Friday, August 5, 2011

Countdown to the Conference: 7 days - Ideology

            Before any preparations can be made, a vision of the final product must exist.  Plans that do not have the capacity to recognize their own completion run the risk of becoming derailed or prematurely terminated. A generic utopia is not a realistic ideal, and Sri Lanka Unites has not blindly stuck out on path for reconciliation without any notion of the goal they strive to reach.  SLU hopes to achieve a cultural shift in the national psyche from an “us v. them” mentality into an ideology based on mutual betterment of all people groups.    

            Ideologies, being similar to worldviews, can be either helpful or damaging.  Sri Lanka has had the unfortunate distinction of being a nation gripped by limited and hostile ideologies.  These ideologies have elevated isolated interests shared only by those of the same ethnicity while downplaying those who fell outside of the group.  Ideologies inherently carry a vision of an abstract reality in a subjectively perfected state.  Thus, any organization such as SLU maintains an ideology at the core of its being.  SLU’s ideology incorporates creating better world characterized by an enriched national consciousness where Sri Lankan identity can serve as a unifying factor for national progress.  Practical success is measurable and achievable.  Currently, Sri Lanka Unite’s network consists of over 5000 people.  After the upcoming Future Leaders Conference, this number has the potential to shift upwards rapidly.  The presence of homegrown community initiatives in schools around the nation are evidence of the first inklings of successful the penetration of many different strata of society.  These projects have begun to reshape the separate, harmful, and disjointed Sinhala and Tamil ideologies into a Sri Lankan whole.  Ironically, all ethnicities benefit from this expanded worldview and avoid having to forego their own pride and uniqueness.

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