20 October, 2018

Blog

Pictures: ‘Non-Nepotic’ President Sirisena Takes Son To UN General Assembly

President Maithripala Sirisena participated in the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York today, accompanied by his son Daham Sirisena who has no official status whatsoever in the Sri Lankan delegation.

When President Sirisena left for New York and when he arrived in New York the Presidential Media portrayed him as a simple man in contrast to his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa whose foreign visits were made with a large entourage with the tax payer having to foot enormous bills. These sentiments were echoed by almost all sections of the local media in Sri Lanka. Indeed pictures of him arriving in New York in a disheveled state was hailed as an example of his simplicity.

Sirisena rode to power pledging to eliminate the nepotism and favoritism that marked Rajapaksa reign.

The President is seen with his son Daham, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe.

Maithripala - Daham sirisena @ UN

Maithripala - Daham sirisena @ UN 2015 Sep

 

Related posts;

President’s International Media Point Man Speechless On Nepotism Charge

Maithri’s Daughter Chathu Kicks “Own-Goal” With Daddy’s Powers

MTV Newsfirst Removes President’s Daughter Chathu’s “Boasting Video” From Facebook

President Silent On Daughter’s High-handedness

Sirisena Brother, Pallewatta Gamaralalage Kumarasinghe Sirisena Appointed As SLT Chairman

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 8
    32

    Too all of You,
    His excellency paid for his sons entire trip.
    Look it up!!
    Shut your pie holes!!

    • 28
      1

      sinhalaya

      How did the son get into the assembly? Is he part of the diplomatic corps? Do you think any Tom, Dick and Hurry can represent this island by being a son holding on to his dad’s Aryan Sinhala/Buddhist suite?

      I know what you are thinking. If GL and Sajin can Daham can.

      • 1
        4

        Yes, yours AND others rattle we can understand – but to paint it as a big big one – is not wise for the moment – everyone makes mistakes, but I do believe pres will explain it at least later. He is also a human being, a husband, a father too.

        • 1
          0

          Shanmuga Velu

          ” but to paint it as a big big one – is not wise for the moment”

          At your office you start stealing paper clips, and end up stealing millions.

          Small mistakes unchecked will lead to large ones damaging the entire nation irreparably.

          Are you of the opinion there is no single person among 21 million people who is more qualified, remarkable, more deserving than this thug?

        • 1
          0

          @samuel

          Husband and Father ??? Please tell me you are speaking tongue-in-cheek !

          If I recall MR was a husband and father as well. I didn’t notice you making excuses for HIS conduct !

          and to @sinhalaya

          So where is the evidence that “His Excellency paid for his sons trip ??” – Provide it and we will shut our pie-holes

          And.. has the UN started selling tickets at the door for anyone who want to attend and sit at the General Assembly sessions ?

      • 0
        1

        Hey guys whats wrong with you all.. I used to work for the United Nations more than 10 yrs and noticed that , head of states and even the diplomats bringining their chidren in to the General Assembly . This is a very common practice. Those days our relatives when they visited the NYC, I used to take them to visit the UN building. Even my children they used to bring their classmates to show the UN.The respective member mission could obtain ids from the Protocol at the UN. So guys please do not utter nonsense, if you do not know anything please shut you mouth up and do something wortwhile for the country. Your comments show how ignorant you all are.

    • 51
      0

      It does not matter if Sirisena paid for everything. This kid had no business joining the Sri Lankan delegation and had absolutely no place in that arena. He is not an official, nor holds an important government post that qualifies him to sit on that seat. He should have gone shopping and spent his father’s money, not show his face and pose for official pictures at the UN. There is a certain protocol that we must follow, and flaunting your kid at an important world event, is not acceptable. This is not the Kandy Perahara where the entire family can be seated at the VIP seats.

      • 5
        0

        Well said Manel.

    • 6
      0

      Sinhalaya,

      Are you trying to give credence to the ‘sinhala modaya’ jibes
      with your ridiculous opinion?

    • 8
      0

      Dose not matter who paid for the trip his son representing Sri Lank in what capacity. Family successor to the throne in the future perhaps? Is Sri Lankan politics so far down under the gutter people defending any thing.

    • 3
      0

      Doesn’t matter who paid for his trip, but he shouldn’t be there as a family member. It is an official trip, not a family holiday.

  • 8
    1

    Didn’t daham go on the China trip as well ?

    What’s next?

  • 18
    1

    To those who think that it is justifiable for the President to take his family members to the Regular Session of the UNGA so long as he “paid out of pocket”, or that the son was merely substituting for the First Lady:

    1. So as a Sri Lankan citizen, maybe I could offer the president to pay my way so that I could also be included. Why does the president’s son get special preference… does he have more rights than anyone else? Is the son bunking on his own at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – and if so, how did he come around to that kind of money?

    2. The Regular Session of the UNGA is not an event where spouses attend. Did anyone see Michele Obama or Malia or Sasha Obama sitting with the US delegation? Its not some social event! It is one thing to have a a head of state’s family members around in the sidelines or at receptions during the Regular Session, but entirely another to have them sitting with the delegation in the General Assembly Hall.

    Just goes to show how low Sri Lankan voters’ standards are. I admit this is not the same degree of waste as we saw with the Rajapaska family, but this is not a grey area. Those who attend the UNGA should have some business to be there, and that is the only justification for you and I to be paying their way to fly First Class on Emirates and stay at the Waldorf.

  • 19
    1

    those who are in power should never forget is if the people of srilanka can vote former president Mahinda Rajapaksha for the his ills then who is Maithree, Its a shame that to see him there not as he has not official business there, i would have not said a thing if he had taken him to New york on a tour of sightseeing but to be in UN and meeting the leaders of the world is called nepotism. if he things Mahinda did that well he was sent home least Mahinda will be known to finishing the war but what has he done,

    P.S Don’t mistake me for mahinda supporter but voted Maithree in the last election. but like to call spade a spade.

  • 7
    0

    Son using mums tickets….. but seem’s to not interested of what happaning at UN, guess contemplating on his night club hopping

  • 8
    0

    We voters should nip this in the bud… flash headlines in newspapers.. organise welcome protest at the airport

    yes, protocols have to be followed.. this is not proper

  • 2
    11

    President’s son can play many roles. The most important is a source of honest feedback. Many leaders go astray because no one dares to tell the truth to the leader, especially if there are any areas that require correction or improvement. He can also play the role of a valet.

    Another is to build friend ships with leaders families. Such bonds provide an informal means of communication between leaders.

    Lastly it is a training ground for another young politician. Whether we like it or not, political dynasties are a feature in the East, as well as the West.

    • 0
      0

      Truth = Excuses, excuses

  • 1
    0

    Sirisena should know better, however, is this a distraction? We must not forget to discuss the UNHRC resolution.

    • 0
      2

      Distraction for the shielding of Rajapksha crimes and aatrocities.

      • 1
        0

        You handle Humbug fit you like a glove. [aatrocities] says it all. Wake up and open your eyes no one defending Percy Mahendra. If you are say MS done nothing wrong taking his son for a jaunt in a abstract way you are the one defending Percy Mahendra because he is accused of nepotism so many times with good reasons. Lock’s to me MS learnt well from the old master.

  • 5
    0

    “Make hay while the sun shines”. The farmer in Sirisena had to do this for the sun may not continue to shine on his family for long. This disgraceful act of his will ensure this. Bensen

  • 3
    0

    While every father is ambitious for his children and MS being no different, he could groom them better. For instant promote both Chathuri and Daham to contest in the Municipal Elections and thereafter take their turns at other elections. Send them up the ladder the proper way. No one will deny them this much. We have seen many political sons have come up this way.
    Earn the respect of the people by taking action against the Rajapakshe atrocities instead of shielding them and earn the disrespect of the people by doing exactly what they did.

  • 0
    0

    Native and others,
    I hope you will not grumble a dissenting opinion from the “Old Codger,” citing an old virtue which I think even the Veddas might subscribe to. Here it is.

    One must remember that a father’s love for a son is a virtue embedded in Indian /Sri Lanakan Buddhist mind from the time of Buddha.Remember King Suddhodhana’s appeal to the Buddha when he took away little prince Rahula and ordained him. So whether it is Mahinda Rajapaksa grooming his cherubic, racing car and females-fond son Namal as the potential successor to him (though failed finally) to succeed him, or President Sirisena is exposing his son to world leaders, in the true spirit of Indo-Sri Lankan tradition. One does not know what the President’s intentions are. One must not grumble. Didn’t Jawaharlal Nehru introduce his daughter Indira, like-wise to world leaders?
    I do not have the Pali text reference to quote Suddhodhana’s words.I can quote the more recent adaptation of these words by Sarachchandra in his Sinhabahu Natakaya. It runs as follows:

    “Puthu sene Pithu hada tula ma misa
    (Neta puthun hada tula randanne )
    Eta tulata veda eta midulu mata
    sada kal netha duk devanne.”

    Sarathchandra used the old idea in distortion to suit Sinhabahu overlooking the old virtue to describe the situation of the son (Sinhabahu killing the father.
    Suddhodana’s words were that the parental love to a son runs deep piercing the bones into the very marrow. (eta tulata veda midulu kara duwanne).
    As true Buddhists cannot some of us be liberal and expansive in our thoughts? Why judge situations from Western value judgments?
    Bandu

    • 1
      0

      I am afraid the Indira Gandhi example here is somewhat ill-fitting. By the time Indira was playing hostess to her widowed father in the 1960s she had sufficiently matured in public affairs and the niceties of social grace. We saw this in Colombo when she came with her father (1961) endearing herself to those who had the fortune to meet her. Her demure simplicity (dressed in cotton saree etc) and friendliness won for her many friends. With the advantage of a sound education at home – to be followed by higher stints in Switzerland and Britain, she was ready to take the Big Boys of the hustle and bustle of the major league of Indian politics after her father was no more.. She took on the power and weight of the right-wing conspiratorial Morarji Desai and the formidable Syndicate in the late 1960s and early 1970s and prevailed.

      Paternal love to children of political leaders is not questioned but there should be rationale and balance. To inflict the unknown quantity of the Junior on the country and people will get My3 nowhere. Daham’s educational competence is not known. What is known is the young man has been caught in unruly and uncouth behaviour offending the wife of a senior police officer. It was only the undue interference of his father blatantly – undermining the Police and legal process – that saved him from Courts and a possible jail sentence. This, apparently, is not the only blackmark on the younger Sirisena.

      No one objects to talented, cultured and educated children making their way up the political ladder. That is how Ranil W, Anura B, Rukman S, CBK, Navin D and many others made the grade. The alternative path such as the one adopted by Kudu Mervin’s boy – seething in thuggery, drugs, assaults and brawls in his 20s – will be loathed by the public.

      Let the young Sirisena prove his credentials of leadership to the country through accepted norms. Let him prove that he had valid reason to that expensive jaunt with his father – paid for by the people of this poor country now that apologists suggest he went to the UN to help his father translate Sinhala into English. Of course, such a simple task could have been performed by a lower member of the Lankan UN Mission in New York or our Embassy in D.C. – with little cost to the country’s depleting resources.

      Backlash

    • 0
      0

      @Bandu de Silva

      Surely, you are not claiming that only Indian /Sri Lankan Buddhist minds have this thing called “fathers love for a son” and fathers in other cultures hate their sons ?

      Ha! ha! if so, THAT would explain why none of the other delegates seemed to have brought their children to sit out the sessions.. Perhaps every other world leader attending that day, has only daughters OR if they are not Indians or Sinhala Buddhists, they hate their sons

  • 2
    0

    Happened earlier than expected. Even MR took longer to get to this stage. Shows the need to abolish the executive presidency before it is too late.

  • 2
    0

    This president is not different to every other president we have had.

    He is utterly cynical towards the people he represents. Despite widespread criticism he appoints known rogues, rapists and murderers as Ministers, he lets his daughter loose at hapless public servants in Polonnaruwa and now he takes his son, an unappointed minister without portfolio as an official representative.

    No wonder MARA is laughing these days.

    • 0
      0

      Is this not too early to make the kind of statements ?

      Dont you think – if he did not allow rapists to get reelected, they still powerful men and women would not have allowed him to make it as it is today ? Not president but people to be blamed not to have rethoguht ? What could a man as president do if even every 2nd is still pro -Mara or any crime doers?
      I think MY3-Ranil-CBK are very intelligent at making decisions about the country than it had been before Jan 8th.

      We cant come up with theories, but when you are there to practise lanken kind of politics – you need to cut the cloth according to the ground situation which I think is not at all easy. We the commendtators see it this way – since we dont have to work on getting them passed, but just asking the ones in power to do so – which is not an easy task within the current context – meaning- prevailing law and order systems; see even if European countries make it very easy with their any kind of amendments to prevailing laws – how hard we the lankens have to fight for a single change ? It is the folks that should improve their knowledge about the facts of the lanken politics- that can then help them to get it easily.

      ONLY a little over 50% of the vote eligible people wanted the change, while the half supported criminals and murderers.

      No point MR could laugh at but the current regime though – the current is slow, still moves forward than had been before 8th Jan; it is a wise deicion to catch Sajin vaas as the key evident provider to all the high profile frauds to expose— .

    • 0
      0

      Did SWRD or Sirima as heads of state take their children to the UN? Or on offical trips? Did president Kumaratunge take her children on official trips ? Only heads of state who have no breeding do it. that too only in SRI LANKA!

  • 0
    0

    Chaps,

    Re president taking his family members on official tours, he has to give d reasons and clearance.

    So lets wait n see what d HE has to say.

  • 0
    0

    How long will Dhaham baby take to destroy his father?

  • 0
    0

    To put the matter right the least President could do on his return is to admit that it is a wrong decision and express regret. This will do lot of good to himself as well as the voters who kept faith in him to deviate from the MR way of rule. Wimal

  • 0
    0

    Backlash,
    The points you made are well taken.No problem of disagreeing with you.My purpose was to express empathy with the President and the young son by looking through the prism of an old Indian perspective (not Buddhist really though I said so erroneously but occurring in a Buddhist episode).

    It might interest you to read what I wrote elsewhere which is quoted below”
    Bandu

    “From Bandu de Silva
    More on parental love.
    My eldest daughter now domiciled overseas who is a science graduate from an American University to whom I sent this correspondence over President Sirisena’s son accompanying the father to UNGA session along with my comment written in empathy quoting parental love where I cited king Suddhodana’s observation made to Buddha recorded in Mahavagga Pali, has sent me the following interesting response.
    ” A true Buddhist knows to be in the middle path. Some parents’ ‘love’ is more of an obsession and will only lead to unhappiness.”

    My daughter had a liberal education overseas from her infancy and later a few years in between at the Buddhist school Visakha Vidyalaya in Colombo where as I experienced teachers killed any free thought and individualism in children. That is what my three daughters found and one even refused to go to this school. Perhaps, the reply my eldest daughter has sent me could be the result of rejection of orthodoxy because of the liberal education she had had overseas in early formative years years and in the University; and even a reaction to the suppression of individualism at the so called Buddhist school.
    I really feel that there is something I could learn from this second generation about the issue of parental love I raised, in that they feel that they are entitled to their own individual opinion as much they would respect the elders’ opinions. That is embedded in my daughter’s assertion that parental love could “become an obsession and will lead to unhappiness”.

    As I see my daughter seems to be introducing a personal experience she went through because of my love to her as father in trying to guide her education and matrimonial affairs, the latter of which she point blank rejected.If one would take a lesson from this episode, how would one look at what the former President wanted to do in respect his son Namal, and the present President is trying to do in respect of his son Daham. Is one to believe that these two youngsters have no individualism or acquired liberalism in outlook of their own and placed themselves entirely at the disposal of their respective fathers.

    Incidentally,the response that Daham has been posting in the media to which wide publicity has been given, about his accompanying the father is shocking in deed. That seems to point to the absence of any individualism besides overestimation of their role and trying to take over the state burden on his shoulder.

    What say you?

    Bandu”

  • 0
    0

    Dont worry son. Your daddy may not know the exact meanimg of the words Nepotism and
    Protocol. He is carrying out the normal duties of a Srilankan President. He may soon
    looking for a Ferrari for you.

  • 0
    0

    Before Maithree became President no one knew whether he had a family even. They never came to the limelight, even Mrs.Sirisena. It would appear he took a leaf from MARA.He would have thought what the heck I will let my son the world as Maithree’s wife did not accompany him. Don’t forget that whenever Shiranthi went she was accompanied my a well paid beautician as even to put the konde she had to have someone else’s help.Don’t worry Siri.

  • 0
    3

    PinheaD

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.