Why I am Not Flying the Sri Lankan Flag

Today being Independance Day, one finds the Sri Lankan flag attached to bikes, cars, three wheelers, poles on street corners and hanging down the sides of hotels. The television is full of programs with buddhist monks, traditional dancers and fat politicians, and most of us are at home enjoying a mid-week break and feeling mildly patriotic. Sri Lankans are a patriotic lot. They believe the best food is in Sri Lanka, the best beaches, the best people and the best girls. You take a bunch of Sri Lankans to another country and they clump together like pittu. Even those who are not so openly patriotic tend to get a bit defensive if anyone says anything about Lanka.

But today I am not flying the Sri Lankan flag.

I am not flying the Sri Lankan flag because I am not proud to be Sri Lankan at this moment. I am not proud to be part of a country where the leaders of the country are only concerned for themselves. They hunger for power, for cars, for land. They give no thought for the people they are supposed to serve. I am not proud to be under a government that kills the people they are supposed to serve, and all in the name of democracy. I am not proud that there are people who feel that anyone not of their own race should either leave or toe the line. I am not proud that policemen, our protectors would rather leach money off us than help us, and that they dance to the beat of politicians. I am not proud that free media, the one way people have of speaking out, is no longer free. I am not proud that the government can be so undiplomatic as to threaten journalists and threaten ambassadors. I am not proud that here, in Sri Lanka, the solution to contention is the killing of the other party.

So today, I am not feeling very independant. Rather, I feel quite trapped.

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24 comments
  1. eyelinerandme said:

    True enough. But you could also put the flag up for hope. The people and what is happening around us may be rubbish, but the true patriotism is in your heart.

  2. Set up said:

    Patriotism for what? i don’t understand how one could feel patriotic about the idea or nation of Sri Lanka.

    The USA was founded on a set of ideals that the leadership has fought for (rightly and wrongly) for centuries. France, similarly, came through their revolution with a set of ideals that lay out what it means to be a citizen of that country.

    What ideology lies at the root of Sri Lankan patriotism? That’s a genuine question – what is special about Sri Lanka that inspires pride in it as a nation? The country has been a virtually unmitigated disaster since independence.

    Perhaps the thing in your heart is hope, not patriotism. If this war is followed by a true awakening and Sri Lanka transforms into a vibrant, equitable democracy (extremely unlikely, to say the least) then there will be planted the seeds of patriotism. Maybe we’re all hoping that will happen.

    But right now, the country doesn’t deserve patriotism.

  3. Acromantula said:

    What u have to relize is that ppl dont put up the flag for politicians or anyone else. They do it for them selves and the country..

    Those who dont love SL at this time are the ones who are dissatisfied with the way the country is running.. ie. the way the war is progressing. If there was any time to celebrate independence it is now, when we’re at the verge of getting true independence from Terrorism and fascism.

    It is sad to hear that ppl are willing to put political belifes before patriotism. Either u are patriotic or not. It is not something that can be defined by what politicians do or how corrupt they are.

    U should be fucking ashamed of ur self..

  4. David Blacker said:

    “My country, may she ever be right, but right or wrong, my country.”
    — Stephen Decatur.

    Politicians do not a country make.

  5. sadeepa said:

    Hi , totally agree with David Blacker , We Sri Lankans have only one motherland and we should celebrate the independance of our country which was won after many struggles 61 years ago.

    I also share your sentiments about the state of the country . IMO i think that the crisis going in Wanni would be a more logical reason not to hoist the flag. Even in that case government is not the only party responsible.

    Word Nation and Government is different. We may have different governments UNP , PA , UPFP – but we have only one nation.

    Thousands have made sacrifices on behalf of Sri Lanka. The list extends from Monarawila Kappetipola to Major Muthalif – belonging to different casts , creeds and religions. We are hoisting the flag in honor of them.

    While not agreeing with you , i respect your opinion and right not to hoist the flag. You are a free citizen of this land !

  6. sadeepa said:

    @eyelinerandme – Yes , we could hoist the flag in the name of hope . Hope of peace , hope of prosperity and hope of a better future to our motherland !

  7. David Blacker said:

    I didn’t fly a flag on my car or on my house either. My flag’s in my heart, and in my mind. I don’t need it on my sleeve. My friends died in the name of that flag, and they’ll be dead 365 days of the year, not just Feb 4th. I really don’t care whether you fly the flag or not, ‘cos neither do they.

    But for those who wonder, we’re still a sovereign nation after 61 years, and however bad things are, I can’t help but feel that that’s a good thing.

  8. janusis said:

    Politicians may not make a country, but they sure can ruin one. Sri Lanka is a wonderful place, but it is impossible for it to grow and get out of its debt, and reach even half its potential with the selfish way things are being run now.
    People have died in the name of the flag and that is commendable. They are patriots and no one can question their bravery. People I know have been killed, arrested and assaulted for proclaiming democracy, and condemning corruption. Are they any less patriotic? What about those whose sole crime is being of a different race?
    If I am truly a free citizen then I can speak my mind and not be afraid that my government is going to come after me.

  9. Acromantula said:

    janusis…u can and u hv right??….but that dosnt change the fact that ur bring stupid..

  10. David Blacker said:

    Politicians, governments, economies, wars — all of these things come and go, and must be dealt with by a nation if it is to remain a nation. Every country has had trials and tribulations in its history. If you see the challenges facing our country (and obviously you do), are you then facing up to these hurdles and trying to overcome them? If you aren’t then no, you have nothing really to be proud of. None of us do.

  11. janusis said:

    @ Acromantula – Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but my name is not really Janusis.

    @ Blacker – “are you then facing up to these hurdles and trying to overcome them? If you aren’t then no, you have nothing really to be proud of. None of us do.”
    I like that statement. Sums things up pretty well..

  12. Venura Athukorala said:

    Find another country if you are not proud about your country
    only a few traitors like you have these kind of ideas

    majority of Sri Lankans live with patriotism and hope
    we are stronger and I am proud to be a Sri Lankan

    Politicians, governments do not entirely show what the country is made of
    Yes our economy is down but USA also
    our stock market is the best performer in the world as for now this year, if you don’t know
    economies

    war is almost over
    we were not killing each other, war was against some terrorists
    who fought for a reason that they were mislead and deceived

    because of traitors like you the Glory of a proud nation is destroyed

    please find another country
    FYI USA is more corrupted than Sri Lanka

    i can give you more than enough information if you want

    • Ohwell said:

      We all depend international stuff. Stuff international people invented. We used to be independent before. But now? We use English leftovers. We are adopted to western culture. And read some articles on Wikipedia cuz that might help you to get rid of your ignorance. If you can’t prove anything it’s called Original research. You claims are just claims not facts.

  13. Laksiri said:

    Dear Mr Janusis,

    Not only you. At the moment none of us can be proud when 250,000 innocent civilians of this same country are going through enormous hardships just to stay alive. They have lost their place of living, livelyhood, their relatives and what not. But this same point makes it a reason to fly the flag, a flag of solidarity, a flag of freedom and a flag of new hope.

    There were short sighted leaders in Sri Lankan including Prabhakaran. But the current President shows firmness and sincerety in his dealings.

    I personally believe the day we all are going to be proud under one flag, one national anthem and one national spirit is not too far.

    Don’t celebrate right now, but start thinking positive because Sri Lankans need more and more positive and firm leaders to lead our people.

    Cheers !!
    Laksiri

  14. janusis said:

    Venura, you have given us far too much ‘information’ already, thank you..

  15. principalamzy said:

    Agree with you and David Blacker. You need not wear your flag on your sleeve, it is in your heart that it should fly high and proud. The Sri Lankan flag represents all citizens no matter what ethnicity or religion. So to display the true Sri Lankan spirit we need to get together and help those in need and rebuild our country. True patriots should question what will happen to the country after the war is over? What will happen to the internally displaced Sri Lankans? But most of all true patriots should find ways and means to work together and help build this country.

    To quote Mark Twain, “Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.”

    Unconditional loyalty to the government through fear propaganda does not bring about peace but as we have noted in this very blog brings out the worst in people. Unfortunately to think outside the propaganda is to become a traitor…what would these so called patriots do in a country where one can not think freely or speak freely?

  16. Poktop said:

    Sri Lanka has fallen to this state because of worthless dimwits like janusis [ he/she]. Even I am not overly patriotic and certainly I hate Politicians but you’re that typical ass kisser type. You know the world [and Sri lanka] are better off without worthless life forms like you. DO the world some good and commit suicide please.

  17. Venura Athukorala said:

    Poktop I’m with u,
    Yah Janusis you can join prabahakaran
    you are the same material
    as i have pointed out previously

    today many sri lankans are flying their flags very high

    Go ahead and commit suicide please that the beat thing you can do to run away from your shame.

  18. janusis said:

    @ Poktop and Venura – It would be nice if the two of you could see beyond your own noses..

  19. Poktop said:

    actually we do sadly enough its you who can’t janusis..you’re confined to a small world of your own why did this happen to you? did you have a troubled childhood ?

  20. Venura Athukorala said:

    Well…..
    People who read this will decide who can’t see beyond the nose

  21. kal312 said:

    @ Janusis ,
    Only one thing can be defined here, to wave the national flag you should have a back spine mainly & love to their motherland……
    According to your articles & comments , its seems to be you are missing so much, that LTTE savage leader……
    But fate is fate 🙂
    Im really agree with Venura & Poktop

  22. janusis said:

    kal312, its true that you need a ‘back spine’ to wave the national flag. But you also need (in most cases at least) a brain to figure out why you wave that flag.
    Buuuuut… Since there are so many of you, you might as well join the bandwagon.

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