Time for Tamils and Muslims to unite

The debate on the need for a new Constitution has once again cropped up thanks to reports that a section of the Buddhist leaders had thought it was not necessary. The process of drafting a new Constitution is already well on its way and a rough draft of its content is already in place.

While some may think that the current Constitution is sufficient and there is no need to go for a fresh one, it is also important to understand why it is important too. The minorities, especially the Tamils and the Muslims have pinned their hopes on the new Constitution for the longstanding National issue to be solved.

While a segment of the country feels that the move would only divide the country, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and others who push for a new Constitution have assured that it was not the case. The TNA in particular have openly said that the new Constitution would be based on a united, undivided country. Continue reading →

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The never ending strikes

Colombo was at a standstill, stuck on the road twice last week thanks to a protest and a strike. Strikes and protests have been very frequent during the past several months and have been testing the patience of thousands of people who were left helpless due to traffic congestion. First it was the protest against the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM).

Then it was the Locomotive Operating Engineers Union who launched a strike on Thursday (12), bringing all train commuters to the road. The rains did not make the situation any better either. The SAITM issue seems to be a never ending one. Continue reading →

New Constitution and some confusions

Almost all politicians are more or less focused on the Constitutional reforms, with the focus slowly shifting towards the upcoming budget proposals that are to be presented to Parliament next month.

The Constitutional reforms form a key step in Sri Lankan politics and have the potential to solve the longstanding ethnic problem which had plagued the country for over 30 years. Even the process is underway and the Steering Committee had released its interim report, there are voices that oppose this move.

Nevertheless, the Tamil political leaders, at least most of them, are optimistic that the concerns of the Tamils will be addressed through the new Constitution. However, it seems that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is yet to solve its internal crisis. Continue reading →

Rohingya and the local divide

The Buddhist-Muslim tensions in Sri Lanka took a different turn last week when a group of monks stormed a safe house where some of the refugees from Rohingya were housed. They were being looked after by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The incident triggered criticisms towards the monks, and the UNHCR. But what seems lost is humanity. Some argue that the UNCHR had not followed protocol in bringing in or looking after the refugees, thereby justifying the actions of the monks.  Continue reading →