14 April, 2024


Mangala’s Conditional Apology To Rotarians/Lions & Suitability To Be Minister

By Amrit Muttukumaru

Amrit Muttukumaru

Among the current crop of politicians in Sri Lanka Mangala Samaraweera in relative terms stands tall on matters of integrity despite some perceived blemishes, on competency despite  criticism of being a ‘mere fashion designer’, secular credentials, communication skills and social niceties. Of course this is not saying much of the caliber of politicians in Sri Lanka today. Nevertheless, his suitability to hold public office particularly that of Finance and Media Minister has to be questioned in the context of the harm he does on a regular basis to his own credibility.

This includes (i) his allegation that the Rajapaksa family may have siphoned off” as much as US$ 18 Billion from the coffers of the country during the MR presidency (ii) his strident allegation at a press conference few days ago claiming “personal knowledge” that Sri Lanka’s top dealers in illicit drugs are not those languishing in jail but some of those holding high posts in social service organizations such as some Presidents of Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs and Buddhist organisations. 

A day or two later Samaraweera in a press statement selectively and conditionally clarified matters inter alia as follows:

“Inadvertently, I also mentioned Rotarians and Lions Clubs, which I deeply regret.”

Readers can listen to his words in the above video (3:27 onwards) and decide for themselves whether there is any likelihood of “inadvertence”?

There was no “inadvertence” from Samaraweera as far as ‘Buddhist organisations’ were concerned.

It is curious as to why after claiming “personal knowledge” he has singled out “Rotarians and Lions Clubs” for an apology while effectively confirming his damning allegation against ‘Buddhist organisations’? The silence of ‘Buddhist organisations’ and even “Rotarians and Lions Clubs” is deafening. It must be emphasized that Samaraweera has on his own volition unilaterally softened his stance on the Rotary Movement and Lions Movement.

One wonders whether strong bonds of ‘friendship’ have influenced Samaraweera to selectively soften his ex cathedra edict which he asserted is applicable to Rotary and Lions?  This is the man who stridently made the allegations with “personal knowledge”!

It must be noted that Samaraweera, now Finance Minister has neither taken any credible action in the public domain to recover the US$ 18 Billion he alleged was siphoned off” under the Mahinda Rajapaksa presidency nor offered an apology to Mahinda Rajapaksa. As to why the Rajapaksa camp have not filed a defamation suit against Samaraweera remains a mystery.  

Silence of Rotary & Lions

It must be noted that although Samaraweera now states “Inadvertently, I also mentioned Rotarians and Lions Clubs, which I deeply regret.” he has not completely let them off the hook when he asserts:

“There may be some individuals in society that join various organisations for such reasons. “

To date neither the Rotary or Lions leadership have issued any press statement. Why?

For the credibility of Rotary and Lions which over the years have done commendable social service and have had and still have decent well meaning persons as members, should not its leaders (i) Demand that Samaraweera forthwith identify those he claimed with “personal knowledge” holding high posts as “Presidents” were allegedly “Sri Lanka’s top dealers in illicit drugs”? (ii) File a defamation suit against him if he fails to identify the “Presidents” concerned?

Their failure to do so will result in immeasurable harm to the credibility and respect of the Rotary and Lions organisations. The Rotary movement in particular owes it to the youth of the country who are members of the Rotary fraternity through its ‘Rotaract’ and school-based ‘Interact’ clubs.


The silence of the parties concerned has the potential to encourage people to surmise there is a vestige of truth in Samaraweera’s allegations.   

Is it not incumbent on the parties concerned  – Rotary Movement, Lions Movement and Buddhist Charities (i) At least now to issue a strong press statement demanding an unqualified public apology from  Samaraweera? (ii) if he fails to so to file legal action for defamation? 

Although hackneyed it is relevant to cite the quote attributed to Edmund Burke:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”

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Latest comments

  • 1

    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/

  • 2

    Politicians have made us accept ‘Excuses’.
    ‘Misquoted’, ‘Taken out of context’, ‘Misrepresented’, ‘Unintended twist’ are some expressions are used by politicians the world over. ‘Inadvertent’ is used when the above fail.
    ‘Sub judice’ is another one used to take the heat off.
    Some get away by denying they ever said what they said, and that these were morphed.
    Another version, “It was a slip of tongue. I meant the opposite”. The one doing the round is Trump “I meant didn’t though I said did”.
    Was the Gotler thing explained as ‘taken out of context’?
    Vijeyakala “Wait till the full facts are presented”.
    Amrit Muttukumaru ~ “Mangala’s Conditional Apology To Rotarians/Lions & Suitability To Be Minister”
    Please point out the conditions attached. In fact we admire Mangala for the retraction.
    “Legal action?” If successful tell us. High-ups are on record saying “ALL Tamils are terrorists”.

  • 1

    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/

  • 2

    Mangala has the skill to “authoritatively” lie. He is a master of the fake news. After all, he has helped CBK, Mahinda and Ranil all win elections.

    • 1

      In his example’s he missed Singapore may be he never heard of the country that give the short he ho to Drug trafficker’s. He should have quick chat with his former RB chief what’s his name Mr. Clean’s bro.

  • 1

    Rajiv Tennekoon ,

    To single out Mangala for lies will be unfair by the rest of his Diyawanna
    colleagues ! And what about the Silvas , Bandas , Subramanis and Mustafas
    who love to hear lies for generations after generations ? In a country where
    COMING means GOING and GOING is COMING !

    • 2


      The article was about Mangala hence the reference to him.

      Granted, they are all liars. That said, you have to agree that Mangala is the best liar of them all.

      • 2

        Rajiv Tennekoon ~ “The article was about Mangala……you have to agree that Mangala is the best liar of them all”.
        Before OR after he deleted ‘Rotarians and Lions Clubs’?

      • 0

        Rajiv Tennakoon ,

        It is easy as breathing ! The best of lies is DIYWANNA GUYS calling
        the whole bunch of voters INTELLIGENT PEOPLE before coming to
        power and monkey around after gaining access ! I made the counting
        easy for you . Anyway , thank you for being generous with your reply .

  • 1

    Is the Mangala “I am against but I am in because of cabinet collective responsibility”, yet another ploy to divert us from the Bellanna lateral movement?

  • 3

    The Hon
    Minister has been a gentlemen by offering an apology & has further accepted he is only human and all human are subject to error .

    The apology is well received ,subject closed, no need to drag non government organizations to gain political milage.
    Politics &religious issues are never our concerns
    Only Humanity matters& The Lions have been very successful in their service .

    • 4

      Fahim Knight, you are right.

      Mangala has been gentlemanly enough to tender an apology. Instead of ridiculing we should have been gentlemanly enough to accept it.

      Mangala appears to be a very hard hitting, straight forward guy, able to fight fire with fire, but also rise above the ordinary, when the calling is at hand. I rate him highly as a future leader of note.

  • 1

    On on -:)))

  • 0

    Politicians such as((Hon) M/S..Mangala ,Imtiaz Bakeer Mackar , Eran Wickremaratne , Dr.Sarath Amunugame ,Navin Dissanayake are cream of the stock ,who won’t be understood or appreciated by our people ,they are men who should have been in Parliaments such as Singapore.

    You can not survive in a society which refuses to hear all sides of the story ,to investigate the truth and stand by a Victim, no matter what his/her race &religion is ,if a Society is willing to pray at Temples ,Churches and Mosques and yet promote injustice done to someone based on prejudice ,knowing well its a mockery to God and precepts of belief ,then only God or Karma can correct such a sick Society by what we see happening to some nations around the world .

    Noble minded and far visioned politicians can do nothing to correct such a society.

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