By Senuri Jayasekara –
Today marks the day the Sri Lankan’s managed to claim independence for their country for the third time within a century…the day they managed to overthrow the dictatorial Rajapaksa family of rulers that drained the country of the prosperity it could’ve otherwise enjoyed.
I still remember…
I still remember, Jan 8th 2015, the day of the Sri Lankan presidential election marked the 6-year anniversary of the murder of the respected journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge; who wasn’t afraid to reveal the heinous crimes committed by the incumbent…which then brings me to remember the era of fear and censorship we just lived through. I still remember the attacks on the Sirasa/MTV news networks because of their lack of support for the govt. In 2010, I still remember Prageeth Eknaligoda, who among many other people at the time, was reported missing. Oh I still remember all those white van kidnappings of persons that took place whenever the incumbent felt that their authority was being questioned or criticised.
It was Rajapaksa’s regime that backed the utter terror the so called “venerable” monks of the Bodu Bala Sena unleashed on the Muslim community of Sri Lanka in 2014. It was them that let it go past without any punishment, yet today most people are saying the Sinhalese are an ungrateful race and forget all the good deeds ever done unto them (by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa) and that they made the biggest mistake ever, but tell me, did the Sinhalese ever want racial tension to be incited between them and possibly every other race that lived on the same land?! Did we ever want to lose all the lives we did in the war that took place?! I am not saying I am not happy that there are no more active terrorists to fear in my mother land but honestly give the following a thought…
I remember the times of fear during the war and the bomb raids on Colombo, how I used to watch news all the time worrying to see if my parents were going to make it back home to us safely on those nights. I remember even well after the war was over how the President, his brothers, his sons, his stooges, his WHOLE FAMILY TREE basically used to misappropriately use their security convoys. I am stuck in a cab after what was for me a long and tiring day of tuition after school while about 10 defenders direct us off the road by having the STF wave red sticks in our faces until these “gods” can whizz through to temple tress or wherever their stolen lavish houses were. I say “stolen” because the level of corruption that took place during this nepotistic regime of Rajapaksa’s was ghastly! I mean, we are talking about the president who extorted Rs. 83 million of Tsunami relief funds and used them for personal gain instead of giving it to those in need at the time…enough said. Now I come to Namal, Yoshitha and ‘Chichi’… again, enough said.
It was a dark era, it was a “subha anagathayak” for Rajapaksa and all his conscienceless stooges NOT for the common man! I can assure you in my lifetime of watching news, I had never before heard of so many rape crimes, murders, kidnappings and robberies…times were hard. We rarely ever heard of black-mailing attacks and briberies that took place between the govt. puppets and the authorities over the media but I am pretty sure that was because the government was puppeteering the media…our voice was suppressed.
But NO LONGER!
I am sitting here miles away from home in my dorm room excited for my country’s new era of change. I hope it’s going to be for the country’s betterment. I missed my first opportunity to exercise my franchise, but I sit here in joy because we needed a change and we got it now like we wanted it. We also needed our younger generation to get their heads out of their ipads, phones and paraphernalia and realise the significance of the role they get to play as citizens of Sri Lanka…Be the change you want to see. Let the “Maithree Yugaya” begin!
« The Need To Pursue Reforms Through Principles
Veni, Vidi, Vici »