Today I was at Ingiriya for voting; actually three decades of my life this is the first time that experienced relatively peaceful election so far. Of couse it was peace full to the citizens, but most of politicians did not feel the same way, for most of them this election was very complicated one. Sri Lanka we have only two political parties which came to power time to time, Out of that Sri Lanka freedom party as a collation ruled most of it.But both united national party and Sri Lanka freedom party has equal responsibility for the mess we are facing.
As Sri Lankans we have a common thread. Which is during the past sixty years we did vote expecting a change? We Sri Lankans always expected to change the system; well we did change certain things, but not most important things.
In first 10 years of our independence 1956 the sri Lankans vote for a change.Mr.S.W.R.D Bandaranayke who was a former member of United national party started his own political party that was the Sri Lanka freedom party. He is the one who introduced White Sarong and long sleeve top with Chinese collar and the “Satakaya” to Sri Lankan politicians.
The First prime minister of Sri Lanka D.S.Senanayake and most of politicians of that time well dressed with European full suit. But Mr Bandaranayke changed it and people believed it .He introduced what we call Sri Lankan national suit to the politicians as a symbol of patriotism .
Mr. Bandaranayk at a dog show with his full suite.
There are stories about this Mr. Bandaranayke’s patriotic dress. He did not stop being patriotic by changing the dress, as well he changed the language. With the colonial influence at that time most of Sri Lankans were good at least two languages, most of them were fluent in their mother tongue and English. But Mr Bandaranayke he wanted to change this, being very patriotic he made Sinhalese only the state language and ignored the Tamil and English, of couse he did not ignored English for his family, his grandson even can’t speak Sinhalese, but for most of Sri Lankans thanks to Mr. Bandaranatake still cannot be work in English.
The sad part is even those who graduated from universities with Bachelor of Arts degrees can’t use English as a language, imagine in Sri lanka you will find easily those who do not know the golden host of daffodils with a bachelor arts degree. Mr Bndaranayake closed the biggest gateway to knowledge by ignoring English the deadly mistake for generations of Sri Lankans to suffer.
It‘s not about the knowledge there was a compulsory examination for Tamil government workers to obtain certain marks in Sinhalese as a language. Lot of Tamil well educated people lost their government jobs, some peoples migrated ,those who could not migrated started thinking of another country .It was Dr.N.M Perera said that” two languages one country or one language two country. “
But Mr .Bandaranayke did not listen. Still we are suffering from that moronic decision. Somehow Mr.Bandaranayake’s was assassinated at his Rosmead Place House in 1959, ironically a Buddhist monk was accused for murder and he had the death penalty.
Now his house has turned into Boutique hotel. Even Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall stayed in the hotel during their recent visit to Sri Lanka.I think the hotel staff able to communicate in English.
Then again 1977 election, after seven years of closed economic policy of Mrs. Bandaranaike, that Sri Lankans needed to change it again. The united national party 1977 was a landslide victory. Over 4/5 of parliament seats were filled with united national party members.
The leader of the united national party Mr.J.R Jayewardene thought this as a great opportunity of changing the Sri Lankan constitute. Well it says he got inspired form constitute of united states of America, well he introduced executive president to Sri lanka making him as the first executive president of Sri Lanka. But not like in America Sri Lankan president has 6 years of serving period for two terms.
It says after become the executive president of Sri Lanka Mr J.R Jayawardena boasted now he can do everything except turning woman in to man and man into woman. As well he introduced the open economy reforms. Still Sri Lanka one of the main exports based on garment industry. He introduced free trade zones where investors can do business with tax benefits. And also he started privatizing governments corporations .We have lot of criticism about the open economy, but as a generation those who were born after 1980 had certain benefits. The job opportunities were available because of private investors, At least there is a job in a some factory, and it is thousand times better than nothing at all.
While this all happening we had 1983 ethnic violence over Tamils, then the 1988-1989 civil riots and the civil war on north. Both south and north those who died were was youth who stood against of unjustness of the society. There is no any different LTTE and JVP why they stood against the united national party government. Both LTTE and JVP were like twin brothers, they were the both sides of the same coin.
JVP, mainly Sinhalese youth were controlled by killing thousands of youths in Sri Lanka, Most of them were brought into camps brutally murder in the end. It was the Israel Secret service Mozart was given instruction to control tithe first statics indicates killing of 40 to find out one JVP member. Then eventually reduced it for 1:1 ratio. Actually the Sri Lankan army did It.Every Street every river the dead bodies were floating; some of them were burning by road. In my village Ingiriya.we there was three houses complete burnt with the family members including seven years old little girl.
But LTTE got supported from India s well some European countries, from the beginning they were rebelas,But after 2001 after attack of world trade center in USA they all become terrorist.
1994 again Sri Lankans wanted a change, so they selected Mrs.Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumarathunga who was late Mr.Bandaranayake’s daughter. Most of Sri Lankans had very high hopes. Actually there were some positive signs, she came to power promising that she will change the executive president post and end the civil war as well. But could not do any of them. But she ruled the country for eleven years. There was nothing happened as she promised but it was kind of average period.
Then of course 2005 election, actually most of Sri Lankans did not expect drastically changes from ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksha.He changed the color of his “Satakaya”, He always appeared to be as a villager and always he was a good actor. But we finished the civil war during his first serving term. Like CBK he also promised to change the executive president post, after winning the war he did not try to minimized his power as executive president, with his popularity and some cross overs of the parliament he maximized his power as the executive president.
He brought 18th amendment to be in the power forever. But he did not succeeded and lost post as the executive president. Most of Sri Lankan were tired with cost of the war and the unbearable corruption.
But looking at past we are as a nation moving forward. This election it is the great expectations for most of us for a corruption free country. For drug free country, for good society which has moral and ethical values to everyone. We are looking forward a country which is not ethnically or religiously separated.
Those are high hopes. After this election if we expect everything, there should be a miracle. But we can have hopes for better tomorrow; if we don’t get it from this upcoming government we Sri Lankan will change it somehow. If history teaches us something that is in Sri Lanka there is no place for dictators.