Thimalka: The social activist | Sunday Observer

Thimalka: The social activist

10 October, 2021
Thimalka with her family
Thimalka with her family

Thimalka Poththewela who hails from a political family background has rendered a commendable service for the Biyagama Pradeshiya Sabha as a dedicated senior politician. She entered the political arena in 2010 with the help of Basil Rajapaksa’s wife, Pushpa Rajapaksa. It is true that Thimalka is no stranger to the political culture as she has inherited political insight from her father who was involved in politics for decades. “My mind was bent towards politics because we had a political atmosphere in our family” she recalled. If we focus on her childhood, Thimalka was born in Matara and had her education at Sujatha Vidyalaya, Matara.

In her political career, Thimalka always takes right decisions for the betterment of the country and values every citizen. For example, she had initiated many projects for daily wage earners with the aim of enhancing their livelihoods. That is why people in Biyagama have much respect for her. Thimalka contested the 2011 Election from Biyagama and polled the highest number of votes. Significantly, her political contribution is transparent and untainted. It is a well known fact that any politician in the active political circle requires statesmanship. Thimalka has the integrity and willingness to stand up for justice. “All I want to do is to eliminate the corrupt political culture,” she said.

As Thimalka said, it is not a wise move to point the finger at other politicians rather than taking responsibility for social problems. Sadly, at present, many politicians lack the basic and important leadership qualities such as accountability and transparency. Speaking of her contributions, she had established a Children’s Home with the objective of giving relief to the children. “Our future is our next generation. If we can’t ensure their future how we can ensure the country’s future. I dedicate myself to children in the country,” she said proudly. When asked about her future plans she said that she has an idea to implement a project in oder to uplift children’s education and wellbeing. “As a result of this pandemic, we can see many innocent children who are deprived of a proper education. Our society is forcing them into illicit activities. It is the pathetic situation in our country. I have an idea of making their lives better” she said. Compassion that many tend to see as a weakness is not a weakness at all.

To be honest, compassion is a characteristic which converts knowledge into wisdom. However, we all maintain that it is hard to witness compassion in politicians. On the contrary, Thimalka has proved that compassion is the most required quality in any politician. Undoubtedly, her involvement in social service activities reflects her compassion towards citizens.

As Thimalka said, politicians should have five virtues such as discipline, trustworthiness, courage, humanness and intelligence. When I raised a question about the responsibility of a politician, she said,” Any politician has the power to manage, distribute the economic resources, build relationships with stakeholders and make decisions which can impact on the wellbeing of a nation. Responsible politicians should focus on long-term plans.”

Women’s role

Certainly, we can’t forget the vital place occupied by women in the country. When asked about the women’s contribution to the governing body of the country, she said that it is possible to increase women’s capacities by giving them great empowerment. For example, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Africa’s first female president advocated that the safety of women, empowerment of women

and women’s rights be involved in peace-building. Moreover, she said that women’s contributions can’t be underestimated because they play a vital role in any sector. To my question about women’s participation in Parliament, she said, “women should respect the Parliament.

Those who are functioning in the Parliament should have a broad view of politics and the country. Apparently most women seem to be entering politics not for the country but for them. It Is the pathetic situation we can witness.”

Speaking of the current situation in the country it is evident that the country is opening gradually and that most sectors have started their regular tasks. Thimalka did not forget to share her ideas about the current situation of the country.

According to her, the anti-Covid-19 drive has become more successful. “At present, those who got jabbed with the second dose of vaccine exceed 10 million. The intake of the Covid-19 vaccine among the 20-30 age groups also has exceeded 50 percent. Ninety percent of the population had received both doses of the vaccine. As pointed out Thimalka, this can be viewed as a positive move because some developed countries had failed to implement the vaccination campaigns successfully.

However, unfortunately, some have avoided getting jabbed due to misinformation about the vaccine. This Government had taken another commendable step to administer the vaccine to those who can’t go to vaccination centres due to many reasons. The health care officials can be seen coming to doorsteps to administer the vaccine to those above 60.”We hope that we can beat Covid-19.” Finally, Thimalka said, “ I am satisfied with my political career because I have not earned even a cent. I would like to ask all politicians to dedicate themselves for the betterment of the country. I am sure that the existing Government can beat Covid-19 and implement development projects.” All in all, senior politician Thimalka Poththewela has proved that a good head and a kind heart makes a good politician.

Images: Thilak Perera