In a significant development, prominent political commentator Professor Kumar David has called upon the combined alliance of JVVP and NPP to throw their support behind a broad-based alliance for national reconciliation. Professor David emphasizes the urgent need for collaborative efforts in achieving lasting peace and ending communal violence in Sri Lanka.
Kumar David has been a Professor of electrical engineering in Sri Lanka and Hong Kong, and is author to a number of scientific publications.
“Sangha for a Better Sri Lanka,”
Six months ago, Professor David reported on a group of Sangha (Buddhist monks) who initiated visits to Europe, the UK, and Washington to engage with Tamil activists and US Government officials. Their mission, under the banner “Sangha for a Better Sri Lanka,” aimed at putting an end to recurring communal violence that claims numerous lives. Encouraged by the higher councils of the Sangha, they have now launched a “Road Map for the Development of a National Conversation.”
This initiative has evolved into a nationwide action plan with various distinguished individuals in public life undertaking specific tasks. The ambitious Road Map includes forming coordinating committees, establishing interfaith coalitions, engaging with youth groups and opinion makers, seeking multiparty political endorsement, interacting with government policymakers, sustaining foreign support, collaborating with organizations like Sarvodaya and the National Peace Council, and seeking additional support from South Africa, India, and China. The establishment of a Secretariat is also part of this comprehensive plan.
While the efforts are commendable, Professor David cautions against potential dangers, particularly the risk of a reactionary Buddhist extremist backlash. He expresses concerns about potential missteps by the left, referring specifically to the JVP and NPP. The JVP’s historical stance on racism and its current prevarication on devolution of administrative powers raise doubts about its commitment to the principles of opposition to populist nationalism.
Professor David is particularly critical of the JVP’s flirtation with the military, given the historical atrocities committed against JVP cadres during past presidencies. He questions whether an ingrained Sinhala-Buddhist psyche dominates the minds of some JVP leaders, complicating their ideological stance.
Moreover, he highlights the absence of a clear commitment to democracy in the NPP program, urging them to assure the public of their commitment to regular elections and a peaceful transfer of power.
In conclusion, Professor Kumar David’s call for the JVP and NPP alliance to support the nationwide reconciliation initiative underscores the need for cohesive efforts in addressing historical grievances and fostering lasting peace in Sri Lanka.