Posts Categorized: Politics

Land Issues in Northern and Eastern Provinces

Mr. Deputy Speaker, my Adjournment Motion that I have proposed to move today deals with nine situations pertaining to land both in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces. Land issues are a matter of grave concern to the Tamil-speaking people, both the Tamil people and the Muslim people in the North and the East. We… Read more »

Business of (Tamil) Politics

“I got arrested 40 times during the ’60s, beaten, bloodied and unconscious, I’m not tired, I’m not weary. I’m not prepared to sit down and give up. I am ready to fight and continue to fight, and you must fight.”

“You cannot stand by. You cannot sit down. You have to stand up, speak up, speak out and get in the way. Make some noise. The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It’s the most powerful non-violent tool…”

Bloody Footprints on Sri Lanka

The bloody episode is cited as the latest example of violent repression that threatens to overshadow the Commonwealth leaders’ summit in Colombo in November.

Today Navi Pillay, the United Nations human rights commissioner, arrives in Sri Lanka, amid hopes she will address allegations that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime has intimidated its opponents in the four years since the showdown with Tamil rebels that ended the civil war.

No Starting Point to Resolution

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.

Police Powers and Land Under 13 A

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.

Locked Away: Sri Lanka’s Security Detainees

Amnesty – ‘Locked Away Sri Lanka’s Security Detainees’ 2012 [This report continues the practice of ignoring the ethnic aspects of the situation in Sri Lanka by NEVER mentioning the words ‘Tamil,’ ‘Sinhalese,’ or ‘Muslim.’  This practice seems to be weakening a bit with the attacks on Muslims. — Ed/] SUMMARY The Sri Lankan government won… Read more »

Sencholai Massacre – 7 Years On

by ‘Tamil Guardian,’ London, August 13, 2013 On 14th August 2006, four Sri Lankan Air Force jets flew over the Vanni, dropping sixteen bombs over the Sencholai children’s home in Vallipunam for orphaned girls. Fifty-three Tamil school girls and 3 staff members were killed, and over 150 injured. In a macabre warning of the attacks… Read more »

Broker Politics Or Democratic Action?

The more incisive comments on myprevious posting, The Meanings of Wigneswaran, raise several inter-related issues that have been central to the Tamil Question and still bedevil action. This writing responds to and builds on them and attempts to probe further. It is necessary at the outset to clarify an unfortunate misreading in one comment, that… Read more »

TNA Demands Probe into Land Grabs in North

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday demanded that government immediately investigate what it called land grabs by the security force members in the North and East and to redress the grievances of Tamil people. Moving a motion for the debate at the time of adjournment, TNA leader R. Sampanthan, MP, said that the government, through… Read more »

The Other Two-State Solution

However, while it may seem at times that Israel-Palestine are slipping down the same road, for example even during the Oslo Peace Process the Israelis doubled the number of settlers in Palestine and even expanded the total number of settlements, Israel/Palestine has something Sri Lanka never had during its 56 years: international awareness and pressure for peace.

The Resurgence of the Kurds

The fortunes of the Kurds started to look up as a result of events beyond their control…

One of the most surprising aspects of this success is the change it has brought about in Turkey’s attitude toward the Iraqi Kurds…

The Turks seem to be backing away from Iraq’s federal government, looking to the Kurds to provide a buffer between them and the Iran-dominated Shia zone. State-backed Turkish energy companies are competing for a stake in Iraqi Kurdistan’s big oil and gas fields and there are plans for a pipeline that would pump oil to Turkey without passing through Iraqi federal government territory. That would demonstrate Iraqi Kurdistan’s growing detachment from Baghdad—and the short distance between the Kurds and outright independence.

Mr. Martin Collacott is Appalled…

The reader who sent this article in remembrance of Black July noted “Satyendra’s response to an article by a former Canadian High Commissioner is a timely reminder to the TNA especially Justice Wigneswaran. Justice Wigneswaran and the TNA to on reflect Satyendra’s thoughts that eloquently summarises the thoughts of the Tamil voters that the present government is moving forward with the plans of colonization developed by former Pres. JR Jayawardene.”

Freedom of the Press 2013

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 »

Sri Lanka Govt Shuns Reconciliation with Move to Annul Constitutional Provisions

The fundamental reason was that Tamils realised that devolution proposed under the 13thamendment would be hobbled by the very thing it was supposed dismantle – power wielded in Sri Lanka’s legislature by Sinhalese members of parliament. This constraint was due to the unitary character of the Sri Lankan state. This means that the central government, in which the executive presidency and parliament are key institutions, remains constitutionally supreme.

The Tyranny of the Majority

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.

Extremism Rises Among Myanmar Buddhists

“Myanmar monks are quite isolated and have a thin relationship with Buddhists in other parts of the world,” Phra Paisal said. One exception is Sri Lanka, another country historically bedeviled by ethnic strife. Burmese monks have been inspired by the assertive political role played by monks from Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority.

The Uphill Road

by ‘The Economist’s’ Banyan blog, June 22, 2013  OFTEN, when Sri Lanka’s ethnic-Sinhalese-dominated government appears to be offering a hand in friendship to the Tamil minority, it turns out to be a slap in the face. For example, in 2010 it appointed a Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the final phase of the… Read more »

The 13th Amendment: What Next?

Defeating the LTTE did not create a united Lankan nation. Sri Lanka today is what she was after 1956: one and indivisible, with marginalised minorities and seeds of separation germinating underground.

Maximalism is a mindset, a way of looking at the world and living in it. It is a habit that dulls the eyes, stops the ears, blunts the intellect and silences the conscience. It is a habit which makes one do not only what is wrong but also what is counterproductive.