It happened on the morning of March 7, almost two days after the initial attacks in the Theldeniya and Digana areas. The elderly woman I first spoke to said that a Sinhalese woman took many others into her house and sheltered them during the attacks. However, in the aftermath of the violence, the state of normalcy that these communities experienced, and their relations with each other, had been shattered.
The recent violence is yet another devastating reminder of how we are performing as a country. The demons that haunt our “post-independence”, “post-war” lives have been cast abruptly into daylight. In the midst of rebuilding houses made of bricks, cement, and wood – would we be able to rebuild ‘homes’ for the many citizens who have lost them, not merely in March 2018 but also before due to different forms of violence and marginalization? Most of the women we spoke to prayed, “Something like this should never happen, not to anyone. Never.”
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Editors Note: For related reading, ‘Compiled Situation Updates: Kandy and related incidents’, ‘The politics of organized violence against the Muslim Community