Sri Lanka, a new future ?

Last week was a very memorable one for all Sri Lankans, in whatever way you look at it. End of a 30 year old conflict is not something you forget that easily IMO. Younger generation today (me included) hadn’t seen a day without a war. Each month (some times every week) there were bomb blasts going on…people dying here and there… so it’s not a great wonder to feel relief after such a devastating conflict.

But I can’t really enjoy it either.

The cost of ending this brutal war has been massive. The war has brought so much grief to most families in members dead .. closer to 300,000 displaced in camps…more than 6000 army soldiers have sacrificed their lives (in last 3 years of war alone, according to recent stats)…most people have lost whatever they it’s not a party time either.

At most it’s bitter sweet.

But due to all these sacrifices from Sri Lankans, it has brought a new chance to look at the future in a new light. But it should be remembered specially the tri-forces who had put their life at risk and some who have laid lives, secretary of defence for his unwavering goal to finish the war and president for supporting it. They have done what four Sri Lankan presidents, eight governments, and 6 cease-fires could not. No matter whatever blunders the government has done, I don’t think any one can really blame government for going at active war…because they have tried everything possible through peace processes to come to a solution. Specially previous government through its MoU and even President Chandrika Bandaranayaka earlier with her willingness to give north to LTTE for 10 years without an election shows the desperation Sri Lanka wanted to have a peaceful solution. It’s no wonder because with the ongoing war country was basically at a stalemate when it came to the economy and growth. Prabhakaran never gave a compromise (even backing down a notch) from what he wanted and there was a limit the government could promise, which was a federal solution..which he despised. So when one party is not willing for a compromise, it’s a fact that there’s a conflict or a war in this case whether you like it or not.

But here we are…so what should be done ?

To where ?

First and foremost, there are about 300,000 displaced people in the north that are in very hard conditions. Also according to stats, it takes around Rs 3 crore per day and around 1 billion Rs per month to maintain these camps. Without a doubt they have to be resettled back asap and hopefully within 6 months as suggested by the government. But not only resettling them, rest of the country have to provide all the help they can to bring back these destroyed cities and villages to normalcy as much as they can be. Also it’s required to have a rapid development plan in these areas to bring them to the level of rest of the country.

But the real rock and hard place will be to bring peace through some political solution that’s acceptable to everyone.

Peace and a new future ?

As many believe Prabhakaran may have been a very skilful military leader…but that’s the only thing that can be said about him. If he had an iota of political sense most of this destruction could have been avoided through any of 6 peace processes underwent. Then what about all lives he took of intellectuals (specially that of Tamil leaders that didn’t go well with his ideology, or terror) ? That will take many years to fill that gap.

Through terror he shut down most of powerful moderate Tamil voices and except for a handful all were fearful of raising their voices. Personally, I feel there’s a lot of resemblance between the character Lord Voldemort of Harry Potter series and Prabhakaran in many ways. Both were megalomaniacs who thought they were like deities and made people even fearful of uttering their names much less voicing different opinions.

So now with the end of the war, the bottleneck is gone and Tamils have the freedom to express their opinions without a hindrance.  Also it’s government’s responsibility to let the freedom go to people.

People should use this to send representatives (preferably not idiots like some of those who are now in Parliament) who really care about them. Then use them to bring their grievances to discussion table and resolve it politically and peacefully.

The responsibility of the government is to use this golden opportunity provided by sacrificing thousands of lives by soldiers to bring all parties together (mainly UNP, as they have suggested their agreement to support the government in a political solution to get necessary votes in the parliament) instead of watering its self image (it may be justifiable to a certain extent because this is politics after all, but extreme is always ugly).

Also general public should think in terms of their contribution to the country. If a soldier can put their lives at risk and work 24 * 7 without a holiday, shouldn’t the rest at least work their 8 hour work load per day dutifully ? What right do we have to talk about soldiers if we can’t even do that ? [“Even after increasing it from 116,000 to 200,000, a soldier still cannot get seven days leave a month, he pointed out.”]

So we are at a cross road…I really hope it leads to somewhere better than past three decades.

8 thoughts on “Sri Lanka, a new future ?

  1. Akila says:

    Well said mate!
    I totally and totally agree with the last para
    “Also general public should think in terms of their contribution to the country…..”

    • Laknath says:

      Yea, People should think more about it and I feel president should have said something about it too. It may not be the popular thing…but it’s the right thing to do IMO.

  2. Sri Ramkrishna says:

    Being Tamil (the mainland indian kind) I have no respect for the rebels. Especially after they went and suicide bombed the prime minister of India. All support ended at that point. Bastards. I feel for the tamil people there but there were probably other methods that they could have gotten even parity.


    • Laknath says:

      Yes, they messed it all. All this destruction could have avoided if they wanted in 1987. What happened was both of our countries had to suffer heavily because of one man.

  3. Sankar says:

    Wars anyday are just the battle of egos between people with power, often affecting the general public and their family structures.

    In my personal opinion, The 3 people responsible for the recent massacre of thousands of people are: Rajapakshe, Prabhakaran, & to a certain extent Sonia Gandhi. All these publicity-hungry people with enough power at their disposal wanted violent revenge, with their own justifications, ended up killing thousands of civilians. The pathetic fact is there are blind followers for each of them, who are otherwise good people turn violent and take sides and try to support their side in a mindless manner. The Dogs of War are evil.

    • Sri Ramkrishna says:

      Until we start electing better leaders, we won’t get anywhere. The fault ultimately falls upon us as the voter.


    • Peter Lund says:

      Sankar, I’m a European from Scandinavia so I don’t follow the politics of the Subcontinent as closely as you do. I hope you can help me by clarifying a point you made. How is the tragedy of the Sri Lankan situation in any way even partially the fault of Sonia Gandhi?

      (Btw, I think it’s a bit silly that family matters /that/ much in Indian politics and kinda sad that the only major party that is not evil or incompetent is corrupt — but I was very relieved when Sonia Gandhi /didn’t/ want to become PM, leaving the post for the very competent Singh.)

      • Sankar says:

        Peter, Sonia Gandhi is the wife of ex-Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assasinated by LTTE. So when the Congress came to power, she ensured all the co-operation for the Srilankan Governement. She helped with Indian satellite images of the LTTE area, military aid and training to the Srilankan army. The previous Indian prime ministers have always tried to remain neutral as it might affect the civilian lives, but she chose to openly support the Srilankan Government.

        My blog entry on such people with power abusing the lives of common men –

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