ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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THE ECONOMY-Cost-Price Spiral

India's republic day? Indeed he is, for he has taught the world a few lessons about how a republic should function. Since Jayewardene is closely identified with his campaign against the Tamil insurgency in Sri Lanka, one should begin the story from 1983, the year of a major anti-Tamil riot in the Sri Lanka capital of Colombo. When 2,000 defenceless Tamils were lynched in broad daylight by Sinhala mobs organised by one of Jayewardene's cabinet colleagues, Cyril Mathew, the president was dumbfounded for full four days. He did not utter a single word till the mobs finished their assigned job and retired to their safe abodes. When he finally spoke to the public over the state- run TV, he asserted in no uncertain terms the principle that democracy is the rule of the majority He said, "The riots were not a product of urban mobs but a mass movement of the generality of the Sinhalese people.... The time has come to accede to the clamour and the national respect of the Sinhalese people." He, like any honest politician would, stuck to his words. He let loose the Sri Lankan army on the minority Tamils, decimated thousands of them and forced lens of thousands of others to lice their home- land as refugees to the neighbouring Tamil Nadu. If the minorities demand that their language should not be trampled upon, that their lands should not be usurped, and that their sons and daughters should not be denied educational opportunities, then wipe them out. This is president Jayewardene's elegant solution to the troublesome question of the place of minorities in a republic.

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