A couple of days ago a well known actress Nadeesha Hemamali held a press conference in our office, 10am on a Friday morning. Usually press conferences have a reputation of being poorly attended by the press no matter the importance of the matter at hand or even commitment and expertise of the speakers to their subject matter.
In this case I had calls from the previous day asking where the office was, and even on the same day for directions to the office, and by 10am the place was packed to the brim with reporters and cameramen and TV crew. It was the best attended Press Conference we have held in our office.
Now I have to confess that as I am not much of a moviegoer and one who does not even posses a TV, so I have no clue as to who she is. However in making sure the office was organized for it that morning, I had to get the staff to come early to spruce up the place and arrange the chairs and tables, so when I mentioned the name they all knew who she was at once.
She being a popular actress who was just beginning a political career as a novice and who had just taken party membership the previous day, and also being accepted as a nominee for the Southern Provincial Council on the UNP ticket meant she was giving her first public announcement and Q&A with the Press. All TV channels were also represented.
I know if a put a photo of her on this blog entry I will get more hits than if I do not, such is the cost and price of fame! No wonder then it must disgust very hard working, future politicians who wish to make a name for themselves, to see someone garnering such a press conference and then seeing voice cuts within minutes on radio and TV channels within 24hours of coming to politics, where they in 10 years of dutiful community service cannot dream of such a level of publicity.
We know life is NOT fair, but if they believe they can gain further fame and fortune coming into politics, what hope have the rest of us with honest intentions of being of service to our nation? I believe the PR system must share the blame, as in the district system, there are 30+ candidates of a party that confront the voters on a ballot paper, where one may enter 3 numbers! So the largely unprepared voter looks at the list, and when they recognize a name they have heard before, tend to cross that name! We call it democracy and PR!