Sri Lanka reconciliation

Linked with the Association of World Citizens AWC.

Received by mail (by way of K.N. Pandita):
From: Rene Wadlow, Representative to the United Nations, Geneva for the Association of World Citizens
Date: 19 May, 2009

Sri Lanka: After the final round of armed violence: a need for a vision of the future

On 19 May 2009, the Government of Sri Lanka proclaimed an end to the fighting against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelan (LTTE), one of the world’s most enduring insurgencies. The LTTE had once controlled a quarter of Sri Lanka’s territory as they had pressed their campaign for an independent state for the country’s Tamil minority.  Some 265,000 people have been displaced during the past several months in this last round of fighting.

Citizens of the World call for creative responses to the challenge of new government structures: 

  • Thus the major issue today is no longer calling for negotiations between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE but rather to encourage all parties to look toward the future in a spirit of reconciliation.
  • The armed conflict, which began in 1983, has taken an estimated 70,000 lives with many wounded and lives broken.  The psychological wounds are deep, and the healing of individual traumas with psycho-spiritual techniques is a real priority.
  • There is a need to develop governmental structures in which all citizens will feel that they belong and that their interests are safeguarded.  Citizens of the World have often proposed federal structures as a way of respecting differences in a pluralistic society while providing the possibilities of joint action.
  • Such federal forms of government were agreed to in 1987 with the India-Sri Lanka accord leading to the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution.  The Amendment provides for the establishment of provincial councils.  Unfortunately, these councils have never become functional.
  • The suffering of the war may sow the seeds of future unrest and a desire for revenge unless steps are taken quickly to develop flexible structures which provide real regional autonomy.
  • We hope that you will join with other Citizens of the World in this call for creative responses in Sri Lanka.

Another article of Rene Wadlow: DARFUR, THE SHOCK OF RESPONSIBILITY (first appeared March 10 in Toward Freedom);

Rene Wadlow on Carnegie Council.

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