It’s 6.24. I’m sitting in a chair, flicking between news sites, trying not to fall asleep.The news anchors, devoid of violent deaths to report, are trying valiantly to spin out the election results for as long as possible. Outside, the sun is sinking, throwing the last of its lights on a surprisingly empty Duplication Road.
It’s over. The UNP:UPFA scoreboard – the only one worth watching – reads 93:83.
My political preference was for the UNP. And while I agree that Ranil is a troglodyte, there’s a few sharp knives in this particular drawer – some of them being Harsha De Silva and Eran Wickramaratne. Enough, one hopes, to make a difference. I also like the fact that Mahinda’s been knocked down – again – and, well, there’s not really a whole lot of regret on that part.
But preference aside, I like these numbers. I like the fact that the UPFA and the UNP are so close in numbers. Even barring the inevitable political crossovers (we should have a law against this), that’s enough seats to make for a healthy opposition. Enough to (hopefully) make sure that Ranil and the Elephants don’t go on a rampage.
I’m disappointed in the individual preferences. I’m also slightly disappointed that the JVP didn’t get more seats in – I doubt the people running were the exact same ones who set people on fire in the 80’s. But this is Sri Lanka. Perhaps we should all be born color-blind; if we’re unable to distinguish between the green and the blue, perhaps we’ll learn to look at the people instead and judge them by their worth.
Perhaps not. This is Sri Lanka. Too much to ask. I think, for now, it’s enough that we’ve achieved perhaps the safest, most democratic election we’ve seen in recent times. There’s no marching. Nobody important has died. Nothing seems to have been set on fire. Or maybe not enough things have been set on fire to make the news. Perhaps we need the JVP to consult on this one – fire was their specialty, I hear. Either way, that’s a good sign.
I’d like to end on a happy note – but now we have to see what the fruits of our voting bring us. After all, this election was the start of a 5-year squabble between gangs of politicians in that place in Diyawanna Oya. Here’s hoping that that keeps the most blatant corruption at bay. A Parliament’s function is to maintain a balance of power and serve the common interest. I don’t know if this lot will do the second, but they bloody well better do the former.
Ranil’s put together a lovely message (https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/let-us-together-build-a-civilized-society/), but as I can readily attest, words are cheap. Give me thirty minutes and I’ll write something better.
Lastly, I hope Senator Lee Rhiannon, that Aussieprig, sticks to her own country and leaves her nose out of this one. If we want your opinion, Madame, we’ll send a bunch of LTTE supporters on a raft to ask you about it. After which we’ll probably drop artillery on their heads and have a parade, and tweet about it. Meanwhile, the Associated Terrorist Organizations of the World would like to thank you for your support.
Let the Hunger Games begin.