Conclusions and Recommendations of the Sinhala Commission Report

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Conclusions

It is evident from our analysis that the effect of the Devolution Package would be not to convert Sri Lanka even into a normal type of federal state but to convert it into a very special federal state, the like of which probably does not exist anywhere else in the world. It would be a state where a so called government has no control whatsoever over the eight or nine parts into which the country has been split, since each part will have in respect of the 46 subjects specified in List II ( the Regional List), full power to conduct its affairs in any manner it wishes with scant regard for the effect of its actions would have on other parts or on the country as a whole. We have also shown the disastrous economic consequences flowing from these proposals.

Not even in the Federal Republic of Germany has such vast and untrammelled powers given to the States comprising the Federation. But what is still more alarming is that the proposed North-East Regional Council which will be a Tamil majority Council will be so powerful with full control over all internal matters, including law and order (police) and state lands and with the power also of borrowing internationally, that it will not only be able to unilaterally declare the independent state of Eelam, but unlike Varatharaja Perumal's declaration, defend it successfully against all the forces the Sri Lanka government can muster against it since it will have at its disposition an army trained in the guise of a police force. Moreover it is likely to receive international support, and even recognition by some countries as an independent state. Spokesmen for the package state that no Region can break away in view of the provisions of Article ? which reads 'No Regional Administration or Regional Administrations shall attempt, by direct br indirect means, to promote or otherwise advocate an initiative towards the separation or secession of such Region or Regions from the Union of Regions constituting the Republic of Sri Lanka?. However, here, we are concerned with realities, and not with the legal forms and niceties. What must never be forgotten is that, ever since the formation in 1949 of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi or "Tamil State Party" (given the English name Federal Party) the creation of a separate state has been the objective of the Tamil politicians. It was in pursuance of such objective that Varatharaja Perumal made a unilateral declaration of independence ignoring all the provisions of the Constitution.

There is nothing to prevent an all powerful North-East Regional Council which has even been permitted to train an army in the guise of a police force, from treating the Constitution as a scrap of paper and declaring independence, especially as there is now a pronouncement from the highest authority that the Constitution is nothing but a "scrap of paper". The result would be that all the heroic sacrifices of our armed forces and police in preserving the unity and territorial integrity of our country would have been in vain, since the foundation for the break up of the country would have been laid by the politicians through this Devolution 'Package'.

Fortunately for us, despite all the machinations of the politicians, the government cannot implement these proposals without the people's consent. It is for this reason that the government has set in motion a gigantic propaganda campaign to make the people accept these proposals, by calling them peace proposals thus deceiving the people into believing that peace can only be restored by implementing them. Towards this end the propaganda campaign has been called the "S' ma Thawalama"or "Peace Caravan".

But the fact is that peace cannot be restored through these proposals. Peace can only be restored by defeating those who have broken the peace, namely the LTTE. The LTTE has already rejected the 'Package'. The implementation of the so-called "peace proposals" will therefore not bring peace. It is therefore the duty of all those who are concerned with safeguarding the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of our country and wish to ensure that it is not broken up and who are aware of the dangers of the Government's devolution proposals, to educate the people and see that they are not deceived by government propaganda, so that when they are called upon to vote on these proposals they will vote to reject it.

 

Recommendations

We recommend that the National Joint Committee should

  1. Imediately undertake a campaign to educate the people on the grave dangers to the Sinhala people and to the unitary status and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country in the devolution proposals, with a view to seeing that these proposals are rejected,
  2. Call upon the people to urge their representatives in Parliament to reject the Draft Constitution in its present form, as it is fraught with the most serious consequences, both politically and economically for the Sinhala people as well as for all other communities and will endanger the future of Buddhism and lead to the break up of the country,
  3. affirm that Sri Lanka is and has always been a Unitary State and take steps to ensure that it remains a Unitary State for all time,
  4. declare and affirm that the whole of Sri Lanka is the homeland of all its citizens and that no part of it shall be recognised as the exclusive possession or habitation of any ethnic community or linguistic group,
  5. take steps to ensure that there is no division of the country for political or other purposes on the basis of ethnicity,
  6. take action to see that, in any future Constitution, legislation is included similar to Article 157 of the present Constitution prohibiting any person or organisation from advocating the establishment of a separate state in Sri Lanka.
  7. take steps to ensure that in any devolution or decentralisation of power
    (a) the unitary status of Sri Lanka is safeguarded, and
    (b) the government retains full control over the following:
        (I) Law and order and police,
        (II) State land,
        (III) All ports, harbours and airports,
        (IV) All archaeological sites
        (V) Administration of Justice.

 


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