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He had character and led with example

Gamini Dissanayake’s 79th birth anniversary today

20 March 2021 12:46 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Gamini was  not a  man  limited to mere  talk

He  was  not  only a  brilliant politician  but  also  a master  of  creating more  talented, efficient  people

 

The name of Gamini Dissanayake is an indelible mark in Sri Lankan politics. This statement is issued to mark the 79th Birthday of the late politician who marked a turning point in national politics. 


Dissanayake  was  born  on  March  20,  1942  and  entered  Parliament  in  1970. But perhaps, it was never with the intention to die as a man who would continue to live in the hearts and minds of the people. Although  many  people  born  as  human  beings  often  become  a  burden  to  one’s nation only to pass away quietly, a handful of people fulfil their responsibilities and duties to die as free men and continue to live in the hearts of the people. 


Dissanayake  in  1977,  at  the  time  a  prominent  young  leader  in  Parliament, was   appointed   as   the   Minister of   Power   and   Energy,   Irrigation   and   Road Development   for   the   betterment   of   the   people.   He   was   given   this   great responsibility  due  to  his  genuine  interest  and  commitment  to  serve  the  people  as well  as  the  genuine  love  shown  to  them  and  the  strong  drive  to overcome challenges. He  was  also  a  talented  orator. But  he  was  not  a  man  limited  to  mere  talk.  He  also proved  his  talent  to  serve  by  completing  the  Mahaweli  Project;  which  is  arguably the  largest  project  ever  to  be  implemented  in  Sri  Lanka,  in  just  six  years  when  in reality  it  was  scheduled  to  be  completed  over three  decades.  He  prevented  the country’s wealth and labour from being wasted by completing the project in record time. It saved years of the country’s national wealth. He  was  not  only  a  brilliant politician  but  also  a  master  of  creating  more  talented, efficient  people.  With  the  right  guidance  of  those  educated,  intelligent  and  active people around him, the Mahaweli project was completed within a very short time.


His  ability  to  strategically  obtain  grants  for  large  projects  such  as  the  Mahaweli movement   without   having   to   borrow   from   other   countries   is   also   highly commendable. Kotmale,   Victoria,   Randenigala,   Rantambe,   Maduru   Oya,   Ulhitiya,   Rathkinda, Lunugamwehera and Samanalawewa reservoirs not only contributed to the greater part  of  the  country’s  electricity  demand,  but  also  contributed  to  the  country  to become self-sufficient in rice. Recognising  that  he  was an  excellent  diplomat,  he  was also  to  be  commended  for working to build very strong relations with countries like India without allowing for diplomatic relations to be severed. Setting  an  example,  he  showed  that  the  responsibility  of  a  politician  is  not  to  live off of the people, but instead to make the people live. Thus his character is a great example to contemporary politicians.

 

Setting  an  example,  he  showed  that  the  responsibility  of  a  politician  is  not  to  live off of the people, but instead to make the people live


He was a man of new ideas and a pioneer in leading the country towards development by giving priority to indigenousness. He  was  able  to  ensure  the  conservation  of  Biodiversity  and  enhancement  through these   projects,   which   also   created   watersheds   to   feed reservoirs   but   also minimised any environmental damage. It  must  be  said  that  the  loss of  such  a  great  politician  is  an  unbearable  loss to  the entire people of our country as well as to the future generations to come. His name will resonate as long as these great reservoirs remain on this land. May the great politician Gamini Dissanayake attain Nirvana. 
(The writer is a former Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka and can be reached at kjkirula74@gmail.com )

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