What type of a leader Sri Lankans want??
Posted on November 6th, 2018

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

Just like the Kelaniya Prelate said to the press, I also voted for Ranil and the party .As everybody else we wanted a new and  better leader whose name was not with allegation . I became disgruntled day by day during last three and half years, when I personally encountered the leader and the ministers during official meetings which were held to help entrepreneurs in solving their day to problems .I had many issues related to delay in decision making process in establishing much needed industry like boat and shipbuilding.

During my presence in CECM ( chaired by then Prime Minister ) and OCEM  ( Chaired by Mr Paskeralingam ) meeting including Southern Development Committee  ( chaired by Minister Sagala Ratnayake)  I was not happy ( rather disanointed ) to note that leaders were either not taking firm decisions or they were unable to get the Officials and other line ministers to follow orders issues by the leaders .

These leaders were not listening to opinions expressed by other members or the aggrieved parties, but showing off their power and take decisions to their personal likings.

I remember attending meeting where Minister Sagala Ratnayake chaired southern development committee meeting ,where re-commencing of Galle Yacht and Boat Repair Industry was taken up .I detailed the grievance I had about the SLPA not allowing me to proceed and the minister brought out a absurd reasoning and postponed decision making for no apparent reason .At my age where I had nothing lose,  I lowered my head shaking a little bit unknowingly expressing by disappointed  ,The minister saw my behaviour and asked with somewhat arrogant way Mr Obeysekera ,Why are you shaking your  head ? –You look like not happy. but we are not prepared to do anything today” I profusely apologized but walked out disgruntled.

In an another meeting in the CECM chaired by Prime Minister ,I again brought out the same problem expecting some decision making,PM instructed the minister concerned to allow the project despite some ludicrous reasoning by the minister against it ,I argued about it but once the meeting was over I knew that minister was against it .

Later some of our higher-ups in the company want to see the minister to get a decision, where I was absent minister has asked Where is that Pandithaya ( wise man )? Apparently referring to me.

This are type of leaders we had during last three and half years who could not get things moving and ministers pulling the cart in different directions. Business leaders expected more decisive leaders who have the attitude to foresee the future .

We never had that.

When you talk about charisma and leadership ,I can also refresh my mind when I was in UK .Current prime minister came to the London Buddhist temple just before his first presidential election for a religious ceremony where I was present .He saw me after over 10 years ,standing on the other side of the gathering ,waved and called me to come to him .Held my hands with his both hands and asked me when are you returning to Sri Lanka to do something for the country ?He was playing the role of a politician who would reach the people’s hearts .One of my friend who was travelling from Kataragama accidently encountered the President MR at that time ,MR extended both hands and asked him I assume that you went to Katharagama?” My friend told me that he would not have known him personally and yet he says that MR played his public relationship stunt.

When I had an industrial unrest in the company when MR was the labour minister .I had to shut the gates of the shipyard because the working class was behaving badly creating unrest .After few days of sun buring outside the gates of the Port they went to labour ministry to complain .I was called in by the then Minster none other than MR who was asking me why I took a drastic decision in a quite aggressive voice .I told him in similar confrontational voice that I wanted discipline in the yard ,hence I wanted to teach all a lesson ,He got little irritated and told me that I was type of a person who even did not listen to a minister under whom I worked a s chairman .I told the minister that it is irrelevant here in the current situation

Labour minster apparently got irritated, and expressly warned me with this exact words Why ,you want to fight with me ? I am also a good street fighter .Let us go out and fight !

And yet he winked at me showing that he was playing gallery to the workers and not that serious!

Workers came back to work after signing a there year collective agreement .MR and I achieved what we both wanted

Breaking the impasse >

If you meet the ex PM he may not even look at you and greet you the way MR does.

A leader should have these qualities to win the heart of the people if you want him to lead the country.

I am telling my heart out, despite the fact that someone may tell that I am changing colours.

I am not.

We need a  leader , and I am repeating the same words .

We need a Benevolent Dictator with a Heart ,In Sinhala we say that we need Saundarya Ekadipathi nayakeyek ?

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

3 Responses to “What type of a leader Sri Lankans want??”

  1. NeelaMahaYoda Says:


    Ranil is a hardcore neoliberal. Neoliberals do not support local industries nor local agriculture. They only support multinational companies. Instead of you if a multinational company ask for approval, the answer would have been entirely different not because of the underhand commissions they get, but it is their policy to propagate multinational companies to take over the economy so that the government will have minimum involvement in running the overall economy of the country. Neolibarals do not believe in society, but only on individual who should look after by them selves.

  2. Christie Says:

    I hope what Sirisena did was the same what MR did, that is did not listen to India.

    Onnly Brahma knows what India is up to now?

  3. Nimal Says:

    We need a leader who is Honest and honourable.
    Live in the modern world and wear cloths to suite this day and age.
    Not to fool the people by going to temples and venerate before clergy but be honest and open enough get the parliamentarians to consult their electorate every week.
    Visit their constituency often.
    Let private companies deal with the infrastructure projects without politicians getting preoccupied with this to seek dishonest kickbacks.
    Cut down on politicians wasting public funds.
    Give foreigners a chance to invest and run and own their ventures 100%,like we do in their countries.
    Bring discipline to the people, etc,etc

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