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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

A Flimsy Bit of Lingerie Damaging Our Cultural Heritage?

two-sigiriya-maiden-fruits-one-5th-ce-22667648Ooh La La! This feline is purring like the engine of an extra posh Benz left running. At a Christmas party friends looked askance at this bright eyed, purring-with-malicious-pleasure cat – Me. And why the joy? Santa was generous? An old flame rang to wish this cat? No, none of these pleasantries. She had been gifted grist to her writing wrist, malice and intolerance to set her acid writing flowing. The givers? None other than the President of the country himself and a MP.
Two incidents: one blown up, one shrouded

The President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka took strong umbrage at a flimsy, lacy bit of women’s wear being thrown at a visiting famed Spanish singer, Enrique Iglesias. Was the Prez annoyed that a visitor was treated thus? Nay! He was angered that the impulsive act of bra flinging was a slur on us free Sri Lankans and would demean our 2,500 year-old cultural heritage. A froth of a flimsy bra as against such an ancient cultural heritage!

Hence the glee and eye gleam in this cat, already evoked by the beautiful Hirunika, proving herself to be deadly, supposedly having a young lover-boy abducted, tortured, brought to her majestic presence and reprimanded, all in the name of saving a marriage.

The Hirunika part is still unproven, but the icing on the cake is that she supposedly said she had no faith in the police and she was above the law. The former-justified. The law is dragging its feet to fully investigate this uncultured act.

Now that bra business. What of it? An impulsive act of a frenzied teenager.

This cat supposes very strongly that it was a young man who committed the crime.

He would have pilfered one of his sister’s bits of lingerie, brought it to the show in his pocket, surreptitiously taken it out and flung it on stage. A little cracker of fun, boomeranging itself to a bombshell.

We had the President of the country, no less, taking serious note of this act of – what? Bravado? Vulgarity? Depravity? No, plain simple larking or having a bit of naughty fun. But the President thought and continues to think otherwise. It was a slap in the face of our cultural heritage and a disgrace to the entire island boasting a great history of two and a half centuries.

Just an itsy bitsy bra flung on to a stage at a closed concert where only paid ticket holders were present.

What if a girl did it? Not such a crime. Just a crazy show of adulation. However, even if a girl was the guilty thrower, she surely would not have thrown what she was wearing. Not easy to get a bra off your body when you have a shirt above it and a hairstyle to be left undisturbed.

A panty is easier to remove. That’s what the over enthusiastic teenagers of the US and Britain do – wriggle out of those lower pieces of lingerie and fling them on stage.

Not done; but it is done; and what of it. They were not removing someone else’s undergarment and playing throwball, were they?
Surprise, surprise

This cat was rudely shaken when she heard the President of the country who delivered this land from dictatorial suppression to freedom and democracy, objecting strongly to this act of bra throwing in that it goes against our cultural heritage of more than 2,500 years.

This is a speck of sand in comparison to the desert of unsavoury acts perpetrated by Ministers of State and other VIPs.

A double edged tongue speaking for the Prez

Those acts actually damage our standing in the world and also cause rents in the tapestry of our rich heritage. Take Hirunika and her latest act of hubris. Abduction and torture. Totally uncivilized. Take the rampant corruption and bribe taking that went on during the last regime and may be occurring even now. True, there is a marked reduction in crudity and lawlessness as per ex Minster Dr Mervyn Silva and all his acts of barbarism. But, consider the disappearance of Eknaligoda and broad daylight murder of Lasantha W. Accepted they were committed within the last decade under a different Prez and PM.

They slurred our heritage and the present government has not restored the lost reputation by punishing those who damaged our cultural values. So those are weighty issues, Mr President that need your attention.

The Prez continues to be annoyed and concerned about what a flung bra could do to our cultural heritage, as if it rent it asunder. He smilingly says social media is expressing views against him. He says if such an act is allowed to pass without censure, then worse will happen. He says the next would be that Sri Lankans will walk naked on the streets.

The Jains did it in India till recently. The Rodiya and Padu women wore no blouses leave alone bras – by decree of the hierarchical caste system.

Our ancestors went naked till they settled down and got a mite civilized. Nakedness is no crime except to the prude and intolerant. Our Maithripala Sirisena is far from these, but unfortunately he has smudged his copy book by making a mountain of a molehill, which a brassiere too does.

The stark paradox of paradoxes is, however, that the first person to rush to side with the President and nod wisely that he acted right and his warning of naked parading must be taken note of is Minister S. B. Dissanayake. Paradox since nakedness and exhibiting it out in the open was much in his mind.

I mean this As Bee who speaks in defence of the Prez pointing to us the wisdom of his words, made a loud threat a couple of months ago in the heat of electioneering.

He threatened to … (I feel reluctant to write it, sensitive, cultured cat that I am and beneficiary of a 2,500-year-old cultural heritage); he threatened to… take off the clothing of our ex-ex Prez, Chandrika, and have her parade thataways. Now here is a person doing genuine damage to our cultural heritage – I mean As Bee. Not only is he speaking rudely and crudely about a woman but it is about a President of ours who holds the honour of being the first woman to be Head of State.

So let’s watch how matters proceed. Mayor Muzzamil came out strong against the organizers of the show on December 20 at the CR & FC grounds. He is to sue them for supposedly cheating on ticket sales. The organizers were to be whipped, as threatened by the Prez, with ‘toxic stingray tails’. Kumar S and Mahela J included?!

Lets go into 2016, or rather be forced to go to the new year with exuberance frowned on, entertainment curtailed barring whipping and fining as per certain uncivilized nations, all in the name of our cultural heritage.
– Menika
Sunday Observer


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