TALKS are on again in Geneva. There is hope as always. The Government
delegation was upbeat when I met them on Saturday morning and they
continued to be upbeat on Saturday night after the talks and also on
Sunday morning before they left the hotel for talks. It was encouraging
to see them like that.
I could see the diversity in the Government delegation with Ministers
Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and Ferial Ashraff reaching out and also
understanding and speaking Tamil fluently. Other members of the
Government delegation expressed their views freely on behalf of the
people of Sri Lanka.
There was laughter, there were smiles and hard talk. Former Inspector
General of Police Chandra Fernando always carried a bagful of documents.
He said " I was always asked to be prepared".
Senior lawyers H.L. de Silva and Gomin Dayasiri were seen busy
working on some files. Team leader Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was
always thoughtful and prepared while Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and
Peace Secretariat Chief Dr. Palitha Kohona were facing the international
They had no hatred, they had no animosity and they spoke on behalf of
the people of Sri Lanka, all Sri Lankans. They were all working through
the night and it is no exaggeration. Like some Rag Leaders say the
delegation or we scribes here don't sing for our supper but work for our
We also know who has been singing for his supper for a such a long
time for a diem or two. Meetings, debates, arguments and discussions are
part of it. It is all done for Mother Lanka.
Because most of us don't want to see Mother Lanka weep or bleed
because she is ours and we are her children. We need to live peacefully,
we need to sleep peacefully and we cannot do that by dividing a nation
or its people by betrayal.
President Rajapaksa with the support of the UNP has brought the
country together since the beginning of the conflict. We must not stop
at that. We must work together. Geneva is a long way to have come to
talk peace. But, what was heartening that the talks went off till late
and the discussions I am told were very candid and positive.
That is a positive sign alright. It is time then to move on from
here. When do we see the LTTE agreeing to talk peace in our own country
? In a typical Sri Lankan setting with Thal Hakuru, Kottakelangu,
Thalaguli, Mun Kauvan and Murukku and may be with some Thal ra and
That will be the day all Sri Lankans will be waiting for with hope
because peace has to dawn in Sri Lanka.
Bandula JAYASEKARA in Geneva