23 October, 2021

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Felix R Dias Bandaranaike: On His 86th Birth Anniversary

By Nihal Jayawickrama

Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama

Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama

Felix R Dias Bandaranaike was a contemporary of my brother at Royal College, with whom he edited the College Magazine. I still recall vividly the oversized schoolboy on a battered bicycle, cycling down the lane where we lived. However, it was I who had the unique opportunity of observing Felix at fairly close range, of working with him at the Bar, in Government and in Opposition, and of knowing him as a friend, in good times and bad, for over twenty years. He was a man of extraordinary courage and ability who straddled the political stage of this country for two decades and dignified it with his presence. He offered this country a quality of leadership that was comparable to the best anywhere in the world. He brought into the national life of this country qualities which are barely discernible in the political scene today; or perhaps more accurately, are now more the exception than the rule.

In the past thirty years, I have lived in four countries – Hong Kong, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. In each of them, it is considered axiomatic that anyone who is presumptious enough to enter public life and claim the right to govern his or her fellow beings, must have something to offer. To be able to give, one must possess. If one possesses little or nothing, and therefore cannot give, he or she will be inclined to take and to collect and to accumulate. What Felix possessed, and therefore what he offered his country, liberally and in generous measure, was his supreme professionalism. His sharp, acute and incisive mind; the rigorous regime of discipline to which he subjected himself and those who worked with him; his continuing quest for knowledge; his deep understanding of men and matters acquired in the course of a brief but remarkably successful legal career; and his tremendous capacity for sustained effort – all these combined to mould him into a true professional.

Felix R Dias Bandaranaike

Felix R Dias Bandaranaike

How else could he, with no formal training whatsoever in the detection of crime, have personally investigated and successfully elicited, in barely 48 hours, all the evidence necessary to satisfy a bench of three Judges of the Supreme Court that senior officers in the police and the armed services had conspired to overthrow the lawfully elected government of the country? In 1971, when the police confessed their inability to interrogate the thousands of idealistic, ideologically committed youth who attempted to capture political power by attacking all the police stations in the country in a single night, it was Felix who assembled a team of special investigators comprising the brightest and the best in public administration and the law to perform that unenviable task. Felix reached out to achieve excellence, and he demanded that others did so too.

Felix possessed integrity, absolute incorruptabilty. I recall his mentioning to me after his first term in Government that in order to serve as a cabinet minister and not have to accept bribes and commissions, one needed to receive a fairly substantial private income. Since he could not practise law while in office, Lakshmi and he provided for that eventuality in his first five years in Opposition, by establishing a farm and developing and expanding it, as conscientiously as he approached all his other tasks. It was singularly ironic that his farm, and the perfectly circumspect manner in which Felix had instructed that its produce be disposed of – to the appropriate state corporations at the daily published price, rather than in the open market to the highest bidder – should have formed the basis of the charges on which the Special Presidential Commission constituted by Mr. J.R. Jayewardene recommended that he be stripped of his civic rights – a dubious honour which Felix shared with Mrs Bandaranaike and me. His absolute integrity, grounded upon a strong spiritual commitment was exemplified when his erstwhile antagonist, Rohana Wijeweera, chose to retain him as his counsel to challenge the conduct of the infamous referendum of 1983.

There was another quality which Felix possessed in abundance, and that was imagination. I recall the lengthy and detailed report we received from the Law Commission in response to our request for the simplification of the tedious and prolonged court proceedings relating to testamentary actions. His response was both swift and focused. Why, he asked, do the near relatives of a deceased person have to parade themselves in a court of law? His solution was to remove from the judiciary all but the disputed elements of testamentary jurisdiction, and to locate in every District Court Registry a probate officer functioning under the Public Trustee to make all the necessary orders to enable the bereaved families to continue with their lives with the least inconvenience or disruption. Felix was an innovator who constantly and unceasingly questioned the status quo and challenged many sacred cows. The Administration of Justice Laws of 1973 and 1975 which we drafted sought solutions outside the traditional framework, and had they not been repealed in 1977 would have averted the scandalous state of our judicial system today.

I did not necessarily agree with everything Felix said or did. In fact, he attempted to persuade me not to accept Mrs Bandaranaike’s invitation to be Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice, arguing that at the age of 32 my future lay in the legal profession and perhaps in the judiciary. There was even one occasion when he reported me to the Prime Minister for refusing to carry out his instructions. Nevertheless, it is with gratitude that I remember the stimulating and satisfying experience of having worked with a man of extraordinary talent, a person with a brilliant incisive intellect who dignified the political stage of this country for a brief moment in its history, and who at the same time was an incorrigible wit, a very human person who enjoyed the simple pleasures of family life.

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  • 8
    2

    A fine Tribute Dr.NJ.

    Your line……
    If one possesses little or nothing,and therefore cannot give,he or she will be inclined to take and to collect and to accumulate….

    I could not have said it better Sir.This is the precise situation with almost all our folks who have entered Public Life and are falling over each other to do so,in the foreseeable future!

    I must say,you have left out one feature of Felix Dias that throws light on the man.He did not change his Religion to suit his Politics,quite unlike JRJ!

    • 8
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      Plato,

      “I must say,you have left out one feature of Felix Dias that throws light on the man.He did not change his Religion to suit his Politics,quite unlike JRJ!”

      JRJ was nor alone. What about SWRD Bandaranaike, and others?

      We also have these days Turncoats, Traitors, Gonas (Whores), called “Presidents who will sell the independent commissions and the judiciary as well for part of the loot from the previous looters, also called “President”

  • 14
    1

    Mr Jayawickrema, you are wasting your time trying to build an honourable memory of Felix Dias B. It is no secret to those who were alive during the 1965-70 period that the country, including Mrs B hated Felix (and his arrogant wife). He was the man who stubbornly placed the Anglica Church HQ at the top of Baudhaloka Mawatha, next to YMBA against public protests. He was a totally unreformed British boot licker. Who will forget how he relaxed the tight exchange control for his wife’s eye surgery in England.

    We are also aware that you had a special relationship with him and you abused power arrogently using his authority. We are aware of the circumstance under which you left Sri Lanka. You were lucky that JRJ didn’t pursue you.

    Your attempt to whitewash this man’s dead image is a waste of time. Let him lie whereever he is.

    • 10
      1

      Point Blank:
      I cannot agree more with your assessment.

      Felix Dias who might not have changed his religion, CHOSE TO ADD TO HIS FATHER’S PORTUGUESE-SOUNDING LAST NAME of “Dias” “Bandaranaike” was Sri Lanka’s first post-independence Fascist and the fact that he successfully prosecuted a bunch of security services officers led by a swivel-servant in Ms. B’s government is hardly a “badge” of anything, particularly given the fact that the charges against all of them were dismissed in appeal!
      Felix adopted “Bandaranaike” and another “Dias” became Dayasiri, driven by the same opportunistic impulse. “Same like got” is putting it mildly!

    • 3
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      Point Blank, what’s the big issue in placing a Church next to the YMBA and right next to the BMICH?To hell with public protest on this issue.Now we see the roots of the blackguard BBS.

  • 8
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    Although Nihal J tries to over estimate FDB capabilities and ability he is no exception to the others in the field in this country who had his own ego that ruined him in the end. FDB was the brain behind Sirima B as she was new to politics in the ’60s coming straight from the kitchen to the parliament.

    Gamini Diassanayake as a young Lawyer was keen to enter Politics and his father Andrew Dissanayake who held the N’Eliya seat under SWRD, took him to meet Sirima to secure a place in the SLFP giving him to nurse N’Eliya seat. When Sirima requested, FDB refused as he had his man DG William. When the UNP lost badly but managed to secure N’Elya seat, Sirima is supposed to have told FDB, that had he listened to her that they could have won the N’Eliya seat also. This had infuriated FDB and in no time there was an election petition filed and had GD unseated. There was speculation that GD will be barred from contesting the By-election. No, FDB had plans of allowing GD to contest to defeat him at the By-election using all the force and govt machinery. The result of the By-election where GD romped home, with even a bigger majority was the beginning of the end of FDB, who used his powers to fiddle with the Judiciary like MR did, that led to the down fall of both in the end.

  • 5
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    Although Nihal J tries to over estimate FDB capabilities and ability he is no exception to the others in the field in this country who had his own ego that ruined him in the end. FDB was the brain behind Sirima B as she was new to politics in the ’60s coming straight from the kitchen to the parliament.

    Gamini Diassanayake as a young Lawyer was keen to enter Politics and his father Andrew Dissanayake who held the N’Eliya seat under SWRD, took him to meet Sirima to secure a place in the SLFP giving him to nurse N’Eliya seat. When Sirima requested, FDB refused as he had his man DG William. Then GD was taken to MD Banda by his father Andrew who in turn was taken to Dudley Senanayake and was given the N’Eliya seat to contest under the UNP. When the UNP lost badly in the ’70 election, but managed to secure N’Elya seat, Sirima is supposed to have told FDB, that had he listened to her that they could have won the N’Eliya seat also. This had infuriated FDB and in no time there was an election petition filed and had GD unseated. There was speculation that GD will be barred from contesting the By-election. No, FDB had plans of allowing GD to contest to defeat him at the By-election using all the force and govt machinery. The result of the By-election where GD romped home, with even a bigger majority was the beginning of the end of FDB, who used his powers to fiddle with the Judiciary like MR did, that led to the down fall of both in the end.

    • 1
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      Gamini,

      Sorry man you know the history of South better, but you interpretation of FDB defeated Sirimavo is one of your usual joke. There was no body intelligent or efficient enough to defeat Sirimavo than her in the world. A distant match for her is JR.

      In the North Sirimavo pain queue, standardization, without any disturbances in North army operation, Constitution, manipulation of VP and Shanmuganathan to social disharmony in Maviddapuram like places…all were exemplary records of Sirima but FDB had no hand in them. I believe Tamils had a soft heart to FDB as he went after the Sihala crocodiles using commissioner Sittampalam, a known no nonsense administrator.

      The climax is the most peaceful man SJV decided to have Vaddukoddai mahanadu.

      South woke up and found that the promised rice did not come from moon other than the treasury was emptied for imported cars for MPs and ministers, when the election came in 1977. Even coffins did not come for the boys’ and girls’ bodies lying on the roads. Island wide corruption culture was introduced under Sirima. The LSSP became most notorious party in the world in that time. (There could be some of FDB’s part as he has been beating those LSSP dogs on the leash of Sirima so they turned out to be wild Dingos – more appropriately hygena- like that). Rony left SLFP after Sirima cheating him on her nationalisation and stealing his estates. You know, what is the point of writing them? Sirimavo did not leave any stone unturned for her defeat until she ended up meeting JR face to face on their Sooran Poor. Now the UNP gone have saved the Old Royal and claiming they won the war by saving criminals from UN electric chair. But the black angel JR wouldn’t do that grace to queen Sirimavo.

      GD has more history than FDB. That is another encyclopedia. I do not want to stand off on that, but who knows an intelligent person like FDB didn’t had the knowledge of who GD was that time?

      All the Sinhala Intellectuals as from the same mould. Then they blame each others like you blame FDB. “Akkari Maaddukku ikkarai Pachchai”. It is only a waste of time to read about them.

      NW is appears to be out of date. He knows the past. He stayed away from the present.

  • 3
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    I know that the gentry of the 1970’s considered Felix Dias Bandaranaike (FDB) and his lieutenant, the writer, as undesirables. Their wrath upon FDB and Dr. NJ was the deprivation of the civic rights of these individuals. The gentry of yesterday was essntially pro JRJ but that breed of people are virtually extinct to mark an article of this nature with all the adverse comments their can be. My focus in this article is the solitary sentence involving law’s delays, namely, “The Administration of Justice Laws of 1973 and 1975 which we drafted sought solutions outside the traditional framework, and had they not been repealed in 1977 would have averted the scandalous state of our judicial system today.” which everybody, particularly the famous attorneys, pays lip service but not solve. . In fact it is at the insistence the then “legal eagles” supported ardently by JRJ dismantled the AJL to revert back to the “good old system”. It is interesting to note that another former Permanent Secretary of Justice while JRJ was the President, sometime back, praised the efficasy of the AJL which he dared not to do then while holding office.

    Today, while the process need to be improved to reduce the delays of the law, the infusion of modern technology into the system plays a greater part. During the 1970’s were there ATM machines to withdraw money for 24 hours of the day? In fact was there an internet and web newspapers with commentaries to express our ideas? NO. We had to rely on the print media and our articles in it or perhaps letters to the editor. The electronisation of the judicial process is therefore vital. Bhutan, a country which was considered backward than Sri Lanka has successfuly implemeted an electronic court system and it has got rid of the malaise of delays.

    To solve the problem of delays in courts, a win-win solution must be evolved. It is a known fact that the dealys are for the advantage of the attorneys. While all the desires of the attorneys canot be met the basic requirement of a hefty and a steady income for them should remain intact in solving the problem of the delays.

  • 12
    0

    A nicely written tribute to a boss and friend. I confess to having a soft spot for the more left-leaning government of Mrs B., hence meeting the author briefly after an event in London couple of years ago was a source of great pleasure.

    But at this time, what I would like to hear from Nihal Jayawickrama is not some nice words about the shape of the bicycle his boss rode, but instead a critical appraisal of what our political class and the professional administrators who so loyally served them got wrong. How is it that we miserably failed our youth, refusing to address fundamental economic and societal problems, waiting till they (both Sinhala and Tamil youth) rebelled, and then went on to stabilise the situation by mass murder, torture and rape — readily defended by beneficiaries as unavoidable (JVP) and just (Tamils)?

    Surely, FDB’s personality and competence are insignificant on the scale of what we have seen, and there must be scope to reflect on his share of our failures, too?

  • 5
    0

    FDB was perhaps the most polarizing figure in SL history.When his ego trip ended in 1977 so ignominiously, he sought refuge in religion in a nondescript place in Multinoma in the US.By the way if FDB was a scrupulousl man as NJ declares why on earth did he opt to sell his Naiwala Estate produce to the state sector, where there is little doubt he would have used his immense power to obtain higher prices ?It was a clear case of conflict of interest which FDB a legal man should have clearly known better.When power gets to one’s head a sense of permanency sets in as reasoning is the first casualty.MR is the latest in the long list.He surely won’t be the last.

    By the way,NJ is still nostalgic in his remembrance of FDB even after so long.Does this not suggest that he was a comrade in arms of his former boss , even though he tries desperately to paint a picture of professional independence when he was Secretary/Justice ?Does it not suggest that he bitterly misses the corridors of power?

  • 2
    0

    Those Tamil YOUTH FDB & NJ held sans any trial and released prior to the elections of 1977 with the undertaking will work for Alfred Duraiappa, ended with Duraiappa’s death.

    NJ, under FDB’s watch how many youth were held without filing charges?
    Dod you not connive or actually a part of the said operation?

  • 10
    0

    Felix Dias Bandaranaike was the most hated man during the United Front government of 1970 -77.He was arrogant,power hungry and was unrepentant.He may not have been corrupt to the extent of his cabinet colleagues T.B.Ilangaratne,T.B.Tennakoon, Badiudeen Mahmud et al, but he was charged for abuse of power,misuse of state owned vehicles,siphoning off state resources to his farm etc.He was the most unpopular man at that time.In fact Felix Dias almost single-handedly led the UF government to the worst defeat in electoral history.

    Nihal Jayawickrame the author of this article was the stooge of Felix Dias and colluded in all unethical and unlawful happenings in the Ministry of Justice as it’s Permanent Secretary.The Administration of Justice Law that Nihal J brags of is nothing but a mediocre and inadequate piece of law that they attempted to impose on the legal profession.Their term in office saw unprecedented machination of the judiciary by interfering with appointments, promotions and functions of judges.Judges were pressurised into toeing the government line.

    On a ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court on one occassion to welcome a newly appointed SC judge,prior to the arrival of the judges,Felix Dias,Minister of Justice who was seated in the front row invited his Permanent Secretary Nihal Jayawickrema to be seated in the chair usually allocated to the senior most silk(Queen’s Counsel).Nihal J, inebriated with power and arrogance unashamedly, impudently and impertinently and against all traditions in the legal proffession went and sat in the chair reserved for the senior most silk at the time Mr.Thiagalingam QC. When judges entered and commenced proceedings and Chief Justice H.N.G.Fernando on seeing that Nihal J had usurped the seat meant for another,thundered:”Mr. Nihal Jayawickrema,would you please vacate your seat” and then invited Mr. Thiagalingam QC to his rightful seat.Thus Nihal J was humiliated and brought to his senses before a mammoth crowd consisting of lawyers,legal luminaries,judges,journalists,court staff,law students and members of the public. Having suffered this humiliation in public, Nihal J’s boss Felix Dias cancelled all ceremonial sittings thereafter betraying his petulant and vindictive nature. Ceremonial sittings were revived years later after the SLFP led UF government was trounced by the UNP in the 1977 elections.

    Quite fittingly Felix Dias Bandaranaike, his Man-Friday Nihal Jayawickrema and Mrs.B were subsequently stripped of their civic rights on charges ranging from bribery,theft,misrepresentation,abuse of power,misuse of public property etc. Nihal jayawickrema is now preaching “bana” to all and sundry taking the people to be naivete’ who will forget his murky past.

    • 0
      1

      I was too young then to know better about FDB than the many commentators here. But from what I heard then, FDB intervened in the judicial system and pressured judges to fall in line with his whims. Is this the FDB from Madawachchiya who was described then that he speaks Sinhala during day time and Tamil after dawn. In any event, there seems to be some consensus here that he was not corrupt for financial reasons and that is a good quality of him then. Let us not comment adverse about him when he has lost his ability to defend himself now.

      • 1
        0

        Good heavens, Arun Vincent! The “Madawachchiya Man” was Maithipala Senanayake:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maithripala_Senanayake

        Felix Dias was very much more of an Anglophile. When you are very rich it is much easier to not be seen to make money in crooked ways. And to ride bicycles. Incidentally, I’ve seen T.B. Illangaratne described as corrupt – above. Stories of dried fish commissions abounded; I think without justification.

        Felix Dias was probably very clever, but too conscious of it. I’ve looked at the Wikipedia entry. There’s too much spin when history requires that facts be faithfully recorded. He had no biological daughter. That, no doubt, is a very personal business, but there shouldn’t be such panegyrics about public figures in Encyclopedias. Nihal Jayawickrama spouting all this is O.K., but surely the Arun Vincents of later generations should be given facts. I don’t blame him for being so confused.

      • 1
        0

        Arun Vincent

        FDB’s electorate was Dompe in the Gampaha District. The man whom Dudley Senanayake described as Sinhala in the day and reasonable use of Tamil in the night was Maitripala Senanayake, the Senior Minister during the 60s/70s. He married the journalist Ranji Handy – a Tamil. He went to school in Jaffna and spoke good Tamil as did his once Private Secretary and then later Minister and Speaker K.B. Ratnayake. Both well-built men (late) were from the same Province.

        Backlash

        • 1
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          Thanks for the clarification about my confusion between FDB and Maithiri!

  • 1
    0

    A super effort to whitewash FDB.

    Ask Prof Jayadeva Uyangoda of the work of the hand picked ‘investigators’ that tortured him and others in custody. Once Tyrel Gunatilleke was done with him and handed over to the Army, a young Army Capt refused to return Uyangoda to be re-interrogated by the Gunatilleke gang.

    That young Army Capt was Lt. Gen. Denzil Kobbekaduwa.

  • 5
    0

    Mr. Jayawickrama:
    No point in whitewashing Felix. We still remember how he acted as a Minister.
    1. As Minister of Justice he appointed a defeated SLFP candidate(a former MP Jaya Pathirana) as a Judge of the Supreme Court thus politicizing the Supreme Court. (The rot started there).
    2. Appointed his brother-in-law as Public Prosecutor and Bribery Commissioner who acted in a very “thuggish” dictatorial manner. He even tortured accused. His behavior was such even Mrs. B had to pull him up many times. But Felix should have taken then the responsibility as he was who protected him.
    (Sinhala film “Sagarayak Meda” shows how he, Felix and wife behaved).
    3. When a UNPer was bailed granted bail by a magistrate in Kurunegala didn’t Felix get the case transferred to Colombo overnight and got the acused remanded?
    4. Didn’t Felix issue an immoral and illegal directive to the Council of Legal Education to admit young politicians even without minimum basic qualifications to the Law College, to help Mahinda Rajapaksa to enter Law College. This deprived at least one qualified candidate of entering Law College.
    All these happened with you full knowledge and support/approvalas you were the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice (1970-77) where Felix was the minister. You were found guilty and lost civic rights not for nothing but for your violation of existing regulation (AR/FRs).

  • 3
    0

    FDB was able, clever and free of corruption, which were the better known features of this much despised man. He reached heights during Mrs.B’s time because the new and inexperienced woman PM had few to trust or defend her in the Cabinet or Parliament then. Therefore, she chose her relative the brilliant young FDB and gave him the safe seat of Dompe. FDB hardly connected with the simple villagers of this Electorate in the Gampaha District. Power went to FDB’s head and he gradually slipped into sadism. He used the Criminal Justice Bill to inflict suffering on several rich businessmen even in matters of allegations of offences of a few Sterling Pounds or Dollars. Because the able senior QC’s of the time hardly paid him any regard, he abolished the Advocate/Proctor system and unified the whole profession merely as Attorneys-at-Law. He undervalued the legal profession by enabling mediocrities such as Mahinda R to become proctors breaking Law College rules of minimum qualification.

    Old and sick A.R.M.Mukthar was humiliated by being chained to his bed that expedited the death of this Muslim philanthropist. The mulit-millionaire head of the Hirdramani industrial group was sent to jail on insufficient evidence. The much respected and revered Justice HNG Fernando made the celebrated remark of the Crab crawling crookedly referring to Nihal J’s blind subservience to FDB by which NJ secured rewards in promotion.

    Mrs. B’s 1970 was wiped out largely because of the unpopularity of FDB both with his own MPs and the country at large. The hit movie “Sagarayak Meda” starring Gamini Fonseka was based on FDB’s excesses.

    In anger and humiliation FDB promnised NM, Colvin and crowd then “I will not come to Parliament even to plant grass” but broke his words and was back in 1970. But compared to the rogue Ministers and semi-educated MPs of today FDB was miles ahead in ability, performance and integrity.

    Backlash

    • 0
      1

      Backlash

      The Mr.A.R.M.Mukthar I had heard of, was the owner/operator of 100’s of illegal “bucket shops” across the country , effectively taking millions of rupees out of the pockets of many thousands of poor families on a daily basis . Never knew he was a “philanthropist” !

      • 0
        0

        Oracle,

        I don’t know if you are confusing ARM Mukthar with the well known
        bookie – the popular Mubarak Thaha. Mukthar may have, in a smaller way, taken bets. I cannot imagine how Mukthar took millions out of thousands of the poor. The trade was operating within the limited space allowed by the law then. Compare that to the present “Bookie mudalalis” with a national network of bucket shops that Arjuna Ranatunga referred to of so called high officials in the honourable game of Cricket – now high up in Parliament itself.

        Mukthar indulged in much charitable work in his community. There used to be a long queue opposite his shop in Keyzer Street, Pettah of Muslim poor on Friday mornings. He helped all of them. He was held in high esteem by his community.

        Backlash

        • 0
          0

          Native and you should be interested in this ruling at Singapore.
          SEE HOW HUMAN BEINGS WORK.
          PUBLISHEDNOV 8, 2016, 2:21 PM SGT

          Parliament: 2017 presidential election will be reserved for Malay candidates, says PM Lee.

          SINGAPORE – The next presidential election, due in 2017, will be reserved for candidates from the Malay community.

          Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, announcing this in Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 8), said: “That means if a qualified Malay candidate steps up to run, Singapore will have a Malay president again… this would be our first after more than 46 years, since our first president Encik Yusof Ishak.”

          http://preview.tinyurl.com/ncdngbp

        • 0
          1

          Backlash

          My father was a patient at Sri Lanka Nursing Home Wellawatte the same time ARM Mukthar was there, I know first hand that Mukthar was treated very badly .If I remember correctly , he even owned that hospital. Mukthar, Thaha, and Mudalige were the three who controlled betting in SL at that time . Having said all that, I don’t think that anybody involved in betting could ever be called a philanthropist irrespective of how much he helped his “community”. More like robbing Peter to pay Paul .
          Cheers.

          • 0
            0

            Dear “The Oracle”,

            I agree. What this article has done is to usefully remind us of a very able man who dominated politics for a few years; we like to look back on those years as a “golden era” of sorts, but these people were not without their faults. The same goes for those whom they prosecuted / persecuted:

            “Backlash” says: “I cannot imagine how Mukthar took millions out of thousands of the poor.” But you are quite right; those were our school days and we knew there was all this gambling going on and many an urban worker’s family was driven to ruin because of this sort of gambling – even then. That Mukthar, Thaha, and Mudalige trio would have been quite happy to extend their reach in to the villages – if they knew how to. Thilanga Sumathipala does – so even after losing at the hustings, he’s appointed to parliament on the National List. It was when such things were done that we should have known that President Maithripla was losing his balance.

            Now gambling is even more widespread – and among the poor. I tell you this: every ticket sold by the National Lotteries Board is a form of gambling, and it does much more harm than people are aware of. People’s entire mindsets are changed by it.

  • 2
    0

    Oracle,if as you say Mukthar took millions from the poor just imagine the amount Mahinda Rajapaksa and Compsny would have plundered from 2005 to 2015.Your calculator would not be able to total the amount looted.

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