UNITED NATION It goes without saying that despite being viewed with more than a modicum of respect by many nations on Earth, Sri Lanka’s post-independence era has been plagued by multiple crises. This chequered history counts the likes of two unwanted insurrections, the barbaric and ethnically motivated riots of July 1983, a 26 year war against terrorism, the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, an attempted constitutional coup in late 2018, the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in 2019 and to cap it all, a pandemic that has so far lasted 14 months and is unlikely to abate until the end of this year. All of this in a span of only 73 years! Whether or not our precious nation united or not during calamities past is a matter of conjecture; at best, one may surmise that it did in part only. COVID-19 however, has presented the people and our politicians with a tinderbox, which calls for nothing less than unity – because unlike in the past, this crisis knows no boundaries, be it political, ethnic, religious and even civil status. Should our nation not unite at this time, a staccato of sorts may follow with the virus gripping an anxious people like never before. So yes, the open wound needs healing and for this, there’s only one medicine: solidarity.