By Ven. P. Wachissara Thero –
Today, the most argued and debated heading in all platforms of communication is KNDU Act. Although it has many interpretations from different parties, the Act itself is a hard-to-find copy in Sri Lanka. That itself is a reflection of transparency and democratic standards of the country, which portraits in upbringing a such a change in to Educational System.
We, humans, have past the era of inhuman acts of different faces. However, some of the left-over modes of genetic influences are now in stage in various formats. These deteriorated enactments of civilization deformities can cause severe damages to the whole system of civilized society unless otherwise tackled strategically.
Right to information Act (RTI) recently brought in to the Parliament was a successful democratic achievement in Sri Lanka, it could have brought to the table long ago. It implies that Doable Democracy is far ahead from where we are.
Dark Side of The Country
Sri Lanka now lacks Susanthika Jayasinghe like Runners to bring global medals to the country, no strong GDP ranks to go out in praying foreign funds. No personnel to develop a schematic draft to request an insurance claim (in relation to the pearl ship claim). No cricketers to win international games. No scientists like Arthur C. Clarke to conduct world renowned research.
Let us leave the overseas context and discuss local ground holds. Sri Lanka is now becoming a country of unsafe Childhood, Women rights violations, Democracy banned, Media suppress, Unemployment, youth unrest, etc. More cases ae piling in courts on crime and unjust. No cases being solved except political and politician force. However, rivalry over power and corruption are becoming increasingly high.
General perspective of the public is frustrating. In their view, “Decisions made after gaining independency in the country have caused more damages to the countrymen than previous regimes”. No development trend has emerged in the country identical to the nation even after state independency proclaimed. Tea, Rubber and more income generating businesses are colonized farming businesses. We all know that.
Every day, we cut trees grown to protect the tropical climate of the country. Every day, we upload a heavy container of unskilled women for foreign services. Kill animals and sell rare species to foreign countries. Consumption of Non-renewable resources has set Super Consumerism Goals. Abuse of vital resources of the country are at high ends. No or less measures being taken to protect the prevailing conditions.
Ethical standards of the country are in quarantined state. Press has no idea of confidentiality of involved parties except marketing. Oh God, where are you?
Prostitution is banned but it is everywhere. Child abuse is illegal and it is a capital heist but who cares? We are being socially abused in many circumstances; no organization stand out to scream on it.
How many cases can be able to file against, if we deep down into political manifestos of each party. A duty un attended.
Easter Sunday attack is an organized crime; justice delayed is justice denied. Are there any positive side to reiterate?
Bright Side of The Country
Yes, there are many positive aspects as well. We have a legal system but it needs amendments, and committed human resources to up hold the dignity. We have a political replica but it needs committed role models like Gandhi; an iconic Indian political role model who does not even wore a piece of cloth unless otherwise homemade. We do have a wealthy fertile ground but we need committed pairs of hands to cultivate. Further, a nature driven sensitive farming skin is only gained through traditional influence. Neither skills nor knowledge can generate that. We do have a resource rich Human power we all think ahead plan smartly but who is going to work? Even the best plan can be a worst one if not implemented properly. For instance, the title upholds the Sri Lankan constitution. “Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”. Naming things and planning are much easier than working things out.
The Rat Cat Problem
Once, all the rats have gathered to discuss their issues in general. The major concern was about the cat. The rats’ Cat Problem is a symbolic representation of current Sri Lankan society. Where all the rats have planned smartly to tie a bell around the neck of the cat with a rope. This plan could have indicated the cats coming nearer to the rats. However, implementation process of the plan was an utter failure. This story brings awareness to many aspects of our lives, including political, social, financial and many more.
This article does not aim to conclude with negatives or black marks on rational thinking. There are relapses on behavioural conducts. It is acceptable. Any behavioural modification program can have deviations, but it should be within the standard error margins. Further, there should be follow up sessions to integrate the outliers to the normal desired behavioural conduct.
The above paragraph is a conceptual explanation of any given drive, including democracy. Although, we have a well planed desired behavioural outcome from the society under the heading of democracy, it may not be the case at all times. It does not mean to say we are abnormal, or partially or completely off the democratic path. Decisions that are threatening to our stand of democracy must be addressed adequately. Thereby, all the parties involved will have an opportunity to move forward with a growing inclination.
Newly proposed KNDU Act damagingly violates the democracy, which is unacceptable. As per the knowledge gained through reliable public sources, neither UGC nor academic communities have been given opportunities to make alterations of the proposed act adequately. Further, new Act on KNDU does not respect the well-established Universities Act of 1978, which has long been protecting the academic dignity in the country. Not only that, even the composition of proposed decision-making body within the KNDU Act has militarized the free education pathway of Sri Lankan nation. Further, no state university, educational institution should level or stand above the University Grants Commission. Not only that, Education and educational institutions must be supervised time to time, standards and the quality should be maintained.
In this rational thinking space, we also must address the much-debated argument of privatization or corporatization of education topic at least to some extent.
Free Education vs Freedom of Education
The Free education concept should not be a barrier to the freedom of education. Although we call it a free education, commercialization is a part of the process and invariably come into play in different degrees. State-owned institutions have agreeably or disagreeably crossed the line to be as well. The degree of commercialization of state institutions are varied. For example, the government hospital can give away a prescription to obtain services privately. A state university can charge some fees to provide examination services. However, in this process Free education and free health care services do not go in vain.
Free of charge service providing nature of particular institution in Sri Lanka does not implies solely on matters related to monetary transactions. These services are the basic needs of human life. Therefore, equal opportunity creation for all is also a part of establishment.
Equity and Equality
The equal opportunity creation can also be a problematic condition if not addressed the equity within the equal ground. Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Whereas, Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
Foreign Qualifications and Expenditure
Families by strong hardships invest more on children’s education. It is a productive output to the country by all means. Whether they have learned within the country or outside. Educated children will bring the wealth to the country, tangibly or intangibly. The question is about the money being spent on foreign institutions. In order to moderate that, we do need to device a mechanism. No doubt on it.
With that note, any observer with a serene mindset can understand that, the KNDU Act and few other recent Government decisions which have caused severe social unrest, have aroused due to failure of democratic decision-making process. On the other hand, of course elected government has only 60 months period. No time to sit and discuss, have lengthy conversations. On the contrary, do the government agents have the ability to oppose decisions made by higher authorities? Does the 2/3rd of the power indicates a kingship? Multi facets of views can be opening our eyes on different focuses. However, enquiry alone does not bring us to work.
People of this nation need results, outputs. They want their game to be the best game, need to bring Olympic Medals to the country, need employment; most of them are behind politicians to get a government job, they need quality food, public transportation should be well equipped, need parks to relax, roads with more lanes to run ambulances and emergency vehicles in a separate lane, need public sanitary facilities developed, no crime should take place, and must ensure the life security, tax imposes must be at minimum level or at least healthy cut offs, need public and privet property protection; at least a secure environment to run business, need education system to be more advanced to compete with global needs, people need trusted information through media, and of course, they need liquor of best quality, above all government should protect the sovereignty of the nation which is promised at the time of oath taken, all of this at the time of worst pandemic situation. can the government deliver expectations of the general public?
In the recent history there were no opposition party which had set go goal to right decisions of the government. It is about the exploitation of the opportunity and the power-hungry mindset. No family together can watch a parliamentary debate. Harassments, abuse and verbal Diarrhea of parliamentarians have spread the ethical deterioration disease to schools and every public institution. listening to disagreements is one of the major faces of democracy, how unfortunate we are? Have you ever had a third option to consider before walking into the voting booth, at least a second opinion?
You Must Be the Change You Wish to Be
In my belief, it is an impossible task to develop a country without developing the person, impossible to develop the economy of the country without developing household economy. It is impossible to develop the Businesses locally without developing entrepreneurial attitudes. It is impossible to develop a civilized behavioral movement without framing a Justice based Common legal framework which sees the act of involvement without seeing the faces of involves. It is impossible to imagine a quality oriented out puts in any fields without addressing the Standards of relevant domain. In brief, it is invariably an act of individual responsibility and responsibleness of each and every person of the country that brings collective output of the representation at global forums.
I heard that, A herd of fox cannot have a Lion as their Leader.
Where do you place Sri Lanka as a nation in your life decisions? How do you protect the dignity of the country being a countryman? After all, “Decision shapes destiny”, it is a must to uphold democracy while making decisions, especially governments democratically elected. No one should make decisions unless the decision-making responsibility vested in one’s shoulder. Let the relevant parties make decisions based on their expertise in the field. If we are to make decisions on behalf of the client or client cooperation, let us question our clients thoroughly and adequately. However, one should make one’s own decisions, Not anyone else. If desired, relevant parties can make suggestions with an empathizing mindset.
Development is crucial, and can only be validated if it is achieved only through democracy. Let us sit down on a leveled chair.
*Ven. P. Wachissara Thero, Senior Lecturer, Uva Wellassa University