The air is full of talks about talks. It all started with President Premadasa's
statement on the 8th of July 1990 that "it is only with the involvement of the
international community in a manner acceptable to us that the dialogue (with the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) can recommence."
President Premadasa did not, however, specify the sort of involvement that he was
thinking of, nor whether he had any mediators in mind. However, it is unlikely that he
would have made the public declaration that he did, without having thought through some of
these attendant matters of concern.
A few days after President Premadasa's statement, questions were raised in the Sri
Lankan Parliament by the Sinhala opposition alleging that the UK High Commission in
Colombo was involved in some way with the mediating process.
Again, a week or so later, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr.Gareth Evans
visited Sri Lanka to discuss the Tamil question. On the one hand Mr.Gareth Evans was
critical of the LTTE in resorting to armed resistance, and on the other hand he refused to
accede to Sri Lanka's request for arms supplies.
International mediation - but without India
In the meantime, President Premadasa modified his stand somewhat and said that though
his government believed in building a healthy relationship with the outside world, no
country would be allowed to 'meddle' in the island's internal affairs.
He went on to accuse the LTTE of making concerted efforts to bring India into the
picture and declared that the problem did not concern India and was a matter that 'has to
be resolved by the government of Sri Lanka without external interference'.
But it appears that it was not only the 'concerted efforts' of the LTTE that concerned
President Premadasa. India Abroad reported in its issue of the 20th of July that the Sri
Lankan "authorities are perturbed over the arrival of former senior Cabinet Minister
Gamini Dissanayake in New Delhi. Without naming him, the state controlled Sunday Observer
said in a front page box:
'Indian circles whisper that he had been picked up by agents of RAW to sabotage
current moves to bring about peace through the involvement of the international community
which India may not approve.'
But the paper failed to say how Dissanayake who was dropped by President Premadasa in
February this year, would achieve this objective. Dissanayake was one of the architects of
the Indo Sri Lanka agreement of 1987.
The inference was clear. Whilst President Premadasa would find mediation by the
'international community' acceptable, he did not want India meddling in Sri Lanka's
'internal affairs'. In President Premadasa's lexicon, the 'international community' may
include India but did not mean India alone. Be that as it may, it was clear that the
stand of the Indian government to the mediatory process, had become a matter of central
What then, was the stand of the Indian government?
What then, was the stand of the Indian government? A week before President Premadasa's
statement, the Indian government had, expressed its concern that more than 21,000 refugees
have arrived in Tamil Nadu since the outbreak of the recent hostilities. It had also
expressed its concern at the possible involvement of 'third countries' (Pakistan and
Israel) in Sri Lanka in view of the flare up. Prime Minister V.P.Singh also declared in an
interview with Frontline:
'Whilst we stand for the sovereignty and integrity of all neighbours we also have
concern for the life of the people of Indian origin, their safety, security and their
The Indian government sent two navy vessels to the Indian side of the narrow Palk
Straits presumably to 'ensure safe passage of Tamil refugee boats across'. Significantly,
the Indian government did not seek to impose a blockade on traffic between Jaffna and
Tamil Nadu across the Palk Strait.
At the same time, Indian External Affairs Minister, Inder Kumar Gujral, at high level
talks with Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov in the Kremlin on the 23rd of July, outlined
India's proposal to share costs with Sri Lanka to maintain Tamil refugees on Sri Lankan
soil, away from the theatre of violence in the north-east.
India Abroad reported in its issue of the 3rd of August that the Soviet Union had
endorsed India's proposal and further that:
'The proposal was mooted to Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Bernard Tilakratne when he
came here earlier this month and followed up in talks last week with Presidential Adviser,
Bradman Weerakoon. Following this, Ranjan Wijeratne, Minister of State for Defence,
offered to relocate the Tamil Refugees in Sri Lanka at his post cabinet briefing...
New Delhi had been worried for some time at the way some of Karunanidhi's officials had
taken a pronounced pro-LTTE stance and were covertly assisting the group in recruiting and
training cadres from among refugees for its separatist war against the Sri Lankan
government. The Indian government would not be averse to situating these camps anywhere in
Sri Lanka, even near Colombo, so long as the refugees feel safe and do not see the
necessity of crossing the seas to Tamil Nadu.'
'It is imperative to move out the (Tamil) people en masse from the Jaffna
Defence Minister Ranjan Wijeratne appears to have taken India's proposal a stage
further by declaring in the Sri Lankan Parliament on the 10th of August:
'It is imperative to move out the (Tamil) people en masse from the Jaffna peninsula
to enable the security forces to deal with the LTTE and thrash them out of sight. Once the
civilians are vacated, the LTTE leaders can decide whether to face the bullets or swim
across the Palk Strait to their bosom friends in Tamil Nadu.'
Faced with this declaration of genocidal intent, the LTTE Central Committee Member, Mr.
Sathasivam Krishnakumar appealed from London to the Government of India on the 11th of
'There are 9 lakhs of Tamils in the Jaffna peninsula. The Sri Lankan government has
said it would drive the entire Tamil population from the peninsula and fight the LTTE. It
shows that this is a war and a genocide is definitely taking place. India should not look
at it as a a secessionist problem but view it as an issue where the Tamil race is being
subjected to genocide. The only solution is to create a separate State for ourselves. The
Tamils should have an army for themselves. There can be no other solution to this.
Therefore this is not an argument for secessionism. This is only an attempt to protect our
Mr.Krishnakumar's appeal from London reflected an earlier statement by the LTTE's
Political Adviser, Anton Balasingham, in an interview with journalists, reported in the
Hindu on the 5th of August:
'I think that India can play a role diplomatically, because whether Sri Lanka likes
it or not, Sri Lanka is of strategic importance to India. The LTTE would be opposed to any
form of international military intervention such as a U.N. peace keeping force. They were
not in favour of an international effort which would circumvent India.'
The international frame..
The interest shown by members of the 'international community', during recent months,
in the conflict in Sri Lanka, focuses attention yet again on the international frame of
the Tamil national liberation struggle. Recent happenings in Eastern Europe have
underlined the political reality that today, we are moving from a bipolar world of
confrontation into a multi polar one, not so much of cooperation but of competition and
It would be unwise to look at events simply through cold war eyes. We see this,
for instance, in the stance taken by the Soviet Union in relation to the current Iraqi -
Kuwait war. Whilst the Soviet Union has condemned the invasion, it has also kept open its
avenues of communication with the Iraqi government and seeks to play the role of an
That the Indian government should have considered it necessary to raise the Tamil
question at discussions with the Soviet Prime Minister and secure the endorsement of the
Soviet Union is not without significance. In so far as the Indian region is concerned,
India continues to have Soviet support for its role as a regional power and the United
States, will no doubt, pay due regard to that political reality.
Again, whilst V.P.Singh's Indian government maintains relatively friendly relations
with the United States, it is crucial to an understanding of India's foreign policy, to
recognise that India is a large country with a large market and therefore a relatively
large, powerful and influential 'national' bourgeoisie.
Whilst such a national bourgeoisie may have links with the industrialised West, at the
same time it has also sought to protect its own interests by securing the continuance of
import controls and licensing of industries. India seeks to build its own strength and
compete on more equal terms in the world market and it feels that it has the capacity to
Successive Indian governments have been unwilling to 'open up' the Indian economy to
foreign imports and this has remained a bone of contention between the U.S. and India. In
a sense, this contradiction is structural and will tend to grow rather than lessen in the
years to come.
A US diplomat in Washington in early 1985, put it in rather direct terms: 'India is not
a super power and should not seek to behave as one'. But in the increasingly multi polar
world towards which we are moving, viewpoints expressed in such harsh terms, may become
less significant, as India may rightly have aspirations towards playing a larger role as
one of the greater powers of the world.
When you say 'India' which 'India' are you talking about?"
Ofcourse, when one speaks of 'India', one is reminded of something that an Indian who
works for a human rights Organisation in Geneva said sometime in early 1985:
"You know, the current joke is that in India, the upper middle class and many
Parliamentarians are pro Western, the bureaucrats and the defence establishment are pro
Soviet and the revolutionaries are pro Chinese - and so, when you say 'India' which
'India' are you talking about?"
Today, the fact that V.P.Singh's government is a minority government dependent on the
support of both the C.P.(M) and the B.J.P. lends even greater significance to the question
'which India are you talking about?'
The actions of the Indian government, from time to time, can be properly understood
only in the context of the interplay of the different forces within the Indian political
frame. But here too, it is to the nuances of the various relationships that one must
look - manoeuvre and not confrontation is the order of the day. But, the broad elements of
India's strategic policy remain clear.
The Indian government seeks to deny any intermediary role to extra regional powers in
the affairs of the Indian region and it seeks to obtain the support of the Soviet Union to
secure this end.
In what way does President Premadasa plan to use the international frame to his
If these are some of the parameters of the international frame, in what way does
President Premadasa plan to use this frame to his advantage? His government has adopted a
twin track approach to further its objectives - the 'stick and carrot' approach.
On the one hand it is engaged in widespread aerial bombardment of the Tamil civilian
population coupled with extra judicial killings of hundreds of Tamil civilians in those
areas which are within the control of the Sri Lankan army. At the same time it seeks to
isolate the Tamil people from the LTTE and thereby weaken both the Tamil people and the
On the other hand, it talks of 'de militarized zones' and 'mediation'. Defence Minister
Ranjan Wijeratne gives expression to the 'rough, tough ' approach whilst the soft spoken
Minister for Industries, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, talks about 'political solutions'.
Jeff and Mutt Act - or stick and carrot
It is what was once described by the United States Supreme Court as the 'Jeff and Mutt'
act - Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe plays the soft and kind Jeff to Mr.Ranjan Wijeratne's rough
and tough Mutt act. But, ofcourse, both Jeff and Mutt are in it together and their actions
are intended to serve President Premadasa's effort to 'soften up' Tamil resistance and
push the LTTE to 'talks' in the most unfavourable conditions, so that the subjugation of
the Tamil people within the constitutional frame of a unitary Sri Lanka can be
But in order that it may implement this policy of 'stick and carrot', the Sri Lankan
government must obtain arms and aid from 'the international community'. India Abroad
reported in its issue of the 13th of July:
"Locked in an increasingly brutal battle for territory in its war ravaged
northern and eastern provinces, the Sri Lankan government is scouring the world markets
for weapons to fight the Tamil separatist movement spearheaded by the LTTE.
Desperately in need of counter insurgency equipment, including helicopter gunships,
mine resistant vehicles, armoured cars, night vision sights, artillery and ammunition, Sri
Lanka is seeking weapons from China, Pakistan, Britain, South Korea, Singapore and
At the end of last year, Sri Lanka earmarked $255 million for defence spending for
1990. The supplementary estimate of $125 million approved last month has pushed the
military budget to $380 million. Sri Lanka is now one of the most militarized nations in
Since the current fighting in the north and east is expected to be drawn out, Sri Lanka
will be forced to divert some of its resources from development to the military, pushing
defence spending even higher.
The Washington based Arms Control and Disarmament Agency has estimated that between
1983 and 1987, Sri Lanka imported more than $95 million worth of military equipment, of
which $40 million worth came from China, currently the biggest single arms supplier. Sri
Lanka has also been buying weapons from Italy, West Germany, Israel, South Africa,
Yugoslavia and the United States."
The dependence of Sri Lanka for arms and aid on external sources...
The dependence of Sri Lanka for arms and aid on external sources has provided the
'international community' with the necessary leverage to persuade Sri Lanka to accept the
mediatory path - that is, so long as the broad interests of the 'international community'
in the Indian region are also furthered.
Let us recognise that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The 'international
community' has also sought to bring some pressure to bear on Tamil opinion to recognise
the urgent need to start talks. On occasions, this has been done by open statements by
western government sources which statements are critical of the present LTTE campaign in
the north and east. A recent instance was the carefully worded statement of the UK High
Commissioner in Madras that the LTTE was 'at the moment' carrying on a terrorist campaign
but that he saw no reason to close the LTTE office in London, because their activities in
the UK did not contravene English law.
The 'international community' has ofcourse, recognised for sometime that in relation
to any mediatory process to settle the conflict in Sri Lanka, India would be unwilling to
surrender its regional role to a power outside the Indian region.
The 'international community' through its support for the Sri Lankan government with
arms and aid, has sought to bring home to India that it cannot resolve the conflict on its
own, without the involvement of the 'international community'.
At the same time it is well known that it was India's concerns which led Indira
Gandhi's government to give covert support to the Tamil militant movement in 1980s. Today,
the threat that India may once again give such support, may serve as a restraint on the
extent of the aid and arms that the 'international community' may give the Sri Lankan
Again, both India and the so called 'international community' do share a common
interest in securing stability in the Indian region - and they may have both probably come
to recognise that stability cannot be achieved by pumping more and more arms into the
India may support mediation
It may be thought therefore that a stage has been reached today that, in relation to
the conflict in Sri Lanka, even though India may be unwilling to allow a country from
outside the region to intervene as a mediator, India may support a mediating process
initiated by say, a non governmental agency, particularly if the agency itself had some
'non aligned' credentials and if India was assured of its own say in the mediating process
once it was underway - however difficult this latter safeguard may be a difficult one to
Such an approach would presumably be acceptable to the 'international community' which
clearly recognises that it will not be possible to ignore India's role in any mediating
process involving affairs in the Indian region.
The bottom line however will be that any such mediation by an agency from outside
India, will erode the fundamental premise of India's strategic policy - and that is to
deny any intermediary role to extra regional powers in the affairs of South Asia. This,
then is the crux of the matter.
To put it another way, whilst President Premadasa is willing to accept an erosion of
the sovereignty of Sri Lanka by accepting 'international' mediation, India may be less
willing to accept an erosion of its role in the Indian region, which such 'international'
mediation may involve.
In what way, may the struggle of the Tamils of Eelam be taken forward?
In the context of this matrix of power influences, in what way, may the struggle of the
Tamils of Eelam for national self determination be taken forward? Because in the same way
as India has its own interests, and the so called 'international community' has its own
interests, and the Sri Lankan government has its own interests, the Tamils of Eelam too
have their interests - interests for which many thousands of Tamils have so willingly
given their lives during the past several years.
What then should be our response to the mediatory process? It appears that three
matters arise for consideration. Should we talk? Who should be the preferred mediator?
What shall we talk about?
We are a reasonable people, and our struggle for national self determination is a
reasonable cause. We should not fear to talk. What do we gain by talking? On the one hand,
participation in an international mediatory process will give formal international
recognition to our struggle.
Again, whilst, in the end, the strength of the Tamil people to defend both north and
east and the strength of the Sri Lankan government to continue its onslaught on the Tamil
people will have much to do with the success that our struggle will achieve, we need to
recognise that the 'international community' has the capacity to help President Premadasa
to sustain the war effort.
However, they will do so only if such a step will secure stability in Sri Lanka and in
the Indian region. The talks will afford a forum for the Tamil people to bring home to the
'international community' that stability will come to the Indian region only if the
'international community' use their not inconsiderable influence on the Sri Lankan
government, to put into place structures which recognise the right of self determination
of the Tamils of Eelam.
National liberation struggles cannot be easily suppressed and a genocidal onslaught on
the Tamils of Eelam will eventually lead to a consolidation of the feelings of solidarity
amongst more than 50 million Tamils in the Indian region.
Again, it would not have escaped the notice of the 'international community' that
though President Premadasa's government has been responsible for the killings of more than
30,000 persons in the South during a period of less than two years, the JVP has recently
staged a resurgence in Sinhala areas.
An international mediatory process, properly handled, can serve to focus attention
on the central issues of the Tamil national liberation struggle and help to show that our
struggle is not in opposition to the search for stability in the Indian region, but that
on the contrary, the success of our struggle will secure such stability.
Who should be our preferred mediator?
Should our preferred mediator be Australia? Or the United Kingdom? Or the Commonwealth
Secretariat? Or Norway? Or the European Community? Or a Non Governmental Agency? Or an
appointee of the Secretary General of the United Nations? Or India? These questions
reduce themselves to the question whether the primary mediatory role should be played by
the so called 'international community' or by India.
It would appear that President Premadasa does not welcome India as the mediator and
this may be a reflection of his dependence on his patrons in the 'international
community'. But though President Premadasa may seek to deny the links of the Sinhala
people with India, we are Tamils and we do not deny our links with the Indian sub
It is not only a matter of geography. It is also a matter of our history. We share an
Indian heritage with our brothers and sisters of India. The national liberation struggle
of the Tamils of Eelam cannot be, will not be and is not in opposition to the interests of
the people of India.
The long term interests of the Tamils of Eelam lie within structures that will need
to be developed to strengthen the economic and political union of the several nations
which belong to the Indian region.
It is true that we live in an increasingly small world and that we need to recognise
the international influences at work. By all means let us open our windows to the world,
but let us not get blown off our feet - let us ensure that our feet are firmly rooted in
our own heritage - and that heritage is India.
It is not that the 'international community' has no role to play in the mediatory
process. It has. But the national liberation struggle of the Tamils of Eelam is taking
place in the Indian region and the mediatory process must recognise that India's role is
not of peripheral but of primary importance.
What shall we talk about?
Given the genocidal attack launched on the Tamil people, which continues today in our
homelands, we must secure that the talks themselves are not utilised by the Sri Lankan
government to perpetuate the subjugation of the Tamils of Eelam. The talks must be
structured in such a way so as to lead to a meaningful dialogue in respect of the central
issues of the struggle.
Here, let us remind those who continue to talk today about 'devolution' as the way to
resolve the conflict, that more than 60 years have passed since we first talked about
'devolution' in 1928 and that we have moved from Provincial Councils to Regional Councils
and from Regional Councils to District Councils and from District Councils to Development
Councils and again to Provincial Councils. We have had the 'early consideration' of
Mrs.Srimavo Bandaranaike and the 'earnest consideration' of the late Mr. Dudley
Senanayake. There has been no shortage of Committees and Commissions, of reports and
recommendations on 'devolution'.
But the failure of the Sinhala majority to genuinely 'devolve' power was no accidental
omission. Because, whilst the talking continued for more than 60 years, the relentless
attempt to 'integrate' and 'assimilate' the Tamils of Eelam also continued - unabated and
with increasing ferocity, within the frame work of a so called 'parliamentary democracy'
in a unitary state.
Whilst democracy may mean acceding to the rule of the majority, democracy also means
government by discussion and persuasion. It is the belief that the minority of today may
become the majority of tomorrow that ensures the stability of a functioning democracy.
But in Ceylon, where a unitary state, has sought to govern a territory inhabited by two
peoples, the arithmetic of democracy has resulted in the continued and permanent dominance
of one people by another. The reality of democracy in Ceylon is that no Tamil has ever
been be elected to a predominantly Sinhala electorate and no Sinhalese has ever been
elected to a predominantly Tamil electorate. And so the practise of democracy within the
confines of a unitary state has inevitably resulted in rule by a permanent ethnic
The Tamils of Eelam are not only a people, but clearly, they are also a people who
are ruled by an alien people who do not speak their language and who do not share their
culture and their heritage, and who, today, seek to perpetuate their rule by armed might.
The law of nations declares that a people who are subjugated by an alien people are
entitled to the right of self determination and it is to secure this right of self
determination, guarantied by international law, that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
have engaged in an armed struggle against the Sri Lankan government for more than 17
Let us remind those who continue to talk about the so called 'devolution' of power,
that devolution means that power 'devolves' from some higher body, legitimately clothed
with the power of the state. Devolution means that the power that is so devolved is
subject to the control and direction of that higher body.
The Tamils of Eelam do not seek a so called 'devolution' of power which is subject to
the control and direction of a Sinhala government - but they are certainly prepared to sit
and talk, as equals, about the way in which the Tamil nation and the Sinhala nation may
live in peace and harmony in the island of Ceylon.
Any effort to settle the conflict must surely begin with the open recognition that
there are two peoples - the Tamil people and the Sinhala people
The national liberation struggle of the Tamils of Eelam is not the expression of an
exaggerated nationalism. The Tamils of Eelam are not chauvinists. They know that they are
a nation but they also know that no nation is an island.
The Tamil people do not deny the existence of the Sinhala nation in Ceylon. They
recognise the existence of the Sinhala people as a people. The question is whether the
Sinhala people are ready and willing to recognise the Tamils of Eelam as a people and talk
to the representatives of the Tamil people on equal terms. It is this which led the Tamil
people to declare at the
Thimpu Talks on the 17th of August
"...we say, very respectfully, please understand that we too are a people and
please deal with us on that basis, or not at all. Please do not give us the niceties of
legal interpretations. Please tell us straight: do you regard us as a people or not? We
are here because we seek to engage you in the serious business of talking about the
problems that have arisen between the Sinhala people and the Tamil people. And that is
why, as a reasonable people, we say at the beginning, please tell us with whom do you say
you are talking with?... And for our part, we declare here at Thimpu, without rancour and
with patience, that we shall speak at Thimpu, or for that matter any where else, on behalf
of the Tamil nation or not at all..."
This approach is basic and fundamental to any question about what we shall talk
about. Because, on the answer to this basic question, depends not only the political
status of the parties to any negotiating process intended to settle the conflict, but also
the nature and content of any political solution, and the political will of both the Tamil
people and the Sinhala people to work for the implementation of that which may be agreed.
The question whether in Sri Lanka today, there are two nations, the Tamil nation and
the Sinhala nation, is a question which addresses itself openly and directly to the claims
of an exaggerated Sinhala nationalism which has sought to feed on the latent fear of the
Sinhala people of the Tamils of neighbouring Tamil Nadu in South India and which has
sought to encourage the belief that a 'Sinhala national identity' can be secured only at
the expense of erasing the identity of the Tamils as a 'people' in Sri Lanka, if not now,
at least at some future date.
It is a Sinhala chauvinism which has sought to assimilate and integrate the Tamil
people into a so called 'Sri Lankan nation' within the confines of an unitary state whose
main official language is Sinhala and whose official religion is Buddhism - a Sinhala
chauvinism which in pursuance of its objectives, has logically, sought to deny the
existence of the Tamil nation in Eelam, and which in addition seeks to masquerade as 'Sri
Lankan nationalism' by denying the existence of the Sinhala nation as well.
If it is the case that the existence of the Tamil nation is denied, then it must
necessarily follow that talks conducted on the basis of such denial, are intended to
secure the evolution of a single homogeneous Sinhala nation, masquerading as the so called
'Sri Lankan nation' in the island of Ceylon.
The concerns of the Tamil people for their 'physical security, employment and
education' cannot be resolved by a negotiating process unless the Sinhala people recognise
the Tamils as a people and the two people, together fashion a constitutional structure on
the basis of such recognition.
It surely stands to reason that any effort to settle the conflict between the Tamil
people and the Sinhala people must begin with the open recognition that in the island of
Ceylon, there are two peoples - the Tamil people and the Sinhala people.
It will be idle to pretend that equity will be achieved through a negotiating process
which does not itself commence and continue on an equitable footing. If this equitable
footing is achieved, then that which the Tamil people jointly and unanimously declared at
Thimpu in 1985 contains the answer to the question: what shall we talk about?
"It is our considered view that any meaningful solution to the Tamil national
question must be based on the following four cardinal principles -
1. recognition of the Tamils of Ceylon as a nation
2. recognition of the existence of an identified homeland for the Tamils in Ceylon
3. recognition of the right of self determination of the Tamil nation
4. recognition of the right to citizenship and the fundamental rights of all Tamils
who look upon the island as their country.
"Different countries have fashioned different systems of governments to ensure
these principles. We have demanded and struggled for an independent Tamil state as the
answer to this problem arising out of the denial of these basic rights of our people...
However, in view of our earnest desire for peace, we are prepared to give consideration to
any set of proposals, in keeping with the above-mentioned principles, that the Sri Lankan
government may place before us."
It should not be beyond the good sense and the capacity of the parties to a negotiating
process structured on these lines, to resolve the conflict between the Tamil people and
the Sinhala people - a conflict which has taken such a heavy toll in human suffering.
Two nations cannot be compelled to live together by force of arms. But they may agree
to live together by force of reason. The question is: on what terms? Here, it will be
futile to straight jacket the political reality on the ground into constitutional models
belonging to a different time and place. On the contrary, the need is to work out
constitutional structures which accord with the poltical reality on the ground - and that
reality is that in the island of Ceylon there are two nations, the Tamil nation and the
The Tamil national liberation struggle is by no means unique. If the post war years
from 1945 to the 1980s belonged to the colonial liberation movements, the 1990s will prove
to be the decade of post colonial nationalism.
We hear the voice of emergent nations being raised within existing state boundaries in
the Soviet Union, in Eastern Europe, in Yugoslavia, in Iraq, and in the Indian region.
In Western Europe, we see the eroding of the powers of existing states, in the opposite
direction, by the maturing trans state role of the European Community.
In Sri Lanka the challenge will be to create structures which on the
one hand recognise the political force generated by the two nations which exist in the
island of Ceylon and which on the other hand recognises that nations do not live in the
stratosphere but on land, in relation to each other - and with each other.