Election check-list for youth | Sunday Observer

Election check-list for youth

Youth First Summit participants
Youth First Summit participants

As the eighth Presidential Election, is turning hotter and hotter, Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya’s, word-of-advice to the youth, was that they should not be shaped or influenced, on their preferential candidate, as they brace to cast their vote, this November 2019.

Speaking at the Youth First Summit, at the Taj Samudra, aimed at enlightening the youth, on the say they have in appointing their President, Deshapriya advised, choosing one’s preferential candidate is up to him/her.

He, in fact, referred to the Youth of the neighbouring-nation, India, who have set an example in their slogan “No Donation for Vote”, “No promises for Vote”.

“That is because; no one wants to vote for the donation, for what you’re getting. That is why I gave that message to the youth. Our opinion is to vote with responsibility and sense. The other thing is, think all are equal. The most-important is the word, empathy. Everyone has the right to have the idea or the belief and they can express and exercise. That is voting,”

Deshapriya, a mainstay in the news nowadays, commenting on the dos and the don’ts, said that the majority decision is not always democracy. If you want to have real democracy, we have to think about the ideas of the minority.

“You have to do politics. But, not as a member of the political party. One will have to read about politics, think about politics, and vote sensibly,”

Deshapriya pinned his confidence on, the youth casting their maiden vote, will do so responsibly. He re-emphasised, “None should be shaped by their father or mother. They should have their independent view,”

The Election Commissioner, however, regretted that the youth of this nation don’t read politics. They just say, what they want to get. They say, “They don’t want politics”. You have to love politics”

Natasha Job, a former journalist and manager elections, Facebook South Asia,speaking about her company’s role, on the November 16 Poll, shared that some 30,000 have been engaged in election monitoring for the social media giant.

“A million of fake accounts have been traced, on the whole. A dedicated team is already in place,” Job said on her team’s job.

Talking about the importance of discipline drawn from sports, ex-Sri Lankan cricketer and a former International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee, Roshan Mahanama, drove home that “discipline” is priority, while stressing the requirement to tap leaders with honesty.

“In a very early stage in my life, I was told discipline is priority. One of the things, I have decided to speak, whenever I get the chance is to speak about honesty. As responsible people of this country, one of the areas, we should look in to -people’s honesty and whether they walk the talk. People, who have been influential in my life; my teachers, my parents, my first coach (Nelson Mendis) they spoke about discipline from day-one,” Mahanama said of his own story.

“I’ve lived 2/3rds of my life. I’m on my last leg of my life. Hence, it is the responsibility of you youngsters, to vote for the correct people. People are talking about having strong leaders, but my view is that, we need to work on finding honest leaders. That is one of the areas, we should look at.”

He credited discipline, for propelling him to turn match referee from a cricketer.

“We were brought in (as match referee) to control the emotions of the player. Cricket is known to be a gentleman’s game.

“They felt, they had to introduce a match referee to control the game and the emotions of the player,”

The event, organised by the Elections Commission and Facebook, was attended by a large number of university students, representing many state universities, Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, from the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), Activists and Facebook officials.

Pic: Chaminda Niroshana