By Veerasingham Aanandasangaree
I am frankly of the opinion that the opening of an Army Camp at Mullaithevu as a fore-runner and the decision of the Government to build permanent houses for the Army are ill-timed, counterproductive and will very soon prove disastrous.
I am not that foolish as to stir up a hornet’s nest by protesting against these moves. Whatever I do and say are always with patriotic feelings. My sincere advice is that the Government should forthwith stop opening any more new camps in Vanni, close down the one already opened and also abandon the idea of constructing permanent houses in the North and the East for the use of the Army. The Government should understand and appreciate my thinking and give credibility to my suggestions.
We had an army that fought well and defeated the LTTE. We had a good set of civilians who gave full corporation to the forces to defeat the LTTE, which started as a liberation movement and later turned out to be one causing destruction of life and property, without rhyme or reason. The whole country suffered. I need not elaborate the extent of damage the people in the North and the East suffered and the hardships they underwent. They do not want a similar situation to arise again in the future. They, on their own will take up the challenge in the event of any attempt for revival.
They lived for over quarter of a century under the subjugation of the LTTE which was possible only because of the LTTE possessing sophisticated arms. We now have in our midst the man who purchased the arms for the LTTE to keep us not only under their subjugation but also made us to live in constant fear and tension. We have a friendly army now and we are happy about it. But they may have in their midst a few black sheep as well. In any case we the people of Sri Lanka want peace and absolute peace only. We don’t want to see arms in anybody’s possession. We lost over two hundred thousand lives due to the arms. Let they be Sinhalese Tamils Muslims or any of other ethnic group and also be Tigers or Soldiers or Civilians, all the lives lost are those of Sri Lankan Citizens.
Let all of say with one voice that we do not want military rule or military settlements amidst civilians. We want civil administration and do not want to see even a toy pistol in the toy shops. We are fed up with Gun culture and we civilians will not allow anyone to possess arms if only the Government will give the lead by withdrawing all arms in the country and the army barracked.
I strongly plead with the Government to concede to my request and help the people to live peacefully. All other matters can be sorted out once normalcy is restored and people feel free from all types of dominations. Otherwise all the efforts taken so far and all the sacrifices made by all section of the people will go waste. The people have already started murmuring about matters that they don’t have the guts to comment on, openly. Their regret is that there is no room to show even passive resistant on matters they do not agree. I very strongly emphasis that if these moves are not abandoned the Government can’t boast of bringing peace to a section of the people who had under gone immense hardships for a long time. I am voicing the sentiments of the people.