Tuesday, May 19, 2009

End of an Era

For those of us my age who grew up in Sri Lanka, the conflict with the LTTE defined our lives. By all accounts as of May 17, 2009 the quarter century old struggle has the signs of having ended. I personally feel conflicted as I always have with this struggle. Being a Sinhalese I never bought into the Sinhala Buddhist majority having their overruling authority over the country. But now we are at a point where there really can be an opportunity for peace, prosperity, economic growth, and better quality of life for all segments of Sri Lankan society, or...not.

The WSJ had this opinion that reflects upon how we got here and where we need to go as a nation. Reading this made me reflect on my own experience of the conflict and dug out this poem I wrote 13 years ago that got published in a student newspaper in Cambridge, MA on April 23, 1997. Reading it makes me smile because my style seems naive and juvenile (and I rarely write poetry anymore). But then again all those words still hold true; except the number of sons, daughters, mothers and fathers killed are about 70,000. I hope we as a community of Sri Lankans have learned our lesson.

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