I nearly got arrested for taking the photograph in this post. Regular readers know that Cerno is about as bright as a flicking low watt bulb. Back then (somewhere in the 1990 s) I was even dimmer. Dim enough to wander around the harbour end of Colombo fort with a camera in the blaze of a weekend afternoon. Totally oblivious to something called “high security zones” Naturally it was only a matter of time before some chaps in uniform sauntered over to ask what the hell I was going.
I realised that the situation was serious because the uniforms seemed to be “supervised” by a thick set guy in civvies. He had a unmistakable military intelligence/secret service vibe. I was too naive to be scared shitless. Co-operatively I showed my ID and explained I was just practising my hobby of photography. You know, just taking photos to create “nice looking” photos.
I suppose I must have looked an odd sight with my arty long hair. Particularly to the uniformed person “interviewing” me. From the bars on his shirt it was rather obvious that he had seen action against the LTTE terrorists. My explanations of artistic pretensions must have seemed to come from an alien planet. Still he was professionally cool and asked for some contacts/references to verify my details. I promptly supplied them. A quick check confirmed that I was not an LTTE operative.
I was told I could go and politely asked not to take photographs in certain areas. Apparently I had spooked them quite badly into thinking I was a “terra”. They seemed quite bemused by the whole episode which was over in a blur of minutes. They didn’t confiscate my black and white film (life was pre digital then) or my camera. The possibility that they could have never occurred inside my thick skull. If they had bothered, they would have found a few clumsily under/over exposed photos. This photo is the least worst.
It shows the Jayanthi Chaitya (Buddhist stupa) on Chaitya Road near one of the entrances to Colombo harbour. Apparently its construction involved a bit of pioneering Sri lankan engineering involving thin concrete shells. I’ll lazily throw in a link to its location on Google maps in satellite mode, making this the first Google Earth post of the year.