During the COVID-19 pandemic several Sri Lankan expatriates chose to return home and they were brought back in batches. But why did they leave their homeland in the first place?
The majority of them left the shores of Sri Lanka because they found two things to their liking in the country they adopted; one is a better pay for their labour and the second is they preferred the refined taste of individuals who above all regard all humans as equal.
In most of these countries the law is the same for everybody and their is great acceptance and an identity regarding the professional you are. But in Sri Lanka certain individuals are given ‘first class’ treatment based on race and religion. Others are regarded as not so important citizens; often having to be at the receiving end of law enforcement officials at the time complaints are written down.
Days away from the 73rd Independence Day celebrations and despite ending a civil war Sri Lankas are a divided lot.
We take our frustrations to work and when we return from office we are still in the same fuming mindset. We demand better living conditions and better price controlling for essential food items. We demand better facilities for our children in rural schools and safety when they travel. We demand transparency regarding our tax monies at work. We demand better politicians, but we can only be partly happy because those in parliament with clean track records are just a handful.
Those who couldn’t tolerate a county going to ruination left the shores and found greener pastures. Those who are suffering are airing their voices, but not loud enough.
In these lines that come into discussion when talking about finding contentment in a country like Sri Lanka one of the main obstacles in the way of progress is the lack of quality; applicable to both products and services.
Let’s consider advertising in Sri Lanka, but before that we’ll take cinematic productions. The yardstick to judge both these media is whether they are promoting or associated with ‘good or healthy’ products. The answer for this wouldn’t be very unpleasant to the ear.
It’s a fact that when there is an excess of labour it creates ‘rest’. This is something that’s needed for any industry to grow and come up with new ideas. If one studies most Sri Lankan businesses employees have to slog after normal hours and earn extra cash doing overtime. Minds are jaded as a result and an entire nation can be stuck as a result.
If one takes the advertising and cinema industries people involved in them have no choice, but to keep pace with the demands of a commercialised environment.
A keen observer will be aware that some of the most popular advertisements in Sri Lanka have featured the same voices and same models for a long long time. You can’t blame producers of advertisements for such products. A demand for change will happen if members of an audience change for the better. Then producers will be nudged.
Sometimes films are made based on corrupt officials and they’ve been in parliament for several decades. But the irony of this is that when the filmmaker wants to make another political film years later he finds that same lawmakers are still in parliament. This writer believes that this fact is fully applicable to Sri Lanka. The viewing of many ‘Youtube’ productions made decades ago relating to local politics and using the cine camera strengthens the writer’s resolve on presenting this editorial.
And if there is a little stick that we citizens can lean on for future prosperity we only have to take a look at a theory associated with advertising and cinema; and that is that these industries will be updated not by producers upgrading themselves but when viewers start demanding products that are of a refined taste.
Voters in Sri Lanka can apply the same theory on themselves and make a change in the country’s face of politics.