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WAPS Salutes the Second Coming of Our Independence

(January 09, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS) is a collective of independent expatriate organizations spread across the globe, not aligned to any political party, who have been fighting to counter false LTTE propaganda and safeguard the national interests of Sri Lanka. Some of our constituent organisations and individual members have done so for nearly 25 years. WAPS came into being on the heels of the World Federation of Overseas Sri Lankans, as a global collective of organisations at the time of the questionable leadership of Chandrika Kumaratunga and the weak-minded government of Ranil Wickremasinghe. In those dark days even with the government itself carrying LTTE propaganda we attempted to tell the truth. Our activities across the globe including in Norway as well as events we organised in Sri Lanka helped expose LTTE perfidy as well as those of our then ruling cliques. Those who attended our events were later to help form some of the present government’s successful ideological and military campaign against the LTTE.

With the taking of Killinochchi and the continuing march of our soldiers, WAPS wants to put on record our grateful thanks to these brave men and women in the Security and Police Services. They gave and risked their life and limb for us and our children. Breaking through myths of LTTE invincibility they effectively neutralized them, and have now confined them to the remote corners of the Mullativu jungles. This was done within a short space of time and in a much shorter time our land would be completely free. They could not have done this without the able leadership of our Chiefs of the Armed Forces under the unyielding direction of the Defence Secretary. No amount of able military leadership could achieve without the political will at the highest level of the President. We also wish to put on record the support given to this political will by patriotic

constituents of the present government as well as by patriotic political elements that are now in the opposition. In the darkest hour of Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremesinghe all these forces stood by this country. We salute them.

As our Armed Forces regain vast tracts of usurped territory, and free the entrapped civilians under the jackboot of a modern Hitler we wish them safety in this final push. But we must ensure that what the country has won in war will not be lost in peace. Forces, both internal and external, that in many ways tried to prevent the military victory are now waiting to change the victory to a camouflaged defeat. We should remind ourselves that this time it is not like the 1980s where India having trained and armed all the separatist forces imposed the 13th Amendment against all international norms. WAPS considers the 13th Amendment as a travesty imposed on a small nation by a regional bully as part of her external policy. Where the 13th Amendment has been applied today it has become a white elephant increasing the cadres of corrupt politicians at the provincial level and as studies show, a major drain on the economy. We urge the present leaders of the All Party Representatives Conference to revisit the reasons for the unitary constitution which their betters then formulated.

But good governance demands participation at the very grass-roots not just to carry out diktats of corrupt political bosses. We urge that suitable grass root models be explored including India’s Panchayat system. Devolution to party bosses should not extend beyond the district. In addition, we would recommend a more equitable power sharing arrangement at the Centre where the minorities would be drawn into the decision making process from the policy making stage to the implementation stage through fair representation in special Parliamentary Sub-Committees and Experts Committees, where they would participate in the day to day governance of the nation.

We call on the government to speedily develop the north and east so that the development that the LTTE denied them could be quickly made up. If found necessary, we request transfer of development funds from other parts of the country to these regions. The model should be the multi-ethnic Western province where all ethnic and religious groups live side by side.

The victory that we have won has been against a host of local and international forces. We urge the government to stand firm and resist external powers who want to dictate to us how we should govern our country. We have been at the receiving end of such unsolicited advice for 500 years. A major tool of foreign interference has been foreign funded NGOs, literally a few individuals fattened by foreign money masquerading as civil society. It is their lies that we at WAPS had often to counteract. We urge the government to deny foreign funds to any organization that has questioned our sovereignty. Only allow foreign funds to real civil society in the form of professional organizations, trade unions and similar elected organisations rooted in this country.

With this second coming of independence through our Armed Forces we can rebuild this country so that all its citizens can share in its fuller development. WAPS believes that the day is not far off for this.

Issued by visiting representatives of the World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS) – Dated: January 7, 2009
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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