It is really hurting me to see some of the familiar faces among the death notice poster of the guys who caught the Fort Railway bomb on 3rd February 2008.
As a school DS has had taken great strides towards inter community and inter racial harmony from its beginning. We had a time when we used to learn “Aana, Aawanna”(Hope I remember it correctly). We had Tamil head prefects in our history. We have a Hindu Kovil, a Muslim Mosque, a small Catholic Church, and a Budu Medura at school premises. We, the majority Buddhists used to come out of the classes and practice our religious believes every morning while others engaged in their respective religious customs at their places inside the school. I have seen a thousand times how Hindus wash their Kovil with milk and pray their stanzas with all the bells, drums and traditional oil lamps in the background. I have seen how Muslims kneel and worship their god. I have seen how Christians and Catholics pray with nice harmonizing voices. As a Sinhalese Buddhist I watched them with respect. I believe most of us did so and still do so.
We had English news, Sinhala news and Tamil news broadcasted in the school daily. We had equal rights. Besides being minority, the school’s Football and Hokey teams were dominated by Tamils and Muslims. Most of the other teams had Tamil and Muslim representation. We had all three Sinhala, English and Tamil debating teams. Each grade had two Tamil medium classes. That’s around 80+ students. Out of 400 in each section we had around 150-200 minority students who never made any complaint being minority. We had all sorts of religious and cultural festivals at school. Even we had Tamils and Muslims as our OBA presidents. As students and as old boys we enjoy equal opportunities. Most of the 6000+ students of our school are brought up with this type of mindset. So I believe where ever in this world we go, we carry what we think is good and we try to practice them at our best.
So looking at the culture where I grew up I don’t see anybody being made uncomfortable due to his nativity. If somebody is trying to be a winner among a whole bunch of losers I guess we should first make him a loser. As a school DS has taken these steps long before Mr. Pirapaharan dreamt of his so called EALAM. We have practically proved that his idealism is false and fake. Making predictions of the Sri Lankan community by staying under the ground in Kilinochchi seems to be misleading Mr. Pirapaharan because what he says does not exist here anymore. Visit Wellawatte, Dematagoda, Kotahena, Dehiwala, Cinamon Gardens, Sea Street, Slave Island, Hatton, Aagarapathana or anywhere. See the number of Tamils living there. They are being searched occassionally because these bombers explore themselves. Otherwise these people could stay in these areas without any problem at all. So for these occasional arrests also Mr. Pirapaharan is the one to blame. Ask him to stop the explosions so that we can stop searching. Visit Kilinochchy, Naagarkovil, or Muhumale. I don’t think we can find any Sinhalese. So it’s time to understand who’s right and who’s wrong. At least we can understand whose better. Where is ethnic cleansing? In Colombo or Kilinochchi? If South India gives us a separate land for us we could probably give Mr. Pirapaharan what he asks.
“Gahanna Gahanna wandina ekath modaya – Wandinna wandinna gahana ekath modaya”
I think it’s time to stop this bull head no matter what ever the price is so that the generations to come will live in peace and harmony.