14 December, 2019

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How Much Of Our Humanity, Do We Have To Sacrifice To “Save” The Country?

By Kasun Kamaladasa

Kasun Kamaladasa

From last year I’ve been thinking how to write a compelling argument on why we should try to change our culture that conveniently places blame on people without a voice, for all our shortcomings. So instead of giving readers thousands of statistics, explanations and theories I thought, I’d try something else.

It was quite unfortunate that a year ago, we had to witness a president of a country standing on a stage and mocking sexual orientation of people, while attempting to humiliate his rivals and justify his disregard for democracy, applauded by a former president and a whole bunch of people who call themselves future leaders.

Few months later came a well-orchestrated terrorist drama, just like in every country that was forced to pick an authoritarian, as the leader. This time instead of humiliation, the same leaders chose creating fear against a voiceless minority that left them to suffer and to adapt as they could to the backlash.

Then came “Viyathmaga” a group claiming to be the top brains of the country because they have university professors who have not managed to at least eradicate university ragging in their own back yard. Ragging that has forced thousands to suffer/die/leave in silence.

Now closer to the election, I am perplexed by how willingly one chooses to be ignorant about female hygiene just so they may ridicule their opponent amongst the uneducated. It seems irrelevant or maybe beyond their understanding that this comes at the expense of silencing those who need help and protection, the most.

Amongst these political spectacles the incident that saddened me the most was the bullying and belittling of a young female debate member. who asked something along the line of “Why am I 18 years old in a country with so many ethnicities and I only have friends from one? Why have all past governments separated us?”. For me younger peers have always offered great hope and inspiration. This question is actually one such instance, in which tremendous maturity and understanding of segregation, were shown. But our future leaders promptly asked her to either shut up or search random names in Facebook and make a friend, and yes, these are the same leaders who are planning to bring cutting edge digital communication technologies.

Maybe why we have become so ignorant of our own society is because the people who are supposed to raise new ideas have instead started to nurture politicians that serve their greed. Universities where ideas should be debated and argued, have become passive lecture halls and dull examination centers. Politicians, with the use of religion, have effectively narrated a two dimensional story that everyone seems to be stuck in. Probably the worst situation is that our artists seem to be choosing political parties instead of ideas.

I have come to learn that Art is the soul of any society and artists are able to explain complexities of life that cannot be explained the same way in any other form.

So instead of writing I thought of sharing a list of songs that I myself have fallen in love with so readers may listen and come to their own understanding of what I am trying to compile (I have tried to include songs for all taste and ones with historical significance so feel free to read literature reviews and history to gain more context)

War
Where have all the flowers gone – The Kingston Trio (A simple song with so much meaning)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI3QVsW30j0
Five Finger Death Punch – Wrong Side Of Heaven
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_l4Ab5FRwM

Peace
Imagine – John Lennon (I don’t know how we still don’t have better dreams after 50 years)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpTzkiul8Iw
The Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love? (after 9/11 asking the right question instead of spreading fear)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc

Gender Identity
HollySiz – The Light
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf79KXBCIDg
Lady Gaga – Born This Way (An iconic song that brought Gender Identity a new Level)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV1FrqwZyKw

Accepting beyond traditional love
Hozier – Take Me To Church
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVjiKRfKpPI
Mary Lambert – She Keeps Me Warm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhqH-r7Xj0E

Traditions
Aaradhna – Brown Girl(When your skin/assumed culture, stereotypes/confines you)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnAFtNksXDE
“Weird” Al Yankovic – Amish Paradise(Simplicity might not be what we consider it out to be)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOfZLb33uCg

Rape
MILCK – Quiet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cc_neVdjb4

Death and Regret
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ

Depression
Mad World – Gary Jules
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N3N1MlvVc4
Eminem – Stan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfnnQS4je-k

There are plenty more amazing artists and songs and not just in English, but in various different languages, hope someone might even share their favorite song that changed their world view.

I’d like to share one last song and dedicate it to the courageous girl who opened many closed eyes by asking the most important question that we face in Sri Lanka today “why am I 18 and still without a friend from a different ethnicity?”

Louis Armstrong – What a wonderful world
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWzrABouyeE

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow

They’ll learn much more

Then I’ll ever know

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself

What a wonderful world

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Latest comments

  • 13
    1

    Very moving and so much food for thought. Why can’t everyone realise that humanity is above ethnicity caste creed or race?

    • 7
      2

      NINE REASONS WHY I DON’T WANT GOTA
      1. Because I want my people to live free of fear-expressing their thoughts in free and open exchange without being assaulted, killed on the roads or maimed.
      2. Because I want my people to be prosperous with free enterprise booming and investments coming freely from the West and East. We have to friends with the West that buys 2/3 of our exports
      3. Because I want our judiciary and the law enforcement agencies to act free of political intimidation and political control. I want our CJ untouched by the political bastards.
      4. Because I want an end to family control
      5.Because I want everybody equal before the law
      6. Because, I want decent men and women in parliament and not ruffians who look around for money in every transaction and who, every time they open their mouths, they lie.
      7. Because I want rulers who are humble, who listen to the people and attend to their needs
      8. Because I want an end to racism and religious fanaticism and I want a nation that is built on harmonious relationships.
      9. More specifically, because Gota is really a coward who is unable to show documents and who holds his heart and runs to hospital whenever court summons him over indictments relating to fraud, money laundering, bribery, murder-or whatever. If he is a courageous and strong man hew will attend court and clear his soiled reputation

  • 8
    1

    Thank you, Kasun Kamaladasa. That was an eye opener and a breath of fresh air. May your tribe increase..

  • 3
    5

    Hey…..great song list. Very evocative for the soul.

    so I write a poem (posted it before on another article….made some changes) :

    ‘Twas the night before elections
    When all thro’ the land,
    Not a creature was stirring
    Not even a man

    Ranil in bed with night-cap on head,
    Whilst visions of Sinhalese danced in his head
    Those wicked people who boast screech and gibber,
    Who kill all the Dravids, and then howl, crouch, and whimper
    Those lying monkeys with culture of perversions,
    That lie through their teeth, then blame others with delusion
    So he came to the decision once and for all,
    To sell our beloved Motherland, Sinhalese and all,
    With land-bridge to India; Pangea reborn!

    And Sajith asleep all coddled and cosy,
    Dreamed of the Motherland ship-shaped and rosy
    Abacus in one hand and computer in other,
    He took all the numbers and output much wonder
    Division of the Motherland if there was a glitch,
    Sale of the Country if all went amiss

    Gotabaya all shaky and murmur-y,
    Took a tonic to wipe out disharmony
    Brother Mahinda took over the reins,
    And sent all his reindeer for loans he could gain
    To China to Peking and Russia and all,
    With some US thrown in with his good luck shawl
    Crossing his fingers and chanting his blessing,
    He prayed for High-Rises, Benzes, Malls, & Grand Weddings

    • 3
      3

      As for AKD, now what did he do?
      He dreamed of the harsh-life the Masses endure
      He dreamed that the Santa-Clause and his 12 feisty reindeer,
      Placed gifts from the 1% at the poor man’s dank kussiya
      Gifts slid down the chimneys soot-laden and all,
      And brought great tears of happiness, love, and much joy

      Then the Devas descended with the Heavenly Code from 4th-D,
      And told AKD to avoid at all costs, the Capitalistic monetary-tree

      *We’ve created and invented nothing of any*
      *For our capital to multiply and dance the hell-merry*
      *Our farmers and fishers and forests and tours*
      *Will yield all that’s needed for our Island’s assurance*
      *Whilst living in tradition and non-stressed environs*
      *You will bring in the 4RI, 5IR, 6IR, with greatest abundance*

      So Anura afloat in his now 12th-D wonder,
      Let the Devas take care of his country from up yonder
      He slept through much sadness at the long centuries of frustration,
      His Lankans had suffered at the hands of Colonization
      He knew what the Devas had said was so true,
      And rested his weary head on their sweet heavenly allure (rtf)

      Vote JVP everyone!

      • 2
        3

        ramona therese fernando

        “Vote JVP everyone!”

        Why not Sivajilingam?
        Day before yesterday you supported the clan.
        Yesterday you supported Hopper Sirisena forgetting the coup.
        Today JVP.
        Who will you support day after tomorrow, Namal Baby?

        • 0
          0

          NV,
          I always had JVP in mind, but they were never around. At last they are around. Clan is my no. 2 choice. After JVP does the good work of building up the country for 8 years from inside out, Namal can take over. Sirisena did the best he could to bring change. It was impossible under the ultra-established parties. No, only a radical one like the JVP can bring out the desired and essential change.

        • 0
          0

          And NV……I have to guts to support the JVP in spite of the odds. Must always stay true to what is best for the country, and not what team has a higher chance of winning.

        • 0
          0

          Dear Native,

          Please enjoy the Poem , Mate, without being still bitter about thinking Keselwatta Kid may upset Dr Ranil’s MOU Mk 11 with Sampathar and also Sivajilingam this time..

          BTW , Mr Elders tell me Dr Ranil seems so cool even yesterday after the Polling closed.
          And Nandasena scoring 62 % of the postal Vote in Galle District , where Dr Ranil’s UNP served Green Kiribath to our poor UnP Dalits in Galle Town last time..

          Wonder why Dr Ranil is so relaxed.
          Has he thought of another Rabbit out of his Hat while having a nap at Srikotha as Ramona says..

          Could the Rabbit be that Upul Jayasooriya?..

      • 1
        0

        Ramona,

        Never knew you have such talent to write Poems in English..
        And has so much knowledge of all those lovely feel good Songs too from the past. .

        I read a poem this morning in a Sinhala web Rag about the same topic as yours,
        And I thought I will try to put in my best English without losing the essence.
        I will show it to my Elders first before putting it here..

        • 0
          0

          Will love to read it K.A. Sumanasekera.

    • 1
      1

      RTF
      Wow, hidden talent, eh!
      Yes, lofty heights indeed.
      Impressive 👍👌✅

      • 0
        0

        Hey thanks G.C.

  • 8
    3

    A compelling article by presumably a younger person.

    It’s 71 years since independence, and it seems, as a country we haven’t progressed much. It might be due to the divisive Politics in Sri Lanka and non emergence of a Statesman like Leader who had a vision for a prosperous, bright and peaceful future Sri Lanka. There are many countries that are younger than Sri Lanka, that have advanced in all spheres of economic and social activities. Most politicians in Sri Lanka appear to have put the interest of self before the interest of the Nation.

    Looking back, most elected Leaders of Sri Lanka have been elected to Office in their more advanced years (more than 60 years old). Now there is a candidate who is much younger (52 years old) with a declared ‘new’ vision for Sri Lanka. He appears to have won the hearts and minds mostly of the ‘poor and downtrodden’. He has vowed to make many revolutionary changes to how we operate as a Nation which includes a young and corrupt free Cabinet. He has already demonstrated his capacity to work and deliver on his promises. If given the opportunity, there is some hope that he will deliver and make good on his promises. So please place your valued vote against the ‘swan’ and give him an opportunity. The other duo (MR/NGR) are in their dotage: they have been already tried and tested and we have already experienced their disastrous performances. A leopard never changes its spots!

  • 1
    5

    Mr Kamaladasa, you ask the question, “How Much Of Our Humanity, Do We Have To Sacrifice To “Save” The Country?”
    /
    The answer is clear. If it is all of it, let it be.
    /
    We need to save the economic, cultural and democratic decline of this country by ending the yapalana fraud here with.
    /
    Is tha clear now?

  • 5
    2

    Kasun , excellent piece of writing Bro. My mom is above 90 years old and I am half of her age and sadly we both feel , we can try all we want but Lankans will never get it. They have regressed so much so, that they have hit the bottom. Even countries in Africa and other poor countries, have now realized that growth and development begins from home. Only if a mother is healthy then the children and family will be healthy . So now they are actively promoting health consciousness among women, health of women and children, educating women on health awareness – – – etc. Where as our Lankans including leaders are so ignorant, arrogant in making fun of these issues. The result of which, we see in rise in violence and crimes against women and children, abuse, malnutrition, poor parenting skills, drugs and alcohol abuse, school dropouts among girls —-etc. Lankans will never experience that feeling of “what a wonderful world”.

  • 1
    0

    Please spread peace and love. Do not quarrel with anyone and with each other. Because the world is end one day. Means we all people will die one day so there is no profit to quarrel with anyone or with each other. Please spread this message to all the world

  • 0
    0

    Native Veddah often mentions the low iq rating of Sri Lanka
    African nations also have a low iq rating.
    And they have the similar problems to Sri Lanka where communal hatred takes centre
    stage. It is not a coincidence.

    • 1
      1

      JohnSiva

      I am sorry it is our great resource man Amarasiri who very often mention IQ scores. Look he is right once again if election predictions come true.

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