Let’s unite!We are all victors of war!
With unlimited access to natural reserves in the Indian Ocean, being a member of a maritime Silk Road initiative of China, having friendly and mutually benefiting relations with India and the rest of trading countries, and materialising full potential of educated population of the country, Sri Lanka could be a model for developing and developed nations.
At this juncture we need a cohesive and long term national strategy to realise that.
Just because we Sri Lankans were led to believe that our country is a proud nation, it does not necessary mean it is true. In terms of individual, do you really feel you are an equal citizen among other citizens of developed nations? The latter question would not be appearing if that was the case, I assume.
We, statesmen and policymakers, need a cohesive and long term national strategy to uplift the status of our nation and the image of the Sri Lankan citizens. Such nation strategy shall go beyond party politics. Realities of local and global politics are on our side, historically speaking!
National strategy as such shall benefit from favouring historical global and local political climate too to do so.
It is the time to realise that the country as a whole needs a national strategy to realise what Sri Lanka is. It has to be defined, articulated and implemented in a way that, in long term, international community and local could realise what it means to be the nation of Sri Lanka, and what it means to be an individual of Sri Lankan origin.
What factors has to be considered in such broad articulation is mentioned in this article.
One of the first things that that the statesmen and the policymaker has to realise is the geographical position of the country and its surrounding. Then the size of its population, the amount of natural resources it has inherited from Mother Nature to provide for that population, demography of the country, its economy, its dominant belief systems, and cultural systems have to be deeply considered in the formation of national strategy.
Even after all that, only realising the dynamics of global geopolitics such formulation realises of its true foundation. Followings are few crucial things to consider.
Neighbouring IndiaSri Lanka is a small island in the India Ocean neighbouring to 50 time larger India. It is a fact that 50 times larger India means a lot considering the economic, political, cultural, military and soft and hard power it possess in its disposal. What has to be understood as the strategist of nation policy is if one miscalculates the later one fundamentally miscalculates the potential opportunities and risks of the country in terms of trying to shape the national image among national and international community.
Sri Lanka is never in a position to undermined India. Never.
GlobalisationGlobalisation is a mystical word with its mystical properties. Policymaker has to understand the potential opportunities and risks it presents to him on a plane plate that you, only you, could choose what to take-in and what to leave-out from it. What has to be mindful of, as the policymaker of national strategy, or a country like Sri Lanka in contemporary world, that the power of Global Multitude/population is as such that even sovereign nation-states is somewhat constrained by it. With the access to information in a fraction of second, and being protected by universal rights Global Multitude is ever powerful tool. So it works the same magic for India and China too.
The point to take from it is that while at the same time the abilities of unrealistic realpolitik of India is constrained by this global multitude, Sri Lanka is offered with some leverage to manoeuvre its realistic goals.
Even thou we will be playing the underdog all the time, it does not mean we could not build a nation that we could be proud of. This would be a tricky balancing act that needs careful attention and meticulous planning through in every single step of the country.
Being a Buddhist nationStatesmen and policymaker ought to find a way to communicate the necessary details of the massage to relevant stakeholders using very conservative beliefs systems that we have inherited.
We have been told that Sri Lanka is a proud nation with a 2,500 years of Buddhist history. This belief and its consequence of having consequential power structures has healing and un-healing properties attached to it.
Just because our country is a Buddhist country does not mean we are the most decent people on planet nor is the greatest nation on the planet. With the ‘given’ independence in 1948, and full relinquishment of judicial power in 1972, Sri Lanka had achieved very little until 2009, when the war was concluded, in terms of its overall development. Rather conservative establishment of this has the potential to constraint forward looking policies of the nation as a whole. New technologies, development of rural infrastructures, development of new industries are closely being scrutinised.
The policymaker has to understand that what is at stake here is the development of nation as a whole and the uplifting of the people’s mind-sets to a developed status. There needs a clear communication strategy of the nation strategy for those conservative establishments.
Natural sourcesWith the discovery of off shore oil deposits in the exclusive economic zone, Sri Lanka could build a multi-source energy resource base, and could be self-sufficient with energy supply in the future. Using the Mother Nature given geographical location of the country we are in a position to diversify our energy resources from hydro energy, solar, wind power to may be recycle.
Infrastructures developmentsBlood vain of a country is its infrastructure. Broad roads, highways, bridges, channel, airports, harbours, telecommunication systems, transport systems, sewage systems, draining systems are critical parts of a well-functioning state. Without these no well-function state is maintained. Domestic national strategy has to be wrapped around those.
Economic diversificationWith appropriate infrastructure in place, where the foreign and local investments are encouraged, the country needs to diversify its economic base. Tea, rubber, pol, and garment industries belong to primary and secondary products. Where the manufacture is taking place, not just assembling, has to be developed.
Military instalmentsThe former Government’s initiatives of all around military bases in North, East and in South are great initiatives. They have to be drawn into national strategy. Military capabilities reflecting respective economic and political means is a natural development of any country. If there is no such appropriate fortresses in right places that could send a wrong signal for those who seeking to be exploitative of such places and situations. The military base in the North is crucial in that sense. Since we no way have the intention of challenging the status quo of India, India will understand that military establishment in North is to help and preserve the order of the local population. There may be opportunities for coordinated actions along respected maritime boarders.
ConclusionSri Lankans are victorious people!
Being victorious, conquerors, empires, being able to assert the security within borders, and being able to provide for the people within with less dependency on outside world enables the nation and the individuals live within it to have a sense of living in a proud nation as proud individuals. Those citizens who feel that they have to migrate abroad to have a better life standards, to work as doctors, or as housewives or to enjoy the security and the decency of life shell not be constituting part of the citizenry of Sri Lankans for long.
We are in a historical moment in our history of nation. As we all should respect, the Rajapaksa Government has already made us victors of war; a war that we won against a truest terrorist organisation. Regardless of ethnicities we are all victors of war! We should be proud of that.
As the global power is shifting from West to East, as the infrastructures are being built in unprecedented level, as we are going to be a part of Maritime Silk Road initiative of China, as the Global Multitude offers us, a small country like Sri Lanka, a historical freedom of defending who we are as a sovereign nation and as individuals live-in within it, with India and rest of friendly trading nations, as the country has true potential be energy independent, its national strategy shall be defined for coming decade or two.
No rivalries between political figures is going to make Sri Lanka a secure and a proud nation.
We should be united. We should build a proud nation where we would be proud to live, and where we would be happy to our children growing up.