| by S L Gunasekara
( April 24, 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Members of Parliament of any country whatsoever are elected to look into and pass legislation to suit and benefit the people of their own country. Indian politicians, be they national politicians such as the delegation from India that visited Sri Lanka a few days back or regional politicians like M Karunanidhi who, to my mind, is by far the biggest clown of Tamil Nadu (whether literally or metaphorically). Karunanidhi has now recommended that the government of India should support a resolution in the United Nations to insist on a referendum in Sri Lanka to determine whether or not Sri Lanka should be bifurcated into a state of Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka. Not to be outdone, the delegation of members of two houses of parliament of India have made some pontifical pronouncements about the need to implement both the 13th Amendment and the recommendations of the LLRC !!
Leaving aside for the moment the question whether either Karunanidhi or these counterparts of ‘Dr.’ Mervin Silva in India have read, or understood if they read, the 13th Amendment to our Constitution and/or the report of the LLRC including its recommendations, it is, or rather should be more than passing strange that these foreigners instead of concentrating on the needs of India and the problems to be solved in India are overly concerned with Sri Lanka and the Tamils of Sri Lanka.
India’s problems with Pakistan and its allegations of Pakistan promoting terrorism in India appear to have no end.. However, not one of them speaks of the commitments made by both India and Pakistan way back in 1949 and the consequent Security Council Resolution to have a referendum to determine whether the States of Jammu and Kashmir should be part of India or Pakistan or of the fact that being allergic to foreign intervention and/or distrustful of even the Security Council of the UN, they agreed at Simla in about 1972, about 40 years ago, to arrive at a settlement by bilateral negotiation. That negotiated settlement remains an ancient dream that will never be implemented.
While Mervin Silva’s counterparts from India waxed eloquent about undertakings allegedly given by our government to the Indian government to implement the 13th Amendment, they maintained a deafening silence about undertakings given by the Indian government to the world at large to have a referendum, and 23 years later, to have a `home grown’ negotiated settlement to solve its dispute with Pakistan regarding Kashmir. Strange is it not??
These matters would, doubtless, be more than strange if any one or more of the Indian parliamentarians is or was genuine in what he/she says or said . However, politicians being politicians, to expect them to speak frankly, honestly or with commitment on any subject is expecting too much. The problems of India and its problems with Pakistan are far too intractable for these Members of Parliament and their ever posturing regional politicians like Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha who are “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”, to express opinions about or urge a particular line of action. Even they are aware that abject failure awaits them if they were to venture into subjects such as, in particular, the problems of Jammu and Kashmir and the referendum and/or the `home grown solution’ to which India had agreed but never implemented for over half a century.
They however have no difficulty whatsoever in holding forth about the need for a `solution’ in Sri Lanka and what that `solution’ should be. Nothing they say could reflect adversely on their electoral prospects. Their statements relate to Sri Lanka; they relate not to what must be done in India, but to what must be done in Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan government, and would affect not the people of India but the people of Sri Lanka. Thus, they can propose various things but it is not they or any Indians but we the Sri Lankan citizens who will have to bear the brunt of the consequences of following their hare brained views or schemes.
It is interesting to note that all these Indians seem to lay great stock/reliance on the full implementation of the 13th Amendment. How they purport to have arrived at the view that implementing that stupid piece of legislation could possibly benefit the country is beyond comprehension. Even a total idiot who considers for a moment the performance of various Provincial Councils including the one in the East and the defunct Provincial Council of the North and East over the past 24 years would have no reason to doubt that it is only an enemy of Sri Lanka who want us to implement those provisions in full.
One of the matters that is most amazing in this scenario is that the United National Party which refuses steadfastly to devolve powers even on its deputy leader elected by the party’s working committee in terms of its constitution but insists that he cannot even start a membership drive without a decision in that regard and/or the concurrence of the leader of the party, purports to be a vociferous proponent of devolution. . That is to say that the UNP, believes in centralized administration where the Party is concerned, but now that they are in the Opposition, they seek full devolution where the Country is concerned !!!
It is here worthy of note that while the UNP was in power from 1987 to 1994 and thereafter from 2001 to 2004 for approximately 10 years in all after the enactment of the 13th Amendment, they neither devolved powers regarding land nor powers regarding the police on Provincial Councils. However, now that they are in the Opposition and they see a prospect of getting some kind of electoral gains by deceiving the poor Tamils into voting for them, they support the devolution of such powers to the Provincial Councils [including all Provincial Councils under the rule of the UPFA and their Chief Ministers – a prospect that would make any reasonable man shudder with horror] while at the same time refusing to devolve powers within the party to the periphery of the party and even to its own deputy leader !!!
The UNP apart, the most horrifying aspect of this entire scenario is that parliamentarians including ministers, former ministers and ‘would be ministers’ have gone before the Indian delegation as supplicants and told them what in their view is wrong with the governance of our Country, and what should be done, ignoring entirely the facts that what should be done in Sri Lanka is a matter entirely for the Sri Lankans who are sovereign in terms of the Constitution, and that what we do within Sri Lanka is no business of any Indians who have always been our enemies.
The `icing’ on this indigestible and poisonous `cake’ is that according to Ms Swaraj MP, President Rajapakse who earned the wholehearted respect of all patriotic Sri Lankans by rebuffing the foreigners including Moon, Clinton. Milliband and Kouchner and continuing with military operations against the Tiger Terrorists without a break, has himself succumbed to this bunch of Indian frauds and promised to fully implement the 13th Amendment “plus”!!!