| by Upasiri de Silva
( April 3, 2013, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) 13th Amendment, created Provincial Councils (PCs) in Sri Lanka, and helped to change the Sri Lankan political culture by paving the way to a corrupt, thuggish political environment, which demolished the democratic principles of most politicians.. Now this 13th Amendment has become one of the most controversial sections of the Sri Lankan Constitution, as any new legislation need to be framed to meet the legal requirements of the 13th Amendment.. With all these social and financial problems prevailing in the country President Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to take appropriate action to repeal the entire amendment or repeal certain sections of the amendment to satisfy the masses.
Since winning the war, Mahinda Rajapaksa sidelined and imprisoned the real heroes who helped him to win this war and failed to understand the importance of reconciliation, due to his inability to act as a National Leader, as corruption and vengeance overtook his weak leadership and the Medamulana policies emerged as the best policies to control the masses. He failed to understand that the reconciliation does not belong to the government or to the Diaspora but for all Sri Lankans to live in harmony.
If President Mahinda Rajapaksa took appropriate steps to either repeal the 13th Amendment or to water down the powers vested with the PC’s under the 13th Amendment, and implement it in the Northern Province, allowing the Sri Lankan people –Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burgers - to reconcile, this hype about the Geneva resolution(s) should not have surfaced.
What is Indo-Sri Lanka Accord and its Legal status?
Sri Lankan parliament enacted the 13th Amendment with a 2/3 majority in 1987, as India forced the then President J.R. Jayawardena to introduced and enact 13th Amendment using duress and military force, during Rajiv Gandhi’s time, as the PM of India. This 13th Amendment has become a much argued topic and a sticking point in the Sri Lankan politics as well as in the Sri Lankan society, as most people ill-perceived this Amendment at the early stages.
The Indo –Sri Lanka Accord signed on July 29, 1987 is now deem to be VOID due to the fundamental breaches created by the Indian government in a forceful and deliberate manner. “Fundamental breach is the failure by one party to perform a primary obligation under the contract so that the other party is deprived of substantially the whole benefit that he or she was to have received under the contract”. Indian government purposely failed to up-hold and breach many other clauses but their failure to uphold the Cl. 2.16 (a) to (e) to take necessary steps to ensure that Indian Territory is not used for activities prejudicial to the unity, integrity and security of Sri Lanka. Since the signing of this agreement and the Indian forces were forced out by the LTTE, and for the last 20 years of the 22 years they provided material help to LTTE by supplying fuel, arms and medicine and also allowing those Tamil Politicians of Tamil Nadu and the TNA to denounce Sri lanka and support the LTTE to continue their Terrorist activities.
Now this Accord is not worth the paper it has written, and there are no legal or other considerations to implement the 13th Amendment, after we completely annihilated the LTTE terror outfit, which was a major requirement at the time of signing this Accord. In 1987, Indian government took this decision to force Sri Lanka to submission as the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was trying to take his revenge for insulting his mother Srimathi Gandhi by the then President J.R.Jayawardena, of Sri Lanka, according to very reliable sources.
“Which was to humiliate the Junius Richard Jayewardene government in Sri Lanka and teach it a hard lesson about the dangers of being disrespectful to India’s status as the pre-eminent power in the Indian Ocean? Jayewardene was too Western-oriented and behaved as if he never read about the Monroe Doctrine when he read history in Oxford. We didn't like at all his dalliance with the Israelis and the Americans in our very backyard. So, we fostered Prabahakaran and built him up as a prick on Jayewardene's vanities - like Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale of the Deccans”. (Rise and fall of Prabakaran, 05-07-2009 by Indian Ambassador M.K.Bhadrakumar, National Express Malaysia)
Why President Rajapaksa took so long to repeal this Amendment?
Mahinda Rajapaksa main aim was to create a ‘dynasty’ for the Rajapaksa family, and for his sons to succeed him as the rulers of Sri Lanka. For this creation, he wanted funds and, China volunteer to lend money at exorbitant interest rates to construct projects, mostly named in his name, not meeting the principles of Sustainable Development. If anyone look around the country and the kind of development MR is doing by wasting public funds (borrowed from China), can understand the Rajapaksa mentality in this regard.
As they spend time making money and doing every thing to demolish the democratic principles which Sri lanka safeguarded, they wanted to prove that they are tough people and ruthless when some one try to attack them. A good example is the jailing of General Sarath Fonseka, after he helped Rajapaksa to win the un-winnable war. After pushing GSF behind bars, Mahinda Rajapaksa sacked the 43rd Chief Justice of the country violating the constitution, using un-democratic methods. He helped the Tamil Diaspora to create their own Tamil World Government, with the help of Kumaran Padmanathan (KP) and reconciliation and the establishment of PC’s in the Northern District vanished from his memory. But the 13th Amendment starts to haunt him and his broken promises to the Indian PM and the UN Chief is now coming to haunt him.
As a National Leader with responsibilities to the entire country, if he asked his AG to study the breaches created by India when forcing the Sri Lankan government to implement the 13th Amendment in 1978, and those breaches created by the Indian government is adequate enough for the GOSL to establish a team of Lawyers to argue the case to repeal the 13th Amendment. But as PC’s has become the life blood of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political life, he will never repeal the 13th Amendment, but also afraid to implement it in the present form in the Northern Province.
Will this Amendment be his waterloo?
Experienced true Leaders know the important factors to keep him in power. But Mahinda Rajapaksa, a very weak and corrupt leader, who disregards the constitution, failed to recognise the shortcomings of his rule and to take appropriate advices from intellects around him than listening to few morons and jesters like Wimal Weerawansa, Mervyn Silva and few others.
Now, most Sinhala people are thinking that this 13th Amendment is going to create another LTTE regime and needs MR to repeal the 13th Amendment. But MR playing with the 13th Amendment for the last 4 years and wasted every ones time and energy, without taking appropriate action to solve the 13th Amendment. But this same 13th Amendment was in the the. LLRC report, and UNHCR has passed a resolutions condemning the GOSL and the UN Secretary General was well aware of this 13th Amendment and the promises given by MR to implement it as well as to add some more to it to help the reconciliation. India which supported the Geneva debacle is now forced to help the Northern Tamils even they have no intension to do so, but with a trump card in MR’ hand he can keep India at bay if he wants to repeal the amendment. If MR plays his trump cards correctly, he can avoid the facing of his waterloo or otherwise he will perish with the country, if he allows Wimal and Gotabaya to handle it.
KP Vs Repeal of 13th Amendment?
KP the mastermind of the Rajiv Gandhi murder is a wanted criminal in India. It was a (true) fact that Sri Lanka agreed to handover KP to India after his arrest or surrender after the initial interrogations, but the GOSL failed to honour this agreement, as KP offered his money to save his life and to avoid a long stay behind bars. KP is still holding the Leadership of the LTTE and the key figure responsible for creating the World Tamil Forum. It is a good bargain to save the country and bring reconciliation to the people of Sri lanka, if Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa are strong enough to hand over him to the Indian government. This message was presented by the RAW Chief when he met the President Rajapaksa in Buddha Gaya and for the sake of the country as well as the reconciliation of the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Burger people MR can negotiate to repeal the 13th Amendment.