Home International Forget the past for Sri Lanka’s good, says MP

Forget the past for Sri Lanka’s good, says MP


New Delhi : Sri Lanka’s well-wishers should offer holistic solutions to resolve its political ills instead of harping on the past, an MP from that country said here.

“I urge all those who have the interests of the Sri Lankan people at heart to think in terms of holistic solutions,” Rajiva Wijesinha told a gathering at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies here.

There was no point dwelling “only on constructs that are based on ancient and no longer always relevant foundations”, he said Thursday.

Wijesinha, a member of the Liberal Party that supports the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said there was no question of Colombo merging the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.

This has been a long-standing demand of the Tamil community, which believes the vast region needs to be one administrative unit where Tamil language can reign supreme.

A merger of the Tamil-majority north and multi-racial east was ruled out because the idea “was based on the concept of (an independent) homeland”.

He said with Tamils and Tamil-speaking Muslims falling out, it would be wrong to treat the unit as one.

He pointed out that the merger was an unnecessary flaw of the 1987 India-Sri Lanka accord, which sought to end Tamil separatism but failed.

“It was shown as totally unnecessary by the split within the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in 2004 when the Tamils of the east indicated they too had a distinct identity,” he said, referring to the 2004 split in the Tamil Tigers.

“It is sad therefore that there are still some politicians in Sri Lanka, and others still influenced by them abroad who hanker after the merger.

“Any efforts to resurrect that will rouse further suspicions about the rationale behind excessively strong and distinct units.”

An academic, Wijesinha was picked by President Rajapaksa as head of Sri Lanka’s Peace Secretariat.

Wijesinha also hit out at the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main Tamil political party, for still harping on federalism, which he said was a negative concept as far as Colombo was concerned.

He said it was “extremely sad” that the TNA “engaged in adventurism” immediately after the Tamil Tigers were crushed militarily in May last year.

“Those who claim then that the government should take steps to win the confidence of this group should bear in mind the dogged destructiveness of their approach initially.”