Now, Marginalize the communal political parties

Now since terrorism that plagued the country has been put down, new attitudes and new thinking on how to manage this country of ours must emerge. The president has already set the pace by his speech in parliament on 19th May 2009, when he said that from now there are only 2 different communities, those that are patriotic and those that are not. He urged people to forget calling themselves Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and Malays. What he implied was that we think of ourselves as Sri Lankans and garner ourselves with a Sri Lankan identity.

Thirty years of war, acrimony and enmity which pervaded in this strife-torn island is enough of a reminder that further communal attitudes will only once again cause suffering and misery. If we don’t learn a lesson from the dreadful experience of the last 30 years, we will surely suffer again. Though there are extremist elements in the ranks of the government it appears from the president’s speech in parliament that he is confident after his victory and may hold a general election which his party is bound to win, may be even with a two – thirds majority. In the event he may get rid of the extremists. At the moment the extremists have been rendered silent.

Another matter that the government should address its attention is the proliferation of communal political parties. At present Sri Lanka has the most number of registered political parties in the world. Many of them are  racist communal political parties. When a hung parliament is voted these parties become king- makers demanding all sorts of unreasonable demands, holding the government to ransom. The government should seriously think of reintroducing the 12.5% cut-off point and marginalize these communal political parties.

Another very important matter is the question of language. All three languages Sinhalese, Tamil and English should be made compulsory in schools as soon as possible. It is the Sinhala only Language Bill of 1958 that provoked the clash between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities. There is no doubt that if all three languages are taught there will be interaction, goodwill and harmony among Sri Lankans.      

There is always a cycle of events for individuals and even for nations: Our nation has gone through a very bad time, the wheel has turned and good times are bound to occur. In the process we have learnt who our friends are and we have also known who pretended to be friendly but was always conspiring to undermine us. We should strengthen relationships with our true friends and weaken our ties with our so called friends. Thousands of expatriates who left Sri Lanka will return. Investments, humanitarian-aid, tourism, loans, development –aid are bound to flow. The whole world admires President Rajapakse the armed forces and police for defeating the world’s most powerful and ruthless terrorist organization. It is very likely that other powerful countries who have not been able to put down terrorism will seek aid and advice from our military forces to fight terrorism.

The whole episode has finally enhanced the image of our tiny country and today every one of our citizens feels proud and happy.

 Saybhan Samat

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