Says frontline member of Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB)Dr. Kavinda Jayawardana whose name is associated with a controversial pornographic video which went viral recently on social media
- Within a democratic system we need to have an election
- We don’t want to do politics during a crisis
- A 45-minute pornographic video shot in India was edited to two minutes
- Perpetrators should be brought to justice and their names too should be exposed
Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) frontline member Dr. Kavinda Jayawardana made headlines recently over a controversial video that went viral on social media. Having been an active young politician in the United National Party (UNP) before he pledged support to SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa, Dr. Jayawardana has climbed the political ladder while balancing his career as a doctor. Following the footsteps of his father, the late Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, he has striven to engage in clean politics. Therefore, Dr. Jayawardana believes that this video was an attempt to tarnish his reputation. In a candid interview with the Daily Mirror he expressed his disgust regarding the incident and also shared his views on how the political arena has changed with the prevailing pandemic situation. Excerpts:
Q The opposition hasn’t been very active during the past two months. Any reasons?
We don’t want to do politics during a crisis, but we have pinpointed certain issues such as the Rs. 5000 giveaway. We wanted to ensure that every low income family receives the allowance. But we cannot carry out pickets, strikes and engage in usual politics during this situation.
Q How is the SJB preparing for the election amid COVID-19?
Given the current situation the political scenario has changed. So we are more concerned about the health and safety of people than politics. Our leader Sajith Premadasa has given clear instructions to Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Dr. Thusitha Wijemanne and myself to formulate a healthcare framework for the future of the country. So we are working with a few doctors, senior consultants, professors and other professionals to obtain technical guidance. We are working tirelessly to ensure that the country is safe. Apart from that we have been helping people in low income earning communities by providing them with financial assistance, dry rations and catering to other needs. These initiatives are being taken irrespective of race, religion or politics.
"There’s always victory with a united front. We need to think about the country first"
Q How do you see the split within the ‘grand old party’?
It’s never going to be favourable for either the SJB or the UNP. I hope that things would settle and the two leaders will be back together. There’s always victory with a united front. We need to think about the country first.
Q Is there an opportunity for young politicians to further their political careers within SJB?
It’s an emerging party and Mr. Premadasa has been very generous in giving us responsibilities. In fact I’m looking into youth and medical programmes, and a few other avenues. I’m not saying that Ranil Wickremesinghe didn’t give us opportunities. I respect both leaders equally.
Q Are you satisfied with how the government is handling the pandemic situation?
I have my concerns and complaints on certain approaches that were taken. There were delays in imposing curfew. They could have postponed nominations. But at the same time I would like to give the credit to the President and the Tri-Forces for handling it accordingly. The President’s approach to bring in officials into the picture instead of politicians was a smart move too.
"If the President thinks they have the capacity and capability then there’s nothing to complain about"
Q What is your take on the government’s decisions with regard to the election?
Within a democratic system we need to have an election. Therefore, sooner or later we need to have one,but my main concern is that it should be a safe election for all.
Q Several ex-military officials were appointed to top Government posts. What do you have to say?
I can’t comment on it. If the President thinks they have the capacity and capability then there’s nothing to complain about.
"I’m newly married, my wife is pregnant and it in turn would have put a black mark on my father’s reputation and that of my family members as well"
Q You recently became the talk of the town over a controversial video that was circulated on social media. What exactly happened?
I got to know about it through a friend of mine. Some people have circulated an edited video with my photo. I immediately informed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and he helped me to get in touch with the relevant authorities and I would like to thank him for the support extended to me. I then lodged a complaint at the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD), informed the Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT|CC) and the Telephone Regulatory Commission (TRC) which launched an investigation immediately. It is totally unacceptable. Someone has done it to destroy my reputation. I’m newly married, my wife is pregnant and it in turn would have put a black mark on my father’s reputation and that of my family members as well. If it had happened to another person, there’s a possibility that he may have committed suicide hadn’t he gotten a chance to prove himself innocent. This video is a crime against humanity.
"However, I have come out clean and the Police is conducting further investigations on people who were involved"
Q So what was it all about?
They have downloaded a 45-minute pornographic video shot in India with two Indian actors. It was uploaded on September 1, 2018. But they have edited the video to two minutes and implicated that one of the people in the video was me. However, I have come out clean and the Police is conducting further investigations on people who were involved. One person’s mobile phone is also in Police custody. These should be the same people who have recently hacked my Facebook page and profile and the CCD has launched a separate investigation regarding that.
"Some people have circulated an edited video with my photo. I immediately informed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and he helped me to get in touch with the relevant authorities and I would like to thank him for the support extended to me"
Q How is the progress of the investigations?
I’m happy with how the CCD and all other authorities are carrying out the investigations. I don’t want to come to conclusions at this point. But all the perpetrators have to be taken to justice and their names should be exposed as well.
Q Tell us a few things that the pandemic has taught emerging parties and future decision-makers in the country?
It has taught a lot of things. We need to be smart in terms of hygiene, cleanliness and managing garbage. We need to be mindful about what we eat. We need to rethink economic models, how local manufacturing could be improved. Put more effort into agriculture. Study the benefits and weaknesses within the healthcare system. Most importantly it has taught us to live in harmony. After all life is short.