There was only one news dominating last few days. Some may end up calling Mr. Weerawansa a hero. Some already is calling him an idiot. This whole spectacle or the debacle only distracted the whole country from some other things which may affect their future. Although I wanted to write about one of those in details, I have postponed it until the news cycle clears up. Here are some interesting things popped up in my mind.
A). The parliament passed the 2010 budget. Although that was a given conclusion as the government has a massive majority some interesting things came up during the debate. Just wanted to point that out so you may remember to look them up.
B.) Sri Lanka is going to let Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) to construct 10000 houses in Sri Lanka. 21 years ago current housing minister with their buddies set fire to the Indian made buses. When everything was said and done we the people walked as there were no buses when them the powerful took their pajeros. In an ironic twist Mr. Wimal Weerawansa has forgotten that Sri Lankan construction workers are also capable of building houses. Wasn’t there a million houses (well not exactly a million but) during the Premadasa era? What happened to those builders? Mainly what happened to the National Housing Development Authority – Sri Lanka ?
C). The government was building the image of Sri Lanka to improve tourism as they are placing all their bets on tourism to develop the country. Tourism depend on the perceived safety of a place where the visitors are planning to go. When IIFA awards 2010 was held in Colombo as the government pointed out, it was to build the image of Sri Lanka as a safer place to visit. When I was in the university, JVP backed student union used surrounding and intimation as their way of achieving goals. So the former JVPier thought he could use the same tactics to intimidate an international organization. Results: the perceived safety of Sri Lanka went down and with it the future of people and businesses and their hope for Subha Anagathayak, UNDP office closed and I am not sure what is going to happened for the projects they were carrying out in Sri Lanka (which were helping the helpless), the foreign minister was embarrassed, some embassies which may have helped us with the UN committee were angered and the list goes on. When are the elected officials going to understand that they were place there to serve the country and the people? Where is the long term vision and assessment of risks and repercussions of their actions before looking for vigilante justice?
People (including powerful ministers) make mistakes and I understand that. I am sure people of our country do too. We boast about our literacy rate and the 2500 years of history. Well that happened with a lot of hard work and leaders with a long term vision. That’s why King Parakramabhahu set a goal to not let a drop of rain to go to the sea without being used. Can we move on from this feel good “shot gun” patriotism and lay out a 5 year plan (India is on their 11th 5 year plan)? Then implement it with attention to details? If we are I will get on the next plane to come home!