Showing posts from January, 2015

Let The People Of Sri Lanka Decide

Rackchart Wong-Arthichart is a writer from Thailand who is travelling in Sri Lanka, for an outreach. He observes, interacts with communities, to experience the impact of social marginalization and culture. He shares his thoughts on this blog. Follow him on Twitter: @oh_kub ----

Politics in Sri Lanka is very interesting. After liberation from colonist Britain, Sri Lanka has been engulfed in civil war for 30 years between Sinhala, the majority and Tamil, the minority who live in the East and North of the country.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, the leader who finished the war (by killing all the rebels) is the current president of the country. He gained many of supporters because of this.

The Law of Sri Lanka allows the president to sit in the chair of power for six years but only for a limit of two terms. Rajapaksa is standing for a third term, and is widely unpopular with the minority groups.

In his first term, he appointed his own people in the hierarchy, in every sector within the influential c…

Post-Flood Recovery, Increasing Hardship and Poverty

#Banjir2014 - a gradual build-up of monsoon. Then the downpour on ancient terrain, raging water on developed land and sweeping onto areas torn by deforestation. The worse Malaysia flooding in decades, and certainly with the most expensive price-tag to rebuild.

More than twenty deaths, a handful missing individuals, and the floods didn't spare the population, where over 200,000 people displaced, most from the east coast of peninsula Malaysia.

The destruction of housing, the damage the flood, mud and landslide that wrecked homes. Schools, hospitals and religious buildings were not spared by nature's wrath. Damage to irrigation, small factories, from rural to the urban settlements. Then we have the submerged homes, damages to crops and livestocks, and roads shudder from the weight of muddied floods. A heavy price for our insatiable hunger for progress and our neglect for the environment.

Recovery, now for many families will take a toll on their dwindling savings, loss of wage, of…

Tiredness, Jumbled Words Crashing With The New Year

Tonight's wandering, just to distract the unpleasant thoughts of the severe flooding, heavy monsoon and whatever else the punishing elements could throw upon communities. Scattered teams in Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and one colleague in Sri Lanka, and how stretched we feel, of repeated outreach and travel. The burden of coordination, doesn't go on my shoulders alone. My colleagues share the hardship, these challenging times where natural disasters lord over vulnerable people, followed by their displacement, the homelessness and poverty.

The headache is back, maybe due to excessive exertion, or perhaps the lack of sleep. Nevertheless I roam, aimlessly. The roads, with spots of tourists and locals gathering at bars, night clubs, restaurants and food stalls. Small islands of human bodies, with arms waving in the air, in anticipation of the hours ahead, to usher the new year. Flashing neon lights, trance music fills the night. My legs move, supported by taunt thighs and calves…