Now while we are battling out our own differences as Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and also in a more religious context, we are one when we leave the country. We are Sri Lankan, and have to deal with a lot of people thinking we are Indian. This is one of the few times I’ve faced racism in such an obvious way.
I was in Thailand and we were on this large wooden platform of a sort. My father, brother and I were going para-sailing. So there were all these fishermen looking people, tattooed and quite scary to look at. When we were standing there they didn’t even smile at us, and one said, “namaste” or something like that.
Then my father explained we were not Indian, but Sri Lankan, and suddenly, their hostile attitude was gone. They turned out to be amazing people and even wanted to know a few words in Sinhalese. Then my father and brother sailed off before me and I was quite scared. There were all these men, but they made sure I was safe and one of them even made sure I was properly strapped up and whatnot.
This is something I did talk about in a comment, but I’ll say it again.
Something my editor/boss always tells me is that there are no good people. Or bad people. There are just people.
Its the situations people are put in that make them to bag things or good things. So when they were rude to us, they weren’t being evil. And when they were nice to us, they weren’t being good. They were just being human.
Bringing this back in to Sri Lanka, some people hate. Some love. They weren’t born like this. Something somewhere made them that way. And they let that take over their life for some reason. When one man wanted a bit of land of an anyway small island, it soon became a Sinhala-Tamil thing. Recent events have led to Buddhist-Muslim ‘wars.’ This shouldn’t be so. Its not our Buddhistness or Muslimness that makes us good people, or bad people.
This is an article that was written by the Nation’s editor. It seems like a good way to end this post.