Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Independence Day commemorations are a time for reflection and optimism

It is ironic that the President’s Independence day message was just another of the same old rhetoric that is constantly being written by wishful thinking speech writers, who must for this day, change it to reflect reality and NOT make believe.

It was insulting to say that we have put the sordid past behind us, and we look towards the future. It is so because we are constantly reminded of the past. In a country where we chose what events we decide to commemorate only on account of the Govt. in power, politicizes everything. It is of battles won and massacres!

Independence is a time to look forward as much as learn from the mistakes of the past. The negativism of memorials and remembrances of horrendous acts of the LTTE who after all were citizens of Sri Lanka and not like the case of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan foreigners, we are talking about one set of Sri Lankans committing dastardly acts against another set of the same countrymen just because their idea of utopia is different to the other for the same land!

If we are to really bury the sordid past and start afresh, then all grandiose commemorations must stop. It just brings back awful memories of man’s inhumanity to man, which we are reminded of but which we don’t treat as a lesson never to be repeated! Instead of muscle flexing, commemorations must be solemn events as lives were lost. Interfaith prayers for dead on both sides could replace gory images of the Govt. can playing the war victory card, long past expiry date.

If we are to help the casualties, we must attend to the welfare of the injured soldiers, and also the welfare of the parents of soldiers who sacrificed their lives, so that we may live free of terror. Parading the injured soldiers is not the way, as they have to come long distances and undergo hardship to be in a tiring parade, just for the benefit of the politicians who intend to make political statements from the misery of others, and remind the public of the Govt seeking the credit.

We are NOT a mature nation, until we can sort out our past in a way that we unify the nation and not threaten to divide us as is the case today. All indications both internally and externally is of a divided and polarized mindset. We can only change it from internal means and not through external pressure of forced solutions.      

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