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'Wigneswaran was loud and clear in the first place'

2014 Feb 08

Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Cabinet members blame Chief Minister Wigneswaran for demanding self-rule and power sharing.  How can anybody complain about what he is doing? He is doing, exactly what he said he would do. What did he say? Firstly, that he did not accept the Constitution unless there was a substantial change to the 13th Amendment. He did not accept 13-A or 13A plus but something that was included in the LLRC report or in the Tissa Vitharana Committee Report. Secondly he wanted the right to self-determination within a united country; if that was not given, he would struggle here and in the international arenas to win the full rights of self-determination, without or with foreign help; thirdly he announced that the Tamil people consider Prabhakaran as a Tamil hero; finally he said that the war conducted by Mahinda was nearly genocidal. Everybody knew all this before the NPC elections. Mahinda and the Cabinet also knew these. Still they went ahead and held the elections. Chauvinist screamed that no land re-captured from a terrorist organisation should be given away at an elections, because the ballot box could become their new bomb!

So now some of the allies in the government are weeping that both Mahinda and his Cabinet are getting back what they asked for. Mahinda must be biting the bullet, but Wimal is trying to be too smart with rapid fire of statements to the press. Who is he trying to cheat? We know that the Chief Minister Wigneswaran is doing what his people wanted him to do.

Accordingly, he says that the government should withdraw the army from the streets and law and order should be entrusted to the police. He is pressing the government to remove the military governor and appoint a civil governor with roots in the area. He wants further, to remove the  chief secretary and to appoint a nominee of their choice, as it happens in all other provincial councils. Lastly, he also voiced the general demand, that if a war crime investigation was not done according to the recommendations of the LLRC report then he would support the campaign for a UN-based war crimes investigation.

In this situation, there is very little Mahinda could do except blaming the Opposition for not helping him to get out of the mess. He is trapped in a hell that he created for others. Ranil has said that he could come in defence of Mahinda provided that the latter implements the LLRC recommendations as promised to the parliament and to the UN.  

Mahinda will have to eat his Constitution because he said he has to follow the Constitution and grant NPC elections! They say “Gotabaya and the Hasalaka Hero rescued the country and Mahinda ruined it.  MR got trapped by the American plan. MR became an interfaith, multi-cultural fan. There is still time to reverse the slippery path taken. He must realise that the ‘yes men’ around him has made him an emperor without clothes.”

 I agree that after March, whether Mahinda wins or loses, a new stage will begin. There will be agitations all over the North asking for all these rights, including a cemetery there or a statute here. It could be like the Satyagraha days of Naganathan in the 1950s and 1960s. Opposition in the south, at least those who are prepared to fight, will begin their own agitations. If Mahinda Rajapaksa resorts to shooting, it will be international news with severe backlash. Unlike Vartharajah Perumal, Wigneswaran may not run to Chennai, because he went to elections against the very Constitution that allowed him to contest the election!

Some say nowhere in the world such a strange happening took place. Still Mahinda Rajapaksa has failed to fathom this! There will not be a legality issue; but certainly there will be a people’s power issue raising the slogan of power sharing within the country.

That is, if Tamils want a certain right in their area (homeland), can anybody in Colombo stop it? Instead, with the Cabinet-level corruption, indiscipline, no punishment for violation of law, people will not support and Mahinda will not be able to mobilise support for a second edition of a military intervention. Only a system that accepts unity with power sharing could lead the country to justice and peace.

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