By Hilmy Ahamed –
The racist discards of the Rajapaksa era have opened a new front in their chauvinistic march to generate further ethnic turmoil in our nation by desecrating the National Flag. The protesters against the Sirisena government are now carrying a new National Flag that does not have the Orange and Green stripes that denote the minorities in the country. This was witnessed at the protests held each on Parliament Drive on 21st April 2015 when Mahinda Rajapaksa was summoned by the Bribery Commission and the illegal protest in help of Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 23rd April 2015 outdoors the premises of the Bribery Commission. This flag was first seen in some protests against the Muslims and other minorities that were organized by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) in the course of the Rajapaksa regime.
The following is the justification for the style of the National Flag as recorded in a quantity of Government internet sites: “The National Flag of Sri Lanka has been made with fantastic care and goal. It not only represents the country and her heritage, but is a rallying device that integrates the minority races with the majority race”.
The lion flag lost its significance right after the British invaded Sri Lanka in 1815. It was the Union Jack, which was hoisted in its spot.
When Sri Lanka gained her independence from Wonderful Britain on February 04, 1948, it was the lion flag, which was hoisted when once again.
The 1st Prime Minister of independent Sri Lanka, D.S. Senanayake, appointed a committee to advice the government on the design of a new national flag. The design approved by the committee in February 1950 retained the symbol of the lion with the sword and the bo-leaves from the civil standard of the final king of Sri Lanka, with the inclusion of two vertical stripes green and orange in color. The orange stripe represents the Sri Lankan Tamils, the green stripe represents Sri Lankan Moors, and the maroon background represents the majority of Sinhalese:
Desecrating the National flag is a severe offence that warrants criminal prosecution. Wikipedia explains the desecration of the national flag as:
“Flag desecration is a term applied to the desecration of flags or flag protocol, a numerous set of acts that intentionally destroy, damage or mutilate a flag in public. Typically, in case of a national flag, such action is intended to make a political point against a nation or its policies. Some countries have laws forbidding techniques of destruction (such as burning in public) or forbidding specific utilizes.”
Udaya Gammanpila, the Western Provincial Councilor and leader of the Pivithuru Hetak National Movement was one particular of the principal organizer of the protest outside the Bribery Commission in support of the former Defense Secretary, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He not only defied a court order banning the protest, thereby liable to be charged for contempt of court, but also ought to be held responsible for desecrating the national flag, which is a criminal offence. He may possibly not have carried the flag himself, but he should be held responsible for the goons who carried it as the organizer of the protest. As a lawyer, he need to know much better.
Various persons have already produced police complaints and instant action must be taken by the Police to make sure that this menace is nipped in the bud. Most folks have a tendency to brush off these forms of racism as an insignificant nuisance, but the country witnessed a comparable campaign of blatant racism and hate that was spearheaded by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Sinhala Ravaya and Ravana Balaya with the assistance of a number of other racists groups and folks that grew in to a national crisis. The hate campaign against the Muslims by Buddhist extremists was the trigger of the violence in Aluthgama and Beruwela that destroyed the image of the nation as it did for the duration of the dark days of the 1983 riots against the Tamil minority. The 1983 riot is regarded as 1 of the factors that forced Tamil youth to take up arms to defend their neighborhood. The end of the 30 year armed conflict ought to be credited to the political leadership of the Rajapaksa regime and the military leadership of Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka and other commanders of the defense forces. Yet, the possibilities that have been on provide at the finish of the war for reconciliation was not produced use of by the Rajapaksa government. President Mahinda Rajapaksa could have gone down in history as the person who discovered a permanent remedy for all communities to reside in harmony in Sri Lanka, but his Sinhala chauvinism destroyed that chance.
The Sirisena government has taken some bold steps to stem the racist agenda of Buddhist extremists. The declaration that the national anthem could be sung in the Tamil language shows courage by President Maithripala Sirisena against the forces, which operate for narrow political acquire. The need to have for decisive action against the new nexus of racists that has been formed by the discards of the Rajapaksa era is paramount. The Inspector Basic of Police must order the immediate arrest of any individual or groups that promote racism or hate failure to do so would drive Sri Lanka to the dark days of racism witnessed below Rajapaksa rule.