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By Sumanasiri Liyanage

Even if one were to operate within the framework of conventional thinking and assume that the Government of Sri Lanka has the right of recapturing the territory previously held by the LTTE, which was not a legitimate power, she or he cannot miss the logic of Sambandan’s argument. Both at the parliamentary election held in April 2004 and the presidential election held in November 2005, a significant number of people, especially its Tamil population, voted against the parties that exercise governmental power in Colombo today. A military victory over its opponent, the LTTE, in itself does not make the incumbent government a legitimate power in the Eastern Province.

One may argue that the Government of Sri Lanka has launched its reconstruction and development programme in order to gain legitimacy by proving that it is genuinely interested in addressing the basic needs and issues of the people and redressing their
grievances, which they have been facing since the recommencement of the Trincomalee District MP R. Sambandan raised a valid point by questioning the legitimacy of the government in Colombo in initiating a plan of reconstruction and development in the Eastern Province. armed conflict in 1983. However, the legitimacy of the state depends on many things, among which the critical aspect is whether the state receives the consent of the governed and it represents their interests. As Seyla Benhabib writes, “the basis of legitimacy in democracy is to be traced back to the presumption that the institutions that claim obligatory power do so because their decisions represent standpoint equally in the interests of all.” Therefore, such decisions should be open to appropriate processes of public deliberation by free and equalcitizens. Sambandan has noted that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has opted out of this process. SLMC Leader, Minister Rauf Hakeem has also expressed his dissatisfaction about the ongoing process.

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By Sumanasiri Liyanage 

In his Mahaweera Day speech in 2005, Vellupillai Pirapaharan, the LTTE leader,
depicted Ranil Wickremesinghe as a calculating fox who tried to deceive everyone by
entering into a ceasefire agreement with the LTTE. Ranil Wickremesinghe has once
again shown his foxy behaviour in his comments on the capture of Thoppigala by the
security forces of the Government of Sri Lanka. His initial position was that capturing
Thoppigala would be a useless exercise as it is worthy only for collectors of fire-wood.
However, at the signing of a MoU with the SLFP (M), Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed that
under the Wijetunga-Wickremesinghe regime, Thoppigala was captured by the security
forces. Did he mean that Thoppigala was strategically important then but not now? As I
have no knowledge in military strategy and I have no idea to get an access to that
sphere of knowledge, I do not wish to comment on his current position on the strategic
importance of Thoppigala.

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