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Friday, 19 April, 2002, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Can there be lasting peace in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka's prime minister has said he sees a real chance of ending the country's18-year bloody civil war after a historic statement by the leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran's rejection of new suicide bomb attacks created a "window of opportunity" for peace.

In his first news conference to the media for 12 years, the rebel leader said that he was not ready yet to abandon the rebels' demand for an independent Tamil state but was willing to discuss the establishment of a Tamil-led interim administration in rebel-held areas.

Tamils, who make up about 18 percent of Sri Lanka's 18.6 million people, claim that they suffer discrimination by the island's Sinhalese majority in education, employment and politics.

Can 18 years of ethnic violence now be brought to an end? Do you think there can be a lasting peace in Sri Lanka?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

Now the world knows without a single shadow of doubt that honourable V.Piraphaharan is the sole representative of Tamil people in Sri Lanka. And his voice is Tamil's voice. Therefore it is fair to say that his demands are of Tamils. All the Tamils around the world should be proud to have our national leader. In my opinion we should erect temples all over the world for our Honurable Vellupillai Piraphaharan.
Santhosh, South Africa

Peace in Sri Lanka is a certainty

Navaratnam, Wales
After the signing of MOU by the Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe and the Tamil leader peace in Sri Lanka is a certainty.
Navaratnam, Wales

I'm sure we could end this pointless war if the peace effort continues. If both parties give up on certain demands and come to some sort of an agreement there would be peace. I was born in Sri Lanka and I'm a Sri Lankan. But I'm also a Tamil. The tigers have fought long 18 years and gave their souls for us. If we don't get anything off this, these 18 years would be a waste. My point is: why don't they have something like in Great Britain? Britain has Scotland, England etc. So we will have Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka and call the two states a different name.
Mugunthan Sivapalan, Ottawa, Canada

Finally, there is a leader in Lanka who is willing to admit that Tamils are suffering and does something about it. Previous politicians played lip service at the time of election. Well done both to the PM and LTTE for all the bold steps taken. Sri Lanka should change its constitution to allow for federalism and secularism. Secularism in the constitution will stop giving the 'foremost to the Buddha Sassana'. As a Buddhist, I am shocked that people of my religion even accepted a constitution that blatantly discriminates other religions.
Lenesh Hari, South Africa

In Sri Lanka, it's the blind leading the blind listening to the tune of some Western peace makers who believe that the Tiger will ever change its stripes. If there's peace, hallelujah, if not...even God would not be able to help us.
Lasitha Gunaratna, Sri Lanka-USA

I'm glad at last there is hope for peace in Sri Lanka

James C, Canada
War in Sri Lanka has lasted for almost 20 years. The lives of innocent women, men, and children destroyed due to the stupidity of men. Our arrogance and ignorance has blinded us from seeing what is really happening. I'm glad at last there is hope for peace in Sri Lanka. Why couldn't it have come sooner?
James C, Canada

I have strong feelings about this peace process and steps that the government, LTTE and peace mediators (Norway) took. This is what we all dreamed for last 18 years. BR> Ananth Thurairajah, Canada

Separate state is the only solution for this problem. Singhalese people should understand this.
Kumar, Canada

Whole population of the Sri Lanka Singhalese/Tamils & Muslims needs peace. They have suffered for decades. All must realize why this war was started and what happened to the non-violence protection by Tamils in earlier days. Most of the Tamils support Tamil tigers and rally against them. They are savers from brutal government-sponsored state terrorists. Most Tamils feel that its their duty to fund Tamil tigers. Let us hope peace will come to Sri Lanka
Sasi, London, UK

I do not believe the UNP government and the LTTE are both committed to a lasting peace. If they do they should start talking about the political solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka instead of the interim administration. LTTE's insistence on lifting the ban shows what their real intention is. The LTTE and its leader should learn to recognise and respect other views among Tamil population as well. LTTE should abandon its policy of intolerance.
Ramadass, UK

I have a question for all those Tamil people who advocate a separate state. Are they prepared to repatriate to this state? If so let them have the Elam and let all of them live there. No Tamils to live outside of Elam. There are so many Tamil people living and working all over Sri Lanka to this day and most of them hold prominent positions in the community. How many, if any, Sinhalese people were even to go near Eastern areas let alone North?
Sho, UK

Both sides are tired of fighting

Saagie Navaratnam, Canada
Yes, I think peace is possible for the following reasons. 1. Both sides are tired of fighting.
2. Ranil Wickramasinghe's bold steps in this process.
3. Singhalese majority will only vote for a party which will bring long lasting peace in Sri Lanka and politicians finally realized that.
4. Singhalese majority never voted for a party which is racial and the political parties thought that if they fight against Tamil they will be elected next time which was never true and political party finally understood that. Above reasons are enough for long lasting peace.
Saagie Navaratnam, Canada

I can't understand why America and some western countries keep telling about Sri Lanka's dignity and integrity. They don't want to split Sri Lanka. But these countries welcomed the split of ex-USSR. The world should understand that once upon a time we had our own Tamil kingdom. So Tamils are having all rights to fight for a separate homeland. But if we can achieve by peaceful way we will be happy.
Nathan, UK

The tiger lives in the jungle, it has stripes so that it can survive there. Sri Lanka is a jungle for Tamil people, they have taken to the stripes so they can survive, so if the tamils are to lose there stripes the jungle has to be destroyed so that tamil people can live there, other word reform the system so that tamils can feel they can live without stripes
Siva, Sri lanka

How can there be any joy with a peace settlement that threatens to split up a country?

Nilesh Fernando, Sri Lanka
There is a civil and ethnically integrated society in the South, there is no reason why the North cannot achieve this. An independent state would be an insult to Sri Lanka's evolution in to a civil society. It would also be an insult to the ability of the Tamil people, whom Mr. Prabhakaran claims to represent, to embrace modernisation and accept the culture and social ideals of the Singhalese and Muslim people and indeed that of a modern multi-racial society. How can there be any joy with a peace settlement that threatens to split up a country? This is the 'easy way out'. And who's to say this will solve anything? Take Israel and Palestine. Either side may decide to go on a land-grabbing escapade, and there we are back to square one. We MUST learn to live together. Nilesh Fernando, Sri Lanka

I am really appreciating both parties for their bold steps towards achieving peace in Sri Lanka. All the Sri Lankans should shed their religion and support to this peace. This will benefit for all our current and future generation.
Rajeev, Australia

I certainly wish peace in Lanka, but as the saying goes the hurt caused by words is more than that of physical hurt. Something must be done to change the history of anti-Tamil ideology promulgation, it must be stopped and both parties work towards the restoration of equality, liberty and fraternity.
Charles Thangaraj, India/USA

The peoples have now wrested the initiative from the politicians.

S.Sivanayagam, France
The peace process has come to stay, for the simple reason that the peoples - both Sinhalese and Tamils - have now wrested the initiative from the politicians. Tired and sick of war, a new warmth and understanding has developed at the people-to-people level between both communities, which no politician can now take away.

Hiccups are bound to be there in working towards a lasting peace, but the momentum of history has overtaken cynics and doubting Thomases. It was some cynic in fact who once said that the best way to win the Nobel Peace Prize was to start a war and then give it up. Going by that logic, both Prabhakaran and Ranil Wickremasinghe (standing in for that unfortunate lady) should qualify for being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as co-winners, even if they don't win it !
S.Sivanayagam, France

Time has come for both parties on this struggle to realise that 'Real Peace' cannot be achieved by violence. Tamils should realise that funding a terrorist organisation would not take them anywhere, and the Sinhalese should realise that Sri-Lanka belongs to Tamils/Sinhalese/Muslims and all other ethnic minorities who live in the country. Let us realise and live this very short time on Earth in Love and Harmony.
Randhir Senapala, UK

We all must thank both the Prime Minister and the LTTE leader for the willingness to solve this problem. The Prime Minister may face challenges from hardline Sinhalese, but interference from them was one of the reason for this problem. Tamils also should realise that we are in this situation because we are not a united community. All the Tamils around the world must do our best to help the displaced and suffering people in Sri Lanka.
Kuha Kumaran, UK

The only solution for Sri Lanka's ethnic problem is integration and not segregation. Sri Lanka is one indivisible country and no one can change that. The only place for Parbakaran is the Hague tribunal for crimes against humanity.
Kapila, Colombo, Sri Lanka

I think that peace-loving people not only Sri Lanka but also in the entire world are disappointed with the message from the Mr Prabha and Dr Bala

Prishanata, UK
I think that peace-loving people not only Sri Lanka but also in the entire world are disappointed with the message from the Mr Prabha and Dr Bala. It is evident that the Tamil minority people in the South are now living in harmony with Sinhalese and Muslims. If LTTE assumes that there is something different in the North why can't they discus that amicably?
Prishanata, UK

Tamils and Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka and other parts of world should come under one leadership which is that of Mr. Prabakaran. Whatever solution he takes to end this war all Tamils will agree with him. But in the South there are so many leaders for Sinhalese people, they will confuse their own people and they will never let them settle this civil war. So Sinhalese people have to decide who is their leader and give him full power to resolve this civil war.

Velupillai Prabhakaran is a brilliant political leader as well as one of the most influential figures of our times. Please note that he has once said that permanent solution for the Tamils of Sri Lanka will come only based on what happens at the time in the world scene.
Sivanathan Sathasivam, Victoria, Canada

Journalists around the world went to the meeting particularly to see Hon.V.P in person for the first time in their life and many of them felt that it was their lifetime opportunity and the climax of their career. The leaders seemed very cool and relaxed in front of the hosts. Even though the leader struggled with a few of the questions, he managed to present very brilliant answers. For instance, when he was asked about former and late Indian Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi he countered, "It was a tragic incident happened ten years ago". That is a precisely correct and politically justified answer. Well done V.P! In the future, we want to see V.P. as the political leader for the Tamils of Sri Lanka and influential figure for the Tamils around the world.
Sivanathan Sathasivam, Victoria, Canada

I recently visited Jaffna after 15 years. What was apparent was the deliberate destruction and devastation that has been done

Dr Hari Ratnajothi, UK
I recently visited Jaffna after 15 years. What was apparent was the deliberate destruction and devastation that has been done. People have suffered enough and time for relative peace has arrived. This window of opportunity must not be discarded for petty reasons. The ' war for peace' President must be gracious to join the rest of the committed nation to extend a hand of friendship. Also, it will be profoundly gracious of the government if it can find it in its heart to extend some of the facilities that are readily available in the South to the North as well. The power still enjoyed by the armed forces in the north and east needs to be curtailed. With goodwill on both sides, the lost serenity of our beautiful island will return. May the Almighty bless SL and stop the carnage that had engulfed for two decades. Anyone thought of Noble prize nomination?
Dr Hari Ratnajothi, UK

This so called interim administration by the LTTE is the first step towards genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Sinhalese race. All this talk of discrimination by the Sinhalese is bunkum. Tamils, with the help of the colonial British, are enjoying more than a lion's share of everything.
Bandula, Sri Lanka

Peace will be possible in Sri Lanka if the LTTE gives up their demand for a separate state and enters negotiations with the Sri Lankan government on the regional autonomy within the unitary state of Sri Lanka. The LTTE must also give up terrorism and enter the democratic mainstream and get a democratic mandate from the people they claim to represent. The majority of Sri Lankans have been and are willing to change the constitution of Sri Lanka so that autonomous regions can be established within the unitary state of Sri Lanka. Hence if the LTTE is willing to work within the unitary state of Sri Lanka and is willing to enter the democratic mainstream, peace can be achieved relatively easily.
Harsha, Australia/Sri Lanka

I can only watch and wait in wonder as this peace process continues

Nandalal Rasiah, USA
I can only watch and wait in wonder as this peace process continues. Golden dreams of a peaceful Sri-Lanka-one with equal justice for all and a booming economy are now for all to hold. Let us do absolutely nothing to help the efforts of C.B.K. and her Benedict Arnold cohort Lakshman Kardigamar. Also Ashley Wills must not bow down to the "good vs. evil" ethnocentric "anti-terror" rhetoric emphasized by the US government. Making statements clearly favouring the government's position, as the US has done in many situations, only perpetuates a global and ultimately damaging phenomenon of supporting dictators, totalitarian governments and state terrorism.
Nandalal Rasiah, USA

Both Prabakaran and Wickramasinghe have showed tremendous courage and statesmanship in moving forward. Hopefully, India or the US will not unduly interfere in this very fragile process - that will certainly be detrimental to the confidence building measures that in motion.
Nakkeeran, US

I personally welcome both parties' willingness and commitment to ending this 18-year bloody civil war. We have to remember that the armed struggle started due to the oppression of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Also, the war has claimed more than 75,000 lives and so the settlement now to be reached cannot be an easy one.

It is quite possible that the 18-year-long war can be brought to an end, but only if both sides are committed to peaceful coexistence of all races in Sri Lanka. The Tamils should give up their ridiculous demand for an independent homeland, and the Sinhalese people should learn to accept and respect Tamil people and their culture.
Niranjan, USA

Both the Priminister and LTTE leader should be praised for taking brave/bold steps in the right direction to restore peace in Sri Lanka. Let's hope both communities can forget the past and forgive each other; follow their leaders and give them support to bring peace back to the Island. If there is a will; there is always a way.
Goby J, Canada

Fighting for land is stupid. You only live in this world a short period and you are not going to take your land with you. The trend in this world is towards globalization. That means rascal with guns will not be able hold a nation and group of people hostage. I sincerely hope the LTTE wants peace. I hope the government carries on its good work towards achieving peace. There is no point in fighting for LAND!
Himali, Sri lanka

If Sri Lanka wants to step forward in the world it must resolve the conflict not with a band aid solution but one that has long term initiatives for both the Tamil people and the Sinhalese people. Sri Lanka has suffered enough economically.
Nesh, Australia

I think our leader Mr Prabhakaran was right in saying he is not abandoning the demand for an independent Tamil state. In the past, the Sri Lankan governments have let us down often as they don't do what they say and I don't think peace can be achieved unless all of the Sinhalese majority population realize the aspirations of the Tamil people, their right to self-determination and their nationhood.
Ahilatheepan, UK

All peace loving people will wish them well

Saravan, UK
Mercifully things seem to be looking up under the present government and all peace loving people will wish them well in achieving mutual trust and confidence to set right the basic fundamentals that are so vital for establishing good government and governance based on equality of all citizens to their rights, opportunities and living conditions. This can be achieved only under a secular new constitution that can guarantee equality, liberty of the individual and participation of all sections of the people towards good government.
Saravan, UK

I am very positive. I have lots of trust in this government and LTTE. It's going to work out, let's be positive.
S. Vasanthakumar, USA (UK Citizen)

After 18 years of bitter conflict, it takes a great deal of humility and looking forward to bring about welcome change. The rejection of new suicide bombs is a good sign, but creating interim administration in rebel-held areas may invite further conflict with its separatist leanings.
Neil Ridulfa, Philippines

They have given the mandate to settle this issue

Lawrence, Singapore
The innocent people have suffered a lot due to the war on both sides. They have given the mandate to settle this issue during the last election. Both sides - Government and Tigers - understand that no one will win in this war. The bold action by Ranil to enter the negotiations and his commitment will definitely bring peace to this beautiful country. Further Indian support for this process is another milestone even though they don't facilitate and participate in the negotiations.
Lawrence, Singapore

You cannot changes the stripes of a tiger. But in this case, I sincerely hope that this is not the case and that the talk about talks will lead to lasting peace, so that all peace-loving citizens of Sri Lanka can walk the streets without fear.
Agatha, Sri Lanka

We hope both sides will work hard to bring peace to this beautiful island.
Mano, Japan

There can only be genuine peace in Sri Lanka when India stops supporting the terrorist movement in this beautiful island. The international community must take immediate action against India for promoting terrorism in a neighbouring sovereign state.
Simon Birmatt, UK

It is too early to be convinced

Pillai Mariasegaram, Australia
In recent history every elected Sri Lankan Sinhalese leader came to power with a slogan of peace with Tamils. When in power they opted for full-scale war against Tamils with the help of World Bank and donor countries. Nevertheless, we look upon Ranil with optimism but it is too early to be convinced.
Pillai Mariasegaram, Australia

During the 1977 election 70% of the Tamil people were in support for a separate state - "Tamil Eelam". Failed by the politicians the hearts of the Tamil youth were ignited to begin an armed struggle for this cause. As sole representatives for the Tamil people, keeping one aim in mind, emerged - the 'LTTE'. The LTTE wanted to fulfil the Tamil people's wish for a separate state. Now we ask, after more than two decades of fighting and thousands of lives lost, will it happen now? Will the superpower - Sri Lankan government- allow the Tamils to be separate? The answer is sadly no.

We see the world has changed in many ways and now we see, slowly but surely, the Sri Lankan government and the Tigers changing. They realise that there must be something done to stop this war. They both know that they cannot win this war and also realise that they have to put the past aside to move forward. Unfortunately, the media are becoming an added stumbling block as they continue to flash the light on the past and dig up unwanted dirt. The media should very much play a part on allowing both sides to trust each other and make them work together.
Shan, UK

Wickramasinge appears to be a far-sighted politician. Let us hope that the Sinhalese majority give him the time to complete the work of hammering out an agreement with the LTTE. The Tamil people with whom I have spoken are quite optimistic about the situation. But let no one forget that the PM is subject to a vote of no-confidence in Parliament or dismissal by the president, so everything could come to naught.
Marten King, USA

With Prabhakaran stating in the press conference that he will not abandon his demands for a separate Tamil state, it is difficult for me to see a total end of this all. It does seem that violence that LTTE have been known for might end, it will, in my opinion, take a long time before this issue is resolved, but what is good is that the process has begun with all the world optimistic. Best of Luck to all Sri Lankans.
Pulkit, Jaipur, India

Mr.Pirapakaran's call for peace has come at correct time as the country is bleeding for a slow death. Let's cure this ailment by the physician (Norway)and hope surgery will be avoided.
K.Murugananthan, Canada

I don't think peace can be achieved unless all of the Sinhalese majority population realize the aspirations of the Tamil people, their right to self-determination and their nationhood. It's time the international and the Sri Lankan communities realize that Tamil Tigers are the sole representatives of the Tamil people. The Tamils abroad and those in Sri Lanka have repeatedly showed this through mass demonstrations and raised voices supporting the national struggle of the Tamil Tigers.
Arularasy Singam, Canada

If Sri Lanka is to ever achieve peace, there must be bi-partisan support from all political parties. A strong political force would reduce any detrimental effects of any solutions discussed and build national consensus to create a "level playing field". From LTTE's point of view, they should promote to gather support of Tamil masses by not undermining the concept of maintaining territorial integrity of the state. Therefore, it is the responsibility of high ranking leaders of the LTTE to keep all their local area leader's informed of its prime motives so that, they could convey a clear and a precise message to all public masses concerned. This would reduce any ambiguity of the peace process and improve the deteriorated trust between both communities.
Jagath, Canada

The LTTE is a terrorist organization that has practised terrorism for over 15 years. Sacrificing liberty for peace will get us neither liberty nor peace. The LTTE needs to be eliminated and their terrorist leader tried in The Hague for crimes against humanity. The Sri Lankan government has made numerous concessions to the LTTE, in the present and in the past. They have always broken ceasefire agreements and gone back on their word. The Tamil people should have the freedom to elect their own representative and not a terrorist. I am sure the Tamil peoples' needs are better served if they are able to elect a leader by ballot as opposed to being led by a bullet.
Sam W, Sri Lanka

Yes, the tear drop that Sri Lanka was in the last two decades can be changed to a peaceful and beautiful emerald. It can prove to be an inspiration to other conflicts around the world.
Srikanth Ranganathan, India/USA

Prabhakaran's statement did not provide any hope of peace, it just bought time until the United States relaxes its anti-terrorist stance

Nathan Arumugam, Sri Lanka
Real peace can only be achieved when moderate Tamils, who represent the majority of Tamils in Sri Lanka, enter into the arena. Right now, only Tamil expatriates who dream of a Tamil utopia (but choose to live in security and luxury overseas) and extremist militants are engaged. Moderate Tamils living in Sri Lanka should speak up. Prabhakaran's statement yesterday did not provide any hope of peace, it just bought time until the United States relaxes its anti-terrorist stance.
Nathan Arumugam, Sri Lanka

I hope there is peace in this beautiful country, but with the Tigers, I do not know as they go out of their way to kill innocents and people like that do not change over night.
Allan, UK

Yes. Now is the best ever opportunity for a peaceful settlement to brought to this forgotten conflict, since it is effectively the first time there has been a third party involved in resolving it. Self- determination, nationhood and homeland are basic rights for any nation and when those are agreed, other differences should be easy to resolve. Let's hope Norway's representatives with their experience in such matters can bring sense to the two warring parties.
Senthooran, Australia

In my dying mother-land of Sri Lanka, I watched my beautiful country disappear and wither away constantly, forever plunging itself into an abyss, blindly. It broke my heart to see war, vengeance, poverty, destruction and rampant corruption take away its gleaming potential. I want to believe in peace, but it has not given me the chance to do so. As a boy now living out in Australia, I have personally felt and had been affected by the 20 years of strife. It has not only affected me but my family to this day. The young of whom I reflect upon much, are sick and tired of this fighting. Let us all put aside our differences and live under one nation which recognises the rights of all people. Please, I appeal to our older generations for the sake of the future, give peace a chance. Bring back that hope.
Chaturanga Janaka Bandaranayake, Australia

It can end provided: All parties concerned genuinely work towards peace; a fair and just settlement for the Tamils is achieved; the Buddhist monks stay out of politics; and the settlement is aimed at long term peace in Sri Lanka and not for short term political gains for any single party. I'm sure my Singhalese friends will agree with this.
Vijay Kumar, UK

When the Sri Lankan government and the Sinhala majority take steps to restore the confidence of Tamils and treat them as equals, the Tigers will fade away and peace will return

Andrew Lawrence, USA
Peace is possible in Sri Lanka if and only if the Sri Lankan government and the Sinhala majority recognize that the Tamil minority are also equal citizens. The LTTE and the armed struggle are only the symptoms of the systematic discriminatory policies of successive Sri Lankan governments since 1956. The policies, which discriminated the Tamils in language, education, jobs etc., and the violence unleashed against unarmed Tamils by the Sinhalese in 1956, 1958, 1971, 1977, 1981 and 1983 resulted in the LTTE. It is wrong to assume that it was the LTTE that created the civil war. Years of discrimination resulted in the civil war in the form of LTTE. When the Sri Lankan government and the Sinhala majority take steps to restore the confidence of Tamils and treat them as equals, the Tigers will fade away and peace will return.
Andrew Lawrence, USA

As a British citizen of Sri-Lankan Tamil extraction, I am hopeful that Sri Lanka will awake from the ashes of civil war and flourish as a multi-cultural and tolerant society. That is the hopefully the majority of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and the diaspora.
Gaj Niranjan, UK

I think the LTTE supremo has done a commendable job in endorsing peace. The ball is in the Sri Lankan government's court to reciprocate. They should stop feeding off the civil war for their own selfish goals and work for the betterment of this beautiful country. This is absolutely the right moment to work towards peace. I hope the Norwegians assist the Sri Lankans in this regard.
David Cooper, US

This is the best chance yet for lasting peace. But, previous Sri Lankan governments made it seem like too much hard work to get to this stage. Actually, all it needed was an honest recognition of the fact that Tamils had genuine serious grievances which, far from being addressed, had been met with violent oppression. Decades ago, peaceful attempts to by the Tamil minority to solve their grievances got them nowhere as hardline elements within Sri Lanka's majority community sought to unleash violence against them. Feeling defenceless and increasingly helpless, Tamils, who had traditionally been trained from childhood to avoid violence and achieve academic success, were transformed into a military outfit.

Previous Sri Lankan governments met this development with increased violence, which only hardened the resolve of Tamils to separate from an oppressive state. The Tamil Tigers grew from being a guerilla group to a conventional army which controls large territory. Crippling economic conditions have finally forced the Sri Lankan government to come to terms with reality. Peace and prosperity can only be achieved on the island by addressing the genuine grievances of the minority Tamils. It can never by achieved by violence.
Kesh Tharmalingam, UK

I concur with Vijay Kumar and wish to stress the omission of Buddhist monks in the decision making process of a peaceful resolution towards this perennial problem. Wars waged on racial grounds are bad enough - we don't need elements promoting religious hegemony to make matters worse. As the song goes...this land belongs to all of us; let's live in harmony. Spare a thought for our Muslim brethren too who have been displaced in the North and East.
C Duraisamy, Australia

Praise should be lavished on Mr Wickremasinghe for being brave enough to take the steps which he has

James, UK
Praise should be lavished on Mr Wickremasinghe for being brave enough to take the steps which he has. Until people are prepared to accept the Tamil Tigers as the voice of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, peace will always be a dream. Hopefully now the government won't lose their strength, and will do all that is necessary to bring about peace in a most beautiful island.
James, UK

If the Tigers are interested in peace why are the violating the ceasefire and the MOU by recruiting children to their rank and file, unloading arms shipments and making speeches inflaming people. Also if the Tamils want self-determination and nationhood should they not seek that in Tamil Nadu which is their traditional Homelands? This ceasefire is time for them to achieve what they could not during fighting. Once their objectives are achieved they will renege on the peace deal which will be to the detriment of the Sri Lankan government.
Tina Gunawardhana, United Kingdom

You're never going to get lasting peace anywhere, no matter how hard you try.
Emily G, UK

I find it disappointing to find people still are not clear on the cause and effect of Liberation Struggles. The Sinhala Government oppression of Tamils from the Independence (1948) gave cause to the rise of LTTE. You take away the oppression and grant genuine political freedom to Tamils, you will remove the effect of oppression, including suicide bombings. The Sri Lankan Government has realised you cannot have peace while oppressing the Tamils. This realisation will eventually will lead to peace for both communities.
Anthonypillai, UK

I think our leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was right in saying he is not abandoning the demand for an independent Tamil state. In the past, Srilankan governments have let us down often. I know this government is different but still needs to be careful. May I take this opportunity to thank both sides on what they have achieved so far.
Vas, UK

As long as both sides are committed of course, there will be a lasting peace in Sri Lanka. How do we know the government is really committed to peace?.
Rajan Vijay, Sydney, Australia

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... to both sides of the debate

Peace efforts




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11 Apr 02 | South Asia
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