We as Srilankan citizens who love the earth and its all life decided to extend the following appeal which emerged from the zoom discussion that was held on the world’s environment day on the topic “Environmental crisis, the cause, and the solution”.
This appeal of ours is extended to all the Srilankan intellectuals and scientists living both within and outside our country. Throughout the past, during crisis situations and other ordinary problems, we as ordinary people have no way to know the true and scientific opinion and information about them.
For example, the recent problem regarding the poisonous substances in coconut oil, the Pearl Express ship caught up in the fire, what is the right way to do the lockdown? Should covid-related bodies be buried or not? In all these and many other problems, the common people feel that there is no reliable forum of scientists and intellectuals that presents a scientific opinion acceptable.
If an independent and impartial forum of scientists and intellectuals had made intervention when it was needed most, our country would not have been in this miserable situation.
There are many people who are posing themselves as scholars and scientists. But they carry in themselves petty and selfish political interests and affiliations. Therefore, people have a dislike and opposition towards them. Furthermore, they have become an object of ridicule.
It is our intention that science, rather than myth, should give the right direction and guidance to the good order of a society. And that science should come from the scholars who see it essential to bring about a positive change to the existing cruel system. We know that traditional scholars work towards worsening the present situation.
Because Srilanka, as a country, spends only a minuscule amount of money on research and because of political influence, space to work independently is ever becoming lesser, we know that there are scientists and scholars who work honestly and independently here and overseas. We believe that most of them earn a satisfactory income and enjoy a happy life. And since they receive acceptance and value due to their service to the world, we know that they don’t have to go after profit or cheap popularity.
There is a quote from Bertolt Brecht about artists, relevant to this topic:
“The future generation, looking back to our times, will not ask why there was such a dark time. But they will ask what the so-called scientists and scholars did during those dark times.”
Therefore, in the name of our country, the future generation, and the environment, we kindly request that you, being aware that it is a mission entrusted to you by this age, may dedicate some of your time and energy to establish a forum of scholars and scientists and communicate the truth about the social and environmental problems to the people of our country. And that will be a valuable service you will be doing to your motherland. Moreover, it will be a blessing for you and your families. The cost needed for such good work could be raised from the honest people living inside and outside of our country.
Our country and the human society can be moved towards progress not by petty politicians, or by their false henchmen scientists or the traditional intellectuals who help continue the present cruel system, but by the true and honest scholars and scientists of every field. Therefore, reminding again that your intervention is a need of the hour, we humbly request you all who have a conscience to come forward to take the frontline.