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What’s Left


We are tired, and we have cooking gas

now, and fuel shipments have docked.

So we will get back to the business

of living and not worry anymore about

the Chinese spy ship docking at Hambantota,

or pilfered millions sitting offshore,

or why the former president forgot

seventeen million rupees in a suitcase

in one of his guest rooms when he fled,

or why shooting surrendering Tigers,

white flags raised, or the disappearance

of cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda,

or the murder of editor Lasantha

Wickrematunge, or the hundred Tamil

journalists killed in action, reporting,

or the prisoners burned at Welikada—

why perpetrators of these crimes

and the bombers of tent cities

of civilians near Mullivaikal,

and those who disappeared people

during more than twenty six years

of uncivil war, have not resulted

in any prosecution. And, yes,

we recognize fear, scores of youth

arrested, a trade union leader,

and ordinary fellows who felt a bit

of pride lounging by the former

president’s pool, or walking

on his treadmill. The state has taken note

and is about to tread on you

if it has not done so already. Father

Jeewantha beware. This is the chill factor,

damned revenge. But Aragalaya teaches

tolerance, non-violence. We can play

by the Constitution’s rules. Mr President,

and all parliamentarians, you are also

our captains at the helm and we’ll cut

you some slack. But be kind. Stop

the arrests and state of emergency.

Rescind the P.T.A. Give us a chance

to breathe, to walk hand in hand

on Galle Face Green,

beside the few memorials we have

left to July 9th, to ride a pony

again, to eat some cadju nuts.


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