Forgiveness brings Peace after Genocidal Killings in Ruwanda

Mahinda Gunasekera

The UN and UNHRC experts tend to advocate a strict form of retributive justice in the case of Sri Lanka with the intent of punishing her apparently misled by the lies and propaganda of the well funded Tamil expat groups hellbent on avenging the defeat of their project to break up Sri Lanka which ended with the defeat of their armed wing called the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009.The LTTE is an internationally designated terrorist group banned by the UNSC and 32 countries including the USA, UK, EU, Canada and India. This they did by overlooking the three decade long history of war crimes and atrocities committed by the Tamil Tigers which resorted to suicide terrorism detonating over 388 human bombs against both the state and civilian targets in addition to carrying out ethnic cleansing massacres, machete attacks, together with planting of bombs in public transit, shopping malls and other public areas.

Sri Lanka’s policy of restorative justice which was harshly criticized by these experts enabled the authorities to successfully rehabilitate over 13,000 surrendering LTTE cadres without probing into the crimes committed by them under the tutelage of their terror outfit by providing them with new life skills before releasing them to society.  This has helped to educate these cadres and heal the burning antagonisms thereby contributing much towards reconciliation of the damaged communities.

A 4 minute video is sent in attachment about seeking Justice and Peace through forgiveness instead of operating a scheme of retributive justice or wielding a big stick against those deemed as offending parties.  It appears that in Ruwanda where over 800,000 people were slaughtered in clashes between the Hutus and Tutsis within a space of about three months, peace has taken hold not through ‘Truth Commissions’ as in South Africa which went on for nearly 16 years without real reconciliation between the conflicting black and white groups, nor through ‘Accountability Proceedings via Hybrid Courts’ involving international judges, prosecutors and investigators, but through FORGIVENESS and a Willingness to drop the events of the hate filled past and move foward in Peace.

In Sri Lanka, where the confronting parties have lived side by side for centuries as members of one nation, it takes a lesser effort to determine the causes of the antagonisms which have arisen as a result of western colonial powers adopting ‘divide rule policies’ which have later given rise to invented histories that cannot be substantiated but put out to mislead foreign powers in order to maintain the dominance gained on account of the largesse extended to the minorities by the colonial rulers. Following independence and the transfer of power to the majority community considered the founding people who have accommodated all other communities that settled in their island homeland along with equal individual rights and freedoms was not acceptable to the minorities that held sway during the period of British colonial rule. They sought to regain their dominance or failing which to break up the country and form a separate state for  their exclusive control through armed force despite settlement of several key issues including those pertaining to linguistic rights and access for higher education.  It is time the minorities abandoned their ideas of division where they fancy controlling a break away region with a hostile border, and come together in a spirit of forgiveness and join the rest of the people as one nation in peace and fraternity.



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