To My Sinhala Friends

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For minorities to know their place in this country all they have to do is to look at its national flag. Here’s a picture. There are the minorities colored in green and orange, and the Sinhala have a big patch of red.. Hey that’s fine, proportional representation ain’t no crime, but what’s that there in the red patch? is that… A lion? wielding a drawn sword..? Roaring in the general direction of the minorities? Keep out, its saying. This is my turf I’ve pissed all over it, one foot where it doesn’t belong and you’ll soon be ingesting several feet of sword.

No matter.. Minorities here know their place. The Muslims especially have always known their place. In Sri Lanka it seems to me that it is patriotism that is the opiate of the masses. and the Middle classes the biggest consumers. The rich are too busy getting richer, the poor are too busy being poor, but the middle class is upwardly mobile.. Asiff Hussein the anthropologist mentioned this in passing once and the thought has been running around in my head and gelatinizing and taking shape.

The middle class want wealth, the politicians and oligarchs steal that wealth and direct middle class anger towards the Muslims. It’s a classic strategy. Take the USA that stronghold of democratic justice, despite all the problems its people face what do they argue about the most come election time? Gay marriage, abortion and yeah, Muslims. Everything else is secondary. The whole political-media mechanism gears itself around these issues and the people are nicely distracted from the real issues. The wars the corporate abuse the widening wealth gap.

The war here is done.. The upwardly mobile middle classes are hungry, educated and success has been long in coming and now they won’t let anything stop them. They’re really starting to chew on what’s stopping them but it would be disastrous if they start chewing on how their leaders are screwing them out of so much money and opportunity.. So the Muslims, probably the most peace loving people in this country are painted black.

Easy job right? global propaganda is already helping them along. All they need to do is translate books of Ayaan Hirsi Ali or of some incident of barbaric cruelty perpetrated against a woman that has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam and sell them on the pavements of Nugegoda. All that needs to be done is to channel the appropriate funds to bhikkus and organizations willing to sell their souls and you’ve got a racist ‘movement’ that operates in increasing legitimacy.

Facebook statuses I see, pictures being shared around by educated Sinhala youth, sometimes even my direct friends and people I like and who I think like me.. They are all wasting their youthful exuberance. Muslims aren’t the enemy. Muslims in Sri Lanka have made it a habit of living off local prosperity. If you the majority aren’t rich then who will buy our goods? We’ve never had any political ambitions that threaten your sovereignty. If you prosper, we prosper and vice versa. In the past we both prospered by working together against the Portuguese, Dutch and English. Crack open a history book, a real history book, not the one you get from school.

Something is sucking your energy, young people here have always been activists, always headstrong and now something is trying to make you blind. The drug that does it is patriotism, in a context far removed from any form of economic prosperity, which is to say a bastardized form of patriotism. You are blind to the social injustice around you.. That effects you everyday. That shuts you out and closes the door; that invisible barrier beyond which true power and wealth lies in this country.

So wake up and smell the plain tea… It’s got a coating of grime on it called patriotism, but actually it’s just trickery.

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11 comments
  1. Maf said:

    Interesting post – how bad do you think it will get? is it just political partisanship with impending elections or playing on economic frustrations of the masses? with the spotlight on human rights and reliance on the middle east for propping up the economy (remittances etc) how far will they let it go? Is there an unseen hand behind this?
    look fwd to the comments…

    • Whacko said:

      Yeah as you say there are many factors that would prevent any ‘invisible hand’ from antagonizing the Muslims TOO much. But imo, a steady level of anger is good for distracting the majority, while those who benefit from said distraction get along with it.

  2. Interesting post. Is this purely random discrimination or are some groups trying to stir up trouble?

    • Whacko said:

      Could be either. But there seem to be specific groups on FB that take it upon themselves to further thins kind of propaganda

    • Yes, I believe that people are trying to stir up non-existing problems; making mountains out of molehills.

  3. Hasitha said:

    Just imagine how people will interpret it if the Lion was facing the other way round!!!..lol!

  4. Love the ending! We need to stick together and address our problems one at a time. That’s the only way we can solve our internal messes. After all, these are “home affairs”.

  5. Nikhil said:

    You need to stop your whining, And you need stop speaking for all Muslims using the term “we” – it’s just retarded. Firstly, the Sri Lankan flag is the ONLY flag from a non-Muslim country that specificially represents its Muslim citizens. Secondly, please stop pretending as if Muslims in Sri Lanka are all innocent. I know the sort of crap they say behind the backs of the Sinhalese and the Tamils and why don’t you have a nice long look at the hatred that is spread towards Israel and Jewish people among Sri Lankan Muslims? Fix your own house, then point fingers at others.

    • Whacko said:

      i am not a witness to every conversation a Muslim has about a Sinhala person behind their backs. Individual chats are not the question here, public hate campaigns are. The Israeli issue is far deeper than you appear to know. And ‘hatred’ you mention is probably justified protest. Pick up a book or read up on the issue, you obviously have the use of the internet.

      • Nim said:

        Right, like Sri Lankan Muslims have no public hate campaigns against others? Why not talk about all the hate campaigns against the Sufis and the Shias and the Ahmadiyyas? Long before the Dambulla mosque there were plenty of attacks on mosques and shrines in Sri Lanka carried out by Sri Lankan Muslim extremists themselves. Where were you then?

        Why is it that whenever a Muslim is appointed to a post of power a few months later 90% of the workforce happens to be Muslim? What’s the go there? Can’t stand the Sinhalese or the Tamils? Let’s not even go into the hate campaign against the Jews and Israel that is the “in thing” among Sri Lankan Muslims these days. Seriously how many SL Muslims have been to Israel?? Or even met a Jewish person? Sri Lankan Muslims have jack all to do with Israel or the Palestinians.

      • Whacko said:

        Where was i when all these hate crimes you claim happened, happened? Well i remember the incident in beruwala where a mosque was attacked and people killed. I was shocked and disgusted. That is not the Islamic way of handling things.

        Im not a supporter of any hate crimes whatsoever. Hence this post. You however, seem to be justifying current hate propaganda against Muslims based on what? I can’t seem to understand.

        To say that Muslims in Sri Lanka shouldn’t care about Palestine because “they’ve never been to Israel” shows your extreme ignorance about how Muslims think and function. Or how any group united by religion, caste or anything else function.

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