all towns are
one, all men our kin.
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Home > Tamils: a Trans State Nation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution: Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Bandaranaike - Chelvanayakam Pact, 1957 >Dudley Senanayake - Chelvanayakam Agreement, 1965 > District Councils, 1968 > District Development Councils, 1979 > Annexure "C" Proposals, 1983> All Party Conference, 1983/84 >Thimpu Talks, 1985 > Indo Sri Lanka Working Paper, 1985 > "December 19th Proposals", 1986 > Exchange of Letters between India & Sri Lanka, 1987 > Indo Sri Lanka Agreement, 1987 > 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka Constitution - Devolution or Comic Opera?, 1988 > Sri Lanka/LTTE Talks 1989/90 > Select Committee - Interim Report,1992 > Chandrika - LTTE Talks: 1994/95 > Chandrika's 'Devolution' Proposals:1995/2001 > Norwegian Conflict Resolution Initiative - 2001 todate
|'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
[see below - Tracking Chandrika's 'Devolution' Proposals]
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.
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...