Prioritization is the essential skill that countries need to develop in order to avoid the crises’ that are being raised. Living in a developing country like Sri Lanka, challenges that people face are many. Though there are many issues that need to be considered soon, peace and conflict is the most pertinent issue which catches the global attention. As a young woman who is preparing to face the challenges, I strongly believe that the root of conflicts in Sri Lanka need to be removed entirely.
Ethnic tensions between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils escalated into an armed conflict in Sri Lanka–an island nation with a population of over 20 million. Discrimination against Tamils in employment, land ownership, university admissions were the primary reasons for the civil war. In May 2009, as a result of a 26 years armed conflict, the Sri Lankan Government officially declared a decisive military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) with the killing of higher ranking officials in LTTE and presumably, it has caused the death of thousands of civilians and displaced one million from both communities.
Though the government has officially announced that the war has ended, still complete peace and freedom have not been established. Internal crimes such as corruption, kidnap, bribery, uncleared land mines, travel restrictions and lack of security for citizens as well as foreigners, assassination of political leaders, increased inland checkpoints throughout the country, and hidden supply of weapons and ammunition to certain armed group are some of the issues that make the condition of the country more complex. In addition, the people who were displaced and relocated in refugee camps are not resettled yet. Although the government has taken some initiatives such as removing some of the internal check points, eliminating landmines, and rehabilitating the people in a permanent place with the assistance of international organizations, it has to be more concerned about implementing projects to ensure people’s needs and to protect and respect their rights in Sri Lanka.
For the last two decades, the Sri Lankan government has allocated a lot of money for weapons which could have been used for the country’s development. However, it is not too late. The government can still focus on developing the country’s most important sectors such as education, tourism, and infrastructures that have been destroyed by bomb explosions in various parts of Sri Lanka. As a future woman leader who has chosen to prevent the rebirth of war, I will try my best to use my leadership qualities and knowledge to lead the country towards peace with my efforts to avoid the situation of the country’s future hanging with the threat due to ethnic conflict. In addition to that, personally, I feel that human rights and independence of an individual should be protected by the government regardless of the two ethnic groups in order to establish real peace and freedom.
1 Percentages of population according to the Sri Lankan government’s official website:
2 Shastri, Amita. “The Tigers’ Shadow:B ringing a Close to Sri Lanka’s Long War.” Foreign
Affairs. (http://www.foreignaffairs.com.) Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. February. 10, 2010.
3“Agony in Sri Lanka’s Refugee Camp.” BBC News. February 11, 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8065594.stm.
4 US department of state .2009. “Sri lanka country specific information.” USA.gov. February11, 2010. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1025.html
The writer is a Sri Lankan correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz