Dear President,

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We know empathy is too much to ask of you, so we’ll settle for ‘man’ – a word that might get your attention.

So please, be a man and leave.

Please be a man and look around, and when you do, see the tears in the eyes of people who brought you to the position you failed to uphold sincerely. Observe the fear among their families and the absolute helplessness and hopelessness they are consumed by. They are broke both financially and emotionally.

Be a man and look at us like we are human beings instead of the pieces of crumbs that you make us feel like, the ones you don’t mind throwing away.

There is nothing more you can do that will change the tide for you this time that would place you as a successful president. You are what you did and that in plain words is, an absolute failure. I know it hurts, you need to accept it. Own up to your mistake. That’s what real men do. Not wear the cape of toxic masculinity and dictate the lives of people from behind guns and machines to make yourself feel powerful and important.

Be a man, and be human.  Evoke within yourself the resounding sense of embarrassment and sympathy for the chaos you have enabled and caused, without just stating the facts and assuming that it is enough to make a case in your defence, like how you did with the ‘brilliant’ idea of yours – the chemical fertiliser ban. Yes, we know it was a really bad idea and if you think admitting to your mistake is enough to wipe your slate clean, think again. And then, step down.

People are still dying in lines for essential goods and services. No medicines, no food, no transport, education is at a standstill, some are even losing their jobs because of you and others in policy making do not have the slightest idea or a proper strategy or the will to make it at least to the next day. We are destitute. More people have resorted to stealing if not starving their way through weeks of the month to save every penny they make with the very limited resources you provide at an exorbitant price, to give their children another breath. There has been an increase in thefts and gun violence like never before. Some people have burnt in fires caused by the extra fuel stocks – a choice you forced them to make with your empty promises and insecure policies. They had to fend for themselves in whatever way they saw possible.

Lesson learnt – we will not make the mistake of relying on you or the likes of you, ever again.

If you want a milestone to your name, at least you outdid yourself by hilariously turning back on the wheel of technology and advancement at a time it is spinning forward with no control for most other countries. You effortlessly managed to have us turn back in time; with the increased usage of bullock carts, the wooden stoves making more appearances, forcing many to make arduous trips on foot to get around in their days because they have no other choice – the damage is done. You’ve already brought us to our knees and anything good that happens hereon out will never be accredited to you. So have no hope.

You’ve set the bar so low for our happiness that we rejoice at the sight of moving fuel lines and the news of butter and milk filling up shelves. These are supposed to be basics not luxuries. We are spending more money than we earn and you sit in the lap of luxury, merely peeking from your ivory tower with no real sense of what is happening on the ground and tell us we are overreacting and to sit tight.

If a village to your name demanding your resignation with branches of it spread throughout the country, in addition to throngs of people protesting daily to show there dissent, doesn’t give you a message clear enough to comprehend – here it is ‘we want no more of you’. Not your face, not your family, not your committees, not your semi-apologies that sound more of a threat than anything else – just none of it.

Sincerely,

#GoHomeGota

By Dilshani Palugaswewa