Moving towards a home-grown solution
On the last occasion we broached
conflict-related issues in this commentary, we called on all
concerned to have a good and perceptive look at the LLRC report,
which is the most comprehensive document the country could have
had so far on the issues pertaining to the final stages of the
humanitarian operation of mid-2009.
External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris' assessment of
the report we front-paged yesterday, should have helped to
highlight the strengths and virtues of this historic document.
As explained by the External Affairs Minister, the government
has already outlined the steps it would be taking in the future
to resolve the issues raised by the report. This took the form
of a comprehensive statement by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva
in Parliament on presenting the report and making it public.
This being the case, it is difficult to ascertain why the TNA is
opting to look outside this country for the means to resolve
their issues. Recently, it called for an international probe on
these issues since they see the LLRC report as falling short of
Thus, the TNA is continuing to be mired in a negative mindset
when what is required now is a full engagement with the
government in a result-oriented conflict-resolution effort. It
is difficult to comprehend how further attempts at
internationalizing our issues could in any way help in resolving
The TNA needs to see that it would be in no ones interest to
delay the search for a political solution. President Mahinda
Rajapaksa has emphasized that he would be standing by any
solution arrived at by the PSC and this statement should
indicate to the TNA what its options are as regards resolving
its issues. It is plain to see that the TNA must get itself
co-opted into the PSC process, if it is to expedite the effort
at finding a solution to the conflict. That is, the party must
enlist its wholehearted support to the task of finding a
homegrown solution to the issues facing it and it must stick to
this undertaking instead of appealing to external quarters to
help it out of what it sees as difficult situations.
We strongly urge it to give the PSC process a good and
earnest try and ensure that this process gets underway. It would
be highly irresponsible of the TNA to continue in a critical
mode without grasping the possibilities in the current
We believe that at this juncture, all parties to the conflict
need to address the challenges facing this country in a spirit
of absolute earnestness and truthfulness. We also believe that
the hour has come for value-based politics - a species of
politics that has continually eluded this country, but which now
must be enthroned in Sri Lanka's public sphere.
It should be plain to see that this country can no longer
dabble in divisive politics and that communalism is a prominent
species of this brand of politics. President Mahinda Rajapaksa
has, on numerous occasions, eschewed chauvinism of all kinds and
this should be seen by the TNA as a most promising sign that
they could work with the government in the direction of
solutions to the problems facing the Tamil community.
As we see it, time is a worrying factor for all progressive
sections that want to see this country moving steadily towards
internal stability and peace.
While the PSC holds out the promise of bringing about a
homegrown solution which would be acceptable to all, this
solution should be evolved over a specific period of time. The
search for a solution, that is, should be result-oriented. This
is the test of enduring credibility.
Meanwhile, the TNA should be fully alive to the realities in
the North-East. They need to frankly recognize that strides are
being made towards normalcy. Yesterday we carried a letter on
the opposite page by a reader of the North, who put the record
straight on the condition of the Northern people.
This should prove an eye-opener to those who insist on seeing
developments in the North through anti-state blinkers. We urge
that the TNA recognizes the realities very squarely.