Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka (APRSL)

(January 31, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) APRSL was launched on Sunday 25 January 2009 at a gathering of progressive minded diaspora Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese, deeply concerned of the ravages of war and the need to bring all the communities in Sri Lanka together for nation building and restoration of peace, democracy and rule of law so that the country as a whole can advance socially, politically and economically to achieve its rightful place in the world.

APRSL is a democratic, independent and non-partisan organisation, aiming to play a campaigning, supporting and advisory role in the resolution of ethnic conflict and the restoration of peace and democracy, which will empower all communities to take an active part in the national reconstruction process.

All like-minded Sri-Lankans are welcome to join and /or support in this worthy challenge.

At the founder members meeting on 25 January 2009, APRSL's Constitution and the following Mission Statement were adopted and an Executive Committee of 15 members, office bearers and sub-committees were also elected.

Full text of the Mission Statement of APRSL

Standards of governance have continued to decline since Sri Lanka gained independence six decades back. A vision for a multi- lingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-community nation was lacking among the political parties contending for power in the newly emergent nation.

The fact that there is more in common among the peoples of Sri Lanka was glossed over, while the differences were exaggerated in order to garner votes from a fragmented electorate. The pursuit of power without scruples has fractured the nation at various levels, with the communal divide-Sinhala vs. Tamil, leading to a brutal and barbaric civil war and a demand for a separate state for the Tamils.

The failure to embrace accommodative politics, respect constitutional norms and adhere to basic moral principles has thwarted Sri Lanka from achieving her potential, while causing immense suffering to sections of her people and have failed to achieve 'Unity in Diversity' amongst the communities.

Corruption and violence of all sorts have become endemic and are thriving national industries. All the above factors have contributed to make a mockery of rule of law and brought about a decline in 'Good Governance'.

The current situation in Sri Lanka dictates the need for a visionary approach, to arrest further decline in all aspects of national life, bring about a national reconciliation and set in motion a vibrant accommodative democratic process for national revival through political empowerment encompassing all her peoples.

Socio-political structures have to be remade where necessary, strengthened where required and the people empowered to the greatest extent possible. The strangle hold of the politicians at all levels of national life has to be broken as a national priority. Sri Lanka has to become a pragmatic, forward looking nation, unencumbered by both her recent and ancient past.

Tragic events of the past three decades have given rise to a vibrant, prosperous, and skilled Tamil Diaspora, which has strong emotional and family ties to Sri Lanka. This Diaspora continues to have strong interest in the affairs in Sri Lanka and is not only a major asset for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, but potentially for the whole country. This asset has to be cultivated and mobilized for the betterment of both the Tamils and the country at large.

This Diaspora has to also participate in the process of conflict resolution in Sri Lanka.

It is the objective of this grouping to:

1. To bear upon the Government of Sri Lanka and other participants in the political process to resolve the Sinhala-Tamil- Muslim aspirations through an accommodative process in a transparent manner.

To achieve this the following activities will be undertaken:

Campaigning internationally on Social, political, human rights and humanitarian issues of concern to all Sri Lankans.

Establish socio-media structures to deal with issues affecting vulnerable Sri Lankans both within and outside the country.

Educate, motivate and harness youth in the Diaspora to become involved in the conflict resolution process both inside and outside Sri Lanka.
To lend a hand to resolve the conflict in Sri Lanka.

2. To harness the resources of Sri Lankan Diaspora to develop and strengthen the socio- economic structures within Sri Lanka and within the Diaspora itself.

3. To bring about the awareness that we are all Sri Lankans, irrespective of where we may be living around the globe.
- Sri Lanka Guardian