Book Review – By Asoka Weerasinghe in Ottawa, Canada

Sri Lankan Ethnic Crisis - Towards a Resolution

By R. B. Herath

Publishers: Tafford Publishing, Victoria, Canada - ISBN 1-55369-793-6

 

To précis chronologically a political history of almost two centuries of an island nation in 225 pages is no easy task, and R. B. Herath has done exactly that in Sri Lanka Ethnic Crisis - Towards a Resolution.

 

The author has intelligently with a rare conscience of logic has unravelled the political musical chairs played by a few politicians in Sri Lanka for the past 50 years, that presented the Sri Lankan peoples with a crisis killing over 64,000, when none who died had a death wish for such an eventuality.

 

Having lived in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America, and studied, researched and understood how societies reacted to indigenous politics, R. B. Herath has qualified himself to speak with some authority on what has been going on in the governance of post-independent Sri Lanka.

 

In his vision for political honesty R. B. Herath has found answers to the burning question of Peace within a parenthetic, democratic, multi-ethnic, independent nation. He has courageously underlined his formula in the Chapter - A New Beginning, for good governance through a ‘peoples democracy’ securing and claiming the participatory rights of every Sri Lankan, rather than ‘a few politicians democracy’, where it is common for a Sri Lankan politician to be an institution to him or herself, governing Sri Lanka for better or for worse, for scores of years.

 

This book which proposes a new model for a new beginning in good governance in Sri Lanka should be read by all Sri Lankans and international Sri Lanka watchers. And for those who are now engaged in the political destiny of this island nation, and for those who are aspiring for a political career to chart a course of peace and prosperity for this island nation of diversity, Sri Lankan Ethnic Crisis - Towards a Resolution should be their text book for constant reading reminding them why things went wrong in the past that has ended up with a vicious separatist ethnic war, and why a New Beginning as proposed the author should be given serious consideration for the sake of Sri Lanka’s future generations. This book is also worthy of being added to every academic library shelf to benefit researchers on Sri Lankan history, and its diversity-politics.

 

Asoka Weerasinghe
Former Chairperson Project Peace for a united Sri Lanka
Ottawa, Canada

10 October 2002

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