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.