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Tsunami & Aftermath
> Government of
Sri Lanka and LTTE sign Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS)
> Text of Memorandum of Understanding
for Establishment of a Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure > Sri Lanka Government Explains P-TOMS in Statement tabled in
Sri Lanka House of Representatives > The United National Party &
Having it Both Ways? > ISGA & the Law - Professor M.
Sornarajah > Sri Lanka President Kumaratunga wants joint mechanism amended
> Supreme Court Decision on P-TOMS
> Lesson from the Supreme Court
Decision on P-TOMS > The President &
the Chief Justice -
Two Minds with but a Single Thought? - நான்
பேச நினைப்பதெல்லாம் நீ பேச வேண்டும்
Lesson from the High Court Decision
Editorial- Uthayan Daily - 16 July 2005
“Searching in the river for what is lost in the sea” is taking place in this island. Observing the efforts to find a peaceful solution to the ethnic problem and related developments makes one think that this is exactly what is going on here.
The High Court of the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka has outlawed many aspects of the P-TOMS agreement that was settled on after a lot of time and effort. As a result P-TOMS will now be put to sleep. Tsunami affected people awaiting relief are deceived yet again. All those who hoped that some relief would come through the P-TOMS agreement have certainly lost all remaining hopes. Sinhala chauvinists who did not wish justice for the Tamils certainly would have been overjoyed. There is no point in condemning the high court. All it can do is to operate within the law on which it is set up and give rulings and explanations based on them. That is all. It is not going to step outside the law and take into account the ground situation and rule accordingly. But, those who take the ruling of the high court into account and approach the issue based on it must understand one important point.
This point has been repeatedly emphasized not only by the LTTE, the sole representatives of the Tamil people, but also by past leaders of the Tamil people like S J V Chelvanayagam and Amirthalingam over the last few decades. The 1971 constitution that cropped up from nowhere or the present 1978 constitution that followed was brought without any consultation with the Tamils. Both these constitutions were drawn to suit the Sinhala Buddhist hegemony and were forced on the Tamils. These constitutions therefore will not bind the Tamils. This is the unanimous position of both the LTTE and Tamils leaders of the past. It is not possible to find a solution to the self-determination aspirations of the Tamil people under a constitution that they did not accept and one that was forced on them. To search for solution under the present constitution is like searching in the river for what is lost in the sea. To find what is lost in the sea one must look for it in the sea.
The constitution forced on Tamils by the Sinhala chauvinists and the laws within it are the root cause of the Tamil ethnic problem, their struggle, violation of their rights and their suppression. To find a solution to this problem one must step outside this constitution. There is no sense in searching for a solution to the problem while remaining tied up by the rules that caused the problems in the first instance. Be it the P-TOMS or the interim administration or a permanent solution it can be worked out only after stepping outside the constitution. If one looks for the solution within the present constitution within its current laws and structures it will be like loosing something in one place and searching for it somewhere else. It will be a wasted exercise. The high court decision has demonstrated this clearly to the country and the international community.
LTTE’s theoretician Anton Balasingam explained this at the start of the current peace talks. LTTE leader has also pointed this out in his annual Hero’s Day speech. The ceasefire agreement became a reality only when the past Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe gave up hiding behind the constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and accepted the ground reality of two administrative structures; two armies; two areas of control; and two courts of law in the island and signed the ceasefire agreement. Three and a half years of ceasefire became possible because of this. Opportunity for the peace efforts was also created because of this.
Therefore Sinhala leadership must prepare itself to step outside the constitution to find either an interim solution or a permanent solution. As long as such leadership with courage and strength are not formed in the south, they have no option but to stage their senseless dramas while remaining tied up by the constraints Sinhala chauvinistic constitution.
This truth brought out by the high court is dedicated to the attention of the international community.