New Sri Lanka Cardinal calls for a political solution to conflict

Thursday, 4 November 2010 06:57 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Cardinal Most Rev. Dr. Malcolm Ranjith yesterday called for a speedy political solution for the country’s decades-long ethnic strife.

Testifying before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) today, the Catholic Cardinal called on the government to speed up the process to find a political solution to the issue that is ravaging the country for decades.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith told the LLRC that even though the war is over between the Tamil Tiger rebels and the government, the fundamental issue that led to the armed struggle still remains and a political solution is the only resolution in long run. The Cardinal said he believes that the government must intensify the search for a political solution to the ethnic conflict.

Tracing back the cause of the war to the 1950s the Cardinal said the Sinhala only laws introduced in 1956 raised the tensions between the two communities and paved the way for war.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed the eight-member Commission in May 2010 to report on the lessons to be learnt from the events in the period from 21st February 2002 to 19th May 2009.

The government defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels and ended the 30-year long armed conflict in May 2009.

Following the end of war the government has embarked on an accelerated development programme in the conflict-affected North and East to economically uplift the people’s lives disrupted by the war and bring democratic process to the region.

Under its imitative to restore democracy, the government held elections in the Eastern Province which was liberated from the rebel grip in 2007 to elect the Tamil political leaders to the Provincial Council.

The government plans to repeat the same process in the North once the resettlement of the displaced is completed. (Colombo Page)