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Readers please note it is essential that all letters to the Editor carry the full name and address of the writer, even if it has to appear under a pseudonym. This applies to all email letters as well.


‘So close’ but ‘yet so far’?

Mother Lanka is now at a very crucial juncture, never faced since gaining independence in 1948. Today, the Government forces are on the brink of clearing up the last held LTTE area. When the ordinary Tamil civilians escape in hundreds and thousands from the un-cleared areas and come towards the government military dominated areas, one could not only visualise the horrendous experiences and misery these innocent civilians have gone through but also the anxiety, trust and hope that they now have to be ‘in a safer land’. Their utmost hope would be to live happily the rest of their lives as honourable, proud, peace loving citizens. If any of these fleeing civilians you see today through these video footages are your own children, parents, brothers and sisters one can imagine how much your heart would swell and how deep your feelings would be? We see that these helpless civilians now in makeshift camps are much relieved for this short period of time compared to the mental agony and misery they have gone through over the years with tremendous losses when the rest of the people living elsewhere in this beautiful mother Lanka have enjoyed a decent livelihood.

The balance area to be liberated from the LTTE is now even less than 40 sq kilometres. So, for the ordinary citizens of our country it is ‘So close’. ‘So close’ in terms of liberating the areas from the clutches of the LTTE, for which we do have to salute the brave armed forces. But the burning question is, ‘How Far are we in terms of number of days’ where these helpless citizens can proudly say, “We are now enjoying a decent livelihood and we are proud to be Sri Lankans”? Answering this question could be very tough as it is so complex and need to fight against all odds and achieving the final reality can be an extremely difficult and an up hill task.

There is a long list of arguments and counter arguments blaming one another from the pre-Independence era to the post Independence era, to language policy to Administrative mismanagement of respective Governments etc. The end result of these in-correct decisions have given opportunities for outside elements in capitalising on this issue and interfering in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka for gaining their own mileage at the tremendous expense of the helpless civilians, mainly Tamil civilians living in the North and East of our Country. The culprits who used our innocent civilians as their scapegoats can be politicians from South Indian and some countries in Europe as well as those so called reputed humanitarian organisations, and other NGOs. The genuine contributions or work done by those so called sympathisers towards the helpless citizens by handling millions of Dollars are now left to be seen. We do not know whether the senior politicians and government officials of the developed countries have actually monitored the involvement of these elements that have done much damage through not only financing for destruction but also fabricating stories to mislead the world purely for their own benefit. Actions of those so called bogus sympathisers are a main cause for bringing the country almost to a state of civil war and the cause of prolonged misery for the innocent Tamils.

The ruling Government today has a tremendous responsibility in their hands to carry forward in fulfilling the urgent needs. The importance to work according to a time frame putting up infra structure development in the areas of North & East where road network, schools, hospitals, playgrounds and other necessities to bring in normalcy for the people in these areas are of paramount importance. A one time hard core LTTE terrorist and most feared from the Eastern Province is today accepted by the people of this country with forgiveness allowing him to join the main stream. His bold statement states, “What Tamils want today are equal rights’. It is a known fact that since the 1980’s the development in the North & East came to a standstill. ‘Equal rights for all’ means facilities being available for all in an acceptable manner, wherever they live, as well the ability to get on with day to day work freely. In order to achieve this task, it is important that the Government now be ready for the next stage of drawing up a large scale master plan covering the requirements of infra-structure development. The time has come for the leaders of the developed countries who were misled over several decades to now come forward and directly assist in such mass scale development projects of the North & East. The Mahaweli Hydroelectric / Irrigation scheme, which was estimated to be carried out in 25 years, was completed in five years due to direct participation of the Governments such as United Kingdom. Canada, Japan and Germany who brought in much relief to meet energy needs of the country in the 1980s. When the Government is ready with their Infra-structure master plan then they can invite the respective developed countries to undertake in fulfilling such construction projects with their direct participation which can immensely assist the magnanimous task of re-building as an urgent priority. This is a pure genuine humanitarian need and there will not be any doubt that the Developed Countries would genuinely assist on this magnanimous humanitarian need.

It is well proved to the entire world that there is no hatred between the two main ethnic groups living in this beautiful island not only by example such as how fellow citizens remained calm even when mass scale destruction to life and property through terrorist activities was carried out by the LTTE time to time in various parts of the country but also by the way the security forces really cared for the innocent displaced civilians as their own family members.

Will the Governments of developed countries give Sri Lanka a helping hand in this crucial hour of need with direct participation in giving assistance to put up much needed Infra-Structure Development Projects of the North and East of Sri Lanka for the benefit of the innocent civilians living in these areas?

Liberating the whole of Sri Lanka is ‘So close’. But ‘How Far’ are we ‘in terms of number of days’ when these helpless citizens can proudly say, ‘We are now enjoying a descent livelihood and we are proud to be Sri Lankans’? This is the final goal. Will there be genuine assistance from powerful nations to fill in the gap in order to reduce the said ‘Number of Days’ or will there be new elements who will sabotage to prolong in achieving the final goal ? How far are we?


Gayani Gunasekara

This poem is written in memory of Gayani Gunasekara who served Belvoir College International. She died on March 29, 2008. she is fondly remembered by the warden, the staff, students and the non teaching staff.

All at Belvoir remember you, Gayani

How can we forget you, Gayani dear
Who had always been so near?
We teachers and our thought
Always mingled in your thought.

You left us exactly a year ago
To be with your Maker, therefore
We beseech the Lord to grant you
Eternal life under His view.

The Warden and Belvoir staff in general
Boys and girls who are several,
Think of you, with such an honour
Miss you as one in our choir.

All of us wish you serenity,
The Triple Gem grant you tranquility,
In that land of never return
In the heavenly place you remain.