolution, the US State Dept Report about war crimes, and this speech by the TNA leader who correctly states that the world’s democracies are tired of the administration’s deceptive tactics. After three long years of waiting, the Americans have lit up a small fire under the admininstartion’s chair. Time walk the talk.

  51. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    “Did you notice the words ‘Whatever anyone may opine’ in my comment above?”

    Although I am thick I noticed and understood that you are trying to wriggle out of the situation where you fear you might offend the clan.

    I wanted to hear it from the horse’e mouth the word Mr.Gothabaya Rajapakse.

    You say:

    ” He has a right to his opinion”

    Not at other people’s expenses. Do you think such stupid statements from the most powerful man in the island is conducive to future reconciliation?

    His was not a stupid statement but a calculated move to inform the Tamils and other minorities where to get off in his nation building process. One Nation, One People, One Leader, and the whole land belongs to his clan and their cronies.

  52. Dr.Rajasingham narendran

    This is what you wrote earlier:

    “Naam Yaarkum Kudiyallaum- Namanai Anjaum, Narahathil Idapadaum, —-“(Tamil)

    —-“We are not anyone’s slaves,Will not fear even Yama (The God of death) and,Will not be condemned to Hell—- (Translation).

    Not being anyone’s slave is freedom and not having to fear even Yama, is liberation! Refusing to be condemned to hell is courage indeed! Where do we Tamils now stand in the context of these thoughts that have permeated our lives, from childhood?

    People can have freedom while not being liberated but they cannot be liberated while not having freedom

    By Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    I just wanted to remind you what you wrote.

    I was taught at very early age by a non Vedda friend versus which still echos in my ears. This is what exactly he told me:

    “Benda Benda Knocker is a fool

    Knocka Knocka Bender is a fool”

  53. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran
    If Ch 4 video is irelevant to the speach – why did you include this in your comment. http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/5415#comment-61537. This is what you wrote
    “Commenting on the Channel 4 video he said it was not right for a public channel that was partially owned by the government to put out a documentary with such untruthful facts.” Your lordship was trying to rubbish the video and you were trying to use it to support your comment.

    I made my comment ( http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/5415#comment-61626 ) (61626 comes after 61537) after you made reference to the CH 4 Video. Now you are saying “I have not referred to Ch 4, in my direct comments on Mr.Sampanthan’s speech. I have only responded to your comment on it. I have not definitely commented on Ch4-ver , anywhere either. So do not try to bring in extraneous issues into my comments on the 13th amendment in relation to the PCs”.

  54. Among old generation of Tamil politicians, Mr. Sampathen is the person who was with LTTE and wanted carryout Mr. G.G. Ponnamblam’s thoughts beyond which never can negotiate with Sinhala community. He would have thought it would have carried out under the power of LTTE. As he was inline with LTTE’s aim, his life was safe during the war whereas Mr. Ananda Sangaree’s life was in danger. In fact Mr. Ananda Sangaree was more realistic Tamil leader though unfortunately dismissed by Tamil people subsequent election.
    I believe we should address real grievances of Tamil people in a one-to-one discussion from the beginning forgetting the past at All Party Conference (APC) in the parliament. We shouldn’t consider whatever discussions and decisions arrived in Thimpu or subsequently under 13th amendment or etc. When we consider real grievances of any party (i.e. Tamils or totally different issue in our normal life or office related… etc) we should analyze it with free mind and reasonably without external pressure to the issue. I mean when LTTE was in active stage, because of their power or thinking that we never can destroy terrorists or because of Indian threat like we introduced 13th amendment, if SLGov would have agreed with giving unnecessary rights, it is incorrect and inappropriate. Other way around if SLGov will agreed to give lesser than ‘necessary and sufficient’ rights as a solution in the circumstances of nonexistence of terrorist threat presently, that is also inappropriate. As nonexistence LTTE if TNA or any other party will use international pressure as a threatening against the government and asking for more than ‘necessary and sufficient’ rights, again it is unrealistic. If we give more than ‘necessary and sufficient’ rights to one community it will create imbalance situation which could lead another issue among other communities in the country. This reality should understand by all communities in SL including Sinhalese without racial mind. In fact obviously Sinhala community will have a reasonable doubt on Mr. Sampathen according to his history and conduct though certain ‘Tamils’ were appreciated his speech???? Talking and performing is too different factors.
    Though LLRC report has produced by the committee that had have been appointed by the SLGov but they cannot implement all recommendation by their own because of the international pressure. Certain of them should ask from people in a referendum according to democratic way. Though Mr. Sampathen says India was with US-led resolution because of China factor it is 100% incorrect. We all know because of Tamil Nadu threatening they wanted to safeguard their government. Everyone knows China is a genuine friend of SL for decades. Also SL is only country who could balance Asia’s power struggle. Ex. In 1960’s Mrs. Bandaranayake was the person who stopped the war which was about to start between India and China. Mr. Rajapakse is similar to Mrs. B who knows our position and duty in the region. We cannot do any harm to India as a small nation. I regret Mr. Sampathen’s efforts to create issue between India giving wrong meaning to the India’s decision on US-led resolution.
    When countries are voting based on the pressure of powerful USA/EU countries and the decision of India type of countries which is merely based on their internal matters; who can say majority of countries decision is on par with real issue highlighted in the resolution? This fact any Montessori student can understand. Under said situation I should say, not a single country can ask majority’s decision against another country. That is principally incorrect. For instance, if Mr. Sampathen goes in front of three member panel of judges in Supreme Court regarding his personal issue (non political) and if 2 out 3 judges will give verdict against the reality without analyzing the real facts of the issue by considering personal factors of 2 judges; is that decision correct? Everyone should agree some countries have given their vote totally misleading the picture painted by Channel 4. Now a day’s propaganda can do a lot to upside down the reality. In fact SLGov’s decision is 100% correct, not to adhere to the UN resolution.
    If Mr. Sampathen will go through US-led path we never can find real solution to the issue. As I explained earlier if any party expects or fight for unrealistic and unreasonable rights going beyond actually required status (‘necessary and sufficient’) we are in same squire. As Sinhalese we love our Tamil people. When British rulers were ruling the countries, they had given minority community to more power (in SL for Tamils) to create conflicts under their ‘divide and rule’ concept which was abnormal and unreasonable. We should understand, still they do same while involving via various ways ie. Human Rights. In fact Mr. Rajapakse’s decision to find homegrown solution to Tamil grievances’ is absolutely correct. If this reality Mr. Sampathen can understand broadmindedly it will good for SL. But if Mr. Sampathen is having separate state dream in his under mind and asking rights to achieve his target as a subsequent step, then such ‘talks’ will go in vain.
    After facing 30years brutal LTTE war, though any party (UNP, TNA ..etc) expects to remove military forces from that area while having a danger of utilizing arms that are hided in unknown places plus in the presence of 1000’s of trained former LTTE carders; does any responsible government will take a decision to weaken the military power? They should be vigilant always. As a person who had supported LTTE, Mr. Sampathen does not have any right to ask government to remove the Army. Obviously he is having rights to say SLGov to make sure not to do any harm to Tamil community if Army really does so.
    Though Mr. Sampathen elected by the Tamil people, if he failed to use this vibrant opportunity they may replace him with Mr. Ananda Sangaree type of realistic leader to resolve this long standing issue without harm to any community realistically.

  55. Among old generation of Tamil politicians, Mr. Sampathen is the person who was with LTTE and wanted to carryout Mr. G.G. Ponnamblam’s thoughts beyond which never can negotiate with Sinhala community. He would have thought it would have carried out under the power of LTTE. As he was inline with LTTE’s aim, his life was safe during the war whereas Mr. Ananda Sangaree’s life was in danger. In fact Mr. Ananda Sangaree was more realistic Tamil leader though unfortunately dismissed by Tamil people in subsequent election.
    I believe we should address real grievances of Tamil people in one-to-one discussion from the beginning at All Party Conference (APC) in the parliament forgetting the past. We shouldn’t consider whatever discussions and decisions we had arrived in Thimpu or subsequently under 13th amendment or etc. When we consider real grievances of any party (i.e. Tamils or totally different issue may be in our normal life or office related… etc) we should analyze it with free mind reasonably without the external pressure to the issue. I mean when LTTE was in active stage, because of their power or thinking that we never can destroy terrorists or because of India’s threat like we introduced 13th amendment, if SLGov would have agreed with giving unnecessary rights, it is incorrect and inappropriate. Other way around if SLGov will agreed to give lesser than ‘necessary and sufficient’ rights as a solution in the circumstances of nonexistence of terrorist threat presently, that is also inappropriate. As nonexistence LTTE if TNA or any other party will use international pressure and threaten the government and asking for more than ‘necessary and sufficient’ rights, again it is unrealistic. If we give more than ‘necessary and sufficient’ rights to one community it will create imbalance situation which could lead another issue among other communities in the country. This reality should understand by all communities in SL including Sinhalese without racial mind. In fact obviously Sinhala community will have a reasonable doubt on Mr. Sampathen according to work and conduct of history though certain ‘Tamils’ were appreciated his speech???? Talking and performing is too different factors.
    Though LLRC report has produced by the committee that had have been appointed by the SLGov but they cannot implement all recommendation therein by their own due to international pressure. Certain of recommendations should ask from people in a referendum according to democratic way. Though Mr. Sampathen says India was with US-led resolution because of China factor it is 100% incorrect. We all know because of Tamil Nadu’s threatens they wanted to safeguard their government. Everyone knows China is a genuine friend of SL for decades. Also SL is only country who could balance Asia’s power struggle. Ex. In 1960’s Mrs. Bandaranayake was the person who stopped the war which was about to start between India and China. Mr. Rajapakse is similar to Mrs. B who knows our position and duty in the region. We cannot do any harm to India as a small and weak nation. Irrespective of our position we never need to do any harm to any nation in the world according to our nonaligned policy. I regret Mr. Sampathen’s efforts to create an issue between India giving wrong meaning to the India’s decision on US-led resolution.
    When countries are voting based on the pressure of powerful USA/EU countries and the decision of India type of countries which are merely taken based on their internal matters; as such, who can say the decision of majority of countries is on par with real issue highlighted in the resolution? This fact any Montessori student can understand. Under said situation I should say, not a single country can ask majority’s decision against another country because that is principally incorrect. For instance, if Mr. Sampathen goes in front of three member panel of judges in Supreme Court regarding his personal issue (non political) and if 2 out 3 judges will give verdict against the reality without analyzing the real facts of the issue by considering personal factors of 2 judges; is that decision correct? Everyone should agree some countries have given their vote having totally misleading the picture painted by Channel 4. Now a day’s propaganda can do a lot to upside down the reality. In fact SLGov’s decision is 100% correct, not to adhere to the UN resolution.
    If Mr. Sampathen will go through US-led path we never can find real solution for the issue. As I explained earlier if any party expects or fight for unrealistic and unreasonable rights going beyond actual requirements (‘necessary and sufficient’) we are in same squire. As Sinhalese, we love our Tamil people. When British rulers were ruling the countries, they had given minority community to more power (in SL for Tamils) to create conflicts under their ‘divide and rule’ concept which was abnormal and unreasonable. We should understand, still they do same while involving via various ways ie. Human Rights. In fact Mr. Rajapakse’s decision to find homegrown solution to Tamil grievances’ is absolutely correct. If this reality Mr. Sampathen can understand broadmindedly it will good for SL. But if Mr. Sampathen is having separate state dream in his under mind and asking rights to achieve his final target as in subsequent step, then such ‘talks’ will go in vain.
    After facing 30years brutal LTTE war, though any party (UNP, TNA ..etc) requires to remove military forces from that area while having a danger of utilizing arms that are hided in unknown places plus in the presence of 1000’s of well-trained former LTTE carders; does any responsible government will take a decision to weaken the military power? They should be vigilant always. As a person who had faith on LTTE, Mr. Sampathen does not have any right to ask government to remove the Army. However he is having rights to say SLGov to make sure not to do any harm to Tamil community if Army really does so.
    Though Mr. Sampathen elected by the Tamil people, if he will fails to use this vibrant opportunity they may replace him with Mr. Ananda Sangaree type of realistic leader in the subsequent elections to resolve this longstanding issue without harm to any community realistically.

  56. Sri Lanka Api says:

    ” In fact Mr. Ananda Sangaree was more realistic Tamil leader though unfortunately dismissed by Tamil people in subsequent election”

    Mr. Ananda Sangaree used to write letters to Prabaharan to which he never received replies. After Prabaharans death he unceremoniously wrote several letters to Mahinda to which he never received replies. This shows the politician Mr. Ananda Sangaree is no more effective than a Punchi Banda or a Kanthasamy, the average men on the street. I see no difference between VP and MR. The realistic Tamil leader is rejected by MR subsequent to the war.

    You say:

    “I believe we should address real grievances of Tamil people in one-to-one discussion from the beginning at All Party Conference (APC) in the parliament forgetting the past”

    How many more All Party Conferences would be sufficient to address real grievances of Tamils?

    You say:

    “Mr. Sampathen does not have any right to ask government to remove the Army. ”

    Why not?

    Could you summarise what you have written in your long treatise.

  57. Dear Sri Lanka Api

    Mr. Sampathen is the person who was with LTTE and wanted to carryout Mr. G.G. Ponnamblam’s thoughts

    What were GG Ponnambalam’s thoughts?

  58. thank you Hon Sampanthar MP , we will support you , and sson or later we will publish the sri lankan natinal anthum in hindi and we can sing soon.

  59. The Sunday Island editorial (on April 8th) titled “Act now before time runs out” was very positive about Mr. Sampanthan’s speech above referenced. It is widely known that the Island paper has been a hard-line, generally expressing critical views about TNA politicians, often expressing views against devolution of powers and ardently supporting the government without any question. Therefore, it is a pleasant surprise when the editorial said “We believe that if this country is to achieve the reconciliation and harmony that is so desperately needed, its entire people must listen with open minds and hearts to the Tamil point of view which Sampanthan has eloquently expressed.” The editorial further said “…. we believe it would be wise to deal with people of Sampanthan’s vintage, experience and wisdom than younger Turks who might succeed him. Positive affirmative action is required before time runs out.” Mr. Sampanthan deserves credit for succeeding in convincing the paper to listen to his views on behalf of Tamils and for apparent recognition and non-objection.

    It is very important that these kinds of papers are apparently moderating their views and urging the readers and the public at large to listen to the Tamil point of view and influence the political leaders to act now before the time runs out. Public education and public awareness of the relevant issues and possible appropriate and pragmatic solutions with fair and balance approach are very important measures that would tremendously help to garner public or political support and to help counter deliberate misinformation, fear mongering and sabotage by extreme elements. The newspapers play an important and active role in this aspect that should be appreciated.

  60. Anpu,

    Yes, I have commented on channel 4-ver One, when there was a discussion in transcurrents on it. I have not commented on ch4-ver-two, anywhere. What has this got to do with Mr.Sambanthan’s parliamentary speech? I was raising questions on the usefulness of the PCs. Please comment on the issue at hand. I will repeat, that whatever, was shown in the Ch-4, do not have a major impact on me. I have seen and heard of worse. Both parties in he last war, cannot take a holier than thou attitude. It like the pot calling the kettle black.

    Native Veddah,

    Thanks for reminding me of my own words. I take the same medicine that I prescribe. I will not living in Sri Lanka and Jaffna today, if I do not have the courage to do so. I have said things directly to those in power here, quite bluntly, whenever I had the opportunity. Whatever, Gotabhaya, says is not law, as far as I am concerned. What is the law or rule, that stands now, is what counts. Many people say many things. Some may be more powerful than others. IN such circumstance it is better to challenge its value in public. Mahatma Gandhi did it with his ‘Salt March’. I will be with the TNA, if they can do this.

    Further, I would have appreciated your comments on the questions regarding the PCs I raised. You and many others have skirted it and raised red herrings. I shall appreciated your comments on those questions.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  61. Mr Sambandan asks,

    “What is wrong with the TNA?. What have I done?. Am I a criminal ?.What is that I have not done in the interest of Peace and Stability?.”

    Don’t you think the great majority of Srilankan inhabitants dont know what you and your TNA did for 30 years prior to May 2009?.

    Don’t they know what you have been doing since May 2009?.

    Tamil Diaspora organizations lead by the TNGTE Mr Rudrakumaran and his affliates in the West have been incessant in their efforts in many fronts, to discredit and destroy Srilanka for 3 years since the elimination of the LTTE.

    They have finally manged to score with the help of their new allies, the US and India,.

    And you want us to believe that the Diaspora is waiting to help the country.

    On the otherhand you threaten Srilankan inhabitants that, if this US Diaspora Resolution is not totally adhered to ,they will come hard on Srilanka..

    And finally you are begging the Govt to give money to the TNA Members,instead of the Govt MPs.

    Your statement is a mix of contradictions.

    One thing positive is that there is no direct demand for self rule for the TNA,

    Does it mean that you and your Diaspra have changed?

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    The TNA was formed only in 2001. So how could Sambandan and TNA have Done what you ssay they did for 30 years prior to May 2009?How do you explain the missing 22 years of the period 1979 – 2001?

  62. Rajasingham Narendran

    The powers conferred on the Provincial Councils in the 13th amendment are quite different from those conferred on the states in India. The Provincial Council cabinet is not confirred any statutory executive powers. It is only an advisory body, if the Governor wants it to be. There is no compulsion on the Governor to seek its advice. The Governor is the excutive authority and has the choice to ignore the provincial cabinet. The provincial public service also reports to the Governor. Whether, the Governor is a Sinhalese or Tamil will not matter. They are appointed by the President, whose executive authority is delegated to him/her. The Governor is the kingpin of the province. Further, as I have pointed out (and many know it), the subjects allocated to the Provincial Councils are a mirage.

    —————————

    If what you say is true then it is a blatant deception on the part of India to have signed this treaty.

    Then we have to conclude that Rajiv Gandhi had erred in his approach.

    It was a lengthy legal sleight of the hand.

    It is the continuation of the Executive Presidency by other means.

    I laud Prabhakaran for not accepting this one.

    But they should have educated the Tamils here. Instead they took to arms.

    VP was right in rejecting it but wrong in thinking in terms of only a separate country.

    Even now the TNA should come out with its views about the 13A, as you said.

    I feel that all the parties in this conflict didn’t approach for a solution with open mind.

    The Indians wanted the Trinco.

    The Sinhalese wanted their hegemony continued, with their executive Presidency.

    The Tamils should have undertook a massive propaganda at that time detailing the shortcomings of the accord.

    Instead they chose to reject it outright and wanted only eelam.

    India should not have done this to the Tamils.

    Even now the diaspora is not coming out with its real goals. If so then how they are going to achieve them.

    In this executive Presidency system and the Proportional representation system they will be bogged down for ever.

    EVERYTHING HAS TO REWORKED, IT SEEMS.

  63. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    “I consider these features are a legal sleight of hand. The 13th amendment pretends to deliver something that it is designed not to.”

    The Provincial Councils are nothing but a glorified Village Councils.

    All powers are ultimately enshrined in the office of President or the Ministers.

    Even the meagre powers given to Provincial Councils are over ruled by Ministerial prerogatives and the faceless little people behind the desk.

    Two issues:

    1. Fully fledged devolution including recognition of many nations within one country.

    2. Fundamental restructuring of state, redefining the relationship between the state and its people.

    Rethinking on these lines are not only necessary but inevitable.

    Until the state owning elites and clan recognise these two issues and get to grip with them there will always be eluding peace in Sri Lanka.

    The two issues may appear to be nationalistic to Sinhala/Buddhists/Aryans.

    However the analysis have to be based on the structure of the state, how did Sri Lanka managed to construct such an undemocratic state, …….etc not from Sinhala Tamil historical view point.

  64. Kalu Albert says:

    “Don’t you think the great majority of Srilankan inhabitants dont know what you and your TNA did for 30 years prior to May 2009?.”

    If you haven’t found out please blame your parents and the state controlled media for not educating you. As DBS J said the TNA was formed only in 2001.

    You say:

    ” to discredit and destroy Srilanka for 3 years since the elimination of the LTTE.”

    You don’t need outsiders to discredit and destroy Sri Lanka, in fact the state and state controlling clans have been doing it splendidly. We must discredit where discredit is due.

    You say:

    ” They have finally manged to score with the help of their new allies, the US and India,.”

    Similar to the way Sri Lanka manged to destroy LTTE with the help of their new allies, the US and India.

    You say:

    “And you want us to believe that the Diaspora is waiting to help the country.”

    Not until the country restores democratic rights of all people. The Sinhala and Tamil Diaspora are awaiting eagerly to see off the clan’s control over the island and then come to the help of ordinary people.

    What did Gota do with the gold and cash robbed from LTTE’s Fort Knox? I am told that the Gold grabbed from Vanni is more than sufficient to fund foreign currency deficit for many years.

    You say:

    “if this US Diaspora Resolution is not totally adhered to ,they will come hard on Srilanka”

    You must be joking my dear Kalu. USA does not have the wherewithal to threaten mighty Sri Lanka, perhaps Sri Lanka should threaten USA to bring it into line with Sri Lankan domestic or foreign policy regime. Or send in Weerawamsa, Mervyn, Chambika, Rambukwella, ……….Gota, etc.

    You say:

    “One thing positive is that there is no direct demand for self rule for the TNA,”

    Of course TNA is not demanding self rule when Mahinda is going to give separate state to the TNA on a platter, not because Sampanthan is cleverer but because of Mahinda’s stupidity.

  65. Mr Sampanthan it is not you or the TNA which is at fault. It is Kalinga Magha that’s at fault. Did you not know that. Trying to find a principled, modern approach to remedy your problems in the defacto constitutional monarchy that is Sri Lanka is an exercise in futility. “…and so we beat on boat, as boats against the current drawn back ceaselessly into the past”.

  66. Dear Native Vadda….
    Since Mr. Ananda Sangaree wouldn’t have received a reply from MR ; how can you say he is not realistic person? If tomorrow MR will not reply to a letter of Mr. Sampanthan; are you going to say same? I explained in my write-up “if Mr. Sampanthan will fail to use this vibrant opportunity Tamil people may replace him with Mr. Ananda Sangaree type of realistic leader”. I meant his responsibility is, utilizing this opportunity to find a ‘necessary and sufficient’ (within real limitation) solution without asking for inappropriate and unrealistic rights without underestimating the ability of the government believing the international forces behind him.

    Take LTTE as an example (best example). i.e. Prbakaran overestimated his power while underestimating the ability of the government and fought for his aim. His attitude (mental disorder) didn’t allow him to go to the negotiation table (unlike he mislead the previous governments) unconditionally understanding his definite defeat which was the only intelligent option he had. Even in the last moment he believed, his international supporters will come and escape him. Finally what happened? This is another very good Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation (LLRC) Commission type of incident where Mr. Sampanthen and his followers (including Tamil Diaspora) should learn.
    You say ; “I see no difference between VP and MR”. That shows your attitude. How can compare brutal Terrorist leader and the person who escaped all Sri Lankans from him especially thoroughly affected our Tamil people who lived with great difficulties (not people who are living luxurious life in abroad).

    Your comment on APC: We need suitable forum to discuss this matter. The best place is APC because then all representatives of the parties elected by the people can involve. Then everyone should responsible for common decision without dragging the conclusions according to their petty political differences. Then only we can find a solid outcome. But your negative criticism on APC will not give any initiation. If we don’t need APC ; what is your suggestion?

    NOTE: TNA also not yet appointed members for APC hence this shows his leader Mr. Sampanthan’s unrealistic and unsaid move which will not help to move ahead.
    Your comment removing Army: Yes, Mr. Sampanthan doesn’t have right to ask. When LTTE was killing innocent people and made entire Northern Province under his ‘Jungle Law’ all Tamil people who were in that area were suffered a lot for 30years. You should ask the way they suffered due to LTTE from them, but not from Tamils who lived in other areas or luxurious in abroad. What Mr. Sampanthan did to escape them from LTTE? He white washed LTTE dancing according their tune. Isn’t? That’s why I stated he doesn’t have right to ask to remove the Army. But I am not an unreasonable or racial, that is why I mentioned “However he is having rights to say SLGov to make sure not to do any harm to Tamil community if Army really does so”. But you haven’t quoted that part unfortunately!!!!!!. For that we can find a different mechanism getting involve the civil society (not opportunistic NGO’s or so).

    NOTE : Even when any foreign Army goes to a country for a war they will never remove their Army in ad-hoc manner. They do it in stages. Here, in our own country after facing 30 year brutal war SLGov should make sure not to give any room to start again arms struggle. While giving political solution they should make sure military stability though remaining LTTE supporters, Tamil Diaspora, countries who need to divide our nation for their international requirements (not love for Tamils) ..etc. This is not only a requirement against terrorist similarly all counties who need to divide SL. Ex. Mrs. Indiara Gandhi strengthens their military power allocating billions of budgets against their enemies (countries) as they supported India’s separatist movements to divide the country. That is the responsibility of a government not s question of others. Priority is the country.

    A suggestion to SLGov : Somehow all parties including TNA should bring into APC and start the discussion from the beginning. Once listed down all the grievances of Tamil people reasonably as next step it should separate and filter and see , what are the common grievances of other communities such as Sinhala, Muslim …etc. It is sure then real grievances of Tamils will be very narrow. As a priority they should give solutions to them first and common issues subsequently.

    Important : In this write-up it is not anything included which anybody could address the people who are in the galleries of all communities (Sinhala , Tamil….. ). If anyone needs to responds better with constructive ideas.

  67. Dear Native Vadda….
    Since Mr. Ananda Sangaree wouldn’t have received a reply from MR ; how can you say he is not realistic person? If tomorrow MR will not reply to a letter of Mr. Sampanthan; are you going to say same? I explained in my write-up “if Mr. Sampanthan will fail to use this vibrant opportunity Tamil people may replace him with Mr. Ananda Sangaree type of realistic leader”. I meant his responsibility is, utilizing this opportunity to find a ‘necessary and sufficient’ (within real limitation) solution without asking for inappropriate and unrealistic rights without underestimating the ability of the government believing the international forces behind him.

    Take LTTE as an example (best example). i.e. Prbakaran overestimated his power while underestimating the ability of the government and fought for his aim. His attitude (mental disorder) didn’t allow him to go to the negotiation table (unlike he mislead the previous governments) unconditionally understanding his definite defeat which was the only intelligent option he had. Even in the last moment he believed, his international supporters will come and escape him. Finally what happened? This is another very good Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation (LLRC) Commission type of incident where Mr. Sampanthen and his followers (including Tamil Diaspora) should learn.
    You say ; “I see no difference between VP and MR”. That shows your attitude. How can compare brutal Terrorist leader and the person who escaped all Sri Lankans from him especially thoroughly affected our Tamil people who lived with great difficulties (not people who are living luxurious life in abroad).

    Your comment on APC: We need suitable forum to discuss this matter. The best place is APC because then all representatives of the parties elected by the people can involve. Then everyone should responsible for common decision without dragging the conclusions according to their petty political differences. Then only we can find a solid outcome. But your negative criticism on APC will not give any initiation. If we don’t need APC ; what is your suggestion?

    NOTE: TNA also not yet appointed members for APC hence this shows his leader Mr. Sampanthan’s unrealistic and unsaid move which will not help to move ahead.
    Your comment removing Army: Yes, Mr. Sampanthan doesn’t have right to ask. When LTTE was killing innocent people and made entire Northern Province under his ‘Jungle Law’ all Tamil people who were in that area were suffered a lot for 30years. You should ask the way they suffered due to LTTE from them, but not from Tamils who lived in other areas or luxurious in abroad. What Mr. Sampanthan did to escape them from LTTE? He white washed LTTE dancing according their tune. Isn’t? That’s why I stated he doesn’t have right to ask to remove the Army. But I am not an unreasonable or racial, that is why I mentioned “However he is having rights to say SLGov to make sure not to do any harm to Tamil community if Army really does so”. But you haven’t quoted that part unfortunately!!!!!!. For that we can find a different mechanism getting involve the civil society (not opportunistic NGO’s or so).

    NOTE : Even when any foreign Army goes to a country for a war they will never remove their Army in ad-hoc manner. They do it in stages. Here, in our own country after facing 30 year brutal war SLGov should make sure not to give any room to start again arms struggle. While giving political solution they should make sure military stability though remaining LTTE supporters, Tamil Diaspora, countries who need to divide our nation for their international requirements (not love for Tamils) ..etc. This is not only a requirement against terrorist similarly all counties who need to divide SL. Ex. Mrs. Indiara Gandhi strengthens their military power allocating billions of budgets against their enemies (countries) as they supported India’s separatist movements to divide the country. That is the responsibility of a government not s question of others. Priority is the country.

    A suggestion to SLGov : Somehow all parties including TNA should bring into APC and start the discussion from the beginning. Once listed down all the grievances of Tamil people reasonably as next step it should separate and filter and see , what are the common grievances of other communities such as Sinhala, Muslim …etc. It is sure then real grievances of Tamils will be very narrow. As a priority they should give solutions to them first and common issues subsequently.

    Important : In this write-up it is not anything included which anybody could address the people who are in the galleries of all communities (Sinhala , Tamil….. ). If anyone needs to responds better with constructive ideas.

  68. Kalu Albert,

    Fascinated by your comment that the Tamil diaspora have US and India as their allies. Hmmm……very interesting indeed.
    Didn’t know that they wield so much power in the International political arena?

    Something I have learned it today. Thanks!

    It makes sense to me now, why Mr. Wimal Weerawansa wants Sri-Lankan’s to boycott US and Indian? products.

    LTTE lost because of their utter arrogance towards the IC and everyone else when they had the upper hand and similarly it’s being replayed by our own single family controlled – GOSL and the time will tell the end result.

    Albert, please read our own distinguished UN-diplomat Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala’s statements regarding the Geneva resolution or the opinion of the present Sri-Lankan ambassador to France, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka.

    One thing is crystal clear, when a single family members occupy major government bodies as in our GOSL’s case ( or previous regimes did in Iraq, Egypt, Libya etc), there is no accountability whatsoever but courting nothing but disaster!

  69. Sri Lanka Api says:

    ” Here, in our own country after facing 30 year brutal war SLGov should make sure not to give any room to start again arms struggle.”

    Should SL Gov give lot of room to start people struggle?

    Sri Lanka Api I could not help but think you have been in long term denial. This particular syndrome has been observed on Sinhala/Buddhists over a period of hundred years. The same syndrome is detected on other communities as well. It seems there is no cure for this as this syndrome is prevalent in most stupid people.

    Please note if the Sinhala/Buddhist state, its apparatuses and the rulers of Sri Lanka have to reinvent wheel and fire they are free to do so themselves.

  70. Mr Sittampalam,

    GOSL held Prez Elections in 2005 and 2010.

    How many such Elections did Irag, Libya Egypt and even Myannmar have?,

    It is a no brainer that this President’s ass would have been grass by now, if he didn’t have his siblings around to protect him.

  71. Dear Native Vadda,
    Please don’t partly read my sayings. I clearly mentioned; SLGov shouldn’t give ‘any single room’ to start arm struggle again. For that, they should strengthen (or keeping as it is) the military power without shrinking. Also I mentioned “While giving political solution they should make sure military stability…etc”. That’s mean if both said requirements could be fulfilled by the SLGov, no any room to start arm struggle and ‘People Struggle’ (as you mentioned). Even now also no ‘People struggle’ but LTTE supporters, TD, some politicians..etc are the people who are trying to create a struggle abnormally, All war affected majority of Tamil people are now free and safe. SLGov is in the process of fulfilling their requirements spending billions of rupees. They requested only the peace to live which was received by them after the war. During war certain amount of innocent people also died. We are regretting for them considering the type of any war.

    Don’t talk ‘long term denial’ and syndromes sort of stories. If we talk them then we could talk it forever. Past is past, it has gone now. This situation had been created by former colonial rulers but still we are fighting. In fact how stupid we? Are we going to continue this stupid ‘syndrome’? They divided us and obtained our resources captured our nation. But now also they are trying to fulfill their own requirements in same way, being in their countries using different tools (Human Rights …etc).

    NOTE: But don’t refuse the involvement of Sinhala/Buddhist in SL without knowing more than 2500 history. That factor of course we cannot eliminate due to whatsoever reason because that is a reality. There are some sort of things in this world we can reject. Ex. can we reject the reality of every human being should born from a mother? Is that a ‘syndrome’ or part of the truth in this world? Tamils should take this matter into serious consideration and all Sinhalese also should realize the issues of Tamils as and when find a solution. All communities in SL should realize the limitations and realities from the Lessons Learn during last 100 years. If Mr. Sampanthen is going to represent Tamils he should more realistically grasp this opportunity.

  72. Comment to Native Vedda’s reply to ‘Kalu Albert’

    Unlike Mr. R. Premadasa’s and JRJ’s elections but after that (Mr.DB, Mrs.CBK and MRs) elections are good. If Mr.DB didn’t conduct the elcetion properly Mrs.CBK never can come to the power.
    Especially MR’s era, the requirement of ID cards were must to cast the vote. This situation has cleared 98% of election corruptions. During UNP time their supporters were registered in several places and casted the votes but with the ID card requirement such incidents were ended up.

    Further, after introduction of Elections Commissioner’s special document with several carbonized copies which were given all party representatives at all counting centers also strengthened the system and was able to eradicate mishaps. Once finished the counting and confirming the results subsequently only it had gone to computers to issue the results. Then nobody can release wrong outcome or ‘Computer Gill-marts’ later. Results can be further justified when we consider the majority’s support to the government till to date

  73. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:
    April 6, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    “My solution: Work with the government to evolve a mechanism to involve the minorities in governance at the centre. The Senate and the Panchayat system being touted by the government may be a point to begin the dialogue. I have my doubts about the Panchayat system, because it is not part of our tradition, as in India. However, I am sure it can be designed to suit our circumstances. In politics what is possible is always a solution and not what something could be. What could be may be the ultimate goal, but what is possible and useful is the first step.”

    Dr. Narendran,
    It is not clear as to how Senate and Panchayat system is going to help minorities to have adequate and meaningful governing power. The concept behind the various power devolution systems is to empower regional units where the majority population by numbers in each regional unit will have more meaningful governing power. Thus, minorities in the north and east would benefit by the opportunity to govern themselves within the united country and subject to appropriate limitations. Senate may be a system that could be considered and discussed for improving minority representation at the centre. But this is not helpful for regional power devolution. Panchayat is new and it does not appear to be promising system for regional power devolution. Whatever the name we use, the fundamental requirement is that adequate level of power devolution. Don’t you agree that what is possible is subjective and it can me changed and modified with proper efforts and pressures?

    You expressed about the flaws and deficiencies of 13th rightfully to some extent. After all the sufferings and loss of tens of thousands of lives, we cannot afford to end up with a meaningless and powerless DINO (devolution in name only) system as an eye wash. It would amount to great disservice to the people who suffered immensely, killed and the living. Why do you think that the parties could not discuss the deficiencies and improve the system by fixing the problems and deficiencies as 13th plus? Perhaps, we need a complete overhaul. Are you implying that a federal type of system is the real meaningful system to solve all these problems permanently once and for all?

    Why India is pushing the apparently flawed system and not advocating for a system like their system to Sri Lanka? Why India is working against the interest of the Tamils? If 13th plus could not deliver that people want, it is necessary to take active roles and question the leaders and their representatives for answers and perhaps urge the leaders to consider a more meaningful creative systems including federal type of system though it would be resisted more by the Sri Lanka government. There is no good reason government to be afraid of a federal type of system.

    It is difficult to justify the inherent desire by the majority population to exercise hegemony – impose their will, dominate and control the lives of minority? Why use unrealistic fear mongering techniques to deny the minority of their desire to govern themselves adequately in regional or local units where they are the majority in numbers but within the united country? Why the majority population wants to exploit democracy selectively only in the largest unit in order to have power perpetually and minorities will never have meaningful power in that largest unit? Why not allow the democracy to freely function at smaller units with maximum freedom possible within the united country?

    An overwhelming majority of the people are of the view that this is the real opportunity to solve the national problem once and for all with the international attention focused on Sri Lanka. Attempting first step is not good enough because that could be end up as the last step too. People are tired and they had enough suffering sacrifices. A meaningful final solution to the national question should be worked out now, in the near future.

  74. Dear Native Vedda

    Sorry but your answer to Sri Lanka Api was most disappointing, all complaining but no solutions. Do all Vanniyalatto talk like that?

    Don’t rely or read too much into Sri Lankan brand of elections.

    Then what should we read into?

  75. Don’t bother Srilankan Api.

    Overseas Opinion makers such as the Tamilnet, Lankaenews ,Tamil Guardian, Channel 4 , and a myriad of other publications do not think so.

  76. wije says:

    “Then what should we read into?”

    A thorough analysis of each elections would have informed you as to what was to be expected from each elections since 1948 and what had been delivered.

    Just before each elections what each parties promised, why did the stupid Tamils/Sinhalese chose vote to a particular party, what was the aftermath of each elections are pertinent for your analysis if you indeed want to learn.

    1956 Sinhala Only electioneering and 1977 eight bushels of free grain for Sinhalese and separate state for Tamils……………and so on.

    Not to mention ballot rigging, intimidation, election related violence and increasing voter apathy towards elections, bribing particularly to the LTTE to boycott elections in the North.

    If you were born yesterday I am sorry I cannot help you. If you are Tamil/Sinhalese even the almighty (if there is one) cannot help you.

    You say:

    ” Do all Vanniyalatto talk like that?”

    No they are much wiser people than any Sinhalese or Tamil. As I have been forced to listen to stupid Tamils and Sinhalese I regret to say I have become bit thick. I also regret to tell you all my teachers were either Tamils or Sinhalese. Now you know why I am bit thick.

  77. Observer,

    Thanks for your comment. The Sri Lankan state is unwilling to devolve power and it will probably never do so (Of course I also believe in the dictum never say never!). Chandrika Kumaratunge did the most to devolve power, but it came to nought because of the machinations of the UNP, LTTE and the TNA. It was a missed opportunity and hence a lost opportunity. However it was a mirage because Chandrika failed to comprehend the reality. The UNP and the SLFP will play their hands in a very clever manner to keep the status quo.

    The TULF, the Tamil militancy and the TNA fought for the ultimate goal- an independent Tamil Eelam and miserably failed leaving behind a weakened people and a destroyed north and east. The prolonged war and its aftermath have frozen Sinhala perceptions on devolution in reinforced concrete. We cannot hope to achieve any meaningful devolution without the support of the Sinhala people.

    What is the way out? Is it to cling on to a meaningless 13th amendment on the issues relating to devolution or think of something new? There is a need for a long term vision from the Tamils. We have to rebuild our political status brick by brick within Sri Lanka. This should be preceded by economic development. We have to think out of the box. Pride, history and legal arguments will not help us.

    There is a desire and willingness among a lot of Sinhalese to share power at the center with the minorities. The present government also seems amenable to this. I think this a point from which we have to restart a new political process. There is a need for mutual trust to be established. Most of the problems in Sri Lanka are common to all her citizens- good governance and the rule of law.

    All the lessons we try to learn from the past have been rendered meaningless now. What is the alternative to working with the government in power? Resistance! Mobilizing external pressure! We cannot be dreamers any more. Let us confront realities, face hard facts and work to improve the lot of the war-affected Tamils. Most Tamils in the north and east are ready to take this path. Unfortunately, theirs is a silence of the majority- a failure of democracy. The politicians are responding to the noise of a vociferous minority and depriving the silent majority of what they really need -a better and peaceful life.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  78. Dear Native Vedda

    A thorough analysis of each elections would have informed you as to what was to be expected from each elections

    But you had earlier said, “Don’t rely or read too much into Sri Lankan brand of elections.” Isn’t that reading into the elections?

    Just before each elections what each parties promised, why did the stupid Tamils/Sinhalese chose vote to a particular party

    Let us start with the stupid Sinhalese: why did they vote for UNP in 1947, 1952 or 1965? SLFP in 1970?

    Stupid Tamils: why did they vote for Tamil Congress in 1952 instead of ITAK? Or for Ranil in 2005 (in stupid Batticaloa and stupid Vavuniya)?

    bribing particularly to the LTTE to boycott elections in the North.

    Why did LTTE need bribes for election boycott? Not getting enough $$ from abroad?

    No they are much wiser people than any Sinhalese or Tamil. As I have been forced to listen to stupid Tamils and Sinhalese I regret to say I have become bit thick. I also regret to tell you all my teachers were either Tamils or Sinhalese. Now you know why I am bit thick.

    If Vanniyalatto are wiser people then why did you have stupid Tamils and Sinhalese instead as your teachers?

  79. Dr.Rajasingham narendran

    “There is a desire and willingness among a lot of Sinhalese to share power at the center with the minorities. The present government also seems amenable to this.”

    HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT SINHALESE ARE WILLING TO SHARE POWER?
    IF THEY CAN SHARE POWER AT THE CENTER,WHY CAN’T THEY SHARE POWER AT THE PERIPHERY.WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CENTER OR PERIPHERY.
    THE PROBLEM IS THE MAHAWAMSA MENTALITY,WHERE THE SINHALESE FEEL THAT THEY ARE THE RIGHTFUL OWNERS OF THE COUNTRY AND THAT THE MINORITIES CAN CONTINUE TO STAY AS LONG AS THEY ARE WELL BEHAVED GUESTS.
    AS FOR YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE AMENABLE TO SHARING POWER AT THE CENTER,ARE YOU SAYING THAT THE SENATE AND THE PANCHAYAT SYSTEM THAT YOU PROPOSE FOR THE TAMILS TO TAKE UP IS SHARING POWER AT THE CENTER? EVEN A BASIC FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT SUCH AS A BILL OF RIGHTS WAS KNOCKED BACK BY THE SINHALA HARDLINERS.

    “What is the alternative to working with the government in power? Resistance! Mobilizing external pressure! We cannot be dreamers any more. Let us confront realities,”

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH MOBILIZING EXTERNAL PRESSURE?IF YOU ARE BULLIED IN SCHOOL FOR EXAMPLE,WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU ASKING SOMEONE TO HELP YOU STOP BEING BULLIED?JUST LIKE YOU SAY WE HAVE TO CONFRONT REALITIES,LET THE SINHALESE ALSO CONFRONT REALITIES WHEN THEY MEET A BIGGER BULLY THAN THEM.

  80. Shanker,

    *Sharing power at the center in a centralized state is quite different from devolving power to the periphery.

    * I have met a lot of people in various strata of Sinhala society in various parts of the island. While most are against devolution beyond the present make belief, they are for minorities sharing power at the center. I am sure a referendum will confirm this.

    *The ‘Mahavamsa mentality’ is an exaggerated myth. We had a our ‘Sinhalaya Modaya’ myth too. Have you forgotten what happened to Tamils in Karnataka and Kerala in recent years. The Sinhalese are a 70% majority. They have a right to claim Sri Lanka is their country. I also think Sri Lanka is my country and I am as much part of her as any other. If we continue to deal with Sri Lanka in an ‘Us vs They’ manner, we will be the ones who lose ground. The running away is over for us know. Sri Lanka is the only country we and have to commit ourselves to her, whatever the adversities.

    * I am not proposing the Senate and the Panchayat system. They government has proposed it to the TNA. All I am asking the TNA to do is evaluate these proposals in the light of political realities in Sri Lanka.

    * External pressure will not work in Sri lanka. The Indian involvement and the IPKF experience should teach us a lesson. JR and Premadasa succeeded in making the LTTE fight the IPKF. A so-thought friend became an enemy almost overnight! What resulted from Indian pressure was an effete 13th amendment!

    * What is the reality the Sinhalese have to confront? The only reality they see now is that the Tamils have to be condoled with and are quite terribly worse off than they were at the beginning of the militancy. The Tamils are no threat to them now. If at all the Tamils can be a tolerable nuisance. With time even the nuisance value will diminish. We should know our own strengths and weaknesses first. The Diaspora should not think their success and wealth, make them a force the GOSL has to contend. This also a new myth that is gaining ground. Ultimately, the Tamils living here in Sri Lanka have to find the formula to live within a Sinhala dominated Sri Lanka, and yet be Tamils.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  81. Dr Narendran.

    It is not that external prescriptions will not work in Sri Lanka. They are not super humans or some body who could defy everybody.

    The problem with the Indian intervention was that the India under Rajiv wanted to get Trinco mortgaging the interests of Tamils there.

    Rajiv had done accords here in India for all the problems. His typical strategy is to give in to the opposite side everything they had asked for but putting some riders to them.

    For instance in the river water sharing aspect in the Punjab problem he said that the water that flowed in the Sutlej on say 25 th of June or July will be taken into account.

    If the water is not used fully then this water sharing aspect will be revisited.

    On the said date he had let the more water to flow in the river.

    This same method he had followed in the Tamils issue also.

    He was only advocating the sinhala side and expecting the tamils to fall in line.

    The LTTE should have also highlighted this matter to the public in a big way, which they failed to do.

    I do believe that the culture of the Tamils should be respected and preserved.

    If you say the whole island belongs to the sinhalese, I don’t accept it. The North and the EAst has been the regions of historical habitation of the Tamils, even as per the accord itself.

    Even now an MP delegation team is planning to go to the island. It will be a conducted tour. Nothing much will come out of it.

    These people I think will have to obey the IC. But the inherent assumption in this thing is that the Tamils side should also articulate its views in a coherent manner. No double speak.

    If this problem is not solved in this way then it might resurface again.

    Kutta kutta guniyaravanum muttal

    Kuniya kuniya kuttaravanum mutta.

  82. Shankar, kindly turn off the CAPS LOCK button on your keyboard.

    IF THEY CAN SHARE POWER AT THE CENTER,WHY CAN’T THEY SHARE POWER AT THE PERIPHERY.WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CENTER OR PERIPHERY.

    Sharing power at the Centre will not involve the threat of breaking up the country as sharing power at the periphery. Also, power-sharing at Centre is more feasible and realistic.

    IF YOU ARE BULLIED IN SCHOOL FOR EXAMPLE,WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU ASKING SOMEONE TO HELP YOU STOP BEING BULLIED?

    The problem is that the “bigger bully” might not stick around and may leave you to hang, while the “Sinhala bullies” are not going anywhere.

  83. Mahesh,

    He was only advocating the sinhala side and expecting the tamils to fall in line.

    If that was true, then Rajiv wouldn’t have had to do the Parippu Drop in 1987, no?

  84. Dear Mahesh,

    I agree with the thrust of your comment.

    Our culture and way of life as Tamils in Sri Lanka is not under threat from the ‘Sinhala side’ now. It is under threat from within the Tamils themselves and the very deleterious and pervasive penetration of Tamil Nadu TV channels. The Tamil being taught in schools is a disgrace. Tamil is being taught by teachers who need to be re-taught Tamil! The war has removed the cultured persons who could set an example from our society. The Tamil society here is floundering without a cultural anchor and our politicians are talking about inconsequential matters, instead of things that vitally matter. Our politicians are also the products of a ‘De-cultured’ society.

    As to your Tamil quote: The true position here is ‘Kuttu padaamal irrukumpoethu, kathuravan mulu muttaal'( The one who is raising false alarms, is a complete fool)- like the shepard boy who falsely cried wolf.

    We have to become Tamils again in Sri Lanka. We have to regain our essential cultural heritage. We have to learn our Tamil literature and Saiva Siddantham. We have to become a thinking people and cease to be slogan shouters. We have to first and foremost be free from wants of all sorts- food, shelter, health care and basic education.

    We have to engage with the central government in Sri Lanka and work to find solutions to the day-to-day problems of the Tamil people. The Muslims and the hill country Tamils have been doing this for a long time. The Muslim Ministers and parliamentarians are quite influential. The hill country Tamils have also fair influence at the center though handicapped by the lack of a good replacement for Sauvmyamoorthy Thondaman. The Tamils in the north and east do not have any meaningful, respectable and trustworthy representation at the center. In the Sri Lankan context much more can be done for the Tamils, from the center than from the periphery. The most effective Provincial Council Chief Ministers here are those who have strong connections with the center and hence have considerable influence. Their success does not flow from the 13th amendment. The PC’s are one more layer in the political corruption that is engulfing this country.

    It is prudent for the Tamils to work towards a political solution that structurally formalizes/legalizes a relationship at the level of the national government.

    This is the ground reality I see and have tried to understand.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  85. But I do believe that the Tamils have as much rights to their land as the Sinhalese. The Sinhalese belief that the whole island belongs to them is among the root cause of this problem.

    They believe that they are the masters of the island and the Tamils have come there later (Mahavamsa mind set).

    As the natural masters of their own land they need not accept this unitary structure, which is the root cause of this perpetuating the Sinhala hegemony.

    Accepting there are at least two nations that form the island nation will only ensure lasting peace in the island.

    All the other solutions like 13, pc, etc will flounder.

    Even if the tamils lie down for now they may not be kept down for ever.

    And also your prescription for the peace and development cannot give lasting peace to the tamils there. Your prescription is only a first aid and also a temporary remedy.

    I do not question your motive or intention. But I do not accept that yours is the best and the lasting solution to the battered people.

    India didn’t play its part right and well, for this we have to blame the Rajiv Gandhi.

    When we can bring a much powerful country like Pakistan to its knees, we can certainly mete hell to the Sinhalese.

    Our foreign policy and the political leadership didn’t do that, thanks to the immature Rajiv Gandhi and the misplaced priorities in the island nation.

    Probably Rajiv Gandhi wanted to divert the attention from Bofors, probably he wanted to assert India as a regional power.

    Becoming a regional power on the blood of Tamils (natural allies of the India) or anybody else is an unforgivable sin. We may have to pay for it now and in the future.

    Indians will never want to become super powers by killing others. This is not in the spirit of India.

    Again trusting the Sinhalese is also an idiotic foreign policy. We should speak the language they understand and they seem to understand the language of force and India should have done that in the 1987 itself and come out with a meaningful solution.

    Even now I find both the Congress and the BJP are doing an eye wash.

    Only when they change their foreign policy objectives and perceive that the Tamils are their Natural allies in the island will this problem be solved.

    The Sinhalese are incapable of solving this and if they solve it should be in their own terms and conditions.

    They will say live here as second class citizens.

    Yes they had wiped out the Tamils there. Now will they turn their attention to other ethnic groups.

    And then they may turn among themselves.

    The words of Kuttimani and Thangadurai may come true now.

    They had said that after finishing off them the sinhalese will train their guns against others and then ultimately among themselves.

    That spirit of accomodation is not to be seen here among the bloggers and also among their politicians and also among that rabid species called the bhikkus.

    I am not an enemy of sinhalese. i wish them well. But i also wish that the tamils should live there with equal rights and in this who ever comes against should be dealt with sternly.

    Unless India does not do this this problem will not be solved.

    Mahatma Gandhi said that Sri Lanka is like a sister of India.
    Sri Lanka got independence as an after effect of India’s freedom struggle.

    when India follows a semi federal set up and lives in it with peace and harmony, for Sri Lanka also this will serve good.

    I know lot of people will jump gun at my statement.

    But I believe that this is the only way this problem could be solved.

    There is no other way other than this.

  86. Mahesh,

    Time- probably a very long time- may produce the solution you wish. It will definitely not be in the next couple of decades.
    A TNA member of parliament has claimed in Madurai today that VP is alive, well and will re-emerge soon. Such are the deluded men, who are representing us! They are adding fuel to yet smouldering embers. My efforts at writing or commenting is to smother even these embers and have a period of relative quiet that will permit sober reflection. Good solutions can emerge only when we are sober in our thoughts, words and actions.

    I think men like you should come as a delegation from India and see the situation here and report. The political delegation due to visit on the 16th April,will never know the truth and if they do, will not be able to say it. men like you may see things as I do and will have the guts to say it.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  87. Dear Mahesh

    First you say

    we can certainly mete hell to the Sinhalese.
    Again trusting the Sinhalese is also an idiotic foreign policy. We should speak the language they understand and they seem to understand the language of force

    But then you say

    I am not an enemy of sinhalese. i wish them well.

    You are talking like a politician, saying one thing and then immediately afterward saying the complete opposite. If you hate the Sinhalese (as you are trying to avoid saying), then be clear about it and avoid the cowardice. Maybe then you will be taken seriously!

    But i also wish that the tamils should live there with equal rights

    What are the equal rights that Tamils do not have? And how will “semi federal set up” promote equality, when it is inherently promotes unequality (looking at the differences within India between Odisha and Haryana).

  88. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:
    April 12, 2012 at 12:52 am

    [I have met a lot of people in various strata of Sinhala society in various parts of the island. While most are against devolution beyond the present make belief, they are for minorities sharing power at the center.]

    ——-

    Naturally they will,because it is like a pie in the sky.Instead of as a broad concept,if you give them specific proposals for power sharing at the center,then they will think again,because as i mentioned earlier the root cause of the problem is the sinhalese view themselves as the owners and the others as guests who can stay forever as long as they are well behaved.When you have that mentality power sharing is out,but sharing of resources such as the bathroom etc is in.Power means control and thats where they differ on who has control of any aspect of the country.That is what is meant by well behaved guests.Use all our facilities by all means but do not think you can make any decisions for yourselves without our express permission.In otherwords know your place in our society. This is our country and we are responsible for it.That mentality has to change.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    [The ‘Mahavamsa mentality’ is an exaggerated myth]
    ———–

    On your many discussions with sinhalese in various strata of society in various parts of the country,did you mention that it was a myth? What was the reaction?Did the villager in the tangalle pull his knife out of his belt and come to stab you?myth or not is not the question,but how it has penetrated into the brain of gullible fools.
    ______________________________________________________________

    [Have you forgotten what happened to Tamils in Karnataka and Kerala in recent years.]
    ——————–
    I know that some tamils travelling as pilgrims and working as labourers have been attacked because of some dam dispute between between kerala and tamilnadu.Nothing to blow out of proportion by you.By and large malayalees and tamils have been living peacefully for generations.As for karnataka i don’t know of any recent incidends and probably it is a figment of your imagination.One thing i do know is that tamils have to learn better etiqette,but are a decent people.
    _________________________________________________________________
    [The Sinhalese are a 70% majority. They have a right to claim Sri Lanka is their country.]

    I’am baffled by your theory on ownership based on numbers,and not historical facts.So according to your way of numerical superiority ownershp theory,the veddhas who are the original inhabitants of this country should be considered as well behaved guests because they are only about 2% or so.That may be the reason the vedhas chief has said recently he has had enough of the sinhalese ‘owners’and the next war will be waged in the jungles.The mindset of the sinhalese on this ownership issue has to change otherwise the next problem will be the muslims one day and i won’t blame them for that.Every citizen of this country is an owner of this country and has to be treated as such,regardless of whether he is a part of a 70% or 2% or 10% group.
    _____________________________________________________________

    [I am not proposing the Senate and the Panchayat system.]
    —————————————–

    You are not proposing it,the government is,but you are certainly pushing it,because in many of your comments i find you keep mentioning that the government has proposed it,like it is manna from heaven for the tamils.i was wondering how this reconciles with your statement that the government seems amenable to share power at the center,when these 2 proposals of it has nothing to do with power sharing at the center.

    Since you are enthusiastic about power sharing at the center,which in my opinion the sinhalese have no enthusiasm for because of the mahawamsa mentality(why should owners share a powers with non owners),myth or not,could you give us some concrete proposals of power sharing at the center that the government as you claim will be amenable to and the sinhalese say yes to those proposals in a referendum as you said they would.
    _______________________________________________________________

    [What resulted from Indian pressure was an effete 13th amendment!]
    ——————–
    So what.Something is better than nothing no?Let the government implement it as it is already in the constitution,or abolish it.Why are you worried about its flaws because you don’t believe in devolution anyway for the tamils.Why shed tears over its flaws when you you are not interested in devolution of powers.Just let the government implement it.What are you worrying that the tamils are only getting a wee bit of devolution of powers,when you are not interested in them getting anything at all from the sinhalese ‘owners’ as you call them and want the tamils instead to have a power sharing arrangement at the center.Awaiting your proposals in this regard,to consider in lieu of the 13th amendment.By the way i don’t think power sharing at the center can be called devolution of powers,because it is centralisation,but with more equitable sharing.
    _____________________________________________________________

    [What is the reality the Sinhalese have to confront?]

    ————

    I’am surprised a man of your intellect is asking this,so i don’ blame the average sinhalese also to think like you.Read our history and you will understand.We were a disunited warring kingdom of three when we got colonised.Our startegic location was what they wanted and what would be coveted also in the future.Are we never going to learn from history and be united in the future.The real enemy is not within.If the sinhalese continue to sow the seeds of disunity without a course direction and reconciliation,we will end up the same way as our stupid ancestors with everybody losing one day.The new type of colonisation is not with arms but using disgruntled elements in the country economic colonisation.This is the reality they have to face.

  89. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:
    April 11, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Dr. Narendran,

    The overwhelming majority of people want a solution that provides adequate power devolution regionally. It is the important priority and the long-term peace and prosperity is dependent on the successful resolution to the national question.

    Obviously, the people want to improve the day to day life and economic conditions as soon as possible. But this can be worked on a parallel track as this is not considered as the original national question that needs to be solved.

    External international pressure will be helpful to make positive changes. It is important to recognize that the U.S. has taken interest and leadership on the entire matter and many people are optimistic that the external international pressure would help to achieve a reasonable and fair solution. We cannot afford to give up or sell out for short.

    Why can’t we be dreamers? Wasn’t Martin Luther King Jr. a dreamer? He said “I have a dream…”. His dream was realized eventually.

    The overwhelming majority of people do not believe that tweaking at the centre is a solution to the national question. Sharing power at the centre is just like an extension of what they do now; throw some bones to a few people to sell out. This is not power devolution.

    If your statement “The Tamils are no threat to them now” were valid, then they cannot any longer use fear mongering techniques and reasons to deny or stall power devolution as this would be very conducive situation for devolving power to regional units, if there is a desire to do it.

    Referring to Mahesh’s statement “when India follows a semi federal set up and lives in it with peace and harmony, for Sri Lanka also this will serve good.” This makes sense.

    It appears that a solution based on semi-federal or federal type model is really needed to solve the problem satisfactorily and permanently.

  90. wije says:
    April 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    [Shankar, kindly turn off the CAPS LOCK button on your keyboard.]
    ———–
    Will do that in future.It is just that i seem to have trouble in pasting in italics from the word processer onto this website.
    ——————————————————
    [Sharing power at the Centre will not involve the threat of breaking up the country as sharing power at the periphery.]
    ————
    This is the same misconception people have as in investment where you should buy when all are selling and sell when all are buying.In otherwords go in the opposite direction to the mob if you want to stand out.Think different to become different.Actually periphery power sharing reduces the thirst for independence because people realise after some time after it is put into practice the benefits of synergy.Initially they will think like you just like the example of investors that i mentioned who buy when all are buying and sell when all are selling instead of the opposite way of thinking for success.
    ————————————————————

    [The problem is that the “bigger bully” might not stick around and may leave you to hang,]
    ———————-

    Are you referring to china by any chance.

  91. Observer,

    The history of the Sri Lankan state defies your logic. Mr. Ananadasangary has been pressing for this semi-federal arrangement for a long time. The Federal Party (FP)-also Thamil Arasu Katchchi – championed the demand for a federal arrangement for a long time. It had to accept the District development Councils (DDCs)- a very light weight solution- from JRJ. The Indians intervened and brokered the effete PC’s. VP fought for an independent Eelam.

    Everything possible has been thought of and done. Everything failed and we are as Tamils worse off than we ever were- both politically and economically.

    Lesson: Devolution of any meaningful kind will be a mirage for a long time. This does mean it is not desirable, but that it is impossible to achieve. I am not discussing ideals, but what are possible to help our people.

    Solutions: Seek alternative that are acceptable to the Sinhala polity and produce solutions for the Tamil people and other minorities. A properly designed Senate with veto powers over discriminatory legislation, two vice-presidents- A Tamil and a Muslim (elected with the president), a constitutional court, appointed cabinet ministers (not from the parliament)-like in the US, an independent public service commission etc., are possible alternatives. Of course, it is important that existing constitutional and legal provisions relating to language and law and order, be implemented. The proposed Panchayat system my help take decision making on pertinent matters to the village level.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  92. Dear Shankar & Observer,

    I am Sinhalese and I have to tell you that Dr Rajasingham has a fairly good understanding of the Sinhala mindset. He is correct when he says that if the Sinhalese had to choose between power devolution and power-sharing at the centre with the Tamils, they would choose the latter over the former (although I concede that the details are important; the Sinhalese would rather stick with the defunct 13A system of devolution rather than an extreme and undemocratic form of power-sharing like GG Ponnambalam’s 50-50 representation idea).

    One idea for power-sharing is to reserve a number of ministries for minority leaders, as practiced in Switzerland and Belgium. I would like to hear what Dr Rajasingham has in mind because his thinking is quite unorthodox.

    Shankar, I think you misunderstood what Dr Rajasingham was saying about the myth of “Mahavamsa mentality.” He was not saying that Sinhalese consider the Mahavamsa to be a myth (they don’t); he was saying that it is an exaggeration to think that that the Sinhalese today believe that the entire island belongs to them alone. It is like some Sinhalese incorrectly claiming that all Tamils have an “Eelam mentality” that northeastern Sri Lanka belongs to only the Tamils.

    Observer, contrary to what you claim the Sinhalese do NOT want devolution of power that will add an additional layer of politicians to complicate their lives. They supported it during Chandrika’s time because she lied that devolution would magically end the war. I cannot speak for the Muslims or upcountry Tamils, but it isn’t very apparent what they would have to gain from devolution.

    External international pressure will be helpful to make positive changes.

    Perhaps, but you cannot force a majority to do your bidding if they don’t agree. For example, this sort of external pressure to end the white van disappearances has a good chance of success because nobody can defend it. On the other hand, external pressure to force an unpopular devolution will backfire.

  93. Shanker,

    * In Karnataka there were major Anti-Tamil riots a few years back. Some Tamils there wanted Prabakaran to save them

    * I do not subscribe to the theory that something utterly meaningless is better than nothing.

    * I also claim that Sri lanka belongs to me a Tamil, as well.

    * I also think that a solution being proposed by the government has a greater chance of success than anything imposed on it and hence the Sinhala polity.

    * Europe was a collection of fragmented states and tribes, going at each others throats for a long time. Today they have evolved mechanisms to live together. This process is yet evolving.

    * Myths founded on myths cannot survive long among a people who are literate. The Sinha Bahu story relating to his birth is a laughing matter among most Sinhalese. Further, the Mahavamsa despite its attempt at creating a mythical foundation for the Sinhalese and link it to Lord Buddha is also the story of the Tamils- Kings, queens, warriors and craftsmen. We should adopt it also as our history as the Sinhalese are doing with the Ramamayana and Ravana. Further, most Sinhalese accept that they have a lot of Tamil blood. However, this does not make them less Sinhalese. They have developed an versatile and rich language and a distinct culture that goes with it. They are yet true Buddhists in the small towns and villages- the larger percentage of Sinhala-Buddhists.

    We have our myths too. ‘Kalthondri mann thondraa kaalathey mun thondri mootha kudi’ (A people who appeared before the rocks and soil appeared!) is one.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  94. Dr.Rajasingham narendran

    Thank you for your words. But I do believe that we have to strive for ideal situations even if it is little late to obtain. We have to see things where we can be liberated from one problem altogether.

    This is a propitious moment, when the attention of the whole world is turned on you to solve it once and for all.

    In this the TNA has to play an active and constructive role and should call a spade a spade and say this is what we want as an alternative to eelam.

    If given a chance to come as an independent observer to sri lanka definitely there are lot of more capable people than me who could shoulder the responsibility. Any how I am not a person to shy away from responsibility. But may be some time I can come there as a personal guest of yours…. when I do not know. Thanks for your words.

    But whoever comes there should have the interests of the Tamils uppermost in their minds and be not swayed by the politics or be sold to the hospitality or other attributes of the state or society.

    People like that are a lot here.

    Dharmo rakshathi dharmaha. Dharma protects the one who treads its path.

    Somewhere the LTTE which started as a freedom fighters began acquiring the attributes of a terrorist organization which was the reason for the down fall of the tAmils.

    Even if the Rajiv gandhi was against them they could have gone to the people and explained their position.

    But they wanted eelam or nothing. They got nothing.

    Manandhal mahadevi illaiyel maranadevi. They got marana devi.

    That doesn’t mean that they are totally in the path of adharma.

    Some dharma still sticks with them. That is the reason the Tamils still rally around them in substantial numbers even after their downfall.

    MY HEART GOES FOR THE TAMIL PEOPLE WHO ARE CAUGHT IN THE MAHAVAMSA MINDSET AND ARE MADE TO THINK THEY ARE ALL INVADERS AND THEIR REAL MOTHERLAND IS NOT SRI LANKA BUT TAMIL NADU.

    These people should be dealt with sternly. I believe when the push comes to shove these people, who are organized criminals will cower for a cover.

    only when such a situation comes and only when the pride of the lion is curbed will this problem be solved fully.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Mahesh the line you wrote about Mahadevi is from the film “Mahadevi” in Which MGR,Savithri&Veerappa acted. The dialogues including the memorable line quoted by you were written by the poet Kavingar Kannadasan

    But it was not “Mananthaal Mahadevi”. It was “Adainthaal Mahadevi.Illaiyel Maranadevi”.

    It was uttered in the film by the villain Veerappa. The King was MGR and his queen Mahadevi was Savithri. In MGR’s absence Veerappa the general had done a coup and imrisoned the Queen. He lusted after her and hence the lines. Since she was married already it could not be “mananthal” and was “Adainthal”.

  95. Dr RN http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/5415#comment-63038

    “…We have our myths too. ‘Kalthondri mann thondraa kaalathey mun thondri mootha kudi’ (A people who appeared before the rocks and soil appeared!) is one….”

    This seems to be the right meaning for “Kal thondri mann thondraa kaalathe mun thondri mootha kudi thamizh kudi”. —-Tamil civilization existed in the world even before ****sand was born out of stone*****.

  96. DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Thank you Sir, for your shedding light on the Tamil film dialogue.

    I know that you are a multi faceted person. It is the quirk of the time that we are not able to see the other facets of your personae.

    I once again thank you Sir.

    You are most welcome Mahesh and Thank you for the nice things you’ve said………..DBSJ

  97. Wije,

    Once we sit down to discuss, many ideas on how the minorities can share power at the center can be thought of. What is most important to achieve is the confidence/ feeling among the minorities that their interests are being represented and paid head to at the center. The majority should not feel it is being held to ransom by the minorities and the minorities should not feel that they are second class citizens who have to live at the mercy of the majority.

    The state institutions should evolve to safeguard the interests of the minorities and where it matters, all citizens. What we have in Sri Lanka today is a near total breakdown in all institutions. Institutions are ultimately made of men. Our problem is that in Sri Lanka, we have millions of MICE and very few able MEN, manning our institutions. Where do we begin find the MEN we need, very urgently?

    Anpu,

    You may be right. But the point I made about the ‘Myth’ of Tamilian antiquity still stands.

    Mahesh,

    Thanks for your response. Please visit Sri lanka with like-minded people. It will be an eye-opener.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  98. Dear Mahesh

    MY HEART GOES FOR THE TAMIL PEOPLE WHO ARE CAUGHT IN THE MAHAVAMSA MINDSET AND ARE MADE TO THINK THEY ARE ALL INVADERS AND THEIR REAL MOTHERLAND IS NOT SRI LANKA BUT TAMIL NADU.

    Unfortunately, your writings from Tamil Nadu about teaching the Sinhalese a lesson have the effect of convincing Sinhalese that the real Tamil homeland is Tamil Nadu.

  99. Wije says:
    April 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Dear Wije,

    Dr. Narendran appears to be giving up easily and pleading the government to give something they can. He seems to be ready and willing to accept majority of the government actions or views in this regard as what is possible without exhibiting courageous advocacy to effect positive and desired changes. It may be viewed that he is on the one end of the spectrum whereas some Diaspora is on the other end of the spectrum. It may be necessary to focus on the views of large swath of sensible middle. The overwhelming majority of Tamils are not really supporting his view. I wonder whether Singhalese put themselves in the shoes of Tamils and imagine what would they do if the roles were reversed?

    If there is an impasse in finding a solution through direct talks, the International Community (IC) would need to help to advance the process. The government apparently promised various things to IC during the war to get support. Now the government seems to be not interested in honoring them. This is not new to successive Sri Lanka governments based on the history. Previous pacts and agreements that were made but torn apart and reneged on when it came for implementation. IC has at least moral responsibility to help to resolve the problem fairly.

    It is likely that external pressure will work if it is applied with fair and balance. IC will have to review and consider the positions and views objectively and mediate. Courageous leaders should lead by convincing people to do the right thing even it is unpopular at the beginning but if it is in the long-term best interest of the country. Leaders are supposed to lead and help change or mould public opinions that help the national interest. All political parties should work together on this for national interest and not to politicize for electoral advantage.

    The government may not be allowed to have it both ways. IC and UN should press on the government for either work out an acceptable meaningful devolution solution within a reasonable time frame or face various adverse international actions including isolations, aid restrictions, sanctions, etc. There is some hope because the U.S. has taken an interest in this overall matter. The SLG will be under pressure and it needs to weigh the options and decide on which alternative is more palatable for it. A good majority of people hope that the IC would be able to effect a positive changes that results in an acceptable solution.

  100. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:
    April 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Dr. Narendran,

    As you know, the history is about the past. Now we are discussing about the future. History is not necessarily an indication or reflective of what could happen in the future, particularly because now international community is keenly involved. It is true that in the past, nothing really worked out with the elected Tamil leaders primarily because of the refusal by the successive governments to accept or implement any thing meaningful. But the present situation is significantly different from the past as the International Community (IC) with the leadership of the U.S. has taken a keen interest in this matter and they are determined to sort this out.

    Your lesson is very pessimistic. I disagree with your conclusion that Devolution of any meaningful kind is impossible to achieve. Your reference to “what is possible” is very subjective, based on your opinion, and expresses defeatism attitude. If you believe meaningful devolution is an appropriate solution, you got to find ways to achieve it. If it is the right thing to do, we got to redouble the efforts and work hard to achieve it. Don’t give up too easily! Unlike in the past, now there are new dimensions are in play. There will be tremendous pressure applied by the IC on the government and on the elected minority leaders to work out a meaningful and acceptable solution based on devolution.

    The alternative solution you state is really a non-starter for the overwhelming majority of Tamils or their elected representatives based on the current understanding. The solution should be acceptable for all parties concerned. It is easily said than done. First of all, at this juncture, the alternative suggested does not appear to be acceptable for the Tamils and they are not going to ask Sinhala polity about it. You state “Seek alternative that are acceptable to the Sinhala polity…” So are you saying that totally forget about what Tamils want but just find out what is acceptable to Sinhala polity and accept it? i.e. Sinhala polity does not need to compromise at all while Tamils have to give up everything and totally fold and compromise? Is this negotiation? Don’t you think that compromises should be made by all parties concerned? It appears that you just want Tamils to fold unilaterally and be at the mercy of the Sinhala polity for a solution that they want to give, including an eye wash.

    This is why external pressure by IC is necessary. IC should lean on the government and representatives of Tamils to work out an acceptable meaningful devolution solution within a reasonable time frame. IC will have to review and consider the positions and views objectively and mediate as needed. They can also provide various incentives to help advance the process. Failure by the government to advance may lead to various potentially adverse international actions including isolations, aid, loan, travel restrictions, etc. There is some hope because the U.S. has taken an interest in this overall matter. The SLG will be under tremendous pressure and it needs to weigh the options and decide on which alternative is more palatable for it. A good majority of people believe that the IC would be able to effect positive changes and help in mediation that could result in a meaningful devolution based solution that is acceptable for all parties concerned.

  101. Observer,

    I am not advocating taking what the government gives. I am advocating giving up a path that has miserably failed us and follow a different path, that is also acceptable to the GOSL, to achieve what we want/ need. What I am suggesting is not surrender but a new strategy. As one climbs up a tree, one has to select the strongest branch to put his weight on, to escape falling and injury. In our case the government does not want to take the devolution path, but is willing to accommodate the minorities in the centralized governance of a highly centralized state. If we can achieve what we want- equal rights, citizenship rights, equal opportunities, security for person and property, and linguistic cum cultural rights- does the path matter? We will also have the opportunity to influence the direction the whole country takes, while being involved more at the center. We have had much rancour and blood shed as a result of pursuing the devolution path relentlessly over almost six decades. I think it is prudent now to seek an alternative path.

    The IC or India cannot help us when it comes to a crunch. Sri Lanka can be asked to give equal rights to its minorities and ensure their safety, but it cannot be told how to do it. This is where the crunch is. What the presence of the world’s fourth largest army on our soil could not achieve, cannot be achieved by external pressure. India and her armed forces- the mountain- laboured long and hard to produce a tiny mouse in the form of the 13th amendment, almost twenty five years back. The mouse is a mere skeleton now. Do you want a repeat of this situation? Are you suggesting the Tamils here in Sri lanka continue to pursue a failed path and suffer the consequences?

    Do you realize the Tamil politicians here in Sri Lanka now are largely an inept and in some instances a corrupt lot? The newly elected Pradeshya Sabha leaders in the north are already demanding bribes! I doubt whether these men and women can even negotiate intelligently with the government!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  102. wije says:
    April 14, 2012 at 9:10 am
    Dear Mahesh

    Unfortunately, your writings from Tamil Nadu
    ———————–

    Dear wije

    mahesh is not a tamil,though he is living in tamilnadu.He is a kannada/marathi from bombay.I think his views will conform with majority of indians who must be now sick of the srilankan state’s arrogance,and pressure must be building on new delhi to teach this little whippersnapper in their backyard a good lesson to reduce the hot air and arrogance.

    In an earlier comment you had asked what are the rights that the tamils don’t have.Briefly it is

    1.The right to manage their own affairs.For this the implementation of the 13th amendment to the constitution would be a useful first step in the process.

    2.The right to use of their own language.For this also the 13th amendment which states to make tamil the official language and the 16th amendment to make it a language of administration should be implemented.

    3.The right to justice.Tamils have been subject to violence since independence,but not a single perpertrators has been brought to book.A truth and reconciliation commission should be set up especially for the latest round of massacres.

    Is it too much to ask for?

    Wije ,you have also said that orissa is very poor while haryana is better off and thus the federal set up is a failure.Look at china,the coastal regions are booming while the interior is in the doldrums.You should understand that capital,labour etc follow certain characteristics that are needed for their optimum use and that is free market economics and hard to control,whatever governance system you adopts.Disparities will always be there until capital and labour find that now this region is too expensive for us,and let us now leave it and go into cheaper areas.So bihar will get its day,but will have to be patient.Even in srilanka you can see the difference between the urban and rural areas.The federal setup will pin the responsibity to the local politiciansfor mismanagement and force voters to get better quality.India’s poorest state is bihar and it languished because of lalu prasad yadav and after he was kicked out the new chief minister is bringing it up rapidly.gujarat is doing well because of its innovative and business friendly chief minister modi.India is becoming a world economic power because of its federal system,not inspite of it as you proclaim.As more and more good regional and national leaders emerge it will become quite a sucess story in the future because it has laid the right foundation with the federal system.

    Dr narendran,you are referring to the 1992 riots in karnatake where 18 tamils were killed.This ia not in the last few years as you claim.It was over a water issue where the supreme court of india told karnataka to give more water from the kauvery to tamilnadu.Water issues have the potential to trigger wars between nations in the future because of less and less of it for the incraesing population and rivers flowing through many countries.Fortunately because india is one country when water issues crop up instead of war there could be only some violence on people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.Unfortunately this will be the trend in the 21st century with riots over food and water going to be more commonplace unless the population growth is curbed by the governments.

  103. Dear Observer

    The overwhelming majority of Tamils are not really supporting his view.

    Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of Sinhalese are not really supporting your view, or that of the TNA. So we are at an impasse.

    I wonder whether Singhalese put themselves in the shoes of Tamils and imagine what would they do if the roles were reversed?

    If the Sinhalese were the minority in Sri Lanka and not the majority, we would not have the luxury of having sympathetic (or pseudo-sympathetic) co-ethnics next door in India where there are no Sinhalese.

    Why not ask the Sinhalese to put themselves in the shoes of the Muslims, or upcountry Tamils? They are not demanding devolution.

    The government apparently promised various things to IC during the war to get support.

    What were the promises made? Could you show these promises which were made during the war?

    Courageous leaders should lead by convincing people to do the right thing even it is unpopular at the beginning but if it is in the long-term best interest of the country.

    What if it is the wrong thing and is against the long-term best interest of the country?

    A good majority of people hope that the IC would be able to effect a positive changes that results in an acceptable solution.

    Actually the good majority of the people have no faith in the objectivity of the IC, based on the overwhelming negative reaction to the Darusman Report. I’m afraid to say that your reading of the Sinhala mindset is not as good as Dr Rajasingham’s.

  104. Dear shankar

    gujarat is doing well because of its innovative and business friendly chief minister modi.

    The same Chief Minister Modi who was complicit in the massacre of 2000 Muslims in 2002?????

    Modi: ‘Snake’ or saviour? Politician divides India
    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1161160–modi-snake-or-saviour-politician-divides-india?bn=1

    Water issues have the potential to trigger wars between nations in the future because of less and less of it for the incraesing population and rivers flowing through many countries.Fortunately because india is one country when water issues crop up instead of war there could be only some violence on people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    So in other words, devolution of power has done little if anything to stop communal violence in India? Why should Sri Lanka follow a system that clearly is not working in India?

    pressure must be building on new delhi to teach this little whippersnapper in their backyard a good lesson to reduce the hot air and arrogance.

    I hope the Indians will remember the last time they thought they could “teach this little whippersnapper a good lesson.” If they have forgotten, perhaps a short visit to Sriperumbudur will refresh the memory.

    1.The right to manage their own affairs.

    Could you be more specific about which affairs need to managed by the Tamils, and why?

    The right to use of their own language.

    Take a look at these:

    http://transcurrents.com/tc/2009/07/post_384.html

    “A similar study was conducted in the northern and eastern provinces to ascertain the availability of public officials proficient in Sinhala. Of the over 1.5 million population surveyed of which the Sinhala speaking population was a little over 365,000, it was found that only 98 or 18.1 per cent of the total of 540 public officials serving, were proficient in Sinhala.”

    http://transcurrents.com/tc/2009/09/cabinet_approves_regulations_f.html

    “In a move that will be welcomed by many, the public will now be able to sue officials of the State, Provincial Council, Municipal Council, Urban Council and Pradeshiya Sabha if they do not communicate with the public in a preferred language, according to new regulations to be gazetted next week.”

    As these website show, Tamil is the language of administration in the northern and eastern provinces. The challenge is to implement Tamil in the southern Sri Lanka- which devolution will not accomplish.

    The right to justice.Tamils have been subject to violence since independence,but not a single perpertrators has been brought to book.

    But none of the perpetrators of massacres against Sinhalese have been brought to book either. I am not saying that Tamils should not have the right to justice, but it is clear that the right you are asking for is not available to the Sinhalese either.

    Why doesn’t India hold a Truth and Conciliation Committee for the Muslims killed over the last several decades?

    You should understand that capital,labour etc follow certain characteristics that are needed for their optimum use and that is free market economics and hard to control,whatever governance system you adopts.

    So in other words, you are acknowledging that devolution will do nothing to eliminate inequality.

  105. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:
    April 15, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Dr. Narendran,

    I hear you. But the government’s stand of against devolution is not at all acceptable for Tamils. It is also against previous government’s commitments to the IC regarding this matter. I believe that IC is not accepting this view either. IC needs to get involved in helping to change the government’s attitude and path.

    No, the centralized government alone will not work for the Tamils. Tamils can’t get what they want through a centralized system alone. It could be part of good governance to improve the government at the centre. There should not be any violence in the future.

    You underestimate the influence of IC in the current context. Please wait and observe. I think that the U.S. became the dominant player than India in this matter. We will have to give some time for them to engage and help the advancement of the process. In the diplomatic world, there are many techniques used that would pretty much tell a country as to what to do and how to do, albeit indirectly. The credibility of the U.S. is at stake if it fails to effect a fair solution for the problem. Some people were doubtful when the U.S. proposed the UNHRC resolution. But the U.S. was determined to pass the resolution once started as it cannot afford to lose. Similarly, it is believed that the U.S. would be on top of the issue until a satidfactory resolution.

    Tamils are not going to give up their important political aspirations for expediency. However, they may change and make collective decisions that would help their elected leaders by providing some guidance as to how to represent them and to proceed in the future.

    It is regrettable if the politicians are not able to perform their duties and are corrupt. If true, these corrupt and inept politicians need to be exposed of their bad behaviors and inability to perform their duties. Party and its leaders should pay attention and should take disciplinary actions as appropriate, if true. Hopefully they would change their behaviors and take steps to improve their behaviors and abilities, if the accusations are true. What alternatives the constituents have except for defeating the unsuitable members in the next election? Perhaps, they should have a recall system. It is unfortunate that many talented and noble people did not get into the nasty and potentially violent politics of the past. They could have served the people much better.

    I believe that there are enough capable Tamil politicians and advisers who can handle the matters related to their constituents. Have you ever considered running for a political office so that you would be able to legitimately represent the views and issues of the constituents with authority and more credibility?

  106. Dr RN says “…Please visit Sri lanka with like-minded people. It will be an eye-opener..”http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/5415#comment-63136
    Many countries are opening their eyes – the result we have seen in Geneva UNHRC resolution.
    Could you please tell us more about “like-minded people”. Are you asking to come with closed eyes and listen only to MR approved people.

  107. wije says:
    April 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Dear Wije,

    Yes, it appears to be an impasse. IC will have to get involved.

    I don’t see a response. The question was what Sinhalese would do if the roles were reversed in this regard. You are just providing an observation rather than answering the question.

    Come on! Don’t be naïve! You should know better, the history and issues relating to the Tamil are not the same as others. Have you read the real history of Tamils in Ceylon? Have you ever heard about the history of Jaffna Kingdom?

    For starters, the promises were apparently made to India about developing and implementing an acceptable solution immediately based on devolution and 13th plus. Similarly, there were promises were apparently made by the government to the U.S. and Europeans, etc.

    Nobody is asking to do something against the long-term best interest of the country. The devolution is in the long – term best interest of the country. Failure to act would worsen the problems. Some people on the extreme view that the refusal to act by the government for such a relatively small devolution step as blessing in disguise as this may very well end up resulting in significantly larger step later for which Sinhalese would have to blame themselves and nobody else.

    Do you really think that the UNSG POE report lacks objectivity? What is the reason or vested interest of the panel to be biased against the country? The report is objective and based on facts and truths. The problems are that the truth hurts and people are feeling embarrassed, guilty and in denial. It’s my bad, I intended it to refer to rational people, so I should have said that “A good majority of rational people…”

  108. Conflict resolution Innovate for 21st Century

    The symptoms of conflict history of Sri Lanka is well known, and everyone is reflecting on this matter/issue at every level, up to Geneva deliberations. Discussions are centered around symptoms, It should be more about the issues.

    The issue or root cause is due to, the number based system of governance mechanism, democracy, designed two hundred years ago, which had never imagined, a situation of unequal number of forces, and resultant force, conditioned by certain specific interest factor of power.

    The formulae worked out in the past, constitutional changes etc. failed, because of forces of power/system of governance, inadequacy of executive mechanism, will full or otherwise.

    L.L.R.C report is concerned to address, causal issues, to prevent recurrence of situation of past, to develop in the future.

    Singapore constitution can form the basis for future model with innovative, futuristic, characteristics, which will give flexi arrangements, for innovative space for futuristic conflict prevention, taking note of the aspirations and concerns of aggrieved people.

    In this context, Dr. R.Narendran Raises the relevancy, adequacy, competency of 13. This question was raised in the past also, by many, from various quarters of different spectrum

    Mear slogan shouting, accusing each other, using indecent words and phrases are the ways of low level people, and not of enlightened problem solvers.

    The players/actors in the centre stage, should answer genuine question raised. If they are inadequate, incompetent, they must get help, from competent quarters in this conflict prevention innovation exercise.

    The type of solution/formula will become a model, for the world to resolve situations of similar nature, elsewhere in the future. As such, participation by men of wisdom should be solicited.

    The prayers of, all enlightened, concerned people, world over is, how to get out of the valley of, imagined/apparent, impass and break the shackles of the past, to charter a new future era. New methodology should be innovated for mental, social, national spiritual evaluation for a kind governance to synchronies with the of 21st century.

    Old Yarlppanathan

  109. Observer,

    I do not agree with you about IC or USA involvement. I can only pray and hope that the Tamils and other people in the north and east are not once again thrown to the wolves. I do not know whether you live in Sri Lanka or not. It appears you are an expatriate. If this is so, you have missed a large part of the recent poltical evolution in Sri Lanka and are basis your thesis on old and invalid paradigms. If you living in Sri Lanka, our experiences and exposures are out of synch.

    Anpu,

    Many countries are blind to realities here. They are clueless about the issues, problems and impediments here. Further, the Indian delegation visiting project sites and meeting ‘Out of date’ politicians and listening to ‘Out dated’ ideas will not help them learn anything here. They should visit the north and the east and talk to the ordinary people. They should spend at least three months here to get a feel for what is happening here and the forces at play.

    Old Yarlpanathan,

    Your are wise as usual. I wish we had more ‘Young Yarlpanthans’ like you, with the ability to look forward and yet draw on the spiritual wisdom of the past and within. The day we forgot the meaning of ‘Anbey Sivam’, our problems began. Solutions will be found and our problems will end, when we discover this fundamental of our existence. We have to use ‘Aram’ as our tool. We have got used to using ‘Marram’ as a tool for a long time and despite the results,out of bad habit and rather perverse thinking conditioned by six decades of tragedy, are unwilling to part with it. History has conspired against us and is yet working in its strange way. We are not out of the crucible of fire yet and probably are in for more burning. Kumabakarnan in Kambaramayanam laments, “Vithy piduthu untha nindrathu” (Fate is pushing me by the scruff). We are being pushed by very unwise forces into a very dangerous situation and . Sad.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  110. Dear Observer,

    Yes, it appears to be an impasse. IC will have to get involved.

    But most Sri Lankans don’t want the IC to get involved, so therefore it cannot get involved.

    The question was what Sinhalese would do if the roles were reversed in this regard. You are just providing an observation rather than answering the question.

    The observation answers your question. If the Sinhalese were the minority in Sri Lanka, they would be far more helpless than the Tamil minority is today. If the roles were reversed, the Tamils would be fighting devolution tooth and nail, and the Sinhalese would not have any IC friends on their side. The Tamils could even wipe out the Sinhalese completely and nobody would intervene, because there is no “Sinhala Nadu” anywhere else in the world.

    You should know better, the history and issues relating to the Tamil are not the same as others. Have you read the real history of Tamils in Ceylon? Have you ever heard about the history of Jaffna Kingdom?

    I do know better. There is not such thing as “Tamil nation” in Sri Lankan history. The Jaffna kingdom was established in 14th century, and it ruled only over Jaffna, Mannar, and part of the Wanni. Prof K. Indrapala’s book on Tamil history shows how the ancient Tamils were integrated in the Rajarata civilisation alongside the Sinhalese.

    One of the greatest mistakes that the pro-devolution Tamils have made has been relying on ancient history to back up their cause, instead of more recent history and focusing on the discrimination and violence faced by Tamils. When they invent stories of separate Tamil nation existing “since time immemorial,” the Sinhalese feel that they are being taken for a ride. These fake histories are a distraction from the real issues that are facing the Tamils today.

    For starters, the promises were apparently made to India about developing and implementing an acceptable solution immediately based on devolution and 13th plus. Similarly, there were promises were apparently made by the government to the U.S. and Europeans, etc.

    To my knowledge, these promises were made after the war not during. If I am wrong then you can show the news articles where they made these promises during the war.

    The devolution is in the long – term best interest of the country.

    No it is not. Sri Lanka is too small for devolution to work. The various provinces do not have a strong economic base. Western Province will have all the wealth while North and east will have nothing.

    Do you really think that the UNSG POE report lacks objectivity?

    Not only does it lack objectivity, but it lacks credibility as well. That is even worse!

    What is the reason or vested interest of the panel to be biased against the country?

    The Darusman panel had only ignorant employees of the human rights industry who are inherently anti-government.

    The report is objective and based on facts and truths.

    Then why does the report claim that Basil Rajapaksha is the Defence Minister?? That alone shows the sloppy work that the Darusman clique had done. If they can get such a simple fact wrong, one can only imagine what else they misconstrued or lied about.

  111. wije says:
    April 15, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    [The same Chief Minister Modi who was complicit in the massacre of 2000 Muslims in 2002?????]
    —————

    I only mentioned that modi was a great administrator.I did not say he was a great human being.I hope he never becomes the primeminister of india.

    However,i have to say that india is better than us because nearly a hundred have been given life sentences for their actions during the gujarat riots.How many have srilanka arrested,let alone charged and convicted since independence for the pograms against tamils in 1956,58,61,77,81 and 83 and the killing,raping and abductions of civilians in the north and east?????

    Modi himself had to face the courts.How many government officials faced courts in srilanka,though everyone knew that it was the government which organised everything?????
    Modi was cleared in any complicity,but his reputation is irrevocably tarnished because of his apparent lack of interest to subdue the riots.Another JRJ.That is why i say the indians should never make the mistake that the srilankans did by making JRJ the president,and should never let modi become the primeminister however clever he may be,because he could put india ina big soup,like JRJ did to us.
    ——————————————————————-
    [So in other words, devolution of power has done little if anything to stop communal violence in India? Why should Sri Lanka follow a system that clearly is not working in India?]
    ——————
    It has curbed communal violence far better than in srilanka.For 1205 million indians look at the percentage of those affected and compare with srilanka having only 22 million.

    Also remember the main benefit of devolution for india is to keep a disparate and different ethnic and linguistic and religious groups together as one country,with a common indian identity,which it has sucessfully done for more than 60 years,while srilanka which went in the opposite direction to that of india paid the penalty with all this bloodshed and bitterness between two previously friendly communities that are closely related to each other too.If only we had followed the indian model instead of the forced assimiliation policy.
    ———————————————————–
    [I hope the Indians will remember the last time they thought they could “teach this little whippersnapper a good lesson.” If they have forgotten, perhaps a short visit to Sriperumbudur will refresh the memory.]
    ——————-

    You seem to be taking credit for teaching india a lesson,while a parippu drop was all it needed to make you shit in your pants.The mistake that rajiv made was to miscalculate the the mind of prabharan.In his wildest dreams he would not have thought this madman would take on india.On the contrary to your boasting about teaching india a lesson,the sinhalese did not even use a single soldier to fight the indian army.The LTTE had to do that for them while they were confined to the barracks.The present and future leaders of india may not be like a bull in a china shop like rajiv,but nevertheless in a patient manner teach this little whippersnapper a good lesson one day,unless it mends its arrogant ways.
    ———————————————————–
    [Could you be more specific about which affairs need to managed by the Tamils, and why?]
    ————————

    All affairs as envisaged in the 13th amendment.As for your question why,first ask the question why is the 13th amendment in the constitution,but not implemented?Either implemet it or abolish it from the constitution because you have a two third majority to do so.
    ———————————————————–
    [As these website show, Tamil is the language of administration in the northern and eastern provinces. The challenge is to implement Tamil in the southern Sri Lanka- which devolution will not accomplish.]
    —————————-
    Wherein does the website show that tamil is the language of administration in the north east.It only says sinhala is not.So officially tamil has not been made the language of administration as per the 16th amendment.You have to implement the amendment to make it permanent,otherwise you can just change your policy on the whim of someone or other in the future.
    As for the challengeto implement in the south,how can you do it when the public service is packed with sinhalese only?What you are trying to do is make sinhalese officers learn tamil and so making out it is a great challenge.Has it occurred to you that it could not become a challenge if you recruit tamils to the public service instead of barring them from it since independence?
    You are rightthat this has nothing to do wih dvolution,so go ahead and implement it please,even after sixty years of so called independence and not having your language rights,it better late than never.
    ———————————————————–
    [But none of the perpetrators of massacres against Sinhalese have been brought to book either.]

    —————–

    I thought they are in nanthikadal.What took you so long?Was it the commissions on arms purchases and to have the war as an excuse to explain to the people the parlous state of the economy?

    By the way there is a tamil minister in your government who killed 600 policemen who surrendered.The secretary of defen even at one time forged a passport for him and in the picure given in the latest article on this blog is seen hugging and kissing him.If the sinhalese are not interested in justice for their fellow sinhalese,why blame us for asking justice for our fellow tamils.We will do waht is right for our people,if you don’t want to that is your prerogative.
    ——————————————————–

    [Why doesn’t India hold a Truth and Conciliation Committee for the Muslims killed over the last several decades]
    ———————-
    Ask india.We do what is right for our people.At the moment our hands are full with the problems dished out to us by you sinhalese and we don’t have time to fight for justice for others,howver you are welcome to do so,because you have plenty of time on your hands.
    ———————————————————
    [So in other words, you are acknowledging that devolution will do nothing to eliminate inequality.]
    ——————————–

    Devolution is not a panacea for all ills.Next you will come and tell me that there are a lot of cancer patients and devolution has not fixed that problem too?
    The main benefit of devolution is that it forges a national identity among disparate ethnic and linguisic groups.Also by devolving powers to the local levels we are also able to pin the responsibility to local levels.Power and responsibility has to go together.A person cannot be held responsible if he has not been given the power and authority to fulfill the tasks expected of him.

  112. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:
    April 16, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Dr. Narendran,

    I understand your view. But I am hopeful of the IC involvement. Yes, People suffered too much and I do hope that the people will no longer be subjected to such situations in the future.

    I do have exposures with a variety of people and their views that cover pretty much the entire spectrum.

    Do you think that TNA is not in synch with the views of the people with respect to your observation of the recent political evolution?

  113. wije says:
    April 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Dear Wije,

    [“But most Sri Lankans don’t want the IC to get involved, so therefore it cannot get involved”]

    Unfortunately it is not easy as you think. Now UN is also involved in these matters. As you are aware, when you are dealing with special issues such as rights issues, the majority opinion does not necessarily govern. As long as the country is a UN member, there are many ways for UN and IC to get involved, directly or indirectly. They will get involved if and when needed.

    “The observation answers your question. If the Sinhalese were the minority in Sri Lanka, they would be far more helpless than the Tamil minority is today. If the roles were reversed, the Tamils would be fighting devolution tooth and nail, and the Sinhalese would not have any IC friends on their side. The Tamils could even wipe out the Sinhalese completely and nobody would intervene, because there is no “Sinhala Nadu” anywhere else in the world.”

    The question was what Sinhalese would have done affirmatively and not about others. Would the Sinhalese have accepted the centralized government power or would the Sinhalese have demanded devolution of power if the roles were reversed? Did IC or Tamil Nadu stop the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Vanni?

    “I do know better. There is not such thing as “Tamil nation” in Sri Lankan history. The Jaffna kingdom was established in 14th century, and it ruled only over Jaffna, Mannar, and part of the Wanni. Prof K. Indrapala’s book on Tamil history shows how the ancient Tamils were integrated in the Rajarata civilisation alongside the Sinhalese.

    One of the greatest mistakes that the pro-devolution Tamils have made has been relying on ancient history to back up their cause, instead of more recent history and focusing on the discrimination and violence faced by Tamils. When they invent stories of separate Tamil nation existing “since time immemorial,” the Sinhalese feel that they are being taken for a ride. These fake histories are a distraction from the real issues that are facing the Tamils today.”

    You really don’t know the real complete history of Tamils. If you are in denial mode of history, it would not be much use to spend time on it. It’s like the proverb “You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep”. I cannot understand as to why Sinhalese have such difficulty to face the facts and truths?

    “To my knowledge, these promises were made after the war not during. If I am wrong then you can show the news articles where they made these promises during the war.”

    No, I am referring to the events during the war. For examples,

    http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2604/stories/20090227260401700.htm

    Jan. 27, 2009
    “Rajapaksa also told Mukherjee that his government remained committed to the implementation of the 13th amendment to the country’s Constitution, which was part of the India-Lanka Accord of 1987. If implemented, it will result in considerable devolution of powers to the Tamil-majority north. The 13th amendment had also envisaged the creation of a merged province in the northeast. Mukherjee said at the end of his visit that the President had promised to “explore the possibility of going further and improving upon the devolution proposals”.

    http://federalidea.com/fi/2008/11/post_41.html
    October – November 2008.

    “Following the successful (October 25-26) visit to New Delhi of his special envoy Basil Rajapaksa MP and Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an extensive interview with Narasimhan Ram, the Editor-in-Chief of ‘The Hindu’ on 27th October at ‘Temple Trees’ Colombo reiterated that his “government is firmly committed to a negotiated political solution based on devolution of power and ensuring the democratic, political, including linguistic, rights of all our Tamil brethren within an undivided Sri Lanka.”

    “No it is not. Sri Lanka is too small for devolution to work. The various provinces do not have a strong economic base. Western Province will have all the wealth while North and east will have nothing.”

    It’s a pretty lame excuse. Devolution will be fine and Sri Lanka size is adequate and not even a relevant issue. The economic base is something they develop and many people are interested in investing in the north and east once the solution is developed and implemented. If others do not want devolution to their regions, the government could accommodate them.

    “Not only does it lack objectivity, but it lacks credibility as well. That is even worse!”

    The report is very objectively presents the facts and truths. It is very much credible. Nobody can dispute the evidences presented in the report. The entire world pretty much accepted the report. UNHRC finds the report is credible. It’s only you and your ilk and the government find it as not credible because 1) need to defend against the accusations, 2) denial is a form to escape facing reality 3) embarrassed and feel like you need to defend the indefensible by selling out your conscience.

    “The Darusman panel had only ignorant employees of the human rights industry who are inherently anti-government”
    Really, who told you this? Do you have anything to substantiate? Are there standard talking points issued? It’s really pathetic. In order to cover the government’s and military’s wrongdoings, you are ready to go any extent to falsely destroy the reputations and characters of internationally renowned officials and their staff. This is really below the belt behavior.

    “Then why does the report claim that Basil Rajapaksha is the Defense Minister?? That alone shows the sloppy work that the Darusman clique had done. If they can get such a simple fact wrong, one can only imagine what else they misconstrued or lied about.”

    You may realize that there are many Rajapaksha last names in important circle of power that may contribute to some confusion. Basil Rajapaksha was referred correctly as the Economic Development minister in the report. The report refers to Gotabaya Rajapaksha as the defense secretary correctly on numerous times in the report. However, at one place there is an error where it referred defense secretary Basil Rajapaksha instead of defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksha. The error in the first name of defense secretary is unfortunate. You may know typically importance is given to the last name when used in officials in the west. However, it is far cry to condemn the report based on it when you yourself made an error saying it refers Basil Rajapaksha as defense minister. How can you obfuscate the events and evidences of various rights violations as misconstrued or lied? It is another pathetic attempt to defend the indefensible. It is fair to discuss if you have evidence against the reported abuses violations and events of substance.

    I observe a theme of constant denial everywhere. Is it common opinion or tactic among the Sinhalese?

    It is becoming apparent that if the government started to respond like the way you do, it is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve anything meaningful through direct talks.

    The first step is to recognize and admit the problems. Then only one can take steps to even attempt to remedy the problems.

  114. Observer,

    Unfortunately, yes. The TNA is totally out of synch with realities and the views of the people who have borne the brunt of the war. It is yet reflecting the views of the old ‘Thamil Arasu Katchi’ types- who are a minority, though yet quite vocal. It is mentally retarded as a political formation and has many men whom I would call ‘Oru kuttayilay, ooriya mattaihal’ (The coconut husks that have been soaked in the same foetid pond).

    There are two qualities needed for good politicians and leaders:

    Understand what the people need and lead them towards achieving them ( Castro, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jnr)
    , or

    Formulate a vision for the people based on their needs and circumstances, convince them and then lead them towards achieving it (Gandhi, Mao and Lee Kuan Yew).

    We need such great men now in our hour of travail, not cheap, third rate, sloganeering, mad cap politicians!

    The TNA lacks both qualities. It is a sick old man, stumbling in a very dark room, to find familiar objects. To me the TNA is the Tamil National Ailment. The sooner the Tamils find alternatives, the better. We are without political options now. This is our worst tragedy.

    I suggest that you read the article written by George Kuruchev in the Thenee website (Listed in infolanka.com). It is a very perceptive piece on Tamil politics.

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran.

  115. Dear Observer

    As you are aware, when you are dealing with special issues such as rights issues, the majority opinion does not necessarily govern. As long as the country is a UN member, there are many ways for UN and IC to get involved, directly or indirectly. They will get involved if and when needed.

    In this case we are talking about the system of governance over which other countries have no control. One country cannot simply dictate to another what its system should be. India tried, and unsurprisingly the 13A is not implemented.

    Would the Sinhalese have accepted the centralized government power or would the Sinhalese have demanded devolution of power if the roles were reversed?

    I have always argued that the Sinhalese and Tamils share the same mindset. The Sinhalese would have demanded devolution, unless the Tamil-dominated government offered a good alternative. That is why I am interested in finding that alternative.

    You really don’t know the real complete history of Tamils. If you are in denial mode of history, it would not be much use to spend time on it.

    If I do not know the real complete history of the Tamils then it falls upon you to educate me. I already gave you the research of Prof Indrapala who probably is the foremost scholar of ancient Sri Lankan Tamil history. If he is wrong then you will have to show the correct scholarship.

    Medieval Sri Lankan Tamil literature itself supports the idea of a shared civilisation rather than separate “nations.” Why else do both Jaffna and Batticaloa chronicles describe Vijaya, the mythical progenitor of the Sinhalese in the Mahavamsa, as the first (human) Sri Lankan king?

    No, I am referring to the events during the war. For examples,

    Thank you for showing these examples. I stand corrected. Government clearly lied to the Indians about its intentions for devolution.

    Devolution will be fine and Sri Lanka size is adequate and not even a relevant issue. The economic base is something they develop and many people are interested in investing in the north and east once the solution is developed and implemented. If others do not want devolution to their regions, the government could accommodate them.

    I disagree. Why would anyone want to invest in north and east that are war-devastated? It is more likely that north/east governments will ask Colombo for money. That is how devolution works in India.

    The report is very objectively presents the facts and truths. It is very much credible.

    Then why does it ignore LTTE atrocities and ignore any evidence provided by government- not even refuting what government has to say? Here is a solid critique of the report by an established civil society group:
    http://www.margasrilanka.org/Truth-Accountability.pdf

    I observe a theme of constant denial everywhere. Is it common opinion or tactic among the Sinhalese?

    To believe that you can force a solution on an unwilling majority is the height of denial. The Sinhalese have the same capacity for denial as the Tamils. They also have the same capacity for poor communication skills. Much like how the Tamils shoot themselves in the foot by talking about prehistoric Tamil kingdoms when arguing for devolution, the Sinhalese likewise pollute the debate by bringing up the Tamil invasions of the ancient era instead of the demerits of devolution for the current situation.

    I fully accept that other Sinhalese may have miscommunicated the message to you and will try to get our point across.

  116. wije says:
    April 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    ——————–
    [If the Sinhalese were the minority in Sri Lanka, they would be far more helpless than the Tamil minority is today.If the roles were reversed, the Tamils would be fighting devolution tooth and nail, and the Sinhalese would not have any IC friends on their side. The Tamils could even wipe out the Sinhalese completely and nobody would intervene, because there is no “Sinhala Nadu” anywhere else in the world.]
    ——————–

    You are judging others by your standards.There is no need for tamils in srilanka to discriminate and keep the sinhalese down if they were in the majority,because on a level playing field and merit system they can easily beat the sinhalese to come up in life.I don’t want to hurt your feelings,but since you brought this matter up anyway and as i call a spade a spade,i have to tell you this.i don’t know what has happenned to your people,because you were once a flourishing civilisation with even irrigation works that were that were at one time the best in the world.Colonialism maybe has brought you to a lethargic and lazy levels and for your own good you better shake it off and become more competitive without living in a hyphothetical world of being a minority etc and blaming others for your own weaknesses.

    To answer your question,if we were the majority we would have caught you by the scruff of your neck and shaken you out of your lethargy and easy going ways and made you more competitive.Probably we would have come a least halfway towards a singapore by now.We would never have become a singapore with you but at least we would have given them a good fight.

    If you look at the EU and its problems,the headache is the easy going culture of the southern europeans.If germanic tribes dominated southern europe,they would not be in this mess today.The Angela merkel is trying to catch them by the scruff of their neck and make them germanic but it is a futile exercise,because it is like trying to make a lovable spaniel into a working dog or german sheperd.

    I believe that the sinhalese are equally or even more intelligent than the tamils,and the sinhala modaya is a myth as Dr.narendran rightly pointed out,because i have lived from my childhood with them and know them well.However i must say that you have to work harder,and dragging someone down when they are trying to get out of the pit is not going to help you in that regard,because like a lion in a zoo which becomes lazy because it is given food,and instead should be made to hunt.Instead of dragging the tamils down you should tell your people “why can’t you match the tamils” then we will be on the road to a singapore,which is watching us closely because it knows we can become a big threat to it one day if we get our act together.

  117. Hi shankar

    I believe that the sinhalese are equally or even more intelligent than the tamils,and the sinhala modaya is a myth

    Well I don’t entirely agree. The real problem with the Sinhalese is not laziness but gullibility and ignorance. If someone told a Sinhala that there is a Tamil conspiracy to destroy Sri Lanka, he will believe it without questioning. If somebody else told another Sinhala that there is a Sinhala conspiracy to destroy Sri Lanka, then he would believe that also! (the latter are the civil society crowd who share the Sinhala inability to think critically, despite their polished appearances and international connections)

    You may believe that the Sinhalese have suppressed the Tamils out of jealousy, but that is not true (there is a little bit of truth, the extreme Sinhala racist JHU types were very jealous of the Tamils having a ruthless leader like Prabakaran before Mahinda came along, although they will never admit it). The truth is that the Sinhalese have all kinds of conspiracy theories about the Tamils. Yes the Sinhalese believe that Tamils are smarter- the racists are actually the loudest about this- but the angle is that they believe the Tamils will use their brains to get organised against Sinhalese.

    That explains why Sinhalese who do not hate Tamils will look the other way when the violent Sinhala minority attacks the Tamils. The nonviolent majority will assume that the Tamils are being attacked because the Tamils were trying to hatch some conspiracy. They are totally ignorant of the Tamils, so they have no capacity to understand any alternative perception of the Tamils other than what the racist conspiracy theorists churn out. Unfortunately, the Tamils have no clue whatsoever how ignorant the Sinhalese are of the Tamils.

    Also the Tamils have a big misunderstanding of the Mahavamsa. They think the Mahavamsa teaches the Sinhalese to believe they are some kind of “chosen race,” but that is not the problem. The real problem with Mahavamsa is that nearly all the depictions of Tamils in the book are as invaders. So Sinhalese ignorantly believe that Tamils are some kind of devious foreigner even though that is historically bunk. Prabakaran reinforced this mentality by adopting a South Indian Chola symbol (tiger) instead of anything native to Sri Lanka.

    The key to solving the problem is for Sinhalese to become knowledgeable about Tamils, because then they would not be so paranoid and afraid of the Tamils. If the Sinhalese understood how similar the Tamils are, they would see the Tamils as harmless. But when Tamils like TNA emphasise the differences between Sinhalese and Tamils, then the Sinhala misunderstandings of the Tamils get reinforced.

    Also by devolving powers to the local levels we are also able to pin the responsibility to local levels.Power and responsibility has to go together.A person cannot be held responsible if he has not been given the power and authority to fulfill the tasks expected of him.

    Then why not devolve powers to districts or pradeshiya sabhas instead of provinces?

    Also remember the main benefit of devolution for india is to keep a disparate and different ethnic and linguistic and religious groups together as one country,with a common indian identity

    India is one country because it has strong bureacracy and big army. Devolution did not stop the separatism in Punjab, Kashmir, or Northeast. It was the army.

    I know for a fact that common Indian identity is an illusion. Maybe some of the educated Indians have this identity, but most identify first as Kannadigas, Gujjus, Malayalis etc.

    On the contrary to your boasting about teaching india a lesson,the sinhalese did not even use a single soldier to fight the indian army.The LTTE had to do that for them while they were confined to the barracks.

    You are correct. It was one of the very rare moments of Sinhalese using their brains- why fight the Indians when you can get the Tamil separatists to do that job? After that experience, India left Sri Lanka alone and did not save LTTE again in 2009. (please do not misunderstand, I am completely against JRJ as many of my posts here and in groundviews show. He was the absolute worst leader, but I have to admit he did one correct thing by manipulating LTTE against India)

    All affairs as envisaged in the 13th amendment.

    Why all of them? Why then is TNA only talking about police and land, ignoring all the others? Tamils did not even create 13A; it was the creation of JRJ and Rajiv.

    As for your question why,first ask the question why is the 13th amendment in the constitution,but not implemented?Either implemet it or abolish it from the constitution because you have a two third majority to do so.

    13A is in Constitution because Rajiv forced it down JRJ’s throat. It is still in Constitution because Mahinda is too afraid of India. Personally I think it should be abolished, but first the Official Languages Act must be fully implemented and all Tamil areas rebuilt.

    Wherein does the website show that tamil is the language of administration in the north east.It only says sinhala is not.

    If Sinhala is not implemented then that means only Tamil can be the language of administration. It is impossible for an administration to have NO language.

    As for the challengeto implement in the south,how can you do it when the public service is packed with sinhalese only?

    I am 100% supportive of hiring more Tamils into the public service.

    By the way there is a tamil minister in your government who killed 600 policemen who surrendered.

    See, I am not lying to you that murderers of Sinhalese people are not punished either!

    JRJ’s former Attorney General was a Mr Shiva Pasupathy who drafted the original Prevention of Terrorism Act and put many Tamil youth in jail. Later Mr Pasupathy moved to Australia and became hardcore LTTE supporter. Yet for some reason he is very silent about his role in JRJ regime. And nobody has asked him or sought justice against him. Can you explain why?

    Also there are certain people who hold demonstrations and still wave LTTE flags, in spite of all the evidence of Tigers using innocent Tamils as human shields to stop army. Are they not interested in justice either? Is there nobody to condemn this flag-waving?

  118. Wije/Shanker,

    Thank you very much for participating in this debate/ discussion. It is this type dialogue that should engage the entire society in Sri Lanka. We have much to learn about each other and, our phoebias, fears, perceptions and contradictions. I think Wije has captured the ‘Sinhala thinking’ quite well.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  119. I have to thank ‘Observer’ too for his soberly articulated contribution. Transcurrents is contributing more towards shedding light and hence finding solutions to Sri Lanka’s problems, than all the politicians and other media combined. Thank you, DBSJ.

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

  120. wije says:
    April 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Then why not devolve powers to districts or pradeshiya sabhas instead of provinces?
    ————————-
    It is too expensive.In fact i think even 9 provinces are too much.Ideally it should be 5 provinces,north south,east,west and central of equal size.50 percent of funds allocated to a province should be based on size and 50 per cent on population.This will encourage people to migrate to other provinces as they become more developed.

    I think that districts and pradeshiya sabhas should be scrapped.We are giving more and more opportunities for politicians to pack these with their people.The guy who killed the british tourist recently and gang raped his russian girlfriend are is a pradesha sabha chairman,only 24 years,one look and you will see an uneducated goon,a sidekick of namal and mahinda.Everywhere political office is packed with goons and rubbish.We have to concentrate on quality ,not quantity.We can’t afford to devolve it lower and lower for such rubbish.The presidency also should be abolished.A primeminister having a maximum of 100 MP’s under him and of which maximum 10 are ministers is more than enough for the central government.The 5 provinces should have a chief minister with maximum 10 provincial MP’s of which 3 can be ministers.No need of any deputy ministers for the country.These numbers should be enshrined in the constitution so that they don’t start to incras and packing with their sidekicks in the future.

    The high administration cost of the country is met now from the loans we are given,not from the earnings.When future generations find that repayment of loans and interest exceed revenue,and no future loans are given by lenders to continue the pyramid scheme,then the fun will begin and we would have put our innocent future generations into a soup as usual.
    —————————————————
    [If Sinhala is not implemented then that means only Tamil can be the language of administration. It is impossible for an administration to have NO language.]
    —————-
    From what i know the 16th amendment to make tamil also a administrative language has not been implemented even in the north and east.If things are being done in tamil as you claim,it must be on a ad hoc basis,not as a permanent official fixture.As i told you we ned permanent solutions,not ad hoc ones that can be overturned on the whims and fancies of opportunistic politicians in the future.
    —————————————————-

    [See, I am not lying to you that murderers of Sinhalese people are not punished either!]

    ——————

    A truth and reconciliation commission such as what south africa did,does not punish people as its objective.Usually criminals are punished as a deterrent for others.In this case these crimes are committed in a civil war situation,and in srilanka it will be a one off situation,and so punishment does not srv the purpose of a deterrent.However the international human rights organisations may look at it in a different way and want to punish as a deterrent to like minded characters in other parts of the world.My support for a truth and reconciliation commision instead of a punishement type of courts is purely for a srilankan context,because we are not going to benefit by punishing people here,but the truth being documented properly will help a lot in the reconciliation process by healing the wounds of those who had been affected.

  121. Wije says:
    April 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Dear Wije,

    [In this case we are talking about the system of governance over which other countries have no control. One country cannot simply dictate to another what its system should be. India tried, and unsurprisingly the 13A is not implemented].

    Perhaps it is so in theory to some extent. But in actual practice, powerful super powers and regional powers have many direct and indirect ways to influence other countries including aids and trade. This influence becomes more enhanced with leverage when the GOSL itself had promised to deliver such things partly in order to continue the war with tacit approval even though a large number of civilians were being killed and GOSL is accused of not completing accountability for alleged rights violations and war crimes. It is not quiet complete to refer to in the past tense as India tried because India has been trying and not stopped. India will continue to try and India may still succeed in this endeavor. Furthermore, these powers often use the carrot and stick or carrot on the stick approach to influence other nations too.

    Besides, there are openings to the U.S., India or other UN members to get involved through the UNHRC resolution passed. So this is too late as the seeds are already planted for their involvement, if needed and they wanted. Refer to “reach a political settlement on the devolution of power to the provinces”

    UNHRC Resolution
    …….
    Welcoming the constructive recommendations contained in the Commission’s report, including the need to credibly investigate widespread allegations of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances, demilitarize the north of Sri Lanka, implement impartial land dispute resolution mechanisms, re-evaluate detention policies, strengthen formerly independent civil institutions, reach a political settlement on the devolution of power to the provinces, promote and protect the right of freedom of expression for all and enact rule of law reforms,

    Noting with concern that the report does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law,
    1. Calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations made in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and to take all necessary additional steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans;
    …….
    Furthermore, with regard to the interference, how can one explain the creations of Bangladesh, Kosovo, South Sudan,..?

    [I have always argued that the Sinhalese and Tamils share the same mindset. The Sinhalese would have demanded devolution, unless the Tamil-dominated government offered a good alternative. That is why I am interested in finding that alternative.]

    I applaud your forthright honesty in expressing the view that Sinhalese would have responded similarly if the roles were reversed. The good alternative is very valuable if one is feasible. May be it is elusive and in my opinion a mirage.

    [If I do not know the real complete history of the Tamils then it falls upon you to educate me. I already gave you the research of Prof Indrapala who probably is the foremost scholar of ancient Sri Lankan Tamil history. If he is wrong then you will have to show the correct scholarship].
    [Medieval Sri Lankan Tamil literature itself supports the idea of a shared civilisation rather than separate “nations.” Why else do both Jaffna and Batticaloa chronicles describe Vijaya, the mythical progenitor of the Sinhalese in the Mahavamsa, as the first (human) Sri Lankan king?]

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to bring the research to you regarding this now. Besides, you seem to have feed with some biased misinformation and I am not sure you are willing to listen to facts and truths. With due respect, I don’t give much credence to everything written in Mahavamsa as some of them are myth, biased, fear mongering and not based on facts and truths.

    However, one can refer to this book, “Tamils in Sri Lanka, written by Dr. M. Gunasingam, a Comprehensive History C. 300B.C. – C. 2000 A.D. Published by MV Publications, South Asian Studies Centre , Sydney, Australia, 2008”. It refers to when the Portuguese invaded Sri Lanka in 1505 A.D. and ruled up to 1658 A.D., Ceylon was divided into three separate and independent kingdoms called Jaffna Kingdom, Kandyan kingdom and Kotte Kingdom.

    It is also worth referring to The Cleghorn Minute of 1799.

    The Cleghorn Minute: In 1799 June, Sir Hugh Cleghorn, the first British Colonial Secretary wrote to the British Government: Two different nations from a very ancient period have divided between them the possession of the Island. First the Sinhalese, inhabiting the interior of the country in its Southern and Western parts, and secondly the Tamils* who possess the Northern and Eastern Districts. These two nations differ entirely in their religion, language and manners.

    Colonial Period:
    1505 -1658: Portuguese held the island 1658 – 1796: Dutch usurped control 1796: the British took over Portuguese and Dutch ruled the Tamil and Sinhala Kingdoms separately, but, the British artificially joined them for their administrative convenience only in 1833. On Feb. 4, 1948 – British left the Island leaving it as one country, CEYLON.

    Since you refer to Dr. Narendran’s comments, I saw his comments elsewhere on this subject, a part of it as follows:
    “The Tamils had a Kingdom when the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka. This Kingdom was also powerful at one time and its writ extended to the east , Kandyan Kingdom and the west coast. Most of the east, which were under the Kandyan Kingdom, came under the Jaffna Kingdom, when it fell under the writ of the latter. ……”

    [Thank you for showing these examples. I stand corrected. Government clearly lied to the Indians about its intentions for devolution.]

    Shouldn’t there be consequences for the deliberate lies in such an important issue? The government got to honour all the commitments. The IC cannot afford to allow the government to cheat and getaway and thereby responsible to set a bad precedent for any other country in the world in the future.

    [I disagree. Why would anyone want to invest in north and east that are war-devastated? It is more likely that north/east governments will ask Colombo for money. That is how devolution works in India.]

    There are many investors willing to invest there. Furthermore, IC is very much very much committed to develop and earlier pledged billions of dollars if the negotiations and solutions were achieved during cease fire. So this can be worked out. Besides, when the country had been borrowing a lot of money on behalf of all of its citizens over the two to three decades and spent it on South, why not some of it with arrears could not be fairly spent on north and east now?

    [Then why does it ignore LTTE atrocities and ignore any evidence provided by government- not even refuting what government has to say? Here is a solid critique of the report by an established civil society group:
    http://www.margasrilanka.org/Truth-Accountability.pdf%5D

    I believe that they have included the violations of both parties. But, is it not part of the problem due to government not allowing the panel to visit Sri Lanka and gather more evidence and information from all sides, particularly more from government side? The government shot itself on its foot. I am in favour of including everything. However, you got to recognize that the leadership of the rebels was pretty much killed and the panel might not have wanted to spend too much time and effort on pointless exercise to some extent. Furthermore, it is the general norm that the governmnet is expected to be more responsible and held to higher standards. In any case, the author of Marga report is not an impartial person and he is supporting the government’s and national view.

    The government and military leaders apparently decided to employ such crude and disproportionate war techniques by willfully ignoring definite harm for some of the innocent minority civilians despite the full knowledge and repeated warnings by the IC about the certainty of impending massive human rights violations and deaths. The leaders also deliberately lied and misled the UN and IC during the massive killing of civilians contemporanaueously so that they can continue the war unabated by preventing an opportunity for IC to intervene to stop civilian deaths. The UN’s efforts to protect and rescue innocent civilians were rejected by the government leaders who were hell-bent on destroying everything including innocent civilians on their path as collateral damage towards victory over rebels.

    A hypothetical question is that whether the government and military leaders would have been, at a minimum, willfully negligent to such levels or at least indifferent to the actions that resulted in alleged tens of thousands of innocent minority civilian deaths and alleged human rights violations during the war if the innocent civilians affected were happened to be of the majority population?

    [To believe that you can force a solution on an unwilling majority is the height of denial. The Sinhalese have the same capacity for denial as the Tamils. They also have the same capacity for poor communication skills. Much like how the Tamils shoot themselves in the foot by talking about prehistoric Tamil kingdoms when arguing for devolution, the Sinhalese likewise pollute the debate by bringing up the Tamil invasions of the ancient era instead of the demerits of devolution for the current situation.]
    [I fully accept that other Sinhalese may have miscommunicated the message to you and will try to get our point across]

    There is nothing wrong with Tamils talking about Truths, their history for background information purposes. However, it is important to concentrate on the current issues and try to solve them rather than dwelling on the past.

    The notion that the Sinhalese should be able to perpetually exercise hegemony over the Tamils is not acceptable. It is not just miscommunication by the Sinhalese alone but there were deliberate lies with intent to deceive and the refusal to implement the agreements.

    Why the majority population wants to exploit democracy selectively only in the largest unit in order to have power perpetually, only to suit them, and minorities will never have meaningful power in that largest unit? Why not allow the democracy to flourish and function at smaller regional units with maximum power and freedom possible within the united country? Why not adopt “live and let live” philosophy?

  122. wije says:
    April 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    [India is one country because it has strong bureacracy and big army. Devolution did not stop the separatism in Punjab, Kashmir, or Northeast. It was the army.]
    ———————–
    If the people of india really want to fragment it,nothing can stop it,large army or not.The reason it will not happen is because the people have realised the tangible benefits of unity.A sudden jolt for seperatism could always occur,as the example of punjap you mentioned,but will die out when the militant groups realise that there is no broad support and enthusiasm for it.It happenned there because the sikhs were used to packing the armed forces with their people and when the quota system was brought in,they were disgruntled.I think the indian government went too far with quota system.It had nothing to do with devolution as devolution does not mean quotas for the armed forces.The best men for the armed forces should be selected on merit.You can’t play the fool with the security of a country. As a result of keeping out good fighting quality sikhs,rajputs,marathas,tamils who have traditionally been warriour races the indian amed force may not be of good quality anymore as shown by the dismal performance of the IPKF.Certain types of people are good for certain types of jobs and that should continue with or without devolution.

    Northeast tribal areas are also settling down now with the tribals seeing the benefits of being part of india,but much more development has to be done in those backward areas to eradicate the maoist insurgency.kasmir of course is a carry forward problem from pre partition days,because the pakistanis feel that rightfully it is theirs and are fermenting trouble.However it is because of devolution that people there are a contented lot and will eventually embrace india instead of pakistan after they see and compare the two.
    ——————————————————————

    [I know for a fact that common Indian identity is an illusion. Maybe some of the educated Indians have this identity, but most identify first as Kannadigas, Gujjus, Malayalis etc.]
    ——————-
    Just because you identify yourself first as a malayalee,does not mean that you don’t have a common indian identity.first or second does not matter,it is how you feel that matters eventually.The malayalees also love india and think of it as their first and only country,not kerala.In srilanka too the sinhalese may identify first as sinhalese and then srilankans,but that does not mean they do not think of srilanka as their one and only country.Unfortunately for the tamils due to successive government treating them as aliens in their own land,some of them have got alienated to such an extent that they may not consider srilanka as their country anymore and want their own one called eelam.We have to try to reverse that process.How are we going to do it?Easy.Just go in the opposite direction to what our idiot leaders took us after independence.In otherwords do the opposite of everything that they did.They went in one direction,nehru went in the opposite.india was sucessfull,we were not.
    ———————————————-

    [Why then is TNA only talking about police and land, ignoring all the others? ]
    ————-
    That is because mahinda says he can’t give land and police powers only.These two are the stumbling block,so the TNA is harping on them.
    —————————————————-

    [13A is in Constitution because Rajiv forced it down JRJ’s throat.]
    ————

    You yourself said that JRJ agreed on the pact so that he could get the indians to do the dirty work of wiping out the LTTE.So you are contradicting yourself by saying rajiv forced it down his throat.Are you saying a parippu drop is enough to make a head of state sign an accord with another country?What if instead of parippu,india dropped afew bombs.Would JRJ then have signed off the country as the 26th state of india?

    The leader of our country because of his manipulative nature used a bufoon pilot like rajiv and signed an accord.Now we have no choice but to implement that accord whether we like it or not unless we want india to become our enemy,just like prabha made them his enemy at that time.Let us see you now praise JRJ as you did earlier saying that he did a great thing,when you are forced to implement the accord the smartass signed on our behalf.Have you forgotten that there are two parties signing an accord not one only,and you can’t airily wave it away and say you are going to abolish it unilaterally,and we tamils are not going to help you to wriggle out of it.You are stuck,just like some prostitutes in some parts of india charge you something to put it in,but constrict and not let you take it out unless you agree to pay them some more.You are stuck there the whole night unless you cough out.

  123. Dear Observer

    But in actual practice, powerful super powers and regional powers have many direct and indirect ways to influence other countries including aids and trade.

    I think you can use this sort of pressure to improve the human rights situation. But it will be a total flop if used to impose something unpopular like devolution.

    Furthermore, with regard to the interference, how can one explain the creations of Bangladesh, Kosovo, South Sudan,..?

    The difference is that Pakistan, Serbia, and Sudan were in a state of internal war, whereas in Sri Lanka the internal war is over. Now it is nearly impossible for an outside power to gain leverage because there is no internal threat to exploit.

    In Sri Lanka’s case, it was precisely the fear of outside intervention that pushed MR and GR to end the war quickly with the tragic consequences. That example shows that using the outside pressure may have unexpected and counterproductive results. You will have a much better chance if you try to convince the Sinhala masses of your views. It is a shame you have not even considered this approach.

    The good alternative is very valuable if one is feasible. May be it is elusive and in my opinion a mirage.

    Perhaps, but I can assure you that devolution is much more of a mirage.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to bring the research to you regarding this now.

    If you do not have the time to teach me your history then you cannot blame me for not believing it!

    Besides, you seem to have feed with some biased misinformation and I am not sure you are willing to listen to facts and truths.

    What is the biased misinformation I have told you? Do you think Yarlpanavaipavamalai or Mattakkalappu Manmiyam are “biased misinformation?”

    However, one can refer to this book, “Tamils in Sri Lanka, written by Dr. M. Gunasingam, a Comprehensive History C. 300B.C. – C. 2000 A.D. Published by MV Publications, South Asian Studies Centre , Sydney, Australia, 2008″.

    I am familiar with Murugesu Gunasingam’s scholarship. He is a good researcher but a very weak analyst. His history of Tamil nationalism (published in 1999 I think) is full of contradictions and some appalling Jaffna-centrism. For example, he claimed that the Kandy-Jaffna railroad was a triumph for Tamil nationalism, even though it connected the north and south and integrated the country. He also praised the establishment of Jaffna Municipal Council saying that Jaffna needed it much more than backward areas like Batticaloa!!

    It refers to when the Portuguese invaded Sri Lanka in 1505 A.D. and ruled up to 1658 A.D.,

    What does Gunasingam say about Tamil history from 3000 BCE to 1505 CE?

    It is also worth referring to The Cleghorn Minute of 1799.

    No it isn’t. Cleghorn was no expert of the island. He claimed that Sinhalese originated from Thailand! Should we treat that as the truth??

    “The Tamils had a Kingdom when the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka. This Kingdom was also powerful at one time and its writ extended to the east , Kandyan Kingdom and the west coast. Most of the east, which were under the Kandyan Kingdom, came under the Jaffna Kingdom, when it fell under the writ of the latter. ……”

    Then Dr Narendran is wrong. Jaffna never ruled the east, actually its power was stronger in the western coast.

    Shouldn’t there be consequences for the deliberate lies in such an important issue?

    On this issue, no, because devolution or lack of it is not any of India’s business. It has no effect on India.

    There are many investors willing to invest there.

    Such as?

    Furthermore, IC is very much very much committed to develop and earlier pledged billions of dollars if the negotiations and solutions were achieved during cease fire.

    That was stupidly intended as a bribe to get the LTTE to play along. That is a great example why the IC is so clueless about Sri Lanka that it cannot provide constructive solutions.

    Besides, when the country had been borrowing a lot of money on behalf of all of its citizens over the two to three decades and spent it on South, why not some of it with arrears could not be fairly spent on north and east now?

    Money is being spent. How much do you think it is costing to demine all the areas? Or repair the roads or the tanks damaged by LTTE?

    I believe that they have included the violations of both parties.

    No, Darusman Panel denied that LTTE was using civilians as human shields. That is a blatant lie.

    However, you got to recognize that the leadership of the rebels was pretty much killed and the panel might not have wanted to spend too much time and effort on pointless exercise to some extent.

    So you think it is a pointless exercise to be impartial? And you are surprised that the Sinhalese overwhelmingly reject Darusman Panel??? The LTTE’s crimes had to be exposed because the Tamil diaspora has to come to terms with what it had done.

    In any case, the author of Marga report is not an impartial person and he is supporting the government’s and national view.

    The author was far more impartial than Darusman. You have not explained why Darusman Report did not include anything stated by the government. If Darusman Panel assumed government was guilty even before writing the report then Darusman is egregiously biased.

    The government and military leaders apparently decided to employ such crude and disproportionate war techniques by willfully ignoring definite harm for some of the innocent minority civilians despite the full knowledge and repeated warnings by the IC about the certainty of impending massive human rights violations and deaths.

    How else was government supposed to end the war?

    A hypothetical question is that whether the government and military leaders would have been, at a minimum, willfully negligent to such levels or at least indifferent to the actions that resulted in alleged tens of thousands of innocent minority civilian deaths and alleged human rights violations during the war if the innocent civilians affected were happened to be of the majority population?

    40,000 Sinhalese perished during the second JVP uprising. Nobody complained about that. Perhaps you believe that majority population’s lives are worth less than minority population’s.

    However, it is important to concentrate on the current issues and try to solve them rather than dwelling on the past.

    Then why are you dwelling on what happened three years ago in the past?

    It is not just miscommunication by the Sinhalese alone but there were deliberate lies with intent to deceive and the refusal to implement the agreements.

    You are mistaken about deliberate lies with intent to deceive. Neither SWRD Bandaranaike nor Dudley Senanayake had intended to deceive the Tamils when they signed agreements with Chelvanayakam. They were simply ignorant of the reaction of their own Sinhala electorate. What did either of them have to gain by lying to Chelva?

    Why not allow the democracy to flourish and function at smaller regional units with maximum power and freedom possible within the united country?

    Because Sri Lanka is too poor to afford smaller regional units.

  124. Wije,

    Please read the following dating from 1915:

    http://books.google.de/books?id=S4_domy-aYsC&printsec=frontcover&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

    The history of Jaffna presented relates quite well with what I had heard from my grandparents and other men of learning in Jaffna. There is a gap in what is presented as the history of Jaffna by Pathmanathan, Gunasingam and Indrapala. Indrapala’s post-graduate student (I am unable to reference it now) has presented evidence pointing to a much ancient history for Jaffna. The reference I have given here-in should be taken seriously, as it was written at a time when there was no need for either the Tamils or the Sinhalese prove anything as to their origins, stay or roots in Sri lanka. Further, this reference also highlights the presence of Sinhalese in Jaffna from ancient times.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  125. I am of the opinion that discussions on political solutions should start with where we are now, in every respect. Delving into the past using whatever source will be akin to the efforts of the five blind men to identify an elephant. The fact is that Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims have lived on this Island for a very long time. Tamils have become Sinhalese, Sinhalese have become Tamils, Hindus have become Buddhists and Buddhists have become Hindus. It appears that in the Eastern Province visiting Arab traders also married Hindu women and their progeny became Muslim and spoke Tamil. With western colonialism many Sinhalese and Tamils also became christian.

    I feel that anyone who has been in Sri Lanka for more than five years with citizenship rights, has a right to live, work, breed and prosper anywhere in Sri Lanka, and has to be guaranteed equal rights, safety and security. How are we going to achieve this, given our recent history of sixty odd years? THIS IS THE ONLY QUESTION, WE SHOULD DEBATE/ DISCUSS AND FIND ANSWERS TO.

    Anyway, I refer those interested in the history and population dynamics of the Eastern Province, to read the article,

    “Eastern Sri Lanka, the Tamils and History” by Dharman Dharmaratnam and the interesting discussion that follows it.
    ( transcurrents.com/tamiliana/archives/344 of August 5th’07).

    While I wish Dharman Dharmaratnam’s first paragraph was more sober, he has made a good case. The commentators have also made valid points. As has been shown many a time, the conclusions in Indrapala’s Ph.D thesis are flawed. He has admitted to this subsequently. His was also an attempt to identify the elephant, with his eyes blinded by lack of solid evidence.

    The lack of evidence does not mean there was no history. Seeking evidence from remembered history- the collective memory of a people- has been completely ignored in Sri Lanka and in the case of the north an east, even historical memories have been destroyed by the long and nasty war.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  126. wije says:
    April 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm
    —————————–

    [Now it is nearly impossible for an outside power to gain leverage]
    ———
    Why don’t we wait and see.Only thing is by that time it will be too late for you.In such matters when the ball starts to roll,you can never roll it back.Whatever is done by an outside power can never be undone and become permanent.Take the example of the 13th amendment,have you managed to abolish it?take the recent UN resolution.Will you manage to cancel it one day?Every action has a reaction.These are the reactions for your arrogant actions and you will have to live them on a permanent basis,whether you like it or not.Seems like there is more to come because mahinda has gone the prabha way and more or less told the indian delegation to piss off and that he will not devolve the land and police powers.So let us wait for a year or two and see the reaction.Nobody can stop you from digging your own grave just like nobody could stop the obdurate and obstinate and self opinionated prabhaharan.There is a possibility in the future of a forced referendum like what happenned in east timor,only difference being the tamils will be asked whether they want to be a part of india or srilanka,not eelam.Once that ball starts to roll,you can’t roll it back too,because it is again a permenant reaction to your arrogant actions.The north will become a part of india like northern ireland being a part of UK.Only devolution can stop this.Outside powers are going to divvy the country up,north for india,east for US,south for china and rest for the srilankans to live in and fight with each other if they want to.
    —————————————————

    [In Sri Lanka’s case, it was precisely the fear of outside intervention that pushed MR and GR to end the war quickly with the tragic consequences.]
    ———————–
    How do you know that?There is no evidence for such.There was also the indian elections,and a BJP led government could not been as friendly as congress.I think that was the reason for going so fast to finish it off.The risk was too great if there was a government change in india.The srilankan government was not worried about western intervention because india would keep them at bay while they completed the job,but a change of government in india could upset those plans.Prabhaharan also was hanging on hoping for a change of government in india.The congress winning so comfortably was indeed a surprise because the news coming out of india was that a opposition victory was possible.

    There is no excuse for killing civilians,indian elections or not,besides there is a culture of disdain for civilian deaths and human rights in srilanka already,and the government would have just nonchalently killed upto 40000 merely to teach the tamils a lesson,they will never forget easily.i believe this is the real reason behind the killings to give the message that if you start again you will be all wiped out.You can see that we wiped out 40000 of you and nothing happened to us,so next time we can wipe all of you and still nothing will happen to us.
    ——————————————————-

    [You will have a much better chance if you try to convince the Sinhala masses of your views. It is a shame you have not even considered this approach.]
    ———-

    If as you say,they are brainless idiots,we will be wasting our time no.You say they are gullible and will swallow anything,so there are plenty of sinhala opportunists to lead them astray.By the way gullibility applies equally to tamils,because they also swallowed everything that TULF and LTTE dished out.I’am afraid we are wasting time with either the sinhala or tamil masses.I prefer DR.narendran’s advise that leaders should have a vision and lead the people towards it instead of the other way around that has been happening since independence,with the leadrs being led by the masses.
    ————————————————-

    Perhaps, but I can assure you that devolution is much more of a mirage.
    —————
    If you are right,then a northern ireland or cyprus type situation would definitely become a reality and not a mirage.Let us hope that devolution won’t be a mirage as you claim,because just like you i’am all for one country only.I have my reasons,no point in going into that now,because it is premature.Let us wait and see.
    ———————————————————–

    [What does Gunasingam say about Tamil history from 3000 BCE to 1505 CE?]
    ——————-
    No need to go that far.The international community will be satified that a tamil kingdom existed from 1215 to 1624,for over 400 years before the portuguese destroyed it.The period just before colonialism
    is what they will look and 400 years of a seperate kingdom for tamils will be more than enough to justify a referendum.Others have got their own countries for much less.Though bringing out facts such as the pandya and chola kingdoms before the jaffna kingdom period and even elara of 2300 years ago and the nagas the original inhabitants who became hindus,will be helpful,they are not really necessary to make the claim for a seperate state for the north.
    ——————————————————-
    [No, Darusman Panel denied that LTTE was using civilians as human shields. That is a blatant lie.]
    ————

    I do not think the darusman report mentioned that.can you give an excerpt where it is stating so
    —————————————————-
    [How else was government supposed to end the war?]
    ————-
    By more patience.The three musketeers prabhaharan,gota and fonseka lack patience and are like sledgehammers who use a massive hammer to whacka cockroach.One is dead,the other is languishing in prison,and the consequences are catching up with the last one.

    The few LTTE’s left were boxed in within a government designated ‘safe zone’ of 2 sq.km.Witha little patience they could have been finished off without going and chopping up 40000 civilians with them.
    —————————————————

    [40,000 Sinhalese perished during the second JVP uprising. Nobody complained about that. Perhaps you believe that majority population’s lives are worth less than minority population’s.]
    —————–
    Strange argument indeed.If a guy killed a member of his family and got away with it,then it is okay for him to go and kill a member of another family.The wije doctrine.

  127. I am pasting here the Wikipedia presentation on the Yalpana Vaipava Malai, the oldest available account of the History of for those not familiar with it. Please note that Koolankai is referred here as the second King of Jaffna after Yalpadi. The previous citation of 1915, refers also to Koolankai.

    Yalpana Vaipava Malai
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Yalpana Vaipava Malai (Tamil: யாழ்ப்பாண வைபவமாலை) is a book written by a Tamil poet called Mayilvagana Pulavar 1736 AD. This book contains historical facts of the early Tamil city of Jaffna. The book which may have been written around 1736 during the Governorship of Jan Maccara, the then Dutch Governor of Jaffna. It was translated from Tamil by C. Brito, and was first published in 1879. The work is looked upon as one of great authority among the Tamils of Jaffna.

    The author says that he referred the books Kailaya Malai, Vaiyai Padal and Pararajasekaran Ula for his work. It is said that these books are composed not earlier than the fourteenth century AD, contain folklore; legends and myths mixed with historical anecdotes. Today, except the Kailaya Malai which has been printed, and a few manuscript copies of Vaiya Padal, the other works are very rare and hardly procurable. The only manuscript of Yalpana Vaipava Malai itself was destroyed by the United National Party in May 1981.[1]
    [edit] Contents

    The book is one of the rare books which contains facts about the Ariyachakravsrtis who ruled Jaffna and some parts of what is now north Sri Lanka. It starts with The King Vibeeshana who ruled Sri Lanka after the Rama Ravana war according to the hindu epic of Ramayana. Then it refers the Mahawamsa and states about the bengali prince Vijaya and his son Panduvasan, the rulers from north India. Chronicles such as the Yalpana Vaipava Malai and stone inscriptions like Konesar Kalvettu recount that Kulakkottan, an early Chola king and descendant of Manu Needhi Cholan, was the restorer of the ruined Koneswaram temple and tank at Trincomalee in 438 AD, the Munneswaram temple of the west coast, and as the royal who settled ancient Vanniyars in the east of the island Eelam.[2][3] According to Yalpana Vaipava Malai the history of Jaffna starts with a blind musician called Panan or Yalpadi. He received a land called Manatri from the ruler of Sri Lanka. Manatri was renamed as Yalpanam by Panan.

    Then it comes with the Koolangai Chakravarti who was the ruler of Jaffna after Panan. It further states about the Formation of Nallur, arrival of tamils, and other kings of Jaffna.

    According to Yalpana Vaipava Malai, during the eighth century Ugrasinghan, a prince of the dynasty of the legendary Vijaya, coming with an army from India, descended upon Sri Lanka and captured one half of the Island. He established his capital first at Katiramalai, known now as Kantarodai, and then shifted it to Singhai Nagar, a town on the eastern coast of the Jaffna Peninsula. Though the story of Ugrasinghan has generally been rejected by scholars,” some are of the view that this story is “based on a historical fact”, namely that Ugrasinghan has been confused with Manavamma who was helped by the Pallava King Narasinghavarman.

    After stating facts about the Potugese rule the history ends with some facts of the Dutch rule.
    [edit] Refer

  128. Wije says:
    April 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Dear Wije,

    You say:
    [I think you can use this sort of pressure to improve the human rights situation. But it will be a total flop if used to impose something unpopular like devolution.]

    It is wishful thinking. There is no need to fear about devolution. It will be fine and it won’t hurt anybody. Take it easy. The government got to decide as to whether devolution or something potentially worse down the road. Since the stakes are high, the government would not want to gamble and go with devolution. The sentence “reach a political settlement on the devolution of power to the provinces,” is already in the UNHRC resolution. There is no way out for government to wiggle out of this situation. Sri Lanka will have to comply with the resolution unless it withdraws from the UN and gives up many treaties and trade agreements.

    There is going to be a UN UPR this November and of course next March meeting that will review all the progress and UNHRC HC’s report. Next month GoSL foreign minister is going to visit the U.S. Secretary of State. I hope the foreign minister must be preparing an action plan to discuss per the UN resolution.

    Indian Opposition leader’s (Ms. Swaraj’s) statement says “ Above all, it is our sincere hope that the Government of Sri Lanka will seize this window of opportunity and follow an enlightened approach to reach a genuine political reconciliation, based on a meaningful devolution of powers, which takes into account the legitimate needs of the Tamil people for equality, dignity, justice and self-respect. We have been assured in the past that this will be done within the framework of “Thirteenth Amendment – Plus”.”

    I have been commenting about the need for courageous political leadership to lead the public in convincing the need to implement a fair solution based on devolution and not to pander to the fear mongers and extremists. We need courageous leaders to lead and mould opinion, not followers to follow the public opinion.

    You say:
    [The difference is that Pakistan, Serbia, and Sudan were in a state of internal war, whereas in Sri Lanka the internal war is over. Now it is nearly impossible for an outside power to gain leverage because there is no internal threat to exploit.]

    The point I was making was that you were claiming interference and I referred as to what happened to those countries also be considered as interference. This is the reality in actual practice. It is fair to say that the other countries had better opportunity to interfere when mass killing and rights violations of civilians were occurring. However, since the other countries had been involved with the government and promises made by the government are part and parcel of the process that ought to be honored by the government and this aspect will be enforced and monitored by the IC.

    [In Sri Lanka’s case, it was precisely the fear of outside intervention that pushed MR and GR to end the war quickly with the tragic consequences. That example shows that using the outside pressure may have unexpected and counterproductive results. You will have a much better chance if you try to convince the Sinhala masses of your views. It is a shame you have not even considered this approach.]

    Are you saying that it is acceptable to kill tens of thousands of civilians and try to justify by any lame excuse? According to UNHRC, these are referred to as potential crimes against humanity and potential war crimes and that the perpetrators these war crimes should be made accountable. It would not be acceptable to let the proven war criminals to roam free. Don’t you agree?

    Tamil politicians have been expressing their views and asking for solution for long time, since independence, without any success. You know the post-independence history and at least there is no dispute about it. What happened? The problem is that there are no courageous Sinhala leaders to lead the Sinhala masses to convince and implement a fair solution. It is very disingenuous to suggest that Tamil politicians did not try hard for a long time. It takes two to tango. Even some of the agreements were torn apart when it came for implementation. Some others are on the paper and never implemented. Instead the Sinhala leaders have been pandering to the worst fears and following the extreme views of some elements. The Sinhala leaders are more interested in maintaining their power and electoral advantage than genuinely solving the problem. It’s a shame that you are trying to provide revisionist history.

    Let’s face the reality. You seem to be a well educated person but we have great difficulty convincing you of Tamils grievances and political aspirations, etc. Then how in the world we are going to be able to successfully convince the less educated masses? Don’t you think the Sinhala politicians would be in a better position if they want to convince the masses?

    [Perhaps, but I can assure you that devolution is much more of a mirage.]

    I am certain devolution will happen one way or another. Only time will tell for you.

    [What is the biased misinformation I have told you? Do you think Yarlpanavaipavamalai or Mattakkalappu Manmiyam are “biased misinformation?”]

    You know very well that so much biased misinformation you provide. You say ” There is not such thing as “Tamil nation” in Sri Lankan history.” “ When they invent stories of separate Tamil nation existing “since time immemorial,” the Sinhalese feel that they are being taken for a ride. These fake histories are a distraction from the real issues that are facing the Tamils today.” The above is clear misinformation.

    Furthermore, some of the misinformation in the Mahavamsa is really an impediment to the solution because some Sinhalese believe that misinformation.

    [I am familiar with Murugesu Gunasingam’s scholarship. He is a good researcher but a very weak analyst. His history of Tamil nationalism (published in 1999 I think) is full of contradictions and some appalling Jaffna-centrism. For example, he claimed that the Kandy-Jaffna railroad was a triumph for Tamil nationalism, even though it connected the north and south and integrated the country. He also praised the establishment of Jaffna Municipal Council saying that Jaffna needed it much more than backward areas like Batticaloa!!]

    I want to remind you that the subject about Tamil history was initially brought up by you in the discussion, not by me or others. Many people do not want to spend time on this issue unnecessarily.

    The book was also published in 2008. Have you read the book? He is a competent historian on this subject. I gather you have already made up your mind. Then you would try to find a way to nit- pick on minor and irrelevant issues to the core subject.

    It is quiet pathetic you want to hang on to an outlier, unpublished work of a Ph.D student that was not accepted for publication for a reason? Perhaps, peer review? Prof. Indrapala said in his 2006 book ‘The Evolution of Ethnic Identity – the Tamils of Sri Lanka – 300 BCE to 1200 CE’ that his perspectives and interpretations have changed since his 1965 student work. He pretty much said that his work has problems and obsolete now. Many reviewers did not accept the validity of the work partly using later research. While many others wrote similar convergent views on this matter against lone unpublished, reportedly hypothetical conclusions of Indrapala’s thesis. You are not interested in these views because these do not fit your stubborn desirable and misinformed position that suit your needs.

    [No it isn’t. Cleghorn was no expert of the island. He claimed that Sinhalese originated from Thailand! Should we treat that as the truth??]

    Sir Hugh Cleghorn was the first British Colonial Secretary. At least a fair minded person should give credence to what he was observing and controlling contemporaneously in Ceylon. He would have had access to lot of actual real time information. There was no reason for him to be biased. I can see a well established pattern that you would not want to accept anything contrary to your preconceived ideas or misinformation.

    [Then Dr Narendran is wrong. Jaffna never ruled the east, actually its power was stronger in the western coast.]

    Refer to his comments. I believe that he has knowledge on this subject and is correct on this aspect. I can see a well established pattern again that you would not want to accept anything contrary to your preconceived ideas or misinformation.

    [On this issue, no, because devolution or lack of it is not any of India’s business. It has no effect on India.]
    I think that the same history repeats itself. Agreements made and agreements torn apart, but this time after GOSL got what it wanted but reneging on what was promised. I believe Fooling India is India’s business still. Wait and see, there will be consequences. Actions will have reactions. GOSL can’t forever fool the IC.

    [That was stupidly intended as a bribe to get the LTTE to play along. That is a great example why the IC is so clueless about Sri Lanka that it cannot provide constructive solutions.]

    Don’t be presumptuous. IC would help. This is not an excuse.

    [Money is being spent. How much do you think it is costing to demine all the areas? Or repair the roads or the tanks damaged by LTTE?]

    Demining for most part funded by IC and NGOs. Roads need to be maintained. How the roads were damaged?

    [No, Darusman Panel denied that LTTE was using civilians as human shields. That is a blatant lie.]

    This is an independent panel. I have no reason to believe that they would be partial to anybody. There is no gain for them to be partial. In fact they would lose if they were to be partial according to an independent observer. They work with what they have in terms of facts and evidences. The government made a mistake by not allowing them to do the work freely and completely by visiting Sri Lanka. It is the government’s fault not allowing them. The panel could have included more information if they were able to visit Sri Lanka. Now claiming partial is nonsense.
    They say about using civilians as human buffer. They also say killing civilians who try to flee the control. They did conclude based on the evidence that it did not fit the legal definition of human shield. I see a pattern whenever you see an answer that is not favorable to you or seemingly favorable to the opponent, you automatically and involuntarily ring the bias bell. Have you considered that perhaps that is the correct and objective conclusion based on the facts and evidence provided to them? If so, are they supposed to change the conclusion that fits your needs? Perhaps, government should have allowed international observers and reporters during the war that would have been able to provide evidence to the panel.

    [So you think it is a pointless exercise to be impartial? And you are surprised that the Sinhalese overwhelmingly reject Darusman Panel??? The LTTE’s crimes had to be exposed because the Tamil diaspora has to come to terms with what it had done.]

    No. The panel has included the violations of both parties. The government made a mistake by not allowing them to do the work freely and completely by visiting Sri Lanka. Government should have allowed international observers and reporters during the war that would have provided more evidence to the panel. Furthermore, GOSL should have allowed the panel to visit Sri Lanka to gather more information and could have provided more information on the violations from both parties.

    [The author was far more impartial than Darusman. You have not explained why Darusman Report did not include anything stated by the government. If Darusman Panel assumed government was guilty even before writing the report then Darusman is egregiously biased.]

    They have to verify the information to include in their report. They can’t just put that information government gave as fact without validating it. Why the government did not allow them to visit Sri Lanka and do their work freely and completely? Government should have allowed international observers and reporters during the war that would have provided more independent evidence to the panel. Furthermore, the panel should have been allowed to visit Sri Lanka and gather and validate more information in order to include in the report. It is the fault of the government. I don’t think the panel is biased. There is no reason for them to be biased. The evidences and facts lead them to the findings in the report.

    [How else was government supposed to end the war?]

    Certainly not by committing or allowing to commit war crimes! Should not have uttered big lies as zero civilian casuality. Should have actually told the truth of the tens of thousands of civilian deaths to the UN and IC contemporaneously and let them to work on rescuing and protecting the civilians. Exercising patience and due care for civilians, avoid the heavy artillery and equipment operations could have helped to save thousands of lives. It is the law they got to adhere to and not be guided by convenience or expediency.

    According to UNHCR, States must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism complies with their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, as applicable.
    Government and military willfully failed to adhere to the above requirements and law. Accountability is a must!

    [40,000 Sinhalese perished during the second JVP uprising. Nobody complained about that. Perhaps you believe that majority population’s lives are worth less than minority population’s.]

    The methods used by the government and the military for Wanni war and JVP uprising are not at all comparable. The types of victims also different for the two cases.

    Two wrongs do not make it correct. It was wrong to kill civilians in both cases. There were lot of changes happened in the rights violations issues over the period of about 3 to 4 decades. Human rights issues got more awareness and became the focus of IC in the last couple of decades. Some people made accusation that the majority population military did not care or indifferent about killing and maiming the minority civilians.

    [Then why are you dwelling on what happened three years ago in the past?]

    Victims and their loved ones, friends and families seek justice for unlawful killings and rights violations. You got to make sure there is accountability. Reconciliation requires accountability. It is also important not to set precedent to let the perpetrators get away with impunity in the future anywhere in the world too.

    [You are mistaken about deliberate lies with intent to deceive. Neither SWRD Bandaranaike nor Dudley Senanayake had intended to deceive the Tamils when they signed agreements with Chelvanayakam. They were simply ignorant of the reaction of their own Sinhala electorate. What did either of them have to gain by lying to Chelva?]

    In their case, they refused to implement the agreements due to Sinhala extremists’ opposition for which you earlier claim that Tamil politicians should have tried to convince the Sinhala masses of their views. After all, Sinhala politicians could not do it but you somehow think that Tamil politicians should have done. Are those not deliberate lies that the government told about implementing devolution soon after war to India during the war?

    [Because Sri Lanka is too poor to afford smaller regional units.]

    Not good enough excuse. We should make the governing system efficient, lean and free of corruption. You know – power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. When you have concentrated power at the center, it invariably leads to corruption. Perhaps the Sinhala politicians are afraid of losing some of the percentage cuts and kickbacks through corruption if they were to devolve powers to regional units. Could this be one of the reasons for refusing to devolve power?

    Don’t you want the regional peoples’ desire that the overwhelmingly elected their regional majority representatives should have the power and resources to deliver solutions and assistances to their needs locally and more effectively rather than somebody else who is at the center that may or may not know the needs of the people and may or may not be enthusiastic about helping the way people want because the powerful persons at the center seldom get the votes from these regional people?

  129. Dear shankar

    Once that ball starts to roll,you can’t roll it back too,because it is again a permenant reaction to your arrogant actions.The north will become a part of india like northern ireland being a part of UK.Only devolution can stop this.

    Actually devolution is the first step in India annexing the north.

    There was also the indian elections,and a BJP led government could not been as friendly as congress.I think that was the reason for going so fast to finish it off.

    But they waited until the elections were finished to finish off LTTE.

    There is no excuse for killing civilians,indian elections or not,besides there is a culture of disdain for civilian deaths and human rights in srilanka already,and the government would have just nonchalently killed upto 40000 merely to teach the tamils a lesson,they will never forget easily.

    If you say there is no evidence that MR finished the war quickly to forestall foreign intervention, then I also can say you have no evidence that he killed 40000 Tamils to teach the Tamils a lesson. Actually there is no evidence that 40000 were killed. I have heard that number only from Gordon Weiss’s book, where he speculates the 40000 number as an absolute maximum. Prof Michael Roberts using three different Tamil sources (one of them being our own Dr Narendran) estimated 10,000:

    http://transcurrents.com/news-views/archives/6285

    You then have to ask yourself how many Tamils would have been spared if LTTE was not using them as human shields.

    ou say they are gullible and will swallow anything,so there are plenty of sinhala opportunists to lead them astray.

    I think you have completely misunderstood. The reason why Sinhala extremists lead the masses astray is that there are very few Tamil moderates to give an alternative message. Whatever bad things the JHU says about Tamils can be found on Tamilnet.

    I’am afraid we are wasting time with either the sinhala or tamil masses.I prefer DR.narendran’s advise that leaders should have a vision and lead the people towards it instead of the other way around that has been happening since independence,with the leadrs being led by the masses.

    How long will that take? You are forgetting that every time a Sinhala leader tried to cut a deal, the opposition would mobilise the masses against that deal. So clearly your idea has been a failure. If the masses can be convinced that Tamils are not a threat, then the opposition will be unable to scuttle a deal.

    The international community will be satified that a tamil kingdom existed from 1215 to 1624,for over 400 years before the portuguese destroyed it.

    The IC has absolutely zero knowledge of the Tamils (or anyone/anything else in Sri Lanka). They are supporting devolution because they ignorantly believe that it is a panacea to everything wrong in the world.

    I do not think the darusman report mentioned that.can you give an excerpt where it is stating so

    “…With respect to the credible allegations of the LTTE’s refusal to allow civilians to leave the combat zone, the Panel believes that these actions did not, in law, amount to the use of human shields insofar as it did not find credible evidence of the LTTE deliberately moving civilians towards military targets to protect the latter from attacks as is required by the customary definition of that war crime (Rule 97, ICRC Study).”

    You can read David Blacker’s rebuttal here that proves that Darusman Panel was pro-LTTE:

    http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2011/06/19/why-does-the-darusman-report-ignore-the-evidence-of-war-crimes/

    Strange argument indeed.If a guy killed a member of his family and got away with it,then it is okay for him to go and kill a member of another family.

    That is not what I am arguing. I am arguing that a life of a SInhala is less valuable than that of a Tamil. You appear to be uncomfortable with that reality.

    The malayalees also love india and think of it as their first and only country,not kerala.

    The malayalees love India because they dominate the central bureaucracy through their superior education. You will not find that love in Jharkhand.

    In srilanka too the sinhalese may identify first as sinhalese and then srilankans,but that does not mean they do not think of srilanka as their one and only country.

    No, the Sinhalese identify first as Sri Lankans. The problem is that they believe that the Tamils don’t.

    As a result of keeping out good fighting quality sikhs,rajputs,marathas,tamils who have traditionally been warriour races the indian amed force may not be of good quality anymore as shown by the dismal performance of the IPKF.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but the British did not consider the Tamils to be a martial race. Nor the Sinhalese.

    You yourself said that JRJ agreed on the pact so that he could get the indians to do the dirty work of wiping out the LTTE.So you are contradicting yourself by saying rajiv forced it down his throat.

    There is no contradiction. 13A was the price JR had to pay to drive a wedge between LTTE and India.

    Are you saying a parippu drop is enough to make a head of state sign an accord with another country?What if instead of parippu,india dropped afew bombs.

    JR had to sign the Accord to ensure that the bombs would not be dropped.

    Let us see you now praise JRJ as you did earlier saying that he did a great thing,when you are forced to implement the accord the smartass signed on our behalf.

    I am not praising JR. His single smart move in driving the LTTE and India to blows was utterly overwhelmed by his earlier idiotic antics in alienating India to be sympathetic to separatism and starting the war with the Tamils. JR was the worst leader in Sri Lankan history.

  130. Dear Observer,

    You seem to be a well educated person but we have great difficulty convincing you of Tamils grievances and political aspirations, etc.

    I am not denying 1) failure to implement Tamil language provisions for administration nor 2) violence against Tamils. Those are legitimate grievances. You have not shown how devolution will address them.

    There is no need to fear about devolution. It will be fine and it won’t hurt anybody.

    Then why don’t you show a country of Sri Lanka’s size (i.e. not India) and economic level (i.e. not Switzerland) that has devolution?

    We should make the governing system efficient, lean and free of corruption. You know – power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. When you have concentrated power at the center, it invariably leads to corruption. Perhaps the Sinhala politicians are afraid of losing some of the percentage cuts and kickbacks through corruption if they were to devolve powers to regional units. Could this be one of the reasons for refusing to devolve power?

    Devolution will expand corruption by bloating the administration. There already is a great problem with hundreds of ministries. Devolution will increase the ministries to the thousands. In fact, the greatest Sinhala supporters of devolution are those who currently hold useless jobs in the Provincial Councils and do no work. India is an excellent example where devolution has made corruption worse than Sri Lanka’s.

    Don’t you want the regional peoples’ desire that the overwhelmingly elected their regional majority representatives should have the power and resources to deliver solutions and assistances to their needs locally and more effectively rather than somebody else who is at the center that may or may not know the needs of the people and may or may not be enthusiastic about helping the way people want because the powerful persons at the center seldom get the votes from these regional people?

    If the central government is not responsive to the people, then it will lose the election.

    The problem is that there are no courageous Sinhala leaders to lead the Sinhala masses to convince and implement a fair solution.

    Wrong. The problem is that the Sinhala and Tamil people want different things. The Tamils want some kind of devolution (although they are unable to articulate exactly what they want, because they quite clearly don’t agree on what they want) and the Sinhalese oppose it.

    If the Tamils are unhappy with the current setup, then it falls upon their leaders to propose a solution that will be acceptable by everyone. The Tamil leadership to date has not accomplished this. They have produced ideas, but their mistake was trying to convince the Sinhala leaders to accept the ideas instead of targeting the Sinhala people.

    If the Tamil leaders find that the Sinhala people do not agree with their proposals, then they have to examine the reasons why the Sinhala people distrust the proposals. My point is that the leaders of any minority group anywhere in the world cannot be blind to the concerns of the majority.

    Tamil politicians have been expressing their views and asking for solution for long time, since independence, without any success.

    That is largely because the Tamil leaders either ignored the Sinhala people (Chelvanayakam period, 1956-1970) or adopted a confrontational approach that made a solution impossible (Amirthalingam). You cannot ignore the role that Tamil leaders have played in contributing to the current distrust, beginning with GG Ponnambalam’s racist speech against Sinhalese in Nawalapitiya in 1939 that sparked the first Sinhala-Tamil communal violence.

    The Sinhala leaders are more interested in maintaining their power and electoral advantage than genuinely solving the problem.

    How is that different from the Tamil leaders?

    Don’t you think the Sinhala politicians would be in a better position if they want to convince the masses?

    You do not understand the nature of Sinhala politics, which is strange given how much you talk about previous leaders’ broken agreements. Each time a Sinhala leader came up with an agreement, the opposition mobilised the masses against it because neither that leader nor the Tamil leaders tried to sell it to the masses.

    The sentence “reach a political settlement on the devolution of power to the provinces,” is already in the UNHRC resolution. There is no way out for government to wiggle out of this situation.

    But you haven’t explained what will happen if Sri Lanka does nothing. The fact that the resolution, which is non-binding, was watered down so significantly shows that there is no international political will to enforce a purely internal affair like devolution.

    It would not be acceptable to let the proven war criminals to roam free. Don’t you agree?

    But you have not proven any war crimes, and as you very well know guilt must be proven not assumed.

    This is an independent panel. I have no reason to believe that they would be partial to anybody.

    But the fact that Darusman Panel denied that LTTE was using Tamils as human shields demolishes any notion that it was truly independent.

    If the Darusman Panel was intent on conveying that the government and army was guilty of war crimes before any evidence was presented, then the fact that LTTE used human shields would be a highly inconvenient truth. By making the LTTE complicit in their deaths, it would be impossible to show that the govt had deliberately caused a massacre. The Darsuman Panel understood that removing LTTE guilt was a vital pre-condition to establishing govt guilt.

    The primary problem with the Darusman Panel was laziness and sloppiness that undermined the credibility of their report. Japanese envoy Yasushi Akashi noted that a great deal of the report appeared to have been plagiarised from a prior International Crisis Group report. That inattention to detail explains how they could have described Basil as the “Defence Minister.”

    The government made a mistake by not allowing them to do the work freely and completely by visiting Sri Lanka. Government should have allowed international observers and reporters during the war that would have provided more evidence to the panel. Furthermore, GOSL should have allowed the panel to visit Sri Lanka to gather more information and could have provided more information on the violations from both parties.

    Here is what Godfrey Gunnatilleke said on the topic:

    “The panel has to be faulted for very serious deficiencies in the report that could have fallout of a very negative character for the process of accountability both at the global as well as the local level. Had the Panel kept steadily in view that they were missing the information from the government side and had they examined the full implications of this lacuna they could have produced a credible report. Had the panel done so they would have had to produce a different report. The tone of their report would have reflected both the humility and the professional integrity that it lacks in its present form. What we would have is a statement to the effect that the panel has been able to gather a great deal of information from sources other than the government concerning allegations of war crimes of both the government and the LTTE which have not been verified and that they have not been able to get the government version which is vitally important for their task. They would have then had to list the allegations in a neutral objective tone and would have not written the dramatic account of what they thought had actually happened. They would have then proceeded to advice the UNSG regarding the international law applicable and recommended that the UNSG should use his good offices to induce the government to provide a full version of the last stages of the war and strengthen the domestic process of accountability. This of course was far from what was expected from the panel by the constituencies which pressurized for the appointment of the panel after their effort in the UNHRC in May 2009 was thwarted.

    Certainly not by committing or allowing to commit war crimes!

    You did not answer my question: how was government supposed to end the war? Please do not try to evade the question by answering in a useless negative.

    If you are unable to answer the question, then you are conceding that government had no alternative.

    Should not have uttered big lies as zero civilian casuality.

    I entirely agree with you. However, you have to admit that if MR did not utter this lie, then Sri Lanka would not have gotten all this attention that it did.

    Should have actually told the truth of the tens of thousands of civilian deaths to the UN and IC contemporaneously and let them to work on rescuing and protecting the civilians.

    What if the govt did not actually know how many civilians died?

    The methods used by the government and the military for Wanni war and JVP uprising are not at all comparable.

    You are correct: the LTTE was a far more dangerous and ruthless organisation than the JVP, which did not have sophisticated weapons nor used civilians as human shields.

    According to UNHCR, States must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism complies with their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, as applicable.

    How often do they do that in reality? Can you provide some examples?

    You got to make sure there is accountability. Reconciliation requires accountability. It is also important not to set precedent to let the perpetrators get away with impunity in the future anywhere in the world too.

    What do you value more: political solution or “accountability?” By internationalising “accountability,” you are making it next to impossible to build domestic support for a political solution.

    I want to remind you that the subject about Tamil history was initially brought up by you in the discussion, not by me or others. Many people do not want to spend time on this issue unnecessarily.

    Are you one of those many people? If you do not want to discuss Tamil history, then all you have to do is to stop responding to what I say about it. I strongly agree that ancient/medieval Sri Lankan history is mostly irrelevant to what is needed today. That is why I am confused that the Tamil supporters of devolution often bring up “Tamil nation” in their arguments, which ironically enough pushes most Sinhalese very much against devolution!

    You know very well that so much biased misinformation you provide.

    If what you are saying is true (which it is not), then why are you so stupid as to have a conversation with a liar?

    When they invent stories of separate Tamil nation existing “since time immemorial,” the Sinhalese feel that they are being taken for a ride. These fake histories are a distraction from the real issues that are facing the Tamils today.” The above is clear misinformation.

    Then all you have to do is provide information to disprove my misinformation. No need to accuse me of intentionally being biased. I have already told you that I consider Prof Indrapala to be a solid scholar (I also like S. Pathmanathan’s research on Hindu temples in Sri Lanka and Bertram Bastiampillai’s work on the Northern Province under British rule) but do not have high regard for Gunasingam’s writings based on what I’ve read so far.

    The book was also published in 2008. Have you read the book? He is a competent historian on this subject. I gather you have already made up your mind. Then you would try to find a way to nit- pick on minor and irrelevant issues to the core subject.

    I have not read the 2008 book yet. Maybe Gunasingam has used the 9 years to improve his scholarly abilities. You have not given any examples of his to disprove anything I have written here.

    I have to say that the title of the book itself sheds a lot of doubt on his credibility. How does Gunasingam know what transpired in 3000 BCE???? Indrapala in his own book used 300 BCE has his starting point because that century marks the beginning of known history in Sri Lanka.

    It is quiet pathetic you want to hang on to an outlier, unpublished work of a Ph.D student that was not accepted for publication for a reason?

    Whose publication are you referring to? Gunasingam’s? His book on Tamil nationalism was published in 1999.

    Prof. Indrapala said in his 2006 book ‘The Evolution of Ethnic Identity – the Tamils of Sri Lanka – 300 BCE to 1200 CE’ that his perspectives and interpretations have changed since his 1965 student work.

    Yes I am relying on Indrapala’s 2006 book which is very good. Nowhere does it discuss a Tamil “nation” in Sri Lanka. His book shows that the major areas of Tamil population in ancient times were in Rajarata which shows that the Tamils lived side-by-side with Sinhalese. I have not read Indrapala’s 1965 dissertation which has been stolen (presumably by frightened Tamil nationalists).

    Sir Hugh Cleghorn was the first British Colonial Secretary. At least a fair minded person should give credence to what he was observing and controlling contemporaneously in Ceylon.

    So you believe that the Sinhalese originated from Thailand, simply because a White Man said so?

    Refer to his comments.

    Which comments? Can you be more specific?

    Don’t be presumptuous. IC would help. This is not an excuse.

    The IC cannot help if it is clueless about Sri lanka.

    Demining for most part funded by IC and NGOs.

    Could you show me where you learned that?

    How the roads were damaged?

    Most of the fighting in late 1990s was around A9 and other highways.

  131. Dear Dr Narendran

    I think Wije has captured the ‘Sinhala thinking’ quite well.

    Thank you but that is hardly an accomplishment given that I am Sinhala. You on the other hand are not Sinhala but understand Sinhalese much better than most Tamils I’ve met (and there are hardly any Sinhalese who understand Tamils). That is certainly a worthy accomplishment.

    The reference I have given here-in should be taken seriously, as it was written at a time when there was no need for either the Tamils or the Sinhalese prove anything as to their origins, stay or roots in Sri lanka. Further, this reference also highlights the presence of Sinhalese in Jaffna from ancient times.

    The problem is that Mr Katiresu does not provide sources for his narrative. Were they texts or oral history? His chronology does not entirely correlate with that of Yalpanavaipavamalai whose history of Jaffna proper appears to begin with King Ukkirasingan. Some scholars believe that Ukkirasingan was the same as Kalinga Magha who lived in 13th century CE and possibly could be credited with establishing Jaffna as an urban center.

    I am certainly not saying that Tamils were not in Jaffna in ancient times. That would be ridiculous. What I am disagreeing with Observer is that there was a separate Tamil “nation” in Sri Lankan history. The evidence I have seen (mostly Indrapala) shows that for most of history, Sinhalese and Tamils lived together and not separately.

    Then it comes with the Koolangai Chakravarti who was the ruler of Jaffna after Panan.

    Wikipedia is wrong. Yalpanavaipavamalai mentions Ukkirasingan before Kulangkayan who was the first Aryachakravarti and most likely lived in the late 13th century CE. The wikipedia page on Aryacakravarti dynasty appears to be more solid than the page on YVM.

    Chronicles such as the Yalpana Vaipava Malai and stone inscriptions like Konesar Kalvettu recount that Kulakkottan, an early Chola king and descendant of Manu Needhi Cholan, was the restorer of the ruined Koneswaram temple and tank at Trincomalee in 438 AD, the Munneswaram temple of the west coast, and as the royal who settled ancient Vanniyars in the east of the island Eelam.

    Is this where the confusion of Eastern Province comes in? Kulokkottan as described in YVM (as well as Batticaloa chronicles I think) was in Trincomalee- he was not a Jaffna king. He is not mentioned in Mahavamsa, but it is possible that he may be equated with the imperial Cholas who conquered Sri Lanka in the late 10th century CE and ruled from the Trincomalee-Polonnaruwa area. They had no connection with Magha or the Aryacakravarti dynasty which probably had Pandyan origins.

  132. Wijey/Observer,

    ‘Most of the fighting in late 1990s was around A9 and other highways.’

    While this is true, it should also be noted that a very shoddy job was done on repairing the A9 during the last ceasefire agreement. The project was funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). There was rampant corruption involving government politicians (UNP), the contractor ( a Minister’s family member) and the LTTE. The re-done highway, which looked grand on completion and was sheer pleasure to drive on, could not withstand one rain. A far superior job is being done now.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  133. wije says:
    April 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm
    ————–
    [Actually devolution is the first step in India annexing the north.]
    ———-

    Step 1-Implementing the 13th amendment in full.

    Step ?-Wije india annexing the north.

    Wije,don’t you think something is missing.Can you fill us the blanks between step 1 and your hypothesis of step ?.Ah it is nice to start playing “fill in the blanks” games again after so long
    ———————————————————-

    [But they waited until the elections were finished to finish off LTTE.]
    —————-
    The indian elections were held in five phases between 16 of april and 13th may 2009.The major carnage was over by that time with most of the civilians slaughtered with the remnents of the LTTE among them.It only remained to do a mopping up of the big fish like prabha who broke through the cordon and breached the first and second barriers before falling at the third one,which the astute fonseka had set up.Besides the results of the election was announced only on 16th may.Prabha probably thought that the game was up and no hope of any succour through a change in government and made a break for it on that day.
    ————————————————————–

    [Actually there is no evidence that 40000 were killed.]
    ——————
    I think the darusman report also mentions upto 40000 civilians were killed.

    besides it is not upto the tamils to provide evidence to prove upto 40000 civilians died.It is upto the government to provide evidence to disprove that figure.Why is that you may ask.The simple reason is that it was the government that forcesd a complete news balckout during the slaughtering period.After they do that,now you want tamils to provide te evidence.Even with the government trying to suppress the evidence with a news blackout,through mobile cameras etc the beleagured civilians managed to show some glimpses of what was happenning and it shocked the world when the video was shown.Westerners told me that the carnage was unbelievable,a government doing this to its own people,and they certainly won’t disbelieve the 40000 figure.Up to the government to provide evidence to prove the figure wrong,not the other way about as you want it.
    —————————————————–
    [in law, amount to the use of human shields insofar as it did not find credible evidence of the LTTE deliberately moving civilians towards military targets to protect the latter from attacks as is required by the customary definition of that war crime (Rule 97, ICRC Study).”]
    —————-
    The darusman report here is merely pointing out a legal point.According to the law if you have not moved the civilians towards you then it is not a human shield.The law is an ass anyway. I can’t see what the hell the difference is whether who moved towards whom,as long as you are using the civilians to shield you from the attackers.However you can’t blame the darusman report for pointing out the law.The important point here is that the government has to take the responsiblity for asking the civilians to go into a ‘safe zone’ and then shelling it when the LTTE creeped in later into it.
    —————————————————————
    [I am arguing that a life of a SInhala is less valuable than that of a Tamil.]
    ————-
    And i’am saying,no it isn’t.What can i do if the sinhalese have short memories and forget about the killing of the innocents who died with the JVP.What can i do about that.Do you want me to become like you.Are you the correct standard for me to follow.Except for mahinda who made a special trip abroad to to highlight to the world the atrocities done by the armed forces,no other sinhalese bothered to even take up the human rights cause.Even mahinda was give accomadation by tamils in the west like tamara’s family while the sinhalese diaspora just ignored him.You people’s one job is to keep on blaming the tamils for all your weaknesses.
    ———————————————————-
    [The malayalees love India because they dominate the central bureaucracy through their superior education. You will not find that love in Jharkhand.]

    ——————-
    I only gave the malayalees as an example because you mentioned them.The large majority of indians love india and will continue to do so in the future.because india has laid a secular foundation,unlike srilanka,this love will only grow in the future,not diminish.
    ————————————————————–
    [No, the Sinhalese identify first as Sri Lankans.]
    —————
    What is the evidence for that.I belive they love their ethnicity more than their country,because they damage and show indifference to their country and fellow countrymen and women more than to their ethnicity.

    ——————————————————————

    [Sorry to burst your bubble, but the British did not consider the Tamils to be a martial race. Nor the Sinhalese.]
    ———–
    I did not mention the stupid martial race theory of the british.Colonialist will always bum up the bootlickers while the real patriots are put down.I clearly mentioned warriour races.For that definition you have to read through the battles that have taken place throughout history.The chola and pandya kingdoms showed that the tamils were warrior race.If the sinhalese did not consider them as such,then sinhala kings should not have brought down so many tamil mercenaries to fight for them.And they would not have lost so many battles against the cholas,even with the pandya’s helping and fighting with them against the cholas.Not all tamils are warriours.In fact there will be quite a few who cannot say boo to a goose and will run at the first hint of trouble,but there are the communities such as the maravar,kallar and agumudayar who have been traditionally soldiers and warriours and very independent minded and would not bow down even to the british,which exasperated them resulting in being branded as outlaws by the british who were after all invadors and have no right to classify indians,to suit there own feelings and needs.
    —————————————————————–

    [There is no contradiction. 13A was the price JR had to pay to drive a wedge between LTTE and India.]
    ————

    So you yourslf are saying that he wanted it for a purpose.Then why are you saying it was forced down his throat.Do you want things to be forced down your throat?Theirein lies the contradiction i mentioned.
    —————————————————-

    [JR had to sign the Accord to ensure that the bombs would not be dropped.]
    —————–

    but he also wanted the accord to drive a wedge between india and the LTTE as you mentioned.Kills two birds with one stone in fact.Drives the wedge and stops the bombs.Since JR was sucessfull in both,now go ahead and implement his accord in full.
    ——————————————————-

    [ His single smart move in driving the LTTE and India to blows ]
    ————–

    So again and again you praise him and say he made a smart move in signing the indo lanka accord,because obviously without signing that he could not have driven the LTTE and india to blows as you mention here.This is the contradiction in your arguments that i keep on telling you.On one side you say he made a smart move by signing the indo lanka accord,on the other side you say it was forced down his thoat.So smart things he did was forced down his throat.Let us see how smart he really was when leaders after him keep on trying to wriggle out of the accord,and can’t.
    ——————————————————

  134. Wije says:
    April 22, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Dear Wije,

    [I am not denying 1) failure to implement Tamil language provisions for administration nor 2) violence against Tamils. Those are legitimate grievances. You have not shown how devolution will address them.]

    That’s all, no more legitimate grievances? Have you been suffering from selective amnesia or denial issues?

    There were a lot of problems starting from standardization, shut down from the government employment opportunities, frequent violence episodes, frequent pogroms, Sinhala Only policy, claims of Buddhist (only) country and ownership, the undue influence of some of the Buddhist monks in politics, some vocal minority Buddhist monks lead by joining hands with extreme elements and sabotage anything agreed upon by the political leaders and try to prevent developing any fair solutions and thereby impeding solution and peace (for a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-linguistic country like Sri Lanka, it is very valuable to maintain a secular government like India to keep separation of state and religious entities (Vihara/Pansala, Church, Kovil, Mosque. This preferential treatment of Buddhism itself makes other non-Buddhist people feel like 2nd class citizens), deliberate colonization by the government to change the character and demography of some areas, deliberate government sponsored colonization of some trouble makers with prior bad acts that created more problems and fear, no political power for even for conducting their routine local affairs, lack of ability to govern and manage their own affairs regionally according to their wishes since Tamils and Sinhalese are distinct communities via different races, languages, cultures, etc. and hence their priorities, governing, political aspirations and destiny regionally could very well be different and possibly at odds with the views of Sinhalese at the centre on which situation why Sinhalese sitting at the centre who really don’t know what the priorities of the regional people are, even if they knew, they may or may not care about it by the attitude expressed by only Sinhala national anthem, and after all the people with power at centre are not elected by or accountable for the regional people, should make all the decisions for the Tamils in the regional units?

    Excessive militarization of the entire Tamil dominated areas and prevent the people from living their own lives freely with peace and privacy without intrusion, harassment and by unnecessarily interfering in their neighborhoods, treated like as if Tamils were 2nd class citizens and really made them feel like as if they don’t belong to live there with adequate power, respect and dignity, etc., not even allowing Tamils to sing the national anthem in their known language (what is the objective of forcing Tamils, particularly the kids, to sing in Sinhalese language that they don’t even understand ? Is it not the height of oppression? Do the Sinhalese get pleasure out of it? This reveals deeper darker sick character and attitude and how it would play on the other matters too.). Are Sinhalese somewhat jealous of Tamils? Harassment and rights violations and intimidations of Tamils by security agencies all over the country had very adverse impact on Tamil citizenry.

    Tamils have been worried about the frequent pogroms and in this context colonization as they wanted some of their dominant area to be kept as safe and secure zones where many in the past took refuge during or immediately after pogroms as a last resort. The fear is if they don’t have a secure place as a back-up for refuge in the event of such pogroms to occur.

    Devolution promotes democratic and accountable exercise of power; the fostering of national unity by recognizing diversity; the giving of powers of adequate self-governance to the people and enhancing of the participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the state and in making decisions affecting them; the recognizing of the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development; the protection and promotion of the interests and rights of minorities and marginalized communities.

    Devolution will help to solve many of the problems for Tamils. Contrary to your fear in fact devolution will help in fostering of national unity by recognizing diversity. Devolution will empower people in the regions and the regional leaders to serve as executive leaders in their regions with some meaningful power to govern according to the wish of the people. They will never be able to lead in the central government at the centre for many practical reasons. General good governance measures will also help all the people of the country.

    Some people wrote in the forum elsewher that they believe that a non-Buddhist can also become the President in the future. This is really a pipe dream unless the separation of state and religion becomes a reality. But I do not see that happening because the constitution protects only Buddhism in explicit terms and Sinhala politicians and governments have been fearful to go against the wishes of the vocal Buddhist monks. Many believe that some of the monks as a group with extreme views are also the greatest impediment for the solution to the national question and likely achieving peace. It is real an irony that in the name of Lord Buddha and his teachings, some people were actually impeding peace that is certainly against Lord Buddha’s philosophy, core values and ideals.

    [Then why don’t you show a country of Sri Lanka’s size (i.e. not India) and economic level (i.e. not Switzerland) that has devolution?]

    I can’t quite understand the logic. Can’t you think independently about the relevant factors involved? Can you only do a copy cat?

    For example, look at Kenya that is implementing devolution. The following provides a good understanding of a type of devolution they are implementing based on their interim report. Sri Lanka could consider perhaps a different or modified version of the devolution they are implementing.

    Generally, the devolution is meant to achieve giving adequate powers of self-governance to the people; to recognize the right of communities to manage their own affairs; and to enhance their participation in decisions affecting their lives.

    The starting point is to appreciate the fact that there is no uniform form of devolution. Different variants exist and each country for one reason or another adopts a variant that is unique to itself.

    This is therefore a devolution not based on the principle of absolute autonomy but instead, on that of interdependence and cooperation. In form therefore, it is a system that combines a certain measure of autonomy and inter-dependence. It may be said to be founded upon three relational principles; namely, the principle of distinctness; the principle of inter-dependence; and the principle of oversight.

    Devolution also promotes social and economic development and the provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout the country; the ensuring of equitable sharing of national and local resources throughout the country; the facilitation of the decentralization of state organs, their functions and services, from the capital of the country; and the enhancement of checks and balances and the maintaining the defined separation of powers.

    [Devolution will expand corruption by bloating the administration. There already is a great problem with hundreds of ministries. Devolution will increase the ministries to the thousands. In fact, the greatest Sinhala supporters of devolution are those who currently hold useless jobs in the Provincial Councils and do no work. India is an excellent example where devolution has made corruption worse than Sri Lanka’s.]

    You are becoming a nay sayer for all proposals. Corruption will be heavy when you give the concentrated power to a few people. If you devolve the power to many people or entities, the power is distributed and the worthiness, significance, opportunity and level of corruption thereby reduced for each individual or entity with power.

    [If the central government is not responsive to the people, then it will lose the election.]

    Not really in this case because the powerful people controlling the center are not the same people elected by the regional constituents.

    [Wrong. The problem is that the Sinhala and Tamil people want different things. The Tamils want some kind of devolution (although they are unable to articulate exactly what they want, because they quite clearly don’t agree on what they want) and the Sinhalese oppose it. ]

    An overwhelming majority of Tamil people want meaningful power devolution similar to that of India or similar to that being implemented in Kenya. An overwhelming majority of Tamils believe that when two nations were brought under as one country that it should have been done under some kind of a federal system, symmetrical or asymmetrical.

    Sinhalese involuntarily oppose to anything Tamil leaders were seeking in the past.

    It is not at all useful to have minimal power sharing for the name shake at the centre alone as it would not solve the real problems and as such the Tamil population at large is not supporting it. Anyway, this is what happening to some extent now by the EPDP participation. Some want to slightly tweak it? I wonder whether EPDP changed its earlier slogan “Manilatthil Suyatshi, Mathiyil Kootachi” meaning “self rule in the regional unit or state and at the centre coalition government (similar to India)”.

    As far as up to now, the government did not officially declare that it is categorically against devolution. Then I wonder why you and some of the people are assuming that the devolution is out and talking about some sort of power sharing at the centre as an extension of what they have now? Is this a floating a trial balloon concept?

    [If the Tamils are unhappy with the current setup, then it falls upon their leaders to propose a solution that will be acceptable by everyone. The Tamil leadership to date has not accomplished this. They have produced ideas, but their mistake was trying to convince the Sinhala leaders to accept the ideas instead of targeting the Sinhala people.]

    How do you go about targeting the Sinhala people? The Tamil leaders are talking to Sinhala leaders who are representatives of the Sinhala masses. How it is practical for Tamil leaders to go around targeting Sinhala people to convince? Sinhala leaders won’t like Tamil leaders bypassing the Sinhala leaders and directly dealing with Sinhala people either. Furthermore, Sinhala leaders are the one well equipped to deal with their constituents, particularly there is more trust and acceptance in order to really convince people of the solution. It would not be appropriate to bypass the Sinhala leadership. You just want to find excuses and nit-pick.

    [If the Tamil leaders find that the Sinhala people do not agree with their proposals, then they have to examine the reasons why the Sinhala people distrust the proposals. My point is that the leaders of any minority group anywhere in the world cannot be blind to the concerns of the majority.]

    Well, it is easily said than done. Sinhala people should be able to objectively look at reasonable proposals with open mind. Often, it is kind of baseless fears and involuntary rejections. This has been the modus of oprandi. Yes, no body can be blind to reasonable and legitimate concerns of the majority of the people. But what if they are actually baseless and just fear mongering and always act like blind and refused to open their eyes? I don’t think the extreme vocal minority of Sinhalese would recognize if something reasonable and fair related to the national question is dangling in front of them even for centuries. Frankly I believe that the views of the majority of Sinhalese are drowned by vocal minority of extreme elements that is not capable of being fair minded in this issue.

    It is sad to say some Sinhalese have not been reasonable, not fair minded, did not give a damn about the tens of thousands of innocent people were maimed and slaughtered, had no or lack of concern for humanity instead of they were all celebrating without expressing sympathy for the civilians victims. Furthermore, they were not bothered about the alleged war crimes and war criminals and only praising them as war heroes.

    In this context, I do not believe that overall Sinhalese people could or would ever be able to implement anything meaningful to solve the national question on their own. We are all aware that the IC believes in a solution based on power devolution. Therefore, there is only one option where the IC forces an independently objective and fair solution.

    [That is largely because the Tamil leaders either ignored the Sinhala people (Chelvanayakam period, 1956-1970) or adopted a confrontational approach that made a solution impossible (Amirthalingam). You cannot ignore the role that Tamil leaders have played in contributing to the current distrust, beginning with GG Ponnambalam’s racist speech against Sinhalese in Nawalapitiya in 1939 that sparked the first Sinhala-Tamil communal violence.]

    Enlighten me, what exactly he said that was considered as racist speech? Did he talk about all the problems Tamils were having…, etc. Did he lie? Some of the Sinhalese people do not need anything to commit communal violence, looting, killing, burning as they would do at will. You are giving more credit to them than they deserve. Even if he made an inappropriate or racist speech, does it justify animal and cruel behavior of some Sinhalese? It is very shameful if you try to justify the animal behavior of some of these Sinhalese people during the sad post-independence history.

    If you start to write down the racist speeches and actions of Sinhalese leaders and personalities, you got buy a bunch of CR books.

    [How is that different from the Tamil leaders?]

    Tamil leaders did not have such power. But they genuinely tried to solve the problems and talked to Sinhala leaders for a long time. There were some agreements made but later torn and reneged by the Sinhalese leaders and people. Fault was almost entirely with the Sinhala leaders, masses and some of the Buddhist monks who were very vocal minority in opposing in developing and implementing agreements.

    [You do not understand the nature of Sinhala politics, which is strange given how much you talk about previous leaders’ broken agreements. Each time a Sinhala leader came up with an agreement, the opposition mobilised the masses against it because neither that leader nor the Tamil leaders tried to sell it to the masses.]

    As I mentioned earlier that only Sinhala leaders can practically sell anything to Sinhala masses. Tamil leaders can’t sell it to the Sinhala masses, it is not practical. Sinhala masses would trust Sinhala leaders and they won’t trust the Tamil leaders. Come to think of the Sinhala masses, they are poisoned by the extreme Sinhala politicians with regard to the Tamil national question. Furthermore, some of the misinformation provided in the Text Books and Mahavamsa is not at all helpful for Sinhala masses to think and act rationally. Furthermore, some of the Buddhist monks that are vocal minority have been impeding a solution since independence. It is not at all healthy when religion takes over politics and the recent events in Anuradhapura and Dambulla do not bode well for the country.

    [But you haven’t explained what will happen if Sri Lanka does nothing. The fact that the resolution, which is non-binding, was watered down so significantly shows that there is no international political will to enforce a purely internal affair like devolution.]

    It may be a moot point since Sri Lanka is going to comply with the resolution. It is understood that the foreign minister GLP is preparing an action plan to present when he meets US Secretary of State next month. I suppose that you want to spin the way you want to find a silver lining. It is too much of a risk to ignore the resolution.

    If GoSL were to ignore the resolution, IC will get mad. The November UPR and next March UNHRC will be impossible to tolerate for Sri Lanka. Further actions, resolutions, could be brought by the UNHRC. Could be referred to Security Council and National Assembly as needed. Could also be expelled from the UN down the road. The countries on their own could take a series of bi-lateral actions with regard to trade, loan, aid, treaties, etc. In theory, it is considered that resolutions from other bodies than from UN Security Council and some from General Assembly as non-binding because of the absence of in-built enforcing mechanisms. However, if they felt strongly about it, they would refer to higher levels that have authority. But in practice and reality, the resolution was not passed for fun or for optional consideration. For a country like Sri Lanka that depends on the IC for whole array of issues, these are all as good as binding resolution for practical purposes.

    [But you have not proven any war crimes, and as you very well know guilt must be proven not assumed.]

    I wonder how do you prove when the government protects the alleged war criminals, some of the government leaders are themselves have been accused of war crimes, and military is investigating fellow military buddies for war crimes. So in this case, we know there were war crimes and therefore there exist war criminals. So the government has the burden to sort it out. Otherwise, war crimes may need to be investigated and judged by an external body.

    [But the fact that Darusman Panel denied that LTTE was using Tamils as human shields demolishes any notion that it was truly independent. ]

    The report did say about using civilians as human buffer. They also say killing civilians who try to flee the control. But, they did conclude based on the evidence that it did not fit the legal definition of human shield. I see a pattern whenever you see an answer that is not favorable to you or seemingly favorable to the opponent, you involuntarily cry foul and bias. Have you ever considered that perhaps that is the correct and objective conclusion based on the facts and evidence provided to them? If so, are they supposed to change the conclusion that fits your needs? Perhaps, government should have allowed international observers and reporters during the war that would have been able to provide evidence to the panel. The government also should have allowed the panel to visit Sri Lanka and work freely and completely by visiting Sri Lanka.

    [If the Darusman Panel was intent on conveying that the government and army was guilty of war crimes before any evidence was presented, then the fact that LTTE used human shields would be a highly inconvenient truth. By making the LTTE complicit in their deaths, it would be impossible to show that the govt had deliberately caused a massacre. The Darsuman Panel understood that removing LTTE guilt was a vital pre-condition to establishing govt guilt.]

    This is an independent international panel. I have no reason to believe that they would be partial to anybody. There is no gain for them to be partial. What is in it for them to side with one party or another? Why would they be partial and thereby lose their reputations and credibility? In fact they would lose big if they were to be partial according to an independent observer. They work with what they have in terms of facts and evidences. The government made a mistake by not allowing them to do the work freely and completely by visiting Sri Lanka. It is the government’s fault not allowing them. The panel could have included more information if they were able to visit Sri Lanka. Now claiming partial is nonsense. If you can’t handle the truth, don’t blame it on the messenger.

    [The primary problem with the Darusman Panel was laziness and sloppiness that undermined the credibility of their report. Japanese envoy Yasushi Akashi noted that a great deal of the report appeared to have been plagiarised from a prior International Crisis Group report. That inattention to detail explains how they could have described Basil as the “Defense Minister.”]

    I already addressed this issue in the previous comment thread. You may realize that there are many Rajapaksha last names in important circle of power, unlike in other countries where typically only one last name in the power circle and they often refer as Secy or minister and last name, that may contribute to some confusion. Basil Rajapaksha was referred correctly as the Economic Development minister in the report. The report refers to Gotabaya Rajapaksha as the defense secretary correctly on numerous times in the report. However, at one place there is an error where it referred defense secretary Basil Rajapaksha instead of defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksha. The error in the first name of defense secretary is unfortunate. You may know typically importance is given to the last name when used in officials in the west as typically only one person per family in power . However, it is far cry to condemn the report based on it when you yourself made an error saying it refers Basil Rajapaksha as defense minister whereas it in fact referred Basil Rajapakshe as defense secretary. How can you obfuscate the events and evidences of various rights violations as misconstrued or lied? It is another pathetic attempt to defend the indefensible. It is fair to discuss if you have evidence against the reported abuses violations and events of substance.

    [Here is what Godfrey Gunnatilleke said on the topic:]

    Since the Government was lying through the teeth left and right during and after the war with regard to many issues and consequently lost credibility. How can the panel trust the information government provides without their own verification in view of the government’s misinformation previously. Usually in a court of law, the judge often instructs the jury that if they find a witness found to be not credible on a relevant and significant material fact, they are allowed to disbelief or ignore the entire testimony.

    They have to verify the information to include in their report. They can’t just put that information government gave as fact without validating it. Government was lying and claiming zero civilians were being slaughtered, so how can anybody believe the information government provides? No credibility. Why the government did not allow them to visit Sri Lanka and do their work freely and completely? Government should have allowed international observers and reporters during the war that would have provided more independent evidence to the panel. Furthermore, the panel should have been allowed to visit Sri Lanka and gather and validate more information in order to include in the report. It is the fault of the government. I don’t think the panel is biased. There is no reason for them to be biased. The evidences and facts lead them to the findings in the report.

    [You did not answer my question: how was government supposed to end the war? Please do not try to evade the question by answering in a useless negative.]

    It is better to refer to a military expert from UN or IC if military or government cannot find ways to accomplish the task within the law. However, for starters, should have told the truth about the heavy civilian deaths to the UN and IC contemporaneously and let them help to work on rescuing and protecting the civilians. Should not have shelled into the no fire civilian zones. Exercising patience and paying due care for civilians, providing adequate food and medical help, allowing UN, international and local agencies to deliver immediate timely help, avoiding the heavy artillery and equipment operations in the vicinity, could have helped to save thousands of lives. It is the law they got to adhere to it and it is not a luxury and not be guided by convenience or expediency. If they don’t know how to do it, they should have sought advice and help from the international experts.

    There is no excuse for violating laws and regulations under any circumstances.

    [I entirely agree with you. However, you have to admit that if MR did not utter this lie, then Sri Lanka would not have gotten all this attention that it did.]

    But the lie was intended mislead so that it enabled to continue with the alleged mass maiming and killing without timely questioning and take steps to protect the civilians. In these kinds of situation it is indeed necessary for the UN to invoke R2P for the sake of protecting the civilian lives and stopping war crimes. How it is good for the people that are being maimed and slaughtered?

    [What if the govt did not actually know how many civilians died?]

    If so, just say don’t know and allow the UN and IC to find out what is happening? How do you say zero civilian death when IC was confronting with other evidences and information about these deaths despite preventing the UN and other observers and reporters to get the information on time? Perhaps, it was part of the plan to eliminate evidence and witnesses of impending war crimes. It is a lie to mislead. In all probability, the government knew what was happening.

    [You are correct: the LTTE was a far more dangerous and ruthless organisation than the JVP, which did not have sophisticated weapons nor used civilians as human shields.]

    The government did not send the people to no-fire-zones and let the military to use heavy artilleries to slaughter them in mass scale, tens of thousands, denied adequate food, medical help, rescue, etc. in the case of JVP uprising as opposed to Wanni.

    [How often do they do that in reality? Can you provide some examples?]

    If the perpetrators (political or military leaders or dictators) did not substantially adhere to the above laws of war, IC tries to make them accountable.

    Examples:
    Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan, was indicted on 4th March 2009 with five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes, related to the situation in Darfur, Sudan.

    Ahmed Haroun is alleged to have co-ordinated the operations of Sudanese military, police and Janjaweed forces in Darfur while he was Minister of State for the Interior in Sudan. He was indicted on 27th April 2007 on 20 counts of crimes against humanity and 22 war crimes.

    Joseph Kony is the alleged leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, an armed rebel group that operated in Uganda. He was indicted in July 2005 on 12 counts of crimes against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes.

    Ali Kushayb is alleged to be a senior leader in the tribal hierarchy in Darfur. He is accused of implementing the Sudanese government’s policy in Darfur and ordering attacks on the civilian population. He was indicted in April 2007 on 22 counts of crimes against humanity and 28 counts of war crimes.

    Bosco Ntaganda is alleged to be a third highest ranking official in the Patriotic Force for the Liberation of the Congo, a rebel movement in the northeast part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was indicted on 22 August 2006 on three counts of war crimes.

    Okot Odhiambo is alleged to be an integral member of the Lord’s Resistance Army an armed group opposing the government in Uganda. He was indicted on 8 July 2005 on three counts of crimes against humanity and seven counts of war crimes.

    Dominic Ongwen. A military commander and member of the Lord’s resistance Army, Ongwen was indicted in July 2005 on three counts of crimes against humanity and four counts of war crimes.

    Vincent Otti, also alleged to have been a commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army. Indicted in 2005 on eleven counts of crimes against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes.

    General Mladic, who is charged with war crimes during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war

    The ICC charged the late Colonel Gaddafi, his former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi and his son Saif with crimes against humanity.

    Bosco Ntaganda, the accused war criminal from Congo who is “just as dangerous as Joseph Kony”.

    The four most senior surviving members of Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge regime have gone on trial for war crimes.

    Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was arrested for war crimes. He was convicted of aiding and abetting war crimes in neighboring Sierra Leone’s notoriously brutal civil war.

    Ivory Coast’s former president Laurent Gbagbo was arrested and would be tried for alleged war crimes.

    [What do you value more: political solution or “accountability?” By internationalising “accountability,” you are making it next to impossible to build domestic support for a political solution.]

    This is like we ask the toddlers or kids whether they like more their mom or dad. The answer to the question will probably vary based on their personal adverse experiences and impacts of the war. My guess is more Tamils would value a suitable political solution more than accountability. Consequently, more Tamils would prioritize the political solution for immediate action and defer accountability for now. However, virtually no Tamil wants to abandon the accountability.

    Based on what has been happening for the past three years, it does not look like anything progressed in either fronts. Are the Sinhalese willing to implement a suitable fair solution based on devolution if there is willingness by the Tamils and IC to go soft on accountability?

    [Are you one of those many people? If you do not want to discuss Tamil history, then all you have to do is to stop responding to what I say about it. I strongly agree that ancient/medieval Sri Lankan history is mostly irrelevant to what is needed today. That is why I am confused that the Tamil supporters of devolution often bring up “Tamil nation” in their arguments, which ironically enough pushes most Sinhalese very much against devolution!]

    Yes. OK, I can refrain from responding to you. But if you were to spread misinformation, I have to respond because otherwise you and others may misconstrue as I am in agreement with that misinformation you provide. I did not bring it up except when responding to your misinformation.

    Tamils have nothing to hide. They have the right to bring up the true history to refute misinformation about it by others. In any case, it is very true that we all need to focus on the real issues and solve them through a political solution once and for all.

    The fear about devolution is unfounded and is not based on facts and reality. The former US President FDR (Roosevelt) said “ let me assert my firm belief that the ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

    [If what you are saying is true (which it is not), then why are you so stupid as to have a conversation with a liar?]

    A liar is somebody who deliberately or intentionally tells a lie knowing that it is a lie to hide the truth and probably knowing the truth. Some of them are merely misinformed gullible people who really don’t know the truth. Tell me are you merely misinformed or liar? If it is true that you are a liar, I should not waste time on this issue. By the way, there is no need to use terms like stupid as it may reflect worse on you than me.

    [Then all you have to do is provide information to disprove my misinformation. No need to accuse me of intentionally being biased. I have already told you that I consider Prof Indrapala to be a solid scholar (I also like S. Pathmanathan’s research on Hindu temples in Sri Lanka and Bertram Bastiampillai’s work on the Northern Province under British rule) but do not have high regard for Gunasingam’s writings based on what I’ve read so far.]

    You got to look at the information available in totality. Don’t cherry pick on the outliers. Except for the unpublished 1965 thesis work by then Ph.D. student Indrapala who later disavowed, all other credible historians are in agreement about the existence of separate independent Tamil Kingdom, etc. So you got to be rational and come to terms with the reality.

    [I have not read the 2008 book yet. Maybe Gunasingam has used the 9 years to improve his scholarly abilities. You have not given any examples of his to disprove anything I have written here.]

    Please read his book. It includes: When the Portuguese invaded Sri Lanka in 1505 A.D. and ruled up to 1658 A.D. Ceylon was divided into three separate and independent kingdoms. The British took control of Ceylon in 1796 including the Kandyan Kingdom and joined all three kingdoms of Ceylon and ruled as one country for their administrative purposes.

    [I have to say that the title of the book itself sheds a lot of doubt on his credibility. How does Gunasingam know what transpired in 3000 BCE???? Indrapala in his own book used 300 BCE has his starting point because that century marks the beginning of known history in Sri Lanka.]

    What? Gunasingam also starts with 300 BCE, not 3000 BCE. His book titled, “Tamils in Sri Lanka, by Dr. Murugar Gunasingam, a Comprehensive History C. 300B.C. – C. 2000 A.D. Published by MV Publications, South Asian Studies Centre , Sydney, Australia, 2008”.

    It looks like you are becoming paranoid….???

    [Whose publication are you referring to? Gunasingam’s? His book on Tamil nationalism was published in 1999.]

    Unpublished work of a Ph.D. student Indrapala (later Prof Indrapala) who later admitted his flaws. It is an outlier and was not accepted for publication partly due to peer review and later research.

    [Which comments? Can you be more specific?]

    Under the same article – comments thread.

    [The IC cannot help if it is clueless about Sri Lanka.]

    Why don’t you like IC? Can’t live up to their standards? Objectivity? Fairness? Trend?

    [Could you show me where you learned that?]

    http://www.dailynews.lk/2012/04/04/fea03.asp

    “The National Mine Action Prorgramme of Sri Lanka was initiated in 2002 with the assistance of UNDP, UNICEF, INGOs, NGOs and several donor countries (Australia, USA, Canada, Russia, Japan, Norway, India, China, EU) with the goal of creating a mine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) free environment in support of the resettlement and development programmes of the GoSL.”

    Sri Lanka was the recipient of about US $100 million, 5th highest international funding in the world during the last 6 years. European countries together contribute the most by funding and services.

    International organizations – Danish Demining Group (DDG), HALO Trust, Horizon, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Sarvatra, and Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD)] – and two national organizations – Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH) and the Milinda Moragoda Institute for Peoples’ Empowerment (MMIPE)] – with the humanitarian demining unit of the Sri Lanka Army, are engaged in demining work in Sri Lanka.

    http://www.The-monitor.org

    [Most of the fighting in late 1990s was around A9 and other highways.]

    But this is now 2012. People were using the roadways during ceasefire and since late 2009. A lot of time has passed.
    Refer to Dr. Narendran’s comment under the thread of this main article.

Comments are closed.