3 August, 2021

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A New Conscientization For People Building

By Rehan Derrick Fernando

Rehan Derrick Fernando

The whole world is going through an ideological conflict. All that we see and come across is a culture-bound, age-dominated, sex-discriminated, male-dominated, procapitalist, nonrevolutionary, anticommunist, and over-theoretical world system. In other words, a superfluous world system has been created in the fields of political, social, economic, religious, and cultural. What Sri Lanka is today, on the one hand, is a result of this wrong-turn of the world system; on the other hand, it is the socio-political instability of the country that does not support a better conscientization anymore[1]. However, there can be specific resolutions, mobilized through determination and hard work if the citizens of the country make a genuine effort. In this article, I attempt to analyze how a people building could be made in Sri Lanka through such practical efforts even though ideological theories might be useful in another context.

Dominated World Systems

Considering the events of the history of the world and its system in all continents, there is a dominated world-system due to colonization, which now is sieged by neo-colonial structures and exploitation, which also have paralyzed the cultural-religiosity of those societies. Such mismanaged paradigms and operative systems have also destroyed human cultural relationships in the same communities, undergo difficulties with modern techniques of development that is at the heart of people-building capacity. Ultimately, what is left as a formula is nothing but a world system that is created by the elites who have forcefully come to a position to dominate all other systems in the world being experimented by smaller countries with limited resources. This unilateral domination in my opinion, is a destructive, unethical, and devastating paradigm. When we see the unethical distribution of land, multifaceted companies and investments, world population growth, forceful economic structures, exploitations of trade union structures, multinational corporations, global cultural dominations, cultural myths, racism, classism, sexism, dissimilarities and so forth, we understand how world system has failed to introduce a better paradigm for the daily living of the people[2]. Due to such world systems, many ordinary people suffer immensely, and forced poverty, oppression, and suppression have become significant and maligned components of this system, which in fact stand contrary to the very concept of people building.

It is obvious how the failures as mentioned above of the world system have dramatically fallen into a category of the destruction of this planet, especially in the context of ecological crisis. Global warming and the reports on the possible depletion of the ozone layer, and the other ecological imbalances that the planet earth experiences with immense destructive forms now proven beyond a reasonable doubt are due to negative approaches and misuse of technology of human beings. It seems that any new world-system came to the scene as an alternative to change the previous system, but it ended harming even the key rich cultural-religiosity and socio-political methodologies in the world. It has also damaged the quality of life which is reserved for the whole planet. Words of Pope Francis in his outstanding encyclical Laudato Si would appropriately explain the idea mentioned above; “Although change is part of the working of complex systems, the speed with which human activity has developed contrasts with the naturally slow pace of biological evolution. Moreover, the goals of this rapid and constant change are not necessarily geared to the common good or integral and sustainable human development. Change is something desirable, yet it becomes a source of anxiety when it causes harm to the world and the quality of life of much of humanity.”[3]

There have been many socio-political theories that appeared in the system of the world; such as Anarchism, Absolutism, Communism, Conservatism, Environmentalism, Fascism, Liberalism, Nationalism, Socialism, Social Capitalism, Social Democracy, Marxism, Capitalism, and Pancasilaism. However, none of these theories were sufficient enough to present an effective paradigm shift for a people-building agenda. Instead, these ideologies and theories demolished the developing capacities of the people. Considering the Euro-Western colonial regimes, it is evident how the native people of Asian, African, and Latin American continents were massacred in destroying their lands and grabbing their right of living.

When this ideological conflict is applied to the Asian context, Western-educated and modernized elites have introduced certain socio-political theories such as Social Capitalism, Capitalism, Marxism, and Communism in Asia that directly harmed the primary conduct of ordinary people who live in rural areas. Thus, unsustainable and impertinent methods unduly blocked the accessibility and opportunity for their local productions as such. In other words, those socio-political theories were dysfunctional, and they subverted the socio-political spirit of Asia. In Asia, there had been ancient and traditional techniques for food production, construction, business, management that led its communities to sustain the livelihood. However, different alliances of elites and their socio-political theories have already damaged and displaced those traditional methodologies, which were the primary sources of people-building-capacity of Asia. The major crises such as poverty, forced landlessness, unemployment, elimination of handcrafts, and artificial fertilizing system in Asia are due to Westernized modern capitalism and feudal systems geared by those elites and business classes. Such disfigured assumptions, in my opinion, are myths that created Euro-western power hunger but not liberative forms for a developing society. Asia, therefore, goes through a negative structural change, which gives constant failures for socio-political stability. And, the shortcomings of Asia also are results of this ongoing crisis. Among them, discrimination and political divisions (ethnic divisions) are fundamental issues in Asia, which paralyze peoples’ development in Asia.  Western capitalism has already made certain political divisions in Korea and Vietnam. Considering all Asian countries and their internal socio-political struggles, in the latter part of the war in 2009, Sri Lanka was almost at the edge of experiencing the same South-North division to many extents. Asia, particularly as a continent, is still undergoing the victimized mentality of those Western methodologies, which also misled the Asian ways and means.

Sri Lanka, a Victim of the World System

Sri Lanka has also become a part of the above-mentioned socio-political ideological conflicts, and strategies. It is undeniable and quite evident when we analyze the results of the presidential election of 2019, Sri Lankans failed to realize the harmful effects of party politics and opt for an alternative political ideology in the country. Most of the citizens in Sri Lanka unanimously accepted and opted for a corrupted party and its policies in electing a president, and Sri Lankans have been doing this party-politics in changing and selecting the two major parties from time to time depending on selfish circumstances. Even though a significant movement (National Peoples’ Power/NPP [movement is different from an alliance]) for the first time in the political history of Sri Lanka was created and formed within the framework of peoples’ beliefs, ideas, aims, objectives, subjective minds, and especially ideological imperatives; the most of the ordinary people themselves abandoned the fundamental goals of that peoples’ movement at the voting. It indicates that the majority of Sri Lanka is still interested in party-politics, which leads toward unethical conduct in the country, militarization, illegal colonization within the country, excessive foreign aids and investments for megaprojects, abuse of power, nationalism & racism, uneducated politicians for governance, religious fundamentalism and so on. All these are nothing but adverse effects of the world system today.

The moral decadence in the fields of political, economic, religious, social, and cultural set up in Sri Lanka does not support to opt for an authentic dynamism and work for the common good of all the people of society. Considering mere external developing economies, education, and foreign policies, it is quite evident that the people-building agenda of the country has lost its primary motivation because such developing policies have failed to enhance the ordinary capacities of people. What Sri Lanka over the last few decades have had were periods of governance with successive corrupt regimes that fulfill the objectives of a manipulative group of political neo-elites. As a result, the majority of the country suffered immensely without even having access to essential opportunities to build themselves and dreaming for a future remains for them permanently illusory. In other words, dreaming for a better future and people-building, when is being unethically designed by a group of uneducated people who are involved in corrupt politics, symbolizes a complete abuse of power and mismanagement of democratic institutions in the context of Sri Lanka.

The last Presidential election campaign in 2019 was full of awakening programs for a people building and dreaming future. The subjective methodology and fundamental aims of National Peoples’ Power (NPP) were to enhance the power of the ordinary people, Sri Lanka’s crisis in democracy, and religious fundamentalism in the socio-political arena. NPP aimed to regain and regenerate a better democracy from the perspectives of ordinary people, which is a new outlook for the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. The initial efforts were promoted and backed by intellectuals, civil society groups, organizations, and ordinary people. However, it failed at an unexpected hour since many other civil authorities, business people, elites who geared sub-cultural agendas for mere victory at the presidential election in 2019. It shows how Sri Lanka once again opted for an ideological crisis and became a part of the failure of world-systems created by internal party politics. It is because of these sub-cultures; the ordinary people, farmers, fishers, laborers in rural villages will suffer (still it happens) more and more in the future. The essence of the self-sufficient society in Sri Lanka and its national agenda for the peoples’ productions have been devastated. This condition or situation implies a radical change or a paradigm shift. Therefore, I would like to present it as the primary goal of this article, which is also my timely suggestion for the crisis in the country.

A New Conscientization

I wish to present two paradigm shifts in suggesting a people-building in Sri Lanka. One is a methodology followed by the Chinese at their crisis in the 1940s, and the other is followed by Michael Rodrigo, an Oblate priest who worked for an equitable society in promoting social justice for a people-building society.

Amidst the world’s disagreements toward the economic policies of modern Chinese society today, but still, there is something to be learned from China. I wish to explain the original paradigm shift of Chinese and how they got rid of crisis in building rural areas. Historically, like many Asian countries, China was feudal and subject to massive exploitation by local warlords and landlords. The poor peasants and workers were dominated continuously by the elites and dominant class. Later, following the 1949 revolution, China was boycotted by the capitalist powers and regimes. As a result, China went through a quarter-century of isolation from the international community. However, China under Mao Tse-tung processed and went through a long period of travail in implementing its own socialist program. The fundamental process of the whole program was to change the mentality of ordinary people and be effective by a new system. “SERVE THE PEOPLE” was the primary moto and public exhortation until they became self-sufficient with their new agenda. A hard process of self-criticism and self-revolutionizing were begun, which was an ongoing result for hard work, temperance, honesty, self-purification, and service. China experienced a new form of revolution with that hard process with its people-building agenda.

The second paradigm here I present is more of another village-level process. In the 1980s, as the Sri Lankan government introduced an open economy policy. Sri Lanka lost its self-sufficient efforts and peoples’ products in the country. Such a selfish mentality paralyzed Sri Lanka’s ancient conscientization in the country. Ordinary civilians in Sri Lanka had to suffer and their life-style was put in danger. Michael Rodrigo went to the Monaragala district of the Southern Province, especially to Uva-Wellassa in finding a solution and experiencing a local paradigm shift for a people-building attempt in Sri Lanka. At the hands of elites and their narrow-minded and unreasonable projects, peasants and poor workers in Uva-Wellassa became mere objects at the projection of the government then since it was a period of welcoming multinational corporations and companies. Rodrigo worked with ordinary people to experience a national-development program at the village level introducing a natural fertilizing system, self-contained and self-reliant living conditions, equal education program, Buddhist-Christian dialogue, herbal medicine (Ayurveda treatments), awareness program, health-care, housing projects for the poor and so on. All these things were significant components for a people-building-society in Sri Lanka. The awareness program (conscientization) which Rodrigo started at the village level, is a critical reflection for a righteous society. Though it was a religious effort, his primary intention was to opt for a socio-political attempt and then move toward a just society. Unfortunately, Sri Lankan central government starting from the 1980s up today has vehemently damaged the proper conscientization of the people. Rodrigo was assassinated during the second uprising of Janatha Vimukkthi Peramuna (JVP/ a local Marxist Leninist Party) and its counter-insurgency protocols in the late 1980s, which was the actual termination and deliberate elimination of any people building action he experimented in the rural sector. It was also a negative paradigm introduced by the right-wing approach of the central government then. During this dark era, many youths, intellectuals, and activists were killed and some disappeared. Those adverse events were results of violence promoted by the central government and counter-violence of leftists parties. The remnant of the misleading paradigms of the late 1980s shows the selfishness that paralyzed the whole system in the country today.

A deep study of both paradigm shifts grants us a new conscientization, which is to be reformulated in Sri Lanka, especially at the village level. Sri Lanka needs a new way of the self-critical method, self-realization, self-evaluating process, and a self-denial conscientization to move toward a people-building model. The whole country must opt for hard work and a methodology to restore its culture of corrupt institution and behavior.

Conclusion

The whole world system today promotes warfare and misleading development programs, which, for me, is an ideological conflict. More than that, it is the selfishness of the world system that disables the people as a whole. Asia and many other continents have become a victim of it. As Rodrigo proposes, Sri Lanka, mainly, must go through a point of departure from selfishness to selflessness in making a people-building society. As Paulo Freire suggests, it must be a new awakening of critical consciousness through the investigation of “generative themes.” In my opinion, it is not merely a political agenda but should be a religious, social, cultural, economic revolution. It is a new conscientization for a people-oriented society. It should not be a part of elites who promote destructive methodologies to the country that harm the collective consciousness of ordinary people. Unless Sri Lanka goes through a radical conversion within the framework of people-building society, Sri Lanka would not be able to show up its self-sufficient conscientization in the future.


[1] The Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire uses this term “Conscientization” (in Portuguese conscientização) in cultural dimension of the fight for liberation. Further, in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, he explicates the term in a wide angle and in scientific-practical application for the society as such. For him, it is also a critical thinking which is connected to ‘action reflection’ [word=work=praxis]. Further he also speaks of sacrifice of action and sacrifice of reflection. See. Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (New York: Bloomsbury, 2000), 87-124. When this term “Conscientization” is applied to Sri Lankan context, it was Michael Rodrigo OMI who practiced at the village level, especially in Uva-Wellassa.

[2] Tissa Balasuriya, Planetary Theology (London: SCM Press, 1984), 17-23.

[3] Pope Francis, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home (Washington, DC: USCCB Communications, 2105), no. 18, 9.

*Rehan Fernando is a Ph.D. student, doing his research on inter-religious dialogue with a case study of Dr. Michael Rodrigo OMI. He is also the author of 4 Sinhala books and 3 English books. He is also the editor of a journal called “Paadhai.”

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    As for the presented resolutions, it’s outrageous why it has to be one extreme model or the other. Aren’t hybrid/novel models and systems that cater to most walks of life possible?

    Having traveled to various parts of China professionally, and built friendships with many Chinese citizens, I just don’t see how China is serving much of its people in a humane way or how it’s people centric when people essentially don’t have the freedom of thought and expression and the streams of options are limited!…
    Confining much of the city/town population where families with one or two children (per local rules) are provided small quarters in government run very high density buildings in highly polluted environments!…
    A mix of younger citizens who haven’t experienced normalcy and v’been conditioned by the state, whispering older generations, and many souls boiling to free themselves all underneath the facade of order and calm.

    Can fear of intimidation, persecution for dissent or any fear ever be normal to a human?

    If 3-square meals, a roof over head, clothes to cover ourselves and cheap gimmicks to entertain ourselves are enough for humans to feel fulfilled, the China model will be effective.

    • 2
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      Sugandh
      Have you visited India?

      Soma

      • 6
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        Yes Soma. Many times.

        Do you think that India must follow the China model to be able to feed all its citizens? Do you think that there’s no other reason for the poverty or other ways to eliminate poverty?

        Just to be clear, there’s poverty and unimaginable hardships in China too.

        • 1
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          But China is supposedly doing well in poverty eradication. Unless one goes to rural China, it can all seem free of poverty.

          • 3
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            No wonder Covid 19 is around! Chinese rural people are starving in the absence of their traditional farmlands. Hence they are eating anything they can catch. The taste has now moved to the cities into wet markets. Chinese governing bodies see this as an extra boon to their money capital – cheap food minus farmers taking up land to grow traditional food, but now taken up for China infrastructure.

            • 1
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              rtf
              You have now moved into invention of news. But still a novice.
              Carry on Regardless. Who cares these days?

              • 0
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                SJ,
                The probability that Covid came from the wet markets of China is high. Nothing invented by me at all. Can’t you think further on why this is so ; that this is due to lack of decent food for the Chinese?

                • 4
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                  Ramona,
                  “Decent food” means different things to different people. To a Chinese, a bat is food (and why not, if we can eat thalagoyas?) Fried beetles are good food in Buddhist Cambodia. The British don’t eat sharks, but Australians do. You shouldn’t judge others by your own standards.

                  • 0
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                    What about the snakes and pygmalions, eh OC. This is on top of the frogs, dogs, cats, lizards, python, and a menagerie of others. Sri Lanka just has Native Vedda eating a talagoya once in a while. And we dont see it in our wet markets.

                    • 1
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                      Pygmalions?
                      There was only one in Greek mythology.
                      To eat him would be cannibalism.

                    • 0
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                      O.I.C……it’s a mythical king.

                • 1
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                  Tell Joe Biden. He is desperately clutching at straws for evidence.
                  *
                  Why do people here eat thalgoya, a reptile?
                  Do you know that they eat monkey flesh too?
                  *
                  Some things are delicacies, like frogs and snails for the French.

                  • 0
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                    SJ,
                    With Chinese influence and the decimation of our ancient farmlands for Chinese Chinese infrastructure, monkeys, beetles, talagoyas, talagoyas, snakes, and elephants will become rampant in Lankan wet markets.

                    • 0
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                      .kabaragoyas….

                      …pangolins…….he, he, he,…..although they probably eat ancient dragons too.

                    • 1
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                      Ramona,
                      In the 17th century, even the Sinhalese were fond of big plump beetles. So what’s new? There is nothing intrinsically wrong with snakes, bats, etc. Even chickens can spread deadly diseases.

                    • 0
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                      rtf
                      Please take a break, and a deep deep breath before putting finger on keyboard.

                    • 3
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                      Still chicken and regular farm animals did not spread the uncontrollably Covid 19. Imagine ancient upstanding Buddhist SJ eating big plump beetles. OC, are you thinking of making money out of new weird food wet-markets?

                    • 1
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                      Ramona,
                      Have you forgotten that Mad Cow disease was spread by cows, and Salmonella by chickens?

                    • 0
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                      Nowhere as deadly as Covid 19, 20, 21…..

          • 5
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            S
            Have you been to rural China?
            *
            I do not think that it is all rosy there, but even before poverty alleviation, people had been lifted well out of the abject poverty that they had suffered before liberation.
            The poorest sections of Chinese population are better fed and clothed than their Indian or American counterparts.
            It is different with West Europe though. Social security systems since WWI had advanced and the fraction that is miserable is very small.

            • 2
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              Hello Readers,
              *
              ,”I do not think that it is all rosy there, but even before poverty alleviation, people had been lifted well out of the abject poverty that they had suffered before liberation.
              The poorest sections of Chinese population are better fed and clothed than their Indian or American counterparts.” .
              .
              This is very right. But that has lot to do with their cultures and life styles in such countries..
              .
              Look at our destitute how they look like at first glance, can we just compare them with like minded in Indonesia, China or any other developing countries? 😎😎😎😎😎😎, even their eating and cleaning
              manners look much more civilised than ours living in Colombo shanties or any where the poverty is governing. 🤨😎🤨😎🤨😎

              • 3
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                Even a beggar in an european country is far more morally and ethically right than our political leadership of the day. They would nt seek discount profits while the nation is hugely caught by a pandemic. 🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨

            • 0
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              SJ,
              That’s because especially the Indians do not eat things that move.

              • 1
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                Do they only eat rock?
                Pants too move to grow.
                Do they drink water? It runs!

                • 0
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                  Sorry
                  I meant plants.
                  Pants move even more.

                  • 1
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                    Ramona,
                    “Pants move even more”
                    Yes, I have seen my pants moving. When I am wearing them, that is.

            • 1
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              Yes SJ, I have. The distance we travel for cheap materials!

              Some places don’t have suitable accommodation for visitors; so we commute 4-5 hours daily to/from the location. One place was way too far for daily commute; forced to stay at a local hotel; hotel warned not to go out after 6pm and not to open the door to anyone without verifying with the front desk.

              Abject poverty can be seen in rural and remote industrial areas far away from the established centres. The remoteness also provides reprieve from the state’s grip; landlords reside in big houses on the farmlands while the workers live in small run houses and shacks. Class divide exists across China.

              The workers get housed in substandard high density buildings where the fog turned out to be persistent smog. The workers are mostly from out of state; they’re separated from their family for most of the year (The senior management too). Not uncommon for factory workers to work long shifts; the longest known is 72 hours! Snoozing allowed when time permits. Blood, sweat, & sacrifices for the benefit of the state coffers. We’ve become dependent on the cheap goods made on their back.

              • 1
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                S
                We were talking about rural poverty, following upon
                “But China is supposedly doing well in poverty eradication. Unless one goes to rural China, it can all seem free of poverty.”
                from you.
                *
                Existence of poverty was acknowledged by the Chinese state. Otherwise they would not have talked about eradicating it.
                *
                When was claim made about fully eradicating poverty? Late in 2021 February.
                The project to lift 98.99 million of its rural poor out of poverty was announced at the the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012.
                *
                What you contested was the claim that China was ‘doing well in poverty eradication’.
                When was your last visit?

                • 1
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                  SJ,
                  It was in 2019.

                  Poverty reduction initiative anywhere is commendable particularly at that scale.

                  While the current poverty line set by China is a vast improvement from its past scale, it is significantly below that set by the world bank. Don’t know what to infer from that.

                  Ultimately, real life defines what is poverty, what the poverty line should be, and what factors contribute to the feeling of being poor economically where need and wants compete.

                  The confines that the draconian system has forced up on the people are bound to leave humans poor in so many other aspects.

          • 7
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            Sugandh

            For one reason or another Chinese state openly accepts it experiences poverty in many parts of the country. However the only person who would deny poverty in China is China’s man in Sri Lanka, SJ.

            Instead talking about China, he will give you poverty statistics in USA, Europe, Canada, Hindia, …….. as if the discussion is anything other than China.
            Take care.

            • 3
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              Dear Native Vedda!
              Reality holds the truth; I am appreciating the opportunity to share.

        • 2
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          Sugandh
          I am not capable of duelling with ‘rational’ arguments over this issue.
          All I can say is if you take me a tour around a few village schools in country A and country B , by looking at the children my heart will instantly say which system is better. Measuring yard is the health and happiness of the children, not grown ups.
          .
          If India can become a Sweden with 1.3 billion people I wish them well. Any hopes in that direction with what you saw?

          Soma

          • 5
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            soman

            “If India can become a Sweden with 1.3 billion people I wish them well. Any hopes in that direction with what you saw?”

            I am not sure weather Hindia as a whole would become a Sweden or not if given enough federal freedom to its states I am sure non Hindi speaking states will arrive in the world stage sooner than expected. However Hindians have the same Sinhala/Buddhist attitudes hence I doubt they will allow non-Hindi states to develop, attain their full potential, progress.

            For example:
            Greater Chennai Corporation Is Fighting Covid-19 Using Integrated Technology Plan,
            population 7.088 million,
            Principal Secretary / Commissioner,
            Greater Chennai Corporation,
            Gagandeep Singh Bedi, I.A.S
            a North Indian
            To fight Covid 19, Greater Chennai Corporation has come up with an integrated technology plan in which it has developed a digital platform to bring the city’s Covid task force on one platform. This has helped Chennai to bring down its Covid cases and death numbers. Interestingly, Chennai is the first and only city in India to use an integrated technology plan to fight Covid 19.
            Watch this youtube clip and learn:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki4Zc7AFy-0

          • 0
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            Dear Soma,
            I understand! Such situations invoke overwhelming sentiments. Kids selling goods on the freeways of Delhi is heart breaking to see as is seen in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru on much smaller scale.

            No doubt some regions of India are doing much better than others. Providing housing to the slum dwellers has often failed to break the cycle because many have made it a source of rental income. Folks are provided monthly rations. The problem is often the administration of social welfare in India.

            India, like Sri Lanka, has demons that exasperate disparities and pose challenges to economic well-being of all segments. China expunged much of religious practice and currently expunging Islam!

            Including China, we’re all caught-up seeking a beneficial place in the world economy. China too has substandard living standards and exploitation of humans that make life very stressful causing social issues including crimes. Much of China’s wealth is in the state coffers and allows it to run the BRI. Is that fair to those millions and millions of Chinese shackled to substandard living not just economically but mentally and socially?

            Each country has to find its own answers. Chinese citizenry doesn’t have that right.

          • 2
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            Soma
            Sugandh truthful when he commented specifically on poverty in China.
            But his rejection of elimination of poverty was based on prejudice.
            Concrete steps were taken on a 9-year long project, and it was completed this year.
            If Sugandh sees again what he saw before, the Chinese government will be proven to lie.
            *
            China’s poverty was not very bad before it went capitalist and disbanded rural communes. The commune system ensured that everyone had life’s essentials. Development was slow but steady, and not at the expense of the rural poor.
            Deng Xiaoping was much responsible for rural poverty with his “It is good to be rich” line. He made life insecure for many workers too.
            There has been a shift away from Deng in the past few years, but not towards socialism though.

            • 1
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              SJ
              Sugandh is more concerned with China than India.
              My heart goes with India.

              Soma

              • 1
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                Soma,
                Nonsense. There are aspects of India that are at least equally concerning.

                You have proven time and again here, your heart goes out only for your self amusing frolics.

              • 1
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                Soma
                There is a qualitative difference between informed and uninformed criticism of China. Sugandh is among the better informed.
                *
                Tamil nationalists are historically anti-China for over 60years now.
                It stated with anti-Left politics. The FP after effectively demolishing the ACTC it had only the Left to worry about.
                The left could at best garner 30% of the vote It did slightly better in 1956 to elect its one and only MP from N&E.
                But it had a powerful grassroots base, especially among the underdog population. That still remains, but severely eroded by the wave of nationalist politics since 1970 and especially after 1977.
                *
                The Tamil elite and media are generally uncritical of the UNP, the West and India, and anti USSR and China.
                They were soft on the US during the Vietnam war. (Some Tamil militants, not LTTE, though were pro-Palestine for a while and even critical of imperialism. All of that has been wiped out by the war.)
                I can access an occasional unbiased view of Russia or China in Western media. Even local English dailies (not DM though) reproduce some.
                But Tamil media is bitterly anti China. They wish ill.
                Tamil nationalists hate Muslims and China more than they do the Sinhala Buddhists. You need not go far for evidence.

            • 0
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              SJ,
              I am not an armchair pundit to readily pass sweeping conclusions on the success of China’s poverty alleviation initiatives and claims either way. Even if they were 50% successful, it’s a commendable accomplishment.

              There’s a vast gap between bringing the poor above a state determined poverty line and bring them into financial well-being. On the other hand, financial freedom is practically impossible for most of us anywhere.

              I am bound to distrust any autocratic state that is cautiously closed and protective of the reality within its realm, oppresses free speech, monitors and controls media, and methodically propagandises to the benefit of the state.

              Here’s an article for you to consider in relation to the caveats and challenges implementing poverty eradication in the scale of P.R.C.;
              https://m.businesstoday.in/story/china-eradicated-poverty-xi-jinping-claims-challenged-by-swiss-study/1/441146.html

              It’s not too difficult to imagine that the confines a draconian system forces up on its people are bound to leave those people poor in so many other aspects even when the pocket book gets fatter.

              • 1
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                S
                I did not call you anything.
                You dismissed the claim that China was effectively controlling rural poverty.
                I expressed dissent.
                All I know about the matter were periodic statements on progress by the state. Declaration that poverty has been eliminated was in February this year.
                *
                If the Business Today report is first hand reporting, it is a matter worth following up.
                But there is no denying that a lot has been achieved by the project.
                The point raised about poverty line does not consider regional and local factors.
                *
                It will do all of us much good to read all sides of the story.
                Total elimination of poverty is FEASIBLE only under socialism. China is not quite socialist after Deng. It risks return of poverty without continuous monitoring.
                Let us keep an open mind.

        • 3
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          Sugandh,

          I love your comments. That made my today. Thank you. I will write more next.

          I think the only model would be socialism for few years and then allow them to face democracy. Democray is inevitable to all, there no arguments would be necessary. Chinese dont have democracy and dont know what democracy means. Today s generations love materials only. No religion, nothing but they love materials. Merciless mind set.
          human nature is that people s greed cnt be blocked, it is just natural. Only rigorous law enforcement could help setting limits. To me, I have observed all these thanks to my travels around the globe. And i love watching documentaries about untold stories of africa, asia, latin america and north countries.

          East provinces of current day united Germany, the people are doing well today after 21 years.
          .
          Look at those eastern european countries and russia today. None of their poor people were caught by hunger and basic needs,

          Exceptions are Romania, Bulagaria or the like countries.. Their dictators had not managed to allow the basics for some part of those countries.
          :

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            Dear LM,
            Yes, democracy! 6.9 million knowingly put it under the guillotine.

            Looking forward to your thoughts.

            • 1
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              Sugandh@
              Please add your thoughts also in Sinhala, that could help the readers.
              .
              https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sumith-chaaminda-8-june-2021/

              Those who have seen it having travelled across the globe should share what they have got to see in those countries. Most living in our hell (made by Rajapakshes) only focus on UK and US as if other countries are not existing for them.

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                Wow! Thank you LM!

                “Why a populist Left should rally around a green democratic transformation?”

                “Green” and “democratic” – Music to my ears.

    • 6
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      “If 3-square meals, a roof over head, clothes to cover ourselves and cheap gimmicks to entertain ourselves are enough for humans to feel fulfilled, the China model will be effective.”
      *
      India has “cheap gimmicks to entertain” for sure.
      The other two are missing for many.
      *
      I can imagine the meals and roof part in China. But can you give me examples of cheap gimmicks?

      • 3
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        Have you been to rural China ? India ?? rural U.S ??? Professor know it all why go that far ? have you been to rural Lanka. What do you think is happening right now in your native place ? three square meals,roof above head,clothes to cover with plenty cheap gimmicks to entertain. The country itself is on doled money.What was yours is not anymore. And you the blind is in search of another.

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          C
          Learn to see comments in context.
          Sugandh made a serious comment that deserved a response.
          He followed it up.
          *
          Keep out if you do not like it
          But do not issue fatwas like an aspiring mullah about what people should and shouldn’t write about.

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            SJ , first you learn not to make inappropriate religious and communal comments. Talking about understanding commènt in context Sugandh mentioned about his own experience and you went on as usual ranting how bad India and US were without realizing you had been dependent on them in past. You always come up with some excuse for your stupidly. What you.mean by keep out of it ?? Thst is for CT to decide Prof know it all
            You write what ever you want no one is stopping you but why do you have to say fatwa and mullah ???
            Is that a hidden racist within you talking .

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              Oh, C, now you want to teach a well.
              *
              The discussion with Sugandh is between the two of us and has gone on in a civil fashion. That is all to say on that.
              *
              I do not said anything nasty about any people or called any nations S****y or any such thing.
              You keep on issuing commands much in the fashion of a you-know-who.
              That does amuse me very much.
              People living in glass houses should not throw stones I have heard.
              You may think about it.

    • 0
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      DEAR CT,
      please remove this from here. I have put it on sinhala side.
      :
      Thank you and apologies for the error.

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    “Conscientization” is difficult to pronounce.

    Soma

  • 2
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    If China carried on its Conscientization Policy of 1949, it would have solved many of the world problems. No, but they had to get avaricious of the fruits of the West and use its very power of Conscientization in vain attempts to overtake the West.
    *
    At this time at least. America’s president Biden is promoting a better way forwards by taxing its mega-rich and spreading the wealth to her Masses in the same conscientious effort.  For Sri Lanka, it will be a far easier process as we get have its innate paradigm. At this time, holding hands with America seems a far better deal. Wish NPP all the best.

    • 0
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      …..as we have its innate paradigm.*

    • 4
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      China was not even given its due pace in the UN at the time.
      You know how long it took.

  • 0
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    Author
    Your lumping “Anarchism, Absolutism, Communism, Conservatism, Environmentalism, Fascism, Liberalism, Nationalism, Socialism, Social Capitalism, Social Democracy, Marxism, Capitalism, and Pancasilaism” into one basket does not seem fair. If that is appropriate all organized religions will also belong there.
    *
    That apart, I am glad to find someone interested in in Paulo Freire.
    I think that Churches here can do with some Liberation Theology which had done much for the liberation of Latin America. Father Tissa was a true progressive. He had a small following in the Catholic Church that was into Liberation Theology.
    Do please expand on that theme.

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      SJ
      I remember Father Paul Caspersz of Kandy who passed away in 2017.
      A wonderful man who was keen on Liberation Theology.

      • 3
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        SJ,

        I recall Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez of Peru as a leader in the Liberation Theology movement in Latin America. Not sure if he is still alive.

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          Agnos
          Did a quick check. Looks like he is still around at 93 (on 8 June).
          Such people could tempt one to believe in God.

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        Yes he is now 93. I met him in 2016 as I was there for my research for my MA degree. We had a great chat and I am still in touch with him. But rarely responds to email.

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    I thougjt the article was about our own Lanka. This article is about new conscientization , was there a old one?? Hope the old one which never existed will now ne promoted as new. The author explains it in sociopolitical paradigm whereas in biopschosocial paradigm conscience is a basic element in the development of an individual.. A person who lacks is an anti social. Did our politicians and people have any to start with.

  • 3
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    One guy here asks what did US do to Afghanistan ?? Iran ?? He should be asking ” what these countries do to their own people ” ??? as in Lanka governments cleansed their own people.

  • 0
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    Dude it is silly and sorry nation , there is nothing to deny about it. Pathetic country. And You the mother of all hypocrites

  • 0
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    SJ, I have used adjectives such as sorry and silly but do not remember ever calling s****y, (though for some reason doesn’t offend me as much it does to you). Please provide evidence so that I can profusely apologize to you and all readers here in CT. If not it must be that “inner person in you” telling such nasty things.

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