TRY PEACE IN HEARTS, BEFORE PUBLIC PEACE

Place: Sri Lanka | Courtesy: TamilCanadian
| Date: 20000822

It is an election time in Sri Lanka and Tamils are hearing rumblings on the news that the Chandrika may call yet another attempt to rescue the dead devolution package.

Chandrika is one of the tactical Sinhala politicians on the Sinhala nationalist side of the political divide who never wants a peaceful resolution to the conflict. She had time, power and back-up. She failed to design the right package and then pretended as she was delivering that package. However, there are some who may disagree with this perception and find an opportunity knocking to grab a personal political gain.

Publicly Not Stated

The bad news is neither Chandrika Kumaratunga nor Ranil Wickeramasinghe ever cultivated a peace in their hearts before talking about the political peace making to resolve the issues confronting the Sinhala nation. There has been no change in their personal and political attitude towards the plights of the Tamil people. They never publicly stated that Tamil people should have equal rights as Sinhalese people. They never recognised the self-determination of Tamil people. They will never accept the Thimphu principles and, thus they cannot find a peaceful resolution to the age-old conflict on this island. They are encouraging a situation for Sinhalese people to live without human dignity, compassion and self-respect.

Catch Phrases for Votes

The Sri Lankan government has already dissolved Parliament and the General Elections will be held on October 10, this year. A massive war will be undertaken (possibly with a new code name) to show the Sinhalese people that Sinhalese are united to kill Tamils at any costs. In order to win the hearts and minds of the wounded Tamil people, Chandrika vowed to she would pass the new constitutional bill two months after her government is re-elected to a new office this year. Ranil is running a scare campaign about the proposed constitutional reform to appeal to the Sinhalese people not to vote to PA implying that “vote for PA is a vote for equal rights to Tamils. The newly appointed Prime Minister singing racist and war songs to win the hearts and minds of the extreme Sinhala Buddhists’ votes.

Forced Displacement

For many years there was relative calm on this island until the late 1970s when the current conflict arose. Since that time over 100,000 people have been killed, many thousands more have been injured or forced to leave their chosen home and country. The daily death tolls have become greater than the deaths from the epidemic of infectious diseases.

Political opinion has become fragmented and communities have become deeply divided and distinctly polarised. Since the fall of Jaffna in 1995, the war has intensified than ever. One of the great problems of the Sinhalese people on this troubled island is that they let their politicians to make decisions for them and their future generations. Regardless of what will happen in the next few months or even in the next few years, if there is no peaceful resolution to the war, the country will be divided. This will be all too late for Sinhalese people to reverse the political path chosen by their political leaders.

Sinhala People Should Know and Do

The human tragedy and frustration of Tamil people in this predicament and the need to "do something" must take place now. An analysis of the conflict in these few short paragraphs does not do the "Plights of Tamils" justice for it is much more complicated than what might be communicated in a short article such as this. However, what the Sinhalese people should know is, for how long can they live with the war and political division in the community in the Island?

Sinhalese people should know that the Tamil people are living with the government-sponsored terrorism. Sinhalese people should know that they are often misunderstood the plights of the Tamil people. This would be true not only at two-community level, but also at individual level. Generally, Tamils and Sinhalese living overseas treat each other as common enemies. They do not talk about the civil war occurring in Sri Lanka. They do not open their hearts freely, openly and honestly.

Failed to Recognise Human Quality

Tamils in the past have shown that they can live and work together with the Sinhalese people. However, the Sinhalese people have failed to recognise this human quality. The Sinhalese people should dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings that so plague in the island nation. Lay people in the Sinhalese community should address the issues confronting the Tamil people and their reasonable demands for self-determination. Young Sinhalese people should come forward to speak for the Tamil people. Tamil people cannot be forced to live by the minority standards set by the dominant majority political view and racial vilification.

Destruction of Peace

The destruction of the peace process by Sinhala political parties certainly will have real effects on Tamils. The Sinhalese must recognise that a healing of hatred, distrust and prejudice in the hearts of believers is very necessary before a person can add his or her contribution to the peace process. To try for peace in Sri Lanka before there is peace in politicians hearts and peace with almighty God is futile.

Although Tamils live with fear and mistrust with Sinhalese and they mourn that this is not the way God intends His children to live. Instead of the government sponsored atrocities which has so plagued the Tamil community they are proclaiming life. Tamils are willing to negotiate without compromising their self-determination with new ways never tried before - and people are warming up to God's love.

Tamils and Sinhalese can Co-Exist

One thing that will be a long time in coming, if it will ever come, is that the agreement among the lay Sinhalese people on this island about the plight of Tamil people. But if the hatred and anger can be isolated and defused by the general Sinhalese people, then perhaps the bombs can be defused and Tamils and Sinhalese can co-exist on a new footing, not on war footing, and see the birth of a new community more closely aligned with the Kingdom of God; and the kingdoms of Sinhalese and Tamils.