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Redundancy of the 13th Amendment
With the eradication of terrorism and annihilating the LTTE and its leader
megalomaniac Velupillai Prabhakaran by May 18, 2009, at Pudumathalan in
Mullativu, we have been able to liberate Sri Lanka and its people and bring them
under one flag by the continuous uninterrupted military action of our commanding
forces led by General Sarath Fonseka, Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Air Chief
Marshal Roshan Gunathilake guided by the Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
with firm determination, commitment and strategy and no doubt with the
determined leadership and inspiration given to the Security Forces to demolish
the LTTE creating not only Sri Lankan history but setting an example to the
whole world that even any of the powerful nations could not accomplish.
This historical victory was possible due to the unwavering stance of our
President who as the Commander of the Armed Forces defending the country from
all sorts of foreign interferences, mediations regarding their concerted efforts
to protect the Tigers and thereby has brought once again freedom from all
bonding specially Britain - who imagines still Sri Lanka to be a British colony.
Government of India too is highly satisfied on the events as their problems with
the LTTE have been solved with Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman required by India as
well as Interpol for the assassination of Rajiv Ghandi have been given the
capital punishment by the Sri Lankan Government through its military victories
in the final battle at Pudumathalan with the LTTE also freeing thousands of
Tamil civilians taken hostage by them.
Most probably with respect to the statement made by the former Chief Justice
Sarath N. Silva made on the eve of his retirement recently that the 13th
Amendment to the Constitution is unsuitable to a small county like Sri Lanka
which has been drafted by the Indian authority in a hurry and cannot be
implemented, can be assumed as a declaration from and highest authorities in Sri
Lanka in this context as the Chief Justice had given many landmark judgments
affecting the unitary character as well as on the economic front of the island
from time to time during his tenure.
Thus, following the above statement and the declaration made by the Indian
authority - Foreign Secretary Shivashankar Menon - that Sri Lanka is an
independent sovereign state and no other nation of the world has the right to
interfere with the internal affairs of Sri Lanka and the solutions should be
formulated by themselves to suite them and also not entertaining TNA MPs by the
Indian PM Manmohan Singh a few days back signifies that the 13th Amendment
brought by President J. R. Jayewardane Government as a solution to the
North-East conflict creating Provincial Councils following the signing of Indo
Lanka Accord on July 29, 1987 with Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi amidst island-wide
protests and objections is unsuitable to Sri Lanka. Since then, as the PCs so
implemented had been confined only to seven provinces other than the North and
East and have become a white elephant unaffordable to Sri Lanka which needs
rethinking and re-assessment.
Therefore Shivasankar Menon’s declaration following our former Chief Justices
statement can be considered as a withdrawal of the pressure brought upon 13th
Amendment imposed by the Indian authorities. The whole world is aware that
Indian intervention in 1985 at the Vadamarachchi Operation of Denzil Kobbekaduwa
to protect Prabhakaran at the last moment giving lifeline to intransigent
Prabhakaran to become formidable for another two more decades who has never been
able to step or move even and inch from his dream of Elam causing numerous
hardships with crimes to the to his own community of Tamils living here and even
in Tamil Nadu until his demise might have moved the Foreign Secretary
Shivasankar Menon to take such a standpoint in favour of Sri Lanka.
What follows from the foregoing phenomena is that the implementation of 13th
Amendment has become redundant and also null and void owing to the above obvious
Therefore, under the circumstances and on the prevailing situation in Sri Lanka
it will be the best opportunity to do away with the PC system immediately by an
Act in Parliament to nullify the 13th Amendment with a 2/3rd majority which
could be easily done at this juncture.
Secondly, holding LG elections in the North (Jaffna and Vaunia etc.) and
empowering the LG bodies throughout the country with more powers to develop
their areas of administration according to their wishes with state aid and
Further, the necessity for APRC proposals too does not arise and has become
redundant. It will also be evident that spending time and money anymore on
finding political solutions, devolution or holding seminars, conferences will
serve no purpose and will be a wastage of time and energy. Concentration on
economic development of the country to build up the nation is the need of the
hour for a glorious future as the obstacles and impediments have already been
overcome by now.
A. P. Subasinghe
A profession forgotten after battle
The end of the 30-year scourge of war has now come to an end. Thousands have
lost their lives and limbs. A new trend has now come into fashion and everybody
involved in the war has been recognised by various organisations such as their
schools, professional institutions, religious bodies, respective armed forces
and even eminent dignitaries including the President himself.
But, alas! No mention has been made anywhere of the members of the medical
profession attached to the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Special Task Force (Sri
Lanka Police) who risked their lives to save the injured on the battle field and
dispatch them safely to hospitals in safe areas, where there were thousands of
people willing to help.
This small band of medical professionals who have worked on the field to save so
many lives and with whose confidence the soldiers had gone on to the battle
field are today a forgotten lot. Neither the armed forces that they belong to
nor professional bodies such as the Sri Lanka Medical Council have honoured or
recognised them. There is a saying that “a doctor’s job is a thankless job.”
We, the small band of medical professionals are only human and would appreciate
at least a word of thanks.
A medical professional in the Armed Forces
Travails of Grama Sevaka Niladharis
Recently, there was an article in the newspapers stating that the Grama Sevaka
Niladharis commencing from July 1, 2009, are required to work on Mondays,
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays (from 8:30 a.m.-11 a.m.) and Saturdays (8:30 a.m.-
12:30 p.m.) instead of the earlier practice of working on Mondays, Thursdays and
Saturdays during the morning hours only. Apparently, people feel that it is
difficult to contact them on these three days and that often, some of the Grama
Sevakas do not turn up which leaves the people seeking their assistance high and
dry! Therefore, the government feels that they must work additional days to
serve the people in a better manner. The fact that the government has taken note
of the lapses and wishes to rectify short comings is highly commendable.
In fairness to these public servants we need to admit that the vast majority of
Grama Sevakas are performing a tremendous service to the country and residents
coming under their purview and the actions of a minority of truants or
miscreants must and should not vilify the entire category of “Grama Sevaka
Niladhari” (GNs) who are doing a yeomen service with the barest of facilities
given to them by the government which is in itself unfair. “To give an inch and
expect a yard” of service from them, is unfair by any standards given the fact
that many other categories of public servants enjoy much more perks but their
productivity is far from satisfactory and hardly anyone dares to point these
Let us look at how well the government is looking after their needs and judge
whether or not, their performance is satisfactory before criticising them.
If we call them “gypsies” we are not far from the truth because they have no
decent place called their “office” where they can establish a proper working
environment which naturally would give them the much needed incentive to work.
Most of them perform their public duties in village temples (some times three to
four GNs share the same facility) in the Dharmasala or similar places which they
are expected to call their “office” and they are given a desk and two chairs
(one for them to sit and the other for their visitor to sit on) plus a small
cupboard. The Rs.500 they are given per month as office rent under the current
social set-up; Rs.200 per month as a travelling allowance; Rs.1,000 per month
for procurement of required stationery items is about all they get from the
government which expects these Grama Niladharis to service families of 500,
1,500, 1,800 or even as much as 2,000 households of the GN divisions that are
demarcated and allocated to them! As a basic salary they are paid Rs.13,120 per
They are not provided with a mode of transport whether it be a simple push
bicycle or motor bike but are expected to cover the areas mentioned above and
many are the times we have seen them trudging along on foot down the in-roads of
villages or towns in the sweltering heat to visit houses to gather
information/data or distribute Householder’s Lists. It is not often that
householders even offer a smile to these public servants when the door bells
ring to hand over the said forms!
If the government (all governments past and present) wish to get a better
service from these public servants, would it be possible to consider providing
an independent common office space/building/rented house with proper water,
electricity and a fan (luxury of course!) for the GNs covering one Pradeshiya
Sabha to work and set up their office in a dignified manner? Sometimes there are
two, three, four or even five GNs who cover one Pradeshiya Sabha area and it
would help if they are housed under one roof to enable them to discuss common
problems within the region.
Hopefully, these office facilities must be independent from political
interference for them to perform their duties impartially to all households that
come under their purview. If this is done, there will definitely be a difference
in the attitudes of these GNs who can lock up their documents at the end of
their duties on the days stipulated at the beginning of this article without
having to cart confidential files to and from their homes as they are required
to do now.
Under the circumstances mentioned above, can we blame or criticise these public
servants who are in reality, the one category of public servants who are
actually working closest to the householders and performing a tremendous
service? It is the sincere wish of the writer that the relevant government
authorities will think seriously about providing them a better deal to perform
their duties. How much have authorities taken into consideration the many odds
against which they are expected to perform their duties or we the citizens of
this country thought about their woes? It is high time we did!
Certificates and prizes for using text books carefully
It was reported in a recent issue of a Sinhala newspaper that students who
maintain textbooks, which are given free by the Educational Publications
department, were given certificates last year, which was Commissioner General of
Educational Publications, Jayantha Pushpa Kumara’s, brainwave.
This year, the Department has decided to reward the students who use the
textbooks carefully with prizes in addition to certificates, says the above news
item. It was reported, there is a lot of saving as the reprint order quantity
for the following year is substantially reduced.
It is no doubt, a very good idea to encourage students to keep the books neat
and tidy, free of scribbles, etc. But, I would like to suggest that we reward
students not only for maintaining the books spick and span but also for
punctuality as well.
We also should not forget the teachers to be adequately looked after by
presenting gifts annually or the Department of Education should come out with
novel ideas of rewarding the teachers, so that it will be an inducement for the
teachers to be punctual and be more dedicated. It was alleged by some teachers
at a symposium sponsored by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung that they are the lowest
paid in the state sector.
I suggest that the Department of Education formulate and implement new steps to
reward the teachers. Once the teachers are dedicated, students’ dependence on
private tuition can be reduced to a great extent. It’s my wish that we do away
with private tutories, the way we did away with terrorism, by completely
eradicating it from our country.
Interpol - Of what use?
In recent times, our newspapers have often referred to Interpol. Several
fugitives who have escaped from Sri Lankan justice are supposed to be wanted by
Interpol. So often have newspapers referred to these criminals as ‘wanted by
Interpol’ it appears as if this has become a qualification, particularly for our
What is Interpol? Perhaps many have only heard about it. Its full name is The
International Criminal Police Organisation. It is the world’s largest
international police organisation with 187 member countries. Created in 1923, it
facilitates cross-border police co-operation and assists organisations that
prevent and combat international crime.
The General Secretariat of Interpol is located in Lyon, France and operates 24
hours a day under the Secretary General. Each member country maintains a
National Central Bureau staffed by its local police officers. This is the
contact point for the General Secretariat, regional offices and other member
countries requiring assistance with overseas investigations and the location and
apprehension of fugitives.
Sri Lanka is a member country of Interpol paying a substantial annual
subscription fee. Its NCB is located within the Criminal Investigation
Department (CID) and this is considered one of the latter’s important desks.
Delegates from Sri Lanka attend the annual General Assembly Sessions at which
all important decisions related to policy, resources, working methods, finances,
activities and programmes are determined.
The worrying question is, why can’t this prestigious, exclusive and powerful
international police organisation arrest the few big Sri Lankan swindlers who
are at large? More than even these swindlers, it has failed to arrest one of the
world’s most wanted international terrorists and gun runners K.P. the Sri Lankan
To Sri Lankans, Interpol is just an empty name. The General Assembly should take
note of this and get the Executive Committee and General Secretariat rid the
organisation of its lethargy.
Why blame USA for our faults?
I find the statements made by some government officials not only amusing but
most embarrassing. Take the case of the recent ‘travel advisory’ apparently
issued by the USA to its travelling citizens. It appears that US citizens have
been told to be watchful of travelling within Sri Lanka due to possible terror
attacks. This has upset government officials who are up in arms objecting to it
on the grounds that it is over a month since the LTTE terrorists were destroyed
and that such a statement was unnecessary as the ground situation is entirely
Was it not recently that our ministers when asked at a news conference as to why
security was still heightened, barricades still on and roads suddenly closed
causing inconvenience to the public, responded stating that Intelligence Reports
indicate the presence of LTTE cells in the South and that there were
possibilities of attacks in revenge.
When will those in power learn that it cannot relate one story for locals and
another for foreigners?
No one can blame either the Americans or anyone else for taking precautions
especially when the very government in power admits to such insecurity.
- Tissa Dias
Third death anniversary
This year is a special year for us. Both our sons are sitting for the Advanced
Level exam, in another two weeks time. ‘If you were here…’ that thought always
come to my mind. You supported them as much as possible. Whenever you could, you
picked them from their classes. Even last two days of your life you performed
I can remember how both of us discussed; laughed about everything of theirs.
Especially you considered about their education. You always told them, “Sons,
you should study well and live a better life than ours.”
The year you departed us was the younger son Nipun’s Ordinary Level exam. When
his results were out, you were not with us. He passed the exam with very good
results, but I really missed you that day because you always shared everything
with me. I am happy that he fulfilled your expectations.
These days both sons are studying hard. They go to classes, together they study.
You used to tell them, “Mother is there to coach you for one subject, so you get
the maximum advantage of that,” whenever I teach them. I remind them those
words. They do the same subjects for the exam and discuss about the difficult
Not only studies but they also assist me in other things as well. They help me a
lot like you were. Some days they drop me to the junction in the morning and
help me with cooking. So I am lucky to have two sons like you. If you were here
today, you would be very happy to see them as mature persons.
I know you liked to watch them going to the new class on the first day of every
year from the day of admission to the school. After they came to higher classes
still you wanted to watch them. When I told you, it would be late and go for
work, but you still needed that feeling of happiness.
The first day, both sons came to my section of the school I missed your
You had a note book, its name is “Supun and Nipun.” You had written all the
special things of their life from small days. When I read the whole book after
your demise I found an interesting sentence you have written. When you were
writing the book, Nipun Putha had come there and told you “‘thattha’ is writing
A, B, C.” So you wrote that also. He was very small then. When I read that book,
I realised how much you loved them and admired them. I wish I could share those
happy memories with you.
I believe that as the way you expected, they will fulfill your dreams. Elder son
Supun is really working hard. He is a good example for others how to take a
challenge and decided to sit the exam again, as he was unable to sit last year
due to ill health, just two days prior to the exam.
I am sure our sons will become good citizens as they are blessed by you. We will
remember you forever.
Champika Ramani Dias
Your memories heal my pain
Three years have gone by, since you left me and the world that loved you very
much. But the memories that you and I shared help me to ease down the
loneliness, the pain that I have to heal without you.
We had a bond, far beyond that was of a father and a son. We were best friends.
We used to talk everything that matters life and work. You wanted me to know
everything that would help me to stand on my own feet and achieve the major
goals that are needed to succeed in my life.
You always told me to do whatever that I think is the best for myself. But you
wanted one to remember that every action has its own consequences.
You sacrificed your time for the well-being of me and ‘malli’. You always wanted
to provide everything we needed and yes; you provided everything we needed. Your
teaching and advice has helped me to go through this painful period that I have
to face alone without you. I knew that you are watching me. I know that you are
right behind me; helping me to do my studies well; which is the most important
thing now as the exams are getting closer. You never wanted me to give up and I
didn’t give up. I wanted to do my exams well, no matter how many years it takes
to succeed well. The last day that you and I talked, the day you left all of us,
you told me to have a plan and start studying well as it was exactly a year for
the A/L exam.
What you told me on that day helped me to motivate myself to study well. Even
after three years, I am still with the exams. But this time I and ‘malli’ will
be doing the exams together and we will so, it will, just for you, just as you
wanted that you always wanted us to do was to do the exams well.
You had a ‘dream’ and we are committed to make that dream come true. You wanted
us to climb to the top level that can be achieved in the field we have chosen to
do. The exams will be the foundation to make that dream come true.
I promise you that I will look after mother and brother just the way you looked
after them and I will keep them happy as ever.
For all what I am; I owe to you… I miss you a lot, but I love you more than
anyone. I love you so much Thatha. You are the best father in the world.
Supun Hasantha Dias