Sri Lanka: Colombo Garbage Crisis — Nothing but Disgrace!

The bottom line of the Colombo Garbage Crisis is nothing but disgrace to the nation locally and globally. How can the citizens have hope when rulers and their stooges exploit even the smelly garbage?


by Nilantha Ilangamuwa

(April 20, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Things have come to light yet again, and many have written from many angles about the same political culture of blaming, claiming, attacking and intimidating the alleged subjects. Politicians were blamed, fair enough. But will this blaming and shaming solve the crisis? What is the point of shaming someone who already has no shame?

What is the lesson learned repeatedly?

Politics has ethics, but politicians; Politics has discipline but politicians; Politics has order but politicians; Politics has responsibilities but politicians; Politics has accountability but politicians; Politics has transparency but politicians, Politics is uncorrupted but politicians; the list goes on and on and on. The interesting answer is that not even a single politician in this country is unaware of the basic formula mentioned above. In other words, politicians know they can’t “succeed” with ethics, discipline, order or responsibilities, but act to oppose them as the way to power. Western Provincial Council and other local governing bodies are such fetid wounds which kept on hurting fellow human senselessly.

The tragedy in the Colombo suburb of Meethotamulla during the traditional New Year celebration is yet another tragedy in the history where innocent civilians pay the price for the greed of distorted political culture in this island. Neither politicians nor any other responsible party has the spine to resign from the position at least as a symbolical protest to pay homage to those victims who paid taxes out of heard earned income to maintain the responsible parties in their jobs and homes. Such sensible people evaporated from this land and were replaced by ugly, deceptive, cunning subjects who know how to embezzle the state assets. The same agenda is in place no matter the main political slogan such as “wonder Asia” or “good governance” through which the agenda is decorated.

Despite failing the responsibility to resign, some came on media to explain how they planned to manage the Colombo Garbage while others started playing hide and seek to find a person to be blamed.

With such a situation as our reality, can this country ever be improved beyond maintaining different sets of thieves and swindlers under the various governments? What is the meaning of election if the person elected is unable to give due respect to the vote, the brain power cell of democracy? Why do we need to maintain state departments and disaster management centres if the country is still calling for the military to handle every social crisis?

Despite all tears, there is a significant move by the people who have collectively opposed the government. This is clearly planting the new seeds for a new wave of resistance by a group that is genuinely rejecting the corrupted germs which distorted, manipulated and took hostages of the men and women in this country for generations.

According to the information available, the Colombo Garbage is a criminal network. As usual, the driving force of this horrific deadly network is the political force and the hierarchy that represents it. All of them have their own quota at the end of the day while those who affected are counting days of their lives. This has deep rooted history. If the leadership or any other person or group is seeking a firm and reliable solution to such crisis first they must read between the lines of the network and understand the root causes.

It has been reported the Chief Minister of Western Province, as well as the cabinet Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, demanded ransom from two foreign companies who proposed to solve the Colombo Garbage Crisis. Chief Minister’s wife, according to the report, who happened to be the secretary of husband Minister, had requested for a meeting with the company during which she had demanded millions as ransom to start the state project, whereas the cabinet minister of the subject did the same shameful corrupted game with another company. At last none of those companies decided to move forward with the proposed projects but flew back to their countries by abandoning the noble idea to improve the destructive corrupted culture in Sri Lanka. Neither chief minister nor the cabinet minister denies the allegations. Those are just two examples out of dozens around the Colombo Garbage crisis.

However the most important question is how to solve this crisis? How did other countries solve the Garbage Crisis? Garbage is no longer wastage but a resource that can be useful if the authority manages it well. But, nothing can be managed sustainably if it is under the clutches of criminals and their “dependent guardians” who wore white cloths to cover darkest fraudulent hearts. Yesterday it was Meethotamulla, today it could be Kandy and tomorrow it could be Dompe. The tragedy will continue while we bury our men and women, and beyond – as long as this criminal network is active.

If the country is abstaining from developing a bold team of governance with the skills to manage through law to ensure the fundamental rights of all citizens and prevent all forms of crimes, the cities and villages in the country will show the true face of the rule. Meethotamulla was such an example after the country experienced in many places similar tragedies from landslides in Samasara Mountain to floods in Jaffna when the natural disasters struck and there was no protection for the ordinary folks.

The bottom line of the Colombo Garbage Crisis is nothing but disgrace to the nation locally and globally. How can the citizens have hope when rulers and their stooges exploit even the smelly garbage?

Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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