Friday, April 14, 2006

Everything's Back

Today on my way to work, near the Nawala bridge there was a new police post being constructed. There had been one there many years ago, but it was taken down. But this morning the police were there piling sand bags one on top of another and making a little bunker for themselves. Trust me, this was no ordinary police post. It was akin to the ones found in Vavuniya.

This has been happening in Colombo quite a bit. Checkpoints that went away have now been brought back.

And the raids are back.

Since January, regular raids, or at the very least a visit from a not-so-friendly-neighbourhood-policeman have been plauging the lives of the people living in Colombo.

And what's with the way the cops have been naming these 'search operationg'?

'Strangers Night'? What the F*** does that mean anyway? Who in the Colombo police has suddenly developed a taste for the dramatic? Anyways, it's really scaring the Tamil people in the city, and also the people who would seek to come into the city for work.

At the office we had an entrance exam scheduled for those who wanted to be a part of our new batch. There were 24 people who were supposed to show up for the Tamil medium test. Only 7 people arrived. They were all from Colombo. The ones who didn't show up were the ones from the East and from the estate sectors. When we asked why they didn't show up even after having confirmed that they would take part in the test, they said that they did not want to come to Colombo because it would not be safe for them. They would rather skip an entrance exam into a college they had tried hard to get into, that stay overnight in Colombo and end up in prison.

So is that the message the Colombo police want to send with these raids? Tamil people should stay out of the bloody city. Why? Because it belongs to us. Who's us? The upper class Colombo elite who do not want bombs going off and disturbing them when the war starts.

There was even a raid in town on New Year's Eve. They couldn't even leave the people alone for New Year's eve. How many more 'Strangers Night's are there going to be before the Colombo police realise that they're not going to stamp out LTTE presence in the city by busting all the innocent Tamil people in town.

So while the country prepares to return to war, the Colombo police prepare to return to what they do during war: harassing the Tamil population of Colombo.

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