Give reason a chance
THE Post-Tsunami Operations Management
Structure (P-TOMS) proposal, popularly referred to as the 'Joint
Mechanism', would be presented in Parliament today and with this move
the people of this country would be in a position to ascertain what this
concept is all about.
As explained by the Leader of the House, Maithripala Senanayake, the
purpose of bringing the proposal to the House, prior to signing it, is
to enable Members of Parliament to express their views on it.
The Leader of the House went on to explain that prior to signing the
document in question, the President would be briefing the Maha Sangha
Although the P-TOMS proposal needs to be swiftly implemented, there
is some merit in this approach of putting the proposal for discussion,
first, to the people's representatives.
The measure would enable the people's representatives to express
their views on the content of the P-TOMS concept and, hopefully, arrive
at a consensus on it.
Besides, they and the general public would be in a position to see
for themselves that the 'Joint Mechanism' - far from being a threat to
the geographical wholeness of Sri Lanka - is really an instrument of
Rather than strengthen separatist tendencies, it could be found that
the 'Joint Mechanism' would only be facilitating the integration of the
North-East with the rest of Sri Lanka. For, essentially, it would be a
tool of development and country rebuilding.
Thus far, despite the fact that even the President has attempted to
disabuse the minds of critics of the P-TOMS of its perceived
limitations, they have mindlessly cried "foul" and even taken their
angry campaign of disinformation into the streets.
We wonder whether these fuming critics have paused awhile to
impartially examine the merits of the proposal. So blind is their rage
that they do not wish to follow the rational course of examining the
document with an open mind.
The fact that they have dismissed the proposal out of hand, amply
displays a destructive intent on the part of these critics. Destroy and
be damned seems to be their motto.
We wish these critics would get back to their senses. Do they desire
to hurtle the country back to a state of conflict and war? Or do they
want to proceed steadily with the task of country re-building?
The blind fury and irrationality of these critics is eerily
suggestive of those dark days in the late Eighties when a rational
discourse on issues facing the country was rendered impossible by a
mindless and ruthless rejection of reasoned judgement by the critics of
ethnic reconciliation and harmony. A case in point was the hate talk
which met the Provincial Council scheme.
We wish to remind these critics that the democratic process should be
upheld at all times. The polity needs to act on a consensus on the
issues facing us. Any extra-parliamentary action would be violative of
the norms of democracy and threaten law and order.