The Country that is now Sri Lanka has changed almost beyond recognition these days. Now, mainly a “tourist attraction”, it is slowly, but surely, being “restructured” by China, the ulterior motive of this very clever, overpopulated Country being, that “taking-over” of this tiny, but hugely strategic Island would help them to “gain” 65.610 km of Land to add to their enormous Empire, (a Land of 9 million, 596 thousand & 261 kilometres). Lanka is blessed with too many attributes for me to list, without writing a tome about them. China, like Portugal, Holland & Britain, in the past, has it’s eyes on the little tear-drop of India, and it’s only a matter of time, folks, only a matter of time. Pardon me for saying this ” Over & over again”.

     Yes, Sri Lanka has changed. Basically, back in the fifties, in the Country’s minority populations, there were certainly three “classes”, rich, middle-class, & poor. Speaking of the Burghers, of which I was one, during, & shortly after the British-rule, we were generally classed in the “middle” variety. Burghers, because of their command of the English language, proudly held top jobs in almost every field of endeavour. The majority populations were, of course, the Sinhalese and the Tamils, whose “eelam” (land) was mainly in the northern part of the Island. While we, the minority populations did our best to stay out of trouble, the Sinhalese & the Tamils, from the times of the Sinhalese King Dhutu-Gemunu & Tamil King Elara, were always ” at each other”, trying to decide WHO owned WHAT section of the Country. Still, the little Island carried on without too much trouble. We, the middle-class, did our thing, while the rich had their “wallauvas”(mansions), their tea, rubber & coconut estates, the poor fishermen, dhobies, paan- karayas (bakers), tea-pluckers,  (mainly Tamil women), kakkussi-karayas (lavatory-cleaners), & other “poor” folk, did their various jobs without worrying too much about anything, as long as they had their little wattle & daub huts to go home to, and a simple plate of rice & curry to eat, followed by a cup of “plain tea”. It was a simple, but much happier life, way back then, until, this stupid internal warfare began in 1958. I remember it well, as I was then in the Royal Ceylon Navy, where we guys were “confined to barracks” for months at a time, on-duty for 4 hours, then “off” for 4, sleeping with our loaded rifles by our sides, practically ready for action at any given moment, 24/7. 

     Sri Lanka, now, has only two “classes”, the filthy RICH, and the poverty-stricken POOR. The rich have everything, the poor, nothing.!!

     I remember well, the stupid “Sinhala-only” policy that ended in the exodus of most of the Burghers from Ceylon, only, for some of us, myself included to come into an equally stupid “White-Australia” policy, whereby, to come here after being kicked out of our homeland, we had to “tour” cemeteries in Ceylon, looking for proof (on the  headstones there), that we were at least 75% European, to be allowed into Australia. As I have written several times before, both tiny little Ceylon & huge Island Continent of Australia have heaps of “credits” due to them. Ceylon is beautiful to the extreme in her 65 thousand, 610 kilometres, and so is Australia in her 7million, 741thousand, 220 kilometres, a beautiful big brown Land, strangely, with the same population of 25 million in each Country.

     I do still, love both COUNTRIES. Spent 1 hectic lifetime of 26 years in Ceylon, & already 2 equally hectic lifetimes in Melbourne, Australia, was born in Ceylon, & will die in Australia, added two, to the population of Ceylon, as in sons Michael & Douglas, also two, to the population of Australia as in daughter Michelle & youngest son Warren, who, at the time of this writing have produced a total of thirteen grand-children, plus one great- grand-child, yes, I do love both Countries, but have no time, whatsoever for the Politicians of either. They, in total, are elected in order to “serve” the people, in fact, they do nothing of the sort. They “use” the ordinary folk like you & me, to SERVE THEM with grandiose retirements on huge pensions, but, unfortunately, as Aussie Politician Paul Keating said, regarding the economy, and I add, as regards “Pollies” in general, “they are like the recession we had to have”. There, I’ve said it again.

Desmond Kelly

Star of eLanka



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