My travels take me between the following districts frequently; Colombo, Kegalle, Kurunegala, Polonnaruwa, Matale, Ratnapura, Moneragala and sometimes to Gampaha. As I live a life of a peasant no matter what one may think, I constantly interact with local people as equals and not with any superiority. As one who earns his livelihood in farming, I can relate to the common problems faced by the farmers wherever they maybe and with us farmers there is an instant rapport once the ice is broken of our common commitment and level of risk and uncertainty in our chosen vocation.
The theme I come across amongst most of the people I meet is quite similar. They with no hesitation give credit to the President for winning the war, and have no illusion as to its cost, as the human life lost has affected and touched everyone in almost every village in the land. Now that the last 21 sq. km. is taking forever, the euphoria of victory has evaporated, and the impatience for the next step is apparent.
What people say is that while they are now concentrating on the problems of living and existing, the governing coalition is still harping on the war, as being the only thing they can hang their hat on. The old canard of Sri Lanka not being affected by the world economic crisis is falling on deaf ears as everyone in the country is now affected in one form or another in that their purchasing power has eroded.
The state media being so one sided even in this current Western Provincial Council campaign, is also irritating many people, who ask why does the media owned by the people not represent the attitudes of the people instead of the government only which is only about half the people. So the other half are not represented by state that tries to pretend another view does not exist.
With people’s natural tendency to be on what they perceive is the winning side, the level of sycophancy of the individual is rising, in the hope that they may also share in the spoils, which even the party loyalists are quietly crying in their beds, is going into a family chest, with little regard for them.
While the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the election results will reflect the attitudes of the moment, I get the impression from the people I interact with that there certainly is life after MR before long! All I can say is let justice prevail, and honesty be rewarded.