Editorial

3rd February 2002

INDEX | FRONT PAGE | EDITORIAL | NEWS/COMMENT | EDITORIAL/OPINION | PLUS | BUSINESS | SPORTS | MIRROR MAGAZINE | TV TIMES | HOME | ARCHIVES | TEAM | SEARCH | DOWNLOAD GZIP
The Sunday Times on the Web
INDEX

FRONT PAGE

EDITORIAL

NEWS/COMMENT

EDITORIAL/OPINION

PLUS

BUSINESS

SPORTS

MIRROR MAGAZINE

TV TIMES


HOME

ARCHIVES

TEAM

SEARCH

DOWNLOAD GZIP


No. 8, Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo 2. 
P.O. Box: 1136, Colombo.
Editor - steditor@wijeya.lk , News - stnews@wijeya.lk
Features - stfeat@wijeya.lk , Business - btimes@wijeya.lk
Subs - suntimes@wijeya.lk , Funday Times - funtimes@wijeya.lk
EDITORIAL OFFICE
Tel: 326247, 328889, 433272-3.   Fax: 423922, 423258
ADVERTISING OFFICE
Advertising - advt@wijeya.lk , Fax:  423921
CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT
No. 10, Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo 2. 
Tel: 435454, 448322, 074 714252.   Fax: 459725

The 54th year

The 54th year of independence is being celebrated tomorrow, albeit with a whiff of nostalgia for the days when this once tranquil isle got about its business with such peace and calm that there was placidity almost to the point of boredom.

In this particular year, there is a peace lull. Goods are going to the North, and despite the shortages and the not-so-perfect conditions of transport, things are much better than they used to be. People of all communities and all walks of life are moving about, as a free people ought to. People are visiting the East coast these days as if they were going on pilgrimage. Children of the Sri Lankan South, who are now adults have never seen this part of the country before. Likewise, "Northerners'' are travelling to the South of the country, taking advantage of the opening of barriers. In the annals of government, the country is in with a chance of bringing a divided South together. The people who are sovereign, and who have suffered in silence, watching what their leaders did in the past few years have forced a national government upon the country's political elite. Credit must be given where it is due. Ranil Wickremesinghe has been the target of verbal vilification by his once victorious now vanquished political opponents. But, as the country's only prime minister born after independence, he has opted to work with his opponents ushering in some semblance of national reconciliation, and hence building bridges not just with the North, but also across the divide in the South.

For this, he is facing some abuse and vilification from his once victorious and now vanquished political opponents from within his own party, who want to see the other half of the political divide totally liquidated.

But, the hand of friendship that he has extended to his political opponents must be reciprocated in the same spirit. The President for instance, by donning a blue saree and visiting remanded party men now in prison, is not setting up herself by these actions as the exemplar of presidential statesmanship.

Politics has its moments of supreme farce, and this week the people were witness to one such. The President who had on numerous occasions referred to the present constitution as a "bahoobootha'' (comic) constitution, was quoting chapter and verse from the same constitution, about the powers of the President. 

She had the audacity to warn the Prime Minister elected by the people, that the "people are aware that the constitution is the Supreme law of the land, and that therefore it is a bad idea to discredit it.''

But, this double back flip on the part of the President is to be welcomed as it is better late than never. However, the moral of the story is that there is a supreme law of the land from which all laws flow, and before whom all persons are equal. This law cannot therefore be abused on personal and political whim.

If this law has to be changed, let it be changed with the consensus of all parties, and the consent of the people whenever required. All of this is provided for in this Supreme Law. 

But, while there is this new politics of accommodation in the air and a politics of belated realization none must lose sight of the war clouds that are looming. The war in the North is not over, and there is a flexing of muscle that is in evidence before tough negotiations yet to get underway. Perhaps, on the eve of our national independence, what needs to be reflected upon, is the fact that this country won its freedom due to the efforts of all communities, who preferred to live together in one nation as one people, unlike what we see has happened between our neighbours India and Pakistan, which is tragic.


The Political Column
Return to Editorial/Opinion Contents
Editorial Archives

INDEX | FRONT PAGE | EDITORIAL | NEWS/COMMENT | EDITORIAL/OPINION | PLUS | BUSINESS | SPORTS | MIRROR MAGAZINE | TV TIMES | HOME | ARCHIVES | TEAM | SEARCH | DOWNLOAD GZIP


 
Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to
The Sunday Times or to Information Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.