“PEACE, AT ALL COSTS” – By Des Kelly
An encouraging Media Release, to say the least.
With the upcoming Elections almost upon us, the National Peace Council’s endeavour to have peace at all costs, is the best news that I have heard, for a long time, and, as such, this is something that must be read as widely as possible.
Soon, there will be a new President. He will have to ensure that the change-over will be effected with as little chaos as humanly possible. He will have to understand that IF there are any possible changes of policy affecting the PEOPLE of Sri Lanka, they WILL HAVE TO BE changes for the GOOD!!..
A weak President is useless anyway. The new one must be a “leader” and not a “follower”. His 2nd in Command, the Prime Minister (whoever it is), or will be, in the future, will have to realize that, where the President is the Captain of the Ship, so to speak, he, the P.M. will have to “steer” the ship in safety, for the entire journey. This said, I congratulate the Peace Council of Sri Lanka, hoping against hope, that, after next week, there will be “Peace at all costs” for our beautiful Motherland.
National Peace Council
of Sri Lanka
12/14 Purana Vihara Road
Tel: 2818344,2854127, 2819064
E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ENSURE MINIMUM CROSS PARTY AGREEMENT FOR POLICY STABILITY
The outcome of the forthcoming presidential election on November 16 is fraught with uncertainty with anxiety about the future. There is concern about both the continuation of policies on the one hand and the reversal of policies on the other hand, which reflects a polarized polity. Whether in economic development, health, education or reconciliation, government policies promoted by one government are abandoned by the successor government. This threatens to be the case even with international agreements which can have far reaching consequences. As a result Sri Lanka has not enjoyed the benefit of change with continuity which is essential for political stability and economic development.
The National Peace Council urges the presidential candidates to publicly pledge at this time that whoever wins the election, they will seek a minimum consensus between political parties with regard to those areas in which governments tend to reverse the policies of their predecessor government. They need to take the position that even though presidents change the state continues for national and international legality. This could be the non-partisan task they set for themselves before the dissolution of parliament for the general elections that are to follow. For a start, they could seek such minimum agreement on national security, economic development and constitutional reform so that whatever government is in power, they will build on the positive legacy of the government that came before and not engage in politically motivated policy changes.
There needs to be a process of consensus building on particular issues. Sri Lanka has failed for too long to turn the corner and to get to a new level of development that is sustained. This has been especially the case with the ethnic conflict which has been brought into focus time and again by politicians of all political parties in their quest for election victories. In particular, the new president who assumes power needs to function within the restrictions of power put in place by the 19th Amendment. The new president will need to utilize the moral authority he gets upon securing victory to build consensus on longstanding problems that remain unresolved keeping in mind that he will be the president of all Sri Lankans and not merely of the majority that voted him into power.
The National Peace Council is an independent and non partisan organization that works towards a negotiated political solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. It has a vision of a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka in which the freedom, human rights and democratic rights of all the communities are respected. The policy of the National Peace Council is determined by its Governing Council of 20 members who are drawn from diverse walks of life and belong to all the main ethnic and religious communities in the country.