the delicate path to peace
War or peace? The answer is very simple! Nobody wants war.
Everybody wants peace. However, the path to peace is strewn
with obstacles and pitfalls. General MacArthur, the Allies
Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific Area Command of
the Far East said during WW II: "The person who yearns
for peace more than anybody else is the soldier himself. Because
he alone knows the agonies of war more than anyone else."
Lanka, a conflict that started off with, a more or less, peaceful
political demand for regional autonomy by the northern Tamil
politicians escalated into a fierce civil war on conventional
lines waged by the LTTE against the government with a demand
for a separate state. The situation was made worse by the
enhanced warfare capabilities of the LTTE, which affected
the normal life of the people and the economy of the country.
Both the Sinhala and the Tamil people have suffered.
result has been the collapse of the economy and the government
meandering along trying to overcome the LTTE through military
action until the present day. Now a distant light of hope
seems to be appearing, with the LTTE and the government agreeing
to a ceasefire to work out the modalities of a peaceful solution
to the conflict. This ceasefire has held for about a year
the effects of this conflict are still lingering, the fear
of war, as we have felt even in Colombo has ceased. Gone is
the fear of suicide bombs, destruction of buildings and loss
of life due to explosions.Gone are the fears of congregating
in public places and at public events.
than anything else, gone are the screaming sirens announcing
war casualties, gone are the dismembered bodies, numerous
funerals, grieving mothers, fathers, wives, children and relatives
and gone is the fear that your loved one may never come back
or will be the next victim.
in the present context, I believe, would be: "Peace at
what price? What concessions can be given to the LTTE and
to what extent? In my view, as long as the fundamental right
of an individual is not violated, there is no restriction
of movement within the country, there is only one legal system
for the entire country and one Armed Force, as to who rules
the roost may not matter much.
this, it is necessary to tread very carefully. We have to
work towards changing the mindset of the warring party- the
LTTE-direct them to the political mainstream. We want a lasting
peace, not a ceasefire filled with tension and fear of future
to everyone is to join hands to support the present political
leadership in their endeavours to achieve this goal, which
has eluded everyone so far.
charge against ST columnist
I read with interest the article, 'When are conversions improper?'
by Kishali Pinto Jayawardena - (The Sunday Times, September
14) and the response by Indrani Devendra, Hony. Secretary,
All Ceylon Women's Buddhist Congress (September 21).
that Indrani is unfair in charging Kishali of "accusing
Buddhists of wreaking religious havoc" when they "have
quite justifiably and legally" protested against unethical
conversions. My careful reading of the article failed to detect
any such statement made by her. No one can rightly take umbrage
at legal protests but violence and arson should be unequivocally
condemned by all law-abiding persons of every religious persuasion
and stopped by the authorities before it rages out of control.
We already have enough problems in this our, once peaceful,
fora and our leaders’ faux pas
It is a pity that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and
Minister Ravi Karunanayake did not have the presence of mind
or courage to change or delete some sections of their painstakingly
prepared speeches at world fora such as the UN in New York
and WTO at Cancun respectively.
even after seeing the struggle of Bush and Blair for survival
with the whole world against the invasion of Iraq (except,
of course, Israel) and American parents of soldiers chanting,
"You lied and they died". It is reported that Bush,
cap in hand, was seen begging for support.
the developing world including our neighbours rose against
the rich west's proposal to increase subsidies to their farmers
and restrict farmer subsidies to developing countries.
ulterior motive is to stifle grain farming in poor countries,
so that they will be dependent on the west for their staple
boarded the sinking ship knowingly with the hope that Bush
and Blair will come to Sri Lanka's aid in a confrontation
with the LTTE in the not so distant future.
However, the direct intervention of Bush and Blair in our
struggle is in great doubt unless, of course, we can succeed
in our diplomacy in getting Osama or Saddam to migrate here
and join Prabha.
At tender 11 my parents in need
Gave me away as they couldn't feed
A child in bondage to Podinona's
When the latter was also my age.
her school and campus days
Which spanned a full 16 years
For her and her mother to bed confined
Toiled day and night their trusted maid.
studying she made me feel
What a lot she would do for my weal
I envisioned starry days ahead
Until she became a doctor full fledged
her I am of little use
For any lapse she'd rant and curse
To send me away she thinks of a ruse
Her hubby dislikes the food I make.
bidding and question me not
If you dare I will chase you out!
So orders erstwhile Podinona, now a doctor
Ignoring all the chores I did for her.
old and mother invalid
For her both parents are not valid
Though they are grateful and benign
Their pleadings did she to fire consign.
was not the first
This is with reference to the feature ‘Falling from
the sky’ (The Sunday Times, September 7). Without detracting
from the young lady's courage, I wish to point out that she
is certainly not the first Sri Lankan woman to skydive.
Magazine of July 18, 1999 carried the article 'Fall from the
sky' describing Chamila Jayaweera's experience of a solo or
"static line" dive as opposed to the "instructor
assisted deployment" undertaken by Ms. Scheube.
Motorcycles sans lights, speeding in the night have become
a major hazard to other road-users in Negombo.
Though the Traffic Police are around to nab motorcylists riding
without helmets during the day there is no one to curb them
in the night. Cyclists, too, make it a habit of travelling
in the night without lights.
should be advised to fit at least a reflector so that oncoming
vehicles can see them. Before the 1950s, all bicycles had
a light fitted on them, otherwise cyclists could be charged.
I can remember a time when bicycle lamps were lit with coconut
impressionable children from teledramas
Song, dance and drama are important subjects taught from pre-school
to university. However, tele-dramas, a recent introduction
to our society have turned out to be a malignant ulcer.
Impressionable children sit before the TV to learn something
new and improve their knowledge. But what does he/she see
and hear. The language in teledramas is uncouth and the scenes
sometimes have sexual connotations.
Recently, I listened to a discussion by Buddhist monks and
laymen of repute on the high rate of crime.
referred to TV programmes, particularly tele-dramas and lamented
that there are no checks by the Public Performance Board or
the State Film Corporation. Why can't these teledramas be
taken to the big screen, leaving the TV for old men, women
and children who are at home. The government should protect
children from TV.