I am Aninilavan Puvanesan from North of Sri Lanka where the thirty years of civil war came to end in 2009. I born as a Tamil Hindu and labelled myself as minority second class citizen of this country. The minority group established an armed organization called LTTE, demanding for a separate state. Both youth and elders took alms and joined the movement. As one of them, from my childhood, I wanted to fight against the Sinhala people. I was being a racist to the entire Sinhala community.
I thought violence is the only way to get our freedom. Even though the war came to end, I was totally against the majority community. Until I turned 16, I didn’t think out of the box and my mentality remained the same because of my environment. But one day changed my whole life and thoughts! I was able to participate for the Future Leader’s Conference season eight. It was a five days residential program and for the very first time, I met Sinhala and Muslim students in my life of sixteen years. I realized how I have wasted many years with negative thoughts. Those five days in my life transformed me totally as a human. I cried for my Sinhala friend from the south of the country, hugged him close to me and said sorry! Who I thought to kill at my age of ten are now my friends for life.
By Aninilavan Puvanesan from Sri Lanka Unites