22 May 2021
MICRONATION OR HARBOUR FOR SILK ROAD VESSELS?
The Colombo Port City was referred to as Micronation by Tamil commentator Guna Kaviyalahan and as the Vessel by law Expert – Dr Gehan Gunetilleke, in his article ‘Salvaging the Port City Project’ published by Daily ft.
As an Australian, I relate to the Tamil description as the parallel of ‘Principality of Hutt River/Hutt River Province’ . The difference between the Australian government and the Sri Lankan government was that the former was diplomatic and the latter was reactive. The Hutt River Province was formally dissolved in August 2020 – 50 years after declaration of political independence. The Tamil declaration was hijacked by rebels due to both side political leaders being weak.
According to Dr Gehan Gunetilleke - the Port City project is a vessel that promises to deliver enormous benefits. To be a ‘project’ it has to has to have a visible beginning and a visible completion, with the net value merging with the program at the same level of ownership. The Hambantota Project ended up as loss of ownership of land space by Sri Lankans. It began in 2008. The war against the Tamil Tigers was escalated and taken to a finish in 2009. To my mind, that was due to the higher confidence that money gave.
Dr Gehan Gunetilleke states [‘What is constitutional’ is taken to be a technical legal question rather than a normative one.]
As per Wikipedia:
[Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as bad or undesirable or impermissible. A norm in this normative sense means a standard for evaluating or making judgments about behavior or outcomes]
To be reliable, the norm has to stem from belief. In the Australian example – the Common head was the Queen. In Sri Lanka, the British government was seen as the Common head – until independence from the British. Tamils failed to accept Sinhalese as their leaders after that. This was given recognition not by them but by the Sinhalese who tried to enforce their rule through Sinhala only & Buddhism foremost laws. When there is different pathways of belief, normative questions have to be divided and posed in different forms.
Even though we did not openly divide and pose the normative questions – Tamils formed coalition with Indians and Sinhalese with Chinese – largely due to their respective religious orders. Our Constitution itself has so divided us through article 3. If that was belief based and it needs to be taken to be so due to its continued existence, it applies to Buddhists and not to non-Buddhists nor to democratic Buddhists.
We recently had bitter experience with the Isle of Man administration of the estate of my brother in law Mr Subramaniam Yoganathan. The liquid assets were in Jaffna and in Isle of Man which is the parallel of the proposed Colombo Port City. In Jaffna, the assets were covered by Thesawalamai law but under the influence of Colombo lawyers who seriously lacked belief in Thesawalamai law – Jaffna courts overruled Thesawalamai law and ruled Equal distribution which meant that daughters who got dowry received also a share of the residual value known as Muthusum. In turn – they withdrew the monies in Barclays Wealth in Isle of Man, without the consent of my husband. The empowerment was given by Jaffna Courts which have become isolated from the common judicial minds of Sri Lankan Judicial elders. We are now planning on suing those responsible. In the meantime, I have written a book in Tamil to help the indigenous folks in Jaffna, to whom Thesawalamai Law is applicable. Some of them seek my advice in such matters so they do not have to go to courts.
Knowingly or otherwise, Tamils have created this micronation which is effectively an island. Their parallels in Southern Sri Lanka have created the Colombo Port City due to separatism karma.
Dr Gehan Gunetilleke concludes as follows:
[Make no mistake, the Port City project can be enormously beneficial to the Sri Lankan public. It is therefore a project worth improving and preserving. But several problematic features of the current law will prevent the Sri Lankan people from reaping the benefits of the project. If they are not addressed, the vessel, and all the promised benefits on board, will sail away, leaving us Sri Lankans behind.]
This confirms that Dr Gehan Gunetilleke lacks the experience at his level. As Einstein declared ‘The only source of knowledge is experience’. In democracy, this is the experience of the common citizen and not that of the ruler. When the citizen who follows the law feels the pain of loss due to the ruler, including the judiciary, declaring her/him a failure, s/he becomes wise in that subject matter, provided s/he does not take lesser benefits. On that basis – to me the Port City project at best will be like the Isle of Man if driven by clever business but ruthless minds and/or would be like Tamil Eelam controlled by Communists. All because we sought isolation away from democratic nations.