The Colonial Heritage
Posted on May 16th, 2018

R Chandrasoma

Mr Senaka Weeraratna writes with great warmth on the cultural depredation and the wanton foisting of an alien culture by the Colonial Overlords of historic Sri Lanka. He – like many high-spirited nationalists and floridly patriotic folk – see the advent of the marauding foreigner and the foisting of elements of an alien culture as an unmitigated disaster for the people of this country. Let us note first that ‘historic’ Sri Lanka was very far from being a role model for the rest of the civilized world. For long centuries a brutal overlord – the King – ruled the land with an iron fist. Human rights and democracy were very late cultural imports that we owe to the civilizing West. The ‘oriental ‘ world-view was that ‘might is inalienably right’ and that life is – for most – a punishment that has to be stoically endured – and that any alleviation is a gift from above through supplication and prayer.

Two ‘cultural imports’ from the West destroyed the foundations of this this primitive view of human existence – as a ‘proving ground’ for the admission of the elite to celestial abodes above – and. more importantly the punishment of the wicked.  The great ‘liberators’ – imported from the West of course – were ‘secularism’ and ‘humanism’ .   The  secularist message was that we humans are the masters of our fate and that the supposed divine edicts are socially malicious in that they are devices that help to maintain an unfair status quo. These are concepts arguably alien to our culture and religion but they are the source of our standing as a civilized nation. The oriental view of the sovereign as the ‘deputy’ of the avenging God and Life as a Trial  – were painfully expelled by the forces of secularism originating in the West . Humanism became politically prominent when those of the Protestant faith declared that God was within us – that a spark of the divine is within each and every human being. That this lofty concept made the principles of democracy and human- rights a part of the cultural heritage of mankind as a whole must be respectfully acknowledged. Ancient Sri Lanka –alas – neglected mankind and found solace in the Gods.  A final word or two about language and culture to round off this comment – the English language that the foreigner has given us is more than an efficient means of communication – it is the bearer of a culture incomparably richer than ours – for which we should be thankful. The pitiful view that English is a kind of ‘Trojan Horse’ left behind by the departing Colonial Power has done incalculable damage to our standing as a modern nation.

9 Responses to “The Colonial Heritage”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    This writer’s views are entirely lopsided and not factual. All our kings have not been brutal overlords as the writer tries to paint and most of the Colonial Overlords too have not been entirely angelic.

    The type of cruelty they displayed including his much revered church and its infamous inquisitions carried out in Europe and later in the colonies, pale into insignificance any that has been done by only a few of our rulers. He must do a study of the institutionalized torture brought upon non believers, throwing the entirety of Europe into 500 year long Dark Ages until the age of reformation and so called enlightenment – Renaissance of the Protestanic creed.

    This again does not mean that Protestanism brought ‘a spark of the divine’ into the hearts of those who have been previously well dressed beasts. The thuggery and butchery of enslaving the world continues to this day under the Neo Colonialism of the US and their allie. Us is styling herself as the “Indispensible Nation” meaning they are above the law. Their dispensation of Democracy and Human Rights are just the tools they use in re-colonizing nations. These are now called – Regime Change and Colour Revolutions

    To talk of the ‘civilizing influence’ of the Christian masters, their benevolence and the “Whiteman’s burden’ to civilize the heathens is a lot of hogwash. The genocide these butchers carried out all over the world is legion. in Uva-Wellassa in Sri Lanka in Australia-( the last aboriginal man lies stuffed and mummified in a museum) Latin America, North America and before that the cruelty of the Portuguese and the Dutch, one only has to read history and visit those who have been affected even after many generations.

    There are many countries in the world that didn’t require the ‘civilizing’ influence of the Christian West to become what they are today. Democracy and Human Rights are only veil they use to hide their shame and villify the rest. These were brought to their former colonies only as an extension to their former ‘divide and rule’ policy to continue thier neo colonial subjugation and exploitation of the former colonies.

    English Language is a means of communication which most of world has found as useful did not come to us because of colonial benevelonce. It is a tool they used not very different from the guns and drugs they brought into our midst.

  2. samaraweera Says:

    RC says that we should be thankful to the Foreigner for giving us English Language. The beneficiaries of English language were those who lived in Colombo, the affluent, those in big towns and those who had links to the Church. Even after about150 years of British rule this group formed only one per cent of the population. But they were very powerful because they studied English. And after Sri Lanka became independent, those who took the reins of govt came from this group, and they showed that they were more British than the Colonial rulers. The locals who were educated in Sinhalese were second class citizens in their own country. The point is who got English education and enjoyed the plums. Definitely not those in the outskirts of Sri Lanka.

  3. Nihal Perera Says:

    This pro-colonial, idiotic writer thinks that we should be thankful for the English language…

    He is unable to realise that some of the most advance nations in the world, like Japan, China, Germany, France, Russia, have done very well scientifically and economically, without the English language that he admired so much.

    One of the biggest problems in our country has been this colonial-mentality of the Sinhala-elite who still worship the colonial White masters of defunct empire. Leaders like Ranil W is a perfect example. They are not patriotic, and always follow the failed and out-dated policies while under estimating our own culture, language and our heritage.

    This is the reason why our nation is such a pathetic state. We need patriotic, no-nonsense Sinhala leaders, with a strong backbone who will not sell out our country, but appreciate the local culture, and build the country on our strong points.

  4. Christie Says:

    English killed Welsh, Scottish and Irish and made the English Empire.
    Then the British went to North America with slaves from Africa and build the British Empire.
    Then British and Indians went all over the place and built the British Indian Empire.

    Where are the Red Indians? and the Bisons?

    We got Athul Keshap a Brown Indian Parasite from USA.

    English is the mostly used language today. But then there is French and Spanish.

    Do not forget Chinese, Hindi, Russian and Japanese and Arabic etc.

    Well Tamil is …

  5. aloy Says:

    I believe Malaysia got out of the trap by a whisker despite the block vote of the parasites. If not that country too was going down hill. They are very good in laying traps using the natives. An example is the Sugar factory junk affair that has been going on for a long time and on which nobody was much concerned. Our own president’s top people were deceived and our own security apparatus was used to depict our country as one of the most corrupt resulting in cancellation of World Bank loans and blocking investments. And the prez was deceived again by giving the wrong advise to appoint a corrupt man for STC thus driving home their point. These are all manipulations of our enemies. This write up shows how easy for them to get anybody on their side.

  6. Christie Says:

    To understand our position under ths British we have to look at the so called British Colonial.

    From the start of the arrival of the British to take over the Dutch possessions of Ceylon, the British brought in Indian Colonial Parasites to run their colony.

    So in fact we were controlled, administered, ordered and governed by Indian colonial parasites.

    This has been the case in all British-Indian Colonies in the world from Fiji to Guyana.

    The locals were deprived of British skills, knowledge, culture or values.

    It is the Indians who benefited from the British.

    Look at our country since 1956 totally under the control of Indian Colonial Parasites and India.

    Not only Indian Colonial Parasites who benefited from the British, India itself benefited the most from the British.

    I am sure India is the leading English speaking country in the world with the largest English news paper circulation and Indians leading the Social Media in the world.

    India used Banda to destroy the Sinhalese and Sirisena is carrying on the batten.

  7. Hiranthe Says:

    People like this usually hate their own parents.

    for them, the poor old parents are not good enough. Similarly they don’t like being born in a place like Lanka.

    When white masters do something, they appreciate it saying that its done by “one of us” thus putting themselves in the same group.

    But for Whites, all the non-whites are the same whether they speak good English or not. They prefer people with good English knowledge because they can get the scavenger work through them.

    Those who live in Western countries knows better!!

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Both World Wars started from the west ….
    Nearaly 100 Million souls perished in the two World Wars.

    What went wrong ?

    The UN was created in the west to stop WWIII.

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    It may be true to say that every country in the world has something to contribute toward the wellbeing of Humanity.
    For instance, in INDIA, the ancient Hindu religion Raj Yoga teaches that Truth/God is the life force within us all, sustaining human beings and all of life. Raj Yoga & the other Yogas are akin to Teachings of the Buddha. Respect for all Life is central to both Hindu & Buddhist Teachings.
    The Bhagavad Gita (the core of Hindu Teachings) & the Buddhist Teachings were manifest 3,000 & 2,600 yrs ago respectively.

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