8 December, 2021

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Why Did Premadasa Admire Hitler?

By Rifat Halim

Ranasinghe Premadasa was a fascinating leader, who deserves a much better biography than the ones that Bradman Weerakoon and Evans Cooray have produced.

Premadasa, then Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Local Government with the
Minister of Local Government Senator M Tiruchelvam QC (In the White Suit) in the Colombo Airport in 1968.

There are three questions that come to mind on his 25th death anniversary:

(1) Why did he admire Hitler?

Premadasa served as the Parliamentary Secretary (colloquially known as the Deputy Minister) to the Minister of Local Government Murugeysen Tiruchelvam QC from March 1965 to September 1968. Tiruchelvam was the Federal Parry’s nominee in Dudley Senanayake’s Cabinet. He succeeded Tiruchelvam as Minister, when the latter resigned in September 1968.

In early 1968, the Frederich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a think tank controlled by German Social Democratic Party (SPD), invited Minister Tiruchelvam to study local government in West Germany. The Minister declined the invitation and nominated his Deputy Premadasa, Dr. Sarath Amunugama (who was then a coordinating secretary in the Ministry) and one more official. Dr. Sarath Amunugama is now a Cabinet Minister.

When they arrived in Bonn (West Germany’s capital), Premadasa asked Amunugama to purchase books on Adolf Hitler. Premadasa told Amunugama that he was a long-standing admirer of Hitler. This was the first and only time that Amunugama had met a fan of Hitler.

Amunugama had to look long and hard for books on Hitler in Bonn. The Americans had restricted all pro-Nazi literature from the bookshops. When a few books were produced, Premadasa was delighted. He exclaimed that he wished that his late mentor AE Goonesinghe (who modelled the Ceylon Labour Party on the Nazi Party) could have been in Bonn.

Former UNP MP Asoka Somaratne (who resigned after the accord) has written that Premadasa enjoyed watching Hitler’s speeches, even if he could not speak one word of German. Premadasa even adopted Hitler’s mannerisms in his own speeches.

(2) Why did he save Asia’s Hitler?

Nobody who values democracy can forgive Premadasa for giving Asia’s Hitler Velupillai Prabhakaran the lease of life during the Ali – Koti (Elephant-Lion) alliance of 1989-90. The IPKF had brought the LTTE to its knees, but Premadasa inexplicably entered into negotiations with them in April 1989.

He not only talked to the LTTE, but he armed them. Former Defense Secretary General Cyril Ranatunga has written in page 103 of his book From Peace to War, Insurgency to Terrorism that “President Premadasa had decided to give arms to the LTTE”.

When the TULF leader Appapillai Amirthalingam was killed by the LTTE on 13th July 1989, both President Premadasa and Minister of State for Defence Ranjan Wijeratne defended the LTTE. They absolved the LTTE of any responsibility.

When Mahathaya admitted that the LTTE killed Amirthalingam and Yogeswaran in October 1989, Ranjan Wijeratne still refused to blame the LTTE.

Eventually, their Karma caught up with them. Both Ranjan Wijeratne and Ranasinghe Premadasa were killed by the same organisation that they defended.

(3) Was his success due to luck or ability?

Premadasa, the only non-Govigama leader in the country’s history, had a generous share of good fortune.

He was lucky that his Minister (Tiruchelvam) was a Senator. Only the lower house can present legislation and Premadasa presented several important bills. This meant Premadasa had a much higher profile than any other Deputy Minister. He presented the Tamil language Special Provisions bill in 1966 on behalf of his Minister. Premadasa often quipped that he (a man without formal qualifications) was representing a Queen’s Counsel.

He was lucky that Tiruchelvam resigned in September 1968, which paved the way for his entry into Cabinet.

He was lucky to hold his seat during the UNP debacle in 1970. This elevated him to the top tier in the UNP hierachy.

He was lucky that the JVP disrupted the 1988 Presidential elections. Mrs. Bandaranaike would have won if the turnout was higher.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    2

    The late RP may have admired Hitler, but he was no Hitler. Perhaps some of the books from Bonn may have ended up in the wrong hands of those who followed him.

    • 6
      11

      Only Psychopaths have wet-dreams about Hitler and his ilk. Premadasa was an uneducated psychopath.
      Cheers!

      • 10
        5

        Yes, we also have educated Psychopaths, that would want to work with them. Best example is Dayan Silva Rajapakshe Jayathilaka

      • 6
        2

        Ben Hurling

        Remember he was fighting against highly educated Radala/Govi menace within and outside his own party and parliament. Nayakes and Mudalies are dead against him not because he was a “uneducated psychopath” but because of his caste.

        Please don’t tell me Sinhala/Buddhists have no caste issues among their flock.

        • 5
          1

          Native,
          Ranasinghe P will not be judged by his caste by me. NEVER. I would never sink so low. But, his record. Remember 60 000 disappeared during his impeccable rule. Where is Richard de Soyza? He was a ruthless killer with a buddhist facade. A crafty ‘Dawal Miguel, Rae Daniel’, if you will. Remember his ground-breaking economic policy? The poor were to be given papaya to be eaten and socks to be worn to grow the econony. His deceptive oratory was so masterful. He nearly won the Nobel Prize for Economics with that theory. SL is infested with bloody idiots who buy into his brand of hocus-pocus.
          Cheers!

          • 1
            0

            Ben Hurling

            I am not trying to absolve RP however do you think he is the only one to be blamed for the widespread war crimes that had taken place while he was in power? What about six men team including Fonseka, Gota, … under Janaka Perera that terrorized various parts of the island, Udugampola, ……………..

            There are quite a number former killers now been elected to parliament and live happily ever after, mind you they are in both parties.

            Three commissions appointed by Chandrika had already identified 30000 cases of crimes the then defense minister Anurutha Ratwatte refused to charge the war criminals simply because he didn’t want upset the security forces who were engaged in war against LTTE in the North East.

            Premadasa is not the only war criminal.

  • 16
    3

    Whatever said and done Premadasa at least spoke of the ordinary people. Next to JR Premadasa stands tall.

    • 3
      1

      Upali,
      JR elevated Ranasinghe P to Temple Trees and later to “Raja Gedara”. Soon after, JR realized he had made a severe mistake. JR did not attend Ranasinghe P’s funeral. After Ranasinghe P’s shocking assassination by LTTE’s Fat Pig. JR cited a “seasonal cold” as the reason for him staying away from Ranasinghe P’s funeral. Lousy excuse. You connect the dots.
      Cheers!
      PS: Ranasinghe P never hid his admiration for LTTE Fat Pig’s single-minded determination. His plan was to tame the Fat Pig and bring him under his wing. The problem was Fat Pig was a lot more paranoid. Far more ruthless. A far-bigger psychopath. Fat Pig was planning Ranasinghe P’s violent removal from life on earth while talking to him. And while enjoying the fruits of his stupid generosity towards Vavuniya Pol Pot aka Fat Pig.

  • 6
    1

    “Eventually, their Karma caught up with them. Both Ranjan Wijeratne and Ranasinghe Premadasa were killed by the same organisation that they defended.”

    This kind of scenario will be enacted again in the not too distant future when some persons who are now defending arch crooks will get liquidated by those very crooks!

    • 0
      0

      100%

  • 4
    1

    Rifat,
    Nice work there on Premay’s love for Hitler. Meanwhile, please dig out Tony Senewiratne’s qualifications.

  • 4
    2

    lets have dayans explanation for the behaviour of his great hero

  • 12
    1

    The charge about the admiration of Hitler is pure hearsay. I was a member of a research team headed by Susil Sirivardhana, which examined all published and recorded material by and about Premadasa, from his Sucharitha days to his last. the research project was a large one, into Premadasa policies and their impact. The examination of the primary and secondary sources was prior to the field research into the impact of his policies (field research which was carried out by research teams directed by Tisaranee Gunasekara). One of the early outputs was a booklet on The Premadasa Philosophy. Nowhere in our research did we come across anything whatsoever, that was remotely akin to laudatory references to Hitler! There was however a 1957 booklet which was positive about China and Russia and a 1987 preface to a Sinhala translation of Gorbachev’s Perestroika (translated by Janadasa Pieris)! Fairly consistent…and a far cry from Hitler, I’d say.

    • 5
      1

      “Give a man a reputation as an early riser, and he can sleep ’til noon.”

    • 1
      3

      Dayan Jayatilleka: Why the hell do you repeatedly say that your Trinity are not Hitlers?
      When you with Susil Sirivardhana researched on RP, you had just abandoned EPRLF, become a ‘reborn’. Who was your new found God?

    • 3
      0

      Well, you don’t have to be defensive about expressing a view on Hitler, if he did. May be Premadasa saw the facts after Israel’s double dealings with the training of our army (and training the Tigers at the same time). After all, he appointed a commission to look in to it.A look at the current world leaderships in Britain, France, Australia, Canada and lot of other strategically important countries proves the point Hitler was making (though one doesn’t have to agree with his policy of ‘final solution’. The happenings in the middle east over the last 20 years, beginning with Iraq, colour revolutions’ Libya and Syria shows where the world is heading. Donald Trump is being kept completely under the thumb of the Zionists by threats of impeachment. The latest move is undermining Saudi Arabia with an idiotic puppet prince raised to Kingship, to use him to launch an attack on Iran. The world is seeing the worst form of Fascism Hitler warned about. Tarnishing Hitler’s image and of anyone who points out the accuracy of his views is part of this conspiracy. So If Premadasa admired Hitler, so be it!

  • 8
    1

    If Sarath Amungama went to Bonn in that 1968, why isn’t he in this photo?

    This shows bunkamness of this story.

    This story demenas Premadasa, a noble man, and enhances Amunugama who was a nobody in 1968. Is Rifat Alim same as Amungama or a latter’s stooge?

  • 2
    1

    why only about hitler
    what about richard de zoysa
    what was paskis role in giving money and arms to the ltte
    it was ranjan that put down the jvp rebellion not premadasa
    there are many pluses and minuses in his career

  • 7
    4

    Rifat Halim

    You are the first imbecile I have heard refer V. Pirabakaran as Hitler. I think you turn coats need more of the BBS treatment you have been recently receiving before you come to your senses and stop talking through your thoppies or is it your rear end ?

    • 3
      2

      Pirabakaran velupillai

      “You are the first imbecile I have heard refer V. Pirabakaran as Hitler.”

      It was a mistake however Pol Pot is the nearest one. Maybe Abimael Guzmán.
      Find out from SJ.

  • 5
    0

    Rifat Halim

    You are the first imbecile I have heard refer V. Pirabakaran as Hitler. I think you turn coats need more of the BBS treatment you have been recently receiving before you come to your senses and stop talking through your thoppies or is it your rear end ?

    Can you tell me in which slum in Colombo, you were born ?

    • 2
      2

      VP
      I too think that Halim goes over the top to put Pirabakaran on par with Adolf.
      He should remember that we had a near fascist 17-year rule under the UNP.
      *
      Yet, to wish a community cruel fascist treatment is to get pretty close to being a fascist.

  • 2
    7

    Why did Premadasa admire Hitler?

    Because he was also a dangerous killer; the killer who constantly pursues you as Premasir Khemadasa depicted in his iconic music presentations.

    The whole country celebrated his fate – the perfect one Premadasa deserved.
    Ranjan Wije, though whose fate not celebrated as widely as Premadasa’s, was still fall into the same category of our killers including GoTa, all of them have reconfigured the concept of mass graves. Watch out for the next Presidential Hopeful – GoTa who will surely turn out as the most unprecedented killer in our history.

  • 2
    0

    I do not know which side to join in this game, between Rifat Halim, who is celebrating Richard’s anniversary and Thero de Silva, the communist celebrating Vesak week on May Day. As a religious observance, I am sworn to oppose the Smart Patriotic racist Thero de Silva. But this new change in him making me confused. All these time we had categorized Richard. P, the Dronacharya as Arjuna’s Guru, because Dronacharya (Richard. P) Is the most admired dictator of Thero De Silva.
    Like Ekalavya (Ehalaivan), Hitler was getting his Lessons from his Manasika Guru (internal mind’s Guru – a kind of powerful minds interaction for teaching and learning) Richard P. But the author (Apparently author is a concocter, because Thero is naming Tissaranee Gunasekara as participant in his project) it is not Hitler, but it was Richard .P who took the lessons from Hitler. Thero is not ready to take any insults on Richard .P, his most Venerable dictator, he even values more than Castro.
    We had been following a maxim, “tell me who your friends are, and then we could come to know who they are”. So, now should we take Thero’s hand to label Rifat Halim “Liar” or support Rifat Halim in celebrating the “First one went away 25 years ago and the second one went 77 years ago” or keep quiet. Anyway, it appears Rifat is accepting that there was holocaust –that is not fake-during Hitler time He is not denying as holocaust did not happen, Thank God! Probably he is accepting Richard P’s politics and killing of 120,000 Sinhala youths, shut out UNP out power ever after.

    When Richard P. was the Local Government Minister he was honored as Valaithodda Kaadai. (I think Kaadai is Sinhala word but used in Tamil to denote those who are above rowdies in violence-not sure of the origin; Valaiththoddam is Keselwatta, in Sinhala).

  • 0
    0

    That time, the TGTE PM’s father was the TULF’s Jaffna Mayor. Vaalaththoodam gave all troubles to Mayor and him too not a one to easily give up. The relationship of Jaffna and Colombo that time was much worse than CV and Yahapalanaya, now. On a holiday Vallaithoodam insisted Mayor to open the Municipality and give him a reception. Mayor told back, as a Local Government Minister, Richard P. has to follow the procedures and refused to open MC for work with unpaid workers on off day. They revenged by burning the Most Prestigious Library in South Asia, The Library of Jaffna. Father David, a 30 language master died by grief by that news. He was a disciple Swami Gnanaprakasam, another master of 75 Languages. They both carried their researches from that Library. The other connected events are murders in Chavakeri Carnival by police, World Tamil Research conference Murders by police and army… These provoked all Tamils and LTTE shot the Rapist Armies. Appe Aanduwa won the game by organizing Black July 1983. LTTE changed the tactics. If Amy kills on innocents in one village in the name of riots, they will go after Sinhalese who were occupying Tamil’s villages under Sinhala Colonization schemes chase them out even with violence, and re-occupied. This gave warning to Appe Aanduwa not to organize Pogroms against Tamil. This new arrangement lasted well from 1983 July until January 2012. After winning LTTE, in 2012, Old King threatened TNA if they go to UNHRC in support of American resolution, he would reintroduce the programs.
    Old King used Muslims in Colombo to protest against UN and UNHRC, hoping that Tamil speaking community could send a different message of Tamils to UNHRC. But American Ambassador Robert Black, who had changed his side from Old Royals to TNA, warned bad consequences to Old King if pogroms repeated on Tamils.

  • 3
    0

    After leader Piraba, when there was smaller riot in Aluthgama, Terrified Muslim civilians were looking for if Leader Piraba had really died. I think Muslim community did not know the Authors Name , Rifat Halim, That is why they wanted Leader Piraba.

    It is not they have managed one or two against Muslims, but by using those small riots, they have now got all Muslim writers and Muslim politicians to take new oath of their full support on their effort to defeat Tamils at UNHRC. That is the reason there are sudden mushrooming of anti-Tamil writers like the author. After Yahapalanaya came to power, the First Muslim Minister volunteered to go to UNHRC to defend against Tamils is Faiszer Mustapha and until he started doing this still Muslim Sinhala riot was not brought under full control. So appears Yahapalanaya extorted this favor from him to bring down the riots. Shame is unlike leader Piraba, who used military tit for tat to stop pogroms against Tamils, these Muslim writers and politicians are volunteering for a new round of traitor job of destroying a of getting a possible solution for minorities from UNHRC.
    Richard P. Paid money and supplied arms to LTTE to beat back IPKF. Old King too did it. He was against Chandrika. Chandrika was receiving favors from American Government. Still Clinton family is very good with her. When Old King came in, America accused of LTTE appointing him for the bribe. But is changed tactics. For Old King, Condoleezza Rice got EU to ban LTTE. Her administration made friendship with Old King. They wanted Old King to defeat LTTE. But later America realized the mistake of Condoleezza Rice’s of propping up Old Royals. Now, Indian government is also realizing Sonia’s mistake. Faiszer Hakeem like anti-American, anti- India consultants helped Old King and Lankawe to surrender to China.

  • 1
    0

    The book buying incident described by Rifat Halim is dodgy. With the question “Why Did Premadasa Admire Hitler?”, he expects us to assume RP did admire Hitler! Thoroughly unscrupulous.
    One will not go all the way to Germany to get books on Hitler. One can have it ordered from UK.
    Dr Sarath Amunugama is a phone call away. Rifat MUST verify and let us know.
    Rifat says ~ “……..Premadasa even adopted Hitler’s mannerisms in his own speeches…….”.
    Untrue untrue untrue.
    Call this investigative journalism? My foot.

    • 0
      0

      It is important to understand fascism.
      I think that Mein Kampf is an important text that will help us understand how modern day fascism works. Much of the attitude and approach remain.

  • 2
    0

    Really? Mr. Halim were you present at any of these occurances? I doubt it.

    Pop Preme had his share of shortcomings BUT he was a leader like no other. He had no patience for manipulations like JRJ and his newphew RW. He wanted to see things done and the boorucrats were shitting scared of him turning up.

    I will take him over any of the dumb Royalists we have in government today.. ANY!!

  • 3
    0

    It is obvious where the writer Rifat Halim is heading. His objective is to paint Vellupillai Prabakaran as Asia’s Hitler. So he concoct a story about Premadasa ordering his tailcoat to run around Bonn looking for books on Hitler, he then links Premadasa to VP ….with Hitler as a common thread.

    what a load of rubbish.

  • 2
    0

    Germany had banned all Hitler books and memorabilia

    This author is lying saying Premadasa bought books in Bonn. Had he done that he would have ended in jail.

    Amunugama was nobody then, the writer attempts to show he was important then.

    • 0
      0

      It is true that you could not buy anything about Hitler in Germany.i.e. Writer is saying rubbish

  • 0
    0

    The abdication of the British monarch Edward was covered up by propagating it as a romantic escapade. Now it has been brought to light that he had been an ardent Nazi associate, who worked closely with Hitler against Britain itself and thus a traitor. It is no secret that there have been many admirers and supporters of Hitler amongst the hierarchy in the European establishment, and elsewhere. Their loyalties were mainly based on Fascism and Anti-Semitism. Albeit the negatives of Hitler’s regime the Holocaust in particular, and the concoctions of the victors and story tellers apart, there can be nothing sinister about RP, a political leader from our part of the world getting interested about Hitler, and his capacity to establish himself, transforming Germany within a very short time as 15 Years, going against the degrading and humiliating conditions imposed upon by the Treaty of Versailles, after the so called World War 1.

  • 0
    0

    Please don’t believe Dayan. [Edited out]

  • 1
    0

    I sympathize with all above, who are as confused as I am! Perhaps that bloody Amunugama, for all his elitist nonsense, can throw some light on this? That is asking for too much from someone corrupt! Otherwise, I see no particular reason for Prez. Premadasa for loving Hitler, except he was surrounded and advised by morons, and that was a tragedy! I, for one, hated his period, but appreciated his love for the country; a particularly nasty comment he had made in Panadura, about Mrs. B ‘soiling the seat’ with implicit meanings, related to me by my father, soured my feelings towards Premadasa. A flippant, stupid comment! But, I still admire thousands of trees planted under his orders, Koboleela, in particular (Bauhinia purpurea), as you drive through major arterial roads leading to Anu and Polon.

  • 3
    0

    Who was the sexy woman in the entourage to Bonn? We know Premadasa was never a womaniser but thiruchchelvam was.

    • 0
      0

      Dr NL
      What’s wrong with womanising? and women looking sexy !
      You seem to be familiar with Premadas’s and Thiruchelvam’s sex life ! How come ?

  • 0
    0

    Dr NL
    You are an MCP

  • 1
    0

    Surely Rifat Halim you should realise by now that those who buy books on Marxism are not necessarily Marxists because they never ever read or understand the contents!

  • 1
    1

    “He was lucky that the JVP disrupted the 1988 Presidential elections. Mrs. Bandaranaike would have won if the turnout was higher” – Just like Ranil would have won in 2005 Presidential Election if northern Tamils had voted. Whether arming or bribing, both are getting into deals with Asia’s Hitler VP. The bribe was worth it

  • 1
    0

    Because he’s a fool

    He proved it by having an LTTE man near him.

  • 3
    0

    What is wrong in admiring A. Hitler, who became a history (better say, a history maker) without a formal education or powerful family background? One doesn’t need to be a Neo-Nazi or Palastine to admire this great, but bad man.

    From former US president JFK to present day Philippine’s president Rodrigo Duterte openly admitted they admire Hitler. It all depends on why and what. It is a simple Facebook advice, get the best and leave the rest.

  • 2
    0

    Sri Lankans could have made worse than Hitler out of them. fortunately they are not talented enough to go passing the SL borders and the country is one of the least concerned in the world, if not for tea and cricket – Those too are fading away nowadays.

  • 0
    0

    Whatever it is Tamils are happy in their hearts that Rifat compared VP to Hitler.

    Rifat, in your next writing, I don’t want to see you compare my “game hukuwa” (a thug) to Hitler, just because both do the killings.

  • 0
    0

    there is too much controversy to sort out here. Mr Amunugama please decend and explain if you were really there in 1968. I still think you were nobody then, just an immature 36 year old

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