This year on February 4, as has happened over the past 73 years, leaders of the governing political elite ‘celebrated’ this country’s Independence Day with a show of military might.
Sections of the minority communities carried out protest demonstrations in the north and east. Some politicians went to the extent of clothing themselves in black — perhaps in the hope of getting media coverage. They were successful.
Unfortunately even Sri Lanka’s President described himself as a Sinhala-Buddhist and to emphasise the point, he said he would never hesitate to say so and added that he would govern the country according to Buddhist teachings. Many other politicians too went on to echo similar sentiments.
Independenc Day should be a factor to bring the people of this country together. It should bond us together as Sri Lankans but sadly though at the ‘celebration’ of the 73rd anniversary of our independence, our leaders — be they Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or Adhivassi, all seemed to have forgotten the importance of unity.
One and all stressed the uniqueness and/or particular problems each community faced. No one seemed to remember the most important fact, that we are first and foremost SRI LANKAN and that everything else is secondary.