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“The Socio-Economic Environment
in Sri Lanka and Catholic Family .
Presentation and discussion led by
Modern Economic Environment
• The modern trend in the world ( globalization)
whereby national boundaries of economic
activity are removed in order to allow freer
access to markets, capital, input of raw
materials, technology and labour have
facilitated a higher degree of
- integration of the world economy.
- Everybody has boarded the bandwagon
Market Economy through globalisation
• Although religion is very difficult to
define, philosophically, we understand religion as
• the belief systems and value systems,
how we should live, what we should
do and what we should not do, our
worldview and what is beyond
• If you analyse the modern trend the
traditional religions are fulfilling this
function les and less
• This function is now supplanted or overwhelmed
by other major belief system.
• Everybody is in it and gearing themselves, their
kids to live and flourish in this profound system.
• Everybody has been deceived or converted to
believe in this system.
• Despite everyone's traditional religious beliefs
this system has overwhelmed and supplanted
across the board for all the religious beliefs and
• So all of us do not have different religions
• We are united under one religion
• What a good world !!!!!
• What is it
• Religion of Market Economy
( It is also called
“Globalization” a kind of
euphemism for vicious
market economy and in my
view it talks about the
spread of the market
economy or the how the
RME is embraced or
conquers the world beyond
• Traditional Religions ( belief and value
systems) are not dead but they are stuck in
institutionalization, dogma, rituals, and
somewhat outmoded perspectives as against
the strong RME
• Traditional religions have failed to a greater
extent to offer what is needed , a meaningful
challenge to the aggressive conversion of all
the people on the planet to RME
• Ill effects of the RME is
felt all over the world in
all spheres of socio
economic life and the
natural environment we
• Wealthiest fifth of the
world is now receiving
about 85% of the
income and poorest
fifth is about 1.5% .
• Environment and nature is just a pool or a
bundle of resources in the RME
• Humans are not “ humans” they are called
“human resources” in the production process
• So all of us are trying to be “ human
RME is profoundly flawed system and is has
• Led to extreme social inequity and have lead
• to irreversible environmental catastrophe.
• Elite ruling parties and business partners of major
companies have embraced the globalization almost in full
without giving much thought to its ultimate effects on the
society as a whole. They have gathered huge sums of
money by way of profits and other corrupt practices
• They have enacted laws to suit them and exert all the
economic and military power to sustain this unsustainable
• Traditional religions and value
systems have a major role to
play if the RME to be reversed.
• They have to change the modus operandi and
that has to be dealt separately but urgently
• Lets get on to the next element of our subject
What is Family ?
• One of the oldest and finest
institutions of mankind is the family unit.
It is created by a formal or informal agreement
between a man and a woman. It is the smallest unit in
• It has a common house, property etc. The main
members would be husband, wife and their kids.
• However, there are many extended families in SL
where parents of the husband or wife are also
accommodated in the family unit.
• Some times other relatives could be housed.
Effect on society and family
• The RME has spread all over the world and has made
drastic changes in every unit of the society including
the so called close knit family.
• Traditional family value
systems, beliefs, attitudes, rearing kids and guiding
them what they should do, looking after the elderly
and sick, activities of family members, modes of
entertainment, time a family spent
together, practice of religion and
spiritual life are changing
profoundly all over the
• No proper open forum to discuss RME and its effects as
even the leftists political parties are fragmented and
overwhelmed with elections and protecting their own
• Further the ethnic problem, constitutional
ramblings, activities of Diaspora, foreign relations have
changed the focus of people
• So the general masses have almost
taken for granted that RME is the
system that they have to embrace
whether they like it or not.
following important aspects could be highlighted as
socio economic impact on families
• There are a lot of landless people in Sri Lanka.
The land in many areas are taken for many
infrastructure projects leaving the landless in
the same position or even taking away their
ancestral land ( may have provided alternate
land or compensation at the will of the
• Rural families are still migrating to urbanized
developed areas creating many economic and
• When men leave for jobs in urbanized areas
family becomes a single parent family as men
come home once a week or once or twice in a
• Elite economic class is been in the making
• The big time contractors and politically affiliated families, local
partners of multinationals, other successful businessmen and
professionals have gathered enormous wealth. They live in
• RME the success is measured by economic wealth. So every
body aspires to become economically wealthy
• GDP- $59.41 billion (2012 est.)
• GDP Growth rate 6.4% (2012 est.)
• Per capita Income USD 2800 ( 2012 est.)
• However the income distribution has a big
• Income Distribution
- below poverty line8.9% (2010 est.)
– Income Disparity - 49 Gini index
– lowest 10%: 1.6%
– highest 10%: 39.5% (2009)
• More than 1.5 million work abroad as we as a country
have not been able to provide employment for them.
90% are in the Middle East.
• Majority of the employed abroad are
women who had gone to provide
unskilled labour. Although these
families are better off than the
other poor families who do not have
members working abroad, it has
created many problems in families.
• Media proliferation
• more than 50 radio channels
• more than 20 TV channels
• More than 90 newspapers
They spread news and ideas very powerfully to the
There are more than 10 locally operating companies
spend more than Rs.1 Billion on advertising on these
In addition cable TV and other wireless TV exposes to all
the famous world channels
• The spread of electronic gadgetry
has given advantages as well as
• It has become very easy to communicate with the spread
of cellular phones and computer technology.
• This has alleviated the physical absence of parents to a
• However, these gadgetry has opened up new windows to
the world of education and entertainment.
• There are so many who use them for their advancement
but a good majority use them for unwanted activities too.
• Time spent by family members on
phones, television and internet has
created less time for other activities in the family.
• Youth spend more time on Internet based Social
Networks such as facebook than in other internet
• Facebook has membership of 1.1 Billion by now and it
is about 50 times the population of Sri Lanka
• There are more than 500,000 Sri Lankans in the
facebook by 2012.
• We have more than 18.3 million mobile phone
users 3.6 million fixed line users (Population
21.6 million) year 2012 estimates
• Although cellular phones are a very important
communication tool, it has now become a
necessary evil as phones starts ringing and
answered even inside churches and temples
when serious religious activities are taken
• The work load for school going
children in families has
become a big burden with
• Since every body is trying to
make their kids the best in the
class, they have been pushed
to study the subjects in the
curricular alone by sending
them to additional tuition
classes from the beginning
• As the intake to state
are limited, many
operate with foreign
• On the other hand, the
parents who can afford to
send students abroad for
education send them TO
Australia, Canada, USA and
• It is estimated that more
than Rs. 15 Billion is spent
for education abroad.
• most of it could have been
provided here in Sri Lanka.
• Pathetic part of foreign
educated is that the parents
loose their money plus their
foreign university educated
children as most of them do
not come back to Sri Lanka
as they settle in countries
like Australia and Canada
• RMEs educations is on technical subjects.
What matters to be a human resource to the
• Although kids may get technical knowledge
of different fields, the emotional intelligence a
very important aspect needed for living is lost
through this exercise.
• Cultural influence through the television has
brought in various forms of Western and Hindi
culture and they have profound affect on the
deep rooted indigenous cultures.
• Mega television dramas dubbed in Sinhala and
many western and Hindi culture oriented films
and programs are changing the scene.
• Big majority of Western
songs on video shown in
television are semi nude
or sexually provocative. In substance, they are
almost promoting pornography.
• This could have very bad effect especially on
children. Even it makes parents very
embarrassing as sometimes they are watched
together as a family
• Alcoholism, drugs are on the increase.
• Legal alcohol is the major problem as the
availability has made an increase in the
consumption. It has a devastating affect on
families and leads to many other ill effects.
• Prostitution and child prostitution is on the
increase due to many social and economic
reasons abortion is also in the increase. No
traditional religion approves such behavior.
• In comparison to other societies, Sri Lanka has some
positive areas too.
• We are one of the lowest ranking countries for HIV
aids, The current statistics by the National STD/AIDS
programme, from the year 1984 to 30 June 2013 shows
there are 1,739 recorded patients living with HIV/AIDS
from which 299 have succumbed to HIV/AIDS-related
complications, and overall, the ratio of males to
females afflicted stands at 1.5 – with more males than
females being affected with the disease.
• Although the figure is low, growth rate is around 12%.
• Very low divorce rate , again among the lowest in
the world ,
• Still looking after the elderly to a greater extent
• very low rate of women smoking
• It could be mainly because of the cultural and
religious traditions of the Sri Lankan society.
However, some emerging situations even change
this for worst if general trend is let to happen
• The Daham Pasal has shown a remarkable
improvement. The number of students attend
them have increased in all religious Daham
• Is it for making them compulsory or is it
because it helps students to do well in their
subject “religion”( for many students it is
another subject like history or geography) is
yet to be ascertained
• War effected families- So many people both
North and South have died ( more than
100,000)of the ethnic conflict and many have
lost their bread winners, so many have been
• The church has
traditionally involved in
preaching the Bible in
the form of olden
examples and parables
which do not really
make in roads into
current problems in
hand with a prophetic
• On the part of the lay people, church goers
still go to fulfill an obligation rather than
making that visit to really find answers to their
current problems through the noble teachings
of the Jesus.
• A concerted effort has to be taken to change
• The priests’ role as a catalysts in the
society is questioned by many and it is
the common view that he is just
following the status quo rather
than a agent of change.
• Professional with the concurrence of church leaders, a
dialogue should be commenced to find out the relevancy
of teaching and development of skills in the seminaries is
really making the priests knowledgeable, skillful, dedicated
and committed towards the transformation of society from
RME to Kingdom of God
• With or without knowledge
Church leaders also like the
professionals have become
a part of RME
• The rituals are becoming
more popular and
• A lot of money and time
spent on organising them as
if a business venture of RME
• The most important role has
to be played by the
Professionals in changing the
trend rather than naming and
• we need to become catalyst
• ( Change agent) ??????