By Malinda Seneviratne –
The Foreign Affairs Ministry and the British High Commission declared in a joint statement released on Friday (February 2, 2018) that a document offering ‘Royal Etiquette Guidelines’ circulated by an entity calling itself ‘Welcome Committee of British Royals’ is false. Both parties stated that neither had set up any such committee. It was headlined in a news report thus: Ministry says no ‘Welcome Committee of British Royals’
The document, signed by one D.F.P. De Mel, sets out what people should and should not do as per ‘The Royal Etiquette Ordinance,’ explaining that although full independence was obtained in 1972, certain laws were not changed to suit the new circumstances and therefore still hold.
The truth is that there is not such Ordinance. Even if one were not an expert on constitutional matters, the said guidelines themselves indicate that the document is a hoax. For example, it states that mobile phones should be switched off at all times. A dead giveaway, that.
Perhaps it is because the rest of the guidelines seem plausible enough that the document has had so much carry, especially in social media where it has gone viral. The impact can be ascertained by the fact that the High Commission and the Ministry had to come out and say what they said.
On the other hand, one might argue that it was something more than the plausibility that is at work here. One might say, for example, that it is the behavior of the current regime that has buttressed the believability factor. In short, the deference and even servility shown by the regime to the West and to Royalty in particular give the credence to what is a clever and yet carelessly crafted spoof.
Let’s begin with Ranil Wickremesinghe. When he was briefly the Prime Minister of the country in the early days of this millennium, Wickremesinghe planned to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Portuguese arrival on the shores of this island. Celebrate? Yes, ‘celebrate’. Now only someone who has internalized oppression to the point of celebrating his or her condition could think of something like that.
For years, he bashed the previous regime for its relationship with China. He bet on the West. He was slave to the USA and the UK. Until ‘Brexit’ floored him. Suddenly he said ‘We are looking East’. Now even an A/L student who knows anything about the global economy would know where economic power lies. China and Japan owns North American and European debt. You don’t beg money from a beggar, but that’s exactly what our Economic Genius did. Why? Because that’s his upbringing. The slavish mind that says ‘Anything White is good,’ that says ‘The Old Colonial Masters cannot do wrong,’ and says ‘I will let inhabit their version of my reality.’
That’s Ranil Wickremesinghe. How about Maithripala Sirisena?
Well, he’s the man who were ga-ga when he visited England. He bragged about going to Downing Street. He bragged that the Queen offered him her hand (I mean, to ‘shake’), after removing the glove, no less! To be thrilled enough to think that diplomatic protocol is ‘acceptance,’ is the true mark of a servile ‘native’.
The only difference is that Maithripala is a redda-baniyama vassal whereas Wickremesinghe is a tie-coat slave. Either way, it makes perfect sense for them to fete Royalty.
How else can one explain that neither seem to have remembered that this year marks the 200th anniversary of the Uva-Wellassa massacre by British forces? How else can we explain the fact that they’ve decided (jointly, obviously) to invite the Queen’s youngest son, Edward, to grace (!) the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Independence? [Read ‘Independence and the need to be like Keppetipola’ for an elaboration of this]
So, yes, the High Commission and the Ministry are correct; it is a false document. There is no such thing as a ‘Royal Etiquette Guidelines’ and there’s no ‘Welcome Committee of British Royals.’ Not on paper, certainly.
But no, they are wrong. There IS a ‘Welcome Committee of British Royals.’ It is a two-man committee made of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The IS a set of guidelines pertaining to ‘Royal Etiquette’ but it is wider and far more pernicious than the one signed by someone who calls him/herself D.L.F. De Mel. Those guidelines are followed to the letter by these two. Note what they have done and what they do and you’ll obtain the guidelines they follow.
The High Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may have said ‘No, there’s no Welcome Committee of British Royals’ but the Prime Minister and President are emphatically countering this claim.
Yes, there is a ‘Welcome Committee of British Royals,’ and there is a Guideline for Royal Etiquette. Ranil Wickremesinghe and Maithripala Sirisena provide living proof of both.