APRC Proposals presented mislead
Masses and International Community
Member of the Political Bureau of the LSSP
(Courtesy: Daily Mirror of February 5, 2008)
The proposals presented to the President as those of the All Parties Representative Committee (APRC) are in fact proposals that the President handed over to leaders of parties supporting the Government requesting that they be presented as the APRC proposals.
The proposals that have emerged after nearly 18 months of deliberations and reports of the 63 meetings running into some 11,000 pages are not the proposals handed over to the President and those proposals may never see the light of day.
The whole exercise is a deceit enacted to mislead the masses and the international community. This deceit will only aggravate the crisis and will not in anyway help to overcome it.
This will further alienate the minorities from the Government. The international community will lose whatever faith it has on the ability of the Government to find a political solution.
It is absurd for one to think that the implementation of the contents of the 13th Amendment within a Unitary State will satisfy the aspirations of the minorities. The Provincial Councils system has failed mainly due to the Constitution being a Unitary Constitution with a powerful Executive President. Therefore it cannot be honestly contended that the system will work without structural changes through constitutional amendments.
Misleading the masses by false propaganda knowing very well the futility of the proposals has to be condemned. As a member of the Political Bureau of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, I state that the LSSP is not a party to this deceit.
What was expected from the APRC was a set of proposals that was acceptable to the parties that are committed to a political solution to the ethnic problem. Much water has flowed after the 13th Amendment in 1987. The draft constitution of 2000 and the formulation set out in the Oslo Communiqué to explore the possibility of finding a solution within a United Sri Lanka through a Federal form of Government with internal self determination for the Tamils in their areas, were steps towards finding a solution. It was expected that the APRC would consider these proposals and would move forward.
The 2000 Draft Constitution and the Oslo Statement are attempts to find a solution through structural changes in the Sri Lankan State to accommodate the aspirations of the Tamils. One cannot expect a political solution short of this.