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How Easy Money can Destroy Communities and the Economy: Wigneswaran’s Exposure

Chief Minister of the Northern Province, Justice Wigneswaran, has elaborated upon how diaspora remittances have deleterious effects. He has said that these remittances were having a very adverse impact on the lifestyles of the Tamils in the North. In his view, it was causing irreparable damage to the community, especially young people. Historically, the North was known as a socially conservative society which attached very high priority to education, a strong work ethic and simple living. The Chief Minister has rightly highlighted that the easy money received from abroad was fueling consumerism and traditional values were being abandoned. It can be argued that these are modernizing trends which are inevitable in a community coming out of a 30-year conflict and being exposed to the globalised world of the internet and satellite television. More worrying is the Chief Minister’s assertion that a new culture was being embraced where youth smoked, consumed alcohol and drugs and were distracted by a looser attitude towards interaction with the opposite sex. At the same time, the traditional work ethic was being eroded. Justice Wigneswaran, in his speech, stressed the importance of the economic upliftment of the North and urged the youth of the area not to be interested only in migrating abroad or living on remittances from the diaspora.

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