On October 9, everyone saw how a group of police chiefs and policemen attacked a peaceful protest at Galle Face like a herd of cattle and harassed children. Some people who saw this had commented on social media that it was wrong to bring children to the protest.
Remember, many of the people who originally made this comment honestly felt for the children. Even you might have the same view.
But we are going to talk about some sensitive and important events that you may not know. Even after reading this, it’s fine if you still have the same opinion, because this is a sensitive topic. There can be many opinions about this. No problem.
It is a characteristic of this social media age that people divide themselves into two sides and express their opinions against each other with hatred. It also profits social media companies when people are divided and fight this way. We should not be a part of that social media ‘polarization’. But let’s talk about this topic. This is important.
Because this incident was later used for dirty politics.
An extension of that was Hiru, Derana and all the government media channels, soulless bootlickers of the government, and the voice cut of the director of Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital in Colombo, G. Wijesuriya.
We saw the crocodile tears of TV channels that make money by exploiting the children from programs like Sidhu, Little Star, and many others. We saw the crocodile tears of a hospital director so insensitive, that when a small child died, he cremated the body without showing it to the parents.
This G. Wijesuriya’s biggest despicable act was forcibly cremating a month-old child of a Muslim family in 2020 without handing it over to the family. At that time, those bodies were forcibly burned without a scientific basis as a dirty political campaign of the government to take revenge on Muslims and to incite racism against Muslims to gain political advantage.
The culmination of that madness is what G. Wijesuriya did. They cremated that child in the Borella cemetery because the parents did not sign. The parents weren’t even allowed to see the child who died. Muslims believe that cremation does not bring peace to a soul. How cruel is it then to cremate a small child without even letting the parents see the child’s face? G. Wijesuriya, an unscrupulous director who worked in support of the government’s racist and vile actions, said that he had discharged the child who was hospitalized.
This director said, ‘In the news, I saw some parents lifting up and showing off their children to the media.’ But, what that father actually did was try to save his child from the police officers who had surrounded him like a herd of buffaloes.
Exposing children to the media is what Mahinda Rajapaksa did during the 2005 election campaign and then during his tenure until 2015. In fact, in that campaign, Mahinda videoed how he is with small children while promoting slogans like ‘proud father’.
But think about the ‘safety’ of the children in today’s protests and an earlier incident. Mahinda Rajapaksa used to speak in election meetings from inside a glass box to protect himself from bombs. Mahinda was given full security. But hundreds of helpless and poor people brought their children to those meetings. All those children faced the risk of bombing then.
The children were made to recite songs for Mahinda. The children were used well.
The culture of bringing children to protests fighting for rights is superior to the culture of bringing small children to rallies and meetings to worship leaders.
Remember Mahinda used a child in a most obscene way during the 2015 election campaign. ITN showed a small child on the news every day, as an ‘illegitimate child’ of Maithripala Sirisena.
After the murder of a girl named Seya Sadevmi, the girl’s photos were continuously shown and reported by TV channels who are shedding crocodile tears today in such a way as to create suspicion about different people. A 17-year-old boy was also the suspect at one time. Another time, suspicion was raised about the child’s father. If a small child is involved in a crime, those TV channels keep digging up pictures of the children like jackals digging up trash.
Beyond all that, everyone from these TV people is supporting an extremely unfavorable future for children, for a cultural life that is not suitable for children.
Now they are shedding crocodile tears.
Don’t the scumbags who brag about using children as if they had just come into the world know about the Birmingham campaign? It is still taught to school children in America today as a lesson.
It was a massive non-violent direct action by African-American students in the United States in 1963. It was organized by leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and James Bevel. The American police attacked those student protests. In this, black American leaders trained the students and led them to participate in the protests. At the end of the Birmingham campaign, the unfair laws for black people at that local level were changed. Even today, children in those countries are taught how to use non-violent and peaceful protest tactics to win rights.
Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg are two of the most famous girls who have participated in non-violent direct action in recent history. In addition to them, many more children have participated in rights battles around the world. In recent history, the most attention was paid to the climate crisis because even very young children from the age of six to seven participated in non-violent direct actions against the climate crisis.
Children also learn from this. Standing up for rights is not a mistake, a crime, or a bad thing. It is sublime.
Human civilization started from a place where the powerful oppressed and subjugated the weak. There existed a distorted world where weak and poor people were subjugated to a game of the powerful, first as tribes and then as empires. We find the human civilization that exists today from the battles fought by the weak against the powerful for their rights. Our economic, social, political, professional rights as well as health and educational rights etc. were all obtained as a result of bloody battles fought by a group of people somewhere at some point in time. Young children should be taught that.
According to the advice of our “experts”, what should we teach children? To worship despicable politicians like Mahinda Rajapaksa and sing songs calling him “Appachchi”? Or to ruin the children’s childhood with tribal practices like having them ordained as priests, which is not compatible with the modern world? Or dance like monkeys at children’s superstar programs of Derana, Hiru and other channels? Or to help them get ratings by showing a small child in their dirty mega teledramas? Or do they teach children to entertain adults by participating in cheap programs like ‘Hondatama Pahila’?
The first pictorial symbol of the protest movement in Sri Lanka was the image of a mother holding her child who participated in the Mirihana protest. It was so powerful because it was very emotional for mothers to participate in protests to build a future for these children. Since then, many people including our friends brought their children to protests. On several occasions, newborn babies were brought directly from the hospital to the protest site.
It is a valuable educational and cultural experience for children who have some understanding. The entire country’s participation in a non-violent protest movement for the future of those children is important for the growth of the children’s personalities. It will not be easy to crush our future generation and enslave them. When children reach the age of understanding, the feeling of ‘I have gone to rights battles even as a child’ will be very important for that child’s personality.
On the other hand, some mothers and fathers with children cannot waive their right to protest because they have a child.
Is the recent protest movement in Sri Lanka teaching our children to become free or to become slaves? Cowardly, backward people may teach their children to become slaves. But many other parents will teach their children a different lesson.
It was the police chiefs and smaller officers obeying orders who came in like thugs on October 9th and misbehaved, putting the children in danger. If it weren’t for them, it would have been a peaceful protest. A silent protest. Non-violent direct action. Let us understand how despicable people are who propagate opinions based on political interests justifying such attacks.