‘We are better off without the LTTE’ : S C Chandrahasan

March 24, 2008
S C Chandrahasan is the son of Samuvel Selvnayagam, a Tamil leader who was known as the Mahatma Gandhi [Images] of Sri Lanka [Images]. After the island-nation’s ethnic conflict began in 1983, Chandrahasan founded the Organisation For Eelam Refugees’ Rehabilitation.

OFERR works in Sri Lanka and India, and has offices in all the 104 refugee camps in Tamil Nadu. It also works in the north and east of Sri Lanka, two regions badly affected in the conflict.

The soft-spoken leader slams both the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for the mess in the island state.

He spoke at length to rediff.com‘s Special Correspondent A Ganesh Nadar.

What was the position on the ground at the time of the ceasefire and peace talks in 2002?

At the time of the ceasefire some areas were controlled by the Sri Lankan government and others were under the control of the LTTE. There were some hazy areas where both the LTTE and government troops moved around.

What is the position now?

Currently the LTTE s presence in the east has been cleared.

Read on >>

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2 Responses

  1. A humble request to Mr. S C Chandrahasan, son of the much respected Tamil leader who was fondly known as “Thanthai Chelva”.

    Too much of time has been wasted in discussing the origins of the problems and the paths taken by various persons to solve the problems in the ways they believed as the best. The problems have grown and evolved and twisted by many to suit their way of thinking.

    So, it is high-time we start thinking in terms of a solution that would address NEARLY ALL THE PROBLEMS rather than continue to criticize people for their faults.

    Failures are the pillars of success. We have learned a lot of things through experience. With the experiences gained we will have to work for a change of heart not just a change of mind of the people in the country.

    “People who value democracy, equality and equity, needs to pressure the Sri Lankan state to take immediate action towards a meaningful and just power sharing arrangement. That is the only way to ensure security and the dignity of the peoples of Sri Lanka.

    If peaceful coexistence through power sharing is not achievable, the only other solution that would be available will be secession” so said Mr. Lionel Bopage, former Secretary of the JVP.

    There is a vast difference in the policy and thinking of the ORIGINAL JVP to which Mr.Lionel Bopage belongs and the policy of the present JVP.

    A new concept that moves towards a meaningful and just power-sharing arrangement and which is a great deviation from the usual thinking of the word “devolution” is given below for the comments of everyone.

    Many, who call themselves as ‘moderates’, are not willing to consider this concept which gives a certain degree of ‘power’ with ‘responsibility’ to everyone including the poor and voiceless silent majority in the country and not excluding the so-called “minorities”.

    Now, one word, for those who are actually and sincerely interested in fostering a united country by supporting “devolution” as a means to achieve sustainable peace, please avoid thinking in terms of “devolution” and instead please try to think in terms of “sharing” of powers, rights, duties and responsibilities that cannot be taken back at any time by any government or individual by any method.

    The best political solution would be to DILUTE the powers of all elected representatives by separating the various powers of the Parliament and empowering different sets of people’s representatives elected on different area basis to administer the different sets of the separated powers. It has to be devolution HORIZONTALLY where every set of representatives would be in the SAME LEVEL as equals and in par and NOT VERTICALLY where one set of representatives would be above (more powerful than) the other, which is the normal adopted practice when talking of devolution, in this power-hungry world. It is because of “devolution” being evolved “vertically”, we have all the trouble in this power-hungry world. So, for sustainable peace it should not be the present form of “devolution” but “dilution of powers” or “sharing of powers” in such a way that no single or set of peoples representatives – other than the common people, the voters themselves – is superior to another. This system would eradicate injustice, discrimination, bribery and corruption – the four pillars of an evil society – and help to establish the “Rule of Law” and “Rule by ALL” for sustainable peace, tranquility and prosperity and a pleasant harmonious living with dignity and respect for all the inhabitants in the country. Everyone must have “equal” powers, rights, duties and responsibilities and most importantly everyone should be deemed “equal” before the law not only on paper but also practically – be it the Head of State, The Chief Justice or the voiceless poor of the poorest in the country.
    Since all political and other powers flow from the sovereignty of the people, it is proposed herein that these powers be not given to any one set of representatives but distributed among different sets of representatives (groups) of the people elected on different area basis (village and villages grouped) to perform the different, defined and distinct functions of one and the same institution – the Parliament – like the organs of our body – heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, nose, ear etc. – performing different and distinct functions to enable us to sustain normal life.
    A detailed version of the concept, which is quite long is available for discussion by interested individuals with an aim to change the hearts not just a change of mind of the citizens of this country who aim to preserve a UNITARY form of Government with every section of people from every part of the country PARTICIPATING in the GOVERNANCE OF THE COUNTRY in a practical and meaningful way. In a way it may be termed “participatory democracy”. In this system the country is NOT DIVIDED but the “powers of governance’ of the Parliament is separated and administered COLLECTIVELY by different sets of peoples representatives.

    The system proposed is neither “federalism” for which “Thanthai Chelva” worked hard nor a “Two State Solution” for which the LTTE is fighting. It is a combination of both.

  2. A humble request to Mr. S C Chandrahasan, son of a much respected Tamil leader who was fondly known as “Thanthai Chelva”.

    Too much of time has been wasted in discussing the origins of the problems and the parts taken by various persons to solve the problems. The problems have grown and evolved and twisted by many to suit their way of thinking.

    So, it is high-time we start thinking in terms of a solution that would address NEARLY ALL THE PROBLEMS rather than continue to criticize people for their faults.

    Failures are the pillars of success. We have learnt a lot of things. We will have to work for a change of heart not just a change of mind.

    “People who value democracy, equality and equity, needs to pressure the Sri Lankan state to take immediate action towards a meaningful and just power sharing arrangement. That is the only way to ensure security and the dignity of the peoples of Sri Lanka.

    If peaceful coexistence through power sharing is not achievable, the only other solution that would be available will be secession” so said Mr. Lionel Bopage, former Secretary of the JVP.

    There is a vast difference in the policy of the ORIGINAL JVP to which Mr.Lionel Bopage belongs and the policy of the present JVP.

    A new concept that moves towards a meaningful and just power-sharing arrangement is a great deviation from th usual thinking of the word “devolution” is given below for the comments of everyone.

    Many, who call themselves as ‘moderates’, are not willing to consider this concept which gives a certain degree of ‘power’ with ‘responsibility’ to everyone including the poor and voiceless silent majority in the country and not excluding the so-called “minorities”.

    Now, one word, for those who are actually and sincerely interested in fostering a united country by supporting “devolution” as a means to achieve sustainable peace, please avoid thinking in terms of “devolution” and instead please try to think in terms of “sharing” of powers, rights, duties and responsibilities that cannot be taken back at any time by any government or individual by any method.

    The best political solution would be to DILUTE the powers of all elected representatives by separating the various powers of the Parliament and empowering different sets of people’s representatives elected on different area basis to administer the different sets of separated powers. It has to be devolution HORIZONTALLY where every set of representatives would be equal and in par and NOT VERTICALLY where one set of representatives would be above the other, which is the normal adopted practice when talking of devolution, in this power-hungry world. It is because of “devolution” being evolved “vertically”, we have all the trouble in this power-hungry world. So, for sustainable peace it should not be the present form of “devolution” but “dilution of powers” or “sharing of powers” in such a way that no single or set of peoples representatives – other than the common people themselves – is superior to another. This system would eradicate injustice, discrimination, bribery and corruption – the four pillars of an evil society – and establish the “Rule of Law” and “Rule by ALL” for sustainable peace, tranquility and prosperity and a pleasant living with dignity and respect for all inhabitants in the country. Everyone must have “equal” powers, rights, duties and responsibilities and most importantly everyone should be deemed “equal” before the law not only on paper but also practically – be it the Head of State, The Chief Justice or the voiceless poor of the poorest.

    Since all political and other powers flow from the sovereignty of the people, it is proposed herein that these powers be not given to any one set of representatives but distributed among different sets of representatives (groups) of the people elected on different area basis (village and villages grouped) to perform the different, defined and distinct functions of one and the same institution – the Parliament – like the organs of our body – heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, nose, ear etc. – performing different and distinct functions to enable us to sustain normal life.

    A detailed version of the concept, which is quite long is given below for discussion by interested individuals with an aim to change the hearts not just a change of mind of the citizens of this country with the aim of preserving a UNITARY form of Government with every section of people from every part of the country PARTICIPATING in the GOVERNANCE OF THE COUNTRY in a practical and meaningful way. In a way it may be termed “participatory democracy”. In this system the country is NOT DIVIDED but the “powers of governance’ of the Parliament is separated and administered COLLECTIVELY by different sets of peoples representatives.

    The system proposed is neither “fedralism” for which “Thanthai Chelva” worked hard nor a “Two State Solution” for which the LTTE is fighting. It is a combination of both.

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