18 September, 2020

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All That Glistens

By Dharisha Bastians

Dharisha Bastians

Dharisha Bastians

Do better roads and a spruced up capital city compensate for lousy prioritisation, corruption and repression in post-war Sri Lanka?

Under the glass deck at the entrance to Independence Arcade on Bauddhaloka Mawatha, hundreds of ornamental fish swim hypnotically to and fro, delighting children and visitors to the latest entertainment spot in the capital. The glass is tough enough to walk on and the pond is lit up beautifully at night, making the massive underground tank a major attraction at the 85,000 square ft. recreational facility. Every other afternoon, the fish confine themselves to the farthest corners of the tank, and visitors can view a different species half-submerged in the green waters. Window pane viper and brush in hand, a Sri Lanka Navy sailor floats along the surface, diligently wiping slime and water vapour off each glass pane to prevent the view frm above being obscured. Senior officers stand upon the glass, issuing occasional instructions. Each pane on the deck that covers the fish tank is estimated to have cost well over a million rupees. Touted by its publicists as an ‘Expression of Freedom’ in post-war Sri Lanka, the actual cost incurred by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development to restore the dilapidated Auditor General’s offices have never been made public. The restored colonial facade, tasteful interiors and illuminated water features make Arcade Independence Square a stunning icon in the heart of the city, brimming with promise about Colombo’s future. ‘Beautiful City; Beautiful Life’ reads the Arcade tagline, a reflection of the vision for the capital city created by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development.

There is a transformation occurring in Colombo that delights residents with the means to partake of it. The ‘new’ Colombo with its walking paths and green buildings instills a justifiable sense of pride in any loyal city dweller who has endured life in the garrisoned capital of the war years. Blinded by the glittering lights of the Arcade and the Race Course, distracted by its plush cinemas and celebrity restaurants, it is not difficult to ignore the mild disquiet residents must also feel about the way the city is being administered, how post-war Sri Lanka is being governed. It is easy to forget the ‘other’ Colombo.

The ‘other’ capital

The ‘other’ Colombo is an uncomfortable place. It is a city where student and opposition demonstrations are cracked down upon with brutal force. Where saffron mobs are rampaging through the streets, disrupting lawful gatherings in private premises or striking fear into the hearts of entire communities of people. Where thousands of Colombo residents, who have lived and worked in the bustling capital for decades are rendered homeless, their livelihoods destroyed in the blink of an eye.

A vast majority of Colombo’s old faithful live in this other city. Last week, as the Government set to work making provision for leisure boating and sailboats on the Diyawanna Oya – the high security zone of the war years, tens of thousands of people living in the suburbs of the city suffered nearly four days without running water. It was UNP Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha De Silva that first alerted the public about the reasons for the disruption, when his Kotte electorate was badly affected.  De Silva said that when the Polduwa bridge en route to Parliament was raised in order to allow the high masts of yachts and sailboats to cross the river, the main waterline that rain through the bridge, servicing Battaramulla, Kotte, Nugegoda, Udahamulla and Kirulapone also had to be raised to the same level.

It was a small, yet painful dose of what much less fortunate Colombo residents have had to endure during the city upgrade. For purposes of ‘beautification’ scores of hawkers have watched backhoes demolish their tiny pavement shops, leaving nothing, not even a light bulb to salvage from the rubble. Children returned from school to see their bedding discarded by the roadside, the homes their parents had lived in for 25 years reduced to nothing. The first of these evictions in Slave Island, sparked an outcry, with Government and Opposition Parliamentarians rushing to the site to stop the ‘dozers. The case went before the Supreme Court, that has failed to offer redress for nearly four years. Slowly, evictees from other parts of Colombo simply gave up. Some of them had legal rights to their land. Others had no claim. Nearly all of them got a very raw deal, forced to move into 400 sq.ft apartments the Government was forcing them to pay for, far away from the tiny pavements or railway stations where they once made a living. The city’s iconic dhobi community have met the same fate. The bright white sheets and uniforms no longer dry merrily in the wind beside the Beira Lake after the entire settlement was moved temporarily elsewhere in Colpetty, a place they say is just not the same. But Some might say that is the price of a prettier capital. Some might even say ‘you must break an egg to make an omelette’. But there is something deeply saddening about the fact that entire sections of Old Colombo are disappearing, submerged forever under the mega-beautification and development drive, erasing people and landmarks and lifestories forever. There is something profoundly inhumane about the manner in which land is being reclaimed for development, something distinctly non-participatory about the entire process. Claims about ‘expressions of freedom’ tend to ring hollow in the face of it.

And across the country, the disconnect continues.

Living only a few hundred miles away from the multi-million rupee fish tank that dazzles visitors to the Arcade, over a million Sri Lankans are affected by a debilitating drought. For over six months, the drought has destroyed cultivation and hindered livestock farming. As the rains continue to fail, the districts of  Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Moneragala, Ampara, Hambantota, Puttalam, Trincomalee, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi are now facing acute drinking water shortages. Divisional Secretariats water by bowser to the affected areas, but officials are struggling to meet the peoples’ needs as rivers and lakes that are the primary sources of water in dry zone areas have literally run dry. Their crops failing, farmers in these primarily agricultural areas are without livelihood or income. In drought struck Trincomalee, impoverished families, including very young children are trying to make do on a single meal a day.

Rebuilding structures not trust

In Aluthgama, nearly two months after vicious religious riots erupted following a Bodu Bala Sena rally in the town the Sri Lanka Army has identified 211 homes in need of repairs. At least 72 of these houses are in need of major repair, a likely figure since many buildings suffered severe structural damage from petrol fires. The military is proud of how fast the restoration work is being completed in the riot-rocked settlements of Dharga Town, Adhikarigoda, Pathirajagoda and Welipenna. The army announcement about the restoration work is a rare public acknowledgement from the State of the extent of the damage caused by violent mobs that romped through the area on 15 June. It is typical of the Rajapaksa regime to ‘send in the army’ to rebuild. And it is not surprising that the ruling Administration believes the reconstruction and infrastructure upgrades in the area will compensate for the psychological scarring and mistrust between communities that are a direct consequence of the riots. It is afterall the same formula the regime has used to ‘deliver’ post-war reconciliation. It deludes itself that new roads and gleaming buildings will compensate for the loss of dignity, for continuing oppression and surveillance. Then it wonders why the war-ravaged people of the North are refusing to be more grateful.

Far from addressing the root causes of the religious violence in Aluthgama two months ago, the Government has continued to vindicate the aggressors and blame the victims for the incident. It has continued to give the Bodu Bala Sena a free rein, left its controversial, hate-mongering monk untouched and vilified and persecuted through its state controlled press, all those who condemned the religious riots in Aluthgama. Last week, Police arrested four Muslim youth on charges of spreading ethnic discord for the crime of forwarding text messages about planned violence against the Muslim community that was being predicted on the censored website Lankaenews. They have been remanded by a magistrate until 18 August. Against everyone except the Bodu Bala Sena and its General Secretary Galagodaththe Gnansara, the charges of sowing ethnic disharmony holds. The charge is used liberally, to arrest human rights activists, Muslim politicians, teenagers and most recently, a Tamil student at the Sabaragamuwa University, who is now facing criminal charges for ‘assaulting himself’ and falsifying a police complaint.

Around the city of Colombo, a war-time police form is being circulated in certain neighbourhoods, escalating fears that residences belonging to the Muslim community are being profiled for targeting at a later date. Only 60 days after religious riots in Aluthgama, Muslims are naturally fearful, recollecting that the violent mobs in 1983 were equipped with Grama Sevaka lists that allowed them to identify Tamil homes that they then looted and burnt. Neither the police nor the Government have done anything to allay those fears.

The Police insist that the forms are an attempt to determine if criminal elements have taken up occupancy in residences in the city. Yet it is unclear how such a thing can be determined through a form that only requires the names and NIC numbers of all those occupying a home. It may be a case of particularly bad timing, with no sinister motives attached. But persistent attack and persecution have a way of paralysing communities with fear.

Disruptive mobs

At the Centre for Society and Religion, which was under siege only last week, activists spoke of this different country. They spoke of the country in which monk led mobs stormed private meetings and disrupted lawful civil society events, and never faced consequences for their actions. They recalled a Mahinda Rajapaksa, who walked the streets with almost every one of them in the 1990s, campaigning on behalf of the disappeared, meeting families and parents of missing people in the very same church hall many years ago. “When he was elected, civil society thought their moment had come. That here was one of us, the champion of the opposition, who had marched with us and fought with us against a tyrannical Jayawardene and Premadasa regimes,” said Brito Fernando, a tireless disappearances campaigner, now fighting for justice for missing peoples’ families from the Northern Province. Instead, activists like Dr. Nimalka Fernando claim President Rajapaksa is now sending in his proxies and bands of monks to obstruct the same causes he once championed. Terrified and weeping, the families from the North who had gathered at the Centre for discussions, returned home on 4 August, following the disruption, which occurred in full view of several members of the Colombo based diplomatic community. The ‘monks’ labelled them ‘Mahaveer families’ and insisted that the police ‘finish off the traitors’ or send them to be hanged. The freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in post-war Sri Lanka, referred to in all Government statements regarding these repeated disruptions and in which the State almost always sides with the marauders, is increasingly reserved only for pro-Government protestors and mobs. The state of affairs has come to such precipice that a band of Government ministers met with the Chief Prelates in Kandy yesterday, to brief them about the conduct and activities of the Bodu Bala Sena and their affiliates. Ministers in President Rajapaksa’s own cabinet can no longer tolerate the impunity these hardline groups enjoy, with Minister Mervyn Silva, bizarrely, issuing scathing statements against Gnanasara Thero, insisting that his conduct and his words were an affront to Buddhism.

As the regime builds this ‘wonder of Asia’, 41 Sri Lankans – most of them Sinhalese – recently boarded a rickety boat, undertaking a perilous journey at sea to seek out greener pastures and work opportunities in New Zealand.

To say things are topsy-turvy would be to understate matters. Something is seriously askew in post-war Sri Lanka, and it has little to do with UN inquiries or international conspiracies. Impunity reigns, from the smallest village to the top most tiers of governance and the regime has mixed up its priorities to a level that is laughable if it weren’t also tragic in every way. Where state run schools and hospitals, public transport and utilities are in deplorable condition, in the capital and outside, this is the regime that spends millions on fish-tanks and sculptures, tens of millions on architects that must travel to heritage cities in Europe to draw inspiration and recreate in Colombo. Corruption and nepotism have reached unprecedented levels; levels that make information about the extent of the problem difficult to contain. And still, the regime builds and it rebuilds, carpeted roads in the Northern Province, burnt out homes in Aluthgama, 100 kmph highways and the world’s most expensive railway tracks, little realising that the post-war society it is constructing is unstable at its core.  The disconnect between the Sri Lanka the rulers claim to be forging and the grim reality of the present, is no recipe for equitable development. A people, marginalised and oppressed, fearful for the future and denied their basic needs, belies the beautiful picture the regime is painting, and increasingly, the ugly underbelly will begin to show. Whether the bright lights and glittering fountains will suffice to keep the populace gaping, distracted and forgiving, time will tell.

Courtesy Daily FT

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Latest comments

  • 5
    7

    according to the dumb [Edited out]living is slums is preferable . I am sure this woman never had to live in a slum a single day . What is wrong in having a nice city . ask the people living in chennai where people shit by the side of the road . Spend all their money to run to singapore to see is nice clean city . and be waxed lyrical about it but want the slums in colombo

    what a joke .

    cheers

    Abhaya

    • 5
      3

      Abhaya

      “ask the people living in chennai where people shit by the side of the road .”

      Could you tell us where exactly you spotted this shit. We could ask Manisekaran to get some Sri Lankies from this island to clean it.

      • 0
        3

        Yes we will send your type .

        Cheers

        Abhaya

        • 3
          1

          Abhaya

          “Yes we will send your type.”

          Of course I will go.

          I promise you I can get a better deal than any other employment agency.

          I will negotiate legally binding contracts on behalf of your people.

          Good pay

          Excellent working conditions

          Free medical treatment

          Good accommodation

          Pension schemes

          Career path and promotion prospects

          Twice a year free return tickets.

          The right to moonlight on the sight.

          After five years of uninterrupted service the workers will have automatic rights to apply for permanent stay and after two years will have the option to apply Hindian citizenship.

          And many more.

          If one is asked to serve the people one is more than willing to accept the responsibility.

          When do you want me to start?

          • 0
            1

            Thanks but no thanks .

            Cheers

            Abhaya

            • 2
              0

              Abhaya

              “Thanks but no thanks.”

              Do you still think UK returned Sinhala/Buddhist Banda can get you a better deal than that I have offered you?

              Take care.

              Americans are killing unarmed blacks. You will be mistaken for one.

    • 3
      0

      Glad the slums are gone, but you’ve got to admit that the development of the city is going far beyond the per-capita productivity. Average Sinhala man will thus feel disgruntled of nice things beyond his level, and unavailable to him. Here he is taught to sing Sinhala tunes of Sinhala renaissance, but European renaissance things that he can’t afford is too much to bear. So, he has started pulling the hair of the poor Muslims.

      • 0
        0

        These racial issues were always there , it has nothing to do with per capita productivity or what ever you make it out to be . it only needed a bigot like Gnasara to bring forth . and if you think it is not the case in any other country you are dreaming .

        Cheers

        Abhaya

        • 3
          0

          Definitely per capita productivity-loss is due to racial issues. For Sinhala-Lion-Race masses, Aryanism is part of Buddhism (courtesy Anagarika Dharamapala and Olcott). This has created a culture of racial intolerance that has disintegrated Lankan communities, and destroyed the ability for the country to perform at any decent level. Masses have succumbed to violence at the slightest provocation. They should have found economic and cultural solutions, especially as the modern civilized-day is set up with structures and concepts to combat these sorts of things (after Nazism, and since the civil rights movement in the US). But instead, racial violence has erupted decade after decade after decade since independence, and doesn’t seem to be ever stopping. It has severely crippled our country over and over again. Even at this time, one sees Gosl move very little to combat the racist monks, either out of fear of the masses or out of support for the racist ideology.

          The other places I have lived in – S.E. Asia, Australia and the US, do not have this kind of thing at all. If they do have some of it, it is because these countries have people who are totally different from their race groups e.g. Whites and Blacks. In S.E Asia, there is a little bit of animosity between Malays and Chinese, but rarely with the violence Sri Lanka has seen – could one say that the Chinese are quite different from the Malays, and Chinese are newer immigrants from a totally different land. But as per the Sinhalese and Thamil, they both look exactly alike and have lived on the same small island for thousands of years.

          Indians have race and caste problems, but Indians, being Hindus, are more prone to accepting the castes they are born with. All castes live in symbiosis with each other(albeit miserably). The only race they fight with is the Muslims, but that is because the religions are totally different from each other.

          Buddhism, on the other hand, should not have any race and caste issues, and be as far, far away from the Indian mind set as possible. With the Thamil riots, religion was never the issue – the Aryan-Dravidian divide was the issue. The Muslim issue is a different situation, but in the end, what is seen is that even the Muslims are ‘demeaned” in some way as being South Indian Muhammadians.

          We are as bad as the Balkans, but they do not belong to the peaceful Buddhist religion of non-violence, non-race and non-caste like Sri Lanka is.

          No other place has it quite as embarrassingly as Lankan Buddhists relying on their genetic make-up to hold up their majority rights (which is actually a 28.3 : 71.7 Aryan:Dravidian ratio). Right now, it shows up very explicitly with Gnanasara and Ranawaka stirring up trouble. Other times it is there implicitly with Sinhalese society demeaning and belittling each other on racial origins. This majority mindset has also crossed over to other Lankan communities to an extent.

          We truly wish for the Sinhala-Lion-Race to lead the way and succeed. She has a long history. She has her own language, script and religion. We do not want to see Lanka partitioned. Partitioning of any sort would mean that the North’s proximity to Tamil Nadu would soon overwhelm the fragile South. Sinhalese-Lion-Race and their custodianship of the Buddhist religion would be under threat from Hinduism. Indeed, Sinhala-Buddhism is at threat from all other religions because of it Aryan-cult like mentality which make those of a true Buddhistic mindset start questioning their religion because of the lack of true Buddhistic substance.

          • 0
            2

            You have either lived a ver short time in those places or hve lived like an idiot who does not get out much . I have lived in exactly the same palces you claimed to have lived in and the situation is exactly the same in every one of the places . Race has nothing to do with if they look like eich other . for an out sider they will not be able to tell the difference between a malay and a chinese or a turk and a greek . or a bosnial or a croat . This does not mean there is no distinct racial identity .

            in fact Anagarika Dharmapala was right . the Arians are the northen indian people . the word comes from sanskrit and pali , but unlike the fake german Aryans the Indian arayans did not protice genocide .

            Get a book and read a little . it wont kill you .

            Cheers

            Abhaya

            • 1
              0

              I have lived out of Sri Lanka from the time I was a child. Race has everything to do with things. An outsider might not be able to tell the difference between races, but the race themselves can identify each other by looking at each other from first instant for most part. However, when Lankans looks at each other, it is impossible to tell the difference between Sinhalese and Thamilfor most part, or indeed, at all.

              Aryans are Iranian(like most of the Lankan Muslims). At Angarika Dharmapala’s time, the average North-Indian(on which Sinhalese base their DNA-testing on), called themselves Bengali and Orrisa-people. The word Arya itself means “Noble” in Sanskrit. Yet Aangarika chose to use it in a racial sense, and convinced the average Sinhala-Buddhist that he was of pure-Aryan race (not knowing that North Indians were also a huge mixture of Dravidian).

              • 0
                1

                you are a total idiot , aryans are irannians !! lmfao . sanskrit is an iranian language !! . Sure what ever you fool .

                Cheers

                Abhaya

                • 0
                  0

                  Ok…ok…..alright……..Lankan Muslims come for all over the place, and not only Iran….that is the beauty of Islam – all races are equal once one becomes a Muslim (pity about the hand and other body-parts chopping).

                  And Sinhalese might have an Aryan gene or two percent point more than the Thamils(making them very ignoble in trying to prove superiority as what the Nazis did……if fact Nazis created all of what they did because the Jews were getting the better of them and looked more superior to them).

                  But the point is that that dirty wore “Aryan” has been used time and time again to stir up violence…..even in Sri Lanka. Time for Sinhalese to realize,acknowledge and honor their Dravidian roots, without compromising their heritage to Thamilian Nation (stoked up after Sinhala mobs attacked them over and over again, decade after decade after independence).

                  • 0
                    0

                    I dont see the beauty of Islam . I am sorry . There is more violence due to islam today than anything else . and every race is mixed . but to deny they exist is just cloaking reality . its like talking about the gonibilla or santa claus to children . and just bashing the mahavansa does not solve anything . every race or group of people have these stories . that does not make it or them evil . every cronicle like this is mixed with fact and myth . just go look at the viking chronicles or the tales of king arthur .

                    Just because there are pigs like Gnasara does not mean all sinhlese are racist . just because there were pigs like prabakaran it does not men all tamils are stupid either .

                    The key is despite every thing they complain about people in the island have a chance . which before 2009 they did not have . it is easy for writers like bastian to whine and whinge . but they never paid any price to have the freedom to do so . That is why I dont gave a rats arse about their opinions .

                    Cheers

                    Abhaya

                    • 1
                      0

                      Abhaya

                      “Just because there are pigs like Gnasara does not mean all sinhlese are racist.”

                      All Sinhala/Buddhists are racists, and there are too many of them.

                      Are you one of those Sinhala/Buddhist?

                      ” just because there were pigs like prabakaran it does not men all tamils are stupid either”

                      Come on, all Tamils are stupid just like their Sinhala brethren. If you haven’t known their shared common trait then it makes you one of them.

    • 1
      0

      This [Edited out] would never stop doing so.
      He is born to [Edited out] of Rajapakshes or any goons that are born to destroy our nation for their personal gains.
      Uva PEOPLE will show it soon is what is becoming obvious. Even if one would straighten the dog tail, Abhayas or the like will never change their attitude. It is like cancerous cells that have no therapies sofar.
      This kind of men and women are the major fraction of the lanken population that is why we the people have to face it today. Who else would ever given a chance people Like Rajapakshes. War winning was alles oder nicht – all or not mode tasK But to live up own fantasies through the life losses of the own citizens for their own gains is what Raja has achieved to this day. Not the least signs are there, when the people would ever reach permament peace in this country. So long this kind of leaders are bieng elected nothing worst will be the result.

  • 6
    0

    Sounds like a Society Woman going out to Parties, Dressed to Kill, with Make up, Shoes and Handbag to match, while Her children are left to fend for themselves at Home!

    • 4
      1

      OR to put it another way, Colombo these days is all fur coat and no knickers.

      • 2
        2

        Spring Koha

        “OR to put it another way, Colombo these days is all fur coat and no knickers.”

        Are you being titillated by the mere thought of it?

        Could you pass the contact details to Jimsofty, Banda, Maveeran, … and other tight a…d nationalists. They too need to enjoy a flash or two from these woman.

      • 0
        1

        What better way to join ‘civilisation’.

        • 2
          1

          Ramu

          “What better way to join ‘civilisation’.”

          Here is a report on civilisation, you should be proud of. We also know the comparable statistics of other countries. Hence stick to this island.

          Sri Lanka to end child labour by 2016
          By admin on August 14, 2014

          Sri Lanka is one of many countries which has ratified ILO conventions on child labour and has also developed a Road Map to achieve zero tolerance for the worst forms of child labour across the island by 2016, the ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives said today.

          As part of this commitment, the Ampara District, home to approximately 2,200 girls and boys in exploitative employment, has declared it will be a child labour free zone by 2016.

          The Child Activity Survey (2008/9) conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics indicates that a 107,259 children (excluding the Northern province) are entrapped in child labour of whom 63,916 are in hazardous forms of child labour. The report has also captured hazardous forms of child labour as determined in the Ministry of Labour regulations.

          According to this report, Ampara is home to approximately 2,200 girls and boys in exploitative employment. Many more are at risk of falling prey to child labour, given the erratic school attendance recorded. The District of Ampara marked this day with a declaration of making the District a Child Labour Free Zone by 2016.

          Expressing his thoughts during the launch, Chief Guest, Gamini Lokuge, Minister of Labour and Labour Relations, stated that, as a government, Sri Lanka has ratified 40 ILO Conventions including all eight Core Conventions. He also stated that in 2010 at the Global Child Labour Conference in The Hague, Netherlands, Sri Lanka made a commitment to help achieve a world free of the worst forms of child labour by 2016.

          To make this commitment a realistic one, Sri Lanka is now implementing the Road Map developed with the assistance of the ILO to reach zero tolerance of the worst forms of child labour in Sri Lanka by 2016. This will be an island-wide programme. The Minister further noted the Government cannot achieve this noble goal alone and requested all government officials at all levels to support this initiative.

          Neil De Alwis, District Secretary Ampara led the pledge process and he expressed his commitment in mobilizing all stakeholders in the district towards eradicating all forms of child labour.

          http://colombogazette.com/2014/08/14/sri-lanka-to-end-child-labour-by-2016/

      • 2
        1

        Spring Koha

        Could you also pass the contact details to Ram. He/she/it too desperately need some amusement.

        He/she/it needs a way out from Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto/bunker mentality.

        Thanks

  • 8
    1

    Thank you for this well written article about the sad state of affairs in Sri Lanka. “All that glistens” is a very apt title and the author should be congratulated for telling it like it is. Sri Lanka wll never be the same again thanks to the lunatics who govern the country.

  • 2
    1

    Sri Lanka is given the ” Botox ” injection …plastic surgery …to make
    its body look beautiful without realizing that inside is rotting..and without
    treating the underneath the whole body would collapse…die..what an ugly picture
    The Govt is like the Doctor who administered it …
    at least the Doctor gave the treatment at the request of the client…
    But the Govt…
    hik…hik…hik…
    They inject everything at their will and collect fee…!!!!!!

  • 6
    0

    There is no denying that many things structural are glistening like gold and not tinsel. However, everything that glistens, is not bright enough to drive away the darkness and misery that has become the burden of the multitude.

    Sri Lankans are like the fish swimming within the limits of the glass topped pond Dharisha describes- going round and round, but yet going no nowhere. They are even cared for by the armed forces-in this instance the navy- as we are. I am sure those living outside Sri Lanka see in us the fish in this fancy pond- hapless citizens living in a beautiful island, that has been made our prison. We can swim, we can eat, we can breath, we can breed and we can defecate, but we are not permitted to voice our opinion, protest, complain and demand. We have to accept the status-quo, as these fish have to. We are of course like carps, that are kept in ponds, fed and cared for, but ultimately can also be eaten.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 0
    0

    Beautification of Colombo reminds me of the sinhala saying:” Pukata Villootha – Badata Lunu – kaenda”!

    • 0
      0

      obviously [Edited out]

  • 3
    1

    Great article Dharisha, it gives the readers a good idea of what is really happening in this country.
    On the one hand we have a boru show of new roads, beautiful walking paths, arcades and fountains, and the other side of the coin shows, corruption, racism, saffron robed thugs intimidating the minority, murder and mayhem, and nothing being done about it.
    A beautiful nation WITHOUT the ugliness and the dishonest leadership, would be ideal.

  • 0
    0

    In any other country the private sector would have led in new arcade or dutch hospital.Look around asia and see where has govt led such activity?
    Private sector should be the engine of growth not a ministry !
    Glass is used in other parts of the world,never heard of it requiring divers with wipers.
    Sidewalk and Pavers on roads are not thought of as inadequate parking provided thus commercial establishments will suffer.

    Road size reduced/smaller due huge and unneccesary mid section.
    No elevated pedestrian crossings either.Expect more “wonders” !

    • 3
      0

      ‘Mada Pokuna’
      This Government mistakenly believes that Dubai and its Artificial Manmade Displays are the ideal to follow, while destroying all our Natural Assets and the beautiful Smiles of our People, in the Process.

      Whereas Tourists, for whom these Shows are put on, prefer the Natural Wonders and History that Sri Lanka can boast of, which are Attractions that Tourists from ‘Over’ Developed Countries are looking For!

      • 0
        1

        Don’t be a frog in the well Rationalist. If you do not travel, go to a library and read how things are organised in other decent countries. Tourist or no tourist, everyone is better of with orderly traffic, pedestrian footpaths, walking tracks, open spaces, well kept parks and gardens, well lit, well maintained and where necessary multi laned roads with proper road signs, designated areas for street traders, recreation etc.. etc.
        There in no rule that private sector only should be doing these work. It is economy, efficiency, effectiveness and value for money that we need to be concerned with – of course other national security considerations like the need to maintain a sizable defence force for some time to come for obvious reasons.

        • 1
          0

          ‘Paul’ Are you one of those ‘Tourist Ducks’ who think that Dubai and Singapore and their Sterile Shopping Malls, are the ‘Cat’s Whiskers’?

          Tourists, (not ‘Investors’) who come from affluent Countries:-

          “that are better off with orderly traffic, pedestrian footpaths, walking tracks, open spaces, well kept parks and gardens, well lit, well maintained and where necessary multi-laned roads with proper road signs, designated areas for street traders, recreation etc.. etc.” … UGH!!!!!

          Why would they travel to countries like ours expecting to have the same luxuries?
          They like to see how the other half lives, and see their Unique Lifestyles, History and Natural Wonders, that have been lost in their Own Countries, due to the race for ‘Developed Uniformity’.

          • 1
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            Rationalist

            “They like to see how the other half lives, and see their Unique Lifestyles, History and Natural Wonders, that have been lost in their Own Countries, due to the race for ‘Developed Uniformity”.

            This is one important factor that is lost in translation. Development has become a standardised commodity, fitting all sizes into one.

            My Elders who travel far and wide pointed out how Singapore has become a country of “Clockwork” project, but has lost its soul and variety.

  • 2
    2

    The article is full of innuendo and hearsay. I do not imagine a corruption free society any minute. Although what is the difference between this and a kitchen table talk?

    The cost of a glass slate is too high compared to what? In a world where everything is relative give something to compare with. Furthermore how does the venture measure up as a whole? Do the numbers add up? Is it making enough income to meet the costs? What are the projections ..

    If there is corruption site a concrete example. Investigative journalism is not this isnt it? Its like reading something that was written in kindergarten.

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