Micaiah De Silva desires transformation that will take Sri Lanka forward

Compiled by Nicola Jayasundera

Q: What’s the good, the bad and the ugly here in Sri Lanka?
A: Sri Lanka has a diverse array of offerings that range from a tropical climate, beauti­ful beaches and incredible food, to natural and man-made attractions that preserve our culture, infrastructure and long history. This makes Sri Lanka a hotspot for culture and beauty.

Unfortunately, the lack of opportunities leads to skilled professionals migrating; and this creates a dearth of local skills, which in turn results in the extinction of the know-how needed to produce our own goods.

Specifically, the ‘Golden Residence’ visa introduced by Bahrain is an opportunity for some categories of workers to migrate and this contributes to the ongoing brain drain in our country.

Sri Lanka is still considered a developing country even after decades of independence while states such as Singapore have surpassed us economically – and they are recognised as developed nations.

Q: So what are some of the major challenges facing our nation today?
A: We were blown off our feet by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since we were unable to handle the consequences, we had to resort to taking strict measures to bring the situation under control. As a result of those restrictions, the production and supply of goods and services were curtailed for long periods of time.

This situation has left our country with extremely low foreign exchange reserves, which has led to the present forex crisis.

Q: Do you believe that Sri Lanka will be united one day? And if so – how and why?
A: I hope to see a future where we are able to proudly proclaim that we’re a united nation. Internal conflicts will arise but we must overcome these challenges in unison for the sake of unity.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
A: Being an ambitious, goal oriented individual, it’s important for me to diversify my career path in chemistry, music and media, and take on more responsibilities as time progresses.

I want to learn all that is possible and improve my skills – and ensure that I do justice to the knowledge I’ve gained. I’m a passionate advocate of community service for the betterment of society and hope to use my communications, public relations and leadership skills to make this happen.

Q: And where do you see Sri Lanka in a decade from today?
A: With encouraging news about manufacturing our own 200 cc capacity vehicle, I’m confident that local production will be boosted and foreign exchange saved.

It should aid agricultural development, boost our production levels and increase exports, as well as stabilise the balance of payments situation. A decade from today, I envision a rich country with expanding local production.

Q: Who is responsible for climate change and global warming – and what must be done about these issues?
A: It’s unreasonable to single out an individual or a group as the sole cause but industrial development among other factors has brought about this damage, which individuals and groups have knowingly contributed to.

Strict adherence to eco-friendly global practices will undoubtedly reduce the damage caused by climate change.

Q: How do you view the growing importance of social media today?
A: Gone are the days when we literally put pen to paper. Social media has created a much more convenient and faster mode of communication.

Believing that social media is ‘unethical’ in the 21st century would mean that we’re still living a primitive life. It’s necessary to assess the positive and negative impacts nevertheless, and implement regulatory measures that can be effected to minimise the undesirable practices of certain individuals.

This global virtual platform transcended communication barriers during the pandemic, and that has made social media part and parcel of life today.

Q: Where do you see the world in 10 years’ time?
A: With technological advancements and the conflict between major powers, the future seems to be rather bleak for the world at large.

It’s also important for humankind to venture out into space, and explore areas beyond our backyard in the interest of human development and survival.