Last year was the most turbulent and bloody one in the history of the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict. Exactly a year ago this time the war was coming to its climax with a terrible resounding cry: hundreds of civilians caught in the cross fire, houses and lands lost, entire provinces winching in deprivation, photographs, making us gag at the sight of children bleeding, dead bodies heaped like garbage, the injured lying like fish caught and laid out to sun making their rounds around the world. So much emotion in the rest of the world: so many protests in Tamil Nadu, world leaders coming to visit, denied entry, foreign powers clamping down on the Government, international media up in arms about human right violations.... and now suddenly there is a deafening silence.
Maybe it’s because the noise last year was so loud, that the silence this year is so deafening. Why is it that only when there is death, and bombs and bloodshed that the world turns its spotlight on, and when the same issue still exists without war and black death, no one seems to notice. The ethnic conflict has not yet been solved. ‘A’ war has been won, a war that was fought between two elephants, the Army and the LTTE. There is a saying that “when elephants fight it is the grass that is trampled”. How true of the North and East ....The innocent civilians, their lives trampled upon, their houses burned to crisp, every belonging every memory, every breath of life sucked out of them, fleeing like dogs from crackers, herded like cattle into huge mass camps, the pain remains the issue remains unsolved and the memories remain unforgotten. Is this truly a solution? Remember the JVP uprising in 1971 a movement can have its head cut off but if the roots remain and the issue that forced the movement to take shape remains and the anger remains then it will rise up again, rear its ugly head. It is important to now put an end not only to war, but to the problems that started it, end it once and for all. Make peace not war; make economic progress not tactical progress. Make Tamils and Sinhalese feel they are brothers and sister, make them feel they are one people, make them feel Sri Lanka is their country their homeland where they can live and coexist in harmony. To both sides, give a little, take a little, compromise, for it is far better to live in a land of democracy federalism and economic progress then it is to live in a land where a bomb goes off on a bus each day, and death and fear and unrest loom over the citizens as they go about their daily lives.
Not so much attention on Sri Lanka today, is it because there are no more photographs of blood soaked sobbing doe eyed children? Somehow the pain of their hunger or the complete lack of food education and infrastructure for them to live a normal life doesn’t make for as gripping a visual. But the truth remains, now unsung, that the problem has yet to be solved. Is blood red the only colour that warrants attention? What about the gray of uncertainty that is now the only colour that exist s in the Tamil future. When will Sri Lanka stop being the island of blood and be the shinning emerald green isle again, with peace prosperity and brotherhood?