After 26 years, Sri Lanka’s barbaric and bloody conflict came to an end on May 20, 2009. However, the schism between the country’s two ethnic groups, the Sinhala Buddhas and the Tamils, was never resolved. Many people still have bad memories of the Sri Lankan Navy’s barbaric attack on the Tamil population off the coast of Mandaithivu in June 1986, which resulted in the deaths of 33 fishermen.
The Sri Lankan soldiers’ security at the Mandateivu island checkpoint now has a sign that says, “Together we reach Unity in Diversity.” Many people see this board as a sign of changing times, hoping that the people’s movement against the Sri Lankan government is writing a new story of ethnic harmony in the midst of the country’s severe economic crisis. The anti-government movement has centred on Colombo’s Independence Square.
‘Gota… you screwed up the wrong generation,’ says the narrator.
In Sri Lanka, people aged 12 to 70 have banded together to oppose the government. There are no longer any barriers between Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim communities. People are holding posters that read ‘Go Gota Go…Go Home Gota’ in English, Tamil, and Sinhala. ‘You screwed the wrong generation…stop ruining our country,’ read one of the protesters’ placards. Please return our stolen funds.’
Queues that stretch for miles Gota’ ‘You have screwed the wrong generation…’ read one of the protesters’ placards. Stop wreaking havoc on our country. Please return our stolen funds.’ Colombo is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Milshan Vijhenayake, a 17-year-old protestor, said that politics suppressed the elderly generation, but youth like us are united. M Rajendran, who attended the protest with his two daughters, claimed that politicians had kept Tamils, Sinhalas, and Muslims divided for a long time. Sri Lankans are coming together now. Long lines of people can be seen all over Colombo. In addition to gas, kerosene, and petrol, there is a cheese shortage in Sri Lanka today.
Sinhala and Tamil have always looked out for each other.
“Whether it was the 1958 Sinhala-Tamil riots or the 1983 riots, the Sinhalese in the south saved the Tamils in the south and the Tamils protected the Sinhalese in the north,” former Sri Lankan army commander RM Daya Ratnayake said. He claimed that 76 percent of Sri Lanka’s 22 million people are Sinhala, ten percent Tamils, and eight percent Muslims.