Sri Lanka Truce
By: Rene Wadlow Posted on: 4/14/2009
Kuan Yin : She who harkens to the cries of the world
Wise in using skilful means
In every corner of the world
She manifests her countless forms.
Sri Lanka Truce.
Over the past several months, there have been calls to the Sri Lankan government and to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for a cease fire to allow the evacuation of civilians caught between the two opposing armed forces. The Secretary General of the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and non-governmental organizations such as the Association of World Citizens have made these pleas; Until now, compassion was overruled by military and political calculations.
Now, both sides have accepted a two-day truce, 12-13 April, to mark the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. While the use of violence has been constant since the start of the current phase of the conflict in 1983, Sinhala and Tamil cultures have non-violent philosophies of life. Now that there has been a pause in their fighting, the pause may be extended so that more people reach safety. We recall that holy-days truces in the 1963-1975 war in Vietnam had been extended for humanitarian purposes. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese truces were never used to advance negotiations among the parties in conflict.
In the case of Sri Lanka, we can hope that the truce will be used to open real negotiations on the future of the State. In the long run, genuine dialogue is the only way to resolve even the most intransigent conflict.
The extension of the truce would be a sign that the compassion of Kuan Yin is at work.
* Rene Wadlow, Representative to the UN, Geneva, Association of World Citizens.