The talk in the political circles these days is about party candidates for the upcoming presidential elections. None of the popular parties from the favourites to the ones that will ‘also run in the race’ has declared its representatives.
Not knowing to who we would vote for at this present time is not that bad when considering the fact that voters don’t know the true character of election candidates. Most of these candidates wear ‘masks’ and pretend to be caring individuals who’d represent us in parliament, but often this assumption proves to be so untrue.
We see and hear of former military strongman Gotabaya Rajapaksa promoting himself as a possible presidential candidate despite the party he represents clearly stating that it is yet to decide on who its presidential candidate would be. Insiders say that the Pohottuwa party is in a quagmire regarding who its presidential candidate would be because the Rajapaksa family sees more than one member interested in this post.
Political analysts say that the presidential election is similar to a test and whoever who enters the competition would gain huge experience as a person even if he or she loses in the final count.
Most of these candidates wear ‘masks’ and pretend to be caring individuals who’d represent us in parliament, but often this assumption proves to be so untrue
Former tuition master Upul Shantha Sannasgala has said in a Youtube video that running for presidency is a worthwhile test to face. That’s if you can bear the costs! Right now the names of lawyer Nagananda Kodithuwakku and writer, poet and activist Malinda Seneviratne have surfaced as potential candidates to be the first citizen of the country. It’s interesting to hear about the election manifestos of a candidate like Kodithuwakku who affirms that the country can be administered by a mini cabinet. But whether Kodithuwakku can garner the support of the masses with his kind of policies is left to be seen.
Before these candidates assume power they are darlings. One good example is present president Maithripala Sirisena. The incumbent president was a good example of someone who valued democracy and above anything else was an individual who detested the strong arm tactics of the Rajapaksas and instead valued the life of human beings and the existence of trees. At present he is advocating the death penalty on drug peddlers when the entire world is questioning his decision to send wrongdoers to the gallows. There are times when he speaks of valuing and preserving life and on other occasions he wants to see life being snuffed out of drug peddlers. Which of these two personalities is true?
Present Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, stubborn and unrelenting in his ways, promises change. He promises tabs for schoolchildren and vows to revamp education in Sri Lanka. But the true Wickremesinghe detests change and disregards calls by party supporters to accommodate the ideas of others. Here too we have a lawmaker with a dual personality.
But the true Wickremesinghe detests change and disregards calls by party supporters to accommodate the ideas of others. Here too we have a lawmaker with a dual personality
When politicians are termed dubious characters we are speaking of a quality that can’t be easily understood. This quality is embed in certain individuals, outside the field of politics too. Buddhism promotes peace and harmony in the community. But most television channels are telecasting dramas which promote a war mentality and an aggressive form of patriotism. These are the very channels which telecast special religious programmes on Poya Day. The result of such actions is the creating of caring individuals who donate lavishly when there is a natural catastrophe, but on the other hand refuse to give an inch to others when driving on the road.
The governing of the country by dubious characters has put it on a sticky wicket. The country is now debt-ridden. Former Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe has said that the debt burden which falls on the people amounts to Rs 530,000 per individual. During this crisis period we need an individual who can account for the finances we possess; not someone who has the habit of giving things free to the poor.
Sajith Premadasa has promoted himself as a politician who gives to the poor. He is also promoting himself as a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections. Many question whether these houses are given away free to recipients or whether they have to pay for the costs in installments? Many are of the opinion that this country needs a leader who teaches people how to catch fish; not someone who gives free fish to them.
Wickremabahu Karunaratne has nurtured a political ideology and a personality in an attempt to maintain a genuine identity
Right now the Buddhist clergy is more focused on politics and its members are influencing the people to choose their next leader. Leading from the front is the Bodu Bala Sena which has firebrand monk Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera as its General Secretary. This priest initially tried to team up with the UNP, but wan’t entertained by Wickremesinghe. There was talk that he has the backing of one of the brothers of a powerful political family. But the monk has gained huge popularity after his release from prison and has the potential now to create some waves in the political scene. However what is of concern is this individual doing politics while clad in a saffron robe. All what he does has made him a dubious character.
In this murky world of Sri Lankan politics there is one man who has maintained a somewhat unchanged character. He is none other than Wickremabahu Karunatne who represents the left. Karunaratne who commenced his political career with the LSSP and later moved to the NSSP, couldn’t remain with either of them. He also unsuccessfully contested the 2010 Presidential Elections. But what must be applauded is that Karunaratne has nurtured a political ideology and a personality in an attempt to maintain a genuine identity. He has maintained this identity for over 30 years in a political world full of fakes.
There are times when he speaks of valuing and preserving life and on other occasions he wants to see life being snuffed out of drug peddlers. Which of these two personalities is true?
So in this dubious political world full of fakes we have to deal with politicians who bark at us, but are dead scared of their wives when at home. There are those who tell us to tighten our belts in terms of curbing expenditure, but spend lavishly the regime’s money. We are forced to come across priests who teach compassion and underscore the benefits of nurturing inner peace, but take to the streets to protest against the wrongdoings of the regime.
Last but not least we must be aware of politicians who laughed at the political heavy weight from down south for carrying a ‘magic bal’ (Tibetan body guard) but now do the same!