Within a short stint as a politician, Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s son, Chathura Senaratne has got involved in a number of controversies. The allegations against the young MP from Gampaha included unlawfully entering a Ministry and getting in an alleged brawl with Gampaha District UNP MP Dr. Kavinda Jayawardene. Young Senaratne responds to the allegations against him.
Q What do we hear now about you intruding into ministries are you turning out to be a tough guy?
If anyone had made that allegation saying that I trespassed into a ministry that person whoever it may be a person suffering from a mental sickness. I was down within Pneumonia during the past five weeks and warded at Lanka Hospitals under the care of Dr Priyankara Jayawardene. Even visitors were not allowed to see me as I was advised not to exert myself. Only last Tuesday I attended Parliament. However I attended the funeral of late Sobhitha Thera as I could not forget the services he rendered to me in making this historical change and I was indebted to him. From the funeral I came back to hospital.
Q There was a talk that you got yourself admitted to hospital to avoid this issue?
I am not a person scared of this type of trivial things and be in a hospital. I am one of those who pioneered a people’s movement and built the civil society organization to achieve this change. We did it at the risk of our lives. So why should we get scared of someone who made this allegation and be in a hospital. When we had confronted people like Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who are these ministers to us?
Q If it is true that not even an attempt was made, how did this story spread?
These are all results of political deals. Many in this government are involved in deals. This issue had now spread all over with the Avant Garde. Certain media websites too are involved in this. They create unnecessary issues.
Q Have you any grudge with Minister Harin Fernando?
I have no animosity towards him. These matters have to be dealt by TRC. I have no business to creep into these institutions, also I have no time. We have a network to find out about this ministry, and I have every right as a member of civil society to inquire into what is happening in any ministry. I have the power of a trade union there. If I had actually gone to that ministry I could have shown who we were.We are not scared of these political shows by those trying to gain popularity. They may be angry that we stage the game in sending Rajapaksa home on 08th January. Why are they beating about the bush. Why are they scared to name the minister’s son whom they are alleging as the intruder.
QAre you having any confrontation with the young parliamentarians?
I have no confrontation or competition with anyone. I am joining with those young MPs who are keen in developing the country.
Q No sooner you entered Parliament, you had some issue with Jayalath Jayawardene’s son who also represents Gampaha?
No it was not so. It was an incident that went far. I had to intervene at an issue involving my supporters, and requested police also to act justifiably. We never attempted to stir trouble. Though a change was effected on January 08th still it is Rajapaksa’s cahoots who reign in certain institutions and the Police. The most critical of the Yahapalanaya always figure me out in their targets Kavinda and i have no personal grudges.
Q Are you attempting to scare the ministers and MPs?
No I have no intention of doing such things. All UNP members as well as seniors including the Prime Minister are friendly with me. They always wish and bless me on my chosen path. They love me like one of their sons. I have never tried to scare anyone, my only attempt is to direct our politicians to be disciplined and responsible. I do not condone these political shows. When the draft of the 19th amendment was presented at the BMICH in August last year under the leadership of Venerable Rathane Thera, and with the support of civil society organizations, Mahinda Rajapaksa asked the Thera, “we are both from the same village , and why are you attempting to destroy me” and he also asked my father, “ are you attempting this game with the support of Rathana Thera to finish me”. He feared not CHathura Senarathne but the strength and power of the civil society.
QEven before you entered Parliament you were escorted by the MSD, how was it made possible?
During the presidential election my vehicle was subjected to an attack. I was provided with security in recognition of my leadership in a recognized party known as the Democratic National Movement. I joined with the UNP after signing a MoU with them to establish a change. I never demanded this security but the then Minister of Public order and Law John Ameratunga viewing the situation assigned me with this security.
QYour party maintained at the conference held at Sugathadasa Stadium that if rogues and corrupt individuals were given nominations that you would surround Darley road and Srikotha, but what happened?
There was no necessity to surround Sirikotha as the nomination lists were carefully studied by Ranil Wickremesinghe, Rajitha Senarathne, and Champika. I too was involved in it. But it was different at Darley road. President Maithripala Sirisena had an arduous task in safeguarding the party as its leader
Q But those whom you made allegations against saying they were corrupt, have now entered Parliament. What action are you contemplating now.
We have a big issue. They have taken over senior posts. Aren’t they ashamed to have taken them and what about those who gave them these posts.
Q What is your aim. Some say that you are trying to take the credit for the January 08th Change.
My aim is to change the system in our country. Everyone is aware of what role I had performed at that time. We will write a book very soon on our operations. Already in Ashoka Abeygoonawardene’s book titled “Era-Change” and in “November Revolution” written by Dinesh Weerakkody it is cleartly stated the part I performed in this operation. It was not done with the intention of earning credit but to defeat the corrupt rule . We did it and we are proud of it.
QWhen are you hoping to become a Minister?
I do not intend becoming a minister for the next five years as the way things are happening we cannot do it. I am not so pleased with the present way things are happening. Early action has to be completed on the charges of frauds and corruption. We have a criticism there. Why are these investigations dragging on. Is it because these corrupt politicians have made deals with those in power.