The 3Ms have been anchoring our bowling attack for a while now: Murali, Malinga and Mendis. But last nite's semi-final against brought out another M-powered bowling weapon: Matthews. Wow, what a game .. of course Dilshan's amazing knock of 96 was the key that gave the bowlers the room they needed to destroy the West Indies. One more bit of work left :-).
So this blog is not about cricket. Its really about how Sri Lanka can perform when we work as a single country instead of a group of people divided on all kinds of lines. Our cricket team has had their ups and downs, but we have been a dominant force in every sense for a long time. We won the cricket world cup in 1996 and are on track to win the Twenty 20 World Cup now. We've won numerous matches in between and for the most part are considered one of the stronger teams in the world.
Take a look at our cricket team - its not Sinhalese, its not Tamil, its not Muslim, its not Buddhist, its not Christian, its not Hindu etc.! Its ALL of those put together. There are rich Colombo kids, there are poor village kids, there are those who speak eloquently in English, there are those who can barely stammer out a few grammatically correct sentences, and there's even an Army officer on the team!
(Yes yes I'm not stupid to think the team selection process is perfect and without politics. That doesn't happen anywhere except Eutopia. The results, however, speak for themselves.)
We're a small country with incredibly strong foundations in so many aspects. Our economy is 1/3rd the annual revenue of IBM. It is SOOO easy to make Sri Lanka into a great nation that people look up to and instead of trying to run away from, want to come to.
Yet instead, we attack each other by drawing boundaries along racial lines, religious lines, caste lines (within the races), city/village lines and so on. Who are we competing against? Ourselves. In the modern flat world, there is nothing local - everything is global. So fighting against each other simply makes us a pawn of others who are trying to improve themselves. That's what has happened to us in the last 30+ years .. we let our own stupidity take over and allow to be exploited by others for their own advantage.
Yes I blog regularly about how world politics is screwing with us yet. I will continue to do so.
However, the world can do that only as long as WE ALLOW THEM TO DO SO. It is our opportunity to screw up. It took us one election cycle after independence in 1948 before we became idiotic and acted in politically expedient ways that destroyed our future. Now we have another chance - and for once a hard fought independence from the clutches of terrorism.
We have incredibly high literacy rates. Life expectancy rates that match up the best in the world. Infant mortality rates that are better than many western nations. Our people are not dying in their thousands out of malnutrition and starvation.
It is up to the majority Sinhala Buddhist people to reject politics of separation. It is up to the minorities in whatever form, to support politicians that want unity and not separation. Its time for all of us to say bye to racially and religiously focused political parties; what we need are national politics, not one that is hell bent on gaining advantage for one fragment of our population over the rest. We need political parties that are hell bent on taking Sri Lanka on to the global championship and can produce winning teams, no matter what the game is!
We in Sri Lanka love to blame our politicians for all the misgivings of the country. Given that we're a democracy, the blame lies squarely on our own shoulders: we are ALLOWING the politicians to do whatever and get away with it.
The baton is in our hands; let's run with it.