Is Sri Lanka becoming another Congo of the 1980s?

By Mrs. M. de Silva
[Colpetty]

Today, there are many parallels between the Congo under Mobutu and Sri Lanka of today. Corruption is rampant at all levels of government, the city of Colombo is littered with garbage, and the roads full of pot holes; maverick bus drivers drive at breakneck speed endlessly tooting their trumpet like air horns with scant regard for schools, churches, embassies or even the Temple Trees, the President’s residence.

In the 1980’s I worked in Kinshasa (The Congo) as a young professional, attached to the United Nations. The Congo, then under the leadership of Gen. Mobutu was a very special country in that the land was supremely endowed with natural resources with the full potential of being an African Giant. But Alas! under Mobutu, the country was a den of corruption and inefficiency where nothing worked without the customary “Matabish” (African for bribes). Sri Lanka was then an emerging force and needless to say, I was proud to be a Sri Lankan.

Today, there are many parallels between the Congo under Mobutu and Sri Lanka of today.

Corruption is rampant at all levels of government, the city of Colombo is littered with garbage, and the roads full of pot holes; maverick bus drivers drive at breakneck speed endlessly tooting their trumpet like air horns with scant regard for schools, churches, embassies or even the Temple Trees, the President’s residence.

The OIC of the Colpetty Police Station must surely be deaf not to take necessary action to stop the level of ever increasing noise pollution in Colombo. More importantly, like in the Congo, the streets are now littered with giant sized posters of the leaders, lest we forget them, whilst the streets are closed without advance warnings each time the President drives out of his residence, causing immeasurable inconveniences to the general public.

In Sri Lanka, intelligent planning is a thing of the past.

And in the end, what became of General Mobutu Sese Seko? He died in exile far away from Africa in total ignominy. [dailymirror.lk]

[ A reader’s – Letter to the Editor of Daily Mirror]

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