(I don’t share or endorse the opinions expressed on the video itself)
In the eyes of the global population, Sri Lanka is having a conflict that is inflicting an ongoing humanitarian crisis. But how do we as the generation that was born in to, grown up with and lived their whole life in a war ridden country see it? Why are we expected to continue this rage between two races for another 26 years?
During the two and a half decades of war there was an immense number of casualties on both sides. This is no sudden newsflash, but why the sudden need for creating awareness when this age-old war is supposedly “coming to an end”?
It is wrong to use the state of the innocent victims of war in pictures regardless of their ethnicity, in public protests in order to fulfill political agendas.
As for the Sri Lankan diaspora; it is refreshing to know that you are patriotic and like to voice your opinion. Nonetheless have you personally seen the devastation these victims has to endure or try to actively do something about it with the time and money that you spent on these patriotic outcries? Maybe we all need a reality check to set our priorities right.
The people who suffer because of this war are not just the ones that are killed and tortured, but also the families that lose their sons and daughters at the frontline while the brains behind the whole operation fatten their bellies in their air-conditioned rooms.
If it is a real humanitarian appeal based protest, why the need to wave all these different flags? Why further encourage division of the country?
The victims don’t care which flag you are waving when you protest against genocide, may it be of the Tamil Eelam or of Sri Lanka in whole. All they need is a stop; an end to their suffering; the light at the end of the tunnel.
Our parents didn’t mind passing on the hatred to our generation. But we should take a stand and disown this violence that is about to be passed into another few decades breaking this chain of violence.
*Originally written as an opinion piece for the Indus Age, Victoria representing D.SLIC of Deakin University, Burwood on 19/04/09. The opinion piece was written surrounding the ethnic protests surrounding the civil war that seemed to be escalating among Sri Lankan community in Melbourne.