When I started this blog, I intended it to concentrate mainly on economic and political reforms. But I find myself increasingly addressing the ethnic problem. Because nobody who is serious about reforms can afford to ignore this issue.
But I can think of no simple solution. I don’t believe saying things like “we should learn to live in harmony with each other” or “let’s be more tolerant” goes anywhere. They’re statements of the goal, not how it might be achieved. Simple minded appeals don’t work.
“System changes” too, by themselves will not be enough. We may bring new legislation or go for a federal solution, but the underlying animosity between Tamils and Sinhalese remain. In the face of legal barriers they may find new ways to express it.
Personal changes are not easy to come by. One option is to change our system of education to turn out children who are more tolerant of other cultures and view points. But I’m deeply skeptical of government-sponsored reprogramming of children — even if it’s supposedly done for the better.
Stopping the war is not the same as solving the ethnic problem. Complete military defeat of the LTTE AND a complete give-in to the LTTE are both equally ineffective in this regard.