Don’t hatch Constitution on the sly – Wiggy

C.V. Wigneswaran

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said yesterday that “hatching a Constitution in secrecy with selected members from the Tamil community would not help the Tamils, and when the Constitution is passed we will have no way of making any constructive criticism at that stage.”

Explaining the reasons which led him to hold a massive really in Jaffna, he said nothing concrete has been done by the government to deliver the rights of the Tamils under a new Constitution and they have been kept in the dark about all plans.

He also pointed out that Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan has said ‘he approves’ anything done in the long-term interests of the Tamils. “So you have got it all wrong. We are all together in the fight for emancipation of the Tamil speaking peoples.”

“The Sinhalese should not look upon the rally as a negative thing” he added and stressed that a mirage has been created among the International Community that the Tamil community has compromised on basic principles set out in successive manifestos of the TNA. However, the true state of affairs on the ground is quite different from the picture conveyed to the international community. So there is a need for this state of affairs in the North Eastern Provinces to be explained to the Sinhalese brethren and the International community, that there was a need for of a demonstration of this nature. The majority of the Tamils believe that our rights are going to be sacrificed on the altar of convenience very soon.

If there is going to be any secrecy in formulating the proposals either the Sinhala community or Tamil community or both are going to feel cheated at the end of it. We Tamils may feel it’s not enough.

The Sinhalese may feel it is a sell-out. Therefore, We need to bring the debate on the Constitution into the open. The Sinhalese and Tamils must know what the Constitution offers our people. You cannot try to hurry through a Constitution if it is to last long. Passing a Constitution to please Geneva next March would not help even the International Community, the Chief Minister said.

The Sinhalese are more knowledgeable now about our past. We intend making the Sinhalese community wake up to the fact that they have been defrauded by southern politicians who have led them to believe that federalism is tantamount to separation. Federalism promotes unity. Separation divides the People. We are standing by our request for a Federal Constitution since that would be a way of reducing the hegemonic authoritarianism presently practiced by the Centre,. If there is open debate and discussion among the Sinhalese people about the feasibility of federalism for Sri Lanka, I am sure the truth of federalism would be understood by the southern polity. The negative reaction you refer to has come about by wrong understanding.

The Buddha in the ‘Kalama Sutra’ said do not accept something because someone says it is so. Traditions are not to be followed simply because they are traditions. Reports (such as historical accounts or news) are not to be followed simply because the source seems reliable. One’s own preferences are not to be followed simply because they seem logical or resonate with one’s feelings.

“If the Sinhalese take the trouble to find out the truth about federalism I am sure they would come by the truth which is that federalism is the only plausible solution to the problems of the Sinhalese and Tamils politically.”
He recalled that Mahinda Rajapaksa kept it repressed but the present President gave us the freedom to say what we always wanted to say.”The truth lies in our utterances,” he told Ceylon Today.

The CM said that even Mavai Senathirajah, the Leader of the Federal Party who approved the demands of the demonstrators was concerned about the time when a solution is in the offing. Our response to that has been that if a proper solution is forthcoming we would welcome it wholeheartedly. But if not, what next?

“I remember the late C.Suntharalingam arguing in the Supreme Court that the 1972 Constitution was detrimental to the Tamils. My friend Mark’s father H.N.G. Fernando was the presiding Judge. HNG said the Constitution has not come to pass. It is too early to determine. Suntharalingam said if it is passed it would be too late. The SC dismissed his Application. When it was passed C.Suntharalingam came back again into the Supreme Court. HNG said under the Constitution, they who had been appointed under the Constitution could not now go against the Constitution.”

(Source: Ceylon Today)