Army Etiquette

For some time I have been contemplating writing about the manners of the army and police chaps who are responsible for patting you down and taking a peek at your id card. I was gonna write about how rude they are, they dirty looks they give you and how they generally make your day unpleasant.

But at this moment, I dont feel like writing about that aspect.

Over the past two months I have had a couple of run-ins with army checkpoints and a coupla coppers. The first time was when i was riding in a van with a Tamil gent and his son. These army guys seem trained to spot Tamils and so of course flagged us down. One guys politely wished us good morning in English and requested our id cards. He inquired about my wife and I and spoke with my friends awhile asking us where we are going. It was church by the way, so maybe that allayed suspicions, but either way they showed no ill will towards any of us.
Another incident was when i was travelling with some Tamil Hindu and Tamil Christian friends to a wedding. It was quite easy to see why we were flagged down this time cos my good ol’ friends were dark, had shaved heads and piercings. But even then, though they werent excessively polite, neither were they rude.
The third incident was a post independence day gift. On monday, two very tall army guys knocked on my door at 6.30 in the morning. They wished me a good morning in English and requested my id and wanted to look into our house. But they didnt force their way in, giving my wife and i time to get decent, and after checking our id I asked them if they would like to look around the house, and they decided it would not be necessary. (On monday morning the army was checking out alot of houses near Rajagiriya)On the way to work on the same day, i was checked again by a pretty army lady with a big smile who i gathered was from Kandy, just like I was.

Maybe I was lucky, or maybe the army is being trained to be polite ( at least in Colombo) but I really did appreciate the consideration they showed.

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3 comments
  1. Anonymous said:

    ‘It was quite easy to see why we were flagged down this time cos my good ol’ friends were dark, had shaved heads and piercings’

    well at least the army guys are less rascist than you – wtf was that sentence about?

  2. Janus said:

    Simple. The army chaps are trained to spot anyone suspicious and to pay extra notice to Tamils. Being dark and having a shaved head with piercings makes one get noticed. And they get doubly noticed when they are Tamils. I too have piercings and have had my head shaved before, but i had removed the piercings at the time of the incident, so I was not looking as suspicious at the time.
    I fail to see how I am racist. These guys have been my friends forever. We have eaten out of the same bowl, slept in the same house and fought against the same people.

  3. Anonymous said:

    bwhahahaha…. i agree..

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