A postscript on the National Freedom Day Let me stretch my legs

5 February 2019 12:10 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Gaining independence on Feb 4 1948

 

  • The task of balancing is with Sri Lankan leaders
  • Geopolitics shaped human history That’s how it is now and that is how it will be forever
  • We have not yet become independent in spirit

 

The opening is hackneyed but yet holds.


“Your liberty ends where my nose begins.”- a phrase wrongly attributed to many but was attributed to US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. who said: “Your Liberty To Swing Your Fist Ends Just Where My Nose Begins.” 


When it comes to Sri Lanka, too many global powers want to go beyond her nose.


Sri Lanka’s location on the map places it in a perilous position of balancing in global geopolitical power plays.


It was geopolitics that had shaped human history since ancient times. That is how the world had been throughout history. That’s how it is now and that is how it will be forever. The task of balancing is with Sri Lankan leaders. In fact, we have not yet become independent in spirit.


As I penned this some white robe was glorifying in a monotonous drone how the country should “march forward” with education etc. WTF then were we doing for 71 one years? 


Yesterday, Sri Lanka marked what it called its 71st Freedom Day. Marking 71 years of freedom (Whatever it meant) from the United Kindom in (UK) 1948.
In other words the ceremony keeps us reminding the fact that once we were a colony of the British Raj and still strive to prove that by taking IELTS.
“This colonisation thing is very funny,” popular stand-up comedian Trevor Noah said once. 

 

Coming back to the nose (Nosy?) issues, I wonder where we have our country’s metaphorical nose ends. In a way, the Chinese and the West are picking the Sri Lankan nose (West in one nostril and the Chinese the other and Indian whatever the hole is left to them to dig) and watching the loquacious orations droning at during the Independence Day and every other day


“First they subjugate us. Then they want us to become one of them”. 


I do not know if these were the exact words. But they sum up the situation.


The reality in terms of global geopolitics is very different despite these tamashas, however. And one wonders how many of the voters “who are just more than mere vegetables” as Ponnambalam Ramanathan (In office 1892–1906) said in the Legislative Council during a debate on Universal Franchise said- can understand the implications of these mechanizations. Ramanathan was against Universal Franchise at that time and asked:


“How can people, who are just above mere vegetables, decide on the destiny of a country” (Or something on these lines). He seems to be right.
In summary at one port we had (Is it still there, USS John C. Stennis Carrier fleet is anchored and we are told that “logistics are transported via Colombo Port and that it was a routine” while at the southern tip God only knows, what Chinese submarine is lurking underneath, while India seeps in the gaps that either the West or the Chinese have not taken, and I can’t sleep because I have no room to stretch my leg, so everyone else get lost.


Coming back to the nose (Nosy?) issues, I wonder where we have our country’s metaphorical nose ends. In a way, the Chinese and the West are picking the Sri Lankan nose (West in one nostril and the Chinese the other and Indian whatever that is left). As we watch the loquacious orations droning during the Independence Day, and every other day.


And how many of our representatives have the moral right to celebrate the day is another question. Many of them in the house have already been exposed their duality. And the war against green card holdes was won by green card holders. One even threw an extreme tantrum of making a big brouhaha over giving up citizenship of another country. Really? Is giving up of another country’s citizenship such a sacrifice?


One thing that any Sri Lankan would vouch for is that if (IF) any of the Western (Economic West) country opened doors for what was once known as ‘Open Visa’, half in the house and most on the streets would be queuing up in front of the embassy. #MeToo.


A Sri Lankan-on-the-street  having-if lucky -wealth ill-gotten or otherwise- to have dual citizenship is totally another issue. 


But those who want to represent the people on the street (pun intended) simply do not have the moral right to be on the riverside. 


Fundamentally flawed, as the representatives will solely interested in making profit invested in winning the elections or look after those who funded them in a system that is touted as democracy, which is, in fact, Democratic Oligarchy (Globalised) Unlimited.


So, the tamasha went on with white-robed puppets droning most of the day and the liquor shops were closed in view of the Independence Day (But Sri Lankans-on-the streets are smart in this instance as most have stocked their needs by Sunday.) 


And last year we have gulped down some 74 mn litres of liquor, according to a report of the Excise Department. And people brought on buses cheering as soldiers and school children displayed their patriotism on the street also known as the Galle Face Green.


In celebrating and remembering the toils we had undergone under the British Raj, Colombo’s streets were made to choke. 


With even the streets gone, the Sri Lankan-on-the-street had nowhere but retreat to his hut in sweltering heat, while schoolchildren and soldiers (Once war heroes and now mostly forgotten) of the street people of Sri Lanka, practised under the tropical sun.

 

It was geopolitics that had shaped the human history since ancient times. That is how the world had been throughout history. That’s how it is now and that is how it will be forever


The irony is that the white robes always show the Sri Lankan-on-the-street, Singapore as a benchmark, forget or willfully ignore the fact Singapore holds its National Day celebrations within stadiums or closed venues. Something to think about, for us.


Rise, like lions after slumber,


For us in Sri Lanka the gaining of Independence was an illusion pulled over the eye of the people. Democracy is even bigger hoax pulled over eyes of Sri Lankans.
“And we are still on the streets.


In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew,


Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many—they are few.
And
Awake, arise or be forever fall’n.”

 

 


-P.B. Shelly, 
Mask of Anarchy
And I need to stretch my legs. 

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