Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election: No CHANGE if SAME PEOPLE re-enter Politics
Posted on December 20th, 2014

 Shenali D Waduge

The CHANGE fever has hit Sri Lanka’s elections. The voice of Colombo is all abuzz with ‘let’s bring in some change for a change’ and then there are countless followers to tag along. How many of these change proponents have actually thought about the type of change they want. Is it change just for the sake of change or are they happy to bring back people who have been proven failures in office? Is it a change to give them another chance at failure and what would that failure result for the country and the people? The backers of this change mantra, let us remember brought change to countries of Europe, Middle East, Africa and even broke up the Soviet Union. It is because of their ability to orchestrate CHANGE and what those CHANGED countries are suffering now that should make people think twice about who they are backing in Sri Lanka. The current dissatisfactions will come nowhere near the CHANGES in store for Sri Lanka.

We have a Presidential Election. It is an election not about keeping scores, taking revenge or making up for previous lost elections. The election is to elect a man or woman to lead the nation and that leadership requires a lot of pluck and a lot of vision. More importantly that vision must be grounded in the needs of the people.

We have 19 contenders including the incumbent. The two main contenders are the President himself and the former General Secretary backed by a pool of political parties and individuals claiming to bring CHANGE.

While acknowledging that there are plenty of grey areas for the incumbent President to deal with it is important that the people cannot and should not forget that there is so much a Government can do within 5 years following the end of a 30 year terror period. People must be intelligent enough to quantify how much of the 30 years loss the 5 years post-conflict has achieved. We can all be judges but we need to realize that it is easier said than done. Nevertheless, we cannot forget that the incumbent who came into power in 2005 ended 30 years of terrorism in 2009 and that was done not single-handedly but because of a team of people committed to ending terror. Those that played a role behind-the-scenes were as important as those that claim credit for the victory. What needs to be reiterated is that the same resolve to end terror did not prevail for other leaders who led the country and who followed appeasement policies. These are the same people now coming forward to re-enter power.

Returning to CHANGE, the hot topic it is surprising that the most educated lot in Sri Lanka have not wondered what is the change in bringing people that have been in politics, people who held leadership roles and people who were very much in the Government until they crossed over back into power? What have they achieved in office for any of us to be proud of?

For real change should the people not wish to bring in new people, people who do not have a history and people who have by association being complicit themselves though they now pretend to be lily white?

Moreover, people also need to realize that we are living in a capitalist society, it’s a world of haves and ‘have nots’, and the haves will show no qualms of making sure they have more even if it is at the cost of the ‘have nots’. We are living in a world where people are unsatisfied with what they have, they thirst for more, they don’t know what makes them satisfied but they thirst for more and this thirst often leads them to catastrophes some of which are irreversible.

People are also under the misconception that everything is honky dory in other climes especially in the West, the dream land where media projects to the Third World that dreams come true. Dreams can come true for any one so long as they work hard, they do an honest job, they earn a proper living. We elect leaders to ensure there is a stable country and a climate in which we are safe the rest of the story has to be written by us. We have to earn our living, we have to keep our home and family and we have to feed the family – the politicians will not do that.

Lest, people think that the people in the West are happier the statistics reveal a totally different story.

  • Only 1 in 3 Americans are truly happy
  • average US household credit card debt stands at $15,611
  • In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households
  • 5 million children in America are homeless
  • Nearly 102million working-age American adults are jobless
  • A poll conducted in America in April 2014 (Reason Rupe) revealed that 75% Americans felt their politicians were corrupt while 70% Americans said that politicians used their political powers to help their friends and family and hurt their enemies
  • In the land of freedoms and rights there are over 2.3million prisoners
  • US gun culture kills more Americans than Americans dying from terrorists – over 30,000 Americans died from gun violence in 2013.
  • The brutality of the US police can be seen in the recent killings of unarmed black Americans.
  • Freedom and rights Americans boast of is questionable in the drones, phone and email tappings, cameras and civil-clad intelligence officers that roam the American streets.

Let’s cross to Britain

  • 1million Brits are on the dole while close to 400,000 non-British nationals were claiming benefits from the state
  • Britain is the most violent country in Europe
  • There are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK today
  • 7 out of 10 Britain’s have taken loans, owes money to banks, money lenders – half of UK’s adults are living on the debt edge
  • 1 in 5 Britons admit they have had to bribe people in the judicial system. One in 10 said that they had bribed the police!. 7%said they had bribed education officials, while 11 per cent of people who had contact with the registry and permit services or land services said they bribed workers
  • Parents cannot afford to provide midday meals for their school going children.

Let’s face the truth that whether it is in the West or East, the quality of our politicians has dwindled. There are no benevolent leaders today because the system has changed and people are living in a world where the fittest survive and all others are used and discarded. The global systems are all corrupt as we can see from the scale of corruptions that take place even inside the UN. Even Prabakaran is said to have had millions plus property as well… how did he acquire so much wealth?

Life is no bed of roses for people. The truth is that profits end up in the hands of a few and it is totally in their hands what they want to share with the rest of the world. They can give, they can withhold or they can deny. Look how they control the world consumer supply, banking systems – these are manipulated and controlled and this global team can bring countries down if they want to. It is good for people to educate themselves on how the world is run. It is certainly not run only by our politicians and the politicians of the Third World have a hard time trying to please their people while facing the challenges globally.

Therefore, the English reading public of Sri Lanka need to keep abreast of what is happening globally to realize that CHANGE is not as easy as the romanticism associated with it.

Where is the change if the same people are elected from a different party? What is the guarantee that their past misdeeds will not be repeated in worse ways?

Will the CHANGE be detrimental for the NATION is what voters need to wonder!

The truth is in a capitalist world the haves always end up reaping benefits whether they are in the winning or losing side. It is the middle class and the poor that suffer as a result of electing the wrong people to office, it is for that reason that the people need to think seriously about CHANGE.

Shenali D Waduge

7 Responses to “Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election: No CHANGE if SAME PEOPLE re-enter Politics”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    So we are not entitled to be happy because 2/3 Americans aren’t happy?

    But the US constitution gives all Americans the RIGHT TO PURSUE HAPPINESS. SL constitution DOES NOT!

    A country of Maithree, Karuna, Mudithaa, Upekkha after January 8th ruled by DASARAJADHARMA either way.

    BEST for Sri Lanka!

  2. Naram Says:

    Would we be happier if there are more Golf courses around the country run by the likes of old mates of the former President with employment for the locals as caddies.

    Would we be happier if the independence of the Judiciary is strictly observed ensuring total freedom for judges to hold as many bank accounts as they please.

    Would we be happier with more power to regions, regional police forces, total freedom for movement of goods and people including narcotics, arms and ammunition.

    Would we be be happier if drug imports are in the hands of the government thus aiding the controlled reduction of the population by providing carefully controlled contaminated drugs.

    Would we be happier if local politicians have control over irrigation tanks so that tank bedarea can be used for their benefit.

    Would we be happier if land ownership planning controls are eased so that prime land wind will be occuped by foriegn absentee lanlords.

  3. Vimutti Says:

    Lorenzo Says:
    December 20th, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    2/3rds of Americans are not happy because usually both parents MUST work to make ends meet, leaving no one at home to look after the children. And often times this requires two or three jobs, or very long hours at one job (70 hours per week) just to keep up with the very high cost of living. You then add the persistent racism (whites of European descent against all people of color – yes, this includes Sri Lankans who are considered ‘black’ by white folks) problem, crime, violence, drug abuse, homelessness, corruption of the political system with unlimited campaign donations to politicians by wealthy individuals, corporations, and organized interest groups, and growing income gap between the rich and everyone else, it doesn’t make America a very pleasant place to live.

    The so-called RIGHT to pursue happiness in America is a farce, as what good is such a right if the system is stacked against you if you are not wealthy? And since 99% of Americans are NOT wealthy (contrary to the popular myth or what is presented on television), the only people who are able to pursue happiness are 1% of the population.

    Ranil/Maithripala want to bring this sort of America unhappiness to Sri Lanka with a promise to privatize everything so wealthy people can buy up all that is valuable in Sri Lanka, leaving everyone else with nothing.

    Thanks, but no thanks!

  4. ranjit Says:

    We are not the puppets of Americans or the British or any western stooges. We are a free nation and we must live as per our own rules and regulations. We damn care about anybody’s happiness. We Sri Lankans are happy always.Must not forget the dirty war we had for thirty years. Those days we were not happy because we were not sure of our lives. Now any blind can see what we have achieved within 4-5 years. Who can say that nothing has done except the traitors to our Motherland like Ranil/Chandrika and their newest baby sitter Aiyo Sirisena.

    Visit our beautiful country and see from your own eyes then talk. Our President clearly said that we will not give police and land powers to the Tamils and that he will never allow to separate the country and that is period. If any stupid guy thinks that he can sign agreements with our enemies and get away with it he is dead wrong. TNA should be banned for ever because they were always for the separation of the North and East.We will not give up of our freedom so easily.We need to go forward and it will be with our current President not with any stooge of the west.

    Mistakes have done by every Govt not only by this one. If there is, then everyone should get together and solve together our problems but not by selling our country to the west. The bankrupt Opposition will never come to power in the future.They were all loser’s in the past. They do not have any proper vision to our country.They are after the green bucks to serve themselves not the citizens of Sri Lanka. We all hope that President will understand what the country needs in the future and work hard to solve most of the problems we are facing today. Priority should be given to Corruption and Drugs. We need to get rid of drug menace. We the public has a duty to this country by electing good decent educated people to the Parliament not drug lords and Pimps. People must vote from their heart not for money and Booze. We need good young sons and daughters to lead our country for the future. Think wisely and decide on January 8th.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    SL’s total government debt (local and foreign) is now $52 BILLION.

    Every SL is indebted to the tune of $2,500. A 4 member household is indebted to the tune of $10,000.

    With an average household income of only $4,300 a year and very little savings, I have no idea how we are going to repay those massive loans.

    The Government’s foreign debt servicing is estimated to be US$ 6.9 BILLION a year. Education less than $2 billion. Defence less than $2 billion. Lets keep borrowing!

  6. Vimutti Says:

    Lorenzo Says:
    December 21st, 2014 at 2:23 am

    Nearly ALL of this debt is secured. Toll booths on the new expressway pay for the cost of building the expressway (just like in other countries). You say they are not used much now, but I have personally witnessed a HUGE increase in use in the Southern Expressway, in that I could not even find a parking place at one of the rest stops on a recent trip about a month ago. These rest stops accommodate several HUNDRED persons, so this really was a surprise. I actually had to wait in line for nearly 30 minutes to get some rice and curry, and this was one of the smaller ques, as most travellers were opting for Western food at the various eateries at the rest stop.

    Hydroelectric dams are secured by revenue generated by electricity. The costs of developing ports are secured by port fees, and again based on personal experience I can say these port fees are relatively high even compared to a developed country.

    Any country trying to grow MUST go into debt initially. The problem is Maithripala and his clueless JHU sidekick, don’t have the educational background to understand how substantial economic development occurs around the world. The key is securing the loans with ‘development-oriented revenue’, which is exactly what MR has done, and never fall for the IMF (US backed) trick of accepting strings attached to the loans that force you to do things that are harmful to the long-term health of your economy and wealth of the majority of your citizens (e.g., privatization). MR actually turned down an IMF loan recently because of the onerous strings attached to the loan.

  7. Independent Says:

    In order to win votes, ALL politicians are acting “tactfully”, thus ALL have to deviate from normal “PURITY”. However, we listeners will have to identify the good by,
    1. Discipline
    2. Respect for the truly respectable
    3. Scarifies they have made
    4. Moral shame and moral fear
    5. Knowledge
    6. Wisdom

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress