In the year 1948, Sri Lanka gained independence from the British invaders. This meant that we were free – that we could proudly call ourselves Sri Lankans and that we were not ruled by another nation but our own. It meant that we finally had the freedom of choice, to choose our leaders and our laws.
We celebrate this independence every year, with so much pomp and gaiety. We celebrate and revel in the glory of being a free and independent nation.
But is ‘Sri Lanka’ independent? Or is it just the humans in Sri Lanka who are independent?
Every day Embark receives numerous calls about dogs who have been caged, about monkeys who have been tied without food and many other atrocities committed towards animals. We have mindlessly destroyed the habitats of the animals with whom we are supposed to coexist – forcibly domesticated these animals and then refuse to treat them with the same respect we show towards fellow humans.
Animals have feelings and needs. They feel hunger, pain, the need for love and care. They care for their children, the value their freedom, they have a sense of community, yet we carry on as if animals exist solely for the purpose of our entertainment.
So if you have an animal chained or caged in your house, or if you have just walked away from a starving animal without batting an eyelid, take some time this independence day to think about the true meaning of independence and freedom.
Lets create a truly independent Sri Lanka for all living beings.