Be a real citizen, not a puppet

Last weekend unveiling the National Transformation roadmap, President Ranil Wickremesinghe described in details how he plans to take the country forward from here and the steps that need to be taken in order to make Sri Lanka a stable and a strong country in the world within the next few years and to be a developed nation by 2048. We are not talking about what he stated. We are going to talk about how Sri Lankan people can contribute as ordinary citizens towards achieving the targets described by the President by changing themselves.
First of all the Sri Lankan people should step into the real world which is not that rosy from the dream world they lived during the past 75 years. Unfortunately this dream world had been created for them by all past politicians who ruled this country in order to stay in power. The funniest part is still some small and medium political parties are very busy giving them foolish and unrealistic promises which are a part of the dream world they lived in. Fortunately, the so-called ‘Aragalaya’ could not bring the foolish Sri Lankan people to another dream world from the dream world they lived in for the past 75 years.

The real world exists on earth and needs money for everything and nothing is free of charge anywhere for anyone. Someone in the world pays for everything coming into the hands of people free of charge. The most important fact is now people are being forced to think how the Government finds money to look after them. In the past 75 years people did not worry at all about finding money because all previous Governments took huge foreign loans and looked after them. The citizens lived like children who were living with rich parents. It simply made the entire population brats.

The second fact now is the time for all Sri Lankan families to build unity within the family and act as a team. During the past 75 years, families existed here in Sri Lanka but family members did not live in one world and they lived in their tiny artificial worlds. Most of the rich fathers spent a lot of money on foreign liquor, imported brands of cigarettes, mistresses, etc. while rich mothers spent all their money on fashion, beauty care etc. Poor fathers spent their money on smoking beedi, using illicit drugs, drinking Kasippu (local illegal alcohol) etc. The young children of rich families used money for computer games, illicit drugs etc. while poor children used money for illicit drugs, phone cards etc.

Most of the income of Samurdhi beneficiaries was spent on locally made alcohol and drugs. Only the poor mothers suffered. In the estate sector, men as well as women are addicted to alcohol and it has become something normal for them. This is the reality of Sri Lankan society. If both rich and poor people can stop spending money on unnecessary things, they can very easily pay tax and lead normal and healthy lives. Even chewing betel is a waste of hard earned money and it only gives oral cancer but nothing else. But people do not know these things and there is no one or no way of educating people on such crucial matters.

Something very interesting was revealed during a newspaper reading programme telecast last week. According to that television journalist, no Sri Lankan is interested in issues related to the country and they are only interested in entertainment programmes and political debates. Only a handful of Sri Lankans watch television programmes on nation building, health, agriculture, education, industries, administration, etc. In addition all Sri Lankan housewives are only interested in watching cheap soap operas telecast over the television and nothing else. This is the reality of the Sri Lankan people’s mentality.

A country cannot be built without building people and the people cannot be built without changing their long standing wrong and artificial lifestyles. What matters is attitudes.

It is not a disaster if the extremely rich professionals have to reduce the number of occasions they take their children to international restaurants and on foreign tours. It is only cutting down the number of times from 100 to 95 or 90. Asking them to do it is not a crime at all. But those rich professionals try their best to make ordinary people believe that it is a crime committed by the Government. The ordinary people are not educated enough to understand the reality.

No need to talk about rich professionals who earn millions of rupees per day or week. Even a couple who earns less than Rs. 100,000 per month takes their children to fancy foreign restaurants at least twice or thrice a month. Reducing this number to one or two times is not a crime at all and asking such a couple to do so is not a crime at all. It is because those children do not die if not taken to those expensive restaurants four times a week. This is only a tiny part of an extremely large picture.

When it comes to the poor people they expect the Government to look after them and give them everything free of charge. This dependent mentality had been created in them by the politicians who ruled this country during the past 75 years and it is extremely difficult now for any leader or any Government to make them believe that no one should offer anything to anyone free of charge because someone in the world pay for it. This is not about charity.

But the current Government can do one thing. That is stopping offering social welfare benefit schemes for the same families continually and offering them a timeline to achieve economic stability. This is the best and accurate way of achieving development through implementing any social welfare benefit scheme. But unfortunately what happened here in Sri Lanka during the past 75 years is that the same families or the new families (created through marriages) connected to those same families depended on social welfare schemes without offering anything at all for the advancement of the country. They think they should receive everything but they should not offer anything to anyone.

The sad and unproductive story of Sri Lankan people is being portrayed by the individuals who sell certain things in trains and buses. Over 99.99 of them sell one thing. That is incense sticks. They have nothing else to sell. What is the use of incense sticks? They are used to worship (mainly by Buddhists) and also used as air fresheners by some traders and drivers. It is all right to use them once in a while and by those when required. People never use them often. They use them only when they need them.

According to Consultant Pulmonologists, incense sticks are not healthy at all and the fragrant fumes can cause lung cancer if exposed often. Time to time they educate the public on this matter through the media. But it seems no one is interested in what those consultants say. There are hundreds of other things that can be extremely useful for the people and that can be sold in trains and buses. Fruits and vegetable seeds, oil lamp wicks, envelopes, face masks are some of them. But no one is interested in them.

It is time for all Sri Lankans to change themselves towards betterment. It is time for all to think differently but in a healthy, productive and positive manner. It is individuals who build a nation and a country. Nothing can be done without changing individuals. It is individuals who are not ready to change themselves.

At last it is about the rich brats and youths. They can use almost everything except various religions to earn money, have fun and make people laugh. But they cannot set fire to this peaceful country for the fifth time just to earn money. In simple words they cannot play with the National Security in order to obtain huge foreign funds. If they badly need to play with religions, they have to play with all the religions at the same time and not with one specific religion all the time. Only then it makes sense and matches with the ‘stand-up comedian’. Otherwise it is being called humiliating, slinging mud or simple ‘discrimination’, according to their own ideology. This country needs new, positive and useful ideas and not jokes that make no one laugh.