This post was originally entitled "The Futility Of A Sri Lankan Blog" and was intended as a diatribe about the way I feel about writing on my blog these days. But fuck it I thought, and whacked up a title that reeks of blogstitution.
The funny thing is that I'd written much of this post a few days ago. Then, I saw VIC's comment on his post here and it made this one more topical than I had already thought it was. Some may think that I've written this as a reaction to VIC's comment, that's not the case, you will I'm sure feel free to make your own mind up on that one. However I'm going to add more to it since reading VIC's comment.
It's a half draft and half new post.
I'm not a political animal, as you're likely to be aware. Like most of us I'm interested and passionate about Sri Lanka, I think it's the one thing that binds the Lankanosphere.
However I don't really have strong political views. I'm not a supporter of any side, my colours aren't pinned to any mast, unless supporting peace is a side and it doesn't seem to be.
Any attempts I've made in the past to write about the Lankan conflict have been met with the same level of interest and discussion as if Pradeep Jeganathan had suddenly written a post about his favourite type of poo, well probably far less when I really think about it. And I'm okay with this, there are people whose opinions I and many others respect when it comes to Sri Lankan politics. I'm not one of them.
If you want to know about poo, kettles, drums and other bits and pieces I'd like to put myself forward as a candidate.
This is what's bugging me these days.
With everything that's happening in Lanka in the very recent past and the very seemingly climaxing present writing a blog post about shit, literally and judgementally, just seems so, err crap. Yet I've never blogged about political stuff, for the reasons I mention earlier.
" RD is a victim of this syndrome. He lives miles away from the real situation of Sri Lanka (Both physically and mentally; most mentally), and he sees Sri Lanka solely from Indi's and few other "pet bloggers'"eyes. "
and, in all honesty I think he's incredibly accurate in one way but has totally missed the point in another.
Yes VIC, I do live miles away from Sri Lanka, but physically, not mentally. My mindset, unlike my accent, is quite Sri Lankan. It's quite insulting when you say that I see Sri Lanka solely from Indi's and a few other pet blogs. I read about Sri Lanka from all perspectives, I travel there regularly and I listen to all views. Please believe me VIC when I tell you that I have friends and family, Sri Lankans who take every position you can imagine.
I would include Indi as a friend, that doesn't mean that I agree with everything he says. It does mean I respect him. Dinidu and Sanjana are people I would call friends, it doesn't mean I agree with them, to me it does mean that I respect their opinions and may use them to form my own.
"RD doesn't care of any of these things, cuz he lives a comfortable life out there in London. That's why it is difficult for him to understand our emotional reactions towards cowards like Dinidu and Sanjana. RD will never understand this!"
Well right again, I do live a comfortable life in London. I'm pleased about that and, as we Brits say, I'm sorry but I won't apologise for it. And yet again you're right when you say that it's difficult for me to understand your emotional reactions. I don't, but I've never claimed that I understood them, that's why I asked you in my original post.
Wrong again too VIC. I do care. I don't feel a massive need to prove it to you, that's all, but again I ask you to believe me on that one. I don't think that I can have the level of knowledge, the intuition and mindset that people like yourself, or Indi, Dinidu or Sanjana, who all live in Sri Lanka can have, but I do think I can hold an opinion too.
As an aside I don't think Dinidu and Sanjana are cowards, I think it takes guts, particularly in Sri Lanka in this day and age, to speak out the way they do. That's my opinion, it's your right to disagree.
An interesting thing about identity, my feelings on it at least, which I credit my brother for, is that I believe it's personal, that one man's way of judging someone's identity isn't necessarily the same as another's. So VIC, when you say
"because he is not a true Sri Lankan though he claims to be a one."
it actually only makes me shrug my shoulders and smile. The fact that you don't think I'm a true Lankan is fine with me. I accept that, by your standards, I'm not. However, when you talk about my limited scope of thinking and my failure to move out of the frame I'm trapped in I genuinely wonder what frame you're referring to and on what you base that statement. I could well be wrong here, I certainly don't read my blog, but I can't recall saying things that have indicated a particular point of view on the Lankan situation, largely because I don't have a view.
Also I know that, were I to suddenly write a post about the conflict, whether it was pro LTTE, pro GoSL or pro any other view, I feel quite confident that I'd be faced with a wall of comments telling me that my opinion is crap and wrong because I'm not Sri Lankan and don't live there.
As for my limited scope of thinking, well I think, when I tell you that I have a tested IQ of 64, that I won first prize in the Petersham Flower Show (under 10, crafts section) for my balsa wood model of a ship in 1976, possibly 77, and that I understand the meaning of that thing called sarcasm, then my credentials are pretty clear.
There you have it VIC.
Respect is a big thing for me. I listen to people I respect, which doesn't mean that I agree with them, more that I treat their opinions with respect.
Right now I feel that I'm caught in a trap.
Not blogging about the bigger issues, when I'm aware that my blog is a bit of a part of the Lankanosphere, seems wrong, as if I'm being disrespectful to the things that are going on.
Blogging about the war/conflict would be just as bad. I don't claim to be as knowledgable as one of you guys and wouldn't want to insult you in that way.
As we say here in England:
"Vut too doo?"