A profession is a vocation on specialized educational training and professionalism is any type of work that needs special training or practical skills after training a high level of education. The Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA), set up in 1974, is currently the most powerful professional body with 53 Professional Associations ever growing serving the community with professional uplift-men and development/prosperity in all sectors.

Professionalism is deteriorating in Sri Lanka which has spread to all sectors of the community/nation at a rapid rate.

The Bar Association is a live wire at the formation of the OPA created to set up a professional organization with a grant from the Commonwealth Foundation to initiate international links with professionals worldwide by a group led by late Dr. H. W. Jayewardene, late W. P. Gunitalaka Dr. Nath Amarakoon, A. B. W. Jayasekara and other pioneers in the formation of this great organization.

APSL – Association of Professionals in the United Kingdom is a powerful professional body initiated by a group of Sri Lankans which is a powerful organization in the UK today, with the Sri Lankan Lawyers Association (ASSLU) in the United Kingdom indicates that professionalism is not something alien to us and takes wherever we are.

A professional is considered and respected by the community on the ability, expert knowledge, and experience offered to the Nation for Nation Building in their respective fields. For example a plumber or a bricklayer who is no second to any other professional considered at the APSL and other professional organizations as a professional in the nation-building process.

Plumbers are paid well and the University degree on plumbing in UK is considered in the highest esteem. What are the services rendered and expected of the professionals in Sri Lanka, and do they serve the nation in nation building expected by a professional/community are moot issues to be answered?

It is a pity that still journalists have not obtained the membership in this organisation of professionals and it is time they joined OPA as a body of professionals in order to carry the message of professionalism forward and this workshop is an ideal opportunity for them to learn and familiarise with the functioning of OPA and be a part/party in the nation building process.

Professionals and Professionalism in Sri Lanka

It is sad but true to state In Sri Lanka professionalism is lacking among professionals and other citizens who are expected to act as professionals though they are not legally qualified to be professionals who more often act better than professionals applying the common sense and common knowledge. 

For example though politicians in the other parts of the world are professionals in the profession of politics, Sri Lankan politicians belong to the worst category in the world – greedy for money, power, perks, and vehicles instead of at least acting professionally based on common knowledge/common-sense with love to the nation and the fellow citizens. 

In the United Kingdom, a solicitor should be insured for 10 million pounds and compelled to follow the continuing education process to improve and update the legal knowledge monitored by the law Society- the professional body very strict on disciplinary matters of the solicitor disciplinary body consisting of even non-lawyers as members.

Plumbers are paid well and the University degree on plumbing in UK is considered in the highest esteem. What are the services rendered and expected of the professionals in Sri Lanka, and do they serve the nation in nation building expected by a professional/community are moot issues to be answered?

No such safeguards and monitoring process is available in Sri Lanka.

It is time for the OPA to adopt common standards and criteria for the professionals and conduct workshop/s for professional development instead of being inert and unprofessional on public matters which has a direct bearing on the citizen and nation-building process. OPA must fearlessly engage and interfere in public matters concerning the country and the profession without involvement of divisions and political influence.

When the country is going through a crisis OPA and BASL should be alive and interfere directly in the right directing to direct the governance and the nation. Are they doing this honourable duty is a hot issue that requires answers and clarifications?

Nation Building & OPA

Nation building team are those members of the state and private sector who take the initiative to develop the national community through government and private sector including military – conscriptions if necessary- and national projects on mass schooling involving the propaganda and development to international economy and economic growth- “Harris Mylonas”, say that the professionals are the leading force/army in the forward economic and political developments, international and local trade/business, infrastructure, constructions, agriculture, power energy, education, technology, research , health, and all/many other sectors in nation building which is a part of good governance.

Nation building includes preserving and protection of the supreme law of the nation and rule of law promoting due process which includes maintaining of sovereignty territorial integrity and resist international interventions and treatment of all citizens alike with no divisions fear or favour to any group or individuals in a peaceful society devoid of corruption nepotism racial discrimination and fear from drugs, criminals, underworld and corrupt politicians who are responsible for the downfall of the country due to their excessive greed for power, money, and vehicles they love so much.

Apart from OPA and BASL, the Chambers of Commerce, Management, and educational institutions, industrialists, leader of trade and business enterprises, are part of the team in the protection and nation building team to save promote and protect the country they live in the future generation, peace, development of their country and planet preventing destruction/disasters based on environment/unplanned mega construction and man-made acts of self-destruction.

Nation Building team 

The team of nation builders should identify the needs and challenges ahead of the pathetic plight of the citizen as a result of excessive greed and emergence of the selfish nature of the human belongs to the animal kingdom with love for vehicles (3.1 billion for tax free vehicles and two hundred thousand per day for the maintenance of ministers alone apart from other perks). Today priorities are misunderstood and values are forgotten.

The OPA once a giant has come down to the position of a rat not considered and consulted by the governance as before, governance over-joying and capitalising the dead silence of the OPA and unnecessary affiliations with the State machinery, instead of being impartial and straight giving priority to nation building process.

 Way forward

We are a country of tolerance and goodwill – citizens with a smile setting an example for reconciliation proved with the ethnic proportion and peaceful living in co-existence with all communities in Colombo.  

The Government or foreign powers cannot impose the reconciliatory process on us which is a dollar spinner industry. Nation building team has a main part to play on this process and strengthen the bonds among communities already strong to become stronger with economic prosperity and political integration in a unitary Sri Lanka. 

The professionals must take over politics from corrupt politicians to prevent our country from disintegration into pieces due to foolish power-hungry politicians greedy for money power and vehicles.

Sarath Wijesinghe – The main initiator of APSL and ASLLUK in the UK can be contacted on takes responsibility to the contents of this article