8/9/10 : The Day to Remember!
8th of September 2010 marks the new era. The end of Sri Lanka as we know it and a new beginning. An era of limitless power and political overhaul. The birth of the 18th amendment with a majority of 141 votes. 161 against a mere 20! Even the numbers don’t seem quite right next to each other!
I speak to friends with animation trying to make sense to be answered back with “I am sorry I didn’t have time to read what is in the 18th amendment!” or “I don’t do politics”.
I wake up to a protest for the 18th Amendment! I wonder whether these people even know what the 18th Amendment entails… Or be these people like in all other protests being packed in and brought to perform their duty. ( the question is rhetoric. Of course we all know the answer to this!)
I yearn to ask these protesters what they scream for, but of course I am no way near them. Surely for my better health.
In the evening there is a meagre crowd holding candles at the peaceful vigil expressing their resentment towards the Amendment. There is more police around it than those who are actually participating. I tell them that there are not many people, to be answered that it is an improvement from the previous experiences. So does that mean we are finally making sense to people??
Ever so faithful “dialog sms news” arrives on the phones of those who have subscribed announcing the result of the vote. 160 for and 20 against! People not much surprised at the outcome. They knew it was coming. But fail to hide the bafflement at the one digit missing when contrasting the numbers.
Arrival of another sms, announcement of a mistake in the information transmitted. The guy next to me finds it amusing, adds “I am sure some more people would have jumped.” (if you are Sri Lankan you know the meaning of “jumped”. But for the enlightenment of others, it would be a reference to those politicians who change from the opposition to the governing party.)
With all his smirking, he did manage to make sense. After all it was all quite predictable.
At office I hear explosions. My thought: the war being over, where do such sounds emanate?
My boss explains “sound of celebrations”.
I nod, busy cutting paper articles on the Amendment.
I need to keep them, carefully pasted on a scrapbook.
When and if I ever live to have grandchildren, I will show the date on the articles to them and tell, “Look kids! This was the day the Sri Lankans got the best of their stupidity! The day they all marked the beginning of an end!”
Vositha is a legal researcher, law student and ardent Eco-activist working with Project Act, our environmental project. Her views are her own. The original post and more of her writing can be found here.