Monday, August 3, 2009

FLC Countdown: 4 Days, Reflections

An attempt at understanding is an attempt at freedom. Hatred and ignorance can be just as binding as any prison, and a stereotypical barrier can be as limiting as a physical fortification. It can trap countries and its citizens in civil wars, cycles of economic decline, and suspicions of those who would otherwise be considered neighbors. A nation’s freedom depends not so much on its laws and legislation, but on the mindsets and attitudes of the people. The external appearance of the government is an effect, not a cause, of freedom. Freedom, at the most basic level, begins with the people, particularly the youth who retain the dreams of a better society. Freedom thus provides security for the future as well as the present. It is the fabric that allows institutions and cultures to adapt to ever-changing times. As the present era begins to heal, a sturdier future is assured as the minds of the next generation are prepared to cope with the challenges of a new age. The fluid nation is willing to compromise when appropriate and stand fast when necessary.

Leadership is a key personal quality that makes freedom possible. By training Lankan youth as leaders and peacemakers, Sri Lankans will be equipped to reinterpret their position in the country. They no longer have to become pawns in the animosity that has driven the country into its current dilemma, but they can take control and reshape Sri Lanka into a land of cultural stability and prosperity. It is well known that the youth of society are the ones most likely to initiate widespread change. This has been the case in Sri Lanka’s civil war, and though it will be true of this age as well, it will be a generation of peacemakers and mediators rather than of militants and extremists that will control the destiny of Sri Lanka.

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