A valuable opportunity to pick-up
We are having more
evidence that the state is giving considerable thought to the
all-important tasks of national integration and rejuvenation.
Underscoring the state's commitment to reintegrating ex-LTTE
cadres into mainstream life, Defence and Urban Development
Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was quoted telling Sri
Lanka's overseas-based diplomats that these cadres would be
considered for recruitment to man the new police stations which
would be established in the North-East.
Besides, they would be absorbed into the Civil Security Force
which is engaged in development projects right throughout the
country. The former cadres would, thus, be afforded the
opportunity of contributing towards the country's development
process. In fact, if all goes well on these fronts, these former
LTTErs would be an inseparable part of national life and give of
their best for the common good. This is as it should be because
these once misguided sections should not have reason to believe
that they are aliens in this their country of birth.
Thus, these former combatants are being virtually 'recalled
to life' and no one with humanistic inclinations would oppose
this process. Inasmuch as the rebellious youth of Southern Sri
Lanka were afforded the opportunity of picking up the pieces of
their broken lives, putting them together and getting back to a
normal existence, these youths of the North-East are being given
the opportunity of reintegrating themselves into the larger
society and of helping out in the great enterprise of national
rejuvenation. This is something the well-meaning could be joyful
Moreover, a nagging need of the North-East populace is being
met through this project of reintegration. The language barrier
between law enforcers and the general citizenry of the
North-East was a key factor in the alienation of the latter from
the Lankan state, since the majority of law enforcers did not
speak Tamil. There was a genuine inability on the part of the
people to communicate their needs to the agencies of the state,
such as the Police and the Security Forces, and this proved a
prime factor in the eventual confrontation between those
sections which took up arms against the state and the latter.
This major irregularity could be remedied to a degree by
recruiting former LTTE cadres to the personnel who would be
manning North-East police stations.
We know for a fact that this process of recruiting
Tamil-speaking personnel to specially serve in the North-East
has already begun, but it would amount to qualitatively
upgrading this process by recruiting one-time LTTErs to the
relevant sections of the police force. As mentioned, this
measure would help in giving tremendous meaning to the lives of
these persons and this is a prime requirement if they are not to
feel disenchanted and alienated in post-conflict Sri Lanka.
These efforts at normalizing Sri Lanka's lot should be
highlighted to the world and it was in the fitness of things
that our diplomats abroad were enlightened on them.
The LTTE rump and other critical sections should know about
them in particular because it must be seen that the Lankan state
is moving on steadily with the task of national rejuvenation.
The grievances of our communities are being met to a degree and
the world should be alerted to this reality.
However, much is remaining to be undertaken on the
normalization front and we hope the state would remain doggedly
committed to the task of establishing normalcy. For instance,
the world should know for a fact that the practicable
recommendations of the LLRC report are being speedily
implemented. Lip-service to implementation just would not do.
All in all, the nation-building process must be pursued in
dead earnest. The reintegration of former LTTE cadres is an
important step in this effort but there should not be any doubts
in any quarter that equity and peaceful coexistence among
communities is high on the state's national agenda.