This is a comment posted on Al Jazeera’s The Stream:
I hear the same old stuff in these comments, which is nothing like the situation within Sri Lanka.
It’s two years since the end of the war. This war went on for 30 years and inhibited everyone’s lives, affecting people in the North and East the worst.
Am I racist or neglecting the plight of Tamils? I really don’t think so. I’m simply calling for unity and equality. I’m asking for us to address the more vital social issues that affect all of us without focusing on race.
I was in Menik Farm as the war ended and developed a contact there. She is out of the camp now and her main concerns are 1) getting a job 2) putting the kids in school. Talk to people down south, the problems are the same.
Throughout Sri Lanka, the government messes with all of us. Poor Sinhalese have a lot in common with poor Tamils and we live in mixed communities, not defined by race. Colombo is majority Tamil speaking.
Reconciliation means finding what we have in common and working together. It does need to begin with acknowledging the people who died and suffered, and I have seen and apologized to victims of the war first hand. We then need to move on, together, to find the issues that unite us and fight for equality.
Sri Lankans are not reliving the war, which is all the media promotes about us. We are living. Together.
“I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan.”