The Choice to Love or Hate
Daily Mirror Editorial
Feb 13, 2011

Sri Lanka, going into the third year after the annihilation of the LTTE from the island’s soil, needs to put its full emphasis on the reconciliation process to assure equality and harmony among all the citizens. As hackneyed as it may sound, without equality, peace that was won at the expense of so many lives, will not be one that is here to stay.

However, the recent so-called ‘reconciliation’ efforts by the government were limited to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) whose recommendations, at present, are kept in a cupboard for reasons that are best known to the government. Even though, the LLRC report was subject to many a criticism and various groups said it only swept the surface rather than looking into the matter in-depth, nobody can challenge that its recommendations are not feasible. In fact, in the present scenario, its feasibility very much lies in the hands of those who are responsible for its implementation. One cannot help but wonder if the powers that be could exhibit the same enthusiasm they showed in passing the draconian 18th Amendment, in this instance, Sri Lanka would be en route to sustainable harmony by now. The danger of such lethargy is that by the time the auspicious time for implementation arrives, we might be in the middle of another crisis.

At the outset when the quest for a political solution continues, it is imperative that the government look into the housing and livelihood development facilities of the people in the North to avert any possible threats of fanning the old flames by hidden LTTE paws. As the people who were temporarily deafened by the searing gunfire and blinded by the misery of losing the loved ones, their list of requirements do not contain complicated political mechanisms, that seem to take so long or too difficult to fulfil. In fact, theirs is the same set of aspirations as those of any other citizen of this country – a roof above their heads, employment or a livelihood and a life without fear.

War had terrorized the life of every citizen in equal proportions. Those who show immense concern over the alleged crimes against humanity towards the later stages of war pay little or no heed to the massacres by the LTTE throughout its tenure of terror. The victims were unarmed citizens who met their death at public places. There were schoolchildren with their white uniforms turned scarlet. History would not let a few individuals and their personal propagandas to benefit from a war that was fought to quell a terror outfit’s atrocities, which affected the entire country.

People, be they Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher, are willing to leave their old wounds for healing; for those who were victimized by it know best the price of peace. On the other hand, the PRO-LTTE sections of the Diaspora who sell the exaggerated agonies of the North’s citizenry at high prices, have no genuine concern other than thickening deflated Tiger pockets.

In a country where suicide cadres get married to army soldiers and people who belonged to the LTTE hierarchy becoming ministers and chief ministers, love or hate is an individual choice.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka