Those who have a personal agenda are against the removal of the 13th Amendment. The 13th Amendment is now an anti dated legislature. It was introduced for another purpose at another time. Even at the time it was introduced into the Constitution the 13 Amendment did not serve the purpose for which it was introduced.
The India Lanka pact that introduced the 13th Amendment was a failure from the start. The IPKF with a starting force of 10000 men had 80000 men at its peak, yet it was unable to stop terrorism.
The disaster caused with the Indo Lanka pact that introduced the 13the Amendement was immense. “ The IPKF suffered around 1,200 killed in action and several thousand wounded. The LTTE casualties are not known reliably but it is assumed that approximately 8000-11000 were killed and several thousand were injured.” (wikipedia)
Finally the Indian Army left without solving any of the problem they came to solve. And the aftermath was the assassination of the man who planned the intervention of Indian Army in Sri Lanka which served no purpose, but managed to left behind the “hated” 13th Amendment which has become the bone of contention of every one.
The 13 Amendment was to facilitate the Indian army to bring the LTTE under control and establish peace. The Indian Army left making the problem worse than it was before they came.
In Sinhala there is a saying, “ what is the use of the sword which was not there for the war; is it to cut jak fruits ( yuddeta neti kaduw kos kotantada ) ? ”
We could hence ask of what use is the 13th Amendment which served no purpose to end terrorism and establish peace. The wisest possible action Sri Lanka can do with it now is to just dump it and prepare another system of regional administration which suits the country.
Has the PC system organised under the 13th Amendment done any good ?
The PCs are another set of bureaucratic administrations out of reach of the people. It has created another set of, a sort of Ministers and Parliamentarians. Once elected as Provincial Council Members they become “panjandrums” of the villages and the Province. They get distanced from the people and act as they have special social status that require respect and obedience of the petty government officials and the villagers.
The incidence of Ananda Sarath Kumara the North Western Province, Provincial Councillor who force kneeled a teacher before the pupils is an example of what becomes of the PC Members. He just imitated what a Minister in the Parliament did by tying a Government Official to a tree.
The Provincial Council Member Sarath Kumara posed as a great personality, with his own henchmen acting as his security officers. He could make any one stop speaking against him through fear of reprisal. That is how the PCs have created small time village mafias able to keep the people silent with blind acceptance of all their unscrupulous activities. Do we want to perpetrate that system ?The 13 Amendment introduced by India though it has served no great purpose in Sri Lanka, serves India which still to keeps the Sovereign State of Sri Lanka at bay, giving instructions from far and also calling obedience to the whims and fancies of its Chief Minister Jayalalitha. With the 13th Amendment Sri Lanka has become a “political laughing stock”. Any one in Tamil Nadu can dictate terms to Sri Lanka.
Vaiko of MDMK-the joker who was ready to come to Sri Lanka to fight along side Prabhakaran is reported to have said,
“Sri Lankan officials should not be accommodated anywhere in the country” It was reported that he had said that the, “ Political parties and Tamil outfits will stage protests if the Centre continues to impart training to officials of the Sri Lankan defence forces at Defence Services Staff College at Wellington in the Nilgiris. “
All those insults by nincompoops are because Sri Lanka is unable to decide to do away with the 13th Amendment. Whether we will remove it or not neither India nor the International community will change their attitude towards Sri Lanka.
India will always play the role of the “big brother” issuing dictates and pampering anti government elements and harbour the desire given the opportunity to divide Sri Lanka between the Tamils and the Sinhala just to please Tamil Nadu jokers. All that is because India has the handle- the 13th Amendment left behind by its erstwhile leader Rajiv Ghandhi.
Jomo Kinyata had once said with regard to the poverty of Kenya that, when the British came to Kenya they had the Bible in their hands, and the Kenyans’ had the land, and when they left the Kenyans’ had the Bible in their hands and the British had the land.
Similarly (if not exactly) the Indians came with their military power promising to settle terrorism and bring peace, but when they left after failure to settle neither terrorism nor establish peace, they left behind the 13 Amendment, which is worse than the terrorism. The terrorism Sri Lanka settled with its own force , but the 13Amendment is still their to fulfil indirectly what the terrorist failed to do. And Sri Lanka appears unable to remove the distasteful Amendment .SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem,
who signed a MoU with Prabhakaran, to have his own Muslim Eelam under the protection of Prabhakaran’s Tamil Eelam, is said to be infuriated over his party's non-inclusion in the PSC. He had said addressing a meeting at Maon Street, Kalmunai, on Saturday, it was important for the SLMC to have a nominee on the PSC as the 13th Amendment is all to do with minority rights. He had also accused the government of amending the 13th Amendment to suit some parties within the ruling coalition.”
What Hakeem is up to being in the Government as the Minister of Justice is any body’s guess ?
In the mean time Lakshman Kiriella,
is worried about the government not satisfying the International Community, and says “…. the government has promised the international community that it will provide a solution beyond the 13th amendment but has so far failed to do so. He pointed out that minority communities and their constituent parties were caught between protecting their Ministerial roles and protecting its community…” The UNP is always at the beck and call of the International Community as the Government of President Mahinda Rajapakse is at the beck and call of India.
The Government Ministers and MPs who are vehemently against the removal of the 13 th Amendment, have no reason to fight to keep the 13th Amendment other than to exercise their influence in the Administration of the Provincial Councils and preserve their vote base.
The periodical issues of job quotas to Provincial councils are a means to help the henchmen of the Provincial Councillors, leaving out the deserved eve if they have the correct qualifications. These abuses could be stopped by changing the PC system and establishing a more progressive form of Regional Administration.
The demand of the old LSSP and the CP Ministers are not understandable other than that they prefer attachment to India, and lack progressive thinking. They have in their mind the future of a united Sri Lanka with the Communal difference, when the need is to have a united Sri Lanka without Communal differences. Other than that there is no logical reason for the LSSP and CP Parliamentarians and Ministers to yearn to keep the 13Amendment intact.
The 13 Amendment should be removed, to enable the introduction of another System of Regional Administration to integrate the peasants and villagers as partners in the Governance of the Country.
It would help to reduce, if not stop corruption at all levels, as the villagers themselves will be able to keep watch over malpractices taking place at the lower levels which often go unnoticed, and alert those responsible in the Government and awaken the government from its lethargy. It would also help dampen criminality, and would be an asset for the police to carry out their duties more efficiently.
Therefore, instead of amending the 13th Amendment in bits and pieces it should be jettisoned to clean the Constitution, which has been contaminated by this piece of Indian legislation introduced into it.