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Oct-02-2011 17:07printcomments

Exclusive - Sri Lanka keeps digging in the hole?

The Last Rule of Holes: When you are in one, GET OUT! Soon.

A police officer stands guard as Red Cross workers bury the bodies of Tamil rebel fighters in a cemetery in Vavuniya, about 210 kilometers (131 miles) northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009 Courtesy: The Boston Globe

(LONDON) - After relative silence of writing for over six months, I had some time to think over of the predicament facing Sri Lanka in the international arena.

My thoughts focussed on a proverb ‘When you are in a hole don’t dig it’ any further deep. This is more relevant to the present day Sri Lanka and its rulers. I hope someone holding the steering wheel of Sri Lanka will find a little time to read this write up and do the needful to deal with the difficulties in a positive manner.

Sri Lanka’s messy digging in the hole saga is worrying and led me to research into a fine piece of writing in the enhancedhealing.com with the heading ‘The First Rule of Holes?..If You Are in One, Stop Digging’ was very informative and appropriate to Sri Lanka.

It is true, if you are in a hole, don’t keep digging and you will only get buried or the least get hurt. This is the pickle Sri Lanka is facing in the international arena at present. With some amendment to the article, I thought of reproducing it to give a interesting reading:

‘If one in a hole now, the most important thing to do is to ask, "Why?" What got into a hole? Was it due to some mistake? If so, what was the mistake? What led up to it? One could effectively stop digging when discovering what got into a hole in the first place, and then learn the lesson contained therein. This means the one cease behaving in the way he did when got in the hole in the first place.

Sri Lanka never came under international scrutiny in the scale it is experiencing at present over its conduct over the violation of international laws. Compared to the scale of the pressures imposed on other countries, the island nation is lucky so far as the situation has not reached the burial stage. There is lots of room for Sri Lanka to avoid throwing mud on itself. It took over three decades for Gadafi and fates of many other countries in the recent years must bear testimony to this.

Before it is too late, Sri Lanka must identify and admit, what got it into a hole in the first place, and then learn the lesson so it don't unwittingly repeat it in the future. Take this lesson and file it in the "compartment" of life-lessons learned. Revisit these lessons often so it never forget them, after all, holes come with a price, and sometimes a high price.

One of life’s realities is that it can take a relatively short time to dig a hole, but a long time to get out of it. This is why it is so important that one discover the lessons and realize all the benefits possible in-the-hole experience.

Once that Sri Lanka have stopped digging, the country must set-itself to the business of backfilling the hole and climbing out. How Sri Lanka go about backfilling its hole varies depending on the type of hole it is in, and it can take time. Getting out of a hole requires some creative problem-solving. Try the backfilling efforts:

  1. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM. Identify exactly why the country is in a hole in the first place and what led up to it.
  2. DISSECT THE PROBLEM. Tear it apart. Was it some mistake? or inexperience? or fear? or several different things? Continue asking "Why?" until the rulers arrive at the core reason(s). Write the reasons down on paper for clarity. Important! Note and learn the lessons of the country’s in-the-hole experience. Try and understand Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission is being criticized and overcome the narrow mandate put in place of the LLRC in a positive manner.
  3. DEFINE POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS. Outline all possibilities. Develop strategies. Don't forget to consider ALL possible solutions, no matter how unlikely they may seem. Then ponder the exact opposite of what rulers think the solution is. Confide in a trusted friend to help draw itself out.
  4. IMPLEMENT BEST SOLUTION. Reassess and adjust course along the way if necessary. There is no harm in readjusting the strategy if the original solution doesn't pan out. (For a more comprehensive discussion of creative problem-solving, see the book, The Game Rules for Life, by Doug Kelley, chapter 10, or read the article entitled, "Using the 180 Principle for Creative Problem-Solving."

It will no doubt take hard work to get out of the hole, and that is why it is so important that Sri Lanka learn the lesson(s) so that the country become wiser from the experience and don't do a repeat performance. After all, the island need a hole in life like it need a hole in the head!?

Are there times and circumstances in which the island nation never able to get out of the hole completely? Perhaps. But if the country feel this is the case, it must have to ask itself if it is really an in-the-hole experience, or simply a pothole in the road of life?

Is the country really in a hole? or possibly tunneling to a better place? For example, did the island nation being in this hole and made it a better state? Did it teach the country valuable lessons in some area? Did it make the rulers more attuned to the human condition, making them less judgmental, more tolerant, and kinder to others? Did it result in them "adding to the woodpile of life?" In other words, are they making a positive contribution to the world around them because of it? If so, then the country have done well! It has learned the lessons contained, and grown as a result. Good for Sri Lanka! It has heeded.

The Last Rule of Holes: When you are in one, GET OUT! Soon.

Until ‘get out’ psyche sets in, it will be daunting for Sri Lanka days on days, months on months, years on years and decades on decades and generations will suffer and the cost of defending itself from the hole will be catastrophic and irredeemable.


Rajasingham Jayadevan is a London-based writer who frequently writes about the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka.

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