Rajapaksa, Fonseka fail in articulating political proposals: Friday Forum

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 January 2010, 14:01 GMT]
Friday Forum, a Colombo-based gathering which includes religious dignitaries, senior academics and others on Wednesday expressed concern that the two main presidential candidates Mahinda Rajapaksa and General (retd) Sarath Fonseka have failed to address the crucial issue of peace. "The failure to address this issue of great historical and national importance does not bode well for the future of our country. We may be condemned to the scourge of community tensions and a divided society for many more years to come unless sincere and meaningful political guarantees are made at this moment," the statement signed by Jayantha Dhanapala said.

"In our opinion, the various debates and the numerous proposals on the aspects of our constitution, our state and society are sufficiently rich for you to put forward an informed set of political proposals for public consideration. We must not lose this historic opportunity. This is not a plea on behalf of the minority groups, but from those of us those of us of the majority community, for the sake of our own sense of self respect and self worth, most earnestly need and desire to live in a society based on justice and equity for all Sri Lankans," Friday Forum further stated in the statement addressed to both the main candidates.

“While you both main presidential candidates contributed to winning the recent war, you should be aware of the dangers of losing the peace. We note with distress a major lacuna in both manifestos. Neither manifesto adequately addresses the basic rights of many communities living in Sri Lanka, particularly the Tamils, Muslims and Up-Country Tamils and other minorities. Their long standing grievances and aspirations are not given due attention. Nor have you articulated a credible process of restructuring our state and writing our constitution to ultimately arrive at a plural and cohesive society, where all our people feel they can with equality and justice participate in national life,” said the statement issued by the Friday From.

Friday Forum comprises Rev Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratne Thera, Archbishop Oswald Gomis, Bishop de Chickera, Dr. Devanesan Nesiah, Ms. Jezima Ismail, Professor Ms. Savithri Goonasekera, Justice C.W. Vigneswaran, K. Neelakandan, Prof. W D Lakshman, Ranjit Fernando, Ms. Sithie Tiruchelvam, J.C. Weliamuna, Dr.A.C.Visvalingam, Ms Manouri Muthetuwegama, Namel Weeramuni, Prof.Gananath Obeysekere, Prof.Arjuna Aluwihara, Dr. Anura Ekanayake, Mahen Dayananda, Dr. Deepika Udagama, Ms. Suriya Wickramasinghe, Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne, Suresh de Mel, Prashan de Viser, Ahilan Kadirgamar, Dr. Ms. N. Selvy Thiruchandran, R. Surendran PC and C. Jayaratne.

 

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