United we stand, divided we fall

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Before we lose ourselves in the bliss of the now-decreased power cuts; I would like to draw your attention to the right now.

This moment serves as one of the most united we’ve been in our lifetimes. We are not just helping people in our churches or temples; we are standing together with the neighbours we hardly spoke to, in an attempt to re-write the history of our country.

It’s a beautiful moment in Sri Lankan history where a nation that has always been politically divided, has united itself to overthrow their ‘divider-conqueror’. It’s also a moment in history where people have been thrown into such a situation that it has left little to no room for even the Government to insinuate racism.

Going forward as a society, we need to keep in mind the unity we are feeling right now and the power it has given each of us both collectively and individually.

We need to look back…

 This family-run Government enterprise has treated its people badly and called them extremists the moment they fought back, which really begs the question,

What does it take to be a ‘politically accredited’ extremist in this country?

Today all of us with a citizenship or a fondness for this country, speaking up against the family enterprise are labelled as extremists. And since there are protests happening everywhere in the world right now, our little  family enterprise Government has the biggest threat from the largest randomly formed extremist group in the world; all its citizens.

The upper management seem to be using this time to get their affairs in order while some of the lower ranks chicken out and the rest make failed attempts at saving their by-gone dignity.

A sad approach was taken when they made sure all of us were at home in the dark before bringing out the big boys with their toys.

Just to note; the military, even though a weapon, are citizens of this country too. The higher ranks may be part of the management but the lower ranks are a part of us; looking forward to this one adding to the long list of failed attempts the enterprise has made to redeem the situation for themselves.

Last but not least, a huge shout out to the marketing team for coming through with the Social media ban, without which #GoHomeGota #GoHomeRajapaksas and other major hashtags would not have been a global hit.

History

Today, we all stand as first hand witnesses to the ‘majority elected’ Government’s treatment of its people, love for the country and most importantly, to what a dictator with backing is capable of doing to citizens.

If this was like any of the other incidents from the past which included a specific minority, we as the majority and the rest of the ‘-orities’ will be at home listening to what the Government (which has proven itself to have the best interest of its people at heart at all times) has to say about these ‘riots’, unnecessarily isolating a group of ‘us’, to facilitate political propaganda.

The fact of the matter is; until this happened to all of us, every conflict has been targeting a minority of people while ensuring that the majority enjoyed its rights or were in a battle for their rights.

As citizens we have been manipulated to be caught up in this feeling of being the superior majority because in the absence of such a stupid way of thinking idiots would not be able to get into Parliament.

For the first time in my lifetime, we are fighting a battle we know both sides of, we know the complete side of the oppressed; we are the oppressed.

So whatever that is told among other people and told by the President on a global level, we ourselves know what is happening to us, and even those of us who don’t know are supporting us because they believe in us and not our ‘family enterprise’. 

We need to look back

We need to look back at the time when it was more than just the Police the people had to be worried about, when we were so deluded that we made our fellow citizens feel unsafe to step out of their house, a time when carrying a Tamil ID card was a scary thing and young Tamil boys didn’t leave home without their Sinhala Counterparts.

We need to look back at the time when our Muslim citizens  were blamed, made to feel unsafe and when we boycotted all their shops acting under the delusion that an entire community was at fault for the actions of a few.

We need to remember that the fear we are feeling as a country to step out of the house is familiar to our very friends who are minorities; they have been scared to leave home before, of being arrested and beaten up.

 What’s so scary and new to some of us is a ‘twisted familiarity’ to the rest of us.

We need to face and accept this reality in order to truly move forward as a generation; as a people; as the future.

Not a political analyst but in my humble opinion; when we look  back, in the absence of any racially instigated riot, war or civil problem, no Government would have been able to target the majority vote, which has always been needed to win the election.

Governments so far have never encouraged a free thinking nation because doing so would mean that they lose the most important tool of coming into power; and since they are unable to divide the people on any other logical basis they have to isolate that vote through politically instigated racial issues.

If our country fails to see this, and falls back into a political system that is not made to benefit the people we are just years away from our next ‘insert name CRISIS’ which starts ‘riots’ and a situation of unrest that has to be solved by electing a completely unsuitable personal as President; just because.

Moving forward

We need to look back at these incidents of the past in the light of and we know violence can be instigated. We also now know a Government will start to panic the moment people unite so therefore, will do cheap things to stop it from happening.

We have, as a nation, let down our own people based on race and religion because we failed to see that everyone ends up an ‘extremist’ at one point.

We have as a nation made our own people feel unsafe in their homes.

We have been on the side of the Police and the Government before.

But most importantly, We, as a nation, have been given an opportunity to re-write the future of our country and take it in a direction that serves the best interests of its people. We know better than to be divided by the racist issues of the past and we also know that when it comes to it; we have each other’s back.

This is the greatest foundation our legs to stand on.

Always remember; the table is only as strong as the legs it stands on and our country stands on its people not the idiots who manipulated us to get into parliament.

United we stand. Divided we fall.

(Pix by Venura Chandramalitha)

By Sharon Arnolda