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  • Max Ediger
    ... From: Kingsley perera Date: Thu, May 14, 2009 at 10:46 AM Subject: Fw: PETITION: SRI LANKA HUMANITARIAN CRISIS To: Max Ediger
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 2009
      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Kingsley perera <kurugama@...>
      Date: Thu, May 14, 2009 at 10:46 AM
      To: Max Ediger <ediger.max@...>, David Schmid <david-schmid@...>
      Cc: marilyn.krysl@..., shibuya toshio <shibukapi@...>

      --- On Tue, 5/12/09, Sharif Abdullah <sharif@...> wrote:

      From: Sharif Abdullah <sharif@...>
      To: kurugama@...
      Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 4:28 PM

      Commonway Institute
      Creating a World That Works for All


      Please consider this petition regarding the ongoing human carnage in Sri Lanka .  I generally don't sign or promote petitions, but I am making an exception in this case. 


      You can read and sign the petition here: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/12srilan/petition.html 



      This petition is from Institute for Integrative Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding.  While IICP is based in Austria , I have worked with their co-directors Gudrun Kramer and Wilfried Graf on numerous occasions in Sri Lanka over the years.  (Please see their full email and contact info, which follows my comments.)

      Most petitions (like this one) are basically asking the warring parties to do that which is against their basic nature -- asking the violent to be peaceful, asking the killers to be considerate.

      However, in this case, I believe that there are other audiences for the petition.   The Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka needs to snap out of its violence-induced trance, to see what is being done in their names, to recognize that this violates the very principles of their Buddhist faith.  (For more on this, see my article, “The Destruction of Buddhism”, link here:  http://blog.commonway.org/)


      The Tamil community needs to know two things: that we support the innocents caught in the crossfire, while at the same time we hold LTTE (also known as the "Tamil Tigers") to be co-responsible for the violence done to the innocents.


      Around the world, governments and insurgents use civilian populations as their surrogate combatants at worst, and ignore them at best.  This must stop.


      There is also another audience: the audience of our internal conscience.  I can’t get to the war front to stop the killing.  (In my last visit, as a foreigner, I couldn’t get anywhere near the War Zone or the internment camps.)  But, by signing this petition, I can say to myself that I did SOMETHING, took some action, in the face of this human-induced humanitarian disaster.


      Another reason for signing and promoting the petition: I found it to be very even-handed and objective. In Sri Lanka , people get caught up either defending or attacking one side or another.  But, this petition points out the basic fact: VIOLENCE IS THE PROBLEM.  It solves nothing.  Yet, as we enter the 21st Century, it seems to be the principal vehicle governments and insurgents around the world use to solve their problems. There must be another way.


      So, I have signed this petition.  I pass this along to you for you to consider signing and passing along. 




      Dr. Sharif Abdullah

      Commonway Institute



      On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 6:05 AM, IICP <iicp@...> wrote:


      Dear Friends,

      We are currently circulating a petition relating to the current urgent humanitarian emergency in Sri Lanka . The petition calls for both fighting parties in Sri Lanka to cease hostilities and focus on protecting the lives of the civilians caught in the crossfire which is causing a humanitarian disaster. This disaster is unfolding as you read this. Right now, thousands have already lost their lives. Tens of thousands more civilians are at risk of loosing their lives to the ongoing fighting, as they are caught inside the last 4 or 5 square kilometers still under LTTE control, with the Sri Lankan Army closing in. A military approach to resolving the current situation will necessarily involve a large scale loss of civilian life. Every voice which comes to the defence of the civilians trapped by the violence is a reminder to the fighting parties that the cost in terms of civilian lives is unacceptable and counterproductive to peace in both the short and long term.

      We hope that you can support this petition, and will add your name via the link below. Please also forward this petition as widely as possible to your own networks.

      Sincerely yours,
      The IICP Staff

      Institute for Integrative
      Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding
      Gasometer B - Schild
      Guglgasse 8/4/4/18
      A-1110 Wien

      Tel: +43 1 7400 29 92
      Fax: +43-(0)1-9661281
      iicp@... www.iicp.at

      Our apologies for cross-posting!


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      "But what will the lessons from the war in Viet Nam be?"
      "They will be whatever makes us think well of ourselves.  So that our sleep will be untroubled." - Ward Just in "The American Blues"
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