Who in Sri Lanka suffers from a Stockholm syndrome and unrequited post-colonial love?
Posted on August 18th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

The Question is “”…” Are we proud of gaining independence, do we regret that we gained independence and most importantly are we working towards giving up our independence? It is in the backdrop of these questions that we cannot pretend that with or without CHOGM the British Government has been leading every rebuttal against Sri Lanka at every opportunity. The bewildering scene is that despite the darts that continuously point towards Sri Lanka, like a jilted lover refusing to accept reality there are some amongst us repeatedly going behind the colonials and to add insult to injury taking out all memorabilia and polishing them to put to humiliate the country further. Whilst some may suffer from the pathological ailment we define as the Stockholm syndrome for most of us Britain was our former colony, Britain’s war crimes and ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka are many “”…” it is not Queen Victoria who should be brought out when foreign delegates arrive for CHOGM but the very natives that Britain put to death for their crime of protecting their nation from foreign invaders. It is one thing to herald an international conference of foreign delegates but it is a crying shame if we are to thank and remember the arrival of foreign invaders who put our people to death.

So why and who wish to go worshipping the very people who subjected our people to torture and murder. It is one thing to take over nations and plunder its wealth but it is totally unacceptable to carry out a policy of extermination. The statue that had been gathering dust now being polished to be placed in front of Viharamadevi Park for the people of Sri Lanka to look at is meant to remind us of her greatness when anyone who knows history would be appalled at the very idea. Are we to look at Queen Victoria who ruled for 63 years (1837 to 1901) and as head of the State of England watched millions of people murdered as part of the British Government policy under the British Empire to which CHOGM is very much part of? Hitler became demonized by the entire world and his reign was just 5 years why is the world silent about colonial atrocities and not demanding compensation for these crimes. Before teaching us human rights Britain needs to come clean and accept accountability and thereafter compensate for its sins. There were no wars “”…” the British forcibly entered and took over nations and killed those who were unwilling to follow their orders or people who wanted to protect their country from foreign rule. How can the British talking  high and mighty find fault with that?

Who is advising that we revere colonialism taking the entire nation to an Alice in Wonderland environment when in reality we should be demanding compensation for the death and destruction that prevailed throughout colonial rule and in particular British rule? Are we to tell the present day children “Oh this is Queen Victoria”¦ be proud that she was the monarch while her subjects massacred our people and plundered our nation when Sri Lanka was under British colonial rule for 133 years!”

More importantly are these bravados and tamasha’s not likely to gag the Sri Lankan President for 2 years forcing him to adhere and apply all the western rules and regulations of human rights meant to target Third World nations?  Are these nations not part of a bigger plot using Western terminology and laws the very ingredients that will NOW attempt to carve out through pen what the LTTE could not achieve by gun?

Does the President normally an astute leader not foresee the dangers in store and are these calls of boycott not a smokescreen to force the Sri Lankan Government to sign on any dotted line to somehow hold the conference simply to save face because the enemies are anyway looking for any type of reason to ridicule Sri Lanka? What a soup Sri Lanka has landed itself in simply because a handful of people do not have their feet on the ground and because they are the very traitors that over years betrayed the nation and continue to suffer pathological tendencies not wanting to appreciate one’s roots but worship those of invading nations.

The Stockholm syndrome is a pathological and psychological phenomenon and we do not need to look far to find those guilty of suffering from a battered-person syndrome. But the tragedy is that the very Government that steered the military defeat of the LTTE and brought peace upon the nation is taking advice from those who sold us out through the ceasefire and now are seated running the foreign policy of the country. People who suffer from Stockholm syndrome should not be allowed to determine the policy of the nation especially because they are taking Sri Lanka away from our traditional friends “”…” the nations like Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Vietnam countries that helped Sri Lanka in ancient times.

At the recently concluded Myanmar-Sri Lanka Friendship Association gathering the Deputy Minister of External Affairs did not mince words but showered gratitude upon Myanmar for helping Sri Lanka links that remain strong through ancient times. Yet, the foreign ministry in a country that is predominately Buddhist will not consider opening a Buddhists desk, ignores forming ties with Sri Lanka’s traditional friends, refuses to champion Buddhist causes except deliver matter of fact messages devoid of any sentiment for the sake of making one and has hardly shown any interest in the ongoing investigations to the Sri Maha Bodhi attack in India.

This showcases perfectly that so long as we are a nation “lost” between refusing to bind with our Sinhala Buddhist values that prevailed for hundreds and thousands of years but go after values that invading foreigners introduced we will not find our roots in anything. So long as we value what is not ours when we are a country with a rich culture, a rich civilization with its own legal systems and heritage we would continue to be living as Alice in Wonderland. Foreigners do not value us because we follow their cultures “”…” they look down upon us for doing so. That is not to say that everything foreign is not good “”…” but following everything ONLY foreign is not good and there lies the difference. We should be able to take what is good but not compromise what is good of our own culture and our own heritage “”…” it is upto us to safeguard and protect what our ancestors laid down their lives to save. This is why we should always shower gratitude to our armed forces for they laid down their lives to save the nation “”…” it was the hungry powerseeking politicians and elite that made merry with whatever opportunities they got and this is the same in every country in the world.

Given that David Cameron Britain’s Prime Minister is attending CHOGM in Sri Lanka to teach Sri Lanka a lesson in human rights we would first request him to make an open apology to all those the British killed in Ceylon under British Monarchy Queen Victoria and compensate the families of those killed as well as compensate the country for plundering its wealth and reducing natives to penury “”…” is it a surprise we remain a Third World nation given that neo-colonial IMF and World Bank has taken over from where colonials departed?

That the President will adorn the title of head and host of CHOGM only reminds us how the British took advantage of the vanity of those willing to even give up one’s country for titles. Thus in colonial times India was called the “Empress” and we know the manner Indian sepoys functioned and continue to function.

But the question is why have the advisors failed to foresee the ramifications and are these failures not part of the Stockholm syndrome that they are suffering from which questions as to why they are being paid by the taxpayer to continue to betray the nation?  



23 Responses to “Who in Sri Lanka suffers from a Stockholm syndrome and unrequited post-colonial love?”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    I agree of the wanton violence the British used to create their empire but Britain is but one example of many who have similar acts. The British were and are not evil but what they had was power. They had a military power and the commercial interest to use that power to gain what they wanted.
    Through out history one can find similar examples of civilizations using whatever form of power to defend themselves or expand their influence. Needless to state but that could be stated of Rome, the Portuguese, Dutch, French Empires. The French empires go back to Napoleon and include the French colonies of the 19th century.
    Sri Lanka too used power throughout her history. for each and every time the Kings of Southern India invaded Sri Lanka with an intent to annex the island and make transform it to their image they were eventually defeated and driven out of the island. The power of Sri Lanka lies in her unity of the Singhala civilization. While Hindu India was never a united power and had to pay a terrible prize for it as foreign conquerors invaded and vandalized India before taking control of that nation all because the northern kingdoms of India had to fight the invaders while the eastern and southern kingdoms hardly paid any attention to what was taking place till the invaders eventually knocked on their door. The last ditch effort of creating the Vijayanagar Empire in the 15th century was after the Muslims had fully conquered the North and established their power. While the Rajput kings fought endless wars against the Mogul empire including succeeding invasions the rest of Hindu India did not come to their aid. That was India’ weak point and she had to pay dearly for it.
    When independence was finally granted to India it was under the condition of a flimsy excuse to bifurcate India to create a separate homeland for the Muslims which completely failed since most sub continent Muslims do not live in Pakistan. India again failed to switch roles from the Satyagraha movement of the Mahatma to a militant stand against the British concept to divide India before leaving her. Most of India’s Sepoys were Hindu and Sikh and all it would have taken is to assassinate Jinnah and defeat the Muslim contingency of the Sepoy army
    Unlike India Sri Lanka has faced many invasions from Southern India and successfully repelled them using a united force. One can add the civil war as the latest attempt of the Tamils to destroy this unity and create a separate homeland. They were supported to the extent that they were able to have an air force, Navy with submarines and a military willing to commit suicide than be captured. All those who supported the Tamil Tigers such as RAW, Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi were confident that the civil war would create Eelam but again from the soul of the Singhalese Buddhist culture was born a fighter President Rajapakse who like his ancient fore fathers took on the Tamil Tigers on their terms and defeated them saving Sri Lanka once more
    But as the years have passed it is obvious that the military act to create Eelam failed so now a diplomatic act is being used for the same purpose. The Tamil Diaspora to the leaders of Tamil Nadu have been extremely successful in influencing the western powers using doctored videos, an efficient propaganda, and diplomacy to paint Sri Lanka as an uncivilized barbarous nation where the only solution is a separate land called Eelam.
    If Colombo is to outwit this new avatar then Colombo including the Buddhist Sanga and the SIS must use these same methods to show the other side of the civil war and expose the lies that the Tamil Diaspora is using. Sri Lanka needs a campaign that would grab the attention of the world of the untold story that only the Singhalese can tell and dispel the propaganda and lies in order to win on this diplomatic front against the global Tamil movement which is now taking the form of that of Palestine to divide Sri Lanka
    Act now and act with decisive determination that either the Tamil National Alliance stop this or actions will be taken to make Sri Lanka a Buddhist nation that permits the practice of other faiths as long as they want to be part of the culture of Sri Lanka or face a ban on their faith and practices domestically while on the international stage take on the Tamil propaganda machine in a war of diplomacy where even the very citizenship of Tamils are at stake in order to finally end the concept of Eelam.

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    What President Rajapakse is doing is not very much different from what Christian Ranil was about to do in 2005 – his plans to invite the despicable Portuguese to come and commemorate their landing in Sri Lanka and the later dastardly exploits in Sri Lanka. He has invited the Pope the legal successor to the Portuguese exploits in Sri Lanka and elsewhere in the world. This President is not very much in bed with all those who promoted the dismemberment of Sri Lanka and continue to do so. Colombian Christians have got him on leash like a poodle. CHOGM is inviting trouble. He has mismanaged Sri Lanka’s foreign policy ever since May 2009.

    One slippery slope to Hague, infamy and oblivion in the hands of his very enemies! I sincerely hope I am wrong!

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Tamil barbarians plan animal sacrifice this Wednesday.

    Munneswaram barbarians are going to kill a thousand animals for no reason this Wednesday.

    Do something to STOP it.

    Killing innocent animals is a CURSE which brings BAD LUCK and DISASTERS to the country. Kill the killers!

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    British PM David Cameron said not too log ago that : “most of the trouble in the world today is due to Britain”. We applaud his honesty. The trail of tears and sorrow
    have gone unaddressed for too long.

    Re the British Empire, here are some facts :

    “The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power.[1] By 1922 the British Empire held sway over about 458 million people, one-fifth of the world’s population at the time.[2] The empire covered more than 33,700,000 km2(13,012,000 sq mi), almost a quarter of the Earth’s total land area.[3][4] As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase “the empire on which the sun never sets” was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse across the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories”.

    Sri Lanka present day government leaders have been ‘cornered’ to host the CHOGM. We wish our President good luck in his endeavors with CHOGM. We wish Europe would find clever new ways to find funds to administer their countries, and the days of Empires and conquests are over and we are all moving towards an Age of Truth and Justice for all.

    As for our Colombians, they have to realise that blind imitation of past Colonists makes them look somewhat foolish and servile, if not tempered with wisdom and sincere concern for the welfare of their fellow citizens.

  5. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    After all these points debated about the evils of colonialism and the desecration of the nation as a resultant one simple issue comes to mind.Hypothetically at least one needs to ask “had there been no Portuguese, Dutch and British invasions of Ceylon what would the country be today? Despite the viles and evils of colonialism the very essence of Sri Lanka’s credible existence today is due to what the colonial masters gave the nation particularly the British despite their draconiam means to divide, rule and plunder.Perhaps if the invaders had been Spanish or the French the plight of Sri Lanka today might have been far worse as we look around the globe to get a better perspective of this argument.The British developed the country in a manner very much akin to what Britain was ~ there were roads of a magnificient network and a top notch transportation system which even incorporated aviation and shippong of the highrst oder, industries, agriculture, an electricity grid that provided power to most of the Island, a banking system as good as any around the world, an education that contributed to the highest literacy rate in Asia , a fair justice system and governance which was commendable and a Parliamentary system which exists to this very day which unfortunately is overrun by certain corrupt albeit powerful politicians who even didctate terms to a good and pragmatic president. They for some inexplicable reason appear to rule the day through their own conceptions of how to govern~ dictatorially at time perhaps as well as robbing the till until it strikes bottom in lining their pockets.Of course there was the scourge of the class system which was a run off of what existed in Britain of the day and the poor were neglected whilst the middle class survived but all in all what goes on in Sri Lanka is simply a continuation of where the Briits left off but a shambles of what the ultimate objective was intended to be.The British left Sri Lanka in the manner of a curate’s egg ~ good in parts and bad in some and today the bad seems by far to override the good simply because of human greed and the wrong type of politician clogging up the decent parliamentary system that was intended to be.The good ones have either quit in disgust, retired with age or assassinated.
    We cannot blame the colonials entirely for our woes but ourselves to a greater part. We lack tolerance, restraint and a full capacity to emulate and enact the teachings of the noble Lord Buddha despite being a majority Buddhist nation where much of his teachings are contradicted from many perspectives and therein lie our woes. Anyone who believes that Sri Lanka today is bettter off than before independence from the British is probably a sentimentalist unprepared to admit to the guilt of what our post independence Leaders have mired the country in. It has also provided for the discontent amongst divided ethnicities that has plunged the nation into turmoil and unrest on many occassion, where the last of course was the worst. So this may be an object lesson for the present Administration to govern accordingly towards the contentment needed by all Sri Lankans as well as posterity for future generations at leat towards providing peace and harmony and decent living for all which sadly is not the case today.It is no mean task to accomplish with a burgeoning polulation and many socio economic issues and no real GDP but hopefully in time the present Administration will be blessed with the means towards this.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    The times earlier to Colonisation, there were a different set of rules for governance. The Democratic system of governance originated from Greece.

    For that time, in ancient days, Sri Lanka had good kings and the not so good ones, same as Europe or Britain. For that time,
    Sri Lankans excelled in water conservation and agriculture and building of wonderful Buddhist places of learning & Temples.
    For those times, those were high achievements to be proud about. Lanka never invaded other countries to take their wealth or enslave people. I am presuming that the local people of those times were less confused about the Buddhist values as there were less distractions and enemy invasions were fought back as one nation, and thus a greater sense of security.

    The Tamil Problem came with the Colonists, particularly the British & Dutch, who brought them together with their psychological problems and strong & willing Labor skills, from Tamil Nadu. Lankans are still stuck with unresolved problems of Tamils from Tamil Nadu, now made international.

    Today, I am grateful to the British for the English language (world language) and a modern education system and some other aspects of modernization. Even these may have come to Lanka without Colonisation.

    What we are carping about is that no OWNERSHIP OR REPARATIONS of misdeeds done toward the Colonised have been taken up by the Colonizers.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    Read as “In the times earlier to Colonisation …”

  8. Nimal Fernando Says:

    Bernard Wijeyasingha is bang on target: [ Sri Lanka needs a campaign that would grab the attention of the world of the untold story that only the Singhalese can tell … ]

    This begs the question: Where are the diplomats, historians, journalists, advertising practitioners and other media
    professionals, whose numbers are considerable; who could pool their talents — that match, and sometimes
    surpass, accepted global standards — to mount such a campaign, funded by Singhalese at home and abroad?

    What a story that will prove to be. Simply put, it will be based on truth, facts, and a no-nonsense attitude
    towards selective sermonisers and the guardians of bias anywhere on the planet.

    At such a critical time, is it fair to leave everything to the government — any government?

    So far, well-meaning Singhalese have chosen to only discuss this issue mainly among themselves …

    And that, as they say, is another story ….

  9. Senevirath Says:

    There is nothing wonderful in English language for us be thankful to British. it became an international language because British murderers conquered half of the world. If Germans or Japanese were successful what would have happen? their modern education system ruined our culture and made us KALU SUDDAS”

    Tamils in Sri Lanka are trying to destroy Sinhalese because they were taught English and were given British way of EDUCATION. THIS EDUCATION SANS VIRTUE.



    POPE GAVE HIS BLESSINGS TO INVADERS. So he should not be invited by mahinda yes he is like Ranil who invited portugese

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    Going further to look for cause and effect of British rule of Lanka :
    Ever since 1915 when the riots happened between the Muslims & the Sinhela people due a perahara drum beating near a roadside Mosque, and the heads of the then leading Sinhela families were incarcerated by the ruling British, and young Henry Pedris (part of the British army) shot dead as a collaborator, the Colombo people became super wary of the British rulers. That, I think, was the start of the Colombian breed. Fear ruled.

    The British rule broke the self respect, self reliance and the sense of Nationhood of the Sri Lankans. What is the Reparation for such losses ? Modernisation via roads, education etc seems totally inadequate payment for such losses. Besides, roads, schools, etc were laid out for Brit business & Empire rule purposes, not out of love of the natives.

    Also, please note that there was no Democracy during the time of British rule. Democracy came only with Independence.

  11. Lorenzo Says:


    That was the start of the INDEPENDENCE movement. It STOPPED Muslim illegals coming to SL out of fear.

    ALL the leaders arrested later became SUPER HEROES. Do you hear MUCH about DSS, etc. BEFORE 1915? No. But they became POPULAR HEORES afterwards!

    They were NOT involved but the Brits, etc., etc. believed they were involved.

    Even Brits gave some of them KNIGHTHOODS AFTERWARDS!

    In the survival mode, ANYTHING goes.

    e.g. Iran threatened to erase Israel from the face of the earth. Since then many 1915s have happened against Iranian interests in Iran, Syria and Lebanon all instigated by Israel. NAUGHTY Jews? Yes. FOOLISH Jews? No.


    During war I with some friends lived a few days in THREATENED VILLAGES. The FEAR, the HATE, the SURVIVAL SPIRIT were enormous. You could smell fear in human breath – the smell is like the smell of a corpse. I saw the survival spirit in these poor people and that is the spirit we all must have. If we live in Colombo in complete safety, with hot water, AC, food in the fridge, safety in our houses, army soldiers standing guard all night to defend us, etc. we don’t get it.

    I invite Fran to experience this in a SAFE environment safe for ladies to know WHY survival is MORE important than going to haven or avoiding hell and why WE must survive not them.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:


    The Survival instinct is strong in us all !
    That is why we keep writing into Lankaweb, in the hope that truth of events will touch the Hearts of those who read it. Believe me, I have gone through many, many events that were not safe. Yes, clinging together for survival sounds ‘romantic’ in a sense and adventurous, but the sense of Fear has gone on too long in Sri Lanka for a lot of people, and that is not healthy. Constant stress leads to a sure death, one way or another.

    I am inclined to agree with Senevirath that a book ought to be written about the near history of the Sinhale.

  13. Nimal Says:

    Sunil M
    I agree with you to some extent. I wonder how many would prefer to migrate to places like UK and to SL?
    At present I am watching the Kandy Perahara that was started in the present form, for the people like us in 1828 by Governor Manning. They did much for the people in the island and the list is endless. So let’s appreciate the good that was done for us. I would have been no body if I had not migrated to UK.
    I am and glad that the former colonials giving us a chance in their country to help myself while sadly my country couldn’t do that for me where obstacles were much to bear and even now I regret investing my hard earned in SL,unless I used some devious and crooked shortcuts to stay afloat.
    Colonials set up the best infrastructure that was acceptable for all but sadly the politics are spoiling it. It seems to be that only people with political connections have the right of way in most aspects.

  14. Fran Diaz Says:

    Sri Lanka must use English as a strong second language. Sc&Tec is important too. Use the parts that are useful from the colonists, not the useless parts.

  15. Fran Diaz Says:

    This is the correct information regarding the modern Perahera :

    Modern Perahera
    The Modern Perahera dates back to the reign of the Kandyan King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747–1781). During these times, the Tooth Relic was considered private property of the King and the public never got a chance to worship it. However, King Rajasinghe decreed that the Relic be taken in procession for the masses to see and venerate.
    After the Kandyan Kingdom fell to the British in 1815, the custody of the Relic was handed over to the Maha Sanga (the Buddhist Clergy). In the absence of the king, a lay custodian called the “Diyawadana Nilame” was appointed to handle routine administrative matters.

    A person who calls himself “Nimal” says (above) : “At present I am watching the Kandy Perahara that was started in the present form, for the people like us in 1828 by Governor Manning”.

    “Nimal”, wherever did you get your information from ??? !!! What subtle bs !

  16. Indrajith Says:

    Hi Fran,

    Most probably “sunil” is Dayan J and “nimal” is his wife.

  17. Fran Diaz Says:

    Hi Indrajith,

    We shall have to watch out for more of this stuff !
    What fun prior to CHOGM !
    Rathupaswela wells > Weliweriya was the start of this ‘test series’.
    JVP fell for it first at the glove factory. Wonder who set them up to be unruly ?

  18. Lorenzo Says:

    Both Sunil and Nimal are patriots with a slightly different view on a matter.

    Brits (barbarians they were but) didn’t disrupt the Perahera.

    It was ARABS who tried to stop the Perahera in 1915 and got JUST DESSERTS!!
    After that they never tried it again!!

    I have no love for the colonials. They are the criminals who INTRODUCED Tamils and Dengue mosquitoes to SL.

  19. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Sorry to dissaponit you Indrajith but Sunil is not Dayan J I can vouch for this, being at opposite ends of most opinions although I do admire the man’s intellect and Nimal surely is a male who believes in calling a spade a spade despite sounding a bit confused about origins, sources and dates relating to the Kandy Perehera so you have not only got your wires crossed but your mindset seems severely biased I must observe!
    If you fail to acknowledge the good the Brits did for Ceylon you are either imperceptive or a hardline pseudo Sinhala chauvinist! who probably wears trousers as opposed to Arya Sinhala and drinks a lot of tea instead of toddy! and in all probabilities languishing in some foreign domain yourself ha ha!

  20. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    To end any confusion about the Kandy Perahera
    Esala Perahera festival, around 1885The Esala believed to be a fusion of two separate but interconnected “Peraheras” (Processions) – The Esala and Dalada. The Esala Perahera which is thought to date back to the 3rd century BC, was a ritual enacted to request the gods for rainfall. The Dalada Perahera is believed to have begun when the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka from India during the 4th century CE, eight hundred years after the passing away of Lord Buddha.

    According to tradition, the Tooth Relic was taken in procession to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala & Prince Dantha.

    Modern Perahera[edit source | editbeta]The Modern Perahera dates back to the reign of the Kandyan King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747–1781). During these times, the Tooth Relic was considered private property of the King and the public never got a chance to worship it. However, King Rajasinghe decreed that the Relic be taken in procession for the masses to see and venerate.

    After the Kandyan Kingdom fell to the British in 1815, the custody of the Relic was handed over to the Maha Sanga (the Buddhist Clergy). In the absence of the king, a lay custodian called the “Diyawadana Nilame” was appointed to handle routine administrative matters
    There are also the affiliated pereheras ~ Kumbal, Randoli and Diyakepima as part of the festive and commemorative processions.

  21. Fran Diaz Says:

    There is a difference between being SERVILE to ex-Colonial powers and using the English language and various other items brought in from the west for present day purposes. Colonial powers ill used Sri Lankans, both wealthy & poor, and used the land and its rich heritage as well, damaging the local people psychologically, removing their self respect and self reliance. There is no acknowledgment of damage done, except by PM David Cameron when he said “most of the damage in the world today is due to British’ (we like him for telling the truth).

    There is no payment big enough to cover loss in self respect and self reliance. Will the puerile Jnt Opposition of Sri Lanka even request clean, pipe borne water for all of Sri Lanka from CHOGM ?

  22. Fran Diaz Says:

    Correction : PM David Cameron said ” Most of the trouble in the world today is due to the British”.

  23. Dilrook Says:

    There is no sign the government will abrogate 13A based pseudo-federal governance structure soon. In this case, ethnic Sinhalese must get accustomed to the pseudo-federal governance structure without refusing to work with it. This is not about accepting 13A which must be rejected. However, if it is not going away, 13A must be used to protect Sinhala interests.

    For instance we fought against British colonial rule in 1818 and 1848 and lost. Then we conformed to the British colonial rule; learned their language, followed the law, studied in schools, etc. It was not the ideal but it was the best we could do. Ananda College educated students to enter Cambridge University while Jaffna schools educated their students to go to Madras University. Top Buddhist schools taught English, the western dress code, western sports, western curriculum/sciences, etc. Through this conformity, Sinhalese managed to survive though few found it difficult to reverse back when the colonials left. Had we continued to agitate as in 1818, Sinhalese would have perished in the island and lost out economic opportunities.

    The danger of the Northern Province following the Indian federal model and the Western Province not following it is Sinhalese losing out. Under the Indian federal model, Gujarati have their own language based, state just like Tamils have theirs. In Sri Lanka there is a Tamil governed province and Sinhalese must make comparable claims to the Western Province. Since Tamil language is the sole de facto language in the Northern Province, Sinhala language must be the sole language in Western Province. The danger of 13A is it offers all the benefits of Indian federalism to the Tamils but doesn’t offer the protections contained in the Indian Constitution to Sri Lanka or to the Sinhalese. Sinhala must be the sole (emphasised) regional language outside the northern and eastern provinces as Tamil is the de facto sole regional language in the north.

    Since 13A is here to stay for a long time, a proper regional language and ethnicity based governance policy must be introduced throughout the country not just in the north. If Tamils and Muslims have a province each (northern and eastern), Sinhalese must have the rest of the provinces administered in Sinhala only. Otherwise the Sinhalese will lose both the north and the south.

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