Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sri Lankan postmaster won't serve migrants who won't learn English

post office
Ooooooh look at me, I'm BRITISH!

Source: Daily Mail

There's a huge Union Flag flying proudly outside Deva Kumarasiri’s house and it’s been there so long the edges are tattered and torn.

Nearby, another one flutters from the back of his favourite Land Rover as he drives to work as the local cornershop postmaster.

In case it’s not immediately clear, the Sri Lankan-born father of two – who fulfilled a dream to come to this country 17 years ago and took citizenship to make his life here – is proud to be British.

So proud, in fact, that he’s insisting all his fellow immigrants embrace our culture with the same enthusiasm as he does. Yesterday Mr Kumarasiri, who

taught his two daughters every word of the National Anthem, introduced a controversial regime at his post office counter.

If his customers can’t be bothered to learn English, he tells them, they must go away and learn it before he serves them.

His bold stand against nonintegration has sent a shudder of political correctness down whatever spine the post office has these days, and infuriated some local do-gooders who accused him of inciting division among the community.

But a few minutes spent with the 40-year-old Liberal Democrat councillor are about all it takes to establish his motives are pure – and that he’s driven only by a passion for the country he loves.

‘Nobody stands up for anything in Britain any more,’ he said.

‘It’s the best country in the world as far as I’m concerned, but the great country I once called Great Britain has changed a lot since I came here.

‘All I’m doing is telling people if they want to live in Britain, be British. Don’t boo our soldiers when they come home from Iraq. Don’t live your life without embracing our culture. Don’t stay here without making any effort to learn the language. And if you don’t want to be British, go home.’

I don't like it. Even though I agree with the principals of what he is saying that people who come to a country should learn the language of that country, I don't like this. It reeks of snobbishness and arrogance.

He was fortunate enough to learn English in his homeland and then come to Britain. He dreams about Britain in his sleep. Fine. But not everyone is as fortunate as him and to say it's easy to learn or adapt to a new place is arrogance.

Let's say you are a 70 year old man or woman. Your son is a citizen of Britain and sponsored you over to join him. At 70 years old, what the heck are you going to learn the language and become a citizen for? You might learn a few words here and there but as long as you have an interpreter, you're ok right? I'm not saying that the government should make any special laws for you, but if you can get through life and have people tell you what's going on, that's fine.

And this is a post office! It's not some advanced learning institution or a place of any importance. It's a frigging smoke shop/post office. I could actually go in there and send a letter or buy something without saying a word. I would not go anywhere near this place. It reeks of pompous arrogance.

1 comment:

Roger Williams said...

Maybe we should rename this post? He's definitely not Sri Lankan anymore if he's given up his Sri Lankan citizenship and passport, lives in the UK and considers himself British. In fact, he's reached the point where he's definitely more British than most people born in the UK! It proves how tricky the concept of citizenship, and identity, can be.