Mano, reaching back in the green
I agree, and this charity thing is getting old. Charity sucks for a captive audience. I don’t think it’s ‘state terrorism’, not sure what that means beyond the normal state monopoly on violence. I do think it’s bad public policy, legally illegal and expensively annoying. Hear that it’s raining now, which SUCKS. If you want an idea of Menik Farm, think of the dusty outdoor parking lot behind Unity Plaza. The dust storms suck when it’s dry, but anything’s better than when it rains. I suppose some people have nowhere else to go, but those that are registered and have places to go should just go. Just let them take care of themselves.
To quote the Bishop Of Colombo:
There is another dimension to the IDP crisis that we ought not to lose sight of. This is that those in the camps are resourceful Sri Lankans who have lived with dignity. The possess resilience and skills and can contribute productively to the nation’s economy. The Vanni population must be seen not only as a humanitarian crisis or security threat but as resourceful humans with much to offer the common good.
and to return to Mano, a tri-lingual Tamil MP who lives here and who bravely participates in the political process:
These people are neither beggars nor homeless street people. They are proudful people who lived honorably in their traditional villages, the villages and land of our ancestors who lived and shaped our heritage for thousands of years. It is very true that Buddhism and Hinduism carry the messages of kindness and mercy. But these people do not require mercy. They need no to be at anybody’s mercy. This national problem cannot be restricted to water bottles, clothing, food packets and tents. Government is trying to cover it’s nakedness by using the media excessively to telecast the ‘merciful’ supplies of such goods to the IDPs.
I feel embarrassed as a member Sri Lankan state to note this shameless act of the government. This trend of portraying our people as poor beggars on the breadline should stop at once. Their legitimate rights to live freely in their own traditional villages should be treasured and respected. I am talking this from my heart. I address this to the hearts of my Sinhala Buddhist brethren. I wish to engage myself in efforts to win over the hearts and minds of our Sinhala brethren in view of ending this national humanitarian crisis. Government is trying to wrap this humanitarian problem under the carpet. I call upon the goodhearted Sinhalese people to unite and defeat this efforts of the government (Ravaya interview, translated on desicritics).
I’ve done relief work and it is important, but it’s also getting to be a bit futile. I talk to a friend in Menik Farm occassionally and she doesn’t want any stuff or better conditions. She just wants out to take care of her and her family. To her face, I cannot think of any good reasons why not. I mean, I can think of plenty in the abstract, but nothing that bears saying to her face.