Friday, September 4, 2009


[On seeing a photograph and a news item of a helpless young boy, standing by his flooded dwelling in a Camp for Internally Displaced Persons in Northern Sri Lanka).

I live in a cosy home abroad
Yet the cold breeze enfolds and makes me shiver
Whence embracing the warmth in the early morning
I picture you, dear son, amidst the flood waters of the wild camp

We did release you but the other day, rescuing you from a cruel war
This fable of your joy is now to me mere news.
Why are you so alone this early morning amidst the floods?
What today has caused the relief of freedom to dissolve?

I secured my children from the evil of war and offered them shelter under freedom
But that relief was shattered today, when I saw the image of you, dear son.
Why do you lament this early morning in your seclusion?
Was your sin that you disinherited my Language?

Lord, saviour of the land - why are your eyes locked tight today?
Why does the glow in your eyes as you embraced the Triple Gem
Not stir your conscience?
Your other way of life glitters in a huge mansion surrounded by Frangipani trees
But, why are our dear children imprisoned in a forest encampment?

What parentage and appearance have you inherited?
What mother tongue would you keep in years to come?
Absurd, to query your son-ship of our soil!
What karmic sins shut the eyes of the Triple Gem?

(A Sinhala Buddhist poet now living in Australia)

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