Politicians whipping up ‘sovereignty’ fears in South, déjà vu 1956 for Tamils: Guruparan

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 July 2019, 23:35 GMT]
Whenever the SLFP or the UNP resorts to a high-handed Sinhala Buddhist nationalist projection as part of the electoral politics, the other party simply follows suit opting to strengthen the same paradigm because they don’t want to be left out. The trend has always been the same throughout the entire electoral political history of the island as far as the Tamils are concerned, said Jaffna-based academic, attorney and civil activist Kumaravadivel Guruparan. For Tamils, this is just another déjà vu of experiencing 1956 when SWRD Bandaranaike bringing the ‘Sinhala Only’ Act and JR Jayawardene making Kandy march the same year, he commented. The SL polity as a whole has demonstrated to the United Nations and the West that the Sinhala-Buddhist ethnonational politics would always be the over-riding factor as far as the politics in the island is concerned, Guruparan observed further.

Foreign dignitaries, based in Colombo or the visiting UN rapporteurs meeting members of the SL judiciary is not something new.

No one complained about ‘sovereignty’ getting eroded by meetings when diplomats based in Colombo used to meet the members of the SL judiciary during the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Also under the present regime, Ben Emmerson, who was the former UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, conducted a field visit. Emmerson was allowed to discuss with the Attorney General and the Chief Justice, and High Court judges in Colombo, Anuradhapura and Vavuniyaa.

The judges are fully aware that they cannot discuss any specific case to which they have delivered judgements.

However, they should have the freedom to give a general overview on matters concerning the independence of the judiciary, especially when the request has come through the proper channels, Guruparan said.

The only reason why this has become a significant issue in the South is that Rajapaksas want to project a political image before the elections that they are the real protectors of the state sovereignty and the SL national security.

The UNP in turn also wants to project the same image to the Sinhalese that it is also as good as Rajapaksas on the matter of ‘national security’ and ‘sovereignty’.

The role played by the speaker of the SL Parliament Karu Jayasuriya (UNP) is just another manifestation of the typical conduct of a potential presidential candidate, he observed.

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