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The Parliamentary Select Committee Farce
15 November 1992
The Sri Lanka Parliamentary Select Committee after labouring for more than two years, has not simply produced a mouse. It has also produced a structure to further Sinhala chauvinism's long held desire to divide the Tamil homeland.
The Select Committee proposals contained in a report published during the second week of November, (with a dissent by the Speaker and without the participation of even the Tamil Quisling Groups) denies the existence of the Tamil homeland in the NorthEast of the island.
The seven Sinhala provinces in the South will be treated in the same way as the two Tamil provinces in the NorthEast. That in itself is proof enough of the meagre nature of the powers that may be exercised by each province. Furthermore, the dominant Sinhala majority will continue to rule at the centre.
The Select Committee proposals do not address the issues raised by the armed conflict and by the national struggle of the Tamil people.
The Select Committee proposals do not address the underlying causes of the armed conflict and ignores the call of 15 non governmental organisations at the UN Commission on Human Rights in February 1993 that there is an urgent need for the international community to recognise that the Tamil population in the North - East of the island of Sri Lanka are a 'people' with the right to freely choose their political status."
It appears that the Select Committee proposals are in accordance with the oft repeated statement of President D.B.Wijetunga that there is no 'ethnic problem'. It seems that because there is no 'ethnic problem', the Select Committee has addressed some other question, namely the decentralisation of the administration through out the island. Sinhala chauvinism is preparing the ground to legitimise a further genocidal onslaught on the Tamil people.
But it would do well to remember the words of Thamil Chelven, the LTTE political wing leader: ''If the government launches an all out war, it may win Sinhala votes and the Army Commander could safeguard his post for another year. But remember there is the LTTE and there is always an ethnic problem to resolve.''