Thursday, 9 June 2011

Sacrosanct 13th Amendment , and why it should not remain embedded- a painful thorn in the « body » of our Constitution.

Sacrosanct to India an absolute shame to Sri Lanka, the 13th Amendment was introduced into our constitution by twisting the arm of a weakened President , abandoned by America he held in high esteem all his political life, which even earned him the nickname Yankee Dicky.

The 13th Amendment introduced 24 years ago under shameful circumstances has no right to be left in the Constitution of Sri Lanka, and should be eliminated as we eliminated terrorism, its predecessor.

It was forced to be introduced by a scheming unfriendly Indian Government on the pressure brought upon it by film stars of cheap popular Tamil mythological films turned politicians of Tamilnadu, who were sentimentalists rather than political visionaries. The circumstances have not changed today .

India, which was through out a ruthless terrorism in Sri Lanka, was a « reluctant » neighbour scheming and plotting indirectly helping the terrorists to weaken and break up Sri Lanka , is today acting under pressure from a Tamil film stars of old popular Tamil mythological films Jayalalitha Jeyaram the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalitha Jeyaram the present Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, who played Valli Amma the consort of Muruga in South Indian film sagas, still thinks that Ravana is hiding Sitha some where in Sri Lanka and wants to play the role of Rama trying to wakeup the slumbering Kumbhakarna to take revenge from the President of Sri Lanka who she mistakenly takes for Ravana.

Before her it was an old Tamil politicians in his dotage shedding tears for vanishing terrorism, spending time writing poetry in memory of a dead terrorist Tamilselvam, who was coaxing the Central Government of India to intervene to save terrorists in Sri Lanka.

However, besides awakening to the call of Tamilnadu politicians, (who neglect their own people , and refuse to find a solution to the caste issue showing more concern about the Tamils in Sri Lanka) Indian Central Government does not want to miss an opportunity to remind Sri Lanka about implementing the 13 Amendment which is, what is left of the Frankenstein its former Prime Minister Late Indira Gandhi created in Prabhakaran, and for which India made the blood sacrifice of one of its potential leaders Rajiv Ghandhi to keep it alive.

This tragi-comedy will not see its end as long as this piece of evil enactment the 13th Amendment introduced to the constitution in a hurry would continue to remain encrusted into our Constitution. The 13th Amendment just does not fit into our Constitution as it is conspicuously foreign to us, and remains a black scar in a white background.

In order to understand, why the 13th Amendment does not fit into our system , and why sooner it is removed better it would be to Sri Lanka we have to see the history and the background to its forced introduction into the instrument of our system of government.

The 13th Amendment is not at all a national contribution for the progress and the development of our country as a independent nation state. It was not drafted and written weighing the advantages and disadvantages of it to the different communities, making it a document that would help to move a country progressively into a brighter and a prosperous future as it would have been in the ordinary course of writing a constitution to a Sovereign State.

How did it come into being a controversial amendment to our Constitution ? While I am writing this a top level Indian Delegation is said to be scheduled to visit Sri Lanka to discuss various matters with regard to the reconciliation process and perhaps the implementation of the 13th Amendment.

All this is the surprising evolution of Indian relationship with Sri Lanka, despite all mischief it had committed against it. It is a known fact that the terrorists movement in Sri Lanka was the “child or more correctly the Frankenstein” created and nurtured by India under Indira Gandhi, which was even trained in special camps set up in Tamilnadu by the RAW. The terrorist group thus created was supported by the Indian Government, and Indira Gandhi issued a warning to the then President J.R.Jayawardhana, that she will not rule out armed intervention if diplomatic attempts to settle any matter arising out of the Tamil separatist movement were to fail .

However, as the terrorist group in Sri Lanka became considerably strong , becoming a threat to the Sri Lanka’s unitary state, the Government of Sri Lanka strengthened its own forces with the help of Pakistan, Israel, Singapore and South Africa. In 1986, the terrorists were carrying out bloody terror campaigns, and the Government of Sri Lanka stepped up its own campaign against the terrorists.

In 1987, Sri Lanka Armed Forces launched the Operation Liberation in Jaffna which the LTTE terrorists was holding under its control and laid siege on the terrorists. The terrorists were loosing their battle and the Government forces were in control of the situation. India forced by the Tamil Media and the Tamilnadu, demanded the Government of Sri Lanka to stop the offensive and come to a political settlement. But the Government of Sri Lanka which was then in a stronger position with the military advisors from Pakistan and Israel helping the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, refused to give in.

But India too wanted to show its force, and in order to save its face vis-à-vis Tamilnadu State, announced in June, 1987, that it was sending an unarmed convoy of Ships to Northern Sri Lanka for humanitarian assistance. The Sri Lanka Government Navy intercepted the Indian convoy of ships and turned them back. It was then that India on the 4th June, 1987 mounted its “operation Poolmalai in broad day light” brazenly trespassed into Sri Lanka airspace and dropped 25 tons of supply to the besieged terrorists.

“At the same time the Sri Lankan Ambassador to New Delhi was summoned to the Foreign Office to be informed by the Minister of External Affairs, K. Natwar Singh, of the ongoing operation. It was also indicated to the Ambassador that if the operation was in any way hindered by Sri Lanka, India would launch a full-force military retaliation against Sri Lanka.” (please see Wikipedia for more details)

That culminated in the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka accord and introduction of the 13th Amendment. The Sri Lanka Government troops withdrew from the North and the East in terms of the Accord. The Indian Government sent the Indian Peace Keeping Force and Forced the Government to prepare the 13th Amendment to the constitution, to provide regional Councils to the Tamil people of the North, making North and East a single Province.

It is said that the President J.R.Jayawardhana, did not want to be interfered further by the Indian Government and with his close associates, assisted by the consultants sent by the Government of India prepared the 13th Amendment in a hurry between October-November,1987. No time was provided for discussion, debate or making corrections.

It was at this time there was a grenade attack in parliament by the JVP injuring the Minister Mr.Athulathmudali. All the UNP parliamentarians were kept in a hotel and was escorted to the parliament, and the 13th Amendment was passed within days.

Now 24 years after, the situation has changed . The terrorism has been eliminated at least from Sri Lanka, though there are still the phantoms of terrorism haunting in the west in the form of a Tamil diaspora. The North and East is being developed and soon have more modern facilities than the South. India is now showing its presence in different garbs though it has not changed much, in its relationship with Sri Lanka.

It is therefore time to assert that Sri Lanka is not any more ready to be allowed to have the hands of India washed over its head. India has its circle of friendly Nations and we in Sri Lanka we have ours, and it is time we tell India where it stands in relation to Sri Lanka.

India should not be allowed any more to interfere into our affairs. The Tamil people in the North , East and South and West are our people as much as the Sinhala, Muslim and others in the North, East, South or West and that we could look after all of them without India poking its nose.

And to make it more effective to let India know that India is India, and Sri Lanka is Sri Lanka we should remove the unacceptable 13th Amendment introduced into our constitution and prepare our own amendments to replace it preparing it by our own people, taking time over it, debate and discuss it , weigh the advantages and disadvantages and make our Constitution worthy of what Sri Lanka is today after the end of 30 years of Indian sponsored terrorism.

We should if necessary remind India that during the 30 years of the terrorism, India had not been our friend, though now and then in its own interest it had helped in the final war against terrorism.

And finally Sri Lanka should at least learn now, not to run to India with documents in hand to meet the Indian political leaders, and discuss with them solutions to our problems. India will never give us the correct solutions, and it would not do us anything better than the Western enemies.

Even if the Sri Lanka politicians go to India for any discussion they should be careful not to issue joint statements, as India would even use them in its own interest, as India seems to be doing with the last joint Statement issued when the Foreign Minister G.L.Peiris went to India to discuss the Ban Ki Moon’s Darusman panel report.

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