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Politics isn’t switching jobs for more money: Madhu Madawa

18 December 2013 08:00 pm - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Singer and actor turned politician Madhu Madawa Aravinda was elected to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) from  the Jathika Hela Urumaya. Getting elected after a campaign without posters, crackers, polythene, treats and liquor, which was different from most election campaigns that we see nowadays, Madhu Madawa’s decision to resign from the CMC while still hoping to contest the upcoming Western Provincial Council marks the latest political unfolding in the scene of local politics. The Daily Mirror interviewed him to find out what led to his decision to resign and what future plans he has got for his political journey.


Q: Why did you make this decision?
I could have kept the post in the CMC but I did not want to do that. I could have gained many advantages as a CMC member. But I did not want to do that. When I go to Gampaha I want to go there as an ordinary person. Giving up positions should be a part of politics. We know there are immensely powerful individuals who are scared to give up even a tiny part of their power. That’s the way of politics in this country. On the other hand, what is happening today is leaders get their subordinate politicians to act as ‘yes men’. But I don’t want to do that. I have leadership qualities and I want to pursue my own political journey.





 Q: If you are so critical of this political system why do you want to remain in such an ugly place?
While I was in the music scene I learnt how much Sri Lankan music fans had degenerated. The younger generation had been intoxicated not only by music but also by the prevailing social system. So I realised that music could only provide entertainment.

I accept that this system is bad but I believe that instead of leaving it, it is better to stay on and fight against it. I want to swim against the current. While being in the system we must try to change the system. There are sandalwood trees in the same forest where there are wild trees and there are elephants with ‘Gajamuthu’ within the same herd of elephants. I request the media, if we also make mistakes attack us and attack us to the point to destroying us completely. Mine is a different story and it is a different journey. I know that I will not be able to reach the summit but I want to go to the furthest point I can reach. Until I get to that point, I will campaign and battle for the change I am dreaming for.




" I am happy about the character certificate given by the Colombo Mayor and there was no politics in what he said until I heard the last sentence where he invited me to join the UNP. I will not accept such invitations until I feel from my heart to do so "



Q: Artistes win fans’ hearts and then use that popularity to win their votes? Isn’t that wrong?
If an actor comes to politics and says I came to serve the Arts, that is false. If a sportsman comes to politics and says, I came to serve Sports that is also a lie. If a woman says that she came to politics to voice women’s rights, it is a dishonest statement too.

Somebody said that Gampaha was a district which loves artistes and what is going to happen to me is what happened to Paba (Upeksha Swarnamali). She is Paba but I am ‘Aba’. I know the history of this country and I came to politics knowing the facts. I have read the history of my country not with the intention of coming to politics and I wrote books not with the intention of coming to politics. I have a political ideology. Just ignore the singer or the person called Madhu Madhawa Aravinda. What I request is to study me what I have done, what I say and what I promise to do. I know if somebody’s father is a politician it has become a habit for the son to follow politics in this country.





Q: Is this a voluntary decision taken by you or is this a part of another political plan?
This is a personal decision taken voluntarily. Gampaha is my own district. It is where the votes are. It is where my parents are from. Therefore it is just going back to my home. This is only a part of an accepted political culture. This is not something new.





Q:  CMC Mayor, A. J. M. Muzamil openly invited you to join the United National Party (UNP). There are rumours going round that you are going to join another political party. Is this true?
I am happy about the character certificate given by the Colombo Mayor and there was no politics in what he said until I heard the last sentence where he invited me to join the UNP. I will not accept such invitations until I feel from my heart to do so. My decision will be taken not by invitations but by my consciousness.
By the way I did not come for a job where one company offers me a higher salary than the other. But if my company is profitable and if the messages we are giving to the world is useful I will remain there making sure the work done is good.  If I realise that the camp I represent is not dealing with issues rightly, then I dare speak out about it.




" I could have kept the post in the CMC but I did not want to do that. I could have gained many advantages as a CMC member. But I did not want to do that. when I go to Gampaha I want to go as an ordinary person. Giving up positions should be a part of politics "




Q: Your party has been representing the government which has been in power for the last 10 years. Don’t you think that the ruling party is also partly responsible for political degeneration?  
There is a story which says if you want to clean the world, first clean your own house. The problem is that it does not happen. I will have to clean my own house and my neighbour’s too. We are one of the parties under the umbrella of the UPFA. And if the leaders engage in any wrongdoings, I will point them out to  them. They could be even venerable monks. So I have been cleaning others’ houses while cleaning my own house. If someday my leaders ask me to keep quiet about any wrongdoings of the ruling coalition, then I will quit altogether.

During our political campaign, we used the ‘Dharma Rajjyaya’ concept. But that is only a concept and not completely practicable. If that’s to become a reality then we would have to visit each house and preach that concept. My political journey will be continued without posters, crackers, polyphone, Dansal and liquor.
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  Comments - 2

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  • Christy Rajasuriar Friday, 20 December 2013 07:15 AM

    Take the advise of Bernard Shaw who said," Politics is the last refuge of a scoundrel".

    sobers Thursday, 19 December 2013 09:54 AM

    Big Talker. Many Politicians have spoken the same words. Nothing new. New wine in old bottle!


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