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By 2017-12-07

By Vickramabahu Karunaratne

One leftist friend of mine made a critical remark about my writings in Sri Lankan newspapers. "Putting Mahinda Rajapaksa and Velupillai Prabhakaran in the same level is totally unacceptable. This is an argument that justifies the war. In the guise of peace Ranil Wickremesinghe split Karuna Amman from the LTTE. That was a dishonest move against a movement that trusted a Sinhala leader.

You should also write that when speaking about Ranil's bloodless solution. I think that you should correct this before publishing.

Calling it a tactical mistake is one thing that is subject to friendly debate. But saying that Mahinda and Prabha didn't allow without referring to what Ranil did is a hostile statement against the Tamil struggle. Prabha gave the option for the Sinhalese to decide whether they wanted war or peace and the Sinhala majority opted for war. Later Ranil sent 17 of his men to prop up the war budget. Making sweeping statements will only antagonize the likes of Tamils who collectively seek justice as we saw in the martyr's day commemoration. Actually, we should be attacking people like Ruwan Wijewardene and Champika Ranawaka for calling to punish those who commemorate the war dead." We are discussing the past to bring an acceptable solution to the national problem. There is an open atmosphere to come out with what you think, particularly about what happened in the past.

We have to stop the tragedy of war repeating; hence it is necessary to give credit to those who work hard under difficult situations to build a bridge acceptable to all. It is necessary to remember everything that happened in the past to make a proper analysis; but it is quite unnecessary to remind everything in a purposeful discourse.

British Government

As one would expect the British Government wants Sri Lanka to fully implement UN Human Rights Council Resolution 34/1, according to the answer of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, Mark Field.

Answering three written questions submitted by a Labour MP he indicated that he stressed to Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, Tilak Marapana the importance of implementing the Resolution.

"The UK is committed to the full implementation of Resolution 34/1 and will continue to support the Government of Sri Lanka in its efforts to promote reconciliation and human rights," he noted. This may influence other counties in Europe and America to take up the same position.

Resolution 30/1 recognized the importance of a credible accountability process for those most responsible for violations and abuses. It also called for the participation in Sri Lankan judicial accountability process of Commonwealth and other foreign Judges, defence lawyers, and authorized prosecutors and investigators. The Government of Sri Lanka has not accepted latter as a necessity. However, the commitments include the return of all military-held private land, the activating of the Office of Missing Persons and the development of new counter-terrorism legislation instead of PTA in line with international human rights standards.

However, the release of another 29 acres of land under military control in Jaffna to civilian owners is a signal that the Government remains committed to the reconciliation process it embarked upon in January 2015 when it came to power. The high point of the Government's commitment came nine months later in October of that year when it went beyond expectations in co-signing the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka. In the past, the Mahinda regime had considered previous UN resolutions on the subject to be imperialist interventions in Sri Lanka and to be necessarily opposed and rejected. In the modern world human rights are implement by world authorities due to the power of the proletariat and the conscious middle class in the developed world. One could see the power of active masses in US against the policies of President Donald Trump. As such the Yahapalana Government turned this negative approach around. The problem, however, has been that the government's implementation of its commitment has subsequently been slow. This has given rise to doubts about the Government's commitment to the reconciliation process.

With the holding of Local Government elections looming on the horizon, the present circumstances are not the best for the Government to disturb the peace process. Though it is Local Government elections, the results of these elections will be seen as a vote of confidence in the performance of the government midway in its tenure. The clearing of the path to conducting the long delayed Local Government election is almost complete. Let us wait for the outcome!



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