Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The ITAK constitution calls for self rule or autonomy for Tamils

Calling for a separate state is against the Constitution of this country, so a political party that espouses the cause of separatism should be banned under the constitution. In order to avoid this the constitution of ITAK calls for some kind of self rule for people of Tamil heritage.

I explained in my previous blog entry that before we go to 13th Amendments and any near versions of this we must have a time line to do away with Race or Religious based parties in Sri Lanka as they all invite division, not unity.

It will take a generation to change the mindset of the people to think as a nation and not as a community, but we must start now if we are to have a progressive, and peaceful future as as nation, without looking behind our backs not knowing what is in store for us round each bend.

In a clarification to my previous bog entry, where I said the ITAK annual meeting called for a re-merger, Mr MA Sumanthiran has clarified the semantics as they do not consider the North and East separate anyway, and only as one contiguous unit no matter what the government likes to think or implement in their administration. So the call for a re-merger does not arise as it is already one. How why they then contest the elections to the Eastern Provincial Council is then open to debate!

Further I understand from another article that it is not a separate state as in a country that is in the ITAK Constitution (which is an illegal item for a political party in Sri Lanka under the law) but calls for autonomy or self rule for Tamils and Muslims separately, as it is a translation of the Tamil. So the Sinhala population in this region will be subject to the authority of the majority  community within this tiny region. An even small minority within a small minority. It is all hallucinating with no purpose in sight.

These are all semantics to me, and I do not believe such a small presence of these ethnicities in these areas, when compared with their presence in other areas, warrants this level of autonomy that they demand.

I wish to further point out that I do not believe the Province concept as it is run today in Sri Lanka. is an appropriate means of administration, and I believe we MUST revert to the District as the administrative unit. I have no problem with an Administrative Service person, (not a political appointee) to be appointed to be the District Secretary who will administer the district and the Pradeshiya Sabhas to which people are elected can remain as is, within the District system.

In size we as a country are smaller than a state in India. Why we want to partition it further is nonsense. I ask the Tamil people, would they prefer if we really were a state within the Indian Union would they be content? Of course not they still want that absurd notion of self rule! So let us think at least about the unit not break it up further into sub units, so the District form of administering the State is a better way of local government managing local affairs as it matters just as much to the Sinhala people as it is to the Tamils that they have control over certain aspects of their lives, instead of being dictated from the center.

Apart from land and police powers, the district will be able to better manage the people under them, be accountable to them and administer them in a more coherent and cohesive unit, looking into the needs of the people. Education is the largest cost of the Provincial Councils, and the District level will be a more appropriate method of decentralization, where districts are held accountable for their management, through the existing framework.

I believe under this method, all District level empowerment will ensure a decentralized unit for management of people’s lives, which will negate the need for a huge land area to be handed to some concept of self rule, which is impractical for a small number of residents, who really will not personally benefit by this political solution that is not meaningful to them

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