If you like my writing and would like to see it brutalized by bad layout, you can read my columns in print. I’m in The Sunday Leader and now The Nation. This week I’m talking about Sri Lanka Unites in The Leader and Sri Lanka’s Electricity Crisis in The Nation.
I don’t actually read the physical papers A) because I’m more online and B) because they’re ugly, but a lot of people do and it’s nice to be able to write to them. Lately I flesh out ideas on the blog and then refine and edit them for print.
Sri Lanka Unites – School Tour
Some people believe in boycotting Sri Lanka or punishing the government before reconciliation begins, but I don’t think that works. What about the young people that have to wait? For their sake, we have to start right now.
The vital task at hand is not rolling back the war, it is rolling out the future. It is about uniting Sri Lanka in heart and mind. In some circles, however, even talking about this is difficult. Among the diaspora, many people don’t identify as Sri Lankan and the term an identity is surprisingly controversial among the english speaking elite at home. Many do not like the flag, or want the government to make certain moves before they do anything. This, I think, is a minority. A vocal one, but the future doesn’t belong to them. There are many more people putting hope into action.
What is great about Sri Lanka Unites (led by Prashan de Visser) is that it is run by young people reaching young people. Rather than setting prerequisites for peace and documenting what is wrong, they are just going out and making a change. What I have seen through their experience is that the ground reality is actually a lot more hopeful than cynics would have you believe. (Leader)
Sri Lanka’s Electricity Crisis
If you own a building and the electricity goes out, you turn on a generator. These usually run on liquid fuel, petrol or diesel. Needless to say, this is very expensive. Sadly, our national electricity policy is much the same. When we run out of hydropower, we burn diesel to generate more. In August, this meant that the CEB lost 167 million rupees per day…
Any other bright ideas? In pure imagination, it would be nice if Sri Lanka could run on hydro and, say, solar. We certainly have a lot of sun, a lot of tides (which can also generate power), and a fair amount of rain. For something way out there, Arthur C. Clarke once imagined that an equatorial country could support a space elevator, essentially a long carbon nanotube string dangling off the earth and held tight by a counterweight. Perhaps we could deploy solar panels out there and pipe the electricity back to earth. That would be cool. (Nation)
FYI, The Nation is basically government and The Leader is opposition. I’m just me.