Heaven or Hell .It Is A Matter Of Perspective....A Response to Prof. McLean's Comments.
By A Concerned Expatriate
Prof. McLean, in his latest intellectual product titled RanilW OPENS THE GATES TO HELL-dated September 17/2002, unsuccessfully tries to compare the Sri Lankan problem and the commitment shown by the UNF to solve it, to the stirn stance taken by other nations when faced with rebel/terrorist groups that threatened their security.
My dear good sport Mac, have you heard of the saying Dont compare apples to oranges? Well.., this is exactly what you have done in you last article. You wrote, Would Al Qaeda leaders be invited by the President of USA to tea? Or would the Spanish Prime Minister invite the Basque Terrorists for a glass of wine? Or indeed Tony Blair have a chat with the IRA? Do you not notice the dissimilarities between the contexts of what has been happening in Sri Lanka and the examples that you had given? It is a well-known fact that the LTTE has it its arsenal more suicide bombers than all other terrorist/rebel organizations combined. It is also well known that LTTE is well organized, highly trained, very focused and committed to its cause (justified or not), and armed with modern weaponry. One cannot also ignore LTTEs impenetrable international network used to procure resources. All these factors make LTTE the most fierce and resourceful terrorist/rebel group in the world; also a well-known fact.
So thambi, you cannot apply to Sri Lanka the same rules and strategies used by countries like USA, Britain and Spain to deal with their own terrorist problems. The circumstances, core issues and the strengths (of the parties involved) surrounding the Sri Lankan problem are very different, and thus require a unique solution. Clearly, whats good for the goose is not good for the gander. Besides, the world has changed since the Iron Lady said Never bargain with Terrorists.
Also in your comment about the Sri Lankan national flag not being allowed fly at the venue where the peace talk is being held, you asked "Does this mean, that the negotiations without the National Flag pronounces that the negotiations are Not Official?" Well..., I'll let you answer that question. You seem to have difficulty distinguishing between the ceremonial aspects and the critical aspects of the peace talk.
In my opinion, LTTEs claim for a separate and independent state for Tamils under the name of Tamil Eelam or any other name should not be heard. However, the Tamils should be given greater autonomy, within united Sri Lanka, to handle their own affairs. This would be a more realistic solution than a military one. The concept of having different levels of government within a country is not new. Canada, US and many other nations have been using this system of government for a very long time with much success. Provincial Governments handle the day-to-day issues affecting their provinces, while the Federal Government focuses on larger issues affecting the entire nation. The concept is simple and efficient. Yet, certain Sri Lankan elements (within and abroad) are opposed to it. Is it because they are not educated enough to see the benefits of a federal system, or do they not want to relinquish the control and powers that they have enjoyed for so long without any accountability?
Everyone should whole-heartedly support the current peace initives between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE. Positive outcome from the peace talk is vital to the survival of people and islands economy. Lets abandon our misguided and ill-conceived ideals, stereotypes and prejudices, and focus on how we can find a solution that is amicable to all (the Sinhalese, the Tamils and the Muslims). Anyone, whether it is RanilW, or CBK, or any other politician for that matter, who make makes genuine efforts for peace and in the best interest of the nation and its people, should be commended and be given all the support. This time RanilW is carrying the torch of peace so, lets make sure that we dont piss on it and dowse the fire. Thank You.
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