Co-Chairs' forthright stance
The Tokyo Donor Conference Co-Chairs
have done well to place the stark choice before the LTTE: cooperate with
the State in bringing peace or face international isolation.
Coming just after the EU ban on the LTTE, this forthright statement
by the Co-Chairs puts the record straight on what needs to be done next
by the LTTE to ensure the revival of the peace process.
The Co Chairs have defined the tasks before the Tigers in the most
unambiguous terms: "The LTTE must re-enter the negotiating process and
renounce terrorism and violence."
Thus has the world community stated its case. The EU has demonstrated
in the plainest terms that it would not be brooking any more bestial
behaviour by the Tigers.
The entirety of the European Union region is a veritable "no-go" zone
for the LTTE. On top of that comes the warning by the Co-Chairs, which
amounts to some of the biggest powers of the world making their position
Put very simply, the LTTE would be facing a critical and hostile
world if it does not cooperate in bringing peace to Sri Lanka.
Given this background, the LTTE would be only courting a tragic
future by turning a deaf ear on the warnings of the world community.
Hopefully, the Tigers would end their recalcitrance and terror and
return to the negotiating table.
The LTTE can re-enter the political process without reservations
because the Government is keeping the door wide open to a negotiated
settlement. Besides promising maximum devolution, President Mahinda
Rajapaksa has pledged to negotiate peace rather than explore the
The Government premises its position on the belief that war cannot
lead to peace. Peace could be sought only by peaceful means. This is an
inviolable principle as far as the State is concerned.
The LTTE would do well to seize this opportunity to work towards a
political settlement. The Government as well as the international
community mean well by the LTTE by calling on it to seek a political
solution in earnest. War is simply not an option at present.
This position is based on decades of human suffering. Bloodshed and
war have visited untold suffering on all sections of the people. This
legacy of unending agony should convince the Tigers that the legitimate
aspirations of the Tamil people cannot be realised by the force of arms.
The judicious course of action would be to seize the hand of goodwill
shown by the State and to work towards a negotiated settlement.
The LTTE should, in particular, consider the plight of the Tamil
people. The majority of the Tamil people renounce war and are for a
political settlement. The LTTE would be cruelly compromising their well
being by continuing with their murderous violence.
We take this opportunity to hail the flexibility and fair-mindedness
of the State. Maximum devolution within a geographically undivided Sri
Lanka is the soundest recipe for peace.
Hobbits and humans
If you thought that hobbits were a figment of J.R.R. Tolkien's
fertile imagination, think again: Such hominids lived among Homo sapiens
as recently as 18,000 years ago.
The 2003 discovery of skeletal remains of Homo floresiensis, the one-metre
tall hominids has literally turned anthropology on its head. The debate
on this separate species of human who descended from Homo erectus, has
now intensified. Sapiens too have descended from erectus.
Anthropologists and archaeologists were stunned at the discovery of
bones of at least nine 'hobbit' individuals in a cave in the island of
Near these remains were sophisticated stone tools and butchered
animals, including a now-extinct miniature elephant.
But there is a new twist in the tale. Homo sapiens has been around
for nearly 200,000 years. This means that we have shared the planet with
a another human species as recently as 18,000 years ago.
It also raises another equally tantalising prospect - did H. sapiens
and H. floresiensis interbreed, leaving "hobbit" genes in our genetic
code ? And why did the shorter species perish ?
These are questions for which there are no simple answers. The
scientific journals are having a field day. Some scientists are claiming
that the whole thing is "media hype".
Some have gone to the extent of saying that the hominids were not a
separate species but quite simply Homo sapiens who suffered from a
pathological condition called microcephaly, which results in a small
brain and body.
We do not know what the truth is, but one thing is clear. We are far
from fully unravelling the mystery of human evolution. The hobbits have
only added yet another dimension to this ancient puzzle.
Quest to eliminate bribery and corruption
Director Investigations of the Commission to
Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Neville Guruge outlines his
plans to minimise bribery and corruption in the country to Daily
News staffer Rafik Jalaldeen.
NAM needs to get back into contention
As should have been expected, it is the Non
Aligned Movement's broaching of a sensitive international issue
which has prompted the Western transnational media to cast more than
a cursory glance at one of this Third World bloc's fora.
Significance of the abortive 1962 military coup
IN the troubled post-independence history of Sri
Lanka, the abortive military coup d' etat of January 27, 1962 may
end up being a footnote, given the fact that no shots were fired, no
troops were moved, and the bid was nipped in the bud thanks to
Between the lines
It's all about profit
POLITICAL parties are utilising parliament like
the holy Ganges to purify their dirt and defrauds. They are framing
laws to cover up their mistakes and, in the process, decreasing the
level of morality in the country.
A slap in the face
THE decision by the EU to list the LTTE as a
banned terrorist organisation is a diplomatic slap in the face for
the rebels. Although the United States, Britain, Canada and India
have outlawed the LTTE, the EU was reluctant to take harsh measures.