Desist from strike action
CEYLON Petroleum Corporation trade
unions are reportedly threatening strike action over what they say are
longstanding, unresolved demands, barely days after a bout of industrial
unrest paralyzed vital sections of the country's economy.
Thus are we having fresh proof of the short-sightedness and tragic
self-centredness of these trade unions. This position could be taken
because none but the people suffer in these wild cat strikes which deal
the nerve centres of the economy, a paralyzing, staggering blow.
If these trade unions believe that they could acquire a stranglehold
over the State or the CPC management, they are sadly mistaken. These
parties to their conflict are certain to be hardly affected by these
suicidal actions of the trade unions.
However, there is no denying that the people would suffer grievously
in these precipitate, mindless showdowns the trade unions have with the
Government and the CPC authorities. It would not be an exaggeration to
state that the basic necessities of the people and their livelihoods
would be placed at a great risk by these trade unions. Life would,
however, go on uninterrupted for the more powerful sections of society.
This amounts to, then, putting the people on the firing line. It
amounts to seriously damaging the common weal and bringing suffering and
hardships to tens of thousands of the poor and the powerless.
Is this the prized aim of these trade unions? We call on them to
reconsider their strike plans and put the common good and happiness
above their sectional interests which could always be resolved through
This is a most unhappy moment to heap hardships on the common people.
We need hardly elaborate on the security-linked problems experienced in
some parts of the country.
The LTTE's maniacal behaviour is worsening in the East and the State
needs to handle the resultant issues with a deep sense of purpose and
single-minded efficiency. It cannot do so if Southern trade unions take
to the streets in a show of destructive defiance. It cannot do so if
vital sectors of the economy are facing the possibility of being
In fact, the trade unions concerned would be playing into the hands
of the Tigers, whose blood-thirstiness seems to be growing by the day. A
good example of this is the LTTE's continuing killing spree.
Is this something the trade unions relish? Are they content playing
into the hands of the LTTE, whose one desire is to plunge Sri Lanka into
Think again, we urge these disgruntled trade unions. Seek
negotiations and compromise and not anarchy which would help the enemies
of the State and those of the people of Sri Lanka.
We urge sanity and common sense in the face of these dangers. The
common good could in no way be compromised.
Identity-based conflicts and the case for unity in diversity
Through constitutional systems that create unity
through diversity, and through the convergence of grievances about
territory and ordinary politics. I think that is one way in which
these conflicts could be resolved in the long run. There is not a
solution that is available in the short run. But in the long run
there is only one way to resolve such conflicts which is through a
constitutional system which creates a space and citizenship for more
than one nationality within the same borders.
TNA-LTTE presents the 'civilian' terrorist
In the early days of Tiger terrorism, human
rights organisations accused the Sri Lankan State of treating every
Tamil as a terrorist. Now, things seem to have taken a different
turn. Today it is the Tamil National Alliance and the LTTE that want
to convince the world there is no difference between a Tamil
civilian and a terrorist in Tiger-dominated areas
An Intellectual who understood the problems of peasantry
Dr. Kelegama, like most intellectuals of his
generation, believed in the role of the intellectual in the
transformation of a society from a state of economic
underdevelopment and a traditional culture into a modern society.