Hi Colleagues, A friend shared this clip with me and I think that the message is clear and worth hearing again and again.As I have often shared my view , racism begins at home.The only antidote is a proper education.We can boast about literacy but literacy and a good education are poles apart.It is the 21st century, for God’s sake, why can’t we do better?.It is frustrating to say the least.Listen and reflect and share your views.Eddie.
12 thoughts on “We hear your heartfelt words Mr Luxman Perera.Why can’t we have more of you.?”
Thanks a million for sharing, Eddie. It is not only education but it must be ingrained from our smallest days with association and religious teaching as Lakshman Perera says. Both my best men at our wedding and closest fiends were Tamils and we did not know any difference. I do not know what has happened to our countrypersons. Now there are generations trying to show differences. Really very sad
Thanks Eddie for sharing this clip. This is the conversation which is lacking in Srilanka society. I wish politicians of both major ethnic groups could speak up in similar tone. If leading political figures in Srilanka like Mr C.V Vigneswaran( whose daughters are married to Sinhalese) and Mr Vasudeva Nanayakkara (whose daughter is married to one of them) could voice their views on racial harmony, I believe, that would resonate with the population at large.
What I meant was Mr C.V.Vigneswaran’s 2 sons are married to sinhalese girls. My apologies for giving the wrong impression !!
Thanks Eddie for drawing attention to this curse that has afflicted our country. I remember my school days, our medical batch and life at Bloem where we didn’t experience or were conscious of our ethnic. cultural and religious differences. There were a few who had such ideas but they were a tiny minority who could not influence others. Sadly the ratio is being reversed now fuelled by religious and political leaders for their own personal benefit and glory. It has almost become a ‘badge of honour’ to fight for your ‘own kind’. I am really sad that previously well intentioned and broad minded and tolerant people have begun to change for the worse, even my friends and senior doctors in their 60s and 70s. Stories spread by social media fuel these divisive attitudes. I know I need to be positive, but in reality I am beginning to lose hope because what I hear all around me now is ” ehema kohomada ? (How can we allow that?). I hope I am wrong. The same agents that create these divisions (religious and political leaders and social media) should be the agents that can be instrumental in reversing the very attitudes they caused.
People like Mr. Perera are shining lights that can help to illuminate our future.
Sorry to be so prolix in my response.
Thanks again Eddie.
This is a wonderful clip. Yes when we were in Sri Lanka these ideas of racism never came to our minds . We got on very well with each other at Medical college and we still continue with our friendships.
I feel that parents and religious people can do a lot to eradicate this racism in our society.
Children do tend to repeat what they hear from parents . Once when I was at the supermarket this little child sat on the floor and he was taking down things from the bottom shelf counting things as he put them on the floor . The way he counted was saying “ sod off “ as he put each time on the floor . Obviously this is what he would have heard at home . So if parents made the children understand that we are all the same irrespective of colour cast or religion then the world would be a better place
Thanks Eddie for sharing the clip with such an important message. Here is a video you will enjoy as well. There should be more of this
Sorry it didn’t work on the comment section.See above
Thank you Abey, Narme, CJ and Praxy for your comments.. I appreciate your honesty in your contributions.Abey,I am aware of Wiggie”s and Vasu’s children in interracial marriages BUT they never talk about this in public.What is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander.! They should be beaming out the message to all.But, politics is a dirty game.
CJ, I admire your honest contribution but “no worries ” about the the lengthy contribution.We need more in depth writing on this issue.I am afraid that some of my contemporaries living in Sri Lanka also have the same views as mentioned by you.I cannot understand it.Once upon a time they were liberal in their views.I suppose, listening to the same message every day converts everyone in time.
Narme, Yes we were race blind at a time in the past but now the curse has befallen our divided nation.I cannot see anyone on the horizon who is able to articulate the need for amity among races.Perhaps, Mangala Samaraweera is the only one who is capable of talking about it, but, to his detriment.!!
Yes, Praxy, I understand what you are saying as it is clear from the behaviour of young children in public spaces.
The problem with this age old issue is that many of us are afraid to talk about it and it is gathering dust in our ageing minds.Many of us have run away from it all and live a life of seclusion Is there a new generation of young ones in the pipe line that is capable of getting to grips with this curse.? At this stage, I think not. Eddie.
Thanks Eddie, for sharing this clip. Also interesting comments by all other Batch mates
Thanks Eddie for the post. Sorry for coming in late into the discussion. I read all the comments very carefully and thank everyone for their input.
When I was at Richmond college I had friends who were Tamil. Growing up I had no issues having Tamil friends.
After I sat for my University entrance exam I worked as an assistant Chemist at the Panagoda battery factory. I had lot of time at my disposal and I decided to learn Tamil. I bought the Tamil Primer and started learning Tamil. I Was able to read and write Tamil. After entering Medical school I had to concentrate on medical studies and learning Tamil had to be on hold. Having not touched my Tamil Primer for years I have forgotten what I learnt and I regret it very much. I do have the new edition of the Tamil primer with me and I think it is time for me to start learning Tamil again.
Piching and I associate with Tamil friends along with our other Sri Lankan friends here in Pittsburgh. We still meet at least once a month and sometimes more often despite the Corona crisis.
It is a sad situation that is going on in Sri Lanka. I think the politicians are to be blamed both Tamil and Singhalese politicians.
Thanks Indragee and Nisantha for your comments.Nisantha, you seem to have made a great effort to learn Tamil and that is special for a boy from Richmond College, Galle. The reasons are many but your upbringing and your schooling has made a difference to your attitude to life in general.. .In the clip with Lakshman Perera, there is an important line which should not be missed that reminds us all of the essence of human behaviour.He says that the girl after being ostracised by her family was approached by her mother and she asked her, “Will he look after you”? .To this girl answered yes, whereupon the mother gave her the money for the train fare to Colombo to meet Mr Perera.Does this not highlight the essence of all this.?? Eddie.
Thanks Eddie & Sam for the posts.
It is really interesting to read all the above comments, but will there be any solution for this age old problem, EVER ?. If any, only the politicians & the radicals can do something. Problem cannot be sorted out by few inter marriages.
While we are thinking of sorting out the racial problem, there is a new “Race” slowly creeping into the country to take over control & ownership – eventually !!
Will our future generation have any peace?