Category Archives: devolution

Evaluating Jehan Perera’s Assessments of the Presidential Candidates

Edward Upali in Canada, via Email Memo to Thuppahi, September 2019**

In his opinion piece on the Presidential Stakes Jehan Perera (JP) evaluates three of the more likely candidates at the next Presidential Election in Sri Lanka (SL).  However, I have some concerns relative to the criteria he uses to evaluate the prospective candidates.  It is a common practice in Problem Solving, to use the same criteria to all alternatives and score them to choose the best solution.  However, JP who claims to be a lawyer by training, appears to use several sets of criteria /attributes to evaluate three prospective Presidential Candidates

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Sri Lanka’s President-to-be: Evaluating the Evaluations

Rajeewa Jayaweera,  from Island,  9  September 2019 where the title is “Hobson’s choice with Presidential Candidates”

Two recent articles published in The Island were eye-openers. The first was titled ‘Presidential Elections and the Peoples Options’ by a group of eminent persons collectively known as ‘Friday Forum.’ The other was titled ‘Milinda reminds seven cold economic truths as politicians go into overdrive with promises’ by former politician and minister Milinda Moragoda.

Goonesekere; Jayaratne; and Moragoda

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Presidency Stakes: “Devolution is the Key Issue” says Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera, in The Island, 26 August 2019, with this title “A Presidential Candidate the People want”

The main opposition party, the SLPP, was the quickest off the mark to propose its candidate. Their candidate, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has the advantage of being both a known and unknown quantity. On the one hand, he is known as being one of the primary architects of the military defeat of the LTTE, once believed to be an undefeatable politico-military force and enjoying local and transnational support. On the other hand, as a former army officer and public servant, his performance as a politician is untested and unknown. In the context of the widespread disillusionment against established politicians, this is an advantage to which the SLPP’s political opponents need to find an answer.

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India’s Kashmir Action: Severe Implications for Sri Lankan Tamils

 PK Balachandran, of BD News, in Island, 13 August 2019, “Kashmir episode further dims chances of devolution of power to Sri Lankan Tamils

What is happening in India now in regard to federalism and devolution of power to Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir (J and K) region could further dim prospects of Sri Lankan Tamils’ getting power devolution beyond what they have been given de facto under the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution.

Through a Presidential Order on August 5, the Indian central government headed by strongman Narendra Modi, nullified Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution which had given J and K State a large degree of autonomy. The Presidential Order also divided the State of J and K into two Union territories with very much less autonomy.

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Horrendous Constitutional Weaknesses via the 13th Amendment framed by India

C. A. Chandraprema, in Island, 22 July 2019, where the title is “13A: SL never got what India has: Four decades of constitutional folly and failure – 2

“Upon the making of a proclamation under the Public Security Ordinance or the law for the time being in force relating to public security, bringing the provisions of such Ordinance or law into operation on the ground that the maintenance of essential supplies and services is, threatened or that the security of Sri Lanka is threatened by war or external aggression or armed rebellion, the President may give directions to any Governor as to the manner in which the executive power exercisable by the Governor is to be exercised …”

President J. R. Jayewardene and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi after signing the Indo-Lanka Accord, which paved the way for the provincial council system

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Sri Lanka, 2010-2019: Positive Changes but Sinhala Buddhist Dominance still prevails — Alan Keenan

Alan Keenan, in Sri Lanka Mirror, April 2019, where the title runs Sri Lanka is a ‘nation favourable to the Sinhala Buddhist majority’ –ICG,”

After ten years since the end of the war, Sri Lanka being a country that favours the Sinhala Buddhist majority is detrimental to its progress, an NGO head has warned.  The Project Director of International Crisis Group (ICG) Alan Keenan made this statement to the Tamil media after a tour of the North Eastern province and border villages.

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Simple Blundering Simon: Gideon Haigh’s Venture into Sri Lankan Political History

Michael Roberts

Gideon Haigh is an incisive and formidable researcher. He is a whiz-kid on the financial underpinnings of the business of cricket in India and even more adept in analysing the processes surrounding cricket matches in Australia, India and beyond. But in his recent excursion into Sri Lankan politics, he has dived into a morass he is not familiar with.[1]

He has seized on the standard interpretations in the western media world and, willy-nilly, become an agent of US-UK-EU imperialist designs. Take note of this summary survey on his part. “In noting that 2018 was a bad year for Sri Lankan cricket, we should note also that it was a very bad year for Sri Lankan democracy, rocked by President Maithripala Sirisena’s attempts to install his notoriously authoritarian predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister over the head of incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe……. by the estimate of The Economist Intelligence Unit, in no country did the cause of democracy retreat so far as Sri Lanka last year.”

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