Fadhil Fazil is hopeful that better times are ahead for his precious homeland

Compiled by Nicola Jayasundera

Q: What is the good, the bad and the ugly here in Sri Lanka?
A: Culture – the good, the bad and the ugly is contained in that single word.

It should not be interpreted incorrectly because Sri Lanka has a culture that is more than nominal and that’s where the good comes in. A serendipity of sonatas, the richness of humanity and homeliness that Sri Lankans have induced… all these factors contribute to a feeling that’s dearly missed by those who leave our shores.

But this concept of culture also showcases the bad in society and that’s evident in a senseless unwillingness to change. When someone takes new strides, society often mistrusts that move forward.

The ugly is an offshoot of the bad since the fear of change can without doubt be used and misused by those who wish to be spoilers.

Q: And what are the challenges facing the country today?
A: The challenges facing Sri Lanka today include racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia and all other forms of bigotry. What’s holding us back is always an unwillingness to change.

While change can be difficult, the circumstances and Sri Lankans make it somewhat impossible. There is resistance to new and improved ways of thinking, due to the perception that it isn’t befitting our culture and norms.

Q: Do you believe that Sri Lanka will be united one day? If so, why?
A: Yes, I’m human so I possess the vital instinct of hope for better days and times.

And even though my generation can sometimes be hypocritical, we are all united in achieving a broader vision than what is being implemented today. So yes, Sri Lanka will be united one day.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
A: Honestly, I don’t know. If the pandemic has taught me one thing, it’s that no matter how much you plan, your fate is never yours to decide.

But I can tell you where you won’t find me – you will not find me in a ‘9 to 5’ job paying taxes for someone else or glued to a screen all day and stressed out with a drinking problem.

Instead, you might find me following my passion as a creative person or making memories. I guess we will see in 10 years…

Q: And where do you see Sri Lanka a decade from today?
A: Hopefully in a better place even though we may unfortunately be still debt ridden. But at least Sri Lanka will be a more accommodating and homely place for those who grow up here – a place where people can be themselves and cherish their lives.

Of course, Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and I believe we take that for granted sometimes; but I’m sure we will be in a better place as a nation.

Q: Who is responsible for climate change and global warming – and what must be done about it?
A: You and I are responsible for this. All 7.9 billion humans are taking the Earth and its bounty for granted. We forget that we’re a part of the global population and have become parasites in our own home.

We are responsible for climate change; and if we want to make it a better place for future generations, we should start by focussing on sustainability. Small changes by individuals add up to big changes for humanity.

Q: How do you view the growing importance of social media today?
A: People argue about whether it’s bad or good but it has opened many avenues to many opportunities. So I’d say take the good and leave the bad; because for some people, it’s their way of life and that makes it more than simply important.

Q: And where do you see the world in 10 years’ time?
A: It’ll depend on how we treat it. If we keep consuming endlessly, then half the population will be dead.

But I have hope and believe that there’s a more sustainable livelihood for everyone. Our world offers a very rare opportunity – and to destroy it is akin to digging our own graves. So hopefully, we can make it a more pristine place for each and every being.