By Lionel Guruge –
(The funeral of Central Province Provincial Councilor Sanjeewa Kaviratne is today 19 -3-2014 .This is a brief note in commemoration.)
His death is not comparable to the death of an ordinary politician.From him we learnt that party politics is very narrow and limited.
His father was a minister and a politician, and also a poet.
He too became a politician but not a poet.
Nevertheless he had in him the sensitivity and humanness of a poet and this was embodied in his politics. A love for the environment too, was apparent in his life, not giving a place to material riches but venerating nature, trees, rivers and the wonders of the environment. Any activity he carried out was planned in harmony with the environment.
In 1993 he entered provincial politics then by 2002 , represented Parliament, after which he was again with the Central PC until his demise.
Within his party when there were disagreements and arguments he did not take sides but preferred to stay unbiased, and objective always.
Central Province is by nature a bilingual region and Sanjeeva Kaviratna rendered great service towards promoting language equality, and ensuring that anyone could obtain service in their own mother tongue. He stood for language rights, in all government institutions and linked with many organisations that similarly promoted language equality such as the numerous language Societies in the region. He was a character who stood out as dedicated to upholding Official Language Policy.
Similarly, he took every chance he had to help the people, in particular marginalized communities, and this without any political agenda.
He valued pro- people politics rather than party politics, and towards that maintained very good links with civil society organizations, in spite of some criticism. He worked closely and harmoniously with the Chief Minister of the governing party, Sarath Ekanayake and other politicians so as to get things done and he did a lot of good work to help vulnerable communities such as the plantation sector people, with an honest and humane intention.
Comparing with other young politicians who are entered politics nowadays, he can be identified as an exemplary character. His charming personality and passion for service were wonderful features of his very short life. We were fortunate to witnesses the commitment of this young politician in our work with him
He was a good and genuine friend to me, and working with him was very pleasant; he was a calm and peaceful character who would not get hot tempered, even among people when tempers flared, but he did express great sorrow and frustration at some of the injustices he saw around him such as environmental degradation, and exploitation.
He had the vision needed by a politician in the national level, and the international level, that every politician should have.
This young politician Sanjeewa Kaviratne had a deep and profound human determination to improve the country we live in, and his demise is truly an irreparable loss to all Sri Lankans.