This election, I couldn’t vote. I also wrote a popular article called ‘Why I’m Voting For Sarath Fonseka‘, so that makes me a hypocrite. I wrote the article in good faith since I’d voted in the Provincial Election fine. Then I didn’t get my ballot card and I freaked out. When my parents moved we’d been dropped from the rolls. I didn’t tell you, and I should have. I was so so sad today, and so ashamed. Everyone had their purple pinkies and I was a walking electoral fraud. I was even more torn because I felt like I’d just lied to everyone that read my stuff and that I’d have to spend the next month in shame. But then Sarath Fonseka messed up way bigger than I did, so I’m telling you now. I messed up and I was weak. It is a human thing, and it happened to a lot of Sri Lankans.
First off, I was wrong. Not for getting dropped off the rolls, that wasn’t my fault. But for not confessing. There’s no excuse for it and I’m sorry. I deserve whatever people want to throw at me. I didn’t know when I wrote the article, but I found out a week later. I heard the voice in my head saying you have to tell the truth when it’s hard. But I didn’t. I did the easy thing and stared saying ‘I support’ Fonseka. Character is really tested when it’s not easy, and I failed. I’m sorry. In fact, I’m only really confessing now because Sarath Fonseka made it easy, so it’s not like I’m brave. I’m still taking the easy way out. In the future I’ll try to do the right thing, even when it’s hard. I’ll probably mess up some more, but I’m trying. But how did this terrible thing happen?
How To Fall Off The Rolls
I sat around my Achchi’s house waiting for the ballot cards. None came for me. It turned out that my Achchi had crossed us off the list so my parents could register at our house. They never did. I didn’t spot this because I voted in the Provincial Council election last April just fine. That, however, was based on the 2007 electoral list. I got dropped from the 2008. By the time I found out it was way too late. My family checked with two Grama Seveka’s and went to the Electoral Commission, but they couldn’t do anything. The best they could do is put us on the list for 2009 (I think), for which the deadline is apparently January 28th.
I’m not sure, but that would make the deadline for this election January of last year. Of course, by the time the election was called (November) it was too late to register. That’s how we fell through the cracks.
How Sarath Fonseka Fell Off
If Sarath Fonseka left the military and fell off the postal rolls in November, then it would have been impossible for him to go back and register eleven months before. The system is really tough like that. This is conjecture, I don’t know why exactly he fell off the rolls.
Who Else Fell Off
Anyone who was 18 this year couldn’t vote, you have to be 18 when the rolls get set. People who’d moved or hadn’t returned the registration list (by household) would have also got dropped. Many people are registered in a few places (their village and Colombo for example), but that’s another issue. The sad thing is that by the time you know you fell off, it’s too late to do anything. When you know an election is called, also too late. It’s easy to disappear. I really think this system needs to change, at least so you can register once an election is called, and so young people can vote. And so people have a chance to fix their mistakes.
Being disenfranchised sucks. I was so depressed for the past week, I just wanted to disappear. I couldn’t sleep last night and I did my work with leaden hands. I was like, ‘am I Sri Lankan?’ ‘How do I face my friends?’ ‘How do I face my enemies?’ I’m a drama queen, but it really sucks. And it felt so bureaucratic and cruel. My declaration of my vote was being circulated to everyone I knew, and I couldn’t vote at all. I never lied about it, but in the end I wasn’t telling the truth. Because I was ashamed, and weak.
I think SF has the same moral failing, but he’s a politician and he’s got to survive. I’m just trying to be a decent young man and I should have taken that small risk. But here it is. I couldn’t vote for Sarath Fonseka. He couldn’t vote either so, perversely, I feel a bit better. So, anyways, while Sarath’s getting his leathering, thrash away. A lot of people got dropped from the rolls. I guess I’m a hypocrite, but I really try to do the right thing. This time it got messed up and I thought I could pretend, but in the end you can’t. So if you’re trying to understand Sarath Fonseka, he’s a human being and this shit happens. If he had pure character he would have said it before, but he didn’t. Neither did I, because I was ashamed and I was scared to take the flak. That’s not noble, but it is human. Error. I’m sorry. I bet Fonny is too.