Connect with us

news

PC Minister Weerasekera opposes full implementation of 13 A

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

India had no moral right to ask for the full implementation of the 13th amendment to the Constitution, Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Sarath Weerasekera told Parliament yesterday.

Participating in a debate at the time of adjournment of the House on foreign agreements of Sri Lanka, the Minister said that the amendment had been interpreted as an outcome of Indo-Lanka Accord, of which the role and commitment of India as a party to the agreement was in question because India did not fulfil its commitments.

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked our Prime Minister to implement the 13th Amendment although the amendment is an internal affair of this country. When foreign governments adversely commented on India’s abrogation of Article 370 from its Constitution, accusing India of scrapping the special status given to people in troubled Jammu and Kashmir region there, our prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa when asked to comment said that it was an internal matter of India.”

“Knowing that the 13th Amendment is an internal matter of Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Modi is asking for its implementation does not show the same reciprocation. Some interpret that PM Modi is asking so on the mandate of Indo-Lanka Accord. But the question is whether India has adhered to its own commitments specified in the Indo-Lanka Accord. The 13A is not even mentioned in the Accord. The Accord is something forced down on us by India.

“I have my reservations about the Accord. As per the agreement India is to enable the return of the Sinhalese and Muslims to vote. Thousands of Sinhala and Muslim Lankans are still unable to return.

“India also promised in the agreement to ensure within 48 hours cessation of violence and all arms of the terrorist groups in Lanka would be surrendered to authorities. We know that it had been done only as a token because the LTTE handed over few firearms but there were no cessation of hostilities. Even the Indian army, one of the largest armies in the world, had to withdraw after suffering heavy casualties at the hands of the LTTE.

“It was the Lankan forces under proper political leadership who defeated the LTTE. So, India did not fulfill her commitments in the agreement.

 “It should also be asked whether the agreement was signed under duress, or whether contents of the agreement compromised Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. When our forces were about to crush the LTTE and capture LTTE leader Prabhakaran at Vadamarachchi, India violated our airspace and dropped food and medicine in Jaffna famously known as dhal dropping operation of India.

 “Also it mentions Trincomalee Harbour and Oil Tank Farm. The Sri Lankan courts have nullified the merger of the northern and eastern provinces which was one of the clauses of the Accord.

 “So, there is a serious concern about the validity of the agreement and if it is not valid, India has no moral right to interfere in our internal affairs.

 “Let India be reminded that soon after its Independence there was a separatist movement by the Dravidians. EVR Periyar advocated Nazi style anti Brahmanism. That is why Jawahar Lal Nehru broke India into 28 linguistic states.

“Ambedkar expressed that ‘linguistic states and political entities will become a stepping stone for creation of separate states’. He further said that the road between an independent nationality and independent state is very narrow. If this happens, modern India will cease to exist.

“Here, we talk about devolution of power with the province as the unit with provisions for mergering two provinces.

“So India should be cognizant of the fact that granting self-determination to the North or the  merged North and East could be utilised as a stepping stone for a Dravidistan or if not they could link up with Tamil Nadu. So Balkanization of Sri Lanka into provincial governments through 13 A will invariably affects the existing unity of India. The promoter will then become the victim.

In the North, Tamil account for 99% of the population. The LTTE resorted to ethnic cleansing and all Sinhala and Muslim people who lived in the North were either massacred or chased out. Now, the separatist politicians seek self-determination.

“That is why the experts say power should never be devolved on the basis of ethnicity. The 13 Amendment provides for ethnic enclaves. We know the devolution of power as opposed to decentralisation and result in the division of our nation.

“So, we do not believe in the devolution of power but of course in decentralisation up to the lowest levels. The centre must retain the power. Our culture of governance was centered with the ruling king. It has not fundamentally changed. Raja Bhavatu Dhammiko is the theme of governance by a virtuous ruler that we recognise, respect and expect.

“India and Sri Lanka have a very long history of friendship and we recognize the importance of nurturing that friendship.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

COPE meets online for first time in its history

Published

on

by Saman Indrajith

The Parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) created a history by meeting online for the first time ever on Thursday.

The COPE had Secretaries of three Ministries joining in with its committee meeting through online (ZOOM) becoming the second parliamentary committee holding an online meeting in the country.

Thursday evening’s COPE meeting chaired by its chairman Prof. Charitha Herath connected online with Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Dr) H. S. Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Industries W. A. Chulananda Perera and, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government J. J. Ratnasiri via zoom technology.

The Environmental Audit Report on water pollution of the Kelani River was brought before the committee and the meeting held between the Chairman Prof. Herath, Ministers and Members of Parliament and secretaries and other officials continued without any technical hitches.

Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that facilities have been provided to hold meetings and discussions using online technology in two committee rooms in Parliament.

He said that Parliamentary officials had been working relentlessly for months to install the requisite technological tools and that the efforts have borne fruit and future Parliamentary meetings could be held online as a result.

The Committee on High Posts under the chairmanship of Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also held a discussion with the new Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Kenya, who was living in Kampala, using online technology recently.

 

 

Continue Reading

news

Legatum Prosperity Index highlights SL’s development of education and healthcare sectors

Published

on

During the past decade

One of the key highlights of this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index was the improvement in Sri Lanka’s education and healthcare sectors over the past decade. These improvements were key to increase in prosperity within Sri Lanka, it was noted.

The London-based think-tank Legatum Institute launched the 14th Legatum Prosperity Index on November 17 2020.

The event commenced with the welcome address by the Chair of the Legatum Institute, Alan McCormick. 

Addressing the audience, the Chief Executive Officer of the Legatum Institute, The Baroness Stroud said that according to the Legatum Index, the global prosperity was at its highest level ever with 147 countries seeing their prosperity rise over the last decade.

Speaking at the launch, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, Saroja Sirisena said that the end of the terrorist conflict in 2009 and the ensuing peace dividend, led Sri Lanka to achieve steady progress within the last decade.

She highlighted that the universal free education and healthcare policies of the country over seven decades are the pillars on which prosperity is built.

Director of Policy of the Legatum Institute, Dr. Stephen Brien explained to the audience as to how the Legatum Index is used to measure prosperity across the world.

The event was also addressed by the Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Africa, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Biologist and Writer, Matt Ridley and Ambassador of Georgia in the UK Sophie Katsarava.

Legatum Prosperity Index is a global index that analyses the performance of 167 nations across 65 policy-focused elements, measured by almost 300 country level indicators and it is the only global index that measures national prosperity based on institutional, economic and social wellbeing.

Continue Reading

news

Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India with Sapna Mehra

Published

on

The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), High Commission of India, Colombo, will be holding an online cookery demonstration on ‘Snack Time: Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India’ on December 5 at 11.00 am on its FACEBOOK page https://www.facebook.com/ICCRSriLanka.

This festival season, the Cultural Centre will present a virtual cookery demonstration by Sapna Mehra. Cooking has been a passionate hobby of Sapna since her childhood days. Growing up in a large family of 17 members, she was very keen on bringing variety to the dining table, and that’s when her cooking journey began, preparing simple wraps, and snacks.

She now specializes in cooking dishes from a variety of cuisines. Originally from Bangalore, she has lived in many cities across India and Sri Lanka, and at present resides in Delhi.

She has a Postgraduate degree in Marketing and has over 12 years work experience in the professional field.

All are cordially invited to attend. For more details, contact the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre on telephone No: 2684698 or Email: iccrcolombo2@gmail.com

Continue Reading

Trending