19 September, 2020

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Misguided Priorities Of CBK

By Dinesh D. Dodamgoda

Dinesh Dodamgoda

Dinesh Dodamgoda

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga now as the head of the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation has declared her three main priorities. They are taking back land from the Sri Lankan army, investigating disappearances of Tamils, and resettling the displaced, the Indian Express reported.

There is no doubt that the task of resolving those issues that included in Ms. Kumaratunga’s priority list is important and good in terms of winning hearts and minds of the Tamils. However, the question is that whether this is the best way to initiate a sustainable reconciliation process in ethnically polarised and deeply wounded post-war Sri Lanka?

Statist Diplomacy

The approach proposed by Ms. Kumaratunga concerns with starting the process of reconciliation by resolving issues through direct government initiatives. This approach is clearly a traditional statist diplomatic approach that adopts frameworks and activities to reconciliation aiming at initially resolving issues through the ‘top’ level government initiatives.

Chandrika SampanthanHowever, as one of the subject experts and a practitioner, Professor John Paul Lederach, who adopts a practitioner’s approach to reconciliation emphasises, ‘the nature and characteristics of contemporary conflict suggest the need for a set of concepts and approaches that go beyond traditional statist diplomacy’. Accordingly, the most important task would be to adopt an approach to focus on restoration and rebuilding of relationships between divided groups, because reconciliation will endure if it is sustained by a society-wide network of relationships and mechanisms that reduces enmity which can regenerate destabilising tensions.

Weaknesses in the Approach

Ms. Kumaratunga’s proposed priority list is aiming at winning hearts and minds of the Tamils by the UNF government. However, her approach would allow Sinhala Nationalists to argue that there is no reference in the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation’s priority list to address issues faced by the Sinhalese (whatever the issues maybe) and furthermore, extreme groups would go further and accuse the UNF government that it will give everything that the Tamils want and will continually ignore issues faced by the Sinhalese. Therefore, the proposed priority list which aims at only addressing issues relevant to the Tamils would generate counterproductive effects in terms of restoration and rebuilding of relationships in an ethnically polarised post-war Sri Lanka, because the approach would win the Tamils whilst antagonising Sinhala Nationalists and extremists.

On the other hand, the approach adopted by Ms. Kumaratunga in declaring a priority list implies the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation’s intention to rely on a government centred approach to reconciliation. This is a ‘top-down’ approach that mainly rely on ‘Top Leadership’ that include political, military, religious leaders with high visibility that focus on high-level negotiations. The ‘top-down’ approach is not the best approach we should adopt at least due to the following reasons.

1. The top-level agreements that the top level leaders reach can be irrelevant, if a consensus was not reached at the middle and the grass-roots levels of the society. Hence, those agreements are incapable in convincing and converting people at local levels. It is important to understand that top-level leaders are not the exclusive power holders of the society and power is more diffused and fractioned than generally perceived.

2. Top-level political leaders are generally ‘locked into’ pre-agreed opinions and vulnerable to international pressures. Therefore, they do not have a much of freedom of manoeuvre in challenging those pre-agreed opinions and international pressures. Furthermore, more often Top-level political leaders are the maintainers of the status quo as their political survival is very much depend on the status quo. Therefore, top-level leaders and approaches are unreliable in promoting reconciliation and may not challenge pre-agreed opinions, international pressures and the status quo that they try to maintain for their own survival.

The Best Approach

The most important task in the reconciliation process is to win trust of the Tamils by the Sinhalese, and visa-versa. The task should be achieved through a process of restoration and rebuilding of relationships between polarised ethnicities. It is a community based approach. Therefore, we need to initiate things not from the top, yet from a place where we have the ability to shape opinions of the Sinhalese and the Tamils in order to bring them to an ideological middle ground.

Therefore, my proposition is to have a ‘middle-out’ approach through Middle-Range leadership. Middle-Range leadership (we can call them Opinion Leaders) comprises leaders respect in sectors that they represent such as ethnic / religious leaders, academics / professionals / intellectuals, and civil society leaders that include NGOs who can influence grassroots as well as the top leadership. The Middle-Range leaders have the capacity to shape opinions in the grassroots as well as the top leadership and hence, the Middle-Range leadership is the best medium to reach grassroots and the top-level. Moreover, the Middle-Range leadership is suitable at least for the following reasons as well.

1. Although the Middle-Range Leaders have contacts with the Top Leadership, they are not bound by the political rationales that control actions and decisions made at the Top Leadership.

2. Furthermore, the Middle-Range Leaders understand the situation at grassroots level and are sensitive enough to grassroots experiences. Unlike the grassroots communities, the middle range leaders are not disturbed by the day to day survival mentality and grassroots’ emotional urgencies.

3. The Middle-Range Leaders often have already established relationships with their opposing counterparts, for example, through intellectual, professional and civil society organisations that they represent and therefore, are instrumental in influencing the society vertically as well as horizontally.

Thus, with regard to an appropriate approach, my proposition is that the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation should have a Middle-Range approach and need to build Middle-Range Leaders’ capacity to carry out reconciliation process and deliver messages to the grassroots. We must not forget that our society is an ethnically polarised society. There are extreme Nationalist groups on both sides. Therefore, our approaches and priority lists should not lead to further deepen the polarisation.

The Role

The Office of National Unity and Reconciliation needs to understand that especially at the initial stage the Opinion Leaders (Middle-Range Leadership) in the society have a leading and a direct role to play in initiating the reconciliation process than the role that should be played by the government. As said, the reconciliation process is a restoration and rebuilding of relationships. Therefore, the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation should start identifying and forming society-wide Middle-Range leaders that can influence divided groups through shaping their opinions to find an ideological middle ground where different groups can be reasonable to each other.

There are so many ground works that the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation has to do and that includes providing material and human resources that the opinion leaders need in carrying out their tasks, forming groups and organisations of opinion leaders in order to organise workshops, educating people through different mediums, facilitating interactions, conducting psychosocial reconstructions programmes, etc.

The most important thing is that the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation let the society initiate the reconciliation process and progress with it. The Office of National Unity and Reconciliation should play the role of a reliable and an impartial facilitator in the reconciliation process than playing the role of a ‘Boss’. Then only the reconciliation process would truly have a community based approach that can implement a successful process of sustainable reconciliation.

As Ms. Kumaratunga told, “It’s a very big responsibility and a golden opportunity”. It is because, in my opinion, this is the last opportunity that the country has for a foreseeable future to bring sustainable peace by breaking the cycle of hatred and mistrust.

*Dinesh D. Dodamgoda, a Fulbright scholar and a lawyer, has a M.Sc. degree from the British Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham (Cranfield University) on Defence Management and Global Security. He was also an MP from 1995-2000.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    9

    Mr Dinesh. You might have got this fullbright scholarship with support of MR. you people are allegic to any thing comes from Ranil or CBK or M3. Why is this bias. Sinhalese nationalists want to see more blood bath in SL. please be more sensible. Sri Lanka is sorrunded by Tamil Nadu with population of over 75 Millions Tamil. So far, Tamil Nadu has been under full control of Centre in India. Because of Two leaders in TN. any politcal change in percpetion about SL in Tamil Nadu could have a devastaion in SL. you can not rely on China forever, It is in the interest of SL to keep India in our side always. CBK and Ranil are politically matured enough than stupid MR and co. if the country is in MRs hand for anotehr two years he would have emptied cofffer of this nation. Already he did? Now it is people who have to pay back not people like you who could this scholarship from MR .

  • 3
    1

    Very good idea, so long as we can get men/women with a heart for the process as well as the knowledge in conflict resolution and psychology. This problem has been blown so out of proportion that some thing need to be done. I recall after the 1960 election that brought in the short-lived Dudley Senanayake government this same idea was mooted but no takers and givers !!

    • 0
      0

      Dear Kumaran,

      What Dinesh Dodamgoda preaching is THEORETICAL PHILOSOPHY FOR reconciliation
      WHAT Chandrica and Ranil practicing is pragmatic approach winning hearts at the low level – it is not only taking land from army= importance giving back to the deprived of it for years………like that it goes on & on
      Ms. Kumaranatunga told, “It’s a very big responsibility and a golden opportunity”. Exactly!
      This is the last opportunity that the country has for a foreseeable future,Dodomgoda says It is because, if you continue emphasizing ruling community’s problems to bring sustainable peace by breaking the cycle of hatred and mistrust.

  • 13
    14

    This is a really good article by Dinesh Dodamgoda.

    Chandrika cannot see Sri Lanka beyond her own familial circles. What her father, mother, grandfather did to the country, does she feels she must put a corrective measure on. She cannot see the millions of Sri Lankans that inhabited the Island, irrespective of what her family did/didn’t do, or overdid/underdid for the country.

    She must realize at some time that Sri Lanka doesn’t/needn’t revolve around her and her family. It is not good that she plays at politics and political leaders in this way. It is embarrassing, and makes Sri Lanka look like some silly political movie.

    • 9
      7

      Ramona,

      I love to read your comments, very interesting, please continue.

      At this point in time biggest challenge is to end familial rule, most corrupt ever & unprecedented in the history of our country the MR mafia, responsible for billion dollar corruption, waste & hundreds of extra judicial killings.

      What CBK does is helping MS / RW to put an end to those & to take country forward.

      • 3
        6

        John,

        Thanks.

        Not at all. Chandrika is a one-man show, based on historical predecessor continuum.

        Rajapaksa’s are current, and have a wide fraternity of up-to-date command on what is necessary for the country, and for the future.

        It seems that it might be good that Chandrika managed to amass forces to halt the intense China trend, based on what the West did to Libya and other places. However, Rajapaksa, was aware of this too, and might have balanced out things nicely. But we will give her that credit, because Rajapaksa seemed hard to compromise with.

        Chandrika sees an intense once-upon-a-time racism, of Sinhalese against Tamils, based on her hereditary circle’s notions. But in reality, things have moved on vastly since. She has sold her soul to bring justice to a once-upon-a-forgone-time dip into racial delusion.

        It’s good that she is there to keep things in order, but to go around to other countries venting hatred and revenge looks so very ostentatious. If she is truly for the country, she should work quietly on the sidelines, giving necessary advice and support, without asking for too much recognition. We know what she did was probably a herculean task, but she’s made us aware of it, once too often.

        • 4
          0

          “Rajapaksas are current, and have a wide fraternity of up-to-date command on what is necessary for the country, and for the future.”

          What a load of bull!

          Does that “wide fraternity” with its “up-to-date command on what is necessary for the country, and for the future” include all the corruption, nepotism, murders, etc, etc that your paragons of virtue excelled in? Why do you think they were booted out by the People?

          • 2
            1

            IcePie,

            Nothing that the UNP didn’t do, both previously and in future, if the need arises. The difference in Lankan perceptions is , if it is Western style, then it is honorable. If it is goday, then, serves them right. Not too sure of those voting results either.

            • 1
              0

              Don’t evade the question. This is not about the UNP but about what that “Rajapakse fraternity” did.

              • 0
                2

                Ice Pie,

                Never evaded the question……but you do speak out of context when you accuse one set over the other.

                • 3
                  0

                  Ok then, I’ll make it easy for you.

                  1 Do you agree that under Rajapakse the levels of nepotism, disappearances, corruption and stealing from the State reached heights never seen before in SL?

                  2 Why do you think they were booted out by the people?

                  Let’s not have more evasion. Just answer the questions if you have any integrity at all.

                  • 0
                    0

                    Ice Pie,

                    sigh……what part of my previous comment don’t you understand : “Nothing that the UNP didn’t do, both previously and in future, if the need arises. The difference in Lankan perceptions is , if it is Western style, then it is honorable. If it is goday, then, serves them right. Not too sure of those voting results either.”

                    But I’ll make it easy and answer to you in more simple terms. I have made these comments on other articles also.

                    1) Do you agree that under Rajapakse the levels of nepotism, disappearances, corruption and stealing from the State reached heights never seen before in SL?

                    No, I do not agree. To those who cannot understand Capitalism, what you call nepotism, corruption and stealing from the state is exactly what older Capitalist countries did/do to consolidate their wealth.

                    Rajapaksa was dealing with his family to consolidate the newly found wealth of Sri Lanka. With that wealth was built many projects, commercial and altruistic structures. In the absence of a proper capitalistic structure that previous presidents had never implemented correctly, like a robust taxation system, that was the only way forward with the country flushed with wealth via China.

                    Whether the UNP government is able to implement Yahapalanaya, or a decent Capitalistic structure, is yet to be seen. It might be easier for them, because US and the West will take care of the gritty Capitalistic details of nepotism, corruption and stealing from other states (done in modern style, and so it looks advanced and not goday, and therefore acceptable to the Western type of people who grace the capital city).

                    As per disappearances, guess that about 10 cosmopolitans who love the Western Capitalistic technique disappeared (although there is no proof). Then compared that to 1,000’s of poor villagers (of both races) who were tortured, killed and disappeared during the UNP rule in the 90’s and before.

                    2 Why do you think they were booted out by the people?
                    Were they really, or was it a clever voting technique that the West gave to current Gosl, to skew results? However, there were some politicians, who were disgruntled by the Rajapaksas, because they had little or no voice, who convinced the people of the alternative. Rajapaksa might have eased out and been more inclusive of democratic principles in his third term.

                    • 0
                      0

                      Thanks Ramona – ‘Nuff said. it’s quite clear where you’re at!

                    • 0
                      0

                      IcePie,

                      It was very clear all along…..your attempt at a flat accusation doesn’t substantiate your case. At loss for words, are you. But I forgive you. Your vantage is from a personal viewpoint. Mine is of an objective and impersonal one.

      • 2
        0

        Ramona,
        …I love to read your comments, very interesting… because most of the time you get exposed , caught off guard.

        • 1
          2

          Not really John…….sorry to burst you bubble :)))

          • 2
            0

            Not certainly. it’s only political, nothing more than that, no bubble would burst, I love to read your comments, please continue

            • 0
              1

              John,

              Oh, do substantiate youself, will you! Otherwise it is mere retort.

    • 1
      1

      *feel

      • 1
        0

        No thanks Ramona, you’re not sexy enough!

        • 0
          0

          Anon,

          Sorry, meant it for my very first comment :

          ” What her mother, father, grandfather, did for the country, does she *feel* she must put a corrective measurement on.”

          Didn’realize the comment was going to be lost amongst all the other comments. But that is very obvious.

          • 0
            0

            Anon,

            Eeewwww, what a thought…..on forums like this, it is the mind that shows itself, irrespective of gender.

    • 2
      3

      “Chandrika cannot see Sri Lanka beyond her own familial circles. What her father, mother, grandfather did to the country, does she feels she must put a corrective measure on.”

      Ramona:-
      You seem to forget that Chandrika was married to Vijaya Kumaratunga, a Visionary with Hope for a United Sri Lanka!

      Is She not following in His Footsteps, to turn that Vision into Reality.

      • 5
        3

        Hamlet,

        Don’t tell Sri Lankans Chandrika-Vijaya love story. When that poor man was shot by a JVP murderer (The party now support Sampanthan in Parliament), we know that she even didn’t bother to look at him and packed up and went to Mrs. B’s house. Don’t bring those rubbish arguments, Hamlet.

        I respect Ranil’s intentions than Chandrika’s with regard to the ethnic issue.

        Chandrika now is an Indian Puppet! That is the truth. India gets input from Tamil diaspora as well. That is the truth!!

        Don’t pretend please. Deeds are louder than Words!

        • 4
          1

          Gilbert

          “Chandrika now is an Indian Puppet!”

          So were/are Sri Mao, JR, MR, Gota, Gamini, Ministers, Ranil, top army officers, ……… Somawansa and his comrades owe their life to Hindians.

          “India gets input from Tamil diaspora as well. That is the truth!!”

          Hindia also gets input from top bureaucrats, officers of the armed forces , ministers former and serving, ………….

          Hindia also has good input from Sinhalese diaspora.

          What seems to be your problem.

          • 1
            2

            Vedda,

            We have no issues with politically dead people’s affairs with India. CBK is politically alive and can impact on SL.

            India doesn’t give the best SL want. India gives the SL the best India want.

            That is the problem!

            CBK now wants no reconciliation, but to consolidate her political power. She knows that she cannot win the Sinhala-Buddhist majority. So, she is aiming at the Tamil minority. So, she cannot have an objective approach to reconciliation.

            That is the problem!!

            • 2
              0

              Gilbert

              “India doesn’t give the best SL want. India gives the SL the best India want.”

              What does Sri Lanka want from Hinida?

              Hindi movies, training for the brutal armed forces, men, material, intelligence to commit war crimes, protection from international war crime Investigation, loans/grant to the tune $2 billion over the past 10 years, naval petrol boat, helicopters, foreign exchange swap $1.2 billion recently, 50,000 houses for victims including Sinhalese, Parippu (including air drop), railways, language labs, tsunami relief, in the old days, religion, language, mercenaries, food, art and architecture, music, nattum, myth, ……………… astrology, Tamil and Sinhala Brahmi, gene pool, stupidity, ………… labour to work in the plantation, metal workers, investment, ………

              What more do you want?

              You have a serious problem, it is you.

              • 1
                2

                Vedda,

                I am not talking about Hindi movies.

                I am talking about solutions that the India would offer with regard to the ethnic issue.

                You are the problem you have Vedda.

                • 2
                  0

                  Gilbert

                  “I am talking about solutions that the India would offer with regard to the ethnic issue.”

                  Ethnic issue is a domestic one. Its for the people of this island to find an amicable, reasonable, creative, win win … solution.

                  What Hindia has to do with problems that we created ourselves? Is it your problem or Hindia’s problem?

                  The simple advice I can offer you is that, treat your family well, else next door neighbours will find a few excuses to grope your wife, daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts, mother, mother in law, grandmas, ……. Eventually your entire family will start enjoying your neighbours’ company.

                  The second advice is that you should stop sitting on your brain.

      • 0
        0

        Hamlet,

        She is doing the opposite of what Kumaratunga aspired to.

  • 13
    3

    “CBK, head of the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation has declared her three main priorities.

    1. taking back land from the Sri Lankan army,

    2. investigating disappearances of Tamils,

    3. and resettling the displaced “

    I don’t see anything wrong with

    She can further add, giving a decent income, health care, educational facilities to people living in war torn areas.

    She may include Sinhalese in former border areas as well.

    • 1
      1

      “I don’t see anything wrong with”
      Sure,but the question is will that bring the desired reconsilliation and how.

      If this was rather named “Placating” would have been more appropriate than reconcilliation for there is nothing for reoncilliation here.

      Just as one can not wake whom pretends to be asleep,one can not reconcile two parties when one party only pretends to be wanting to reconcile.

      On the other hand who are these people who needs to be reconciled?
      Northernites come to south by train loads and when it is vise versa for the southerners who needs to be reconciled?
      As pointed by item no:01 it is all to do with land grabbing in another name!!

  • 5
    1

    On reading this presentation by it’s author, what comes to my mind is a Chinese saying ” straw sandals which have no pattern or shape become’s so in the making”.
    The problem is to organise in a truly democratic manner and ensure that every individual is able to contribute equally and share equally in a competitive world and also deal with those socially disruptive class forces which resort to communalism and populist propaganda.
    The relevancy of this presentation by it’s author is exactly that, taking into consideration that Sri Lankan society being pluralistic just as in any other country and the problem of organising it means, having to effectively deal head on with those disruptive class and communally based reactionary forces.
    To do that, it is best to tackle those forces at grass root and middle level rather than with orders from top.

  • 13
    5

    She is not misguided. She wants to correct wrong that has been done. You are a bloody racist. You still want to cling on to Tamil lands and claim whatever injustices done by the previous government should stand. These are the very foundations for another round of discontent and seeds for terrorism. Please don’t preach your racist ideas in a country longing for multiculturalism.

  • 11
    1

    The highest priority for reconciliation should be the reversal of the militarisation of society carried out by the previous regime whereby militarisation had intruded into every walk of life and into every sphere of activity that should have been exclusively civilian both in the North and the South. The greater number of affected people are in the North and all lands that were grabbed from the people should be returned to the rightful owners without further delay. Without such meaningful steps what is the use of merely speaking or writing about reconciliation?

    Sengodan. M

  • 4
    3

    I see a lot of Sri Lankans love to advertize their Fulbright Scholar status. Very interesting. I knew a person who is a top scholar in her field; she did a Fulbright in Sri Lanka and helped a Sri Lankan junior faculty member get a Fulbright to come to USA. She never advertizes it because she has credentials on peer reviewed A1 journals and many accomplished. Curious how high value the US funded and US sponsored Fulbright scholarships are for South Asians. Must be that impression management thing Sri Lankans are so great at indulging in.

  • 6
    4

    Dinesh,

    The need of the moment is reconciliation.

    The fact is, the Tamils are the aggrieved party here rather than the Sinhalese. The Tamils have been at the receiving end of racial politics and not the Sinhalese. No matter how you propose to achieve reconciliation a great number of Buddhist chauvinists are going to derail any and all effort. We must not pander to the screaming of this horrible fringe.

    I agree with you that a top heavy approach is not the best approach to bring about reconciliation. But to start with such a high handed approach is needed. The military who are sitting pretty on lands grabbed from hapless Tamil farmers are not going to be easily budged.

    Anyway I am no fan of Chandrika other than appreciating her efforts in ousting the MARA Mafia. Time will tell if she can change the thinking of the Sinhala masses to accept all citizens as equals.

    By the way if you do meet Ranil please let him know that he is the PM by default. He should make way for a more forward thinking and hardworking UNP leader. Ranil is neither.

    • 5
      1

      while living in Switzerland and Germany – I beleive only way out to lanken problem is federalism under a central govt.
      Those countries in Europe have good kind of federal states succeeded for decades. So why not lankens start with that ?

  • 5
    0

    Those “priorities” that CBK has listed are for “Public Consumption” and whether we consume it and digest is matter for debate and you are doing it now.

    In my opinion, the ONLY PRIORITY of CBK is to CLEAN up the SLFP and RECAPTURE her father’s political institution. She did that very effectively when Mr. Maithripala Sirisena was pulled out of UPLF and SLFP to “Get Rid” of the most hated and destructive person of the SLFP to oust him at the critical Presidential election. You would remember how she very secretively achieved that and even having had a “Hopper Meal” with MR that was never known even to the host. Yesterday, Mr. Sirisena himself revealed that fateful event and how successfully it was “engineered”. Now you will see how the “ULF” has disintegrated and the real SLFP is emerging without MR & Co. She is now taking the next step. Can you “GUESS”? I will give you a clue – Can you analyze the importance of her visit to our neighbor India and even visiting Buddha Gaya with Prime Minister Mr. Modi? You will see more and more in th coming days and months. Wait and see. Cheers

  • 6
    3

    This Halfbright scholar is looking through tinted glasses. All he can see is trouble ahead, not reconciliation of any sort. Its a pity he will always be looking through tinted glasses.

  • 4
    1

    Happy to see that she is regenerating Her Husband’s Agenda.
    He was murdered for those very same reasons.

  • 11
    1

    Dinesh D. Dodamgoda

    In a nutshell you want the government and CBK to drop the planned process of national unity and reconciliation.

    Well done

    • 4
      0

      Native,

      Our assessment on this guy based on his previous article is spot on, right? He did not have the spine to say that the appointment of Sumpantnan as the Opposition Leader was wrong directly!

      • 6
        0

        Burning Issue

        You are right.

        Where do they manufacture these bigots, racists, and stupids, …. at industrial scale?

        It must be a large scale operation somewhere in the deep deep south. I love to visit the managing director of this industry. They still find markets in the west as well.

  • 7
    2

    Mr. Dodamgoda,

    Your essay is fundamentally flawed and could be taken to be an attempt to further stir muddied waters and thwart the reconciliation process further.

    The reconciliation effort is to to resolve issues afflicting Tamils and other communities post-war in the north and east, that have been exacerbated and encouraged to fester. The problems of the Sinhalese, other than a very small number, now, are not war-related.

    The other problems that confront the Sinhalese and other citizens, are different and should be addressed by the government though its gigantic cabinet and related resources.

    The people in the north and east, who are also mostly Tamils, need redress through a special and very much focussed effort and this should involve convincing the Sinhalese of the need to do so, in the interest of this country. The Sinhala rabble cannot be appeased at the expense of the war-affected Tamils. In fact, they can never be. It is futile to even contemplate doing so.

    The reconciliation effort should also involve attending to the social, economic and physical problems of the directly war-affected people from all communities, in the north and east and the border villages, and a quick roll back of the regressive steps foolishly and /or spitefully adopted by the MR governments.

    The problems were created by a top down process and can be resolved only by an aggressive top down process!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 7
      0

      Dr. Ranasingham Narendra

      Now you witness how the bigots use irrational arguments to drag this country down and then blame the minorities for 30 years of war waged by LTTE.

      They cannot see beyond their nose.

      Another combination of Dayan, Nalin de Silva, Sarath Fonseka, ….. Wimal Weerawansa in the making.

      What he is saying is that Sinhala/Buddhists won the war and the Demelas have beaten up very badly, victors justice must stay and this island belongs to the winners, ………… therefore there is no national issue, hence no need for restructuring the state, nor democratising it, lets keep it in the family, …… no need to uncover truth, justice to the victims means nothing and far-fetched.

  • 6
    1

    Dinesh D. Dodamgoda

    RE: Misguided Priorities Of CBK

    In your opinion what should be the priorities for national reconciliation, and move forward as a nation?

    Why do you think they are the correct priorities and will work?

    Sri Lanka did the experiment for 66 years, and we all know the results.

  • 4
    2

    Your theory is good but remember you wont be able to approach people when they are locked in camps for more than six years. Be real mate.

  • 8
    2

    I am surprised that this writer seems ignorant of the fact that,
    Returning lands to the rightful legal owners whether Singhala or Tamil,
    finding closure on persons who disappeared during a war, and
    resettling people who are stuck in Refugee camps because their lands are under the control of a state agency,
    are fundamental rights of any citizens in a country!
    All what CBK is doing is just clearing the legal irregularities ignored by the Rajapakse regime for ten years,
    Before beginning the process of reconciliation.
    Your Fulbright fellowship does not seem to have opened your mind!

    • 2
      0

      Mahen RE: Dinesh D. Dodamgoda

      “Before beginning the process of reconciliation. Your Fulbright fellowship does not seem to have opened your mind!”

      He is still brainwashed by Para-Sinhala Myths and imaginations.

      He needs to open his mind to citizen’s rights for a just society.

  • 3
    3

    CBK in her haste to get back power back stabbed Ranil by dissolving his government when a peace treaty was in place with the tigers. If she would have allowed Ranil to continue then Tamils would have had a more face saving peace than what was delivered by MR largely owing to CBK. Now this woman needs to leave Sri Lanka alone. She is just a leech driven by simply the hate towarads MR. MR is a bigger figure in Sri Lanka than MY3, Ranil, CBK put together. More she spits venom more people will want MR back.

    • 2
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      patriot

      “CBK in her haste to get back power back stabbed Ranil by dissolving his government when a peace treaty was in place with the tigers.”

      Actually it was Hindia which bent her hands backwards to sack Ranil for he was looking for foreign safety net. Secondly Hindia has already made up its mind to completely destroy LTTE.

  • 8
    2

    Dinesh Dodamgoda

    Misguided Priorities Of CBK:

    *** I dont know what your grievance is but what ever it is it cant be bigger than ours.

    Let me tell you what our Grievance is in the Order.

    1) We have no say in the running of the Country.
    2) Up until 8th January we were terrorised, shot at humiliated. Even an elected CM was subjected to No Go Areas.

    Let me deal with your Grievance.

    1) Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga now as the head of the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation has declared her three main priorities. They are

    a) taking back land from the Sri Lankan army,
    b)investigating disappearances of Tamils,
    c) and resettling the displaced, the Indian Express reported.

    But as a Lawyer I am not sure whether you have spotted the biggest Priority that she has left out. That is Accountability.
    There are people still grieving for Loved ones and there are people still looking for loved ones not knowing whether they are dead or alive their only Crime was being born a Tamil.
    MR and Gotha and SF know what has happened to them but we cant ask them and punish them or at least that is what CBK has missed out.

    2) There is no doubt that the task of resolving those issues that included in Ms. Kumaratunga’s priority list is important and good in terms of winning hearts and minds of the Tamils. However, the question is that whether this is the best way to initiate a sustainable reconciliation process in ethnically polarised and deeply wounded post-war Sri Lanka.

    *** So what you are saying is for the sake of not alienating the Majority let us forget it and move on. HOW DARE YOU. No wonder you want to have an Internal Probe and get SF to give evidence and Desmond to represent the Killers.

    2) The approach proposed by Ms. Kumaratunga concerns with starting the process of reconciliation by resolving issues through direct government initiatives. This approach is clearly a traditional statist diplomatic approach that adopts frameworks and activities to reconciliation aiming at initially resolving issues through the ‘top’ level government initiatives.

    *** For me ACCOUNTABILTY comes first that is those responsible for the Genocide must be punished.

    3) Accordingly, the most important task would be to adopt an approach to focus on restoration and rebuilding of relationships between divided groups, because reconciliation will endure if it is sustained by a society-wide network of relationships and mechanisms that reduces enmity which can regenerate destabilising tensions.

    *** This is a repetition.

    4) Weaknesses in the Approach

    Ms. Kumaratunga’s proposed priority list is aiming at winning hearts and minds of the Tamils by the UNF government. However, her approach would allow Sinhala Nationalists to argue that there is no reference in the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation’s priority list to address issues faced by the Sinhalese (whatever the issues maybe) and furthermore, extreme groups would go further and accuse the UNF government that it will give everything that the Tamils want and will continually ignore issues faced by the Sinhalese.

    *** What are you talking about. It amounts to appeasement. She has already addressed the concerns of the Racist Elements in her speech in Delhi when she said that it was the Tamil Terrorism which delayed solving the Ethnic Issue. The respect I had for her up until now had evaporated after that. In any case what are problems of the Majority other than GREED.
    5) Therefore, the proposed priority list which aims at only addressing issues relevant to the Tamils would generate counterproductive effects in terms of restoration and rebuilding of relationships in an ethnically polarised post-war Sri Lanka, because the approach would win the Tamils whilst antagonising Sinhala Nationalists and extremists.

    *** NO wonder you want to have an internal probe so you can fudge the Issue.

    6) The Best Approach

    Adopt the following.

    Stop Dilly Dallying.
    Accept that we have an Ethnic Divide and respect their right to rule and no be ruled.
    Show remorse for your past atrocities.
    Punish those responsible for the Genocide.

    Once you have convinced the Tamils that you taken steps to address those issues then talk about RECONCILIATION.

    The Role

    The Office of National Unity and Reconciliation needs to understand that especially at the initial stage the Opinion Leaders (Middle-Range Leadership) in the society have a leading and a direct role to play in initiating the reconciliation process than the role that should be played by the government. As said, the reconciliation process is a restoration and rebuilding of relationships. Therefore, the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation should start identifying and forming society-wide Middle-Range leaders that can influence divided groups through shaping their opinions to find an ideological middle ground where different groups can be reasonable to each other.

    There are so many ground works that the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation has to do and that includes providing material and human resources that the opinion leaders need in carrying out their tasks, forming groups and organisations of opinion leaders in order to organise workshops, educating people through different mediums, facilitating interactions, conducting psychosocial reconstructions programmes, etc.

    The most important thing is that the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation let the society initiate the reconciliation process and progress with it. The Office of National Unity and Reconciliation should play the role of a reliable and an impartial facilitator in the reconciliation process than playing the role of a ‘Boss’. Then only the reconciliation process would truly have a community based approach that can implement a successful process of sustainable reconciliation.

    As Ms. Kumaratunga told, “It’s a very big responsibility and a golden opportunity”. It is because, in my opinion, this is the last opportunity that the country has for a foreseeable future to bring sustainable peace by breaking the cycle of hatred and mistrust.

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      “As Ms. Kumaratunga told, “It’s a very big responsibility and a golden opportunity”. It is because, in my opinion, this is the last opportunity that the country has for a foreseeable future to bring sustainable peace by breaking the cycle of hatred and mistrust. “

      Very noble and well selected words. But is she really sincere? What did she achieve when she really had the power and ability to change the course of things? Beware of greeks bearing gifts. Her agenda is to seize the “golden opportunity”, as she puts it, to come back to power again. Putha needs a job. Cant earn much as a vet.

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      Ugly Kali

      Who is interested in reading your massive article size comments.

      Why do you have to do Kali dance here.

      You have to improve your skills to write precise comments.

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    Guys,

    Please understand, as Mr. Dinesh D. Dodamgoda said, “The most important task in the reconciliation process is to win trust of the Tamils by the Sinhalese, and visa-versa.” So, it is a relationship building exercise.

    But, what you guys want to do is to get everything that the Tamils want from the UNF government in the name of reconciliation by building pressure through the Big Brother India. It is a political campaign initiated by the Tamils.

    Is that what you mean by reconciliation?

    Go fly a kite!
    Get ready for another round! We are ready again!!

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      Gilbert

      “But, what you guys want to do is to get everything that the Tamils want from the UNF government in the name of reconciliation by building pressure through the Big Brother India. It is a political campaign initiated by the Tamils.”

      What exactly do the Tamils want?

      How do they build pressure through India?

      If India was so keen to help Tamils, why didn’t it put pressure on Sri Lanka to stop the war and avoid killing of so many innocent people? Is it because the pressure that Tamils applied was too weak or Sri Lanka was too powerful?

      “Get ready for another round! We are ready again!!”

      We know you are ever ready to commit another round of war crimes on innocent people however your record shows when Hindians killed innocent Tamils your armed forces were hiding behind their women folks and VP’s bum.

      Hope you remember VP was the only stupid who was willing to save Sri Lankan “sovereignty” from Hindian IPKF.

      Were you hiding behind your granny?

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        Dear Vedda,

        Are you talking about bravery?

        Where were you guys when poor LTTE carders fighting a bloody war with the SL forces? Were you hiding in the Mulathiv Jungle or in cosy jungles in Canada, UK, Aussi, France, Germany? Cowards!

        Didn’t the LTTE murdered innocent Sinhalese, Muslims and even their own Tamils that went against the LTTE (Rajini Thiranagama – remember)? Who funded the LTTE crimes? Guys like you. You all should be send to the Guillotine, because without your logistic support, the LTTE would not have survived.

        Now you guys have become Doves and Angles of Peace! Blood in your hands! the whole world know that.

        The Sinhalese will be reasonable if things come from the Tamils with a genuine heart for for reconciliation. Yet, the Sinhalese are not ready become Donkeys! the Sinhalese are LIONS always!!

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          Gilbert

          “Are you talking about bravery?”

          No I am talking about your stupidity.

          “Where were you guys when poor LTTE carders fighting a bloody war with the SL forces?”

          Definitely not behind women folks and VP’s fat bum.

          “Didn’t the LTTE murdered innocent Sinhalese, Muslims and even their own Tamils that went against the LTTE (Rajini Thiranagama – remember)? Who funded the LTTE crimes? Guys like you. You all should be send to the Guillotine, because without your logistic support, the LTTE would not have survived.”

          You are aiming this stupid rhetoric at the wrong person. You should have asked Mahinda for making available lots of money to VP and Premadasa for arming, funding,…. Ask your armed forces what did they supply to VP during IPKF occupation of this island.

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    Don’t kill the messenger!

    He clearly said, (please read again)
    “There is no doubt that the task of resolving those issues that included in Ms. Kumaratunga’s priority list is important and good in terms of winning hearts and minds of the Tamils.”

    However, the question he tried to answer was that whether the CBK’s priority list is the best way to initiate a reconciliation process in ethnically polarised Sri Lanka?

    He further said,
    “The most important task in the reconciliation process is to win trust of the Tamils by the Sinhalese, and visa-versa. The task should be achieved through a process of restoration and rebuilding of relationships between polarised ethnicities.

    And he said,
    “The most important thing is that the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation let the society initiate the reconciliation process and progress with it. The Office of National Unity and Reconciliation should play the role of a reliable and an impartial facilitator in the reconciliation process than playing the role of a ‘Boss’.”

    So, don’t kill the messenger, He is right!

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    There is nothing wrong with any reconciliation initiative, I think there will be more initiatives in the future. Recociliation will follow when people respects people of other communities and treat them well. Education is the way to go, from primary level onwards. Other than politicians of present or former, leaders of religious communities and educationalists should play a pivotal role.

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    The former MP from Galle Mr.Dodamgama has failed in his Duty by coveniently forgetting the fact that only after 8th January he was able to give his opinion.

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    Misguided Priorities Of CBK or CBK MISGUIDES AIYO SIRISENA ??

    wHAT DO WE DO ??? FILE A RESOLUTION IN THE UN ????
    Thar cameron fellow has ordered the killing of 02 britishers in Sirya without Government approval…..Its murder mosst foul.
    SAUDI ARABIA indulging in war games had bombed and killed 15 HINDIANS in yemen. Wonder whether CBK will attend the funerals.
    Now Hollande has gone to bomb IsIs.

    Killing civillians is a serious crime according to Geneva resolution…
    Chaturika the Sira’s daughter address a district meeting on narcotics in Polonnaruwa.
    Polonnaruwa farmers are going to commit suicide for non purchase of their Paddy as the Mattala storage is full.
    Elephant frolics in Polonnaruwa tramples a photographer .

    WHERE IS SIRA ? MISSING ?

    [Edited out] Please avoid typing all capitalized comments – CT

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    Thank you Mr.Dinesh Dodamgoda for suggesting an important role for the Middle Range Leaders
    As I have pointed out earlier, the path to an ethnic reconciliation has many hurdles to go through. Government leadership or the leadership of the politica/politicised leaders is not enough.
    what is suggested by you must be an important and parallel, a sine-qua non effort for reaching true reconciliation.
    I will exhort the religious leaders of this Country to wake up and Play their unique role in this middle rane leadership.

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    “…………………………to address issues faced by the Sinhalese (whatever the issues maybe)……………………..”

    Sinhalese have issues of governance and political power, with all perks and privileges.
    Thousands died, at two insurrections.
    This is why they are divided, and are eternally fighting among themselves, from 1948.

    For Tamils, it is a question of survival as equals.
    Thousands were massacred from independence days, for demanding same, and thousands more, during the civil war.

    Chandrika aims to ensure their equality by righting wrongs.
    She is taking the major issues of Tamils head on, as priorities – as reported.
    More power to her in this endeavour.

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