Sri Lanka: A Country in Search of Its Identity
Sri Lanka: A Country in Search of Its Identity (PDF) is a brief, clear presentation of the tragic dynamics that have resulted in civil war in Sri Lanka.
Arguing that Sri Lanka could have served as a model of inter-ethnic co-existence and inter-religious harmony, Fr. Oswald Firth, OMI says the failure of the ruling majority to respect the country’s pluralism laid the foundation for the current conflict.
He decries the blatant violations of human rights as “… [o]ne of the most dehumanizing factors of the present phase of the war. … In certain instances, religion has been transformed into a political weapon to declare a unitary and uniform state where minority ethnic and religious communities are viewed with suspicion as being pro LTTE or pro-terrorist. Any civic minded organization demonstrating in favour of peace and a negotiated settlement to the persisting crisis is perceived as anti-government and is subject to police harassment.”
Viewing the conflict as a ‘war on terror’ will only lead to continued bloodshed. Political will is needed on both sides to negotiate a lasting solution.
Written by Oswald Firth, OMI, Assistant General of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Fr. Firth is from Colombo, Sri Lanka.
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