By Jayantha Gunasekera Every person who assisted the LTTE in procuring weapons, harbouring LTTE criminals and in other numerous ways should be investigated. This necessarily means that all identified LTTE diaspora members and all identified Tamil politicians should be prosecuted. The promulgation of a Constitution leading to federalism and eventual separation is high treason, punishable [...]

Sunday Times 2

Dangers of granting police and land powers to provincial councils


By Jayantha Gunasekera

Every person who assisted the LTTE in procuring weapons, harbouring LTTE criminals and in other numerous ways should be investigated. This necessarily means that all identified LTTE diaspora members and all identified Tamil politicians should be prosecuted.

The promulgation of a Constitution leading to federalism and eventual separation is high treason, punishable not only by confiscation of property but also with death. The Tamil politicians themselves will be safe, if police and land powers are not granted.

Policemen on duty in Jaffna. Tamil politicians themselves will be safe, if police and land powers are not granted through the 13th Amendment.

The original Tamil population was about 11 per cent. Now about half of the Tamil population is living outside Sri Lanka. Of the balance, over 50 per cent are living in the South. Therefore the Constitutional changes that are contemplated by the Tamil politicians are to please about 500,000 who are living in the North and East. The total population of our country is 21 million, so it is ridiculous to grant police and land powers to a miniscule Tamil population.

The previous government failed to amend the 13th Amendment, deleting police and land powers when they were at the height of their popularity, after ending the war. It is regrettable that the previous regime had no intelligent advisors to advise the politicians.

The present government can muster a 2/3 majority to repeal the 13th Amendment or at least delete police and land powers. Even if the Tamil MPs oppose this, the Joint Opposition will provide the numbers to secure the necessary 2/3 majority, to end this problem once and for all.

As long as the police and land powers in the 13th Amendment remain on the statue book, the LTTE diaspora will pressurise the Tamil politicians to press for it.

Rajiv Gandhi’s advisors were not intelligent enough to realise that police and land powers in the 13th Amendment (which was hurriedly got up) would affect the security of India and would be political dynamite for India, let alone Sri Lanka. No provincial council including the Northern Provincial Council has enjoyed police and land powers for over quarter century. Why are the Tamil politicians hell bent on securing police and land powers at the behest of the LTTE diaspora, other than to fragment this country with the assistance of the Tamil Nadu politicians and Hilary Clinton?

Why are we paying salaries and giving enormous perks to Tamil politicians to brazenly act in a manner inimical to our country? They, rather than dousing the fires are fanning the flames.

Tamil Nadu politicians who were advocating separation from the central government of India in the 1960s, shut their big mouths when the central government of India introduced the 16th amendment to the Constitution of India. Now, they are attempting by devious means to approach the same issue by first creating a separate state in Sri Lanka which will then be used as a launch pad to create a separate state in Tamil Nadu in India. This is the reason why Tamil Nadu and Tamil politicians want weapons and they are hell bent on getting police and land powers to create a separate state in Sri Lanka.

The 13th Amendment was foisted on our Government by India. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This was no legislation that was designed for the benefit of our country. In fact it is detrimental to us. It was drafted by the Rajiv Gandhi Government, and forced on President Jayawardene by using intimidatory tactics. Indian Air Force planes blatantly violating our air space, dropped food parcels over the North and East of Sri Lanka, when our Government forces had cornered the terrorists. Several of our cabinet ministers including the Prime Minister were against this amendment, and did not attend the signing ceremony of the accord, which was hurriedly assembled by JRJ and his cohorts, under curfew.

Tamils in the North, East and South of Sri Lanka are having a better quality of life not having to contribute to fatten the LTTE coffers. They are leading a life free of fear. Their young are not forcibly conscripted to be cannon fodder, but can enjoy free education and a chance to lead a qualitative and a pleasant life. India has a population of 1.1 billion. Only a few thousands (incited by a few Tamil Nadu politicians) want to interfere with Sri Lanka. The vast majority of Indians are not the slightest bit interested in the 13th Amendment.

The threat of carving out a separate state exists even more than when Prabhakaran was using his military might. The diaspora and Tamil Nadu still have Hillary Clinton in their clutches, so much so that when Hillary Clinton visited India she brazenly visited Tamil Nadu only and met the politicians there. She did not visit any other state in India. What is this unholy alliance with the Tamil politicians? Was she pressurised by the LTTE diaspora whom she is under obligation to? The latest gimmick the LTTE diaspora have devised in the US is “Tamils for Obama”. This is another way of thanking the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton in particular for penalising Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. And much more is expected from Hillary Clinton. So human rights is a bogus excuse. How can the Sri Lankan Government give police and land powers to the representatives of the LTTE diaspora. This diaspora have vowed to carve out a separate state sooner or later, using police and land powers.

The US country report unambiguously states that the diaspora are collecting funds and that they are in the process of purchasing weapons in order to restart violence.

How the Sri Lankan Government can overcome these arm twisting tactics of Hillary Clinton, the LTTE diaspora, and Tamil Nadu politicians is by holding a referendum in the whole country, as every citizen in Sri Lanka will be affected by the granting of police and land powers, to traitors who are hell bent on dividing the country.

The crafty former Indian High Commissioner J.N. Dixit was like the military governor in Sri Lanka. It must be remembered that thereafter the Indians became a hated lot. We seem to have forgotten within 30 years, the hatred that India brought upon herself, from nearly 21 million Sri Lankans. India interfered in our internal affairs merely to satisfy Prabhakaran and some politicians of the Tamil Nadu Government. The beauty of it is that Prabhakaran himself rejected both the 13th Amendment and the IPKF, and was engaged in a long drawn out battle with the IPKF. The 13th Amendment and the presence of the IPKF gave an excuse for the JVP to raise its head. Sri Lanka doesn’t want a recurrence of this scenario. The mighty IPKF withdrew in ignominy.

In the battles between the LTTE and the IPKF, hundreds of innocent Tamils died. Several women were raped by the IPKF soldiers. Two sons of the first speaker of the state council Sir Waithilingam Duraiswamy, happened to be in Jaffna on the day the IPKF walked in there. The scenario was worse than in the wild west in America. Several people including both sons of Sir Waithilingam, were shot for being spectators.

The hatred towards India for pressurising us was so intense, that Rajiv Gandhi who came here to sign the accord, was nearly clobbered by a naval rating, with the butt of his gun. Rajiv escaped death by a whisker.

Now, Indian interests in Sri Lanka are enormous. Do they want to jeopardise all this by pressurising us to implement the 13th Amendment? Don’t they realise what dangers it can bring about to India and to the Indian interest here? India is having enough internal problems. Does the Indian Government want to escalate those problems? Have they forgotten that all things imported from India were not permitted to be brought in? President JRJ’s sister-in-law Dr. Gladys Jayawardene, Chairman of the State Pharmaceutical Corporation was murdered for importing Indian medicines. Several pharmacy owners were killed for stocking Indian medicines. For quite sometime the Indians were a hated race here.

Does Narendra Modi want a recurrence of this? Right now the Indians are highly accepted in Sri Lanka. They should not drive Sri Lanka further into the arms of China, by their short sighted policies. In the 1980s Sri Lanka was not militarily powerful and did not have close friends like China, Russia and many countries of the Middle East. India must tackle the miniscule LTTE diaspora and the handful of Tamil Nadu politicians in a different manner without bending over backwards to appease them, thus jeopardising India as a whole. If Modi continues to give into Tamil Nadu they will keep blackmailing him. You give the Tamils an inch, they will demand a yard.

India must view the 13th Amendment with caution and intelligence and realise that it will be the start of an Eelam War 5. Eelam War 4 was concluded at the cost of many thousands of lives of military personnel and Tamil combatants and Tamil civilians. By giving politically enhanced power to Tamil politicians, it will be used for the achievement of a separate state here, which will eventually be detrimental to India herself. This will be the start of the fragmentation of India.
The 13th Amendment is political dynamite for both India and Sri Lanka.

This LTTE diaspora made/makes money illegally and by unethical means. They are known to bribe international politicians with their ill-gotten collection.

This diaspora are said to be tempting the Tamil politicians with handsome allowances and free holidays abroad. They are being dictated to create an atmosphere which will assist the LTTE diaspora to instigate bedlam once again in Sri Lanka. Now the avenues of making money from innocent Tamils is running dry. They do not want to lose their opulent life styles. It is only a handful of these diaspora members that are up to mischief.

As a result of Rajiv Gandhi’s short sighted policies he paid the supreme penalty, being murdered in cold blood in a village in Tamil Nadu by the LTTE itself; the very LTTE whom his mother Indira and he were trying to appease. The whole world knows now, and it is indeed admitted by the intelligentsia of India, that the Indira Gandhi Government created the LTTE and nurtured, financed and trained and gave every conceivable assistance for them to create problems in Sri Lanka. Eventually, Indira Gandhi’s beloved son Rajiv was done to death by the very group she created. She herself was killed as a consequence of Sikh terrorism. How true is the saying, “those who live by the sword die by the sword”.

The Sri Lanka Tamils in the North, East and South are a happy and contented lot. Only their language problem should be sorted out. All Tamil businessmen are making money hand over fist, all professional are earning a very handsome living without interference. Development in the North and East is going on at an accelerated pace. The refugees have now been systematically settled. The Tamils who were living amidst the Sinhalese people and the Muslims for safety during the war, are now selling their properties in Wellawatte, Kotahena and other parts of Colombo and going back to their villages in the North and East which have become absolutely safe, devoid of the fear and threat of the LTTE. They are not interested in giving additional powers to the LTTE diaspora agents – the Tamil politicians who will in turn make their lives a misery.

They do not want to upset the equilibrium. Those who want to upset it are the Tamil politicians and their acolytes. The Tamil politicians, in addition to their tax-free salaries, free car permits and a host of other perks from the Sri Lankan Government, are also rumoured to be getting huge allowances and free trips abroad from the LTTE diaspora. If that be so, then they are having a very comfortable existence. All they have to do is to prostrate themselves before the active LTTE diaspora and do their bidding, just as they knelt before Prabhakaran and the LTTE. They must give the impression that they are people with a modicum of self respect.

Do the Tamil politicians represent the Tamils of Sri Lanka or the LTTE diaspora who are attempting to reintroduce violence in Sri Lanka, as is borne out by the country report of the US. It is up to the government, to educate the Sri Lankan Tamils that the Tamil politicians are attempting to take away the freedom that they are now enjoying after 30 years of suppression by the LTTE.

The Tamil politicians are clearly violating the 6th amendment to our Constitution.
We have had eight unbroken years of peace. If any violence breaks out, whether it be in the North, East or anywhere else in the country, the Tamil Politicians will be held responsible, for it is because they are stretching every sinew to cater to the LTTE diaspora and Tamil Nadu programme, that such a situation will come about.

The Tamil politicians have conveniently forgotten that if not for the protection they were given by the Sri Lankan Government, they also would have suffered the same fate as Amirthalingam, Sivasithamparan, Yogeswaran et al, at the hands of the LTTE. They are alive today because of the protection given by the forces. They are a very ungrateful lot.

It is an offence in all Western countries to tender “material support to a terrorist organization”. This is exactly what the Tamil politicians are doing. Small wonder that they are still at large, doing every conceivable inimical thing to our country, in the guise of representing the Tamil people, without being incarcerated or at least questioned on charges of high treason.
They are skating on thin ice.

(The writer is a President’s Counsel.)

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