The recovery of suicide jackets and ammunitions in the North last week once again created ripples and concerns over re-emergence of armed groups after almost a seven year hiatus.
The opposition has urged the government to probe the matter seriously and to ensure that this does not pave way to the re-emergence of the LTTE, which would eventually lead the way to the past.
It is important for the defence establishment to probe the matter and find the truth behind the discoveries of the jackets and ammunitions. It is also important for them to ensure that security is alert so that no groups could emerge once again to drag the country back towards conflict and uncertainty.
There are those who are genuinely concerned over these unexpected developments, and then there are those who point fingers at the government or the security forces. The fact is that pointing fingers at the government too is an expression of concern. No one wants the country go behind by 30 years. The people have faced enough troubles because of one war.
But one should realize that this is not the time to point fingers at anyone. It is the time to look at the wider picture. There are concerns that this would lead to extremist elements to be reborn in the country, but on the other hand, incidents like these would divide the communities even further.
The mistrust, misunderstanding, suspicion, and all those that come with it will once again plague the people if these issues are not addressed immediately.
The previous and the current governments have been conscious of the divisions created by the war, and therefore had been focusing on multiple measures to unite the people. These attempts though successful, would be futile if the peaceful environment is misused by extremist elements to infuse their ideology on innocent people.
Despite the end of the war, the LTTE overseas network continues to be active. Its existence continues to be a threat to the peaceful environment, prevalent in the country.
Terrorism experts such as Prof. Rohan Gunaratna have warned that the prevalence of separatist ideology in the international arena continues to be a threat.
What these elements need is a slight crack, or an opportunity that would help them to infuse trouble. They do not need a big problem, just a minor gap is enough for them to start working.
Role of Tamil parties
At this juncture, it is important for the Tamil political parties, especially the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), to ensure that they do not act or utter words that would create suspicion among the other communities in the country.
The TNA especially, which was known for its pro-LTTE stance, needs to prove the other communities wrong. Even though it had toned down in terms of its nationalistic approach to the issue, many continue to look at the alliance as a mouth piece of the LTTE.
Sampanthan is not only the leader of the TNA, but the Leader of the Opposition as well, which means that he needs to have a fresh approach towards issues such as these. He simply cannot confine to addressing the recent developments solely from the minority’s perspective. He needs to voice his concerns keeping in mind that he also represents other communities when he sits as opposition leader.
Call for impartial probe
The TNA had called for an impartial probe into the recovery of arms and ammunitions and has hinted that it was the works of certain groups which was trying to hamper the reconciliation process in the country.
It is too early to come to any conclusions. However, it is the responsibility of the relevant officials and politicians to ensure that people are not agitated by similar incidents. The people have become used to the peaceful environment. More importantly, the cordial relationship between people needs to be maintained and strengthened.
It is only then that moves and attempts to find durable solution to the longstanding ethnic issue would yield fruits.
Though almost seven years have passed, the level of confidence among communities has not reached the maximum. Therefore, the government, and the opposition should work together to avoid situations that would once again create divisions and suspicions among the people.