No small miracle
Under Secretary General Sir John Holmes was full of praise for
the Government last Thursday. He was so impressed with the
Government's commitment to resettle the IDPs expeditiously that
he said what matters is commitment and not deadlines or time
You cannot say he is a sycophant, for that is a term used by
some to describe those who praise the Government. He did not say
so from an enclave in Colombo. He said so after having seen and
talked with the IDPs in the welfare camps and seen the de-mining
process in progress. In other words, he was an eye witness to
what was happening.
He expressed optimism that the whole resettlement issue would
be successfully completed in the near future.
Looking after an influx of nearly 300,000 IDPs who crossed
over to the security of the Government is no small miracle.
Resettling them in their original habitats in double quick time
is still a bigger miracle.
Even concluding the war without harming them despite the
attempts of the LTTE that kept them as a human shield was also a
miracle that has no parallel in recent history of the world.
Sri Lanka is no small miracle as some misguided marketers
thought. It's a land of big miracles, miracles that surpass its
physical size, miracles unparalleled.
We hope the statement of Sir John Holmes would make Sri
Lanka's detractors see reason and abandon their campaign of
hatred and misinformation. If they are so concerned about the
plight of the IDPs they could assist the Government's
resettlement and development effort instead of discrediting the
good work already done.
Sri Lanka has proved to the world that nothing is impossible
if there is a united national resolve whatever the detractors
say and do, however big, numerous and powerful they may be.
It is the same lesson that we should cherish and the same
united resolve in facing the challenges that we should maintain
in the future too.
This does not mean that one should dismiss the concerns
expressed by others, especially one's friends. What is required
is to give a hearing to all but decide on your own and do the
best for the country. It is vital to keep the doors open for
dialogue as we have done with the United Nations.
After all, Sri Lanka is friendly with all and has no enemies.
The Leader of the
Opposition has suddenly awoken from deep slumber. He has
produced a 'challenging' document, pompously titled Anagatha
Abhiyogaya. The media reported that it is a 25-year plan. Sri
Lanka has seen five-year plans, 10-year plans and nothing more.
Hence, Ranil wants to go a few steps further - 25 years.
What motivated him to produce this document on election eve
is a moot question. He says it is not an election gimmick and we
have only his word for it. Why couldn't he produce it earlier?
He had ample time, resources and freedom to do so.
Is it after more than a dozen defeats in a row in the
political arena that he thought of the future challenges?
What happens to 'Regaining Sri Lanka' that he so eloquently
formulated and defended in 2003 at the behest of his
international allies and international financial institutions?
Where was his new thinking then? Was it the American expert in
the Finance Ministry that decided policy for him then?
He speaks of a new economy. He also wants to make Sri Lanka
another Singapore like his deceased uncle. But 'Regaining Sri
Lanka' was just for that. Is he introducing old wine in a new
The Leader of the Opposition says like a babe that the
country had made no progress for 61 years. Wasn't it his party
that ruled the country for half that period? Is he ready to
share the blame?
He has come out with new thinking when his old thinking had
failed so badly and his party has been reduced to a phantom of
what it was earlier.
Unable to face the hustings he is searching for scapegoats to
apportion the blame and looking for a cat's paw to do him the
honours. In this real context the Anagatha Abhiyogaya (The
future challenge) looks more like an Anatha Abhiyogaya
(Challenge of the orphans).