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13th Amendment: Who has committed and who is pushing?


15 November 2017 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


those who push for 13A are the ones who openly criticize the new constitution

Ban-ki-Moon appointed ‘Darusman Committee’ due to lack of confidence or faith in LLRC

TNA, including ITAK, asserted their firm commitment to ‘Vaddukkoddai’ resolution

A public debate has already begun on the proposed new Constitution/Constitutional Amendments. Heated arguments are being carried out on various aspects such as proper place to Buddhism, whether the country should be called Unitary/Orumitta nadu or United etc. etc. Whilst using the new Constitution to “terrorize” people in that manner, there is a well manipulated and a sinister move to push for 13A as a compromised “middle path”. The irony is, the ones who push for 13A are the ones who openly criticize the new constitution. Since the full implementation of 13 A makes the country ‘Federal”, the enemy of ‘unitary Sri Lanka” is “within”. These people are more dangerous than the separatists who draft the new constitution.   

 The hardcore federalists who argue that 13A is the only answer, should be reminded as to how it was forced on us by India. India created this situation, trained the LTTE, and when the latter was on the verge of being defeated at Vadamarachchi, India violated our air space, threatened the leaders, saved Prabhakaran by forcing the government to halt the final assault and pushed the government, like ordering to obey and accept the 13A, which was drafted in New Delhi !! JR then imposed a curfew, more than 200 protestors were killed, parliamentarians were accommodated at the Hilton Hotel, under heavy security they forcibly passed the 13A in the parliament. So the 13A is made in India to please the Tamil Nadu voters and separatist Tamil diaspora/politicians. But is the present India under Modi still interested in 13A? Even at the latter part of the UPA, under PM Manmohan Singh, things started to change in their policies towards Sri Lanka. UPA ,which earlier backed US sponsored UNHRC resolution due to the pressure mounted by Tamil Nadu turned 180 degrees and abstained from voting in 2014!!   

 Earlier PM Singh did not attend CHOGM due to the pressure from Tamil parties since the venue was Colombo. But Narendra Modi invited Mahinda Rajapaksa to his swearing-in, ignoring

protests/objections from the Tamil parties. Subsequently a delegation led by Subramaniam Swami, Chairman of BJP’s Committee for Strategic Action, including national convener of BJP’s foreign policy Suresh Prabhu came to Sri Lanka but never raised any issue of war crimes or “oppression” of Tamils. On the contrary, they implied that they would even support Sri Lanka at UNHRC and confirmed that their foreign policy would be guided by national interest and not “regional” interest. It was a clear indication that Tamil parties in Tamil Nadu or separatist Tamil diaspora would no longer keep on dictating India’s policy on Sri Lanka.   

 In such a situation why harping on 13A? Who are the people who are consistently pushing it? Are we to believe that still there are ‘obedient servants’ or ‘paid servants’ of the Tamil Nadu Dravidian parties/separatist Tamil diaspora which are operating here?   

PM Singh did not attend CHOGM due to pressure from Tamil parties since the venue was Colombo. But Modi invited MR to his swearing-in, ignoring protests/objections from the Tamil parties

 The hardcore federalists who insist on 13A, either deliberately or through sheer ignorance, are trying to mislead the public. They say, after the war victory, the two joint communiqués of May 21 and 29, 2009, (with India and UNSG ) did include a commitment to implement the 13th Amendment and MR blocked it. Can anyone show any document where the President had “committed” to implement 13A? In the relevant document MR did not express his firm commitment to proceed with 13A, but his firm resolve. The word “commitment” connotes a certain finality and irrevocable but “firm resolve” allows a degree of flexibility. When one commits, one is bound to it, but when one makes a “firmly resolve”, one might, under dire circumstances, waver.   

Suppose certain segments/main political parties within the minority communities that stand to gain most from the 13A, continue to harbour hopes for a separate state? What if they retain a demand for a separate state by it’s own party resolution? Under such circumstances any reasonable person’s “firm resolve” to implement 13A would waver and justifiably so. The referred documents contain provision to cover such contingencies. We very well know that TNA, including ITAK, have asserted their firm commitment to the Vaddukkoddai resolution, the ultimate attainment of Ealam. Can the powers, mentioned in 13A, be devolved to an area controlled by political parties whose ultimate aim is separation? That was why MR did not “commit” but only expressed his “firm resolve” to proceed. So, no one can put the blame on the government for not implementing the 13A. Under the circumstances, if anyone says that the government had given a commitment to implement 13A , it has to be someone other than MR, and we want to find out who he was. 

When MR appointed LLRC, a few days after, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, by grossly violating the UN charter, appointed the ‘Darusman Committee’ (POE) exhibiting lack of confidence or faith in LLRC

 The main lobbyists of 13 A, to justify and open the path for it, refers to LLRC and say its recommendations were not speedily carried out. But what was the importance given by the UNHRC for that much revered report? When MR appointed LLRC, a few days after, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, by grossly violating the UN charter, appointed the ‘Darusman Committee’ (POE) exhibiting lack of confidence or faith in LLRC. The POE report was published before the LLRC report and in that it had been criticized as biased. When the LLRC categorically said that Sri Lanka had never committed war crimes, UNHRC High Commissioner Zeid Al Hussein concludes that war crimes were in fact committed. The LLRC never said that International Humanitarian Law (IHL) should apply to the “conflict”, but last week Lord Naseby , at the House of Lords very clearly said the applicable law is IHL and nothing else. That was the credibility bestowed upon LLRC by the UN! The hardcore federalists try to pick and choose certain items in LLRC and show that the previous government had not implemented those but what about the scores of items which were already implemented? The resettlement, infrastructure development, rehabilitation etc. were all done at very high rate. But we also have reservations on certain observations made in LLRC. Even the world’s best consultant can give a wrong diagnosis and wrong prescription. That’s why “concerned” people always go for a second opinion!   

Did we lose international support? I do not think so. When Ban Ki Moon commissioned the POE report, it was Russia who took our side and even raised objections in the security council! The Russian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Vladimir P. Mikaylov, when asked “on what grounds the objections were made” replied, “On the grounds that it was not a UN report. On the grounds that it was not done in accordance with the procedures of UN. From the very beginning it was told the report was purely for the Secretary General. So if it was for the SG why did they have to publish it?”   

India had to succumb to the pressure of USA but yet in 2014 when the resolution 25/1 was passed in UNHRC. India condemned it stating that it was an “intrusive approach that undermines national sovereignty” whilst Pakistan said it was a “clear example of double standard and hypocrisy!” The resolution was approved by 23 votes whilst 24 countries did not vote for. (12 voted for and 12 abstained) Why was the infamous resolution 30/1 passed without a vote? If a vote was taken, many countries would have either voted for us or abstained. In UNHRC you work on principle. Even if you lose on principles, you would win. Sri Lanka cowardly co-sponsored the resolution shedding all the principles but rest of the countries stood by their principles and that was why a vote was not taken for 30/1.   

Losing international support, not implementing LLRC recommendations, not looking into the “ aspirations” of the Tamils etc. were all baseless arguments being submitted by the hardcore federalists to justify 13A. As mentioned above, granting devolution to political parties with separatist agenda is suicidal. So for all those who continue to push for 13A, our advise is, first persuade the TNA to reject the Vaddukkoddai Resolution in toto. Then, at least, it can be “considered” .   

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