Dealing with the new variants
Last week the entire world was given a new shock when the media reported about the latest variant of the COVID-19 called Omicron. Scientists in South Africa on Thursday identified a new Coronavirus variant of concern with many scary mutations. With this new discovery, several countries have quickly limited travel to and from the region.
Within hours, Britain, Israel and Singapore restricted travel from South Africa and some neighbouring countries, citing the threat of the new variant. Officials in Australia and in New Zealand said that they were monitoring the new variant closely.
This is much more shocking to the Sri Lankan people because unlike rich and powerful countries, we Sri Lankans cannot close our country indefinitely because of poverty. No matter how powerful the variant is, we have to keep the country open and keep the economy going in order to ensure the livelihoods of the people. Sri Lanka cannot lock down the entire country or keep a partial lockdown for a long period because of poverty and related concerns.
When some individuals and groups see the word poverty, they start to dance because they can use this single word to criticise the current Government and express their jealousy towards all politicians whose surname is ‘Rajapaksa’ and who are in the ruling party. It is only rarely that someone talks about the inception of poverty in Sri Lanka. They never talk about the beginning of poverty in Sri Lanka just because while they point one finger to the current Government and the Governments which ruled the country in 2005 and in 2010, four fingers point out at them. Because of this reason they never talk about the birth or inception of poverty here in Sri Lanka.
In 1948, when the country achieved Independence from Britain, the total external debt was only US$ 37.8 million. From 1968 to 1977, Sri Lanka recorded a very slow growth rate of outstanding external debt. Extensions from 1978 to 1995 recorded a rapid increase in the total external debt. The amount increased from US$ 1,136 million in 1978 to US$ 9,405 million in 1995. This is only a very small part of the bitter truth about the real Sri Lankan history which has a direct negative impact on the present (2021).
It is more interesting to see the statistics from 2015 to 2019. The percentage of debt was 78.49 per cent in 2015 and it was 79.02 per cent in 2016. The percentage stood as 77.90 per cent in 2017 and it was 84.21 per cent in 2018. The percentage recorded as 86.80 per cent in 2019. In 2019 Sri Lanka’s public debt was US$ 72,888 million.
It was we, Sri Lankans who pushed the country into this situation by electing the wrong leaders at the wrong time from 1948. It was we, Sri Lankans, who were responsible for not chasing them away after seeing that they repeatedly failed. We did not do anything to change the political party system which ruined this country. We should have come to streets demanding to abolish the political party system and not Governments. But still we hang on to various political parties and destroy the country.
We should have protested against taking huge loans from foreign countries and International bodies after 1948. We did not do any of those things. We just thought and still think about our stomachs and not about the country or anything else. No one or nothing can change a history of 73 years within days, weeks, months, years or decades. Maybe it will take another generation.
In addition to the above turmoil, COVID-19 arrived in March last year and made it harder for Sri Lanka to walk forward. But the most pathetic situation is not any of those. Exactly knowing where we stand today and where we are heading for, some Sri Lankans do their best to push Mother Lanka backward and may be into hell. This is the most pathetic situation that exists in this country today.
It is very interesting to see how they further destroy the country. Trade Union leaders who receive thundering amounts of dollars, organise strikes and protests one after another in order to put the Government into trouble and not to do any good to their members or the people of the country. They exactly know that the country needs to be locked down if COVID-19 raises its ugly head once again after the health staff and Armed Forces controlled it, sacrificing their precious lives. The health authorities tell the people day and night how to prevent COVID-19, what to do and what not to do. But the people turn a blind eye to these appeals.
It is unbelievable how people who take part in these dangerous protests do not realize that the organisers and supporters of these protests do not come, inquire about them and help them when they and their family members struggle to breathe on an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed at the IDH or some other state hospital with a severe COVID-19 infection. When they die or their family member dies, the organisers of the protests ‘sell’ the details and photos of the dead person. This was done openly when a teacher died from a heart attack down South after taking part in a recent protest. The organisers of the strike and various protests ‘sold’ her photo and details in order to make her ‘martyrdom’ attract more similar vulnerable individuals who suffer from various other diseases.
Teachers and Principals protesting in Colombo.
Meanwhile some officials join with racketeers and earn money through ‘commissions’ from every single act/project/programme. They snatch the hard earned money of the innocent poor people. They have been doing this for more than five decades by now. No action has been taken against them by any Government because those officials are in the administration in the country. They make rules and regulations.
On the other hand some individuals who have various YouTube channels make illiterate people more and more uncomfortable and make their lives hellish by giving them fabricated information on various issues. Believing those very cunning individuals, innocent illiterate people who use social media spend their hard earned money to watch their fabricated videos and to do what they prescribe through them.
The current literacy rate of Sri Lankans is questionable when observing how they believe what is appearing in social media and how they follow all the funny unhealthy advice given on social media on various things. Last year and in this year various Ayurvedic and Western medicines were recommended by various crooks apparently to prevent and to cure COVID-19. But none of them is real. Some consumed those concoctions and ignored basic health guidelines and some took those ‘medicines’ even after getting infected with COVID-19. Both parties had ended up with other diseases and various other health complications which could have been avoided if they refrained from believing all the rubbish that appeared in social media and put them into practice.
The latest issue is connected to the quality and standard of LP Gas used here in Sri Lanka. Many people put their lives in danger by paying too much attention towards the subject and regularly making changes to their equipment such as gas cookers, regulators etc. When one YouTube channel says something, they run to the shop and buy what is recommended by that specific YouTube channel and on the following day again they receive some other information and run to the same shop again to buy something different and make the changes recommended by that specific social media post etc. At the end they spend all their money for no reason and also put their lives in danger.
Only a handful of Sri Lankans with the required level of literacy pay attention to everything, come to them in all channels, check their equipment, do the needful and forget the topic thereafter. They move on with their lives just because they have the required knowledge and the ability to read and understand English. Almost all scientific information etc. appears in English on the Internet.
Sadly only a handful of Sri Lankans understand that running various YouTube channels is only a lucrative business for some individuals and they rarely give something scientific and worthwhile to the people who watch their YouTube channels. All the others fabricate various ‘issues’ and earn money by selling them to the stupid people without an iota of a brain or capability to check the validity of the information they receive.
But the highest damage is done by the handful of educated and literate individuals who are getting paid by certain political parties to ruin the country. They use social media to mislead the innocent people, make them dead scared of anything and to make them suffer 24X7. Still people do not understand that social media is another ‘television’ which brings ‘a fabricated world’. People will realise this stage in another decade or two putting all crooks in trouble. SOURCE CEYLON DAILY NE