My dear voters,
I thought I must write to you as you are contemplating who you would mark that all important cross for, at the big race that will be held next Saturday. It is an important decision and one that could make or break our country, so I hope you will give a lot of thought to your decision and not take it lightly.
We have been told that there are a record number of candidates, thirty-five in all, but I wouldn’t blame you if you are disappointed and feel that you have no good options to choose from. Of course, some of them are in the race for the fun of it, while others are there as ‘dummies’ to split votes.
First there is Sajith putha who claims that he will restore his father’s era. I’m not sure whether that is what he really means because the memories we have of that time are not great: insurgencies in the North and South, impeachments and an autocratic rule, ending in an unfortunate assassination.
Maybe what he means is that he will introduce a good work ethic like his father did and be a leader for the less fortunate people in our country. Sajith putha’s policies certainly sound like that although we are left wondering how he will find all the money he will need to give practically everything free.
It is not as if Sajith putha’s problems are just in dealing with the issues confronting our land. He will first have to get a grip on the Green party as well where the Green Man is clutching at straws and hanging in there for his political life. Besides, there are those who questioned Sajith’s ‘O’ Levels too!
This is probably why Sajith putha took the unusual step of making an ‘address to the nation’. In a strange way it reminded me of Aiyo Sirisena who, just before the last general election, also made an ‘address to the nation’ and said he would never appoint Mahinda maama as his Prime Minister.
Sajith putha said that he will appoint a ‘new first-time Prime Minister’. The Green Man being the Green Man, I am not sure whether he got the hint. Still, I think that was a smart move because many would have had second thoughts about voting for Sajith, if the Green Man was to remain as PM.
Then, we have Gota, a chap with no political experience who leans on Mahinda maama, even when he is asked a difficult question. On the other hand, he has proved he can achieve a target, though some would say that sometimes he is also very good at targeting those who are against him or his family.
here are many people who wouldn’t mind giving Gota a chance, if not for those around him. Instead of surrounding himself with some decent people, those who are doing most of the talking for him are those like Wimal, Gammanpila, SB, GL, Bandula and Johnston and who wants to see more of them?
Listening to the speeches made from Gota’s platforms, it also feels as if there is only one race in this land and that we must all vote for him to save that race which will otherwise be wiped out. So, I am not sure what he would do, if he does win, with those from other races who inhabit Paradise.
It is also quite interesting that one of the main arguments being trotted out on Gota’s behalf is that, if he doesn’t win, our country would be sold to the Americans. Coming from someone who was an American citizen until a few months ago- and whose family are still Americans, this is quite funny!
There is also the issue about whether the ‘pohottuwa’ chaps can find no other alternative outside of the ‘R’ family. Even when Gota’s citizenship was under a cloud, it is to Chamal that they turned as a ‘back up’. So, many wonder whether a vote for Gota is a vote to create a dynasty of the ‘R’s forever.
Looking at these two, if you are saying ‘unuth ekai munuth ekai’, we can’t say much else about Anura and the rathu sahodarayas too. He has done no wrong- and hasn’t been in power to do so either- but isn’t it strange that, over the years, even those attending their meetings don’t seem to vote for them?
It maybe because we don’t trust them because of their bloody past- and because they never apologised for it. It may be because their policies are still based on ancient leftist ideology. They have to move on from being seen only as a party which gets undergraduates tear-gassed, if they want to win elections.
I leave that choice to you, dear voter. You have to make your choice cautiously because you will have to live with it for at least the next five years- as we had to, for the past five years! In the end, you may have to hold your noses and vote for one or close your eyes and for the other, so I won’t envy you.
PS- Whatever choice you make and regardless of whether your candidate won or lost, by this time next week, there will be a reason to celebrate. We can say cheerio, Sirisena to Aiyo Sirisena, marking the end of one of the darkest chapters of our land. If that is not cause for celebration, what is?