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This article is taken from the FOR THE RECORD section of the Reconciliation Website, www.peaceinsrilanka.org which subsumes the old site www.peaceinsrilanka.lk used by the former Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP). The articles in FOR THE RECORD are intended to counter those who promote division.  Though problems should be raised, and addressed, there must be balance, so as to avoid the perpetuation of bitterness.

It was I think Aristotle who said that the roots of injustice lay in comparing like things with unlike things, and unlike things with like things. Sadly, Aristotle is no longer well known in the West, not even intuitively, with Platonian certainties seeming a better way of dealing with current problems.

I am generalizing, of course, but I suspect Aristotle does not figure large in the general awareness of the bright young lady[1] who interviewed me with regard to un undergraduate project she was preparing, comparing Nazi Germany and Rwanda and Sri Lanka with regard to war crimes. The topic seemed dictated by the belief that what had happened with regard to the first two countries could provide guidance to what she termed the International Community as to the role they should play ‘in the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s civil war’. She did note the possibility that they ‘should not play’ any role, but the whole approach seemed designed to beg the question – including the exaltation of terrorists into combatants in a civil war.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

February 2011
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