Archishop's present stand on terrorism

Mario Perera Kadawata

If I understand matters correctly, the catholic hierarchy stands for a negotiated solution of the Government-LTTE problem. The Pope speaks of "frank and sincere negotiations, regardless of the investment of time and resources they require”. Some political parties also seem to be of the same view point. The clause; regardless of time and resources seems to me to be another way of saying 'let destiny decide the issue'.

To me 'unlimied time' is placing things in the hands of 'destiny'. Unlimited time is beyond the pale of the foreseeable future. I recall churchill’s words ‘jaw jaw jaw, not war war war’. Yet it is all too well known how Churchill solved his problem.

In this particular case, preaching cannot solve the issue. Reglions will last beyond the foreseeable future and so will the Vatican. Many a Pope will gloriously reign beyond the horizons of foreseeable time. But, whither Sri Lanka? We have seen nations being carved up, exploited and brought to rack and ruin before our own eyes.Can we leave it to destiny to decide our fate? Can we act regardless of the investment of time whtever it be of resources?

The Catholic Church, as I once suggested in an article to Lankaweb, is in a very advantageous situation to come forward with a concrete set of proposals. It can also monitor the reactions on both sides much better than what the Norwegians did. The Church has her faithful on both sides of the front line. It has administrative structures on both sides. It has the compelling moral power over the faithful on both sides. The Catholic Church dies not need white flags to ply from one side to the other. It would have the support of the Pope perhaps the most venerated moral figure of the world.

My repeated suggestion therefore is that the Catholic Church leave the abstract realms of thought and words and place its feet amidst the ground realities. Would their lordships the bishops, both sinhala and tamil unite, discuss and put forward a concrete set of proposals destined for both Government and the LTTE? Just saying ‘the majority says so, but I am not with them’ unfortunately is totally insufficient and even irrelevant at this point of time when fighting is at its worst with all the terrible consequences attendant on war.

Mario Perera


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