Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sri Lanka: Too small to be divided and large enough for all

(By Dr. M. A. Mohamed Saleem)

(defence.lk)A statement found in The Island editorial of 19th May 2009 -- "This country is too small to be divided along ethnic lines but certainly large enough for all communities" -- prompted the title for this article. Essence of this wisdom was of no consequence at the time of independence as it was anticipated that parliamentary type of government would suit the plural society of this country. The constitutional provision S.29 (2c) - No Parliamentary law shall "Confer on persons of any community or religion any privilege or advantage which is not conferred on persons of other communities or religions"- was to have ensured an environment of equity and justice for all communities regardless of their ethnic diversity, numerical strengths and territorial affiliations. Unfortunately, this did not happen and our Sinhalese-ness, Tamil-ness and Muslim-ness continue to provide fuel for confrontational and divisive politics. Full text