Solution to ethnic conflict will end battle with UN
Daily Mirror Editorial
Nov 1, 2011

On October 24 the world remembered the beginning of the United Nations Organization in 1945.

Students of history know that the United Nations was the successor to the League of Nations. Both these organizations were begun to ensure that humanity or nations did not indulge in destroying each other. The government has in recent months been involved in a controversy or battle of words with the UN because of the report submitted by three experts who were appointed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to advise him on what steps to take regarding allegations of war crimes by government forces and the LTTE during the final months of the war in 2009. Government leaders are angry over the report which said there was substantial evidence of crimes against humanity and violations of human rights. They describe the report as the Darusman report attributing it to the widely respected Indonesian Judge Marzuki Darusman. But Mr. Darusman himself told a news conference last week it was not a Darusman report but a UN report.

Whatever it is, the Sri Lanka government should not forget all the good that the UN and its organisations such as the UNDP, the UNICEF, the UNECSO, the WHO and the WFP have done and are doing for Sri Lanka with no self-interest or strings attached. To cooperate with the work of the UN agencies, and move forward from May 2009, the government has one important and urgent task to fulfil. It must work fast and courageously to bring about national reconciliation or peace with justice if it wishes to sustain the ambitious development programmes.

In this context it was sad to see that a leading school in the hill capital in an advertisement had invited people for the unveiling of the war heroes’ monument in the school. How does one connect the task of education in a prestige school like this with national reconciliation and the mandate given to the UN to combat violence of all sorts in the world?

Sadly those responsible for this monument at the school appear to have forgotten that the powers that be have not genuinely addressed the causes of the war in Sri Lanka and moreover thousands of victims of that war are without proper shelter or means of livelihood in the Wanni.

This school which is committed to unity in diversity needs to understand that wars begin, continue and end in the hearts and minds of people and such monuments will only remind us of the military aspects of the war while not helping in the task of national reconciliation whereby the grievances and aspirations of the Tamil-speaking people are addressed in a fair manner.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka