At the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) 68th session in late September, a major stipulation was laid out by UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in reference to the shocking slaughtering of tens of thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil civilians in the spring of 2009. Given strong evidence that Tamil civilians were killed primarily by… Read more »
Posts Categorized: Politics
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.
by Julie Mariappan, TNN, from ‘Times of India,’ October 24, 2013 video report at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Tamil-Nadu-assembly-passes-resolution-demanding-India-boycott-Commonwealth-meeting/articleshow/24650700.cms CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu legislative assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution urging the Union government to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting slated to be held in Colombo in November. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had reportedly informed the DMK leadership recently that a decision on India’s… Read more »
bu Sinthujan Varatharajah, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ October 16, 2013 Following our Sinhala privilege piece published on our Tumblr, ‘Check your Des(h)i Privilege’, we received a number of responses from Sinhalese and Tamils alike. As one of the co-authors of the piece, I’ve observed some of the conversations that were incited by the piece on social media… Read more »
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.”
Last week’s judgment offers the clearest proof yet that the Thirteenth Amendment does not provide any measure of meaningful checks on central intrusion into provincial governance. It points directly to the Amendment’s inadequacies. To its capacity to be abused and the fickleness of the devolution of the very subjects it was intended to devolve. Moreover, the judgment unequivocally demonstrates the inherent problem of devolution within a unitary state – the threat of the unilateral rollback.
In short, the executive and legislative powers of the Provincial Council continues to be with the President and exercised by the Governor whom he appoints while the Governor exercises such powers with the assistance and advice of the Chief Minister, the members of the Board of Ministers and through the members of the Provincial Public Service. The Chief Minister and the members of the Board of Ministers just cannot defy the Governors authority.
The TNA has also indicated it will try to raise development funds outside of Sri Lanka, particularly from the global Tamil diaspora – estimated to be some 700,000 people, mostly concentrated in Canada, the UK and the rest of the European Union – to invest directly in the province, without going through the national government.
But since 2009, when the government created the Presidential Task Force (PTF), the state has controlled all humanitarian and development activities in the north.
“Mainly the Task Force is…to coordinate activities of the security agencies of the Government in support of resettlement, rehabilitation and development, and to liaise with all organizations in the public and private sectors and civil society organizations for the proper implementation of programs and projects,” said a government announcement.
Run by the Defence Ministry, PTF approves all humanitarian and reconstruction work in the north.
Continuing repression of Tamils, and their defiance, suggest reconciliation is far off
The landslide victory of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election was an act of sheer defiance by the Tamil people. Their emphatic endorsement of the TNA at the ballot box – whose campaign highlighted the core Tamil political demands and the Tamil armed resistance for independence – was a… Read more »
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 »
There is a dangerous bifurcation of the country which will not diminish till the Gota-Mahinda regime is driven out. Let’s grow up and get real; there is nothing this regime will not do, if it can get away with it, to sink the new NPC-TNA Administration; the survival of dictatorship is predicated on snuffing out independent power centres. Call me a pessimist if you will; on this topic I am.
The Tamil National Alliance won a solid victory over the weekend in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, giveing it the credibility to lobby for political devolution and for sufficient funds to rebuild the shattered region. Sri Lanka’s Tamil heartland has finally regained its political voice, four years after a brutal civil war that tore apart… Read more »
New York: In a rare admission of “systemic failure” of the UN, its chief has said the world body had failed during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s ethnic war in 2009 that saw military defeat of the LTTE. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also blamed member countries for not providing the UN with support to… Read more »
24th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council 24 September 2013 Geneva Item 9: General Debate Organization: Pasumai Thaayagam Presenter: Dr. Anpumani Ramadoss Pasumai Thaayagam condemns all forms of racism and related intolerance. There are many repercussions of racism, ranging from the daily oppression of an intolerant society, to outright genocide. Unfortunately, the latter is… Read more »
USTPAC press release _NPC election_092413 In Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council vote held on Saturday, the Tamil National Alliance defeated the Sri Lanka government alliance securing firm control of the Council. Despite violence and voter intimidation with suffocating military presence, Tamils signal to chart their own destiny. WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — United States… Read more »
The democratic verdict of the people is clear. Within the framework of a united, undivided country, they want to live in security, safeguarding their self respect and dignity with adequate self-rule, to be able to fulfill their legitimate political, economic, social and cultural aspirations. The Tamil National Alliance is committed to the achievement of the… Read more »
Rather, the problem is more about nationalism and nationhood, about the Tamil people’s aspirations, about their need to be recognized as an equal nationality on the basis of equality and self-determination. It is a question that has to do with a deeply polarized polity, or deeply polarized polities. In broader terms, it is a question about how peoples with contrasting views about their nationhood, about their histories, can still co-exist peacefully.
Secondly, another related point that this election drives home, and one which should be openly acknowledged, is that whatever the historical facts one may adduce for or against the ‘traditional homeland’ argument of the Tamil people, the verdict of the Tamil people shows that for all practical purposes, the North, at least, is an entity which the Tamil people can consider to be their ‘traditional homeland’. There’s another phrase for that (which the TNA uses, as well as the Indo-Lanka Accord): ‘historical habitation’.
Just wanted to put down a few quick comments on the NPC election The difference in press coverage by the western media and the Indian media was in stark contrast. Indian Media was out on a limb trying to set up a different narrative than what the Tamil people were voting for Voter turn out… Read more »
For Immediate Release September 22, 2013. Canadian Tamil Congress congratulates TNA and Chief Minister elect Justice C.V. Wigneswaran. The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) congratulates the Tamil National Alliance and the Chief Minister elect Justice C.V. Wigneswaran on the impressive election victory in the Northern Provincial Council elections. Despite the intimidation by the Sri Lankan… Read more »