by Our Political Affairs Editor
Ah, Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Once a land of vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and humble simplicity. Fast forward to 2048, and behold, a transformed Sri Lanka, a “developed” country that has lost touch with its own essence. Strap in, dear readers, as we take you on a satirical tour of the so-called progress that has swept across our island nation.
Firstly, let us marvel at the architectural wonders that now dot the skyline of Colombo. Gone are the quaint colonial buildings that exuded charm and history. They have been replaced by gargantuan glass towers that scrape the heavens, built by faceless corporations in their quest for dominance. Who needs character when you can have uniformity and gleaming windows that reflect a distorted version of our lost heritage?
But fear not, dear readers, for the chaos of traffic has been eliminated. How, you ask? By paving over the very essence of Sri Lanka, its lush greenery. Our once-famous tea estates and paddy fields have been replaced by a vast network of soulless highways and concrete jungles. Surely, the eradication of nature is a small price to pay for the convenience of reaching your destination a few minutes earlier.
In this utopia of development, our wildlife has also found a new home. Yes, you guessed it—zoos. Why roam free in the jungles when you can be confined to small, artificial enclosures for the entertainment of the masses? The concept of preserving our biodiversity in its natural habitat is so last century. After all, who needs leopards prowling in the wilderness when you can admire them from the comfort of your air-conditioned enclosure?
Education, too, has experienced a paradigm shift. Forget about instilling critical thinking, creativity, and a love for learning. The future belongs to rote memorization and standardized testing. Our education system now churns out mindless robots who excel at regurgitating information but lack the ability to think for themselves. Who needs innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs when you can have a society filled with obedient cogs in the machinery of progress?
Oh, and let’s not forget the culinary revolution that has taken place. Our traditional rice and curry, bursting with flavours and history, have been overshadowed by fast-food chains and international franchises. Why savour the rich tapestry of our culinary heritage when you can wolf down a bland burger that tastes the same whether you’re in Colombo or New York? Sri Lanka, the land of spices, reduced to just another link in the global fast-food chain.
In the race towards progress, we have also left behind the art of simplicity and genuine human connections. Face-to-face interactions have been replaced by virtual reality headsets and social media platforms. Our conversations are now reduced to emojis, memes, and sound bites. Who needs heartfelt conversations and genuine connections when you can have an online persona with thousands of followers and zero real friends?
Yes, dear readers, Sri Lanka in 2048 is a land that has forgotten its roots, its soul, and its very essence. Progress has come at a great cost, and we must ask ourselves: Is this the future we truly desired? Perhaps it’s time to pause, reflect, and remember that true development lies not in the destruction of our heritage, but in preserving what makes us unique, authentic, and truly Sri Lankan.
But in every corner of the island, from the bustling airport to the humble public toilet, one image remains ubiquitous, haunting our every step. It is the portrait of none other than Ranil Wickremesinghe, captured when he was well into his late 80s. His wise, weathered face gazes upon us, accompanied by a caption that reads, “The one and only man who tirelessly spoke of 2048 for over two decades, teaching us the art of orchestrating successful schemes for power.”
Yes, dear readers, Ranil Wickremesinghe, the maestro of political manoeuvring, has become the revered icon of Sri Lanka’s transformed nation. His visionary foresight, unyielding ambition, and unparalleled knack for survival have placed him on a pedestal above all others. Forget about the great thinkers, innovators, and leaders who shaped the world in meaningful ways. In Sri Lanka 2048, it is all about the art of talking, scheming, and self-promotion.
As you traverse the streets, don’t be surprised to find an endless array of billboards featuring Ranil’s portrait, reminding us of his indomitable spirit and his masterful ability to spin tales of prosperity. The country may be grappling with real issues like inequality, poverty, and environmental degradation, but fear not, for Ranil’s captivating smile is there to distract us from the harsh realities.
The legacy of Ranil Wickeremsinghe, the man who could talk a marathon but rarely delivered on his promises, has become the cornerstone of Sri Lanka’s “success” narrative. His teachings on the art of staging grand schemes for power have been embraced by politicians across the spectrum. From the elaborate infrastructure projects that rarely see completion to the empty rhetoric that fills the airwaves, it’s all part of the grand performance taught by the maestro himself.
It’s a peculiar sight, indeed, to witness the transformation of a country where talking about progress has taken precedence over actual progress. As we stand in front of public toilets, the walls adorned with Ranil’s portrait, we can’t help but ponder the irony. Here we are, in a land where even the most basic amenities are in disarray, yet we are reminded of a man who mastered the art of deception and illusion, where words and image trumped substance and action.
But fear not, dear readers, for Sri Lanka in 2048 is a true testament to the power of perception and the endurance of empty promises. As we gaze upon Ranil’s portrait, we are reminded that talking about progress can be just as powerful as achieving it. So let us bask in the glory of his legacy, for in this surreal landscape of staged success, perception is reality, and words are worth far more than their weight in gold.