The keynote speech by Mr. R Sampanthan, the leader of the main Tamil parliamentary party at the recent congress of that organization is in many respects a landmark event. It sheds light on a number of key strategic issues and should make clear to the international community that the matter of political dialogue leading to ethnic reconciliation is, has become or is becoming rather more complex and fraught than is customarily thought.

The senior political leader of the Tamil community in the island’s strategically sensitive Northern Province reconfirms the political aim and goal of his party. Perhaps more importantly he clarifies the international strategy that is being, and is to be, adopted in furtherance of that political project, as well as the interconnection between the international strategy and domestic tactics in support of the project. It is not so much a strategy for breakthrough as for ‘breakout’.

Mr. Sampanthan’s speech not only states clearly that the political project lies outside the parameters of both the 13th amendment as well as the structural form of a unitary state, it also provides considerable evidence that the goal of a sovereign state of and for the Tamils, one in which they enjoy absolute rather than shared or devolved authority, remains the goal. The terms ‘devolution’ and ‘power-sharing’ do not appear in the speech.

Perhaps the key segment of Mr. Sampanthan’s speech is that the adopted strategy is to prove to the international community, especially India and the USA, that a solution for the Tamil people is not possible within a united Sri Lanka. The repeated use of the term ‘united’ rather than ‘unitary’ reveals that the strategy is not merely to convince the international community that a solution cannot be found within the unitary form and framework, but rather within a united Sri Lanka, i.e. Sri Lanka as a single, united country. Despite several references to a ‘united’ Sri Lanka elsewhere in the text, this strategic perspective reveals a latent commitment to a secessionist goal by other means.

This interpretation is confirmed by a passage in which it is stated that the softening of the political stand of the main Tamil party is merely tactical, does not indicate a shift of political goal and is intended to dovetail with ongoing and emerging international trends and leveraging those international trends and factors in favor of that political goal.

Key extracts of the speech follow:

  • “…We gather here following our victory in the passage of the recent Resolution at the UN Human Rights Council, a condemnation against the Sri Lankan government by the international community, which has recognized that the Sri Lankan government has committed the crime of extermination against our people, and that it continues to deny them their political rights…”
  • “…Up to 500 years ago, the Tamil people established their own governments, and governed themselves.  Our party symbolizes a time in history, until the entire country was, for administrative convenience, ruled as one Nation by colonial powers, during which our people had their own sovereign Tamil governments. The symbol of our party chosen for us by our founder – the House – also symbolizes this. This House is the Home of our community; our community’s historical habitat; our community’s sovereignty. Our fundamental objective is to regain our community’s Home, its historical habitat and its sovereignty. The symbol of the House symbolizes this unshakeable aim…” 
  • “… Today, the only hope it has is the interest and involvement of the international community in the reasonable demands on which our struggle is based.  It is this that stands as a force for us, from outside our community, today. We must not forget the lesson history taught us, of the difference of opinion we had with India that not only caused it to distance itself from us for the past 20 years, but even caused it to work against us. We want to ensure that we do not act such a manner again, and thus alienate ourselves from the international community.
  • The softening of our stance concerning certain issues, and the compromise we show in other issues, are diplomatic strategies to ensure that we do not alienate the international community. They are not indications that we have abandoned our fundamental objectives.
  • Our expectation for a solution to the ethnic problem of the sovereignty of the Tamil people is based on a political structure outside that of a unitary government, in a united Sri Lanka in which Tamil people have all the powers of government needed to live with self respect and self sufficiency. We believe that only within such a structure of government can the Tamil people truly enjoy the right to internal self-determination that is their inalienable right.
  • The position that the North and East of Sri Lanka are the areas of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking people cannot be compromised in this structure of government. We must have unrestricted authority to govern our own land, protect our own people, and develop our own economy, culture and tradition. Powers must be allocated under this structure based on the understanding that meaningful devolution should go beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1987. This position has been accepted by our party. Our acceptance of this position does not mean that we consider the 13th Amendment to be an acceptable solution, nor that, in the event  our right to internal self determination is continuously denied, we will not claim our right under international law to external self determination.  It only means that this is the only realistic solution today.
  • The above solution is also one that is likely to be acceptable to members of the international community including India and the United States, whose support and assistance is necessary in order for us to succeed in our struggle for political autonomy today.
  • Further, since the thinking today is that whatever political solution that is arrived at must be one within a united Sri Lanka, the above solution is one that those in Sri Lanka cannot oppose as unreasonable….”
  • “The world has recognized that the Tamil people have faced continuous political persecution, and that this persecution has begun to manifest itself in new ways in recent times. The world has recognized that great destruction took place during the final phase of the war. The international community that supported the government diplomatically and militarily during the war, has now begun to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan government to fulfill the promises it made to them. This includes the promise to arrive at a political solution acceptable to the Tamil people on the conclusion of the war.  Exasperated by the failure of the Sri Lankan government to fulfill its promises three years after the conclusion of the war, the international community has begun to exert diplomatic pressure on the government.
  • During this time, in which the international community is greatly involved in the ethnic problem involving the Tamil people, we must work in co-operation with them; we must consider their advice to us, and we must give advice to them.
  • If we behave in a manner that results in the international community getting embroiled in problems or controversy it is our community that will face the consequences. Our priority now is to expose the Sri Lankan government that for so many years in the past attempted to describe the ethnic problem and a ‘terrorist problem’. We must clearly prove to the international community that the Sri Lankan government, which has delayed for so long in giving the Tamil people their rights, has never made any genuine effort to do so. In other words – we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka. We must be patient until the international community realizes for itself that the effort we are involved in is doomed to fail. To put it more strongly, the international community must realize through its own experience, without us having to tell them, that the racist Sri Lankan government will never come forward and give political power to the Tamil people in a united Sri Lanka. (My emphasis- DJ)
  • “…The international practice prevalent during the mid eighties, when the intervention of India occurred, has now changed. Although the issue at hand is the same, the prevailing conditions are different. The struggle is the same, but the approaches we employ are different. Our aim is the same, but our strategies are different. The players are the same, but the alliances are different. That is the nature of the Tamil people. Although we still have the same aim, the methods we use are now different. In the past the United States and India stood against us. However in the favorable circumstances that have now come about, the United States and India are to a great extent supporting our position. The Sri Lankan government continues to maintain friendships with those standing against them. India’s vote in support of the Resolution presented by the United States at the UN Human Rights Council was an astonishing international development in our favor. This can only be seen as indication of future developments…The current practices of the international community may give us an opportunity to achieve, without the loss of life, the soaring aspirations we were unable to achieve by armed force.” ( my emphasis-DJ)

 

  • “…Our patience however, will not be everlasting. Our patience too, has its limits. Once we have reached that limit, we will move onto the stage of our effort. We will not hesitate to gather our people together and with the support of progressive forces in our country, and the international community, even engage in a non-violent struggle. We will decide on specific deadlines and when the time comes for such action, we will act…”

This speech provides a glimpse of future tactics inasmuch as it speaks of a non-violent campaign which it fears will be met with violence, at which point the international community should act decisively. The stances of the party until then can be understood as setting the stage and positioning itself for such an endgame.

###

The official translation into English of the keynote speech delivered (originally in Tamil) by Mr. R Sampanthan can be read in full below.

  • Navin

    Thank you Dr. Dayan for this article. This is good reading for all Sinhala people. Will this be translated into Sinhala?

    I don’t think there is a leader among the current Sinhala leadership who is equipped to deal with the combined challenge posed to the rights of the Sinhala community by TNA and global Tamil diaspora.

    Speaking the truth will not absolve us of wild accusations been leveled at us since the world is dominated by hypocrites. Truth is no longer what is backed by facts but what is spilled out by Channel 4, AI, HRW and Aljazera. They by virtue of being allied with west are independent and credible.

    One needs to be well versed in both domestic and international politics to respond to these effectively. Education alone does not empower a person to face these challenges but it has to come from within as much.
    Sadly, people who have the wit to do politics lack the knowledge and ability to speak lucidly with the necessary tone and sophistication.

    • Piranha

      First of all tell the sinhala leaders to stop playing racist politics and spell out what solution they have in mind for the tamil strife. Playing racial politics resulted in the 30 year war and destruction. Three years after the end of the war the sinhala politicians are still parading their military might and subjugating the tamils with military force. I salute Mr Sambandan’s courage in voicing his party’s strategy openly for all to hear. He is fed up with the government’s prevarication and foot dragging with the talks he has had so far. Dayan Jayatilleke is simply trying to cause trouble here. Leave it to the JHU and the JVP and try to be constructive dayan.

      • Sarath Fernando

        Piranha – I agree with you completely in your observation “Dayan Jayatilleke is simply trying to cause trouble here” –.

        It seems like the re-emergence of the [edited out] syndrome, possibly induced by the fear that without some explicit and loud-as-ever expression of support to the regime, the days in the Diplomatic circle may be numbered.

      • wijayapala

        Dear Piranha

        First of all tell the sinhala leaders to stop playing racist politics

        What about Tamil leaders playing racist politics?

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear Wijayapala,

        “What about Tamil leaders playing racist politics?”

        What aspects of Mr. Sampanthan’s address you would class as racist? How would a minority political party demand/request for their rights without being portrayed as racists?

        Would you class the Scottish National Party as racists? What post war aspects or measures that the GOSL undertook that you would deem as progressive that would have possibly shifted the Tamil political paradigm?

    • rita

      ”combined challenge posed to the rights of the Sinhala community by TNA and global Tamil diaspora” ?

      Asking for one’s rights is challenging another’s rights?

      We were like this six decades ago in the twentieth century. We are like this now in the 21st century.
      We never learn lessons.

  • wijayapala

    Our expectation for a solution to the ethnic problem of the sovereignty of the Tamil people is…in a united Sri Lanka in which Tamil people have all the powers of government needed to live with self respect and self sufficiency.

    “we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka.

    There is an alternative explanation for this glaring contradiction in Sampanthan’s speech: ITAK is suffering from a very similar form of schizophrenia that it had from its origin in 1949. It doesn’t know what it wants, and therefore both the Tamils and the Sinhalese can only guess what it is struggling for. Based on this reading of the speech, one should not fear ITAK but rather pity it and the Tamils whom it claims to represent. Sampanthan’s words point to the futility in seeking an elusive “political solution” for national reconciliation, because it clearly does not exist.

    “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” – Alexander Hamilton

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      Dear Wijayapala,

      A political solution — an alternative to a separate state– must, can and does exist: the 13th amendment (not Plus) with swaps (redistribution of the concurrent list).

      Take it or leave it. That should be the firm attitude of the state.

      Someone will take it someday.

      • Sam Alexander

        Dr.Dayan,
        Not sure how you can limit the Tamil peoples’ total rights to the 13th amendment and by doing this, you are validating Sambanthan’s cliam that the it is impossible to achieve the Tamil peoples’ rights within the united SL. If the GOSL takes a stand “take it or leave it” without providing the full rights for Tamils as the Sinhalese that also validates Sambanthan’s claim. Gook luck.

      • Rabindra

        Ground Views Editors: I would like this to be published also as an article, like Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke’s, above. If not, it’s ok, let it be a Comment.

        Hi, Dr.J,
        So the Tiger is out of the bag finally! Now we know that all the ‘Reconcilliation’ talks of ITAK was a massive red herring drawn to dupe the (Western) International community and NGOs and rest of the Sri Lankans.

        What is this ‘Traditional Homelands’ of Sinhalese and Tamils? Where was the Tamil kingdom? If there was one, why did the Portugese, Dutch and the British have agreements with only one King of Sri Lanka?

        I think it is time to bring forth the scholarly writings on our History to prove that there were never two nations here. There is more than sufficient material for that.

        We should begin with the Ph.D. Theses of Prof. Karthigesu Indrapala, a Tamil, who conclusively proved that there never was a Tamil Kingdom in Sri Lanka,and Sihalese and the Malabars from Kerala were the first settlers, and there was only a Sinhala King ruling Jaffna (Yapa Patuna). Exerpts are given below. He was chased out of Jaffna and Sri Lanka by the Tamil extremists who wanted him to retract his findings and write new theses!

        Theres so much more material available,that should be publisized to answer the lies propegated.

        I think equal rights and dispensation for all Sri Lankans is the way to go: not devolution for only the less than 50% of the Tamils now living in the North.

        [Edited out – copying and pasting large chunks of text from websites disallowed.]

      • alex fernando

        ‘Take it or leave it’ is precisely the sort of authoritarian attitude that is unconstructive. In any case devolution without power is a charade. Given the choice, the Tamils really ought to leave it.

  • jansee

    Dayan:

    I was rather surprised that it took you so long to see the end-game, not so much from what Mr. Sampanthan observed in his speech but for the lies and the failures of the SL regime to keep on tossing the issue of devolution. It is not even a guess but more of a reality as the day passes.

    Wijayapala:

    After the UNHRC resolution, India’s U-turn in voting against SL and Secretary Clinton’s hauling GL Peiris to Washington, I am surprised you seem to be still living in the dark (or past). Mr. Sampanthan is on track… all the way to Eelam.

    • wijayapala

      After the UNHRC resolution, India’s U-turn in voting against SL and Secretary Clinton’s hauling GL Peiris to Washington, I am surprised you seem to be still living in the dark (or past). Mr. Sampanthan is on track… all the way to Eelam.

      How?

  • Burning_Issue

    Dear Wijayapala,

    I agree that the TNA is in a state of quandary that manifests it’s weakness than any form of resolve! On the other hand the Sinhala leaders manifest total weakness though they are in a position of stength!

    When you cherry pick from MR Samanthan’s address, the below aspect has more meaning that you ignored:

    “…Further, since the thinking today is that whatever political solution that is arrived at must be one within a united Sri Lanka, ….”

    “Whatever political solution” what does this mean Wijayapala? Isn’t it open for compromise?

    “the above solution is one that those in Sri Lanka cannot oppose as unreasonable” What does this mean Wijayapala?

    • wijayapala

      Dear Burning_Issue

      “…Further, since the thinking today is that whatever political solution that is arrived at must be one within a united Sri Lanka, ….”

      Sampanthan didn’t equate “the thinking today” with ITAK’s “thinking.” How would you reconcile this statement with:

      “we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka.”

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear Wijayapala,

        I am sure that Mr. Sampanthan delivered his address in Tamil; I trust that he meant to say that; “we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a unitary Sri Lanka” If it is not unitary or united how could he then say that it should be acceptable both to the IC and Sri Lanka? One can be pedantic but better to apply some common sense!

      • wijayapala

        Groundviews

        I am sure that Mr. Sampanthan delivered his address in Tamil; I trust that he meant to say that; “we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a unitary Sri Lanka”

        Would it be possible for you to provide a link to the Tamil original? Dayan’s entire article rests on the translation you provided, and Burning_Issue believes there may have been an error.

        • What makes you think this is a translation provided by us? As noted explicitly in the article (honestly, do you not read the content before you comment?), the article is based on the official translation into English of the keynote speech delivered (originally in Tamil) by Mr. R Sampanthan, hosted on the TNA’s website, the PDF of which is embedded into the article. The original is a Google search away.

      • Krish

        Burning_Issue – Here is the original Tamil (or the closest one from the net) link in discussion. Look for the paragraph that starts with, “Tamizh desiya inaprachanayil ulaga samoogaththinar adheetha eedupaadu kondulla indha neraththil, avargalodu ….”. It is somewhere in the middle. Please read and post your observation.
        http://www.tamilsguide.com/details.php?nid=1&catid=67769

        Wijayapala – Good to see your posts. Sorry, I didn’t respond to earlier posts addressed to me for want of time. In any case, I am providing the Tamil text (in English) and translation in Tamil, the paragraph in question (that deals with unitary vs united).

        Sampanthan’s speech excerpt:
        Innoru vagaiyil solluvadhaanaal, ondru patta ilangai endra amaippukkul emakkaana urimaigalai peruvadhu enbadhu saadhiyamatradhu enbadhai naaam ulaga samoogaththiruku niroobikka vendum.
        Innoru vagaiyil solluvadhaanaal, thaam edukkira muyarchigalil vetri pera mudiyaadhu enbadhai indha anaiththulaga samoogam thaanaagave unarum varai, naam porumai kaakka vendum.
        Innum azhuththamaaga solluvadhaanaal, ondru patta ilangai endra amaippirkul thamizhargalukkaana adhikarangalai pagirndhalikka perinavaadha aatchiyaalargal orupodhum mun vara maataargal enbadhai naanagal sollaamal anaiththulaga samoogam adhuvaagave than anubhavangal vaayilaaga unara idamalikka vendum.

        Translation:
        To say it differently, we need to prove to the international community that it is not possible to get our rights under united Srilanka.
        To say it differently, we need to be patient till such time that the international community understands itself that it’s efforts will not succeed.
        To put it more strongly, we should let the international community understand itself that under united Srilanka, the majority rulers will never come forward to share powers with Tamils that is due to them.

        I guess “Ondru patta Ilangai” is “United Srilanka”. Not sure if this is how it translates in SriLankan Tamil as well. BI can take a look and confirm for us.

    • Burning_Issue

      Dear Krish,

      I am not a Scholar in Tamil language; however, I feel that “ondru patta ilangai” means unitary Sri Lanka. Enaintha Ilangai means united Sri Lanka. This is my interpretation. It does not make sense at all in terms of Sampanthan expects a solution to the Tamils that is acceptable to both IC and Sri Lanka and then contradicting with eschewing the term United Sri Lanka that should be the basis for endeavouring a viable solution.

      “???????? ??????| ???? ???????????????, ??? ?????? ???????? ???????? ???? ??????? [email protected] ??????? ?????? ??????? ??????????? ????????? ?????????????????. ?????? ????????? – ???????????, ??????? ?????????????????????????, ??? ?????? ?????????????, ?????? ????????? ???????? ???? ?????????? ???????????? ????????. ??????? ??? ?????? ???????????????, ??????? ??? ?????? ?????????????? ??????????? ???? ??????? ??????? ??????????? ??????? ?????, ??????????? ????????? ??????? ???????? ???????.”

      Orumitha Ilangai is the term that Sampanthan has used for United Sri Lanka. Personally I would use Enaintha Elangai!

      • Your Tamil (?) excerpt came garbled – possibly not in Unicode?

      • Krish

        Dear Burning_Issue,

        You may be right and as I indicated earlier, what I understand can be different from what it could mean in SL Tamil. But, I went back to that link and checked the 2 paragraphs quoted by Wijayapala about United Sri Lanka. The first paragraph that he quotes reads in Tamil as follows (I am assuming that I got the right paragraph here):

        First paragraph quoted by Wijayapala:
        Otraiaatchi Ilangai endra amaippikirku veliye, aikkiya ilangai endra arasamaippirkul, thamizhargal suyamariyaadhaiyudanum thanniraivudanum vaazha thevaiyaana aagaththudan arasiyal adhikaarangalai ulladakkiya or aatchiyalagaiye Tamil desiya inaththin iraiyaanmai prachchanaikkaana theervaaga naangal edhirpaarkinrom.

        Please provide your translation for this, Burning_Issue, as I don’t want to provide wrong information my understanding of Tamil. Besides, the usage of words like “Otraiaatchi”, “ondrupatta”, “aikkiya” are confusing to me.

        In any case, Mr. Sampanthan has used 2 different words (“Otraiaatchi” and “Ondrupatta”) that are referred to as “United” in the article. Not an accurate translation I guess.

      • Nithyananthan

        Messrs. Krish, burning_issue, wijayapala, GETP& GV! Greetings to you all! Sorry for interrupting Knights’ Discussion.

        Mr. Krish, Let me say that there is no difference whatsoever of fidelity and literalism in usage of Tamil Language between the peoples of Tamilnadu, Ceylon and elsewhere who hold Tamil as their Mother and the second/first language. Yet, there are significant differences in colloquialism between them – style of delivery, choice of words and accent in speech – not in script.

        Otrai’aatchi: – The word is compound. It’s made-up of two Tamil words – Ottrai an adjective means Singular & Aatchi means Rule / Governance. It is chiefly denotes the type of ‘Rule’ of a defined country – a form of ‘Governance’. In English, it’s known / called as ‘Unitary’ form of Government as in case of Sri Lanka, France, Britain and many others. It’s just opposed to a ‘Federation / Federal’ form as in the countries like India, Canada, Switzerland, Australia and many others.

        Ondru’patta / Aikkiya: – Similarly, Ondru means one / singular & patta a verbial suffix in Tamil – both join to mean ‘United’ in English. Aikkiya is also an adjective derived from the Noun Aaikikiyam in Tamil. These two words signify the ‘Union’ of undivided territorial and united popular (two or more ethnicities) components in political terms of the government of a country. In English, it’s known / called as ‘United’ form of Governance as in India, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, USA and many others. It’s just opposed to ‘Unitary’ form as in the countries like Sri Lanka, France Britain and many others.

        There are big differences between the ‘Unitary and the United or the Unified’ form of Governments.

        As far as, I am concerned I am impressed to learn that Mr. Sampanthan has correctly used those words in right context. Remain to be corrected if I am wrong. With deep appreciation to GV for her tolerance! Thanks, Nithy!

  • alex fernando

    Funny thing is that the old man is the best bet the govt of reaching a political solution. Looks like the military is going to be staying in the north.

  • citizen

    this gives very good reasons to keep strong army in the north.

    • Sam Alexander

      Is that so?

      The Tamil people asking for equal rights as the Sinhalese with powers to govern themselves is a crime and they deserver the military oppression?

      • wijayapala

        How will establishing a separate state make Tamils equal?

  • jansee

    Dayan:

    “Take it or leave it. That should be the firm attitude of the state.”

    You really baffle me. What is there to take when the SL regime has been playing the minus minus game and, of course, the lying game.

    citizen:

    The matter has ended up in the UNHRC. Now the talk is the army is not getting involved in the daily lives of the people. Also the British HC has lamented over the disproportionate numbers. What is interesting is that many decisions concerning the rights of Tamils are no more in the hands of the SL regime, that period has long passed. Have you forgotten of the recent trip of GL Peiris (a foreign minister of a sovereign state) to the US to meet Secretary Clinton. Don’t tell he went there to have some English tea alone. The SL regime has been lying to the Tamils and whole world of the devolution but now no one wants to believe this regime anymore. After all, Mr Sampanthan is fully aware of the implications of his speech. Would you really care to decipher it?

    • citizen

      Jansee: like many Tamils living abroad, you are also in a cozy dream that you would be gifted your so called tamil elam by western powers.
      But on the ground, now no ground forces available for them to assist, as they couldnt/ did not want to save LTTE during the war.
      You may long live with the dream.

  • georgethebushpig

    What the gracious Dr. Jayatilleke chose to omit from the selectively culled statements of Mr. Sampanthan is the one below; it helps contextualize Mr. Sampanthan and ITAK’s position.

    “Dear Sinhala friends,

    Our political aspiration to acquire the rights due to us, and the right to govern our civil, political, economic, social and cultural affairs ourselves is a reasonable demand. It is a just aspiration; an aspiration that has its roots in history; it is even a fundamental right of our people. The solution we propose for the achievement of our political aspiration will not undermine the sovereignty of another people. It does not hide a devious agenda seeking to divide the country. It does not seek to damage the interests of another country.

    We appeal to you to understand the fundamental issue which is that just as you live in this country, in your traditional homeland, using the authority due to you, we too want to live in this country, in our traditional homeland with the authority due to us. You must thus reject policies that instigate ethnic division and hatred for the sake of personal political gain, understand and recognize the reasonable political aspirations of the Tamil people, embrace them as brothers, and come forth to live in harmony in a united Sri Lanka.

    However, the present Sri Lankan government does not have the political will to arrive at a concrete solution for the problems of the Tamil people. To the contrary, they are resorting to cunning plots to delay, avoid, and altogether abandon efforts to arrive at such a solution.

    The actions of the Rajapakse regime are all dishonest, immature and obtuse, and will only further entrench ethnic divisions. If this government continues to stubbornly cling onto this corrupt stance, it only means that it will result in degeneration the like of which this country has never seen before. I state clearly that unless this government makes the proper use of this final opportunity to arrive at a solution for the problems of the Tamil people, and wholeheartedly unites with us, this country will have to face one of the worst declines in its history.

    We have clearly asked for a solution within a united Sri Lanka, and we are committed to the achievement of such a goal. This solution must be reasonable, acceptable, realistic, and permanent. We are prepared to offer our cooperation and service to those committed to the achievement of such a solution.” Excerpt of text of Presidential Address by Rajavarothayam Sampanthan at 14th National Convention of ITAK in Batticaloa. http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/6661#more-6661 (it’s easier to read)

    Unfortunately, the contours of ITAK’s position is defined by the intransigence of the GOSL to respond in a meaningful manner to the legitimate grievances of the Sri Lankan Tamil community. As the good Dr. says there “must, can and does” exist a political solution however rather than trying to foist some ill informed piece of legislature on the Sri Lankan people a genuine and fair devolution of power would benefit all. Ah! if only we had the statesmanship to achieve this outcome!

    • wijayapala

      georgebushthepig, how does the above context explain “we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka.” Is Mr Sampanthan playing the old ITAK trick of saying one thing to the Tamils and the opposite to the Sinhalese?

      • georgethebushpig

        Dear Wijayapala,

        Here’s the whole paragraph from which you have culled a sentence; I see you have the same affliction as the good Dr. Jayatilleke.

        “If we behave in a manner that results in the international community getting embroiled in problems or controversy it is our community that will face the consequences. Our priority now is to expose the Sri Lankan government that for so many years in the past attempted to
        describe the ethnic problem and a ‘terrorist problem’. We must clearly prove to the international community that the Sri Lankan government, which has delayed for so long in giving the Tamil people their rights, has never made any genuine effort to do so. In other words – we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka. We must be patient until the international community realizes for itself that the effort we are involved in is doomed to fail. To put it more strongly, the international community must realize through its own experience, without us having to tell them, that the racist Sri Lankan government will never come forward and give political power to the Tamil people in a united Sri Lanka.”

      • Gamarala

        Wijayapala,

        What are these strange interpretations that you are giving Sampanthan’s speech? Highlighting the word that fits your prejudice in bold has no bearing on its implied meaning, and is quite frankly, below the belt. The fact of the matter is, Sampanthan has a point, and it’s very difficult to deny it. The government’s utter bungling of a golden chance to bring about a reasonable solution to this problem, a chance that has been won at such great cost to life as David Blacker has poignantly expressed in his recent article, is obvious to many. Do you have some disagreement on that count?

        If not, what is so hard to understand about Sampanthan’s exasperation? Even if Sampanthan desperately wanted his Eelam, he would have no fuel to rekindle the flame if the govt. behaved with a modicum of respectability. Why not talk about the party that really needs to get its act together? Has the loss of so much life been merely to let one set of racists win over another?

      • wijayapala

        Dear georgebushthepig and Gamarala

        Kindly note Dr Narendran’s words; I am not alone in criticising Sampanthan’s contradictory words.

        Unlike Dayan, I do not smell a Tamil separatist conspiracy. Rather, I interpret Sampanthan’s lack of consistency in his message as a sign of the Tamil polity’s fragmentation and lack of cohesion. In acting as the Tamils’ representative, Sampanthan is simultaneously trying to win both the Tamil moderates and the separatist extremists. With this fragmentation, there will be no viable “political solution” because there will always be a section of the Tamil polity that will reject it.

        I bolded the word “united” because the pro-devolutionists always claim that they oppose only the unitary state not a united Sri Lanka. Unfortunately the words “united” and “unitary” do not translate well into Sinhala or Tamil, which is why the average person does not understand what the pro-devolutionists are saying.

        Sampanthan’s words merit attention because in one place he rejects “united” Sri Lanka and at other places claims that a solution is possible only in a “united” Sri Lanka. Of course, it is normal for Sri Lankan politicians to say things that make no sense. For Sampanthan, though, he is the leader of the largest Tamil party and is talking about very important things. Hence, any contradiction in his thoughts can spell doom for the Tamils.

      • georgethebushpig

        Dear Wijayapala,

        I think you have effectively answered your own question. Do read the whole speech when you have the time and don’t be sucked in by Dr. Jayatilleke’s incessant and deliberate obfuscations. He has turned it into a fine art.

      • georgethebushpig

        Dear Groundviews,

        I usually don’t contest your good judgement in censoring my comments. Most times I agree in hindsight that I had indeed gone overboard. My comment to Leela however does not warrant censorship. It is rude all right but within the rules.

        Thanks
        GTBP

        • Dear GBTP,

          The thing is, we agree, but others may and possibly will see this as a license to take down a notch or more the tone and civility of the discussions, basing their own justification on precisely that which you use for your comment. That’s detrimental to the site writ large – so we kindly ask you to consider penning something down that’s less personal? The art of the subtle put down is sadly largely lost in Sri Lanka, but well worth the effort. We suspect you would agree.

          Thanks and best,

          GV Eds.

      • wijayapala

        Dear georgebushthepig

        I think you have effectively answered your own question.

        I didn’t ask a question, I made a statement which you apparently were unable to answer.

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      Hi George the Bushpig,

      So, you would rather I take more seriously what Mr Sampanthan said to the Sinhalese than what he said to his Tamil audience at his party’s convention? Would you take more seriously what any Sinhala politician says to his ‘Tamil brothers’ than what he says to his Sinhala constituency? C’mon, get real.

      As for translations if you don’t like what’s on Colombo Telegraph, just read the version that GV has posted just beneath my article. What’s the difference?

      I think the critics can stop beating up Wijayapala, because the crucial passage is not so much the one he cites but a much more succint one: “The current practices of the international community may give us an opportunity to achieve, without the loss of life, the soaring aspirations we were unable to achieve by armed force.”

      Try explaining that one away.

      And one could be permitted the error of thinking that the following passage which contains classic ethnic stereotyping came from the JHU, except it comes from Mr Sampanthan’s speech ( in the translation on GV too):

      “Although the issue at hand is the same, the prevailing conditions are different. The struggle is the same, but the approaches we employ are different. Our aim is the same, but our strategies are different. The players are the same, but the alliances are different. That is the nature of the Tamil people. Although we still have the same aim, the methods we use are now different.”

      Do you folk know what this attitude will and probably already has achieved? The near-certainty that the citizen-electors of this country will ensure that the political future of Sri Lanka will remain in the hands of one of the three men most responsible for the defeat the LTTE. Whatever their differences, I rather doubt any of them will permit — still less be intimidated by –the gameplan/scenario and outcome indicated in this speech.

      • Gamarala

        Dayan,

        If the government got its act together, would Sampanthan’s opinions have any basis in reality? Would they be taken seriously?

      • Gamarala

        Wijayapala,

        That’s a reasonable critique, and I tend to agree. I’m waiting to hear why Dayan has a penchant for conspiracy theories, when more obvious problems abound? Why does Dayan think that the international community should “act decisively” to crush Sampanthan the bogey man, while the same international community shouldn’t so much as utter a squeak in protest of the govt.’s inability to get its act together?

      • georgethebushpig

        Dear Dr. Jayatilleke,

        What I would rather you do is review the speech in its entirety and provide an objective analysis rather than project your fears of a renewed call for separation on to every Tamil utterance that refers to a just political solution (and for goodness sake please don’t ask me if I think Sri Lanka is a better place without Prabhakaran). The common thread that runs through the speech is about refocusing attention on the core issues of the Tamil people – their inalienable right to self-determination.

        The strategy being proposed acknowledges that violent means did not give those inalienable rights and that under the current global context an approach that emphasises reason, logic and non-violent resistance will help advance the cause of the Tamil people more effectively. It is categorically stated that what is being sort is “internal self-determination” and not secession: if this is denied “external self-determination” will be pursued.

        In other words, they have chosen to reset the clock back to the 1950’s to give the opportunity for the GOSL to respond this time around in a more just and meaningful manner. If the inalienable rights of the Tamil people are respected the territorial integrity of the state is not challenged. This is a sensible way of curbing the more radical elements and mobilising the level-headed.

        The role of the progressive is to assist in this endeavour as this will be the only way to achieve a sustainable peace. Forcing the Tamil people (or for that matter all Sri Lankans) to accept a regressive constitutional amendment cannot, must not and definitely should not be the proposed solution. Accepting the 13 Amendment on tactical grounds by ITAK certainly is not a ringing endorsement of its substance now is it?

        I am not a constitutional expert but even to my level of stupidity it is clear that the 13th Amendment is a further concentration of power in the President under the guise of devolution. The Governor of the province is APPOINTED by the President (serves “during the pleasure of the President” – an interesting turn of phrase), has the authority to dissolve the (elected) provincial council, determines the use of the Provincial Fund (Provincial Councils Act) and in some archaic throwback to the colonial times the authority to pardon criminals (but of course “Without prejudice to the powers of the President under Article 34”)! These were the terms of reference of the Viceroy during British colonial rule! It is not just bad for the Tamil people it is bad for all Sri Lankans!

        p.s. it was not I who had any issue with the translation; I do believe it was Burning Spear

  • Leela

    We knew this all along. We have to be honest. Majority Tamils voted TNA. And they would not settle for anything less than Eelam. So let’s face it and understand that what Sambandan ask for is their minimum political solution.

    You see we knew this. That’s why we were against DJ whenever he wrote to promote 13A as a political solution to Tamils.

    So, the question is not giving 13A but whether we give all that Sambandan ask or not. Going halfway and offering police or land powers means we are only encouraging them to create a kind of legal LTTE with authority. I say, give them nothing and introduce forced assimilation before it’s too late. We have the manpower to do it. And that’s the solution.
    Leela

    • Kannan

      Thanks Leela for being honest about your final solution dream. However much you and your ilk dream of forced assimilation, the winds of History is against you. You along with the rest of the sinhala hardliners ironically are laying the groundwork for a future conflict.

    • The Sinhala/Tamil divide has reached a point of no return. Leela like the Rajapakses are avatars of Idi Amin of Uganda. To keep the North militarised at this level is a threat to the Tamils in Tamil Nadu as well. The demand that the North SL be de-militarised should come from Chennai and Delhi.

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      Leela, the 13th amendment as political solution has to stay; it just shouldn’t be given to the TNA and certainly not right now. It is like building a house but not leasing it to tenants you don’t like and keeping it vacant instead. What’s wrong with that?

      • Leela

        Dr.DJ,
        For the last twenty years, I spent most of my time in a hamlet like but predominantly Sinhala Buddhist village. Hence, I see that by and large Sinhalese are not against 13A for the sake of being against devolving power to Tamils; it’s that they suspect Tamils would not settle down for just 13A.

        You have a point DJ. But for how long can we keep your house vacant? The way the trend being set, and if we ever let, tenants are more likely to be ‘sitting tenants’. That’s why I thought of the aged old solution.
        Leela

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    The governments strategy in the post-war period to impose a leadership of its choice and give such individuals the power and resources to do what they want- both positive and negative-has badly misfired. Instead of attempting to provide honest and clean governance and win the people’s hearts and minds of the war-affected, the government, despite it laudable efforts on the IDP, rehabilitation and development fronts, imposed a very substandard and ‘highly suspect’leadership on the Tamils. This folly has created the environment for the flies to lay their eggs and the maggots to emerge.

    Sambanthan is a symbol of the continuation of the failed and short sighted Tamil political leadership, long on words but short on a healthy vision for the Tamils. Sambanthan’s speech is another face of double talk that has characterized Tamil politics in the past. It is the most inopportune and unwise speech, and will stand condemned as such by history. This approach has already given voice to the Sinhala wasps, who will do what ever they can to stir the communal cauldron in tandem and foil rational solutions on power sharing and devolution.

    Sambanthan and his ilk, seem to yet think that the International Community, particularly India, will deliver solutions that they desire!
    What a bunch of fools! It is a pity that such men have not learned their lessons from history.

    The government has to also take the blame for not learning from history the right lessons and relying on opportunism, instead of moral/ethical approaches.

    There are hard times ahead for the Tamils, Sinhalese and Sri Lanka. History is about to repeat, unless wisdom comes to the fore.

    Dr.Rajsingham Narendran

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      A correction to my first comment:

      “Instead of attempting to provide honest and clean governance and win the people’s hearts and minds of the war-affected, the government, despite it laudable efforts on the IDP, rehabilitation and development fronts, imposed a very substandard and ‘highly suspect’leadership on the Tamils.”

      Should read,

      “Instead of attempting to provide honest and clean governance and win the the hearts and minds of the war-affected, the government, despite its laudable efforts on the IDP, rehabilitation and development fronts, imposed a very substandard and ‘highly suspect’leadership on the Tamils.”

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Piranha

      Sambandan has laid his cards on the table and is clear about what his party wishes to see happen as a solution to the tamil strife.

      How have the sinhala politicians behaved since the end of the war? Sham meetings with the TNA for one year which achieved nothing, promised this , that and the other to India, the UN and other outside parties and countries but did nothing again. It is very clear what the intention of the regime is – keep the oppressive military presence in the northeast and impose a tamil lackey to rule the population as it is doing in the eastern province. Any opposition by the people to the imposed rulers will be met with abductions, assaults and murder by the military and the paramilitaries. That is the plan of the regime and that should be clear to all. Slamming Sambandan is not going to help the tamils but divide them as it has done in the past. At least he has let everyone know what his wishes and intentions are. The only comments we are going to hear appear to be coming from his opponents, both sinhala and tamil,who have no constructive proposals to offer as a solution to the problems.

      • wijayapala

        Dear Piranha

        Slamming Sambandan is not going to help the tamils but divide them as it has done in the past.

        Before the LTTE started killing other Tamils, when were the Tamils divided?

    • Krish

      Wonderfully said! Forget the contradiction part that everyone is worrried about for a moment (as I don’t know what word would translate how in SL Tamil in this speech). Mr. Sampanthan is effectively saying that the SL Tamils cannot be under a united Sri Lankan entity that has Sinhalese as majority. And he is hoping that the international community, USA, India and others will help. India learnt a very very tough lesson by arming the tigers. While post-LTTE Sri Lanka is far from ideal for Tamils, one wonders why Sampanthan is still not adopting a reconciliatory tone and see what happens. What do Tamil people stand to gain by these statements? And whom does this help? I understand that he had talks with Rajapakse in this regard, but it would be helpful if statements like these are avoided when you try to find common ground. Looks like TNA is just continuing the set of policies that LTTE did, in a non-violent way obviously.

  • rita

    Fellow Sinhalese

    Please read the whole speech translated here:

    http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/6661#more-6661

    • Ward

      That article was posted on 27 May 2012. Dayan hurriedly posted a misleading collection of bits(29 May 2012) from it, thus elbowing out the context/bigger picture, before youngsters read it.

  • Buddhika

    Dayan
    Thank you for writing your plan of attack which ultimately brought the following to our attention:
    Text of Presidential Address by Rajavarothayam Sampanthan at 14th National Convention of ITAK in Batticaloa, 27 May 2012
    http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/6661#more-6661

  • Marty

    Mr Sambandan’s statements are irresponsible. Surely after nearly three decades of war the main Tamil parties have learnt that India will ‘never’ support a seperate Tamil enclave on its borders. The implications for India’s own sovereignty would be detrimental as would the implications for the fractious South Asian region as a whole.

    So Mr Sambandan is trying to emulate a Libyan response situation of Liberal interventionism to the impasse in Sri Lanka. It also shows his narrow minded nature as a politician and the conservative interllect of Tamil parties in Sri Lanka’s north.

    It takes two to tango. Yes, the current Rajapakse government has not shown the necessary political goodwill to devolve power to even some degree that indicates a process in being. I agree that there are a range of unappealing aspects of the current SL government.

    However, if the Tamil parties actually repealed the Vadukoddai Resolution and demonstrated a sincere intent to pursue purely internal power sharing that is proportionate to their community, then they may find the Sinhalese parties more amenable to their demands.

    For example, I remember Sinhalese political commentator Victor Ivan stating that if the Tamil parties asked for devolution of power in the north of SL only, then there could be seen as reasonable and proportionate. But the fact that they claimed not just the north but areas just north of Chilaw and the entire eastern province on the spurious basis of that they were mostly inhabited by Tamil speaking people is plainly unacceptable to any government in SL, whether conservative or liberal.

    The very fact that the Muslims, which have varied and often non-dravidian ethnic origins, refused to accept such a mantra is testimony to the concept’s facade, much like the secessionist Dravidistan concept which essentially failed to get traction outside of Tamil Nadu. Pity that the Tamil parties don’t recognise the Tamil speaking Sinhalese of Chilaw or north thereof as Tamil speaking people too!

    If Tamil parties genuinely want devolution they must also demonstrate their sincerity towards negotiation and reasonable limits in their demands. Any recourse to a political solution must involve an absolute commitment to denouncing the Vadukoddai Resolution in total.

    Secessionism is not the solution to the Tamil question, the 13th Amendment or a similarly level of devolution is the solution. This is abundantly clear. South Asian countries will not support secessionism or radical Tamil nationalism. In my opinion, Sambandan’s position is as irresponsible, if not more so than Mahinda Rajapakse’s aversion to decentralisation. Especially after a long drawn out conflict.

    I cannot for the life of me feel any sorrow for the destruction of the LTTE, a hideous anti-democratic fascist and thuggish movement of extremists and murderers. Pity Mr Sambandan sees this differently and seeks to white wash their crimes and the horrendous impact they have inflicted on SL and the region.

    Marty

    • Burning_Issue

      Dear Marty,

      “If Tamil parties genuinely want devolution they must also demonstrate their sincerity towards negotiation and reasonable limits in their demands. Any recourse to a political solution must involve an absolute commitment to denouncing the Vadukoddai Resolution in total.”

      I agree with most of what you have written. The point about the Vaddukoddai Resolution is a must. Apart from this what else TNA need to do to manifest sincerity?

  • Ward

    If the official translation was included in Dayan’s original posting, why didn’t he give the weblink please?

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    I read Sambanthan’s speech in DBSjeyaraj.com, before I read Dayan’s comments. What Dayan has highlighted are sentiments that stuck out like a sore thumb. Sambanthan was talking as a cheeap politician to his party faithful and not on behalf of the Tamils and others living in Sri Lanka. This is our curse. There is no point in anyone trying to cover up what was obvious.

    Further to my previous comment, I should also emphaseize the government has time and again failed to articulate its vision for a united Sri Lanka in concrete terms. The opportunity should have been seized soon after the war. Unfortunately, political fortunes became more important and the government chose to play coy. A historical opportunity has been once again lost due political imcompetence and lack of statemanship. The determination that defeated the LTTE- a symptom, was tragically lost in treating the disease.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • georgethebushpig

    On a 2nd reading of Sampanthan’s speech, contrary to Dr. Narendren’s view that is an “inopportune and unwise speech, and will stand condemned as such by history”, I believe it marks a watershed. It renews the moral imperative for finding just solutions to the core political issues the Tamil community have been struggling to get addressed. It has effectively filled the vacuum that the GOSL has created by providing a pragmatic way forward that the disillusioned Tamil populace can align with.

    This speech however would have been more powerful and a rallying cry for all progressive peoples (regardless of ethnicity) if the following also had been articulated:
    • Why would a united Sri Lanka (as opposed to a unitary Sri Lanka) be better off for all communities in Sri Lanka, or at least not make it worse.
    • Notwithstanding the alliances being built abroad, what efforts will ITAK take to build alliances at home. How do they expect to make the Sinhala, Muslim and other communities partners in the project of achieving fundamental rights for the Tamil populace.
    • Linked to the previous point, what role will the TNA play as a political entity to support the roll back of regressive legislature enacted by the current regime that will help reestablish democratic institutions and good governance.

    There’s much work still to be done and some stiff climbing before the moral high ground can be rightfully claimed.

  • Sam Alexander

    I wonder why I was not provided the opportunity to reply to wijayapala’s little off the subject comment in which he stated

    “How will establishing a separate state make Tamils equal?”

    I never said establishing a separate state will make Tamils equal.

    Having said that sometimes the only way to free the oppressed from their oppressors is to separate the oppressed from the oppressor as in the case of family divorces.

    Do they become equal after a divorce? May be not.

    But can the oppressed enjoy freedom after divorce? Of course.

    Would this separation good for the oppressed? Of course. Free from oppression, can have a say on their own affairs.

    Would this separation good for the oppressor? Not at all. Losss of control, power and property.

    • wijayapala

      Dear Sam Alexander

      I never said establishing a separate state will make Tamils equal.

      But you just said that the Tamils are asking to be treated as equals. If establishing a separate state will not accomplish this, then it is useless.

      But can the oppressed enjoy freedom after divorce? Of course.

      As I recall, the Tamils had no freedom in LTTE-controlled territories which were a de facto separate state. Perhaps your memory isn’t so good.

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear wijayapala,
        You have stated “If establishing a separate state will not accomplish this, then it is useless”. I have already made my case by explaining how the seperate state will play its role in this situation.

        You also stated “As I recall, the Tamils had no freedom in LTTE-controlled territories which were a de facto separate state. Perhaps your memory isn’t so good”.

        I am not talking about a de facto sepearate state, but an independentent country that has full rights under the UN. A defacto state does not enjoy the benefits under the UN and it has its additional stress due to this lack of UN protection.

  • nathan

    “take it or leave it”

    If the answer is leave it, where will they leave to?

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear GV Readers,

    The Govt with a 84% land ownership, is the overwhelming land owner in Sri Lanka. Consequentially the majority of this land is uninhabited. 54% of the above land is within the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The Provincial boundaries are an arbitrary colonial division and a tool used for administrative purposes and does not reflect how the land was inhabited by the population.

    84% of Lanka’s Land therefore, has no ethnic owner.

    Area of Sri Lanka is 65610 sq km.
    Public Land (owned by Govt) 84% which is 55,110 sq km
    54% of this Public land is in the Northern and Eastern Provinces = 29,760 sq km.
    The rest of the Public Land is in the other provinces = 25,350 sq km.

    Before the British, the ethnic distribution in Lanka was as follows (derived from the 1911 census)

    Sinhala 75.95%
    Tamil 14.77%
    Moor 6.54%
    Other 2.74%

    Lanka was subsequently Tamilized by the then Government who imported and Colonised by force, the Sinhala Hinterland of the Hill country, with foreign Tamils from India. There is nothing in the History of Sri Lanka that can even come close to this State sponsored Colonisation.

    The number of foreign Tamils so imported and used to Colonise the Sinhala hinterland exceeded the number of Lankan Tamils of the day

    This more than doubled the Tamil Population and diluted the Sinhala population.

    The then Government of Lanka (Ceylon) enacted several Acts to disposes the Sinhalese of their Lands.

    The above are verifiable facts.

    Unreasonable claims toward control of PUBLIC Land, which is a scarce resource (cannot be created) has been an intractable issue.

    Public Resources are common property and should provide a common benefit to ALL Lanka’s citizens. It cannot be OWNED or controlled by any ethnic community.

    The Historical Tamil Homeland claim is a devious Land Grab and has been objected to by the Non Tamil Community. It has stood in the way of peace and harmony.

    Sampanthan’s statement “The symbol of our party chosen for us by our founder – the House – also symbolizes this. This House is the Home of our community; our community’s historical habitat; our community’s sovereignty. Our fundamental objective is to regain our community’s Home, its historical habitat and its sovereignty. The symbol of the House symbolizes this unshakeable aim…” Is a perpetuation of such a claim.

    In reality Sampanthan wants to steal from the Lankan Population at large, an area of 29,760 sq km. for the benefit of a small section of the Tamil population localised to the North and East (about 10% of Lankan population).

    How can one justify this thievery of Public resources?

    How can anyone equate this skewed demand for 29,760 sq km of public land for the exclusive use of 10%, leaving a meagre 25,350 sq km for the balance population of 90% (includes Tamils living outside the North and East) as a JUST demand?

    That is the type of EQUALITY that Sampanthan and his proponents are demanding.

    Justice demands that Public Resources be shared on a per capita basis.
    13A subverts this principle and hence should be amended to ensure equality. I believe 13A should stay but amended to ensure Justice to ALL Lankan Citizens.

    I wonder whether Dr Dayan Jayatilake or someone else well versed on 13A can shed some light on this matter.

    • Sam Alexander

      Dear Off the Cuff,
      You stated “How can anyone equate this skewed demand for 29,760 sq km of public land for the exclusive use of 10%, leaving a meagre 25,350 sq km for the balance population of 90% (includes Tamils living outside the North and East) as a JUST demand?”

      If you know the history of your country then you will make comments like this out of ignorance.

      This is not a case of father dividing his property between his children for you to cry unfair or unjust. This is all about the 3 kingdoms (Kotte, Tamil and Kandyan) that existed in Sri Lanka before the Europeans arrived and the Europeans made it into one unitary country for their ease of administration, and later correctly named by Srimavo in 1972 as Sorry Lanka.

      Since the Europeans are now left and the majority (Sinhalese) community has now terribly proven to be failed in accomodating the minority community within Sorry Lanka, lets go back in times to live in peace in our original kingdoms or homelands.

      • Navin

        In the same way as LTTE did not have the man power to ultimately defend its territory, Jaffna rulers too didn’t have the man power to defend a large swath of land. Present day North let alone the East is greatly an over estimation of what was under the Jaffna rulers control.

        Sri Lanka is smaller than Tasmania. Yet we have to support a population the size of Australia. Therefore, you cannot be serious when you say 13% of the island’s population, half of whom live outside N & E, are entitled to full control in N & E that comprise 40% of the country’s landmass!

      • wijayapala

        Dear Sam Alexander

        A defacto state does not enjoy the benefits under the UN and it has its additional stress due to this lack of UN protection.

        “Additional stress” does not explain at all why the LTTE used Tamil children as cannon fodder and other civilians as human shields.

        This is all about the 3 kingdoms (Kotte, Tamil and Kandyan) that existed in Sri Lanka before the Europeans arrived

        The problem with that recurrent argument is that those kingdoms (there were 5 actually when the Portuguese arrived) did not exist for most of Sri Lankan history or even a large part of it. Actually a very good counterargument could be made that the Europeans conquered Sri Lanka precisely because the island was divided in such an inefficient way, and that the unitary states is the best means to avoid future conquest by outsiders.

      • Leela

        I am no historian. But it’s a fact that recorded history of continues Tamil kingdom in any form runs for just over 400 years and that included 18 years rule by Kotte. Only Mahawamsa quotes other intruder Tamil kingdoms. Anyway Tamil kingdom you refer is well known to have started in 1215 with an invasion by Marga and ended with Cankili II in 1624. Hardly any artefacts or monuments were found to prove any such earlier kingdoms.

        Since Portuguese defeated Cankilli in 1624, they ruled ‘the north’ together with other subjugated areas as one unit just as all the Sinhala sovereigns had done for over thousand years before the advent of Marga. The Dutch and the British did the same.

        Its 388 years already that ‘the north’ has been ruled with other areas. And it will soon exceed 400 years of so-called Tamil kingdom era. I say ‘so-called’ because it was a tributary to Chola Empire in India until its demise. Surely, you don’t expect to justify Eelam demand set upon Sri Lanka soil based on such history.

        On the other hand, Sinhalese has a written history since 550 BC. Many western scholars accepted it as true. Thambiah and co may ridicule Mahawamsa but they cannot discard it for it was also a basis to track time-line for other historical events.

        As for me in spite of where ever they live, Tamils are Tamils. There are no Indian Tamils, Sri Lankan Tamils or Colombo Tamils and etc. Most want a Tamil country. In that sense, Sambandan is a liar. And Karunanithi is at least honest to the extent he said he dreams for Eelam. I only disagree with where he is demanding Eelam. Like Periyar and Annadorai, the pioneers of Tamil separatism in India, Karunanithi should have asked Eelam in India where Tamils had a more than a thousand year kingdoms.
        Leela

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Sam Alexander,

        You wrote “This is not a case of father dividing his property between his children for you to cry unfair or unjust“

        The above sentence of yours imply and recognise that Common Property should provide Equal benefit to ALL stakeholders.

        Your weak defence of the SKEWED demand by a minority of Tamils amongst the Tamils themselves, is to bring up the Tamil Kingdom.

        Are you claiming that the 29,760 sq km of Common Property that you are claiming for exclusive use (excluding even other Tamils), lies within that Tamil Kingdom?

        I am sorry to disappoint you as the Kandyan Kingdom extended up to Elephant Pass even during Dutch Rule. Here is unshakable proof from the Dutch National Archives.

        During the 17th century the Company was engaged in a war of attrition with the king of Kandy, who had close ties with Ceylon’s Buddhist population. There was a narrow tongue of land at Elephant Pass a fort was built to guard the border with the king’s territory.
        http://www.atlasofmutualheritage.nl/detail.aspx?page=dpost&lang=en&id=682#tab2

        You wrote “This is all about the 3 kingdoms (Kotte, Tamil and Kandyan) that existed in Sri Lanka before the Europeans arrived and the Europeans made it into one unitary country for their ease of administration”

        I am sorry to disappoint you again. Long before the Europeans did so, Lanka was united under a Sinhala King. Can you point out even a SINGLE instance where it happened under a Tamil King?

        You wrote “Since the Europeans are now left and the majority (Sinhalese) community has now terribly proven to be failed in accomodating the minority community within Sorry Lanka, lets go back in times to live in peace in our original kingdoms or homelands”

        What intelligence!

        What are you going to do with the Million Tamils whose ancestors were used to Forcibly Colonise the Sinhala Kingdom in the Hill Country by the Government? Send them back to India?

        It is people like you, whose greed has no limits, that subverts Justice and Fair play and is stifling all efforts at reconciliation. Sampanthan’s ideology is no different to Prabhaksran’s. Only the method is different.

        Any more History lessons?

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Leela,

        I refer you to a compilation on the place of Tamils in ancient Sri Lanka published in dbsjeyaraj.com recently (http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/6238#more-6238).

        I think it is a fallacy to leave out the ‘People’ in reconstructing their history. History of a people need not be the history of their kings and queens. Mahavamsa is largely a story of Buddhism and the kings of the people who became the Sinhalese. It is not the history of of all peoples of Sri Lanka. It, while providing glimpses of the presence of ‘Other peoples and their kings’ , has been written by a Buddhist monk to record what he knew at that time. It has its obvious limitations and biases. A valuable historical record though it may be, it cannot be the starting point for political solutions in 21st century Sri Lanka.

        Tamils are one of the founding people of Sri Lanka and though a distinct minority now, are also very much part of the make up of the Sinhala people. There have been recent migration -in terms of centuries- of Tamils and Malayalees from South India into Sri Lanka. Some have remained Tamil , while others have become Sinhalese.

        Political solutions have to found in an inclusive context and not in an exclusive context that you and Sambanthan advocate.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • wijayapala

        Dear Leela

        I say, give them nothing and introduce forced assimilation before it’s too late.

        How do you propose forcing the Tamils to assimilate?

        As for me in spite of where ever they live, Tamils are Tamils. There are no Indian Tamils, Sri Lankan Tamils or Colombo Tamils and etc.

        Then you Leela are a Tamil nationalist, because that is exactly what the Eelam supporters say!

    • wijayapala

      The Govt with a 84% land ownership, is the overwhelming land owner in Sri Lanka. Consequentially the majority of this land is uninhabited.

      The majority of Sri Lankan land is uninhabited???????

      84% of Lanka’s Land therefore, has no ethnic owner.

      The counterargument I’ve heard is that since the government is elected by the Sinhala majority, it represents the Sinhala interests and thus is owned by the Sinhala community.

      • Off the Cuff

        Wijayapala,

        Yes 84% is government owned hence it is public property. The public means the collective citizens irrespective of ethnicity. Government owned land is mainly uninhabited even though some of it has been encroached. Do you think otherwise?

        You say “The counterargument I’ve heard is that since the government is elected by the Sinhala majority, it represents the Sinhala interests and thus is owned by the Sinhala community.”

        Do you believe in that argument? Is it a sound argument?

        Since 75% of the population is Sinhalese, the government in a democracy would normally be voted in by them. But the Sinhalese has not voted en-block for one party. The Sinhalese have also rejected parties such as Sinhale Bhumiputra Party which is ultra nationalist. The Nationalistic JHU could not garner enough votes to form a government. Your argument would be valid when parties like the SBP and JHU gain governing power with the Sinhalese vote. So far that has not happened but people like Mr. R Sampanthan might be the catalyst that will make it happen sometime in the future. On the other hand minority nationalistic parties have decided on the government as they have been the king maker on many occasions. Thondaman, Ashroff etc has been such King-makers.

        There can be many arguments some based on fiction and others based on facts. But what matters is fair and factual argument.

        I believe that devolution must happen but only with a proportionate allocation of Public resources. If the Tamils want devolution it must be given to them. But if they want to steal from the rest of the citizenry it must be opposed with all our might. The Exclusive Tamil Homeland demand is Daylight Robbery. Some Northern Tamils are hoodwinking the world to grab 54% of Publicly owned Land for themselves excluding even the Upcountry Tamils in the process. They talk of Government sponsored colonisation ignoring the fact that the biggest government sponsored colonisation happened in the Kandyan Kingdom where foreign Tamils exceeding the total number of Lanka Tamils were imported and colonised by force on Lands dispossessed from the Sinhalese by the then Government. This injustice and demographic change is unmatched and can never be matched by any Lankan government. It is this type of tongue in cheek attitude and unsurpassed greed that stands in the way of reconciliation. Mr. R Sampanthan is fuelling the Nationalists among the Sinhalese and swelling their numbers with his Racist talk.

        The 13A has to be modified to ensure that each devolved unit has a proportionate share of Public resources. As it stands today, it allows Grossly disproportionate Land allocation to the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Land and water is the life blood in an agricultural society. No single community should be bled of that.

        Many who advocate the 13A fear to address this issue. In fact I am yet to see any proponent of an unmodified 13A, justifying the clauses that allow such disproportionate land allocation to the N and E Provinces.

      • wijayapala

        Yes 84% is government owned hence it is public property. The public means the collective citizens irrespective of ethnicity. Government owned land is mainly uninhabited even though some of it has been encroached. Do you think otherwise?

        65,610 sq km (the land area of Sri Lanka) * .14 (the percentage of the land that you claim is inhabited) = ~10,500 sq km

        20 million people / 10,500 sq km = 1,904 people per sq km

        Anyone who has ever visited Sri Lanka knows that suggesting this extremely high population density is absurd.

      • Off the Cuff

        Wijayapala,

        Yes it is absurd.
        But that absurdity can be a result of a bad assumption.

        You have assumed that the Public and Private lands do not co exist.
        In any inhabited area they do coexist.

        In an uninhabited area (such as forests), typically only Public land exist.

        Roads, Coast line, Public parks etc have a common ownership and do not have an Ethnic owner but they are intermingled with inhabited land.

        My error was to call it uninhabited.
        People do not live on them although they use them.

        The wet zone of Lanka is a quarter of Lanka but yet it contains about 60% of her population.

        Do you see any other problem with my argument?

        BTW. Forest cover in 1881 was 84% of Lanka’s Land.
        Small sections of this Land was the Veddha habitat.

    • Bira

      Well said, Off The Cuff and Leela!

      There were no real seperate Tamil Kingdoms in Sri Lanka except for ones that were forcibly set up by Chola Invaders. This is like saying that if a thug takes over your houses by force, his grand children later can say that the whole area now is owned by them and it is their ‘Traditional Homeland’!

      There is no evidence to say that the Portugese,Dutch and The British ever had discussions or agreements with a Tamil King when they invaded Sri Lanka. That alone shows that there was no seperate Tamil Kingdom, but only principalities under one Kingdom. I hope somebody can prove me wrong with facts from our history.

      Prof. Karthigesu Indrapala, a Tamil Professor who taught in the Jaffne Uni, has succintly proved that the early settlers and Kingdoms in the North and East were the Sinhalese, in his Ph.D. theses-Dravidian Settlements in Ceylon. Exerpts can be accesed here: http://www.spur.asn.au/extra/drav.htm or from the Spur webpage http://www.spur.asn.au.

      Prof. Indrapala taught the facts from his theses at the Uni, and was literally chased out of Jaffna by Tamil extremists who didn’t want the Tamilsand the world to know the truth, and they forced him to recant by writing another book disproving his Ph.D. theses! Now he lives in Australia as far as I know.

      There is so much unused land in the North and the East, and now it is time that the Govt. settled people ther to reflect the ethnic ratio of the whole country. That cannot be called ‘Colonising’ since the word essentially means encroaching on others land. But this is Government land. Collonising if ever, was done by the Chola Kings and the Brits who imported Tamils from India to grab Sri Lankan land.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Bira,

        You wrote “There is so much unused land in the North and the East, and now it is time that the Govt. settled people ther to reflect the ethnic ratio of the whole country. “

        The above is the Policy that has been practised and is still being practised in Singapore. It is called the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and has been in force for over twenty years without any objections from the Minorities. It has led to a lot of intermarriages in Singapore.

        Singapore does not allow ethnic enclaves. In the past Singapore too had Ethnic strife.

        I am a proponent of meaningful devolution to the minorities. However I oppose the robbery and the deceit practised by some Tamils. Public resources is common property. Their cannot be any ethnic owner to it. The best way of allocating resources is to base them on a per capita platform. That way no community will be disadvantaged over another.

        Thank you for the sentiments expressed.

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Bira,

        The continued references to Indrapala’s Ph.D thesis, is astonishing in the context of the fact that the author has himself rejected the basis of his research and his conclusions. His subsequent research and conclusions tell a different story. Is Indrapala’s flawed Ph.D thesis more acceptable to some because it lends credence to the skewed history of Sri Lanka, preferred by them?

        Leela,

        You have suggested ‘Assimilation’ as a solution to the Tamil problem. Are you suggesting that the Tamils in Sri Lanka have to become Sinhalese? I can understand the need for ‘Integrating’ the Tamils into the Sri Lankan society more comprehensively, but not ‘Assimilation’. Why should not the Tamils be ‘Tamils’ within Sri Lanka and be treated as equal citizens in every way?

        The short sighted and immature political sloganeering by Sambanthan, who I consider has forfeited the right to lead the Tamils at this juncture of their history, long years back, should not elicit responses of such abhorrent nature (almost Nazi-like). I can however, empathize with your frustration at Sambanthan’s words and foolishness.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • kadphises

        Off the Cuff,

        We have discussed this at length before. But dont you think the publicly owned land should also be devided up between the constituent self governing bodies proportionately? If the public land belongs to all we should be able to say that 11.8% of it belongs to Tamils and 88.2% belongs to Sinhalese, Moslems and Indian Tamils. I think it would still be a problematic for all the publicly held land to be administered by a Govt elected only by the Sinhalese.

        So a fair settlement I think would be 7% of the land for a northern state. 5% of the land to an Eastern Tamil state. x% of the land in the East for whatever percentage the Eastern Moslems make up and the rest which would comprise about 80% to be administerd by those living outside those areas.

        Of course there should be no forced relocation of populations. There should be free access across borders and free trade. What the regions can do however is tax their own citizens, spend the taxes according to how they see fit, decide how land should be utilised, set school curriculums, decide who goes to the universities in Jaffna and Batticaloa. Appoint their own police force and judiciary to enforce the law etc.

        This should also guarantee against complete secession, as a state with just 7% of the landmass is not going to be too attractive to the supremacists in the Eelamist camp.

      • Off the Cuff

        Kadphises,

        “We have discussed this at length before. But don’t you think the publicly owned land should also be divided up between the constituent self governing bodies proportionately?”

        Yes of course it should.
        That is exactly what I have stated.

        Per capita allocation is not Ethnicity based.
        It is population based.

        If the per-capita land is X units (=Public Land/Total Population).
        And there are a million people in one constituent provincial body, then X million units of Publicly owned land should be allocated on a per-capita base to that province.
        The Private land remains untouched.
        Hence that province would get X million units + the existing Private land within that province.

        It does not matter whether the province has 90% Tamils, 8.5% Moors, 1% Sinhalese and 0.5% others. It will still get the allocation for the total mixed population. The governance would be by Tamils as they would form the majority.

        Same thing will apply when the majority within the province are Moors.
        The Moors will form the government and the others will live under that government.

        That is undiluted Democracy.

        Please note there is no Ethnic division here.
        Private Property is untouched.
        There is no forced relocation.
        There are no closed borders.
        There are no trade restrictions between provinces.

        If a Per Capita base of sharing Land (already recognised within 13A section 2 but perverted elsewhere within the same section) is ensured, then I don’t see any valid reason to object to Land Powers or Police Powers or any other powers that do not have a potential of posing a threat to Lanka’s Sovereignty and Security (Foreign policy, Foreign Funds. Control of the Sea and Air and disproportionate numbers in Arms within any Provincial Police etc).

        You say “If the public land belongs to all we should be able to say that 11.8% of it belongs to Tamils and 88.2% belongs to Sinhalese, Moslems and Indian Tamils.”

        This is Ethnic division.
        It will give rise to more communal strife in the future.
        It will open a Pandora’s Box.
        I for one oppose it due to that reason.

        The Question is, will those who clamour for Equality, stand for Real Equality or still want Disproportionate, “equality”.

  • Ravana

    “Piranha – I agree with you completely in your observation “Dayan Jayatilleke is simply trying to cause trouble here”

    “What the gracious Dr. Jayatilleke chose to omit from the selectively culled statements of Mr. Sampanthan is the one below; it helps contextualize Mr. Sampanthan and ITAK’s position.”

    Sarath Fernando and George ( : ) ):

    Are you trying to wake up the racists or moderates or sheep? (err I wasn’t really serious about the racists- they are already dancing something wicked here).

    Reminds me of a Sri Lankan (Sinhala?) saying:

    “The one who is pretending to sleep cannot be woken up…”

    May be they would wake up if the house went on fire. I wonder what the good doctor is up to…. hik hik hik.

    George, you seem to have lost your sense of humour/inimitable sarcasm. Maybe you should take a holiday from the forum like I did. Good to see your comments.

  • wijayapala

    Gamarala

    That’s a reasonable critique, and I tend to agree.

    If you agree with my critique then you’ll have to agree with the implication- that a political solution is impossible with a divided Tamil polity.

    • Gamarala

      Wijayapala,

      “If you agree with my critique then you’ll have to agree with the implication- that a political solution is impossible with a divided Tamil polity.”

      Yes. I agree that it seems quite apparent that this would be the case. My concern however, is not with a political solution. What can a symbolic political solution achieve, if the fundamental issue is not addressed? A political solution could potentially repair bruised egos, satiate a power hunger, provide a symbolic gesture of remorse and even provide an interim solution to the larger problem. But the one thing a political solution cannot truly solve is the larger problem. And the larger problem, ultimately, is the inability to forge a transcendental national identity under a government which represents that identity.

      That is why this government’s behaviour is ultimately so damaging. It so easily and readily identifies with majoritarianism, that it converts the recently won war, into naught but a Pyrrhic victory. This makes Sampanthan uninteresting. There’s no point in being concerned with new scapegoats and apparitions, which are mere distractions, orthogonal to the real issue – the lack of a national character that most citizens can identify with.

      Of course, Dayan can’t say that out loud can he? He has to content himself – tilting at windmills.

      • Gamarala

        I should add, I don’t mean to dismiss the importance of a political solution. IMHO, as matters stand now, the importance of a political solution has a lot more to do with saving face, appearances and assurances than tangible benefits in governance. As I understand, your primary objections Wijayapala, revolve around the practical benefits in devolved governance. The benefits in governance may or may not materialize. Unfortunately, the issue isn’t that simple any more. It may be necessary to accept a potentially inefficient system if for nothing but to diffuse the hegemony of the state, mend bridges and display genuine remorse for the atrocities of the past.

        I believe that even that could be side-stepped if the govt. displayed genuine interest in building an inclusive identity, which of course as well all know, it is too tribal-minded and unsophisticated to do.

  • Thass

    What I can see as a neutral party is that there are extremist and intransigence on both sides. Now it is more of a blame game, shooting the messenger, accusations and counter accusations instead of sitting down together and finding a solution to this vexed question.
    A solution would be necessarily be a compromise on both sides and finding the middle ground. 13A would be a good start point. As mentioned by Ven Sobhitha in his speech recently there are other problems with the constitution which need to be addressed, including the Executive Presidiency.
    At present there is a deadlock and the acute need for a honest broker, a task which Norway failed to perform and India has abandoned. At this rate there will be no solution, home grown or otherwise. Need of the hour is enlightened visionary leadership on both sides and the desire to achieve a solution.

  • PROF. KOPAN MAHADEVA

    I have read the above comments on Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka’s GV article with great interest with a sense of satisfaction on the fact that an honest dialogue is taking place on the future of Sri Lanka. Why DJ wrote this GV article at this stage is not a serious matter of our concern. He has read Mr. R. Sampanthan’s recent Keynote Speech and tried to elicit some insights from it, as one of the first writers to do so. The text of Mr. R.S.’s speech in Tamil and its official English Translation have been studied and discussed in detail. And that is also a trend I feel very glad about. We must understand each other.

    I see Mr.R.S. as the most mature, competent and qualified politician in Sri Lanka today, to lead the Tamils in solving their basic problems that yet linger on in post-war Sri Lanka. He is Mr. S.J.V. C’s true successor. He is NOT seeking a separate Tamil Eelam within the island of Sri Lanka. He is seeking a political structure within a united Sri Lanka without past oppressive and discriminatory features of ‘unitary forms’ of government — something of the type Mrs. C-B.K. was on the verge of achieving in the 1995-96 era. Because all attempts to solve the Tamils’ problems through the parliamentary democracy failed, the Tamil youths seized up leadership and tried to win equality through arms, and failed. During the war years the elected Tamil leaders were forced to take a back seat and have now, quite rightly, come back to the front. Mr. R.S. is the most mature among all Tamil leaders today. Why he is harbouring on world support is because there is no mutual trust presently between the GOSL and his TNA, backed by old failures. He does accept the concept of Sri Lanka as a single sovereign country but wants the Tamils to share that sovereignty in the provinces where they live predominantly, and have lived for the past centuries. His TNA is not against non-Tamils settling and living in those areas as natural occurrences. They are only against state-led disfigurement of the natural settlement patterns. As I see it, Mr.R.S. respects and has a good rapport with President Rajapaska, and I have every hope that his TNA will soon join the proposed PSC and solve most of the ethnic minorities problems within the next 9-12 months. These are my views.

    • Off the Cuff

      You wrote “His TNA is not against non-Tamils settling and living in those areas as natural occurrences. They are only against state-led disfigurement of the natural settlement patterns.”

      What are you going to do about the State Led disfigurement of the Kandyan Kingdom where Foreign Tamils, in excess of the number of local Tamils, were imported and settled forcibly, on Land Stolen by the State, from the Sinhalese? Tamil numbers more than doubled as a consequence.

      This State led disfigurement and Colonisation of Lands hitherto used by the Sinhalese, has no equal in Sri Lankan History.

      If foreign Tamils can be settled by the State in Lanka without a whimper from Local Tamils what moral right do they have to object to Landless Lankan Citizens being helped to establish a livelihood, be they Tamils, Muslims, Sinhalese or anyone else?

      Is this use of innocuous language designed to mask a massive Land Grab (with which you seem to concur) by a section of the Tamils from the other citizens of Lanka?

      Is this the equality that is proposed in your book “A Plan for Peace in Eelam?”

      Land and water is the life blood of Lankan Agricultural Society. Is their any reason why 90% of the population should allow a small section of Tamils consisting of a fraction of less than 10% of the population to bleed them to death, just to satisfy their greed?

      Reconciliation requires that Justice prevails within the claims made. Greed has no place in it.

      • Gamarala

        Good lord, must we endure these school-boyish admonishments and arguments? 🙂

        The reason that the colonial settlement of Tamils in SL is not comparable to state-led colonization is brazenly obvious – one was led by the British, and the other is led by a govt. which is claiming to represent everyone equally, including Tamils. If you don’t see what the problem is with deliberately disturbing ethnic demography in order to cement a Sinhala-Buddhist characteristic to the island, I would dare suggest that your arguments would be better appreciated by the my-little-pony forum.

      • Off the Cuff

        Well you do have a choice in selecting your reading don’t you?
        Has anyone restricted your freedom to leave?

        If you chose to stay and read then respond to the contents without whimpering. Apparently you have no facts to counter what I wrote.

        The British was the government. And the Kandyan lands were confiscated and settled with Foreign Tamils by the government of the day. The then government enacted three Land ordinances to empower them to do so. The number of foreign Tamils so settled exceeded the total number of Local Tamils. Consequently the Tamil numbers Doubled.

        On what basis do you object to settling Sri Lankan Citizens on Public land?

        The North and East contains about 45% of Lanka’s Land mass which is owned by the Public. Is it your position that this is an exclusive domain of the Northern Tamils?

        Are you aware that 13A excludes Tamils from outside the Northern Province from this Land?

        Can you explain why you support the shutting out of the Upcountry Tamils from this Large swath of Land? Is the excuse trotted out by you sufficient justification for excluding everyone residing outside the North and East from almost Half the Land of Lanka?

        Why should settlement alter demography when the demography can be maintained by delimitation or creation of another province from the excess per capita land available?

        Is a political aspiration for power of less than 10% of the population superior to the needs of the living of the rest of the population? Why cannot this political aspiration be achieved by a proportional per capita allocation of Public Land to such a province?

        The real aim is not equality but a Land grab that rivals the land grab of the 1840s.

        You wrote “deliberately disturbing ethnic demography in order to cement a Sinhala-Buddhist characteristic to the island”

        Have you studied the Demographic data lately?
        This country has been almost 75% Sinhalese before it was colonised with foreign Tamils and it is so today too.

        In 1981 it was almost 70% Buddhist.

        See the folly in your Racist anti Buddhist argument, the stock fall back of the Intellectually Bankrupt?

        With those figures, what remains to be cemented?

        Lets see you providing an adult and mature argument instead of whimpering like a pup.

      • Gamarala

        Whimpering like a pup? LOL. I will assume that you have certain pubescent aggression issues and pray to the great God Baal that he send some Fanta your way – you know – so you can chill.

        “On what basis do you object to settling Sri Lankan Citizens on Public land?”

        I object to settling citizens on government land if it is with the intent of diluting the presence, history and culture of an ethnic group. The past crimes against the Tamil people necessitate sensitivity in this regard, to what might otherwise have been a non-issue under a genuinely inclusive government.

        “The North and East contains about 45% of Lanka’s Land mass which is owned by the Public. Is it your position that this is an exclusive domain of the Northern Tamils?”

        The North and East are not the exclusive domain of anybody. But as I said earlier, only natural population movements should be allowed. Government sponsored colonization is unethical under the afore mentioned circumstances – to reiterate.
        1. The government has failed to be representative of or earn the trust of Tamils.
        2. Has wrought death and destruction upon the Northern/Eastern population.
        3. Identifies with a triumphalist Sinhala-Buddhist majoritarian character and is therefore mistrusted by the Northern population.

        Therefore, the total lack of credibility on their part necessitates sensitivity from the rest of us, and total avoidance of such unethical action from the government, until and unless they manage to assure the people of this country that imposing a Sinhala-Buddhist hegemony on the North is not the motivating force behind government sponsored colonization (whatever the over pretensions of fairness). That’s why only natural movement should be allowed.

        “Are you aware that 13A excludes Tamils from outside the Northern Province from this Land?”

        Please quote relevant passage.

        “Can you explain why you support the shutting out of the Upcountry Tamils from this Large swath of Land? Is the excuse trotted out by you sufficient justification for excluding everyone residing outside the North and East from almost Half the Land of Lanka?”

        Trotted by me? LOL.
        I do not support this. I only object to state sponsored colonization under the present circumstances, and given the afore-mentioned concerns.

        “Why should settlement alter demography when the demography can be maintained by delimitation or creation of another province from the excess per capita land available?”

        First, since when has there been a pressing need to colonize the north and east? Can you explain since when Sri Lankans started having a burning desire to get to the arid North and East due to having no space at all in the South?

        Secondly, I nevertheless object on the afore mentioned basis. The crimes wrought on the Tamils for many decades, culminating in the recent massacre, necessitates sensitivity from a government which is attempting to earn their trust and represent them. It necessitates assurances that their motivation is not to “wipe the Tamils out”.

        “Is a political aspiration for power of less than 10% of the population superior to the needs of the living of the rest of the population? Why cannot this political aspiration be achieved by a proportional per capita allocation of Public Land to such a province?”

        You have not yet explained how a lack of land is causing a major catastrophe in the South. Nor have you explained why you have no concern at all for the genuine mistrust that the government has earned for itself.

        The rest of your post involved some self-righteous nonsense which you should recite at a school-play in exchange for a few giggles 😀

      • Off the Cuff

        Gamarala,

        “Whimpering like a pup? LOL” you question back.

        Of course. LOL all you want but that’s what you were doing and still continue to do. Was it learnt from your Pony Forum that you dared suggest (in your first challenge)?

        You say “I will assume that you have certain pubescent aggression issues”

        If you sense aggression in my post it is a response to the aggression in your original challenge. Whether yours were Pubescent or Pre pubescent or due to Senility is not my concern. You want to discuss with Civility I will reciprocate your civility. If you want to do it any other way I have no difficulty in responding likewise. It’s your choice, as you are the one who responded aggressively in the first place.

        You say “I object to settling citizens on government land if it is with the intent of diluting the presence, history and culture of an ethnic group. “

        Did I suggest any dilution of Tamil History, Culture or the Numbers (I suppose you meant that by the word presence)? Have I proposed any relocation of Tamils? Prove it by quoting from my post that you challenged.

        Also please understand that I am writing about Devolution. It has nothing to do about current or past governments. It is about the future management of Lanka’s Land which is finite. Unlike Singapore, we do not have the resources to reclaim it from the sea. The population on the other hand is not static and require Land for their sustenance. Hence it is our duty to see that Every Citizen benefits from an equitable share of that scarce resource. The best way of doing it is by basing it on the per capita land of the country. This eliminates all historical claims. It is blind to Ethnicity, Religion, Cast etc. It is blind to all man made divisions. Still it ensures that the Ethnic ratios in a given area is maintained. I have discussed this extensively on GV. There is a long discussion on the subject on a page originated by Dr Nessiah. I believe it’s about a response to DBS Jayaraj.

        Recently Assanga Welikala wrote a good article about Devolution. You can read my post here. http://groundviews.org/2012/05/20/devolution-and-the-concept-of-concurrency-abolition-or-reform/#comment-44648

        Unfortunately Assanga shied away from discussing his own Article.
        There were only 15 responses.
        Not surprising when the author himself abandons the discussion.

        You say “The past crimes against the Tamil people necessitate sensitivity in this regard”

        If by that you mean the ethnic riots I agree with the necessity to redress their issues. But that cannot be done by committing crimes against the future generations of Lankans. The riots cannot be made an excuse for skewed allocation of the countries resources. Doing so is a crime and non of us have the right to barter away the birthright of the future generations.

        You say ”….to what might otherwise have been a non-issue under a genuinely inclusive government. “

        A genuinely inclusive government needs men of the calibre of Lakshman Kadirgama or Dr Noel Nadesan or Dr Pradeep Jeganathan to give leadership to the Tamils and who posses the vision to give leadership to the Sinhalese. Kadir the Politician did that admirably. Do we have any? We have good people but they have not come forward. Sampanthan is certainly not one of them. The peasantry (Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim) of this country has been at the receiving end of the injustices of a power wielding colonial bureaucracy and that is one of the causes that generated mistrust. You cannot wish away centuries of domination.

        You say “The North and East are not the exclusive domain of anybody”

        That is what you write but think hard about the result of what you say subsequently

        “only natural population movements should be allowed.”

        Why?

        Your singular argument of dilution is untenable as there are more democratic ways by which dilution can be prevented while ensuring equitable land use.

        I questioned you “Are you aware that 13A excludes Tamils from outside the Northern Province from this Land?”

        Your reply was “Please quote relevant passage”

        Is this not an admission that you have not studied the 13A?
        Without knowledge of Lanka’s law on devolution how can you criticise others?

        Are you not criticising out of Ignorance?

        Please educate yourself before you start shooting from the hip.

        I asked you the following question.
        Can you explain why you support the shutting out of the Upcountry Tamils from this Large swath of Land? Is the excuse trotted out by you sufficient justification for excluding everyone residing outside the North and East from almost Half the Land of Lanka?

        Your answer
        Trotted by me? LOL.
        I do not support this. I only object to state sponsored colonization under the present circumstances, and given the afore-mentioned concerns.

        You do not even know the implications of what you are writing. You have no idea of what is contained within the 13A. Go and have a good read. Not superficially but in depth. Then you will understand why it shuts out not just the Sinhalese in other provinces but everybody including other Tamils.

        This is what you defend albeit in ignorance.

        Before you venture to challenge anyone with an aggressive reply, make sure that you acquire at least a modicum of knowledge about it.

        I asked you Why should settlement alter demography when the demography can be maintained by delimitation or creation of another province from the excess per capita land available?

        Your answer avoids the question perhaps because your bogey man “Dilution” has been taken out of the equation.

        You state further “First, since when has there been a pressing need to colonize the north and east? Can you explain since when Sri Lankans started having a burning desire to get to the arid North and East due to having no space at all in the South?”

        I will give you a small example. Consider the Gal Oya Development scheme. This is an agricultural development paid for by all Sri Lankans. Hence the fruits of that development should be open equitably to ALL her citizens. The project was funded by the government mostly through loans. The debt burden of these loans are carried by All citizens irrespective of ethnicity. The per capita loan burden is the same whether you are a Sinhalese, Lanka Tamil, Indian origin Tamil, Moor, Burgher, Malay etc. Hence any allocation of the developed land should take this in to consideration. Ignoring this fact in favour of any community whether divided by Ethnicity or Religiosity or Cast means that the favoured community is subsidised by those left out without deriving any benefit for the money they have spent. This is why it is inequitable and unjust.

        The development was in the East due to the geography. You cannot move the Gal Oya valley out of the Eastern Province.

        Similarly you cannot move the Mahaweli development out of the North East either.

        You say “Secondly, I nevertheless object on the afore mentioned basis”

        You can object but that doesn’t mean your objection is either Rational or Just or Equitable.

        Equality cannot be weighed with a loaded scale.

        You say “The crimes wrought on the Tamils for many decades, culminating in the recent massacre, necessitates sensitivity from a government which is attempting to earn their trust and represent them. It necessitates assurances that their motivation is not to “wipe the Tamils out”. “

        That is a silly argument when a million Tamils are living amongst the Sinhalese on Land ROBBED from the Sinhalese by the Government of the day. Have they been wiped out by the Sinhalese who lost their lands and the only livelihood that they had?

        And what recent massacre are you alluding to? If it is the war please read Sarath Fonseka’s recent interview if you have not read it before.

        Are you aware of the following?

        According to the 1946 census on population in the agricultural sector of the island, 40% of the agricultural peasant families found in the former Kandyan Kingdom were landless while there were 26% landless agricultural families recorded in the wet zone (Herath 1995: 79)

        The impact of these land ordinances were uneven, because they were largely limited to the former Kandyan Kingdom (Mendis 1951:166).

        You say “You have not yet explained how a lack of land is causing a major catastrophe in the South”

        Is there no limit to your ignorance?
        Profiting from Public Resources is the Birthright of EVERY Citizen.
        Man made divisions do not apply to that Birthright.

        You cannot have a Gal Oya Valley in Colombo.

        You cannot have the Mahawelli in arid Kataragama.

        The Mahavelli is where the Mahawelli is.
        Development will happen where the Mahawelli is.
        Maduru Oya Basin development will embrace Pollonnaruwa, Batticaloa and Ampara.

        Is it only the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in these districts that will foot the bill to justify limiting the benefits to the Provinces that contain those districts?

        What logic are you using to shut out the rest of the population from being considered for settlement within a development that they are paying for, big time?

        Public Development should provide equal benefit to ALL stake holders.

        Quote “it is not historically accurate to say that the Kings of Jaffna ruled the east, certainly even a cursory glance at Dutch records and the doings of Rajasinha the 2nd will tell you, that the Kings of the Kanda Uda Pas Rate, (the five countries on top of the mountains) were also the overlords of Batticoloa and Trincomalee. ….. (Dr Pradeep Jeganathan)

        Though you pose an irrelevant question here is an indication of what will happen in the future.

        The wet zone of Lanka contains 25% of Lanka’s Land Mass. It is also populated by 60% of Lanka’s population. You still think there is no pressure on the wet zone land? Do you think this pressure would not increase with population increase? Use Logic Gamarala.

        You say “Nor have you explained why you have no concern at all for the genuine mistrust that the government has earned for itself”

        What is there for me to explain when the discussion is centred around devolution?
        Your personal grouse with the government does not enter in to a discussion on Devolution.
        An Appeal to emotion has no place in it either.

        You say “The rest of your post involved some self-righteous nonsense which you should recite at a school-play in exchange for a few giggles”

        Self righteous nonsense? You mean the reply I gave you regarding the favourite fall back of the Land grabbing separatists that you used as a crutch? quote “…..in order to cement a Sinhala-Buddhist characteristic to the island” unquote

        Probably you have a problem with the language. Hence let me put it bluntly.

        Sri Lanka has a near 75% Sinhala population and a Near 70% Buddhist one. Why does it need any cementing. It has been that for millennia.

        Quote ….. the very idea that Sri Lanka is made of discreet, competing communities of Sinhala, Tamil and Mohemedan is very much a colonial idea; first mooted in Colebrokke Camaron Reforms of 1833, which simultaneous with the misappropriation of Mahavamsa and the Vamsatthappaksini for a parochial European debate about the chronology of South Asian Kings. The idea that the Sinhala need a Sinhala representative and the that Tamils need a Tamil one, that the ‘Moors’ need a ‘Moor’ one is a colonial idea, a rupture in the human history of this island, that had seen settled, civilized human habitation for over 15, 000 years. This idea then, to repeat, was folded into the idea culled from a misreading of the Mahavamsa that history of this island is a series of battles between Sinhala Buddists and Tamil Hindus. There is no historicity to this, what so ever. We really must abandon this idea, that we are in grip of a 6th century Sinhala-Buddhist historical consiousness; this is a recent, colonial construction.Treating products of colonial interventions as a timeless essence adds to our difficulties, not allowing for the necessary plurality of imaginings of Lanka’s history to emerge in present times … (Dr. Pradeep Jeganathan)

        Hope you have a few giggles by and by.

      • Gamarala

        Off-the-handle,

        Looks like God Baal hasn’t responded to my prayers and sent a pack of ice to help you chill a bit. What to do deviyane? Karume no? 🙂

        I’m not interested in responding to moving goal posts and imagined demons. My original response to you was to make an obvious point: the settlement of Tamil people by the colonial-British in the central province is not comparable to state-led colonization. It was you who made that comparison, so feel free to defend it.

        I have also taken pains to explain why any state-led colonization is inappropriate under the circumstances. You have attempted to dismiss it as an “appeal to emotion”. It would appear that you do not understand what an appeal to emotion is.

        The idea that sensitivity to Tamil-related concerns be exercised is not an “appeal to emotion”. It is a factual and logical acknowledgement of the fact that there is an emotional dimension to this problem for many Tamil people, and it is sensible and logical to take that fact into account when determining how state policies are formed. I have also explained the background under which this paranoia has been created. Pretending that this aspect does not exist would be ahistorical, callous and foolish.

        If prevailing emotional baggage could be shed in its entirety, there would be no Sinhala-Tamil conflict, no Sinhala-Buddhist or Tamil supremacy complex, no questions about how fairness can be maintained and your argument would gain some validity.

        But we don’t live in a childishly simple black & white world like that, and given the present circumstances, it is necessary to be sensitive to these issues. The greatest outstanding task at the moment is to bridge the gap between Sinhalese and Tamil people. This clearly cannot be done by imposing solutions that are overtly “fair”, but are not actually fair. Let me explain.

        The fact of the matter is, there can never be true fairness in a system where there is a natural majority, because the advantages in being a majority can be erased automatically or practically. It it also difficult to prevent the imposition of one’s culture and beliefs on minorities. Therefore, any pretexts of complete fairness are only imaginary. You may argue that it is “fairer” to simply dump Sinhalese people en-masse in the North, and overtly, it would seem to be the case. In practical terms however, it would be an excellent strategy for diluting Tamil culture and imposing Sinhalese culture on the North. Our obvious problem then, is that we do not have a properly unifying Sri Lankan identity, in which the very term “colonization” would be meaningless.

        So why have we been unable to build that identity? (and don’t be confused by the current use of the word Sri Lankan. The truth is that it remains in primary identification with Sinhalese with a vague acknowledgement of others. Contrast this to the identity of an American, an Australian etc. which has been far more successful at being a genuinely multi-cultural identity). I’m sure you could write a book on the subject, but I do believe that Sinhalese people will have a greater burden on their shoulders towards building this identity, on account of being a majority.

        Therefore,
        1. We must understand that as a majority community, the only way to forge a nation is by being sensitive to minority concerns.
        2. We may even have to invest monetarily and resource-wise to correct the imbalance, which is why your gal-oya argument doesn’t fly.
        3. The only way forward, short of having a virtual slave colony in the North, is to reassure minority communities and genuinely earn their trust, which we have failed to do in the past, and will continue to fail to do if we threaten their security with colonization and other schemes.
        4. It will take time to transcend the tribal Sinhala/Tamil mentality, repair burnt bridges, rebuild trust and form a unifying identity. Till then, sensitivity and concern should be our motto, not brutish majoritarian pig-headedness.

        Lastly, I request again, please highlight the relevant passages in the 13th amendment, which provides an ethnic basis to devolution by specifically excluding Tamils from outside the North, which was your original claim.

        Signing off for more prayer!
        Gamarala

      • Off the Cuff

        Gamarala,

        Apparently you do not have answers as you are still ignorant of the subject matter (praying to your Baal overnight did not help perhaps?).

        You say “I’m not interested in responding to moving goal posts and imagined demons”

        The goal posts never moved but your Knowledge of subject matter came under stress.
        You feint disinterest, to save yourself from the ignominy of further Pontificating in Ignorance.
        The imagined Demons are to camouflage your ignorance.

        I could have returned your childish modification of my pseudonym by changing yours to Gamamahage but I am not the immature child that you have proven yourself to be.

        You say “My original response to you was to make an obvious point: the settlement of Tamil people by the colonial-British in the central province is not comparable to state-led colonization”

        Agreed.
        What the British led Ceylon Government did was a million times worse.
        1. They pillaged the Land from the Sinhalese making them destitute and without a livelihood.
        2. They Colonised those Lands EXCLUSIVELY with Foreigners
        3. The numbers so settled exceeded the number of Lankan Tamil citizens of Lanka.
        4. The number of Tamils more than DOUBLED as a consequence.

        Your original response was loaded with aggression and a set of assumptions without an iota of evidence. You could not establish the “obvious point” that you alluded to but banked on your aggression to discourage me from responding. As you can see, that tactic did not work. As I told you before, I will reciprocate your civility. Do it any other way and I have no problem in reciprocating that too.

        If you are unable to eschew the aggressive path make sure you do so with an intimate knowledge of the subject matter. Also make sure you possess the humility to acknowledge when you are wrong.

        I am not interested in your likes and dislikes or unsupported objections. I am interested in arguments based on facts. I am sure that is the same with most readers.

        You sidestepped the following question and is yet to prove how it is unfair

        Why should settlement alter demography when the demography can be maintained by delimitation or creation of another province from the excess per capita land available?

        Let me explain a bit more

        The unit of devolution revolves around Land.
        This is how a proportional allocation of PUBLIC land to each province using a per capita basis works.

        Please note that there are no Ethnic lines here.
        Please note that no “dilution” occurs.
        The ethnic ratios before and after re-demarcation of the boundary is identical”

        Expressed mathematically it is as follows

        Area of a province = C + (P x 55110/21000000 ) sq km

        where
        Provincial population = P
        Private Land in the specific province = C sq km

        Total Population of Lanka 21 million. Publicly owned Land Area in Lanka is 55110 sq km

        Think about it and answer.

        This thread is about ITAK, Devolution and the 13A. I have stayed within that.

        I have answered all your counter questions but other than Heehawing you have failed to breakdown my arguments or present your counter arguments.

        You say “I have also taken pains to explain why any state-led colonization is inappropriate under the circumstances.”

        Please tell me who will settle people in lands developed under the Mahaweli scheme or similar schemes if it is not the State?

        Be real Gamarala, all mega development schemes are State led. All mega developments are funded by the Citizens of Lanka not just by a province or a district. You cannot ask the whole of Lanka to pay for a project and then LIMIT the benefits to a province. If the development was exclusively funded by a province then it is reasonable to limit the beneficiaries to that province not otherwise. Development of river basins can happen only where the river basins exist. It cant happen anywhere else. Remember that ALL the development happens on PUBLIC land. Hence Landless from any province should benefit. Ethnicity should not be a consideration. 13A Fails to do that. It excludes those resident in other provinces.

        You have failed to meet my arguments on this matter

        You say “The fact of the matter is, there can never be true fairness in a system where there is a natural majority, because the advantages in being a majority can be erased automatically or practically. “

        What are you trying to say here?
        There is a Natural majority in almost every country.
        Nobody can do anything about it can they?

        You say “You may argue that it is “fairer” to simply dump Sinhalese people en-masse in the North, and overtly, it would seem to be the case. In practical terms however, it would be an excellent strategy for diluting Tamil culture and imposing Sinhalese culture on the North. “

        Are you in control of all your faculties?

        There are a million Tamils in the Hill country surrounded by Sinhalese. Have the Tamil culture been diluted by the Sinhala culture being imposed on these Tamils?

        All over Lanka Sinhala Culture have been influenced by Tamil culture.
        You are just trying to arouse emotion rather than meeting arguments with facts.

        Of course there should be compassion towards the effected Tamils, Sinhalese, Moors and others. But it is a mistake to conflate it with the Constitutional framework on devolution and power sharing.

        You have held Australia and USA as examples. Just learn about how the Aborigines and Native Americans and Native Canadians were integrated.

        Lastly, I request again, please highlight the relevant passages in the 13th amendment, which provides an ethnic basis to devolution by specifically excluding Tamils from outside the North, which was your original claim“

        Since you request politely here it is.

        Read my post of 3rd June addressed to Dr D.J. On this page

      • Off the Cuff

        Gamarala,

        Sorry about the large amount of bold text in my previous post.
        It is due to a HTML error on my part.

      • kadphises

        Gamarala,

        I think we need to define here where it is legal for Sinhalese to settle and where it is not. I think what is not acknowledged by Tamils is that Tamils and Moslems too have been beneficiaries of post independence Govt land settlement schemes. Tamils were given land after the implemntation of the Gal Oya, Padaviya and Iranamadu schemes. There was also a program to settle up country Tamils in the Vanni and another govt program to give large tracts of land in the Vanni to “middle class Tamils” to develop for commercial farming. Much jungle land in the Eastern Province has been granted to Tamil and Moslem farmers. However only Sinhalese settlers seem to have earned the label “illegal colonist”. Just two years ago 15,000 acres from inside Wilpattu National Park was given to Moslem refugees from Mannar by the Rajapakse regime.

        Before stating what is illegal we need to examine the demographics and history of the areas where the Sinhalese were settled. The population density of the Vanni and interior of the Eastern province was practically 0 just a hundred years ago. Even in the 1981 census, the population density of Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Mannar districts were around 0.5% of the National total. There were however a few isolated villages in these densely forrested lands called “Sinhala Purana Gam” – the remnant villages of the old Rajarata civilisation. If one reads Spittel, J E Tennant, Leonard Wolf or John Still he would get a good idea of the demographics of these lands during the early part of the 20th century.

        For the Tamils to then claim all these sparsely populated jungle lands for themselves just because they lie within the British demarcated Northern and Eastern provinces is therefore mischievous. No Sinhalese has been settled in Jaffna or Batticaloa (the Tamil heartland) to alter the demographics of those districts.

        There are no Tamils arguing for a proportionate allocation of land today – they want lots.. lots more. The British defined provincial boundaries to them are inviolable except for the bit that separates the Northern and Eastern provinces! For them everything within the 35% of Lanka that represent the N+E+Puttlam should be yielded to the Tamils for their exclusive enjoyment and every Sinhalese living in it should be considered an illegal colonist. However there is plenty of archaelogical and documentary evidence to counter their claim. Besides, the Sinhalese will never stand for such and ignominious land settlement being imposed on them.

      • Gamarala

        Kadphises,

        I’m sorry to resurrect this long dead thread. I have been away for a while and had made a mental note to respond to your post, which I think makes a lot of sense.

        Exercising sensitivity and allaying the fears of the Tamil people is a matter which is different to your concerns, valid though I believe them to be. My argument, from the very beginning, has been that sensitivity and prudence needs to be exercised as part of the effort to building bridges between these two communities, and threatening people with the bogeyman of “colonization”, is hardly the way to go.

        Also, what if certain sections of the Tamil community want lots more? Should the conversation be centered around their rather unsound ideas only? The issue in question isn’t whether we need to cave in to those demands, but whether we can allay the fears of the vast majority of the Sri Lankan Tamil people and make them feel a part of the Sri Lankan identity, which at present, many feel promotes a Sinhala-Buddhist identity at the exclusion of their own. It has more to do with whether we can live with our own conscience as citizens of this country, which at present we clearly cannot.

  • Sam Alexander

    For those of you who are worried about the security of both, a Tamils country and the Sinhala contry, will be vulnerable because we will have two smaller countries than one larger smaller country, let me tell you something.

    If the majority community was serious about this thought then they would have treated the minority a lot better than how they treated today. A little off topic, but thought would mention an article written by DBS Jearaj, a cleverly masked usual GOSL sympathezer, questioning Gota’s statements to BBC indicates even how frustrated DBSJ has become with the GOSL.

    Any how, the security of a smaller country like Sorry Lanka or its component states ( Tamil Eelam or Sri Lanka) are not upheld by themselves, but by the powers in the region (India) and Globally (USA). We should have known this thru the lessons we learned in the LTTE episode. When the world was with the Tamils, the LTTE could not be beaten by the GOSL, but when the world got mad with LTTE and was ready to stomach a Tamil genocide as a colateral damage, it become very easy for GOSL to defeat LTTE.

    • Off the Cuff

      Sam Alexander

      “…….written by DBS Jearaj, a cleverly masked usual GOSL sympathezer, questioning Gota’s statements to BBC indicates even how frustrated DBSJ has become with the GOSL.

      DBS Jayaraj a GOSL sympathiser?

      What does that make you? An LTTE sympathiser.

      Thanks for taking off your Mask.

      BTW my reply to your questions have been without an answer since the 1st June at the link below.
      What happened to you? You questioned me like a ferocious Tiger. Why have you tucked your tail between your legs?

      http://groundviews.org/2012/05/29/itaks-plan-of-attack-the-breakout-strategy/#comment-45034

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Off the Cuff,
        Do you see there is any point in Sambanathan trying have a rationale discussion with Gota, especially when Gota is all excited and his teeth out? Please cool down Sir.

        In my humble view, it seems you have your own version of history ,and I would allow a neutral body or historian to address your questions on Sorry Lanka’s history as my answers will never amke you happy. Even a true historian’s answers may not make you happy but at least it will make my point much stronger.

        Where I can see an obvious flaw with your statement is the settlement of Indian Tamils in the upcountry by a Govt and their numbers. Which Govt is that? An elected govt by the Tamil majority? Are you trying to justify the current Sinhala colonization of Tamil areas by the majority elected Sinhala Govt to alter the demographics to destroy the Tamil claims for their home lands by this twisted logic? You very well knew the purpose of bringing those poor Indian Tamils from India to the upcountry in Sorry Lanka and even then trying make a case out of it to justify the currnt Sinhala colonization.

        Is Sambanthan wrong that a solution may not be posssible withinn united Sorry Lanka?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Sam Alexander,

        You say “Where I can see an obvious flaw with your statement is the settlement of Indian Tamils in the upcountry by a Govt and their numbers. Which Govt is that?”

        Did you not know?
        It was the govt of Ceylon.
        However the Bureaucracy of the govt that robbed the land from the Sinhalese and settled them with Indian Tamils had Jaffna elitist Tamils in them.

        You ask “An elected govt by the Tamil majority?”

        Dont be daft. The Tamils are not a majority either In India, Singapore or Lanka to be able to elect a govt under any democracy. If you try hard yo might be a majority in Canada. In Lanka, unless they can carry some of the Sinhalese with them by using Fair policies, they can never hope to form a govt.

        That fairness has not been seen amongst the Elitist Jaffna Tamil leaders who manipulated the ordinary Tamils in order to perpetuate the power they had under the British, rather than sharing Lanka on an equitable basis. They even lit racial fires that culminated in a 30 year Civil war hoping to establish themselves at whatever cost.

        That these elitists treated the ordinary Tamils as chattel is no secret. The Mavvidapuram Temple entry case where the Batu Tamils were even prevented from practising their religion is a case in point. To them even Tamils are unequal. The hierarchy being Jaffna Tamils, Wanni Tamils, Eastern Tamils and Indian origin Tamils. One reason why the Eastern LTTE group led by Karuna broke away which was the death knell of the LTTE.

        Even today, these power hungry Elitists Jaffna Tamil Nationalists are not interested in sharing Lanka as equals but want control of 45% of Lanka for their exclusive benefit. Sampanthan’s speech underlines his perspective which unfortunately is no different to the elitist Tamil Nationalists of the past.

        The North is predominantly Tamil. The East is 40% Tamil. The Jaffna Elitists want control of not only the North but also the East. To justify that claim, the argument shifts from Ethnicity to Language in order to rope in the Moorish population. Strangely the Moors do not make that claim.

        You stated that the Land claim is done on the basis of a Tamil Kingdom. There was no Tamil Kingdom in the East. Dutch records show that the Kandyan Kingdom extended up to Elephant Pass (proof provided earlier). This is irrefutable proof that during Dutch occupation of the Jaffna Tamil Kingdom, no part of Mainland Lanka was under any Tamil King. Read Dr Pradeep Jeganathan’s work, he is a Tamil by the way.

        You ask “ Are you trying to justify the current Sinhala colonization of Tamil areas by the majority elected Sinhala Govt to alter the demographics to destroy the Tamil claims for their home lands by this twisted logic?

        The exclusivist stake to land is made using the arbitrary boundaries drawn by the British govt. and not because there were Tamils domiciled in the whole of the North. In 1881, 84% of Lanka’s Land was under forest cover. In 1881 the Lanka Tamils numbered less than 350,000 as the Indian Tamils outnumbered them. Unless you can prove that the Lanka Tamils were living in forests and occupied 45% of Lanka’s Land, your claim that the whole of the Northern Province and Eastern Province is a Tamil Homeland falls flat and is False.

        Where exactly are the boundaries of this undefined Tamil Homeland?

        “You very well knew the purpose of bringing those poor Indian Tamils from India to the upcountry in Sorry Lanka and even then trying make a case out of it to justify the currnt Sinhala colonization”

        The purpose was to subdue the Sinhalese, who refused to work the Lands that they owned, as labourers of the thief who robbed them.

        I dont have to make a case because you have no case. I have no problem with the govt establishing and helping Tamil settlements anywhere in Lanka. There are no exclusive homelands within the boundaries of this Island.

        You claimed that DBS Jayaraj is a GOSL sympathiser. The LTTE could not stomach what he wrote as he was also a Tamil. They even assaulted him in Canada and shut down the paper he published. You seem to be suffering from the same malady.

        I have been following your exchange with Dr. Rajasingham Narendran.

        You have been making the same extremist racist claims that you have been unable to justify in our exchange.

        Please define and JUSTIFY the boundaries of your claimed homeland as they do not coincide with the British boundaries of provinces.

        You ask “Is Sambanthan wrong that a solution may not be posssible withinn united Sorry Lanka?”

        Sambanthan’s greed disqualifies him from leading the Tamils. The Tamils led by a Honest Moderate can find a solution but definitely not a greedy Sambanthan.

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Off the Cuff,
        You have stated the following.

        “You say “Where I can see an obvious flaw with your statement is the settlement of Indian Tamils in the upcountry by a Govt and their numbers. Which Govt is that?”

        Did you not know?
        It was the govt of Ceylon.”

        So you are referring to the British colonial masters bringing Indian Tamils to server the durai’s in the tea estates to satisfy their labor needs as a Tamil colonization by a GOSL?

        And you are then trying to justify / equivate that to the Sorry Lankan govt’s current progroms of Sinhala colonization of Tamil homelands?

        How the Tamils can expect a reasonable settlement within the united country let alone the unitary country with this kind of logic and attitude?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Sam Alexander,

        “So you are referring to the British colonial masters bringing Indian Tamils to server the durai’s in the tea estates to satisfy their labor needs as a Tamil colonization by a GOSL?”

        I am referring to the govt of the day, assisted by Elitist Jaffna Tamils, importing foreign Tamils in numbers greater than the local Tamils and settling them in Land, robbed from the Sinhalese and altering the demography of the Hill country permanently.
        Those who were settled were Tamils and hence it is Tamil colonisation.

        “And you are then trying to justify / equivate that to the Sorry Lankan govt’s current progroms of Sinhala colonization of Tamil homelands?”

        In my previous post I requested you to define and JUSTIFY the boundaries of your claimed homeland as they do not coincide with the British boundaries of provinces.

        You have miserably failed to do so. Why?

        Where are these current programs? You have failed to establish that too.

        “How the Tamils can expect a reasonable settlement within the united country let alone the unitary country with this kind of logic and attitude?”

        What attitude is that?
        A near 100% of Indian origin Tamils live outside the North and East.
        If the Sinhalese can accept them even though they occupy the Lands that provided the Sinhalese their livelihood and even though they themselves are landless due to that, what logic provides you a reason to demand control of 45% of Lanka’s Land for the sole benefit of a small group of Tamils that do not include ALL Tamils of Lanka?

        What logic allows you control of the East when it is only 40% Tamil?

        To get a reasonable settlement the demands should be reasonable.

        Your interest is in perpetuating the control, the Elitist Jaffna Tamils had, in the British led govt of Ceylon (Lanka).

        My previous post to you addresses many issues including the gross injustices meted out to “other” Tamils by the Elitist Jaffna Tamils. You have sidestepped most of it. Why?

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Off the Cuff,
        There are two reasons why I side step on most of your questions.

        1. I am not the expert to answer a particular subject related questions like historical borders with 100% accuracy.

        2. Some of your questions are way off allegations that cannot be taken seriously.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Sam Alexander,

        Why are you flipping and flopping?
        This was your admonishment to me in your very first post (June 1)

        “If you know the history of your country then you will make comments like this out of ignorance”

        Now you try to save face by claiming that you don’t know Lanka’s history? (June 12)

        “I am not the expert to answer a particular subject related questions like historical borders with 100% accuracy”

        You changed from an all knowing Historian that admonished me for my poor knowledge of Lankan history to an historical ignoramus in just 12 days?

        Did it have anything to do with the Dutch records that confirmed that the Kandyan Kingdom extended up to Elephant Pass? Which also meant that the whole of the Vanni was under the King of Kandy?

        Rubbishes the Eelam Map and the historical Homeland Bullshit does it not?

        You also state “Some of your questions are way off allegations that cannot be taken seriously”

        My questions were based on your statements so they cannot be even slightly off the mark. But your avoidance and sidestepping confirms that they have been on target, which hit you right between the eyes.

        Is it incorrect to say that the Eastern Province is only 40% Tamil?
        When a 60% majority of the EP are not Tamil how do you lay claim to that?

        You said DBSJ is a cunning govt supporter. I reminded you that he was a target of the LTTE, even in Canada, where he was beaten by LTTE thugs and his newspaper shut down. Is that “way off”?

        Like to know what else is “way off” !!!

        Can you get together with the people who are claiming this Mythical Tamil Historical Homeland (surely you should know many Expert Historians amongst them who make this claim) and educate your fellow Tamils and the Sinhalese and the Burghers and the Malays and the Moors and the other citizens of Lanka what exactly the boundaries of your Historical Tamil Homeland are?

        Are you admitting that this “Historical Tamil Homeland” depicted in the Eelam map a FRAUD?

        How can you make a claim if you dont know what the Bride brought in to the marriage in the first place?

        Jaw jaw without supporting evidence wont get you anything from the courts even with the Thesawalami.

  • Mr Sambanthan doesn’t need to do much. He only needs to gather evidence of the Rajapaksa+JHU project in the North and make a case against the Sri Lankan State;the facts on the ground indicate that the government with the active involvement of the military is taking measures, like the jewish settlements in the occupied territories, to change the demographic and the cultural make-up of the North in order to deny the Tamil people any meaningful devolution/share of political power in their traditional homeland.

    • Off the Cuff

      Cyril,

      The Traditional Homeland is a Farce.
      What are it’s boundaries given that the Kandyan Kingdom extended up to Elephant Pass?

      Of course the Tamils should have meaningful devolution.
      How will the settlement of Lankan Citizens on Government Land filibuster that?

      Are you not aware that The Government settled foreign Tamils in the Hill Country, the Kandyan Kingdom? Are you not aware that the Government sequestered Kandyan Lands used by the Sinhalese for the above purpose? Are you not aware that the Number of foreign Tamils so settled exceeded the then Lankan Tamil population? Are you not aware that the Number of Tamils more than DOUBLED as a consequence?

      Devolution – Yes
      Proportionate share of Land – Yes
      Equality – Yes

      Disproportionate Share of Anything – No

      Please do not use Double Talk at this time.

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      Oh, he or anyone else will have to do quite a bit more — and better–than that, Cyril and Sam Alexander. They’ll have to overcome almost a quarter million battle tested men under arms, plus the thousands who are being weapons trained with the reintroduction of the cadet corps at the high school level, plus the determination and the background that generated the determination of the Parama Weera Vibushana heroes chronicled by David Blacker on this website.

      On the issue of defending the country’s unity and territorial integrity from all comers, can you guys tell the difference in the remarks of MR, GR, SF and Sajith? Because I can’t. If I didn’t know who was speaking, I wouldn’t know which one of them said it. Here’s an extract from the latest interview given to the Khaleej Times by SF.

      “Q: The government says that its rehabilitation programme of ex-LTTE cadres has been a success? What is your take?

      A: Of the 12,000 terrorists who have been rehabilitated and sent back, just a handful, maybe 200 people – the hardcore terrorists might cause problems. We know the calibre of organisation that they had – their level of motivation and commitment. Just a few bombs and landmines in the North and East, two bombs in Colombo will take us back to the 1980’s. You cannot rush the army out leaving those few unscrupulous elements – it would be the Tamil and Muslim people in the North and East who will suffer.

      Q: What are your sentiments about the war crimes charges levelled against the Sri Lankan Army?

      A: I completely reject stories about 40,000 to 60,000 civilians getting killed or that hospitals were bombed. I planned the ground battle going into each minute detail monitoring every four-man and eight-man team movements from what ammunition they were getting to what their targets were. I monitored everything 24 hours a day for two years and nine months, so I know exactly what went on the ground. When planning, we always gave one hundred per cent consideration to human rights, safety of civilians and the Geneva conventions.

      Q: What about allegations of war crimes, including rape and torture?

      A: If Channel 4 is ready to give us enough information we will look into it. If they give us general footage and say that soldiers killed terrorists, how can we charge someone for that? Are we to charge the whole 200,000 army?

      Q: What is your opinion of Prabhakaran? Why do you think he stayed on to fight till the end?

      A: Prabhakaran was a hardcore terrorist. He was not a genius. We failed all these years not because he was an extra-ordinary tactician but because of our weaknesses and the impracticable and unworkable tactics we used. So any man with common sense, some weapons available and motivated people could have done it – especially when the army was weak.”

      Get my point?

  • Thass

    The discussion seems to be mainly about land and property. In this case we have to recognise the ownership rights going back to the declaration of independence because that is when the modern Sri Lankan state came into existance. If we go back say to the 1800’s before the British there is no legal record of ownership other than historical chronicles such as the Mahavansa and Chulavansa which are not fully authenciated. Further the Surveyor Generals department was established under the British Raj and continues to this date.
    Otherwise we tend to go back to ancient history and claim birthright for various races. If we go far back enough we need to find the descendents of the Yakas and Nagas and may have to find their descendents. Then we will have to send back all the foreign emigrees to their countries of origin.

    • Off the Cuff

      Thass,

      How do you discuss devolution without discussing the Unit? The Unit means Land. Do you have any fear of discussing that? Apparently you have, judging from your fear of discussing History. The selective use of this same history is what Sampanthan and others who talk about Traditional Homelands depend on, to stake their unreasonable claims or rather, demands.

      “…Up to 500 years ago, the Tamil people established their own governments, and governed themselves.  Our party symbolizes a time in history, until the entire country was, for administrative convenience, ruled as one Nation by colonial powers, during which our people had their own sovereign Tamil governments. The symbol of our party chosen for us by our founder – the House – also symbolizes this. This House is the Home of our community; our community’s historical habitat; our community’s sovereignty. Our fundamental objective is to regain our community’s Home, its historical habitat and its sovereignty. The symbol of the House symbolizes this unshakeable aim…”

      Did you understand what you read above?

      You say “If we go back say to the 1800?s before the British there is no legal record of ownership other than historical chronicles such as the Mahavansa and Chulavansa which are not fully authenciated.”

      No legal records?
      Do you mean that the the Kingdoms of Sri Lanka were illegal and the British made land management legal? Are you in command of all your faculties to say such a thing?

      You say “Further the Surveyor Generals department was established under the British Raj and continues to this date.”

      I suppose the Sinhalese managed to create the worlds first completely man made reservoirs and built canals with just one embankment using the Earth’s Contours without an intimate knowledge of either surveying or Trigonometry?

      Don’t be daft Thass, the Sinhalese are even recognised as the inventors of the Surge Chamber, without which, Reservoirs such as the Parakrama Samudra would have been useless for irrigation.

      It was the Sinhala Kings who transformed an arid zone to an agricultural haven and they had the services of Surveyors that did their job with accuracy. They achieved an accuracy that rivals today’s accuracy, 2000 years ago. Learn about the Yoda Ela before you write about Surveying in Lanka.

      You say “Otherwise we tend to go back to ancient history and claim birthright for various races. “

      What harm in giving the Birthright of people if the claims are justified? Do you think ONLY the Tamils of the North should have a Birthright?

      You say “If we go far back enough we need to find the descendents of the Yakas and Nagas and may have to find their descendents. “

      Have the Yakkas and the Nagas claimed any Traditional Homeland?
      If they do come forward and stake a claim why should that not be considered?

      You say “Then we will have to send back all the foreign emigrees to their countries of origin”

      Why?
      Can’t they be accommodated the way the Sinhalese have accommodated the million foreign Tamils?

      Do you think the Birthright is reserved ONLY for the Tamils of the North to the exclusion of all others (including the Tamils residing in the South)?

      No wonder that Reconciliation with equitable equality is so difficult to achieve.

      • Thass

        What I mean is the legal ownership of lands by deed and registered survey plan. Govt is already going to implement such a proposal

        http://sundaytimes.lk/120603/News/nws_01.html

        “On Friday, the Cabinet approved a Prescription (Special Provisions) Act recommended by him. It will replace provisions in the existing Prescription Ordinance to facilitate the new move. The proposed law will be a dedicated enactment which will deal with the period of the armed conflict only.”

        This is a welcome move.

  • Arms can kill people and the SL army has killed scores of both Tamil and Sinhala youth. Of course, the SL state is equipped with a well-trained killing machine. However, the fact is an ‘event’ in Badiou’s sense has taken place in SL, the declaration of the Tamil people for self-determination and the struggle to achieve it. No amount of arms and men can kill a people’s aspirations unless, of course, you commit a genocide!

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dayan,

    13th amendment-take it or leave it!! Why? Why are you so adamant on continuing a cruel joke, a political/legal sleight of hand, saddled on this nation and the Tamils by India and JRJ? Why cannot there be decent, honest and workable alternatives? The duplicity and double talk I see in Sambanthan’s speech is also manifest in your approach.

    Tamils want to know what their place and roles are in post-war Sri Lanka. They are not a subject people begging for scraps from the master’s table! They are battered and abused citizens demanding a place at the round dining table, where everyone is equal to everyone else and have to be given their due share of what is available. They do not want to be abused and battered ever again! The 13th amendment does not provide for this. The 13th amendment ensures that the ‘Master’ gets to decide what everyone else can eat!

    Trust the Tamils and give them a place under the sun. They will in turn return this trust ten fold. Do not equate the Tamils with the TNA and other political formations. Do not repeat the mistake made in identifying the Tamils with the the Tigers.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      Dear Dr Narendran,

      Neither the Tamils nor the Sinhalese are happy with the 13th amendment but it remains the only point of intersection between the maximum the Sinhalese are willing to concede and the minimum the Tamils are willing to accept.

      Though coercively constructed by some one else, it is the only bridge available. It is the only available route to get to a better situation.

      Simply because the ITAK/TNA and the JVP and JHU do not consider it a solution, it should not be dismantled. because the Sinhalese and Tamil leaders are currently incapable of erecting a better bridge. 13A is what we have on the books. any amendment that requires a referendum will open the door, not to reform but to repeal. Thus it is only a re-shuffling of the concurrent liast that is feasible at the moment, and should be the subject of discussion.

      That said, it must be clearly stated, agreed upon and understood that the 13th amendment is the framework for a solution. If not, and given especially the rhetoric of the ITAK/TNA, the Sinhala people will be justifiably apprehensive that it could be open-ended, capable o being a paunchpad for further demands leading to secession.

      Sri Lanka cannot, must not and shall not go down the road that led from Scottish devolution to the present campaign for independence.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Dr Dayan Jayatilake,

        Consider the following provisions in Appendix 2.

        2. Inter-Provincial Irrigation and Land Development Projects.

        2:1 Such projects would comprise irrigation and land development schemes-
        (a) within the Province initiated by the State and which utilize water from rivers flowing through more than one Province; a Provincial Council however, may also initiate irrigation and land development schemes within its Province utilizing water from such rivers ;
        (b) within the Province which utilize water through diversions from water systems from outside the Province ; and
        (c) all schemes where the command area falls within two or more Provinces such as the Mahaweli Development Project.

        2:2 These projects will be the responsibility of the Government of Sri Lanka.

        My observations
        The above clause puts the funding squarely on the shoulders of the Central Government. Hence the Major part of those funds would be contributed by the citizens OUTSIDE the Province.

        2:3 The principals and criteria regarding the size of holdings of agricultural and homestead lands arising out of these projects will be determined by the Government of Sri Lanka in consultation with the Provincial Councils.
        2:4 The selection of allotees for such lands will be determined by the Government of Sri Lanka having regard to settler selection criteria including degree of landlessness, income level, size of family and agricultural background of the applicants. The actual application of these principles, selection of allottees and other incidental matters connected thereto will be within the powers of the Provincial Councils.
        2:5 The distribution of all allotments of such land in such projects will be on the basis of national ethnic ratio. In the distribution of allotments according to such ratios, priority will be given to persons who are displaced by the project, landless of the District in which the project is situated and thereafter the landless of the Province.

        My observations
        Clause 2.5 recognizes the National Ethnic ratios.
        However the lowest priority of allotees mentioned in 2.5 are residents in the Province.
        No mention is made of LANDLESS in the other provinces.
        Is that not strange?
        I believe the omission was by design as we will see later.
        Why were they not included even at the lowest level of ranking?
        After all they bear the major part of the cost.

        2:6 Where the members of any community do not, or are unable to take their entitlements of allotments from any such project, they would be entitled to receive an equivalent number of allotments in another Inter-Provincial Irrigation or Land Development Scheme. This unused quota should be utilized within a given time-frame.
        2:7 The distribution of allotments in such projects on the basis of the aforesaid principles would be done as far as possible so as not to disturb very significantly the demographic pattern of the Province and in accordance with the principle of ensuring community cohesiveness in human settlements.

        My observations
        The National Ethnic Ratios recognised by 2.5 have been very cunningly over ridden by 2.7 and REPLACED by the Provincial Ethnic Ratios. Thus the per capita distribution of Public Resources has been circumvented.
        Concerns about Parliamentary representation could have been addressed by ensuring that the existing Ethnic Ratios remains undisturbed within a re-demarcated Province that contains in addition to existing private lands a per capita proportion of Public land corresponding to the total Population within that Province (on a per capita basis). Thus only the excess land would be held back by the Government.

        As it stands the recognition given to the National Ethnic Ratios is just cosmetic and intended to deceive the Public.

        2:8 The administration and management of such projects will be done by the Government of Sri Lanka.

        My comments
        Here again the costs are passed on by way of the National Budget, to the citizens who have been shut out from enjoying any benefit.

        Why should these obviously discriminatory clauses escape amendment?

      • Bira

        Dear Dr D.J.

        I respect you and like you, but I cannot agree with you on this.

        How can the maximum and the minimum ever intersect? Maximus will never concede more and minimus will never be satisfied. You are propounding a theory that is doomed to be doomed. You admit that Tamils and Sinhalese are not happy with the 13A, but then say it is the only bridge.

        “Though coercively constructed by some one else, it is the only bridge available.”.

        There are so many bridges available to connect all of us DJ, but why are you trying to promote the only bridge that is constantly burning? It will ultimately consume and burn everyone including the Muslims,who seemed to be left out of the 13A. We will have three Nations, Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim, who will be at each others throats forever. Is it because you were a Member of the NE provincial Council that you can’t get it out of your system. By the way, where are the Muslim voices on this on Ground Views?

        “Simply because the ITAK/TNA and the JVP and JHU do not consider it a solution, it should not be dismantled. because the Sinhalese and Tamil leaders are currently incapable of erecting a better bridge. 13A is what we have on the books. any amendment that requires a referendum will open the door, not to reform but to repeal. Thus it is only a re-shuffling of the concurrent liast that is feasible at the moment, and should be the subject of discussion.”

        How naive! You are giving the very reason not to implement the 13A! And then the impossible below:

        “That said, it must be clearly stated, agreed upon and understood that the 13th amendment is the framework for a solution. If not, and given especially the rhetoric of the ITAK/TNA, the Sinhala people will be justifiably apprehensive that it could be open-ended, capable of being a launchpad for further demands leading to secession.

        Sri Lanka cannot, must not and shall not go down the road that led from Scottish devolution to the present campaign for independence.”

        Didn’t you see that the launchpad was already inaugarated at the ITAK Congress a few days ago. You say “cannot, must not, and shall not”, all the while recommending the vehicle built for the very job.

        There are so many other ways to buid the bridges. I have posted a few of my ideas on GV before.

        Your fault, DJ, is that you seem to think that bridge building should be left to the Politicians and assorted hangers on, and we citizens should be passive on-lookers only jabbering on Ground Views etc. Would you give a contract to build your house to a contractor who has a reputation for building houses that come crashing down in no time?

        I think the bridge building should be taken away from the Politicians permanently and handed over to the citizens. The OPA, CIMOGG, TISL, NGOs such as Rotarians, Lions, Sarvodaya, we have the lot. I am in the Lions movement and I have seen how well we interact when we join for Projects from Jaffna to Matara with Lions of all ethnicities. It is the same with all the other Organisations I am sure. Lets have an umbrella organisation and tell the Politicians to mind their business of running the country while we do the business of mending a fractured land. Insisting on equality and ensuring equal rights for all should be the first priority of our business. Most things will fall into place very soon then. It wouldn’t be easy, but definitely achievable.

        Some dreamers dream of unachievable dreams and they are losers. Lets dream our positive dream and make it into a concrete achievement with the participation of all right thinking people. Extremists in our country are very few, the moderates are many. We can easily have our voices heard over theirs.

      • Sam Alexander

        Dr Dayan Jayatilleka,
        You have stated “Neither the Tamils nor the Sinhalese are happy with the 13th amendment but it remains the only point of intersection between the maximum the Sinhalese are willing to concede and the minimum the Tamils are willing to accept.”

        There was a time, say back in the 1970’s before the Tamils took up arms, the 13th amnedment might have been acceptable for the Tamils since the Tamils had some trust left with the Sinhalese people. But Sinhalese were not even ready to bunch an inch to the shy and non violent Tamil community.

        But today, I agree that 100% with your statement and the Sorry Lanka’s recent history backs your statement. So under such circumstances, where the husband is not willling to give equal rights and wife is not willing to settle down for anything less what the courts do? Before you guys jump on defining equal by punching numbers in calculators to come up with square mile/ person, in these cases, what wife brought in to the marriage belongs to her and the courts will order in those lines.

        That is why the current regime or any other regime, who never intended to provide any justice to Tamils are busy in changing the demographics in the Tamil homeland.

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Dear Dayan,

        Thanks for your response. I consider the provisions in the 13th amendment with regard to Provincial Councils as a trap and not a bridge. It is a very cleverly laid and well disguised trap. We have to climb out of it and get rid of it. To hang onto something only because it is there, knowing very well what it is, is dishonesty of the worst type. Such an approach will not help the Tamils, Sinhalese or Sri Lanka. Disaffection will deepen, fester and will once again become a curse.

        The entire question of devolution has to be revisited objectively and honestly. Do we need devolution? If so, what form should it take? If devolution, is a path that we should not take at this juncture of our history, what are the alternative choices available?

        It is time we stopped the game of hide and seek and deal with national issues in an honest and direct manner.

        I personally have advocated that the time is yet not ripe for political solutions to be considered in a dispassionate manner. The needs of the war-affected people are of the foremost concern. Devolution is not the panacea for the war-affected and much debilitated Tamil community now. What they need is good governance- efficient, caring, compassionate, committed and honest. Unfortunately the government and the Tamil politicians, politicized everything and hence laid the seeds for polarization from day one- 19th May 2009. Now we have to pay the price for this folly and find answers to the so-called ‘National Question’ in circumstances that are yet not conducive.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Sam Alexander,

        What happened to you?
        Having difficulty searching for answers?

        My reply to your post of June 1, 2012 • 1:48 am addressed to me has been awaiting your response since June 1st. I see that you are still active on this thread though you have been unable to answer the questions raised in my reply.

        http://groundviews.org/2012/05/29/itaks-plan-of-attack-the-breakout-strategy/#comment-45034

        You say “So under such circumstances, where the husband is not willling to give equal rights and wife is not willing to settle down for anything less what the courts do? Before you guys jump on defining equal by punching numbers in calculators to come up with square mile/ person, in these cases, what wife brought in to the marriage belongs to her and the courts will order in those lines”

        What exactly did the wife bring in to the marriage?
        Care to quantify?

        Courts do frown on “Gold Diggers” don’t they?

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Off the Cuff,
        You have asked me the following qn.

        “What exactly did the wife bring in to the marriage?
        Care to quantify? Courts do frown on “Gold Diggers” don’t they?

        Again I will allow the historians to qualtify that one.

        But going by your own calculations “54% of Public land is in the Northern and Eastern Provinces = 29,760 sq km. The rest of the Public Land is in the other provinces = 25,350 sq km”.

        So if we punch in the numbers in our calculators to calculate sq km / person, the rate would be much higher for the Tamils than the Sinhalese.

        If that is the case, in this forced british brokered mariage who is the Gold digger?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Sam Alexander,

        You say “So if we punch in the numbers in our calculators to calculate sq km / person, the rate would be much higher for the Tamils than the Sinhalese”

        Exactly, the bogus Tamil claim is for more land than what they had, Historically.

        What they had was much less and excludes the whole of the Vanni, Historically. (as per Dutch records, the Kandyan Kingdom reached up to Elephant Pass)

        The Land Grab is based on a later arbitrary administrative division by the British. The Provincial Boundaries had nothing to do with historical domicile or rule by the Lanka Tamils.

        In 1881 forest cover was 84% of Lanka’s Land and the Indian Tamils outnumbered the Lanka Tamils who numbered below 350,000.

        As you go back in history, these numbers decrease. How did they protect the boundary of this vast land against far superior numbers of Sinhalese? By digging for Gold?

    • Bira

      Dear Dr. Narendran,

      Further to my rather long-winded response, I should say that the following saying by you shines like beacon in murky waters:

      “Trust the Tamils and give them a place under the sun. They will in turn return this trust ten fold. Do not equate the Tamils with the TNA and other political formations. Do not repeat the mistake made in identifying the Tamils with the the Tigers.”

      The problem is that, that is exactly what is happening-equating Tamils with Tigers and TNA; and Sampanthan’s speech doesn’t help.

      I think it is time now for enlightened Tamil academics like you to gather like minded Tamils and Sinhalese to show that there is a credible alternative to TNAs and JHUs. Pls organise seminars, public lectures, and the like to drive the point home. I will join you with great pleasure (by the way, I am not an Acadamic!).

      As you may know, majority of the Sinhalese are not anti-Tamil. In 1983 we raged against the thugs, but impotently . So many Tamil lives were saved by Sinhalese, even strangers. The majority of the Sinhalese were devastated about what happened, but we had no way of stopping it; the State that unleashed the fury was too powerful for us. I was a Senior Officer in the Air Force then, but I could do nothing, but to warn the Airmen in the Camp that, if they went out I will personally shoot them.

      I am so sorry, and I will never live down that shame.

      Go ahead and make a start Dr. R.N. We will be with you all the way. If you wonder why I (Bira) should not start, pls understand that only Tamils can make the start to show that all Tamils are not Tigers or TNA.

      I think Ground Views is a good place to start, metaphorically, ‘The Rain of Flowers to drown the Racist Fires’.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Bira,

        Good advice and very well presented.
        You have mirrored some of my own thoughts.
        The sincerity with which you write comes through in both posts addressed to Dr. R.N.

        Please keep writing

  • Bira

    Dear Dr. Narendran,

    Pehaps you didn’t read the third para of my comment. Prof. Indrapala was forced to leave the Jaffna Uni AND Jaffna by Tamil extremists who hated him for his theses and him teaching the same at the Uni. He had to run away abroad to save his life. Then he wrote another tome disproving his theses.

    What credible new evidence do you think he had dug out, to recant his original theses, other than the Tigers and friends holding a gun to his head?

    What Leela means I think, is some system like the Ethnic Intigration Policy (EIP) of Singapore (read Off The Cuff’s comment), where everybody lives everywhere and assimliate.

    Having said that, I have absolutely no problem about Tamils ‘Integrating’ and being equal citizens in Sri Lanka. The best example of that are the Tamils living in Colombo and suburbs. I have so many Tamil friends here in Colombo, and they are wonderful people, and we, their Sinhalese friends love them and cherish their friendship as any friends anywhere would do. None of us think of them as inequal to us. Infact, if we have a party at home and they get late, we call and yell at them to come soon ‘cos we miss them and their talk and banter as well. They never forget to invite us for their functions at all.

    Do you know that more than 50% of the population in and around Colombo consists of Tamils; more than 50% of all the businesses are owned by Tamils? More than half the Tamils in Sri Lanka live away from the North and East, mostly in the South. Sinhalese do not complain about that, but mention sending landless Sinhalese and Muslims to the North and East, and all hell breaks loose. It is immediately called ‘Colonisation’.

    I think the biggest problem here is non-integration and non-assimiliation of the ethnicities. I was fortunate enough to grow up with Tamils and Muslims. I also served in Jaffna a couple of times and made some wonderful friends there too. We never thought of each other in ethnic terms as we were close friends; the thought never crossed our minds. But nowadays people from North and South hardly meet, and they seem to think of each other as Barbarians.

    I still remember a Tamil girl who came down to the South with a group of Tamil youth on an arranged visit, saying at an interview on TV, ‘We were told that Sinhalese in the south are Barbarians waiting to kill Tamils, but now I know that there is not a whit of a difference between us’

    That is why I think settling Sinhalese and Muslims in the North and East is a good thing, whether one calls it integration or assimiliation or colonisation. Let us not talk of demographics here; no Sinhalese wants to chase Tamils away from the South to preserve the ‘Demography’.

    The only way out of this imbroglio is people to people contact; not ‘Traditional Homelands’ which drive ethnicities away from eah other.

    Let us force the Government to bring back the ‘Equality Act’ that G.L. Peiries so lovingly formulated sometime back. That Act was to mandate that everybody in Sri Lanka is equal, no ‘If’s, no ‘But’s, no Qualification’s. The Sinhala Buddhist extremist lobby shot it down with so much force that I was flabbergasted.

    Being a Sinhala Buddist myself, I cannot for the life of me understand how we can call ourselves “supreme and above others”- it flies in the face of everything Lord Buddha preached.

    Let us also do away with the 13A as well. Sri Lanka burned when it was forced down our throats by india; it only spawned so many white elephants. We do not need two more to dis-integrate and de-assimiliate peoples of our country. The local govt. system we had worked quite well until power hungry Politicians of all hues screwed it up since they wanted their own fiefdoms-both Sinhala and Tamil.

    We haven’t had an ethnic conflageration since 1983-all of 29 years. Why try to bring up another one by forcing 13A on a majority populace who hate it?

    I think the way to go is ‘soft’ integration and assimiliation, which will promote people-to-people contact without bringing up the bogies of ‘we are the supreme majority’ or ‘these are our traditional homelands’.

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Dear Bira,

      I am touched and many readers were also probably touched by your comments. I am sure the inner light that shone through your comments lit many dark corners.Thanks.

      I was a student and teacher at Peradeniya in the 1960-1970s period. I know that Indrapala was called ‘Sinhalapala’ by Tamils at that time. I have also interacted with Prof. Indrapala personally. He is certainly not the type to be intellectually dishonest, whatever the circumstances may have been both at Peradeniya and Jaffna.

      While Tamils have to be integrated into the Sri Lankan polity in a comprehensive manner at all levels, the word ‘Assimilation’- soft or hard- will be viewed with much suspicion and apprehension. Tamils have to be given the conditions to be ‘Tamils’ wherever they choose to live in Sri Lanka, with equality and security. They should be part of the national mosaic. The Tamils have the need to integrate mentally, socially and economically with the larger Sri Lanka, at this point in time. The barriers erected during the almost thirty year civil war have to be dismantled.

      This should apply to the Sinhalese, Muslims and others too, who choose to live anywhere in Sri Lanka, including the north and east.

      Thanks once again.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        “Tamils have to be given the conditions to be ‘Tamils’ wherever they choose to live in Sri Lanka, with equality and security. They should be part of the national mosaic. The Tamils have the need to integrate mentally, socially and economically with the larger Sri Lanka, at this point in time. The barriers erected during the almost thirty year civil war have to be dismantled. This should apply to the Sinhalese, Muslims and others too, who choose to live anywhere in Sri Lanka, including the north and east. “

        Agree with you completely

    • Sanjayan

      Bira,

      Thank you for your words, and for what you did in 83. I am one of those Tamils who is alive today because of what people like yourself did. Just a few words on your ideas.

      I agree with you that person to person contact, and the resulting understanding is the key to solving our problems. Nothing can take the place of that. Let me also say that I do not believe the north and east belongs to the tamils. I think any Sri Lankan should be able to take up residence there if they want to. This is their democratic right, and also will help create a more tolerant, multi-cultural and dynamic north and east. this is something we tamils need.

      The problem arises when instead of voluntary migration by sinhalese to the north and east we have government sponsored setting up of settlements. that is what we have now: the government moves settlers into areas in the north and east. in many cases they are settled in places which the people of the area used for cultivation previously. the settlers are then given facilities and finances never given to the people who were there before. this obviously breeds resentment among the people who used to live there. they do not, unlike the girl you mentioned, see the new sinhalese settlers as friends. they see them as people favoured by the government, who have taken their land. resentment and anger grows. (as an aside, some of them note that the government will never sponsor and finance a tamil settlers to move to say hambantota, and give them land there).

      returning to the point, these settlements bring fear. why? because for now, because tamils are the majority in the north, they are assured that sri lankan tamils choose at least 15MPs in the 225 seat parliament. if, through a steady process of sinhalese settlement, they cease to be the majority, they will not be able to do so. then, they fear, even the voice they have in parliament, will be weakened.

      Now I know some might say – “it does not matter, there are good sinhalese politicians who will represent them, they can’t hold on to those MPs jealously!” – but please try to understand where they are coming from. there is very little trust by the tamils in sinhalese politicians today (for reasons good and bad). perhaps in some years, when they are assured of sinhalese politicians who work in the national interest this will change, but for now, this is how it is. that is why there is so much opposition.

      Given these two facts – will government sponsored settlement help reconciliation? at this juncture? it will only create anger, and fear, and a feeling that the little power the people of the north have, in terms of choosing their representatives, is lost. as a result, there won’t be friendship between the settlers and the earlier inhabitants – only fear and mistrust.

    • Sanjayan

      on the 13th amendment. the reason why we need devolution is because without it, the tamil speaking people cannot rule themselves on matters relating to themselves. that is, their aspirations can always be ridden over roughshod by the majority.

      it seems unlikely that protection from the majority can be achieved in any other way. the truth is, we had an equality clause in the soulbury constitution (section 29(2)) but it didn’t solve the problem. the sinhala only act and the citizenship acts were passed under it. indeed, even before the case relating to the sinhala only act (kodeeswaran v AG) was returned to the Supreme Court for a determination on the merits, sirimavo was elected with a 2/3rds and she changed the constitution, and entrenched sinhala only. JR did the same thing – and note this – they had little or no support from the tamils of the north and east. thus as long as unfettered power remains in the majority, the minority communities are always living at the mercy of the majority.

      take a hypothetical (and I stress this is a hypothetical): even today, if the parliament, supported by a majority of sinhalese, passed a sinhala only act by a 2/3rds, is there anything the minorities can do to stop it? if it passed b a 2/3rds a constitutional amendment declaring the large swathes of the North and East as high security zones? or even an equality act. who is to say that an equality act won’t, as easily, be overturned by another 2/3rd majority government?

      the truth is, the minorities in this country would have to watch and wait as all this happened. they would have no power whatsoever to stop it. that is the problem – they have no access to state power.
      perhaps the solution is two-fold? one person to person contact, building understanding so that people have a genuine sri lankan identity. two, make sure the minority’s rights over matters that concern them cannot be taken away by a 2/3rds. I may be mistaken, and am more than willing to reconsider my views though. i would really appreciate your thoughts. thanks again though, i can see you are in earnest!

    • Sanjayan

      finally, a side note on “50% of tamils live outside the north and east”.. as pointed out in a groundviews article i bookmarked long ago, that’s not a correct statistic. see http://groundviews.org/2008/01/03/the-persuasive-power-of-numbers-part-2-54-per-cent-of-tamils-live-outside-the-north-and-east/

      and groundviews.org/2007/11/10/the-persuasive-power-of-numbers-and-the-mysterious-85/

      of course the census may say something different!

      • wijayapala

        Dear Sanjayan

        The problem arises when instead of voluntary migration by sinhalese to the north and east we have government sponsored setting up of settlements. that is what we have now: the government moves settlers into areas in the north and east.

        Can you provide any recent examples(i.e. in the last 20 years)? Charles Haviland raised the same point in the Gotabhaya interview, but he did not give any examples (except for Vavuniya, which was unfortunate as Charles appeared to be totally clueless that there had been Sinhalese living there for a long time).

        there is very little trust by the tamils in sinhalese politicians today (for reasons good and bad). perhaps in some years, when they are assured of sinhalese politicians who work in the national interest this will change, but for now, this is how it is. that is why there is so much opposition.

        Then you should not be surprised to hear that there is also very little trust by the Sinhalese in Tamil politicians, starting with GG Ponnambalam’s famous Nawalapitiya speech in 1939. I disagree with much of what Leela said, but he is totally correct when he says that the Sinhalese do not oppose 13A per se, but the Sinhalese believe that the Tamils will never be satisfied with 13A.

        on the 13th amendment. the reason why we need devolution is because without it, the tamil speaking people cannot rule themselves on matters relating to themselves. that is, their aspirations can always be ridden over roughshod by the majority.

        Could you please be more specific on “aspirations” and “matters relating to themselves?”

        You are correct that an equality clause in the Constitution will not help the Tamils. However, you (among others) don’t appear to see the shortcomings and contradictions in demanding devolution as well. If the Sinhalese are enlightened to give Tamils self-rule, then clearly they are not anti-Tamil and thus the very reason for demanding self-rule is nullified. Don’t you see that contradiction? Furthermore, where would the Tamil self-ruled areas get the resources and funds to run their administrations, especially given all the damage caused by the war?

      • Sanjayan

        Wijeyapala,

        1. Re recent examples. There are several, though I must say a word on sources. The nature of these moves are such that the sinhala and english press are unlikely to report on them. I know the english papers do not; i have not read the sinhala ones in depth to tell you about them; the tamil papers, however, do, despite attacks against them by various groups. For this reason, I rely on evidence from people who have gone to jaffna and on documents tabled in parliament by MP Sumanthiran. (http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/2529 ; http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/2759)

        As for his documents – even assuming that because he is TNA they cannot be trusted, there are good reasons to believe what he says because of 1.the level of detail, leaving the accusations easily verifiable, and with letters to the president re the issues recorded; 2. the absence of contradiction from the government when he placed this information on record in parliament; 3. a corroboration of the same by others who have been there (jehan perera being one). The fact that information on these matters is hard to come by is not something to be wondered at – if the government was doing it, after all, i doubt they would want much publicity.

        So examples which correspond to what I wrote of:
        1) sinhalese fishermen occupying padus belonging to tamil fishermen in vadamarachchi east

        2)Tamil fisherman facing severe restrictions regarding fishing in the areas from Kokkilaai to Chundikkulam in Kilaakaththai, Maathirikkiraama, Uppumaaveli, Thoondai, Alambil, Semmalai, Naayaaru, Kokkuththoduvaai, and Karunaattukkernee. however, several Sinhala fishermen in the area receive direct permission to fish in this area from the Ministry of Defence. Sinhala fishermen are also engaged in fishing for prawns in Nanthikkadal.

        3)access being denied to farming land in muttur, with access to over 800 acres of land at Paddukadu in Kanguvelli owned and cultivated by Tamil farmers from the villages of Kanguvelli, Pulliadicholai, Mallikaithivu, Paddithidal, Menkamam, Bharathipuram, Kiliveddy, Manalchenai, Periyavelli, the Muslim farmers of Muthur, and 20 acres of land owned by the Agasthiyar Sthapanam Sivan Temple being taken over by sinhalese farmers and homeguards.

        All this happened in the last three years. there are many others in the document. imagine, if you will, if you were one of the people affected. isn’t the possibility of reconciliation severely hampered by such moves?

        2. re trust. I agree that tamil politicians have let the sinhalese people down on several occasions. the tigers, though not representative of many tamils, also betrayed several agreements entered into. the question now is how does one regain that trust? frankly both sides will need to take steps there. we tamils are often far more racist than sinhalese. we need to be better than that. we also need to take positive steps to understand things from the sinhalese point of view. we need to be trustworthy, without giving up our principles. i don’t know, perhaps you could suggest some other things we could do?

        as for the sinhalese, there are several things that can be done (once more, your suggestions would be welcome). but the point is, the settlements will only move us backwards, they won’t build trust at all. they will breed anger and resentment. and they will discourage moderate opinion. (why do you say we should trust them, other tamils will ask me, when they come and take away our livelihoods?)

      • Sanjayan

        3. the aspirations include the development and preservation of their language, culture and heritage. we may need to consult people living their about it. i would insist that the condition for meeting these aspirations in these areas is that the aspirations of other ethnicities in the area should also be met.

        4. in terms of finances, that can either come by devolving greater taxation powers to the provinces, or by transfers from the central government. but there are different models on this, and asanga welikala has a good monograph on it.

        5. as for the contradiction. if I understand you, you say: “a sinhalese willingness to grant devolution shows liberality and a willingness to compromise on important issues – the very qualities, in short, that would ensure the rights of tamils, and minorities, are protected. therefore, if these qualities are present, it is enough. there is no need for a constitutional structure – call it devolution or powersharing or whatever.”

        my disagreement with you is because of this: what guarantee do we have that the sinhalese will remain liberal and willing to compromise? how do we know that they won’t, in a moment of threat or passion, go back on them?

        to illustrate what i mean, imagine if, because of some extremist sinhala nationalist demagogue, or some act by fringe militant tamils, the sinhalese, in their ( understandable) anger or fear decide that sinhala should be the official language or that there should be a reduction in the civic rights of tamils? then what?

        once more, the minorities will be at their mercy – we will have to ‘hope’ that they will remain liberal and willing to compromise. we will have to ‘hope’ that we don’t have another SWRD coming along. there is no security – we are dependent on their benevolence (sorry to put it that way; i am making a generalization for purposes of argument – of course there are some sinhalese who stand for the right no matter what, but sometimes the majority of them have not)

        it is because of this that these qualities must be embodied within a formal constitutional framework – a structure, moreover, that cannot fall prey to majoritarian pressures, that can’t just be 2/3rd “majoritied away”, so to speak. this is what genuine power-sharing can do. this is why i think it’s worthwhile.

  • DJ says, neither the Tamils nor the Sinhalese are happy with the 13A, it is the only bridge available and it was constructed by someone else.

    Sri Lanka’s democracy is not mature and its inability to sort out its own problems has not only forced its neighbours but also global powers into the foray. As long as SL is unwilling to treat its ethnic minorities equitably and give them an acceptable share of power it is justifiable for the ethnic minorities to seek ‘someone else’s’ assistance to achieve their justifiable claims.

    The present SL regime has not only shown its unwillingness to implement the 13A but also taking measures to to change the demographic and the socio-cultural fabric of the North. It is evident that the Rajapaksa+JHU regime is moving in the direction of dismantling ‘the only bridge available’ and constructing a fortress in the North. In words it is the Sinhalese leaders themselves who are creating the conditions for ‘someone else’ to intervene. Maybe, it’s their political and cultural immaturity. So, it may be necessary for ‘some one else’ to intervene again for the maintenance work of ‘the only bridge available’ or rather to reconstruct it on more solid foundation.

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      If dismantling 13A is what any regime is striving to do, it helps not harms that effort when the Tamil leadership says it does not believe that the 13th amendment is a solution, that a solution is not possible within a unitary state and indeed even within a united Sri Lanka!

      The intelligent thing would be to do exactly the opposite, which would pin down those who wish to dismantle 13A.

      But when, in the last sixty years, have Tamil politicians done anything intelligent?

      • The 13A was accepted as base, a framework for a solution, and not a solution. It is morally right for the Tamil leadership to go beyond the 13A and seek others’ help to realize their legitimate aspirations.

        If the Sinhala Buddhist leaders had done the intelligent thing in 1956 we would not be where we are today!

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      Dear Off the Cuff,

      Amendments can be proposed by both sides, but 13A must be the baseline and framework as it is the only one available.

      Dear Bira,

      So you think the Lions and Rotarians can convince the voters to do something that MR, SF, Sajith et al may publicly oppose?

      Dear Sam Alexander,

      You wrote that “There was a time, say back in the 1970?s before the Tamils took up arms, the 13th amnedment might have been acceptable for the Tamils since the Tamils had some trust left with the Sinhalese people.”

      You seem to have forgotten something: the war was fought and won by the state.

      So I would amend your statement in this manner: “There was a time, before the Thirty Years war, the assassination by the Tamil Tigers of all those leaders who proposed solutions including Rajiv Gandhi, before the largest number of suicide bombers fielded anywhere in the world, before Vardarajahperumal’s UDI that the Sinhalese may have trusted a Tamil leadership which is still not willing to accept a unitary state, with something more than the 13th amendment. That time passed on May 19, 2009, never to come again.”

      • Bira

        Dear Dr. D.J.

        “So you think the Lions and Rotarians can convince the voters to do something that MR, SF, Sajith et al may publicly oppose?”

        Pray, tell me what will they oppose? Is it People to people contact by the people themselves without letting the Politicians make hash of it? And we are talking ‘people’, not about voters at this point of time. You are looking at it from a Political angle while I look at it from a people point of view. We can oppose too, if they try stop contact for Political gain. And you left out the other organisations I mentioned, who together with Lions and Rotarians can make a formidable Civil Society force to do what we have to do.

        Thank you for the kind comments Dr.N and Sanjayan. I will make longer comment later, but now I have to run to prepare for a flight.

      • Nithyananthan

        Greetings to all!

        “… the war was fought and won by the state.”

        The manner by which the war was fought has become curious topic of leisure talk around the globe. Validity of the regime’s claimed victory is also in question. Both are under scrutiny for various foul plays.

        “… a Tamil Leadership which is still not willing to accept a unitary state …”

        SJVC broke away from GGP’s Ceylon Tamil Congress (CTC) in 1949 and formed Federal Party worked for Parity under Federalism. CTC of GGP also worked for same Parity of status but under Unitarianism strived until 1976.

        How diligent – how sincere were / are the author – Sinhalese polity and politicians by large of all shades to find a solution under such unitary mindset? What did the Sinhalese leadership do, even before & after the B/C – a pact with semi-provincial setup signed by two leaders – was unilaterally abrogated, when GGP accepted such unitary ideology and continued to support it against SJVC’s Federalism until 1972 and strived till 1976.

        Sinhalese leaders had ample opportunities in finding an amicable solution under ‘Unitary’ system, as they want and espouse, with the indisputably the charismatic Leader GG Ponnampalam, if they had honestly interested and wanted. In contrast, what they did? They drove away his son and grandson to SJVC’s federalism or beyond.

        Give this historical landscape in background, the author’s credence is doubted when he is casting doubt and questioning about Ceylon Tamils’ sincerity and loyalty to their ‘Motherland’.

        … loss of trust and rebuilding the lost for nation building…

        There is a big talk about ‘loss of trust and confidence’ among our Sinhalese brethren.
        Who is at loss first? Who betrayed first?

        Yes, as observed by some – including the author, there were isolated public speeches for separation during the colonial period in early 1900s. When SWRD spoke about federalism some countered with separation. But Ceylon Tamil people were neither fascinated nor carried away by emotions for separation – until and after 1983.

        Ceylon Tamils united under the leadership of GGP believed all the promises and guarantees as genuine and trusted to cooperate with the Sinhalese leaders who assured them. Chapter 29 of the previous colonial constitution played a role to strengthen such assurance given by the Sinhalese leaders. At the time of the so called independence, the peoples of Ceylon were united beyond the barriers of divisions by ethnicity, language, religion and land.

        First stone of betrayal was cast, in the first sitting of the first parliament, by whom in the form disenfranchising the upcountry Tamils? Answer is well known. Thereby, Tamils became the first losers of ‘Trust’ – but never have betrayed the Motherland until 1976.
        Did Tamils call for separation, in the first instance immediately after the independence, because this betrayal? It resulted in splitting GGP’s CTC and forming FP by SJVC.

        Rejection of separate ‘Independent Tamil Eelam’ by the Ceylon Tamils has long history;
        • Following the 1957 & 58, violence against Tamils, the late Prof. C Suntharalingham, then an MP for Vavuniya, formed a new party and declared struggle for Independence of Eelam and assembled an army in Padaviya. Tamils rejected his move for “Separation’. He lost the election in 1960 to Federal Party’s call for Federalism. It was elected with over-whelming majority.
        • The late Mr. V Navaratnam, fomer MP for Kaytes, was expelled from FP for calling for separation. He formed new party to work towards Independence; and Tamils rejected again his move for “Separation’ and he lost the election in 1970; Federal Party’s call for Federalism was elected with over-whelming majority.
        • At last the FP scaled down its demand for ‘Federalism’ to mere Six (06) Points Minimum Concessions in 1972 – 73; at the Constituent Assembly where the ground-work was formulated to change the status to a Republic and rename the island as ‘Sri Lanka’; and found having removed the only safeguard for the minorities known as ‘Chapter 29’ of former constitution their ‘Minimum Six Concessions’ also was thrown into the trash without any consultation.

        Does the scriber or any other Sinhalese brethren remember what cause / triggered the 1973 KKS by-election held in KKS and on what ground? – and that resulted in declaration of 1976 Vaddukod’dai Resolution.

        We both, the Ceylon Tamils and the Sinhalese brethren, use Pol & Thala thels for different purposes in different ways. Both thels are edible and tasty and have different unique qualities, flavour, colour and properties. They are not stored in one bottle / container – none of us do. If we do they will loose their characteristic originality and uniqueness is lost. If we can care conscious so much about food and materials why can not we turn to care about the unique Beauty and Rich millennia old Civilizations of our Mother Lanka recognizing her individuality of her Children? Welcome to ponder & prosper, please! Thanks, Nithy!

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Dr.DJ,
        All the points you have listed took place after 1970s, well after the Tamils lost trust with the Sinhalese after fighting for their rights democractically for more than 20 years after independence from the British.

        So what is the point here ? Sinhalese lost trust with Tamils after Tamils lost trust on them, and it was because of the stuff you listed?

        Don’t you think it is a silly list for a silly argument?

        If one party has lost the trust on the other because of the other party’s continuous bad behaviour over of period off time and opted to fight for its freedom, don’t you think the base for trust between these two parties is already destroyed and gone?

        Also until the Tamils can manage their own affairs in Sorry Lanka and proud to be call them as Sri Lankans there is no victory for the state, militarily or politically. Regarding your statement in state winning the military war, its a joke, right? It was LTTE vs 20+ nations (with bans / military intel/ Saterlite images etc) that saw the destruction of the LTTE. As for the political victory, we all know the state of that one since 2009 and a UNHRC resolution in the list of medals.

  • Gamarala

    Off-the-rocker,

    An astute observation on your part that my prayers to great god Baal have gone unanswered. What tipped you off?

    The point I made in my original reply was very simple: the settlement of Tamil people by the colonial-British in the central province is not comparable to state-led colonization.

    You have proven my point by
    1. Agreeing with it indirectly and embarking on a lengthy and frankly, irrelevant tirade against the British.
    2. Evading directly admitting to the fact that state-led colonization by a government that claims to represent Tamils is altogether incomparable to a British colonial government, which claims to represent nothing but itself.
    3. Clouding the issue with lengthy admonishments, and not really addressing the point.

    If we are already in agreement over this matter, I would be quite glad and see no point in continuing. You simply need to keep your response short and to the point as to what your position is.

    You have then gone onto explain a favoured scheme of yours related to per-capita land devolution, which I neither addressed nor commented on in any of my original responses. If this is something you wish to discuss, we can take it up as a separate issue, but let’s not derail the topic of my original response to you with other tangential issues.

    Next, you have ignored the point I made about why state-led colonization is inappropriate under the circumstances, and gone onto talk about a Mahaweli scheme. If everything was hunky-dory, I would be in agreement with you. Since it’s not, you have simply failed to address the concerns I have raised.

    Finally, you have proposed that I read your response on 3rd June, which I have done faithfully. Unfortunately, it in no way addresses your claim that: “Are you aware that 13A excludes Tamils from outside the Northern Province from this Land? Can you explain why you support the shutting out of the Upcountry Tamils from this Large swath of Land? ”

    Therefore, I simply repeat my request, please highlight the relevant passages in the 13th amendment, which provides an ethnic bias to devolution by specifically excluding Tamils from outside the North (or for that matter, even mentions upcountry Tamils), which was your original claim.

    Gotta run… More prayer to Baal due….

    • Gamarala

      BTW Off-the-hook,

      All in good spirit!

    • Off the Cuff

      Gamarala,

      You ask “An astute observation on your part that my prayers to great god Baal have gone unanswered. What tipped you off?”

      Your foolish statements of course!

      Extract from the discussion

      Gamarala: My original response to you was to make an obvious point: the settlement of Tamil people by the colonial-British in the central province is not comparable to state-led colonization

      Me: Agreed. What the British led Ceylon Government did was a million times worse.

      Gamarala: You have proven my point by 1. Agreeing with it indirectly ……

      I believe you need the help of a good English Teacher if you can interpret the above exchange as conveying agreement, even obliquely with your stand. But if you have a pressing need to stuff your ego with that belief, please go ahead.

      You say “and embarking on a lengthy and frankly, irrelevant tirade against the British”

      Since you have already displayed your poor comprehension of the language, it is not a surprise to note that your intellect too is standing in the way of an adult discussion. Since you believe in prayer, do continue with it and hope against hope that you can overcome your disability. However, I doubt even 24 x 7 prayer can help but please try.

      You say “If we are already in agreement over this matter, I would be quite glad and see no point in continuing”

      If your comprehension of English makes you think I have agreed with you, please go ahead and use it as your exit strategy.

      You say “You have then gone onto explain a favoured scheme of yours related to per-capita land devolution, which I neither addressed nor commented on in any of my original responses. If this is something you wish to discuss, we can take it up as a separate issue, but let’s not derail the topic of my original response to you with other tangential issues“

      My post that you thought you could shoot down with an aggressive reply, was a reply to Prof Kopan Mahadeva who wrote “His TNA is not against non-Tamils settling and living in those areas as natural occurrences. They are only against state-led disfigurement of the natural settlement patterns.” He has remained silent so far, even with an ally as potent as you. Wonder why?

      I do not expect you to understand the implications of what KM wrote as you have proved your weakness in that area.

      You wrote “Next, you have ignored the point I made about why state-led colonization is inappropriate under the circumstances, and gone onto talk about a Mahaweli scheme”

      You have been going round the mulberry bush due to your penchant of using Buzz words probably to “show yourself off” as a champion of the Minorities or to impress someone.
      What exactly is State led Colonisation that you have been writing ad nauseam?
      Is it a housing scheme like the Bambalapitiya Govt housing scheme?
      Or is it a River Basin development?
      Could you please list these “State led” colonies?

      You write “Finally, you have proposed that I read your response on 3rd June, which I have done faithfully. Unfortunately, it in no way addresses your claim that: “Are you aware that 13A excludes Tamils from outside the Northern Province from this Land? Can you explain why you support the shutting out of the Upcountry Tamils from this Large swath of Land? ”

      Poor Gamarala, I pity you.
      When you cant even understand simple English Idiom, how can anyone expect you to understand complicated Legal Language?

      You write “Therefore, I simply repeat my request, please highlight the relevant passages in the 13th amendment, which provides an ethnic bias to devolution by specifically excluding Tamils from outside the North (or for that matter, even mentions upcountry Tamils), which was your original claim.”

      If you cannot understand where the Injustice lies in 13A, even with the benefit of my notes, it is best that you start reading Grimes and attempt understanding that instead.

      I doubt very much your ability to understand the legal language of a Constitution when you cant even understand where I agreed with you in my previous post in the first place.

      Please continue to amuse yourself with your childish antics, serious adult discussion is beyond you.

      • Gamarala

        Off-the-chain,

        By the great lord Baal, you have taken 11 paragraphs just to say you disagree me. I’m fine with you disagreeing, but where is your defense?
        Here is my objection again, for your convenience: “the settlement of Tamil people by the colonial-British in the central province is not comparable to state-led colonization.” Since you made the original comparison, surely, you must have some justification?

        You have then accused me of being a villainous champion of minorities, out to impress some unspecified entity (a deity perhaps?). I expect a glorious battle from you, the courageous and noble champion of the majority, whose pure heart is revulsed by the baseness of your ignoble enemy. I’m sure our children will write songs about this epic battle, poems even?

        But before we get to such niceties, why this sudden confusion over state-led colonization? What is difficult to understand about this? Any deliberate state-led attempt to upset the ethnic balance of the Northern province, in order to “assimilate” them, is state-led colonization. I have already explained why this is problematic under the present circumstances? You still have no response to it?

        Next, I huffed and puffed my way through more admonishments to once again be handed a lemon as evidence, albeit a lemon with a heroic air about it. Where is the evidentiary passage to corroborate your statement about the 13th amendment? Surely, this should be trivial to produce?

        Well, I will leave you to mull over these matters and excoriate me further in a future post. I will also faithfully pray to God Baal that the hero’s vengeance be tender on this blackened soul.

      • Off the Cuff

        Gamarala,

        You say “By the great lord Baal, you have taken 11 paragraphs just to say you disagree me”

        Read them again and get help from someone more proficient in the Language to help you this time. I have highlighted your poor command of English that led you to write rubbish as a reply. There was nothing in them that I had not previously disagreed with.

        You came to a discussion without having an iota of knowledge on the subject matter. Even after providing you with extracts you still cannot decipher what is being said in 13A. Yet you had the arrogance to be aggressive expecting the arrogance would subdue me. You have tried being sarcastic and every such attempt has boomeranged on you. Now you are counting paragraphs in order to evade answering questions.

        13A is available on the web access it and read it.

        You have asked again “the settlement of Tamil people by the colonial-British in the central province is not comparable to state-led colonization.
        I will say it again, Agreed, of course it is not comparable.
        The British was the State.
        What they did was incomparable

        I asked you to please list these “State led” colonies that you claim to exist?

        There is one in the Former Kandyan Kingdom and the people affected are Sinhalese. What are the others that you have been adducing to?

        You have failed to list a single one. Why?
        Are there non?

        You wrote “Next, I huffed and puffed my way through more admonishments to once again be handed a lemon as evidence, albeit a lemon with a heroic air about it. Where is the evidentiary passage to corroborate your statement about the 13th amendment? Surely, this should be trivial to produce?”

        Even now you are huffing and puffing to understand the written language. Is it my fault that you could not acquire a modicum of proficiency in the language that you chose to debate in?

        There is no need to reaffirm your lack of understanding by repeating the same question over and over simply because you have problems in understanding the answers already given. Why don’t you get some help without huffing and puffing so laboriously?

        When will you grow up?

        Have a nice day Gamarala.

      • Gamarala

        Dear Off-the-mark,

        So in summary,
        1. You cannot produce a passage to backup your statement.
        2. You have no response to the concerns I raised.
        3. You have vanquished your foe.

        Sounds logical.

        Finally, you have asked me to name a state-led colony. I did not talk about a specific ghettoized colony, and therefore, am not in a position to grapple with the strawman you have bodily heaved in my direction. What I argued was that colonization, or some kind of state-led ethnic dilution, should not occur, under the present circumstances. What is necessary now is providing reassurance to the north, nor further intimidation.

        Oh well, the problem must be with my English language skills eh? I doubt that my English language skills would ever improve enough to get a point across to you, but I will pray to Baal nevertheless. He can either improve my language skills, or failing which, send another brain cell to keep your current one company 😉

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Gamarala,

        You say “So in summary, 1. You cannot produce a passage to backup your statement”

        It is unfortunate that you are unable to comprehend even simple English, let alone the legal language of a Constitution.

        The exclusion of Indian Tamils or for that matter any Tamil from outside the North (amongst others), has been staring in your face since 3rd June and today is 8th June. Though I advised you to get help from someone who has a better command of English than you and is able to understand legal language, you have been making a fool of yourself by writing rubbish.

        You still continue to write rubbish due to ignorance compounded by your arrogance.

        This is what the 13A section 2:5 states.

        The distribution of all allotments of such land in such projects will be on the basis of national ethnic ratio. In the distribution of allotments according to such ratios, priority will be given to persons who are displaced by the project, landless of the District in which the project is situated and thereafter the landless of the Province.

        The Indian Tamils do not live in the Northern province do they?

        In fact if you had the foresight to study 13A before attempting to debate the subject, you would have saved yourself the embarrassment of exposing your limitations and childish behaviour. Arrogance and childish behaviour are no replacement for knowledge and logic.
        You in your ignorance thought otherwise.

        Need I say more?

        You say “Finally, you have asked me to name a state-led colony. I did not talk about a specific ghettoized colony, and therefore, am not in a position to grapple with the strawman you have bodily heaved in my direction. What I argued was that colonization, or some kind of state-led ethnic dilution, should not occur, under the present circumstances”

        You are writing gobbledygook

        You wrote about State led Colonisation and I asked you to name them.
        It is irrelevant whether they are Ghettos or Luxury colonies.
        So where are these State Led Colonies?

        There is no straw man.
        I have asked you to prove your assertions.
        Which you have miserably failed to do.
        So do not try to hide behind fashionable buzz words by creating an imaginary straw man.

        You say “…..What is necessary now is providing reassurance to the north, nor further intimidation..”

        I addressed an erroneous and misleading statement by Prof KM about Land settlement. The discussion therefore centred around land settlement. He did not answer, as he knew he could not maintain his claim. You butted in, with your ignorance and arrogance, while Prof KM decided to keep away. I would have preferred him as an opponent as then the discussion would have hopefully moved to a higher level, sparing the readership the hyperbole of a person desperately attempting to hide his illiteracy of the subject, with childish antics.

        How can discussing Land settlement be intimidation?

        The intimidation that you are referring to is “State Led Colonisation”
        Where are they?

        You say “Oh well, the problem must be with my English language skills eh? I doubt that my English language skills would ever improve enough to get a point across to you”

        At last your diligence has paid off.
        The guy above has given you some enlightenment.

        Try using civility rather than arrogance if you want to get a point across.

        You say “….but I will pray to Baal nevertheless. He can either improve my language skills, or failing which, send another brain cell to keep your current one company “

        Please do continue to pray. He may decide to rescue his faithful child from making a bigger fool of himself than he already has.

        Have a nice day.

  • Sanjayan

    this is interesting:
    http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/19231-i-am-prepared-to-compromise.html

    sampanthan being interviewed, and questions being asked about many of those paragraphs quoted here

    • wijayapala

      Dear Sanjayan

      1. Re recent examples. There are several, though I must say a word on sources. The nature of these moves are such that the sinhala and english press are unlikely to report on them.

      Thank you for the information. I’m sorry to disagree with you, but I do not see evidence of a systematic plan to colonise or “Sinhalise” the NE. Of course I agree that denying livelihoods to Tamil fishermen and farmers is hardly the way to build any goodwill; people’s ability to earn their own living is almost as important as ensuring their security to restore normalcy. I argue that the Tamil leadership should be focusing on these specific issues, which directly impact the ordinary NE Tamil, than seeking a vague and elusive “political solution” which could take years to accomplish, assuming it is even possible.

      I am sceptical of claims of colonisation because I am familiar with the previous failures of govt-sponsored Sinhala settlements in the NE during JR’s regime. I recommend Robert Muggah’s recent book “Relocation Failures in Sri Lanka” to get a good account of this little-known story. To summarise very briefly, the UNP regime did not do a very good job supporting the Sinhala settlers in the NE. These families all were impoverished and more or less were just dumped in undeveloped areas that were difficult to cultivate. Malinga H. Gunaratne’s self-serving book “For a Sovereign State” largely corroborates Muggah’s account, describing extremely ad hoc and disorganised settlements that even circumvented the Mahaweli Authority itself.

      The information that Sumanthiran provided mostly points to the effects of military occupation of the north. Demilitarising the north would seem to solve many of the issues that he raised.

      we tamils are often far more racist than sinhalese.

      I worked in the NE during the ceasefire years, and I did not encounter any racism from the Tamils there with the exception of the LTTE, particularly in Eastern Province. Even the few openly pro-LTTE Tamils I had met went through extreme, tortuous lengths trying to convince me that the LTTE was not anti-Sinhala, and to my surprise they did not respond with angry counter-accusations when I pointed out things like the Anuradhapura massacre or the expulsion of Muslims from Jaffna. The Jaffna Tamils were not as friendly as the easterners, but I could not blame them because their only experiences with Sinhalese had been with the army (often after people found out that I am Sinhala, their first question would be “are you army?”).

      we also need to take positive steps to understand things from the sinhalese point of view.

      It is difficult to understand the Sinhala perspective for two reasons. First, we (Sinhalese) for some reason have atrocious communication skills (for example, see Gotabhaya’s BBC interview or Shavendra Silva’s presentation at the UN). If you ask a simple question like what is your favorite color, we will spend hours talking about colors in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwaa eras and how certain colors were imposed on Sri Lanka by Chola invaders, but we will neglect answering what is our favorite color in present times.

      The second difficulty, which will be impossible for you to understand, is our total ignorance of the Tamils (and the outside world too). Again, I can point to plenty of evidence for this simply through the contributions of Sinhalese to this forum. If you ask a Sinhala how many eyes or ears an average Tamil has, he won’t know the answer and will have to ask his uncle/friend/local politican/monk. If the aforementioned uncle/friend/politican/monk says that the average Tamil has three eyes, the Sinhala will believe it without question and will go around insisting to everyone that the sneaky Tamils have three eyes. If somebody such as myself points out that human beings in general have two eyes and that no Tamil has ever been observed as having three eyes, the Sinhala will get very defensive and claim that uncle so-and-so is never wrong about these things, even though uncle himself admits that he got the information from his friend’s local politician’s favorite monk’s uncle and not from direct observation. Even though we are 90% literate, we do not trust anything written in books (reading is too much work anyway, taking valuable time away from watching cricket). Gossip for the Sinhalese is the absolute, golden truth.

      What surprises me though is how many Colombo Tamils (or Jaffna Tamils based in Colombo) are ignorant of the Sinhalese. Although it is deplorable, it is normal for the majority community in any country to be ignorant of the minorities; but it is unheard of for the minorities to be ignorant of the majority. The Upcountry Tamils know all about our gullibility and laugh at us, even with their poverty and lack of education. The Muslims too are not very surprised with our antics. The eastern Tamils also have a decent grasp of us (as is obvious when you read V. Muralitharan “Karuna”‘s interviews where he skilfully panders to the Sinhalese) But the non-upcountry Colombo Tamils often strike me just as empty headed of the Sinhalese as we are of the Tamils.

      we need to be trustworthy, without giving up our principles.

      I think you understand my critique of Sampanthan in that I don’t think he came across in his speech as having principles, given his incredible contradictions. I have to give Ms. Ayesha Zuhair credit for directly asking Sampanthan about the “We must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realise our rights within a united Sri Lanka” part (none of the Sinhala interviewers of other newspapers had the basic intelligence to ask specifically on that). Sampanthan’s “Not necessarily” answer to her separate state question (and her other questions) was very disappointing.

      The problem though is that it may be your very principles that lead us to distrust you. **The more you emphasise how different you are from us, the less we are likely to empathise and identify with you** (that is the other great contradiction in the Tamil nationalist project, aside from the “Sinhalese will give us devolution once they realise what awful people they are” that I already pointed out to you).

      3. the aspirations include the development and preservation of their language, culture and heritage.

      I fully accept that the Tamil language is distinct and certainly more than worthy of development and preservation, particularly the Sri Lankan dialect. But I have to ask with no malice or condescension, what else in Sri Lankan Tamil “culture” can be said to be distinct and require preservation? Sure there may be particular things such as Saiva Siddhantha theology that are not found in non-Tamil cultures, but not even all Tamil Hindus follow that belief system.

      Perhaps in asking this question I am revealing my Sinhala ignorance described above, but I have to say as someone who had lived in the NE briefly I had a hard time seeing the Tamils as very “different” from the Sinhalese. Even with the language, I felt that the Batticaloa Tamils spoke Tamil in a Sinhala-ish sort of way, using words like paduvaan thisai or ezhuvaan thisai instead of merku or kizhakku. Maybe the only exception was in Jaffna, which struck me as a very unique place in the island.

      4. in terms of finances, that can either come by devolving greater taxation powers to the provinces, or by transfers from the central government. but there are different models on this, and asanga welikala has a good monograph on it.

      I have read Asanga’s monograph. His grasp of the English language is clearly superior to mine, but I felt that it concealed the shallow extent of his analysis and did not answer fundamental questions. He did a great job talking about fiscal federalism in Pakistan and Australia, but he hardly said anything about what exactly would apply to Sri Lanka.

      His discussion on transfers was remarkably uncritical, given the research on that topic by scholars of fiscal federalism such as Jonathan Rodden who argue about the dangers and conflict inherent in a system that relies on transfers. Devolving taxation powers is a more sustainable approach, but do the war-ravaged N-E provinces have a suitably robust tax base for a high level of self-government?

      to illustrate what i mean, imagine if, because of some extremist sinhala nationalist demagogue, or some act by fringe militant tamils, the sinhalese, in their ( understandable) anger or fear decide that sinhala should be the official language or that there should be a reduction in the civic rights of tamils? then what?

      The greatest danger in my mind is communal violence against Tamils, because it is that violence, not the language policy or even standardisation, that directly created the war. Your concerns are entirely justified. What I don’t understand is how devolution will actually make Tamils more secure (as opposed to simply making them FEEL more secure). If the Sinhalese continue to be as clueless of the Tamils as they currently are, then no amount of devolution, even creating a separate state will protect them from such communal violence.

      What devolution will do will be to reinforce Sinhala ignorance, in particular the idea that the Sinhalese and Tamils have very strong differences. Even Gamarala here admits the strong possibility that devolution will make governance in Sri Lanka more inefficient and unresponsive. Who do you think the Sinhalese will blame for this outcome?

      once more, the minorities will be at their mercy

      In general I felt that your response to my earlier post reflected a combination of good will and intelligence on your part. I am afraid of threatening your good will by telling you bluntly that your use of the term “minorities” is disingenous, because devolution will only benefit (and was intended to only benefit) the NE Tamils. It will not protect the Muslims who are dispersed throughout the island. It will not help the Upcountry Tamils who are a minority in Central Province. It only helps one community (assuming that the NE Tamils can be treated as a single community) which reinforces Sinhala distrust of devolution.

      sorry to put it that way; i am making a generalization for purposes of argument

      No worries at all, I totally agree that any solution must account for the Sinhala ignorance/lack of sensitivity. My basic disagreement is that the Tamils will never be safe as long as this Sinhala cluelessness persists.

      • Sanjayan

        wijeyapala,

        thank you so much for your response. your point re my use of the word ‘minorities’ is well made. i may not be able to reply for a while (a small enforced disappearance from the net is inevitable, alas!) but i will do so as soon as possible. thanks again!

    • Krish

      Dear Wijayapala

      I must really compliment you for this post, especially the way you had responded to Sanjayan with great deal of honesty and sincerity. I am amazed that you discuss the issues from the other side as well (I keep aside your level of knowledge for a moment). While I have a lot to say as a response to your comments, I don’t want your discussion with Sanjayan to be side-tracked. Looking forward to your posts in this forum and also Sanjayan’s for this thread of discussion. Best wishes!

      Krish

      • wijayapala

        Krish, unfortunately it seems the discussion has already gotten side-tracked as Sanjayan now seems to be one of the disappeared. I hope he didn’t run afoul of Uncle Gotabhaya (who is a fan of Groundviews, as the BBC interview revealed!).

        I forgot to mention to Sanjayan one other unique aspect of Tamil culture. That is the literature. Without a doubt, ilakkiyam is one of the distinct pillars of the Tamil heritage, perhaps even THE pillar given its association with the unique language. However, there is nothing stopping non-Tamils from appreciating the literature! One of the greatest scholars and poets of the Tamil language today is M.A. Nuhman, an eastern Muslim.

      • Krish

        Dear Wijayapala,

        Few thoughts based on your response to Sanjayan!

        1. I agree that the Tamil leadership should raise specific issues with the SL Govt, especially with the President or the Defence Secretary rather than call the international community for help or for separation. At this point in time, talking is the only way out and they should send positive signals. The more adamant you are, the more you lose. For any negotiated settlement, you need to create positive environment. Talking the same semantics of LTTE would not work. Besides, the immediate need of Tamils is to get back to normalcy given the loss of so many lives in this war. Wondering why the TNA doesn’t realise this. And partition of India (which was a mutually agreed decision one between today’s India and Pakistan) left millions dying with Hindus and Muslims killing each other. Just imagine what would be the plight of Tamils in Sinhala-majority areas for a moment if Govt of SL agrees for separate Eelam itself. Can’t Sampanthan and his fellow guys remotely think of these issues rationally?

        2. Your point on demilitarisation is valid for several reasons. One, LTTE is history now. Two, India would never ever support these groups. Nor is there any support in Tamil Nadu (except Seeman’s Naam Tamizhar who are a tiny minority). From SL Govt’s viewpoint, given the high cost of army and higher cost of rehabilation, it is better to reduce the army. Or worst case, replace it with some kind of police force for local level enforcements.

        3. Regarding total ignorance of Tamils by Sinhalese, I tend to look at it from the viewpoint of Indian Tamils as well. The four closest groups that Indian Tamils live next to are Malayalis, Kanndigas, Teluguites and Sinhalese. Of these 4 linguist groups, 99% of Tamils don’t know anything about Sinhala folks. How do you explain that? Everytime something happens to Tamils in SL, emotions are exploited to great lengths but never ever are Indian Tamils told about Sinhala history or Sinhalese language. Almost except for Asoka sending Sangamitra and Mahendra to SL to spread Buddhism, nothing is taught there. How do you explain this ignorance now? 99% of Tamils in India don’t even know how to ask “What’s your name?” in Sinhala, while they know a lot about Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. Regarding Sri Lanka, I am not disputing your line of reasoning on lack of knowledge, but this polarization that accompanies it is scary given the times we are in. On a slightly related note, finally we have to come to some realization about our Buddhist past. Here is a link that may interest you!
        http://www.thehindu.com/arts/magazine/article3500325.ece

        4. Good point on 90% literate part. I have always wondered why a country which was the second most educated country in Asia after Japan wasn’t able to solve it’s problems in a more meaningful manner. Is it the fact that in South Asia education is often confused with literacy? Or is it because the education didn’t quite bring in any wisdom in the general public on sensitive issues. Kerala is 90% educated but has it’s share of problems still. In any case, I fail to understand this all the time.

        5. Regarding the distinctness of Tamil as a language (Ilakkiyam included) and culture, yes, I agree with that. Regarding M.A.Nuhman, I didn’t know anything about him or his works. I will try to follow. But, somehow trying to learn more about other languages and culture, I am drifted away from Tamil, especially it’s literature, grammar etc etc.

        Hoping to respond more to your posts here, especially the ones on this thread.

        best wishes
        Krish

      • wijayapala

        Hi Krish

        Besides, the immediate need of Tamils is to get back to normalcy given the loss of so many lives in this war. Wondering why the TNA doesn’t realise this.

        If the Tamils get back to normalcy then they might not support the TNA. I think the TNA understands that and is more interested in keeping its vote bank.

        The four closest groups that Indian Tamils live next to are Malayalis, Kanndigas, Teluguites and Sinhalese. Of these 4 linguist groups, 99% of Tamils don’t know anything about Sinhala folks. How do you explain that? Everytime something happens to Tamils in SL, emotions are exploited to great lengths but never ever are Indian Tamils told about Sinhala history or Sinhalese language…How do you explain this ignorance now? 99% of Tamils in India don’t even know how to ask “What’s your name?” in Sinhala,

        Actually I think that is totally understandable, because there are no Sinhalese in India. Therefore Indian Tamils (as well as any other Indian) would not have much knowledge about us. It makes less sense for people who live next to each other (and not separated by Palk Strait) to be ignorant of each other.

        Is it the fact that in South Asia education is often confused with literacy? Or is it because the education didn’t quite bring in any wisdom in the general public on sensitive issues.

        Part of the problem is that Tamil language has only recently been incorporated into Sinhala education medium, but there is still nothing on other aspects of Tamil culture such as literature and religion. I think the language barrier is a large part of the problem, but perhaps a larger problem is the message that the Sinhalese receive from Tamils. The Eelamists are very good at getting their word out, so the Sinhalese assume that ALL Tamils are separatist lunatics. If these loudmouths spent more time talking about the Tamil culture and less about “the right to self-determination” then the SInhalese would have a much better understanding and possibly empathy with the Tamils.

  • Sam Alexander

    Dear Dr.DJ,
    Sampanthan has mentioned you in his reply and it is not all positive in the manner I understand. Can you blame Sampanthan or for what he stands for? Shame on all of you who do not want the Non Sinhalese bhudists to enjoy the same sovereign rights as the Sinhalese bhudists in Sorry Lanka.

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/19231-i-am-prepared-to-compromise.html?tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    I read Sambanthan’s interview in the Daily Mirror with much curiosity and trepidation. The curiosity was to discover rational reasons for his incendiary speech in Batticaloa and its timing, and the trepidation because of the fear that he would confound the situation further. He has not provided any rational reasons, but gone onto confound matters further.

    This interview confirms my conclusion that Sambanthan is not the leader Tamils need at this moment in their history. He is playing with words- quibbling- as he would do in a Magistrates Court in Trincomalee- trying to confuse the Magistrate, the prosecution and the accused, while making sure he will collect his fee for a long time, regardless that his client-the accused- will be driven to penury before the case ends!

    Pearl S.Buck writing on Gandhi-The leader, says that a leader should have to following qualities:

    1.Be a dreamer- one who dreams of what should be and could be.
    2.Have genius, abetted by talent. The flair, the vision, the conceptual thought, all being part of genius. Genius is the quality, the principle. Talent is he ability to express the genius and to make the application.
    3. Integrity- Integrity is different from honesty. Honesty is being honest, and telling the truth to the best of your ability, being fair and so on, but integrity is being honest when no one can know about it.
    Integrity is honesty carried through the fibers of the being and the whole mind, into thought as well as into action, so that the person is complete in honesty. Integrity is the soul of leadership.

    I find Sambanthan lacking in all three attributes. He does not have what it takes to pull the Tamils out of a quagmire and take them forwards. He does not understand what the Tamils- the majority- need now and in the future, in the context of the post-war scenario and a much different Sri Lanka and world. If he can idiotically describe development as a ‘death trap’ for the Tamils, he does not understand the dire straits the Tamils are in now. He is beyond dreaming anew. He yet is ensnared in a past that is irrelevant now. He does not understand that he has the onerous responsibility lead the Tamils, the Sinhalese and the Muslims towards a new vision for the Tamils and Sri Lanka.

    He has to convince the Sinhala people- not the International community- that the Tamils have currently valid grievances, that need to be addressed. He has to present to the Sinhalese solutions that are also acceptable to them. He has to be like Caesar’s wife, beyond being suspected of ulterior motives by the Sinhalese. He has to have the Sinhala people on his side, before he does the GOSL. His words have to be wise and temperate at all times, regardless of provocations.

    Leader has to be born, he cannot be made!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Sam Alexander

      Dear Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,
      You have tons of allegations but no real case on your comments to validate your claims that Sambanthan is not a true leader.

      The closest point you make is the blaming Sambanthan for rightly describing the current development that is taking plance in the Tamil areas WITHOUT THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE AREAS ELECTED PARLIAMENT REPRESENTATIVES as a ‘death trap’ for the Tamils. Why not involve the elected representatives unless you have thing to hide as Sambanthan correctly questions?

      And the truth is there are things to hide. The Govt developments on the north that are taking place today are to clonize Tamil areas with Sinhalese and to promote Sinahalese business owners to do business in the Tamil areas. Aren’t there any bread crumbs available for the Tamils in these development projects? Of course there are, and the State media and its supporters show case them as how the State is helping the Tamils while not showing the LARGER benefits reaped by the Sinhalese in the Tamil ares.

      And if you think majority Tamil people want development then why does not the State conduct a referendum in the Tamil areas to decide what the people want? Because the State and the rest of the world is also aware that Tamils are tired and sick of the State and the with the majority community in general, and are ready to separate even today if the international community supports it.

      I think Sambanthan is correct to state that it is important to negotiate with the State for the purpose of achiving the Tamil rights for the share of sovereignity, but not behind closed doors but with full exposure to the international community to see what is the attitude of the Tamils (TNA) and the Sinhalese (GOSL) and the sincerity of both parties before they can act to bring justice to Tamils if the international community also believe that the Tamils cannot expect a just solution even within the united Sorry Lanka (we already knew that a solution is not possible within the unitary Sorry Lanka).

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Sam Alexander,

    Your reply is based on two assumptions or beliefs:

    1. That the Tamils and Sinhalese belong to two countries and hence the Sinhalese are invaders of the north and east, and trying to colonize these areas.

    2. That someone has to find out that the war-affected Tamil areas and Tamils need development.

    Both are untenable.

    Sri Lanka should belong to all her citizens, to live and work where ever they wish. The Sinhala civilian presence in the north is insignificant. The presence of Sinhala military men, should not be confused with colonization. The Sinhala military men live in the north and east without their families and are confined to their camps. The post-war Sarath Fonseka plans to settle military families in the north and east, and expand the military presence, was not accepted by the GOSL. We should not forget that the TNA formed an alliance with this man at the last presidential elections! This reveals much of Sambanthan and the TNA!

    Many civilian Sinhalese come to work in the north because their skills are needed. A few who have brought their families along to Jaffna, send their children to Tamil schools! A few worship at Hindu temples!

    Many Tamils who moved to the South during the war, are not unwilling to return to the the north and east, because the conditions are yet difficult. Many war-displaced Sinhalese who returned to Jaffna, soon after the war, have now gone back South, because the conditions here were not conducive. Has the TNA talked about this?

    The GOSL taking over LTTE expropriated land or using State land to establish military camps is not colonization. This is a post-war reality that though unfortunate, has to be accepted as an imperative. If private land has been taken over for the army camps without compensation and by force, legal remedies are available.

    Migratory fishing has resumed. Many Sinhala fishermen from the Negombo belt are returning to fish in Mullaitivu and Mannar during certain seasons. Some of them have yet Tamil wives and children in these areas. This is not colonization. There were misunderstanding with local fisherman as the phenomenon was resuming after almost a thirty year lapse. These have now been sorted out.

    Secondly, it is for leaders to know what the people need. It is obvious to anyone here that the war-affected lands and people need infra-structural development. These projects on the scale that they are taking place, need skilled manpower. Chinese, Indians, Sinhalese and Tamils are working for these projects. This is not colonization.

    The north and east, need investments in business, industry and agriculture. The government is concentrating on providing the infra-structure and has to rely on the private sector for investing in other aspects of development. If the Tamils are willing to invest, there is definitely a big place for them. Many have done so. However, why should investment from the Sinhalese or others be precluded? Many Tamils have invested big money in the South! This attitude is untenable, as Sri Lanka, what ever the past and present distortions may be, is one country and is the homeland for all.

    The likes of Sambanthan and the TNA cannot take the Tamils into a better future, if they persist with their cheap and futile politics. Sambanthan is no leader. We need new leaders to emerge to take the Tamils into a new future in a new Sri Lanka. The new leaders cannot be point men for a failed Eelam agenda or a vengeful and foolish Eelamite, Diaspora lobby, at the expense of a long suffering and much debilitated people.

    I hope you are in Sri Lanka and have traveled through her length and width, including the north and east to understand what is happening here.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • Sam Alexander

    Dear Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,
    There is no need to confuse the real issue, majority elected State assisted colonization of the majority race and relegion to change demographics in minority homelands to destroy their claim for their share in sovereignity.

    Talking about private parties (Tamils or Sinhalese) moving to any part of the country on their own accord for economical reasons is a separate topic and no one complaints about it including Sambanthan.
    But the key point with this state assisted colonization (masked as development) is why the elected paliament representatives are not included in these projects?

    You sound like a person in the list of Tamil minority who cannot accept what the majority Tamils wants and are trying to find excuses to discredit the majority Tamil just demands and their leaders. This is exactly the State is trying to do, terrorize/swindle Tamil votes to install a Tamil leadership that does not represent the majority Tamils on ground and that is why there is no surprise when the State DOES NOT include the Tamil elected parliament reps in these so called development work.

    1. Post war realities? Really? The Tamils and the world now thru the UNHRC resolution are not trying to justify Govt actions under this bully cover in the Tamil areas, rather the opposite.

    3. Legal remedies available in Sorry Lanka. Really? The judicial system is sweakly clean and can expect to serve justice to Tamils? Most countries in the world and human rights organizations will be rolling on the floor unable to control their laugh when you make this case that Tamils can expect justice in Sorry Lanka courts agaisnt the State. Please do not come up with a mini list of exceptions to the rule.

    Dear Dr.Rajasingham Narendran, please think again. Why the elected paliament representatives of the Tamils, who represts the majority Tamils are not included in these projects? You really dnon’t smell the rat? I rest my case.

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Sam Alexander,

      Has there been any confirmed episode of State-aided colonization of Sinhalese in the north since the UNP sponsored colonization of Manal Aru? As I explained in my last comment there is no threat what-so-ever of State-sponsored Sinhala colonization,because of the development effort. This is one more TNA bogey. Think for a moment why any Sinhalese would want to live in the God-forsaken areas in the post-war Vanni?

      Further, do not forget that the TNA has among its Members of parliament, LTTE sponsored individuals, ex-Tamil Eelam militants, committed Eelamites and persons who are yet hoping for the return/resurrection of VP. Most of them are yet pursuing their decades old political agenda that contributed to the curse that befell the Tamils.

      From day one after the war ended the TNA has been critical of everything the government did and raised many bogies. It is only now that some members of the TNA are reluctantly admitting that the government has done well in certain areas concerning the war-affected. They have yet not appreciated the enormity of the tasks involved and the monumental efforts of the government in very difficult circumstances. It will be very unbecoming of Tamils not to appreciate what the government has done in the past three years.

      How can any government that has fought a very difficult and brutal war against the LTTE, take into confidence such men elected on the TNA- considered an LTTE proxie- ticket? There is a ‘Trust deficit’ on both sides. Mutual trust has to be re-built brick by brick. It wont be easy, but it has to be done, as a prelude to any political solution the Tamils want.

      It is clear from your comments here that you believe Eelam can be achieved with the assistance of the International Community. When a party such as the TNA harbours such thoughts, can trust be established? Sambanthan’s speech was a major blow to this trust building process. It takes two hands to clap!

      However, I have been against the government using quislings to govern the Tamils. The government grievously erred in not establishing Interim Councils of experienced bureaucrats and technocrats to manage the north and east for a few years after the war. They are now paying the price for this folly.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,
        You have made the following statement.

        “How can any government that has fought a very difficult and brutal war against the LTTE, take into confidence such men elected on the TNA- considered an LTTE proxie- ticket?”

        The very last elections took place after the demise of the LTTE and the MAJORITY Tamil people voted for this very same TNA. Please do not tell me Tamils did not have a choice becaue they were forced by LTTE / Diaspora etc or do not even tell that Tamils did not have a credible alternative on the ticket. – If you say because there was no other credible alternative, I will challenge you to stand on the next elections with all your writings published so the Tamil people can understand your views. You will experience the MAJORITY tamil verdict at that time, as the others who put their trust on the State in providing justice to Tamils since 1976.

        Whether LTTE / Eeelamist or not, whoever the Tamil people elect on the elections are their representatives for the MAJORITY Tamils, and whether the State likes it or not should accept it, unless the State has its own agenda for the Tamils against the ambitions of the Tamils.

        You also stated

        “There is a ‘Trust deficit’ on both sides. Mutual trust has to be re-built brick by brick”.

        I completely agree and in Sorry Lanka’s case the wife has been crying in court for separation since 1976 inclusding on the latest one took place after the LTE era. So why then force the battered wife to build trust with that arrogant husband, who does not have an iota of human qualities in his DNA? Is it because, he has the military might and will never let the wife in peace any way, even if she wants to separate and if the courts (UN) are willing to grant separation after considering the attitudes and sincerity of both parties? Sure there are people like you might be thinking that based on the so called “post war” realities, and it is only an artifitial bulling, and will disappear after the Tamil State become a UN member. If not, the Sinhala State will suffer the consequecnce from UN resolutions to UN force.

        In my humble view, there is no need to force one party to build trust when there is such a trust deficit, especailly when that party is the smaller and weaker party in the conflict. The only reason the sinhalese/State do not want to separate is becuase they cannot control the Tamil destiny and their prporties any more and not out of love for Tamil people or their welfare. The courts do not force a wife, whose physical safety is in danger (talk to the human rights orgaizations) to continue stay with the husband to build the trust brick by brick, but they hear the case and provide a verdict usually results in divorce when physical safety is in concern.

        Therefore, what sambanthan has said is correct in hadling the negotiations with GOSL and exposing it’s attitude/sincerity to the IC/UN. and MAJORITY Tamils will support him as in the past elections despite your positive atttitude against the state which has been accused for war crimes not just by MAJORITY Tamils, but also suspected by many international players thus pushed for investigations on the final days of war.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Sam Alexander,

        Why there is a trust deficit is partly explained by the boundless greed of Sambanthan and those who think like him. I have dealt with this aspect in the post addressed to you at the following link.
        http://groundviews.org/2012/05/29/itaks-plan-of-attack-the-breakout-strategy/#comment-45508

        The accusations of war crimes have been dealt with by me in many posts on GV. Dr Noel Nadesan, editor of 14 years of the only Tamil newspaper in Australia, an ethnic Tamil himself has also dealt with these allegations and shown how those allegations have been fabricated.

        I have shown that the credibility of the so called experts that Alston of the UN depended on, to support his allegations, were proved to have committed Perjury in American and Canadian Courts.

        Unless you can get better credible witnesses that cannot be bought with money you will have a hard time establishing these so called “credible” allegations.

      • wijayapala

        Dear Sam Alexander

        The very last elections took place after the demise of the LTTE and the MAJORITY Tamil people voted for this very same TNA.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lankan_parliamentary_election,_2010

        As the 2010 elections result show, the majority of Tamils did NOT vote for the TNA/ITAK. ITAK won in Jaffna and Wanni, but the turnout of registered voters was less than 50% in both districts. 59% of registered voters in Batticaloa voted, but ITAK’s margin of victory was too low to show that a majority of the registered voters supported ITAK.

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Wijayapala,
        You have stated the following.

        “As the 2010 elections result show, the majority of Tamils did NOT vote for the TNA/ITAK. ITAK won in Jaffna and Wanni, but the turnout of registered voters was less than 50% in both districts. 59% of registered voters in Batticaloa voted, but ITAK’s margin of victory was too low to show that a majority of the registered voters supported ITAK.”

        Also not to forget all the illegal acttivities carried out by the state armed forces and its paramilitaries in terrorizing / intimidating the Tamil voters in the Tamil home lands.

      • wijayapala

        Dear Sam

        Also not to forget all the illegal acttivities carried out by the state armed forces and its paramilitaries in terrorizing / intimidating the Tamil voters in the Tamil home lands.

        If it is true that the Tamils were intimidated away from voting, how come the TNA is silent on this?

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Wijayapala,
        Sure TNA must have complained on it. But I cannot remeber.

        Because I read an article by a Jaffna University professor on Transcurrents (TamilWeek). He was exposing it to the very details on how the armed forces and paramilitaries cordinated their effort in intemidating the voters.

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dear Sam Alexander,

    I do not think we will agree, even if we debate/ discuss into eternity. The reason: We are poles apart in our goals.

    I want a united Sri Lanka, where all her peoples will be treated as equal citizens and not as unequal communal groups, by the state. I want the minorities to be integrated into the political and social fabric of Sri Lanka, while yet maintaining and fostering their unique identities. I think the preservation and fostering of the Tamil language, Hinduism and Tamil culture are prerogatives of the Tamils and Tamils alone. The Muslims too have contributed much to the vibrancy of Tamil language and literature and will continue to do so. I also believe that Sri Lanka is my homeland, although I came from a particular village, town, city or province in Sri Lanka. I also think if more Tamils choose to live and work in the north and east, these provonces will remain essentially Tamil in character. I also think that we Tamils have to find the formula to co-exist with the other communities in Sri Lanka, while trying to evolve a system within a united and very likely a unitary Sri Lanka, that responds to our needs and problems.

    I am sure you will differ.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Sam Alexander

      Dear Dr.Rajasingham Narendran, sure we will disagree as to what the Tamils should do totay. My argument is based on the history of events and logical based on real life example, a mariage. While your argument is based on eternal forgiving of the other party even though the other party has no signs of correcting its behaviour and becoming more and more arrogant.

      You have stated the following.

      “I want a united Sri Lanka, where all her peoples will be treated as equal citizens and not as unequal communal groups, by the state. I want the minorities to be integrated into the political and social fabric of Sri Lanka, while yet maintaining and fostering their unique identities. I think the preservation and fostering of the Tamil language, Hinduism and Tamil culture are prerogatives of the Tamils and Tamils alone. The Muslims too have contributed much to the vibrancy of Tamil language and literature and will continue to do so. I also believe that Sri Lanka is my homeland, although I came from a particular village, town, city or province in Sri Lanka. I also think if more Tamils choose to live and work in the north and east, these provonces will remain essentially Tamil in character.”

      I totally agree, if it is 1970 now. And not just me, but the MAJORITY tamils would too, but if we can only put the clock back to 1970 or earlier. I also strongly believe a two state solution within a united country will serve the best for both Tamils and Sinhale instead of a complete breakup, but I beleive that will only depend on how the attitude and the sincerity of the GOSL.

      The consecutive GOSLs took Tamils for granted so many years when they democratically agitated, like how a husband might ignore a wife’s protests how uncaring he has been towards her and her well being. Now the nose bleeding wife is in the courts after trying liberate herself from her man forcefully. Now, the unitary concept or the fabric needed to have a loving family has been lost and long gone. United country with the necessary checks and balances are still possible.

      All the wife would now agree is if the courts can guarantee her physical security and the ability to have a say on her destiny and make decisions on the matters concerns her and equal say on the childrens’ matter. That is what Sambanthan is striving to achive for Tamils since we are in 2012 and not in 1970. But do you expect that bigger strong bullying husband to give in now and share the power now, especially after the wife gave up on him and fought with him? The wife is on the bed with broken nose and bleeding while the husband is stronger than ever before walking up and down kicking at her bed making her more miserable. What is that again? Post war realities?

      You also stated the following.

      “I also think that we Tamils have to find the formula to co-exist with the other communities in Sri Lanka, while trying to evolve a system within a united and very likely a unitary Sri Lanka, that responds to our needs and problems.”

      It is funny that you only expect the Tamils to do that, and it must be coming from an assumption that the Sinhala state is powerful and determined to suppress the Tamils forever, so all the Tamils can do is to please the masters to collect as much as bread crumbs from the ground. If you annoy the masters they will throw the mud on top the spilt bread crumbs and Tamils would suffer eternally. Yes, there are Tamils believe it too and they are in the minority. The majority wants to breakaway, if equal parity cannot be achieved. The same logic also applies in a mariage. Some wives accept the arrogant husband as their fate and live slavery lives without any rights. Do not forget this Tamil / Sinhala mariage was not either a love or arranged mariage. It was forced upon these two parties by the then British masters for their convenience and doomed to fail from day one.

      Therefore, you are correct. We will never agree. I will demand eqaulity and would like to achive my maximum potential in my life while contributing to my family. But if my husband is jealous or arrogant and control me from achiving my potential then I will not hesitate to file for divorce. – Majority Tamils are this wife.

      You on the other hand is a sweet ever loving patient lady, who is willing to sacrifice her life, her potential the family’s full potential, just to keep the family going and not let the husband go mad and violent. – Minority Tamils are this wife.

      So let Sambanthan do the right thing for the MAJORITY tamils while you have the right to criticize him from the side, amongst the minority.

      • wijayapala

        Sam,

        You and the other Eelam supporters often make the analogy to a divorce between man and wife (Sinhalese and Tamils). The problem with that analogy is that in a divorce, one person leaves the house and moves far away. Your analogy suggests that the Tamils as the “battered wife” should move away from Sri Lanka because they will not be safe near the Sinhala aggressor husband. Is that what you are saying?

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Sam Alexander,

        Thanks for your response. My reply would be,

        1.The Tamils have lost the moral high ground during the LTTE interlude. Both the Sinhalese and Tamils have to now equally share the blame for the what happened in Sri Lanka. To pretend otherwise is dishonest. It is a balanced equation now. Both parties need not forget the past, but have to forgive to reconcile and move forwards. History has to be relegated to the archives. Who did what to whom, should not be the subject of discussions now. To do this would be akin to a dog chasing its tail. We will be moving in circles, without heading any where. What all of us can do to move forward towards a better and more accommodative Sri Lanka should remain the focus.

        2. When I mentioned that the Tamils have to find a formula, I was probably some what non-specific. The Sinhalese do not need nor want any formula to co-exist. Most Sinhalese will be happy with the status quo. Even the Muslims will be satisfied with the present situation. The same could be said of the Plantation Tamils. The ‘Problem’ concerns the Tamils from the north and east. The concerns of the Tamils in the East is different as they live in a situation where co-existence within the province, without losing their identity is a concern. The concerns of the Tamils in the north are quite unique. They are the overwhelming majority in the north and if their politicians are to be believed, they want to preserve this situation, within the context of having equal access to rights else where in Sri Lanka- a rather problematic situation. They are indirectly trying to deny others what they claim for themselves.

        It is in this context that I mentioned the Tamils have to find the formula to co-exist. The northern Tamils cannot have it both ways. Co-existence would require that the north opens out to the rest of Sri Lanka, as much as the rest of Sri Lanka is open to them. One cannot have a ‘Hermit Kingdom’ within a united, unitary or federal Sri Lanka. The alternative is an independent Eelam in the north. This is what the Sinhala polity suspects is the ultimate goal of the Tamil political posture!

        I have to emphasize however that when I say the north has to open out to the rest of Sri Lanka, I do not imply state-aided or vested interest-aided colonization to deliberately change demographics is acceptable. However, there should be a policy to welcome those who want to move to the north to settle in the vast lands in the Vanni and assist them to develop these lands. This should be an open process, subject to mutually agreed guidelines.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Gamarala

        Sam Alexandar,

        “My argument is based on the history of events and logical based on real life example, a mariage”

        You can only take an analogy so far:
        http://www.ehow.com/info_8730630_dangers-analogies.html

        Your analogy exhibits all the shortcomings mentioned in the article above. The main reason is that the analogy makes too many simplifying assumptions, although it may nevertheless be possible to delude oneself into thinking that it is representative. (This may require that one’s pre-frontal cortex be severed from the amygdala 😉 )

        This matter is clearly a vastly more complicated one of common heritage, shared resources and a generally healthy pathway for a higher civilization (in contrast to tribal communities).

        For a more thorough treatment:
        http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/scenario/analogy.htm

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Dr.RN, Garmarala & Wijayapala,
        Thank you for all your thoughts and responses. Like for every other thing in life there are limitations for analogies too. The following google search on “why do we use analogies” will explain the whole point of using analogies and their limitations.

        https://www.google.com/#hl=en&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=why+do+we+use+analogies&oq=can+we+use+analogies&aq=0q&aqi=g-q2&aql=&gs_l=hp.1.0.0i22l2.1718.6436.0.8169.20.18.0.2.2.0.203.1970.9j8j1.18.0…0.0.sikomUi-Mlo&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=51ed602b9c48e553&biw=1280&bih=577

        But the major strength of an analogy is in making a complex problem such as the Sorry Lanka’s ethnic problem to an understandable version for the average joe on the steet thus helping to understand each others delima and agree on a just solution. Extremists in both sides would like to keep this as a complex problem so they do not have to solve this problem, and continue to reap the benefits from the burning house. These benefits are usually political than monetary in nature.

        The husband / wife situation is the best analogy that one can use in the Sorry Lanka’s ethnic issue, and the way UNHRC functioned in drafting its resolution, the world has now begin to understand the situation in Sorry Lanka as a case of battered wife in an arrogant husband’s hands. Sure, we have Russia/ China on the the State side. Why? Russia/China are well known arrogant husbands for decades and they are too big the courts are unable hear a case against them as they have a veto power..

        Having said that what I have experienced in the past is that the controlling husband never believes he is the problem. He always accuses his wife as a less smarter individual who needs his direction and the family will not do its best unless he is in charge on the top. He would claim that he satifies all her needs and she has nothing to worry about other than staying home and looking after the children. What about her freedom, human rights and her right to achieve her full potential?

        Dear Wijayapala, you have stated “Your analogy suggests that the Tamils as the “battered wife” should move away from Sri Lanka because they will not be safe near the Sinhala aggressor husband. Is that what you are saying?”

        Is that what the courts do? Disappear the wife in fear of the arrogant man? Are you suggesting even the courts also fear the arrogant husband? I thought they will issue a restraining order so the husband cannot go anyway near the wife, and if he cannot control himself he could get picked up by the cops? But you are correct to some extent if Sorry Lanka is another giant like China or Russia. Again do not beleive the Russian / Chinese support is there forever if you know what happened in Sudan’s case. They will drop Sorry Lanka when the majority of the world means business againt Sorry Lanka as in the case of Sudan.

        Let me also state this. There is a general perception amongst the sinhalese that if a two state solution is offered to Tamils that will be mistake as they will use it as a plat form to go separate. This Sinhalese fear has its roots to Chola times as the Chola’s were all powerful to make that fear to become a reality. Today, the TN Tamils cannot even lift their fingers unless the Indian Central govt orders.
        Also, as it was proven in May 2009, without the world on the Tamils side, the Tamils have no chance in defeating the Sinhalese in any single battle, let alone a war.

        Therefore, I hope and pray the two state solution becomes a reality one day, and the Tamils and Sinhalese can live, visit and enjoy both states as their own. After all, both of our cultures are pretty rich and have a lot to offer. There is no need to have negative energies like this in attempting to keep the husband and wife together in this forced failed mariage. Lets set them free and allow them strive well on their own but under a united country.

        Finally, I would like to thank GV for allowing me to voice my opinion freeely without a single modification to my comments. You guys are the only true neutal website allowing all the views to be heard so the average joe on the street can voice and understand what people on the Sorry Lanka’s street are feeling and going through.

        Thank you all.

      • Gamarala

        Sam Alexander,

        Your insistence on using a failed analogy suggests that the average joe is not who you think it is 😉

        Secondly, one should at least acknowledge that this is no ordinary wife. One would surely notice some similarities to Lorena Bobbit and Sada Abe.

        Ribbing aside, let me have one last go at explaining this: the husband-wife analogy is a failure, because the issue is not over separation, which the Sinhalese, appallingly enough, probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid over. The issue is over shared property and heritage.

        Finally, if you must insist on an analogy, I propose that the analogy be closer to one where the wife insists on a resource sharing agreement with the husband, and thinks that half the ancestral house and some of the husband’s heirlooms are a good idea, despite having 1/10 the expenses. Would that analogy be average enough for your tastes?

      • wijayapala

        Dear Sam

        I thought they will issue a restraining order so the husband cannot go anyway near the wife

        But the wife consciously on her own stays away from the husband. That means that you are saying that the Tamils should stay away from Sri Lanka!

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Dr. Rajasingham Narendran,

        I empathise with most of the sentiments you have expressed in your post of June 12, 2012 • 7:26 am to Sam Alexander.

        However, I believe you need to clarify the following statement.

        “however that when I say the north has to open out to the rest of Sri Lanka, I do not imply state-aided or vested interest-aided colonization to deliberately change demographics is acceptable”

        River basin developments require large financial resources.
        Finally these costs will be defrayed by the total population and not just the provincial population.
        Such developments will occur where those basins exist.
        The purpose of these developments is Agriculture and Power generation.
        Agriculture entails the settlement of farmers within the developed area.

        How can an investment by the total population be justified if the beneficiaries are to be limited to a province?

  • Sam Alexander

    Dear Gamarala,

    You have stated the following.

    “Your insistence on using a failed analogy suggests that the average joe is not who you think it is ”

    How you were able to determine that this analogy is a failure? Is it because some leader brought it up in the discussions between the Sinhala State and the Tamil reps and was it agreed amongst them that this in not the correct analogy to use for the ethnic issue or the fact that we do not have a solution for this ethnic problem yet ?

    Consider the most likely reaons why this analogy might have not worked in the past, but might work in the future.

    1.The Sorry Lanka ethnic case never was taken up by the courts (UN) in the past, but thru the UNHRC resolution an interest has been established.
    2.Who would expect the culprit, the huspband in this case, to accept this analogy, when he is in total control of the family and his wife’s destiny. But since the courts are now involved, the control of husband over the family and his wife is now severely diluted and this analogy might play an important role in the future.

    You have also stated the following.

    “Secondly, one should at least acknowledge that this is no ordinary wife. One would surely notice some similarities to Lorena Bobbit and Sa”da Abe”.

    I have addressed this already, but just to summarize, the Tamils fought for their rights thru democractic means since 1948 thru 1970s and it was the huspband who unleashed violence on her thru a series of ethnic progroms to suppress her from fighting for her rights. Only after 1970s she determined to use violence. In a divorce case, as you may be aware, a disgruntle huband will call his wife a bitch, a prostitute or any other bad words, even if she was a saint. Yourself addressing the Tamils as Lorena Bobbit is another proof why the mariage anology fits very well in Sorry Lanka’s ethnic case.

    You have also stated the following.

    “Ribbing aside, let me have one last go at explaining this: the husband-wife analogy is a failure, because the issue is not over separation, which the Sinhalese, appallingly enough, probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid over. The issue is over shared property and heritage.”

    Are you really sure that the Sinhalese are not worried about the separation, and willing to letting the Tamils go free and control their own destiny? Did you ever hear a Sinhalese leader saying that publically? I do not think so. This is purely a control issue of the destiny of the Tamils and their property. A case of letting it go.

    Beause, if it is just an issue of shared property that can be addressed in different ways. One possible fair method could be the following.

    We can ask TNA to supply say 6 historians who truly know our history from the very beginning. We can also GOSL for 6 expert historians. The UN can also identify say 7 international non Tamil/ Sinhalese historians and come up with an inittial map amongst the UN historians. Then these 19 can come together for open discussions to validate / redraw the borders. The UN 7 should do all the work within themselves, but in continuous open discussions with all the 12 Tamils/Sinahalese historions in one room. Even these meeting s should be facilitated by the UN 7.

    Sure we can achieve a two state solution within one country. But the husband will find it is hard to let go as in the mariage, and let us pray to God to give him the strength to let go.

    • Gamarala

      Sam Alexander,

      We can continue this back and forth for a long time, but I don’t see the point. If it is not apparent to you, even after so much death and destruction, that the answer to separatism is a categorical no, and the reasons for why that answer is a no, I can only conclude that thinking is not your strong point 😉

      Let me ask you a simple question. Should your Eelam be achieved, what is your hope for it? Will it be some exclusive tribal utopia? Or a plural, inclusive society?

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Gamarala,
        It looks like you have no more arguments left to put forward and resorted to a personal attack, my thinking power. We should allow the GV readers to assess who lacks the thinking power and state how they were able to come to their conclusion.

        It is also apparent that you were not reading my posts before you post your questions to me as I have already answered both of these questions in one form or other.

        Reread my posts from June 11 6.13pm and June 12 7.46pm. You will find reference to how the beleive that the all powerful Sinhala state’s clutches over Tamils are here to stay forever was never bought by the majority Tamils (of course bought by a few, minority Tamils). Now the Courts (UN) are involved all the Tamils need to do is give one more last try to work out a plan with the Sinhalese and while working out on this process expose the attitudes and sincerity of both sides to the IC (UN). The courts currently has now (UNHRC resolution) simply asked the arrogant husband to implement what he believes (LLRC report) on his own admittance whats need to be fixed to bring fairness and peace to his wife and his family. The courts are basically using this opportunity to test this arrogant man’s integrity and how he performs. If he fails on this task, the courts will use it as evidence against this man on the next hearing. It is only a slippery slope for the man who is unable to letting it go, from here.

        You have also stated

        “Let me ask you a simple question. Should your Eelam be achieved, what is your hope for it? Will it be some exclusive tribal utopia? Or a plural, inclusive society?

        Again this qn was answered in my earlier posts. but let me see when the I can borrow most of the words from Dr.RN to see how close we were at the end solution but how apart on our approaches, based on the naivety of the one (Sweet one with ever trusting and forgiving wife), and the learning experience from the other(The one who expects partnership in life).

        The northeast Tamils (and Sinhalese) CAN have it both ways. Co-existence would require that the north opens out to the rest of Sri Lanka, as much as the rest of Sri Lanka is open to them. One can have a Tamilland and Sinhalaland within a united federal Sri Lanka. If the Sinhalese cannot agree for equitable devolution, the alternative is an independent Eelam in the north and east.

        I have to emphasize however that when I say the north has to open out to the rest of Sri Lanka, I do not imply state-aided or vested interest-aided colonization to deliberately change demographics is acceptable. However, there should be a policy to welcome those who want to move to the north to settle in the vast lands in the Vanni and assist them to develop these lands. This should be an open process, subject to mutually agreed guidelines.- These mutually agreed lines are only possible if the Tamils are considered equal and have an equal say at least on their destiny and on their property. The two state solution is the only way to achive this equal status. Other wise, the arrogant man will always swing his fist at his wife’s nose, when he does not get his way since he is able to do so without this equal status.

        Yourself, Dr.RN, myself and many others WILL NEVER agree here on a perticular solution for the Sorry Lanka’s problem and it is perfectly normal as it takes place in many of our lives. That is why the court system exists to interefere and to hold justice after heraring all sides. The courts (UN) are now got the attention of our problem and has made the first move thru this UNHRC resolution. We should all welcome the court’s intervention. The last time I checked it was the arrogant man and his extended family was protesting againt the courts (UN) involvement in colombo streets. Is there any surprise here? Who is suppose to worry about the justice system? The wrong doer, right?

        Lets allow the courts to bring us the solution. It has been proven that we cannot solve this issue. The husband is arrogant and is continuing to kick at his wife’s bed where she is lying down with a bloody nose. The courts thought the man will treat his wife better after seeing how badly she was injured fighting for separation from him. The courts thought that the man will come to his senses after realizing what should have pushed his wife to destroy her this much to make an attempt to escape from him. But the courts now realize they were wrong. They now know there are not dealing with an average man, but an arrogant man who is unable to letting it go. That is why all the attention and the UNHRC resolution after 3 years of grace period.

      • Nithyananthan

        If & when it comes to a reality – even as a ‘United Country, surely, it will be beyond the social barriers of caste and class – secular by Faith, pluralistic by ethnicity and culture and all inclusive modern democratic society based on commerce, fishery and agro-industrial economy. Thanks, Nithy!

    • georgethebushpig

      You find words of wisdom in the damnedest of places!

      “You can’t always get what you want
      You can’t always get what you want
      You can’t always get what you want
      But if you try sometime, you just might find
      You get what you need”

      Rolling Stones, Let it Bleed, 1969

      • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

        Yeah George,

        Except that the Tamil leadership has been protesting that they just cain’t get no Satisfaction, and whenever presented with a reform proposal, tend to Paint it Black.

      • georgethebushpig

        Good one Dr. J.

      • georgethebushpig

        Dr. J, so I see there’s no Sympathy for the Devil?

    • Bira

      Dear Sam Alexande,

      Your analogy of battered wife’s case now being arbitrated by the UNHRC Courts does not fly at all. The UNHRC Resolution was brought by the USA, UK and EU (NATO) Countries. They are the worst wife and people batterers the world has ever seen.

      They together, have battered and killed Millions of innocent people (wives) all over the world. They have absolutely no moral or ethical authority to intervene or judge the case of any battered wife anywhere in the world.

      Would you, if you are divorcing, entrust your case to a set of Lawyers and a court, whose biggest achievement so far is battering and killing wives and even non-wives all over the world?.

      So the ‘Prosecuters’ at the Courts are known Mass Killers; and the ‘Courts’ itself has shamelessly watched the Killers murdering and plundering the innocents at will all over the world; and you are looking for justice from mass murderers and conniving courts.

      Now can you see that this is why, GOSL and a lot of other Countries have only contempt for this system, which remain silent when the powerful massacre the innocents, but then ask the whole world to support the courts when murderous prosecuters want to indict somebody else on their own perfidious terms, using the courts which do not lift a finger to prevent massacres when it is perpetrated by the same prosecutors?

      The last UNHRC Resolution was not much of a success for the Prosecutors and the courts by any stretch of imagination. It won by only one vote, counting the abstentions; that too due to major arm-twisting of a few poor nations by the USA and Co. Those who refused to be arm-twisted either voted against or abstained.

      I think you should abandon the much maligned Prosecutors and Courts and think of the solutions as recommended by Dr. Narendran and others. The GOSL will never allow USA, UK and EU to walk rough-shod on Sri Lanka. Sri Lankans will never allow it. We Have lot of strong and powerful friends on our side to prevent any interventions.

      To comment on your other example, we do not have a situation like Kosovo or South Sudan here, where ethnic people go around commiting mass murder and pillaging of each other; or is it what you want? To incite another conflageration so that enough Tamils will be killed, setting the stage for a Responsibility to Protect intervention?

      The last person who tried it to the maximum and failed was called Velupillai Prabhkaran.

      I think you should know that no country which broke up due to external interventions has continuing peace. Kosovo and South Sudan has no peace yet.

      I reccomend you to read the following books which graphically detail how the USA and allies intervene in other countries and destroy them.

      Mr. El-Baradei proves that the USA has killed at least 800,000 innocent people (maybe upto a million!) in Iraq and Afganistan upto now. He was the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) until recently.

      Mr. Noam Chomski is regarded as one of the leading thinkers in USA, who is not afraid to tell the truth about American Government interventions in other countries, to take control and subjugate them by subtly or overtly subverting their leaders and Politicians.

      Mr. John Perkins was an “Economic Hit Man”, trained and sent to countries like ours, by the USA, to destroy their economies and subvert, to have control. If USA couldn’t subvert the leaders, they killed them. The fourth book gives details and confessions of CIA and other Hitmen used by the USA to kill Leaders and influential people in Countries which refused to bow down to the dictates of the United States of America.

      If you want to learn the truth about the ‘Courts and Prosecutors’ that you seem to have so much faith in, I strongly reccommend reading them.

      You can order them by post from Amazon.com or .co.uk.

      I personally think that you should stop looking for external interventions to settle problems here, as it will turn out to be a stillborn baby that will also have to be carried by the battered wives. We can settle our own problems at home if we are prepared to come down from our extreme positions.

      2)Interventions (City Lights Open Media) by Noam Chomsky (Jul 1, 2007)

      2). The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times. by Mohamed El Baradei.

      3) Confessions of an Economic Hitman

      4)The Secret History of the American Empire: The Truth About Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and How to Change the World by John Perkins (Apr 29, 2008)

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Bira,
        Could not agree anymore with your point on the credibility of the courts and the prosecutors.

        I do not agree and will not go into details of a few statements you have made in addition to the above point , as it will be distracting us from our main point here, seeing how the husband / wife logic would help to resolve the our ethnic issue of Sorry Lanka.

        The court (UN) system and the prosecutors (US/UK/France) are not saints and free of errors. That is absolutely correct. They have either committed or allowed atrocities and mass murders to happen in parts of the world provided it does not cross their own interests. They also allowed the massacre in our country in May 2009 in addition to the ones in rest of the world.

        Regardless of their own flaws, if the local courts and prosecutors have failed the Tamils terribly, then is there any harm in Tamils seeking the next level of justice system, the UN, which could not be so perfect? It would be like appealing to a supreme court of a lower court’s decision, knowing that the supreme court judges are not perfect either. But, the plaintiff should take that shot as there are no other options available in this world.

        Now, can you disqualify the prosecutors and the court system in taking up the case because they are not saints? I do not think so. The fact that they bringing up a case to the court on behalf of the plaintiff is the only matter up for discussion for the juries in this case.

        But you can always file a separate case against the integrity/credibility of the courts and prosecutors, if you wish, and that will totally be a different case.

        I hope it makes sense.

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Off the cuff,

    Thanks for raising a very pertinent question. I had stated in the comment you refer, “However, there should be a policy to welcome those who want to move to the north to settle in the vast lands in the Vanni and assist them to develop these lands. This should be an open process, subject to mutually agreed guidelines.” I do not subscribe to concept that any part of Sri Lanka should be designated an exclusive enclave for any community. However, persons should be able to enjoy their individual and group rights, wherever they choose to live and feel secure.

    The so-called colonization schemes have been much maligned,despite their overall noble intent, because of the manner in which they were implemented in some instances- forcible displacement of native populations and changes in place names. The most recent example of such instances is Manal Aru, where the Tamil population was violenty displaced with Sinhala settlers (the violence unleashed on the new Sinhala settlers by the LTTE is another matter) and name changed to Weli Oya. New villages named Janakapura etc., were established in the area. The political intent was to Sinhalize the border between the north and east, and forestall claims to contiguity. Such malevolent acts are unacceptable and make all state-sponsored attempts to re-settle persons of one community in areas traditionally occupied by others suspect.

    Such instances should also be viewed in the context of Tamil village names in the western coastal areas being Sinhalized to erase historical identifications. Palawi is being called Palawiya now! Udappu, an old Tamil village has become Udappuwa! There are several such instances visible to anyone driving on the Colombo-Puttalam road. It is such stupid and xenophobic acts that seed suspicions and make even genuine and much needed development related moves suspect.

    I know land was allocated to Tamils in Wellawaya by the government in the 1950’s. A group of ten Tamils, including my father, received 25 acres each. I as a boy walked in the jungles of Wellawaya with them to mark the boundaries. Palmyra seeds from Jaffna were planted and I hope these are yet there. However, the group abandoned their efforts after the 1958 riots and the land became the property of the Sinhala families who were employed by them. This is one instance among many where colonization schemes were beyond reproach and national in outlook.

    Any new efforts at development of vast tracts of abandoned and jungle land in the north and east should be done with sensitivity and honesty of purpose and intent. As Ven. Rathana Thera told me once,it would be a good idea to open these lands to the ‘Plantation Tamils’ who are becoming redundant in the marginal tea plantations and are resorting to vegetable cultivation which makes the hill country lands vulnerable to soil erosion. He rightly felt that such hill country lands must be re-forested and this will have a positive impact on rainfall in the catchment areas. Such a program should also provide land to the landless peasants of the areas for development in the north and east, persons from adjoining areas and others from areas acutely suffering from land shortage. This effort should be based on genuine needs and transcend communal and even defense/security considerations.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Dr. Rajasingham Narendran,

      If we were not to keep delving on the past and look towards a peaceful Lanka in the future, how would you suggest that we ensure that ALL stake holders of an investment derive an equitable benefit from the investment made?

      My question pertains to River basin developments that cannot happen anywhere other than where the river basins are located and the massive costs incurred is borne by the whole population and not exclusively by the population of a province.

      How can an investment by the total population be justified if the beneficiaries are to be limited to a province?

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Off the cuff,

        The river basin development projects in Sri Lanka, would very likely be funded by the central government in the foreseeable future. The past will always have an impact on how such projects are perceived by the various communities in Sri Lanka. This is an unfortunate and regrettable reality. I think major efforts should be made by the central government to overcome suspicions regarding such projects. Bringing the Mahaveli waters to the Northern Province, as originally conceived by the Sirimavo Bandaranaike government, would be a good idea and will help win the hearts and minds of the northern Tamils.

        Coming specifically to your question, I think such projects will benefit all the people in Sri Lanka indirectly, through greater agricultural production, food security and income generation at various levels processing and trade. Further, even under the present circumstances, lands in such projects should be open to all Sri Lankans through mechanisms that ensure that the landless people of a given area get 33.33 %, the people of the province outside the area 33.33 % and landless people from other provinces get 33.33 %, of the land available for development. The process should be open and land should be allocated on the basis of skills and ability to bring in the required skills. This will spread the direct benefit equitably and on a wider basis, without disturbing demographic realities. If the people of the area and the province are unwilling/unavailable to use their share, what is left of this share should go to the third category. As the nation and national development cannot be held ransom to narrow mindedness beyond reasonable limits, this option would be fare.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Corections to comment on river basins:

        1.”—-income generation at various levels processing and trade.”
        Should read, “— and in come generation at various levels of processing and trade.”

        2. The last word should be ‘Fair’ instead of ‘Fare’.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Dr. Rajasingham Narendran,

        Bringing the Mahaveli waters to the Northern Province, as originally conceived by the Sirimavo Bandaranaike government, would be a good idea and will help win the hearts and minds of the northern Tamils”

        The Mahaveli development includes the NCP canal which is 160 Km long and brings the Mahaveli waters to Iranamadu.

        Ceylon’s first major dam, the Gal Oya (800 000 acre feet), commissioned in 1952, was a relatively modest investment. At Rs 750 lakhs, the cost of the dam (exclusive of downstream costs), it was about 10% of the annual export earnings from tea at that time. The accelerated Mahaveli Development Project (ADMP) commissioned in 1978 by J.R.Jayewardene’s new UNP government was huge in comparison with the size of the economy and, characteristically, financial prudence was thrown to the winds. The project in addition to a hydro-power generating capacity of 650 MW, proposed to utilise most of the 7 billion acre feet of water, that annually flowed down the Mahaveli, Ceylon’s largest river, to irrigate much of the dry-zone. Its cumulative cost by 1989 was Rs 55 billion, more than twice the annual export earnings from tea and more than the earned contribution to the annual budget (about Rs 80 billion, half of which came foreign loans). 60% of the cost of the ADMP came from foreign aid of which 55% was spent abroad. 44% of foreign aid component (26% of the cost of the project) came as grants. This contributed to massive inflation, of around 30%, and labour unrest in the early 80s, when investment was highest.

        The preceding paragraph is an extract from a UTHR(J) report. It underlines the massive investment required for development and the consequences of such massive investment on the whole population of the country. The main benificiaries of this investment is the local people who live around the area developed.

        If the population living outside the immediate area or province ,where the development takes place is excluded, by any means, then the question arises as to why those who are excluded should pay for this development instead of investing in local area development of their own such as in Education, Health care and social services etc.

        This underlines the gross injustice of any ethnic based homeland concept.

        The UTHR(J), in analysing the economic status of the colonists, has this to say

        “ A high rate of inflation, the drop in value of the rupee, a consequent rise in the price of inputs, a growing in capacity of the state to help them and their inability to offer collateral and borrow from banks, led to a progressive deterioration of the position of colonists. Studies done on farmers in the Mahaveli areas [See 1,3 & 4] speak of an astonishing level of poverty. Rupasena [3] estimates the average monthly income of a family in System H (Anuradhapura) at Rs 1000/= per month (at 90 bushels per acre on 21/2 acres) and adds that those in the Polonnaruwa area (LB of System B and part of System C ) fare even worse despite good harvests. Indebtedness could only further undermine their income. Ariyasinghe [1, pp29-35] lists several trends in the Mahaveli regions leading to impoverishment and marginalisation. They are: “…with increased pauperisation and dependency, tenancy changes are taking place, with hidden tenancy to owners of inputs or officials, whereby they(the colonists) become tenants, labourers or share-croppers on their own land. The high increase of population had led to fragmentation of land with sizes becoming small and uneconomic. The introduction of cash crops by large investment companies, especially in Systems B & C (Polonnaruwa District) has pushed the farmers to work in commercial farms neglecting their block of land. This also leads to hidden tenancy… Dependence on channel irrigation has led to risky agriculture based on water availability … due to improper water for irrigation… They (the settlers) now want village tanks in the Mahaveli areas rehabilitated especially in Systems H,B,L and C.”
        A pessimistic note is also struck in the official Mahaveli Authority publication [4, p10]: “Only those farmers who are able to achieve 100 bushels of paddy per acre on 2 1/2 acres for two seasons a year can be expected to earn a minimum subsistence level income…”

        The foregoing is a minimalistic look at what the Traditional Homeland means to an overwhelming majority of the Lankan polity (irrespective of ethnicity), who live outside the areas claimed by the Northern Tamils, a population of less then HALF the Tamil population of Lanka.

        It seems to me that justice can be served only by a per-capita based system. 13A recognises this in an offhanded way but has left a loophole to subvert it.

        Isn’t the first two categories in your proposal people of the same province? If that is so your division becomes 66.66% for the province and 33.33% for the rest of Lanka. “…..lands in such projects should be open to all Sri Lankans through mechanisms that ensure that the landless people of a given area get 33.33 %, the people of the province outside the area 33.33 % and landless people from other provinces get 33.33 %, of the land available for development”

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Off the cuff,

        Thanks for your informative and thought provoking comment. What I can infer from the information you have provided is:

        The units of land allocated to farmers – 2.5 acres- is totally insufficient to sustain a meaningful livelihood.

        However, would landless individuals have the financial capacity and technical know how to develop larger tracts – economically viable- of land?

        This would raise the question whether larger acreages of land should be allocated to groups of individuals who can present themselves as corporate entities , with clear plans and the required finances for profitable development. They would be required to provide employment, training and extension services to farmers of the area and also organize buy-back schemes.

        Would this lead to crony capitalism, instead of optimal utilization of land aimed at optimum productivity, to meet national needs?

        Would co-operative principle-based groupings be the answer?

        If either corporate (principled) and/ or co-operative approach is adopted, it will transcend communal considerations. However, would it fulfill the hitherto recognized social need to provide land to the landless?

        The inevitable question would be, whether state land should considered, a communal/ community/ provincial property or an national resource/ treasure in a small island?

        Further, should the central governments consider the provinces or regions on a community/ communal basis, or as made-up also of citizens of Sri Lanka, who have to be given the opportunity and help to develop the resources in the areas they reside?

        Finally, are Sri lankans- people and the government- capable of rising above communal and parochial considerations, at this point in time?

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Dr. Rajasingham Narendran,

        IMHO State Lands is a National resource and is not a communal or community or Provincial property.

        “The inevitable question would be, whether state land should considered, a communal/ community/ provincial property or an national resource/ treasure in a small island?”

        These should be used to uplift the masses starting from the poorest of the poor without any communal bias. Singapore is a good example of a small country where the pressure on land has not been allowed to escalate in to racial violence by ensuring an equitable distribution of this finite resource.

        Gal Oya required 10% of the Export Tea earnings. Up to 1989 the Mahavelli used up over 200% of annual export earnings from Tea. By today, 23 years later, it would have used up over 300% of the gross National earnings of Lanka!

        Compelling reasons for State Lands to be considered a National Resource, to be used for the benefit of all.

        I understand that the ability for the minorities to govern themselves needs to be maintained but that should not be at the expense of the well being of the rest of the population that forms an overwhelming majority of about 85+% of the population (those who live outside the N & E Provinces).

        I believe that the Minority concern can be protected by delimitation based on the National per-capita land holding. This will ensure that the current ethnic proportions within a given area is maintained enabling the current majority within a province to form a government without ever having to worry about dilution.

  • Sam Alexander

    Dear Dr.RN,
    Noble thoughts and will work when the husband can view his wife as equal and the wife can believe that there are checks and balances in place so the husband cannot swing his fist at her nose, if he does not get his way, in setting up those guidelines and then implementing those on practice.

    I missed your following statement from one of your earlier posts.

    “The Tamils have lost the moral high ground during the LTTE interlude. Both the Sinhalese and Tamils have to now equally share the blame for the what happened in Sri Lanka”

    Really?

    Since independence (1948) and specially after 1956 Sinhala only act the Tamils were agitating for thier rights democractically. But the State unleashed violence on them thru many ethnic progroms and sporadic attacks like in the Jaffna Tamil Aaraachi Mahanadu. Only after the 1977 progrom, the Tamil militant movements (including the LTTE) began to mushroom in the North East.

    So, the fact that the Tamils decided to give up on the democractic methods after 30+ years of struggle, which was met with only State violence, makes them to lose their moral high ground?

    So in your view they should have continued their democratic struggle for eternity? Do you have any limitation on time or torn up agreements or number of Tamils killed or raped or on anything else or none?

    As I stated earlier, the wife who does not want to learn from experience believes and hopes that her arrogant husband will change one day, while other who learned from experience will put her foot down to set up guidelines and deadlines and to promote a true relationship between her and her husband and to build a strong family. At that time, the true men will step up to the task while the cowards will give in or step aside, while the arrogants will go bongers and will beat her up.

    Most people in this world agree with the Tamils that they have given enough time to the State and that is why the entire world is sympathetic to the Tamil cause then, and now.

    • wijayapala

      Dear Sam

      As I stated earlier, the wife who does not want to learn from experience believes and hopes that her arrogant husband will change one day, while other who learned from experience will put her foot down to set up guidelines and deadlines and to promote a true relationship between her and her husband and to build a strong family.

      But I already debunked the husband-wife analogy above, to which you provided no answer.

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Wijayapala,
        You have stated the folowing.

        “But I already debunked the husband-wife analogy above, to which you provided no answer.”

        Lets allow the GV readers to make that determination after what I have posted in supporting this husband/wife analogy all along.

        I was referring to how the courts will act to determine and protect the wife from the arrogant husband, while you were referring to a wife’s conscious decision to stay away from the husband in your last post.

      • wijayapala

        Dear Sam

        I was referring to how the courts will act to determine and protect the wife from the arrogant husband, while you were referring to a wife’s conscious decision to stay away from the husband in your last post.

        But the courts won’t protect a woman who decides to stay in the same house as the husband. That was the point I was making. Even if there is a separate Tamil state, it would be impossible to physically separate it from the rest of the island. Either way you’ll have to live with the Sinhalese.

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Wijayapala,
        You have got the husband / wife analogy totally wrong here by stating the following.

        “But the courts won’t protect a woman who decides to stay in the same house as the husband. That was the point I was making. Even if there is a separate Tamil state, it would be impossible to physically separate it from the rest of the island. Either way you’ll have to live with the Sinhalese”.

        The issue is not the wife has decided to stay with the husband and the same time seeks the protection from the courts. That would a comical case.

        The dispute is that the husband is unable to respect his wife and treat a equally. The case for divorce is filed by the wife after she has exausted all options to solve the problem with her husband thru protests, negotiations and fights. The courts are now in the process of hearing both sides to deliver a judgement.

        In these situations the courts will attempt to take a stock of all assets belong to both parties. The will consider what was brought into the mariage by both parties and what was earned by both while they were married and make special adjustments for any special circumstances.

        When Sorry Lanka’s case comes to the courts (UN), it will be obvious that Tamils and Sinhalese brought certain assets into their forced mariage by the British and might have earned certain assets /debts since that union. The courts may also make special adjustments for special circumstances, eg, for the State assited colonizations before they divide the property between the couple. I have already described how 19 memeber expert panel could help in the settlement in one of my earlier posts.

        It sounds like you are on the believe that even the UN cannot partition Sorry Lanka to solve the crisis, if it has decided to do so.
        You might be also trying to narrow down my to, country = house, in my analogy. You might want to consider broaden up your thinking to Total assets = country + any other state controlled monetary and non monetary assests.

        I do not understand why this husband / wife that is a pretty simple topic to understnd is causing this much confusion. Is it because we are not following it or is it a refusal to understand and agree as the consequences to the arrogant husband are devastating in the court (UN) of law? Isn’t it this same fear responsible for the demonstrations we saw in the streets of colombo to potest against the involement of the courts(UN)?

        But can the arrogant husband potest against the courts involement while continueing to abuse the wife and be successful in his protests? The way I inderstnad the legal ssytem it is impossible, and the UNHRC resolution is the first step in the right direction.

        Again let us pray for this husband to come to his senses and have the courage and strength to either treat his wife equally with respect and implement the checks and balances that the wife is now demanding as there is no trust element between the two after the result of all the protests, negotiations and fights. These checks and balances are important for her to avoid her husband from swinging his fist at her nose, when the husband does not get his way.

        But if the husband does not man up to the task then the courts(UN) have no other choice, but to divide the total assets logically as I stated above and let both of them to live in peace.

      • wijayapala

        Sam Alexander, you still do not understand. In a divorce, the ex-wife will normally move away from the ex-husband. In your mind, you think that this would be equivalent to creating a separate Tamil state. But this is not equivalent because that Tamil state would be right next to the Sinhala state (unless you propose creating Tamil Eelam in Antarctica). That is why your analogy fails. It is very simple but you seem to be unable to grasp that.

        It sounds like you are on the believe that even the UN cannot partition Sorry Lanka to solve the crisis, if it has decided to do so.

        The UN has no authority to partition Sri Lanka. Sorry!

      • Sam Alexander

        Dear Wijayapala,
        You have stated the following.

        “But this is not equivalent because that Tamil state would be right next to the Sinhala state (unless you propose creating Tamil Eelam in Antarctica).”

        As I replied earlier to Garmarala, any analogy will have it strengths and weaknesses and that is the reality in life. But your above statement is not even close in testing my analogy’s limitation, as it purely speaks for proximity, and DOES NOT HAVE ANY LOGICAL IMPACT on my analogy. This would be equivalent to arguing that husband and wife are human but the Sinhala and Tamil states are not.

        You have stated the following.

        “The UN has no authority to partition Sri Lanka. Sorry!”.

        Have you ever heard about Kosovo or South Sudan recently where the UN was able to separate countries to solve ehnic issues that were not otherwise solevable?

        And let me conclude with the same stement I made for Dr.R.N.

        “Again, we can go on and on, and lose focus by discussing the very minute details never agreeing on anything and it is a perfectly normal scenario making the existance of the courts (UN) all valuable.

        The husband / wife analogy is the best to simplyfy the Sorry Lanaka’s ethnic problem even though it may have its own limitations as any other analogies.

        Finally, I believe that I have written enough of the husand / wife analogy to make my point and let me thank GV once more for providing me the space to make my case”.

      • wijayapala

        Dear Sam

        This would be equivalent to arguing that husband and wife are human but the Sinhala and Tamil states are not.

        That is exactly why your analogy lacks any logic.

        Have you ever heard about Kosovo or South Sudan recently where the UN was able to separate countries to solve ehnic issues that were not otherwise solevable?

        The UN did not create those countries. Kosovo was split off by NATO, and Sudan had agreed to the creation of South Sudan.

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Sam Alexander,

      “Really?”.

      Yes. The terror perpetrated on the Tamils and other peoples by the LTTE probably even surpassed those of the GOSL or its minions in qualitative, quantitative, social and economic terms. On the issue of breaking agreements in the post-militancy era, the LTTE equaled the GOSL’s defaults in a previous era. The LTTE perfidy was on quite a grand scale. They were trained by India and then murdered her Prime Minister. They accepted money from India and then turned against India. To do this president Premadasa paid them handsomely and supplied them with weapons. They had an extensive honeymoon with Premadasa and then killed him. They received money from presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapakse’s side to make the Tamils boycott the elections. The fingers of few Tamils who ventured to disobey, were cut by the LTTE! Almost all ceasefire agreements collapsed on the initiatives of the LTTE. The LTTE breached the Norway sponsored ceasefire agreement more extensively in number and severity than the GOSL and led the Tamils into their worst tragedy. In terms of the results this perfidy is probably worse than any committed by the GOSL. The worst was their betrayal of the Tamil people!

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Sam Alexander,

        I should have also said above that after agreeing to indirectly and immorally back the Rajapakse candidacy in exchange for money ( I am sure there was also some sort of agreement/understanding relating to other matters in the background) and helping him get elected, the LTTE went ahead to further breach the ceasefire agreement with impunity and resorted to grandstanding at the subsequent Geneva conferences. During the Mavil Aru episode the LTTE demanded millions of rupees in exchange for letting the waters flow. This was sheer blackmail- worse than breaching agreements. They instigated the war in defiance of an internationally sponsored and supervised ceasefire and the Tamils paid a price they could ill-afford!

        How will you explain such perfidy in terms of your battering husband and brutalized wife analogy?

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

      • Sam Alexander

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,
        You have asked me the following.
        “ How will you explain such perfidy in terms of your battering husband and brutalized wife analogy?”

        I am not going to going into the details on what you have listed as we will be distracted off the point and further more there will be never be an agreement between us as on these details as we have determined earlier. Also we will be doing is deviating and destracting ourselves from the husband / wife anology. We need to stict to the overall perspective to stay on the point and to see how the husband / wife analogy fits the bill for Sorry Lanka’s issue.

        As I stated earlier, the democractically agitating wife was met with violence from her husband for a period of 30+ years. Only after that she realized that this man will never treat her with respect and equally and started to use violence againt her husband. Therefore, going by that 30 years, the wife already had the moral high ground in this mariage and had all the reasons to go into the war. The husband on the other hand by his arroangant behaviour did not have any moral ground and resonsible for this dire situation and war.

        The husbnad enjoys a better social status and is a well connected man holding a more demanding position comparing to his wife, who does not enjoy simailar status or position. The more your status, comes the more responsibility and accoutability. Therefore the ELECTED GOSL (and Sinhalese by its extension) is held MORE responsible and accountable in comparison to a GROUP (and it would be a weaker argument to extend as Tamils as they were NEVER ELECTED the LTTE, but lets still make it) for all the crimes committed in the eyes of the world. Therefore, we could still faily state that the Tamils still had a RELATIVELY higher moral grounds during the war period too.

        Now that the war ended, the world has seen enough of the arrogant behaviour of the husband for the past 3 years towards his wife and refusing to treat her with respect and equally.– The Tamils are still moral high grounds in Sorry Lanka’s issue.

        Again, we can go on and on, and lose focus by discussing the very minute details never agreeing on anything and it is a perfectly normal scenario making the existance of the courts (UN) all valuable.
        The husband / wife analogy is the best to simplyfy the Sorry Lanaka’s ethnic problem even though it may have its own limitations as any other analogies.

        Finally, I believe that I have written enough of the husand / wife analogy to make my point and let me thank GV once more for providing me the space to make my case.

        Thank you all.

      • Off the Cuff

        “How will you explain such perfidy in terms of your battering husband and brutalized wife analogy?”

        By talking through his hat as usual …..!!!

    • Bira

      Dear Sam,

      Following is a comment by the Americans themselves about the bona-fides of your ‘Prosecuters” the USA Govt.

      Powerful and courageous Op-Ed in the NY Times by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Although he doesn’t mention Obama by name the implication is clear. I really think the only way anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together can still support our bankster Puppet in Chief and murderer of American citizens, Barack Obama, is due to an incapacity to mentally accept that he is as bad as if not worse than George W. Bush (at least he was a thug to your face).

      Key quotes:
      Recent legislation has made legal the president’s right to detain a person indefinitely on suspicion of affiliation with terrorist organizations or “associated forces,” a broad, vague power that can be abused without meaningful oversight from the courts or Congress (the law is currently being blocked by a federal judge). This law violates the right to freedom of expression and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, two other rights enshrined in the declaration.

      In addition to American citizens’ being targeted for assassination or indefinite detention, recent laws have canceled the restraints in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to allow unprecedented violations of our rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications. Popular state laws permit detaining individuals because of their appearance, where they worship or with whom they associate.

      I would also like to add this excellent quote by Noam Chomsky, which I got from Glenn Greenwald’s latest:

      My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.

      The whole article can be read here-it will give you the shivers- when you read how USA Govt. attacks their own citizens and others. The GOSL are angels by comparison you think?

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/opinion/americas-shameful-human-rights-record.html?_r=2

    • Bira

      Dear Sam,

      Some more comments by Ex-President Carter:

      “Despite an arbitrary rule that any man killed by drones is declared an enemy terrorist, the death of nearby innocent women and children is accepted as inevitable. After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homes this year in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has demanded that such attacks end, but the practice continues in areas of Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen that are not in any war zone. We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times.”

      ” Meanwhile, the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, now houses 169 prisoners. About half have been cleared for release, yet have little prospect of ever obtaining their freedom. American authorities have revealed that, in order to obtain confessions, some of the few being tried (only in military courts) have been tortured by waterboarding more than 100 times or intimidated with semiautomatic weapons, power drills or threats to sexually assault their mothers. Astoundingly, these facts cannot be used as a defense by the accused, because the government claims they occurred under the cover of “national security.” Most of the other prisoners have no prospect of ever being charged or tried either.

      At a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe, the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends.”

      I don’t think that GOSL is this bad; but you insist on USA and the West to be our arbiter. I don’t know why.

      • Sam Alexander

        Bira,
        You have stated the following.

        “I don’t think that GOSL is this bad; but you insist on USA and the West to be our arbiter. I don’t know why.”

        I have already answered this question. We are talking about two different cases here.

        CASE1: There is a problem between the husband and wife and the case is at the courts (UN) now.

        CASE2: The husband’s lawyers are questioning the prosecutor’s own record.

        We cannot mix these cases up. Well, the husband and his lawywers would love to mix them up to make CASE1 a mistrial so he can continue the abuse and be in control of his wife’s property and destiny. But, if the jurros (UN nations) believe that the prosecutor are doing an excellent job in briging justice to CASE1 (like how they supported in UNHRC resolution), regardless of the prosecutor’s own record, thats all it matters. The husband and his lawywers can make any accusations against the prosecutors but there will be no effect on case1.

        But the husband and his lawywers have an option to file a case against the prosecutor, who happens to be the world’s super power, and try their luck in making a dent on the prosecutor’s reputation, and that would be CASE2.

        Good luck and I rest my case.