Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge says that although the war has been won, the country has not eve begun to win the battle for peace.
Delivering the late Justice K. Palakidnar memorial lecture, Kumaratunge said that winning peace meant including others in development and power sharing as well.
She said the government should negotiate with minorities and reach a consensus on what could be offered to them.
“We must negotiate with the minorities and their leaders and make concessions as required. Sharing what we possess with others will not reduce our strength but enhance it by bringing together divided communities,” she observed.
Kumaratunge pointed out that the government that had defeated terrorism should comprehend that the Tamil civil community was different to the LTTE which was an extremist outfit making use of a long unresolved Tamil problem.
She also noted that there were reasons to justify the fears Sinhalese hold since ancient Sri Lanka had been invaded 52 times in 14 centuries by the South Indian rulers.
Nevertheless, she said, “I wonder when I see the state the country is in today if the government has adopted an authoritarian rule not to strengthen democracy and strengthen human rights but to do the opposite.”