SOCIAL DIALOGUE..............NADIRA GUNATILLEKE
Be vigilant to avoid disaster
Our society was full of incidents during last week. This Social Dialogue, addresses all the incidents. The main objective of talking about those incidents is giving the readers a chance to think about the hidden/ignored sides of those incidents.
We have something to learn all the time everywhere from everyone and from everything. But most of the time what the majority of us do is to gossip whenever there is something to talk about, especially when an incident takes place in society. What type of good can one expect from this?
Victims of the Sakvithi scandal
Let us talk about the most interesting incident first. It is over ten people becoming permanently blind after drinking poisonous Kassippu (local illegal alcohol). This is a good lesson for them and the other people who drink Kassippu. According to morals and ethics we never say `Wow' when something bad happens to a person. But here we have to say `Wow' because of the huge fire burning in the minds of innocent poor mothers and children who continuously suffer in the hands of drunk fathers and other men.
These children and mothers have no food, no clothes and at least no peace of mind. They are living in hells (their own homes) expecting the devil (their own father/brother/uncle/ step father) to return home in the evening. When the devil returns, the torture begins.
The whole night is spent with their torture. Morning dawns with broken bones, injured faces and burnt school books. Sometimes the father and his friends rape the daughter of the family. So what do you think? Now those innocent mothers and children can live in peace because the devils do not have eyesight to find them and torture them. The second incident is the death of a school girl who was murdered by some private school bus/van operators. When seeing how small schoolchildren are being transported to schools by dirty old school vans everyday packed just like chicken being transported to meat shops, one can expect such an incident at any time.
The question is how parents ignore the plight of their own children. If the child get sandwiched for one day or two we can accept that. But how about getting sandwiched all five days both morning and evening? This is the time that parents should go to police.
An unmarried woman doctor who was serving in a rural hospital in a difficult area was gunned downed by a patient's husband last week. There were various arguments, protests and news reports in connection with this incident. Doctors are there to treat patients but they have no right to humiliate patients or their loved ones because it is patients who spend public money to educate them.
Some patients and their loved ones think that they are the only patients or they are above all the others and they deserve special treatment prior to all the other patients. So they expect doctors to obey them. When they do not get what they expect they beat doctors, then they cut and injure them and now they have started to shoot doctors.
Then they cry that all local doctors have gone abroad and therefore no doctors to obtain treatment here in Sri Lanka. Both gunning down an unmarried lady doctor and pushing a female patient from a top floor of a hospital have one name. That is Violence Against Women.
Then comes the money scam. People crying on television say they lost everything. 'I have no place to live'.
I lost both my property and money', 'I was being intimidated by his people', they say. Some denigrate the authorities. Some demand compensation. Some offer compensation. Why should anyone pay compensation when one loses 'black money' after acting very strangely. Who deposits all his/her money in one man's pocket when there are hundreds of State recognised banks and other financial institutions in Sri Lanka.
The most surprising part is the story of some female depositors. They say they had been subjected to intimidation, harassment, beating and even rape. Where were they before? Where were their loved ones? What were the actions they took against the culprits at that time? Convincing answers are required here.