Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Solution Within Present Constitution Improbable!

Sudar Oli editorial, translated from Tamil by TamilInsight.org, March 24, 2008

India has reiterated that the panacea for the Tamil problem lies within the present constitution.

Since independence, the legislative power of the country has been handed over to the Sinhala - Buddhist majority. Atrocities against the Tamil people have been the national policy of every government since then. Constitutions were enacted in Sri Lanka to give legal effect to such laws, to justify laws discriminatory to the Tamil people.

The views expressed by the Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukerji are astounding for he has stated that power sharing including solution to the Tamil ethnic crisis must be found within the Lankan constitution. He has made this statement on the Floor of the Lok Sabah almost as a foreign policy statement of the Indian government in reply to a question raised by a member.

It is therefore clear that the position of the Indian government is that the solution to the Tamil problem should be within the ambit of the present constitution. India has reiterated that the panacea for the Tamil problem lies within the present constitution.

Since independence, the legislative power of the country has been handed over to the Sinhala - Buddhist majority. Atrocities against the Tamil people have been the national policy of every government since then. Constitutions were enacted in Sri Lanka to give legal effect to such laws, to justify laws discriminatory to the Tamil people.

There was the 1972 constitution in which, Sinhala language was made the official language and Buddhism was given place of great significance. It was stressed that it is the duty of the government to preserve, protect and promote Buddhism.

Section 29 of the Soulbury Constitution that ensured the fundamental rights, privileges to the minorities was removed. This constitution snatched away the right to equality and equal share in governance for the Tamil people with the Sinhala people.

( An English translation of the Editorial in The Sudar Oli, a Tamil daily, based in Colombo )

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Old Wine in New Bottles

Virakesari editorial

Twenty years ago there was a Provincial Council election for a merged north-east under the Indo-Lanka Accord. But, now, the government proposes to hold polls for the Eastern Provincial Council in a de-merged north-east. The proposed polls are a political drama to split the traditional homeland of the Tamils.

When the north - east provincial council was formed with Varatharja Perumal as the Chief Minister under the Indo-Lanka Accord, it was expected that the Tamil people's aspirations and legitimate demands would be met.

But, what happened at last was disappointment to the Tamil people. The then Chief Minister Varatharajah Perumal had to give up the post and declare Tamil Eelam unilaterally and leave the island due to frustration that Colombo government did not co-operate and powers were not devolved to the Provincial Council.

That was another disappointment to the Lankan Tamil people for the Tamil people pinned much faith in India. They believed that India would be a tower of strength to them.

The extremist elements implemented their agenda efficiently. Now, there is going to be polls for the Eastern Provincial Council. Tamil people are aware of the motive behind these moves. They are aware that it is held according to a political agenda of certain forces.

Only recently did we have the polls for the local bodies in the east. Although the government says that it was a victory for democracy, the UNP, SLMC, TNA and JVP accuse that the election was not conducted properly. They have raised doubts as to whether the Provincial Council Polls will be held in a free and fair manner.

As far as the Tamils are concerned, it is old wine in new bottles.

(An English translation of the Editorial in Virakesari, a Tamil daily, based in Colombo)