Where did Sri Lanka go wrong after independence & how do we make it right?
Either we are picking at straws wondering what we did wrong since 1948 or we are pointing fingers at others but still unable to find the answers. It is indeed sad that we cannot pinpoint where we have erred & we fail to find a formula to take us out of the rot we have got ourselves into. While anything is possible & nothing is impossible, there are plenty amongst us with the will to create that much needed system change – will we be allowed to?
Before we search for solutions, we need to first get some background facts straightened out
We have always been betrayed by our own & not because our enemies have been any better.
Sadly, the reality in looking back at history, all of the South Indian, western invasions have been as a result of the betrayal of our own leaders for petty personal gains or lack of will to lead & defend the nation. It happened in 1505, 1658 & 1796 – brave sons & daughters of Sri Lanka sacrificed their life & limb to protect the nation but a handful was ever willing to sign & hand over power. This betrayal baton & its DNA has passed into the hands of many present day leaders whose treacheries we know too well. Thus, one of the key reasons we are unable to come out of the abyss we are in is because we have no leaders we can trust who will put the country first. It is their selfish agenda which gets rubbed into the closest around them creating a merry team of traitors & opportunists holding the helm of governance & controlling all areas where development should be systematically taking place, denying true policy creators the opportunity & freedom to plan Sri Lanka’s short/mid/long term development goals on Sri Lanka’s terms with a national policy plan that doesn’t get changed as a result of under table deals.
Colonial “slave” mindset – mentally geared to run to the suddas for all matters
Life before 1505 & life after 1505 needs greater comparison. All the discrimination allegations thrown at us today are part & parcel of the divide & rule policies drilled into the social-educational policies by our invaders. There was no “ethnic” identification & no one was discriminated because of their ethnicity during pre-invader Sinhale rule. People were divided by their colour, their ethnicity, their status etc only by the systems created by the western invaders to make their colonial rule advantageous to themselves. Having created mayhem & murder across the globe going so far as to create slaves out of people, transporting & dumping them across all corners of the world – today, these very nations demand we treat them as paragons of virtue. They demand accountability from others but are averse to being held accountable for 500 years of murder & plunder. With all world systems under their thumb, perversion of justice will continue, except for pretentious carnivals organized as Global Conferences with fancy speeches written by unknown persons just a camouflage. Not many wish to call their bluff because a call will end up with sanctions or similar bullying. However, we must mention the likes of Castro, Gaddafi, Mugabe, Chavez – who bravely stood up to challenge the status quo.
500 years of direct invasions followed by present day indirect interventions
There was no print or digital media to cover the horrors committed by a handful of countries that went to explore the world & claimed to have “discovered” countries where inhabitants lived for centuries.These “discoverers” were sanctioned by their religion to forcibly convert or kill all those that did not belong to their faith & take over their lands. This agenda continues – where the sword was used previously newer tactics are currently in vogue. To cover their present day crimes, they control all modes of communication channels that can influence opinions to their advantage. We have seen how the modern day invasions based on lies were justified to fool the world with well-orchestrated bag of lies & teams of liars with another set kept ready to be bogus witnesses. The lengths they take to commit their crimes & cover their crimes is unbelievable.
Sri Lanka has been an unlucky victim of such global geopolitics but we have failed to produce leaders able to withstand international pressures. There are many examples to cite how PM Mrs. B never gave into international pressures, President Premadasa packed off Indian soldiers from Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapakse succeeded in deciding to militarily end LTTE despite western/UN threats not to. The present day international pressures are all part of fulfilling international geopolitical goals at the cost of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY50eS3m9sw – Even World Bank threats did not frighten Mrs. B
https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/neighbours/story/19890630-india-rejects-sri-lankan-president-premadasa-ipkf-quit-deadline-816213-1989-06-30 – IPKF withdrew al of its troops by mid1990.
When leaders forget “Sovereignty is non-negotiable”
Any donkey can become a politician but it takes much more to be a national leader & throughout over 70 years of post-independence, those we elect seem to forget the golden rule that demands them to protect the sovereignty & territorial integrity of our nation. Sri Lanka is not their personal property to cut & dish out as they please when cornered politically by international giants or multinational powerhouses. People elect them to devise strategies & draft policies & legislations to protect the nation & its people. We have seen this erode with each parliamentary election. When the crooks hold the reigns & powers to change, there is little hope to expect them to make any legislative & legal changes for the betterment of the country except to protect their own interests. We have many ready to hold placards to ‘change’ the system – but “how” is never answered given that those who plead for votes are unable to make that change with many ending up joining the coteries of those who manipulate the systems.
The begging bowl syndrome & lack of “We”
Ever since the “open economy” the people have been formed to think of everything with cosmetic value & encouraged to splurge without saving & investing. Furthermore, we have been entrapped to take loans ignoring how we are to pay back these loans. When difficulties arise in paying back the loans, we have been encouraged to not feel shy to go with begging bowl. Late Ronnie de Mel glorified this trait which became a hand-me-down policy for every government. Working hard, paying greater attention to local products, manufacturing & national productivity that was promoted under Mrs. B was soon kicked out the door & people were drawn towards relying on everything & anything being imported. The secret behind this maneuvere was the massive commissions that accrued from these deals. This soon saw a surge in new rich – resulting in more cosmetic thinking, more importing, more loan taking, more spending & little or no income or saving. There is little point blaming any one government – every government from J R Jayawardena has to accept responsibility (proportionally differing). While countries like Bangladesh have shone with their new economic national plans, Sri Lanka makes bold ventures without proper planning & ends up in a worse scenario than where we began. China’s 30 year plan has seen China rise to a mega power. This shows nothing is impossible but so long as Sri Lanka continues to ride the tide of ignoring national development across the boards instead of personal benefit alone, Sri Lanka is unlikely to get anywhere. We are a resilient nation but governments should not take the patience of the people for granted. No citizen would agree to suffer when those that are tasked to improve their lives end up only improving their own, their families & their friends.
Who has the answers – what have the world’s agencies really done
From the world monetary systems, to development goals, human rights & world politics – we are annually told the experts and organizations will usher in a better world, but we never see that happening. From seeing the end of two world wars in 1945, we have just 11 countries without conflict. When there were no lawyers, police, judicial systems in ancient times – we see greater crimes now. When there were no consultants, advisors, engineers in ancient times – no modern road can compete with the magnificent structures of the past. When international agencies preach righteousness, equality, anti-corruption – their halls are full of them.
How do we make it right?
We cannot change the world – but we certainly can change all that is going wrong in Sri Lanka. We can spend months of Sundays listing the wrongs & pointing blame but these should only be used to ensure they do not recur in the future. No change can come without considering the dangers outside our borders, for all new change must first accommodate a legal framework to ensure that Sri Lanka is legally protected via international common laws & any new laws must also ensure this. Where we know the opportunities for mischief is possible, these should be plugged or alternately some form of checks & balance system must be devised. The most important aspect is to imbue nationalism & patriotism amongst all citizens & this is the only way that instils in them the mindset to wish to protect one’s home & it is a feeling that remains even amongst expats living overseas.
There is little point in forming new parties or movements if it continues to place the same players responsible for the situation Sri Lanka has landed in. There is little point in planting a new set of people, if they lack any patriotism to protect the nation & its people. There is little point in placing persons who pretend to be patriotic for they end up doing the bigger damage. Therefore, any system change must uproot all of the corrupt that sit across all public sector positions at decision making levels while nominations should be the key area for initial change as often parties end up listing the same corrupt persons & the voters have little choice ending up having to vote for the lesser evil.
It would be good for groups of people to devise appropriate changes for nomination criteria, removing corrupt public officials (including those in the judicial pillar) Let all these changes be designed and drawn by our own – we have the talent & we do not require imported international consultants or international agencies to draw up frameworks.
Shenali D Waduge