Colombo Telegraph

A Visionary – With A Mission Unfulfilled

By Lal Wijenayake

Lal Wijenayake – Convener of the Lawyers for Democracy

Rev. Maduluwawe Sobitha was a visionary whose voice reverberated in all directions of the country. His vision was to see a Sri Lankan Nation that respects democratic values, human rights, equality. He is an intellectual whose mind was open to truth and justice.

Hence his ideas has involved during the four decades he was in active public life. He never was a part of any political party but stood for principles and values which he was convinced, was the path to reach his vision. He knew that this path was not a smooth simple one. But he walked literally bear footed and reached a stage where he emerged as the only personality that could rally round the forces that stood for Democracy, Rule of law, and Good Governance.

He emerged as the only figure that could win the confidence, the affection and the respect of all communities, Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and all the religions.

The historic victory of 8th January, where the people from South to North belonging to all communities and religions voted with one voice fro Democracy, Rule of Law and Good Governance and in fact for freedom to live without fear as self-respecting citizens, was due to this one unique personality.

He sought no office, he sought no favours, he rejected all advances made to get him to abandon his struggle. He lost many of his friends because of this struggle and they became his enemies. His rejection of the offer of a car permit with the contempt that it deserved proves his character. He told them his legs are strong enough to walk the distance to establish a free society in Sri Lanka.

He correctly attributed that the deterioration of values in our society and the breakdown of good governance primarily to the executive presidential system. He held the view supported by all those who stood by him that the complete abolition of the executive presidential system and the establishment of Parliamentary democracy was the first and the primary step necessary for the restoration of Democracy, Rule of Law and Good Governance. He stood uncompromisingly for this. It is sad that he could not see his dream fulfilled during his life time. He was sad about it. Now it is left for all of us to carry on the struggle, to fulfilled his dream of abolishing the executive presidential system completely and make it the everlasting monuments in his memory.

May he attain Nirvana.

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