Monday, May 18, 2009


Sounds of crackers erupted around Colombo this afternoon at around 1:45pm. Since I didn't have a dailymirror alert on my phone, I wasn't entirely sure what was going on (although I knew that the 'war was over') but later I realised this marked the end of the war and the declaration that the entire country is now under the control of the Sri Lankan government.

Readers of this blog would know that I was not a supporter of the military effort. Simply due to the fact that I did not believe that the humanitarian catastrophe would be worth the end result. The lighting of crackers in Colombo is not only reeks of lack of consideration towards the sufferings of the people who actually directly suffered in the war but it cries out injustice. 

Humility is required at this point in time. In knowing that, the Tamil people who were treated as second class citizens in their own country should not be allowed to feel that way again. When we (who sometimes forgot their was a war going on in this country whilst we drank champagne and hobnobbed with socialites late into the nights) scream out jubilations about how relieved we are that the country is finally free, should realise how ridiculous this may seem to the 300,000 IDPs not very far from us. 

We should ensure that our 'celebrations' do not trample on their sorrows. We should ensure they do not feel that they endured the hell that was the no fire zone just so that people in the South can dance on the street. This victory is as much theirs as it is ours. If not more so. We should gather together to convince our government that the victory in the war is only half the battle won. That we need it to complete its mandate fully - provide the Tamil citizens in this country their rights to live as first class citizens. If the LTTE is truly banished, there should be no need to hold these IDPs away from their homes and in famine conditions (that the government even with the best of intentions may not be able to support due to the sheer size of the requirement). 

By the lighting of crackers and hoisting of the National Flag, we should not allow anyone to forget the true casualties of this war. The people who suffered its consequences directly on a daily basis. This includes the armed forces, the families of the armed forces and the IDPs). 

You and I played no active part in this battle. Therefore, it is more important than ever that we now take up our responsibility as seriously as the armed forces took theirs. Let none of the thousands of lives that were lost and scarred over the past 3 decades have been in vain. Let us not forget to do our bit for this country. And then together, we can all proclaim the beginning of One Sri Lanka. 

Not yet.

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