Sat, 10 Apr 2021 Today's Paper

MR dumps astrology

2 March 2015 05:32 am - 26     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had told a Pakistani newspaper that he no longer believed in astrology.


During a conversation with a journalist of Dawn, Mr. Rajapaksa had said that he didn’t believe in astrology.


Journalist: “I have to ask you this, do you still believe in astrology?”


Mr. Rajapaksa: “Now, I don’t,” (laughs)


The full interview:



It is 8.00 a.m. on Saturday and I am outside Carlton House, the forest-green-coloured residence of Mahinda Rajapaksa, former president of Sri Lanka. It is a modest structure and on a low roof perches a medium-sized board carrying a picture of him beaming.


He has been residing in his hometown Tangalle after his shocking defeat in the presidential elections nearly 50 days ago. According to news reports, his electoral loss takes its place alongside that of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was so certain of her popularity that she called early elections in 1977. Mr Rajapaksa too had — counselled by his astrologer — called for early elections.


His residence is manned by two policemen in olive-green uniforms along with three intelligence officials dressed in plain, solid-coloured half-sleeved shirts and black trousers. They cast a cursory look at me and continue watching the sloping road. Sari-clad women, men in shirts and colourful sarongs and uniformed schoolchildren are walking up and down it.


Some of them walk past the gate of the residence, which is shaded by a large tree, to meet with and have their children blessed by “Mahinda Raja” (King Mahinda). He is usually present in his house but for the last two days he has been in Colombo and is now on his way to Tangalle.


This I know because I came to Carlton House on Thursday when I was earlier insistently told by a contact whom had I met serendipitously in Mount Lavinia in Colombo that I should meet Mr. Rajapaksa. “He hasn’t spoken publicly to the media ever since his electoral loss and you should speak to him and write about it,” my contact said.


So here I am by the gate waiting for Nishantha Sandabarana, a close aide to Mr. Rajapaksa, who will take me to meet him. I am struck by the ordinariness of the entire scene. There is a pharmacy next to Carlton House where people purchase their medicines. Right opposite the house is a union council office, next to it is a fire brigade and alongside a cinema. Nobody is stopped by the law enforcement officials. There are no checkpoints. No fortified entrance. One cannot help thinking about the fortified mansion of our former president in his home city Karachi.


Half past eight and buses upon buses draw up at Carlton House. People dressed in their best clothes go inside the house. Clearly, he is still very popular. Later, a policeman informs me that two days after the presidential result was announced on Jan 9, people started to appear outside his residence since 4am. “Thousands came that day,” he says, adding that these days, hundreds come every day to pay their respects to the former president.


About 45 minutes later Mr. Sandabarana appears. He tells me that Mr. Rajapaksa should arrive in half an hour. I am taken inside the gate and directed towards a seat next to a tiny security room. Here, people hand over their mobile phones and then stand quietly in a queue.


At a quarter past nine, I spot a large black sedan entering the compound. The crowd chants “Jayaviva” (May you have a long life). Mr. Rajapaksa has finally arrived.


Mr. Sandabarana comes to fetch me but first I have to hand over my bag to the security staff. We walk past the long queue and Mr. Sandabarana says: “I told him that a Pakistani lady wants to meet him because you live in her heart and in Pakistani people’s hearts.” Without missing a beat, I answer: “Ah, yes! Absolutely,”


I am taken to a room with people standing in line before a large glass-topped desk; the former president is seated in a brown leather chair. He smiles and we shake hands. “It is lovely to meet you,” I say. “I can’t imagine us meeting our former president like this. You are very popular.” He beams, clasping my hand warmly. I ask him that the Sri Lankans I have met here say that Pakistan helped in quelling the Tamil insurgency. How so? “See, the US, Europe, the West, they are not our friends,” he says. “Pakistan helped us, especially Musharraf. What happened in my country and the insurgency happening in your country, RAW [India’s Research and Analysis Wing] is behind it.” I ask him how Pakistan and Sri Lanka can develop closer ties. “I have visited Pakistan twice and went to Taxila and saw the Buddhist relics,” he says. “People here don’t know about these things.”


Leaning back in his chair, he becomes pensive and of his own volition speaks about his defeat in the elections. “The Muslims in the east and people in the north were misled, probably by international forces,” he muses.


Any message for the Pakistani people, I ask. “We hope your insurgency is over soon, that the country prospers and we become closer.”


Before I take my leave, I thank him profusely for meeting me, “I have to ask you this, do you still believe in astrology?” “Now, I don’t,” he says and laughs out loud.
See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

  Comments - 26

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

 
  • Freebird Monday, 02 March 2015 03:13 PM

    Good thinking but too late. via DM Android App

    christian quintus Monday, 02 March 2015 03:31 PM

    It is better for him to switch over to ASTRONOMY so that he can build Carlton empire in the outer space

    kukula. Monday, 02 March 2015 04:11 PM

    Good news he has no more faith in stupid astrology.Worship one god. and free him self from all forms of corruption and other illegal form of practice. Stop family nepotism. and share responsibility and be accountable.Good luck, though tooo late.

    WIN SL Monday, 02 March 2015 04:24 PM

    Too late Sir !!!

    Wise Donket Monday, 02 March 2015 04:33 PM

    Astrology cost him two years of fun and fare........We know how bad he must be feeling along with his racketeer supporters.........

    BuffaloaCitizen Monday, 02 March 2015 05:56 PM

    He is seen simple now, is bcos the people of this country voted and made him that, otherwise he was extravagant arrogant king while at Temple Trees.He lost not bcos of the Muslims and Tamils, actually 50% of his own Sinhalese right thinking people realized that he was a megalomaniac practicing nepotism, racism and absolute corruption, something which the Tamils and Muslims already knew.

    Ganesh Tuesday, 03 March 2015 04:37 AM

    Neither the astrology nor the majority Sinhala Buddhist votes made him go home but the suffering of the people and their subsequent tears as a whole chased him and his gang although he has had a talisman and kilograms of strings on his hand. Astrology is not joke but it has been made as joke by half baked and novice astrologers we should not forget this.

    de silva Monday, 02 March 2015 12:50 PM

    Very strange.He has changed his mind or has he got a new person.

    Nims Monday, 02 March 2015 01:09 PM

    Then why did he go to Katharagama instead of going to a Buddhist temple if he is a true Buddhist?

    bartict Monday, 02 March 2015 01:13 PM

    saasthara sumane must be having a fit after reading this

    Raja Monday, 02 March 2015 01:13 PM

    What to do? He could have stayed two more years if not for the astrology!

    Deen Monday, 02 March 2015 01:18 PM

    What ever he does in the future, all will be better without an astrologer. Sincerely wish him good health and long life.

    Ebahtog Monday, 02 March 2015 01:34 PM

    Seems he has dumped his Astrologer without any pay and looking for a another.

    ANTON Monday, 02 March 2015 02:00 PM

    I THINK HE BELIEVES IN GHOSTS THESE DAYS.

    anura Monday, 02 March 2015 02:14 PM

    People dumped you before you dump astrology.

    conrad Monday, 02 March 2015 02:18 PM

    Still scared to comment

    Premalal Monday, 02 March 2015 02:24 PM

    Dumped astrology after the country dumped him.

    Tissa Monday, 02 March 2015 02:29 PM

    Only a small minded leader would rely on an astrologer.The leaders of Western nations do not have these astrologers to advice them, and they rely on officials with experience and knowledge to give them advice.We are a banana republic.

    Kuma Monday, 02 March 2015 02:31 PM

    Person who always with wrong believers surrenders to their believings easily at a point she he lost his own confidence.

    Dayawathie Monday, 02 March 2015 02:38 PM

    Then how come he is still carrying that silly Gold plated talisman in his hand everywhere he goes. Even to the toilet

    Vijay Monday, 02 March 2015 02:38 PM

    This is the astrologer who was put in charge of NS Bank

    Lima Monday, 02 March 2015 02:43 PM

    ONLY FOOLS AND JOBLESS AND TIME WASTER ONLY GO AND MEET THESE TYPES OF TYRRANY RULERS OF THE LATEST CENTURY

    C.K.lankaputhra Monday, 02 March 2015 02:47 PM

    Now only the brain has started working to discern between what is wrong and right. Good sign, Keep going.

    Hubert Tuesday, 03 March 2015 04:34 PM

    Planets punish sinners as they loose the strenght of the horescope due to the wrong doings

    mama Monday, 02 March 2015 03:00 PM

    This could be another election gimmick so he can gain more popularity among town people.

    LogicalCitizen Monday, 02 March 2015 03:01 PM

    Grateful Majority is still with MR. The same people who talk big now were not there when the country needed them the most during the war to free the country!!


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




Justice Delayed is Justice Denied!

Two years after the Easter Sunday carnage people are left with false hopes an

Cinematic links between director Lester and actor Gamini

Sinhala cinema’s pioneering director Lester James Peries is the Sri Lankan

Difficult to forgive Easter Sunday bombers: Brother of tourists killed in Sri Lanka

This year marks two years since the deadly Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka

All about the new variants of Covid-19

With the Sri Lankan government successfully completing the first phase of the

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.