Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Ground View Oct 2008



History of mankind provide us with enough evidence to substantiate the claim that "war is the conduct of politics by other means". In The Republic, Socrates proclaims that" war is derived from causes which are also the causes of almost all the evils in states, private as well as public "

If war is inevitable " it should be conducted with order and a sacred respect for the rights of civilians." observes Immanuel Kant. The humanist philosopher makes another observation "Necessity has no law. And yet there cannot be a necessity that could make what is wrong lawful". While the purpose of waging war could be to attain morally or politically justifiable objectives which has the support of a vast majority of people, as it is the case in the present war against the Terrorist menace that has engulfed this island for a quarter of a century, war is a brutal exercise. What redeems the harshness of its brutality is the peace that follows its conclusion.

The ultimate test of conquest is how things are brought to an end. For that there should be a strategy for peace that will justify the moral high ground that is claimed by all who fight terrorism the world over.

Jawaharlal Nehru writing in "The Discovery of India" who as Prime Minister introduced the policy of Panache Seela - an essentially Buddhist concept too accepts that war can some times be inevitable. The Philosopher statesman writes "The world of today has achieved much, but for all its declared love humanity, it has based itself far more on hatred and violence than on the virtues that make man human. War is the negation of truth and humanity. WAR MAY BE UNAVOIDABLE SOME TIMES, but its progeny are terrible to contemplate.."

The justice of a righteous war becomes self evident only if all evil that emanated from the conflict is eradicated.