| by Rajasingham Jayadevan
( September 17, 2013, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Two contrasting ballot voting involving two distinct minorities are to be held in the space of twelve months in two island nations.
One in Scotland on 18 September 2014. This is a plebiscite to be conducted in a mature and responsible democracy, where minority interests and their freedom of expressions are respected with well established political mechanisms, tolerance and high regard for rule of law.
The Scottish have to only say either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to a simple question of ‘should Scotland be an independent country’ on 18 September 2014. It is the English dominated British parliament that has decided the referendum for Scotland and it will be only the Scottish people who will be saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on that day. The referendum comes despite British government devolving substantial powers to the Scottish parliament – even powers to enact local laws for Scotland.
The debate has already started in the responsible media about the referendum. What is heard and read is mature, sensible and responsible pro and against discussions without causing any acrimony or hurt for the Scottish people or anyone. The present low level healthy campaign will progress towards interactive media and public campaigns close enough to the referendum.
There won’t be violence or nonsensical rabid racist discharges and the Scottish people will be left alone to decide of their fate on the 18 September 2014. A ‘Yes’ vote will proceed with celebrations in Scotland and sombre feelings felt in the south. A ‘No’ vote will be a sigh of relief to the South and Scottish political leadership will accept the fate accompli in a sensible manner and leave the battle for the future.
Twelve months before the Scottish referendum, provincial election will be held in Sri Lanka in three provinces on 21 September 2013. The Tamil dominated Northern Provincial election is the focal and sensitive event for many reasons, including that of the contribution and sacrifices made by the Tamil community to get the meagre devolved system of governance in the statute for the whole country with the Indian intervention.
The blood of the Tamils and Indians were spilt for the introduction and the implementation of the 13th amendment to the constitution that gave birth to the Provincial administration whilst the anti-Tamil -- anti- Indian blood of the misguided Sinhalese was split to oppose the devolution downright.
The election to the devolved provincial administration that even lacks the decentralised powers of the local councils in Britain is fought in a scale that only reflects the rot plaguing a pathetically weak and a centralised authoritarian democracy of the unbending and intolerant majority in Sri Lanka
The provincial devolvement that came about with the politico-violent agitations of the Tamils is abhorred by the government and the extremists protected by the state that even speak of not upholding the provisions of the constitution in an anathematic way. So far, none of the other provinces have proactively implemented the devolvement provisions and have only played the pathetic role to the dictation of the state on all aspects of governance.
Violence, military and intelligence services involvement to undermine a fair outcome in the northern provincial election is heavily felt. The anti-Tamil right wing hate mindsets are on their crusade to prop up unwanted fear for the voters. Even the President is not spearheading a mature campaign. Instead, he too is making irresponsible speeches to prop up his paramilitary governance or to weaken the popular feelings of the people in the north. His recent excursion to the north to commission the northern rail link to Kilinochichi and opening of few projects in the north are clearly aimed to undermine a fair campaign that even the Election Commissioner has not questioned.
In mature democracies like Britain, empowerment of the people is the mission but in Sri Lanka, it has the opposite meaning. In the name of people and democracy, majority rule violently stampedes the minority rights and demands. Instead of mature devolvement process, terrible acts of commissions and omissions are done to marginalise the minorities.
A resounding outcome in the north will let loose hysteria in the South and the state goon mechanisms will work hard to undermine the very regional democracy in a ruthless way. Intransigence on the part of the state and hate goons will only lead to violence against the Tamils to subdue them further.
With the unquestioned support of the proletariat dictatorships of Russia, China and the unhindered backing of the potty governments around the world, the Sri Lanka is on the crusade to undermine good governance practices and is extending a campaign of hate against the minorities.
Associating with the successful democracies like Britain is not agreeable to Sri Lanka as it needs avenues to extend and cover up its undemocratic campaigns against the minorities.
How long can Sri Lanka progress in this way in the fast changing global village?