Imthiaz appeals to President to create a just society
ECONOMYNEXT – Opposition Member of Parliament Imthiaz Bakeer Markar is urging President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to build a proud and prosperous nation by creating a just society that creates unity in diversity.
In an open letter sent to the President on the eve of Independence Day, Bakeer Markar said that by creating a country that respects all ethnic groups and their rights Sri Lanka could prevent citizens from” seeking redress from outside the country.
“We live in a world where there is a greater emphasis on the protection of Human Rights. We should build a democratic society that is an example to the world rather than being held accountable for violations of democratic principles by international opinion. It is my firm belief that it is our collective responsibility to ensure an open discussion within ourselves to create a consensus to protect democracy and citizen’s rights rather than force our people to ask the world for help or take other extreme measures,” he wrote.
“It is sad to note that today, rather than treading the correct path to overcome the challenges we have chosen to subsume that, by following a narrow political agenda,” he pointed out.
Bakeer Markar highlighted the issue of the demand by Muslims to bury their Covid dead.
“We have failed to accept international norms to settle the current debate over whether we should bury or cremate our dead, and instead dug our heels in narrow political agendas, further exacerbating the divisions in our society,” he said.
“Before independence, our colonial masters followed the policy of divide and rule so that we will not unite to liberate ourselves. It is a tragedy, therefore, that the policies followed to divide us at that time are being used today, 73 years after we got our freedom,” he wrote.
The MP urged the President to act to “prevent the world from isolating us as a society that does not protect democracy and Human Rights. It is our duty to build an exemplary society that inculcates the values given to us by the world’s great religions for the current generation and the generations to come.”
Appealing to the President as a fellow alumnus of Ananda College Colombo, he said that he is writing to the Head of State “not just as a politician or a Civil Society activist, but as a fellow Anandian and a father who wishes a better future for our children.”
Today Sri Lankans regard D S Senanayake not just as the founder of the United National Party, but as the Father of the Nation. That is because he was able to bring together a diverse coalition that encompassed the various communities, ethnic groups and other forces to confront the colonial agenda and won the support of Sir D B Jayatilaka, Ponnambalam Ramanathan, E W Perera, Dr T B Jayah, S W R D Bandaranaike, S Nadesan and others.
“I would like to remind you that your father who represented the historic Giruwa Pattu region was also a member of that coalition.”
“On the day we commemorate our freedom, I appeal to you to take courageous decisions so that you can follow the path chosen by our leaders D S Senanayake and others that will lead us to a prosperous country that has unity in diversity that we can leave to our children and quench the fires that burn in our hearts” he added. (Colombo February 4, 2021)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana