Happily at this Presidential Election, I decided to be a mere observer, not taking sides, and for the first time I was able to see clearly. That is to observe the faults and ploys of both the main factions, without prejudice.
In the 4 years prior to that, most of the public discourse was 225EPA. That is they did not wish to see any of the present bunch of 225 MPs ever again in Parliament. This was because the of gung ho, corrupt regime of Mahinda Rajapakse, involved in all manner of thuggery to purloin a fortune and spirit it outside the country, and where only friends and family were rewarded with money making sinecures at the expense of the public.
This regime was replaced by the Yahapalanaya Regime that promised the earth moon and stars, and was unable to deliver even a sod, with only freedom of speech, and freedom to march against the Government guaranteed, where NO ONE was killed in demonstrations against the state, which was freely tolerated.
The disillusionment that set in sparked by the infighting of the President and PM that prevented the proper functioning of government and the undermining of the rule of law, where the President not only held onto the defense portfolio, but also took the Police Force under his wing, meant that the prosecution of the previous regime’s sins was delayed, compromised, and left moribund, leaving the same crooks the one line “ if we have not been prosecuted, that means we never did anything wrong, and so were unjustly harassed and prevented from leaving the Country” or some such saying. The course of law enforcement is discretionary, so for various personal agendas, crooks were not brought to justice, and those that were, were convicted on technicalities, which to the outsider seemed a witch hunt no less.
So with 70 years of Independence leaving Sri Lanka way behind in the development stakes, where agricultural poverty was worse than in 1948, the 225 EPA moniker had a lot of appeal among the masses who were now convinced that they were mere cannon fodder in the way of the political leadership, who just spread the gravy only among themselves.
Given this background, up until the end, where no one deviated from this theme, the moment the Presidential Elections were announced, the very same people quietly turned their allegiance to one or another of the old guard, quite forgetting that none of the above should be given a chance to influence the running of the country.
I was thoroughly disillusioned by the return to the old order, that I was disgusted.