Hard-won peace reigns in SL again | Daily News
International Day of Peace

Hard-won peace reigns in SL again

Peace in Sri Lanka which was threatened after the Easter Sunday attacks, has been restored after November 16, 2019

Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict (such as war) and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups. Throughout history, leaders have used peacemaking and diplomacy to establish a certain type of behavioural restraint that has resulted in the establishment of regional peace or economic growth through various forms of agreements or peace treaties. Such behavioural restraint has often resulted in the reduction of conflicts, greater economic interactivity, and consequently substantial prosperity.

‘Psychological peace’ (such as a peaceful thinking and emotions) is perhaps less well defined, yet often a necessary precursor to establishing ‘behavioural peace’. Peaceful behaviour sometimes results from a ‘peaceful inner disposition’. Some have expressed the belief that peace can be initiated with a certain quality of inner tranquility that does not depend upon the uncertainties of daily life for its existence. The acquisition of such a ‘peaceful internal disposition’ for oneself and others can contribute to resolving of otherwise seemingly irreconcilable competing interests.

It is the obligation of national security to provide for peace and security in a nation against foreign threats and foreign aggression. Potential causes of national insecurity include actions by other states (e.g., a military or cyber attack), violent non-state actors (e.g., terrorist attack), organized criminal groups such as narcotic cartels, and also the effects of natural disasters (e.g. flooding, earthquakes).

Systemic drivers of insecurity, which may be transnational, include climate change, economic inequality and marginalization and political exclusion. In view of the wide range of risks, the preservation of peace and the security of a nation state have several dimensions, including economic security, energy security, physical security, environmental security, food security, border security, and cyber security. These dimensions correlate closely with elements of national power.

According to certain politicians who were sent home by Sri Lankan people without electing them to Parliament during the recent General Election, they brought ‘peace’ to Sri Lanka in 1987 and in 2002 in the middle of huge protests of ordinary Sri Lankans. Some minor political parties tried to gain popularity for these events while some female politicians called the terrorist leader Prabhakaran, ‘Mr. Prabhakaran’. But Sri Lanka did not receive any peace. Instead of receiving peace, Sri Lankan unity and reconciliation was broken into pieces in 1987, 2002 and 2019. The majority Sinhalese were suppressed by politicians in order to gain votes of the minorities because they badly need them to win elections with the divided vote base of the majority Sinhalese. At the end, the majority Sinhalese realized their weakness and united themselves to vote for a real patriotic leader in November 16, 2019, ending all threats posed to Sri Lankan peace.

Buddhists believe that peace can be attained once all suffering ends. They regard all suffering as stemming from cravings (in the extreme, greed), aversions (fears), or delusions. To eliminate such suffering and achieve personal peace, followers of the Buddha adhere to a set of teachings called the Four Noble Truths — a central tenet in Buddhist philosophy.

Sri Lanka achieved real and lasting peace on May 18, 2009, after the heroic armed forces defeated the LTTE and saved the lives of thousands of innocent people from the clutches of this terrorist group. Before May 18, 2009, the LTTE hacked to death a large number of civilians belonging to all ethnicities and religions who lived in the North and East during the three-decade-long war.

These innocent civilians lived in border villages adjoining the areas held by the LTTE. The people living in these border villages left their homes at night and spent the night in thick jungles on treetops to protect their lives from the LTTE. But some of them such as the elderly, the sick, the disabled, infants and pregnant women could not do so. The LTTE cadres came at night and hacked them to death. They died in a painful manner after suffering for hours without being able to get help. Maybe they died in the most painful way possible for a human being. But after 2015, arrangements were made to pay compensation for the LTTE terrorists, while ignoring innocent civilians who became victims of those massacres.

Buddhist Bhikkus who lived in these border villages did not leave their temples because of the innocent people. They stayed back and faced the brutality of the LTTE while protecting people and priceless historical archeological sites which provided concrete proof of the real Sri Lankan history.

The LTTE tried its best to fabricate a new Sri Lankan history in order to help their claim to certain lands, but the ancient historical archeological sites stood against this, providing evidence for the true Sri Lankan history. Still some Tamil politicians try to do so. Suicide bombing was a popular tactic of the LTTE and between 1980 and 2000, the LTTE carried out 168 suicide attacks causing heavy damage to civilian, economic and military targets. The Sri Lankan economy and the Sri Lanka Army had been targeted on numerous occasions, including during a high-profile attack on the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in 2001 that caused damage to several commercial aircraft and military jets. The LTTE was also responsible for a 1998 attack on the Buddhist shrine and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sri Dalada Maligawa, that killed eight devotees.

The LTTE hijacked a bus May 14, 1985, and entered Anuradhapura. As the LTTE cadres entered the main bus station, they opened fire indiscriminately with automatic weapons, killing and wounding many civilians who were waiting for buses. The LTTE cadres then drove to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and gunned down Buddhist Bhikkunis, Buddhist Bhikkus and civilians as they were worshiping. Before they withdrew, the LTTE strike force entered the Wilpattu national park and killed 18 Sinhalese in the forest reserve. The LTTE massacred 146 Sinhalese men, women and children in total in Anuradhapura.

The LTTE cadres brutally massacred 33 Buddhist monks, most of them Samaneras, on June 2, 1987. Four civilians were among them. Three monks who escaped the massacre sustained critical injuries and continue to require medical assistance. Another monk was permanently disabled.

The massacre took place close to the village of Aranthalawa, in the Ampara district in the Eastern Province. This massacre is considered one of the most devastating atrocities committed by the LTTE terrorists in the world during the recent dark history of Sri Lanka.

From May 18, 2009, peace existed in Sri Lanka until 2015. After that, peace started to fade away gradually from Sri Lanka. First, peace started to fade away from the minds and hearts of the people of Sri Lanka due to discrimination pointed at the majority by the Yahapalana Government. The minorities too were not very happy because they saw how the people’s mandate speedily changed and developed against the Yahapalana Government after 2017 which is two years after they came into power.

Two years were enough for the Sri Lankan people to realize the true intentions of Yahapalana government and to see their real faces beneath their sweet words such as ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’ and ‘rights’. Then the people showed the entire world what they want on May 1, 2017, but the people did not receive any opportunity to give their mandate. The opportunity was given on February 10 in 2018, one year before the Easter Sunday suicide bombings which ended peace in Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019.

Once again Sri Lanka became a land without peace with the Easter Sunday bombings which killed around 350 people and injured over 500 people. People hid in their homes, scared to come out even to buy essentials. They were scared to travel by public transport as such attacks were possible at anytime anywhere in the country, just as it was before 2009. A large number of swords and other weapons were found in mosques and homes as shown on television. Everything, everyone and everywhere needed to be checked by the police and armed forces to ensure the safety of the ordinary people.

The hard-won peace ended in Sri Lanka on that dark day and the people of Sri Lanka urgently needed to re-establish the valuable long-lasting peace they achieved on May 18, 2009. They realized the real value of peace and national security.

Then again, Sri Lanka gained lasting peace on November 16, 2019 with the victory of the current President and the former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who brought lasting peace to Sri Lanka on May 18, 2009 under the leadership of the current Prime Minister and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.