21 July, 2019

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Self-Interest, An Ostrich & A Sri Lankan

By Tharaka Kodippili –

Tharaka Kodippili

If self-interest were an export commodity, it would do to Sri Lanka what petroleum has done to oil exporting Middle East countries would have made Sri Lanka exceedingly wealthy. Petroleum, also known as black gold, has done wonders to the economies and ruling classes (monarchs) of some aforementioned countries (not to forget its byproduct – funding Wahhabism the world over). However, unlike petroleum- which is a finite commodity, self-interest has to be cultivated- has been, and is here to last in Sri Lanka, as long as its citizens pay servitude to it.

Self-interest on overdrive 

Self-interest has become the de facto moral compass of many Sri Lankans. It gradually began as an “I don’t care for others but my own best interests” routine. Practised by a few feckless individuals – over the past few decades – has now spread like rampant wildfire and has internalized throughout most Sri Lankan individuals and communities in the country.

In the wake of our recent national disaster, which was avoidable at all costs (as per reports circulated so far), all (so-called) accountable heads (I’m reluctant to use the word “leaders” here, as this country has a dearth of such men and women) have sought permanent refuge under the facade of “blame that guy, but not me” shtick.

None of these men cares an ounce for “service to thy nation” and “accountability for thy actions” in them. This directly results from deep-seated “self-interest” taking control of their moral compasses. Then recalibrating all ethical-behaviors to what other civilized societies consider as downright “despicable behavior.”

Being a leader, let alone being somebody who adds value to society is hard. Neither comes naturally. It needs constant work and a lifetime of commitment. However, what comes naturally to many Sri Lankan political aspirants is to seek positions of leadership, thanks to a completely immoral and broken-down (top to bottom) system, and then do nothing (service) in return. That inaction comes naturally, especially to scheming third world political leaders–as proven by nearly a century of political, party-based evidence, especially here in Sri Lanka.

The Ostrich 

Add to that, another asinine quality the Sri Lankan politician has mastered–the Ostrich-like way of solving problems. Hide your head in (quick) sand, while your gluttonous rear-end sticks out in all its shiny glory.

The Ostrich is an outlier in the bird kingdom, which as a group of species draws its lineage all the way back to the dinosaurs. These birds make their lives harder yet by sticking their entire head in the sand while shit hits the fan around them- akin to a Sri Lankan politician/leader. As much as the Ostrich lives its life ass-first- time to time- amidst the chaos, Sri Lankan political toadeaters are all about saving their own asses all the time while the country burns around them to ashes.

Take the template of how an average Sri Lankan Joe Siripala carries on with his daily life – with the guile of a Skunk and the suave or a Hyena, all the while running to Facebook to propagate whatever ill-gotten ideas/thoughts/feelings, minus a (moral) filter. Then forgetting all of it a month or two later will (and has) cause long term (unsolvable and irreparable) problems to him and his nation. This quality has internalized within the entire country – to pandemic proportions. The country’s populace is a witless army of zombies walking down a winding black-forest, fueled on selective memory, mistrust, and prejudice towards one another.

The recent Easter Sunday attacks, its immediate aftermath, the response (not responding is also a form of responding), blaming all but yourself and hightailing from any leadership activities are just a few examples of self-interest, an Ostrich and a Sri Lankan.

Low hanging fruit 

Sri Lankans hold their political leaders to the lowest of low standards. Standards, Americans came to adopt recently that we Sri Lankans have experienced for nearly four decades after they elected Donald Trump. He is the new type of first world leader – the junk food eating, TV binging, Twitter-loving, single digit IQ’d buffoon, who stumbles on everything – just like his (shorter) brown cousins from half a world away. Yet, Sri Lankans would be so lucky to elect such a leader- again, a leader in the sense of being the first citizen- nothing more.

However, Sri Lankans, have instead reverted to picking the lowest hanging fruits, so low that they scrape the barren earth and is rife with worms, bacteria and the works. Self-interest is rampant within our culture and society- down to an individual. When such individuals vote, they vote for people whom they share their values with. Therefore, we get elected officials who lack every conceivable leadership attribute.

Therefore, from a logical (and practical) standpoint, it is unfair to expect anything other than what we have witnessed over the past few weeks from our dimwitted leaders. Our political heads – on all sides, from national level to the municipal council level, are a spitting image of us – the people.

Asking them to behave better, shed their self-interest for the greater good, and to work cohesively towards progressive common goals is like asking our own shadow to stop following us. Neither is practical.

Therefore, what gives? How can we solve these problems? Each passing generation adds more (unsolvable) problems to our society than the other did.

Where does this end?

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Latest comments

  • 7
    0

    Brother, I salute you. A very big THANK YOU. Wow I am in shock and still breathless.I had to read it a few times to believe its true. There is no better way to describe our BRAIN DEAD citizens. You said it Bro. The comparison between Trump and our scums are absolutely right. Even when they had Bush (who is Einstein compared Trump) but soon there was re correction by way of Obama. Where as in Lanka it is the brain dead, who keep picking the scums, who in turn lead the nation to a shit hole status.

    • 6
      1

      Though young, this writer had amazing insight AND a gift with words. A winning combination.
      “The country’s populace is a witless army of zombies walking down a winding black-forest, fueled on selective memory, mistrust, and prejudice towards one another.”
      Couldn’t have put it better. The silence of the barely educated clergy except to invite more violence, and the uncritically trust of the laity is truly astounding
      “However, Sri Lankans, have instead reverted to picking the lowest hanging fruits, so low that they scrape the barren earth and is rife with worms, “
      There ARE in fact SriLankans who would be capable of real leadership, but they unfortunately were born into the wrong caste, creed, or ethnicity
      They are not willing to compromise their principles to get elected. So will keep on electing some Sinhala Buddhist charlatan for the foreseeable future. So sad.

    • 5
      0

      Chiv
      “”The comparison between Trump and our scums are absolutely right”.
      With Modi from our adjoining big brother land included.

  • 2
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 0
    4

    Kodippili is wrong. citizens are concerned. NOTE BUDDHISTS ARE AMAZINGLY RESILIENT. They blame everything on politicians. Just listen to what people say when they phone to Radio programs. They tolerated 30 years of suicide bombings., They are that great and mentally strong. Because of buddhism. Study the war in former Yugoslovia, how they killed each other mostly muslims versus christians and now where is Yugoslovia. It is collection of Shanty countries. So, easy to control that area. Marshal TITOV is not there to unify the country. Nwo those Countries will never amount even upto the strengths of Yugoslovia.
    In this present predicament Sri lanka needs corrupt politicians to keep it as it is. It is a not a secret Sri lanka has a simply like colombo back streets like parliament and Typical alibabas (alibaba was a coward, but in front of his gang he was brave) and Thugs to lead that.

    • 4
      1

      JD/ Jimmy,
      “They are that great and mentally strong. Because of buddhism. “
      If they are that great and mentally strong, why do they need to send their wives and daughters to be slaves of Muslims in Dubai?
      Just asking.

      • 0
        6

        RAMEN: Tamils are free loaders from South India. We have to feed them.too. Remember, even LTTE, and, looked after for medicine, was fed from the south.

        • 1
          1

          J D,
          The free loading Tamils are the ones slaving in the plantations and bringing on the money for Sinhala idlers like you talk big

  • 5
    0

    Wow!! What a beautiful piece of writing. Couldn’t have described Srilankans better. We appreciate this piece and look forward to more articles from you. Bless you and bless Srilanka.

  • 6
    0

    A good insightful piece of writing Mr Kodippili. ” Therefore, what gives? How can we solve these problems? Each passing generation adds more (unsolvable) problems to our society than the other did. Where does this end? But take it beyond your questions.
    Every problem has an answer. We have to find answers and solutions. You as a writer need not, should not end on a negative note of despair. Our nation has history of coming back and rising from the ashes. We will survive. Dear Mr Kodippili, I gather you are a young writer. Why don’t you follow up with another article offering suggestions and stimulating the minds of the readers to change course; to arrest the path towards self destruction of the nation? Ye, again, using your own words. ” Being a leader, let alone being somebody who adds value to society is hard. Neither comes naturally. It needs constant work and a lifetime of commitment.

    • 2
      0

      Suggest that a campaign be carried out on the basis that all voters will only vote for an “Independent” candidate at the next Presidential election.
      Any candidate with any affiliation to a political party should be rejected.
      No campaigning through public meetings are allowed.
      Each candidate be given TV/Radio time.
      Bio-datas of all candidates be circulated to all voters.

      This will get rid of the current set of rogues and give us a fresh face as the next President.

  • 4
    0

    Truth be told. The country and her citizens are fully exposed and left naked. The author has tackled head on by addressing pseudo patriotism, self serving politicians and people, immoral and dysfunctional system, Ostrich mentality of our politicians, public fueled on jealousy, prejudice,resentments and hatred, immoral public wanting leaders of the same kind, current state of hopelessness,helplessness and worthlessness and last but not least the question intentionally left unanswered Where does it end ??? denial, bargain, anger , depression/despair ,guilt and grief.

  • 2
    0

    A good insightful piece of writing Mr Kodippili. ” Therefore, what gives? How can we solve these problems? Each passing generation adds more (unsolvable) problems to our society than the other did. Where does this end? But take it beyond your questions”.
    Every problem has an answer. We have to find answers and solutions. You as a writer need not, should not end on a negative note of despair. Our nation has history of coming back and rising from the ashes. We will survive. Dear Mr Kodippili, I gather you are a young writer. Why don’t you follow up with another article offering suggestions and stimulating the minds of the readers to change course; to arrest the path towards self destruction of the nation? Yet, again, using your own words. ” Being a leader, let alone being somebody who adds value to society is hard. Neither comes naturally. It needs constant work and a lifetime of commitment.

  • 5
    1

    Tharaka Kodippili expresses his agony here over the ‘tragedy’ that was the 2019 Lankan Easter Sunday.
    He stands in a square with hundreds of others and condemns the radicalised Lankan Muslims.
    The Muslims have accepted the blame. One must admire the courage.
    .
    How about some lateral thinking Tharaka?
    .
    The actions of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), if looked at even-handedly, caused dismay to the radicalised. BBS is rightwing and extreme ultranationalist. BBS was adopted, protected and patronised by some top politicians. The misdeeds of BBS was cavalierly dismissed.
    Should BBS take some blame for the ‘tragedy’?

  • 1
    2

    This article describes the Sirisena-Wickremasinghe government well. Since coming to power, the exchange value of the rupee has plummeted, resulting in higher inflation. Economic growth has also stagnated. Even the excellent security measures put in place by the last (Rajapakse) government were not attended to, so that we now have ISIS training camps in the East. After the war, the people wanted a change of pace, e.g. a government less inclined towards war. They gave these two buffoons (President & PM) a chance, and got nothing in return. The logical thing to do is elect Gothabaya in the next election.

  • 6
    0

    Great writing, Tharaka. Keep up the good work; love to see more of your work.

    This para is pure gold !

    Take the template of how an average Sri Lankan Joe Siripala carries on with his daily life – with the guile of a Skunk and the suave or a Hyena, all the while running to Facebook to propagate whatever ill-gotten ideas/thoughts/feelings, minus a (moral) filter. Then forgetting all of it a month or two later will (and has) cause long term (unsolvable and irreparable) problems to him and his nation. This quality has internalized within the entire country – to pandemic proportions. The country’s populace is a witless army of zombies walking down a winding black-forest, fueled on selective memory, mistrust, and prejudice towards one another.

  • 6
    0

    Actor Rex Kodipilli’s nephew Tharaka will emerge as a giant force in Sri Lanka. Not in the film industrym but journallism. Thank you CT for brewing in new talent.

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