Painful reminder

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My teenage daughter was on the bus last weekend when two unkempt men said: “That f****** P*** does not deserve the vote.” She did what I, as a migrant to Scotland, would never have done, and stood her 5ft 3in and said: “I was born in Scotland and deserve the vote as much as you.”

A barrage of abuse followed.

I am delighted the referendum is over. I can finally go to sleep at night. I have stopped planning my exit strategy and worrying whether the house will sell.

My friends and neighbours said I was over-reacting but I have already endured one civil war.

I was born in Sri Lanka. We too are an island. We had our differences, the Northerners and the Southerners, but we had been together for nearly 300 years. There were very real grievances but when the nationalists take hold, the ordinary man and his voice get left behind.

He who shouts loudest does not necessarily represent the masses. Some of us have a quiet voice and do not agree.

I am from the north. It’s a sad tale that ends with my group of Christian Tamils being wiped out, having died in the war or migrating across the globe. We would have been “better together”.

The Southerners got tired of our “it’s not fair” protests. A friend of mine here was brave enough to stick her No sign in the window and at the end of the week found the whole street had done the same. I just spent my time hiding behind the curtain, watching to see what happened next.

I have worked in some of the most deprived areas of Scotland – largely the areas that voted Yes.

My life is good; I voted No. To those men on the bus, I am sorry your lives are not what you wanted. I am sorry your dreams have been shattered.

I’m not certain that what you were offered was real, but still, it is hard when you had a dream.

I have put the suitcase back in the attic. Scotland is still beautiful. Like any marriage we have had our ups and downs.

Let’s stop talking about divorce and instead think about extending the house and making the garden bloom.

(Dr) Suresh Sanders

Cramond

Edinburgh

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