Sri Lankan Postwar Tourism
The tour operator handling our daughter’s inbound tour stated after we agreed on the price as per their quotation, and our daughter insisted on paying by credit card, that there would be additional charge of 3% for credit card payments. When I wrote - that I found that disappointing, the Agent wrote to me that he was surprised that I was disappointed. I interpreted that as us living in different Sri Lankas. I wrote to my daughter who was in agreement with my way of looking at it and thereby confirmed our enjoyment of Common Sri Lanka assisted by common family values:
[Thank you Uma. I also think that insisting on the right process as per our standards is service to Sri Lanka. It’s also a lesson that the coordinators also need to learn. The value for us is greater reliability during your tour. Just make sure you take that authoritative position with the driver also. I do with the folks here – even when I am friends with them. Sri Lanka is in post war development mode. We need all these measures in place if tourism is to be healthy for Sri Lanka.]
Then I went through the routine of looking for Sri Lankan News through http://www.infolanka.com/news/ and noted that the first item there was an article headed: ‘SL tourist sector perturbed over high rates at tourist visit sites’, by Sunimalee Dias of the Sunday Times. The picture is that of Sigiriya Rock – the Lion Rock. In its own way the Rock confirms the insecurities of the rulers back then also and how India was the place in which their opposition took refuge. To us as a family Sigiriya Rock which also has its own history of war - is of special significance due to Uma leading the climb when she was 6 years of age. That’s how I remember the Sigiriya Rock. Now, Uma who has been Australian most of her life – and whose daughters are older than 6 years – coming with her parents-in-law – the Springfords also - is a contributor to post-war development in Sri Lanka – made possible due to preserving our common image of Sri Lanka as per OUR Truth. Using the right process of global standards that Uma now has the responsibility to practice, is an expectation that every Sri Lankan emigrant has to have when in Sri Lanka. To me it was no coincidence that we as a family are also disturbed by the lesser financial reliability in the Sri Lankan Tourism sector than we have contributed to. As the person in charge of Agents and Tours during my Air Lanka experience – much of my ownership in Air Lanka is through that part of the Airline. Once we contribute beyond the call of duty – we become owners. To my mind, these days when Sri Lankan Airlines is losing status – those who had the experience of Air Lanka of global standards – can fallback on those experiences and make that their virtual reality – to main and treasure as heritage. They would then intuitively identify with genuine contributors – including small parts carried in the new custodians of power – to derive their share. That’s then a facility.
Yesterday, at our Opportunity Shop we held a lottery to decide who the lucky winners of the opportunity to purchase the most wanted items would be. In terms of the items at the top of the list – I realized that they went to those of common belief – through culture and / or the person. The teenage daughter of Mr. Mohan – who teaches Physical Education at Jaffna College – won the opportunity to buy the tall attractive fashion doll. In ‘style’ that doll would be this young student’s younger sister. To me Natural forces worked to ensure the placement. I learnt this from my stay at Swami Sai Baba’s Ashram at Puttaparthi. We first had to take our places in columns and rows to go into the main hall for seating. At the second stage the leaders would take tokens with numbers and those who picked the first numbers went in first and all in their column followed. The first part was up to us. The second part was due to Natural forces. The latter are the facilities due to belief. The former are the placements on current merit.
The big stuffed bear went to Leela’s daughter Shalini who visited us only once but whose mother used a young relative living close to our Opportunity shop to make the purchases on her behalf. Leela always paid promptly. To my mind the connection here is common belief. On Wednesday Leela and her son were waiting for me when I returned from town – after purchasing the cake ingredients. Leela’s son has been successful in his efforts to become part of the Sri Lankan Police Force which is a great achievement for this area of Toddy Tapper origin. Leela said she sought my blessings so her son would prosper in that job. That was belief based.
To me these customers with common belief were owed ‘facilitated services’. The first example above is belief in Common Culture. The second example is belief in a person. Where there is belief we can go into virtual reality and have the Common Experience. In rebirth – we do not have memory of what happened. Hence we would not be able to go into the experience in virtual reality mode. The structure of our past is written in our gene makeup. Where we do remember the details of our past in this life – we could go back and experience it in virtual reality mode. In that mode we play all roles through our Truth. Towards this we need to first know our own. Once we identify with our Truth we automatically identify with others’ Truth. We include the Truth that would give us Peace of mind and Happiness in heart. The rest would be ‘foreign’ to us and therefore none of our business. We need to make them irrelevant and that becomes difficult if we are attached to the benefits from such sources.
Where the other side is weaker than us – we fill the gap and complete the big picture as per Common Truth. Where the other side is stronger than us in that issue / service – and we are the custodians of power - we must facilitate them to derive their own service. Failure to do so develops the risk of reverse discrimination when juniors take over the position of seniors one way or the other. That would make it difficult to enjoy our own achievements.
Here in Vaddukoddai where the caste system was actively practiced, abusers continue to belittle on the basis of caste, while they use merit basis for those of their own caste. Abuse happens when the users have not earned the authority to discipline, assess and judge. It happens when benefits from a position are greater than the costs paid by us through that position to the Central Intelligence of Authority. The excess resides in the form of desire for Authority and the stronger the unrealized desire – the faster the use of power against one who seems to be of low status. The problem with this abuse is that the other side comes with it. The high caste who abused the system now show lesser personal hygiene and greater degree of fear of physical attacks - than the lower caste or those of high caste who did not abuse the caste system.
A recent example is that of an abuser who is rejected by my mind in that regard. This lady caught the ‘flu’ and it took her weeks to get over it. I inquired but we did not connect in this regard because that lady does not consider me to be of Vaddukoddai and often is not comfortable with my services to the lower caste. Then there is our business neighbor who also caught the ‘flu’. At close of business that day I asked him whether I could make tea for him using our Coffee Shop facilities? He said that he had just had some ginger-beer and Panadol. He looked sick and I felt for him because he did not have a family to care for him – albeit through his own ego driven actions. In terms of using Common facilities at our Business Center – this businessman now takes my leadership and asks whether he could do this or that. The next morning he was up and about and said that the words of care had cured him. He now believes that my arrival in Vaddukoddai has improved his business and life itself. To that extent – he gets family care through his own mind. That is how we cure through the mind of family. Likewise at national level. Abusers isolate themselves and hence take longer to cure through themselves ‘ONLY’.
The international community has been a great source of support to Sri Lanka at various levels – to come out of war mode. When they are treated as Equals – and are facilitated to derive their own services – Sri Lanka would heal itself. The Government as well as the Opposition need to go back into war mode to recall how their sides were helped by the global community. Then there would be no room for lesser forces to infiltrate our minds and work our minds towards another war.
Every Sri Lankan who emigrated and is now coming back has a duty to take her/his place as per their true experience in Sri Lanka. If it is negative – they need to stay away from Sri Lanka – so as to not infect their new nations by invoking the past. Those whose net memory is still positive – must come to Sri Lanka and assume the positions they would have had, had they remained in Sri Lanka and naturally progressed towards the highest position they would achieved through combination of belief and merit. THAT would then be their Sri Lanka. The rest is foreign due to passage of time and/or displacement. WE need to nurture our own investments in a place or issue – for ourselves. That then becomes our world and the amazing discovery I have made is that that world responds to our every need and leads us to natural fulfillment.
In terms of ‘Eelam Only’ Tamils – their visits need to be limited to Tamil areas only. Likewise Sinhalese Only folks need to stay within their areas. Both need to use Common Colombo for transit only. One Vaddukoddai relative who lives in New Zealand said that he would go to Jaffna only when International flights went to Palaly in Northern Sri Lanka. Colombo is therefore only transit town for him. He therefore would not be able to recall as happy virtual experiences his life in Colombo. He has taken rebirth by allocating higher relative position to his New Zealand citizenship than his Sri Lankan citizenship. Those who complete experiences are able to have the virtual experiences when reminiscing.
Belief is ownership. Those who own work the system naturally and more effectively than the custodians of power who strongly driven by desires and benefits. International Tourists are facilitators of Peace in Sri Lanka. They need to be respected and they themselves need to feel that their Sri Lankan experience is valuable. The ‘fee’ needs to be Common – with the highest point affordable by a Common Sri Lankan being fixed as the Common price for international citizens also. That would be our Thanksgiving to the World.