Years of war has limited the discourse to conflict-related topics.
In the post-war era the focus appears to be dominated by nationalism, patriotism, polarisation, extremism and we-dont-need-the-diaspora-we-are-awesome-in-sri-lanka positions on the one hand and dont-support-this-corrupt-regime-we-will-not-support-rehab-till-our-demandsare met on the other.
SO here come the MODERATES ! And here comes INCLUSIVENESS :
Let’s engage the Diaspora moderates with Sri Lankan themes and Sri Lankans who live on the ground.
This website is ‘i’ srilankan cos its about global srilankans who access the internet and who live in geo-cities around the world. Let’s see and hear your contributions.
But here comes also MURDUness. What is murdu? I heard this word recently again from an authoress born in Sri Lanka and now living in the USA. Murdu is gentleness and respect for the human element we are dealing with. So no bashing and labelling by request.
And FUN and STYLE. People who lived in Sri Lanka are SICK of hearing war, blood and bitterness. I am too.
There are loads of interesting socio-political, cultural, historical and other themes to discuss as well. There is a lot of history in our land we still do not know about. Most people in Sri Lanka are upset about stuff like Tution Fees and School entry fees in the same way that Young Canadian Tamils are protesting for the right to access to education and lowering of their University Fees.
There is a lot of good stuff that is happening up and down the A9 with government support by extraordinary people with no agenda but to HEAL Sri Lanka.
In With DIVERSITY and CULTURAL COLLAGES : There is a lot of FUN themes and stuff that isrilankans get up to around the world and in SL.
Being Gay, Being Canadian, Aussie, Parisian, German, British, Dutch, Italian-sinhalese, US multi-ethnic Srilankans… this is where our footprint has taken us and we are very very diverse and richer for it. It IS possible to coexist with two cultures in one person and it’s great! Some are publishing poetry…. theatre…sports…experts, professors, Chef Ambassadors for Sri Lanka…. Lentils as anything eh? Let’s see it. Hear it. Out with it!!!
In with NON-Dualism: Thich Nhat Hanh the Vietnamese Buddhist monk is the expert on this. We could applaud the beautification of Colombo and its byways, the Highways that are needed, the Roads to A pura and the development in the Eastern Province AND at the same time not be labelled a Patriot in the negative sense.
Yet, we could also hear the issues that need attention, the need for demilitarisation, the Need for Commemoration now that the dust has settled on the military conflict and not be labelled a TRAITOR in so doing.
Moving on does not mean forgetting those who died and that there was a war but admitting that it’s inevitable for societies to do so. Remembering those who died does not mean celebrating terrorism in denial; instead, Remembering is a window to the sorrow and pain of those whose loved ones perished needlessly and for the dignity of a minority.
Out with OVERSIMPLIFICATION: Let’s face it. Nothing in Srilankan political or family life is simple. There is learning and unlearning to be done I believe in the interest of peaceful coexistence by engaging not by mere rhetoric.
IMAGINE SRI LANKA
I believe in a trilingual state with multiethnic and multireligious fusion. I believe that Jaffna will thrive. But I do believe that the Diaspora is heart and limb from the soil of Sri Lanka and it will be a futile thing to forget our great sons and daughters who are a living fact. I also believe that the Diaspora need to engage with their ‘siblings’ and ‘progeny’ despite any reservations on the process, as this historic time for rehabilitation of the poorest and most destitute people we love, will surely never come again. I believe that the heartbeat of my country is resilient and will always resonate with those who understand it best.
The dreams from our fathers were in far flung destinations as well as in Sri Lanka. As a member of a Sri Lankan Diaspora but born and raised Sri Lankan I ask you, may we not bring our hybrid dreams and lives to support our island home and our evolving hybrid-cultural selves ?
Can we overcome ?
May all beings be happy !