Available in HD on YouTube. Click the ‘high quality’ link.
Uploading a few more. It takes forever. Check out the Samarajiva YouTube Channel anyways. There was a lot of dudes spouting borderline filth in Sinhala and dudes burning stuff, etc. There were, however, a lot of kids and achchi’s holding pictures and people just walking and feeling sad (albeit inspired). There’s a full photo set here. Dayan mentioned something about ‘the people’ supporting Mahinda and the war and not caring about the protesters. Which is true – if you consider people to mean the majority. I don’t. I think people just means humans, including minorities and dissenters. I’m pretty sure that the majority does support Rajapakse and the war. But that doesn’t make those who don’t less important or less Sri Lankan or anything. Unfortunately, today, the only category of dissent seems to be ‘terrorism’ and – paradoxically – terror seems justified to keep us in line. But as they say, Api baya na, we’re not scared. Except, of course, we are.
There’s some debate about the funeral turning into a political thing. I don’t think that’s bad at all, or strange. I think this is an issue as to whether politics is a bad word or not. There’s a lot of bad politicians, but it’s not in itself bad. It’s actually good. Out of this funeral, rather than just mourning, people want some positive change to emerge. A political change. I wish the event was more political. As it was, the political figures were a bunch of lame leftists and the even lamer UNP. And Ranil told people to rally around him, but they won’t, and probably shouldn’t. The UNP had political capital here to make positive changes in the country, but they can’t put two hands together to spend it. And right now the opposition is simply in the wilderness, and will probably continue to be until new leadership emerges. But, inexorably, it will.
So has Lasantha’s death changed anything? I don’t know. I hope so. But has it made an impact in a way we haven’t seen for years? Yes. There were a lot of people there. Perhaps not ‘the people’. But people. As in humans.
I think the elements of an opposition are in place. It just needs a catalyst.