|Tuesday, 15 July 2003|
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More than a year has passed since the signing of the historic ceasefire agreement and although there were a few sporadic violations of the ceasefire agreement both the LTTE and the Government have been able to maintain the ceasefire agreement without resuming war and peace talks are carried on with the purpose of achieving a negotiated settlement for the country's long-lasting ethnic strife with the help of Norwegian facilitators and under the guidance of the international community. Although the LTTE has temporarily suspended the peace talks at present, governmental negotiators are still sanguine of resumption of peace talks sooner.
The people, who are living specially in North-East and were increasingly battered by the war, are now releasing the sighs of consolation with the disappearance of the sordid war and their day-to-day lives have to a greater extent been eased while the process of rehabilitating and normalizing war-ravaged North-East is in progress.
Reinstating the war-torn economy of North-East is seemingly rather difficult, but with the aids of US $ 4.5 billion from the recently concluded Tokyo Donor Conference, the entire process is successfully moving ahead. Meanwhile, some political analysts point out that the ceasefire agreement is fragile and security forces must often be vigilant about the resumption of war and the military preparedness for the National Defence is therefore being emphasized. Although the impartiality of their opinions is dubious, those opinions cannot entirely be ruled out.
Nevertheless, we cannot still forget the ordeals of the war, because we all became to downtrodden societies culturally, politically and economically with this nightmarish war. However, for us, one thing is favourable. It is that, to a satisfactory extent, the peace process has developed and in the absence of war, the dream of economic development is coming little by little true, because an enormous amount of money, spending in vain for the war, can now be utilized to increase the capital expenditure of the country.
But, in the context of beneficialistic politics and the prevalent individualism, the ongoing peace process is severely disparaged and atrociously hindered by some dull politicians, who are intent to wield the power in any case embracing the individual's idea so fervently. In order to achieve their self-advantageous, narrow goals, they are leading the people astray by distorting the reality and through their ostentatious patriotism. Frankly, they are animositously trying to make the people believe that the ongoing peace process is a wild goose chase and they further say that the Government negotiators are going to betray the entire Sinhala nation and the country. Personally, I believe (you may believe too) there is only one nation in our country. Namely, Sri Lankan.
And the most regretful fact, as I see is that a great many don't know how many subterfuges behind their excessive patriotism are.
Frankly, I extend my whole hearted support to the ongoing peace process and our honourable PM for his untiring efforts to restore peace in our country and I do know the hoi-polloi of our country need the peace as much as I need it.
But some people who have made the war their livelihoods (I am not talking about our soldiers), are undoubtedly reluctant to see the end of this conflict, because then they inevitably lose their livelihoods.
Therefore, they are seeking ways to resume war disrupting the peace process however.
Moreover, given the grassroots of this ethnic strife, I can't help pointing my finger at almost every leader who came to power eversince 1948 because this ethnic strife could have been nipped in bud, if they frankly needed to do so. But, they who were the pioneers of opportunistic politics, never wanted to find a permanent solution for this sordid strife and instead of addressing the issue, they exacerbated it giving more and more promises that were mere promises (that's how promissory political culture came into being and they deserve our kudos for that noble task of beginning a new political culture) And even today within our popular political culture of fishing in turbulent waters, there is no room for permanent, if not defacto solutions. Our leaders cobbled to the issues in the past, cobble to the issues at present and will cobble to the issues in the future and it is what our politicians have successfully been indoctrinated almost entirely in the post independence era and it is what generational politics has bestowed us.
However, under any of these circumstances, deviating the popular tradition to some extent, our PM has indefatigably worked for the progress of the peace process; has successfully convinced to the international community of the successes of the ongoing peace process and has some how maintained the ceasefire agreement without resuming war.
More importantly, the history says that the war never brings peace and prosperity to a country and it can easily drag even almost the entire world to the fathomless abyss of destruction. So, the war means not anything else but destruction.
That's why the Enlightened One preached hatred never appeases the hatred. That's why mighty Indian emperor Asoka rejected the war. So, we must understand that the reality never alters for us and we have to alter for the reality. Let's perceive the reality and then everyone's dreams of one nation, one country under the shade of one flag will exactly come true.
The MTV News of Tuesday, 1st July, 2003, in the context of the Japanese visiting Kilinochchi and interviewing Tamilchelvan, it was stated very categorically, that the LTTE is not very happy with the PA's stand on the current peace process.
As a "friend" of the PA and as a person interested in the Peace Process, I have often wondered whether the PA in recent times has become only the SLFP!!! Why do I say this? All that we have been hearing from the PA recently was in a sense summed up at the recent annual meeting of the SLFP. I for one cannot see any difference between the thinking articulated at the SLFP conference and the PA statements.
Moreover, another part of the PA, the LSSP, has been making their own, statements on this subject. Also there is the SLFP-JVP, MOU, which from mass media, we gather, the LSSP does not like !!! The LSSP represents the Old Left and the JVP, the New Left. The tragedy in all this, is the confirmation of my thinking that party politics, is perhaps the one single factor, which has destroyed our beautiful island home perhaps from 1931. Something must be done immediately.
For goodness sake, please forget about yourself, your party, party politics and the question of winning the next election.
Please think of the people of this country, very specially, the 80% of our people, who live on 20% of our goods. Kindly, pontificating, that the PA supports the peace process, do not hijack or derail the process. For example, the PA Statement in the context of the shooting of the Police Officer of the Dehiwela Police Station, before the Police could identify the killer hinted that it was the LTTE, that was responsible for this shooting. This I believe is a very irresponsible statement for a political party, which is one of the parties in the conflict to make.
This is a classic case, of how not to handle a conflict. There are other examples as well.
Therefore, the PA like every other party, in the conflict must come clean and participate in this conflict resolution fully. Please do not go back to the days of 1956!!!
THE VERY REV. FR. SYDNEY KNIGHT, Colombo 7.
Protests are carried out about the Upper Kothmale Hydro Power Station to benefit the trousered mudalalis who are in the business of power generation by using diesel. If the Upper Kothmale Project is delayed or abandoned, Mudalalis can put up diesel power houses and make money. If the Govt. stops the private sector power generation, which they should in fact do, the protestors will not protest.
This power generation by the private sector was allowed for the corrupt politicians to make money by way of royalties. The Banks will finance the diesel power generation to make money. My Electricity bill is Rs. 5366.68 for 406 units and it costs Rs. 13.22 per unit.
My CEB pension is not enough to pay my electricity bill.
The diesel mudalalis and the politicians can pay this charge but not Citizen Perera. Kothmale Power Plant and the Coal Power Plants will reduce the Generation costs but will not benefit the banks and their Mudalali clients. I visited the Upper Kothmale site myself and found that the persons who are displaced are quite happy as they get free houses, land and all the facilities Etc. CWC is bringing protestors from other areas. This is what these residents stated.
This Diesel Lobby will not even allow the Coal fired power project, as it is detrimental to the diesel mudalalis and their hired politicos.
They will talk of acid rain and all other nonsense to prevent the construction of a coal fired power house. This country has too much of democracy and no statesman or leader of the Mahatma Gandhi type who loves the common man.
It is very strange that those who have not seen the inside of a university and are high school dropouts become experts on anything when they get elected to Parliament. It was G.K. Chestertan who said that Democracy is the Government by the un-educated.
COLVIN DE ZOYSA, Borella.
The staff of the Dehiwela Police, detailed to investigate the above killings should be commended and suitably rewarded for solving this crime and bringing to book the main culprits who planned the crime and the underworld contract killers who were commissioned to execute it.
Both the planners and the killers were fully confident that this murder too, would be relegated to the long list of unsolved crimes in the Dehiwela Police area in the not so distant past. The Dehiwela Police should leave no stone unturned to collect sufficient evidence to prove this case beyond all reasonable doubt, more so because this innocent family, do not have any relations here now to see to their interests.
G. M. C. BARTHOLOMEUSZ, Peradeniya
Being an ex planter, I wish to share my views on the above subject with those in the trade. The purpose of underplanting coconut is for the second generation to take over from the first, due to poor yield. Accordingly, this exercise should be undertaken by experienced, knowledgable personnel to avoid a clash, thereby a competition for survival between the two generations, where the first generation should be eliminated in stages at least by the sixth year, allowing the second generation to take over. This is possible only if the above assessment is correctly ascertained and implemented.
However, on some plantations this is not attended to as above, where the underplantations are introduced earlier than necessary, compelling both plantations to exist much longer than recommended hampering the growth and production of both which should be avoided, converting the plantation to a grove.
Further more, it is essential for the second generation to be brought into maturity with full stand, at least by the sixth year. This would enable a continuous satisfactory yield for better profits in the ensuing years, even after the removal of the first generation palms, thereby achieving the objective of this vital exercise for the benefit of the property.
TOMMY WANIGESINGHE, Kurunegala
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