Peace is better than a WC win

This is undoubtedly the single biggest event in any Sri Lankans life. The WC win was something special. It brought the divided Island together for a brief period of time. But today we are no longer divided. At least not geographically.

Of course the government could have easily arranged a cricket match and a beer afterwards to sort out everyones ‘ differences. Instead we chose a 30 plus year old civil war.

A lot of people died. A lot of people are dying or suffering. But from today they wont be caught in the cross fire.

The last bullets been fired.

The last cyanide capsules been swallowed.

I have never walked or driven on the streets of Colombo without wandering if I might one day be at the wrong end of a suicide bomb. When I go home again, that fear will be redundant

We lost our way for decades so I hope we don’t fuck up this chance we have been given to get back on track. Maybe another 500 years from now those 30 will just be a blip on a grander scale. But for now its time to ease up on our chairs and dream about Sri Lanka, for the first time, meaning more than 2/3 of the country.

When the British finally decided to move on, they left the country with a set of problems that exploded in 1983. So when we gained ‘independence’ 1948 it wasn’t true in the true sense of the word. So today is when we celebrate true independence and enjoy the ideology of ‘one state’.

From a cricketing perspective, this can only be a good thing. Of all those thousands of kids who made it out alive there might be one or two who have the special gift for the game this Island loves so much. If they can out live the worlds deadliest terrorist organisation a test match should be easier than what Phil Huges makes it out to be.

Who knows if Jaffna will unearth the next Murali or Sanath. Whether he turns out to be Tamil or Sinhalese – he will finally be 100% Sri Lankan.

And that is worth more than any silverware.


  1. raj said:

    Damith, I hope the lesson has been learned that a set of people cannot be subjugated or cowered down by force. Unless the tamils are treated properly now, this problem will not go away. Hope true peace ushers and that requires restraint from the majority community and the kids at school not taunting their minority friends on their defeat. Hope that maturity is there.

    May 20, 2009
  2. Homer said:

    The easy part is over Damith – the war is over. Now comes the hard part – winning the peace.

    May 20, 2009
  3. achettup said:

    When I was really young one of our flights transited via Sri Lanka, early 90s I think. We were put up at the Club Dolphin Hotel for the better part of a day, and I remember thinking what a beautiful place it was. On the way to the airport in the early hours of the morning around half past three, our taxi was stopped at a check point and being the eldest male in the family, I was ordered outside. There was this soldier who looked at me with what I can only recall as deep hatred, he glared at my passport and then me. He then shoved me face first on to the car and searched me. After that I was rudely pushed into the car and we continued on to the airport. I was pretty shaken and couldn’t understand why someone would hate me so much when he knew absolutely nothing about me.
    A few years earlier I was just as shell shocked and wondered how and why someone would blow themselves up to kill another person who they had never met directly. Neither incident changed the way I felt about Sri Lankans or Tamils, but left a definite impression on me. They taught me that it is much easier to teach someone to hate another with a passion, but incredibly difficult to try to love and understand your fellow man.
    I cannot imagine what it must have been like to grow up with all the madness of war around you Damith. I thank my lucky stars that I have not had to go through that so far. My father would often tell me that Sri Lanka was a fantastic country that had greater potential than Singapore but it was all ruined by a senseless bloody war. Whatever the motivations, whether it was initial greed, discrimination, fear, persecution, revenge… nobody won during those terrible years. And nobody wins today either, but hopefully the first step in the right direction can be taken. Until there is healing and people can live together in harmony and be treated as equals there will always be the motivation for someone to convince others that the only way out is through violence.
    I hope Sri Lanka has finally found peace and even more that they can be an example to the world for only that will really defeat the deadliest terrorist organization this world has known.

    May 20, 2009
  4. Sachintha said:

    Well said Damith.
    For whatever the reason, what’s gone is gone. The lost lives will never be gained, but we can rebuild from this point on. And we Sinhalese indeed have to win the hearts of those Tamils, who knows nothing what the future holds for them.

    Just wish the future will be better…

    May 20, 2009
  5. scorpicity said:

    I second Homer and achettup.

    Being in Chennai, I have seen both sides of the madness ravage through these years.

    It is indeed a great opportunity to start a truly independent and inclusive country. To win peace now will mean now no more fuck ups by politicians on race, ethnicity and religion.

    May 20, 2009
  6. Rat said:

    I think your tone and most of the comments so far are on the right note! Indeed this is much bigger than any silverware but the sensitive period which exists specially right now needs to be handled carefully by not just the people in power, but the ordinary people too. Otherwise the acts of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their mother land will be in vain and we all are responsible not to let that happen!!

    May 21, 2009

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