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The road ahead for Sri Lanka
So as Sri Lanka moves ahead, it needs to safeguard its multi ethnicity and strengthen its plurality. Only then can it look forward to federalism, unity in diversity, full guarantee of human rights, pluralism and the full achievement of democracy.

SOUTH ASIA has a marked feature of diversity in its demographic and geographic profiles. When we apply this logic to Sri Lanka, the demographic profile of the nation can be seen as the majority Sinhalese community pitted against Tamil minority. With its inception in 1983, the clash of these two sections, resulted in protracted military conflict where innocent civilians from all communities faced massive damages.

Tamils had been discriminated against by successive majority Sinhalese governments. This civil war ended in Sri Lanka in the month of May 2009 with the government declaring victory over the militants. But this brings us to the larger issue that with the defeat of LTTE is the war on terror over?

This note on a simplistic tone would answer the aforesaid vexed question with a simple No. The present day scenario in the island nation portrays a picture of gloom and disarray. The deplorable aspect of this case is the prevailing humanitarian crisis that unfolded itself from January 2009.

When we deliberate the present Sri Lankan scenario in post civil war time, we need to discuss what are the challenges and complexities that render its present in chaos. Displacement of land and resources and loss of means of production are direct consequences of turbulences created by law and order situation due to which citizens develop a feeling of alienation. The rapid increase in expenditures of Sri Lanka army and Sri Lanka Navy, juxtaposed with rising foreign aid to combat ethnic crisis, has had a detrimental effect on the common people. Aid made possible the military corruption, gave ease to government to increase defence spending, thereby neglecting the woes of people.

Then there are the women and children being victimised because of barbaric acts of military committed under government directives. Women were denied rights to mourn, in camps they had to bear the tasks of domes city, sexuality, upbringing children, thereby leading to a tripled burdensome existence. Their sordid saga to bear loss of children at wars, lurking fear of being harassed, insularities of existence, the trauma of doing with broken homes, the plight of orphans, malnutrition make a strong room to the fact that war in Sri Lanka is far from being called as over. Today, there is a battle to give the human beings inhabited in the island nation a right to live a meaningful life having dignity, security and livelihood as its integral component.

In the reconstruction phase in the war torn region, we need to give just treatment to those detained, so that the latter agony of humiliation does not enrage the stability in near time. Respecting the right to return, transparency in data of detainees, camps, regular surveys, reorganised land records, following international standards, meeting special needs of specific groups like women, children, mentally challenged, catering to educational needs need are areas where the state and civil society need to put in efforts for reconstruction of nation.

This conflict killed several people, displaced tens of thousands more and curtailed the island's growth and economic development. The military and the Tigers have been regularly accused of gross abuses of human rights by organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The big question that the nation is posed with is what the authorities chose to do next?

As we glance through President Rajapakse’s victory speech, there is a call for ‘home-grown solution’ to the ethnic crisis. Demilitarisation of north east, compensation for those affected, transparency in delivery mechanisms of aid are mandatory for the resettlement juxtaposed with apt political order to manage the future.

So as Sri Lanka moves ahead, it needs to safeguard its multi-ethnicity and strengthen its plurality, can look forward to Federalism which seeks to combine self rule and shared rule, unity in diversity, autonomy which is secure and guaranteed within a supreme Constitution which enshrines human rights, pluralism and democracy.


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