Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pro LTTE elements attempts to disrupt a Havard discussion on Sri Lankan reconciliation and rehabilitation

Pro- LTTE elements threatened to disrupt a panel discussion: “Reconciliation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka” at the Kennedy School at Harvard University if it was attended by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN Dr Palitha Kohana. Apparently the organizers received more than 500 emails and phone calls threatening public disturbances but I think for ONCE the LTTE propaganda machine was countered successfully.

The planned protests failed to materialize partly due to the organizers treating the protestors fairly and addressing their concerns diplomatically. Prof Nicholas Burns, former Assistant Secretary, State Department who chaired the panel discussion on “Reconciliation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka” Was said to have taken exceptional pains to give the floor to a number of Tamil interest groups and to even paraphrase their comments and convert them into questions. In addition to his diplomatic approach as a precaution Prof. Burns had beefed up the police presence at the event and had not allowed anyone to stand within the room

Kudos to Prof Nicholas Burns for his approach and hopefully this will setup a template for future events in the future. We all want peace and reconciliation and if the current methodology or approaches laid out by the Sri Lankan Government aren't working for the Tamil people or the Tamil diaspora then events like this serve to modify and upgrade those concepts.

Disrupting events and trying to intimidate the organizers with threats of violence isn't the solution- That's just an extension of Terrorism. Besides if Sri Lankan Government representatives aren't allowed to attend events like this how is the Sri Lanka Tamil diaspora going to communicate their ideals to the Sri Lankan Government successfully?

No comments:

Post a Comment