This is an open letter to former President Maithripala Sirisena, regarding your intention to be in politics again.
We know so many great things happened during your time –
- Arjuna Mahendran’s efficient governing of the Central Bank,
- the rent saga of Agri. Ministry,
- the episode of importing cows from New Zealand which nearly made Sri Lanka self-sufficient with milk,
- releasing a death row man in real maithree fashion than hanging a person, thus making a U-turn despite boasting to bring the hangman,
- giving us a chance to live in a country with two prime ministers, your responsible attitude during the Easter bombings,
- the efficient way you handled security when shops at Kuliyapitiya and Minuwangoda were burnt by mobs after the Easter carnage,
- not protesting the agreement with Singapore enabling us to check even their garbage in order to deduct the sort of development they are achieving in Singapore,
- the umpteenth number of foreign trips you made to tell the world of our difficulties,
- your effort to discipline people using “madu walige”, your maithree sympathy extended to all of us including politicians, even to a person who said “I cannot remember” by reappointing him a minister forgiving his forgetfulness,
- the chance given to us to dream to buy Volkswagens, your supreme qualities of forgiving everybody including a navy commander who hit a journalist covering a sathyagraha at Hambantota port etc etc.
Sometimes we were wondering whether you belonged to the Gandhi dynasty. You gave us blessings and chance to test our courage, to live in a country becoming bankrupt day by day. There are no limits to your greatness. So, you must be very tired after doing all this service to us and we showed our gratitude in giving you a mandir, a good house in Colombo to spend your retirement. We also ensured that you would not be burdened with another presidency term after such yeoman service to us during your first term.
It is our wish that you should not get tired anymore after achieving such great heights, after giving us a land like no other. So please retire and rest in peace Your Excellency, because if you do politics again, we will have to shower you with more gratitude emptying our pockets. If you really care to do politics again, please face the courageous people who survived your term and canvass and get elected from somewhere by a people’s popular vote, in which case we have nobody to blame except ourselves, for making you toil more, on behalf of us, poor souls.
JAYANTHA SAMARASINGHE, Mahanuwara