Welcome developments on PSC
The UNP has
pledged to nominate its members to the proposed Parliamentary
Select Committee (PSC) which would be charged with finding
solutions to the issues faced by our communities and this is a
highly welcome development. It holds out the prospect of this
country arriving at a consensual solution to the most divisive
political problems which have been bedeviling it over the
Hopefully, other Opposition parties, such as, the TNA, would
cooperate with the state in getting the PSC process off the
ground by nominating its members to the Committee too. The
well-meaning of this country could also be glad that the PSC
would be giving itself a six month time frame for the conclusion
of its business and that the public would probably be spared the
agony of witnessing interminable and meandering confabulations
that end inconclusively. Hopefully, the PSC exercise would not
go the way of similar 'all party' deliberations that have
Rather than be enraged over recent developments on the
international relations front, we need to see them as having
possibilities which need to be made good use of by Sri Lanka.
The challenge posed to Sri Lanka is to prove that it could
boldly traverse the path of national reconciliation. This is no
thorny issue for this country and we are already journeying in
the direction of resolving the most pressing problems confronted
by our communities.
There has been rapid progress, for instance, in the areas of
reconstruction and rehabilitation in the North and achievements
on this score are plainly visible. For instance, the
infrastructure development drive is progressively intensifying
and almost all our IDPs have been resettled. Besides,
landmine-infested jungles are fast becoming things of the past.
Former LTTE cadres in vast numbers are being rehabilitated and
integrated into mainstream life and the Jaffna district has been
transformed into a most productive geographical region of the
country, as could be seen from its economic growth rate.
All this and more has been made possible because the state
has been adhering to the task of normalization and
reconciliation. This, it would pursue consistently and is not
obliged to please anyone on this score except the Lankan people.
In other words, it is accountable to only the people of this
country. However, the international community is obliged to take
cognizance of these ground-breaking changes before venturing to
comment on issues facing this country.
The UNP leader has focused on the need to give priority to
the implementation of the LLRC recommendations but what needs to
be realized is that this is already happening under the aegis of
the numerous state agencies. As indicated by Minister Nimal
Siripala de Silva in Parliament, the programme pertaining to
implementing the LLRC recommendations is being activated by the
Secretary to the President. The LLRC report is very much at the
heart of the ongoing national rejuvenation drive.
Enough and more thinking has been done on the conflict over
the decades in this country but it would be important to
approach the PSC deliberations with an open mind. All the
noteworthy documents and analytical studies that have come out
over the years could be brought to the centre of the PSC
discussions and inspiration could be derived from them for the
purpose of having some enlightened thinking on the issues in
question. However, fresh thinking too must surface and this
would not be possible if the requirement is tacitly or otherwise
observed that the parties to the deliberations should base their
thinking on this or that document.
What needs to be arrived at is a national consensus on
resolving our conflict. In this effort, all shades of relevant
opinion in Sri Lanka should be taken into account. This should
prove quite a task but one that must be undertaken because the
issues concerned are highly complex and could not be resolved in
a hurry. However, it is this grand consensus which is referred
to as a home-grown solution. It is something that is worked out
on the basis our thinking and native intellectual capital.
Accordingly, it would be a completely independent exercise and
serve as proof of our sovereign worth.