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

The Cost of Defying Political Authority

Reams have been written on the two main topics widely discussed in Sri Lanka today. One is the fate of the army commander who chose to defy the authority of the Rajapakse brothers and the other is the 18th amendment that was passed with a large majority in parliament (161 for and 17 against) on September 8, 2010. It gives the president absolute power.

In an article published on the 43rd death anniversary of Che Guevera (October 9th) the writer says Che was not an anarchist but he wanted a strong handed moral government. He felt compelled to obey moral laws; finally sacrificing even his life in the struggle as in the Greek tragedy “Antigone”. “Antigone’s revolt stemmed not from a rejection of authority, but on the contrary from obedience to a moral law, than to an arbitrary edict. Antigone lost her life trying to protect human rights which are really moral rights while defying political authority. Sarath Fonseka is in prison today for defying the authority of the Rajapakse regime. But of course, this is not to say that Fonseka is another innocent, selfless Antigone fighting for human rights. No, and he certainly is not going to be entombed alive!

Defending moral rights and defying political authority would be considered something strange by many in our society today. Many learned people argue: “Denial; of basic civil and political rights is necessary for rapid, economic development. Protecting human rights in an impediment on the road to material development, politics after all is the art of the possible, and what is morally right or wrong is relative. There are no absolute, universal moral laws guiding human beings.” Most people seem to accept this ‘rational’ argument and are not unduly disturbed by a ‘conscience’, not even those who claim to follow the teachings of the Buddha or Jesus Christ.

Sarath Fonseka who was acclaimed a hero a few months ago till he entered the political arena is today a common criminal locked up in a prison cell. While in his case what was right then is wrong today, in the case of ex-terrorists Karuna, Pillayan and KP what was wrong then is right today. It is a pity Prabakaran died fighting. Had he surrendered and offered all that gold he plundered from his people (2 sovereigns from every family) to those in power, he too could have joined Karuna and company. Unfortunately, it was General Fonseka who got hold of that nearly 200 kilograms of gold and he says as an honest officer handed it over to the relevant authorities. Today all that gold seems to have melted into thin air.

There aren’t many people defending Sarath Fonseka’s civil and political rights. It could be through fear of offending the Rajapakse regime or may be they believe like K.Godage and several others that Sarath Fonseka has “reduced himself to zero because of his own unguarded statements and actions”. A man who saved the country from the LTTE and was applauded by the government as the best army commander is today treated as a criminal by the same government. For his angry unguarded statements and the ambitious act of contesting the presidential election, the General is in prison, while Mervyn Silva whose lawless antics the whole nation watched on TV is not only a free man but a minister, being declared innocent by those in power. Do we accept this as justice?

There is no strong protest from the opposition for the obvious reason it has no leader. The leader of the UNP has suddenly started making too many noises on behalf of Sarath Fonseka which makes one wonder what his hidden agenda is. It cannot be in the interest of Sarath Fonseka but in his own self interest.

Many have not cared to read or understand the implications of the 18th amendment.  Some shrug it off saying: “who cares? We are happy with this regime because it has given us peace. For that we are ever grateful and look forward to economic development with this political stability”. Any ordinary person with average intelligence who cares to understand why the 18th amendment is harmful to the country would realise that:

(1) It scraps the 17th amendment and with it all independent commissions, which would have considerably restricted the power of the president. Had the 17th amendment remained intact to be implemented, extending the presidential term would not have mattered very much. By removing the 17th amendment, the 18th amendment has given the president unlimited powers with unlimited terms in office, leading to a dictatorship. Those who argue that the president can be “kicked out” the day the voters decide to do so, take their listeners to be absolute buffaloes. “Kicked out” indeed with all the powers in his hands! The truth they hide is that the president can never be removed through the ballot unless people resort to violence and bullets.

As R M B Senanayake points out ‘Death of democracy is not due to the removal of the presidential term limits, but due to the absolute power given to the president which would deny the country a politically neutral bureaucracy. All public institutions including the judiciary would be firmly controlled by the president almost for ever. No wonder G. Uswatte Arachchi has called the 18th amendment – a rush to elected tyranny.

(2) As the civil rights movement points out, if the president’s term limit is removed his immunity must go too. According to our constitution a president’s immunity is not for life. It is limited to a period of 12 years, and an injured party could seek justice at the end of it. But now the president would have immunity for life, as he cannot be removed by the ballot. Imagine a day when a young Rajapakse takes oath as president at the age of 30 or 35 and remains immune for the rest of his life!

(3) Many have pointed out the manner in which the 17th amendment was repealed and the 18th amendment passed. According to Rohan Edirisinha, well known constitutional expert, a few outside the government even had access to the proposed amendment before it was sent to the Supreme Court. There was no consultation, it was couched in secrecy and rushed through the whole process. Sumanthiran, a Human Rights lawyer and MP, in his parliamentary speech on 08th September, queried: “When and where did this bill originate? Cabinet? Couldn’t be. It has certified that this is urgent in the national interest. Can anything be more laughable than that? Did the cabinet have a copy or even a draft of this Bill? I think not, how can this Bill be ‘urgent in the national interest’ to warrant such indecent haste?”

In spite of this indecent haste many responsible people have condemned the 18th amendment. Among them are: The CRM, Bar Association, Asian Human Rights watch, many academics, intellectuals, journalists and concerned citizens. But their voices went unheeded. The greatest disappointment came from the left group of politicians who voted in favour of the 18th amendment, in order to please the president and preserve their perks. Nineteen LSSP and DLF Politburo and central committee members are reported to have condemned the 18th amendment but the five parliamentarians in an “act of shameless opportunism” voted in favour of the amendment betraying their own parties. Chief among them is Tissa Vitarana, the leader of the LSSP, who is ever so grateful to the president for saving him from oblivion and making him the chairman of the useless APRC, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, a close friend of the president voted in favour claiming that he had to do so in order to save the country from Sarath Fonseka and his military men. Without the support of the 5 of them, the government would have crumbled enabling “prisoner” Fonseka to take over power! So much for the leaders we trusted as men of integrity!

  • eureka

    Thank youuuuuu

  • sri lal

    Attention Please,

    Doctor Dayan , please read this article and comment !

  • Kanagarajah

    The army commander who chose to defy the Rajapakses is in jail now .

    Tamils in Wellawatta, Elvitigala areas in Colombo, Sri Lanka are humiliated to “register” with the Police every few years but not the Sinhalese ?

    Or are the Police doing this on their own to earn “some extra cash” – which has often been the case in many instances?

    How far is it true that Police in civilian clothes visited several Tamil jewelry shops in Sea Street last week and collected over 100 sovereigns – worth nearly Rs.4 million?

    All this because Tamils are vulnerable?

    Is there an engineered move to make Tamils feel constantly insecure and hunted so that they will gradually leave the country?

    Where is the law, the protection guaranteed under the Constitution ?

    Why Tamils still live in fear and uncertainty in the South, the North East and elsewhere n the island ?

  • justitia

    Mahinda Rajapase has acquired dictatorial powers by poaching MPs from the opposition parties.
    If he had at least deleted ‘personal immunity’ along with the enactment of the 18th amendment, – which he had promised earlier in his infamous Chinthanaya, along with a promise to abolish the executive presidency – we could say that he
    had the nation’s welfare at heart.
    Now he stands exposed as a power hungry despot.
    The shameless opposition members who crossed over will be forever remembered as traitors to the nation.
    Sri Lanka is in for a tough time. Unnecessarily the defence expenditure has been increased in the forthcoming budget. The armed forces have become a law unto themselves and consider the laity as slaves. All nations in the aftermath of World War II, demobilised excess members of the armed forces and allowed them avenues of education and employment. But in sri lanka, the armed forces are now parasites gobbling up a large portion of the revenue, with nothing to show in return.
    The country is now a ‘military state’ and the government is a ‘military regime’ and this state of affairs will be entrenched with the proposed establishment of army camps in each electorate.
    The time becoming ripe for a Military Coup in the foreseeable future.
    The regime is bolstered by servile present & future deplomats singing ‘hosannas’ in praise of the regime.

  • eureka

    Instead of serving all citizens justice, the government chooses to pay PR for image

    Share this pageFacebookTwitter ShareEmail Print Sri Lanka ‘pays PR firm £3m to boost post-war image’

    Hope the new Cardinal will give the Rajapakses some advice.

  • The Mervyn Silva

    With the apologies to the Sophocles and all the Greek peoples, I am thinking we can re-write the play to suit the modern situation in Sri Lanka, calling it “The Gona and the anti-gona”.

    If you are not knowing who they are, the Gona is the one in the Temple Trees and the anti gona is the one in the jail.

    [Edited out]

  • Chee Lanka

    @sri lal,

    Doctor Dayan may yet comment, but we can be assured that he won’t speak his mind any more. MR and GLP have effectively silenced Dayan by offering him a plum diplomatic posting to Paris.

    Thus falls the last man standing who could offer intelligent, cogent criticism of the regime.

    Our immediate loss. His eventual loss. But the regime’s gain.

  • sri lal

    Dear Chee Lanka

    it should be other way round ,

    His immediate gain and country’s trounce.
    when was the last time he was speaking his mind , he has always been a very docile poodle for MR & co , that’s why he never antagonize MR , rather he found all the time in the world to bash Sirima / cbk / Ranil,

  • sri lal

    Dear Ground views

    why did you censor this Dr Mervin silva’s comment , I thought at least this site is free from so called moderator ( of course not to use filthy language ) , I enjoy his creative writing very much ,how can we really blame MR regime for expurgation then?

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Hey Chee Lanka, thanks for the left-handed compliments but I was offered a larger plum in December in the form of the ambassadorship in Tokyo, but politely declined.

    As for ‘intelligent and cogent criticism’ of the regime, or more accurately, its negative aspects — because I consider Mahinda Rajapakse’s contribution to be far more positive than negative– I’ve said pretty much all that I need to say and gone on to emphasise and re-emphasise the necessary correctives and constructive alternatives.

    I don’t see the need to flog a dead horse.

    The rest have to left to events, processes and younger personalities. There’s plenty of good, critical stuff being written (I find myself applauding Indi Samarajeewa, Kalana Senaratna and Asanga ‘Publius’ Welikala).

    Current affairs commentary is not my bag, political science is — and as a political scientist, I regard ‘state’ as more central a category than ‘regime’ ( The state is the classical subject matter of ‘High politics’ as distinct from ‘ Low politics’ focused on domestic governance). The representation and defence of the Sri Lankan state in the international system is more important to me than the criticism of the current regime. There are plenty to undertake the latter; fewer to do the former.

    When I broached the matter with the distinguished Singaporean Ambassador-at- Large who is Chairman of the think tank at which I am based (India’s Foreign Minister has a closed door session with us on Oct 27), he said this: “you can always return to academia and the universe of think tanks, but representing and defending your country in the world, is a higher national calling”.

  • Davidson

    Political authority to sabotage the North:

    Unruly Sinahala tourists storm into Jaffna Public Library, 24 October 2010:

    A group of Sinhala visitors from South on Saturday stormed into Jaffna Library while the All Ceylon Medical Association sessions were in progress. The group was from the Sinhala tourists who arrived Saturday in more than 30 buses at the main entrance of Jaffna Public Library. Despite a sign board in three languages – Sinhala, Tamil and English on display that no visitors will be allowed during the usual visiting hours (4:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m) due to the conference, the Sinhala visitors had demanded the security guard and the only unarmed policeman to allow them in, an eyewitness told TamilNet. Following heated argument the visitors smashed the sign board and overpowered the guard and stormed into the library where the seminar was in progress. The seminar which began Friday is to continue until Sunday.

  • Davidson

    Sorry, groundviews.
    Point taken.

  • The Mervyn Silva

    Hello Sri Lal,

    I think the Groundviews thinking I am breaking the guidelines when saying who I am in the last line. It is my fault. I am not following the guidelines. Maybe because I am used to Sri Lankan system, not to the international system.

    In Sri Lanka we have the simple guideline. You can do whatever you are liking to who ever you are likng. Only look at the president now and then for the guideline. If the President nodding this way that means yes. If nodding the other way no. If not nodding at all that means president himself waiting for the guideline. Don’e ask me from where. Some people saying Doctor Dayan is thinking president is waiting for guidelines from him because he is reading Marx and Trotsky and the Grahamski. But when you are asking president he is laughing from backside and frontside saying he is getting more guidelines frome pet dog than the doctor. He is saying he is sending the doctor to Geneva to be like pet dog and bark at people crashing the party but the doctor thinking he is going to give the after dinner ispeech and starting to talk even before the party staring.

    Now the president is sending the Docotr Dayan to the France to see if he is learning lesson. This time barking only. No speaking. If wanting to say Grahamski saying this Trotsky saying that then say it in your own home, to yourself, president is saying. Don’t speak to foregners like you are giving the gidelines.

    But I am also wanting to ask the Doctor Dayan one question. Why you going to the France? Why not coing to the Kelaniya side as the ambassador? Kelaniya is also like another country and I am like king there. And Kelaniya not the like the France at all. Did the Buddha ever go to the France? The France was not even born when the Buddha was walking up and down the Indian side giivng people the guidelines. And Buddha also coming to the Kelaniya side and putting the foot down and making the place pure and simple. Now I am cleaning up the place even more and more.

    So I am thinking the Docotr Jayatilleke should be coming to the Kelaniya side as ambassador. I know, nothing much for the doctor to do here. Nobody here to listen to the doctor’s theories. Nobody anywhere to listen to the doctor’s thoeries, not even in the France. And no barking at all in the Kelaniya side because I am doing all that. But at least in the Kelaniya side he can teach the English in the temple. My friend the S.B. saying next year all the university students learning in the English. The doctor can be preparing the students, teaching them how to write essay without answering question.

  • Vino Gamage

    ”Is there an engineered move to make Tamils feel constantly insecure and hunted so that they will gradually leave the country?”

    The government is asking the foreign governments not to give asylum but to send them back – these are people who couldn’t ”fly out” of Sri Lanka.

  • sri lal

    @ Dayan ,

    defending the country at international level is far a snivel than defending it domestically , what is the difference these so called intellectuals (local university vice chancellors to professors , lectures …etc etc ) defending this regime day in day out ,and you intend to do in the foreseeable future at an international level , I’ m afraid in my reading it is very much similar to a Zimbabvian/Iranian /Burmeese diplomat trying to defend his/her country from hostile countries , for them their diplomat duties indeed is a bigger plum than besieged general public plight….

    “I don’t see the need to flog a dead horse” , spot on………my friend try to milk as much as you can from a half dead cow…
    Food for thought Dayan….

    p.s it is very clever to pass the buck to some one else ( indi, kalana , asanga etc…. )

  • sri lal

    Dear the Mervin silva ,

    yes I couldn’t agree with you more, Doctor Dayan is very superior in writing pages and pages long essays , but anyone hurl a legitimate query , he initially bestow a fuzzy answer and then ebb in to the thin air for a while , ( let it to settle ) and comes up again with another dreary lengthy essay , I often wonder what is the real motive of his writing ……………,

  • TT


    I draw a distinction between those who defy political authority and those who defy national security.

    There are many people defying political authority and nothing happens to them.

    e.g. Most UNP, TNA, JVP parliamentarians, PC members, LG members

    e.g. Most journalists (thousands of them).

    e.g. Most NGO activists (tens of thousands of them)

    e.g. Almost all voters of opposition parties (millions of them.)

    But when someone goes against national security, all hell fall on him/her.

    Some people who accept political authority but disagree on national security are also in trouble.

  • Luxmy Silva

    Unable to defy authority:


    ……. However amidst the resistance of the ICRC representatives, a group of MPs including Messrs Namal Rajapaksa, Manusha Nanayakkara, Saranatha Basnayake and Sri Ranga had distributed the tractors of their choice by force. Consequently Ms Maryse Limonar had walked to the rear of an ICRC vehicle and cried who couldn’t hide her feelings.

  • Luxmy Silva

    Corruption Perception Index reflects the extent of authority:


    Sri Lanka records marginal increase in Corruption Perception Index -TI

    ”…. Sri Lanka is clubbed together with six other countries – Bosnia & Herzegovina, Djibouti, Gambia, Guatemala, Kiribati and Swaziland – all with a score of 3.2. The score indicates that these countries continue to have a serious corruption problem in their public sector. ….”

  • Luxmy Silva

    Unable to defy authority:

    Submission before Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) by Chandra Jayaratne, 23 September 2010:
    IDP’s being denied access to their former places of residence
    Challenging the right to title of the properties traditionally owned and /or occupied persons living in conflict affected areas
    Large tracts of previously occupied lands being demarcated as high security zones
    Unjustified land acquisitions on security considerations but allocated for non security related purposes
    The publicly announced resettlement benefits to internally displaced persons not being distributed equitably and in line with the announced scheme
    Lack of basic amenities like water, sanitation, power and proper housing for the newly resettled families
    Resource allocation not determined on community priorities and allocated without consultation and outside the need base and at times missing the most vulnerable and in need, possibly due to identity based biases
    Some areas like Jaffna receiving more than necessary resource allocations and peripheral areas lacking in even basic allocations
    Preventing willing and capable NGO’s/INGO’s, international community and Diaspora from helping people in need at their most vulnerable moment of need
    Building of new permanent military cantonments with residential facilities for military personnel and their families
    Plans to settle majority community families in order to change the traditional area demography otherwise than by natural development oriented migration
    Arbitrary arrests and detention in the post war period as well
    Continuing active engagement of unauthorized armed groups
    Continuing disappearances of civilians
    List of persons in custody, camps and detention centres not being made public
    Failure to assist families in tracing missing persons
    Negative impact on civilians during the conflict due military excesses
    Unease of single women headed families fearing for their safety in the presence of large number of armed personnel of the forces
    Removal of burial sites of persons affected by the conflict
    Some important cultural, religious and remembrance sites being damaged and destroyed
    Disrespect shown by visitors to holy sites and sites held in high esteem by resident communities
    Free availability of liquor, cigarettes and narcotics
    Emerging consumerism promoted by business houses who fail to participate in adding value to the civilian communities
    Savings of the region being channelled to other areas whilst unmet needs of area community remain
    Decision making in the hands of the military or officials from the Central Government.

  • Luxmy Silva

    Political authority:

    Approaches to equity in post-Tsunami assistance. Sri Lanka: A case study, Mandeep Kaur Grewal(DfID), November 2006:
    Within several days of the tsunami, Trincomalee’s District Secretary echoed the practice of his counterparts in other tsunami affected districts by engaging with a range of local stakeholders to form a coordination task force. By February 2005, presidential instructions arrived, requiring the District Secretary to seek ministerial approval for each task force meeting, effectively replacing this body with a special Council for the Reconstruction of Trincomalee, which involved approximately 70 members and was headed by ministers based in Colombo. The Council’s creation compromised district coordination efforts while providing no effective alternative, with the new Council meeting fewer than three times over 2005. The example of the District Secretary, who was undermined in developing a standard coordination process that other districts were able to implement, contrasts sharply with Hambantota’s housing experience, where conventional bureaucratic norms and systems of accountability were set aside, allowing the district to respond comparatively faster in planning reconstruction. ….”

  • Luxmy Silva

    Authority >>Authoritarianism >> internal colonialism:

    No funds to meet needs of nearly 200,000 Northern IDPs due to govt refusal to endorse 2010 action plan, 13 March 2010: ”The funding crisis follows the government’s refusal to endorse the 2010 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP)…. The UN and other humanitarian agencies are running out of resources to meet the urgent needs of internally displaced persons in the North. …”

  • Davidson

    Luxmy’s first and the fourth posts of the five successive posts convey the same attitude on the part of successive governments – Tamils shouldn’t gain by foreign assistance.

  • Davidson

    Political authority, please change the attitude:

    Veteran diplomats tell LLRC: Equal treatment of the Tamil language, redress grievances of LTTE suspects now, 16 September 2010:
    ”….Gooneratne said that the lethargic attitude of a section of the officials had contributed to the gradual deterioration of the relationship between the Tamil speaking people and the Sinhalese….”

  • Davidson

    Political authority,

    If there should be Reconciliation and peace, many more southerners should see the realty of the whole of the Northeast Sri Lanka, not just Jaffna town and Nagadipa.

    Four “New” Sinhala Doctors Conduct a Medical Camp in Mandaitheevu
    by Fr.Lasantha de Abrew s.j., 18 April 2010:

    ”… A9 is neither a pathway to Jaffna nor a link between North and South of Sri Lanka. I could see only army sentry points and extended army camps throughout the journey to Jaffna. Why are there so many Buddha statues along the A9 route? We could see Army sentry points every two hundred meters, some are newly done. Kilinochchi town seems to be an Army village, so many personnel, army run shops, army vehicles, and army men playing cricket leisurely. Rarely did we see Tamil people” are some of the comments of the Sinhala Buddhist doctors. ……
    For the past twenty years, the Sri Lankan Navy has captured the Mandaitivu village with these peoples’ houses and made it a High Security Zone.
    The people were displaced several times in different places and have last come back but they are staying outside of the naval camp in huts just gazing at their own homes occupied by the Navy. The doctors spoke to the people and observed their utter poverty. ….”

    Young religious visit their own suffering brothers and sisters in Northern Sri Lanka
    by Rev.Fr.Lasantha de Abrew s.j., 25 October 2010:
    ‘’….We had an opportunity to visit Sannar in the District Mannar where the people are living in temporary huts donated by the UNHCR. They were told that they would be resettled in their own land but it had been a wild dream as they are relocated in a jungle as their own land has been named a High Security Zone under the Sri Lankan Army. ….”

    How many decades should the oppressed people wait to have human dignity:

    Young religious visit their own suffering brothers and sisters in Northern Sri Lanka
    by Rev.Fr.Lasantha de Abrew s.j., 25 October 2010:
    ”… The high military presence in these areas makes the resettled persons more tensed, uncomfortable and uneasy. The regular visits of the soldiers to their half built houses and temporary sheds, frequent arrests of the young males on various justified and unjustified charges, and inviting the children to the camps to watch films make them uneasy.
    …. Easy availability of DVD shops, liquor, smoking even promoted by the soldiers could be the causes for such lack of interest. …”

  • Davidson

    Good news fom a sub-secion of Political authority:


    A spokesperson for the LLRC told The Island that after taking into consideration submissions made by those who had been critical of the UPFA’s handling of contentious issues, the LLRC had proposed a series of measures to tackle issues of concern to the Tamil speaking people in the post-war situation.

    Taking into account detention of persons for long periods without being charged, the LLRC has proposed a special mechanism to examine such cases on a case by case basis and take appropriate action with the concurrence of the Attorney General’s Department.

    The LLRC has also suggested the publication of a list of persons in detention and issue a discharged person with a document to prevent him being arrested again unless the police come across fresh evidence of his or her link to the LTTE rump. It has also suggested that the ‘general issue of laws delays’ be inquired into.

    Commenting on land issues, the LLRC has recommended that the government issue a statement assuring the people of the Northern and Eastern Districts that private lands will not be taken over by the State to set up settlements.

    The LLRC has proposed immediate action to disarm those engaged in acts of extortion, abduction and other criminal activities. A spokesman for the LLRC told The Island that disarming of all armed group was a matter of highest priority and couldn’t be delayed any further.

    The fourth LLRC proposal deals with the urgent need to rectify administrative shortcomings in relation to the language issue. It says the Tamil speaking people must be able to communicate in their language with State officials.

    The final proposal calls for free movement on the A9 road north of Vavuniya and the Jaffna peninsula and enhanced cooperation and coordination between civilian administrators and the military in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

  • Davidson

    Oh, just as I thought there is an unbelievable change in the attitude of the government, I’ve just found out the usual catch:
    Advisory Committee for early implementation of Lessons Learnt Commission !!

    The present government still holds two reports from the public’s view:

    Jayantha Dhanapala’s oral presentation to LLRC, 2 September 2010:
    ”we have had an APRC functioning for quite some time but its report is still languishing in obscurity and needs to be presented to the public of Sri Lanka for discussion.”
    The latest Commission of Inquiry in Sri Lanka: Another Exercise in Deception, MCM Iqbal, 29 May 2010:‘’Let me now deal with the Commission appointed in year 2007 to inquire into serious human rights violations … A report of this Commission is said to have been handed over to the President, but has never been made public.”

    Sri Lanka: Twenty years of make-believe. Sri Lanka’s Commissions of Inquiry, 11 June 2009


  • eureka

    Oppressors hide very well behind ”national security” and ”national sovereignty”.
    The cries of human insecurity by the oppressed are unable to penetrate these walls to reach the outside world, for these walls are reinforced by the collusion of many oppressors from around the world and by geopolitics.

  • Vino Gamage

    ”elected tyranny” to Tamils from the time of ”independence”.

    Let’s put our heads together to work out the best course we can take under these ircumstances.