Monday, November 13, 2017

And then I changed my mind..

I've been working with TEDxColombo and the team putting together the show for 5 years now, but 2017 was a little bit different for me (may be for a few others too). I was at one point thinking to myself if I should leave as I had so many other things to be concentrating on among many other reasons.. I was not giving my 100% to the team as I had used to in the previous 4 years. Mind you, I left the hospital 3 days after having surgery for appendicitis and was in 2016 controlling the backstage 6 days after my surgery.



As usual, one morning I turned up for rehearsals and I heard for the first time Aritha​ doing his first cut of the talk. After the talk, we had a really long conversation about many things related to his talk and other stuff.

I've been working with different types of people throughout my life in different projects. I've talked to so many people. My ability to speak and understand Sinhala and Tamil has helped me understand the stories from both sides of the decades long civil war that was in our country. I've traveled to all 25 districts in Sri Lanka for work and leisure. I've worked with the politicians, top businessmen as well as people affected by natural disasters, the war and other issues. I've talked to people who supported both sides of the war (personal opinion aside).

Having heard the stories from both sides, I've often thought, how can we solve this issue? What can we do to change this society? What is that one piece of the bridge that cant still be fixed? or rather, how or where do we start to fix this broken piece? Listening to Aritha that morning, and processing his idea a few hours later in my head.. thats when I realized, hey, this might be the fix that all of us who wanted peace and reconciliation have been looking for. We cant fix everyone. But we can start by changing the generation thats going to be everyone very soon. We cant change everyone now.. But we can start the long term process now..

No one knows this, not even the TEDxColombo team, but that night was when I decided, I was going to stay on at least for this year and give my 100% for the show again.. Something in Aritha's talk gave me that little spark that was needed for me to strive for the best again. Thats what made me realize here is why I do TEDx.. here's why I put in time, effort, skills and connections (and sometimes money too) into TEDx.. It is to give people like Aritha the stage to tell the world how we can change it.. to tell the world, here's how we are changing it.. to tell the world, how we can all be part of the change..

I believe that everything that happens in this world, happens for a reason.. If for any reason, I hadnt gone for that rehearsal that morning, I dont really know what the outcome would have been.. But, I did and then I changed my mind.

Watch Aritha's TEDxColombo 2017 talk below


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Waste Management Failure in Sri Lanka : We The Citizens Are To Be Blamed!!

After the incident at #Meethotamulla recently, I see so many who are posting articles about Waste Management and how its effectively done in other countries in the world and the big question in the end being WHY CANT SRI LANKA DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS?

"Waste is not waste but a resource that has value" said Chinthaka Abeysekara at TEDxColombo 2016. He showed us how countries around the world have successfully monetized waste and recycled it to produce alternate sources of energy and much more.



So, again, why haven't we been able to do it yet? Well, the answer is simple. it is us. Yes, us, the people of this country! We the people of this country are stupid enough to elect the same corrupt irresponsible greedy pigs into power all the time at every election and they in-turn want bribes, commissions, favors from those who want to make these waste management plants which then discourages the private sector and the investors and today, we have over 10 innocent lives including 4 children who have paid the price with their lives and who knows how many more victims they are going to dig out of the landslide?

We are selfish enough to be electing officials who can do us favors, get us a job in the government, get our business a lucrative contract, get our children into schools, get out of paying fines and taxes, but have we ever thought, what has this guy done to the country? How did the guy build a palace out of a parliamentarians salary? Do we even know how much a member of parliament gets as a salary or how much it costs to the people of the country to have an MP with all the perks they get?

When one government comes into power, we think they are going to do a good job, after all, isnt that what they promised us during the elections? Didnt we all fight/argue over these manifestos on Facebook and at weddings and funerals? But what now? Once they come into power, it is the same old thieves who get power thanks to the loopholes in the system. And then, 4-6 years late, we do the same and again and again and again like a hamster on a wheel..

Its about time we change. Numerous lives have been lost due to not only this problem of waste management but many others that politicians have blatantly ignored as they have not been able to profit out of it. How many more should sacrifice their life before action is taken?

The people of Sri Lanka.. This is over to you!