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Monday, 14 September 2009

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Towards reconciliation

The TNA is hopeful of meeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa again following the initial engagement which was described as very constructive by MP Mavai Senathiraja one of the participants. This mellowing of the principal Tamil political party whose antipathy towards the establishment in the not too distant past was all too well known is certainly a positive development. It augurs well for the current moves by the President to bring together all factions putting behind the past in the nation building exercise.

Although the discussions are currently centred on the resettlement of the IDPs it is hoped that things will progress on to different levels with the passage of time embracing a larger scope including the political solution that is envisaged.

Already the party which boycotted the APRC marked itís presence at the last APRC meetings which is an indication of the gradual shift in stance. It is no secret that the TNA did the bidding of the LTTE who facilitated itís election to Parliament and thus could not take independent decisions.

True, the shift in the ground realities following the demise of the LTTE may have influenced the TNA decision to opt for engagement with the Government in contrast to itís previous hostile stand. Whatever the reason this thawing of attitude should be welcomed.

The coming together of the two sides is a positive development particularly where the interests of the Tamils are concerned. For it could act as an effective bridge between the Government and the Tamil community in the post war integration process although the party may defer with the Government politically.

For, a good rapport between the two sides could only help the reconciliation process while the Government also will need a strong representative body to reach out to the Tamil community. Time was when Northern polity functioned as an altogether separate entity displaying open hostility to the establishment.

There was also the poorly disguised campaign promoting separatism that eventually snowballed into war. It is also true some of the Tamil political parties who espoused the cause later became victim of their own creation with even their leaders ending inside the Tiger belly. The TNA too was virtually in the jaws of the Tiger having to do itís bidding lest they end up the same way.

But now with the threat no more it is hoped that they will coalesce with the Government in serving the interests of their community in the post war scenario. This is the ideal time for the TNA to break out from its past and enter national politics like other minority parties without being a single issue party.

For Eelam is now a dead letter with the vanquishing of the LTTE. It is gratifying to note that the TNA has opted for inclusivity from the recent statements made by some itís front liners.

Thus it would be ideal if it sheds itís identity as a regional party and cast its oars far and wide to acquire a national flavour. Sri Lanka is too small a country for regional parties and political parties operating in enclaves.

The TNA should seek out the support of Tamils outside the North and East carrying a new message and ideology. We say this because today the Tamil community needs a strong political leadership that transcends ethnic considerations in a scenario where integration is the buzz word.

Today there is a huge void left in the Tamil polity except rumps broken away from the separatist movement. There is a need for a cohesive political body that can stand for the common interests of the Tamils. The TNA with the largest representation in Parliament should be able to fill this void with the cooperation of other Tamil parties in order to bring the fruits of peace to the Tamil community.

True, the President has dismissed the need for communal identification of communities. But it would be advantageous to have a prominent political party around which is able to articulate the interests of the Tamils in particular areas in the socio economic and cultural spheres.

Our weekend paper the Sunday Observer also carried as itís main picture the President meeting with the Tamil business community.

This too is a positive feature indicating a shift in the scene showing a departure from existing prejudices and antagonisms. These businessmen will have a big role to play in the post war development and the striking of such a rapport is certainly a happy augury towards reconciliation.

Electricity for all to promote sustainable development - Power Minister

The Power and Energy Ministry is to provide electricity and meet the demand of the energy services with an affordable, reliable, diverse, safe and environmentally acceptable choice for the people of Sri Lanka. Such services are to be provided in the most economically and socially efficient manner, thereby promoting sustainable economic development for the social well-being of the country, Power Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage explained his views

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Principal Obama admonishes Brown the Truant

The Morning Inspection - Malinda

President of the USA, Barack Obama has had a chit-chat with Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of Britain. In this first telephone call between the two men in several months, Obama is reported to have expressed disappointment over the release of the only person convicted in the December 1981 bombing of a Pan-Am jetliner, which killed 243 passengers and 16 members of the crew. Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, 57 was released last month in Scotland on compassionate grounds since he is terminally ill.

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