By Dilshani Palugaswewa
I’ve noticed you’ve been abuzz lately. It would seem as though some who had taken refuge inside you are slowly and strategically starting to crawl out to show their famous faces with their pretentious statements, draining the last bit of respect anyone had for them.
Amidst the severe crisis the country is facing, with those in power denying any accountability and showing no indication of making any serious changes, it is interesting to see how despite a savage blow to almost every single community and industry we have, some continue to ardently and unapologetically support those greatly responsible for landing us here.
Meanwhile, some renowned personalities are doing a quick temperature check on either side to gauge what it would be like to pick a side. As there is a clear message being sent by the people to those occupying the seats of the ruling regime to pack their bags and leave the building, people who vociferously advocated for those very same people to take those seats, are making calculated decisions, carefully jumping ship to the one anchored by a majority or in some cases standing in-between, straddling the fence with their words of neutral solidarity.
While they absolutely have a right to choose who they vote for and politically support, in this particular case there is an underlying message in their decisions that speaks volumes.
Given that this regime has been known to do things that don’t quite fall within the framework of the law, constitution or well, general benevolence, anyone standing on their fort would essentially mean they agree to their terms and conditions, peddle racist ideologies, encourage social privilege, and endorse corruption. In short, it implies that these folks are completely fine with belittling the sufferings of those who’ve suffered blow after blow since the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks and COVID lockdowns which have led us to this bleak situation where even the most basic domestic needs, aren’t being met.
And to add to it, these are situations that were predicted as preventable. So, why is it important to pick a side? Well, because Sri Lanka is like a coin tossed in the air. It’s value is depreciating every second it is spends suspended up before its grand crash, and we need to know who called ‘heads’ and who chose ‘tails’ because that is a crucial part of restructuring our patterns hereon out if we are to see the change we want. Kudos to those who have switched sides because they finally saw the spade for what it is and chose to call it out loud or because they fell headlong into the hole dug with that very spade. As for those who supported this regime, but now realise our situation is only going to get worse, this is the time to act.
We can’t emphasise enough just how horrific this juncture is. We are dealing with people dying due to drug shortages or lack of food, burdened by financial whirlpools and let down by the sheer lack of management at even damage control, all of which has left us at an impasse.
The reason most people are disappointed with these celebrities and their stances is because at this point in time, so many of us are realising the injustices around us, and understanding that this system is designed to loot us and fail us, the general public. So, at a time like this, their silence or neutrality is resounding. Additionally, if people are the reason they are a household name or the reason they are celebrated, shouldn’t that be reason enough to use the platform available to them to amplify public grievances?
Perhaps because of the restricted network coverage under you, Woodworks, it would seem they haven’t been updated on the ‘what led us to this’, a point where we are occupying Galle Face Green overnight, come sun or rain, despite shortage of basic medications and rising COVID cases. From cricketers who we’ve hailed as national heroes telling us to sit tight because the Government is doing all they can, to others sharing vague opinions without being forthright about the situation, and some even starting GoFundMe pages #forsrilanka and doling out visual statements looking as if they were held at gun point, the lack of conscientiousness at this critical time is at the very least, disappointing.
Point is, even if they do decide now that they want to stand with the people, these crawlers will not be allowed to just show up now acting like they never endorsed this brand of politics. They will not be allowed to slip by without acknowledging what their previous affiliations have resulted in. And with that they need to give us a reason to believe they truly mean what they say, otherwise it is best they say nothing at all. As evidently, they only seem to care when they too are in the line of fire.
Go fund yourself