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‘I’ll not enter politics without President’s invitation’ Dudley Sirisena

2019-01-30 00:00:14
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The brother of President Maithripala Sirisena and a leading businessman Dudley Sirisena in an interview with Sunday Lankadeepa said that he intends becoming a pioneer in taking steps against politicians who are wallowing in corruption and the wastage and plundering public money.  During the interview Sirisena stated that the people would take a clear decision regarding such politicians at the upcoming elections. Excerpts of the interview:


  • I wasn’t fortunate enough to be born into an affluent family
  • People should know that there is no existence if the environment is not available
  • Many organizations are prone to destroy the country
  • By next year I would become the single owner of a star hotel with 1,000 rooms
  • Present political situation is stale like the garbage mountain at Meethotamulla
  • At the next election people would take the correct decision
  • The law should be strictly enforced
  • Even the present day technology is being misused by many
  • I worship the people and beg them to select a good, patriotic group of politicians at the forthcoming elections

Q Tell us a bit about yourself?

My father was a soldier during the 2nd World War. During that period, D.S.Senanayake commenced 400 farming settlements at his initiative under the Parakrama Samudraya Settlement Scheme. I was born in the 292nd farming settlement in Polonnaruwa. My brother Maithripala Sirisena and the other brothers studied at Laksha Uyana shcool in Polonnaruwa. My elder brother, Maithripala, entered Thopawewa Royal College with the objective of pursuing his higher education. We were all born and bred in the villages and obtained education from the village schools. I joined Sri Lanka Air Force as an Airman in 1980 and left the force in 1987.

I started a small scale business while I was employed at the Air Force. It was not a registered venture. We had no opportunity to get the business registered while being employed at the Air Force. The large scale business that is run by me in the country is the one that I commenced in a humble manner with the monetary aid of Rs.75,000 given by two friends of my younger brother. I wasn’t fortunate enough to be born into an affluent family like most others, but it was with this money that the business was developed. Today, I am aware that my business is held in high esteem in the business world.

Q Recently, the media spotlight was on you. Is there any reason for it?

A private channel highlighted a programme initiated by me which is rendering a valuable service. That programme, which operates under the name ‘Araliya’ Group, employs more than 5,000 workers. On the first of January this year, we initiated a programme going beyond our traditional one. The new initiative is associated with the distribution of plants. We introduced this concept of the President to protect the environment and train people to love the environment. A few people in our country are destroying the environment and it amounts to sadness. The people should know that there is no existence if the environment is not available. Only a few people are going against nature. I delivered a speech there. 
The role of the media is to highlight the issues of the people. But, it’s regretting to have a situation where we have to listen, via the media, to speeches of politicians who have become obsolete. The injustice that was caused to the programme introduced by my brother was that he was not allowed to work in keeping with his policies. I, as a businessman, in this country am really sad because many organisations with prominent names were involved in this venture. Many organizations are prone to destroy the country.

I have a firm belief that I can win if I contest as an independent candidate from any district such as Polonnaruwa, Nuwa Eliya or Galle where I an engaged in business. I’m confident that I will be accepted by all 25 districts as a candidate. If anybody is going to challenge my statement, I like to take up that challenge.

 

Q Do you hope to be involved in active politics in future?

I mentioned during my speech that there were various proposals put forward from various sections of the society to give leadership to Polonnaruwa district or to become a Presidential candidate from a majority area. However, I will not join politics without the invitation of my brother, but I will be with him and support him.  

Q Have you received any invitation from your elder brother, President Maithripala?

No, I don’t think that I would receive such an invitation and I do not look forward to such an invitation. 

Q Suppose you are invited to enter politics. What would your course of action be?

I have a firm belief that I can win if I contest as an independent candidate from any district such as Polonnaruwa, Nuwa Eliya or Galle where I an engaged in business. I’m confident that I will be accepted by all 25 districts as a candidate. If anybody is going to challenge my statement, I like to take up that challenge.

Q What is your take on the present political environment?

Reviewing the period of 70 years since independence, there have been many leaders. People didn’t have that many facilities under premier Senanayake, but they didn’t face that many hardships either. If the policies introduced by the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Government in 1970 had been followed Sri Lanka would have been in the forefront of developed countries. But she could not continue with her policies. The most important thing was the introduction of agriculture, local industries and education. Earlier there were eight subjects offered in the syllabus including geometry and science. I was able to enter the Mechanical Division of the Air Force, as I had passed Science. At that time, the examination was known as General Certificate of Education (O/L Examination.) Today if a student fails that examination, he or she cannot sit for the A/L Examination. All these policies depend on politics. Everything is done to obtain votes. Without vocational training, there is no use of whatever the posts a person gets. All things in this country such as education of the children, the poverty of the people, economic situation, the positions of the businessmen and the ordinary government servants are directed towards political objectives. What is being done on behalf of the people? 

I started business on a small scale. I have developed my business to a level where the world would talk of my achievements. By next year I would become the single owner of a star hotel with 1,000 rooms. I have brought the rice business to be the number one business of this country. I have produced an institute which is the market leader in the business where interlock paving work for roads is carried out. I have become the chief of the work carried out in the provinces. I have passed the O/L Examination, but have not read for degrees. But I tap the knowledgeable of educated people regarding anything that I do not know.

Q What is your opinion about the talk that the country would be divided?

All sea routes are situated close to the waters around our country. Due to Palk Strait, the naval route is blocked. Hambantota was given over to China. Trincomalee is going to be given over to America. Colombo and Kankasanthurai are to be given over to India. This country is going to be divided into pieces and resemble a fortress belonging to three world powers. Like the countries that I mentioned earlier, our country is going to be divided into 9 provinces. Our brother communities Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people lived in harmony from time immemorial in this country. After independence we have lived together. Yet a person like Prabhakaran demanded a separate country due to the influence of the world powers. There are ulterior motives being nurtured; such as the destruction of youth through narcotics. These narcotics are being smuggled into our country on the sly. 

This country is going to be divided into pieces and resemble a fortress belonging to three world powers. Like the countries that I mentioned earlier, our country is going to be divided into 9 provinces. Our brother communities Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people lived in harmony from time immemorial in this country

 

Q What are your views on present politics and the behaviour of lawmakers?

Many in the UNP speak about Maithripala Sirisena’s victory on January 8 and try to show it as their victory. I would like to remind our UNP friends that while Mahinda Rajapaksa got over 5 million votes Sarath Fonseka could get only 4.2 million at the presidential elections held on January 26, 2010. The UNP vote base was reduced to 2.3 million at the General Elections held in April 2010. But Maithripala Sirisena could increase this to 6.3 on behalf of the UNP at the elections held after four years. Mahinda Rajapaksa could retain his vote base of 5.8 million in 2015.

This shows that we helped to increase the number of UNP votes from 2.3 million to 6.2 million. However Maithripala Sirisena does not bother to explain these things. We are very much grateful to the UNP voters- but not to the UNP leaders. They are trying to show this victory as one recorded by their party. 

But the truth is that Maithripala Sirisena helped increase the UNP votes. After coming into power they did everything to destroy him politically through implementing various programmes. But I think he was aware of these vicious activities, but remained silent to a certain extent. However they are not in a position to challenge the political knowledge Maithripala Sirisena. The Tamils Muslims and Sinhalese with the SLFP were also devoted towards his victory. 

I must also mention about Mahinda Rajapaksa. He opted for an election two years ahead of time. He has helped me immensely. He introduced a loan project- called Gamata Karmantha- which had the capacity to offer loans to 200 individuals. However loans could be given only to 37 individuals. I was first in the list to receive the loan.

I see the present political situation in the country being stale like the garbage mountain at Meethotamulla. I had the opportunity to observe the function of a garbage recycling centre during my visit to Germany. When the unsorted waste is fed into the machine it sorts out different materials like iron, plastics and glass. Afterwards electricity is generated or manure is produced.

Parliament, provincial councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas are like these unsorted waste material whirling around Maithripala Sirisena. A rotten political culture has emerged during the past few years. I must thank our mother for moulding a strong leader in my brother who is confident enough steer the country onto a correct path and away from vicious elements. I am certain that before completing the five year term he would be able to relieve the country of all corruption and malpractices. At the next election people would take the correct decision as they cannot be deceived through various gifts. People are also aware of the fact that those in parliament are only interested in personal gains.

A number of the officers in the Government service, especially in the police, are accustomed to taking bribes. Not all officers engage in this practice, and only a few get arrested. What is happening here? 

Whatever, the jobs we are engaged in and our love for the children are not subject to change. The love of children is common to every professional. Every parent loves not only just his or her child, but also all. They are engaged in a struggle from morning till night to maintain their households and provide for their family members. Take the salary of a policeman. It is about Rs.28,000. I was a former employee of the Air Force. At least they should be given rations or some supplementary allowance, so that they can afford their three meals without worry. The Government servants should be paid a sufficient salary, so that they do not engage in other malpractice and theft. 

The law should be strictly enforced. Otherwise, these activities cannot be stopped. A policeman, who solicited a bribe of Rs.3000, was imprisoned for 8 years. In this context, those who received millions of money from Central bank should be given a life sentence, which should extend to future generations. Bribing and theft are two different things. If one is imprisoned for taking a bribe for 8 years, at least a 15 year term of imprisonment should be ordered for theft.

Maithripala Sirisena is a leader who was born to perform such duties diligently. Unfortunately he was not allowed to carry out his programme at all. My prime objective is to organise things in such a way that he would have obtained the required strength to continue with his work

Q What are your future political objectives?

As I mentioned earlier, the leaders like D.S. Senanayake and Dudley Senanayake initiated large scale development projects. Take for  instance, the Parakramasamudraya and Gal-Oya. The first stage of the Mahaweli project was implemented under the leadership of Srimavo Bandaranaike. J.R.Jayewardene and R. Premadasa too implemented giant development projects. In the same way, during the times of Chandrika Bandaranaike and Mahinda Rajapaksa regimes, various development projects were initiated.  The open economy was initiated by J.R. Jayewardene but some people used it incorrectly. 

Even the present day technology is being misused by many. There are two sides to any given thing. Every leader has carried out his or her duties properly. There is no argument about it. We offer due honour  to them and their legacies. However I do not think that any leader has focused his attention on the environment, the quality of the country, discipline and maintained a foreign relations system that should be adopted. If there is no discipline and damage is recurrent, whatever work done is of no avail. 

Maithripala Sirisena is a leader who was born to perform such duties diligently. Unfortunately he was not allowed to carry out his programme at all. My prime objective is to organise things in such a way that he would have obtained the required strength to continue with his work in future with the support of the masses. We have to make a clear judgment to create awareness among the people about it. In order to do it, we have to identify the rubbish and discard them. Environment-wise, harsh laws have to be introduced. President Maithripala Sirisena joined the Government honourably as an act of gratitude for the support extended by the UNP supporters and tried his best to work cooperatively. 

Mahinda Rajapaksa was removed as he was perceived as a thief. But we were robbed of the clothes we were wearing. That is the real story. I worship the people and beg them to select a good, patriotic group of politicians at the forthcoming elections, who can support the President in governance. I appeal to those who take foolish decisions not to level allegations against anyone, but question themselves. When a country is being governed, it should not be with wrath, jealousy and malice. If so, no government will prosper.


  Comments - 7

  • ranjith chandrasekera Wednesday, 30 January 2019 04:35

    My dear Mr Dudley Sirisena, Since you are a person concerned about the environment I kindly appeal to you to make a special request to your brother President Maithreepala Sirisena to take action against the person responsible for clearing thousands of acres of forest land to build houses for his own community.

    Reply : 4       17

    weera Wednesday, 30 January 2019 06:11

    Quote..["Mahinda Rajapaksa was removed as he was perceived as a thief. But we were robbed of the clothes we were wearing. That is the real story. I worship the people and beg them to select a good, patriotic group of politicians at the forthcoming elections, who can support the President in governance."] But MR is one of President's best pals. We see them seated next to each other like mango friends in many functions.

    Reply : 1       10

    sunil vijaya Wednesday, 30 January 2019 07:07

    the first one you will bag is your own brother. he is the one who gave minister posts to ones who were rejected at polls through the list! so much for fighting corruption! what a mess this country is in!!!

    Reply : 2       11

    Sambo Wednesday, 30 January 2019 07:40

    So another family is starting to get in to politics. What a mess. To select such leaders in this country just think how stupid the public should be.

    Reply : 1       15

    parakum Wednesday, 30 January 2019 11:52

    There are no vacancies in Govt: for the Sirisena Tribe, this ungrateful man wrecked the economy of this country for the GREED of power, two timing two tongued uneducated grama Niladhari we will rid of him next time.

    Reply : 1       14

    Dutagemunu Wednesday, 30 January 2019 14:10

    What qualifications and what special skills do you bring to the table to govern Sri Lanka. That is skills apart from thieving.

    Reply : 0       10

    Dayana Wednesday, 30 January 2019 16:12

    Sri Lanka is a breeding ground for family politics. When voters does not think about the country nothing can be done. Let another clan join with Senenanayaka, Bandaranayaka Rajapaksa. Me rata aithi matai mage pavule aytai.

    Reply : 0       5

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