UNP-TNA Separatist Constitution will split our families as in Germany – India – Africa
Authors Comment: Can separating people by ethnicity & religion solve a problem? Has such segregations solved problems – why are international entities even considering such solutions?
TNA MP Sumanthiran addressing Tamils in Tamil boldly declared that the new constitution would be going beyond federalism as promised where the Centre will be unable to take back, change, remove or interfere in the powers devolved to the provinces or even reverse all that had been given via another new constitution. This virtually means nothing other than ceding powers permanently whereby we are creating 9 separate & independent states with their own currency, police, military, legal system & conducting their own international relations. More importantly it would mean families will get split & travel restrictions will apply to even visit them. This immediately brings to mind the fate of families in other countries where such splits changed their lives forever. No one can brush these cautionary alarm bells before they happen because there will be little left to do after the drastic changes does happen. We cannot forget that the Maha Sangha & People rejected the need for a new constitution & inspite of this a bunch of questionable individuals & organizations are drafting this separatist constitution.
Berlin Wall – Germany
In 1971 the Berlin Wall was built dividing East & West Germany. It was 66miles long & 3.5metres in height & 41miles of barbed fencing. Many who attempted to cross over from East to West were killed. The wall divided friends, families & loved ones even causing loss of jobs & livelihoods.
Germany became 2 separate countries in 1949 – the Allies ran the Federal Republic of Germany known as West Germany & the Soviet Union ran the German Democratic Republic or East Germany. Berlin was in East Germany but shared with Britain, France, America & Soviet Union. Essentially the wall became a symbol of division, a barrier between people. The jubilation when the wall came down eventually on 9 November 1989
Partition of India
In 1947 two independent dominions were created called India & Pakistan according to Hindu & Muslims. The artificial line that divided Pakistan from India was called the Radcliffe Line – 2900mile border (which had only 5 crossing points) which split Bengal & Punjab. That partition displaced over 14million people along religious lines creating a huge refugee crisis. Estimated deaths range from 200,000 to 2million. Close to 100,000 women are said to have been raped. On both sides of the border minorities” were rejected.
What is equally interesting and shocking about the division of Pakistan & India is how it was done by Sir Cyril Radcliffe, a barrister by profession who was commissioned by the British. He had never before visited any region of India, he did not know the type of people who lived there, their religions, he knew absolutely nothing about their culture, customs, traditions. There was really no requirement for anyone with any skills if all he had was 5 weeks and a pen to draw a line of division which Sir Cyril did. He was simply ordered to draw a ‘line’ on the principle of communal majority nothing was spelt out with clarity. What resulted was the line” running through houses, dividing families & friends. Ferozepur was originally drawn on Pakistan’s side & later on Mountbattens insistence included to India. He nearly gave Lahore to India too before realizing India had Calcutta. He was paid sterling pounds 3000 for the task – which we are told he refused realizing the damage he had done!
Radcliffe insisted that he had no idea about the Kashmir issue he would give birth to through his awarding of the district. What the British & politicians did is best summarized by historian Mushirul Hasan’s words, man-made catastrophe brought about by cynical and hot-headed politicians who lacked the imagination to resolve their disputes and the foresight to grasp the implications of dividing their country along religious lines.”
None of the present day borders that make up countries in Africa ever existed before 1884 Berlin Conference when European nations again using a pen split up Africa – 44% of its borders were divided as a straight line separating 177 ethnic groups. Somalis were split into 5 different countries. Africa has over 2000 ethno-religious communities. US-European peddling ethno-religious divisions via UN would have to then create 2000 countries in Africa!
Artificial lines dividing people is no solution. Ample examples prove this. The former colonial power houses that created the artificial lines cannot be allowed to create newer lines given that these artificial boundaries are the root causes for the conflicts that prevail globally.
Just as present day India never existed, USA, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Singapore are all artificially created countries.
The 1893 Durand Line artificial boundary divided present day Pakistan & present Afghanistan dividing Pashtun tribes.
The 1914 McMahon Line became another example of illegal colonial invaders imposing arbitrary borders to serve their advantage – this time Sir Henry McMahon, the foreign secretary who was acting as chief negotiator in the Shimla Conference between Britain, China, Tibet drew the line without Chinese participation making Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh as part of India.
The 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement divided the Middle East between Britain & France. Again a pen was used to draw a straight line without a concern for the people or their cultures. North of the line became modern Syria & Lebanon under French mandate. South of the line became modern Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Iraq went to the British. Mosul which was north of the line should have been part of Syria but British took it under Iraq because of oil. The Kurds were divided into 4 states – Turkey, Iran, Iraq & Syria. Shiite Arabs were split between Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain & eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia. Sunni Arabs were also divided. Saudi Arabia was created from a promise made to Hussein Ibn Ali emir of Mecca by Britain in exchange for support against the Ottoman Turks during World War 1.
These examples suffice to show that in a global village politicized issues claiming to be of ethnic or religious origin cannot be solved by drawing a line & telling people to live on the other side of the border. No solution limited to a piece of paper has ever worked. A pen used to draw artificial lines for political interests have ruined lives of families forever. Despite all this awareness we saw the same mistake repeated in Kosovo & South Sudan and our warnings have proved true – these newly independent states are in utter ruin.
Sri Lanka is an island. We have had at least 17 invasions from South India none of which were able to take over the entire island. We have had 3 colonial Europeans arrive but failing to take over the entire island – all three times our own local traitors had inviting them & virtually ceded power to them for their own personal gain. We see this new constitution as another attempt to cede power as according to TNA Sumanthiran the new constitution proposes to give powers to the provinces which the centre cannot change, remove, reverse or even ever take back even via another new constitution. This is not devolution. This is not federalism. This is not even confederalism which even US rejected. This is creating 9 separate independent states out of small island like Sri Lanka. Given the dangers of this – Citizens must, devoid of any political affiliations denounce this new constitution & throw it into the dustbin or shredder FOREVER. This has nothing to do with providing solutions to the people but will create a plethora of problems none of which can be solved.
All we need to do is take the above examples & realize the damage & dangers we are walking into if we make the same mistake.