And so do a lot of other Colombians. I passed over the Dehiwala flyover at about eleven Saturday night, and saw an amazing sight. A huge rally taking up almost the whole of Station Road. Lights showed up a good thousand or so people crammed into the normally empty street to listen to some rustic voiced politician yelling himself sore.
That was a Konika moment. But my camera was at home. But the sight imprinted itself on my mind like Mahinda’s figure on the thousand rupee note. It could’ve been an SF rally, it could have an MR rally but I couldn’t care less. Political apathy had washed over me like the tsunami over Hambanthota, Dec 26th 2004.
All the gaybashing, illegal postersand mudslinging takes the point out of campaigning. Which i think is to rationally argue out the stances of the candidates on various issues. Something which is virtually unheard of.
Debates between candidates didn’t happen this time. I think it happened in the last elections though. I guess the reason is that they’ve both got so much to hide. Don’t want an ugly argument starting up between two candidates with a lot of each other’s dirty secrets up their sleeves; ASP mudalali might end up being the president.
Most Colombians who propound this unshakable belief that Sarath will win of course, grudgingly admit that the more rural population prefers MR. They say that the average rural man’s gratitude for the war ending overshadows his concerns for the economy or rampant corruption. The average man is goggle eyed and staring at Mahinda in wonderment for bringing them peace.
Yet, it is not only the rural men who still have a soft spot for Mahinda. Many people even in urban areas also propound the same belief. I think Mahinda will be hard to beat. I thought it would be an easy victory for him, but it seems like SF has redeemed himself in the eyes of voters and improved his propaganda machinery sufficiently enough to pose a significant challenge to the incumbent. I like the guy, his promises appeal to me more than Mahinda’s promises. They are still promises sure, but voters in Sri Lanka rarely have anything more substantial to base their vote on. More’s the pity.
My vote is all the way in Panadura, and I have only half a day’s leave at work. But I’ll have to try and make it or some other dude might cast the vote in my name. Commonplace, these occurences.