A link on the World Pulse homepage led me to an article by Indian author Arundathi Roy, <a href="http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/0...”>published in the Boston Globe . I shudder each time I read these “opinion pieces” from columnists seated thousands of miles away, who consider themselves the voice of some segment of the Sri Lankan people. I cringe as I read their narrow perspectives, crude and simplistic analyses, and alarming conclusions and arbitrary calls for action. Not once will they stop and put themselves in the shoes of those for whom they speak. Not once will they take into account historical hatreds or social networks that define our communities. And not once do they appear to listen to the voices of real people, living through the atrocities each day.
Many of us Sri Lankans, Sinhalese and Tamil alike, want this senseless fighting and bloodshed to end. We want peace in our time. We want healing and reconciliation.
After reading Roy’s biased and inaccurate personal analysis, which unfortunately is dished up as fact, I visited the website of a group of young people in Sri Lanka who have come together to begin the healing process, of a war begun by their parents. The group, Sri Lanka Unites states that “We will not let the hatred of the past, control the present, and destroy our future.”
This, then, is the REAL voice from Sri Lanka. A heart-felt wish for healing and peace. Not isolated opinions from foreign voices that seeks to continue to divide us, to listen to selected voices and experiences, absolving some while demonising others.
I can only hope that true Sri Lankan voices, like those of the young men and women from Sri Lanka Unites, will continue to emerge from Sri Lanka, replacing the fake falsettos from beyond our shores.