When I started to write this post I fully intended to say “I am sad to live in a country where this can happen”, but in reality I am sad to live in a WORLD where this can happen. The incident is full of videos of incidents where you see the dark side of humanity; the street gang knifings; the young men beating up bums; beheadings; torture; and sometimes the worst of all, people just standing by and watching it all happen. It makes you wonder if the people you know, people you meet everyday have this streak of evil in them. How can you bear to hurt another person, how can you bear to see pain, how can you bear to cause it. I guess this question can’t be answered now, perhaps not until the end of time.
The thing about Sri Lanka is that it is (or was) a close knit community. The particular trait that makes Sri Lankans such big gossips also keeps them attached to their community. You know people living on the same street, you know the shopkeepers, the three wheel drivers, even the beggars. That usually makes such violence difficult. Now I am not talking about the usual hot-tempered arrack-fueled fight. That is traditional. But the malicious, premeditated, murder of a mentally ill man, now that shouldn’t happen. Would this incident even be investigated if a camera man had not captured in on video? Maybe its the by-product of a big city. Maybe it is a result of the lack of accountability fostered by the government. But you don’t expect it to happen in a place near where you hang out with your friends, or have your lunch, or take a walk.
This is supposed to be Colombo.