'Positive Peace' favours growth of human and social relationships -
Secretary to the President
we must be doing is restoring trust among communities, rebuild Social
Capital and thereby enhance personal and collective productivity, bring
lasting peace and prosperity, and improve the quality of life of every
Sri Lankan citizen", said Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga,
while speaking on the importance of social capital at the 'Defence
Seminar 2014' at Galadari Hotel, Colombo yesterday (Aug 18).
Elaborating on Positive and Negative Peace, Lalith Weeratunga
mentioned that, "Positive peace is filled with positive content such as
restoration of relationships, the creation of social systems that serve
the needs of the whole population and the constructive resolution of
conflict".He also mentioned that, "It is this Positive peace that we
will consider as conducive to promote development in Sri Lanka". "The
Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission made a large number of
recommendations towards establishing and enhancing Positive peace in Sri
Lanka", he added.
Further speaking on different views held on the partnership between
peace mentioned, "It is obvious that no real economic progress can be
achieved in a situation of conflict or war".
"When the resources that would normally be used for economic
development will have to be diverted for defence and military purposes,
or will simply not be available for use" he added.
Weeratunga pointed out that, however, it is interesting to note that
despite a debilitating war, Sri Lanka during the years 2006 to 2009 had
a remarkable GDP growth. "Once the struggle against terrorism ended in
May 2009, we had remarkable GDP growth in 2010 - a massive 8.0 percent",
Explaining on several streams of opinions on development and peace he
stated that, "there is an agreement that sustained peace can promote
economic development, there is no guarantee that economic development
alone will promote sustained peace".
"This is because people in a society, in any country, whether they
are rich or poor, will "always want more" leading to inevitable
disparities. Hence, there has to be a multi disciplinary approach to
development", he said.
Taking the current context into the argument Secretary to the
President said that, "development has to take into account not just the
monetary value, but also people development and growth, strengthening of
social networks, and as some countries do, even go to the extent of
developing a Gross National Happiness Index". "The essence of the
philosophy of this index is the peace and happiness of a country's
people and the security and sovereignty of the nation", he said.In his
concluding remarks Secretary to the President emphasised that, "in order
for peace and development to be complimentary and to grow as an
inseparable partnership, what we must seek to build progressively is a
"Positive Peace" and a kind of development that goes beyond a monetary
value and favours the growth of human and social relationships, cohesive
societies, promote civic engagement and establish trust and
"In such a situation, we will find both a sustainable peace and a