News1st’s Think Again campaign on day seven – disappointment reigns among farming communities

News1st’s Think Again campaign on day seven – disappointment reigns among farming communities

News1st’s Think Again campaign on day seven – disappointment reigns among farming communities

Written by Lahiru Fernando

23 Jun, 2016 | 9:18 pm

Have the public representatives that you chose given a value to the vote that you cast?

Have the expectations of the fishing community in Mirijjawila, Hambantota been met? What did the farmers in Thinamankadawala, Polonnaruwa, vote for? Were the people of Vankale in Mannar deprived of their ancestral lands by their own public representatives?

This is the time to Think Again…

Given the myriad of problems they are facing today, people who gave deep thought before going to the polling booth are being made to re-think their decisions.

The villagers of Thinamankada in Parakumpura, Polonnaruwa, exercised their franchise expecting the necessary support to recommence their cultivation, which were destroyed by mother nature in one fell swoop.

These voices are none other than the ones of those who voted their representative to the Parliament with much hope of a better, brighter future….

“They say they can only work according to the funds that are allocated. It cost about four million rupees to remove the excess soil from the paddy fields. The same thing happened in 2014. They have no consideration for the harm this is causing to people’s lives.”

“When they came here canvassing for votes, we highlighted these issues. They said they would rebuild it, but they have not rebuilt it.”

“We feel like killing ourselves. We have been hungry for four harvest seasons without a single grain of rice.”

“Politics is a lie. We don’t receive anything while they earn and feed themselves.”

“They speak like innocent babies during elections but afterwards there is nothing.”

“We have rejected them already.”

“They said the farmer would be king but this is not the case. We have become dogs.”

The people of Thekkulama voted to send their village representative to parliament, hoping that the Thekkulama anicut would be repaired. However, two foundation stones have been laid for this unfulfilled promise, causing these people too, to rethink their decision.

“They sprout lies but not a single government has done anything for us.”

“Once they go to parliament they forget all of this and lead lives of luxury. We are suffering like dogs.”

The villagers of Mirijjawila in Hambantota are a seafaring people. Fishermen claim that the fisheries port, a necessity for this village, has amounted to only a mountain of false promises by successive public representatives.

“If they do something for us, we will stand by them.”

“On election day they come here promising elephants and leopards and they even drink water out of coconut shells. But afterwards they forget it all.”

“No matter who we vote for it is pointless. I have faced this for 40 years.”

Another team who commenced their journey from the Thirukeshvaram Kovil in Mannar, visited villages including Virakkanthiru, Iluppakalavei, Vankale and Andasettaveli.

“We are fishermen and they promised us everything we need for our trade. Where is it? They have given us nothing. Do not ask us for votes again. We have been patient long enough.”

“We are living like nomads under tin roofs while our ancestral lands lie unused. Why are they doing this to us? We are now thinking about what we can do about this.”

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