18th Amendment, Colombo, Constitutional Reform, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance, Post-War

Final text of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran’s speech in Parliament opposing the 18th Amendment

Though the text of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran’s speech was published earlier on the Internet, Groundviews was sent today the final version of the text, approved by the MP, which incorporates into the text his responses to interruptions during its delivery in Parliament on 8 September 2010.

This text needs to be read in conjunction with “Sound is no substitute for argument”: Exclusive video of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran’s speech in parliament against 18th Amendment.

View in full-screen here.

Download as a PDF here.

  • We don’t walk on our feet in Sri Lanka(SL), we walk on our heads! We walk upside down and down side up!

    Wrong is right and right is wrong. Evil men are celeberated and good men are ignored. War criminals are War heroes and “War crimes week” is “War heroes week”. Morals are upside down.

    Proud people do not listen to good advise is a spiritual truth. They are foolish by nature and have no wisdom. Wisdom is a fruit of humility and pride brings fear.

    Democracy died in SL because the proud Sinhalese had fear and lack of wisdom to undestand the concepts of “Territorial Federalism” and “Micro State”, and concede to Tamil rights constitutionally, in the first republic constitution of 1972.

    The dignity of Tamils was forcibly taken away and SL became a country like apartheid South Africa and Southern Rhodesia under Ian Smith.

    What you sow is what you reap is spiritual. The Sinhalese started to reap “loss of dignity”, which they sowed to Tamils. Now, about a million of them work like slaves in the Middle East without dignity. They remit more than one billion US Dollars to SL, creating a “Slave economy”. This adds to the “Slave economy” in the Tea industry.

    To fix a flat tyre, the hole in it has to be fixed first. The hole in the constitution is the lack of dignity to Tamils.

    Recent historical parallels show how to fix up such “holes”. Ian Smith and the “whites” decreed a unilateral constitution in 1965 and took away the dignity of the “Blacks” in Southern Rhodesia. The remedy was to restore the dignity of the “Blacks” with a new constitution in 1980’s in a new country Zimbabwe. The remedy was the same for apartheid South Africa.

    “Territorial Federation” was the fix up answer for the island in 1972. The “hole” is wider now and the only fix up solution has become the state of Tamil Eelam, which Tamils envision as the soil to restore dignity identity and security. It is the best solution, even if others do not like it.

    It is difficult to explain as to why this evil existed for the past 38 years. But the presence of evil does not negate the existence of a loving God. His wisdom is the best to solve problems.

    I am convinced that it is the awesome wisdom of Christ Jesus that can make the people of SL walk on their feet again.

  • @Spiritual Man

    …it was not evil! In reality it was ‘Swine Flu’ which infected a majority of the majority in 1956!
    If George Orwell was alive today, he would write a sequel to his famous novel “1984,” and call it “2010 Jilmart.”
    And unlike in “1984” where there was ‘ONE’ BIG BROTHER…in the book “2010 Jilmart” there will be a “Quadrumvirate of Brothers” and assorted family members, lackeys, hangers on and henchmen!

    It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it; consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.
    George Orwell

    Welcome to “The DemoCrazy TheoCrazy Utopian Paradise of Jilmart!”

  • A Sane Person

    “But the presence of evil does not negate the existence of a loving God. His wisdom is the best to solve problems…I am convinced that it is the awesome wisdom of Christ Jesus that can make the people of SL walk on their feet again.”

    Yes, lets leave it to a magical, fairy tale creature in the sky to fix Sri Lanka’s himalayan problems. Did this magical creature prevent the 18th amendment from going through or prevent the loss of 70 000+ lives in a brutal war lasting for over 25 years? No. He/she/it did diddly squat.

    What will make the people of SL walk on their feet agains is getting rid of silly superstition and actually learning a thing or two about human rights and democracy and fighting for it. That and getting rid of the feudal monarchy that seems to be on the ascendancy.

  • Sohan Fernando

    Hi all readers:
    For maximum benefit, may I strongly urge all readers to follow Groundviews’ suggestion:

    Groundviews said: This text needs to be read in conjunction with “Sound is no substitute for argument”: Exclusive video of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran’s speech in parliament against 18th Amendment. http://www.groundviews.org/2010/09/12/sound-is-no-substitute-for-argument-exclusive-video-of-tna-mp-m-a-sumanthirans-speech-in-parliament-against-18th-amendment/

    Even though that video is a bit long. Because, I found the transcript by itself does NOT fully capture all facets of this speech.

    E.g., Groundviews itself has, in that post, made several observations about the video recording, such as how it shows some other parliamentarians’ “ignorance over what is a point of order in parliament”, and much more. I found many such examples, and concerning facts and attitudes, reveal themselves only in the video (but not in the transcript alone).

    Even the Speaker’s seemingly (to me, anyway) “don’t care” attitude towards the interruptions, or even towards the (to my ears) potentially incendiary and slanderous “Kotiyek” shouts; or the absurdity of some of the “points of order” raised by some; are best seen and heard via the video.

    If it’s difficult to watch the video online, I’m fairly sure it is allowed to be downloaded for offline viewing, from

  • Jokovich

    The racist shouting in parliament is what tamils live with everyday. If the leaders and elders of the Sinhala community act this way, how can we blame the sheeps. This kind of slander is considered normal in parliament. Has any viable group of Sinhalese stood up and said that this is wrong? I suspect I know the answer.

  • Tmama

    Dignity of theTamil nation was taken away in the 1940s when their leaders petitioned to the imperial powers against the award of independence of Sri Lanka.

    Ordinary Sri Lankans perhaps did not accord the Tamil leaders the respect normally given to others as they only spoke of the specific issues pertaining to the minority group they represented which was well endowed with much economic muscle all through.

    The Tamil Congress, Federal Party etc. taught their folks to think of the rest of the rest of their countrymen as ignorant godayas. FAct is partly true but it was the result of uneven opprtunities all through the colonised period. After the independence the FP / TC leaders continued to place all sorts of blockades with 50 – 50 demAND, Satyagraha, balck flags against setting up a University in Jaffna, encouraging cynide carrying young cadres to rob banks etc.

    THis act isby the TNA MP no different. The countries that have done well in the recent history in Asia like Singapore and Malaysia have had strong leaders over long periods.

    We are lucky today to have a leader who is not from the well worn mould, coming from the property owning elite. Mahinda hails from a village and can easily merge into the folks waiting for a bus in any road, and what is more he can speak Tamil and hasmany intimate friends among Muslim and Tamil communities. Long may he continue, and of course the voting public can turn him out should he prove inadequate one day.

    I have a strong feeling that Mr Sumanthiran will regret making this foolish statement.

  • Hela Handa

    Where is the self appointed guardian of all public good and democratic norms, Milinda Moragoda, in this vital public debate on the 18th Amendment? Is he still sulking in some corner, having lost the last election? Or is he now preparing to run for office in the land closer to his heart, the United States of America?

  • “The timeline… reflects both the genesis of the heinous 18th Amendment and also the occasions mainstream press reported that the President attended / “visited” Parliament.

    It was no easy task to compile this. Only a handful ordinary citizens would have the expertise to search for this information online, or elsewhere. There is no easy record retrieval of the President’s attendance in Parliament on its official website. But what is immediately obvious when the scattered media reports are taken as a whole is that the 18th Amendment has in no way at all contributed to a more accountable Executive. ”

    Excerpt from ‘Months after the 18th Amendment: Is the Executive really more accountable to Parliament?’, http://groundviews.org/2011/06/11/months-after-the-18th-amendment-is-the-executive-really-more-accountable-to-parliament/