Monday, January 11, 2016

Sri Lankan Buddhist leaders urge government leaders to protect country's unitary character in new constitution


Lankapage.com
January 11, 2016
Colombo, Sri Lanka


 




The Buddha Sasana Karya Sadhaka Mandalaya, which include Maha Sangha and Buddhist organizations in Sri Lanka, has urged the President, Prime Minister and the government to preserve the country's unitary character, territorial integrity and sovereignty in the new constitution to be formulated by the parliament.

The organization in an appeal has pointed out that the all citizens of Sri Lanka have to submit themselves to a single corpus of laws and parliament should be the supreme law making body. They say that It is not at all beneficial to divide or separate the country by regions and prepare separate laws.

Following is the Media Release made by Ven. Tirikunamale Ananda Mahanayaka Thera and Ven. Prof. Agalakada Sirisumana Thera, Joint Secretaries, Buddha Sasana Karya Sadhaka Mandalaya.

Proposals presented to the President, the Prime Minister and the Government of Sri Lanka by the Buddha Sasana Karya Sadhaka Mandalaya in order to ensure that the sovereignty, unitary character, and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka is protected through the Supreme Law of this country.

It is the paramount responsibility of all of us to rectify any past lapses on our part when steps are being taken to enact a constitution for the third time since Sri Lanka became a Republic.


In this regard, we consider that it is our responsibility to work amicably within a unitary Sri Lanka without dividing ourselves by ethnicity, religion, or language. It will not be possible to promote reconciliation among ethnic groups, and bring about peace and prosperity if people are to live in separate regions based on ethnicity, religion, or language.

All citizens of Sri Lanka are of equal standing. They have to submit themselves to a single corpus of laws. Laws have to be promulgated by the Parliament of Sri Lanka, which should be the supreme law making body. It is not at all beneficial to divide or separate the country by regions and prepare separate laws. Even in the implementation of laws there should not be any division.

The most worthwhile task before every one of us today is to develop Sri Lanka as a single, undivided country, rallying under one national flag, and governed by a single legal system.

Even during British colonial rule, every attempt was made to guarantee the preservation of the Buddha Sasana and our national heritage. Our history is a chronicle that will instill pride in everyone. Language, both Sinhala and Tamil is the main instrument to bring about understanding, cordiality, and reconciliation among the different communities. Our ancient history is a national heritage that should bring satisfaction to all communities living in this country.

Hence, whilst we, the Buddha Sasana Karya Sadhaka Mandalaya, are of the view that it is more appropriate to amend the present constitution in a suitable manner to create the necessary environment for all citizens to bring about amity, understanding, and prosperity, and to accomplish the task of establishing a righteous system of governance for all citizens to live without fear or misgiving in a unitary Sri Lanka, we wish to make the following proposals to the President, the Prime Minister and the Government of Sri Lanka in formulating the new amended constitution.


* Article 9 of the present Constitution, which ensures that Buddhism be given the foremost place and also guarantees that it is the duty of the state to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, should be included in the Constitution of Sri Lanka without any amendments.

* Sri Lanka should remain a unitary state. Supporting, advocating, or encouraging the establishment of a separate state or a federal state should be prohibited by law.

* The National Flag or the National Anthem should not be changed. However, Tamil speaking people may have the right to sing the National Anthem, which is in the 3rd Schedule of the present Constitution (Sinhala version), in the Tamil language, without changing the meaning of its words or its music.

* Since both Sinhala and Tamil languages have been recognized as official languages of the state, every citizen shall have the right to transact all business with the Government and the Judiciary in Sinhala or Tamil.

* The Supremacy of Parliament should be safeguarded. There should be no restrictions or impediments
placed on the legislative power of the People, when Parliament exercises such power. If there are any other institutions carrying out any legislative powers, such power should be exercised by them subject to the powers of Parliament. Parliament shall have the right to repeal or amend any legislation in the same manner as the Parliament may amend or repeal its legislation.

*While Executive power of the People (including Defense) shall be vested with the President and/or the Cabinet as the case may be, any executive powers so exercised by anyone else or by any other institution, should be subject to the directions of the Government of Sri Lanka.

* No Foreign Government or Foreign Institution should be allowed to exercise Judicial power or to interfere in our Judiciary. Provisions should be included in the Constitution guaranteeing the same. There should be no special court or establish any other Constitutional Court above the Supreme Court.

*No Political or Administrative Unit, based on Race, Religion, or Language should be established within Sri Lanka in as much as amalgamation of Provinces in such a manner is not conducive to peaceful co-existence of communities. The existing provisions provided for amalgamation of provinces or changing their boundaries should be removed from the Constitution. The boundaries of the territory of Sri Lanka or physically annexing Sri Lanka with a neighboring country should not be done for the reason that it is prejudicial to the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

* The office of President, Minister, Member of Parliament, including any office in the Executive, Legislature, or the Judiciary, should be held only by a citizen of Sri Lanka who is not a citizen of any other country. Every such holder of office should be required to take the Oath set out in the 7th Schedule to the present Constitution mutatis mutandis to prohibit the promotion or the establishment of a Federal State.

* All appointments to high posts in Ministries, Departments, Commissions, Judiciary, or in any other institution should only be made on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council or similar institution created by law, consisting of nominees of recognized political parties proportionately represented therein. All nominations made to such Constitutional Council or institution should be approved by a majority of the Members of Parliament. The President shall not make any appointment to any high post recommended by the Constitutional Council or institution, unless the same is approved by a majority of Members of Parliament.

* Police powers and powers relating to law and order of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall not be alienated to any provincial or regional organ. The Sri Lanka Police Force shall be under the Command and Control of the Inspector- General of Police of Sri Lanka who shall be the head of the Sri Lanka Police.

* All State Land shall be vested in the Republic of Sri Lanka. Utilization, Administration, and distribution of State Land, shall only be done by the Government of Sri Lanka in accordance with the laws made by Parliament.

* Entering into of all agreements which are injurious or which has a prejudicial effect on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, unitary character, territorial integrity, and national security shall be prohibited, and any such agreement in relation to sovereignty, unitary character, territorial integrity, and national security of Sri Lanka shall only be valid upon the approval of Parliament.

* Remittance of funds to any Governmental or Non- Governmental institution in Sri Lanka, except through the Government of Sri Lanka made in accordance with the laws of the country, shall be prohibited. Provisions to this effect should be included in the Constitution.

* The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall not be more than 35, and the allocation of subjects to each such Minister shall be based on a scientific classification. No other Minister shall be appointed other than a maximum of 35 Deputy Ministers.

Ven. Diviyagaha Yasassi (President)
Ven. Dr. Ittapane Dhammalankara
Most Ven. Dodampala Chandrasiri
Ven. Kotugoda Dhammawasa
Ven. Dr. Walimitiyawe Kusaladhamma
Ven. Balangoda Sobhitha
Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana
Ven. Thirikunamale Ananda
Ven. Akuratiye Nanda
Ven. Matale Dhammakusala
Ven. Prof. Kandegoda Wimaladhamma
Ven. Seelagama Wimala
Ven. Prof. Agalakada Sirisumana
Ven. Sri Vajiraramaye Gnanaseeha
Mr. Jagath Sumathipala (Honourary Member)
Mr. Suren Abhayagunasekera (Honourary Member)
Dr. Praneeth Abhayasundera (President, All Ceylon Buddhist Congress)
Mr. M. D. W. Ariyawansha (President, Dharmavijaya Foundation)
Mr. Sumedha Amarasinghe (President, Young Men’s Buddhist Association)
Mr. S. P. Wijesekera (President, Buddhist Theosophical Society)
Mr. Upatissa Karunaratne (President, Sasana Sevaka Samthiya)
Ms. Shantha Abeysekera (Secretary, All Ceylon Buddhist Women’s Congress)
Mr. Neville Piyadigama (Vice President, Public Service Buddhist Association)
Mr. Manohara de Silva (President’s Counsel) (Honourary Representative, Buddhist Lawyers’ Association)
Dr. P.G. Punchihewa (Honourary Representative, Shanthi Paadanama)
Dr. Hema Gunethilake (President, Bauddha Sahayogitha Kendraya)
Mr. Wasantha de Silva (Vice President, Mahabodhi Association)
Dr. Anula Wijesundera (President, Jayagrahanaya, Colombo)
Prof. Asanga Thilakaratne (President, Dhamriv Foundation)
Mr. Waruna Basnayake (President’s Counsel) (Council Member, Kaluthara Boodhi Bharakaara Mandalaya)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The coming constitution: A ‘SYSTEM CRIME’


By Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

The Daily Mirror
December 23rd, 2015

Three speeches last week revealed our future. Each concerned an aspect of this island’s fate.Together they show the whole. The Prime Minister announced that the country will have a new political system next year. That change has to be understood within a geopolitical and geo-strategic context signalled in two speeches, by an Indian Minister and a senior US official.

“India’s Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari informed Lokh Sabha yesterday that India will construct a bridge and tunnel linking Rameswaram in India with Sri Lanka…The project was also discussed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his counterpart during the latter’s recent visit, Gadkari said”. (The Hindu, Dec 17, 2015)

 Senior US official Thomas Shannon revealed in his Kadirgamar Institute lecture, the factor animating Washington’s Lanka policy: “To put it simply, stability and prosperity of the entire world is dependent on the stability of these vital energy and trade routes.  And Sri Lanka is at the centre of this.”

The 2016 Constitution must be located at this intersection of Indo-US perspectives. It envisages the most drastic disruption of the Sri Lankan State formation arguably since 1833. The rupture would change the very type of State, implanting a new political matrix. We are being constitutionally reshaped to be integrated as a ‘chip’ into the Indo-US grand strategic matrix.

The PM’s Sujatha Jayawardena Memorial Oration contains the blueprint:

1.    “…work within the structure of the 13th Amendment to the 1977 Constitution a unitary structure with further devolution of powers…The…task is to identify the additional powers to be devolved to the Provincial Councils…”

2.    “…subjects and functions once devolved to the Provincial Councils should not revert to the Central Government even when Parliament legislates on national policies in regard to devolved subjects…”
3.    “the future emphasis on devolution should be on the exercise of executive powers by the Provincial Ministers…enlarged executive power can be devolved to the Provincial Councils…[through] the apportionment of Executive Power between the Cabinet of Ministers and the Provincial Boards of Ministers”.

4.    “…the Austrian system of devolution…would be a useful model”.
(http://www.dailymirror.lk/99287/ranil-let-s-promote-consensus#sthash.h6AeOlhx.dpuf)

Having stated that “The emerging consensus is to work within the structure of the 13th Amendment “the PM admits later in his speech that” the apportionment of Executive Power between the Cabinet of Ministers and the Provincial Boards of Ministers” marks “a radical departure from the 13th Amendment”. How can one “work within” something (13A) and make a “radical departure” from it at the same time?

There can be “further devolution of powers”, i.e. “additional powers devolved to the provincial councils”, but this cannot be done “within a unitary structure” because the Supreme Court narrowly ruled in 1987 that the 13th amendment barely remained within the unitary structure, and that too because of the Executive Presidency which exercised executive power through the Provincial Governor. Any “further devolution of powers” would destroy the unitary structure.

Devolution means certain powers are transferred outwards/downwards by Parliament, which retains the right to retrieve such powers in exceptional situations, without which Parliament would not be sovereign.The PM’s description of the change he hopes to implement as well as the model he explicitly evokes, aren’t unitary. The PM’s model of devolution, Austria, is an explicitly, unambiguously FEDERAL State.

The 13th Amendment already has a concurrent list of powers shared between the centre and the provinces, in addition to powers which are the exclusive preserve of one or the other. The PM’s plan would make most powers either concurrent (shared) or devolved to the provinces, while powers enjoyed exclusively by the national legislature, representing the people of the country as a whole, will be few. If the powers wielded by the national Parliament are restricted to Defence, Foreign Affairs and Finance, that is a federal model.

What if the provincial legislature passes laws on subjects which the national Parliament too legislates on, but in the opposite direction from and in contradiction to the national Parliament? In the PM’s vision, the powers of that Provincial assembly will not be repealed.

However, badly the Northern or Eastern Province behaves (e.g. towards the Sinhala minority in Trincomalee and Ampara) its powers cannot be revoked by the national government under the new constitution. Our North is 19 miles from a huge landmass with 70-80 million co-ethnics, whose Chief Minister Jayalalitha handed an official note to Prime Minister Modi calling for support for Tamil Eelam. Soon it would be connected by a bridge, road and tunnel to Tamil Nadu, allegedly with our PM’s concurrence.

With the island constitutionally carved like a cake into self-governing segments, Sinhala national consciousness will atomize and disintegrate. Simultaneously the Constitution will facilitate and empower Tamil consciousness which is not merely provincial but sub-regional (Tamil Nadu) and global (South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore Diaspora). The new model would aggregate the North and East and pan-Tamilianism, while disaggregating the South and the Sinhalese.

Economic independence for provinces,shrinkage of the role of central government and neo-liberal privatization will impoverish some and enrich others,under-developing the largely rural Sinhala majority provinces. While they will be unable to compete, Western and Indian patronage and Tamil Nadu and Diaspora capital will flood the North and East.

The coming Constitution’s underlying logic is not national reconciliation,since deliberately deepened provincialism/regionalism will surely doom any Lankan consciousness.The real logic is (I) rewire and reprogram Sinhala consciousness so we can never win another war (II) ‘divide and rule’ the majority through hardcore provincialism (III) weaken the national state through multi-polarity. This will dismantle state barriers to Western and Indian politico-economic penetration, ownership and control.

Just as the Portuguese invaders’ fortress in Kotte was about to be overrun by Sitawaka Rajasinghe’s men when the rivalry between the Kotte and Kandyan kingdoms put paid to the siege, the new self-ruling provinces will be manipulable and pitted against each other by external powers, preventing unified national action.

Converting to the perennially pro-Western, pro-Indian doctrine of the Federal Party, the regime has crucified the island on the Indo-US axis. Tamil nationalism is logically pro-Western and pro-Indian because the Tamil Diaspora and Tamil Nadu are stakeholders in those societies — just as the West and India tilt to the Tamils for that reason.The national majority, including the national bourgeoisie,enjoys no such leverage. This regime strategically de-linked from China’s counter-power which enabled us to win the war and rebuild as a modern country. It is the agenda of the Tamil bourgeoisie including the Diaspora capitalists, reflecting its interests, which pilots or guides the new regime. The regime serves the interests not of the organic national majority but of the minority elites with dense cross-border, transnational affiliations, networks and loyalties.

Under-secretary Shannon’s statement shows that the West wants us for where we are. It wants the regime to midwife a Tamil Kurdistan to serve as permanent proxy. The client regime aims to deliver that by changing who we are, destroying the memory of who we were and robbing us of what we won. Suckered by Western flattery, the client regime would produce a client Constitution to create a client State and citizenry.

The Wickremesinghe-Kumaratunga Constitution would murder the unitary State. The ‘national’ would be reduced to the mere arithmetical aggregate of self-ruling provinces. The Constitution will bear closest resemblance to the ideas and programme of SJV Chelvanayakam, founder-leader of the Federal Party.

When the Austrian-model constitution and the Special Courts for “war crimes” are unveiled in 2016, it is he, the father of federalism, Tamil national self-determination and Tamil Eelam, who will have proved the ultimate victor. It is his ‘virtual’ statue that would stand in front of the new constitutional, political and legal order erected upon the rubble of the monuments of our national leaders. It is this coming Constitution that is a “system crime”.

– See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/100563/the-coming-constitution-a-system-crime#sthash.lWrHykOl.dpuf

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Jayawewa, Mahinda Rajapaksa Janadhipathithumani! Jayawewa!

To the ALWAYS FAITHFUL Patriots,

A Heartfelt Tribute in Gratitude!

Semper Fidelis, Patriots of Lanka

By Ananda-USA


Our Motherland, resplendent Sri Lanka,
Hallowed be thy name!
Thy children flock today to vote,
To preserve thy immortal flame!

The Lion Flag flutters proudly aloft,
To remind us this freedom's day!
Our duty to keep thee, safe and strong,
As our forefathers did yesterday!

A Mahinda Rajapaksa by deed and word,
Strode forth boldly to eternal fame!
To lead his people to a safer world,
When all others retreated in shame!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mahinda’s electoral prospects

Island.lk
June 13, 2015

 
The crowd at the pro-Mahinda rally held in Matara last Friday was even larger than the crowd in Nugegoda. The number of parliamentarians on the stage was variously mentioned as 76, 77 and 78. As far as the pro-Mahinda camp is concerned, there is nothing more to be said, no more points to be made. Matara has six UPFA parliamentarians and of them, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene, Hemal Gunasekera, Sanath Jayasuriya and Vijaya Dahanayaka hold portfolios in the government and did not attend the meeting. Indeed the last two were given portfolios days before this rally, with a view to bolstering support for Sirisena. There were only two parliamentarians from Matara on the stage – Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene and Chandrasiri Gajadeera. Dullas Alahapperuma who played a major role in organising the meeting is a national list MP.

Despite four UPFA parliamentarians in the district keeping away, the rally was a phenomenal success. In the opinion of this writer no other political party can organise a meeting like that in Matara – certainly not the Sirisena faction of the SLFP, and the UNP is not strong in the Matara district to begin with.  What should worry the government even more than the crowd or the number of parliamentarians on the stage is the fact that this was not just a pro-Mahinda crowd, it was an opposition crowd. Mahinda Rajapaksa himself turned up to take a peek at the meeting from the rampart of the Matara Fort. The crowd went wild on seeing him. But he left after a few seconds. It was clear that this was an unscheduled appearance. If he was going to make an appearance and it was advertised beforehand, the crowd turning up would have been even bigger. What should worry the government is the fact that after Mahinda came and went, the meeting continued as if nothing had happened. Nobody left the meeting because MR left.

article_image
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was briefly seen at the bring-back-Mahinda-rally at Matara. The former SLFP leader greeted massive crowds before leaving the scene.

Nobody in the crowd asked “How come Mahinda came and left so soon?” “How come he did not make a speech?” Nobody was upset by the fact that their hero had come and gone without getting on to the stage. The crowd remained just as it was, and Udaya Gammanpila soon resumed his speech which was disrupted by MR’s appearance. What that shows is that while the outward form of this movement is that of a personality cult, it is in reality an opposition movement which is barreling forward on a momentum of its own quite regardless of MR’s physical presence or absence. Signs of the personality cult of course, were everywhere. About 300 meters away from the meeting, near the Matara Bodhi was a large cut out of Mahinda resting on the pavement.

A bare-bodied youth with MR painted on his back in blue body paint  – a member of the facebook generation mind you – had prostrated himself in front of the cut out, knees and forehead on the ground, arms outstretched on the pavement, rear end up in the air. Some girls standing by were giggling at the sight. A passerby asked them, “Why are you giggling? He’s right!” The vice-president of the Desha Vimukthi Janatha Pakshaya, a constituent party of the UPFA added to the religious symbolism by actually saying in his speech. “We (meaning the crowd) are the body of Mahinda”. That’s kind of a statement you’d expect to hear at Christian revivalist meeting where preachers claim that the congregation is the body of Christ. What the Desha Vimukthi activist said was in a way borne out at this meeting itself by the fact that nobody was upset about the flesh and blood Mahinda making only a very brief appearance – it was almost as if the crowd actually considered themselves to be Mahinda and the physical presence of the flesh and blood person was not really necessary.

Politically, Chandrasiri Gajadeera’s statement that he was not present at that meeting in his personal capacity but on a policy decision of the Communist Party indicates that a change is taking place in the alignment within the UPFA. Gajadeera also said that this was the largest gathering he had addressed in recent times.  The rhetoric at this meeting was overtly anti-imperialist with many speeches openly expressing opposition to American and Indian meddling in Sri Lanka. The clenched fist oath taken by the crowd to protect the nation against enemies within and without added a radical element to this meeting which was not to be seen at previous meetings. Clearly, the Mahinda group has a kind of political energy and a momentum that no other political party has – and this is not even a political party.

At one point the announcer Sanjiva Edirimanne made a plea for people to voluntarily step down from the stage as it could not bear the weight of the crowd. One of the first to comply was the portly Prasanna Ranatunga, apparently for fear that if the stage collapses he’d be blamed for it! Pavithra Wanniarachchi who was jeered at the first meeting she attended after resigning her portfolio was given a rousing welcome which shows that she is now once again an accepted figure. She delivered her usual fiery speech and was seen joyfully singing “Numbai ape appachchi” with Malini Fonseka. Karuna Amman delivered a speech in Tamil. Nobody understood a word of it but every time he mentioned Mahinda Rajapaksa, people cheered.

The attendance at these rallies show that the Mahinda group has public support. But how would this translate into votes at a parliamentary election? The January presidential election marked the lowest point in Mahinda’s political fortunes. Since then, things have obviously improved. But even if one assumes that nothing has changed and that the result of the January election will remain intact even at the next parliamentary election, where does Mahinda stand then? A district by district analysis would reveal the following picture.

The North and East

We should start off this analysis from the areas widely thought to be least favourable to Mahinda Rajapaksa – the Northern and Eastern Provinces. As conventional wisdom goes, these two provinces are a complete write off as far as MR is concerned. However if we analyze the results of the 2015 January presidential election, a different picture emerges. Rajapaksa does have a few minority community allies such as Douglas Devananda in the Northern Province, Karuna Amman and S. Chandrakanthan in the Batticaloa district, A.L.M. Athaulla in the Digamadulla district, M.L.A.M. Hisbulla in the Batticaloa district. Largely because of these allies and the Sinhala voters in the Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Digamadulla districts, MR did get a substantial percentage of votes in all those districts. Those percentages may not count for anything at a presidential election but at a parliamentary election they do count.

Mahinda got nearly 22% of the votes in the Jaffna district, 19% in the Vanni district, nearly 27% in Trincomalee, nearly 34% in Digamadulla, and 16% in the Batticaloa district. These percentages are more than adequate for the Rajapaksa camp to win at least one seat in each district. There is no standard which can be applied to all districts to say that a certain percentage would win a fixed number of seats for the recipient. But if we go by past elections, 22% in the Jaffna district should be enough to get two seats for the EPDP and 34% in the Digamadulla district should be enough to win two seats. Besides, when the regional leaders in those districts contest personally for seats, the possibility of increasing the vote percentage is that much greater. The Rajapaksa camp can be certain of getting five seats in the North and East, with a very good chance of getting seven including two Sinhala MPs. Five to seven seats assured seats from the North and East for the Rajapaksa camp is not bad at all considering the fact that the even the TNA has only 14 seats from both provinces.

Polonnaruwa district

At the January presidential election, Mahinda lost all the electorates in the Polonnaruwa district because that was the home turf of Maithripala Sirisena. Obviously, the people of this district wanted their man to be the head of state. But at the next parliamentary election, Sirisena will not be a candidate so will the anti-Rajapaksa forces (especially the UNP) be able to carry the district again? There are three electorates in the Polonnaruwa district and it’s only the Polonnaruwa electorate that Sirisena was able to win with a substantial majority of 30,000. In the Minneriya electorate the margin was less than 1,000 and in the Medirigiriya electorate it was just over 5,000 votes. At the next election, when the political forces that came together for the presidential election fragment and go their separate ways, the margins in the Medirigiriya and Minneriya electorates will disappear and the Mahinda camp will be on top in both electorates. How things will turn out in the Polonnaruwa electorate is not certain but the margin of the anti-Rajapaksa camp will almost certainly be reduced.

Anuradhapura district

Mahinda won the neighbouring Anuradhapura district handsomely winning every electorate in the district despite the presence of Duminda Dissanayake a key SLFP rebel who sided with Sirisena. For this reason, the Anuradhapura district is regarded as a bastion of the Rajapaksa camp and the latter are expected to retain this support at the parliamentary election.

Puttalam district

Puttalam is among the districts that the Rajapaksa camp is expected to lose at the forthcoming parliamentary election. Rajapaksa lost the Puttalam district by over 4,000 votes at the last presidential election. But this was largely because of the Muslim vote in the Puttalam electorate where Sirisena got a majority of over 24,000 votes. All the other electorates in this district, Anamaduwa, Chilaw, Nattandiya and Wennappuwa were won by Rajapaksa. In Anamaduwa the latter’s majority exceeded 20,000 votes. The reason why some people think the Puttalam district may be won by the UNP next time is because of a narrowing of the gap between Rajapaksa and those opposed to his government in the Catholic majority electorates of Chilaw, Nattandiya and Wennappuwa with people feeling that the ‘Catholic belt’ would vote against Rajapaksa as Catholic electorates like Negombo and Ja Ela and Wattala had done further south. This yet remains to be seen as the result of the next parliamentary election depends not just on Mahinda Rajapaksas’s leadership, but also on the candidates put forward in the various districts.

Kurunegala district

Mahinda won the Kurunegala district with a substantial majority and 11 out of the 13 electorates in the district. He lost only the Kurunegala and Mawathagama electorates with margins of over 6,000 and 2,000 votes respectively. But when the yahapalana forces fragment at the parliamentary election, these margins will disappear. Just taking the JVP, DP and SLMC component out of the two electorates lost by MR will restore his lead in both electorates. The Kurunegala district is also regarded a pro-Rajapaksa bastion.

Ratnapura and Kegalle districts

MR won all eight electorates in the Ratnapura district and the district is rightly considered to be a Rajapaksa bastion. Despite the presence of a substantial Indian Tamil presence in the Kegalle district Rajapaksa won eight of the nine electorates in the district, losing only in the Mawanella electorate which has a large Muslim population.

Kandy district

Rajapaksa lost the Kandy district by a margin of over 88,000 votes winning only the Galagedara and Uda-Dumbara electorates and losing all the other eleven electorates. The political balance of power in the Kandy district has shifted decisively away from the Rajapaksas. Kandy was always a UNP bastion and in August 1994, when the UNP lost power in the country, the Kandy district voted solidly with the UNP. That situation appears to have been restored.

Matale district

The Rajapaksa camp won the Matale district and lost only the Matale electorate of the four electorates in the district.

Nuwara Eliya district

Like the North and East, the Nuwara Eliya district was also a write off as far as the Rajapaksas are concerned. This district was lost by a margin of over 127,000 votes at the last presidential election winning only one of the four electorates, and that too by a small margin of just over 1,700 votes. However because of the voting pattern in the district, the CWC may contest the election from the Rajapaksa camp so that their three candidates will get all three preferences of Tamil voters. The three Tamil preference votes on the UNP list have already been taken over by the pro-UNP alliance that was formed between P.Digambaram, V.Radhakrishnan and Mano Ganesan. So in order to get his three candidates elected, Thondaman will be compelled to contest on another list. Apart from this practical consideration, Thondaman like Douglas Devananda appears to have opted to remain in the Rajapaksa camp. Apart from the Tamil votes that Thondaman will bring in, the Sinhalaese in the Nuwara Eliya district are expected to vote mostly for Rajapaksa which is why C.B.Ratnayake resigned his portfolio and joined the Rajapaksa camp – to be the fourth MP on the Rajapaksa list. Thondaman and Rajapaksa together will be able to win the Nuwara Eliya district.

Galle Matara and Hambantota districts

Mahinda won nine out of ten electorates in the Galle district losing only the Galle town electorate which has a substantial concentration of Muslims. He won six out of the seven electorates in the Matara district losing only the Matara electorate which was lost by a small margin of just over 1,000 votes. Simply eliminating the JVP component of Sirisena’s votes will give Rajapaksa a substantial lead even in the Matara electorate. All four electorates in the Hambantota were won by Rajapaksa and the Southern Province generally is seen as a bastion of the Rajapaksa camp.

Badulla district

Mahinda lost the Badulla district but only by a small margin of just 281 votes. Sirisena actually won six of the nine electorates in the Badulla district and his margin of victory would have been much larger if not for the support extended to Rajapaksa by the CWC. Like Kandy, Badulla has traditionally been a UNP bastion which the latter has won even while losing badly in other parts of the country. Whether Rajapaksa will be able to win the Badulla district at the forthcoming parliamentary election will depend on the support of the CWC and the latter’s relative strength against the Digambaram-Radhakrishnan-Ganesan combine on the one hand and on the stand taken by Lakshman Seneviratne. It appears that the latter was able to shift the Mahinyangana electorate from being a solidly UNP electorate into a Rajapaksa bastion – it’s the Mahiyangana electorate that shores up the margin of the Rajapaksa camp in that district. As of this moment, with Lakshman Seneviratne taking Sirisena’s side, there is a likelihood that Badulla may fall to the anti-Rajapaksa camp.

Moneragala district

The Moneragala district was won by a substantial majority by Mahinda winning all three electorates. However which way the cookie will crumble in this district at a parliamentary election will depend to a large extent on the candidates that the Rajapaksa camp fields in this district.

The two main SLFP figures in this district Jagath Pushpakumara and Vijayamuni Zoysa have taken Sirisena’s side and are unlikely to come over to the Rajapaksa camp. Indeed Zoysa cannot come over even if he wants to because of his “Appachchi mala” statement.

Kalutara district

The Kalutara district was won comfortably by Mahinda, losing only the Panadura and Beruwela electorates among the eight electorates in the district. The Panadura electorate was won by Sirisena only by around 900 votes and removing the JVP component once again places MR on top in that electorate. The district is considered to be a bastion of the Rajapaksas.

Gampaha

Maithripala Sirisena won the Gampaha district by 4, 668 votes. Rajapaksa lost the Wattala, Negombo, Katana, Ja Ela and Kelaniya electorates. In the latter three electorates, simply subtracting the DP/JVP component of the vote from Sirisena’s vote will push Rajapaksa into the leading position again. It was the large margins in the Wattala and Negombo electorates and the across the board drop in the majorities received in the other electorates that caused the narrow defeat in the Gampaha district. However at a parliamentary election where everybody cannot gang up against the dominant party, the removal of the JVP and Democratic party component from Sirisena’s votes gives Rajapaksa the edge once again.

Colombo district

The Colombo district gave Sirisena a huge majority of over 162,000 votes. The heavy minority presence in the five electorates of North Colombo, Colombo Central, Borella, Colombo West and Colombo East and in electorates like Dehiwala, Ratmalana, Kolonnawa, Kotte and Moratuwa combined with the drop in the majorities traditionally received by the SLFP/UPFA in electorates like Kaduwela, Kesbewa, Homagama, Maharagama, and Avissawella resulted in this poor showing in the Colombo district.

Thus when we look at the last election in terms of the pro-Rajapaksa and anti-Rajapaksa camps, the anti-Rajapaksa camp is strong in 12 districts – Jaffna, Vanni, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Digamadulla, Badulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam, Gampaha and Colombo. The Rajapaksa camp is strong in ten districts – Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Moneragala, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Matale districts. But if we remove the North and East from the equation, the anti-Rajapaksa forces have only seven districts to the ten of the pro-Rajapaksa camp. Once the JVP component is removed from the anti-Rajapksa vote in the Gampaha district, the Rajapaksas will once again be on top. If Rajapaksa retains the same support of the Catholics in the Puttalam district as at the January presidential election, they will win that district too at the parliamentary election. Since Sirisena is not a candidate at the next election, the Polonnaruwa district too may fall to the Rajapaksas.

It’s difficult to see the UNP winning Polonnaruwa even though the people there voted mostly for Sirisena. And as we pointed out earlier, even Nuwara Eliya may be won by the Rajapaksa camp. Of the seven districts outside the North and East left to the anti-Rajapaksa camp, they can really rely only on three districts, Colombo, Kandy and Badulla. Usually, after a government is elected into power its popularity declines progressively. The problem for the anti-Rajapaksa camp is that even if the yahapalana vote remains completely intact, it will fragment into its individual components at a parliamentary election. The pro-Rajapaksa vote will also divide into two with some of it going to the Sirisena camp. But the signs are that the division of votes in the Rajapaksa camp will be of a much smaller magnitude than in the anti-Rajapaksa camp.

To what extent will the Rajapaksa camp be able to retain the 5.8 million votes they got at the presidential election? It is said that the Rajapaksas got these votes after an expensive campaign and handing out various goodies to the voter and that they will not be able to get this vote again. There is some truth in that argument. The same argument applies to the anti-Rajapaksa camp as well. The yahapalana camp managed to win 6.2 million votes by uniting to topple Rajapksa. One way in which Rajapaksa’s vote was reduced was by making various allegations against his government. Those allegations will not work at the next parliamentary election for obvious reasons. The fact that the yahapalana government has fallen short of the expectations placed on it may be another factor that diminishes its vote. The longer the government continues before holding the next parliamentary election, the greater the decline. Going by the above, a victory for Rajapaksa at the next parliamentary election is not just wishful thinking but a distinct possibility.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Constitutional Reforms: Conspiracy against Majority Sinhalese – say NO to 19th amendmen

By Shenali D Waduge

 April 21, 2015
 
Let us get down to the crux of the matter. Sri Lanka is a small nation but it is a small nation with a very long recorded history and a longer civilizational history. The nation was built with a history and the hela people today make up over 70% of the population. If elsewhere it is an internationally accepted right that the will of the majority prevails why should it be different in Sri Lanka? Ever since 1505 attempts have been made to dilute the powers of the Sinhalese through various ways.  An article by Presidents Counsel Manohara de Silva titled ‘Proposed 19a to the Constitution – Who’s Purpose’ clearly raises alarm bells for all Sinhalese. What Sinhalese need to pass on to their legislators in Parliament is that the position and decision making rights of the majority Sinhalese must remain 70% say in all matters while the minorities can battle it out between them for the remaining 30%.

Attempts to dilute the powers of the Sinhalese
  • Dividing the Sinhalese Buddhists into Catholics & Christians
  • Under all 3 colonial rulers Sinhalese were massacred, their livelihoods destroyed, females raped, agriculture crops destroyed to kill them by denying food and water (Uva-Wellassa and the exploits of butcher Brownrigg the British Governor is just one example)
  • Liquor was introduce to destroy the Sinhalese
  • Creating amongst the Sinhalese lascoreens/sepoys – people ever ready to denounce national heritage and history in preference and worship of all that the white man does. These were the ones that ceded the nation to colonials and helped them kill Sinhalese and these are the one’s who played a role in regime change in exchange for power, money and perks!
  • Introducing ‘punchi pawula raththaran’ by a foreign NGO to reduce the numbers of Sinhalese having children (a concept introduced during President Premadasas’s rule)
  • Dividing the Sinhala politicians into varied political groups thereby dividing the voters while the Tamils keep to Tamil themed political parties and Muslims follow same pattern.
  • Present constitutional reforms that sheepishly attempts to enable minorities to have the last say.
  • Human weakness for money manipulated to influence MPs to make legislative changes to dilute the majority voice
  • International support generated towards minorities who are ever ready to align to foreign agendas in a horse-deal of ‘give and take’.
  • International campaigns eternally making Sinhalese feel they are the fault for all ills in Sri Lanka and constant name calling and ridiculing via international and locally paid media.
  • Tapping pseudo Buddhist clergy and leading them astray thereby projecting disgust for Buddhism amongst Buddhists. Denigrating Buddhism in contrived ways often with false flags.
If regime change took place combined with slogans and social media funded and steered by the west it is without a doubt that the protagonists in the play were given slogans to campaign for. The abolition of the executive Presidency and the introduction of the 19th amendment to the Constitution has to be part of that coup. That became quite obvious when the nation that thought it had elected a President found out a Prime Minister was also selected (not elected because the elected Prime Minister D M Jayaratne had neither resigned or was sacked). We next found out that the 19a sought to transfer powers of the President to the selected Prime Minister (with or without the knowledge of the elected President).

The crafty manner in which the 19a has tried to take away the inalienable sovereignty given to the people who exercise their power to vote for the President and transfer that to the now selected PM is a selfish and undemocratic manoeuvre. Article 3 and Article 4 have for over 20 past verdicts always held this inalienable right and a case in 2002 wherein Shibly Aziz attempted to separate the 2 articles was clearly not permitted.
We also need to understand at this juncture that the present President has found himself in enviable situation. Windfall to be the President cannot provide the leadership needed to govern and it is perhaps a shortfall that he allowed powers given to him to appoint to be taken by the selected PM though that power lies with only the President. We see by the appointment of UNP MPs into key roles that the President’s powers have been usurped by the selected PM.

Mr. Manohara de Silva also highlights clauses in election criteria that are ad hominem with malicious intent at disqualifying enemies from contesting.

The article also highlights the ‘independence’ of the proposed 10 member ‘Constitutional Council’ in which the PM, the Speaker and the Leader of the Opposition are permanent. Of the 7, five are nominated jointly by PM and Opposition Leader. The 6th is appointed by the President and the 7th via an agreement of the majority of MPs who do not belong to political parties of the PM or LO. This means the 7th position is secured only for the minority. What happens is if the PM or Opposition Leader are Sinhalese the 5 members (whom they choose with or even without consultation with their parties) are chosen out of the 7 minority ethnic groups identified by the census department which leads to the Constitutional Council ruled by the minorities. Since the Speaker does not have a vote 5 out of 9 will decide the decisions of the Constitutional Council. What is likely to happen is that the PM and Opposition Leader who represents only 2 districts will decide on behalf of a President who is elected from the whole island by all the communities. The Constitutional Council abdicates the bulk of the voice of the MPs to the choice and decision of the PM and Opposition Leader – under the current set up anyone can see the hara kiri. From 50-50 demands made during colonial period the 19th amendment through Sinhalese lascoreens and sepoys postulating before Western rulers are out to deny the role of the majority Sinhalese legislatively.

The 19th amendment appears to be a very crafty effort to prevent the majority of MPs representing the majority community from participating or having a say in the process of governance. What the present MPs in Parliament need to ask themselves is why the PM / Opposition Leader or Minority appointees are more ‘independent’ than the appointees of the President who is voted by over 50% of voters (made up of all communities).

Mr. Manohara de Silva shows in his article that contrary to the present constitution which does not say the IGP is under President’s control, under the 19th amendment the supposed DIC of the Provincial Police is under the control of the Chief Minister. The 19th amendment craftily clips the Presidents ability to appoint Police Intelligence Officers because the National Police Commission which is under the control of the Chief Minister is responsible for appointments, promotions, transfers, disciplinary control and dismissal of all officers of the National Police Force. Let us also keep in mind there is a supreme court case challenging the constitution of ITAK claiming it is confederal and not federal – therefore under the present provisions these spell dangers for Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity in both North and East.

The 19th amendment’s proposed Finance Commission which consists of the Governor Central Bank, Secretary to the Treasury  and 3 members of the 3 major communities also raises eyebrows in the light of the biggest fraud that has taken place by a non-Sri Lankan Governor appointed by the very government now introducing the 19th amendment. As per present composition the will of the Tamils prevail in all matters of finance! Here again a population of 70% Sinhalese will get only 1 slot!

The very nations the denounce racial and ethnic elements are promoting the inclusion and preference only for appointments to be according to racial benchmarks no different to how things functioned under colonial rule where favouritism was given to minority groups and the rights of the majority was deliberately quelled. Such mathematically calculated provisions of the 19th amendment is detrimental to the peaceful coexistence of the people. Let us remind the minorities at this juncture contrary to living peacefully with the majority they have at most times created mono-ethnic political parties, segregated themselves by their own behaviour, aligned themselves to political slogans, groups and organizations that openly attempt to divide and carve out pieces of Sri Lanka and declare it independent and are eternally pointing fingers without questioning their own shortcomings and actions. Therefore, like it or not it is the majority that wish to keep the country together while minorities are guilty of aligning to attempts to separate. The TNA though pretending to shirk links with LTTE have a history that if investigated will find them guilty – the Tamil people by voting for them repeatedly show they do not care for this fact. Similarly, the Muslim Congress appears to be following a similar course by demands for a Muslim only area in the East.

What needs to be also accepted is that while minorities have functioned under agendas relevant to only themselves the majority have only attempted to keep the country together. Taking lessons from colonial rule we realize that the West’s preference for minorities and sepoys/lascoreens or ready-to-be-slaves of the whites among Sinhalese were with the purposeful objective of getting control of lands to further plunder them. With the neo-colonial efforts in place it requires the nation to be alert to all mechanizations at place in particular the manner in which regime change took place and the manner the 19th amendment is attempting to suspiciously and craftily take away the powers of the majority and enthrone in constitutionally to the minorities.

Sinhalese should be more alert to the attempts being made and realize that Sinhalese are just 14.8m as against a world Tamil population of 76million and a Muslim population of 1.3billion.

The 19th amendment is too dangerous for Sri Lanka.

The 70% position of the Sinhalese must be allocated to the majority in all decision making and at all times. The 30% only should be allocated amongst the minorities as they see fit.

Please read Mr. Manohara de Silva’s article which gives further details of the dangers at hand.



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sri Lankan President should appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM to save country - Gotabhaya

Coolombopage.com

April 21, 2015



Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena should quickly call for parliamentary elections and appoint former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister to save the country, former Defense Secretary and Rajapaksa's brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said.
 
In an exclusive interview to the Express News Service on Tuesday, the former Defense Secretary has said that the President and his brother should join hands to give the country a "functioning government" and put the country back on its feet.

"Maithripala Sirisena has been elected President for six years. Therefore, he will have to continue. But he can quickly call for parliamentary elections and appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister. Together, they should put the country back on its feet by providing a functioning government with people committed to achieving goals," Gotabhaya told Express.

He said the people of Sri Lanka wants Mahinda Rajapaksa back and now the support for him has grown beyond the 5.8 million votes he got in the January Presidential election.

Gotabhaya claimed that the people are clueless as to who is in charge of their country.

"On the one hand there is Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is running the government. But on the other hand, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Champika Ranawaka and Rajitha Senaratne also claim to be in-charge. However, what is clear to the people is that there is no functioning government."

He told Express that all economic development projects initiated by the Rajapaksa government have been brought to a standstill.

"In the construction sector alone, over 100,000 workers have been rendered jobless by the stoppage of projects," he claimed.

He said that no civil servant wants to take decisions because officials are being hauled up before investigative agencies for alleged "procedural lapses".

Gotabhaya warned that the entire economy will collapse if this situation is allowed to continue and it "will be very difficult to put it back on its feet again."

The stalling of Chinese projects and the TATA housing project has adversely affected international investor sentiment about Sri Lanka, he said.

"The TATAs had already paid the money and cleared the land to build 650 flats for low income families. Now, I hear, they have gone back."

The former Secretary for Defense and Urban Development, who has been asked to appear before the Bribery Commission tomorrow has dismissed the charges against him as being baseless.

"I have been accused of procedural lapses. Have I robbed money? In fact, I have earned money, including foreign exchange, for the government through my projects," he asserted.

On the alleged illegal activities of the "floating armory" set up by a company wholly owned by the Ministry of Defense, Gotabhaya said that it was engaged in anti-piracy work in the Somalian waters as per a UN request.

Gotabhaya claimed that it was an international obligation Sri Lanka had to fulfill and the company was earning foreign exchange for the country.

The former Defense Secretary said that he had not only won the war against the Tamil Tigers but had given a new face to Colombo, both not done by previous regimes.

"The present government is going after me for delivering results. Sarath Fonseka claimed in India that he won the war. But I say, he was in the army for 30 years, but had failed to win the war. It was only when we (the Rajapaksa brothers) took over, that the war was finished, and that too, in three years flat. Chandrika Kumaratunga claims that she had won 75 percent of the war, but it was during her Presidency that there were major reverses," Gotabhaya told Express.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Video : Massive Public Financial Fraud drives Sri Lanka’s Economy to the Verge of Collapse-The truth that cost his SLFP CC membership

By One Sri Lanka

April 13, 2015

Please watch this short video in which  Parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardane explains the biggest ever public financial fraud committed in Sri Lanka’s history.

Ironically, this was committed by the first ever Sri Lankan government came to power with its main promise being the establishment of Good Governance.

Please share this information with your Sri Lankan friends who truly care for the well being of their motherland.

This is much more than another deception by  our political swindlers. The mass fraud is driving our national economy to the verge of collapse .

Youtube Video

Sri Lanka: Its Identity & Constitution

By Shenali D Waduge

April 13, 2015

The definitions, terminologies, norms and political correctness cannot be determined by people who have built their nations and developed their political influence as a result of plundering, murdering, converting and influencing indigenous nations and people. Nevertheless that is the status quo. It is the will influenced by former colonial power houses who have set up political systems, monetary systems, trade regulations that create the benchmarks to decide how nations should function and what is acceptable or not against what suits their interests. For far too long former colonies given independence have ritually followed rules and regulations determined by the very nations that have brought them to Third World in debt status. The power they yield internationally with their hold over global economic systems networked to show their might have forced national leaders to succumb to their will. Nevertheless, this subservience cannot go on forever.

Nations cannot simply lay to rest rich histories, civilizations, discoveries, monumental artifacts and heritage, ancient governing systems that held people and nations together without animosities simply because a handful of profit making nations find it convenient to have a world in conflict. Should the constitutions of these nations be drafted taking stock of these ancient systems without tapping into the colonized versions?

Must we therefore as a nation go by what the West that plundered and destroyed nations determine as the internationally accepted nomenclatures for all that governs the world?

Why is Africa, Asia and Latin America not challenging presenting examples of how their ancient governing systems kept societies and communities together instead of dividing and ruling them? In what ways have these western created Constitutions and systems actually helped foster and generate peace and harmony in this world? How ‘democratic’ has governance been to the People who vote their leaders? What are the achievements against the colossal sums of money spent to keep Western democratic systems afloat? Many of these concepts were created with the aim and objective to keep people subservient is no understatement and becomes reason for the failures taking place. Is there a need to continue destructive liberal ideologies?

We are at a critical juncture. We need to create our own destination and to do that we need to determine who we are to know where we are going. To determine who we are as a nation we need to turn to our history. We cannot determine where the nation is heading by copying what foreign idealists or locals following foreign idealism determine. With nationalism comes the need to protect what is ours and to protect what is ours we need to know what is ours and to be able to do that we need to return to our roots and the timeline of history and appreciate how the nation was built.

Our nation was certainly not built after 1505 by foreign occupiers as some wish to believe. Our people need to know who our real heroes are and who the enemies are and why they are called enemies. We need to all know the wrongs that have been done to our nation and people and in learning those facts we are inspired to realize that individually we too have a role to play in protecting what we have left and determine not to compromise or give up what we have left. It is only people who value cultures and history that were shocked at how US-UK trained ISIS are ruining ancient artifacts and cultures. While US is a created democracy UK is a nation that ruled 90% of the world by adopting strategies to divide people and make them forget their past.

All those who do not know the past are destined to repeat mistakes. This is why the education system must at every level not only for child but for adults alike engrain the history and heritage into the minds of the people.

Thus, the Constitution has to be the soul of the nation for it must protect that history. It is pointless us adopting a Constitution picking bits and pieces of governance credentials relevant to other nations most of which do not even have a history of 1000 years to be proud of. It is those that have no history or whose histories are blood soaked that wish to influence nations that have rich histories to forget or replace their history with common terminologies and nomenclatures which are no doubt fancy words but are hollow in actual meaning. We must learn to carve our own destiny instead of being a nation copying what others want us to.

The Hela civilization history unfolded.
  • 123,000 BC – Oldest human found in Pathirajawala, (Ambalantota) Sri Lanka (estimated population at the time 0.8-1.5 per SqKm in dry zone and 0.1 in wet zone.) The discovery also revealed the existence of flake and stone tool industry 125,000 to 75,000 BC proof of civilizational existence.
  • 80000 BC – 2nd oldest human found in Bundala. Archaeologists discover remains of lions, rhinos, hipps in Ratnapura
  • 30500 BC – 3rd oldest Lankan human found in Fa Hien cave. He was over 150cm in height, 282 cm long. Pahiyangala could accommodate over 3000 humans. Rice, kurahan, salt used. 27,000 years usage of salt. Female body remains found near Bulathsinhala. Proof that Lankans were engaged in agriculture for over 20,000 years.
  • 28,500 BC – Balangoda man discovered. Males were 174cm tall, females 166cm tall. Features are regarded as typical Lankan features. Business activity using shells and beads between inland and coastal inhabitants.
  • 15000 BC – agro substance found 7000 years before world did. Discovery in Horton Plains of herding and farming of barley and oats. Archaeologists discover necklaces and needles.
  • 12000 BC – Maduru Oya world’s oldest findings of use of steel, copper and irrigation technology.
  • 6500 BC – Human remains found in Bellan-Bendi Pelessa near Embilipitiya.
  • 6300 BC – Discovery of geometric microlithic industry and pottery in cave near Kegalle (depicting transfer from Mesolithic Balangoda culture to protohistoric iron age)
  • 6000 BC – Mahamevuna uyana in Anuradhapura remains of a huge city dated 9000-6000BC found in 2001 AD. Proof of horses been used even before their use in North India.
  • 5000 BC – Hambantota site where proof of pre-historic shell midden found suggesting Mahasona beliefs.
  • 4000 BC – pre-historic grave site near Dambulla
  • 3500 BC – Boat with capacity to carry 150 passengers found Attanagalle oya – proving well established water-based transport system. (however the first civilization in the world Sumerians in Iraq was said to be discovered in 3500 BC)
  • 3000 BC – Sigiriya claimed as greatest fortress mansion (Alakamandava of Ravana)
  • 1000 BC – Further proof of Hela people on par with rest of the world is the discovery of iron technology – with own steer factories.
  • 900 BC – Alphabet discovered depicting the Hela people used alphabet by 900BC.
  • 700 BC – Anuradhapura town said to be 125 acres and became home to people who used pottery, cattle, horses, cultivated paddy and used iron technology
  • 624 BC – Prince Siddhartha born – the founder of Buddhism.
  • 564 BC – Lanka known as Sivu-Hela (Simhala) – 4 tribes (Yakshas from Mahiyangana / Naga / Deva & Raksha) Simhala became Sinhala
  • 528 BC – From North India Buddha makes his first foreign visit to Lanka – Mahiyangana 9 months after enlightenment accompanied by 500 Arahath monks. The Mahiyangama dagoba is built on this location.
  • 528 BC – First Buddhist Bana & First Buddhist in Lanka Sumana Saman, a provincial chief from the Deva clan in Sabaragamuwa, attained the state of “Sovan” at this first Bana in Mahiyanganaya. He went back to spend the rest of his days in Samanala mountain. Mani-Akkita Na-raju, of Naga clan in the Western Province, also came to listen to the preaching of Buddha.
  • 528 BC – First Dagaba in Lanka When Sumana Saman requested for a relic, Buddha gave him a fistful of hair. He built Mahiyangana Dagaba enshrining this relic. This Dagaba had a priceless gem at the peak (an Indraneela Manikkaya). This will be the first and the only Dagaba built by a local, before the arrival of Vijaya.
  • 523 BC – Buddha’s 2nd visit to Sri Lanka – Nagadeepa (5 years after enlightenment)
  • 520 BC – Buddha’s 3rd visit to Sri Lanka – Kelaniya (8 years after enlightenment)
  • 482 BC – Vijaya lands in Lanka and Buddha expires in North India. Buddha’s 3 arrivals in Lanka shows that Hela people were living before Vijaya’s arrival.
Small as we are, Sri Lanka has much to feel proud of. 180 Sinhala Buddhist kings ruled the nation following the dasa raja dharma which even the South Indian invader kings followed.

The conflicts only arose after the arrival of foreign invading occupiers who adopted strategies to divide the people so they could plunder the nation undisturbed. That was 500 years ago.

Now these nations are back to plunder what they could not by devising ways and means to denationalize our people and distance us from feel pride in our ancestors, our heroes and defending the nation and moreover they are attempting to tell us how our constitution should be drafted.

We are doomed if we do not know our roots and history.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Coup of 08 Jan 2015 – The ‘Afghan Aftershock’ that Caused Tremors in South Asia

By Sarojini Dutt

April 9th, 2015

Reportedly hatching plans behind embassy walls, the US – Indian axis executed a major coup in South Asia when it dented China’s influence in the region with the defeat of the Rajapakse Presidency in Sri Lanka on 08 Jan 15.

The coup dramatically changed the geo political dynamics in the region forcing China and Pakistan to urgently review the status quo and to plan necessary measures to restore geo political balance in South Asia.

Analysts describe what happened on 08 Jan 15 as the ‘Afghan aftershock’ which jolted Sri Lanka’s geopolitical balance from its existing centre of gravity and which the US – Indian axis woolgather rode China out of Sri Lanka on a rail.

The aftershock in Colombo was caused by the major ‘quake’ in Kargil in 1999 that rocked the geo political tectonic plates of South Asia.

Kargil, these analysts say, was a masterstroke of US Machiavellianism. Overnight, India a frosty foe from the cold war days which had not signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and which only months before had joined the exclusive Nuclear Club was metamorphosed into a warm and grateful ally of the US
In a neatly contrived ruse US CENTCOM Chief Anthony Zinni – in cahoots with Pakistan Army Chief Pervez Musharraf – brought India and Pakistan to the seeming edge of a nuclear confrontation. With, Pakistan dominating the mountain heights of Kargil, problems of high altitude acclimatisation plaguing India, Pakistan taking comfort in a military alliance with the US (the sole global power) and India militarily isolated globally and regionally the dice appeared loaded against India in the battle for Kargil.

That was to forget one Narendra Modi, a US point man in India, yet to be four times Chief Minister of Gujarat and 15th Prime Minister of India.

Contact was made and Modi the Pracharak, as reported in the Indian Telegraph of 21 Sep 14, was welcomed in Washington. He had no difficulty in convincing the US administration to pressurise the Pakistanis to withdraw from the commanding heights of Kargil.

Modi left his indelible stamp on HR 227 (House Resolution 227) which called for economic pressure to be applied on Pakistan in the event Pakistan did not comply.

The US congress almost unanimously passed the resolution. A blissfully ignorant Navaz Sharif was forced to eat humble pie. The geo political balance in the region was violently quaked off centre. Pakistan lost its position as the sole ally of US in the region.

Capitalising quickly on the gains of Kargil Robert Blake, the de facto US ambassador in India, engaged the Indians and crafted the landmark bilateral agreements between the two countries; the Agreements were signed in Washington on 18 July 2005. Analysts say that when Pakistan animadverted on the Agreements the US silenced Pakistan, pulling out the ‘A Q Khan’ card.

Of the several US – Indian agreements signed in 2005, it is in the ‘Security Agreement’ that the US resolves to establish India as a global security partner of the US. 

US State department analyst Alan Kronstadt says that the aim of these Agreements is to assist India to become a major power. This is to be a part of the US grand strategy to counterbalance the rise of China as a major power.

Rajapakse the incumbent President who was unanimously selected by the governing party as their candidate for the 2015 Presidential election had (in 2009) the US/NATO leadership hightailing when they attempted to pressurise him to rescue the terrorists and keep intact the US/NATO beachhead that had been established with the CFA in 2002 and consolidated thereafter with the PTOMS in 2005.

Analysts argue that the rationale for US interference in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs is comprehendible. The US had hijacked the vehicle of Tamil Nationalism when they commandeered the LTTE from under the very noses of Delhi; this was abundantly clear when in 1985 India expelled the LTTE leadership of Prabhakaran, Balasingham, Satyendra and Chandrahasan from the country.

US imperialism had piggy backed on the LTTE to establish a beachhead in the North and East of the island and deviously gained suzerainty of this beachhead comprising 2/3rd of the island coastline, 1/3rd of the land mass and the adjacent sea; finances, ‘policing’ the land and the sea, planning and governance of the region were in their hands.

Paradoxically, the US had taken a page from Lenin in making its imperial war on Sri Lanka the island’s internal ethnic war.

Sri Lanka watchers say that it was clear to the Rajapakse government that the ultimate destination of that hijacked vehicle of Tamil Nationalism would be determined by the hijacker and not the hijacked.

These observers say that the Battle of Nandikadal was the culmination of a near thirty year war the US forces had waged on Sri Lanka, a proxy war; the US beachhead in Sri Lanka was smashed and the US backed fighters decimated.

The hijacked bogie of Tamil Nationalism was derailed; the US instrument through which it converted its imperial war on Sri Lanka to Sri Lanka’s internal ‘war’ was made dysfunctional.

In the run up to the Sri Lankan Presidential election of 2015, credible sources say that the US – Indian axis, strengthened by US point man Modi, concurred that the Rajapakse government had to be overthrown if the derailed hijacked bogey of Tamil Nationalism were to be put back on track.

When asked what was there for Modi’s India in the deal, these sources replied, The US shook hands with Modi on the assurance that what Krishnaswamy Sundarji could not achieve with the IPKF, Modi would; and more.” The ‘more’ according to some eminent analysts would include the plantation areas, that would bring the land, the people, the entire originating sources of water in the island, the country’s hydro energy resources and the island’s economic bedrock of tea under de facto  Delhi control. Queried an alarmed observer, Can the remaining part of the country (often referred to inaccurately as the Sinhala areas) survive independently in these circumstances?”

In 1987 when the Indians invaded, (sorry, were invited to”), Sri Lanka their plan that was ruined by the islanders was to clear the Northern and Eastern provinces of the Sinhalese and Muslims and thereafter eliminate the LTTE prior to installing Perumal the marionette. While de jure control of the North and the East would likely have been with Colombo the de facto control was to be ceded to Delhi. If the plan had succeeded the North and the East would have been one step closer to being severed from Sri Lanka and integrated with the Union of India.

Senior Indian diplomat Melkulangara Bhadrakumar analysing the Sri Lankan Election in his piece ‘The Lankan transition resets Indian Ocean Politics’ says that what happened may not have the look of a classic ‘regime change’ like a ‘colour revolution’ as in Georgia or a coup as in Ukraine but that without doubt the US and UK had got involved and choreographed the election.

Bhadrakumar a specialist on South Asian affairs reports, Politics do make strange bed fellows and the Anglo – American project (in Sri Lanka) probably drew confidence from that dictum. No doubt the new government will reset the compass of national and regional policies and its impact will be felt far and wide, since Sri Lanka happens to be one of the most coveted real estates in the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean. For the US, Sri Lanka figures as a potential lynchpin in its rebalance strategy in Asia.”

As the global security partner of the US, Modi’s India played a significant role in the Sri Lankan Presidential election; in Dec 2014, the RAW chief was booted out of Sri Lanka, an exit some red faced Indians dismissed as ‘routine’. A Reuters report on 17 Jan 15 pointedly alleges that RAW interference had contributed to Rajapakse’s defeat. Bhadrakumar ratifies Indian perception that Sri Lanka is within India’s legitimate ‘sphere of influence’.

The word on the street is that on the day prior to the Sri Lankan election the RAW chief was strategically moved into the Indian Base in the Maldives; that the axis of evil had drawn up several plans catering to varying contingencies and that the Sri Lankan cabal was made privy to a few of these plans; that this cabal enjoyed playing cloak and dagger, hedgehopping in the wee hours of the night between houses in Colombo 7, to do their bit parts in this ‘foreign production’; that there were massive voting irregularities in the North and the East; that the ‘foreign production’ was based on the notorious  Afghan model of John Kerry used in the  Presidential election of  September 2014 to ensure that the new Afghan government would sign the Bilateral Security Agreement – Karzai had refused to sign it –   that would prevent Afghanistan  prosecuting US soldiers for the many war crimes committed there.

The objective of the ‘Afghan’ model was to subvert, the will of the people, the powers of the parliament and the country’s Constitution by installing in power the loser while stripping the winner of a large component of his effective power; the end result was then marketed by the US at various times as ‘Power Sharing’ or Unity Government or ‘National Government’.

The loser, in violation of the Constitution, was appointed ‘Prime Minister’ by Presidential Decree. Again by Presidential Decree, the President shed a great deal of his powers enshrined in the Constitution vouchsafed him by the people through the same sacred Constitution of the people.

The ‘Kerry’ plan first used in Afghanistan was dependent on two decisive factors for its success: Buying over the support of key political figures with massive financial inducements: Rigging the votes on an unprecedented scale in selected regions.

Constitutional experts are unanimous in their opinion that Presidential Decrees have to conform to the Constitution and cannot controvert it; these decrees cannot subvert democracy and the functions of the organs of state that are guaranteed by the Constitution. Paul Keating in his piece to the Guardian on 26 Sep 14 says that the power sharing deal has left many Afghans wondering ‘What is an election for?’

There have been violent protests in Afghanistan forcing the UN to conduct a one hundred percent audit of all the votes cast; the results of the audit have been suppressed by the UN at the request of the US and the loser who was made ‘Prime minister’ by Presidential decree.

As seething anger mounts in that country there is a shrill demand to challenge the Presidential Decrees in the Courts of Law and have them declared ‘null and void’.

There is also a growing turbulence that the matter of subverting the Constitution be investigated thoroughly by the law agencies at the highest levels and bring all those responsible for subverting the Constitution to justice. It is tantamount to a military coup when the Constitution is subverted by a minority group of interested parties coming into ‘closed door’ non transparent agreements. The President leaves himself open to be impeached” said an indignant Rassoul, a Constitutional expert.

The consequences of the subversion of democracy in Afghanistan have been startling. If Batalanda invokes memories of mass political murder in Sri Lanka, Dasht – e – Leili was the site where US troops with Afghan warlord Rashid Dostrum tortured, shot and buried over 2000 Taliban prisoners of war who had surrendered. Award winning film maker Jamie Doran visited the site and made a documentary of the 2001 massacre ‘Convoy of death’. Calls for investigations have fallen on deaf ears; Bush prevented three investigations and Obama started one and suddenly put a cap on it. Calls to the UN for an International War Crimes Inquiry have not even had the courtesy of a response. After 14 years the vermin have resurrected. Rashid Dostrum is today the Vice President in the aberrated form of Franchise in Afghanistan.

The questions on the streets of Sri Lanka are also many: Were the axis forces standing by ‘off-shore’, to be deployed in Sri Lanka at short notice? Was the armed takeover of the Katunayake airport by the axis forces a part of any contingency plan? Had the axis forces planned to get quisling Sturmtruppen on the street to create a ‘Gaddafi’ type Libyan situation? Could there have been any Blue on Blue situation between Para military units and the military that would have actuated foreign intervention?

In those 45 days preceding the election, to distract the attention of the people from the menacing ‘US – Indian’ Tsunami’ that was roaring in the direction of the island nation, the Sri Lankan bourgeoisie – the Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and the local Kautskys – engaged in the classic ‘pick pocket’ diversion.
Aptly put by a venerable monk It was the case of one group of pickpockets fingering another group and hollering ‘pickpocket’; a one mighty ‘pickpocket’ rumpus was created.”

While all eyes were riveted on the animated ‘pickpocket’ diversion, the deadly ‘US – Indian tsunami’ hit Sri Lanka catching the people unawares. Today the country is in the throes of that disaster.

On 08 Jan 15 US imperialism hit back with a vengeance turning tables on Rajapakse. With its faithful Gujarat aide – de – camp and the Sri Lankan bourgeoisie of all hues in tow, the US was successful in putting back on track the hijacked bogey of Tamil Nationalism, to enable the hijacked bogey to continue its role as a ‘transformer’  that converts US’s imperial war on the island to Sri Lanka’s internal ethnic ‘war’. This was almost to a month, 200 years ago when the Sri Lankan bourgeoisie signed off the country’s sovereignty and traitored the country’s leader to the British.

Bhadrakumar says that despite all the machinations of the Anglo American combine, Sirisena barely managed to scrape 51.28% of the votes; he comments Paradoxically, it is the overwhelming Tamil support for Sirisena that ultimately proved the clincher.”

That would be to discount the Sri Lankan bourgeoisie, whatever their ethnicity, religion or party politics may be; the Sri Lankan bourgeoisie in the tradition of their forefathers opened the door for the imperialists to slink in. And the coup of 08 Jan 15 eased the imperialists into the country.

The coup of 08 Jan 15 also kindled a vague notion of Gujarat Lebensraum in the sub continent. Strutting around in an attempt to establish an ‘Asian Monroe Doctrine’ the Viceroy from India marked his ‘sphere of influence’ in a manner which Gerald Durrell would have described as ‘using scent to mark territory’. Of the four countries Modi made winged visits to recently, only Sri Lanka does not have a military pact with India or an Indian military base.

For the first time since the ‘Parippu’ drop in the 1980s Indian aircraft and security were seen swarming all over the country side virtually usurping Sri Lanka’s sovereign role in providing security.

Providing training for selected persons to man the Jaffna airport and enabling RAW and military personnel with DPL passports to move in and out of Sri Lanka at will, analysts say that Modi has signaled intent: there are no barriers between the two countries, it is one country and entry to Sri Lanka through Jaffna will de facto be controlled by and from Delhi; there is a strong likelihood that people from the world over visiting Jaffna would do so via India, further distancing Colombo from Jaffna.

While Modi speaks of the 13th Amendment and beyond, Colombo maintains a deafening silence on the subject. With Wickramasinghe  breaking protocol to meet Modi in Katunayake and walking deferentially a few feet behind the big man and with Maithripala again breaking protocol to bend over backwards to humour Modi  in Polonnaruwa, it is no wonder that tongues are wagging that with Ranil and Maithripala prostrating themselves across the sea at the feet of Modi, the Adams bridge has been replaced by the Rama bridge with Modi walking all over them and Sri Lanka; and that if Chandrika is unhappy being left out it could be renamed Ramach bridge.

Commentators say that the situation is ominous and portends a threat to the sovereignty of the island. The need at the moment” they say is not clamouring to expand the scope of investigations of financial profligacy to the Kumaranatunge period, or to the Premadasa period or up to the Jayewardene period; the need of the hour is to demand a 100% audit of all the votes cast considering the massive voting fraud that took place primarily in the North and the East as is being angrily alleged, challenge the legitimacy of the controversial Presidential Decrees in a Court of Law, demand  a police probe to investigate whether the circumstances that led to the controversial Decrees was a deliberate attempt to frustrate the sacred Constitution of the people and to ascertain in parliament the level of confidence enjoyed by the current Prime Minister.”

Political analysts perceive that at this vital moment of Sri Lanka’s history it is critical that all Sri Lankan proletariat – Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, and Burgher – unite to defeat the US – Indian axis forces in this country.

In the meantime the one Sri Lankan the imperialists fear and who would stand up to them, defeat them if necessary and who could give positive leadership to the proletariat is out on a limb done in by the ‘Afghan Coup’  of the local bourgeoisie with imperialist planning and money.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How Sri Lanka Won the War: Lessons in strategy from an overlooked victory

By



How to win a civil war in a globalized world where insurgents skillfully exploit offshore resources? With most conflicts now being such wars, this is a question many governments are trying to answer. Few succeed, with one major exception being Sri Lanka where, after 25 years of civil war the government decisively defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and created a peace that appears lasting. This victory stands in stark contrast to the conflicts fought by well-funded Western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade. How did Sri Lanka succeed against what many considered the most innovative and dangerous insurgency force in the world? Three main areas stand out.

First, the strategic objective needs to be appropriate to the enemy being fought. For the first 22 years of the civil war the government’s strategy was to bring the LTTE to the negotiating table using military means. Indeed, this was the advice foreign experts gave as the best and only option. In 2006, just before the start of the conflict’s final phase, retired Indian Lieutenant General AS Kalkat in 2006 declared, “There is no armed resolution to the conflict. The Sri Lanka Army cannot win the war against the Lankan Tamil insurgents.”
Indeed, the LTTE entered negotiations five times, but talks always collapsed, leaving a seemingly stronger LTTE even better placed to defeat government forces. In mid-2006, sensing victory was in its grasp, the LTTE deliberately ended the Norwegian-brokered ceasefire and initiated the so-called Eelam War IV. In response, the Sri Lankan government finally decided to change its strategic objective, from negotiating with the LTTE to annihilating it.

To succeed, a strategy needs to take into account the adversary. In this case it needed to be relevant to the nature of the LTTE insurgency. Over the first 22 years of the civil war, the strategies of successive Sri Lankan governments did not fulfill this criterion. Eventually, in late 2005 a new government was elected that choose a different strategic objective that matched the LTTE’s principal weaknesses while negating their strengths.
The LTTE’s principal problem was its finite manpower base. Only 12 percent of Sri Lanka’s population were Lankan Tamils and of these it was believed that only some 300,000 actively supported the LTTE.

Moreover, the LTTE’s legitimacy as an organization was declining. By 2006, the LTTE relied on conscription – not volunteers – to fill its ranks and many of these were children. At the operational level some seeming strengths could also be turned against the LTTE, including its rigid command structure, a preference for fighting conventional land battles, and a deep reliance on international support.

Grand Strategy 

Second, success requires a grand strategy. A grand strategy defines the peace sought, intelligently combines diplomacy, economics, military actions, and information operations, and considers the development of the capabilities the nation needs to succeed. The new government decided not to continue with the narrowly focused military strategies that had failed its predecessors, but rather adopt a comprehensive whole-of-nation grand strategy to guide lower-level activities.

In the economic sphere, the new government decided to allocate some 4 percent of GDP to defense and increase the armed forces budget some 40 percent. This would significantly strain the nation’s limited fiscal resources so annual grants and loans of some $1 billion were sought from China to ease the burden. Other forms of financial assistance, including lines of credit for oil and arms purchases, were provided by Iran, Libya, Russia and Pakistan.

Diplomatically, the government took steps to isolate the LTTE, which received some 60 percent of its funding and most of its military equipment from offshore. This succeeded and over time the group was banned in some 32 countries. Importantly, a close working relationship was formed with India, the only country able to meaningfully interfere with the new government’s grand strategy. The U.S. in the post-9/11 counterterrorism era also proved receptive to the government’s intentions of destroying the world’s premier suicide bomber force. America assisted by disrupting LTTE offshore military equipment procurement, sharing intelligence, providing a Coast Guard vessel, and supplying an important national naval command and control system. Canada and the European Union also came on board by outlawing the LTTE’s funding networks in their countries, severely impacting the group’s funding base.

Internally, the government set out to gain the active support of the public. By 2006 many Sri Lankans were war weary and doubted the new government’s abilities to achieve a victory no one else could. To win popular support the government realized that development activities had to be continued, not stopped while the war was fought. Moreover, various national schemes addressing poverty needed to be sustained, a prominent example being the poor farmer fertilizer subsidy scheme. These measures made financing the war very difficult and foreign financial support important, but were essential to convincing the people that there was a peace worth fighting for. The measures worked. Before 2005, the Army had difficulty recruiting 3,000 soldiers annually; by late 2008, the Army was recruiting 3,000 soldiers a month.

The increased budgets and popular support allowed the Sri Lankan armed forces to grow significantly. The Army in particular was expanded, growing from some 120,000 personnel in 2005 to more than 200,000 by 2009.

Astute Tactics

Third, to meet the ends that the grand strategy seeks, the focus of the lower-level, subordinate military strategy needed to be exploiting the enemy’s weaknesses while countering its strengths. The LTTE had limited numbers of soldiers, fielding only some 20,000-30,000, and with astute tactics could be overwhelmed. In this regard, the government forces had already won a major success before Eelam War IV started in mid-2006.

In late 2004, a senior LTTE military commander, Colonel Karuna, defected, bringing with him some 6,000 LTTE cadres and seriously damaging the LTTE’s support base in Eastern Sri Lankan. The mass defection provided crucial intelligence that offered deep insights into the LTTE as a fighting organization. Crucially, for the first time, the government intelligence agencies now had Lankan Tamils willing to return to LTTE-held areas, collect information, and report back. The scale of the defection also clearly showed that the legitimacy of the LTTE was waning.

At the start of Eelam War IV, the LTTE were able to operate throughout the country. There were no safe rear areas as high-profile suicide attacks on the foreign minister, defense secretary, the Pakistani high commissioner and the army chief underlined. This capability was countered by using the enlarged armed forces and police on internal security tasks, and by developing a Civil Defence Force of armed villagers. Operations were also conducted to find and destroy LTTE terrorist cells operating within the capital and some large towns. This defense-in-depth neutralized the LTTE’s well-proven ability to undertake both leadership decapitation strikes and terrorist attacks on vulnerable civilian targets.


These defensive measures in the south and the west of the country allowed the Sri Lankan military strategy in the north and east to be enemy-focused rather than population-centric. The primary aim there was to attack the LTTE and force them onto the defensive rather than try to protect the population from the LTTE – the conventional Western doctrine. The areas under LTTE control were accordingly attacked in multiple simultaneous operations to confuse, overload, tie down and thin out the defenders. Tactical advantage was taken of the Army’s new much greater numbers.

In these operations, small, well-trained, highly-mobile groups proved key. These groups infiltrated behind the LTTE’s front lines attacking high-value targets, providing real-time intelligence and disrupting LTTE lines of resupply and communication. Groups down to section level were trained and authorized to call in precision air, artillery and mortar attacks on defending LTTE units. The combination of frontal and in-depth assaults meant that the LTTE forces lost their freedom of maneuver, were pinned down, and could be defeated in detail.

The small groups included Special Forces operating deep and a distinct Sri Lankan innovation: large numbers of well-trained Special Infantry Operations Teams (SIOT) operating closer. The considerably expanded 10,000 strong Special Forces proved highly capable in attacking LTTE military leadership targets, removing very experienced commanders when they were most needed and causing considerable disruption to the inflexible hierarchical command system. Of the SIOTs, Army Chief General Fonseka, who introduced the concept, notes that: “we also fought with four-man teams… trained to operate deep in the jungle…. be self-reliant and operate independently. So a battalion had large numbers of four-man groups that allowed us to operate from wider fronts.” When Eelam War IV started there were 1500 SIOT trained troops; by 2008 there were more than 30,000.

Learning Organization

With enhanced training in complex jungle fighting operations, Sri Lankan solders generally became more capable, more professional, and more confident. The Army could now undertake increasingly difficult tasks day or night while maintaining a high tempo. The Army had became a ‘learning organization’ that embraced tactical level initiatives and innovations.

The LTTE was unique amongst global insurgency groups in also having a capable navy that conducted two main tasks: interdiction of government coastal shipping and logistic sea transport.

For interdiction operations the LTTE developed two classes of small, fast boats: fiberglass-hulled, attack craft armed with machine guns and grenade launchers, and low-profile, armored suicide boats fitted with contact-fused, large explosive charges. In Eelam War IV, sizeable clusters of some 30 attack craft and 8-10 suicide craft operated as swarms, mingling with local trawler fleets to make defense difficult. These were eventually defeated by even larger counter-swarms of 60-70 government fast attack craft that used targeting information from some 20 shore-based coastal radars coordinated through the command and control system the U.S. had provided.

For sea transport operations the LTTE used eleven large cargo ships that would pick up military equipment purchased from around the globe, station themselves beyond the Navy’s reach some 2,000 kms from Sri Lanka and then dash in close to the coast and quickly offload to waiting LTTE trawlers. In Eelam War IV though, the Navy used three recently acquired, second-hand offshore patrol vessels (including the donated ex-U.S. Coast Guard Cutter) combined with innovative tactics and intelligence support from India and the U.S. to strike at the LTTE’s transport ships. The last ship was sunk in late 2007 more than 3,000 km from Sri Lanka and close to Australia’s Cocos Islands.

The combination of the three factors of adopting a strategic objective matched to the adversary, using a grand strategy that focused the whole-of-the-nation on this objective, and adopting an optimized, subordinate military strategy proved devastating. The LTTE was completely destroyed. The government proved able to change its strategies in response to continuing failure and win, whereas the LTTE doggedly stuck to its previously successful formula and lost.

Some have criticized the Sri Lankan victory as only being possible because the government disregarded civilian casualties and used military force bluntly and brutally. This view correctly emphasizes that wars are by their nature cruel and violent and should not be entered into or continued lightly. However, it unhelpfully neglects critical factors and explains little. As this article has discussed, victory came to the side with the most successful strategies – even if it took the government more than 22 years to find them.

In this regard, a comparison with the two other Western-led counterinsurgency wars of the period comparing soldiers and civilians killed is instructive:

Breakdown of Overall Deaths in the Conflict
Category of those Killed Sri Lanka War (1983-2009) Iraq War
(2004-09)
Afghanistan War (2001-14)
Friendly Force Personnel 29% 17% 29%
Enemy Force Personnel 37% 22% 46%
Civilians 34% 61% 25%

These were three different civil wars that each featured counterinsurgency strategies that progressively evolved. All involved significant civilian casualties with Iraq markedly the worse with 61 percent of those killed being civilians and Afghanistan the best at 25 percent. The Sri Lankan war with 34 percent of those killed overall being civilians, and thus broadly comparable to Afghanistan, then seems somewhat unremarkable except that the Sri Lankan war was decisively won. In Iraq and Afghanistan there was no victory, there remains no peace and people continue to die.

In Sri Lanka the guns fells silent in 2009, there is 7 percent GDP growth, low unemployment, and steadily rising per capita incomes. Even an economically poor country it seems can win the peace in a civil war. The key is to focus on getting the strategy right.

Peter Layton has considerable defense experience and a doctorate in grand strategy.