‘Reconciliation prospects’ look as grim as ever: Rev Fr Mangalarajah

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 September 2016, 22:55 GMT]
Colombo government is keeping the people in the North and East under heavily militarised conditions and is not even prepared to let the people remember their war-dead freely, which is essential for any meaningful reconciliation, said Rev. Fr. S.V.B. Mangalarajah, the president of the Justice & Peace Commission in Jaffna, in a video interview to TamilNet on Tuesday. Now, People on the ground have realised that Colombo is not even prepared to involve foreign experts in the local investigations. The people are also dissatisfied with the Tamil leaders who are collaborating with the government and asking the people to have patience, he said. “The United Nations should realise that the SL Government is well-known for extending promises just to backtrack on them later.”



Unless the SL military (SL Army and Navy) are pulled back to the minimalist barracks as it was during the times before the war, there will be no real transformation towards peace and reconciliation, the president of Justice & Peace Commission in Jaffna said.

The occupying SL Navy and Army are the key elements against peace and reconciliation. The military has started firing-exercises in recent days with heavy artillery at several places across the Northern province, he said.

Sinhala colonisation is taking place at key places such as Naavatkuzhi in Jaffna, Mandu Road and Mu'l'lik-ku'lam in Mannaar, Fr Managalarajah said adding that many more places have been subjected to militarisation in the Mannaar district alone.

The SL military is also involved in putting up Buddha statues at several places where there are no Buddhists. Sinhalese settlers and fishermen are being brought into Tamil areas in large numbers under the patronage of the SL military.

As Colombo has not chosen to de-militarise the North-East and failed to demonstrate that it is committed to reconciliation through showing its willingness and tolerance on sensitive issues matters as the right to remember the war-dead, the prospects for peace and reconciliation look as grim as ever, Fr Mangarajah said.

The former LTTE cadres are further being isolated from the society as the SL military continuous to deploy its intelligence operatives against them and the allegations of poisonous injections has further worsened the situation, affecting marriages and relationships, he further said.


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