“Today’s terrorist is today’s and tomorrow’s murderer”: Resolving violent conflict in Sri Lanka
“There is a false and foolish and evil saying that today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s freedom fighter. Today’s terrorist is today’s and tomorrow’s murderer.”
These were the words used by the former Foreign Minister of Australia Alexander Downer while delivering the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture 2008 in Colombo on Wednesday (October 15).
In an era when some people are attempting to glorify the terrorists and justify terrorism as a means to achieve political ends, these words of Mr.Downer should get all right thinking people really thinking.
As Sri Lankan we all know the terrible toll the unleashing of terrorist violence has taken on this country. . It has not left anyone untouched whatever their hierarchy in society maybe. From the politically powerful to the man lowest down in society, terrorism has in some way touched their lives, irrespective of which race or religion they belong to.
The late Lakshman Kadirgamar was a victim of an act of terrorism. If I say “a senseless act of terrorism”, I would be stating the obvious because sensible people will not resort to terrorism on any grounds. Lakshman Kadirgarmar was not the run-of-the-mill politician we had got all too familiar with but was an exceptional person and was killed because he refused to compromise on his strong belief that terrorism should not be used as a tool to achieve political ends. Major General Janaka Perera, the most recent victim of terrorist violence was a decorated officer who spent his career in the military fighting the LTTE. They are just two in the long line of men and women this country has lost of terrorism and continues to lose even now.