It finally seems that all the protests and the public outcry against the eviction have caused the Government to do something about it:
In a new turn of events to the drama surrounding the eviction of Tamil lodge dwellers from Colombo last week, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake yesterday expressed regrets to the hundreds of Tamils for their eviction from the city, saying it was a ‘big mistake’ by the government.
This ‘apology’ is one that I am heartily glad for, though we still wait for the release of arbitrarily remanded individuals.
Plenty of bloggers in our little Kottu community were quite disturbed about the evictions, which was quite heartening. It shows that there are people who still have not been deadened by this protracted conflict. But surprisingly and sadly, a few bloggers were angered by our stand. Angered so in fact, as to point fingers at bloggers and accuse others of ltte propaganda. Since when has the act of getting upset at unfair treatment been a bad thing?
Everyone knows that the LTTE is doing wrong. They are quite obviously a terrorist group. They commit acts of destruction, instigate armed conflict, kidnappings and so on. But the democratically elected Government has different responsibilities. Using the tactics of a terrorist organization against its citizens is not an option.
As RD says in a comment:
In theory the GOSL is a democratically elected government and the fundamental pillars of democracy are supposed to be liberty and freedom. That’s where I think the big difference lies between its actions and those committed by the LTTE.
The reason why the eviction caused so much commotion was because it happened in the heart of Colombo, and at our door steps as it were. If it were a security procedure to ensure the safety of Colombo, then it should have been focused on all lodgers staying in Colombo without a reason and not simply Tamils. Here is where the crux of the matter lies. A forced eviction of only Tamils for vague security reasons.
It is strange how people jump on your back when you state that peace is better than war. It makes one scratch one’s head and wonder if peace means something different in different languages. Being a moderate seems to be a new bad word too.
A lot of the posts were hurried ones jotted up so that the authors could claim with shrill voices “look at me! I am a “moderate” too! Yay! Pat me on the back and **** me off!”
In a Buddhist country, moderate has become an insult? What ever happened to the middle path? What ever happened to conciliation? Buddhism is a religion that advocates peace and moderation, and yet those who try and practice moderation become a target.
Despite what anyone says, I don’t believe violence can be legitimate or justified. If a ‘peacenik’ is one for peace, then hell, I will become a ‘peacenik’. If a moderate advocates moderation and detests war, then I will be a moderate. Peace is never easy, but that does not mean we will give up on it.