கவனிக்க: இந்த மின்னூலைத் தனிப்பட்ட வாசிப்பு, உசாத்துணைத் தேவைகளுக்கு மட்டுமே பயன்படுத்தலாம். வேறு பயன்பாடுகளுக்கு ஆசிரியரின்/பதிப்புரிமையாளரின் அனுமதி பெறப்பட வேண்டும்.
இது கூகிள் எழுத்துணரியால் தானியக்கமாக உருவாக்கப்பட்ட கோப்பு. இந்த மின்னூல் மெய்ப்புப் பார்க்கப்படவில்லை.
இந்தப் படைப்பின் நூலகப் பக்கத்தினை பார்வையிட பின்வரும் இணைப்புக்குச் செல்லவும்: Lanka Guardian 1987.09.01
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Vol. 10 No. 9 September 1, 1987 Price Rs. 5
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U. S. RESOLUTION
Rarely do the two Houses of the US Congress meet to pass a joint resolution that calls upon its government to participate in a multilateral effort supporting “rehabilitation and reconstruction' in a Third World country. The US Congress has just done that in the case of Sri Lanka. The resolution which requests President Reagan to commend President Jayewardene and Prime Minister Gandhi follows a statement by Congressman Stephen Solarz, a prominent Democrat and Chairman of the Asia and Pacific Affairs committee that he would support the nomination of the two leaders for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The report says:
'The resources would be given particularly in those areas most seriously affected by the longstanding ethnic conflict a press release from USIS said.
The release also said that it urges the President of the United States to convey to President Jayewardene and Prime Minister Gandhi the congratulations and best wishes of the American people as these leaders proceed to implement the accord, and usher in a new era of harmony and mutual respect between the Tamil and Sinhalese populations in Sri Lanka.”
FARWELL TO ARMS
While groups other then the LTTE, the strongest, and EROS, EPRLF, TELO and PLOTE, have started to surrender arms (the last Three Stars' is described as a bitter foe of the Tigers') a parallel process has begun in the South. In keeping with the Accord, as many as 10,000 Home Guards have done so in all
parts of the is say. The “Hom also been disban Tamil spokesme described then
undisciplined oft and militias wh being since 1983
Throughout the which has now sources and Tamil furiously the exte age in the North a citizens committee groups claimed t extensive and off replied that thes exaggerated. No the terrible costs a families can be assessment that challenged. Mr. speaking to Colo) tives of non-Aid (i.e. those who a of the World B Consortium), ask re-build 75,000 the North and E. not only lost the became refugees afford to rebuild own. Meaning, t
Vol. 10 No. 9 S.
Published fo Lanka Guardian F
No. 246, Ui COLOM
and, the police 2 Guards have ded as a militia. in had always
as the most ie para-military ich came into
ended, official Sources disputed nt of the damind East. Tamil s, and expatriate he damage was icial spokesmen 2 were highly w, some idea of f war to ordinary founded on an can hardly be Ronnie de Mel, mbo representagiving countries re not members ank sponsored ed for help to small houses in ast. The owners air homes and , but cannot
then on their ley are the poor.
On the 13th August 1987 by 4 p.m. we reached Jaffna. From Colombo to Kilinochchi we travelled by train. From Kilinochchi we journeyed to Jaffna in a C.T.B. bus. There were no check points either by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces or by the militants. Before the accord was signed between Vavuniya and Jaffna there were more than 10 check points upto Elephant Pass manned by the Sri Lanka Security Forces. At each check point people had to get down and walk. After Elephant Pass militants used to check alle vehicles very often. Anyway checking has stopped by both sides.
To me it was re-visiting Jaffna after five months. When I left Jaffna in April 1987 it was a battle zone. N. The militants and the Sri Lankan forces were engaged in fighting and shelling. And there was strafing by helicopters at random. Planes used to bomb militant camps.
(Continued on page II)
2ptember 1, 1987
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News Background 3
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G.P.'s Decisive Role 25
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Can a fragile be converted
Mervyn de Silva
he U.N.P. lost the war. Can
it win the peace The day that censorship is lifted, the U.N.P. will be entitled to claim that the answer is 'Yes'. Henry Kissinger, the brightest if not the best, of American intellectuals who had a chance to exercise power, used to sneer at the Soviet Union’s “peace offensive' Since its birth in 1917, the Soviet Union was presented to the world as the “Red Devil', the source of all evil.
When the Western alliance, with all its economic and military power, discovered it could not defeat or de-stabilise the Soviet Union, it took up the weapon of propaganda, its mightiest weapon. Though the military balance was changing, the West still retains, dominance over the global communications system.
It was Winston Churchill the fiercest and most formidable of old imperialist bulldogs who coined the phrase the "Iron Curtain'. Roll back the curtain was the new war cry. The message was that the Soviet Union was the most aggressive state in the world, determined to unleash war and impose “communism everywhere.
The UNP government can learn the art of propagandising and popularising peace from Mr. Gorbachev. Like it or not, large sections of the Nonaligned community, and considerable segments of western opinion including important governments and influential western leaders, believe that it is the Soviet Union that wants peace, not the U.S., or more accurately not the Reagan Administration. The American people desire peace. It is Mr. Gorbachev who is winning the "Peace Offensive”.
The U.N.P., le of foreign policy It cost the U.N.P. dearly. Will hist
U.N.P. propagal to convert the co its own ranks liners still regar its ideological therefore omain monstrous irony also believes, a least, correctly, Left is a spent 8 new Left confin fringe. The UN to realise that it peace force is til or what Left ide racist Right' or politely the chau
In the present is an even more than its monur over foreign pc politics. In any c in the world, a imposed is a fr is certainly so, i ticised society wi ally high level boast about the was introduced rage even before European countri the right to vo our unusually education, “free e sad to say, we obvious conclusio are thinking peo to be convinced. be convinced by lies the advantag tage. If your strong enough, i.
The next ques presentation of - propaganda in
to a e's 2
arnt the A.B.C. the hard way. , and Sri Lanka, bry repeat itself ?
nda is still trying nverted, mostly The UNP hardthe Left as challenger, and enemy'. It is a because the UNP nd in this at that the old force, and the ed to the lunatic P does not seem he main antihe "Hard' Right 2ologies call the and others more lvinist Right.
situation, this dangerous error mental mistakes blicy and geoountry or society peace that is agile peace. It n a highly polith an exceptionof literacy. We fact that Ceylon o universal sufwoman in some es did not have te. We parade high levels of ducation'. Yet, io not draw the in from it. These ple. They have They have to argument. There e and disadvanarguments are : is an asset.
ion then is the 7 our arguments the best sense
of the word. But how to propagate peace ?
The hard-core of chauvinist opinion is the middle class, perhaps more hardly the lowermiddle class. This is an influential stratum of Sri Lanka society, and yet only a stratum. What of the masses 2
The new, progressive “Developmental' school coined the term “basic needs strategy” - a development policy and program that served the basic needs of the people. In socialist vocabulary, there is the broader phrase “the basic needs of the basic masses'. In a word, “grassroots', a term to which every seminar on every conceivable subject, pays ritual homage.
Prominent UNP'ers like Lands Minister Gamini Dissanayake and Finance Minister de Mel show that they are at least aware of their “target audience'. But what of the others in the government and the UNP's supportive cohorts. Their thinking still remains elitist, and their message still tries to convert the converted.
If this is a real peace, a peace that is worth protecting and preserving in a perilously fluid situation, and opinion climate, then this “peace' must win over the basic masses. And that can be done only if the people are convinced that this peace promotes their real material interests; that their daily life is going to be easier, if not wonderfully better. The challenge before the government, and it is a tremendous challenge fraught with danger not only to the regime but to the social fabric of the South and political stability', is how effec
(Continued on page 4)
Premier Premadasa -
et’s re-phrase the question. The L. G. of course must take the blame for starting the
game. And the names of the game were Bandaranaike and Aquino, Sirima and Cory. Can
Sirima do a Cory? "Never' interrupted one of our regular readers and vigiliant mediawatcher, Prof. Carlo Fonseka.
And now. Can R. P. do a
S.W.R.D.?, meaning of course can Prime Minister Premadasa do what S.W., R.D. Bandaranalike did in 19512.
Certainly the main parliamantary opposition and the antiAccord forces from the newly recognised E. L. J. P. of Rukman Senanayake (a little bud of Senanayakist UNP dissidence) to the J.W. P. constituency must hope that he can and will. S.W.R.D., Leader of the House, quit the U. N. P. along with his half a dozen supporters, and formed the S.L.F.P. It won a few seats in 1952. It swept to power in 1956, in a loose alliance called the MEP. The MEP, as any social historian or political scientist knows, represented an emergent bloc, in fact, it was selfstyled the authentic voice of a new 'balavegaya (force or social force). The five forces, Soekarno's “new emerging forces” on the world scene, were the workers, peasants, teachers, monks, and ayurvedic physicians. Broadly termed radical nationalist, the nationalism was the new power bloc's cutting edge, its real spokesmen were the monk, the Sinhala school teacher and the ayurvedic doctor. But behind them were the Sinhala muda lalis and the petty trader. At that time the Marxists styled the event as the asserive advent of the national bourgeoisie (as against the comporador) while popular political commentators preferred to call it a “cultural revolution. Revivalism would have been a more exact description - a postcolonial development arriving belatedly in the cultural sphere. The Marxist, given to 'class ana
lysis” accentuat the economic propelled the net
But S.W.R.D. of his party, th Sabha, and a fac formed U.N.P.
Mr. Premadas ciated with the A. E. Goones in been a solid U start, working sheer energy, a cation to part real internal is was involved was succesion. Wou tive UNP, do westernised eli with its caste and deny him the dynamic contrib that battle eas of his No. 2 inevitable result
His persistent cism of the In Sri Lankan c obvious reservati negotiated in drawn a huge qui his name, and til decisions in the
But if you exa care fully - muc analysis of th structure, post-1 that he is tryin UNP exposed f openly attacked short, the UNP sult the peopl
which the Si thinks touches unity and ter1
and on the que enshrined in 1 His recent spe in Parliament an Party caucus, in by the Opposit assault on the A by fellow UNP rassing exposur ences in the U fact, is cautious, dissentient view the only immed
rearguard action ?
es of Over-States interests which W 10 Wement,
was the leader ne Sinhala Maha :tion of the newly
a has been asso
Labour party of gha, but he has NP’er from the
his way up by hd full-time dediy politics. First ssue in which he s the post-Dudley ild the conserva - minated by the te in Colombo, other prejudices,
rewards of his ution? He won ily. Recognition position was the of his party work.
and bold critidian role in the :onflict and his ons on the Accord his absence, has estion mark after herefore about his near future.
mine his speeches h of it is an e constitutional 978 - it is obvious tg to cover the lank, a flank now by Mrs. B. In los failure to cone over an issue nhala electorate on Sri Lanka’s titorial integrity, stion of franchise he constitution. eches, especially ld to the Colombo hay be interpreted on as a frontal ccord, and taken 'ers as an embaof basic differNP heirarchy. In carefully crafted The basic and iately significant
issue is whether he is anti-or pro-Accord once President J. R. and the Cabinet decides to place the consequential draft laws in Parliament.
What is likely is that the UNP will close ranks from now on. It is already happening. The MP's have made up their minds to stay aboard the party ship, to use President JR's metaphor, rather than jump ship and reach for life-belts - which may not be there.
S.W. R.D. had a special problem. He had a shrewd suspicion that the Senanayake dominated UNP and Colombo's power -brokers had convinced the governor-general that his son and heir was the legitimate successor to D. S.
M. de S.
Can the peace. . .
(Continued from page 3)
tively and speedily, it can convert the peace which the UNP says it has won, to a “peoples' peace'.
What is the basic issue 2 It is devolution. It is so abundantly clear that even Devolution', much less “federalism' is regarded and presented to the people as 'Rata Bedenava” - dismember ment. If 'Devolution'' is the issue then the ranks must be divided in that manner - “pro-Devolution' and anti-Devolution'. But the spokesmen for Devolution' cannot be drawn from the same social group, which “thinks' for the U.N.P.
By definition, devolution means power or more power, and more right to participation, by the people. Why is there no participation then by groups who are closer to the Sinhalese masses than Colombo's liberal-radicals, who are in fact part of the UNP constituency, and probably vote for the UNP
Release detained youth
he S.L.F.P. has asked the
government to release the the Sinhalese and Muslim youths and Buddhist monks who have been detained under emergency and other special laws and show them the same consideration that has been extended to Tamil youths under an amnesty which is part of the “peace accord'. The Campaign for the Release of Political Pri soners has also issued a statement saying that all prisoners under the PTA should be freed since the PTA has been an instrument for the suppression of political dissent that de nied to the victims the safeguards of the normal law. CROPP describes the “Peace Accord as a positive step towards resolving the ethnic conflict in this country. The statement was issued by the Joint secretaries, Mr. Dushyanta Samarasinghe and Mr. Redley Silva.
Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners (CROPP) notes the accord that has been entered into
عتير - - - - -
between the gove Lanka and India step towards reso conflict in this c
CROPP has consi ned for the repe vention of Terror and the release o tical prisoners he the basis that it ment for the sup tical dissent that victims the safeg law.
CROPP is there the accord prom amnesty to poli: prisoners now h under the PTA a gency regulations persons are in de been charged an CROPP hope th ment will make circumscribe in a ciple of a gener that it will apply held under these
The government fied the IPTA a
SLFP asks for
he SLFP has asked for a
full, exhaustive and impartial investigation' into the grenade attack in Parliament on Aug. 18. It wants the investigation to leave 'no stone unturned. The SLFP urges that the legal directions be entrusted to the Attorney-General, the government’s chief legal adviser.
The present investigation is in the hands of the D.I.G. (CID) Mr. Frank Silva. Special assistance has been given by 2 senior Scotland Yard officials, sent to Colombo by the British government on President Jayawardene’s request, and by former D G
(C.I.D.) Mr. Tyre and Dr. H. W. J. as legal adviser.
The Sri Lanka calls upon the carry out a full impartial investiga circumstances lea persons directly involved in the i August, 1987, with of Parliamant whi sives are thrown mittee Room whe ment Parliamenta killing two perso and grieviously i
1 - sLFP
rnments of Sri as a positive lving the ethnic ountry.
stently campaig2a1 of the Preism Act (PTA) pf the all polild under it on was an instrupression of polidenied to its lards of normal
2fore happy that hises a general tical and other eld in custody nd other emer, whether such 2tention or have dior convicted. at the govern
no attempt to ny way the prinall amnesty and y to all persons pernicious laws.
originally justiis a temporary
strategem for meeting with the problem of Tamil militancy. CROPP now calls upon the government to repeall the PTA and withdraw the Emergency Regulations forth with.
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party calls upon the Government to extent to the Sinhala and Muslim youths and the Buddhist Monks now detained by the Government on anonymous petitions and information given by Government politicians under emergency regulations and other special laws, the same considerations it has shown to the Tamil separatist
youths some of whom have been
tried and convicted of offences against the state who are now released from detention by Government and amnesties extended to them.
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party therefore calls upon the Government also to release the Sinhala and Muslim youths form detention forth with.
ell Goonetil leka ayewardene PC,
Freedom Party Government to exhaustive and tion into all the lding to, and
or indirectly incident on 18th hin the precincts ere lethal explointo the Comen the Governry Group met, ns and seriously injuring several
others including Ministers and Government Members of Parlia
The SLFP is further of the view that the legal directions of this investigation should be conducted by the Attorney General's is the chief legal adviser to the Government.
The SLFP as a Party commited to Parliamentary Government is of the view that the security of Parliament is a matter of public concern and interest, and therefore this investigation should leave no stone unturned to find out the culprits and deal with them according to law.
LET US UNITE FOR
e, the undersigned, belong
to different religions, races, political parties and institutions in Sri Lanka. However, we are acting in our capacity as individuals and not as official representatives.
Let us all face realistically the situation we are in. There is a tragic conflict in our country. The spirit of hatred and cruelty is increasing. People are dying. Property is being destroyed. Morals are disintegrating. There may be temporary gains from time to time on either side. But there is no end of the conflict in sight. The situation is aggravated by international complications. There is a prospect of unending misery. Many people are desperate and say that nothing can be done to stop it.
In such a difficult and come plex situation, we need to come together and pool our resources
- the best in our religious, cultural, social and political resources, which are so rich
and varied - and find a way of stopping the slaughter.
Let us be determined that none - whether as individuals or parties - should seek poli
tical or any other gain - over as against others - in resolving this conflict. Let the victory belong to the people as a whole especially those on both sides who have suffered and made sacrifices.
Let us come together to save Sri Lanka and her peoples from ruin. Let us get together to work out a settlement. Let us all be prepared to acknowledge the rights of one another, even at cost to ourselves, for the common good.
So, we can stop the violence and proceed with re-building Sri Lanka. We can develop the life and institutions of our peoples, which is such an urgent task, considering the serious daily problems the common
people face. different partie right to purs for different p mic goals, a convictions. a settlement ( will have lear accept one an however differ be. This is preservation o and for en pro CeSSeS SO E and economic kind.
With regard wards a settle sent conflict, acceptance by conflict of the ples of devolu the people, v all sections c Sri Lanka tc own rights a their own de safeguarding unity of the c There are Som for this proce worked out
1985 to 19th through negoti Sri Lankan ar mentS. TheS evolved out o negotiation in ties and group There are, no both sides of find certain fe posals unsatis cult to accept will have to cations in a s take on both
this in min parties to the to the conf
negotiate a ju
Some of us, group represer ries, intend to roach the Gov opposition pa and urge them 2 COSe SS will be possib
I NEWS BACKGROUND
JUSTICE AND PEACE
In this work, es will have the sue and struggle political and econoccording to their But, in arriving at of the conflict, we "nt to respect and other as persons, ent our ideas may necessary for the f law and order suring democratic 2ssential for social progress of any
to the way toment of the prewe suggest the all parties to the : democratic prinution of power to which will enable of the people of safeguard their ind participate in 2velopment, while and building the sountry as a whole. he draft proposals ss which have been from 30th August December 1986 tation between the ld Indian Governe, in turn have f much previous which many pars have participated. doubt, those on the conflict who ratures of the profactory and diffiTherefore, there be certain modifiispirit of give and sides. Bearing d we urge all conflict to come ference table to st settlement.
as an informal ting the signatopersonally appfernment and the rties and groups to work towards
We then hope it le to visit Jafna
and East to approach groups and parties there, including the militant groups and urge them to work towards a consensus. Arrangements will also have to be made to arrange a mutually accepted ceasefire and an effective ceasefire monitoring body. We hope all this will help to bring the contending parties and groups to the conference table to achieve a reasonable settlement acceptable to all.
Finally, we appeal to all those in authority as well as to all the peoples of this country to make a supreme effort, in this grave hour of crisis, to come together with unflinching determination and hope to bring peace and thus enable creative progress in Sri Lanka.
I. Ven Batapola Anomadassi
Mahanayake, Nikaya. 2. Ven Udalu mada Gunaratana Thero, Chief Sangha Nayake, Northern
and Eastern Provinces, President, Movement for National Harmony.
3. Ven Pallattara Sumanajothi Thero,
Thero, Sri Kalyaniwansa Maha
Chief Sangha Nayake, Southern
Province. 4. Ven Saddharmacharya Theripeha
Dhammananda Thero, President,
Kandy District Bhikshu Organisation, Gurudeniya. 5. Ven Welawatte Gnanabhivansa Thero, Viharadhipathi, Suvisudharamaya, Colombo 6. 6. Ven Kavisigamu wa Revatha Thero, Viharadhipathi, Sri Siddhartharamaya, Ganeyaya, Morathiha, Kurunegala District. 7. Ven Uduwara Saddhananda Thero, President, Vimukti Dharma Kendra. 8. Ven Ampitiye Dharmakirthi Thero, President, Centra Province Peace
Committee. 9. Ven Siyambalagaswewa Wimalasara Thero, President, Wanni Peace
10. Ven Badagiriye Medhananda Thero, Janatha Bhikshu Sammelamaya.
l I. Ven Puwakpitiya Ananda Thero, Secretary, Janatha Bhikshu Samme
2. Ven Karmacharya Reddagoda Saranankara Thero, Korossa Raja Maha Viharaya, Dodangaslanda.
3. Ven Buddhiyagama Chandaratana Thero, Secretary, Bhikahu Peace Foundation,
Kahan dawa Viharaya,
Ranna, Hamban tota. فة
4. Ven Batapola Nanda Thero, Janatha Bhikshu Sammelanaya, Subadraramaya, Batapola. ܵ
Ven Karambe Gunananda Thero, Janatha, Bhikshu Sammelanaya.
Rt. Revd Vianney Fernando, Bishop of Kandy.
Rt . Revd Jabez Gnanapragasam, Bishop of Colombo.
Revd. Fr. Paul Caspersz, S. J., Satyodaya, Kandy.
Revd. Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, O. M. L., Centre of Society and Religion.
Revd S K Perera, Principal, Theo
logical College of Lanka, Pilimatalawa.
Reved Yohan Devananda, Director, Lay Institute, Theological College
of Lanka, Pili matalawa. Revd Kenneth Fernando, Directors
Ecumenical institute for Study and Dialogue, Colombo. Revd Canon John Isaac, Christ
Revd Sir Winifreda, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.
Shelton Ranaraja, Senkadagala M.P., Deputy Minister of Justice, United National Party. A R Mansoor, Kalmunai M. P. District Minister, United National Party.
D E VAV Gunasekera, Kalawana M. P.,
Communist Party of Sri Lanka.
Vijaya Kumaranatunga, Sri Lanka Mahajana Party. Professor Carlo Fonseka, Medical
Faculty, Colombo University, Lanka Sama Samaja Party.
Abdul Aziz, President, Democratic workers Congress.
Jayaratne Maliyagoda, Lanka General Services Union, Kandy.
M M Abdul Cader, Retired Judge of the Supreme Court.
V Manikavasagar, Retired Judge of the Supreme Court.
Dr A M M Sahabdeen, former Civil Servant, Colombo. Underwood Manivasagan, Vice
President, Citizens Committee for National Harmony.
Professor Ediriweera Saratchandra, Professor Emeritus, Peradeniya University.
Professor Ashley Halpe, Department of English, Peradeniya Univerity.
Professor Gananath Obeysekera, Department of Anthropology, Princeton University, U. S. A.
Dr Ms Kumari Jayawardene, former Associate Professor of Political Science, Colombo University.
Dr Ms Radhika Coomaraswamy, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo.
Ms Monica Ruwanpathirana, Coordinator, Women's Activities, Asian Cultural Forum on Development, Colombo.
Mis E M Bandar Progressive We
H A Goonet rian, Peradeniya Reggie Siriware Critic, Interna Ethnic Studies, Vasantha Obeyse Gamini Hath the tor, Open Str Horana
J Yoonoos, Car Ku iliyapitiye Sr tary, Vimukthi Dr W M S R Secretary, G. M Sarath Fernando S2置313 Deve ibbagamuwa.
Charles Abeys Movement for and Equality (M
S Baakhris na institute, Kandy. Kullarat me Wick dent, Ali Lanka Polonnaruwa.
Sri Dharmapriya President, A Congress, Minus
D. W. Appuhamy A anka P Secretary, Move Harmony, Kanta
Patrick Fernando tary, Ali Lanka Kurunegala. Nimal Senanayake President's Cour
Nimal G. Punchih Law, President, Service Union.
Ainsley Samarajiwa S G. Punchi hewa,
Associate Secret: Defence of Dem
Dr Frank Jaya Wycherly inte Colombo.
Jehan Perera, H U. S. A
cross-section of South of Sri Lank the document eme not include signat North and East.
The statement wa the Peace Accord 1987. So it cannot signatories necessa the Peace Accord. which was about
tamenike, President, } men's Front.
leke, former Libra.
dene, Writer and tional Centre for
kera, Film Director,
tuwegama, Direceet Drama Group,
i Prananda, SecreDharma Khendra.
I. O. A
, Moderator, Devaорment Centre,
ekera, President, Inter Racial Justice IRJE).
| n, anka Social
cremesinghe, PresiPeasants Congress,
Jayakodi, ViceLanka Peasants wangoda.
General Secretary, easants Congress, ment for National llai.
Organising SecrePeasants Congress,
2, Attorney-at-Law, seł.
Attorney-at-Law, ary, Movement for ocratic Rights.
represent a people in the a, from where :rged. They do ures from the
is signed before
of 29th July be said that the rily approve of The Statement, to be released
before the Peace Accord, is being released now because of its continuing relevance to the present situation (refer Postcript following).
POSTCRIPT 30th JULY 1987
The above Statement was signed before the recent announcement and subsequent signing of a Peace Accord between the Governments of Sri Lanka and India, which goes beyond the proposals of 30th August 1985 to 19th December 1986.
Despite this sudden turn of events the thrust of the Statement would still be relevant for the following reasons. The need for people of all religions, communities and political parties in Sri Lanka to come together, without consideration of sectarian gain or political advantage, to achieve a just and durable peace settlement, is as urgent as ever. So also is the need for strengthening and further articulating and developing the negotiation process on such matters as the substance of devolution of power, especially with regard to the effectual balance of power between the centre and the provinces, the setting-up of an effective cease-fire monitoring body and working out realistic guarantees, both external and internal, for the implementation of the terms of the final settlement, in keeping with the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.
A small group from the above signatories visited Jaffna from 8th to 13th July, 1987, and discussed the above signed Statement with representatives of Jaffna Society, including the militants. Discussions were also held with concerned groups and other organisations and visits were made to a number of refugee camps and to areas affected by the devastation of war. The opportunity was also taken to visit and talk to the 12 Sinhala prisoners in the hands of the militants. It was altogether a time of deep and moving encounter and dialogue. Despite the overwhelmingly tragic climate of adversity, the resilience of the human spirit and courageous response of people
(Continued on page 13)
Rajiv monitors Sri L.
NEW DELHI Aug. 18
he Minister of State for External affairs, Mr. Natwar Singh, assured the Lok Sabha that there was no question of complacency on the part of the Government on the problems of the implementation of the Sri Lanka accord. Winding up the special discussion on the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreemant, Mr. Singh said that the whole thing was a “delicate and sensitive exercise’ given what had gone on in Sri Lanka in the last four years and the signing of the accord was a “near miracle’. He told members who had spoken in the discussion that many of the doubts they had expressd had been taken note of by the Government as well. The Prime Miniter was, therefore, monitoring the situation himself virtually on an hourly basis and a group under the Minister himself was meeting daily to assess the developing situation. He admitted that there were many imponderables and there was possiblility that the unexpected could occur, but he observed. 'we have planned for contingencies and we will not be found wanting or un prepared' on this score.
66. It is P.M.'s show’
Mr. Singh recalled that the Gov
ernment had been “pilloried' in the earlier debates for not havinga clear-cut Sri Lankan policy. We had all along taken the stand that we desired a political solution. The agreement signed on July 29 fulfilled that desire as also the aspirations of the minority Tamils. He disclosed Government had come close to a solution on December 19 and after that the Prime Minister had come up with this idea. He is the “author, director, producer and conductor of this exercise, he added.
Referring to the doubts raised on the issue of the referendum
for the merger of the Eastern and
Northern Provinces, the Minister remarked “If it takes place well and good. If it doesn't then well and good'. The Northern and Eastern Provinces will then stay together. In any case he observed,
in the coming 1 graphic change and the ethnic what it is in th be no problem
At the outs ted suggestior militants part leader, Mr. P1 been consulted LTTE leader Minister as we before the a Reviewing the ground, he s scrutinised M Statements as clear that he accord. He s leader's role and construct the security sonnel as we groups would informed the F Army was ir invitation of Government : under the cor dent. He told Was no repC between the there was sor the various in
He asserted ment Wa S in the accord, b “we should not ment or its removal of O the island wa was the fact committed tc civil and mi He reminded the agreemen between two tries and ful
given to the sight of the signed it. H
benefit of on letters excha Prime Ministe and the Sri Mr. Jayewad similar to th proper as th
months some demo: would take place c composition being e area, there should over it (the referen
et, Mr. Singh rejecthat the Tamil icularly the LTTE rabhakaran, had not i. He said that the had met the Prime ll as Indian officials ccord was signed. situation on the said that he had Mr. Prabhakaran's well and it was did not oppose the aid that the LTTE had been helpful ive'. He said that of the LTTE per11 as of the other be ensured. He ouse that the Indian Sri Lanka at the the Sirij Lankan and was as such mmand of its PresiE members that there rt of any friction two armies though me tension between hilitant groups.
that the Governot 'euphoric over ut at the same time minimise its achievesignificance. The utside forces from is a good thing as that India was now meet Sri Lanka's litary requirements. the members that it was arrived at non-aligned coun1 marks' should be courage and foretwo leaders who e clarified for the e member that the inged between the r, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, Lankan President, ene, had the status at of the agreement ty had been written
in their official capacity as the Prime Minister of India and the President of Sri Lanka. This is an open-ended agreement he added.
Mr. Singh informed the members that the 1984 contract for the Trincomalee oil tank farm between the Sri Lankan Government and a Singapore/West German/Swiss consortium had lapsed in October 1985 and as such there was no problem with regard to the proposed Indo-Sri Lankan joint-venture to run the tank farm.
The Minister asserted that the agreement had been holding so far though there were some difficulties in Sri Lanka but these were their internal matter. However he said that Mr. Jayewardene was doing his best to sort out the problem. He observed that opposition to the accord had eroded in the past six or seven days. There is a desire on all sides to see that the accord works', he added.
In conclusion, the Minister said that the accord was not a party issue but a national matter. The Government was fully alive to the problems inherent in such a sensitive issue. However, he declared, “We have taken a risk. Nothing venture nothing have'. If an end had to be put to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, if the security environment around India had to be prevented from getting worse, if the refugees in India had to be sent back, if the prisoners in Sri Lanka had to be released and the trail of agony and strife terminated, then such an agreement had to be produced. The agreement he said “meets the fundamental basic demands of the problem'.
UNI reports: Mr. Natwar Singh noted with happiness that out of the 19 members who participated in the discussion, 17 spoke in favour of the Agreement which showed that it had overwhelming support.
MADRAS, Aug. 8
he former Union Minister,
Mr. C. Subramanian, today expressed the hope that the IndoSri Lankan accord would be the begining of greater cooperation among countries in the region and pointed out that for the first time an accord which took care of the interests in the region had been arrived at. He wanted similar agreements to be worked out between India and Pakistan, India and China, India and Nepal, etc.
Mr. Subramaniam, who presided over a meeting on 'lindiaSri Lanka Accord: making it work.’ organised by the Mylapore Academy, Madras, appealed to the Tamil militants not to have reservations about handing over all their arms. If all the arms were handed over, no country could escape the moral responsibility of safeguarding the Tamils lives. He also wanted them to get together on a peace platform. He appealed to them to give up the demand for Tamil Eelam once and for all.
Dealing with the provision in the agreement on the repatriation of plantation Tamils, Mr Subramaniam appealed to the Government of India to make available to the repatriates one of the islands in the Andamans, which they could develop into a prosperous colony. Besides, it was the duty of India to help restore the economy of Sri Lanka.
Referring to the attempts made on the life of the Sri Lanka Presidetn, Mr. J. R. Jayewardene, and his Ministers today, he said the incident highlighted the complexities in the Sri Lankan ethnic issue. He paid warm tributes to THE HINDU for focussing attention on the ethnic crisi S.
No reservations: The TULF Secretary—General, Mr. A. Amirthalingam, said the Tamils had no reservations on this agreement. There should be a spirit of giveand-take in any agreement and,
therefore, the Ta to the compromi the agreement a chance to work. might not have Tamils all their had satisfied some tions and remov apprehensions th bouring for the He pointed out Only Act of 19t beginning of the The present agre had made Tamil O languages.
Mr. Amirthali for the first time Tamils in the Nc tern provinces we air of freedom. the agreement an the Indian peacek proper law and under the contro people was absol if the accord we he said.
He appealed to India to see to it succeeded because the Tamils in Sr future of peace depended on the agreement. The great achievement Indian diplomacy independence, he
The attack on t ter, Mr. Rajiv Gan on July 30 and th life of Mr. Jaye exposed the force against the ag should be counte were to survive Amirthalingam ad
Heavily commi Ram, Associate HINDU, said it v agreement and the tion of allowing to fail Since Indi committed to it. agreement betwee
lf regional interests'
|mills had agreed ise envisaged in und given it a The agreement conceded to the demands, but it of their aspiraed some of the ey had been harpast 30 years. that the Sinhala 56 marked the ethnic conflict. sement, however, ine of the official
ngam said that 2 since 1983, the orthern and Easre breathing the
They welcomed ld the arrival of 2eping force. A order machinery of the Tamil lutely necessary 're to work well,
the people of that the accord
2 the future of
i Lanka and the in the region success of the
accord was ““a
on the part of
after India’s said.
he Prime Minisdhi, in Colombo e attempt on the :Wardene today es that were up reement. They red if the accord and work, Mr. lded.
tted: Mr. N. Editor, THE was an excellent
Cre Was no ques-.
the agreement a was so heavily It was not an :n two indivi
duals, but an international agreement involving two countries. It had to be implemented in a many-sided Way.
Mr. Ram pointed out that the peace had held so far and people had not lost their lives. Stage I of the agreement constituting the handing over of arms, was being completed. It would be completed if it could be ensured that the Sri Lankan army would not constitute a threat to the
Tamils now or in the near future.
The accord had three major component parts: (a) it aims at demilitarising the ethnic conflict in a deep-going way on both the sides through the cessation of hostilities and laying down of arms by the militants; (b) it envisages autonomy and unity proposals, which are yet to take shape on the ground: and (c) it addresses bilateral issuer of wider nature such as the non-availability of Trincomalee to external forces that would threaten India's in terests and removing India’s concerns on the induction of foreign military personnel on the island.
On the whole, it was a friend
ship agreement in a balanced and far-going way. -
Historic role: Referring to the attempt on Mr. Jayewardene and his Cabinet Ministers, Mr. Ram said there was no question of allowing the agreemant to fail, now that there were pressures and setbacks. He paid warm tributes to the political statesmanship of those involved in the policymaking exercises both at the Central and State Government level which ultimately led to the agreement. Mr. Jayewardene had performed a truly historic role and Mr. Rajiv Gandhi also had shown great moral courage in forging this accord.
Mr. Ram appealed to Mr. Amirthalingam and other Tamil organisations to give up the de
(Continued on page II)
The implementation of the IndoSri Lanka Agreement, which has strong popular and political support in this country, has gone very well thus far - although, for obvious reasons, complacency would be misplaced. The peace has held over a very sensitive period, which has included some bumpy moments, against efforts by enemies of the peace plan literally to blow it up on the Sinhala side. It is a tribute to the moral and political courage, the tactical skills and the overall quality of leadership that the Sri Lankan President, Mr. J. R. Jayewardene - who has certainly been aided by an element of the fortuitous - has demonstrated at a historic juncture that the side which has been
under the greatest pressure from
the forces of chauvinism has been able to adhere firmly to a course that is a remarkably bold departure from the past. Regrettably, however, the line adopted by the main Opposition party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, (SLFP) led by the redoubtable Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranalike, amounts to attempting to return to a political practice that belongs to a benighted history of handling the ethnic issues.
The former Prime Minister, who is spearheading her party's strategy to replace the UNP Government in the next election, has taken a stand that suggests adherence to “the traditional course of action that Sinhala political parties have been following, when in Opposition, of opposing everything the Government of the day proposes to solve the Tamil problem' (as the TULF leadership has pointed out, in a letter dated July 29, to Mrs. Bandaranaike). She is understood to have replied in detail to this appeal, from the moderate Tamil camp, to her political sobriety and sense of fair play and to have recorded the reasons for her stand against the Agreement, against the specific devolution proposals and against India's strong or decisive role in the solution being implemented. Mrs. Bandaranaike might take a position that sounds hard-core, strider and unrelenting from a Sri Lankan Tamil or an Indian standpoint, but she is a serious politician whose views and stand must be reckoned with.
For the pu analysis, Mrs. Ba on the basis solution to the be differentiated on bilateral rela On the first qui position is that do away with cies of the pas unity, ethnic a. but politically autonomy and . corporated in ti ment as a Tamils. In deed, resorts to the f able claim that bringing togethe the East announ ating a separate This far-out ele goes along with that the Tamils grievances whic addressed in a progressive way, Bandarana ike’s C the Tamils Cons minority of a kind in the wo also not to see of the Bandarana Pact of 1957 - 1958 unilateral government in aggressive chall by the then Op UN P - which w in principle, to proposition of Northern and E The former Prin to interpret the centring on o ‘te these matters, it trate that the position has no for India coming in a decisive wo naike has used so in the recent it surrender', a vita interests i “an undermining and sovereignty' that one hopes a permanent el Stance Vis-a-vis with India, the ment and regione the aggressive nature of the ( Indo-Sri Lankan Jayewardene has
rpose of current Indaranaike's stand af the political Tamil question can from her position ations with India. uestion, her formal she too wishes to che negative legast and to build mity and peace, she targets the inity proposals inhe Rajiv-JR Agreesell-out' to the the SLFP leader actually unsustainthese proposals r the North and t virtually to cree state of Eelam. ement in her stance denying essentially ha ve historical h need to be democratic and indeed in Mrs. urrent world view, titute a privileged practically unique
rld. She chooses
the central feature ike-Chelvanayakam abrogated in April ly by the then the face of an enge spearheaded position party, the as the concession,
the Tamils of the
linkage of the
Eastern provinces. ,
he Minister chooses ethnic question as rrorism'. On all he facts demons: SLFP's present real strength. As g into the picture ny, Mrs. Bandaralme harsh language period - national betrayal of the of the country', g of independence and so forth - will not become ement in the SLFP's bilateral relations nonaligned moveis relations. Given and provocative opposition to the peace plan, Mr. s shown exemplary
moderation and political sophistication in not putting all the adversaries into one kind of bracket. His criticism of Mrs. Bandaranaike's posture on the Agreement has made a careful distinction between her inability to see the dangers from Sinhala chauvinist extremism and terrorism and to adopt a democratically correct attitude and the tendencies of those who have resorted to vicious violence, in particular the Janata Wimukti Peramuna (JVP). Recalling the traumatic experience of the 1971 insurrectionary crisis, he made the point (in an interview to THE HINDU the day after the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement was signed) that those who believed in terrorist violence were 'using this as an opportunity. They used it against Mrs. Bandaranalike earlier. I helped her then. She is not doing it now. . . .She should not do it now for political reasons'. He has promised that “if this (Agreement) is implemented, there would be no opposition. I can't see any opposition. I can't see any opposition by Mrs. Bandaranaike or anybody in this country - except those who believe in violence.' India, like the Sri Lankan President, makes a distinction between Mrs. Bandaranaike's opposition to the Agreement which can be responded to through reasonable argument and persuasion and eventually minimised in a constructive way and the activity of Chauvinist extremists, terrorists and the lunatic fringe on the Sinhala side, including a few Bhindranwale-style figures among the Buddhist clergy. India sets store by democratic values and the principle of equality and respect for national independence and sovereignty in South Asian and international relations. Mrs. Bandaranaike must rethink her stand on the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement, on the autonomy and unity proposals which represent a substantive response to the Tamil demands but are a far cry from conceding Eelam, and on India's friendship role in this whole exercise which is a big response to what looked like an intractable problem in a small country.
Letters . . .
(Continued from page 1)
In April one early morning got into a bus leaving for Colombo. Heavy crossfire began between the soldiers at Jaffna Fort and the militants. I saw how the commuters who were at the Bus Stand running helter skelter and avoiding bullets.
This time when I reached Jaffna along with my friends it was entirely a different atmosphere. Life has returned to normal. Even the people who travelled along with us in the Bus to Jaffna seemed quite relaxed. After learning that was a Sinhala speaking person from the South, one Tamil speaking commuter even volunteered to help us to reach our destination in Jaffna. thanked him profusely and said I am very familiar with the Jaffna environment.
went to the Bank of Ceylon Branch, Jaffna to meet a friend. My friend took us to the canteen and introduced us to some of his fellow employees. That day they were expecting a superior official (a Tamil speaking person) from Colombo who himself has not visited Jaffna after July 1983. This was the first occasion that one of their superiors was visiting Jaffna after 1983. So my friend at the Bank later told me that one of his fellow employees made a remark that “Every Tom, Dick and Harry comes to Jaffna now but there was
* no one when we were in difficulties.'"
Then my friend defended us.
From the Bank we walked to the Jaffna Bus Stand. Whenever came to the Jaffna town from Tirunelveli, a Tamil speaking friend accompanied me. Now with two other Sinhala speaking friends was walking in Jaffna all alone without any help from a native of Jaffna. My memories went back to the pre-July 1983 Jaffna, when I used to roam its length and breadth freely.
We travelled to Tirunelvely in a C.T.B. bus. Even in that bus people seemed to be very relaxed and happy. For them at last peace has come. When I reached my friend's
home, they were v me after 5 months that they were any time. They rel: ing experiences the in Jaffna Soon After the so-ca Operation was the Sri Lankan people of Jaffna were getting read onslaught. Fortu been restored.
With over two passed since the Peace Accord, a lam is emerging among of ignoring the p consequences of t merely taking up t there was no alter for the accord.
While it is now that the country h; six years or more ru where there seeme but to accept the A tainly does not me in his anxiety to “ “ Accord Bandwagc a blind eye to the of the accord.
The Accord ha whether we like it too has been at le achieved. If for the of smug complacen it should be stopp it is the duty of political, busines intellegensia to fc themselves to th of how this countr is going to extrica corner it has got possible economic threats to our s unitary state and way of life.
ary happy to see and they said xpecting me at ited the harrowy had undergone after April. |lled Liberation launched by Armed Forces and the suburbs for an imminent lately peace has
N. Fernando eneral Secretary
on Teachers Union
weeks having Indo-Sri Lanka antable tendency the Intellegensia ossible adverse the Accord, by he attitude that native but to go
patently clear ad over the past in into a position ld no alternative Accord, this ceran that anyone jump on the n' should turn negative aspects
is been signed or not. Peace ast temporarily e reasons a mood cy is creeping in, ed and instead, the Sri Lankan and academic rcefully address basic question in the long term ce itself from the to in terms of subjugation and vereignity, our our Sri Lankan
S. C. Ratwatte
Accord takes. . .
(Continued from page 9)
mand for Tamil Eelam under the new situation and accept the proposals for unity and autonomy.
Responsibilities: Mr. Cho S. Ramaswamy, Editor, Thuglak, said the Indian Government had done the best it could do in arriving at the settlement under the present circumstances. Mr. Gandhi had acted wisely by making India one of the two signatories to the agreement and this had vested India with certain responsibilities. India should not be terrified of them. Even if the agreement were to fail, the attempt made in arriving at the accord should be congratulated, he added.
Mr. S. V. Narasimhan, President of the Mylapore Academy, welcomed the gathering. Mr. N. C. Raghavachari, Chairman, proposed a vote of thanks.
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Reagan's Rambo "Cont
on the run
ifty percent against the i Reagan administration's policy toward Nicaragua, and about 25 percent in favor - that has been roughly the public opinion scorecard for years. Now, after the emotional pleas of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, there has been an evening out. It is probably a blip. But what if the surge in support for the Nicaraguan rebels holds?
The short answer is that sus - tained support Would help Presi. dent Reagan's policy in Congress and in Central America. But that is only a necessary and far from sufficient condition for his aim of toppling the Sandinist government. Indeed, the illusion that capturing Capitol Hill is tantamount to taking Nicaragua is perhaps the central fallacy in the case for the contras so glibly spun by Colonel North.
Despite his performance, a New York Times-CBS News Poll found 51 percent of respondents still opposing aid to the contras, and 35 percent approving, right after hearing Colonel North. His partisans prefer to cite other surveys that show Americans almost evenly split. “The polls now suggest that the American people are waking up to the threat of a communist power grab in their own neighborhood,' the president said. What polls cannot measure is the depth and stability of the new backing for the contras - especially when, as the Times survey found, only 32 percent even now were able correctly to locate Nicaragua as part of Central or Latin America.
Mr. Reagan's inability to arouse real backing over Nicaragua is among his most striking failures as Great Communicator. Majجھے **
orities have consistently opposed
aiding the contras and justifies the
lence of Congress. ber of Americans s tas as a very unf ment,” notes S. Lugar, a key sup aid. “What hasn' adds’ “is any en contras as the re
This lack of app scored the truth ger’s axiom, that c is the acid test foreign policy in a in the short te popular president of doubt on risk
Suppose, howev sing support has up, than what? close vote in C contras, and giv propaganda boost. do care about Air as well, and th twice about tight screws. But othe little reason for be dramatic would h
Indeed, obsessi American opinion curse of the col leaders spend in Miami and parts Americans than This only bolsters the contras shou to dispel - that creatures and c1 United States.
Smack in the m North's testimon proclaimed yet anc sive, only to be back, leaving a dead. By contras leftist rebels have
which explains anxious ambiva
“A large numee the Sandinis}rtunate governsnator Richard porter of contra tjelled yet,' he .husiasm for the medy.”
iroval has underof Henry Kissinlomestic support of a successful lemocracy. Only cm will even a get the benefit y Ventures.
er, that the misfinally turned It could tilt a ongress to the e the rebels a
The Sandinists merican opinion ey might think 2ning repressive rwise, there is lieving anything appen.
on with North has been the tra cause, tS hore time in north courting in the camps. the notion that ld most want they are the eation of the
ddle of Colonel , the contras ther great offen
swiftly beaten bile of civilian t, El Salvador’s
for years ruled
at least a third of the country, despite battering attacks of a tough U.S. armed and trained Salvadoran Army.
After six years, the contras have yet to capture a single village, and persist in killing the very civilians whose support is vital. That is what matters in Nicaragua, far more than Colonel North's sanitized version of the war, or polls showing the contras moving up on the charts, at least this week.
- The New York Times
LET US . . .
(Continued from page 7)
to the challenges of the situation were remarkable. It was equally clear that there is a heartening readiness to work towards a viable political settlement in which the basic rights of all communities are secured, which would ensure progress towards justice and peace.
There is an obvious need for continuing dialogue, growth towards mutual understanding and corporate action for peace. It may be hoped that there will be increasing opportunity for exchange of visits of representative groups Between the North and East and the rest of the country, which would facilitate this process. Those interested may contact the adresses given below, to which comments and criticisms may also be sent.
Reved Yohan Devamanda
Theological College of Lanka Pilimatalawa ܝ ܝ
Revd Karambe Gunananda Thero
Sri Nagala Rajamaha Viharaya Thimbiriyawa Mahagirilla
Indo - Lanka Accord :
C. А. Chandraprema
A. interesting situation has A. A arisen in recent times vis a vis the role of the Maha Sangha in local politics. Buddhist clergy have since independence shown a great deal of militant intrasingence with regard to the rights and aspirations of the Tamil minority to the extent where a Nayake Thero in a sortie with President Jayewardene recently declared that he would not take in any Tamil into the folds of the Buddha Sasana. (Thus effectively vitiating everything the Buddha Dharma teaches). When the late S. W. R. D. Bandaranalike signed a pact to accede a degree of self government to the Tamil minority with the late Tamil leader S. J. V. Chelvanayagam in 1956, Buddhist clergy stormed the Prime Minister's official residence Temple Trees' and refused to leave until Mr. Bandaranaike gave them an assurance that the pact would not be implemented.
6Bikkhus' on the Rampage
Some weeks ago, nearly three decades after the BC Pact, we saw again the dismaying spectacle of Saffron-robed monks taking to the streets against the granting of the rights of the Tamil people.
In the recent mob violence and
vandalism which proceded and followed the signing of the IndoSri Lanka Peace Accord, they were seen to play a leading role. In certain places they were seen to incite and lead the mobs to acts of violence and vandalism.
Though large scale organised violence has now died down, we see that certain monks are far from inactive. Sophisticated weapons have been found in Temple premises and many monks have been arrested for attempts to incite violence. The latest police reports indicate that certain people are attempting to swell the ranks of the Maha Sangha by impersonating Bikkhus. One
Last VM identity ca
commodity that conditions in t peace accord is
It would be how the Buddh in the long ter activities of ce: the Buddhist c jected (probabl influx of bogus Sasana. The I. part requested carry their I. able to identify ghout our histor have played a in local politic respected couns ruled and the thought that til of being impar in their approa were individuals on the part of prejudice, ignora else which obsc judgement of th Thus the Buddhi bound up with o ethos as a sym The enormous by the Buddhist COMO CASSES: to this image.
The question N here is whether would erode thi the Bikkhu en polity. Whateve men may have Lanka peace acc Bikkhus openly and participatir ence certainly v the average B sense of proprie ethos has trained ly expect staid, i. ion or counsel ing personal c Bikkhu. Photo monks seem
the middle class
The beginning of
week the Cultural Affairs Minister ards to monks, with the permission of the Maha Sangha.
decided to issue
has enjoyed boom he wake of the saffron robes.
interesting to see ist laymen react m to the present rtain members of lergy and the proy short duration) ascetics into the G. P. has for his that all Bikkhus Ds so as to be imposters. Throuy. Buddhist clergy prominent role s as trusted and el lors to both the rulers. It was hey were capable tial and objective ach because they who had embarked conquering greed, ince and everything tures the correct Le average layman. ist monk is closely ur whole cultural bol of integrity. influence weilded clergy among the s is due primarily
we have to consider the recent trends is privileged place joys within our er the opinion lay
about the Indoord, the sight of I inciting people ng in acts of violvill not appeal to uddhist laymen’s ity. Our cultural people to normallevel headed opin
and corresponde onduct frorn the s of maurauding to have put off es already. Accor
ding to information received, some middle class Buddhist families in the suburbs of Colombo have refused to give “dana” (Alms) to some Temples.
If this disenchantment lasts and develops, within the middle class mentality, it won't be long before it filters down to the rural areas as well. The middle class is generally the pace setter for value systems in our overwhelmingly petit-boureois society. This would hasten process of “secularisation” that has already advanced to a considerable extent throughout the whole country. The current plans for the organised impersonation of Bhikku for political purposes reflects the cynical attitude towards what was at one time regarded as sacrosanct.
To dress up as a Bikkhu was quite common as a disguise. But the fraudulent use of the saffron robe as a mass scale political tactic is a new development. In the short term, projected political objective may be achieved. But in the long term, the cynicism reflected in such an act will have a snowballing effect as the esteem for the Bikkhu gets eroded. Since Independence, no political leader has been able to either come into power or retain it without the explicit or implicit support of the Maha Sangha. The sight of a saffron robe on a political stage was at one time a symbol of acceptability. Even professing secularists made certain that a Bhikkhu would be seen sitting on the same stage at political rallies. If the tremen dous ideological influence weilded by the Buddhist clergy is eroded by the processes taking place now, it would be interesting to see the repercussions it would have on local politics.
In spite of the open hostility of sections of Sangha
(Continued on page 16)
“I have never mi
THE barricades and frequenti security che side his private residence at Ward Place, C. most exclusive residential area symbolise th to his life. But there is little tension or fe the modest house where a confident Junius Jayawardene, 81, the frail looking Presiden Lanka receives his guests. While conver; monitors the progress of the implement: the Indo-Sri Lankan accord. As time for news approaches, he ushers guests into room so that he can watch the daily surre arms by the Tamil groups. The news ( expresses satisfaction over the developmer over a month, he has kept away from the in an exclusive interview with India Today, Editor PRABHU CHAWLA, last fortnight, dene speaks about the role of the Indian A
his domestic problems.
O. Till recently, you have been pursuing a military option against the Tamil militants. What made you change your strategy and sign an agreement with India?
A. We were always for a political solution. But the terrorists never agreed to it. We knew we wouldn't be able to solve this proplem except through a political dialogue. Now, they have also agreed. On our own part, we never gave up the political option. We had discusisions at Thimpu, New Delhi and Colombo and these discussions were not military discussions. But the terrorists never even looked at our documents.
Q. Do you feel that India has played an important role in bring
ing the Tamil Tigers to the negotiating table?
A. Till recently, India was
playing the role of a mediator. Now, for the first time, India has discussed this problem directly with us. India's role in this whole problem has changed from a mere mediator to that of a participant.
O. Do you think that this pact would have come about if the Tigers had not been part of the diologue?
A. I have nothing to do with them. I have never seen Prabhakaran.
Q. Have yon g politically?
A. One major terrorism is over. is Sincerely im these parties - th vernment, the Sri
crities and the sep
- peace will returt The violence is o O. Keeping in frust between the ment and your gover think this accord mented seriously?
A. I never had the Indian Governi
I never had mis separatists. What mistrust. They (t
are for violence, murder - what is mistrust you are in this kind of s
the other hand, accused of trust too much.
Q. If you had t why didn't sign a earlier?
A. I don’t ha myself for this. explanation which think of is that it time that India is tackle this terrori as an active partn
- J. R. Jayewardene
cks outlombo's e threat ar inside Richard t of Sri sing, he tion of the TV the TV nder of ver, he ts. For media. Senior Jayewar army and
gain is that If the accord blemented by e Indian GoLankan authoiratist groups to the island. Wer. yiew the misindian Governnment, do you vill be imple
mistrust in ment. In fact, trust in the
is there to le separatists) they are for the kind of taking about ituation. On have been ing everyone
*ust in India, imilar accord
ea eaSO But the only can possibly is the first prepared to sm problem r with me.
If the accord has led to the end of violence in the north and east, then why has it not been welcomed by the Sinhalese?
A. Violence never lasts long. It has now died down. There was some opposition to the accord in certain parrs of the island. It was activated by the Sinhalese terrorists. During the opposition to the agreement, voiced by the Buddhist clergy and the SLFP, they found that the JVP was taking active interest in the violent activities. Others have backed out of the anti accord agitation, but the JVP is still continuing.
Q. Don't you think you will find it difficult to sustain this accord if your prime minister and minister for national security are opposed to it?
A. In a democracy you have these freedoms. But when I bring legislations for the accord to Parliament, they will have to support them or they have to leave. I have signed a treaty and under the Constitution, I have the right to make treaties with any country. I need not to get cabinet support or approwal for it. But when I have to go to the Parliament for legislative measures, they will all have to support them.
Q. If they don't, you do?
A. I will dissolve Parliament.
Q. In the wake of opposition, how are you going to implement the accord?
A. Most of been implemented. The rists have surrendered Laws are almost ready for the devolution of powers to the Provincial Council and subsequent elections. The referendum for the merger of the east with the north will take place. For all these, I need parliamentary approval. We will have interim
it has already terro
O. But how are you going to sell this accord to your people who consider it a total surrender?
A. I will do it with propaganda in favour of the advantages of the accord. I will use all democratic means to convince the people that this accord is in the best interests of our country. This might be an issue for the next elections but it would have been completed by that time. I am not going to have referendum on this accord.
Q. What the gains?
A. We have nothing to lose. Peace will return to the country which, in turn, will help in reviving economic activity.
O. Are you sure that the Sri Lankan people approve of Indian forces?
A. That is immaterial. The only way they can question it is by votes. And that will be clear during the elections. There are ways in the democracy of seeking the people's support for one’s actions as President. If we go to the people for every action, then the Government can’t function. Unfortunately, the Opposition is not opposing this government by democratic means. They are resorting to violence and this should be suppressed.
Q. What is the specific role given to the Indian peace-keeping forces?
A. They are acting under my supervision and directions and they will carry out those instructions. They have to supervise the surrender of arms by terrorists maintain law and Order with our troops. They have to take part in all peaceful operations.
O. Will they be present till the accord is fully implemented?
A. Well, that will take a long time. Provincial elections will take place at the end of - the year. Till normalcy is restored not only the Indian but also our forces are necessary.
But if there i Ces are n'Ot n6 enough troops ing peaceful like the Indiar as long as the the north and
| Զ. If you h here, why are American militaj
A. I have England and F Q. What kina tance you have
A. Whateve give. I didn't
reservations. asked for any m may offer us
parts. I don't assistance but O tance from f
And I have inf
these as well.
asking those C to show the wo only asked In but others as W maike also r from various taining secessic got MIGs from ters from the
the UK and done anything
Q. Since yo the West, both mically, don't from them in imp
A. Sri Lan the West for nothing else, ence our deci West even no democracy the cracy whereve
Q. But why from anti-India tan and Israel. your relations
A. Earlier, a11 of them II my people in training the t How ar. with JVP. Ver Bandaranalike
A. It is ve reasons for thi Many people
s peace, the for:cessary. We have of our own durtimes. I would forces to remain re is trouble in
ave Indian forces you asking for y help?
asked America, 'akistan for help.
l of help or assissought from them?
help they can make any specific But we have not ilitary help. They helicopters, spare need any military nly material assisriendly countries. ormed India about One reason for :ountries for aid is rld that I have not dia for assistance, rell. Mrs Bandaraeceived assistance Countries for coninists in 1971. She the USSR, helicopUS and aid from India. I have not
u are dependent on militarily and econovou expect problems lementing the accord?
ka does depend on economic aid, and But they can't influsions. I am prow because there is re. I am for demo
are you seeking help countries like PakisWill it not affect with India as well?
I sought help from could't have trained
India. They were errorists.
2 you going to deal en't they crushed by with foreign support? ry difficult to give revival of the JVP. blame me for it.
When I took over, I released a majority of there cadres and leader.
For over five years they were quiet. And I was under the impression that they had accepted the democratic norm of behaviour. They contested the municipal and local elections. They contested the referendum and lost in all these elections. But in 1983, my security informed me that these people are again militarily active. They were preaching violence, I proscribed them. They had a hand in the 1983 riots in Colombo. Since then, they have been working underground amassing a lot of support. tont know how they've done this.
O. With all these problems, don't you feel exhausted at this age?
A. They say the brain never gets tired, only the muscles get tired. I can switch off my powers of concentration. At the moment, I am thinking of you and nothing else. That is the way I am made, I can compartmentalise my problems.
Q. Aren't you thinking of retiring from active politics now?
A. My term will end in 1989. I can’t re-contest without a referendum.
Indo-Lanka . . .
(Continued from page 14)
to the Indo-Lanka peace accord, President Jayewardene has managed to stay in power. A feat which would have been inconceivable some time ago. The initial political storm raised seems to have spent its force now despite the desperate efforts of certain people including some monks to keep the fires burning. Does this portend the waning political influence of the Maha Sangha? Have the people lost faith in Bikkhu opinion as a point of reference in forming their own attitudes and ideas? The undermining of such a prominent feature of our cultural ethos will of course not take place overnight. But the symptoms of decay are already in evidence.
MMOW/7 OR/WG THE CRISIS 33 - 787
The ethnic conflict
OG: topic today is the 'Ethnic Conflict and the Crisis in the South' Here would like to focus on the national question as it exists in the North and East of the country, and its inter-action with the crisis in the predominantly Sinhala areas.
would like first of all to say that today we are enveloped in a general national crisis' to use Lenin's term, or what Antonio
Gramsci calls an “organic crisis.' '
would like to deal first of all with the key characteristics of this organic crisis as well as the various esponses to the crisis. This latter aspect we can call the conjunctural aspect of the organic crisis.
The crisis in Sri Lanka is one of relatively long duration. One could go back to 1971, but then that too was only a symptom of a deep-seated malaise. You could really go back as far as 1963, with the rapid changes of Finance Ministers the formation of the United Left Front and the decision of the Left parties to join the SLFP government, which were all manifestations or responses to a crisis that was present in Sri Lankan society as far back as that time. So far the last two decades we have been "cooking in crisis' and it is against this backdrop that the ethnic question has manifested itself. We must understand that this crisis which is one of long duration is a structural crisis. This crisis derives from the crisis of the world capitalist system of which we are a peripheral part and also from the contradictions of our own dependent capitalism. The other characteristic of the crisis that would like to remind you of that it is a multi-level crisis - it is not simply an economic crisis, nor a political or ethnic Crisis as much. It operates at all these levels of the social formation - each level is distinct, you cannot reduce the political crisis to the economic crisis - but they are inter-related and interactive. Then we have the responses
in the South
to this crisis on t successive regimes These responses th vate and change thi: of the crisis.
Now what are the tice of the organi ourselves in? The the economic and t military and the si will dwell only ver economic aspect C such: I have spok an year or so o Capitalist Crisis an the Dependent Ca of Sri Lanka””. So ! avoid dwelling at economic crisis but to ask questions i the discussion.
I would just say t crisis is a reflection dent capitalist grow in the post-1977 context of global
The examples of and Central Ameri home to us this socii engendered by the of dependent capi And this is at the this takes place in a global economic burden of this cris from the metropo the periphery. So exacerbated social increasing unemploy expected to reach and inflation runni may remind you th just two years befor inflation was runni We have declini estimated by top ec during the last fe have a massive, and and factory closure watte Spinning and - and flight of cap as said, I am not on the economic c much rather dwell and the military organic crisis of social formation.
This article is based on a talk delivered in July '84 in the Bishop Leo Nanayakkara Memorial Lecture Series.
he part of the and the masses. emselves aggraor that aspect
key characterisc crisis we find e are of course he political, and ocial aspects.
briefly on the f the crisis as en twice within in the 'World d its impact on pitalist Economy will deliberately length on the you are welcome in the course of
hat the economic or rapid depenth (particularly period in the Crisi S.
Iran, Philippines ca have brought a contradictions rapid expansion talist relations.
more so when the context of
crisis and the is is transferred litan centres to we see all these
contradictions, sment, which is million in 1985, ng at 22% - lt at in Nicaragua e the revolution ng at only I l%. ng real wages bnomists as 30% w years. We mounting debt, S - the Wellia
Weaving Mills tal. However,
going to dwell risis and would on the political aspects of the the Sri Lanka
think the political crisis could be traced to what I would call the contradictions of maintaining a racist capitalism. Capitalism or the capitalist mode of production is supposed to have its own internal logic - the logic of capital accumulation. But What We have is not a pure capitalism - not that there can be such thing but when what we have is not even a dependent capitalism with al its contradictions as in El Salvador, here we have a racist capitalism, where the need of the dominast sector is not just to preserve the bourgeois or class hegemony, but the hegemony of the Sinhala-Buddhistbourgeoisie. Therefore- the political crisis would reiterate is rooted in the contradictions of racist capitalism, and the need to preserve Sinhala bourgeois hegemony, and if one may be flippant, I would say that the political crisis would be summed up in two words - 'seccession' and 'succession'. We have succession crisis atop the crisis faced by the state due to the secessionist struggle.
Let us dwell a little more on the political crisis and try to identify and enumerate the components of this political crisis. In the first place we have a hitorical situation in which the representatives of the old ruling classes cannot rule in the old way'. The old way is the bourgeois democratic way or the bourgeois liberal way, the way of representing social tensions and containing them within at institutional frame work i.e. the Parliament. The Referendum, which think is the culmination of a process beginning as far back as 1972 at the very least, was a watershed. It made it very clear that it was impossible for the dominant social groups to continue to maintain parliamentary democracy the way that we have known it. The student crisis of the past few weeks made it quite clear - the very low threshold of tolerance. The response to dissent in a very coer
cive fashion, consider to be a sign of weakness.
If I remember right there were very few people killed - may be one or two - during the May 1968 upheavel in Paris. That was a sign of a system albeit in crisis which had a leadership which in turn still had considerable reserves. The leadership of course was of Gen. De Gaulle. But in Sri Lanka we have a situation in which the ruling classes have no other way of ruling than by firm domination. That is the first aspect see of the political crisis. That, I reiterate, is a sign of weakness and not of strength.
Secondly, we have the phenomenon of internal fissures, factions, tendencies and divisions even nearing breaking point. This is a phenomenon everyone is quite well aware of. We observed two senior ministers of the government openly disagreeing on a fundamental principle of the foreign policy of our government - our relations with our biggest and closest neighbour. This is a clear sign of internal dissension. Another instance was when another minister albeit not of the UNP, took his place on the opposite side of a negotiating table from that of the government after leading a strike, as a representative of the estate workers. Several months ago Mr. Gamini Dissanayaka, had angry exchanges with Mr. Bill Devanayagam and Mr. S. Thondaman -- this is yet another instance. So we have the inability of the regime to come up with a concerted response to the current crisis.
The third aspect of the current political crisis - this is one that impinges very directly on the ethnic conflict - is the inability to come up with the reform component of viable counter-insurgency strategy. Now I am deliberately not going to argue here the rights and wrongs of Tamil self-determination.
I am taking, momentarily, the stand-point of the incumbent regime itself. What I would say is that if a guerilla threat is to be defeated, if a viable counter-insurgency strategy is to be implemented, it
has to have, a ressive compon component. Th in one of the counter-insurge the post-war pe Magsaysay of th saysay manage insurgency of t the fifties by elim abuse of power having free ge declaring an am" in fact some of platform of th of land reform attractive packa surrendered. A amnesty and fin were part of t while opening pc Benino Aquino of Tarue was envoy to meet guerilla leader But in Sri Lanka unable to offer package that w support base of at least neutral Tamil people. I a strategy the would amount t nocide.
clear indicator the regime. T shadow-boxing. they are afraid told that the S not accept dev asked the Sinha which has de people of every from the ration now seeks to people a scapeor unwillingnes solution, whic the guerillas a for the secur with them from view Because mentioned ea infighting, and accomodate di to be flexible perceived that power would sign of weakne for the regim a reform com insurgency stra
art from the rep
ent, a reformist s was most clear most successful
cy movement in riod, that of Ramon 2 Philippines, Magto defeat the he Hukbalahap in inating the military - (torture) - by neral elections by nesty, by stealing the planks of the e guerillas - that h. He offered an ge to guerillas who plot of land plus ancial inducements he package offered, litical negotiations. the young Mayor Ramon Magsaysay's Luis Tarue, the in the mountains. the regime has been a strong reformist 'ould win over the the Tamil guerillas, ize the majority of n the absence of such only strategy left o nothing but gen
at the Round-Table another very, very of the weakness of here is so much of It is not clear who of. First we are inhala people will olution. Who has la people? A regime rived the Sinhala thing they held dear, -book to the ballot, make the Sinhala goat for its inability s to come up with a would marginalize nd make it easier ity forces to deal a security point of
of the reasons lier, the factional also the inability to ssent, the inability and because it is any devolution of be construed as a is - it is impossible e to come up with onent of a counter:egy. It has mistaken
naratne who is at
brittleness for firmness and
Then we have another aspect of the crisis discontent has been focussed at the apex. That is yet another sign of an unsuccessful political system. A successful system manages to deflect and diffuse discontent. Because we have a structure that intentionally concentrates all power at the apex, an apex that is “free from whims and fancies of the legislature', rendered a rubberstamp' by the Referendum, we therefore have all discontent directed in a very un mediated
fashion at the apex of power itself
viz: the executive.
would now like to bring into the picture, the institutional crisis. That means the crisis of the state apparatus - the bourgeois state apparatus. It is supposed to function according to a certain class logic. The logic is that of the extension and the maintenance of
bourgeois relations of production.
What we have is a bourgeois state apparatus that is cross-cut with ethnic divisions. Therefore its class logic does not function in the
relentless fashion that it does, say, in India. And of course you have a legal crisis. The rather
sordid manoeuvring to frustrated magisterial inquiries concerning the student issue, the criticisms levelled by the Chief Justice a few months ago, the resolutions bassed by the Bar Association, also indicates that the crisis is not only at the level of politics but also at the level of the state apparatus and juridical and institutions.
Summing up the crisis of the regime, I would agree with a definition that was popular for about ten years, for all the wrong reasons. My friend Dr. Wickramabahu Karuthe moment giving a lecture at the new Town Hall on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of his proscribed party, was one of those who incessantly describes President Jayewardene as "Bonapartist”.
Five years before that from about 1971 up to 1976 he and others like Rohana Wijeweera were describing Mrs. Bandaranaike as Bonapartist: il found the characterisation most non-rigorous, because “Bonapartism” according to Marx and Engels is a very unstable and temporary situation characterized by an equilibrium between contending classes or contend
ing factions of a single class. So by
definition you cannot have a Bonapartism from 1972 to 1984. However, right now, at this point of time, I feel that description is valid. Right now the Executive Presidency is engaged in a balancing act not between contending classes but between contending factions of the regime. In fact President Jayewardene reminds me of a juggler under whom the ground is moving. Or a juggler trying to run up a downward moving escalator. This situation of Bonapartism-Antonio Gramsci had another word for it, “Caesarism”, is best described using another Gramasci term as one of catastrophic equilibrium. I think that is a very exact description of the state of affairs
today. A situation of catastrophic equilibrium, by definition cannot last long.
Now this is the political crisis as manifested at the level of the regime What of the alternatives? think that one of the chief defining characteristics of the present crisis is that it is not limited to the present regime. It is a total crisis. It is that which envelops the regime as well as the opposition. So this is not something that you can call a UNP crisis. It is an all-enveloping total crisis. And this is very clearly manifested in that there is no viable atternative. Because if there was a viable afternative, the crisis would not be a that deep: The depth of crisis rests also in that there is no viable opposition that is making its presence felt. I don't know but there may be somebody out there who may be thinking that he has the answer to the crisis. Nobody had heard of Rohana Wijeyaweera until 1970 but he had been working for a number of years by then. Certainly he or she has not made his or her presence felt
as yet. But as far political forces are isno viable bourg If you take the SL dent Jayewardeney rect in saying as h the Presidential E SLFP has no alter along with the op said “I have made ges which are ir crisis in the SLFP The interest of national bourgeois fifties and which seventies as a dep sie in the path of capitalism, has its rests fulfilled in t nomic project. O teristics of an orga ding to Gramasci is tions detach themse earlier political The SLFP also canno Mr. Anura Bandara makes this very simply does not native to offer.
As far as the new led by the Mahaja cerned, it is demic context of the stuc inability to convert movementusing pol cout to wrest dem ions from the regi trying to say is tha bloc led by the M. has not been able opposition parties do in the Philippine of the new People Communist movem pines. I am talking professors, lawyer ens and film stars bourgeois oppositic to take to the stre enough alarmes in V Washington to put on Marcos to ho Neither the SLEP in bloc have been cap for the revolutio mic alternative, i. not made its pres terrain of mass p
So we have a sit rophic equilbrium if you like, as far a concerned and inabi sition forces to pri
as the available concerned there eois alternative. FP think PresiMwas perfectly core did just before Election that the native but to go en economy. He economic chaneversible'. The " is exactly that. the class - the e - born in thehad arived in the endent bourgeodependent state seconomic intehe UN P’s recone of the charecniC Crisis accorthat class facalves from their representatives. it shift leftwards, naike's ideology clear. The SLFP have an alter
opposition block na Party is cononstrated in the ient struggle, its itself into a mass itical or economic hocratic concessme. What I am at the opposition ahajana Pakshaya to do what the have been able to s. I am not talking s Army (i.e. the ent) in the Philipof businessmen, "s and beauty quei.e. the liberal on, who were able et and to trigger Washington to get enough Pressure ld an election. ot the four Party able of this. As nary anti-systef exists, it has ence felt on the blitics.
uation of catastor Bonapartism, s the regime is lity of the oppoesent a coherent
alternative. We had a deafening silence as far-as the Allen affaire was concerned on the part of the regime and we have had a more deafening silence on the part of the opposition parties as far as the ethnic conflict is concerned.
Now from the political would like to move to the military aspect of the current crisis. We have a situation of low morate
in the armed forces. Also lower discipline. The Golden Temple episode is a very instructive
counter-point, where you had a Sikh general among the three generals who commanded the forces and also Sikh soldiers. In other words the logic of the capitalist state transcended ethnic loyalty, despite sporadic mutinies. Professionalism and discipline are very necessary for successful implementation of a strategy. You have to have an instrument to implement your strategy. When the instrument itself is in not very good shape, then of course you have a real problem. Of course we all wonder if there is a sudden escalation of Tamil guerilla activity in the North and East in the coming months, whether the armed forces would go berserk. It would not be possible to stop that. There has been, as far as know, no severe and exemplary disciplinary action to ensure restraint and discipline on the part of the Forces.
Then you have the different attitudes on the lower, middle and upper most sections of the forces. There is a well trained and educated cadre of young officers who were in the field in 1971, and have received foreign training since then. There are Majors, Lt. Colonels and Colonels who are quite professional. You have lower ranks recruited on the MP's chits - either UNP or SLFP MPs - for the last ten years. These latter sections are absolutely incapable of understanding that if one joins the army there is at least the possibility of being shot at. Then you have the upper echelons, perceived by the lower and middle ranks, as being closely tied to the regime. But I must say that there have so far not been any identifiable factions
within the armed forces. It has not come to that. But it is nos a very happy situation for those who are concerned with the security of the capitalist state.
There has been an escalation of the war - from the Oberoi to Amparai. The war has come South. This has hit the tourist industry. The attack on the Central camp police station at Amparai means there has been an extension of hostilities, geographically. It is widely known that Amparai is regarded by most Sinhalese as Sinhalese territory. It is of course largely due Mr. D. S. Senanayake's colonisation policy in 1984. According to the “SUN”, the attackers had disappeared via Padiyatalawa to the central highlands. I don't know how far this is true, but if its true then it is some think significant. That means that the reach of the Tamil guerillas has now lengthened. What the regime was presenting as essentially a peninsular phenomenon has definitely extended outwards. I think the crux of the military crisis is that it also is in a situation of statemate. A stalemate in guerilla war is quite different from a statemate in politics or in a game. As Dr. Kissinger has pointed out - he is not the only one who has pointed this out, but he has done so most recently in the bi-partisan KisSinger Report on Central America - that in a guerilla war, a statemate means in fact victory for the guerillas. If the regime does not win, then in fact they are losing. On the other hand if the guerillas have not lost, they are winning. Time is on the side of the guerillas. This is the nature of a war of attrition, a protracted war. A War of the incremantal accretion of strength. A war of wearing down the enemy of depleting the enemies economic resources and so on. So we have the situation in which, simply because the Tamil guerillas heve not Iost they are winning. That is the nature of guerilla war. They have the inherent advantages that guerillas usually have, a degree of support, or understanding, sympathy, from the people of the area. This is an advantage that the government armed forces lack. In this case the Armed Forces do not have a social
support base ir ations. This is the guerillas h; is that of surp are waiting an) niversary of the of last July. Yo inch of rail trac every police s guard every gov and do it round the guerilla ch his time. The deepened and
the regime ha it around, qual
Next We hav, crisis. As rega don't aim to but will only foreign policy diplomatic iso The fact that it up the case oft and Mossad wi Geoffrey Howe: chose to reply, asked what busi is significant. a issue of a thi It is not as US what planes Pakistan. India This is a quest concerning Sri | traditional foe chosen to rep papers say tha of the US Sta. told a visiting T. that the US ha about the humi in Sri Lanka sional Sub-Con up next month strategic mist the regime, f takes - like th we have a situ Lanka is be contained. A tion sources W. at least 3 Ara Ambassador is gone away, th has not come. Arab countries improving
Let us not national maver and South Yel
the area of operaone advantage that
ve, and the other
ise. Now here we iously for the anunfortunate events' cannot guard every k, you cannot guard lation, you cannot 2rnment installation -the-clock, too. So loses his target and military crisis has don't think that managed to turn itatively.
2 the foreign policy rds foreign policy o into all aspects remark that our has caused the |lation of Sri Lanka. dia chose i to take he ex-SAS trainers th. Britain, and that and Maggie Thatcher - they could have ness is it of India's - India chose to make rd country problem. if India asked the they were selling l's traditional foe. ion she had asked anka which is not a And Britain had ly. This morning's it Howard Schaffer te Department had amil Nadu delegation d expressed concern an rights situation und that a Congresmittee will take it Due to massive akes on the part of oreign policy miste Israeli affaire - ation in which Sri ng diplomatically :cording to opposiare in trouble with b states - the Iraq supposed to have 2 Saudi Ambassador Our relations with
cannot certainly be
forget that 'intercks' like Libya, and hen cannot do much
damage against big countries like Britain, but against a state like Sri Lanka, a couple of million dollars worth of Kalashnikovs or whatever can do a deal of damage. It isn't intelligent for Sri Lanka to antagonize a country like Libya, which is not normally constrained by the conventional modes of conduct of the inter-state system. So much for foreign policy. In a couple of years if not months, our rulers might echo Cardinal Wolsey and say “if we had served non-aligned foreign policy with half the zeal with which we served Asean and Israel, the international community would not have left us naked to our enemies'.
Concerning the social crisis, should observe first that there is an ethnic axis of fissure - the Tamil ethnic formation, the Sinhala ethnic formation and now increasingly the Muslim ethnic formation are drifting apart. And of course in the vertical dimension there is much social dissent, from the Chief Justice to the plantation workers.
What I want to dwell on is the intertwined and inter active nature of all these crises. The economic, political — in its domestic and international aspects the military and the social crisis. Let me give three examples.
The political crisis means instability, flight of capital and therefore the enhancement of the economic crisis. The economic crisis means greater burdens on the masses and that means greater social discontent and the worsening social crisis also causes a worsening of the political crisis.
NTERNAL AND NTERNATIONAL
Let us also see the relationship
between the military crisis and foreign policy. Let me be very cold-blooded. One possibie short
term way out - and this is being said by many in private conversation - is, "another 97. After all, if about 5,000 Sinhalese young men, women and Buddhist monks could be killed, why can't the UN P do the same to the Tamils? Why don't the Forces just go in, seal of the peninsula and zap them?
The fact that the Tamil issue has been internationalised on the one hand because of the Tami diaspora and the ethnic and human rights nature of the conflict, (it is not an overtly ideological conflict), and on the other hand has also been internalised in India's politics, means that the regime cannot adopt scorched earth tactics. It cannot adopt “strategic hamlets", napalm bombing and other sort of quasigenocidal methods that many regimes adopt. The SLFP did adopt such methods to a degree in 1971. Someone can of course try. But then the repercussions in Tamil Nadu will be such that Delhi will be forced to take extreme action.
So here we have the active nature of foreign and the military crisis.
Then you have the inter-action of the military crisis and the economic crisis. The military bulid up and the maintenance of the military presence in the North and East regime is a great drain on our economic resources. Then the government has to ask the people to tighten their belts. This would mean again social discont. So the whole situation is one several crises feeding on one another.
So what are possible responses to this crisis? One of the responses is that of the opposition - the populist response that all this is the fault of the open economy', that everything would be all right if we go back to the golden era of 1970s when we were on the road to socialism. One thing that is clear from the Presidential elections of 1982 is that the masses in their wisdom don’t consider that era as one of great progress comfort. They were fairly keen to avoid a reversion to the state - capitalist closed economic of unequal hardships and privation.
More seriously, the Sri Lankan economy during the last few years has been so tightly integrated into the would capitalist system and a reversion to import substitution will cause tremen dous turmoil. People are so hooked on to consumerism that if you try to put the clock back I am sure there will
be riots. So a capitalist option option.
So we have a mu possibility which consider more clos position of the p a reorganisation apparatus. To be I am referring t scientists in Latin A State of National Chilean social sci Mauro Marini cal insurgency state. into this questio means is the placi apparatus on a pe of war and the in society. The decis done by a National and the dictates of as perceived by the precedence over other consideratio
This could really the crisis in our could really have a or ointernal coup classic coup Scenari a scenario in which accomodation of th our national politic ing processes. Il couple of weeks : similar to the ''U. you' type - urgin; to aggravate the si as the armed forces taining terrorism ir appeal coming from cian is understanda you have a direct : the armed forces o on the behalf t ficant and ominous not whether the pr lead to this type o This might come to implement a with regard to the But will that solve
in other words authoritarian regi which is rational 2 effect some kind of after that go and ki opposing it. Sin people are oppose not have elections. regime could cut it kind of electoral engage in some kinc
populist state is really a non
ch more serious think we should ely: A recomlower-bloc and of the state e more specific o what social America call the Security. The entist says Ruy s the counterI am not going n, but what it ng of the state ermanent State ilitarization of ion making being Security Council National Security e regime taking almost all the
happen. Given situation we *Creeping Coup" '. It is not the io, rather it is the increasing le military into al decision makwas horrified a ago by posters hcle Sam Wants g the people not tudent agitation were busy conthe north. That a civilian politiable. But when appeal either by r by somebody hat is a signisign. One does resent crisis will f Creeping coup. about in order specific project ethnic conflict. anything 2 could we have an ime, but one One which will f devolution and off whoever is Ce the Sinhala d to it they canSo a dictatorial self off from any constraints but of "engineering"
or Crisis-management as the Malaysians do and put into place some kind of compromise between the Sinhala and Tamil bourgeois. Will a recomposition of the power block succeed in defusing the ethnic crisis 2 if so there was to be a strong reformist component to their package. Then I can imagine a condominium of the United States and India which would support the individual or sectors who put that into operation. But have serious problems in thinking that would work. In the first placc this is a reshuffling of the power bloc or a recomposition. The same people and the same institutions who are actors in the present crisis and who are not coming up with a solution, are going to be the people in this recomposed power bloc. don't know whether they are able or willing to come up with a solution some way down the road when they are frustrating any solution at the moment. To be more specific, whether or not they will have a strong reformist package in this bureaucratic-authoritarian solution depends on a cluster of variables. It depends on the strength of the clergy - who are opposed to a political solution of this crisis - and to what extent they are involved in this state apparatus. Whether such bureaucratic authoritarian solution would be a secular one greatly doubt. I think the clergy is too locked in to the state apparatus and the bourgeoisie for that to happen. It also depends on the strength of the right wing chauvinism in the military and will they agree to any serious devolution of power 2 it will depend on the strength of the secessionist movement. It has been possible for the guerilla movements of the world to frustrate this kind of palliative, this kind of milk and water reforms. Camp David does not work. The Sandinista movement was able at critical times to outflank any reformist movements in the course of the revolutionary upsurge.
So can you get the military to support these moves? Which factions of the regime will support such a measure ? There is a whole cluster of variables. This includes the very
real racism within the ruling class itself. To give an example reading Mr. N. U. Jayawardene who writes in the Sunday Island ad infinitum, it strikes me that even top capitalists in this country are not just capitalists but also racial and religious chauvinists. So given the racism of the ruling class and their religious chauvinism I don't think they will be able go through with anything except very cosmetic reforms such as enhanced DDC's or whatever. So it does not seem possible that a recomposition of the power bloc will be able to come up with a solution unless it is an externally propelled recomposition of the power bloc.
In other words if there is no local actor, no endogenous force capable of refashioning the power bloc in such a manner as to resolve this ethnic conflict, and if the ethnic conflict escalates to such a pitch that it is intolerable to our great and friendly neighbour then it is possible that our great and friendly neighbour might take a somewhat more active hand in the proceedings. In such an event one could envisage this externally propelled or induced recomposition of the power bloc. To put it much plainer fashion some kind of national consensus achieved by cracking a couple of heads together. A Round-table Conference kind of constellation of forces and Annexure ''C' implemented. implementation needs a degree of coercion and if the local state apparatus is incapable of providing that coercion, perhaps the element of coercion brought to bear will be external. So that is one scenario that would want us to bear in mind very clearly.
Really the only way I can think of resolving this crisis is through a process of democratisation. Devolution in the North and democratisation in the South. Call it electoral decompression. Decompression' because what we have now is a pressure cooker. The system needs a leader - a number of leaders - with the courage and flexibility a General De Gaulle to effect such a decompression, it is a calculated risk. Any leader will have to make this subtle calculus of risks. Do you allow electoral dis
content 2 Do yo majority in parlia Then do you ta
coalition in Pari chances and let th drain out and othe issues wil surfac on and you explosion.
Let us in con that we have here against the backd global crisis. Se Lanka, economic hand internal w If you cast your e revolutions from ution onwards there is either or variables.
LE BANON SC
We have other well - internal f gime, inability of in the old way -
u allow your 5/6th ment to be eroded? ake your chances er some kind of anent? Take those he ethnic tensions r (socio economic) e. Keep the lid risk tremendous
clusion remember e a Sri Lankan crisis rop of a deepening o we have in Sri
crisis on the one far' on the other. lye back on all the the Russian revoyou will see that he or both of these
salient factors as issures of the rethe regime to rule - the recourse to
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open domination the increasing inability of the exploited masses to live in the old way due to the deepening economic crisis and the disruption of the normal way of life (bombs going off here and there). The classic ingredients for mass upheaval. If the system is not capable of coming up with a solution or recomposing the kind of power bloc to implement a solution. Then one of two things are possible - either an externally propelled solution or a challenge to the system itself. Even an externally propelled solution is not likely to be long lasting - Lebanon is a case in point. As for a challenge to the system, this is not a immediate possibility but if the ethnic conflict aggravates and more and more are killed and neither Govt or the opposition comes up with a solution, so there may be people who would realize that friendship between the nations can be achieved only by some macrolevel systemic change.
Upali S. Jayasekera (President, Union of Post
e, in Sri Lanka, are facing the prospect of deregulation of the hitherto Government monopoly over the Telecommunication Services and the eventutal privatisation of this economically viable industry. There has been, of course, no definite Governs ment announcement in regard to what is going to happen but indications are that the Telecommunication Services will not remain under a Government Department and that a Joint-Stock Company will be floated to run the industry.
Telecommunication is the pivotal industry which provides the infra-structure for information business. The fact that Telecommunications and Computers are interlinked and that those two combined could provide the most
viable international interlinks should not be overlooked or ignored. Information is detected,
monitored, transmitted and collected through Telecommunication. Telecommunication Services are networks of control and hence are nerve ends of modern society.
Thus who controls the Telecommunication system could control the flow of information and even have access to State information which is a security risk. Even the economic policy of Government could be circumvented or torpedoed with the connivance of foreign agencies.
Telecommunications make global control of not only costs, pricing and expenditure but also of Government decisions and tariff possible. Even the short term money marked could be controlled through manipulation by multinational companies which control the Telecommunication network.
In view of th it plays Telecomm be under State form of deregula over to the priv, in the national
The Private S
The private sect or foreign exist Their main conce profitability and a th for individual
The private si little re-investme benefit accrue ti economy on a li Profits earned a of the country i This is more s nationals are cor
Since the pri no public accout do anything the fact this is wha With the Teleco the hands of the a very dangerou arise. The priva then fully contr
and with the coming in the e colonised.
I would quote show how the Tele in the hands of t will be not in interest.
The Citibank States was taken the U.S. Congress for keeping two to minimise fo earnings in Euro profits to tax free mastery of Tele networks enable
NS: Why privatise ?
ind Telecommunication Officers)
e strategic role nications should
control. Any tion or handing te sector is not ntere St.
or whether local for private gain. in is commercial massing of weal
actor does very nt, Little or no o the country's ong term basis. ra drained out n various forms. to where multincerned.
vate sector has tability, it can by want and in It is happening. mmunications in : private sector, s situation can te sector will ol the economy
multi-nationals conomy will be
one example to communications he private sector the country's
in the United to task by the onal Committee sets of accounts reign exchange be and shift the Bahamas. The communications the Bank to
bypass Government regulation and avoid payment of taxes whilst reaping massive profits from currency transactions. That’s talking of corruption. In Sri Lanka too the performance of the private sector and our industrialists is not so clean.
Economic Power in the hands of the private sector will lead to the wealthy trying to grab political power. It happened in Chile where the American Telecommunication Company (ITT) helped in toppling the democratically elected Allende's Government. Closer to us in India, there was talk sometime back that the business giants - Birlas - were involved in a move to oust the then Indira Government.
In Sri Lanka 80% of the wealth is in the hands of about 10% of the people. It is this minority who holds economic power. With the Telecommunications passing over to them, the situation will become worse. This, in turn, will lead to their gaining political power, as is happenning in certain countries where the capitalist system exists.
A new Right has emerged in America and it is so in Great Britain. This is due to the manoeuveres of the private sector - the industrialists in whose hands economic power lie.
In the context of a developing country we cannot afford such a situation. Our limited resources and the widening gap between the haves and have-nots cannot allow the private sector to expand too much and especially the take over of the Telecommunication industry, due to reasons of economic strategy, national security and well being of the people.
Telephone and Telegraph Services
We have, in Sri Lanka, nearly 1, 19,340 telephones. This is the figure for 1986. This means that only 1.2% of the population have telephones installed in their homes. Of this 1.2% about 40% belong to the Government sector. It will thus be seen that only 0.60 per cent of the population which constitutes the affluent class, have telephones.
The vast majority of the people in Sri Lanka use the telegraph service to send messages. The telegraph service unlike the telephone service, is subsidised. The fee for a telegram counting 10 words is one rupee when expenditure for acceptance, transmission and delivery exceed twenty rupees.
The telegraph could be consi
dered as a poor man's service and cannot be done away with at least for another 50 years where our country is concerned, thought it has been scrapped in developed countries.
The Telecommunication Services have to be operated on crosssubsidy basis at national level. This would mean that profits from metropolitan areas have to utilised to off-set losses from rural areas. The private sector will not do that. They will either neglect the rural areas or increase charges for rural subscribers. In either case the rural areas will not receive the service they require. On the other hand, the telegraph service, if not subsidised, will be beyond the reach of the poor and the average Cit 1 Zen.
The privatisation of the Telecommunication industry in England has resulted in the increase of charges and the removal of subsidies. The not-so-affluent section of the society have been badly affected. Thousands have lost their jobs. In America the break up has also resulted in increase of charges. Thus privatisation will result in increase
of charges whi result in the T Services turning preserve of the for the others.
Communicatic for the furtherar of the individi tions placed b subsidies and i will therefore in rest of the comm
Vast sums has been spen Telecommunicat country. STD f extended to a the country : tension is bein This financial i logy introduce improved Telec work will be vate sector — li and multi-natic profits which p any large meas try's economy. the Telecomml could as such robbing the p gain.
There was pu
| over the poOr
The lack of to be the ma the proper má phone lines an cable network and hence is s breakdowns. T head wires is
However, the emphasised an private sector and internatic backed by Int and suppliers communication out to take munication Se
These vested as telephone maintained a to whip up sl vatisation of t tion Services. users too no d
ich in turn will elecommunication out to be the
rich and a luxury
ons are essential lce of the freedom ual. Any restricy withdrawal of increase in charges lot be in the inteunity as a whole.
of public money t to improve the ion Services in the acilities have been
large part of and further exg made effective. nput, new technoi and the vastly ommunication netutilised by the priocal industrialists onals to earn large profits will not, in ure help the coun
unication industry be considered as ublic for private
blic dissatisfaction standard of TeleServices.
funds was found in impediment to
intenance of tele
d equipment. The needs replacement subject to constant The theft of over
2 situation is over d magnified. The
lobby - national nal industrialists 2rnational Agencies and distributors of
equipment are all )ver the Telecomrvices.
interests parading users Or u Ser groups sustained campaign upport for the prihe TelecommunicaGenuine telephone oubt joined but the
campaign was backed by such vested interest. Such campaigns have sprung up even in countries in Western Europe and in Australia and New Zealand. Inspite of such campaigns, except in England privatisation was not resorted to.
Improvement to services could be done and the equipment could be updated, if the Telecammunication authorities are given some independence to do so and even to find the money. Guide-lines should be set and they should be allowed to follow such guidelines and improve services as targeted.
It is often argued that under private ownership a better service could be provided promoting technological innovations whilst eliminating Government expenditure. This thinking is a myth. The public sector can function to peak efficiency if the right atmosphere is created, objectives are clearly defined and the means of achieving those objectives are not influenced by extraneous reasons. The management should be allowed to function without outside intervention and show results.
The Telecommunication Services should serve the following national requirements:
(a) Provide communication services to the people as part to the nations social development
(b) Introduce more sophisticated and advanced systems of communications especially to the corporate sector
(c) Ensure an efficient customers'
These requirements on the other hand have to be considered on the basis of the inter-connected realms of science, technology and economics that add to national power and material progress, Telecommunications cannot therefore be used for profit making alone. It should be considered as a service to the people. The private sector cannot meet these national requirements as its main objective is profit making.
(Continued on page 28)
AMWAWEXUVRE ZCY TO ACCORD
he President's House in
Colombo had originally been the private residence of the last Dutch Governor Johan Cerard Van Angelbeak, and formed the nucleus of the Fort of Colombo. It is an architectural treasure, gracefully designed with polished canewood ceilings and its floors covered by
a mosaic of ties. Seventeenth century shell patterned Dutch chests, wooden cabinets, ebony
sofas and centre-tables adorn the reception areas and the Conferen Ce rOOffin,
On July 29, a row of distinguished Indian politicians and senior bureaucrats stood nervously in the Conference room awaiting the arrival of the two heads of government. They included Union Ministers Mr. Narasimha Rao, Mr. Natwar Singh looking solemn in their formal sherwanis, and Mr. P. Childambaram, Mr. S. Ramachandran, Tamil Nadu Minister and Mr. G. Karuppiah Mooppanar, AICC General Secretary, clad more informally in their spotless white dhoties. All of them had played their part in the complex and tortuous negotiations which preceded the formal understanding between India and Sri Lanka. Also present was Dinesh Singh, the former Foreign Minister, whose fleeting visit to Colombo apparently stalled a military offensive on the Northern Peninsula. There was, however, one person who played a decisive role in defining the the framework of the accord who was conspicuous by his absence.
In August 1983 the Sri Lankan
President accepted Prime Minister
indira Gandhi's offer of good offices to facilitate a political solution. This was a watershed
in Indo-Sri Lankan relations and the search for a special envoy to Sri Lanka to undertake the delicate and complex mediatory efforts was intensified. There were three criteria that had been articulated within the higher reaches of the
Government for this was highly prizec political and bure lishment. First, must be a skilled was sensitive to t of the region. Sec be a lawyer capat with the Byzantine of Sri Lanka’s con
the riddles in c.
autonomous region v State. Thirdly, he stand the domest
India and be capable
the confidence of p with in Tamil Nac expressed solidar Tamils of Sri Lank dicament. Mr. G. clearly met all of given his legal tra tinguished diplomat ning several decad
Mr. Parthasarath advantages. He enjoy to and the comple of the then Prin India, and was frequ on Sensitive i SSu es and domestic policy able to symbolise and concern of th of India at the h A lesser known f Mr. Parthasarathy k and had forged pers and linkages which the years with the western educated eli He had led a cric the Presidency Col and played against as F.C. de Saram, Blue who dominat cricket in the postw
His Cambridge ass Raju Coomaraswam tional civil servant Kuene man, Preside Lanka Communist P. porary of Mohan K both of whom we of the Cambridge had also known the broker, Esmond W who had controle
position which within the au cratic estabthe negotiator
he geo-politics :ondly, he must ble of coping : complexities stitution, and rving out an within a unitary
had to underic politics of of commanding olitical opinion u, which had ity with the a in their pre
this criteria in ing and disic Career spanBeS
y had other ved total access te confidence he Minister of ently consulted of both foreign He was thus the authority e Government ighest levels. act was that nows Sri Lanka pna friendship had grown over 2 middle class te in Colombo. ket team from lege in Madras, such stalwarts :he Cambridge 2d Sri Lankan ar years.
ociates included f, the internaand Pieter nt of the Sri irty (a contemmaramangalam re Presidents
Union). He political power "ickremasinghe, Lake House
on the Sinhala and Tamil
for many years, and was close adviser to the political leadership within the United National Party.
Mr. Parthasarathy soon grasped the complexities and the many pitfalls in the tasks ahead. The traumatic events of July 1983 had
so deeply polarised the two communities that the prospects of ethnic reconciliation seemed
dismal. Each community's perceptions of the problem had become so deeply embedded in their respective psyches that there was title common ground on which he could work. He had to familiarise himself with history, contemporary political events and developments, and with the personalities and attitudes of the key actors sides. Above all, if perceptions were to be altered, he had to work on the consciousness of the two communities, and their leadership.
Humility and good humour
GP's first few visits were directed towards familiarising himself with the key political actors on the Sinhala side. He briefed himself on the background of the senior and more influential cabinet ministers, and Opposition leaders. He then met them individually and listened patiently to their perceptions, fears, anxieties and obsessions. He consulted with the widest cross section of Sinhala
opinion, including Mr. Gamini riyagolle, the President of the Buddhist Theosophical Society,
and the Venerable Walpola Rahula, the scholar-monk who was the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of the Maha Sangha. Although some of their views were emotionally charged they were invariably deferential to the stoic elder statesman. He brushed aside small discourtesies with his characteristic humility and good humour. A youthful opposition leader had insisted that GP call on him, and conform strictly to the norms of protocol. GP cheerfully complied, but could his
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measure of the man have gone up in the process 2 He realised that the vanities and personality quirks of the key actors were as important as their substantive beliefs.
He moved more easily with the old Left, such as the Trotskyite leaders - Dr. Colvin R. de Silva and Mr. Bernard Soyza, and his old friend Pieter Keuneman. He had immediate empathy for their secular outlook, and their instinctive response to the aspirations of national minorities.
He soon became the focal point of the anguish and hopes of the Tamil side. He was generous with his time: he met innumerable delegations of expatriate groups and he met personally with leaders of the different militant organisations. He advised them, admonished them and constantly pushed them to explore and recognise the limits of their political options. Struggle and negotiate was his response to those who obstinately adopted fundamentalist positions on even the process of negotiation. His task was a difficult one. While he frequently counselled restraint, he was distressed by the escalating violence and the incalculable suffering of the ordinary people. He was moved by the sense of deprivation and passion which underscored the sacrifice of the youth. He often had little more than sympathy to offer to those who complained of the excesses of the State, the gross and persistent violations of human rights. Denied legal or political redress the Tamil mood soon turned to despair.
Inevitably, GP developed a special relationship with the TULF leadership. He engaged them intellectually, while remaining emotionally detached. He questioned the conceptual underpinnings of their political demands. Concepts such as 'self determination' and traditional homelands' were probed in depth so that they could clarify and refine their own thoughts. He pointed to the contradictions between an approach which emphasised autonomous regions for
national minoritie in the Ceylon W proposals before Conference in which sought fed federal forms of di a democratic poli ment presupposec stitutional model not easily reconc on his immense lomatic experienc parisons with the Kashmir, Mizoram mese liberation counselled that thi ing position shoul internally consis and not on the the moment.
GP's substantiv was in negotiatir proposals for dev to regional councils known as Anne completed this e. span of four mon 983 to Decemb several meetings New Delhi with wardene. He br all the skills of negotiator in med the Tamil politica the Jayewardene asked the TULF scheme of devout fa || short of the of a separate Sta responsive to the
The intial dra Union of States, ar arrangement with of socio-economi education and culo land settlement an being devolved GP reasoned t stance of the would need to be scheme without t tent or the terr could trigger Sinh The scheme was r presented as one acknowledge the ur and territorial i Lanka. The Unior altered to a Uni Besides the sharin
S (as contained orkers Congress the All Parties 984) and that eral or quasievolution within ty. Each arrangedistinct cons which were ilable. He drew political and di pe to draw comnegotiations on
and the Vietna
struggle. He 2 Tamil negotiatld be guided by tent principles,
re contribution ng the set of blution of power i, more popularly xure C". He Kercise within a ths from August er 1984, over in Colombo and President Jayeought to bear a COSUn nate liating between leadership and Government. He to formulate a ion which would Ultimate demand te, while being ir aspirations.
ft envisaged a overtly federal the major areas c development tural policy and di law and order to the States hat the subTamil demands 2. Wo Ven in to a he emotive conninology which ala resistance. eformulated and
which would lity, sovereignty ntegrity of Sri of 'States' was on of Regions. g of power bet
ween the centre and the regions, provision was made to ensure that Tamils enjoyed an adequate, if not proportionate share in the recruitment to the armed forces, the police and the public service GP felt that the Tam 11s would need to share power at the centre if they were to join the mainstream of national development.
Mr. Jayewardene readily conceded many of the elements of the scheme, but the unit of devolution remained intractable. The Government was wedded to the notion that the district should be the basic unit of devolution, and even a proposal to permit districts within a province to combine into larger units was considered too radical a concession to Tamil demands.
GP began to feel that he was
reaching the limits of his own persuasive powers. A new negotiating strategy was called for. He decided to make a direct appeal to Mr. Jayewardene, and arranged to see him at the President's House late in the evening on or about August 6, 1988, in the company of Mr. S. Thondaman and one other. The case for a larger unit was dispassionately presented. "It would result in an augmentation of power and resources. Tamils would need to be offered a package of proposals which seem a reasonable alternative to their basic demand'. Mr. Jayewardene seemed tired and exhausted. He listened to the presentations without comment. He seemed list less, and it was not clear whether he had absorbed any of the points made. As the meeting ended and the delegation descended down the wrought iron staircase at the President's House, GP observed reassuringly 'I am 73, Mr. Thondaman is 70, but the old man upstairs is in his eighties. Age must take its inevitable toll'. Mr. Jayewardene, however, remained enigmatic. He had in fact followed the arguments advanced, and agreed next morning to the creation of Provincial Councils.
Later during Mr. Jayewardene's visit to New Delhi in December
1983, G. P. mobilised the support of Prime Minister Indra Gandhi to present the case for a single linguistic region. GP's devotion to detail was such that he even endeavoured to ensure that the meeting had the right ambience to facilitate a full and frank discussion of the contentious issues. Mr. Jayewardene demurred. He could not erode his base of
support. He, however, agreed to compromise. Annexure 'C' would confine regional councils to Provincial limits. The Tamil
leadership would, however, be free to advance the case for merger before the All-Party Conference. Mr. J. R. Jayewardene reviewed the proposals at the Ashoka Hotel and asked GP, "Where do sign,' and GP responded that this was not an agreement and no signatures were required.
It was anticipated that Annexure C’ would form the basis of the All party Conference, summoned in January 1984 and that the Conference would provide the opportunity to forge a consensus around the proposals.
On the contrary, the Conference proved to be disastrous, and its participants rejected Annexure 'C', and refused even to focus on its contents. Amidst mounting criticism from Sinhala organisations, Buddhist groups and some opposition parties, even the Government distanced itself from Annexure 'C', and denied any responsibiliy for its contents. Every dilatory tactic was used to avoid serious discussion of substance, and meetings were adjoumed at the slightest pretext. The Conference dragged on endlessly amidst escalating violence and the continuing excesses of the security forces. The Tamil groups became exasperated, but GP counselled caution and encouraged them to remain with the Conference. Finally, in December 1984, the Government presented proposals in a highly attenuated form for a limited scheme of power sharing which fel 1 far short of Tamil expectations. The All Party Conference was wound up on December 21, 1984.
In early 19: diplomatic in Delhi actively of improving i with its neight initiatives coir to question negotiating pr contributed t First, the Tami had become inc on GP for gu on its politica frequent cons were widely Indian and Sri began to alte hala perceptio condly, GP soo to bureaucrat trigue in New whispered in C sistent campai role would pr
GP was dee intrigues, and gressively ecli however the within South and its ethr absence prove the quality of devoted to the Lanka's ethnic making proces and the proc suffered a se consequences
The accord Tamils of Sri distinct ethnic the Northern ces - where ti red - have ti a Tamil prep cord envisages volution of po uistic entity in conferring pol the area. Fo
Tami will be of the country This wi|| || fac Tamil also as
ministration til Further, the : the release of
5 there were new tiatives with New pursuing a policy is bilateral relations ours. These policy cided with attempts GP's role in the ocess. Two factors owards this trend. political leadership reasingly dependent idance and advice strategies. Their ultations with GP publicised in the Lankan press, and * progressively Sinns of his role Sen became vulnerable ic and political inf Delhi and it was Colombo that a congn to discredit his ove effective.
-ply pained by these his role was propsed. He remained institutional memory Block of Sri Lanka nic question. His i costly in terms of attention that was complexities of Sri conflict. Decision s within New Delhi ess of negotiations
tback with tragic for Sri Lanka.
recognises that the Lanka possess a identity and that and Eastern Provinhe conflict has occurraditionally enjoyed ond erance. The aca scheme of dewer to a single lingthis region, thereby tical autonomy to or the first time, an official language along with Sinhala. ilitate the use of a language of adhroughout Sri Lanka. ccord provides for political prisoners
the return of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees currently in India and the restoration of civilian government to war-ravaged areas. The significance of the accord lies in its comprehensiveness and that it represents, for the first time, a formal agreement between the two governments.
The dramatic turn of events resulting in a formal agreement between the two governments, and a peace keeping force would probably have outstripped even GP's expectations of India's good offices role. Many comparisons have been made between Annexure 'C' and the subsequent proposals made since 1983. It has been contended that Annexure 'C' embodied general principles, while the later drafts contained detailed arrangements. Whatever be the merit of those comparisons there can be littles doubt that much of the credit for laying out the constitutional foundations of a multiethnic polity must go to GP.
Other efforts were no doubt important, but GP's role in defining the basic ideas which are integral to the accord was clearly
the decisve one.
The Threat . . .
(Continued from page 24)
Telecommunications have the potential to improve the quality of life of everyone or to collect massive profits for a few. The question is whether the industry should be exploited taking into account national requirements and priorities or left in the hands of multi-nationals or a few industrialists for private accumulation of wealth.
The future of the all importand Telecommunication Services should not be sealed at an auction sale where the local industrialists and multi-nationals will be the only bidders. A decision whether to privatise or not should be taken by public debate and on national considerations and not through back-room negotiations.
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