India and Sri Lanka: The Road Not Taken

da83169d8d067b0ede1b40d5093f69ac_XL

Photo courtesy The Nation

“…Sri Lankan foreign policy must be centred on a non-hostile relationship with India…Choice is the essential question; not only the choices open to us, but the choices likely to be taken by others…” Mervyn de Silva‘External Aspects of the Ethnic Issue’ (1985), Crisis Commentaries (2001: pp68-78)

In the aftermath of the victory over the LTTE the Sri Lankan state at its highest level did not subscribe to the absurd doctrine that there was no further need for a political settlement or solution because there was no longer a problem. On the contrary the May 21st 2009 joint communiqué with India stated that “…both sides also emphasized the urgent necessity of arriving at a lasting political settlement in Sri Lanka.” If one is tempted to conclude that this was due to Indian nudging or Sri Lankan gratitude for wartime Indian assistance and a gracious concern for India’s continuing domestic compulsions, such an interpretation would be shattered by the joint statement on May 23, 2009 with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. That went further than the communiqué with India and contained a categorical admission that the war and our victory over the LTTE had not eliminated the need for “addressing the aspirations and grievances of all the communities”:

The statement continued with: “…President Rajapaksa and the Secretary-General agreed that addressing the aspirations and grievances of all communities and working towards a lasting political solution was fundamental to ensuring long-term socio-economic development…President Rajapaksa expressed his firm resolve to proceed with the implementation of the 13th Amendment, as well as to begin a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil parties in the new circumstances, to further enhance this process and to bring about lasting peace and development in Sri Lanka…” (May 23, 2009)

The joint statements of May 21st and 23rd 2009 between GoSL and India and the UN S-G respectively, traced the outlines of the post-war roadmap agreed upon between the President and the international community. The commitment contained in the text of May 21st to “proceed with implementation of the 13th amendment” was not contingent upon the statement that GoSL “…also intends to begin a broader dialogue with all parties, including Tamil parties…” but was seen as preceding the “broader dialogue”.

Even more conclusive and significant is the joint statement of May 23, 2009 with the UN Secretary-General. The President’s “firm resolve to proceed with the implement the 13thamendment” was followed by the statement of intent to begin a broader dialogue with all parties including the Tamil parties “in the new circumstances”. The former was not dependent or conditional upon the latter.

Clearly, in 2009 the implementation of the 13th amendment was not regarded by this country’s leadership as contingent upon or to be preceded by a Parliamentary Select Committee.

Thus the statement also reveals that the Sri Lankan leadership did not at that time, buy-in to the notion that socio-economic development alone can substitute for, still less solve, the problem of communitarian grievances and aspirations of diverse communities. Indeed it shows a lucid grasp that a political solution is nothing less than a prerequisite for socio-economic development. Finally it reveals that the political solution envisaged is the implementation of the 13th amendment and a further movement by means of an all-inclusive dialogue.

The Geneva 2009 resolution added nothing new. That commitment reached Geneva from Colombo. Colombo had absolutely no objection to the inclusion of that commitment in the Geneva 2009 resolution, because that resolution referred to and incorporated the text of the statements drafted in – and also by–Colombo itself. If not for the Colombo commitments of May 21st and 23rd, 2009, it could not have been incorporated in Geneva on May 26-27, 2009.

Had there been any insidious implications the Sri Lankan delegation was well equipped to interdict them, containing as it did, a strong legal arm which scrutinised every sentence of every draft. The legal team consisted of Attorney-General Mr Mohan Pieris, Shavi Fernando and Yasantha Kodagoda two Senior Deputy Solicitors-General, and Dr Rohan Perera, Senior Legal Officer of the Foreign Ministry.

Contrary to the claims of Sri Lankan officials who present our victory as the first such in the 21st century, Vladimir Putin won a major war against a terrorist militia in this century a few  years prior to May 2009. So too did the Angolan government. Putin is no NGO-backed cosmopolitan liberal and is in fact reviled by them. He is however, a very smart leader who combines hard power with autonomy reforms. He implemented regional autonomy of a far wider sort than the 13th amendment, in parallel to his military drive against the Chechen terrorist militia (a drive which included the aerial bombing of targets in Grozny) and has allowed that autonomous entity to become prosperous. Thus, while there are copious Western and INGO criticisms of President Putin on grounds of human rights and governance, there aren’t any war crimes/violations of international humanitarian law campaigns in the UN HRC in Geneva, not even on its sidelines by Channel 4 and INGOs, against Russia’s victory in Chechnya.

In the closing year of our war and in its aftermath I had expressly recommended a pragmatically progressive policy of autonomy. This is what I wrote at the time and was carried in the February 2009 issue of HIMAL under the caption ‘The Next Phase’, BEFORE the liberation of Mullaitivu (with the disclaimer that these were my personal views):

“…Two non-military yet strategic tasks thus face Sri Lanka in 2009. First, the political prevention of the sustenance or resurfacing of ethnic separatism and support for the Tigers through so-called peaceful political means. This requires stringent anti-separatist legislation along the lines of those that exist in India, Turkey and Spain. Second, a variety of elections – parliamentary, provincial and local authority – need to be held in the liberated areas. The aim here is to throw up a moderate democratic Tamil representation with which the Sri Lankan government can negotiate a final settlement of ethnic grievances, the outlines of which are already being chalked out by the All Party Representative Committee, the APRC.

…The real challenge of 2009, then, is politico-military. First, the liberation of Mullaitivu needs to be accomplished in such a decisive and comprehensive manner as to pre-empt, to the maximum degree possible, the survival of the LTTE as a guerrilla/terror force. Second, simultaneously there has to be a redrawing of the Sri Lankan social contract in a manner so enlightened and reformist that the Tamil people feel included as fully fledged citizens, enjoying equal rights and genuine provincial autonomy. 2009 must be the year of the full and final liberation and reunification of Sri Lankan territory; and upon that reunified territory, the beginning of the construction of a truly Sri Lankan identity, an authentically Sri Lankan nation.

…Sri Lanka can win the war and lose the peace by one of two errors. The first would be to permit the separatist project to continue to function, for separatist political agencies to function unchecked. We could thus peacefully jeopardise that which the armed forces have won on the battlefield. This could generate a seriously destabilising nationalist-populist backlash. The equal and opposite error would be a lack of generosity, flexibility, enlightenment and wisdom, due to which we fail to expeditiously remove the discrimination, frustration and alienation felt by the Tamil minority. That would cause the reactivation, one way or another, of the Tamil separatist struggle. Either outcome would betray the gains of military victory, and would continue to torment the people of Sri Lanka.” (‘The Next Phase’, Dr Dayan Jayatilleka, HIMAL, Feb 2009)

The Sri Lankan regime chose or was prevailed upon by hawks in the state apparatus and the governing coalition not to take the path clearly demarcated in the joint statements of May 21 and 23rd 2009. Instead it bought as much time as it could for those who wished to consolidate in the ground in the North while maintaining a political vacuum. Today time and space are fast running out. Sri Lanka lacks the material, economic-financial and diplomatic capacity for the attrition that would result not only from the unilateral redrawing of an inherited, uneven bilateral agreement but also the non-fulfilment of post-war international commitments far more freely entered into at the apogee of achievement of the Sri Lankan state.

As Sri Lanka’s most renowned analyst of world politics and foreign policy, Mervyn de Silva, whose 14th death anniversary fell last weekend, observed in 1985 at a Marga seminar on the ‘External Aspects of the Ethnic Issue’ (observations which proved prophetic two years later with the airdrop, the Accord, and the IPKF):

“…To amend Orwell, all countries are equal and sovereign but some more sovereign than others. While in principle all nation-states enjoy equal sovereignty, the effective exercise of such sovereignty is contingent on several factors, some permanent and unalterable. These include the size and population of a country, its economic resources, its industrial and military strength and most of all, its geographic location and therefore the geo-political environment…If this island were located next to Papua New Guinea, the Palk straits and Tamil Nadu’s fifty million people would not be a source of anxiety. So any sensible Sri Lankan foreign policy has to be centred on an axiomatic factor: the nearness of our huge and powerful neighbour. Does this mean that a small nation must necessarily be subservient to its big neighbour, that it cannot pursue a policy independent of its big neighbour, or even hostile to its neighbour? Not at all. It can. But it must recognize and be ready to face the consequences of such a hostile relationship…Sri Lankan foreign policy must be centred on a non-hostile relationship with India…As in other fields of policy-making, choice is the essential question; not only the choices open to us, but the choices likely to be taken by others…”

The Sinhala hawks believe that Sri Lanka can take on or ignore the Tamil Diaspora, the West, the UN, India, the Western media and the INGOs (not to mention  a billion Muslims and  2.3 billion Christians) and do so all at once. They think that India is an enemy. Some of them, like Maj-Gen (Retd) Lalin Fernando, disregarding my cautioning about the balance of power and Sri Lanka’s strategic vulnerability, think that we can take an Indian kinetic power-projection on and prevail: “DJ must know that if anyone decides to attempt to ‘come along’, it won’t be like the ‘last time’ (1987) either. Our troops are already in Jaffna to give a fitting and extremely warm welcome especially to anyone DJ has in mind…They are some of the most battle hardened, professional and skilled troops around. In 1987 there was only an ersatz division with little artillery and just wheeled armour in Jaffna with enthusiastic but severely limited air and sea defences.” (Lalin’s Column: ‘Holbrooke, Devolution and Wargames’, Asian Tribune, Vol 12, No 430)  Just how these silly Sinhala Sun Tzus who are willing to fight the Indians down to the last Sinhala peasant lad in uniform, plan to secure supplies (especially fuel and ammunition) for an island, which in a worst case R2P scenario can be easily cordoned off by the powerful neighbouring navy and subject to a no-fly zone by its air force, beats me.

I think that India is neither enemy nor friend, and may sometimes be a ‘frenemy’ (as the US and Pakistan say of each other in frustration) — but remains at all times, a REALITY. The Sinhala hawks think that a TNA-run Northern Provincial Council will be on a continuum of conspiracy with Tamil Nadu radicals, the separatist Tamil Diaspora ideologues, the US and India. I think, to the contrary, that a Tamil Nadu and Diaspora-backed Tamil nationalism and a restive Northern Provincial Council cannot be contained by the Sri Lankan state other than through co-management and politico-diplomatic quasi-partnership with Delhi.

  • Dev

    Will a plum diplomatic posting change one’s mind?

  • PROF. KOPAN MAHADEVA

    Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, like me, always speaks for the benefit of the whole country (our Island of Sri Lanka) though we are often misunder- stood when we speak up for down-trodden groups at various times. We are not politicians as such. We are honest political enthusiasts who have no enemies by way of persons or parties. We only strive to fight Hypocrisy, Inefficiency, Unwarranted Delays to Progress, Corruption, and so on. He is a true patriot, like his great father Mervyn de Silva. And so am I. We are both engineers with a good grounding in technological progress, economic & industrial development, and knowledge of the legislative and political processes. Because we did well in our studies and professions, we did not enter electioneering politics and have lost our early chances to contribute to the progress and development of our country at that level. He is truly a Lankan gem.

    All the above facts are reflected in Dr. Dayan’s article above. We did invite India to help in 1987 and they obliged us with loss of 1000s of lives, large sums of money and even their prestige when we chased them away in 1990. India is our closest, historical neighbour — our Mother in many senses. We must keep India’s relationship, while nurturing truly non-aligned brotherhood with countries like China and Pakistan. Why not? That was Jawaharlal Nehru’s style too, which is now followed by President Mahinda. We have to build on India-sponsored 13A while making it suitable for modern times — follow it in spirit though not in every detail. And the proposed PSC will be the most suitable way to promote reconciliation and harmony with the active participation of progressive Tamil politicians like Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran and veteran Mr. R. Sampanthan, assisted in substantial administrative ways by gems like Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke. — Prof. Kopan Mahadeva, London.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Prof Kopan Mahadevan,

      While I do agree with you about the need to build on the 13A, which I support with the removal of the objectionable sections which are inequitable and unjust.

      Such as striping the control of Land over and above the equitable proportion of land entitlement of the population living within any province, by removing the excess land and creating Territories directly ruled by the Central Govt as Land is a scarce resource that is essential to support life (please see my comment to DJ 06/30/2013 • 10:10 am on this web page).

      However I do find the following statement by you a Historical misrepresentation.

      “We did invite India to help in 1987 and they obliged us with loss of 1000s of lives, large sums of money and even their prestige when we chased them away in 1990″

      Did we invite India or did India invite herself?

      Please update yourself about India’s Operation Poomalai.

      Here is a primer

      Quote

      In late May (1987), the Indian government informed Sri Lanka that it was sending a convoy of relief supplies to the Jaffna peninsula by a ship convoy for ‘humanitarian reasons’. A flotilla of Indian boats carrying more than 1000 tonnes of supplies were turned back by the Sri Lankan Navy as they approached the territorial waters of Sri Lanka. The sending back of the Flotilla was seen as a great victory by the general populace of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, and it was greeted with Jubilation and ‘Victory’ celebrations. It was quite clear that the Indian government was not going to take this living down. Plans were afoot for another drastic measure. It called for an aerial supply drop.

      on June 3rd, 1987 at 1500 Hours, the Sri Lankan Ambassador in New Delhi was called to the Ministry of External Affairs office. There he was conveyed the message by Mr. Natwar Singh that Indian Air Force An-32s would be taking off at 1600 Hours from somewhere in India and would be dropping supplies over Jaffna. The ambassador was told that the aircraft were expected to complete their mission unhindered and any opposition by the Sri Lankan Air Force ‘would be met by force’ by the escorting Mirage 2000s. The warning was unnecessary – The Sri Lankan Air Force hardly constituted a ‘threat’ to the IAF. It had a handful of Turbo prop Siai-Marchetti SF260 and Argentinean FMA Pucara Twin Turboprop counter insurgency aircraft. They would be no match for the digital deltas in a fight. The only opposition if any, would be that of ground fire from the Sri Lankan troops.

      About the same time, the aircrew at Bangalore were making their final checks on the An-32s. There were a large number of domestic and International journalists who were at the airport covering the mission. It was decided let them fly in the An-32s to cover the flight. A group of 35 were finally chosen and all of them embarked the powered up An-32s in teams of seven each. At 15.55 hours, the first An-32 took to the air piloted by Gp Capt Sunder and Flt Lt SR Swarup as the co-pilot. It would be a round trip of 900 km awaited them to Jaffna and back.

      Designated as ‘Eagle-Mission-4′, the An-32s formated and climbed upto 12000 feet altitude. As they crossed the Coramandal coast at around 1645, they were met by four Mirage 2000s led by Bhavnani who had taken off about the same time as the An-32s. The Mirages were carrying three drop tanks and two Matra Magic II Air to Air Missiles, just in case the Sri Lankan Air Force made an appearance. As it turned out later, they were not needed.
      Unquote

      Prior to that India trained and armed Sri Lankan Terrorists on Indian Soil to kill Sri Lankan Civilians and to carry out Bombings and Massacres against them.

      You see Prof, Russia leaning India did not give us anything in 1987 other than Terrorism designed to destabilise a West leaning SL govt that had the potential of threatening India’s position in the region, if the USA established itself in the former main base and shore headquarters of Eastern Fleet of the British Royal Navy at Trincomalee which by the way is perhaps the 5th largest deep water Natural Harbour in the world. Global Security has this to say

      Quote
      Trincomalee Harbor is home to major Sri Lankan naval bases and a Sri Lankan Air Force base. Trincomalee Harbor – a natural deep-water harbor – is at least the fifth largest natural harbor in the world. Some say it is the second best natural harbor in the world [next to Sydney]. The available water and land area is about 10 times as much as the Port of Colombo. The Bay of Trincomalee’s harbor is renowned for its large size and security; unlike every other in the Indian Sea, it is accessible to all types of craft in all weathers.
      unquote

      The military significance is not insignificant. India is not known to be magnanimous in that respect.

  • http://www.asiaunites.com Antany Peter

    Indians still don’t know why Sri Lankans and other Indian subcontinent countries are going somewhere else to get a help to develop their countries. The Indians intellectuals should have alerted their leaders when China introduced one child policy and expanded its manufacturing sector. Still India is playing dirty games, instead of changing its policies to expand its middle class families and to help the other subcontinent countries as China. India’s policies aren’t helping the Indian Subcontinent. I am in China, I met few Indians who are visiting China, and asked them what do they think about China? They said that China has really advanced. Indeed, China has advanced, because it doesn’t listen to its enemies. We fought against the Westerners, but we trust the Westerners and listen to them; this is the reason we aren’t moving forward as China. Now is not too late to change, but Indians don’t have a policy to provide basic sanitisation to their own people; what is the point talking about greater subcontinent?

    Indians have been playing the same dirty game for decades. Indians aren’t moving forward as Chinese, Indians listen to the Westerners who want to keep the whole world under them forever. The Chinese have money to help themselves and others, because of their policies. China reduced its population by 800 million, because of the one child policy. The Westerners know every community and every country very well, they know what to say to a community leaders or to a country leaders to create a chaos, or to implement bad policies. The Tamil leaders didn’t accept the Sri Lanka’s peace agreements or India’s 13th amendment, but listened to the Westerners and fought against the Sinhalese and the Indians. They will do it again, it shows the power of the Westerners. The Tamil leaders are under the grip of the Westerners, they listen to the Westerners more than their fellow countrymen, it shows the status of the Indian Subcontinent. Indians are playing a dangerous dirty game, it will create a chaos in the Indian Ocean.

  • Warforpeacehypocrite

    we get it dayan. your view of 13a is purely strategic (of containing this “tamil problem”), nothing to do with solving the national question. your last sentence sums it up.

    “I think, to the contrary, that a Tamil Nadu and Diaspora-backed Tamil nationalism and a restive Northern Provincial Council cannot be contained by the Sri Lankan state other than through co-management and politico-diplomatic quasi-partnership with Delhi.”

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke,

    As a supporter of some of the principles of power devolution within the 13A, I do not see a logical argument for the unequal distribution of scarce resources between provinces thus creating a fundamental inequality.

    Is not Land in most Provinces and especially within the North and Eastern Provinces uninhabited?

    Should control of Land disproportionate to the inhabitants within any Province be allowed to a province if JUSTICE and EQUALITY is the objective?

    Is there anything in the 13A that prohibits the creation of another territory directly under the Central State that can rectify the above inequality? India has 7 such Union States. Malasia, USA etc has similar Federal States.

    Should the Central Police force be restricted in performing their duties in uniform within a province?

    If all Provinces refuse to entertain the Central Police Force within their jurisdictions in uniform what is the position regarding law enforcement? Can one criminal of one Province find refuge within another?

    You wrote “Just how these silly Sinhala Sun Tzus who are willing to fight the Indians down to the last Sinhala peasant lad in uniform, plan to secure supplies (especially fuel and ammunition) for an island, which in a worst case R2P scenario can be easily cordoned off by the powerful neighbouring navy and subject to a no-fly zone by its air force, beats me”

    True, but what will the effect of such a scenario be on the very people who are to be protected given that these people are distributed all over the Island?

    Note:- I hope that the poison pens that has responded to DJ, will instead, bring forth logical counter arguments.

    • J Fernando

      I am not sure whether you are being serious or not…”poison pen”? I think you need to take a long hard look at yourself, its not like you are writing under your own name is it? So why resort to name calling?

      Singhalese like you and more importantly (I assume Buddhists like you) are the blight of the nation, since 1956 we have made many historic mistakes and ruined this nation that was triply blessed with carnage.

      We should give our Tamil brothers their right to live and being magnanimous at this time is the right this, nothing promotes my beliefs (Buddhism) that that is my strong belief.
      Buddhism is not spread by destroying muslim shrines, avoiding beef once a month (and then consuming it the rest of the 29/30 days), the list goes on and on.

      Try to reduce/remove greed (lobha) and anger against Tamils, go and speak to some of them, they are no different to us, this will in turn will reduce your ignorance !

      • Off the Cuff

        Hi JF,

        Make your counter argument to the points raised (if you have the capacity to do so) you have consistently failed in that respect since you saw the light of day on GV in May 2013 on the Nimalaruben thread.

        A poison pen wont address the issues but would circumvent them.
        Your posts have consistently done so on every thread and you are the second Poison Pen on this thread to date.

        You wrote “I think you need to take a long hard look at yourself, its not like you are writing under your own name is it? So why resort to name calling?”

        Name calling? Did you mean the Poison Pen? Has anyone been named? Is it because you found the Hat a good Fit that you decided to put it on?

        You could of course prop up your failing ego by using the fact that the name you write under “J Fernando” has many such Fernandos in Lanka and in the country of origin of the Fernandos and in the Latin West.

        But the FACT is, you could be anyone other than “J Fernando”. In fact you could be “Dev” or Ponnambalam or Mohammed or Ganesh or Abraham or Peter etc, that HIDES your the real Ethnicity and Religion. However your inability to critique Rabid Separatists such as Usha displays a partiality and a protectionists mindset towards Tamil separatists.

        Good Luck JF but we can see through your Moniker, so please dont try to pull a JK stunt on GV.

        • J Fernando

          So anyone who disagrees with you and point out the (obvious) fact that you are nothing but a rabid racist must be a Tamil? Sorry, wrong on this one, very much a Sinhalese and a Buddhist here !

          I have already mentioned that I have made counter arguments against Usha, please don’t be a parrot and repeat the same thing over and over again. As someone in another thread pointed out, you seem to have plenty of time -so seek and you will find some of my comments to Usha !

          Replies from a PRACTICING Buddhist like me is a hindrance/thorn/annoyance to racist ones like you and Wirathu !

          • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

            To everyone on this thread – can we please stop calling each other names, and stick to a more civil debate. If you haven’t taken the time out to carefully read the comment submission guidelines, do not expect any comments, no matter who the author is, to be published.

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Groundviews,

            Thank you.

            The Right of Reply is a journalistic ethic and I am grateful to GV for upholding that ethic in the past.

            Hopefully we will not see comments that are purely Ad Hominem in nature that distracts from the issues debated, in the future.

            I understand that even though you try hard to prevent them, these poison pen comments do get in. When that happens a response is inevitable when the target of the poison pen, exercises his Right of Reply.

            The comment made by “J Fernando” on 07/01/2013 • 7:51 pm, has no relevance to the issues raised by Dr DJ or by me in my response to DJ. It is purely an Ad Hominem. Similarly the very first comment by Dev is also a pure Ad Hominem.

            However, I will respect your wishes and sacrifice my Right of Reply and refrain from responding to the latest post by “J Fernando” of 07/02/2013 • 4:26 pm which again does not discuss Indo Lanka issues raised by DJ’s article.

            Thanks again

            OTC

  • Inoka Karu

    Thank you GV staff for finally stepping in ! Compared to the millions who read GV the number who have the time and the inclination to comment are few and while some comments (now few and far between) are informative most like “off the cuff” are nothing more than rabble rousers.
    It would be a shame if we lose GV as well when we have so few good media outlets, so thank you for stepping in.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Inoka Karu,

      Sometime back someone who called herself Inoka made a similar comment to yours. I suspect that the Inoka of the past is the Inoka Karu of the present.

      Now let’s discuss issues that I have raised on this web page and other related issues that I have raised on GV in the past.

      1. Land is a scarce resource that is essential to life.
      2. The Provincial boundaries of the British were administrative boundaries that enabled them to manage revenue and was not based on the residential patterns of the locals.
      3. The Kandyan Kingdom extended up to Elephant Pass during Dutch Rule of Jaffna Peninsular.
      4. The East was under the Kandyan Kingdom and it never had a Tamil Kingdom
      5. At the start of British Rule, Sri Lanka had a 85% forest cover.
      6. Area including inland waters of Lanka is 65,610 sq km
      7. Population of Lanka is 20.97 m
      8. Indian origin Tamil Population 1.6 m (recent statement of an Indian origin Tamil politician)
      9. Lanka Tamil population 1.4 m (recent statement of an Indian origin Tamil politician)
      10. Population of N province 1,058762

      If you do not agree with any one of the above statements please feel free to correct them and give your reasons.

      The per capita land area in Lanka is 123.7 perch

      Justifiable area of N Province 3313 Sq Km
      Actual area of N Province 8884 Sq Km

      I have proposed that this excess of 5571 Sq Km should be removed from the control of the Northern Province and vested in the Central government as a directly controlled central territory AFTER which unrestricted Land powers SHOULD be conferred to the Provinces.

      You seem to think it is Rabble Rousing. If you had cause to say so, please justify them with reasons else you would be guilty of poison penmanship.

      Why should ANY Province be allowed control of Land beyond the per capita entitlement of the population living within such a province? Should the REST of the Lankan population sacrifice their Birthright to a scarce resource, essential to life just to pamper the unjust demands of a section of the population? Is that EQUALITY? Is it not avarice or greed on the part of those who insist on an unequal share of a scarce resource?

      Are you aware that an obnoxious clause exists within the 13A that confines the benefits of Centrally funded development to those within that province even though the overwhelming portion of the debt burden is carried by those outside that province? Why should this be so?

      Please justify why the Central Law Enforcement should be prevented from entering any Province in uniform.

      As I have stated before, I support COMPLETE devolution of power in a Just an Equitable manner and I oppose devious methods of grabbing the major part of the cake. What do you support?

      I do hope Inoka that you have the honesty and integrity to justify your stand.

      BTW Ms Inoka Karu, you seem to be an avid reader of GV and would have obviously read Padraig Colman’s immensely popular article that drew 213 comments. Ms Usha of the TGTE wrote profusely in that thread. Did she escape your attention? Did you agree with all what she wrote as indicated by your COMPLETE silence? Did she write the TRUTH or was she Rabble Rousing? http://groundviews.org/2013/05/28/sri-lankas-numbers-game/

      Best Regards

      OTC