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Killing his own ego, giving rational mind to rule over the emotional mind was what President Maithripala Sirisena did by justifying his recent actions in his televised speech. I am sure many of those who voted him into power on 8th January 2015 will feel proud about their choice.

Dictator Adolf Hitler, Nation Builder Mao Tse Dong both been too egoistic in their rule, paid a heavy price and brought misery and sufferings to millions of human beings merely by only hearing to those who made loud noises around them – empty vessels – and failing to listen to those unheard and unspoken in the history. President Sirisena demonstrated otherwise, as he did to touch the right chord to tune into the unheard and unspoken electorate during the recent speech as he did at the last presidential election.

President Sirisena deserves our commendation for being candid to distinguish between the person and the problem in the current authoritarian political system in the country. Right diagnosis is half of the solution; hence I hope the enlightened electorate in a mature Sri Lankan democracy will elect a group of parliamentarians to align with his vision to the next parliament on 17th August; to remedy and heal the maladies in the country’s political system.

Lack of inner party democracy, putting persons before policies, favoring gangs against teams and not reflecting the interest of different ethnic groups adequately in both major political parties is seen as the bottleneck in true nation-building in the post-war era in Sri Lanka. Instead, politicians prefer horse trading after elections for coalition government making. These strategies have not worked in the past and will not work in the future. The politicians in Sri Lanka lack new thinking to put forward policies to lobby and rally public opinion beyond their personal, ethnic and religious interest for sake the country as one nation.

To separate the USE from REFUSE our mothers used the “Winnower” (kulla) and “Sieve” (peneraya) in the village home. The winnower keeps the use and throws out the refuse, whereas the sieve retains the refuse and separates the use. To elect the right candidates to the next parliament the electorate should opt to use something similar to the winnower as the right tool; in the past too many “du-silvath” (crooks) politicians, entered Parliament under the preferential system; as I believe, the electorate used the sieve as the tool to choose to retain the refuse instead use as their representative MPs.

President Sirisena drew parallel to the voyage of the Titanic, to illustrate as to how he steered the government after January 8 elections. Titanic was built as an unsinkable cruise. The cause for its swift sink has been researched and now identified as usage of poor quality nuts and bolts to join the steel plates in the ship. If the Sri Lankan electorate too use the sieve and choose to send the refuse to the next parliament, President Sirisena will have nothing to steer his good governance voyage ahead. To end, as Sri Lankan politics are often around personalities instead policies; names of Percy Mahendra and Arjuna Mahendra will dominate, echo high in the upcoming election rallies.
Jayasri Priyalal