| by Shenali Waduge
( January 25, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) When a Government with a 2/3 majority in Parliament dodges making a decision on an issue that clearly demands prompt and clear deliberation, it calls for answers from that Government. A fault of all previous Governments has been to make promises that it cannot keep ignoring the desires of the country mass populace. The reality remains that any Government is only the custodian of governance. It is voted into power not to function to the dictates of foreign nations or to lobby minority parties that have no voice or to promise devolution of the country. All Governments must remember this at all times.
Undoubtedly the 13amendment has become a topic that is creating more division than unity and it is for this very reason that it should be annulled. The parties seeking the implementation of the 13amendment do not have any voice amongst the general public. Who is India to dictate what should be & should not be implemented in Sri Lanka. It is only a neighboring country. Similarly, a group of puppets known as the TNA living in Colombo hiding from the LTTE deems itself the political mouthpiece of the Tamil people totally ignoring its shameless record of doing nothing for the low caste Tamil people who had been used for 3 decades to promote something called “self-determination” which in essence meant using poor & low caste Tamils turning them into child soldiers so that the rich & high caste Tamils could benefit locally & internationally. All these were taking place while year in & year out Tamil Nadu Indians were nicely making Sri Lanka their home…does this not explain the 294,000 Tamil civilians rescued by Sri Lanka’s military. A brave statistical count & verification of birth IDs will reveal how many of these “civilians” might be Tamil Nadu Indians!. That scores of Indians have berthed in Sri Lanka through 30 years is one of the reasons for India to insist on a deputy high commission in Jaffna and it is here where its intelligence would have already started to explore ways & means of disturbing the peninsular & elsewhere when India feels the need to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan Government.
Sri Lanka’s total Tamil population was 2.4m of this number almost 1m now reside overseas. Of the remaining there is hardly 600,000 remaining in the north or east of Sri Lanka given the large numbers of Tamils residing amongst the Sinhalese in the South of Sri Lanka. Calculate and see how precarious the Tamil population statistics really are. Today it is estimated that the Tamil & Muslim population both stand almost in par. So what we have is a small number of Tamils living in the North, an even smaller number of Tamils in the East & a group of Vellalar’s wanting to reign supreme over the low caste Tamils which incidentally make up much of the populace living in the North/East. For India it becomes convenient too to be able to have a bigger say in a devolved North/East with a group of puppets that will do anything that India desires. Now this may make a rose picture for India and the TNA but unfortunately this is an unlikely scenario given that more Tamils are living amongst the Sinhalese in the South including the TNA & their families.
Simple facts must never be forgotten – there is, was & will never be something called a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka. There is no historical evidence to remotely prove this. If Tamils desire a homeland, that homeland is in Tamil Nadu where the first self-determination struggle started which was conveniently imported to Sri Lanka.
It may have been convenient for India to side with GOSL to help defeat the LTTE for after 30 years India was ready amidst its own economic advances internationally to kickstart a drive to ensnare Sri Lanka economically. Observe the number of GOSL approved Indian investments in Sri Lanka, the ever increasing Indian presence, Indians holding private sector top posts, even the shopping malls & restaurants are packed with Indians! Not keeping a tab on who is coming & leaving Sri Lanka does little merit for Sri Lanka. GOSL cannot deny that warnings have been given and as custodians of Sri Lanka’s sovereign status it is vested upon officials & the GOSL to ensure that the sovereignty of the nation & its people is never compromised.
Sri Lanka does not need investments if it means that Sri Lanka has to compromise its assets natural & human. What good is a nation if its future generations are to discover with time the manner its leaders have compromised the sacrifices made to free it.
Deciding to militarily defeat the tail end of the LTTE was no easy endeavor. The larger part of the LTTE mechanism still remains alive & far deadlier than those fighting off in the Vanni jungles including its leader who has hardly any reason to be angry with the Sinhalese since all his life he had been living amongst his own people.
While the Defense Secretary able steered the military, it was the President that steered the diplomatic battle. Knowing how the world functions it is easy to comprehend how many must have been angered by the defeat of the LTTE for it brought an end to their perks & privileges. To this category politicians, public officials, learned academics, media personnel, some members of the military and even the public stand accused. That was how the LTTE functioned – buying over people and using their voices for political propaganda. So essentially it was an international movement that constituted people of all ethnic groups using a superstitious “homeland” theme as an excuse to raise money through funds & lead plush lives while depriving their own people of education, mental & social development. All those party to the LTTE should today feel ashamed.
Whatever ways the devolution of power, separation of land & police powers is argued all that needs to be said clearly is that we have enough forms of mechanisms in existence & we do not need anything in addition. All these proposals are simply to safeguard & sustain the political futures of politicians and their stooges only. None of these proposals have little to do with providing any benefit to the public be they Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslim. That is simply the reality of things.
We have the provincial councils, the local bodies and if the officials of these units function as they should half of all the problems will be addressed. There is no guarantee that administrative issues currently faced will be solved by establishing another unit. If we are disillusioned with our politicians it is no exaggeration to say that Sri Lanka’s public service is no better. People cannot be taught to be passionate about their work – it must come from within. People cannot be forced to be honest – it too must come from within.
What Sri Lanka really ails from is the breakdown of its administrative network and the inability of its staff to diligently attend to their chores. When errors are pointed it has become an easy exercise to strike & decry salary issues. Interested parties need to firstly correct these administrative fallacies for in introducing corrective measures to Sri Lanka’s administrative units all the ills that the public faces presently will be catered to. If the public services function as they should politicians would become just figureheads in governance.
Of course as a country we are all concerned that a Government addresses the grievances of its population. This however does not mean that just because one ethnic group has managed to gain international fame by promoting a false concept & ideology that the country must bend on fours to apply solutions that suit foreign interests totally ignoring the rights of the other ethnic groups in Sri Lanka especially the majority Sinhalese that make up 14.8m of a total 20m population.
It is obvious that the latest maneuverings have been well planned ahead of calls for an investigations into war crimes. The spate of happenings taking place in core areas has been orchestrated well. Those aware of how internal conflicts had been staged in other countries will see Sri Lanka status quo as being no different though this does not excuse portfolios given to incapable politicians & far worse officials.
This is not the first time that the people have clearly said no to the 13A – plus or minus or in any other form. The TNA is a group of politicians interested in their own survival & that of their caste and is merely carrying the message of India and all those bankrolling their existence. Therefore, if the TNA has hardly a voice amongst the Tamils in Sri Lanka why should there be any reason to take their demands seriously? Moreover, prior to even discussing the implementation of the 13A can those proposing it as a solution clearly explain what it is going to solve?
The fault of previous political leaders has been to make promises that were never meant to be kept and thereafter look upon the deities and auspicious times to solve all matters. This practice must stop.
We have been given a golden opportunity and we must not waste that in thinking that celestial powers guarding Lanka will always protect it. We need to do our bit as well. So long as cross overs exist and is encouraged there is no green or blue party. The opposition needs to remember that its supporters refrained from backing it at elections primarily because it did not follow a sovereign Sri Lanka stand. All politicians would do well to remember this.
A government that rides high on the gratefulness of the people need not jeopardize this by creating ambiguities that will give rise for situations far dangerous than countering armed rebels. The backing of the public is not without strings which implies that any party aspiring to win the majority votes needs to ensure that Sri Lanka remains sovereign, unitary with no forms of devolution or external interferences.