“Independence day”
Posted on January 20th, 2011

Vajiragnana Warnakulasuriya Melbourne

The Presidential Secretary,
Mr.Lalith Weeratunga

 Dear Sir,

 “Independence day“ 

 Recently, I believe there was a Governmental directive to rename all names of institutions where “Ceylon” appeared to “Sri Lanka”.  Though this exercise is costly, maybe it is our intention to wipe out the vestiges of the colonial past on a national level and bring all institutions under the common banner of “Sri Lanka”.

 Way back during the colonial period, Tea was one of the premier exports of this island and was called “Ceylon Tea”. Knowing the general geographical knowledge of the people in the World, there are people who still do not know “Where or What” Ceylon or Sri Lanka is, but they got used to drinking this stimulant “Ceylon Tea”. Though this indicated the country of it’s origin initially with the change of the country’s name to Sri Lanka, “Ceylon Tea” transformed to a brand name for a majority of the consumers. Hence it maybe a disadvantage by changing the present brand name  to “Sri Lanka Tea”; temporarily there maybe a drop in sales if one were to monitor the consumption. However, Brand name “Dilmah Tea” has been well established now World all over, and sales are sky rocketing, not knowing instantly where it’s been produced. The consumers are only concerned about the quality and the presentation for a successful market!

 I have a more important shameful event that we celebrate annually, the “Independence Day”. It’s time this gets a new identity!

 I never celebrate this day, just as much as little Dutugemunu did not stretch his legs on the comfortable bed he slept as he saw there is no freedom in the country for him due to reasons you know what he observed!

 The real freedom we got was on the 18th of May 2009. Anyway for technical reasons we cannot celebrate this day as the Independence day, probably “Heroes Day” would be appropriate.

 Therefore the only way we should celebrate 4th of February is by renaming it “National Day”.

 It is disgusting to keep reminding our children that we were under the colonial rule for a long time by celebrating “Independence Day” yearly. 

 I hope you would consider this suggestion and bring it to H.E.The Presidents attention please.

 Yours Sincerely

 Vajiragnana Warnakulasuriya
Melbourne

2 Responses to ““Independence day””

  1. Wickrama Says:

    If I am not mistaken, the idea was to change the names of ORGANISATIONS and not necessarily their PRODUCTS. As such, “CEYLON TEA” could remain the same, while CEYLON TEA BOARD could change to SRI LANKA TEA BOARD.

  2. cassandra Says:

    VW,

    I am sorry to note you are not comfortable celebrating Independence Day. I don’t think, however, that it is such a great idea, as you suggest, to re name it “National Day” because, as you say, “it is disgusting to keep reminding our children that we were under the colonial rule for a long time by celebrating “Independence Day” yearly”.
    I recall Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai, another contributor to these columns, writing on similar lines, sometime ago, that “we should also do away with the Independence day as it is more of a reminding day of the colonial imperialism rather than of the freedom”.

    Regrettable as it may be, our colonial past is part and parcel of our history. It will simply not go away. And it will do us no good either to try to run away from it, any more than it would be to go into denial over the less attractive parts of our ‘glorious’ past, like, say, the infamous conduct of Queen Anula and some of our kings and queens from long ago.

    My view is that far from trying to forget our colonial past, we should remain consciously aware of it so that we are better able to appreciate what it is to be free. Freedom is a fragile thing, and our awareness of our colonial past should also serve as a reminder to us to be constantly vigilant against the danger of the gift of freedom being taken away again.

    I believe also – and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on this – that we should take a healthy attitude towards our colonial past, not always harping on about all its negative aspects but trying also to appreciate some of the good things that it has brought us. The colonial masters may not have been motivated by grand and noble motives but they have nevertheless left some good things behind. Our culture, our traditions, our music and our cuisine, among other things, are the richer for the colonial influence, and these are things we can truly celebrate.

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