Choices before the Tigers
THE majority of Lankans are likely to
warmly welcome the Government's position of leaving wide open the door
to a negotiated settlement of the conflict.
This, in fact, has always been the case and the peace-loving sections
of Lankans could be glad that the State has reiterated this position
To begin with, there is bound to be wide approval for the position
that no less a person than Tiger leader Prabhakaran should agree to
three conditions for the resumption of Government-LTTE negotiations.
Recent media reports quoted Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella as
defining these preconditions as: the provision of a specific time-frame
by the LTTE for the resumption and conclusion of the negotiations, the
giving of an assurance by the LTTE to the world community that it would
not smuggle arms into Sri Lanka through any sea routes during talks and
an LTTE commitment not to resort to violence during negotiations.
Such conditions are added proof that the State is not for
conditionless talks. However, the State is not diverting from the
principle of negotiating an end to the conflict.
In fact, time and again, the Government has made it clear that it is
being compelled to resort to military operations of a limited, defensive
nature on account of continuing Tiger offensives.
Nevertheless, the duplicitious conduct of the LTTE in the past during
periods of negotiations, leaves the State with no choice but to impose
conditions for the resumption of the negotiating process.
Given the highly unreliable nature of those who have been playing
spokesman for the Tigers, the State is left with no choice but to demand
that Prabhakaran gives a personal guarantee that the preconditions would
be adhered to by the LTTE.
Getting the Tiger leader to agree to this task is a job for the
international community - the Co Chairs included. We hope the upcoming
visit to Sri Lanka by the Norwegian special envoy to the peace process,
would help facilitate this task.
We also hope the world community would recognise the earnestness of
the Government in these peace initiatives launched by it.
The Government's deep earnestness in making these peace moves is
reflected in the condition that no one other than Prabhakaran should
guarantee a meeting of the conditions by the LTTE.
If the LTTE, on the other hand, is serious when it says that it is
fighting for the redressing of Tamil grievances, it would seize this
opportunity to resume the negotiatory process.
It should be plain to the Tigers, that its recalcitrance is only
leading to continued violence and killings. It is a no-win situation for
the LTTE. Instability and violence are characterizing the North-East.
The life of the North-East populace is being increasingly marked by
violence and uncertainly. Therefore, it would be best to grasp this
opportunity to end the conflict.
The Southern parties to the conflict, on the other hand, need to
speedily work towards the achieving of a Southern consensus on the
conflict. There is no doubt that such a development would prevent the
LTTE from engaging in its usual evasive tactics.
A Southern consensus would foreclose the possibility of the LTTE
exploiting the lack of an agreement among the Southern parties to
refrain from making a move on the choices cast on it.
From job protection to worker protection
World Bank assess Sri Lanka's social protection
Sri Lanka's extensive social protection system
while being remarkable for a developing country needs to reach the
poor more effectively to facilitate inclusive economic growth says a
new World Bank report 'Sri Lanka: Strengthening Social Protection.'
Let all peace-loving Tamils unite
Ever since I side-stepped the deadly claws of
the Liberation Tigers and escaped from my sleepy village on the
outskirts of Killinochchi, I have been wondering how the LTTE could
destroy its own people and yet create an eelam for them.
Cities as magnets of hope
Today is World Habitat Day:
The World Habitat Day is celebrated worldwide on
the first Monday in the month of October each year. The main
objective of the deliberations is to highlight a particular aspect
impacting the state of human settlements and to focus on the need to
recognise adequate shelter as a fundamental right for all.
Role of religion in national identity
It is not only the LTTE that has no respect or
regard for this nation and her national standard. A couple of months
ago the Sunday Observer ran a prominently displayed feature article
where some young people ridiculed the Lion flag, saying that it
evoked no patriotic feelings or emotions in them!
Welcome climate to resolve crisis
It is welcomed that a climate has set in for
different political ideologies to overcome the national problem
faced by us for decades. It was the intention of a late President to
give a stable government for the people by controlling the frequent
swinging of the pendulum of state power.