Nanda Wanninayaka email@example.com
In these 10 blog posts, I will take the trouble of comparing and contrasting the two main presidential candidates in question in 10 areas of concern in alphabetical order. I am sure this essay won’t make much of a difference in changing your mind as to who you vote or support at this election but at least I can take this off my chest for the heck of it once this is published. This post deals with the ACHIEVEMENTS of the two candidates. The next area, the AGE, will be discussed in the post, Gota or Sajith? – The Agony of Choice – Part II) AGE
Well, apart from the undeliverable election promises, the achievements of a presidential candidate are going to be vital at the elections. This is going to be Gota’s and Sajith’s track record on one selected area, ACHIEVEMENTS.
Gota’s contribution to the country as an army officer during the Sri Lankan Civil War is highly debatable. One school of thought says that he achieved a lot in the battlefield and earned RWP (Rana Wickrama Padakkama – Combat Gallantry Medal – රණ වික්රම පදක්කම) and RSP (Rana Sura Padakkama – Combat Excellence Medal – රණ ශූර පදක්කම) as a mark of appreciation to his impeccable service to the country. I am sure he must have been conferred those two coveted medals during the United National Party (UNP) governments – his present-day rivals – was running the country. Gota’s military service spans from 1971 to 1992 and there is no chance of him being given those medals before 1977. He has served during both the JVP rebellion and the Tamil Tiger rebellions as an active serviceman. Given the fact that Gota is related to a highly political family from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party SLFP, if he wasn’t truly a great serviceman we can hardly believe that he would have been conferred those honors. The other school of thought says that Gota retired early citing ill-health and left Sri Lanka during the height of the war and became an American citizen. Still, I am not too sure if he contributed “significantly” or not to the country as a serviceman.
Sajith entered the parliament from the Hambantota district in the 2000 general election. He initiated some poverty alleviation programs in Hambantota and helped places of worship which didn’t show much of an impact in the broader sense. He was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Health in 2001 and held that position till 2004 but any significant contribution to health sector was a lot to be desired. He was appointed Minister of Housing and Samurdhi (Prosperity) in the new cabinet formed in January 2015. He is credited with building small houses for low-income families with soft loans and increasing Samurdhi payments but it has done hardly any contribution to the country as a whole rather than making himself popular among the rural folks on the island. If he has done – or rather planned to accomplish anything – that would be the hypothetical “Shelter for All 2025” program. His father, the late Mr. Ranasinghe Premadasa (RP,) the then president of Sri Lanka also had a similar ambition to accomplish by the year 2000 and he didn’t live long enough to ensure it happens. And both the father and the son’s numbers in state-funded houses are highly exaggerated according to the reliable statistics.