India has no moral right to force Sri Lanka to implement 13A | Daily News

India has no moral right to force Sri Lanka to implement 13A

Provincial Councils and Local Government State Minister Sarath Weerasekara said that India has no moral right to force Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment as it is detrimental to the country.

Talking about international agreements in Parliament yesterday, he said it is very important to talk about indo Lanka accord as it affects our national security.

“When foreign governments adversely commented on the abrogation of article 370 pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir, our Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was asked to comment on the matter and he said it was an internal matter of India. Knowing that this is an internal matter of Sri Lanka, PM Modi insisting on the 13th Amendment, maybe because India’s participation and commitment are acknowledged through the facilitation of the Indo Lanka Accord.

But in the Indo-Lanka Agreement there is no agreement about the 13th Amendment. It was forced on us by India subsequently. Also I have my reservations about the Indo-Lanka Accord signed on July 2, 2020. Did India honour her part in that agreement?”

He noted that it says all the displaced persons in ethnic violence or other reasons will have the right to vote and to create necessary conditions to engage them to return.

“But thousands of Sinhalese and Muslims who lived in the north have never returned to date. Also it says within 48 hours, cessation of hostilities came into effect and all arms held by terrorist groups will be surrendered to the authorities. We know it was only done as a token ceremoniously and India couldn't stop the revival of hostilities of the LTTE. Even the IPKF, one of the largest armies of the world, couldn't crash the LTTE and had to return to India with heavy casualties. However, the Sri Lankan forces with proper political leadership defeated the LTTE but that too at very heavy cost. Around 20,000 were killed, 14,000 wounded in action and so India could not fulfill that requirement, too.”

He said the question arises whether this agreement was signed under duress or whether the contents of the agreement compromised Sri Lanka's sovereignty. “Because one thing we know is that when we were about to crush the LTTE at Wadamarachchi, India violated our air space and dropped food and medicine in Jaffna famously known as Dhal dropping operation of India. Within two months the agreement was signed making that incident a coincidental prelude to the agreement. Also it mentions about the Trincomalee harbour and oil tanks and Sri Lanka courts have nullified the merger of the North and East Provinces, which was one of the clauses in the accord.”

Therefore, he said there is serious concern about the validity of the agreement and if it is not valid, India has no moral right to interfere into our internal affairs. “I also must remind India soon after its independence, there was a separatist movement by the Dravidians. That's why Jawaharlal Nero broke India into 28 linguistic states. In ancient China and many other civilizations like Roman, Greek, when regional powers became strong, the then empires got broken up and diminished. Ambedkar expresses that "linguistic states and political entities will become a stepping stone to create separate states". He further states that the road between an independent nationality and independent state is very narrow. If this happens modern India will cease to exist.”

Therefore, he noted that India should be cognizant of the fact that granting self determination to the North or the merged of North and East could be utilised as a steppingstone for a dravidistan or if not they could link up with Tamil Nadu. “So, Balkanization of Sri Lanka into nine provincial governments through the 13th Amendment will invariably affect the unity of India. The promoter will then become the victim. In the north 99 per cent of the population are Tamils, the LTTE resorted to ethnic cleansing and all Sinhalese and Muslims who lived in the north massacred or chased out. Now the separatist politicians seek self determination. That is why experts say power should never be divided based on ethnicity. The 13th Amendment provides for ethnic enclaves. We know devolution of power as a post to decentralisation up to the lowest level. The centre must retain the power. Our culture of governance was centered with the ruling king. It has not fundamentally changed. A virtuous ruler is the term that we recognise respect and expect. India and Sri Lanka have very long history of friendship, and we recognise the importance of nurturing that friendship.”

Weerasekara admitted that he loves Indian very much for the Indian Navy, and India contributed a lot for him to become a professional Navy officer. “So having said that, let me mention one of the statements mentioned by Prime Minister Modi. He insists on the 13th Amendment to fulfill the aspirations of the Tamils in the north. It is respectfully reminded that more than 50 per cent of the Tamils in Sri Lanka are living in the south amongst the Sinhalese and Muslims. So, if power is devolved to fulfill the northern Tamils what about the aspirations of Tamils living in the South? Does that mean that India is not concerned about their aspirations or is India convinced that their aspirations are already met? India also must study why the Tamils from the North in the past years keep on coming to the South. Because they know they are not discriminated against. Also the Indian Prime Minister is talking to the Tamil political parties who work on a separatist agenda. The TNA is the political arm of the LTTE, the most ruthless terror organization in the world and even India has banned it. The leaders took an oath in front of Prabhakaran before coming to Parliament. The LTTE killed Rajiv Gandhi, one of the most popular Prime Minister's in India. The TNA has never condemned the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi or for that matter any of the atrocities of the Tamil Tigers. So, Mr. Modi, talking to politicians or political parties and addressing their so-called grievances is like someone appearing for the interest the associates of his mother’s killer. If it is required, he should talk with the Tamils in societies comprising respectable and educated Tamils and not the representatives of terrorists.”

He thanked India, however, because she stood by Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, soon after we defeated the LTTE. “When there were war crimes allegations against us, in 2009 on May 27 India voted in favour of us and congratulated us for crashing the LTTE and condemned the Tigers for their murderous acts. Also in 2014 when the UNHRC adopted a resolution calling for an investigation in Sri Lanka, India opposed saying it is an intrusion of a country's sovereignty. We won the war against terrorists by rescuing 295,000 Innocent Tamils from the clutches of the LTTE. It was the largest rescue operation in the world. We cleared 495,000 anti-personnel mines for the Tamils to be resettled. We resettled 300,000 Tamils within a very short period. The so-called saviors of Tamils who are now appearing for the aspirations of the Tamils, never came and offered even a cup of yoghurt to an innocent Tamil child during that operation.

So, I hope Indian Prime Minister Modi would take all these facts into consideration before asking us to implement the 13th Amendment again.”