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My notes 24-08-2015

Oakland Institute study

  1. The regime is reluctant to carry demilitarization of northern and eastern provinces
  2. The armed forces are still entrusted with the responsibility of maintenance of public order - police powers
  3. The sinhalisation of Tamil lands has been intensified since Eelam war IV
  4. War crimes , human rights violations, missing persons are the major hinderances to reconciliation.
  5. Militarisation - In northern and eastern provinces , there is a large scale presence of military and it is diversified in to commercial activity, education, tourism, policing- which have to be performed by the civilian Government.
  6. Military is still in the occupation of the land of those displaced.
  7. Devolution of powers to the provincial councils is not yet started.
  8. So, the need of the hour is a comprehensive demilitarisation plan.

 

Srilanka increases the parliament size

  1. Size is increased to 237 and the 145 members will be elected through the first pass the post system and remaining through proportional representation.

 

Prime ministerial elections in Sri lanka

  1. SLFP , UNP and Tamil national alliance are the important parties to the decisions on future of Srilanka. They aim to work out a new constitution for Srilanka and it is expected to provide a solution to the issue of Tamils, livelihood, development, humanrights etc.
  2. The narrow victory for UNP in general elections has lead to signing of MOU between major political parties and it paved a way for Unity or national government.

 

13th constitutional amendment act -

The Thirteenth Amendment (13A) to the Constitution of Sri Lanka is based on the Indo- Sri Lanka Accord which was signed between the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President H.R. Jayewardene, which incorporated the devolution of powers to provinces. The amendment aims at creating Provincial Councils in Sri Lanka and enables Sinhalese and Tamil as national languages while preserving English as the link language.

 

From <http://indiaopines.com/india-13th-amendment-sri-lanka/>

 

History - Background

 

The 13th amendment was introduced to create provincial councils as a follow up action on Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement of 1987 to devolve powers to the Tamil majority north and east. However, the then President J R Jayewardene’s government, decided to set up 9 provincial councils for the entire Island-Nation in order to scuttle the mounting opposition to devolution of powers to Tamil areas. While the main opposition, including Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the radical Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) decided to boycott the 1989 provincial council elections, they later entered the fray after realizing that the then ruling United National Party succeeded in building up a powerful second level political power structure through provincial councils.

 

The PC members enjoyed all the privileges enjoyed by central ministers, deputies and parliamentarians including duty free car permits, free fuel and various subsidies and benefits and gradually expanded their power bases to became a major asset to the party. First the SLFP and then JVP too realized their folly of boycott, and contested the subsequent PC elections and later the SLFP-lead alliance wrested power of all the seven provincial councils in the south. Although the central government did not devolve land and police powers to the provinces, the councilors were given all the perks enjoyed by the central parliamentarians, thus giving a clear impression to the masses that the PCs are nothing but ‘white elephants’.

 

Even at the height of the war against Tamil Tigers in May 2009, India was aware that it would not be prudent to expect Rajapaksa to keep his promise on 13 plus. A Wikileaks cabal revealed that the U.S. sought a bigger role in pushing a political solution for Tamils but was kept at bay by India. According to the cable, (then) Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told the U.S. Embassy Charge d Affaires Peter Burleigh on May 15, 2009 that the Sri Lankan government had reassured India that “the government would focus on the implementation of the 13th Amendment Plus as soon as possible, but Menon was skeptical.” (207268: confidential, May 15, 2009).

 

The Sinhalese majority is opposed to the devolving of land and police powers to the Northern Provinces, mainly because of the bitter experience of 1990 when the first and only elected Chief Minister of temporarily amalgamated North and East Provinces, Vartharaja Perumal made a Declaration of Unilateral Independence. It was made worse by the visible Indian hand in the episode as Perumal left the country with the returning Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) and sought political asylum in India.

 

From <http://www.ipcs.org/article/south-asia/ipcs-debate-sri-lanka-and-the-13th-amendment-what-is-4034.html>

 

 

Ufa meeting

 

  1. The five follow-on steps identified in the “Joint Statement” are precise and modest — the National Security Advisers (NSA) are to discuss “all issues connected to terrorism”; meetings between the chiefs of the Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers and Directors-General of Military Operations; releasing fishermen in each other’s custody; facilitating religious tourism; and an agreement “to discuss ways and means to expedite the Mumbai 26/11 attack trial, including additional information like providing [Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi’s] voice samples”. Finally, Mr. Modi also accepted Mr. Sharif’s invitation to visit Pakistan in 2016 for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit.

 

  1. A diplomatic negotiation only succeeds if the outcome is perceived by both sides as a win-win situation but this requires long-term planning and careful management. If either side makes it a zero sum game by firing up expectations for a quick victory, the dialogue quickly flounders.
  2. Pakistan army wants a peaceful border on its eastern side, to focus on its border ,to fight terrorism, insurgency and is also active in negotiations with taliban.
  3. Along with this, the relations of Pakistan are in their peaks with USA, china and Russia. Civil - military relations are also stable.
  4. The present joint statement is not palpable to the military and a change in stance by NSA aziz can be clearly seen.
  5. The chest thumping, claiming political score over the diplomatic issues will compromise the national interests and it makes a zero sum game for both the parties.
  6. So, taking to confidence the opposition, think tanks, briefing the discussions to the concerned parties and improving the media strategy becomes key to the win win solution for diplomatic quagmire.
  7. On India - pakistan side, the cross border incidents majorily determines the diplomatic outcomes and so, caesefire agreement has to be given due emphasis by both the parties.

 

 

Call  off NSA level talks

 

Setback to anti terror agenda 

 

  1. As pakistan did not agree to confine talks to terror and desist from meeting Hurriyat leaders , finally the talks are called off.

 

 

 

 

 

The talks would have provided India  an oppourtunity to handover fugitives list to pakistan and also it could have demanded for a lakhvis oice samples in connection with 26/11 terror.

 

 

Hurriyat conference as an outfit has last its significance from kashmiri lives , once democracy started taking roots. Government giving excessive importance to it, made it a larger than life image.

 

Inspite of all this, there is no alternative to talks.

 

 

Santhara Ban

  1. Santhara is a practice in jainism and it is oluntary fast unto death. The rajasthan High court in a recent judgement in Nikhil soni vs Union of India, declared it as violative of Article 21 and interpreted as a suicide punishable under IPC.
  2. The Supreme court of India in Gyan Kaur vs Union of India declared that, an unnatural extinguishment of life is not under right to life.  It has to be infered that, right to life includes right to dignified life and it also includes a dignified death.
  3. The rights under article 25 are subjected to public order, morality, health and other recognised fundamental rights.  These are included to correct age old social inequalities.
  4. The Supreme court in shirur mutt case also held that Article 25 protects only those exercises that are considered essential religious practices.
  5. In Nikhil soni case, it was declared that, santhara is not an essential religious practice and violative of right to life and punishable relevant sections of suicide under IPC.

 

 

 

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