Political talk from outside of the UK
By Kreuzberger
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
"Jesus fucking Christ", the Kreuzbergerin and I said to each other as we stepped out of the car in Mirissa.

We had been to see a saddler at Kolagama and, the deal having been done on a fine satchel and a fine pair or sandals, we had gone back to the bus stop not thirty meters away, either to get the first passing bus (driven by a khat-chewing maniac) or the next tuk-tuk.

Instead, within ten seconds, a passing Prius purred to a halt, piloted by a middle-aged chap dressed in an impeccable white shirt and armed with the effortless charm you eventually get used to on the island.

Seeing that we were like fish out of water in the searing heat, he invited us to jump in for a quick ride down the road. Perhaps, some 20km.

With his 17-year old polyglot daughter by his side - we had fun speaking English, French, German and Italian - we rumbled on past Welligama and the beginners' surf beach.

"Those fucker Muslims will be stealing all worldlies", piped up our Saint Christopher, "badness in their blood."

To get to the point.

For all of the superficial and doubtless deep-down kindness of the vast majority of the people you meet on Sri Lanka, the intercommunity loathing runs equally deep. This wasn't the only time we had sensed some hostility. At the Tooth Temple (or whatever it is in English) in Kandy, we had witnessed cops chasing Muslim youth with rifle butts. Teenagers whose only crime was to be wearing traditional dress and trying to make a buck out of selling orchids to Bhuddist pilgrims.

On a sample-size of one plus this general sense of unease, to see what is happening there now comes as no immense surprise.

Whether this is another Mayanmar in the making remains to be seen.
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