Category Archives: The Nation

Label jars, not people

Free editorial on June 22

Stripped of all the clothes we wear to be part of the ethnic communities we ‘belong’ to, we will all look the same. The only way people will be able to label us is by skin color and sex.
However, these people are then introduced to this thing called religion. The funny thing about religion is that while it preaches about unity, it often encourages the opposite. Of course you can disagree and say that the leaders of these religions never laid down these rules and regulations.
All rules are manmade, as are all religions. We decide on what’s good and evil, what’s right and wrong. We decide on what will send us to heaven and what will send us to hell.
With religion comes add-ons to ourselves.  There are the vows and promises to be a better and more religious human being. However, there are other add-ons, the more visible kind.
People are identified as Buddhists if they wear a talisman or pirith nool. The sanga is identified by those robes that range from yellow to maroon. We look for white or red powder or paste on the forehead when identifying a person as a Hindu. We look for a rosary or cross when identifying a person as a Catholic or Christian. And we look for the beards, caps, burqa or shawl when identifying people as Muslim.
So, once those naked people take on the garments and various accessories they feel they should because of their race, religion or culture, they become people who aren’t similar. We are able to create more labels than skin color and sex. We categorize people by their nationality, race, religion, caste, beliefs and culture.
Take a human. They could be male or female. If born in our island, he/she’ll be a Sri Lankan. They could be Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher and can believe in Buddhism, Christianity, Islam or Hinduism. He/she could belong to a particular sect of any of these religions.
While we are told to respect all people and all beliefs, we don’t actually do this. We believe that our religion is the best, our ethnicity is the best. Ethnicities claim ownership of countries, cities, neighborhoods, schools, companies and people. And when people belong to a particular religion or ethnicity and they try to force their beliefs on other people, there is conflict. Keep your rules and regulations, definitions of right and wrong, to yourself.
We can attempt to pinpoint where all the trouble started. Who was the first person to be aware of these differences between people? Who raised their voice first? Who is the bad guy?
We can post status updates, we can change our profile pictures, but we need to do much more than this. We need to stop categorizing people. We need to stop discriminating. We need to tell people that we’ve had enough with being different.
Listen. Understand. Accept. Tolerate.
It’s not that difficult to do.

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Remembering our heroes

 Appeared in the nation newspaper’s Jeans magazine on May 18
Roadblocks. The scorching sun. Checking vehicle after vehicle. Rude drivers and passengers. Fear. Exhaustion.

Their faces are rarely brightened by a smile. They sometimes make a joke, but only to keep away the fear. To feel like they live normal lives. Not ones that could end at any given moment.
Just a few years ago, our country was at war. We heard of explosions, shootings, death after death. It was a scary time to live in. Children were taken away, they were given weapons and uniforms. Stories about child soldiers brought fear to the hearts of parents. Just a few years ago, we couldn’t walk on the roads as we do now. Everywhere we looked were men in uniforms. They carried guns and looked at everyone as if they were the enemy.
You lived in the part of our not distant history when war was a word heard too often. You may not remember it all too well, but there are people who know nothing but the war. In 2009, just five years ago, that war came to an end. And who do we have to thank? Men who go about in big vehicles? Men who add title after title to their names?

The thinkers, the plan makers and decision makers played a huge role in ending the war. However, Victory Day isn’t for them. It’s for those who carried out their orders, who fearlessly fought for peace. And for what?  So that we can forget what they have sacrificed?
You don’t need to remember how many died, how many survived, and how many barely did. You don’t need to remember where the fighting took place, where the leaders lived and who the good guys were. It’s good if you do. It’s part of our history, our story, regardless of how dark those times were. However, what’s more important to remember is that each one of those soldiers fought for you. They sacrificed their lives so you could live a relatively safe life. They did what many couldn’t, and shot bullet after bullet at those who weren’t their own enemy so that you could go to school, have fun and live a good life.
After all, those battles, some won, others lost, what do they get? One day in a 365 day calendar where some remember to not forget them? We often curse the parades. We consider it all a waste of money and a waste of time. We think the war is given too much attention and we don’t see the point of talking about it, five years since its end.

There are many war-related sites in the Northern Province. Just after the war ended, many flocked to see where this leader lived or that leader died. There were young men of the armed forces giving visitors information about these sites. And as they described the war, even though those same words were uttered several times, their voices cracked as they described the last few battles, which resulted in so many deaths and so much damage. These were men who didn’t just drive past houses that were covered in bullet holes. They camped in those broken down houses, hoping they won’t be caught. They spent night and day hoping these power hungry leaders would solve their problems without dragging innocent men into this seemingly never ending war.

These are not exaggerated stories or feelings. These men aren’t pretending to be tired and hurt. They had no say when they lost a limb or two. They never willingly or happily stepped on a land mine.
Decades from now, the soldiers who survived will also be dead. Their graves will be visited by family only. The story of the war will be told by those who planned it, instead of those who fought it. And what’s your duty? To forget these men and women who sacrificed everything for a country whose people aren’t at war with each other?
Remember them. Remember what they did. Remember their fearless dedication to their nation. Remember them because that’s all they can ask from you. Remember them, and never forget.

Roadblocks. The scorching sun. Checking vehicle after vehicle. Rude drivers and passengers. Fear. Exhaustion.
Their faces are rarely brightened by a smile. They sometimes make a joke, but only to keep away the fear. To feel like they live normal lives. Not ones that could end at any given moment.
Just a few years ago, our country was at war. We heard of explosions, shootings, death after death. It was a scary time to live in. Children were taken away, they were given weapons and uniforms. Stories about child soldiers brought fear to the hearts of parents. Just a few years ago, we couldn’t walk on the roads as we do now. Everywhere we looked were men in uniforms. They carried guns and looked at everyone as if they were the enemy.
You lived in the part of our not distant history when war was a word heard too often. You may not remember it all too well, but there are people who know nothing but the war. In 2009, just five years ago, that war came to an end. And who do we have to thank? Men who go about in big vehicles? Men who add title after title to their names?
The thinkers, the plan makers and decision makers played a huge role in ending the war. However, Victory Day isn’t for them. It’s for those who carried out their orders, who fearlessly fought for peace. And for what?  So that we can forget what they have sacrificed?
You don’t need to remember how many died, how many survived, and how many barely did. You don’t need to remember where the fighting took place, where the leaders lived and who the good guys were. It’s good if you do. It’s part of our history, our story, regardless of how dark those times were. However, what’s more important to remember is that each one of those soldiers fought for you. They sacrificed their lives so you could live a relatively safe life. They did what many couldn’t, and shot bullet after bullet at those who weren’t their own enemy so that you could go to school, have fun and live a good life.
After all, those battles, some won, others lost, what do they get? One day in a 365 day calendar where some remember to not forget them? We often curse the parades. We consider it all a waste of money and a waste of time. We think the war is given too much attention and we don’t see the point of talking about it, five years since its end
There are many war-related sites in the Northern Province. Just after the war ended, many flocked to see where this leader lived or that leader died. There were young men of the armed forces giving visitors information about these sites. And as they described the war, even though those same words were uttered several times, their voices cracked as they described the last few battles, which resulted in so many deaths and so much damage. These were men who didn’t just drive past houses that were covered in bullet holes. They camped in those broken down houses, hoping they won’t be caught. They spent night and day hoping these power hungry leaders would solve their problems without dragging innocent men into this seemingly never ending war.
These are not exaggerated stories or feelings. These men aren’t pretending to be tired and hurt. They had no say when they lost a limb or two. They never willingly or happily stepped on a land mine.
Decades from now, the soldiers who survived will also be dead. Their graves will be visited by family only. The story of the war will be told by those who planned it, instead of those who fought it. And what’s your duty? To forget these men and women who sacrificed everything for a country whose people aren’t at war with each other?
Remember them. Remember what they did. Remember their fearless dedication to their nation. Remember them because that’s all they can ask from you. Remember them, and never forget.
– See more at: http://www.nation.lk/edition/jeans/item/29174-remembering-our-heroes.html#sthash.m7qwPg9s.dpuf

Respect is the word

Appeared in Free magazine, Nation newspaper on April 20
We live in a day and age where respect for others, their beliefs and even for one’s self is no more. Perhaps this is one of the major reasons for the decline of our society. 
Do you have an atheist friend or friend who believes in another religion other than yours? Have you ever tried to convince her or him otherwise? What about a friend with a different sexual orientation? What have you felt and have you made any rude remarks? While personally we may feel differently and have opposing views the key for co-existence is respect. We need to respect what they believe in as they respect ours. Humans can never agree on everything but we must heed what the other has got to say and find common ground.
Today people can be shockingly rude. It is not uncommon to hear racist and derogatory remarks in public aimed directly at people who are within earshot. And usually in most cases they are totally uncalled for. People are not tolerant of other religions or another’s traditions which can be seen in a recent spate of incidents in our country and around the world which is upsetting. And if we thought the caste system is no more, then we are mistaken as still many who consider they belong to communities of the upper class do not enter in to marriage with those from lower castes. Superstitions and misconceptions about gypsies exist even today.
Pic by Sakuna Gamage
Is it really difficult to give up a seat in a bus to a member of clergy of another religion other than yours and give them the due respect? Or hand a coin to a beggar who is clearly from another religion? Or to have some reverence at a temple, a church, a kovil or a mosque?  Shockingly, people do not even respect the dead anymore; with news of grave robbing  being commonplace now in society.
Sadly, even respect for the institution of marriage is somewhat lost. Wives and Husbands do not respect each other enough to be faithful to their bond. Children do not respect their parents or teachers anymore. People do not even respect themselves and stoop low for various reasons by accepting or giving bribes, stealing and lying.
The world doesn’t have to be a dreary place as I have made it sound like. All one needs to do is have some respect. 
‘Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners’
I can’t agree more with this quote. Respect one another, as we the youth need to ensure wars will not be fought in this beautiful country and racism will not have a place in our society. Be faithful to your partner, and protect the institution called marriage, it is not a whim or fancy you can discard as you please. Respect our parents and teachers as they are our guides in life, they have shaped us in to who we have become today. We owe everything we know to them. Do not steal from others, respect the fact they have worked hard to earn everything they own.
Despite whatever we think there is absolutely no difference between us. So mostly respect one another as humans because beyond all the races, religions, castes, creeds, skin colors and various other differences, we are all the same.

You know you are Sri Lankan when…

Our nationality is something to be proud of. Being Sri Lankan isn’t just about what’s on your birth certificate. There are certain characteristics that create the identity of a Sri Lankan.
You know you are Sri Lankan when you will do anything for a bargain or discount. Promotional offers and year- end sales are things that we all dream of. Sometimes, we even buy things we have no real need for just because we are offered a discount.
Tea is a day-starter. Some prefer coffee, but tea is what we truly love. There’s milk tea, plain tea, ginger tea, cinnamon tea and a whole lot more. In fact, a day isn’t complete without at least a cup of tea. What’s even better is when you soak a Tikiri Marie biscuit in a steaming cup of coffee and then eat it.
Watalappan or chocolate biscuit pudding are must have desserts. There is also a curd and milk toffee. Lunch is perfect if its yellow rice, and better if it’s wrapped in a banana leaf. Sri Lankans also need spicy food, and usually the lunu miris, sambol and curries leave you breathing fire.
Sri Lankans love holidays. Besides the 12 Poya holidays a year, and weekends, we also look forward to the other religious and cultural holidays. The New Year, Christmas, Thai Pongal, we don’t even need to celebrate those days, but the holiday is looked forward to by all. In fact all days marked in red in the calendar are worthy of countdowns.

Something that most Sri Lankans do is use words that have lost its real meaning. We end questions and sentences with no or na. Phrases and words like, sin ane, aiyo, it seems (pronounced itsims) and I say are said so frequently they have become Sri Lankan words.
Everyone of your parent’s generation is an aunty or uncle. You do not refer to people as Mr or Mrs. Anyone of your generation but older is akka or aiya and anyone younger is nangi or malli. This is very convenient since remembering the names of your friends, friend’s friends, parent’s friends and so on isn’t quite that easy.
When introducing a friend of the opposite sex to your parents or grandparents, prepare yourself for a thousand and one questions. Make sure you two don’t have any ‘cute moments’ or by the time you blink, you’ll find yourself on a poruwa, being married off to that person. You are better off pretending you have no friends of the opposite sex, since most parents believe all romantic relationships are heterosexual.

Everyone knows each other. If you give them the time, our grandparents could trace our history right to Adam and Eve! Further, there’s no such thing as a distant relative. Everyone is family and our grandparents are ever ready to prove this.

The Police have little work because when a house is broken into, the neighbors will chase the thief, catch him, beat him and tie him up before calling the cops. And how do people prepare for this? By playing Hora-Police all day as kids.

Looking at sports, no Sri Lankan is a ‘real’ Sri Lankan if he or she doesn’t like cricket. Whether we win or lose, cricket will remain an absolute favorite and people don’t even mind staying away from work or school on a day a match is being played.
You are also Sri Lankan if you complain about the crazy driving skills off Sri Lankans, but don’t follow road rules yourself. In fact, while we complain about buses that are just too fast, we also complain about slow buses, which are usually going at the required speed.

Stores and houses are forever decorated. In April, stores bring out their Avurudu decorations. These remain until May, when they are modified to suit Vesak. The two following Poyas also enjoy the lights and lanterns. Then the cleaning up is put of until it’s November, and it makes no sense to take down the decorations since Christmas is just around the corner. And so the Vesak decorations become Christmas decorations and they stay on until April. There are also the in between matches, carnivals and other celebrations which leave the country forever decorated.
Of course, one can write volumes about what it is to be a Sri Lankan. It’s more than our accent and long names. It’s everything that makes us brothers and sisters; what makes millions of people family.

Our nationality is something to be proud of. Being Sri Lankan isn’t just about what’s on your birth certificate. There are certain characteristics that create the identity of a Sri Lankan.
You know you are Sri Lankan when you will do anything for a bargain or discount. Promotional offers and year- end sales are things that we all dream of. Sometimes, we even buy things we have no real need for just because we are offered a discount.
Tea is a day-starter. Some prefer coffee, but tea is what we truly love. There’s milk tea, plain tea, ginger tea, cinnamon tea and a whole lot more. In fact, a day isn’t complete without at least a cup of tea. What’s even better is when you soak a Tikiri Marie biscuit in a steaming cup of coffee and then eat it.
Watalappan or chocolate biscuit pudding are must have desserts. There is also a curd and milk toffee. Lunch is perfect if its yellow rice, and better if it’s wrapped in a banana leaf. Sri Lankans also need spicy food, and usually the lunu miris, sambol and curries leave you breathing fire.
Sri Lankans love holidays. Besides the 12 Poya holidays a year, and weekends, we also look forward to the other religious and cultural holidays. The New Year, Christmas, Thai Pongal, we don’t even need to celebrate those days, but the holiday is looked forward to by all. In fact all days marked in red in the calendar are worthy of countdowns.
Something that most Sri Lankans do is use words that have lost its real meaning. We end questions and sentences with no or na. Phrases and words like, sin ane, aiyo, it seems (pronounced itsims) and I say are said so frequently they have become Sri Lankan words.
Everyone of your parent’s generation is an aunty or uncle. You do not refer to people as Mr or Mrs. Anyone of your generation but older is akka or aiya and anyone younger is nangi or malli. This is very convenient since remembering the names of your friends, friend’s friends, parent’s friends and so on isn’t quite that easy.
When introducing a friend of the opposite sex to your parents or grandparents, prepare yourself for a thousand and one questions. Make sure you two don’t have any ‘cute moments’ or by the time you blink, you’ll find yourself on a poruwa, being married off to that person. You are better off pretending you have no friends of the opposite sex, since most parents believe all romantic relationships are heterosexual.
Everyone knows each other. If you give them the time, our grandparents could trace our history right to Adam and Eve! Further, there’s no such thing as a distant relative. Everyone is family and our grandparents are ever ready to prove this.
The Police have little work because when a house is broken into, the neighbors will chase the thief, catch him, beat him and tie him up before calling the cops. And how do people prepare for this? By playing Hora-Police all day as kids.
Looking at sports, no Sri Lankan is a ‘real’ Sri Lankan if he or she doesn’t like cricket. Whether we win or lose, cricket will remain an absolute favorite and people don’t even mind staying away from work or school on a day a match is being played.
You are also Sri Lankan if you complain about the crazy driving skills off Sri Lankans, but don’t follow road rules yourself. In fact, while we complain about buses that are just too fast, we also complain about slow buses, which are usually going at the required speed.
Stores and houses are forever decorated. In April, stores bring out their Avurudu decorations. These remain until May, when they are modified to suit Vesak. The two following Poyas also enjoy the lights and lanterns. Then the cleaning up is put of until it’s November, and it makes no sense to take down the decorations since Christmas is just around the corner. And so the Vesak decorations become Christmas decorations and they stay on until April. There are also the in between matches, carnivals and other celebrations which leave the country forever decorated.
Of course, one can write volumes about what it is to be a Sri Lankan. It’s more than our accent and long names. It’s everything that makes us brothers and sisters; what makes millions of people family.
– See more at: http://www.nation.lk/edition/lifestyle/item/25353-you-know-you-are-sri-lankan-when.html#sthash.QoOrpOTn.dpuf

Reconciliation


A workshop held last year led to the creation of the blog, Written for Reconciliation. Here contributors spoke about the various aspects of reconciliation and how we, as the youth of the nation, could help understand and accept people regardless of their ethnicity or gender. Through this blog, the contributors themselves came together and accepted that reconciliation is easier said than done.

Harmony between various ethnic communities is not easy to achieve. It takes a great deal of understanding, tolerance and acceptance to love people or associate with people despite the different social backgrounds they come from. During a time when the country is full of so much hate and intolerance, a question that is constantly asked is; what part does the youth play in reconciliation?
The future of a nation is in the hands of youth. While adults are in charge of today, the youth is in charge of tomorrow. And today isn’t all that bright and sunny. It’s a time when people would rather hate than love, make war than peace. Thus, it is tomorrow that can bring about change. And tomorrow belongs to us.
Further, young adults have very little history to consider. Very few let riots and murders and battles decide on their behalf. Few are brought up in families that believe in the importance of the caste system, and the various classes of society. There was a time when a Colombo school was only for the wealthy, English speaking families. Today, the scholarship system allows students from the more ‘in the middle of nowhere’ villages to study in the same class as someone from a ‘Colombo Seven’ family. Today’s youth are not geared to discriminate or hate. We are taught to love and to accept. We are told of the importance of reconciliation.
Very few schools are strictly Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu or Muslim schools anymore. We studied with students who worshipped different gods, and followed different traditions. Race and religion were not deciding factors of friendship. While the ignorance of one’s history is not to be taken lightly, the youth’s lack of knowledge of our nation’s dark history, where blood has been shed mercilessly, is one of the main reasons the youth doesn’t give importance to ethnic differences. Our parents use their own experiences and memories to hate, but we have very little memories and experiences that will make us bigots.
Our complexion, accent, language, religion and traditions are not dividers. They are not barriers. And they should never stop one from doing what they love.

Today there are many youth organizations that work towards creating better environments for people to live in. Issues regarding the youth, but also the future of the nation are being discussed due to the interest in youth to be the change the country needs, and also due to the need of a stronger youth.
Adults often believe young adults shouldn’t interfere with adult matters. “You just learnt your ABCs. So what do you know about reconciliation?” Such attitudes discourage people, and silence many voices. Today, not many keep quiet while their rights are breached. Not many choose to suffer in silence.

This is why there are so many organizations that focus on human rights. Workshops, programs, projects are organized to spread awareness, develop leadership skills, and give the youth a platform to show they care. Further, there is a large number of blogs, sites and forums where youth voice their opinions. Reading the stories, articles or poems written by young people, who live ordinary lives, and who see the injustice around them, gives us all hope about tomorrow.
We are so pessimistic. We often believe the situation cannot be changed, that racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will continue. And instead of trying to change the situation, people tend to accept it. They think it is okay to hate if one comes from the North or South. They think its okay to hate if one speaks a different language.
Most of us have read some version of Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare. Remember how Shylock is insulted by Antonio?

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die?”

This is one of the most important quotes of Merchant of Venice, and it perfectly captures the idea that after all, we are one and the same. And yet, we continue to distinguish one and another by skin color, race and religion. For years, African Americans were called blacks. Why? Because, they were dark in color. Somewhere, someone realized it was an insult, and instead decided to call non fair skinned people colored.
When I born, I black
When I grow up, I black
When I go in sun, I black
When I scared, I black
When I sick, I black
And when I die, I still black
And you white fellow
When you born, you pink
When you grow up, you white
When you go in sun, you red
When you cold, you blue
When you scared, you yellow
When you sick, you green
And when you die, you gray
And you calling me colored?
The above poem shows that the labels and terms we give certain communities often lack a proper basis. Dark-skinned or fair-skinned, we all belong to a certain color, and have no right to call one white, black or yellow. We are beautiful regardless of our complexion.
Whether you are a Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher, you have a right to the same opportunities, and you have a right to live. And reconciliation between ethnic communities will be possible only if the youth stands against the discrimination, hate and violence that people seem to encourage and indulge in with very little shame.

Jaffna; Hope or Despair?

Story appeared in the Nation newspaper on December 29, 2013 and is written by Pamodhi Kuruppu.


From Colombo to Anuradhapura, then Vavuniya passing Medawachchiya and to few iconic towns like Omanthai, Killinochchi, Arali Point and the stunning arid view of Elephant Pass, a moment of beauty that one could never think of. Just wondered, “How cruel they were to kill such picturesqueness”. Trees still with bomb scars , “Thal”  standing with much elegance , a true symbol of the North but  leaves burnt and  houses destroyed , yes it was  quite astonishing to these eyes! . These places were just heard in television until that long drive of two hundred and fifty-five miles brought me down there just a few months back. The figure was small but looked nourishing and brimming.
“Javaka”, “Javapattuna”, “Yaalpanama”, and “Yapapatuna” it may call itself. The word “Jaffna” comes from the Portuguese rule of Franciscan Friar. The full name given by him to Jaffna was “Jafana Patanaoture”. History records state that the name was derived by a headman called “Yapa” .Who this “Yapa” is not stated though. The Tamil name “Yalpanam” provides no history about Jaffna except for the fairy tale of “Yalapana Vaipava Malai”. However, Jaffna is entirely a creation of the British Colony. It was one of their maritime provinces of administration. It must be said that what it is known as Jaffna district even in late 1824 was known as “Waligama”, purely a Sinhala name. One could come across “Waligama” in ancient colonial maps. Whether the district was Sinhalese, English, Portuguese or whatever, a highly controversial question with regard to Jaffna was if it was a separate kingdom or a precise Tamil Kingdom.
And the question still remains.  Years back Jaffna was quite known for trading. Jaffna could be called the “land of prosperity “for its soil was fertile and ideal for much cultivation. People from the down South of Sri Lanka often claimed shops to trade in Jaffna. It was a mix of Hindus and Sinhalese who worked together back then. Surprisingly it’s no longer there to be seen. One can hardly see a Sinhalese passing by. So is it now entirely owned by the Tamils? A separate kingdom within a united state? Where does this harmony lie? This is what my mind questioned when I heard a military officer telling, “No Mahattaya, the city is more likely to be of the Tamils’ , we’ll never see a single Sinhalese living here in years to come except for those tourists” , “It’s pathetic” he said. Could this be the rising of another brutal army?
However these creepy thoughts drowned for a moment and I was beguiled by the town’s wonders, for example the Keerimalai springs, thought to have healing powers. We had a visit there with some armed guards. “Nallur “was something fascinating. Topless men with sarongs, crawling on the sandy ground around the “kovil” and women in gold “thalis” worshipping for each step they keep on a single tile, one could think they are utterly mad. No, it was a perfect showcase of a vibrant culture, their love for god and fear for “karma“. A true sign of devotion and respect.
It was hot outside, and the sun was strong. But the wind was even hotter, where hundreds of “Jaffnians” had gathered at the beach. They were selling “karawala” for the tourists. The men, quite determined and very competitive of their prices, were trying to sell as much as possible because “karawala” is what gives them bread and butter for survival. The little stay there told much about the people. They were actively engaged in their daily chores which was a good sign of post-war. The well carpeted roads, the upcoming hotels and restaurants were examples of development in the heart break of 30 years of bloodshed.
Yet some things are disturbing. When evening six’ o clock alarms, they said it is time for patrolling. On one hand it’s a good indication of ensuring the security in the villages even after the war is over, but also manifests that they still suspect of an existence of terrorism. The four days of stay confirmed that the lives are not disturbed by violence anymore. However the disheartening fact is that still the Tamils are not contented of what they’ve got.
Rebuilding is a continuing process and we hope that we will get to see a better version of “Jaffna” in another couple of years to come. Nevertheless the constant complaints made by Tamils of the fact that they still suffer from war sounds very psychological. Many Tamils were born to see terrorism. Some experienced terrorism in real; some thought terrorism was for their own benefit and perhaps for most of them war was a part of their lives and some demand for war even now. Prabhakaran is being worshipped and praised. Who knows if Prabhakaran treated them good? We humans always prefer and welcome the usual things we do and see in life. We fear the “change” over what we’ve undergone in life in its major sometimes. Thus this grievance of the Tamils could be of one such. It’s well known that the North is developing but it will be hard to fix those wrecked hearts bruised by callous memories. It may be impossible at times unless they themselves try to change or see life in a positive way.

ඇයි අපි කලුද?

අපි ඉතින් කලුයිනේ. ඒක ලජ්ජාවට කරුණක් නෙවෙයි. සමහර අය කලුයි, සමහර අය සුදුයි. ඔය රෝස පෙනුමක් හරි කහ පෙනුමක් හරි තියෙන කට්ටියත් ඉන්නවනේ. ඒත් ඉතින් කොච්චර Fair and Lovely ගැවට අපි කලුයි. හැබැයි ඉතින් කලු කිව්වට සුදු අයත් ඉන්නවා. හැබැයි ඒ අයත් සුද්දන්ට වඩා නම් කලුයි.
දැන් පොඩ්ඩකට අපේ හමේ පැහැය අමතක කරමුකෝ. අපි යමු දැන් නුගේගොඩට.
මේ ඊයේ පෙරේද අම්මයි මමයි ගියා එහෙට සපත්තු කුට්ටමක් ගන්න. අපි දෙන්නා දවල් දෙකේ අව්වට පිච්චිලා, හොඳටම මහන්සියෙන් ගොඩ වුනා ඒ පැත්තේ ඔය AC එහෙම කරපු කඩේකට. නම් කියන්න ඕනෙත් නැහැ, නම් දන්නෙත් නැහැ. ඉතින් සපත්තු බලල අපිට එක සපත්තු කුට්ටමක size 6 ඕන වුනා.කෝ ඉතින් අසාවකටවත් කඩේ කවුරුත් උදව්වට එන්නේ නැහැ. ඇයි කියල දන්නවද?
අපි කලු හින්ද.
ඒ වෙලාවේම කඩේ හිටියා එංගලන්තයෙන් ආපු පවුලක්. සපත්තු අරන් ඉවර වුනාට, bill එක දාන්න හිටපු කැශියර් උයි තව කඩේ කට්ටිය හතර පස් දෙනෙක්ම ඒ පවුලත් එක්ක කච බචේ. ඇයි ඉතින් ඒගෝල්ලෝ සුද්දෝනේ. ඉංග්රීසියෙන්නෙ කතා කරන්නේ.
මිනිත්තු දහයක් විතර බලන් ඉඳල අම්මයි මමයි වෙන කඩයකට ගිය. අපි ඉතින් කලු හින්ද අපිට සපත්තු විකුනන්න ඒ කඩේ අයට උනන්දුවකුත් ආසාවකුත් තිබ්බේ නැහැ. දුකයි තමා අපේම රටේ අපේම කට්ටියගෙන් මේ වගේ අසාදාරන දේවල් වෙනකොට. ඒත් මොනවා කරන්නද, අපි කලුයිනේ!
 
 
The above story was originally posted here, but we felt it was a story that could be shared here too. We talk about being Sinhalese or Tamil, about being Muslim or Hindu, and sometimes forget we are Sri Lanka. Thus before talking about gender equality or racial equality, we must also look at the discrimination we face as Sri Lankans in our own country. ඇයි අපි කලුද? is a question often asked when something unfair is done to you. Its something said for fun, but if you think about it, implies that there is something wrong about being dark.