The following pieces are by Yhalisai and Kulalisai, both escaped the war in the Vanni in 2009 and now live in the diaspora.
18th of May
Our hopes and dreams, they did betray.
For all their cruelty, they must pay.
For our freedom, it's a long delay.
We didn't want war, but there was no other way.
Some people think Sri Lanka's a display,
A "beautiful" island for their holiday.
But they only see what the government portrays,
Not the truth that's hidden away.
The Sri Lankan government is to be blamed.
Tamil genocide has always been their aim.
By calling us "terrorists", they wanted to frame
Us, who fought for a land we have all rights to claim.
Did they hate us because we weren't the same?
Or did they want to erase those they couldn't tame?
Don't you ever wonder what truly became
Of those who "disappeared"? Remember their names?
Many children, abandoned and stray,
Fought for their lives instead of getting to play.
People were raped and tortured for days!
Up until now, many bodies decay.
We all have memories we tend to replay,
But we keep them to ourselves anyway,
Since no amount of words could ever outweigh
What we have lost on the 18th of May.
Artwork by Kulalisai