They were humiliated, assaulted, shot at and finally killed! Yet they didn’t give up.They fought back, and were ready to sacrifice even their lives, to seek freedom for their motherland from the shackles of the despicable colonisers.
Ultimately the colonial masters were forced to give in.
That was how Mahathma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose and thousands of patriots gained Independence for India.
Due to the intense struggle by these Indian leaders, as well as the gradual disintegration of their Empire, the colonising Britishers were forced to grant Independence to India. And at that instant the tiny tear drop island in the Indian Ocean too was lucky enough to reap the benefits of that action and gain Independence.
The achievement of Independence, "without sheding a single drop of blood", was glorified as a great triumph by the elite class (perhaps "brown sahibs" would be more appropriate), who were the creation of the British colonisers themselves.
On this occasion a descendent of the British Royal family arrived in this tear drop island to grant Independence from the British Empire and the so-called elite class, or brown sahibs, who were ruling the roost, accepted the Independence Charter wearing top hats and tailcoats following the British traditions.
Independence Day was celebrated from then on with much pomp and glory.
But is Sri Lanka an independent nation? This question still remains a question without any plausible answers.
It was S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike,the great son of Sri Lanka who was educated in one of the prestigious Universities in the British Empire—Oxford—who was able to break off some of the last vestiges of the colonial past, by nationalizing the British air bases in Trincomalee and Katunayake. His subtle negotiations enabled Sri Lanka to take back the captured vital installations.
With complications arising in the international political arena, the old trend of colonisation by invading countries seems to be losing its colour. Britain had to leave the scene after being hit from all sides. Germany, Italy and Japan tried it but failed miserably. The US also was interested but they approached it in a different way. They helped their lackeys in these poor countries and through them they benefitted economically.
Now a new trend of colonisation has come to the fore, with a new face. This is the invasion of a cash-strapped Third World country, as if to help it to overcome the economic problems it was facing. As those Third World nations had fallen into this kind of economic rut. due to the corrupt elements that had been ruling the roost, they had no other option but to seek the help of the new emerging economic powers.
As using war, armed conflicts or invasions seems to be expensive and complicated, the emerging economic powers, with the collaboration of the corrupt elements in those countries come in the guise of good samaritans. “ I scratch your back and you scratch my back” seems to be the motto that these emerging economic powers were following in implementing the new method of colonisation.
Exploiting the business and investment opportunities offered, they invade these countries not with weapons but with monies. First they come in as friends indeed, and gradually get a strangle-hold on the economy by capturing the vital installations of that country. The Portuguese, Dutch and the British took over in this same way in the past. At present this new trend of colonisation is prominently visible in the international political arena. And with globalisation happening in a very fast manner, due to technological innovations, this new trend of colonisation seems to be plain sailing around the globe.
Economically powerful nations are using the much sought after investment opportunities of the poor Third World countries to the hilt by greasing the hands of the corrupt elements in those nations. And those very brown sahibs who had earlier worn top hats and tail coats are bending down to these new colonisers wearing suits and colourful ties.
In about 198 years, when everyone living today, including you and me, are gone for good, what will the inhabitants of these unfortunate countries say? As there won’t be any Bandaranaikes to negotiate with these colonisers who had already captured the whole country, our unfortunate descendents will only be able to say “ What will be will be”.
By Vijaya Ariyarathna