They say the long and bloody Sri Lankan civil war is over, and I’d say not a moment too soon. I really want to believe it. I simply must: the alternative is too depressing to consider.
Sure, there is no independent verification – it has been a war without witnesses for the last few years. But I am willing to take an unusual leap of faith if that’s what it takes to usher in the long-elusive peace. I will go to the ends of the earth, and suspend disbelief if I have to, in return for lasting and meaningful peace.
As we stand on the threshold of change – with the promise of peace – I am overwhelmed with memories of a tragic past. And I hope we can once again start dreaming of a better future – and make it happen.
After a hiatus of three decades – three quarters of my own life – I dare to dream again. I hope other Lankans will soon revive and resume their suspended dreams.
So what kind of a future Sri Lanka can we, must we, should we now dare to dream about? Where do we look for the vision and inspiration?
One of the greatest poet philosophers of the East had articulated many decades ago the very essence of my dream for a post-war Sri Lanka. I once heard the late Lakshman Kadirgamar – another tragic casualty of our war – render these momentous words at a South Asian gathering in his impeccable English which brought out all its nuances.
Across the gulf of space and time, Rabindranath Tagore speaks for many of us: