Endeavour to establish a climate of peace with new approach

By P. Sathiyaseelan, Attorney-at-Law
Colombo 6

The Government of Sri Lanka regret deeply and are much concerned over the outcome of the conference of such momentous character, which was called obviously because negotiation was considered both feasible and necessary. To us in Sri Lanka, these developments are of grave concern and of grievous significance. The maintenance of the independence and sovereignty are essential for prosperity and peace.

• A climate of peace and negotiation has to be promoted and the suspicion and the atmosphere of threats that prevail ought to be dissipated.

• The United Nations should be informed of the progress of the conference and its outcome for purposes of conciliation.

• Both parties to the conflict should come to an understanding to prevent a resumption of conflict after the cease-fire.

• Need to each other in a spirit of tolerance and forbearance with charity towards all and malice to none.

The assembling of both factions, the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE, despite their differences of outlook, deep-seated suspicions and antagonistic claims at Geneva have a common objective; the averting of the tide of war. In their earnest desire to assist to resolve some difficulties and deadlocks and to bring about a peaceful settlement, the Government of Sri Lanka venture to make the following suggestions:

A climate of peace and negotiation has to be promoted and the suspicion and the atmosphere of threats that prevail ought to be dissipated. To this end, the Government of Sri Lanka appeals to all concerned to desist from threats and to the combatants to refrain from stepping up the tempo of war. The ‘cease-fire’ should be given priority on the agenda. Direct negotiation between parties should have immediately been initiated at the conference.

The conference should give the parties all assistance to hammer out a settlement and the questions limited to the core issues which concern both parties which will constitute for a cease-fire and bring about a settlement to attain peace. Non-intervention like entanglement in pacts of a military kind by parties with the combatants should be brought about by the conference.

The United Nations should be informed of the progress of the conference and its outcome for purposes of conciliation. The Government of Sri Lanka makes these proposals in all humility and with the earnest desire and hope that they will engage the attention of the conference as a whole and each of the parties concerned. They consider the steps they have proposed to be both practicable and capable of immediate implementation.

Our dominant passion and urgent necessity is for the maintenance of peace. The problem is difficult and it has grown progressively more difficult as time has passed without solving it and if we fail to take advantage of this present opportunity, then I feel it is likely to grow much worse. Therefore, we must not fail; the consequences of failure will be widespread and terrible.

The first thing is to limit this conflict and to have a cease-fire. Both parties to the conflict should come to an understanding to prevent a resumption of conflict after the cease-fire.

Peace can come if we endeavour to establish a climate of peace. It is not by condemnation or mutual recrimination that we shall achieve this goal. We must forget past conflicts and past grievances and decide to make a new approach to each other in a spirit of tolerance and forbearance with charity towards all and malice to none.

To the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE in all their grim travail, irrespective of their former antagonisms to one another, I send my sincere and warm wishes and hopes of peace, unity and prosperity. [dailymirror.lk]

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