Saturday, September 1, 2012

A weekend of campaigning in Polonnaruwa

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.

If I was in a three wheeler I would have been dead meat!

In Yesterday’s Island paper (August 31st 2012) there was the caption of an MP’s security vehicle (why does an ordinary run of the mill first time MP need a back up security jeep?) having collided with a three wheeler and a young lady lost her life with a host of others injured.
Whilst facebook said that the MP was in the vehicle that was involved and was quickly spirited out of the vehicle. He is a wealthy man, and a first time Polonnaruwa District MP for the UPFA, and it would be a shame if he is trying to get out of being implicated, and worse not taking any responsibility for the incident.

It is for the reader to determine which is the more believable, and I hasten to add that the Island has turned into a Govt. mouthpiece with occasional balance, rather than a balanced paper with the occasional Govt. slant.

The reason I point this out is that I was also the victim of a similar incident not too far away from the place of this particular one on the same road a few kilometers apart. I would have been minced meat if I was in a three wheeler and am thankful at least I was in a Tata Cab. To date there is no assistance from the culprit Cabinet Minister to come up with anything considering the huge cost that accident has claimed on me, which only I know and it is now over 20 months on, still hobbling!

The lack of justice in these circumstances where the driver of the Land Rover Defender will have to face legal proceedings, and a small fine placed on him with the MP footing it would be all the victims family can hope for. The real culprit is the system that permits the speeding vehicles to act as if they own the roads, and the system must compensate the family of the victim for at least the value of the human life lost.

If this is not done, there will be NO care taken in the convoys speeding across the country and people continue to die on the roads uncompensated and just become another statistic in their lengthy list of horrors on the road. Until there are just laws to deal with such gross acts of savagery on the roads without impunity by the VIPS of the administration we will never be classified as anything but a Banana Republic with a Happy Banana to rule over us and not serve us!