Death. Blood. Massacre. Boiling hatred. Racial segregation. Here in Canada we live a luxurious life. Despite economic turmoil and the plunging stock market we still have far beyond our most basic necessities of life. However, in many other countries this is far from true. There are civil wars still going on and one is raging wildly in Sri Lanka…
Many people may not fully understand the magnitude of the wars in Sri Lanka, the war’s root cause or its fuel. I’m not sure I understand it completely myself. However, I hope to give you the best second hand information I can about life back in my parent’s country.
In Sri Lanka there are two main racial groups, Tamil and Sinhalese, they pray the believe in the same traditions, wear the same clothes and live in the same country, yet the Sinhalese are set on overtaking the Tamils. Their only difference is the languages they speak, but still many Tamils learn to speak Sinhalese. These two groups have been fighting for over half a century. However, this is only the beginning of the story. Everyday young Tamil children are killed, Tamil women are raped, Tamil teenagers are abducted, Tamil fathers and Tamil grandfathers are tortured and Tamil youth are humiliated. Tamil. Tamil. Tamil. Yes, about twenty innocent Tamil people die everyday. Twenty, this is more serious than the American Civil war. This has nothing to do with skin colour, no, only to do with the language they speak. The Tamil people there are a minority, therefore they cannot vote-in a fair and democratic leader. The Sinhalese always vote in a crooked, unjust president who places the burden of the country upon the shoulder of the Tamils of Sri Lanka. Tamil people pay taxes, yet they do not get benefits. Tamil people are smart, yet they aren’t given admission to university. Tamil people work hard, yet they must always fear for their lives. Tamil people earn money, yet they cannot buy food. Tamil people have a home, yet they cannot live there. Tamil people attend schools, yet their schools are bombed. Tamil people are people, yet they aren’t treated like people.
Many of you have probably heard of the Tamil Tigers. Well, there are many misconceptions about them that I would like to clarify. They are presently the only Tamil organization in Sri Lanka fighting for the rights of Tamil people. On many days entire classes of Tamil people go off to join this organization. Unlike the Sinhalese army who treat Tamils as their inferiors, the Tigers only fight against the army. They do not like to harm the innocent. Using this tactic they have accumulated some land for the Tamil people, informally, they control this land to bring better rights for the Tamil people. They simply ask for an independent state for the Tamil minority, including political offices, courts and a police force. No, they do not want a separate country, just another province…one measly province is creating all this hassle. Yet for many people this is more than just a hassle, this means their life, their home, their children and their future. Nobody wants to leave home, to a country where no one speaks your language, to a place where no one understands your problems, to a place of foreign ideas and cultures. To a place that’s not home. However, each year thousands of Tamil people leave Sri Lanka to foreign countries to preserve their children’s future and to lead a safer life.
Recently, the Sinhalese army has made serious attempts capture some of this “Tiger territory”. There has been a raging battle as helpless, starving Tamil people are killed in the cross fire. It is uncertain of who will win. However, the army is presently gaining the upper-hand. The leader of the Tigers says that even if this large city is captured they will continue fighting for the rights of Tamil people. Tamil people are brave, courageous and furious. They have suffered for over half a century, the hatred is boiling in their veins. Yet, they must lay dormant, until the time comes to pounce. Then, the world will be behind them…
This struggle may continue for many generations to come. This fight for justice may not end in our lifetimes. However, there are many children, women, men and people our age are dying of preventable causes, infections, lack of water, food and shelter. Yet we have the most sophisticated of technology, and we take them for granted-the computer, iPod, television. But, they do not have the bare necessities of life that we take for granted. You do not need to take a political stance, but you can help the unfortunate people who are suffering because of inequality. I hope that every time you remember the struggle in Sri Lanka you will think of the burden that every Tamil baby carries upon their shoulders.
About the Blogger
Hey guys, life is awesome.
This is a photo of my favourite tamil actor. Tamil is the language that I speak at home. It originated in India. My family comes from Sri Lanka. It's a tiny island under India.
His name is Vijay (vi-jae). He's acted in a couple of movies, always as the hero. Vijay is hilarious, and a really good dancer. He is awesome.