Hope remains scant for all of Mankind
Posted on May 18th, 2013

R Chandrasoma

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In a leading article, Dilrook Kannangara writes ‘ After Four Years of Freedom the Nation Remains Poor, the North Remains Tamil Only and Hope Remains Scant’. To any reasonable person conversant with the facts, all three propositions are palpably false. This nation – Sri Lanka – has never been so prosperous as it is today. This is not quite the same as saying that all of its citizens are leading fulfilled lives and are untroubled by material wants and pangs of conscience.

The human condition is such that anything approaching genuine contentment is not within the reach of mortal beings. There are factors in life and living that go beyond material prosperity and to use this crude yardstick to assess human contentment is a huge mistake. With this caveat in mind, is not obvious that we have moved on – in the direction of a better state for our citizens.

Those who have lived long enough will recall the state of our Capital City – Colombo soon after the departure of the British. It was a one-street town with Tea-Boutiques and ‘Sillara shops’ run by Tamil and Muslim traders. Rickshaw-pullers and ‘Karaththe karayas’ called the shots. ‘Kausuddhas’ in sprawling compounds lived in great ease while the trodden Sinhala masses were in a kind of limbo – forlorn and forgotten. There are no ‘amudayas’ today and the meanest move with fair dignity in a lushly-green and modern city.

Indeed, the world has moved on in the direction of greater comfort and social justice for all despite the wars and holocausts that have marred and stained our recent history. The renowned psychologist Steven Pinker in his book ‘The Better Angels Within Us’ has shown (with abundant data drawn from historical records) that the conditions of life for mankind as a whole have improved steadily with the passing of the centuries.

In Sri Lanka life was ‘nasty, brutish and short’ for most of its recorded history. The glitter of public events and the derring-do of ancient kings of Sri Lanka cannot erase the hard reality of the crushing hardships faced by the common people – hardships that were not only material but included man’s inhumanity to his own kind. In today’s world – which includes Sri Lanka – such ‘moral abominations’ are in steep decline and life is headed in a better direction.

Indeed, the historic defeat of a great enemy of our country and the social and economic resurgence following this success has made life in our country immeasurably better than what it was a mere decade ago. This quantum improvement cannot be judged by listening to the niggling complaints of overambitious achievers. Dissatisfaction is an inalienable part of our nature – it is personal and cannot be a measure of the true state of national affairs.

Let us attend briefly to the other two ‘fears’ or ‘hang-ups’ of the writer. As for the North remaining indelibly Tamil, this has been the reality that the Sinhala Nation has had to face since the advent of the Kalinga Kings in the Post-Polonnaruva period.

The ground reality was that a racial gradient was established across the Vanni with Tamils in the Northern end and ‘true’ Sinhalayas in the South. This is not a matter worth agonizing over as it is an historic fall-out from the revolutions that gripped out country following the decline of Northern Sinhala Power.

A significant point – indeed the nub of the matter – is that the Sinhala Army is in place in the North with a power and influence that are unmatched in the recent history of our country. Northern politics will be constrained by this powerful presence – as the greatest threat to our viability as a sovereign nation will be foreign-inspired rebellion in the North ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” with moral and material support from foreign enemies and local traitors of the Sinhala kind.

Such dangers call for military counter-measures ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” not political posturing. Let us be brief about ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”hope being scantƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” meaning that the future is bleak for us. This is, indeed, true for mankind as a whole and it has nothing to do with the poverty of our country or the Tamils hogging the North of Sri Lanka.

To cite but one of the many perils that face us as a global species, the energy resources of our planet will be outstripped by run-away consumption within the next two decades. There is scant hope that there will be any solution to this failure of our global ecosystem.

8 Responses to “Hope remains scant for all of Mankind”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Some people have only 2 week memory.

    Govt can cure the terrorist problem but not memory problems!

  2. mario_perera Says:

    Chandrasoma’s point of view militates against the vast majority of lead articles and comments that have appeared on this forum as well as on others.

    Te price hikes in every conceivable commodity and service sector, the evaporated rupee value, the unsurpassed debts the Government has incurred all falling back on the shoulders of the population, the state of national discontent, trade unions coming alive, visible splits in the government coalition as regards burdens imposed on the people (for example the electricity debacle), all belie Chandrasoma’s sweeping assertion: This nation – Sri Lanka – has never been so prosperous as it is today.

    Regarding the racial gradient he speaks of, it was the avowed intention of this government to rectify that anomaly. In spite of that the North remains the fiefdom of separatist Tamil politicians and the playground of India and the white powers.

    As for the scant hope, the reference is to the two above mentioned topics. Te international perspective is Chandrasoma’s input.

    The best way to deviate from a pointed discussion is to say: it is the same everywhere.

    Mario Perera

  3. Ben Silva Says:

    Good analysis by Chandrasoma. Money supply to the economy has created inflation. People need to recognise that life is a struggle and need to take steps to overcome difficulties, rather than just stay idol and blame others. This insane idea of giving up desires and seeking extinction need to be reviewed in view of global competition we will face.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Sri Lanka has a an AGRI based economy. That is why the imported Tamil indentured labor stayed on in Sri Lanka. The Colonists had an INDUSTRIAL economy, post WW I & II. Wars in cold winter climates boosts discoveries not only for war purposes but also for economic & comfort plus climate survival purposes.

    Sri Lanka is in the process of balancing Agri & Industrial economies. We have to do it cautiously, minding the environment and the money supply in peoples spending purses. Sometimes, hasty development plans may not yield the desired results.

    Go GREEN in Development, as far as is possible. Go Recyclable. Go Renewable. We can’t lose.

    Appoint a trustworthy Sci&Tech Advisory Committee to advice the Parliament.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    P.S.: Tamil labor also stayed on in Lanka because they could get away from Tamil Nadu Caste based discrimination/poverty issues.

    Have you noticed how quiet TN leaders after Colombo was declared the venue for CHOGM ….? Rule Britannia !

  6. Marco Says:

    Have you noticed how quiet TN leaders after Colombo was declared the venue for CHOGM ….? Rule Britannia !

    Dear Fran, with all due respect you ought to read and assimilate more.
    India (with the support of Bangladesh) vetoed the change of venue of CHOGM. PM Cameron is not exactly coming for a joyride. Prince Charles has always been outspoken in his views and expect a few surprises. Aus have already made their point and likely to re-enforce it even more. It will come as no surprise the Canadians send a delegation too at the last minute.
    Tamil Nadu politicos can shout as loud as they want but India Central Govt plays a clever game.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:


    I am writing down some random thoughts on your comments.

    I am afraid I was not aware of this part :”India (with the support of Bangladesh) vetoed the change of venue of CHOGM”, but having seen this, I can now say with certainty that, of course, India would always support CHOGM to be held in Colombo, if that is what Britain wants. Indians have already given some 70% of the Rajasthan Oil find to the British under Cairn Oil (India). Some European countries are now struggling to pay their bills. Greece too is in financial trouble, and Greece is the cradle of western civilisation.

    But India voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions (twice now). Why and at whose instigation ? Was it merely to please Tamil Nadu ? The Indian imposed 13-A still hangs over Sri Lanka. India is NOT for removal of the 13-A. How can Sri Lanka think that whatever India does now is with good motive ? India herself is being dragged along reluctantly to suit the geopolitical big players. Most Sri Lankans understand this. There is a neighborly understanding of common problems.

    India was dragged around first during the Cold War by her then giant Superpower neighbor. At present, India is being directed about by her ex-colonist. India is a reluctant debutante that resists change. Britain is handling India with kid gloves through Tamil Nadu & Sri Lanka Tamils, and the Commonwealth. We hope some good comes out of all this.

    It was PM Cameron himself who said “most of the troubles in the world today are due to the British”. I like him for his honesty. When India requested that her treasures taken to Britain be returned from the museums there, a British VIP said “then our museums will be empty”. India politely declined the opening of some 500 Walmarts (USA) to be opened in India under an Indian sounding name. Who in India but a few will have money in their pockets to make purchases from Walmarts ?

    I am merely pointing out some truths as I see them. There is no point passing judgment or ranting and raving, but having knowledge of some inner matters counts nowadays. Ex-colonists never quite give up on past colonies. And no regrets and apologies are offered about negative past history. Aid given toward ltte rehab & rehab of affected Tamils, vast development of the North, all go unnoticed – sad. Sadder still, that as children we did admire Britain and her role in the World Wars (Pathe News played a large role). Our history books glossed over local massacres and trumped up events to jail Sinhala leaders. What happened to British colonies was glossed over. All colonised countries are in trouble, one way or another. How can loss of identity and a sense of security on a mass scale ever be compensated ? The ‘divide & rule’ principle still operates.

    After WW II, Germany which was bombed into oblivion, was asked by the Allies to pay reparations way beyond any country could possibly pay. In contrast, the earlier ltte North is developed at high cost to the rest of Lanka, the Lanka ltte terrorists undergo rehab, are treated well in Lanka for which no real recognition is given for good work done by Lanka from the International Community, including Britain ?

    There is little justice for small countries. India too is a ‘small country’ in that India is an ex-colony, her mass of people poor, over populated & still caste bound. On the part of Sri Lanka, we have to guard our sea borders on a forever basis, and also not depend on Tamil or Tamil-Muslim labor, labor particularly for the estate sector, as that is where Tamil illegal migration comes in.

    The biggest problem facing the world goes unacknowledged – that is, Global Warming & resultant Climate Change. The world should unite now to handle that task at hand. The west ought to lead the way.

  8. Marco Says:

    Thank you for your response.
    It is indeed a “random” comment/thought you wished to share with us and i thank you for it.

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