Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Political consensus necessary to build a national identity

(DM)Various phrases are being used to describe the freedom from the spectre of terrorism that so long had cast its shadow on almost every aspect of life in this country. Many are yet wrapped up in the joy of celebration while the more serious and the various political and social analysts are attempting to define how the political and fragmented social ethos could be cemented and strengthened so as to create a national identity.Neither political independence from colonial rule nor the ideology of the various political parties that advocated a single identity which would bind all ethnic and religious groups into a composite unity has been yet able to achieve any unity among the pluralistic community that constitute Sri Lankan society. In fact more often than not it was the political ideologies that brought in greater fragmentation as even those within one community lost their sense of a single identity as they took on individualistic political party affliations. This type of loyalty apparently and rather conveniently ignored the fact that we were all citizens of one country but instead emphaisis the differences that prevailed which lead to greater divisions within society to emerge .Insular political party policies set down demarcating lines defending their ideology with ultra nationalistic vote catching slogans and barriers that did not exist came into being especially with language being used as the most effective method to isolate communities and standardization of educational opportunities being used as a method of promoting regional and community partialities . Full text