Colombo, Human Rights, Human Security, Media and Communications, Peace and Conflict

The brutality of our times: After the Delgoda massacre

The recent massacre of a family in Delgoda gripped the attention of the media recently. Reports today indicate that several houses of those suspected to be behind the massacre were torched by the local community. I link this senseless violence and brutality to society that is no longer moved by these events.

Sensationalism aside, do we really care? The Delgoda incident, the numbers of those killed in the battlefield, criminals shot by the Police, those abducted and murdered by persons unknown – we seem to be drawn to the events themselves, but are unable to see the clear erosion of a larger humanity.

All this, I argue, at a time when religious fervour is at unprecedented heights.

This is a sombre reflection, that I toiled on for hours this morning – because it is difficult to really capture the loss of a humane, civil society and what it is today – a traumatised society where we are all aggressors, and all of us victims. This violence – senseless and overwhelming – needs to stop.

But I end my article with no real answer as to how we can do this.

Read my full article, in Sinhala, here.

  • Eric Stonecipher

    I just read the “enemy of the state” commentary in the Mirror today and I have to say that it was one of the most brllliantly penned pieces of editorial writing I have seen anywhere. It was the most poignant and insightful exposition of the current situation in Sri Lanka that I have yet seen. Bravo!

  • cyberviews

    Thank you Sunanda, for reminding us that this senseless war is loosening the moral balance that culture provides its citizens in a just and peaceful society.

    And if we do nothing to change the situation we become silent perpetrators or victims ourselves. The scoundrels have sought refuge in their patriotism, while we have been engaged in analyis to the point of paralysis.

  • R.M.B. Senanayake

    War brutalises people. If thiswar doesn’t end soon whoever ultimately wins it would leave behind a society in tatters where ethicaland moral values have disappeared. Hypocritical religiosity willof course. The Presdent and his wife will continue to appear on TV cross-legged piously listening to bana. But precept will be divorced from practice. Hypocrisy will worsen in our society. As is the Kingso are thepeopleis an ancient Hindusaying. Our soceity will be doomed. The prospect of being reborn as an animal is no longer a deterrent for crime. the law itself is no deterrent sicne only 4% are convicted. We are on the road to anarchy.

  • R.M.B. Senanayake

    The article by Sanjana Hathotuwa is one of the most courageous pieces of writing in our press in favor of humanism and liberal values. I had lost all hope for our society but now feel that with young men like Sanjana there is still hope. My generation has failed to stand up and be counted. As Burke pointed outit is the silence of good men alone that makes evil to triump. So three cheers for Sanjana.