Hats off to all. All people are responsible for the relief we experience today. We made it together.
We the people have the real power. Many people don’t realize they have power, power to change. Most people give up their power by thinking they don’t have any. So, the power-hungry leaders, who are few in numbers, take advantage of the situation and become powerful and make the real powerful to feel powerless. And we don’t use that power during the elections and after.
Today people in Sri Lanka have realized who they are and what their power is.
If we are vigilant citizens, we will always be powerful. Vigilant citizens encounter the corrupt actions of their leaders. They continue to monitor and form public opinion. They keep a check on wrong policies introduced by the leaders. They aspire to create a better society and campaign against whoever try to manipulate people.
Today, we are in the streets and are demanding our rights. What are we going to do tomorrow?
When the manipulators create an artificial safer environment and make us feel comfortable, we may not bother about what are taking place around.
Going to the streets today, with hundreds of thousands, to demand justice is not heroism. You are one among the many. Among the many, you are safe.
But keeping this spirit alive and and remaining vigilant all the time, and not allowing to get manipulated by others who aspire to go up, is the real heroism we need now.
Being spectators, hearers, listeners, and talkers will not bring any change in society.
Today, we experience the basics of making change possible. Each one felt that he or she must be a part of the change we envisioned. And change was possible.
There were real smiles on the faces of all.
We can make the country a peaceful and joyful place to live, where each one’s rights is respected, and all are treated equally, regardless of race, ethnicity, class, caste, religion, belief, sex, gender, and language.
And when these are threatened, let us jointly speak out and act upon it. If we postpone it or ignore and disregard it, we will have to wait for another uprising.
What we experience today is the first step of change. There is a very long way to go for a real transformation. Let us do it together.
Father Rohan Domenic is a Claretian missionary priest who works in the United Nations Council for Religious in New York.