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"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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CONFLICT RESOLUTION
TAMIL EELAM - SRI LANKA
Chandrika's 'Devolution Proposals' - 1995/2001

'We will seek the views of the Mahanayaka Theras on each and every paragraph, clause and line of the draft Constitution so that they could correct us, where we have gone wrong...'' Staunch Chandrika loyalist and newly appointed Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake on 13 August 2000

[see below - Tracking Chandrika's 'Devolution' Proposals]


Belligerent Face of Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalism

On 3 August 1995, Sri Lanka President Kumaratunga released a 'Devolution' package with the stated objective of ending the ethnic conflict in the island.

At the same time she re affirmed her intention to wage war against the Liberation Tigers and launched a genocidal attack on the Tamil homeland in the north of the island of Sri Lanka. She promised the Buddhist High Priests in Kandy that the 'Devolution' package will not be finalised until the 'war is won'. She added that the package will not 'erode the powers of the centre' and declared that there would be no merger of the North and East'. It was later announced that the 'Devolution' package would be further watered down.

The draft legislation (in an incomplete form) was released five months later on 16 January 1996 for consideration by a Sinhala dominated Parliamentary Select Committee. In March 1997, pending the Parliamentary Select Committee final report, the Sri Lanka published its proposed Draft Constitution excluding Chapter XV that deals with "Devolution of Powers to Regions". Later in October 1997, the completed Draft Constitution was published.

Tracking Chandrika's 'Devolution Proposals'  brings together the text of the initial Sri Lanka proposals, the response of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and an examination of the draft proposals (in separate articles) by Adele Ann Balasingham, V.R.Krishna Iyer (ex Chief Justice of India), Professor Jayaratnam Wilson, R.Shanmugalingam, Ana Pararajasigham and Sumantra Bose.

Also included are articles on the 1997 October Draft Constitution by Dr.S.Sathananthan in Colombo and by Siva Bhaskaradas in Canberra.

Dr.Sathananthan explored the situation as at  November 1998 and concluded: "The PA Government has completed four years in office without reaching agreement on, and officially committing itself to, a framework for negotiating a political settlement to the armed conflict. It follows that the question of whether or not the UNP and LTTE would respond favourably is at best premature; at worst, it is a red herring."

On 7 August 2000, President Chandrika Kumaratunga spoke in Parliament in support of the new Sri Lanka Constitution Bill and declared: "...Today is indeed a historic day...Though anybody may hoot or howl like jackals, we shall go through with this. ...Mr. Speaker, we are doing this regardless of the number of votes we will get...", but in the event, her Government withdrew the Bill and staunch Chandrika loyalist and newly appointed Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake declared on 13 August 2000: 'We will seek the views of the Mahanayaka Theras on each and every paragraph, clause and line of the draft Constitution so that they could correct us, where we have gone wrong...''

Dr.Sathananthan writing on 7 October 200 in 'Peace Process' - End of an Illusion concluded:

"The time has come to abandon wishful thinking. Most Tamils wanted to, and some actually did, believe that President Chandrika Kumaratunga (ethnically Sinhalese) was “well meaning”, possessed “good intentions”, but was “a prisoner of Sinhalese chauvinists” within her own party and government, and so on. During the first year of the Peoples Alliance (PA) coalition government, these illusions appeared plausible for one understandable reason. President Kumaratunga lacked a political track record prior to 1994. Therefore, her claims to sincerity, to have risen above Sinhalese chauvinism and her self-proclaimed commitment to peace could neither be critically assessed nor disputed effectively..."

The annotated text of Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Address via Satellite to the Tamil 'minority' people on 9 January 2001 said it all. The annotated text was titled, appropriately enough, Truth and President Kumaratunga.

 

 

Tracking Chandrika's 'Devolution' Proposals...

3 August 1995 Text of  Sri Lanka Proposals
6 August 1995 President Kumaratunga to Buddhist High Priests: "Political package will not be finalised until war is over"
14 August 1995 Peace Mask: War Face - LTTE Response
20 August 1995 President Kumaratunga:"In no way will power of Centre be eroded"
15 August 1995 The Strategy Of Divide And Destroy - Adele Ann
20 August 1995 Government to water down Devolution Package
6 September 1995 Tamils' tryst with destiny - V. R. Krishna Iyer
12 September 1995 Sinhala devolution no solution to Thamizh revolution - R. Shanmugalingam
15 October 1995 Sri Lanka's strategy to buy time & wage war - Ana Pararajasingham
27 October 1995 Chandrika's Devolution Proposals - Professor Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson
30 September 1995 War & Peace - the Government's Reform Proposals - Sumantra Bose
16 January 1996 Legal Text of Government's Proposals
27 March 1997 Proposed Draft Sri Lanka Constitution
4 April 1997 Chandrika - Ranil - Liam Fox Agreement
3 December 1997 1997 Draft Constitution - Whither Devolution of Power? - Dr.S.Sathananthan
10 January 1998 Proposed Sri Lanka Constitution - A Betrayal Once Again - Siva Bhaskaradas,
1 December 1998 From Operation Leap Forward to Pon Sivapalan : Death of a Strategy - Dr.S.Sathananthan
6 January 1999 Sri Lanka  neutralises Nelson Mandela - Statement by TAGOT
25 January 1999 The Mask Slips: Sri Lanka Foreign Minister ABC interview
20 February 1999 Bi-Partisanship - the Second Big Lie - Dr.S.Sathananthan
1 June 1999 The Devolution Drift - British Refugee Council, Sri Lanka Monitor
4 December 1999 Elections & Mediation - Dr.S.Sathananthan,
1  June 2000 British Refugee Council on the Bi Partisan Approach,
1 July 2000 "The Tamil people will determine their own destiny..." Anton Balasingham
6 July 2000 "We need India..." Anton Balasingham interview with Deccan Herald
August 2000 Sri Lanka  Constitution Bill
7 August 2000 President Chandrika Kumaratunga Speech on Sri Lanka Constitution Bill
15 August 2000 Open Letter to President Kumaratunga - Victor Rajakulendran
7 October 2000 'Peace Process' - End of an Illusion - Dr.S.Sathananthan
13 November 2000  Thimpu Principles & the Constitution Bill: An Analysis  - Siva Bhaskaradas
9 January 2001 Truth & President Kumaratunga
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