Update II : දේශපාලුවා (Deshapaluwa) has some points that he / she would like answered. I am sure there are many in his shoes seeking the same. So if anyone could answer him, civilly, please do. Thanks
Update: Sanjana Hattotuwa let me know that there an extensive collection of material at Groundviews regarding the same subject. It is a collection of works by poets, writers, senior Government Ministers and Members of Parliament, renown scholars, human rights defenders, civil society activists, artistes, senior civil servants, a former Secretary of Defense and others. Of course many bloggers are there too. If you think it is not a place to visit, please think again. You will at least learn what and how others think. I visit Grounviews regularly and disagree with authors most of the time, nicely. Perhaps they need education too, and to do that you need to read and respond. Please visit http://www.groundviews.org/remember/ Sanjana also mentioned that this book and many others like this could be borrowed and bought at Social Scientists Association (SSA) library and bookshop. http://www.ssalanka.org/library.html. (The main website throws a warning flag but I have visited this link and found no harm)
How ever much we rant, real peace will not come if we do not accept the reality, and face it. Sri Lanka is in a greater need to shed race differences and accept all Sri Lankans to be the same. There are elements who believe that certain fractions of our society does not matter. They do matter, very much. Perhaps just like all parts or our bodies. Every part is necessary to form the body of Sri Lanka. Also there will be growths that need to be removed constantly, just like we trim our nails or nose hair. We do not cut off a hand just because of nails nor we cut off our noses because of the nose hair : likewise we should not treat any fraction of society similarly. If we cut off any section, we will be a disabled society. We need everyone in order to live in harmony and to develop the country. Every human is no less or more than ourselves and need to be treated such.
I am a reader of many blogs published by Sri Lankans and I do post comments where ever I am allowed to : while I am happy with most responses I get, some throws me off. It is just multi point of views but many fail to express them in civilized manner, including me. All the politically energized commenters want only his or her view and actually look down on others and use filth to respond to a comment. At this point the original subject is forgotten and the battle of the pens show, how ugly we could get. At this point you realize the mountainous work ahead to bring everyone together. It is yet comforting to know, that we can do this.
Very recently I visited Redwood Forrest National Park. We had many wondrous hikes and during one I hurt my ankle. A day later, we were to do the most strenuous hike and I was not very sure of taking part in the hike. After contemplating for a while, I decided to take part. I spent most painful four miles or so of walking in my life, but the pain gradually disappeared and I completed one of the best hikes. I also managed to see touch decades old redwood trees, that only grow in this area, reaching into the sky as much as 115 meters or higher. I think even if it is hard, we need to work at it to bring everyone together. Let us start reading and listening to others, how ever hard it is.
So reminding of misdeeds and good deeds should go hand in hand. I think the following book accomplishes a part ot that. The picture of the naked man, on the cover, I will never forget. I do not want anyone to experience than man went through. It just blows my mind how cruel we could be towards other human beings. I think most of us show more love to our dogs than to our fellow humans. It is important that we all work towards making people understand that we all are the same.
I was reminded of the book by one Rajiva Wijesinha, and it is special to me because my family knows many of the authors, and I remember Richard De Zoysa, specially, who departed us when I was only a tiny kid. My family remembers him as a one fine young man.
The book was published to commemorate the horrid and heroic events that took place July 1983. It was released on the 25thanniversary by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies. According to my source, the book is available from International Book House at 151 A Dharmapala Mawata, Colombo 3. Further information may be obtained from the publisher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 037-2225884 or 011-2330742. It Cost Rs: 600.00
Table of Contents
PART I – ANALYSIS
Political violence and the future of democracy in Sri Lanka – Gananath Obeysekere
The Bang and the Whimpers – Rajiva Wijesinha
1983 Anti-Tamil riots and militarization of the ethnic conflict – Kethesh Loganathan
The Massacres at Welikade – Rajan Hoole
Peradeniya – Towards Collapse? – Qadri Ismail
PART II – POETRY
1958…. ’71…. ’77…. ’81…. ’83….
A Certain Defect in the Blood
Yet Another Incident in July 1983
Big Match, 1983
Wesak is here again
PART III – FICTION
The Lost One – Nirmali Hettiarachchi
Action Stations – Rajiva Wijesinha
PART IV – SPEECHES AND REFLECTIONS
TULF equals Terrorists – Cyril Mathew
SLFP’s nationalisation policies hit the Sinhalese businessman – Ranil Wickremesinghe
National Guilt and Expiation – Lakshman Wickremesinghe
A Diary of Society and Politics, 1983 – Rajiva Wijesinha