, ,

The PSC, An Instrument Of Blackmail

Chief Minister of the Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran met President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (02 January) at Temple Trees.

( January 3, 2014 - Colombo - Sri Lanka Guardian )The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) is the latest instrument of blackmail used by the Rajapaksa dynasty for the deception and the future oppression of the Tamil people on a permanent basis. The members are appointed to the committee by no other than president Rajapaksa's brother Chamal Rajapaksa the Speaker in the House of Parliament. It was recently used to rubber stamp the unfair and unprecedented dismissal of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake bringing the working of the Sri Lankan justice system to a halt and to its lowest ebb for the sake of expediency of the Rajapaksa agenda. President Rajapaksa's latest ruse is to get the Tamil National alliance (TNA) to subscribe to a home grown solution to the Tamil question supposedly through the PSC. This is evidently to get over the impasse of the impending UN resolution in March 2014 with the Rajapaksa and their war criminal cohorts being accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The term "home grown solution" has been bandied about ever since the year 2006. The question is: what exactly is "home grown" and if the TNA subscribes to the version as presented to them, will the so called southern consensus subscribe to it devoid of their triumphalist attitude. The PSC is in fact a successor to the All Party Representatives Conference (APRC) and is not an independent commission as are all other commissions in Sri Lanka. It was an instrument to deflect the Tamil support to the LTTE but with its defeat the APRC recommendations were dropped. It must be remembered that the APRC comprised representatives of all political parties that were members of the All Party Conference and was tasked with formulating a draft proposal for constitutional reform to evolve a "home-grown new Constitution" which will provide "a comprehensive approach to the resolution of the national question". The Tamil National Alliance was not invited because Rajapaksa had felt there must first be a Southern consensus. Although the final report of the APRC did not see its official release, it was after the release of its interim report that the Provincial Council elections were held in the East.

Rajapaksa is currently engaged in yet another effort to produce a "home-grown" solution to the power-sharing problems in Sri Lanka. We have in these columns pointed out that Rajapaksa is not particularly intelligent but is endowed with a rat cunning of a rural nature that he cleverly employs to his selfish advantage.

Getting the TNA to subscribe to the PSC is a clever stroke which can be seen through and the TNA do not wish to be blackmailed into Tamils being made into political non entities having lost their last trump card. Rajapaksa's invitation to join the PSC has been wisely dismissed by the TNA parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran on the ground that the PSC as being "not the suitable mechanism to reach a political solution".

Joining the PSC at this stage would not only tantamount to losing one of the last trumps of the Tamils but also be politically suicidal. In desperation, the Sinhala polity including its chauvinist elements, attribute ulterior motives to Sumanthiran's reasoning. What is uppermost in the mind of the TNA is the fact that the Tamil political interests should not be compromised at any cost.

Rajapaksa's request to the TNA to join the PSC comes in an atmosphere of the absolute lack of planning for a future, more principled peace process that emphasises human rights, good governance and state reforms also designed to ensure equal opportunities and treatment for all citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion not to mention land use.

Ever since the 1950s the Tamil people have been subject to instruments of oppression such as the Anti Terrorism Act, State sponsored pogroms including the complete burning down of the library in Jaffna, murders of journalists, abductions and disappearances and indeed the introduction of the most unequitable system of standardization at the level of entry into the universities. To this day instruments like torture, sexual abuse of women and children, abductions, denial of property rights and their destruction are rampant in the north and the east. There are the horrendous stories of women being raped with their children living in abject fear and other children growing in the fear that their fathers when they leave home would not return. These happen on a daily basis.

In a climate of fear and uncertainty in the midst of human rights abuses with equality denied with the Tamils being ridden roughshod by an occupying military with the Provincial Council in the north reduced to one only in name and the Tamil speaking peoples in the east living in fear it is only apt that the Tamil leadership do not subscribe to the antics of the Rajapaksa dynasty for their survival in power.

( The writer is the editor of the Eelam Nation, an online journal)