Defining moment for Easteners
Today marks a defining moment
for the people of the East where for the first time in over two
decades they will be exercising their sovereign right of
franchise sans the overpowering influence of the LTTE.
They will today walk to their polling booths en masse with
their heads held high unbowed to any threats, intimidation or
coercion which they had been subjected to during their slavish
existence under the gun all these years.
Today they will vote of their own free will undaunted by any
diktats and as free people who beginning this day will became
their own masters and have a say in their own destiny. No more
will any terrorist group have a hold of their lives and lead
them by the nose.
In that sense the Eastern Provincial Council election today
is a symbolic milestone that has enabled the people of the East
to slough off the vestments of servility and rise as a proud
people reasserting themselves in the soil of their birth.
For this, they have to be grateful in large measure to
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Security Forces for
redeeming them from the iron grip of a ruthless terrorist
organisation and restating their pride and dignity as a people
while enthroning their rights and liberties such as free
expression and political dissent which were alien concepts to a
community that was under seige.
It is now up to them to view this freedom in proper
perspective and use today’s vote judiciously to ensure the start
that has been made to set the region on the road to progress and
prosperity would go ahead unabated without any hiccup.
It is incumbent on the Eastern voter today to vote with his
head rather than his heart to ensure the dividends of his
liberation will accrue to him without let or hindrance.
It is hoped they would use their better judgement ignoring
parochial considerations keeping foremost in mind to deliver a
verdict that would not in any way stymie the gigantic
development programmes now proceeding apace on their behalf and
for their emancipation and emergence from a harrowing ordeal.
Now that they have been given a free hand in their choice of
elected representatives it is hoped that the Eastern voter would
act with discretion in exercising this right and make the most
of the opportunity afforded them to effect a transformation that
would lead to progress, prosperity and deliverance to the
Eastern populace while opening doors for brighter prospects. .
The Government has already showcased the East as a model of
development. What has to be considered in this election is to
use it as an opportunity to realise the dreams and aspirations
of the Eastern population.
This is not an ordinary poll but one that would chart the
destiny of a people who were left rudderless in an ocean of
turmoil and turbulence. Mature leadership is necessary to ensure
they pick up the pieces of their lives and hitch them back to
their traditional moorings.
It is hoped such a leadership would emerge at the conclusion
of today’s election that would be up to the task guiding these
wounded people to their desired destinies.
There is much in the pipeline to be accomplished and the
Government is pouring in all resources to ensure the East which
had been languishing in the periphery all these years is brought
on par with the rest of the country. Therefore, this election
assumes special significance for the people of the East.
It cannot be treated as a mundane democratic exercise but
that which has a lot riding for the future of the province. It
should necessarily have a meaning to the people unlike any other
poll where everything is forgotten once the dust settles down.
If there was one election in recent times on which the
people’s expectations were riding so high it is today’s in the
East. Let us hope that the new found freedom of the people of
the East is reinforced by a fitting outcome at the polls that
would usher in a new dawn to the Province and giving the
Easterner a place in the sun.