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Wednesday 3 July 2013

Indo Lanka Accord and the Provincial Councils - I

During the last few weeks in these columns we argued that the Indo Lanka Accord is now defunct due to the failure of India to fulfill its obligations under the accord. Also we have argued that the thirteenth amendment is not law of the country and that there is no barrier to abolish the provincial councils. If a referendum was held without submitting bills to the Parliament to determine the wish of the people there is no doubt whatsoever that the people would approve the termination of the provincial councils by a two third majority. What the government and the so called nationalist parties in the government should have done was to submit a bill to the cabinet of ministers under the Article 85 (1) of the constitution to abolish the thirteenth amendment. If the cabinet certified that the bill should be submitted to the people by a referendum then a referendum could have been held before the bill was presented to the Parliament. However, my view was rejected by the “nationalist organizations” who clearly have a different agenda.

The Article 85 (1) states: “The President shall submit to the People by Referendum every Bill or any provision in any Bill which the Cabinet of Ministers has certified as being intended to be submitted to the People by Referendum, or which the Supreme Court has determined as requiring the approval of the People at a Referendum if the number of votes cast in favour of such Bill amounts to not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present).”  The cabinet, even if some members are opposed to the abolition of the thirteenth amendment, could not have objected to this proposal to refer the bill to the people as it would have amounted to rejection of the legislative power of the sovereignty of the people which the latter exercised through the Parliament. The cabinet which after all is only a subset of the Parliament derives power from the people and cannot object to going to the source from which power generates. However, the government decided to curtail some of the Articles of the thirteenth amendment through the Parliament making use of  not only Article 82 on the amendment of the constitution but Articles 154 G (2) (b) and 154 G (3) (b) which are in any event not law of the country. The government should not invoke the “articles” 154 G (2) (b) and 154 G (3) (b) to amend any provisions of the thirteenth amendment not only because the so called articles are not law of the country but it goes against the article 82 (6) : “No provision in any law shall, or shall be deemed to, amend, repeal or replace the Constitution or any provision thereof, or be so interpreted or construed, unless enacted in accordance with the requirements of the preceding provi­sions of this Article.” Any amendment to the constitution, including the thirteenth amendment, has to be made invoking Article 82.  

The thirteenth amendment has to go sooner or later as it is not only a “solution” imposed on us by India to a non existing problem of the Tamils but forced on us through the back door by threats and “parippu” or “dhal” diplomacy. What we have is a problem of the English educated Vellalas who projected to the world with the approval of the English that their loss of privileges they enjoyed under the colonial rulers over not only the other Tamils but also the Sinhala people as a whole was a discrimination against the Tamils in general. It is unfortunate that even today many Sinhalas have not been able to grasp this phenomenon. We should not succumb to middle class morality of honouring so called international agreements. The only agreement in this regard is the Ando Lanka Accord which to say the least betrayed our sovereignty. We have argued along these lines since 1987 in “Divaina” and “Kalaya” that is not in publication now, but what is interesting is that the Accord does not define the provincial councils but refers to them as if they had been already established.  It is true that the President, the Ministers and some Public Servants are empowered to enter in agreements with other countries on behalf of the country. However the question is whether they could betray the sovereignty of the people in the process. In the case of the President the Constitution specifically states under the Article 33 (f) that he has the power “ to do all such acts and things, not being inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or written law as by international law, custom or usage he is required or authorized to do.” The Indo Lanka Accord is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution as it specifies what the Government of Sri Lanka has to do in connection with legislative powers.

However, in their desire to hide this aspect the Indian Brahmins have done a shoddy job and deliberately not defined a provincial council.  Sri Lanka had no provincial councils before the thirteenth amendment and the Accord should have defined what these monsters were. At least they could have said as they had done in paragraph 2.1 reproduced below that the Sri Lankan government “proposes” to establish provincial councils and described their powers and functions briefly. They did not do that but in paragraph 2.2 referred to hitherto non existing provincial councils.  

“2.2 During the period, which shall be considered an interim period (i.e. from the date of the elections to the Provincial Council, as specified in para 2.8 to the date of the referendum as specified in para 2.3), the Northern and Eastern Provinces as now constituted, will form one administrative unit, having one elected provincial council. Such a unit will have one Governor, one Chief Minister and one Board of Ministers.” I wonder what happened to the Nyaya Sastra of the Brahmins. Surely the Brahmins knew that Sri Lanka did not have any provincial councils and 2.2 and other paragraphs that refer to provincial councils are meaningless. In case one wonders what paragraph 2.8 is, it is reproduced below. 

“2.8 Elections to Provincial Councils will be held within the next three months, in any event before 31st December 1987. Indian observers will be invited for elections to the Provincial Council of the north and east.” Incidentally this is not something that the government of Sri Lanka “proposes” as in the paragraph 2.1 and it is a case where India has meddled with our sovereignty specifying dates for elections for non existing provincial councils. Further the Kautalyas had said that Indian observers would be invited which simply means that the elections would be held under the Brahminic eyes.

The all important paragraph 2.1 states: “2.1 Since the Government of Sri Lanka proposes to permit adjoining provinces to join to form one administrative unit and also by a Referendum to separate as may be permitted to the Northern and Eastern Provinces as outlined below:” The government of Sri Lanka had proposed it while the innocent Brahmin babies had listened to the representatives of the Sri Lankan government! Now where in the constitution of Republic of Sri Lanka it says that provinces are administrative units? The Provinces are not defined at all in the constitution whether as administrative units or not and the poor Kautalya must have turned in his grave if he was not cremated. The administrative units or districts are given in the first schedule of the constitution and the Indian Brahmins had clearly violated our constitution while J R Jayawardhene and his ministers had betrayed the country and the people. It is unfortunate that there was no Mahaushadha among the advisors to the President Jayawardhene to to do what the former did to the Kevattaya.    

The above is not the only betrayal by Jayawardhene and infringement of our sovereignty by the Brahmins. The paragraph 1.4 of the Indo Lanka Accord states: “ Also recognising that the Northern and the Eastern Provinces have been areas of historical habitation of Sri Lankan Tamil speaking peoples, who have at all times hitherto lived together in this territory with other ethnic groups:” This is a lie to say the least referring to part of the Ruhunu Rata as well. Here again what right has India got to demarcate a region of the country as a so called historical habitation of Sri Lankan Tamil speaking peoples?   (To be continued) 

Nalin De Silva