|Replies to Editorials
Give peace a chance
Most of the people understand your motives and stand on the conflict in Sri Lanka.
You and your paper must be credited for the achievement of misleading Chadrika and Kadirgamar and leading them towards the warpath and eventually sacrificing thousands of Sinhalese and Tamil youths during the past seven years.
Now, again you are trying the same with the new government as well. I am sure, your son or daughter has not joint the armed forces. At any cost you want to derail the peace process and restart the war, so that you and your family can make money out of other peoples sufferings.
You can fool most of the people for some time or some people for most of the time. But, you cant fool all the people all the time.
At least in the name of those thousands of young men who lost their lives and many hundred of thousands of Tamils who lost their lifesavings, please do not disrupt the current peace process. You have played your role and brought misery to many families and individuals in the country and that is enough.
Please give peace a chance. You can earn your money in many other ways.
It is with a strong sense of foreboding that I keep following your editorials that keep appearing in all the recent publications of yours regarding the MoU. It makes me think that you dont see any good in this agreement. Everytime I read your editorial it makes me to feel frightened about the future. Dear editor, it is time you started to make the people feel a bit happier in our country instead of the continuous dread that you tend to portray. Why dont you try to give the government a chance to make this country of ours a safer place for us to live in. You always sound like the prophet of doom. I feel that you are under the impression that you are the only wise one and all those in the government are a set of morons.
I think as an editor of a national daily your thinking should change a little to give credit to other peoples thinking as well. When you always talk of how the LTTE fooled the earlier rulers you just dont take into consideration the changed conditions of the post Sept 11th world. Dont you realise that the LTTE wont have the same easy way to renege on this deal and go attacking us as they please. The whole world, including the US, is watching the game being played in our country and in event of any transgressions there will be serious consequences. If your misgivings are real, the whole world should consist of fools but for your own self.
Dont you realise that this part of the country you always talk of has in reality been under the control of the Tigers for a long time. We did all the fighting but could not dislodge them from any areas. Instead they have been able to add more and more to these areas. Then, it came to such a sorry pass that we began to feel so unsafe in the Southern areas too.
The Tigers could come to Colombo itself and blow up all our planes at the air-port and do so much of damage to our institutions at different times. Dont you think we have to give a lot of credit to the present government for at least the temporary relief we are enjoying now. I am sure your argument will be that now we are happily sitting on the tip of a volcano, but isnt it worth a lot to give this peace bid a chance. Why dont you see the loss of life of the young people, mostly from the rural poor. They join up to fight mostly for the income that it brings to their dependents but once in, they have to fight to death ironically trying to save their lives.
Considering these facts I implore you to be more realistic in your thinking without always painting a morbid picture of the whole peace process the present government has emabarked on.
These two letters go to prove our contention made in previous editorials that any person who dares criticise the peace process or the LTTE is anti-peace. We have time and again in our comments stressed that we are for peace moves but not for such moves which are a fig leaf for terrorism.
The MoU or ceasefire agreement is undoubtedly flawed as pointed out, not only by us, but by Mr. H. L. de Silva one of Sri Lankas outstanding lawyers. A peace agreement that ignores the President of the country who has the power to declare peace and war could run into stormy waters in the course of time.
The ceasefire has been violated by the LTTE and this has been made out not only by The Island but by the US government, the European Union and Amnesty International. Is it the contention of our readers that to be ostrich like and bury our heads in the sands is a way to support the agreement?
Are we to ignore the rising resentment among the Sinhalese about these violations because of our desire to make the agreement work? Are readers unaware of the concern expressed by all communities about the fascist activities of the LTTE in organising their Pongu Tamil rallies - compulsory attendance, forced closure of schools and government offices, forced closure of shops and business establishments? Is pulling down the National Flag the way to peace?
By calling upon the government to make the LTTE abide by the ceasefire agreement are we sabotaging the agreement? We have argued that it is the way of strenthening the agreement.
We decline the honour of omniscience conferred on us by reader Mr. Batuwangala. We are humble newspapermen expressing a point of view. We compliment Mr. Batuwangala for his global perspectives such as about the changed conditions in the post Sept. 11 world. The Island has been reiterating this view over and over again, before him.
However, everything is not rosy and fragrant in the UNF-LTTE garden as yet. Our scepticism is morbidness to the euphoric Mr. Batuwangala. Mr. Paramanathan has attributed to us capabilities far beyond our reach - misleading President Kumaratunga. We have not been blessed with powers of leading or misleading the lady.
The Island has consistently stated that only the insane will want to destroy peace and want war. We too are enthusiastic about peace as the two readers but mere hopes and good wishes and looking away from reality is not the way to give peace a chance.
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