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Sri Lanka: State And Conscience

By Chandi Sinnathurai

23 January, 2009

The bombing of hospitals, schools, homes and even whole villages is becoming a common sight in the Tamil territories. Sadly, the life of civilians is at its cheapest. So cheap, that even democratic Governments in the West seem to think, in the context of the so-called 'War on terror' human life plays only a minor roll. The demarcation line between a "Terrorist" and a "Civilian" is blurred.

It is reported on Thursday 22nd that on Wednesday night an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Surgical Unit of the Mullaitivu make-shift hospital situated in the "Secure Zone" came under artillery fire from the Sri Lanka state forces. 5 killed and 15 wounded - according to the Regional Director of Health.

Tamilnet correspondent who visited the scene said that 'there are dead bodies of civilians strewn under trees, and side of the road near the hospital. This is one of the worst inhuman scenes' he reported. []

It boggles one's mind to understand the psyche of the Sinhala Buddhist state in which the Sangha upholds the doctrine of the sanctity of life including the life of an ant. Even the foetus inside a chicken's egg is so very precious and sacred.

But, when it comes to the life of a Tamil - a "human other" the state terror machine unleashes its lethal force, with the blessing of the Sangha.

Rajapaksha regime in its lust for blood stops at nothing. It plays with the emotions of the masses, evoking the passions in the name of patriotism, dividing communities on ethnic lines, every Tamil is a suspect, a potential 'terrorist' - hence there is no difference between a Tiger and Tamil civilian.

One thing must be said, a true Tamil, at this crucial juncture, must uphold the dignity of a human person at any cost. There is no reason for us to hate the Sinhalas. As Mandela once said, we must refuse to listen to our blood (emotions) even when its hot and rushing to our head. We must listen to our head.

Tamils must refuse to hate. But fight we must, heads held high, for our human right to live as equal citizens in the land of our forbearers. Tamils are not "Late comers" as some one has suggested.

This land is my land and this land is your land. Let us find a way to live without blood shed, but with decency and dignity and respecting one another.

Until such time, the Sinhalas are not free.

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