It is only a matter of time, when poverty, hunger, rising sea levels, force the South Asian Poor living on the coasts of the Indian Ocean, onto boats of questionable quality. Where do they drift into? Sri Lanka of course. Hundreds of thousands of people will land on our shores, in around 20 years, and no one is even making plans for that.
How will our citizens react? Will they be welcoming? Or will they chase the boats away? What if the people start swimming ashore? Will we shoot them on arrival? If the furor of 30 Rohingyas, who were temporarily given sanctuary until their paperwork was processed for onward resettlement, was anything to go by, in today’s context I can be sure it is the gun that these people face.
They are fleeing for survival, so they will be prepared to face the gun, as they have no alternative but to land on our shores, when rising sea levels displace them. We are the last outpost before the Antarctic, and by that time the Maldives would have disappeared. Their people being absorbed by?
So unlike Trump, who is using this threat and example to prevent the hoardes of Central Americans lined up in the Mexican border from entering the US, our actually shooting them dead will not prevent a million or two coming to Sri Lanka, with no other country willing to give them refuge.
Don’t forget by then 10% of the population of Europe would be African Migrants, so they will have taken about 40Million people, absorbing them into their countries that have a declining population anyway.
We must plan for this now, forget about preserving the pure race, and get organized to absorb these people, into productive livelihoods the moment they arrive. I know people reading this must either think I am mad, living in dreamland or simply seeking attention. That’s OK, because when someone comes across this blog 20 years from now, and sees this, that is (THEN) when they will curse us for not planning for it in advance.
We in Sri Lanka need at least a 20 year lead time to plan, as we are very slow off the mark in anything, as we don’t see what is ahead of us or in front of us. So it is better to organize ourselves for the inevitable. After all what is wrong? We will have at least 4 million Sri Lankan born or their first generation living in other countries by then, as they have voted with their feet and left this Country, because they don’t see a future here. Any guesses why?
Why not absorb 2 million boat people into our society, and make them useful citizens on day one, instead of putting them in prisons, to rot and feed and die and wait for a third country to take them if there are any willing to do so? A fleeing human is the most productive person on earth, you better believe it.
By this time Port City will be full with buildings, and desperately short of workers to work in the companies that are established there. If Tata India decide to put their world HQ in the Port City, they need qualified people. SO, we need to have trained people to take those roles, but our best have deserted us.
Immigration is the key to a Country’s survival, not its destruction. The US was built on immigration, so was Australia, Canada and to a large extent even today’s UK & Germany (with highest immigrant populations in Europe proportionatly) have been the engine of Growth, because of immigration.
First step, is to immediately beef up the Coast Guard and the SL Navy. In fact the Navy should have 80% of DEFENCE SPENDING. Yes 80% and the army reduced to nothing, releasing all the able bodied people to contribute to the economy. We need good ships, and sailors. The defence of the Country, internally does not need an army, the drone techonology can do that very easily, but it is more difficult to protect our fishing rights, (100 times the surface area of the Country in the Indian Ocean) and to protect smuggling mainly of drugs, and then be able to orderly handle the boat people in 20 years time.
We do not catch even 5% of our fish, and we are still dependent on poor fisherman for high fish prices (protein) and so are importing 20 Containers a day of tinned fish, some of it fished from our own waters. We don’t have efficient large trawlers to catch fish that others are fishing. Why? Because many in the Government have sold fishing rights to foreign countries or companies to fatten their belts and pockets, so that they can safely spirit their families in luxury to Australia or any other country of their imagination.
It is clear that our Leaders do not have the vision of seeing that which is inevitable, as they are worried about lining their pockets for the next election, and to send their kids to settle abroad, first by givin them an education and then buying their life with homes and businesses from ill gotten gains in Sri Lanka.
I want to repeat, this projection is INEVITABLE. If 3 million citizens have said good bye to Sri Lanka and left our shores, then what is the problem in saying welcome to Sri Lanka for two million more? Our GDP is dropping because of it
We can no longer think Nationally as many have taken everything from here and left us. We must think globally to welcome those who want to live here.