Therefore, as opined by Mendis, the day of celebration should necessarily be when the Dominion of Ceylon became the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The sad state of celebrating February 04 instead of May 22 has come to pass chiefly due to the mindset of some of our leaders and people. This writer seeks the indulgence of readers to explain the mindset theory with a factual episode from the past. She was requested to leave the country within a few days.
As unbelievable as it may sound, many parents, as well as old girls, convinced the new government voted into office in March , to bring back the deported school head. JR Jayewardene, who was chiefly responsible for the reintroduction of Independence Day celebrations on February 04 commencing , was a senior member of that government. At this point, this writer wishes to diverge from the core issue and delve on the subject; does Sri Lanka have any independence worth celebrating and is it a sovereign authority to govern itself Republic?
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Some of these factors such as missing persons and war reparations are ideals found in any civilized society or nation and need be in practice without compulsion from other countries and originations. The same would apply to crimes committed by citizens both in and out of uniform. However, a clear distinction of battlefield causalities, collateral damage, and other crimes is required. The silence following the revelations made by British peer Lord Naseby in the House of Lords containing irrefutable proof challenging the unsubstantiated figure of 40, civilian deaths during the closing stages of the Vanni campaign, one of the critical factors of the UNHRC Resolution is a case in point.
No sooner the former Justice Minister proposed the reintroduction of the currently suspended death penalty, the European Union EU , through its Chief Delegate in Colombo informed its opposition to such a move in no uncertain terms. Sri Lanka and the Justice Minister immediately fell silent even though India, Pakistan and Bangladesh all currently practice the death penalty without any UN, EU or other interferences and trade sanctions.
Independent Sri Lanka, however, may not do so, and its people have no say in the matter. In as much as the shedding of blood becomes necessary in an independence struggle, difficult choices must be made at times to maintain and safeguard that independence. There are many telltale signs. He made it a talking point.
Our First Lady, Madam Sirisena, rather than offering an upright handshake, curtsied the Queen, an inappropriate act for the spouse of a Head of State. A recent former Foreign Minister turned up at the Colombo airport to receive a visiting lowly Asst. Secretary of State from the US. Somebodies, nobodies and any bodies passing through Colombo get to meet our Head of State and Prime Minister with attendant press publicity.
The most recent were four British parliamentarians from the governing Conservative party, all believed to be first time MPs, given time with our President and Prime Minister besides other VIPs.
They are baton charged by the Police after an initial reception with water cannon. No disrespect is intended to the Earl and Countess of Wessex. Nevertheless, they represent a nation that consistently failed to assist Sri Lanka in its war on terrorism.
It was also one of the two primary movers of the Geneva Resolution, for domestic political considerations. Inviting royals from such a country as honored guests to the 70 th Independence anniversary celebrations has no justification. Sri Lanka has, for nearly a decade, failed to hand over a single protest note to British authorities over the regular raising of LTTE flags in London during protest marches. In isolation, most instances could appear as petty semantics.
Nevertheless, viewed in totality, a pattern is unmistakable and portrays a particular mindset. It highlights the lack of a sense of national pride not to be mistaken with nationalism , self-respect and dignity. Servile acceptance of foreign diktats, at times in return for a few crumbs, has become the rule of the day. Educational policies angered the small but influential Christian community. Reforms of Buddhist and other cultural practices offended different factions within the Sinhalese community. Bandaranaike was assassinated in September , and the nationalist movement suffered a setback and languished for want of a leader.
Independence Day In Sri Lanka
After a period of political instability, his widow, Sirimavo Bandaranaike , was persuaded to gather together the fragments of the SLFP. In she formed a government, thus becoming the first woman in the world to hold the office of prime minister. Continuing the program of Sinhalese nationalism, she implemented policies to nurture and protect local industry and to extend the state sector. By the tide of Sinhalese nationalism had begun to recede. Language and religion had become less important as political issues. An economic crisis—caused by increasing unemployment, the rising cost of living , an acute shortage of consumer goods, and the failure of state enterprise in industry and trade—made people look back to the UNP.
These measures, while having moderate success, also tended to create inflation and to increase social inequality. The SLFP formed an alliance with Marxist parties and waged a campaign against the government that called for increased state control of the economy. In this coalition won a landslide victory, and Sirimavo Bandaranaike again became prime minister.
The Bandaranaike government enacted reforms that restricted private enterprise and extended nationalization to embrace various private industries and foreign-owned plantations as well as a large part of the wholesale and distributive trade.
On Independence: An Audiovisual Story – Groundviews
Measures aimed at reducing social inequality were enacted, and an ambitious program of land reform was put into effect. Although these reforms benefited the vast majority of the underprivileged, they did nothing to address basic economic problems such as the mounting trade deficit.
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