16 October, 2021

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An Open Letter To The Chairman, Human Rights Commission, Dr. Deepika Udagama: On The New Government Uniform

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

J.J. Ratnasiri, Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration and Disaster Management has issued the following Circular dated 29 May 2019:

These are times when madmen filled with hate set off explosives blowing themselves up and taking the lives of many innocent persons. The issuance of this circular is yet another act of hate-filled madness, even mad jingoist expansion  imposing this crazy view of culture on the rest of us. Indeed the heading with the word security is hardly addressed in the body of the circular.

This insane circular prohibits the decent skirt and blouse that many women of good backgrounds wear to office, exposing perhaps their neck, bare arms and lower-legs. It scoffs at the sensibilities of many decent women – importantly Islamic women following their scriptural advice – who do not want their body shape to be shown to voyeurs. Our society is so degraded that my wife and daughters do not like to ride a bus, and indeed even trishaws after the driver in separate incidents exhibited his private parts. Only rich women with chauffeur driven cars are safe – such as the wife and daughters of Permanent Secretaries. Many of the common folk get their husbands to take them to work on motorbike pillions. How in a sari now? Perhaps the men at Public Administration want more opportunities to pinch buttocks and touch the bodies of women in buses by forcing them off their husbands’ pillions? Or they want to see women’s midriff and navel in sexily draped saris? Is it to prevent hiding a bomb under a skirt-blouse dress? Now that he has prohibited decent clothing for women, will Mr. Rathnasiri in his sartorial vanity and fantasy even specify the length of the blouse and how low it may be cut at the top?

For men, the circular calls for  a trouser but not the pair in which trousers are worn. Does it mean that we have to cut off one leg of our trousers to fit the new uniform? The uniform allows a shirt but not a business suit. I would truly like to see Mr. Rathnasiri in trousers with one leg cut off and no coat or tie at cabinet meetings.

These are times when in a decent democracy the call is to uphold the rights of everyone so that extremism will be blunted. Instead the Sri Lankan state seems determined to expand its stale mono-cultural view of itself, destroying anything that fails to fit their view of Sri Lankan culture, wanting to walk over every deviation from its mono-cultural worldview, the juggernaut of Public Administration crushing to death all different expressions of culture that do not fit their view of Sri Lanka should be. The new discussions on whether ours is a Sinhalese-Budhiist country are a part of this sickness.

I reliably know from sources in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat that this insane circular did not come from the Prime Minister or the cabinet. That leaves only one other authority with the clout to order the Secretary for Public Administration and Disaster Management to issue this vicious circular which surely he would have known (that is if he had any sense) exposes him to ridicule as a pompous fuddy duddy,  a man with no sense of the balm of kindness required now to heal the nation, especially our relationship with innocent Muslims who are being hounded at every turn using the Easter Day calamity. It is the same authority that pardoned and released the mad monk, as if to say “Go beat up some more Muslims.” And that monk says he is ready to go!

I write this as an individual citizen although I am a member of the Election Commission. As an individual I do not think our beautiful Hindu receptionist who greets visitors to the Commission with her characteristically friendly smile in a decent flowery frock reaching well below her knees would relish switching overnight to exposing her breasts and midriff the way Mr. Rathnasiri seems to want. We have a lady Muslim Assistant Commissioner who is very decently dressed without showing a single contour of her body. Indeed even Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya will be out of line because the handsome and colorful tunics he wears are North Indian and not count as a part of our national dress.

I know that Mr. Deshapriya is sympathetic to the views I express here. He has already told some ladies who expressed discomfiture over the new dress code not to change anything until we can decide as a Commission which will be on 4 June, 2019. In any case, as an independent Commission we are not bound by Mr. Rathnasiri’s fantasizing circular about clothing.

In the meantime, Madam Chairman, Dr. Deepika Udagama, it would help if you gave us a ruling so that the independent Election Commission can confidently assert its role as the upholder of the people’s rights. In fact I expect your full support because I have seen you in many a forum in Salwar Kameez, the choice dress today of many decent professional women but unfortunately not a part of Mr. Rathnasiri’s vision of a decently and securely dressed Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 21
    11

    Has Sri Lanka reached the height of madness or yet to.

    • 3
      2

      Mohamed Marzook

      Probably this is an attempt to drag some from darkness created by religious madness so a positive step in society & should be accepted.

    • 2
      1

      Mohamed Marzook

      “Has Sri Lanka reached the height of madness or yet to.”

      This island’s worst days lie ahead.
      You ain’t seen nothing yet.

      Ronald Reagan’s quote slightly adjusted to arrive at a best fit.

    • 0
      2

      What will Hoole’s boss do for a uniform is a valid question. : Just see what Mahinda Deshapriya’s been wearing in the most recent video clip:

      .
      http://www.adaderana.lk/news/55492/dec-07-last-possible-date-to-hold-presidential-polls-elections-chief
      .
      If you scroll down, you will find a comment by one of the nastiest guys who keys things in to the Internet. It’s Kumar R – a coward who never reveals his identity. He’s rather like that other coward who is referred to in a comment here by me:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lanka-college-of-obstetricians-and-gynecologists-covering-the-fallopian-tubes-with-a-thousand-rupee-note/
      .
      :That cowardly Pharisee’s reliance on whitewashing was commented on in depth four years ago, but we did not expect the public to be so receptive to the tales of cowardice. Find out from the link already provided. :
      .
      Meanwhile, isn’t it sad, the depths that we have plumbed as a nation?
      .
      I see the logical first step to be banning all religions. Second: execute all those anonymous bloggers whose comments are aimed only at taking pot shots which mean nothing, leading to people like me wasting the time of other readers.

      • 5
        0

        Dear Sinhala Man,

        Did you not realize you just proved my second point – lacking capability of objective defense, air-headed hero-worshiping servitude to the fore. And, not for the first time!

  • 33
    32

    All women employed in the banks in Jaffna are wearing Sarees and looks decent. Why can’t this dress code be followed in the Government Departments and Ministries. But Hijab has to be forbidden in the best interests of the country..

    • 2
      7

      If you would recall during the height of war with the LTTE moslem women wore the Abhaya but it was never banned. … Ohh at Douglas devanandans office a suicide bomber wore explosives in her panties and detonated it in a government office… now you didnt see circular banning ladies wearing panties Did you ???

    • 3
      9

      The Tamil terrorist ,the suicide bomber who attacked dougles devananda was having his explosives hidden in his underpant. So the circulat also should have mentioned that covering that part should be avoided in the best interest of national security

      Somarama who assassinated Bandaranayakehid his weapon inside the yellow robe. What about it..

      Bullshit

    • 2
      5

      Everyone has their own standards.. Trying to enforce on others what you consider decent is Extremism.. or even terrorism

    • 2
      3

      Nbank women like you just sit in at desks in air condotion. The banks are like a fashion parade.

      What about engineers and scientists who have to climb iron stairways up and down. How can we go up to inspect chemical plants. With the factory operators looking up.

      People would think women in bank have no clue of their customer s bussiness places.

      Jaffna women like to pose like they are kannaki pattinis.

    • 2
      6

      Why is forbidding hijab is in he best of country s interest Ayathuray…. Which suicide bomber of your clan LTTE wore a hijab to blow themselves up.

    • 2
      12

      Ayathuray Rajasingam

      Aren’t you confusing Burqa with Hijab?
      Burqa the face mask should be banned, why (head scarf) Hijab ?
      How does hijab bother you?
      If you consider hijab being a foreign religious symbol you are mistaken. It has nothing to do with religion. Will you demand banning of all those Saivaites sporting various religious symbols from foreign land and women wearing pottu?

      Why don’t you ask men to wear Tamil traditional attire Versty as you expect the women to wear saree?

      Now it appears the fascists are taking over the dress code, must stop them at any cost.
      The next move will be to install Chastity Belts on every female under the supervision of saffron clad thugs, both Sinhala/Buddhists and Hindutva.

    • 3
      3

      How does uncovering a womans head help with security? I had no idea bombs could be hidden in ears. A hijab is a attire worn to cover the head and neck. Then should a nun also be asked to remove a headdress? One rule for all is how a system should work, is it not?

    • 2
      3

      What can be hidden in a hijab as opposed to under a shirt or in trousers?

    • 2
      5

      What will be ‘the best interests’ achieved by the banning.

  • 15
    9

    S Ratnajeevan H Hoole keyboards an Open Letter to: Dr Deepika Udagama, The Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), “On The New Government Uniform”.
    Among the blah….blah are references to lewd acts by trishaw and drivers. Bus drivers dare not, because if caught, will be dealt with by passengers.
    .
    SRH H concludes {“In the meantime, Madam Chairman, Dr. Deepika Udagama, it would help if you gave us a ruling so that the independent Election Commission can confidently assert its role as the upholder of the people’s rights”}.
    SRH H is rubbing it in that he has something to do with the Election Commission of Sri Lanka (HCSL). It will require Hoolean logic to know what the HRCSL ruling should be for ECSL to properly ‘assert its role’.
    Is SRH H aware not know that HRCSL does not, and must not, act on ‘Open Letters’.
    O Tempora ECSL.

  • 3
    1

    Sari and motor bike will be a problem according to the writer. But it is not so. See the India. The women with sari go in the pillion. There are sari guards in some motorbikes for this purpose.

  • 4
    1

    Hasn’t Ranjeevan Hoole got better things to do than picking on Rathnasiri..

    Our besieged Prez My3 Sira says the Election is on the 7th,
    That is only only 17 days before our Catholics next most important day after Easter.
    I thought Hoole being a big Boss of Elections, Hoole would have said something about it ,
    And not leave us to find it out from Hindians.

    I mean poor bugger Rathne did a tremendous job trying to please Dr Ranil’s Elite and Anglicans by writing the circular in English.
    Hoole should have at least appreciated it..

    Rathne must be wearing the national Dress.
    So how would he know that the trousers are worn in pairs…

    Don’t know why Mr Hoole is upset about women wearing Sarees.
    Even Tamil Girls whom I meet in hundreds on my morning walks in Wellala Gardens all wear Sarees.
    May be they are not Mr Hool’s clan.

    Our Gropers in CTB buses will find harder to feel the flesh , if our Girls wear sarees.
    Just imagine if the women are wearing Skirts and holding the pole , with the blouse also half way up.
    Do I need to say how happy our Gropers would be?..

  • 0
    0

    Sri Lanka should listen to all the Western Human rights people as Sinhala buddhists, all other Sri lankans excluded, were barbarians and they did not have any human rights.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 1
      1

      I would like to know who the moderator is?
      Professor hoole was trying to ridicule Mr Rathnasiri, by giving false interpretation of the word trouser, it is a simple mistake of typing trouser instead of trousers. I assume the moderator is a close friend or associate of hoole.

  • 4
    1

    This writer will go to the extent of crying for banning school, police & military uniforms as well in the coming days.

    Appreciate this new dress code as primarily it paves the way for Muslim ladies to appear decently, equally & friendly manner hand in hand with heir fellow female beings.

    Nobody should be kept in darkness & hidden behind the shadows of mythical beliefs.

    • 2
      2

      I am of opinion that skirt and blouse and trousers for women should be allowed. In the pasty we had mini skirts which had no chance of hiding any bombs or even modesty..

  • 2
    2

    I have suggested that pair of shorts and loose T-shirt must be the dress for both men and women. It has many advantages ranging from proper ventilation and making them to keep their figure trim and even legs shapely and shiny. No more hairy legs hidden under saree. Also as Dr Hoole says they can safely mount their husbands two wheelers instead of being pinched in the buttocks by perverts in busses or seeing various types of organs by exhibitionists. Seeing various organs can also lead to family discord when ladies start comparing their partners’ development to what they see in their daily travel. So all in all let us all stick to shorts/t-short and no hairy legs. For muslim ladies well, let it be shorts/T-shirt along with head scarf. You just wait and see in a short time wahabism will introduce the same dress code for all Muslim women. Even in Arab arid countries this is a good dress for women except during sand storm when sand particles may get into wrong places. This could be overcome by proper Halal Type under wear to withstand the flying sand grains. I am sure even our local holy men too will appreciate this. Who knows Gnanasara the most reverend of all., may go around in Shorts/T-shirt combo. Gnana once lifted his sivuru to expose his well endured dong at a mosque at Dambulla and now with the shorts it is just simple. If all that fails then let us go back to our traditional dress of amude for males and reddhe only for women.

  • 6
    1

    Jeevan,

    “For men, the circular calls for a trouser …. Does it mean that we have to cut off one leg of our trousers to fit the new uniform?

    “Trousers” and “pair of trousers” are both of common usage and are used interchangeably. How many times have you seen pair of trousers listed in the laundry list when sending laundry from a hotel room?
    .
    God only knows why English Language in its infinite wisdom chose “pair of trousers” and not pair of shirts because shirts have two sleeves!
    .
    Oh knit-picking DSc – this type of silliness is why even your ardent fan and hero-worshiper, Sinhala Man has repeatedly called you an overgrown schoolboy!\
    .
    If you have legitimate points to make, make them forthrightly without adulterating them with silly mockery – unbecoming of an academic; unbecoming of an adult, period!

    • 2
      1

      Kumarar:
      Could you not also try and go past Hoole’s style of injecting noise all over the place, and look to see if he does raise an important point here?
      More seriously though, you might have heard (because it happened when you were over there) that in a school in the UK, when a head teacher insisted girls should wear skirts and not trousers, several boys turned up in skirts; in embarrassment, the rule was changed the next week.
      So, let us call upon Dr Hoole to visit the Kachcheri dressed in a saree! Sinhala Man might join also, no, in Kandian style.

  • 4
    1

    There’s nothing wrong in enforcing the public sector to wear clothes appropriate to our national culture.
    ..
    If you can’t do the same, then choose a different industry. The above regulations don’t discriminate any religion, but doesn’t promote Arabic or Western culture.
    ..
    Our country cannot and should not dance according to the moods and fancies of individuals and alien cultures.

  • 1
    2

    With a raving lunatic at the helm, this ship is sweeping the oceans for new and newer storms,

  • 1
    2

    They want Sri lanka to hares Muslims as well as friction between Muslims and sinhala. LTTE war in a different way.

  • 0
    0

    Every solution found for the problems we have had to confront bespeaks of the panic mode the ruling class is in. We have been mismanaging our country from day one.
    .
    We have a tendency to create newer problems in trying to solve the existing ones. Are we that idiotic?
    .
    Let us start afresh. Let us find ways to bring everyone into the fold.
    .
    An enforced dress code is never an answer to the current security concerns we are faced with.
    .
    Bring educated, thoughtful, and national minded administrators and leaders into the fold. Time will not be on our side for long.

  • 0
    0

    Discrimination in Western countries have been addressed with legislation which has enabled acknowledgement of problems that is dividing societies. Time for an Equal Opportunities Act in Srilanka.

  • 2
    3

    Well said Mr.Hoole Are you saying that the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration issued the “this insane circular” at the behest of Sillysena?

    He was last in China (and also in Singapore in April) for a few days and he would have been addressed by the Chinese all the time as “H.E. Sillysena”. because the Chinese Always pronounce “R” as if it is “L”. Perhaps, that has Really got fully embedded in his memory. Well, what do you know. We may be in for more “insane circulars” from other Secretaries who take orders from H.E. Sillysena

    • 1
      0

      If Hoole asks a Chinaman “How often do you have elections ?”,
      the reply will be “Evelly day”

  • 0
    0

    Human Rights Commission, against Ministry of health steps to treat with dengue virus

    How to repel mosquitoes by wearing sarees Wear clothing that protects you from mosquito bites like long sleeves, long pants, closed shoes, and hats.

  • 3
    4

    I applaud the circular. Saree is tradional dress of Lankan women from thousands of years.

    • 2
      0

      NS
      Please check when the sari become the traditional dress of the Low Country Sinhalese.
      The Low Country Sinhlaese female attire was similar to that of much of Kerala.
      The Kandyan saree was not ancient either.

    • 4
      0

      Naomi Sylvia

      “Saree is tradional dress of Lankan women from thousands of years.”

      Since when?

    • 5
      0

      Naomi Sylvia
      The traditional dress of Lankan women thousands of years ago was topless with a short sarong.

      • 2
        0

        Steve

        “The traditional dress of Lankan women thousands of years ago was topless with a short sarong.”

        Do regret you didn’t live during that time?

  • 5
    1

    Hoole promotes skirt and blouse. Hoole should acknowledge skirt includes short skirts including mini skirts. I have seen these disgusting garments (short skirts) in the public service.

    Are you a pervert Hoole?

  • 3
    2

    Slowly the country is being forced into dictatorship.
    There is nothing we can do. Karma is taking its course.
    We get what we deserve. We should not expect to reap happiness while we sow hatred, racism, religious bigotry, etc on a daily basis.
    Switch on a TV station, you mostly Will hear the above. Let few friends sit together, you will only hear how Muslims should be dealt with.
    When Muslims were helping us to win the war it was fine and dandy. But immediately after the war they were branded as the enemy.
    Mind you they were persecuted on a daily basis. Not for right reasons such extremism which was poking us in the face, but it was their business we attacked.
    We dehumanized the Tamils till LTTE was formed, then we massacred them. The muslims made the mistake of jumping on the sinhala bandwagon and now they will pay.
    Not only them we will as the majority will have to pay the biggest price. For every one Muslim or Tamil there are seven Sinhalese. Whatever they are subjected to we will suffer it 7 fold. Do we have a choice?
    Until our sinhalese people start to reason like civilised human beings we will only stand to suffer in the hands of our selfish leaders.

  • 3
    2

    WTF? Government Ministries are not run by UN funded Commissions or Sri Lanka is not a territory governed by the UN.
    If anybody has forgotten, Sri Lanka has its own Constitution which is the supreme law of the country.
    Who is Deepika? The Governor General of Sri Lanka?
    The slave government has deteriorated country’s sovereignty so much so every Tom, Dick and Harry think that they can interfere in internal government affairs.. They all should remember that the slave government’s days are numbered.
    Therefore, don’t jump too high, ok.

    • 0
      0

      Sri Lankan Constitution state that the judicial power of the People shall be exercised by Parliament through courts, tribunals and institutions created and established, or recognized, by the Constitution or created and established by law. The Human Rights Commission is a tribunal created by an act of Parliament. The constitution also states that no person shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion or place of birth. Since the dress code is clearly discriminates and violates No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth of public servants, it is the duty of the Chairman, Human Rights Commission, Dr. Deepika Udagama to take action.

  • 2
    0

    ..the 4/21 has shaken Sri Lanka at its core along many vectors. political, societal, economic.
    If we are smart, we can use the disappearance of the state of the logjam for good.
    But so far the signs are we are heading the other way. To oblivion.

  • 2
    4

    National security is utter most important thing in a country. If security personal feel these Arabic dress is detrimental to its cause no options but to ban this kind of dressing. On top of that these dressing is not suitable as far as our climatic conditions is concern as well. Religious beliefs may be something but national security is utter most important thing. If they want to continue with these kind of dressing They can go to Totally Islamic country & continue with it.These lot is descendants of south Indian Darvadians plus Afghan occupiers. Refugees .Muslim think the others are vile animals. What can you expect from vilest Animals or infidels. Not only Arabic dressing but brutal Islamism too should be banned.I suppose

  • 2
    3

    It is a human right violation to prevent people who wish to dress the way they desire, as long as it is descent. Our country is a signatory along with 192 other countries to the UN Human Rights Charter to practice any religion the people like, and even follow their own religious dress code . It is just one Clause, but many out of 30 Freedom and rights every human being is entitled to. That is why we need a ruling from Sri Lanka Human Rights Council, to submit ruling, the said Memo as flawed and in violation of the HR Charter.

  • 4
    2

    “Only rich women with chauffeur driven cars are safe.” Author does not know how many women (rich or not so rich), have had affairs with their chauffeurs.

    Another point I wish to draw attention to is that the sari and blouse can be worn in a very modest manner or with a very sexy look. And you just can’t dictate to women how they should wear the sari!

    As for the author drawing a distinction between ‘trouser’ and ‘trousers’, he is just nit-picking. It is obvious what is meant by the word ‘trouser’. Hardly any Ministry Secretaries in this country are English scholars.

  • 0
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 4
    3

    This Ratnasiri is a nutter like Gamarala , it’s high time he wears an Amudey and play gudu.

  • 0
    0

    Advantage Rathana, SET POINT. I hear Richard and( may be) two wanted governors may resign soon under MS advise. Ball is back in MR,s court. I hear MR is planning some surprise in Hambantota too. Lets follow our political ball game. (no more French Open)

  • 0
    1

    The Govt. is starting from A.B.C – we need picture samples for the new Class, please.

  • 3
    4

    Mr. Hoole, what a jumble of mumbo jumbo you have tried to assemble, all in aid of Moslems who want to cover themselves head to foot and go out in public. What makes you think that body shape is so alluring in a sari that it needs to be covered further. What nonsense is all this, when Moslem terrorists are meanwhile planning the next lethal, apocalyptic, terrorist horror, probably in the form of a nerve gas, chemical gas attack on the innocent non-Moslem Lankans. If the Easter Sunday horror did now show Lankans like Hoole that the Moslems terror against Kaffirs has no limits and no bounds and the Jihadi fanaticism calls for more blood and gore, then nothing else will.

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