Mahinda has reduced APRC to a parliamentary Select Committee

by Mano Ganesan

Mahinda Rajapakse, soon after he became president convened all political parties represented in the Parliament to a conference. It is called the All Party Conference (APC). His stated ‘mantra’ at the first meeting was to discuss and develop a set of new political proposals addressing what is referred as the ethnic problem or the Tamil problem. During the process, he even appointed a sub committee within APC under the chairmanship of Minister Tissa Vitharana, called All Party Representative Committee (APRC). This APRC was told to engage in continued sittings and prepare proposals and submit it to the apex APC for approval.

[Mano Ganesan MP]

Now Mahinda Rajapakse is telling 13th amendment is enough and asks the Tissa Vitharana’s APRC to submit proposals for the implementation of the 13th amendment. This constitutional amendment was made in 1987 as per the Indo-Lanka pact. Sri Lankan governments since then never implemented most part of this amendment or pact. Mahinda Rajapakse had been a vibrant opponent of this Indo-Lanka pact and 13th amendment from the beginning. But now he treats it as ‘god given’ with understandable reasons.

What should be noted here is that there not going to be any new set of proposals this time. This is because thanks to UNP, the 13th amendment is already law. What is pending is the implementation. Therefore by telling Tissa Vitharana to submit proposals to implement 13th amendment, Mahinda is actually changing rules of the APC and APRC.

This is closing one chapter and starting another new chapter. This is nothing but one of Mahinda’s usual ‘time buying’ tactic. He has unitarily canceled the CFA and ‘slapped’ the international community and packed away the SLMM. There is no reason why he will not seek to change rules again in view of 13th amendment and it’s implementation.

If Tissa Vithrana committee is going to submit proposals for on ways to implement what is already law, it cannot anymore be considered as an APC or APRC and with all the song, dance, fanfare and international recognition attached to it. You do not need all that ‘loud talk’ to find ways for the implementation of what is already law. You can do it with a parliamentary select committee or a commission headed by a retired Judge. But since here there are certain ‘jobless’ politicians involved we can call it a parliamentary select committee. Therefore let it be assured that Mahinda Rajapakse has reduced All Party Conference to a Parliamentary Select Committee.

He should be asked on the first place why he created APC and APRC and went on for nearly two years. He needed time for his war agenda. He got it. But Mahinda has come to situation that he cannot anymore carry on without putting something out of APRC. Lately he has antagonized the western nations and the UN. He is now pushed towards India . He thinks by talking of 13th amendment he can keep India happy and also bring ‘something’ out of APRC.

13th amendment did not work in the north and east. It was only an attempt. Tamils as a nationality did not accept it as a pack of proposals or later as law. It’s half-baked implementation is history now. It did not go anywhere near the aspirations of the Tamil nationality living in north and east. It may have given some hope for the Tamil and Muslim minorities living in the southern provinces. It also gave Sinhala people in the provinces some taste of devolution of power. But that’s all.

13th amendment came through Indo-Lanka pact in 1987. There had been many developments later. There were some better features in Chandrik’s year 2000 package and PToms proposals. It also does not reflect the sprit of ‘internal self-determination’, what was spoken during Ranil’s period. Also Indo-Lanka pact brought provincial councils with the amalgamation of north and east. These features are missing now. Therefore it is definitely going behind even in the Sinhala standards.

Therefore India cannot force Tamils to go back 20 years. India and international community should understand that Tamil struggle since 1940s do not deserve this shabby treatment. India has vengeance over LTTE. But it has to be sorted out at a different forum. It cannot be reflected on the Tamil ethnic issue. The very visible feature is that what proposed through 13th amendment are provincial ‘councils’. But what available in India are state ‘governments’.

My party Western Peoples Front (WPF) has a policy on the ethnic issue. We believe it is clear. We refer to the Tamils living in the north and east as Tamil nationality and Tamils living in the rest of the island as Tamil minority. All of us are definitely Tamils by ethnicity but these terminologies are necessary to understand the Tamil problem in Lanka. WPF is based in the south among Tamil minorities. The Tamil people of Indian origin as well those north-east Tamils who have taken shelter or residence in the south are represented by us. We do not run for elections in the north and east hence we do not have any mandate to represent the Tamil nationality living in the north and east. We only democratically support our north-east brethren on their just struggle from outside. It has another logical reason also. Unless and until the problem in north and east is resolved amicably the war will keep on reflecting on us in south in the form of human rights violations which threatens our ‘right to life’. In addition nobody in Lanka can live in peace. No socio-economical developments can take place. Soaring of inflation and down trodden trend of the growth rate are inevitable. So we want an end this war with an acceptable political solution.

We only air our view. But tomorrow the Tamil leadership in the north and east decides to settle down with 13th amendment or something, we will approve it.

(Mano Ganesan is Western Peoples Front leader and Colombo district MP. He is currently in Self – exile due to his security being drastically reduced. Legal recourse has been sought for restoration of security at earlier levels.)

30 Comments »

  1. m.thiru said,

    January 21, 2008 @ 11:14 am

    Well said Mano Ganesan. If Mahathma Ghandhi is alive today he will be proud of you;
    “Therefore India cannot force Tamils to go back 20 years. India and international community should understand that Tamil struggle since 1940s do not deserve this shabby treatment. India has vengeance over LTTE. But it has to be sorted out at a different forum. It cannot be reflected on the Tamil ethnic issue. The very visible feature is that what proposed through 13th amendment are provincial ‘councils’. But what available in India are state ‘governments’.

    Will the current Indian leaders show the qualities of Indira Ghandhi and rise to the occasion to do justice to the Tamils with the help of UK? or are they going to keep on supporting MR to do another JR act on the Feb 4th ?

  2. Ratna said,

    January 21, 2008 @ 12:56 pm

    If Tissa Vitharana is on the ‘white van list’, what can he do, other than what he was told to do.

  3. 2ndClassTamil said,

    January 21, 2008 @ 2:15 pm

    I reproduce here a piece I posted on a different thread (of 19th Jan) at this site which concurs with Mano Ganeshans views:

    The 13th Amendment is a dinosaur that never saw the light of day for decades! Now they want to take its DNA and manipulate it to bring a new life form – as has happened only in fiction so far.

    Why do you need the APRC to put sheen on the 13th Amendment? Is it not the job of the govt to give expression to the various articles in the constitution – as long as what they do is within the constitution? That is why I thought the MPs are paid a salary and a fat pension too, to attend parliament!

    The job of the APRC was deemed to be futuristic; to propose modifications to the constitution itself.

    I am a firm believer that the APRC was set up purely as a time buying mechanism, for use by the president as and when he required, on the pretext of showing to the world that there is genuine political space at the highest level for liberal thinkers to engage and be effective on the ethnic issue. Professor Tissa Vitarana should wriggle out of this mess before his name gets sullied. That would apply to the other good souls as well. The worst ones have already jumped ship.

    Honestly, I don’t care about the outcome on the 23rd.

  4. Dr KC said,

    January 21, 2008 @ 5:21 pm

    Dear Mano Ganeshan

    You are a man of high values and principles and I respect you next to my hero Nelson Mandela.

    You have all the credentials to lead the entire Tamil population in SL.

    Your following appeal to India touched me deeply:

    “India has vengeance over LTTE. But it has to be sorted out at a different forum”.

  5. Estavez said,

    January 21, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

    If “Truth needs to be Told”,then this is it!
    What of those CO-CHAIRS, INDIA, NORWAY bit the bait of Rajapakshe Inc for two years expecting APRC to DEVOLVE POWERS???
    What of those aid and arms bought over the past two years in preparation for this ultimate war using Japanese Yen, US Dollars, UK Pounds, Indian/Pakistani Paisa?
    What of those Tsunami aid of 500 Million US Dollars went missing,but these PROTECTORS OF DEMOCRACY NAILED THE LITTLE FISH CALLED TRO?
    What of those JOURNALISTS getting battered by the Law & Order Protectors of the land not to mention the ‘Mervyn Silva” Saga which slowly but surely getting swept under the carpet?
    What of those ill-gotten funds as ransom from Tamil/Moslim Merchants and safely deposited into a US Citizens; a/c in Bahamas?
    THIS IS DEMOCRACY USA/UK/JAPAN AND INDIA STYLE? WHY SO QUICK THESE NATIONS TO BRING SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN/N-KOREA, SUDAN BUT NOT BURMA, SRI LANKA AND PAKISTAN…..????
    This world is unfair and at best favours war and crimes while bloating of HR bull shit in all forums possible. If you want action from GOSL, you only can get one via your own actions as learnt by LTTE over the years.
    When you go for the stomach, the GOSL will fold and bend over. This is the only way to get some action from GOSL. If you play blind to this fact like the US/Japan,then, the ulterior motives behind such blindness comes out from people like this writer.

  6. Wijey said,

    January 21, 2008 @ 7:00 pm

    Excellent and indepth analysis. The author is correct in saying MR wants war in the name of peace.

  7. selva said,

    January 21, 2008 @ 7:17 pm

    Dear Mano, Actually what has to be given to the Tamil speaking people of Northeast is a Tamil homeland with internal self – detemination and within the Tamil homeland a Muslim homeland with self-determination. Who has to give any proposal to government is the TNA and the Muslim congress because they are the people who won mandate for devolution. They have to get together and formulate a solution and hand it over to the government. If government would have been genuvine they would have asked these two parties to prepare and give it to the government. Why they have asked the southern parties to give a proposal is they wanted it to fullfil the aspirations of the Southern Sinhalese. Under the 13th ammendment the power of state land useage will still be in the hand of Colombo Government. When Varatharajaperumal wanted to build a building for the house of North-East Council, he requested for a land in Trinco and it was refused by J.R. So what else is going to be given under the 13th ammendment to the people of North-East. Thanks.

  8. dias said,

    January 21, 2008 @ 9:45 pm

    Tamil nationality, Tamil minority, Tamil people of Indian origin, north-east Tamils – rhymes well with Sinhalese nationality, Sinhalese majority, Sinhalese people of Kandyan origin, south-west Sinhalese – all of it – whether dished out by a Tamil or a Sinhalese, is a bunch of communal thinking garbage totally counter to building an egalitarian society where all participants strive to attain a common set of goals – such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are first and foremost Sri Lankans and only within this identity should we celebrate the beauty of our individual diversities – be they northern Tamils, Kandyan Sinhalese, eastern Muslims or other similar. The job of developing and cultivating a unique national identity that would bind us together as a single people of a single loving nation is the job of the nation’s leaders, admittedly, one that seems to perpetually evade them. Yes, the fundamental problem of the nation has been and still is with the nation’s leadership.

  9. EstaVez said,

    January 22, 2008 @ 12:45 am

    Mr.Dias,
    EGALITARIAN SOCIETY cannot be built by having sinhala and Buddhism as national language and religion.
    The sinhala hooligans go burning churches for helping the poor.
    The sinhala hooligans cannot work their way up but steal, loot and burn Tamils’ hard earned wealth.
    The sinhala police force have found no culprits for the murders of Maheswaran, raviraj, pararjsinhe mp and many more innocent civilians murdered and buried in mass graves like Chemmani.
    EGALITARIAN is a word too mouthful to get into a Sinhalese Mouth.
    The history is a teacher and a guide to the future. If Sinhalese can abrogate pacts signed on a dotted line,then, there’s no solution for this ethnic conflict from Sinhalese and south will have to relinquish soveriegnty over North-East sooner or later.
    PTOMS, N-E Merger, Indo-Lanka Pact B-C Pact Dudley-Chelva Pact are a few that’s seen the dustbin of Temple Trees.
    Even if Buddha comes alive to enlighten the sinhalese, they wouldn’t solve the Tamil National Question.
    Separation is the only answer!!!!

  10. Dutugemunu said,

    January 22, 2008 @ 2:26 am

    This from the man who fled from Sri Lanka claiming that he was under threat of assassination. What happened? No Western countries now offering Tamils asylum? Those days are long gone.

    It’s because of short-sighted Tamil politicians like this who pander to a small cross-section of affluent Tamil society that we hae problems in SL. If Tamil politicians are genuinely committed to work for Tamils without profiting from this war, then war would be over long time ago. Same with Sinhala polticians.

    Tamils stealing from Tamils, Tamils lying to Tamils, Tamils killing Tamils…

  11. Anonymous said,

    January 22, 2008 @ 5:21 am

    mr mano ganesan! where are you hiding man? Are you in UK? Because UK has a righrt to interfere in Srilankan matters.
    These anti government commentators are very comfortably settled Tamil diasporas and Ltte sympathisers. These guys do not want to go back 20 yrs. Their prayer is, the warmonger pirabhakaran’s war has to drag another 20 yrs with their diaspora’s financial assistance.
    Mr. Ganesan, you do not worry about North @ East. You better take care of welfare of poor and innocent Estate Tamils. North East peoples’ todays situation is caused by these fatty Tamil diasporas from Zurich, Berlin, Paris, London and Toronto.
    You are in safe condition under NGOs security. Who is going to save a daughter or a son of poor farmer of Vanni from Ltte’s abduction?
    please, our people need relief from the war.

  12. rathakrishnan said,

    January 22, 2008 @ 5:27 am

    Your father is a good cinema actor

  13. sudalaimaadan. said,

    January 22, 2008 @ 7:57 am

    India has venegance against the L.T.T.E.It has to be sorted out in another form,which was mentioned by Mano Ganeshan.
    Easy said than done.Until the L.T.T.E. becomes flexible and honours any future ceasefire to some point,the violence and suffering will continue.
    It is true the APRC is a time buying mechanism.President Rajapakse still believes the L.T.T.E. can be tamed.Anti Indian forces like China and Pakistan will be assisting him throught.This is the truth.
    India too expects the L.T.T.E. to be weakend.

    President Rajapakse has been convinced by the Security top Brass that the war is winnable..Further the L.T.T.E. has made a serious blunder by extending its killing to the deep south.This will further agrivate the animosity among the rural Sinhalese,who form the pro Sinhala vote base.

    Those gentlemen expecially from the Jaffna Thamil diaspora who have given their views seems to have failed to grasp some elementry facts.

    The Sinhala only massess are extremely sensitive to matters Thamil.Further The Sinhala media always gives a dressed up vertion of things.They over glorify the Militrary victories and downplay L.T.T.E. attacks.

    What President Rajapakse wants is some breathing space.He has to carryon for another Two more years.
    Which he will.The ARPC is already dead.No point in Talking.
    So what next?The war will go on.There is no doubt about it.But how long the Thamils can bear?

    No doubt the the Jaffna Thamil diaspora will continue to finance the War.They will not hear any Gun shots,undergoing no checkings ,roundups etc. They do not have to hold on to their National Identity Cards.
    It is carnival for them always.

    The Diaspora should get to know the reality.Any demands put forward by the L.T.T.E. has to be reasonable if not it will be outrightly rejected by the
    Sinhala majority.Without the concent of the Majority Sinhala massess nothing is possible.For example the remerging of the North-East privinces has to go before the parliament.
    So the Thamil diaspora intellectuals are going to say War is the only option?But the war has been dragging on for 25 years.
    MY REQUEST TO THE THAMIL DIASPORA IS THIS.
    TRY TO REACH OUT TO THE SINHALA BUDDHIST INTELLECTUALS.CONVINCE THEM.CAN YOU ALL TAKE THEM INTO CONFIDENCE?If you are successfull even partly I think atlast there will be light at the end of the longest tunnel!

  14. krish said,

    January 22, 2008 @ 9:32 am

    Well written,what is the use.No body in Sri-Lanka or for that matter world over cares about the Tamils.The Sinhalese are stupid to believe the propaganda of the Myth Mahavamsa.
    Get rid of religion from the Sinhalese mindset you will have a solution.Only way ammend te constituion to reflect religion has no place in politics.

  15. dingiri said,

    January 22, 2008 @ 10:35 am

    Whats wrong with having a Tamil man taking decisions over Tamil lives in Jaffna and Batticaloa? What difference does it make to a Sinhalese? Why does it matter whether it is Prabakaran in Jaffna or Pillayan in Batticaloa? What is crystal clear is that they dont want a Sinhalese to rule over them and there is nothing wrong with that.

    By the same token the Jaffna Tamil needs to realise that if the Batticaloa Tamils or the Moslems want to live separately they too have the right to do so. Who lives where should be decided purely on a voluntary basis with no one having the power of forcing a person into an ethnic enclave he doesnt wish to live in.

    The Tamils would also have to realise that they can only fairly demand a proportionate share of the land and that the Sinhalese and Moslems also need some space to live in. The current map of Eelam claims 1/3 of the country for 12% of the population. You can never expect the Sinhalese to agree to such an unfair devision of the land.

    Based on this the only solution is to logically devide the country into 4. One enclave around Jaffna, another around Batticaoloa for the eastern Tamils (They can later merge by mutual consent if they so wish) and another for the Eastern Moslems.

    Then give everyone (including the Indian Tamils) a vote on which entity they want to belong to, then add up the numbers and devide the country proportionately. Tamils in the South who dont want to leave get to stay. Those who want to leave can sell up and go. Same with Moslems.

    We then form a confederation and try to live like 4 friendly countries within the EU.

  16. Mano Ganesan said,

    January 23, 2008 @ 1:23 am

    Over to Mr. Dutugemunu and Anonymus

    I am not hiding but in open in India. Many friendly western nations offered longer stay facilities or beyod to me. But being thankful to all of them I have decided against any such offers. I believe I have my duty to my people back home hence I am staying closer home. I am needed there. I will soon go back to the scene of activity. I am a co-contributor to the strugle with other like minded Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala progressive forces at the scene of action.

    I am an optimistic. However deplorable and volatile the situation now, I believe we will achieve peace with dignity. I will go on hiding then as I may not be needed then. So Please stay.

    Therer are no ‘Estate Tamils’ but Tamils of recent Indian origin. Pls kindly use correct terminology. Yes, I look after them and I will keep worrying and do my best for my north east brethern. No force on earth can change my course.

  17. dias said,

    January 23, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

    Mano Ganesan: “I believe I have my duty to my people back home…”. I hope as a MP, when he says “my people” he means all Sri Lankans – of all hues of the Sri Lankan rainbow.

    The problem in Sri Lanka, as we see it from America is that Tamil politicians seem to push for Tamils, the Sinhalese politicians for the Sinhalese and the Muslim politicians for the Muslims. It would be helpful if they all talked about Sri Lankans and gave compassionate consideration to their complimentary constituents as much as they do to their own constituents. Sri Lankan politicians seem to have a difficult time thinking as representatives of all of the people but always only as those of some of the people – “their people!” – in purely communal terms.

  18. Rajasinghe said,

    January 24, 2008 @ 5:32 am

    Mano Ganesan, like a lot of so-called “human rights activists” speaks up only for Tamils. The Sinhalese, the Moors, the Malays do not exist for people like him. Apparently their human rights do not matter. It’s only Tamil this and Tamil that.

  19. theeran tamilakam said,

    January 27, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

    dear mano ganesan sir

    though you are a srilankan tamil, i take great pride to say that you are a tamilnadu tamil .i feel in that way at times.your fore fathers belonged here .

    sir,i admire your committment n dedication to serve the people who elected you .

    my dream is that the tamilnadu politicians learn from you about how to be loyal to the people who elected them.

    misunderstanding-problem-misunderstaing-problem,this cycle has been going on in srilanka between the tamils n sinhalese for decades.it will definitely require a strong leader,if they want to solve all these past ugly things.

    i wish n pray for peace in srilanka,and especially the safety and well being of the tamil politicians who are really committed to the peaceful solutions.

  20. gAMINI said,

    January 30, 2008 @ 6:08 pm

    Actually one should sypathyse people like Mano Ganeshan. In one hand they have to live and on the other they have to maintain their inherent greed for power, money , and what not. So these people would do anything to live and aquire what they want. They dont have any concienses. That is why these people publicly support maglomaniac murderers of Terrorist Tigers.

  21. G.S.Sethukavalar said,

    January 31, 2008 @ 12:06 am

    Dear Mano,
    I was surprised that you decided to speak back to those who were throwing mud at you. Just ignore them and continue your good work. I know for a fact that you are a non- racist who works for the betterment of all your people; Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim etc. You have hit the nail on its head when you said that India’s vengeance against LTTE should not result in the interests of the Tamils being harmed. I know you have great clout in India, both in New Delhi and in Chennai. Please use this to bring dignified peace to all Sri Lankans.

  22. selva said,

    February 2, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

    Attn. Dingiri (15) You write quite honestly and that is why I would like to shair my ideas with you. You are right the LTTE’s Eelam map is too large. Did they ever talk about Puttlam district in any negotiation. So that means unnesesarily they are doing an anti propaganda against the Tamils. Puttilum district should be considered as forgotten land Again you are right the people in the North cannot decide about the Muslim of Northeast or the Tamils of East. In a democretic country who has the right to talk about their people is the elected members. So who would have gone to the negotiations is not Tamilchelvan but the MPs of TNA and Muslim congress. These two parties has won mandate for autonomy. So they are the people who can deside about their region. Also the government must agree to what they ask because they are elected members. Third thing you said the land they are claiming has to be propotion to the population ratio. That is wrong accoding to the international regulations. Just see India where Hindi speaking people are about two third but they live only in four provinces even those provinces has people speaking different other languages. Moreover North and East are the dryest land in Sri Lanka. Having one acre Paddy field in Polgahawela is worth than having ten aceres in Vanni. In the north there is no river but only few sesonal streams flows . It rains only in Oct, Nov, & Dec. in the north. People harvest paddy only in this season. Only few hundred acres are irrigatable. Government gave my father ten acres for paddy harvesting . My father tryed ten years but ony two years he recovered the money he spent .Because my fathers land is not irrigatable and only weed grow if the rain doesn’t flood the field. After ten years he aboundtant it and now it is again a jungle. Vanni is good in only to leave it as jungle. Aileast 50% of Vanni has to be left as jungle. Singaraja jungle and Vanni jungle are most presious in the world because nowhere in the world you find the species or plants found in these jungles. It is the same with the high land farming. If you have one Clove plant in Kurunagala it is worth than having 10 mango trees in Mankulam. Twenty percent of the solid tyres used in Earth moving vehicles are made in Sri Lanka and they bring millions of dollars. Can you immagine to grow a rubber plant in Northeast or any of the spices or tea. There are Petrolium and Ilmanite in the northeast and let the Colombo government take it, because they are not going to last more than 50 years. People of northeast is asking for self rule not because the land is big but they fear of ethnic cleansing. In 1947 there were 9 seats in the East and in the 1947 election 5 Tamil MPs and 4 Muslim MPs were elected and there were no Sinhalese to elect a Sinhalese MP. Now the Sinhalese are about one third and they were all colonized people. So in the dry land the irrigatabe wet lands are given to the Southern Sinhalese. When we got independent the North central province,Puttalum District and Monoragala districts were lesser in population than North or East. At the same time they were opening new irrigation schemes in those Sinhalese regions and migrating only Sinhalese into the Tamils land also they were bringing in the Southern Sinhalese. They were always telling two third of the Tamils are living out side of North East but they never thought to bring out side Tamils into the Tamils traditional land. That is what called ethnic cleansing, by making the Sinhalese majority in every corner of the country and bringing the Sinhalese domination.

  23. selva said,

    February 2, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

    Dear Mano, Please don’t go back to Sri Lanka until an acceptable solution to all community is put forward. You put forward proposals very stategically and it could easily convince anybody. So the Tamils of Sri Lanka need you alive. Even if you loose your MP post just Mano Ganesan is much worth because you are regognized by India,US and EU. So be in India and work.

  24. Mano Ganesan said,

    February 4, 2008 @ 5:03 am

    Over to Msrs.Sethukavakar and Selva,

    Thanks for the concerns. I love discussions at all levels hence I take part when ever I have time. No matter if some throw mud. I have come through the worst. And I will go back home asap. That is why I refused to travel to the west and stayed closer home. This is conflict ful decisive time. I guess, I am very much needed back home now than any other time. There will be plenty during peace time to take charge, I believe, I can take time off than.

  25. dingiri said,

    February 4, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

    What Jaffna lacks in perrenial rivers it makes up in ground water. Or so I learnt in geography. Jaffna was also the only place in the country where onions grew and the only place outside Nuwara Eliya where potatoes grew. The Grapes, Mangoes and Jack Fruit from Jaffna are better than those from anywhere else in the country. Would you not agree?

    The south has similar problems with impoverished soil. I have some paddy fields in the Central Province which have water but are so infertile that every rice crop and vegetable crop has failed. The rice land in the country is so old that the soil is impoverished. Only new lands in the Eastern Province and NCP plus Dehiattakandiya and Girandurukotte and opened up under the Mahaveli schemes have the rice productivity that you talk about. The wet zone soils are very poor especially for rice.

    On the other hand the sea around Jaffna is hugely more productive in fish catches than in the south. If there is oil they can have that too.

    What I am trying to say here is the land is a mixed bag and trying to bargain on the productivity of this or that is only going to give ammunition to the JVP and JHU who are waiting scupper any agreement saying the Sinhalese have settled for less.

    What I have proposed is the only fair resolution I see where both parties can walk away without feeling robbed by the other. Whatever resolution if it is to have any chance of solving the ethnic issue has to be reciprocal, mutual and symetrical where each community should be prepared to concede to the other whatever it claims for itself and also vice versa.

    Basically, If I want 0.8 acre of land per capita for my people I must be prepared to offer the same to the other side.

  26. selva said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 7:47 pm

    Dingiri , Thanks for your responce. The ground water you find only in jaffna peninsula. But still half of the wells are salty water. In the islands, Jaffna city etc..The fruits what you buy in colombo are home grown. Nobody can do it in large scale because there is no land. nearly half of the soil is salty soil. Before 1983 from every house one or two will be working in colombo in the offices or in shops. Those days they used to say jaffna economy is money order economy because everybody look for the money order coming from colombo. Starting from Elephant pass what you find below the ground granite stone and loose soil. Because the soil is too lose digging well also very difficult. Kilinochi to Mullitivu you can dig well. South of kilinochi upto Vavuniya it is difficult and not much ground water to irrigate. Those days all the fishermen from south came to Mannar , Mullaitivu , Trinco, Batticaloa as migrant fisherman and they never had any problem. Even now nobody is telling Sinhalese cannot fish in the north. Problem is only about the land. If they don’t like the Tamils enjoy more land let all the remaining forests be as forest forever. Why should we distroy the nature with the name of colonozing. There should be an end to the colonizing, distroying the jungle. When we think of devolution what everybody’s mind thinking is occupying and colonizing. Even before independent what striked in the Sinhaleses’ mind is occupying the land in Tamil areas.If we can put a full stop to that and say all the lands are reserved forests and even the government cannot use it, all the problem could be solved. Then comes the Trinco harbour. Not even a single ship can be birthed because the land is so streep from the shore it it difficult to build pier. The prema flour mills built pier by brakeing a mountain in the shore and filling. I don’t know if there is anymore mountain to brake and do so. Trinco is a good harbour for the navy vessels to hide but not for cargo handling. Colombo is one of the best harbour in Asia and Hambantota is five times bigger than Colombo and not only that Hambantota is in the international highway. That is why recently an american diplomat was telling that they are not interested in Trinco because it is far from the shipping route.Those days need is hiding, presently the needs of supper power is policing, that is why China wanted to come before anybody.

  27. S.Yougendra said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 4:33 am

    Dear Mano Sir,
    I was surprised that you decided to speak back to those who were throwing mud at you. Just ignore them and continue your good work. I know for a fact that you are a non- racist who works for the betterment of all your people

  28. dingiri said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 7:15 am

    Selva,

    I am glad to note you are an environmentalist. I too feel that if there is one tragedy that is worse than the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka it is the loss of our forrests and rivers due to the Gal Oya, Mahaveli, Udawalawe and other irrigation schemes. Far better to have imposed draconian controls on the population like in China and somehow kept it under 10 million. Its population pressure that is the root of all evils in Sri Lanka and maybe the war is natures way of bringing it down to a sustainable size.

    Anyway, we cannot turn the clock back and you cannot chase the Sinhalese away from Gal Oya and Trincomalee and Tamils from the south against their will. I also reject the idea that the entire North and East province within their current borders should beconsidered exclusively Tamil where a Sinhalese has no right to live. There is no historical or demographic basis for this.

    When the Portugese arrived the North i.e. Jaffna, Kilinochhi and Mulaitivu was an independant and selfsufficient Tamil state. So why should it not be now?The East was part of the Kandian Kingdom. This doesnt mean that Batticaloa Tamils should not have land rights. They should have equal land rights but not more.

    There is a perception among the Sinhalese that the Tamils have always wanted more than their fair share whether it is Parlimentary representation (50-50), University places, Govt jobs or land entitlements and have always been quick to cry foul or claim adverse discrimination whenever misguided governments have tried to artificially right the imbalance. This is at the root of much of the resentment that you see today. Again its due to too many people chasing too few resources.

    If any future settlement is to have any chance of succeeding it needs to be water tight in its fairness and leave no room for the anti-peace groups to scupper it on claims of unequal entitlement.

    You are right. It would be an excellent idea to reserve the remaining forrest lands as jointly/commonly held National Parks and devide the rest which is the farmland, towns and cities among the communities.

  29. selva said,

    February 9, 2008 @ 1:06 am

    Dingiri # 28 The British people carefully carved out these two provinces because they had been a different ethinic group. It would have been true that the East was under Kandian Kingdom when the Portugeese came. While UNP was doing an ethnic cleansing in the east SLFP was doing it in the upcountry. Instead of sending the Tamils back to India if they could have sent all the Upcountry Tamils to North east ,Sinhala Sri lanka would have Ethinc cleansed of Tamils and the Tamils too would have lived peasefully. But what the governments are doing by migration is makingmSinhalese every where majority. They want to be masters in each an every corner. A Tamil book called Patinapalai written 2300 years ago says rice grown along Mahawali Nadi were imported to Tamilnadu. It coinsides with the Thutu Gamunu , Ellala Sinhan war because Thutu gamunu defeatd nearly 35 Tamil pety kings who ruled along Mahawali in that one year old war. Through out the history the Sinhalese were always living western side of Mahawali. Do you know Mahawali itsef a Tamil name. In the televenth century when the Maleria attached severly people were dying in thousands. The Sinhalese population went almost near extinction during that time. So the Sinhalese moved to southwest where there is no maleria moskito. Still the Tamils were dying of maleria the Sinhalese population was multiplying fast. Under british rule only they started taking the census. During that time the Sinhalese population growth was three times that of Tamil. During Dutch Time and English time also Tamils died of malaria in thousands . Even when we got independence the Sinhalese population was only 69%, Sinhalese becoming majority only caused the problem.

  30. dingiri said,

    March 4, 2008 @ 8:25 am

    Selva,

    Mahaweli Ganga means Great Sandy River in Sinhalese. There are other place names with the same Maha suffix. Maha Eliya, Maha Iuppallama, Maha Oya etc etc.

    The East was part of the Ruhunu Kingdom. If Sinhalese always lived west of the Mahaweli why do we find Somawathie Chitya, Thiriyaya, Seruwavila, Digavapi, Kudumbigala, Dimbulagala, Gokanna, Mahiyangana amont 300 other Buddhist sites on the Eastern side of the Mahaweli? Why, the paucity of Hindu sites of any significan antiquity? How about the Eastern Place names?

    There is nothing inconsistant with rice from the Mahaveli basin being exported to Tamil Nadu. Sri Lanka was a very prosperous land by world standards at that time in History. So was Tamil Nadu. The banks of the Kaveri are also supposed to have produced vast amounts of rice according to the Sangam litterature. Of course there were Tamils in Sri Lanka from ancient times. They however interbred with the indigenous people and evolved a separate but related language and culture over 2000+ years. So if you may we sinhalese are the ancient Tamils with a smattering of North Indian and Vedda blood too. Northern and Eastern Tamils have not had such a long separation from its parent body in South India. That is why their language and culture has not diverged to the same extent.

    Interesting theory about Malaria being the reason for why Tamils are the minority and Sinhalese the majority!!

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