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Monday, November 25, 2013 - 04.58 GMT
Sri Lankan government deserves better New Straits Times columnist


There is no need to rush to judge Sri Lanka's government today. It seems to be asking outsiders for little more than the benefit of the doubt now, a not unreasonable request given what that nation had gone through in recent years, columnist John Teo wrote in Malaysia's leading daily New Straits Times.

Sri Lanka's ethnic divides, as with similar problems elsewhere, have their roots in a sense of injustice borne out of perceived economic inequities.

Sri Lanka's government, whatever its shortcomings, recognises that economic problems are usually the precursor to most other problems.

Colombo justifiably feels hard done by if all the tangible signs of economic vitality returning to the country as a whole are hardly acknowledged when the international community or sections of it just seems intent on keeping alive and fresh memories of the country's horrible civil war, he wrote in his column.

The frustrations felt by the Sri Lankan government over this have been palpable and perfectly understandable. It is not as if Colombo is still suppressing Jaffna and in so doing suppressing the entire nation's economic prospects as well.

Foreigners and especially those who profess goodwill towards Sri Lanka should at least learn to be patient with the nation.

War has never been pretty and atrocities often happen, as they surely did in Sri Lanka's case. This is not to justify such occurrences or to attempt to whitewash violations of human rights in war time.

If anything, this is to dispel the conventional wisdom that a nation cannot move forward unless and until the ugly side of a war is re-counted and justice seen to be done almost as soon as the war is over.

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Last modified: November 25, 2013.

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