19 November, 2018

Blog

An Open Letter To President Sirisena By A Young “Samanala” Sri Lankan

By Mahela Gamage –

I was going home after work when a friend messaged me with Sirisena’s latest statement.

Having read the caption, I read and rewatched it. The caption hadn’t prepared me enough me for what I had just watched. I’m not going to go into detail or dwell into what was said because all of us would have seen it multiple times by now.

Let me first reiterate that this is not a statement supporting Ranil Wickremesinghe. I’m no fan of him. Neither am I a fan of Mahinda Rajapaksa or you, Mr. President. I’m fed up of the political system that is easily bought and sold to the highest bidder these days.

Back to you Mr. President. You could have attacked Ranil W on his policy decisions or his inaction during his tenure. But no, Mr. President, the almighty protector of this nation’s culture of two thousand and five hundred years decided to stoop lower when we thought you couldn’t go any lower. You decided to call Ranil a සමනළයා, a derogatory term to address someone who’s gay. You referred to Ranil and his gang as his සමනළ කල්ලිය, a swarm of butterflies, because when you have ways to demean people why not use all of what’s possible casting civility aside.

Our culture is supposed to be one of tolerance not one of intolerance and ridicule.

Words have consequences Mr. President, people in this country voted for you to protect the rights of every citizen. Not just a certain group of people. But let me reiterate, every citizen. I didn’t vote for you because I was too young to have voted for you when the presidential election was held but if my memory proves right you were elected on a mandate to safeguard the rights of EVERY citizen. But no, you decided to go and bash a whole group of individuals because of a grudge you hold against a previous political bedfellow of yours. It’s sad to see a President that should represent every one of the country’s citizens sink this low.

I’m young. Yes. But I’ve gone through the bullying. The teasing. The endless nights crying and cutting myself because I hated myself, because of statements and ridicule that the society in general directed at me. I’m a “grown-up” now and a proud, strong butterfly. But let’s remember that there are other young people, much younger than me who’ll look at your comments and the people cheering you on and egging your statements on. Drawing pleasure from your ridicule of the perceived sexuality of RW and his advisors and ministers in his inner circle.

The very act of ridiculing someone based on their sexuality is downright appalling to say the least. We need to make Sri Lanka safe for everyone. That’s how we grow. Stronger. Together.

But your words today will have proven to the younger generation that Sri Lanka isn’t open to accept them. That their own President sees them as inferior. And their sexuality as a detriment to hold positions of power. Lest we forget Alan Turing, Tim Cook, Ellen De Geners, Leo Varadkar, Arthur C. Clarke, all butterflies, සමනළයො in your words Mr. President, all exemplary individuals in their own right, trailblazers for young LGBT+ people around the world. It’s sad that young people here will always have to look outside for inspiration because it doesn’t look like anytime soon that they will be able to fly freely, true to their self. Certainly not with a President who ridicules them for who they are.

God knows when we’ll be able to tell our kids that they will be loved no matter what and to be who they are. The previous government wasn’t any better for LGBT+ individuals. They didn’t actively engage in bettering their social stance but at least they didn’t use the LGBT+ community as a punchline to jokes in front of the whole nation.

Thank you Mr. President for your remarks for it’ll only make me stronger.

To fellow young LGBT individuals, don’t let this affect your perception of yourself. You are as valid as any other human being capable of achieving everything you dream for yourself. Don’t let words stop you in your tracks. Always keep marching forward. That’s how we’ll all become stronger.

*Mahela is a volunteer at Hashtag Generation and a young advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights for all

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 74
    1

    What MS says and does doesn’t shock me anymore. As you say he has stooped dow to a new low which the country has not seen before and we are supposed to call him a leader. To be a leader is not a designation or a right. Its a responsibility you are voted to take-on for period of time. The President’s time is clearly-up and what we see in his behaviour is not somebody who loves his country or people a loves to cling on to power despite telling us that he is a one term President.

    What shocked me most is the people’s response to the Presidents’s reference of gays. It was abhorring to see MR, Dinesh (and another politician who I couldn’t identify) enjoying a insensitive reference to gays. People follow leaders and it is an utter shame that a new culture is being formed in this country by people like MS and MR to ridicule, manipulate, deceive, trick, lie and fabricate stories which are all common place in our society. It filters down and spreads from political leaders into companies, the administrative service businesses, schools and sports. They have all become corrupt and politicised nearing a place beyond redemption.

    I am not a fan of RW, MS or MR. I am a fan of a united and democratic Sri Lanka and I call on people to be give thought and be wise and reject such regressive politicians. They are not your Leaders

    • 20
      60

      I had no idea about gay folk being called butterflies in Sinhala. If so this should be a complement as butterflies are beautiful, delicate and harmless creatures.

      “Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?” a Barbarian.

      Bondscam Ranil and his royal college mafia, who have looted Lanka and destroyed the legitimacy of the Central Bank with Mahendra, Ravi K and last but not least Hairdresser Mangala, are an insult to butterflies! Ranil and his thieves who were asset stripping Sri Lanka and raping the national economy for their foreign friends..

      • 46
        3

        Poor Laxmi, Had you had the capacity to read and understand the essence of the article, you would not have made such an insensitive comment. What a lovely name your parents chose for you. What a horrible upbringing you have received in their hands!

      • 30
        4

        Common sense required….
        Ranil is not the first to loot the central bank, it was mahinda who did It multiple times before! but the difference is that, media was threatened not to bring this up…. hope you can remember the hedging agreement, and the billions we lost…. talking about assets, who sold navy camp to China? Is that not part of Sri Lanka…. ?

  • 40
    1

    Mahela,
    ” Lest we forget Alan Turing, Tim Cook, Ellen De Geners, Leo Varadkar, “
    I think you are wasting your time dropping these names to a “President” who talks of “Dicks joy”. I think even Sira might could have heard of Arthur Clarke because he lived here , but his sexual tendencies might be news to our Sira.

    • 23
      0

      Unfortunately, the President and most of his followers will not understand this young man’s heartfelt words. All they know is to spew hate in language that no decent person would ever utter. Sadly these are the times we live in and sadly that is why Sri Lanka will never be the country we want to spend our last days in.

      • 3
        0

        Quit celebrating sexual pleasure and focus on intellect!

  • 6
    12

    Why do you get offended when referred to as gays, there is nothing wrong in this terminology. When we were growing up there was no segmentation but latterly marketing giants decided to segment communities based on there sexual orientation to make there marketing efforts more effective, profitable and to bring recognition and acceptance. So lets rejoice due recognition is given by the first citizen … Sri Lanka has come a long way!

  • 31
    0

    I totally agree with you. And I commend you for putting down your thoughts. We are all fed up of what’s going on in the political arena! But I hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel . I like to be optimistic and think this is the worst president , the worst era , the worst of everything for Sri Lanka and it can’t get any worse than this, so people are going to rise specially the younger generation like you and bring about change…. indeed it is very nice to see the youngsters with posters , something I had not seen before. So there is hope for change. And I hope more young people like you will stand up for democracy and what’s what’s right and ethical !!

    • 14
      1

      Devi,
      “I like to be optimistic and think this is the worst president , “
      No, his new partner MR was much worse. This guy is just dumb.

    • 1
      0

      Democracy in Sri Lanka is like ‘Casting Pearls before Swine’!
      It is not a Government “By the People; For The People”; But a Pig Sty where greedy Uneducated Politicians can Wallow in!

  • 28
    1

    Surrounding him self with, murderers,Drug Lords and Rapists he ridicules samanalaya s? He apparently goes behind Samanali s.

  • 28
    0

    Well said Young man!! Love you and respect you and your views!!….My3 the president ..the speech is not up to your office! every aspect of human nature and every form of love needs to be accepted and respected..being at the highest office in srilanka you killed your self… …dont ever attach politics with these…you lost your position and you became a BLACK idol in Srilankan history!! ….Im LGBT supporter and i know all of are human and we have to die one day….This politics in srilanka is disgusting.. Lets cast our vote to reject bin next time….

  • 37
    0

    Mr.President. Here I am giving you some names of world renowned male homosexuals & bisexuals:Sophocles, Euripides,Socrates, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Hadrian, Leonardo da Vinci, Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, Peter the Great, Frederick the Great, Hans Christian Anderson, Paul Verlaine, Oscar Wilde, Andre Gide, Marcel Proust, E.M.Forster, Harold Nicholson, T.E.Lawrence, Nijinsky, Dag Hammeaskjold, Tenessee Williams, Elton John …
    Ever heard of any of them? Man, what a puny fellow you are, compared to any of those great men?

    • 1
      0

      Wait till God decides that He/ She has had enough of Heterosexuals, and decides to turn all Humans into Homos!
      Then, who will have the Last Laugh!?

  • 24
    1

    We cannot keep a leach on a pillow.

  • 17
    1

    Between RW (who is speculated to be gay) and MS who has openly claimed that he is a “Dicksjoy” I would think the latter is more associated with a butterfly than RW.

  • 9
    1

    By this account of Sirisena, masturbation too, which is a form of same-sex enjoyment, will be demonised as an alien culture. Can you imagine Sirisena, Dinesh, Vasu and MR, who I am sure still occasionally masturbate, admitting it as a natural behaviour of sexually active people.?

    • 8
      0

      Jinadasa,
      “Can you imagine Sirisena, Dinesh, Vasu and MR, who I am sure still occasionally masturbate,”
      No, you are absolutely wrong. All these great people listen to the advice of our great Maha Sangha, who are totally celibate and don’t even look at ther bathing abiththiyas.

  • 7
    11

    The term Sirisena used may not be appropriate for a president. But what he said was correct. All these years Ranil did not consult President, the cabinet and SLFP when making decisions. He did not listen to people. He adamantly stuck to his wishes. He ruled this country with his group of friends whom we can also call f**k buddies …..It is an offense whether Ranil is homo or hetero or not. It is an offense whether his friends were female or male.

  • 18
    0

    We the people are at fault for bringing a monkey to the first citizen chair.

  • 6
    2

    You say “Back to you Mr. President”.

    Frightening, considering the words come from a self-claimed ‘butterfly’!

    • 5
      2

      Emil vdp:
      Am I supposed to be flattered by something like you using an abbreviation of my name as a pseudonym?
      This must be a “first” even for Sri Lanka! That said, I suppose one should never be surprised by what comes out of garbage heaps. Please capitalise the “P” the next time you choose to use the abbreviation of my name: “Emil vdP.” Or is that too much to expect from “Major General Mano’s” batman?

  • 1
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 10
    1

    Sira has been acting weird for quite some time now. He is like a loose cannon: scolding people, uttering threats, and telling stupid jokes. And he often contradicts himself. But more seriously, he has been lying through his teeth. I think his problem is not having had sex for a long time. He is jealous.
    .
    Mr. President, can you tell us when was the last time you had sex. I have a feeling it is at least more than a decade ago.
    .
    It is that kind of deprivation that makes people go mad like Sira.

  • 10
    0

    Sri Lanka is a very beautifull and rich country, with poor people and stupid selfish politicians who called themselves “democratic”
    No one of this government is capable to do his job.

  • 16
    3

    Mahela Gamage, I take my hat off to you, son!

    I am an ardent supporter of the LGBT community and as such I have come to know that it’s usually the closet gays who are the most vociferous homophobes.

  • 9
    0

    What need to be highlighted is that it was Ranil and his party who nominated this idiot to contest the Presidential Elections in 2015 to oppose MR. It was a clear cut mandate and will of 6.2 million voters who cast their vote in favour MS rejecting MR in no uncertain terms. MS has breached the trust and expectations of all of the 6.2 million voters by embracing MR. It is like slapping all of them voters on their faces and should be construed as a criminal breach of trust. I am neither is a fan of Ranil. If he by any means a gentleman, instead of this dastardly act, probably causing a blood bath, he should honourably have resigned from his Presidency and let the voters decide if he cannot perform his duties along with RW. The conduct of MS is abominable.

  • 2
    3

    Ranil Wickramasinghe in NOT gay.

    Soma

    • 3
      1

      Soma,
      As Arthur Clarke once said, “I am not gay. Just mildly happy”.

  • 10
    0

    Can we expect anything better from a narrow minded, unintelligent person like him?
    This is the person who admitted on his own accord that he blesses his wife that he hopes she has gathered enough merits be born a Male in her next life! As if being a female is lower than being born an animal!
    This person is still living in the 15th Century and taking the country backwards.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if he does away with motor vehicles and brings back carts as a mode of travel!

  • 8
    0

    Day by day he stoops even lower in his behavior. He is an insensitive, arrogant ungreatful , shameless person. His actions and language are not presidential & displays his bad breeding.
    Once a Gramasevaka always a gramasevaka it appears.

  • 4
    0

    We have no one to blame but ourselves,who voted him ? Sri Lankans,let’s elect educated MP’s to parliament ,not gramaniledharis,who haven’t passed O’levels,the majority of us were anxious about the atrocities of the Rajapakse regime that we took the next best available,hence we have to have educated MP in parliament to avoide similar situations in the future.

  • 0
    0

    Thought we have anti discrimination laws regarding to LGBT people.
    Ref: http://www.newnownext.com/sri-lanka-ban-homosexuality/01/2017/

  • 5
    0

    Mahela Gamage in the open letter stresses ~ “…..Let me first reiterate that this is not a statement supporting Ranil Wickremesinghe. I’m no fan of him. Neither am I a fan of Mahinda Rajapaksa or you, Mr. President…..”.
    We have very few who think like you Mahela.
    Mahela then goes on ~ “I’m fed up of the political system that is easily bought and sold to the highest bidder these days”.
    That is very bold. Thank you Mahela.
    .
    The derogatory terms ‘සමනළයා’ and ‘සමනළ කල්ලිය’ were used after the coup.
    By the way we have had a coup Mahela.

  • 4
    0

    Whose fault is it anyway for putting an uneducated man to the highest office in the country?

    This guy does not have the education nor the social background. Should be growing sweet potatoes in the village not trying to run a country.

  • 4
    0

    I totally agree with the writer. shocking outspokenness by president. With all those vulgar politicos around him guffawing in obeisance to him. I never even knew in my old age what this word meant. it really has no relevance to the politics of today. All his grouses are old, old. It sounds the president is really so pure. & I can assure him I am no samanalaya.. Just shows the breeding.

  • 1
    0

    No living being, human or animal, had any control over its gender, ethnicity, religion, location of birth, social status etc etc. All beings are equal in their own domain, we humans are no exception , we have no right to overrun that fact of life. Let us learn and try to be more informed, more tolerant and adopt the ” LIVE AND LET LIVE” policy. May all beings be well, happy and free of fear !!

  • 1
    2

    We are helpless & unfortunate Sinners born in this beautiful Pearl of the Indian Ocean. May the Almighty God help us to overcome this sad happenings & improve the problems faced by the ordinary people.

  • 0
    0

    We shouldn’t encourage gay kids to whine like this though. Instead, help them to cultivate an internal locus of control. Whining is immature.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.