Sri Lankan Peace?!

“One of the most persistent ambiguities that we face is that everybody talks about peace as a goal. However, it does not take sharpest-eyed sophistication to discern that while everbody talks about peace, peace has become practically nobodys’ business among the power-wielders. Many men cry Peace! Peace! but they refuse to do the things that make for peace.”

Martin Luther King,Jr.

Typing this in as news of renewed fighting, the first in the history of the conflict in Sri Lanka between factions within the LTTE, reach my ears. They’ve now declared a ceasefire – a magnanimous gesture indeed, somewhat dwarfed though by the idiocy that is behind the fighting. A monolithic hegemon brings grief upon itself – the LTTE, unable to accomodate change, diversity or plurality, counters with the one action it knows best – violence aimed at abject submission.

Jars somewhat with the work I’ve been doing all morning in drawing up a proposal to help set up a Peace Secretariat for the Muslims.

Walking down the street mid-afternoon, warmed by a lzy sun battling a cool breeze, it is easy to forget to the chaos back home and the hopelessness that every bullet fuels. I am perhaps more angry at those the ‘experts’ are domiciled here – who, from their vantage of leather backed armchairs or with arms akimbo, will proclaim that Sri Lanka is a country devoid of hope.

Plus ce change, plus ce la meme chose?

I was recently told by a Professor of mine that as peace builders, our primary goal is to construct hope. I would imagine that this would be a trifle difficult if you are more versed in ‘Footy’ rules than the dynamics on the ground in Sri Lanka, though of course, that doesn’t stop the Aunties and Uncles here coming up with very imaginative conspiracy theories.

Don’t see any easy path for peace in Sri Lanka – though through violent meanderings and setbacks, I do believe that in the years to come, through many lost opportunities, there is still a semblance of a promised land that for many of us is the one hope which keeps us going.

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