When coming down Castle Street towards Borella a few posters on the wall of the Devi Balika Vidyalaya catches the eye.
It is a poster printed in Sinhala by a tutor to publicize `Tamil language` classes conducted by him. The name of the tuition master one Selvakumaran, was given on the posters with the place where he conducts his classes. Quite a few of these posters were on the parapet walls of the buildings further down the road.
Putting up posters on private walls without permission is an offence. Notwithstanding that one cannot help but wonder whether one has seen similar posters in Colombo 8 during the war.
Not to the knowledge of many.
The offence apart, it is a sure sign that the country is gradually on the path to normalcy. The healing process will take years but surely it has begun. There is a better sense of security for everyone though much remains to be done.
The informed citizen of the country is well aware that mutual mistrust, which existed for a quarter of a century was largely a by-product of power politics by both sides of the divide and that one could still reach out to the other at a very human level.
And learning each other`s language is a method to understand each other better. While the inclusion of Tamil in the school curriculum was done sometime ago one did not see tuition posters by Tamil language tutors at least in that part of Colombo earlier. One only hopes that more and more would feel secure to advertise, of course not on school walls.
These developments also come in the backdrop of some reconciliation of sorts being reached between the government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The very fact that there`s an engagement between the government and the TNA led by R. Sampanthan on the immediate issues concerning the IDPs itself is an achievement.
It goes without saying that there were fundamental flaws in the logistics of the IDPs due to poor planning. Some have been addressed and attempts are being made to sort out others. The condition of the fellow Tamil civilians in the IDPs camps no doubt is a cause for concern for those in the south. For many it`s a yardstick to gauge the government attitude towards the Tamil citizens in the years to come. So any lapse from the part of the officialdom handling rehabilitation and resettlement is at the risk of being read as an ill treatment.
It is a fact, that over ambitious statements by the victor and delays in the resettlement process, continue to add on to the deep rooted stereotypes that existed for too long.
What they want are deeds not regular public proclamations of unwavering promises.