Written by Tharushan Fernando
27 Nov, 2016 | 8:49 pm
For much of our post-independence history, our nation has attracted the most unflattering of labels – “War-torn”, “Third World”, “crime-ridden” and more politically correctly, “developing”.
It would seem that we have stagnated in a state of eternally developing, but never developed. Why?
This is the focus of this week’s News 1st Editorial.
With the passing of Cuban revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, there is much that we, as a people who have faced two youth armed uprisings and a three decade long internal conflict, must consider.
The constant struggle to live faced by the citizens of Sri Lanka, continues to grow by the minute, hour and day.
While the uprisings of 1971 and 1988/89 and the three decade long war decimated our country’s progress, who should be held responsible now for depriving our people of the opportunity for development?
Isn’t it about time we launched our own silent revolution to expose the enemies of the state and serve justice?
While rural Sri Lanka was described as war-torn for much of our post-independence history, the destruction of reservoirs, anicuts, bridges, roads and canals in the present, has not been caused by machines of war, rather, this is a more sinister destruction, caused by an arbitrary and lethargic administration – a monster that feeds off the livelihoods of our people.
Though a massive proportion of public wealth is allocated for the maintenance of the country’s reservoirs, most of what has been done in the guise of maintenance, is a mere facade grounded in deceitful motives.
The fractured concrete beams, the washed away cement and the dented rusty iron rods, bear testament to the substandard renovation of our country’s infrastructure.
While villagers lament that renovated roads are washed away with the onset of the next rainy season, elephant fences that appear to be the only solution authorities have for the human-elephant conflict, fail to meet even the standard of a rudimentary clothes line.
Sri Lankans must come to the collective realisation that ignominious rulers who continue to cling to power like leeches, sucking the lifeblood of our nation have done far more grievous harm to our young republic than any uprising or conflict.
While their gangs of thieves are granted contracts to build roads, who are they stealing from when they skim off the gravel, the tar, the sand, the cement and the paving stones?
We must consider if the Batista’s of the 21st century have been born in Sri Lanka.
Unscrupulous leaders whose lust for power and wealth, deprives your children of any future worth mentioning.
Consider a simple example.
A one-kilometre stretch of the road leading to Biso Menike’s home has been carpeted and white lines have been painted on either side.
While construction standards would demand that a road in a residential area be built with some sort of drainage system, such thinking was absent in the planning of this road, either by design, or by neglect.
Nevertheless, consider the vast sums of money allocated for these projects, and whether it is by design or neglect becomes immediately evident.
A kilometer of road is resurfaced and the money allocated for the concrete drains, paving stones and street lights, is spirited away to the unknown.
This is just one kilometer of road – what happens when the road is 100 kilometers long? How much is stolen then? What happens to the hundreds of millions and sometimes billions of rupees allocated for these vast projects which always seem to come up short of the initial design?
As we celebrate the memory of revolutionaries past and contemplate on the challenges of the present, let us also reflect on the words of Ernesto Ché Guevara – “The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”
25 Dec, 2016 | 08:45 PM
04 Dec, 2016 | 09:39 PM
Are you interested in advertising on our website or video channel
Please contact us at [email protected]