Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

An Appeal for Cessation of Hostilities

During the Beijing Olympic Games

by Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam, Ph.D., July 1, 2008

Declaring a cessation of hostilities by parties in Sri Lanka would give an impetus to other nations at war within or between each other to consider such a cessation of hostilities during the period of the Olympic games.  The benefits from such a noble action, even if only one party to the conflict responds positively, will encourage the other party to reciprocate. 

It is the custom of the Ancient Greek Olympics, 776 BC to about 373 AD, for all warring parties to cease hostilities during the Olympics. For seven days before and seven days after the period of the Olympics, no fighting was allowed. An international truce among the Greeks was declared to allow the athletes to reach Olympia to compete and return home safely.

During this 103rd Modern Olympiad in Beijing in August 2008, I am openly appealing to all warring parties in Sri Lanka to declare a unilateral cessation of hostilities for two months during July 15 to September 15, 2008, just before, during and after the Olympics.

An Olympic Period for Peace will renew the tradition, hopefully, throughout the world. It will give a respite for the suffering peoples. The parties to the conflict and the general population can use the peace-space and time of the Olympic Period for Peace to reflect and engage in dialogue, exploring non-violent paths to peace.

Declaring a cessation of hostilities by parties in Sri Lanka would give an impetus to other nations at war within or between each other to consider such a cessation of hostilities during the period of the Olympic games.  The benefits from such a noble action, even if only one party to the conflict responds positively, will encourage the other party to reciprocate.  Such magnanimous actions will create and light the path for peace which would save many lives and suffering.

I appeal to past Olympians and all sportspersons from all communities, and national and international sports institutions such as, Sri Lanka Athletic Association, Sri Lanka Cricket, ICC, FIFA, IAAF, National Olympic Committees, and International Olympic Committee to make similar appeals to support the Olympic Period for Peace.

Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam, Ph.D.
Olympian, Helsinki 1952 and Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games.
Gold Medalist, Asian Games, Tokyo, 1958.

July 1, 2008

 

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