Where is my liberty?
For Western citizens threats to liberty more often revolve around encroachments of privacy, sometimes on the freedom to protest and occasionally overzealous law enforcement. In many parts of the world however, liberty may simply be reduced to being allowed to live.
For example, in Sri Lanka following Independence (1948), the smaller of the two peoples on the island – the Tamils – were increasingly denied rights and recognition from the larger group – the Sinhalese. Ultimately in frustration some Tamil youth took up arms and a bloody war rumbled on for 30 years until a final bloodbath resulted in a Government victory. Whilst ostensibly a political conflict between two armed (if unequal) forces Tamil civilians were more often the victims. A recent UN Report has suggested that numerous human rights abuses took place right up to the very end and beyond, including the massacre of countless thousands of innocent civilians. There are calls for a War Crimes investigation. A Channel 4 documentary Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields is due to be screened on Tuesday (14th) evening (11.05) revealing what the Sri Lankan Government desperately wanted covered up.
So whilst many of us are unhappy with Government attempts to keep tabs on us all we are at least fortunate that we don’t suffer the amount of suppression and worse that so many do throughout the world. Below is a poem from a Tamil woman about how one of these victims may of felt as the war came to a close.
Where is my liberty?
I was walking through the “Killing fields”, trying to remember all.
Going through the dimension…Sound of war,
Ultimate massacre, rape and plunder
a barbaric act of a brute left me wounded…
‘I surrender’ I pled,
nothing was heard..but suffering continued .
I saw bodies lying around, war cry were shaking the ground,
There was nothing to lose anymore; Feeling of fear filled my mind,
I witnessed endless torture and senseless slaughter,
I was holding on to my broken soul and waiting for the world to come forward.
The flame was burning, my cry wasn’t heard,
I dare not to bear any more hurt.
time to say good bye to all my friends, my beautiful land that I loved so dearly..
Where was my liberty? that I longed for…
It was beneath my feet, and before I reach it, I merged into a dark cloud…..
I died with no sovereignty.
I heard a cry in the “grave yard”, a woman with dismay walking away.
Mission of vengeance filled in her face,
Portrait of lost, but a mist of hope
She said, she is waiting for the day and it’s not long away…
‘The judgement day’,
the day the crime against humanity is proven,
the day the criminals are hanged,
the day she declares the right to her own land.
Liberties and freedom that she was fighting for
She is still alive to witness all.
Date: June 13, 2011