|Tuesday, 18 November 2003|
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Give priority to the common good
The gathering consensus among the public seems to be that the President and the Prime Minister should narrow their differences so as to enabling a 'Government of Reconciliation and Reconstruction' to be formed.
Accordingly, hopes are high that the President-Prime Minister talks scheduled for today would meet with some success.
Politics may be essentially all about power and its consolidation but this drive for power cannot be conducted outside the bounds of legitimacy. For instance, the pursuit of political power cannot be at the expense of the common good. Nor could it violate the norms of decency. The violation of these tenets would render the pursuit of power a purely destructive exercise which would make everyone a loser.
We hope these home truths would be recollected by the parties to the present political crisis. The maintenance of law and order and the provision of the essentials of life are some of the basic functions of government. It is up to the protagonists to the present conflict to ensure that these aims are achieved.
Besides, the peace process has also emerged as an urgent national priority. It should be plain to see that it would be hazardous to permit the peace process to drift. It needs to be sustained and this couldn't be ensured if the principal political parties of the country are intending to prolong their power squabbles.
Therefore, we urge a quick consensus on future governance, between the President and the Government. As we see it, the separate popular mandates received by them, obliges these parties to cohabit harmoniously in the task of governance. They have no choice but to seek mutual accommodation at the negotiating table through an equitable distribution of power.
As mentioned by as a few days back, it is important that what is being sought to be installed is a "Government of Reconciliation and Reconstruction". In other words, national reconciliation, besides development and material advancement, would need to be high on the Government's agenda. As we understand it, "reconciliation" would involve an accelerated drive to resolve the National Question, besides peace and harmonious existence being achieved between the principal parties in the name of the common good.
These are responsibilities of the highest magnitude and we hope compromise and flexibility would be exercised in the reconciliation efforts of the major political parties of the country.
We are quite aware that there are desperate, power-hungry elements on both sides of the political divide, who could be expected to endanger the on going efforts to forge a Government of National Reconciliation. A special duty is cast on the leaders of the feuding political parties to rein-in these desperate elements. For, what is at stake is the national interest. Powers, privileges and perks in a country engulfed in turmoil would be a grievous outrage reminiscent of the fiddling Nero of old.
We, therefore, urge sanity, wisdom and equanimity in this our hour of need. Every party to the conflict needs to bear in mind that the future of the country cannot be bartered for some ephemeral gains.
Produced by Lake House