Dear supporters,

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By Dilshani Palugaswewa

If you are one of the 6.9 million who voted to bring this regime into power and still have faith in them, I truly would love to understand where you would draw the line on blind faith. Or are you all just good at exercising the ‘forgive and forget’ adage? Do you hold no resentment to oppressors because you believe there is no other option?  Or are you part of that army who believes in welcoming the ‘known devil’ because at least they are predictable?

Whatever camp you pick from the above categories, you need to seriously re-evaluate the reason you would rather refuse to acknowledge the horrendous reality we are already living, and consciously choose to turn a blind eye from all the misconduct and misdoings that they have caused in this mess. Although one would think it is very much their second nature to promise the sun and moon to you, truth is they don’t even care if the dead stars in the vast sky shoot downwards and hit you straight in the head and kill you. At most, they will laud you for being a hero, post a tweet in your honour and if your passing raises suspicion – they’d appoint a committee to look into your case. Point is, they do not care, they never did and they never will.  Third time is not always the charm.

If you choose to still support such leaders, then I bet you aren’t affected enough to care for change. 

Imagine this, you vote for people you think will help you make life just a little easy. You don’t ask for much just a little raise on your daily wage/monthly pay and the opportunity to live life, not luxuriously but comfortably enough. You plan a little ahead, tirelessly aim to maintain a savings for the future of your children and at the same time hope to give them the little joys in life. A very simple ask. However, not too long after you help bring those people to power that assure you a happy life, you are gradually shown a complete different picture. You and your family are barely getting by. Your children’s education is compromised in every which way – from paper shortages to hold exams and teachers’ union strikes to continuous power cuts and no diesel for school vans. You are struggling. Prices of essentials are being hiked up exponentially, giving you no time to adjust or adapt. You reach a new low of living standards when you set out every morning to waste yet another day standing in an endless queue with no guarantee of success. But you do it anyway because there is no alternative for you to make ends meet.  

Then, in what appears to be a parallel universe but is not, people connected to those very people you brought to power, act as though they haven’t heard of your plight. Sometimes they call it, “Charity” and unapologetically parade a convoy of no less than a few hundred of fuel guzzlers, speeding one after the other, leaving a dark cloud of arrogance and entitlement in their wake that lingers long after they’ve whizzed past. All this, amidst a severe fuel crisis and news of people literally falling dead after standing in fuel lines hours on end. Other times, in the name of ‘duty’ they are spotted just off the shore of the Maldives, hydroflying their way through shamelessness and apathy, and have the audacity to call it ‘fake news’ when they’re called out, playing the oldest political trick in the book – “It’s an old video that has resurfaced, I didn’t do it.” 

In his statement of defence to claims that his widely shared watersports footage was indeed the happenings of the past week, it was clear that the Sports Minister had missed the point of people’s fury which was the fact that he brazenly showed off to the world that he was indulging in leisure activities – during times of hardship for the people of his country – overseas without filtering the content at least on social media, essentially adding insult to injury. He also said that it is not uncommon for a Sports Minister to engage in such activities on such visits, further stating that the problem would arise if he, as the Sports Minister was partaking in activities unrelated to his portfolio.

 Interestingly, it was in the same week that he was seen partaking in discussions of renewable energy. So, in his own words, we’ve got a problem and it is him.  

Do these not look like people drunk on power? 

While we are addressing supporters, a small shout out to those enamoured by the former Prime Minister who outshined the rest of the room at the All Party Conference. Just a reminder – he was in power before and statistically speaking how much result do we have to show from that time? We’ve seen this talk before and how many can we say have actually walked the talk though?  This is proof that we fall into that trap time and time again. Also side note: bond scam was a real thing, although no one was really held accountable, it did happen and he was a key player.  

Just saying, politicians are not the only ones who have what I now call ‘political amnesia’, supporters too fall victim to memory loss. 

Sincerely

Lest you forget