step to complete separation?
the declaration of independence in 1948, the Tamil-Sinhala
problem has passed through a period of 56 years of sweet, sour
and bitter experiences. In 1983 it entered a new phase of
belligerence, and since then, the search for a political
solution has become something like scratching the wound for a
2001, under the new government, the national and international
political actors who felt committed to find a quick, lasting
solution to this problem commenced a thorough search, and went
round the globe, but returned after two years, empty handed.
Now, the LTTE having assumed the role of the sole guardian of
the Sri Lankan Tamil community, has submitted to the
government a "proposal to establish an interim
self-governing authority" for the territory comprising
the northern and eastern provinces of the island, thereby
postponing a final solution to the infinite future.
these circumstances, the discovery of a final solution to this
problem has become the most urgent need of the moment. If the
Tamil leadership is genuinely interested in the well-being of
the Sri Lankan Tamil population, a happy solution is not far
to seek. The purpose of this letter is to examine the
possibility of finding a lasting, practical, solution to the
problem. However, once again, it must be stated that success
in the implementation of a suggested solution will depend on
the honesty and genuine interest on the part of the actors in
this political drama.
we will, proceed to examine the possible alternative
solutions. The preamble to the "proposal of the LTTE to
establish an interim self governing authority for the north
and the east provinces of Sri Lanka" gives a useful hint
towards the best solution to this problem. The preamble
contains 25 sections. Particularly, the 23rd and 24th sections
therein tell us very eloquently where to find the correct
solution to this apparently chronic problem.
23rd section in the preamble states as follows:
that the Tamils did not participate in the making of the 1972
and 1978 Constitutions which institutionalised discrimination,
and denied them an effective role in the decision making
process: Noting the practice in international relations over
the last decade of solving conflicts between peoples through
agreement between the parties to the conflict on terms of
equality and through innovative and imaginative
is absolutely clear from this statement that the correct
course of action to be followed by the LTTE would have been to
compel the government to introduce a new constitution based on
nationwide participation, and further, preferably, to
submit to the government a draft of a new constitution, and
demand it due consideration. Clearly, in such an effort, the
LTTE would have received the support of the other Tamil
parties, the Muslim parties, and the Marxist parties in
particular, and all political groups of the opposition in
parliament and outside, in general.
the LTTE avoided this logically correct course of action and
demanded a separate Tamil 'Eelam state' comprising the eastern
provinces of the island, and embarked on a belligerent policy,
looking at the issue through racially tinted glasses. When the
new government and the LTTE re-entered the new phase of peace
talks in 2001, the LTTE continued to postpone a final solution
and demand an interim self-government, through agreement, not
through constitutional devolution of power, and what is more,
proceeded to enhance its military strength and logistics. At
least political elites know that an interim self-government is
an essential preliminary step to a complete separation to form
a sovereign state. The proposals of the LTTE contain all
essential elements of a sovereign state.
under these circumstances, the final goal of the LTTE has been
open to doubt, and both the national and international elites
have been kept guessing. This ambidextrous behaviour of the
LTTE is vividly seen in the 24th section of the preamble.
down from UPFA leadership
ploy to talk to the Tigers on their own terms
shall do those things, what they are as yet I know not, yet
they shall be the terror of the earth' King Lear - Shakespeare
is the cardinal principle in the thinking (sic) of our
gracious President of Sri Lanka.
fact is, she would never have seen the light of day as a prime
minister or president if not for the untimely death of
President Ranasinghe Premadasa.
anyone looks at the wonky methods of Chandrika, it won't need
much to realise that this woman's head precedes her
has been nothing but a plethora of lies, lies and more
lies to keep her going. Are we, as a nation, a herd of cattle?
Does she think, in her warped way, that a sucker is born every
minute? With nary a bit of consideration, she takes a decision
to do something and then backtracks! Without prejudice, I must
state that the Tiger leader, even classified as a 'terrorist'
has more principles in his administration, in that any
decision, plan or action is carefully studied before action is
taken. Even the lackadaisical attitude of the armed forces led
by even more mundane, spineless commanders fall into the
category of 'malingerers.'
the day Chandrika lost the last general election, she had
nothing but jealousy and utter wickedness in her heart and
conscience (does she possess one?) - scheming, plotting to
overthrow parliament. We all know how she did it, putting the
island and its people into misery, the economy into a mess and
now going full steam 'taking political revenge' being ably
assisted by Mangala and Mallo (reminds me of jugglers in
several plays of the erstwhile Shakespeare). The latest
scenario is her capitulating to talk to the Tigers on their
terms, stepping down from the leadership of the UPFA - all a
ploy to the lines I quoted "as yet I do not know"
which clearly outlines the mania of this woman!
an even procrastinating Opposition Leader sits on the
sidelines like a vulture hoping things will die down enough
for him to feast on. Dreams are made of this, dear Ranil. If
you think your supporters whom you deserted so ably are going
to forget the carnival you allowed Chandrika to run with your
coterie of fossilised parliamentarians - you are even worse
than CBK. Reminds me of that famous poem 'the boy stood on the
some real, honest, true men of politics don't rise up against
the murder, mayhem, corruption, disharmony, in Sri Lanka -
certainly it will mean 'the terror of the earth.'
put all those radicals, terrorists, and especially
'power-hungry' saffron-robed monks in their right places.
Peace is not an option - it is a right of all people!
political mileage through conversions!
a regular reader of the print media and a contributor to the
pages of the local press for a very long time, I have been a
silent participant of this on-going debate on conversions.
However, the recent testimonies in one of the local morning
papers, one by a convert to Christianity and the other by a
convert to Buddhism, and also the statement signed by the
mainline churches have prompted me to enter this controversial
I begin with two stories to make my initial point? Both
stories come from India. The first one concerns Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru's Home Minister in the first cabinet, Sardar
Vallabhai Patel. Patel, taking part in the debate on the new
Indian constitution concerning the freedom to practise one's
religion in a secular state, speaking from the floor of the
house of the constituent assembly stated, that his reading of
the gospels is such that no Christian can be a disciple
without sharing with others the gospel message.
second story concerns Bishop Lesley Newbegin, one time Bishop
of the Church of South India. Newbegin, after a visit
to the former Soviet Union said that the church is
alive in Russia despite the prohibition to preach. Both these
stories make the point that the task of conversion belongs to
God. God picks and chooses his instruments. Therefore, I will
not panic about the proposed bill on the subject of
conversions, nor will the government's attitude upset me
because those in parliament are trying to gain political
mileage using this subject.
in Sri Lanka are a broken community and this legislation will
divide us more and earn a bad name for us in the midst of
global realities. Moreover, this proposed legislation is like
Nero fiddling while Rome was burning. We in Sri Lanka, to my
mind have more important economic and political problems to
handle. I do not think conversions are a problem for most of
our people. As a Christian I am also sad that the recent
statement made public had been signed only by the leaders of
the Roman Catholic, Church of Ceylon and NCC Churches. There
are others outside these structures. Why haven't they signed
these documents, especially the organised Evangelical Alliance
of Sri Lanka?
feed pension arrears granted
majority of pensioners who are entitled to claim their dues,
under the state Pension Circular No. 01/2001 are being granted
'chick feed' arrears and increments as for anomaly
removal of their pension, holding back the bulk of their
payments - granted by the Treasury Pensions Department and the
of these pensioners are ailing, bed-ridden and even crippled.
They can't bring themselves to fight for their rights. Those
who can manage to walk and talk come and make appeals to the
divisional secretary's office staff to get vague and evasive
responses reminiscent of King Kakille's reign.
is a well known fact that a selected group of 200 pensioners
of this lot were ceremonially awarded a token anomaly removed
can the authorities who calculate pension anomalies today say
about the difference between the above 200 peoples' salary
calculation and today's calculation?
has no hiding place.
hit in two ways
are hit in two ways. On the one hand the COL has risen to
dizzy heights, and on the other their interest on their fixed
deposits in banks has been drastically cut.
election promise that the present government made was that it
would increase salaries and pensions by 70 per cent. The
writer hopes it would not be forgetten like the rice from the
moon or a loaf of bread for Rs. 3.50.
the Director of Pensions were to examine each and every
account for the adjustment of anomalies, the work will never
end and in some old cases, it will even be not possible to
ascertain at this stage the exact figures due to misplacement
or loss or destruction of relevant documents or records.
Therefore, I suggest that a suitable percentage be paid to
cover the loss due to anomalies.
most anomalous case is that of sterling pensioners. As they
are the oldest pensioners, having one foot in the grave, their
poor health does not permit them to agitate for
redress of their grievances which even the Tissa
Devendra Committed may not have looked into.
the value of a pound sterling was Rs. 13.33, our colonial
masters paid the sterling officers and pensioners Rs. 15 per .
Now the value of a
is Rs. 180 and what is the incumbent government paying
this category of pensioners? Only Rs. 22.50 per . What a
difference? What an injustice?
our kindhearted President grant some relief to this category
of pensioners, most of whom are bed-ridden?
we can have a foolproof NIC?
day one, our National I/C was a farce - it lacked a lot of
information to detect forgeries, and we hear of this daily in
best way to rid all doubt is to have a new NIC incorporating
the following on the card.
Have a coloured picture on the card.
Have a signature or thumb impression on the card.
Have the left thumb impression on every card of owner.
Use special security paper.
Use a hologram or a transparent picture on the card with the
government logo (like the Rs. 200 note).
will reduce forgeries and with the coloured picture,
signature, thumb print and hologram it will deter a lot of
forgeries, unless it is with help from insiders as recently
reported in the press.
documents should be stored, once complete and not released
without proper authorisation.
to you, Commissioner P. Bandara Abeykoon.
be informed that the Mayor of Dehiwala - Mt Lavinia suddenly
planted a name board Atapattu Mawatha, replacing Gal Vihare
Road at Galle Road end on 5 July. This surreptitious act of
his has no justification to what we originally wanted
regarding Atapattu Place vandalism 18 months ago. He has now
doubled the problem without abiding by the law of the land is
insist for our rightful place between the zoo and water tower,
Dehiwala but not for this new place, as we go by our indelible
ancestry. Changing legally enacted boards to suit one's taste
is nothing but election gimmicks !
long gone ancestors, who donated lands for the expansion of
the zoo and for the Water Board then have to be honoured in
that due place and not in another's area.
wrongs do not make a right!
home mates, school mates, work mates and his many other associates
would readily apply those works of Scripture to Trevor -
"Blessed, O Lord is that man who walks in thy law, who shall be
like the tree planted near running water which shall produce its
fruit in due season". Verily did he produce abundant fruit in
due season. In the season of boyhood his young Benedictine friends
found him an amiable character, inclined to study, appreciative of
another, loyal to his mates, class and school and a ready
participant in all schoolboy endeavours.
adulthood with his certificate of membership in the British
Institute of Management, holding top notch posts in various business
institutions, he became a successful power-bank in
telecommunications. That he was a national expert in his chosen
field with many international connections is well known to those who
shared his expertise. That's only one side of the picture.
wife Leonie will vouch for the fact that he was a steady support and
an inspiration to her all her life. Nicolli would swear by her
father that she could have had no better. As for Rohan, his
son-in-law, we are told that, in nature's fashioning, he much
resembled his father-in-law in character. That's spiritual largesse
in the Aplhonso family.
Benedictine contemporary of his says tritely: 'On leaving school he
took with him the best that St. Benedict's could give him -
humility, simplicity and honesty. These qualities he took with him
to the highest echelons of the mercantile sector.
put, he lived the College Song to the hilt, "True to our god
and true to all man, follow we ever life's holy plan." Could
you beat that? Going beyond the confines of the noble, he was
extremely generous with his time, his words of advice and his wealth
too helping not only his frinds but anybody who approached him in
need. His alma mater after his family, had his selfless dedication.
Ever at her service, no time, trouble or money would be spared in
the process. Many are the Benedictine committees he had a hand in,
too many to be mentioned here. Benedictine annals will record them
for all time.
he speak of himself? (which he shunned) Shakespeare would do it for
have touched the highest point of my greatness:
from that full meridian of my glory,
haste now to my setting."
surely be regaled in paradise, TREVOR, and, 'draw us after your
ointments', 'in trailing clouds of glory'.