24 September, 2020

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Towards A Just & Equal Sri Lanka For All Sri Lankans

By Mangala Samaraweera

Mangala Samaraweera

Following the attempted coup and Easter Sunday bombings many of our fellow citizens ask why our country continues to veer from one crisis to another. They are right to do so. The history of Sri Lanka is a history of crisis. In the last seventy odd years, we experienced the assassination of a Prime Minister, the assassination of an Executive President, a failed coup, two youth insurgencies and a long, bloody civil war. 

With one or two exceptions, the common thread uniting these crises is the national question – the question of how our many communities can live together in amity and flourish collectively. Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike was assassinated because of his attempts at conciliation with the minorities. The 1962 coup was significantly induced by fear of discrimination against Christians. The war, as our academics and intelligence men have observed, was the direct result of treating minorities as second-class citizens. 

At this point, Mr. Speaker, it would be amiss not to reflect on the lessons of Black July. In fact this week, thirty-six years ago, from the 24th of July to the 30th of July the state failed to protect thousands of its own citizens, who were slaughtered in their homes and on the streets.We all know that if there was any one cause for a rag-tag insurgency becoming a full-blown civil war, it was Black July. Similarly, it cannot be a coincidence that the Easter Sunday bombings took place following the Aluthgama and Digana riots. Although investigations are still underway, there is no reason to think that these riots played a role in radicalizing a few Muslim youth. 

Even though these issues consumed the energies of this House and the entire island since Independence, it is clear we have failed to resolve this matter successfully. Despite new constitutions, countless committees and endless debates we still have majoritarianism entrenched in our politics and law. 

The stakes could not be higher. It is our inability to resolve the national question that is at the very center of our failure to make Sri Lanka peaceful and prosperous. Sri Lanka has been in crisis, remains in crisis and will continue to be in crisis until we can create a just and equal Sri Lanka for all Sri Lankans.  

This House knows the solution to this problem. It has always known the solution to this problem. But, more often than not, its members have not had the courage of their convictions to address it.

Ever since Independence, all our leaders, including Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa knows the actual solution to this problem.

It has cowered before a small but vocal minority of reactionary forces. And I am sad to say that a truly united Sri Lanka – a Sri Lanka where Muslims don’t fear Buddhists, where Sinhalese don’t fear Tamils, and where Christians can worship in peace – is a cause of mortal danger for certain members of this House. 

That Sri Lanka’s future as a prosperous, united and undivided country depends on establishing a constitution that would embrace and celebrate Sri Lanka’s multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic identity based on the principles of equal citizenship, justice and the devolution of power. 

They understood the importance of building a Sri Lankan identity and a Sri Lankan constitution which all of Sri Lanka’s communities could equally claim as their own. 

In fact, all our national leaders as I said before, including the Hon. Leader of the Opposition have considered ensuring equal rights and a measure of self-government as essential for the country’s stability, security and prosperity. 

The first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, who was also the founder of the UNP, DS Senanayake, strongly believed in ‘unity in diversity’. He emphatically remarked after the unfurling of the National Flag in February 1948,

“Our nation comprises many races, each with a culture and a history of its own. It is for us to blend all that is best in us…There is no greater ambition in my life than to get all these communities together”

He went on to note that,

“For centuries the Sinhalese and Tamils have lived together in peace and amity. We have been governed by their Kings and they by ours”

D.S. Senanayake’s policy has always been the policy of the UNP. The last UNP President, the late Ranasinghe Premadasa said, 

“Multi-ethnic democracy has always been my vision for Sri Lanka. There is no other way. It has been my vision from the time I entered politics. My electorate in Colombo was multi-ethnic. I could not have represented my electorate for so many years had I not practiced multi-ethnic politics. Furthermore, now as President, my electorate is the whole country. I am the President for all groups and communities who comprise Sri Lanka.” 

And on March 2nd 1990, in his speech “Arms cannot bring Peace”, he said,

“Whatever the race, the religion or the caste that any individual belongs to, we must realize that he or she has a birthright to share of this country. It is only if that right is denied to persons on grounds of differences of race, religion, caste or other such considerations, that a threat of division of this country will arise, that a threat to the sovereignty of this country will arise and foreign powers will have an opportunity to interfere in our affairs.”

President Premadasa also had the sagacity to appoint Mangala Moonesinghe, an SLFP member of this house, to chair the Parliamentary Select Committee on this topic. 

It is important to note that the Committee’s report recommended a scheme of devolution on lines similar to the Indian Constitution – in other words federalism. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe too has been a worthy custodian of this UNP legacy and has always stood for a political solution to the national question.

Similarly, leaders of the other main political party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, too shared this view. Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike, who was the SLFP founder leader said in Parliament on August 5th 1958 that:

“I am satisfied that extremism in this country consists of the activities of a small minority, whether they are Sinhalese or Tamil, but that the vast majority of the people are reasonable and moderate and only wish to live together with mutual respect as well as self-respect, so that we could march forward together and achieve that progress and that position for us all which have been hoping to obtain under this freedom we have, freedom for the Sinhalese – yes, remember too – that it is the freedom for the Tamils, for the Muslims, for the Malays, for the Burghers, who are all fellow citizens, yes, if it is not freedom in that way for all, I too repeat the words of another leader…Shri Jawaharlal Nehru who stated that if freedom meant internal communal strife or injustice or suppression of minorities ‘to hell with Swaraj’.”

This was his long-standing opinion. It was based on his view that centralized government was imposed on us by the colonizer. Speaking in Jaffna on the 17th of July 1926, his talk, titled “Federation as the Only Solution to our Political Problems”, described Sri Lanka’s pre-colonial system of government as decentralized and similar to a loose federation. He stated that the British introduced a centralized form of government and argued was unsuitable for a country like Ceylon. He is also reported to have said, ‘in Ceylon, each Province should have complete autonomy”. Earlier that year, in May and June, he wrote six articles in the Ceylon Morning Leader making the case for federalism.  Allow me to quote, “there would be trouble if a centralized form of government was introduced into countries with large communal differences”.

But his daughter tried to set things right. President Chandrika Kumaratunga was brave enough to stand on election platforms and speak truth to power. 

In fact, I remember Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga coming to Akurassa in 1993 as the Chief Minister of the Western Province and in the deep south where 90% were Sinhala Buddhist, she said that Sri Lanka needs a Federal System and at the elections, we had a resounding landslide victory even after that statement.

She had the courage to boldly state in public what the political class said in private: the solution to the national question was federalism. 

I remember the Leader of the Opposition, Mahinda Rajapaksa MP, supporting the 1995 Union of Regions proposals. He held this view for a long time. In fact, you made one of the best speeches a leader of our country has made in the inaugural session of the All Party Representatives Committee on July 11th   2006 long before you chased me out where I was also present. He summarized the main thrust of his proposed solution to the ethnic conflict: I quote Hon. Mahinda Rajapakse, 

“people in their own localities must take charge of their destiny and control their politico-economic environment. Central decision making that allocates disproportionate resources has been an issue for a considerable time. In addition, it is axiomatic that devolution also needs to address issues relating to identity as well as security and socio-economic advancement, without over-reliance on the center. In this regard, it is also important to address the question of regional minorities.

In sum, any solution needs to as a matter of urgency allow people to take charge of their own destiny. This has been tried out successfully in many parts of the world. There are many examples from around the world that we may study as we evolve a truly Sri Lankan constitutional framework including our immediate neighbor, India.”

In his concluding remarks for that speech, he was very firm, “any solution must be seen as one that stretches to the maximum possible devolution”. 

This was said by Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Thank you. But I’m sorry that you had to change your views under pressure from various other people.

On January 9th 2016, the next leader of the SLFP, President Sirisena made his views on the matter very clear to the House, 

“Attempts to build co-operation and friendship among Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Malay and Burgher failed. Communities became increasingly polarized owing to the shortcomings and loopholes formed in the constitutional provisions promulgated in the country, triggered by the provisions contained in the Soulbury Constitution. This resulted in the creation of the terrorist known as ‘Prabhakaran’. Regardless of what people say, I am of the belief that if the Bandaranaike-Chelvanaygam Pact had become a reality, we would not have witnessed the creation of terrorism.”

The left leaders were prescient too. 

LSSP stalwart Dr. Colvin R De Silva’s prophetic words during the 1956 Debate on the Sinhala Only Bill were prophetic then, but unless we act now, I fear, all too sadly, they will prove to be doubly-prophetic. 

“If you refuse to help a section of our people of a specific racial stock, having their own separate language, their specific and particular culture, traditions and history, if you deny them their language right then you are running the risk of hammering them in the future into what they yet are not. Today they are but a section distinctive by reason of their particular racial stock and language, from the Sinhalese within the Ceylonese nation. But if you mistreat them, if you ill-treat them, if you misuse them, if you oppress and harass them, in that process you may cause to emerge in Ceylon, from that particular stock with its own particular language and tradition, a new nationality to which we will have to concede more claims than it puts forward now. It is always wiser statesmanship to give generously early instead of being niggardly too late.” “Parity,” he argued, “is the road to freedom of our nation and the unity of its components. Otherwise, two torn little bleeding States may yet arise of one little State”.

The founder leader of the JVP, Rohana Wijeweera, supported these views and went further than the others in the Left. In a speech that can be watched on YouTube, he argued in Jaffna in 1982 that the solution to the ethnic conflict was acknowledging and respecting the right of minorities to self-determination.

“We propose to create areas of self-rule where minority communities have large concentrations. We state that any ethnic community or any minority group has the right to self-determination.”

The late Indika Gunawardene, a leader of the Communist Party, stood in this very house 19 years ago during the 2000 Constitutional Debates and said that “the standpoint of the Marxist movement is that the right to make self-decisions should not be denied to any citizen. The right of a nation to self-determination is upheld by the working class… A separate state of Tamil Eelam will never be a solution to the national problem. The best way to grant the right to make self-decisions to various ethnic groups, i.e. to create a united Sri Lanka, will be autonomous administration in the North and East”.

We are at a rare moment in history, where the Tamil political leadership is united and represented by a statesman of the Hon. Mr. Sampanthan’s stature, wisdom and temperament is not only a bonus for the Tamil Community but for the entire country.

This may not be the case in the future. We must not let this opportunity go. We must answer the offer and the question he placed before us in Matara a few weeks ago. 

Actually, it was an excellent speech where all the people of the south, at the end of his speech stood up and gave him a standing ovation. I think the whole speech is worth listening to, but I will quote a little bit.

“I want to work with fellow Sri Lankans to resolve this conflict within the frame work of a united, undivided, indivisible Sri Lanka, that would be the best thing for Sri Lanka. If we do not what would be the consequences?”

He ended the speech with that question, which I believe that all of us, whichever party, side, community, whichever religion we believe in, must start asking ourselves, if we do not solve this issue, what are the consequences? Can Sri Lanka move forward unless we come to terms with the fact that Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi religious and a multi-cultural nation.

*The speech made by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Adjournment Debate on Constitutional Reforms today 26th of July 2019

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Latest comments

  • 14
    4

    I salute this minister for his compassionate and just approach to all communities in Sri Lanka. In a sense , he is among best Buddhist MPs today. why? He lives by Buddhist teaching of compassion and love; He is openly supporting to give equal rights to all communities . No Sri Lankan politician had bravery to speak like this and to write this.. Poor CBK could not do any thing. MR and co are playing with racists politics.. It is a reality today we have 25% non-Buddhists or 30% with Sinhalese speaking cathartics: Can Sinhalese Buddhists get rid of all these 30% of Non-Buddhists. They can not do that at all. So, why all this fuss about racial attacks. Stop it all now and know how to live in peace with all. You are a true Sri Lankan Buddhists you will do it otherwise, hell will be waiting for Sri Lankans in future..

    • 5
      4

      Tamil Man;
      I agree.
      Look at The USA, Look at Singapore, Look at Australia, .
      How could they Have succeeded, if they Broke up their Country into Little Ethno-Religious Compartments?
      If “You are a true Sri Lankan Buddhists you will do it, otherwise hell will be waiting for Sri Lankans in future..”
      Karma will also be Waiting!

    • 2
      1

      To hell with equality, to hell with compassion, to hell with religions, to hell with race, to hell with …………

      Mangala is right for reasons he doesn’t even know!

      With all the grandstanding race-baiting imbeciles given full rein ……..the next time July 83 happens and crap hits the fan ………. and India tries to partition the country using the Tamils as a fifth column …….. all the brave grandstanders will be hiding under beds and womenfolk.

      All the big-mouthed cardboard heroes here will be nowhere to be found …….. like the last time ………as usual ………. it will be the employment-opportunities lacking poor village youth who will end up as cannon fodder …….

      Anyone with even an ounce of brains should realise …….. the best and the greatest defence we have against India, is a Tamil population who feels they are full stakeholders of the country!

      And it’s not compassion or religion or goodness ……. but pure hardnosed survival instincts.

      Now wait till eternity for local Einsteins to get it!

  • 6
    1

    Although the quoted speeches have been good and enlightening, it failed to bring any practical/meaningful results and no efforts were made either to fulfill. We are back in square number one. An aorta of action is better than tons of speeches.

  • 8
    5

    **multi-ethnic, multi religious and a multi-cultural nation**
    *
    The meaning & key to this, is for all races, religions, and cultures to intermingle with each other with due respect towards the majority culture. How can that be, if Sri Lanka is to be divided into racial provinces?

    • 4
      2

      Very true.

      Soma

      • 4
        1

        somu

        “Very true.”

        What is very true?
        Do you want “OTHERS” to carry the b***s of majority?

    • 4
      2

      ramona grandma therese fernando

      “intermingle with each other with due respect towards the majority culture.”

      Could you define and explain the following:
      due respect,
      majority culture,-

      How do you stop the majority
      ill treating,
      abusing,
      harming,
      discriminating,
      tyrannizing,
      bullying,
      killing,
      raping,
      ..

      ..
      stealing (from)
      indefinitely detaining,

      ..
      Minority?

      You don’t have to respond if you haven’t got any rational answers.

      • 2
        2

        NV,
        *
        All the crimes you mention are violence, brought about by INCITEMENT by the encroaching parties. Case is closed; inciters to be restrained and reeducated for the common good.

    • 5
      2

      ramona therese fernando:
      .
      “each other with due respect towards the majority culture” – A typical minority mindset. Everyone’s culture needs to be respected, no scaling based on whom it belong to. And, that is the message Mr. Mangala is passing.

      • 2
        0

        Isharath,
        *
        Tell him to give his message to Tamil Nadu, Saudi Arabia, UK, USA.

        • 1
          2

          ramona therese fernando – Sorry, he is a minister in Sri Lankan parliament, and he is doing the right thing – trying to clean his own backyard.

          • 3
            0

            Isharath,
            *
            We have to look and learn from the paradigms of other successful nations.

            • 0
              0

              ramona therese fernando,
              .
              Tamil Nadu, Saudi Arabia are not “successful nations”, sorry again. But it is okay, you win the argument, enjoy your Sunday :-) – Bye..

              • 2
                0

                T.N. : ideological, ancient nation that aims to also take over Sri Lanka due to her 0.12 population of Tamils …..all the modern changing nationhood statuses won’t change its ideological strength. In fact it will only become tighter and stronger.
                *
                SA: huge ultra-successful nation of Shariah which aims to bring the whole world under its terrifying banner.

  • 5
    9

    Nice one…
    I don’t think our Brother Cardinal will buy this .

    If it were Aluthgama and Degana why did Managlaa’s mates the Muslims blow up Kochchikade, St Sabastian and Zion Church?.

    It must be hurting badly for Managla not been able to give the Vellalas their Independent Eelaam as promised in his MoU with Suendran and Samoathar , more than the 300 Catholic lives extinguished and 500 Catholics maimed by the Muslim Suicide Bombs..-

    Hopefully our Sinahala Buddhists and Catholics who make up the 70% of the population will soon get the chance to respond in kind to these Politricksters who have brought them nothing but misery over the last Four and a Half Years…

    • 4
      2

      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

      Are Sirikotha and Sriharikota one and the same?

      • 1
        2

        Dear Native,

        To me it now looks like Sahrankotha …..

    • 1
      0

      Sumane’
      ……..but, how could this 70% of the population go back to the brutal “white Van Culture” ever again? Yes, Zahran boys did march to the Heaven (Hell) amidst an (un)ceremonial show of fireworks perhaps in protest for Easter Resurrection, but why try to cut off the nose to punish the face? Why not, instead, get rid of only the scarecrow from P’naruwa who may have thought that it is OK for some Catholics to experience the pain of Crucifixion on Easter day?

  • 5
    6

    Yes to Devolution. No to Federalism.
    Federalism is the beginning of separation if done on ethnic lines.
    100% of the blame for 1983 should go to the UNP. I did not hear Mangala say that. Ranil was then the Youth Affairs Minister for the UNP. Youth Affairs = The Goon Squads which was unleashed on the Tamil population in 1983.

    Mangala thinks our sovereignty is completely safe with the SOFA with the US. Now he is pushing for Federalism. How very convenient. Lets not forget the UN resolution he signed against our sovereignty in 2015. Leave it to Mangala to make this country another Diego Garcia.

    • 5
      4

      Rajiv Tennekoon

      “Federalism is the beginning of separation if done on ethnic lines.”

      What is federalism?
      Why do you worry separation?
      Leave the worrying to the Hindians.

      “100% of the blame for 1983 should go to the UNP. “

      Whom do you blame for 1915, 1958, 1961, 2014, …..

      “Mangala thinks our sovereignty is completely safe with the SOFA with the US. “

      What is sovereignty?
      Is it something similar to Virginity?
      If so, don’t you think we should wear chastity belt to protect it?

      “Leave it to Mangala to make this country another Diego Garcia.”

      How?

  • 4
    2

    He split 18 billion USD between him and Rajapaksa, 9 each.

    Soma

    • 5
      3

      somu

      “He split 18 billion USD between him and Rajapaksa, 9 each.”

      Who, you mean Basil?
      What did Namal baby get from Basil?
      Namal Baby was unhappy about the way Basil divided stolen national wealth.

      Of course it is family dispute. Let them sort it out at the Kitchen table. It is none of my business.

  • 8
    2

    The remedy to all the problems voiced will be over when once the proposed constitution by Mr.Nagananda Kodituwakku, lawyer is implemented. If you are truly honest and sincere and love the country and its people, you will endorse what has been said without dabbling in silly political views.Let us show the whole world that Lankan are wiser and better than others in their approach to problems.
    .

  • 3
    2

    Skill full liar at his best.

    Magalas are the typical genocidal racist facist, who hide behind their nice words.

    Get out of my home, you genocidal racist facist, keep your oiling with your fellow genocidal racist facist in sori sinhala lanka

  • 3
    0

    Mangala Samraweers, Those days, just before the election, you found billions of Dollars that Mahinda Rajapske stashed away. what happened to those money. Your supporters were Raajitha Senarathne and RAVI-THE LIAR both of whom are doing exactly the same agenda that you are implementing.
    It is you tried to cover up another scam by firing PSM Charles. Now, both you and Rishad Bathiddin are saints.
    There is a rumour, It is also a case of money laundering case and you have some role in bringing biologically hazardous Medical Garbage.
    You are finance minister. But, PENTHOUSE RAVI and Ranil destroyed the finance ministry and you have continued it and there is nothing to talk about the Finance ministry as it is one of the ruined worst place.
    So, talk the same crap.
    All these politicians worked on these issued. what is the result. Just USAID/Heritage foundation want IMF/WB/MCC /NATO agendas implemented.
    Why did you say, Because of the Wahhabi attack we got a $ 480 million grant which we need to pay back.
    How come we are selling Rupee Treasury bills every month and buyers are form Overseas. How do they get money. that is why we have print money very often.

  • 4
    3

    If we follow Hon. Mangala’s logic, then the “solution” is simply to give the ethnic minorities everything they want. A federal state for the Tamils in the North and a federal state for the Muslims in the East. The majority Sinhalese will have no “rights” in either of these entities. Perhaps Hon. Mangala is unaware that in the ethnic paradise of the LTTE, Sinhalese were not even allowed to enter? This is the danger with a federal solution. The ethnic minorities will become emboldened and demand full independence. If that doesn’t work, they will raise an army. The ISIS is already there in Kalmunai; Hon. Mangala will do well to consult with them about the future Saudi-funded Caliphate. The solution is simple, yes, but Hon. Mangala and his bondscam leader are unlikely to follow it. The solution is to address the economic grievances of the majority Sinhalese-Buddhist community, who were cheated by the colonialists, then forced to wage a costly 30 year war initiated by an angry Tamil diaspora. If Hon. Mangala is willing to take this basic step, the rest will fall into place.

  • 3
    1

    Mangala is finance minister. He should talk something he can do. Is he going to ask voters from Matara saying I am going to federalize the country. BS. Mangala is very good Konduru thel merchant. Just cheating the reader or may be writing for his pay master MCC. They way you screw up the country, a decent society would hand over you to Mrs amithrlingam asking her to do as she pleases.

  • 1
    0

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  • 1
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  • 2
    1

    His “orientation” is no secret. I am inquisitive to which orientation within that orientation.

    Soma

  • 1
    2

    Like the Chinese proverb say ” a journey of a thousand miles begins with a singe step” we commend Mangala S atleast for speaking about what this country should be if not now atleast in the future. please keep talking about it until enough people agree with your ideas and vision one day, for currently no one else is doing this, which is sad and pathetic of country which boast a literacy rate over 90%

    He is probably the only politician /statesmen we have in the country at the moment in the calibre of people like Lakshman Kadirgamar and co.

    • 0
      0

      Please, do not insult that great Sri Lankan Mr . Lakshman Kadirgamar .

  • 0
    0

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  • 0
    0

    This speech by Mangala Samaraweera looks so reasonable ! But nothing is happening no?
    I am not fooled! Sambandan was fooled recently @ Matara!

  • 0
    1

    Mangala Samaraweera is one man who will speak the truth regardless of the consequences. We need bold people like this to shake up this country and bring it to reality.

  • 1
    1

    One man against many political liars and dump people. One cannot see Sri Lanka coming out of the doldrum many decades to come. It is a pity that a land of once known for intelligence and intellectual people have gone to the level comparable Somalia , Liberia and Chad in the African continent. Utterly useless.

  • 0
    1

    Mr. Minister:
    ” ..Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike was assassinated because of his attempts at conciliation with the minorities…”

    You are so wrong about this. Please check the facts.

    SWRD Bandaranaike was assassinated in a conspiracy executed by a corrupt monk, Buddharakitha thero, the chief incumbent of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya.
    Buddharakitha was a businessman, a womanizer and indulged in alcohol and other vices. The health minister in Bandaranaike’s cabinet, Vimala Wijewardene was his mistress.

    After the assasination, the government got Scotland Yard to investigate the assassination and the truth behind the assassination was revealed.
    Buddharakitha and a corrupt businessman wanted a shipping contract from the government as a return of favor for getting Bandaranaike elected as PM. Bandaranaike refused the deal on advice from his cabinet.

    Somarama Thero the monk who pulled the trigger was convicted and hanged.
    Charges against Vimala Wijewardene was dropped. Buddharakitha and his business associate was sent to prison for sixteen years rigorous imprisonment.

    Everyone including you sir, want to sweep under the carpet – the corruption within the Sanga!!

    In your favor, he may have wanted some sort of reconciliation with the Tamils (based on the ill-fated Banda-Chelva Pact).- But that is not why he was assassinated.

  • 0
    0

    The hon minister has got the right formula for equality, economic prosperity and happiness. Liberalize alcohol
    to the extent that it is available 24/7 and at every corner shop . We can ape the west and reach the same levels of development in double quick time .

  • 0
    0

    It is all very fine in theory to let every group to be given the right of self determination. This envisages for example for the Tamils, who are in a majority in the North and the East, a total say in how those regions are to be handled. But the practical problem lies in the fact that the various groups who obtain self determination in this fashion will not be content to only operate in those areas; they will want not only a say in how their regions are administered but they will still also want to have access to the other regions and have equal rights with other in those areas. For instance, the Tamils having got control over ‘their areas’ will still want to be able to find employment and operate in non Tamil areas as well, without any restrictions. As the old saying goes, you cannot expect to have your cake and eat it too! The fact is we cannot achieve anything meaningful until there is a proper dialogue between the different groups in the country, until they start talking to each other. Sadly, due to various political decisions, the communities have got polarised. They are NOT talking to each other. So, they do not have a proper appreciation of how ‘others’ think and what their grievances and problems are. What is happening now is that each group continues to be guided by its own perceptions of other groups and the myths of their own creation. So, for a start let’s get talking to each other and take it from there. If that process is properly pursued we will find some meaningful way out. It will take some time to achieve but even if it takes 30 years it is worth it.

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