APRC collaborated in a deception game: Kumar David
[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 February 2008, 16:49 GMT]
"The Interim Report is a sham for two reasons; the Committee set aside its pervious 18 months and 63 meetings of deliberations and trotted out the Presidential diktat pretending it was its own finding, and secondly the APRC is collaborating in a deception game since this interim palliative is all that the government will ever want out of these worthies; the government will sell this interim hogwash to India and the Co-Chairs," says Prof. Kumar David in an opinion column that appeared in "Island" weekend edition.
"For the government, the APRC has served its miserable purpose; so say not just this correspondent but also Lal Wijenayake and Batty Weerakoon of Professor Vitarana’s own Party (LSSP) Polit-Bureau," Prof David writes.
Pointing that the APRC debacle again proves the "political opportunism" that is plaguing Sri Lanka, he accused the APRC for acquiesing to Rajapakse's designs to forestall the progress of APRC's work-in-progress, a devolutionary draft constitution.
"The President says he is committed to a political solution, he also says he will not compromise with the terrorists (code for LTTE) and the armed forces will crush them into a pulp soon. His inner powerbase, the civilian-military complex, is more hawkish; they speak of the need for the minorities to learn their place.
"Decoding all this into everyday language, government philosophy reads something like this: The military strategy is the main thing, the dog that wags the tail; the tail is the political settlement, the silly APRC and fond Tissa; after victory a bone will be thrown in the direction of the ethnic minorities," surmises Prof. David.
On the 13th amendment, Prof David says, "[T]he creation of elected Provincial Councils in the North and East, supplementing the prevailing de facto military government, will be a step forward; it will provide an avenue through which local people can be empowered, to a small degree, after so long. More important, if the Councillors are genuine elected representatives, the people will have an alternative legal structure through which to counter repression, abduction, and the like, whether at the hands of the armed forces, state protected bandit gangs or the LTTE.
But adds, "an appointed Interim Council will be an obnoxious imposition if the membership consists of worthies who are no more than government sycophants and Mafiosi selected from state patronised bandit gangs."
Prof David recommends that the "President must extend an invitation, and then the TNA must accept – let us hope the trip to Kilinochchi to solicit approval is successful. Such approval will also signal something far more important; that however indirect and tenuous, some kind of political process of dialogue between the government and the LTTE has been set in motion."
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