Compiled by Nicola Jayasundera
NAVIGATING A SOFT LANDING
Enuri Mahaliyanage calls for economic reforms and a truly united mindset
Q: What’s the good, the bad and the ugly here in Sri Lanka today?
A: Sri Lanka has reached a somewhat satisfactory stage in aspects of healthcare due to an efficient vaccination system that’s been operating in the island. This served to minimise the death toll from COVID-19.
Since telecommunications, transportation and electricity rates are at all-time highs however, the general public has been severely inconvenienced.
In addition to these, the lengthy queues for fuel that reemerged recently left Sri Lankans with a gloomy outlook. And it’s possible that social and political unrest could continue if these issues aren’t addressed in due time.
Q: And what are the other challenges facing the nation today?
A: Sri Lanka is in quite a different situation now, unlike in the past.
The challenges that we faced previously have been addressed due to social, technological and psychological interventions. But because of many of the drawbacks in governance, key sectors such as education, healthcare, plantations and transportation, as well as others, are at risk.
An economy under threat and a lack of resources have inflicted great stresses on people who are also challenged by severe economic hardships and conflicting interpersonal relationships.
The rising incidence of food scarcity, a lack of medicines and fewer job opportunities are among the consequences of uncontrolled inflation, as well as the fuel crisis that recently crippled the country.
This situation has caused people to consider living life in Sri Lanka today to be a challenge in itself.
Q: Do you believe that Sri Lanka will be united one day? And if so, how and why?
A: If there is true equality among citizens, restoration of law and order, and genuine freedom of expression, Sri Lanka will eventually be a united nation.
In addition, the perspectives and practices of the general populace should be in line with salutary ethical and moral values. Once racial, religious and ethnic segregation are eliminated from the minds of people, our nation will be able to stand as a united family.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
A: I wish to see myself as an ambassador representing my country and pursuing studies in international relations. Further, I would like to explore how states the world over interact, and identify ways to uplift and ensure the wellbeing of all citizens, by establishing and nurturing diplomatic and economic relations with other countries.
Q: And where do you see Sri Lanka in a decade from today?
A: With proper planning and together with international investors, many economic options and job opportunities will be available for Sri Lankans in the near future. This will help reduce poverty and unemployment.
With the advancement of technology on many fronts, standards in the education and healthcare sectors will also improve.
Q: Who is responsible for climate change and global warming – and what must be done about them?
A: As usual, human beings are to be held responsible. Irresponsible human activity such as burning of fossil fuels, which produces heat trapping gases, is the root cause of global warming and climate change.
Ending the emission of toxic gases by industries and using less harmful products will have a positive impact on the environment. These measures will go some way towards mitigating the problem.
Q: How do you view the growing importance of social media today?
A: If handled with care and responsibility, social media will eventually overtake mass media, and become the mainstream process to building a better rapport among people.
In contemporary society, social media provides users with the necessary work environment and job opportunities, and enhances human relationships and creativity.
Q: And where do you see the world in 10 years’ time?
A: In the next decade, I hope to see a world that will be a better place for everyone with solid bonds being created between nations and people. Every person will be able to enjoy equal rights and engage in decent work.
And there will be fewer wars, threats to life and misunderstandings among the people of the planet.