Image Credit: Sachi Ediriweera
When I walked through the thick jungles and turned my back on the war, I ran in the hope of new beginnings - beginnings which were good not only for me but for us all, collectively.
The pain, the suffering, the torture. It was all too sad to see, the blood and wounds were still raw to bare. On many days it felt as if the fear and struggle was just not worth living through.
For the past 9 plus years we have walked the streets with smiles, found ways to build conversations and given way to reconciliation. We were stating to see the Lanka we used to know; she was magical, I was told, she was united, she was multicultural, she was breathtakingly beautiful and a land in which it's inhabitants spoke the language of love. It was only after 1 or 2 people started spoiling and poisoning our little beautiful sun kissed island did that notion take a hit.
Today the river of fear is flowing, heavily, within us. We are unsure of tomorrow and we don’t know what will be our wake up call - if we wake up at all.
Death is as much a part of life as life itself they say, but killing and fighting cannot be so, on our Lankan soil. When I saw and lived through the war I thought this might be the only side to life, but people who I don’t know, people who have the blood of unity in them changed it for me. They never asked me if I was Buddhist/Catholic/Hindu or Muslim. They asked me if I can do what they had in mind for me.
Easter Sunday, New Year weekend. Sri Lanka started out as a time of peace and joy. Normally I wait for the church bells to make it a day to mark the glory of the Almighty but what I heard was only sounds of pain and panic, tears and fears.
We as Lankans have rebuilt from many, many things that sometimes I sit and wonder : when would we STOP re building and start living? Despite that, the more we rebuild, the stronger we get as a nation and a warrior country.
The 30 years of war did not break us, the tsunami did not wipe us and this too will not burn us.
The tears still flow. The pain still deep. And the lives we lost are never coming back. But at least as a country we can wish we never have to face these problems again.
Let’s remember we are more than a bomb, more than a group of terrorists and way more than a collapsed government. We are Lankans and the love we have can re-shape and re-build us in to the smiles we lost.
Let’s celebrate us. Let’s celebrate the lives we lost. Let’s celebrate the diversity that unites us.
I’m a Sri Lankan and my friends are Sri Lankan.
We are Sri Lanka. Hoping for new beginnings; beginnings filled with joy and togetherness.
By - Danu Innasithamby