By Ananth Palakidnar
The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has suggested incorporation of the Indian Model and the South African Bill of Rights into the proposed new Constitution for Sri Lanka as a solution to the ethnic problem.
The proposals effectively dispel fears of many who… …expected the TULF to adopt a hard-line federal approach to proposals for incorporation in the Constitution.
TULF General Secretary and former Parliamentarian V. Anandasangaree has reiterated that a federal solution will be the best but considering emerging scenarios the TULF feels that the Indian Model is the best option as an alternative to a federal solution.
The TULF yesterday released its proposals for the new Constitution. Anandasangaree, drawing on his vast experience in Tamil politics and his association with the founders of the TULF, stated that the TULF too has its grievances but a constructive change was the need of the hour.
The TULF said in a statement releasing its proposals that the party was very much opposed to the conversion of the existing Parliament into a Constituent Assembly. Saying that changing the Constitution frequently with the change of every government was a bad practice, the TULF has suggested amendments to the constitution citing the Indian Constitution which has been accommodated with a large number of amendments.
“Why can’t we identify the issues and bring amendments to address our needs instead of without wasting our time and spending several millions of rupees as well as taking a big risk in the drafting of a new Constitution? Certain aspirations of the minorities also could be accommodated through amendments,” Anadasangaree said.
Referring to the Indian Model he added that even Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had in a television interview suggested the Indian Model as a solution to the minority problem when he contested the Presidential Election in 2005. Furthermore some years back a few ministers including President Maithiripala Srisena when he was a Minister and Secretary of the SLFP, and Nimal Siripala de Silva, five other Ministers, a few MPs from the UNP and others such as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the present Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya and the President of the UNP Malik Samarawickrama were consulted by a team from the TULFin connection with the Indian Model as a proposal.
None of them showed any opposition to our proposal and appeared supportive,” the TULF General Secretary said. Commenting on the Federal System the TULF has said that the Tamils have not changed their views on the issue of a merger of the North and the East. “We assure everybody that while spurning violence, we will, by non-violent means and in a friendly way, continue to persuade the citizens of our country to agree that no permanent solution can be found under a Unitary System. We will continue to dispel the fears of those who think that the country will be divided by Federal Solution. We will take all steps to erase from the minds of our people the idea of separation and to strongly support the concept of a United Sri Lanka, the TULF General Secretary added.