Archive for March, 2009

Sri Lanka Definitely Can… Well Done JWT..!!

March 20, 2009

Just a very short note to say congratulations to JWT Colombo. Two of their young creatives have just won the Young Lotus Competition at Adfest 2009 in Pattaya!

They were competing against creative teams from the entire Asian region and have been judged as the best!

Well done guys… you’ve proven that in spite of all the negativity and criticism, Sri Lankan advertising and creativity  CAN be world beating…!!

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The need for a Warlord…

March 6, 2009

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term ‘Warlord’…?

For some strange reason, my mind has always conjured up images of various African rebel leaders who have started off their lives as freedom fighters and then gone on to become tyrants who rule the land with the might of the gun (or machete at times).

I think a prime example would be Robert Mugabe, who led the militant wing of the  Zimbabwe African National Union in a bitter and bloody fight for independence from the minority white rulers of Rhodesia. He was hailed by the people of his country and the African continent as a hero who’s leadership at a time of war made him a great asset to Zimbabwe, but unfortunately he went on to reduce the newly formed nation to a country that’s a byword for total and utter economical ruin.

In my opinion, this does not take away in the least bit that his role as a warlord was probably one of the most important factors in the defeat of the former government. He simply did the job he was most suited to do, which was be a brilliant warlord.

However what happened after the war was won set the foundation for the present day situation in Zimbabwe. Mugabe was hailed as a mighty leader and then elected to lead his country into the future. Whether he was qualified to do so or not didn’t seem to matter to the majority of the voters. After all, in their opinion, he was the one who had led them to a military victory and therefore deserved to be the one who held the top most post in the government. The rest as they say is history, and in the case of Zimbabwe, a sad history.

Now, is it just me, or are there some similarities that could be drawn to this same scenario happening in our very own country?

At the present moment, Sri Lanka is locked in a decisive war that could mean an eventual freedom from the threat of terrorism that has been ruining our country for almost 3 decades. Right now we have a leader and a government who have decided to take the fight straight to the enemy and are behaving in a manner that epitomizes the term of a warlord in every sense.

Now before any accusations are shouted out that I’m trying to make a very lame attempt to justify a ceasefire or peace talks or terrorist appeasement, let me make it very clear that in no way am I finding fault with the warlords and their behavior in regard to the war. In fact, I’m willing to even go as far as to say this war right now needs to be fought to the very finish and our country and all its people finally freed from this terrorist entity. This is definitely the need of the day.

What I would like to think about is the point in our collective future, when this war is done and dusted. We should be prepared to forge ahead as a united country that can wage a war not in a military sense, but a economical sense. A war of development, both economically and socially. We as a nation have been held back from achieving our true potential in the international arena.

Now, it would be very easy for us all to jump on the victorious bandwagon, and claim that the leadership that has led us to freedom should be in turn rewarded by being voted into power for an unforeseeable time to come. After all, the present leadership are the ones who finally bit the bullet and went the distance right?

Yes, it has taken a lot of guts on the part of the present administration to not back down from pressures brought on them both internally and internationally. Yes, they certainly deserve to be recognised and hailed for what they have achieved on the battle fields of this country!

But…

Are they the most qualified to take this country to the next step in our future? I for one think the people of Sri Lanka should take a step back and take a long,hard look at all the options that are open to us when it comes to deciding the future leadership of our country. I believe we have leaders with the potential and vision to take us forward to a future where we will be on par with countries like Singapore and Malaysia, if they were just given the chance to perform this task without the threat of war hanging over all their plans.

The one thing we should definitely not do, is follow the example of post war Zimbabwe, where a patriotically blinded majority voted for a warlord to lead them into a future that turned out to not so bright after all.

So, while giving the present warlords of our nation all the due respect,  for stepping up and serving their nation in a time of need, I think its also high time we as a people started to think of a future that’s not dominated by the presence of war or warlords.