Sumanthiran asks whether sovereignty only for the majority, if so then minorities will find their own By Saman Indrajith

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TNA Jaffna District MP MA Sumanthiran says that if the government believes that sovereignty of this country is only for the majority then the minorities will be compelled to seek their own.

Participating in the third reading debate on Wednesday, MP Sumanthiran said: “Sovereignty of a country is for all people. If the majority only enjoys sovereignty, then you are leaving the other people out. You are forcing them to claim their own sovereignty. That will be your own doing.

“The Foreign Minister at the start of his speech wanted to teach a lesson to Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella and said that India was a federal nation because it had princely states previously and all those states had to be brought together. I want to ask him of the history of this island. When the Europeans arrived and conquered this island, was there one state here? Was there one kingdom on this island then? No. There were three kingdoms on this island. All of them fell for Western powers at different times.  It was only in 1833, consequent to Colebrook-Cameron report, for administrative convenience, that it was made one country. So, you must remember when you are giving lessons on how India became a union or the United States of America had different states coming together remember the history of this country as well. This country consists of different people who each have different rights under the international law. Violation of an international law is not a domestic matter. You cannot hide behind the cloak of state sovereignty. There is nothing called state sovereignty. Sovereignty is enjoyed by people. You cannot hide behind the concept of sovereignty and violate international law and claim that these are domestic matters. You know that very well. Fashioning the country’s foreign policy you have now gone on reverse gear, you put the country at peril. It is our duty to call you to turn around. Promoting accountability and reconciliation is not a matter that violates sovereignty of any country.

“This is the month of November and it is considered the time to remember the dead. That is why poppy flowers are sold all over the world. In Sri Lanka, the people in the north remember their family members who died in the war. Not allowing people in the North to remember their dead kith and kin is an undignified act by the state. Honouring the dead, remembering the dead is in our culture a solemn affair. The other day I stood with a mother 83 years old. She has only a shack for a house. Her son died in 1985. She lit a lamp in his memory. I participated in that event. It was a solemn occasion. Why are you so worried, why are you so scared of the dead? Is it because you put them to death in the most brutal manner violating all the international norms.”

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Disclaimer: Sumanthiran asks whether sovereignty only for the majority, if so then minorities will find their own By Saman Indrajith - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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