Want to ruin something great? (Try handing it over to Sri Lankans)
“So Sri Lanka” — Paradise Lost!
There is a tired old Sri Lankan self-deprecating joke about “hell.” It is about getting the hell out of hell. Pun intended. Most of you might have heard/read this already. But if you haven’t, the story goes:
“Hell has many deep-chasms designed and demarcated based on its inhabitants’ country of origin. For example, if you were a Sri Lankan (this applies to ones who even changed their citizenship) — did heinous things while alive, kicked the bucket, and then went to hell- you got assigned to the Sri Lankan pit. Indians to the Indian pit, Chinese to the Chinese pit…so it goes.
Every single pit has hell-guards, patrolling the opening of the pit 365/24/7 (or whatever the measurement of time is in hell). Their aim- prevent all pit-inhabitants from hell-breaking.
Except, the Sri Lankan pit. It has no guards on patrol. Ever.
When every other nation’s assigned pit-inhabitants help one another climb over their backs to get out of their pit, the Sri Lankans- bickering, gossiping and rotting in their pit, stab and drag every single individual whoever tries to get out.
Thus, eternally leaving all Sri Lankans trapped in hell.”
This joke may sound ill-conceived, and sadistic. However, it paints an accurate picture of most Sri Lankans. The primary reason for the use of the word “paradise” in the byline is because most non-Sri Lankans (and Sri Lankans who have not returned to their motherland in decades) often use the misnomer of “paradise” (island) in referring to Sri Lanka.
The root of all evil
Sri Lanka has had a long and storied history. It is its greatest, always talked about and brow-beaten asset, and the country’s main reason for its perennial downfall. The people of this island-nation, for over millennia, have bounced around from being beholden to (South) India, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the English, and for the past 40+ years- to its profligate, vacuous politicians. Post-independence, Sri Lanka’s hapless populace has still not found an ounce of respite.
Over the past few decades, our island nation has always found itself at the gates of anarchy — knocking on the door and seeking entry. Nearly four out of the past five decades has seen social and political disruption, plunging the country into further darkness with a brutal internecine civil war and two youth uprisings compounding other crippling problems. Thus, curbing all progressive social, economic and infrastructure development.
Sri Lanka’s demagogue-politicians have had amazing luck, however, despite these turbulent times the country has faced. Many who lack even primary school education, cannot speak coherently or compile fifth-grade level Sinhala/English are multi-millionaires after assuming some form of political office. Some amass their riches in USD/Euro, in fact. They have built amazing palatial-abodes, have ever-growing bank accounts (both local and foreign), own wide-ranging business entities, “bought” education and citizenship for their entitled families in western democracies, driven in the most luxurious vehicles in vogue, and even have us, dimwitted Sri Lankan taxpayers, footing their foreign medical bills that run into millions of rupees.
Talk about perks on the job! All because Sri Lankan voters are a group of gullible, insular-islanders, looking out for the wardens of their (dwindling) democracy. An unassuming, honest lifestyle fit for a third-world country’s politician is not for Sri Lanka’s politicos. Extravagance is their true calling. Sri Lanka’s herd of corrupt, pilfering, gluttonous-politicians are modern-day Marie Antoinette’s- except they are 95% male, castrated, brainless and spineless.
So Sri Lanka!
Half a step forward, ten-steps backward
The country is always at a crossroads. With its footing firmly grounded in utter chaos. For the past four decades, without a doubt. The two main ruling parties have formed individual or coalition governments since Sri Lanka’s independence and have ruled merrily. And the citizenry has voted them in en masse at every single election. The country has gone from being a nascent republic- post-independence, through different rulers; to an authoritarian, kleptocratic rule, to a brief hiatus, and then back to it. What’s next? A plutocracy? “Failed nation” status, here we come. South Sudan and Somalia, we are (waving and) looking at you.
Sri Lanka (has and) is being parceled off not to the highest foreign bidder, but to a foreign-bidder willing to pay the highest kickbacks (commission) to the portfolio manager (aka minister(s) involved). There is nothing sacred left about the country. It perilously dangles between the devil and the deep blue sea concerning trade with bigger, powerful, two-timing, so-called allies; ripe with unabashed-nationalistic policies themselves.
These countries have no shame in showing their hand either. Sri Lanka, due to its endemic financial malfeasance- practiced and perfected over decades- has become a perfunctory plebeian chess-pawn in a global power-play it has no place in.
So Sri Lanka!
The bottom line? Well, as far as it concerns Sri Lanka’s average citizens, there is no bottom. Just a noose at the end of a long rope (line). The bottom fell out a long time ago and the country and its people (non-politicians) have been free-falling to a bottomless abyss for decades now. This country might have once supposedly been a paradise- a land where equality, harmony, and empathy flew high and mighty.
However, that time has long since passed. Gone, forever. Sri Lanka, the country has no future. Not as a whole. And it will never be whole again. Just a vapid-hole where debauchery and corruption reign supreme and integrity is left rotting as a disgraced, down-trodden, homeless destitute. This depiction of Sri Lanka is not the pessimistic, glass-is-half-empty view of the country. Or about its self-evident bleak future. Today, Sri Lanka, the once democratic republic, is ingloriously destabilized, defunct, and despondent. The country is circling the drain of obsolescence in an out of control death spiral of its own creation.
Alas, you get the drift. This merry-go-round of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different outcomes — which, by the way, is the very definition is “insanity”- is and has ruined Sri Lanka, and therefore, has destroyed any semblance of future whatsoever.
So, Sri Lanka- What now?