The Strength Of Shithole Countries

We’re all in some shit now, aren’t we?
6 min readMay 20, 2020


According to Donald Trump, I live in a shithole country. He was referring to TPS nations, places with civil unrest, violence, or natural disasters. Sri Lanka’s not TPS, but check, check, check, sounds like home.

I’ve lived through a tsunami, war, terrorism, floods, riots, and a running epidemic. And I’ve had it easy, old-timers consider me soft. I’ve only been hospitalized once and I haven’t buried anybody close. Even so, this isn’t my first curfew. It’s not even my first curfew in the last year.

We’ve been drilled like this for generations. Forever as far as I know. If it wasn’t the weather it was the British. If it wasn't the British, it was us. We get hit and we get back up, over and over again. Sometimes together, sometimes fighting each other, but we always get up.

I used to think this made us fucked up. Now I realize that it has made us strong.

The West Has Gone Soft

Svetlana, from The Sopranos

The west, in contrast, has gone weak. For months I’ve been honestly baffled by them. They’re supposed to be developed, to be smart, but they’ve been so dumb. Why are they talking so much? Why aren’t they acting?

Now it all makes sense. This is their first time.

Simply put, nothing this bad has happened to them for generations. That’s why they need some 100-year-old veteran to raise money for their NHS, only he even remembers what sacrifice is. Everybody else has gone soft. They’re used to stable governments, financial disasters, a little terrorism; child’s play, biblically speaking.

When I lived in America the worst thing I remember was a snow day. Disaster relief was eating cereal and watching TV. These people were not ready. So here they are.

Let me be clear. I’m talking about white people. Black people, minorities, the sick — life has been a running disaster for them even in the west. White people are a disaster all their own. We had that one too, three times. And no I don’t mean all white people, but enough of you, shut…



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at