Uh, oil painting via aquaview
Lately I’ve been seeing appeals to Oprah to save Tamil Eelam. This fellow in London pledged to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness. There are countless appeals to foreign parliaments and international bodies. I think awareness is important, but I honestly don’t get who they’re appealing to. Is some UN backed coalition of Oprah and Tanzanian fruit bats going to fly in and carve a democratic island apart?
I say this not to belittle these earnest young people and protestors. I think they’re dead wrong and that waving the LTTE flag and Prabhakaran’s picture is morally repugnant. But, I mean, I think we can work things out. No matter what happens with Eelam, when these people visit they still hang out in Colombo. Over 50% of Tamils live out of the mythical Eelam. So, I mean, I think we have to work it out. But that has to start with respect.
Sri Lanka exists. Most Tamils here seem to recognize that. People abroad, however, talk about Tamil Eelam (which doesn’t exist) and appeal to foreign celebrities and governments. Well, OK. But why not appeal to Sri Lanka, and Sri Lankan people. Cause that might, you know, make an actual difference.
Unless of course the point is to appear on Oprah or climb a mountain. I’m sure this is fun and life-changing for the kids there but does fuck-all for any human being walking this island.
If you want actual change then it’s not easy and it’s not prime time. If you’re brave enough to climb Kilimanjaro then you can surely get to Katunayake airport. There are so many poor people of all races who could use your time and money in this country. There are a few good politicians drowning in a crapflood of drug, extortion and gambling money. There are so many journalists putting lives on the line for shit pay who aren’t able to defend themselves.
There is stuff that we can do to improve lives within the democracy and the nation that we have. I know it’s not pretty, but that is the democracy we have. I mean, work with us here. I’m Sinhalese and I’m not genocidal. I’m trying to live here and I do respect and look out for the Tamil people as my family and neighbors. There are literally millions of Sri Lankans like me. We’re trying to make out country better. Perhaps you could turn off the TV and come here and help.