Sri Lanka in the Year 2030
Nadheeran Sritharan's Proposal
Sri Lanka is a nation of unlimited potential whose prospects had been hampered by a bloody civil war that left the country in ruins. Today, in the year 2030, the nation's troubles are as apparent as ever and require immediate attention from the rest of the world. Ethnic Conflict, government corruption and separatists movements are just a few of the issues that show why the country is in desperate need of aid from the international community. With the aid of the international community, Sri Lanka can get back on the right path and fulfill the potential it holds, both as an economic and cultural power.
Sri Lanka has been mired in ethnic conflict since the country, formerly known as Ceylon, became independent from British rule in 1948. The island’s people consisting mainly of two ethnicities: Sinhalese and Tamils, have been involved in a 60 year long civil war that has had devastating consequences on the country. Although the war had officially ended in 2009 with the death of the LTTE’s leader, conflicts between the two ethnicities continued. Watchdog groups have accused both the Sri Lankan military and the LTTE of engaging in widespread human rights abuses, including abduction, conscription, and the use of child soldiers. In August 2012, Human Rights Watch released a report that catalogues alleged abuses on both sides of the conflict. Amnesty International made similar accusations in its 2008 report on the state of the world's human rights. In April 2009, Human Rights Watch reported, while rebels were preventing civilians from leaving the last tiny strip of land where they were fighting the government forces, the government forces repeatedly and indiscriminately shelled the area. UN satellite images suggested the government shelled "no-fire zone" (Guardian)where more than 50,000 people were trapped. All these atrocities have continued for the past two decades and even now, in the year 2030, both ethnicity continue to partake in a battle for superiority that has ultimately claimed the lives of many innocent civilians. In its post-war stages, Sri Lanka desperately needs a diplomatic solution to resolve ethnic tensions and prevent further armed conflicts and that’s where the international community comes in. It is pivotal that the international community gets involved and acts as a mediator in this conflict between the two ethnicity without taking one side. ultimately allowing for a state in which both ethnicity can reside peacefully. With the international community’s aid, Sri Lanka can find a solution to this ethnic conflict if they are allowed to continue the nation could devolve into a state of utter chaos with no chance of return.
The foundation of the political system of Sri Lanka is based on bribery or corruption. Power politics of Sri Lanka may be defined as the right to plunder public property. There is a competition among political parties to win that right for a limited period. The group that wins plunders public property to the maximum during its term of office. A few illustrations of the corrupt nature of the state of Sri Lanka are as follows. Liquor licenses are given by the government to cronies at a nominal price on the recommendation of ministers and MPs of the government party. Under this system a considerable number of MPs have obtained licenses in the names of various persons and have become liquor businessmen. Also during elections seasons there have been various reports of Government officials hiring thugs to commit acts of violence against individuals who voice opposite to the party in power. But perhaps the most visible example of Government corruption can be seen through their blatant cover up attempts of the atrocities committed during the time of the civil war. According to a 2013 Human Rights Watch report, The Sri Lankan government in 2013 failed to take any meaningful steps towards providing accountability for war crimes committed by either side during the internal armed conflict that ended in 2009. The government has targeted civil society through threats, surveillance, and clampdowns on activities and free speech. Statements by government officials and government-controlled media named and threatened human rights defenders who called for accountability for wartime abuses or criticized other government policies. Today, in the year 2030, the government’s corruption continues to exist and it is crucial that the international community gets involved. If the rest of the world applies appropriate pressure on the Sri Lankan government then there will be a possibility that the government will pay heed and attempt to re-evaluate its ways. The corruption must be dealt with head first and this is only possible if the international community is willing to apprehend the actions of the Sri Lankan government. If not, the corruption in the Sri Lankan government will drive the nation and its people to the ground.
With the ethnic conflict ever-present there always lies the possibility of a separationist movement from the minority, Tamils. As stated above, Sri Lanka is home to both Sinhalese and Tamils with the latter constituting a smaller portion of the country’s population. As a result, there is little or no representation of Tamils in the Sri Lankan parliament. This has led to a widespread feeling of resentment and frustration within the Tamil community who demand equal representation or warn that they will be willing to secede from Sri Lanka. After the end of the civil war in 2009, the Sri Lankan government’s treatment of the Tamil’s has also been a factor in their willingness to separate. There have been multiple reports of cases in which the Sinhalese led Government has committed acts of atrocities against the Tamil people such as violence and neglect. After the war ended it was pivotal that the Tamil people got the necessary attention and aid from the Sri Lankan government as a means of rehabilitating their lives but none of this was given. Instead the people were left to fend for their own against the plights of poverty and post-war infrastructural damages. It was reported in 2013 that there are still more than 50,000 Tamil Sri Lanka’s who were without adequate living spaces and that there were more than 200,00 Tamils who were in severe poverty. Today, in the year 2030, not a lot has changed. The party in power is still prominently Sinhalese and the government is still lacking any major Tamil individuals. With the aid of the International community, the Tamil people’s separationist motivations can possibly be hampered if they are assured equal or even more representation within the Sri Lankan Government and also more involvement in decision making policies. If peaceful coexistence through power sharing is not achievable, the probability of another conflict cannot be ruled out. Even though the Sri Lankan state has managed to militarily defeat the LTTE and physically eliminate its leadership, the lack of a just political solution could see the secessionist forces re-emerge, powerfully.
Sri Lanka is faced with the issues of ethnic conflict, government corruption and separatists movements, all problems that if not solved immediately will lead to devastating consequences for the country. With the international communities assistance, Sri Lanka can put it's troubles aside and focus on expanding it's economy and building it's presence as a force to be reckoned with in the world.
Thank you for reading my proposal, Hopefully you will consider the points that I've brought forth and extend your arms in aid to Sri Lanka.
"Bribery & Corruption in Sri Lanka's Public Revenue System: An Unholy Nexus?"Asian Human Rights Commission. Sri Lanka Human Rights, July-Aug. 2012. Web. 04 June 2014.
Macson, James. "Sri Lanka Profile." BBC News. BBC, Jan.-Feb. 2013. Web. 09 June 2014.
Krasner, Jane. "POV." PBS. PBS, 18 Apr. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014.
Jayasinghe, Lakshman. "LANKA Independent." Sri Lanka One of the Most Corrupt Nations in the World « LANKA Standard. Lanka Standard, May-June 2013. Web. 06 June 2014.