By Bishop Kumara Illangasinghe –
The New Year dawned for Sri Lanka with a sigh of relief, with considerably needed respect for justice and freedom. Currently it appears to be an atmosphere of less and less restrictions, worry psychosis that engulfed the minds of people has moved a side, folks are receiving virtually daily, the advantages that they had been crying out for several years, fingers are pointed in the path of the former regime and individuals who ruled the roost, during that period and of course with a sense of relief praises are sung and flowers are presented to the leaders of the new regime. There is absolutely a feeling of ‘achievement’ on the element of the easy majority of men and women. There is also a sense of urgency in respect of numerous other concerns and concerns connected with the individuals. The cry for good governance, abolition of the executive presidency, actions on those who have been responsible for corruption and interference in the state machinery, establishment of the rule of law, justice and fair play, punishment for those who have been involved in drug trade and other illicit scams and on the whole, the implementation of the a single hundred day programme, are very significantly on the cards.
Sri Lankans have suddenly turn into really alert and watchful. The media is involved in a quite creative competition to make confident the administrators provide the promises made. The media too appears to be experiencing far more freedoms and unrestricted access, enjoying the fearless arena to be genuinely exercising their proper to offer the information for the men and women. We take the opportunity to thank God for all what we have been able to obtain via the franchise and the peaceful transfer of power that has been ensured, by the creative and faithful actions of some of the administrative hierarchy.
At this time when most citizens are focusing on great governance it is important to highlight the require for post war reconciliation and to ultimately deduce a sustainable action strategy for healing of the history of our nation and that is why we require to pressure the very same. The challenging and pertinent query at this juncture remains unquestioned. Is this all, that our people have been dreaming, praying, longing, crying and sacrificing their lives and engaging in action for? The commemoration of Independence this year raises the same unresolved concerns and challenges with a new sense of urgency and hope. It goes without having saying and is crucial for all concerned to recognize the important, patriotic, committed and the committed role played by the minorities in the nation in preserving and safeguarding democracy of our mother land. As much as they played a worthwhile function in 1948 and before, they have fearlessly displayed a characteristic love for the country and her men and women and assisted, in a big way, to foster the unity of our men and women and the nation. We salute them humbly as their action for unity and coexistence in the country has been worthwhile more than ever at this time. Such action have surpassed the discomfort, agony, anger and bitterness that each and every particular person had to undergo in the previous. .
We strongly hope that the new government is wise and concerned to recognize this. Religious and ethnic freedom wants to be fortified with further constitutional strength. Healing of our nation is a priority for the government, as significantly as delivering relief for cost of living. Reconciliation demands unique interest in guaranteeing not only independence, but fostering and making awareness on inter-dependence of all ethnic and religious groups in the nation.
Towards this, it is crucial to reiterate our repeated requests, to the new government. A democratic government will recognize the indicators and indications of the desires, aspirations and the pleadings of our folks. Among such signs and indications, the search for a political solution, uniting all ethnic groups by means of harmony and national cooperation, need to take precedence. As witnessed in the past, allowing the minority groups to drift away from the principal political dialogue by ignoring and discarding their cries and thereby the emerging of an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust, is extremely unfortunate and distressing. Such a predicament reflects the absence of a clear and an genuine vision and a commitment to peace.
It has turn out to be essential to alleviate the fears of the folks in the Northand East and other components of the country, due to enhanced militarisation, by also initiating required and powerful measures to stop murders, loot, plunder and abductions. It is the responsibility of all concerned to take required action primarily based on the evidence brought before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, during the go to of the former United Nations’ Higher Commissioner for Human Rights, the findings of the presently functioning Commission on the Disappeared, the details that has surfaced in the course of the current check out of His Holiness Pope Francis and in many other approaches. This includes delivering safety to all those who have come before the commissions and eminent personnel and these who are willing to come forward with proof in the future. Failure to do so will result in paying a bigger cost as a nation, in the days to come.
It is unfortunate to note that reconciliation in the past has been limited to infrastructural improvement in the North, East and also in other locations of the nation. It is critical to strike a balance between the require to rebuild the lives and livelihoods, with each other with the psychological development of these internally displaced, due to the conflict or natural disasters and also to offer people with an atmosphere where they can live with out worry or suspicion. Also, delivering authentic information regarding the dead and those who have disappeared to their relations, which is extended overdue, is an urgent humanitarian want.
All political prisoners ought to be released or legally charged with no further delay. Failure to accelerate this procedure will boost the stress and pressure, upon such men and women and their loved ones. It is critical that men and women across the country get the freedoms assured to them beneath the constitution, especially the individuals in the former conflict areas.
Individuals need to obtain the financial and social rewards of the post-war era rather than continue to listen to the hope creating efforts of those in authority. We hear about major scale economic scandals and corruption, while the people are suffering with heavy economic pressures, day by day. It is critical to avert any uneasiness amongst men and women due to all kinds of economic pressures. Even even though it seems that men and women can be relieved by searching for solutions via efficient and correct managerial efforts, it has proved that all efforts have been unsuccessful, thus far.
As a result we see that the challenges are many for the new administration, but there is renewed hope that the authorities are conscious of the urgency in dealing with all of these concerns and much more. It is only by attending to these demands of the people, that we can when once again grow to be a genuinely independent nation. Let us all join collectively irrespective of all our variations to rebuild our nation, into a really integrated Sri Lanka. We extend our solidarity and pray for peace with justice to all, on this considerable commemoration of our independence. May God bless our beloved individuals and our mother land.