POLITICS OF GABAGE IN SRI LANKA
Posted on July 27th, 2018

BY EDWARD THEOPHILUS

Sri Lanka is appeared to be a strange country where we can see that everything in the human life are using as points to debate, comments or argue in political platforms, whether people of the country feel it is right or wrong.  Life issues are used to gain political advantages misleading voters. The reality of the country is the majority of people irrespective of political differences, are not happy with the invasion of politics for every matters in human life.  Many irrelevant matters of the country are used by politicians for surviving in the political life.  Politicians very often mislead general public with a view to cheating them for gaining advantages such as popularity, coverup of corruptions or gaining votes in the next election.

If we critically review the behaviour of political parties since independence in 1948, we clearly find that politics of Sri Lanka has been entirely diverted to the issues that have not significantly deliberated to be a part of politics. The international political forces understand the weakness of political arena in Sri Lanka and they use the situation for power play or damaging the progress of the country.  Although Sri Lanka was comparatively in front of economic development before Korean war, now it has lost to many countries in Asia, one of the visible reason for this backwardness could be regarded as misunderstanding and neglecting of the role of politics.

As a citizen of a country anyone contemplates that the most significant aspect of the role of politicians is to developing of vital policies for economic, social and cultural improvements.  In other word, the development of successful policies for the benefits of citizens should be the prime and essential role of politicians when they are discharging own duties. People of Sri Lanka are of opinion that politicians are paid comparatively higher salaries and fringe benefits in return for the duties that they are supposed to perform. Therefore, the prime role of politicians, if they honestly and impartially discharge, would be supporting to have a comfortable life for citizens.  The economic development would bring jobs and revenue for people and they could happily live in the society with less problems and also without creating problems to the government. The role of politicians in all over the world seems that there is no specific difference and they attempt to work consistent with public needs but the politicians in Sri Lanka have considerably departed from the expected role and they use the positions, which were given by the votes of the public, misuse involving in irrelevant issues as a tactical strategy.

The behaviour of politicians or political parties in Sri Lanka exhibits that they have departed from the fundamental role of politics. The engagement in destructive roles using irrelevant matters in politics would lead to a human tragedy or coverup corruptions of politicians.  I visited Sri Lanka some years ago and saw a mountain in the North Colombo area near Kelani river.  It was really a surprising point to me as I never noticed a mountain in Colombo except Rasamuna Kanda.  I have been living in Kotahena for a considerable period and it was a point to surprise me as how quickly emerged a mountain without a massive geological occurrence such as earth quake or any other.  I asked a person walking on the road what is that mountain directing the hand to the mountain, there were no mountains in Colombo when I was living for a long time in that area.  He replied it is accumulated garbage in Colombo without effectively disposing them, later they became a mountain”.  According to my professional background I thought it was a serious health hazard to people in the area whether they had an affinity to any religion, political party or any ethnic group. Thank to Rajapaksa government, the garbage mountain has converted to a housing complex now.

Sri Lanka used excellent techniques for garbage disposal in the past.  Before the British rule, rural people disposed rubbish using a variety of techniques.  One of the popular technique was, household dumped garbage into a hole dug in living land and when it fills up, the hole was closed with removed soil and planted yam or banana plants on the top.  The other technique was collected garbage used to make compost fertilizer for paddy fields and other farm activities.  In that sense, they used garbage as an asset, which enhanced the productivity of farms.  During the British era, there were two major private companies, A Bour Co Ltd and Colombo Commercial Company Ltd, which used garbage to produce fertilizer to use in the plantation industry and subsistence agriculture.  Later those two companies were nationalized by a socialist government and appointed political henchmen as competent authority, who had no management knowledge and skills than a membership of the political party. The activities of the companies were paralysed and the productivity of the agriculture and plantation sectors rapidly declined creating a garbage problem to the country with a view to playing politics.

The garbage disposal in urban areas is a priority in all over the world as it affects health of the general public and other services such as tourism industry and economic services.  In India garbage use to produce bio gas for domestic use.  According to reported information, bio gas is a cheaper energy for household in rural areas and it could be used to produce gas for electricity generation.  The garbage disposal has been a more complex activity during the past several decades because population has increased in many countries and more garbage   produced in rapidly urbanizing areas.  The nature of garbage also changed as hard rubbish and soft rubbish.  Therefore, rubbish requires to classify before dispose them as some of them could be recycled to produce other products.  For example, some countries use plastics bags to produce toilet papers with a view to naturally destroying them.

In Sri Lanka, it seems that the country is lacking engineering knowledge and technical skills to use right strategies or inventing methods for the garbage disposal, despite the rhetoric of the country that has a higher literacy and numeracy skills.   It is regret to note that Sri Lanka is a country where exports skilled labour to various countries in the world but they cannot develop a methodology to dispose own garbage. it reminds us an ancient saying in Sri Lanka that there is not a chair in the house of a furniture maker.

In late 1960s and early 1970s, Sri Lanka was highly concerned on garbage disposal as a strategy for the tourism promotion, Keep the major city of Sri Lanka is tidy and attractive to people.  However, after 1970 many administrative councils were subject to a rapid politicization and the members of all local government bodies became members of political parties.  After the 13th amendment to the constitution, new administration bodies also called provincial and district councils originated.  They also became politicized institutions, which means that a huge volume of government expenditure from the budget should have allocated to administration services and the administrators have engaged in playing politics and corrupt practices rather than providing essential services to the community using the allocated funds.

After ending the civil war in 2009, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa took responsibility to managing the Colombo city and did a good service to keep the country tidy and beautiful, but since the presidential election in 2015 he was removed by the new government and the services provided by Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa was stopped without reasons for it.  This is how politics is damaging the country and destroy ordinary human life. The stupid politicians in the country have no knowledge and skills to determine what is right or wrong to the country.  They are so selfish and self-centred.

The major health issue of the country at this moment is dengue fever and it kills poor people at a higher rate. Dengue fever is a common disease in the tropical region of the world, most countries have adapted to the disease using human friendly techniques.  I saw in Pacific countries the governments provide treated mosquito nets to people and advices to sleep under the nets. The technique has successful and able to control mosquito born disease at a lesser cost.  Sri Lanka is regarded as a country with an educated population.  Why it cannot use a simple and lower cost technique to control this garbage and related issues. I watched in Sri Lanka TV that Prime Minister admitted that the country cannot adapt a successful strategy to control dengue fever, when there is a serious problem related to garbage disposal.  The common question people are silently asking from the Prime Minister is if you know the reason, why can’t you to take actions to control it.

The recent information in Sri Lanka provides evidence that number of dengue patients have increased to more than 100000 and 260 people have already died in 2017.  The increasing trend imply that hospitals in the country would not be sufficed to accommodate for dengue patients in the future. Some politicians attempted to blame to Rajapaksa regime on account of anembryonic mosquito eggs and others say that when he was in power dengue was not so serious problem.  This type of childish talks only could be made by these politicians in Sri Lanka.    I also noticed that Sri Lanka advises people to prevent smoking, alcoholism and illicit drug as such substances would cause to increase the cost of medical expenses. The garbage is also costlier than smoking, alcohol and illicit drugs.

The major issue involved in Sri Lanka appears that when politicians attempt to use everything for politics the country cannot successfully implement any plan, which is originally expected.  Why are people of Sri Lanka allowing these politicians to take everything in their life to politics and why don’t they refuse politicians behaviour with a view to teaching them a lesson. I feel that Sri Lanka has no independent media to educate people on the right side of issues. All media devices including TV, Print Media and Internet provision too are in the hand of politicians or indirectly they link to politicians.  As a result of bias ownership of media, people have no opportunity to get accurate information in relation to all matters of the life.

One Response to “POLITICS OF GABAGE IN SRI LANKA”

  1. Christie Says:

    Hi Edward,

    Ours is an Indian Colony. Sinhala politicians are dependent on Indian Colonial Parasites for money.

    India and they run the country.

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