IN THIS ISSUE:
- Unitary, United and Separation: Reverberations of Sampanthan’s speech
- Universal Periodic Review Sri Lanka: Non state stake holder submissions
- Sri Lanka Brief 10
Unitary, United and Separation: Reverberations of Sampanthan’s speech
Speech made by R.Sampanthan at the 14th National Convention of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) held in Batticaloa has already earned different interpretations and bound to be a contentions issue in the days to come. Sampanthans line was very clear: Sinhalese governments will never provide a suitable political solution based on internal self determination. It is India and International community that will make it happen. All efforts have to be focused towards that with patience. Armed struggle has no place any more.
In fact the speech contains number of contradictory statements and political commentator M.S.M. Ayub describes this utter confusion as an attempt to appease all sides. Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleke published two opinion pieces saying that the speech provides the foundation for a strategy for secession. Both articles received wide publicity in the English language Sinhala nationalist media.
A response to Jayatilleke by P. Vijya was published by GV saying Jayatilleke does not analyse the speech as a whole. Lasanda Kurukulasuriya writing in the Sunday Times took a balance view of the speech and provided a context. Extreme sections of the Tamil
Lakbima News, Daily Mirror and Sunday Times among others carried hard hitting editorials.
Diaspora news sites in general ignored the speech. For instance Tamil Net didn’t refer to it at all. Well known Tamil commentators too ignored it. In one of the commentaries the speech was criticised saying Samapanthan’s is giving Gotabhaya the time he needs to complete his anti Tamil project.
Related articles given below:
”The rise and fall of the LTTE taught us that regardless of how strong such a movement may be, or how just its demands may be, it is not realistic for the Tamil people to resort to violent political struggle. Further, a struggle that runs counter to the values of the international community, built only on military might, will not prevail.”
This perplexity in this speech seems to be a result of an attempt to pacify both the extremism still prevails among Tamil people, as among other communities, and the present day reality.
Read more »
by Dayan Jayatilleke
The keynote speech by Mr. R Sampanthan, the leader of the main Tamil parliamentary party at the recent congress of that organization is in many respects a landmark event. It sheds light on a number of key strategic issues and should make clear to the international community that the matter of political dialogue leading to ethnic reconciliation is, has become or is becoming rather more complex and fraught than is customarily thought.
I must admit that reading Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke’s (DJ) recent piece, on Groundviews and elsewhere, on Mr. R. Sampathan’s (RS) speech at the ITAK convention, left me very disturbed. In his piece, DJ draws attention to one statement in the speech in particular, which he notes is central to revealing that the RS/ITAK are separatists in disguise. The statement in question reads thus:
By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya
”Elsewhere he says, “Our acceptance of this position does not mean that in the event our right to internal self determination is continuously denied, we will not claim our right under international law to external self determination.”
Read more »
There were rumblings within the Federal Party, a constituent partner of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) with ‘hawks’ driven by sections of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora, and the more sober ‘doves’. The FP and TNA leader R. Sampanthan could fall into the latter category. Only a month ago, on May Day, he won plaudits from a vast majority of people for waving the Sri Lankan national flag with the Opposition Leader.
We carry elsewhere in this newspaper excerpts from the text of the speech made by ITAK leader R. Sampanthan at the ITAK annual sessions in Batticoloa. Now, this was one speech that upped the ante, as the reader is bound to agree after perusing the facts.
There are things that cannot be labelled, or if dissected-fall into pieces. A country’s sovereignty certainly falls into the latter. However, this is the very fact Mr. Sampanthan has forgotten in his speech at the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi convention where he referred to the ‘sovereignty’ of his ‘community.’
Mr. R. Sampanthan, the leader of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK, aka the Federal Party), gave a fine speech at the party’s national convention held in Batticaloa recently. His speech has raised the hackles of the opinion-makers in the Sinhalese community.
”All Gotabhaya needs right now is time. The longer the TNA delays its actions the greater the chance of Tamils being outnumbered in their homeland. So time is not on our side. Please read the attached full version of Sampanthan’s speech.”
Universal Periodic Review Sri Lanka: Non state stake holder submissions http://www.srilankabrief.org/p/upr-sri-lanka-2012.html
Sri Lanka Brief 10
It is with surprise and disappointment that we read two articles published recently on the The Island that opposed the proposed amendments to abortion law. These much needed amendments, if passed in parliament, will permit abortion in instances of “underage” rape and incest. The existing law on abortion, a legacy from colonial times, permits abortion only to save a woman’s life.
In March after making a feature on enforced disappearances for the BBC, I made a further radio broadcast for our From Our Own Correspondent programme, later expanded for Groundviews, saying that I hoped Sri Lanka’s top leaders would be able to give answers about the fate of recent victims of enforced disappearance in Colombo and other cities.
Reconciliation process faces serious challenges partly due to contradictory statements by government
There is little doubt that besides Sampanthan’s controversial remarks last week, there are some serious credibility issues between the TNA and the Government. A letter obtained by the Sunday Times confirms that the delegation that talked with the TNA was indeed from the Government of Sri Lanka.
”All these lead to questions which should have drawn the attention of the justice Ministry in shaping new types of relief for the people much earlier. One of them, an urgent one, is the right to dignified treatment in custodial institutions and places. Are lock ups and cells inside police stations fit for human use? Are they provided with light and fans?”
By Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri
The recent attack led by Buddhist monks on the Khairya Jumma mosque located in the so-called “sacred zone” of the Dambulla rock temple in the central province is important even though it did not develop into a larger scale clash between the Buddhist and Muslim communities ofSri Lanka.
Herman Kumarais a well-respected Sri Lankan human rights defender. Convenor of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement, founder member of People to People Dialogue on Peace and Sustainable Development [PPD], an active member of Platform for Freedom [PfF], and a board member for the Women for Development Alternatives of Sri Lanka
The SLFP central committee, at a disciplinary inquiry, has cleared minister Mervyn Silva of a charge that he had threatened the media. The committee has taken the decision to clear him after the minister disowned the related remarks published in the media.
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) requested a list of all the mosques and madrasas in the country from the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs, sources from the Department told Ceylon Today. An ethnic-Muslim officer has visited the Department yesterday and verbally requested the documentation, and the department has asked for a written request letter, after which the list could be provided.
The Free Media Movement has appointed Sharmini Boyle of YA TV as its convener.The FMM appointed new office bearers at its general meeting at the SLPI yesterday (May 29). Its secretary isSunil Jayasekaraof Iruresa, and Sampath Samarakoon of Vikalpa the deputy secretary.
Tamil National Alliance informed Australian High Commissioner that there was no more implemented in the country since the resolution pass against the SriLanka at the United Nation. They also noted number of military activities and interference increased in theNorthern Provinceby day today basis.