Wali Kukul Le

This article originally appeared in the Sunday Observer  (10/1/2015).

A long time ago, there was an Indian Prince. His name was Vijaya. Later generations would practically worship the guy, but despite the marketing, said Prince was a deeply disturbed individual. His grandmother had been carried off and knocked up by a lion. History tells us the lion is a metaphor; that’s good, because the alternative is a bit too weird to contemplate.

Vijaya, the descendant of a lion, had problems of his own; he had just been kicked out of India.

In a nutshell: he then proceeded to ship himself to Lanka (no Amazon one-day delivery back then), hooked up with a local girl, killed her family, had two children by her and then cheated on her with an Indian girl. Vijaya’s legacy, in addition to his rather stained resume, is Sri Lanka: a beautiful island nation populated by an ancient race that, despite there being no lions in the country, chooses to call itself ‘Sinhayo’. We take an enormous amount of pride in having Sinha-le – lion blood.

We are, if one may make so bold, the modern Lions (in true Lion fashion, we’ve just pulled off 1,501 statutory rapes in 2015).
Vijaya’s got nothing on this.

The modern Lion is a curious creature.

Invariably two-legged, it is comfortable in a range of classes – lower class, middle class, second class, third class, it matters not. It may take the train, bus, bike or car to work.

It may even be reasonably well-educated. All Lions, however, have a curious chip on their shoulder: despite being the overwhelming majority of Sri Lanka, and despite it being quite a while since the English oppressed them, they have a deep-seated sense of insecurity about their place in the world. Are the Tamils taking over? Are the Muslims? This insecurity often erupts in remarkable ways. In the 80s, it led to Black July. In more recent times, it led to the Bodu Bala Sena and their anti-Muslim hysterics.

What started out as a buzz about tainted toffees led to Aluthgama being burned down. People were beaten up. Lives were lost.

The latest incarnation is Sinha-le. How does one describe Sinha-le? Sinha-le is a word. It is an idea. It is a mark, a divisor – we are Sinhala; you are not. It is racist in a deep, fundamental – so racist that there is almost no thought involved. The identification – and the accompanying disgust – is automatic.

It is also a meticulously crafted campaign, built with the sole intent of going viral. Look at that logo. The red, the black, the curves. The beautiful design. The professionally printed vehicle stickers. The writing on the walls. It is a meme, leapfrogging from mind to mind. Nobody knows where it started. Nobody knows who’s behind it. Even those of us who hate it can’t deny that it’s brilliantly executed.

sinhale

It’s racism given wings and a Photoshop job.

And because of this, it’s also a hell of a lot more dangerous than anything the BBS could ever come up with. Those rabid monks, try as they might, were a single source of racism and bigotry frothing at the mouth. Sinha-le is quieter. Sinha-le is more insidious. Sinha-le is your friend next door. Your uncle. The neighbour’s car. That guy who just etched the logo onto his hand with a ballpoint pen. Any attempt to call them a racist can be sidestepped swiftly. “Why, machang, it’s just a sticker. It doesn’t even mean anything. ”

Oh, it does. When the logo on your car is the same thing spray-painted across Muslim homes? Yes, it does. It’s not Black July. Not yet. But a second Black July seems like the ultimate end-game – in fact, the only possible end-game. Juden Raus! The Nazis used to shout, marching on the Jewish ghettos. Jews, come out! How long before we shout Sinha-le? Thambis, come out?

What do we do? Fight it. There is no government body, nor a court of justice that will take this up. Ever. This is a hydra, and until it comes to light, it must be fought in the same way. Does your neighbour have a Sinha-le sticker? Argue with him. Get him to take it off. Racists on the road? Name them. Shame them. Do it gently at first, and then, as the lady said, do it harder. After all, if you want to carry your banner in public, you have to be ready for this kind of thing.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so disturbing. Here we are, the metaphorical sons and daughters of a convicted criminal and unfaithful wretch descended from rape, possibly bestiality. On an island where the only variant of lion (Panthera Leo Sinhalayus) is debatable at best and in any case became extinct 37,000 years before the arrival of humans.

We might as well tattoo the Wali Kukula on our buttocks: after all, that’s the real national animal of Sri Lanka – tiny, vain, and ever ready for a fight.

Wali Kukul Le.

22 thoughts on “Wali Kukul Le”

  1. Pingback: Wali Kukul Le | සතුටු වැස්ස බ්ලොග් කියවනය

  2. If the government is really against this phenomenon, then they should investigate and take action against those are doing this. Specially those who vandalized peoples walls.

    But to my knowledge, no one has been caught. then there is this. “Rajitha Senaratne has said that Ruwan Ferdinandis owns the name ‘Sinha le’ (lion blood) “

    1. Not walikukula but Porakukula could fit better.

      And Buddhika to add that sinalese are the only ones that to have fought every time protecting this land – has no validity- actually no minorities can fight equally as majorities. Be it Germany, other countries this is the logical to anyone with a brain the size of a needle head.

  3. What stated here is INCORRECT. Any one understand our Sri Lankan history, do NOT worship Vijaya. Except for considering him and his group coming to Sri Lanka 2500 years ago, there is not other significance given to him any where. King Dutugemunu, Parakrambahu, Vijaya Bahu, Devanam Piyaatissa, Mahasen are few of the leaders we as Sri Lankans consider as our great leaders, NOT Vijaya. This is purely written to insult the Sinhalese.

    I usually do NOT bring this up, but every body must remember that when this country was invaded by Tamils from India (multiple times), Protugese, Dutch and Brits from west and lastly by the Tamil Tiger terrorists, 99% of the people who fought and gave their lives to save this country were SINHALESE. Especially during the colonial fights except for very few exceptions, Sinhalese is the only nation who took up arms against the invaders. Other races, aligned with these invaders for their own personal gains.

    We respect every SRI LANKAN in Sri Lanka. But PLEASE do NOT insult SINHALESE.

    Any one who DO NOT like the LION in the flag, please feel free to find a country who does not have a LION in the flag.

    1. I dont think any sane ones could ever agreew with Buddhika et al. Just the kind of people are the born racist. How dare he to have guts and say anyone who dont like LION to find a country who dont have the lion in the flag.

  4. It’s a Good read & an eye opener . . . As a Srilankan I always pray that we all live peacefully & helping each other no matter what religion or race we come from . We all need to unite under Mother Srilanka.
    God bless

  5. Buddika a comment is hilarious and stupid as it can get. He makes a cursory remark about Vijaya coming to Sri Lanka. He did not come here to grow Bananas my friend. Read your history. Whether you like it or not this country does not belong to one race. You talk of different countries invading this Island. Who helped them invade? The Sinhalese kings to out number the others kings who ruled. You speak as if the Sinhalese race is one that’s mighty big. Yes it’s is for small minded people like you. It’s one of the most insignificant races in the world that’s fast going into extinction. As for the Lion in the flag instead of trying to act a mighty ass respond to the article and prove the relevance and significance of the Lion on the flag? Did we ever have Lions in this country? So that’s also borrowed. Buddika you enjoy so called Sinhalese sweet meats for the new year like Kavum and Kokis I am sure? Check which country’s people introduced these to us. If you don’t have the brain of a bird to understand history you are best advised to shut up and not display your stupidity.

    1. Fully agree with you. Everything that makes a Sinhalese is from another country. Buddhism was brought in from India, The Sinhala language is an extension from India, Even our ancestors are from India and all technology is from the [Dutch, Portuguese and the British].
      While these radical Sinhalese people believe that they are superior to every other race in SL, they forget that whatever that makes us Sinhalese is from another country.

      And as for these radical monks, their robes should be removed, because no monk should be allowed to use Buddhism to spread violence and hate. It is a religion of peace, all monks should strive to keep it that way.

    2. Fully agree with you. Everything that makes a Sinhalese is from another country. Buddhism was brought in from India, The Sinhala language is an extension from India, Even our ancestors are from India and all technology is from the [Dutch, Portuguese and the British].
      While these radical Sinhalese people believe that they are superior to every other race in SL, they forget that whatever that makes us Sinhalese is from another country.
      And as for these radical monks, their robes should be removed, because no monk should be allowed to use Buddhism to spread violence and hate. It is a religion of peace, all monks should strive to keep it that way.

  6. Judging by the comments here.. I think this writer should join the BBS.
    You managed to get a similar reaction to that of BBS by insulting on Sinhalese.
    Now we have people arguing over the worthless article that you might have written due some shit experiences you might have had to endure.

    I hope you realize that you are a racists by the definition of the word, by label all of us as Wali Kukulu.

    1. Not walikukula but Porakukula could fit better.

      And Buddhika to add that sinalese are the only ones that to have fought every time protecting this land – has no validity- actually no minorities can fight equally as majorities. Be it Germany, other countries this is the logical to anyone with a brain the size of a needle head.

    2. Hey guys, not a Lion but A Wild Baffaloe -Meeharaka would fit better looking back the way majority folks have been doing since the independence- I have no doubt JVPers would agree with me. Just doing nothing but bubbling has been the typical nature of the our people .

  7. Sri Lanka in the ancient past, was known as ‘Helaya’ or ‘Heladiva’. There were at the time four tribes of people known as ‘Yaksha’, ‘Raksha’, ‘Naga’ and ‘Deva’ who lived on this land. Due to the existence of these four tribes Helaya, later became to be known as “Sivu-Helaya” which later turned out to be called “Sinhale”. When the country was invaded by foreign traders and powers, it was known as “Sinhale”. Origins of the Hela Race By Ranjith C. DISSANAYAKE http://archives.dailynews.lk/2008/07/11/fea05.asp

  8. The need of the hour our peace, having gone through 30 years of blood, murder and mayhem. Does the blood matters much in nation building. Let all those screaming for
    “Sinha Le” do a DNA test and prove they really carry the blood of the so called Lion King.
    The blood of some one does not make him/her superior or inferior. It is the good quality
    humaneness, love for all creatures on earth that makes man great. The greatest tragedy we suffered was the Tsunami while other nations are continuously facing disaster after disaster.
    Should not we be grateful for this.
    MAY PEACE PREVAIL AND THIS BLESSED NATION GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH.

    1. Idiots of the kind are unfortunately the majority.

      So long you guys have the hand there, reaching the set goals(to finally become a successful nation) will furhter remain as day dreams. Budusarnai to minorities that do their job to turn this war torn nation to a beautiful nation.

    2. Ai moko umbata kasanwada. Kapan punnakku moda gona.

      As if a 30yr war fueled by racism wasn’t enough, our country is filled with such immoral, undisciplined and indecent fools, that they see no problem in pushing the country into a new era of blood shed.

    3. Ai moko umbata kasanawada, kapan punnakku moda gona.

      It’s because of people like you that this country will never see a day of peace. It’s because of people like you that this country created the LTTE and a 30 year war. It’s people like you that constantly eat away the country’s future. The immoral, undisciplined and indecent bigoted fools, the offspring of a woman who should have swallowed that night.

  9. Simple solution really, why doesn’t every Muslim, Tamil, Burgher & anyone who wants the campaign stopped put a Sinha Le sticker on their car. What value has it got if everyone has it on their car?

  10. The supporters of these things are quite disappointing. People forget that the core reason for our 30 year war was nothing but racism against Tamils. Regardless of the way their leader led the war, he was fighting for his people, for their freedom, against discrimination towards his people. Our countries action gave birth to the worlds richest terrorist organization, why? because of racism.

    And now here we are, doing the same thing to a larger audience. Everyone who is not Sinhalese [for some people it means not being Sinhala Buddhist] is being attacked by these racist ideologies. and for what? it’s like the country has been experiencing violence for so long, they still crave for more, they want another war, they want to see more death and destruction. Why? because the country needs to be all Sinhalese?

    What does it mean to be Sinhalese? Apparently nothing. Because Buddhism came from India, Our Sinhala language is an extension from India, Our Ancestors are from India and the technology is from the [Dutch, Portuguese and the British]. While we think that being a Sinhalese makes us superior to every other race in SL, we forget that everything that makes us Sinhalese is from another country.

  11. Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.
    – Arthur Schopenhauer, Aphorisms

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