Colombo, May 19 (newsin.asia): Seyed Ali Zahir Moulana, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of National Unity and Reconciliation, has appealed to the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils to work pro-actively for the future even as they remember and commemorate their war dead.
In a Facebook posting, Moulana said that hateful attitudes of the past should not be sustained because these are only pushing the Tamils, who were once held hostage by the militants, into “immortalizing the undesirable political agendas of the past.”
He was commenting on the May 18 commemoration in Mullivaikkal of the thousands of Tamil civilians who were killed in Eelam War IV between 2006 and 2009, and the tributes paid to the martyrs of the Lankan Security Forces by the government in South Sri Lanka.
At the commemoration in Mullivaikkal, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran had called for the annual observance of May 18 as “Tamil Genocide Day”; the withdrawal of the Lankan armed forces from the Northern and Eastern Provinces; and the extension of “Universal Jurisdiction” to Sri Lanka to force the Lankan government to implement its promises to the UN Human Rights Council – demands which are anathema to the government and people of the rest of Sri Lanka.
A Member of Parliament from Batticaloa district in the ethnically mixed Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, and a person who had witnessed at close quarters the Tamil militant movement and the Lankan government’s reaction to it, Moulana was speaking out of deep experience.
Here is the full text of Moulana’s Facebook posting:
“As an individual who very nearly paid the ultimate sacrifice for my country, and thereby contributing to what is now known as one of the key turning points in our country’s civil conflict, I am of the fervent opinion that the significance of May 18, 2009 should never be forgotten.”
“For nine years, sentiments have echoed from both sides of the divide, remembering and honoring whom they lost and paying tribute to the bravery and courage of those who fought on their behalf.”
‘As an elected representative of what was once a war-ravaged area, to this day I am witness to the fact that decades of war and strife have left deep scars in our beautiful countryside, and ingrained into our beautiful people.”
“Further, I also witness that while each side remembers and triumphs, it is also important to take into account the innocent civilians who were once held hostage by barbed wire and machine gun fire, are now today victims to hateful discourse which continues to immortalize the undesirable political agendas of the past.”
Time to Go Further
“But now, as someone who has experienced these challenges first hand from its inception to conclusion, I must state that it is now time to go further. While we honor and remember the fallen, let us work proactively forward.”
“Let us use the significance of May 18th as a way to reflect on our nation’s past, and build a stable, peaceful and prosperous future. Let us work fervently to reconcile on our differences, and unite harmoniously with pride in our diversity as citizens of a singular, sovereign and free Sri Lanka.”
(The featured image at the top shows Seyed Ali Zahir Moulana – at the left -being interviewed in the Nerukku Ner television program)