Speak­ers at So­bitha Thera commemoration meet­ing de­cry Pres­i­dent Sirisena's ac­tions

Say he has dealt a death blow to democ­racy Pres­i­dent who was in­vited for meet­ing con­spic­u­ous by his ab­sence

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - By Chan­dani Kirinde

Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena, who was pro­pelled to the of­fice of Pres­i­dent in Jan­uary, 2015 by the cam­paign ini­ti­ated by the Na­tional Move­ment for a Just So­ci­ety pi­o­neered by the late Ven­er­a­ble Madu­luwawe So­bitha Thera, was a no­table ab­sen­tee at the event held to com­mem­o­rate the third death an­niver­sary of So­bitha Thera held in Colombo on Thurs­day.

Al­though he was in­vited to the event by the or­gan­is­ers of the Ven. So­bitha Thera Commemoration Foun­da­tion, the chair al­lo­cated to him re­mained va­cant even though many of the ma­jor play­ers of the Na­tional Move­ment for a Just So­ci­ety pi­o­neered by the late Thera were present. Th­ese in­cluded Speaker Karu Jaya­suirya, for­mer Pres­i­dent Chan­drika Ku­maratunga, for­mer MPs Champika Ranawaka, Ra­jitha Sen­er­atna and sev­eral oth­ers.

One could sense a mood of anger and dis­ap­point­ment among the crowd who had gath­ered for the meet­ing, which was ad­dressed by Pro­fes­sor Sanath Wi­jesuriya who along with Ven­er­a­ble Madu­luwawe So­bitha thera pi­o­neered the Move­ment and cam­paigned tire­lessly for the vic­tory of com­mon can­di­date Maithri­pala Sirisena of the Jan­uary, 2015 pres­i­den­tial poll.

Speak­ing at the event, Pro­fes­sor Wi­jesuriya said that it was a bless­ing in a way that So­bitha Thera had passed away be­fore see­ing the mas­sacre by Pres­i­dent Sirisena of all the ideals on which the “Just So­ci­ety” cam­paign had been built.

He ac­cused the Pres­i­dent of drag­ging the coun­try back to the re­pres­sive pre Jan­uary 2015 days and putting democ­racy in grave dan­ger.

“When we look back, I can re­call the words of the Ven­er­a­ble Thera. With his im­mense wis­dom, the Thera knew that Pres­i­dent Sirisena was a per­son with no gratitude. The Thera told me on the day the Pres­i­dent de­cided to take over the SLFP lead­er­ship, he had put his party po­si­tion over the lead­er­ship of the coun- try and for­got­ten the no­ble prin­ci­ples on the ba­sis of which he was elected.

He ac­cused the Pres­i­dent of block­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions against the Ra­japaksa fam­ily and oth­ers con­nected to them from early on as well as against oth­ers who were in­volved in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties.

He said the per­son whom the pres­i­dent ap­pointed as the new Jus­tice Min­is­ter is one against whom a probe was be­gun by the Fi­nan­cial Crimes In­ves­ti­ga­tion Divi­sion but later stopped by the Pres­i­dent. “This shows we are head­ing to­wards very dan­ger­ous times. Crim­i­nals are out and so are the cor­rupt peo­ple. Isn’t it our great mis­for­tune that such a per­son is the leader of this coun­try?” he said.

Pro­fes­sor Wi­jesuriya said that the Pres­i­dent had used one of his hench­men, an MP he brought in through the Na­tional List, as a front­man to at­tack f o r mer Pre s i d e n t C h a n d r i k a Ku­maratunga in a very low man­ner. “He has dealt the death knell to democ­racy in the coun­try. He does not have ba­sic de­cency. Why does he visit tem­ples? Every time he ob­serves the five pre­cepts, his sins be­come big­ger,” he said.

Pro­fes­sor Wi­jesuriya also apol­o­gised to vot­ers who voted for Pres­i­dent Sirisena based on the cam­paign led by him and oth­ers like the Ven­er­a­ble So­bitha Thera.

Prof. Jayadeva Uyan­goda who de­liv­ered the commemoration lec­ture said that Ven­er­a­ble Sob­hitha Thera was a vi­sion­ary leader who had al­ways stood for democ­racy , even if it meant stand­ing alone. How­ever, he said that the lat­est cri­sis is un­prece­dented and threat­ened to dwarf all pre­vi­ous strug­gles.

One could sense a mood of anger and dis­ap­point­ment among the crowd who had gath­ered for the meet­ing, which was ad­dressed by Pro­fes­sor Sanath Wi­jesuriya who along with Ven­er­a­ble Madu­luwawe So­bitha thera pi­o­neered the Move­ment and cam­paigned tire­lessly for the vic­tory of com­mon can­di­date Maithri­pala Sirisena of the Jan­uary, 2015 pres­i­den­tial poll

A minute's si­lence for Ven­er­a­ble Madu­luwawe So­bitha Thera. Pix by Ishanka Su­ni­mal

Pro­fes­sor Wi­jesuriya ad­dress­ing the gather­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.