The Lost Paradise

By Nalin Marambe

To the ancient travelers, Sri Lanka was at the center of paradise. But to many of us it was our home. When visitors came to us, our homes were open, warm and friendly. We have a beautiful country, but that beauty came to life because the people were beautiful with beaming smiles and warm hearts. We were a bunch of people who helped each other even though our pocket holes were big enough for a buffalo to walk through.

They say, the 70’s were tough, especially for young parents at that time with kids growing up. Our country was isolated compared to the times before and after. But people who went through those tough times endured, I guess all because due to our innocence.

The 80’s, we had opportunity travel all round, more opportunities to work and in education. The Government at that time opened up our economy for free trade. We saw some major hydraulic power generation schemes coming to life. Foreign aid flowed in to the country. Hotels, tourism many other sectors blossomed. But to everybody’s dismay, the bloody war erupted. The war went on through the 90’s and the first decade after year 2000. Everything else was on reverse gear.

We endured the brutal war and peace is here to stay. Terrorism defeated. The wounds of war will take time to heal given the proper background to heal.

We speak of better systems for politics, economics, education, and infrastructure and so on. Will our country march towards a better tomorrow, along those lines? When are we to stand on our own feet without foreign aid?

All of us are tied up in a big mudslinging blame game. Greed has become an order of the day. Where is that honor and dignity we used to have? Everything and anything is surrounded by lies and deception. A country without values will not contain itself and continue to be chaotic.

Where is that paradise once we had? Seems like, those values, the very foundation for a better tomorrow, we have got them screwed up, somewhat similar to a software engineering project built entirely on a bad design with spaghetti code, from beginning to end.

Values which cherished in our country for centuries and we had walked away from them. Indeed, our country is cracking up; no one seem to care; And being sane in an insane country has become a tough call to many.

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” 
Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of United States of America, During Second World War.