Am I my brother’s keeper
Daily Mirror Editorial
May 18, 2012
Former female Tamil tiger combatants, in white shirts, spend time at the sea promenade with Sri Lankan female army soldiers during their visit, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, May 11, 2012. Hundreds of former Tamil tiger combatants are on a visit to Colombo as part of their rehabilitation program.

The country celebrates tomorrow the third anniversary of the military defeat of the LTTE. Yet, what should touch the heart of our nation and probably of people elsewhere, is that the rehabilitation processes is taking place. More than 600 former LTTE cadres were brought to the city during the Vesak season, as part of a larger tour of the country.

True victory does not lie so much in destroying the enemy, but the platform on which it stands. The LTTE and those who used these cadres would have thought they were fighting a just war. Such would naturally harbour bitter feelings towards the ending of it all. Somewhere along the historical line, they would have felt alienated; made to see themselves as a minority race, devoid of equal status with the majority.

Every person yearns to be accepted and loved, let alone the holding of the label of whatever race we are branded with, through no fault of our own. The basic platform then, from which terrorism originates, is the deep need to receive recognition and acceptance.

It is truly commendable of the armed services to reach out and show that they care. Giving such acceptance to the former enemy in itself is a meritorious act. It is unlikely that such a thing has seldom happened in other countries, where such wars were fought. Here lies the human side of the armed services that others need learn from. Then would the victims and vanquished be comforted and secured.

Here was a rare war where brother fought brother. Both fought justifying their need. Our soldiers fought not the Tamils, but the violent edge from a part of society. The need of the hour is to reach out, not only to the LTTE but all neglected minorities. We are all our brothers' keepers. We have to lift those we have wounded and hurt. We have to be emotionally moved during this anniversary to place our arms over each other. Some may have no arms to do so, yet our tears could mingle with theirs and fall on our soil, to water seeds of unity for the future growth of our country. If one needs to boast, let it be to showcase our brotherhood, with not only the minority but even those labeled, LTTE; who after all seek to belong.

On victory day, an emotional cord needs to be touched in the heart of the victor and the vanquished. A brother calling to another-reaching out; promising to restore the dignity and acceptance long denied; a call to come back home and belong to the family. To share in whatever privileges is enjoyed. As the popular song goes, “Love Changes Everything”. This message could be conveyed to those brothers who lost their way, disowned by politicians and bring them back into the family of Mother Lanka.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka