SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Lanka: Case for an inclusive plural polity

H. K. Dua’s article Not by quick-fix: Sri Lanka needs healing touch" (March 6) is timely. The LTTE supremo V. Prabhakaran is adamant in pursuing an armed struggle to achieve the goal of a separate Eelam for the Tamils. In the recent past, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister was killed while the Defence Secretary (who happens to be the President’s brother) and an Army Commander had a narrow escape.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa feels both the Norwegian facilitator’s role and ceasefire have failed to maintain peace. It seems, the President thinks only military action is the final solution to the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis. India believes in a united Sri Lanka and wants a peaceful and political solution to the problem. The US and the West too want a political settlement.

All should agree with Mr Dua’s contention that “survival of Sri Lanka as a united country depends on how it evolves as a democratic polity with values sacred to a plural society”. Here in lies the solution. All political parties who believe in the unity of Sri Lanka, moderate elements at all levels, Muslims and peace-loving intelligentsia should sit together and ponder over the ways to evolve an inclusive plural polity which takes all care of the majority and the minority.

Any military action at this stage will aggravate the socio-economic conditions of the Sri Lankan people, especially the Tamils. There is a need to mobilise the forces which believe in peace, democracy, pluralism and unity of Sri Lanka. The whole world will support Sri Lanka if through proper forms of federalism, political powers are duly shared by all in a democratic manner.

On its part, Prabhakaran should read the writing on the wall and come to the negotiating table to find out a peaceful solution to the problem. He should imagine the plight of the displaced sections and whose bread-earners have lost lives leaving them in the lurch.

SUDESH KUMAR SHARMA, Kapurthala


 

II

It is not a question of Sinhala majority or other minorities or of the South and the East in Sri Lanka, but all parties must try their best to have a peaceful and political negotiated solution of the Sri Lanka crisis.

All parties should work for the good of the island. Say a big no to the military solution. All parties should address their respective constituencies to reach an amicable settlement.

In the present situation, the people of the South and the East should be prevailed upon in a manner that they are able to accept the negotiated settlement. Human rights should be respected.

GURDERSHAN SINGH, Chandigarh

III

If both President Rajapaksa and LTTE leader Prabhakaran are adamant, no concrete solution is possible. Both should take the middle path to avoid a war-like situation and ensure the common man’s safety in Sri Lanka. Face-to-face negotiations will definitely help in thrashing out the problems across the table instead of taking the gun. The ceasefire, which is only on the paper, should be implemented in toto by both the military and the LTTE.

Sri Lanka’s economy is fragile. Other countries can be roped in to solve the problem amicably, respecting the dignity and sovereignty of the people.

SUNIL KUMAR, Chandigarh

 

Spurt in road accidents alarming

The spurt in road accidents should be an eye-opener for the government to make certain amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act. India has a dubious record in road accidents; it is ranked second in the world. The reasons are not far to seek — easy access to driving licenses, awful road conditions, lack of driving sagacity and not-so-strict penalties for the offenders. Middlemen play an active role in getting a driving license by flouting all legal norms.

The situation is altogether different elsewhere. In the US, UK, Singapore, France and Australia, one has to pass through several rounds of rigorous tests for procuring a driving license. Heavy penalties for rash driving, immediate suspension of driving license of those drivers who mix driving with drinking and speedy trial of the guilty are the need of the hour.

The law-enforcing agencies should not recognise photocopies of driving licenses as a valid document. The people should be made aware of the rules and regulations through the media. There is also a need to set up Road Traffic Authority in all states.

Dr SUNIL KUMAR BARIA, Pathankot


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