The Sunday Leader

The English Speaking Elite

I am part of a dwindling and slightly pathetic race called the English Speaking Elite, or the  Esé. Despite filling out ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ on every police report (they ask), I cannot really speak Sinhala. If I’m under arrest it somehow comes back to me, but for casual inquiries I can’t.

The Esé were once the dominant group in Sri Lanka (or Ceylon) or, more properly, the head niggers in charge. We were the government, we were the cops, we were the businessmen, we were the ministers and we were the minister’s sons. Now we’re not. Despite being an Esé myself, I think this is most certainly a good thing.

People talk about the Sinhalese and Tamils abroad. We talk about the Sinhalese and Tamils and Muslims and Burghers here. No one talks about the Esé. Perhaps because they don’t exist.

There is no mental sort for the English Speaking Elite in Sri Lanka, but it really functions as a race. People marry within it, they network within it, they live in it. These are, specifically, people that speak English at home and speak Sinhala (or Tamil) functionally, badly, or not at all. In the past Tamils and Burghers were the dominant genetic components of the Esé, but they have since fled and they are now a race made of many spare Sinhala parts and a far flung diaspora.

The Esé have an inordinate influence in Western media and politics because THEY SPEAK ENGLISH. They also have a (if only subconscious) grudge against the largely Sinhala speakers in charge because they are all but culturally more qualified to run the country and the sons of the soil are rubbing their noses in it. This is why Mahinda includes them in his lot of people that don’t love the motherland, because they don’t love the bastards she’s produced. Well Mahinda doesn’t name them because there is no name for the people he’s talking about, but let’s call them the nationalist Deviyo sect of the Esé. The opposite of the Yakkos, that being the nationalist sect of the Sinhalese.

Right now the Yakkos are in charge, led by their former mascot Mervyn Silva, trumpeted by the vicious Wimal Weerawansa and underwritten by the intelligent but racially virulent Champika Ranawaka. There is a Sinhala hegemony in the country which makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Especially the Deviyo and, to a mixed extent, the Esé.

I am Esé and it does make me uncomfortable, but I always remember that my grandfather could not have had the same opportunities he had if the Esé had been in charge. I remember for all the golden memories of Ceylon, that the vast majority of people here couldn’t dream of being president or tourism minister or much of anything if they couldn’t speak English, and now they can. Dream that is. Many of the Sinhala speaking people who hold power aren’t especially qualified for their jobs, but they are at least somehow more connected with the masses of people and at least exploit them in a localized manner.

Which is to say, they’re not colonizers, and they are not supported by the colonial class, that is, the Esé. The Esé speak English and liase with the West, which once made them supremely qualified to rule. Now they look rather like fools, and this makes some bitter. It made more leave and it moved one fundamentally Esé generation of leadership (SWRD Bandaranaike and Chelvanayagam) to support, respectively, Sinhala nationalism and Tamil separatism and set off the war that finally established a largely Sinhala speaking state by years of attrition.

But I digress. This is all just political cruft on top of a much more mundane subject, that being the Esé which are, after all, a race – like any other – primarily preoccupied with eating, drinking, living, loving and dying.

The Esé are the few thousands of people I hang out with. We appear to dominate what appears to be the culture of Sri Lanka – the restaurants, the clubs, the pubs, the businesses, the events and the arts. We speak English at home, we are educated and educate our children abroad, we read books, use the global internet, think and earn in dollars, etc. Of course, we don’t dominate anymore, the truly dominant business class is Sinhala-Esé and the political class is basically Sinhala-Yakko which strangely raises Sinhala-Esé children.

It is a weird race, nonexistent if it were not so necessary, because having a word for the English Speaking Elite suddenly makes it possible to analyze and understand Sri Lankan politics, the war and civilization a bit better than before. I suppose one could also say Ceylonese, but that’s a bit of a crippling from the start. I think most English speakers love Sri Lanka as much as anybody else, so I’ll call them Esé, Spanish for homey.

82 Comments for “The English Speaking Elite”

  1. Pot Stirrer

    Well written article. The older generation will understand but not the younger generation. Sri Lanka should be a “multicultural” society with each society been treated equally and with respect. Teaching English language at schools should be mandatory so that all students will understand beyond the shores of Sri Lanka how the world in moving forward. Those who don’t know English will be “linde inna madiya wage” This is exactly why (due to lack of English) some of the Government ministers are behaving. ( no need to name them but one is a world renown Doctor)

    • Daya

      A brilliant analysis. I know exactly what it feels like to be “Ese”. I am that myself. There’s both good and bad in us guys.

      I’ve got to set out on a long journey; will look at all the comments by and by.

      Can’t make out your name just now; but what an honest and sensitive man you are!

  2. CheeLanka

    So what does this little kolla know? He was not born or raised in Sri Lanka, cannot speak the Sinhala language in his own admission, and has no real insights or deep rooted anchor using which to offer meaningful commentary as a columnist. He is a foreigner abroad and a foreigner at home. All this can be forgiven, of course. But not the fact that he has been mesmerised by the Rajapaksa PR to the point where he is now singing their praise to high heaven!

  3. VW

    Ha ha very funny article. And very true as well. But do you know how many Yakkos are craving to be part of the English Speaking Elite, or the ESé? You’ll be surprised. BTW now you know why the UNP shall never be in power again. It seriously lacks the Yakkos to fill their ranks. But Sajith is a bridge so we still have hope.

  4. These English Speaking Elite also speak Broken English, though they don’t admit. there are village lads who speak better English. when they go to the West they are treated 2nd class

    • Gamunu

      What the author doesn’t know is that there are thousands of highly educated so called YAKKOS(how the author choose between the god and yakkos is a reflection of their sad situation) in Sri Lanka who share the same thoughts and vision of Rajapaksas.
      AUTHORS clan is a dying race and Sri lanka is no place for them anymore .
      So write as much as you like but we will ensure COLONIAL PUPPETS WILL NEVER ENTERTAIN IN SRI LANKA AGAIN.

  5. Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Best off-beat and thought-provoking piece this Sunday. My wife and I liked it very much.

    • lasantha

      Come on Dr. Dayan don’t limit your opinion to one single line.

    • Gamunu

      COLONIAL PUPPETS WILL NEVER BE ENTERTAINED IN SRI LANKA .

      • englishpatient

        Gamunu
        They dont need special entertainment. They are entertained enough when people like you open their mouth to speak English.

        • Gamunu

          Englishpatient
          We know your kind of peoplenothing but patients and a dying breed. We don’t care about your beloved masters language. We use it to get our things done we don’t use it as a sociological tool.People of your clan cannot enter our univesities because they are born fools. all they can do is to talk bull with their masters accent.Today Village boys and girls of Sri Lanka taking higher positions in all the sectors while those who hail from colombo ST. schools are doing just trivial jobs .
          BOYS AND GIRLS FROM VILLAGERS ARE DOING THEIR PHD’S IN WESTERN UNIVERSITIES WHILE COLOMBO ELITE AVAJATHAKA CHILDREN OF SUDDHAS ARE JUST TALKING LIKE IMITATION SUDDAHS THEY HOLD NO EDUCATION QUALIFICATIONS THEY KNOW NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT EXCEPT PARTIES AND RUGBY,CRICKET AND DRINK PARTIES. EMPTY VESSELS .
          WE GET ENTERTAINED WHEN WE SEE IMITATION SUDDHAS
          IT’S PITY STATE YOUR TYPE OF PEOPLE ARE IN. YOU DON’T BELONG HERE NOR YOU DON’T BELONG IN THE WEST .BECUSE FOR SUDDHAS YOU ARE JUST A PAKIS OR NIGER AS LONG AS YOUR BROWN SKIN IS CONCERNED DESPITE HOW GOOD YOU IMITATE THEIR SPEACH.
          PATHETIC ISN’T IT COMMIT SUICIDE THAT’S WHAT YOU GOT TO DO
          END YOUR SAD LIVES YOU AVAJATHAKA KALU SUDDHAS

      • guru

        You are a pakka racist. Its very dangrous that you are at large. I have read your comments below. If you dont change yourself my friend you will soon have a ‘Nervous Breakdown’. or you will die with hatred, which is even worse.
        Your masters dont speak English is their weakness its not ours or English’ problem. Dont hate people come our of your shell, SL isnt the universe. There is a big world out there you nit wit.

        • Gamunu

          HEY GURU As I mentioned before your clan is a dying breed and thanks goodness we are free of para skkili kalusddahs so there’s no need for us to be unhappy and angry. (and ofcourse we don’t hate westerners they are nice people)
          We have got the power after so many hundreds of years.One of us is in power and he’s making all our wishes come true .Champika ,Gammanpila,Namal the educated youth bringing us those glory days back again.We have Gotabaya the greatest taking care of security of the country.(we might persuade him to run for president next time)

          So we got nothing to be angry or upset we don’t hate anyone it’s the people of your dying breed who hate our leaders but SORRY MY PARYA FRIEND YOUR DAYS ARE OVER IN SRI LANKA find another country oh! I know even though you imitate Suddha they don’t treat you like one becuse of your BROWN SKIN do a implant man like Michel Jackson.

        • Ravana

          We are talking of ENGLISH SPEAKING ELITE not Colombo 7 elite you idiot Gemunu !

          Don’t let the chip on your shoulder show !

          Learn to speak English and we will consider you for admission even though you say you are from a village ! You may not qualify because judging by your stupidity you will never make to being a ELITIST .

    • Ruwan Ferdinandez

      You have a wife? So you don’t belong to the elite Chanaka Amaratunge, Anura B, Ranil Wick, group?

      • guru

        You made me laugh bro’ yes i have a wife so i am not belong to this ‘lot’ though i dont mind joining the Elite ESe. You welcome too, Ruwan F’dez. What on earth make you suport this regime? what actually you guys see that is so special that we dont see?
        this regime is ruining the country – Open your eyes dude.

        • Ruwan Ferdinandez

          Guru, matey, I didn’t ask you, sorry about that, it was directed to this Dayan guy. Anyway, I am afraid, I am apolitical hand on heart I can say. Bring on issues and I’ll tell you where I stand.. on each one them. For example, MR finished up the terrorists, while the UNP was pulling his legs. SF is a gobber who smells rotten cabbage and his gob cost us the GSP+ now and more to come from the UN and USA too. But nothing justifies MR’s atempt to strenthen the executive presidency. He should abolish it and establish democracy that we lost with 1978 constitution. Hakeem will rot in hell if the executive presidency’s term limits are extended. That’s basically where I stand now.

  6. kaju

    All should learn English big or small only if they want.Why we are not colonized anymore although some may wish it would be better.What the writer failed to understand is through globalization English has become not an Elite language but merely a business language throughout the world.People all over the world learn it for that. But what happened here is after years of colonization English is treated as a “Sacred” language, and speaking or simply knowing it is a means of social respect and a way to advance in the soceity.Which shouldn’t be. Most of Europe exept England,Russia,China,Japan,Israel they all learn English as a communication tool with outside world.And they pronounce it as they wish.But they never give it a higher status than their mother tounge and never use it for day today life.Which is why after so called indipendence we are stil unable to get rid of “English is god given.White is great” mentality and still at the stage if not below the British left us.Because we don’t value what we owned and thus uable to think on our own.We will be the same until we understand this!

  7. Kumar

    Best Thing for You and Your Clan is to DWINDLE Quick.Also one thing If some one kicks ESE’s ASS,the First words from These So called ESe will be “BUDU AMMO”.
    I’m All for learning ENGLISH & any other language,but these type of Kalu Suddas are a problem to themselves than to others.
    Its time these eses leave Sri Lanka and AS THEY SAY IN ESE’s language”BUGGER OFF from SRI LANKA,and Leave it to the YAKKOS

  8. cassim ali clay

    I honestly feel deeply sorry for the average sri lankan youth of today. They have been denied a thorough english education through years of bungling and pseudo-nationalist fervour whipped up by selfish politicians who have themselves sent their own children to foreign schools. This is a tragedy of great proportions inflicted on the current generation and a look at the calibre of our parliamentarians says it all. Prominence needs to be given to sinhala as the countrys language but everyone has the right to a sound english education too, whether a villager or a townsfolk. This is the only path to development both as an individual and as a nation. Otherwise, we will still be a third world country centuries later. So, be careful of the selfish motives of political forces glorifying nationalism and introverted thinking. Broaden your outlook and spread good, decent english across the country so that we will all be part of the Ese, sooner or later. Hopefully.

  9. Good opening line, well written. And more importantly, it’s a honest self-examination. One can see from where each co-respondent comes from. That is not a criticism. One can understand how sources develop; at one end, many with generations of English usage in the family, and many more with none. Sri Lanka, a very small country, is very fortunate to have the advantage over many other, much bigger countries, to flow with the rapidly advancing stream of globalization, by having English used so widely, even before trade and technology pushed globalization into high gear. One can understand the feeling of frustration among Sri Lankans today who do not have a reasonable command of English. It is a very unfair disadvantage and we should be developing the teaching of English far faster than we are doing at present in order that future generations do not suffer this. However, at the same time we should be celebrating our indigenous languages with more creative usage, and here too much more can be done. Looking back on our recent history, it is easy to see that much conflict could have avoided had we all been multilingual and more proficient in each. Our politicains have falied us in such a crucial area in the past, but that said, we as adult individuals can try and help ourselves, and are doing very little (if nothing!!) about it. Perhaps we should be leading the politicians, not the other way round.

  10. sinhalayek

    Learn English but DON”T WORSHIP IT In the country where I live in, people from different ethnic groups communicate in english but they do not worship it or treat it as sacred language. they still speak &respect their mother language. actually the local english speaking people respect all other languages & cultures. so what’s the big deal about english language in SRI LANKA? it’s a problem with some sri lankans who still has the COLONIAL MENTALITY. But if those KALU SUDDOS go to an english speaking country they will not be treated as englishmen. TO ALL THE KALU SUDDOS, ” LOOK IN THE MIRROR – YOU WILL SEE WHO YOU LOOK LIKE”

  11. Sri Lankan overseas

    We the Sinhalese second generation believe your ideology is nothing short of an ego ethnocentric attitude towards others based on ignorance and fool’s pride. Looking down upon the non English speaking folk is purely based on prejudice. Travel to Germany and France and soon you’ll realize language isn’t a barrier for technology and advancement. It is this misconception that exist in the society that retards progress and instigate social disharmony. Yes, English is important thanks to colonization but not to the point of being stigmatized as it is the elitists who set the barrier for the less privileged. As for those still hung up on the self proclaimed Sri Lankan born elitists tag, your English falls well short of proper grammar and pronunciation in our ears. From desiderata I quote” Don’t compare with others, for there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Have a nice life.

  12. Ranbanda

    Take it ESe, man!

  13. sonali

    Some aspects that this piquent socio-cultural political piece left out -
    what about the Esc wanna be coterie of the Yakkos now proliferating in business and from foreign universities and local international schools , emulating the ways of the west, but sadly lacking the spirit of liberal thinking and the arts?
    And also did the Esc only inherit Power and Class? The English speaking world has given us the enternal verities, honour, principle, laws, religion, idealism, the rights of man, liberal ideologies, – etc, etc, A Way of Living!

  14. simple simon

    Only the sinhalese worship english.I think the tamils are normal.

  15. Interesting comments.

    All the same, I believe I fall into that category too even though I never really lived in SL as an adult. So, I now have an additional tribe to belong to. That is quite cool, in my little 55y old mind.

    What is even cooler is that I can legally claim to be a secular sinhala due to the sinhala language being unable to spell my name in a non-sinhala manner (at least, on my papers).

    Either way, I suddenly discovered that I was no longer a SL citizen. So, I guess I am no longer anything anymore. Albeit, it seems I can buy my citizenship back. hmm, I was more inclined to think that “they” can buy me back to reboot the economy. After all, I think I do know something about such things (at least, my papers indicate that).

  16. dagobert

    They were the bane for the Country. The ESe……
    When SWRD introduced Sinhala policy, it effected a group who were minority in the population.
    It did not effect neither the Tamil Speaking majority NOR the Sinhala speaking majority.
    It effected the Colonial puppets who were a minority. Mostly, educated in the UK and Anglicanised, they were groomed to takeover.

    Its a surprise that Tamil speaking majority of the minority community never agitated before 1956 for having to DO THEIR work in english, a language they did not know.

    But it bugged them when Sinhala only was introduced. Why ???
    Those who wanted english, verywell studied it and MOVED ON to qualify.
    IT WAS A QUESTION WHETHER ONE WANTED TO LEARN ENGLISH OR NOT. IT WAS AN INDIVIDUAL CHOICE.

    Today, I am able to write in because I wanted to learn to read & write english though I studied in the Sinhala medium.
    If any sinhalease or tamil or a muslim wanted to, they too could with a little perseverance,

    Then what was the fuss ???? If one had a will, there was a way.

    This journalist is raking up crap.

  17. Ruwan Ferdinandez

    Such a pants article, English is crap as well, yet he calls himself an English Speaking Elite.Is this a promotional drive?

    For example, what does this mean? ” If I’m under arrest it somehow comes back to me, but for casual inquiries I can’t.”.

    The queen would have committed suicide, had she read this.

    • englishpatient

      She nearly did. When Diana cavorted with a muslim, then when Fergie sucked her Financial Advisors toes. and again last week when Andy got suntan rubbed on his back by a model his daughters age.Good Lord is she now going to really commit suicide for a thing like THIS? You must be nuts Ruwan F and your other posts show you indeed are.

    • Pri

      By ‘it’ he means his command of the Sinhala language. Also he didn’t say that the “Ese’s” have perfect English. I’m sure the average American would get a lower SAT score than most educated Sinhalese. Anyway the article had nothing to do about his ability of English. And how perfect is your Sinhala? How many grammar mistakes do you think the average Sinhala person makes on a day? Sinhala is a complicated language and I don’t think there many ‘hardcore patriots’ who can actually write with 100% technical proficiency… Stop criticizing the article just because reading it boils your blood. You sound as if you’re scared of something

      • Ruwan Ferdinandez

        But pal, it’s an English weekly, and he is paid to write. He blows his own trumpet but the language is poor. Lasantha would have cried. Even if ‘it’ means Sinhala, that sentence itself has no meaning, it’s not the only one either. Anyway, if your Sinhala is wrong, you need to learn it, not all of us are in the same boat.

  18. Chand

    I am with Indi on this. We need a “Tea Party” movement in SL. Indi can be the Glenn Beck of Sri Lanka!

    • damion

      Tea Party??? Are u a retard?? Do u have any idea what the tea party is come to be?? Glenn Beck is a racist u idiot and u are a brown skinned low life to them and that makes u a fat uncle Tom!! U are a slave to the empire thats no more….I could go on and on and on….people like you make me sick to call myself Sri Lankan and makes me sympathise with those who hate the elitist mentality of those born in Colombo. People like you have ruined this country and you guys are bigger traitors than Prabakaran!!

      • Chand

        Sir, you need to take a deep breath and calm your senses. Also, you need to take all your medication on time. To improve your lifestyle it may not be a bad idea if you gradually learn to enjoy some sense of humor too. For intolerance, disrespect and highly charged emotions you can always follow a meditation class.

        Good luck!

  19. Prajiv Pakula

    “…….head niggers”?????
    Pretty juvenile.

  20. [...] The English Speaking Elite | The Sunday Leader [...]

  21. [...] The English Speaking Elite | The Sunday Leader [...]

  22. Che Guevara

    ‘OH’ !! FOR THE GOOD OLD DAYS ! Let’s all sit my the ‘tank’ (reservoir), defecate in it , drink contaminated water and die of cholera . Bloody British spoiled everything !! Sri -Lanka for the Sinhalese – the rest can F-off !!
    And thank God for that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Infidel Castro

      @Che Guevara

      Hey, hey hey….. thats Sarath. Garandihewa Fonseka speaking eh……?

      • Infidel Castro

        Watch out for the next Revolution. Run to the hills. Theyll be on their way….. sooon.

  23. Ranbanda

    For me English is just a tool — a kaduwa, rapier or mammoty as the need may be. And you need the master’s tools to dismantle the master’s house. The empire writes back!

    • Queen Victoria

      Ranbanda you snooty old fool
      Remember, that cos of your masters tools
      Today you’re able to fill your empty stomach
      With something better than Bulath and Puwak
      Otherwise, Kaata Kiyannada
      Mala Keliyak

  24. Ranbanda

    And I’m just a hillybilly from the back of beyond, not an elite ESe Colomban.

  25. BRYCE

    All those Sinhala-only advocates conveniently educated their own kids overseas while giving the children of the masses a Sinhala only diet. Bunch of hypocrites.

  26. Ranbanda

    High-falutin queen victoria, kiss my hairy old ar se, As for your verse, i guess i’ve seen worse perverse.

    • Queen Victoria

      Ooops get me my monocles Albert
      and pour me some more molasses
      I need to call the Governor
      This naked fakir is a p******
      He talks about dismantling houses
      and brags about hairy old a****
      and if that does not sound so bad
      he even seems to be a dirty old cad

  27. Chandra

    Seeing all this bashing of the English language by some who post here, I wonder if they have use Sinhala or Tamil keyboard (plus software) on their computers or cell phones for more patriotic communications.
    A language is just a tool and world history has dictated that English is here to stay until Mandarin takes over — say in about 100 years. So the smart folks among may want to get a head start for their own clans with Mandarin and become Mse’s.

  28. Vegimite Kid

    I love the article brother. I am an Ese too man. I visited SL last year after many years and hated it. No one spoke English and the country was so dirty, filthy and full of garbage and smog, that I took the next flight home back to my beautiful country.

    • Marmite Girl

      Too many trolls on this page. Writing up irrelevant comments ( smog and what not) to stir up the western hating readers. Get a life..

      • suppiah

        Hi Sweetie,
        I was in colombo 2 years ago and I saw children and women taking shower by the road side. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

  29. Leo

    “English Speaking Elite”?? get a life moron

    • Taurus

      Leo
      Surely, there can never be a “Sinhalese Speaking Elite”, can there?
      Get a life twice over, moron.

  30. Ranbanda

    Now that’s a much better ditty, queen vic. I can’t honour u with a garter so my jockstraps wld have to do.

  31. Ranbanda

    But seriously, the fact is only the Sihalese who aped colonial overlords to the extent of adopting their names. I don’t know of any Muslim or Tamil elite perso with an English first name. We had Junius Richard, etc etc. Heck, we even have a Mahinda Percy and a Basil R. Indians are much better in English than us, but they have great pride; they speak among themselves their native tongues, be it Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayali or Hindi . And yes, they also win the top international prizes for English literature. And everybody, from Germans to Chinese to Koreans to Japanese are very keen to learn English. Like for me, it’s a useful tool for them. It does not signify an alien state of mind or a pathological aping of the inventors of the language.

    • maapila

      Muslims, definitely not but Tamils,plenty. What about Alfred Duryappah, Hubert Sarathchandan Rajasingham, George Balakumar Handy, Terrence Mylvaganam Joseph, a few that come to mind.

      • Naya

        Were not most of them catholic Tamils? I think all of them would have a tamil name plus a christian middle name

  32. Marmite Girl

    I think it was wrong to choose the word ‘elite’. The article sounds more like a snobbish statement than journalism. There aren’t that many pure elements in Sri Lanka anymore. Most of our avurudu sweets are of Spanish influence, most people speak both Sinhalese and English, and other than the veddas I don’t think any of us have a right to hate the western habits so much. If you start criticizing the “English Speaking Snobs” you might as well criticize everyone who eats kavum, kotthu, dhal, wear pants, bras, undergarments… etc. Does all that sound like a set of stupid analogies? Well that’s how stupid some of you sound when you shout out loud how much you hate ‘Colombo people’. Don’t let the article intimidate you, people might mistake your reactions as a sign of insecurity…

  33. Ram

    In the 60s The Hill Country Tamils are made stateless and kicked out of Sri Lanka.
    In th.e 70s Burghers were kicked out of Sri Lanka and ended up as refugees in Australia and Europe.
    In the 58, 77 & Black July 83 riots Tamils were burnt and made homeless and kicked out of the country.
    Ese are next in line. Lets kick them out.
    And make Srilanka, Sinhala Buddhist only Country.

    • MGR

      Ho, ho, ho…. another Garandihewa on the loose?

    • S.A.

      So, this is how the the IMPORTED VIJAYA kicked the KUVENI and her lots out of SRI LANKA? and later they imported the BUDDHISM from INDIA. INDIANS are dangerous……

  34. Ranbanda

    No need for anyone to kick out the eses. Most of them are in comfortable self-exile in the beloved West. As the man says, only a tiny handful are left behind and, I suspect, they opt to stick around because they won’t
    to be able to replicate anywhere else the good life they have here. And they can always go on nice breaks overseas for a bit of variety.

    The writer himself has won some fame here, which would not have been easy to do in Canada. He’s not quite white to make it in the mainstream press. Most likely would have been a non-entity in some minority rag. But hey, once he has got enough feathers in his cap here, he’ll be off to beloved Canada to leverage it, although he only had a vague idea as to who ran the country, as he claimed earlier.

    • Mohottige

      Ranbanda, you should not speak about things you don´t seem to know anything about. Your claims that the colour of ones skin or origin plays an important matter for your sucess are highly overestimated. Shows your ignorance of other parts of the world. In Canada, like in other parts of the “west”, like USA and most European countries, the population is now much mixed and your success depends of what you do and your skills. If you are white, grey, brown, black, red, yellow or whatever color is no more such an important factor.
      So man, where have you been the last 100 years? Have you not used your eyes and ears?
      What have not changed in a developing world is however Sri Lanka, where people still seem to highlight the differences instead of accepting each other as they are.
      And talking of the “white colonial masters” and “Kalu Suddhas” as you say, today Sri lanka seem to be more and more dependent on their “Yellow colonial masters”, what then to call Mahinda and his gang?

  35. Migrant

    I am both amused and saddened to read of so much hatred, nastiness, intolerance and dare I say, ignorance, coming from so many respondents who, dare I assume, are seeking ‘Nirvana’ as their ultimate goal,

    If that is a person’s goal, with that in mind he should make a connection between his heart and his head, seek his own salvation, and let others get on with their’s.

    • Mohottige

      Migrant, I aggree fully with you. A very good and funny articel!
      But I am also very surprised that this “land of the Buddha” can produce so much people having learnt nothing from the Buddhism they seem to adore.
      Pettiness, envy, racism, intolerance, hatred, ignorance and most of all like you said, nastiness. No wonder Buddhism in Sri Lanka is now considered to have lost everything in other Buddhists view. Much must have gone wrong to produce these barrels filled only with negativity and racial and cast prejudices.
      Should Buddha (which moste of them I assume respect, at least in the temples) have enjoyed the development of his followers in this direction?
      They should be ashame!

  36. BRYCE

    To all the Yakkos: Dudes, get hold of yourselves mate. If you are speaking a foreign tongue learn to speak it well. Speaking broken French too is offensive to the French – as quite eloquently put by Rex Harrison in The My Fair Lady “The French don’t really care what they do as long they pronounce it properly”. Those trying to speak English is fine and should be be commended. But condoning broken English is something else.

    Now for something related: While overseas we had a SL maid who spoke some English. My wife who is foreign born asked our maid to clean an ornamental HORSE which was gathering dust. Our maid promptly took the garden hose and cleaned the driveway. When asked what she was doing she said that my wife asked her to ‘hose’ it down. (for horse)

  37. Ram

    That means Mrs Bryce can’t pronounce Horse!!

  38. Raymond Punchisingho

    Remember the Maha Raja Thuma also comes from good ESE stock. Even today he is only a Yakko in Sinhala, not a full blown erudite Hela Sinhalaya.

  39. sri lanka

    I prefer ‘ the English speaking educated elite’ over the current gang of uneducated , singlish speaking thugs / village idiots who have become ministers. I think most people will agree with me……..

  40. MaPer

    Unfortunately it is the ESE who know to behave in Parliament – no fisticuffs, but good debates. It is because of the non-ESE that Parliament has become chaotic. Basically, it is after the non-ESE who came into parliament and ended up being even president, that the politicians are stinking with corruption and they resort to strong arm tactics. It boils down to – you have to come from a good family or be educated in a good school, or both. Then and only then can Sri Lanka be rid of corruption and thuggery.

  41. MaPer

    Maha Raja does not belong to the ESE – I dont think his family, parents & siblings ever spoke in English in school or at home. Perhaps his offspring may have spoken English outside their home as they were educated in a good Christian school. And possibly his better half spoke in English as she too was educated in a good Catholic convent (supposedly). But I dont think in the royal family home they ever spoke in English.

  42. Loku Banda

    The curse of Sri Lanka was taking English out as a medium of education. It ruined future generations and ruined the chances of us becoming a hub of IT and BPO centers. India even with Hindi as its national language always maintained English as a mode of education. The politicians have created a thorough mess.

    PS: You quote based on “head ni***r” is deplorable and out of context.

  43. Sad Voter

    I was appaled by the venom thrown around by so many writers. Why we get so angry and get to the low level language to abuse others who have a desenting view. We need everybody to develop this country and labeling of fellow countryman whether they live here or not do not help much. Everybody has a role to play in the development.

  44. Daya

    I didn’t realise that this article is about six months old. Perhaps it was put back because of what was being written by Thomians about how wonderful the English in their school was and is.

    Yes, it is relevant because here you have in “indi.ca” the genuine article. A guy who’s intelligent and sensitive to what’s going on around him.

    The comments for the most part illustrate the fact that satire can go over the heads of many. “Sonali” seems to have understood the dilemma we are faced with but Ruwan Ferdinandez seems to have got stuck with supposed flaws in “indi.ca’s ” grammar.

    I’m hoping that some Thomians will be re-thinking their shallow social and linguistic attitudes.

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