The legal community called for affirmative action measures to be taken with regard to creating a quota for the purpose of increasing the participation of upcountry Tamils in politics at the national, Provincial and Local Government levels.
Addressing the breaches in the enactment and implementation of laws in relation to the upcountry Tamils, Lecturer at the Department of Legal Studies of the Open University of Sri Lanka, Selvaras Janaha, author of the research paper titled ‘Random Reflections of Sri Lankan Laws on Up-country Tamils – An Appraisal’, pointed out that it is meaningful to introduce measures to raise the participation of the members of this economically disadvantaged group in the areas of education, employment and businesses where they have been historically excluded and underrepresented.
National, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities are to be found in countries.
Furthermore, apart from the implementation of affirmative action policies, which could prove to be suitable solutions to overcome the said problems, the issue of upcountry Tamils being denied political representation in the democratic process can be reconsidered by way of increasing the opportunities afforded to them at the Parliamentary level via the national lists and through an increased number of electoral zones.
Research findings have revealed that political participation and representation have always been a question for upcountry Tamils. This discrimination has caused an adverse impact that is tantamount to a human rights violation.
Janaha explained that the laws and policies applicable to the upcountry Tamils were either fundamentally flawed or inadequate, in terms of the provisions and the implementation of the clauses.
“A common form that can be seen is in the intended gaps built into the formulation of the legal standards that use the law to create the appearance of a law without creating an effective law. Another strategy is that the language of the relevant piece of legislation is made to appear powerful in that certain qualifications are made requisite for the implementation which in actuality dilutes the actual effects of the implementation or are simply provisions which cannot be implemented. This is a sign of poor designing or of deliberate sabotage,” she said.
“ Also exceedingly high (or expensive) standards of proof have been imposed on the parties seeking to enforce the law or it may require complex processes to be followed within a short or long period of time, resulting in delayed outcomes and the imposition of significant financial costs, all of which ultimately lead to the denial of justice,” she added.
Failure in implementation is due in part to the ineffectiveness that has occurred at the level of the implementing agency or the relevant Ministry tasked with carrying out the enforcement.