I told myself I wouldn’t blog politics. But when politics is up in your face, you say bring it.
|Credit: S Jinadasa
You can post all the statuses you want. That’s good. Keep doing that. But I’m sorry everyone, what we really also need are actionable solutions. We need active solutions and recommendations on how to address these unfortunate set of events that keep crawling up. Passive resistance is at least some form of resistance. But what anti-racial pro-unity movements need in Sri Lanka is a heightened sense of urgency, and the ability to create active change through non-violent mediums.
I’m only a half economist and a literary buff. Unfortunately, I don’t know what lies within the academic halls of international relations, sociology, conflict resolution, and other relevant domains of knowledge—domains that will provide us with better guidance on how to address these growing issues of racial tension. Do possible counter-reactive answers await us in the teachings of Gandhi, Mandela and Luther? Can we learn from them then, about what we need or could do? See we want to be smart. Any fool can grab a pole and go crack open a racist’s head. It takes an intellectual, instead, to outmaneuver a racist’s dangerous mind.
What am I asking for? I’m asking you, the intelligent person, to help Sri Lanka in its time of need. Do what is within your power and capacity; no, actually, go beyond the boundaries of your powers and capacities to come up with tangible, actionable recommendations, policies, ideas and solutions to address this growing racial fever persistent in Sri Lanka. Dialogues, discussions, awareness drives, poster sessions, events, non-violent vigils, media, etc… These are tip of the iceberg examples of what could be done. Find out why this is happening. Identify what can be done about it. Repair the damage. Prepare for the damage. Think of all that is outside the box and go crazy. You might be surprised with what you come up with.
Sri Lanka is a small country. Its ruling class and game players are accessible. They are not all hopeless and scheming. There are still good people left in Sri Lanka, people who can use their power to influence a peaceful resolution to this crisis that plagues our nation. They aren’t all dead.
Listen, this is the problem.
|School of Athens – Intelligentsia
As all of you know, in 2009 (the very same year I left for college) Sri Lanka clawed itself out of that blood stained, tear drenched 26 year old civil war, a war that had ravaged our nation’s people, identity, culture and economy. For the past 5 years the peace that had come to nestle in our wounded country had seemed surreal. Parents never thought they would have witnessed this miracle during their lifetimes, and we never imagined the day we wouldn’t have to go out of our houses without thinking twice about a bomb vaporizing us to pink dust in a Pettah market or a Dehiwela train station. It was almost too good to be true, this stranger named Peace.
A multi-ethnic country, Sri Lanka is renowned as a country exemplary of religious co-existence where Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Hindus have been tolerating one another and living in harmony for centuries. Even during the civil-war, many of the Hindus knew that the war was not against the Tamil/Hindu people, but had evolved into a war mainly against terrorism (some people may wish to intensely disagree with me on that point, and I hear your unspoken truth). Today though, not even 5 years after this lulling peace, the landscape of religious harmony is starting to feel minor tremors of racism. Was this then the lull after/before the storm that was, and the one that is to come? I fear if we may have been right in thinking that this was indeed too good to be true. I want you to prove me wrong.
This time it is against the Muslims and also the Christians. At present it is only occurring in the form of minor grass root organizations communicating their racist agendas via the internet, mass rallies and policy recommendations, but it will only take one mass-scale riot to turn this low fever of racism into a another wildfire that will scorch our nation once more.
I do not wish to see this happen to our country. The signs are ominous and we would do well to nip this in the bud, now. If we apply the lessons learnt from our violent past, what happened 30 years ago need not, and should not, happen again. It saddens me though, to admit, that there is ripe potential for this completely unnecessary occurrence of events to be set in motion once more, especially when Sri Lanka, for once, is at that f***ing moment in its history where it could instead choose to gallop into the orange sunset hoisting peace banners over its head and kiss a happily-ever-after future.
But no, some idiots choose not to allow this. So the opposites of idiots—the intellectuals—should also choose not to not to.
1. Come up with ideas, policies, recommendations, innovative systems, agendas—of non-violent ways to help address these problems of Mother Lanka. She is growing warm, it is up to us to break this racial fever
2. Once you have come up with these solutions—promote, propagate, share and launch them into action, and then collective action
3. Go to the active thought leaders and game changers and work to watch them being implemented on larger scales (Sri Lanka is a small country, someone knows someone, so go and ask that someone to help all the someones)—this could be companies, individuals, government officials and more
4. No one is asking you to be Gandhi, but someone is asking you do one more thing than the nothing you are doing now. Now that is something. Don’t ever doubt yourself, your ability, capacity and power. Without you there is no one else.
You might be asking, yeah and what the hell are you doing exactly? Well, you can contact me to know what I’m doing for my part, but this is more about you.
Think, and then do. Adieu.