REGAINING PARADISE LOST
Mithulan Muhunthan believes that there is potential to regain Sri Lanka
Compiled by Nicola Jayasundera
Q: What’s the good, the bad and the ugly here in Sri Lanka?
A: Free education and medical services are positive factors. Unlike other nations where education and healthcare are fee levying sectors, Sri Lanka provides these facilities at no cost to its citizens.
The district standardisation method for university admissions of A-Level students must change. It would be better if admissions are offered on the basis of national rankings.
Our country doesn’t have a proper garbage disposal system except in highly populated areas; as a consequence, people deliberately litter in public. Similarly, many Sri Lankans don’t follow the road rules – so they put themselves and innocent bystanders in danger.
In addition to these shortcomings, the conflicts among the different ethnic groups in our country have permanently scarred its history.
Q: And what are the challenges facing the country today?
A: The COVID-19 pandemic is obviously the major challenge or more appropriately, the threat every country in the world is facing today. Even though our government is trying its best to overcome this crisis, the national economy is on the verge of collapse due to the drop in tourism.
Q: Do you believe that Sri Lanka will be united someday – and if so, why?
A: The very symbol of unity – which is the Sri Lankan flag – lost its meaning after politicians based their actions on race and religion. Due to the activities of successive governments, we have been pushed into this situation of despair. But still there are good people and honest politicians in our country who continue to fight as the voice of Sri Lankans. So I believe we will be united some day.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
A: Firstly, I see myself as a successful citizen of Sri Lanka and doctor practising medicine free of charge. Secondly, I hope to see myself as an individual who is recognised throughout the country as a person who stands tall – and is proud of his ethnicity, culture and religion; and most importantly, his alma mater.
Q: And where do you see Sri Lanka a decade from now?
A: I see Sri Lanka as a deve-loped country that is debt free and equipped with a self-sustaining economy that promotes local production. I also see Sri Lankans of all ethnicities, cultures and religions living peacefully under a democratic government that is true to its people.
I hope to see our country as one that successfully overcame poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, I see Sri Lanka with a 100 percent literacy rate with zero unemployment. And I would like to see our clean and beautiful island revive – the country that even Singapore looked up to decades ago.
Q: Who is responsible for climate change and global warming – and what must be done about it?
A: Each and every citizen of this world is responsible for climate change and global warming. Other than the government implementing laws, it is we who should act responsibly to save Mother Earth.
Q: How do you view the growing importance of social media today?
A: Social media is a platform where instant news, business promotions, people’s talents and social opinions are welcomed. But in my view, it can have a negative influence as well.
For example, social media is a major platform where rumours and misinformation are spread, targeting innocent people on most occasions. It has become a negative influence on students due to its addictive nature.
Q: And where do you see the world in 10 years’ time?
A: I see a beautiful and peaceful world that has overcome the effects of global warming and climate change, and where countries that were on the verge of war have become peaceful.
In addition, I see a world where animal species on the verge of extinction are no longer threatened and the blessings of Mother Earth have been bestowed upon us. And I wish to see a world free of poverty – one where a person can roam freely, and all diverse cultures and creeds are equally respected.
Finally, I see a world that is inhabited by an ideal society with its citizens living in harmony.