By Ajith C. S. Perera –
Time to elect truly understanding M.P. to make the voice of the dis-Abled heard in Parliament
Feedback we had from the revelations made had convinced all present at the Galadari hotel last Thursday that it is time to elect true public servants in Parliament who understand the key priorities and vital needs of near 20% of the population – People with restricted ability.
Answering at the start to a question on Ability within dis-ability as one example, it was mentioned that I appearing at all times in person on a wheelchair and seeking redress for persons with restricted ability accessing buildings used in daily life, successfully pursued single handed in 2009 and then again in 2011 a public interest litigation fundamental rights application.
The land mark ruling Supreme Court had given, was based on the fact that the people across the length and breadth of the country whose ability is impaired to varying degree through accidents, debilitating illnesses, ageing – which are inevitable as life unfolds – and the ended 30 years of conflict, forms the biggest minority.
We all had high hopes that the elected politicians from several parties with whom they have worked closely, would make decisions on key issues that concerns quality of our life.
But this has not happened as every single politician over the past twenty (20) years has remained deaf and dumb resembling ‘dog in the foundry’.
Political parties have only belittled our cries to live as equal productive citizens
This has deprived us of the equal opportunities in respect of employment, education, health and recreation often marginalising in daily life.
The historic media conference
The national convenor Prasanna Kuruppu – victim of the conflict whilst serving the SL Air Force said, it is the first time the country’s biggest minority represented by a group of intellectuals and professionals with integrity, is contesting parliamentary elections.
Kuruppu further said, when the heroic soldiers retire, life in civil society brings them new sets of problems which also extends to all other victims of this conflict but are yet to be recognised and resolved by politicians.
Answering questions by the media it was said that ALL POLITICIANS starting with Presidents to Prime Ministers and leaders of all political fronts, dressed in blues, greens and red and the Buddhist
Priests we hold in high esteem, talking of Yaha-Palanaya, Just Soceity, Pivithuru Hetak, an assured tomorrow, new country in 60 months, pilot of your conscious, puravasi peramuna, etc., continue to remain blind, deaf and dumb towards the biggest minority of citizens.
All politicians and decision makers here have forgotten that the way a country (they are dreaming of) treats its population with RESTRICTED ABILITY, is a true reflection of their attitudes towards the people and it is a sure test and a far more telling indicator of society’s development than GDP.
In fact what these experienced politicians continue to miss recognising is ‘Overcoming Inequality is NOT an act of charity but an act of justice and justice enriches us all’
They all continue to fail miserably to recognise utmost importance of implementing effective measures towards sustainable national economy to empower the innate potential of these near 4 Million of people, instead of making us to continue to live on increased charity and enhanced social welfare,
The imperative need of equal opportunity in opening doors closed doors for optimising our productive potential accepting us as equal partners in decision making procedures into all spheres as education, employment, health and tourism in particular ultimately focusing to minimise unwanted dependency and thereby improve quality of our lives.
It’s now or never
To conclude I pose this question from every household:
“What should be your tomorrow when the ability of you and your loved ones to move, see and hear in attending to daily needs are snatched away – which is inevitable as life unfolds?
Would you and your loved ones be happy to continue to live as third class citizens?
OR you feel the vital need of bringing a positive change where, everyone would, still, be able to live as an equal citizen with dignity, regardless of the degree of ability.
We have the knowledge and understanding of key issues of yours in that plight backed by our years of experience on this subject of ENABLING and empowering EVERYONE along with sound educational background, honesty and integrity with no hidden agendas
We are thus confident that ‘it is we and we only’ as an Independent Group No: 12 for Colombo District could truly bring this positive change within the parliament.
For those who may have already made-up minds NOT to VOTE for any political party, I appeal to you to re-consider and perhaps cast your vote(s) for us.
It will add value to your vote and turn an investment for your life
Let us make this positive change happen and happen truly for a meaningful secured brighter tomorrow where everyone could live with dignity.