Sri Lanka worries Beijing over Chinese doormats displaying its national flag, South Asia News
Sri Lanka has raised with Beijing the issue of Chinese-made doormats with the island’s national lion flag sold by online retail giant Amazon.
Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said on Friday it had called for an investigation into the sale of non-slip doormats on Amazon with the printing of the national flag of Sri Lanka. He raised the issue with the Chinese Embassy in Colombo and also asked the Colombo Mission in Beijing to locate the manufacturer.
The ministry also instructed the Sri Lankan embassy in Washington to “follow up the case” with Amazon.
“There have been recent reports on social media platforms of a ‘Sri Lanka flag non-slip doormat’ being advertised for online purchase on the Amazon website. Foreign Minister l Admiral Professor Jayanath Colombage informed the Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing to contact the relevant manufacturer in China and also brought to the attention of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo the advertisement of the Sri Lankan national flag as a doormat. The Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington DC has also been tasked with following up on the matter with the Amazon platform advertising, “the Lankan Foreign Ministry said in a March 12 statement.
Several Chinese sellers on Amazon were offering the anti-slip doormat with the flag of Sri Lanka at prices ranging from $ 10 to $ 24.
China, in response, assured that it supported Sri Lanka and that an investigation had been opened into this matter.
On the flag mat issue:
National flags must be fully respected.
Concerns have been forwarded for investigation.
Similar products are sold by sellers in various countries on Amazon.
China has supported Sri Lanka for its peace, prosperity and dignity for decades.
full text: 👇 pic.twitter.com/sSnOSkp2xP
– Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka (@ChinaEmbSL) March 12, 2021
The ensuing case sparked a major diplomatic storm, especially on social media.
“This is how the Chinese see Sri Lanka,” one Facebook user said.
Another suggested the doormat was a warning about how future relations might play out in light of Sri Lanka’s huge debt to China: “Maybe that’s a sign (of how) they’re doing. treat us when we fail to repay their loans. “
“If we are not able to pay our debts, they will print our flag on toilet paper for sure,” another wrote on Facebook.
Sri Lanka is very sensitive to what it sees as the misuse of its national flag as well as Buddhist symbols. In 2010, Sri Lanka blocked American rap star Akon from visiting the country for one of his music videos, which featured scantily clad women dancing in front of a Buddha statue.
In 2002, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka ordered police and customs to seize music lounge CDs from Buddha Bar.
The U.S. e-commerce giant has also previously faced backlash over the sale of controversial items on its platform.
Amazon has already received a lot of criticism for selling underpants and shorts with Lord Ganesha’s image on them, and in other cases, for showing a golden temple, the flag of India, and photos of Lord Ganesha on doormats and toilet seats.
(with entries by Sidhant Sibal)