16 October, 2019

Blog

Mandela’s Legacy For Reconciliation

By Chandrika Kumaratunga

It is an honour to be a part of the commemoration of the universal symbol of freedom, ethnic harmony, unity, and reconciliation, Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birth anniversary. Mandela’s legacy has inspired not only South African society damaged by Apartheid but also every mass movement around the globe that fought for human freedom and dignity by celebrating ethnic diversity as a virtue that helps override the challenges. 

He was committed to democratic values and advocated human dignity and equity. He personally experienced the pain of social repression. Consequently, he identified and addressed the root causes of human suffering. 

Initially as a freedom fighter, then as a politician, eventually as a charismatic, world-renowned statesman who initiated an influential international movement, The Elders, dedicated to social justice and the dignity of humanity, Mandela showed us through personal example the qualities of true leadership. He has demonstrated the importance of unity among diverse communities. He has proved by actions that, “no power on this earth can destroy the thirst for human dignity.” 

Mandela has edified us during the debate in South Africa’s Parliament while speaking on the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on February 1999, “Reconciliation … [is] inseparable from the achievement of a non-racial, democratic, and united nation affording common citizenship, rights and obligations to each and every person, and respecting the rich diversity of our people”. 

Mandela was one of the greatest human being of our time. Not only he fought for what was right. He was amazingly forgiving his enemies. 

As a nation emerging from an armed conflict, we need to to work tirelessly together to overcome the multiplicity of challenges facing us. We have many lessons to be learned from Mandela’s legacy. As he told us, “reconciliation requires that we work together to defend our democracy and humanity proclaimed by our constitution”.  

Let us learn, understand and transmit to succeeding generations the timeless legacy Mandela left us and march undaunted toward our goal of a united, strong and prosperous nation.

*Message by Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 5
    6

    Chandrika! before you advice others, you follow Mandela’s policy and try to be at least 1/2 a Mandela. What is preventing you. When you contested to become a president you obtained almost 64% of the total votes cast. But then what did you do? You are also a subtle racist with a smile.

    • 4
      0

      Mandela is no doubt a freedom fighter, but he was jailed for 25 years as a terrorist. In its struggle for freedom, ANC also committed atrocities which can be called terrorism. So what is he difference between ANC and LTTE. Sheik Mujibur Rahuman was a freedom fighter, but he was jailed as a terrorist. Mukhti Bahini in its struggle for freedom committed atrocities and was labelled a terrorist organisation. So what is the difference between Mukhti Bahini and LTTE. India considered Mukhti Bahini as a liberation organisation and supported it politically and militarily because India wanted to truncate Pakistan. Similarly prior to 1987, India had approved LTTE as freedom fighters and supported it, because India wanted to bring Sri Lanka to its knees using LTTE. When in 1987 Sri Lanka surrendered to India, and LTTE refused to abide by India’s agenda, LTTE became a terrorist organisation to India. This is where there is double standards. Now that LTTE is no more, there will be no obstacle for India to bring Sri Lanka to its knees and fall in line.

      • 1
        0

        Dr.Gna!
        What is Terrorism?
        When someone belonging to an organisation throws a bomb at somebody whom he consider a threat to his community, it is terrorism, but when armed forces, bomb a church or a temple or Nanthikadal and kill innocent civilians, it is Nationalism. This is the difference doctor. When a surgeon kills a person while operating due to his carelessness , it is ‘operation successful but patient died’. Fortunately there are avenues to ascertain the cause and punish the wrongdoers in the case of latter but no such avenues are are available for the former as National Armies never do Wrong.

        • 4
          0

          I have always maintained that the biggest terrorist organisation in Sri Lanka is the government and its armed forces. If the yardstick that is used to label LTTE or JVP as terrorists used on Sri Lanka armed forces, they will fall in the same category. If you take the atrocities committed, Sri Lanka armed forces have committed more in number and worse in brutality than both LTTE and JVP put together. This is the reason why no Sri Lanka government will be willing to have an international panel to inquire into crimes committed by Sri Lankan armed forces on non combatants.

        • 2
          0

          When USA, UK and other white christian nations kill civilians in bombs and predator drone attacks it is just “collateral damage” . Remember that General Tommy Franks the architect of the Afghan war and war hero said “we don’t do body counts”.. Move along, there is nothing to see here. Monkey see Monkey do. What is good for the White Sahib is good for colored monkey sahibs.

  • 8
    5

    CBK offered the LTTE total control of the North and East for ten years in exchange for peace. We have not forgotten.

    • 2
      0

      Taraki

      That offer was rejected by the hardcore Sinhala/Buddhist fascists within her own party. Look what happened to the illustrious Lakshman Kadirgamar’s candidacy for premiership (the only man – the only Tamil) who fought the LTTE in the international arena?

      Short term memory loss may help you to wipe clean your guilt however it does not help you with erasing the history, racist past, present and future of this island and bigoted people like you.

  • 4
    1

    Is that scene is in Sinhala Movie?

    Chandrika tried to corrupt Mandela too with her Sinhala Only Jury…. sorry War for Peace.tactics using Kathirgamar with promise of PM but it did not work.

    • 6
      0

      Chandrika is now shedding crocodile tears. She told Nelson Mandela that Tamils are not the original people of Sri Lanka. With Geological, Archaeological and Genetic proof that Tamils have been in Sri Lanka prior to the evolving of the Sinhala ethnic group, her utterance has been proved a lie, in order to justify Sinhala racism on Tamils.

  • 4
    6

    Mandala’s out come; through apartheid

    Had there been apartheid in SL?

    All the ethnic groups living hand in hand (except LTTE chased away Sinhalese & Muslims from Jaffna)
    So why should Mandela factor be considered relevant to SL so strongly?

    • 7
      3

      There were hardly any Sinhalese and they were never chased away. As for the Muslims there population in Jaffna was only 12000 and in the entire north 62000 at that time. Muslim home guards who were heavily armed by the Sri Lankan STF and illegal settlers in the east , killed looted raped and ethnically cleansed thousands of Tamils in the east and destroyed many Hindu temples. Mosques and Buddhist temples have been built on these lands. Especially in the Trincomalee and Amparai districts. So far none of these Tamils have been allowed to return to their homes lands or villages, now occupied by Muslims and Sinhalese. I can give you specific details of the atrocities. The racist Sri Lankan government covered these atrocities up, but made a hue and a cry when the LTTE killed any Sinhalese thug or Muslim criminal home guard who was committing war crimes on the Tamils. Tamils are real owners of the east . Not these Dravidian South Indian origin Muslims, who only arrived there a few centuries ago, begging for refuge from the eastern Tamils from Portuguese and Sinhalese persecution. The Sinhalese are all illegal settlers , who were settled on ethnically cleansed Tamil lands, during the past 60 years. most of them within the past 30 years. They have no right to decided on the fate of the eastern Tamils and their lands. The Sinhalese and the Sri Lankan government , including Chandrika and her Tamil origin parents, killed more than 300000 innocent Tamil civilians and ethnically cleansed a million indigenous Tamils and made another 1 million Indian origin Tamils stateless. Why don’t you discuss this. What the LTTE did was peanuts. They killed around 3000 non Tamils and most of them were thugs, criminals and home guards, who were killing raping looting and ethnically cleansing Tamils from their lands.

      • 1
        0

        Real Siva Sankaran Sharma

        Well, it’s understood that what I mentioned is controversial & apartheid is far different than an ethnic conflict.

        So let me stress that there has never been apartheid in SL.

        It’s a must to happen that all private properties be handed over to genuine owners whether Sinhala, Tamil or Muslims.

  • 8
    5

    Wellala opportunistic politicians are the biggest obstacle for reconciliation. Although Sinhalayo are blamed en masse for 1983 incident, only a handful of thugs were involved in that incident. Despite brutal attacks on Sinhalayo and bombing sacred Buddhist sites by LTTE, Sinhala community did not do any harm to Demalu. Demalu who were scared to live in the North under LTTE rule moved to South and lived with Sinhalayo. That shows the tolerance of Sinhala community. But after the elimination of terrorism of LTTE, Wellala racist politicians are trying hard to ignite racial tension for their survival.

  • 5
    1

    “Mandela was one of the greatest human being of our time. Not only he fought for what was right. He was amazingly forgiving his enemies.”. Sri Lankan politicians too don’t have enemies, they are all members of one big club, having a fantastic time sponsored by the tax payer.

  • 6
    8

    There is a similarity between South Africa and Sri Lanka. South Africa was ruled by white minority. Until colonial parasites came, Sinhale was ruled by Sinhala kings except for short periods when Demala invaders ruled. According to documented history, Sinhale was ruled by 194 kings. Out of that only 19 were Demala from Hindusthan. After 1815, whole country came under British who are a minority. During British rule, minority Demalu got a special status under the infamous ‘Divide and Rule’ policy of British. British ruled the country but administration was in the hands of Demalu. Although Sinhale (Ceylon) got independence from minority British rule, Sinhalayo did not get independence from minority Demala rule. In South Africa, minority whites who ruled discriminated against majority black people. In Ceylon, minority Demalu who controlled the administration discriminated against majority Sinhalayo. Attempts by Sinhala politicians to rectify this situation was branded as ‘Discrimination against Demalu’. Unfortunately, successive Governments and Sinhalayo failed to give the right picture to the international community and counter malicious propaganda carried out by Demalu.

  • 4
    1

    Dear Chandrika,
    Your father proposed a federal solution well before 1948. Your father created a new political party and brought Sinhala only act. Your father again agreed a devolution proposal to the North East under the pressure of Satyagraha protest. Later It was teared into pieces with a massacre of Tamil civilians. It is true that you made a proposal in 1995. But that proposal did not come with whole heartedly because it was under the Pressure of LTTE. Reconciliation measures only work when both parties work together with the common understanding of the problem and what solution can reach a feasible solution. Unfortunately Srilanka is a country fundamentalists. There is no space for reconciliation

  • 4
    4

    At the end South African understtod, Mandela was not the same leader that he was supposed to be or as published by the western media. Mandela fought against the colonizers. In Sri lanka, Colonizers are asking for homeland and prosecuting of those who killed their their killers. they want lands dedicated only fior them. Sea dedicated only for them. They want Army removed for them. Say that I am the Politcal Expert, probably no one gave a honorary BA.

  • 3
    2

    “Let us learn, understand ……….”. and transmit to succeeding generations the timeless legacy Mandela left us and march undaunted toward our goal of a united, strong and prosperous nation.

    Its a decade since the end of the civil war and the The Sinhala politicians and Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhist racists are still learning. well….they will never learn….won’t learn. They don’t have the intellectual capacity to Understand !!!!

  • 4
    0

    The Apartheid regime was tottering but nowhere near collapse due to the western props. For example the then British PM Margaret Thatcher opined that the non-whites were better off under Apartheid!
    The Mandela reconciliation call came from his heart and the Apartheid rulers recognised this. The rest is history.
    The lesson learned is: Oppression cannot work long term.
    The post apartheid regime did take a corruption/nepotism/impunity deviation but there is a genuine attempt to put this right.
    .
    In SL ‘reconciliation’ has gotten equated to ‘separation’ and corruption/nepotism/impunity part of governance. One feeds the other.

    To remove this self-sustaining cycle we must address the issues. Foul-mouthing is not the way.

    • 2
      3

      Pillai,
      “The lesson learned is: Oppression cannot work long term.”
      You are right. Oppression of Sinhalayo by Demalu who teamed up with British did not last. Oppression of low caste Demalu by high caste Demalu also will not last for a long time. Wellala politicians want Army out from North because Army is doing a good job to empower low caste Demalu.

      • 0
        1

        Eagle Eye ~ “…..Oppression of Sinhalayo by Demalu…….”.
        Trump goes round saying that US is oppressed by the rest of the world. Rest of the world is just waiting for the next election.

  • 2
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 0
      0

      Thondamany,

      Yes you are right, Nelson Mandela narrow escaped, because Chandrika could not bring him to Dalada Maligawa like they did to Ban-Ki-Moon. (Ban- Ki- Moon was latter rejected SK for presidency.) If they were success, SA parliament would have impeached Mandela. You know the story of Liam Fox, Ian Paisley and the waiting list one Lord Naseby. That is the Magical magnetic center of the Asian Wonder. (Mandela devoiced his wife- it has nothing to do with Lankawe politics- it was her gang activity)

  • 7
    0

    The greatness of Mandela lies in the fact that he fought white racism without falling into the trap of black racism.

  • 4
    0

    His words of insight still remain unfading

    • Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got
    back up again.

    • Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.

  • 1
    1

    Chandrika has moral right to pronounce Nelson Mandela’s name even. Chandrika prisoned Corporal Rajapaksa because he witnessed in the court that Chandrika’s General’s raped and murdered Chemani and Navali Tamil civilians. Chandrika yet to comment of Vijayakala’s appeal on the injustice Yahapalanaya causing to the Tamil Mothers and Tamil Children in North. Sampanthar worked with Chandrika in selecting New King as the CC. Because Vijayakala Complained about Rapist Army induced crimes in North, New King’s Yahapalanaya wants to Hang 7 Tamils. This is a technique to shout up Tamils complaining about the Rapist Army Induced crimes. We predicted from the very beginning this revival of Capital punishment is only to remove the potentially dangerous Tamil witnesses against Yahapalanaya like Pillaiyan and Mahendran, in the prisons. Earlier, Tamil torture victims like Tamilini were poisoned and killed by Chitanta government and Yahapalanaya Government. Once NPC rose up on that, it was given up. So they have come up with hanging Tamil witnesses. All knows how Kathirgamar Family, Justice Sriskandarajah family, Jeyakumari, Vidya’s mother and other Tamil victims’ families are silenced by Yahapalanaya and Chitanta Governments. This time Yahapalanaya wants to kill more than 50% of Tamils but the Tamils are only 10% of the population. 18 are selected to be murdered with the Sinhala Buddhist Monster New King’s Thirukkai Waal. They were condemned to death by Sinhala Only Jury. Out of these 18 convicts, 4 are Pakistanis. Out of Remaining 14, 7 are Tamils. So, all others are only 7 seven, that include the 80% Sinhalese. So out of 10% Tamils, more than 50% selected to kill with Thirukkai Waal. When Britain ruled, it selected 75% to serve the country. This is the Sinhala Jury Only Judgement to Tamils. Without Tamil having their own political ruling body, that is their own country, this will never going to alleviate Tamil’s pain.

  • 1
    0

    CKB,
    Mandala brought the Rights of the Masses to the fore-front & center before doling out democratic rights and advocating human dignity and equity. His demonstration of the importance of unity among diverse communities came AFTER the Masses attained power and self-determination.

    • 1
      0

      Rewritten:

      CKB,
      Mandala brought the Rights of the Masses to the Fore-Front & Center BEFORE doling out democratic rights and advocating human dignity and equity. His demonstration of the importance of unity among diverse communities came AFTER the Masses attained Power and Self-Determination.

  • 1
    0

    Mandela is gone. Look at the African Black leaders now. HIGH crime. HIGH rates of HIV. HIGH rates of murder and rape and poverty. They are also trying to kick out Boers who farm and work hard and made SAF prosperous. Blacks want hand outs. Jacob Zuma was a corrupt President and an idiot who said dumb things. Africa and Sri Lanka need to go back under British control to save themselves. Whiteman ruled wisely and created an educated middle class. SAF will be the next Rhodesia/Zimbabwe when they start grabbing land from Boers

  • 0
    0

    The mission undertaken by Nelson of Mandela was an unended and that unfinished task has been which was that an incompleated by Mandala of ANC. Needless to say , that majority of BLACK African living in poppers in their own soil in millions-numbers of South African nation after end of Apartites policies. The Nation STILL control by White man, that RULE of Anglo-Saxon in ….South Africa.
    In fact BRICS is has came into being 10 years ,but role played by of South African nation while performances of Economy in so weak or nothing in time being many instability by under the misruling ruling governaces of ANC last several years.
    CBK has no knowledge of World Political-Economy system at all. Even her an ideology of Tamil Federalist client of that CBK,that she is holding of no political vision of what is happening ongoing among PEOPLE of South Africa . History has review the role played by Nelson Mandale is in dilemma?

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.