Make peace with the past or be swept away on a torrent of suspicion

GAYA FERNANDO

Dear friends, diasporans, countrymen,

Don’t lend your ears or your tongues to anyone these days, or who knows what will happen? ¬†That’s the general feeling today five years on from the end of war between the GoSL and the LTTE. Is this justified?

When there is an arrest of a human rights activist, there is an immediate outcry on the digital and traditional media. Any call for due process and a condemning of continuing evocation of PTA provisions is generally seen as ‘opposing’ the security of local communities. New suspicion lines and allegiances emerge from surface talk and posts on digital media that are mere expressions of sentiments that ride on a deep sadness for what we have not yet created in Sri Lanka post-war : making peace with our past.

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Today those detained, Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen have been released from detention. They may have been detained on well-grounded suspicion or in an advanced fact-finding mission re the whereabouts of a possible inciter of communal tension known to them. Others are still detained and more will be detained as they are in other post-war zones. These are matters for the defense establishment of a nation.

What is important to us as civilians is the climate of suspicion in which these arrests take place.

What is important is that citizens are not seen as fighting the defense establishment of the country but as striving in these yet dark days for the need to engage and reckon with our past. [Read more…]