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My Thoughts On The War Ending …

EDIT FOR SAKE OF CLARITY:

I wanted to make the point that we still have to think of the future here. And also that politicians bring about change but citizens make it stick. I have nothing against any race/ethnicity/religion and if you feel you had to defend yourself because of my words, that was  not my intention. I stated in the original post that this was my opinion – it was posted, unedited – and I stated that my facts could very well be wrong. In hindsight, I should not have done this. I just felt rather strongly at the time that we should be concerned about our future, no matter whether we thought we had a positive one or not. I then attempted to explain my reasoning for that statement though perhaps I should have not. It was certainly not intended to offend or to take away from the events occurring right now.

I did not intend to be pessimistic or a killjoy, hence why I stated two outcomes: what I fear would happen and why, and what I hoped would happen and why. Prior to writing the post, I came across a lot of people who clearly thought all the problems had been solved with cessation of hostilities and this alarmed me. I felt we have to remind ourselves that, yes, this is a wonderful thing but that there are still issues to be sorted out. And it could be scary because we do not have complete control over the situation but that quite equally maybe it could herald a new era of change. And that while we could hope for the latter, we should keep the possibility of the former occurring somewhere in our minds so that we do not grow complacent.

I have taken down the post because it was quite clearly upsetting to a lot of people and that was not my intention. I only wanted to say “Go out, celebrate and remember, we have to sort out the rest of it tomorrow. And don’t worry it can be done.” If it came out any differently, then that is my crappy writing for you and I apologise.

I would also like to make the point, that civil rights and freedom of speech are important to me but that no, I am not a journalist. I contribute a column to the Leader but I do not get paid. I do not consider myself a member of the press, nor do I consider myself a citizen journalist because I am not in a position where I can write as one. My columns and anything on this site unless otherwise noted are opinion pieces and my facts can be wrong and you are allowed to agree/disagree with me and point my errors out to me. In fact, I appreciate that, so thank you for all your comments.

So finally, my opinion? I am going to wait and see. This is a good thing but I think this nation is capable of great things. So, yes, I still think there is a lot of work to be done but I am unsure about when it will be done and who will do it. I am afraid that the mistakes we made before will be repeated. I am hopeful that they won’t be.

– Marisa Wikramanayake

PS: I have left the comments up as they were made. I have nothing against what was said in them and I thank you all for posting. I apologise if you felt you had to comment because you were angered or offended, again, that was not my intention.

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is currently based in Melbourne.

11 Comments

  • aufidius

    my thoughts exactly! extreme power can be an instrument that can be used to manipulate and accept abnormalities.. a semblance of this took place when JR got a 5/6th majority in parliament. I only hope the increased political capital will be used to address inequalities,economic,political,social,ethnic or religious and NOT to consolidate power.

  • Sue

    Marisa, everyone has a right to their opinion, but there were some statements you made which stood out:

    “The latest news via the online feed is that journalists and all aid workers are banned from the war zone and that three doctors have been detained”.
    The Sl govt purposely didn’t allow the International media, UN etc into the war zone for a purpose.Ultimately,the army were allowed to do their job effectively, without interference. The international media, such as BBC is reknowned for reporting biased reports, so this govt policy, in my opinion was just.

    “They have practically shouted from the rooftops that they are for Sinhala and Buddhism”- what makes you think this? As a Sri lankan born writer, of Sinhala origins, why do you want to make false accusations like this? Sri Lanka society respects all races and religions in Sri Lanka, may it be Muslim,Tamil, Burgher, Asians, Foreigners etc.Sri Lankans are a very people who welcome anyone to the country. There are whole TV channels which broadcast TV shows in Tamil etc. Marisa, people reading this article, especially people from other countries will get the wrong message when reading this article..

    Yes, I do agree: “We need to get them out of there and give their basic rights and needs and ensure that they are medically looked after”. Yes, we may eat our kiri bath and celebrate, and there is no reason not to celebrate- we are celebrating the defeat of a notorious terrorist organization, not the defeat of Tamils.The govt will have to find a way to re-integrate the Tamils into the society and give them back their basic rights.

  • Azrael

    Who knows how things will progress, but for now, I am being optimistic that things will change, and hopefully we will see a future where something like your best case scenario will unfold. Oh well, fingers crossed 🙂

  • Darren

    I cannot speak on a firsthand basis as I am not inside the SL government nor based in the areas of concern. But I honestly don’t think the SL gov has commited war crimes. If anything they are as guilty as US and the coalition who are engaged with the Taliban. Even the red cross attests to the fact that gov cannot be attributed with war crimes. Principally it’ just LTTE sympathiser propaganda imho.
    Also speculating that the SL gov is Sinhala Buddhist favored is also not yet warranted. From all accounts that I hear Eastern Tamils have been provided with a lot since their liberation. Oddly enough there is much silence on that front. That is because there isn’t much to complain about and hence not the greatest news material in a dooms day atmosphere that existed over the last few weeks/months. Therefore I do think North will be funded generously. I do think the administration should be given some time to see how they address Tamil grievances.
    As for the political settlement, I am quite sure Tamils won’t get more than Palath Sabha and I don’t think anything more than that is warranted such as federal. It is something most feel is manageable in a small country.
    As for bashing Tamils in victory celebrations, it is the other way around over here in Sydney :S

  • RN

    um, for your information the 3 doctors detained were all LTTE military doctors, as in part of their organization… they’ll be questioned and send to rehabilitation camps me thinks…

    and no, people aren’t celebrating for “sinhala buddhism”, look at the celebrations of both the tamil and muslim communities, for they bore the brunt of LTTE fascism, not the sinhalese

  • Voice in Colombo

    While appreciating your freedom to hold your opinion; would like to add these thoughts…

    Not only the lower middle class in southern part of the island is taken care well by this government. More than 90% of the people know that the government is taking care of them, and they feel the government is doing the right thing. But; a small minority out of those 90% of the people are not willing to speak up and say “yes! The government is doing the right thing” because their “political ego” is not letting them to do so. You know; party politics is a major issue in Sri Lanka, and regular UNP’ers are holding their mouth shut, because their ego doesn’t allow to praise this government.

    A small minority of those who read the Sunday Leader are thinking that this government is evil. The same bunch of people who said that LTTE will never be defeated, and Prabha will never be killed by our forces. We don’t care about them! We don’t care about these non-believers. We don’t care about what the pesimists say. We are all positive about the future of this country, and no one can hold us back. Not even your negative, pesimistic thoughts!

  • Anna

    Having lived in Sri Lank and been married to a Tamil man I can tell you that my husband has never been happier than this.
    We celebrated the defeat of a very bad spokesperson or the “ONLY TRUE” self elected megalomanic of the century. This Prabakaran not only mudered every single one of the intelligent tamil leader we had in Sri Lanka he also created the perspective that every Tamil is a terrorist in this country.
    We are finally free of a terrorist that feared the intelligent Tamil community more than he feared the Sri Lankan army.
    We are finally free of an organization that taxed us when we worked out of the country and intimidated us when we refused to pay our hard earned money bullets and the power to enslave our children !!!!
    We are now free of an organization that tried to kill every single educated tamil person and ensured that two generations of tamils were kept out of school in Jaffna.
    We have lived amongst Sinhala and Muslim people for the last decades and have managed to build very succesful careers and we now know that our brethern in the north and east will have the same oppotunities as us.

  • sittingnut

    i am not going to respect this silly, slanderous, hate mongering, and confused post with any original response but will repost something i posted elsewhere slightly edited .


    if any post war discussion is based on the falsehood that tamil grievances caused terrorism( and will lead to its reemergence if not addressed ) it will not be realistic and futile. it is the same falsehood that led peaceniks to offer a false and unethical solution (ie the appeasement of terrorists for ‘peace ‘) before.

    grievances, while real, (though some times exaggerated by terrorist propaganda and their peaceniik parrots ) do/did not cause terrorism, any more than poverty cause theft . ppl who peddle in this irrational falsehood forget that vast majority tamils did not support terrorists or its atrocities (does nay one here disagree?), all other communities and groups (upcoutry tamils , rural poor etc etc ) also subject to various ( probably worse imo) grievances did not resort to terrorism. ( that goes for ppl elsewhere in the world as well who suffer grievances )

    that few ppl ( of tamil ethnicity ) with a bankrupt moral core ( basically ‘evil’ ppl) used grievances as an excuse to do what such ppl would have done anyway; commit crimes and atrocities. they were just criminal thugs ( better organized and more terrifying than normal ) . period.

    so drop the tamil grievances caused terrorism falsehood.

    if the discussion about future is about how to address grievances without linking it with terrorism here is what i think should happen

    do not presume to offer solutions, let process of democracy work .
    it is not perfect , it is hard work, it is corrupt .( it is all that everywhere in the world btw not just here) . let ppl who represent various interest groups (not just ethnic btw) work within the limitations of the system to get what their respective groups want . it will be compromises, from give and take , again it will be corrupt. and will not satisfy anybody completely. but that is how it is supposed to be. and we all are in it . ( and it has worked eg enfranchisement upcountry tamils. a sort of thing that usa has found hard to do eg amnesty to illegal aliens there even though percentages of population is lower )

    and anyone disappointed at not getting what they want, after taking an all or nothing attitude, and think they can use that as an excuse to resort to violence should be treated as criminals( without empathy or sympathy from anyone who respect human rights , democracy , freedom and justice ) .

  • Marisa

    To all those who commented:

    The post has been taken down since some of you pointed out factual errors and some of you found it offensive. Neither was my intention. It was a badly written post and it clearly did not convey what I was trying to say.

    In its place, I have written an apology, an explanation of what I intended to say and thank you for your comments. I have also addressed a misconception someone had that I was a journalist.

    I will keep your comments up as I am happy to hear from you. Whether you agree or disagree or point out that something I have written is offensive or incorrect, this is all feedback for me and I appreciate you taking the time to comment. If you do wish me to take them down then I will. If this is the case, inform me.

    So my apologies for any offense, misinformation or confusion I have caused. Again, that was not the intention.

    Thank you, Marisa.

  • sittingnut

    i am for ppl expressing their thoughts freely. even if they are not similar to mine and i find them offensive.
    if i don’t agree with them i say so (forcefully sometimes)

    so i am sorry that you felt you needed to delete most of it . you could have clarified it without deleting . anyway as you wish.

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