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Sri Lankan mentalities that cannot be upgraded

11 April 2024 12:00 am - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • The more we read about deals and promises that are on offer to upgrade ourselves we must also see whether these offers will distance us from human qualities
  • Those who are in power and have fake personalities may not upgrade anything. These lawmakers who hoodwink the public are darlings at home

 There was a recent post on facebook where a picture comparison from the past with one of the present shows that travelling by bus hasn’t changed much in this sun-kissed island. One of the pictures-printed in black and white- shows people on a bus using the footboard and some part of the front potion of the bus to hang on to dear life with the hope travelling dangerously to reach their scheduled destination. The only difference in the people back then and now, according to the picture caption, is that Sri Lankans have upgraded their cameras, which enables them to take coloured photographs instead of black and white ones. The mentality of people when it comes to tavelling is not to care much about safety as long as you reach your destination. The same can be said about people travelling in trains as well. 
The problem when these people travel like this is that they give enough signs to the politicians that the latter can push the former to the wall. These are days when unsatisfied people are immigrating to other nations which offer a better ticket to life. But don’t we still get feedback from people who go abroad to visit relations and friends who observe that some of our very own people ‘now settled there’ read only the Sinhala newspapers sent via flights from Sri Lanka and serve the island’s known brands of biscuits with tea; when they have to entertain visitors? 
Despite all this we still get to hear attempts being made by almost everybody to purchase smartphones that promise all the latest facilities. Most of these phones come with super cameras that allow users to take high resolution photographs. But often we hear of this facility being misused and used to blackmail people. We all know about the well-muscled politician who uses his smartphone to record conversations and inconvenience people; this man getting a thrill out of the whole process in the end. 

The more we read about deals and promises that are on offer to upgrade ourselves we must also see whether these offers will distance us from human qualities. It’s a meritorious deed to offer alms or food to the less-privileged, but it doesn’t seem so good when such moment are photographed and shared on social media outlets. Class discrimination- when it comes to education and marriage- must be frowned upon, but when a person travelling first class in a train misbehaves it spells out where you come from. Just a reminder of an old saying, class tells!
There was a time when parents failed to find national schools for their children to pursue their education. Then we saw the advent of international schools in this island. These institutions offered an education in English and did it in line with what’s globally accepted as imparting knowledge. Most people were okay with opening up of these education institutes. But this was not the case when the government gave the green light to open private universities. There was mayhem in the country. There were politicians and union leaders who were not very honest when they protested against establishing private universities here. Their very own offspring, by then, were studying in foreign universities. 
We still see the same old lawmakers up to their old tricks of fooling the public. They haven’t upgraded themselves. There are exceptions however. National People’s Power Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) doesn’t look like a leftist politician when you study his attire. But this guy has embraced the ‘new’ and preserved what can be termed as the best parts of camaraderie. That’s why he is a trusted individual today in the political scene. Walking on some of the same lines as he is lawmaker Patali Champika Ranawaka . People still talk about his views expressed regarding digitalizing of all products and sales, so that the Sri Lankan Government can have a better control of the economy and how much can be raised as taxes. But despite all these positives expressed by them, these two individuals are criticized heavily for views expressed to change the system. 
Those who are in power and have fake personalities may not upgrade anything. These lawmakers who hoodwink the public are darlings at home. We have seen how the public responds with ‘positive’ comments on social media when they die or their kith and kin are called to rest. People of this country must update and upgrade themselves before the lawmakers do the same. That photograph of the loaded bus, that appeared on facebook and was mentioned very early in this column, offers us plenty to ponder about. It suggests that we as a nation are willing to live dangerously even when our surroundings are made very shaky by lawmakers. 

  Comments - 13

  • Sambo Thursday, 11 April 2024 06:42 PM

    One can never ever change the Sri Lankan mentalities. If so, we would have been a better country.

    Lazy Bones Friday, 12 April 2024 04:30 PM

    You can change the mentality, but can't change our attitude. We are laid back and lazy wanting the west to give us aid all the time!

    Bharatha de Silva Friday, 12 April 2024 06:52 PM

    sambo do not be an idiot.The govt is bound to provide a reasonable transport service, which the govt neglect.I saw a similar scene at Moneragala about 30 yrs ago.That means nothing had been done to improve the service people ask for . The politicians only pamper themselves.They may be wanting to sell the ramshakled buses to their friends.

    sammy cooper Tuesday, 16 April 2024 12:45 PM

    Assuming SL can bring about the rule of law then attitudes will change! In order to accomplish this the law enforcement systems in Sri Lanka need to be independent and trained to be able to fulfill the task.

    Bus traveller Tuesday, 16 April 2024 09:15 PM

    Rule of law should be strictly implemented. No one to travel on the foot board. If they do the driver should be prosecuted. Similarly in trains, if the Station Master allow a train to move on with passengers hanging on should be prosecuted. Request millionaires to help out strictly purchasing busses and railway compartments and engines.Pay them a reasonable interest for their help as loans. This should involve locals and foreigners.The foreigners can use the interest to holiday in Sri Lanka.

    Jeanne Wednesday, 17 April 2024 04:34 AM

    It's not the mentality of the people. It is the laziness of the politicians. If people were lazy as some of the comments here are insinuating, they would not be hanging on to dear life to get to their jobs. This is NOT being LAZY. Some of you commenting here should do better with your analysis before opening your dumbass mouths.

    I'm the laziest SOB sunbathing in Beruwela Friday, 19 April 2024 06:41 PM

    @Jeanne, you are comparing lazy SL 'A' with lazy SL 'B'. Naturally, neither party is lazy. Compare their productivity with a foreign worker. Walk around Colombo and you see all these sarong johnnies doing nothing without putting their time to good use. Go overseas and you will realise how foreigners work compared to our lazy bones. We retire at 55-60. I'm told the retirement age in Australia is 68. I've met some Aussies holidaying in SL who are still working at 70!!

    Charlie Hebdo Friday, 19 April 2024 11:51 AM

    In a democratic country with free elections the voting citizens deserve the politicians they voted for. The elected politicians reflect the mentality of the voters in Sri Lanka.

    Jeanne Sunday, 21 April 2024 05:36 AM

    @Charlie: It's Hobson's choice, I'm afraid.

    C Darwin Saturday, 20 April 2024 12:51 PM

    Srilankan people are still not fully evolved to be called modern human. It should take another 10000 years for them to fully evolve from primate to human. So sad noh?

    Jeanne Sunday, 21 April 2024 05:35 AM

    @lazy sob : Your comments don't match your pseudonym. It looks like you are confused or you have your facts confused. Either way, politicians need to lead by example. Your elitist comment about the "sarong johnnies" is a little unfair seeing as they are a product of their modern day environment. As for the reference to 1st world country workers - well, the reward is worth the effort and that says it all.

    The Politician from Hell Sunday, 21 April 2024 04:45 PM

    @Jeanne, I'm surprised that everyone wants politicians to lead by example. Why would they? Today's "second-tier politicians" (call them chokas) will be in parliament after the next election. If they are hard-working outside parliament they will invariably be hard-working inside parliament (except a hand full). Today's lazy common man is tomorrow's lazy parliamentarian. That's why the Brits hired foreign labour to work on our tea estates and produce our world famous tea. You are finding excuses rather than finding solutions. Bad politicians is a product of your poor choices. There's a Presidential election around the corner. Maybe you can run for the job or stop criticising politicians (as it solves nothing).

    Jeanne Monday, 22 April 2024 03:33 AM

    @The politician from hell : I am assuming you are referring to yourself here? I would run for the job if I could or, if I had low self esteem and was a crooked thug. Your comment is self-contradictory, however. Our glory days ended when the Brits left. Now we have absolutely NOTHING to be proud of. The fish rots from the head, unfortunately.

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