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An open letter to India
India should negotiate with terrorists responsible for Mumbai attacks

Most Sri Lankans are still shell shocked and stricken with overwhelming grief following the bloody terrorist attacks on Mumbai.

Mumbai is the financial hub of India and it will take time, effort and resources to put the economy back on trail after the massive battering it received. The Mumbai stock exchange is temporarily closed down. Stock prices are bound to take a nose dive requiring patience, revival of shattered loyalties and faith to recover.

Bollywood cinema industry and tourism which were booming will also be the casualties. The aftermath of the disaster will be felt all over India for a long time to come.

The human tragedy is not second to the economic catastrophe. Children have lost parents, wives have lost husbands and vice versa.

India does not need grim reminders of undiluted gruesome terrorism. It has experienced many such acts over the years.

We in Sri Lanka have had our share of terrorism and could naturally empathise with the Indian victims and those foreign nationals who were unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

However, what has happened has happened.

Any kind of military retaliation will leave more misery in its wake.

Therefore the sensible thing to do is to negotiate with the terrorists for a settlement to ensure that such things will not happen again.

Some might think that India is succumbing to pressure. Let them think so. Look at the larger picture from a humanitarian point of view.

Gamini Peiris
Panadura

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