|Stop violence in Gaza|
|Wednesday, 31 December 2008|
The new year bodes ill for prospects of Middle East peace going by the current happenings in Gaza with Israeli fighter planes bombarding this tiny strip of land killing over 300 people and maiming several hundreds while causing massive destruction to Palestinian settlements.
The unfolding mayhem as shown on satellite TV of mangled bodies and devastated buildings has once again raised the spectre of a dangerous conflagration in this most volatile corner of the earth where enmities date back to biblical times.
Israel says it was responding to Hamas rocket attacks into Israel territory. Whatever the provocation it is apparent that Israel has overreacted and overreached itself judging by the scale of the carnage and the destruction wrought.
The attacks and the violence coming as it does in the teeth of attempts by the international community to end the Israel Arab conflict is alarming to say the least particularly in the midst increasing tensions in the region.
It is certainly going to affect the prospects of peace negotiations which were painstakingly put to together by countries such as France and the EU. That is why the UN in an emergency session has called for an immediate end to violence in the Gaza and Southern Israel.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his "deep alarm' by the worsening situation in Gaza and Southern Israel and called for an immediate halt to all violence.
While recognising Israel's security concerns regarding the continued firing of rockets from Gaza, the UN Chief has reiterated Israel's obligation to uphold International Humanitarian and Human rights Law and condemned excessive use of force leading to killing and injuring of civilians.
That Israel has been flouting UN resolutions with impunity is plain for all to see. What is worse is that it has been allowed to get away with it all this time and spared those sanctions that would normally have visited lesser nations that flouted such resolutions with much less frequency.
It is therefore incumbent on the UN to intervene speedily to bring a halt to this massacre and put in place a mechanism for an enduring peace in the Middle East which at the moment is a powder keg with foreign powers manipulating the situation.
What is even more alarming is the danger of the situation degenerating into a full blown conflagration given the proliferation of modern military hardware and its fall out on the rest of the world. The developing scenario in the Gaza was the result of a chain of events that undermined the authority of the Hamas regime that was elected by its own people.
It was plain to all that the new Hamas regime that was elected by popular vote at a referendum was thwarted at every turn in attempts to forge a peace, by the insidious designs of interested parties. All ceasefires called became non starters and it was apparent that these extraneous forces were only desirous of fomenting conflict.
This is why it is hoped that the UN would take into account all the ramifications that has led to current state of play in approaching the situation. It is also hoped that the world body would play a more assertive role in bringing about a peaceful resolution to the conflict, giving full play to the radical reforms that has blown through the world body in recent times.
The latest development in the Gaza would no doubt be a major issue that will confront the new American President Barack Obama who is due to be sworn in on January 20. He will doubtless be in the world spot- light vis-a-vis his handling this first major challenge of his Presidency. So far all US President's who intervened to forge a negotiated settlement had failed in their bid.
It is expected that the new US President would comply and abide by the UN resolutions unlike his immediate predecessor who overrode the UN particularly in the Iraqi invasion. Because any open defiance of the UN at this stage can only make the situation more combustible leading to escalation of the conflict.
This, at a time when the world economy is in it's worst recession since the great depression of the 1930s and the financial edifices of many developing nations crumbling before their eyes driving people into penury. A full blown conflict in the Middle East is therefore a harrowing prospect which the world powers should come to grips with before it is too late. Hence the need for treading cautiously without plunging into any precipitate action that could only worsen the overall situation. This is why the UN which is the only credible world body in the area of conflict resolution between states should be allowed to act without impediments to douse the raging flames and revive the peace process in the Middle East which was stymied by vested interests all these years.
Sri Lanka has every reason to be concerned by the plight of the Palestinian people in Gaza. Lankan-Palestine relations go a long away and was reinforced by the recent visit of Palestinian leader Mahaumud Abbas to the country. Also being a country stalked by a different kind of terror all Sri Lankans no doubt would empathise with suffering of the hapless civilians in the Gaza. Sri Lanka has already added her voice to the sea of condemnations pouring from nations against the genocide and for the immediate intervention of the UN to quell the anarchy. It is hoped that this collective voice would carry enough resonance for the perpetrators of this atrocity to realise their folly and call a halt to the carnage and sit down for talks.
Courtesy: Daily News
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 July 2009 )|
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