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Here in Jaffna I recently came across an elderly relative complaining that all those values that we Natives of Jaffna held high once are completely lost and are beyond any recovery. no one can deny the truth behind it, but what I see is an exaggeration. Yeah we lost a lot, yeah we forgot a lot, but still there is hope left in people. In any war they say that the Truth is the first casualty. It is also fitting to say that moral values of a society too are first to fall victim to any war. War is nasty in the sense it brings out the primitive instincts that our civilisation and culture have smoothed out. War is brutal where the survival of the fittest is the only rule. People have no choice but to give in to it to survive. Expecting people to remain unaffected by three long decades of war is pure stupidity

But what I see in Jaffna is not a society ravaged by war and lost most of its values. I see a society whose very foundations are shaken violently, but still remains faithful to its origins. In bio-diversity we used to learn that each and every species is connected and is important for the continuity of the balance of nature. When an entire species is extinct, the earth doesn’t crumble. Instead it finds a new balance without the species. Lost species is lost, none can replace its role in the eco-system, but somehow the Earth ‘finds a way’. It’s same with our society. What is lost is lost, but we will find a way to balance us out.

Three years back I was riding my father’s motor bike without a license, got caught in the military checkpoint and was held there for a while. a lot of people who passed by came to me and asked if they could be of any help. some were willing to go to my home, fetch my License and bring it back, others were willing to lent me their mobile phones so that I could inform anyone at home about my situation. Some were even willing to talk to the military personnel and get me out of there. All of them were strangers to me, none of them knew me and the situation back then was very tense whereas you could get your butt in trouble if you intervene in military’s affairs. But the so called people who ‘lost their values’ didn’t just pass by minding their own business. They were willing to help an unknown guy with a nutty attitude.

Everyday I go outside and see people smile warmly and give a friendly greeting. But in Wellawatte never ever been greeted even by the apartment neighbour whom I’ve been seeing everyday for two consecutive years. Their faces are blank, emotionless and arid. You could find better emotions in a corpse. These people have everything. Rich, well settled and are having their best period of life. But none could smile a tiny bit. What’s the whole point of earning that much if you still can’t smile?

These are reminders that the hearts of our people have not turned to stone yet. That is pretty something given what most of them had to undergo in the past decades. Most of them were displaced at least twice, lost everything, rebuilt everything from scratch, lost everything all over again. None gave up hope, none quit trying. Blaming these people for giving up all traditions is not fair. Our society is healing itself, recovering from invisible wounds. We will find our way, we will find our balance. It will not be same as the one it used to be three decades back, but our foundations are still there, carved from the same stone. We may have lost some values which is irreparable and most unfortunate. But we will not lose what makes us ‘us’. For me, they are hereditary, embedded in genetic material.

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6 Comments

  1. A good one! Brings back memories of the chatter we had returning from tiresome but fun two days of teaching at Ruwanpura :).

    And yeah you are right. Sri Lanka is not the smiling nation anymore. We’ve got screwed up somewhere back in the time that we’ve forgotten our qualities. That’s so bad. This should be changed

    • @chanux, yup that conversation is one of the reasons I started blogging 🙂 It’s a sad truth that we no longer are a nation of smiles, but I still believe the Real essence of Sri Lanka is not what we see in colombo. It lies in the areas where the modern ‘posh’ people do not exist.

  2. //we will not loose what makes us ‘us’.

    lets hope..!! 🙂

    • hope is what drove is this far, let’s see. 🙂

  3. he he…awesome one anns…. i really do appreciate it.. as u said what we lost was not what make us us…and do u really expect ur neighbor greet u??? if u do, forget it…cos u r weird enough not to be greeted… ur face is the most scariest thing i came across… (am chorry..JK)..

    Their faces are blank, emotionless and arid. You could find better emotions in a corpse. These people have everything. Rich, well settled and are having their best period of life. But none could smile a tiny bit. What’s the whole point of earning that much if you still can’t smile?

    thats the best part… go anna… love it

  4. Well said.Keep writing your views.


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