The head of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), an influential diaspora group based in London, says President Maithripala Sirisena is showing signs of an emerging patriot and statesman.
Father S.J.Emmanuel, who was listed in Sri Lanka by the former Government over alleged terrorist links, said that by word and example, Sirisena is appealing to everyone to put the country and the people before political parties.
“Some of his predecessors have publicly made serious and erroneous remarks about the Tamils. But by word and example, he is appealing to us all to put the country and the people before political parties and seek a peaceful coexistence of all peoples. The new government and the progressive forces from all communities are identifying some root causes which ruined the county in the past and are able to identify the fundamentals for a peaceful coexistence of all,” Father S.J.Emmanuel said.
The GTF head however warned that the forces of evil – racism, extremism, selfishness- are still at work.
He called on the civic and religious leaders, more than the political to play an active role in combatting these evils both within their fold and in society.
“18th of May will remain embedded in our memory, especially for those victims, widows and orphans left behind by fallen soldiers, militants and civilians. It is the sacred responsibility of all leaders to collaborate in redressing as early as possible the grievances of those still mourning and still affected by the post-war actions of the government and its forces, courageously making fundamental changes to our vision and structure of the state that was on during the last six decades of conflict and war and in preventing any future rebellion by creating concrete political, economical and social conditions equally for all peoples in Sri Lanka,” Father S.J.Emmanuel said.
He noted that only a close collaboration of all forms of leadership for good can lead Sri Lanka from contradicting commemorations to a consensual peaceful existence. (Colombo Gazette)