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Victory & Beyond | dailynews.lk

Second and last chance for peace and development - Prof. Mudiyanse Dissanayake


Prof. Mudiyanse Dissanayake

Extracts from an interview conducted with Prof. Mudiyanse Dissanayake on `Victory and Beyond'. Being the Head of the Department of Drama Ballet and Modern Dance, University of Visual and Performing Arts, Colombo and a professional dancer and a Choreographer. He is the author of many scholarly books and articles. At the moment he is engaged in some projects which aimed at re-establishing friendship and cultural links between the North and South.

Q - What this victory means for Sri Lankans?

A - This is a real victory for the whole country after 30 years of suffering. Japan used the opportunity it got after the second world war and became one of the most developed and powerful nations in the world. But Sri Lanka did not use the first opportunity it received in 1948 after Independence. This will be the second and final chance. The country should be thankful to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, commanders of three armed forces and all who have contributed towards this victory.

We cannot take a rest. The real war begins now. It is the spiritual war. It is all about re-establishing the old friendship and bond between ethnicities. This cannot be done within overnight because terrorists had brainwashed some of the ethnicities and separated them from the rest of the country.

There was no ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and if there was such a problem, Tamil community and the Sinhalese community would not be able to live in Colombo and other parts in Sri Lanka in peace and harmony. The problem we had was a group of terrorists fighting against legitimate Governments democratically elected by the people. The victory is not vital only for Sri Lanka. It is very important in the International level because the LTTE was an organization which was involved in big scale drug business and arms dealing. The LTTE executed crimes in all countries freely. They attacked Kingsbury Temple in U.K. When I was inside the temple. They destroyed many other temples, Sri Lankan embassies etc.

Q - What will be the future?

A - I have a special appeal to make from the trade unions, university students and all the other groups who plan to launch protests in future. Please let the Government to breathe and take care of the large number of IDPs at least for a period of two or three years. It is one of the huge tasks. Stop your strikes and protests. Present your demands but do not launch strikes and protests. Let the Government handle IDPs' welfare for two or three years.

We have to rehabilitate not only the former soldiers of the LTTE but the whole community forcibly kept away from the rest of the country. We have to have `Super Highways' in order to enable people in the North, East and south to travel fast and move freely and closely with each other. This does not mean building roads. It is something more than that. They should be given an opportunity to mix up.

The living standard of those people is very low and first of all it should be upgraded. If we can upgrade the living standard of people and eradicate poverty, no one will be able to mislead them in future like the LTTE did.

The other most important fact is the LTTE's International network. They have been created a very negative picture on Sinhalese and projected them as uncivilised barbarians.

We have to make use of our diplomats to raise awareness in the world. Some Sri Lankan diplomats work hard to tell the world the truth about the LTTE but unfortunately some diplomats do not do their job properly. Our Foreign Affairs Minister cannot do this task alone. The Tamil community living abroad funded a single selfish terrorist and his family and not an organization or their community. At least now we have to make them understand the reality and see the truth. Most of the times the LTTE took ransom from Tamils living abroad.

Q - Describe what you experienced during your recent tours to North.

A - In 1970s and 80s I taught in Ramanathan Music Academy and Tamil Teachers' College in Jaffna. We had connections with Jaffna University but after that our links were broken by the terrorists.

I visited Batticaloa and Jaffna recently but the experiences are not the same. Aged people treated us in a friendly manner but the young generation looked at us with suspicion.

A 30 or 35 year old person does not know about the friendship and bond existed in 1970s and 80s. They have no idea about Sinhalese. They have been completely brainwashed by the terrorists.

Many of them had not attended school and not aware of the administrative structure of Sri Lanka. Never heard of the Parliament. They do not know how to response to a cultural performance.

They just looked at us without any feeling or understanding. This is not their fault. This is because they have been separated from the rest of the country by the LTTE.

They felt a bit close to us only when we performed some Tamil dances and sang Tamil songs. Only then they realised that although we know their culture, they do not have any idea about the culture of Sinhalese. It is education, culture and especially arts which bind people together. Art does not have any boundaries. Language, race, religion or anything else is not a barrier for visual and performing arts.

Q - What do you think about some countries which called themselves `international community' always making trouble for democratically elected Governments instead of terrorist outfits?

A - The LTTE led by Prabhakaran is only the tip of an iceberg. We saw only the tip but not the entire iceberg. The iceberg is the conspiracy of Europe and the West. Sri Lanka is the best military base if a country or a group of countries want to successfully control the South East Asia. As far as Sri Lanka remains as one country it is very difficult to create a military base here. But if Sri Lanka can be divided into parts, the task become possible and easily, especially when one part is held by a terrorist. Therefore some countries used the LTTE and human rights as proxies. The other fact is no such country has a long history like Sri Lanka.

They have a very short history less than 500 years and we have 2550 years history. The countries which do not have a proper history try to use their ridiculous concepts on us which are not relevant or practical at all.

But no one can openly achieve such evil objective. All need a good cover for that. The cover they used was `Human Rights'. This International conspiracy revealed from the wepons recovered from North.

There is an English book on Sri Lankan history written by one of professors. The whole book is full of a fabricated history of Sri Lanka. While I was touring in Netherlands and Belgium I came accros many people who only knows this fabricated `history' of Sri Lanka.

We have to author books with the accurate summery Sri Lankan history in foreign languages and distribute them free of charge among foreign universities and and other educational institutions. This is a must. Without this type of project Sri Lanka will not be able to educate the world on accurate history of the country.

Q - What is the contribution that can be made by scholars to strengthen peace in Sri Lanka?

A - The contribution made by local scholars towards the country so far is not satisfactory at all. It is scholars who see future and reality before all the others.

Now they should join hands with the Government without any petty differences and contribute submitting their ideas. There are local scholars in every field. They can express their views and ideas now. They have to launch the spiritual war. They can improve rescued people's taste on literature and arts.

They can provide guidance for all the programs and projects to be launched in all fields. I have one last special request to make from all scholars, professionals and all Sri Lankans who are living or working abroad.

Please send at least Rs.50 or one pound / one dollar per month to the motherland. The Government can set up one special account for this purpose and all Sri Lankans can deposit money. If we can do this we do not need to beg for loans from the world. Then we can hold our head high and walk straight. At least now we have to understand this and make areal contribution to build motherland.

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