I am now unabashedly political, defending the direction and objectives of the party and believe the most important part is to impart one’s opinion to those who really matter in the context of attempting to change the system for the better. It is the traditional UPFA voter who needs to be talked to and convinced that they are being taken for a ride.
What better place to do this than in the electorate I happen to live in which is Minneriya? It was the electorate that gave the President the highest percentage vote of 78% (of all electorates in the country) and which has suffered the most in the recent catastrophe to hit the peasant farmers, namely the bad water management. I have my little cabin there and my agricultural property that I struggle to keep against numerous odds.
So it was an interesting exercise when a bunch of people from all parts of the country, all of whom other than two colleagues in the office, who I did not know, and were willing to give of their time and commit two or three days to a cause they happen to believe in and who were willing to come of their own free will, cost to an unknown destination to meet another set of unknown people and go canvassing on behalf of candidates who none of them knew. To me that is what I call really committed, and I hope they will one day be rewarded for their efforts.
The results from the limited number of homes we visited were very encouraging. We went too far to reach homes that had never been canvassed by any party or anyone. So they were actually pleased to see people from other parts of the country canvassing for their votes. It was surreal to hear the explanations of many of the people of the conditions they live in and the trials they have had to undergo recently. Not one person was willing to defend the record of the government. I am sure there are those who will vote for the administration, but fear to say so, but that in itself is encouraging, as previously they would have batted for MR with more vigor.
It was an interesting time, and Saturday, the road show of the UNP came to the village at 11pm though the appointed time was 6pm and at that late hour Sajith Premadasa took to the mike and sang for a crowd of 100 people who had stayed up that late, when bed time is 8pm usually.