Are we progressing or regressing
Posted on August 27th, 2013

Michelle Alexander

Today, the Daily Mirror has highlighted a news report of a local Face Book user operating a closed group called “Kellanwa Rape karanna kamathi kollo”. It is said that there are several Face Book pages operated by locals with pictures that are taken of school girls and women going about their business (without their knowledge), and publicized for the entertainment of other frustrated, sick-minded individuals.

If one goes through some of the local media websites, one would find a plethora of sexist, derogatory, racist and vile comments being added by readers of various articles. Some of the most degrading comments can be found particularly with articles relating to female personalities, certain ethnic groups, articles on brothel raids (with no-one even caring to consider if some of these women are actually victims themselves) and so on. Even those who leave a decent remark or rational argument is set upon by others with no mercy shown (usually this involves vile terms in response to that poster or female members of that poster’s family, derogatory comments about their ethnic/religious group etc). While blaming the media is a very easy thing for one to do, it is irrational to blame the media for this. They only provide a service. It is the users who should be held to task if they act in an irresponsible, racist, criminal or derogatory manner.

When those in power are seen getting away scot free even after being accused of crimes such as rape or murder, or even making disparaging remarks, can we really put the full blame on ordinary people for their mentality?

Are we turning into a society with citizens so frustrated that the only way they could feel good about themselves if they abuse/belittle women? If that is so, will this mean that Sri Lanka runs the risk of turning into a smaller version of India when it comes to the treatment of our women and girls?

Are we turning into a society where a “willing to consider” attitude is not extended to those with opposing views, and instead, people resort to abusing those with opposing views into silence?

Are we turning into a society with citizens incapable or unwilling in conducting civilized conversations and debates?

Food for thought.

7 Responses to “Are we progressing or regressing”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Endia has TOO MUCH INFLUENCE on SL. That is why SL is turning into another Endia.

  2. Senevirath Says:

    KELLANVA RAPE KARANNA KEMATHI KOLLANGE “ahaval eka””KAPANNA KEMATHI KELLOTH SANVIDHANA VIYA YUTHUY.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    Some thoughts on the topic that Michelle has written on, bearing in mind that we will never have perfect world, only one striving for perfection :

    The moral decay in the world will affect Sri Lanka too, this time through the internet. The modern day electronic equipment is meant to be used for communication, information, wholesome entertainment, etc. A part of it does not fulfill these purposes and instead is a trap containing porn and moral decay. Also, the few ‘bad eggs’ on the net get undue attention. The internet only reflects what we have trained our minds to become.

    The mind is only a tool for our own survival, and should be used with care. “Nothing is either good or bad, for thinking makes it so” (Hamlet) – and so it is with any subject. We can turn the subject of sex into something depraved or to sweet love – for thinking makes it so. Atomic power can be used for many good purposes, or to kill millions in one go – thinking makes it so. THOUGHT is the forerunner of good evil. It is also said that : “He who has conquered himself has conquered the world”. How do we conquer ourselves ?

    The great religions of the world may be failing due to misinterpretation of what the Masters/Gurus actually emphasised when alive, with less focus (or zero focus) on the most important parts of what they said. Most religions are not alive and vibrant today and are lost in rituals and prayer. Prayer is us talking to God/Truth (Sathya)/Allah and Meditation is us LISTENING to God/Truth (Sathya)/Allah.

    In Buddhism ‘Dhana, Seela & Bhavana’ is a fine way to move forward in Evolution of the Self.

    The world has some 7 BILLION people, looking mostly to the west for guidance, and India for some spiritual sustenance. Those who lead must be wholesome in their guidance, otherwise it is set up for failure. Those who guide well will receive the love and respect they fully deserve.

    A less populated world will be more wholesome as everyone will then have some material comforts. Free birth control and Family Planning is infinitely better than wars for Resources. It is time for Sath Yuga to dawn, and happiness and prosperity for all human beings to come.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Please read as : THOUGHT is the forerunner of good or evil.

    Add: The MIND is the tool to be used for our mutual survival. The HEART is to feel the God/Truth/Allah within us all.

    Above written with good intent, and harm to none.

    For more information on related topics, please go to website wopg.org.

  5. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    The Socratic method used in this article places the answer in the hands of the commenter. If that is so then my opinion is that the last four years of Sri Lanka’s period of peace has to be judged by the past thirty years of Sri Lanka society which functioned in an abnormal way of life. Living under a constant state of war is not normal. It destroys traditions, makes a mockery of religious beliefs and hardens the heart of children.

    The Sri Lankan war lasted so long that several generations grew up in this “war time” atmosphere. One cannot expect any society to spring back to its traditional values in just four years if the psychological injury shared by the masses, is not addressed and it is not addressed. This article probably would be considered the first attempt in dealing with a war torn society and going by this article steps need to be taken to heal these wounds.

    The total disrespect towards women to embracing the lowest common denominator are the acts of a society hardened by endless killings, rapes, vandalism and hopelessness which generally characterize war. Sri Lanka being the oldest nation with an unbroken record of Buddhism has the tools to heal the young from carrying over the injury of their parents to the next generation.

    The question must be asked what made Sri Lanka a civilized culture where such acts were not just frowned upon but were alien to the culture. Before the war I lived in Sri Lanka and personally I know the innocence of the society. Maybe that cannot be repeated in the “internet age” but a lot of what supports this alternative lifestyle can be remedied if they are made illegal and the law is applied not only by the government but in the school to the family.

    It would take the combined efforts of the Buddhist Sanga the government to the parents and family elders to create an atmosphere of culture and family values. I doubt if the current generation of youth can be rehabilitated but with time and a great deal of genuine effort Sri Lanka can gain the values she lost during those 30 years of war.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Continued STRESS leads to the death of any living organism, including human beings, anywhere in the world. Overpopulation is a form of Stress. Lack of Basic Needs is a form of Stress. Lack of Knowledge of about Life (Who are we and where are we going ?) itself is a form of Stress.

    Sri Lanka is a small island next door to a huge country which is overpopulated. Offloading unwanted, ignorant and poor Tamil people into Sri Lanka does not help us at all. It is another additional Stress. It creates massive conflicts and Separatism. We have to deport all illegal migrants. Buddhism is the religion of the land, not its Legal System. What Laws do we have to deal with illegal migrants ? The Colonial British never had laws to deal with illegal migrants. We have to do it ourselves.

    It is far better to take care of Tamil people in Tamil Nadu itself. Our heartfelt wish that this is done with care and compassion.

    BW,

    You say that you doubt if the current generation of youth can be rehabilitated ! The current generation are the parents of the next generation – what kind of parents will the current generation make ?

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    On Googling the net for ‘Laws illegal migrants Sri Lanka’ I found only one article of worth and that too referred ONLY to illegal migrants going OUT of Sri Lanka and this article is from Xinhua), not any Sri Lankan newspaper ! Here it is :

    “Sri Lanka to tighten migrant laws to reduce asylum seekers
    English.news.cn 2012-08-13 17:59:42
    COLOMBO, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka is planning to amend its migration laws to take stricter action against illegal asylum seekers after numbers topped 530 in July, an official said here on Monday.

    Given the increasing numbers of people illegally attempting to migrate to Australia, an amendment to the Immigration and Emigration Act has already been sent to the Legal Draftsman, said Controller General Chulananda Perera.

    “There is a great need to upgrade the legal framework for illegal migrants and human smugglers. Once the amendment is complete it will be presented before parliament,” he told a media.

    The External Affairs Ministry has already called on countries receiving illegal Sri Lankan migrants to deport them home.

    In July alone over 530 people were detained by Sri Lankan authorities while attempting to illegally migrate to Australia.

    Australian authorities reported that over the past month asylum seeker numbers have trebled, hitting the same digits as in 2009, when Sri Lanka ended a three decade conflict.

    Over the first half of this year, 1,346 asylum seekers claiming to come from Sri Lanka have arrived in Australian territory, according to the figures released by the Australian immigration department”.

    India has a loose arrangement re migrants into the country. As far as I know, if and when floods happen in Bangladesh, people pour into the Indian side of the border with no restrictions. Then those who want to go back after floods recede, do so. Sri Lanka being such a small island cannot afford this kind of loose arrangement with India and other countries. We have to have strong laws governing illegal migrants coming INTO Sri Lanka, using the Mannar Route especially. Or else be prepared to be under the Indian paw via Tamil Nadu, and also have the international community govern Sri Lanka.

    I repeat, Buddhism is the religion of the land, not its Legal System. Do not confuse the two. See how small Bhutan manages its affairs and take some tips off them.

    Wither Sri Lanka Law Makers ?

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