Health Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena says that he comes from a staunch UNP family and once almost got hammered by his father for supporting the Communist Party as a student.
Minister Sirisena was in the midst of a group of old farmers in his Polonnaruwa constituency brought down on his instructions to the Vijaya Kumaratunga Eye Hospital in Seeduwa for eye treatment yesterday, when he made these remarks.
This group of 40 farmers underwent cataract eye surgeries to correct their eye sight and Minister Sirisena visited them before they were driven back.
Minister Sirisena asked a farmer who was more than 80 years old and known to him from his younger days, if he could see well now.
The farmer who profusely thanked Minister Sirisena said, he recollected the day when young Sirisena was driven away from home by his father,’.
The doctors who were among the group asked Minister Sirisea ‘what that story was all about.
“Minister Sirisena said “My father was a diehard UNPer and had a high regards for Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake. But I was inclined towards the Communist Party (CP - Peking) led by N Shanmugadasan from my tender age. I was a supporter of the Communist Party from the age of 12”.
“I called Shanmugadasan ‘comrade’ but the age difference between us was more than 40 years. My father used to ask me as to how a 50 year old man became my comrade’.
“My father used to reprimand me when I came home late after party work. One day he threatened me and said I would be driven away from home if I did not resign from the CP and join the UNP”.
The group of farmers was sent back to their homes at the Health Ministry expense after successful surgeries to restore their eye sight. (Sandun A.Jayasekera)