In Dependence

Well, Sri Lanka, congratulations on your 62nd Year of Independence..!

Today, we celebrate our freedom. Freedom that prevents our little island from progress. Senseless freedom that gives an individual the right to pursue legal action to prevent a highway from being built to benefit an entire region, if not the whole country, but takes away the right to park one’s car in front of the country’s main railway station to pick-up a travelling passenger.

Today, we celebrate the victory of democracy. The kind of victory that bestows power upon parliamentarians like WJM Lokubandara who has deprived the people of Haputale of any development since 1977. The kind of people’s power that makes kings out of fools such as the well-learned doctor Mervin. Today, in the name of independence, we celebrate the kind of stupidity that sends clergymen to the parliament, and not to the village temple.

Today we celebrate the unity. The kind of unity that separates the Tamil, the Sinhala, the Muslim and the Anglo-asian by distinctly differentiating them in the very poster that’s supposed to unify them under one flag. The kind of unity that is evident everywhere – starting from the racially and religiously biased school system where a six-year-old is deprived of education of his choice, just because he doesn’t belong to a certain race or a religion. Hindu College for the Hindu’s, Zahira for the Muslims, St. Thomas’ for the Christians and Ananda for the Buddhists., and the list goes on. For our good luck, these are supposed to be amongst the greatest schools in the country that breed the leaders of the next generation...

Today, we celebrate sovereignty of the land. We celebrate the victory over our own brotherhood, we celebrate the death of our own men, women and children. We celebrate the fact the we are independent of our own evil, but wasn’t this island sovereign all along until we decided to divide it into pieces?

Today, we celebrate the freedom of expression. The freedom to wash our dirty linen in public, the freedom that strips our nation naked in front of an international audience. The freedom where Al Jazeera and BBC could report from the front-line claiming that “no media is allowed to witness the war” while closing their ears to the deafening sounds of gunfire. Today we celebrate the kind of freedom that makes us look so f*cked-up, that the corrupt parliaments of the US or the UK begin to look very honourable.

Today we celebrate the development. And the progress. We celebrate the fact that we have built three flyovers and dug a single tunnel in the last half-a-century of infrastructure development. We celebrate the fact the we still live in the dark ages, when we could’ve been an example to the West, just like Lee Kuan Yew once predicted.

Today we celebrate the defeat of terrorism, when the half of the terrorists who burnt down bus depots and destroyed public property are sitting at the parliament in their gel-combed-heads, having never surrendered the stolen wealth or the weapons they accumulated by terrorising an entire nation.

Today we celebrate the economic freedom and the ability to live in a free-market. The ability to eat Australian apples and Pakistani mangoes on the roadside in Ramboda and the ability to serve bottled water imported from the United Arab Emirates at the Colombo International Airport. We celebrate the fact that Nawala is no longer synonymous with pineapples, Kalutara with Mangosteens or Bibile with oranges.

Today we celebrate our pride. We celebrate the fact the we are the country of house-maids, we are the nation that murders their minority and we are the country where asylum seekers and illegal immigrants come from. With much pomp and pageantry, we celebrate the fact that we are no longer known for our blue sapphires, exotic beaches or world-class tea.

A little more than half a century down the line, we have managed to totally screw up this beautiful country, right royally.

Well... here’s to that, and here’s to whatever we are celebrating.



  1. That was such a powerful piece of writing. Can I please copy this and forward this to my family? I'll link it back to your blog.

  2. Sad but true. There are so many more things that can be added to this list but whats the point? Sri Lankans only have themselves to blame. This is probably the only country that is run by uneducated morons who just in it to make money.

  3. bitter tirade of a frustrated fantasy dweller .

    what were you doing when other sri lankans were defeating terrorists ?
    sleeping or mocking them?

    and what right do you have to make slanders like "nation that murders their minority"

    etc etc

    you spoil what little truth in that rant by mixing them with slander and ignoring your own failure to do anything about any of that. blame it all on 'sri lanka' and 'sri lankans'.

    anyway thanks for letting us know how bitter you feel and how much you hate sri lanka and sri lankans, enough to mix slander with truth to make slander seem truth

  4. Good points, all of them. It takes a special breed of fools to take something so perfect and screw it up so badly... :/

  5. @Anon: thanks.

    @Sue: Of course. I’m honoured. ;)

    @Sittingnut: Thanks mate for your comments, much appreciated.

    People who read my blog regularly knows just a teeny-weeny bit about what I did during the war.
    In addition, my view is “country first” and my work to protect its image was all over cyberspace - including CNN etc. It was really sad to see that there weren’t many Lankan bloggers defending the nation in the information frontier, the LTTE propaganda machinery was much more stronger all over the world. Oh, I can also tell you that I have frequented the borderline territories and travelled through “no-man’s lands” a fair amount of time during the war, unlike many armchair worriers. My experience as a civilian during the war goes way beyond the blackout watching the Cricket World Cup at a 5-star hotel.

    Well, that’s some of what I could share with you anyway. ;)

    As for the petty things we do claiming they are world-class (such as overhead bridges), I stand my ground firmly. Our work suits 19th century, sadly.

    @Chavie: *nods in agreement*

    @Sabby: *grins* Thanks.

  6. so you think saying things like "nation that murders their minority" is defending the nation in the information frontier?


    btw what was that reference about "blackout watching the Cricket World Cup at a 5-star hotel" was anybody here doing that ?

    typical truth avoidance tactic

  7. Sittingnut, “the nation that murders their minority” or ”the country of house-maids” aren’t my inventions, these are the ground realities of our image if you care to look beyond the hole that you live in. LOL.

    If you believe that everything is contrary to what I say here, good luck mate. ;)

  8. @Anon2: Yes, the list is endless. Sorry I skipped you by mistake in the first round. ;)

  9. Wij

    Have a bot of old from paradise. My turn to cook tonight, so shall give thanks to the gods, have a couple of old and coke and celebrate our 'nidahasa'.

    Buddhu Saranai!


  10. Very powerful. And very true, in terms of how the rest of the world sees us. It is very sad, but what is also sad is that the sadness we feel isn't translated into a determination to do better next time, it just turns into "oh we're FUBAR, now whom can we blame?". If anyone's responsible for giving up on Mother Lanka, it's her children. Now that is sad.

  11. A telling post, sadly true... amazingly, there are those who will close their eyes to this and continue to mouth meaningless praise, exalting one facet while ignoring the blatant abuses of power. Wrong is right, whatever your color or creed, why is that so difficult to accept?

  12. 'ground realities' that "the nation that murders their minority"
    care to substantiate that ? after all if that is reality you should be able to easily.

    it is clear that you live in a hole made up of terrorist's racist propaganda at second hand .

    btw you continue to mix truth with slander to make slander seems truthful.
    a cheap truck of the intellectually dishonest

    lol indeed

  13. hey btw aren't you the person who continued to defend reality of penguins in arctic bracing for global warming ?
    even after i pointed that fact to be fiction few times ? and so far has not admitted your mistake?

    do get in touch with facts not fiction then you won't be so bitter, as i said then

  14. " A little more than half a century down the line, we have managed to totally screw up this beautiful country, right royally.
    Well... here’s to that, and here’s to whatever we are celebrating."

    Strong words, nicely articulated. Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Cheers Too Si

    A thought provoking and brilliant post, thank you.

  16. oh my! whole kottu cocoon is here. happy that someone has articulated their bitterness at felling alienated from modern sri lanka.

    where were these ppl when sri lankans were fighting terrorists there by righting something that was definitely wrong?
    opposing it, or mocking it or sleeping .

    now this . lol @ them

  17. @ViceUnVersa: DD, you lucky bastard! I’m bloody jealous – but at least one of us is having fun.
    Budu saranayi. Matath ekka podi shot ekak daa ganna putho...

    @Pseudo/Sigma: Yes, indeed. Why are we so reluctant to open our eyes and see the reality? Why are we so close-minded? I don’t know. Honestly.

    @Sittingnut: Ok, You Win.

    @TU: Thank YOU. And you are welcome. ;)

    @RD: Cheers!

    @Sittingnut: Modern Sri Lanka, eh? I hope you used the adjective “modern” as in recent times.

  18. so you are not going to substantiate your slander "the nation that murders their minority"?
    and explain how repeating that slander is "defending the nation in the information frontier"?

    nor admit you mix slander with truth to make slander seem truthful?

    and what was that reference about "blackout watching the Cricket World Cup"?

    you can't do any of that

    but you want to know what is meant when i use word 'modern' ?


    btw i always answer if asked . i meant modern as in 'current' or today's.

    question is when are you going to explain and answer the questions i have raised above .

    btw it is not a question of my winning but admitting your lies and slander against sri lankans

    you may hide and not not do that if you prefer.

    i think you did that with regard to your 'facts' about arctic penguins too .

  19. Sittingnut, this one is specially for you, but I’ll try to be brief.

    Contrary to popular belief, the image of Sri Lanka outside our shores is not very pleasant. In the Middle East, we are the country where house-maids come from. In countries like France where LTTE propaganda had been extremely active for a few decades, we are the country (ie government forces) that murders the minority. In most of the Western Countries such as Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Germany and the UK etc, we are the country where asylum seekers and illegal immigrants come from.

    It’s their perception, not mine. Sri Lankan government had very little voice overseas, until MR’s regime appointed few specialists like Palitha Kohona and Dr Rajiva Wijesinha to tackle the issue. We were a good 20 years too late, we are still far behind pro-LTTE propaganda. Hope this point is clear to you.

    As for the information frontier, there are many websites and forums that were fed by the pro-separatist Tamil individuals from all around the world, trying to manipulate the truth to their advantage, while there weren’t many Sri Lankan bloggers actively participating in any forums or dialogue to present the case from the other side. Here’s one example:
    You will recognize my voice there.

    Now, what is slander in this piece? Lokubandara? Mervin? Schools? Overhead bridges that are a few inches wider than a footbridge? Economy? Unity? Pride? I hope you would be wise enough to see beyond the blinkers.

    Now think with me carefully. Cricket World Cup, Final game. LTTE aircraft on a mission over Colombo. The entire city being blacked out (power-cut) in defense. Get the picture?

    As for the penguins and arctic, I do know that they only live in the Southern hemisphere, and my reference was to make a point. If there is global warming and If the ice caps are melting in the Arctic, obviously they would be melting in the Antarctic too. Unless, Antarctic is in another planet, just like your Sri Lanka.

    Sorry, I couldn’t be more idiot-proof than this.

  20. at last!

    reduced to changing spin on your point now are we?

    in the post
    "Today we celebrate our pride. We celebrate the fact ... we are the nation that murders their minority ...."
    no word about ltte propaganda there. implication was we should not be celebrating bc we murder the minority
    "LTTE propaganda had been extremely active for a few decades, we are the country (ie government forces) that murders the minority"

    even with new spin ,
    basic question is why should ltte created image dampen our celebrations here? or even be linked with our celebrations ? we should try to change that image but that is another issue . we should celebrate our very real independence in sri lanka .

    point of your post, created more by selective use of lttle truths (exaggerated in fact and importance )mixed with slanders like (murdering minority ) above (without admitting them to be slander in the post ) dissolves, if you admit that it is slander, and contrast your lttle truths with real big truths ( like defeat of terrorist and our resistance to foreign interference) .
    then we should celebrate our independence with pride .

    popular belief is not that certain sections of foreigners have pleasant image about sl, rather we know we have a falsely created unpleasant image due to their racism and ltte propaganda. we know that is used as a convenient excuse to interfere here. that is why there is and was popular support for resisting any such interference . that we withstood a concerted attempts at interference (to stop the defeat of terrorists, and at elections ) is one reason we celebrated yesterday. we should be proud of that successful resistance instead of hanging our head bc there is racism and terrorist propaganda (and ppl to take advantage of that ).


    i know what happened on world cup night along with all sri lankan . my question was what was the point of your referring to "My experience as a civilian during the war goes way beyond the blackout watching the Cricket World Cup at a 5-star hotel." in a reply to my fisrt commet . repeating what happened does not answer that.
    it is you who seem unable to follow what was requested

    as for penguins . if you knew the facts, why did you make that clear when i was very clear and specific about my point in that thread . instead you continued to defend your fiction.
    and if it is antarctic you were meaning why not call it antarctic, why use arctic at all ? may be the fact that antarctic ice had in fact grown has nothing to with it ?

    don't use idiot arguments and fictions next time.

  21. Brilliant, as always. The first para itself is so strong and enough for a post of it's own, really.

    About the whole 'image of Sri Lanka' thing, I do agree with you. Yes MR had balls, and did what he had to do to win the war. Some may like it, some may not, but it's over and we gotta move on. Building our image, but it isn't happening. Going against the West on everything saying Bring it on bitches, which is what we're pretty much doing right now, is not going to help.

    Just like MR regime came up with a good (at least the best we had so far) machanism to be heard overseas during the war, now he NEEDS to do something to build our image and be friendly with the West, not just with China. That'll do a loads of good.

  22. Sach, thanks. Agree with you wholeheartedly. Yes, I am proud to see what we have accomplished in the recent past – but the journey has just begun...

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  26. Well written blog !!!! When u read some comments, I can understand why you needed to write this :)