Thursday, November 17, 2005
The most important election ever!
When this post comes out, most of the Sri Lankans have voted .Everybody says it is the "Most important election ever" .period.So were the ones in 1931 ,1947,1952 ,1956 ,1960(2),1965,1970 ,1977 ,1982 and 1988/89!( the list could go on).Everyone of them marked a turning point in our history .Your grandma and my grandpa dutifully went to the polling booth and did the best thing they could do, given the evidence provided according their own world view.People literary died, sometimes for stupid reasons and sometimes for the sacred right to vote.You don't believe the second part of the previous sentence?Ask somebody who voted in 1988 provincial council elections about the situation in the country."Vote or Die " was the slogan on the wall !No it didn't have the same meaning as P.Diddy/MTV Rock the Vote campaign for 2004 US presidential elections. The voter turn out was law in both North and South .If my memory serves me right ,Jaffna (10%),Hambantota(15%),Matara(20%),Galle(30%) and every other district had low turnout depending on the number of LTTE AK-47s and JVP " gal- katas"aimed at the people.The interesting thing is the number of brave people who turned out and the number of people who decide to run for office despite the fact that SLFP chikened out.It might seemed foolish at the time, after 15 years ,JVPers are now begging you for your votes ,aren't they?Hey Wimal ,who is your dady now?
Many people think that votes in the hand of stupid people is wrong including very very famous historical figures.If the smart people are smart enough they should be able to convice people to do the right thing.There are no short cuts.For example Ameen Izzadeen evaluates how democrcy has kept Sri Lanka from developing . I would rather have the broken democracy in our country any day than something like in Pakistan ,Sudan or any other Banana Republic.Come to think of it ,Singapore model of "Regimented Democracy " doesn't seem so hot either.If we can fix our one with transparency,accountability proper check and balances,minority rights and devolution of power we would be OK(That's a long list though!).We have big problems ,no arguments about that but it is a due to the strength of democracy , that after 75 years of universal franchise,we are still together(almost) as a country .
Don't get me wrong this election is very important .Whoever will be the next president will have to talk to an unelected madman who thinks he is the sun god.I'm looking forward to Nov 27 ,roughly the same time when those two guys will be making their most important speeches.
(I found this article by Rajiva Wijesinghe after writing the above.While checking out other articles by him in The Academic ,I came across this .It has some interesting info about Ranil during 80's.I think he missed one more thing .According to the news he physically assaulted "Aththa "photograper Sunil C. Silva at an awards ceremony.He was the brother of actress Dayani Silva ,I believe.It might be 1985 or 1986 national youth awards or something.Anyway Ranil is a changed man now;-)!)