Saturday, July 25, 2009

FLC Countdown: 14 Days, Reflections

If the vision and expectations of Sri Lanka Unites are to be truly appreciated, the past must be thoroughly examined. In what context does the hope for a better future arise? Years after its separation from Britain, Sri Lanka was considered successful, developing nation. Its peaceful transition to independence was coupled with its strong belief in democracy. Sri Lanka was later praised for willfully reversing its socialist policies. And yet, 60 years after independence, Sri Lanka is not considered to be a success story, but a case study in the development of terrorism. The exact causes of social unrest can obscure the underlying source of the civil war, a misunderstanding of other cultures inhabiting the island.

A sense of national community is inextricably linked to the future. In the past, ethnic groups have been unable or unwilling to look past their needs as an isolated group. War, by its very nature, cannot create a unified Sri Lanka as it enforces inaccurate stereotypes and cultivates a subculture of fear and mistrust. Sri Lanka must come to terms with the fact that it represents a plurality of cultures with various backgrounds. People on all sides of the conflict have taken this diversity to be a disadvantage to achieving their goals when such is not the case. Diversity does not dilute regional interests, but rather, enriches them. Breaking down artificial walls between peoples creates a positive awareness of others that contributes to integrated communities dedicated to working together to achieve each other’s goals. It provides a larger context from which the needs and attributes of each region are more fully explored as their understanding of others is reflected back upon the beholder. The danger lies in refusing to cope with a multicultural national society by creating barriers to all those who are outside one’s own kind, not in the plurality of cultures itself.

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