Dear MR and SF,
Hi, I don’t believe we’ve met. I am AntiSocial, a 25-year-old citizen of the country that you both claim to love endlessly. I too love my country endlessly, though probably not the same way you do, but let’s not get into that right now.
So, I hear the two of you are running for President and I understand that one of you is already the hot favourite to win the race to the throne while the other is not too far behind, catching up slowly but surely. Good - democracy is not dead yet; not completely, anyway.
Before we go any further, let me tell you a few things about myself. I absolutely loathe politics. Getting into politics in this Paradise Isle, in my humble opinion, is like diving headfirst into a garbage dump.
I am no peacenik or NGO activist. So, I say kudos to the both of you on ensuring that our country’s territorial integrity remained intact, against heavy odds – even though it was achieved at a very high cost. My only question is: what next? We won the war, but what have we really done to win the peace? But I digress.
Now, you both have children around my age and I’m sure neither of you has forgotten the fact that young people make a sizeable portion of your potential vote banks, which brings me to the point of this letter – what have you two planned to do for the betterment of this country’s youth?
As young people of Sri Lanka we are in an unenviable position today. We have no one to guide us when it comes to matters of national importance. We vote for whoever our parents/relatives/peers vote for. An overwhelming majority of us are politically illiterate – including me, unfortunately. For instance, not many of us can say we know what the 17th amendment to the constitution is. We’re unable to make educated political decisions, an attribute vital for the wellbeing of any democracy.
Then there’s that little issue with the economy. There are many people my age without proper jobs. By proper jobs I don’t mean the traditional doctor/lawyer/engineer jobs; I mean the kind of jobs that they can actually enjoy doing as opposed to wasting away behind a desk. The jobs are there, but there isn’t enough government backing for such professions and there is little to no school-level encouragement for students to go for fields that are outside the accepted norm. Some are contemplating leaving the country in search of greener pastures, but I know for a fact that most of us would much rather stay here and give back to the country, as unbelievable as that may sound.
There are millions of other issues to be discussed of course, but I’m sure you’ve got a lot on your plates already. So, I shall stop my rambling now. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not blaming either of you for any of these problems. But as the next president of this great nation, one of you will have the power to address these issues and really make a difference. What with the end of the war, there is so much potential for us to go to very great heights and I’m sure both of you are equally capable of taking us there.
Good luck to you both.
May the best man win.
PS: Only one of you can win this race, and I’m sure I’m speaking for 20 million people when I ask you to respect the final result and work together with the victor to bring peace and development to this battered land. Thank you for hearing me out.