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Conscientious Sinhalese Tell LLRC....

Conscientious Sinhalese Tell LLRC....

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Published by Puni Selva

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Published by: Puni Selva on Sep 02, 2012
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Sri Lanka: Conscientious Sinhalese tell LLRC about injustice to ethnic minorities from the time of independence(1948) till today http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/August2010/LLRC-JD-Transcript.pdf  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxbk4wYolphwMDE3Y2U1ZjAtMDk1Ni00ZWUxLThlMjEtMWFkZTY4ZjNhMGRj/edit?hl=en 
Jayantha Dhanapala‟s
 submission to Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), 25 August
2010: „
The lessons we have to learn go back to the past
 certainly from the time that we had responsibility for our own governance on 4 February 1948. Each and every Government which held office from 1948 till the present bear culpability for the failure to achieve good governance, national unity and a framework of peace, stability and economic development in which all ethnic, religious and other groups could live in security and equality. Our inability to manage our affairs has led to the taking of arms by a desperate group of our citizens. We need to rectify this bad governance and the first and foremost task before us is to undertake constitutional reform in order to ensure that we have adequate devolution of power. We need to have State reform; we need to have rule of law established; we need to ensure non-discrimination amongst our citizens; we need to have devolution of power and a tolerance of dissent and a strengthening of democratic institutions. (Dhanapala is a Sinhalese and was formerly UN Under-Secretary General for Disarmament) http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/Sep2010/K%20Godage.pdf  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxbk4wYolphwMDg0NTEwYTItMDgyMS00NDY2LWE0OTMtNTMxYmRiZTJiNjk0/edit?authkey=CJKyyvUB&hl=en# K.Godage(former Sri Lankan diplomat) addresses LLRC, 15 September 2010:
 „‟ …. We have persistently discriminated against the Tamil people from 1956….
The Tamils have undergone, and are undergoing immense hardship. We need to reach out to them. It is because we have not reached out to them, that we had Wadukottai resolution in 1976, 20 years after 1956. Then the 1972, Constitution, it removed Section 29 from the Soulbury Constitution. There is no reason for any one to be insecure, as a result of giving into the reasonable demands of the Tamil people. .... Now I must tell you of a very, very sad, bad and dangerous situation. We have in our prisons over 2000 young Tamil men. Some of them have been taken on suspicion. Just picked up and taken. I am the Chairman
of the Prison Visitors‟ Board.
In detention without charges for years
.‟‟ 
 „‟If we do not feel guilty for the Northern military uprising we cannot go anywhere in the future as a country.‟‟ 
 „„
The most important factor, which we have failed to attend, is meaningful devolution of political power to the periphery from the centre. There must also be involvement of the minorities in the political
activities in the centre.‟‟ 
 
 
Friday Forum to LLRC, 1 October 2010: '' If the overall nature of governance does not instil confidence, then whatever policies and efforts are put in place to achieve national cohesion and unity, they are bound to fail. Hence, strengthening of democratic governance, the Rule of Law and protection of human rights on the basis of equal rights should be essential goal posts on the path to reconciliation. .... The failure of successive governments to make the 13th Amendment and devolution of power work even in the South has left serious doubts as to whether devolution of power will ever be effective in the north-
east. …
 Meaningful constitutional reform should necessarily be put in place - a strong legal régime of human rights protection
.
 
 
 „‟ We may have united the nation geographically, but remain polarized ethno
-socially. It is not possible to simultaneously argue the need to maintain Emergency Law, the need for war time levels of defence expenditure and deployment of a network of security installations in the North not found anywhere else in the country and still maintain that the Tamil people are not alienated from the Sri Lankan State.
….. The immediate short term measures that are r
equired are the humanitarian needs of the conflict
affected people of the North and East ……
 If General and Presidential Elections can be held in the North and the East it is impossible to argue that the Northern Provincial Council's elections need to be delayed any further. However, I would also respectfully submit that the frustrations experienced by the elected Chief Minister of the Eastern Province - incidentally an ethnic Tamil, in relation to the unelected Governor
 incidentally a retired Sinhala Military Officer should not be allowed to be repeated in the North, if devolution is to be meaningful, and indeed such issues should be resolved, in the East. Strengthen individual human rights and fundamental and democratic political freedoms, by acceding
to Sri Lanka‟s international and treaty obligations and in keeping with Supreme Court Judgments in
this regard, through the passing of enabling domestic legislation, that will fundamentally strengthen
the rights of the individual citizens. Its fundamental Human rights.‟‟ 
Citizens‟ 
 Movement for Good Governance(CIMOGG) to LLRC, 10 November 2010:
Beginning with the “Sinhala Only” policy of 1956, which disregarded
the multi-cultural and pluralistic nature of society, the removal of the constitutional provision guaranteeing minority rights
 The 1983 racial riots were a disaster. Tamils were treated as being sub-human. Many of those who could leave the country by lawful or even unlawful means did so. Those who remained were subjected to arbitrary, humiliating treatment. Rounding up of 30 to 40 Tamil youth on Friday evenings, producing them before Magistrates to be remanded, and later releasing them on bail, after they had paid lawyers Rs1,000/- each for this purpose, was a regular occurrence in many parts of the city. Tamils, who could readily be identified as such from their National Identity Cards, were at the mercy of the law-enforcement agencies which arbitrarily enforced even laws of their own making. Except for brief periods when President Premadasa and President Kumaratunge made feeble attempts at reconciliation, there were no consistent attempts made to seek reconciliation. It was limited to lackadaisical efforts to defeat the LTTE militarily.
Many Tamils were driven to feel that it was “better to fight and die rather than live like slaves”, in the hope that, “at least they would get a free state where
Tamils c
an live a life of dignity”….‟‟ 
 (an eminent lawyer and past President of the Organisation of Professional Associations) http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/Sep2010/Prof.%20Arjuna%20Aluvihare.pdf  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxbk4wYolphwMzU1MjJhOTAtMWU1Zi00OGNmLTg1YzQtYmFhZTUyZWY4NzE4/edit?authkey=CP2Es-kO&hl=en# Prof A.P.R.Aluwihare to LLRC, 3 November 2010:
 „‟It is politicization and a lack of rule of law which have contributed to
 
many problems we have had. …. even politics has become politicized in this country …. the problem is not that we don‟t have good laws
even now, but that guys who are rich and powerful and political wriggle their way down the laws and in terms of the mandate of the Commission of preventing future trouble it is very important to set that
process into reverse with a political will.‟ ‟ 
 
Austin Fernando, Former Secretary of Defence, 18 August 2010:
 „‟ 
 Even the attitudes of the two parties- the LTTE and the Government- were not going in parallel. Prime Minister thought that he should be going on a step by step approach, which he stated publicly and he would have had lot of political manipulations, political ideas and political approaches in his mind. At the same time, Prabhakaran wanted things to happen much quicker. When I look at the
 
 
responsibilities, some of those government senior politicians were very silent. On the other hand the
Opposition politicians were sabotaging the thing(peace talks) ....‟‟ 
 „‟ 
 This has been so since independence when discrimination on the basis of ethnic identity began to grow. If the grievances of Sri Lankan Tamils are not reconciled within Sri Lanka and are done merely to keep Chennai and New Delhi off our backs, we will only have ourselves to blame if there is a repetition of the events of 1980s
…..‟‟
(Dr Goonaratne was a senior civil servant in the Foreign Ministry) http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/Sep2010/Anura%20Ekanayake.pdf  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxbk4wYolphwOTllNGUyYjItN2Y1Zi00NDhkLThlNmUtZWI0ZWVlYTM0OGIy/edit?authkey=CMOHrrwE&pli=1&hl=en# Dr Anura Ekanayake(representing Ceylon Chamber of Commerce) to LLRC, 6 September 2010:
 „‟We need to ensure that the benefits of the end of the war must be felt equally by all sections of the
community.
….
Then finally we need to accelerate civil administration vis-à-vis military administration
in the north and the east supported by a transparent political process to establish local government.‟‟ 
 „‟ 
key findings of the report is that whilst Tamil is an official language in the country, there are glaring discrepancies in its implementation. The report is abundant with instances of humiliation .... let us look at the dismal state of affairs of what young people of the plantation sector go through on a daily basis
 another aspect of humiliation.
…. Then the injustice to the Muslims. ….‟‟ 
 „‟It is our neglect of Tamil sensitivity … the main underlying cause was our neglect of the Tamil
language tantamount to an undermining of human rights of the Tamil people which caused the aggravation of the conflict and the widening of the chasm between officialdom and the main minority, the Tamils. All development measures must be people centered and not merely for infrastructure alone or as show pieces where the cost benefit is not in favour of the people.
….
The practical thing to do in my opinion is firstly to draw up an action plan with priorities and the implementation time-frame ...... I wish to emphasize the following points which I consider important for reconciliation c. not allowing an influx of Sinhalese to the North for rehabilitation related
development work ‟‟ 
r. Mangala Moonasinghe to LLRC, 17 August 2010: „‟…so, who started terrorism –
 it was we
 and
then gradually naturally the youth, Tamil youth, went into terrorism in the north. … So terrorism did not come on its own. We created them sir, we created them.‟‟ (Moonasinghe is a former Sri Lankan
 „‟ 
 There has been a contradiction in approaches to conflict and development - centralized approaches as far as development is concerned and devolved approaches as far as conflict is concerned. This contradiction or this separation of the approaches is the governance gap. This is important and must be addressed as one moves on to a process of reconciliation. Reconciliation must be envisioned within an institutional framework for democratic governance
 
more democratic governance than what we have had so far. ….
 
Sri Lanka‟s experience in
devolution under the 13th Amendment has suffered from inadequacies in design as well as in practice especially from a lack of coherence and commitment in moving from centralized to devolved

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