|Minister Champika Ranawaka of JHU without an unwavering conviction for the removal of the 13Amendment|
The removal of the 13 Amendment if a decision is taken to remove it would take a period of time- drafting the relevant Act, presenting it to the Supreme court for legal approval and then present it to the Parliament. In the mean time the elections could still be held in the North under the provisions of the 13Amendment, but the action for its removal should be initiated now. Thereafter a new system of provincial administration should be prepared to affect all Provincial Councils once the 13Amendment is removed. All actions pertaining to land and police powers etc., under the 13 Amendment should in the mean time be suspended until its removal from the Constitution, and new provisions made under a new Act.
The 13Amendment which our legislators do not seem to understand is a foreign law-thought out and prepared by India and forced to be included in our Constitution. It will neither help the Tamil people, nor the other communities. Its is its removal and adopting a system appropriate to the country which would help reconciliation and uniting the people and provide them with a true representative system of Provincial Councils.
Tissa Vitharana had further added that, “ The Northerners, who had undergone enough suffering over the last three decades, should be left in peace to exercise their franchise at a free and fair election without creating unnecessary issues and confrontations. ”
This in fact is the very reason why the 13Amendment should be removed, as it is foreign to our people who went through untold, suffering and misery since its introduction in to the Constitution in 1987. India when it forced the 13Amendment on Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka was in disarray and nobody knew what was going to be the outcome of terrorism, which was very powerful at the time and thought invincible.
The 13 Amendment was an attempt to subjugate a sovereign State according to whims and fancies of the leaders of a neighbouring State profiting from the weakness of Sri Lanka. Therefore, one cannot understand the logic of those Cabinet Ministers demanding the “ Amendment of shame” to be retained in Constitution of Sri Lanka.
The 13 Amendment should be removed in its entirety, and removing of the President’s right to merge two provinces is not the worst that has been removed. In fact there is already a legal ruling which removed the merger of North and East. And the decision to remove the right of the President to re-merge provinces is an eye washer to fool the people.
The government has not said any thing with regard to the removal of the police and land rights or given any reason why the whole of the 13 Amendment should not be removed, instead of removing bits and pieces of it..
In the meantime Rauf Hakeem the Minster of Justice says,“We must remember that the 13th Amendment came as a solution to the National problem after a long-drawn-out process.” This is « bull shit ». This man seems to have no idea how the 13 Amendment came to be included in the Constitution.
Rauf Hakeem was a sympathiser of the terrorists and even signed a MoU with Prabhakaran. He is not a patriot who loves the Country. His interest is in his Community and an eventual Islamizing of Sri Lanka. Rauff Hakeem says that the13 Amendment came after a long drawn up process as a solution to the National problem. We wonder from where he got that idea .
It is only the Sinhala Buddhists, and those with real patriotic sentiments who want the 13 Amendment removed, as they are concerned about the unitary status of Sri Lanka and will not hesitate to sacrifice their lives to save the country even if the other Communities were to look askance.
Karu Jayasuriya, who is a copy confirm of Mangala Samaraweera bleats his protests against the government, having failed to be the second in command in the UNP after leaving the Cabinet of the President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Ranil Wickramasinghe is crying over a repealed 17 Amendment and threatens to boycott the PSC. These UNP stalwarts are only politically motivated about keeping the 13 Amendment, and do not seem to be over concerned about the country’s future and the reconciliation of the Communities. They do not see that the 13 Amendment is a deterrent for reconciliation of Communities , which will keep alive the hatred of the Tamils against the other Communities.
It had been a habit with Ranil Wickramasinghe under the previous President as well to refuse to cooperate to find solutions for national problems. Under the President Chandrika Kumaratunga Ranil Wickramasinghe refused to attend all party discussions to find solutions to terrorism to which he was invited.
Ranil Wickramasinghe panders to the TNA hoping that he may be able to get the votes of the North in a future Presidential Election if the TNA win the PC elections under the 13Amenment. He is the man who has still refused to give credit to the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka for the elimination of terrorism.
He has demanded that the Army Personnel should not be appointed Governors in Provinces. The Army Personnel have on the other hand every right to hold positions of importance in the North and East as it was they who contributed for the emancipation of the people in the North and East, from the bonds of terrorism, risking their lives in that effort.
The people of Sri Lanka should take note of these non progressive reactionary attitude of the UNP leadership and politically isolate UNP under Ranil Wickramasinghe and refuse to vote for the UNP in any future election.
The Catholic Bishops also have ganged together against the removal of the 13 Amendment. This is no surprise as the Catholic Church had a very close connection with the LTTE and Catholic Father Emmanuel is all out to divide Sri Lanka with his World Tamil Forum. The Catholic Priests of Sri Lanka do not take patriotic decisions on any issue that concerns the country as a whole, as they are first bound by the dictates that come from Rome, and their patriotisms is towards the Holy See. So much for their love for Sri Lanka.
India fears a break away of TamilNadu if the Central government does not give into all their demands, and fears that with it several other Indian States may follow. The President of Sri Lanka perhaps considers a broken away TamilNadu may be a worst alternative than a TamilNadu as a part of the Government of India. But those are political moves that are beyond the control of Sri Lanka, therefore Sri Lanka should take precautions to meet such political evolutions in India, while doing what is necessary for Sri Lanka as an Independent Sovereign State.
The LSSP and CP have been reduced to mere Name Boards. They are hoping to comeback making their decision to oppose the removal of the 13Amendment as their determination to uphold their absurd principle, which is to assure the diminishing party cadre, their loyalty to the LSSP and to keep themselves politically afloat. Their opposition to the 13 Amendment is with that selfish motive and to present a different opinion to that of the JVP, which incidentally is for the removal of the 13 Amendment.
In evaluating the issue there appears to be no valid reason for these errant members of the Cabinet to oppose the 13 Amendment. They should ask in one voice to remove it from the Constitution.
The Minister who stands by his unwavering conviction to remove the “unholy” 13 Amendment is Champika Ranawaka of the JHU. Rajitha Senaratne has gone to the extent of saying that he would resign from his Ministry if the 13 Amendment is removed. One cannot understand what he stands to gain by maintaining the 13Amenment in the Constitution. He may have a secret agenda for his vehement protest. But his leaving the Ministry is not a great loss, as Sri Lanka stands to gain much more from removing the 13 Amendment.