Sunday, November 18, 2012

Elders perceptions of Development are from their perceived prejudices

I was having a discussion the other day with an 85yr old. His perception was that things are good. Shops are full of stuff, the country is full of cars, Roads and highways are being built, and the outward signs of prosperity are for all to see.

Therefore, JR’s Executive Presidency, and the even more power taken into the Center by the current President are good for this country. Namely that democracy does not work in Sri Lanka and only dictatorship works. How he can say this was beyond my comprehension.

He is someone who has spent many years travelling overseas and is fully aware of the outside world and progress. He has lived through the miserable years of Mrs Bs government of 1970 to 1977, when there was a flight of people emigrating, that imprisoned people who sent 5pounds sterling abroad!! So for him this regime that has so called provided all these as well as a huge increase in the value of a property he bought in the 1960’s is the answer!!

Does he realize that all this is just part of normal development of an economy, especially one where during Mrs Bs tenure needed an exit permit to go overseas? Where now 2million people remit around US$8Billion to themselves, friends and family back home!! It is this incredible free money that has brought this economy to this level of development, despite the corruption, despite all the anti investment and growth policies of this government. Just imagine where we would be if we had a proper functioning democracy, where a particular cult or family personality is not fostered above all else, and to the detriment of society.

To give any of this benefit to this Government is plain wrong and at best paying lip service to an administration, that has yet to solve ONE white van abduction, has nothing to say about 100,000 disappearances, and where the loved ones are still searching for answers. Is this the country he feels is better than an alternative? Does one journalist dare say anything in printed paper against this government? How many journalists have been abducted and have not been seen or been killed? Can you honestly say that justice is meted out fairly? How would you feel if one of the disappeared was one of your own? Will you ignore it as just an accident and he deserved it!!

I can understand this sentiment coming from a simpleton with no education that just believes what he sees, without knowing where the costs and benefits come from. When we have such educated and eminent people making such comments, and one does not attribute it to senility, then I wonder if their lives have been in a cave of ignorance, where there is no humanity, except for enriching themselves.


Anonymous said...

I agree with the elderly gentleman on the progress that SL has made, and agree with you that "perceptions of development are from their perceived prejudices," as this applies to all including the author of this blog.

it's undeniable that on the macro level life is infinitely better in the country now than it was 5 years ago and this shows through the voices of the people during elections. On the micro level, how certain individuals have fared may vary.

Anonymous said...

I had much the same experience as you, an old lady was telling me how sugar prices had come down after the government took over Pelwatte sugar.

She did not understand that Rs.20 had been added in cess since the takeover, Rs.850m allocated via "supplementary estimates" to the sugar companies and that imported sugar was a great deal cheaper than the local sugar.

They will eventually wake up, when they find that they cannot live. A can on fish that costs Rs.100 has another Rs.100 in taxes, the same is true of many basic foodstuffs.

The example below is an extreme case, but the salient features as the same. We will eventually end up like them