THE BIG PICTURE
DIVIDED WE FALL
Sri Lanka is united at long last but divided too!
Think about the maxim ‘united we stand, divided we fall.’ Then consider the two parts that constitute it – and whether the people of our ‘island like no other’ are united or divided. Ironically, we seem to be a bit of both!
Refreshingly, the aragalaya has succeeded in uniting a nation that’s witnessed racial and religious tensions for most of its 74 years of independence, so much so that we’re inclined to surmise that the ugly events of the past – most damningly, the riots of July 1983 and mob violence that followed the Easter Sunday attacks in April 2019 – were instigated by politicians of many colours for reasons that are known to them.
Sadly however, this unprecedented show of unity among Sri Lankans from all walks of life has yet to extend to the murky political arena despite the clarion call for our politicians to ‘go home’ – because they, or a majority of them, have robbed us over the years and decades.
Instead, in social circles, in the orbit of social media and even among some demonstrators, the citizenry continues to wear coloured hats, and emotions are running high about who should go, who should stay and who should run the country – a country that has all but degenerated into a state of failure.
So the very people who are on their knees, begging for the barest of essentials to live in dignity, are fighting a war of words in the name of one politician or political party, or the other, despite knowing full well that most if not all of them are unfit to govern a nation in distress. That’s akin to asking the perpetrators of a crime to perform surgery on the people they grievously injured!
Is it too much to ask for real change on the unity front; a paradigm shift in mindsets whereby the people remain apolitical until men and women of calibre enter the fray, and seek their vote at elections that we hope are on the horizon?
Let’s face it, Sri Lanka has run out of steam and can ill afford to tolerate ‘more of the same.’