Royal-Thomian…. Trouble for everyone else?

Sri Lanka’s oldest and arguably most popular big match, the Battle of the Blues between Royal College and St. Thomas’s College, is currently under way. Tomorrow will be the third and final day of the famed test encounter. Whilst this is a very joyous event for the Royalists and Thoras, the same cannot always be said for others, especially other students.

During the past two weeks, my school (an international school) was visited by truckers from Royal College almost everyday until the actual days of the match. They visited us during both intervals of the school day, from last Thursday up to this Wednesday.

This is quite usual for my school as well as other international schools and national schools in Colombo. Most of the schools are used to the visits, and there is little trouble as long as the truckers time their arrival for the interval (as they seemed to do for my school). Of course there was help from inside at first, and that is possibly why the first few visits were completely harmless. It should be noted that the Joes, Petes and Thoras also visited the school, once each, and again no harm was done.

Initially the Royal truckers simply entered the school premises and harmlessly shouted slogans supporting their school. This was accepted as normal behaviour by the teachers and staff of my school, who made no move to stop them, and instead enjoyed the show. On the first day, the Royal truckers celebrated the birthday of one of their former students (now studying in my school) by smashing a cake in his face.

But things changed for the worst this week. The truckers became more notorious and began lighting firecrackers in the schools they visited, including my school. Since my school is bordering the SSC grounds where the match is held, the truckers are able to enter through the SSC complex and climb over the fence. This week they threw crackers over the fence and into the crowd of watching students. Fortunately the students were not hurt as the area near the fence was cordoned off. We were protected by the teachers and prefects, who would have stood little chance against the truckers had they chosen to attack physically. Next, the truckers attempted to enter from a side entrance to the school, and upon being unsuccessful, lit crackers there as well.

On Tuesday, four police officers were sent to protect my school. But our principal told us that the police were sent to all schools in Colombo, and were not requested by the school (usually they were). So that means other schools were attacked by the truckers too. Sure enough, after the truckers visited our school, we heard more crackers at a distance, presumably at another nearby school. The police did try hard to catch the truckers as they lit crackers, but all attempts failed. However, since the match began, the truckers were a no show. A rumour soon spread that around 60 truckers had been remanded by the police when trying to enter another international school.

Today there were the four police officers standing guards around the school, as well as at least one plain clothed officer outside the school gate (given away by his police-issued radio phone). But there were no more visits. Unfortunately the roads were completely blocked, and the traffic police refused to allow students’ vehicles to park on the road even for a few minutes. Royalists and Thomians were travelling up and down the road in fancy cars, blasting the entire city with loud music.

I was personally angered when the Royal truckers began lighting crackers in the school, and they seemed to do even more stupid things after being chased off by the police several times. It turns out that the IGP of the police had ordered truckers to be arrested, and hence the police officers were sent to schools. If any truckers were really arrested, I am happy about it, and I hope they stay in prison (or remand) until they figure out their mistake and realise how much they shamed their parents and their schools. Most of the truckers were current students, not old boys, so they must have cut school everday to take part in the trucking. Unfortunately I doubt that many of the truckers will actually understand that what they did was wrong, and probably even the biggest troublemakers will not be expelled or suspended, so my hopes are likely in vain.

I wish that the trucking would stop. Or at least that it would remain enjoyable and tolerable for other schools. Then again, these students should not be outside of school in the first place. The truckers bascially cause trouble for the schools they visit, and now for the police as well. Their activities can be unsafe for other people. After all they are a large group of teenage students who think highly of themselves and are quite unpredictable.

Some of you may figure out which school I attend, but please don’t mention it here.


5 responses to “Royal-Thomian…. Trouble for everyone else?

  • St. Fallen

    anyone with half a brain and a sense of orientation would figure out which school you go to, what would be more interesting to find out would be what school you went to.

    are you afraid of firecrackers?
    the only point I’d agree with on this post is that throwing firecrackers into a premise that isn’t your own is irresponsible, especially when students aren’t aware. but trucking is a tradition and you seem to have blown it a bit out of proportion. you sound like a pussy, but that’s just how you come across. maybe you aren’t.

    being happy that they were arrested simply so that they’ll realize their mistake? I find it hard to believe you’re sincere, you probably just feel that since you can’t take it out on them at least the law can. you’re a pussy. and you depend on society’s norms to feel safe. go find shelter in a book.

  • Chavie

    Well, trucking… oh dear, what a subject to talk about. First of all, it should be noted that trucking is a tradition as old as the 131-year-old Battle of the Blues. And as an old boy of one of the schools that take part in the RoyTho (the better school, obviously! lol) we’ve had many debates and rules and crazy crackdowns over trucking. This year though, the warden officially allowed any boy to go on trucking, but reminded them that the good name of their school was on their hands. I’ve heard of many truckers doing crazy stuff in schools they had jumped into (ranging from minor stuff like stealing lunchboxes to major stuff like ‘accidental’ damages to school property) and many of these boys get suspended from school. But the thing is that neither they, nor their peers, nor their parents, nor the old boys of Royal or Thora see trucking as a bad thing. I really dunno man, it’s something I’ve never fully come to terms with and I guess I never will! lol 🙂

  • Jamie

    Trucking is part of the big match, u wont know it unless u experience it. too bad since ur in an international school, and theres no such thing call trucking.

    and the other thing is that people from other schools tend to dress up like roys n thoras , and misbehave in public. this has been hapenning over the past years. nothing new for me.

  • Dev Wijewardane

    I am a Royalist and I did go trucking a few years back and yes, I did jump into an international school. We jumped in there to create a bit of a distraction till some friends, who were studying at the international school, changed and left school with us. we never lit crackers in schools etc. We only jumped in on the wednesday. Monday and Tuesday were spent in school and Thursday and Friday were match days.
    Some of the newer students who come into Royal don’t really understand the traditions of the school etc and just don’t get what the cycle parade is. Its this lot who give school a bad name….

  • lankanblogger

    @ Jamie
    I used to be in a national school. And I’ve seen and enjoyed real Big Matches and I am well aware that trucking is normal. I’m actually sad that I’m no longer part of all that fun.

    But when it extends to lighting crackers it got me thinking about the bad side of trucking. As I mentioned in my article, the truckers have visited my new school throughout the years, but this time was the worst. That is why I’m complaining.

    And as I said at the end of my article, I don’t mind the trucking as long as they keep off the crackers and harmful things.

    @ St. Fallen
    I’m not a pussy, and I’ve been through worse things than crackers. But I got angered when the crackers were thrown pretty much directly into the crowd. And that is why I want those truckers (the upset-minded ones) to learn a good lesson.

    I doubt that this is being blown out of proportion. And I wonder why you entered with the negative attitude?

    @ Dev Wijewardane
    I hope you are right about some new students not understanding the traditions. The gangs who visited my school this week clearly did not care what people thought of them and their school, so it is a shame.

    I do have a lot of respect for Royal College, and I don’t blame the school for anything that goes on. But I blame the students who go trucking with no idea how to behave or respect others.

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