As a nation of people used to being fed tripe which we accept hook line and sinker, I wonder when we are NOT fed then if we value abstinence or whether we miss it?
A case in point is the President of Sri Lanka’s current visit to London. He went on a normal flight with very few in his entourage. He did not grab a Sri Lankan Airlines Jet and take 160 cronies on an all expenses paid (by the state ) junket, and force ALL newspapers and TV stations to broadcast his arrival, and drive by the Palace to pretend to our people that he actually went in, when he probably would never get invited in, in the first place!
Today’s papers have very little on our Present President’s (Head of CHOGM’s) visit, except mentioning the essential details of his visit. I presume he has NOT taken a special photographer with him, and is using local services, which will then be made available to the Media in Sri Lanka if they so wish to carry the news! What a contrast in style!
What does it say about the contrast in personality? Mrs Sirisena’s very unassuming attire as against Mrs Rajapakse’s special designs are also a variance in show, further driving home the point, that extravagance and waste is out, and simplicity and modesty is in.
The avowed Rajapakse addicts must be in a state of cold turkey unable to consume inconspicuous waste which they have got used to, and are actually commenting on the lack of class of the President who actually does not seem to care a toss, about his dress sense either, with a suit jacket over his traditional style shirt, that is a first in style of a visiting leader of a country.
I well remember how the Rajapakse loyalists were trying to pretend that MR was wearing a national dress, when MS was trying to copy Modi, when in fact MR’s outfit could not be further from what one could call a traditional home grown style but merely a Rajapakse one, denoting a family style that all their family members begun wearing so they would stand out from a crowd. In contrast MS certainly does not stand out from the crowd in the photos emanating from the UK.
I am willing to accept that he is uncomfortable in a suit, and his local clothes certainly does not suit the UK climate at present, so he has to choose a combination that makes him feel comfortable first, rather than look like a clown.
We have not seen the full variety of his color and clothe combinations and I would only go as far as saying that modesty in dress, and comfort, overrides all other considerations.
We are a country that sees its parliamentarians in dress styles that probably are more varied than any Parliament on earth, so individuality appears to be the style of Sri Lankans, and their elected representatives.
Perhaps we can be known as the Country, where in all other respects we like to ape the rest of the world, whilst in respect of the clothes we wear anything goes, just as we are a multicultural nation, that appreciates its diversity, and non conformism can be built into our psyche.