Earlier when allegations of war crimes perpetrated against Tamils emerged at the end of the war and mothers and family members of the thousands of Tamils who disappeared after allegedly handing themselves over to government forces, marched, protested, held hunger strikes, and sought justice through institutions that made a mockery of justice, many turned a blind eye.
Did they for once stop to listen, think or entertain the possibility their “perfect” troops may have acted imperfectly and if so, realize that behind each executed command was higher authority issuing commands?
When the president declared in 2020 that those who disappeared during the civil war were dead, how many civilians paused to wonder how thousands of individuals, including those allegedly handed themselves to the forces, could have miraculously vanished into thin air only to have met untimely death?
Indeed, most of those present at Galle Face Green today, may not even have been alive when such decisions were made. But the change sought appeared to reflect a yearning for a broader change of a lasting and systematic nature. What such governance should entail is a fact we should all reflect upon.
Yet, these past events have shaped the history, formed narratives, influenced our thought processes and shaped our identity as Sri Lankans. Further, actions of our leaders reflect the will and mindset of at least that of the majority populace as citizens of a democracy.
Under this sinario, as citizens who ultimately elect leaders into powers, who in turn made such decisions on their behalf; part of this process should examin our past, confronting mistakes and acknowledging any wrongdoing; an opportunity for a change not to be missed!