A Canada sponsored turtle poster in Tangalle. I dunno. Needed something.
I spend an inordinate amount of time on this Canadian based Sri Lankans Without Borders Facebook group. For the poutine. Actually, for the punishment. There are a lot of Sri Lanka haters on there, and you have to fight through to the occasional respectful conversation.
The majority of the forum seems to be diaspora, I think leaning towards diaspora Tamils. There are actually LTTE supporters or people who worked with the LTTE as well, plus active and vituperative Eelamists (not the same thing, I know). Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka are a minority, but of late the Editor of the Nation, Malinda Seneviratne, and columnist (and master chef/photographer) Pradeep Jeganathan have been active as well as well. Pradeep posted an interesting blog post on stakeholders in Sri Lanka. In it he outlines a respectful and, IMHO, effective way for the diaspora to influence SL.
I think stakes of those who live outside Sri Lanka, and who are not citizens, who do not really contemplate returning to Sri Lanka to live here – and that’s some, not all of the Diaspora, of course – are better elaborated through an alliance with a person, group or community that’s in Sri Lanka, that lives here with the consequences of what happens here. So it’s better that simply going with, ‘If I diss Sri Lanka I can get reelected in Harlow?’ Far superior would be, ‘If I criticize Sri Lanka, will it be a better place for someone I care about who lives there?’ (A Stake in Sri Lanka)
Essentially, caring about someone real, and focusing on the real impact of your words. I think that’s a good policy for any interaction. It’s getting some discussion online. I think it’s a good thought. Good to get out of the abstractions and anger into the immediate human reality, and how we can make that better. The personal relationship between Sri Lankans and diaspora family/friends is almost completely positive. We like seeing and hearing from them and they like us and the food. It would be nice if the political relationship were a bit better.