Sunday, June 12, 2005

Seriously, on the Joint Mechanism...

So, is the text put out by the Daily Mirror the text of the Joint Mechanism? I posted the whole thing earlier. Read it here. Let us for a moment assume that someone hasn't duped the Daily Mirror. The DM is a good newspaper, not perfect, but good, and I don't think you could dupe them as easily as Freddie Janz.

NOTE: I apologize to everyone at the Daily Mirror for having ripped off your article and published it online, but your website does not allow people to reads the news free and that is not a good thing. I believe this to be an important peice of information that people should have access to without paying for it. I'm sad to have done it, but don't regret it.

Now let me think about what I think about the document. Since the positives of any Joint Mechanism in which the Government and the LTTE work together are very obvious to anyone with one brain cell, let me nit pick and bring up some of the negatives here.

Let's see where groups like the JVP and the JHU will attack this document.

The first and most obvious thing that's going to make them say 'oh my god you're giving too much to those murdering tigers!' is the composition of the Regional Committee. 2 people nominated by the Government of Sri Lanka, 3 people nominated by the Muslim groups and 5 people nominated by the LTTE!

Now let's look at possible ethnic compostions.

The 5 people nominated by the LTTE will be Tamil. They will also most probably be Northern Tamil, since they don't really like the Eastern Tamils and have discriminated against them for ages.

The 3 people nominated by the Muslim groups will be Muslim, which is not really an ethnicity, but since we've pretended it's one for such a long time let's continue.

And then this leaves no option for the Government but to make their two representatives Sinhala, so that the Sinhala people of the east have some kind of representation. This, autromatically makes the Sri Lankan Government, the representative of the Sinhala people. STUPID!!!!

Why can't the LTTE and the Muslims have 3 seats each while the Government has 4, on the condition that 2 of the 4 nominated by the Government are representative of the Tamil people? But the LTTE would not like this would it? Because they claim to be the sole representatives of the Tamil people, and forcing the Government to develop an image of being representative only of the Sinhala people, the LTTE are furthering their own agenda.

I'll leave that there.

Now let's look at another problem. The Muslim groups. The High Level Committee will have one nominee from the Muslim groups and the Regional Committee will have 3 members nominated by the Muslim groups.

But who are these Muslim 'groups'? Do they represent the Muslim people of the country? Do they represent the tsunami-affected Muslim people of the East and South?

There are several Muslim political groups in Sri Lanka. Some of these are direct political groups regularly contesting Parliamentary elections. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress led by Rauff Hakeem and the group that broke away from them, the National Unity Alliance, led by Ferial Ashroff. There are a few smaller groups too, but these are the main ones. Other than this, the United National Party, the People's Alliance and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna all have their own Muslim politicians who work under the party agenda. Then there are all the Jamiathul Ulamas and other Islamic religious groups who also have a fair bit of political clout. There are also a significant number of Islamic clerics who work outside these groups. And then there are also Islamic Fundamentalist groups in the East and in Puttlam. But let's not even think about them right now.

So, none of these groups work together on a regular basis. Sometimes one or two of them come together for certain causes, but when it comes to making a decision which will affect the Muslim people of the East as much as the Joint Mechanism will, they just can't work together.

And how're you going to avoid a big fight about who gets to pick the guy for the seat in the High Level Committee? I'd like to see this one settled. Oh boy, it's going to be another string of press conferences by Rauff Hakeem and Ferial Ashraff and mud slinging going back and forth about who's the real representative of the Muslim people of Sri Lanka.

These are just two of the problems I see with the Joint Mechanism draft up front. Let me read it a bit more and hopefully I will be able to write something more. There are also certain complications in the bits about safeguards and minority protections about how things get proposed and how they can be shot down in the Regional Committee. But that needs a bit more thinking.

Comments:
 
You've got an interesting point of view here. But how many people in Sri Lanka do you think will actually think logically about this, like you have?

There needs to be more people like you to create an awareness of the issues. but we also need people to make the decisions. Any ideas?
 
I'm afraid there are points agaist this " Mechanism" that do not share anything common with JVP and JHU outrage.

I don't see anyhing logical here. There's nothing new either. This jointM applies the same old divide and rule theory that was used by the ruling classes for the whole post "independent" era. Dividing the "ruled" on ethinic lines helped the ruling parties to prevent and mislead the class struggle. They were barking about how Tsunamni destroyed the ethnic borders and divisions etc.. in the beginning but ironically both the LTTE and ruling sinhalese elite are unable to give up relying on the divide and rule theory.
This is also a crucial little episode("post -Tsunami period) when it comes to class struggle and the burning need of the ruling classes to prevent it getting intensified is clearly manifested in JM proposals. Divide and Rule!
I know there are honest supporters of the JM who are willing to solve the prevailing crisis but they all enevitably fall into the same old trap by supporting DIVIDE AND RULE method.
If I give you an example see Morq, he always talks about "ethnic composition" etc. What is needed here is to call for a full stop to the communal, "ethinic" methods of solving the crisis.
normally, I don't volunteer to make comments and create flames. But in this case, I couldn't help it/
 
I agree with Lohan on this one.

The main issue flouted by the Tigers is that people in this country have been discriminated on the basis that they are tamil.

The issue flouted by the JVP and other ultra-sinhala parties is that such reconciliations will harm the interests of the "sinhala" people and their "buddhism" (as a buddhist, its revolting to see how Gautama's wisdom is being used as an excuse for these morons).

Either way, these people tap into the masses and their insecurity. The masses *like* to be *part* of something. They need an identity, as one of their own would be too much work (a la Nietzsche). So they cling to labels and then let the labels be defined by the most vociferous (i.e. LTTE or JVP+JHU).

I'm Sinhalese. But frankly I don't think there is a party around who can really represent me.

I'd hate to think of my Tamil friends being represented by the LTTE.

But the sad truth is, they've managed to create such an impression of representation.
 
I have to agree with Kevin here in that it does create an impression of representation and it has the non-discrimination clauses. I wonder if the government will appoint non-singhala representatives.

My question here is, what constitutes proper gender balance? How are they going to find the correct balance? Count the number of affected females, census population stats or some other measure?
 
Ivap, proper gender balance probably means having a woman on the committee who's going to make the tea and take notes...

I'd really be surprised if they progress beyond that...
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