Monday, December 11, 2017 12:04:59 PM

Constitutional choices and Tamil politics – Part 1

By Devanesan Nesiah - Wed Sep 27, 9:39 am

Featured image courtesy Associated Press

In his articles in The Island of Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st September 2017, Dr Dayan Jayatilleka starts by asking the correct question, provides a correct answer and goes on to identify the critical challenges in formulating a new Constitution. Dayan does not, as so many others do, mindlessly reject the need for a new Constitution or any radical amendment to the existing one. Instead, he prescribes limits to what could be included in such a constitution or an amendment. These limits are based on his identification of what he describes as three types of Sri Lankan Separatists. It is such identification that I have problems with. Though he does not say so explicitly, he seems to concede that every form of internal self-determination or regional autonomy could conceivably be a step towards a totally deferent outcome, viz external self-determination or secession. The LTTE never made this mistake – that is why they opposed every form of internal self-determination or regional autonomy. They knew it would be a barrier to secession which has always been their only goal.  But separation has never been viable, and those groups that sponsored it have been eliminated….

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