24 May, 2022

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Galle Lit Fest Founder Geoffrey Dobbs Denied Entry To Lanka

Founder of the highly popular Galle Literary Festival and Australian Citizen Geoffrey Dobbs has been denied entry into Sri Lanka this morning after being deported last month, prompting Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to speculate in Parliament a short while ago that someone in the Rajapaksa regime may have an eye on his considerable property in the Galle District.

Geoffrey Dobbs

Geoffrey Dobbs

Dobbs who was asked by immigration authorities to leave Sri Lanka following spat with the Southern Province Governor Kumari Balasuriya just before CHOGM 2013, arrived in Colombo this morning but was not granted visa to enter the country. Dobbs had taken issue with the Australian Flag being displayed upside down during the preparations for the Commonwealth Summit in Galle and when his appeals were ignored by the Governor when he brought the matter to her notice, he proceeded to display the Sri Lankan flag upside down. The move irked the authorities who moved into high gear to deport Dobbs.

Raising the issue in Parliament, Wickremesinghe quipped: “Someone in the Government must be looking to acquire his property in Galle.”

The Opposition Leader noted that turning away an individual like Dobbs who had been a hotel operator and businessman in Sri Lanka for so long would hurt the country’s tourism industry.

After Dobbs’ deportation he had been advised to return to Sri Lanka and sort out his issues here, Wickremesinghe noted.

“But this morning he emailed me and said he had been denied entry to Sri Lanka,” Wickremesinghe told the House.

Dobbs, who was born in Britiain, was instrumental in organising the Galle Literary Festival that turned into a highly popular event for tourists and locals in Galle every January. The event, garnering high profile sponsorships like SriLankan Airlines and HSBC brought significant numbers of tourists and visitors to Galle each year. This year GLF was not held due to Dobbs’ poor health.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    33

    He could be the most venerated investor here, but he has no right to turn the Sri Lankan flag upside down. Let him try that in the US and see what happens. GLF was anyway elitist and promoted an elitist agenda. In this case, I for once stand by the govt decision to deport this idiot.

    • 32
      9

      Spoken like a true Sinhalaya Modaya living on fake and empty nationalism – when there are far more important things to worry about than an upside down flag!
      Deporting someone for flying a silly flag upside down is the height of irrational and insane egoism that only someone who fancies himself KING of this parochial island would do.
      The Mahinda Rajapaksa military dictatorship has clearly lost the plot – and ignorant bunch of morons they do not know the meaning of the Principle of PROPORTIONALITY – that the punishment must fit the crime!

      And who gives a toss about silly flags be they Aussi, Lanka or UK flying upside down or inside out! Only the dim witted!

      • 7
        8

        gon thadiya , try your luck with the US flag and your dim blask butt will be buried

        • 11
          0

          Americans can fly the US flag upside down, it is not illegal to do so. Now as far as non Americans go, it depends on the circumtances; the upside down flying of the flag was originally meant as symbol of distress, much like an SOS.

      • 3
        3

        This is exactly how they went about with Canada.

        Sinhala `croup` Buddhist, dont want to learn because they have faith.

        Apey Andu!!Deyo Saki!! 。◕‿◕。

      • 0
        0

        One really must not go toilet in their front carpet. Yes?
        Your tone, manner and language clearly indicates that you have serious bowel problems.

      • 7
        0

        Well Said DS. Our people dont see the big picture, this is why we are not successful as a nation !

      • 3
        1

        The Australian flag being flown the wrong way could have been resolved without Mr. Dobbs flying the host country flag upside down. Surely!! Leave everything aside and ask if two wrongs can make a right!! If he was so conscious of his current Australian citizenship, he should have had a Ozzie flag flying right side up with a Lion Flag flying, also right side up side by side!

        This horrid culture of “tit-for-tat” is what caused the ethnic issue to escalate, and it took several decades, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, at an estimated price tag of USD 500 BILLION. It started with the killing of six soldiers in Jaffna in 1982 that seized many sane people with a frenzy of hatred and vengeance, which opened the doors for “refugees” into all parts of the Western world! Think about it.

      • 3
        1

        The Australian flag being flown the wrong way could have been resolved without Mr. Dobbs flying the host country flag upside down. Surely!! Leave everything aside and ask if two wrongs can make a right!! If he was so conscious of his current Australian citizenship, he should have had a Ozzie flag flying right side up with a Lion Flag flying, which is the flag of his land of birth, education etc also right side up side by side!

        This horrid culture of “tit-for-tat” is what caused the ethnic issue to escalate, and it took several decades, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, at an estimated price tag of USD 500 BILLION. It started with the killing of six soldiers in Jaffna in 1982 that seized many sane people with a frenzy of hatred and vengeance, which opened the doors for “refugees” into all parts of the Western world! Think about it.

    • 24
      1

      Lankawe Api aka. Sinhalaya Modaya:-

      I am far more worried about the Corrupt and criminal Rajapaksa regime’s land grabbing and Casino culture of KINGSBURY style consumption and waste of funds of night races and CHOGM circus, than a silly Sinha flag flying upside down!

      Wake up! The Rajapassa project is fake SInhala Buddhist nationalism – to DIVIDE, DISTRACT and RULE the Sinhalayas while LOOTING the public wealth of the Sri Lanka people!

      • 1
        8

        Your ignorant fear of Casinos shows your backward mentality. Admit it, you are quite proud about this white man who had the nerve to visit a country and hoist it’s flag upside down don’t you?

        • 2
          0

          He doesn’t look White to me; looks mixed.

    • 10
      1

      ”Dobbs had taken issue with the Australian Flag being displayed upside down during the preparations for the Commonwealth Summit in Galle and when his appeals were ignored by the Governor when he brought the matter to her notice, he proceeded to display the Sri Lankan flag upside down.”

    • 6
      0

      The Freedom of Speech in the constitution gives the US citizens to even burn the flag itself. The First Amendment to the Constitution emphasizes that “congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    • 6
      0

      Lankawe Thopi,

      When you, your Sinhala Patriots and Buddhist Monks have been burning National Flags of other countries or trampling them in public of which photos have been splashed on the front pages of the local newspapers, you had no issue?

      • 0
        5

        The host countries of the burnt flags has a right to deny Visa for any one of our flag burners. Infact you don’t need a reason to reject Visa to a foreigner, it is totally upto the host country.

        Get yourself rid of your inferior complexity and have some self respect maybe you will see the world more clearly after that.

    • 2
      0

      You little S….can stand by the government and take till you successfully flush all Sri Lankans down a toilet.

    • 5
      0

      What is the problem of GLF being elitist? Does Having higher standards means elitist too?

      Whether GLF was elitist or not, it has been a good thing for Sri LAnka. Without burdening the public’s pocket, if brought a good name to Sri Lanka. It was always beautifully organised and the quality of the event was bringing a good name to the country. All this while not disturbing the people of the country or the economy.

      Only other people who were against GLF was Ealamists who every time try to disrupt the event. Now it seems the SL government has taken up the job. Un surprisingly it’s goons do not see the damage getting done to the country. On the other hand they very well may not care what happens to the country any way.

  • 14
    8

    I can understand Dobb’s dismay at seeing the Australian Flag upside-down; it was probably done through ignorance.The authorities should have corrected it. But his reaction (flying the Sri Lankan flag upside down) was utterly childish, foolish and arrogant.

    • 2
      0

      We have seen so many times, Siri Lankan people (in lot of other countries too) burning flags belongs to other countries in front of TV cameras. What happen to them??

      • 1
        0

        “|”What happen to them?? “|”

        “☻/
        /▌
        / \
        It’s called tolerance and understanding by the cultured western

        civilisations that are always happy to learn.。◕‿◕。

  • 16
    3

    The Galle Lit Fest was a great event for this tiny uneducated island – and it is sad that Dobbs has been treated so shabbily by the JARAPAKSE MILITARY DICTATORSHIP in Sri Lanka..

    Banana Republic on display – Rajapassa’s days are numbered..
    Australian Kerry Paker, Casino King may also pull out of the show now..

  • 17
    1

    We may be behind in most UN and other Indexes on good governance, democracy and so on but when it comes to pettiness and stealing what
    belongs to others we come out on top.

    Backlash

  • 22
    3

    Jeffrey Dobbs, on behalf of civilized Sri Lankans we apologies for this rotten treatment metered out to you..

    Please understand that people of Lanka are also suffering, like you are under the Brutal dictatorship of Mahinda Rajpaksa.

    Please talk to Paker and ask him to pull out of investing and cozzing up to the corrupt and criminal Rajapakse dictatorship and also that clown the Prime Minister of Aussie and ask them to slap sanctions on the corrupt and criminal Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. Once the Rajapakse dictatorship falls the Packer Casino Complex will be nationalized.
    We understand that SANCTIONS will be against the CORRUPT and CRIMINAL Rajapaksa dictatorship – to liberate the Sinhalaya Modayas from the Jarapassa regime – in the long term

    • 4
      20

      rotten treatment? You need to get installed a new head, a head with some IQ.

      While I don’t agree denying visa to this arrogant foreigner, deporting a foreigner or denying visa to a foreigner is not rotten treatment. It happens all the time including to Sri Lankans.

      • 6
        0

        Just because it happens all the time, does not make it any less wrong. That’s like saying since torture is commonplace in the Armed forces and police, a victim of torture should not be making a big deal speaking out about it.

        • 0
          6

          Denying visa to a foreigner is not a crime. Please get the point.

          • 3
            0

            I certainly do agree on one thing you said BUT it is you wh0 need “You need to get installed a new head, a head with some IQ.”
            good luck

  • 15
    1

    Anyone in the Government who has a little common sense will know how to handle it.If they don’t that means …..no one with common sense?Sad situ for Sri Lanka,how are the other issues going to be handled?

  • 12
    1

    Dear Mr Dobbs
    Any business has to have an
    i. environment impact assessment:
    http://groundviews.org/2012/08/22/protecting-sri-lankas-ocean/

    ii.ethnic impact assessment:
    when ethnic minority IDPs are denied help from the UN, the govt helps tourism in the South and 65-yr post-independence oppression goes on:
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-rajapaksa-state-barricades-the-npc/

  • 10
    2

    The few literate in the ruling Rajapakse coterie should advise The Brothers GLF is beginning to gain global recognition as an Asian point where recognised men and women of international literature and learning gather to exchange ideas. I believe it was fashioned in the lines of the successful Jaipur Literary Festival in India that has successfully launched many annual meetings for some years now. Our own Michael Ondaatje has been a welcome attraction at JLF and, I believe, he offers his stature and influence to our own GLF.

    The trivial aberration surrounding the Dobbs affair is a minor one that can be settled with a simple apology without sacrificing the publicity and welcome opportunity that can benefit our educational and tourism endeavours. But, if as alleged, the idea behind is the misappropriation of the valuable property belonging to Mr. Dobbs it is a different matter – for which this regime, unfortunately, has gained notoriety.

    Dobbs and the Organisers have, with much forethought, timed GLF to be held here annually a few weeks after the JLF in India in order to attract the big names that visit JLF. It needs little emphasis India is now a huge market for English literature. The Rajapakse regime must step in and ensure the continuity of GLF that has, in the past, attracted literary figures of high stature as J.M. Coetzee, Salman Rushdie, Orhan Pamuk, Vikram Seth, Pico Iyer, Tariq Ali, Patrick French, Sashi Tharoor, Asish Nandy, Niall Ferguson, Kiran Desai and many others.

    Senguttuvan

    • 1
      2

      ISS: Men of learning should behave like so. If they don’t then what’s the point in getting them here?

    • 0
      0

      Actually, Senguttuvan, I dont think Mike Ondaatje has attended the GLF up to now, and it is also a moot point that he has offered his stature or influence to it.

    • 1
      0

      Agree with you Senguttuvan but Rajapaksas and their henchmen are not men of letters. They hate books and they hate those who are knowledgeable on men and matters. Which is why Sri Lanka is the Non-intellectual Hub of the World.

  • 1
    8

    What a F*** W** !!!!.

    Not the Aussie Dobbs.. But our own Opposition Leader and the possible Common Candidate and the Future President of the median Income nation of Srilanka?.

    Aussies are Aussies . They think they are always .superior…If you want proof, ask the Millions of migrants including Diaspora mates in Australia.

    Tens of thousands of Aussies live in poor Asian countries doing all sorts of things,, And Dooby must be one of them , who happen to have a bit of Moolay..

    How would the poor Sinhala Buddhist extremists in the South, know which is the correct way to hoist the Aussie flag.

    If it had a Roo with a Joey in the pouch, our Sinhala Buddhists wouldn’t have made this mistake.

    And Dobby to get on his high horse and try flay the SP Governor is a bit cheeky and uncalled for .

    But our Opposition Leader .to use this little Sinhala Buddhist mistake and try to “ream” our Southern Governor as well as the Govt is pathetic .

    It is an an indication how desperate. impotent and irrelevant that the Opposition Leader has become as far as the great majority of the inhabitants are concerned.

    And the same Opposition leader sends his hounds to hunt good Aussies who want to build land mark businesses which provide thousands of real jobs for the Colombo Elite off springs.

    • 4
      0

      SevelaSumane,A slave will always be a faith slave and impossible to reason with!

      “☻/
      /▌
      / \ Pollution is a dirtier word than threats from orange hijab!

      (@_@)How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t

      think.- Adolf Hitler

  • 4
    0

    Jarapakses prefer drugs, black money and prostitution to any decent scholarly activity. They have turned the entire country on its head, not just the flag.

  • 3
    0

    Poor Mr Dobbs; he forgot the first rule of Sri Lankan life – DO NOT FALL FOUL OF THE LOCAL POLITICO, whatever the provocation. This is the price you pay for the privilege of enjoying our beautiful tropical island that fate has decreed will be governed by a band of unprincipled oiks and thugs. So much for democracy! That said, Geoffrey Dobbs has been in the sights of a few locals who have both been ‘disapproving’ of his success with the GLF and, as the word goes, one particular individual who has been covetous of his fine property down south. That said, this is not the first time (and won’t be the last) that a foreigner has had his property ‘nationalised’ by a local; and many have retreated with their fingers burnt and unwilling to take action in our nightmarish and unpredictable system of justice. It won’t take long for the message to get out to foreigners and returning expats that nothing trumps our local system of justice. Sad but this is the miracle of Asia.

    • 0
      0

      25 March 1505, Francisco de Almeida was appointed Viceroy of India,
      Portugal recognised Indian control only in 1975, after the Carnation Revolution and the fall of the Estado Novo regime).

      during this 500 year period the so called sinhala cum buddhist were transported from Cochin to carry out cinnamon peeling but very many ran away into the jungles like with the slaves from Africa taken to Maryland.

      The breed counts!

      “☻/
      /▌
      / \
      It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.- Adolf Hitler

    • 1
      1

      I dunno about a “foreigner” having “his property ‘nationalised’ by a local, but I DO know about a bequest by a “local” many years ago of a heritage property to be used (in trust)as a boys’ orphanage, being acquired & privatised by a foreigner to be used as a hotel. Its history has been changed to make it more exotic for overseas visitors, erasing the local(Sri Lankan)ownership. An additional wing has been built, & the walls of the large foyer are(or were when I last saw them) hung with portraits of former Dutch governors, some of whose history was pretty bloody. I think its original name, at the time it was given IN Trust, in perpetua, to a religious organisation, was Pokunu Walawwa. It is one of several such historic residences in Dixon Road, Galle, that may actually be preserved by its “foreignisation”, but it would be a pity to lose all record of its actual history simply to titillate the tourist palate.

      • 0
        0

        Good point Manel; there is nothing wrong with a foreigner investing in Sri Lanka, and if a heritage property is saved, so much the better. My point is that success, especially visible success, breeds envy and that can be a pitfall when a local politician (or chandiya) is involved. I am intrigued that a property held in trust can be ‘misused’ like this but…I suppose we don’t know the exact details of the trust. You mention the delights of Dixon Road and I know the place well and I would be sad to see any of those properties lost. Alas, the history of a property may be twisted to suit the commercial whims of the investor but this is where we have reliable local historians to keep a record of these things. As an aside, I remember a magical Saturday afternoon about twenty five years ago, when we were indulging in a game of cricket in a property adjoining the judges official residence and the guards joined us. Whoa!!!! Didn’t I laugh when some months later the judges home was burgled – only in magical Sri Lanka!

      • 0
        0

        “|”actual history simply to titillate the tourist palate”|”

        “☻/
        /▌
        / \
        Tourism is more of a buyers market. Its what the tourist like to see that sells not what you perceive they should- they are not Chinese who are told what to think but the largest being British robot factory workers.

        Anyway you remember the Amma of the shooting shopping dynasty when she not only took over our land and homes but also acquired Mackwoods of Colombo 2 during those ^5 non aligned days where folk were to eat ala, manioc.
        Didn’t she palm of Macwoods to Fernando’s for petty cash to run her never ending ran-thambli estate? So tell me who is country, who is?? Nonis of today for….(^‿◕) (@_@)

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 0
    3

    British born and Australian citizen by naturalization another Mr Geoffery Dobbs is the worst paedophile and sex offender in his adopted motherland’s short history, according to several web postings.

    Sentenced to life for molesting young girls , he has managed to get parole after serving only a few years of this long sentence.

    Our Govt obviously has to be extra vigilant when a person with the same name try to visit us from the same country,

    Our inhabitants are not saying that this Dobby is the same Mr Dobbs.

    How would he have so much time to read literature , after engaging in 64 molestations that have been proved in a court of law.

    Another point is If this Dobby is the same our Opposition Leader wouldn’t be email mates with him.. Would he ?…

    • 1
      0

      IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY DON’T SAY IT!!

      “☻/
      /▌
      / \Pollution is a dirtier word, ignorance and fraud go hand in glove-Jung. sevela.

      Sinhala Rump Buddhist,
      Sinhala Croup Buddhist,
      Sinhala Cum Buddhist,
      Sinhala Cuss Buddhist.

      Ha ha ha,
      Ha ha ha,
      。◕‿◕。 0-0 ☻ o-o ◕‿◕

    • 2
      0

      OH the mud slinging has begun, is this the pretext you pay masters the jarapaksa dynasty going to use to grab his property & hijack GLF

  • 4
    0

    What this shows is SLG has gone in to such details to prevent this man from entering the country.

    1. SLG had prior notice that he is supposed to arrive on a particular day in Colombo, the one man authority has instructed the Immigration officials not to issue visa to him (I thought on arrival visa is no more!)

    2. When he arrived our brave jathiwadi Immigration officer informed the person in-charge (Lakunu dagnna) in the Air Port, he in turn made the call to the one man authority (lakunu daganna)
    The one man authority. The one man authority used his supreme power “Adiyak wath atulata enda denna epa okata” garnished with some choice words.

    This is how everything happen in this country now, every single thing has to be filtered by the rulers.

    On the other hand the SLG is not helping itself by such actions. Looks like trouble is brewing again. This SLG is not going to stop until we are hit with such harsh sanctions. Only then the majority of ignorant people will realize the plight. But then it’s too late.

  • 0
    0

    Karma Mr.Dobbs , how is yours ? Clear ?

  • 0
    0

    Dear Manel,

    Good to hear from you.

    The impression I have is GLF has the backing of the 2 European Banks (HSBC & SCB) that usually support causes aimed at enriching English literature. I also had the feeling the Gratien Trust is also associated with the Festival – and hence Ondaatje.

    There is some reference in these pages about some foibles of Dobbs – that seems to me falls very much into his private space. Our VVIPs and the 1-man authority insinuated here are the last on earth to preach puratinism to others – suffering as they do many skeletons in their own cupboards. One wonders if he was a paedophile why action was not instituted against him in the years he was here.

    I have no personal issue here. My concern was that an event that seemed to be gaining ground to the country’s literary and tourism potential stands to suffer. You know better. The common denominator
    of JLF and GLF, unfortunately, appears to be both place themselves to
    making the news – sometimes not necessarily on the right side.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
      0

      Senguttuvan, whether the Gratiaen Trust is “associated with” the GLF,
      I wdn’t know, but somehow doubt that it is, as a body. Its individual trustees may well be but only as individuals. I do know that Michael O has never actually VOICED support for it and has not been, up till now, associated with it either. Which doesnt, of course, mean that he is in anyway agin it.

  • 3
    0

    This is only a yet another incident of land-garbing spree
    of MR and his family members done in impunity .The fools and idiots who still worship MR and his family can jeer and hurrah for this in the name of democracy and nationalism that they know.This their culture not
    the human culture.

  • 5
    0

    Any pea brained idiot will realize that what he did was to show how one would feel if one’s own flag was incorrectly positioned, as no one took notice of it until he wanted them to understand how he felt. To deport a man for that is unconscionable in any country, as the reasons were quite clear, because in Sri Lanka people are NOT sensitive to how others feel, only selfish for themselves. That was clearly demonstrated in this action.

    Sri Lankans by and large are unsympathetic to his cause as comments above show, and I must reiterate that I DO NOT know the man nor have I met him, nor has anyone he knows even egged me to write.

    If that were a black mark on the SL tourism industry by his actions, it would be one thing, however, the envy and jealousy of our local tour operators and tourism professionals to foreigners is definitely playing a part in this action.

    Geoffrey unlike most of our local hot shot tourism ‘grandes’ really understands what it takes to attract high end tourists to Sri Lanka. I was fortunate to visit his high end boutique hotels at the height of the LTTE wars, and at all times his small and exquisite hotels were FULL and brimming with well healed tourists, who just stayed at his place and relaxed, not travelling around the country. He therefore was able to cash in on these clients, get repeat clients and get recommendations from satisfied clients, without resorting to a huge marketing spend, and keep his places full, and at US$400, a night THEN as in 10 years or more ago! Something unheard of and not done by our local operators.

    Like all Aussies he was probably a little brash. It is this envy in wanting to put down a successful entrepreneur and I suspect the greed amongst some local wanna bes in Govt who want to get their dirty paws on some of his properties, is what may be driving this harassment.

    Sri Lankan tour operators have NO clue in how to market Sri Lanka. They DO NOT know how to attract FIT travelers (independent US$1000 a day spenders) and provide the value services, which ensure repeats and recommendations. It is purely on recommendation that these wealthy travelers who can go anywhere they please choose their travel destination.

    I remember some very famous names who stayed in Dobbs hotels, who were in the top of their fields, be it in politics, business, arts or academia, and who enjoyed the anonymity at his places, to stay there in the height of the LTTE battles. What a one up-man-ship for them to say they were in Sri Lanka last week for a relaxed ten days, when the news is all about war!

    Like all of us GD may have had faults, which led people to dislike him, but as far as his service to Sri Lanka especially during the worst of our times there is NO dispute. This is NO way to treat a foreigner and I am sure a huge drawback to our tourist industry, because through the contacts that Dobbs made over the years, we may lose foreign investment in tourism as well as high spending tourists. It is therefore a great loss, and those answerable are those in the top of Govt in SL today, who are possibly the worst traitors of Sri Lanka who would rather the country suffer to satisfy their envy and greed.

    It is like cutting of your nose to spite your face! That is typical of behaviour in our fair ISLE.

    • 4
      2

      Any pea brained idiot will realize that what he did was to show how one would feel if one’s own flag was incorrectly positioned, as no one took notice of it until he wanted them to understand how he felt.

      So when a dog bites you, do you bite the dog to show how one feels when bitten? The right thing to do would have been to correct the mistake that was made with the Australian flag and to find out who made the error. In hoisting the Sri Lankan flag the same way he showed to the world what an arrogant idiot he is. Yet our people are trying to portray how well read a gentleman the man is!

      In trying to defend him, you have shown the size of your own brain. Then again we are Sri Lankan no eh? If one is British or has white skin, speaks English like the white man, he is god!

      • 1
        0

        you are missing the point completely as he DID point it out going all the way up to the Governor to say so. It is only when it was obvious that no one in high office cared a damn that he did what he did to point out how insensitive they are in a way that can be understood to our people, who really are an insensitive lot. (if only you know the harassment meted out to our females in buses everyday!)

        So he did it the proper way, and when nothing happened used the stunt that caught attention, but missed the point completely on the part of the idiot to whom it was directed, further highlighting their idiocy!

        • 0
          0

          Does two wrongs make one right? Just because your neighbor robs you and Police aren’t doing anything about it does that give you the right to rob your neighbor? How many more examples do you need before you realize its was wrong for him to take law on to his own hands and raise Sri Lankan flag up side down????? If you violate the law in UK or USA or any white commonwealth country they WOULD put you in jail no matter what the excuse is. Do you understand that? National flag and National anthem are not things that are to be taken lightly and that he should understand. Just because he is from Australia and we are from a poor country, that does not give him the right to teach us a lesson whenever some moron here happens to insult Australia.

          I happen to respect Geoffrey Dobbs but this is beyond belief. So stupid. Now you cannot blame the government for kicking him out!

          • 0
            0

            Dear Navin

            Haven’t you seen how the Sri Lankan Flag is hung across the Road.
            Or Haven’t you seen One of the Lions on the Shoulders of Brave Sri Lankan Soldiers is showing its back to the Battle Field. And how many times Have our brave soldiers rolled up the Sri Lankan Flags Upside down to be ceremoniously hoisted by the Sri Lankan VVIPS. It is nothing New to Sri Lanka. Hoisting the flag upside down is a done thing. Why debate and bother.
            Do you know how we dishonour our National Flag by allowing it to be soaked in the Rain. Also by not lowering at Sunset and re hoisting at Dawn.
            Sri Lankan do so many such things that even a Provincial Governor has come beleive that whether the flag is right side up or right side down or hung down is all the same.

          • 1
            0

            Disrespect of a flag may result in myriad unintended consequences. I suppose Mr Dobbs could always plead that he was infected with a bad dose of flag abuse after watching WIMAL and his SOOPUKARAYAS conducting their regular ritual of stamping on and burning other peoples flags. We Sri Lankans don’t like it up us, do we?

  • 4
    0

    Shutting the door to Dobbs is a similar drama that unfolded with the sacking of the Sri Lankan Airline head, when it was under Emirates for not accommodating some non pod in the MR entourage on a flight, off loading some passengers. Thereafter Emirates pulled out and the Sri Lankan Air has nose dived and today is a total liability. Similarly as a result of this fiasco the Tourist Industry will suffer and will end like the Sri Lanka Airways. Way to go Sri Lanka.

  • 1
    0

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    The Govt cannot nationalize his property as JR included a clause to the Constitution to ensure protection to Foreign investment. Under that I am wondering as to how this man was treated in this manner by the Emigration chief. This chief had a bad record on some corruption issues I was told by the retired former emigration chief. The problem with Rajapakshas are they are with out proper education (uneducated like Idi Ammin)and only Paksha who had some Education is Dudly (He is a Eng Graduate from Lumuba University)and he did not return to the Island to share the loot and He is in Houston USA. So his brothers lacks wisdom and charisma that National leaders should have, what is given in the La Republic. The mistake we did was we brought a uneducated man to lead our country.(I also voted him in 2005) Some may Argive he is a lawyer. He became a lawyer thank to Late Felix Dias Bandaranayake who granted a privilege to all sitting MPs to enter Law College without fulfilling the entry requirement. Dobbs should resort to action in our courts although the system is loosing credibility day by day. nevertheless it should be the way. Some body has said the discretion is with the Emigration Chief to treat a person as a undesirable. But his action should be based on sound facts and legal grounds. If not so action become illegal and nullity.

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    Absolutely no one can justify Dobbs’ actions in this regard. I guess in Ranil Wickremesinghe’s books money really can buy one the right to even desecrate the National flag of our country. I don’t think he should be allowed into the country, unless he unequivocally apologises to the citizens of this country that he makes his money in.

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      Jordan Ebert, I am surprised by your comment. Flags and anthems are only symbols, and though one can take umbrage at abuse of such symbols, any displeasure must be reflected in proportion to the crime. Refusal of a visa is excessive and foolish. If patriotism is what is besmirched and insulted then I suggest we should look at the more important abuses such as corruption, abuse of power, abduction, torture and murder which truly harm this nation. Patriotism and nationalism must relate to the citizen and not to an abstract “country”. There is no country without people. Let us be sensible.

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    er shurely shome mishtake! You mean the country where he ‘spends his money in’? because he already amassed his moolah….quite a lot..elshwhere.

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    All sre talking about our flag.\what about the Australian National flag raised up side down. Anyway what Dobbs did also wrong and he has acted like a child. Chulananda also another fool whose actions ttarnish our image.We can find thousand such fools from our public service

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    The knee-jerk morons in Sri Lanka public life don’t realize that every action has a reaction and that reaction can far outweigh their petty personal backlash.

    Dobbs kept Sri Lanka on the map to well healed tourists when no one else was coming to SL during the height to the troubles. Then he was instrumental in adding to that with the GLF and he had immensely valuable ideas on developing this industry, to say nothing of Tsunami relief, for which he helped raise millions, a thousand times more than Kumari Balasuriya!

    However legitimate a reason there was to keep him out he MUST have due process, as otherwise we will have no tourists, inward investors or long term overseas residents who would contribute at least 3% points to the annual growth of the SL economy. If there is no due process there will be no one who wishes to come here to live and bring their assets here.

    Of course I don’t expect people with no foresight like the Commissioner General of Immigration, Chulananda Perera or Kumari Balasuriya, the Southern Province Gov. to grasp these intricate points as it regards to the development of the Country, a fault of our education system in producing morons.

    The Govt is trying desperately to fast forward growth and it is the same Govt that is trying desperately to prevent it from happening. So they are schizophrenic. Let me explain.

    Sri Lanka finds it hard to grow its exports, as the Govt. has caboshed that by encouraging import substitution, which any economist will say stifles export growth by artificially keeping the exchange rate high which contributes to a slower growth rate. So in the same schizophrenic vein, they are trying to encourage inward investment and are by their actions preventing it.

    It is now estimated that there are 75,000 elderly couples(of a total exile population of 750,000 couples 55 or over) of Sri Lanka origin who hold foreign passports, who are willing to bring in at least US$500,000 of their savings to SL in addition to their pensions to live their twilight years in comfort. There is a huge effort to attract these people from the first world to return.

    When there is NO due process and whims of Neanderthals prevail, as shown in the Geoffrey Dobbs case, there is no way in hell of these people willing to risk their hard earned money on a luxury apartment in Colombo, when they can be deported because someone is peeved!! It is as simple as that.

    So this US$37.5Billion, equivalent to what our whole country’s GNP p.a has been aborted due to the actions of NOBODIES trying to be SOMEBODIES, and I bet they don’t understand that either. Not only that the monthly remittance of their average monthly pensions of US$1000 minimum a couple, or US$75M a month is also out of the question now.

    Think how much this sum could do to the economy. It is Very very sad that only someone of foresight such as the opposition leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe was able to mention this in Parliament on Friday the 20th of December, which completely passed through the morons and imbeciles who claim to rule over us.

    There are intelligent people in Sri Lanka. Give them a chance to rule and we will notice the improvement to our quality and standard of living. Leaving it to this mob to continue this destruction of all potential, and is a recipe to a slow disaster. We will end up like Amin’s Uganda and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

    The Government MUST have a strategy that is congruent, when it makes statements of intent. When it behaves in this silly, pathetic, envious and irrational way where there is no freedom of expression, then the result is that all their best laid out plans are thrown out of the window, by one action of a cretin.

    All those referred to in derogatory terms will be able to absolve themselves from blame if they admit they made a mistake and right the wrong. However, misplaced pride prevents this, and so 20M Sri Lankans are affected by their actions, in this case adversely!!

    History will NO doubt judge them, but at what cost to the development of Sri Lanka and its people? In the end it is a cut your nose to spite your face situation, because it is some of the very same Govt. thugs who own some of the businesses that are building these condominium complexes that will be readily snapped up by the 75,000 couples I mentioned above.

    However as a testament to their ignorance they cannot connect the two incidents as one and the same thing! IT IS TIME WE PUT COUNTRY FIRST BEFORE SELF.

    SADLY THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THIS, as if he did these tin pot NOBODIES will end in the gallows, which is the fate of traitors.

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      However legitimate a reason there was to keep him out he MUST have due process

      Due process is to deny the visa on entry. There is no other “DUE” process to be followed. The process has being followed nicely:-) There is nothing Dobbs or anyone can do and government does not have to give any reason for kicking him out.

      If you have read immigration law of any country you would understand that the immigration officer at the port of entry has the RIGHT to decide whether or not to allow entry to a foreigner even if he had a valid VISA and other documents. No reason need to be given. Sri Lankan immigration is far less intimidating than immigration in USA for instance. Go there and see for yourselves.

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    According to the my view there is no value of our flag. There is no meaning about the Lion. Have you ever seen a lion in Sri lanka forest.

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    I am definitely no supporter of the Rajapaksa government, but on this score, the government of Sri Lanka acted absolutely right. Sri Lanka does not need to and definitely should not tolerate this Caucasian male arrogance. This man may have started the literary festival, but if one is to go by his own reaction to the flag issue, he comes across as a tactless, uncultured and unsophisticated individual. So he should definitely be barred from Sri Lanka, and his property taken back full-stop. If there’s an economic cost to such a decision, it can be controlled by a clear, nuanced press release from the relevant authorities that succinctly explains the reasons for the decision. This should serve as a guide to all so-called ‘westerners’ who see places like Sri Lanka as havens where they can easily fulfil their sexual fantasies, own luxury property, and entertain their superiority complexes…good riddance Dobbs.

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    Reading thro’ all these comments, I suppose Mr Dobbs was a bit foolish in getting up the noses of the locals – neighbours and politicos – and he should have been more tactful. After all, one shouldn’t shit on one’s own doorstep. So if our citizens have reported Mr Dobbs and asked for his exclusions from Sri Lanka, fair enough. After all some of us have written to other Embassies recommending the exclusion of certain of our own Sri Lankans for trampling and burning the flags of their countries. What goes around will surely come around.

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    well done mate. what has lion got to do with either sri lanka or chingala people. sri lankan flag really should reflect the origin of chingala people. on one side you should have the arrival of convicts by banana boats and on the other side the arrival of fishermen from tamil nadu who were brought by the portuguese to catch sardines. the latter make up 80% of the present day chingala population.

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    The Lion flag is controversial. The Tamils do not like it. Muslims hate it. Some Sinhalese are ashamed that it represents the bestial relationship between Kuveni and an animal which gave rise to the Sinhalese ethnic group. This may be a good time to talk about changing the flag.

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      Some sensible talk from our friend Rodrigo. The Unitary Constitution, an unnecessary and mischievous imposition by Colvin (1972), has to be changed if the country is to prevent another bloody war. And this time, like in the Spanish war against Franco it may have foreign volunteers as well.The Lion flag also should be changed (we are not African, are we?) the intimidating sword and all.
      This special-place for Buddhism should also go, if we want to be called a secular and plural society.

      Now that the Govt has been forced to allow Dobbs in, he must examine ways to go to Courts to establish the entire conspiracy was to rob his
      valuable assets that he built up over the years with his own labour, sweat and toil. The world must know to be careful to invest in Sri Lanka – where those with political power are shameless rogues. All this BoI, Constitutional and other guarantees are all ignored when the ruling family and their bootlickers are on the robbing spree. If the time is right even investor Harry J may testify against The Family since his pet hospital and some projects were stolen from him.

      R. Varathan

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