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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.

The Periclean scholar, who had begun by thinking that there were possible comparisons between Hitler’s Germany and Sri Lanka, did show some acumen in suggesting that, given the distance between facts and allegations, there was need to explore why the allegations came so thick and fast, with such untenable comparisons. I thought it best to answer this through questions, which led her to exclaim, while wracking her brains for the answers, that she was not used to answering questions. Her research had evidently involved just asking questions, the Socratic method evidently not part of the stock in trade of her intellectual training.

The first question to answer was, who was raising the questions, and she realized pretty smartly that the principal driving force was the Tamil diaspora. We then went into the history of that diaspora, and I realized that she was aware of the violence that had driven many of them away in the early eighties. And it was necessary to note that there had been political decisions too in the period before that, which had also led Tamils to feel they would be better off abroad.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

February 2011
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