There has been a military-police attack on Tamil residents attending commemorative events for their dead in the North. Other similar incidents were reported from Mannar as well. Two catholic priests have received orders prohibiting the celebration of Mass.
Some of the dead that the Tamil people commemorate no doubt may have been the Tigers or the LTTErs, who were perhaps their family members or their kith and kin.
Could a ritual – lighting of oil lamps be a threat to the country’s security? How can such religio-cultural annual commemorative events be prohibited? Holding such events serves a human need to release a person’s emotional burdens accumulated due to the loss of one’s dear ones.
Does commemoration by their comrades of the dead JVPers who took up arms against the State, cause a threat?
What Sri Lanka should earnestly seek in the post war area is reconciliation. Such attacks unfortunately lead only to generate contrary results eg. further alienation of the Tamil youth. Alienation of youth could one day be a security threat. If that happens again in the North, as in 1971 and 89-90 period in the south, the government should take the blame.
The attacks on the students point to the fact that the government is not interested in reconciliation. This is what is reflected in the move to abolish the 13th amendment. The devolution of power has been accepted as a solution to the problem from the time of Bundaranaike and Senanayaka.
It was also a promise made by the President Rajapaksha on several occasions. But unfortunately, he seems to go back track. What we witness now is not sharing of power but greater centralization of power. The attack on the judiciary is one more step in that direction. This is not a healthy phenomenon.
As it has been mentioned in the LLRC recommendations, the national war has been a creation of power hungry political leaders. The politicians are not interested in working out a solution.
Our country needs honest leadership. What we have in the country at present are opportunists and politicians who are corrupt to the core. A way for them is to create LTTE or Tamil diaspora phobia among the gullible population.
The national issue for them is only a political tool to remain in power or come in to power. They would betray religion, language, national flag or even the people for their selfish ends namely to seek more power and wealth.
Therefore we should not depend on these politicians and should not expect solutions from them.
However there are positive signs emerging. Unlike in the past the students of other universities in the South have stood in solidarity condemning the attacks on the Jaffna university students. This solidarity is a sign of hope for future.
Also, the leadership role played by Ven Sobitha of Naga Viharaya Kotte, the FUTA and Lawyers for Democracy on current issues, ought to be appreciated. People of this country expect a greater contribution from them to bring the country out of this mess.