Jan 23, Colombo: An election monitor in Sri Lanka has called on the voters in the country to not cast their votes for popular 'sex symbols'.
The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has said that while it was not against actors, actresses, musicians and popular characters entering politics, it was opposed to the use of 'sex symbols' for elections.
Executive Director of CaFFE, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon told the media that the two main political parties are neglecting experienced local politicians and filling their nomination lists with 'sex symbols' for the upcoming provincial council elections for Western and Southern provinces.
The watchdog will announce the names of these 'sex symbols' after nominations lists are confirmed in order to educate the public on the need to cast their votes wisely.
In a press statement Tennakoon said CaFFE makes this announcement officially by explicitly asking voters not to vote for popular characters and artistes like thespians and musicians as they have never historically delivered or performed politically in serving the people.
"The two main political parties are increasingly neglecting individuals who have been active in grassroots and strengthening the party and focusing on popular new comers," Tennakoon said.
The monitoring body said the recent examples have shown that most of these 'stars,' who have no political experience and discipline, fielded by the opposition have crossed-over for personal gain.
"Continuous endeavors of the main political parties to promote such stars are impeding the political futures of men and women who have sacrificed the best years of their lives for politics," the organization noted.
"Sri Lankan politics have a dearth of strong female politicians and the current actions of main political parties, promoting movie stars and beauty queens without political experience and knowledge over female political activists with years of experience, have ensured that this will continue into the foreseeable future," CaFFE warned.
CaFFE said that it has received an innumerable number of complaints from experienced veteran politicians concerning the blatant overlooking of their contributions by disallowing their nominations and giving preferential nominations to a glamorous and youthful cult of beauties.
"By limiting individuals with political experience and potential from entering provincial councils and by promoting sex symbols who will further erode people's belief in representative democracy the two main political parties are destroying the foundations of democracy," the election watchdog charged.
It further noted that the two main political parties are also destroying and/or delaying the emergence of the next generation of political leaders who will govern the country in the coming decades.
CaFFE urged all political parties and independent groups to disengage from petty politics by promoting 'sex symbols' for short term gain and encourage the emergence of political leaders who are politically knowledgeable, disciplined and experienced.