Photo from the campaign wars, Madampe. Photo by Dinidu de Alwis/Perambara
A group of Fonseka supporters were shot today in Tangalle. A mother of five was killed. Election violence has so far been not insane, though the Centre For Monitoring Election Violence reported 179 incidents as of the 11th (map). The name of that organization alone shows how inured we are to violence in campaigns, but it’s just too sad when mothers and kids are killed in the course of the great game. Sadly, life and politics is intertwined here, and people have far too much too lose.
I think the more aware you are of politics, the worse your governance is. Politics is like a like a toilet. Essential, but you only get involved when it breaks. Our politics is broken in the sense that being in and out of government is like night and day. If Mahinda’s people get tossed out they’ll have nothing. When Srimavo Bandaranaike lost an election they actually took away her civic rights.
The problem with a system based on people and connection is that if the person goes then you’re screwed. That’s why hope we can move towards some system based on merit and equal opportunity, such that people won’t feel like they’re going to die if their man gets out of power. Or that they don’t kill.