Op ed

A Letter to the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Today at a time when the freedom of our country is severely attacked, as a citizen of this great nation I am urged to bring your attention to some important and critical points.

First of all let me tell you my personal feeling concerning the present situation in Sri Lanka. It is heart-aching to read and view how our people suffer from this agonizing cruel war. It is even more excruciating when my foreign friends call me as the guy from “tigers’ country” when I actually know that I am from the pearl of Indian Ocean. We no longer can enjoy the peace and harmony, beauty and dignity which our creator intended for us all.
I am deeply distressed and disappointed by the present political culture which is ruining the glory and majesty which our little island possesses.

My dear Prime Minister, I am sure you would agree with me if I say that this is the way hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans look at their country. If I question you, I am dishonouring you, therefore let me make a comment and a suggestion to combat this ever tormenting ‘peace’ dilemma.

I feel it is our attitude which had caused to the worsening of the social wound which you and I and all your countrymen suffer today. And now the wound has turned into an ugly swelling, oozing with pus. It is high time to follow correct treatments, yet I fear that we are late.

Any human being born to mother Lanka has the right to live in her bosom and it is the blood of that mother runs all over their body irrespective of place of birth, skin colour, cast or creed.
From Point-Pedro to Dondra-Head, from Colombo city to Batticaloa it is our land, the land of Sri Lankans not Tamil’s and not Sinhalese people’s. Let us get rid of these two most cursed words in our land, Sinhala and Tamil.

Dear Prime Minister, we are disgracing the noble beauty of the two languages by splitting up over the language we speak. I regret much of my inability to write to you in Tamil and in turn I do not know whether you understand Tamil. If I write to you only in sinhala, I would be categorized under a narrow nationalist but I am not. Indeed language has set peace a great barrier which all Sri Lankans must overcome in order to live in peace, even to rest in peace I fancy. I do not know in what language the government discussed the peace truce but if it was in English, imagine, we deal with our own brothers and sisters as with foreigners which is indeed a pity. I perfectly understand that if both the parties cannot understand each other in their mother tongues, an appropriate communication medium should be used and in no way that I condemn or belittle the on going peace process. What I want to emphasise is the importance of all Sri Lankans understand each other with no unfamiliarity.

Think for a moment that you go to village in Hambanthota to meet its residents to inquire of their problems and they effectively communicate with you and there by you take necessary steps to uplift their livelihood while when you go to a village in Jaffna where you are the Prime Minister for its people too you find yourself as in a foreign tour where you cannot speak with them as free as you want. As a result the development of that village decreases and its peoples’ relationship and trust in their leader rapidly deteriorates which is exactly what has happened today.
I hope you understand the disastrous consequences of a chalk and cheese relationship between a country’s leader and its people. Today, the gulf between Tamils and Sinhalese is enormous. Of course many can argue on this to prove otherwise but expostulation will do no good for the peace and sovereignty of this land or anywhere for that matter.

Therefore my first appeal to you is to implement a permanent education policy where the younger generation, our school children will study both Sinhala and Tamil as languages. I am aware that a similar step was carried out in the past but was not properly managed and collapsed when the governing body changed. What we expect by implementing such a policy is for Sinhalese to have a basic knowledge in Tamil and for Tamils the same. Learning another language will not cause us to lose anything but will open plenty of doors to success. To find teachers will not be an obstacle since we only expect to give a basic knowledge of that particular language and I don’t think we need only graduates for this worthy task and would like to recall with humour that our country is rich with capable unemployed (unused) human resources.

While eliminating the language barrier is a long term task, we should not let anything to hinder the development of whole Sri Lanka. Colombo which is my city is advancing day by day in science and technology and in all other aspects and its people are enjoying the benefits readily. (Of course I agree that there is lot to develop and still there are underprivileged families).
Yet I think we should take immediate efforts to develop North and East especially Jaffna as to recover from the severely tarnished attitude of its people towards the government.

Dear Prime Minister, it is essential that we continue to develop North and East and gain its people’s trust in one Sri Lanka principle. In this exercise let us forget about the fanatics and racists who try to divide our great nation and they are indeed a stumbling block for this process which we should defeat somehow. We should accept that they have been cleverly weaving a web around us during the past and even now to win their ideologies. During the Tsunami last year, we were wrought havoc by the great powers of nature but we experienced an amazing greater power of human compassion. In the same way the commitment, the desire and the determination of true Sri Lankans for peace is a greater force than of the terrorists. If the people’s trust is in our side, to achieve peace is not hard as we think and you know better than me how powerful the trust of people is. People are indeed with us. Everyday they cry and strive for peace, for better life, for a better future for their children and grandchildren but somewhere in the past there was a mistake, a breach of confidence by which we lost the power of trust. Now we must regain it.

Developing North and East should not be just to satisfy people but should conduct in its true sense as we are marching towards an honourable peace. You are true Prime Minister, peace is indeed honourable. Peace and harmony in a society is its driving force. Bible defines peace as a gift of the Holy Spirit and true peace is undeniably holy, pure and in it you shall find everyone satisfied. I am sure similar definition of peace can be found in Buddhism, in Quran and in Hinduism too.

These two major issues I just mentioned can be discussed under hundreds of sub points. I am not a clever peace analyst to advise you, I just wanted to drive your attention so that you would look at this stagnant peace issue at a different angle. Your countrymen are in eager anticipation for peace. That is the need of the hour. Let us act before it becomes too late to cure this wound.

My dear Prime Minister if we do not act promptly, very soon we all would have to regret but on that day though we seek peace with all our heart we shall not find it.

We can and we will win the glorious aim of one Sri Lanka, one nation and will defeat the tyranny of the fanatics.

Prime Minister, the reason I addressed this common issue to you is, I see you as a man of vision, courage and determination. Your countrymen expect something greater than what has been already done.

If you determined to work truly for peace in Sri Lanka the support and blessing of its people are with you.

 Citizen of your be,loved country living in Finland

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