By Dushy Ranetunge – opposite the British High Commission –
The Sri Lankan minister of Disaster Management, Mahinda Amaraweera, was seen driving on the wrong side of the road, up Bauddhaloka Mawatha, damaging another vehicle and subsequently threatening a female passenger for taking pictures of the accident scene.
Last Thursday December 20th, (approximately 2 pm) a white Toyota Landcruiser WP-KQ 4566 driven by Mahinda Amaraweera, the Sri Lankan Minister of Disaster Management, was seen trying to enter Bauddhaloka Mawatha from Wijerama Mawatha. He was attempting to turn right to travel in the direction of Thummulla.
There was heavy traffic and the Minister could not move his vehicle across Bauddhaloka Mawatha to turn right. So in his infinite wisdom, he decided to turn right on to the oncoming traffic and drive the wrong way up Bauddhaloka Mawatha.
He could not move far as he was blocked by oncoming traffic on Bauddhaloka Mawatha travelling in the direction of Borella.
The Disaster Minister Mahinda Amaraweera at the wheel KQ 4566 was now head on with an Audi 4X4 Reg no WP KS1971 and a Kia Sorrento 4X4 Reg WP KM 3022, right in front of the British High Commission. I was at the wheel of the Sorrento.
The smart lady driver of the Audi put her head out and screamed at the Minister to reverse his vehicle, while the Kia Sorrento blared its horn continuously. At the time, we did not realise that it was the Sri Lankan Minister of Disaster management who was driving on the wrong side of the road.
Police officer Bandara (88812) stood in the middle of the road and observed the whole incident.
Police officer Bandara (88812) shook his head at the lunacy of the Minister who was driving on the wrong side of the road and intervened to try to help him get out of his knickers, which were clearly in a twist.
With the female driver in the Audi screaming and the Sorrento blaring its horn and gesturing at the Minister to reverse his vehicle off the road, the Sri Lankan Minister of Disasters seemed in a state of panic. This was clearly not a disaster that he was competent to handle with any degree of confidence.
In his panic, he temporarily lost control of his vehicle. It lunged forward, banged into the Sorrento and dented my front number plate. Police Officer Bandara (88812) continued to shake his head at what was taking place before him.
The Ladies in the two vehicles started taking pictures/video of the accident scene and the commotion.
It was a minor incident, and if the minister had apologised we could have all gone our separate ways. But unfortunately it was not an apology but arrogance that confronted us. Some goons came running to the scene.
Prominent among the goons was Welathanthrige Atula Ranjith Kumara Boteju from Dimuthu Ihala, Beligalla, Beliaththa. ID no 722871812V.
The minister, his front seat passenger and the goon Boteju took offence at the lady in the Sorrento for taking pictures and surrounded her. The goon Boteju grabbed the mobile phone used to take pictures.
He threatened that he would dash the lady on the ground.
The minister then fled the accident scene in vehicle KA 4161.
The goon Boteju quickly sat on the driving seat of KQ 4566, where the Minister previously sat. He now claimed that it was he, and not the minister who was driving. It was a comical farce as he was being videoed and observed by not only the crowd on the pavement but also police officer Bandara. Then, goon Boteju picked up a pistol from the centre console where the Minister had been sitting inside KQ 4566 and got out, shouting and screaming.
Although at the time he whispered secret instructions to police officer Bandara and others, demonstrating an air of authority, later at the police station, the Minister’s front seat passenger referred to the goon Boteju as a driver. I inquired if all Ministers’ drivers handle firearms?
Some police officers suggested that the goon Welathanthrige Atula Ranjith Kumara Boteju from Dimuthu Ihala, Beligalla, Beliaththa, ID no 722871812V, was a member of MSD, or Ministerial Security Division. The suggestion is that he was a state goon, living off the taxpayer and demonstrating his arrogance at the population, even trying to commit fraud by claiming that it was he and not the Minister who was driving.
A 3-wheeler driver, observing the whole incident, muttered to me, “this is what happens when you vote for animals”. I was surprised at the comment and watched him getting into his 3-wheeler and driving away.
The Police officers at Cinnamon Gardens police station were kind, and went out of their way to make us comfortable and help us. We got the impression that they did not approve of either Ministers or aggressive alleged MSD officers abusing laws. One commented, “what would have happened if this had happened to a poor man?” Ordinary officers were clearly annoyed at the pressure being exerted from above.
The Minister’s front seat passenger acted as the Minister’s emissary, arriving at Cinnamon Gardens police station. He seemed very keen to get the goon Welathanthrige Atula Ranjith Kumara Boteju from Dimuthu Ihala, Beligalla, Beliaththa off the hook. “He is a driver”, I was told, and “he is ready to apologise”. “The minister will come soon after his meeting.”
We gave two statements: one to the Traffic Division about the minister driving up the wrong way on a busy street and another to the Minor Offences Division about the alleged MSD officer’s threats,
During this process another police officer walked in.
He said that the OIC at the police station had instructed that we be held till the minister returned from his busy meeting to which he had rushed from the scene of the accident.
We informed the Cinnamon Gardens OIC that we don’t wait for Ministers and walked out after making the police entries.
The police claimed that they would arrange a meeting for a settlement. We are not holding our breath.
The video security cameras of Her Majesty’s High Commission in Colombo would have recorded the whole incident.
Safa / December 22, 2012
This is a good first hand account of the criminal behaviour of Govt politicians and their ability to twist the law. This portrays their whole game of looting the public and breaking the laws of the country. Also their heavy dependence on gun toting thugs from beliatta.
Chanakya / December 22, 2012
This Minister of Disaster and all the Rajapassa cronies, ministers and the politicians of the Diya-wenna parliament should be impeached, excepting a few decent folks there, and the parliament of scoundrels that ran a Kangaroo Court to harass the CJ and bring disrepute on the judiciary needs to be closed down.
How on earth can the clown Ranil Wickramasinghe who fancies himself a great legal expert in parliament full of morons, goons and clowns claim that parliament is supreme when it is full of goons like this Minister of Disaster?!
P.B / December 22, 2012
This is definitely what happens when you vote for donkeys. The donkey drives on the wrong side of the road in Colombo when he should be where the disasters are ,where people have no food . These hooligans need to be chased away never to be heard of or seen again,
By the way I applaud you for coming forward to write this article. In these days leave alone writing an article most Sri Lankans would have quietly gone away, for fear of so called underworld thugs masquerading as ministers and drivers.
Atticus / December 22, 2012
Unless the Sinhala media exposes this behavior the people will continue to lease out the sovereignty of the people to these goons.
Dasanayaka Mudiyansalage Thushara Jayarathna ( Sri Lanka Law collage final Year Student) / December 22, 2012
No one above the Law. Punish all culprits.
But this is only theory
Mahinda and Rajapasa family and his thugs above the law.
This is the practice.
We want challenged it.
I appreciate your courage
Ruwan / December 22, 2012
Do not blame MP. He has shown supremacy of parliament. Trust me one of the police officer will admit that he had driven the vehicle and not the minister. Do not leave the case..we all support U …Time has come to put this goons in right place.
S k. weerasena / December 22, 2012
You are great. This hooligans minister and his parayo have ruined the country. When they come before T.V.or when give speeches they made people think that they are the saviours of people Our people have not understood those hooligans rascles yet.
LK Perera / December 22, 2012
Courageous act to write this. If you could get this at least in some sinhala media and social media (facebook etc;) and encourage others who have been at the receiving end of this kind of impunity, (on the road, at public places, and also in things a like grabbing others property) it will create a groundswell. going on social media may sound silly, but as the media is almost fully taken over by govt.lackeys, you have to somehow find space to keep standing up to these acts, and also to give strength to each other,
finally, take good care of yourselves, however well connected you may be…
Patta Pal / December 22, 2012
donkeys or animals, tell that to the jackasses who voted them in!
Quick Fox / December 22, 2012
I think the 3 wheel driver is more decent and more intelligent than the Minister. I think the ladies should file a case against the Minister and the Goon. The time has come for every Sri Lankan to file a case against every single minister who violates the law. I suggest that the lawyers should handle such cases free of charge to show the solidarity for law and justice in this country. Let us lock up all the ministers who are thugs, bribe takers and drug peddlers.
PresiDunce Bean / December 22, 2012
We can understand the average voter supporting and being hoodwinked by these goons. The problem is that rich educated people from Colombo also support them. Mostly for ulterior motives. The rich and the educated have to start making their voices heard, not only in forums like this but in public as well, just like Mr.Ranetunge has done. They have to show these uneducated goon ministers the cold shoulder. Stop inviting them for your weddings,opening ceremonies and other important functions. Think of the country and not what you can gain by cosying up to these goons. There is still hope of getting rid of these thugs if everyone stands together. See how much of blood was shed in trying to get rid of Gaddafi.
frank hilary / December 22, 2012
So, this is the shameless category of people who call themselves ‘supreme’ and not bound even by the orders of the Supreme Court of the country, who sit in judgement as members of the PSC in parliament to decide on the guilt of CJ. What a disgraceful state of affairs in this blessed land of ours.
Latimer / December 22, 2012
If Mangala S. was UNP leader he’d have exploited this boorish behaviour and done so much more than “brilliant & foresight” Ranil.
Mahanama / December 22, 2012
The minister himself is a disaster with parasite goons wielding the authority as it is similar with many of his colleagues.
Native Vedda / December 22, 2012
” The minister himself is a disaster with parasite goons wielding the authority as it is similar with many of his colleagues.”
It is not just a question of driving on the left or right side of the road.
Does the minister know right from wrong?
If there is no disaster Sri Lankans create one every second of the day without which they cannot exist.
HD / December 22, 2012
Does the president even know that these are the idiots who represent him in front of the people ? Isnt thre any reprimands for people like this? hey Mr. President time you put these idiots in there place no? Pull them up for God’s sake!
Andy Abraham / December 22, 2012
Did we recently hear the President say that to the effect ‘if he is our man, we will somehow or other cover up’? What do you expect from this “Helping Hambantota Fame” President to reprimand his pandangarayas?
Kiri Gamarala / December 22, 2012
This Minister is well known for showing the supremacy of the parliament by sitting on the ballot box of the parliament during the infamous election to elect the Speaker. Ven Athureliya Ratana dealt a Pure Sinhala blow to have the UPFA candidate defeated.
Premalal / December 22, 2012
Nothing will happen to the Minister or his goon as the king needs the support of the likes to be the king as long as possible.Has anything happened to Mervin though he has taken law into his hand?They further know that in the event of losing power at a future elections they will have to face many inquiries.As such the best option for them is to cling to power by hook or crook
Chaminda Tilakumara / December 22, 2012
Nice piece of work Dushy. Unuth ekai, munuth ekai.
srilal / December 23, 2012
Hey Chaminda , long time no see no hear, still in London ? hope you have opened your eyes at least now, see what’s happening to SL, your messiah MR is in the process of taking the SL back to stone age , thanks to your ilk Tilakumara.
Chaminda Tilakumara / January 1, 2013
Hi Srilal, my eyes have always been open, thank u very much. Unfortunately, the reality is that we have to deal with what we have and don’t have. What we don’t have is an effective alternative such as another group of leaders/ politicians. The main opposition is far worse than these UPFA rogues. How ever you must give credit where due, if not for MR, we won’t have Sri Lanka today if things continued the way they were. Unfortunately, they have failed to move on from that point. Regardless of being Blue or Green, they are all corrupt and so are US & UK politicians and also those who control the UN. This is the reality my friend.
Godaya / January 6, 2013
I agree that there is now no alternative leader to take over.
That does not mean that we should wait for a new leader.
New leaders have always come up in many other countries where the masses could not stomach their dictators.
Majority of our voters are not educated properly and have been brainwashed by the stooge media.
The longer we wait untin a new leader rises on the scene, the change will be more violent.
Anti-boru / December 23, 2012
The million (or is it billion?) rupee question is when will His Majesty appoint a commission of inquiry and then issue a statement, pending its findings NEVER being published, that the driver of the Audi and the Toyota 4 WD were the ones driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street because, since the accident, it had been decided to reverse traffic flow to prevent any more Disastrous Ministers from meeting with accidents when they were NOT driving their vehicles. All witnesses will be sent to Welikade where, after being manacled, they will be shot at dawn in the interests of public security and good governance.
Senguttuvan / December 23, 2012
At the latter stages of the 1970-77 Mrs B’s Govt the behaviour of some Ministers/MPs gave the impression many of them have gone near-mad. They felt they should remain unchanged in Parliament; they claimed people wanted them to go on. A few even asked Mrs B to do away with the Opposition and Parliament. They insisted the people were happy with “our Mother” But come the elections and JRJ’s eta-ata (8 grains) Aanduwa threw them out. The silent majority were hungry – and very angry. One Minister (Kasturiaratchi??) went on an official tour and in the night, fully drunk, demanded fried chicken. There was none. So he went to the nearest Govt Farm and stole a costly chicken kept for breeding purposes. Later on the same Minister, drunk again, went into fisticuffs with Minister WPG Ariyadasa in the very precincts of Parliament. This resulted in the Leader of the Opposition (JRJ) to ask the PM, in lighter vein, to include both in our Olympic Boxing team.
Amaraweera, when he was a Chairman of Corporation under Mangala S (1999?) was drunk and crashed his official car costing damages to the value of over a million rupees then. The habit apparently is eery much live and kicking. To drive deliberately on the wrong side of the road in a popular thoroughfare in the very heart of residential Colombo – under the very eye and nose of the law – is reminiscent of the Last Days of Mrs B’s regime. If this Govt has any legitimacy or respect for the law Amaraweera should be stripped both of his Ministry and as an MP.
Native Vedda / December 23, 2012
“But come the elections and JRJ’s eta-ata (8 grains) Aanduwa threw them out.”
JR J during the same campaign trail promised to build a Dharmista state. We know what had happened since then.
vishvaith / December 23, 2012
Major experience Dushy.
The lack of rule can’t be only apportioned to the current fellows and their ” iththas ” in power, the fellows before them and those to come will too will behave in this manner.
No white van will get closer to you.
Tony Adolphus / January 4, 2013
What is our goal…..One step forward and 2 steps backward…! I guess we the people got to blame ourselves for most of the wrong doings in the country. We reap what we sow. This is enough…Stand up rich or poor and do JUSTICE to INJUSTICE. Sad state of affaires and I have faith that People Power could change the attitude of the Government. How long could you dance in the dark…you got to face the light and it is sooner but definitely not later so change my dear Ministers. Shake up the pride, have some dignity and take accountability. We are all prone to mistakes and stop abusing your powers because you are heading a Dead End. “STOP”
J. Amerasinghe / December 25, 2012
This is what happens when ‘Coconut Donkeys’ take the Wheel ! … What a Disaster !!!!!!