I am not surprised by the new leadership’s
decision to ban the playing of the anthem
in Tamil at Independence Day celebrations.

Key members of this government ran
the show when the Air Force rained bombs
day and night on Tamil civilians beached

in the Vanni ten years ago, between
advancing wings of the Sri Lankan army
and the remains of the Tigers. Those bombs

killed and maimed tens of thousands.
Some personal effects are petrified still
on the beaches: dolls, pots, pans, blankets.

Even the tides have not washed them away.
I saw the articles during my visit last year.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the Sri Lankan

Constitution allows Tamil to join Sinhala
as an official language of the country,
with English as a bridge. So not singing

the anthem in Tamil violates that Amendment
and reminds all who wish to know that Tamil
ambitions to seek parity must be quelled.

Meanwhile, the P.M. complains about
an NGO conspiracy to write troubling moral
episodes into children’s school books.

I have no details. I remember the black Tamil,
the bad guy, from my childhood. Is he back
to haunt and corrupt young minds? Are we

condemned to relive the good-old, bad-old times?

Indran Amirthanayagam, (c) December 27, 2019