So go vote on the 10th! Vote to have the freedom to express your frustrations out loud. Vote to be able to go dancing without getting beaten up by a VIP’s guard. Vote to be able to complain and still be alive.
by Apsara Fonseka
( February 9, 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) On this day, I’m reminded of how I felt 8 years ago when my father was forcibly and illegally taken away by the thug government lead by Mahinda Rajapakse. I can’t seem to forget the fear, the helplessness and the pain I felt that day no matter how hard I try. So like most of you, I too cheered for this government hoping for a change. For me, I wish so desperately this government had the spine to bring those wrongdoers to justice. I needed that for what they put my family through. But although it doesn’t seem like that will happen anytime soon, I find myself still thankful for the freedom we have been able to enjoy.
We were able to find my father and bring attention to his whereabouts because we had all of you around us, voicing out the injustice to the world. But can you even imagine what it must have been like for the people who didn’t have that kind of a support? Imagine what their loved ones would have gone through because they didn’t have the backing we had when someone in their family was abducted by white vans or went missing during that period. Imagine how painful and helpless they must have felt.
So, while being frustrated with the slow pace of change, especially in bringing hooligans to justice, I appreciate the freedom we now have of being able to express that frustration without fear of being abducted or killed for doing so. We are better off now in many ways. For the most part, gone are the days of fearing harassment while walking on the beach, being tied to trees by thug ministers or even being abducted by white van operations run by criminal defense secretaries. For that chance of a normal life, I’m grateful!
So go vote on the 10th! Vote to have the freedom to express your frustrations out loud. Vote to be able to go dancing without getting beaten up by a VIP’s guard. Vote to be able to complain and still be alive. Vote to reject a return to the dark past!
( Apsara Fonseka is a daughter of the Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, a former Sri Lanka Army Commander who led the army during the last phase of the Civil war in Sri Lankla)