updated 29 Dec 2010, 22:08
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Tue, Aug 10, 2010
The Island
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True love or money? The Chinese way!
by P. A. Samaraweera,

This week a report published by the Sri Lanka Family Health Bureau revealed that around 1000 abortions were conducted in Sri Lanka daily. According to the report abortions are illegal in Sri Lanka and many clinics are run by quacks in all parts of the country. Some of the reasons given by social scientists for abortion are poverty, casual relationships, false promises of marriage, 'bogus' love, disappearance of social and cultural values, and ostracism by peers and so on.

The same week the Police reported that they had taken into custody some 40 school going couples scooting off during school hours. Then there are frequent reports of girls running away with their boyfriends and returning home when they realise that the true world is different from their 'dream world'.

The most recent report was about a billionaire businessman's daughter, the only child, who disappeared six weeks ago. When the Police traced her, she had got married to a security guard of her father’s firm and was living with him. During this period she had found that the young man could not afford the comfort she enjoyed with her parents. So at the Police inquiry she had said that she wished to go back to her parents. Despite the young man's pleadings and threats to commit suicide she got into her father's limousine and went back home.

Incidents like these have caused anguish to parents and cost the Police time and money.

These reminded me of a Chinese programme on CCTV Beijing and popular among the young which I watched while I was in China two weeks ago. In that week's show 15 young girls were given a written question to answer briefly in one sentence. They were all between 17 and 24 and their backgrounds ranged from High school students to junior executives in the private sector and the government. During the show the participants were not allowed to communicate with anyone and asked to hand over their answer to the panel.

The girls were unaware that the same question was given to all of them. For the audience to make up their own mind, it was shown on the screen. The question was, "Assume that you are in true love with your boy friend. Will you sit on the pillion of his bicycle clinging on to him laughing happily and go with him or sit in the back of your father's luxury Mercedes crying"?

The panel having gone through the replies announced that all the girls had said that, 'they would sit at the back of their father's Mercedes crying rather than go on a boy friends bicycle'. Obviously, for the Chinese girls, 'money counts'. There was mixed reaction for this from the audience followed by letters to the China Daily.

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