We step on to the year 2020 today (1st January 2020). The dawn of a New Year is an occurrence according to the recognized calendar. However, extending wishes for the New Year has become a characteristic of culture. Identifying challenges and using the New Year to overcome such challenges would be essential to begin the life anew.
We, as the people of Sri Lanka, step on to the year 2020 with an umpteen number of inauspicious challenges before us. Sri Lanka is confronted with the biggest economic crisis. The central government debt amounts to Rs.12 trillion, and it is said that the loan instalment the country has to pay in 2020 amounts to Rs. 1 trillion. The Minister of Finance of the new government recently said the ‘treasury was empty’. If so, despite all wishes this year would not be auspicious for the people. These are the consequences of 71 years of political and economic policies adopted by our rulers.
Also, the country is confronted with several social and cultural crises and challenges. The competitive education system that remains a strain on students, teachers and parents, the money-driven health service and the transport system that sans facilities and drive would torment the people this year as well.
The New Year 2020 dawns with a ‘new’ administration. However, this ‘new’ administration has already shattered the hopes of those who contributed to form it. It is those who contributed to form the ‘new’ administration that are most disappointed regarding it. The ‘new’ administration has already shattered the hopes of the people who expected a disciplined country, an administration without corruption, a cabinet appointed according to a scientific basis, an administration moving along a path of erudition and anti-imperialistic attitude. Shattering the wishes of all who voted for it, the ‘new’ administration is plodding along the same old path its predecessors had taken. As such, there is no possibility that the New Year would be auspicious for the people. It is why wishes alone would not make the New Year auspicious.
However, we need not lose hope. If our people genuinely hope for an auspicious New Year, it could be achieved. It could only be achieved if they stop plodding along the same old, futile political path but think of a new political journey. There is a saying that ‘Experience Is the Best Teacher’. It is a fact. If our people could make experiences their guidance at least this year, if they could think anew and take new and correct decisions this year, every year would be auspicious for the people and the country. We wish all those who think anew, are prepared to make their lives anew and struggle to win challenges in this New Year, more wisdom and strength.
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna