By R.A. Ratwatte –
It is Avurudhu time again and here I am in a foreign country, not ungrateful for the lifestyle but missing so much… Missing the smell of frying kavun and kokis. The general hustle and bustle and excitement around the house. The ever prevalent call of the KOHA, in the background .
We do get some of the Avurudhu sweet meats here but pani walalu, Konda kavum, Kalu dodol…freshly made, or hot hot off the pan as we used to say, are luxuries beyond our reach.
When we miss these things and when our Children are denied these things, we stop and wonder what are we doing here why are we not back where we belong? The answers are many and varied but when one removes the ethnic conflict and the foolish language issues that preceded it, neither of which affected me or my family directly, one moves to deeper more insurmountable reasons.
Politics and a general decline in standards and values that have been caused by irresponsible politicians features high on the list of reasons for leaving my mother land. A culture of taking bribes and other forms of gratification that is the norm today, I could never relate to. Promotions given to “YES” men or relations with no regard for ability, Sri Lanka is a Country where you could actually keep a good man down! How many people who deserved promotion and recognition were overlooked for other reasons? How many of you are reading this piece from another Country?
Non retirement of all senior people until they are warded in geriatric homes! Just look around you all the chairmen and managing directors around …how old are they? Where is the incentive for a young man to work hard and aim at the top when the top is always moving further and further away!
The corruption of Buddhism and the utterly wrong manner in which it is practiced today. Even in the span of one generation I have seen this so clearly. The priests are no longer living according to the Vinaya or the code of conduct that is so clearly defined for them. What is more there are no laymen or senior monks to say that this is wrong. It is condoned and even encouraged, this desecration of our noble philosophy.
The utterly bogus values and standards or lack thereof, practiced by society in general. Would you pawn your jewellery to “celebrate” the New Year? Too many of our people do, so that the people next door won’t think they are having hard times! Children growing up without their mothers’ as the mothers have been sent into semi-slavery in the Middle East. Fathers living on these earnings, consorting with other women, drinking, on drugs and of course driving the inevitable 3 wheeler.
It is so encouraging to see what this New Government is trying to do but the quick results that a section of the press and society are calling for is actually a result of them being used to the autocratic decisions of those who ruled them in the past. An oxymoron in the sense that they call for justice but want it dealt out by kangaroo courts or presidential decree. They want democracy to prevail but when it does and a parliamentary vote is actually lost it is considered a failure!
The only hope for those of us who have left based on the fact that the Country is not one that we would want our children to grow up, not one that we would wish to earn our living in, IS this Government and what it stands for. Shame on all of you detractors on the only salvation available for Mother Lanka!
Ours is a sick society, indeed ASICKLAND as depicted by the irrepressible Chaminda Pusswedilla.