The Future of Sri Lanka
Posted on December 28th, 2009

Chitra Sandanayake Sydney

With an open mind without malice and craving for material benefits  and accompanying hatred  towards others and thinking that  “I am always correct ”  I decided to write these few lines for the sake of my birth country .

Our nature is to criticise and vilify what we think is wrong.  However our thoughts if closely examined are very often prejudiced according to what we would like to think. It is like listening to only your own selected news media. More importantly it is crucial to get to listen to the other side and see any constructive criticism and work out a balance.

It is unfortunate that one’s ego comes into play here. If one is really keen on putting one’s opinion it is necessary to be able to detach from your feelings . There is often the incidence of foul language and innuendos  used to degrade people in politics. There are instances like that in the world over . Some do it  subtly and others blatantly to cultivate one’s ego. It is wise not to be egoistic in expressing opinions.

 The whole country will be affected by the result of decisions taken by the voters. When the first bombs went off in Iraq the country was a beautiful land and when you see it today one cannot help shedding tears at their plight. This was the result of division among people who were egoistic and selfish to support destructive forces without foresight. So many precious lives of children who need not have paid a price, adults including the young and old have perished in bombs. This is the result of a divided country.

Religion may be a scapegoat to achieve one’s selfish wishes . This is what is happening to the whole world with the threat of Alkieda actions. Religion is a spiritual aspect of one’s life . Everyone from thousands of years looked to protection from evil, and happiness after death through the eyes of one’s faith. This should not enter the political arena. Live and let live  is a valuable view as long as one takes the responsibility for one’s actions. This means some good must result from it, as far as possible. All religious faiths want the best for their followers. Human beings have the capacity to think and each individual can work it out for oneself.

Looking back on the history of Sri Lanka the plague of selfishness and hunger for power has struck our country for hundreds of years. We cannot let this happen to the future of this land. The Portugese, Dutch and the British stepped in because of division hatred and hunger for power. Is this going to continue in the future too. There was trust and friendship among the different communities when we were growing up as children. Unfortunately selfishness, power hunger ripped this country to shreds. After thirty years this situation has changed and we have a country to call our own, whether one is Sinhala Tamil Muslim Burgher or any other. We are very multicultural, we should strive to keep this hard earned gift of a country and an identity and forget language,  caste and  religious differences for the sake of the future generations. The present day politicians will be out of politics in five or ten years time. What is their legacy to the country? Happiness or unhappiness .One cannot forget one major error and lack of statesmanship under the Banadaranayake regime in the past. The Sinhala Only Bill spelt upheaval for the country. We cannot let bad decisions ruin the country. Same outcome resulted from Jayewardene’s constitutional change and the introduction of an Executive Presidency system. The mother of Democracy the UK still functions well under Parliamentary Democracy system. We have lost it and now the promises to reinstate this, is only a promise.

 With numerous lessons to learn from I would like to express my humble opinion on

How to look at the Presidential Elections.

The incumbent President Mahinda Rajadasa has successfully united the country under one administration.

*The times of bomb blasts and terrorist attacks have stopped.

*School children and people who travelled to work, do so without fear of death.

*People in the North and East are able to lead a decent life.

*There is trade as in the days of old.

*There is recognition for all faiths.

*There is recognition for all communities.

*People are not dying as a result of terrorist attacks when the  world is still under threat. Only yesterday a Terrorist sympathiser living in UK boarded a plane from Amsterdam to Detroit in US ready to blow up the plane. Fortunately it was averted due to shear luck as the device failed to operate and a passenger overpowered him.

Do we want this again? I don’t think so.

*Maintained the  sovereignty and dignity of the country amidst international pressure, to defame without grounds. The country was fighting Terrorism.

*There is evidence of development in the country , such as building highways, overhead bridges, revitalising  co-operative  sales outlets, encouraging  agriculture by farmers, new coal powered electricity generation schemes, Air port developments, new harbour facilities, housing facilities for the servicemen and women and Tsunami resettlement are some. Still  “the to do”  list is endless.

*There is a genuine effort to weed out Terror suspects and resettle the innocent civilians caught in the situation. The U N representative who visited the Wanni IDP camps recently has commended the efforts taken by the responsible authorities.

 It is possible to see that all this was achieved under a strong sense of brotherhood. The criticism the Rajapaksa  family faces may be a positive aspect of politics for this country. Their strength in brotherhood will be denied from any other union. This is manifested in the split between the President’s side and the retired chief of the armed forces. If there was a family member there may not have been this division which is going to affect Sri Lanka.

 Corrupt practices by the family has been the focus of criticism against the government. It is necessary to verify these with confirmation and not just hearsay.

 The blatant reality in this situation is, that the present Regime is apparent to the citizens of the country.

The reality is,  that  there is no way for anyone  to see what will happen if the opposition wins. Everyone is hearing only promises. All world parliaments have the habit of promising before elections. Once in power they have the power to change and retract what has been promised. It is very difficult to see the future. Only  someone with wisdom may be able to foresee the future under a new government. The majority of citizens will not be able to fathom this. There is no crystal ball.

In the past there have been elections fought just to bring a change with dire consequences.

 The future is unseen .

There is a saying . The past is history , the present is a gift and the future is a mystery 

Let’s learn from history, cherish the present and work together for a  better future.

 My hope is that it is advisable to have the present regime continue in the future with their promise of eliminating corruption and working for the  betterment of the country. It is not unwise to let them continue, and judge without malice and selfish thoughts what they have achieved. The next few years  will present us with a better chance  to decide on the future of this land. Let us focus on this country’s Future  and not individual wishes.

  Let there be patience, for this will bring satisfaction.

Chitra Sandanayake Sydney

One Response to “The Future of Sri Lanka”

  1. Priyantha Abeywickrama Says:

    This is an interesting article that I used to decipher the content for our knowledge research by asking certain questions. I hope that Chitra would complement her article by giving more of the same valuable thoughts on my comment. I attach some extracts from my notes for the viewers of this article as a complement without any malice or whatever other instincts that may have led me to come up with these thoughts in my mind.

    You said “Our nature is to criticise and vilify what we think is wrong…” What is wrong with that? Is not this equality? What will happen if we fail to criticise and vilify what we think is wrong? Alternatively, what could we say if we opt to criticise and vilify what we pretend to think as wrong knowing otherwise? How about being ignorant and not concerned about what we think is right or wrong? Why do we have to listen to anything that we do not like? Similarly, Can we eat what we do not like to eat? Is there a much bigger reason behind this than a simple option to change our minds?

    You say “If one is really keen on putting one’s opinion it is necessary to be able to detach from your feelings…” Language is a creation to communicate. What will happen if we use the same set of words for all occasions? Why do we have to hide the words that freely come out and restrain ourselves? Why there are so many words to express in so many ways? Can we stop what comes naturally when expressing an opinion?

    You say “The whole country will be affected by the result of decisions taken by the voters…” Why, why why? Is it the end for us? What is wrong with what we get naturally as it is profoundly unavoidable? Is this the only such event in our history? If not how did we survive this far? What is the concern if it is just another turn/blip in the history of the humanity? Who is going to pay for whose sins? If we deserve what is rightfully ours, should we avoid such rewards?

    You say “Religion … Religion is a spiritual aspect of one’s life…” Or is religion the killer of humanity? Are all those individuals who created religions guilty of genocide? Is religion a cruel plot manifestly designed to entrap humanity and destroy it?

    You say “Live and let live is a valuable view as long as one takes the responsibility for one’s actions…” What can we do if someone takes life as a joke? What about murderers who take their lives? What about murder and let live? Or live and let murder? What would happen if we close our eyes? Will that make others blind too? What would happen if we restrain from murder and others enjoy it? What shall we do to those who do not let us live? What about the actions of others and their consequences? There are a lot of Tamils calling to wipe out the last of Sinhala devils orchestrating a six-thousand year old holy war as depicted annually in the deevali festival. What do you say about that?

    You say “… the plague of selfishness and hunger for power has struck our country for hundreds of years…” Is it hundreds of years or millions of years? How did we manage when we were animals? Did we have control over these instincts in the wild?

    You say “There was trust and friendship among the different communities when we were growing up as children…” Did all in your community or in other communities had the same kind of trust and friendship? Or was it an assumption, fallacy or imagination?

    You say “After thirty years this situation has changed and we have a country to call our own, whether one is Sinhala Tamil Muslim Burgher or any other.” Whose country is it? Can Sinhala people call Tamil Nadu, Arabic Peninsula, Europe and Malaysia as Their country? Do you claim so? Do you call Australia as your country or that of natives you call aborigines?

    You say “We are very multicultural, we should strive to keep this hard earned gift of a country and an identity and forget language, caste and religious differences for the sake of the future generations.” Are we really multicultural or English-cultural? What do you mean by having a country and identity without a language? Did you mean to import English into the middle? Is not it a tall order to call to forget, language, caste, religion, etc. without knowing what they stand for and how they originated? Can we give up our mouth, nose, arms, legs and the head and still call ourselves human?

    You say “One cannot forget one major error and lack of statesmanship under the Bandaranayake regime in the past.” Is that so? Or did this black-English gentleman who could not utter even a few Sinhala words saw the suffering of Sinhala people and make use of that opportunity to gain power? What about the few words uttered by Somarama after firing a few shots, were they genuine? In Australia, what do you use to speak? Is it a native language or another derived from a migrant community? Or is it English? Then why only English? So it is wrong for the Sinhala majority to impose their language on other migrant minorities, but it is ok for English to do so. Where do we stand? By the way do you think that Sinhala people should not speak Sinhala? Do you think that English were the best who kept the Sinhala people at the top during their occupation?

    Recent defeat of Tamil terrorists opened up many other things that were hidden under the ashes and calls for resolute action unless we agree that it could have been better with LTTE. Sorry I am running out of time. I hope you can work out your own set of queries to the rest of your article written with an open mind, but without malice and craving for material benefits and accompanying hatred towards others, and without thinking that “I am always correct”, something that I have not earned yet or ever. For me, future is crystal clear.

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