Last week, I travelled to the north of Sri Lanka and received tremendously positive responses from the local communities there. The northern district has and always will be one of the main focal points of development for the Rajapaksa administration especially since the end of the civil war in 2009.
During my tour, I met with thousands of Tamil brothers and sisters and listened to their plight. Unfortunately almost all of them have tales of hardships to narrate. For them these past four and a half years have been nothing but a struggle. Many, are unemployed and the lack of development in the area since the end of the previous government have only added to their woes.
I toured several areas there and have repeatedly witnessed how certain villages or areas have been selectively supported based on the community in these past four years. For example, some villages which had a Muslim majority had seen some development by certain Muslim MPs but areas which were handled by the Tamil National Alliance, with a Tamil majority were left untouched in these past four years.
Now in my address to the northerners, who were from all religious backgrounds, I raised several vital points. While it was good to see some MPs from this government do some minor work for their areas, it is however disappointing to see them work only because their communities reside there. MPs should be working for all areas and communities irrespective of their religious backgrounds. Those who belong to a certain constituency cannot differentiate which villages have their communities and carry out work in those areas alone. It is sad that today, in this government, many Ministers and MPs, in fear of losing their voters, have worked only for their communities. The nation first policy seems to have never crossed their minds.
Another vital point I raised in my speech is the absense of work by the Tamil National Alliance which is very felt by the people of North. Infact anyone who travels to the north today can clearly witness the lack of support. The citizens in that area, which the TNA claim to be representing, have not had any assistance in the past four years. The TNA infact have been very active in talking against the Rajapaksas since 2015 and striking deals with the government but it is a shame to see them having neglected their constituencies, especially since those are the districts which need our attention the most.
Infact the only development you see in the north today is the development carried out during the past government. The development of roads, the generation of employment etc, has been left absolutely untouched since the UNF government came to power in 2015.
Now my address, shedding light on how MPs should not limit their work only to areas dominated by their communities, was obviously welcomed by the people in the north, irrespective of which religion they belonged to. I also clearly mentioned to the citizens of the north, that when the Rajapaksa government carried out their development work in the north soon after the war, they saw all citizens as one and not as divided communities. And that is exactly how Gotabaya Rajapaksa is going to continue his work in all parts of the country. When he wins the Presidential Elections next month, he along with Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government will definitely not limit their work to any specific religious community and that is how they will continue leading the nation from Nov 17th onwards. For them we are all Sri Lankans.
However my statement of how MPs have worked only for their communities obviously ruffled a few feathers, with some trouble makers immediately blaming me for inciting racism. In fact, if one wants to put the other down, these days, they yell racism, clearly ignoring the fact that politicians are elected by ALL citizens and not by communities. For many in this government, when the truth is exposed, either they term it as racism or they yell some other exaggerated excuse. This government has been nothing but a shame to us all.
I also want to raise a strong point today. If the TNA, going forward, pledge their support to Sajith Premadasa then it is obvious that this party only thinks of filling its own pockets. For years, under the guise of being the voice of the Tamil community, the TNA have failed our Tamil brothers and sisters. It is time they actually wake up and leave aside their own agendas and work for the nation. They have not done anyone proud to date, other than playing along with the whims and fancies of this government for their personal gain, but it is high time they fulfill the trust of their voters.
Sri Lanka has a long road ahead after the failures of this government. It is high time a new strong government takes over and raises its citizens towards a developed path.