President tells media: Help build amity
It is the duty of the media to help build amity among all communities and not contribute to fostering hatred among people, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the Heads and Editors of the Private and State Media at Temple Trees yesterday.
Responding to a question as to what he considered the major challenge in the New Year, President Rajapaksa said it was development, adding that unity and communal amity were essential to proceed with the tasks of development.
Stressing that the media had every right to criticize the Government, which right would always be protected, the President appealed to the media to play an active role in fostering unity among all communities. “Please take every action necessary to heal the wounds of the past,” he said. He made a special appeal to the Tamil media not to encourage efforts to create hatred among the Tamil people against the Sinhalese. Do not promote thinking and ideologies that promote hatred. The suffering caused through 30 years is enough and we must strengthen the process of healing, he said, posing the question “Where would continued hatred lead us to?”
The development work that has been launched was the answer to those who sought to spread the message of communal hatred and may even be trying to revive the forces of division that had been defeated, he said. President Rajapaksa emphasized that having defeated the separatist expectations of Prabhakaran, he was not prepared to give in to the same demand if made by any others.
The Government had invested considerable funds for development in the North, to restore the livelihoods of the people and these efforts should not be negated. All this expense was needed to rebuild what had been destroyed by the forces of terror. As an example he said how the Kilinochchi Hospital that had been built with ADB funding had been destroyed by the LTTE, as it had destroyed the railway, communications facilities, water towers and other common amenities.
The Government had already spent Rs 2.5 billion on restoration and development work in Kilinochchi town alone, that had a population of 27,000 families.
This should open the eyes of those who claimed that nothing was being done for the Tamil people of the North.
President Rajapaksa said that the people in the southern villages also felt the pain of all the years when terrorism was threatening the nation. They felt this pain as much as the Tamil people and were keen to be rid of the hatred of that period, to live in peace and harmony with the Tamil people. He also decried efforts by some sections of the media to exaggerate some of the problems of the country that were not unusual in a post-conflict situation anywhere.
There was turbulence in all post-conflict societies and Sri Lanka had already achieved much in just one and half years after the defeat of terrorism. The Government was aware of these problems, such as criminal activity, which were being addressed. He regretted the efforts by some to use this situation to show Sri Lanka as a failed state and impose burdens on the people through this means.
The Government could be attacked as in any democracy, but the people must not be attacked or made to suffer through such action, carried out with the expectation of lowering the image of Sri Lanka in the world, the President said.
Source: Daily News
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It is true that some Tamil news websites are so biased and create problems among the ethnic groups in Sri Lanka. Actually, I am a Tamil speaking Muslim, i do read Tamil, Sinhala and English News Papers, I have seen the differences among these three media.followings are some Tamil news web you can browse and see how biased they are.
http://www.manithan.com ………… and many others.
Mohamed Shareef Asees
Mr.President we need very good foreign media net work to give proper message to Foreign countries,Lot of western countries they do not know anything about srilanka except tamil tigers,they think the rest of srilanken are uncivilise barbarians.So order to reach our past good srilanken name we should arrange proper foreign media systerm,Otherwise so call Ltte tamil disapora is doing everythig to spoil our beutifull srilanken name.
I agree with Pillayan, that we need to counter disinformation and lies spread by diaspora LTTE websites and media (print, radio and TV). We need a special agency/ministry in SL devoted to tackle this problem and create a website dedicated to counter this disinformation of all LTTE websites and media, in SL and abroad. LTTE terrorism is not dead, it is only lying low, mobilising support throughout the world by brainwashing international opinion against SL. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and International Crisis Group are a few imnperial West organisations who support LTTE by spreading disinformation against SL. Defence ministry should be fully alert to this threat and not sleeping. It should spring into action immediately with counter measures. The war goes on.
Nicholas is correct in saying LTT terrorism is is not dead. It continues to have an effective underground network including many underground sleepers (eg: Mr Pillayan and his ilk). Using force to crush remnant LTT will lead to other complications and issues (the force used in eradicating LTT army is now resulting in forceful calls for leaders being led to electric chairs). What is required is an intelligent and sophisticated battle devoid of physical force.
One thing we could do is to weed out potential sleepers (eg Mr Pillayan and his ilk) from society and the second thing we could do is land reform.
These efforts should be complemented by face-to-face negotiations with committed tamil nationalists (eg DC and his ilk) on the basis of recognition of the existence of the tamil state and identify an appropriate location for the tamil state either within the shores of Sri Lanka or elsewhere.
Thank you Guru for ageeing with me on this point. However, I cannot agree with you for labelling Pillayan as a ‘sleeper’ LTTE cadre. This is totally unjustified. Have you met him and assessed him for yourself? He has through Onlanka expressed his opinion in support of SL and the GOSL policies under Mahinda Chintanaya led by MR. He has expressed his views emphatically against LTTE and Tamil nationalism. So, for you to label him a ‘sleeper’ LTTE is totally unwarranted. In this way you cannot trust any Tamil SL citizen or Muslim. I am sorry to say you have become paranoid. I am also very disappointed that you advocate Sinhala Buddhist extremism and nationalism which is divisive leading to distrust by other communities and militancy and chaos. I ask you, are you a JVP member? It is the JVP who is trying to spread this evil of distrust among all communities, as Rani said, in order to create strife in the country once again and chaos. They hope to grab power through the back door. Fat chance!
So Gura please stop name calling and strive for communal harmony and mutual respect and understanding of all communities. SL is not the domain of Sinhalese only. We are just one race in a pluralistic society. Don’t bring shame on the Sinhala race and Buddhism!
I do not mind Pillayan being against the LTT. What I hate is his view on Tamil nationalism. It does exist; it is true; it is real.
What I am seeking in every tamil and in every singhalese, is a true sense of nationalism from which patriotism flowers.
Half baked nationalism does not get you anywhere.
There is adequate behavioural evidence LTT sleepers are active, Pillayan (and ND) preaching blind communal harmony (without accepting the reality of the second nation within our shores).
Lets face it guys. We should proceed carefully in a calculated manner in dealing with the LTT rump and diaspora. Its only this way that we can ensure that the Lion flag will fly high forever.
If we are blind, we will have our island divided pretty soon via external intervention and the use of democratic tools such as UN supervised referendums.
Now that the war has been won against a child soldier rag tag army, we have to deal with the LTT and diaspora intellegentsia. Being blind will not get us anywhere. Fast unto deaths by cabinet minsiters with lemon puffs under the bed will not get us anywhere.
Let us weed out Pillayan and his brother sleepers; Lets us undertake Land reform; Let us confornt the True tamil nationalists like DC in the ring.
Let us find a home for the second nation.