“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black” said Joe Biden to an interviewer last week. That racist remark by the US presidential candidate of the Democratic party has caused an uproar on social media. #YouAintBlack and #JoeBidenIsARacist were trending on twitter.

Black Americans traditionally vote for the Democratic party. However their age-old socio-economic issues have not been solved by the Democrats. Even Barack Obama could not make any significant improvements. Therefore a considerable number of Black Americans supported Donald Trump in the previous election.

This racist system of voter manipulation exists in Sri Lanka too. They say “If you are a Sinhala then you must vote for the Sri Lanka Podu-Jana Peramuna” or “If you are a Tamil then you must vote for the Tamil National Alliance” or “If you are a Muslim then you must vote for the Muslim Congress”.

They also say “If you are a real Sinhala then you will never vote for UNP” or “If you are a real Tamil then you will never vote for for SLPP” or “If you are a real Muslim then you will never vote for SLPP”.

It gets even worse when religion is added to the mix. They say “If you are a Buddhist then vote only this person” or “If you are a Tamil then vote only that person” and so on.

These are all extremely racist uncivilised undemocratic claims. This politics-driven ethno-natio-religio racial division in Sri Lanka has reached a state where now some people are rejecting votes based on identities. For example, there are some Sinhala extremists that do not want Tamils or Muslims to vote for the party or the candidate who they support for. They want their party or candidate to win purely with the votes of the Sinhala people. It’s similar to anti-Semitic nazisim.

One can simply ignore all these statements as ‘No true Scotsman fallacies’. But the majority of Sri Lankans are seemingly not mature enough to think rationally especially when it comes to politics. Thus it is easy to divide and rule them.

All citizens of the Republic have equal Sovereignty, equal Freedoms, equal Rights and Duties, and equal Franchise. Therefore votes have no ethnic or national or religious or gender or any identity. Until there are political parties and candidates who treat all citizens equally, and until there are citizens who treat such candidates equally, the Republic and its Democracy cannot be realised.

27 May 2020
At the Republic of Sri Lanka

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