Kavindu Wannisinghe hopes that humankind will learn to protect the planet

Compiled by Nicola Jayasundera

Q: What’s the good, the bad and the ugly here in Sri Lanka, in your assessment?
A: It’s evident that throughout history, Sri Lanka has undergone various changes culturally, politically and economically. But the people and their ideologies remain as they have for hundreds of years.

As such, irresponsible behaviour and unacceptable ideologies are the bad and ugly factors in Sri Lanka. Caring for others is what’s good.

However, this can be paradoxical. We’re a hospitable nation; but we envy our neighbours’ lifestyles. We help each other but try to invade people’s privacy and expose their true nature. We stand together to fight a common enemy; but at the end of the day, we fight among ourselves to share what we have won.

Q: And what do you consider to be the main challenges facing the country at this juncture?
A: One of the major challenges we’re facing presently is the global pandemic. Another challenge is political immaturity that’s resulting in economic decline.

This is leading to the brain drain due to the lack of job opportunities in the country and making human resources a scarce commodity in Sri Lanka.

Q: Do you believe that Sri Lanka will be united one day? Why or why not?
A: The true answer lies in what we consider ‘unity’ to be. If we look carefully at the world, we’ll know that no country is united. Unity is a journey that has no destination.

We will never be able to say at any given point that we’ve achieved unity as a country as it’s an unachievable mirage. And Sri Lanka will never be united in the real sense of the word as no two ethnic groups are the same.

Q: Could you tell us where you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
A: I can’t predict where I’ll be in 10 years – this will depend on the choices I make over the years. Wherever I am and whatever I do, I hope that I’ll be playing to my strengths and following my passion.

Q: And where do you see Sri Lanka in a decade or so from today?
A: If we continue to elect leaders according to what our grandparents’ political affiliations were and degrading other religions to fulfil our egos, and keep implementing these economic policies and methods, we will be in the same place or worse 10 years from now.

In short, Sri Lanka will be the same developing country it was a decade ago.

Q: In your opinion, who is responsible for climate change and global warming – and what must be done to address this?
A: Climate change and global warming have been pressing issues for years. As they are natural disasters, nature itself is more likely to be held responsible for the changes in these phenomena.

Although human action has triggered global warming, it’s more about what is bound to happen eventually. We can minimise this to some extent by going green but it is not a practical approach to achieving zero level climate change or putting a complete stop to global warming.

Q: What is your take of the growing importance of social media in today’s landscape?
A: Over the course of time, people have become attached to social media to the extent that it has become a part of our daily lives.

While it’s still questionable whether it is a boon or bane, my view is that the growing importance of social media is beneficial to us. At the end of the day, it lies in the user’s hand to make the best of it.

Q: And last but not least, where do you see the world in 10 years’ time?
A: With advancements and discoveries in various fields, the world is bound to continue developing steadily. But there’s an adverse side where various terrorist organisations and evolving natural disasters may lead to the complete destruction of the world as we know it.

like to live in a world where humankind is not responsible for the destruction of Mother Nature.