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Sri Lanka is NOT silent, it speaks to those who will listen

A link on the World Pulse homepage led me to an article by Indian author Arundathi Roy, published in the Boston Globe . I shudder each time I read these “opinion pieces” from columnists seated thousands of miles away, who consider themselves the voice of some segment of the Sri Lankan people. I cringe as I read their narrow perspectives, crude and simplistic analyses, and alarming conclusions and arbitrary calls for action. Not once will they stop and put themselves in the shoes of those for whom they speak. Not once will they take into account historical hatreds or social networks that define our communities. And not once do they appear to listen to the voices of real people, living through the atrocities each day.

Many of us Sri Lankans, Sinhalese and Tamil alike, want this senseless fighting and bloodshed to end. We want peace in our time. We want healing and reconciliation.

After reading Roy’s biased and inaccurate personal analysis, which unfortunately is dished up as fact, I visited the website of a group of young people in Sri Lanka who have come together to begin the healing process, of a war begun by their parents. The group, Sri Lanka Unites states that “We will not let the hatred of the past, control the present, and destroy our future.”

This, then, is the REAL voice from Sri Lanka. A heart-felt wish for healing and peace. Not isolated opinions from foreign voices that seeks to continue to divide us, to listen to selected voices and experiences, absolving some while demonising others.

I can only hope that true Sri Lankan voices, like those of the young men and women from Sri Lanka Unites, will continue to emerge from Sri Lanka, replacing the fake falsettos from beyond our shores.

Comments

jadefrank's picture

Voices of truth

Hi Manori,

Thank you for bringing this up, because you have described exactly what PulseWire and the Voices of Our Future program aims to achieve. So often the media is filled with stories written by people who have little connection or personal history with the subjects they cover. We need people like you, like your fellow members here on this site, and like the brave youth of Sri Lanka Unites to lift their voices and paint a more personal and accurate picture of what is happening in this world. I too hope that more Sri Lankans speak out and emerge as a voice for the voiceless.

Warm regards,
Jade

TUMAINI's picture

Couldn't agree more

I understand where your coming from when you say that " I cringe as I read their narrow perspectives, crude and simplistic analyses, and alarming conclusions and arbitrary calls for action."

I'm half Kenyan and half Ugandan. I was brought up in Kenya but what you have just described is exactly how i felt when in 2007 and 2008 Kenyan Elections and the country disrupted into chaos due to the disputed elections, you had foreign journalists, analyists and you name it explain to the rest of the world, why a peaceful "democractic" country like Kenya would have such violence, most putting it down to Tribal differences. Talk about being simplistic in thinking.

Im even getting mad thinking about it. Many at the time were blogging and sharing the exact sentiments about the international media coverage.

I agree with Jade, Pulse is excellent in seeking to ensure that the real voices are heard.

Thanks for raising an important issue here at World Pulse. I am LISTENING TO THE REAL VOICE.

Manori's picture

Thanks!

Hi Jade and Tumaini

Thanks for your feedback and comments. I kind of wrote this journal entry as an immediate, angry reaction to reading Roy's article which was on the World Pulse homepage.

I'm going to expand on this theme in another blog, as i find it to be a disturbing trend. Tumaini, hope you can add to it in your journal too.

Manori

katea's picture

Thank you for sharing

Dear Manori,
Thank you for sharing with us an important issue. That's why, I really believe that people should be more critical in what they read and what they write. And not because the writing is mainstream, it's a more objective one. It's best to know what common people think because they have a way of looking at things that really come from their own experiences.

"Many of us Sri Lankans, Sinhalese and Tamil alike, want this senseless fighting and bloodshed to end. We want peace in our time. We want healing and reconciliation." I definitely support you here. We need to heal and work for a more peaceful future.

sending you all prayers.

love,
katea

Poverty is man-made that we can undo.

JaniceW's picture

Congratulations

I am happy for you in your successful advancement to phase two of VOF. Your perspective and insight into the issues facing women in Sri Lanka has been eye-opening and I hope that you will continue to raise awareness of the conflicts that persist in your country. Best wishes with the continuation of VOF.

p.s. when you respond to a comment, it is best to hit the word "reply" at the bottom of their comment box as that way, the person is notified when you post your response.

Manori's picture

Tx!

Hi Janice

Thanks. I'm looking forward to the next stages, and making contact with my mentor too.

And thanks for the tip about reply option- i only figured it out after having replied in comment form a dozen times or so!

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