People are not racist, politicians and journalists are

When the Co-Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senarathna said that there is nothing wrong in declaring May 18th as a national day of genocide, the media opposed. Rajitha Senarathna was accused of belittling war victories.

 This question arose every year since 2009. We kept discussing why is it wrong to commemorate the members of the LTTE, if it is acceptable to commemorate the members of the JVP. We argued. But the discussion ends without a proper agreement. As the 18th May reaches, the discussion about heroes and terrorists begins again.

In the meantime, we as a country, boast about reconciliation. What ended on 18th May, was a 30 years of war. It was a civil war. Regardless of whether someone is from North or south, the victims of the war were people of this country. In this context, is Rajitha’s statement, as a responsible politician and a citizen, inappropriate? Or is it not?

We discussed this with Minister Rajitha Senarathna.

JVP started armed terrorism, not the LTTE!

“The LTTE did not introduce terrorism to this country, JVP taught armed political terrorism to this country. JVP replaced the rusty shot guns the police had with machine guns. They were used for the second round against the LTTE. We are now saying that the members of the LTTE are terrorists. But JVP is saying that they are heroes.”

According to Rajitha Senarathna, the major reason for this dispute is racism. Racist mentalities turned the North into terrorists and the South into heroes. The problem is whether all citizens accept racism. The Minister, who answered it with his experience, said where the racism is.

“Racists are amongst politicians and journalists.”

I have a positive opinion about the North.

“Despite racist disputes in the North and South, today, both JVP and the North have abandoned weapons and come to a democratic path”, Rajitha Senarathna explains.

He says it is a reason to be happy as a country.

Politicians endanger people for votes.

This whole problem was created by politicians. Although it was possible to end armed conflicts, the political culture in this country has not been able to put an end to ideological conflicts. Only politicians can fight racism. Racism is not preferred by general public but the politicians. Rajitha Senarathna emphasized that the leaders of this country must have a strong self-confidence to fight against racism.

I told Mahinda to be a Nelson Mandela, but he chose to be a Mugabe.

The joint opposition criticized Rajitha Senarathna’s statement. They labeled him as someone who is discouraging war victories. Rajitha Senrathana responded to those allegations within the existing political environment.

Bombs could not kill me so how can standardless journalists do that.

“I have 4 bomb pieces in my body. 3 out of those 4 pieces, are JVP bombs, remaining 1 is from a Prabhakaran’s bomb. I am the only Sri Lankan citizen who has bomb pieces in the body like this. I don’t see a difference in those 4 pieces of bombs. No one has ever said that 3 of them are from Tamils and 1 from Sinhalese. Only I say 3 from South and 1 from North.”

Ashika Brahmana/ Nishantha Priyadharshana

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