March 21, 2007
'The West' cares, a lot
Things must be getting really bad in Sri Lanka. ‘The West’ ran a story yesterday about 150 000 displaced people now living in Batticaloa, my old stomping ground. Not much ground left to stomp these days. I dare say my stomping ground now has a few hundred families sleeping on it. But ‘The West’ ran a story, on page 26 mind you, but they ran a story yesterday about the rest of the world. It damn near made me cry my little eyes out at the lunch table at work where I coulnd’t have felt further away from Sri Lanka as I ate my delicious home-made salad with cherry tomatoes, danish feta and kalamata olives. ‘The West’ ran a story about camps overflowing and food running out. But when I left in November, there were alreday 70 000 people in Batticloa and the food had all but run out. Yesterday ‘The West’ cared enough about Sri Lanka to put it on page 26. We might not have been so lucky if news of Sri Lanka had come today, when it would have had to compete with the front-page disgrace of a football player. Some things are just more important. And it certainly didn’t add the bitter taste to my cherry tomato, danish feta and kalamata olive salad the way that other story did.