By Ravindra Galhena –
These days Sri Lankans are bombarded with various and diverse opinions, views, thoughts and standpoints on different subject areas. People are now sharing views at an unprecedented rate. I do believe that the controversial subjects such as ‘politics’ and ‘society’ would take the top slots if one did a ranking. In my view, there are three reasons for this; (1) The reaffirmed freedom of expression (2) The liberal media policy (3) The endless quality space provided for written materials by various electronic platforms such as the “Colombo Telegraph” (CT).
Per day, CT itself runs four or five interesting articles/features written by various scholars, professionals and academics, so are many of such sites. Most writers disclose their real identity which is a good trend. The readers are given the opportunity to interact among themselves and with the writers very freely through further exchanges of views in the form of comments and remarks. In this process, the contents become more balanced intellectual material overall. This is an ideal democratic way of educating ourselves on contemporary issues, isn’t it?
Usually, we all write on the subjects that are closest to our hearts (I wrote my very first CT article 10 days back). We discuss various issues connected and how they could be resolved to bring win/win outcomes on a democratic path. Invariably, the country and fellow citizens (society) become priority for most of us writers.
This is all good. But, I reckon, this process should not or cannot end only with an exchange of ideas or views in the discussions vital (at least) to the country. We anticipate a tangible change, don’t we? Hope the readers will not misunderstand me here. As the saying goes, it is easier said than done! The most crucial and challenging part is taking appropriate and timely action. Have we thought about this element carefully?
More often than not, there are matters that require action to realise the results we would like to see. Having said that I must admit that we might not have the power in our personal capacity to change certain realities of life. But there are a number of areas, where we could see tangible results, if some of us take the lead to change the direction of the wind to make our lives better.
One such area is the society and the work that should go in to make it stronger. Our society has eroded big time on all fronts! As a collective it has no power. We have heard people blaming politicians for this debacle and it could well be the case, but we must move on – we cannot afford to get bogged down there. While we discuss the issues to understand the matters in the right perspective, we must initiate corrective action. Personally, I do not see any alternative to this. Discussion and concerted action must go hand-in-hand if we intend seeing satisfactory results (sooner).
Personally, I am determined to commit myself for improvement of our society and human capital – some of you might like to help me or work together in this endeavour. Also, there can be others who are interested in taking action in their chosen areas to contribute to the rebuilding of our nation.
*Writer is a Maritime Consultant who has lived, worked, studied and researched in the UK for 12 years. He can be contacted on email; firstname.lastname@example.org