I am not a fan of groundviews, nor do I have any particular negative feelings towards the site. I do not even read it regularly except for some random perusals every now and then. Yet the article I came across, titled “I am an Enemy of the State” was quite pertinent and articulated thoughts that have been chasing themselves around my mind for some time. Why do I, a citizen of this country, feel threatened by the very government that was supposed to represent me. For one, this particularly dictatorial president has very firm views about what he considers correct and anyone who disagrees with him could either get lost of end up in prison. I doubt this president would be able to hold on to power as strongly as he does at this moment if it weren’t for the presence of the LTTE. The very fact that the terrorists exist, allows for the existence of a dictatorial government. The focus is on defeating the perceived enemy, which consequently distracts people from the burden of a failing state, inflation and foreign debt. Take away the threat of terrorism while reintroducing dialogue would refocus some of the attention on the situation of the country in general, which in turn would be exceedingly damaging to any government in this position. The actual reasons are far more faceted than how I have presented it here, yet this is the reason peace activists are so quickly condemned.
I dislike war. Personally, I am not in favour of a separate state. Yet, watching this conflict progress over the years, one has to make some concessions in order to stop this bloodshed. I don’t know if this president feels that he is following in the footsteps of Bush, or if he is just making hay while the mortars shine, but there is no room left for any peaceful settlement. No one wins in a war. The cost of conflict is too severe even for the military victor. The people who call for peace do not do so because they support the LTTE. They call for peace because they are tired of people dying. They are tired of human rights violations. And they are tired of people getting rich and gaining power by climbing over corpses.
While this government does not run completely on Sinhala nationalism, it certainly feeds off it. It makes no sense to make Sri Lanka completely Sinhalese, in this global village. Without diversity, there is no growth, only a certain inbreeding of ideas that can only be regressive. Certain extremists wish to chase all foreigners out of the country, though they don’t seem to mind the 158,291 million ruppees that migrant workers sent home in 2004. Sri Lanka’s poor human rights records (human rights is a bad word now) has gotten us a cut in foreign aid. The president seems to think that Sri Lanka can manage on its own. In 2002, public debt was 105% of its GDP. DFID provides 41m pounds a year to help with Sri Lanka’s World Bank debt.
This beautiful island is failing, and instead of trying to save it, people spew venom at those who advocate peace. Now that is intelligence for you..