Compiled by Sandesh Bartlett


Rivindu Perera calls on Sri Lankans to unite through technology

Q: What’s the good, the bad and the ugly here in Sri Lanka, in your assessment?

A: As for what’s good, every single person on this beautiful island has a unique smile. This smile is linked to Sri Lankan hospitality and provides a perfect blend of character, which isn’t seen anywhere else in the world.

But most of the time, the citizens of this country want to do better than others – rather than allow others to succeed. If a person succeeds, the rest try to dismiss him or her without making an effort themselves.

Q: What are the challenges faced by the nation today?

A: The identification of human resources is a challenge. In spite of there being people who have extraordinary talents and even though we possess unique natural resources, identifying and connecting them with mainstream production lines hasn’t been achieved.

Furthermore, I see the absence of a developed mindset when it comes to ideas and the actions of Sri Lankans. The outlook of citizens is key to the development of a country – and improving this has been a challenge overall.

Q: Do you believe that Sri Lanka will be united one day?

A: Sri Lankans are already united in terms of societal coordination. People of various communities live in harmony. In periods of crisis, this point has been proven several times over.

However, Sri Lankans are still not united through technology since the digital gap in the country is vast. The establishment of a digital bridge to face the era of technology is vital to national unity.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

A: I see myself as a Sri Lankan contributing to the betterment of the nation while adhering to the social ethics needed to fulfil the various duties and responsibilities of a civic minded citizen. Given my interest in international relations, I hope to use my knowledge to take my country forward.

Q: And where do you see Sri Lanka in a decade from now?

A: With the rapid development of infrastructure, the growth of technology and an increase in entrepreneurship, there don’t seem to be any obstacles to the development of the country. But it won’t be easy without a positive mindset.

People need to work towards a common goal rather than chase personal expectations if we are to move forward as a nation. All in all, the present decade will be full of ups and downs, and we need to cope with it.

Q: Who is responsible for climate change and global warming, and what must be done about it?

A: Everyone is responsible for climate change and global warming. Talking about who is responsible over and over again is unnecessary because the harm has already been done. Rather than organising strikes and clashes, the world needs to focus more on sustainable products and services.

Focussing more on R&D brings about innovation, which is key to initiating sustainability. Simply buying local to begin with will make a difference in the long run.

Q: How do you view the growing importance of social media – the pros and cons so to speak?

A: Social media is a part of our lives. Literally everything in this world revolves around social media since it connects people with only a few taps on a mobile device or computer.

There may be good and bad aspects to it, but we need to sort out what’s right on this virtual platform and use it wisely without being ensnared by its detriments.

Q: And finally, where do you see the world in 10 years?

A: With the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) plan and all countries working towards a comfortable place to live, the world will definitely combat the issues at hand.

However, the international community shouldn’t lose itself in between this period of rapid transition and development. Today will be a part of history in 10 years’ time and the actions we take now will define the next decade.