By Dhammika Herath –
Dear Sri Lankan Citizen,
I know this is the eleventh hour, maybe too late to write this, for you will be heading to the polls that determine our nation’s future in a few hours. I am no fan of politics, particularly Sri Lankan. Even though I am a Sri Lankan we cannot exercise our franchise, as we live away from our motherland, millions of us, professionals to domestic workers, all over the globe. We are earning mighty dollars and dinars that are essential to maintain our beloved nation.
Today, our motherland is besieged by a regime, a dictator we haven’t seen since the brutal Kandyan kings. We are stripped of our privileges even though we sweat for our country, far away from loved ones in strange, hostile lands, our hard earned money to be siphoned away by the regime and its henchmen via exorbitant taxes, leading to ever increased cost of living.
We are the drivers of the nation’s economy over the last two decades, yet we do not have our basic right, right to vote, for being in a foreign land. You are living in this land, you have the opportunity to exercise your franchise within the next few hours, a right that is denied to us.
Dear citizen, fear is a terrible thing, hopelessness is an even more terrible thing to occur. These are the conditions we are living under, fear and hopelessness. That’s the tragedy we have to overcome at this eleventh hour.
We have overcome natural disasters, three wars within forty years, terrorism, famine, death and destruction thrust upon us. Now we have to confront our worst enemy, fear, and we must overcome this, no matter how difficult. As a nation we have overcame all manner of obstacles over 2500 years, which we are proud of. There is nothing much to show today about that great history, except perhaps our resilience.
Ironically, today we stand united, as a nation. We have united Tamils, Muslims and Burghers alike at a common front. This is our time for redemption from fear and mental slavery, this is our time for reconciliation, this is our time to build hope and a just society that we were longing for, for so many years.
As a nation we have produced great intellectuals, professionals, and many great human beings, who are still contributing to the advancement of humanity around the world. Wherever I go, I see a Sri Lankan working in many a field, a heart warming sight, a testament to our capacity to adapt, conquer and succeed. We are a nation, a symbol of resilience.
Dear Sri Lankan citizen, we have been given many things that we are grateful for. We have enjoyed free health care, free education and a relatively free judiciary and rule of law, which are the barometers of a just society. However, these institutions were raped, destroyed and robbed during the last five years by goons, thugs, miscreants and lumpens who must be locked away from humanity. You chose them to rule you, and this is your time to chase them away for good, and bring this beautiful country and its people back on the right path.
You have to overcome the fear of uncertainty in order to achieve this. Anxiety and fear must be defeated. Let hope triumph over fear, that’s how we can redeem ourselves from the sins we have committed in the past.
I wish you luck at this eleventh hour.
Dr.Dhammika Herath – Australia