Sri Lanka’s Global Vulnerability & the Devolution Conundrum

FM India

Photo courtesy The Hindustan Times/AP

A society or state that demonstrates repeated violent convulsions over a fairly prolonged period such as decades does so because of a deep underlying problem. In the case of Sri Lanka this is the problem of the relations between the Sinhalese, Tamils and the state or to put it another way, the problem between the North and South or centre and periphery.  A problem of this sort is usually classified as a Nationalities Question or an ethno-national or ethno-regional question.  Insofar as it has a territorial dimension, it cannot but require a solution that is also has a territorial aspect.  In order to resolve the issue of the permanent political alienation of the Tamil people of the North of Sri Lanka, an alienation that had been aggravated to one of active armed antagonism, it is necessary to reform the state so as to provide the North with a moderate though irreducible measure of political and economic autonomy, calibrated carefully so that it is of a centripetal rather than centrifugal nature. Provincial devolution and more specifically the 13th amendment is the only bridge across the island’s North-South fault-line.

If a society does not engage in the necessary reform by its own internal process, it either self destructs through rupture or decay, or invites external agency which imposes such reforms.

While Sri Lanka’s victory in 2009 addressed one vital dimension of the problem, that of an armed separatist challenge, a secessionist war reunified our state and returned to it our natural borders, it cannot have resolved or even addressed the underlying problem. It has cleared away a basic obstacle to the resolution of that problem, namely the secessionist-terrorist armed force, opened up space and bought us time for its resolution.

The problem however remains and if unresolved it is likely to invite external intervention. If aggravated by the unilateral abrogation or drastic diminution of the 13th amendment as recommended by the JHU, NFF and BBS, that likelihood is greater.

Given the current and evolving balance of forces in the concentric circles of Sri Lanka’s immediate and far flung environs, we stand in danger of losing our present borders. If we persist with a paradigm and in a policy of Sinhala Buddhist domination, we stand in danger of being shrunk to precisely the contours of those areas in which the Sinhala –Buddhist constitute a majority and shall be shorn of our periphery by external agency, reducing our state to a position it has retreated to for not insignificant periods of its history, to some point that is not coextensive with our borders as an island.

The young SWRD Bandaranaike’s central contention, one may say central theoretical contention, of 1925-26 was correct. He said that he knows of no country which has a heterogeneous population that has prospered with a centralised form of rule. I would add the caveat that there are such countries, but they survive and prosper because of (a) the equality of citizenship and the separation of church and state, or (b) the supplementation of such equality and secularism, such lack of privilege for any one language, ethnicity or religion, with a measure of autonomy at the periphery or (c) the balancing off of any degree of privilege with a measure of autonomy at the periphery.  This is why SWRD negotiated the Pact with Chelvanayakam, following the Sinhala Only legislation a year earlier. He understood that having sundered the social and political contract that underlay the Soulbury Constitution and the governing perspective of DS Senanayaka, he had to balance it off, by the compensatory move of a measure of regional autonomy which however remained within a non-federal state (the Soulbury commission having correctly rejected the federal model). This trade-off could not be effected due to the agitation in the South and the unhelpful political stance of the Federal party. There was a third reason. As A Sivanandan was to note in passing in a major essay in Race and Class, the powerful Left parties, which were to lash Bandaranaike with strike action later, did not throw their considerable weight in support of the B-C pact. The abortion in the face of protest of the B-C pact of ’57 was one of Sri Lanka’s tragic ‘lost opportunities’ to use the title of a book by Kethesh Loganathan (murdered by the Tigers), which sums up our post independence story.

The international community includes global public opinion but primarily consists of the global interstate system. Sri Lanka has forfeited the support of important members of the Non Aligned Movement who supported us in 2009 and who DO NOT have a Tamil Diaspora. That erosion could have been forestalled had Sri Lanka retained the support of India, which is the most important ‘ swing state’ as far as Sri Lanka’s fate is concerned in the international arena and whose attitude is significantly determined by our commitment to and progress in the political resolution of the Tamil Question. To put it bluntly and at the risk of some caricature: the 13th amendment swings India, India swings the Non Aligned and may well swing or neutralise the BRICS.

All the Tamil leaders who stood against the Tigers – those of the PLOT, EPRLF, EPDP and TULF (Mr Anandasangaree) stand precisely for province based devolution. Prabhakaran however went to war against it and the ‘Tiger agents’ (based mainly in Tamil Nadu and the West based Diaspora) are vociferous in their rejection of the 13th amendment with the same derision that the JHU-NFF displays, only for the opposite reasons.

The Serb nationalists regarded Kosovo as part of their ancient historical heritage; indeed as most sacred to Serbian Orthodox Christianity. When President Milosevic attempted to explain this to US Representative Richard Holbrooke, the latter’s answer, famously was “I don’t give a damn what happened over half a millennia ago; we’re living now.”  The world doesn’t care about competing historical claims. It does care, increasingly, that the Tamil problem seems to have been going on unresolved for decades. Frankly, the Tamils look a heck of a lot better in the eyes of the world than do the Sinhalese right now, both as high achievers (White House Award winner Prof Sivananthan) and victims. Time is not on the side of the Sinhalese. If we don’t replenish our ‘soft power’, and the Sinhala hawks continue with their recidivism, an effective enough global consensus may crystallize in favour of divorce, with our friends sitting on the fence as they did in 1987.

None of this is purely speculative. We had a narrow shave in 1987. Some of us don’t seem to have learned the lesson. The next time someone comes in, they won’t leave and they’ll have some multinational or multilateral fig-leaf. Given the military balance, we won’t be able to force them out. The JHU-NFF –BBS and the opinion-leaders of the Sinhala hawks don’t seem to live in the same period of post-Cold War history that the rest of the world does, in which states (not solely Yugoslavia) have been broken up or have broken up before our eyes and new ones have been recognised. India has withstood all these trends.

The Sinhala hawks seem dangerously unaware that when Georgia, its military beefed up by NATO assistance, attempted to unilaterally tear up the peace agreement with Ossetia and South Abkhazia, Russia intervened. Those areas are no longer part of Georgia. The Sinhala hardliners are also oblivious to the fact that when Serbia challenged the independence declaration of Kosovo, the International Court of Justice opined that secession did not violate the fundamentals of international law.

Most pertinently, the Sinhala neoconservatives seem ignorant of the area of academic specialisation of one of the members of the UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts’ report (the ‘Darusman Report’) on Sri Lanka, Prof Stephen Ratner of the USA. His speciality is the issue of borders of new states and one his arguments is that when a pre-existing parent state triggers secession by unilaterally abrogating the autonomy of an existing province and leading eventually to the creation of a new state, the borders of the new state are or should be on the basis of prolonged possession and should constitute the boundaries of that pre-existing province the autonomy of which was unilaterally abrogated.  (‘Drawing a Better Line: Uti Possidetis and the Borders of New States’, Steven R. Ratner, the American Journal of International Law, Vol. 90, No. 4 Oct., 1996, pp. 590-624).  Surely the dangers of unilateral abrogation of provincial devolution, the 13th amendment and in effect the Indo-Lanka Accord should be obvious.

When the far more powerful military of a superpower, the Soviet Union, was unable to hold that multinational state together, India has stayed united. It must not be taken to mean that the Indian model has kept that country free from secessionist violence or border conflicts. The evidence however shows that these violent conflicts have been manageably contained and often dampened. What is remarkable is that unity has been sustained in the face of such enormous diversity, precisely by accommodating such diversity. The “idea of India” (as Shashi Tharoor among others have put it), transcending such multinational and multi religious diversity and cross border influence has been a striking achievement, in stark contrast to the failure to generate fealty to an idea of Sri Lanka outside of cricket matches and an idea of being Sri Lankan which is not a synonym for Sinhalese or Sinhala Buddhist. India has a greater percentage of Hindus than Sri Lanka has of Sinhala Buddhists and yet, it resisted the temptation, despite the partition and emergence of Pakistan as an Islamic state, despite the murder of Gandhi by a Hindu fanatic, of declaring itself as anything but secular. It is the combination of (a) a unifying vision of India, (b) quasi federalism (linguistic regions/states), (c) secularism, (d) democracy, (e) the retention of the English language at the upper reaches of the state apparatus, education and the parliamentary process, supported by the might of the Indian armed forces that has kept India together in the face of all odds, and the breakup of both empires and multinational states. In short, it is India’s soft power together with its hard power, and not its hard power alone or pre-eminently, that is the secret of India’s unity and consolidation as a nation.

The ideological tribe of Sinhala supremacists live in a mental universe of ‘Sri Lankan exceptionalism’, as distinct from a justified notion of Sri Lankan specificity. Therefore, not merely any notion of universality but any recourse to comparative politics (pioneered by Aristotle) has to be abandoned!

What then is the bottom-line strategic equation? Permit me to quote a scholar from the faculty of the London School of Economics, Prof Peter Lyon:

“Geopolitically, the rise of new strategic bases will promote the rise of India, as it is this power, more than any other state, which is leading this base building process. Unsurprisingly, the India bases are more ambitious and almost certainly will be more potent, than those of other littorals. In the long run, they likely will serve a function—both militarily and symbolically—analogous to such past or present US bases in Pearl Harbour and Corregidor, ‘strategic bastions’ that were key markers in America’s march to regional and ultimately global power’. (‘South Asia and the Major Powers in the Early 21st Century’, 2004).

However, in the contrasting strategic perception of the Sinhala hawks, India could strike us from any one of its long–standing bases and therefore the opening of a brand new base in Tanjavur Tamil Nadu, together with the stationing of its most lethal warplane, is of no relevance whatsoever to Sri Lanka and should not enter our calculus; not even when China and Pakistan exist not to the south of India but to its East and West, and India already has a naval airbase in the South from which it can monitor the sea-lanes.  It may be safe to speculate that these Sinhala neoconservatives will dismiss as profoundly irrelevant, a little detail that  caught my attention, namely that in his remarks at the opening of the new air-base, India’s Defence Minister MK Anthony found it necessary to make a passing reference to Sri Lanka.

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Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka is a member of the International Expert Group (INTEG) of SECURITY INDEX, a Russian Journal on International Security; the ‘academic and policy quarterly journal’ of the Russian Centre for Policy Studies, Moscow-Geneva-Monterrey.

  • http://- Sam Thambipillai

    The resolution in the UNHRC instructed Sri Lanka(SL) to solve the ethnic problem.

    Both the UNP and the UPFA are addressing issues outside the ethnic problem instead of addressing the problem itself.

    The rebel and unilateral constitution of SL in 1972- in Southern Rhodesian style in 1965 by racist Ian Smith- by and for Sinhala Buddhist citizens only, was the problem. Rightly and democratically, the predominantly Tamil North and East, voted in 1977, for Tamil Eelam(TE) as an independent sovereign state.

    This is the ethnic problem and will remain so for 100 years and even more until resolved.

    The following are issues arising from the problem, mistaken as the problem itself;

    1. Liberation war by Tamil combatants.
    2. Indo Lanka Accord and the 13th amendment to
    the illegal and fraudulent constitution.
    3. War crimes and genocide of Tamils.
    4. And now, an attempt to establish a “unitary state”,
    again in rebellion, against the UNHRC resolution,
    by the Sinhala Buddhist.

    It is very clear that SL could not address the ethnic problem for the past 41 years and cannot address the problem.

    Therefore, the UN must intervene and resolve the ethnic problem by its own mechanism.

  • http://harendra.blogspot.com haren

    Dr. Jayatilleka, while agreeing with your conclusion, I wish to raise an alternate thesis on India’s fedaral model.
    India has never been ‘a unitary state’ before colonial times. It was the British who created the idea of ‘India’ but it was a fragile idea right from the start – as the partition of Pakistak demostrated. Ever since, India has been fighting to maintain the union of the multitude of nations. Indeed the fact that India has remained a unitary state is a testament to the blrilliance of its constitution making and costitutional governance, but it I would contend that it was the fear of state fracture rather than paranoi… err, caution against the neo colonialism, that kept India from opening out to the world both politically using a policy of non-alignment and economically using protectionist market policies for daecades after independance. Even today, with so much power devolved to the states, it seems the cost of maintaining the union is holding back the pace of its progress. Given, its strategic geographic location, population and ‘democracy’, India should have become a great power in Asia by now. But what we have to our north instead is a fragile unitary state that is rife with inequality and assymetric development both among its constituent states and among social classes. Do you think there is room to revise the lessons that Sri Lanka should draw from the Indian experience?

  • Sinhala_voice

    What is the ethnic crisis:

    1.is that the Tamils in northern province and arguably eastern province does not have right to maintain that part of the country as a Tamil hegemonic state ?

    2.is it that the current unitary constitution does not enough checks and balances that the legislature , judiciary or the executive can if it wishes act against any interest which they think is appropriate ?

    3. Is it related to the fact that we don’t have a independent public service ?

    I think we have to think hard to devise a proper unitary state then see what are the issues raised by various ethnic groups.

    Otherwise , the country would have to be divided into the 3 main ethnic groups Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala.

    It is not going to be a major problem for Sinhala people but I can see major issues for other ethnic groups.

    Also it is important realise the distinction between politicians and ethnic groups. There is commonality between politicians of all ethnic groups but there are many differences between ethnic groups.

    Reconciliation is possible between ethnic groups but I doubt reconciliation is ever possible between politicians. Because that if fundamentally against the game they play , that increasing there power and influence over a group.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Dr Dayan Jayatilleke,

    Your analysis is very pragmatic. I too support devolution complete with Land and Police powers, in so far as that devolution is Just and Equitable. But the question is, does the 13A, as it stands, meet that requirement?

    There is no argument about the birth of the 13A, it was neither a product of consensus within the Sri Lankan Polity nor was it a reflection of Sri Lankan party politics within the Sri Lankan polity (as the Constitutions that came after independence were). It was a product of the threat of force and intimidation by a govt that trained terrorists and unleashed terrorism against Sri Lanka for self serving Strategic Interests.

    At independence, Sri Lanka became an undivided Sovereign State with Internationally recognised borders. It had no border disputes with any other country. In 1955, seven years after independence, she became a member of the UN, as a sovereign and independent State.

    I think arguments based on History are inane though they are necessary to counter similar arguments put forward claiming exclusive ethnic territories.

    The resources of a country should benefit it’s population. Water and Land are primary resources without which life itself cannot be supported.

    Under Colonial rule, Sri Lanka had a Public land holding of 85% and a Private Land holding of 15%. How that came about is apparent when The Crown Land Enforcement Ordinance of 1840, The Crown Land Encroachment Ordinance of 1840, Land Settlement Ordinance of 1889, The Waste Land Ordinance Act of 1897 etc. and policies of Land alienation are studied.

    The Provincial boundaries does not reflect land occupation by inhabitants but executive action by the British, to Administer their revenue generation. It is in pursuit of the revenue generation that the colonial govts imported foreign labour that led to untold hardship amongst the indigenous population and the descendants of the Alien Labour, which exist even to this day. These descendants are today, Sri Lankan Citizens, with the same constitutional rights as the indigenes, which undoubtedly should be the case. In 1881, there were 345,000 Indigenous Tamils (approx) and 345,000 Alien Tamils. The Aliens were concentrated in the Central Highlands and the indigenes lost their lands and livelihoods as a result. This is not a factor that can be overlooked, if Justice and Equitability is a concern.

    These policies of non indigenous govts have created what is termed today as an Ethnic problem. I see it more as an economic issue, a struggle to take control of Land.

    Today the Public land holding has decrease to 80% while the Private land holding has increased to 20%.

    Does the 13A allow for the sharing of this Public Land holding of 80% in a Just manner? If not (my understanding is it doesn’t), why should it not be amended to ensure a Just and Equitable benefit accruing to the Lankan population? Would that be possible later? What are the arguments against delimitation to divest the disproportionate Public Land holding within a Province (which exist in the North and East and should not be exempt anywhere else either) and bringing it under Central control, when that could be done without harming the ethnic distribution within a Province and by corollary the political aspirations?

    Would the blocking of any river, all of which originate from the Central Hills and using it exclusively for the benefit of the Highlanders be acceptable?

    I will address the secular issue in a later post.

  • Aia

    A best article for Sinhala Supremacists advising quashes their resistance to find a lasting solution before such actions paving the way for a foreign intervention to help find one. The author’s concern that the next such intervention, unlike in the 1987, would end up in redefining the boundaries of the provinces existed long before, quoting an article written by Steven Ratner is yet another thought for the hawks to really ponder for.

    We have had enough treaties, pacts, agreements, etc. since the independence, but what we knew in hindsight is whatever in it were not worth the paper, but treating such documents similar to how we use and discard a white good appliance’s catalogue is quite common in SL. Amid big fanfare, Politicians of the past and even some of the present ones used to sit around round, oval, square, hexagon, octagon, and whatever table shapes available for that matter and writes something on a paper was the norm, but then no one knows what had happened to the papers even let alone the matters in it. It was just done that way with the intent to deal with a specific issue of the day, at a given time: that is how it should be seen. Politicians of both sides are culpable. The main players of the game and unfortunately, who the ones were calling the shots knew full well that what matters most was the implementation of the stuffs in those papers. What we have gone through was the result of effective subverting the implementation of such efforts; how many lost their lives, from both sides. The best thing about Indo-Lanka pact was is its enactment as 13th Amendment into the constitution. Even such measure does not stop the so called patriotic Sri Lankans from subverting the implementation of it in its entirety. To not implement what is in the constitution is illegal, but such persons who should be held responsible for the inaction are handsomely rewarded. At least to show outside world that we do religiously respect our constitution, the 13th amendment needs to be repealed. If necessary, it can be substituted with a 13 plus or minus as appropriate. I say 13 plus or minus because, 13 is to fool GoI; plus to cheat IC; and minus is the nett benefit to the minorities despite it being tagged as a plus. Before we proudly claim in front of the world that Tamil is also an (not the!) official language, we should look back as to who and how it was made possible. Although Mr Obama says, for him, they all look same, how many lives we had to loose before we reverse the Sinhala only ideology.

    If one reads the 13th, there is no need to invent as a solution now, just implement in full what has been provided in the constitution and see if a hegemonic Tamil State as some one suggests here emerges- an excuse to incite fear in moderates. When it implemented in full, the vocal worriers in Diaspora will have to shut their mouths, sooner or later. The best opportunity is, as author points out the opposing voice of LTTE is silenced, being missed.

    Alternative is to find a new solution. Experience is the Sri Lankan politics have time and again proven that they were not capable of resolving this issue by themselves utilising party politics, and they need help; India helped UNP led GoSL then, and yet again the current GoSL seems needed; it needed more than what the big neighbour could provide. The GoSL knew if it did find a solution on its own, it would be a death knell for it future politics. For this very reason, although it had solely engaged in discussions with TNA, later it passed the bucks to the PSC. Against this backdrop, I would not have any hope on a solution devised internally. Yes, sometimes miracles happen, even if they found something with other parties collaboration, I am, as with those who knew the history of attempts made previously to resolve this issue, damn sure it will not be implemented. Honesty and commitment are the necessity for implementation. If not, such solution would not last even for a term of the parliament. So, the IC should selflessly help GoSL find a lasting solution, which will be implemented in perpetuity.

    To find a lasting solution internally, the urge should come from within, based on the long term future needs of SL, not just to please the majority hard liners, with the view to holding on the reign of power. Nor does it come to please GoI or the IC. Unfortunately, I have not seen the maturity from whom it matters most, instead what we see is high pitched rhetoric of heroism and triumphalism, which even breaks the vote-getting tactics threshold to the extent of inciting racial hatred. Not complaining, but even this respected author Dr DJ, devotes the first, and the only paragraph in highlighting the needs to find a territory based solution on its own rights and devolve powers, the rest goes on highlighting the need to retain the 13th and put soft diplomacy in action to quell the threats faced by SL if not find a solution soon of its own, and such solution would be much worse than what it could provide by itself. So act, act now before it was too little and too late, heed to the advice of a scholar, who knew what he speaks, status of foreign affairs in particular. Make this comments because I like a unitary SL, and she is in control of itsown affairs.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Aia,

      As I have outlined in my post of 06/09/2013 • 10:22 am addressed to Dr. DJ, I support devolution and a Modified 13A that ensures a Just and Equitable solution. The 13A in it’s present form is neither Just or Equitable.

      You wrote “The best thing about Indo-Lanka pact was is its enactment as 13th Amendment into the constitution”

      Has it been accepted by the Tamil political Leaders? I believe the TNA has rejected it.

      “Even such measure does not stop the so called patriotic Sri Lankans from subverting the implementation of it in its entirety”

      Why are you blaming the Sinhalese when the Tamils have rejected it entirely? Easier to play the race card?

      “To not implement what is in the constitution is illegal,”

      The 13A is a result of a treaty between the Govts of Sri Lanka and India. The treaty had obligations that had to be met by the Govt of India and GOSL. GOSL abided by her obligations but the GOI failed to do so. Hence if you are discussing legalities the treaty can be legaly abrogated by GOSL, citing default by GOI.

      “At least to show outside world that we do religiously respect our constitution, the 13th amendment needs to be repealed. If necessary, it can be substituted with a 13 plus or minus as appropriate. I say 13 plus or minus because, 13 is to fool GoI;”

      I don’t think so. It was the GOI that strong armed and then fooled GOSL. If GOI kept her word and met her obligations under the Indo Lanka Treaty many Sri Lankan lives would have been saved including that of Prbhakaran. Then there would not have been a war crime cry against SL. No IDPs, No Human Shields, No Darusman Report, no Petrie report, No Channel 4 Lies, No Times of London Lies, No UNCHR resolutions against SL, No Alstons, No Gordon Weisss and most of all no external govts and NGO’s trying to muddy the waters.

      • George

        There will always be voices opposed to ANY agreement, for instance even the highly successful northern Ireland Good Friday agreement have its critics. Same with many other agreements but the 13th amendment was a deal signed by the government of Sri Lanka, either they should implement it fully or throw it out !
        No point pointing fingers at minority parties like TNA or for that matter JHU/BBS..etc

        Implementing legislation is the governments duty not the opposition parties ! There will always be opposition from somewhere for every piece of legislation, the government choose to ignore all opposition including TNA/UNP/JVP on the 18th amendment so why blame the TNA for this? Your racist slip is showing I am afraid !

        • J Fernando

          Racists on both sides of the conflict, Tamil and Sinhalese have contributed to this 30 year war and we are still healing. Unfortunately my own people have forgotten the trauma we went through very quickly.

          Maybe people like ‘off the cuff’ never volunteered to fight (like several of my cousins) or lost loved ones, of the 3 cousins who joined (navy + army) we lost one of them at the elephant pass attack.
          I guess as they say, a leopard never loses his spots and racists their hatred of the ‘other’.

          Time to stop blaming this that and the other and see what YOU can do to bring peace, we (and I mean the majority community ) don’t war and we certainly don’t want to go through what we went due to cardboard heroes like off the cuff(or should I say keyboard heroes).

          • Off the Cuff

            Hi J Fernando,

            Are you well?

            Have we seen any arguments presented by you on GV, either for or against devolution? Don’t you have the intellectual capacity to rise above ad hominems and present a logical argument?

            You claimed to be a Buddhist and a good Buddhist at that. You claimed to be a Sinhalese but how many comments have you made in defence of either? Did you find the writings of Usha of the TGTE under the “Sri Lankas Numbers Game” article FACTUAL? If so why did you not support her? If not why did you not oppose her?

            I guess that’s too much to expect from a man who lies about his ethnicity and religion and just about anything else under the sun. Today you have spun another yarn about your Martyr cousins. Even if true, their bravery is not a Fig Leaf that will cover your cowardice. Not all the GV readers are fools you know.

            You see “J Fernando” it is not difficult to remove that cloak you are wearing to reveal the real you.

            The article in this thread is about the consequences of devolution. I have stated my position very clearly and I hope you can digest it. I believe in devolving power to the Tamils Justly and Equitably.

            Are you against that? If so why?

            Let’s hear your views for a change please. You have a mind of your own don’t you?

        • Off the Cuff

          Dear George,

          I believe you have got hold of the wrong end of the stick, I support the 13A including the devolution of the controversial Police and Land powers, provided the UNJUST and INEQUITABLE provisions within it are removed.

          Yes of course ANY agreement will have its opponents but does not ANY agreement involve more than ONE party? The Good Friday agreement was between the two adversaries, the UK govt and the IRA terrorists. Where are the Terrorists (or what remains of it) represented in the Indo Lanka Agreement?

          You are very naive to compare the Indo Lanka agreement that has no participation of the Terrorist adversary with the Good Friday agreement that HAS participation of the Terrorist adversary. The ONLY agreement that even comes close to the Good Friday agreement is the Thimpu Agreement. And who abrogated that George?

          ” There will always be opposition from somewhere for every piece of legislation,…”

          Of course, If you were a murderer you would oppose any legislation on murder. If you were a thief you would do likewise about legislation intend to curb that. But then unless you were a legislator that would not matter does it?

          “the government choose to ignore all opposition including TNA/UNP/JVP on the 18th amendment”

          Are you advocating a similar approach on the 13A?
          Do you want the govt to use its steam roller majority and crush Tamil opinion? Don’t be daft George, you may be myopic but I am not.

          “so why blame the TNA for this?”

          What have I blamed the TNA of?
          I asked a question based on a FACT.
          Are you afraid of facts?
          Can you please let us know whether the TNA that is globetrotting claiming to represent Tamil opinion, has accepted the 13A?

          Does the TNA really represent Tamil Opinion? Think about it. Who elected the TNA? A minority of Tamils in the North and East or the Majority of Tamils of Lanka? The Tamil majority are not resident in the North or East but are registered electors outside the N and E and hence did not vote for the TNA.

          “Your racist slip is showing I am afraid !”

          A racist who supports devolution including Land and Police powers to the Tamils? That is rich and an obvious affront to your own intelligence! Is that the slip or the striped tail that is showing?

          Please understand that that my comment that you have responded to was written within the context of Aia’s comment. It does not represent all of my views about Devolution. That is briefly stated in my comment addressed to Dr. DJ. Please express your views about devolution and the 13A and enrich this discussion.

          • J Fernando

            Off the cuff,
            I have commented extensively and widely against people who are for separatism, including Usha (the senator as she calls herself), I am not going to spend my time pasting links to my earlier posts criticizing her, you can do that and find them.

            As for defending Buddhism, its a world religion, it stands on its own, it does not need people to defend it, if Buddhism as accepted by the world is not powerful enough to withstand a few insults from LTTE people then its not worthy to be called a world religion, I don’t need to defend it -its beyond reproach !
            (shows I guess how much you know about REAL Buddhism).

            My views on the 13A are, its already in the constitution, implement it fully !

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear ‘J Fernando’,

            You wrote “I have commented extensively and widely against people who are for separatism, including Usha”

            Really? Really? Really?

            Let’s see how that stands up to inquiry shall we?

            There is a very popular article on GroundViews which is still drawing comments (176 comments and counting) written by Padraig Coleman and Irishman. http://groundviews.org/2013/05/28/sri-lankas-numbers-game/)

            Usha wrote the FIRST comment on 05/28/2013 • 6:04 am. It was FULL of LIES and DECEPTION.
            (http://groundviews.org/2013/05/28/sri-lankas-numbers-game/#comment-53417)

            I wrote the SECOND comment on 05/28/2013 • 9:30 am and exposed her Lies.
            (http://groundviews.org/2013/05/28/sri-lankas-numbers-game/#comment-53421)

            You rushed to DEFEND Usha on 05/28/2013 • 4:21 pm.
            (http://groundviews.org/2013/05/28/sri-lankas-numbers-game/#comment-53437)

            Since then you posted the following 05/29/2013 • 4:23 pm, In defence of Usha.

            The author Padraig Colman says
            Usha: I have tried several times to read this but the screaming capitals give me a migraine. J Fernando thinks I am trying to censor you when i reply to you so I will let you have the last word and not comment on this.

            This 176 post thread carries 2 comments from you and a multitude of comments from Usha. BOTH of your comments are in defence of Usha and you unashamedly claims you have commented EXTENSIVELY and WIDELY against her!

            Your Very First Post appeared in May 2013.

            If anyone can believe what you say, then they can believe that Pigs Fly and Cows Jump over the Moon too.

            Good Luck convincing the GV readership of your bonafide about your ethnicity, your religion and your integrity.

            Kind Regards
            OTC

      • Aia

        Dear off the cuff:

        Thought it appropriate to provide a response for the matters you raised, hope it dispels your doubts- that is it, no more.

        Has it been accepted by the Tamil political Leaders? I believe the TNA has rejected it.

        I am talking about the mandatory requirement of implementing a constitutional law. You are providing a dodgy response saying GoSL doesn’t want to implement it because some one has not accepted or a group has rejected. So much for the consideration that GoSL has given for the views of Tamil Politicians and TNA, can it get any better?

        Why are you blaming the Sinhalese when the Tamils have rejected it entirely? Easier to play the race card?

        Did I blame Sinhalese or Tamils in my comments; I said the responsibility sits with the so called patriotic Sri Lankans. I was actually referring to the politicians, the patriotism they show sometimes too good to be real. They do not seem to see the long term needs of the country but what they look for are some spoils for themselves. I do not have any qualm with what you wrote, it is the prejudicial mind set that used to look for S and T in every thing we do: whether be it writing or speeking, etc. was in action when you read my response I suppose.

        The 13A is a result of a treaty between the Govts of Sri Lanka and India. The treaty had obligations that had to be met by the Govt of India and GOSL. GOSL abided by her obligations but the GOI failed to do so. Hence if you are discussing legalities the treaty can be legaly abrogated by GOSL, citing default by GOI.

        Here we go again. Does this piece of legal document has any caveats in it to the effect that say if an obligation in the proceeding treaty/pact/accord was not met by either party, the implementation shall be stalled. What were the obligations that were not met by GoI? You mean they failed to get LTTE surrender its arms. Did not they fight them? What else could they do?. Did not they go when GoSL asked to leave?. Where does their arms might as you trying to portray fit into in such compliance?. On the other hand, if you sincerely accusing GoI for its failure to get LTTE for an orderly arms surrender and hold your argument that was the reason which led the 13th implementation to stall, then is not the aftermath of May 2009 was the right time to implement it; not only the arms, even the LTTE is no more. We can have all the flimsy excuses time and again to subvert any initiatives that might result in a lasting solution, but cannot hoodwink everyone. What we have been demonstrating all along is we cannot sort this issue out neither on our own nor with the help of GoI, even with Norway. Rather than blaming ourselves we try to put the blame on every one else. Had the implementation of the 13th started as soon as practically possible after the 20th May 2009, all the stuffs you said: war crimes, reports, videos, etc. would not be an issue at all. If we have a fall out with GoI that consequently resulted in any embargo or and the like, most vulnerable ones are the down trodden ones, not the patriotic dual citizenship holders. Do not you think so?.

        I did not understand what you meant by: “GOI that strong armed and then fooled GOSL”, has the status quo changed now is not it GoI still strong armed than GoSL.

        I have been reading Groundviews articles and noted the sheer volumes of contributions that you have been making of late. It is great to note you have got so much time to put your message across. It is terrific even if some were cuts-and-pastes, as someone commented before and monotonous at times, yet, important thing is, driven by something you write for a purpose and hats off for you for your resolute! However, I am afraid; I am not afforded to spend as much time as I wish. To tell you the secret, this is not something that I do for living. Need to say this because if I keep continue responding to your comments it would become like an open-ended thread, and will keep spiralling. I do not think such tit-for-tat carrying on would be neither beneficial nor tasteful to the readership. I am surprised that you have not made your comments to the first comment in this topic that Sam T made. The problems we face today are preciously the ones that arose as a result of not being able to address the original problem. Even if someone helped us resolve it, we are of a kind, do not want to accept it. Instead, we are prepared to borrow money in the name of development and fight each other and kill thousands.

        • Dev

          Could not have said it better Aia, there are some people who would twist and turn and post a dozen links to try and prove that the entire ethnic conflict is the fault of the minorities, regular readers have no doubt noted the comments by ‘off the cuff’

        • Off the Cuff

          Dear Aia,

          You claimed that “The best thing about Indo-Lanka pact was is its enactment as 13th Amendment into the constitution”

          When you say “BEST” the question arises Best for WHO?
          Is it for the Tamils?
          Is it for the Rest of the Sri Lankans?
          Is it for the Indians?

          Tamils rejected it so it can’t be “BEST” for them.
          The Rest haven’t accepted it, so it can’t be “Best” for them either.
          So how can it be the Best thing for the Sri Lankan’s?
          When you claim something please reason it out.

          You now say “I am talking about the mandatory requirement of implementing a constitutional law”

          No you are not.
          You talked about the BEST thing that came from the Indo Lanka Pact. Please don’t introduce words as you go along.

          You wrote “You are providing a dodgy response saying GoSL doesn’t want to implement it because some one has not accepted or a group has rejected. So much for the consideration that GoSL has given for the views of Tamil Politicians and TNA, can it get any better?”

          Aia, as you can see from the foregoing it is you who is being Dodgy not me. You are also being dishonest by ADDING your own words and claiming they are mine. I have not written anything about the GOSL with reference to the above. Please try to be honest.

          You wrote “Did I blame Sinhalese or Tamils in my comments;”

          You have not named the Sinhalese but unless you can show that the phrase you used “so called patriotic Sri Lankans” included Tamils, what I wrote stands. If you prove that the phrase included Tamils by giving an example I will have no hesitation in apologising.

          You wrote “I said the responsibility sits with the so called patriotic Sri Lankans. I was actually referring to the politicians, the patriotism they show sometimes too good to be real”

          No that is not what you wrote.
          This is what you actually wrote

          “Even such measure does not stop the so called patriotic Sri Lankans from subverting the implementation of it in its entirety”

          I can’t see the word “POLITICIAN” within it. May be you can. I wonder whether the other Reader’s can see it either. Perhaps Dev can see the invisible ink used, as he has congratulated you.

          Aia, introducing words and changing meanings as we go along is a very bad habit. Please be HONEST, don’t try to introduce words as what you wrote earlier is visible to anyone who reads them. You get exposed as a Cheater.

          We cannot read your mind to know what you actually refer to. Hence take care to chose your words carefully and convey what’s in your mind in your writing.

          You wrote “Does this piece of legal document has any caveats in it to the effect that say if an obligation in the proceeding treaty/pact/accord was not met by either party, the implementation shall be stalled”

          You should read the agreement.
          Apparently you haven’t.

          Parties to an agreement have their own obligations.
          If any party defaults the other parties can abrogate.
          That’s how Agreements work.

          You wrote “I did not understand what you meant by: “GOI that strong armed and then fooled GOSL”, has the status quo changed now is not it GoI still strong armed than GoSL”

          Strong Armed because they violated Sri Lankan air space with Armed Fighter planes and a threat of full scale invasion delivered by Minister External Affairs, K. Natwar Singh to the SL Ambassador, to stop the capture of Prabhakaran and ending terrorism in 1987.

          Fooled because SL was led to believe that GOI would stop the war and disarm the militants.

          You say “Had the implementation of the 13th started as soon as practically possible after the 20th May 2009, all the stuffs you said: war crimes, reports, videos, etc. would not be an issue at all.”

          It was practically possible in 1987 and was implemented against majority opinion by the SLG. The N and E was amalgamated. A Northern PC was constituted (Dr. DJ was a Minister in that I believe). The security forces were confined to barracks within 72 hours but the GOI FAILED to keep her promise of disarming terrorists within 72 hours.

          If not for the Indian intervention the alternative would have been the capture or death of Prabahkaran in 1987 and the end to Terrorism 22 years before it finally ended. Hence there is no point in speculating about the number of lives, limbs and properties saved.

          You are now speculating about the result of a UNILATERAL implementation of 13A in 2009 in the face of Tamil political opposition and rejection. The result, unfortunately, would not be what you naively assume.

          My argument about the 13A is not about extraneous trivial issues that you are trying to introduce to muddy the waters but about intrinsic issues. Issues such as embedded INJUSTICES and INEQUALITIES. Have you read and understood the 13A?

          Can you detail your reasons for calling it the BEST thing that came about from the Indo Lanka Accord when Tamil Political opinion runs counter to it?

          I support the FULL implementation of 13A with the Injustices and Inequalities removed. Do you have any objection to the removal of embedded Injustices and Inequalities?

          Now that I have dealt with our arguments on the 13A, lets look at your Ad Hominems arguments.

          “I have been reading Groundviews articles and noted the sheer volumes of contributions that you have been making of late”

          If you can call a period of around 6 years as “of late”, then I have contributed close to 3000 I believe.

          “It is great to note you have got so much time to put your message across”

          Thank you but my comments mainly dealt with countering false propaganda by the separatists who twist the Truth and attempt to portray a Sinhala Brute and a Tamil Dove when the facts prove otherwise. I have made extensive use of Tamil sources to counter the false propaganda. May be the separatists find that tough to handle and hence resort to Ad Hominems rather than debate the issues.

          Do you believe in the Truth Aia?
          Can you please tell me whether the profuse writings of Usha, Thivya, and to a lesser extent that of Burning Issue etc will foster reconciliation?

          “It is terrific even if some were cuts-and-pastes, as someone commented before and monotonous at times,”

          I agree but when the same arguments are presented by the Separatists ad infinitum (which btw you have not found monotonous) my arguments against them will have to be repeated. You don’t expect me to waste time retyping my own arguments?

          “However, I am afraid; I am not afforded to spend as much time as I wish. To tell you the secret, this is not something that I do for living. Need to say this because if I keep continue responding to your comments it would become like an open-ended thread, and will keep spiralling. I do not think such tit-for-tat carrying on would be neither beneficial nor tasteful to the readership”

          Firstly I don’t expect you to respond. It is at your sole discretion whether you should defend what you write or not. My purpose is to counter what you or anyone else writes with facts.

          Secondly my target audience is not you.
          I place FACTS before the GV readership to prevent them being mislead.

          Thirdly, I too don’t do this for a living but for the love of my country. I find the time to defend her as without us the FALSE separatist propaganda will rule the roost.

          “I am surprised that you have not made your comments to the first comment in this topic that Sam T made. The problems we face today are preciously the ones that arose as a result of not being able to address the original problem.”

          I have placed my view of what Dr. DJ wrote very clearly as the fourth comment. Has anyone (including Sam T) challenged what I have written?

          Can you state what the “Original Problem” is?
          Is it a question of an Exclusive Historical Boundary? I have very clearly stated that the North and East or any other PC should be delimited to ensure that the PUBLIC land vested in ANY PC should not exceed the National Per Capita Public Land Holding.

          This is on the PRINCIPLE that each citizen has an equal claim on Land without which life cannot be supported. Isn’t this Equality? How do you stand on this?

          “Even if someone helped us resolve it, we are of a kind, do not want to accept it.”

          Who has done that?

          “Instead, we are prepared to borrow money in the name of development and fight each other and kill thousands”

          Did you tell that to the Tamil Separatists who bank rolled Prabahkaran’s Terror to the tune of $200 million a year?

          In 1994 President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga offered the entire North to Prabhakaran sans any elections for a period of ten years, all he had to do was eschew violence.

          He not only contemptuously rejected her offer but also plunged the country back into war in 1995.

          He had a second chance to be the CM of Both N and E Provinces, if he had subscribed to the 13th Amendment and contested the PC polls in 1988.

          President Kumaratunga, took a tremendous political gamble by offering to establish Regional Councils, which went way beyond the existing Provincial Councils in terms of power sharing.

          Prabhakaran rejected that proposal before it was shot down in Parliament.

          Hence Aia, you should rethink what you said about the kind who rejects solutions.

          Hi Dev,

          Can you say it any better?

          • Inoka

            Please stick to the point in the article off the cuff, no one is interested in you having a one up on other members to massage your ego

            The discussion is on devolution, if you have something sensible then say it, if not move along, please don’t use GV as a place to try and improve your self worth
            GV is the last bastion of good reporting left in Lanka, I would like to see it continue and inspire others who have become servants to the regime to wake up and not be a ego massager for you off the cuff

  • Cas Shivas

    Decades ago C.N.Annadurai, Founder of D.M.K and the first Chief Minister to come out of that party defeated Congress Party(an All India party) in Tamil Nadu and Congress has never come back to power in that state.For decades he fought for of course through peaceful means, fora separate ‘Diravidastan’,consisting of the 4 Southern states Madras, Kerala,Kannada and Andra Pradesh but gave up that idea and only change that took place was in the name of ‘Madras State’ to ‘TamilNadu’. It is long since he died and Tamil Nadu with 7.2 crores of Tamils still stay as a state within India. It has not become a separate country. For anyone to oppose even ‘devolution’under 13A(In fact it is rule by the all powerful President through his representative,the Governor and it has most of the time been a retired Army or Naval Officer in the Northeast and North and East and in Trincomalee even the Government Agent is a Rtd. Army Officer. It is a pity that in Sri Lanka there are no capable Civilian Officials even among Sinhala people to be appointed to these posts)stating that it will lead to separation is nothing short of madness. On another point, when the Presidents take oaths as such they undertake to abide by the Constitution of the country. 13A had now been there for more than 25 years in the constitution and to date Police and land power had not been assigned the Northeast or Eastern Provincial council. Non implementation of the constitutional provisions or selective implementations of its provisions is dereliction of duty by successive Presidents for which they should be dealt with legally.(and unfortunately President is above the Law in Sri Lanka).One wonders as to why the government and the much erudite Professor wants to pave way to take away these practically non-existant powers through the intended 19A. This may be the promised 13A+.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Cas Shivas,

      You wrote “Decades ago C.N.Annadurai, Founder of D.M.K and the first Chief Minister to come out of that party defeated Congress Party(an All India party) in Tamil Nadu and Congress has never come back to power in that state”

      Has ANY all India Party come to power in Tamil Nadu?
      Is it because Tamils in Tamil Nadu prefer Racism to Multiculturalism that only a party with racist policies can come to power?

      “For decades he fought for of course through peaceful means, fora separate ‘Diravidastan’,consisting of the 4 Southern states Madras, Kerala,Kannada and Andra Pradesh but gave up that idea and only change that took place was in the name of ‘Madras State’ to ‘TamilNadu’. It is long since he died and Tamil Nadu with 7.2 crores of Tamils still stay as a state within India. It has not become a separate country”

      Are you sure that the strength of the Indian Armed Forces, the active suppression of any secessionist movement and the insignificance of the 7.2 Crores in comparison to 1.24 billion has nothing to do with that?

      “For anyone to oppose even ‘devolution’under 13A(In fact it is rule by the all powerful President through his representative,the Governor and it has most of the time been a retired Army or Naval Officer in the Northeast and North and East and in Trincomalee even the Government Agent is a Rtd. Army Officer”

      The Tamil Politicians have rejected it from the beginning.

      “It is a pity that in Sri Lanka there are no capable Civilian Officials even among Sinhala people to be appointed to these posts)stating that it will lead to separation is nothing short of madness”

      I wouldn’t say it is madness when a supposed govt in exile is alive and kicking and is Headed by Mr Visvanathan Rudrakumaran (a Right Hand man of Prabhakaran) and like minded people. They may be using “Titles” such as “Prime Minister”, “Minister” and “Senator” but the fact is, their Ideology is the same as that of the LTTE. If Prabhakaran was living that “Prime Minister” would have been him.

      These people supported the Terror of the LTTE. Today’s international environment do not allow an overt use of force but Secession was attempted twice before, though both attempts were unsuccessful.

      Did you forget the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of the N and E provinces that were Amalgamated under the 13 Amendment?
      The 30 year war was a very long attempt at secession with the force of arms. Then there was the Tamil National Army. These actions together with the noise in Tamil Nadu does not help to mitigate the perceived or real threat of secession.

      Given the above environment can we blame the govt using a person that understands what a security threat is as the governor?

      “On another point, when the Presidents take oaths as such they undertake to abide by the Constitution of the country. 13A had now been there for more than 25 years in the constitution and to date Police and land power had not been assigned the Northeast or Eastern Provincial council”

      That is mischievous. Has that been given to ANY Provincial Council? Can you provide evidence of Police and Land powers being exercised by the other provinces?

      “Non implementation of the constitutional provisions or selective implementations of its provisions is dereliction of duty by successive Presidents for which they should be dealt with legally.(and unfortunately President is above the Law in Sri Lanka)”

      I believe you are wrong. Though as President, he cannot be sued, he can be sued after he leaves office for any illegal actions he has taken. The former President CBK was found guilty and punished by the legal system. Ms. Kumaratunga was fined Rs. 3 million after the Supreme Court found her guilty of corruption, abuse of power and violating the public trust doctrine, during her tenure as President of Sri Lanka. President Premadasa faced impeachment. However I believe that accountability should be similar to what is found in the USA regarding her President. Please see my reply to Aia about the supposed Legality of 13A.

      “One wonders as to why the government and the much erudite Professor wants to pave way to take away these practically non-existant powers through the intended 19A. This may be the promised 13A+”

      I am surprised at your charge aimed at Dr. DJ who has been an unwavering supporter of the 13A despite the UNJUST provisions embedded within it. The 13A in its current form is UNJUST and Inequitable and should be amended to correct that situation.

  • Cas Shivas

    Dear Off the Cuff,
    My reply is as follows:
    * I can’t understand your first comment because I have already stated that DMK defeated Congress party,an All India Party and came to power in Tamil Nadu(then Madras) and congress has never come back to power thereafter.Before that they were in power with Kamraj, Bhakthavatsalam et alas Chief Ministers from that party in Madras.By the way States in India are based on Quasi Federalism and on linguistic regions /states. DMK although a regional party is multi religious and multi cultural and had many Muslim Sr. Ministers and MLAs in its ranks.
    *Don’t forget that there is a ‘Madras Regiment’ also in the Indian Army and Tamil Nadu has its own Police Force. But Tamils in India may like to be a part of India and continue to be so. India is the largest democracy in the world although there are shortcomings. It is secular,its Prime Minister Man mohansingh is a Sikh although Sikhs form only 2 percent of the population and in spite of the fact a Sikh body guard murdered Indira Gandhi,its former Prime Minister. From this you could see how tolerant they are. Its President Pranab Mukerji is a Gujarati, again a minority community and they don’t speak Hindi and the President of the ruling Congress party is Sonya of Italian Origin (whom you may like to call as an alien). It has ‘right to life’and right to legal aid in its constitution and has Right to information Act as well.Tamil politicians have rejected 13A due to its inadequecy in meeting the aspirations of Tamils.It is not even’Quasi Federalism’ as in India. TNA said that it may be a starting point for negotiations. In Geneva Mahinda Samarasinghe stated very strongly that the President is committed to fully implement 13A and even go further. This is on record.
    *Defence Secretary and Armed Forces are there to look after the security of the country. Governors and Govt. Agents are civilian posts. Armed Forces(including Rtd.Armed Forces Men) or Defence Secretary should not step into the civilian arena just as Civilian Officers should not interfere with the Armed Forces. As far as SL is concerned even Ambassadors and High Commissioners are mostly Ex Armed Forces men. I think it is better to scrap the Foreign Service and Career Diplomats as it is a waste of money. Ex Service men could be paid a stipend in addition to their Pensions and appointed as Diplomats.
    *You don’t have to worry about Rudrakumaran as he never steps out of USA.However we have two top officials in SL who are also U.S. citizens. Don’t you think that this may some time cause a ‘conflict of interest. They may not know which country to be loyal to in case of a conflict’
    *What I meant is all the PCs should be allowed to exercise land and Police powers as they are constitutional provisions. They should not be prohibited from exercising those powers while allowing them to exercise other powers.
    *As you have said the President can’t be sued whilst in Office.Further the situation is not similar, to bring about an impeachment proceeding and suceed as in the case of former(de jure)Chief Justice.
    * I referred to Prof.G.L.Pieris and not to Dr.DJ. It was GLP who tabled the proposals before the cabinet to pave the way to amend 13A.

    Finally if you say that it is not necessary to implement 13A,as it came out of Indo-Sri Lanka Accord and India did not carry out its part of obligation then you may open the doors for India to put forward similar arguments with regard to Kachchaitheevu.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Cas Chivas,

      I observe that you have read my post addressed to Dr. DJ which was posted a day ahead of your own. I have stated unequivocally that I support devolution and a 13A suitably modified to remove the inequitable and unjust parts within.

      Hence there must be something wrong for you to claim that I said “… if you say that it is not necessary to implement 13A, … “. I trust that it is an oversight on your part, if not please justify it.

      Please take care to write within the context of the argument. My replies to Aia is in the context of what he/she wrote. It is the same with my replies to you, George and the imposter JF. You are free to INCLUDE what I wrote to them but you are not free to exclude their initial statements that defines the context. I hope you are honest and is interested in a honest debate.

      Hence kindly rephrase your question about the 13A and its legality by bringing in the correct context by quoting the person to who I posted my reply.

      “DMK although a regional party is multi religious and multi cultural and had many Muslim Sr. Ministers and MLAs in its ranks”

      Good observation but would have been better if you had the honesty to see it in a much larger form within the govts of Sri Lanka, the govts that the separatists label as Sinhala Govts. I note that you don’t label the DMK as a Tamil govt and describes it as multicultural and multi religious

      Would you agree with the separatists or would you have the integrity to state that there were and are Muslim Senior Ministers, Tamil Senior Ministers, and many other members of Minority communities who professed diverse Religious beliefs who graced the Sri Lankan govts with their august presence and hence the Sri Lankan govts were multicultural and multi religious?

      In order not to cloud this very important observation of yours I will curtail my reply and will continue after I see your response.

      Thank You
      OTC

  • Cas Shivas

    In my last comment please correct Pranab Mukerji is a ‘Gujarati’, to ‘Bengali’. It was a slip of the pen.

  • Cas Shivas

    *Your note on 13A is noted.
    * With regard to your comment on GOSL being multi religious and multi racial,yes there are many Tamil and Muslim ministers in name. I could name them and give numerous examples as to why they are so but not going to do so because it will prolong the debate endlessly.
    *With regard to their ‘august presence’ I could include the Sinhalese Ministers and MPs of the past also and say yes there WERE.They really graced the Parliament at the GALLE FACE with their presence with their etiquette,cerebral contributions and debating skill.I don’t want to mention about the present lot and bring down the decorum of this forum. ‘O tempora O mores’

  • http://gmail capucine

    The best solution I can think of consists of (i) Separate the state and the religions.The representatives of the religions should not be allowed to even site a public function involving the State.(ii) The conditions of tax, services should apply to all religious organisation as it applies to you and me.(iii)All laws of the land should be applied equally to all even the priests.(iv)Go back to the socalled killing of Soma Priest.How did the priest know that he had been killed within 24 hrs of his death, unless the perpetrators were in Sri Lanka.Question all those involved with the JHU the benficiaries of that death, include the priests and the civlians in that party.Question Medalnkara, Ratne and Omalpe and Champika