Colombo Telegraph

Mr. President, Build Us A Wall!

By Sudat Pasqual

Sudat Pasqual

Walls normally are meant to separate, to keep people and things apart.  However, not all walls are about separation. Walls can also be about inspiration, unification and purification.

Sri Lanka needs a wall to bring us together, to unify, to inspire and to glorify our differences. For far too long we have allowed the carrions of our society to dictate the path of our nation. Time and again the nation has invested its faith in leaders who have used that faith in the vilest of manner. We need an avenue to vent.

For many of us, when he was elected President in 2005, Mahinda Rajapaksa offered a glimpse of a future that we had almost given up on. When we thought all was lost or about to be lost, Mahinda Rajapaksa offered us a lifeline. He promised a peaceful future for our children; he told us that evil can be overcome by steadfast belief and personal sacrifice; he made us believe that we deserved peace; and he promised that he will deliver that peace.

And he did. Some will always say the price of peace was way too high, but considering the alternative I would beg to differ.

Then we came across the peace dividend. The peace dividend that was meant for the whole somehow got waylaid and ended in the hands of the few. Then the peace dividend started getting greater and greater; for the few. We mumbled that it was ok because at least the war was over. Then we pretended that it was not as bad as it sounded. Then it became impossible to ignore. Now we are mad and we need to vent.

So Mr. President before all goes south for all of us, give me a listen.

Build us a wall to air our grievances; to bitch; to curse you and yours truly. Also to give you a way out and the country a way forward.

This wall will be part mythical but mostly real.
But most of all, it will be about the heart and soul of a people.
A wall to unite, to inspire, to rejoice and to share.
A wall that will become a mural of a people reaching out to each other
A wall that will provide space to mothers to share their hopes and aspirations for their children. A wall that will let Sri Lanka’s children, our hope for the future tell us their aspirations, highlight our pettiness and show us a better path.
A wall that will give space to the mothers, the fathers and the children who lost a loved one to a conflict that should never have started.

A wall that will offer space to the mothers and children of the disappeared so they can pen their hurt, scream their anger and pound their fear.

Mr.President, we want this space, this wall of hope, this wall of unification, this wall of inspiration, this wall of purification so we can communicate with you directly. It will be a place of many scripts, many tongues, many gods and no gods.

We need this wall and you need this wall for you are not reading our script and you are not hearing our lament for your senses have been dulled by the cacophony of the carrions. We need this wall so you and leaders to come will always know our thoughts, concerns, hopes, and fears.

Mr.President, once it is built, kneel before this wall and ask for strength, guidance, courage and the vision to serve our people.  This wall is your protection and it is the only protection you will ever need. WE of the Wall will protect you; WE of the Wall will guide you and never again will a leader of Sri Lanka need to seek the protection of foreign temples, of foreign gods and of foreign priests speaking in foreign tongues.

But please do not desecrate this place with the presence of carrions. These minions have misled and corrupted our leaders and drained the goodness from us for too long. Their time is past. This is our time, this sacred place is our place, and you and the leaders to come must make this your temple.

The Wall will be a place of hope, joy, vision and inspiration. The Wall will also be a place of anger, sadness and despair and it will be streaked with tears and stained with blood of the innocent for that is what we are. We are a people wrapped in all that but if you listen to the voices, if you read the lines, if you embrace the sounds and if you look into our eyes we will dim the anger, lessen the sadness and shoo away the despair; together.

You build it Mr.President and we will come

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