Monday, January 25, 2010

Please Sri Lanka, No More. Take a Stand.

On the eve of the Presidential Elections 2010, I realised no matter how busy my schedule I must return to my blog to write this post. As a Sri Lankan studying abroad, I currently have no way to exercise my vote however as a Sri Lankan - I have to do my part to assist even one person in making the right choice at this Election.

Anyone who has read my blog or looks through the archives knows well my position for this elections. I have never and nor ever will be a fan of MR. I have written a majority of the posts regarding the political situation in Sri Lanka from within Sri Lanka. However, now, writing from abroad I feel significantly less fear at the thought of speaking out - for what is right, what is democracy, what is constitutionally our rights. I do not wish to be labelled a UNP supporter or be embedded within pointless party politics. How can we, civilians, even begin with party politics when the politicians themselves in these parties have no sense of loyalty? Jumping hither thither like rabbits on a fiery ground?

As a nation, we have been through an immense volume of anguish, sorrow and fear. From a 27 year old war to a ridiculously destructive tsunami to levels of poverty that are inhumane. When MR first assumed power in 2005 it was amidst a scandal of extortion - who can forget the tsunami funds embezzled from Hambantota? Embezzlement ironically became a reigning theme in his Presidency over the next few years. We do not need a Royal Family. This incessant need to counteract the 'prestige' built up by the Bandaranaike family has made fools of the public. Brothers, Sons, and Cousins assume post over post - spend tax rupee after tax rupee - in an internal race to become the richest of the rich. We hear of the treasury being ransacked to zero. We hear of runaway fiscal policy. We tolerate.

The countless number of hours I have spent sitting in road blocks because a member of the Family is passing 3kms away from me is time I will not get back. Each time I am amazed by the patience of our people. Is this resignation to a fate where each government has simply taken from us but not given much back? People sit in their cars, stand outside talking to each other or to the army personnel guarding the road blocks till the time comes for the cars to whiz by with ambulances following (who's money pays for this convoy of 20 cars?) and then we get moving. This has happened as early as 8am or as late as 11pm. Before the war ended, the road closures were due to the Family and its consortium of sycophants being fearful of suicide bombers - yet how about those cars that wait at the closures? What if there was a suicide bomber amidst the masses gathered waiting for the roads to open so that they may end their long day and go home to their families? What about them? No one cares. So, we patiently wait. We tolerate.

What about dissent? What about Lasantha Wickrematunga and the countless number of media personnel harassed, abducted and murdered over the past 5 years? We have a right to dissent. I have a right to speak out without fear of white vans abducting me or a family member in the middle of the night. I have this right through a constitution that is upheld by the Supreme Court of our country. Yet when a politician decides he is above and beyond the constitution and instead promotes propaganda that he is Supreme King, we have a larger problem on our hands than ever previously encountered. Lasantha died for bringing us the truth. I have written about him before and it is IMPERATIVE that we remember him now. It is not enough that we stand there holding candles at a funeral. We must take a stand whenever we can. And this is the BEST time that has ever come about. We cannot tolerate.

You tell me MR ended the war. I ask you at what cost? The war vote, which I do not agree with, has thankfully been split. If we are going to take credit for the war - who deserves most of the credit? The politician drinking night after night in Colombo, entertaining his many guests using tax payer money, afraid to even travel on a road without army personnel guarding him, providing instructions from the safety of Colombo? Or the Army Commander who was present with his forces at any given moment at the heart of the battle? Yes, I don't agree with the war. But give me the man who was doing his job well any day over the corrupt, cowardly man who saw personal gain in taking the route that won him glory.

Many things are uncertain in life. Many things are uncertain with the crossroad we are at. But one thing is certain. Sri Lanka as it has existed over the past 62 years since Independence (even with its wars, its poverty, its issues), cannot exist ever again if it is to be pillaged and ransacked for the next 8 years the way it has been with the current administration. There is a limit to tolerance and patience. We will have no economy to speak of, no successful businesses left as profits and assets are seized at the whim of the Royal Family, no intelligent persons left to contend with the rulers that defy dissent. Yes, the Prabhakaran threat to our nation was over as of 2009. But what now plagues us is as dire to our future growth.

Please, do not tolerate. Please, take a stand. Please, vote intelligently. This is our last chance.


Scrumpulicious said...

I wish you would write more often! This is one of the better posts I've seen with just reasons as to who to vote for! :)

Rine said...

thank you scrumpilicious! i should get back on kottu... but its so depressing. we write but clearly there's no impact. u saw what happened today.

オテモヤン said...


Jack Point said...

Goig, going, GONE!