Change the way you look at things is the mantra of BYNISH, a global design consulting think tank that specializes in development design, business process design, nation brand design, advocacy design and visual design with a focus on Asia-Pacific and Europe. Founder, S D Nishanka, a development design specialist with comprehensive experience in a rare combination of sectors that include conglomerates, global brands, unilateral and multilateral development agencies, United Nations and the European Union, outlined why Sri Lanka should embrace ‘design thinking’, while explaining how human centered design and development process can transform nations, organisations, conglomerates, brands and individuals.
By Udeshi Amarasinghe. Assisted by Jennifer Paldano Goonewardena and Tatiyana Welikala. | Photography Menaka Aravinda.
What is the future of design in Sri Lanka and the potential? Why do you want to bring the ‘design thinking’ concept to Sri Lanka?
Traditionally, people think the concept of design is largely related to fashion. In smaller countries like Sri Lanka, design or design thinking has not been a primary tool to shape the course of the nation and its people. But design as a science has changed immensely over the last two to three decades. While the global design community continue to expand the traditional design sectors such as product design, furniture design, industrial design, graphic design, animation design, interior and architectural design, and fashion design, today, designers from around the world are also relentlessly exploring contemporary design fields such as environmental design, biodiversity design, sustainable development design, advocacy design, diplomacy design, UI/ UX design, AI design, digital transformation design, and the list goes on and on. The fact is that every single thing around us is designed by a person for a person. Today, we as design scientists across the globe, are researching and analyzing every aspect of human life to see how design can positively impact everything that we do on this planet and elsewhere.
Design has evolved globally, but it is yet to happen in Sri Lanka. The education system from schools to universities does not embrace the global design culture. The captains of the private sector do not understand the evolution of design. It’s a far stretch to expect the political leadership or the public sector to understand design thinking.
As per design education, take an engineering and design institute such as the University of Moratuwa, which is in my opinion a world class institute, is far behind most regional universities and global universities in terms of technological infrastructure, engineering labs, prototyping studios, student project financing and overall campus facilities. The students are brilliant. The professors and faculty are brilliant. But Sri Lanka has not invested in this university. Not just this university, we have not invested a fair share in any of our universities. I never understood the grim reality of Sri Lanka forging ahead with mega development projects, but completely ignoring fundamental needs of a nation; universities, especially design, technical and engineering universities. The private design institutes in Colombo are money making machines, where foreign universities take a large share of the huge fees they charge for the course and certificate they provide. These courses have no relevance to our history, our island, our people and the contemporary issues of a unique island nation. It’s a factory method. They manufacture graduates for a price. Owners of these institutes get rich, they mingle with the high-ups of the social circles of Colombo, they are posh and they flaunt their so-called bequest to design in Sri Lanka. People who can afford to pay the exorbitant fees enroll at these institutes to get a foreign certificate. They are from affluent families, they have a good network in Colombo, they speak good English and express themselves well. Hence, they forge ahead. On the contrary, the students from state universities such as the University of Moratuwa and others, as brilliant and hardworking as they can be, have somewhat a limited prospect. They are mostly from average Sri Lankan families; they have no social network in Colombo and they are not able to express in English. Hence their prospects are limited. I think its deeply unfair that these brilliant students are let down by the system.
I have in the past sponsored a few students from the University of Moratuwa to travel to one of my partner firms in Bangalore on scholarships. Trust me when I say this, our teams in Bangalore loved the work produced by the Sri Lankan students. They were impressed and thought our students were exceptionally good in creating meaningful design ideas. Our students produced brilliant work, but they found it difficult to express themselves when presenting it, because of the language issue. In the world of design and technology, you have to be able to profoundly express your ideas. It is the only way you can sell your idea. Language is one of the fundamental issues in our education system.
As per our professors and academics in our universities, I strongly postulate that they are world-class teachers. We have some of the best designed curriculum at our engineering and design universities. Our professors and lectures are eager to create world class students, engineers, designers and technicians. But Sri Lanka needs to invest millions and millions of dollars into our universities and make them world-class in terms of infrastructure and facilities.
We want to trigger real change. We want to bring design thinking to Sri Lanka where every aspect of the nation benefits from it. From governance, education, manufacturing, infrastructure development, human development, social revolution, we want design and innovation to play a significant role in shaping the future of Sri Lanka.
What is really design thinking or the design revolution that you are talking about?
Designers all over the world are working on diverse issues, from manufacturing a car in Germany to launching new age banking service in England to an investment campaign of Macedonia to policy development process in Somalia, to transforming townships in Rio de Janeiro to a reconciliation initiative in Burma, designers are working on projects that are exceptionally complex in nature. We practice a research, design and development (RD & D) process to design and develop a product, such as a car. The same principle is applied to a bank in England that wants to launch a new millennial account. It’s the process of understanding the behavior of a human and everything that influences the life of a human being. It’s the same approach if Macedonia as a small country wants to attract big brands to invest, because at the end of the day Macedonia has to speak to a human being who is the chairman of a conglomerate or a president of a multi-national brand or the CEO of an investment company. All projects are linked from a human centered design perspective.
Today, there are design scientists working on various subjects across the world, from reducing child abuse, to women empowerment, gender equality, human rights and many other social issues. If I tell you that there is a designer working on human rights in Africa, you will ask why is a designer involved in that. This is advocacy design, which is not common in Sri Lanka. What is advocacy design? If a person or a group of people brief a design think tank that they have a social problem and want that issue communicated to multiple stakeholders of a society, the design company will research and analyze the issue, understand the core of the problem, collaborate with various subject specialists, and use technology, art and design to put together as a story to be told. This is made possible if you work with serious design thinkers.
We bring with us the knowledge that we have gained working on design projects for the last 25 years in Asia Pacific and Europe. From luxury hotels to bars, cafés, advocacy projects, diplomacy issues, global awareness campaigns, products, brands, international events and global CEO forums, we can design and develop anything. Absolutely anything. We collaborate with researchers, economists, sociologists, technocrats, strategists, architects, designers, technicians, visualizers, film makers, artists and photographers to deliver successful, and often radical solutions.
I believe Sri Lanka is ready for it. I know that the idea of what design thinking does to brands, businesses, nations, governments, individuals and global organizations is something that is yet to enter Sri Lanka, and it’s not going to be easy to make people embrace this idea. But it is now time to make this change. There are various global think tanks, big global design companies in Europe, the US and Canada. There are some exceptionally talented design companies in Asia as well, in India, Singapore, China and Korea. There are large scale design companies in India who are working with the government of India, the private sector and civil organisations shaping the future of India.
We know that you specialise in destination brand design. How has Sri Lanka faired in projecting itself as a destination brand?
When you take Sri Lanka as a brand, and study the history of Sri Lanka’s brand promotion, you learn that besides taking part in global travel fairs, it was always about making series of films that are put on selected TV channels across the world. The tagline has changed numerous times over the years, therefor there is no memorable brand. Sri Lanka never sustained a decent brand positioning. ‘Incredible India’, ‘Uniquely Singapore’, ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’ and ‘Amazing Thailand’ are some the of best destination brands of the world. They followed a proper scientific system to build these brands to make them memorable. But Sri Lanka’s brand positioning is like an achcharu, there have been so many visual identities and taglines created over the years.
As of today, the whole landscape of communication has changed with social media and digital media. Globally people are moving out of watching TV, especially in developed countries. People watch everything on a mobile phone or a tablet. In developed nations, you can get your cable channels without advertisements. People do not want to see advertisements. To be honest, people hate advertisements. The challenge is to build a brand in an era where people do not want to see adverts.
We have limited financial resources in the country. Our communication budget is smaller than our competitors. They can outrun you with ten ads, when Sri Lanka runs one ad, because they have deep pockets. Given a situation where your competitors are much larger than you and richer than you in terms of funds and resources, how do you sustain your communication campaign? You have to innovate. Generate new ideas and invent new ways of reaching out to our target audience. Be smarter than our competitors.
From a design and development point, let’s look at the communication campaign of the last five years. The ‘So Sri Lanka’ campaign that ran on CNN defies basic knowledge and understanding of one’s primary target markets, such as China, the Middle East, Europe, Germany, England and France, and the secondary markets such as Singapore, Korea and Japan. One has to research before such a campaign is launched. CNN is not watched in our primary and secondary target regions. China does not watch CNN. India has its own mega channels. UK has its own mega channels. Germans don’t watch CNN. French don’t watch CNN. Japanese, Koreans and Singaporeans don’t watch CNN. Arabs don’t watch CNN. None of the people in our first and second tier target markets watch CNN as their most preferred channel. But as a nation, our primary campaign is going on CNN. So called advertising pundits hatched this disastrous strategy in Colombo. What a waste of public money.
Sri Lanka has to collaborate across the world to come up with creative ideas. Let’s look at one simple idea. Millions of people use the subway to commute in our target markets every day. They spend on an average of 90 to 120 minutes a day at metro stations, inside trains, at bus terminals and inside buses. This is one of the best times to reach out to them with a beautiful story about Sri Lanka. Not just one story, but multiple stories. Touch their hearts. Make them smile. Make them dream of our paradise island. This is what I mean by design thinking and human centered design. Communication design has to be designed by design scientists, and not by marketing pundits who follow a book that they used while sitting for a chartered marketing exam. Destination brand design is not about memorizing text from large marketing text books and spitting it out on an exam paper. Destination brand design is about human centered design thinking. I always say that there is a very thin line between ‘chartered monkeying’ and ‘chartered marketing’. As far as the CNN campaign, it was not ‘chartered marketing’ but the other.
Today we have branding gurus and advertising gurus, but after a major campaign is done, we still fail. How do we rectify it?
In terms of the CNN campaign top industry gurus were part of that decision. The selection process was based on good governance, and that was a good idea as it was a multi-stakeholder process. It was a team effort. Some people liked the theme, while others didn’t, I personally didn’t like the theme ‘SO Sri Lanka’ with a big empty circle as the main visual element, but I liked the film they put together, it had a good feel. But whatever campaign you put together you have to choose the right vehicle to take it to the world. They chose CNN as a primary vehicle for this campaign, but CNN is not watched by anyone in our primary target markets. Once a mistake like this is made the money is gone. The damage is done and there’s nothing that you can do about it. In my opinion it is a crime as it is the taxpayers’ money. How can a few pundits use a large amount of taxpayers’ money with no checks and balances? Furthermore, the campaign content had the same old things, such as tea workers, Kandyan dancers, fire dancers, temples, trees, elephants, turtles, food, drinks, shopping, partying, the mountains and the beaches. You get the exact same things in Kerala, rest of India, and more in Thailand, Bali, Malaysia, Singapore and Maldives. It takes almost the same number of hours to travel to these competing destinations from Europe and other target markets. Our campaign should trigger a decision that will make them choose us over others. We did not tell anything new through this campaign, whatever we said is what we have been saying for a long time and we chose the wrong vehicle to put this message across, and as a result people did not get to hear it. And even after the Easter Sunday attacks, we had no campaign to rebound.
Destination branding is also linked to investment promotion. One should not look at destination branding and investment promotion separately. As part of your destination branding, you have to create global CEO forums where the CEOs, investment influencers and change makers in global cities will come and listen to our stories. Whatever the story you present that day has to be brilliant because the same set of people sit in presentations of many other countries. So whatever the story you tell them, it has to be unique. At the end of the day it is a human decision. It boils down to person to person connection. I believe art and innovation plays a key role in the presentation. If you show something boring with technical numbers and jargons, you will not touch the CEO emotionally. The CEO will not study it, but will give your document to his advisors to study the report to ascertain which country is better to invest in. But on the other hand, if a CEO can be touched from a human point of view, where he feels warm about the country, the decision will be to come to Sri Lanka. This is where design and creative thinking comes into play.
Sri Lanka’s destination branding and investment promotion campaigns cannot be run through TV channels such as CNN. We have to go into the big cities in the world, their airports, their shopping malls, public squares, their train stations, their bus terminals, inside their trains, inside their buses and taxis. Engage real time. Build mini Sri Lanka at these venues through food, music, dance and stunning visuals. Make them experience everything our paradise island can offer. Entertain them. Make a lasting impression. We can also capture all the exciting moments and make those stories big on social media. Millions and millions will watch and share. This is how you build Sri Lanka as a destination brand.
What are you working on currently in Sri Lanka?
As per development design, we bring together creative talent from around the world to develop designs that are functional, contemporary and futuristic. We designed the first ever war bunker art gallery. This bunker has a history; it was built during the war era. We designed yet another bunker built during the war era and converted it into a history museum. These were featured in the prestigious Domus magazine as a cover story. We are currently contributing towards developing a few boutique hotels, designing a chain of tablet hotels for a European client, designing a luxury tent hotel, as well as restaurants, rooftop lounges, a spa and a range of spa products.
We are also engaged in multiple business design, advocacy design, nation brand design, socio-political design and visual design projects. In business design, the fundamental questions we ask ourselves are what does the brand of tomorrow look like? How can design incubation create propitious impact on brands? In a rapidly changing world, where the consumer is wilted in the gaudy noises of brands in the name of marketing, how do you design or redesign your brand to stay ahead, be liked and hopefully be loved? We seek for answers working along with our clients. In advocacy design, we have been working on many social issues such as child rights, sustainable development, women empowerment and gender equality, peace and reconciliation, environment, HIV/Aids, governance, education, youth empowerment, media rights and human rights.
Are all your projects carried out through collaborations?
In the world of design and development, collaboration is key. We collaborate with many researchers, economists, sociologists, technocrats, strategists, architects, designers, technicians, visualizers, film makers, artists and photographers. We have design collaborators in Berlin, Bangalore, Mumbai, Singapore, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Rangoon, Dubai, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul. It is through such collaborations we learn. One should never cease to learn. No one should ever be a pundit, but be a student of life. Learn every day.
The problems of companies and governments are highly complex. Design companies like us can play a significant role in providing solutions. For instance, Qatar Airways wanted to redesign its business class, they knew that would be the differentiator that can have an edge over their competitors. A design company enters the project. The management has all the money in the world, hence there is a lot that can be done, such as having platinum buttons or silk upholstered seats, but they knew it was not enough. This is how collaborations work. A design company alone cannot create this whole new look. So, they worked with a psychologist to understand the human mind when they travel. They worked with a doctor to understand human body. They worked with a dietician who understands food. They worked with a wine specialist. They worked with industrial designers, product designers, bankers, dancers, musicians, writers, poets, artists and multiple designers to revolutionize the design of a business class seat. They also worked with activists who hate the concept of flying. They worked with various stakeholders in the world to create something unique. At the end of it all, they launched ‘Qsuite’ where a family of four can sit together in one unit. At the same time, the seats can also be used as individual passenger seat with perfect privacy. In the age of huge outcry and legit concerns about global warming and carbon footprint, they created this ground breaking ‘seating design’ to save space and use space wisely while offering all the luxuries of a business class seat. This is where design thinking comes into play. As I explained, this is where design collaborations come into play, where you work with multiple stakeholders from various sectors to create what is needed.
This is relevant to Sri Lanka as well. We need to promote Sri Lanka as a destination in a unique way. We need an investment promotion campaign that is linked to our destination brand campaign. How do you come up with a project that will be different to others? This is only possible through multiple stakeholder collaborations across the world.
How do you create positive impact in design? How do you create change? How do you create human centered design? Every single thing around us is designed by somebody. I believe every human is born with creativity. Some people harness their creative ability to become a professional designer. It is truly within the person to come up with something creative. The basics are very simple. You research, analyze data, arrive at solutions, create ideas, design and develop what you have designed. One should not complicate this process. You can work with multiple stakeholders every step of the way. This is what is called human-centered design. Humancentered design thinking. Human-centered development.
There are many absolutely brilliant global design think tanks. They have been shaping the world for the last 20 to 30 years. I have collaborated on projects with many of these design think tanks in India and Europe. Having done that I wanted to create a think tank of my own similar to these companies. So, I created BYNISH, as well as Berlin Design Consulting, two global design think tanks created in Berlin, which is home for me as my family lives there. I have now brought these to Colombo. The idea is to bring human-centered design to Sri Lanka.
Does Sri Lanka currently accept such a critical design thinking process?
No, it doesn’t. This is common in most smaller nations that are relatively secluded from the rest of the world as far as big change is concerned. Change comes rather late to smaller nations like Sri Lanka. But we can change this. Singapore was a fishing island in the 60s with no industry or infrastructure. Today it has transformed itself into a global city nation and financial center. They have developed a brilliant social system with one of the best education systems in the world. India had a closed economy 20 years back, with only Ambassador and Maruti cars, local Indian products and brands, there were no mega malls, no mega highways, no sky trains, no metros, and the airports were outdated and chaotic. In just 20 years, with the liberalization of its economy, India has become a global economic power, transforming the lifestyle of millions and millions of Indians. India also has some of the best universities in the world for design, technology and engineering. It’s the same with South Korea, Japan, Brazil, and South Africa. These nations have transformed dramatically over the last 20 to 30 years.
Sri Lanka should collaborate with these nations first in education, followed by industrial design development collaborations, innovation design collaborations and policy think tank collaborations. Sri Lanka should not work in isolation. Decision makers, industry leaders and political leaders in Sri Lanka should shed the pundit mentality and accept the fact that we are at least 20 years behind the rest of the world and we must adapt a learning culture, where everyone accepts that fact that we have a lot to learn and we should never cease to learn. We need a knowledge-based society. Majority of our work force is made of tailors at garment factories, and maids in middle east, who endure tremendous hardships. This needs to change.
Over the next ten to 20 years, we need to change our workers into a robust technical workforce with solid education, who will not just transform Sri Lanka, but help many nations across the globe prosper. In time to come, our engineers, technicians, designers and scientists will play a significant role in Silicon Valley, to wall street, to factories of Germany, to infrastructure of the Middle East, to mega cities of the Far East.
In the areas of business design and brand design, Sri Lanka has a long way to go. There isn’t much in campaigns that you remember, you are never amazed and say, “Wow, what an idea or what a film.” From ideation to technological skills, art and design, we have to go a long way, this starts from, again as I said before, proper education. We need our students, technicians and artists to go through industrial training in India and other nations. Our students, technicians and artists should be exposed to global working environments and cultures. This is the only way we can make a difference over the next 10 to 20 years. If you look at the Indian, Korean, Japanese or European brand campaigns, or visual design or ad films or feature films or tv series or reality shows, you are overwhelmed by the technical perfection and creativity. You love watching most of their ad films, at times the ad films are more interesting than even the program. This level of quality is achieved through sound technical and subject specific knowledge that come from robust education systems.
Take a look at Colombo today, there is so much going on, so many buildings are coming up. All the mega projects are designed and developed elsewhere and brought here. These projects look amazing, and create a wow factor. All Sri Lankans look at the designs of the Port City, or ITC Colombo One, or The One of Ritz Carlton, or Altair or the proposed Odel Mall and be utterly impressed and be overwhelmed by the creativity and design elements. But there are also number of local projects, both residential and commercial, and most of them have absolutely no wow factor. There is no art in any of them. There is no amazing design thinking. There is no inspiration. No one ever stands in front of any of these buildings and say, “Wow, what an amazing building.” It is all glass, steel and cement. Just concrete jungle with no character.
It is not the money you spend on a project that makes it unique, it’s the vision to create something amazing that makes anything that you create unique. Honestly, most Sri Lankan business leaders completely lack this vision, they absolutely have no inclination for creating the wow factor, or creating world-class master pieces. A good majority of business leaders have absolutely no clue about art and design, and how art and design is vital in technological and infrastructure development. As a result, they don’t thrive to create master pieces, be it a building, or product or service.
Dilmah, Spa Ceylon, Ministry of Crab and a few others who have used design as a key tool to make it big. Brands like Spa Ceylon; they are great in terms of the way everything is put together and the way it looks and feels. Everything is designed in-house and they understand design. Dilmah is also a brilliant brand. It is the same tea that’s in every other brand, but Dilmah products stand out the way they have been put together and promoted globally with exceptionally innovative ideas. As per Ministry of Crab, creativity and design have played key roles not just in their brand design but in their food as well. It is an exceptionally well crafted restaurant from brand to food to ambience to overall experience.
Sri Lankan business leaders, captains of industries and political leaders should insist on something different than the ordinary. For example, with Altair, not that their investments are much higher than others, it is just that they have collaborated with people from around the world to make it look unique. Because someone at the top insisted on the wow factor.
Today, there are so many restaurants, café and public spaces coming up in Colombo, but there is nothing exceptional about most of them. In Singapore, Dubai, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, you find that most restaurants are designed with a theme. They offer a unique style, a unique story, and unique experiences. One restaurant in Singapore for instance is a toilet themed restaurant, where its seats are designed in the shape of commodes. Another one in Singapore has a hospital theme, where the seats are wheelchairs and cocktails are served in saline bottles. There are thousands more around the world that provide you a unique experience – a wow factor. This is the difference the global traveler and consumer wants to experience. Our approach has to change, our investors and business leaders need to change their mindset and take design seriously, because design can make a difference.
Currently everything is about being digital. Are people being misled?
Digital is the way of the world. It is the future. One cannot avoid it and should not avoid it. Digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and social media will be at the center of the world forever from now. The world will shrink. You can reach out to anyone in any part of the world in less than a second. Billions of people can connect and share. From experiences, to ideas, to knowledge, to technology, anything and everything can be shared instantaneously using digital technology. You can sit in Colombo and work with anyone from any part of the world. Digital technology can empower a person in ways that the world has never seen before. Brands, businesses, conglomerates, governments and individuals can benefit from this revolution.
Digital technology and social media also play a key role in governance, elections, political processes, advocacy and diplomacy. It can make or break governments. It has the power to bring down dictatorships and regimes. It has the power to expose corruption. It has the power to create positive change.
Take the last election campaigns for instance. An election impacts all of us because we decide who is going to govern us. It is an important process. A staggering number of people voted at the last election, with a massive number of firsttime voters. As per campaigns, traditional mediums were largely opted to communicate; television, radio and newspapers were used by all the candidates reaching out to the masses. But, what really played a key role amongst the first time voters was digital. It’s a fact that the first-time voters decided the fate of the results. These young people do not watch television or read newspapers, and they do not listen to the radio as they have their own music on their phones. Their mobile phones are the closest objects to their lives, and they are immersed in the digital world. Whoever handled the social media better, whoever understood the mechanics of a digital campaign better, I believe won this election. Of course, the political pundits, ad mafia and political cronies will tell big stories filled with technical jargons defending their campaigns as they have always done in the modern history of Sri Lanka, looting money from political campaigns. We can ignore them and pray that a new breed of professionals will emerge to take Sri Lankan advocacy and soci-political projects forward without spreading hatred.
If you studied the digital campaign of the winner of the past Presidential campaign, you see that a candidate is not alone, there are many others who influence the vote he is getting. Take for instance Namal Rajapaksa, he is one of the cleverest digital media persons in Sri Lanka if you study him as a brand. If Namal Rajapaksa is a private sector brand, imagine the prospect, power and monetary value of that brand. For a small country like Sri Lanka, he has over a million people following him and he receives thousands of likes for whatever he posts on a daily basis. The tool of social media is used by him cleverly. He played a significant role in gathering support for the Presidential candidate amongst the firsttime voters. There were also various others who are powerful social media influencers willingly endorsed the candidate who eventually won. They trusted the candidate. They believed in the candidate. They expressed their support through multiple messages. This accumulated a huge positive following on digital media, good messages reaching out to first time voters on a minute basis.
Voting is like buying decision, it’s always a choice. A choice between two or more alternatives. While there is a voter block for green, blue or the new maroon, a large number of voters make a choice between candidates just days before the elections. They are undecided or floating or neutral or first time voters. Except the hardcore loyalists, who love their candidate and hate the other. If you take the large number of educated youths, moderates and the liberals, they do not hate any candidate, but choose to vote for one that they prefer.
The results of the presidential elections are very simple. Only the pundits will complicate it. Around 6.9 million Sri Lankans voted for a candidate who won. At the same time around 6.3 million Sri Lankans voted against him. It’s as simple as that. The key is to understand where the 600,000 votes that made the difference came from. I strongly believe it came from the firsttime voters, and digital campaign on social media played a crucial role. People like Namal Rajapaksa who are at the top of Sri Lankan social media, other young political and social activists and famous social media influencers made this possible. That is the power of digital space and social media. It can make or break a campaign.
There is also a downside to the digital trend. There is no accountability. A large number of hate visuals, fear mongering messages, character assassination pieces, and ridiculing cartoons were created during the last Presidential elections. Any established media network will not accept such campaigns. But digitally anything could be posted as there are no checks and balances. If you post vicious campaign material on Instagram or Facebook in Sinhala or in Tamil, it takes a long time to be checked and action taken. You can send anything that is hateful via WhatsApp. The millennials; first-time voters, were not interested in any hate campaign but they were bombarded with it. The ad-pundits should stop creating hate campaigns. It is not healthy for any society. No candidate is bad, they all want something good for Sri Lanka. It is for the people to decide whom they want to vote for. One cannot create positive messages through hate campaigns. Sri Lanka needs a new breed of professionals who can create decent and respectful socio-political strategies and campaigns.