The prime consideration of the Tamils is security, which determines their very existence. Now that the conflict is ended by the war, there will be an extended period to recast relationships between the state and Tamils, the Sinhalese and Tamils, to overcome past iniquities and focus on the future.
The Tamils must have the assurance that their security won’t be compromised again on any account. While the international community is there to afford relief, it takes time to assemble and implement their directives. It needs an effective local mechanism to prevent such a development.
One clear and unambiguous way of ensuring this would be to embed a self-determination clause in the Sri Lanka constitution as a clear safeguard against any excesses or discriminatory action by the state. At the same time, there must also be safeguards to prevent it being invoked frivolously.
When the Indian Foreign Minister brought up the issue of meaningful political devolution in his meetings, the Sri Lankan side – both President Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, in response, seem to have pointed to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC)…
Speaking to the Indian media in Jaffna before his meeting with Mr. Khurshid, Chief Minister Mr.Wigneswaran said it was important that the PSC lay down explicitly its parameters and matters related to its forward movement…
Having indicated to Sri Lanka that it was a “historic opportunity to start dialogue afresh”, he said India would be there to “help, assist and advise.”
by MCM Iqbal, ‘Groundviews.org,’ Colombo, July 19, 2009 (The writer was one of the secretaries of the first Provincial Council of the Western Province) 1. Introduction In the aftermath of the defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka, many expected the government to put forward the promised political solution to the problems of the Tamils which… Read more »
by Associated Press in ‘The Washington Post’ Asia/Pacific section, September 20, 2013 JAFFNA, Sri Lanka — The ethnic Tamils of Sri Lanka tried to gain autonomy in their northern heartland first through three decades of protests and strikes, then through three decades of civil war. Northern cities were reduced to rubble and at least 80,000… Read more »
by Watchdog, ‘Groundviews.org,’ Colombo, September 19, 2013 On 25th September 2012, the Menik Farm camp in Vavuniya, which at its peak, housed close to 300,000 internally displaced persons, was officially closed down when the Government of Sri Lanka relocated the last batch of IDPs. This formally marked the closure of all post-2009 IDP camps in the… Read more »
by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, September 10, 2013 Significant changes have taken place in post-war Sri Lanka that have assisted the improvement in the lives of those affected by displacement and over 480,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been able to return to their homes and communities. However, four years after the war displacement… Read more »
While there are a few bright spots, HHR’s survey results have proven that local governance problems in the Northern Province run deep and wide; it appears that most local government bodies are failing to perform their duties.
Amidst scores of charts, graphs and numbers, what comes out most clearly from this survey is the profound lack of public participation.
“Why,” the monitor asked the crowd, “wouldn’t you rather vote for the party that gave you new roads and buildings, the party that could continue to develop this region?” The answer from a Tamil resident of the North was succinct. “What is the point of new roads without dignity?”
Image courtesy DBS Jeyaraj Introduction President Jayewardene did not like the word ‘colonisation’. Instead, he preferred the terms ‘land settlement’. But the Land Settlement Ordinance uses ‘settlement’ to mean a settlement on claims over ‘land’. Item 18 of the Provincial Councils List of the 13th Amendment, reads as follows: 18. Land, – Land, that is to say,… Read more »
Major General (RTD) Nanda Mallawarachchi had been appointed as the Ministry Secretary. He was formerly an Ambassador to Indonesia and a former Army Chief of Staff.
Sources for the situation, now and in the past — 1.) TamilNet Almost daily reports on enroachment, such as “Border Division of Mannar Sinhalicized” at http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=36552 and “Amparai GA, DS Officials Step Up Sinhalicization of Batticalow” at http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=36567 2.) International Crisis Group “Sri Lanka’ North II: Rebuilding Under the Military,” 16 March, 2012 at http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-asia/sri-lanka/220-sri-lankas-north-ii-rebuilding-under-the-military.pdf 3.) TNA MP R…. Read more »
It is a wholly nonsensical debate: those who want to repeal the 13th amendment argue, quite misleadingly, that it significantly devolves land and police powers to the provinces. They also call for Parliament to be stripped of its powers to enable a merger of the North and Eastern provinces — when even the main opposition party (the United National Party) is against such a move. Just as misleading are attempts by those campaigning for the 13th amendment, including India and the TNA, to convey to the Tamil people that it is a good starting point to a political solution.
Executive power lies with the President and his servants – and to the extent that a Chief Minister is not a servant of the President, the Constitution does not, and indeed cannot, vest executive power in the Chief Minister.
http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/sri-lanka Freedom of the Press 2013 Report Sri Lanka Sri Lanka In Sri Lanka the “score moved from 72 to 74 to reflect an increase in verbal threats and intimidation against journalists by government officials, as well as the sale of the Sunday Leader, formerly one of the island’s most independent newspapers, to an owner… Read more »
Attached is a report of a project started a year ago to lower malnutrition in IDPs in the Northern Province by 10%, paid for by Japan through the World Bank for US$2.7 million. A year ago the malnutrition figures were: Prevalence of anemia (Hb < 11.0g/dL) among children 0-23 months = 61.60% Prevalence of anemia… Read more »
Culture matters; and so do rules. In Patterns of Democracy, political scientist Arend Lijphart argues that democratic governments come in two basic models: majoritarian, like the British, with strong single-party cabinets dominating decision-making, or “consensual,” with power exercised through coalitions. Lijphart observes that while in homogeneous societies all citizens can feel reasonably represented in a majoritarian system, the same model in nations deeply divided by class or identity “spells majoritarian dictatorship and civil strife.” He argues for electoral rules which guarantee a measure of proportional representation, coalition governments, an empowered and truly bicameral legislature, decentralization. Lijphart claims that the consensual model maximizes democratic legitimacy without sacrificing effectiveness.
Whither Sri Lankan Tamils 26 04 2013 Retired SC Judge C V Wigneswaran Courtesy TamilNet.com
Pres. Rajapaksa distributing deeds in pop-up tentPresident Mahinda Rajapaksa distributed land deeds to 3,000 farmer families in the Mahaweli L Zone under the theme of “Farmland Rights for you who give Golden Harvest to the Nation”, at a ceremony held at Sampath Nuwara Mahaweli grounds in the former conflict-affected Weli Oya on Saturday. Addressing… Read more »
Vittachi concludes the book with a question. “Have the Sinhalese and the Tamils reached the parting of the ways?” The question was asked in 1958. It was definitively answered, 25 years later, in 1983. Another 26 years later, in 2009, we were reminded of the answer.
55 years after Vittachi first asked the question, who in the Sinhala community is willing to openly ask the question,