By Achini Ediriweera –
How did my father’s then driver, Raththaran aka Rohitha Abeygunawardhana, who came to my house in a push bike and won my father’s heart, manage to stack up billions in 10 years. Hope he was smart and made up papers like others do. But, this man I tell you, is a Disgrace!!
Being my driver isn’t the case, but the point is he fooled my father into thinking he is a good person. My father, who didn’t bring his wife or sons into politics, or give relatives any positions at his office or ministry, due to his principles, gave this man the opportunity. He told my father how much he loved to be in Politics, and how he admired my father’s views. My father appointed HIM instead of my older brother or mother! He made HIM the chairman of the Beruwala council! As the chief organiser for Beruwala/ Kaluthara District, he gave HIM the ticket for the next election at the provincial council, and my father told Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga who refused to give him a chance at the parliamentary election, that “Here is my resignation letter, If you don’t give this man the chance in my district!.” Sadly my father didn’t see what Chandrika saw that moment! There are many who were present when this happened, who can prove this! My father then gave him the seat of Beruwala and said “it would be best if you took my seat, Beruwala, cause I have set this up for you now and made you here, and I will move to Agalawatte.”
This was done by my beloved father, because he believed you don’t need to come from a rich background to be what you want! You don’t have to inherit the right to become a politician, you need to have only the “passion” and “hunger to serve the people” and he though a poor man would know BEST ! Like my father did when he came in as a 13 year old. Which minister today gets on a stage and say about his driver, “This is my son in politics” “I see you making your sons and wives a political career, but, This here is my son! Vote for him! I appoint him for you, my Beruwala people!”
His success was not something my father would ever be jealous of because that is what my father gave him, without giving even his own older son or his wife, like many others did! My oldest brother’s dear friend was already in the parliament back then, and today he is the secretary to the SLFP, whilst my father chose to stand by his principles. Prathipaththi, and trust that this Raththaran would never steal from the nation!
We don’t need politics to survive because we got a life beyond that. We are disgusted that he does everything that my father never dreamt he would do when handing him this life! Something no one today would do.
I will NEVER support this rouge or any rouge who steal from the innocent people of this country!
Falil Hajiar uncle (from Beruwala) he was your worker first, and you gave him to my dad because he said that he admired my dad, so he can be my dad’s driver. Then when my dad made these moves and got fooled by his talk, you warned my father, who thought naturally anyone would be jealous. I thank you for that, Today.
*The writer, is Achini, daughter of Ediriweera Premaratne, Former Deputy Minister of Buddha Sasana. Former Cabinet Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardhana is currently under investigation on several counts of fraud by the Bribery commission.