THE BIG PICTURE
DOUBLE STANDARDS At a time when a reported 46 percent (i.e. more than 100 of the 225 parliamentarians – including many misfits, let it be said) are over the age of 60, the president’s eye-opening budget proposal that state sector employees who are or will reach this age at the end of the year be given marching orders has rightly led to a plethora of ‘entertaining’ reactions in the press and on social media platforms.
Scepticism and humour aside, the healthcare sector in particular has raised the alarm on the domino effect that such a move could have on the medical profession and its precious specialists – some, it is said, may choose to join the bandwagon of migrants who are seeking saner pastures, which has led to the brain drain’s floodgates opening at a speed not seen before.
To this end, a report in the Sunday Times cautions that Sri Lanka may lose the services of 300 of its 2,300 medical specialists this year alone. On a broader scale, the crudeness with which this proposal was tabled in parliament may also coerce younger professionals to look beyond our shores for the sake of their sanity and security later in life.
This therefore, doubles up as yet another example of ‘one country, two laws’ – one for the ordinary citizen, and another for the men and women who make the law… more often than not, to serve themselves rather than the rest of us.
If Sri Lanka is to turn over a new leaf, hypocrisy and double standards must come to an end, before it is too late to refresh an ailing state and put an end to discrimination in any form. In fact, the jury is out on whether or not it’s already too late!