Sunday, May 18, 2014
Lest we forget - 5 years on
In a few hours this morning, the convoys of vehicles carrying VVIPs at a huge cost to the State, Diplomats and senior Servicemen will be streaming down the Southern Highway to Matara, for the 5th Anniversary (they call it celebrations) of the “Victory against Terrorism”. Actually it was a victory in a Civil War where one set of citizens conquered another set of citizens who held a different viewpoint, namely secession from the Center.
We seemed to have missed the plot a little on this, as we keep calling it a war, which in its true sense it is not. It was in fact little different to the JVP uprising, where another set of citizens took up arms against the Center again, and were also cruelly put down, no differently than the former, where atrocities were committed by both sides, and one side wishes to fool us into believing they were always committed by the vanquished. The LTTE uprising against the state was more organized as it was well funded from overseas, and far more organized in scale.
Should we now after 5 years make it a remembrance event for all those who lost their lives in this conflict, giving a pledge as leaders who attend, that they will never let it recur? If the latter is what happens, then there is a greater likelihood of reconciliation and a true end to future possibilities of their recurrence. After all that is what is most important after a war, so that it will NOT happen again.
If we learn anything from the First World War, it is NOT to punish the vanquished to an extent that creates resentment and finally a rebirth of rebellion. We don’t seem to have learned from it, and 5 years on, the resentment HAS not diminished.
The reason for this is that you cannot buy contentment. It must be apparent by deeds. We have done nothing, bar physical and infrastructural improvements to show that the reasons for the conflict in the first place have been neutralized. In that respect, the past 5 years have been an utter failure in diplomacy, both within and without, and the GOSL solely responsible for it.
If one takes the results of the Northern Provincial Council elections, it is apparent from the result, that the overwhelming majority there voted for the party that still espouses separatism, whether we like it or not, and which keeps this light burning, emboldened by the Tamil Diaspora, especially in the Western nations, where for electoral or other reasons, the host nations tolerate a level of insubordination, which if it was done here would definitely be treasonable. It is time the GOSL wakes up to this reality, and NOT be the cause of a future enforced bifurcation.
I hope this insensitivity can stop, the ruling elite's jingoism, set aside, and a whole country of a multitude of people from different bloodlines live in harmony. Let us turn this into a memorial for those who suffered from all our internal conflicts, and continue to suffer, in a make believe land where today ONLY the sycophants and their patrons benefit at the expense of the rest of the Country.
ONLY then can we truly build a country where this rebellion begat from want will never arise!