Wednesday, August 5, 2009

FLC Countdown: 3 Days, Reflections

Nation building is a term that is heard frequently throughout discussions of national development, but its real definition requires some insight. True nation building is the culmination of unity through diversity. Fragmented nations cannot hope to progress properly without first unifying their country. Laws and legislation intended for economic or human development only treat the symptoms of the underlying disease. As each ethnicity or social stratum has unique contributions to offer society, the entire national population should assist the process of rebuilding a nation. If the diverse elements of Sri Lanka can agree on a way forward for their country, they will find that the bonds they share with one another will continue to be strengthened. Common goals promote community with those who work together, and people are less willing to take up arms against others who share a common aim. The process of nation building itself forces these diverse groups to unify and put their skills to use by socially, culturally, psychologically, and economically improving their native land. The common goal not only progresses the quality of life for the citizens, but it binds the inhabitants ever closer together.

Community is a basic tenet of human living. It is easy to observe that Sri Lanka Unites has bonded because their participants share a common goal. The same can be true for the nation of Sri Lanka. Once it is found on a personal level that different cultures and peoples can be allies rather than enemies, the way forward becomes clearer. Cease-fires become peace agreements, and treaties become long-standing symbols of trust.


  1. Isn't it a tad presumptuous of you to assume that the constituent 'peoples' or 'nations' who live in the nation of Sri Lanka, wish to share in your political project, which is the unification of the "Sri Lankan" nation. Given that the Sri Lankan state has suppressed other identities and built itself on a Sinhala identity, which is now coterminous with the Sri Lankan one, you might want to think about being open to the idea of a multi-nation state, or if that is not possible, multiple states.

  2. You bring up an excellent point, and allow me to clarify SLU's position. Though the Sinhala identity may now be identified with Sri Lanka as a whole, the goal of SLU is to break this image by reversing past discrimination. Rather than uniting all ethnicities under a Sinhala dominated agenda as has been tried in the past, we wish to create a new Sri Lanka that represents all ethnicities through reconciliation of past mistakes. Thus, a Tamil or a Malay will be just as much a Lankan with a share in the country's future as a Sinhalese Buddhist from Colombo. Actually, it has been shown that most Lankans are willing to live together in peace. It is the highly outspoken extremist minorities on either side of the conflict (5% each) that have no wish for compromise. The unheard 90% who wish to live in harmony and fairness as one nation is an overwhelming majority by any standard. I hope that this brief explanation clears things up.