13a Decision Time and the Emperors without Clothes


– by Shenali D Waduge –

Is it not strange that ALL the protagonists now coming forward to argue that the 13th amendment should continue to prevail alongside the provincial council system are ALL those who openly propagated the notion of “unwinnable war” and the federal option pushed by Western liberalists to devolve powers virtually equating to carving out a separate state no different to Sudan. We knew who those “unwinnable war” peddlers were and we now know that they are the same people giving voice to continuing the 13th amendment and the PC system some feebly threatening to resign! No one needs to threaten to resign – just resign the tax payer will be one or two burdens short!

It is now 25 years since the signing of the 13th amendment and the introduction of the provincial council system. The bandwagon of 13th amendment peddlers are easy to identify – the remnants of Vijaya Kumaratunga’s party now enjoying Parliamentary portfolios, the 70yrs plus plus left oldies who should be thanking their stars that they still hold a national list parliamentary seat, the stooges of the former President who disappointed the entire nation and how can we leave out the Opposition which has a knack of always taking the wrong side of the opinion of the masses. At least these 13th amendment supporters have made their stand known but there are a far more dangerous lot of silent others within Government who also held “unwinnable war” theory but are cowards to come clean and take a stand. They must ALL now wonder how they would plead for re-election!

These are good lessons for the President himself for lavishing portfolios doesn’t necessarily bring loyalty and credibility and this is why J R was shrewd enough to obtain from all undated resignation letters. There are not many Gamini Jayasuriya’s who place integrity to resign based on principles.

Nevertheless, we as a country are not interested in what a handful of opportunist MPs now beyond age of retirement think. The country endured 30 years of terrorism, the armed forces lost thousands of young men and women, while thousands more are disabled for life. Thousands of civilians also perished, property was destroyed, economy was affected and even the Tamils who fell victim to the LTTE also suffered. We are not interested in who suffered more or less. It is the future we must now think of and not the past. If we are to think of the future we must carefully pick every item that contributed and contributes to being an obstacle of building a prosperous Sri Lanka. We therefore must annihilate every obstacle that stands in the way of national security as the Defense Secretary has rightfully articulated.

13th amendment is one such obstacle. The Government came into power on the mandate that it would end the war and bring about peace. LTTE is just one obstacle to that peace, India’s 13th amendment is another. Sri Lanka does not need to be entertaining any Menon’s just to please India. We are a sovereign nation and it is time we behaved as one. If the Government can take decisions when it wants to it should take a decision on the 13th amendment without any delays – we have had enough of discussion and debate on this matter and the Defense Secretary echoes the voice of the entire nation of people who want to live in an united Sri Lanka.

As far as the TNA politicians are concerned their political future will be decided no sooner 6th amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution is read to them and we are puzzled why these advocates of separatism are given a carte blanche to go promoting separatism both locally and internationally without warning them that they are violating Sri Lanka’s Constitution.

There is absolutely no reason to continue with a legally questionable amendment such as the 13tha given that it has solved nothing for the citizens of Sri Lanka and if the Government continues to please India and an audience of Emperors who have now being exposed it would be making an ill-fated choice of going against the masses. All politicians know only the politics of numbers – the decision is therefore very simple to take. There is no better time than NOW.