Are you being threatened? For Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri and all who doth protest

Gaya’s intro: “We don’t agree, my friend and I” are Malinda’s words and that is precisely how I feel when I read some of Malinda’s writings on the FUTA demands from the State. I do not agree with his tone, perspective, and though he raises valid points, I differ on how he communicates what I see as an opportunity for both the GoSL and FUTA which could lead to better things. However, as I said to a new Toronto friend on FB yesterday “I don’t choose friends based on their opinions” and so I consider Malinda and all those who opine different, friends.  For on some things, we all agree.

This post was first published on June 23rd and I think it is timely to re-post it as a reminder of what protestors face on a daily basis and especially after a protest is over and the media turns the cameras away.

MALINDA SENEVIRATNE

We don’t agree,
my friend and I,
we don’t agree to disagree
but we intersect
at commonalities
respect and decency
the worth of scholarship
the privileging of debate;
we have different premise-platforms
and so,
my friend and I
we disagree.

But he is a father and so am I

he has a daughter, I have two
some third rate punk snoops around
and he gets upset;
I would too.

They’ve come with a claim:

‘From the top’;
they’ve come
and it matters not
if claim is true or false,
it matters only
that claim is a possible,
it matters also
that my friend is friend
but more than this,
he is citizen
and even more than that
he speaks his mind.

He speaks

and therefore
I can speak too;
and so I speak here
so he can speak louder.

[I will not stand shoulder-to-shoulder
with every chip-shouldered
out-of-power, want-power
loud-mouthed objector;
for I pick and choose my company,
may I add?]

My friend and I

we disagree
but there’s never been
and never will be
one word in anger.

I stand with him,
without hesitation,

and with utmost pride.

From Malinda Poems

 

 

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