Saturday, May 09, 2009


There are so many wide ranging views on the war effort, the IDP situation, the international community, Diaspora and Sri Lanka around the world and within the tiny island that you may call it information overload. From bloggers to NYTimes the issues are discussed, from Arvind Adiga to Channel 4 opinions are aired, the whole situation is controversial and as it involves so many parties, it is bound to be opinioniated.

I find the mirades of articles interesting. Enlightening. I enjoy the varying opinions. Finally however, what is of concern to me is the immeasurable grief that is being experienced by so many Sri Lankans who are DIRECTLY affected by this war. Therefore, as someone who does not think a military solution is the ultimate solution, I feel nothing but pain to all those people who are suffering right now. 

The brave young men and women who enroll in the army, whose deaths we do not mourn on a name by name basis. Their parents and loved ones who wait listlessly till they see or hear from them again. The loved ones of the innumberable missing persons. Both in the military and civilian population. The IDPs whose loved ones have died in front of them, who have lost their dignity and are now living as paupers in what is meant to be their country. The journalists and other emboldened souls who strive to tell us the truth on a daily basis yet do not sleep soundly at night worrying what lay in store for them.

When I was living abroad, I always enjoyed the thought of home. I could endure the hardships of a foreign existance knowing full well that its solely upto me when I go home and put an end to the misery of being an immigrant per se. I always knew that wherever I go that there is a place that I belong, that I can return to and live with dignity. And that was Sri Lanka.

This Sri Lanka that affords me a life of dignity and considerable luxury, does not offer the same for these persons. That pains me. The Sri Lanka where I can enjoy a wide range of delicacies does not afford these persons three meals a day on most occassions. The Sri Lanka that waves me through checkpoints after a smile and a greeting does not allow these persons to pass through without checking every single item in their bags.

I always believed that an end to this crisis will occur once the current generation dies. That us, the younger generation, will lead the way to a better Sri Lanka. That we will understand the issues that plagued each of the ethnicities and work towards eliminating each of these issues in a responsible manner. However, now, I see that even my views which are nothing but moderate, sometimes causes worry and anger in others of my own age. Or maybe younger than me.

The solid Sinhala Buddhist mentality (which thankfully has evaded me) is present in a number of persons in Sri Lanka. This mentality is only further emboldened by the victory on the war front. Thus these persons feel that every issue that Sri Lanka currently faces is secondary to the war against the LTTE. And winning that war will automatically place us in a position to fix everyone else's smaller less important problems. And that we should not speak of anything else that is wrong in this country and nor should anyone in the international community for it is unpatriotic. 

No. It is not unpatriotic. It is realistic. Winning the war will not assist these people regain what they lost. Furthermore, the more they lose, the higher the chance that Sri Lanka will be embroiled in war again and again till perhaps global warming takes charge and we all drown. 

For that matter, the diaspora and the Indian politicians who are screaming for a seperate state and the survival of the LTTE are equally as opposed to the 'righteous middle path' as the Sinhala extremists. Our country is too small to have two seperate states. We can travel from Jaffna to Dondra Point in around 24 hours. We will be stepping on each others toes. So why step on toes when we can just live peacefully? Maybe my views are too idealistic.Either way, I have the right to air my opinion. 

Therefore, convince your friends to allow dissent. Your parents that dissent is important. Lets convince that others views are as viable as our own. That this war is not about you and me who have internet access and sit in our comfortable homes but more about the people who are suffering by being directly involved in this war. 

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