So, who voted for whom?

It was one of the early Presidential Elections. I had bicycled over to my buddy’s place in Sea View Avenue and we were going to hangout with our clique on the Election Day. Colombo wasn’t as exciting as it is now, but at least we had planned a good Chinese lunch and a chilled beer at the Chinese Lotus Hotel – which stood where the Carnival Ice Cream is today.

First things first: we had to vote. It was my first time, but I wasn’t even interested. Hanging out with buddies was more important to me than standing in a long queue, and therefore, I had left my vote in the capable hands of an unknown fellow countryman who would vote on my behalf towards to end of the day. Well, that is the norm with us – the Sri Lankans.

My friend on the other hand, was a responsible citizen who insisted on casting his vote duty-fully – so I had no choice but to drag myself along to the Methodist College polling centre.

Since I was making my way over there, I decided to take my buddy’s brother’s ticket with me in any case. The good fella was studying overseas and I managed to cast his ballot – adding one more Colombo vote for the former President R. Premadasa.

Walking out, we were faced with a big hullabaloo. Apparently, someone’s vote has already been cast, even before that someone arrived at the polling booth. And that someone was none other than Pieter Keuneman – a key figure of Lanka Sama Samaja (Communist) Party. Steal the votes from the one’s who don’t show-up just before wrapping-up for the day, don’t steal a party leader’s vote first thing in the morning.

The gangsters from the Colpetty shanty town were “running” the polling booth that day. And obviously, they did not pay much attention to the names when picking which votes they would cast on on their own. Even if they did, they must have thought that Pieter Keuneman was a foreigner or something, the name never clicked with the communist labour class of the country.

Even though we were quite inquisitive and wanted to see some action, it wasn’t such a bright idea to hang around the place or be part of the action.

Pieter Keuneman lost his vote to the mob. Wasn’t his fault.

Sarath Fonseka loses his vote due to sheer negligence or stupidity. How could someone run the affairs of a country when he is incapable of running his own? I hope those who voted for him saw something in him that we didn’t. Honestly.


  1. You were there? Cool...
    I've heard this story so many times!

  2. I know people wanted a change, but the candidate they were expecting a change from is quite...laughable :D

  3. ouch mate. that hurt. :P

    and fyi, I can't vote due to the same reason SF can't, since my name is not on the 2008 election registry. I couldn't get my name in because I hadn't turned 18. He couldn't because he was busy fighting the LTTE... :)

  4. @Sach, thanks to Premadasa even Mahinda was able to address ‘Colpetty People’ in Mahinyangana. He gave rise to the mob. There was a similar incident reported from Slave Island too, if I remember right.

    @Sabby: I know... :D

    @Chavie: Yes, you are excused. Understandably. ;)
    But, maintaining the list for someone who was over 18 for a while is no big deal - my name is still there even though I have been not living at the address since 1992. Also, SF was not in the jungles in 2008; he had ample access to communication unlike the ones in the deep jungles or middle of the sea for months. He was never the kind of “commander” who had to be flown back to the jungles same evening after attending tactical meetings either. So, let’s put it down as a simple oversight, shall we?

  5. The election that had R.Premedasa pitted against Mrs.B ...yes I remember that, was in the primary at that time...I guess the people who voted for Gen.SF did it for the simple reason of 'what they saw'. Him as a 'symbol' crafted in the larger context of political 'imagery'. People dont really care to read the deeper text that lies behind the picture...leave aside the small print, many dont even go over the 1st page of the contract...they just want to know where to sign to seal the deal! Franchise as 'Social contract' is not really understood much here in the popular discourse in Sri Lanka. People read symbols, follow images.

    -Dilshan Boange