Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My Friends’ War

I read in the news yesterday morning about a suicide attack in Colombo, Sri Lanka which killed a cabinet minister and 14 other people. I have been aware of the problems in Sri Lanka, where the rebel Tamil Tigers have been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in northern Sri Lanka for more than two decades. Nearly 200 people have been killed since the start of the year, so this suicide attack was not too surprising.

But this time the news struck me much deeper. Just two days before that I met and talked with 6 children refugees from Sri Lanka. One plump boy who loves to eat. Two very beautiful girls with huge eyes. A boy who can speak some Cantonese even though he has only been in Hong Kong for a month. All love computer games. They look as vivacious as any other children. You would not have guessed they are refugees if you meet them on the street. They are so lovely you wish no harm would ever come to them.

Now I cannot read about the strife in Sri Lanka without thinking of these children. The civil war there has come much closer. It involves my friends now.


The Cat said...

It's so hard to see them as "just stats" once you get to know them, isn't it?

Kind of like small-class teaching in a way -- hard to just see students as stats once you really get to know them.

StephenC said...

That's why I always try to take their pictures to help me get to know them and to remember them. But with my poor memory, I am not very successful. Not for lack of trying, though.