IDPs and Refugees, Jaffna, Peace and Conflict, Poetry, Post-War, Vavuniya, War Crimes

Hand Washing

Murder cannot be hidden, bodies decompose but skeletons
remain; certainly they can be washed from beach into sea

and stripped clean by carnivorous fish yet the panel requires
just a few examples, sufficient to flesh out a theory of mass

slaughter; satellite shots will be investigated abroad and
conversations conducted with survivors of precarious boats

landing on Christmas Island or dragged into Jakarta. Scale
of killing poses a serious problem for management of disaster;

appointment of soft, suave diplomat to run damage control
at foreign ministry did not succeed. Murder will be revealed.

Macbeth is read also in Sri Lanka; it landed in the culture
before the current lot of customs inspectors; am sure

Saratchchandra contemplated translating the play if it did
not circulate already in the island like monsoon wind or ethics

which exist along with denial and chutzpah among
its inhabitants; government can throw a temper tantrum

but GSP will be linked to human rights and Ban Ki Moon
advised by his own handpicked men and eventually argument

about staring blind ahead into a bright and unitary future
while keeping North and East pressed down under army boots

will appear misguided, the world will keep reminding Colombo
that Vanni cannot remain a public jail where prisoners live

in tents and beg in thoroughfares during days supervised
by soldiers in watchtowers, on foot patrol, driving past in convoys.