The following article contains excerpts from an article written by Shruthi Waduacharige of Methodist College, Colombo 3 in June 2010.
June 26th, 2010: The room was empty except for two people seated on the floor. They were seated on two separate corners of the room and all that seemed to separate them was a vast space, one was a Tamil the other a Sinhalese. That space that separated them though invisible to the naked eye, in their minds eye held hatred, pain, disappointment, suspicion and hurt. One has lost a mother the other a father. The pain was the same, the hatred was equal and each blamed the other for it.
The end of the war unfortunately does not mean the end of all the problems that have been plaguing the nation from the advent of this war. If the most fundamental issue, the divided community is not dealt with, it is my belief that no matter how much the nation may concentrate on economic, political and social development, the nation will progress nowhere. The nation can reach the heights envisioned by many people if only the nation reconciles and stands together as one.
The war has been fought. It has been won. The price paid was immense. For it was won at the cost of many lives. Now the time has come for us to move forward and forget our past for only then can we build a future worth remembering. As colossal as the task may be we must all begin somewhere. Every single person in this nation is of utmost importance and their contribution towards reconciliation, however, small, would be priceless. Every single act of kindness, every single thought of love, every single act voice of courage will make a difference. Even though the results of our individual efforts may not be seen at the beginning, eventually they will affect the bigger picture and no one can deny that. One man led a nation to independence from the rule of the most powerful empire in the world at the time, in 1947. One man put an end to apartheid in Africa. They never gave up, in the face of adversity they believed in themselves more and to this day they are respected and admired not only in their native countries but in every corner of the world. We can learn something from these great leaders; we can learn many things in fact. But the most important thing to remember is that as Mahatma Gandhi said “we need to be the change we want to see in the world.” It must begin within us and we can do it even if we have to start out alone. Success will not isolate a person working towards a worthy cause.
June 26th, ????: The room was empty except for two people seated on the floor. They were seated on two separate corners of the room and all that seemed to connect them was a vast space. One was a Tamil the other a Sinhalese. The space that connected them though invisible to the naked eye in their minds eye held love, hope, faith trust and acceptance. One had lost a mother and other a father. The pain was the same, but the hatred was no more and neither blamed the other for it.