Guru’s written a post on Sri Lankan identity on Groundviews. This is the comment I posted below.
Let’s agree that Indi Samarajiva is a racist with equal disdain for elephants, Tamils and cars. Really? I think you get the broader point.
My point is that Sri Lankan unity (from the people) is the way out of our problems. I think this message of unity is echoed by Kumar Sangakkara and the like.
If I read you correct, you have a cart/horse issue. That is, Tamil grievances should be acknowledged before people accept Sri Lankan unity, preferably from the top. My offensively frank response would be, “can’t wait, let’s go”, but that’s why I’m not a diplomat.
I think Sri Lanka Unites makes the point better than me. They’re not waiting for cart or horse, they just building a united Sri Lanka now. This is what I believe will work.
One Tamil student who attended the Future Leaders Conference once said, “Hate was like me drinking poison.” The statement referring to his long-held hatred and disdain for the Sinhalese people. What occurred over the course of a few days in the middle of August was something truly remarkable. A boy who had once wanted nothing to do with his countrymen changed his heart and decided that the future could only be made together with the participation of the entire island. A mind that once strove to erect additional emotional barriers redirected itself to begin looking for a practical solution to the problem of ethnic division in Sri Lanka. It is the hope of SLU that these stories will be repeated on a nationwide scale.
Often, people make the mistake of believing that change must always occur from the top down. They neglect to notice that lasting change frequently occurs on the grassroots stratum and works upwards to construct a new culturally acceptable pattern for society. (srilankaunites.blogspot.com)
Highlighting is mine. If you don’t want to hear it from me, I hope you will hear it from the next generation of youth that Sri Lanka Unites is supporting. They are finding ways to connect across race to solve the problems that affect us all. I think this is a way out.
I’m not saying that Tamils should forget their problems. I’m saying that all Sri Lankans should help. I’m saying that I’m trying to help. I hope you’ll accept my comments in that spirit.
Then I watched the Sri Lanka Unites video above and realized what I was missing, and added this comment below
I was watching this Sri Lanka Unites video and I think I realize what I’ve been missing in my, forgive me, haste. An apology.
This is what they suggest we say, and I mean it
“Unconditionally from the bottom of my heart, for the future of our country, whether I was part of the violence or not, I was here. If anyone from my community has hurt you. Come let us reconcile.”
That is a horse that needs to go before the cart, something our government sorely neglects. But this reconciliation is happening, and must happen.
I am sorry. For everyone that died, everyone that lost, every gross and petty injustice that still goes on. It wasn’t me, but I was here and we are all responsible. Let us reconcile.