‘PCs and the silence of the federalist lambs’

Published : 12:01 am  February 12, 2019 | No comments so far |  | 


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This refers to the article written by Malinda Seneviratne (MS) on the above subject published in the DM of January 31.   

MS is critical of the way TNA’s Mr. Sumanthiran is involved in drafting the new constitution. The wordings “division impossible” and “indivisibility” scripted in the constitution he says are misleading and that these are on paper only and have no worth the ink they are written on paper, comparing it to the 19th amendment. As to how the 19th amendment is worthless can only be explained by MS. If not for the 19th amendment Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) would have continued the be the Prime Minister even today and there would not have been an independent judiciary to tell the President his gazette notification of dissolution of Parliament violated the constitution. Thus democracy was saved due to the 19th amendment as against the dictatorship brought by MR through the 18th amendment.   

MS then quotes what he told Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole that problems of negotiation should be approached judiciously without using words that can be inflammatory. Definitely one should not use harsh words or inflammatory speeches which will create more problems than solve the problem.  

MS now states that there is the problem of Tamil nationalists who are anti-Sinhala or anti-Buddhists using demarcation lines that have no basis in history. Today there are not many Tamil nationalists who are supposed to be anti-Sinhala and if at all one can mention former Chief Minister of Northern Province only. Major parties like TNA has never uttered a word against majority community. But there are many parties down South whose actions and speeches are directed against the Tamils, but MS is not concerned about those parties.   

MS says that more than half the Tamils live outside their homelands. This situation arose due to the 30years war when the Tamils were compelled to flee from their homelands and many of them even migrated to foreign countries.   

MS now questions as to why the TNA is not calling for the Provincial Council (PC) elections and are silent about it.The question is whether the Chief Ministers of PCs have any powers to have their policies and development plans to be implemented. Absolutely nil. The CM does not have the power to recruit even a peon to an office. The powers are all vested with the Governor of the PC which is sometime called a white elephant. It is this reason apart from Sumanthiran, no one is interested from the North and East to call for the elections to PCs in the North & East.   


MS further says that people are not interested in devolution which is absolutely false as people from the North & East are calling for powers under a Federal set up which gives adequate powers to administer their own areas of occupation. Federalism does not divide the country as stated by MS but unites the country as in India and several other countries. Once devolution of powers are granted by way of Federalism or otherwise even Sumanthiran will fight for the elections to be held immediately for PCs. Not only in the N & E, but also former CMs and councilors down South will agitate for immediate elections for PCs once they are dissolved.