Signs the world is small

Post ImageYou know how people say things like “it’s such a small world”? Well, it’s true. As a few of you noticed, I was quoted in the National Post today in a story on Suresh Sriskandarajah, a University of Waterloo graduate who has been arrested and faces charges related to an FBI probe of the Tamil Tigers. Turns out he was one of the Microsoft student representatives in 2004 (as was I), and we both attended the same training weekend in Toronto. I ended up taking a group photo at the time, which reporters from the National Post found yesterday and asked permission to use. I sent the photos I had in higher quality, and they used one of them for the front page of today’s paper. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo credit, as I didn’t reply to their email asking if they should use my name or not until after the paper had gone to press. The photo will also be used in tomorrow’s Ottawa Citizen.

I can’t say that I know Suresh, other than meeting him that weekend back in September 2004. My quote is pretty spot on:

“He seemed like a normal guy,” said Mr. Male, who kept a souvenir group photo of the occasion. “We had a lot of fun together that weekend…. Nobody really stood out.”

I don’t know what is going to happen to him.

The whole experience just shows what a small world it really is, thanks in large part to the Internet. In a matter of hours, a simple photo I had posted from an event almost two years ago made it to the front page of a national newspaper. The other thing is – do I really know someone who could be a terrorist? I don’t know if the FBI are right or not about Suresh, but if they are, that’s a scary thought isn’t it?

Made me stop and think for a moment – who else do I know that might be a terrorist? I quickly caught myself, and metaphorically slapped myself in the face. If I lived my life wondering who could be a terrorist, I’d only be making Bush’s campaign of fear successful. There’s no harm in being cautious, about anyone, but I think if people become paranoid we’re going to have problems.

[Oddly enough, the story in the physical paper I picked up about an hour ago is different than the one online. In the physical paper, on page A3, the part with my quote has been replaced with more about Suresh’s work abroad.]

Read: National Post