An Expatriate’s Impression on arrival in Sri Lanka and opportunities missed …..
Posted on July 25th, 2012

Anjalika Silva – USA

An Expatriate s Impression on arrival in Sri Lanka and opportunities missed  ..

For the longest time, expatriates waited in anticipation of the new dual citizenship rules that have finally been made public.  In the whole debacle, those who wanted to  cheat  the Government Regulations were quick to obtain their dual status because of the poor planning that went into the process at the inception.  The focus of the exercise was the revenue of Rs. 200,000 which is approximately US$2,000 per application. With a war stretching 30 years and the well-known ruses used internationally to obtain asylum status and refugee privileges, it took too long for the Sri Lankan authorities to catch on.  The expatriates however knew more about the astute operations while the government was literally taken for a ride.

Those who did not have anything to benefit by were the expats who believed they could take their time and process applications when the moratorium on new applications came into effect.  This caused great hardship to many.  It was basic thinking to check the immigration/emigration status of applicants in the first instance.

With the vigorous campaign against Sri Lanka that is carried out overseas, it was callous not to anticipate that some of these people will take advantage where ever there was a loophole and they did.

Attacks against Sri Lanka was coupled with sliding back to savour a piece of the  Success pie  to invest and own property in the land of  Genocide.   Visiting this land of  so called Genocide and Torture  gives a whole different picture of all ethnic groups living together and going about life with no threats to anyone except the cost of living and the indiscipline around them.  The topics of conversation are not ethnic but they are about values and the power wielding that is making life difficult for all regardless of ethnicity or faith.

It is a bit late to revisit this after many who are working against Sri Lanka are benefiting from the privileges of dual citizenship while participating in subterfuge to undermine the country overseas. One wonders if any proven cases of deceit will be revoked.  Chances are highly unlikely regardless of the intelligence the country received prior to the moratorium that resulted.

The missions overseas seek assistance from many expats for political and cultural representation on behalf of the country particularly in the unique situation facing the country today with a shift from a military war to a misinformation war.  Despite the huge expense incurred by the government, major roles are played by volunteers who are knowledgeable and committed with absolutely no remuneration.  They contribute in areas that no public relations outfit without in-depth knowledge of the culture and politics of Sri Lanka can be effective.

The misinformation war is far more dangerous and is widespread with the use of technology.  It is very easy to convincingly present believable untruths effectively with far reaching economic, political and other ramifications.  This is exactly the case today.  The government expenditure and the benefits from using outsourced representation have a wide gap between cost and results while those who offer volunteer services are completely disillusioned at what goes on behind the scenes.  When in Sri Lanka, the complacency in this area is irksome and the silence and high handed talk of victory in the misinformation war is one of total denial.

People are living in a dream world believing that the May 2009 victory extends to all aspects of the struggle facing Sri Lanka.  Even some of the well-educated do not have a clue about the dangers lurking against the entire country and the shift overseas.  The international arena that is intensely bent on destroying Sri Lanka does not get a well-represented real picture. They obtain briefings and material but the delivery is all important even with the best material. To most, this is still an ethnic war and not one with a deeper and devious agenda.  This agenda cannot be addressed by arrogance and uncalled for statements as Sri Lanka is far too small and insignificant to fight giants who when handled without diplomatic prowess can send the wrong message.  One senses an intense anti west rhetoric when viewing the political climate in Sri Lanka.  However the lifestyles are embracing more and more of the western culture without selective discretion.  We have now become a lopsided culture heading the wrong way.  The deep furrow created by class that is not only economic but political and intellectual is not to the benefit of the country.  Wealth and power must be complemented with discipline and values of decency.  This correlation is heading in opposite directions and loyalty to the country at the level of individuals is not in the equation.  Patriots on the other hand are more concerned and aware that their actions speak louder than words as they represent hyphenated immigrants whether it be the UK, USA, Canada or elsewhere as naturalized foreign citizens of Sri Lankan origin.

The apathy of the Government to recognize the urgency for a well-planned structured cost effective process to harness the support of patriotic expatriates is leading to fragmented pockets that are not collectively effective with one set of objectives driving the needs of the country first over personal agendas.  Most opportunities to defend the country are first viewed as opportunities to the advantage of a

few as a priority whether or not the desired goals are met.   There is too much self-preservation woven into the process and attention is not diverted to areas that are critically important using the right people with the appropriate knowledge and drive with support to do so. The most critical element  communication  is deficient and we see messages being delivered that lack of finesse in international languages except for a few exceptions.   The result is that the expatriate effort is spinning its wheels in the same place with frustration that has to be endured.  Even a simple response to Sri Lanka does not elicit acknowledgement and has to be prodded over and over again for feedback from bureaucracy.  This is not a satisfactory approach to using some of the very knowledgeable pro Sri Lanka diaspora.  If one looks globally, there are plenty of good people that can be networked around the world.  However, there is no desire to use this valuable asset as it is easy to outsource at great expense to those who have no idea about our country.

With regular briefings to handpicked groups of expatriates brainstorming to make effective inroads, much more can be achieved.

Individuals are spending personal time and finances but the focus is spread thin.  Factual material in support of the country is tangled in bureaucracy and approval processes with the government stamp (particularly the authentic video clips with the www.defence.lk stamp) are dismissed in the international arena as government propaganda.

Despite repeated representation to those who make decisions, it has been difficult to drive this point home that the truth has to be presented independent of the Government stamp.  Events cannot be manipulated if they are recorded.  However valuable the material may be, as soon as the government stamp is embedded, it loses credibility when Sri Lanka s government is fighting a reputation battle.

Credibility within the country and credibility in the international arena are two very different scenarios that must be handled with acute precision in delivering messages and information.

The lack of humility to listen is a serious deficiency that has led to unnecessary expenditure without desired results.  The concept that,  The sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts  is never followed and unilateral decisions are made at great expense.  Those who see it and point it out may be viewed as critics or enemies of the government but in actual fact they do so with true patriotism and the desire to see the country benefit over individuals.

Coming to Sri Lanka this year (2012) is an eye opener.  The degradation of values and the sole motive to make money regardless of ethics or the downfall of the country is what will ultimately destroy this land.  The myopic approach is very dangerous unless Sri Lanka infuses some serious discipline in the human capital department.

Physical development is impressive but the degraded human values and lack of discipline is a total disappointment. The cost of living is soaring and there is no practical approach or sacrifices by the absolute greed of people who are in a position to stop and think how they can avert further disaster.  As a result, the ordinary man lives like a slave working but unable to put basic food in their stomach unless they are subsidized by foreign remittances.  These come from women going overseas leaving families.  The destruction to the social fabric is a whole other issue that needs to be addressed in a more aggressive and effective way.  The work force has potential within the country but it has lost its socio economic value due to a mafia of unscrupulous agencies.  The government departments charged with women s affairs need to do more.

Human values are deteriorating to the extent that that no act of human kindness is from the heart unless money is extended to the hand that reaches out first.  It is pathetic that some are unconscionable about profits.  Any expense is transferred to the consumer in the form of taxes for businesses.  The only saving grace is that banks and insurance areas are regulated to some extent but profitmaking and luxury living at any cost is the culture of Sri Lanka.  It has trickled across and down from left to right and top to bottom with disregard for rules. It is refreshing to see a driver that stops at a pedestrian crossing.  The poor walk and the rich fly by without consistent regard for road rules as the case is in every aspect of life.

The expats who voluntarily work to counter disadvantages to the country have no voice and are overruled or not heard.  This is an area in which Sri Lanka is missing a golden opportunity by not using a valuable resource the experienced expatriates.   Patriotic expats give up in frustration when no one is listening. They can collectively contribute a knowledgebase that can be of great advantage to the country but first they need to be wanted to be in the right mindset.

Expatriate contribution has become a one way street.  The Government does not care and the  bullying  begins on landing in Colombo when there is no redress for those who sweat for the country.  At least a little token card to recognize services of expatriates will go a long way to grow more concerned expats who will take an active role if they are encouraged.  Youth groups contribute their might for Sri Lanka in their own way to promote their culture with very little support.  Our young people who contribute to keeping our traditional cultural activities are unpaid ambassadors.   They need to be made to feel wanted and kept motivated to be ambassadors for the country.

The Government rhetoric about the value of educated and well trained expats is not followed with tangible attempts to draw from the pool for the benefit of the country.  It must be considered that the mature expatriate community has taken on naturalization and citizenship in other countries due to need for career advancement and not through any scorn for Sri Lanka.  The delay in dual citizenship restructure sent many genuine contenders from the baby boomer generation who wished to return into an uncertain spin.  Visiting Sri Lanka for 30 days and the visa restrictions are cumbersome.  However the 5 year multiple entry for an extended period of 6 months at a time that costs US$100 is a great asset to the maturing expatriate populations that should ideally be harnessed by the Government for whatever strengths they provide as a cost effective source of knowledge more beneficial by partnering them with foreign experts who are brought in at enormous expense.

The existence of this extended visa is not well known to many. These people have expertise and some loyalty to the country that if harnessed in a systematic way can help in many spheres.

The recent experience of holders of extended visas is both angering and annoying.  The immigration procedures have changed without the documents being updated to incorporate new requirements followed through with details explained on the online documents.  Pictures are a new requirement not mentioned in the form but required in the new regulations.  This is not meant as a criticism but feedback to encourage those who implement new procedures to be more diligent in following through with instructional material.     Those who handle the desk know it for themselves but expect the applicants to know what is on their minds.  The communication and service channels are weak in guiding the applicants.

On arrival in Colombo, the immigration staff immediately turns away multiple entry visa holders after waiting in long lines asking them to report to the officer on duty.  Reasons are not given and after long flights the lack of pleasantries at the first point of contact makes one wonder whether we are visiting the  Wonder of Asia  that keeps us wandering from pillar to post not knowing the next step on arrival.

It so happens that the visas issued by missions are not being entered in the Immigration computer system speedily.  Hence, the visitors are redirected after standing in line and on reaching the officers; they are very casual about the long lines outside their offices which vary depending on flight arrivals.  Nothing is coordinated to accommodate the shortcomings of the authorities and the passengers are inconvenienced.  It has still not dawned on authorities that expats of Sri Lankan origin are a greater part of the tourist population.

Although Sri Lankan, they are for all intents and purposes naturalized citizens of other countries categorized as foreigners who are treated as such as and when it is convenient.  Therefore, the weary traveler is sent from pillar to post.

The officers in the cubicles are not connected with the process and suddenly realize that the lines outside their door are due to the computer glitch.  Not all desks are occupied to speed up the process.

Is this a part of the tourist promotion?  One wonders whether the tourism hype is real or a dream.  As Sri Lankans, we want to cringe at the impression created on arrival.  We are used to the form but the tourists may not be as tolerant.  Visiting the hill country, there was not much to write about tourists.  Beautiful areas are not promoted as much as one would expect.

Calls by political leaders inviting expats to contribute to the country are deflated at the point of arrival.  Especially those who sincerely wish to contribute and are not a part of the  political class  with special escorts to meet, greet and whisk them through all lines.  Even if that can be arranged, right thinking people do not wish to be exceptions; instead they want to see systems of equality for all. Sadly, that doesn t happen in Sri Lanka today and it is very evident that power takes over from good impressions about the country in the eyes of those who look on.

Think Sri Lankan  must be accompanied by good guidance to all citizens on how to respect the law, follow the rules of the land and act with integrity and human decency regardless of powerful connections.  These elements are disappearing and if not remedied, we will crash as a country and disappear due to our own seeking.  With all the talent in the country today, the basic need to fit the right people to the right job with the right knowledge and attitude should take precedence over  who you know  which cannot replace knowledge and training.  Where are we heading and where will it end for this beautiful country is a question on everyone s mind.  The answers are not on the horizon. Does anyone care?  Someone should.  There are still many who love the country regardless of what the people have become.  They recognize its unlimited potential that remains to be harnessed but the immediate need is to eliminate greed and indiscipline at all levels.

 

19 Responses to “An Expatriate’s Impression on arrival in Sri Lanka and opportunities missed …..”

  1. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    According to most people in Sri Lanka, expats need not be involved in the ‘affairs’ of the country as they have left the island for good, irrespective of holding dual citizenship or not. A wise astute leader would bring in dramatic changes in the country in every respect, clearly not apparent with the current leadership and his team. Corruption and thuggery at the Ministerial level must be stopped by the leader and he should set an example like Lee Quan Yew (of course who had his own flaws) who took drastic measures against his own family members and senior ministers. If the leader is surrounded by murderers, thugs, bribe takers etc. he is impotent to take action against them as his support base will decline. In fact there is no apparent control over many things, which was seen even during the war. Once the leadership had a firm control over the army around the latter part of 2007, the terrorists were defeated.
    Blaming the goverment alone will not suffice. Progressive measures taken by the present government sometimes are being curtailed by the rigid, regimental Secretaries and bureaucrats, the lethargic lot.
    Under the current Exchange Control Act expats who hold dual cit. had to inform the Central Bank if they intended to buy or sell a property in Sri Lanka. I wrote a letter to the President to take action to change this and he promptly directed the Secretary of Finance and Planning to take necessary action. This was in Jan 2008. Up to now this man has not even responded to my request let alone an action. Communication is NIL in SL. Can we blame the government for the inaction of these lethargic people? I will be not inclined to inform the Central bank if I plan to buy any property in SL and I will advise others too who hold dual cit. I have the letter to prove the Presidents intention to change these anachronistic, archaic laws in SL. One other funniest observation is the age old penalties for law breakers, petty payments Rs.10 which in fact should be 10 times or 100 times more. Even the Judiciary is sleeping in SL and not moving with the times. The whole country need a revamping and that needs a wise leader of the calibre of late Lalith or Kadir. The Planning Ministry the hub of the nation should be manned not confined to Economists(Arts graduates) as at present but also by Engineers, Scientists, Technologists, IT and Communication specialists etc. etc.. This suggestion too was made to the President few years ago and recently I have conveyed this to the Deputy Minister of Planning. I am pretty sure nothing will be done.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    It sure frustrates patriotic Sri Lankans to see the wrong crowd benefitting from war victory.

    There is a much worse aspect to this.

    I personally know hardcore LTTE sympathisers from the diaspora getting dual citizenship, buying land, businesses, violating exchange control and keep financing separatism, contract killings, money laundering and other criminal work in the island. No one seems to care. Some operate businesses of importing used denim trousers, avoid paying port dues, bypass inspections and conceal prohibitted goods including drugs, propaganda material, pornographic material and small weapons along with them.

    During the war the secretary to the Ministry of Defence sought expertise from patriotic and educated expatriates on specific matters. It worked well and gave satisfaction to those who were lucky to get involved. Others don’t seem to follow. We need the calibre of people like the defence secretary in all ministries if anything is to happen. But all secretaries are hand picked by politicians.

    From an economic point of view, the balance of payment goes further into deficit. To recover, the rupee is deflated (which is the right thing to do) and it affects consumers as prices go up. All consumer goods should have import taxes appropriately. Capital and intermediary goods should be strictly monitored for their intended use.

    All importers must be traced by the department of Inland Revenue for tax. They are notorious in not paying income tax.

    In the short term remedies should be found within this corrupt system to reduce the threat to the national economy and security. Idealistic solutions are good for the long run. If we wait for idealistic solutions, nothing will ever happen.

    The corrupt, power hungry, money minded and politically connected gangs should be encouraged to take over Pettah businesses that are held by Tamil and Muslim cartels one way or the other. They are the biggest financiers of separatism in the island including TNA and SLMC. It will dissipate the national security threat and separatism threat though corruption will remain same. Still it is worth.

    Good news is scant. One good news is the government has abandoned proposed new airports in Kandy, etc. Hopefully it is not temporary until the elections are over.

    People should vote against the government in provincial elections. That is the only effective wake up call on corruption, separatism, insane cost of living, abuse of power, etc. Otherwise this will worsen until 2015 when national elections are due. Surely the country cannot go on like this for another 3 years.

  3. nandimitra Says:

    Sri Lanka is a lawless predatory society whose ruling class give leadership to this day light robbery. The poor and the future generations are the victims. Unless men of morality and compassion stand up and fight this menace a repeat of ’71,’89 are in the making.

  4. mewan Says:

    While waiting at the immigration at the Colombo airport about two weeks ago I could not help noticing the “Foreign Passport Only” queue was almost completely comprised of Sri Lankans who did not look that professional to me. Unsurprisingly they were mostly holding dark blue coloured Canadian passports. It is likely that these are the people who fled by boats to Canada claiming persecution and torture only a few years ago and now return to the same place that they claimed was a death trap. It is unlikely that these people have any interest in the development of Sri Lanka or has any emotional attachment to it. They are mostly returning to flaunt their foreign passports and currency to their poor relatives who were left behind.

    This leaves those professional that left the country for better employment opportunities, most of whom are now nearing retiring age. I have no doubt that these people have the necessary knowledge and talent to make a tremendous contribution to the country. However, even if the government does find and avenue to make this come true, I don’t expect that as Sri Lankans these people would have enough humility in them to work in cooperation for the betterment of the country. Their massive egos would get in the way of getting close enough to work in collaboration. There will be incessant professional conflicts as each one tries to show that they know better. You only have to look at how expat Sri Lankan communities live in foreign countries with full of petty conflicts, jealousy and numerous other social ills that they have directly transplanted from Sri Lanka. If you meet them at a social gathering the first thing they ask is the school that you have gone to. If it is not a prominent Colombo school, you are likely to be shunned. Then they dig in to your background. Almost all of them have famous family connections and was “somebody” in Sri Lanka. I cannot count the instances that I have come across people who claim to have a close relative as the top man in prominent organisation or have a close relative as the “right-hand-man” of the president. How many rights hands does the president have? I have known friends to have made derogatory remarks about others who have come from “lower” social classes. I have also know people who have come from very poor backgrounds, who were able to hardly string a sentence in English but after a few years in a Western country, now cannot even carry on a conversation with friends in the mother tongue. Some people say that they can hardly stand the people, the weather, the dust and the heat anymore in Sri Lanka. When they are up and about in the country they look down in disdain at the locals. For god sake you grew up just like the rest of us in the same place travelled in busses and trains smelling the sweat of our fellow travellers. It was not a problem then. Now just after a few years in among fairer people you see your own kith and kin as “dark”, ill-mannered, uncouth and simply inferior. One day at the duty free zone at the Colombo airport I witnessed first hand how egoistical our expats could be. This man was flashing a US passport and was clearly a stunted Sinhalese of small stature. Apparently, he was either ignored by staff at the shop or made to wait for something. He was belting out the f-word in a packed duty free zone, with plenty of children and tourists around and taking out his anger at the poor innocent sales girls. I was wondering whether he would be brave enough to do that in shop in the US. He would have been arrested and dragged out like the rate he was and thrown in jail. I am not saying this runt represents all expat community but I am sure most of them are not far from the persona. So I think Sri Lanka is better of harnessing the immense pool of local talent it has and make use o them properly.

  5. lingamAndy Says:

    mewan be happy !
    Ref:foreign passports and currency to their poor relatives who were left behind.
    Simple , 33 year civil war finished (3 years ago) peple are returning back to their home Now !

  6. Vis8 Says:

    What Sunil Vijayapala has said is very true: Current leaders in Sri Lanka appear to have very short-sighted vision, especially to the happenings overseas. Ltte supporters are bribing foreign polilticians who dance to their whims, and the government appears to be totally ignorant of this. Millions of dollars of Sri Lankan money are spent on maintaining ‘missions’ in foreign countries: the ambassadors have their own butlers, chefs and drivers, in addition to secretaries. Many of these ambassadors are totally incompetent and are just bent on educating their children and helping them to find jobs in foreign countries.

    This “look after myself” attitude of government people is going to bring considerable harm to the country. Suggestions by patriotic groups who have gone out of their ways to help the government, are completely ignored. If the GoSL gives just 5% of what they are spending to maintain foreign missions to these expatriates, that would pay great dividends to the country in terms of countering the actions of the ltte rump abroad.

  7. AnuD Says:

    It is amazing to find out that those who ran away from the country accusing discrimination by the majority and those who cheered to LTTE were the first to get dual citizenship.

    At present, none of the prominent politicians in the parliament are capable of or does not have the vision to build a better Sri Lanka. they don’t have any idea how the future Sri Lanka should like except they are talking everything to make the voters happy. If you read a name of a ministry Secretary or department chairman, those names are either names from members of a politician in the past or present.

    Reading the comments, it looks that everything happens in Sri Lanka and wishes of people in Sri lanka (e.g.; Expats should not involve in Sri lnakan affairs) are simply jealousy and greed. Nowadays expats are common to every country. Govts of many countries now have built connections with expats. Some countries have given even voting priviladges.

  8. AnuD Says:

    According to most people in Sri Lanka, expats need not be involved in the ‘affairs’ of the country as they have left the island for good, irrespective of holding dual citizenship or not.

    Sri Lankans are living on about $ 10 billion of earnings sent by Maids working in the Middle east. Otherwise,it is not what they are doing that Sri Lanka is going OK.

  9. Marco Says:

    Dilrook says..
    “It sure frustrates patriotic Sri Lankans to see the wrong crowd benefitting from war victory.”

    Where were these so called “patriots” during the war years apart from providing lip service and the odd letters to obscure web sites.

    No thanks.

    We “real” Sri Lankans will deal with the issues as we have done the past three decades. We may make mistakes, fall, rise and get together without the diasporas and the diashoras.

    But, do keep providing the lip service-

  10. thurai Says:

    //I personally know hardcore LTTE sympathisers from the diaspora getting dual citizenship, buying land, businesses, violating exchange control and keep financing separatism, contract killings, money laundering and other criminal work in the island. No one seems to care// DILROOK

    I agree with you. Because of uncontrolled larg some of money flowing into the country by Diaspora (mostly illigal & from money laundering) always make hopeless to the poor communities to work in Sri Lanka.

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    From Adaderana.lk

    The Sri Lanka Freedom Party has with immediate effect cancelled the party membership and posts of all local government body representatives who are accused of rape or crime.

    In a release the SLFP stated that the move was initiated by SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena and sanctioned by the UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayatha.

    Accordingly the memberships of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman W.P. Sampath Chandrapushpa, Tangalle Municipal Council Member B.L. Anjana Kusum Ruwan, Akuressa Provincial Council Chairman S.H. Sunil and Akuressa Provincial Council Deputy Chairman Munidasa Gamage were cancelled.”

    A good move AT LAST.

    There are some more criminals. Cancel ALL of their membership. What is the UNP, JVP and TNA doing? Aren’t they coming to the party?

  12. Sirih Says:

    Marco, there were plenty of expats were involved with SL Defence… Electronic warfare, Signal interception, communication and also getting high technology avoiding western ban(using other countries) and working with Chinese defence..

    So pls. enjoy your ignorance and these same people are still doing work for defence.

  13. jayt Says:

    “According to most people in Sri Lanka, expats need not be involved in the ‘affairs’ of the country as they have left the island for good, irrespective of holding dual citizenship or not.”

    who is this most people?

    there is no doubt that bill were processed and directed by a foreign agent who can operate free when there is no expats involved

  14. Ananda-USA Says:

    I agree with Sunil Vijayapala that patriotic expats should be viewed more positively by people in Sri Lanka, and those with professional expertise and business connections, especially in science and engineering, should be tapped to help build the country. I also agree that these disciplines should be better represented among the staff of the Planning Ministry.

    Although there is recognition at the highest levels of the GoSL that expatriates are a very valuable unexploited resource, and they have made various attempts to harness those skills, there is no carry through at the lower levels. I have experienced this myself when I wanted to build a moderately large (20MW) wind energy plant in Sri Lanka with financing from the US. There was no cooperation at all … not even to give me a copy of the wind energy data. I got the distinct impression that my policy of refusing to offer the “right incentives” to various people was the wrong approach; they would rather that I just go away after attending the GoSl sponsored dog and pony shows (aka “conferences”), and let them get on with the “real deals” underway beneath the table.

    Although I have now given up proposing any deals that require GOSL involvement and assistance, I have not given up on helping Sri Lanka with what little science & engineering expertise I have. I now implement small projects that only require the participation of a few like-minded individuals among family and friends, and don’t attempt any large scale projects that requires investments beyond our means.

    I hope effective patriotic leaders like the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will read these frustrated comments. I hope they will act to reach us through SL embassies in foreign countries to systematically harness the expertise of expatriate patriots to both transform the nation into New Wonder of Asia, and to create a phalanx to defend it effectively in this new war on the global stage.

    I dreamt a dream for 30 long years that Sri Lanka would find the will to free itself of Tamil terrorism; a dream that became a reality on May 19, 2009 due to courage and determination of a handful of leaders and a host of patriots who flocked to fight under their banner. The post-victory failures of the current GoSL pale in significance in comparison to life they breathed into our then dying motherland. Even as we criticize their failures, let us not forget their achievements. Gratitude, after all, is what distinguishes man from beast.

    I now dream the dream that Sri Lanka will be sprout wings and take wing as the New Wonder of Asia in my lifetime. I am CONFIDENT that it will … although the process of getting there seems akin to the making of sausage!

    Jayawewa, Sri Lanka!

  15. Saman Says:

    Thanks for the author of this article for bringing the dual citizenship issues to the attention of readers. I would hope that those with legislative and administrative responsibilities would read it and consider the issue with long term interest of Sri Lanka in heart. I have some suggestions for the Expats abroad hoping to return to SL.
    1) Do not pay attention to negative comments of those writing here. Those who are jealous of expats certainly would have migrated if they had a chance. The people who left country may have done so for many number of reasons and it does not mean they did not love SL. In contrary, the people who lived abroad tend to develop more devotion to their motherland and may be more patrotic than others. So do not quit advocating for your birth rights to live in the land you were born.
    2) You might have gained a wealth of experience and knowledge in which you built up your career abroad. That experience and knowledge is very valuable for a developing country like SL. All developed countries have very liberal immigration policies to let educated, skilled people to come to their countries. Those countries do not have those policies in place unless they serve their countries. In fact, most developed countries reached the developmental goals by using the skills and labor of those educated expats. It is good for Sri Lanka too. It is time that Sri Lanka bring in experienced, educated people to reach the goal of making Sri Lanka, Miracle of Asia.
    3) Expats, you do have to lobby very hard if you need to gain any policy changes related to dual citizenship. No lobbying is equal to no gain. Lobbying is everywhere in all countries. It is not bribing politicians or those lethargic government employees to get things done. It is raising your issues with unity in one voice to gain your rights. You have a number of advantages. You are a source of foriegn income to the government. You may be already remitting collectively millions of dollars to SL accounts. You may also have influence on people in Sri Lanka who have political clout. You may also bring in experience and knowledge to engineering, medical, IT and other important sectors in SL. Use all what you have and lobby for your course. Of course it does not mean bribing, or disrupting traffic or public life in SL. You do not have to do those things. You have more powerful influence. Use them and lobby. Gain your rights back. It is good for Sri Lanka. Do not listen to nay Sayers, jealous fools. They are the people who brought so much misery to Sri Lanka in the past, for example alienating Tamils and saying they are Kallathonies. So do not get discouraged but work as a group of Expats and gain your citizenships back.

    Jay Wewa!

  16. Marco Says:

    We all now the “defense expertise” provided during the war years where arms dealers (Sri Lankan) were prepared to sell to the highest bidders (without any scruples).
    It’s rather a shame that ones owns expertise was “found out” and credibility question in the home grown LLRC report and exposed in a subtle way (as usual) by Prof RW
    Perhaps, we would like to now why a legal action against CH4 was dropped?

    Ananda refers to the conflab at GFH.
    You need to grease palms to get any action.
    Thankfully after my semi retirement in 2003, i was able to (and still able to) venture into projects without the First Family getting their (dirty) fingers into it.

    I will with bliss enjoy the ignorance. Thank you!

  17. Sirih Says:

    Marco, Read the LLRC report again… Also read the report that came from a Prof. (from NASA,US) again. Also read the UN experts findings and compare those with legal.. Meaning one edit point is enough to throw things out of courts and you do not need any more..(there were 13 edit points)

    It seems malice is mix with ignorance for some one who has not achieve much… Typical loss man that blame everything to govt. but never have asked what can I do for the country.

    If you put yourself above the country then it is your loss, but I still stand by with original comment, that ignorance does not give right to confusing rant..

    Arms dealers were there before current Defence Sec was on board so again you are using half truths.. Conflicts will be there always since it is human agendas that create conflicts.

    There are no such a thing as “owns expertise” except some ones derange mind that created the scenario in the first place.

    Stay focus and be truthful (at least to your self) with out insinuating half-truths. I still bless you with full employment since I do not carry your malice.

  18. jayt Says:

    I will come back later in the day to respond to jealousy sinhalese social group who have been anti sinhalese and openly worked for foreign groups who are anti sinhalese

  19. Sirih Says:

    I will add few more details so that Marco or ltte lobby have facts. Prof. RW take all the data from me and one of the most polite gentleman that I have ever known and I believe some one misread his english since he has taken UN Rappoteur for his misdeeds or lack of candour.
    He said UN technical analysis and my analysis in some areas are same but although I gave solid technical reason for this indicating the forgery side UN guy did not (even though he said video is edited). As I said Marco need to be genuine on his reasoning.
    Re. ch4 not taken to courts, why should SL govt. spend millions of pounds to prove some thing which we have already proven? I was dead against this since we have the facts and figures. I have plenty to counter if UN take this issue to the war crime courts.(Most are not published)
    US defence and State dept had my report well before Ch4 released this and we nothing to prove against some thing which is not real.

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