Any course of action or decision which directly affects the whole population of a country can be understood as politics. Politics makes an effect on all such as the citizen, civil organizations, non-governmental organizations. Hence Sarvodaya, is one of the oldest and biggest Civil Society Organizations in Sri Lanka, becomes no exception in undergoing the influence of politics. Politics does make an influence on all the actions carried out by us and we all have the right of deciding what sort of politics should exist in the country and also participating in the political process. Sarvodaya Movement too enjoys the same right.
Sarvodaya has boldly taken steps to safeguard the democracy of the country on the occasions when the country faced various difficult situations. When Hon. Felix Dais Bandaranayke acted against democracy, it is Sarvodaya which came forward to protect democracy and Sarvodaya has done the same on several such other occasions too up to the present.
However, Sarvodaya has never engaged or does engage in power-hungry politics or party-politics. Whatever political ideology that the employees of the Sarvodaya and its hundreds of thousands of volunteers may have held personally, Sarvodaya has never engaged in politics to favor one particular political party other than taking necessary action to safeguard democracy for the last sixty-one years. Likewise, Sarvodaya has continuously advocated the notion that party politics is not suitable for our country. The prime objective of Sarvodaya is to convert Sri Lanka back into a Common State, which is comprised of Self Ruling Villages (Grama Swaraj) with the objective of making the country a granary and a land of morals giving priority to the Country, Nation and Religion.
The whole country has been plunged into a deep precipice from which it is not easy for the country to come out due to the system of party politics existing at present and if Sarvodaya does not involve to change this situation, the whole population will put the blame on Sarvodaya in the future. We undertook the initiative Deshodaya, which is an optional and alternative participatory democratic political system devoid of party politics, once the thirty-year long war came to an end. Deshodaya tried during the last 10 years to inculcate new attitudes in people and train a group of young and middle-aged people with self-restraint, who have the capability of building up a new political culture. People-centric Deshodaya Councils were established in every Pradesheeya Saba division across the country.
We declared our political policy openly even in the presidential election of the year 2015. Nominations have been called for the presidential election of the year 2020 by now. It is a reality that we too have become partners of the National People’s Movement, a movement of people for an optional political system devoid of party politics, which is made up of some other civil society organizations that turn down power-greedy party politics. Sarvodaya only wanted to awaken people and the society through this optional people’s movement but not to engage actively in power-hungry politics even through an apolitical force.
Some people seemed to accuse Sarvodaya for the last several weeks through Social Media and main stream media to the effect that it engages in power-hungry party politics. Sarvodaya will further engage in people-centric politics in parallel to its extensive social activities without bias towards parties, like it did during the past 61 years for securing the rights of people and ensuring the betterment of people. Sarvodaya has no intention to get entangled in an argument with anyone in this regard and we want to emphasize that Sarvodaya will not directly or indirectly support or sponsor any presidential candidate, political party or party-political activity whatsoever in wake of the forthcoming Presidential Election or Parliamentary Election.
Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne
President-Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement