Thursday 4 May 2023


04 May 2023

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam






Most of us Sri Lankans have our own reasons as to the reasons why the Rajapaksa regime collapsed. Mine is as an Elder. Elders are never wrong.


The question arises as to who an Elder is? As per my classification, an Elder is a Service provider who takes no money or status benefits for work done. An elder need not be old by age. Whoever qualifies as per the above definition is an Elder.


Seniors have higher benefits than juniors. Any wrongs against seniors are relative. Wrongs against an Elder is exponential.


Immediate past President of Sri Lanka was a senior. Not so the current president who carries the position of UNP leader. To Tamils in North, this is a compensation for being denied the right to vote in the 2005 Presidential elections. Voting confirms our acceptance of the position. When someone comes through a party, we vote for the party also. In the case of 2005 Presidential elections, the votes blocked became exponential in value, due to UNP being a Political elder.


When we feel more free to self-self govern, the government of that period is our Elder. To most Northern Tamils, this is UNP, at National level.

One who protests violently, damages the position that the person holds. This in turn damages the structure we have inherited from our elders.


The perpetrators of last year’s damage to leadership positions are now facing court. The media also seems to examine its role. An example is:

 Behind the Lens: The Sri Lanka presidential palace, overrun


Their pictures helped us form our own opinions as to the causes. One who is in pain would not celebrate victory but would express relief. That would have confirmed the validity of their protests. As per the above report:

The mood was festive and they were celebrating throwing the president and prime minister from their residence and offices.’


Those who celebrated were violent because they violated the leadership positions in our governance structure. A true protestor would mourn such damage to the position.


Reporter Jayawardene states:

My family did not have cooking gas for months, and we did our entire cooking with the help of a rice cooker. 

I think readers should know about the determination and the difficulty involved in reporting this story amid all kinds of economic sufferings. For me, this is the difference between this story and other stories I had covered before. You are part of the suffering community and still you cover what others do. Despite being a newsperson, I, too, had to go through hardships finding essentials. Sometimes people reacted roughly when I was taking photos at queues for gas and kerosene. I attempted to overcome the helpless feelings and tried to understand their despair by fitting in to their shoes.’

Let us take the example of suffering given by Jayawardene:

‘My family did not have cooking gas for months, and we did our entire cooking with the help of a rice cooker.’

Most in our area resorted to firewood. We ourselves bought an induction cooker. These challenges were less painful than wartime challenges to life itself.

Reporter MAQBOOL shares as follows:

‘To hire a car, it was very difficult. We paid five times more, and still there was no guarantee you would get a taxi. The drivers would tell us, “If we manage to get gas, we will come. Otherwise no.” At times we had to walk or if we were lucky, we might get a three-wheeler. Thankfully the hotel I was staying at was quite central, but walking with your heavy equipment through swarms of people was quite stressful.’

Everyday life for those in war zones of Sri Lanka was worse. Most had to cycle to work everyday. This was reality for most of the 30 years of war.

Victims of war who are now getting on with life are the real elders of Sri Lanka. They are in all communities. When they are honoured, good social order is guaranteed.



No comments:

Post a Comment