Reconciliation: The way to revival - Editorial

25 October 2012 09:12 pm - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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More than three years after the war ended, the efforts of the Rajapaksa government to bring about reconciliation or peace with justice appear to be in a muddle. At least three hardline parties in the ruling UPFA are calling for the repeal of the 13th Amendment, which moderates and independent analysts see as the basic foundation for power devolution.

Senior Minister Tissa Vitharana who headed the All Party Representative Committee said the hardliners were giving ammunition for an international conspiracy to destabilize Sri Lanka. Amid this confusion, conflict of interests and contradictions, President Mahinda Rajapaksa needs to rise to the level of statesmen like South African Leader Nelson Mandela to find a just and lasting solution to the ethnic conflict.

Mr. Mandela taught the world a lesson in grace-loving or helping someone who has hurt you and does not deserve love. After emerging from 27 years in prison and being elected president, he asked his jailer to join him on the inauguration platform. He then appointed Archbishop Desmond Tutu to head an official government panel with a daunting name, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Mr. Mandela sought to defuse the natural pattern of revenge that he had seen in so many countries where one oppressed race or tribe took control from another.

At one hearing, a policeman named Van de Broek recounted an incident when he and other officers shot an 18-year-old boy and burned the body, turning it on the fire like a piece of barbecue meat to destroy the evidence. Eight years later Mr. de Broek returned to the same house and seized the boy’s father. The wife was forced to watch as policemen bound her husband on a woodpile, poured gasoline over his body, and ignited it.

The courtroom grew hushed as the elderly woman who had lost first her son and then her husband was given a chance to respond. “What do you want from Mr. de Broek,” the judge asked. She said she wanted de Broek to go to the place where they burned her husband’s body and gather up the dust so she could give him a decent burial. With his head down, the policeman nodded agreement.

Then she added a further request, “Mr. de Broek took all my family away from me, and I still have a lot of love to give. Twice a month, I would like him to come to the ghetto and spend a day with me so I can be a mother to him. And I would like Mr. de Broek to know that he is forgiven by God, and that I forgive him too. I would like to embrace him so he can know my forgiveness is real.”

Spontaneously, some in the courtroom began singing, “Amazing Grace” as the elderly woman made her way to the witness stand, but Mr. de Broek did not hear the song, he had fainted.
This is the way to revival.
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  Comments - 8

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  • Meean Friday, 26 October 2012 02:36 AM

    Great story Mr. Editor. Can the politicians in this country be as great as Mr. Mandela.?

    R.Sunthar Friday, 26 October 2012 03:11 AM

    It is more than facts and figures.It commences deep inside the heart.It must touch the heart 1st.

    Silva de Mervin Saturday, 27 October 2012 11:23 PM

    Magnanimous in victory and that is why Mr Mandela was respected same as Gandhi of India.

    It is amazing the great souls that the world seen Gandhi and Mandela were shaped up in South Africa.

    By the way, dear editor, yours is wishful thinking!!!

    Rangaa Saturday, 27 October 2012 11:43 PM

    Hussain,

    First of all don't hide yourself in another name.

    What about Dambulla?

    Who told you a others can't purchase land in north? If that is the case how long it will take the state to change the law?

    What the 'Thesavalamai' law says is if your are to sell your land you must first check with your relatives and then neighbours before you offer it to outsiders.

    Isn't it common sense if you want to sell your ancestral property, you would want to keep that within the family to check with your sibling and then distant relatives before inviting others.

    In North it is statue books and elsewhere it is just observed without having in statue book.

    true sri lankan Friday, 26 October 2012 03:47 AM

    touching story ...

    Hussain Friday, 26 October 2012 05:10 AM

    One cannot campare what took place in South Africa to what happend in Sri Lanka. In S/Africa, a small white minority ruled the country with an iron fist with no rights what so ever for the Black majority. In Sri Lanka it was just the opposite, an ethnic minority started a terrorist war on the majority community for imagined wrongs done. If one looks at the Tamil population even today , they are spread all over the southern part of the Island with no discrimination whatsoever. At one time they were in the majority in government offices all over the south. There was no overt discrimination against the Tamils. There may have been individual cases, but then that applies to both ethnic groups. The majority community could not even purchase land in the north. So who was discriminating against whom is the question.?

    Radish.S Friday, 26 October 2012 07:46 AM

    Mohd. Hssain wants to gain a star even from this sad but gallant story!

    Radish.S Friday, 26 October 2012 08:02 AM

    It is a wrong view that 'thesavalamai law prohibits Sinhalese from purchasing land in the Northern province. The concept what is known as Preemption makes it mandatory that undivided shares should first be ofered to co-owners. If they don't buy it could be sold to anybody.


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