I'm an ordinary man, coming from an ordinary family. I never had privilege of benefiting anything from any politician in this country. I had to work hard to get to where I am today. Of course my friends helped me out, they are not politicians either. In fact I work for a youth Movement, I like to call it a an organization that is Apolitical, even though we address a political subject - Reconciliation. I'd like to boast about it a little bit here, yes we do a great job bringing together young people to interact, to make friendships, which is the base of reconciliation. People criticize us for various things, despite the criticism we actually do real work.
Keeping aside my affiliation to be Apolitical, I'd like to write on behalf of myself, about what I think on the current political situation. I shall not be talking to whom people should vote for, like the majority, I believe people will vote for the person they want to bring in to power. That being said there are few things to watch out for, you should do your own analysis before you go and vote. I'll be voting based on the following factors as they are top priority for me, also I strongly urge everyone to vote this time around, or any other time for that matter simply because if not you, someone else will definitely vote on your behalf.
1. Current political environment - I don't like the fact that people get opportunities just because they are politically affiliated. Majority of the Sri Lankans I know hate politics, so what about them? Is it fair to be less privileged/or experience a double standard just because you don't have a political standpoint?
2. The War ended in 2009, do we have Peace in this country? Are we enjoying freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of expression etc
3. Bank Balance - personal experience/reflection, In 1998/99, When I went to school Dad gave me 50 rupees as bus fair. I managed to save 30 rupees everyday and sometimes more. In 3 months I bought my first guitar. But now I have no money as savings. Why? I earn now don't I? Fyi I think I'm a good accountant.
4. Transparency in Politics - Like myself majority of Sri Lankans don't like to be politically affiliated, So we are inclined to ignore subjects like the constitution, parliament budget etc. We think it's not necessary for everyday life. I think its wrong, It is mandatory that we understand these terms so that people in power can't fool us. I'm glad this time around general public voice out their opinions freely, also they have the opportunity to seek for the truth through new media. This inquisitiveness should grow for the benefit of the country.
5. Discipline of the politician - I went to a school where students were known for their discipline. This might have worked in my head however, discipline is key to understand the character of the person. whether he/she is respectful, knowledgeable, loyal etc.
Given these five things, I also believe that politicians are like - really good actors/performers. They make people believe in so many things, however there are few who are relatively honest and respectable. You can pick and choose the good ones out of all the rotten ones. It is not an easy task, its definitely a challenge. There's no time to be ignorant, you simply have to do it yourselves.
Today we are at crunch time, cannot ignore the fact that the nation depend on our votes to elect the right person to lead this country for the next five to six years. So do your duty, make your vote count. Be vigilant, you have the power to decide - Don't make people take that away from you. Be wise. I hate politics but Sri Lanka is family, so I will vote.