MUSLIMS THE UNSEEN FORCE OF DEMOCRACY AND PEACE IN SRI LANKA - A reply to Mr. T.Manoharan's "A Citizen's Perspective "dated 12.09.2002.
Mr. Manoharan in his "Citizen's perspective" opening para, dated the 12th., September 2002 has attempted to bring out the most negative side of his own self, in making it clear that it is common place gossiping that provided him with the information and awareness of the lack of contribution of the Muslim Community towards Peace in Sri Lanka. If this is the strength of his imputs to his article, and what provided him with the facts he has placed before the readers, then, there is complete agreement, that the article does not meet the required standards of the profession of Journalism/deliberation in writting in the print or electronic media or the presentation of views in a democratic nation or community to which he belongs or lives in. Gossip is not FACTS. It is women talk or kitchen talk as they say in our country.
But it is only appropriate to place before Mr.T.Manoharan some facts about the contributions made my the Muslim Community towards Peace in Sri Lanka, which could , though not that important, create some awareness to the readers and those concerned. It will also enable them to understand the reality of things in a society that now needs to know the truth from the false.
The involvement of Muslims in mending and being the bridge between the majority community and the Tamil community in times of conflicts and crisis in history, has many episodes and events to mention. But, in the present context, let us look to the events that lead to the peace talks which are on the table, as put forward by Mr. Manoharan in his "perspective"
It was a Sri Lankan Muslim from the Eastern Province, who had connections
The lobby group which expanded with tamil politicians and Academics of
all communities intensified the momentum for Norway's involvement as a
3rd.,party mediator and facilitator to the issue/conflict. Leading Muslim
Parliamentarians in the rank of Minister's, Deputy Ministers and District
Ministers, extended their fullest support to the Norwegians who were moving
in the matter - of promoting Peace.
With the advent of H.E. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, it was a
Muslim again who advocated the need that only the Norwegian's could deliver
peace as an
So Mr. Manoharan, you did not know nor were you interested to make inquiries
and know the facts and the truth, but have been mislead by just "gossip".
Comming to your comments concerning Hon.Rauf Hakeen, Minister of Port
Development and Shipping, it is very sad to note the remarks you had made.
So why not Hon.Rauf Hakeem participate as the sole authority of the Muslim Community at the talks. He is not representing the Tamil Muslims at a talk/discussion where Tamil Hindus are talking/discussing with the majority Sinhalese (government), but representing the Muslim Community whose mother tongue is tamil, and in some instances other languages, like malay,sinhalese and even english. Just because a community or a people talk a certain language or it is their mother-tounge, does it mean that that culturally become the community of the language they speak.
In that case, the Tamil diaspora and immigrants living in Europe, North America and Scandinavia cannot be considered as Tamils - but as English/Europeans, Scandinavians and North Americans (Canadians), because, over the years, they have mastered the languages of the countries in which they are living and converse in those languages.
Mr.Manoharan's views about the grievances of the Muslim Community, in
comparison to the Tamil Community, again proves baseless. Both Communites
have had their turns of being at the receiving end of political, administrative
and other forms of oppression and bad governance. But the Muslim Community
have been at the receiving end from the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Let
me highlight just one example.
If one is to deliberate the plight of the Muslim Community at large on the basis in which Mr. Manoharan has misguidedly tried to build up his agruments, I am of opinion that a series of articles/presentations will have to be published, and that is not the intention of the writer. The intention is just to clearly counter the false presentation made by Mr.Manoharan and to bring forth the truth and the realities, both to Mr.Manoharan and to the readers of this website newspaper.
The Muslims and the Tamils have lived in the best of harmony and peace for many centuries in the North and East, just like how they have lived in the South with the Sinhalese. Incidents may have happened, that could have been hurting or lead to the loss of llives and property. But as a people, it is very important that all communities in Sri Lanka should live with HONOUR and DIGNITY as equals, which ever part of the country they live in.
This is what the PEACE PROCESS or PEACE INITIATIVE is all about and to make people like Mr.T.Manoharan change their attitudes and become honourable citizens within the rule of law and respect of all rights.
TALKS AND NON TAMIL COMMUNITY RIGHTS
BACK TO LATEST NEWS
Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.