|Thursday, 6 November 2003|
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Choose the peaceful options
A tense atmosphere, understandably, prevails in the country as a result of the current political developments. It is a time at which emotions could be expected to run high as the rights and wrongs of the issues at the heart of the governmental crisis are debated in public.
While these could be considered natural tendencies our hope is that peace and calm would reign in the country, with everyone concerned strictly adhering to the law of the land.
The principal political leaders of the country, President Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, have spoken on the issues at hand and we hope that the best courses of action would be taken by them to promote the well-being of the public.
Ideally, any action which would jeopardize the security and well being of the citizenry should be avoided. We also call upon these leaders to resolve their differences through a process of dialogue and consultation as a confrontational approach to resolving these problems would only have adverse repercussions on the well- being of the country.
It couldn't be emphasized enough that a priority for the people is peace and security. We have had relative peace and economic betterment over the past couple of years and the people would desire the perpetuation of this state of affairs. Prolonged political tensions would be in no one's interest.
Public security would depend considerably on whether emotional political speeches and agitational politics are kept at a minimum. These factors which sour the political atmosphere in the country should ideally be eliminated. It is up to leaders of political parties to ensure that their respective party memberships are on their best behaviour because any attempt to take the present political squabbles onto the streets would result in the erosion of law and order.
Accordingly, we hope that the political leaders concerned would resolve their grievances at the negotiating table rather than allow them to spill over to the public arena. There is no doubt that the peace-loving sections of the public would be hoping for an early resolution of these differences.
As is well-known, continuing political tensions tend to put a brake on the country's economic performance. The country in its entirety would be plunged into the economic doldrums as a result of prolonged governmental instability. It must be also remembered that another general election to resolve this crisis would only drain Sri Lanka of its valuable economic and other resources which determine our progress. Besides, keen political contestation would only result in bloody violence.
It is a cherished dream of the "silent majority" that gradual progress would be made towards a durable peace. This is, undoubtedly, a principal and fervently felt need of the people. Continued political tensions and violence are is not what the majority of the citizenry envisages as their lot. May their cry for peace be heeded.
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