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Sunday 28 October 2012

Abolish the thirteenth amendment

Divineguma bill should have opened the eyes of not only the government MPs but also of the others. The Supreme Court has decided that the Provincial Councils should approve the Bill before it is presented to the Parliament. There may be those who argue that power would be concentrated in the hands of one individual if the bill becomes law. However, if there was no thirteenth amendment it is very unlikely that the Supreme Court would have come to a conclusion to the effect that the bill does not agree with the constitution.

The Divineguma Bill even if it concentrated powers in the hands of a single individual it is not an arbitrary person who would use the powers but a cabinet minister within whose purview the particular Department or the Ministry would have been established. With a change of government, if not before that under a cabinet reshuffle a different individual could have been in charge of the Divineguma project and it is clear that as long as the thirteenth amendment is there it is another threat to the Parliamentary Democracy that has been there for more than sixty years in the country. It may be that we do not have the ideal parliamentary democracy in this country, but then which country has such an ideal system.

The thirteenth amendment as we all know was imposed on us by India in a very unparliamentarily way under the power of the guns. The government MPs were transported to the Parliament in buses from a hotel in Colombo and the SLFP and several other parties opposed the relevant bill. Rajiv Gandhi himself was involved with Dixit employing his “Viceroyal” powers over the elected President and the Parliament of the country. If not for India that trained the terrorists and supported them with the connivance of the western countries led by England that is wrongly referred to as Britain or United Kingdom there would not have been a thirteenth amendment. India and England together with other countries acted in unison to undermine the powers of the Parliament, in an official terrorist manner. It was nothing but terrorism of Dixit though he did not go round the country implanting bombs physically. His bomb was the thirteenth amendment, and it is time that not only our land but law as well is cleared of the bombs that the terrorists have implanted.

The thirteenth amendment has no rationality to be in our supreme law which is the constitution of the republic, as it was enacted in order to solve a so called ethnic problem that was created by the English. We were told that there was an ethnic problem that had to be solved peacefully through negotiations, and India guided by Tamil Nadu joined the west in opposing any operations by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces to eradicate the terrorist menace that was maintained by England led west and India. Various peace organizations were founded with western money and they echoed the views of their masters and mistresses. The peace bandwagon propagated the myth that the LTTE cannot be defeated and that Prabhakaran as a so called war leader was on par with some of the well known westerners. It never came to the enlightened minds of the so called western intellectuals that they should have compared Prabhakaran with at least some of the Cholas to be consistent. However the minds of the west and their henchmen and henchwomen in the NGOs were tuned to the wavelengths coming from the west and they had no time for fine tunings.

The west, India and their paid servants in the peace brigade wanted to base their solution to the so called ethnic problem on the thirteenth amendment and tried to sabotage operations by Armed Forces against the terrorists using even bankrupt ideas such as the Buddhists should not engage in war. If not for the wars the Sinhala Buddhists fought against the Cholas, Pandyas, Cheras and finally the Europeans there would not have been a Sinhala Buddhist culture in this land and anybody who talks of Buddhism Betrayed is planning to undermine the Sinhala Buddhist culture. One finds these so called individuals repeating their masters’ voice, among the anti Sinhala Buddhist Social Scientists and the present FUTA leadership is well known for his anti Sinhala Buddhist views.

With the defeat of the LTTE in the Nandikadal Lagoon, the thirteenth amendment that was considered as the alternative course of action to the operations has lost any reason empirical theoretical or otherwise to exist in the constitution of the country and the government should have taken steps to abolish the thirteenth amendment soon after the LTTE terrorists were defeated three years ago. The thirteenth amendment that was imposed on us in a terrorist manner has to go as it is the wish of the people that has been expressed at number of elections. All that has to be done even at this later stage is to bring a nineteenth amendment to abolish the thirteenth amendment.

It is heartening to note that the new Chief Minister of the Eastern Province has said that thirteenth amendment serves no purpose and the Provincial Councils are white elephants or words to that effect. Keeping the thirteenth amendment in our supreme law is not different from keeping the Katunayaka and Trincomalee bases after the “independence”. As long as those bases were kept under the English there was no independence of any sort, and the thirteenth amendment imposed on us by India with the connivance of the west using terrorist methods only restrict our independence as seen by the fate that awaited the Divineguma Bill.

It is clear that with the current constitution of the Provincial Councils it would be not difficult for the President to get the Provincial Councils and the Governor of the Northern Province to approve the Divineguma Bill. However, it should not be done as it would give teeth to the unwanted thirteenth amendment and undermine the powers of the Parliament, which should be the only legislature in the country. We have had an eksesath rajya for thousands of years with one central legislature and administrative powers especially in the day to day work with gamsabhas headed by the Bhikkus of the village temples. They were not village councils elected by the people of the village but comprised leaders of the village who were accepted by the village community as the leaders.

The Supreme Court has given a ruling interpreting the existing law and it is up to the legislature to change the constitution. There is no point in discussing thirteen plus or even thirteen minus as it is clear that even the people in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces are not benefitted by the thirteenth amendment. The Divineguma would have been for the entire country including those two provinces and because of the thirteenth amendment the people in the Eastern and the Northern Provinces are denied of what they should have obtained as developmental measures. It is time for the members of the UPFA to get rid of this obnoxious piece of legislation imposed on us by India with the connivance of the western countries that has become a hindrance to the development of the country, though the western type development envisaged is not to our entire satisfaction.

Copyright Prof. Nalin De Silva