Photograph courtesy The Independent

Mr Akashi was absolutely right when he urged flexibility and reform on the Sri Lankan government and sounded the alarm of serious consequences in Geneva March 2014 (that’s 75 days away, folks) if it failed to shift in the right direction. He did get one thing wrong though. There is neither a “Central government” nor a “Northern provincial government” in Sri Lanka. Those categories and that terminology pertain to a federal system such as that of India. Constitutionally what we have is a unitary state form in which there is one government and power has been shifted outwards and downward, in specific respects, to provincial councils or administrations. That is the crucial distinction between federalism and devolution. Of course Mr Akashi’s political Freudian slip indicates the view of Sri Lanka and attitude towards it in a large segment of the international community. The treatment of Sri Lanka as already containing two power centres, two capitals, does not help the battle for devolution and only reinforces the propaganda of the Sinhala hawks within and outside the State.

What looks like a sideshow, namely the growing confrontation between Chief Minister Wigneswaran and Governor Chandrasiri, is much more than that. It is the thin end of the wedge of a clash of two projects: that of the strategy of escalating globalisation by Tamil nationalism and narrowing of space by the defence establishment which seems to drive much of state policy at a subterranean level.

With the recent election and the end of the stage of war as well as a post war political vacuum, Governor Chandrasiri should logically have been eased out as the gesture would have marked a new beginning. However, the security establishment seems to wish to emphasise continuity rather than signal discontinuity, perhaps to assuage the apprehensions of the soldiery. This is quite understandable given the invocation of Prabhakaran and the LTTE by ‘moderate’ TNA members during the election campaign and after.

The answer would have been to appoint a Sinhalese able to balance between the armed forces and the Provincial council, as well as between the state and the diplomatic/donor community. The former head of the government’s Peace Secretariat, Prof Rajiva Wijesinha comes readily to mind. If the requirement were for someone with a military background, there are at least two former army commanders with liberal credentials and ambassadorial experience, Generals Gerry de Silva and Srilal Weerasooriya. So far the government has chosen not to exercise these options and may not even be aware they exist.

That said the Northern Provincial Council should not have passed resolutions calling for the removal of the governor and the retrenchment of the armed forces, so soon after taking office. These could demands have been urged at negotiations –perhaps backchannel ones—rather than publicly demanded. Furthermore the TNA leader should not have announced to Mr Akashi that the government has three months to act on Tamil grievances and should it fail to do so the TNA would initiate a non-violent campaign of agitation. Mr Akashi, who has very considerable international experience how these things go, rightly counselled patience.

It is against this backdrop that the inaugural Budget speech of Chief Minister Wigneswaran delivered on December 10th 2013 is especially worrying, but it would have given cause for serious concern in any context.

Justice Wigneswaran complains that the system of provincial councils applies to the entire island. That was not only a decision of President Jayewardene who did not wish to be seen to confer special status on the North and East which would then become the target of majoritarian resentment, and wanted instead to give devolution greater acceptability and strategic anchorage by creating a constituency for it among the Sinhalese, it is even more importantly, the consistent stand taken by progressive opinion in the south for decades, ranging from the Marxist Left in the 1940s to the populist social democratic Vijaya Kumaratunga in the mid 1980s. In the face of a savage JVP insurgency, the provincial council election was held in late 1988 only because the path had been prepared by the holding of such elections throughout that year in the midst of a bloody Southern civil war between pro-and anti-devolution political forces, in the island’s other provinces. Many more died in that Sinhala-on-Sinhala civil war than did in the famous final days of the war against the LTTE.

Justice Wigneswaran protests that “…But the then Government made the Provincial Council System applicable to the whole Island and thus stultified the whole concept of power sharing essential for the Tamil speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces. Thereby nothing was given specially for the Northern or Eastern Provinces when power sharing was urgently needed by them rather than the other Provinces. In fact the political need to devolve power for the North and East was effectively scuttled. The political needs, aspirations and the special interests of the people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces were thus overlooked.”

One fails to understand how the conferment of provincial councils on the other provinces “stultifies” the sharing of power with the Tamil people of the North and East. How can the “political needs, aspirations and special interests” of the people of the North and East have been “overlooked” by conferring a similar measure of autonomy on the other provinces? His logic seems to be that justice for the Tamils is possible only when it is exclusive and unique. In a democracy, the special interests of the people of a province, be it ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural or economic, can and usually will find expression in the specific policy mix of that Council. It is not necessary that it should be the only such autonomous entity in the entire country!

The answer of Tamil nationalist ideologues may be that Kashmir has special status as does Quebec. However, had Quebec been separated from France a few miles and the danger of irredentism been real, the degree of autonomy may have been significantly different. That this is not mere counterfactual speculation is best evidenced by the sharp reaction of Canada to Gen Charles De Gaulle’s strident reference to Quebec.  As for Kashmir, the history of the accession and the pledge of a referendum made in the UN by Shri Nehru give a unique dimension to the problem.

The complaint registered by Justice Wigneswaran is important for two reasons. Firstly it reveals that he is questioning and re-opening the fundamental coordinates of the Indo-Lanka accord of 1987 and the progressive Southern consensus, clearly indicating that the Tamil project goes well beyond that agreement and that consensus. Secondly it betrays the long standing Tamil sense of being unique and deserving of special privileges not enjoyed by the rest of the country’s citizenry or areas.

He says “The Provincial Council System, it must be noted has been identified by all as a means to devolve power to the periphery. But the Thirteenth Amendment in fact has strengthened the hands of the Executive President and widened his powers.”

This is significant in that the target of the criticism is not the Southern hardliners on the charge of seeking to sabotage or abolish the Thirteenth amendment. It is not the government of the day for the crimes of non-implementation, tardy implementation or partial implementation of the Thirteenth amendment.  No! The target is precisely the Thirteenth amendment itself. This indicates that the Chief Minister seeks not the full implementation of the amendment but its supersession.

He goes on to criticise the office, role and function of the Governor, rather than the attitude and ideology of the present occupant of that post. He says “The Governor is the representative of the Executive President. No appointment is possible within the Province without the approval of the Governor. From the Secretary to the Minor Employees, it is the Governor who holds the whip hand.” It is only subsequent to this that he specifically criticizes the present governor.

Justice Wigneswaran then goes on to disclose the real reason behind contesting the Northern Provincial Council election. It was certainly not to make the 13th amendment work; still less to work constructively in the interstices of the present structure and situation so as to consolidate and proceed at a measured pace.

He poses and answers the question as to the TNA’s motivation. “At this stage someone might pose the question as to why we decided to contest the Provincial Council Election if the Thirteenth Amendment lacked teeth and was insufficient. There were two important reasons. Only if we stood for election could we bring out to the notice of the world the feelings and aspirations of the people of the Northern Province and show that the Government was portraying a false picture. In fact at the last Election the people were able to loudly proclaim their disapproval to the Government in power and the presence of the military in the Northern Province. Secondly without power, without authority in our hands to proclaim insufficiencies in the Thirteenth Amendment at Colloquiums and Seminars made no impact on the Government nor the International Community. But we felt it was better to get ourselves established in authority, experience the short comings in reality and thereafter tell the world what was happening. That exactly is what we are doing now. Rather than to merely say that Thirteenth Amendment is insufficient we feel exposing its shortcomings while established in office would be beneficial for future changes.”

Thus the objective of the TNA has not been to secure the full implementation of the 13th amendment and to expose the government for non-implementation, but rather to expose the insufficiency of the 13th amendment as such!

Justice Wigneswaran then moves seamlessly from the problems of devolution to the UN Human Rights Council resolutions, referring to “the objective of the 2012 UN Resolution”, thus revealing the nexus between external pressure and their strategy.

The next point is about the military in the North. The grievance is not the overly large footprint of the military. No, it is the very presence of the military in this most strategically sensitive of border areas for the Sri Lankan state that is seen as incompatible with reconciliation. He says “You cannot continue to keep the Military in the North and expect reconciliation and regeneration. The Joint Declaration by the President and the UN Secretary General in May 2009 has not been honored to say the least.” Thus he does not want the military kept in the North, in any configuration. His reference to the joint declaration between UN Secretary-General and the Sri Lankan President is irrelevant and misleading because there is absolutely no commitment to the non-retention of the military in the North.

The Chief Minister’s speech then escalates to its maximalist political climax. He says “It should be understood by all clearly that the present Provincial Council cannot be a vehicle of change for the betterment of the Tamil speaking people of the North and East.” This must be understood clearly by the diplomatic community for what it is: a structural rejection of the system of Provincial Councils itself. This rejection goes far beyond a criticism of the present government for its immobility. It is a rejection of the Indo-Lanka accord and its product the 13th amendment.

He follows it up with a programmatic political proposal of dangerous dimensions saying “It could be converted into a transitional Administration.” What exactly such a transitional administration would be transitional to, the Chief Minister fails to indicate. Therefore the goal remains open-ended. It would seem that the Chief Minister is picking up the infamous ISGA model of the LTTE.

The Chief Minister alleges that “for 65 years since Independence the problem of the Tamil speaking people of this country have not been solved”, which ignores the role of the LTTE and ‘great hero’ Prabhakaran in wrecking such efforts. Mr Wigneswaran alleges in all seriousness that “consecutive Governments of whichever hue were only interested in foisting more and more hardships and calumny on our people.” He thus dismisses every single Sri Lankan administration—all democratically elected, one might add—including, obviously, that of President Kumaratunga who proposed three political packages which went well beyond the 13th amendment, all of which were rejected by the Tigers as well as the precursor of the TNA, the TULF and its leader Mr Sambandan, at the time. One cannot help but wonder what he was doing while these consecutive governments were intent on “foisting more and more calumny and hardship” on the Tamil people.

Most incredibly yet utterly significantly, Justice Wigneswaran, the newly elected Chief Minister actually uses the ‘G’ word: “…activities of successive Governments in this Country have bordered on genocide if not genocide…” All this in his first Budget speech!

He then unveils the strategic conclusion: “It is essential that an International strategy is innovated to quickly ascertain the views of the Tamil speaking people presently still occupying their traditional home lands.” Plainly the Chief Minister is calling for a plebiscite, a referendum of the Tamil people in the North and East, by means of “an international strategy”. This is an exit strategy; a roadmap for secession.

The game-plan designed by the Diaspora hawks is clear: (a) launch mass agitation either in the run up to or the immediate aftermath of Geneva March 2014 (b) goad the army into a crackdown and Colombo into dissolution of the Provincial council (c) use Jayalalitha and Tamil Nadu to leverage the incoming BJP, which unlike the Congress is not emotionally invested in the 13th amendment and deeply affected by the LTTE’s assassination of Rajiv, to push qualitatively beyond it. The model is the creation of Kosovo through an “international strategy”.  The secessionist strategists in the Tamil Diaspora are going for the grand-slam. They seem to have politically and ideologically infiltrated or influenced the TNA/NPC. It is a pity that the Northern PC and the new Chief Minister is exhausting southern goodwill and laying the foundations for an anti-provincial autonomy multi-partisan Southern consensus, by playing according to the Diaspora/Tamil Nadu script.

  • jansee

    Dayan is talking of a non-existent “southern goodwill”, the south that watched with glee and pomp the massacre of civilians who are also citizens. For what MR is today, it is what the south is about and Dayan is talking about a southern goodwill. Whatever happened before, during and after the war fits into a typical “genocide” pattern and the CM is right is plainly stating that. That the election victory now looks so hollow with the Governor calling the shots, what more can one say about the relevance of the 13A. There is neither goodwill nor sincerity on the part of the Colombo regime. The viciousness with which it brutally eliminated civilians is another testament of its display of enmity and bad blood with the Tamils. The regime’s actions in the last four years since the end of the war has been to suppress and subjugate by force the Tamils and force them through the gun to bow down in obedience. The way the votes went during the NPC election would prove that the Tamils will never stop demanding for their rights. If pleasing the southerners (read as Sinhalese) is his yardstick with which the Tamils would have any leeway, and from a man who stated that the loss of civilian lives were justified collateral damage, he has no business lecturing the Tamils of his virtues.

  • Jayalath

    There is a saying in Sinhalese that reminds me what is going to happen in this country ,it Is called Badaka Gahuwatt Ekai , Gahala Bandath Ekai ‘ . Can you imagine how powerful the international community . They will split the country to pieces if they want which is inevitable but only way we can avoid any threat comes from by unifying ourselves which is seems to be drifted away right now as Rajapaksa’ attitude and ignorance .

  • Obamasal

    This article is written by the once confidant of Rajapaksas and had masterminded the support of the UN HRC members for the first resolution in May 2009 just after the end of the brutal war in Sri Lanka in which up to 146,000 Tamils were killed by heavy artillery after prolonged starvation. He wants patience on the part of NPC and TNA. President Rajapakse appointed Eminent persons (IIGEP) to investigate high profile murders committed by the Sri Lankan security Forces and All Party APRC to work out a solution for the ethnic problem. We all know what happened to them and the victims. That is what he means by urging more patience to help out his former master to work out an exit strategy. It may be relevant to remind readers that Dayan Jayathileke also advised the president to keep the paramilitary EPDP and its leader Douglas Devananda with the government. The latter’s strongman who is also the opposition leader of the present NPC was arrested for the murder of his friend in Neduntheevu. No wonder the writer wants to do justice to the ethnic minorities in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

  • Sharanga Ratnayake

    At the highest level of disagreement, you improve the opponent’s argument and refute its central point.

    No sane person would say a particular configuration of government power is unacceptable due to its virtue of being applied to everyone. Rather, I would think what Mr. Wigneswaran would tell you if you questioned him about this is that in trying to create a system that can be applied to everyone, some special needs of Tamils due to their peculiar predicament may have been overlooked.

    In other words, it may be the case that before Provincial Councils the level of Tamil political happiness was 4, and the Sinhalese political happiness was 6. After the Provincial Councils, it may be that the Tamil level is 6 and the Sinhalese level is 8. Or it could be that the Tamil level is 5, and the Sinhalese level is 6 because it doesn’t matter to them anyway.

    This is all the more likely because he identifies the existence of the Governor as problematical. Governor is the representative of the President, and no appointment is possible within the Province without his approval. Sinhalese people wouldn’t mind this that much but, for Tamils it undermines the whole point.

    This is not to say I agree with Wigneswaren. There’s a very real need for the government to have control over these areas given the situation we are in right now. But I think it’s pretty unfair to say Wigneswaren somehow betrays the long standing Tamil sense of being unique and deserving of special privileges not enjoyed by the rest of the country’s citizenry or areas. I’m sure they don’t think they are Jews.

  • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

    I think most people know the difference between a federal and unitary system, no need for elaboration.
    Dayan Jayatilleka you can’t be more wrong when you say, “…power has been shifted outward and downward .”
    Power has not been shifted at all ,on the contrary power remains centered with the President and the Sinhala government. When you use the terminology “Constitutionally”, are you admitting that in reality it has not shifted. But even constitutionally power has not shifted and never was intended to – if you look at the powers of provincial councils even with the full implementation of the government’s 13th amendment, it never will. Recent amendments such as the 18th and the Devineguma bill (now law) make it redundant! In addition in the NorthEast the rule of the military Governor who takes orders from the President and the Defence Minister, the NPC is a farce.
    The Northern Provincial Council has no teeth and the so called CM is powerless. You can’t fool the world with your essays and don’t hallucinate, please tell the truth like it is.
    The outside world including Mr. Akashi may be under the false notion that power has been devolved and so he is making that distinction between the central government and the provincial government – It is time that people realise the utter falsehood behind this Sinhala political charade that you yourself are party to and Tamils have been subject to endlessly – enough is enough!
    Mr. Wignewaran is right.
    He is right also about the slow and systematic genocide quite apart from the mass slaughter in Mullivaikkal – intended to destroy the Tamil ethnic identity and aspirations – for them to live in their land and determine their own destiny!
    Mr. Wigneswaran has a sweeping mandate for self rule under a federal system and is asking for what the Tamil people want, stop your fear mongering, what Sri Lanka needs is a new breed of Sinhala leaders.
    You forgot the Check and Slovak model, why is that not feasible, all it takes is some statesmen from your community and the truth told in its entirety!

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Usha of the Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam,

      You say “Power has not been shifted at all ,on the contrary power remains centered with the President and the Sinhala government”

      Sri Lanka has 74.9% Sinhalese, 11.2% Lanka Tamils, 9.2% Moors, 4.2% Indian Tamils and small percent of the rest. Hence in a democracy, it is natural for the govt to have similar representation. Perhaps you prefer the perverted system of 50% for the Sinhalese and 50% for all other ethnic groups as proposed by the All Ceylon Tamil Congress of GG Ponnambalam to the British Governor General Lord Soulbury. Fortunately, Lord Soulbury recognised that devious proposal as a “Mockery of Democracy” and rejected it outright. The FIRST and SOLE elected representative in the very first election in Lanka was a Tamil, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachelem. Perhaps you would have been enamoured by such a system which would ensure a Tamil govt in Lanka that exclude the Sinhalese .

      In a diverse country where the overwhelming majority are Sinhalese, in order to be in the Govt you need to be a member of a National Party not a member of an ethnically segregated party. Else you need to form a coalition with a National Party. Perhaps that fact has escaped the separatist minded Tamils who are members of Ethnically Segregated Parties. When you segregate Ethnically you forfeit the votes of the other ethnicities

      Examples of Cabinet Ministers from within the minorities abound (some holding very powerful portfolios) and only those who are blinded by separatism cannot see them.

      The North – East Provincial Council was established in 1988. There was no 18th Amendment or Divineguma bill then.

      The following are excerpts from The Island’s Shamindra Ferdinando’s reports.

      The Indians (IPKF) rigged the election in the North and EPRLF’s Varadaraja Perumal, (Jaffna University Economics Department) became it’s Chief Minister of the NE Provincial Council (he was a Tamil btw). The IPKF was sent off by President Premadasa in 1990. While the IPKF was in Lanka the Chief Minister Varadaraja unilaterally declared the Independent State of Tamil Eelam.

      This resulted in the desolution of the NE PC and direct rule being imposed.

      On the morning of Sept 14, 1989, Ketheesh (Ketheeswaran Loganathan) and the then EPRLF MP Suresh Premachandran (of the present Tamil National Alliance), called a media briefing at the Taj Samudra. Ketheesh declared that the EPRLF was in the process of forming a Tamil militia to fill the vacuum created by the IPKF pullout (this was the Tamil National Army (TNA))……… The EPRLF duo defended indiscriminate IPKF action at Valvettiturai on Aug 2, 1989 causing the deaths of over 70 men, women and children, following the killing of six jawans. (No call for War Crime investigation though)

      In the run-up to the polls (Indian Polls of 1989), the IPKF trained thousands of men at its bases in accordance with an overall security plan to take on the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE. Gandhi was to maintain the TNA at the Indian taxpayers’ expense.

      Acting on the instructions of the IPKF, the TNA made a bold move to drive the police out of some parts of the Ampara district as the IPKF gradually pulled out from the area. TNA cadres peppered SLAF choppers deployed in support of the police with automatic fire, causing substantial damages. A few weeks before the Ampara battle, TNA cadres in the presence of the IPKF fired at an SLAF chopper coming down to land at a helipad at Chettikulam. Please read for more information.

      Instead of building Trust, the Separatist Tamils destroyed it at the first opportunity they had in substantial self govt.

      You say “what Sri Lanka needs is a new breed of Sinhala leaders”

      That is a tongue in cheek comment given that since 1922 the aim of mainstream Tamil politics has been Eelam.

      You say “all it takes is some statesmen from your community and the truth told in its entirety!”

      But telling the truth in it’s entirety has not been the hallmark of separatist Tamils though we do have Tamils such as Prof. Pradeep Jeganathan and Hon Lakshman Kadirgama who have earned respect by telling the Truth in it’s entirety.

      • someone

        You seem to have lots of free time but very low [edited out] (a common trait amoung ultra [edited out] like yourself I guess)

        Instead of responding to the point “Power has not been shifted at all”

        You go on a grand round trip shouting and screaming blaming everything on ‘Tamil Extremists’ without worrying about any logical connection to the question. It is obvious you are not capable of taking part in a meaningful debate on these matters . Tamil Extremists are not any worse than Sinhalese Extremists like yourself. But at least you could have tried to understand what what the writer is saying first.

        You say

        “When you segregate Ethnically you forfeit the votes of the other ethnicities”
        When even someone like you is smart enough to recognize that is not an effective strategy for any politician who represents minority communities. Isn’t it obvious no such politician with at least your level of iq would follow such a strategy?

        On the other hand don’t you see the same strategy is a viable and even attractive one for politicians who claim to represent the majority community which is the Sinhalese in our case?

        Starting from ‘Sinhala Only’ to JRJ is ‘Patha Yathra’ opposing ‘Banda Chelva’ pact. our history has enough examples of politicians tricking people like yourselves in to believing bashing minorities would solve all your problems. And the trend continues – now also turning into bashing Muslims and Christians. People like yourselves who shed crocodile tears for the the ‘Sinhala Buddhists’ are actually the biggest enemy of all communities including the one they claim to ‘protect’

  • Dev

    Seeing the space provided to people like Dayan by GV and Colombo Telegraph, I still have some hope that good people still exist in this land ! It shows the magnanimity of the editors of both websites to allow the likes of Dayan to post.

    Lest we forget, Dayan was defending this regime (and continues to do so) in May 2009 at UNHRC but by then Lasantha W was DEAD and many journalists had fled the country or become silent (Iqbal Athas) !

    Yes, this man defended this regime which silenced many ! Yet, he wants a medium to voice his opinion !!!

    Yes, this shows the magnanimity of GV !

    Coming to this article:
    Dayan was recalled to Colombo from his jaunt in Paris for supporting the 13th amendment. Now he wants to head back to Geneva for 2014 (even though this president called him a NGO man on international television). By criticizing the 13th amendment and the NPC he is simply trying to get back into the good books of MR–all for Geneva 2014.

  • J Fernando

    what ??? Didn’t this chap compare Wigneswaren to Kadirgamer? what happened ? LOL

    • Dev

      Geneva 2014 recall, that’s what happened, someone wants it badly !

  • alex f

    Wow, what an amazing grand plan. Is the author is pitching for a job with the SL regime? Whilst the regime believes that everyone is out to get them, even they haven’t come up with a conspiracy of such a magnitude. The BJP, US, Tamil Diaspora, Tamil Nadu, EU and the TNA/NPC all working together on a splending road-map to sub-vert poor ol’ Sri Lanka.
    But here’s a thought. Why not stope the rape, the torture, the disappearances, the colonisation and land grabbing in the north. Let the NPC do simple things like arrest rapists and murderers (even if they are from the sri lankan army). Wouldn’t that be a really smart way to blunt this huge conspiracy? No one cares what Sri Lanka’s regime says anymore, the only way to detract attention would be to take action and return law and order to the North-East (and to the rest of the country too, but it is particularly bad in the NE). As Akashi said, the world is ‘waiting for action, not just sound and fury’. He is one of Sri Lanka’s long-standing friends. The regime would do well to listen.

  • Jayalath

    Thank you for the article which has delivered a broad understanding about what will precisely happen if Sri Lankan government fails to comply with what international community expect before the dead line on March 2014 over the accountability of war crimes and credibility of reconciliation .
    This will not amaze me, as I exactly knew this day will arrive to our door step ,the danger of its as this article point out that possibility of power sharing could even exceed beyond what provincial council system, some thing like in India . Great , great , actually if this will happen what we can do ? There are chances it can happen . What they did to Iran is an example , Iran is a giant compare to us . They have oil and resources but they were brought to their knees by international sanctions , therefore doing things to us aren’t matters for them . However trying to create a model of Kosovo could not discard as irrelevant , as far as concerned to the post war incidents in the country .
    first of all it is worth to speculate what happened since post war and where did go wrong .just imagine the BBS and Muslim incidents , which brought enormous derogatory to the country ,where the state had to bear the blame. and political blunders like controlling the medias and attacking to free medias , in such cases that state antagonised themselves Sinhala mass media as well who supported during the war against the Tamil Tigers .the disappearances were reported in various part of the country and government gave deaf to public voices came from South and war torn areas . The cost of living is rising high. Racial and religious tensions were reached higher than ever been before . The corruptions charges rose sky high against the state politicians but they gave blind eye ,when you concern to those charges against the government it is not very difficult to imagine what would the public support be in the future at a critical state of government under the international threat to the national autonomy . Will the people back government regardless a race or religion as they did when state needs the support to beat Tamil Tigers .as far as I concern to this international and national threats there is only one consolation that government has at this moment, it is the unanimous support of Sri Lankans. The question is whether the government in a position to obtain it .
    Nonetheless , we cannot ignore the developments have been taken by state since post war . It is very successfully progressing around the country, and it is well known to any person in the country . Therefore , there are number of queries arise related to this ominous rumbling threats. Whether those internal and external hypocrites are under way to destabilize the country once again .or we should let them to cripple the country . There are no two options available on the table , we have to make the mind to defeat these threats where ever they come from as this is our country which has shed enough blood already . I would mind to request from Wingnaswaran not to pull our legs in order to gain personal benefits . He and his bunch of crooks will never comprehend the truth ,and doing things to fit to the country . He has already demonstrated that . Thus, I hope the government should look into alternative options to deal with aggravating crisis in the north east .
    So, we are in a difficult juncture once again after successfully vanquished Tamil Tiger ,the challenges ahead become much complex than ever thought . Will the government has enough prudent to over come unprecedented out break ? This is the question.or should we betray the advantage we have by ending the war at any cost

  • Sitrundi

    Is Wigneswaren bashing the expected thing to get back in the good books of our president?

  • karuna

    Problem with Sinhalese people is obsession that whole Sri
    Lanka belongs to them and whatever rights minority should enjoy prescribed by Sinhalese
    consensus. Tamil leaders were squarely blamed for separatism and link to LTTE
    whenever they talk about Tamil rights, cause and injustice. We have to remember
    same thing happened to Mr.Sampanthan when he referred, world will see
    themselves that Sinhalese will not give anything to Tamils. Blaming Tamil Diaspora
    and Tamil Nadu is not a excuse, because they are focusing light on a dirty picture
    and have reason to do so and it happens in all conflict, good thing is erasing
    dirty picture not blind blaming. What Sinhalese intellectuals are saying is
    Sinhalese consensus is rational and Tamil consensus is irrational, Tamils are
    source of trouble?

  • Dev

    An ancient Ethiopian (I believe) proverb is apt for the likes of Dayan:

    “Do not vacillate or you will be left in between doing something, having something and being nothing.”

  • Candidlee

    More and more it’s being to look as if the selection of Mr Wigneswaran as the TNA’s candidate for Chief minister of the Northern Province was a case of one step forward, but two steps backward for the Tamils of the North as well as the rest of the island. I guess we’ll have to wait for a new generation of Tamil leaders to emerge before sanity will return to the Northern region.

  • Thanga

    [Edited out] He has an obsession with the unitary character of the government. Any suggestion about meaningful devolution of power to the periphery is anathema to him. It is like showing the red flag to the bull. Dayan should know better than anyone else that the Thamil political leadership has rejected the 13th amendment wholesale in 1987 itself. Very recently R.Sampanthan told parliament that he will not touch the 13 A even with a long barge! Then the question arises why the TNA contested the elections under the same 13 A. The answer is simple. We Thamils don’t want Quislings like Douglas (it happened in Eastern province in 2008 when TNA boycotted the elections due to the pervasive presence of ex-LTTE armed groups) to be crowned as the Chief Minister of Northern Province. Secondly we want to prove to the international community that the 13th Amendment is a farce and it was never meant to vest real power to the Thamil people. We saw that in the East and now in the North. Pillayan said he has no power even to appoint a peon and C.V.Wigneswaran is now saying the same thing. Northern and Eastern provinces are different from the other 7 provinces. It is populated by people who speak a different language, profess a different culture and religion. It does not matter for Sinhalese in the 7 provinces to have PCs and Chief Ministers, because they are in control of the levers of the entire government. There is only one small Thamil Minister in charge of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development out of 125. It is a different matter he does not deserve some other important ministry because of his educational qualifications. Dayan wants the Thamils to go on bended knees to the majority Sinhalese for their birth and historical rights. Rights are universal and it is entrenched. Take Canada,every citizen has equal rights, no politician speaks about majority, minority rights. Contrary to the feudal and archaic thinking of Dayan and his cohorts, in Canada democracy is not preached but practiced. The Quebec people are free to separate if a majority of eligible voters vote on a clear question in a referendum. The Supreme Court of Canada has also said that as Canada is divisible, so is Quebec, a ruling that has significant implications for linguistic and ethnic minorities within Quebec, the bulk of whom have traditionally opposed secession. So anything like Kosovo is possible in Sri Lanka. The Thamils were ruled separately till 1833. In passing let me answer the comment made by Prof Pradeep Jeganathan who claims “….it is not historically accurate to say that the Kings of Jaffna ruled the east, certainly even a cursory glance at Dutch records and the doings of Rajasinha the 2nd will tell you, that the Kings of the Kanda Uda Pas Rate, (the five countries on top of the mountains) were also the overlords of Batticaloa and Trincomalee.” He is referring to a period after the demise of the Jaffna Kingdom in 1619. The Kandyan kingdom was only established in late 15th century and endured until the early 19th century. The present Puttalam and Negombo districts were part of the Jaffna Kingdom.

  • Off the Cuff

    Thank your stars that the Sinhala Buddhists did not think and act like the Tamil Hindus whose only interest was Slavery in the name of Religion. The attempts made by them to get Religious Slavery written into the Constitution is adequate proof of that hegemony. Since 1922 Tamil Eelam has been on the agenda of mainstream Tamil politics.

    Sinhala bashing and Sinhala Buddhist bashing is the tactic of choice of Northern insanity since the birth of the Eelam project and was the PRIMARY cause for the 20th century’s FIRST Tamil Sinhala Riot in 1939 (please read the “Hindu Organ” of that era published in Jaffna by Tamils).

    Sanity will return when the insanity of exclusive domains are shed by the Tamil separatists. The depth of that insanity can be observed when the Eastern Province which never had a Tamil Kingdom and the areas within the North (up to Elephant Pass) that were under the Sinhala Kandyan kingdom is also claimed as exclusive Tamil domains disregarding historical evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately the New Chief Minister of the Northern Province a former Supreme Court Judge who was expected to distinguish between justice and injustice has caught the same disease.

    • Steve Grafton

      Before you run away with your Tamil bashing let me give you an extract of an article written by Sharmini Serasinghe in the Colombo Telegraph under the title,

      Sri Lanka Has A 2600 Year-Old Culture?. On the 28 th of November 2013.

      Ms Serasinghe is what you call a good Sinhala upcountry Buddhist and she has the following to say:

      “At this point, I recall a virtual life-changing incident for me as a child of a single-digit age. My grand-mother in Kandy held an alms-giving on a grand scale at our ancestral home. All the ‘bigwig’ Buddhist prelates from all the Nikayas arrived. Suddenly there irrupted a commotion; the bigwigs from the ‘bigwig’ Nikayas refused to partake of alms together with the prelates of the ‘lower’ Nikayas. The entire household was thrown into a quandary, but peace was restored when ‘special arrangements’ were made to accommodate the ‘lowerNikayas’ separately. This is how I learnt of the repugnant caste system in Sri Lanka- courtesy Buddhist monks!”

      Talk about the kettle calling the pot black !

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Steve Grafton,

        I responded to an Eastern Province Tamil who was indulging in Sinhala Buddhist bashing. Burning Issue takes any opportunity to bash Buddhists who are Sinhalese. Typically you turned a blind eye to the original sin, as usual. There is nothing to prevent you from doing likewise but when you do be prepared for a counter response. If you were able to read anything beyond the SUPERFICIAL, in what Sharmini has written, you would have had second thoughts in using it. But then you didn’t have that insight.

        As Sharmini states what these so called priests did was repugnant but apparently she had no knowledge of the cast system of the North. If she did, she would have been appalled and horrified and lost for words to describe it. Thanks for bringing Sharmini’s article to my notice. I will respond to it in the near future.

        I wouldn’t call Sharmini anything other than a Buddhist. She and her family is not cast conscious (though they come from the upcountry where cast was strong) and that’s why they were unaware of Cast issues amongst certain priests as seen by the fact that they INVITED the priests to their home without discrimination. The preparations that they made to receive the priests are the same. They would wash the feet of priests on arrival and stay standing until the priests sat down. Then the laity would sit on mats placed on the floor and offer their obeisance. Before the Alms giving and afterwards the spittoon is carried around by a relative so that the priests could wash their mouth and throw the spit in. A large lay gathering attended the Alms giving and all of them paid equal respect to the priests. A Buddhist will respect the saffron robe and will worship the wearer irrespective of cast or creed. I as well as a majority of Buddhists will look down on Cast as that is not ENDORSED by Buddhism. But if I ever faced the situation that Sharmini’s parents faced I would have politely asked those who wished to leave to leave, without making “Special arrangements”. The error Sharmini’s family did was to make special arrangements (possibly out of respect for the Saffron robe).

        Typically even some Educated Tamils when confronted with the sub human cast oppression practised by Tamils in the North will come out with cast that is practised amongst the Buddhist Priesthood. However please keep in mind that UNLIKE in Hinduism Buddhism does not endorse cast or any other man made division.

        Amongst the Sinhalese Cast is no barrier to priest hood. In contrast, amongst Tamil Hindus, cast is an INSURMOUNTABLE barrier and only the Highest Cast, the Brahmins can aspire to priesthood. Perhaps this is due to the aversion of the Tamil Ruling Class to bow to anyone below their cast.

        No High cast Tamil will INVITE a Low cast into their home and give them an exalted position to sit while they sit on the ground. Let alone offer food or drink they will not even offer water.

        But the above are just minor things compared to the sub human Apartheid that is practised on the vast majority of Servile Tamils by the Ruling High cast Tamils.

        After extensive research at the Jaffna Public Library Mr. Neville Jayaweera a former Government Agent Jaffna states.

        “Even in the mid 1960s, the following principles defined what it meant to be a non-Vellala.

        1. Regardless of natural endowments, anyone born a non-Vellala was frozen into his particular station for all of his life, be it fishing, tree climbing, road sweeping or whatever. Heredity was a cast iron frame from which there was no escape.
        2. They dared not marry anyone from the Vellala caste.
        3. They were not allowed into premises occupied by the Vellalas except for doing the tasks they was born into.
        4. They did not have access into temples owned or managed by Brahmins or Vellalas. In other words, they were non-persons.
        5. They did not have access into Hindu schools or to proceed for higher education. This barrier was breached effectively only when missionary schools began to proliferate, much to the consternation of Hindu leaders.
        6. They could not reside outside their villages.
        7. They could not drink at the village well nor use any other public amenity outside their own villages.
        8. They could not wear jewellery, nor ride in carriages nor use drums at any ceremony.
        9. When they died they could not be cremated or buried on land reserved for the Vellalas.

        There is first hand evidence that the entire elected political leadership of Jaffna colluded with the entire Civil Administration of Jaffna to subvert the PSD Act that would have otherwise eliminated social disabilities perpetrated on the Servile Tamil majority.

        If Einstein was born into a Jaffna Low Cast Scavenging Family, he would have been carting human excreta for disposal.

        Can the fig leaf you used, justify the SLAVERY and debauchery described above?

        Please refer to the following essay “My Village” written by Dr Nagalingam Ethirweerasingham, the first president of the Global Tamil Forum for more information on the extent of subjugation enforced on about 75% of Tamils who were categorised as Low cast and hence became servile to the ruling class who exploited them. (

        • Burning_Issue

          “Burning Issue takes any opportunity to bash Buddhists who are Sinhalese.”

          Nonsense! I bash the Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists like Off the Cuff. I also bash the Tamil Chauvinists with equal venom. Both Groundviews and Colombo T will stand as testament to my claim. Both mainstream parties in Sri Lanka is saturated with Sinhala racists and no leader since independence espoused statesmanship as a Sri Lankan leader but expediently emboldened the chauvinists within the Sinhala community.

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Burning Issue,

            Let’s assume for the moment that your claim “Nonsense! I bash the Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists like Off the Cuff” is correct and proceed to analyse it critically.

            1. Candidlee has not used Religion in his/her argument.
            2. You have not made an argument to introduce Religion into it.
            3. Your two line response contained a derogatory reference to Buddhist Sinhalese.
            3. The opportunity to attack a religious subset of the Sinhala Race did not exist but you created it.
            4. That reference was GENERAL in nature.
            5. It did not target any SPECIFIC “Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists”.

            Hence your denial above does not stand up to critical inquiry.

            You stated “Both Groundviews and Colombo T will stand as testament to my claim”

            I am not a frequent contributor to Colombo Telegraph but have been a frequent contributor to GroundViews for over 5 years. What I have observed of your writings do not support your claim. A search of GV by anyone will turn up many instances where you have irrationally used the Sinhala Buddhist epithet derogatorily. Attempting to hide behind a pretence of indignation is unwise and will not make your action honourable.

            Your use of religion to attack/bash Sinhala Buddhist is unjustified, uncalled for and irrelevant within the comment under discussion. More importantly it is divisive propaganda aimed at the Sinhala race. Sri Lanka after a 30 year war can very well do without that.

            I have several times in the past, declared my readiness to UNCONDITIONALLY apologise to anyone, who can counter what I write, with FACTS, I have nothing to lose from anyone exposing my ignorance but everything to gain as it will definitely add to my education. I stand by that declaration.

            I am sorry to say this is not one of those instances.

            I beseech you to wean yourself out of this destructive habit in the future.

          • Burning_Issue

            “Your use of religion to attack/bash Sinhala Buddhist is unjustified”

            Wrong! I only bash the Sinhala Buddhist chauvinists and not the Sinhala Buddhists in general. It is obvious that the chauvinist hat fits you well and you chose to ware it!

            If you care to read the following article you may understand as to where I come from:

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear GroundViews Readers,

            Burning Issue wrote 6 days ago on Wednesday 18 Dec “…….behave as a Sri Lankan rather than a Sinhala Buddhist!

            Burning Issue claimed 2 days ago on Sunday Dec 22 “I only bash the Sinhala Buddhist chauvinists and not the Sinhala Buddhists in general”

            I cannot reconcile his repeated claims with what he wrote 6 days ago but Burning Issue is a honourable man and he must be Right.

            I congratulate Burning Issue on a well argued debate and concede to him a well deserved win.

        • Steve Grafton

          Having been trained as an anthropologist and having travelled and lived extensively in Sri Lanka and other conflict zones such as Rwanda I am not about to buy your revisionist history ! This kind of yarn may fool the masses but not me.

          You would have been perfect for the “ministry of truth” in George Orwell’s 1984.

          (If you haven’t read that book, I suggest that as a good read )

  • J Fernando

    Dayan starts the attack and the racists crawl out the woodwork to attack the Tamils, with their off the cuff remarks.

    Meanwhile in a parallel universe Mosques in Dehiwela are prevented from conducting worship and a Muslim owned jewelry store attacked in Galle by out triply blesses people.
    While we are still waiting to see the apprehension of that infamous attack of the Dumbulla Mosque by none other than our triply blessed people !

  • Sitrundi

    I think the following quote is applicable to you off the cuff:

    “Whoever debases others is debasing himself.”
    ? James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Sitrundi,

      I think you are wearing blinkers. Look around you, how many separatist Tamils slander the Sinhalese and the Buddhists? Why does it not offend you? They would falsely talk of 65 years of oppression when all the while the REAL oppression that puts anyone to shame went on in the North, behind the Cadjan Curtain. I am countering this false propaganda with authentic history which these separatists have carefully hidden away. I myself, till recently, was taken in with this separatist propaganda until I started researching and found the truth.

      I was shocked by the revelations of a former GA of Jaffna, Mr. Neville Jayaweera, who was entrusted with implementing the Official Languages Bill in Jaffna. He did not implement it and instead implemented the Reasonable use of Tamil bill (with the informal concurrence of Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike). The RUT Bill was not even Law at that time. Thanks to him the Sinhala Only Bill was NEVER implemented in the North. If you are unsure of this please ask Mr Devenesan Nessaiah who was a GA Jaffna several years later.

      A quote must be appropriately used in order to be effective. Defecating on a public highway debases the person who does it. It does not debase the person who reports it.

      What stands out is the FACT that No Tamil who has commented on this page, including you, Burning Issue, Karuna and TGTE Senator Usha S Sriskandaraja have contested the material I have placed before the GV readership. All what we have is irrelevant quotes, silence and ad hominems (that GV moderators to their credit has deleted).

      Please read my reply to Steve Grafton for more information about Tamil Society in the North ( 75% of these Northern Tamils were subjected to a degrading form of slavery that has a few parallels in the world.

      Are you afraid of the TRUTH Sitrundi?

      The best counter to false propaganda is the Truth. This is what I have done. I have countered Tamil Separatist propaganda that attempts to slander the Sinhalese and the Buddhists using the TRUTH. Apparently you and like minded Tamils do not like it because you have no effective counter to the TRUTH. Perhaps even you did not know the extent of persecution and depravity suffered by the Northern Tamil majority and the hegemony of elected Tamil representatives who colluded with the top civil administration of Jaffna to perpetuate that hegemony.

      Reporting the Truth is neither Debasing nor Slander.
      Hence please counter them if you can.

  • Someone

    “…LTTE ] who killed more tamils than anybody…”

    Really? Please tell me where you got your figures from. At least get the facts right! Of course LTTE was a killing machine. But to say the number of Tamils killed by the LTTE (which were mostly targeted assassinations ,) is bigger than the number killed by the government (whose army used heavy artillary to take out entire villages) is utter nonsense. Read the reports of who have always been impartial (and yes they are fears critics of the LTTE too) about how many people your beloved government has killed. People like you who with no respect for facts are part of the reason for our countries troubles

  • Obamasal

    If all of them killed you know very well what happened in Kosovo, East Timor and Sudan would have been repeated that the Rajapaksas knew it very well. UN would have intervened and separation effected. Tamils under LTTE were happy even with government embargo. If you want to confirm my assertion ask the government to conduct a plebiscite in the east and north. No, the security forces starved 460,000 people for months by claiming there were only 70,000 and used heavy weapons to kill as many as possible after urging them to move into a narrow strip for ‘safety’.