Posted on November 5th, 2018

By Dr Janaka Goonetilleke

Humanity in the last century has achieved immense technological skills that are far beyond once comprehension. They have gone to the moon, deciphered the Genome, Communications have resulted in people communicating across the globe in seconds that are unbelievable but do they have the wisdom to use it is the prime reason for this article. Blindly led into self annihilation by a group of advocates consisting of illiterate politicians, professional classes, a media that believes in a philosophy of make belief and a set of blind economists who have of mixed up statistics with human development. This is the plight of the present generation.

Individualism against the collectivism of our ancestors

Sri lanka was a fine example of collectivism until the invasion and subjugation by the colonialists Europeans. The colonists imposed a set of values that undermined the ancient ideas of collectivism. Collectivism of our ancestors believed in our ancient idea of integration, assimilation and diversity. The best example of this is in the maritime provinces of Sri Lanka. The fisherman are all migrants from India arriving in the northern part of sri Lanka and spreading down south where the islanders were most prosperous. Interestingly the fisherman in the north speaks Tamil, migrating south in the northwestern province they speak a dialect that is a mixture of Sinhalese and Tamil. In the south they speak Sinhalese and are strong Buddhists.  In the south the oldest migrants are blessed with Hindu Gods whom they can worship in the Buddhist shrine rooms in temples. In fact up to today the businessman visit the kovil in the morning before they start work. A fantastic example of humanism and harmony. Today this aspect of humanism is lacking in the thought process of the islanders where inter communal harmony is at the lowest ebb with antagonism and intolerance taking pride of place. A reflection of the individualism that breeds greed, hate and delusion. The question is one of both economic and social sustainability. A point most intelligent Sri Lankans lament after a 30 year old destructive war where all sri lankans have been made to pay. The price


Individualism has brought into society to desire achievement where the object is self fulfillment we push and push to building great cities, digging more mines, destroying climates we get what we want. We pursue our dreams with greed, ambition relentlessly. Self destruction is not a part of the plan but it is.

  1. Around 10 % of the people in the west are on antidepressants
  2. Suicide is increasing although reduced amongst the people on anti depressives. A result of an acute feeling of failure in their inability to pursue their desires. In other words they have sold their soul and have nothing to protect.
  3. Children are the next generation that is paying a price. Driven by over ambitious parents that a wish their children to be multi talented been taken for different activities are gradually brought into the army of social perfectionists. Mental disease amongst the young is rising especially in the west. With both parents working and the little time they have with the parents been destroyed by extra school activities they are emotionally deprived leading to mental disease that is rising amongst the young in the west. The rest of the world led by the west is closely following.

Another example of the emotional deprivation is rising number of School massacres and rapes in the USA.

The overzealous parents have failed to realize is that mental stability amongst the adolescents does not occur until they are about 25 years of age. To be exposed to social perfection at the time of vulnerability is only going to make matters worse.

  1. d) The emotionally deprived children brought up to be socially perfect having sold their souls are unable to even identify themselves with their own families. This is made worse by the high divorce rates (60%) and single parent families. In the USA it is said that 15% of the 13 to 15 year olds do not speak to their parents. The reasons are multifactorial but on the whole are a reflection of the present Social order of the masters of the Universe. This makes a mockery of the family and repercussions for the future are very negative. It has negated the evolutionary process over millennia.

4) Social Media

Social media have made especially the young addicted to face book, Instagram etc. where people from different cultures, different communities, different religions express a globalized version of the truth distorting the real issues of the local communities.  . A locally arrived solution is most appropriate for that society. A globalized version thus distorts and undermines democracy leading to communal and religious disharmony. These issues are most prominent in the Middle East where religious, communal disharmony has created millions of refugees, thousands dead and social disruption that will take years to remedy.

The masters have forgotten to understand that people from different backgrounds cannot be assimilated into one globalized unit.

World economy

Open Economy and the Politics

Individualism and greed are the main criterion on which the economy is developed well fueled by a Banking system where making a quick buck is the main philosophy. The altitude to money making is just looking for profit on a transaction but does not maximize profit on the long term. In fact unless we learn from our past financial myopia this will lead to bankruptcies and market failures as we saw in 2008 economic collapse.

Plenty of Power No Responsibility

The masters of the world have still not realized the implication of plenty of power but no responsibility. The political class is the best example in Sri Lanka. They have borrowed money from china at the rates of about 6% on the dollar when the market rate was .5%. The borrowed money has been invested in hyped up projects where the return on equity makes a mockery of investment. No wonder the politicians who get commissions on the investments have now gradually got heir families involved in the industry. Up till today  no sri Lankan Politician has been charged for corruption. It is a question of you scratch my back I will scratch yours. A disgusting phenomenon of a group of people who come pretending  to serve the people.

Banking System

The masters of the universe are still to realize that the creation of money is in the hands of the private sector not the central banks. In the west 95% of the money created is in private hands. These banks create wealth by investment and lending which is called the multiplier effect. The short termism is the theme.  Forests for instance are a good example. You cut down the trees and sell the timber making a big profit on the short term but the countries are left with bear land and the local societies are left with the losses and a wasteland. This is how this unhealthy relation ship between the politicians, Banking system and money lenders have prospered leaving the poor to carry the can.

The result of the banking crisis in 2008 is a standing example. 1% of the rich own 70% of the wealth whilst 99% own 30 % . Dwindling money in the majority can only lead to a collapse of the market system.

Lets forget about the unnecessary fluff about human rights, Democracy etc. that are the moral sold to the populace but it is the social and economic sustainability that matters which the masters of the universe has forgotten. This self destructive process advocated by the great powers of the world hope to sustain it by wars and destruction as we see in the Middle East. This does not sustain growth of wealth on the contrary helps in the destruction of wealth.


The vast irrigation canal system of our ancestors and the difference between it and the present Mahaweli Project of the 1980s created to make Sri Lanka self sufficient in Rice and En energy.  The present mahaweli scheme lacks unfortunately the practical scientific thinking of our ancestors.

  • The mahaweli scheme made a dam across the main river thus causing environmentally damaging results in the riverbed beyond the dam. Our ancestors on the other hand built dams across tributaries never on the main river. Thus the area around the main river was protected.
  • Around the tributary they developed forbidden forests where even the produce could be only consumed by the king. In the forests were grown a tree called Vera that minimized evo evaporation. This made the soil damp allowing many varieties of herbs to grow that had a stable biodiversity that was protected by law. The purpose of the forests was to protect the environment that according to Buddhism was the perfect eco system that helped in the colonization of the area. The forests were the forest reserves that are protected in most countries. Unfortunately the foreign consultants did not realize the potential of these forbidden forests recommended that the versa tees to be cut and used as timber creating wastelands that were unproductive to the local populace
  • Silting Tanks or BISO KOTUWA

These tanks had a pipe at the bottom in the entrance and at the top at the exit. It allowed decanting the water free of silt. When the tank needed desalting they used elephants stir the silt that was carried to the Paddy fields as fertilizer. The masters used caterpillar machines to de silt. It is difficult to fathom out he depth to which one should de silt was risky as it could damage the crest of the earth. Once the crest was damaged the water could not be contained in the tank.

  • The present mahaweli scheme diverts all the fertilizer from the tea estates to the North Central Province that has resulted in 15% of the people  suffering  from kidney disease. This has been made worse by deforestation.
  • Our ancestors were aware of the risks of heavy metals in the water that was transferred to the paddy fields and how it could affect the rice. They cooked the rice with excess water and decanted the excess water after the rice was cooked. This supernatant carried the pollutants out. Today we cook in rice cookers and do not have a mechanism to get rid of pollutants. The masters have failed again.


common sense of our ancestors cannot be matched by the masters as they lack a policy of sustainability be it in technology or otherwise. The masters believe in a policy of might is right as against harmony of our ancestors and interdependence with nature. This hubris of the masters is the cause of major environmental damage.



  1. Nimal Says:

    Come on! Stop dreaming about the past and move on.Now that you have retired after working in UK seem to spend your time dreaming.
    I wonder why most people want to emigrate in to western countries, that include our ambuda brigade afire looting our hard earned taxed money in the island?

  2. Christie Says:

    Did you mean Sinhala Perspective.

    There were no Sri Lankans than many years ago.

  3. Christie Says:

    Janaka; the so called Tamil Fisherman are a new phenomenon started after fifties.

    All Sinhala fishermen in North were killed or driven away by the Indian Colonial Parasites. Sirimavo kept Sinhalese in the dark with emergency laws.

    Most of the Indian fishermen who came were Malayalis. The language you are talking is a mixture of Malayali and Sinhala.

    So you blame Sinhalese for Indian terrorist the LTTE killing of innocent Sinhalese.

    Very very interesting?

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