London: HSBC Bank Sorry For Displaying Sri Lankan National Flag

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By Clare Buchanan -

New Malden bank sorry for displaying ‘genocide’ flag

A bank has apologised after displaying a Sri Lankan flag that reminded a community of the horrors of their country’s civil war.

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HSBC in New Malden put up four flags during the Olympics to represent each nationality of staff members who work at the branch.

But Tamils were enraged at the gesture, which they said brought back memories of torture, rape and massacre from the country many of them have fled and consider a genocidal state.

K Ilankovan, of the Institute of Tamil Culture, said if the flag was part of a bigger display it may not have caused offence, but he said people felt it targeted the community directly.

He said: “It is insensitive. They should be more aware. If you are in the Olympics mood put all of the flags up, not just a few.

“Personally I am behind the British flag, that’s who we need to support.”

The manager of the bank, in New Malden High Street, removed the flags after residents complained and a spokesman said they have no other cases of anything similar.

Councillor Yogan Yoganathan said he has been a customer of the bank, which brands itself as the world’s local bank, for 44 years.

He said: “Obviously some of the people are going through pain still. I can understand their frustration. “We need people to work together and respect each other.

“HSBC has to be careful. They are serving the community and have to make sure they look after the community as a whole.”

HSBC was the first foreign bank to initiate a branch in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and now has 16 branches on the island.

An HSBC spokesman said: “The flags were meant with the very best intentions and the bank unreservedly apologises to any members of the Tamil community who were offended.”

The people of Sri Lanka endured more than 25 years of violence and conflict during the civil war, which arose from tensions between the majority Sinhalese and the Tamil minority.

A UN report published in 2011 said both sides in the conflict committed war crimes against civilians, but the Sri Lankan government rejected the report, describing it as biased.

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78 Responses to London: HSBC Bank Sorry For Displaying Sri Lankan National Flag

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    The flag had been put up as part of a few to represent the nations from which the staff working at the branch were from. Irrelevant of the repercussions of a really evil war and the way the undemocratic island of Lanka has treated its people via its various governments, the Sri Lankan flag represents the ENTIRE nation. So what the hell was the fuss about? People need to know what is worth fighting about instead of making a scene about everything and anything. That puts them in a questionable light, dilutes the severity of the problem and embarrasses all those who would genuinely like to see a working long term solution for our nation. Sorry about the drama HSBC.

    Davina
    August 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm
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      HSBC likes Lanka and displayed its flag because its has benefited from hedging deals and bond floats that are indebting Lanka while the Bank like the other corrupt banks Morgan Stanley, Barclaye etc benefits. HSBC has made pots of money in Lanka with on a lot of dirty deals through the Central Banka that are bankrupting the people of Lanka – HSBC works with Nivard Cabraal to run up the national debt of Lanka, crash the rupee and makes the poor pay for the lifestyle of the rich!

      Dinuk
      August 13, 2012 at 7:33 am
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        Quite right! check out the protest against HSBC in Hong Kong by take back wall street protestors – the world’s local bank which is how HSBC markets itself and its dirty deals, is as corrupt as the other big banks that were too big to fail and have caused the international financial crisis in US and Euro zone.. Lanka in on the verge of a default because of the criminal Cabraal’s partnership with nasty banks like HSBC

        Don Stanley
        August 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm
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    The Orange stripe of the Sri Lankan flag represents the Tamil people of the country. What a shame, these people who make a mockery of great political and humane philosophies such as human rights and democracy have now taken to mocking the Olympic spirit as well! Poor ignorant bank manager. He/ She was clearly just trying to raise the Olympic Spirit in his bank! Not to harass him any further, but doesn’t him bringing down the flag contradict the fact they actually have branches in Sri Lanka?

    Navin Weeraratne
    August 12, 2012 at 11:58 pm
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      Navin, if as you allege the colour Orange represents the Tamils, what does the Lion carrying the Sword represents? The Lion is a Jungle Animal and the Sword cannot be for purpose of Peace other than to commit violence? Or is it to show the Supremacy of the Sinhalese over the Tamils?

      gamini
      August 13, 2012 at 8:20 am
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        Gamini- the lion represents bravery and strength of ALL Sri Lankans including tamils, the crimson represents sinhalese, the green muslims, yellow all other races and cultures living together in Lanka and the orange tamil people as Navin mentioned. The sword represents sovereignty and bravery of ALL Sri Lankans not dominance. The handle of the sword represents water, fire, air and earth the elements the is made of. The Bo leaves buddhists virtues Kindness, Friendliness, Happiness and Equanimity which are relevant to all religions and cultures. So you see, it is a very inclusive flag compared to most flags which do not even represent any minorities (such as the British or Australian flags). Do not buy into ignorant theories aimed at dividing us. It is time to unite. All those who talk of Genocide should first visit Colombo and see how more than 50% of Tamils live side by side in peace with other Sri Lankans. Surely a genocidal race/government would first cleanse the capital? Just more false propaganda spread by LTTE supporters so that they can leech off the dollars and pounds of hard working yet misguided Tamils abroad.

        malla
        August 13, 2012 at 9:23 am
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          Dear Gamani, Malla and Navin VWeeraratne! The ignorant Sinhala ‘Theravada’ Buddhists and the Tamils have been fighting over ‘the lion emblem’ of the Kandyan flag without knowing what the lion holding a sword placed inside a rectangle with pinnacles at the corners symbolizes. The Sinhala ‘Theravada’ Buddhists and the Tamils think that the lion emblem symbolizes the Sinhalese race! IT IS WRONG! To understand correctly what the lion emblem symbolizes, one must have a thorough knowledge on the following: 1) Symbolization; 2) Symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism; 3) the word – meaning relationship of the Tamil language. The problem with the Theravada Buddhism is that it rejects completely Puranas, literature, symbolization, symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism, iconography, statues, sculptures. paintings, music, dance, drama etc. Only Mahayana Buddhism accepts these! From ancient time, Lord Buddha had been symbolized by the Mahayana Buddhists with the animals lion, horse, elephant and bull and a pair of foot. Buddhism had been symbolized with the geometric figures that symbolize 1) the Four Noble Truths; 2)the Middle Path; 3) the Noble Eight fold Path; 4) the Five Nivaranas; 5) the Seven Links to Enlightenment; 6) the Ti-pidaka; 7) the Ten Precepts; the Three steps: Sila, Samadhi and Panna; 9) the Triple Gem; 10) the 12 Nithanas etc. In some of the other preaching also we find the Triple-gem and others. Thus, different combinations should be used to symbolize Buddhism specifically. As examples: In Jainism also we find the Triple Gem. Thus, the geometric symbol that symbolizes ‘a group of three things’ could not be used alone to symbolize the Triple gem of Buddhism! Some additional symbols that symbolize what Buddhism emphasizes should be used in combination. Likewise, in Buddhism we find the Four Noble Truths. But in ‘Hinduism’ also we find ‘the Four Vedas’! Therefore, a geometric symbol that symbolizes ‘a group of four things’ cannot be used alone. Some additional symbols that symbolize what Buddhism emphasizes should be used in combination. In the Lion flag of the Kandyan kingdom, a rectangle with four pinnacles at the corners symbolizes ‘the Four Noble Truths.’ The Lion symbolizes Lord Buddha. As Buddha adhered to the Noble Eight fold path emphasized by the Four Noble Truths, lion is kept at the center of rectangle. To confirm further that the Lion symbolizes Lord Buddha, a sword is placed at the right fore paw of the lion. The sword does not symbolize what our present sinhalese ‘learned’ say! To understand what the sword symbolizes, one must know the Tamil language. Tamil word for a sword is “வாள்”(VaaL). Tolkaapiyam says: “வாள் ஒளியாகும்.” That is:LIGHT. Therefore, the lion holding a sword is an enlightened lion, LORD BUDDHA! From these it is clear that the Kandyan flag was designed by a Tamil Mahayana Buddhist!! In the flag that was supposed to be carried by Duttagamani while fighting Ellara also we find a lion emblem. In that flag, the lion holding a sword is placed at the Middle Path! The square symbolizes the Four Noble Truths. A line passing horizontally through the point at which the two triangles touches is the Middle Path. Thus, Duttagamani carried the flag of Lord Buddha and Buddhism and not the flag that symbolizes the Sinhala race!! So study scientifically the subjects Symbolization and Symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism and re-examine all the archaeological finds and literature of Lanka and come to a correct conclusion that the Tamils of Lanka were ‘Mahaayaana’ Buddhists in ancient time. This will make the Sinhala – Theravada Buddhist nationalism based on the doctrine: “Aryan” – Sinhala – Sinhalese – Theravada Buddhism – Lanka with one-to-one correspondence false and imaginary!! Do not you think rescuing the Sinhala Theravada Buddhists and the Tamils from their IGNORANCE would help to find a lasting political solution?

          Abimanasingham Sitthawatthai Uthayakumar
          August 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm
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          Malla, I could have bought your story on the Flag, the Lion depicting for bravery, had Sri Lanka waged a war or battle with a foreign country, but not subjugating a minority when repeated requests for equality has been denied. Besides you state, the bo-leaves represents, for buddhists virtues Kindness, Friendliness, Happiness and Equanimity which are relevant to all religions and cultures. Have the Buddhists not shown in ample measure periodically for the whole world to see and understand the significance of the Bo-leaves? You also state, ‘All those who talk of Genocide should first visit Colombo and see how more than 50% of Tamils live side by side in peace with other Sri Lankans. Surely a genocidal race/government would first cleanse the capital’. If you suffer from amnesia, may I remind you when Gota tried to do Ethnic cleansing by packing off all the Tamils was prevented by a Court Order not many moons ago? I wonder who is misguided, whether it is the Tamil Diaspora or the Sinhalese Buddhist Patriots?

          gamini
          August 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm
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          Maila you have very aptly pointed out the true facts . Some ignorant people need to be educated on facts rather than on hearsay and gossip .

          kumudini
          August 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm
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          Kundimanis and Kumudinis can never be educated as they totally lack rationale. They are the half educated, who are the problem more than providing a solution. The Compassion of these Buddhists even if the whole flag is covered with Bo-Leaves, will not bring about change of attitude other than hatred. The whole world is witness to their kind of Kindness, Friendliness, Happiness and anything but Equanimity. Although Malla (not Maila as Kumudini cannot grasp, not surprising) states that no other country has a Flag with meaning as ours, they practice the mentioned virtues better than us, where as we are a bunch of Hypocrites. This is a Fact.

          gamini
          August 14, 2012 at 1:46 am
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        so, going by your logic, all nation states that have a weapon in their court of arms are pro-violence! is that what you are saying? If we go by that logic, true to its form the LTTE had 2 guns and a Tiger on their purported EELAM flag! I guess that says it all :)

        Thishya Weragoda
        August 15, 2012 at 11:44 am
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          Thishya, what are the other countries that have weapons as insignias on their flags and not Court of Arms as you have stated? Yes indeed had the LTTE succeeded, VP would have been a Dictator and as displayed in their flag the Tiger head and the two guns would have spelled doom to the Tamils of the NE.

          gamini
          August 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm
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        Nothing to say other than Laughing on you. You guys are allowed to raised killer flag (LTTE) every corner of the UK. That doesn’t harming anybody’s feeling?

        True
        August 16, 2012 at 12:06 am
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      Abimanasingham Sitthawatthai Uthayakumar, that is a really interesting explanation of the Sri Lankan flag, and I know that our last King, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, who was actually of Tamil origin (and Buddhist), used a flag of a Lion with a sword, so I can’t help but feel there is a lot of truth to what you have said, so thank you for that! I’ll do a bit more research on the topic myself, should be interesting! As I often post on these threads, there is next to nothing that separates us Sinhalese and Tamils. It is such a shame that there is such a large movement with a vested interest in conflict and division of the two communities. Gamini, your argument against the fact Tamils and Sinhalese live side by side in peace in Colombo, is in fact proof that Sinhalese and Tamils do live side by side in Colombo! So do Muslims and Christians and all others. The court order you speak of, who was it issued by?! You can’t argue against facts. Colombo is a melting pot! I can only hope that the whole of Sri Lanka will one day be the same. Every community of people have their bigots, but they also often have their fair share of the wise. But in general, the masses are neither. The Same applies to both the Tamil and Sinhalese populations. The masses of neither population truly hold a grudge against the other, rather they all simply want to live in peace. This is why so many of both races who can afford to do so, get out of this so called country their leaders claim to be willing to die for! What use of living in a country of your own, if your loved ones can’t live in peace and prosper? Both populations are presently ‘spoken’ for by corrupt and blood thirsty goons who have absolutely no interest in the well-being of either community. Just their wallets. It is that simple. All this killing, all this propaganda in support of war, and division, in the name of human rights and freedoms – none of it is truly about rights or freedoms. They are all about filling the coffers of a few. VP was a puppet of the LTTE diaspora, that is all! MR and his family are just opportunistic thugs who saw an alternative way to make millions using the good work of the LTTE diaspora! They scratch each others backs!! Yes we have ignorance in society, but which community doesn’t? To use words like genocide and ethnic cleansing out of context, to push personal political agendas, is an insult to all human beings who have truly suffered in the hands of dictators and terrorists. Instead of learning from past events, these people turn the sufferings of others into cliches to support their own causes, while justifying the same disgusting acts! How horrible!! Yes, we have both dictators and terrorists in our country, and we also have lots of their supporters working from outside the country. That doesn’t mean the people of the country are represented by such corrupt and selfish goons! These goons may fool a few, and even fellow dictators and terrorist leaders of other nations, but they can never fool those of us who are simply not interested in gobbling up lies! Lies only fool those who have a vested interest in being fooled. Lies don’t change the truth, no matter how many people gobble them up. Please learn to differentiate between corrupt political and terrorist movements, and the general population of a country! Try applying the logic used by LTTE supporters to describe the Sinhalese race using the GoSL, to Syria or Libya! What race was bullying who in those countries? The fact to the matter is, the GoSL and the LTTE are both corrupt leaderships that suck the life out of their own people! Those on both sides know that uniting the nation would mean no more life to suck, thus the vested interest in continued division! The Sinhalese and Tamil people have worked together, and helped each other in various ways in the past, and will continue to do so, no matter how much those who make profit out of creating conflict amongst them try to divide them. We worked together to get rid of foreign invaders, so it is only a matter of time before we will come together and get rid of the local invaders!!

      Navin Weeraratne
      August 13, 2012 at 11:28 pm
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        Quoted from your Comments: MR and his family are just opportunistic thugs who saw an alternative way to make millions using the good work of the LTTE diaspora! They scratch each others backs!! Not only MR and his family, but almost many he has been dealing with seem to have the same blood – not decent ministers as had been known to us 2-3 decades ago. See, HOW DEEP THE COMMON MAN´S PROBLEMS TODAY have been. Sources: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzgPfFVNaUQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYEMFQrvxv4

        FedupMinded
        August 15, 2012 at 10:08 am
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    HSBC, like the developped countries playing politics as usual. Thay should not have hoisted any flags in the firstplace. What an excuse to put up only four flags when HSBC is established in many countries and I am sure there might be more than four countries represented by nationalities working in this Premier outlet, unless HSBC is also Hedging with MR?

    gamini
    August 13, 2012 at 1:32 am
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      ‘I am sure there might be more than four countries represented by nationalities working in this Premier outlet’ Sure? Based on what facts? What actual relevant information do you have to base that ‘certainty’ on? Have you been to New Malden? Do you have any idea how small some of these branches can be?

      Navin Weeraratne
      August 13, 2012 at 11:33 pm
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        Navin judging from your posts I understand you live outside the country, hence being out of touch on certain issues. I admire your ability to accept being corrected with facts. Yes I agree the Sinhalese and the Tamils have much in common than with the British or the Americans who are trying to be the good samaritans. As I have often repeated the majority Sinhalese have no problem recognising the Tamils as equals and living with them side by side. Infact up to ’83 the case was that and many had intermarried. When the goons of the Corrupt Politicians went about attacking the Tamils who had lived among the Sinhalese, were saved by the fellow Sinhalese from the goons. If not the carnage in ’83 would have been tremendous. As for your comment how sure I am that there are more than four nationalities in the New Malden Branch, only our flag is on display and not the others. I understand the number of staff in these branches are few in number. The fact remains that HSBC is a Global Organisation and displaying only the Sri Lankan flag, the staff was only courting trouble as has happened. Navin, as for the War Crimes with the evidence available one can not sweep the whole thing under the carpet claiming the LTTE was a Terrorist outfit. What is sauce for the Goose should be sauce for the Gander also. Believe me there will never be any reconcilliation between the two Communities unless the allegations are addressed. The lack of it and the delay of implementing the very LLRC proposals of the MR govt. itself is evidence of the insincererity of the Sinhalese. So how do you propose to build trust between the Two Communities?

        gamini
        August 14, 2012 at 8:26 am
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          Gamini, apologies if I came across rather crass. The HSBC branch put out four flags, each representing the nationality of its staff (of that particular branch – this is extremely common, and we are doing the same at my office, though internally, and there is a Sri Lankan flag flying above my desk). So it was not just the Sri Lankan flag. I understand the photo used in this article is misleading. However it is stated in the article. As for your question: So how do you propose to build trust between the Two Communities? We need to learn to be ashamed of our past actions, like Germans are of their Nazi history. Then, we will be able to move on, and build trust. We need to encourage (or perhaps educate) both sides to stop defending their sides. I fully agree with your statement ‘What is sauce for the Goose should be sauce for the Gander also’. Only, I don’t think what is acceptable for the GoSL or LTTE diaspora should be acceptable to any real humane person. I believe what we need if for the Sinhalese to stop defending and worshiping the GoSL, and the Tamils to stop defending and worshiping the LTTE. But unless noise to this effect starts to come from both sides, we will struggle to make any real progress. Once we have a sufficient faction of the population of each side rejecting the false propaganda and claims of their corrupt leaderships, natural changes in leadership will take place on both communities, hopefully creating more accountable and responsible leaderships, which will then naturally bring about the truth from both sides. It will take time. But such change will be far more sustainable than ‘revenge’ induced ‘reconciliation’. (Note: revenge is often rephrased as accountability – but to me, that is just PR). What is important is that we minimise the number of future victims of this politically conjured up conflict. I would love to see the day when all crooks of the GoSL, and the LTTE are brought to justice like those from Iraq, Al-Qaeda etc, but I am not going to support a bloody revenge scheme, dressed as a search for justice (or accountability), in order to see that day. I don’t care if MR or any of the LTTE diaspora lives out their lives in absolute luxury. To me, punishment of criminals is a secondary requirement. Priority should always be protecting society first. So what I care about is changing the utterly unacceptable levels of suffering and oppression that millions of Sri Lankans, of all ethnicities and religions, are currently going through in that country. I do not see this being achieved through protests in London, or sanctions on Sri Lanka, demanding ‘accountability’ for the war. If anything, I only see these actions making things worse for innocent Sri Lankans. Chasing revenge in the name of justice is not for me, and history will show that peace comes from not revenge, rather from realising the truth, and controlling what we can control, instead of dwelling on what is out of our hands. We all have the power to forgive. The Sinhalese and Tamils have both done a lot of wrongs to eachother. Instead of pointing fingers at eachother, we need to all just accept we have all done wrong, and start again. Continuing to justifying conflict in the name of justice achieves nothing, and that is why I am often crass towards statements that reject reconciliation without ‘accountability’. Do we want our future generations to continue being born into hatred, ignorance and war? What we should encourage is forgiveness, and trust in God (or Karma) to deal with those who have wronged us (if that is truly important to us). We all have the ability to forgive, without revenge. That is therefore something we all can control. Reconciliation does not require revenge, it just requires the truth to be told and accepted. The truth, is already out there! We just need the people to stop justifying the evils of their chosen side. What is murder from the other side, is also murder if carried out from your side! Both sides need to accept the ugly truths of their sides, instead of shouting about those of the other side.

          Navin Weeraratne
          August 15, 2012 at 5:24 am
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          The country belongs to all and it is also a fact that the majority are Singhalese and they naturally rule the country, as anywhere else in the world. If anyone wants to reconcile they are more than welcome to do so and that’s the naked truth. Investigations, accountability etc are nicely crafted buzz words by the defeated anti Lankan eliments, who still can’t stomach the bitter truth of their defeat and failed agenda to divide Sri Lanka. The classic manifestation of the defeated mind is revenge and punishes a weaker nation, arisen out of sheer envy and frustrations and their inability to change a regime elected by the majority. The same vociferous calls for reconciliation and investigations are virtually unheard in other theatres of war like Palestine, Afghanistan, Libya etc. Perhaps the perpetrators can’t be expected to be investigated by their own sponsored organisations Bring development and opportunities to the under developed areas in Sri Lanka and that is the only problem facing the country as everything else stems from this economic reality. Viva Sri Lanka lets march on and let the detractors and the bogus crusaders of human rights eat humble pie!

          Gamaya
          August 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm
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    At least the HSBC there should have checked with its counter part in Colombo to find the facts and check what is happening in Sri Lanka before cowing down to LTTE Terrorist groups living there as economic refugees. HSBC is more interested in laundering blood money of these terrorist groups than serving the nations. All Sri Lankans should boycott HSBS unless their head office apologize to the Sri Lanka Government and it’s people.

    Don Sarath
    August 13, 2012 at 4:22 am
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      Don Sarath says: “HSBC is more interested in laundering blood money of these terrorist groups than serving the nations”. It is alleged it provides a good service to Mafia Dons who run the countries, gangs, cartels, etc. Please confirm it is not the case in Sri Lanka.

      Native Vedda
      August 13, 2012 at 6:46 am
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      Don, the problem is, our ‘Government’ depends on exactly this type of thing to fuel their own propaganda. So this is a lose lose for us Sri Lankans who just want our country to be terrorist and dictator free!

      Navin Weeraratne
      August 13, 2012 at 11:41 pm
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    The Tamil diaspora have no right to request the removal of a flag of a country that they are not a part of anymore, regardless of whatever reason they claim. They are not political refugees and regardless of all their claims of genocide, rape etc they will always and ever be just opportunistic economic refugees. The only true victims of the war are the Tamils that remained in SL throughout the war and suffered for decades under Tiger rule and the rest of the populace that lived through the dangers of suicide bombings etc in their everyday lives. It’s funny how the diaspora still supports an organization that taxed their own people back in the north almost to destitution, kidnapped family members to fight a war they wanted no part of and made their day to day lives a living misery. These people should be ashamed of themselves, claiming to be the victims of the war while living in the relative safety of the UK with a better quality of life and receiving special refugee status on the backs of the poor Tamils who couldn’t make it themselves.

    Jordan Ebert
    August 13, 2012 at 6:50 am
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      Well said Jordan, glad to see that someone can see through all the smoke. The Tamil dispora raise so much funds for the LTTE, yet when it really counts they have failed to help their own brethren in the North and East. It is the Governments of SL, India and China that continue to feed, clothe, educate and shelter SL Tamils affected by the war. The fact is the diaspora abroad are willing to let low caste tamils in SL suffer so that they can reap the rewards abroad. Not many people know the extent of the rigid caste system in place. Some Tamils refuse to even share a meal with other Tamils. It is these poor idividuals who were forced to dacrifice their lives and that of their children so that the high caste tamils could chase dollars, pounds and a better life in sympathetic countries. It was never about Ealam, will the Tamils in London, Toronto and Sydney give up the dollars and pounds and move back to 40 degree heat in the Wanni to earn in rupees? Soon the next generation will be wanting Ealam in England, Canada and Australia instead. Probably more feasible as the low caste tamils in SL are starting to see the light.

      malla
      August 13, 2012 at 9:32 am
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        “It is the Governments of SL, India and China that continue to feed, clothe, educate and shelter SL Tamils affected by the war.” Dear Malla! You are writing imaginary things. Go to Wanni and see the plight of the people! Majority of them are still living in the temporary huts and find very difficult to exist!!

        Abimanasingham Sitthawatthai Uthayakumar
        August 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm
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      “The only true victims of the war are the Tamils that remained in SL throughout the war and suffered for decades under Tiger rule and the rest of the populace that lived through the dangers of suicide bombings etc in their everyday lives.” Dear Jordan Ebert! I have been living in Jaffna Peninsula for decades. You have spoken about one side only! You have not spoken about the other side – Shooting, artillery and MBRL attacks, aerial bombardment, and other types of killings carried out by the Government forces. I would say: you are an unreliable person!

      Abimanasingham Sitthawatthai Uthayakumar
      August 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm
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        I am from Sri Lanka and was in Trincomlee the very last weekend. The Govt has done a lot to rebuild the war torn areas but obviously its a poor govt and there is so much they can do with the limited resources. These people who say it brought back memories have obviously forgotten all the suicide attacks from LTTE and LTTE was the worst terrorist organisation in the world. HSBC Shouldn’t have taken the Sri Lankan flag down.

        TJ
        August 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm
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          “obviously its a poor govt and there is so much they can do with the limited resources” So TJ wants us to forget the loans given by IMF, aid given by China and another loan given by India only few days back, which together total to several billions. All these loans are directed towards Hambontota, Galle and Gampaha, it is interesting to note how these places have nothing to do with the war, this is something they call “selective development” HSBC did the right thing, no banks should hang this flag, that reminds tamils of horror.

          Jegath
          August 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm
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      Well said . Facts must be separated by fiction .

      kumudini
      August 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm
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    HSBC had been mis guided by the foolish trouble maker Srilankan staff on the branch. He/She must be having a mischievous laugh for making a mockery of the management . Some how he/she had proved his/her belief of racial view in support of the genocidal country. i’m sure some how it would have reminded the tamil customers the pure butchery took place during the genocide in Srilanka . HSBC or any other banks should take note of the customers and not conniving with the smart A** staff of the branch.There are thousands of banks of various categories with staff from the globe. Not heard of them rolling out their flags. It would have looked very funny if that had happened all over UK . VERY SILLY HSBC BRANCH.

    Olympian.
    August 13, 2012 at 9:49 pm
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    That staff of the NEW MALDEN branch should be sacked for creating racial tension with the customers. It is not an innocent mistake but a wicked one.

    Olympian.
    August 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm
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    The Tamil doaspora and some western politicians especially in London live on a co-habitation basis. Thier agitations protests or whatever they do in Tamil name has has nothing to do with the Tamils in Sri Lanka. But the tamils abroad gets patronized by these politicians, 1.for their vote and 2. for the tool they provide to interfere in Sri lanka. HSBC should have been sensitive the sentiments of the larger community and not a few terrorist sympathisers

    NAK
    August 14, 2012 at 6:30 am
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      Better than the Sinhala politicians who call tamils “our brothers and sisters” and secretly plot behind their backs.

      Jegath
      August 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm
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        Jegath says: “Better than the Sinhala politicians who call tamils “our brothers and sisters” and secretly plot behind their backs.” No difference at all. Pathmanaba and Sabaratnam were VP’s one time comrade in arms, part of defunct ENLF, jointly signed a common document. VP was Amirthalingam’s former bodyguard. Yogeshwaran MP treated VP as his own brother. VP shook hands with Rajiv. Mahathya was a trusted lieutenant of VP. Premadasa saved VP’s life and his LTTE. The story of VP didn’t not stop there. The fate of Sundaram and others……….. Stupid Tamils are no better than the Stupid Sinhalese. Stupid Sinhalese are no better than stupid Tamils. Both are stupid and brutal, a lethal cocktail.

        Native Vedda
        August 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm
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          VP was involved in politics all his life, shaking hands and killing the next day is part of it and politicians are two tongued however VP did not plot to kill sinhalese in gampaha or galle, but sinhalese who call tamils as “brothers and tamils” have done it and continue to do it.(some say riots in 1983 was planned over 3 years). Burning of Jaffna library to Mullivaikal is all part of it,non of them were politicians, but innocent tamils.

          Jegath
          August 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm
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    This Gamini fellow has his stripes covered but has exposed it through his text

    dicky Bird
    August 14, 2012 at 11:20 am
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      Dicky Bird, your ability and capacity is well displayed from your comments. Fortunately the majority Sinhalese are sensible having protected and sheltered the Tamils who were attacked in ’83 by your type of goons. Yet with all the violence committed by the LTTE, the majority Sinhalese are willing to forgive and forget unlike you psychopaths who demand the pound of flesh. The false euphoria you bask in at the moment of a War Victory and your attempt to rope in the other Sinhalese to think on your lines will never work. Leave my stripes aside, your foolish empty rhetoric and your naivette speaks volumes of your character, the scum in society no different to the Rajapaksas who publicly uses filth to insult others.

      gamini
      August 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm
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        gamini says: “Fortunately the majority Sinhalese are sensible having protected and sheltered the Tamils who were attacked in ’83 by your type of goons.” The very charitable act itself was very foolish indeed. Look at the Tamils, when Muslims were chased out of their land from the North by the LTTE the Tamil men were hiding behind their women folks. That was the only time I saw wisdom (??????) in them.

        Native Vedda
        August 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm
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      Dicky Bird, False accusation on an individual is punishable by law, accusing someone as a member of terrorist group is serious offense without evidence, can you prove Gamini as a tiger?

      Jegath
      August 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm
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        Jegath, thanks for standing by. These dimwits, when one speak of the truth without bias, they accuse us either working for NGOs for $, or as LTTE supporters/sympathisers, or as Traitors to the Nation. These Bums must be thinking that others are also naive as they are.

        gamini
        August 15, 2012 at 2:11 am
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    Displaying the flags of several nations rather shows the narrowmindedness of those bank authorities. They the westerners should get on with any individual country with much more sensitivity rather than just continuing to do so. Legal approvals to allow stamps with tiger symbols in France, Germany and several other countries a couple of months back were one of the similar issues that they went irresponsible, not respecting other nations. And the most joke is when it goes with Buddha statues, they use them as decorative items for their showrooms. These are often seen almost many countries in Europe – no respect at all not thinking twice – there they are far less developed than developing nations.

    Sindi
    August 15, 2012 at 8:35 am
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      Besides, why to display all the flags even staff members come from various countries is not comprehensible. The fact that lanken ethnic problems are known the average, since tamil diasphora protested loudly as they could – at the queens´s jubi ceremonies very recently- where MR was attacked calling war criminal.

      Sindi
      August 15, 2012 at 8:39 am
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    Dear all, Please be happy that you are living in other countries had the opportunity to see another world and gain benefits and had a chance to earn in foriegn currency and live a more lavish life than you speak of. People still living in SL sainhala or tamil still living in poverty, and you living in new malden or anywhere for that matter should all get together and give to the poor, for who you say who do not have anything. Make atleast one family happy, and your comments will count. Also keeping in mind that all sri lankans (sinhala or tamil) living anywhere in the world definitely has used Sri lanka as birth place in their first personal information pack, then you have gained, and used the national name and flag, so be happy snd unite, cause thats the only thing remaining. One life people!!

    Batahira srilankan
    August 15, 2012 at 11:18 am
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      Once the people in Srilanka are freed from state oppression, development will soon follow and poverty will vanish as the people who brought poverty in, will be out of the scene, after all USA prospered only after gaining its freedom from British, so we are in a desperate fight for that freedom.

      Jegath
      August 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm
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      We don’t want to beg for money from anyone even from Sri lankans livings abroad, An active democracy will change our political leadership. Time to change!

      Country Kid
      August 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm
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        Country Kid Democracy in Sri Lanka???

        Native Vedda
        August 16, 2012 at 7:01 am
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      I am ashamed to call myself as Srilankan because its Shingala thug leaders and their criminals butchered more than 40 thousand of my brothers and sisters and raped thousands of my sisters

      Pera
      August 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm
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        Quite a big family you have there….

        Tania P.
        October 19, 2012 at 4:10 am
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    If we had to remove union jacks cause of the pain it gave to many billions of people around the world. I don’t think we would ever see one.

    prishan
    August 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm
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      prishan You are free to fly any flag if you want to but in your own property. You are also free not to fly a flag if you don’t want to in your property. You are free to fly a flag and then remove it if you don’t want to. I see no problem in that. Almost all national flags are soiled in blood.

      Native Vedda
      August 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm
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    Jegath “VP was involved in politics all his life, shaking hands and killing the next day is part of it and politicians are two tongued however VP did not plot to kill sinhalese in gampaha or galle” When did VP involve himself in politics? This is news to me. The man started his brand of terrorism with killing of unarmed civilians and ended his life as a psychopathic serial killer in Mullivaaikkal allegedly surrendering to Sri Lankan armed forces. In between under his watch or instruction many innocent people were mercilessly butchered in border villages, under the Bo tree, buses, trains, in the streets, plans,………… It was said he killed his friends in their beds. VP killed many for reasons only known to him. A psychopath is irrational therefore he would not have aware of his reasons. Your justification that “shaking hands and killing the next day is part of it and politicians are two tongued” is pathetic. Who did give VP the right to chose the people who should live and who should die? Was he playing god or sun god? Why are you sitting on your brain? You say: “some say riots in 1983 was planned over 3 years” It was a planned and executed by Sinhala speaking psychopaths. They are/were no different to Tamil speaking psychopaths. In essense both people are stupid and they both have a disproportionate percentage of psychopaths among them. Please feel free to remain a stupid person for the rest of your life that is your birth right. However justifying actions of psychopaths is very, very, very very stupid indeed.

    Native Vedda
    August 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm
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    ALL banks have only one philosophy, making money. They launder money for criminal gangs, assist pariah nations like Iran despite international sanctions, assist the wealthy in evading taxes etc etc. HSBC obviously has more deposits from the Tamil diaspora than from GOSL or Sinhalese, ergo, the contrition about this absurd flag incident. The LTTE flag never has represented a nation nor an ethnic groups. Many Tamils would not want to be associated with it for they have suffered as much, if not more, than the Sinhalese or Muslims due to the meglomania of VP, Pottu Amman etc. The flag predated the LTTE right? Was it not the flag of Ceylon at independence? Talk about much ado about nothing.

    American Lanka Lover
    August 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm
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    These tamils are like .. This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

    Nari
    August 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm
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    I dont understand why HSBC has to mollycoddle tamils. Clearly HSBC did not mean to upset them. What flag do they want HSBC to hoise? A tiger flag? Sorry, it is a banned terrorist organisation. So they hoisted a Sri Lankan flag. What is the problem. If tamils are offended they can do their petty banking else where. it is not like HSBC is losing millions because tamils dont deposit their dole money. Hilarious!

    Sam
    August 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm
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    I dont understand why HSBC has to mollycoddle tamils. Clearly HSBC did not mean to upset them. What flag do they want HSBC to hoise? A tiger flag? Sorry, it is a banned terrorist organisation. So they hoisted a Sri Lankan flag. What is the problem. If tamils are offended they can do their petty banking else where. it is not like HSBC is losing millions because tamils dont deposit their dole money. Hilarious!

    Sam
    August 15, 2012 at 6:17 pm
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      haha …that is so true

      JohnTigerSlayer
      August 15, 2012 at 11:31 pm
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    Long stories apart, I believe that anyone who supports TERRORISM should be thrown in jail! Except for a few (a few 1000) opportunistic maniacs, all peoples – Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Chinese, Burghers and Sinhalese call Sri Lanka home under one flag. So the British Govt should get their act together and stop this nonsense.

    Donga The Bonga
    August 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm
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      Donga The british government is no different to the GoSL. They are also only interested in power, re-election, buying votes etc. The simple mathematical equation that applies to British, and all international politicians is: No. of True Sri Lankans wanting peace in SL in constituancy < No. of LTTE Diaspora in constituency I am yet to come across a politician in the UK who genuinely cares for the country, let alone international countries. The fact to the matter is, appealing to minority movements with agendas is a far easier way to gain votes for these politicians than actually trying to appeal to general society. Recently a referendum in the UK was determined with something like 30% of the population voting. In such 'democratic' systems, the few hundred thousand LTTE votes can go a very long way. Another good example of the flawed nature of the British system is how the BNP got into European parliament. I have been approached by politicians from numerous parties assuming I am a supporter of the LTTE. The politicians are happy for the few Sri Lankans who do not support the LTTE to be put off from voting for them, as they know a majority will vote for them as long as they appeal to the LTTE diaspora.

      Navin Weeraratne
      August 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm
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    New Malden HSBC Tamil staff better not go to SriLanka for any reason .They can’t take the loss of their terror battle .Atleast now mind your own .

    JUDE
    August 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm
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    Hello Tamil Terrorist Diaspora, the TTD! Here’s another chance for you to lick the feet of the British, and beg to ‘punish’ Sri Lanka. (Try it if you can.) http://www.abtn.co.uk/news/1517719-ba-relaunch-sri-lanka-flights (British Airways is to resume flights to Sri Lanka next year after a 15-year absence from the Indian Ocean island….) LOL… but who cares? Sri Lankans are now too busy in marching forward to worry!

    BunkerRat
    August 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm
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    First we must learn what is true Dhamma? Dhamma is Nature nothing else that is what Buddha allegedly taught. Sri Lanka belongs only to followers of Dhamma the nature. We should deport first all the Buddhists who does not follow true Dhamma ( nature ) to south eastern countries noth india where they come from eveb Ravana was a North Indian, then all the muslims who doen not want to follow nature should be deported to arab countries where they came from, and all the tamils who does not want to follow nature to tamil nadu where they came from, then we the Dhamma the nature followers can stay happily in this land.

    ronney
    August 15, 2012 at 8:36 pm
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      Ronney and the simiar throught bearers may feel that doing as suggested by him is akin to transport vegetable from Nuwaraeliya to Colombo. Such easy task to drive away believers of other regligions. How dare you even think that non buddhists to be evacuated while leaving the land only to strong buddhists ?

      Soul
      August 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm
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    Ronney, that may actually work. Afterall, it will simply mean the land will be rid of all human kind… :D

    Navin Weeraratne
    August 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm
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      Navin Weeraratne “Ronney, that may actually work. Afterall, it will simply mean the land will be rid of all human kind” I must thank ronney for his innovative approach to a complicated problem. My people will be elated by this arrangement. How soon can we start?

      Native Vedda
      August 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm
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        Native, a much better option would be a World III, a holocaust to annihillate the entire Human Population as then the world will be truely free from all the evil, as it is man who is responsible for all the chaos.

        gamini
        August 16, 2012 at 2:03 am
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          gamini is fed up: “a holocaust to annihillate the entire Human Population” Many leaders tried and failed, including Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, US, Japan………VP and MR.

          Native Vedda
          August 16, 2012 at 7:04 am
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    I feel so sorry for the STUPID Tamil Diaspora and LTTE followers on this site…they still cannot get over the fact the Sri Lankan Armed Forces totally sent the Tamil Tigers into permanent extinction…. If there are any tamils that still want ealam living in Western countries..they need to get their asses off the internet and go to Sri Lanka and fight the Sri Lankan armed forces….I’m sure they will shut these Diaspora idiots really quickly….. So Long… Long Live the Republic of Sri Lanka

    JohnTigerSlayer
    August 15, 2012 at 11:23 pm
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      JohnTigerSlayer When and where did you kill tiger? Do you get these games on internet? Please let me have the web address. I love to play these games on X box.

      Native Vedda
      August 16, 2012 at 7:08 am
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      How true John! I too sometimes miss the exciting days of ‘BBQed Tiger’ served with traditional Sri Lankan hot sauce. Wink… Wink. All, thanks to the Tamil Terrorist Diaspora(TTD)* and their puppet, the fat pig. Oh and the dancing to the tune of… “Nee Waaanga Machaaaan”? Raw fun! * Not to be confused with Tamil speaking members of the Sri Lankan Diaspora.

      BunkerRat
      August 16, 2012 at 9:23 am
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    Dear Native Vedda [Edited out], I’m afraid before that happens your community must get things right… Rathugala guys are not going to consider Uruwarige Wanniya Eththo as their leader anymore… Perhaps time has come for you to come to SL, settle down in one of those jungles, start wearing Ambude & lead your community…

    Kapila Kahapola, UAE
    August 16, 2012 at 2:57 am
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    Name a country which hasnt committed genocide and still represent Olympic? These low breeds always look for a bone to bite around… No wonder whites always use these garbage puckers to do their dirty works b cause problems in Sri Lanka… Wake up you dumb asses… Get real .. It’s over n it’s been a long time be a good British citizen n go shopping for them..among Tamils abroad there are still Losers n cowards to the end…

    Prasad Hewagamage
    August 16, 2012 at 5:01 am
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      Prasad Hewagamage: “No wonder whites always use these garbage puckers to do their dirty works b cause problems in Sri Lanka” How long are you going to blame the Sudda for everything wrong in this island? Putha your problem started when your people arrived from Sinhapura by Kallathonies and started killing the Veddas. You say: “Name a country which hasnt committed genocide and still represent Olympic?” So more killing and genocide qualify a country as participant in the Olympics. If that is the case Sri Lanka is over qualified and should not be allowed. You say: ” Wake up you dumb asses” Are you addressing your family?

      Native Vedda
      August 16, 2012 at 6:56 am
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    This is an absolute outrage. The Sri Lankan flag represents the country. Not a government. I have been a customer of HSBC all my life and am also an ex-employee. I am beyond offended that the bank took it down. What cowardice. The manager should have had the balls to say that the flag of a country does not represent a particular government but instead the whole country. Like one of the commentators said above, the orange strip represents the tamil community, the green the moslems. This is the problem with the UK. They bend over backwards trying to be politically correct and end up invariably doing the wrong thing. This is disgusting. War crimes were committed by both sides during the war as is the case in any war. The LTTE were a terrorist organisation and have been branded as such internationally. Time that people actually realised that dont you think.

    Rajni Jayasekera
    August 17, 2012 at 1:54 am
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    It is not the symbol, nor the colours, nor the size that matters. What matters is how the people are being ruled. If the rulers deliver a fair and equitable deal to all the people then dispute on the National Flag would not arise.

    Mohamed Marzook
    August 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm
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    HSBC is the world’s local bank. 1st of all Guardian article has insulted the soverign peace state of sri lanka by quoating its national flag as the Genocide. In that case the Unionjack is also the genocide flag as the mascare they did in creating colonial power of asian and west islands across the world. There is no genocide as such however if you want to see the real genocide flag please check the Tamil eelam flag where there were some babrian militants lead by the name of a vicious leader Prabhakaran. If you travelled to Sri Lanka now, you would see how happy and cohesive the srilankans right now as one nation. The glimpse of the past where the war for 30 years has gone and the people are living their life. If you want to travel to Jaffna today, simple get down from the Airport just travel as you travel anywhere in the country. 24 hour super coaches are there to take you from Colombo 06 to Jaffna on the well designed and prepared roads. Train travels to Jaffna everyday bothway. Flights and Ships. Lot of trading happens everyday and people live like they have no idea about that I’m a Tamil or Sinhaleese. For the Cricket world championship they all gatherd across the country to chear the sri lankan team. Your racist customer in the branch may be one of the racist. But the branch manager you did the right thing by encouraging the world peace, considering humans as whole. London is not Tamils country. Its londoners. And the community is important. But what needs to be carefull is if you have accepted to remove that flag the staff members and the other sinhaleese also live in London get offended over the insult you did.

    Santhush
    August 27, 2012 at 11:41 am
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    HSBC put up the flag because it represents a country – Olympics is about all countries coming together – not about their internal politics. Had Eelam been a country, I wouldn’t have protested their flag coming up anywhere. Would people of American-Indian heritage put up a fuss like this if they put up USA flag? And I think HSBC was wrong to take it down as well. Perhaps they didn’t want to lose local business.

    Tania P.
    October 19, 2012 at 4:03 am
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    So HSBC isn’t allowed to fly the Sri Lankan flag, but the LTTE guys are allowed to fly the LTTE flag, the flag of an organisation that has brutally killed Sinhala, Tamil & Muslim civilians all around the UK? The Sri Lankan government isn’t sinless, but they’re better than the LTTE

    Jude Sebastian
    January 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm
    Reply

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