CSD calls for reconciliation initiated through people’s participation after SL war

The Centre for Social Democracy (CSD) in Sri Lanka issuing a statement says the election campaigns now on in Sri Lanka shows the political leaderships don’t have any serious intention in paving way for reconciliation of the estranged ethnicities, after the brutal war against Tamil Tigers was declared over.

The CSD thus calls for a serious dialogue in society to initiate a reconciliation process that would seek for self respect of all and mutual respect “in achieving a peaceful future with a common purpose and success”.

The full media release is as follows.

Media Release

24 December, 2009

Ethnic discord that would not be resolved through war crimes accusations

The Centre for Social Democracy (CSD) understands the efforts of the two main candidates in using war crimes accusations raised by the international community, for political mileage against each other in their presidential election campaign, as extremely vicious and an inhuman effort.

Manipulations by the very partners of this war that left thousands of Tamil people totally uprooted from their habitats, loosing their kith and kin, their children, their parents and their neighbours for mere election gains, prove that political leaders in this country are still not prepared for reconciliation of this war torn society to regain a peaceful, common future.

The conviction of the CSD that using the brute force of war in this modern world we live in to solve political conflicts between ethnicities in a country is no civilised way of solving problems, is based on the human misery and devastation that the war has heaped in the North, adding on to the yet unsolved political issues, despite the war declared as over.

The CSD also believes that while accusations and queries on war crimes raised by the United Nations and other international organisations are in relation to international law and human rights violations and therefore are lessons for the future, what ever response given to those accusations and queries would not suffice to alleviate the sufferings of the war affected Tamil people and help solve their long standing democratic political problem.

That said, the CSD is of the opinion, any responsible government of a member country of the UN has a responsibility in responding to accusations of war crimes and that should not be turned into election campaigning to win votes.

Using war crime accusations against each other for election gains, would further deepen the gaps created between ethnicities during war. This no doubt is a political issue and could only be solved through political answers. The CSD thus believes, reconciliation could be achieved only by creating opportunities for self respect and by mutual respect for each other.

“Truth Commissions” initiated by political leaderships in apartheid and war affected South Africa for purpose of reconciliation as an open social process, provide serious lessons for us, in Sri Lanka.

This South African lesson teaches that all savagery of any unwanted war could only be washed away from society, by those who were collaborators of and fell victims to that war. Also that it should be a people’s intervention led and managed by leaders who are independent and seeks no revenge.

The CSD is of very strong opinion that international accusations on war crimes could only be

effectively answered by such a genuine people’s intervention. Therefore, the CSD wishes to call on all Sri Lankans to prevail upon all their political leaderships to reach consensus on such a democratic people’s initiative for reconciliation, in achieving a peaceful future with a common purpose and success.

Sgd / Kusal Perera           Sgd/ Mahinda Ratnayake

On behalf of

Centre for Social Democracy

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