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An attempt to answer some questions Tamils ask

By Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

In response to my comments on the article in’ “www.dbsjeyaraj.com” by S.Venkatanarayan titled, ‘Who says Sinhalese are against devolving powers to Tamils? That’s absolute rubbish! says Chandrika Kumaratunge, ‘Quaero’ asked the following questions.

After heavy rains in November 2011, the village of Thadduvankoddy in Kilinochchi district was cut off for several days-pic: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

I think his/her questions merit an answer from my perspective and the questions and answers should be part of an independent article.

Quaero says:
April 21, 2012 at 11:31 am

New solutions, based on power sharing at the center, seem to be the only realistic hope. -Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

– Is Sri Lanka a country of two distinct ethnic communities, or not?

– Are Tamils equals to Sinhalese in Sri Lanka ?

– Will Tamils be able to hold on to their identity in the Sri Lanka ?

– What is the true meaning of ‘power sharing at the center’?

– How does one make ‘power sharing at the center’ practicable?

– Who will be ‘responsible’ for effecting ‘power sharing at the center’?

– Who will determine, and how do we agree on what needs to be shared, and not?

– How do we agree on that ‘power sharing at the center’ is the answer?

– What are the chances of reaching such a consent?

– What time frame are we looking at, to reach that understanding?

– What is the basis of your ‘realistic hope’?

- Is Sri Lanka a country of two distinct ethnic communities, or not?

No, Sri Lanka is a country with three large segments of people- Sinhalese (the majority with two subgroups- Low country and Kandyan), Tamils and Muslims (There are also smaller groups of other people).

A majority of Muslims also speak Tamil. The Sinhalese and ‘Sri Lankan’ Tamils are genetically very closely related. The plantation Tamils, who were brought in from India to work in the coffee, tea and rubber plantations are also citizens of Sri Lanka , comprise a significant percentage of the total Tamil population and are a different social and political grouping. There also Tamils who were brought in to work in the cinnamon plantations from South India , who have become Sinhalese now. Many Tamils who have lived on the Western coastal areas, have also become progressively Sinhalese with time. The political differences between the low-country and Kandyan Sinhalese have almost disappeared now.

The Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims speak closely related languages, which share more than four thousand words and almost a similar grammar. The Tamils are mostly Hindu and the Sinhalese are mostly Buddhist. Hinduism and Buddhism are very closely related- a parent-child relationship- though distinct. Buddhists worship Hindu Gods and Hindus accept Lord Buddha as an avatar or saint. Muslims also live in scattered pockets among the Sinhalese in most parts of the island.

The problems in Sri Lanka cannot be viewed from only the Sinhala-Tamil angle while seeking solution. The solutions should seek to address issues in a broader manner, asking into account demographic realities.

- Are Tamils equals to Sinhalese in Sri Lanka?

Yes, in law. In practice, there may be problems with relation to safety and security issues, merit-based equal opportunities and the use of the Tamil language for official purposes outside the north and eastern provinces. Discrimination in development-related issues is being addressed now. There are also multi-faceted attempts to address the other lingering problems. Time-bound improvements are required in the problem areas.

- Will Tamils be able to hold on to their identity in Sri Lanka?

Definitely, yes. Tamils are holding onto their way of life, wherever they are living in Sri Lanka . Even in the midst war, those living outside the north and east did so. It is very unfortunate they do not interact much with the Sinhalese and Muslims at the social level.

The war has imposed a severe strain on Tamil culture in the north and east, due to heavy migration and war-related trauma. There are signs it is reviving. It is the Tamils who will ultimately determine whether their identity survives and improves to suit the times. Continuing to be Tamils, is the choice the Tamils must make and no one can make them do so, if they do not consent.

-What is the true meaning of ‘Power sharing at the centre’?

- Being part of political governance at the center, would involve having a meaningful presence in the cabinet, participating in cabinet-level decision making, having access to the corridors of power and even having Vice-Presidential positions, powers and duties allocated to members of the two major communities (of the three), that are not occupying the position of president. These should be elected positions and persons should contest for these positions along with the presidential candidates on one ticket. The modalities and details have to be worked out.

- Senate- an upper house elected on the basis of larger electorates- province or regions (like the US Senate, with equal allocation of seats irrespective of population densities). The Senate should have veto powers over legislation emanating from the parliament and only legislation approved by both houses and certified as being in accordance of the constitution by a Constitutional court, should receive presidential approval. The president should have well defined veto powers.

- Nominated cabinet- The president should have the prerogative to select his/her cabinet from eminent men/women in the country-at-large. This will open the way for a more balanced- nationally representative- and qualified cabinet. Anyone, from the parliament or senate, appointed to the cabinet, should cease to be a parliamentarian or senator. Details can be worked out. The present system of selecting the cabinet is a curse for the whole country.

- A constitutional court should be established to review new laws, constitutional
amendments and scrutinize old laws for constitutional acceptability.

- A committee system should be established within parliament to deal with issues connected with individual provinces or regions and make recommendations to the president.

These ideas can be further expanded, as deemed necessary.

-How does one make ‘Power sharing at the Centre’ practicable?

Through canvassing public opinion, educating the public on its merits and working through the proposed parliamentary Select Committee.

-Who will be ‘responsible’ for effecting ‘Power sharing at the center’?

The ‘Power Sharing’ arrangements have to be brought by constitutional changes. It is the Constitution , the constitutional court, the president and the chair persons of parliament and the senate, which / who will give effect to the power sharing arrangement.

-Who will determine and how do we agree on what needs to be shared or not?

Everything should be open for sharing. Matters relating to the whole island and those relating to the provinces/ regions should be open for sharing.

-How do we agree that ‘Power sharing at the centre’ is the answer?

Learn the lessons from the past, analyze past trends and study the present circumstances. Demands for devolution have not achieved anything and will not go any meaningful distance. The alternative is power-sharing, if we are to take advantage of current trends and thought processes. Sri Lanka has become a highly centralized state, despite the 13th amendment. Why not go with this trend and work out something that will produce end results for the people?

-What are the chances of reaching such a consent?

If I surmise that it is almost near zero for any meaningful devolution and its honest implementation, it would be more than 50% for the power sharing route and its successful implantation. These are fair odds, considering the circumstances.

-What time frame are we looking at, to reach that understanding?

A maximum of two to three years- well before the end of the current term of the president.

-What is the basis of your ‘realistic’ hope?

-The president is inclined towards a power-sharing solution and he wants ‘A’ solution. He has the majority in parliament to pull off this solution, without provoking the Sinhala nationalist and extremist elements in his coalition.

-The central government will exercise almost all power and Sri Lanka will remain united and unitary, while putting to rest the fear of separatism.

-The Sinhala public at large would also accept this as a good alternative to devolution. Without Sinhala support the devolution path will go nowhere.

-Devolution has become a dirty word to many Sinhalese and is the red flag for the Sinhala nationalists and extremists. This is a fact that should be accepted as a ground reality, even if it may appear irrational. The Eelam wars and how they ended have made what was irrational, quite rational now.

-It is less contentious and a less difficult path to take and can bring about the end results we desire for the wellbeing of the Tamils and other minorities.

-It would give the minorities and the Sinhalese living in the more remote provinces a feeling of being involved in national and their area affairs. This if explained to the Sinhala people would garner their support for power sharing. The present Provincial Councils have no meaningful impact on their lives.

Finally, an answer to the question you have not asked. The provisions relating to the Provincial Councils in the 13th amendment should be repealed and the Provincial Councils abolished. The PCs are sick joke and it will remain a joke despite any tinkering, because the GOSL and most Sinhala people have no need for them and have no stomach for them

127 Comments

  1. Senathi says:

    At the end of the war Army General Mr.Sarath Fonseka already given the answers to these questions.

  2. Senathi says:

    Do anybody believe, a person called Dr. Rajasingam Narendran exists?

    DBSJ RESPONDS:
    Yes of course!Dr.Rajasigham Narendran is a very real person and one of the few people who post comments under his own name on this blog.But could you kindly tell us who writes under the name Senathi will so we could believe you also exist?

  3. John Wayne says:

    These responses are quite problematic
    1. The time frame for power-sharing and devolution of power should be 3 months not 2 years – the Rajapakse regime have delayed long enough and rather concentrated power in their hands via the 8th Amendment! As Chandrika rightly said the people of Lanka are not opposed to power sharing it is the Rajapakse family regime and related politicians who benefit by playing the ethnic card, who do not want to share power.
    2. Northern Provincial Council elections, demilitarization and restoring of civilian control of northern governance structures and development planning and policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation should be done immediately. This is already the case in ALL OTHER PROVINCES IN LANKA at this time where civil administration operates.
    3.. Much work has already been done by APRC and previous discussion on power sharing and it is the Rajapakse Brothers and sons who have delayed implementation of power sharing because they stand to loose some of the overwhelming power and economic resources such as LAND power, that they now have control of and are benefiting from. The Rajapakses are the biggest stumbling block to power sharing. They have beaten the anti-devolution Sinhala Nationalist war drum for so long –in order to legitimize concentration of power AND resources, particularly land, in their hands and among their crony capitalists with a little bit for the security forces who do the family’s dirty work.
    3. It was due to the failure to share power at the Centre that the Tamils sought a seperate state in the northeast. Hence. for genuine reconciliation and to move beyond the simplistic view that “might is right” (or the majority is always right), either the President OR the Prime Minister of Lanka should at all times be a member of a minority community (Tamil or Muslim or Burgher) to ensure power sharing at the centre. Sri Lanka has never had a minority head of state. IN the US Barack Obama from the African American community is head of state, and in India Manmohan Singh is from the Sikh minority community which waged a battle for a separate Kalistan for many years in India. And in Singapore a Ceylon Tamil is deputy PM
    4. For genuine reconciliation, multiculturalism should be implemented as a policy (the Norwegian gunman’s fear of multiculturalism is instructive) and affirmative action to recruit minorities into all govt administrative structures should be implemented.
    5. Qualified and respected Tamils should be invited prevent brain drain and bring in expertise into national institutions at all levels. It is very unfortunate that the Tamil community known in Asia for high academic and technical achievement is represented by war criminals and war lords (karuna and Douglas) in the current jumbo Cabinet, of goons, fools and geriatrics that Rajapakse heads!

  4. John Wayne says:

    These responses are quite problematic
    1. The time frame for power-sharing and devolution of power should be 3 months not 2 years – the Rajapakse regime have delayed long enough and rather concentrated power in their hands via the 18th Amendment! As Chandrika Bandaranaiyke rightly said the people of Lanka are not opposed to power sharing it is the Rajapakse family regime and related politicians who benefit by playing the ethnic card, who do not want to share power.
    2. Northern Provincial Council elections, demilitarization and restoring of civilian control of northern governance structures and development planning and policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation should be done immediately. This is already the case in ALL OTHER PROVINCES IN LANKA at this time where civil administration operates.
    3.. Much work has already been done by APRC and previous discussion on power sharing and it is the Rajapakse Brothers and sons who have delayed implementation of power sharing because they stand to loose some of the overwhelming power and economic resources such as LAND power, that they now have control of and are benefiting from. The Rajapakses are the biggest stumbling block to power sharing. They have beaten the anti-devolution Sinhala Nationalist war drum for so long –in order to legitimize concentration of power AND resources, particularly land, in their hands and among their crony capitalists with a little bit for the security forces who do the family’s dirty work.
    3. It was due to the failure to share power at the Centre that the Tamils sought a seperate state in the northeast. Hence. for genuine reconciliation and to move beyond the simplistic view that “might is right” (or the majority is always right), either the President OR the Prime Minister of Lanka should at all times be a member of a minority community (Tamil or Muslim or Burgher) to ensure power sharing at the centre. Sri Lanka has never had a minority head of state. IN the US Barack Obama from the African American community is head of state, and in India Manmohan Singh is from the Sikh minority community which waged a battle for a separate Kalistan for many years in India. And in Singapore a Ceylon Tamil is deputy PM
    4. For genuine reconciliation, multiculturalism should be implemented as a policy (the Norwegian gunman’s fear of multiculturalism is instructive) and affirmative action to recruit minorities into all govt administrative structures should be implemented.
    5. Qualified and respected Tamils should be invited prevent brain drain and bring in expertise into national institutions at all levels. It is very unfortunate that the Tamil community known in Asia for high academic and technical achievement is represented by war criminals and war lords (karuna and Douglas) in the current jumbo Cabinet, of goons, fools and geriatrics that Rajapakse heads!

  5. sjoseph says:

    Devolution has become a dirty word to many Sinhalese and is the red flag for the Sinhala nationalists and extremists

    —-

    yea true.
    Because sinhalese are the victors.

  6. Kalu Albert says:

    You are talking a lot of sense Dr Narendran.

    But it is your own people who bag you.

    And the sad part is that these are the very same people who milked the misery of their own brethren to get to where they are in influential and affluent places both local and overseas.

    Hope the impending PSC will take serious note of your model.

    There shouldn’t be any hassle getting this it past the the great majority of Sinhalese. if it also has a few addenda such as serious punitive measure for crooks, and thugs ,who are in the biig league.

    Couldn’t agree more with your quip about the PCs.

    These are the breeding grounds for the current army of thugs drug dealers and other undesirables who have hijacked the political system.

  7. sjoseph says:

    - Will Tamils be able to hold on to their identity in Sri Lanka?

    Definitely, yes

    —-

    Sinhaklese prefer Tamils to have a srilankan identify first. Efforts to hold on to Tamil identity (language, Home land, Tamil political party and self rule by Tamils) has added fuel to the conflict.

  8. sjoseph says:

    -The Sinhala public at large would also accept this as a good alternative to devolution. Without Sinhala support the devolution path will go nowhere.

    This is like “Take whatever is offered and preferred by majority”.
    But what is wriong in it?

  9. sjoseph says:

    -What time frame are we looking at, to reach that understanding?

    A maximum of two to three years- well before the end of the current term of the president.

    —-

    It may be worth waiting even for the full term of MR for the sake peace- instead of loss of precious Tamil lives, conflict and blood shedding.

  10. jagan sriram says:

    i thank dr.rajasingham narendran for posting his views and it has cleared the air.”every country has got the government it deserves” joseph de maistre french philospher.likewise srilanka since independence has got the government which it deserved.initially after independence it accomadated many tamils in fact name which i can recall is chitrambalam whose son and grandson is more famous than him namely arjun sittampalam,ganesh sittamplam.unfortunately as every knows srilankan polity got radicalised and it became ethnic oriented as a result steadily it begam to marginalise tamils of north and east.i have aired my views before also in the same forum at the cost of repeating i would like to say that srilankan government should follow indian governance structure where states have some rights and increasingly states are asking more financial rights so that they can determine the future of their own state people.unfortunately delegation of authority,devolution,federalism is a dirty word in srilanka because it reminds sinhalese of only one thing 13th amendment which would result in merger of north and east srilanka with full land and police powers.i have also cited before the example of kashmir how it is part of india at the same time it has got more powers than any other state of india.today morning i happened to read praveen swami’s article on kashmir where he argues that kashmiris have been given freedom but government is buckling under pressure from religious fundamentalist thus destroying the peace which kashmir has been experiencing off late.for the uninitiated jammu and kashmir has a separate article namely article 370 of the indian constitution which gives enormous power to chief minister.non kashmiris do not have right to buy property and become part of the electorate of that state.this has been done to preserve the demography of the valley and except for ghulam nabi azad who was the chief minister of that state valley has only elected the chief minister of that state.india has taken all this measure to instill the confidence of the kashmiris.similarly it is delusive to think that there is no ethnic divide in srilanka and after may 2009 tamils and sinhalese can forget their ethnic difference live together without a need for merger of north and east and providing powers to chief minister.tamil culture and its tradition has to be protected for that there is a need for a separate province which will also foster economic growth.federalism it need not be viewed with a tamil perspective.there are other provinces in srilanka which needs federal powers given the fact that colombo is fast becoming centre of investments it needs to channelise the investment to other provinces also.for that provinces need more power to develop infrastructure and only local government will be in a best position to do so.hence the best bet for srilanka is more federalism rather than unitarism which will result only in more concentration of power in one hand.but i am personally amazed how come dr.rajasingham who is well read person who knows how world is functioning at this point of time where every country is trying to devolve more power to the last neighbourhood is advocating unitarism.i shall comment on governance issues in srilanka later.thank you jey .

  11. sjoseph says:

    What time frame are we looking at, to reach that understanding?
    A maximum of two to three years- well before the end of the current term of the president.

    ——–

    2 years is relatively short. Resolving 60 years of conflict and mistrust may take time, perhaps before MR completes his full term of 8 years.

    If MR push too much, sinhalese mass will get angry and may not get their approval for it.

  12. Sudarshana says:

    Dr.Rajasingham,

    I have a very simple question that is to become a MP one has to spend minimum of at least 100Milion last election we found some people has spend 900milion and according to allowances to a MP they receive only 6 Million if he/she spend all 6 years in parliament.
    So do you think these people want to serve their people? All I see is set if Sinhala MP’s (Sinhala Thief’s) and set of Tamil MP’s (Tamil Thief’s) want to have a larger share to be robbed.
    If you want equality you can easily do so using the computerized system just follow folloing steps.
    01. All people had to provide their earnings (I think Mr DBSJ being a Canadian citizen will explain much more clearly how they file tax each month.)
    02. Each Provincial council should provide a plan what they intend to do and proper founds shod be provided to them.
    03. If a Politician gets a bribe he/ should be punished like in Singapore.
    04. In Tamil areas there should be at least 80% of Tamil police offences and Government servants.
    I think they should insist on these steps first. I respect your ideas but don’t you think it should be technically viable.

    Thanks,
    Sudarshana

  13. sekar says:

    vp well aware of singhalese and he stood strong in independent eelam.the feature is also moving towards tamil eelam.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Fact is Kosovo, East Timor and South Sudan faced the same situation which Sri Lanka facing today namely oppression and ethnic cleansing.

    Without United Nations the conflicts would have never been resolved and it is still not too late for the same approach in Sri Lanka.

    The sensible thing to do in the given internal circumstances in Sri Lanka is to respect the rights of the minority Tamils not just offer endless false promises

  15. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    Sudharshana,

    - Corruption and the role money plays to get someone elected, can be minimized only by changing the voting system. Party lists and preferential votes should be replaced by the old system of every party nominated a candidate for the electorates. Independent candidates should also contest as individuals. The parties should meet the campaign costs of candidates. A ceiling should be established by the Election Commission on the amount of money each candidate or party should spend on an electorate. This should be strictly enforced and penalties applied. An MP elected from an electorate would be a face known to the people and hence if not honest,will at least be more discreet in his corruption.

    _ The Provincial Councils cannot spend money. It is the Governor who controls the budget.

    - While trilingual capabilities should be required of public servants, they should be permitted to serve anywhere in the country, irrespective of their communal identity. There should be a mixture of Sinhala,Tamil, Muslim , Burgher, Malay and even Veddah officers in every police station.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  16. Kalu Albert says:

    The Indian Opposition leader Ms Sushma seems to have convinced the stubborn TNA leader, Mr Sambandan that there is no alternative to him other than fronting up to the PSC.

    Mr Sambandan promising the UNP, Ganehan Parrty and DR Bahu and the other Opposition groups that the TNA will be on the same platform with them on May Day, points to him clearing the path to the PSC.

    After this joint rally, the Opposition will not oppose any demands that Mr Sambandan makes to the.PSC.

    With the Government already promising to look at all options for an amicable reconciliation that will benefit the whole inhabitant population, Mr Sambandan and his collegues can not ask the Govt for private deals anymore , as a delaying tactic to explore any avenues to give the Opposition and their overseas buddies any opportunities to interfere internally to try and and bring regime change.

    The recent outburst of the Diaspora Eelaam mouthpiece on the Web attacking the Sushma delegation is a clear sign that the TNA or some of it has changed its heartsor minds or both.

    If it has changed It will be a win win for the TNA as well as the general Tamil inhabitant population.

    In light of this changed circumstances, it is heartening to see , genuine thinkers like Dr Narendran coming up wih these innovative and practical models for disscussion.

    It is also heartening to hear Mr Sambandan calling himself a Srilankan and claiming to be proud of it, soon after meeting the Sushma delegation.

  17. Dias says:

    An irrelevant set of answers to an equally irrelevant set of questions? Both presumes that the underlying problem in the island is one of political power sharing – when in reality it is one of deep mistrust of one community by another.

    As much as the lives of a wife and a husband are inextricably intertwined to that of the other, the survival of the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims are inextricably intertwined in a threesome. Of course none will acknowledge it as each believes it is superior to the other two – and that is at least a big part of THE problem.

    I request your forebearance in letting me explain this with a simple illustration: In a truly loving and trustful marriage it is unlikely how power is shared is ever an issue, i.e. whether it is 50-50 or 0-100 or 100-0 or some other – because both partners genuinely strive to foster the other partner’s growth and independent aspirations. Whatever the power-sharing arrangement they may have is not for the purpose of controlling the other but only as an optimal mechanism for the management of the marriage and the family. And that’s what political systems are, mere mechanisms for management of societies. Whatever the system of governance may be – be it a unicameral parliamentary system along the lines of the Westminster model, a state-controlled system as in China, asymmetric or symmetric federalism, or a hybrid system – they affect only the efficiency in their applicability to a particular society (i.e. Perpaps asymmetric federalism is not very applicable to small societies like Singapore or Maldives). Generally speaking, take any one of them and deploy in a trusting and congenial society – and the chances are it would work. And take the same one and deploy in a mistrusting and confrontational society of same size (as in Sri Lanka) – and no matter how efficient it may be, it is guaranteed to not work!

    Systems of governance don’t bring sparring communities together. The only way to bring communities together, akin to fixing a marriage on the rocks, is for sparring communities to work together to BUILD TRUST. It is in building trust that the Sinhalese, Tamils and the Muslims have pathetically failed, and instead they’re trying to put the perenial cart before the horse. By now it should be very clear that there is significant lack in understanding and appreciation of one community’s condition (especially fears) by that of the other – a sort of a mutual insensitiveness. A recent case and point is the remark made by Karunandhi, the Tamil Nadu politician about attaining Ealam someday. Almost all Sinhalese (including myself) were appalled by this remark. But, how many moderate Sri Lankan Tamils – politicians, journalists, or ordinary Tamils – raised their voices debunking Mr. Karunandhi? How many Tamil brethren stood shoulder-to-shoulder in empathy with their Sinhalese citizens? The Sinhalese and the Muslims are no better, and behave the same way. And that is the problem: we refuse to understand and appreciate the other, and instead are barking up the wrong tree in chasing political solutions. Perhaps we all need to wake up together!

  18. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    Dias,

    The fact is, there is much mistrust between the communities. A solution is needed to undermine this mistrust. The government is attempting to restore a degree of trust through its development program and rehabilitation and reconciliation efforts.

    It will take a long time and painstaking effort from both partners in the marriage- as you call it- to build back this trust to the level it should be. However, the trust cannot come about only through reconciliation. The delivery system- the system of government- should ensure that every citizen receives his/her fair deal. We are discussing here how this system should be redesigned to ensure fair delivery of services, given current failures and deliberately designed structural faults.

    The Westminster system failed or was made to fail. The current constitution- a three way hybrid between the Westminster system, the French system and JR’s deviousness, has failed not only the minorities, but all the peoples of Sri Lanka. The 13th amendment to this Develish constitution, especially its prescription for the Provincial Councils is a legal sleight of hand that pretends to do something it is deliberately designed not to do. We are wasting our time and the world is wasting its by demanding implementation of a damp squib. The cruelest cut is that many Tamils, the TNA and other Tamil political/pseudo-political formations, are yet thinking that this is gift from heaven! The Indians who were well aware of this joke, from its very inception, are asking the present Sri Lankan government to make it less of a joke. Many media commentators and political analysts are making themselves a joke, by promoting something, they have not studied in detail. The people, particularly the minorities, are being once again taken for a reckless ride.

    Should we back to the Westminster system or system that takes us closer to the American system? If we are planning to design our own system ( we have already designed two, which have made our problems worse!), what should be its contours? If devolution is not acceptable to the majority of voters and has been tainted by the demand for Eelam, what is the model to empower the aggrieved minorities (and in fact all citizens).

    Let us use this opportunity to educate ourselves and our politicians about the intricacies and delicacy of the issues involved and the urgent need for solutions.

    A solution is needed to rebuild trust. We are in a position to influence our politicians, as never before, thanks to the internet. Let us make our politicians of all colours and hues, positions and ambitions, feel the heat of democracy in practice. Let them hear our voices loud and clear.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  19. Anonymous says:

    Dr.Narendran,

    Great theoritical answers on paper! But these will not work on the grounds in Sri Lanka as the Sinhalese mindset does not allow power sharing. No Sinhala politician will give power sharing at the centre and federalism, when 75% of his/her electorate are Sinhalese who don’t beleive in equal status for tamils. This has happened for the past 60+ years.

    This is only solvable by a UN intervention. There are examples.

    Whether knowingly or unknowingly you have admitted / expressesed the second classness of the Tamils in your theoritical vision –
    ………having access to the corridors of power and ‘even having Vice-Presidential positions.’

    I dont consider vice-presidency or presidency of Sri Lanka as ‘Nila Soru’ (Moon Dinner) for Tamils to have.

    If I was you, in addition to asking for a strong federal structure, I would ask for alternate presidency of the country for Tamils. That is, for one term a Sinhalese becomes the president, then for the next term a Tamil would be the president.

    Your theory will work ONLY IF Tamils and Sinhalese are equal in numbers (both population and in elected representatives in the parliament). In Sri Lanka’s scenario, this WILL NEVER WORK.

  20. Rajiv says:

    - Are Tamils equals to Sinhalese in Sri Lanka?

    As mentioned correctly ONLY in Law. In practice definately NO.
    There is a discrimination in every corner and will get worse until current regime is there.
    Look at what is happening in Dampula. No doubt it is a Budist holy area. But that doesn’t give any execuse to remove the Mosque.
    If that is the case then will the SL Givernment is prepared to remove all the Budist statues and dagabos around the famous Trincomali’s Thirukoneswaram ?
    Where is our Honarabble Ministers (Both Tamil and Muslims) and they are keeping their mouth shut. Then only they would be able to look after their Pockets. Otherwise the Automatic white van will be there.
    Please don’t mis-understand me. I am NOT a racist and I still pray the Lord Budda as well. I got a big lord buddha staute in my shrine room.

    BUT the point is that LAW or Government ruling should be ALWAYS neutral. It should NOT favour to any religion in any form.

    This is very Important and if Srilanka wants to move forward.
    Unfortunatly NOT A SINGLE Politiocian in the Srilanka HAVE NOT OPEN THEIR MOUTH.

  21. Sudarshana says:

    Dr.Rajasingham,

    I completely agree with you. As for the first step we have to pressure the government just to make a administrative power delegation (Make Government servants independent from political influence) and independent commissions sould be setup. That’s all we have to ask for the first step, what I see here is Tamil politicians ask 13+ (Sinhala people has a negative attitude about this, 13th Amendment) so conveniently Sinhala politicians will hide behind this racial card. And knowing all this Tamil politicians will not do any productive work for their people, they use the racial card just a convenient method to win elections and continue their business.

    It was not so long ago that Mr Sivagnanam Shritharan http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/5549 said LTTE leader Prabhakaran is alive. These people are not fools but there are plenty of Sinhala and Tamil fools that believe them.
    So I am not saying there is no racial problem but to resolve it we have to pressure political entireties to release government authorities from the existing political grip.
    I am amaze to see how learned people from developed countries fail to grapes this simple logic, they again and again ask Sinhala politicians to give rights to Tamils, and Sinhala politicians play the racial card, this is some sort of a cycle. I hope after so much suffering we can come out of this. Wish you a very happy New Year 2012!!

    Thanks,
    Sudarshana

  22. Anonymous says:

    John Wayne,
    I live in Sri Lanka. ChandricaK lives in the sky somewhere over Europe; where do you live?

  23. Demoncry says:

    Kalu Albert says:
    April 22, 2012 at 11:39 pm ,

    See what the Buddhist monks and buddhist supremacists are doing in Dumbulla why not join the sanga and become a monk mate. you may be able to accomplish your dream.

  24. Mahesh says:

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendranji,

    You are talking only about the Vice Presidential posts being filled up by Tamils and Muslims (may be).

    With the proportional representation system the Tamils can never be the President, without shedding their identity, may be like Kadirgamar.

    Kadirgamar was acceptable to the Sinhalese but not to the Tamils.

    This is not a permanent solution.

    In India, anybody can become a Prime Minister or President.

    This situation may never come in Sri Lanka if we adopt your views to solve this issue.

    Again President has enormous powers. Will he able to or willing to shed some of them.

    This may be needed because he should not be able to ride rough shod over the Parliament and the Senate.

    Frankly I find no reason for them to have Indian model.

    This is all the hallucination of the Sinhalese.

    Rajiv missed and messed the whole issue.

    He should have asked them to implement the Indian model.

    This system that you seem to advocate falls far short of the requirements of the Tamils.

    You are asking that the PC’s must be dismantled saying that they are joke on the Sri Lankans.

    I don’t want to say what it was when the Successive Sri Lankan govts reneged on the various pacts they had entered into.

    Had this issue been handled properly these number of people would not have died.

    If India had also remained neutral then also this would not have happened.

    Having defeated the Tamils using the help from India and other countries by telling that they would give political powers to the Tamils they are now going back on their words by telling they would give cabinet berths and vice presidential postings.

    What prevented the MR from giving such posts to the Tamils even now.

    He could have made DD or Karuna or Pillayan the Vice President.

    He would do such things and claim that he has given political solution to the Tamils.

    You say the Tamils can live retaining their identity.

    What about the colonization of their lands by the Sinhalese by various state sponsored schemes.

    When the demography is changed then it again marginalizes the Tamils.

    Finally do you say that the sri Lankan state is a law abiding state, in the light of the happenings in the Dambulla.

    Few thugs in the ocher robe led few thousand thugs to vacate a place of worship and for this State remains a willing accomplice.

    The words of the Sri Lankan state do not inspire confidence.

  25. Jay says:

    Dr. Rajasingam

    Why members of minority ethnic group to be allocated with cabinet ministries in a country where of 80% is Sinhalese and what for a ceremonial position of vice president. To make the minority happy? Will they be happy? it always been better a cabinet represents all ethnic groups but that shouldn’t be a rule, numbers can be nil to any.

    Upper house veto is meaningless, lets take a test case if GOSL wants to put up a nuclear plant for energy in Putlam as identified suitable location and that decision could be vetoed by the province senator because of his home protests then president has to take a decision on that if GOSL try to move some other place it will again vetoed by other member.

    Nominated cabinet will lead to rampant corruption if people have no say over them.

    A right way in my opinion the power should be devolved to peripheral unit (regional or provincial council) and comprehensive non political independent institutions should be created, center and peripheral unit should be working with coordination, an upper house can guarantee functioning of devolved unit.

    I am not buying the idea that educated have a vision to develop the country and that is not the case with successful leaders though the knowledge acquired may be helpful in shaping a vision but mainly a in born quality, we had JR, N.M Perera, Colvin, despite the war and JVP It was Premadasa who had the social vision for cities and towns. look at now unviable white elephant projects and election joke of international stadium in Kilinochchi.

    Do you want a replay of all these again?

    We need a solution that our decisions are taken by us and not just a cosmatic work, A system which can sustain our rights even JHU comes as majority party, we have to build a solution with mutual trust and understanding however that doesn’t mean the system cannot work if there are disputes ,

  26. Senathi says:

    Thanks DBSJ for responding. As you said I exist as a real person but the names Senathi or Selva are not real.

  27. Sellam says:

    Dr. Narendran, with due respect I give below my answers to your questions.
    1. Yes, it was once but not now or in future.
    2. Yes, it was once immediately after the Britiish left the country but not now after the defeat of the LTTE.
    3. Many Tamils have expatriated to foreign countries. There is no one to represent the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Not
    Devananda or Pillian or the duputy president of the Sri Lanka Freedom party.
    4. “Power sharing” The majority sinhalese has one meaning, the government mininsters have another,the International
    Community has another one. Therefore it has no meaning and could be twisted to suit.
    5. Answer as above.
    6. Answer as above.
    7. Power sharing with upper house with no powers is the answer accoridng to president Rajapaksa.
    8. Power sharing , if it has a true meaning and the government sincerely feels about it , without demands could be
    the answer.
    9. Very remote.
    10. Procrastination is the thief of time.
    11. None at this stage.
    12. Not any more.

  28. Dr Bharath says:

    What Thamilians are asking the sinhalase are very simple things

    (a)DO NOT KILL
    The sinhalase were killing Thamilains since the independence
    The riots in 1958, 1965, 1974 , 1977 , 1983 were examples

    (b) Do not Steal
    The Sinhalase were stealing from Thamilians since independeance

    (c) Do not rape
    Thamil women were raped and no justice were done . It happened since 1948

    (d) Do not torture
    Thamilains are tortured without trials for many years

    The World is shocked to see the mindset of SInhalase now. There will not be any esacpe. World does not have a good opinion of Lanka the same way they felt on Serbia or the hutus of Rwanda.
    I can tell you Raja this;
    Within a year Lanka will face economic sanctions from west and also from India NO tourisim either to Lanka
    I do not think there will be any military intervention
    Economic embargo include tourisim will make Ravanas to change their minds

  29. Jay says:

    Dr. Rajasingam reminded me the Taif Accord proposed national reconciliation for Lebanon that is in total mess renewed sectarian problem and Hizbullah taking upper hand, any solution must give a feeling of sense of security and belonging otherwise it wont last for long I think that is the line of TNA and India too.

  30. afool says:

    If only two fascist countries(not groups) still exist in this world, they are Srilanka and Israel. Tamils and Palestinians should NEVER stop fighting for justice and to get what belongs to them, however long it takes. The whole world has slowly become on the side of Palestinians now, but in the meantime, it categorized the Tamil’s liberation struggle, as terrorism, all these time, because of the few blunders LTTE did and the propaganda work of the India. Many years ago,when I attended the many meetings of the LTTE, many LTTE leaders, when they gave their respective speeches, used to say, in the stages, that “Ulaham parthukkondu irukkirathu”(the world is watching our just struggle). I used to laugh at them, saying, this world is not for justice and every country has its own personal gains in its mind, when it deals with every situation around the world. But, now, after the 2009, I really feel, Tamils earned the whole world sympathy. This is the right time for us Tamils to press on and never to give-up.

  31. RAJA says:

    For those Sinhala Racists and their Tamil apologists like the writer of this article, please view the video put out by the British Government to welcome London Olympics 2012, where people of different ethnic groups are welcomig the olympics in their own language. You will be surprised the first language to be used is Tamil followed by Sanskrit, Chinese etc,probably in order of antiquity and the boy who jumps up and shouts Vanakkam, is in pole position, at the center of front row with the girl shouting Namasthe is in the second row and the girl shouting in Chinese in the third row and none of the others shouting in their languages are in the front row. This is at a time Srilankan racist government is refusing to give Tamil language prominent place in their official celebrations.
    I am a person born in Colombo and lived in Borella for 44 years and educated in Royal College and Colombo University, and will tell you that majority of my Sinhala classmates, colleagues or neighbours are not in favour of any power sharing with Tamils which is corroborated by the result of recent survey conducted among Sihalese where 90% of them voted against any form of devolution. I would also bring to notice a recent warning given by two Sinhala ultra nationalist parties, Nava Sihala Urumaya and Ruhuna Peoples Party, that if no settlement is made with Tamils granting proper devolution, there is a possibility that the country woud be split into two with international intervention.

  32. J.muthu says:

    Doc,
    Simply you are nutter….Sinhala never going to give any thing to tamils, you such an idiot. Man i will tell you just wait.

  33. RajasH says:

    Dream On MR Rajasingham Narendran

    watch this chilling video clips

    http://groundviews.org/2012/04/23/bigoted-monks-and-militant-mobs-is-this-buddhism-in-sri-lanka-today/
    ————————-

  34. dilshanF says:

    Dear Mahesh,

    I have to comment on some issues you have raised.
    In India anybody can become prime minister – Same as in Sri Lanka that person has to be head of the majority selected political party.
    You mention the Dambulla incident – May I remind you of the Muslim temple razed to the ground in broad daylight and also the Christian priest family burned alive. This happened in Pakistan is it?
    Good and bad insist in all countries. Even Norway had a guy who killed 68 innocent people. If Gota was in Norway he would have been blamed.

    ‘Having defeated the tamils’ – speak for yourself if you are a Tamil and consider yourself a LTTE and beaten. The majority of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka want to live in peace and certainly not under the yoke of VP.

    The Sinhalese and the Sri Lanka Army did NOT defeat the tamils but only the LTTE.

    The tamil population in the North was effected by this conflict for 30 yrs and so too was everyone else in this land.

    What was defeated was violence.

  35. dilshanF says:

    Dear Raja,

    THe problem is that any tamil in a majority government is considered a traitor.
    Kadirgaman was killed, Karuna and Pillyan are – shal I say not the correct caste. Douglas Devananda is not welcome in the north?

    So how can this be resolved.

    Most tamils have been brainwashed and continualy brainwashed that any participation in a majority government is being a traitor to the ’cause’

    There will be no need for power sharing if you accept the Tamil politicians within the system.

  36. Mahesh says:

    dilshanF

    If such acts of thuggery happen in other countries the govt does not participate and be an willing accomplice as in Sri Lanka.

    Dont say that every country has dark shades and therefore it is okay in Sri Lanka.

    If these things happen there when the IC’s focus is turned on that country what cannot happen when its focus is turned away from it.

    =============

    Most tamils have been brainwashed and continualy brainwashed that any participation in a majority government is being a traitor to the ’cause’

    ===================

    As if the Sinhalese are not brainwashed with the Mahavamsa grandma stories.

    As if the Sinhalese are not brainwashed against giving land and the police powers…………

    You Sinhalese have a lot to be blamed for the plight of the Tamils there.

  37. Mahesh says:

    dilshanF

    With the proportional representation system in theory only a Tamil can become a President of your country.

    Tamil to become a President he has to be acceptable by the majoity of the Sinhalese. For this he should appear to be shedding his Tamil identity.

    Then only people like Kadirgamar or DD can become Presidents.

    What prevented you to give the Prime Ministerial post to the Tamils now.

    You want to give some such ceremonial post now and say that you have given Tamils a representation in the Government and solved this Tamil problem.

    For this the armed struggle didnt happen.

    Even if we say eelam is not possible or desirable we have to say this arrangement falls short of the desirable thing in Sri Lanka.

    This having a second chamber or giving the Vice Presidential posts fall short of the expectations of the people there.

    ===============

    When the focus of the International community is on the island the Tamil politicians must come out with what they want to or not want to.

    Just because India says something or the BJP or congress says something they should not accept those words.

    Congress will not give any meaningful support to the Tamils there.

    BJP is very much focused on the interests of the India that both the parties will dump the interests of the Tamils there if it suits the interests of their parties or that of India.

    The Tamil politicians should bring out the plus and the minus of the Rajiv JR accord to the public.

    The Thirumavalavan also in a recent interview skirted this issue.

    Unless you bring the negative sides of the the accord the general people will continue to think that Rajiv was a saviour of the Tamils and his accord was a manna from heaven.

    First tear it shreds in the public.

    Then you will get the support of the general public.

    Then no party or the Govt can go against your interest.

    I don’t believe in this power sharing in the centre.

    For this they must make their mind to be within United Sri Lanka also dumping the eelam.

    If they are given the rights to govern themselves the tamil people will feel satisfied and may accept that in lieu of EElam and i believe this could herald a durable peace in the island.

    For this the Tamil policians in the TNA should be able to shed their eelam mindset and be willing to work to change the constitution and live in an United Sri Lanka.

  38. Quaero says:

    Dias, You say, – An irrelevant set of answers to an equally irrelevant set of questions.

    As the individual who posed the questions to Dr.Rajasingham Narendran, I find your callous remark, ‘an equally irrelevant set of questions’, quite amusing.

    You failed to ‘read’ the intent of the line of questioning. It was used as a tool to extract the basis of Dr.Rajasingham Narendran’s ‘realistic hope’ for Tamils.

    The interaction is rewarding!

  39. Mahulchandran Spencer says:

    1. Was it mainly not the riots and pogroms of 1956, 1958, 1965, 1974 etc that created the myth of a contiguous North & East Tamil Elam with Trinco as its capital? Historically researched and exposed by one of seven authors in the book “Tamils of SriLanka” as well as the researches and findings of the archaeologist Indrapala? Thus the four Elam wars were founded on this fallacy which has been treated as a truth by the proponents of the Tamil leadership to-date even as not denied by M.A. Sumanthiran at a public forum a few days to a question from me in Melbourne. They are still continuing with the same fallacy with business as usual when only a third of the voters cast their votes in the last elections.

    2. There are about 3 to 5 % (based on the Vadukotai resolution voter turnout of the TGTE in Australia) who may want a 5th and more, more to avenge themselves of their defeat. Based on the empirical evidence of the past six decades NR’’s suggestions are relatively most realistic yet are they achievable during the reign of MR Bros & Sons due to their helpless and impoverished intellects as a consequence of their genetic, epigenetic, mematic and epimematic roots, causes and mental and emotional baggage from which none of us are free of in its entirety?

    3. Should the present GOSL presume to be another chosen lot like the Israelis and disregard the predominantly western IC (that contributed immensely in the defeat of the LTTE) and the present and future UNHCR resolution/s to come, will it not pave the way for the re-recreation of the myth and make it far more plausible due to geo-strategic considerations and less out concern for the long- suffering peoples whose misfortune it was to have been born in that geographical location not unlike the Palestinians.

  40. Dr Bharath says:

    What Thamilians are asking the sinhalase are very simple things

    (a)DO NOT KILL
    The sinhalase were killing Thamilains since the independence
    The riots in 1958, 1965, 1974 , 1977 , 1983 were examples

    (b) Do not Steal
    The Sinhalase were stealing from Thamilians since independeance

    (c) Do not rape
    Thamil women were raped and no justice were done . It happened since 1948

    (d) Do not torture
    Thamilains are tortured without trials for many years

  41. Hettie Archie says:

    The good doctor is again believing that if you give and give you will attain Nirvana!

    This is our land just as it is the land of other ethnicities and we should work with others but not sell our rights in order to allow the good doctor to keep making his rounds.

  42. Kalu Albert says:

    “In India anybody can become the Prime Minister or President”.—– Mahesh

    The supposed to be the cream of the crop Tamil politicians who purports to be foreman material, call themselves Tamil National Alliance.

    They demand separate homelands and their own police.

    How can the majority inhabitants elect them when Presidents or Prime Ministers are supposed to serve the whole Nation nation?.

    By the way does anyone know an Indian PM with an Arab or Dravidian name ?.

  43. Vimu says:

    One of the main thing should be included in Political solutions is, Revise all the history books especially in Sinhala language used in schools which clearly seed racist attitude towards minorities. This is very important to permanant peace.

  44. NAK says:

    Excellent, Dr.Narendran. This is very similar to what I had in mind to happen just after may 2009. Instead it was hijacked by celebrations,war crimes and genocide.
    Now to make it happen it needs to go the people and make the people understand. Is there a way to translate it to Tamil and Sinhala and publish in papers and distributed as a leaflet among the masses. I am sure majority of the Sinhala people will readily agree to a settlement like this,the problem is the Tamil people in the north as there will be many among the Tamil politicians who would oppose a settlement like this.
    Also it would be great if this can be sent to the PSC in the form of a proposal for discussion.
    India from the begining messed this up and continue to do so. As one commentator said here. I appeal to other Indian brothers and sisters also to refrain from making comments about things you don’t know or don’t understand the ground realites. Some even try to debunk Dr.Narendran who is involved in grassroot level of rehabilition of the people.
    Just because some people in India make some majestic claims nothing is going to change on the ground. It will be much appreciated if you can’t help just keep aside without making matters worse.

    Dr.Narendran, I think as affected people of this misery it is time we say to those with other interests,enough is enough,just keep away.

  45. Mahesh says:

    Kalu Albert

    By the way does anyone know an Indian PM with an Arab or Dravidian name ?.

    ————————

    Tamils are the citizens of Sri Lanka. The Arabs are not the Indian citizens.

    Dravidian’s can become Prime Ministers. The Tamils have become Governor Generals, Presidents etc in India.

    ===========================

    They demand separate homelands and their own police.

    ==========================

    What they are asking is akin to the State reorganization of the states in the linguistic lines.

    We have given some special powers to the Jammu Kashmir and also some North Eastern States etc.

    Giving land and police powers is not like giving a separate country.

    =====================

  46. TRN says:

    I think all of us should realise however much we change the laws, leaders are unwise and immature to lead the people. A national leader should think not only of his supporters, party men or his ethnicity. These leaders should lead the people and policies thinking of national integrity and a sustainable future.

    There are many provinces and districts which are far below in equity compared to western province. There should be national planning as well as planning for each district.

    Of course the present system of PR and nomination lists are a curse to this nation. Abolition of PR system should be implemented soon.

    The presidents powers should be curbed not give more veto.

    Cabinet should be curbed to minimum 20 (both ministers & deputies). The ministerial powers should be curbed too.
    National policy making should be done by academics after careful research. Use our state university research work in each province. policy makers should be neutral without any party affiliation, they should focus on national issues.

    We should get rid of provincial councils for sure it has become a burdened for the country and inefficient.

    If the national policy includes all the districts and their needs and rectify the short comings without any bias, who cares who does it?

    Only God can help Sri Lankans to get rid of the clowns and the ‘rottweilers’ and the magicians from the helm of authority. Our lives and future will be much brighter.

    All round there needs an attitude change in all Sri Lankans… respect all humans as equal,
    the politicians should start serving people and the country not themselves,

    17th amendment should be activated to stop the politicisation of public service.

  47. afool says:

    RAJA!

    Thanks Raja, for talking your feeling openly, without fear. I know, the majority of Srilankan Tamils feel the same way as you do, regardless or where they were brought up, because of the reasons you correctly pointed out. Only a handful of Srilanlkan Tamils, who were born without brains or heart, differ.

  48. Jay says:

    I have similar experience like RAJA and agree with his assessment of opinion in Sinhala polity and public at large vis a vis power devolution, the only exception was former president CBK, she was able to discount this fact by a successful PR program, Power sharing at center is a suicidal attempt and we should have no doubt that Sinhala polity will deceive us like Sir pon Ramanthan and Arunachelam, look at muslim and up country ministers dancing to the whip of the ring master.

    A handful of liberal and old left politicians are supporting tamils on power devolution however its up to the tamils to set platform and gain tools to build a solution

  49. Dr Bharath says:

    Kallu asked By the way does anyone know an Indian PM with Dravidian name ??

    Kamaraj was responsible for making Madam Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister in 1964

    Thamilians in India are not discriminated by North like the way your people kill , rape torture Thamilians
    Shame on u and your Race for all crimes you committed against thamils since 1948
    The riots in 1958 1965 1977 1983 are examples

    Now the entire world come to know the Hutus of Lanka . Honestly speaking there is no escape for your king

    I know there are good Sinhalase ( Ravanas) in Lanka but in my research I find most of them are like you bad people

  50. Sukumar says:

    Genius Kalu Albert, the 11th Prime Minister of India (1996-1997) H.D.Deva Gowda is a Dravidian.

  51. DilshanF says:

    Mahesh,

    You are now saying that the recent events at Dambulla are Govt sponsored. Please support your statement. People like you get some story off the net and connect someone else to further your belief. Incident in Dambulla was started by the Local Budhust priest and no one else. If you have proof that it was sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka please state your information.

    The incident in India where the centuries old Muslim temple was razed WAS by the leading political party and part of the Government or the Majority race.

    Every Country has dark sides It is NOT ok in India, nor in Sri Lanka. We are living on earth inhabited by Humans. That is why every religion teaches good and direct us to heaven where we dont find evil. Just because there is eveil here in Sri Lanka does not mean that people like you can pin every dark deed on the Govt.

    The sinhalese are NOT brainwashed in the Mahawansa. I dont think you even kow what the Mahawansa is. It is your opinion that the plight of the tamils are cuased by the Sinhalese. You are entitled to your own opinion. Mine differs.

    Tamils of great nature has been accepted by the majority in this land. Politicians are only one visible sector of the society. There are Doctors, Lawyers, Judges, Attorney generals, Auditor generals, Businessmen mothers and fathers. They live in this society with every respect given to them. Howver they dont need a vote to be what they are.

    Even in this system with usually its not possible for a single party to become the ruling party. there is and has to be a coalition as in India. currently due to the weak opposition and the release of the country from war the present Government has a majority. But this will not be the case for the next election. The TULF was once the king maker and so was the upcountry tamils CWC. Minister Thondaman was a greately respected tamil leader. he didnt ask for a seperate land all he fought and got was better facilities for his people WITHIN a unitary Sri lanka.

    For a Tamil to be accepted to the majority He must show that he is for Sri Lanka and not for any other country.

  52. DilshanF says:

    Dr Bharath,

    Firstly I must commend the facility that gave you a doctorate.
    It must have been the University of Hysteria based in Ludicrous.

  53. Mahesh says:

    Dishan

    It is evident you didn’t read my post in full. I said

    Few thugs in the ocher robe led few thousand thugs to vacate a place of worship and for this State remains a willing accomplice.

    If the Gosl is not a willing accomplice it could have foisted a case against them and let the law of the land take its course.

    In India the then State Govts did all it could do to protect the demolition and even now cases are there against the people responsible for the same.

    Even if that is the case in your country breaking the law seems to be the law in itself.

  54. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    Dwelling on negatives until eternity will not take us anywhere. Restating the past repeatedly also would not take us anywhere. Continuing to talk of devolution and the 13th amendment would not also take us forward, considering that it has not only moved backwards and cannot deliver what it is expected to deliver through the Provincial Councils.

    The political system has failed all Sri Lankans, although it failed the minorities first. Constitutions have been pieces of paper that have been treated with disdain by politicians all along. The present constitution has institutionalized this process. Sri Lanka is probably the only ‘Democratic’ country, where constitutional provisions can be ignored at the choosing of politicians and the Supreme Court lies supine!

    Sri Lanka is a leading example of a country where institutions with solid foundations were destroyed to serve the interests of men/mice, who deserve to be jailed for the crimes they have committed against the people of this country.

    We are a people who have chosen to be ruled by expediency rather than ethics and the rule of law. We have never demanded better from our politicians, whether we are Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims or other. We are at fault for this. We have made it possible for our politicians to rule as as they have done and do. It has become a very bad habit.

    Should this situation continue? Is cynicism the answer? Are superficial comments the solution?

    Constitutions should be documents based on idealism, vision and hope. The laws promulgated should promote this idealism, vision and hope.

    We have learned enough lessons in the six decades from independence, to last us a thousand years!

    Let us learn our lessons and apply them to our lives. Let us not continue to enjoy the swim in the muddy and putrid waters. We are adults as a nation now and have to graduate to high class swimming pool.

    Politics is the art of the possible. It is not easy to correct what has gone wrong for us overnight. It has to be a slow and deliberate process. We should create the atmosphere for this process to begin, while holding the government to account directly and the courts of law as first recourse. The Dambulla incident is one that should be dealt by the courts of law. Let us challenge our justice system to respond to societal issues on the basis of law.

    I expected that this article will generate alternate suggestions, additional ideas and even substantive negative comments. I appreciate the comment drawing attention to the structurally enforced sectarian political arrangements in Lebanon and their failure.

    Further, the Sri Lankan constitution does not lay down that only a Sinhala-Buddhist can be the president. At a distant date there is yet the possibility for a Tamil to become the president or prime minister of Sri Lanka. The option is not foreclosed. Further, Luxshman Kadirgamar would have been gladly accepted as a Prime Minister by the Sinhalese. Of course, the Tamils would have named him a traitor and called him ‘Sinhala Kadirgamar’! The late Raviraj M.P was also one Tamil politician who won the hearts of the Sinhalese. Tamils have to move into the national mainstream and transcend their communal identity, if are to find our place in Sri Lanka. I am convinced the Tamils will find it hard to do this than the Sinhalese.

    Finally, P.V. Narasimha Rao, a Dravidian, Telugu and multi-linguist, was one of the most successful prime ministers of India.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  55. sjoseph says:

    If TNA demand for separate Tamil country, GOSL can offer devolution of political power.
    If TNA asks for devolution of power with in integrated Srilanka, GOSL has to offer some thing inferior, as otherwise the Govt will be considered weak and opposition will cry it has given up all that was demanded by TNA.

    it is time, TNA change their strategy and demand for separate country. It will help GOSL to offer something less than that.

    Win-Win strategy..

  56. Native Vedda says:

    Dr Bharath says:

    “Thamilians in India are not discriminated by North like the way your people kill , rape torture Thamilians”

    How about dealing with people of Kashmir and the Adhivasies?

    There is no difference between the Hindians and Lankies. Is there?

  57. Anonymous says:

    The political system has failed all Sri Lankans. – Dr.Rajasingham narendran.

    Despite its generality, this is a sweeping statement.

    A political system is a body of people having the power to direct social order.

    Was there ever a political climate in modern Sri Lanka where minorities did have a say. Have the Tamil members – in the current Government – managed to find space for a say in the matter of Governance.

    It is escapism to state that Luxshman Kadirgamar would have been gladly accepted as a Prime Minister by the Sinhalese. Your memory of recent history is wanting.

    You are an honourable man. But not every honourable man is correct every time.

    You say, ‘Dwelling on negatives until eternity will not take us anywhere’. Is this not just a slogan. Where do you put ‘experience’ into this. Where do you put ‘reality’ into this.

    We should use our collective wisdom, not individual wisdom. We should not react to the occasion. We should react to our history.

    The Muslims and the plantation Tamils did not go with the rest of us. Have they been accepted by the majority community? Look at ‘The Dambulla incident’.

    You say that it is one that should be dealt by the courts of law. Is there any substance to your statement. Who should have gone to Courts? Should it not be the very people who had taken law into their own hands?

    I agree that ‘Politics is the art of the possible’. In turn, would you agree that you are speaking of a political philosophy that is alien to Sri Lanka?

    Look at your statement that, ‘the Sri Lankan constitution does not lay down that only a Sinhala-Buddhist can be the president’. Well, with your intelligence you’d know why, wouldn’t you?

    You yourself try to console yourself, saying, ‘At a distant date there is yet the possibility for a Tamil to become the president or prime minister of Sri Lanka’. You find solace in, ‘P.V. Narasimha Rao, a Dravidian, Telugu and multi-linguist, was one of the most successful prime ministers of India’. Are you comparing the harmony that exists in that great country to that in our tumultuous Sri Lanka?

    Hypothesizing is a dangerous pastime. Get real!

  58. wije says:

    Dear shankar

    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 ?.

    Step 2- Northern Province demands more money from Colombo than currently is given
    Step 3- Colombo says it doesn’t have the money
    Step 4- Northern Province (run by TNA) accuses Colombo of anti-Tamil discrimination
    Step 5- Colombo gives more money
    Step 6- Northern Province says it isn’t enough. Return to Step 2 and repeat a few more times
    Step 7- TNA says that 13A is clearly a failure and demands more devolution (this is the key step shankar)
    Step 8- Colombo either 1) says no or 2) stupidly makes a promise for more devolution that it cannot keep
    Step 9- Whatever Colombo does is wrong. TNA launches Manipay Resolution for a separate Tamil state and encourages youth to shoot policemen
    Step 10- Sinhalese overreact leading to communal violence
    Step 11- India sends some aircraft on Parippu Drop 2

    The indian elections were held in five phases between 16 of april and 13th may 2009.

    Tamil Nadu voted in phase 1 in the first two weeks of April.

    I think the darusman report also mentions upto 40000 civilians were killed.

    Darusman got that from Gordon Weiss. If I am wrong, please tell where Darusman got the number from.

    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.

    8,000 killed in last year of Sri Lanka war: census
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/International/2012/Feb-25/164619-8000-killed-in-last-year-of-sri-lanka-war-census.ashx

    Westerners told me that the carnage was unbelievable

    How did they know what was going on when they were not there?

    The darusman report here is merely pointing out a legal point.

    Here is what Gunatilleke said about Darusman’s legal points:

    “The Panel’s application of international law to government’s actions is based on its faulty
    interpretation of the character and the nature of the war as well as the government’s strategy
    and actions. For the panel the war in Sri Lanka was like any other armed conflict. The panel
    does not ask how a war on a terrorist organization is different from any other armed conflict
    and what that distinction signifies to the assessment of intentionality and proportionality of
    government actions. It does not ask how a government could or must respond to a hostage
    situation.
    It does not make any distinction between the army of a democratic state carrying out
    a legitimate military operation and a terrorist organization whose strategy has been one of
    terrorism which included massacres of rival Tamil groups, assassinations of leaders,
    conscription of children, suicide cadres and missions as a regular part of their operation and
    finally using civilians as human shields and hostages.

    “Given the Panel’s interpretation, the Panel positions itself comfortably on what it describes as
    “the existing law”. It avoids examining the implications that the war on terror has on the
    existing law. It has not taken the trouble to refer to the available body of scholarly work and
    practical knowledge relating to the war on terror. The comparable international experience it
    cites has little in common with the Sri Lankan case to provide any guidance for the process of
    accountability. Consequently the panel’s painstaking work on the application of international
    law to war crimes in armed conflicts of a conventional nature have little relevance or value in
    the Sri Lankan context.
    The Panel has shown no capacity to frame the more challenging issues
    arising out of the unique conditions of the Sri Lankan case. By shutting itself within the
    framework they have selected, the Panel is unable to make any worthwhile contribution to
    advancing the process of accountability that takes into account the extreme conditions
    generated in a war on terrorism. The Panel’s final output is for that reason sadly disappointing.”

    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.

    None of us have forgotten. Have you forgotten all the massacres the LTTE conducted against Tamils?

    “No, the Sinhalese identify first as Sri Lankans.
    —————
    What is the evidence for that.

    The evidence is that I am Sinhala. Again, the problem is that many Sinhalese see the Tamils as less than Sri Lanka or having mixed loyalties with India.

    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.

    Why?

  59. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    Anonymous,

    You say,

    *A political system is a body of people having the power to direct social order.

    To me a political system is a mechanism to deliver services to the people, including social order. This mechanism is governed by the constitution and the laws and regulations that arise from it. This mechanism involves the executive, the legislature, the judiciary, the bureaucracy, the police and the security services.

    *Was there ever a political climate in modern Sri Lanka where minorities did have a say. Have the Tamil members – in the current Government – managed to find space for a say in the matter of Governance.

    In the early years of independence Tamils were very much part of the political system and wielded much power in all parts of this mechanism. Justice Nagalingam even acted for the Governor General! This ‘Sharing’ progressively declined and has reached minimum levels now. To deny that minorities never had a say, is wrong and misleading. A major Tamil political party even connived with the D.S.Senanayake government to deprive a sizable number of Plantation Tamils of their citizenship! This political power exercised foolishly. This was the first blow struck against the ‘Soulbury’ Constitution.

    I have clearly stated clearly that the minorities were the first victims of the initial stages of this system failure.

    Further, the system now is dominated by politicians who have made all the others in the system boot-lickers. D.D plays this political role in Jaffna and has been permitted to do so.

    *It is escapism to state that Luxshman Kadirgamar would have been gladly accepted as a Prime Minister by the Sinhalese. Your memory of recent history is wanting.

    It is a fact and not escapism. The ambitious Sinhala politicians may have objected, but the Sinhala people would have accepted. This is an undeniable fact.

    *You are an honourable man. But not every honourable man is correct every time.

    This sentence smacks of lines from William Shakespear’s Julius Caessar! I am not claiming that I am not correct all the time and cannot pretend to be so. However, I would like to be corrected in a very specific manner.

    * You say, ‘Dwelling on negatives until eternity will not take us anywhere’. Is this not just a slogan. Where do you put ‘experience’ into this. Where do you put ‘reality’ into this.

    Experience should lead to a learning response. It is lacking in our reactions. We have become unfortunately like the stray dog that yelps every time someone raises a hand, fearing that a stone is on its way, because it had happened a few times before. Caution is necessary, but it should not preclude forward thinking and action. In hindsight, I feel we have as Tamils made it possible for the Sinhala ‘God fathers’ to achieve whatever they had ever dreamed of, through our unwise and ill thought reactions.

    *We should use our collective wisdom, not individual wisdom. We should not react to the occasion. We should react to our history.

    There is in truth no collective wisdom in life, but a collective aspiration towards having something that is wanting. It is only a few individuals who are gifted with the ability to discern this, give it a shape, wisely articulate it create a following and the work wisely to achieve it. This is where leaders come in. Unfortunately, we have had none.

    Collective wisdom is a mirage. There can be collective hunger and want. But never a collective wisdom. It is a rare man/ women who is wise and it even a rare man/ women who has the talent and wisdom to become a leader.

    we should not react to history, but learn the correct lessons from history. Reactive responses are always dangerous. Well contemplated and far sighted responses are what we need.

    *The Muslims and the plantation Tamils did not go with the rest of us. Have they been accepted by the majority community? Look at ‘The Dambulla incident’.

    They are much better off than we are! The Dambulla incident is the result of many political forces at play. The story is just beginning to emerge. The Muslim leadership is acting in a were wise and mature manner to the incident in Dambulla. A similar incident took place in Anuradhapura some months back. I was at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo to attend a book launch ceremony and noticed the Secretary of Defence (Gotabhaya Rajapakse) was conducting a meeting with the Muslim leadership of the area to discuss the issue. After the meeting they were all smiling and had short eats and tea together. A solution had been found and the situation defused. This aspect never got publicity.

    *You say that it is one that should be dealt by the courts of law. Is there any substance to your statement. Who should have gone to Courts? Should it not be the very people who had taken law into their own hands?

    The aggrieved party. In this instance it appears to be the Muslims. Sumanthiran MP, went to court and challenged the directive on land registration in the north. He won! The party who should stand in the dock are those who tried to take law into their hands. The ‘aggrieved’ are those who should make them stand so, if the police fail to do so.

    *I agree that ‘Politics is the art of the possible’. In turn, would you agree that you are speaking of a political philosophy that is alien to Sri Lanka?

    Why should Sri Lanka be different? Philosophy is the closest to the absolute truth and is hence universal. The Muslims and Plantation tamils are working and succeeding on the basis of this philosophy. The eastern province Tamils are also likely to do so. Only a few noisy and unwise ‘Jaffna Tamils’ will refuse this reality.

    *Look at your statement that, ‘the Sri Lankan constitution does not lay down that only a Sinhala-Buddhist can be the president’. Well, with your intelligence you’d know why, wouldn’t you?

    On paper it is a unobjectionable. It makes it possible that at a future date- when we have transcended our tribal identities and become Sri Lankan and are attuned to the circumstances of the 1st century- a qualified and capable Sri Lankan, irrespective of whether he/she be a Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim. Veddah or other, can become a president.

    It took a long time for a Roman catholic to become the president- John F. Kennedy and a ‘Black’ to become president-Obama, in the US. We have been independent only for 60 odd years and are an infant an adolescent in terms of history.

    *You yourself try to console yourself, saying, ‘At a distant date there is yet the possibility for a Tamil to become the president or prime minister of Sri Lanka’. You find solace in, ‘P.V. Narasimha Rao, a Dravidian, Telugu and multi-linguist, was one of the most successful prime ministers of India’. Are you comparing the harmony that exists in that great country to that in our tumultuous Sri Lanka?

    Please see the preceding answer.

    *Hypothesizing is a dangerous pastime. Get real!

    I am a scientist by training. The Ph.D I hold stands for ‘Doctor of Philosophy’. At the edges of science, one has to hypothesize on the basis of available facts, the possibilities about the unknown. This is philosophy. Once, research confirms the hypothesis or philosophy, it become science. Hypothesizing is the basis of science and progress. it is not dangerous, but a cardinal necessity! The Tamil-Hindus were a wise people. The words ‘Munnai pallam porrutkum, munnai pallam porrulay; Pinnay puthumaikum petrum em petrianney’ ( The ‘One’ who is older than the oldest we know and is also the beyond even the newest we know)- refers to our concept of God. Our ancestors were great philosophers and had a philosophical approach to life we seriously lack and is a major cause for our present plight. Get real!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  60. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    A correction to the above comment:

    Second point: Should read- I am not claiming I am correct all the time—

    Dr.R.N

  61. gayan says:

    May be there wont be any takers but does anyone ever venture to say that the real issue in sri lanka or for that matter anywhere in the world is social/economic based than race based?. Has anyone given any thought on the real reasons/similarities for/between Ealam wars and the southern uprisings.

    Na, we are sinhele and tamils no.

  62. RajasH says:

    gayan says:
    April 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    May be there wont be any takers but does anyone ever venture to say that the real issue in sri lanka or for that matter anywhere in the world is social/economic based than race based?.
    ————
    you mean middle class lives in a bubble?
    only some wealthy Jews escaped

  63. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t want my reluctance to respond to Dr.Rajasingham narendran be presumed by him that he has made his case. So let me try for one last time.

    I quote, now, from Thesaurus: The term ‘political system’ means the members of a social organization who are in power. Encyclopædia Britannica broadens it further. I quote from Encyclopædia Britannica, now: More broadly defined, however, the term comprehends actual as well as prescribed forms of political behaviour.

    You say, ‘In the early years of independence Tamils were very much part of the political system’. I was speaking of ‘in modern Sri Lanka’. You are speaking of Ceylon. That’s very smart!

    You are the one who stated that Luxshman Kadirgamar would have been gladly accepted as a Prime Minister. Now you say that the ambitious Sinhala politicians may have objected, but the Sinhala people would have accepted. This is play of words. What chances did Luxshman Kadirgamar have?

    You yourself say: Experience should lead to a learning response. Are you denying that the response of Tamils is not thru their experience? By the way, somehow you skipped my, ‘Where do you put ‘reality’ into this’. Good for you!

    You say that there is in truth no collective wisdom. Here is Wikipedia: Collective wisdom, which may be said to have a more distinctly human quality than collective intelligence.

    You say, ‘On paper it is a unobjectionable’. That’s what it is, – just on paper!

    ‘The aggrieved party. In this instance it appears to be the Muslims’. You are now being evasive. Appears to be? Then who are those who stomped the mosque? Did they not have the very courts to settle their grievances?

    ‘The Muslims and Plantation tamils are working and succeeding on the basis of this philosophy’. My foot!

    You have again conveniently ignored my, ‘Have the Tamil members – in the current Government – managed to find space for a say’.

    You bring in your Ph.D every time. You say: At the edges of science, one has to hypothesize on the basis of available facts. We ordinary souls too are in the know of this Ph.D imbibed knowledge of yours!

    What available facts have lead you to your several hypothesis scattered in this forum? Simply put, you have been declaring your several political hypothesis as facts without data or research. That’s what is dangerous.

    I have tried my best to bring you down to earth. If you still prefer it up ‘there’, I have no desire to hurtle you down!

  64. wije says:

    Dear gayan

    May be there wont be any takers but does anyone ever venture to say that the real issue in sri lanka or for that matter anywhere in the world is social/economic based than race based?. Has anyone given any thought on the real reasons/similarities for/between Ealam wars and the southern uprisings.

    Eelam War started with 1983 riots which killed many Tamils.

    2nd JVP uprising began after JR sold Sri Lanka to India. Not sure why 1st JVP uprising started.

  65. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    Anonymous,

    Thanks for your response. You have a right to your opinions and this is a forum for the readers to read, judge and learn.

    I will only respond to the following three points:

    - Modern Sri Lanka: I think this term should apply to post-independence Ceylon/ Sri Lanka.

    - Realities: I am sorry I missed this point. For me the reality is where we are now, after sixty odd years of independence. Lessons should be leaned from the reactions and actions on our-Tamil- part, that have contributed to where we are now- current realities. By extension, this would mean that if we continue with the actions/ reactions of old, we will end up in a position much worse than we are now., in the future

    Of course, you could ask me in turn, what if the actions and reactions of the Sinhala polity remains the same as before. My answer is that we are as a people-Tamils- doomed. We will be doomed if we-Tamils- continue with our reactions/ actions as before and we will also be doomed if the Sinhala polity continues to act/ react in the old way. We will also be doomed if the Sinhala polity fails to respond to changes in our reactions and actions.

    This realization coupled with the fact that no outside force can make any meaningful difference, is what makes me suggest, what I do. I also believe the Sinhala polity is ready to act differently and for own sake we have to respond in kind.

    - PhD: I have not alluded to my PhD except in response to various taunts. It is not a big feather in my cap. It has however taught me, how little I know, in the universe of knowledge. In this instance I did so, to explain what Philosophy means. It is a thought process that extends beyond the realm of the known and explained. We Hindus, saw our ‘God’ also as someone/something beyond what we know and hence as someone/something we will never know. This was the meaning behind the in lines in Tamil I cited.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  66. shankar says:

    wije says:
    April 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Step 2- Northern Province demands more money from Colombo than currently is given
    Step 3- Colombo says it doesn’t have the money
    Step 4- Northern Province (run by TNA) accuses Colombo of anti-Tamil discrimination
    Step 5- Colombo gives more money
    Step 6- Northern Province says it isn’t enough. Return to Step 2 and repeat a few more times
    Step 7- TNA says that 13A is clearly a failure and demands more devolution (this is the key step shankar)
    Step 8- Colombo either 1) says no or 2) stupidly makes a promise for more devolution that it cannot keep
    Step 9- Whatever Colombo does is wrong. TNA launches Manipay Resolution for a separate Tamil state and encourages youth to shoot policemen
    Step 10- Sinhalese overreact leading to communal violence
    Step 11- India sends some aircraft on Parippu Drop 2
    —————–

    Step2-If the government distributes money in an equitable manner,then the northern province will not demand more money.They will ask for more because all the provinces will be asking for more as it is human nature to ask and you shall get,don’t ask and be ignored.Nothing wrong with asking for more money.haven’t you asked your employer for more money,but can you demand it?There lies the difference.

    Step4-if they accuse the government of antitamil discrimination,when the money has been allocated equitably,then they will look very foolish and racist indeed.Don’t forget allocation of money provinces is nothing new to the world and is happening everywhere,so people can easily compare with other countries and discern whether it has ben done in an equitable manner in srilanka.

    Step 5-wije says when colombo has distributed money in a equitable manner and the TNA demands more,colombo will give more,and pigs in srilankan villages will start flying too.How does one begger get more money from another begger?Besides the northern province need not be run by the TNA forever,if colombo plays its cards right.After giving devolution the government must try to win over some members of the TNA to their side and break it up.This can be done only if those members who are moderates can face their electorates without being accused of selling the tamils off.So the government must start moving from its present far right position towards the center in order to match the moderates in the TNA and TULF and also the government has to start looking for better candidates than former militants like douglas,karuna etc because the tamils are fed up with them regardless of which group they had belonged to.Look for educated,decent people.

    Step 7-Wije says TNA will say that 13th amendment is not adequate and will ask for more devolution.Why should that happen only in step 7?It is already happening,because sumanthiran said at the interview with namini wijedasa that the TNA rejects the 13th amendment,so obviously he wants something more.So wije,your argument with all these steps with the moneygoround is a waste because step 7 is already happening with or without devolution being given to the tamils.If the government implements the 13th amendment in full and adheres to the indo lanka accord to the letter,it has nothing to worry about the TNA asking for more devolution.The government has to only tell india that you wanted us to give devolution to the tamils and we gave it as per the accord we signed with you.Now see these TNA fellows are not satisfied with that.

    Step 8-i don’t see why colombo has to promise more devolution.They have implemnted the 13th amendment and got the india bug off their back,which is the main problem.As i told you earlier the next step for colombo is to try to break the TNA up and get decent and educated tamils to represent them and win over the hearts and minds of the tamils,by starting to move from the far right to the center.Then colombo can give any more devolution at its own discretion if it wants to and not under pressure from anybody externally.

    Step 9- Whatever Colombo does is wrong. TNA launches Manipay Resolution for a separate Tamil state and encourages youth to shoot policemen.

    Wije,don’t be silly.I know you are copying the ealier events that took place with the vaddukodai resolution and extrapolating them to the future,but remember that was in an environment where the government refused devolution.That is exactly why i’am saying that we should do the opposite of what was done at that time and give the devolution,because then it becomes harder for the hardliners among the tamils to make any headway towards their goals of seperation.

    step 10 and 11 of communal riots and parippu drops will not apply because things have cooled off due to devolution.Devolution and the movement of the government from the far right to the center is like the cooling water on smouldering embers.Any way as for a parippu drop,if india keeps on dropping parippu sacks,we don’t need to import ant more parippu from them no.We will tell them once a month to drop parippu to save our currency that is reeling under the balance of payment problems.

  67. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    The discussion is meandering off course.

    Are the Provincial Councils as envisaged under the 13th amendment the answer to the demand for devolution? I have asked this question many times over and have not yet seen a meaningful answer from anyone. I once again present below the underpinnings of this exercise in fake devolution. It is a Maya (illusion ) of the worst type.

    The structural weaknesses in the Provincial Councils 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.

    Is it possible to redesign the PC system to make devolution meaningful? What is the likelihood of doing so? What are the alternatives?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  68. sjoseph says:

    Dr.Rajasingham narendran,

    TNA (most popular Tamil party) is asking for Devolution of Power.
    Assuming there is no harm in 13th amendment, what stops GOSL to offer the devolution of power?

    Do you really think, GOSL is against 13th Amendment, because it is genuinely concerned about offering REAL political power to TNA?

  69. Native Vedda says:

    sjoseph says:

    “Do you really think, GOSL is against 13th Amendment, because it is genuinely concerned about offering REAL political power to TNA?”

    No government would voluntarily devolve power.

    Politicians always resisted devolving power to and empower people, this will shake the very foundation of their empire.

    No bureaucracy in this world had ever given up power voluntarily as they enjoy holding onto to their empire.

  70. shankar says:

    wije says:
    April 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm
    —————–
    [Tamil Nadu voted in phase 1 in the first two weeks of April.]
    ————-
    Whether it voted or not,the results are announced only on may 16.
    ——————————————————–

    [8,000 killed in last year of Sri Lanka war: census]
    —————
    The census dept is a govt org.This same govt earlier said there was zero casualties and the president said that the troops had been carrying human rights charters instead of guns.How do you trust a govt that made a blatant lie of zero casualties to the rest of the world,to be now believed about the sudden jump to 8000.

    In the article it is also mentioned that the census dept is saying 6350 are missing too.So assuming that they are also killed because they could not have evaporated into thin air,then the total figure of those killed in the final 5 months of the war,according to the govt is 14350.It is creeping little by little to the 40000 mark.If we wait another year it might come to 25000.

    Besides the article mentions more than 330000 were displaced and were interned in the camps.We now know that there was only 297000 in the camps.So what happenned to the balance of more than 33000?

    So i’am afraid wije,the 40000 figure mentioned by gordon weiss and darusman panel seems to be more accurate than the 13250 provided by the govt.The govt just saying 8000 dead and 6350 missing is not good enough.It has to provide evidence to corroborate that figure.In the link you gave us i can see only the figures,but no evidence at all to back it up.As for your contention that the darusman panel would have got the figure of 40000 from gordon weiss,i don’t know where they got it from.Even if the got the figure from weiss as you claim,i’am sure they would not have mentioned it in the report without corroborating from other sources and witnesses and also figures such as the more than 330000 that was displaced and only 297000 in the camps.
    —————————————————————–

    [How did they know what was going on when they were not there?]
    ——————-
    The westerners i mentioned saw it on tv.They said they were having dinner at that time and were appalled.These are just average mums and dads and they even told their kids not to look at it.They said dead bodies were strewn everywhere,some were moaning and groaning in pain,shelling was going on and people were cowering in ditches and calling out to those who were taking photos with their mobiles to come back to safety,while the man taking the pictures is saying the world should see this even if he dies,and boy,did the world see it.
    ————————————————————

    [The evidence is that I am Sinhala. Again, the problem is that many Sinhalese see the Tamils as less than Sri Lanka or having mixed loyalties with India.]
    ———————–

    Just because you are sinhala and say that your no 1 identity is the srilankan one and your no 2 identity is the sinhala one,does not convince me.Provide evidence that shows you love your country more than your race.
    Anyway even if you are like that,what is the evidence that others are like you.If you really love your country,for example will you rape its environment the way you are doing it now.The best joke was the LTTE strictly prohibited the cutting of forests,so during that time the sinhalese could not get wood from the north and east and the trees in the south were going at a rapid rate.A sinhalese friend of mine was laughing and telling me this at one time.Now that the war is over the environment is going for a six in the north and east.So much for you people’s love for your country.With the mouth you can tell anything,but actions speak louder than words,and i can go on about the damage you are doing to the country and fellow countrymen and women,but i won’t because i don’t want to digress and waste space.
    ———————————————————–

    [Why?]

    —————–

    You are asking why the indo lanka accord should be implemented.Don’t you have any shame?I hope nobody ever enters into any contract with you,because it won’t be worth the paper it is signed on.And a verbal promise is out of the question with a man like you who will not even honour written agreements.

    You tried the same stunt recently with the petroleum corporation hedging deal costing us billions of rupees when the hedging worked against us.Now the international courts have asked to pay and some more billions have been wasted on legal fees.Finally it is always international pressure that makes you undrstand laws and ethics.

    what if similar agreements such as the kachativu,sirima shastri,sirima ghandhi are abrogated unilaterally by india,just the way you are saying we should abrogate the indo lanka accord?

  71. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    Joseph,

    Native Vedda is right. Sri Lankan government will be happy to maintain the current status. It was a gift from India and JRJ for the GOSL. The GOSL will be reluctant to serve even this ‘Weak Kanji’ (Gruel) through the TNA, because of the role it played during the LTTE years and in the post-war scenario. It would rather continue the present pretense though individuals like Pillayan and DD, who are trusted.

    The TNA should re-invent itself under a new name and attract better quality individuals into its ranks. It should re-define itself. Until men like Sivajilingam who called called former MP and Minister C. Rajadurai a ‘Sakiliyan’ at the SJV commemoration meeting, Sri Tharan MP who is expecting a resurrection of VP and many such individuals are in the TNA; and the manner in which the party approaches issues stays, it the Tamils in the north and east (and the rest of Sri Lanka) who will be the losers. We have only ourselves to blame.

    I hope the TNA has the guts to reject the Provincial Councils a an insult to even the beggars we Tamils have become, through our own stupidity!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  72. afool says:

    Dr Rajasingham!
    Gandhigi said, “no one can enslave you, unless you permit to it”. It means, even if the enemy makes you slave physically, you will not become a slave until you mentally accepted it. Really, I do not feel sorry for the Tamils but for you.

  73. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    afool,

    Gandhi was very correct in what he said. It appears to me that you have become a slave to your own conditioning and are displaying the Pavlov reflex. How you look at events and the remedies you seek are the result of this conditioning. I think I have broken out of such a mould. It was not easy, to view things objectively out of the ‘Tamil Mould/mindset’and in the context of Tamils as human beings first and thereafter as Tamil-Sri Lankans.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  74. Mahulchandran Spencer says:

    It should not be “afool” but rather “a fool” which is more appropriate. Re 1st JVP uprising, there is a voice recording in the SWRD museum of him contemplating the a time when the youth would storm through the portals of the old parliament when a colleague had asked him if he was enjoying the sea breeze and/or scenery or some such sentiments to that effect.

    Amongst many reasons such as 47 odd families economically ruling SL as in the Lionel Bopage story review, another which strikes me is an allegory like one trying to avert a drinking glass falling of a ledge. The very act of trying to prevent it one accidentally hastens it or brings it on even quicker. Another way of looking at it is SWRD fed the famishing youth with food like degrees and did not have proper employment or toilets to relieve themselves.

    In the final analysis it’s a person’s individual interests that always triumph and it’s the by-products that flow through to the others though ostensibly claimed to be otherwise. Be it even in the case ordinary suicide or suicide warrior.

  75. wije says:

    Dear Observer

    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?

    [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 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.

    Please take a closer look at the grievances that you mention and you will see that devolution will not solve any of them. I have already addressed the violence in my earlier post so you are unnecessarily repeating yourself here. Regarding standardisation, I feel that it should now be adjusted in favor of the Tamils who are now underrepresented in govt service.

    Regarding Buddhist monks, they oppose devolution for the same reason that most other Sinhalese oppose it. So contrary to what you may believe, their position on devolution is not unpopular or out of sync with what the others want. “Secularisation” therefore will not bring you devolution (although strangely you argue the reverse, that devolution will bring secularisation which makes no sense).

    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 ?

    I completely disagree with govt in not allowing Tamil national anthem, but I already acknowledged that Tamil language has to be implemented in government and that is a legitimate grievance.

    Regarding militarisation of Tamil areas, this is the fault of the LTTE. You should be blaming the flag-wavers in Europe who in 2006 were excited about returning to war with Sinhalese.

    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.

    Believe it or not I understand what you are saying, but I am asking you to think very hard how will devolution create “safe and secure zones”??? If it is true that the Sinhalese hate the Tamils to the point of supporting genocide against Tamils, then not even a separate state will help. No artificial borders will stop any sort of violence. The correct solution is that all of Sri Lanka must be a safe and secure zone for everyone. The means to that solution is to reduce the distrust.

    Contrary to your fear in fact devolution will help in fostering of national unity by recognizing diversity.

    Diversity can be recognised without devolution. Singapore has no devolution but it recognises diversity.

    Devolution on the other hand will reinforce the differences and undermine unity.

    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.

    Lakshman Kadirgamar was very popular among the Sinhalese even though he was not Buddhist. Had he lived and MR had not become President, Kadirgamar would have had a very good chance of reaching the highest levels.

    As another example there is Premakumar Gunaratnam whom many Sinhala JVPers have accepted as their leader despite being Tamils. The trick for Tamils to rise to power in Sri Lanka is for them to learn Sinhala and make at least some effort to identify with Sinhalese.

    For example, look at Kenya that is implementing devolution.

    Could you show a website that describes devolution in Kenya? I found this on wikipedia:

    Devolution to the county governments will only be autonomous in implementation of distinct functions as listed in the Fourth Schedule (Part 2). This is in contrast with the Federal System in which Sovereignty is Constitutionally divided between the Federal government and the States. The Kenyan Devolution system still maintains a Unitary Political Concept as a result of distribution of functions between the two levels of government under the Fourth schedule and also as result of Article 192 which gives the president the power to suspend a county government under certain conditions. A conflict of laws between the two levels of government is dealt with under Article 191 where National legislation will in some cases override County legislation. The relationship between the National Government and the Counties can be seen as that of a Principal and a limited autonomy Agent as opposed to an Agent and Agent relation in the Federal System. More checks and balances have been introduced as requirements for accountability of both levels of government. The Parliament( Senate and National Assembly) has much discretion on the budgetary allocations to the County Governments.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Kenya

    Is this what you support for Sri Lanka?

    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.

    If that is true, then why not have devolution for the district or division levels, like Kenya?

    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;

    How will devolution ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources? Everything you say is generalisations but you are afraid to delve into the specifics.

    If we have devolution, then Western Province which has half of the country’s entire economy will demand that it keep those resources for its own development, leaving the poorer regions out to dry. The only way to force Western Province to give resources to North and East will be intervention by the CENTRAL government. If there is another way then please explain, but again kindly avoid the vague platitudes.

    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.

    On the contrary, devolving power to many people/entities will increase corruption because there will be less accountability. With a devolution system, it is unclear who is in charge. That is why India is such a corrupt country. If something goes wrong in Calcutta, West Bengal government blames Delhi and Delhi blames West Bengal. Nobody is held to book and the local people are confused.

    Under the current system, whatever goes wrong can be traced back to a Rajapaksha. They are unable to blame anybody else for the corruption in the country.

    [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.

    Yes they are elected by “regional constituents.” A voter in Matara has the same power as another in Nuwara Eliya or Batticaloa. If MR alienates too many of these people then he will lose the election.

    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.

    And the overwhelming majority of Sinhalese oppose both power devolution and the “two-nation” idea.

    Could you please show where Tamil people have talked about Kenya devolution?

    Sinhalese involuntarily oppose to anything Tamil leaders were seeking in the past.

    Correction: they voluntarily opposed what the Tamil leaders sought because the Tamil leaders were not thinking about their concerns. If you disagree, then please show when Sinhala leaders forced the Sinhalese to oppose the Tamil leaders.

    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.

    But the Sinhala population at large is not supporting what you want. You cannot have a solution that only the Tamil population at large want.

    How do you go about targeting the Sinhala people?

    The first step is to learn their language. You cannot target them without knowing Sinhala language.

    Sinhala leaders won’t like Tamil leaders bypassing the Sinhala leaders and directly dealing with Sinhala people either.

    Then too bad for the Sinhala leaders. If the Tamil leaders are talking sense and Sinhala people agree with them, then Sinhala leaders will have to follow. I have always supported Sinhala leaders speaking in Tamil to reach out directly to Tamil people instead of going through Suresh Premachandran and his ilk.

    Sinhala people should be able to objectively look at reasonable proposals with open mind. Often, it is kind of baseless fears and involuntary rejections.

    Then it falls upon you to dispel these fears. If you can convince even a small number of non-NGO Sinhalese then they will support you and can help you overcome the racist minority.

    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

    But isn’t it also true that there are some Tamils who did not give a damn about the hundreds of thousands of innocent fellow Tamils who were being used as human shields by LTTE?

    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.

    But again, I am telling you that if Sinhala people oppose power devolution then they will sabotage it. IC does not have the willpower or strength to focus on Sri Lanka to the exclusion of the world.

    Enlighten me, what exactly he said that was considered as racist speech?

    “The greatest Sinhalese kings are Tamils. The Tamils had an unparalleled history and an unequalled traditional culture…the Sinhalese were a nation formed from the hybridization of a small class of people from north India; they were a nation of hybrids without history.”

    - GG Ponnambalam, Nawalapitiya, 1939

    “The Nawalapitiya Sinhala Maha Sabha should erect a statue of Mr. Ponnambalam as we should be grateful to him for provoking the formation of this Sinhala Maha sabha”

    - SWRD Bandaranaike on the occasion of creating the first Sinhala communal organisation thanks to Ponnambalam

    If you start to write down the racist speeches and actions of Sinhalese leaders and personalities

    Kindly point to any anti-Tamil speeches before 1939.

    Tamil leaders did not have such power. But they genuinely tried to solve the problems and talked to Sinhala leaders for a long time.

    How did Amirthalingam try to solve the problems?

    I wonder how do you prove when the government protects the alleged war criminals,

    And I wonder how do you accuse when you have no evidence?

    [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

    Kindly explain the difference between “human buffer” and “human shield.” Also explain why Darusman Panel did not use any government sources at all in its “objective” inquiry. If it is deliberately excluding non-Sinhala sources then Darusman Panel is racist.

    The government also should have allowed the panel to visit Sri Lanka and work freely and completely by visiting Sri Lanka.

    The fact that Darusman Panel produced a biased report proves that government had nothing to gain by cooperating with it.

    [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.

    Nowhere have you explained why Mr Akashi disregarded the plagiarised report.

    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.

    But it is impossible for Government to lie about everything. Even a total liar has to tell inklings of the truth. By disregarding any government sources, Darusman Panel already has judged guilty without even a trial.

    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.

    But nowhere did Darusman validate 40,000 deaths number.

    [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.

    If you cannot answer such a simple question, then you are admitting that government had no choice and cannot be held responsible.

    [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.

    Government did not need to send people to no fire zones because JVP did not have heavy artilleries. Everybody knows that.

    [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.

    President of Sudan is the only sitting leader of a country you have mentioned. All others were rebel leaders or former leaders who had been deposed. If you want to nab MR or GR, you will have to convince Sinhalese to depose them.

    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.

    If you cannot name a single “credible historian” who talks about “Tamil nation” in ancient times, then it is you who has got to be rational and come to terms with the reality. As I have already told you, Indrapala’s 2006 work does not mention “Tamil nation.”

    [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.

    Why should I read his book when you have not given even a single example of any original findings?

    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.

    Wrong, as this map shows there were five kingdoms. Note that Eastern Province is part of Kandy kingdom:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Growth_of_sitawaka_final.png

    Why don’t you like IC?

    Because IC is clueless. If you do not believe me just look at Rwanda.

  76. wije says:

    Dear Shankar

    -If the government distributes money in an equitable manner,then the northern province will not demand more money.They will ask for more because all the provinces will be asking for more as it is human nature to ask

    Your first sentence contradicts the second. First you say that equitable distribution will prevent more demands. Then you say it is human nature to ask for more. Which is it?

    if they accuse the government of antitamil discrimination,when the money has been allocated equitably,then they will look very foolish and racist indeed.

    Define “equitable?” Specifically, how much money does Colombo have to give to be “equitable?”

    Instead of demanding “equitable” money, why not simply demand Colombo build certain schools, hospitals etc. with Tamil language administration to fulfill needs? If Colombo will not build these things, then why do you expect it will give any money?

    Besides the northern province need not be run by the TNA forever,if colombo plays its cards right.After giving devolution the government must try to win over some members of the TNA to their side and break it up.This can be done only if those members who are moderates can face their electorates without being accused of selling the tamils off.

    That will not work, because TNA will tell the Tamils that govt has not given enough devolution and so everything is fault of govt, not TNA. That is how devolution works in India.

    If the government implements the 13th amendment in full and adheres to the indo lanka accord to the letter,it has nothing to worry about the TNA asking for more devolution.The government has to only tell india that you wanted us to give devolution to the tamils and we gave it as per the accord we signed with you.Now see these TNA fellows are not satisfied with that.

    If Tamil Nadu demands more devolution than 13A, then India will have to oblige. India also will oblige if Tamil nadu wants another parippu drop.

    That is exactly why i’am saying that we should do the opposite of what was done at that time and give the devolution,because then it becomes harder for the hardliners among the tamils to make any headway towards their goals of seperation.

    Devolution will make the hardliners stronger, not weaker. The hardliners will say that govt has given only a little bit of devolution but not enough.

    [Tamil Nadu voted in phase 1 in the first two weeks of April.]
    Whether it voted or not,the results are announced only on may 16.

    May 16 the date of announcing results does not matter because that is not when Indian Tamil voters made their vote. They made their vote well before war ended. Changing the date of when results are announced will not change the results at all.

    Besides the article mentions more than 330000 were displaced and were interned in the camps.We now know that there was only 297000 in the camps.So what happenned to the balance of more than 33000?

    They could have left Sri Lanka.

    [How did they know what was going on when they were not there?]
    The westerners i mentioned saw it on tv.

    But that TV program was the very biased Channel 4 which has LTTE connections.

    You are asking why the indo lanka accord should be implemented.Don’t you have any shame?I hope nobody ever enters into any contract with you,because it won’t be worth the paper it is signed on.

    No contract is valid if it was made under threat of force.

  77. shankar says:

    wije says:
    April 29, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    [Your first sentence contradicts the second. First you say that equitable distribution will prevent more demands. Then you say it is human nature to ask for more. Which is it?]
    ———
    I’am distinguishing between asking and demanding.There is a subtle difference in the two just like everything else in this world.When you demand something,it is almost akin to having in your mind that you have a right to obtain it.So if the money has not been distributed equitable to the northern and eastern provinces then the chief ministers will demand their fair share.
    On the other hand if the money has been equitably distributed to them,they may just ask for more,because it is human nature to ask.
    In the latter case of course you can ignore them saying that money does not grow on trees and they will accept colombo’s decision,because in their hearts they know that it is correct.
    The root cause of most problems in this world arise from injustice.As long as we are fair and firm with others problems will not arise.
    ——————————————————-

    [Define “equitable?” Specifically, how much money does Colombo have to give to be “equitable?”]
    ———–
    Dear,wije,that is a good question and careful thought should be given to it.Imagine the central government is the father and he has nine children.The first thing he may think of doing is to distribute his money equally between all of them,but then hold on he says,some of them are big in area and some are small,some of them have a lot of people and some have a little,so distributing the money equally does not sound a fair method.So he thinks of a compromise.Let us assume he has 1 billion dollars to distribute.500 million of it he distributes on the basis of area.The balance 500 million he distributes on the basis of population.This will help the country to be developed in a even manner and also encourage the population to migrate to areas that have less population density.
    If we distribute money based on population only,then we will be encouraging population growth and not population distribution,and i think that is where india went wrong.Nehru put the proper system of devolution,but not the proper system for distribution of the financial resources.
    ——————————————————
    [Instead of demanding “equitable” money, why not simply demand Colombo build certain schools, hospitals etc.]
    —————–
    Again the word demand is wrong and creates uneccessary friction.We all have to think of us as playing for the same team of srilanka,and not for different ones.Within the country we cannot think of “them vs us”.We can only do that if we are playing against other countries.Sangakkara has got the correct concept of teamwork when he said in his speech in england,”i’am sinhalese,tamil,muslim and burgher,but most of all i’am srilankan first and foremost”,or something to that effect.He was lambasted by the guys who have never played in a team when he came back.One day like tendulkar i hope he enters politics because these two have the correct attitude to propel our south asians forward.

    If we put the necessary structures and foundations in place that is based on fairness,there is no need for anyone to demand anything from anyone else in the country.Everyone will go on with their business as usual without this constant bickering and demands.
    ————————————————————
    [That will not work, because TNA will tell the Tamils that govt has not given enough devolution and so everything is fault of govt, not TNA. That is how devolution works in India.]
    ————-
    You are underestimating the tamils intelligence.If the TNA tries to falsely transfer the responsibility to the central government for their own inefficiencies then the people will give a fitting reply to them at the elections,but of course the opposition will have to field good candidates,not goons.

    As for your contention that that is the way devolution works in india,you seem to have a poor knowledge of indian politics.Even recently mayawati in uttara pradesh got a good drubbing,though she was trying to make out sonia was the culprit.See what happenned to karunanithi,he got wiped out.That is why i say the TNA will not be in power forever if colombo plays its cards right.
    ———————————————————–

    [If Tamil Nadu demands more devolution than 13A, then India will have to oblige. India also will oblige if Tamil nadu wants another parippu drop.]
    —————
    The tail cannot wag the dog.

    Without worrying about the concerns you raise,you should be more concerned about the srilankan government not letting sleeping dogs lie without constantly waking them up and irritating them.If it continues like that one day it is going to get bitten.
    ———————————————————-

    [Devolution will make the hardliners stronger, not weaker. The hardliners will say that govt has given only a little bit of devolution but not enough.]
    ———–
    I beg to differ.By implementing the indo lanka accord you have dropped some antibacterial liquid onto the germ infection pot the tamil hardliners are carrying trying to infect everyone.Whether it si enough antibacteria,i don’t know because nobody can forecast the future with accuracy in today’s highly volatile environment,only thing i can tell is if you move in the right direction from the far right to the center gradually it will make their task much more difficult.
    —————————————————————–
    [May 16 the date of announcing results does not matter because that is not when Indian Tamil voters made their vote.]
    ———-
    On may 16th only the GOSL will know whether a change in the government of india will take place or not,not on april 16th when the first phase of the elections took place in tamilnadu as you mention.The GOSL was not worried about the tamilnadu voters because they can’t change the government of india,the whole country has to do that.
    —————————————————————-
    [They could have left Sri Lanka.]
    ———
    The 330000 mentioned are the people who were asked to be sent into the ‘safe’zones by the army who requested government agent imelda sukumar to do so.That is the figure She gave the LLRC,and the link you gave also mentions this figure.From the very first day the war ended all the people were put in barbed wire internment camps and there was only 297000 of them.So how can you say that the balance 33000 could have left the country?Are you meaning their souls?
    ————————————————————-
    [But that TV program was the very biased Channel 4 which has LTTE connections.]
    ————-
    What is biased about dead bodies strewn all over,wounded moaning and groaning and shells falling around the place?tell that to the people watching that it is biased and their eyes are playing tricks.
    ————————————————————-
    [No contract is valid if it was made under threat of force.]
    ———–
    A parripu drop to some people who were starving cannot be considered threat of force.It is classified as a humanitarian operation by the rest of the world.Beside you yourself in earlier comments said that JRJ signed the indo lanka accord because he wanted the indian army to take on the LTTE.You can’t want something and sign an accord and then say after what you wanted has been accomplished,the accord was signed under threat of force.Anyway why has the rajapakshe government not said to the world that the accord was signed under the threat of force?Why are you saying so on their behalf here to us?

  78. wije says:

    Dear shankar

    I’am distinguishing between asking and demanding.There is a subtle difference in the two just like everything else in this world.

    Perhaps in theory there is a difference, but in reality one can become the other very quickly.

    Let us assume he has 1 billion dollars to distribute.500 million of it he distributes on the basis of area.The balance 500 million he distributes on the basis of population.This will help the country to be developed in a even manner and also encourage the population to migrate to areas that have less population density.

    Tamil areas have less population density. Are you encouraging Sinhalese to move there which will change the demographics?

    We all have to think of us as playing for the same team of srilanka,and not for different ones.Within the country we cannot think of “them vs us”.

    The problem with devolution is that the provincial politicians, whether Sinhala or Tamil will most certainly have a “them vs us” mentality. That is how they will win elections, by blaming everything on the central government.

    If we put the necessary structures and foundations in place that is based on fairness,there is no need for anyone to demand anything from anyone else in the country.Everyone will go on with their business as usual without this constant bickering and demands.

    Then why not create these structures and foundations under a unitary state?

    You are underestimating the tamils intelligence.If the TNA tries to falsely transfer the responsibility to the central government for their own inefficiencies then the people will give a fitting reply to them at the elections

    It has nothing to do with intelligence. Even the most intelligent person will be unable to determine who is truly responsible under a devolution system where power is shared between two different governments. The key is that provincial governments will be relying on Colombo money not the local people’s money. As a result, the people will have little incentive to hold these governments accountable because these governments are not mishandling their own money but Colombo’s. These governments will waste this money accordingly on their supporters.

    Regarding the Tamils, historically they have had very uncompetitive politics. Unlike the Sinhalese who split their votes between UNP and SLFP (until very recently), the Tamils en masse have always voted for ITAK/TULF/TNA since 1956. The Tamils have little if any oppositional politics. Perhaps it is because they are concerned of splitting their vote bank and weakening themselves, but as a result there is hardly any accountability. Tamil leaders hardly have any pressure to actually deliver anything because either way they will get the vote.

    Even recently mayawati in uttara pradesh got a good drubbing,though she was trying to make out sonia was the culprit.

    But Sonia’s party lost the election too and is a non-entity in Tamil Nadu. Have you noticed that Congress which is a national party can only contest few state-level elections? Why is that?

    you should be more concerned about the srilankan government not letting sleeping dogs lie without constantly waking them up and irritating them.

    I agree that govt should stop harassing Tamils.

    By implementing the indo lanka accord you have dropped some antibacterial liquid onto the germ infection pot the tamil hardliners are carrying trying to infect everyone.

    13A changed absolutely nothing. LTTE was still strong if not stronger than ever after 13A was forced on Sri Lanka.

    So how can you say that the balance 33000 could have left the country?

    Cargo Ship MV Sun Sea carrying 500 Tamil migrants arrives at Vancouver Island – Canada
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMIUpHP4Fw0

    [But that TV program was the very biased Channel 4 which has LTTE connections.]
    What is biased about dead bodies strewn all over,wounded moaning and groaning and shells falling around the place?

    The bias is that Channel 4 never mentioned that the LTTE forcefully kept those people in that area, leading to their deaths. I am also noticing that you get strangely quiet whenever I mention the LTTE’s role.

    A parripu drop to some people who were starving cannot be considered threat of force.

    It is when the Indians dropped only a fraction to feed the people of Jaffna. The parippu drop was not a humanitarian operation, given that the cargo aircraft were accompanied by fighter jets.

  79. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Wijey and Shanker,

    The major factor that will render devolution meaningless province-wise is the extreme disparities in economic resources and a broad tax base. The western and central provinces may be able to stand on their own feet, where as the rest of the country will depend on the central government dole almost for ever. How meaningful would devlution be, without a substantial degree of economic and financial self-suffieciency? The north and east are at present worse off than the rest of the country. How self-governing can be beggars?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  80. shankar says:

    wije says:
    May 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    [Perhaps in theory there is a difference, but in reality one can become the other very quickly.]
    —————
    Even if it does it does not matter.The person demanding will be looked at as a unreasonable type if his demands are not fair.It would have been better for him if he had just asked for the money instead of demanding it and making an ass of himself.
    —————————————————————-

    [Tamil areas have less population density. Are you encouraging Sinhalese to move there which will change the demographics?]
    ———–
    yes
    —————————————————————-
    [That is how they will win elections, by blaming everything on the central governmen]
    ————–
    Give me examples in india where they have won like that.Exact opposite has happenned.Voters have kicked them out when they deserved it.
    ————————————————————–
    Then why not create these structures and foundations under a unitary state?
    ———-
    The indo lanka accord dos not change the unitary status.
    ————————————————————-

    [As a result, the people will have little incentive to hold these governments accountable because these governments are not mishandling their own money but Colombo’s.]
    ————-
    The people know that the money has been allocated for their welfare.That is incentive enough to hold them responsible.Who cares from where the money comes from.It has been now given to your representive to spend on you and you certainly will catch them by the throat,especially as they are nearby.

    As for your contention that even the most intelligeent cannot distinguish who is responsible when powers are shared,i beg to differ.Who has the powers to do what,is there very clearly before them,because these responsibilities are well documented as law.
    ————————————————————-

    [Tamil leaders hardly have any pressure to actually deliver anything because either way they will get the vote.]
    ———
    That will change in the future when expectations rise.Tamils must have closed ranks because of the chauvinistic policies of sucessive governments.That is why i say the present government too should start moving gradually from far right to the center.
    —————————————————————–

    Congress lost in uttara pradesh recently because the voters liked Akhilesh yadav,who revamped the Samjawad party and kept out violent elements even though he was under a lot of pressure to nominate them.His policies were progressive and futuristic,while rahul who was campaighning for congress was dishing out the same old stale stuff.

    As for tamilnadu,the congress has never had a good leaders since kamaraj in 1975.They have adopted a policy of piggy back arrangements,and now the piggy namely the DMk came crashing down and so did congress.
    —————————————————————

    [I agree that govt should stop harassing Tamils.]
    ————
    When i said let sleeping dogs lie,i meant india ,not the tamils.
    —————————————————————-

    [13A changed absolutely nothing.]
    ———-
    Naturally,that’s because it was not implemented,except that some empty shelllike provincial councils without any powers were created.
    ————————————————————-

    [Cargo Ship MV Sun Sea carrying 500 Tamil migrants arrives at Vancouver Island – Canada]
    —————
    This vessel was in aug 2010.We were talking 330000 people asked to go into ‘safe’ zones in jan 2009 and only 297000 in the internment camps after that. You are trying to connect this 500 to the 33000 missing.
    ————————————————————-

    [The bias is that Channel 4 never mentioned that the LTTE forcefully kept those people in that area, leading to their deaths. I am also noticing that you get strangely quiet whenever I mention the LTTE’s role.]
    —————–
    I don’t know whether channel 4 mentioned it or not,but it is irrelevant for those who are watching the civilians being butchered.

    As for me being quiet about the LTTE role,that is because i have no dispute with you regarding that.regardless of technical jargon and legal definitions of what constitutes a human shield,i am convinced in my own heart and mind that the LTTE used these civilians as a human shield and also shot at them when they tried to escape.
    —————————————————————

    [It is when the Indians dropped only a fraction to feed the people of Jaffna. The parippu drop was not a humanitarian operation, given that the cargo aircraft were accompanied by fighter jets.]
    —————————————————————
    Though it was a fraction only it clearly gave the message to JRJ that more food drops and even cargo ships carrying food will be on the way if he continues his coldblooded policy of trying to starve his own people into submission.

    the cargo aircraft was accompanied by fighter jets because it had to be protectd in its humanitarian mission.

  81. shankar says:

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:
    May 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    [The major factor that will render devolution meaningless province-wise is the extreme disparities in economic resources and a broad tax base. The western and central provinces may be able to stand on their own feet, where as the rest of the country will depend on the central government dole almost for ever.]

    ———–

    Even without devolution,since independence what you say has been happening.Population and economic resources have got concentrated in a few areas such as colombo.How do you explain that with the centralized sysem of governance that has prevailed so far?

    Devolving power and distributing the finances in the way i elaborated earlier in my previous comments will be the first step in reducing the anomalies that you mention correctly in economic disparity in various parts of our island.

    By talking about the economic disparities in the provinces,you have shot yourself in the foot,because the results are plain to see what your centralized system of government has achieved so far,and you are a proponent of going in the same direction further and stenghening it some more.

    When you go in a certain direction and find that the results you expected is not forthcoming,commonsense tells that you got to change direction,not stubbornly continue on the same path due to ego.Einstein said the definition of insanity is to go on doing the same experiments expecting a different result.

    As for your contention that the provinces are so weak in economic resources that they can’t sustain themselves,if the mountain is high you don’t say i can’t,but you should say “yes,we can” and bravely take the first step.
    ——————————————————————

    [How self-governing can be beggars?]
    ———-
    Beggers can’t be choosers.

    Once a begger always a begger,unless you teach him to fish,instead of giving him the fish.

    Better to be a living begger than a buried emperor.

    And i wrap up by saying”when you share your last crust of bread with a begger,you can thank him for allowing you to share his hunger”.

  82. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Shanker,

    Thanks. Your thoughts are valid. The Sri Lankan mindset and our parochial approach to issues, will for a long time prevent the realization of what is ideal. This will be the fly in the soup in Sri Lanka. I detect the pride factor playing a major role in your words, “Better to be living beggar–”. You and I can say this easily, because of our situation in life. To expect the 67 % of population in Jaffna and closer to 80 % in the Vanni and the East, who are below the poverty line, to put pride before their stomachs, will be cruel. These are the people we have to be concerned about. It is the impact governance will have on their lives, we should be paying attention.

    For me ideals are goals to be striven towards. You seem to be in agreement with this. It is however a step by step process. This step by step process is what I am talking about, until we can begin to think of ourselves as Sri Lankans and trust each other. Without the trust factor playing a big role, the devolution exercise will head nowhere. Further, without fool proof arrangements to finance the provinces from the center and permit a provincial tax system, to finance development needs and social projects, the devolution exercise will be unsuccesfull. How could a good formuala that is acceptable to all the provinces be found? How could development needs be assesed and prioritized? How could population densities and land arae come into play? Can the central goverment deprive Peter to pay Paul? There are more questions than answers now.

    Further, I visited the Idaho state in the US a couple of decades back. I found it poor compared to the rest of the US, I had seen. On inquiry, I found Idaho lacked natural resources and industries. It was mainly a potato growing state. Idaho depended a lot on Federal funding, which was not sufficient to propel it into the league of other states. This is a beggars cannot be choosers situation, on a more civilized scale.

    Incidentally, the present government is investing in all the provinces in terms of infra-structure and development. This will decrease the disparities between the provinces over time and remedy the mistakes previous governments made. While this situation in time can justify devolution, it can also undermine it.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  83. wije says:

    Dear Shankar

    Even without devolution,since independence what you say has been happening.Population and economic resources have got concentrated in a few areas such as colombo.How do you explain that with the centralized sysem of governance that has prevailed so far?

    Concentration of resources in Colombo occurred during colonial times. Contrary to what you believe, successive postindependence governments tried to develop the outlying areas, for example Mahaweli Project. MR right now is trying to develop Southern Province that previously had been neglected.

    [Tamil areas have less population density. Are you encouraging Sinhalese to move there which will change the demographics?]
    yes

    Although I applaud your open-mindedness, you realize that a demographic shift of this nature would result in the Tamils becoming a minority in all parts of the island. In that event, how will devolution help the Tamils?

    The people know that the money has been allocated for their welfare.That is incentive enough to hold them responsible.Who cares from where the money comes from.It has been now given to your representive to spend on you and you certainly will catch them by the throat,especially as they are nearby.

    If the people are spending from their own pockets on their elected representatives, then of course they will get more outraged when the politicians misuse the money than when the representatives receive the money from outside. It is basic common sense. Any society which relies on another’s resources will inherently be more corrupt than a society that relies on its own resources.

    You are correct that there will still be a basic sense of accountability even when the money comes from outside, but not nearly as much in a self-sufficient polity. Let me explain. In a self-sufficient society, the government can distribute the collected tax revenue among the electorate equally (whether in the form of services or sops such as farm subsidies). However, this will lead the rich to relocate somewhere else (taking their money with them) because they have nothing to gain from this sort of distribution. The government will have to spend the money in a way that benefits everyone and will not lead to a flight of capital.

    The government does not face this burden when the money comes from outside. Instead of spending the money wisely for development, it will distribute it in a way to purchase cheap votes (i.e. sops). Nobody will complain because it is not their money.

    The person demanding will be looked at as a unreasonable type if his demands are not fair.

    I am noticing that you are using the words “equitable” and “fair” a lot. You seem to be thinking that there is an objective notion of these terms that everyone will agree to in a real life situation, when the reality is the absolute reverse. People perceive what is “fair” purely in terms of their own self-interest. Anything that runs against their interests is unfair. Any system based on the hopes of a common perception of “equity” is doomed to miserable failure.

    In more specific terms, you are not taking into account that regional politicians act for their self-interest, not on what is “fair” or necessarily good for their electorate more or less the country at large. You see devolution as benefiting local people, I see devolution as benefiting local politicians. I will give two examples:

    1. Karunanidhi during IPKF war allowed LTTE to remain in Tamil Nadu without interference. LTTE sent wounded fighters to Trichy for medical treatment and produced explosives in Coimbatore to blow up Indian jawans. Indian army was furious about that but could do nothing. Similarly, NE Provincial Government under Mr Varatharajaperumal was taking orders from New Delhi instead of acting as a regional leader, to the extent of abducting young men to support Indian forces. How would you explain these things?

    2. India promised to share Teesta River waters with Bangladesh, leading Bangladesh leader Sheikh Hassina to promote pro-India policies. However, West Bengal leader Mamata Bannerjee had scuttled that plan, leaving Hassina in the lurch and ruining the Indo-Bangladesh relations. It was in the Indian national interest to go forward with the plan by making friends with 150 million Bengali Muslims, yet Mamata ruined that in one blow.

    Here is a great editorial on all the federal problems India is having called “Lost in Politicking”
    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/article3328937.ece

    As for your contention that even the most intelligeent cannot distinguish who is responsible when powers are shared,i beg to differ.Who has the powers to do what,is there very clearly before them,because these responsibilities are well documented as law.

    Not when you have a Concurrent List, as India and most other federations do. It is even more tangled when the central government is assigned the responsibility of collecting the funds for other governments to spend.

    The indo lanka accord dos not change the unitary status.

    Yes it did. It created subnational Provincial Councils that waste the country’s money.

    [Tamil leaders hardly have any pressure to actually deliver anything because either way they will get the vote.]
    That will change in the future when expectations rise.Tamils must have closed ranks because of the chauvinistic policies of sucessive governments.

    Then clearly, the solution is simply for governments to stop the chauvinistic policies. You are doing a wonderful job of proving my point!

    [The bias is that Channel 4 never mentioned that the LTTE forcefully kept those people in that area, leading to their deaths. I am also noticing that you get strangely quiet whenever I mention the LTTE’s role.]
    I don’t know whether channel 4 mentioned it or not,but it is irrelevant for those who are watching the civilians being butchered.

    It is entirely relevant. Your ignorant Western friends believe the govt was entirely to blame for the deaths because Channel 4 omitted the LTTE’s role.

    As for me being quiet about the LTTE role,that is because i have no dispute with you regarding that.regardless of technical jargon and legal definitions of what constitutes a human shield,i am convinced in my own heart and mind that the LTTE used these civilians as a human shield and also shot at them when they tried to escape.

    If you understand this, then why couldn’t Darusman Panel acknowledge this?

    [Cargo Ship MV Sun Sea carrying 500 Tamil migrants arrives at Vancouver Island – Canada]
    This vessel was in aug 2010.We were talking 330000 people asked to go into ‘safe’ zones in jan 2009 and only 297000 in the internment camps after that. You are trying to connect this 500 to the 33000 missing.

    That was just one vessel that happened to be caught. How many other vessels were there?

    Though it was a fraction only it clearly gave the message to JRJ that more food drops and even cargo ships carrying food will be on the way if he continues his coldblooded policy of trying to starve his own people into submission.

    Wrong. The message was that if JRJ continued the offensive to defeat the LTTE, it would not be food drops on Jaffna but bomb drops or paratrooper drops on Colombo that would follow.

    Could you please show where JRJ had a strategy of starvation to end the war?

    the cargo aircraft was accompanied by fighter jets because it had to be protectd in its humanitarian mission.

    Protected from what? What did SL military have at that time to shoot down cargo aircraft???

  84. wije says:

    Dear Dr Narendran

    How meaningful would devlution be, without a substantial degree of economic and financial self-suffieciency?

    I think you entirely understanding my thinking, so there is little more to add. My opposition to devolution has nothing to do with fear of Tamils. I believe that devolution will destroy whatever shred of governance that Sri Lanka currently has.

  85. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Wije and Shanker,

    South Sudan, now an independent state, has suspended oil production that provides 90 % of its revenue for two years. The reason, North Sudan is demanding a payment for the oil produced in South Sudan! South Sudan was hailed as a beacon for a future Eelam at the time it was declared independent. TGTE functionaries attended the independence day celebrations!

    A new but poor country, with no infrastructure and social cohesiveness, but with plenty of oil reserves, is being held by its throast by North Sudan. The world can do very little about this. North Sudan will play different versions of the current game for a long time, until South Sudan falls apart due to internal discontent, iliteracy and hunger.

    Devolution granted without the consensus of the Sinhalese to the predominently Tamil provinces will lead to a similar situation. The development work that is being carried out now at a rapid pace can be choked off, much to the deteriment of the suffering Tamils. The short sighted ( I hope these are not pre-meditated, as I am beginning to suspect)words and deeds of the current crop of Tamil politicians will encourage, if not guarantee this.

    Further, as you say devolution will lead to further deterioration of governance. The 13th amendment and the resultant charade have made the Agricultural Department a shadow of what it was. Similarly, the people prefer to send their children to national schools, instead of provicial schools. Parents demand that every half-decent provincial school be decared a national school! The elephant in the room, is the lack of resources- financial and human- at the provincial level. Despite the corruption and lethargy, the central government is yet functional and delivers.

    All the reconstruction work in the east is being carried out by the central government, although there is an elected Provincial Council. The Eastern Provincial Council does not have the human resources and the political leadership to carry out such projects. When I asked the big wigs in the Eastern Provincial Council, sometime back, whether they had any development plans in mind, they wanted me to provide them a list! I had the same experience with officials in Kilinochchi.

    The north and east are severly handicapped in terms of human and financial resources. The currently available politicians are also bankrupt of ideas and executive abilities.

    In these circumstances, devolution will be premature and counter productive. It would have been meaningful and effective, if implemented in the 1960-1990 period. It could have been also a political sop to stop the LTTE pursuing the Eelam goal subsequently. I am sure the LTTE with its exceptional organizational skills, single mindedness and recourse to violence, would have handled meaningful devolution more effciently. It had a taxation system in place and an established extortion system in the west to siphon funds. However, how will the Tamils have reacted in the long term to a system underscored by violence and total control at all levels- bedrooms to the board rooms?

    I sincerely feel the devolution demand should be suspended for atleast a decade and the Tamil politicians should co-operate with GOSLs to develop the north and east from the utter devastation in all aspects of life that matter. The mechanism to give some structure to this co-operation, which I call power sharing, should be explored now. This will be the wisest course.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  86. Anonymous says:

    A keen and observant follower of these columns would not only be deeply disappointed but also be gravely agitated by the comment,

    … devolution will be premature and counter productive. It would have been meaningful and effective, if implemented in the 1960-1990 period. … I am sure the LTTE would have handled meaningful devolution more efficiently,

    of Dr.Rajasingham Narendran, who had previously declared, in no uncertain terms, his strong faith in the current Constitution of Sri Lanka.

    A wiser follower of course would distance himself from both!

  87. shankar says:

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:
    May 3, 2012 at 8:20 am
    ——————–

    [I detect the pride factor playing a major role in your words, “Better to be living beggar–”. You and I can say this easily, because of our situation in life.]
    ————-
    My full quote was “better to be a living begger than a buried emperor”.You sound like a guy who would offer half price if i put my car for sale.If so i would have asked you which half you want,the back or the front.
    ——————————————————————

    [For me ideals are goals to be striven towards. You seem to be in agreement with this. It is however a step by step process.]
    ————–
    I agree with you that it is a step by step process,but the steps we take should be in the right direction.No point going in the wrong direction just because we have to face pressure from selfish types.
    ——————————————————————–

    [Without the trust factor playing a big role, the devolution exercise will head nowhere.]
    ————–
    First you should have limited devolution and establish trust.That is what the 13th amendment will achieve.It is the first step in the right direction.
    ——————————————————————-

    [How could a good formuala that is acceptable to all the provinces be found?]
    —————-
    Not necessary to be acceptable to all provinces.Some provinces are more developed than others and will naturally be dissatisfied if resources are channelled to the less developed ones.Peter won’t be happy if you take from him and give to paul,but that is life,you can’t satisfy everybody.
    ———————————————————————

    [How could development needs be assesed and prioritized?]
    ———–
    The chief minister’s will do that.They should know better about the people’s needs than some bureucrat in colombo,who is not even at his desk and doing his private work.
    ——————————————————————-

    [How could population densities and land arae come into play?]
    ————–
    Ideally equal weightage should be given to population and land area.Let us assume that the central government has 1m dollrs to distribute to the provinces.It should give 500000 dollars based on population and the balance 500000 based on land area.
    ——————————————————————–

    [Can the central goverment deprive Peter to pay Paul?]
    ————
    yes,if paul deserves more than peter.
    ——————————————————————-

    [Further, I visited the Idaho state in the US a couple of decades back. I found it poor compared to the rest of the US, I had seen. On inquiry, I found Idaho lacked natural resources and industries. It was mainly a potato growing state. Idaho depended a lot on Federal funding, which was not sufficient to propel it into the league of other states.]
    —————–

    You visited idaho two decades ago.I suggest you visit it now and see how science and technology industries have overtaken the potato farming you described.More than 25 % of its revenue comes from its science and technology industries and is more than agriculture,forestry and mining combined.So much for your contention that it relies on potatoes and federal funding for its sustenance.It would have if it was governed on a centralized model of srilanka.
    ——————————————————————-

    [Incidentally, the present government is investing in all the provinces in terms of infra-structure and development.]
    ———–
    Good,especially hambantota,with a lot of white elephants there that future generations can’t pay the loans for.

    We need a more permanent and sustainable model for development of the provinces,that does not rely on the whims and fancies of central government politicians, and development that comes to a halt when further loans cannot be obtained to pay off previous loans and the pyramid scheme comes crashing down our future generations ears.

  88. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Anonymous,

    “–of Dr.Rajasingham Narendran, who had previously declared, in no uncertain terms, his strong faith in the current Constitution of Sri Lanka.”

    How did you come to this conclusion? To the contrary I have been very critical of several aspects of this consitution. Are you upto mischief?

    By the way, it appears that there are many writing under the pseudonym ‘Ánonymous’. They should either assume a ‘Numerical Anonymous’ (Eg. Anonymous 1) or adopt a more ‘Mathematical Anonymous’ (eg annymous to the power of 2, 3 etc.). It is very confusing at present, because both shallow and profound comments are written by the anonymouses.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  89. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Shanker,

    I just read something that I am sure you have seen too. Chandrakanthan alias Pillyan, the Chief Minister of the Eastern province has said that he does not have the power to move even a chair under the 13th amendment. Is this the begining that you want? The beginning was in 1987 with Varadharajperumal as Chief Minister. He was not ready to just warm his seat and make a buck on the side. He rebelled and hence had to seek refuge in India. This happened when India had a formidable presence on Sri Lankan soil- the IPKF and J.N.Dixit, the viceroy! Could you expect better now after almost two and ahalf decades, the end of the LTTE and the present sad plight of the Tamils?

    Further, I read your ‘Better to be living beggar -’quote in full and refered to it with a -, indicating that there was more in the sentence. I was not trying to offer half price for your car. In fact I did not make any offer on your car!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  90. Peace says:

    I also can’t understand the motives behind the comments by Dr.Rajasingham Narendran. He accuses TNA MPs of treason which is similar to throwing stones from a glass house because others may accuse him back of treason against Tamils. Why he is undermining the Tamils cause is a mystery. Why he is trying to rule out devolution before the international community or GOSL even officially decide and announce the direction. Is he testing the waters?

    I suppose he has the right to say what he want but the problem is that others may misconstrue his views as somehow reflecting views of some significant percentage of Tamils. The readers need to understand that the views he expresses are his alone and they do not reflect in anyway shape or form that of any other discernible Tamil populus unless positively affirmed by those individuals otherwise that is of very remote chance as struck by lightening.

  91. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Shanker,

    Here are some statistics from Idaho I obtained through Google:

    2011: Persons/ sq.mile – 19.0 (US average 87.4)
    : Population – 1,584,985
    2009: Federal spending – $ 13,833,030 (which is = $ 8.73/ person or $ 167.4/sq.mile)
    2006: Personal income (42nd of 51 states)
    Unemployment (43rd of 52)
    Unemployment rate (46th of 52)
    Welfare case load (52nd of 54)

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  92. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Peace,

    I am stating what I see as the ‘Truth’. This is my truth. It does not matter whether it is misconstrued, misinterpreted ot misunderstood. My audience is not the international community. My target are the Tamils, the other peoples living in Sri Lanka and the GOSL.

    I have seen and experienced enough, and am old enough, to be not bothered by what I am called or thought of. My agenda is neither personal, nor dictated by unattainable fantacies. My concern is only for the Tamils who have to continue to live in the north and east and in Sri Lanka, and how they can be delivered from their present misery. My concerns also extend to the whole of Sri Lanka and her welfare and progress.

    Devolution is not a mantra to me. It is only a means to an end. If it is incapable of delivering what is expected or is a futile pursuit, I am ready to explore practical and attainable alternatives. Tamils and Tamil matter to me more than peripheral concerns like pride, flag, anthem, self governance and traditional homelands. Tamils, as humans and an ancient people of Sri Lanka, and Tamil, as a language spoken and written in its purest form, and as unique culture found in Sri Lanka, have to survive first. As DBSJ has pointed out elsewhere, both are on the endangered list.

    Your comment seems to be more a political pamphlet that considers my opinions and views a threat to whatever agenda you have in mind. These comments will draw more attention to what I say and hence may prove counter-productive.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  93. Peace says:

    DR.RAJASINGHAM NARENDRAN:

    There is no intention on my part to advance a particular opinion like the way you do. I just want the solution to be based on the will of the people who are also well informed about all the possibilities.

    How do you know the “truth”? What you see is merely your subjective opinion. What happens if your opinion were wrong? Many people believe that your opinion is wrong. May be you are tired of all these continuing problems for a long time. You may not be bothered by potentially misrepresenting your views as that of significant Tamil populous. But many readers would be concerned about potential misinterpretation.

    Are you belittling the international community? If not for the international community, the situation for Tamils in Sri Lanka would have been much worse. Nevertheless, the international community should have done more.
    I do believe that you have good intentions but your opinions are way out of whack with the opinions and objectives of the Tamil population. You just want to get over with these thorny issues by getting what you can achieve, subjectively for now, so that the population can benefit immediately. It is one school of thought like that EPDP adopted long ago. However, a lot of people question that after all the deaths and destructions, suffering, losses, are we going to go back to square one? What are we getting? What have we gained? Was everything in vain? The solution should be meaningful and must meet the aspirations of the population.

    Protection of Tamil language, culture and population is utmost importance to all Tamils who live in Sri Lanka and as well as abroad. The majority of Tamils abroad are also very much interested in a political solution that the Tamil population in Sri Lanka considers to be meaningful and adequate. Some of the Tamil population abroad would like to return to Sri Lanka to settle down and potentially invest locally once the political settlements are made and stability returned.

    The following are based on your comments: How do you know that the GOSL and the majority Sinhala polity are dead against any form of devolution? Why “we have to accept this as unalterable reality (no devolution)”? Are you not undermining the international communities’ efforts to bring a devolution based solution? Don’t you think that it is irresponsible to misinform and misguide the population if your opinion were to be wrong in such an important issue? Shouldn’t you let the elected political leaders of the Tamils to make such decisions based on the views of their constituents? If you respect the democracy, why you feel the need to prematurely on your own arbitrarily draw possibly erroneous and assertive opinions and disseminate to potentially misinform and misguide them?

  94. shankar says:

    wije says:
    May 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    [Concentration of resources in Colombo occurred during colonial times.]
    ————–

    What do you think colonial times were.Decentralized administration?The only difference after “independence” is we went from white masters to their black lackeys who ditch their religion etc and become bhuddhists.
    ———————————————————————

    [MR right now is trying to develop Southern Province that previously had been neglected]
    ———–
    You mean,hambantota,not the southern province as a whole.Tell me what is the development in matara and galle?

    Even hambantota,can you call building ports and airports that don’t have ships and planes arriving as development?MR in desperation is forcing our vehicle importers to use the port.So was it built at such exorbitant costs and interest for our vehicle importers?Now they want to give free service to attract ships.No planes have come to the airport at all.Now they are desperately trying to talk to the russians to make a deal to send planes there.First build in your hometown to create prestige,then run around trying to find customers.
    ——————————————————————-

    [Although I applaud your open-mindedness, you realize that a demographic shift of this nature would result in the Tamils becoming a minority in all parts of the island. In that event, how will devolution help the Tamils?]
    ————
    If that happens,that will be okay,because the tamils will be there in sufficient numbers to be a strong political force in the province.No sinhalese who alianates the will be able to come to power.Tamils don’t want power,they only don’t want sinhalese leaders to bully them.They will have no problem with having a sinhala chief minister as long as he is not a racist and pandering to taliban bhuddhists.
    ———————————————————————

    [If the people are spending from their own pockets on their elected representatives, then of course they will get more outraged when the politicians misuse the money than when the representatives receive the money from outside.]
    ————
    When the money is received by their representatives,it goes into the provincial treasury,which is the pocket of the people of the province.So when they spend it they are spending from their own pockets.There are no seperate pockets to distinguish what comes to them from other provinces and what comes to them from their own.Everything has only one account,unless they are loans.
    ——————————————————————–

    [LTTE sent wounded fighters to Trichy for medical treatment and produced explosives in Coimbatore to blow up Indian jawans. Indian army was furious about that but could do nothing.]
    ———–
    If as you say this happnned,it is not the system at fault ,but the people who are manning the system.I don’t think you can say the federal system in india allows treacherous acts against its own armed forces.If the india government did nothing,possibly the reason is that by waging war against the LTTE it had committed a mistake and now it did not want to compound that mistake further,by sending the army into tamilnadu.You have to remember that rajiv was a pilot and suddenly found himself steering a huge and complex country,instead of a plane.So don’t blame the federal system,blame the way succession took place.If obama is assasinated tomorrow,joe biden will take his place,not obama’s kid who may be a good pilot.
    ——————————————————————-

    [It was in the Indian national interest to go forward with the plan by making friends with 150 million Bengali Muslims, yet Mamata ruined that in one blow.]
    ————–
    So you think it is okay for india to sell the interest of 100 million bengalis down the river in its own country,so that it can make friends with 160 million bengalis in another country?Now you can see the benefits of the federal system.If not for that a sikh from the punjab would have made a decision affecting millions in west bengal,but could not because they had their own chief minister.

    ———

    [Here is a great editorial on all the federal problems India is having ]
    ——–
    Whether,federal or centralized,both will have problems,but centralized models will have more problems,so that is the problem.
    ——————————————————————–

    [Not when you have a Concurrent List, as India and most other federations do.]
    ———–
    Aren’t you literate enough to read a concurrent list
    ——————————————————————–

    [“The indo lanka accord dos not change the unitary status.”

    Yes it did. It created subnational Provincial Councils that waste the country’s money.]
    —————–

    The definition of unitary state is as follows

    “n contrast to a federation, which is composed of federative units, such as states or Länder, a unitary state is divided into administrative and territorial units, such as departments, regions, and districts. The unitary state has a single constitution for the entire state, a general system of laws, and a unified system of bodies of state power. These attributes of the unitary state provide the necessary organizational and legal bases for the centralized guidance of social processes and for the maintenance of strong central authority in the state.”

    Let me know how the creation of provincial councils, which are regional administrative units created under the 13th amendment,make the srilankan constitution non unitary?
    ——————————————————————–

    [Then clearly, the solution is simply for governments to stop the chauvinistic policies.]

    —————
    and pigs will fly too.Can you tell us how you are going to stop chauvinistic policies,especially when they emanate from a chauvinistic taliban bhuddhist types with mahawamsa mentalities.

    Doesn’t “let us manage our own affairs”sound much better and more practicable than “please don’t use chauvinistic policies on us”.
    ——————————————————————

    [It is entirely relevant. Your ignorant Western friends believe the govt was entirely to blame for the deaths because Channel 4 omitted the LTTE’s role.]
    ———–
    The government is entirely to blame for their death,because you don’t kill hostages with the hostage takers.Even the police don’t do that in western society,let alone governments.
    ——————————————————————–

    [If you understand this, then why couldn’t Darusman Panel acknowledge this?]
    ———–
    They were explaining the legal definition of a human shield.Unlike me they have to go by the law,which is an ass.
    ——————————————————————-

    [That was just one vessel that happened to be caught. How many other vessels were there?]
    ———–
    What i’am trying to say is august 2010 is not the time we are talking here about.What happenned to 33000 people between jan and may 2009.We find that 330000 were asked to go into the ‘safe zones’ by the military in jan 2009 and in may 2009 government put everyone in the who came out of the ‘safe zones’ into camps and fenced them in with barbed wire.Now we find that 292000 have been resettled and 6000 are still left in the camps.So what happenned to the 32000 balance(330000-298000).If they were in the camps then how did they get out and get into ships as you claim,because the camps were guarded by the army day and night?

    The 500 who left on the vessel you mention did not break out of the camp did they?They would have been some of the folks who were resettled and maybe still worried about their safety with the heavy military presence surrounding their resettlements.
    ——————————————————————

    [Wrong. The message was that if JRJ continued the offensive to defeat the LTTE, it would not be food drops on Jaffna but bomb drops or paratrooper drops on Colombo that would follow.]
    ———-
    Are you a mind reader?Let us go only by the actions that far,instead of hypothesing based on phobias.What if india had dropped next chocolates instead sending a message to colombo that the more you starve the tamils the more we will give them?You can always have positive as well as negative hypothesis no?

    By the way,for a person who was as you claim frightened of bomb drops,JRJ as you previously mentioned got what he wanted by setting the indians against the LTTE no?See how fear can make the brain work.
    ——————————————————————-

    Could you please show where JRJ had a strategy of starvation to end the war?
    ————–
    I remember at that time the old bastard was not sending any food.
    ——————————————————————–

    [Protected from what? What did SL military have at that time to shoot down cargo aircraft??]
    ———–

    Tell that to the crew of the cargo aircraft.Are they a mind reader like you?You think they will like to go without any protection from the srilankan airforce shooting them down?Would you have got into the cargo aircraft without protection?

  95. wije says:

    Dr Narendran

    It [devolution] would have been meaningful and effective, if implemented in the 1960-1990 period.

    Why?

  96. shankar says:

    Quaero says:
    April 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Dias, You say, – An irrelevant set of answers to an equally irrelevant set of questions.

    As the individual who posed the questions to Dr.Rajasingham Narendran, I find your callous remark, ‘an equally irrelevant set of questions’, quite amusing.

    You failed to ‘read’ the intent of the line of questioning. It was used as a tool to extract the basis of Dr.Rajasingham Narendran’s ‘realistic hope’ for Tamils.

    The interaction is rewarding!
    ————

    I totally agree with dias’s opinion on the set of questions and answers.

    I would even go one set further and say this an ochestrated question and answer session between Dr.narendran and quaero.

    Who is this quaero?I have been a regular commentator on the DBSJ blog since january 2009 and never seen this quaero before.Suddenly he appears with a set of silly questions and tailormade for the equally silly answers of Dr.narendran,who picks it up from that article and puts out his own article with the answers to it.

    Dr.narendran should tell us whether he has any affiliations or connection with any organisation over which the government has any influence.This kind of information should be disclosed to readers so that any conflict of interest is there for all to see.I believe this is the practice when people such as financial commentators are asked to disclose there shareholdings,and radio hosts are asked to disclose any fees.In those cases there is legal requirement,in this case there isn’t but there is a moral responsibility to know all connection to the government between Dr.narendran and any connction between quaero and him and who is this quaero who has come in to this blog for the very first time and given such prominence by Dr.narendran for a set of stupid questions and ready made answers to set us on a course of another goon laden senate and pie in the sky power sharing at the center and encouraging further time wasting exercises and delay to give the government breathing space in order to not to find a political solution.

  97. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Wije,

    This comment was in reference to the north and east, because the N & E were relatively prosperous and the people had the human and financial resources to make any system of meaningful devolution successful. In a national sense the communities were also not as polarized as now and hence there was much more of the trust factor.

    The period immediately follwing the 1977 elections and spanning the 1983 riots and the Indian intervention, would have been the ideal times for JRJ’s government to do so in a sincere manner. He had the required majority in parliament, had openly admitted in his manifesto that the Tamils had genuine grievances and the Tamil miltancy was a result of these grievances, and also drastically changed the constitution. He deliberately missed these opportunities and instead foisted the 1977 and 1983 riots on the people. He was intent on teaching the Tamils a lesson, for their temerity to demand their rights. When forced to find a solution, he chose to play games using the 13th amendment thrust on us by India and delivered the PC system- an insult to anyone’s intelligence. India, the mountain had laboured to produce a stillborn mouse, that is being now preserved in a bottle of formalin for public display.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    The LTTE phenomenon could have been rendered meaningless, if JRJ had wisdom.

    The circumstance are completely different now and the solutions have to be hence different. The Sinhalese and Tamils have lost many opportunities to resolve their problems, through short sightedness and political grandstanding. This disease yet persists despite what we have suffered as a result. What simple solutions could have resolved decades back, require sincere and much more complex solutions now.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  98. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Shanker,

    It is sad that you are seeing ‘Ghosts’ where there are none. ‘Stupidity’ as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder! You are refusing to diagnose the prevailing disease; confusing the old disease with the prevalent one, despite the different symptons ; refusing to consider new medicines indicated and are sadly also determined to be nasty and insulting to those who think differently from you.

    A great way to end a debate that has been otherwise illuminating and fruitful!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  99. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Peace,

    What you say and my answesr, where where relevant:

    *There is no intention on my part to advance a particular opinion like the way you do. I just want the solution to be based on the will of the people who are also well informed about all the possibilities.

    Answer: Everyone has a right to his/her opinion. No one is forcing you to accept mine. I may be vehement in what I say, because I am convinced about what I say. How did you determine the ‘Will’of the people? Further, is leadership about following peoples will or convincing the people of what is right and leading them to it? “People well informed about all the possiblities”! I see none around who matter or are in the public eye.

    *How do you know the “truth”? What you see is merely your subjective opinion. What happens if your opinion were wrong? Many people believe that your opinion is wrong. May be you are tired of all these continuing problems for a long time. You may not be bothered by potentially misrepresenting your views as that of significant Tamil populous. But many readers would be concerned about potential misinterpretation.

    Answer: Please note the words ‘My truth’ in my previous comment. What is subjective? Please answer the specific and objective questions I have raised about the prevalent PC system. We can then discuss my opinions futher. There is no misinterpretation in my questions, as they relate to facts in black and white. Where is the misrepresentation- potential or kinetic?

    *Are you belittling the international community? If not for the international community, the situation for Tamils in Sri Lanka would have been much worse. Nevertheless, the international community should have done more.

    Answer: Yes. Where we are today is because of the International Community and India turning a blind to events in Sri Lanka prior to the Tamil militancy and their subsequent actions permitting the LTTE to build a criminalized base internationally. I blame them also for playing politics with Sri Lanka, when the situation of the Tamils demand bread, bricks and books.

    *I do believe that you have good intentions but your opinions are way out of whack with the opinions and objectives of the Tamil population. You just want to get over with these thorny issues by getting what you can achieve, subjectively for now, so that the population can benefit immediately. It is one school of thought like that EPDP adopted long ago. However, a lot of people question that after all the deaths and destructions, suffering, losses, are we going to go back to square one? What are we getting? What have we gained? Was everything in vain? The solution should be meaningful and must meet the aspirations of the population.

    Answer: My intentions would be hard for anyone to judge, without knowing me. I am on the ground and interact closely with the awr affected people. In fact much more than the Tamil politicians here. I understand their needs and feelings, as much as any of these professional politicians do. if not probably more. I have seen their suffering and feel their pain. My intelligence and experience, give me the right to think what the priorities should be. I am not ready to bend down before a ‘Public opinion’ expressed by a few, when I do not agree with it.

    I do not want to go back to square one, but to the right square. It is fooling trying to fit a round peg in a square hole.

    The EPDP is not my model, nor is it acceptable to me. However, If I say is also what the EPDP advocates, I have no objections. DD, despite my disagreements with him, has been in the political cesspool for a long time and probably understands ground realities better than the other politicians.

    *Protection of Tamil language, culture and population is utmost importance to all Tamils who live in Sri Lanka and as well as abroad. The majority of Tamils abroad are also very much interested in a political solution that the Tamil population in Sri Lanka considers to be meaningful and adequate. Some of the Tamil population abroad would like to return to Sri Lanka to settle down and potentially invest locally once the political settlements are made and stability returned.

    Answer. Tamils, as humans and Tamil culture, as a social identity have to survive and thrive first, and receive priority. I also strongly feel that those who have left this country should not dictate what the solutions should be. They have a right to be intersted and concerned. This interest and concern should be expressed tangibly as help for the war-affected people. Investments are welcome. However, investments are never altruistic. Those who invest want to make more money. Investors would come when the returns they expect are possible. Political solutions have nothing to with it. Millions are being invested in the north and east, by those who see the security stability and the opportunities for those who come in first.

    *The following are based on your comments: How do you know that the GOSL and the majority Sinhala polity are dead against any form of devolution? Why “we have to accept this as unalterable reality (no devolution)”?

    Answer: The history of the past 60 + years teach us this leasson. It is our fault if we refuse to learn it. We also missed several historical opportunities to force or extract solution. I am of the opinion that anything forced will not last. What sort sort of devolution are you advocating? Is it a continuation of the present charade? Isds meaningful devlution psooble in a war-affected, poverty sticken and resourceless land? It is not alternatives or stepping stones to Eelam, we should be thinking about. What we should be thinking about is restoring human dignity to a people and restoring them the baseline they have lost as living entities.

    Q Are you not undermining the international communities’ efforts to bring a devolution based solution? Don’t you think that it is irresponsible to misinform and misguide the population if your opinion were to be wrong in such an important issue? Shouldn’t you let the elected political leaders of the Tamils to make such decisions based on the views of their constituents? If you respect the democracy, why you feel the need to prematurely on your own arbitrarily draw possibly erroneous and assertive opinions and disseminate to potentially misinform and misguide them?.

    Answer: I am not ready to abdicate my responsibilities as a Tamil and a citizen to the IC or any politician. I will go along with them if I am convinced they are on the right path. Anyway, what is so right and sacro-sanct about PC system in particular. It is absolutely wrong and absolutely useless. Are our politicians reaaly expressing the views of their constituents? Do you sincerely believe this? Democracy is not the rule by the common people. It is the rule by people who are sensitive to the needs of the common people. It cannot be rule by donkeys, for donkeys and from donkeys, as someone has wisely defined.

    I am assertive. Yes. But I am not dictating terms to anyone. I am only discharging my civic responsibilty to inform, question and suggest.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  100. Observer says:

    Wije says:
    April 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm
    Dear Wije,

    [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?]

    Are you repeating what I wrote to you like a trained parrot? Good deflection of the question.

    [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.]

    [Please take a closer look at the grievances that you mention and you will see that devolution will not solve any of them. I have already addressed the violence in my earlier post so you are unnecessarily repeating yourself here. Regarding standardization, I feel that it should now be adjusted in favor of the Tamils who are now underrepresented in govt service. ]

    I referred to the standardization for the university entrance those days, from early 1970’s. Obviously, the number of Tamils represented in the government is very insignificant particularly at higher positions. It is necessary to enact plans to bring in fair representation of Tamils.

    With devolution, the regional units will have better ability to maintain security and safe zones. Some of the issues will get direct benefit from devolution whereas others will get indirect benefit. Overall devolution will help the people living in the regional units that are particularly minorities at various levels of the society. The following are typical advantages (IDEA):

    It ensures minorities a measure of state power. Minorities can enjoy executive, legislative and fiscal powers, not merely parliamentary representation with little prospect of a share in policy- making or distribution of resources.

    It offers minorities better prospects of preserving their culture. Enabling minorities to make important decisions for themselves almost always offers better prospects for their own cultural preservation.

    It may terminate demands for secession. The flexibility of the proper devolution device in terms of the division of powers and the structure of institutions enables various kinds of accommodations to be made; it is more hospitable to compromise than other kinds of minority protection.

    It can increase the political integration of ethnic groups. Autonomy devolves power to the units, which increases opportunities for people to compete in the political system; this political competition can, in turn, accentuate differences within groups, which can lead to the fragmentation of previously monolithic ethnic parties.

    In the case of Sri Lanka, devolution needs to be substantial and close to that of a federal setup. If the other provinces except north and east are not interested in such devolution, it is beneficial for your concerns to reduce the cost they could well be treated as one or two units for the purpose. The current PC system as is has many problems and a revamp is necessary.

    [Regarding Buddhist monks, they oppose devolution for the same reason that most other Sinhalese oppose it. So contrary to what you may believe, their position on devolution is not unpopular or out of sync with what the others want. “Secularization” therefore will not bring you devolution (although strangely you argue the reverse, that devolution will bring secularization which makes no sense).]

    No. Some of the vocal minority monks abuse their religious privileges and status to unduly influence the politics and prevent the resolution of the issue. If properly educated and presented, I believe that a majority of Sinhalese would accept devolution as opposed to let the problems to cause snowball effect in the long run and potentially lead to a question of devolution or division.

    [I completely disagree with govt in not allowing Tamil national anthem, but I already acknowledged that Tamil language has to be implemented in government and that is a legitimate grievance. ]

    They have to straighten this issue now. The government’s attitude of ignoring it reflects more about the intentions and behaviors of the government on other issues as well.

    [Regarding militarization of Tamil areas, this is the fault of the LTTE. You should be blaming the flag-wavers in Europe who in 2006 were excited about returning to war with Sinhalese.]

    The government claims that the war is over and the situation is normal. If so, why not reduce the militarization and provide the soldiers with productive employment elsewhere.

    The president and government were saying that there is no military solution but a political solution while they were all along preparing for military solution and now they just think that how they can escape from a real meaningful political solution but provide a meaningless solution as eye wash for satisfying IC.

    [Believe it or not I understand what you are saying, but I am asking you to think very hard how will devolution create “safe and secure zones”???If it is true that the Sinhalese hate the Tamils to the point of supporting genocide against Tamils, then not even a separate state will help. No artificial borders will stop any sort of violence. The correct solution is that all of Sri Lanka must be a safe and secure zone for everyone. The means to that solution is to reduce the distrust.]

    I believe you that you understood what I said. Proper devolution will help to minimize the adverse effects of bad elements.

    Not really, if a separate state, it is straight forward for the UN or IC to get involved directly and easily to protect the people.

    It should be a lofty goal to make Sri Lanka safe for everybody. But achieving it and making people to feel comfortable and recognize it would take some time.

    It is true that mistrust should be reduced but it is easily said than done. As previously mentioned, some of the misinformation provided in the school text books and religious and history books do not contribute to shedding the mistrust. The problem is that many Sinhalese have unfounded fears and based on their fears they deny the Tamils to have their rights to conduct their own affairs.

    [Diversity can be recognized without devolution. Singapore has no devolution but it recognizes diversity.]
    It may not be a proper comparison. But more importantly, we are dealing with many issues not just recognizing diversity. Devolution is the solution that recognizes diversity and universally accepted.

    [Devolution on the other hand will reinforce the differences and undermine unity.]

    Not really. Lack of devolution and ignoring the problems would also lead to undermining unity.

    [Lakshman Kadirgamar was very popular among the Sinhalese even though he was not Buddhist. Had he lived and MR had not become President, Kadirgamar would have had a very good chance of reaching the highest levels.]

    I remember that when former president CBK was talking about Kadirgamar with regard to the prime minister post, some of the Buddhist monks opposed it and put a stop to it. So when there is such resistance to consider for the prime minister position, there is no realistic chance to consider or nominate him as presidential candidate. You may agree that if Kadirgamar cannot get the post of presidency, it is virtually impossible for any other Tamil to get support from Buddhist monks or Sinhalese people.

    [As another example there is Premakumar Gunaratnam whom many Sinhala JVPers have accepted as their leader despite being Tamils. The trick for Tamils to rise to power in Sri Lanka is for them to learn Sinhala and make at least some effort to identify with Sinhalese.]

    If Tamils want to become national Sri Lanka leaders, they have to study the Sinhala language. However, that alone is not going to be sufficient condition. It is far more difficult than it. Gunaratnam was leading the tiny faction and he was not really leading the JVP at large, did he?

    [Could you show a website that describes devolution in Kenya? I found this on Wikipedia:]

    http://www.ke.undp.org/index.php/resources/government-reports

    [Is this what you support for Sri Lanka?]

    No. This is an example of devolution happening in the world to answer your previous question about where devolution is being implemented.

    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.

    Sri Lanka really needs a devolution model that is similar to the Indian model or a different version of devolution based on the principle of almost absolute autonomy. If just providing some form of devolution and then undercut by using concurrence list is really a deceiving form of devolution that is not acceptable.

    [If that is true, then why not have devolution for the district or division levels, like Kenya?]

    We have to consider the practical considerations and implement as much as possible using our needs, cost-effectiveness and judgment.

    [How will devolution ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources? Everything you say is generalizations but you are afraid to delve into the specifics.]

    Typically these sharing of natural resources are done in other countries. At this point these are considered in conceptual terms and therefore really delving into the specifics has not been accomplished.

    [If we have devolution, then Western Province which has half of the country’s entire economy will demand that it keep those resources for its own development, leaving the poorer regions out to dry. The only way to force Western Province to give resources to North and East will be intervention by the CENTRAL government. If there is another way then please explain, but again kindly avoid the vague platitudes.]

    Certainly, there needs to be some involvement of the central government at the start. But the regional units will have to develop their economies and work towards effectively self-sufficient conditions to some extent. As earlier mentioned, there are many private Sri Lankan parties from abroad are interested in building the economies of the regional units. There will be opportunities from foreign aid earmarked for this purpose.

    [On the contrary, devolving power to many people/entities will increase corruption because there will be less accountability. With a devolution system, it is unclear who is in charge. That is why India is such a corrupt country. If something goes wrong in Calcutta, West Bengal government blames Delhi and Delhi blames West Bengal. Nobody is held to book and the local people are confused. ]
    [Under the current system, whatever goes wrong can be traced back to a Rajapaksha. They are unable to blame anybody else for the corruption in the country.]

    So what’s happening now? Where is the accountability? The powerful people are not afraid of anybody so they and their colleagues, friends can do whatever level of corruption as they please. There is no control over corruption here as there is no fear of prosecution or consequences.

    No, corruption increases with increase in power concentration that facilitates more corruption with impunity. When power devolved, those people will have only small level of power and are not really powerful people and they would be afraid of prosecution for corruption and consequences that naturally and logically reduces corruption. Don’t you understand the difference? It is important to have good governance laws enacted and implemented to fight corruption.

    [Yes they are elected by “regional constituents.” A voter in Matara has the same power as another in Nuwara Eliya or Batticaloa. If MR alienates too many of these people then he will lose the election. ]

    If MR alienates the Tamils in the North or East, does it matter to him? He still would win the election, right? That’s the difference.

    [And the overwhelming majority of Sinhalese oppose both power devolution and the “two-nation” idea.]

    This was what previously discussed. If this is an impasse, the IC may need to help to resolve.

    [Could you please show where Tamil people have talked about Kenya devolution?]

    They talked about the Indian model. I am not sure about Kenya model partly because this system is still being implemented and perhaps they have reservations about some aspects of it. However, conceptually they were talking about a system with proper devolution for long time.

    [Correction: they voluntarily opposed what the Tamil leaders sought because the Tamil leaders were not thinking about their concerns. If you disagree, then please show when Sinhala leaders forced the Sinhalese to oppose the Tamil leaders.]

    When they oppose (one party or another major parties) these agreements every time, it practically tantamount to involuntary rejection. How about UNP leaders were opposing SLFP trying to make agreement and SLFP leaders were opposing when UNP leaders were trying to make an agreement in the past?

    The Sinhala leaders were not actually leading but they were following the masses. They spread fears and sing the same tune and capitalize on the worst fears of the people for electoral gain. So they did not have the need to force anything and instead they used it for their political advantage.

    [But the Sinhala population at large is not supporting what you want. You cannot have a solution that only the Tamil population at large want.]

    Vice versa is also the case. That’s why IC may need to get involved in this matter to sort out.

    [The first step is to learn their language. You cannot target them without knowing Sinhala language.]

    Learning language is not a sufficient condition. Many Tamil leaders can speak Sinhala. But that alone would not cut it. It is more deeper than it.

    [Then too bad for the Sinhala leaders. If the Tamil leaders are talking sense and Sinhala people agree with them, then Sinhala leaders will have to follow. I have always supported Sinhala leaders speaking in Tamil to reach out directly to Tamil people instead of going through Suresh Premachandran and his ilk.]

    In theory it may look like a lofty idea. But in practice, it is not that easy or productive or feasible.
    But I am open for the leaders to do whatever they can to succeed.

    [Then it falls upon you to dispel these fears. If you can convince even a small number of non-NGO Sinhalese then they will support you and can help you overcome the racist minority.]

    Well, I think it should be done. But if the fears are based on reasons then we can convince to alleviate. But for those without basis or reason, it would be rather hard to alleviate..
    What is wrong with NGO Sinhalese? Don’t you trust them?

    [But isn’t it also true that there are some Tamils who did not give a damn about the hundreds of thousands of innocent fellow Tamils who were being used as human shields by LTTE?]

    Not true.

    [But again, I am telling you that if Sinhala people oppose power devolution then they will sabotage it. IC does not have the willpower or strength to focus on Sri Lanka to the exclusion of the world.]

    I disagree. IC will play an important role in solving this issue. U.S., E.U. and India are keen on the issue. I wonder what foreign minister GLP is going to tell Secretary Clinton next week.

    [ “The greatest Sinhalese kings are Tamils. The Tamils had an unparalleled history and an unequalled traditional culture…the Sinhalese was a nation formed from the hybridization of a small class of people from north India; they were a nation of hybrids without history.”]
    [- GG Ponnambalam, Nawalapitiya, 1939]
    [“The Nawalapitiya Sinhala Maha Sabha should erect a statue of Mr. Ponnambalam as we should be grateful to him for provoking the formation of this Sinhala Maha sabha”]
    [- SWRD Bandaranaike on the occasion of creating the first Sinhala communal organization thanks to Ponnambalam]

    I think that it was wrong to speak in an insulting way. But I am sure many leaders from both Sinhalese and Tamils made these kinds of speeches. Do you recall Cyril Mathews? Do you think that it is acceptable to go around and committing violence against innocent Tamils, looting and killing Tamils everywhere just because of G G P’s speech?

    G.G.P. was agitated with the Mahavamsa mentality of the Sinhalese and suppresses and misinforms the Tamil history in Sri Lanka and the speech was consequent to balance the racist group that included SWRD.

    The Sinhala Christians, the Muslims, the Burghers were all entertaining serious fears of being totally submerged by the imminent Buddhist Sinhala wave unleashed by Anagarika Dharmapala under the veil of restoring Buddhism and A. E.Gunasinha under the anti-Malayalee and anti-Tamil campaign of the 1930s/early 40s.

    [How did Amirthalingam try to solve the problems?]

    What could he do after the rejection of previous Tamil leaders’ attempts to solve it? Do you agree that rebels started the violent campaign after continuous rejections of Tamil political leaders’ proposals, agreements, reneging and tearing off the agreements and after exhausting all traditional political approaches. It takes two to tango. The Sinhala government leaders never ready to tango and failure of these leaders also contributed to the violent consequences.

    [And I wonder how do you accuse when you have no evidence?]

    If government prevents from getting evidence, it is difficult to prove. But there is still enough evidence according to the UNSG POE report.

    [But the fact that Darusman Panel denied that LTTE was using Tamils as human shields demolishes any notion that it was truly independent. ]

    [Kindly explain the difference between “human buffer” and “human shield.” Also explain why Darusman Panel did not use any government sources at all in its “objective” inquiry. If it is deliberately excluding non-Sinhala sources then Darusman Panel is racist.]

    The report explains: “With respect to the credible allegations of the LTTE’s refusal to allow the 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 later from attacks as is required by the customary definition of that war crime (Rule 97, ICRC study)”
    The report essentially says that they do not have credible evidence to say LTTE deliberately moved the civilians towards military targets to protect themselves from attacks and therefore, the human shields definition is not applicable under the law.

    Human buffer is a general term that refers to civilian population present by any way in between the areas of the warring parties. But in any case, it was wrong to have civilians in the harms way in either case.

    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.

    The government also should have allowed the panel to visit Sri Lanka and work freely and completely by visiting Sri Lanka.

    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?

    [The fact that Darusman Panel produced a biased report proves that government had nothing to gain by cooperating with it.]

    I don’t think that it is biased report at all. Did you think of a scenario that perhaps it would not have been biased as you claim if government had cooperated and allowed them full access to visit and conduct their work freely?

    [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 plagiarized from a prior International Crisis Group report. That inattention to detail explains how they could have described Basil as the “Defense Minister.”]

    Ambassador Akashi’s comment has no real merit. He wanted the local body to investigate. What did LLRC do on accountability? Nothing, really. Then he mentioned about some of the information and writings came from the International Crises Group that is a credible organization. It works on these conflict situation and produce reports. If UNSG POE report referred to it and evaluated the information and included some of the information while referring to it, I do not see any real substantive problem with it? Is this an issue of substance or style? This appears to be last resort or desperate act of obfuscation?

    I already addressed this accusation of sloppiness 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 Secretary 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 refers to 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 rather than style.
    [But it is impossible for Government to lie about everything. Even a total liar has to tell inklings of the truth. By disregarding any government sources, Darusman Panel already has judged guilty without even a trial.]

    No. If they found the government information in one substantial material fact area is not credible, they really can’t determine which other information may or may not be credible. Even if we assume that there are some information is correct and other information is incorrect. How to determine which is credible and which is not? So we really can’t blame them. Once again, the government also should have allowed the panel to visit Sri Lanka and work freely so that they could have verified at least some of the information government provided and possibly included in the report.

    [But nowhere did Darusman validate 40,000 deaths number.]

    They did say up to 40,000. Not just 40,000. They must have obtained the information from UN and other sources.

    [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.]

    I already answered. It is better to refer to military experts from UN or IC if military or government cannot find ways to accomplish the task within the law.

    However, for starters, the government 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. Military 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 and rescue, avoiding the heavy artillery and equipment operations in the vicinity of civilian population, could have helped to save thousands of lives and reduced the number of people who were suffering. They should have slowed down the pace to protect the civilians. 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.

    [If you cannot answer such a simple question, then you are admitting that government had no choice and cannot be held responsible.]

    You should not be so childish. It is better to refer to military experts from UN or IC if military or government cannot find ways to accomplish the task within the law.

    However, for starters, the government 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. Military 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 and rescue, avoiding the heavy artillery and equipment operations in the vicinity of civilian population, could have helped to save thousands of lives and reduced the number of people who were suffering. They should have slowed down the pace to protect the civilians. 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. The government and military should be held responsible for all the violations.

    [You are correct: the LTTE was a far more dangerous and ruthless organization 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, in the same no-fire zones, denied adequate food, medical help, rescue, etc. in the case of JVP uprising as opposed to Wanni war.

    [President of Sudan is the only sitting leader of a country you have mentioned. All others were rebel leaders or former leaders who had been deposed. If you want to nab MR or GR, you will have to convince Sinhalese to depose them.]

    IC will have to work on this issue. If IC wants to maintain credibility in this issue, they have to enforce the laws. Do you agree that if any of the leaders were found to be responsible for war law violations, they should face the consequences?

    Are you saying that the leaders have a good insurance policy in that the leaders can potentially campaign that the people should elect them perpetually to protect them because otherwise, they may get in trouble with the war law violation investigation?

    It would be a tricky situation. If IC acts they would not be able to travel outside of Sri Lanka. IC will have to develop solutions to handle these kinds of situations. It would be great insult to the IC and at least some people of Sri Lanka if the leaders found to be responsible for violations continue to be in power. Furthermore, it would cast doubts on the quality and character of the Sri Lankan voters who willfully elect such leaders and protecting them from justice.

    [If you cannot name a single “credible historian” who talks about “Tamil nation” in ancient times, then it is you who has got to be rational and come to terms with the reality. As I have already told you, Indrapala’s 2006 work does not mention “Tamil nation.” ]

    For example, refer to Dr. Gunasingam who is a credible historian. His 2008 book discusses about the issue. Many other historians have very similar views.

    Many historians including Xavier Thaninayagam, K.Kailasapathi, S.K Sitrampalam, S. Pathmanathan, P. Ragupathy, C. S. Navaratnam, S. Rasanayakam, S. Arasaratnam, etc. have written about the subject. I wonder whether you have seen or read Robert Knox’s book titled ‘An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon, in the East Indies’, published in London in 1681. It has a map of Ceylon (1681) that shows the configuration existed then by an independent author without any reason to have bias.

    As stated earlier, Dr. Indrapala’s 1965 hypothesis was not published because it was not credible and could not withstand peer review and furthermore later researchers did find different conclusions. It is really interesting that you want to hang on to one unpublished hypothesis whereas volumes of other researchers pretty much concluded otherwise. When you review a bunch of reports on a subject, you would look at the consensus and a good majority opinion. Here, you just want to act very irrational in a desperate way so that it might suit you better.

    [Wrong, as this map shows there were five kingdoms. Note that Eastern Province is part of Kandy kingdom:]

    [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Growth_of_sitawaka_final.png]

    What is the validity of the map in Wikipedia? You know that not all the information in Wikipedia is accurate. However, this map is not showing the configuration when Portuguese invaded in 1505 A. D.

    According to Dr. Gunasingam’s book, he mentioned about three kingdoms when Portuguese arrived, But the number of kingdoms was also varied later on as shown on the fluid kingdom maps over the years.

    What is important here is that there was a separate and independent Tamil kingdom in Ceylon that is an undeniable truth. You cannot fool any Tamil by repeating misinformation or a lie perpetually.

    I hope that you don’t believe that if you repeat a lie for sufficiently high number of times, some people may tend to believe it as a truth. Please stop this non-sense and don’t waste time on this issue any longer.

    [Because IC is clueless. If you do not believe me just look at Rwanda.]

    Is it because that IC did not act early on in a timely manner to protect the people from genocide? Do you really not want to believe in the IC? They helped in many other situations successfully protect the people.
    We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  101. shankar says:

    wije says:
    May 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm
    ————

    Here is a great editorial on all the federal problems India is having called “Lost in Politicking”
    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/article3328937.ece
    ————

    Dear Wije

    This article is rather misleading.It mentions that manmohan singh conceded that eradicating terrorism is a state government responsibilty.That is definitely not so.Instead of looking at india with its dithering administration,look at what is happening in the US which is a fully federal country while india is a quasi federal.

    In the US certainly the local police are not the ones to deal with terrorism.The local police will only isolate the incident area,and then specialized counter terrorism tactical units will move in.These units perform preventive actions as well as response to attacks.

    In the US it is the dept of homeland security that is mainly responsible for counter terrorism and it can operate in any state it wants to if it feels there is a need for it.

    Then there is the National Counter Terrorism Center(NCTC)which is org whose primary responsibility is to integrate and analyse all intelligence pertaining to terrorism.It comes directly under the policy direction of the president,the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.Presumably the NCTC is the type of organisation that your article mentions that india is trying to establish,to coordinate and integrate and analysyze all intelligence activities pertaining to terrorism,which is a good idea it is copying from the US.India being a quasi federal setup should find it much easier to do that even if the chief ministers are uncomfortable with it,than the US which is a fully fledgd federal state.If the Us has done it succesfully,why can’t india.It may be because it has a dithering old man at the helm,so it is not the system at fault but the people manning the system.India should bring in more dynamic and younger people into its leadership ranks instead of giving the impression to the world that it has a geriatric ward for the leadership.

    As for the riots mentioned in the artcle,again it is not the system,but the quality of the personnel manning the systems.Insrilanka too how many riots took place.Recently in the UK too a big riot took place.Whatever the system these will take plaace unless there is better quality people and leadership manning the systems.

  102. Peace says:

    DR.RAJASINGHAM NARENDRAN:

    (You wrote) (typical in brackets)

    (Answer: Everyone has a right to his/her opinion. No one is forcing you to accept mine. I may be vehement in what I say, because I am convinced about what I say. How did you determine the ‘Will’of the people? Further, is leadership about following peoples will or convincing the people of what is right and leading them to it? “People well informed about all the possibilities”! I see none around who matter or are in the public eye.)

    My Response:
    The will of the people is usually expressed and exercised at the elections and referendums formally and in between these periodic events political leaders are supposed to gauge it by numerous methods available to them. Yes there are two aspects to the leadership. One aspect of leadership is to be an articulate representative by representing the views of the constituents. The other more tougher and valuable aspect is to take right and tough decisions that the leaders believe in the permanent long-term best interest of the constituents and convince the people to follow it by moulding their opinion even if it is unpopular to start with contemporaneously. But the problem is that the right decision is not to give up everything and capitulate but instead seek and advocate to improve the flawed or solution or seek an even better solution according to the political leaders or their constituents. It looks like you don’t like the decisions and directions of the political leaders. That does not mean that you have to be dismissive of the opinions and decisions of the political leaders.

    (Answer: Please note the words ‘My truth’ in my previous comment. What is subjective? Please answer the specific and objective questions I have raised about the prevalent PC system. We can then discuss my opinions further. There is no misinterpretation in my questions, as they relate to facts in black and white. Where is the misrepresentation- potential or kinetic?)

    I don’t believe that there is really such thing as my truth and your truth. If it is indeed truth, it should be objective and universally independent of the person. Otherwise, these are opinions or views, etc.

    I agree that there are flaws in the PC system as proposed and existing systems. Therefore, we got to discuss, articulate the deficiencies and to improve the system to minimize if not entirely eliminate the flaws or even look at a different type of system that would be more suitable and meaningful. But we cannot afford to just drop everything and go back to nothing or next to nothing that is even the worst. It looks like many people have difficulty understanding your approach and hence some of them even question your motives, sometimes unfairly by conjecture without substantiation.

    Your opinions are often not shared by any notable segment of the people. Yet you assert as this is the best thing by knowingly or unknowingly about the little support for your outlier and opinions.

    (Answer: Yes. Where we are today is because of the International Community and India turning a blind to events in Sri Lanka prior to the Tamil militancy and their subsequent actions permitting the LTTE to build a criminalized base internationally. I blame them also for playing politics with Sri Lanka, when the situations of the Tamils demand bread, bricks and books.)

    If you are referring to the period prior to Tamil militancy, it is probably fair that the international community should have done more. India did not do what it could have done. However, India had to do what it did for many complicated and strategic needs. I wish a strong leader like Prime Minister Indira Gandhi were alive during the trouble times.

    Then, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s killing complicated India’s role and India did not mind collectively punishing by many ways including withdrawing support, even advertently, and being indifferent towards the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka for some period.

    I think that the international community is acting with responsibility. The ethnic question is the most important problem lingering for a long time and that should be solved permanently using the opportunity available now. The second problem is the one created by the war and that should also be obviously taken care of. It is important not to forget the original main problem and solve it. But some people and government want to take care of the second problem it also helped to create and solve it and let the original problem to linger on and forget about it. You must know, if you let it linger, it will be there lingering for another ½ century or century. Therefore, nobody (Tamils or international community) can afford to lose focus on solving the original problem that is the priority using this opportunity when the world’s attention is also on it. However, all relief and rehabilitation should continue to take place. Both can be done and this is not much of a problem of multitasking.

    (Answer: My intentions would be hard for anyone to judge, without knowing me. I am on the ground and interact closely with the war affected people. In fact much more than the Tamil politicians here. I understand their needs and feelings, as much as any of these professional politicians do. if not probably more. I have seen their suffering and feel their pain. My intelligence and experience, give me the right to think what the priorities should be. I am not ready to bend down before a ‘Public opinion’ expressed by a few, when I do not agree with it.)

    I can understand that based on the accusations of possible ulterior motives hurled at you in this forum. That is why I wanted to specifically mention about my view of your intentions to avoid possibly you lumping all together. Not patronizing either.

    Once again, there are two problems that should be solved. We can’t afford to lose focus on the original long-term main problem, however, the second short-term problem caused by the war also need to be solved. These are at two different levels. In a way this is similar to Mahatma Gandhi’s reference to “big pleasure” and “small pleasure”.
    If you believe in democracy, you will have to accept the will of the people and the majority of the peoples’ verdict whether you agree/like it or not.

    (I do not want to go back to square one, but to the right square. It is fooling trying to fit a round peg in a square hole.)

    But you are just capitulating and completely backing down. When is going to be the opportune time to find the right square and revive? The international community is not going to be able to pay keen attention to Sri Lanka forever. So we just have to make use of the golden opportunity.

    (The EPDP is not my model, nor is it acceptable to me. However, If I say is also what the EPDP advocates, I have no objections. DD, despite my disagreements with him, has been in the political cesspool for a long time and probably understands ground realities better than the other politicians.)

    As I mentioned earlier that EPDP has chosen one school of thought. Others chose a different school of thought. Based on the MP strength it is fair to say a super majority of citizens are not supporting the EPDP’s school of thought.

    (Answer. Tamils, as humans and Tamil culture, as a social identity have to survive and thrive first, and receive priority. I also strongly feel that those who have left this country should not dictate what the solutions should be. They have a right to be interested and concerned. This interest and concern should be expressed tangibly as help for the war-affected people. Investments are welcome. However, investments are never altruistic. Those who invest want to make more money. Investors would come when the returns they expect are possible. Political solutions have nothing to with it. Millions are being invested in the north and east, by those who see the security stability and the opportunities for those who come in first.)

    I agree that the people should survive first. But the survival for the short-term as well as long-term should be facilitated. I don’t think the majority of Diaspora want to dictate neither they would be able to. They do have interest and they express their concern. A segment of Diaspora would like to go back to settle in Sri Lanka. There must be some accommodation made to respect and represent their views too in order to be fair.

    I think that it is proper for them to help as much as possible the war-affected people according to their wishes and free will. Investors should behave with good morals in any case. But in a free market and at least pseudo-capitalism, you cannot expect the investors to not to get market returns. Anything excessive should be prohibited. Political solutions will give more added stability and confidence.

    (Answer: The history of the past 60 + years teaches us this lesson. It is our fault if we refuse to learn it. We also missed several historical opportunities to force or extract solution. I am of the opinion that anything forced will not last. What sort of devolution are you advocating? Is it a continuation of the present charade? Isds meaningful devolution possible in a war-affected, poverty stricken and resource less land? It is not alternatives or stepping stones to Eelam, we should be thinking about. What we should be thinking about is restoring human dignity to a people and restoring them the baseline they have lost as living entities.)

    The world is rapidly changing. Next sixty years would be certainly different, hopefully for the better, than the past sixty years. As the globe is changing in all aspects, we will have a lot of positive changes in the next 60 years. Ideally, it is not good to force, however, it is sometimes inevitable to force. We have to make it work.
    Real devolution that is meaningful. If they manage to come up with 13th plus that satisfies the needs and aspirations, it’s fine. Otherwise, look at Indian model, quasi-federal or federal within united Sri Lanka. Yes, it is possible, you just have to believe in it and work towards achieving it. All needs to continue to work hard to improve the people’s lives. I don’t think that people are thinking about anything more than devolution. We have to continue to do the rehabilitation and resettlement other relief activities. But we have to do both.

    (Answer: I am not ready to abdicate my responsibilities as a Tamil and a citizen to the IC or any politician. I will go along with them if I am convinced they are on the right path. Anyway, what is so right and sacrosanct about PC system in particular? It is absolutely wrong and absolutely useless. Are our politicians really expressing the views of their constituents? Do you sincerely believe this? Democracy is not the rule by the common people. It is the rule by people who are sensitive to the needs of the common people. It cannot be rule by donkeys, for donkeys and from donkeys, as someone has wisely defined.)

    You have the right to do whatever you want to advocate. You just have to ask yourself whether you are really helping to advance the process to solve the issues or are you in some way hindering or misdirecting according to your conscience? If PC system is not good enough, try to improve it or advocate a better system by articulating it rather than just completely withdrawing and go back to practically nothing that is worse than PC system? It is difficult to understand the logic behind your approach.

    I think politicians are trying to represent the views of their constituents. But not necessarily successfully every time. If they are not doing their job and not qualified or visionaries, you may want to run with some of your like minded friends for elected offices. Then come to think of it, who is going to vote for your misnormer opinions? Losing deposit won’t be pretty?

    So we need elites to rule in a democracy? I thought that former U. S. President Abraham Lincoln said that a democracy is a Government by the people, of the people, for the people. So If you think that the politicians are donkeys, you may want to encourage some better people (donkeys) to run for the elected offices. Are you referring to donkeys since donkey is the symbol for USA Democrats (party).

    (I am assertive. Yes. But I am not dictating terms to anyone. I am only discharging my civic responsibility to inform, question and suggest.)

    Well, obviously you cannot dictate to any readers. But unfortunately for you and fortunately for many others, there is hardly any takers of your opinions partly based on twisted logics.

  103. wije says:

    Dear shanker

    Instead of looking at india with its dithering administration,look at what is happening in the US which is a fully federal country

    US in 1860s fought a Civil War entirely over the issue of the rights of state governments vs central government. There was no “political solution” to that war, Abraham Lincoln crushed the rebels and centralized the government more. That is why US is called THE United States (singular) not “these” United States (plural).

    If that is not enough, then take the civil rights movement. State governments were discriminating against the black people, so the central government imposed equal rights which undermined the devolution of power.

    As for the riots mentioned in the artcle,again it is not the system,but the quality of the personnel manning the systems.

    So in other words, changing the system to devolution will not improve anything. The only solution is to improve the quality of personnel. I agree with that!

    What do you think colonial times were.Decentralized administration?The only difference after “independence” is we went from white masters to their black lackeys who ditch their religion etc and become bhuddhists.

    You had asked how/why all the resources were concentrated in Colombo, and my answer was colonialism not the unitary state. Under colonialism the people had no say, which is why only one corner of the island was developed. The effects are felt to this day.

    You mean,hambantota,not the southern province as a whole.Tell me what is the development in matara and galle?

    Matara and Galle are far more developed than Hambantota because they are closer to Colombo. Therefore Hambantota needs more attention.

    [If the people are spending from their own pockets on their elected representatives, then of course they will get more outraged when the politicians misuse the money than when the representatives receive the money from outside.]
    When the money is received by their representatives,it goes into the provincial treasury,which is the pocket of the people of the province.

    No, the provincial treasury does not represent their pockets because they cannot even see the money. The treasury is controlled by the politicians not the people. That is the mistake you are making, you cannot distinguish between provincial politicians and the people.

    [LTTE sent wounded fighters to Trichy for medical treatment and produced explosives in Coimbatore to blow up Indian jawans. Indian army was furious about that but could do nothing.]
    If as you say this happnned,it is not the system at fault ,but the people who are manning the system.I don’t think you can say the federal system in india allows treacherous acts against its own armed forces.

    But that is exactly what happened, the federal system allowed such treacherous acts and karunanidhi was never punished. If the system allows such people who “man” it to do these things, then the system most certainly is at fault.

    So you think it is okay for india to sell the interest of 100 million bengalis down the river in its own country,so that it can make friends with 160 million bengalis in another country?Now you can see the benefits of the federal system.

    I hardly see how that is a benefit. This is the reason why India has no friends in the region.

    Aren’t you literate enough to read a concurrent list

    It is not a matter of literacy. Most Sri Lankans including Tamils have no idea what “concurrent list” is. Here is a guide to help you:

    Of the people who are pro-devolution:
    Only 10% understand that it involves electing provincial governments that probably will disagree and come into conflict with central govt (other 90% are clueless about this and assume provincial and central govts will work in harmony)
    Only 1% understand that certain institutions like Second Chamber and Constitutional Court will be needed to resolve these disagreements
    0% understand the role that political parties play in these disagreements i.e. if central government is run by one party and provincial government by the opposition, then they will find all sorts of pretexts to disagree and blame each other.

    Let me know how the creation of provincial councils, which are regional administrative units created under the 13th amendment,make the srilankan constitution non unitary?

    The provincial councils are NOT administrative units. They are ELECTED governments. Before 13A, the District and Divisional Secretariats were the primary administrative units of the country.

    Doesn’t “let us manage our own affairs”sound much better and more practicable than “please don’t use chauvinistic policies on us”.

    Are you unable to see the incredible contradiction in your beliefs and assumptions? If the Sinhalese are as chauvinistic as you say they are, then they will never allow you to “manage your own affairs.” You will have to remove the chauvinistic mindset to get devolution- but then you would no longer have any need for devolution!

    Can you tell us how you are going to stop chauvinistic policies,especially when they emanate from a chauvinistic taliban bhuddhist types with mahawamsa mentalities.

    Can you tell us how you will get devolution from chauvinistic taliban buddhist types?

    [It is entirely relevant. Your ignorant Western friends believe the govt was entirely to blame for the deaths because Channel 4 omitted the LTTE’s role.]
    The government is entirely to blame for their death,because you don’t kill hostages with the hostage takers.Even the police don’t do that in western society,let alone governments.

    But what is your evidence that the govt intentionally killed the hostages? And what was the govt supposed to do instead?

    [If you understand this, then why couldn’t Darusman Panel acknowledge this?]
    They were explaining the legal definition of a human shield.Unlike me they have to go by the law,which is an ass.

    As Godfrey Gunatilleke pointed out, the Darusman Panel hardly gave a legal basis for their arguments because they did not put the situation in context. They did not spell out what the govt was supposed to do, or was legally enabled to do when LTTE is using people as human shields.

    Therefore it is more likely that Darusman Panel denied that LTTE was using human shields to let the LTTE off the hook. The minute that it acknowledged that LTTE used human shields, then the culpability would slip away from govt.

    We find that 330000 were asked to go into the ‘safe zones’ by the military in jan 2009 and in may 2009 government put everyone in the who came out of the ‘safe zones’ into camps and fenced them in with barbed wire.

    The camps were not airtight. There were many who escaped, probably from bribing the guards.

    [The message was that if JRJ continued the offensive to defeat the LTTE, it would not be food drops on Jaffna but bomb drops or paratrooper drops on Colombo that would follow.]
    Are you a mind reader?

    No, the explanation I gave is the commonly accepted one. Here is how JN Dixit the Indian High Commissioner at that time explained it:

    “I was later told that the decision to undertake the airdrop was taken by Rajiv Gandhi after much cogitation and extensive consultations with the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs and with the Intelligence agencies, Service Chiefs and the Foreign Office. Though initially there was some doubt whether such drastic action should be taken, Natwar Singh mentioned to me that the overall consensus was that Sri Lanka’s deliberate violence against Tamil civilians had to be stopped and that Sri lanka’s defiance of India’s mediatory efforts which it had used as a convenience should be neutralised.” – p. 106-7

    Could you please show where in the above explanation is starvation mentioned?

    [Could you please show where JRJ had a strategy of starvation to end the war?]
    I remember at that time the old bastard was not sending any food.

    But was that a deliberate strategy or was he unable to send food? And in any case you haven’t explained that Indian air force was unable to feed the entire Jaffna.

    [Protected from what? What did SL military have at that time to shoot down cargo aircraft??]
    Tell that to the crew of the cargo aircraft.

    There is nothing to tell. SL air force did not have anything to shoot down cargo aircraft. Indian govt and everyone else (except for you) knew this. So why send fighter escorts then?

  104. shankar says:

    wije says:
    April 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm
    ————————–

    [If that is true, then why not have devolution for the district or division levels, like Kenya?]
    ———-

    Glad to see that you are willing to give devolution to district levels.The problem with that is the cost,because there are 24 districts.Even 9 provinces are too costly and devolved powers should be given ideally to 5 provinces of equal area of 20 % of country,namely north,south,east,west and central.
    —————————————————————-

    [How will devolution ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources?]
    ————
    With an amendment to the constitution,wherein half of the country’s revenues and loans are distributed based on area and the balance half based on population.
    —————————————————————–
    [On the contrary, devolving power to many people/entities will increase corruption because there will be less accountability.]
    ————
    I think we have covered that area with mutual agreement that inneficiencies depend more on the quality of personnel and leadrship than on the systems itself.You are pointing to india for corruption,what about srilanka.Less corruption here?
    —————————————————————–

    [But the Sinhala population at large is not supporting what you want. You cannot have a solution that only the Tamil population at large want.]
    ————-
    But didn’t the sinhala people offer devolution and that too much more than the 13th amendment during the chandrika government?So they were supporting a federal set up no at that time?
    —————————————————————–
    [But again, I am telling you that if Sinhala people oppose power devolution then they will sabotage it.]
    ———–
    Then they are indeed fools,to facilitate the seperation of the north one day by playing into the hands of the eelamists.
    ——————————————————————

    [IC does not have the willpower or strength to focus on Sri Lanka to the exclusion of the world.]
    ———-
    You are underestimating the IC my friend.See what happenned to bosnia,kosovo,east timor,south sudan,bangladesh.palestine and eelam will be next on the agenda.New nations will keep on being formed if people are not kept happy by the rulers.Better to give a little bit now and save a lot in the future.
    —————————————————————-

    [“The greatest Sinhalese kings are Tamils.]
    ————–

    Can you name them for us please.
    —————————————————————–
    —————————————————————–

  105. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    Observer,

    Thanks. I am atleast glad that people read my opinion and choose to disagree. I am glad this is happening and they are exercising their choice based on facts or twisted logic- as you have chosen to describe them. Further, truth, as we are destined to know them are never absolute. One is always in search of a better truth. Thus, the truth varies from person to person and from time to time, as it is perceived by us. One can be true to only the moment, as the future keeps changing and the facts and experiences change.

    Finally, I leave it to the readers to remember and judge our relative positions at a future date. If you are right and the Tamils are better off as a result, I will be glad (i.e: if I am yet around).

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  106. shankar says:

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:
    May 4, 2012 at 9:33 am
    ——-

    A new but poor country, with no infrastructure and social cohesiveness, but with plenty of oil reserves, is being held by its throast by North Sudan.
    ——

    1.At one time sudan was part of Egypt.Then it became a seperate country in 1956.When that happenned did the sudanese economy collapse and did they starve.Temporary problems,yes,but in the long term they came out of the problems and survived.Do you think any sudanese regrets today breaking off from egypt though it would have entailed a lot of hardship with new country being formed.Sudanese would thank their leaders at that time for making the decision to break off.If the egyptions had been far sighted and like nehru offered a federal system for the arabs of sudan and another federal state for the africans of south sudan and called it let us say egypt-sudan,then probably like india it might have stayed as the most powerful country in africa and a model for other african states to follow combining themselves with their neighbours for a stronger country.Today unlike india,they are weak entities,each going ina different direction,sacrificing any synergies that they might have had as combined entities.

    If you don’t stitch with the thread of devolution this is what happens with countries breaking up into smaller and smaller entities,regardless of the fact that as you mention they become weaker and weaker.If you give devolution only they realise the benefits of being part of a larger entity,otherwise the thirst for independence supercedes the difficulties they will face by becoming smaller entities.

    Since south sudan was never a federal state of sudan,the future generations of africans of south sudan will thank their leaders one day for breaking off from sudan,though it entailed hardship in the birth of a new nation.

    new countries will always be formed if ethnic and linguistic groups are not happy ina marriage with others.You have to devolve power to have that happy marriage where the husband and spouse are treating each other with respect and as equals.If not divorce occurs.

    I’am already worried that by not devolving powers the seperatists have achieved a huge head start and now it might even be too late for devolving powers and save the marriage,and you are advocating wasting some more time.Is your real motives eelam i wonder,because sinhalese are bricks for thinking friends are enemies and enemies are friends.

    As for your contention that devolution will rapidly choke off the current rapid development,the tamils are capable of developing themselves,they don’t need others to do it for them,taking massive commissions and degrading the environment like in the article DBSJ gave on the desecration of the forests in the madhu sanctuary.It is laughable to see you undestimating tamils like this,like saying the singapore chinese or the israelis cannot develop themselves without the malays or arabs doing it for them respectively.

    You say you spoke to bigwigs in the eastern provincial council what their development plans were and they asked you instead to list out to them your plans.It reminds me of a courier who was sent to singapore when the japs were going to attack it.He gave the message to the british commander of the garrison,and was asked by him what did he think was the best way to defend singapore.The courier who was just a message boy,was flabbergasted that the defence of singapore was in the hands of this idiot.We all know what happened after that.Do you know how these so called bigwigs of the eastern provincial council were elected?As for your contention in a subsequent comment later that pillayan is moaning and groaning that he has to get permission to move a chair,that is because the 13th amendment has not been implemented.Only the provincial councils have been created,but are like empty shells without any powers devolved to them.By pointing this out to us,you are shooting only yourself in the foot again and again.Anyway even if an imbecile like pillayan who became chief minister with a few votes,has the power to move the chair,he will go and move it to the forest and enjoy the bees and birds.

    In another comment you also mention statistics showing idaho is ranked behind many other states in quality of life.It is not the rank that you should look at here,but the difference in the quality of life between say new york and idaho.Then visualise if there was no federal system what would have been the difference.For example go to china’s guandong province which is like florida in the south east and then go to guizhou province which is like idaho in the northwest and see the difference in the quality of life.Devolution will always create different rankings in provinces,because all provinces cannot be first,but the degree of devolution will reduce the degree of disparity within the provinces.The difference in the quality of life between florida and idaho will be less than the difference in the degree of quality of life between guandong and guizhou because The Us has a much more devolved system than china.

    I also noticed in your last comment to me,you had accused me of insulting you for asking whether you have any conflict of interest.For those of us who have lived in the west for so long,if someone asked us that,we would not consider it as an insult,but a legitimate query.However it was not meant to hurt your feelings for which i’am terribly sorry.

  107. Peace says:

    DR.RAJASINGHAM NARENDRAN:

    You said:
    (Thanks. I am at least glad that people read my opinion and choose to disagree. I am glad this is happening and they are exercising their choice based on facts or twisted logic- as you have chosen to describe them. )

    Thanks. It was not meant to demean. I just could not see the rational in some of your opinions and hence called it as such plainly. Take it easy as we are not here to comment for personal benefit but rather for a common and grater good according to our own perspectives.

    (Further, truth, as we are destined to know them are never absolute. One is always in search of a better truth. Thus, the truth varies from person to person and from time to time, as it is perceived by us. One can be true to only the moment, as the future keeps changing and the facts and experiences change.)

    Here we go again, another misnomer. I suppose that there is no end to supply of minomers. I gather that you are referring to relativism concept but it is utterly useless in a real practical world that functions essentially under the natural laws (laws of nature). How can you say truth as we know it is never absolute? It is utter nonsense! Much of the truth are absolute, but there could be arguments made for some exceptions because erroneous mentioning of beliefs as truths at a small minority of instances. Correspondence theory is widely accepted for truth and it states that true beliefs and true statements correspond to the actual state of affairs and objective reality.

    From Wikipedia: A common argument against relativism suggests that it inherently contradicts, refutes, or stultifies itself: the statement “all is relative” classes either as a relative statement or as an absolute one. If it is relative, then this statement does not rule out absolutes. If the statement is absolute, on the other hand, then it provides an example of an absolute statement, proving that not all truths are relative. …
    Another argument against relativism posits a Natural Law. Simply put, the physical universe works under basic principles: the “Laws of Nature”….

    The philosopher Socrates argued that relativism is self defeating with the following: “My opinion is: Truth must be absolute and that you (Mr. Protagoras), are absolutely in error. Since this is indeed my opinion, then you must concede that it is true according to your philosophy.”

    An argument made by philosopher Hilary Putnam, among others, states that some forms of relativism make it impossible to believe one is in error. If there is no truth beyond an individual’s belief that something is true, then an individual cannot hold their own beliefs to be false or mistaken. A related criticism is that relativizing truth to individuals destroys the distinction between truth and belief.

    As of the contemporary and established usage, truth is something cannot really vary from person to person. We cannot afford to go to court and people started to tell their own truths as they are destined to know them and cause the situation become out of control soon.

    But there may be some variations allowed when you consider two different eras because belief might have been erroneously perceived as truth at different eras and that may not necessarily be the belief today. For example, in the ancient period, the erroneous belief was that earth was flat. Some people might have taken this erroneous flat earth hypothesis as the truth. But the truth as we now know it later is that earth is close to a sphere shape. Actually this is change in the belief but no change in truth.

    The biggest contributing problem is that these terms are not clearly defined as standards and therefore many interchanged the terms erroneously. So there is a need to consider refined definitions and applications of terms such as truth, fact, opinion, view, etc.

    (Finally, I leave it to the readers to remember and judge our relative positions at a future date. If you are right and the Tamils are better off as a result, I will be glad (i.e: if I am yet around).

    I too agree. Let the readers to make a judgment when the appropriate time arrives as only time will tell the result. I hope that I am right, but merely being right is not at all important for me. What is important is that these all issues should be solved for the satisfaction of the population as soon as possible and preserve the peace for eternity. Don’t worry, you will be around to see the bright future and experience it. Though I hope in the future, you won’t dwell in living in the past and you question yourself as to “Was I ever so wrong on this issue? How come?” -:) Belief is really the basis of living. Keep it alive!

  108. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Peace,

    Thanks for your response and the attempt to define truth in absolutist terms. The West thinks differently from us- the Easterners. West tends to be absolutist in its thinking-black or white, while we of the East think in relative terms- recognize the grey areas. East is East and the West is West, never the twain shall meet! I suggest you read Mahatma Gandhi’s writings on his experiments with truth (Sathya Soedanai). When he was asked why he was inconsistent in what he says, he answered to the effect that, ‘I know more today than I did yesterday’. I concur with Gandhi, because life has taught me the same.

    Reading your response was a pleasure and I hope we could have a similar exchange in the future.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  109. shankar says:

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:
    May 4, 2012 at 9:33 am

    In these circumstances, devolution will be premature and counter productive. It would have been meaningful and effective, if implemented in the 1960-1990 period. It could have been also a political sop to stop the LTTE pursuing the Eelam goal subsequently. I am sure the LTTE with its exceptional organizational skills, single mindedness and recourse to violence, would have handled meaningful devolution more effciently.
    ———-

    Again you and i would have deferred on strategy if the LTTE was still there and the sinhalese were contemplating giving devolution.I would have strongly advised them not to,while you would have said to go ahead.We are like two people going in the highlevel road and low level road respectively.In my opinion the LTTE would only have used devolution to achieve their goal of eelam which was nonnegotiable with them.Why give devolution to people who are firmly committed to seperation.Also without a democratic framework the people won’t be able to think and vote for themselves,but simply follow the path of the LTTE.Giving devolution to a dictator like prabhaharan is like giving chickens for the wolf to look after.If we were on this blog in th 1990′s debating this i would have said that the LTTE should be militarily vanquished and then a federal setup with full democratic environment created will once and for all nail the eelam issue forever,whereas you would have advised that the LTTE should be given federal powers.Now also we are arguing about the direction to take and you are saying that we should like the muslims share power at the center,while i’am saying we should have peripheral power in the north and east,albeit gradually (because the sinhalese don’t understand devolution too well and think it is seperation).So trust has to be built up little by little and this is the only way to nail seperation once and for all and put a board RIP on its grave.

  110. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Shanker,

    “It could have been also a political sop to stop the LTTE pursuing the Eelam goal subsequently. I am sure the LTTE with its exceptional organizational skills, single mindedness and recourse to violence, would have handled meaningful devolution more effciently. It had a taxation system in place and an established extortion system in the west to siphon funds. However, how will the Tamils have reacted in the long term to a system underscored by violence and total control at all levels- bedrooms to the board rooms?”

    Please note words- Sop and stop. See also my reservations about the LTTE in the final sentence. Chandrika was ready to give the north and east to the LTTE on a platter to stop the war. There was a mood to stop the war at any cost, not withstanding the LTTE’s ultimate goals. It was a peace trap that was laid by Chabdrika and later by Ranil. The LTTE did not fall into the Chabdrika trap,but fell into the Ranil ceasefire trap. Mahinda Rajapakse then did the final honours by bashing its head. He was ready to finish the war on LTTE’s terms-War.

    Eelam was an impossible dream, whatever may have happened.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  111. wije says:

    Observer, my apologies for the delayed response.

    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?

    Are you repeating what I wrote to you like a trained parrot? Good deflection of the question.

    Yes, I repeated what you wrote to show how irrelevant it was. If I can turn your precise words back at you, then that means you did not address anything at all that I wrote.

    With devolution, the regional units will have better ability to maintain security and safe zones.

    Thank you for acknowledging that the demand for devolution has nothing to do with governance. It has to do with your security. Now that we have made this important distinction, we can stop pretending that devolution will benefit everyone. It is only intended to give security to the Tamil minority against the Sinhala majority.

    It is here where I must show the contradiction in your beliefs that you share with shankar: If the Sinhala majority is dead-set on oppressing the Tamils, then why would/should they ever agree to devolution that will empower that minority? Conversely, if the Sinhala majority is sympathetic to the Tamils to offer devolution, then what need would the Tamils have for devolution/security when this sympathetic majority community does not pose a threat?

    My counterargument is that the Sinhalese oppose devolution because of fears for their own security. What guarantee will there be that an autonomous N-E will use its powers to break away?

    It may terminate demands for secession.

    Again Observer I thank you for your honesty. You do not give any guarantee that it will terminate demands for secession. That is why I offer the counterargument that devolution “may” actually strengthen demands for secession, if the N-E Tamils feel that devolution is not improving their lives. I am convinced that devolution will not benefit them, hence the only alternative left will be secession strictly using your faulty logic that more autonomy=more benefits for Tamils.

    Overall devolution will help the people living in the regional units that are particularly minorities at various levels of the society.

    But how will it help the minorities who live in Sinhala areas? And how will it help the Muslims or Upcountry Tamil minority who do not form a majority in any province? If devolution will only benefit the Tamils who are the majority in Northern Province, then you should say so instead of claiming that minorities in general will benefit.

    It can increase the political integration of ethnic groups. Autonomy devolves power to the units, which increases opportunities for people to compete in the political system; this political competition can, in turn, accentuate differences within groups, which can lead to the fragmentation of previously monolithic ethnic parties.

    How will political fragmentation (2nd sentence) increase political integration of ethnic groups (1st sentence)? The opposing Tamil parties might try to outbid each other in their defiance of the central government. That will weaken political integration.

    If the other provinces except north and east are not interested in such devolution, it is beneficial for your concerns to reduce the cost they could well be treated as one or two units for the purpose.

    I’m not entirely sure what your saying. Political theory states that federations with fewer subnational units are more unstable than those with many, particularly if one or two of them have most of the resources and population.

    Some of the vocal minority monks abuse their religious privileges and status to unduly influence the politics and prevent the resolution of the issue.

    You really don’t understand the position of monks in Sinhala society. It is true that the racist monks have a following but that following is a small portion of the Sinhalese. The monks over the past few decades have largely been discredited because of their participation in politics. If you can understand Sinhala language, I would suggest visiting a Buddhist temple and listening to the lay followers. Eventually the topic will come to the monks and then you will hear from your own ears how the average Sinhalese views these monks.

    If properly educated and presented, I believe that a majority of Sinhalese would accept devolution as opposed to let the problems to cause snowball effect in the long run and potentially lead to a question of devolution or division.

    If you cannot convince me, then what makes you think that you will convince other Sinhalese? The basis of your argument is that the Sinhalese are an evil genocidal people who will massacre the Tamils without devolution. Do you really think the Sinhalese have that view of themselves?

    The government’s attitude of ignoring it reflects more about the intentions and behaviors of the government on other issues as well.

    I completely agree. This government will never achieve reconciliation because it does not want to.

    The government claims that the war is over and the situation is normal. If so, why not reduce the militarization and provide the soldiers with productive employment elsewhere.

    Unfortunately, the government is also claiming that militarization is necessary to keep the situation normal. Their argument is that there was only a tiny military presence in North before the war which allowed Tamil militant groups to operate.

    [Believe it or not I understand what you are saying, but I am asking you to think very hard how will devolution create “safe and secure zones”???If it is true that the Sinhalese hate the Tamils to the point of supporting genocide against Tamils, then not even a separate state will help. No artificial borders will stop any sort of violence. The correct solution is that all of Sri Lanka must be a safe and secure zone for everyone. The means to that solution is to reduce the distrust.]
    I believe you that you understood what I said.

    As I have clearly indicated, I did not understand what you said. Either that, or what you said did not make sense. That is why I am asking questions. If I understand what you said and it made sense, then I would not be asking questions.

    The problem is that many Sinhalese have unfounded fears and based on their fears they deny the Tamils to have their rights to conduct their own affairs.

    Before the war I would entirely agree that Sinhalese fears of Tamils were totally unfounded. Personally I believe that the current fears are unfounded too. The problem though is that the LTTE’s violence had “founded” these fears.

    Devolution is the solution that recognizes diversity and universally accepted.

    The Sinhalese do not accept devolution, therefore devolution is not universally accepted.

    I remember that when former president CBK was talking about Kadirgamar with regard to the prime minister post, some of the Buddhist monks opposed it and put a stop to it.

    That is not what transpired. CBK hardly cared what the monks believed, given that one of them had murdered her father. The plain truth was that MR had a political base in Hambantota while Kadirgamar did not have a political base (largely because he spent most of his life as a lawyer, not a politician). If she sidelined MR then he would have split the party.

    Gunaratnam was leading the tiny faction and he was not really leading the JVP at large, did he?

    But why was everyone so afraid of that “tiny faction” that Gunaratnam was arrested?

    [Is this what you support for Sri Lanka?]
    No. This is an example of devolution happening in the world to answer your previous question about where devolution is being implemented.

    If you do not support what Kenya is doing, then you should not have used Kenya as an example. What Kenya is doing is not real devolution.

    [If that is true, then why not have devolution for the district or division levels, like Kenya?]
    We have to consider the practical considerations and implement as much as possible using our needs, cost-effectiveness and judgment.

    So how come district/division level devolution is not practical or does not meet the needs?

    Typically these sharing of natural resources are done in other countries. At this point these are considered in conceptual terms and therefore really delving into the specifics has not been accomplished.

    If you are unable to delve into the specifics, then you should not be surprised at all that Sri Lanka does not have devolution. You are giving the strong impression that you have not thought through all the complexities involved in devolution.

    Certainly, there needs to be some involvement of the central government at the start. But the regional units will have to develop their economies and work towards effectively self-sufficient conditions to some extent.

    How/why would these regional units have any incentive to go for self-sufficiency when Colombo is handing out everything for free?

    As earlier mentioned, there are many private Sri Lankan parties from abroad are interested in building the economies of the regional units.

    Could you name a single “party from abroad” that is willing to build the economy of Uva Province?

    [Under the current system, whatever goes wrong can be traced back to a Rajapaksha. They are unable to blame anybody else for the corruption in the country.]
    So what’s happening now? Where is the accountability?

    Now there is no accountability because Sri Lanka currently lacks an opposition. Everyone knows MR is crooked but who else is there to vote for?

    If MR alienates the Tamils in the North or East, does it matter to him? He still would win the election, right?

    He will win because for the first time in Sri Lankan history, the Sinhalese are voting as a single bloc. That is the result of the war MR won combined with the lack of political opposition. For the minorities to get empowered, the first step is an opposition that will restore the split Sinhala politics.

    The Sinhala leaders were not actually leading but they were following the masses. They spread fears and sing the same tune and capitalize on the worst fears of the people for electoral gain.

    Again your sentences are contradictory. If the Sinhala leaders were simply following the masses, then why try to spread fear among the masses?

    If all that Sinhala leaders do is to spread fear among the masses, then isn’t that a very good reason for the Tamils to ignore these leaders and engage with Sinhala masses directly??

    [But the Sinhala population at large is not supporting what you want. You cannot have a solution that only the Tamil population at large want.]
    Vice versa is also the case. That’s why IC may need to get involved in this matter to sort out.

    There is an important difference that you are missing- it is much harder to impose a solution on an unwilling majority than an unwilling minority.

    What is wrong with NGO Sinhalese? Don’t you trust them?

    No, and neither do most non-NGO Sinhalese.

    [But isn’t it also true that there are some Tamils who did not give a damn about the hundreds of thousands of innocent fellow Tamils who were being used as human shields by LTTE?]
    Not true.

    Then how would you explain how LTTE got away with using Tamil human shields with no protests in London or Toronto?

    Do you think that it is acceptable to go around and committing violence against innocent Tamils, looting and killing Tamils everywhere just because of G G P’s speech?

    Absolutely not, but you missed the point that it was GGP’s speech that helped establish the first Sinhala communal party. The looting and killing came much later as Tamil leaders did nothing to dispel the mistrust.

    G.G.P. was agitated with the Mahavamsa mentality of the Sinhalese and suppresses and misinforms the Tamil history in Sri Lanka

    First you say it was wrong to be insulting, now you are defending GGP. What evidence was there of “Mahavamsa mentality” when there were no Sinhala communal organisations in Sri Lanka at that time?

    and the speech was consequent to balance the racist group that included SWRD.

    But the history shows that the speech did not “balance” the racist group but instead made it stronger. That makes it very strange for you to defend that speech.

    The Sinhala Christians, the Muslims, the Burghers were all entertaining serious fears of being totally submerged by the imminent Buddhist Sinhala wave unleashed by Anagarika Dharmapala under the veil of restoring Buddhism and A. E.Gunasinha under the anti-Malayalee and anti-Tamil campaign of the 1930s/early 40s.

    What is your evidence?

    [How did Amirthalingam try to solve the problems?]
    What could he do after the rejection of previous Tamil leaders’ attempts to solve it? Do you agree that rebels started the violent campaign after continuous rejections of Tamil political leaders’ proposals, agreements, reneging and tearing off the agreements and after exhausting all traditional political approaches.

    No, I totally disagree. Tamil militancy did not start in late 1950s or in 1965 when Sinhala leaders abrogated pacts. Tamil militancy began after standardisation in early 1970s when Jaffna youth lost the privileges they had over the other communities previously. Even then, only a tiny fraction of the Tamil youth became militants. The war began much later in 1983 after UNP govt murdered thousands of innocent Tamils.

    So to answer your question, it was Sinhala racist violence not the lack of devolution which started the violent campaign.

    [And I wonder how do you accuse when you have no evidence?]
    If government prevents from getting evidence, it is difficult to prove. But there is still enough evidence according to the UNSG POE report.

    But Darusman Report gave no evidence.

    The report essentially says that they do not have credible evidence to say LTTE deliberately moved the civilians towards military targets to protect themselves from attacks and therefore, the human shields definition is not applicable under the law.

    Then how does report explain LTTE shooting at civilians trying to escape?

    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.

    If that is true, then it was up to Darusman Panel to expose the lies. It had an obligation to provide ALL the information and then evaluate it, not arbitrarily ignore some information because of a hunch.

    [The fact that Darusman Panel produced a biased report proves that government had nothing to gain by cooperating with it.]
    I don’t think that it is biased report at all.

    That is because you are biased. In your view all the Sinhalese are villains and all the LTTE supporters are heroes. Only someone with that mindset would claim that Darusman Report was unbiased.

    Ambassador Akashi’s comment has no real merit.

    Why, because he disagrees with you?

    Then he mentioned about some of the information and writings came from the International Crises Group that is a credible organization. It works on these conflict situation and produce reports. If UNSG POE report referred to it and evaluated the information and included some of the information while referring to it, I do not see any real substantive problem with it?

    The problem is that nowhere in the report did Darusman Panel say that it got its information from ICG. It adopted ICG’s language without citation. In the academic world that is called plagiarism.

    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.

    So my question is how many other “unfortunate” errors are in that report???

    If they found the government information in one substantial material fact area is not credible, they really can’t determine which other information may or may not be credible.

    Why not?? If the Panel lacks the ability to discern truth from lies, then what authority does it have to write a report on what happened?????

    [But nowhere did Darusman validate 40,000 deaths number.]
    They did say up to 40,000. Not just 40,000. They must have obtained the information from UN and other sources.

    You are speculating about the sources. Why couldn’t Darusman Panel simply say that? I believe that Darusman got the number from Gordon Weiss’s book alone, just how it cut-and-pasted its report from ICG.

    [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.]
    I already answered. It is better to refer to military experts from UN or IC if military or government cannot find ways to accomplish the task within the law.

    That is not an answer. Not a single “military expert” out there has given a statement what govt should have done instead.

    However, for starters, the government 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.

    Why would UN/IC want to get involved after the IPKF experience?

    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, in the same no-fire zones, denied adequate food, medical help, rescue, etc. in the case of JVP uprising as opposed to Wanni war.

    That is because JVP did not have heavy artilleries, as I already pointed out to you.

    Are you saying that the leaders have a good insurance policy in that the leaders can potentially campaign that the people should elect them perpetually to protect them because otherwise, they may get in trouble with the war law violation investigation?

    That campaign slogan will only work if the people already support them. If the people don’t like those leaders, then that slogan will be counterproductive and the people will vote for the opposition that promises to hand over those leaders for investigation.

    It would be great insult to the IC and at least some people of Sri Lanka if the leaders found to be responsible for violations continue to be in power. Furthermore, it would cast doubts on the quality and character of the Sri Lankan voters who willfully elect such leaders and protecting them from justice.

    At that point it would behoove you to ask yourself why the voters are protecting such leaders. And please spare us your racist beliefs that “Sinhala voters will protect MR because they are stupid and inferior to Tamils.”

    For example, refer to Dr. Gunasingam who is a credible historian.

    I do not consider him a credible historian, given what he wrote about Tamil nationalism in 1999.

    Many historians including Xavier Thaninayagam, K.Kailasapathi, S.K Sitrampalam, S. Pathmanathan, P. Ragupathy, C. S. Navaratnam, S. Rasanayakam, S. Arasaratnam, etc. have written about the subject.

    Sittampalam is a Tamil nationalist like Gunasingam so I do not see him as impartial. What has S. Pathmanathan wrote on that topic? Could you direct me to a book or journal article?

    As stated earlier, Dr. Indrapala’s 1965 hypothesis was not published because it was not credible and could not withstand peer review and furthermore later researchers did find different conclusions. It is really interesting that you want to hang on to one unpublished hypothesis whereas volumes of other researchers pretty much concluded otherwise.

    As I told you already, I have read Indrapala’s 2005 book but have never seen his 1965 thesis. How many more times do you need to be reminded?

    I wonder whether you have seen or read Robert Knox’s book titled ‘An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon, in the East Indies’, published in London in 1681. It has a map of Ceylon (1681) that shows the configuration existed then by an independent author without any reason to have bias.

    By 1681 the Jaffna kingdom no longer existed.

    What is the validity of the map in Wikipedia? You know that not all the information in Wikipedia is accurate. However, this map is not showing the configuration when Portuguese invaded in 1505 A. D.

    The validity of the map is Sri Lankan history, with which you do not appear to have much familiarity. The Portuguese did not “invade” in 1505 but first came as traders. The king of Kotte handed over power (and eventually his kingdom) to the Portuguese in exchange for help in fighting the Raigama and Sitawaka kingdoms. Kotte + Raigama + Sitawaka + Kandy + Jaffna = 5 kingdoms not 3. Gunasingam needs to relearn basic Sri lankan history.

    What is important here is that there was a separate and independent Tamil kingdom in Ceylon that is an undeniable truth.

    But was that kingdom a Tamil “nation” the way that modern people imagine? I already told you that the Jaffna kingdom did not include the east and that the Jaffna kings derived their legitimacy from their imagined connection with Vijaya. Why would Jaffna kings need a connection with the mythical Sinhala progenitor Vijaya if they ruled a “Tamil nation?” Nobody is asking these hard questions. Also you have conveniently forgotten that the Tamils had no interest in devolution until Sinhala Only in 1956. That proves that Tamil nationalism is not hardwired into the Tamil consciousness but is merely a reaction to stupid Sinhala policies.

    [Because IC is clueless. If you do not believe me just look at Rwanda.]
    Is it because that IC did not act early on in a timely manner to protect the people from genocide? Do you really not want to believe in the IC? They helped in many other situations successfully protect the people.

    When has the IC saved people?

  112. shankar says:

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:
    May 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    [sadly also determined to be nasty and insulting to those who think differently from you.]
    ———
    You can see from the long discussions i have had with wije,that i’am not at all bothered about people thinking differently from me.In fact i value diversity which makes this world much more richer and interesting.Nobody will like to live in a boring world where everyone is the same and think the same and do the same things. My way of discussion on this blog is to give my point of view and let the other person give his and just leave it at that.
    ——————————————————————-

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:
    May 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    [Further, is leadership about following peoples will or convincing the people of what is right and leading them to it?]
    ——–
    I totally agree with you.This is where we srilankans went wrong since independence,being led by the people instead of leading them in the right direction.The leaders became followers instead and even now continue to do so.If people are not channelled in the right direction by the leaders they will just go aimlessly towards timbuktu.
    ——————————————————————-

    [I also strongly feel that those who have left this country should not dictate what the solutions should be. They have a right to be intersted and concerned.]
    ———-

    No one is dictating any solutions.How can you dictate to a president who is practically like a dictator,abducting people who dissent and killing them.Tamils abroad can only advise him of the proper course to follow.If he wants to behave arrogantly and think he knows more than others then he will end up like VP.Ultimately the solution or his demise is entirely in his own hands,depending on the direction he decides to take.No one can dictate to him.They can only advise.

    Tamils abroad have every right to participate in the decision making processes in the country,not only people like you who are in the country.You know very well the circumstances under which nearly a million tamils left srilanka.Do you expect them to have no voice at all in the direction the country is to take in the future?Your condescending tone that they can be interested and concerned and translate that concern into giving money only makes a mockery of their worth for the future of the tamils and the country.For example do you think DBSJ should be interested and concerned but keep out of the decision making and directional movement of the future course for the tamils and the country.All diaspora are the victims of the wrong direction the leaders of the country took the nation and will naturally be concerned if the present leadership make the same mistakes over and over again jeopardising the remaining tamils long term future too.
    ——————————————————————

    [Those who invest want to make more money. Investors would come when the returns they expect are possible. Political solutions have nothing to with it. Millions are being invested in the north and east, by those who see the security stability and the opportunities for those who come in first.]
    ——–
    Of course a political solution is needed for substancial investment to come into the country,especially the north and east.Investors want peace and stability more than anything.They want to make money,but more importantly they want their assets to be safe and secure.They don’t want it to be appropriated by the army and then when you try to reclaim,have your throat cut and your penis sliced off,like waht happenned to the tamil from cananda,mahendrarajah.There are many countries in the world you can invest money,why come to the north east and take the risk.The current investment you are talking about is a pittance compared to the amount that will come in if there is a political solution.Do you know what is the Foreign Direct Investment in taiwan for 2011? $65 billion.The amount for srilanka less than $ 1Billion.Taiwan is similar island next to a giant like us,half our size with same amount of people.Risk factor is the main reason the investments are not flowing in a large manner.Do not think people are hard up to find places to invest in.Whenever FDI bypasses us and goes into another country,we have lost it for good,because it sticks in that country for decades.
    ——————————————————————–
    I am of the opinion that anything forced will not last.
    ———-
    This is another misconception on your part.If you force medicine down a persons throat,or force a person to undertake surgery,when that person recovers and feels the benefits of having that,they will thank the person who forced them.Sometimes you have to be nudging and putting pressure on people for their own good,because for various reasons they will not want to do it for themselves.
    ———————————————————————

    [Anyway, what is so right and sacro-sanct about PC system in particular. It is absolutely wrong and absolutely useless.]
    ———

    Why don’t you let it run and see,before you condemn it?In its present form it is useless alright,but if the 13th amendment is implemented fully,then we can see the result and make our judgement.At the moment mahinda is vehemently opposing the devolution of land and police powers as per the 13th amendment.Why is he doing that if indeed it is useless for the tamils to have devolved land and police powers?Why are you trying to help him out in this regard by saying the 13th amendment is useless?How nice for mahinda if he can say Dr.Narendran says 13th amendment is useless and try to bail out of the indo lanka accord.Aren’t you aiding and abetting him in that.He is already telling over and over again that thondaman does not want police powers devolved in the upcountry. His strategy seems to be to get some tamil to say that the 13th amendment is useless so that he does not need to devolve police and land powers.It won’t work,without those two, no point in even talking about devolution.He is stuck with the unlucky number 13,and as it is something entirely between india and him and nothing to do with us,none of us other than some of his tamil supporters, are going to bail him out of the indo lanka accord.

  113. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    Shanker,

    “There was a time when TNA leader Sampanthan told the BBC Tamil service that “the 13th amendment was a stinking ,dead corpse which the TNA wont touch”.”- DBSJ (in his article centered on the PSC appearing today, the 19th May’011)

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  114. shankar says:

    Dr.Rajasingham

    You forget that sampanthan entered politics in 1977, 5 years after mahinda.The two are some of the last surviving true politicians of srilanka.Politics is their blood and right upto the marrow of their bones.They enjoy it,breath it and live for it only.You can see from the photos of the two clasping each others hands that they adore each other as true politicians whatever their differences maybe.Though sampanthan supported fonseka he could do a somersault anytime if it is the correct thing to do politically.What these two say yesterday should be taken with a pinch of salt because that would have been due to the political environment at that time.Probably sampanthan would have expected much more than the 13th amendment at that time when he condemned it.He should face reality.The TNA has many MP’s including himself who supported the tigers.How can the sinhalese trust them?In their constitution too they have seperation as a goal.Belatedly sampanthan has realised that trust is the most important thing that is lacking,and he is now waving the srilankan flag.He has realised that the damage has been done and now is trying to start with the 13th amendment and build up the trust while he is the leader.He did the the wrong thing when he supported the undemocratic prabhaharan because he is more a politician than a principle minded man, and ananda sangaree did the right thing by not letting the TULF go in that direction,but now i’am glad sampanthan is going in the correct direction.Taking the wrong turn will have disastrous consequences again for the future generations,just like what happenned to my generation due to the wrong decisions made by our elders.The elders also suffered because they could not have their kids with them,with most of them going abroad,and those who managed to go with the kids will never be really happy with that lonely lifestyle.Do we want this to happen to future generations too with the country going down the drain,or do we want a developed srilanka with the family unit intact?

  115. shankar says:

    Dr.Rajasingham,this photo says it all about the two most senior politicians in srilanka.Don’t take whatever they say in public too seriously.

    http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/RSMR222.jpg

  116. Anonymous says:

    In response to an earlier observation of mine about him, Dr.Rajasingham Narendran had posed, ‘Are you up to mischief?’

    Here, my observation, as well as his rhetorical question, May 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm:

    “–of Dr.Rajasingham Narendran, who had previously declared, in no uncertain terms, his strong faith in the current Constitution of Sri Lanka.”

    How did you come to this conclusion? To the contrary I have been very critical of several aspects of this consitution. Are you upto mischief?

    It is not fair by him, to let his question go unanswered. I owe him a response.

    Here it is: On October 29, 2011 at 11:59 pm, Dr.Rajasingham narendran said:

    Our political aspirations should be no less and no more than becoming and being treated as citizens equal to everyone else in Sri Lanka. Period. This principles is laid out in our constitution.

  117. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says:

    Anonymous,

    Yes, the lofty principle are clearly laid out in the constitution. However, unfortunately,the constitution is observed more in the breach of these principles. The principles have not been translated into practice. This where the problem is.

    Why this happened is the question, for which answers have to found. Once the answers are found, the solutions tp prevent such breaches have to be found.

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran.

  118. Anonymous says:

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran, You question why this happened, and are still in search of answers, the answers that are there for you in the public domain.

    You’ll never find the answers with your pretence that the constitution is observed more in the breach. There is more to it than what you are ready to admit!

    The Constitution is not a Veda; It is not a script for observance. The Constitution is a legal document that is binding. If it is being breached, and is allowed to being breached, it is not worth the paper it is written on!

    The ‘problem’ cannot be solved by patching up the ‘breaches’; it requires a surgical transplant!

  119. Observer says:

    Wije says:
    May 15, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Wije,

    [Yes, I repeated what you wrote to show how irrelevant it was. If I can turn your precise words back at you, then that means you did not address anything at all that I wrote.]

    It was specifically written for one of your specific comment for my opinion in a specific case. But you are just throwing it back blanketly that seems to be rather childish.

    [Thank you for acknowledging that the demand for devolution has nothing to do with governance. It has to do with your security. Now that we have made this important distinction, we can stop pretending that devolution will benefit everyone. It is only intended to give security to the Tamil minority against the Sinhala majority.]

    Devolution is everything to do with governance. This is the universal concept we have been talking about for a long time. In addition, security and safe-zone issues would improve under devolution. It is a side benefit that is significant to Tamils, particularly in the north and east.

    [It is here where I must show the contradiction in your beliefs that you share with shankar: If the Sinhala majority is dead-set on oppressing the Tamils, then why would/should they ever agree to devolution that will empower that minority? Conversely, if the Sinhala majority is sympathetic to the Tamils to offer devolution, then what need would the Tamils have for devolution/security when this sympathetic majority community does not pose a threat?]

    First of all there is a divide in the Sinhalese community where some support devolution but others not. This is not a black and white clear cut issue as divided support exists among the Sinhalese. Whether the Sinhalese at large like it or not the situation now is that they have to accept devolution and they cannot continue to deny the aspirations of Tamils. IC is also pushing for it to solve the problem. I believe that is what minister GLP told the U.S. Secretary of State Clinton in Washington.

    Power devolution is essential to satisfy the needs and aspirations of the Tamils. This is irrespective of whether Sinhalese are sympathetic towards devolution or not. As far as security, small number of bad elements alone can create trouble even though a majority of the Sinhalese won’t be involved in such conduct. Look at the history as to what happened in the past.

    [My counterargument is that the Sinhalese oppose devolution because of fears for their own security. What guarantee will there be that an autonomous N-E will use its powers to break away?]

    You can’t imagine using unfounded fears to oppress the Tamils forever. Tamils should be able to live their lives freely with ability to conduct their own affairs regionally. Tamils cannot accept e fear mongering techniques to deny their aspirations. Every Tamil party leader is saying that they are not for separation but want to work within a united sri lanka. You should also know that if the power devolution is done appropriately, no country in the IC would support the division of the country. However, nobody can be sure of the IC if nothing acceptable in terms of power devolution is done.

    [Again Observer I thank you for your honesty. You do not give any guarantee that it will terminate demands for secession. That is why I offer the counterargument that devolution “may” actually strengthen demands for secession, if the N-E Tamils feel that devolution is not improving their lives. I am convinced that devolution will not benefit them, hence the only alternative left will be secession strictly using your faulty logic that more autonomy=more benefits for Tamils.]

    First of all it is referred from the Kenyan devolution interim report in general terms as to the benefits of devolution. Secondly, the term may reflect that we cannot say with certainty about anything without knowing the specific details. What Tamils are saying is that we can solve the problem with proper devolution and it will likely preclude further demands. Otherwise, the problem will not be solved. If you leave it not solved for long term, it will become larger problem and solution will have to be more substantive and perhaps end up in Sinhalese regretting more later.

    [But how will it help the minorities who live in Sinhala areas? And how will it help the Muslims or Upcountry Tamil minority who do not form a majority in any province? If devolution will only benefit the Tamils who are the majority in Northern Province, then you should say so instead of claiming that minorities in general will benefit.]

    Devolution in regional units also would increase the representation and proportional benefits of the minorities in the south or central regional units. But obviously, minorities who are majority numbers in population would benefit more than minorities elsewhere.

    [How will political fragmentation (2nd sentence) increase political integration of ethnic groups (1st sentence)? The opposing Tamil parties might try to outbid each other in their defiance of the central government. That will weaken political integration.]

    The idea behind is that people will compete in the political system more and opening opportunities for national parties if policies and conditions were favorable and acceptable by some fragmentation of previously monolithic ethnic parties.

    [I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying. Political theory states that federations with fewer sub national units are more unstable than those with many, particularly if one or two of them have most of the resources and population.]

    The issue was if 9 regional units based on existing provinces could be reduced if that would help to reduce the costs and people in those units desire. The units could be for example, south, central and west.

    [You really don’t understand the position of monks in Sinhala society. It is true that the racist monks have a following but that following is a small portion of the Sinhalese. The monks over the past few decades have largely been discredited because of their participation in politics. If you can understand Sinhala language, I would suggest visiting a Buddhist temple and listening to the lay followers. Eventually the topic will come to the monks and then you will hear from your own ears how the average Sinhalese views these monks.]

    But the main point is valid that the monks unduly influence the politicians and government and they have impeded solving the problem in the past.

    [If you cannot convince me, then what makes you think that you will convince other Sinhalese? The basis of your argument is that the Sinhalese are an evil genocidal people who will massacre the Tamils without devolution. Do you really think the Sinhalese have that view of them?]

    I did mention this earlier in the original thread under Sampanthan’s Speech. I wrote earlier “ 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?”
    Basis of the argument is for the people to live their lives according to their wishes and take care of their affairs using a power devolution model. There are additional benefits to power devolution. You are misrepresenting what I said. There are extreme elements within the Sinhalese that committed massacres and violence in the past against Tamils and there is no guarantee that won’t happen again. No where I say about Sinhalese in totality.

    [I completely agree. This government will never achieve reconciliation because it does not want to.]

    Why do you think the government does not want to achieve reconciliation? If so, what is the road map of the government? Don’t you think this view is going to hurt the government in general and particularly with IC? Minister GLP says otherwise in Washington.

    [Unfortunately, the government is also claiming that militarization is necessary to keep the situation normal. Their argument is that there was only a tiny military presence in North before the war which allowed Tamil militant groups to operate.]

    This is part of the problem not part of the solution. Is this a military state or civilian state? The presence of such intensity of military causes a series of problems. It is one thing to have military in their camps in case of a security need but it is entirely another thing for it to intrude in virtually every aspect of civilian life. Then, you wonder why people are not happy.

    [Believe it or not I understand what you are saying, but I am asking you to think very hard how will devolution create “safe and secure zones”?......]

    [As I have clearly indicated, I did not understand what you said. Either that, or what you said did not make sense. ……………..]

    Are you contradicting yourself in above statements or made a mistake in writing “Believe it or not I understand what you are saying, but I am asking you to think very hard how will devolution create “safe and secure zones?” The above statement means that you understood the core point I was making but you want to get more explanation on certain aspect of it.

    [Before the war I would entirely agree that Sinhalese fears of Tamils were totally unfounded. Personally I believe that the current fears are unfounded too. The problem though is that the LTTE’s violence had “founded” these fears.]

    Why you think that you got to work against your conscience. If you personally believe that the current fears are unfounded, then you got to be brave enough to act on for fairness sake. Other bad elements merely would disingenuously exploit any issue to deny the Tamils to live like them and continue to oppress them.

    [The Sinhalese do not accept devolution, therefore devolution is not universally accepted.]

    To the best of knowledge, nobody in the government has ruled out devolution. In fact they gave promises to implement devolution system. Even now, minister GLP said the same thing in Washington.

    If proper devolution were not done, we are probably looking at a different setup, so it’s up to the Sinhalese to pick their favorite solution by gambling advertently or inadvertently..

    [That is not what transpired. CBK hardly cared what the monks believed, given that one of them had murdered her father. The plain truth was that MR had a political base in Hambantota while Kadirgamar did not have a political base (largely because he spent most of his life as a lawyer, not a politician). If she sidelined MR then he would have split the party.]

    No, the monks were very influential and they were completely against non-Buddhists and perhaps non-Sinhalese becoming as PM at the same time MR was courting the monks and urging them to push his candidacy. I do agree that MR had a political base but LK did not have. But that is not the reason this happened because PM is not that important position in the presidential system and MR was eyeing for presidency any way after CBK. So there is no worthy rationale to oppose LK consideration for PM because MR will be in line to become the real powerful executive presidency. The real reason is the monks opposed to it and even if LK had a political base that would not have mattered and the monks would have resisted.

    [But why was everyone so afraid of that “tiny faction” that Gunaratnam was arrested?]

    Nowadays, these unlawful behaviors of the government and its agents using “white van” get attention in the media and among the citizenry. Do you think the democracy is functioning with law and order? Why there is the need for the government to use these kinds of unlawful tactics that are forms of terror? Furthermore, he happens to be an Australian citizen and hence the Australian government got involved.

    [If you do not support what Kenya is doing, then you should not have used Kenya as an example. What Kenya is doing is not real devolution.]

    Why not it is not an example? Kenya considers it as devolution. Furthermore, their interim report provides the following general problems with centralization:

    The main problem of centralization of power is that it led to the capture of the state by a few political elites. These elites were able to control both political and economic power in the entire country. The concept of republican government as an instrument in the service of the welfare of the people disappeared as government ceased to serve the people and became the property of a few. People sought to be elected or appointed to public offices, not to serve the people but to amass wealth at a personal level. Election or appointment to certain public offices became the easiest way to amass wealth and become rich. The notion of servant leadership disappeared as personal aggrandizement took centre stage. Corruption, mismanagement and plunder of public resources as well as political patronage became the order of the day.

    Allocation of resources and development opportunities to individuals and different parts of the country was then done on the basis of political patronage instead of objective criteria and the most important person in this process became the president. This excluded many people from government services creating a feeling of marginalization in many parts of the country. A strong feeling of exclusion led to the perception that one had to have one of their own people in a key political public office for him to access government services and opportunities. Because of this, competition for political office became intense. Indeed, the presidency became ultimate price.

    Centralized planning and the concentration of power at the national level of governance have been identified as one of the key obstacles to both development and democratization.

    Centralization of power and economic planning and administration denies communities the opportunity to shape or influence their destiny in the matters of both development and democratization.

    In general, centralized organizational structure exhibits a number of the following weaknesses
    among others:

    •The central government officials responsible for planning are far removed from the peculiar circumstances of the various regions or localities of the country. They are therefore often ill-equipped to design optimal solutions to the development problems of these areas.

    •Due to the lack of an adequate appreciation of the critical factors that influence development, central planners tend to develop generalized and unrealistic plans that fail to sufficiently address the developmental needs of the local community.

    •By centralizing planning, there is often need for constant communication between the centre and its implementation officers on the ground. This back and forth communication in which field officers must constantly refer matters to the centre for decision making creates serious inefficiency in the system thus undermining development.

    •Locating decision- making of planning in the centre while implementation takes place in the field undermines co-ordination as the various technical departments operate independently and also refer matters to the centre independently without adequate consultation among each other. Horizontal co-operation in the field is thus undermined by the need to defer to a faraway superior in decision- making.

    •Centralized administration undermines accountability as the field officers can easily shift the blame for their defective implementation or misuse of resources to their superiors at the centre. The identities of the responsible officers at the centre are normally vague. decentralizations overcomes these challenges by directly connecting the state actions at the local level with officers to be held accountable.

    •Centralization excludes the citizen from decision-making in planning and implementation as well as the field officers. Centralized systems presuppose that the citizen has no ability to effectively contribute to developmental matters. It ignores the fact that the citizen is more aware of their needs, is more interested to support the development programmers in their area and that opportunities for popular participation are necessary in order to develop democratic culture.

    •Centralization denies the local population a genuine platform for participation as the public officers at the centre are far removed from the citizens and not bound by the views or suggestions made to field officers.

    [So how come district/division level devolution is not practical or does not meet the needs?]

    You seem to start with a negative attitude and trying to nit-pick? You just want to be a nay sayer. These are not nuclear technologies, we have the ability to do what we want based on many factors including cost effectiveness, requirements, pragmatic judgments, and we decide what would be the best configuration of the regional units.

    [If you are unable to delve into the specifics, then you should not be surprised at all that Sri Lanka does not have devolution. You are giving the strong impression that you have not thought through all the complexities involved in devolution.]

    These are not rocket science and these could be easily dealt with once it is decided to go in this route as these kinds of systems are employed in other countries and with appropriate modifications to suit Sri Lanka.

    [How/why would these regional units have any incentive to go for self-sufficiency when Colombo is handing out everything for free?]

    Colombo cannot afford to give everything for long. The regional units will have to strive for self sufficiency. Colombo is not functioning in a vacuum as it is getting its revenue from the regional units or foreign aid, grants and loans.

    [Could you name a single “party from abroad” that is willing to build the economy of Uva Province?]

    I do not have the information on Uva, but it is up to the leaders and people of Uva to determine and solicit and work on it. My reference was meant for the North, East and Colombo.

    [Now there is no accountability because Sri Lanka currently lacks an opposition. Everyone knows MR is crooked but who else is there to vote for?]

    It is true that there is no strong opposition. Hopefully, Gen. Sarath Fonseka now could help the opposition to strengthen. But I really do not believe that any thing would be significantly different even if the opposition were to be strong. This is one of the reason I was saying that devolution would help to reduce the level of corruption and abuse.

    [He will win because for the first time in Sri Lankan history, the Sinhalese are voting as a single bloc. That is the result of the war MR won combined with the lack of political opposition. For the minorities to get empowered, the first step is an opposition that will restore the split Sinhala politics.]

    How is that going to be achieved? Opposition is in disarray. MR and alliance are able to buy at will virtually any opposition politicians using money or posts or power. So NE Tamils are always expected to be dependent on what happening in the Sinhala polity much of which Tamils have no influence or control. This is another reason for Tamils want to have devolution and they do not want to be living with uncertainty and mercy of the Sinhala polity’s infighting or misgovernance.

    [Again your sentences are contradictory. If the Sinhala leaders were simply following the masses, then why try to spread fear among the masses?]

    It is meant to say that the leaders were seconding the fears of the masses and there is a fraction of the people that is not part of the overwhelming majority of masses spreading fears for which these leaders help to spread the fears.

    [If all that Sinhala leaders do is to spread fear among the masses, then isn’t that a very good reason for the Tamils to ignore these leaders and engage with Sinhala masses directly??]

    I have previously explained that it is an easy theory but successful practical application is very difficult.

    [There is an important difference that you are missing- it is much harder to impose a solution on an unwilling majority than an unwilling minority.]

    There is even more important point you are missing that Tamils are no longer going to put up with the majoritarian oppression in these issues anymore. That is why the fair and independent view of the IC and its pressure will be used to correct the wrongs for long time, at least since independence. If the majority is unwilling for even simple minor level of power devolution, there is no hope for a political solution and perhaps a more stronger solution would have to be implemented for which at least some of the extreme wing of the Tamils would be thankful for the Sinhalese. I do not think that government would or could afford to gamble. I hear you are talking about Sinhalese are against devolution for some reasons that may be based on unfounded fears but certainly unfair and inconsiderate with oppression and selfishness in mind. But up to date none of the players including the government, the main opposition, IC ruled out devolution. Is it that your wishful thinking?

    [No, and neither do most non-NGO Sinhalese.]

    I think this is based on misguided judgment, ignorance, prejudice and killing the messenger mentality. The NGO’s are by and large working based on objectivity and helping the weak and vulnerable and defenseless people. It is very unfortunate.

    [Then how would you explain how LTTE got away with using Tamil human shields with no protests in London or Toronto?]

    The term UNSG POE report used was human buffer. The protestors were protesting to stop the large scale killing of civilians and particularly in the NFZs areas by the government forces. The civilians were in the NFZs and they are there in the vulnerable situation. I believe the protestors had believed that the government should stop fighting that kills large number of civilians and they want the government to not to use heavy artilleries indiscriminately, not to shell hospitals and other areas where civilians are being killed. The government has no excuse to kill civilians in the NFZs that was designated area for the civilians to go and furthermore even small fraction of the civilians in the human buffer. The government is clearly not only failed to protect the civilians but it killed them too. There were plenty of war crimes committed here. The protestors must have selected the most important problem in their view and perhaps they did not believe that other issues are that important or feasible to change their objectives.

    [Absolutely not, but you missed the point that it was GGP’s speech that helped establish the first Sinhala communal party. The looting and killing came much later as Tamil leaders did nothing to dispel the mistrust.]

    Well, it might have been thought as a “hot potato” issue and Tamil leaders might have been concerned about this aspect and decided to buy time and falsely hoping that it would all go away on its own with time.

    [First you say it was wrong to be insulting, now you are defending GGP. What evidence was there of “Mahavamsa mentality” when there were no Sinhala communal organizations in Sri Lanka at that time?]

    It is wrong but also you got to address the mitigating circumstances led to that. You do not need formal organization but there were many involved in campaigns under the veil of restoring Buddhism and anti-Malayalee and anti-Tamil campaigns.

    [But the history shows that the speech did not “balance” the racist group but instead made it stronger. That makes it very strange for you to defend that speech.]

    It may well be. But the point I was making is that you can’t just look at part of the history. You got to look at the complete history in the proper context. There is a tendency for you to selectively read the history.

    [No, I totally disagree. Tamil militancy did not start in late 1950s or in 1965 when Sinhala leaders abrogated pacts. Tamil militancy began after standardisation in early 1970s when Jaffna youth lost the privileges they had over the other communities previously. Even then, only a tiny fraction of the Tamil youth became militants. The war began much later in 1983 after UNP govt murdered thousands of innocent Tamils.]

    What is privileges lost? Is it a privilege to select the students on a merit basis earlier? The standardization became openly discriminatory. Very capable Tamils who scored high in the entrance exams to the universities were not selected while other students with really very low marks were selected. Based on many of our observations, the students with very low marks had great difficulty coping and did not complete in the fields that require high intellectual capacity.

    Accumulation of many things over the years contributed to the starting of violent campaign. The most important thing is that failure to make peaceful political agreement or reneging on them pushed some youths to join the violent campaign as a last resort because they came to the belief that nothing is going to be achieved through a political solution.

    [So to answer your question, it was Sinhala racist violence not the lack of devolution which started the violent campaign.]

    No, both. Accumulation of many things over the years contributed to the starting of violent campaign. The most important thing is that failure to make peaceful political agreement or reneging on them pushed some youths to join the violent campaign as a last resort because they came to the belief that nothing is going to be achieved through a negotiated political solution based on bitter disappointments of the behavior of Sinhalese governments and leaders.

    [And I wonder how do you accuse when you have no evidence?]

    It is true that there were heavy war crimes were committed. The government needs to find out the details evidences.

    [But Darusman Report gave no evidence.]

    The panel obtained a lot of evidence. But they will have to protect witnesses and evidences. So until they have good witness protection program and other facilities, they won’t release the actual evidence.

    [That is because you are biased. In your view all the Sinhalese are villains and all the LTTE supporters are heroes. Only someone with that mindset would claim that Darusman Report was unbiased.]

    No. The report is not biased and there is absolutely no reason or motive to be biased. Certainly, you have a biased view.

    [Why, because he disagrees with you?]

    Because, it is really silly, complaining over style than substance. Ambassador Akashi really loses credibility on this issue it is unbecoming of his position. Did any other diplomats of IC say anything even remotely close to his comments?

    [The problem is that nowhere in the report did Darusman Panel say that it got its information from ICG. It adopted ICG’s language without citation. In the academic world that is called plagiarism.]

    No, they are referring to the ICG in a foot note in their report. They should have more explicit in referring to it. But these do not in any way change the facts, truths or conclusions. It is desperate attempt to find excuses on technicality rather than the facts.

    [So my question is how many other “unfortunate” errors are in that report???]

    This does not affect the material facts presented. If you find another typo error, bring it up. These do not change any material facts or opinions.

    [Why not?? If the Panel lacks the ability to discern truth from lies, then what authority does it have to write a report on what happened?????]

    I told you this earlier, if you lose credibility, then you can’t complain to change it. UN SG gave them authority to write it. They wanted to visit Sri Lanka to gather more information and verify much other information but GoSL in their wisdom was afraid of the panel finding out more facts and truths prevented their access. The panel had the mandate to do the job. GoSL can’t prevent them from doing their work by these kinds of tactics. GoSL is the loser in this aspect and if GoSL forces are not guilty of many of the accusations, why not allow them to do their work? This itself prima fascia case that GoSL has something to hide.

    [You are speculating about the sources. Why couldn’t Darusman Panel simply say that? I believe that Darusman got the number from Gordon Weiss’s book alone, just how it cut-and-pasted its report from ICG.]

    We do not really know but Gordon Weiss was working for the U.N. anyway.

    [That campaign slogan will only work if the people already support them. If the people don’t like those leaders, then that slogan will be counterproductive and the people will vote for the opposition that promises to hand over those leaders for investigation.]
    [At that point it would behoove you to ask yourself why the voters are protecting such leaders. And please spare us your racist beliefs that “Sinhala voters will protect MR because they are stupid and inferior to Tamils.”]

    Where did I express racist beliefs that Sinhala voters are stupid and inferior to Tamils? Are you confused? Only thing I would say is that voters that vote for proven war criminals to protect them would have their moral character questioned legitimately.

    [What has S. Pathmanathan wrote on that topic? Could you direct me to a book or journal article?]

    He authored books on Jaffna Kingdom, Archeological History of Sri Lanka,
    You just want to selectively read only that supports your views only rather than objectively read all of them and make a judgment.

    [By 1681 the Jaffna kingdom no longer existed.]

    The map reflects the configuration existed in 1861.

    Wikipedia: The English sailor Robert Knox described walking into the island’s Tamil country in the publication An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon, referencing some aspects of their royal, rural and economic life and annotating some kingdoms within it on a map in 1681 CE. Upon arrival of European powers.., the Tamils’ separate nation was described in their areas of habitation in the northeast of the island.

    I previously indicated that I am not going to continue discussion on the nonsenses of your denial to believe the history of Tamils and trying to do revisionist history.

    [When has the IC saved people?]

    Many instances, don’t you read the world history? What about Bosnia? Kosovo? Panama?, Grenada?, Somalia?, Sierra Leone?, Chechnya,? Haiti? World War I?, World War II?

  120. wije says:

    Dear Anonymous

    The ‘problem’ cannot be solved by patching up the ‘breaches’; it requires a surgical transplant!

    What do you propose?

  121. Anonymous says:

    On, – “The ‘problem’ cannot be solved by patching up the ‘breaches’; it requires a surgical transplant!” -, wije asks, ( May 22, 2012 at 6:23 pm), What do you propose?

    The question is quite warranted.

    I will answer. My answer is subject to you yourself meeting certain criteria. I am not going to splash my ideas into thin air. My ideas are for people who are willing to give and take, in order to reach an understanding.

    So, here are two criteria:

    Wije,

    1) Are you willing to concede that The Constitution of the land as is, is lopsided?
    2) My comment was on Dr. Rajasingham Narendran’s position that Tamils should ‘become’
    and ‘be treated’ as citizens equal to everyone else in Sri Lanka and that those
    principles are laid out in our constitution.

    Do you see the contradiction in his statement? What is it?

    Should you respond satisfactorily, I could open up the discussion/debate with you.

    (You must recognize that your’s was not a one word answer question.)

  122. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Anonymous,

    This is what chapter 3 of our constitution says:

    “THE CONSTITUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA

    CHAPTER III – FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

    Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

    10. Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.

    Freedom from torture.

    11. No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    Right to equality.

    12. (1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.

    (2) No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds:

    Provided that it shall be lawful to require a person to acquire within a reasonable time sufficient knowledge of any language as a qualification for any employment or office in the Public, Judicial or Local Government Service or in the service of any public corporation, where such knowledge is reasonably necessary for the discharge of the duties of such employment or office:

    Provided further that it shall be lawful to require a person to have sufficient knowledge of any language as a qualification for any such employment of office where no function of that employment or office can be discharged otherwise than with a knowledge of that language.

    (3) No person shall, on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex or any one such grounds, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, places of public entertainment and places of public worship of his own religion.

    (4) Nothing in this Article shall prevent special provision being made, by law, subordinate legislation or executive action, for the advancement of women, children or disabled .”

    Do you see any contradiction now in my position? The principles and the intent are there, but unfortunately are notadhered to in practice!

    I hope DBSJ will publish this comment to permit a proper closure of this debate.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  123. Anonymous says:

    Dr.RN fervently hoped that DBSJ would publish his comment for a ‘proper closure’ of this debate. DBSJ has.

    But, for Dr.RN to ‘force’ a closure on his own terms is not sound etiquette!

    I would love to continue; but, would it be judicious for my part to expect that DBSJ would allow us to go on until the cows comes home!

    Dr.RN has reproduced the constitution. Of what use? I had stated earlier that ‘If it is being breached, and is allowed to being breached, it is not worth the paper it is written on!’.

    On October 29, 2011 Dr.RN had said that our political aspirations should be no less and no more than becoming and being treated as equal to everyone else in Sri Lanka.

    Isn’t this an unequivocal admission that we are NOT yet equal to everyone else in Sri Lanka. Isn’t this damning enough a statement on the constitution!

    Now he says that ‘The principles and the intent are there’. Intentions are mirages; his optimism is unfounded.

  124. Dr Upul Kumara says:

    Anonymous,

    “Isn’t this an unequivocal admission that we are NOT yet equal to everyone else in Sri Lanka. Isn’t this damning enough a statement on the constitution!”

    No!

    What he says is the constitution is right but there have been occasions of breach and there need to be a solution to that. end of chapter.

    It just depends on the vantage point and may be take a different look (Not that easy mate) at the things and you’ll see!

  125. Anonymous says:

    Dr Upul Kumara, More the merrier!

    What Dr.RN had said was that, ‘our political aspirations should be no less and no more than becoming equal to everyone else in Sri Lanka’.

    What is meant by ‘becoming’ in this context? What is incorrect in my stating that it is an ‘admission that we are NOT yet equal’?

    Now, you are thumping your foot on,’Isn’t this damning enough a statement on the constitution!’ with a hard ‘No!’

    I am tired of your ‘No’ for ‘reason’! It is a no for no reason! Don’t even attempt to respond.

  126. Dr Upul Kumara says:

    Dear Anonymous,

    I am sorry if I sounded coming hard on! I didn’t mean to and I apologize if you were hurt by that.

    In Dr RN’s comments he states that the constitution is there to protect everybody irrespective of race, color, religion etc. He also states that there have been occasions of serious breach of constitution and they need to be looked at and make necessary administrative arrangements so that the breaches will not occur and social unjust is corrected.

    I do not see Dr RN as a Tamil, I see him as a fellow countryman. And that may be why I see no contradiction or such thing as “we are not equal as yet” in his statements.

    I also know for a fact that there have been breaches of the constitution in many ways and He is right on the money when he said that there is nothing wrong with constitution but it needs proper implementing.

    His comment, ‘our political aspirations should be no less and no more than becoming equal to everyone else in Sri Lanka’ means, there are occasions the constitution is breached and that breach comes in a way unjust for the Tamils.
    And he is right when he said there is unjust for the Tamils( Yes there are occasions of the breach of constitution that is unjust for Sinhalese as well) What he says is that the Tamils should be pragmatic in regards to their demands and nothing more than that.

    When you take part of the entire thread of comments out of the context, it may mean any thing , but it looses it’s validity the moment you take it out of the context. It becomes rhetoric when one does that and In this case I think it has unfortunately.

    I think his solution is a pragmatic beginning to reconciliation.

    Regards

  127. Anonymous says:

    Dear Dr Upul Kumara, You did not sound coming on hard at all. You were being blunt. Well, being blunt is a way adopted by a few – including me – to show that we are being firm. It does not mean that we are inflexible.

    Now, to the subject.

    You conclude by saying that, ‘I think ‘his’ solution is a pragmatic beginning to reconciliation.’.

    Thinking is our prerogative. We all think. We all act according to our thinking. How can I question your ‘thinking’? If I do so, I’d would be asking you not to be true to yourself.

    You would have had time to reflect on your thinking of May 27, 2012. Do you still think the same? (We all reflect on our thoughts and reach a different conclusion after a period of cool.)

    What is a good path to reconciliation? Where should it begin? Does reconciliation begin with the aggressor or with the aggrieved?

    You also say that, ‘he is right when he said there is unjust for the Tamils’. This is a good place to begin the process of reconciliation. Let the reconciliation efforts be moved forward. You could urge the Government to accept having hurt Tamils, so that the reconciliation can begin in the right spirit.

    You said that, ‘I do not see Dr RN as a Tamil’. We are all Sri Lankans. But, Tamils are Tamils, the same way Sinhalese are Sinhalese. You have to see us as Tamils. If you do so, you might see why Tamils feel aggrieved.

    We should feel comfortable in ourselves being Sinhalese or Tamils. It is incumbent on the Sinhalese community to make Tamils feel comfortable in their ‘Tamil’ shoes.

    The constitution is there to protect everybody. But, it fails to to make Tamils feel protected.

    Do not confine yourself to just your opinions. I have asked the right questions? I come to the conclusions I do from the answers I get, and/or from the answers that I am not given. Blaming me of just taking a part of the entire thread of comments out of context is not a fair criticism.

    I wish that Dr Upul Kumara contributes to reconciliation and approach it from the right end and in the right spirit. I look forward to you championing a truly attainable path to reconciliation.