The famous blue train travel and efficient way to get about but badly needs to be overhauled
We are so unfortunate that bribery and corruption in every Institution, particularly in the Government sector , is dishonest. The Media has exposed the venality of Parliamentarians, members of Town and Provincial Councils, Chairpersons of Government Corporations, and Administrators as deceitful and corrupt. Still, there is no proof against them, as they are very clever in concealing their dishonest practices.
It is tragic that officers elected to serve the public behave in a scandalous and disgraceful manner. The newspapers and TV news give us an ear-full daily. So, the public has no choice except to be disgusted and frustrated to see their hard-earned money wasted as direct and indirect tax payments. It is undoubtedly our mistake in appointing such people through the universal franchise.
Each Government had slow economic progress even when the country had resources with engineers and artisans. From time immemorial, our forefathers were engineers admired and praised by foreigners for their ingenuity. They constructed canals with a gradient of one inch to a mile. Our forefathers did everything with the sole aim of preserving their nationalistic premise.
Unfortunately for us, the qualified and capable engineers, technicians, and artisans migrated to boost the economy of foreign countries. When Governments change every five years or so, they don’t define a Government policy structure to adhere to. New administrations then change the policy structure according to their whims and fancies rather than adhering to a national policy.
Earlier our average IQ was very high. However in 2015, we went down to 79 in the Asian IQ rankings. Today Japan has an IQ rate of 106.48 with 125, 584, 838, and Taiwan stands at 106.47 with 23,888,595 population and Singapore at 105.89 with 5,943, 546. It shows how Sri Lanka has deteriorated in social and intellectual capabilities.
What did Sri Lanka lose?
Because of the gluttony of two former Ministers, Sri Lanka lost a network of electric trains. Media wallahas pulled skeletons out of the cupboards of a former senior Minister and State Minister concerning an electric train project with a foreign company. The foreign firm was unwilling to grant the staggering commissions demanded by the two previous Ministers. Their greed affected the development of the country’s rail system and lost thousands of employment opportunities.
The irony was how such transgressions were covered up rather than holding an inquiry by the Criminal Department to bring the perpetrators to justice. They should have been punished by law. For the sake of transparency, the previous Government should have investigated whether their two Ministers were corrupt or were the Media, allegations false.
Ceylon gained Independence on 4 February 1948; since then, politicians’ fragmented society into various political groups and hues. The politicians’ egocentric aim was to grab power but not work for the nation’s development. It is ruinous even today to see such views and patterns continuing in the same trend to devalue the country’s overall values, progress, and development.
During the Presidential Election, the Government repeatedly announced that when they came to power, the wrongdoers of the previous Government would be severely dealt with. The Government has still to adhere to their pledge at the election podia. The Government tried to escape by adopting a procrastination process and hiding behind the term ‘democratic‘. This kind of television drama makes the present Government sill unpopular.
On 2 March 2022, a conference of eleven coalition parties of the Government was held at a Hotel in Kotte to unveil their proposals titled ‘Mulu Ratama Hari Magata’. The forum intended to overcome the economic crisis in the country’s long-term and short-term solutions. Still, after the conference, two prominent Cabinet Ministers lost their jobs, which the populace thought was a rash decision!
The administrators constantly point fingers at the residue of corrupt officials entrusted to deal with the files of the miscreants. The public hears the files containing evidence against offenders were either misplaced, or that lawyers did not present facts accurately. This process is a total waste of the taxpayers’ money and the Government’s time in courts that sends so many scot-free.
A police force deployed in any country is to maintain Law and Order. However, if a police officer is found guilty, he gets transferred to another district rather than being dealt with. Such situations become indecorous incidents, but the whole issue becomes a laughingstock.
The public consensus is that reorganising the Cabinet of Ministers will not help the Nation’s development or come out of the present economic crisis. Yet, the head of the Government needs to consider the overall Cabinet Ministers’ capabilities rather than being emotional before taking any drastic steps.
Dispensing of medicine
A state of affairs exists when the registered pharmacists entrust the business to entrepreneurs to run their licensed pharmacies by employing cashiers with no knowledge of pharmaceuticals, except a few branded names.
It is a severe problem. The Pharmacy Act in Sri Lanka dictates the licence holder to be present on-site when dispensing drugs to the public. Suppose the licence holder is not available at any time in the pharmacy, the Law dictates to close the pharmacy during the pharmacist’s absence. Even when Health Ministry inspectors do flying visits to pharmacies in the absence of the licence holder, the cashier usually comes out with the excuse that “the boss just has gone out”.
In Sri Lanka, it has become habitual to place drugs in small envelopes without mentioning the drugs’ name or strength. The ignorant patient does not know what he consumes at all. It applies primarily to antibiotics. Unless one buys a complete packet from a pharmacy of the branded drug, no one knows what they swallow. All local private clinics adopt this system placing drugs in separate envelopes. After all, a person’s life is their responsibility. They should have the right to know what medications they consume.
Contrary to these practices in developed countries, such as Chemists in the UK, the senior pharmacist always double checks the drugs before dispensing it to the public by checking the name and address of the prescription, the list of drugs and the strength of the medicine and the dosage marked as TDS, etc.
Unfortunately, the public is facing hard times with the economic calamity and the consumer prices rocketing because of the dollar crisis. People are in darkness for up to 7 hours a day due to power outages while the Ministers and VIPs are not affected. The public are frustrated to the hilt. With the release of funds to clear cargo in Colombo harbour, one hopes the power outage will be limited. At present, what people see on TV news is how the public express their frustrations. Can any Government politician visits the voter now pleading to be reelected?
picture Credit: Ceylon Today Newspaper