Student - December 6, 2018

Meanwhile in... Sri Lanka

Text:
Julia Schafer

Footage of fighting politicians in parliament in Sri Lanka went around the world. The country is currently without a government or prime minister. The international community is astonished, but Jayaruwan Gunathilake is not surprised.

Members of parliament come to blows in Sri Lanka.

At least the civil war is over
Jayaruwan Gunathilake is a PhD student in Organic Chemistry, from Sri Lanka. He reflects on the situation in his home country.
Jayaruwan Gunathilake is a PhD student in Organic Chemistry, from Sri Lanka. He reflects on the situation in his home country.

‘Political drama like this is not new to me; it has been happening for years in Sri Lanka. I think it is getting international attention now because the president dismissed the prime minister and appointed a new one. I am not surprised about that, and I feel like anything is possible in Sri Lanka. For example, it is common for members of parliament to change sides. I think people tolerate a lot because of the civil war that ended only nine years ago. Despite the political situation, people are grateful that at least the war is over. So I don’t think much will change in the coming time.

When I discuss politics with my friends, we usually do it online. I try not to get involved in the current discussions, though. I think it is pointless and I often get the comment: “You don’t live here anymore. Why do you care?”

I usually use international sources to follow the news from Sri Lanka. The sources from the country itself are mostly biased. I am interested in what’s going on at home but I don’t think about it all the time. It has been eight years since I left Sri Lanka. As I am living abroad, I cannot vote. Going back to Sri Lanka would probably be a bad choice in terms of career for me. I do not think there would be suitable jobs for me back home. A lot of young people are leaving the country to get higher education and work abroad.’

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