Mervyn Understands

Mervyn Silva probably gets the way our system works better than anyone else. I’m not condoning his action of recently tying a Samurdhi officer to a tree, but Mervyn in his act has revealed his understanding of one simple fact that motivates people; incentive.

The Sri Lankan people work just about the same way most other people work, through self-interest. The government services here are especially, and ironically, even more driven by self interest. large scale red tape and lack of accountability kind of ensures that workers can get away with just free riding off the system and going home early by shamming through their work.

The problem with a system like this is its incapability to tackle crises. Waiting for the lethargy to die out and action to be taken in background of a scenario like spreading dengue can be fatal for a lot of people. So it needs to be kickstarted, like by tying someone to a tree. After Mervyn’s fear tactics a discerning citizen of his electorate i overheard said that ‘people clean the roads now even in the night’.

It might not have been right, but i guess it got results. A paradox that scares when you look at the possibilities.

  1. People shouldn’t be goaded to work with scare tactics and threats. If government workers aren’t working efficiently it is that the system is flawed and the government should do something to rectify that.

    I don’t see how his actions have helped… It has only cause angry mobs of Pradeshiya Sabha employees taking to the streets in protest instead of working to eradicate dengue.

    As someone living within Mervyn Silva’s purview, I can tell you that nothing is being done to speed up fixing the drainage problem in this area.

  2. kolu said:

    Exchange mosquitoes for law of vendetta? No thank you. I rather like to live in past roman period of human history.

  3. Sach said:

    It may have gotten the results, but I’m afraid if you take a look at history, it is also a very disheartening thing.

    This is exactly how the JVP started getting things done, and this is exactly how Premadasa got things going. Not a good way I tell you.

    • kolu said:

      Not only that, this is how the God got things done, Greeks got things done, Rama got things done, Ravana got things done. It took humans at least 100,000 years to find a better system, call social justice, which barely couple of thousand years old. It is the most amazing achievement in human history. If we can manufacture most elegant cloth for class-u Europeans without getting things done in that sort of uncivilized way, it is entirely possible to do the same within anyother sector too.

  4. Me-shak said:

    You have said exactly what i have thought. The guy is highly respected in his area I hear. He has done the roads really well. the other day i was at the shop and the guy there was praising Mervin for getting a stopped bride building project up and running.

    But Puppeteer has a good point, it is not the right way, and won’t solve anything.

    super post.

    Also sorry for not commenting on your previous posts. was crazy busy during the past few weeks.


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