Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Building internal capacity for autonomy

Watched two past episodes of Hard Talk regarding challenges faced by sub-state actors in making the case for a separate state (in the case of Martin McGuiness - the case for a unified Ireland) in the current climate of financial crisis- the primary question being whether small states can cope up on their own when they are faced with a crisis of similar scale and sorts.

Interview with Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland

Interview with Marin McGuiness - Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland

Alex Salmond cant fail to impress. An economist, he was very much in control of the subject of Stepehen Sackur's questions and argues persuasively why being an independent country might have helped Scottish economy face the crisis better. Our minority leaders - and those within the TNA would do well by watching this interview - I don't know anyone within the Tamil political circles who has a good understanding of the economics of the North and East and the country in general, and articulate the need for more fiscal autonomy for the provinces. We need to develop better capacities to make the scientific case for autonomy.

The interesting part of the the McGuniess interview is the section where Stephen Sackur asks McGuniness whether he now feels trapped and cooped by the Birtish state into the devolution agreement with dissident Republicans getting more and more angry with Sinn Fein. The culture of politics is different here in the UK - McGuiness's point about political evolution might not make sense in our context - but there are lessons for Tamils as the Sri Lankan Government tries to co-opt our political formations into something very inadequate - PCs and the 13th Amendment.

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