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Sri Lanka's Path to Peace

This article appeared in the Guardian Comment Is Free

After 26 years of war that cost thousands of innocent lives, the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has brought Sri Lanka to a crossroads.

 

Reconstruction, resettlement and rehabilitation will be the immediate postwar challenges and will have to be expertly handled. Reconstruction of infrastructure will be the easiest and most attractive option for donors, but creating an environment of equity and social justice could be relegated to the bottom of the list. There must be a separate effort to ensure reconciliation between people. Many barriers have been erected between Sri Lanka's communities and special programmes to build bridges, facilitate interfaith interaction and regain intercommunity trust are urgently required.

 

This is the role that the Sri Lankan diaspora as a whole will need to play to bring about a reconciliation that combines human values with an understanding of the need to move away from apportioning blame

 

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Amjad Saleem

24th October 2009