25 May, 2022


Lakshman Kadirgamar’s Children To Educate People On Voting 
And Good Governance

Using a combination of outreach methods, this non partisan event hopes to make an impact on concerned citizens looking for a way to make a difference in the country.

Lakshman Kadirgamar

Lakshman Kadirgamar

“GetUp+Vote – Our Country. Our Time”, a non partisan Interactive Workshop will take place on August 9th at the Sri Lanka Foundation, Independence Square from 1.30 – 6.30 pm. The event is being organised by Circle for Democracy, an initiative of launched by the children of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar on the occasion of his tenth death anniversary commemoration.

The Workshop which will be open to 300 participants, aims to raise public awareness for the first-time voter, youth population, and ‘floating’ or yet undecided voters wanting to see positive change in the country. The agenda for the day will include talks and presentations, group brainstorming with a focus on responsible voting based on values and issues, an exercise to practice voting, understanding good governance, and an interactive game.

Participants will leave informed and knowledgeable about making a tangible difference during the General Election 2015. Topics to be addressed include: -The Disease of Corruption and Brutality -the Economic and Social Cost; The Power of Our Vote; Democracy and the Rights Enshrined in the Constitution; Technology and Democratic Change; Being a Change Agent; What Can I Do? How Can I Do It?; Youth Leadership.

The event will also include a live two-hour Webinar linked islandwide to every district in the country through partner organizations and movements. The organisers’ goal is to attract 200 participants per district resulting in the participation of 5,000 people islandwide.

Event organiser Ragi Kadirgamar, son of the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said, “On January 8th 2015 we emerged out of a long era of conflict, fear, brutality and corruption. In a time of divisive and often corrupt politics, many voters in this country are disillusioned and as a result do not use their vote. I believe the vast majority of Sri Lankans are moderates, law abiding, and want to live in peace and harmony. Our aim is to try to inspire people to stand up and exercise the power of their vote on the 17th, by showing them that there is a way for this country to move forward through electing members of parliament that have certain qualities such as honesty, accountability and humility. We are electing the nation’s caretakers, who will serve us for the next four years. We need to do so responsibly and wisely. If we vote in the wrong people we can only blame ourselves.”

Kadirgamar acknowledged the tremendous teamwork involved in the event and thanked all those who are working tirelessly and contributing in so many different ways to organize GetUp+Vote. There is still opportunity for more participants, volunteers, sponsors, and particularly Webinar participants around the country.

At the conclusion of the GetUp+Vote Workshop it is hoped that each participant will communicate his or her learnings and findings to 30 other people, who will reach out to 30 more resulting in a total direct outreach of 270,000, from the workshop.

The event will conclude with a concert featuring local bands. At the end of the day participants will take away a detailed Information Pack on the main topics and Best Practices of the GetUp+Vote campaign material to empower them to inform others of the importance of voting responsibly and wisely.

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Latest comments

  • 8

    Honestly do we need this ?

  • 9

    It is a wonderful project by Kadirgamar’s children. Hope it becomes a success.

    Kadirgamar as a FM under Chandrika did all the foundation work in the International Arena . Ranil brought the Prabaharan – Karuna Amman divide within LTTE. Sarath Fonseka made Rajapakses heroes.

    Majority of the Sri Lankan voters are not ignorant. They used their instincts and the experience with MR regime,:and cast their votes on the 8th January. In otherwords used the
    ” Process of Elimination ” well on the 8th January.

    I hope the above workshop / brain storming project cover the theory of ” Process of Elimination ” with particular reference to voting on the 17th August and the neceesity to make the elected parties follow good governance after that.

    January 8th was a turning point from a downward graph to upward graph. In mathematical terms the first derivative or the tangent to the curve of MR regime was negative. It is the duty of the young voters to take curve upwards after the 17th.

    If they fail to do so and bring back MR , Sri Lanka will be hitting ” THE POINT OF NO RETURN” and democracy will be vanished for ever.


    Any team other than MR team coming back there is a second chance for the voters to apply the ” PROCESS OF ELIMINATION”.

  • 4

    A quick question.
    Is it the Kadirgamars who are funding this with their personal funds?
    If not, who funds this? (GOSL, US funder, EU funder, Swiss funder, Indian funder, or perhaps a somewhat unlikely Chinese funder…?)
    It is simply not right to believe that people do these things (irrespective of the virtues of the initiative) for worldly purposes of facilitating good governance alone. Everybody has an agenda. It is of interest to know what the real agenda of the Kadirgamars is, and who finances it.

    • 15

      @Prashna,whatever the agenda of the Kadirgamar children are we dont know ,but what we know for sure is that their agenda will 100 times better than that fellow from Hambantota’s devious agendas!

  • 11

    A very good move to educate the voters. May Almighty bless you all with success.

  • 8

    This event is being sponsored by local entities who believe in the values of good governance. Many volunteers are giving their time because they want to educate citizens on the power of the vote. It is a pity you cannot believe that there are Sri Lankans who have the interest of the nation at heart and are willing to invest in the future of the country.

    • 2

      First of all on whose side are you ? You say you’re educating the youths to promote Good Governance. As far as I can remember your father was dancing with the devil ( MR) and then someone bumped him off.
      This is a little confusing ?

  • 6

    Prashna et al

    Firstly, one does not need funding to do voluntary work. There is something called internet ( i trust you heard of it from somewhere) where one can reach out to thousands who want to support the right causes. Secondly, we all got together and put five hundred rupees each for this cause ( cheap isn’t it compared to some peoples election campaigns?). Thirdly we do not propagate any party through this effort. Why are people like Prashna jumping to conclusions as to which direction this programme is being aimed at.Vote but not for the corrupt!!!! That’s the theme. If it is a tight fit for some….bad cheese. Prashna…..that’s the main point of this. Why should there be an agenda all the time?
    Does one ask those who have corruption charges why they are running for office again? We do. Come join us Prashna. You need not pay the five hundred rupees.

  • 6

    Kathirkamar did his part to destabilise our beautiful country by helping to kill innocent Tamils may be he could have helped to JVP youths as well and now his children are going to continue the rest. What they are going to teach and who they are going to teach which our free education was failed to teach. They have to start from their home, our politicians, Buddhist monks, army heads, etc. The public comes at the very end. Like it or not before 2009, ladies can walk without fear even at mid night in North but what is happening now – go and teach who ever created this situation.

  • 3

    “Our aim is to try to inspire people to stand up and exercise the power of their vote on the 17th, by showing them that there is a way for this country to move forward through electing members of parliament that have certain qualities such as honesty, accountability and humility.”

    A commendable effort, Godspeed.

    However the issue is competance. Many a time a nation is forced to accept a captain who may not have ‘qualities such as honesty, accountability and humility” but who will steer them safely, avoiding the Icebergs that threaten to sink it like the Titanic.

  • 1

    The initiative is commendable !

    As to the comments by ANAL-1st and to Sent-ill … your comprehension reflects your character – MARCH ON ….. you can have your say till the 17th of August.

    Ragi, your initiative will be supported … as long as you group supports a United Sri Lanka with checks & balances that we don’t get Politicians who speak rhetoric until they assume power.

    If I may speak for the General Public ( I am sure they would – object!) – the JVP seems they way to go – they seemed to have reformed their thinking and are seemingly on the democratic path.

    Having said that, Wimal Weerawansa was also a JVP-er until he tasted POWER – with which he turned into a capitalist – of the lowest order – a THIEF.

    Ananda Kumara – may well be the Robin Hood – of Sri Lanka’s forest(s) – yet ! Robin Hood was a thief.

    Considering that the JVP started as terrorist organization – that did not have a workable manifesto to offer – being communistic-ally inclined (Bend OUR WILL – OR Else! ) and having seemingly come in to the democratic system they to have toned it down – to the extent that their economic policies seem to be international rather than national ……….

    When they achieve POWER as the opposition; it will be interesting to see how they differ from the manifesto they have revealed to the gullible public.

    Having said all this – what matters most as Sri Lankans is that we should live in an equal playing field. What is is MORAL for one should be MORAL for the other sans racism-bigotry-caste & creed.

    Remember the fact that non of use had the choice under which circumstances we would be born into – So it is only one’s upbringing that made one a RACIST – A BIGOT – CASTE ORIENTED – CREED Oriented…… among other things.

    It was the upbringing that made us the BIGOTS that we are:

    a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.

    So lets do away with BIGOTRY!

    I am sure that the hoi polloi would agree with me EXCEPT those who are guilty of malpractices as per the BRING BACK MAHINDA organization(s).

    If they don’t get back MAHINDA they will have to face the consequences of their BIGOTRY.

    Having said all that – I will be a willing participant of your :

    “GetUp+Vote – Our Country. Our Time”

    All the best!

  • 2

    How about educating the politicians to begin with?

  • 1

    “The agenda for the day will include talks and presentations……”

    Who are the key speakers at this event?

    • 0

      *Sashi De Mel, Transparency International
      The Disease of Corruption and Brutality – The economic & social cost. How corruption perverts and distorts the will of the people

      *Jehan Perera, National Peace Council
      Selecting a Candidate – The qualities to look for in a politician. Are there unacceptables?

      *Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Centre for Policy Alternatives
      The Power of Our Vote – Democracy and the rights enshrined in the constitution. Good governance. What our vote can do

      Rohana Hetiararchchi, People’s Alliance for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL)
      The Voting Process – If you don’t have a card can you vote? How to vote, when, where, how, voting cards, voting process, the 2 options – vote for a party or spoil your vote.

      *Prashan De Visser, Sri Lanka Unites
      The Power of the Youth – How can Sri Lankan youth change the country, youth activism. Be a game changer.

      *Inthumathy Hariharathamotharan, Viluthu
      Women in Politics and Governance

      *Asoka Obeysekera, manthri.lk
      Understanding Parliament

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