Celebrating the wrong independence day
By Rajpal Abeynayake
For heaven’s sake, let’s get this right. If a foreign power invades your land, it’s independence. It’s freedom. George W. Bush keeps saying so all the time. He put 60,000 American troops in Iraq, and he is spreading freedom he says, in his State of the Union address.

So why was Friday, February 4th which just passed us, called “independence’’ day in Sri Lanka? Foreign troops left our shores on that day. That’s what signifies February 4th, for godsakes.

But it is wrong to call it independence day. According to George W. Bush, we should be celebrating the day that the British took over this country as independence day. That’s the day the British were spreading a bit of freedom after they invaded us.

Tony Blair will say also that that’s the day we got our independence.
Even as I write, he is saying that about Iraq. He says when American and British landed troops on Iraq, both countries were doing what is morally right - - spreading freedom. They gave elections to Iraq, they say.

So, the British also invaded us, and after signing the Kandyan convention they gave us elections. So we got our freedom the day they invaded us. Then why are we celebrating February 4th the day they left us, as “independence day’’??

I don’t know, it’s a mystery. It’s strange and inexplicable, like the tsunami.
So let’s do the correct thing, and call all invasion days independence days, shall we? That way we will have the added bonus of having three independence days -- three holidays. We can celebrate the day the Dutch invaded us, the British invaded us and the day the Portuguese invaded us all as independence days. We don’t know how free we are do we?

We certainly must appreciate all that our invaders had done for us. As Ted Turner had said recently -- he is some kind of a media mogul - - America committed 60,000 troops in Iraq to find one nut case in a hole.

Never was so much owed by so few to so many, isn’t it?? So we shall henceforth celebrate all our invasions as great days of joy and freedom.
Me, I’m waiting for the day Martians invade us - - or some kind of extra terrestrials invade us. Imagine. They will incinerate our cities, they will set fire to our schools, they will imprison and torture us, then they will fill our hospitals with the dead and the wounded.

After that they will give the whole world an election. Imagine how free we will be. Such independence! The mind positively boggles at the thought of such freedom - - it’s almost beyond my imagination. There are still slight discrepancies in this however. The Americans for instance celebrate July 4th as their independence day. It has something to do with getting rid of the British.

This will not do. The Americans also have to celebrate a day on which somebody invaded them as independence day. Such a day is hard to find some may say in American calendar. Then the Americans will have to make do with what they have, no?

So the Americans in the spirit of what’s taught by George. W. Bush all over the world, should celebrate September 11th as independence day. That’s the day they came as close to an invasion, after Pearl Harbour.

Some may say that though Osama bin Laden gave Americans something like an invasion, he did not give Americans an election. But that’s not quite true. He is the one who gave Americans the election-speech that elected George W. Bush, no, don’t we all remember that? So he invaded, and then he decided the outcome of the election. By golly, he did the same thing that George W. Bush did in Iraq no?

So there is all good reason we should all change our independence days. Ours should be the day the British signed the Kandyan convention, and took over this country. America’s should be September 11th. Every day we sleep in hope. By morning we may have another invasion, and then by 11 p.m. the next day we will be able to breathe the pristine air of freedom. Oh, how I’m gagging without it now…

Back to Top  Back to Plus  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.