Nanda Wanninayaka firstname.lastname@example.org
Jokers (and jerks – including Mr. Anura Dissanayaka) apart, there are two mainstream candidates in the run-up to the presidential election on November 16, 2019. Well, whether you like it or not, it is Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (GR) and Mr. Sajith Premadasa (SP) who are the front-runners for the contest and the others are just vote spoilers.
In these few articles, I will be comparing and contrasting the two persons in question in 10 areas of concern in alphabetical order. This post deals with the AGE factor of the two candidates. In my previous post, I discussed the ACHIEVEMENTS of the duo. Read it at Gota or Sajith? – The Agony of Choice – Part I. In my next post, EDUCATION of the two candidates will be discussed. Await the next post, Gota or Sajith? – The Agony of Choice – Part III.
One’s age will be another factor but this is always tricky. If you are too young to contest at a presidential election, he/she will be considered inexperienced and if he/she is too old, he/she will be considered both mentally and physically unsound for the job at the helm of the country to lead it forward. It is the way you present yourself that matters more than the real age at the election I guess.
Gota is exactly 70 years old by now, the same age in which the late President Mr. J. R. Jayawardene became the prime minister of Sri Lanka. There is this universal argument that the leader of a country should be a young or middle-aged person rather than a person who is closer to the next world than this. The world is evolving faster with technology, new frontiers of economics, and emerging markets are the main concerns to develop a country. The leader of a country should be young and open-minded enough to welcome such changes. If Gota is elected for two consecutive presidential terms, he would be 80 by the time he leaves the office which doesn’t look good for the country or himself. Then again, a legendary leader like Dr. Mahathir Mohamad happened to come out of his retirement and he was voted in by the public as they believed the former still can lead the nation at the age of 93. So, Gota being an effective president cannot be ruled out even though he is 18 years older than his comparatively younger opponent. This is something I won’t predict at this stage as a lot can happen in 5 years if not 10.
Sajith is just 52 and will be the second-youngest president after Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga who became the president at the age of 49. Sajith says he is energetic and dynamic but he has to prove it beyond just words. The downside of his comparatively young presidential candidacy is that he hasn’t been able to prove that he is mature enough for a 52-yer-old by his speech, action or behavior. I wonder whether he has enough time left to change the voters’ perception as we are only three weeks away from the big day. Besides, him telling the voters that he would work 20X7X365 has only earned him a sarcastic reaction by the public than doing any good for him. What Sajith has to understand is that what his father did (in going to bed very late and waking up very early) won’t excite the present-day voters as everyone understands that a human being needs sufficient rest and decent sleep. Working 20X7X365 means you are not organized. I think it is the high time Sajih stopped talking about working-20-hours-a-day drivel. I am not sure if there is any advisor to tell him to stop bunkum or maybe he just ignores the advice, just like his father used to and keep talking gobbledygook like this.