A decade after the end of the war, Sri Lanka is visibly, and far more than what’s acknowledged or reported openly, reeling from violent conflict.
The anti-Muslim riots last week – of a scale, scope and speed of destruction that dwarfed Digana just over a year ago – coupled with the increase of everyday racism and attacks in Negombo, after the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, have kept the country on tenterhooks.
The responses are revealing. A President and Prime Minister, who do not speak to or work with each other, call upon the public to be united and undivided.
In Singapore, and by some accounts, shopping, at the time of the Easter Sunday attacks, the President took over a day to return to the country. At the time of the anti-Muslim riots last week, the President was attending a banal conference in China.
Mob violence that featured horrific public lynching, the destruction of nearly 500 buildings including mosques, widespread looting, wanton vandalism and violence against Muslim women, children and men, didn’t, however, compel the President to issue a statement of any kind, to date. How can one comprehend, much less counter, this callousness?