SRI LANKA: Ringing church bells and lighting lamps

By Basil Fernando 

Church bells will ring and lights will be lit to remember the 2019 Easter Sunday tragedy. Meanwhile, people have also been putting up a fight against the deadly coronavirus.

For some, both events will only have a political meaning, depending on what political loyalties they are committed to. In that way, the meanings of these extremely significant events will be gradually lost and soon they will be forgotten, or buried in the mud of opportunistic politics.

However, such events have meanings that transcend mundane interests. Such threatening events have the potential to evoke greater community and collective responses. The very events that bring destruction can also activate the hidden capacities of individuals and societies.

Societies that are divided may begin to realize the need to strengthen their collective bonds. Narrow mindedness may give way to deeper commitments. People may re-evaluate their values and priories.

It all depends on the capacities of the societies to articulate options for its members whose minds are deeply disturbed.

In such moments, the singers, poet, artists, honest spiritual leaders, thinkers, philosophers and writers lift the souls of the people and help to generate genuine solidarity a in country in which the noises of division dominate.

In such times, greater humanism may flower, fertilized by pain.

Document Type : Article
Document ID : AHRC-ART-005-2020
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Administration of justice, Freedom of religion, Right to fair trial, Right to life,