The Nation Sunday Print Edition : sunday, feb 26th, 2017

see pgs 1 & 2

 

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) while highlighting that they wanted reconciliation is also calling on the Sinhalese to back substantive changes to the Constitution.

Speaking at a public seminar and discussion on the topic of ‘ The Constitution, reconciliation and you’ on February 21, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran referring to the motion for the appointment of a Constitutional Assembly, confirmed that all MPs, on the understanding that there was broad agreement among the people that it is necessary to enact a Constitution, had agreed to bringing in a new Constitution.

“It is only if the process is transparent and clear and acceptable that it would last and achieve reconciliation,” he emphasized.

He elaborated that the proposal for a federal power sharing arrangement was a suggestion, which would be rejected if the majority continued to labour under the delusion of a minority complex.

He pointed out that reconciliation was hinged on the Constitution, particularly because it was the first and second Republican Constitutions of 1972 and 1978 that had led to the national question taking a violent turn when everyone other than the Sinhalese and the Buddhists were excluded from national life.

“Majoritarianism led to the Tamil voice being excluded from the national life of the country. Along with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, Tamil was later made an official language. Yet, it was the majority vote that always held sway,” he said.

“Democracy is not mere counting heads. Citizens must be treated equally. Certain fundamentals cannot be taken away. We don’t want anything that the majority won’t accept. Within one united, undivided country, there must be power sharing so that the day to day affairs can be handled and decided in such a manner that the preponderant majority’s influence will be somewhat reduced,” Sumanthiran added.

 

 

 

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