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The stuff that success stories are made of

In its task of demolishing and laying to rest the ‘credible allegations’ which are being leveled against it in the infamous Darusman Report, the Sri Lankan state would need to go more than the extra mile to enlighten the international community on its achievements in bringing normality to the North-East. As we see it, the success stories are there in abundance and the state should lose no time in bringing these to the attention of the world.

On the issue of policy guidelines, the state and its representatives, we believe, should draw inspiration from President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s National War Heroes’ Day address of May 27th, which set out very lucidly and impressively the aims and objectives of the Sri Lankan state. We commented very elaborately on the epochal importance of this address to the people of this country, in this comment on May 28, and stand by our conviction that it was a nation-building address par excellence.

To recount some of the principal points in this address; the President stressed afresh that the victory over terror, achieved by our Security Forces in May 2009, is something the whole of Sri Lanka could rejoice in and feel party to. It is not a resplendent moment in the post independence history of this country, which any particular community or group could exclusively lay claim to. It was an epochal triumph which was achieved on the basis of the collective strength of the totality of the people and paves the way for the united and peaceful coexistence of our communities. Indeed, the victory made it possible for our communities to hoist the Sri Lankan flag jointly and to live in peace and pride under it.

Accordingly, as we pointed out, there is simply no space for communalism and communalists within Sri Lankan society any longer, whether they hail from Northern or Southern Sri Lanka. As we argued last Saturday, the repeated raising of the communal cry or anything approaching it, in current times, could be tantamount to promoting separatism because the ultimate effect of such hard line ideological positions is the dismemberment of Sri Lankan society on ethnic and cultural lines and the segmentation of the public into mutually-hostile groups which would be indefinitely and unrelentingly daggers-drawn. In other words, communalism or ethnic chauvinism is the ideal recipe for a divided state.

Therefore, there is no getting away from the need to make national unity and communal harmony the permanent fountain-head of policy making. This, we are given to understand, would be a point that would be underscored by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe in his submissions to the UNHRC today. Besides, he would be stressing the Lankan state’s continued commitment to ethnic equality and this is as it should be.

Meanwhile, the gains of the state on the normalization front should be continuously highlighted. There is the news, for instance, that the North has registered a high growth rate of 14.2 percent. Not to be outdone, the East has clinched a growth rate of 14.4 percent. These impressive growth performances are, no doubt, attributable to the achievement of peace and one could only imagine the remarkable degree to which these regions would have contributed to the common weal if peace and stability prevailed in them over the past three decades. However, they are on the ready to give of their best to the national good and it is up to the state to harness these dynamic energies of the North-East.

While on this subject we believe we are obliged to tell the TNA that they are conscious-bound to act with a strong sense of patriotism at this crucial juncture when a collective effort must be made by the totality of the people to safeguard the country’s legitimate interests. It is very clear that they would be doing the national interest great harm by trying to parade what they consider as their grouses before sections of the world community. It is high time they realized that they are part and parcel of the citizenry of Sri Lanka and that they should act with a strong sense of loyalty to Sri Lanka. In as much as we are rubbing it in to Southern hard liners, we are driving it into the TNA too that they would be only helping to keep Sri Lanka’s wounds open by acting in a divisive fashion. Rather than take their complaints to the world, they would do well to resolve their differences with the government. This is a time of healing and the TNA would do well act in accordance with the spirit of the times.

Coming back to success stories, we are now also informed that the process of resettling IDPs in the North is coming to a close. This is also no mean achievement and it should be driven home to the world that the ‘horror stories’ currently in circulation about the IDPs are in no way true. The state has been a care-giver and it has not abandoned this role - come what may. The state would always measure up to the standards that are expected of it and this is a certainty that could in no way be questioned.

Response to further excesses by Gordon Weiss in the Australian media

I read with some disappointment the account of your interview with Gordon Weiss regarding the situation in Sri Lanka in 2009. I believe, it was published on May 16. ABC then interviewed me on May 17, but I have not been informed as yet as to when that interview will be broadcast. I am also disappointed that, contrary to assurances given, ABC will not be supplying us with a copy or a transcript of the full interview. I believe the principle of freedom of information requires this, and it is sad to see a media outfit not prepared to ensure a fair playing field.

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Blessed are the resilient for they shall protect this land and our children

The days following the elimination of the LTTE leadership were justifiably joyous for a nation that had been plagued and held hostage by terrorism for three decades. Joy, however, is relative to place and person. I am thinking about the three hundred thousand plus who were in IDP facilities at the time.

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A submission in defence of the President :

The doctrine of Military Necessity during internal armed conflicts

The US State department reports have repeatedly reported about the paramilitary forces which are the Tamil militant groups who have been pampered by successive governments to have arms and in addition are provided State security because their militant organizations are registered as political parties. The survivals of these parties are by extortion, abduction and hired assassinations. Some of these Tamil Leaders are wanted Criminals in India however they hold office regardless of the Rule of Law.

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