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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 111

Single state of Sri Lanka with Indian model constitution, the solution for the country’s problems - Colonel Karuna

Colombo, 11 April, ( The TMVP told the AsianTribune that the solution to present crisis is in designing a bi-cameral system of government and a constitution on the India model. Col. Karuna: "According to our contention Sri Lanka has to be single undivided country."Col. Karuna: "According to our contention Sri Lanka has to be single undivided country."

Col. Karuna states: "The Indian constitution could be termed as a quasi-federal form of Government with strong unitary characteristics and tendencies. The Indian Constitution in my view portrays an appearance of a federal form in normal times but the appearance could easily be converted into a strong unitary form during the time of emergency. Therefore in my view the Indian constitution could be summed up as a unique federal-unitary mix.

"We in the TMVP believe such an Indian model as the solution required to put the country on the right track. Even veteran politician Annan (eldest brother) V. Anandasangaree, leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front and senior cabinet Minister Douglas Devananda , leader of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party, too has said time and again that they are for an Indian model.

"The problems of the Tamil community are best known to the Tamils than any others. Any solution to our problems put forward by us should be taken into consideration by the other two communities – the Muslims and the Sinhalese. Furthermore the Tamils problems must have a Tamil solution and not a Sinhalese imposed solution.

"It must be pointed out that today a federated unitary form with secularism enforced vigorously keeps India united, where as a theocratic unitary sectarian government, focusing on majoritarian numerical supremacy in Sri Lanka, has eroded the unity and pushed the country towards the brink of disintegration, dissension and division.

"It is unfortunate that a section of the Sinhalese community has failed to understand the Tamils. They continue to suspects our genuine aspirations and try view our proposals always with suspicion. It is unfortunate that our proposals to maintain the unity and national integration of the country and keep it together are suspected and criticized.

"It must be clearly told that without the cooperation of the Tamils, there cannot be peace and harmony in the country. Also the threat of division and separation cannot solve without the Tamils entering the main stream democratic process in the country. Therefore it is important that country should try to understand the genuine aspirations of the Tamils, address them by embracing them.

"It is an open secret that I was with an outfit which demanded separation of the country. I fought for them, organized Jayanthan brigade and fought in many battles. When Prabakaran was packing up to flee, I safeguarded Prabakaran. When Prabakaran suspected his life was in danger and suspected the loyalty and trustworthiness of his body guards from Jaffna, I put my eldest brother Colonel Reggie in charge of his security arrangements. While our men from the east in the Jayanthan brigade became the trusted elite group, giving protection and safeguarding him, Prabakaran secretly ordered the murder of more than 300 of his former body guards from Jaffna. Subsequently he ordered the killing of my brother after our split in 2004.

"Along with me a group of my colleagues left the LTTE because we did not believe in the unattainable concept of Tamil Eelam and began to accept the reality that Sri Lanka is an indivisible country that belongs to all equally -- Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese – to all Sri Lankans.

Today we believe in a single state of Sri Lanka, an indivisible one with adequate devolution of powers vested in the constitution for minority communities - namely Tamils and Muslims.

It is unfortunate in Sri Lanka up to date Tamils and Sinhalese view each other with mutual suspicion, hatred and ultimately with enmity. This situation has to be seriously addressed. This has generated the emotive claims of the Sinhalese and Tamils for nationhood, but there has never been a call for a composite nationhood in the country where ethnocentricity of the numerical majority prevails to override the national aspirations of the other.

According to our contention Sri Lanka has to be single undivided country.

We agree with Comrade Somawansa Amerasinghe the Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna that the state has no language or the religion. The country should have national languages Tamil, Sinhla and the international language of English to run and conduct business of the people of the country. Religion is the belief of individuals and should not be mixed with the running of the state machinery.

The basic federated unit according to our contention has to be the province and there can be 9 federated units substituting the 9 provincial councils. The question of amalgamation or merger of one or more federal unit has to be based on a referendum conducted in the respective federal units.

Elections to all the elected bodies in the country have to be held under first-past-the-post system and not under proportional representation.

There has to be a bicameral parliament with House of Representatives and Senate. Both houses elected by the people without any nominations. Both houses should not duplicate one another's functions. Instead both should be delegated with well defined powers to function jointly on some specific important areas.

Money matters entrusted to the House of Representative, legislation concerning executive functions and federal states, safeguarding the unity, national integration and sovereignty of the country should be entrusted to the both houses.

Federal units should be entrusted with the issue of law and order, education including higher education, health care, agriculture, fisheries, industrial development, Land, housing, poverty alleviation, and other allied subjects.

There should be an elected Executive President and Vice president answerable to parliament and the people. He can nominate ministers and junior ministers anyone he deems fit for the job with the approval of the respective select committees of the Senate. In case the President wishes to appoint any members of Parliament as a minister, then the particular person should cease to hold his position in the Parliament.

The Cabinet of Ministers must represent all the ethnic groups in the country based on their proportion of the population in the country.

The constitution must limit the number of Ministers to the barest minimum on some acceptable criteria.

President is the Head of State and Armed forces. He is answerable to the people and the parliament and one of his prime functions is the safeguarding of national unity and sovereignty of the country.

These are some of our broad concepts of our proposals and presently we are working on our detail constitutional proposal.

- Asian Tribune -

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