mind adventures

an experimental theatre company set up in sri lanka in 1999.

Identity Crisis

if the latest story about the massacre of the family of four isn't sickening enough, there are now more stories of door to door interrogations by 'the people who should be safe-guarding our security'.

first hand accounts of these people going to sinhalese homes in colombo and asking whether any tamils or other 'outsiders' reside there. since when have tamils been outsiders in this country?

since WHEN?

where did Vijaya the acknowledged progenitor of the sinhalese come from?

we are all one blood.

sometimes i wish i could go back to the 50s and 60s, during the incidents and events that eventually lead to the heinous 'lanka for the sinhalese only' travesty of a decision being made. i would like to give them all a big 'kanay para'. i would like to haul them out of their graves and show them what kind of harvest we have had to reap from the seeds they sowed.

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8 Comments»

  Electra wrote @

great post, trace.

i think the root of most problems is what we’re taught in schools as children : that the sinhalese kind sprang from the lion’s ass and that the tamil people came here as evil invaders from south india. and that vijaya (all hail him, for he was the hero) was the saviour that those that lived here before him from barbarism. we’re taught myth as history, and a highly condensed, racist version of that too…

education is so highly important. and its never being used properly.

  maximuslk wrote @

the root cause of many is how lot of the generalised n illiterate public being informed and spoken about the tamil. being one has never been a problem anywhere else other than at any given security point which draws the second n third look from the individual holding the national up in sky high, wonder what he sees and then a look bloody stare at me.. its just sickens me. but i dont count everyone on that account. everyone is not the same. leave out the messed n illiterate ones n move forward with one who consider tamil as part of the same bloodline.

  Deane wrote @

I don’t know about root causes. I wasn’t around when shit happened, but i do believe Sri Lanka’s problems are not rooted within the hearts of the people but imposed by it’s leaders both in the north and in the south.

Don’t blame the soldiers, they do protect. don’t blame the cadres, most of them don’t know. Both sets are just following orders. If you want to blame anyone then blame the leaders, and if you are upto it, do something about it, I guess I’m not.

and dont believe all the shit you read.

  Sophist wrote @

Deane has a point. Not well made but a point. We can’t point fingers at our own security forces because they’re the same ones we point fingers at when bombs go off in our backyards. They have to start somewhere, and I’d had to be in their position. How can you tell a terrorist from civilian?

The fact remains – this is a harsh fact and should be taken only in the context of this post – that while all Tamils are far from terrorists, all terrorists are almost always Tamils. Put your self in the shoes of those burdened with the security of a nation and ask yourself what you could possibly doe.

These are hard times when we have to endure body checks and car bonnet openings and late night rigns of our doorbell with a grin and a shrug of resignation. This is war. It could be a lot worse.

The LTTE propoganda machine is evil. Don’t believe everything you read.

You know me better than to be an apologist for ethnic discrimination but it is a merely a starting point. The moderate Tamils (who probably outnumber the LTTE 20:1) should come out in public and point their fingers at the LTTE for betraying their own people and leading them down the path of shame and occassional harrassment. The Muslims in England decried Al Qaeda the day after the London bombings. 23 years down the line isn’t it important that the Tamils condemn the LTTE…and the Sinhalese condemn the governments of ’56 and ’83?

  daytripper wrote @

i agree with your last paragraph, sophist. and i also believe that such atrocities do happen – on both sides. i feel symathy for people who are told that their home is not their home. as a burgher, i’ve had to deal with that all my life. if this isn’t my home, where is? and if i am not sinhalese, does that mean i’m not sri lankan?

  Sophist wrote @

Mate that discussion is one we need to have over an arrack. I empathise completely with your situation. Feeling like a stranger in your own ‘homeland’ is one of the most unfathomable feelings of misery.

We need to acknowledge our differences first before we try to live together as Sri Lankans. The majority Sinhala Buddhist fuckwits have to wake up to the fact that other people live here with them. The Tamil extremists must realise that they can’t ask for a dispoportionately large piece of the country to basically cleanse ethnically. The Muslims must realise that if they can’t find a halal restaurant it’s not because we fucking hate them. The Burghres must learn to speak Sinhala. There are acknowledgements which need to be made before concessions can even be thought of. To make diversity a strength that diversity must be realised and a happy median achieved. Perhaps then no one will feel like it’s home to them anymore. Well maybe that’s just the way the world works nowadays. Everywhere is home and nowhere is home.

That’s good because then everyone will just fuck off and there’ll be no traffic on my way to work in the morning.

  daytripper wrote @

i must learn to keep my big mouth shut. i must learn to keep my big mouth shut. i must learn to keep my big mouth shut…. 🙂

  Castedeus wrote @

Tracy, I totally agree. If only they lived to see what they sowed!


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