Sometimes we think we can reach out to people from the comforts of our homes… But to really know what people went through, we need to see what they see, feel what they feel,… Therefore, it is only when people have been through the same thing together that reconciliation is possible…
We are proud to present a new series of articles by a great friend of the WFR team: Solomon Rajaram Hariharan. This series would be based on his experience as a volunteer at “Sri Lanka Unites”- A youth movement for hope and reconciliation.
Reconciliation is defined in many ways. My favourite one was the Greek word ‘Tikum Olam’ meaning to heal, repair and to transform. The Arabic words define reconciliation the best. ‘Salima’ meaning peace, safety, security and freedom and ‘Salaha’ meaning to be righteous, to do right, settlement, compromise, restoration and reinstitution. These two words clearly concise everything related to reconciliation and how reconciliation can be carried out. What I understand by the word reconciliation is the process where one forgives the faults of the opponent and joins hand with the opponent in rebuilding what is lost. Thus ensuring that a sustaining community and environment is rebuilt.
Through the reconciliation process what we should strive to achieve is the mutual understanding and acceptance of both parties. Reconciliation can never be targeted to a single group of people. It should reach the diverse groups of people affected or non-affected by the conflict. Reconciling with the opposing party does not mean that one has to let go of his or her values. But one should let go of the personal animosities, selfish desires and wants that hinder the process of reconciliation. It is not a win-lose situation; but a win-win situation where not only both parties but also the whole community and country enjoy peace and development.