Not much ‘goes without saying’ anymore, but the state of the realm that is Sri Lanka sure does! Just what is the malady that affects the state? Conversations on this topic with a varied assortment of friends, acquaintances and even lesser known individuals, all result in pointing to the lack of moral fibre in society. This, in a nutshell, could be termed ‘corruption’. The word itself covers dishonesty, bribery, sleaze, fraud, vice, distortion, nepotism, depravity, rot, immorality, contamination, and I’m sure there will be other words that will fit as well. The causes for this abysmal condition, I am told, could well have arisen with the mass exodus of citizens following the disaster that was foisted on the country by S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike by means of the ‘Sinhala Only’ policy – a myopic, chauvinistic, racist policy designed to fragment the country for decades to come. Almost the entire Burgher community, a vibrant and ebullient society, left en mass to Australia, England and the USA and with them many of the Sinhala and Tamil intellectuals who saw the writing on the wall. And what did this do to the gene pool, among other important aspects that would affect the country irrevocably? It decimated the diversity of the gene pool and impoverished the quality of the Sri Lankan racial type. So what we have left are the dregs and our community reflects this in no uncertain terms. Much of the quality that existed prior to Bandaranaike’s folly will no longer be found and as we look around the stations of governance – the ministries, the various departments, the local councils, what is encountered is steeped in inefficiency, indolence, indifference and an invitation to immorality.  The degeneration of the racial type is not limited to the quality of ‘character’, but also includes the physical and mental. The DNA strain that the Burghers inherited from their European benefactors made for a different physical type that was virtually wiped out with their exodus and one has only to delve into the writings of the Spittels, the Worthingtons, the Janszes, the Wendts, the Brohiers, the Sansonis, the Ondaatjes, the ColinThomes and others to discover the loss in areas of literature, music, science, law and intellect. Sport was another casualty. The physical type that produced atheletes like Duncan White, swimmers like the de Sarams, the Hamers, the Flamer Calderas, the Ingletons and others has gone the way of the Dodo, never to return. And of the few that thought to stick it out through the language debacle, packed up after the severe repression brought about by the widow of Bandaranaike, who succeeded him following his assassination, ironically, by one belonging to the very sector he was pandering to. Ceylon was in dire straits and the promise of a glittering future, once predicted by Lee Kwan Yu among others, was plunging headlong down the septic pit of no return.

Sheeet maaan, ah did’n  know all dis history – bit before mah time, huh? Ah jus remember somting of dat revolushun tempted by dose Marxist mahfahs. Dat be somting else, huh? You not be here at dat time, you be gettin high an wide in dat sunny city of da angels right, but I remember you telling me bout dat sheet. Da ting dat beats mah ass be da trip dese mah fuhs be still on – opposing da use of English – dey be callin it ‘da sword’, right? See anyone so fucked up an moronic maaan? How dey spec dere chilren to progress in dis global village maaan, wit da medium of communicashun bein English? Dose poor kids, soommm handicap for dem! Dis whole system of educashun maaan, shuure need revampin for dis country to get a move on huh? 

I nod in agreement with Java’s sentiments. For sure, another crucial reason for the state of the realm is obviously tied to the educational system, which, I am told by those in the field, is riddled with more of the same ‘corruption’ that spawns the same inefficiency, indolence, indifference and invitation to immorality found in the decaying woodwork of the system that is our government. Java goes on… 

An you know somting else maaan? Dis sheet aint goin away – fact be it seem to be gettin worse wit all dis racial an religious intolerance by da chauvinists and extreme mah fuhs. Remember dose burnin churches som time back? An see dem priests getting violent in dose demonstrashuns an sheet? Dis be som fucked up can of worms maaan. An whose to blame or be countable?

No easy answer here. I guess we’re all to blame in some way or another. Our own indifference, apathy, inability to oppose what is wrong, support those who demonstrate for justice and speak out without fear are among the reasons that we are not able ‘to make the difference’. And so ‘it goes without saying’ we’re all in it – up to our eyeballs!