The primacy of a sense of
Building a sense of
community among the people of this country is as good as laying
the foundation for a durable peace. One of the most catastrophic
fallouts from the conflict was the physical and emotional
separation of our communities from each other, coupled with the
severe internal segmentation of these communities themselves.
Examples of the latter are single parent families, loss of bread
winners, widows and orphans
In other words, the social dislocation resulting from the
conflict was as grave as the loss of lives and property.
Accordingly, Sri Lanka really needs to fight on two fronts: on
the one hand, we need to fight off those external forces which
are attempting to exercise a neo-colonial stranglehold over us
and this is currently best exemplified in the allegations being
leveled at us by hostile sections of the West at the UNHRC
sessions in Geneva. Essentially, this boils down to protecting
and sustaining our sovereignty and national independence, along
with the preservation of our just pride as a free people.
On the other hand, we need to bring healing among ourselves.
This is best achieved through an internal process of national
reconciliation and the establishment and solidification of
social bonds among our communities and collectivities, besides
bringing healing to persons and families who were badly affected
by the conflict.
These latter chores are as important as the former and it is
to the extent to which this process of inner healing is advanced
that one could say that the nation-building effort is being
successfully pursued. After all, establishing a united and equal
citizenry is what nation-building is basically all about.
Fortunately, there are sufficient indications that the state is
no less involved in this process of bringing inner healing
inasmuch as seeking to neutralize the enemy without.
What tends to give us hope in this regard is a news feature
we carried on our Opinion page yesterday which highlighted some
community-based initiatives being launched in the North under
the aegis of Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha M.P., Advisor on
Reconciliation to the President, and a host of other public
sector officials and bodies, which are proving quite effective
in bringing bonding and healing to the local body-politic in the
wake of the dislocation caused by the conflict.
Reading through the report one would find that, among other
things, these initiatives are proving catalysts in effecting
people-to-people contact which is vital in any effort at
national reconstruction and rejuvenation.
It could be seen that these challenges are being faced and to
a great extent overcome with the least assistance of and
intervention from actors and agencies external to the localities
and areas concerned. They are in every sense of the word,
community or people-based initiatives which are sustained by the
genius and resourcefulness of the local communities themselves.
Of great importance is the establishment of Reconciliation
Committees at Divisional Secretariat level and, as could be
seen, these bodies are taking on a wide range of issues faced by
local communities. Some of these are the well being of women and
children, the identification and succouring of vulnerable
groups, counseling of those suffering from numerous afflictions,
development of educational curricular, entrepreneurship
training, the launching of small businesses, cooperative
development and so on. In other words, if all goes well we would
be having at least relatively self-sustaining communities. This
is the direction in which a post-conflict society needs to
evolve and we wish more strength to the arms of those who are
behind these collective ventures. In fact, this is the true
meaning of independence and we hope the political actors of note
in our midst would bear these parameters in mind as they go
Not only must social dislocations be mended, communities must
be aided in the momentous enterprise of cooperating and helping
each other in meeting their everyday and other needs. From these
united and joint ventures would come into being a sense of
solidarity and togetherness which no amount of sloganeering
could help foster. This is indeed the sense of community and
unity a sovereign country must showcase to the world.
Prof. Paul created pathway for Lankans to learn
engineering – Part II:
IESL for practical and open dialogue
Similarly, today after enjoying that freedom for
over six decades, and in my own personal view quite disarrayed and
perhaps even lost in our focus, we are about to launch ourselves
from a middle income level country to a developing country… It is a
time that we need more and more people in the calibre of late Prof.
Paul. In that context it is most relevant.
Do we need a special day to celebrate being women?
International Women’s Day falls tomorrow. Every
year, March 8 comes upon the factory worker, the garment worker, the
housewife, the student, the teacher, the scientist, the
businesswoman and all other women with the kind of fervour and
excitement reserved for big holidays. Women being pragmatic and
hands-on as mothers and wives, usually take it in their stride. It
happens to be just another day - but at least, it gives some of us
the opportunity to remind the world that the hand that rocks the
cradle does indeed rule the world - when it comes to moulding the
lives of the next generation, passing on values and traditions that
make life worthwhile and meaningful.
An open letter to Ban ki-Moon, Secretary General of United
Dear Mr Ban ki-Moon,
I am writing this letter to you on behalf of the
people of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, mainly on
behalf of the youths, the ones affected by war when they were
supposed to be enjoying their childhood, the ones who thought they
would not make it past their teens due to the civil war, but now can
see a brighter future, a better chance at survival. I am writing
this letter to share with you my opinion, which I believe is shared
among the people of Sri Lanka. The opinion is that we believe our
nation has been the target of scrutiny by many powerful states, we
find this unjust as it interferes in the path of our development.