17 October, 2021

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Only A Spiritual Intervention Can Save Sri Lanka

By Rasika Jayakody

Rasika Jayakody

Sri Lanka is rapidly sinking into a socio-economic chasm for a multitude of reasons; The economy is on the verge of bankruptcy and society is engulfed in power-hungry, self-seeking politics that has divided Sri Lankans sharply and decisively.

We must come to the realization that traditional political camps are no longer in a position to offer meaningful solutions to these deep-running ills and long-established miseries debilitating our society. In fact, they are also a vital part of this problem and seem unwilling to be a part of the solution.

It is pointless to debate whether this crisis originated in 1931, 1948 or 1977 as the collapse is rapidly reaching the point of no return. Intense debates on who is responsible for this systemic failure does not give us any insight into how the present situation can be overcome in order to usher in a stable future for Sri Lanka.

Nevertheless, it is critical to understand why every government that came into power since 1948 failed to deliver desired results contributing to the current situation Sri Lanka finds itself in. Was it because of partisan political interests or was it because of their insatiable and incurable greed for power?

The common understanding is that the insatiable greed for power on the part of politicians and the corruption associated with it are the root cause of Sri Lanka’s current plight. This is, in my view, an incomplete conclusion.

Politicians in Sri Lanka have a skewed sense of identity that makes them corrupt to the core in most instances. Their sense of identity often revolves around themselves, their families and friends or cronies. These extremely narrow boundaries of individualism propel them into corruption and abuse of power mainly to serve the interests of themselves, their families and friends.

Take, for instance, any mega or minor scale development project in Sri Lanka. Our politicians often approach such projects looking for avenues to fatten their own purses and fatten the purses of their families and friends in one way or another as well. They do not know any better, as their warped sense of identity and individualism does not allow them to see anything beyond these limited boundaries.

Even the current debate on the controversial Port City Bill is mostly centered around the fears that the project might be used for money laundering and to cater to the needs of a handful of unscrupulous “investors” in the long run, without serving the needs of the people.

Almost all major controversies in the recent past — be it the Treasury Bonds scam or the alleged sugar tax fraud — stem from the need to satisfy the greed of political cronies who are closely interlinked with those who wield political authority.

When it comes to a development project of any magnitude, our politicians begin the process with the question, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Even when such projects do not yield any tangible financial or materialistic benefits to themselves, they seek to utilize the outcomes of these initiatives to enhance their electoral prospects. Almost every development project in Sri Lanka, therefore, is tainted with personal interests causing irreparable damage to society.

Our task at this point is to foster a political culture in which this skewed sense of individualism and its narrow boundaries are challenged.

A good leader should have an inclusive identity that enables him to see every man’s problem as his own problem and every person’s well-being as his own well-being. The leader’s idea of identity and individuality should transcend ethnic, racial, religious boundaries and all forms of personal affiliations.

Such leaders, for instance, embark on social development projects without self-serving and self-seeking objectives and without limiting their benefits to a particular community or an electorate. They will always focus on the ‘big picture’ and not get carried away by temporary expediency and impulsions. The absence of such an approach has been Sri Lanka’s bane since achieving political independence from the British. 

How can Sri Lankans effect this change? In my understanding, this requires a larger spiritual intervention moving beyond traditional partisan politics. I believe many good-hearted people from all walks of life share the same sentiments about the future of Sri Lanka and the limitations of our political leaders. Unfortunately, they are confused as to where to begin and remain unconvinced whether such a change is possible.

This spiritual intervention should take the shape of a united force of goodness that will cure deep-rooted ills and long-established miseries created by the insatiable greed for power. It should replace the toxicity, ill-will and negativity associated with Sri Lankan politics and find its ideological base in global humanitarianism, compassion and loving-kindness.

Why do I call this a spiritual process and not a political process? I believe the spiritual energy and power of all well-meaning people in Sri Lanka can be purposefully used to bring about the spiritual conditions necessary for a new brand of politics in the country: This will transform Sri Lanka into a compassionate and empathetic society that looks into the welfare of all.

While it is true that a spiritual approach may not solve all problems caused by self-serving, power-hungry politics, it will, in the long run, cure the very basis of these problems and result in great paradigm shift through which other changes can be effected.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    5

    You got it Bro. Lets say timely interventions by West or/others , with help of spirituality is our only hope.

  • 3
    4

    I agree with your concept but there is a problem. I am convinced that there is a hidden hand that planned and executed a terribly evil scheme upon the inhabitants of this planet. The plan is aimed at erasing our memories of who we are and replacing our history with a fake version. In this fake version we are called upon to supplicate our selves in complete obedience to a hidden deity in exchange for material wealth, help with our day to day problems and most of all the afterlife. This obession with the afterlife is drilled into us so much so that we are told it is ok to suffer in this life for eternal rewards in the next. Well this is the ultimate Con game. While we are taken up with this con our populations have steadilliy risen unnoticed or deliberately ignored due to religeous zealotry. With the increase in the global population far out stripping its resources every imaginable problem has become amplified. This has allowed more deception and manipulation and allowed racist dictators to come to power. These right wing dictators make the problems worse in a positive feeback cycle. All the while the planet hurtles into a worsening crisis with no return.

  • 3
    4

    We can solve all our problems if we collectively work for the common good. To do this we have to recognize the evil intent prevalent on the planet in various religons and resist them. Develop our own mental capabilities thru meditation and education. In doing this we need to develop a defense against the dark lord to use a harry potter idea. This defense is vital for the evil is not present in the physical world but in the spiritual one. We have been gifted with a wonderful tool our very own brains. There is a lot more to this story but I will stop here. The historical connections to the existence of evil deception blew my mind when it first dawned on me. The connection to the lust to spill human blood and cause human misery is manifest in what is unfolding on this planet right now. Sri Lanka is a tragic example of it.

  • 2
    3

    Your idealism is to be welcome for the betterment of Sri Lanka: However, so long as there are demagogues among the political leaders of the majority community, it is easy for them to manipulate the emotions of the Sinhalese masses.

    Common man does not have the knowledge to find out who is a genuine leader to vote for. So the same old story will go on and on.

    Many of the third world countries are in similar situations: They don’t have dedicated leaders to lead their countries to peace, prosperity and progress.

    Singapore is the only country I can think of, and they had a well educated and dedicated leader to lead the country to first world status within 50 years, while most others keep sinking.

    • 3
      1

      Dear Thiru, ………it is easy for them to manipulate the emotions of the SINHALESE masses. COMMON MAN does not have the knowledge to find out who is a genuine leader to vote for….
      A contradiction in that. Are Sinhalese the only common men in SL. I would agree if you say “SL masses” instead of just one ethnic group.
      All politicians are there for their own sake and manipulate the voters.

      • 9
        1

        In fact it would now appear that various religious hierarchies have joined the politicos, in various ways to manipulate their flock.

  • 4
    4

    Author
    I trust that many will share your concerns.
    A fundamental question is: how can spirituality can go hand in hand with profit motive as the driving force?

  • 2
    1

    Rasika Jayakody
    I agree with you that we need ‘…a new brand of politics in the country’ pronto but ‘bring(ing) about the spiritual conditions necessary’ is another matter. We already have Buddhist monks in politics with their own interpretation of Buddhism & in the process, confusing the Sinhala race with religion, so, I think its better to keep religion & spiritualism out of politics totally.

    We need educated politicians with integrity & that comes with education. Our education system need dedicated teachers who are able to instil honesty, tolerance & humanity, civic obligations, & most of all, pride in what we do & to do it right, from an early age. Today, professionals, from GMOA doctors to judges in superior courts & high flying lawyers, to civil servants, have no self respect or professional pride, willing to stoop to the lowest level for an easy buck. My elders used to blame the school such people attended but I would say it is the current education system. We need a more rounded education beyond the normal curriculum.

    An overhaul of the education system will take at least a generation but, for the present, lets hope the opposition parties will give nominations to those with a higher education, not yobs & village thugs.

  • 1
    2

    RJ, You have stated the solution but who will carry it out. This planet has more resources than needed but from the west to the east, it is in the hands of a few banking robbers who aim to rule the globe. Mental enlightenment depending only on our strength is insufficient as we need infusional spiritual strength from a higher powerful source, which depends on frequencies, vibrations, light, sound and quantum physical principles to collapse unseen energy waves to the visible atomic and molecular particles called matter of which we are made of. Unseen quantum entanglement to the seen realm of human experience. In our coffins, our hands are empty. So why this greed to amass that which we cannot own. Our planet will not be destroyed but its inhabitants can go on the wrong path. Turn around.

  • 2
    2

    Spiritual intervention is already in existence by the name of Political
    Intervention ! Our life is up to the neck filled with politics and if
    anyone wants to change it , only a surgery can do it without much
    success because of the age of the patient ! The patient is now stranded
    in the middle of the desert .

  • 3
    3

    Spiritual interventions (SI)????
    Tsunami destruction couldn’t help the SI.Corona couldn’t help the SI. 30 year war couldn’t help the SI.
    Why? We proved undoubtedly that there is no difference between animals and human.

  • 4
    1

    Mr. Rasika Jayakody
    Thank you very much for the excellent article.
    Spirituality has a broad meaning.
    In my opinion, Sri Lankans are more religious than spiritual. The biggest obstacle for them to be more spiritual is their low quality of life, largely due to poor government decisions, policies and actions.
    However, the power of mind can be developed to such a high level, one can even sink Port City (ooooops, a wrong example).
    If we all concentrate our minds to achieve one specific goal, for example, a change in the current toxic politics in Sri Lanka, we can easily achieve it.
    Politics in Sri Lanka is tainted by greed, ignorance and resentment. As you say, people should bring in a new brand of politics driven by compassion, combined with generosity and wisdom.
    I really appreciate your article.

  • 2
    5

    Which denomination of spiritual? Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Islam or another spiritual (which will be rejected by most)?

    Let’s get the fundamentals right. We SLs have proven we cannot live peacefully and respectfully with each other. Accept it. Divide the island into 3 mono ethnic nations and relocate people. All problems solved. Only the greedy will oppose it and that can be fixed easily SL style!

    • 3
      1

      G
      Spirituality has no brand names.

    • 1
      1

      GATAM, Problems are created and not solved when we divide the island into Port City and Sri Lanka. 30 year war was about division. In any division, greedy grabs will occur. How about uniting all factions, so that all are equal and have equal protection of the law. In Mrs. B’s time, the same pattern cloth was used for the sarong I wore, the skirt of my daughter, my son’s shirt, my neighbor’s cloth, my domestic’s jacket, the beggar’s cloth, the road sweeper’s trouser and everybody’s everything. Clothes just didn’t matter. All felt the unity.

  • 1
    1

    no spirit can save you old boy, you need to be neutered.

  • 6
    2

    This is Gods punishment for the horrors of ” NANTHIKADAL”. But sadly for Gothas Lanka the best ( or shall I say worst) is yet to come. Gotha shoud see Dalai Lama.

  • 0
    0

    I think a Council of elders chosen from civil society can open a dialogue about the current situation and what needs to be done. They have to be non-political peple-both lay and clergy- who are concerned about the future of the country and people. After deliberations, the Council can develop:

    1. District committees to take forward the decisions made

    2. Develop a vision, strategy and blueprint for each sector development

    3.recruit members to various sub committees

    4. Develop a publicity and communication strategy

    5. If the Council decides to field candidaes at elections, develop ground level strategies

    6. Develop consultation process with political,corporate and religious leaders about the agenda of the Council.

    7. Seek disspora help.

    8. Establish amonitoring and evaluation mechanism(against a set of mgoals established by the Council).

    • 0
      0

      siri, without complicated stepwise workouts subject to human failure, why not simply unite instead of divide. Asgiri wants to stone muslims, but that is division and not buddhism. Nandikadal was about division and failed. Easter bombs divided. We are united in the worldwide Covid plague and hence can share vaccines. 3500 years ago, the almighty laws were hand wash Exod.30, face mask Lev.13, and quarantine. Unchanging Wisdom spoken to create fish from sea, trees from earth, man from his image. Disconnected from that unity, he remains but we perish.

  • 0
    0

    Kali, ” NANTHIKADAL” is God’s punishment for what? Thirty years of terrorism?

    • 1
      0

      You are right Svenson 72 years of terrorism by the Barbaric ” Sinkalams”

  • 0
    0

    Rasika,
    In the long run we all are dead. So said Keynes. Long term solution will not work. If some politician with certain integrity can put our country on the path to stable economic recovery within 100 days after being elected, who promises us to the establishment and strengthen of independent institutional framework and who thinks globally in par with global leaders or even ahead of them can make this country a best place. He or She should be a man who will know how the domestic and global economy work.
    Hema Senanayake

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