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P. 1
2008 Peace Plan for Sri Lanka by Dr Romesh Senewiratne 7.1.08

2008 Peace Plan for Sri Lanka by Dr Romesh Senewiratne 7.1.08

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When I revisited my peace plan for Sri Lanka in 2008 I reduced the suggestions from 40 to 35...what do you think?
When I revisited my peace plan for Sri Lanka in 2008 I reduced the suggestions from 40 to 35...what do you think?

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Published by: Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam on Nov 03, 2011
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07/02/2012

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1
A PEACE PLAN FOR SRI LANKA
©2008 Dr Romesh SenewiratneSteps to pursue for a lasting peace in Sri Lanka:1.
 
Introduction of trilingual education (Sinhalese, Tamil and English) inprimary schools and secondary schools throughout Sri Lanka.2.
 
Reforms ensuring redistribution of wealth to needy citizens.3.
 
Establishment of higher minimum wage.4.
 
Submissions for new Bill of Rights ensuring cultural and linguistic rightsfor minorities.5.
 
Abolition of the „Sinhala Only Act‟.
 6.
 
Abolition of „Prevention of Terrorism Act‟.
 7.
 
Arrest of those involved in war crimes in Sri Lanka (1982-2008),including relevant commanding officers of GOSL (Government of SriLanka) and LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam).8.
 
Prosecution of those involved in war crimes in Sri Lanka (1983-2008).9.
 
Public investigation and public disclosure of all arms deals made byGovernment of Sri Lanka (1983-2008).10.
 
Public investigation and public disclosure of all arms deals made byLTTE (1983-2008).11.
 
University-based research and education programs studying specifichealth, environmental and economic problems in Sri Lanka.12.
 
Focus on trilingual and multilingual competence in universities,especially in medical education, legal studies, history and politics.13.
 
Retraining of medical profession and health-care workers into peace-timemedical care.14.
 
Building of cyclotron facility in Sri Lanka for provision of necessarymedical nuclear isotopes.15.
 
Devolution of funds for education, social services and health to rural andperipheral regions with corresponding strengthening of local governmentinfrastructure.16.
 
Integration of existing public University system with focus of development of non-divisive educational practices, includingpropaganda-free education in science, politics, law, economics and thearts with opportunities for trilingual tertiary education in all courses.17.
 
New University-based publication and promotion infrastructure tomarket, locally and internationally, local literature, music, art, scienceand technology, historical and anthropological studies, medicine andother areas of study in English, Singhalese, Tamil and Sanskrit.
 
2
18.
 
Introduction of widespread opportunities to study Sanskrit, Pali andPrakrit in primary, secondary and tertiary education.19.
 
Creation of learning centres for study of Chinese, Indian, South-EastAsian and African languages.20.
 
Government-funded research into history and anthropology of Indigenous people of Sri Lanka (Veddahs).21.
 
University and school-based popular scientific study and photographicdocumentation of existing fauna and flora in Sri Lanka.22.
 
National irrigation program for rural areas using renovation of existingand ancient irrigation tanks.23.
 
National program of revegetation.24.
 
Disarming of police and police to be trained in use of digital camerasto record and discourage public crimes.25.
 
Unarmed UN/International observers to inspect sites of massacres andother crimes against humanity to collect photographic, DNA and otherforensic evidence.26.
 
Re-education of non-indictable members of Sri Lanka Armed Forces andPolice force based on non-violent means of conflict resolution.27.
 
Sri Lankan armed forces to be constitutionally limited to protecting thenation from external threats and environmental threats.28.
 
Retraining of armed forces to confront environmental threats, includingremoval of landmines, reforestation and recognition of indigenous faunaand flora.29.
 
Expansion of police and military use of computer technology to traceinternational funding sources for weapons.30.
 
Reform of banking sector with restriction of foreign withdrawals31.
 
Aboliti
on of “free trade zones” and "high security zones" and prosecution
of those involved in human rights abuses in such zones.32.
 
Change of government policy regarding languages of correspondencewith Singhalese, Tamil and English translations provided on all forms,letters and publications.33.
 
Formation of a National Centre for Peace Studies in Colombo, KandyTrincomalee, Galle and Jaffna.34.
 
Safeguards in new constitution to protect against discrimination againstracial, linguistic, religious or political minority groups.35.
 
Promotion of a multicultural, multilingual national identity.
 
3
A PEACE PLAN FOR SRI LANKA
While the conflict in Sri Lanka is generally portrayed as one betweendifferent races, the actuality is far more complex. There are conflictsbetween religious groups (Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems and Christians) and,perhaps more importantly, between classes. In the class war in Sri Lankahaves are pitted against have-nots. The class structure in Sri Lanka has longbeen extreme
 – 
 
with „middle class‟ families
having live-in servants to dotheir bidding, to cook for them, to clean, shop and look after the children.
This is especially the case with the “professional classes” which comprisethe highest echelon of the “post
-
colonial” class structure in Sri Lanka. O
nthe other hand, the economically and politically weakest population in SriLanka are those denied tertiary education.
The second point in the peace plan, “Reforms ensuring redistribution of wealth to needy citizens” is essential for resolving the war 
between theclasses in Sri Lanka. Redistribution of wealth in Sri Lanka is long overdue.It can also be done peacefully, efficiently, justly and carefully.The root cause of the conflict between the Sinhalese-speaking and Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka is the fact that they have difficultyunderstanding each other and are consequently suspicious of the other'smotives. Hence the plan to teach Sinhalese to Tamil children, Tamil toSinhalese children, and English to all children in Sri Lanka
 – 
from primaryschool onwards.Not long after the granting of Independence to what was then Ceylon in1948, the 'Sinhala Only' act was introduced by the government of S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike. This was in keeping with the decolonising spirit of the times, designed to boost the position of the 'official language' - Sinhalese(Singhalese), which, spoken by more than 70% of the population, isindigenous to the island.Tamil, designated the 'second language' in which children of 'pure-blooded'Tamil children were obliged to study, is spoken by tens of millions in southIndia, as well as by about 2.5 million of Sri Lanka's 20 million people. Of these Tamil-speaking people, most identify themselves as 'Ceylon Tamils' asopposed to 'Indian Tamils'. Indian Tamils are mainly descendants of 'indentured labour' brought to work in the British coffee and tea plantationsin the nineteenth century. The 'plantation Tamils', as they have been called,

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