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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Will Sri Lanka ever become a developed nation by R. G. Rubasinghe

I went through the web resource sites and it is very impressive that people are so concerned about the nation. However when you come down to the real situation in Sri Lanka I wonder if all this information will ever be used. One month after the disaster, a majority of the affected have not been served yet. The money is not the problem. Huge amounts of donations have been received. According to the today's newspapers the government admits that only 30% has been served up to now. The majority of the afected are still in the same pathetic condition. In addition there is another trend building up. People have started committing suicide due to the lack of counseling. The authorities responsible for this are fighting amongst each other as to who should get the blame. Though people are talking a lot about this nothing has happened up to now.
We are thinking about architectural aspect of the housing project but the Sir Lankan politicians are still fighting each other over the decision about the 100 m zone. I am sure they will have a parliamentary debate on this issue. Nobody cares but the displaced victims that have to wait in relief camps. Schools have been reopened. I have met several principles from some of the schools in the affected areas and they say that they have not been instructed about any counseling programmes or such measure for those students who have either lost their parents, relatives or their belongings. Government officers are fighting amongst each other on the time they get to spend with the politicians to get points for their next promotion. These are few things that came to my mind at this time. I don't know what we could do as this is the typical Sri Lankan way of doing things. But I wonder if we as responsiible citizen who have benefited from the common mans tax money can and should tolerate this scenario any more?

I have heard a nice story: After the tsunami the priministers of several affected countries visited Sakraya. First PM of India meets him and asks, how long it will it take for his country to be a developed nation ? Sakraya explains that it will take at least 50 years and Manamohan Singh starts to cry as he will not be alive to see this. Thailand PM learns from Sakraya that it will take 200 years to develop his country. He starts to cry saying not even him but his grand children too will not be able to see the developed Thailand. Finally the Sri Lnakan PM asks the same question and all of a sudden Sakrya starts to cry. Our PM asks the sakraya why is he crying. Sakraya says in very sad mood that even he, the Sakraya, will not see a developed Lanka during his life time.

Though the above story is a joke, I right now feel that it is 100% true. If we all keep silent even sakraya will not see a developed Sri Lanka. So I will invite everybody to take a look at the actual situation in the country and do something. I do not know what.
By R. G. Rubasinghe

Blogger Ajit said...

Dear Mr. Rubasinghe
My comments are based on my convictions as much a yours. I believe that the information we find in the web sites are useful for more than one reason. It is educative, it brings a dialog as to whether practical or not, and most importantly makes it a challenge to the decision makers , administrators and politicians to accept, reject or ignore. The opposite is if such information do not flow, views are not put forward (as we are doing now) these decision makers , administrators and politicians would have had a one way street (a super high way) and mind you it is justified. The general public (us ) should take the responsibility for being silent.
The relief schemes offered by the government has reached only 30%. (or what ever the figure) The government has accepted it. Which means they have taken the responsibility. I see this as a positive trend. This compels the officials to speed up, other social groups to intervene and push the process. We as the general public could play a role in this, we may come across those poor people who are affected and some times needs help and direction in getting the relief, lets help them, lets educate them and prevent them from falling a prey to the hands of unscrupulous elements in our society.
I too have heard that lot of people talking about the need for counseling , we should tell them to enroll to governmental and nongovernmental organizations to train themselves to become counselors , this is a professional job. All those who have the desire may not be able to do so. They should understand and leave it to those who are able to do. If not they could do harm to themselves and to the victim. There is no shortcut here. The need of the hour is to mobilize already trained counselors , I am sure those Principals who understands the need for counseling knows where to look for assistance or lets tell them where to look for, Please let us not allow them to sleep, let us bring pressure by providing information.
We know how to blame, but we do not have a plan . We are the best critics, but we do not have a solution.
We hail other countries, and their leaders whilst we condemn our own Nation and our leaders. To the extent of making jokes and laughing. We are laughing to ourselves. What a pity as a Nation we accept we are bunch of negative people.

What is to be done
Lets have a simple clear mindset
When we hear those who blame let’s politely ask them whether they have a plan, from those who criticizes let’s politely ask for their solution. This is not to put them off but to make them think.
Encourage at all times, those who come up with plans & solutions to problems

In any society you have the

Positive minded (minority 20%) those who could support & effect a change.
Dormant (majority 60%) those who wants to wait and see, mind your own business type, lacks challenge
Negative minded. (minority 20% ) Picks any thing to criticize, No solutions, loves to spread stories, believes in gossip, ability to influence others very fast.

The shift of the Dormant to be positive will determine the course of this Nation.

Dear Mr. Rubasinghe, thank you so much for putting forward your views. If you did not write I would not have written either. We may have just laid two bricks, but that’s how buildings are built.

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