Sunday, 28 June 2020

St Petertsberg to Moscow Train Journey Episode 14



උපුටා ගැනීමේදී කරුණාකර යොමුව ඇතුලත් කරන්න.

Saint Petersberg to Moscow train Journey 13, Moscow Suburb



උපුටා ගැනීමේදී කරුණාකර යොමුව ඇතුලත් කරන්න.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Comments for the post !Are Asians 'third-class citizens' in the UK?"

I have received following comments in facebook for the article 

Are Asians 'third-class citizens' in the UK?


I will post them as a new blog post.

I don't know about citizens but can talk as one who has been travelling to uk whenever time and money allows since 2004. It is mostly the perception. Once I was with a SL guy in a pub and he suddenly said the white guys are laughing or mocking us. i looked up and saw some people having fun among themselves. In fact when i was alone they were quite friendly towards me. Of course i am interested in the culture, history (in fact when it comes to history of the british isles i found that i know more than most native brits i've come across) and small not normally noticed quaint British stuff. So, i talk to them whenever i can. Only instances of racial insult i ever had were by unemployed drunken Welsh youth in Swansea and a slight unpleasantness by Black brit in london. That type of Welsh resent the Engish people too. Thimgs like that happen when you walk im slum areas of colombo or by threewheeler guys cutting across you. Uncivilized louts of any country and of any colour are the same.
I have found both the educated and upperclass people everywhere and also villagers, farmers and everyone in rural villages in england and scotland unfailingly friendly, polite and helpful to visitors as SL village folk. (People who make money from tourists are anyway polite. I am talking of others. )
Anyway, i have felt more equal in UK than i have felt in SL when i get pushed to the side of the road by VIP motorcades!
P. S. As i said, i say this as a traveller in UK who has spent a combined total of about 6 months in scotland wales and england, not as a citizen. Also i am very interested in small and subtle things in UK. So i take trouble to analyse things and i have time as a tourist. But some ppl having to live and work there do not like it and resent the country but do it to earn a livelihood , so they resent everything and take even unintended things as insulting. It is more to do with human nature of individuals (both white and others) than any social, political or institutional problem.

When I visited Srilanka few years back one of my Sinhalese friend asked me whether I was treated as second class citizen in UK 🇬🇧 and my workplace. My answer to him is Britan is multicultural country and if I have talent and work hard I will be recognised and given right place and promotions. But in srilanka As a Tamil I will be treated as third class citizen . This happened to my father. When Sinhala only amendment introduced by late prime ministers Bandaranayaka many English educated Tamils migrated to UK 🇬🇧, Australia 🇦🇺, New Zealand 🇳🇿, and Canada 🇨🇦, including my father’s relatives how ever my father stayed back and learned Sinhalese and started wishing in Sinhala majority areas in srilanka but he was not given promotion or recognition compared to his junior Sinhalese work colleges . When he retired from his work he mentioned that he made a big mistake the he didn’t fallow his Tamil colleagues and migrate from srilanka.
My answer to the question is better to be a second class citizen in a different country than be a third class citizen in your own country.

For a better discussion one should translate it to Sinhala from lingua franca of South Asia ..

UK is one of the most generous and diverse countries in the world,Unless you choose to live like a third class citizen, If you are hard working and want to get somewhere in life this is the country to be, How many Asian have you seen in top class jobs, you can be a third class citizen in your own country, depends on your mindset

Well described piece ! This will be a good answer for those who are eagerly waiting to see how England would be a poor country in the aftermath of Corona ! They have that morbid pleasure !

Monday, 22 June 2020

Are Asians 'third-class citizens' in the UK?


A very good friend of mine, Jeevana Fernando, wrote this on his wall: //'You know more than me, being in a country where most of the Asians are living as third class citizens.'// he was addressing one of his friends who lives in UK.

I fully agree that Sri Lanka's tourism board is trying to do whatever it can to revitalise post Covid-19 tourism for the island. Their proposal of providing PCR tests on arrival and then after 7 days, for a price, is the correct approach. Tourists can freely visit their desired locations in the country. Very commendable. However, while replying to his friend, Jeevana mentioned that Asians are living in the UK as third class citizens.  I wonder if he is correct, and if most of my South Asian friends would agree to his opinion?
 
Personally, I think the United Kingdom is one of the most tolerant countries in Europe. Having said that, I have been visiting Germany for the past 25 years and, apart from only one occasion flying with Lufthansa, I have never felt any racism from Germans either. On that flight, one eager flight attendant repeatedly asked my German wife whether she wanted to move her seat. She perhaps thought that a white, blond and blue-eyed woman should not sit next to me. That was the last time we used Lufthansa and it was in 1997.

We cannot deny that institutional racism and other problems exist in the UK. For that matter, part of the Black, Bangladeshi and Pakistani population are known to be more discriminated against when being considered for job opportunities. But these discriminatory practices are more widespread in the rest of Europe than in the UK. Even in Sri Lanka, there have been so many discriminatory practices against other ethnic communities; I have even heard of discriminatory practices against ones cast.
I was once called 'Paki' near where I live, when I was walking with my daughters down Hertford road. This was from some white or Eastern European teenagers who lived in the council blocks nearby. I take it that they were perhaps more disadvantaged than me, and jealousy kicked in. That happens. 

I do not want to take away any of the spotlight from the Black Lives Matter movement, as black people are the most disadvantaged in UK and Europe. However, that does not mean they are living in abject poverty. Here in London, you can see plenty of black ladies and gents driving 4x4s and expensive BMWs or land rovers, whilst living in tower blocks. Most of them have decent jobs; there are  teachers, doctors, judges, singers, famous footballers, etc. Having said that, we should acknowledge that there is a lot of indirect racism aimed at them, as F1 champion Lewis Hamilton mentioned the other day.

As far as I know, there are only two classes in UK. One is the class that owns the biggest businesses, land and capital. The other class works for them. All of the aristocracy (Lords and Ladies to you, my friend) belong to one class, and rest of us are in the shit class, whether you are South Asian or not.

Mr Jeevana Fernando should come and pay a visit to white working-class areas in the UK. They are living in council houses, and their job opportunities are not great. That's why, even though some of them were Labour supporters, they have voted to leave the EU. Then again, the UK has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe at around 4.5%.

To be honest, does Jeevana think Sri Lanka hasn't got any class divisions? Sri Lankans can't even buy a decent car without dishing out around £10-15,000 GBP for an old banger, while we can buy a decent Mercedes Benz or BMW for half the price. In Sri Lanka, only politicians, aristocratic government bureaucrats, engineers, doctors, and provisional councillors are allowed to import cars at reduced prices. Then they resell them at exorbitant prices to second-class John Does. What an injustice. In the UK, no one prohibits us South Asians from buying decent houses, cars and holidays. Sorry Jeevana, I cannot agree with you.

I'd like to hear the opinions of my fellow South Asians, as well as my white English friends on this subject. Some of my white English friends supported Sri Lanka when the 2004 Tsunami struck the island. Generally, we have faced problems at the workplace from immature white folk, who engage in subtle racism, such as accusing us of 'stealing' work placements or, alternatively, blocking us from higher positions or demanding twice as much effort and education to prove we are qualified. But the majority of them do not behave like that. This resentful minority exists in most countries, including Sri Lanka.

Cartoon by Avantha Atigala 

P.S. - I do not have any problems with the SLTB proposal to bring back the tourist to the country and also the excellent response to Covid 19 pandemic by the GOSL and the health authorities of Sri Lanka.

Jeevana's original post:
//'First of all I have to say that I am ashamed of myself being a classmate of you Collins Delwita. Sri Lanka is struggling to restart Tourism of the destination in a manner which do not affect the health and safety of general public of the country. You know more than me, being in a country where most of the Asians are living as third class citizens, have 14 days of mandatory quarantine for people who arrive from overseas, where Sri Lanka do not imposed for Tourists . Still you are complaining about the restrictions on tourist to use public transport, if do so the ability of identification of Covid 19 Clusters get loose which tends to be the start of a second wave. With your Social Media posts, you are trying deteriorate the image of the Tourism Industry of Sri Lanka even among the prospective tourists within your circle. Please do not mortgage your self dignity for a political party and betray your Mother Land.'//

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Rioters and looters Lost and President Trump won - Is this a setup?

Earlier this months the death toll from Covid-19 was increasing in alarming rate in United States. President Trump was attracting heavy criticism.

And then George Floyd happened. Please don't misunderstand me. I condemn wholeheartedly that violent act by the police officer. It was an unnecessary death. 

Here is the one disturbing information. The police officer and the victim worked in a same night club as bouncers. It could be an old grudge, settling of scores. I don't know. It felt wrong.

But, some of the demonstrators played directly into Presidents Trumps hand. They have rioted and most importantly looted property. I am not judging that either.

Hold on a second, suddenly president Trump is off the hook.
The death toll by corona virus reached 100,000 without anyone mentioning it.t. It's now stand at 107841 deaths. About 916 people died today alone. No news organisations talking about it anymore. All the news channels attending riots.

There was no social distancing observed by the protesters. If there are deaths from Covid 19 you can't blame Trump's incompetence anymore. People themselves are responsible for getting the virus  now on. They did not observe the safe distance advice. 

And then most of the troublemakers for Trump will be ill in the near future. I hope it will not be the case, but this incident  helped America to forget death toll of  over 100000 and incompetent president who presided over it.

There will be presidential election in November and President Trump will win this election.

It seems to me that this whole thing was a set up. Just as the Covid 19 could well be a designer virus.

Is it possible this is a set up?
I am updating this post today on the 6th of June 2020.
The death toll in united States 111716. In UK it is 40,465. In Brazil it is 35211. Covid 19 spreading very fast among indigenous population. Who is benefiting from it? Those companies Brazilian president want to introduce to the Amazon forest for mining and other activities. Think about it?  

Despite the fact that BAME people are more prone to get Covid 19 and die there are huge demonstrations. I can't blame them.
But someone can ask? If you can go to demonstration you can go to work as well? If you ar not observing social distancing in your demonstration you don't have to have that in a workplace?

 I have to ask again? Is this murder is really  a setup?

Sunday, 10 May 2020

The Beautiful Essence Of Lock Down

my sister called me,
brother,
it's over thirty thousand 
are you not afraid 
to live there 
mother just spoke to me 
we are all afraid 
for you 

my dear sister,
it's over thirty thousand 
we have a problem 
or maybe not 

johnson is a bit late,
he was hurrying 
at lightening speed 
to get us out of
big bad europe 

but the response to covid
is going at slower pace
can't you see the 
cheeky turtle
who defeated that 
lazy running hare  

i will speak to mum 
she is afraid too, 
my dearest son,
our dear president
accepts all, who are arriving
from far abroad

are you crazy mum, 
leave daughters and her
how
even if i could
they would never come
 
today with our neighbours 
we are having a barbecue 
i hope you don't mind 
if i smoke a cigar
 
father used to smoke 
those smelly jaffna cigars
what a fine smell, but if i had them,
covid 19 would die of that smell

by the way, I am  
dancing with my wife
to those old tunes 
we used to listen to 
when we were dating

do whatever 
you never listened to me anyway
i was worshiping the gods 
and lord buddha 
begged them to save you 
from this nasty illness

death can come to anybody 
at anytime mum
it could come today or tomorrow 
or even in ten years
if i can
i will come in august
to see you 
 
oh, i didn't tell mum this 

life is here  
to feel the joyous moments 
instead of suffering, 
rather than living 
in fear of darkness
let's live in the moment 
happily ever after 

you don't need 
a whiskey single malt
or roasted meat and cigar havana,  
it's enough to have 
some coconut toddy,
tapioca maiyok and chili paste  
giveth one
the same happiness 
wherever you are
The Beautiful Essence Of
Lock Down


Friday, 8 May 2020

Easing the Lock Down



Easing the Lock Down 
***********************
(If you re going to get upset with these numbers please walk away from the post) 
Prime minister Boris Johnson's  Government will take a decision on easing the lockdown on Sunday. I was doing some calculations since 1st of March and this is my recent calculations and predictions.

As you can see from the pictures people generally do not worry about the pandemic much. They do play in the parks and I have seen most were in groups without any social distancing. I did not take close pictures as to respect the privacy.

For the following calculations several assumptions were made:
1. People would largely ignore the lockdown rules.
2. Most retails shops, pubs and restaurants are open.
3. Reproduction value is 1.1 and everyday one person would  infect at least one other person.

Today the 8th of May we have 211,364 covid-19 infected patients.  The Increase from yesterday's total was 4649.  Number of deaths were 31,241. If we take the reproduction value as 1.1 (this is the closest number I arrived looking at the data from 1st of March) tomorrow the number of  patients would increase to 216,478 patients. This  number will grow close to 259,900 by the 15th of May.  Predicted number of deaths would be 38,400. (as a proportional increment) Do not forget that we will have asymptomatic carriers and their number would also increase by twofold. 

As lockdown  eases we will have the infection rate increase briefly.  On the 26th of May we would  have close to 450,000 infected. Number of predicted deaths would be close to 59,000 to 60,000.  However curve should be going down by then.  We may have unrecognised patients upto 900,000 if reproduction value is 2.2 by then. But if we carry on with reproduction value of 1.1, then  by the 07th of June we will have over one million infected. But in this case if we are not careful the  number of deaths may rise upto 90,000. However, by this time curve  should have downward trend.

By the time we reach 3.5 million infected number of deaths may rise up to 150,000. These figures can only be true if the country will go back to work fully and all the pubs and restaurants are open. I think the only way to stop this is happening is to increase number of testing by tenfold and enforce social distancing whenever possible.



This number of infected will rise to 8 million by the 30th of June. With the symptomatic carriers this figure could be even 16 million. However by this time the number of deaths should be around 200,000. Even though this number is high, the rate of infections and deaths would  be going down significantly by then. This figure may well be the  maximum number of deaths we may reach. This is only a prediction and it is quite possible that number of deaths may not reach to this level. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Flexibility of Capitalism and world's oldest profession in "Corona Time"

I remember reading about women who were kept as "City beauties" in India. They were high class escort girls. They went out with Kings, Princes  and rich tradesman. They could read, write, sing and dance. In victorian England, despite high moral crusades there were many brothels and prostitutes. These days  coronavirus pandemic caused most self employed people lay down their tools of trade.. Sex workers were the ones perhaps hit the most hardest as they cannot engage in their normal activity to earn money. They cannot request government help as they are not recognised as workers. they don't pay any government taxes. 

However there is a social media aspect in this trade as well. They can engage in cyber sex in vitual space and still earn some money. I heard that type of sites earning more than any other retail sites.  
As the pictures below shows, men and even women paying for certain services that one or two  women can engage. Perhaps they would keep safe distance. perhaps two is not a crowd.

Capitalism gave them a chance where socialism would have failed. Why is that?


These pictures were taken from twitter account of Whores of Yore.     These City girls were from victorian England. 
This above picture's author anonymous.

 Pictures below By Otto Rudolf Schatz (1900-61), an Austrian painter and printmaker known for his Expressionist style and erotic drawing.



These artworks from  Artwork of Chéri Hérouard (1881 - 1961)


Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Story about a tyre swing


We have a small, green open space in front of our house. In a place like London, any open space is very valuable. This open space, run by the Enfield Council, has four small roads going round it, making it a square. Our houses are surrounding this little square. It has two grass mounds on both sides and a few trees, including a cherry tree. During lock-down, all the surrounding parks are closed, so I've noticed a few more people coming to this square instead. They take pictures of themselves, some with kids, presumably to post on social media. Some dance in front of the camera, maybe to post videos on Tik-tok. 

Some families come and put their little ones onto the tyre swing we have hanging on one of the trees. They enjoy it, taking photos and videos of themselves in the sun. Some teenagers hang around swinging the tyre and taking pictures as well.

Around a decade and half ago, someone stole the tyre, or perhaps some council jobsworth removed it. 

When I was 8 or 9 years old, I lived in a small village called Lunugala in Sri-Lanka. A friend and I sometimes used to push a tyre along a road called White Sand road. It went down steeply to a small stream and then back up the hill side again.  We enjoyed this activity immensely repeating it day by day. 

I told this story to my neighbour Brian. He was a retired traffic sergeant from the British transport police. He was always a die-hard Tory and I was, and still am, a half-hearted Labour supporter. A lot of friendly arguments ensued - he with his cigar and glass of whiskey, I with my glass of vodka. Whatever the heated discussion was, we always remained as friendly as can be. He was a good neighbour and a good friend to me, and in return I would offer whichever help I could give to him. We used to share German cakes my wife Ines baked as well as the occasional curry with him, and he once fixed our boiler.

Anyway, back to the tyre. After hearing my story, Brian suggested we hang another tyre on the branch. So he fixed the tyre to the tree, and many kids (including mine) swung along happily. 

Brian passed away a few years back, and we have new neighbours now. Someone stole the tyre again. Knowing Brian and I were the ones who hung up this tyre, another neighbour called Robert managed to replace the swing with his own tyre.

Robert also passed away couple of years back.

Their kind gestures are still out there, making big and little people happy just the same. Sometimes teenagers spend their time swinging happily from it and fooling around. People walking along the small pathway nearby also visit sometimes.

And sometimes, that's all that matters. Small insignificant gestures.

Ajith