By Rt.Rev.Duleep de Chickera
(Independence Day Message from the Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, Metropolitan’s Commissary and Vicar General of the Diocese of Colombo)
The celebration of independence is an important event in the life of any Country. It is an appropriate occasion to assess the quality of life of our people and our journey towards national integration.
The end of the war provided an excellent opportunity for healing the wounds of the past. It was also an opportunity to include all those who had been excluded economically and socially, to build systems of social vigilance which would protect the dignity and rights of our people and to search for a shared life style of forgiveness and unity. The end to the war also brought a challenge to put an end to violence and confrontation as problem solving methods.
It is however most unfortunate that in-spite of possessing the necessary human resources to make these changes, we delayed for too long and have now lost sight of these goals. We have failed to address the pressing crises of displacement and poverty, corruption and waste, good governance and national integration. There is consequently a growing discontent with the indifference to the people’s needs, rights and aspirations; and impatience with endless excuses that inevitably blame others. The old order is either incapable of, or reluctant to replace unjust systems and discriminatory trends with a more just order for the good of all our people.
What our country consequently needs is a new political will that will restore the sovereignty of the people and bring about true national integration. For this to happen those who claim to work for the good of the people should be liberated from our ideological and even trivial differences and come together. Persons of integrity from all faiths will have little option but to lend their unstinted support to such an initiative.
May God watch over our beloved Sri Lanka with tenderness and endow all our people with compassion, wisdom and love for the truth.
With Peace and Blessings to all
Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera
2nd February 2011