How To Spot A Sri Lankan (From My Father Who Was Responsible For The 9 Items, At The Start, Related To Education)
Let me (as the e-mail goes) tell you few things which will really put your brain in to gear. A true Sri Lankan is as follows:
You get free education, from Grade 1. You get free clothing to go to school from Grade 1.
You get free books from Grade 1. You get a scholarship to a good school free of charge.
You do your O-levels, A-levels, go to University in Sri Lanka for free. Then you get another school (free) in USA , Yale etc. from a scholarship from Sri Lanka.
You get your Ph. D.
Then you never return home. Now you forget your lingo. You come home you speak Yankee English, Aussie slang etc.
You laugh at your country. You condemn your country. You even criticize your village you were born, far away from Colombo .
Now you have a well paid job, a job in USA. NASA scientist, Dupont scientist etc.
You come home once a year. From the time you land at our little air port you complain, but you come home for one thing – to make a vow at the temple. But you also get Sri Lankan Ayurvedic treatment ( 2000 years old ) for your back Pain etc. for next to nothing in comparison to your salary.
At the age of 55 years to retire and to become Sri Lankan again.
I have been living and traveling around the world for the last 50 years and I have met hundreds of Sri Lankans. Some do tell the white man how bad their country is.
My friends, please correct me if I am wrong. We live in a unique country. We have survived. Our country is blessed by 4 religions. Our country was colonized for more then 500 years. We got our freedom in 1948. We are only 60 years old out of which 30 was wasted as a result of war. Please respect your land. You could be a resident in a foreign land yet what would you say when they ask you “where do you come from?”.
I think we all should add few things for this mail and pass this mail around. No country is perfect; if we have the will, we can correct ours. Only problem is our country was ruined by dirty politics during the last 60 years. Note that those who live and work abroad had created inward flow of funds and brought new visions learnt from abroad. If only we can avoid power and greed towards oneself and divert those desires towards the motherland, then we can all be proud citizens.
Not much of this applies to me — thankfully. Yes, I too can no longer speak Sinhalese. But, I left Ceylon when I was 14 — which was a HUGE mistake. So, I didn’t go to University in Ceylon; and I haven’t visited since August 1992 WHEN I accompanied my mother’s body from Paris to Colombo for her cremation. I only got about 4 years of ‘free’ education AFTER my father nationalized Ananda College (i.e., made a private school into a government run public school), but I paid for it because the teachers at the school blamed me on a regular basis for all that was wrong in the news system. I have talked about this somewhere else and some people still remember it BUT I can’t remember when and where I wrote those words … but here is the story. Once the school was nationalized, I think I was about 11 or 12, a Master (it was always the male teachers) would go: ‘Anura! Stand up! See that light. It doesn’t work anymore. We can’t get a replacement bulb. That is your father’s fault. Before we were nationalized we never had any problems getting a bulb replaced. OK, you can sit down. Yes, tell your father’. It wasn’t just light bulbs. It could be broken windows — but I never heard a complain about them not getting paid. It was a good school, but there were some bad apples among the male teachers. Yes, I plan to write about some of this. Just a question of time.