‘Being an actress is just like being a politician’
Popular actress Ruwanthi Mangala also wishes to throw her hat into the ring of forthcoming Provincial Council elections. She told DM what motivated her to get into active politics and what her plans are for the people if she gets elected.
Q. WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO GET INTO POLITICS?
A: I had always maintained an interest to engage in politics since my childhood - being strongly influenced by my father who was very politically active. The decision to enter politics at this point was mainly in response to an invitation extended to me by MP Duminda Silva. I did not wish to disappoint him by refusing his invitation.
Q. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO CONTEST FROM THE UPFA?
A: I have always been a supporter of the UPFA and I wish to contest from UPFA because this government has done a lot for the betterment of the future generation.
Q. WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD VOTE FOR YOU?
A: I believe the public should base their decisions on the actions of each candidate. I haven’t received the nomination yet but I am confident of the fact that people would support me if I was to contest. Their immense support has been made very clear through the many phone calls I have received since my appearance before the SLFP Nominations Board earlier this week. They have assured me of their fullest support and I am confident that they will accept me as their representative.
Q. DO YOU THINK IT’S JUSTIFIABLE FOR ARTISTES TO ENTER POLITICS WITHOUT A SOUND BACKGROUND OR KNOWLEDGE ON POLITICS OR GOVERNANCE?
A: I believe artistes are the most apt individuals to be appointed as representatives of the people because we are very close to people’s hearts. Even through the various roles we portray as actors and actresses, we give life to real life characters and therefore, we have a much closer and intimate understanding about battles of people. We know of people’s expectations and the same understanding might not be in someone who is greatly educated in politics.
Besides, being an actor is just like being a politician – we start our day at about 4 am and end it past midnight. It’s a hectic lifestyle and requires dedicated work, and I am certain I am up for the task.
Q. WHAT ISSUES DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE PRIORITIZED WITH REGARD TO THE WESTERN PROVINCE?
A: I will make a decision on which issues to focus on if and when I am elected. If I am elected to the position I aim for, I will personally visit the households of all my voters and inquire their issues and what they expect of me. Through a series of discussions I will figure out which issues should be prioritized in addressing.
Apart from that, I have plans to focus attention on equality for women and preventing violence against women. If I am elected I wish to meet the President and draw his attention on strengthening and increasing punishments given to those charged with abuse of women or children.
Q. DESPITE PARTICIPATION, WOMEN HAVE SUCCEEDED VERY LITTLE IN IMPACTING THE FIELDS OF ARTS OR POLITICS. WHAT SORT OF A DIFFERENCE DO YOU PLAN TO MAKE?
A: This is a peaceful country gearing towards prosperity. We are blessed with a good leadership and the masses, particularly the women are now living without fear. Besides being an actress, I am a wife and a mother and I have managed my household affairs perfectly. Similarly, I believe I will be able to deal with the challenges of my political career.
Q. POLITICIANS AT PRESENT ARE FREQUENTLY ACCUSED OF ENTERING POLITICS IN EXPECTATION OF THE PERKS AND BENEFITS THAT FOLLOW IF ELECTED. WERE THE PERKS AND BENEFITS ONE OF THE FACTORS YOU CONSIDERED IN DECIDING TO ENTER POLITICS?
A: Majority of the politicians have been branded as cheats and liars as a result of failing to keep the promises they made to the public prior to being elected. But I can guarantee, I will always stay true to my word; in fact, if I am elected I would give up my acting career in order to channel my full focus on serving the people.
Source : DM