“Terminology should not be a key issue,” Swiss-supported seminar tells Eezham Tamils

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 January 2016, 23:28 GMT]
A series of seminars organised by Jayampathy Wickramaratne's Institute of Constitutional Studies with the support of Switzerland Embassy and attended by a Co-Director of Switzerland-based Institute of Federalism at the invitation of NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran ended up advocating the ‘non-descript’ approach of Jayampathy Wickramaratna and M.A. Sumanthiran, especially when the key academic of the seminar, Professor Eva Maria Belser, was stressing that “terminology should not be a key issue” in the constitutional process. The Foreign Ministry of Switzerland has been backing the so-called ‘Singapore principle’ process and the non-descript approach of Jayamapthy Wickramaratne, for which Mr Sumanthiran has been a strong advocate.

Jayamapathy Wickramaratne, who is a UNP politician leading the constitutional process in Colombo's parliament, has been terming Tamils a minority in his interviews and interactions. He has been interacting with the Swiss Institute of Federalism for some years, informed political sources in Jaffna said.

The other two delegates brought by Eva Maria Belser were Professor Nico Steytler from Cape Town, South Africa and Mr. Maurizio Maggetti from the Swiss Institute of Federalism, who has worked earlier in Colombo with Berghof Foundation and with a Colombo-based local NGO Sarvodaya.

While some Constitutions, which officially claim to be federal in nature, accord limited powers to sub-national units, there are unitary States, which are strongly de-centralised and give a lot of competencies and independencies to sub-national units, said Eva Maria Belser, who was arguing that terminologies were not important.

Justice C.V. Wigneswaran, in his introductory address was talking about the broken pacts between the Tamils and Colombo since 1956 to the P-TOMS agreement in 2005, the provincial councils lacking power and the Tamil people's Right to Self-Determination.

“As Tamils we need to be very clear in our mind as to what should be the basis of constitutional reform process and political settlement that should be reached, in order to avoid the bitter past experience,” C.V. Wigneswaran said.

“As outsiders, we can obviously not offer any answers to the open questions in your country or solutions. We would love to offer some inspirations from the countries we are from,” Prof Belser said.

Although the seminar didn't advocate a particular direction in the broad area of federalism, it was designed in a sophisticated manner to pass certain messages to Tamils, political observers in Jaffna told TamilNet.

The seminars were held on Monday and Tuesday.


Related Articles:
20.09.15   Chequered Swiss history of supporting Sri Lanka's crimes
19.09.15   Sumanthiran acts to weaken Tamil demand for genocide investi..


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
03.12.19 23:27  
Challenging 2006 EU ban on LTTE, next step of legal activism on principled grounds: Mendis
02.12.19 23:24  
China, Pakistan send top diplomats to meet Gotabaya in Colombo
01.12.19 23:46  
Gotabaya seems to have bought 5 years from India to wage ‘development’ genocide in North-East
30.11.19 23:51  
India strengthens defence ties with Japan
29.11.19 18:45  
New Delhi appeases Colombo as Eelam Tamil leaders fail to demand international mediation
28.11.19 07:59   Photo
Collective message from Tamils on Heroes Day: Rajapaksas can’t kill Tamil Eelam dream
27.11.19 10:46   Photo
University students, Shivaji brave SL restrictions on veneration of Tamil Eelam Heroes in Jaffna
26.11.19 23:28   Photo
Colombo attempts to officially block students from marking Heroes Day at Jaffna University
25.11.19 23:32   Photo
People mobilise in resolute to mark Tamil Eelam Heroes Day amidst Rajapaksas return
24.11.19 19:59  
Demand Tokyo Co-chairs, India to bring international mediation between Tamils and GoSL
23.11.19 22:58   Photo
US, Indian think-tanks call for deepening of Indo-Pacific ties ahead of 2+2 meetings
22.11.19 23:13  
Russian naval vessel visiting Hambantota coincides with return of Gotabaya Rajapaksa
21.11.19 23:41  
Former IFS diplomat advises New Delhi to embrace Rajapaksas trading off rights with interests
20.11.19 23:04  
US ambassador-turned-consultant hints at capitalising on ‘shared interests’ with Gotabaya
19.11.19 22:50   Photo
Indian FM visits Gotabaya to ensure Colombo’s conformity to US-India geopolitics in Indian Ocean
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=38097