Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

A New Year Message on the World Day for Peace

by Father S.J. Emmanuel, Germany, January 1, 2011

Tamil version

Today, the first day of the New Year, the World Day for Peace.

I wish you and your families, a genuine Peace in your hearts

devoid of all insincerity, misconception and hatred

and built on mutual love, recognition and respect for all.

 

Since peaceful human life is threatened everywhere today

not merely by natural disasters but more by man’s inhumanity to man,

by upsetting the order of nature and the unlimited production of  weapons,

Let us all do our best to make this Planet a safe and peaceful Home for man.

 

Turning our attention to our own homeland, the island of Sri Lanka

Which is blessed by God with beautiful landscape and climate,

And enriched with a rich diversity of race, religion and heritage,

We have all failed to make this isle a peaceful home for all inhabitants.

 

Looking back into the brief period of the last six decades,

We are all convinced that we have ruined this God-given Paradise.

We are all to some extent guilty of selfishness, greed, pride and hatred

and have done nothing or very little for preserving peace on this isle.

 

This is a day not to heap accusations on the other, nor to claim innocence

But to recognise, respect and acknowledge the other as the other,

in his or her God-given character and context, strength and weakness

so as to see the other as the other, and love him and her in that otherness.

 

What has worked against the unity and peace of this island

Is our reluctance to accept the variety and diversities in our homeland,

And our sinful desire to rule and impose our self-interest on the other

By using even force to make the other become like ourselves or a mere slave.

 

If Peace is to be given a chance in our island for the future

we all must accept in Truth, the reality of the God-given diversities,

desire sincerely a Peace for all, built on Justice to one another

So as to recognise, respect and wish the other to flourish in the otherness.

 

More harm is done by the passivity of the good people

than by the activity of bad people.

Peace is not the result of the majority passively watching and waiting,

while the minority among them go ahead with their evil plans and actions.

 

Peace has to be built against the evil attempts of those

who bull-doze differences and diversities of language, culture and religion

just to achieve their self-desire for power and wealth.

We all must become active, raise our voices and struggle hard for Peace.

 

I wish all my brothers and sisters who consider this island as their homeland

more light, common sense and courage to listen to their conscience

see and understand the reality of the present situation ,

and to join hands with one another in the struggle for Truth, Justice and Peace.