Kade in Point Pedro
My friend Anuskha has written an interesting piece about Economic Reconciliation. Here’s a money quote:
When I meet and speak with a farmer, a small business owner, or an unemployed youth, from Batticaloa to Badulla, his main concern (and often the only concern, rightly or wrongly), isn’t necessarily ‘what will a durable political solution look like, in post-war Sri Lanka?’ – rather, it is first ‘what will my/my family’s income security and prosperity look like, in post-war Sri Lanka?’. (Why ‘Economic Reconciliation’ Needs More Attention)
Which is true. The language of the diaspora and the English Speaking Elite is very different from that on the ground, almost untranslatable. Not that a durable political solution isn’t good, but people are more concerned with what that tangibly means in terms of their own stability rather than the idea in abstraction.
Hence you get protests which are basic issue based – cost of living, fuel prices, salaries, university places – rather than based on the journalistic boilerplate of democracy, human rights, etc. Again, not that these things aren’t important, but it’s a bit like telling someone falling about gravity. They’re probably more concerned with putting their hands out and getting up again.
Hence, also, in terms of making those change from the grass roots, it behooves one to see what issues people actually protest and care about rather than what donors and report writers think they should care about. For many people economic stability and educational prospects for their kids are what matter, so those are both better vectors to reconciliation than sanctions and punishing the government and making sure everybody feels bad and apologizes.
Anyways, it’s an interesting article. Give it a read.