A Rotarian replies to Muttukumaru’s remarks on Rotary Leaders in the Daily Mirror of 27th April 2018
I am John Baskaran, a resident of Kandy and a Rotary member for over 15 years. Muttukumaru is no stranger to me. I am one of the few people who has previously taken him on. I respond to his article on Friday 27th April prominently featured in this newspaper. Muttukumaru, as he admits himself, was a former member of the Rotary Club of Colombo and was sacked from his club. Thus anything he says is biased.
In his tirade against Rotary, he has sent over 15,000 mails all over the world in an eight to ten year period.
His mails were mostly but not exclusively about two senior Rotary Club members K. R. Ravindran and Tissa Bandaranayake, to whom he has again referred to in the above article.
He attempts to thinly veil his attack on these two by not mentioning their names, although there is little doubt as to their identity.
Mr. Ravindran is a well-known business personality and has served as global President of Rotary International- the first Sri Lankan and one of a handful of Asians to do so. He has met and been received by world leaders, His Holiness the Pope and the Secretary General of UN.
Mr. Tissa Bandaranayake is a reputed chartered accountant who has been inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame’ of his professional Institute and is a former member of the Rotary International Finance Committee.
Both these persons have brought laurels to their profession, industry and country.
Let me now respond to the several specific falsehoods, half-truths, distortions, innuendos and malice about us in his article.
I have documents to support every word I state below:
His own Club President, the head of Rotary in Sri Lanka (the District Governor) and finally the World Headquarters itself confirmed to him and attempted to educate him that it was neither unethical nor immoral to accept an advertisement from a legal entity operating in this country as contended, even if it were a casino. They pointed out that in fact Rotary Conventions had been held in Las Vegas.
However, Muttukumaru continued to allege in thousands of mails sent around the world that the Chairman of the organizing committee, who was K. R. Ravindran should be personally held responsible and therefore deemed him a person of questionable character, unfit to be in Rotary.
nMuttukumaru, after due process was sacked from his own Rotary Club by his own colleagues and not by RI (Rotary International) as he states.
Both, Messrs Ravindran and Bandaranayake, independently filed legal action on Muttukumaru to protect themselves from the thousands of mendacious and defamatory mails being circulated by him, to randomly selected Rotary members, their bankers and business associates and others, in Sri Lanka and all over the world. The legal action they instituted, according to Muttukumaru in this article is “an abuse of the legal system!”
Although Muttukumaru had zero knowledge of the project and without a shred of evidence to support his claims, he made and continues to make in the said article, completely unsubstantiated allegations of financial irregularities.
No wonder then that as a result an irate Rotary public moved a formal motion which was unanimously supported and adopted at a gathering of Sri Lanka Rotary at the Galadari on May 2010, where 600 members present resolved and affirmed “to unreservedly and unequivocally admonish and censure him” and that he not be allowed to set foot into any Rotary Club in the country”, the first time such a serious resolution was passed by a full body against an individual Rotarian anywhere in the world!
He maliciously does not care to report that Mr. Ravindran never did accept that appointment nor the other important appointments offered to him by the Government.
Subsequently HE the President conferred on Mr. Ravindran the title of ‘Sri Lanka Sighamani’– Jewel of Sri Lanka.
-Rtn John Baskaran
This correspondence is now closed.
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