We won’t be fooled this time too, we won’t vote

By Hiran Priyankara Jayasinghe in Puttalam

Villagers of Alankulam in the Anamaduwa area vow they will not vote at next week’s elections, as all politicians have let them down for the past 50 years. This area comprises about 400 families from the villages of Wattegedera, Mawathagama, Siyambalawatta and others.

The scene of the crime Sudhira Madhuranga

The people complain that they don’t even have the basics such as water, transport, and electricity while their hospitals, schools, post offices and co operatives lack basic facilities.

Though there was a lot of fanfare in March last year under the Gam Neguma and Jathika saviya projects and foundation stones were laid, little development work has occurred over the year they charge.

Ven. Ratnapura Gnanawansa Thera Viharadhipathi of the Wattegedara temple said many of the villagers eek out a living as labourers. He said about 50 young men from this village have joined the Army but no one speaks of their sacrifices and nothing has changed for their families back home.

Rupa Adhikari another villager from Wattegedara said the problem of wild elephants had also not been addressed by the authorities. Another villager lamented the lack of a school in the village had forced children to travel about ten miles to schools in Mahauswewa or Anamaduwa.

Another villager said it was only during election time that politicians promise the moon but forget the promises once the elections are over. But this time, he said, they would not be fooled and they will not vote unless they see some signs of development work before polling day.

One of the many foundation stones

These are just a few of the stories from some villages in the Wayamba Province that politicians remember only during hustings. Meanwhile 24 election related incidents have been reported from the Puttalam District.

A UPFA supporter was reportedly killed at the hands of his own party men during a private skirmish.
Police said the 22 year old K. N. Sudhira Madhuranga, was reportedly killed by supporters of C Mayadunne and Arundika Fernando both UPFA candidates . The skirmish had broken out over the use of a party office.

Meanwhile, the ruling party was dominating the election scene and opposition parties alleged that several top government men from Puttalam and Kurunegala are reportedly canvassing for votes using state vehicles.

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