An Anonymous Guest Post
So, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not be attending CHOGM 2013 in Colombo after all. Many sections of Indian political and civil society, in Tamil Nadu in particular, will no doubt welcome this. But in reality, far from packing a punch this decision comes more as a whimper. If media reports are to be believed the PM’s letter to Rajapakse “does not talk about the reasons for Dr. Singh skipping the meet”. Muddled and last minute as it has been, far from demonstrating intent the decision actually betrays a singular lack of it, leaving India with little by way of leverage while doing its credibility no good. The PM’s absence will not be comfortable for Rajapakse but in the manner it has come it will in fact cost him little or at least much less than it would have if Delhi had made this decision count politically. But then the United Progressive Alliance is too busy dealing with its own rising electoral insecurities to care for India’s strategic interests let alone the human rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Continue reading Manmohan Singh says ‘No’ to CHOGM 2013, with a whimper: Anonymous
I interviewed attorney at law, veteran Left politician and former Provincial Councillor for fifteen years, Lal Wijenayake in July 2010. His experience is all the more important given the recent discussions and debates on the 13th Amendment and the Provincial Council system in Sri Lanka. While this interview from two months back is very much focused on his experience as a Provincial Councillor, in recent weeks, Lal Wijenayake was also a petitioner against the anti-democratic 18th Amendment to the Constitution before the Supreme Court. This was in contrast to the shameful manner in which all five Members of Parliament of the Socialist Alliance voted for the 18th Amendment. Continue reading Provincial Councils and the 13th Amendment: Interview with Lal Wijenayake
I am posting a longer version of an interview with Jayampathy Wickramaratne. The February 2009 issue of Himal Southasian, a special issue on Sri Lanka, has a shorter version of this interview. At a time when there is much concern about the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe there have also been increasing voices calling for a political solution. On the history of displacement and humanitarian concerns with the twenty-fire year war in Sri Lanka, I recommend Rajan Hoole’s article in Himal. This interview with Jayampathy Wickramaratne might engage those interested in past attempts at a political solution as well as the problems with the 13th Amendment (which came out of the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 and is currently being talked about both in Sri Lanka and India).
Ahilan Kadirgamar talked to Jayampathy Wickramaratne, who is President’s Counsel, a constitutional lawyer, a former senior advisor for the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, and a member of the team that drafted the 2000 Constitution Bill. Wickramartane was a member of the panel of experts to assist the All Party Representative Committee and signatory to the “Majority Report” (December 2006) that proposed extensive restructuring of the state, with extensive devolution and power sharing at the centre. Wickramaratne is a politburo member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party. Continue reading Jayampathy Wickramaratne on Political Solution in Sri Lanka