Tuesday, December 19, 2006

With who lies the blame?

WARNING: Bit of a serious post

I just finished watching the movie 'Shooting Dogs' with Hugh Dancy and John Hurt. The movie revolved around the 1994 Rwandan genocide. This movie repeated several main factors that were also shown in the movie 'Hotel Rwanda'. For example, the abandonment of the Rwandan people by the UN in the face of apparent danger. But I'm not here to criticise the decision's made in the past. But as one person, to try and draw a lesson from it so that it stops repeating itself over and over again.

The Rwandan genocide occured when the Hutus started massacring the Tutsis. Who are they? They are all Rwandans. Just different tribes. Over 800,000 men, women and children were massacred in broad daylight (and nighttime). So we say okay its Africa, it doesn't happen here. Doesn't it? We saw it in the 1940's - Nazi's slaughtering hundreds thousands of Jews, we saw it in the 50's, 70's and 80's in Sri Lanka. The problem with this is that the international community chooses too carefully which conflicts are brought to its attention and which conflicts are left to resolve themselves. In 1983, in Sri Lanka, thousands of Tamil people were murdered everywhere in the island by the majority Sinhalese. This was - as was the Rwandan - a planned genocide. Lists were made by the massacring parties of the houses and businesses of the minority people and attacked systematically. Houses were burned, people in their cars were set on fire, people were thrown onto tyres and burnt alive, hacked to death, raped, businesses looted.

Why?

There are thousands of reasons you and I and any historian can come up for these massacres, but at the root of them all are two things:

POWER and INSECURITY

People who want power feed on the insecurity of the lower classes to gain it. What are these people's insecurities? Someone will take my job, someone will get a promotion, someone will go abroad, someone will enter govt, someone will be able to feed their children, someone will get a nice house or a car - and that someone won't be me. Humans all need someone to blame. When in reality, they should be blaming corrupt politicians and inefficient governments that can't provide sufficient jobs and a sustainable economy. The politicians knowing that the masses are better diverted elsewhere with their anger and unrest than let the brunt of it fall onto themselves, point their fingers. The Nazi's say the Jews are taking the jobs, The Hutu leaders point the finger at the Tutsis and the Sinhalese politicians pointed it at the Tamil population.

Thus the masses - instead of thinking twice - take up their swords and go amarching.

This isn't a phenomenon of the past. The unrest is still alive. That is why there is no solution to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. Generation after generation gets fed the same ideas, thus react the same way to the accusation of corrupt politicians. There has to be a change!

So in this festive season, when all over the world people are celebrating the birth of Christ and the entrance of a brand new year, we must remember the people that have died over the years due to the ignorance of others. We must think of the people in various corners of the world, suffering due to the political greed of their leaders. And we must enable a change.

We must not just hope for peace in this world - but work together to achieve it.

1 comment:

Blublood said...

I don't dream of world peace Rane, I dream that one day the world can, just like you and I, come to a place where we all relate and can find a common ground to share and love and appreciate and nurture just like we had given birth to it ourselves...

Power is the very lack of what makes life wonderful. I could say so many other thing right now and go very deep into this pit of despair but I won't because I would rather be acting on my beliefs just like you are right this very second.

Thanks for reminding me of what's important, and BTW, it wasn't all that morbid, just fact that's all...

Later my friend...

P.S. I took this lil' meme test thingy and it said I should be in London, so if I ever am in London, you will have to show me around if you are still there...