Dearest Sri Lanka,
I am terribly disappointed in you. Have you not fought long enough? Wasn’t 30 years of civil war enough for you? Why must you start another?
Sri Lanka, you were once known as Serendib, named after serendipity, meaning a pleasant surprise. You can proudly boast to be one of the most desired holiday destinations because of your beautiful scenery. More than this though, you can boast a friendly population.
You have come a long way, freeing yourself from British imperialism and rebirthing yourself in 1948. You have all sorts of people that call you their mother country and their home; people from India, Arabia and Southeast Asia. While countries like America and those of the Middle East can also boast an ethnic diversity, you, Sri Lanka know that these races are not foreign to you but are a part of your culture and identity.
I know Sri Lanka that I am not the only Sri Lankan who took pride in you but now I am embarrassed. I wish you would be what I expect you to be; the tiny island with a soul as large as the ocean on which it sits.
I am not oblivious to the fact that unrest is a part of your history, Sri Lanka. I am also aware that you might at times have felt the need to be forceful, to be heard. But Sri Lanka, there are always political forces within any nation and, assuming you still have the heart that bred the heart I have, I humbly request that you not build barriers between your citizens but that, if you are to build anything, let it be walls between true citizens of Sri Lanka and those with higher political motives.
Is this too much to ask for? Let’s face it! Sri Lanka, you will accuse and protest and demonstrate but will you really benefit from it? If so, what have you benefited from past conflicts? All that has come of your history of violence is more violence. When will you stop to think that violence is not the answer?
I walk the streets of Sri Lanka and see children walking to school with smiles on their faces. I see them buying candy from smiling shopkeepers. I see a young girl helping an old man cross the street. I see neighbors lending a hand. Are not those of other religions your neighbors too? Are they not the children of your soil? Sri Lanka, your simple man knows where his heart is. Guide him and let not corruption seep through the back door of his home, his temple, his mosque or his church.
Yes, the back door. Do not all religions preach peace? If so, intolerance will not enter through the front door because intolerance knows he is not welcome. But Sri Lanka, you have let it come to the point that you invite conflict through your front doors and your windows. Why? What will you gain from it? Are you really willing to lose another brother, another son? And I don’t just mean your brother by blood but also your brother who was born of your nation.
To be Continued….
Image: Retrieved on 12/06/2013 from www.freeflagicons.com