By Lahiru Pothmulla
Legendary Sri Lankan Spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who participated in a forum organised by Viyathmaga which is a body of professionals and academics supporting SLPP presidential nominee Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said yesterday that the leader of the country should have the know-how in all the fields instead of specialisation only in one or two.
He expressed these views at the forum titled ‘Role of youth in fast tracking Sri Lanka to a disciplined and a developed democracy’ which was held in line with the Viyathmaga Convention yesterday.
“A leader has to be a politician. People are going in the wrong direction with their demands for businessmen and cricketers. If you choose me, I won’t be the right leader. I know cricket and a little bit of business but not politics. You have to have the experience, the right age, the ability to take swift and smart decisions and also who had already done something to the country,” he said.
Mr. Muralitharan said, in his opinion, what was most important in this election was the capability of the candidate to ensure security to the people to live without fear.
“I am a Tamil and we lived in fear. I was born in 1972 and then the government changed. Houses were burnt. Even my father got injured. Both parties including the LTTE and the government were wrong at that time in 87/88. They had choices at the end of the day. Innocent people, not only Tamils but others, were hurt. I used to go to practices from Pelawatta but I could never take the Parliament Road. We always used byroads and we lived in fear. The greatest day in my life was in 2009. I thought we can live without fear. However, it was disturbed again recently. The most important aspect in this election; who is going to protect the people. That’s the kind of leader I need. I don’t want to name anyone and there will be so many people coming in to contest. In my mind, I think that’s a quality of a leader and I will vote for him. However, it’s all your choice,” he said.
He said a leader has to set examples instead of just talking. “Words are very good to say but the example is more important. Then only people will believe. He has to have the right support from the right teams since he has to deal with so many aspects such as social problems, welfare activities, issues of women, medical and education,” he said.