Ummid Assistant

Jamia Millia launches courses on China, Afghanistan

IGNOU launches value education programme for teachers

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Views & Analysis

Sri Lanka at 'critical point' post-LTTE, says politician

Tuesday November 15, 2011 03:11:42 PM, M.R. Narayan Swamy, IANS

Oslo: A prominent Sri Lankan politician who played a key role in the peace process says his country stands at "a critical point" when decision makers need to make choices to help heal the wounds of a war that ended two years ago.

"We stand at a critical point. We have an opportunity to make our future," Milinda Moragoda, who has held many cabinet posts in the past, said on the sidelines of an event here.

Sri Lankans could "either lay the foundation for a prosperous Sri Lanka or potentially sow the seeds for another conflict", said the 49-year-old, who in December 2009 founded the Sri Lanka National Congress with a view to promoting national unity, inclusiveness and political reforms.

Moragoda was one of the key speakers at the release of a Norwegian government-sponsored but independent study on the reasons Oslo's role as a facilitator failed to bring peace to Sri Lanka. Formerly of the United National Party, he played a vital role in events that led to the 2002 ceasefire agreement between Colombo and the Tamil Tigers.

The truce later collapsed, sparking off fresh war that led to the decimation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009, formally ending a conflict that had ignited a quarter century ago.

Moragoda said Sri Lanka remained a divided country, the most visible and major factors factored around religion and ethnicity.

"Political parties have become tribal, there is too much patronage system," said the former MP who is now considered close to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. "A lot of this," he added, "is because of the corrosive impact of the war."

Sharing his insights on Sri Lanka, he said the conflict, which claimed tens of thousands of lives between 1983 and 2009, had destroyed many core values and caused cracks in society.

"We need to come together as a society. We need to feel less insecure.

"Our post-independent politics divided rather than united us, demonising one group or the other. Post-war (2009), we need to be less parochial, more visionary."

Moragoda argued that contrary to what many outside Sri Lanka may think, the average Sinhalese was not racist.

"There is nothing wrong with Tamil or Sinhalese nationalism per se. But they should not get destructive."

He said "moderate politicians" like him got ambushed from both sides. "The middle ground has become weaker.

"Buddhism is about the middle path. If we lead the life of Lord Buddha, we would not be having this debate at all."

Moragoda also called for much stronger relations between India and Sri Lanka, which are set apart physically by a strip of sea.

"India is the great opportunity for Sri Lanka, economically, culturally and politically," he said, taking a line shared by many in his country.

"We have to integrate with India economically, like Hong Kong has done with China. India can also be a (political) model for us."

He admitted that many Sri Lankans saw India as a threat. "It is very easy to demonise if you are living near a giant."

But he underlined that India also needed to reach out to Sri Lanka, a country which no Indian prime minister has visited for years bilaterally. This rankles many Sri Lankans.

(M.R. Narayan Swamy can be contacted at





Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS







Top Stories

Occupy activists arrested in several US cities

Occupy activists confronted the police in several US cities over the weekend as the authorities made scores of arrests in attempts to clear public spaces, a few of them occupied for 

In Occupied America!

Get a clearer political agenda: Bill Clinton to Wall Street protesters

Occupying Wall Street will topple capitalism: Iranian leader


  Most Read

Protection of Minority rights political necessity, not virtue: Justice Siddiqui

Inaugurating the national seminar, Justice M. S. A. Siddiqui, Chairman, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), Government of India said 

Omar meets PM, Chidambaram on AFSPA; talks inconclusive

Steadfast over the demand for withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from his state, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah sounded positive after his meeting with 

Can Kashmir afford Omar-army confrontation?


  News Pick

10,000 PhDs to be absorbed every year: Ashwani Kumar

The Indian government and industry will absorb at least 10,000 PhDs every year and prevent brain drain in an effort to boost research and development (R&D) investments in the country, Minister of State for Planning Ashwani  

Iranians to form human chain around nuclear site

Thousands of Iranians will form a human chain around a nuclear site to protect what they say is their country's "peaceful nuclear programme", stat 

Britain doesn't rule out military action on Iran

Six Hindu Vahini activists arrested in Hyderabad

With the arrest of six activists of the Hindu Vahini, Hyderabad police claim to have solved the mystery behind last week's attacks on eight people belonging to the minority community. Police said the accused attacked  


Picture of the Day

More than 2.5mn people from all across the world have gathered in Makkah for Haj which starts November 05, 2011 this year. Haj, the fifth pillar of Islam is a religious journey to the House of Allah in Makkah. This is in response to the call of Prophet Abraham when Allah commanded him to call mankind to perform Haj. Haj is the largest gathering of Muslims as about three million Muslims from all over the world meet to worship their Lord. All barriers including language, color, class and race are broken.

(Photo: Arab News/Ahmad Hashad)



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes










Contact us





    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.