Daily Archives: June 7, 2008
K Godage says… Another bomb, and no doubt still more will follow. As is well known, fighting a war without good intelligence is like fighting blindfolded. Almost two years ago it was suggested to a very high official of the government that they introduce ’Community policing’ in Wellawatte, Kotehena and Wattala – three areas generally inhabited by our Tamil citizens.
I also informed the official that there was a report to government by an Irish Police expert Fleming, on the subject, and also that the Japanese had this system in their major cities where the Police befriended the people and made crime prevention easy. It was pointed out that if the Police reached out to the people they in turn would feel that to ensure their own security they should keep the Police informed of any suspicious activity in their residential areas.
The official’s reaction was "it’s a great idea, I shall speak to the authorities and implement the concept". The official was told that we could arrange for the Buddhists and Hindus to have common ’pujas’ at Bellanwila or at the Kovils in Wellawatte and Bambalapitiya or at Devales wherever they have them in Temples and bring the two communities closer. "Great idea" was once again his reaction but after two years "the great idea" appears to be dead in the water. There is no question at all, that unless we reach out to the Tamil people living in our midst we shall not be able to counter terrorism in the city.
In Japan there is a Police post with two constables at the top of every street. They visit the people living in the area, befriend them and see where they could help and the people respond to them. The Police may be a law enforcement agency but unlike the Services they are expected to work with us citizens and relate to the community. There is no question that preventive action is the need of the hour, and this is possible ONLY if our sources of intelligence is good and we therefore need to address this matter urgently.
It is 25 years since 1983. It was this horrible crime that has created the Tamil Diaspora consisting of almost seven hundred and fifty thousand which today supports the LTTE insurgency financially and mobilizes international support for the LTTE. We have and are still paying a heavy price for the sins of a few racists.
Let us first accept that every Tamil is NOT a supporter of the LTTE – there are thousands of Anandasangarees living amongst us; they remain silent out of fear for the reach of the LTTE is extensive. Let us reach out to them make them feel secure. Without a hearts and minds approach to the minorities we cannot crush the insurgency.
In this regard it must be realized that our fellow Muslim citizens who live amongst us should also not be alienated; I accuse Muslim leaders too of not reaching out adequately to those who have been affected by this conflict, for example it is now 25 years since thousand of Muslims were evicted from the Jaffna peninsular by the LTTE and they are still living in Puttalam. The same could be said for the Muslims who suffered from the Tsunami in the Eastern Province – what really has the SLMC or the likes of Hisbullah done for them?
Let us be proactive, reach out to the Tamil people living amongst us who have made the south their home and have no interest whatsoever in living in Prabhakaran’s Eelam.