Lessons I Learnt from The Sri Lankan Presidential Election of 2015

– By Phusathi Liyanaarachchi

1. “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” reliving Alan Moore’s V for vendetta quote,
Our Nation has finally lived upto its name. We are proud to prove that our little island is truly the Democratic socialist republic of Sri Lanka. We are empowered with the sword of Democracy which we will not be reluctant to unsheath at any cost.

2. José Martí said that “The first duty of a man is to think for himself”
Today we have let go of blind adherence, we have given a chance for our voices to be heard. Let our intuitions speak for us. We have done our duty to ourselves.

3. “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide”, muses John Adams.
Everything exhausts, it is our duty and obligation and the duty as a nation to rekindle the embers of the values it was built upon. We are the ones who should give life to Democracy, by exercising the right that we have earned that allows us to be an integral part of the administration of our Nation.
We will not hesitate to hold our ground.

4. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand once said that “Love of glory can only create a great hero; contempt of glory creates a great man.”
We learnt that Glory is as exhaustible as life. And that everybody should let go when it is time. That is what creates a Great Man.
The former Leader proved a true gentleman in letting go. It is high time therefore that we moved on and let go, without trying to manifest defeat into something more.

5. “Technology and social media have brought power back to the people” goes a quote by Mark McKinnon.
Today we are perhaps the first Nation to bringforth a revolutionary change to its administration with the help of social media. We were all witnesses of the empowerment of our generation as we voiced our opinions in a patform that could reach out and make a difference.

6. “It does not matter for how long you tried, it only matters how hard you tried and how you laid your foundations. “
Nothing is permanent, there is nothing that should prevent one from taking a leap of faith, a chance that would give life to new hope. What matters is not the time spent, but building a solid firm base. And working towards that one dream.

7. “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” Michael Porter
We have witnessed that people are people and that only they can make their own decisions. The secret of the winning strategy was to give what had not been given before, a room for change, choosing the flaws that one needed to let go.

8. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Albert Eistein
From today on we will not accept what is put infront of us, without knowing the indepth, without questioning the reasons, the motives behind it. We have learned from our past, and we are ready to join hands for a better tomorrow.

9. An extract from a quote by Mahmoud Darwish goes “Coexistence; it breaks walls down.”
We are a nation that was bound by thirty years of war. We are a Nation who celebrated the newly gained peace just a few years ago. Those who extinguished the burning flames shall always remain our heroes, shall always be glorified in the history of our great Nation.
It is now time to join hands. We are a country with vivid ethnic diversity, we are a beautiful and a marvelous Nation, of which we all are protectors of. Despite class,race or religion it is one glue that should always hold us together.
We are all children, of Mother Sri Lanka.

10. There is a quote by Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change you wish to see in the world”
In 1931, we became the oldest democracy of South Asia, and were vested with the powers of Universal Franchise. For the first time a non-white nation under the Western European was given one man, a vote and power to control domestic affairs. Today we have exercised that power in order to make a difference in Sri Lanka is the oldest democracy in South Asia.
Today we have done right by that democracy, We went ahead and worked for our change. We have become the change that Sri Lanka needed.

11. “I demolish my bridges behind me…then there is no choice but to move forward” Fridtjof Nansen
What’s been said and done are said and done. Criticizing the past or individuals will not get us anywhere. We need to move forward with this newly gained sense of change, we need to join hands. We are a Nation who were taught to embrace victory as well as be humbled by it.

What’s done is done. Now it is only the future ahead.
It is now time to make the change we aspired to.
We worked together as Sri Lankans despite of our differences in order to establish democracy.

It is time to Heal old wounds. One ought to know that rubbing salt doesnot heal anything, kindness and compassion will be the elixir that heals us all.
We are one Country.
One Nation.
We will always be Sri Lanka.


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