There are less than twenty days left for the 2014 Uva Provincial elections. We have witnessed unspeakable atrocities occurring in areas which are of utmost importance to the ruling party to maintain their power and favour in the country. If well played out, Uva is also filled with promise and potential for a competitive opposition to seize control.
According to the information released by the Ministry of Finance, the Uva province is considered to be among the poorest of the 9 provinces of Sri Lanka. With a population of more than 800,000 in the Badulla district alone, Uva has the visage of the fragile and the ignorant who is physically tired of achieving what is necessary for it’s own survival. With education in ruins, the infrastructure retrograding into oblivion, with unemployment filled to the brim and poverty forever knocking on the common man’s door like a stereotypical Jehovah’s witness, Uva is in dire need of a change; a change in introducing plausible policies that address the public’s need and methods of proper implementation of these policies in crucial matters. Needless to say, whoever wins this election has some real thinking to do concerning the current situation.
To make matters worse, reports have flooded into the Campaign for Free & Fair Elections (CaFFE) about groups of armed gangs terrorizing the region. During the past week, the complaints regarding election law violations and election violence has risen from a count of 77 to 153. 114 of the complaints are from the Monaragala district alone, where registered elections offices of the opposition were attacked and damaged while several opposition party supporters were attacked in a separate incident. While we appreciate the fact that the Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya, dauntlessly addressed the issue by requesting that the Inspector General of Police increase security in election concerned areas by deploying the Special Task Force. Ironically or otherwise, we are yet to observe a change in the situation. Mind you, the attacked offices and supporters were from the opposing parties; meanwhile UPFA candidates used schools as political stages to spread propaganda on a Monday morning.
The fact that there are armed thugs roaming around town, vandalizing and terrorizing even when under police protection and supervision, suggests that either the police are afraid of these gangs or they are utterly incompetent in doing their job to protect and serve. The fact that the vox populi is absolutely silenced in this matter from every possible side of justice and law, is indeed unacceptable. The only verdict that should be followed is in the hands of the multitudes of the Uva province, for it is they who witness the said atrocities and have to live through them for the rest of their lives. Even though the voice of the commoners is now under languid content, it still holds the power over votes and decides who should be elected and who should be properly representing them in the governing body. It is our decision, as citizens of this country, that will decide the fate of the country.
Therefore, it is up to us, filled with the promise of a utopia, to decide whether we crown anarchy as our future king or think clearly and wisely, choosing the correct candidate who can actually provide solutions to the impending problems and bring the country to its full potential.