For a better future
Posted on October 30th, 2015

Afira Faleel Canada Courtesy Island


The idea of a French Hindu or a Canadian Sinhalese sounds so out of the ordinary. It is absurd to even think for a moment that any member of these nations would be identified as anything other than their nationality. That is, they are either French or Canadian.

So, why is it true for our country that identifying someone as a Sri Lankan Tamil, or a Sri Lankan Muslim, is so commonplace? Certainly, it cannot be the case that the prevalence of these religions in other countries makes it necessary for an individual living in our country who has openly declared their faith to be so identified? If this were the case, then no Indian would be just an Indian and no Singaporean would be just a Singaporean!

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The association of a person’s national identity with their faith is uncalled for. Labelling people based on their faith is only another way to create division and unrest in the country.

Foreign invaders made it a point to prevent us being united. They used our differences to turn us against each other while pretending to be superior to us. No developed country identifies its citizens by their religious faiths. The nations that focus on the religious faith of their citizens are the least economically developed, and least socially recognized in the world today.

Groups of people are unreasonably made accountable for the actions of others who have similar religious beliefs.

The long held belief that Sri Lankan citizens practising certain religions have roots in other countries, and as such, that they are not real Sri Lankans, is one that is preposterous to say the least.

Surely, an entire nation of people belonging to a certain religion did not simply pack up and move altogether with their fathers and forefathers and settled in our country.

Then how can the existence of different religions in our country be explained? Quite simply, small groups of people belonging to the different faiths came to Sri Lanka to spread what they believed in. Those beliefs were then accepted by some people who lived in this country.

The people who belong to the different religions are the descendants of those Sri Lankans. They do not belong to any other country.

When the label of religious belief is removed from the Sri Lankan identity, there will be unity.

A united Sri Lanka free of division between its people has nothing holding it back from becoming a great nation. It is time we realized our potential as a people. The first step is for every woman, every man, and every child of this country to relearn our identity. We are Sri Lankans, and we are all Sri Lankans.!

Afira Faleel

Canada

 

One Response to “For a better future”

  1. Independent Says:

    Only religious group that interferes and try to distort the identity of Sri Lanka are the Muslims group.

    Simply go back to 1980. Has anyone seen a Gonibilla dress wearing Sri Lankans ?
    There were many Muslims then but no one identified themselves as Saudis. Now they are proudly proclaiming they are originally from Saudi Arabia.

    There has not been any change in any other religion. Can some straight thinking Muslim Sri Lankan answer me ? ( Moderator willing)

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