Azrael has reproduced a letter written by Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, Sri Lanka's former ambassador to Italy.
Although I think he means well there are many things that I find problematic with Mr Warnakulasuriya's analysis.
The majority of migrants to the West, be they from SE Asia, India or Sri Lanka have done very well. There have been failures too but on the whole many have succeeded. It does not matter where they come from, if they have the basic skills and are provided with the right incentives, people will succeed.
I think there is a huge problem in the North and East now-the deterioration of the work ethic and the lack of basic skills.
A friend told me that he had heard from another friend that a company had set up a hotel project in the East. They had hired local staff but they had proved to be impossible to work with. They had very limited attention spans, were unable to follow simple instructions and were very slow to learn. Ultimately they gave up and employed people from the South to man the place.
I know that a top garment manufacturer opened a factory in Punani shortly after the end of the war. The productivity was abysmal. Whenever there was a wedding the whole staff would go off for a couple of weeks. They tried to restructure the factory many times, downsized it, ultimately gave it the most simple T shirts to make but it did not work out. They moved it to Batticaloa where things are a somewhat better, but its still not at top notch. They are keeping the factory going, partly because they feel they should do something to create employment but it is not possible to revive a region purely on the basis of charity.
There is an entire generation there that has been living on handouts, have not had proper jobs or education and have been traumatised by war. God only knows what psychological problems they have.
This is a huge issue that needs to be tackled as part of a proper system of rehabilitation but the GoSL simply ignores it and concentrates on building roads and few public buildings. The physical infrastructure is the easy part, the soft skills are the hard part and not a lot seems to be happening on that front.
Fortunately the people there still seem to be going abroad, many to Australia but of late the GoSL seems to be apprehending them and sending them back.
They need to be either rehabilitated and brought into mainstream society or allowed to leave. Keeping them penned in is to create a tinderbox.
The point of the long ramble is to say that Tamils are not necessarily more hardworking than anyone else. With the right policies and good governance anyone can succeed.