“Developing countries are home to roughly 80 percent of the world’s population, 98 percent of humanity’s hungry people, and 78 percent of harvested croplands.” – Brookings Institute
In a civil war that murdered 80,000 people, Sri Lankans are seeing peace in their lifetime. It’s quite a model for the rest of the world.
While the U.S. has faced a civil war in our own past, it is a distant history and was over relatively soon; Sri Lankans’ internal war lasted 26 years. For some people, that is a lifetime. It’s all they knew.
The war consisted of brutal clashes between the native Sinhalese and the Tamils who are a Hindu minority group. Most of Sri Lanka is comprised of Buddhists. Knowing that both Hindu and Buddhists foster and believe in peace, it is strange to see that this even occurred.
The current leader of Sri Lanka holds the key. It’s to be open to all (peaceable) viewpoints:
“We should allow our religious leaders to guide us….” – Maithripala Sirisena, Current Leader of Sri Lanka
He is a Buddhist — but professes to learn and listen from all religions. What a wonderful view to be compassionate to all beliefs even when we cherish our own views.
This might seem strange to us — since we are governed by separation of church and state. And here is Sri Lanka, a country being guided by spirituality.
Yet, our own country was guided by this as well. If you review most of Abraham Lincoln’s speeches, he talks about how the presence of God or Providence is guiding us and how our Constitution would not have been able to be formed without this leadership. There were so many arguments, near catastrophes, and an almost crumbling of our Constitution. What seems normal today was unsure then.
Abraham Lincoln also goes on to invoke God in our civil war as well as our international dealings, stating that ‘every soldier’s adherence, every citizen’s adherence, to the greater values of God, truth and love, would be the only way the United States could last’. It is extremeley important that we respect religion and respect the freedom of worship. It is equally important that we realize how much worship can guide us in our individual lives and our country’s future.
And this is what Sri Lanka is doing; they are embracing the different religions. They are also emphasizing the importance of having a spiritual belief. Then, they are taking practical footsteps such as rule of law replacing military fiefdoms. They are setting up peace and reconciliation conferences where all view points are heard. They are releasing innocent political prisoners, and returning land which was unjustly taken from the common people.
Sri Lanka provides an opportunity for all of us to model; act justly and act with God’s guidance. We can enjoy life and trust our future to this. Thank you Sri Lanka for your wonderful model.
Get involved today: Help Sri Lanka continue its success:
History of Sri Lanka and the Civil War
Sri Lanka is an island off the southeast tip of India that has survived 26 years of being divided during a long civil war. The war began between the two main ethnicities on the island, the Sinhalese and the Tamil. Throughout the history of Sri Lanka the Sinhalese were the majority which gave them political and economic power resulting in the marginalization of the Tamil. This marginalization resulted in a Tamil rebel group being formed called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). LTTE argued that they had been victims of discrimination under a Buddhist Sinhalese government and fought for decades to resolve the issues.
In 2009, the Civil War finally came to a close under the rule of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, new President, Maithripala Sirisena, a former health minister, was elected in the most recent elections in January 2015. President Sirisena was elected through the Sinhala-majority rural constituency and the Tamil and Muslim minority groups. With these groups coming together, this has proven to be a time when all groups are able to coincide and become a new Sri Lanka under the new President.
Guatemala leads the charge in correcting corruption! How are they doing it?
Guatemala has instituted a new commission, the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, which is providing systematic investigations. This is bringing to light corruption and preventing officials from continuing corruptive practices.
A new generation is also taking charge. After hearing about bribes within the political office, 30,000 Guatemalans stormed the streets. They simply won’t continue to exist with the status quo.
As we set up commissions, realize our voice and take action in a strong or gentle way, the world will change. And it is. Now, other Central American countries are studying Guatemala to find out how they too can turn the tide from negative civil wars, and achieve lasting peace.
An interesting article in The Economist spoke about governments that are forced into innovation.
They are running out of funds.
The UK has just instituted a budget cut: They need to find savings of nearly 40% across the government.
Services we have taken for granted — we will have to pay. “Life event services” such as recycling require a charge. Immigrants have to pay a £200 charge regarding the National Health Services program, whether they use it or not, upon entrance to the country. What’s most fascinating is looking at the courts. If you’re in a criminal court and you plead not guilty and then are convicted, you owe serious charges for the court time and the prosecutor fees. Divorce or taking up an issue with a tenant will cost you.
What about the luxury of driving? Many parking spaces are no longer free. And if you enter the busy downtown route in London, you pay a charge of about $15. This keeps congestion down, and public transportation up.
In part, it is trying to ensure that people stay honest; in part it simply makes them more grateful.
What do you think? Do you like the UK’s government’s new approach to services?
I appreciate very much that people are being innovative. We do need to be more creative.
We need to save the environment.
It makes us pause before we simply act– and sometimes rashly, out of anger, or hurt. You are paying emotionally, and with your wallet! …. could we handle this in a different way? A more personal way, using our emotional relationship building skills rather than the courts?
I like that it holds us accountable.
I always appreciate becoming humbler…it’s a deep soul penetrating sense of gratitude for every little thing….
I also hope that it is not penalizing a sincere user of the service. Therefore:
Could for-profits create some services, and support new jobs with excellence in client service? We reduce a bloated government, provide greater efficiency, more jobs, more competitiveness in pricing and excellence in client service?
Could nonprofits support the deserving, documented requests and help the people most affected? Donors who contribute — pick the person and story they want to fund. It could also create a personal connection not existing now, contributing to a longterm relationship and support. That’s also a stronger, more bonded community.
My view is that some of these government charges will be necessary. At the same time I hope that this will be an opportunity for our forprofit and philanthropic sectors to step up and provide.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Want to hear an incredible success story with renewable energies? Then watch South Africa! In a remarkable 4 years, they have become a model for renewable energy all across the world. One of the areas that is critical about renewable energy is not just the ability to produce it, but to make it cost-effective. You can have great solar panels but if they are expensive it prohibits many people (and companies) from buying them. Even if you can point to a greater long-term investment, it’s hard around their short-term pocketbook.
So let’s watch South Africa: Prices for wind energy are down 42%; prices for solar energy are down 68%.
Further, their economic counsel is on board with this program. They realize how impactful it can be… for not just the cities to benefit, but for world communities. Many of them have never had access to any type of energy and their first one is renewable and natural!
How exciting that our world is now leapfrogging pollutant energy such as coal, and getting people at the bottom of our pyramid the cleanest energy on Earth. Wonderful!!!
“Water is hot and diet soda is not.” Wall Street Journal Continue reading