In Sociolinguistics, we studied how the language of a country can reflect its culture. For example, in Bengali there is no term for “privacy” because the concept of privacy does not exist there. In this context, it is interesting that Sinhala has a whole lot of actions that are without an “owner”, so to speak. For example, “Mata anduna”; I did not cry, it just happened. While this may be accepted as a biological (mis)function, “Mata liyawuna”, is rather presumptuous, in my opinion. Basically, a ghost took over your body and wrote it using your hand? This common place tense which is used to state actions without responsibility/owner, got me thinking. Does this mean that we, as a nation, are reluctant to take up responsibility and would rather play a passive role? In the heat if General Election of Sri Lanka, I believe the answer is yes.

There was a “silent rebellion” on 9th January – at least, silent on the streets, loud on social media- which put an end to the infamous era of former president Mahinda Rajapakshe. The current president, Maithreepala Sirisena was appointed, and until the general election, he was a man of people’s hearts.

But with president Sirisena allowing Mahinda Rajapakshe to give nominations for the election, the atmosphere has been nothing but uproarious. People accuse the president of “betraying people’s trust” and whatnot. I, in the other hand, think he did right.

We, the majority, voted for and elected president Sirisena because Rajapakshe was undemocratic. Because we were tired of everything in the country being politicized. I for one, voted for the common candidate Maithreepala Sirisena hoping he would be a democratic and just president. And he has proved he is.

If the president is to be democratic, he cannot refuse nominations to anyone who is eligible. If he refuses, how can he be different from the “corrupt Rajapakshe” who did not allow an opposition to exist? People. Stop blaming the president.

At this juncture in time, once again, your future is in your hands. Stop expecting someone else to take responsibility for your life. You don’t want Mahinda Rajapakshe to be the Prime Minister? Vote against him. You don’t want Mahinda Rajapakshe to be a Member of Parliament? If enough people feel like you do, and make sure that they do more than simply complain on social media, he won’t be. If he does, then that’s democracy.

You see. Democracy is the government of the people by the people for the people; not government of the peopled by the president/victor of the last election.

Stop complaining. Go cast your vote. Take control of your life. Another shouldn’t have to do it for you.


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